November 21, 2012

At the Happy Center Café...


... checking the rules of the game.


Here's the game: Hive Carbon. That's an Amazon link. And if you happen to have any other shopping you need to do, entering Amazon through this link will — at no extra cost to you — send me: 1. some money, and 2. the message that you appreciate what this blog gives to you. (That link is always at the top of the page, under the blog's title: click "Shop Amazon.")


Emil Blatz said...

Althouse is ready to make a shitload of $ in the holiday season from the Amazon vig. Yo gotta spend it somewhere!

McTriumph said...

Good for Professor Ann, is that a Bloody Mary, MMMMM. Might have to send out for some limes and vodka.

Everyone have a great Thanksgiving. While giving thanks for the simple things and the people in your lives, take a moment to remember those who stand
the wall.

jr565 said...

To learn more about Hive check out:

Ann Althouse said...

"Good for Professor Ann, is that a Bloody Mary, MMMMM. Might have to send out for some limes and vodka."

It's coffee. Mine's a latte and Chris has a mocha.

Ann Althouse said...

Who puts a "java jacket" on a Bloody Mary?

rcommal said...

Who, indeed? I thought that was pretty funny, not noticing the jackets.

Nice to see a picture of Chris again. Happy Thanksgiving to you and all of your family.

chickelit said...

Mexican dominos rule!

¡Sí se puede!

edutcher said...

Just ordered The Blonde's Christmas books through the Althouse portal.

Lem said...

Happy early Thanksgiving everyone.

Bob Ellison said...


Dante said...

I take it this is an open thread, and I wanted to share an experience I had yesterday. Edbarbar is not my real name, and let me tell you the reason it is not in my experience people can not explore their thoughts and ideas without being judged, and even with their work being put in jeapardy. I feel like Chip Ahoy in his undercover operations, but I do it in a more visceral, angry sense.

I was in a meeting, where the boss is concerned about the project, and needs some support to feel it is OK. There was a thanksgiving party starting at 11:30, but he kept the meeting late, to 11:55. That's all fine, but I remarked about how it was late.

As I walked out, I saw the huge rows of tables, everyone eating, and I thought "Well, at least the line is gone," even though I had a bad thought about my boss for his anxiety over the project. I looked across one of the tables, and saw two people standing, and a man falling to his left in his chair. I saw some red coming out of his mouth.

I immediately went around the table, as people did not know what was going on. I didn't either, I only knew this man wasn't moving. I've seen a man who had an epileptic fit, once, at a concert in college, and this was different.

No one seemed in charge, and more people were standing around. Someone said they thought he was chocking, which made no sense. So I yelled to help me get him to the ground.

Some people helped. I looked at this man, and I don't quite know how to describe it. I knew he was dying. There was some red coming out of his mouth, but I thought it was cake. The man was pretty large, obese, but not morbidly obese. He had on a button shirt, blue. A person who seemed to be in charge exclaimed it was his decision his airway was clogged. I rolled him on his side, and hit his back. Some stuff came out, but not much. I rolled him back on his back. I yelled for the D-Fib kit.

Dante said...

I checked his pulse in both wrists and his carotid artery. I felt nothing. Someone had called 9/11, and that was my boss' boss, a great man. The guy who knew what he was going still thought it was his airway. I said "The man has no pulse and he is not breathing." Then, the man did some strange exhale kind of thing, and that made the guy who knew what he was doing think he was right: an airway obstruction.

I thought about it quickly, and decided it was nothing real. Some primitive body thing when the controls are gone. I asked someone else to take his pulse, and they tried, but would not offer up an opinion.

Meanwhile, I'm aware there is a discussion going on with the 9/11, and it's not going well on account of the differing opinions. The trained guy is saying he has a pulse. I'm again told this is something on account of his not breathing, so I roll the man on his side, and swipe his mouth with my finger. The idea he is having a seizure briefly crossed my mind, and I realized that could cost me a finger, but I did it anyway, and there was no resistance. There was nothing of substance in the man's mouth. I roll him over back on his back, and his head clunks the floor a tiny bit, a few inches. I am chastised for this! Don't hurt him! I say "This man is dying!"

