30 March 2009

Helicopters and National Health Care

Did Socialized Medicine kill Natasha Richardson?
Some great discussion here.
(And I personally don't think a helicopter ride would have saved her.)

28 March 2009

United Parcel Service

I've blogged in the past about Sara Jean's addiction to QVC and how she's on a first-name basis with our UPS delivery guy. That relationship will end if this turns out to be true.

Federal Express...
Don't do anything really, really stupid, okay?

(You can leave a comment on UPS's site indicating how you feel about this decision here. )
I did.

26 March 2009

F-22 Down

We lost an F-22 Raptor yesterday. The pilot was killed in the accident. I don't think they've released much in the way of detail, but this machine is the top of the line so far as our technology is concerned, so my first question, since the airplane had to have had a Zero/Zero ejection seat installed was, "Why didn't he un-ass the airplane?"

Discussing the accident brought to mind another from years ago:
I was still flying Hueys in the ARMY Reserve. We were called to assist in the recovery of the remains of the pilot of a Fighter (for a couple reasons I don't want to go into too much detail here) that had crashed North of our base. The pilot and airplane were based at Edwards AFB and he had test-pilot credentials.
He had flown the airplane through the top of a Thunderstorm and had damaged/flamed out both engines. He stayed with the aircraft trying to restart the engines, lost control, and crashed in a near-vertical attitude going approximately 400 miles per hour. The crater formed by his collision with the ground was about 30 feet in diameter by 10 feet deep, and was adjacent to a stream which overflowed its banks during the thunderstorm, washing much of his remains and some of the aircraft debris downstream, forever lost to investigators.

Only big parts survived, both of the aircraft and the pilot. The rest was literally vaporized. Landing gear legs and engine cores remained. All that remained of the test pilot were big joints... knees, pelvis, some knuckles, bits of hair, and his entire left palm. We carried all we could find of him back to our base in a 5-gallon plastic pail covered with a towel, and it wasn't close to full.

Why did he stay in the airplane? Conjecture was that he had flown through the top of the Thunderstorm and had encountered thick hail stones, seriously damaging the engines and other parts of the Fighter. It's just not wise to fly through Thunderstorms and he knew it. Losing the airplane this way would not be a career-improving move.
Plus, he's a test pilot... if anyone can save this airplane, a pilot with his skills can!

So now we wait to see what investigators find in the loss of the newest, most expensive Fighter in our inventory. I hope they can tell us why he didn't "punch out".

25 March 2009

Now Hold On, Pilgrim!

When our forebears got tired of too much government in their lives in England they risked their lives and sailed to a "New World" to live in freedom.

I don't want to live in the country I see just over the horizon.
Help me...
Where can I sail?

What In The World Was She Thinking?

It's my first night back to work and the phone rings at 3:15 A.M.
I'm so tired I initially incorporate the ringing phone into my dream. I think it rang three times before I hoist myself up on one forearm and grab for it, dropping the receiver to the floor.
"Sorry! Hang on, I'm gettin' there."

Knowing it's gotta be dispatch I try to sound awake...
"Whatcha got?"

"Weather check for B-Ville please. It's a standby for a trauma patient."

A standby. Good. "Let me call you right back."
I jump into my flight suit and go to the bathroom, more to give my head a chance to clear than to relieve myself. After a quick check of area weather I call dispatch and say, "Yeah, we can do it."
"Then your flight is now a go. B-Ville to ******."

In the air we get the report...
"Your patient is a 36 year old female, victim of a rollover MVA, she was ejected. She weighs 170 pounds. She has suffered compound fractures of both wrists, a tib-fib fracture, and possible head injury. She is combative."

Big gal, probably had her bell rung good and is now in "fight or flight" mode. Since she is restrained, her only option is to FIGHT.
The flight to get her is routine but BUMPY... winds 15 gusting to 25 from the South.
She'll need drugs to calm her and keep her from throwing up all over my crew and our aircraft.

As always I shut down the aircraft and walk into the ER after my crew has started tending to our patient. Outside the trauma room I encounter a nurse holding a baby, less than a year old. Our patient fell asleep at the wheel and left the roadway at highway speed, clipping an abutment and rolling her car several times. On board with her are her two children, ages just under a year and 28 months. She is ejected. Somehow the unrestrained children remain in the car and are bruised and confused, but appear unhurt.

What causes folks to drive unrestrained?

Stupidity? Fatalism? "It can't happen to me"?
Whichever, this woman will be away from work for quite some time while someone else tends to her (uninjured, no thanks to her) infants.

