life: January 2003 Archives a stuck pig

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Went to Freebird's today for's been a while. One must admire their superiority over the chain-ness that is Chipotle. In fact, we did. Thanks to Mike for the moment of silence.
I've been trying to become a more regular blood donor (only one more till my first official gallon!) and Brian and Mike decided to join me in doing so after lunch. No amount of persuasion or peer pressure was going to convince Tate to follow along.
Arriving at the Blood and Tissue Center at noon proved to me that I'm doing the right thing by usually going at 10:00 a.m. instead. It took us about an hour just to do the screening, usually I've got a needle in my arm after 15 minutes.
The original plan was for the three of us to have the "Great Blood Challenge" of 2003, seeing who had the best drain rate. The center was so busy that idea went out the window. Good thing, too.
I was first to the donor chair and was almost done with my donation by the time Brian got seated. I finished up and went to the canteen to wait for him and Mike while I enjoyed my cookies.
I knew something was wrong when I saw Brian come in with wraps on both arms. Turned out that his first draw was adjusted badly, resulting in air in his bag. The second attempt in his other arm went through both sides of the vein...another failed attempt. They finally got the bleeding stopped and turned him loose. Nearly two hours of sitting and nothing to show for it.
Mike had more success with his first career donation. They had to manually weigh his bag rather than using the agitator-scale, but he emerged unscathed.
For anyone that's never donated before...don't let Brian's story scare you off. Every time I've donated, it's been a painless process. You're doing something good both for yourself and up to four other people. Look into it.

this countdown brought to you...

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by me!
Being the official timekeeper for last night's New Year's party was one of the high points (so far) of 2003. I knew setting my watch against the atomic clock would pay off someday.
Here's to a great New Year!