30 August 2011

When The Slaves Are Intelligent:

You may remember this:

(She's on "The List".)
I USED to think Sarah Silverman was funny. I even thought she was cute, (although I hear she's hirsute and if I found that out for sure it would be a turnoff.)
But knowing BOzo was whelped in Muslim schools, and looking at his list of Muslim friends,
I could only shake my head in amazement at this video and at the polls that showed Jewish support for this poseur.
The amazing thing is that even as folks like Rodolfo and Flightfire come to the realization this guy is incompetent, there is still a surprising amount of support in the ranks of the "Slaves" out there.

And ya know what?
Intelligent slaves are wonderful, so long as they're still on your side.
But... when they finally turn on you?

Ask Pharoah, Mussolini, Hitler, and Ceausescu what happens then!

29 August 2011

California II

Late August can be a miserable time here...
Temps can reach the high 90's and stay there, sometimes even staying in the 80's all night.

This year has been different, so far at least. We've had almost a week of PERFECT weather...
Cloudless skies and afternoon temps in the mid 80's, and I have taken advantage of this gorgeous weather to exercise all the bikes. Yesterday Sara Jean took her position on the throne of the '89 Goldwing and we rode 227 miles, mostly through the surrounding farmland. A couple observations about that:
She's more comfortable as pillion than I am in the front. I began to feel hot spots on my butt after a couple hours. There's just no way to shift your weight around enough in front to avoid 'em. On the other hand, she can move pretty freely back behind me. We stopped for lunch at a family buffet restaurant and afterwards she actually found herself nodding off in the warmth of the sun back there. (She asked if we could install seat belt and shoulder harness back there to insure she won't fall off!)

A few days ago friend Dean called and asked if I could come back and help track and balance the Huey again. I had gone down a couple weeks ago to help with this job but we never did get the machine to settle within limits. On inspection, Dean found a bearing installed wrong and replaced it. This time we quickly saw improvement, and after 45 minutes or so had the machine well within limits. Flying the old girl was SUCH a neat experience, and this 45 minutes in my log book puts me over the 3000 hour mark in the UH-1 series of aircraft. (I have time in the UH-1B,C,D,H,&M.)
I rode the 800cc beater BMW three hours round-trip to do this job and have decided the old Beemer may just be my favorite motorcycle of all time. It's just powerful enough to be confidence inspiring on the highway, smooth as heck for a two-cylinder motorcycle, and gets 53 mpg when driven with respect. I'm gonna keep this bike and start slowly restoring it.

Most of my riding lately has been done with a Harley Davidson alongside. I LOVE the sound of the things and have decided this is the best way to enjoy a Harley...
Insure a friend that owns one is in the vicinity so you can listen to that lovely engine thump away!
(But I'll still jump at the chance to buy a Sportster for quickie trips if I can find one priced right.)

My seven day on- seven day off schedule is wonderful with weather like this. Even with the bike riding, I've had time to do yard work. An hour or so each afternoon when the dew is completely gone and our 2+ acres looks great. (But it's been so dry I stir up a cloud of dust everywhere I mow... the air filter will need attention really soon.)

Another fatal crash of an EMS helicopter last week... four dead this time in Missouri. No details on the accident yet, but the industry is so small you always fear someone you know will be among the dead. Names have been released and I didn't know anyone aboard, but it still hurts personally and it hurts our industry every time this happens. We're already regulated so strictly I'm now turning down flights (due to weather) I could safely fly. Accidents like this one may bring on more regulation. I've said before, I'm glad I'm at the retiring end of my career, not just beginning it.

To those of you who wrote, concerned about me after you heard of the crash, thank you.
Don't worry about me. I've scared myself in in a helicopter most of the ways you can, and don't intend to do it again.

26 August 2011


Joe got it...

The answer is Veronica Lake. I was also gonna use the following clues:

-4 feet 11 inches tall. Did she use a pillow to see out the windshield of that airplane?

-A comic book character was given a similar name in her honor. ("Archie's" Veronica Lodge).

-A character in an animated movie was a melding of Veronica and Rita Hayworth. (Jessica Rabbit)

-The U.S. Government asked her to change her hair style as a precaution in order to protect women who were increasingly replacing men in factories. (And she did).

This tiny beauty is just another of those that went to Hollywood, then died much too young under strange circumstances. But I too was surprised to find she had gotten her pilot's license.

