31 January 2009

My Dream-

I hope, one day, to meet this extraordinary man.
When I do, I may need your help.
I probably won't have enough money for bail.

Where Is FEMA?

Millions now without power going into the second week.
Old people are freezing to death.

President Obama's response? He turns up his thermostat!
His excuse? He's from Hawaii!
(What happened to the Chicago A.C.O.R.N. guy?)

Let 'em eat cake?
Where's the media outrage? C'mon guys... fair is fair, and this ain't!

The Anchoress says it better, and in more detail!

Sorry, I can't resist!!:

30 January 2009

Yeah, It's Been Cold...

"Mighty chilly in this shop. And I still don't have all the snow cleared from the pathway to the house... got some more shoveling to do when I get this heater started.
Thank goodness for this little heater. It ain't much, but it's all I have to knock the edge off the chill. At least it warms things enough so I can take my gloves off and do detail work.

Doggone it..
That tank is empty! Boy, that sure didn't seem to last long. And the price of propane has been imitating gasoline prices, so it'll probably be more expensive to refill that sucker. Oh well, what else can a guy do?
Switch over to the extra tank... gotta remember that threads on these propane tanks are opposite from normal fittings- 'Lefty tighty, Righty loosey'. Wrench on the fitting, good and tight... Turn on the valve so I can relight the pilot and get the heat re-started.

What's that hissing?
Darn! Is that fitting cross-threaded? I'll have to shut things down and start all over again to try to make it right.
But first, I need to light a cigarette.

And that's how we met "Bob".
Bob's a nice man.
Not the sharpest tool in the shed, and he has a few bad habits, but still, a nice man.
You'll be pleased to know, he'll spend a few months in the burn unit, but he'll survive.
No "Darwin Award" for Bob!

28 January 2009

Follow Your Dream

All during his Grade and High School years I pleaded with, cajoled, and threatened my son to get better grades.
He was plenty smart... why were his grades so poor?
My example to him was that my job was to work for a living so I could provide for him to go to school...
His job was to do the best he could there. Why waste so much time in the fantasy world, watching Star Trek and Star Wars?
But nothing changed. He graduated High School without distinction.

College was different. Seeing money being spent for his education, he applied himself and stayed on the Dean's list all four years. Still, what I considered an unnatural and useless fascination with Science Fiction persisted.

Boy, was I out in left field! Last week my son sat, face to face, one on one, while interviewing this woman:

If you know Science Fiction you'll recognize "Counselor Deanna Troi"... Marina Sirtis from "Star Trek, The Next Generation".

The next day he interviewed this beauty:

That's actress Chase Masterson of "Star Trek, Deep Space Nine".
I wish now I hadn't wasted so much time with my stomach in knots, literally screaming at him.
Now I'm wondering...
Do you need an assistant, son? I could carry your camera bag!
You can see/hear my son's work

I'm Dreaming Of A White... Ground Hog Day!

I knew there was a possibility today would be "interesting". It was still snowing last night when we put Sara Jean's car in the garage. That snow was falling on the existing three inches of ice and sleet mixed. My old work car has front-wheel drive, so I was pretty confident about making my way to work this morning. But just in case, I drove up and down our drive several times to make a pathway to our road. Then I backed into our drive so all I had to do this morning was start the car, clean off the windows and lights, take a sip of coffee, drop the car into gear and drive carefully to work.
But Mother Nature said HA!

I woke this morning to 4 inches of snow on top of the three inches of sleet/ice. Front wheel drive works great so long as the wheels touch the ground. With ground cover this deep, the floorpan making contact with the snow actually lifts the weight of the car off the wheels. With no weight on them the front tires spin uselessly.

And that's what happened. I drove halfway up the drive and the car came to a stop, wheels spinning. You know the drill from there... select "Reverse" and back up, then "drive" and try again... two feet closer to the road. Back and forth, back and forth.

But "Mr. Snowplow Driver" sabotaged my efforts...
When I got to the end of the drive the snow was piled more than a foot high, and I couldn't get enough inertia built up to ram my way through it. Time to shovel.