Buckle up.
Don't smoke.
Wear a helmet while riding ATV's, motorcycles, or horses.
Don't drive while under the influence.

Put me and my peers out of work.

24 March 2009

Bush Vs. Obama- Projections

"But I inherited this mess!"
It's another lie:

(Via Instapundit.)
Think we're not bankrupt?
(Remember, those are BILLIONS, with a "B"!

23 March 2009

Neighborhood Watch, On Steroids

I've been thinking about it so much lately I truly wonder if I'm a nut. I'm surrounded at work by like minds, so I may be surrounded by nuts, which only makes matters worse. I need to find an "objective" judge.

"Mike", my neighbor across the street is a really mild-mannered guy. Slight in build and quiet in speech, he's one of those guys who has no enemies. He mostly listens... but will share his thoughts when asked. I was walking Lucy when I saw him tending to his freshly tilled garden plot, so I detoured for a chat. Since he's not the type to broach the subject, I brought it up...

"Mike, how do you feel about what's goin' on in the economy?"
"We've not had a contract at work for four months now. The company is planning layoffs. We're all scared to death."

"I'm so sorry to hear that. What do you think will happen?"

Long story short, he's on the same page as me. Fearful of losing his job, he pointed out something I didn't know-
Three doors East of me my truck-driving neighbor allowed the bank to "take back" his over-the-road truck. He has a beautiful new Dodge Ram extended cab pickup and will allow the bank to "take it back" at the end of the month.
My neighbor next door to the West works for the same outfit as Mike, so he's in the same boat.
That means much of my neighborhood is on pins and needles.

"What are your plans, Mike?"
He pointed to the garden plot I had seen from the road, then pointed to two others behind his house I hadn't noticed...
"We're planning on canning beans, corn, peas, and tomatoes at the end of the year."
I told Mike about our garden plans, then mentioned my purchase of the M-1 carbine as an insurance policy. His expression changed.

"I've had a .357 Magnum pistol for years. A month ago I bought a lever-action rifle chambered for .357 ammunition... probably paid too much for it, but I can now buy .357 ammunition in bulk to use in both the rifle and pistol."
Before I left him, Mike and I discussed getting neighbors together and forming a sort of "Super Neighborhood Watch" if the economy continues to worsen.

So, am I paranoid?
Maybe. But if my neighbors are any indication, paranoia is nearly epidemic not only at my workplace, but also around my home.

Be prepared.

22 March 2009

Netbook Notes

I'm typing this post on my new Netbook computer... the Aspire One. Others have enquired how I feel about it, having had a chance to get acquainted.
As you might expect, I like it, with reservations.

The concept... smallness... almost by definition means the keyboard will be small. Honestly, I'm surprised I maneuver over this keyboard as well as I do. I do find myself backing up and correcting more than on my normal-sized laptop, but that's not often enough to be exasperating. And I think the more I use it, the more I'll get accustomed to it.

On the minus side, I actually use it less than I imagined I would. Most everywhere I've gone so far I've had easy access to a normal sized computer, so I haven't really had the need to get this one out and fire it up.
On the plus side, when I do decide to use it, it boots up faster than lightning, and the monitor is beautiful, even if it is small. (Maybe that's because the pixels are scrunched together so much?)

I signed up for Skype. Do you use it? You should! I'm amazed. Skype-to-Skype calls via computer are free, world-wide, and my experience is that they work better than the MSN Instant messenger video calls I have experience with. The built-in camera on this little $350 Netbook computer is wonderful! We just called Big Bubba and talked for 7 minutes, free!, and were obviously able to not only hear, but see he is in good health. BB also held Desi up for us to get a look at him and that's fun. (I wish our furkids could understand the idea that it's us on the computer making all over them!)

So the bottom line...
I heartily recommend the Aspire One. Having the chance to do it over I might consider a similar machine with a 10-inch monitor, simply because the keyboard would be correspondingly larger. But I'm perfectly happy with my purchase and think you should check Netbooks out if you are in the market for a laptop.
And check out Skype too!

20 March 2009

Danny Bickell?

Who is Danny Bickell?

He's a clerk... a clerk for heaven's sake, that has conspired to keep you and me from knowing the truth about President(?) Bozama.

Still think there's nothing to this Birth Certificate fiasco?
Wanta buy a bridge?

