Monday, April 14, 2014


I got a nice letter in the mail today.

Effective last week, I'm now a Nationally Registered Paramedic. That means that I'm no longer "NREMT-P", instead I'm "NR-P".

And if I decide to pay money for a new patch, it will look like this (From NREMT website):

I'm glad that NREMT has gone back to the traditional old rocker patch for paramedics. It's a nice nod to tradition. As for NR-P? Doesn't matter much to me right now. I know my home state, Pennsylvania, will be transitioning to the new standards soon, and it's unclear what transition I'll need to do at the state level. With the NREMT, I challenged the exam for recert, so I automatically transitioned.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Felons and Guns?

One of the big gun blogs, TTAG, raises the question of felons owning firearms in a blog on Friday.

Live by the gun, die by the gun? Create a federal system for the restoration of felons’ gun rights? Or full rights restoration for felons upon release? Where do you stand on gun rights restoration?

So, the root question is: should felons be able to own guns? I've actually had this discussion with my brother and some other firearm enthusiasts over the last few years. The answer isn't simple, but I'll submit that at least in some cases, felons should have a system to regain their rights.

The goal of prison, as far as I understand it, is to both punish those who commit crimes, as well as rehabilitate the inmates so that they don't re-offend. Or, to think about it another way, people are in prison because they aren't safe to interact in regular society.

If they have served their time, and it's deemed safe for them to be released into regular society, they should have a way to regain their rights. If they are so dangerous that they shouldn't be able to regain their rights... then they should still be in custody. They shouldn't be out in public where there are ample unprotected targets.

If prisoners are so dangerous that they can't ever be trusted with firearms again, they belong in prison, sequestered from the rest of the population, where they can't hurt anyone. If they don't need that, then there should be a path for restoration of rights. Call it an extended probation, call it what you will. What if, 10 years after being released from prison, and being released from parole, they have a way to petition (easily) to get their rights restored?

Friday, April 04, 2014

Gear Review - Mophie Powerstation Duo

I've been using the Mophie Powerstation Duo since this summer. I actually bought it on the way to the 2013 Boy Scout Jamboree to replace the portable battery I'd forgotten to pack. Picked it up at a Best Buy for the MSRP of $100. It's a 6000mAh battery for USB-powered devices.

If you know me, you know I'm addicted to my iPhone. The problem is that I use my phone so much, it's not uncommon to need a second full charge during the day to make my phone last all day.

Since I use a LifeProof iPhone case, I can't use a case with built-in battery power. That means I'm stuck carrying a USB power supply with me almost all the time, because I hate having a dead phone.

I like the Mophie battery. I've used it regularly over the last 9 months, and it still appears to hold a charge without issue. On average, I get 2 full charges of my iPhone, or a full charge of my iPad off of a fully-charged battery. That's while I'm using it, so it's by no means "perfect" conditions. The battery takes ~4 hours or so to charge completely from empty.

The battery is small enough to fit in a coat pocket or my work trouser cargo pocket when I want to travel light, and it usually lives in my "satchel" that I carry to work with my iPad and various charging cables. It also appears well designed and durable. I've dropped the battery a couple of times and it's still working fine.

The 2nd USB port is very handy for charging my iPhone and iPad at the same time, or charging a friend or co-workers device. The battery charges off of any standard Micro USB cable, so recharging isn't difficult. Out of the whole product line, it's probably the best combination of capacity and compactness in their line

If you're on GovX, the device can be had for a decent discount, but I also don't think the device wasn't worth what I paid for it. If you're looking for a portable battery for your digital devices, I think this is a good product.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

2 Beers

It's a common response to the question "How much did you drink" - "2 beers".  Often by a patient that can't stand without support, let alone walk straight.

I've been legally consuming alcoholic beverages for the better part of a decade. I know what drinking 2 beers does to the average person. They might be more likely to try (and fail) at Karaoke. They might even say something stupid they'll regret later. If they don't hydrate appropriately, they might wake up with a headache. They are unlikely to be so intoxicated that an ambulance is called for them.

After 14 years in EMS, I'm convinced that anyone who tells me they "only had 2 beers" is lying. Why? I'm still trying to figure that out.

Anyway - the other day I discovered something new. I had an obviously intoxicated Hispanic patient in my ambualnce. Though my minimal Spanish, I asked "cuántas cervezas?" The response I got? A toothy grin, coupled with the patient holding out 2 fingers and saying "dos".

Now in addition to the fact that SumDood is on a world tour, it appears that '2 beers' is a universal concept.