This week I became eligible for Social Security payments. With the patients I transport I'm continually reminded how stupid 62 year old men can be. Put a snow shovel in the hands of a sixty-two year old man and you have the perfect formula for a heart attack at the lifting end of that shovel.
So I went slowly, digging snow from underneath the car and in front... back in the car to inch forward another two or three feet, then rinse and repeat...
Over and over...

Neighbor Mike came by in his four-wheel drive truck on his way to work...
No time to really lend much of a hand. He asked how he could help and I suggested he try to make a pathway for me to escape. But Mike's truck had nothing in the bed, and although he was motivating, he was slipping and sliding all the way. He made three "back and forths" for me, then waved as he made his way to work.

I drove another three feet, then grabbed the shovel again.

Half an hour later I'm on the road. Forty-five minutes after that I'm at work, and the helicopter is still in the hangar... Mr. Snowplow driver is clearing the helipad.
I check weather and most of this storm is now East of us. I preflight the aircraft in the hangar and when I'm done, the pad is clear. We push the machine out onto the pad and I call dispatch to let them know we're ready to fly.
"Can you take the ****** transport team to Rivertown?"
"Yes, I can do that."
"Your flight is a go."

We've had two days of icy/snowy weather. I suspect there are quite a few patients in little hospitals waiting for the weather to clear so they can be moved to get the care they need.
Ambulances, ground and air, will be mighty busy today.

27 January 2009

Inappropriate Bathroom Humor?

I apologize for the glare and that I cut off the right side of the placard, but you've seen this warning many times and know its content. This one was in a Deli/Restaurant. What surprised me and forced me to get out my camera was that it was posted on the inside door of the men's room!
Poor, bumbling hubby, (Tim "The Tool Man" Taylor, Homer Simpson, etc.), learning for the first time that his pregnant wife shouldn't be consuming alcohol, tells her she can't finish her drink...
That's when I need to have my camera ready!

25 January 2009

Back To The Future w/George

One, two, three, four…
One, two, (one, two, three, four!)

Let me tell you how it will be;
There’s one for you, nineteen for me.
‘Cause I’m the taxman,
Yeah, I’m the taxman.

Should five per cent appear too small,
Be thankful I don’t take it all.
‘Cause I’m the taxman,
Yeah, I’m the taxman.

(if you drive a car, car;) - I’ll tax the street;
(if you try to sit, sit;) - I’ll tax your seat;
(if you get too cold, cold;) - I’ll tax the heat;
(if you take a walk, walk;) - I’ll tax your feet.


‘Cause I’m the taxman,
Yeah, I’m the taxman.

Don’t ask me what I want it for, (ah-ah, mister Wilson)
If you don’t want to pay some more. (ah-ah, mister heath)
‘Cause I’m the taxman,
Yeah, I’m the taxman.

Now my advice for those who die, (taxman)
Declare the pennies on your eyes. (taxman)
‘Cause I’m the taxman,
Yeah, I’m the taxman.

And you’re working for no one but me.


24 January 2009

Terry Kath

Thirty-one years ago this weekend...
Is that possible?
I love this song.
Terry, I miss your talent.

Aptera Update

Capable of a 90 miles per hour cruise...
Range of 100 miles between charges...
The equivalent of 200 miles per gallon.

The first run of vehicles, scheduled for October delivery, will be sold only in California. I'm assuming that is because of the climate there and a desire to keep a close eye on any problems that might develop. But the company looks to be a leader in the race for the "Progressive Automotive X-Prize"...
That 10 million dollar prize will be awarded to the first car to meet three requirements:

1. It must get the equivalent of 100 miles per gallon.

2. It must emit less than 200 grams of greenhouse gases per mile.

3. It must be mass produced... 10,000 per year at a reasonable cost.

What is reasonable? Aptera hopes to market the 2e for $25 to $45,000. They have taken deposits from 4,000 hopeful buyers.

Twenty teams are racing to win the X-Prize.
The writing is on the wall... all the major manufacturers have plug-in hybrids or pure electric cars on the drawing board. Some even are showing concept cars in major car shows. It's not a question of whether, but WHEN we'll all be able to buy a car that doesn't need to stop to refuel with a fossil fuel.