19 March 2009


Totus (Teleprompter of the United States) now has its own blog!
Check it out

401k- From Embarrassing To Brilliant

I'm gonna share something that's been an embarrassment to me, but you can't make fun of me because it turned out to be an enlightened act...
Like so many others these days, I was living beyond my means.
I didn't want to change my 401k contribution, (18% of my before-tax pay goes into it every pay period), but I had more outgo than income. So out came the credit cards. It was when I started charging Big Bubba's college tuition to the credit card that I realized something had to give. I started looking for the least painless way to pay off the credit card debt. A couple quick possibilities came to mind-

A home equity loan, or a 401k loan.

A little research showed that for me, the 401k loan seemed the best alternative. I'd be borrowing the money from myself, and paying the money back to myself at 9% interest. Loan payments would be deducted automatically from my paycheck, and would not affect my normal 401k deductions. I could spread the payments out over a 36 month period, and had the option of paying off the loan in full at any time.

The downside?
-The money I borrowed would no longer be at work earning interest/dividends in the 401k.
-If I lose my job the loan must be paid off immediately or there will be substantial penalties.

So now I've nearly paid off the loan. While the rest of my 401K has lost half its value, I've been paying myself a solid 9% return. The credit card I paid off was charging me 18%, so I avoided that usury rate. Something I was forced to do because of lack of discipline and stupidity on my part ends up looking like absolute brilliance.

And here's something funny...
I'm considering doing it again. A guaranteed 9% payback to my 401K is looking mighty attractive right now.

How secure is your job?
If your prospects are pretty solid, maybe you should consider it too?

17 March 2009

A.I.G. Bonuses

How do you feel about your tax dollars being applied to Million-dollar bonuses for A.I.G. Executives?
Are you outraged?
Is your anger missplaced?

Who's in control?
Who authorized that boondoggle?
Who gave them the money?
Who gave them the money with no strings attached?

CONGRESS, that's who!
This whole bailout is a fiasco.
Make sure your anger is directed where it belongs.

16 March 2009

At The Limit

The ship sank and you find yourself in a lifeboat full-to-overflowing. The sea is cold, but calm... good thing, because the weight of those in the boat has the gunwales perilously close to being overlapped. You pray the sea-state remains calm.
Now another passenger swims up and tries to hoist himself out of the life-sapping water. This simple act causes a near disaster... several gallons of water overflow into the boat.
So long as things don't change, you are safe. What do you do?

"The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the individual." (Didn't Mr. Spock say that when he saved the Enterprise crew from radiation exposure?)

For a while now, some economists have warned our national outgo will soon exceed our income. Entitlement programs have grown, and the number of people drawing from those funds will increase dramatically as we Baby Boomers age. We're paying a fortune to feed, educate, incarcerate, and provide health care for innumerable illegal immigrants. It's an untenable situation that politicians have ignored, postponing action until later.
Well "later" is here.

Let's assume the economists saying the U.S. was near-bankrupt two years ago were correct. What effect will come from President(?) Obama's doubling this debt load in two months? How far is the sea from overlapping the sides of our lifeboat?

Something's gotta give.
Seems to me the only questions are- how, and when.
I know how I think this will unfold and I'm buying insurance against that possibility.
I'd like to hear your prediction of how the future will unfold.

13 March 2009


The task? Define "Political Correctness".
Winning definition?
"Political correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical minority, and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end"

Thanks Mark.

Pick On Someone Your Own Size!

We had just finished a flight and were headed back to base. I was actually gonna get off work on time!
Seven minutes from landing the dispatch radio crackled...
"**** 2, are you available for a primary scene?"

"Is this confirmed?"
"Yes. Are you ready for coordinates? It's on main Street in
Saint *********."
We're only 15 miles away from this little town. I turn the aircraft 40 degrees to the left and we instantly see dozens of flashing red lights.
"No, I won't need coordinates. We see the scene already."
"Roger, your contact is Unit 2600 on Fire/Mutual Aid."

I dial in the frequency and call...
"Unit 2600 this is **** 2 over."
"Go ahead **** 2"
"We have you in sight and should be overhead in 4 minutes or so. Can you update us with patient and LZ information at your convenience, please?"

"Roger **** 2, your patient is a 27 year old male, victim of an MVA. We are presently doing CPR on him. We'll land you in the Post Office parking lot just West of the scene. We're on our way to mark that area with strobes."

"No need 2600. I mailed a letter at that Post Office just last week and I'm quite familiar with it!"

"10-4 **** 2."

