27 February 2009

Obama=Kerry?

To anyone with any gray matter at all, it's obvious there's a problem here. I'm beginning to think it's a much more serious problem than we might have imagined. The question is, now that this train has started to move, will we get an answer quickly or will things get out of control?
The question truly is, did we elect someone who is unqualified to be President of the United States? If not, it's a simple matter to resolve, right? All President(?) Obama has to do is provide what is called the "Vault Copy" of his birth certificate.

Four or so years ago, Senator John Kerry, (Schmuck, MA.), promised to release his military records to the public for review. That must be one HUGE file, 'cause we're all STILL waiting for his promise to be fulfilled. I think I know why those records were never released, and I think you know too...
If he released them we'd know he not only wasn't qualified to be President, we'd also know he isn't qualified to be the Schmuck Senator from Massachussetts.

Now comes Obama with a similar problem. There are all sorts of fruitcakes like me out here asking to see his REAL birth certificate so I have no questions he is Constitutionally qualified to be President of the United States. Several lawsuits later, he's pulling a John Kerry on us.
Does that not scare you? It scares me.

I don't know all the pertinent points to this case, but I do know this...
All questions could be put to rest if one simple thing would happen:
Show us the "Vault Copy"!

The snowball has begun to roll downhill. Thank God, our military folks are not gonna put up with the crap our civilian courts seem to want to cram down our throats-
General Officers are now joining the movement to actually see documentation showing proper qualifications.

Two folks on my blogroll are at the forefront on this issue:
Stay on top of it with
Andrea Shea King, or ThirdWaveDave.

This show has just begun!

26 February 2009

President Biden?

A friend emails and claims President Zero is, at present, defending himself against 42 lawsuits across the nation, all wanting to see the "Vault Copy" of his birth certificate.
Gosh... why would he spend all this money on legal fees when releasing the document would put all this to bed?
Vice President Biden... start studying.
(OH... MY... GOD. President Biden?)

25 February 2009

Greybeard Is A Right Wing Nut Job!

No, really!
I would like to know for sure my President is Constitutionally qualified to assume that position. I have seen enough "smoke" to be frightened there may be a fire underneath.
But apparently I'm in the minority...
You can go here, read the comments, and maybe then you'll decide you no longer want to stop here and read the ranting of a lunatic.

The Color Purple

Purple, the color of Royalty.
Ever wonder why that's the case?
I did.
Purple's history is interesting. If you care, the story is here.
(Link was broken. Fixed now.)

24 February 2009

"The country that invented the automobile will not abandon it"

...And the assembled crowd stood as one and cheered, knowing President Obama's words rang true-
Germany would never abandon the automobile!
This guy is an idiot.

Gran Torino

Saw it.
See it.

...Well, let me qualify that.
If you regularly read this blog and find yourself nodding your head at my arrogant pontifications, you'll understand and enjoy this movie. You may even find moisture.

If you don't, some Pauly Shore movie might be time better spent for you.

23 February 2009

When We Cannot Fly-

On days the weather is so bad we have to say NO!, I frequently wonder about the patient's outcome.
Here is "The Rest of The Story" on one such incident.
Thank you Hilinda.

Closing Gitmo

I've been trying to find an acquaintance to take the wager... so far I've had no takers.
I was willing to wager the prison at Guantanamo Bay won't be closed this time next year.

A commenter over at Just One Minute argues Obama will close Gitmo the same way so many distressed furniture stores close these days:
One day it is "Guantanamo Bay Prison". The next day Gitmo is gone, opened "Under New Management!" as "The Peaceful Resort on Guantanamo Bay".
Promise kept. Problem resolved.
And since I can easily see this shyster putting that sort of thinking into action, I'm withdrawing my offer of a wager.

"Hope and Change"!
-So far, he's almost as entertaining as Hope and Crosby!

21 February 2009

Every Day Is Groundhog Day

Weather today in Mesa, Arizona-
Sunny and 81 degrees, chance of rain: 0%.
Weather tomorrow-
Sunny and 85 degrees, chance of rain: 0%
Weather Monday-
Sunny and 83 degrees, chance of rain: 0%

When my son comes home, he prays for rain, snow, and clouds.
We all yearn for something different, don't we?