If you're interested, you can find an article with more links to tell you all about the Aptera here.

23 January 2009

22 January 2009

William George, Part II

All I can tell you is that I've read "Part Two" and liked it...
Liked it enough to dig and read "Part One"!

The Obama Irony

I relieve stress in my life by trying to see humor when things are going wrong. Almost always they could get worse, so I joke and hope they don't.

We have now elected a Marxist/Socialist President.
His number one advisor, Michelle, is also a Marxist/Socialist, only she is bitter and more vocal about it than he. So I'm forced to turn to humor...

It could always be worse, right? And I fear it soon WILL BE.
And it is there that I find black humor and great irony. Let me explain:
Most of us would agree Obama would not have been elected without the overwhelming support of folks under age 25. When Obama starts nationalizing and socializing much of private enterprise, who will be hurt worst by those actions?
The young... because they have the least seniority and they will have to suffer longer for those mistakes.

A few quick thoughts to illustrate:
He intends to spend a super-quadrillion dollars to stimulate the economy. Where will that money come from? I'm hearing he has two choices- Raise taxes or increase the money supply.
-Raising taxes is counter-productive for a man that wants to increase the number of jobs and lower the unemployment rate... Increasing taxes runs marginal companies out of business and motivates solvent businesses to move where the tax load is not so burdensome. So raising taxes is not a happy option.

-Increasing the money supply makes every dollar worth less. Print a little more money, all dollars are worth a little less. Print a lot more money, and the U.S. begins to look a lot like Zimbabwe, where it takes a swimming pool full of money to buy a gallon of milk...
Again, not a happy path to take.

Some of us are old enough to remember a commercial for "Fram" oil filters that had the kicker, "Pay me now, or pay me later". The idea of the commercial was that you could spend a little more money for a Fram oil filter, or you could suffer damage to your engine that would cost you an order of magnitude more.
In my opinion, that's the crossroad we face today. We can suffer some today... let Darwin do his work and allow weak businesses, to include financial institutions and automobile manufacturers to fail, or-
We can choose to spend a ton of money on those failing entities to prop them up and pay geometrically more later because of our mistake.

So young folks, you got what you wanted. And because of your choice we will all suffer, but you young-uns will suffer more and longer. With a Marxist/Socialist President (and Congress) it is obvious which choice we are about to make.

Keep an eye on my "Misery Index" posts...
Can Obama beat Jimmy Carter's record high?
Sure he can... Obama is "The One"!

21 January 2009

The Day After

For President Obama the partying is now over and it's time to get to work.
I didn't watch much of the festivities yesterday because-

1. I was at work, and
2. I figured watching the "highlights" when the dust had settled would be a more efficient use of time.

We all tend to hear what we want to hear when listening to speeches. What I heard that impressed me was President Obama's stressing the need for "service". I'm revulsed by the "me, me, me" that I have heard from commenters here... similar to the selfishnessness of the
Peggy Josephs of the world. I was worried our new President would continue with his "A.C.O.R.N. community organizer" thought processes and drag us further into government dependency. His speech, for me, set a different, more realistic tone. I hope he continues with this theme and I hope, with his guidance, the Peggy Josephs of the world find the path to personal responsibility. If so, President Obama will gain my respect and might even expect my vote next election.

We all knew how historic was this election. I was reminded of the enormity and the importance of it while watching the beautiful Beyonce Knowles sing Etta James' "At Last" at that first "Neighborhood Ball". I will forever remember her tears of Joy as she gestured to Barack and Michelle Obama at the end of the song.

It's a new beginning. Let us all give him a chance to make things better, even if that means pounding him when we think he's made a mistake.

Making Law Enforcement Even More Dangerous:

20 January 2009

1100 WTAM

Epi, "The Big One" came booming in like a local radio station tonight on my drive home! What a bunch of right-wing nutcases!
(Loved it!)

But 5 degrees with all that snow on the ground? Better you than me, gal!