We land 100 feet from where the crews are doing CPR and can actually see them compressing the patient's chest as we land. My crew gets out, unloads the stretcher, and moves quickly to assist as I secure the aircraft and disembark to protect the tail.

Five minutes later my flight nurse comes back to the aircraft...
"You need to shut down. This is gonna take a while."
I shut the aircraft down and walk over to see if I can assist in any way. The patient's feet are pointed due East and West... legs obviously badly broken.
I'm always surprised at how violent CPR is...
Crews doing it properly frequently break ribs.

Under these circumstances my crew will help load the patient into an ambulance and take him to the nearest hospital. CPR can be done more efficiently in the back of the ambulance than it can in the helicopter. They actually get him aboard the ambulance and give him one last shot of adrenaline, and his heart starts beating!
... Back out of the ambulance and quickly to the helicopter, we load him and I start both engines. The flight to the level one trauma center takes 15 minutes. He survives the flight but arrests again in the ER and is pronounced dead there. Again, sometimes the best we can do just isn't good enough.

This is what it looks like when 9 people are conducting CPR and trying to keep you alive:

This Jeep Safari is the "hittee":

Unfortunately, our patient used a Pontiac Sunbird as the "hitt-er", and was the underdog in this collision:

The jeep looked like it could have been driven away if the front tire had been re-inflated.
The Sunbird?
Lesson learned: If you ARE gonna have a collision, DO try to pick on someone your own size!

12 March 2009


That huge little word.
IF... you think the economy is likely to get worse, MUCH worse before it gets better.
And IF... you think, as I do, that we are likely to face an extended period of inflation, similar to what we experienced in Carter1's administration...
The thing to do is buy things you know you will need, particularly the "big ticket" items, and buy them on credit. That way, you'll be paying those items off over time with $$$$ that have much less value than money has today.
Again, there's a great deal of talk about using "Smart Power" these days.
We need to be using it too!

"I'm Tired"

"I’m tired of being told that I have to 'spread the wealth around' to people who don’t have my work ethic. I’m tired of being told the government will take the money I earned, by force if necessary, and give it to people too lazy or stupid to earn it."

Nodding your head?
Read the rest.

Midnight Duty

At midnight, if we're not on a flight we're supposed to total and close out the daily logsheet and start a fresh one for the next day. The logbook is in the BK117 parked 75 feet from the back door of our base, so at midnight I walk out and grab it to get this task done. One night this week I stepped out the back door and in the low light caught a glimpse of subtle movement to my right.
Seeing what it was stopped me dead in my tracks. Click and big:

He/she didn't seem too disturbed by my presence. I don't know much about skunks but I assume their eyesight is good, so I can only assume he/she had great confidence in skunk defense and wasn't too concerned about anything I might do!

I stepped back through the door and grabbed my camera.
Pepe LePew was still there upon my return and ignored me as I got within 10 feet to take these pics.

What's it take to get one riled up enough to make you sorry you approached it?

11 March 2009

My Light At The End Of The Tunnel-

Well, the image is now broken so you'll have to let me paint you the photo Camerapilot saw and commented on before it went away:
Two old geezers are sitting on a park bench next to a beautiful pond. One says,

My wife asked 'Whatcha doin' today'?
'That's what you did yesterday!'
'I wasn't finished.'


Go, Tiger!

Why have we not heard about this?

"ARMY Brat" Tiger Woods was asked to speak at pre-inauguration festivities at the Lincoln Memorial. I think those that invited him may have been surprised by his words:

"I grew up in a military family -- and my role models in life were my Mom and Dad, Lt. Col. Earl Woods.

My dad was a Special Forces operator and many nights friends would visit our home. They represented every branch of service, and every rank. In my Dad, and in those guests, I saw firsthand the dedication and commitment of those who serve. They come from every walk of life. From every part of our country. Time and again, across generations, they have defended our safety in the dark of night and far from home.

Each day -- and particularly on this historic day -- we honor the men and women in uniform who serve our country and protect our freedom. They travel to the dangerous corners of the world, and we must remember thatfor every person who is in uniform, there are families who wait for them to come home safely.

I am honored that the military is such an important part, not just of my personal life, but of my professional life as well. The golf tournament we do each year here in Washington is a testament to those unsung heroes. I am the son of a man who dedicated his life to his country, family and the military, and I am a better person for it.

In the summer of 1864, Abraham Lincoln, the man on whose memorial we stand, spoke to the 164th Ohio Regiment and said: "I am greatly obliged to you, and to all who have come forward at the call of their country."

