Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Flying in the Morning

One of my fondest memories was at Ft Hood, TX. We flew our helicopter to pick up passengers to "go out to the field." In other words, we go to the built up area of Ft Hood and then fly them out to the training area which is basically open fields with the occasional tree populated notably by cows and chiggers. The sun was coming up and on the radio was "I was Country, When Country Wasn't Cool." Great Song. I love George Jones chiming in. I had the opportunity to see George and Reba Rambo in Ozark, Alabama. That is a nice memory. A peaceful flight in a helicopter in the morning listening to country music.

In a Daze

When I was in flight school, there was a period of training wherein we learned to fly at night.

The first shock to the body was starting the workday at 10Pm and then ending it at 4 am. A lot of the time it was very peaceful and at night you can tune into a navigational aid the Non-Directional Beacon (NDB) and pick up radio stations. As you might know, even though we were flying in Alabam we could tune into 870 WLS Chicago and I remember hearing John Lennon sing, Woman. The whole period was really in a daze and then I would drive home in a daze. During this period, "Just to satisfy your fourteen carat mind" was a hit and I can remember driving my 1975 Chevy Vega home listening to that song. When you are half in a daze it permeates the consciousness deeper. Funny how the value system in the song is that one man's wife could not be satisfied with whatever material positions were offered. I enjoy some valuable things but what I treasure most is the love I share with my children, simple things like making music and singing, exercising, looking down from the mountain top to the valley below, sitting on the beach in the darkness and listening to the waves crash as they hit the beach.

The day I dislocated my thumb

When I was in elementary school, we had 3 baskets lined up side by side. One day when I was playing, a ball from the adjacent court hit my left thumb in such a way that it was dislocated.
Sample http://www.flickr.com/photos/jimwhimpey/2694416340/
Not knowing, I thought it was broken. I was taken the principal's office, mom was called, and then taken to the doctor.- so I had my thumb sticking out for awhile. ( where I live now is a mile from an emergency room or urgent care) The doctor said that it would affect me the rest of my life in that it would not be flexible. Well, I worked on it everyday and I really haven't noticed any lack of range of motion or discomfort, so I recommend physical therapy to anyone injured.

Surprise on the Highway

One evening I was traveling from Fort Irwin, CA to Las Vegas, NV with my wife about midnight. We made a stop in Baker, CA home of the world's tallest thermometer. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World. I took the time to refresh myself and for safety consumed a bit of caffeine and sugar. This is counterproductive when you want to sleep later, but in this case, it may have saved my life. As I cruised along after scaling the Clark Mountain Range http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clark_Mountain_Range in my semi-daze I noticed a slow moving car ahead. I noticed a rate of closure that indicated it was going very slow. All of the sudden, I realized that this was not a slow moving car. This was a van positioned sideways in the outside lane of the 2 and I had seen the side reflectors. I jerked the car left and it seemed like slow motion as I eased over past the stationary van. My wife woke up from the jerk and asked me in an irritated manner, had I checked to see if the other lane was clear. I had to tell her that if I had checked, we would have smashed into the van. She called 911 to notify the police, they weren't interested to talk to her because they had already received a call from another "near miss." (My son, Gabe pointed out it could better be described as a "near hit."

A note about coming into Primm, NV. If you ever studied political geograph, coming into Primm, NV from Baker, CA says it all. Here is the view of California, http://www.flickr.com/photos/manning999/2520488894/ It is a bleak desert. And then here is what pops out of the desert just because across an imagenary line, gambling is legal.