30 August 2005

Offering My Services

I am hereby offering my services to anyone that might need them.

New Orleans is filling with water. They will need helicopters and pilots there to evacuate thousands of people.

I'll be watching media and trade outlets to see if I can volunteer to help anywhere. If any readers hear of an organization looking for help I can provide, please leave a comment with that information!

29 August 2005

Katrina and the Wave

Like many of you, I've been watching reports of Hurricane Katrina and her effect on New Orleans.

Watching these reporters stand out in wind strong enough to almost take them off their feet has become a real source of amusement.

How long before we see, on live TV, a 300 year old Live Oak tree fall on one of them?

I'm sorry, but when it happens, like the big foot mashing the guy at the end of the title credits to "Monty Python's Flying Circus", I may have the perverse urge to laugh out loud!

23 August 2005

Another Kind of Pollution

I want to discuss energy usage and light pollution with you.

It's not uncommon for my wife to come home after sundown and find me sitting in a dark house watching TV, or reading a magazine under the only illuminated lamp in the house. It drives her crazy!

"Why is this house SO DARK?" she'll exclaim, as she begins to turn on every light she passes.

It's a divide between us that will never be closed. She was raised in Chicago in bad neighborhoods and is afraid of the dark. I was raised in a rural area where we never locked our doors, and if there was a street light in the community, I cannot remember it.
(Help me Trojans.......do you remember any?)

What I can remember is camping out in the backyard, lying on my back, looking at the sky filled with so many stars that it looked as if someone had crushed glass from horizon to horizon.

Go outside tonight and if it's clear, try to see stars. These days, you'll be lucky if you can see even the brightest of them! Ambient light pollutes our atmosphere and prevents starlight from reaching our eyes.

But I have gotten off the path I intended to take with this rant.

It's normal for me to come home, even in the day, and find every light in the house burning. Since my requests that my wife pay the electricity bill were rejected, it obviously gives me acid reflux to see this much waste.........and don't even think about trying to take the high road by reminding her that energy is in short supply and such waste is immoral.........she doesn't care.

In June our air conditioner broke down. I made some inroads during this 90+ degree weather by pointing out that the incandescent lights produce a lot of heat, and that turning them off helps to keep the house cooler. But when the A/C was fixed we slowly returned to our old "illuminated" ways.

Sara Jean wants to call our utility and have them install a street light in front our house. When I tell her I won't pay for it, she insists she'll pay for that herself!

If and when that happens, she won't have to listen to my complaints about the house lights anymore.........

I'll be moving to a place in the country where I can camp out in the back yard and look up and see a carpet of stars!

16 August 2005

I've Been Mistaken

For the last couple years I've had regular correspondence with a female relative.
She is of the "Bush lied, people died" persuasion.

No sense going into how "Bush Lied"......that leads to a dead end, even for her, because all parties were deceived by our "faulty" intelligence about WMD's going into the war.

I originally thought SEVENTEEN U.N. RESOLUTIONS were more than enough justification for liberating Iraq.

But my correspondent has inadvertently opened my eyes to how the world could be improved if we would just cease our belligerent ways in Iraq and bring our soldiers home!

The world could then begin to move down the path of righteousness provided by the guidance of our Islamic brethren:

Stupid women like my relative would have to think twice about corresponding with superior thinking men like me!

Women would no longer be in the workplace, therefore freeing up jobs for men that need to provide food for their families.

The abortion problem would go away in an instant.........women that get pregnant outside marriage will be stoned to death. (Stones not too big as to kill too quickly, and not too small as to be ineffective!)

And Cindy Sheehan? HA!

She'll be first in line for stoning!

Why has it taken so long for me to see the error in my thinking?
It's obvious that most of the problems of the world would go away if we would just get out of Iraq and take up the tenets of "Shari'a" law!

So come on men! Take up the banner and join in........it's the resolution to most of our problems!

Out of Iraq!
No more aggression against our Muslim Brothers!

Support Iran in their quest for nuclear power!