The Misery Index- INITIAL

You may remember the misery index. I blogged about it here.
Established by President Carter to belittle President Ford (Ha!), it's the rate of inflation added to the unemployment rate.

Today, the first day of this historic new administration, the "Misery Index" stands at
I'll help keep you updated on our "misery", or lack of it.
Watch this space!

Mallard Fillmore

By NO means perfect, but I never for a moment thought he was a crook. Thank you indeed, President Bush.
More "Non-Deranged" thinking

Red, White, and Blue Questions Of The Day-

1. If a candidate is so inexperienced he has to admit, "Things are much worse than I imagined and my solutions to problems will take longer than I expected"
2. If we can no longer judge a man by the company he keeps...
3. If campaign promises mean nothing, why do we have to suffer through a drawn-out, VERY expensive campaign? Why take so long and spend so much money? Why not just do it "American Idol" style and have voters call a toll-free number? ("I'm voting for Barack Obama because he is SO cute!")

I voted for Sarah because the promises Candidate Obama made seemed naive and impossible to achieve. Now apparently, Barack Obama agrees with me.
Had I known he would change his tune so drastically after the votes were counted, I might have voted for him.
(And the odd thing is, so many folks had no idea where he stood on important issues, would it have made any difference in the outcome?)

If only we could know which of our candidate's promises they are truly serious about...
It would sure make voting a less stressful process!

To President Obama:
I've heard your Presidency called "A Grand Experiment."
I hope your experiment is successful, sir.
God be with you.
God be with all of us.

18 January 2009

Fat Cats In Control

...The devastating question still unasked of Barack Obama by any representative of the press is: "Did you authorize the dismantling of the anti-fraud protections built into the online credit-card contribution system through which your campaign raised hundreds of millions of dollars -- and if it wasn't you, who was it, why weren't they fired, and why weren't those safeguards reinstated?"

That's a question/comment at this post about how, through "The One", 100 wealthy families want to exercise control over you and me.

Fair warning... be prepared.

When To Be A Chicken

I had a student scheduled yesterday. He's a VERY experienced pilot (a fixed-wing Designated Pilot Examiner)... and I love teaching fixed-wingers to fly helicopters. But as I indicated in our coffee test post below, we woke hearing the wind blowing so hard the walls of our log home were creaking against the strain.

Let me back up a little here...
This fixed-wing guy has recently gotten his helicopter rating across town and now that company won't allow him to rent their helicopter. The company I teach for allows students to rent our bird following their training, so he needs a checkout with us to insure he's competent before renting our machine.

When I check, the report is: wind out of the West at 15, gusting to 27 with peak gusts up to 30 knots. That's a bunch. It presents an interesting question-
If I give him his checkout under these conditions, he'll be exposed to wind he probably would never choose to fly in on his own, and I'll be able to evaluate his skills under extreme conditions... sort of "If he can safely fly in this, he'll be safe in anything."
But there is a limitation in the operator's manual restricting pilots with less than 200 hours from flying in this kind of wind. I really don't want to reinforce the idea that he could safely fly under these conditions. I decide to call him and see what he will decide to do.

I call his cell phone and he answers, "Hey Greybeard, I'm giving a speech. Can I call you back in 45 minutes?"

When the phone rings 45 minutes later he says, "I was giving a speech at a flight instructor renewal course. Sorry about that!" (This will be an interesting student!)

When I pose the question, he defers to my judgment-
"If you think it's safe I'm ready to fly."
I press him to make a decision, but begin to get the feeling he thinks my schedule is tight and I may not want to cancel, so I ask, "What's your schedule look like tomorrow?"
I hear relief in his voice... "Oh, I could fly either really early, or late afternoon. Your pick."

I think I like this guy. I'll bet I like the way he flies.
I'll let ya know.

Day By Day, 18 January

17 January 2009

I.M. Warning-

My son sent a link via MSN instant messenger.
I responded that I'd check it out, and saw that he was no longer online. I clicked the link and found it was one of those innocuous IQ tests. Since my son sent it I figured it might be special or fun, so I worked my way through it. At the end of the test it asked for my cell phone number to send me the results, and I balked. Called my son...
"I'm not happy about sending my cell phone number to get the results on this test!"