Just as they have stood tall for our country -- we must always stand by and support the men and women in uniform and their families.

Thank you, and it is now my pleasure to introduce the U.S. Naval Glee Club."

Truth to power!
Thanks Tiger.
(I heard it on Boortz, and verified it on Snopes.com)

10 March 2009

Dow Up 300!

The Market finds out President Bozama probably DOES NOT have the votes to pass this disastrous budget...
Presidential advisor Warren Buffet chastises the President(?) for many of his planned actions...
And the Market responds with a rise of 300 points.
What will the Dow be at Friday's close?

Wrong Again, Ol' Wx Breath!

I worked last night. When I left work this morning the temperature was 67 degrees and the forecast was for temps to drop all day long, reaching a night-time low of 35 tonight. Blustery wind and the possibility of severe weather always accompanies temperature changing this quickly.

Now it's almost 1800 hours and as I'm heading back to work I'm wondering why I left the lining in my jacket. It's 75 degrees outside, and although it has been gusty/windy all day, we've not had a drop of rain.

I'm glad I don't have to depend on these guys to give me accurate information!
(What am I saying?!!)

Destroying Our Economy

Roger Kimball shares the new 12-step program to insure our economy goes into the pooper.
Has the Bozama administration missed any?
(The comments are enlightening and funny.)

Ammunition Scarcity

I've been more than a little surprised at the difficulty I've encountered finding ammuniton for my new rifle. Yesterday I bit the bullet (Ha!) and placed an order for 1,000 rounds for the gun.
(It's back-ordered and won't be delivered until late April.) Buying in bulk that way lowers the price per round considerably, but with shipping and taxes it's still expensive... almost 50 cents per round!

If our President succeeds in convincing everyone the U.S. is a horrible place to conduct business and our economy collapses, you and I will need these things to survive:
Food, water, shelter, and money.
And by money, I don't mean greenbacks. The greenback dollar will be valuable only because they're made of paper and will be convenient for starting fires for cooking or heating.
In a collapse, "money" will be material things you have that others need. You'll use those things to acquire things they have that you need. Money will be stuff like excess food, gold, or ammunition. I'm gonna continue to buy ammunition as an insurance policy, along with extra canned goods. Sister Mommanurse suggested another good idea- powdered milk.

I did a little poking around tonight, still wondering about the ammunition shortage I have encountered. While investigating, I found this article, which pretty much verifies what I had heard from others. Two things surprised me about the article:
-Specifically mentioned is the bank robbery CJ alluded to as the pivotal incident that caused local police to make the decision to increase their firepower.

-Take a look at the date the entry was published... August 2007.

This problem has been ongoing now for at least 18 months with no end in sight.
I think I'll buy stock in Remington and Winchester!

09 March 2009

Wear Your Seat Belt!

...Especially if you're stupid enough to run from law enforcement.
(Warning- Heed the warnings.)

An Open Letter To Great Britain

I'm sorry.
Sorry for the fact that President Bozama returned the beautiful Bust of Winston Churchill you gave us after 9/11...
Sorry he gave Prime Minister Gordon a bunch of cheesy DVD's that won't even work on the players sold in your country...
Sorry his administration made comments indicating our relationship with your country is "just nothing special, really".

Please realize, almost half our voting population saw this coming.

Hang on Great Britain. All this will get better soon.

The Voice of Many Today

I put off watching this video.
I shouldn't have.

"...That I will support and defend the Contstitution of the United States agains all enemies, foreign AND DOMESTIC;"

Road Kill

During Summertime back in my bicycle riding-newsboy days, you'd often smell them before you'd see them...
Some critter that had challenged an automobile and lost. The collision would most generally explode the animal, pushing entrails outside its body...
A buffet for the flies and maggots.

This guy's face looked like that.
Both eyes were there, but his nose, mouth, and jaw were gone.

His lower face looked like exactly like the disemboweled animals I smelled, then rode passed as a youth. First responders surmised he was drunk and passed out in the middle of the road, just over the crest of a hill. Whoever struck him may not have seen him... may not have known they'd run over a human being.
Oddly, these first responders were on their way to pick up another patient when they happened upon our patient lying in the road. They had to call out another ambulance to respond to the first call they were dispatched for...

This guy needed them much more. This guy was dying.

