05 August 2016

Poor Poor Pitiful Me

We all have 'em...
Some of us are fortunate enough to not be married to 'em...
Joe Bftsplk.

Joe is a forgotten soul now... a cartoon character from the old "Lil' Abner" strip that ran on the funny pages of our old newspaper. Nothing good ever happened to Joe. Everywhere he walked, that dark cloud followed and made sure he didn't have a sunny day.

One of the pilots I used to work with reminded me of Joe.
He had married an attractive gal several years his junior. He used most of his savings to buy a restaurant, hoping it would not only be a financial success, but keep his pretty young wife busy (and out of trouble).
You may be ahead of me here... if you have a pretty, young wife, you may not want to leave her alone with a bunch of customers and fellow workers paying lots of attention to her.
He realized his mistake pretty quickly, but with all his savings committed, what could he do?


He'd come in to work, and for half an hour I had to put on my second hat... "therapist".
He moaned about his marriage. He worried his young wife was having an affair with the 20-yr old busboy.  He complained about the restaurant, the possible loss of his savings, and contractors not doing prompt repairs.

The situation finally got so bad I said, "Partner, I'll make ya a deal. Tomorrow I'll bring my .357 to work and we can do one of two things-
You put it to your head and blow your brains out, or I'll put it to mine." He'd smile a sad smile and nod his head.
They were divorced within a year, and he lost his job shortly thereafter.

People like this suck your energy.
They're not happy until they have chaos in their lives.
They want you to be "happy" like them too, so they share the turbulence in their lives with you.

It may be my biggest failing as a Christian... as soon as I realize I've found one of these energy-suckers, I separate myself. Sometimes that means avoiding people that are VERY close in your life. That makes it hard, but not impossible to "avoid the drain".

Do you know one of these tapeworms?
How do you handle them?


17 July 2016

Dark Skies On The Horizon

I've shared this with you before.
Now that traffic here has lessened, I realize I'm sharing it now mostly with like-minded souls.

When you are fearful your family may be in danger, will you go to work or stay home to protect them?
Cops.
Other first responders... Emt's, Paramedics, Firemen, folks who fly helicopters to accident scenes.
Folks who work at our utilities... water, electricity, etc..
What will THEY do?

I think I know the answer to that question.

This guy knows what happens.
He saw this scenario unfold in his country.
And he's warning us about what is about to happen.

Be prepared.
Or be a victim.
Your choice.

Choose wisely.

16 July 2016

We Picked 'Em Up and Took 'Em to Shelter!

             

I flew various iterations of this machine from 1968 to 1988, accruing just over 3000 hours airborne beneath that rotor during that time.

Do ya think I LOVE this bird?

15 July 2016

Winston Churchill for President!

Show me a man like Winston and I'll vote for him.
But he knew he WAS NOT ELIGIBLE.


From his speech to a joint session of Congress in December of 1941:
"By the way, I cannot help reflecting that if my father had been American and my mother British instead of the other way around, I might have got here on my own."

What happened to that "Natural Born Citizen" clause between 1941 and 2008?

Hysteria happened, that's what.

13 July 2016

About "Pitchpull":

When I decided to take the plunge and start writing here 11+ years ago, the world was such a different place.
I was a different person.

If you are even a now-and-again follower, go back and look at my post-election post about Obama in November of '08. There you'll see my concern, and hope, that he'd be a transformative leader.

My concerns have been verified.
Hope and Change... well, that was just a campaign slogan.

When Obama was re-elected in '12, Sara Jean and I both felt as if we had had a death in the family. Isn't that amazing?
We were looking at signs we felt were obvious... that the things our Fathers had fought so hard for were being tossed aside. Our country was being "fundamentally transformed" in a way that would tear the economic and moral fabric of the nation.
I coined the phrase, "The GIMMEE GENERATION".

In about 60 years we've gone from "The Greatest Generation" to "The Gimmee Generation". .
And that "Gimmee" generation feels the "gimmees" are not enough.
Gimmee MORE.

We have no leadership.
The nation is falling apart, and Obama is so oblivious he feels the need to divide us even further. Even at a memorial service for fallen heroes he feels the need to divide us.

I'm sick at heart.
My Mother used to say, "I'm glad I'm old".
And by that she meant she was glad she had lived most of her life in "Saner" times.

When I started writing this blog in April of '05 I felt my words might help others to live a better life. Now?
I have to ask the question: "Who the hell is listening?"

11 July 2016

Bulldog


Ask me  "Who was the most important leader in World War Two?"
I'll answer emphatically: WINSTON.
Yes, there certainly were other heroes: Eisenhower, MacArthur, Patton, FDR...
All of them worth our study. But I'd argue that without Churchill, the others would have failed.
In fact, we might not even know some of their names.

Winston was the glue that held Britain together until December of 1941 when the U.S. finally got its nose bloodied and realized there was a world problem that needed our attention.

He was half-American, born to an American Mother.
He constantly had a lit cigar somewhere close.
He drank nearly from the time he woke until he went to bed.
He had multiple strokes and a few heart attacks... (he had one heart attack during the war while at the White House conferring with FDR. That attack was kept secret, even from Churchill AND wife Clementine so as not to concern the rest of the world).
He still lived to be 90.