American Tea Party

So how do you feel about being $30,000 deeper in debt than you were before teh one stimulated you? How do the others in your family feel about it? That baby that amazes you by needing so often to be changed- ask how it feels about starting off life this way and see if you immediately get a heavier diaper.

Our forefathers had this same problem. They felt their tax money was not being used efficiently. They expressed their displeasure by breaking the law...
If you know history, you know about the "Boston Tea Party".

Unhappy citizens in several cities across the U.S. are planning their own "Tea Party" to protest the fiscal lunacy we're experiencing...

""I couldn't believe something this gigantic was getting slammed through Congress," Carender said of the stimulus. "I figured I could sit around and be depressed, or start a protest."

Protests are in the works for several cities... Atlanta, Chicago, and Dallas, to name a few. If you, like me, are frightened by what you see your government doing to our country, it's time to get off your duff and express your fears.

That's the way our forefathers did it.

ADDED:
Just saw this over at Instapundit.

20 February 2009

17 To 72

We're safely in "The valley of the sun."
Seventeen degrees when we left home...
Seventy-two when we arrived Phoenix.

As we were going through security I saw a face that looked familiar... a guy I hadn't seen in 15 years. Sara Jean said "No, that can't be him. He'd look much older than that today."
So I asked.
It was him.
What a wonderful surprise!

The beer is cold and the sun is warm. Does it get any better than this?

19 February 2009

Ha-Hope-Ha-Change!

Close Gitmo?
If we intend to hold prisoners indefinitely, does it make a difference where we cage them?
My head is exploding.

Buggin' Out


Six days on, three off.
Six days on, three off.
Since before Thanksgiving, three pilots at my base have been doing the work of four. We all like the overtime... big checks just before Christmas were obviously welcome. And for a while it was no big deal...
With four pilots our 7-on, 7-off schedule meant we were working 42 hours per week- 1/4 of our lives at work. Now with three of us giving 1/3 of our lives to the company, that means 57 hours per week and the difference in mental wear and tear is noticeable. I need a break. All three of us do.


In the morning we'll be on our way to visit Big Bubba in Arizona. I scheduled this trip two months ago, sure in my mind that our company would have hired a pilot and that I wouldn't be leaving my base in a bind. I was wrong. In my absence, two pilots will be doing the work of four. That means the two I leave behind will work 84 hours this week, and since they're already feeling the pain of working all this overtime for three months, they'll be mighty tired when I return.
But then they'll take vacation and it will be my turn in the barrel.
Oh well...
I'm not gonna think about that right now.

Here at home we have made arrangements for Lucy to go stay with friends. They love and spoil her, and when we drive onto their property it's obvious she is happy to be there. That's a comfort to us. We've stopped our mail for a week. The neighbors know to keep an eye on our home. Our weathergal is predicting 19 degrees tonight, so we'll bundle up for our trip to the airport. Arriving Phoenix at Noon, the forecast is for sunshine, light winds, and 80 degrees with a chance of ice cold beer and a lapload of miniature dachshund on the patio.

I'm looking forward to taking walks down the street past rock gardens and Saguaros.
I'll have my new netbook with me and will be in touch.
Wish us safe travels.

17 February 2009

Eyes Wide Open



After work yesterday morning I stopped off at the gun store where I took delivery of my new toy to buy ammo for it.
Surprise!
My gunsmith doesn't have any...
As a matter of fact, he has no ammunition for any "varmint rifle".
...Hasn't had any for days, because as soon as new ammo comes in it is sold. He has a waiting list for it.

I added my name to his list.

Froggy, the temperature of the water may be closer to a boil than I imagined.

16 February 2009

It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World!

First, we pass laws forcing the banks to make loans to unqualified applicants.
Then, when banks get into trouble we force even those that don't want the help to take government subsidies.
And then, even those banks that didn't want to take the money are forced to take orders from the idiots that forced them to make the high-risk loans against their policies!
Have I got the scenario about right?