The landing zone was oriented in such a way that I had to land with the tail rotor facing the ambulance. Dangerous. I secured the LongRanger's flight controls and positioned myself behind the aircraft to tackle anyone who might approach the tail. That put me near the back door of the ambulance. When I was sure the dust had settled and the situation was under control I walked to the side door of the ambulance to watch my flight nurse at work. A warm night, the side door was open for cross-ventilation. As you can imagine, this guy looked ghastly. My nurse was desperately trying to insert a tube in his windpipe to establish a secure airway for him. She was struggling, sweating, frustrated. She had no landmarks to use to tell what was windpipe, what was crushed meat.
I looked at the guy's eyes...

They were pleading for help. My nurse continued frantically trying to help him.
Slowly... ever so slowly, the pleading look left his eyes and became blank. Ground EMS folks started CPR on him while my nurse continued her attempt to establish a clear airway for this poor guy.
She failed.

Some flights will bother me forever.
This was one of 'em.

08 March 2009

No Hitting Beneath The Belt!

Gotta be fair, folks!
Conservatives gritted their teeth at much of the stuff said about GWB, knowing it was biased or misreported. We all saw how what was reported could be slanted just by omitting certain details. I can't do that... honor is an important thing. When I say/write something, it's important for me to know you can depend on me to relay the truth. If I find I have shared a lie with you, I'll report that and apologize as soon as I'm aware.

Recently there has been a set of videos shown on many blogs comparing the reaction of our Marines to President Bush with their reaction to President(?) ) Obama. If you read blogs avidly you've already seen it. It's pretty striking...
GWB walks into the room and there is an uproar. Obama enters the room to Marines standing at attention while "Hail to the Chief" is played. We are supposed to surmise from the comparison that the troops love Bush... Obama... not so much. At the time I first saw the comparison I thought to myself, "That's two entirely different situations." The troops are not at the position of attention when GWB enters the room, and therefore are free to react as they wish. Troops at attention are statues... eyes fixed to the front, arms locked to the side, heels together and at a 45 degree angle.
So it was an affirmation of my concerns when the
Mudville Gazette echoed my thoughts in this report. Go read and see what you think.
And don't lower yourself to the level of hate we have witnessed over the last 8 years, folks. This guy is beginning to self-destruct and needs no help from us to accomplish it.

Two Degrees Via B-24

You may remember this post.
Refresh your memory, then grab your tissues and go here.

Soon they'll all be gone.
And the world will be worse for their loss.
Thanks TWD, for the lead.

Obama's Misery Index, March Update-

Well now...
I'll admit I think the our world will soon be an ugly place...

She agrees, but thinks it will be much worse than I.

EMS Radio- Stuff That Irritates Me

While fling-winging over your head I'm listening to at least four radios-
Two of 'em are VHF aviation radios like all other pilots have in their aircraft.
One of 'em is a VHF/UHF radio tuned to our dispatch frequency.
Another is a VHF/UHF radio we use to talk to hospitals, Police, and various EMS agencies.
Needless to say, there are times when the radio traffic is overwhelming. But it's fun and interesting to listen to the frequency most EMS agencies use to talk to hospitals, and hear what sort of patients they are transporting. (Sometimes we hear calls regarding a patient that will obviously need our services later.)

But for those of you involved in EMS operations, there are some things that have become pet peeves...
Here are a few, (with my thoughts following) :

"We're lookin' at sinus tach. on the monitor."
Really? You're seein' that on the monitor?
Take a look at the O2 gauge. What rhythm do ya see there?

"Patient has a past history of an MI."
Past history? Interesting. What about the patient's future history? (That information would be much more valuable to the patient, wouldn't it?)

(This, from the receiving hospital.)
"Continue transport. Awaiting your arrival."
Continue transport?
Really? We thought we might drop this patient off at the Hooter's and go see if someone else needs our services more urgently! And please, don't just sit around and wait for us to arrive. Pick up a broom or mop and clean the place up while waiting for our arrival!

I feel better now.

07 March 2009


Six weeks.
Do you yet realize how much
trouble we are in?
Somebody wake me from this nightmare.
President Bozama!


The truth is here, and the healing will begin when we know the mistakes we've made.


From comments about my initial Facebook experience below, both TWD and Jinksto have suggested I need to open a "Twitter" account. I'm so ignorant, I have to ask-
I have two email accounts and check both several times a day.
I "instant message" with most folks I really care about via MSN Instant Messenger.
I communicate and share thoughts with many of those same folks via this blog.
I've now, at the suggestion of others, taken the foray into "Facebook".
Folks that may need desperately to contact me can do so using any of the above listed lines of communication, or they can simply call. (And if you are a "friend" through Facebook, you also have my telephone number!)