"What are you talking about?"


He has a bug. Everyone on his IM list is getting uninitiated messages from him.

I went immediately to "System Restore" and restored to a date a week ago. I'll let you know if I have any problems.

Flight 1549

The aircraft enters view from left to right at about 3:31 into the tape. Amazing.
Well done, crew!

Who Needs Viagra?

C'mon, it's only two minutes, and it'll make ya laugh:

How can this poor guy EVER live up to expectations?

16 January 2009

Your Morning Weather Forecast

Fellow earthlings and inquisitive souls, let's experiment!
My local weather guy says this works, and he's pretty good at his business.
He claims bubbles in your coffee can forecast your weather. Goofy stuff like this has always fascinated me, so he quickly had my undivided...

Pour your coffee in such a way that bubbles are formed. If the bubbles cling to the outside edge of your cup, the pressure is low and you can expect weather associated with that low pressure... here in the Midwest we'll have wind, clouds and precipitation.
Conversely, if the bubbles form in the middle of the cup, you are experiencing a high pressure system, normally associated with sunshine and fair weather.

Ever hear this before?
Then why didn't you share?!

15 January 2009

Battlestar Gallactica

This is not your father's "Battlestar Gallactica"!
The Sci-Fi channel will air episodes all day tomorrow, leading up to the first episode of the new (final) season starting 10 P.M. Eastern.

The show stands on its own, even if you don't like Science Fiction.
Give it a look. You might be surprised.

I Did It For YOU, Kids!

Read this.
Make sure to read the comments.
We certainly face four interesting years!


I wish I had a nickel for all of 'em I've met...

The guy that wants you to be impressed with him... how successful, important and powerful he is.
(I'd have enough money to buy a large Latte at Starbucks, maybe two.)
If you're not familiar with the Dude in the pic, where've you been? Go here and catch up on the story. We'll wait.

Pretty wife. Lexus. TBM? (Forgive this helicopter dude!)
This guy had the world on a string.

That is, until the bottom fell out of the financial bucket. We don't yet know what happened, but the bottom DID fall out. Pretty wife put up with him so long as the perks were there. When things began to get tough, she finally was forced to realize what an insufferable jerk he was and left him.

Of course with the money gone, so are the Lexus and the airplane(s). (I've seen video of him flying in some sort of aerobatic thingy... Extra 300? And the airplane he ditched was a relatively new Piper Malibu/Meridian... whatever.)

So here's my question:
Why'd he do it the way he did? If he wanted us to think he's dead, there was a better way.

Take off at night. Insure the airplane is low on fuel. Crossing the Alabama-Florida line, make your emergency radio call (or maybe don't), then turn off the transponder and descend to 800 feet indicated. Turn on the autopilot and jump. Otto flies the airplane until it runs out of gas somewhere over the Gulf of Mexico and disappears in the deep.
No wreckage to find.
No pilot to find.

No scenario is foolproof, but this one is much better than the one he planned. What was he thinking?
His wife is smarter, AND better looking than him!

13 January 2009

1 Dead, Four Injured

-ARMY Blackhawk crashes in Texas.
Article and pictures here.
No word yet on what happened, but note from the pics-
in spite of a small fire, the crashworthy fuel cells worked.

Moron Global Warming, Part Deux-

More sea ice, BY FAR, than expected?
As someone who watches weather hourly, I've warned ya before how these idiots cannot forecast weather accurately for three days from now, much less three years/20 years hence.

So Polar Bears may not be in trouble?
Someone warn the Seals!

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang?

It's a concept that has been tried more than once...
a car that flies, or an airplane that can be driven on the road after landing.
Those concepts failed because airplanes make lousy cars and what we accept as a minimally satisfactory automobile has proven much too heavy to fly.
But there has been a huge change in materials used to manufacture cars over the last 20 years... construction is lighter, and therefore more like aircraft.
Have we finally reached the point where a flying car is feasible?
Take a look and see... whatd'ya think?