I've been watching movies and documentaries about his life on "Netflix" and "Amazon", and I'm constantly reminded about the old saw, "Those who don't know history are doomed to suffer repeating it."
Churchill was amazing.
His MANY quotations are entertaining and worth our time. Even his flaws made him interesting.

The world WOULD NOT be the same today had he not lived.
I heartily recommend you get to know him better.

07 July 2016

Why Do We Have A Second Amendment?

"When government fears the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny."
Thomas Jefferson

Whattya think...
Does our government now fear the people?

04 July 2016

Brake, Don't Break

A year ago...
(Or was it two?) WOW, I'm gettin' old!
I was riding alongside someone I care about... a relatively new rider.
This new rider was astride a Harley-Davidson motorcycle with more displacement than I had between my legs until I was well into my sixties. Still, with my "two-wheel" experience and personal knowledge of the myriad ways you can hurt yourself, I watched "H-D rider's" technique and was surprised to see NO use of the front brake.

At our first stop I mentioned it...
"Don't you realize that's where most of your stopping power is?"
I was the only non-Harley rider in the group. Other riders of that brand seemed to be offended by the fact I had made the suggestion.

So I asked another question:
"When you do a brake job on your car, which brakes are most likely to need maintenance, and WHY?"
Cumulative Harley riders didn't know.
So I told 'em.
They still seemed unconvinced.
I dropped the subject... maybe it is dangerous to use the front brake on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle?

I'd be delighted if more people were introduced to motorcycling.
To this end, I constantly recommend the "Motorcycle Safety Foundation's" introductory course.
(Even if you don't ride you should take the course... it's a GREAT education about bikes and what makes them tick.)
But there's a reason many people think motorcycles are extremely dangerous.
One of the reasons they think that is because bikers are exposed to idiots in cars and trucks.
Another reason is that many riders haven't been properly educated about how their machines work.
As an ex-EMS helicopter pilot I can tell you LOTS of stories!

Here's my (old biker) advice...
If you operate a technical machine... motorcycle, airplane, helicopter, etc...
NEVER quit learning about it.
A good education may help you avoid your local Emergency Room.
Don't BREAK.

26 June 2016

Home

Home...
Familiar.
Normal.
Everything in its place and a place for everything.
Nice.
Boring.

New location...
Different view.
Different surroundings.
Different people.
Exotic? Yeah, maybe a little.
"Where's my stuff?"

Stay a few days.
Neat.
Learn.
Enjoy.

Back home.
Normal.
Everything in its place and a place for everything.
Familiar.
COMFORTABLE.
WONDERFUL.
Better than anything else.

Travel is more than a good thing.
It focuses your thoughts on how you've made your HOME a home.
It reinforces why/how home IS home.
Travel is necessary and wonderful.

We're glad we went
We're SO glad to be home.

19 June 2016

Happy Father's Day

My Father died 13 years ago of lung cancer.
He was a smoker.
I nagged him to stop.
He resented my nagging.

He was also one of those "Macho" guys with a wall around him to keep others at a certain distance.
Sara Jean and I worked on that for years, and by the end of his life had moved that wall considerably.

My sister always claimed the two of us had been raised by completely different parents...
Almost six years my junior, she was right.
From my viewpoint she was always "Daddy's girl" and was a consistent source of friction between me and Dad.

In the worst argument we ever had, when I was sixteen, Dad and I were face-to-face and he drew back and made a fist.
Almost a grown man by this time I cautioned him...
"Dad, I'm not sure you want to do that. You may whup me now, but soon you won't be able to!"
He relaxed his fist. We talked.
And the resolution to the problem was to put a lock on my bedroom door to keep my room from being trashed.

From this narrative you can discern that my Dad and I DID NOT have a perfect relationship.
But I loved him. He loved me. There was never any question of that.

Our relationship grew closer as we both aged.
I was always proud of him...
He could do most anything he set his mind to... expertly.
I know he was proud of my accomplishments. As a matter of fact, I often wonder if my success at some of the things he had always dreamed of was part of the friction between us.

After all the nagging about smoking, I was angry about his lung cancer diagnosis.
Truly, I'm not sure he could have avoided lung CA... he had smoked SO many years.
Watching him weaken and slowly fade, my sister and I coordinated our efforts to care for Dad, (and by doing so, take much of the burden off Mom's shoulders).
We all worked as a team.

How many young boys don't have a male figure in their lives, providing support, and at least showing that men, just by "bringing home the bacon", show a willingness to bear a responsibility to their families?
My Dad wasn't perfect. But even through his mistakes I learned things I used to make my relationship with my own son better.

Dad, I'm thankful that during those last weeks of your life you knew we were there to make your exit from this life as comfortable as possible.

I'm grateful that you were able to let us know you appreciated our efforts.

I think of you every day. I miss being able to share stuff about our mutual interests in flying, nature, and mechanics.

And I will ALWAYS be thankful our last years were not like those we shared together under one roof.

God be with you 'til we meet again.