As Yakov Smirnoff would say,
"What a country!"
(And with his history, he would know better than most, wouldn't he?)
Unbelievable.

Right Here, Right Now!





And there's at least one more, from "High School Musical".
Are there others?

15 February 2009

Braveheart, Updated

Go.
Read.
Think.
Agree or disagree.

Insane Stimulus- Get Out Your Crystal Ball

The Congressional Budget Office indicates it (this monstrous stimulus) probably won't help our economy, and may in fact hinder its recovery.
I'm frightened, and want your counsel.
If this thing fails, as many of us think it will, what then?
What will "The Magic Negro" pull out of his hat to provide "opiate for the masses"?
I can think of a possibility that others like him have resorted to-

Start a war.

Lies, And Lying Liars

Could you tell this many lies in one minute, fifty seven seconds?
No, of course not. But don't be dismayed.
Remember, this man is an expert!


Thanks CJ!

13 February 2009

Positive/Negative

All this is Dick Cheney's fault.
Well, except for the part that's Ronald Reagan's fault. You remember Ronald Reagan don't you? He's the guy that thought all government was bad, except of course it was good when you need to start a war. ( He used the dark side of the FORCE, ya know!)
And those republican debaters on TV...
What a loud, overbearing, rude bunch!
And Obama? Poor weak Obama can't "get-r-done" against repub resistance!

Want an education?
Fair warning... it's painful.
But it's also necessary to see how "the other side" thinks, unable to consider other's thoughts and values even while they're decrying the loss of bipartisanship because of those evil repubs.
Go here and get your eyes opened.
It's important to read the comments too so you know this is NOT isolated thinking.

If you do leave a comment there, be the ladies and gentlemen I know you to be. If you must be loud and rude, do that here. You'll fit right in.

Getting Malled

We do this every two months or so...
She had to have her hair "Foil-Wrapped" last night. And of course, there is only one person in the entire State she will trust to do this procedure. We're getting ready to visit Big Bubba for a week in Arizona and of course we want to look our best, and the whole process only takes three hours...

So it was off to the mall.

We're both on a mission...
She needs to beautify. I get to run errands... for her.
Her Macy's bill that we SHOULD have put in the mail three days ago must be paid. TODAY. So once she is comfortable sitting upon her throne in the salon, I'm off to keep her from receiving a late charge on her next bill. With that done, I'm off to return the OLD NAVY jacket she bought two weeks ago that she has now decided fits too tight across her breasticles. I'm to check see if they have a larger jacket and exchange if possible. They don't have the larger size, and credit our account.

"She who must be obeyed's" errands completed, I check my watch... it's 5:20 P.M., and I now have 2-1/2 hours to do anything I want, (except be home doing what I want.)
But the mall is an interesting place to be, and a great place to get a feel for how life is unfolding.
The Beauty Salon is full-to-overflowing...
All chairs full, with a waiting list and at least one person for each chair waiting outside for their turn. But the rest of the mall is a different story. I take into consideration that it is dinner time, and walk to the food court. There are spaces for eight vendors in this court. Six of them are vacant. In the two that are open, the employees are standing idle, looking bored. Forty tables with four chairs each in the court, there are three individual couples seated and eating. The place is so empty it echos.
There is little activity at the Movie Theatre.

I use Sara Jean's method to determine if people are buying... Are they carrying bags full of merchandise?
No. Most of the people walking around are kids, "seeing and being seen". There are a few "Mall-Walkers"... folks obviously walking for exercise with no intent to help the economy.

I take notice of the stores-
"Steve and Barry's"... closed.
Two jewelry stores... closed.
Two bookstores... closed.
The Game Arcade... closed.
My favorite restaurant in the mall... closed.
Maybe 15 percent of the stores in the mall are boarded up and dark. I look around in the stores that are open like Macy's and wonder how, with so few customers, they can even afford to keep the store so well-lit, much less pay all the employees standing around talking to one another.

