08 January 2007


Dave Starr tagged Aviatrix.
Aviatrix tagged me and four others.
The assignment is to reveal five things my readers don't know about me. Click her link above and go read her revelations.....

Go ahead.... I'll wait here patiently for your return.

Dum de dum dum..... dum de doo dah......

Earthshaking stuff, huh?
An inflatable Dolphin?
Unless that Dolphin is an anatomically correct version
of Dan Marino,
I gotta say there's just not much there that tweaks my tweaker!
Sure, after a few beers I'd enjoy hearing more about her close encounter with becoming a spy, or maybe the "Olympic team" story, but those are about the only reveals there I'd care to pursue.

My first reaction was.....
"C'mon, there's no RED MEAT here!"

Then I started thinking about whether and how I would respond to bein' tagged, and realized it might be difficult for me to meet the requirement.
Aviatrix has done a great job of sticking to her Blog's subtitle...
she's stayed pretty close to writing a "discourse about aviation stuff."
Now and then she has shared some VERY personal things goin' on in her life... interesting too, but the detailed information she has revealed, for the most part, has been related to how it affects her job or her pursuit of a job.

On the other hand, as she indicates in her post, I've been much more forthcoming here at Pitchpull...
"Musings about life through the eyes of an old helicopter pilot".
But her reason for tagging me-

"....because there are a number of things that his readers know about him and can predict he will say...."?

But maybe she's right-
I've aired quite a bit of my dirty laundry here. And maybe I am predictable.
But it is harder for me to come up with facts you don't know because I've already told you many things I'm ashamed of..... stuff I hoped many of you had either experienced yourself or had been directly exposed to in your life, so you'd realize I'm an ordinary guy with many of life's problems and be more comfortable coming here, reading my now-and-again rants.

So I sat with pen and paper and gave it some thought.
Hoping to avoid having you yawn while reading my list, I tried to expose certain things that would make you say "hmmmmm!",

(at least while reading the lead-in.)
I also decided to follow the "Baker's Dozen" rule....
I'll give you six facts for the price of five so you don't feel shortchanged.
I do reserve the right to Blog about any and all of these things in further detail sometime in the future!
So without further ado-


Well, sorta.

When I was 13, a friend and I came home at dusk one evening to find a pickup truck parked in my driveway. The pickup belonged to one of my Dad's co-workers. Dad had driven it home from work and the co-worker planned on stopping by later to drive it home.
My parents weren't home.
The keys were in the ignition.
Today, a good lawyer would call this circumstance "an attractive nuisance".
We went for a 15 minute joyride and got back safely. Ten minutes after our return the co-worker arrived and came to the door, announcing he was leaving with his truck. Why he didn't notice the truck was already at operating temperature when he started it is beyond me. Maybe he did and just said nothing...... I'll never know.
But that night, two barely teenaged boys stole (borrowed?) his truck and got away with it.

I shook hands with President Nixon in 1971. If you are aware of the game "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon", you know that shaking hands with President Nixon probably puts me within six degrees of most of the population of the world, including Kevin Bacon.
For instance- I'm just two degrees from Presidents Eisenhower, Truman, Kennedy, Johnson, Ford, Carter, and Reagan, certainly.
Nikita Kruschev, Leonid Breshnev, and Chairman Mao are also on that list.
The list could go on and on...... you get the picture.

Shaking hands with me puts you in pretty tall cotton.

I have a semi-interesting family surname.
I can't say it's uncommon, because there are variations of it making it VERY common. Our family surname is frequently misspelled because hearing it, folks assume a more common spelling. There are so few people who spell their last name as our family does, we can pretty much assume those that do are related to us in some way.
Back in 1968, during a break between classes at ARMY flight school, I went to the Men's room and had a Warrant Officer Candidate approach me. Having seen my name tag he asked, "Sir, where are you from?" Only then did I notice we shared the same last name. I told him I was from Indianapolis, Indiana, and found out he was from Pennsylvania.
The next day I met him again in the Men's room. He walked up with a smile and asked, "Sir, is your Father's name Harlie?" Ya coulda knocked me over with a feather! His Dad had met my Dad sometime in the past, and we were distantly related.
Anyway, the point of this story is that 200-some years ago, a man from Delaware with my surname signed both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States.
Another probable distant relative was in command of the first airplane to cross the Atlantic ocean- the date was September of 1917. That flight also was instrumental in cementing the use of the letter "N" as the beginning of U.S. aircraft registration numbers.