I look at his shirt, with all the buttons, and wonder if I can open it, expose his body.. I rip it open, and it took no effort at all. I look down at the corpulent body, forget about what anyone might think, and realize I've allowed myself to get fat. I see his face beginning to turn blue, and I decide forget what the guy who knows what he is doing has said.

I start CPR, even though I have had no training at all. I know what to do. The D'Fib kit arrives, and I look at it. I realize there is no way I can do a thing with it. It's too complicated, and there is no time to learn. My boss' boss doesn't know what to do. There is conflicting information: the trained guy, and me. The trained guy at some point had felt for a pulse, while I was doing CPR, and said he had a pulse. This wasn't what I knew, from so many reasons, including once having read that a person who is breathing has a pulse. It doesn't imply the inverse, but I knew.

Dante said...

While I'm doing CPR, my boss hands me the 9/11 call, and says talk to them. I say "The guy is not breathing, and he has no pulse." The guy who knows what he is doing says he does, over me, and I say again affirmatively he has no pulse. At some point, I had observed the guy taking his pulse, and after he said there was one, I noticed a twitching muscle in his neck where he checked for the pulse. I looked at the now opened D'Fib kit, and thought to myself "There is no way I can figure that out in time." I explain this to the operator, who says "I can tell you exactly what to do." I realize she is reading from some stupid script, and throw the phone down, and go back to CPR.

Meanwhile, I'm watching the guy who knows what he is doing, and he is interminably slow getting the D'Fib kit ready. Even as he is pulling off the plastic from the from the sticky paddles, slowly, I'm thinking "MOVE!" But I don't think he realizes that the man is dying, or he is trained, or something, I don't know.

He finally gets one of the pads on, and I don't know what I'm doing, so I ask him if I should stop, and he says keep going. He gets the other one on, and he says "Clear." I get off, and he shocks the guy. There is no massive body convulsion, and I think the d'Fib kit is weak. I ask if I should stop, and he says to keep going.

The guy still isn't breathing. I continue CPR. Slowly, his fact stops being blue, over a two minute period. The machine tells me things like "Good Compression." And he starts breathing. I continue CPR. I hear someone saying "If you've got your food, go back to your cubicles!" More than once. Several times. The firefighters arrive, and they put on a new machine. I ask them if I should stop, and they say, and this meant so much, keep going.

They get a monitor hooked up, and I see what looks to me to be what one might see in a hospital room from a TV show. And then someone says "There is a good sinus rhythm." They started giving him air, because he wasn't breathing well. Shaky, and everything, I stand up, walk away a bit, take a second, and then some responsible LEO said "could you leave here?" That was his contribution, and I said "OK."

chickelit said...

Ann Althouse said...
Who puts a "java jacket" on a Bloody Mary?

Who serves coffee in pint glasses?

Dante said...

I went over to get some food. That's what normal people do, right? And I ran into my boss. There are still about 50 people milling around watching, and the chick still trying to get people to go back to their cubes.

"Me" has not returned. And in some ways, still has not.

My boss, a short asian, who is exceptional in many ways, looks like he didn't know what had happened, and then he say "Good job," and pats my shoulder. We walk over to get some food, and I look at the food, and say "I'll be damned if I'm going to let some random event change my life." But I'm thinking, that guy could have been me. I pick up a bunch of mashed potatoes, put it on my plate, and go to the stuffing.

Then I realize I don't like mashed potatoes for thanksgiving, and put them back. Plus, they are high glycemic carbs.

My Boss is trying to get some turkey form the dark meat turkey plate, and is having a hard time getting a small portion of it. He is small and thin. I tell him "Take the whole thing, and be like King Henry the 8th." He says "I don't want to end up like that guy (meaning on the ground)."

Dante said...

I say "We are all going to end up like that guy." I'm thinking about the involuntary movements of his body, the feeble attempts to breath, when he was dieing.

I took my food to my cubicle, and some people came to say different things. I think that so many of these people stood around, and hadn't been told what to do, and they didn't know what to do because they had never been told.All the events are clear, but the timing is not. I saw hundreds of people doing nothing, not knowing what to do, and not having the capacity to do things.

As I was sitting at my desk, eating my food, I pulled up the Drudge Report, my second favorite to Ann Althouse blog. My boss' boss came in to talk with me. He is an Indian, and he had to look at my screen, and some part of me thinks it should have been work. But it wasn't, he noticed, and suppressed the feeling he had. He was feeling bad.

