27 November 2011

Better Than A Dirty Diaper!

I am not a big Newt fan. There are things about him that trouble me A LOT. As others have pointed out he comes with his own set of "baggage". His recent immigration comments make me cringe. But I have also said many times recently, a feces-filled baby's diaper could do a better job as POTUS than the present golfer in the White House. And if that's my only choice versus Obama, the soiled diaper will get my vote.

Viewing this video will consume less than ten minutes of your life.
Watch it.
Then, in the comments, tell me if
it doesn't give you hope for the future of our beloved country.

24 November 2011

Face- Updated

I'm a sucker for a beautiful face.
This one stunned me.
No, it's not a young Bo Derek.
You may know her if you're into historical trivia.
Hers is a fascinating story! (WWII Germany)

Know her?

24November Update-
Both "The History Channel" and "The Military Channel" have had a lot of programming devoted to Nazi Germany and the steps leading to World War II lately. Regular readers know I see many comparisons with that era and what is going on in the U.S.A. right now. (In his comment to the post just below this one, Ed Bonderenka points out that the Nazi party started out as community organizers. Start the spooky music now!)

One of the programs I watched was devoted to the fact that many Nazi leaders (certainly including Hitler) were interested in the occult, and thought ancient civilizations could not have accomplished their great works without the aid of "other world" beings. We've seen some of this interest portrayed in movies like "Raiders of The Lost Ark".

The face above belongs to a gal named Maria Orsic (or Orsitsch). She was a member of a post-WWI group called "The Vril Society". They wanted to know how the ancients, in their buildings and art, could accomplish things impossible (or nearly impossible) to accomplish today.
I think we still have much to learn from history. I think we are a LONG way from having all the answers. If you agree, click the links and read some more about the Vril, and the beautiful gal who mysteriously disappeared from the face of the earth in 1943.

14 November 2011


I'm watching a program on the military channel illuminating Adolf Hitler's life just prior to and during World War II. There is a saying out there that the first person to bring up Adolf Hitler in a political conversation is the loser.
So I guess I'm a loser here. But there are many interesting comparisons going on right now for those with eyes that see and ears that hear. And while I was watching the program this morning, this one struck me-

Hitler had signed a "non-agression" treaty with Russia. When it became politically expedient to forget his promises, Hitler ignored that treaty and invaded Russia. All went well until Winter time when Germany's offense was stifled more by the weather than the Russian defense. Russian soldiers, knowing what the weather could bring, were FAR better prepared to deal with Mother Nature than their German counterparts. Hitler's top military advisers suggested a retreat... with the hope of "living to fight another day" against troops that obviously were better prepared to fight in those conditions.
Hitler, ego bigger than the superdome, ignored his advisers and issued a statement saying something to the effect that German soldiers, being German, were better than Russian soldiers and should hold their ground until Spring when they could once again wipe the floor with the ignorant Russians.

And we history buffs know how that turned out.

It's an interesting study...
An egomaniac doesn't want to admit he might be wrong so he blames his failures on others, in spite of the fact those others, (who were smarter than he on these matters), tried to save his bacon by giving him VERY good advice which he ignored.

In the White House now we have a guy with a pretty big ego.
In spite of having done pretty much nothing of note since being born half-white, he's been surrounded by sycophants all his life telling him how "cool" he is...
How smart he is...
What a wonderful speaker he is...
And our President(?) is convinced of his own greatness, not smart enough to listen to that adviser whispering in his ear.

Now we find the reason our economy is failing is because
we are lazy.
Yeah, it's not his fault. And his advisors are just stupid.

Is it too late?
Who is smart enough to listen to the whisperer?
I fear we are not.
So to those of you with ears that hear-
Be prepared.
Listen to the whisper...
There is almost nothing to lose by preparing, but there is MUCH to lose by ignoring the many signals.

12 November 2011

Retire? I'll Miss The Good Outcomes. I Won't Miss The Injured Kids.

I walk a tightrope here much of the time.
I'm frequently involved in stuff that makes the news...
"So-and-so was involved in a head on collision last night and was taken by helicopter to such and such medical center where he remains in critical but stable condition."
And if I give you too many details about the case, I might find myself talking to a lawyer.
But my job involves real drama much of the time. And that's particularly true when young-un's are involved.

