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Dan Delcollo’s Blog

Sep '11

Sony, Back from the dead!

I had a Sony camera with a sweet underwater housing that I have used to take scuba photos. When I got the underwater housing for our Canon camera I didn’t need it as much but brought it with us to Hawaii in hope that someone else might get use of it, and maybe get a few photos of me.

In Hawaii Sara tried to use it and we discovered that it wasn’t working. Back home I looked into the problem and found the CCD was bad. There had been a recall on them and Sony was fixing them for free…. and the program ended about 6 months ago. With no super easy fix available I even went on eBay hoping that I could find another broken camera for cheap and fix mine. Unfortunately I found out that there are TONS of camera’s out there in the exact same condition, with the bad CCD. I found an eBay seller selling replacement CCDs from china for $20 but with no way of knowing if they would work or not, I was skeptical but ordered one anyway. It arrived today. 10 minutes and one YouTube video in German later I fired up the camera and am delighted to say it works as good as before. I am quite pleased.

Sep '11


You never really appreciate solid poop till you can’t. ‘Nuff said.

Sep '11


I doubt that anyone will find what happened today nearly as interesting as I did. I have started a new crazy project that I hope to write about later. I was using my plasma cutter and just as I was finishing my work I heard my air compressor sputter and die. I was finished so I didn’t worry about it much until later when I fired it up again to see if it was truly dead. It was dead dead. Nit looking forward to having to buy a new air compressor I decided to take it apart to see if I could diagnose and fix the problem. A couple hours later, one oil spill and one electrocution, I had the thing gutted completely. The thing is pretty much an engine in reverse where the motor drives the piston instead of the other way around. Anyway the connecting rod bent and shifted off the bearing and that caused it to seize up. It was the engine equivalent to “Throwing a rod”. I wasn’t willing to give up on it though. I whacked it with a hammer a few times to straighten it out and put it back together. I fired it up and Woot! It works!

There was something else I was going to write about, but now I can’t remember what it was which means it is time for bed.

Aug '11


“Prizes” pulled from patients today:
A blue Lego piece.
A wad of facial tissue.
A two inch long piece of chain link fence.
A one month old tampon.

Jul '11

Whoops, careful what you do in front of your kids.

We took the kids to the California state fair today. Actually we took them there twice because the first time we got there we discovered they didn’t open for another two hours so decided to come back after nap time. The kids got to go too the petting zoo and JJ was terribly freaked out by it, but Isaac fed some goats and looked like he enjoyed himself more than JJ. I’ll try and add a photo or two. The fair was both overwhelming and underwhelming at the same time. Rides are crazy expensive, crappy and numerous. Games looked worse than sketchy. Food booths had some nice looking and smelling offerings, but unless you were willing to plop down like $30 per person and stand in 5 lines, getting a whole meal is pretty much impossible. The exhibits seem to shrink every year and the commercialized crap grows by leaps and bounds. Still it was a good outing and I’m glad we went.

We decided to eat at BJs on the way back. The kids were past hungry, tired and antsy, so the table looked like a disaster even before our drinks arrived. Silverware everywhere, crayons on the floor and napkins and drink menus shredded. Susan and Fatima tried valiantly to keep the kids quiet, controlled and sane without much success. Susan piled all the knives in the center of the table to try and keep them from the kids. I joked that the butter knives were among the safer items on the table and tried to prove it by pretend slashing my throat with one. Of course that would be the thing that JJ then tried to imitate for the next 30 minutes until the food arrived. We looked like such awful parents I am sure.

Jul '11

cute stuff my kids did today.

I decided I need to start writing some of this stuff down so I will remember it later.

Today JJ and Isaac were playing with the cat Bo on the couch. He was chilling in his usual spot. Eventually they got to be too much for him so he split. After he left, JJ went and got her stuffed cat Socks, and put him in Bo’s spot. It was super cute since socks actually looks a lot like Bo.

Today for dinner I was running a little late and decided to pick up McDonnalds for dinner. I got them nuggets and fries and added some pasta and fruit. In a completely unpredicted twist, both of them chowed down on the pasta and were only mediocre on the fries. They were mostly uninterested in the nuggets. Partway through the meal, I saw JJ picking the breading off the nuggets. Thinking she might eat them without the breading I grabbed a few pieces and used a knife to pare away the breading. She ate the remaining chicken just fine. Isaac became interested in the pile of breading and ate that. I didn’t want Isaac to eat only breading, so I experimented with seeing how much chicken I could leave attached and have him still eat it. As long as JJ ate the middle, Isaac would eat as much as 2/3 of the nugget.