That video is embedded in an article with more information here, and if you're still interested, there's more on the subject in an article here.
Problems I can see from the outset:

-Engine mounts, wing roots, empennage and other airframe bits will have to be inspected annually or as FAA certification requires, normally on a flight-hour or calendar basis. Driving this car/aircraft will expose it to vibration and stresses a normal aircraft won't experience. The certification and inspection process will have to take that into account.

-It will have to be insured as a car AND as an airplane. Insuring it as a car may be no big deal, but insuring any new aircraft is iffy, and insuring one this revolutionary may be problematic.

But if this thing works... if the problems can be worked out... I'll be in line to buy one after a couple of them have accrued 5,000 hours or so flight time!
(Watching closely and keeping my fingers crossed.)

12 January 2009

Rockets Fall On Israel

Better than most, I understand what Israelis near the Gaza strip are experiencing. In that post I wrote:

"8 June 1969...
The most terrifying day of my life."

That's why it pleasures me greatly to read that Joe has
chastised the major media about their Hamas/Israel reporting.

Tell everyone what it's like to have death rain down on you, Joe!
Joe talks about the experience on video

"Dear Mr. Obama"

I know my little sister won't be offended by my calling her a "tough chick". She's a nurse at a large hospital in Florida, and has been at the job long enough to know the trade AND the tricks of the trade.
She has high hopes for our incoming President, and I think you might enjoy
reading her suggestion to him.

Good Neighbors

What a great idea! Thanks to Ol' Broad.

11 January 2009


I was humiliated almost to the point of self-mutiliation when I saw how unhappy "The One" would be with me following my test shown below.
So I took a deep breath, forced myself to realize all the world's ills were about to come to an end because George Bush was about to be exiled to Texas. Knowing I need no longer worry about my mortgage payment or my gas tank being filled, I re-took "The Obama Test". Here are the results:
(Cue the "Hallelujah Chorus")

Barack is pleased!

I proudly scored 93 on the Obama Test

Where's my "Barack Obama Commemorative Memorial Inaugural Bronze Medallion with Certificate of Authenticity"?

How Can I Regain My Self-Esteem?!

Barack is very disappointed with me!

I only scored 22 on the Obama Test

09 January 2009


In the following post I said "She was electrocuted as she crawled out."
I used that word because that was the terminology the ground personnel used when we contacted them and they gave us their initial patient report. Little alarm bells went off in my head as I wrote the post, but I used the term anyway because I was too lazy to go to dictionary.com as I wrote it.

So I mislead you. Here's the dictionary.com definition(s) of "Electrocuted":
1. to kill by electricity.
2. to execute (a criminal) by electricity, as in an electric chair.

So ONCE AGAIN I WAS WRONG, and you guys read that mistake and let me get away with it. Our patient was badly injured, but she sure as heck wasn't dead!
There are fewer and fewer brain cells in this old skull, and those that remain are overworked and getting older with each new post.

SHAME ON YOU. I expect better from you guys... We're a team and you let me down!
Try to do better, okay? ;>)

08 January 2009

Guardian Angels At Work:

There is still a little fog in the area, but the freezing rain and drizzle are now East of us. The helicopter is still in the hangar because with the low ceilings in the area I'm goin' nowhere... why even push it out?
Still, we get flight requests. I check our weather and although it looks better, two airports within 50 miles of us are reporting 600 foot ceilings with 1-1/2 miles visibility.
The AWOS at the little airport where we're based is reporting VFR conditions... ceilings of 1100 feet and visibility 8 miles. Conditions are improving, but the forecast is for possible snow showers after midnight. I turn down the flight but tell our dispatchers about the improving weather.

Half an hour later I hear a siren getting louder and louder. I step out our front door just in time to see a Squad Car zoom by going 'way fast. I watch as he disappears in the distance, then hear another siren coming. This time it's a fire truck headed the same direction.
Then, the phone rings...
"Can you take a standby for an MVA between you and C-Ville?"
(Wow! That flight will take all of 5 minutes!)
"Let me check." I look at radar and dial up our AWOS on the phone...
"Yep, we'll accept the standby. We'll push the aircraft out now."

