Call Dallas for Help

Written by Tad. Posted in Kooks

The medics brought in a 41-year-old man whose wife found him unresponsive in bed next to her in the middle of the night. She didn’t know what to do so she called her sister-in-law who was halfway across the country in Dallas, Texas. The wife didn’t speak English so the sister-in-law called our 911 system for help. It’s unclear if the man was actually dead when his wife discovered him. But any chance of reviving him was gone by the time the paramedics actually got to his home.

By doing CPR and injecting him with adrenalin, the medics were able to get some electrical activity to show up in his heart. They transported him to us, continuing CPR. I used an ultrasound machine to look at the man’s heart. There was no pumping activity, which means there was nothing anyone could do. He was dead.

I then had to go tell the man’s pregnant wife and three and five year-old daughters they no longer had a husband and father. That is the worst part of my job.

When I got to the private family room used for difficult conversations like this, I followed my usual pattern of introducing myself and sitting down. The chair I took happened to be next to the older of the two daughters. With the help of a Vietnamese translator, I told the wife her husband was dead. As I did s, I tried to show sensitivity to her and also to the girls. I was surprised to note they showed no emotion at all. When I looked at the older girl, touched her on the shoulder and told her I was sorry, she smiled at me. I wonder, as the years go by, what kind of memory she will have of that event and of me.


Rudolph’s Cranberry Snapz

Written by Tad. Posted in Cookies













I am not sure how I came across this recipe. Don’t make them if you are in a hurry. You need to have some time but they are well worth it. They would be a great cookie to show off at a holiday party.

Recipe By:


¼ cup orange juice
3 cups powdered sugar
¼ cup caramel topping
6 tablespoons sour cream
1 cup pecans, chopped finely
1 cup dried cranberries, chopped finely
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
1 cup dried cranberries, finely chopped
1 tablespoon crystallized ginger, finely chopped
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 2/3 cups flour, 16.5 ounces
½ cup pecans, chopped
1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ginger


1. Pecan Topping: Combine 1 cup cranberries, 1 cup pecans, sour cream and caramel topping. Set aside.

2. Orange Glaze: In a mixing bowl, stir together powdered sugar and cup orange juice. Set aside.

3. Heat oven to 350°F.

4. Beat brown sugar and butter until creamy. Add eggs, 1 cup cranberries, ginger, orange peel and vanilla. Beat until combined.

5. In medium bowl combine flour, pecans, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, ginger and salt.

6. Gradually beat flour mixture into the butter mixture. Mix until well combined.

7.  Drop 1 tablespoon balls of dough about 4 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets or cookie sheets lines with baking parchment. Flatten slightly, making and indentation in the center.

8. Spoon 1 teaspoon of pecan topping onto the center of each unbaked cookie.

9. Bake 12-13 min.

10. Transfer cookies to a cooling rack. Cool completely.

11. Drizzle with orange glaze.


These were a little complicated to make but are FABULOUS! Shari says the flavors remind her of the holidays.

Who the heck was Rudolph, any way?





Black Bags

Written by Tad. Posted in Trauma Strap Bags

A nurse asked me for a black, square bag. It was not something I would have made for myself but she was very pleased. A clerk asked for a black one so I put a flower on it for her. Here they are.

I like them a lot but don’t make many black bags because the black straps are the rarest. I try to use them mostly for trip and contrasting colors.


Don’t Steal Medications and Don’t Hide Them in Your Butt Crack

Written by Tad. Posted in Kooks

A 27-year-old man was dropped off by his friends after having been assaulted. He said he had been kicked and punched by several men earlier in the evening.

On exam, he was found to have hospital scrubs on under his clothes and was wearing hospital booties for socks. He had minor trauma on his face. When he was rolled over to check his back, a partially-used bottle of tetanus vaccine was found tucked in his gluteal fold (butt crack.)

When I asked about it, he said he had been naked when he was in the ambulance and had rolled over and it accidentally stuck there. I pointed out to him that he didn’t come in by ambulance and that ambulances don’t carry tetanus shots.

He thought for a second then said, “I don’t want to lie.” He then told a story about how his friend had given him the bottle as he headed to the emergency department, telling him it was pain medicine. He could use it if he needed it once he got here and no one would give him anything for pain. Once he took the medicine from his friend, he got worried he would get busted for having it so he hid it in his butt crack.

The third story that eventually came out was probably closest to the truth. He finally admitted he had been at another hospital earlier in the evening and left against medical advice before his evaluation had been concluded. While there, he saw the bottle of tetanus vaccine and, thinking it was pain medicine, stole it. On arrival at hour hospital, he became worried he would get caught with it so he tucked it in there for safekeeping.

My evaluation found nothing more than alcohol intoxication and some minor facial trauma. He was discharged home, without the tetanus vaccine.

Bike Box

Written by Tad. Posted in Trauma Strap Bags

I am kind of an organization freak. I took an old plastic letter box I found on the side of the road and sewed up a Bucket Buddy for my mountain biking stuff. Amazing what you can do with too much enthusiasm and too little organization.


Ranger Cookies

Written by Tad. Posted in Cookies









An unusual cookie ingredient will always catch my eye. Prunes caught my eye here. I have eaten cookies my mother made with prunes to take the place of butter and eggs but I never enjoyed them very much. These have the prunes for sweetness and moistness but are good because they still have the eggs and butter. They are more cake-like than most of the cookies I like but they are different and fun.

