31 August 2007

Hi-ho, Come To The Fair!

Once again, it's State Fair time, and that means I get to participate in the annual Ping-Pong ball drop. This year I was lucky enough to have John on the ground assisting, and he took a few photos to share with ya:

The lovely Melissa came along for the second year to be the official "ball disperser". You can see that the balls are different colors, with different symbols on them. Prizes are awarded to balls as to colors and symbols.
It takes extraordinary skill to properly drop the balls out of that box! Thanks Melissa, great job!

Kids line up on both sides of the field and wait for the signal to "GO!" after we fly by and drop the ping-pong balls.

Ya gotta come in at the correct altitude and heading, taking the wind into consideration, in order to get an even distribution of balls so the kids aren't mugging one another to collect them.
(Click to enlarge and you can actually see the balls.)

It was a little warm, but otherwise a great day for the event.
Last year the field was muddy, and kids ended up with wet feet while skampering around to pick up the booty.
This year the field was perfect!

Pretty shot, huh?
Man, I love helicopters!
Still, I wonder what I'll do for a living when I grow up?


Mission completed, I landed and dropped Melissa off, then picked up Gene, the photographer for our local newspaper to take some pictures of the Fairgrounds.
Here we are landing, so I can shut down and rub elbows with the adoring crowd of folks 12 years old and younger and answer their questions...
What a great job!

28 August 2007

'Cause I Like It, That's Why!

I'm a music lover.
I like Folk, Country, Pop, RockaBilly, Classical, and I'll even listen to some Metal or Hip-Hop offerings if they have a memorable melody.

Different strokes for different folks, right?

My favorite music tends toward Pop/Rock with sweeping orchestral arrangements, like "Jesus Christ Superstar",
the Rock Opera "Tommy" by "The Who",
and offerings by British Rockers"The Moody Blues".

In 1976 I walked into a buddy's apartment and heard this record being played at "Warp Factor 9" on his stereo. I liked it a lot, and purchased it on my next trip to the music store.
It's also one of the albums I bought on CD when it became available in that format, and I had to pay a premium price for it, 'cause the only place it was available was a seller in Great Britain.

This is a live performance of the anchor tune from the album...
appropriately titled "Music"!
I like it a lot.
I hope you enjoy it too:

26 August 2007

Isn't Life Wonderful!?

Remember K's video of her baby trying to kick a rib outta the way?

Wanta see the culprit?

Great news, K and Jason... congratulations!

24 August 2007

Opening The Pores!

I do this sort of thing to myself all the time-
I needed to make a deposit to my checking account.
It's Friday. I check my watch: 1:30 P.M.
Any deposit I make after 2 P.M. will not be credited until Monday morning. "The check is in the mail", and by that I mean the check I have written that requires covering.

The bank is exactly 3 miles away. It's a perfect time to use the bicycle, rather than burn hydrocarbons, right?
I fill out the deposit slip, grab the deposit, put on my helmet and sunglasses, and push the bike out the door. A quick check of the watch: 1:45 P.M.
Three miles in 15 minutes= 12 miles per hour. Piece of cake!


I've been shirking my bike riding, walking 2.2 miles daily with Sara Jean instead.
It takes all of 3 minutes to realize muscles used walking aren't in play here...
I turn southbound into a 10 knot wind and quickly wish I had just inserted a key into the car ignition.
It's hot. Let me restate that... IT'S HOT!

At the halfway point I'm in trouble. I have 5 minutes to get in the door and make the deposit, but progress is slow. Wind in my face, tar bubbling up from the road grabbing my tires, and those same tires are a little low on air...
If I was lookin' for exercise, this would fill the bill!
Gasping for breath, I step up the pace.


At the bank I dismount, push the kickstand down, and force rubbery legs to walk to the teller's window. My heart is sayin' "Hey! What's goin' on here?"
The teller takes my deposit and asks "How are ya?" (The time-stamp on the deposit is 1:59!)
"Dyin'! Too hot to ride the bike!"
"I'll say! You realize it's 103 degrees, don't ya?"
No, I hadn't.
When I check, I find the relative humidity is 85%.


Sixty years old.
Temperature of 103.
Humidity 85%.

