20 October 2012

John's "Jedi Mind Control".

I asked for advice, and you gave it.
Good advice too, I might add.
And now the safe you see above is in place in my home, kinda in spite of your advice. Lemme tell ya how that happens-
We're going South for the Winter. The idea of leaving our "armory" behind, (even for short stints now), was uncomfortable. We knew we had to buy a safe so we wouldn't be constantly worried about coming home to find the door jimmied and our valuables gone. I had done some research on my own, but hearing from folks I respect confirmed my own thoughts... For the money, the "Liberty" safe was probably the best way to resolve our problem.
So I called my gun dealer, (a fellow pilot that's now become a personal friend).

"John, I need a gun safe. Do you handle 'Liberty' safes?"

"Nope. I handle 'Browning' safes." (And in the background I hear the sound of pages being shuffled.)

"That's a shame, 'cause I'm ready to buy a 'Liberty', YESTERDAY!"

"What are you looking for in a safe?"

"The advice I'm hearing from those I respect is to buy a 'Liberty' and to buy a bigger safe than I think I'll need."

"Do you care if it's scratched?"

"John, it's gonna be in my garage and it'll get scratched within a week anyway. Why?"

"I can sell you the biggest safe 'Browning' makes today for half price. It's a 'second'... it has a scratch on it somewhere. And it's RED."

"Half price? How much is half price?"
And the price he quoted was only a slightly higher than the MUCH smaller "Liberty" I had decided to buy.

"What's the fire rating on this safe?"

"Ninety minutes."

Think. Question:
"If you'll deliver and help me put it in place for that price, order and get it on the way."

"I'll do that, but on top of the price you'll have to buy me and my delivery guys a case of beer."
It weighs almost 1400 pounds and took FOUR of us to moose it into place. A case of beer for that labor was CHEAP. (Thank you John!)

So the "RED" safe you see pictured above now resides in my garage. It's big enough that Sara Jean and I literally could get in and use it as a storm shelter. I cannot imagine we'll ever be able to use all the available space.
It ain't a "Liberty", but it's beautiful. It was priced RIGHT. And it gives us the peace of mind we need when we leave home.
I thank you for your good advice, and I'm a little embarrassed to admit I didn't use it.
Now, would you have made the same decision?

12 October 2012

Live, 'Til Ya Die.

An Expert At Every Turn

Late-fifties male.
Head bleed.
The flight to get him help will be 45 minutes in duration.

We put headphones on all our conscious patients so we can keep them informed about the progress of the flight, and get input from them on what they are feeling.
Initially, he seems like a nice guy. He's anxious... making jokes. His blood pressure is high, bad for a head bleed, but it's not so high as to cause panic and my crew is chatting with him, trying to get him to relax.

And then my opinion of him changes. Over the intercom I hear him say, "That's a problem."

My paramedic responds, "What's that?"

"See that? See that vibration? That's a problem. This helicopter either has a bearing going bad, or one of the blades is out of balance."

Paramedic- "It's a smooth night. I feel nothing out of the ordinary. Relax."

"Well, I'll tell you more about this flight when we land, but you've got a problem with this machine."

I bite my tongue and quash the impulse to ask our patient "How many hours do YOU have in the BK117?"

We soon get his number nailed though...
"My sister is a nurse at (the hospital we are taking him to)."

My flight crew... "Oh really? Which department does she work in?"

"I'm not sure. I think she's a flight nurse."
(This is possible because the receiving hospital DOES have a flight program.)

But he later confides, "You'll be surprised when you meet my sister. She's the opposite of me... weighs 300 pounds!"

That must be some POWERFUL helicopter at that program!
We've all met guys like this. I know he was probably scared to death, talking just to vent his fears.
But why are some folks compelled to stretch the truth beyond belief, trying to make themselves look like experts in everything they discuss?
I meet WAY TOO MANY of 'em in my life-journey.

04 October 2012

A Day's Ride

From Indianapolis North to the State line, Indiana, with a few exceptions, is nearly flat as a billiard table.
South of Indy the geography starts gradually changing. At first the terrain starts to undulate, but elevation changes aren't so great as to require the roads to go around hills.
Then the hills get bigger and the roads begin to resemble snakes. Just North of the Ohio river, elevation changes get pretty dramatic and the roads are heaven for motorcyclists.
I grew up just South of Indianapolis. I didn't have to venture very far to find "interesting" roads to ride on my 250cc Harley-Davidson "Sprint".

Since bikers attract bikers, it wasn't difficult to find yourself in the middle of a group of four or five guys, all headed South to find some curves. One summer day in 1963 my little Harley was surrounded by a group of friends riding a Honda, a Triumph, and an Allstate-Puch. South on Indiana Highway 135, we found ourselves carving curves in Brown County State Park. Roads in the park are smooth, wide, and traffic is relatively light. Soon we were challenging one another to see who could negotiate curves faster.

It wasn't long before we attracted the attention of Park Rangers. Stopped as a group, we surrendered our Driver's licenses and were instructed to "follow me, boys!" We soon found ourselves at the office of a local Justice of the Peace, paid a $35 fine, and were told to be on our way and "SLOW DOWN!"

The balloon had been popped and the fun of the day was gone.
We headed North for home.

About three miles from home, back on relatively flat ground, looking out ahead to the next intersection, we saw a State Police car on the right berm, lights flashing. Having just been chastised by law enforcement, we slowed down to a snail's pace. Abeam the trooper's cruiser, off the road about 30 feet, we saw a mangled Honda 50cc "Cub" just in the corn field in front of a big four-door sedan. We stopped, dismounted, and walked back toward the trooper investigating the accident.
"What happened?"

"Two sets of identical twins. Two Honda 50's. The older set of twins had their driver's licenses so one each was driving the bikes. Each of the younger set of twins was riding as passenger. The first bike was about half a mile ahead of the second, so in order to try to catch up the boys on the second bike ignored the stop sign and were T-boned by the car."
"How are the boys?"
He sighed, paused... "I think they're gone."

Even today it makes me sad to think about it.
Think of the chaos and emotion at that scene...
Two boys frantically trying to get help for their identical twin brothers.

A Summer joy ride turned into a horror because of a mistake at a blind intersection.

Life is a risk.
If you break the rules or make a mistake, you're asking for pain.
But we're human and we know we'll sometimes break the rules or make mistakes.
That's when wearing your seatbelt or wearing a helmet and gear may be the difference between livin' and dyin'.

Buckle up.
Put that ugly, uncomfortable thing on your head.