30 January 2013

House of Cards

An economist I trust is now saying our "actual" deficit for the last fiscal year will turn out to be somewhere in the neighborhood of 6.9 TRILLION dollars. And, as if that wasn't extraordinary enough, our national "leaders" are doing nothing to get the situation under control...
On the contrary, they're pouring gasoline on the fire.

People, it's just a question of time until this untenable situation becomes obvious even to the most ardent Obama supporter. And I fear that time is just around the corner.
Do what you can to protect yourself and your family.

Or don't.

25 January 2013

And Then There Was One.

It's my birthday.
I am 66 years of age today, and eligible for full Social Security benefits.
Coincidentally, tonight happens to be my last night at a job I have been doing for over 26 years.
I have always loved this job because I feel God has used my talents to help others.
I love the flying.
I love the professionals I work with.
But the entire medicine-related industry is changing, and I fear it will change dramatically over the next months. And on the "pluses and minuses scale", those changes are making the job less and less satisfying.

And then there is that undeniable "66 years old" detail, (and the 45 years of being subjected to a VERY noisy environment thing)...
Two years ago I got tired of not being able to read tower frequencies off my charts at night and succumbed to wearing glasses all the time.
I drive my fellow employees nuts with the volume on the aircraft's radios and the community TV because I'm more and more deaf.
So it's time to hang it up.

I have LOVED THIS JOB so, and walking out the door Saturday morning will be one of the hardest things I've ever done. But I want to leave while my med-crews are sad to see me go.
It's time.
Turn the page.


19 January 2013

Inger


Pretty?
Undeniably.
But not "Drop dead gorgeous"... just "girl-next-door" pretty.
For me there was something about her. A good actress,  
I "believed" her in all her roles.
There was something else though...
I fell in love with her. 

We often hear others say similar things describing Norma Jeane... a vulnerability that motivates men to protect a frightened gal. But Marilyn had blockbuster relationships with Joe DiMaggio, then Arthur Miller. 
I knew NOTHING of Inger Stevens personal life. But there was something about her that gave off the "prey animal" vibe. 
Maybe it was the fact that she was sick during much of her early years. Maybe her parents' divorce when she was nine tore a hole in her heart.
 

When I learned of her death in 1970, I was surprised how sad I felt.
Do we all go through the "If only I could have known her personally and shown her how much others really care about her" feelings?
Well, I did.
And when I look at her images or see her onscreen, large or small, my "protect" instincts are still stirred.

Inger...
I wish I could have known you.
But I was just a kid.

11 January 2013

Surviving?

If you've not already read the post below, read it now to understand my comments here.

Some time ago a female blogger started coming by here, leaving an intelligent comment now and then. I started reading her blog and we became "blogfriends". But it quickly became obvious there was a huge difference in our attitudes and outlook on life, particularly when the subject came to guns, and defending our families.
I tried to play the "Mama Grizzly" game with her...
"If your family was threatened, you'd come out with nails and fangs bared!"
But her response was that if the world sank to that level, she'd sooner be dead than use a firearm to kill another person, even a murderer.

I think most can imagine, IF we have a national emergency, society will break down. If there is no money to pay or otherwise reward them, I would think most Law Enforcement Officers would walk away from their posts to go home to protect their own families. (And if our machines break down or fuel is not available for them, those farther from work than walking distance will not make it to their jobs no matter what.)

But what about prisons?
What happens to the Jeffrey Dahmers, the Hannibal Lecters, the John Wayne Gacys of the world? Will prison officials summarily execute these people rather than turn them loose on the populace?
Maybe. Maybe not.
But some of them will be amongst us, preying on the weak and infirm.
And some of them will group together for mutual support.

Food and water, for those who have not prepared, will be a problem.
Food and water, for those of us who HAVE prepared, will be a problem.
To keep it, we'll have to defend it. We may THINK we can do that...
But what if we are faced with overwhelming numbers?
Then we might all feel my blogfriend had the right idea... we'd be better off just putting our own gun to our head.

And then there is the long-term scenario...
When there is NO food left, what happens then?
Donner Pass? The Andes Survivors?
Does desperation stoop to the level of hunting others simply for their caloric value?
We shudder.
But is it better to have thought about such things, to at least try to figure a way to surmount them?
Or do we just say, "I'd rather be dead"?

