Archive for June, 2012

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.












Apple Butter Cookies with Penuche Frosting

Written by Tad. Posted in Cookies









I found this in a little grocery-store recipe book called Home-Tested Cookie Recipes. When I Googled the recipe name, I found the same recipe all over. My dad makes penuche (he spells it panoche) and dips it in milk chocolate. It is one of my favorite candies so no big surprise I liked these cookies. I made them with some super tangy apple butter. We made it from little green apples we picked from a tree at the inn where we stayed in Downieville, California when I went mountain biking there in 2006. The cookies are a bit soft. We made some of them into whoopie pies*.


½ cup sugar
½ cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup unsweetened apple butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
2 cup all-purpose flour, 9 ounces
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
3 tablespoons butter
½ cup packed light brown sugar
¼ cup cream or half-and-half
1 ½ to 2 ¼ cup powdered sugar


Heat Oven to 350 degrees.

Line cookie sheets with parchment.

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.  Set aside.

Beat white sugar, ½ cup brown sugar and 1 cup butter until creamy.

Add apple butter, vanilla and egg. Beat until light and fluffy.

Add flour mixture. Beat again until well combined.

Stir in nuts.

Drop by tablespoons 2-inches apart onto sheets. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until edges are light brown. Put on wire rack to cool. Frost with Penuche icing.


Melt 3 tablespoons of butter and ½ cup brown sugar in saucepan. Bring to boil and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute or until slightly thickened.

Remove from heat and cool 10 minutes (mixture will begin to harden).

Add cream and stir until smooth.

Add powdered sugar 1/4 cup at a time, beating well after each addition, until frosting reaches desired consistency.

Ice cookies. You can put icing on the bottom of one cookie and press the bottom of another on top to form a whoopie pie*.


I used pecans rather than walnuts because I always replace walnuts with pecans.

I just used milk in the icing. I am sure it would be creamier with cream or half-and-half but milk was just fine for me.



Written by Tad. Posted in Kooks

My patient was a middle-aged man who was severely mentally retarded. He was able to do some things like walk and feed himself but was unable to talk. His caretakers brought him in for a paronychium, which is a small abscess under the cuticle of the finger.

The treatment for a paronychium is to drain it. It is usually done by cutting between the cuticle and the nail, lifting the edge of the cuticle and expressing the pus.

We formed a team: the caretaker, the nurse and I. They held his hand as I made a little cut and squeezed a pretty good blob of pus out from under the cuticle and onto the nail. As soon as the patient saw the pus, he broke his hand loose from their hold, stuck the end of his finger in his mouth, sucked the pus off and swallowed it.

It happened so fast and was so unexpected that we were at first startled, then way grossed out. The patient was completely unfazed.

Vertical Stripes

Written by Tad. Posted in Trauma Strap Bags

Anything other than horizontal stripes provides some interesting construction challenges in creating bags. Here are some with vertical stripes that turned out pretty nice. And they look nice on the deck in our back yard.




Sambuca Cookies

Written by Tad. Posted in Cookies









I am always interested in a strange ingredient for a cookie. What could sound weirder  in a cookie than anise flavored liqueur? The chocolate is intense and they do taste like licorice so not everyone will like these but I do and they are certainly different. And they are beautiful.


2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
24 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
4 ounces unsalted butter
4 large eggs
1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
1 cup Sambuca or other anise-flavored liqueur
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 cups confectioners sugar


  1. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  2. Melt chocolate with butter in double boiler or in a metal bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir until smooth. Set aside.
  3. Lightly whisk together eggs, walnuts, Sambuca and granulated sugar in another bowl. Stir in flour mixture and chocolate. Dough will be thin. Chill, covered, until firm, about 2 hours.
  4. Heat oven to 350°F.
  5. Sift confectioners sugar onto a plate. Roll 2 tablespoons of dough into balls. Roll balls in confectioners sugar to generously coat.
  6. Arrange balls 2 inches apart on 2 parchment-covered baking sheets and bake in upper and lower thirds of oven, switching position of sheets halfway through baking, until puffed and cracked but centers are still a bit soft, 10 to 12 minutes total.
  7. Transfer to racks to cool.


I used pecans and they were great.
If you leave the dough in the refrigerator too long, it will be quite firm and difficult to scoop with cookie scoop.


Copyright © 2014 Bad Tad, MD