-Born in 1922 in Brooklyn, N.Y. (Birthdate sometimes listed as 1919.)-Died in 1973-Became a pilot in 1946.-Flew, at least once, cross country from L.A. to New York in a light plane.-Considered "difficult to work with" on the set, it's now generally thought this celebrity was a paranoid schizophrenic. -BLONDE HAIR.

24 August 2011

The Enemy of My Enemy...

I don't know much about Rick Perry, but I have learned this:
Trial Lawyers are frightened enough of him they have
formed a Political Action Committee to put obstacles in front of his campaign.
So the John Edwards' of the world don't like him?
That says it all, doesn't it?
I think I may like him A LOT!

22 August 2011

Do You Ride? Here's Useful Information!

I soaked up the lesson well-
I was following that pickup truck with a full two second gap.
In the bed of that pickup was a sofa.
Apparently the cushions on that sofa were not fully secured.

Yeah, you're gettin' ahead of me, aren't ya!
Guess the "Hang-time" for a sofa cushion that is caught up in turbulence and launched to an altitude of fifteen feet or so outta the bed of a pickup truck going, say, 55 mph!

(If you answered about two seconds, YOU WOULD BE CORRECT, BUNKY!)

Yes, I was able to avoid it.
But henceforth I'll give sofa-laden pickup trucks at least a three second gap!

20 August 2011

Crosschecking The Instruments

A commenter responded to my video below:

"Just how many of you are there to watch those gauges. If there is a problem do those gauges tell you first or does the change in sound or feel? "

It's a valid question. I can remember being sorta overwhelmed the first time I looked at the dashboard of a complex aircraft...
How can anyone possibly make sense of all that?

First, it's just me watching those gauges most of the time, Anon. My Nurse and Paramedic are in the back kicking death in the ass, so they're no help at all.

Now, think of your car. Most of us have owned a car with a speedometer, tachometer, water temperature gauge, oil pressure gauge, and maybe even an oil temperature gauge in the dash cluster. What did you pay attention to, mostly?

The BK117 I fly was built to be flown with either one, or two pilots. Watch the video again...
I always turn the lights on for the entire instrument panel as an insurance policy. Most of the instruments you see over on the far left of that panel are redundant instruments I have in front of me. If you look closely, you'll notice this bird even has THREE attitude indicators (artificial horizons if you like.) So I pay almost no attention at all to the left one-third of that panel unless something on my side fails.

The far right side of the panel contains the basic flying instruments:
Airspeed indicator, altimeter, vertical speed indicator, heading indicator, and the aforementioned attitude indicator. In this particular bird, the green rectangle you see at the lower right corner of the panel is the GPS... attached in an absolutely horrible place because in order to program it I have to manipulate the cyclic with my left hand to turn GPS knobs with my right. It's a pain.

In the center of that instrument panel are gauges for both engines and the transmission:
Oil pressure and temperature. Torque, (power being demanded), engine and rotor tachometers, and exhaust (or turbine outlet) temperatures. It's safe to glance at all these about as often as you'd check your rearview mirror in your car, because all these instruments are backed with warning (idiot) lights that would illuminate should any of them get out of normal operating limits. This would also set off a "Master Caution" light squarely in front of my face to say, "Something's wrong! Take a look at what's going on with your flying machine, stupid."

So it's not so overwhelming as it seems. The night I took that video was extraordinarily calm and I was able to turn the controls completely loose to handle the camera. On a night like that it really is a matter of monitoring the gauges by glancing at them now and then, and making minor changes in the controls to insure the aircraft is at the heading/airspeed/altitude I want.
(And your comment about how the aircraft feels or sounds is a valid one... the machine DOES talk to you, and better pilots may feel or hear a problem before any of the instruments indicate something abnormal is going on.)

Another commenter said something valid for that night...
I AM still trying to convince others I actually WORK for a living!

17 August 2011

The View From My Office:

I was surprised and pleased that my camera would record this video clearly in these conditions.
Look closely and you can see our home airport coming up on the horizon.

15 August 2011

Absence Makes The Heart...

She left me more than a week ago.
I took her to the train station, gave her a kiss, and she boarded the train for her childhood stomping grounds to visit family there.
She was gone four days.

She came home long enough to pack a larger suitcase with lighter clothing, then left the next day for Arizona.
She was gone five days.

I missed her.