Recipe By:

San Jose Mercury News


2 cups flour
2 tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons soda
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground cloves
1 ¾ teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups pitted prunes, chopped
9 tablespoons butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
¼ cup molasses
¾ cup raisins


1. Heat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Sift together 2 cups flour, soda, ginger, cloves, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.

3. Place 2 tablespoons flour and prunes in food processor. Process until finely chopped. It will turn into a pasty mess. Set aside.

4. Beat together butter and brown sugar.

5. Beat in egg.

6. Beat in molasses.

7. Mix in prune mixture.

8. Mix in flour mixture.

9. Mix in raisins.

10. Bake for 11 to 13 minutes. Don’t over-bake them. Keep them on the soft side.


Laughing at Sick People

Written by Tad. Posted in Kooks

I spend most of my time at work taking care of sick people, which is a serious and rewarding exercise. I also have an interesting and fascinating job. Sometimes my job is fun and makes me laugh. A conflict arises, however, when a sick person is funny. It makes me feel bad to laugh at someone who is sick.

The most obvious example of this conflict is dealing with bipolar patients in their manic phase. Manic people can really be funny. They go on and on, talking rapidly about truly crazy things. Sometime, it is really impossible not to laugh at what they say though their “humor” is a manifestation of their illness.

One of the places I sit to put my notes in the computer is right in the middle of the main emergency department, an area we call “The West Station.” Since our ED is too small to care for the number of patients we need to see, we often put patients on gurneys in the hall. One of the hall beds is right across from where I sit at the computer.

One night, a very manic lady was assigned to bed 5X, right across where I was busily entering notes in the computer. She talked constantly and it was very entertaining to listen to her as she waited to be taken to the emergency psychiatric department. Sometimes, her statements were directed at a member of the staff, sometimes at other patients or family members, sometimes at no one in particular.

In order to avoid her attention and get my charting done, I had to keep out of her sight by keeping my head down behind the computer monitor. This also hid from her the unavoidably amused look on my face.

At one point, I had to go do something and when I came back to my workstation, she started calling to me. Since I had already talked to her several times and attempted to answer all of her many bizarre questions, I felt it better to just avoid talking to her and get my other tasks done.

As I sat behind my computer screen, she started to call me. At first it was not too loud but, as I failed to answer, she started calling louder and louder. Then she started calling me names. The name she settled on was “Dr. Yeast Infection.”

So, there I sat, trying to remain inconspicuous behind my computer monitor, with a woman in the hallway across from me screaming, “Dr. Yeast Infection” at the top her lungs, over and over again, faster and faster, until the whole department was consumed by the show. It painted such a hilarious situation, that I was doing everything I could to not laugh.

Since my efforts to stay out of her sight and attention were obviously failing miserably, I got up, went over and tried to talk to her. My efforts to calm here were unsuccessful and she wouldn’t even listen to me. She just screamed, “Dr. Yeast Infection” over and over again until they took her off to get the help she needed from the psychiatrist.

Chocolate Malted Whopper Cookies

Written by Tad. Posted in Cookies









I like malt and have tried several cookies with “malt” in the title and ingredients. Most of them are not really malty enough for me. These are pretty malty and fun to make and eat. Don’t cut the Whoppers too finely or you will loose the crunch.



1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour, 8 ounces
1 cup malted milk powder
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
11 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup whole milk
2 cups chocolate-covered malted milk balls, coarsely chopped
2 cups chocolate chips


1. Position oven racks to divide the oven into thirds. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicon mats.

2. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, malted milk powder, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar together until very smooth, about 3 minutes.

4. Add eggs, one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each addition.

5. Beat in vanilla. Don’t be concerned if the mixture looks curdled. It will smooth out once the dry ingredients are added.

6. Reduce the mixer speed to low. Add half the dry ingredients, mixing until they just disappear into the batter.

7. Mix in milk, then remaining dry ingredients, mixing only until they are incorporated. The batter will resemble frosting more than cookie dough.

8. With the mixer on low mix in the malted milk balls and chocolate chips.

7. With the mixer on low, or by hand with a rubber spatula, mix in the malted milk balls and chocolate pieces.

8. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls on to baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches of space between spoonfuls.

9. Bake for 11 to 13 minutes, rotating the sheets from top to bottom and front to back after 6 minutes. When done, the cookies will be puffed and set slightly but soft to the touch.

10. Let cookies rest for 2 minutes before using a wide metal spatula to transfer them to the racks to cool to room temperature.

11. Repeat with remaining dough, cooling the baking sheets between batches.


Though it is a pain, I have found that cutting each Whopper separately makes the cookies a lot better as they are crunchier. I cut each one in half and maybe in half again, depending on the way they crumble, so the pieces are about 1/3 to ¼ the size of the whole Whopper.


How Many Bags Have I Made?

Written by Tad. Posted in Trauma Strap Bags

After having made many bags, the OCD part of me wished I had kept count, but it was too late. When I look at pictures I have taken, it gives me some idea of a minimum count. I have pictures of about 200 individual bags. I have made many that never got their pictures taken. Look at these two collections of extra buckles that were take off straps I used on bags but were not needed for decorations. I have made quite a few bags.

I donate these buckles and unused straps to Resource Area for Teachers*. I have no idea what the teachers who buy stuff at RAFT do with my donations but they always disappear.












Copyright © 2014 Bad Tad, MD