Thursday, January 27, 2011

My blog has moved to a new home...

Please, join the housewarming party at

See you there!

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Monday, January 17, 2011

Culinary treats you'd be sorry to miss #1: Mitchell's Ice Cream

I tasted some ice-cream yesterday, that got me excited enough to warrant a blog post!
After successfully finishing my ACLS class in San Francisco, I was craving carbohydrates like there was no tomorrow.  It must have been the excitement and lack of sleep during the weekend.  On Saturday I went by Mitchell’s Ice Cream twice on my way to and from class. Both times I was wondering about the crowded store in weather that would not necessarily drive me into an ice-cream parlor. 
Yesterday however, after passing my written and hands-on tests, I felt some sense of entitlement to a special treat.  Mitchell’s Ice Cream parlor was the only inviting store around this bare street, so in I went.  I did not regret it.

The small crowd of regulars in front of me, who were waiting for their orders to be prepared, stepped willingly aside to grant me full view of the counter and thus countless buckets of the most interesting ice-cream flavors—Espresso Toffee, New York Cherry, Rum Raisin, Toasted Almond,…  I lost track quicker than usual…Avocado, Ginger—oh my!  they really have ginger ice-cream!!...Green Tea, Ube, Lucuma, Macapuno…what on earth??  Later I figured out, that most of their tropical flavors are based on fruit imported from the Philippines—hence their names.  However, where I was finally tripping was the Grasshopper Pie flavor.  Awesome!  It actually looked like grasshopper pie smushed into an ice-cream bin.  I asked the friendly guy behind the counter for a sample—mmmmmmhhhhh!!!!  Delicious.  Before I could get side-tracked again, I ordered a scoop of said Grasshopper Pie and one of Ginger flavor.  Who could say no to ginger?  Ever since my chai experiment, I can’t.  The friendly guy behind the counter offered two cups, so the flavors wouldn’t mix.  I very much appreciate thoughtful merchants, but declined.

Besides their delicious ice-cream, ready to be turned into sundaes, smoothies, or any other custom-built lusciousness, they offer take-home gallons of most of their flavors and ice-cream cakes and pies.  The store offers some inside and outside seating and ample parking in the back. 

If you are tired of Ben & Jerry’s or Baskin Robbins, or simply want to support a local family business that has been making delicious ice-cream since 1953, please enjoy some special treat at Mitchell's Ice Cream in San Francisco.  And, nope…I don’t receive any commission for endorsing their product.  I am also aware that ice-cream isn’t a staple food to be enjoyed on a daily basis or in large quantities, although…just think about it...wouldn’t this be nice?!


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Saturday, January 15, 2011

Almost last semester...

It has gotten curiously quiet on this blog…and for good reason, my friend!
I’ve been busily heralding the last semester of nursing school—and this even before the semester has officially begun.  Just to start it off with a bang, 30 eager classmates, students from the junior cohort, and I, spent 3 hours yesterday listening to an awesome lecture by ICU nurse Tony about how to read EKGs.  It was great and prepared me well for today—day 1 of 2 of ACLS (Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support) training. 
Still in vacation mode until yesterday, I had somehow missed out on the fact that one is supposed to prepare for ACLS…  Ouch!  Review of Basic Life Support, self study of the 10 ACLS Core Cases (100 pages!), review of the relevant thirty-something drugs, and—yes—the ability to identify the most common and most deadly EKG rhythms.  So, Tony’s lecture helped with the latter, but for the rest I spent a good ten hours frantically cramming last night and early this morning… 
I must have completely lost my mind doing this during my vacation!
However, it turned out to be a fantastic day today.  I got lucky with five incredible instructors, who together brought a wealth of knowledge to the classroom, were funny and engaging.  Even better, they broke down the 120-pages textbook in easily chewable bites.  The most important concepts got boiled down into one readily remembered flow-chart, starting with step 1—is the patient stable, unstable or dead?  I can do that!  Now my arms hurt from giving rounds and rounds of chest compressions, in my head EKG patterns twirl around with drug doses and contraindications, and ACLS algorithms play tag with the “Rule of 3s.”  Information overload!  I think I won’t last long tonight because it’s back to the classroom tomorrow at 8am for 4 hours straight of mock codes…
One piece of new information I learned today, I’d like to share nevertheless.  Did you know that the most recent changes in the AHA standards for Basic Life Support (BLS) have reversed the A-B-C-D order to C-A-B-D?  It’s all about chest compressions now. Wait.  Not only chest compressions, but HIGH QUALITY CHEST COMPRESSIONS (this is the answer to questions #4 and #21 on tomorrow’s test…).  Instead of the 1.5 to 2 inches of compression depth, it is now 2 inches or more at a rate of 100/minute.  That’s fast!  Hence my sore arms…  Studies have shown that chances of survival to hospital discharge or neurologic outcome are significantly increased if chest compressions are started immediately and interrupted as little as possible, no more than 10 seconds at a time.  See the video clip below for more on these changes.

I also learned that Seattle, WA is the US city with the best survival chances for out-of-hospital cardiac arrests—38%.  That’s pretty darn good!  What do they have that other cities don’t?  Apparently it’s a very high percentage of lay people trained in CPR and use of AEDs, in conjunction with many accessible AEDs in public places.  
So much for now!  Stay save, my friend, and if you have never or not recently taken a CPR class—do it!  I bet we could reach 38% or more here, and in your hometown too.
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