I still want to fight 'til my last breath.
But my last breath might come in a different way than I had originally thought.

10 January 2013

Kooks Like Me


I'm about halfway through reading it.
The idea that all our machines will be rendered inoperative by an Electromagnetic Pulse set me to wondering...
What would I have to do to my Dodge/Cummins diesel truck to make it EMP-proof?
Researching that lead me to a couple sites that think the possibility of our cars and trucks being disabled is a bunch of hooey. I'm gonna do further research... maybe one of you has good advice?

But the book is an interesting read. EMP, massive Hurricane, New Madrid fault shake, major epidemic, or economic collapse, the book helped me think of things I want to stock up on that I hadn't considered...
Soap, both bath and laundry.
Bleach.
Alcohol, rubbing and drinking. (I DID already know that booze and cigarettes will be in high demand and will be great for barter, as will surplus ammo, but hadn't considered rubbing alcohol for wound cleaning and other uses.)
Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Neosporin.
I'm sure there will be other revelations, and I'll share them when I'm finished with it.

In the meantime, if you, like me, are a Prepper-kook, grab yourself a copy...
At the very least it will remind you how wonderful it is to flip a light switch or push "start" on a microwave!

09 January 2013

Camp Enari

My first post in Viet Nam was with the 4th Infantry Division's general support aviation battalion at "Camp Enari", Pleiku. I've often wondered how the camp got its name, and was never in a position to research it when the question came to mind.
This afternoon, on my two-mile walk, I determined I would find the answer when I returned to the computer.
The answer to my question is interesting enough to share with you, my blog-friends.

Heroes, ALL.

04 January 2013

Forest/Trees

The wind was VERY high when I landed to refuel at our base...
So high I didn't want to try to turn my tail into it in order to position the aircraft on the pad normally.
Nose pointed into the wind I landed, secured the aircraft, got out to see how much room I still had between hangar and tail-feathers, then buckled myself back into the aircraft to move it backwards another three feet so the fuel hose would be able to reach my fuel tank.
I then got out of the helicopter again and started to take the shortest route to the fuel pump...
Through the (nearly invisible) tail rotor.
Encounters with a helicopter tail rotor are violent, bloody, and almost universally fatal.
I was within two feet of being sliced and diced when I stopped short and realized my familiarity with this complex machine had almost ended in disaster.

Virtually everyone I know is fascinated by helicopters. I've now been flying them for 45 years, yet when I hear the sound of one approaching I will, if possible, drop what I'm doing and race outside to identify the machine and watch it pass... fascinated.
Just doing what they normally do, they are amazing.
And we who use them all the time are as familiar and comfortable with them as you are with your car.

Forty-five years of flying helicopters...
More than 26 of those years have been spent flying in the EMS role.
I spend more time with a cyclic in my right hand than I do with a steering wheel in both.
So you may understand how easy it is for me to say I've never considered my job really dangerous.
I've done it almost half my life now.
I do it well.
I take the inherent dangers in stride and accept them as part of the job.

And then LIFE slaps you in the face, and you get reminded that being more than a few feet off the ground isn't normal.
Moving across that firmament at 150 miles per hour isn't something humans were designed to do.
Flying high above the ground at 150 miles per hour, in the dark of night, with uncertain weather outside that complex aircraft can begin to be overwhelming.
So, now and then, aircraft and terra-firma come together violently.
And the rest of us in aviation take note, try to learn why, and continue to do the job.
But...

When it hits close to home, it's SO HARD.
When you hear they are all gone and realize you have shaken that hand, seen that smile, shared a story or two about mutual acquaintances, it's SO HARD.

We lost two aircraft this week.
Thankfully one of the accidents, although serious, wasn't fatal.
But the other took the lives of three good people... three folks taking what they felt were acceptable risks necessary to help others.
And they're all gone.
One of 'em, the pilot, was someone I had smiled with, shared stories with, knew to be a good guy.
Losing anyone in one of these accidents is tragic.
But knowing you will never again see that smile is an emotional blow that's like losing family.

They died trying to help others.
They knew being high above the ground going 150 miles per hour entailed risk.
And one of my hopes is, when we learn what happened here, the rest of us will be able to walk out, start the helicopter, and do the job more safely, remembering these wonderful, caring people.

Rest in peace, Med-Trans.
I'm glad I can remember the smiles.