Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The New Look of

After hinting around for a few weeks, I'm finally ready to announce the relaunch of my beloved site

For the last month, I've been comparison-shopping web hosts, rethinking the vision and scope of my future contributions to the interwebs and bloggosphere. I want to offer more tips and tricks on discount travel, be an advocate for aviation families, highlight guest authors, and pursue sponsorships and philanthropy. The conclusion I came to was that my goals were not reasonable on the Blogger platform, and I've been playing "getting to know you" with Wordpress.

It's a bittersweet separation. I've been publishing through Blogger since 2002. I know the ins-and-outs of their editing and publishing (minus the super-tricky HTML). I've got almost all of my web-related life connected through Google. But I have exciting ideas for my site, will be expanding into more of a website than "just a blog." I also made up some super spiffy business cards as well (you know, to throw into "free meal" jars at restaurants).

For those who subscribe in Google Reader (or other RSS service), please update your feed to

Click on over, have a looksie. I think you'll dig it.

(Just forgive the broken links and updating in process. It will be up to speed soon enough)

Monday, February 8, 2010

The First ER visit of my 30s

First off, I had an awesome birthday. And an awesome time Saturday at the #SLCTweetup. Sunday was a tough day.

The morning started out in a wheezing coughing fit. I went to urgent care as soon as they opened. After a quick exam, a listen to my lungs, chest x-ray, and review of my health history, the doctor diagnosed me with "bronchitis with reactive airway inflammation." He gave me some narcotic cough syrup for the cough, and Advair to restart my maintenance asthma regimen. I spent the day in bed, coughing and wheezing. It felt like my chest was on fire.In the early evening, Taylor and I were laying down and talking. To ease my shortness of breath, I took another puff of Albuterol, which set me off in a coughing fit. After coughing so hard that I couldn't control bodily functions, my breathing was sporadic enough that Taylor hauled me off to the ER. 15 minutes later, I stumbled into the Mountain View Hospital ER waiting room, with feet numb from lack of oxygen. The ER staff pulled themselves from the Super Bowl, plopped me into a wheelchair, bypassed triage, and took me to bed. They helped me peel off my clothes, dressed me in a gown, and started my examination. My pulse-ox was at 91 and I had a fever of 102.5*. Within 45 minutes, chest x-rays and nasal cultures were done, breathing treatments and steroids administered, and I was finally feeling some relief. They confirmed that my illness was not caused by influenza or H1N1, and concurred with the earlier diagnosis of bronchitis. They gave me a prescription for Z-pak, and told me to get lots of rest. I was in and out in 2 hours. That's the way an ER visit should be.

Sounds dramatic? To be honest, I'm used to all the lung drama. I've mentioned my "organ recital" of medical history in a previous post. I've talked about how I got pneumonia after an accidental spray paint inhalation. I've talked about how I was "poisoned" at work from inhaling an industrial strength aerosol chemical. If something you can breathe in exists that can make you sick, I'm susceptible to it. This nasty Utah inversion air? Makes me sick. When I say I'm dealing with "SOB," I mean shortness of breath.
I've had asthma since I was 11. I have sleep apnea. I've seen pulmonologists in 4 states. I have tried most of the inhalers on the following chart:
But as I went through my old posts, I realized that I never blogged about my biggest lung condition of all, Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome. ARDS is a life-threatening lung condition that prevents enough oxygen from getting into the blood, typically resulting from trauma or sepsis. I survived it after three weeks on a ventilator. Would anyone like to hear my story?

Friday, February 5, 2010

Thirty Years of the Girl with Coal-Black Hair

In honor of my 30th Birthday today, I hope you'll enjoy a picture from every year of my life.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

From Youth to Thirty

I never thought I would get so nostalgic turning 30 this week...on Friday I'll be just another 30-something. I feel so young at heart...and have so many great memories of my youth. Recently I've been going through boxes of pictures. And when I say BOXES, I mean literally thousands and thousands of pictures from the last 30 years. The awkward chubby phases, the dated hairstyles, the embarrassing dates, the classic family portraits. I just posted a my favorites into an album on Facebook, which you can view here.

I've been getting things together for a totally RAD Birthday party on Friday...old retro toys, original Nintendo games, cassette tapes of Roxette, Color Me Badd, New Kids on the Block, MC Hammer; Saved By The Bell posters....basically the finest in pop culture from my 3 decades of life. Fondue, Friends, Family, and Fun...I can't wait. Want to come? Email me for details.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Flying Cheap ...The Regional Lifestyle?