March to the Mosque! A perfect world is just around the corner!

And Hillary for President?

Obviously impossible!

What a vision!

On re-reading, seems like a pretty harsh tone, and I considered deleting.
Then I decided I'd leave the post as written.

I believe Jane Fonda and John Kerry assisted in killing our troops in Viet Nam.
Cindy Sheehan and her like are killing our troops in Iraq. What a shame.....a woman in such pain is causing more mothers to suffer the same pain.

But most of these idiots that are supporting the "Freedom Fighters" in Iraq do so simply because of their extreme hate for George Bush!

If you are an insurgent in Baghdad, you well know our history: we have no guts for war.
All you have to do is bloody our nose often enough, and we'll soon pack our bags and run for home. We won't finish the job.

But this is truly a situation where we need to be careful what we wish for......
And it is EXTRAORDINARILY important for the rights of women of the world!

12 August 2005


Another scene flight last night.........this one right at dusk.

A 16 year old female lost control of her car after dropping a wheel in a ditch, then rolled several times. She was ejected from the automobile, and in the process of being ejected, her left arm was de-gloved from the elbow to her wrist.
She also had a compound fracture of her left femur.

De-gloving means the skin on her left forearm was pulled from the muscle.
An interesting looking wound!

It takes a huge amount of force to break the femur!
That her femur was broken means her body was subjected to forces you and I don't even want to think about!
Considerable blood loss can accompany this injury, and of course, shock.

Now the question:

IF, she had her seatbelt fastened, how was she ejected from her car?

And the answer?
Come on now everybody..........all at once!

She DIDN'T have her belt fastened!

My title......PFYSB.......comes from a jingle that used to be played on public service ads. If you have heard them, you'll remember the music that went along with the words:

"P.F.Y.S.B.,............please fasten your seat belt...........Thank you!"

I'm continually amazed that folks don't use their seat belts today.
The most serious injuries we see in automobile accidents happen to people that are not wearing their seat belts.

Folks, you could do serious damage to the cash flow of all EMS businesses by doing these three things:

1. Fasten your seat belt.

2. Don't drive after drinking.

3. Don't smoke.

Knowing human nature, I think my job is secure for the foreseeable future.

Don't you?

11 August 2005

A Suggestion

For some reason, when I check on "Pitchpull" on some computers, the sidebar containing Links, Archives, and my profile show up all the way at the bottom of the page.

I hope you are checking in on some of the other Blogs I recommend there........especially today.

Go to:

www.varifrank.com and read "The Call".

I will wish forever that I could put my thoughts on paper like that!

10 August 2005

Judge Roberts.....the more you know........

Incontrovertible evidence he's not right for the job:

The Roberts kids are no strangers to controversy. Jack Roberts, a confirmed bachelor who enjoys dancing and thinks girls are "yucky", has the I.Q. of a four year-old boy and a rap sheet a mile long. In 2003, Jack was reprimanded by a superior court judge for vandalizing the walls of a private residence with Crayola crayons. Last summer, he stole several indigenous amphibians from a natural wetland, a crime against nature for which he has yet to be held accountable. His childlike demeanor and bizarre behavior have frustrated reporters for weeks. When pressed for details on his father's opinions concerning Roe V. Wade, it's not unusual for Jack to burst into giggles and spin around in circles until he falls down.
If Jack Roberts seems to revel in media attention, then his sister, Jane, shuns it. Living a life shrouded in mystery, Jane was rumored to be dating Tom Cruise - but it's widely suspected that the girl with the pageboy haircut "plays for the other team", if you know what I mean. While John Edwards has yet to officially acknowledge her as a lesbian, Jane is rarely seen without another woman at her side. Her dowdy style of dress and lack of frequent abortions have raised more than a few eyebrows. And like brother Jack, her mental instability is a thing of record. Prone to sudden emotional outburts and crying fits over trivialities, Jane is often seen talking to small plastic replicas of human babies, and her addiction to paste has been the talk of the tabloids.