Bargains?
Not much on sale... it's like all stores have cut prices to the bone and realize there is no more "fat" to cut... they are hanging on for dear life and hoping the masses are on their way to make the cash registers ring.

It's pretty depressing. I can't imagine how retailers are feeling in this environment.
If our mall is any indicator of the future of our economy, we're in for a rough ride.

12 February 2009

Marooned!

We're trapped!
Well, not yet. But we will be at some point in the future, if we don't take action now.

You know about Big Bubba's association with the Science Fiction industry. Over the years we've watched a lot of stuff "warping" its way through or docked in space. I always snigger when I see the battles and watch spacecraft exploding into a thousand pieces, then turn to my son and ask, "how long will all that debris be a danger out there?"

This week my question took on new urgency. Two satellites
collided in space over Siberia. Scientists are now trying to determine the dangers to other spacecraft, and initial thoughts are that there's not much danger to the International Space Station or to the upcoming Shuttle launch. They are concerned about the Hubble Space Telescope and are looking at whether a change in orbit is necessary there.
Apparently this is the fourth collision of space stuff, the other collisions being of little note.

But we all know the likelihood of this sort of thing happening increases as more and more stuff is put into orbit. How long before the debris field is such that human travel in space will be impossible because we can't safely negotiate the debris field?

And a question I haven't seen answered anywhere so far...
When two objects collide 450 miles above the surface of the earth, how long before gravity pulls that garbage back home? (One of the above mentioned satellites had a nuclear reactor aboard.)
I bet it'll take two kinds of forever for that debris to burn up in the atmosphere!

Pre-Valentines Day Love, In An Odd Way

If you, like me, have an elderly loved one (or two, or more), I think it's important for you to read this, and even more important that you read the comments there.
I learned something.
I learned love may come in a strange package.

Mom, I love you.

Abraham Lincoln At Gettysburg

Today is President Lincoln's birthday.
Hated and mocked by much of the Nation when he took office, few would now argue he is one of our greatest Presidents... some put him at the top of the heap.
We used to think his birthday was important enough we celebrated by allowing our kids to stay home from school!

At Gettysburg, on ground soaked by the blood of 51,000 men, where, conservatively, 3,000 died, Lincoln was moved to speak these words:

..."It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

Government of the people. Government by the people. Government FOR the people.
We needed to honor those dead by insuring our freedoms are not denied.
Government
OF THE PEOPLE?
Government BY THE PEOPLE?

Murtha? Rangel? Dodd? Franks?

What the Hell went wrong?

11 February 2009

Australian Brush Fire Victim



Narrative for the video-
He said he was in the middle of backburning at Mirboo North when he saw the stricken koala. 'I could see she had sore feet and was in trouble, so I pulled over the fire truck. She just plonked herself down, as if to say 'I'm beat', he said."

"I offered her a drink and she drank three bottles."

Wash Your Brain Out With This-

Paul Harvey coined the phrase I used as title for this post.
I hope you've seen my post "The list". If not, I've bumped it to just below this one, so go read it and the comments there, then come back here.

Reading my list, Blogpal
ThirdWaveDave had a memory tweak, and emailed with a link to Anna's post from a couple years back.
How in the world did you remember that, Dave?
(I'm glad you did!)

Go read, then comment...
How would the world be different if Hollywood returned to a 1941 attitude?

10 February 2009

Sully, And His Airbus-

I just received an email from a fellow pilot (Thanks Ted), about the "Hudson Glider", that brought a few questions to mind.

By now we've all had a chance to review the videos and hear the radio transmissions...
We all agree that the crew of flight 1549 did a great job...
no dispute there.
But what about the aircraft? Did it do its job, or was it part of the problem?

Pilots are opinionated.
Pilots are not afraid to share their opinions with others, particularly with other pilots. You've seen comments from "Big Iron" pilots here, comparing similar products from Airbus Industries and Boeing. I've flown as a passenger in both, and so long as the machinery is working as it's supposed to, flying in either aircraft is a satisfactory experience.
But the guys that fly them, particularly those with experience in both types?
In my experience, most prefer the Boeing.
I'm WAY out of my area of expertise here.
TWD, maybe you can forward this post to Rudy or Vic and see if they'll drop by and express an opinion?