My crew has gone to bed. Over the intercom I inform them we're on standby and need to push the aircraft out of the hangar. All hands need to be watching as we push out to insure I don't run aircraft extremities into walls or doors. We've no sooner finished situating the helicopter on the pad and bringing the tug back into the hangar when the telephone rings again...
"Your flight is a go."

We quickly walk to the aircraft and along with my nurse and paramedic we check to insure shorelines are disconnected, gas cap and all cowlings are secure. I take my seat, buckle up, and pull the starter triggers as my crew climb in and secure seat belt and shoulder harnesses.
"Everyone secure?"
"Ready in the back."
"I'm ready here too."

I announce my takeoff over the airport unicom frequency, then check my instruments to make sure everything is within normal operating limits. We clear the surrounding trees and instantly see the scene... the accident is on the road adjacent to the airport! I call dispatch and tell them we're airborne and already over the scene. Dispatch gives me the frequency and contact information and I switch frequencies while circling the scene. The moment I have the proper frequency dialed in we hear the ground unit calling us...
"Hang on (our callsign), we're putting the strobes out for your landing now."
We see two guys walking out into a harvested field adjacent to an overturned car, carrying three flashing strobe lights.
"Do you see the strobes?"
"There are wires on the East of the road but no wires near your LZ. Your patient is a 25 year old female. She collided with a utility pole and has sustained electrical burns from contacting wires as she exited her car. She also has multi-system trauma."
"Roger that. I'm landing now", and I announce our landing to dispatch.

The area he has designated for me is a safe one... it's in an open, just harvested soybean field. Still wet from recent heavy rains, there is a three foot deep ditch full of water parallel to the road, separating the LZ from our patient's overturned automobile and the ambulance where they are stabilizing her for transfer to us. I don't want my crew to have to negotiate the water-filled ditch with the patient and stretcher, so I land over the strobes his crew has placed, then hover and land the helicopter North of the overturned car, 10 feet from the downed wires about 100 feet from the waiting ambulance.

Skids down, I say "We're on the ground" and note landing time and coordinates, secure the aircraft controls, then dismount to insure any onlookers don't approach too closely. The scene commander approaches to make sure he did nothing wrong selecting the area where he placed the strobes. I tell him his LZ was perfectly safe but explain my thought processes for landing where I did.
"I just wasn't sure you'd want to be that close to those wires" he says.
"I appreciate that sir. Thanks for thinking of our safety" I respond.

When I'm sure I can safely do so I climb into the aircraft and enter the GPS waypoint for the hospital I'm guessing they'll want the patient to be transported to, make note of the distance so I have an idea how long the flight will take, then dial the bug on the heading indicator for the heading I'll need after departing into the wind.

Twelve minutes after touchdown at the scene my crew appears out of all the flashing lights with our young accident victim on the stretcher. We carefully load her, check again to make sure all the aircraft parts are secure, then take off vertically to avoid any unseen wires. The flight to the trauma center takes 27 minutes.
(I guessed wrong and had to reprogram the GPS.)

On this dark, damp, chilly night, she was on her way to visit a family member at our local hospital. She saw "an animal" dart in front of her car and swerved to miss it and lost control. She clipped a utility pole, breaking it in half. In the accident sequence the car rotated 180 degrees and rolled onto its top. Crawling over the headliner and climbing out the rear window, she didn't realize live wires were contacting the car's now exposed (dying cockroach) undercarriage. She was electrocuted as she crawled out. She has an electrical entrance wound on her left index finger and an exit wound on her left ankle, and is VERY lucky to be alive.

Flight visibility wasn't great initially, but improved as the flight progressed.
In many ways, this gal had a guardian angel watching out for her!
These pics are blurry because the photographer is an amateur and it was mighty dark, but you can get a feel for the scene with them.
(Clicken to embiggen):

07 January 2009

Roland Burris-

"He presents himself well."
Yeah, and he's so humble!