I cut up some Pluot knowing that neither of them was likely to eat any. Right away JJ rejected it, but to my surprise, Isaac ate most of his piece and spit out the skin. I gave him more slices with the skin cut off, and he ate it like a champ. He ate nearly half a whole pluot but JJ still wouldn’t touch any. I noticed that the pile of skins didn’t seem to be growing and discovered that JJ was eating the pieces of skin! She didn’t eat quite as much as Isaac, but I was still impressed.

In not as cute but still noteworthy. Tonight for bedtime neither of them put up a fight or cried because they didn’t have their pacifier. Nap time was down to about 15-20 minutes before sleep, but bedtime was smooth as silk. So in four days since having given up the pacifier, we have had our first cry-less night. Pretty impressive.

May '11


When Sara was here last week she brought her illness with her and was so kind as to pass it off on us. I suppose it was payback for Susan getting Sara sick after the cruise, but both Isaac and I have been a little sick for the past three days and now Jadis is showing signs of being sick as well. My symptoms have not been super awful, a runny nose a sore throat and of course an overall funky fatigy kind of feeling. I assumed the kids had the same thing. Last night Isaac started to cough with that characteristic seal like barking sound that is pathoneumonic for croup. He wasn’t really having any trouble breathing, but the sound was unmistakable. And when JJ started to make some of the same noises this morning I knew she had it too.

I see a ton of croup at work, and one of the things I find myself explaining to parents all the time is how in adults the virus just causes a sore throat and in kids it causes the swelling in the throat that causes the characteristic sound when they cough. While I have said the explanation hundreds of times, I never really knew for sure that I was telling the truth until now. Both the kids and I are both sick with the same thing. We both have runny noses and whatnot, but I have a sore throat and they make sea lion sounds when they cough. I dunno I guess I am finding it reassuring that I haven’t been lying to my patients for the last five years. I don’t know if other practitioners feel the same way I do. I believe that the medicine I am practicing is right and good, but from time to time you come across something that is very different and it makes you kind of wonder and reflect a little about who is right.

Anyway Susan got a work pal to write for decadron for the munchkins and I gave it to them not long ago. They did much better than I expected. Oral decadron tastes nasty. Some kids get one taste and wind up getting it as a shot because they flat out refuse to take the liquid because it is so nasty. Some nurses will mix it with a little bit of apple juice to entice kids, but not too much because too much just means more of the nasty stuff to take and prolong the agony. While it was obvious that they didn’t like the taste, neither put up too much of a fight or spit it out or anything. So that I could experience it firsthand, I tried a bit and completely understand the sentiment. It really is quite awful, but I wouldn’t volunteer for a shot either.

We are going out to dinner tonight to celebrate mothers day. Frank Fats in Sacramento. Fancy Chinese. Hopefully good.

May '11


I’m posting because I said I would make a greater effort to post more often, but I honestly have little that I find postworthy. Sara came up over the weekend which was nice as always and brought Lily with her who will be staying with us for about the next month or so which will also be nice.

While I haven’t had a chance to talk to my doc yet, the results of the sleep study I did were a tiny bit of a surprise. It turns out that I do not have sleep apnea. I never really thought that I did, but in a small way I kind of hoped that I did because it might mean that my energy could improve with treatment. So my zero energy and 10+ hours of sleep daily continue to be unexplained.

It was a bit of a shock to discover that both my CPR and ACLS are due. I was sure I had just finished both, my how two years can zip by. So I will have the fun of doing both of those in may as well.

See? Not very interesting, but still a post, and better than nothing I suppose. I have a night shift tomorrow, so a nap before work is probably in my future.

Apr '11

guilted into posting

A friend from work pointed out that I have been lame about posting. I couldn’t argue. It is true.

The cruise was good (not great) It was definitely an enjoyable trip. It was a nice validation that we can actually travel with the kids. Despite having lots of free time away from the kids, still most things seemed to center around them, which is pretty much the same even when we aren’t on vacation, and rightfully so. Susan did pretty good job of writing up the daily events of the trip. I had originally planned on doing my own write up, but just like Sara I kind of pooped out after seeing hers. So next time I need to be more diligent about blogging during the trip like she was, or not read her version until my version is in the bag, lest I poop out again. In general the food was “Ok” with a few highlights. Better food would have made the trip great, but was not entirely unexpected. When you book a budget cruise, I think you have to expect budget food, at least to some extent. I would definitely want to cruise again, but Norwegian will get ranked below Royal Caribean and Princess. Disney is my next desire. We got to play some games with Sara and Kevin, and even my Mom joined in a little.

