Tuesday, August 26, 2014

911 Dispatcher Instructions

Over at The Truth About Guns there is a kerfuffle going on about following the 911 Operator’s instructions.


By good fortune, I’ve never been in a situation involving a firearm but did have one bad experience. A driver had a seizure and crashed. When I approached the vehicle, I could see him flopping around, but held in place by his seat belt.

 The 911 Operator started giving me instructions.

“Sir, you need to keep him from swallowing his tongue. I will talk you through the process. We are trained to do this”.

“Lady,” I replied, “Get the ambulance here. In this day of AIDS, I’m not putting my finger in any stranger’s mouth”.

She was offended. What I knew was the fire station was eight blocks up the street. They arrived while he was still having seizures. Had he started turning blue, then I would have acted, maybe.

Around 1970 going to college, I had a night job at an air freight forwarder. Smelled smoke and stepped outside where I observed flames on the roof. Went back inside and told the manager, Tom. He quickly called the operator (pre 911 days) and shouted, “The fucker is on fire! Send a fire truck,” and hung up.

“Ah, Tom,” I said, “You might want to call her back and give her our address”.


I’m predisposed to not do what I’m told to do, so any dispatcher “telling” me what to do will probably be ignored. I may ask for advice, but I will be the one making the decisions on the spot. YMMV

Sunday, August 24, 2014

California Wine Crisis

Reading about the drought in California, and now an earthquake, may impact price and availability of California wine. This is what I drink, with an occasional venture into Merlot. Think I should stock up now?

Yes, yes, I'm an uncivilized redneck. Single malt and Dr. Pepper? Why are you yelling?

Colorado Produce

Colorado grows some excellent foods and my favorites are Olathe sweet corn, Rocky Ford cantaloupes, and Palisade peaches. Summer treats.
Today I'm enjoying some Palisade peaches, picked ripe from the tree, along with some pears from the same place.

Sadly, the cantaloupes may soon be a memory. A listeria outbreak last year hurt their reputation. Hail storms this year. The biggest threat is Front Range municipalities buying up water rights. 

In the years we lived in Washington State, I would send my sister a box of Walla Walla sweet onions and she would send me Rocky Ford cantaloupes. Most assuredly made no sense economically. One year UPS lost track of the melons. When the box was finally delivered, the melons were a bit ripe, as in, dripping from the box ripe.

For now, will enjoy the day and the good food it brings.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Close Call, Mobility Divison

Me, westbound. Her, eastbound on her mobility scooter on a busy street, not on the sidewalk. Cell phone planted firmly on her ear. Small dog in her lap. Suddenly, she swerves in front of me, and into a driveway. She gave no indication she saw me. The dog did. Stood up, and was ready to jump. Stupid bint!

I understand an elderly person doing this. This woman looked to be in her fifties. Oh well, hadn't done anything all day to raise my pulse rate. Think I should thank her?

Saturday, August 16, 2014

What The ^*+# Is A Tablet?

Another company is considering using me as an independent contractor. One of their requirements in an Android device. which I have, in the form of a Samsung “Smartphone”. This is a requirement for another company for whom I do some work.  Now, I really dislike the Smartphone, and only use the app for their operation, and, of course, as a cell phone.

The volume of work the potential new client wants, combined with bifocals, fat and fumbling fingers, patience deficiency, and a small screen, has me looking for alternatives. Being totally cheap, I shopped the various pawn shops in the area. Looking online, there are many choices under $100. Craigslist has many sellers. What to do?

Next stop was Best Buy, where I encountered a Salesman, an eager young man whom I would instantly hire if I still ran a car lot. He did tell me they are on salary at Best Buy. After listening to my needs, and working through my technology Luddite skill set, he started with their cheapest tablets.

“Why are the screens blank”, I asked?

“They don’t last very long”, was his reply. “We have problems keeping them going, as they are on all the time”.

Then he took me over to some Samsung tablets. Large, bright screen, better construction, and, he assures me, much more durable. My fat fingers easily worked the screen, and my aging eyes had no problem reading the displays. $179.00 plus tax, but including inland freight, handling, pack, croak and choke, and mop and glow.

“What about a protective case”, I asked him?

