Good Morning Ted and Jody:
I am relearning how to drive with the Ridgeline. The truck has a “driver assist mode.” This allows one to use a “smart cruise control” that backs off the speed as on approaches a slower moving vehicle. That is taking some getting accustomed to as it means the driver has to anticipate when the truck will take a notion to slow down. In addition, it has a lane deviation warning. If I, as all cars I have seen driving on the road do, drift too close to the center or right lane markings the steering wheel shimmies a bit to tell the driver that the car is making a lane encroachment and relays this fact in yellow on the dash. If one has cruise on, it starts to back off the gas pedal with a lane encroachment. Previously, I had thought of people making lane encroachments as idiots or not paying attention. The truck’s reminder to straighten up and fly right is much politer as it just says lane encroachment and to be sure shows you which way you are drifting. Then when the driver assist stops functioning because of snow or missing lane markings the dash tells the driver “STEERING IS REQUIRED.” Quite frankly, that one cracks me up.
Back in 2002, I burned my first mp3 disc for playing in the first CD player I had in car-a Chevy cargo van, actually. Normally in our cars, Nancy has her CDs in the CD player. The Ridgeline does not have a CD player, it has a USB port instead. She has all of her music on thumb drives so that is what has been playing since the second time she got in the Ridgeline. Yesterday morning, early, I transferred the music from the First Road Mix CD I made to a thumb drive and played it on the way home from my massage yesterday. The drive home was more fun than usual: Ghost Riders in the Sky, Easy Rider, Trini Lopez, Fanfare to a Common Man and Winston Churchill’s “We will fight them on . . .” Brought tears to my eyes. The road mix made the adjustments to the Ridgeline’s new “safety features” less intrusive.
In addition to a massage, a road mix and Nancy using some of my apple barbecue sauce on pork stakes for dinner last night, the sunset provide a couple of images and I got there in time to take them. They are unaltered shots from the camera other than reduced in size a bit.
I trust this finds you happy, healthy, warm and wondering about the true number of attendees to Friday’s local event in D.C.
Warmest regards, Ed
PS: Today’s Amanda Saga segment is attached.
046 Transcranial Doppler Ultrasound
Fiction in 1034 words by T. Edward Westen, 2017
Dr. Benjamin looked at his watch. If this isn’t going to be a fast explanation, my blood sugar could use a bit of help from a proper meal. The one non-invasive way to look and be sure we don’t have any bleeding or other issues of the distribution of blood to, er, you called him Special Agent Fleishman, then right, the Special Agent’s brain, is to do a Transcranial Doppler Ultrasound.
Detective Batan asked “What’s a Transcranial Doppler Ultrasound.”
“Do you have children, Detective?” Dr. Benjamin asked.
“Yes. Why?” Asked Detective Batan.
“Did you have sonograms of your babies while they were in the womb?” Asked the Dr. Benjamin.
“Yes, my wife had prints made and they are in the kid’s baby books.” Replied Detective Batan.
“Well, a Transcranial Doppler Ultrasound is nothing but a sonogram of the head.” Said Dr. Benjamin. “If whatever is implanted in his head can stand noise, and very little at that, it will not be disturbed by a sonogram gentle enough for a fetus.”
“Er, uh, I don’t know.” Said Detective Batan.
“Come on man, listen to the beeps around you.” Said an agitated Dr. Benjamin. “Did you hear that noise from the next room? Well, I am here to tell you that a sonogram doesn’t make 1/1000th of the noise he is currently exposed to by lying in bed or was when he was walking around when he was able.”
Edith Gunderson opened the door and stuck her head in. “They told me Anderson Fleishman was . . .” looking around she spied Detective Batan. “Oh, Hi Detective. I guess I am in the right place.”
Dr. Benjamin asked “Who are you?”
Edith Gunderson stuck out her hand and said, “Edith Gunderson, Child Protective Services. And are you Dr. Benjamin or just a young orderly?”