Let's see now...
60+103+85= Stupidity

Check my figures and see if I'm in error!

23 August 2007

Exasperating

Here's some "new logic".
Someone sneaks onto your property, it's your fault!

How the heck did we get here?
Does this make sense to you? If so, explain it to me, please!
Tip 'o the hat to Drudgereport.com

22 August 2007

Dr. Dan, You Da Man!

I've been pokin' around the 'net tryin' to find an answer to Lucy's body odor problem. My search led me to a Vet's interesting site, although I still haven't found my answer.

I referred earlier to the fact that one site claimed Shih Tzu's were a coupling of the Llhasa Apso and Pekingese, and I joked that we should work towards legitimizing the "Schnoodle"...
the Poodle-Schnauzer mix.

Dr. Dan has come up with some mixes that would make interesting future AKC breeds.
Some of them made me laugh out loud!:


Collie + Lhasa Apso
Collapso, a dog that folds up for easy transport

Spitz + Chow Chow
Spitz-Chow, a dog that throws up a lot

Pointer + Setter
Poinsetter, a traditional Christmas pet

Malamute + Pointer
Moot Point, owned by....oh, well, it doesn't matter anyway

Great Pyrenees + Dachshund
Pyradachs, a puzzling breed

Pekingnese + Lhasa Apso
Peekasso, an abstract dog

Irish Water Spaniel + English Springer Spaniel
Irish Springer, a dog fresh and clean as a whistle

Labrador Retriever + Curly Coated Retriever
Lab Coat Retriever, the choice of research scientists

Newfoundland + Basset Hound
Newfound Asset Hound, a dog for financial advisors

Terrier + Bulldog
Terribull, a dog that makes awful mistakes

Bloodhound + Labrador
Blabador, a dog that barks incessantly

Collie + Malamute
Commute, a dog that travels to work

Deerhound + Terrier
Derriere, a dog that's true to the end

Bull Terrier + Shitzu
Bull..... Oh, never mind

21 August 2007

Stop Light Cameras

It's time to revolt. I have never had a personal experience with these things, but I don't like 'em, just on the principle of the thing. Do they really send out citations to owners of the cars whose plates are photographed? How do they know who is actually driving the car? What if it's my identical twin? Didn't know I had an identical twin? (Shut up Mom, I'm beginning a revolt here.)

I've done a little checking at Howstuffworks.com, but they don't answer my question there-
When I go out with my pellet gun, will anyone be watching me when I shoot the lens out on this thing? Do they just take pictures of cars going through interstections, or will I need to be dressed in a Burkha?

Dogs, (Human and Canine), In The News

Several months back, I had taken Mother back to her apartment in Pensacola and was headed Eastbound back to Destin on Highway 98, the "Scenic Gulf Highway."
It's a nice drive, with now and then beautiful glimpses of the Gulf as you drive through Gulf Breeze, Navarre, and Ft. Walton Beach.
Highway 98 is a nice road... two lanes in either direction with nice left turn lanes at intersections, and a wide grassy median between the lanes.
Early afternoon, and traffic is moderate. I scan several cars ahead and notice one I can't immediately identify. That's not out of the ordinary in these parts... It's not unusual to see the odd exotic auto on this road. I speed up to overtake and have a look, only to find it's not exotic at all, it's a
Chrysler 300C, but customized with special dark blue paint, special wheels, and tires.
Across the trunk lid, written tastefully in a color barely distinguishable from the base color of the car, is the phrase "SeriousBluePits.com"

Blue Pits?
Meant nothin' to me.

At the next stoplight I pull alongside and glance at the occupants. Behind the wheel is a beautiful woman... fitting perfectly in this beautiful car. In the passenger seat, slumped "gangsta" style so he's not easily seen, is a guy.

Neither looks my way.

First thing I do when I get home is boot up the laptop, and find
this site, which I shrugged off until recent news of Michael Vick emerged.

I'm an animal lover.
With most dogs you pretty much know what you're gonna get up front... unlike people, they telegraph their feelings to you. And unless they are mistreated or bred for aggression, most dogs will return unconditional love for a few moments of your time... a little attention.