The Late Barack Obama, Part II

I almost did a spit-take...
Taking a sip of hot coffee I actually heard Dick Durbin, senior buffoon from Illinois say something to the effect-

"The vacant seat left by Senator Obama needs to be filled. The citizens of Illinois need a Senator to represent them."

Barack Obama was elected to the U.S. Senate two years ago and immediately started his campaign to be elected President. His Senate seat has gone wanting for two years. I'm not sure his neglect of his duties wasn't an improvement over his actually being there.
Surely the people of Illinois have grown accustomed to having no adult Senate leadership. Why should anyone hurry to fill that seat now?

05 January 2009

24 Hour News Channel

Once upon a time in a land that seems like a dream there was a place you could go, 24 hours a day, to get your "News fix". It was called CNN Headline News, and it was good.
I used to leave it on TV all day and after watching one news cycle would pretty much ignore it until something new happened.
It would drive Sara Jean crazy...
"That's the same thing they said half an hour ago!"
She was right of course. That was the point.

Nowadays, when I punch up Headline News I may tune in to find Nancy Grace talking about O.J. Simpson or Casey Anthony, or (worse)... some Showbiz crap about who Britney Spears exposed herself to today or where Lindsey Lohan was arrested for driving under the influence.

Obviously someone at CNN thinks this is an improvement. I think it leaves a niche for someone to fill...
"All News, all the time."
Surely there are others like me.
Is anyone listening?

02 January 2009

I Was Wrong

I hate being wrong. But when I'm wrong I will freely admit it. I think folks notice when you admit you're wrong and that makes you more believeable all the times you're right.

But boy was I ever wrong!
My only comfort is that I bet most aviators will find they'd be wrong on this same issue. See if that's the case, and please... admit you were wrong in the comments!

Here's the deal:
I enjoy good Science Fiction. My son makes his living through various Science Fiction outlets. Together we have watched most of the popular Science Fiction shows, particularly Star Trek (T.O.S., T.N.G., and Voyager), Star Wars, and Battlestar Galactica. While Big Bubba was home this weekend we watched a movie he brought along titled
"Sunshine". It was well-acted, well-directed, and the special effects work. You'll recognize Michelle Yeoh and maybe a couple other actors. Those that really enjoy Science Fiction will find "Sunshine" worthwhile.

There is a scene in the movie, similar to a scene in "2001, A Space Odyssey" where humans are exposed to space for several seconds without benefit of a containment suit. I know that at altitudes above something like 60,000 feet your body temperature is high enough to actually cause your blood to boil. So when watching one of these "sans spacesuit" scenes I always howl in disbelief that writers would expect us to believe that situation possible. It has always been my impression your body would explode under those circumstances because your blood would instantly boil and your individual cells would explode.
Wrong-o, old retired ARMY Dude!
Apparently the lack of air as a conduit to transfer heat is one factor... your skin itself acting as a containment vessel is another. Read more facts at the link... they relate a couple scenarios where it's actually happened.

So from now on I'll just shut my mouth on the subject. Were you wrong too?

01 January 2009

Shameful Top Ten List-

The list of the top ten MOST CORRUPT POLITICIANS in
Washington, D.C. has been released by Judicial Watch:

10. Rep. Don Young, R-AK

9. Sen. Ted Stevens, R- AK

8. Rep. Rick Renzi, R- AZ

7. Rep. Charles Rangel, D- NY

6. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D- CA

5. PRESIDENT ELECT Barack Hussein Obama, D- Chicago

4. Rep. Jerry Lewis, R- CA

3. Presidential Advisor and Illinois Senatorial hopeful Valerie Jarrett, D- IL

2. Sen. Chris Dodd, D- CT

1. GUESS WHO? I'll let you click the link for the big(?) surprise! (It's another D.)

So republicans have 4 outta 10, and only one name in the top five? C'mon repubs...
You can do better!

(UPDATED, 1159 hours- Re-reading the link I find I skimmed the lead too quickly. This list is in reverse alphabetical order, so there isn't a bad-to-worse order here. All these folks are dirty.)

Thanks Instapundit.