There was a guy who many thought might have been the victim, but I knew it wasn't, because he is too relaxed. I went to his cubicle, and asked him if I could take his pulse, because I don't know if I did the right thing. I'm not thinking clear. And I could not find his pulse. I asked him if I could feel his carotid artery, and he said OK, and I still could not feel it. I told him he must have low blood pressure.

Dante said...

This guy is a good man, and he made me feel OK, because I don't know what happened, and I don't know if I caused someone to use a d'Fib on a guy whose heart was beating. My cortex is coming into play, and I'm second guessing everything I did, now.

I decide that despite I have a huge amount of work to do, I'm going to leave. It's 1:30, and I'm in a kind of shock. As I'm leaving, I run into my Boss's boss. I look at him, and he gives me a hug. I hope I don't have body odor, but I hug him, and realize he is one of the best people I've ever met. He is Indian, and came from extreme poverty. I am showing you now what a good man he is: He made me feel OK in all my uncertainty, and this is what he sent to me in email:

Thanks for the kind words…but I did not have the courage to sit down and pump…You did.
Yes – we need to be serving the core of our calling at all times..
Yes – it is a pleasure to work with you and looking forward to having a good time in the years ahead…


From me:

You are a really wonderful person. I'm really glad to be here working with you.

At home, I reviewed all the thoughts. The individual experiences were all there, but the sequence of events was, and remains, a jumble. Some are clear, but most are lost.

Dante said...

Finally, I decided to call the emergency response team at my work. I had some trepidation, because I had differences of opinions in what happened.

What I learned, is that the d'Fib machine said it was necessary to shock. There was not real heart beat.

The man went went into fibrillation on the way to the hospital again.

He has children who love him, and who are deeply concerned. He is in a drug induced coma, and they have reduced his body temperature to 92 degrees to lessen the needs for his heart to pump so hard.

I hope this man lives. What I learned about myself, is there is a part of me that has no choice but to take care of other people. I pointed out earlier in a thread that I have severe panic disorder, so it's not some macho thing, or some crowing thing. This is what happened. It is not right or wrong.

The man was in no pain. There was no grimace on his face, and he would have died easily and peacefully if nothing had happened.

But, life is important, somehow, and I understand his daughter is distraught. I hope he makes it.

Without that d'fib kit, or me, or what, he would be dead.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

Dante, what a story. You'll be turning that one over in your head for quite some time.

I have to take first aid/CPR every couple of years for my work, and they teach you over and over again that the most important step you will take in an emergency is deciding to take action.

Freeman Hunt said...

Incredible story, Dante. Good thing you were there.

Lem said...

I'm one of those people standing and watching.

Anonymous said...

The best thing to do is simply pump on his chest, no need for breaths or counting. Pump fast, continue till Paramedics arrive. The oxygen that is in the bloodstream is sufficient needs to be circulated, via the pumping, until you are relieved.

Sounds like a dissected aorta.

Good job Dante. It's shocking, even for health care professionals.

I'm Full of Soup said...

Dante- that was a wonderful, wonderful thing you did and it was very good of your boss to recognize how you had the nerve and guts to jump in and help a stranger in trouble.

You may still be wound up by the experience - perhaps you should have a drink or two so you can wind down and get a nice night's rest.

KCFleming said...

The important thing is that you stepped up and you did something, Dante, you acted, you tried to help as best you could.

No second-guessing. Put that out of your mind. It was what it was, and you made the best decisions you could. Sleep soundly, and be proud that you helped him.

Chip Ahoy said...


AllenS said...

Good job, Dante. You stood up to be counted, and that's what's important. You might have given someone and his family an early, very nice Christmas present.

Chip S. said...

Incredible story. Well done, Dante.

Unknown said...


You stepped up.

Be proud.

Your story made my day.

Dante said...


I'm one of those people standing and watching.

You do not know that. I acted because no one else was, not because I was the right person to do it. I'm a coward. I am. But someone needed real help, and no one was doing anything, maybe because they thought someone else ought to. If you were the person that needed to help, you would. It's human nature, it's good. It wasn't me: it was something in me I didn't know that was there, a goodness in all of us.