Cockfighting, Dog fighting, and cruelty to animals of all sorts is on the front page most days.

Folks that mistreat animals are more likely to abuse people.
What a sick society we live in. This problem has been brewing for YEARS.
How did we get here, and what do we have to do fix the problem?

20 August 2007

More Doggy Bloggy-

That's Desi doin' a little showin' off during our last visit to Mesa.
He loves the hot weather there... will actually crawl between the vertical blinds and the sliding door to lie in the direct sunlight, when temps outside are close to 120 degrees!

But this post is a request for information, and not about Desi-
We need your input about a little mystery were are experiencing with Lucy:
Friends own a Shih Tzu, and have complained about an odor their dog has when she returns to the house after taking care of her business outside.
The unpleasant smell disappears quickly, but is always there when she comes back inside, even when she has only been outside for a very short period of time. Our"Luce-Goose", a Schnoodle... Schnauzer-Poodle mix, has the same problem.
She can smell like flowers after we bathe her, then take her outside to go potty and she'll come in the house with a foul odor, which goes away in less than 5 minutes. I've done minor searching online and have so far found nothing which explains the phenomenon. Any ideas on what causes it, and is there an easy way to avoid it?

One thing I did pick up in my research, from a site which may or may not be dependable-
They claim the Shih Tzu breed is the result of a cross between the Llhasa Apso and Pekingese. So Lucy can hope... all we have to do is continue to breed Schnauzers with miniature Poodles, and she also can be a "Blue-blood"!
(Think becoming a thoroughbred would change her personality?)

18 August 2007

17 August 2007

The Decision

NASA will bring the Shuttle home with a hole in its belly.
Imagine the weight of that decision!

Am I wrong in thinking that NASA's existence depends on that decision bein' the right one?

Come home safely, brave souls!

16 August 2007

I Love YouTube!

Don't you?




After viewing, click on some of the "Related" videos at the bottom for some real eye-openers!

14 August 2007

The Wrong Message

He was four years my senior, but had put much more stress on his bodily machinery...
A lifelong smoker and drinker, he definitely was a "work hard- play hard" kinda guy.

When I started flying EMS helicopters, Don was one of five other pilots already on board with our company. He had been a helicopter flight instructor for years. He was a civilian instructor at Mineral Wells, Texas in 1968 when I started Primary Instruction at the ARMY flight school there. We used to kid that Orville Wright had taught Don to hover.
He was, and is, what most would call a "Character"... just a fun guy to be around.

Most EMS Pilots work some sort of odd schedule-
Ours is a 12 hour shift for four days, then four full days off.
Don bought a farm three hour's drive from our EMS work, and during his four day break would go there and till, plant, fertilize, and harvest. When the sun went down and the work was done, it was PARTY TIME!

I was on duty, and it was a shock when the call came in: "One of your pilots is here. Come get him."
It was Don.
Partying at a local club, he had experienced severe chest pain. Don didn't think it was too serious. His wife threw a fit and insisted he immediately go to the Emergency Room for a checkup. His hometown hospital didn't have the equipment to run thorough tests, so we flew to bring him back to Bigtown for evaluation.

When the dust had settled, they found Don had not had a heart attack. But the extensive testing showed that he had previously had a silent cardiac "event" which had slightly damaged his heart. Released from the hospital, Don returned to work.

Three months passed, and time came for Don's flight physical.
Filling out the questionnaire on the medical form, Pilots are asked if they have had any medical problems or treatment since their last flight physical.
Don answered honestly, and thereby opened "Pandora's box."

It took about a week for the FAA medical folks at Oklahoma City to review his records and hoist the red flag. Don was grounded.

At age 55, he could have pursued getting his medical reinstated, but that would have taken a couple years and possibly a considerable outlay of money. While fighting to return to flight status, Don would still have had to find a temporary job. He decided it was more trouble than it was worth, and reluctantly quit flying EMS to pursue farming full time.


The other pilots, all of us, watched Don's case unfold and hoped for the best.
In the end, I'm afraid the lesson we learned from his experience is ironic:

If you experience symptoms of a heart attack or other medical problems-
Be stoic.
Say nuttin' to nobody!