Her airplane arrived yesterday at Noon. I was trying to think of anything I could do to show her how much I appreciated her. Dinner on the way home was a given. But figuring she might be thirsty for a cup of our home-brewed Arabica blend, I brewed a fresh pot, pre-heated and filled the thermos with it, and put just the right amount of dry creamer and sweetener in a thermal cup so that when we were comfortably on the road to dinner she could enjoy a cup from home. I handed her the thermal cup and reached for the thermos. She opened the top of the cup, saw it was full of something white, and, figuring it was a new cup with a piece of styrofoam in the bottom, upended it and covered her, me, and most of the front half of the car with the creamer/sweetener.
Welcome home darlin'!

But, dinner was VERY nice.
And a partly-cloudy 82 degree day was a welcome change from the 109 degrees she left behind.
She took a nap when we got home. During that nap I studied her, marvelled at how beautiful she is, and took comfort in the light hum she makes when she's sleeping soundly.
She's glad to be home.
The missing piece of my life is back where it should be, as is my missing "peace".

I may even clean up the mess she made of the car.

07 August 2011

"Shoot Him In The Face"

"What do you think of this 'Bond Arms' derringer?", I asked my friend the M.D..
"If you're gonna use one for home defense, shoot him in the face", he said.

My friend the Doc is hard core. We're on exactly the same page about the direction our country has chosen and he, like me, is preparing for ugliness as quickly as time and money will allow.

This looks like a versatile little gun. It's chambered to shoot either .410 shotgun shells or .45 Long Colt cartridges. You can also buy other, easily switchable barrels in other calibers as shown in the article here at Gunblast.com.
Me? I think the .410/.45 Colt version would suit me just fine.
Anyone have any experience with this derringer?

Shoot him in the face?
Wouldn't want to do that in my living room.

05 August 2011

ER's And RINO's

"Doctor it hurts when I do this."

Have we learned our lesson? Please... tell me we have.
And republican candidates, please note my request:
If you are a republican from a State North of Virginia, or a State East of Ohio, you need not apply for the job of President of the United States.
Your definition of "conservative" needs revising.

(And I've been saying for a year that BOzo is likely to have a primary challenger.
Ed Rendell... John Warner... some other "moderate" democrat... HELP US!)

01 August 2011

Blinded By The Light

It's a HOT, humid Friday night.
I come to work knowing things might get interesting as the night progresses.
And they do.
Liquid flows in great quantities on evenings like this. Much of that liquid contains alcohol. Alcohol affects judgment. Poor judgment means job security for those of us in EMS.
But increasingly, it brings dangers to us too.

Our flight to pick up the patient, load him, and start the journey to get the care he needed was proceeding uneventfully. At about midnight, somewhere midway between the sending and receiving hospitals, a green FLASH hit me in the face. Your first reaction is, "What the hell is that?!" Your second (involuntary) reaction is to search for the problem in order to try to rectify it. That's a mistake. And it could have blinded me.

Someone, at midnight, out in the middle of nowhere, had pointed a green laser at our helicopter.
The brilliance of the light momentarily shocked and disoriented me. The "What the hell..." reaction contains a great deal of confusion, as your mind tries to sort out what could be causing such a bright light to suddenly appear.
When I finally realized what happened I dialed up the frequency for the closest operating FAA control tower, (in this case an Air Force Base) and reported what had happened. But I knew that action was probably futile...
What would the tower do? Maybe call local law enforcement and report what had happened so that if someone else reported something similar they could begin to track the culprit down. But the likelihood of catching someone doing this in the country in the dark of night is very, very slight.

Who would do such a thing? Why would they take the risk of blinding me and maybe killing all aboard my aircraft?
All sorts of answers come to mind:
An immature individual, thinking no harm would be done.
Someone under the influence of intoxicants, reverting to the thought patterns and immaturity of an adolescent.
Someone irritated by the sound of aircraft flying by on a hot summer night.
Can you think of others that, in an impetuous second, might do something so thoughtless?

We hear more and more reports of lasers being focused on aircraft. And one of the things that scares me is the thought that IF a pilot is blinded by these lights, the accident report will surely come up with big question marks as to why a perfectly healthy pilot flew a perfectly functional aircraft into the ground, killing patient, Nurse, Paramedic, and him/herself.

I now know of two incidences where this has happened to helicopters in our fleet, and in both cases it happened when a patient was on board and the pilot could not divert to investigate and see if he could locate the culprit.
And if this behavior escalates, we're going to have to begin to consider wearing some sort of protective eyewear to preclude being blinded by lasers.

What a world we live in, huh?