Last night was one of those nights. At some point in the future I hope to tell you about it. But for now, let me relate a story about a similar case that happened long ago enough I likely won't get my butt in trouble telling you-

We were called to the scene. Paramedics were there and knew this was one of those situations where "seconds count". The patient was a four year old boy. He had gone out into the family's garage and against one wall was his Dad's tool chest that looked somewhat like this:

There was something at the top of that chest this boy wanted. So he pulled the lower drawers out and used them as steps to reach the top. His weight, combined with the weight of the tools in the box, toppled it over, crushing him beneath it.
My crew quickly did what was necessary...
Established a secure airway.
Started an IV.
We loaded and transported him the short distance to the Children's hospital.
There, they immediately took him to the operating room where they found he had a badly torn aorta and other internal injuries.
He died.

My kid last night was not so terribly injured, and it's my hope he'll have a much better outcome.
And I hope his parents don't beat themselves up with guilt.

10 November 2011

Motorcycle Road Racing

March of 1971-
I had just bought my new
500cc Kawasaki, so it was just natural I'd be rooting for Kaw riders. Daytona was just five or so hours away and I had never been to "Bike Week". I mounted my new bike and headed South out of Savannah on I-95.

If you like motorcycles, Daytona Bike Week is nearly heaven. I've never been to Sturgis so I cannot compare the two, but my image of Sturgis is that it is mostly a Harley-Davidson event.
Daytona is different. Sure, there are plenty of Harleys there but that Saturday night, standing on a street corner oogling the bikes as they stopped at the traffic signal, I saw just about every motorcycle made to be ridden on the street, including the one and only
Munch Mammoth I have ever seen in person... one of the first motorcycles ever built with an engine designed for an automobile.

Sunday morning dawned and the weather was perfect. I got to the track early and was amazed at what I saw...
The speed of the bikes was just unbelievable. They were hitting almost 200 m.p.h. on the banked part of the track, then they had to brake heavily to slow and enter the twisty infield portion of the course. (Just a few years after my visit the bikes had gotten so fast that tires could not be made to withstand the forces put on them, so a chicane was installed in the middle of the backstretch to slow the bikes down.)

Other Kaw riders I had talked to were buzzing about this rookie-expert Kawasaki rider- Rusty Bradley. He was fast. He had a good ride. He was someone I needed to watch.
Most of the Kawasakis were painted Lime Green. I picked him out... number 64.

There were so many bikes competing in the race they started them in two waves...
The fastest group of about twenty roared off, then a few seconds later the second group followed. I watched in awe as Rusty passed several machines on the back side of the track, then came down the front straight where he'd need to clamp on the binders in order to make the left turn into the infield.
I still don't know for sure what happened.
He fell.
Right in front of me.
Still traveling at about 150 m.p.h.
It was horrible. He log-rolled, over and over and over. His arm would flail out until the weight of his body would bear down on it and it would fold under him just as the other arm would get free and would flail out.
It seemed he rolled forever before coming to a stop. Then he laid there lifeless. To the guy
I had befriended in the seat next to mine I said, "He's dead".

They waited until the end of the race to announce what I already knew...
Rusty was gone.

To me, motorcycle road racing is the most beautiful, dangerous sport in the world. Unlike car racing, the riders are exposed so you can see how they manipulate their machines to make them do what they have to do...
Hang their butts off the machine to the left or right to lower the center of gravity so the bikes can reach a lean angle (and at a speed) that just seems impossible. On the straights, they tuck down behind the windshield making themselves as small as they can in order to reduce drag. Then approaching a turn they sit upright to catch the wind on their chest to provide an aerodynamic assist to the brakes.
It's a gorgeous ballet.

Two weeks ago, the same weekend Dan Wheldon was killed at Las Vegas, a young man named
Marco Simoncelli fell during the Moto GP race in Sepang, Malaysia and was struck by two other riders. He had terrible head, neck, and other injuries and did not survive.
The video of the accident is hard to watch.
It took me back to 1971 and made me think of

Motorcycle road racing is a beautiful thing to watch.
And I cannot deny it...
Part of my fascination with it is because it is SO dangerous.
And, like so many things in life, those who live "out on the edge" sometimes pay the heavy toll.