09 August 2007

"Grumpy Old Brit"



An intelligent, insightful, curmudgeon with a wry sense of humor...
And I can tell ya from firsthand experience, he has a funny accent!

I've added the Grumpy Old Brit to my blogroll.

Stop by, check him out, and irritate him!

08 August 2007

"First Responders Day!"


Desiree posts a letter from Steven Jones, Director of the "First Response Coalition", about the movement to establish a "First Responders Day" to honor the folks that will show up and maybe save your life when you are absolutely having your worst day.

The pay for these jobs, in most areas, stinks.
Most of these folks do this work because they are "dedicated idiots".

God Bless 'em for their dedication! They deserve our attention and our gratitude.
Click the link here and sign the petition, please. (It takes about two minutes!)

ADDED, 12:38 PM:
The post I published some time ago about these heroes is here.

07 August 2007

Lies-

Well, it's not that we're always bein' lied to, so much as we're not always bein' told the whole truth:

Saddam and Al Qaeda.

Control information- control your world.
And until we had access to the internet and Bloggers started checking "facts" being put out by major media sources, those sources were able to spin us as they pleased.
Thank God for the internet!

If you used to leave inane, time-wasting, anonymous comments here at "Pitchpull", you've noticed I no longer allow them. Not surprisingly, stupid, uneducated comments have ceased. I'm more than happy to entertain disagreeing commenters... just don't be ignorant. Know your subject before you press the Qwertys!

And before you do that, do a little studying, please:
Check out how major media treated Sgt. Jimmy Massey,
Jesse Macbeth, and now "Scott Thomas" Beauchamp.

A couple quick questions for true thinkers-
How long before even the most die-hard left leaner begins to question the poison he is being fed?

Good news about the mood in Iraq is finally beginning to creep into, of all things, the New York Times!
How have our protectors in Iraq and Afghanistan continued to function, considering the onslaught of lies being reported by our major media?

Mary Mapes and Dan Rather,
Eason Jordan...
Have we, at LAST, turned a corner?
Will "facts", reported by our major media, once again be true?

This I pray.

For Daphne-

Who has had some difficult times lately...
This is the original, from 1972. Hope it lifts your spirits, my friend!

06 August 2007

The Chestnut Cafe


I was in the neighborhood and had to take the pic-
I've heard rumors that Don Imus will go out of his way to stop by for a slice of pie at the Chestnut Cafe!

02 August 2007

Catch Me If You Can

"Catch Me If You Can" is the movie and book written about the life of Frank Abagnale, who for years went through life pretending to be something he was not.

Some time ago I wrote how often I'm approached by folks trying to inflate their feelings of self-worth by claiming to be Viet Nam Veterans, then get uncomfortable when questioned about details of their VN experiences. It still happens often enough to surprise me.
I hadn't heard about the incident Frank Martin illuminates, but reading his words reminds me I have much to learn about expressing myself.
... A good piece of writing and worth your time.

01 August 2007

Should We Poke a Fork in 'Im?

I've been predicting a Clinton/Obama Democrat ticket for months.
Hillary has called him naive...
After his speech today re: Pakistan, I'd have to agree with her, and I wonder if he has negated any chance he had at the VP nomination until he matures some more.
Do you see any way he recovers from this?

Nicks

I thought she was cute.
Not a beauty by any stretch, but still attractive.
She was intelligent, easy to talk to, had a great sense of humor and a quick smile...
I was instantly comfortable with her.
When I asked her name she responded "I'm Happy", accompanied by that smile.
A smile like that certainly made it easy to remember someone called "Happy"!

"So Happy, is that your real name?"
"No, my real name is Gladys"...
this comment was accompanied by a strange flicker of her eyes, causing me to dig further-
"How did you come by the nickname?"
... A different smile now... I've embarrassed her a little... and she's even more attractive.

"Well, YOU KNOW GUYS!
Guy friends didn't like the name Gladys. The crude ones started calling me 'Glad Ass'.
That quickly transitioned to 'Happy Tail', which was then just shortened to 'Happy'."

My roommate at the time latched on to her and they became a couple...
I was glad he did. She was good at making all those around her "Happy"!