First, go read this discussion.
Now my questions-
Aren't the new Boeings also "Fly-By-Wire"? Is there any mechanical connection between the cockpit throttle controls and the fuel controls?
Same question for the flight controls, although I think I already know the answer.
And if, as I believe to be the case, there is NO mechanical connection between the cockpit and the actual "do the work" parts of the airplane, how is the new Boeing equipment significantly different from the Airbus?
Is the attitude of the computer engineers different? Does Boeing grant more authority to the guy manipulating the controls?
Please, someone who knows... help us understand!

Anonymous Comments-

From my post "The List" below-

Anonymous said...
Well, I'll be. It's Grey beard McCarthy. Witch hunts against people who disagree with you. The waaaaaah generation continues to whiiiine.

Isn't that adult?
I'm not trying to deny the freedoms of anyone on my list.
I'm not accusing them of anything I can't prove.
I'm just trying to adjust behavior in the only way I can here... through the pocketbook. This commenter compares me to McCarthy and says I'm a whimpering whiner.
Does this comment bring anything of value to the table?

I don't like anonymous comments.
I'm no computer whiz, but I'm learning as quickly as I can. I have learned there is much information available through the sitemeter...
For instance you can find that someone uses Comcast as their ISP.
You can find the ISP is based in, say, Wilmington, DE., home of our extraordinary new Vice President, Joe Biden.
You can also find the IP address of the computer the individual is using.
So even "anonymous" comments- aren't really.
I publish them sometimes, as was the case here, because they show how sophomoric some folks are.
I publish many of them because they actually add to the discussion.
But the quality of discussion with those on the left has degraded. Their attempt to usurp power and deny other's freedoms, as shown by the Rahm Emmanuel video, is out in the open and getting a little scary.

From now on, "Anonymous" comments will be subject to closer scrutiny. You stand a better chance of having your anonymous comment published if you assign some sort of name to it, so I can begin to mate IP addresses with legitimate commenters.
Stupid, truly anonymous comments will probably end up "gleefully rejected" and in the dust bin.

So there.

08 February 2009

Twelve Hour Shifts

To be clear, I'm no longer working straight nights.
My shift opposite got his real estate agent's license three years ago.
He's a hard-driver and started working toward getting his broker's license immediately. He had just passed that test when the broker in his office quit.
...Right place at the right time... He's now the new broker, though he knows nothing of the job. (Boy, does that sound like someone else right now!)
He needed some days free to do his job as broker.
So like ALL the other pilots in the company I now work one shift of days, the next nights. I hate getting up while it's still dark.
I hate working days.

January was tough.
We normally get airborne three times in 24 hours. And that normally works out to one day flight and two night flights, which, while I was working nights, was just fine with me.
But about half of January passed with the BK in the hangar.
Snow, sleet, ice, drizzle, freezing drizzle/rain, fog...
Our base ended the month with 40 flights. (That pays the bills, but we're unaccustomed to sitting that much.)

February has been about the same...
As I write this on the 8th, we have thirteen flights-
Eight hospital to hospital transfers,
Three Children's specialty team transfers,
and two scene flights.
I'm now in the third day of my six days in a row. Day one, the phone didn't ring. Day two, I was on standby for a motorcycle accident in the morning, then again for an ATV accident in the afternoon. Neither converted.
It's now just afternoon of day three, and I just checked the phone again to make sure it's working. (There is a dial tone.)

Since we are short a pilot at this time, I spend 1/3 of my life either at this base or carrying the helicopter around on my back. No one complains about the facility... we have a nice kitchen with all the bells and whistles, boys and girls bathrooms, community room with TV, VCR/DVD player, an individual recliner and a sofa with two reclining segments. Pilot, Nurse, and Paramedic all have individual bedrooms to retreat to if you want a nap or just want to be alone. There is one computer in the community room, and another in the pilot's room... both have fast internet connections, and we are allowed to surf all we want, within normal limits.

