Monday, May 13, 2013

Monday in Bakersfield - Daphne and Paradigm Shifts

May 12, 2013

I left Dockweiler state Beach RV park yesterday and arrived in a very hot Bakersfield in the afternoon; it was over 100!  And, this part of California doesn't cool very much when the sun goes down so I had the air conditioner on almost all night.

I talked with Kari and Jeff during their families' exciting and fun-filled day at Disneyland; what a great way to spend Mother's Day while in So. CA.  Since I'd decided not to join them and just take a leisurely drive North for about 150 miles, I felt relaxed, if not a little warm!  I had had a few thoughts [concerns] about Daphne Dolphin and how the trip over the infamous Grapevine would go; she did well albeit a little slowly at times when the engine temperature gauge indicated she was struggling a bit.  I just slowed down and she readily cooled back down to a safe operating temperature.   Since I don't have any real deadlines I have to meet,  I don't mind slowing down to preserve her coolness!

All in all, I'm so happy with the performance of Daphne during this long adventure.  Before leaving California she had almost new tires and an oil change.  Early in the trip (Arizona) I had new Monroe shock absorbers installed as I was noticing that the ride was very bumpy - lots of cupboards and drawers spilling contents; the mechanic who installed the new absorbers showed me the completely-worn-out shocks that had been in place since the beginning (20 years!).  I have a very dear friend who is the retired Executive Vice President of Monroe, from whom I'd learned a lot about the company's  quality; so I felt confident they would be worth the price tag.  I do remember being 'shocked' at the price and called Jeff for his input before I gave the go-ahead.  I added one liter of oil about March in Mexico at a Pemex station - nothing else of a repair nature.  Then, in San Antonio I had the Jiffy Lube treatment once again (after 3005 miles).  And, that's it for the whole trip - so far.  She's run like a champ.

On to another train of thought.  I've been thinking a lot recently about 'paradigm shifts' in thought processes.  I'm going to try to put in writing that which is going on in my head.....

So many ideas, thoughts, feelings and actions in my life are simply in place because "that's the way it's always been" seems to be so prevalent.  When I refer to a 'paradigm shift,' I'm thinking that, occasionally, when something [often a very automatic action] gets changed, for whatever reason, I find that the 'new' thought or action is actually an improvement on the old.

The idea of the 'paradigm shift' was first presented to me in an hospital administration conference back in the early 90s.  The facilitator of the conference, a physician-business man, talked about the 'paradigm shift' needed in the arena of healthcare administration to encompass all the medical technology advances, increased and aging  populations and economic considerations in the US - as well as the rest of the World.  It would be incumbent on us (healthcare providers) to initiate the changes by making considerable 'paradigm shifts' in our own personal beliefs and practices.  An example that I can relate to personally as a professional Operating Room nurse ....  In the history of surgery, it had always been accepted that the surgeon was the 'captain of the ship;' all others in the operating suite (anesthesiologist, scrub nurse, circulating nurse, technicians, medical device and equipment reps, etc, etc. and the patient)  were  subservient  to him.  That is not the case in the modern world of healthcare.  Each entity has a specialized function.  Yes, all involved listen to the surgeon with respect for his / her 'captain of the ship' persona.  BUT, THE PATIENT IS THE 'OWNER OF THE SHIP.' What a concept.  How many of us recognized that fact 25 years ago?  It certainly was a paradigm shift in my thinking.  And, that understanding has molded so much of how I perceive the practice of healthcare administration can, should, must be administered!  And, believe me, I've used those words of wisdom in working with patients and families a lot.  Each of us is the OWNER of our own ship!

So, for my personal, practical life ..... I've been eating a container of yogurt, almost daily, for the last many years.  I particularly enjoy one brand's flavors and availability so I always have a supply on hand.   I've never liked to drink milk; I look for other sources of dietary calcium and find yogurt an appealing choice for it's taste, simplicity and calcium content.  Well, everyday I opened the foil pull-off lid on the container while holding the tab and opening it facing me; and, every time I did that there'd be a little squirt of yogurt that would burst out as the pressure inside the container was released.  I found it irritating that every single day I had to wash a spot of yogurt off my hand or clothing; so irritating that I'd considered writing to the company requesting that they solve this problem.  A couple of days ago, who knows why, I took the yogurt out of the refrigerator and opened it in the opposite direction.  Not only did the yogurt not spurt out on me but it didn't even spurt; it seems that the change in my action negated the necessity of the pressure release to the extent that there was no spurt!  Why hadn't I thought of that before?  I know why.  It's because I had automatically assumed (for all those years) that it had to be a manufacturer's problem - not mine.  So, with this revelation I've personally had two paradigm shifts:  one was to just try doing something a different way to see what the result would be; and two was not to assume that any problem must be the other person's fault!!!


  1. Are you listening to Audio Books as you travel? I bet a good audio book makes 220 miles go by fast!


  2. Hi Mary-Pat,
    Nice to meet a friend of Jorge. I'm new to your blog and looking forward to reading more of them. Have a great week.

  3. Hi - Also here from George's blog. RE: The yogurt container - you could pierce the foil a bit with a knife or fork to allow the pressure to come out in a controlled way before removing the entire top.

    1. Thanks dorrieane. It's incredible that not once have I squirted a drop since changing from opening towards me to away from me!!! Small alteration - big reward!