The CRJ-200 - My husband's birdie

My pilot wife friend Melissa tipped me off on this upcoming Frontline special: Flying Cheap

Quoting the Frontline website:

From producer Rick Young —

The crash of Continental 3407 outside Buffalo last year, killing all on board, was big news, as any commercial crash is. But like many who were fortunate enough not to be touched personally by the tragedy, what most caught my attention was the news that followed. The co-pilot had been making less than $16,000.

While I knew the airline industry had been struggling through tough times since 9/11, I sure didn’t know that some of the folks that fly me around are working second jobs and overnighting on lounge room La-Z-Boys. And I didn’t know that regional airlines, once thought of as puddle-jumpers, had grown so fast that they now account for more than half the nation’s daily departures. We are on our way to becoming a regional airline nation.

If you missed this big industry shift, that’s understandable. Most flights today still carry the codes and colors of the major airlines. But over the past decade, fewer and fewer of the majors are actually flying those planes. That job is increasingly outsourced to small regional companies with names most of us hardly know. Continental 3407 wasn’t flown by Continental, but by a company called Colgan Air.

The rapid growth of airline outsourcing is part of a fiercely competitive industry that keeps airfares affordable for many. And that’s good for consumers. But the crash of 3407, and the year-long investigation that has followed, raised significant questions about the safety practices of regional operators like Colgan. So it seemed a good time for FRONTLINE to journey into the world of the regionals and see what the insiders had to say.

In this clip from the film, you’ll hear about the lives of regional pilots, crash pads and the pressures that outsourcing brings to bear -- “pilot pushing” as its called in the industry. Two former Colgan pilots agreed to speak publicly for the first time, and so we flew to California and sat down for long, amazing interviews. While their stories were in many ways surprising, we knew they weren’t unique. We’ve spoken with many regional pilots, both former and current, and most all shared similar concerns about what’s happening in the airline industry.

The full expose will be showing on February 9th. But even from this 10 minute snippet, you'll see and hear some pretty harrowing facts...poverty wages for newbie first officers, crazy crowded crashpad conditions, the realities of duty time vs paid flight time, company efficiency quotas, the reasons why so many people commute. I'm a little perturbed that the video infers that all regional pilots are low time and underexperienced...but that's a pretty common media angle.

It will be interesting to see if the special mentions anything about pilot families, and how the commuting lifestyle affects family life. I don't deal with the physical fatigue my husband experiences after his fourth 16-hour day in a row, but to say I'm immune from emotional fatigue would be false. I do know the existing duty FAA guidelines are currently under revision, and things can't stay at the status quo much longer. And this includes bargain-basement airfare.

And now for some light entertainment...

Another Moving Fiasco - Lost and Beheaded

It's been just under a week since our moving truck arrived, and much of my time has been spent unpacking boxes and reacquainting myself with my wardrobe and kitchen wares. But as we've been unpacking, a few items we love haven't turned up. Most specifically, my Dad's old antique 1960's acoustic guitar, my purple bass guitar, and a subwoofer speaker.

See this picture, right in front on the right....MY GUITAR!!! Where, oh where, is it now???

We found our box of carefully wrapped, double-bubble-wrapped Willow Tree Statues, but most of them were BEHEADED!!! Moving 1 pulled a Marie Antoinette on us!!
We thought our small TV was lost too...but we recovered it in a box of Rosie's clothes??? Whiskey Tango Foxtrot. I don't care too much about the broken mirrors and picture frames, the multiple cracked Rubbermaid containers, and a few other items that are missing. I want my guitars back! There's a chance the moving company found a strange place to stash them, but in our survey of every room in the strummable instruments found.

I called Moving 1 to find out how to file a claim with them. The receptionist bluntly said, "We are not responsible for lost or stolen items from your move." If that's the case, why on earth do they spend all the time tagging each packed item on the bill of lading? The receptionist sent me to a 3rd party claims company, who said that our lost and broken items will only be covered at $.60 per pound. Did you hear that???? My guitar valued at $1000 will only be replaced at sixty cents per pound!?! She said, "All movers offer full replacement insurance when you schedule your move." Well, yes, they did offer additional insurance....but should we be responsible for THEIR EMPLOYEES losing our beloved instruments???

I am sooooo ready for this fiasco to be over.

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