And that's what I've done for two days now... check here to see if anyone has commented, publish those that have, surf the 'net, check to see if anyone has commented...
Isn't that sad?

But yesterday I went to a site I hadn't checked in a while...
A site devoted to Army Flight School. I was mainly looking for long-lost friends. But I got caught up in reading some of the comments others left there...
Sons and daughters who lost their Dads and are looking to fill in some blanks.
Wives, doing the same.
Old men like me, trying to find old buddies.

Two comments struck me enough that I got out pen and paper and copied their email addresses-
One was from a Donut Dolly. You're probably familiar with their mission, but if not you can read about it here. During my tour in Viet Nam it always impressed me how many folks were willing to risk their lives there in non-combat roles... the Donut Dollies and USO shows are two that come to mind. No, they didn't normally get shot at, (but sometimes they did, as you can see from the link). And they certainly were subject to the same dangers we all were exposed to while at base camp... mortars and rockets. I had the greatest respect for them.

So I emailed "Susan", hoping her email address was still active, and thanked her for taking the extra risk, and for bringing a little joy to my life during a time when I was young, frightened, and homesick as Hell.
She must have been sitting at her computer because she responded right away. She said I "made her day", and went on about her respect for the helicopter crews. Turns out she was at Pleiku, Viet Nam just after I left there.
She's a life member of the Viet Nam Helicopter Pilot's association of Florida and attends many of the conventions. Maybe one day we'll meet in person!

The other note that touched me was from a guy that started flight school, and got about 50 hours in the Hughes TH-55, our primary trainer. He was prior service (Marines), and when they started the de-escalation of the war they simply told him they didn't need him anymore.
Bye-bye.
He cared enough... was excited enough to volunteer to become a "human target" in the helicopter, and halfway through his primary training they sent him home.
This guy would be welcomed with open arms at any of our conventions and I told him so. He's reluctant... I guess I would be too. But he lives in a major city, and if there is a convention held there anytime soon he'll be attending as my guest, I'll promise you that!

That was yesterday. I left my own message at the site with my current email address. Today I got a note from my crew chief at Pleiku. I responded and am now waiting for his return response.
So sitting here bein' a little bored has paid off in an odd way. I'm glad to have the time to explore the web while waiting for the phone to ring.
Remember, "EMS" can mean "Earn Money Surfing"!

Here's A Tip!

Where can I buy these in bulk?


They'd be great to give to panhandlers... Here's your "Hope and Change!" Waitpersons too, if they were obvious Obama supporters.
UPDATE:
Over at Instapundit one of the commenters remarks:
“I couldn’t help but notice that the Obama dollar is only worth 30 cents.”
Sad, but true.

07 February 2009

Open Mouth- Insert Foot, Ankle, Leg...

Now it's Val Kilmer.
I'm finding this one hard to believe, but apparently he has a history of stupid, self-centered comments. Say it ain't so, Iceman!
Wanta bet what political party he's affiliated with?

Apparel Evolution


You're lookin' at a piece of clothing that first made me really realize what was about to happen in my life. It was all kind of a blur... I had signed up to go to flight school. Me, Ole Prairie Dog, and a couple other guys from our OCS class had traveled to Ft. Wolters, Texas to begin our primary flight training. Putting on our flight jackets... and looking like real aviators... that was when the full realization of what was about to happen to us became apparent.

I've worn a jacket similar to that one now for 41 years. A jacket almost exactly like the one in the photo hangs in my closet today. The jacket I wear when I fly the BK117 is very similar, differing in that it is made of fire-resistent Nomex, and it is black in color with reflective strips on the back. The pockets in the one I wear
at work have zippers instead of snaps. But look at the left sleeve. See the vertical zipper there?
My new jacket also has that same zipper...
It's the cigarette pocket.

I have never smoked. I've probably owned a dozen or so jackets similar to the one in the picture, but I have never had a pack of cigarettes in that pocket.
I'm at work today and I just checked... my spare pair of earplugs are in there, alongside a small Swiss Army knife. They are there just because the pocket is there and I hate for it to be empty.

