Friday, February 29, 2008

Flying Home

This was a long and tiring day... But a good one for staring out the window. The mountains were stunning and there were no clouds between Denver and San Francisco.

The Nevada desert.
The hogs-back, Flat-irons, and the rise of the Rockys from the plains.
Arapahoe Basin ski resort out the window...
The bay, near sunset.

Thursday, February 28, 2008


Ben's paper on AB Aurigae finally got accepted by ApJ. Nice. I'm dead last, but it's nice to have this result finally published... It's a neat one.

Anyways, the last few days have been pretty nice. Jen & JR came to dad's place on Tues and we got to hang out for a while. My legs went numb while walking around Fonda at midnight. I then went to work at mom's place and got to hang with Sara a bit. I'm headed home tomorrow to begin the thesis defense week. Good times....

And then there's some funny images... I think the Mid-West onion article was great. Judy sent the map.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Catch-Up Day

Today was low key. Did some work, went hot-tubbing and watched a couple movies while "on tour". It was a good time.

Sunday, February 24, 2008


Sue, Jen and Joey drove up and we all went to Treetops to go snowboarding. Another excellent day. I managed to catch air, shoot the chute and do a steep face all without screwing my wrist up. Woo hoo!

Touring Scotland afterwards.... We took a walk around the lake as the clouds rolled in.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Walking in the woods

We spent today walking around. First, after sleeping late, we hit up the old growth forest at Hartiwck Pines just walking. Then we ski/snow-shoed over to and on top of Emerald Lake. Then we walked around the lake again at night. I got decent at remembering the constellations.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Opal Again

My dad and I headed up to Opal again for a man weekend. We planned to "tour scotland" every night while making sure to tour the area frequently. It worked out pretty well.... The weather was awesome and we walked the lake.

A detour.
Starry Night.
Da Cabin in color...

A Night at the U

I spent the night shift with my dad in the ECMO unit. Extra-Corporeal Membrane-Oxygenation. Outside-da-Body Blood-Oxygen-n-Chemistry. It's a way of completely bypassing organs and performing their function with machines. "It's not therapy, just life-support". He took me through the "circuit" and showed me how you keep a person alive with no heart, lungs, liver and kidney. It's a fancy technique that's still in it's infancy. Basically, the normal machine just functions as the lungs in the most benign configuration. Much of the time, you have to add the heart too. There are a variety of configurations, but with just heart and lungs failing, the success rates are good. In worse cases either the kidney or liver can fail. In the worst case, you have the 4 core organs gone... Basically, you're done at that stage. I guess the good news was, if you see my dad, you were already dead but now you have a chance of living. Success rates vary with age and diagnosis, but it's really good with young kids caught early with only heart and lung failure. If your liver fails (drinking, tylenol suicide attempt, etc) and then your other organs go, you got cornered into a horrible situation. Maybe you make it, more likely not. If you come in with multiple organ failure to begin with... make phone calls.

Dad with the machine on his left. Tubes, blood-bag, and machines.

This is the "patient". The blood that must be kept warm, oxygenated, chemically balanced and pumping throughout your body while you have no organs to do that.
Tube goes *into* your heart... Imagine doing that?
Your lung. This puts oxygen in and keeps the blood warm.

Your heart. The round part in the middle spins and pumps the blood.
A liver, should you need one.
And a kidney....The liver and kidney splice in to the blood strem with some extra tubing.... Hope you don't need them.

My dad's doing a lot of teaching and instructing at this point. Assembling the flight-ready unit:
In the neonatal unit with a tiny newborn or premie on the machine. The circuit is he two red boxes in front with the tubes. The meds and chemistry control is the bank of green lights on the left, spliced in to the blood flow circuit. Some kids are on it for months.

Crazy, huh?

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Walled Lake Day

I spent the day hanging out and then catching up on email & work. I had to deal with the "Poopsy". Of all names for a piece of software, why would anyone choose Poopsy? Anyways, I planned my observing runs, processed pictures and finally reconnected with my life a little bit. I might move in to an awesome house come April.... Fingers crossed.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Pinkney Rec Area

Sara and I went down to the Pinkney rec area and did a ~5 mile walk in the trails there. The lakes were awesome. It was bitterly cold, but the ice had some really neat stuff in it. Very cool.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Leaving Opal

We left Opal after I took da kids on a mini-adventure to the "old injun fort". I fought off Drew and Mav in stick-fencing..... At lunch, I made Mav drink a mustard-cream-salt-pepper-jam mix and Sara taught the kids a nice song for the drive home that started with "Are we there yet, are we there yet? Takes so long...." It went over quite well. Good times. The drive was full of talks with dad about ECMO and then some good hot-tubbing. The wind-chill froze my hair solid and quickly made it warm-tubbing.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Ice Storm Day

This was the craziest ice storm I've seen in a while. We woke up to freezing rain. Like typical Michigan Men, dad and JR debated the weather for several hours while Sara, Jen and I took a walk around the lake. I brought my camera and caught some really nice shots of the trees. The flash was killer. Just killer. I'm stoked on these..... After that, we tried to go to the Michyawe for the hot tub and pool, but the ice shut them down. Susie left with Joey and Eric so the cabin emptied out a bit. Then JR and Jen left around 6. The rest of us ended up just sauning and drinking. Sara and I took a night walk down the roads and ended up sliding all over the place.... Puddles on top of packed snow makes for some really fun conditions.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

A Sunny Day

This was an awesomely active outdoor day. After breakfast, Jen and I took a walk across the lake with Jet to the Michyawe park. As soon as we got back, the whole crew headed sledding. Then, after getting back from that, Sara and I took a run down to Emerald lake and caught the sunset. Totally awesome.