The entire expose' is here:


Warning: Don't drink liquids while reading, lest they find an alternate route out your nostrils!

09 August 2005

I Support Nuclear Power

But that needs some explanation...

My father worked for a power company for forty years.
One of the most contentious discussions we ever had was about nuclear power.

Before he retired, he was a strong supporter of what he thought was a "safe, clean," power supply.

He was surprised when I mentioned the amount of time nuclear waste would be hazardous to life.

Got any idea?

I listened to a nuclear power proponent on a talk radio show once, and called in to ask him how long the waste would be lethal.
He artfully avoided answering the question better than Jimmy Carter being asked about the "misery index" when he was running for re-election!

Truth is, the waste will be hazardous to humans for something like 250,000 years.

That bears re-stating:

It presents a problem for moralists that will be in charge of nuclear waste sites in the future:
The history of mankind spans what, 75,000 years?
Written history covers a fraction of that...
How do we fashion a sign that will warn people of the future that they need to avoid these areas, when they may not speak anything that resembles English?

(One of the better suggestions was a sign with a skeleton, supine on the ground, with wavy lines emanating from the ground to signify a deadly problem there.)

When Dad retired, after studying the issue, he did a 180 degree turn on his support for nuclear power.

But here's how we can all say we support nuclear power:

Solar, wind, and other "clean" power sources are all driven by the sun... a HUGE nuclear fusion reactor!

The costs of energy, to include gasoline, and the environmental costs of burning fossil fuels like coal, are approaching a threshold that will make using alternative resources more economically feasible.

Let's pressure our elected Representatives to start paying more attention to conservation, and nuclear power...

provided by the sun!

07 August 2005

The Blink of An Eye

If you've been reading a while, you know I love my job.
When we are called out, I am one of the most important people in the world to the people that need my services.
Time can be more valuable than gold..........

The call came in a little after 4 A.M. on a Saturday morning.
We were dispatched on a 5 minute flight to the scene of an accident: car Vs. fuel tanker.

The car was a Station Wagon. The driver was a man with his entire family on board.........wife and 8 kids. The family was on its' way to spend the day fishing with extended family at a lake located about 3 hours away.

Papa had apparently fallen asleep and didn't see the red light and the 5000 gallon tanker in the intersection. He had driven under the tanker, and before the truck driver could bring his rig to a stop, the rear wheels of the tanker had climbed the car and had Papa trapped inside. The accident ripped a hole in the tanker, and it was leaking kerosene all over the scene, including Papa.

By chance, the scene was adjacent to a company that sold steel in huge, heavy rolls, and they had a large forklift available. As we took off, our dispatch called and said the folks on the scene were asking if we wanted the forklift operator to lift the tanker off the car. My nurse vetoed that idea.....she wanted to assess the situation to insure they didn't do further harm to the patient.

I landed in the center of six lanes of highway, about 150' from the collision, the smell of kerosene so heavy in the early morning air it burned my eyes. Flight Nurse and Paramedic gathered their gear and quickly moved to the scene while I secured the controls and got out to make sure passersby didn't walk into the tail rotor of the Bell LongRanger we were flying at the time.

My Flight Nurse stepped over fishing gear spread all over the highway and climbed into the car with Papa as the other scene workers tried to redirect a stream of kerosene away from her so she could start an Intraveinous line on him.

The weight of the tanker had collapsed the firewall and dashboard of the car on our patient.

15 minutes on the scene and he was extricated. He was crushed from his waist to his upper thighs.

We loaded him and took off on the 5 minute flight to the Trauma Center. My crew had their hands full, so I made the call to the hospital to give them our ETA and a quick overview of what we were bringing them.

I landed and assisted taking the patient out of the helicopter.
As they wheeled him to the elevator they left behind a solid trail of blood.

Then I looked at the helicopter...........
Along the left side of the aircraft we had a new, 2-inch red stripe starting at the lower right corner of the litter door, arcing up the rear of the fuselage, then horizontally along the tail cone and through the tail rotor! All this in just 5 minutes flight time!