But I was thinking on my way to work this morning...

"How much extra does it cost to put that pocket on all the flight jackets being produced today? What percentage of aviators today actually smoke? What company will be the first to realize they can cut costs by eliminating the (unnecessary?) pocket?"
I bet they're gone within ten years.

And that led me to another thought...
My Dad always smoked, and he always used
Zippo lighters.
I bet the old ones will have collector value at some point in the
not-too-distant future.

05 February 2009

Personal Economic Stimulus-

Okay, we're being told massive spending will cure our economic ills, right?
Are you doing your part? Don't be selfish now... your neighbors are depending on you! That money you were thinking of putting in your IRA?
C'mon! Why are you so selfish?!!
Time for a re-think...
That's a good down payment on a crappy car made by a U.A.W. worker!

Me?
Well, I'm still paying off Big Bubba's college bills, and after paying those I have enough left over for the dollar menu at McDonald's.
Well, that's not REALLY true... I DID "pull the trigger" on a few purchases this past week-

My weight still is, and I guess always will be, a problem. I'm carrying about 15 extra pounds around my torso. Chatting with one of my sharper paramedics a few weeks ago produced a revelation-
My fat is hard. And I mean rock hard. If you poke my obviously slightly-too-large stomach, there's no "nerf ball" feel there. I carry my extra weight well. My paramedic says that is because my fat is beneath the layer of muscle tissue, and added something that got my attention:
Carrying fat that way is the worst... it's a big indicator for heart attacks. Ouch.

My crazy schedule makes healthy eating a near-impossibility. Exercise is the answer, but who has the time for that? Then it was time for me to have a revelation...
Last week I bought one of
these. I wear it while doing my normal routine and it forces my body to burn extra calories. I'm hopeful it will also strengthen my legs. The first couple days I wore it I could definitely feel a little strain, so I'm feeling the extra work. It has a little pocket for an MP3 player, and it has reflectors on front and back so I can wear it even at night when Sara Jean and I start our daily walks when Spring weather comes.

I've been looking at Netbook computers for a while. More tech-savvy than me "nec T" blogged favorably about one I had considered. Then Sara Jean, as always, watching QVC, brought my attention to this one. (No, I got it in white!) It comes with a built in Wifi card, webcam, and a ton of software I'm not sure I'll use. But with FOUR EASY PAYMENTS of $99, how could I not get out my credit card and help my fellow man?!
At the end of the month we're leaving to visit Big Bubba in Mesa for a week. I'll give you a blow-by-blow review of my impressions during that sojourn.

And last, but not least, I let my paranoid side take control of my purse-strings.
It's just insurance mind you, but the old saying, "Better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it!" applies here...

I bought this evil looking thing. Other than a 16-gauge shotgun and a couple .22 rimfire rifles, this is the only long gun I own. In the near future I foresee the purchase of another shotgun and a rifle capable of accuracy at longer ranges, just in case that's necessary.
Tomorrow I'll be stimulating the economy by buying 500 rounds of ammo for the Carbine.

So I'm doin' my part. Now tell us...

What are you doing to help your neighbor economically?

04 February 2009

Most Dangerous Nursing Job?

Emily claims she has it.
I think there can be little argument.

Some of you remember at the time I started flying EMS in 1986 I had been flying helicopters for 18 years. Looking around at my peers at the time, I was surrounded mostly by Viet Nam Veterans. The Helicopter EMS business was exploding and competition for flights was fierce.
Some operations pressured their pilots to "just go out and give it a try", meaning go ahead and take off and see what the real weather conditions are.
And the accident statistics reflected how stupid that was...
1987 was a terrible, record-breaking year.

Now I've been flying the air ambulance going on 23 years. I've been flying helicopters longer than most of my fellow workers have been alive and I have the gray hair to prove it.