(The Golf Course at the Pensacola Naval Air Station is named for this man, and the airplane is on display at the museum there.)
None of that adds a cent to my paycheck, but it's still interesting stuff.

Now, let me back off that claim just a little-
Although I'm pretty sure, there's no way I can prove that.
I was ten years old. I wanted the paper route, but my parents and the route manager were worried I was too young to handle the responsibility. The route manager came and interviewed me, and after talking with my parents and me, decided to take the chance.

I had the route for almost five years.
It was a great experience, teaching me volumes about managing money, and life in general.

I was an Instructor Pilot in the ARMY.
I wanted to teach as a civilian, but to do that I had to take the civilian written and practical exams. The written exam was one of those that takes forever to complete..... it's a comprehensive son-of-a-gun.
I bought a test guide to help me prepare for the exam. I'd lie in bed every night reading the guide and found it to be one of the best sleep aids invented by man!
I finally gave up studying and decided to risk taking the exam.
If I passed it, that would be wonderful.... a cause for celebration.
If I failed it, at least I'd get the results from the exam to show me where I needed to focus my study efforts for the retake.

It took me almost exactly four hours to complete that sucker, and when I finished my head was swimming.
I was certain I had failed it.
When the test results came in the mail, I opened the envelope cautiously.....
I got a 70! (One point from failure.)
That fact doesn't change my paycheck either!

Oh yuck.
Well that lead is also a little misleading-
I DO NOT have genital herpes!

Like many of you, I had Chicken Pox as a kid... No big deal.
Fast forward to when I was 18...

I met a gal I was pretty enamored with.
Night after night, week after week I spent time with her I should have used to get much needed sleep. I exhausted my reserves and lowered my immune system's ability to protect me. I got a disease called "Shingles".
Shingles is cause by a virus called "Herpes Zoster",
the same virus that causes Chicken Pox.
Allowing my immune system to be degraded allowed the virus to flare up and reappear as Shingles.

Interestingly, just this week it was announced that a vaccine has been developed to be given to people over age 60 which will protect them against shingles.
You can bet I'll be taking that vaccine soon!

So there ya go.....
I've met my assignment, and more.
And ya know what? There's still more to tell!
Watch this space.


Anonymous said...

Being predictable isn't really a bad thing. Like an old pair of shoes or a favorite pair of jeans, there's comfort in knowing what's going to happen. Some would call it steady and well grounded. Not to put words in her mouth but having read both of your blogs for a while now, I'm pretty sure that when Aviatrix said "predictable" she meant it in the best possible way. :) ... shingles... shingles beats inflatable dolphins? I dunno...

Aviatrix said...

I think shingles beats an inflatable dolphin, unless you've got a dozen bloggers in a swimming pool.

When I had chicken pox as a kid (did you know they are innoculated against it now, eliminating that childhood rite of passage?) my mother told me two things. One) I should be glad I had it now, because if I got it when I was a grown-up I could get shingles, and that was much worse, and Two) I must never scratch the poxes or I could get boils. I had no idea of what either shingles or boils were, except in the roofing and teakettle senses respectively. So I lay there in terror and never scratched a single one. I've completely forgotten the itching, but I know a friend who has scars on her face from scratching, so kudos to my mother.

Mommanurse said...

All of you who are thinking of getting the vaccine against shingles.....please do some study before you make that decision, and those parents who are thinking of vaccination their children against chicken pox, it is even MORE important for you to study pros and cons before you make that decision. Many good sources on the internet. I will go reread some of them and make suggestions if anyone is interested.
There is a good reason I am called Mommanurse!!

Dave Starr said...

Some very interesting stuff, I'm glad I threw the tag thing over the fence into the avaiation-related side of the house.

And indeed some very intersting posts could come out of those 'revelations', at least I hope so.

Di said...

I have recurring shingles myself....no fun, huh!?!?!