But they come back the next week, suit up in their protective gear, and go try to extend the envelope once again.

And I'll be watching and enjoying, knowing how hard it is to do what they make look so easy.

07 November 2011

Making Do

Use it up. Wear it out.
This economy is forcing a lot more people into this mode of thinking, isn't it? One of the things I will proudly tell others is, "That butt you see hanging outside the dumpster is probably mine!" I NEVER go to a dumpster without checking to see what perfectly usable item others have thrown away. (And wonder, why didn't they consider giving it to the Salvation Army or Goodwill?)

But this attitude can result in the kind of trouble we face right now...
The lowest mileage automobile we own now has 152,000 miles on it. Last week Sara Jean had just left home when she came back through the door...
"The steering is locked up on the car!" She had driven about half a block, then parked the car alongside the road. We walked back to the car and I jumped behind the wheel, started it, and experienced something I'd never had happen before-

From the neutral point, (driving straight ahead), to the right steering lock, everything worked fine. Moving the steering wheel from the right lock to the neutral point... fine.
But from the neutral point to the left steering lock, it was like there was no power assist at all. (And obviously, to the weaker sex that felt like the steering was locked up.)

I drove the car the short distance back home and SJ grabbed the keys to our second car, (238,000 miles) and headed off to work.
Our mechanic says the rack and pinion has failed on the newer car and the repair will be $700+.
So we're keeping our fingers crossed the older car will continue to motivate until the new car is repaired.

Buying most any new car would entail taking on the payment for the car loan... probably somewhere in the vicinity of $5- $800 per month. The cheap voice in me shouts that so long as the cars we drive are safe and are not costing us anything close to what a new car payment would be, we should just continue to drive our perfectly nice driving older cars. But just over the horizon we can see the time coming when our high-mileage cars will no longer be "nice driving" OR "safe". Were it just me, I'd just drive 'em 'til the wheels fall off and take out some roadside billboard. But I'm not willing to take that risk with my bride.

Got a better formula for when to trade?
Share it, please.

02 November 2011

On Two Wheels, Part 3- Ride As If It's Yours

In my "pre-legal" driving days as a teen I wore out certain pages of the Sears catalog...
If you are "of a certain age" like me, you'll remember the "Good/Better/Best" way Sears displayed some of their more expensive items. I wore out the motor scooter/motorcycle pages in those catalogs. Under motorcycles, "Good" was a Puch 150cc machine, "Better" was a Puch 175, and "Best" was a Puch 250. (If you're interested, there's a decent pic of the Austrian-made Sears/Puch 250 pictured here.) I'm actually glad I wasn't able to afford one of 'em because I've since learned they had a strange engine that used a system of two pistons sharing one combustion chamber. That, along with the inherent inefficiencies of two-cycle engines, made the Puchs terrible gas hogs.
I ended up buying the Aermacchi/Harley 250cc Sprint we discussed earlier.
I wanted a bigger bike, but my budget precluded me from buying one. And there was another reason I never bought a larger displacement motorcycle.

I've written before about my love for the Harley Davidson Sportster:

I love the Sportster because next to my little Sprint, I probably rode more miles on one than any other motorcycle while I was in High School.
How is that possible?
It REALLY pays to have a wealthy, generous friend! One of my best friends owned two Sportsters while we were in H.S....
An early "H" model, which was probably of 1957 or '58 vintage, which he traded on a "CH" model similar to the one shown above about the time we became Seniors.
I was able to frequently borrow both bikes and ride them almost as if they were my own.

When I came home on leave after Flight School and before departing for Viet Nam I found my friend had bought a new toy...
Another machine for which, as an early teen, I had saliva stained sales brochures:

He flipped me the keys to the Bonnie and told me to bring it back when I had to go back to playing soldier. I rode and loved that Triumph for 30 days.

I have some GREAT memories thanks to my wealthy friend.
And with friends like that, it's pretty easy to feel rich yourself.

01 November 2011

The Root of Our Problems-

New York City.

Democrats from that corner of our Nation, and those calling themselves "moderate" Republicans, have joined to royally screw up our economy.
"Fool me once"...
Have we learned anything here?

Remind me...
Where is Mitt Romney from? And what is his track record on this HORRENDOUS health care reform bill?