Dr. Benjamin nearly choked on being confused with a ‘young orderly.’ But he recovered enough point to his id hanging on a wire from his belt and said, “Child Protective Services? Why that man must be a 30-year-old.” He said pointing to Special Agent Fleishman.
“At least 30.” Replied Mrs. Gunderson. “He is a member of what I think of as the “Judge Belemany Task Force. He along with the Detective here, the Detective’s partner, a representative from the Attorney General’s Office, a student journalist and me.” She paused for a moment and then added “I might add, he may be the most important member of the task force for he may be the only one that can do anything about Judge Belemany.” Edith Gunderson folded her arms across her chest and took a posture that said ‘So, there.’
Dr. Benjamin, although somewhat intimidated by Edith Gunderson, regained his composure enough to ask “But, didn’t Judge Belemany die just recently?”
Detective Batan finally spoke. “Yes, the late Judge Belemany died attempting to kill Ms. Gunderson here. When the Judge tried to . . .”
Dr. Bemnjamin interrupted Detective Batan. “Yes, we can get into that later, but now, I would like your consent to do a Transcranial Doppler Ultrasound on the Special Agent.”
“That is a capital idea.” Exclaimed Ms. Gunderson.
“It is?” Asked Detective Batan.
“Why yes.” Said Edith Gunderson. “Of all the ways to look inside his head without disturbing his, ah, er , ah, his whatchamacallit, a little sound should not upset it. Heavens to Betsy, he was exposed to lots more noise when that door hit him in the head.”
“Twice! The door hit him twice.” Said Detective Batan.
The Detective has promised to explain what this ‘mysterious’ implant does.”
Dr. Benjamin picked up his android, punched it a few times. wrote something on it with a stylus and turned to Detective Batan. “If the noise of the door hitting him in the head didn’t do any damage to the implant in his head, a Transcranial Doppler Ultrasound certainly won’t even tickle it.” He then looked at Ms. Gunderson. “Would you care to join Detective Batan and I in a petite diner?”
Ms. Gunderson’s face took on an expression of alarm that faded into one of perplexity. She looked at the Doctor and said “Yes, I would be delighted. However, are you sure we should leave Special Agent Fleishman alone?”
Dr. Benjamin chortled, “Alone in a hospital. What a strange concept. No, he will be fine, he is sleeping now and any minute a technician from Imaging will be in to take him for his Transcranial Doppler Ultrasound. He doesn’t look like he could go anyplace on his own in the condition he is in. Besides, disconnecting any of those sensors will bring a battalion of nurses running. Now can we go get something to eat.”
As the three left the room an Imaging technician indeed did enter, Stephanie Meyers. Stephanie Meyers removed the monitoring unit from the wall and hung it on Special Agent Fleishman’s bed. Disconnecting the monitor’s backup power source from the wall connection she then changed the oxygen feed to the Special Agent from the wall to a portable tank fitted under Special Agent Fleishman’s bed. She then pushed the bed into the hall.
Arriving at the room reserved for Transcranial Doppler Ultrasound, she quickly scanned Special Agent Fleishman’s wrist identification to double check she had the right patient. Then set up and performed the scan. The scan took 27 minutes. When finished, she went to the monitor to review her work. Often, she had to repeat part of a scan because the patient moved. Special Agent Fleishman was particularly obliging by not moving. She chuckled to herself ‘After all, the man is unconsciousness. And judging from the welt on his noggin, he is going to stay that way for some time’ she thought. She finished her review, got up from her chair when the alarms from the monitor began their summoning of a brigade of nurses. The patient was gone. He simply disappeared into thin air. The only thing Stephanie Meyers could say was “I need a stiff whisky.”
It turned out a battalion of nurses constituted six RNs and three LPNs. Each insisted upon questioning Stephanie Meyers. Each reached the same conclusion: “A patient cannot simply disappear into thin air.”