Blood is corrosive.........I found a hose and rinsed off as much of it as I could.

We then went back twice to the hospital closest to the accident scene to pick up kids that had been ejected from the car.

And although Papa was taken directly to the Operating Room from the helipad, his injuries and blood loss were too great.........he didn't make it.

The kids were seriously injured, but survived.

I've said this before and I'll say this again many times:
Life can be short. Don't sweat the small stuff!

03 August 2005

Now That's Corn!

When we think about the helicopter, we generally think of it as a transportation device.

People, parts, mail, etc., are all moved by helicopters.
I'll blog about the different things I've done and have heard done in helicopters sometime in the future.

A few days ago I did something that was a first for me:
Pollinating Corn!

And the only thing I had to move with the helicopter?

Here's the idea:
I was flying for a company that produces and sells seed to farmers. They were developing new hybrid seeds to sell to their customers.

To do this, they plant the female "receiver" corn in rows of four, and then plant a row of the "male" corn. When the plants grow tassels, the "female" receivers have their tassels removed. This is a labor-intensive process........done by hand by migrant workers.

So here's the picture: in the center of nine rows of corn, you have a row of plants with tassels........four rows of de-tasselled females on either side of the male row with tassels intact.
My task was to hover over the male plants and shake the pollen from the tassels onto the silks of the female plants.

We had to wait until the morning dew had dried from the plants. Dew drops preclude the pollen from sticking to the silks that extend from the end of each ear. Each individual silk is attached to the ear of corn, and if it receives a grain of pollen, will grow a corn kernel. If the silk doesn't receive a pollen grain, no kernel will form.

We were told if we did our job properly, we could increase the number of kernels formed, and therefore the total bushel-per-acre yield of the fields, by up to 30%!
Well worth the cost of the helicopter!

By the time the dew was dried, the ambient temperature was 94 degrees F. Wind was straight out of the South at 8 knots.
The wind made the temperature more bearable, but was problematic for doing the work because most of the rows were planted North-South, making the turn at the South end of the fields a downwind turn.

We found that if I flew over the "male" row just on the flying side of translational lift.....about 15 knots.......literally dragging my skids through the tassels, I was shaking all the female plants on either side of the males.
This meant those females were all getting a solid dose of pollen from the center row.

Corn fields in this area are large.......some have 7-800 acres of corn. Rows can be more than a mile long! At the speed I was traveling, moving from the start of a row to the end seemed to take forever!

Full of fuel, the downwind turn was treachery......carelessly done, the machine could easily settle into the 6 feet tall corn, downwind, and cause who-knows-what kind of damage to the tail rotor and the machine in general!
We wanted to avoid this even if it meant losing money on the job!

At the end of the day we had flown over 683 acres.
It took 6.9 hours to do this work, so we averaged pretty close to 100 acres per hour.

Terry N. was faithful as always with fuel truck and cold refreshments.
Terry just got his commercial helo license. We are trying to bring him aboard slowly with different aspects of commercial work.
So he could learn the work, he flew about 2 hours of the 6.9 hours over the corn.

I flew 4.9 hours over the corn, and 2.8 roundtrip to the worksite, for a total in my logbook of 7.7 hours for the day!

7.7 hours at 100 degrees, doing work this stressful, equals an old helicopter pilot that has to be removed from the helicopter at the end of the day with a spatula!

01 August 2005

Attention Getting

Nineteen followers of Islam board airplanes and fly them into buildings, killing themselves and thousands of innocent people.

We then see videos of joyous dancing and celebrating in Palestine.
Most everyone else in the world is horrified.


A single Buddhist Monk steps into a street in front of video cameras, douses himself with gasoline and strikes a match........then meditates as he is consumed by the flames.

I can't speak about how Palestinians reacted to this, but I know the rest of the world asked, with respect, "what would cause someone to do that?"

Which attention getting method earns more total support for their cause?

I think I know the answer.