Code, nerd culture and humor from Greg Knauss.

I'm visiting my father-in-law in the hospital and Steve, one of his respiratory therapists, comes in. He removes the pass-through valve from the tracheotomy and inserts a red rubber tube into the hole -- maybe a foot and a half down -- suctioning whatever goo has collected in the lungs. The machine makes nasty slurping noises. It took me a long time to get used to it.

"I used to be the RT shift supervisor at another hospital," Steve says. "And it was my responsibility to show the new residents around.

"Every once in a while, I'd head to the ICU in front of the tour and find a patient that wasn't on the ventilator, and I'd mix up some apricot and pear juice and put it in the suction reservoir. When the tour came through, I'd be going through my spiel and say, 'Oh, looks like this needs to be emptied.'

"And I'd unscrew the reservoir and drink the juice.

"I got a couple of them to throw up."

Hi there! My name's GREG KNAUSS and I like to make things.

Some of those things are software (like Romantimatic and Buzz Clock), Web sites (like the Webby-nominated Metababy and The American People) and stories (for Web sites like Suck and Fray, print magazines like Worth and Macworld, and books like "Things I Learned About My Dad" and "Rainy Day Fun and Games for Toddler and Total Bastard").

My e-mail address is I'd love to hear from you!

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