Now I need to "Tweet"?
Is there a really a gap in my life that I need "Twitter" to fill?
Inquiring minds want to know!

It's Good To Be Friends With Your Gunsmith

A month ago I bought a new M-1 Carbine.
Had I known how hard it would be to procure ammunition for the gun, I might have chosen another rifle. Finding ammo for this piece has been, to this point, impossible. I've heard/read all sorts of reasons for the shortage, but this one sounds most plausible:
Many small police agencies are beginning to experience what the large city forces have experienced for years... outlaws or gangs armed with weaponry that make a .357 Revolver seem like pretty small potatoes. These Police forces are buying rifles like the M-1 to carry in their patrol cars. They need ammunition for those weapons, to include practicing with them. The .30 caliber carbine ammunition is made for only one gun: the M-1 carbine or its clones.

(Sound reasonable, CJ?)

For all intents, with no ammunition for the rifle it might as well be a baseball bat 'cause the only way I could hurt someone with it would be to use it as a club. Heck, the ball bat would actually be a far better weapon!

But today my friend the gun dealer smiled as I walked through his door. He had lied to several people when they asked if he had any .30 carbine ammunition, and secreted three boxes of 50 rounds each for me. Today I bought the ammo and two 30-round magazines, and left the store a happy (but less wealthy) camper.
I can now use my neat little rifle for something other than a doorstop. Let's commence with the shooty fun!

06 March 2009

Frightened By Facebook

After being prodded by several fellow workers, I just opened a Facebook account. Man, I really don't know what the **** I am doing!
I click buttons and nothing happens. I click other buttons and stuff I don't want to happen happens. I did finally get a favorite photo posted on the site surprisingly quickly.

I have to continue telling myself the same things I always told Mom and Dad...
"You're not gonna break anything, so just go wild! If you mess somethin' up, we'll fix it!"
So I'm experimenting like nobody's business at Facebook.
Experts out there... any suggestions or warnings?

Daylight Saving Time

I got out of the Corporate AStar AS350 and into the EMS Bell LongRanger back in 1986. That first year I was working in October when we "Fall back", meaning I worked an hour for which I wasn't paid. Glad to have a job, I clenched my teeth, smiled a little, and made note of the unfairness of it.
We changed calendars, and I was off work when I could have been paid back that hour as we "Sprang Forward". I clenched my teeth, smiled a little, and made note of that too.

Now I'm in my 22nd year transporting the sick and injured. Keeping track of these annual time changes has become a frustrating experience... in the 22 years, I have worked the extra non-paid hour 18 times!
This weekend, believe it or not, will be the FIRST time in all those years I'll be paid for working an hour that disappears in an instant.
'Bout time!

"We Are The Ones We've Been Waiting For!"

05 March 2009

Ed "Too Tall" Freeman Update

In a previous post I wrote about searching unsuccessfully for a video showcasing Bruce "Snake" Crandall and Ed Freeman challenging one another as to who was "the best helicopter pilot".
Once again, Blogfriend TWD has come through with the goods! You can see the video, with other bloggy links here.
Thanks again Dave!

Chris Muir Nails It... Again

"We All Stay Skinny, 'Cause We Can't Afford To Eat!"

Found it at Desiree's Blog.

04 March 2009

Belated Thoughts On Phoenix

Pretty as they are, those "trees" don't provide much shade when July temperatures reach 120+ !
We returned this week from a six-day visit with Big Bubba in Mesa, Arizona. Look at the photo above... temperatures were in the mid-80's. The sky looked almost exactly like that the entire week we were there... cobalt blue with nary a cloud in the sky. It's easy to see why retirees flock to Phoenix for the Winter months! It is NOT a complete paradise though...
In addition to the above mentioned "oven" temperatures during Summer, there is this:

That sign was less than 500 feet from the home with the Saguaro cacti in the front yard.

This one was at the entrance to Big Bubba's apartment complex. While we were there a report was published showing Phoenix is now the number two city in the world for kidnapping/ransom situations. To be fair, the report indicated much of this crime is committed by/against illegal Mexican immigrants, but it was sobering to think Phoenix now rivals Mexico City for that kind of crime.
At no point did we feel threatened during our visit. We took long walks in the neighborhood at night, and while we did keep our "head on a swivel", we never felt cause for concern. Maybe we were just being naive to the dangers around us?