Emily's post gives you the recent numbers... the past year has been horrible and as an industry we've once again drawn negative attention to ourselves.
As always, many of those accidents happened either at night, in bad weather, or at night in bad weather. And therein lies the answer to the problem so far as I'm concerned.
To make our industry safer we need to remember Nancy Reagan's exhortation...
"JUST SAY NO!"

The flying business has lots of valuable cliches-
There's an old cliche I frequently repeat to our new pilots:
"It's better to be on the ground wishing you were in the air than to be in the air wishing you were on the ground."
And those of us with lots of hours in our logbook know just how true that is. When that flight request comes in, those of us with fat logbooks know to listen to our gut-
...Night time?
...Weather iffy? (What's the trend?)
...Are ya tired?
...Just woke up and runnin' mostly on instinct?
JUST SAY NO!

Government agencies are now gonna review last year's accidents and try to come up with resolutions to our problems. When their review is done they will issue recommendations, some of those in the form of new regulations. I'm sure some of those will be valid and necessary. But some of them will cost a ton of money and will run small operators out of business, to the detriment of the small markets they serve. Therefore, some patients will suffer too.

I truly believe most of our safety issues could be resolved if we could, as a group, put peer pressure on one another...
"You want to fly in that? What in the world are you thinking?"

Turning down a flight, for whatever reason, may cost a little money in lost revenue.
Crashing a multi-million dollar machine and killing all aboard costs a ton of money right now, and results in more industry-wide regulation that costs EVERYONE more money in the long run.
And it seems to me such an easy problem to fix:

JUST SAY NO!

03 February 2009

Gone X2

My wife drives me nuts sometimes.
She has "invisible antennae", and can sense a phony two States away.
Me? I'm clueless. I'm the guy that likes everyone and ends up wondering why I lent money to someone who very obviously had no intention of repaying me.

My point in sharing that thought is that Sara Jean and me, as a couple, have difficulty finding couples we both like. I generally like 'em all... she's much more selective.

"Carrie Ann" was a neonatal/pediatric transport nurse when I first started flying EMS 22 years ago. I liked her instantly.
"Andy" was a pilot that worked for a local helicopter charter service. When he accrued enough hours to hire on with our company, I was pleased to have him aboard with us. I was even more pleased when he and Carrie Ann started dating, then married.

I liked them both.
Sara Jean liked them both.
As often as our conflicting schedules would allow, the four of us would meet and visit over dinner.
When their daughter was born we were invited to all the special occasions, knowing our schedule would bar our attendance.

Years passed. We were invited to and attended two house warming parties. We annually bought Girl Scout cookies from the daughter. Life proceeded normally.

We met for dinner at "The Olive Garden". Good food, great company... we stayed overly long when our meal was gone to catch up on one another's news. Smiles and laughter... all seemed well.
Three days later the phone rang...
"Greybeard, I have bad news. Andy and Carrie Ann are dead."

Of course your immediate thought is- car accident.
"How?"
A sigh and deep breath at the other end of the line...
"He shot her, then shot himself."

Knees buckle...
Confusion...
Tears.

"Why?!"

"We don't know yet. Their daughter was outside... heard the shots. She's okay."

...And we still don't know exactly what happened.
There was very little on the news about the incident. I'm told it's normal for a blanket to be thrown over incidents like this to protect the surviving children. But the question will continue to drive me crazy because we tragically lost one of the few couples we enjoyed socializing with...

Why, why, why?

02 February 2009

Funny, Unfunny?

With all the fuss, I'm sure you've already seen this:



Do you find that funny?
Can you explain WHY that kind of behavior is funny, 'cause I find it disturbing and not funny at all.
How do you suppose independent vendors feel about the ad?

Obama's Misery, February 2009 Update

This is the first of my monthly updates on the U.S. "Misery Index" during "The One's" administration. Surprisingly, he's doing a great job so far...
It's down today from my last check, from 7.77 to 7.29 percent.
If this trend holds, at some point I'll have to admit once again to being WRONG!
... And I'll do that gladly.

01 February 2009

The Pledge?

A quick caution to Liberals-
This guy will make your head implode:




Thanks for the tip, Rita!