I thought you might also like to know our company contacted the person who sold us the d'Fib kits. The person has sold 1000 of these kits, and this is the first one that was ever used.

Not because of me, but because of what's inside of me I did not know about, people are good.

Anonymous said...

Dante, seems like you were given a gift too.

Unknown said...

My biggest fear is that I'll be afraid to act to help in a situation like that.
You did.
Now you know a lot more about yourself, and it's good.
Thanks for sharing what must have been a harrowing experience.

Lem said...

My recollection of the times where I was in the area... the episode was not so near me that I was the one that first noticed anything was wrong... and luckily there were people who knew what to do.

But I'll take your confidence as an article of faith, and hope I'll never have to face anything like that.

Lem said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
McTriumph said...

Ann Althouse said...
Who puts a "java jacket" on a Bloody Mary?

Who drinks a latte or a mocha on a holiday eve? Java jacket? Is that soft shoulder, three button, hook vent, patch pockets? Can I find a photo at The Sartorialist ?

By the way, "The good for Professor Ann" wasn't in reference to a Bloody Mary it was to the first post by Emil Blatz. Don't get so defensive, mistaking those for BMs says more about me than you. I wouldn't know a latte from a mocha, I drink Maxwell House Masters Blend black. Rock on Professor

Jim in St Louis said...

Wow what an experience- thank you for sharing. Somehow I feel a concern for the fat man on the floor. Now I am worried about how he is going to be, and I feel sorry for his family.

Isn't that odd? I don't know, and never will know him (or you Dante), but emotionally I'm engaged with him now. I hate fake sympathy, actually I hate 'fake' anything, so what does this feeling mean? And do others feel the same? or is there no way to tell what others really feel?

I see lots of comments about 4 dead brave noble heroes in Libya and I wonder what do they mean? Are they really mourning for them? Or just fake? That is harsh of me- sorry.

Pastafarian said...

I've started waking up at 4am now (post-election) worrying about my small business. So I thought I'd read some Althouse comments to get my mind off of things. I didn't expect to find this.

Great comments, Dante. This story helps to put things in perspective.

Maybe we should get one of these defib kits. We have some fat bastards at work.

Shit, Dante: if I get one, and someday someone has to use it, you've not only saved one life today, but another in the future. Good job.

Pastafarian said...

Yikes, they're $1100. I'll have to think about it. But if I get one, I'll get it through the Althouse portal. You know, Althouse, if I get one and someday it's used, then you'll have contributed to saving that life too, by providing this forum.

MayBee said...

Dante- I am fascinated by the little moments in life where someone decides to do something that is so outside his normal experience that his brain tries to tell him not to do it.

Like calling the police when you haven't seen a friend for a few days and you know he's been fighting with his wife. Your brain tells you not to be paranoid, but eventually you have to make that call.

Sometimes it doesn't turn out right- like when my friend called to report her neighbor's dog had been killed (because it stopped barking) when really someone had just taken the dog for a drive.

I am so grateful you wrote here about what was going through your mind as you saved someone's life, never knowing if you were doing the right thing but somehow not being able to do anything else. It's amazing to read about.

I am so impressed by you. I hope you take time to be proud of yourself. You did something really special today.

edutcher said...

Dante, a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do and you are a very good man.

A lot of them here at Althouse.

And good women.

In the Biblical sense.

Aridog said...

Dante said...

I acted because no one else was, not because I was the right person to do it. I'm a coward. I am....It wasn't me: it was something in me I didn't know that was there, a goodness in all of us.

You are no coward. You may not have been truly tested before, but you have been now and found the courage act, to move forward, to respond to the danger to another human being. I agree that in most of us there is an innate goodness. That is motivation. Actually acting, overcoming the numbness, is courage.

A few days ago I asked on a thread here why no one asks about the drive in men like the former special ops guys who headed in to the fire instead of away from it in Benghazi. You have just answered that question clearly, albeit in a domestic setting. Something in you moves you, moved them, to take action to assist others. We seldom feel it is part of us, but from outside...and can scarcely recall just why we take the action we do.

Some of the best of us become first responders or military medics (not me) because they are aware they have the drive, even if unaware of why.

Thank you for the appropriate anecdote for Thanksgiving. I needed to be reminded of it all.