Big Bubba's lease runs out the end of May, and he has made the decision to move. The above signs are one indication helping to make his decision... his neighborhood is "changing". The fact that his air conditioner cannot cool his apartment below 90 degrees F. during the hot months is another. Moving across town is almost as difficult and expensive as moving across country, so he has decided to move closer to where his work, reporting on Science Fiction TV and Movies, is being produced... Vancouver, B.C.. He's considering a move to Bellingham, Washington, about a 45 minute drive from Vancouver. It rains about 330 days per year there, and the year-round high temperatures are about 80 degrees. It will be a dramatic change from his surroundings the last two years...
Except in one area:
Last night I watched a report about our I.C.E. officers raiding a factory in Bellingham. They arrested 85 illegal immigrants in that raid! The next week 2800 people applied for those jobs. (I thought Americans wouldn't do the jobs illegal immigrants are doing?)

More horse manure. We're bein' fed a lot of it these days.

03 March 2009

"I wanna talk!"

Over at Vodkapundit, Stephen illustrates why Hope, Change, and a pair of rose-colored glasses doesn't move the ball down the field...
A painful lesson that should not have been learned the hard way.

Stuff That Comes To Mind -

A .51 caliber machine gun fired at you at night looks like a line of green basketballs traveling faster than the speed of sound.
(They're not that big, but they ARE that fast, and they're about the color of this post.)
It is difficult to think happy thoughts at that instant.


You may or may not have heard the "since Jesus" commercial...
If you haven't, listen for it.

Let me bounce another number off you...
That's what all this will cost by the time we pay the bill and the interest.

Is that even possible?

Just in from O.P.D.-
(Remember, the spike is just since SEPTEMBER!)

Obama's Misery, March, 2009 Update

Last month- 7.29 %
This month- 7.63%
Really surprised me that it wasn't higher.
Hang on folks, I think we have just gotten on the "Express" elevator!


A close friend sent me a link eulogizing Ed "Too Tall" Freeman.
Trying to find the video of Ed and Bruce Crandall discussing who was the best-ever helicopter pilot, I found this video. I always liked the song... the video is well done.
Thanks for the prompt Minette!

02 March 2009

Multiply By Dividing?

For those with minds not blurred by too much "Hopium", some wisdom from over at Cary's place.
Thanks Brother!


We were THIS close to being done with our shift... fifteen minutes more and my relief would have walked through the door. We had already done three flights including one accident scene, and we were all just.plain.tired.

Our patient was a 40-ish gentleman named Schwallernfechter (not his real name, but close), with a bleed in his skull. We transferred him to our stretcher and loaded him aboard the helicopter routinely. The flight to the receiving hospital with a strong tailwind was short... 10 minutes or so. We like to give the receiving hospital a call 10 to 15 minutes out to make sure they are expecting the transfer and so they can have security ready for our arrival. I notified my nurse, who would make the radio call, that we were ten minutes from landing.

As she composed her thoughts for the radio transmission she was about to make, my male paramedic said, "I once had a Swollenfecter!"
We were all so tired we were giddy. My nurse started giggling. It was infectious.
Over the intercom I said, "At my age, I'd love to have a Swollenfecter!"
It was good none of us were drinking anything... the mics wouldn't have survived the explosion.

My nurse keyed the mic to give her report, thought about what had been said and giggled again, releasing the mic switch.
Paramedic and I both hooted!
We've all been there...
Every time she'd key the mic and try to call the hospital she'd giggle again, and we'd giggle with her. We were so tired we were acting like drunkards.
She couldn't get the job done. Time got so short my paramedic had to make the call.
I was impressed he had that kind of discipline...
I giggled to myself all through his report.

Have you ever had a Swollenfecter?

01 March 2009

Mad World

And The Children Smile and Chant, "Obama! Obama!"

(Found the cartoon at Vodkapundit.)
During my 40 minute drive to work it's hard not to think about it.
This morning my thoughts ran to my amazement that it could happen at all...
A country going bankrupt?
How can that possibly happen?

Memory fails me here... was it Brazil, Venezuela, or both that got themselves embedded in debt so far in the '70's they could no longer pay their bills, and we (the U.S. and other countries) had to write their obligations off as "bad debt"?

How close is the U.S. now to that scenario? I've read much discussion about our present entitlements programs and how they, along with interest payments on our debt, are using up all the revenue coming into our treasury. A little pokin' around got me to
this article which delves into that subject, and determines we're in trouble.
The problem?
That article was written a year ago, before our President(?) doubled our debt load.

With serious questions about our solvency when we had half the debt, how do we now differ from those failed governments?