My highlights of the trip were definitely the two excursions we went on. I was not nearly as cold as Susan, Sara or Kevin, so being built like a polar bear does have some use, but I had a really good time. Rescuing my own cruise card from the bottom of the lagoon was surreal. Right before I touched it, I knew it was my card. I managed to take a few good snorkel photos, many many bad ones, and way too many accidental videos. Chasing and eventually catching the puffer fish was cool. I wish I had remembered to take more photos of it before letting it go.

The extreme canopy adventure was super cool. It far exceeded my expectations having been on a previous zip line tour. Rappelling down waterfalls and zip-lining into pools was awesome. The bug bites were equally amazing and not in a good way. They still itch a little and it has been nearly a month. It was expensive to buy the photos, but seeing as how we got photos of all four of us, and shots we couldn’t have gotten ourselves for $100 total, I wouldn’t have passed up getting them.

I did manage to get Susan to let me go to Disneyland for one day, which is 1/3 of what I had hoped for, but felt satisfied. Susan got her corndog, I got my chowder in a bread bowl, and got a few good pins. I a huge backlog of pins to sort and try and trade. But it was probably worth the trade-off of less Disney to get to see Anh and Lam with their new baby. Maybe 3 times was a little over the top too.

We also just got back from our Monterey Kaiser weekend. As part of becoming a Senior Partner Susan got to bring us to Monterey. They put us up in the swanky Hotel, which I think is one of the swankiest we have been to, but Susan disagrees. We got to walk the warf a little bit, introduce the kids to clam chowder, and revel in surviving the “Kaiser-ization”. We also took the kids to the aquarium for one afternoon, and got to hear the kids shout “fih, fih!” and “birh” (fish and bird) even though they were equally excited by pigeons and seagulls as anything inside the aquarium. The neatest part was getting to go back to the aquarium after hours though. The food was better than the other meals, and we got to partake in much swankiness. We didn’t realize the extent of the dining opportunity and plunked ourselves down in the first free spot which was near the otter tank, and didn’t realize we could have eaten just about any place in the entire aquarium, including by the kelp forest, or the jellyfish. And yes, they did serve sushi. I heard it was awesome. The best for me was the mac and cheese from the kid’s line. I went back for seconds, and had at least thirds of the apple cider. It was a real treat having the aquarium after hours, like it was ours personally. All the exhibits were open, and a mere 1000 people made the place feel empty. Unfortunately it was a one shot deal, but has reminded us that we ought to go to conferences together and cash in on the opportunity.

In non-vacation news, my brother has moved to his ultrasound externship, which is good news. Nuff said. My lack of motivation and energy prompted Susan to make me a doctor’s appointment, which is leading to a sleep study this Friday. Sleep apnea is suspected, which may be a blessing if found if it means I can be treated even if I will hate it. I have been sleeping 10-12 hours and still feeling exhausted and unmotivated and generally quite blue, so any way that things could improve would be embraced. I did our taxes and it wasn’t very good news to learn how much extra we owed, but I can only grumble so much before being reminded of the upside of owing. The Maker Faire is coming in May, and despite not having done much of anything Maker-ish in the last two years, I am still interested in going.

Ok well thats about all I can think of for now. I need to quit doing epic posts and go back to mini-ones

Mar '11

Pi Day

Oh yeah, I can’t go to bed without writing about Pi day. I made a note in my calendar so I wouldn’t forget, and since I was working decided to stop by the store on the way to work and bring in some pie to work to celebrate. I couldn’t wear my pi shirt since it was dirty, and didn’t want to risk my pi plate being broken or lost, so just the pie had to suffice. I bought 5, and another nurse who heard me talking about it the night before brought one too. No one was very impressed with my ability to rattle off my memorized pi which is now up to 38 digits. Yes 38 is nothing compared to people who actually have good memories, or don’t have learning disabilities, and stuff like that. But no one in the ED was able to get past more than about 4 digits, and many couldn’t even do that. I spent most of the time trying to explain why Pi day is celebrated on March 14th. 3.14 get it? People were even less impressed with mol day (Avagadro’s number) for 10/23, but a few people chuckled when I explained 5/4 was Star Wars day (May the 4th be with you). Ok time for bed. Don’t forget to do your taxes. I certainly have.

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