“About $80”, he replied, “But for $40, you can get a two year warranty. If you drop it, you get a new one”.

Wow, he was good, but not yet top notch, as I left without purchasing.

Anybody have advice? What I will be doing is checking inventory (floor plan checks), where you have a list by serial number, and you physically put your mitts on each item on the list. The recruiter is excited because I’ve done these thousands of times over a thirty years period selling cars. Most of the work is outside, in all kinds of weather. You need three hands, since a magnifier may be needed to read the serial number, and a small ladder to reach a reading level (think Ford F-550 4x4). Thus, you are going to drop something at some point.

My other concern is, how much time will I be working? This will be the fourth, “part time, supplement my retirement income”, job I will be doing. The numbers the recruiter is quoting sounds like close to a full time job.  Then there is the oopsie.

“Ah, WSF, can you drive down to ___________ and do six checks? We will pay you extra, of course”.

Oh well, until I win the lottery, money is attractive (and needed). Win the lottery? Some Fairchild 24 will have a new owner. I’m too old, and fat, to climb into the cockpit of an F-86 Sabre (not to mention that pesky need to have appropriate skills).


And this describes my morning after visiting relatives last night.


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Colorado Democrats $21 Million Mistake


From Colorado Peak Politics.

http://coloradopeakpolitics.com/

Colorado Progressives greeted marijuana legalization with great joy as a new tax stream. A "sin" tax that would painlessly raise great sums. Lower law enforcement and prison  costs as drug dealers were forced out of business because their customers would flock to the legal outlets.  Hasn't worked out like they planned.

One problem is the still illegal status under federal statutes, and the reluctance of the banking industry to service the pot businesses. The other problem, not talked about, is the already established illegal pot dispensing business.

Street prices for weed, I'm told, is about half the retail outlets. Weed dealers will deliver right to your home. Depending on the dealer, credit may be extended. Dealers will accept goods for payment, without all the pesky paper work of more traditional fences, i.e., pawn brokers.

The dealers do face obstacles. After all, they are criminals, and don't restrict their illegal activities to being unlicensed pharmacists. That, along with their douchebag personas, bring them unwanted LEO contact. That is about the only way they get caught.

One clear lesson, at least to me, is enterprise will beat regulation, every time.

In case inquiring minds want to know, my last toke was around 1970.


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Norwegian Jokes

I was married to a first generation Norwegian, and have always appreciated Norwegian jokes, mainly because she doesn't.

A HOODED ROBBER BURST INTO A WISCONSIN BANK AND FORCED THE TELLERS TO LOAD A SACK FULL OF CASH.
 
ON HIS WAY OUT THE DOOR, A BRAVE MINNESOTA CUSTOMER GRABBED THE HOOD AND PULLED IT OFF,
 
 REVEALING THE ROBBER'S FACE. THE ROBBER SHOT THE CUSTOMER WITHOUT A MOMENT HESITATION.
 
 HE THEN LOOKED AROUND THE BANK AND NOTICED ONE OF THE TELLERS LOOKING STRAIGHT AT HIM.
 
THE ROBBER INSTANTLY SHOT HIM ALSO. EVERYONE IN THE BANK, BY NOW VERY SCARED, LOOKED INTENTLY DOWN AT THE FLOOR IN SILENCE.
 
 THE ROBBER YELLED, "WELL, DID ANYONE ELSE SEE MY FACE?"
 
 THERE ARE A FEW MOMENTS OF UTTER SILENCE IN WHICH EVERYONE WAS PLAINLY TOO AFRAID TO SPEAK
 
THEN, ONE OLD NORWEGIAN NAMED OLE' FROM MINNESOTA TENTATIVELY RAISED HIS HAND AND SAID
"MY WIFE GOT A PRETTY GOOD LOOK AT YOU."

You have heard of Evil Knievel. Have you heard of Evil Larsen, the North Dakota farmer who tried to jump three combines with his John Deere?

Ghastly wreck, but most of the spectators think he would have made it if he had raised his plows.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

The Stanwood, WA Sons of Norway recently lost six members and a backhoe in Puget Sound. One of their members died and requested burial at sea. It isn't known if the fire truck brakes were fixed.

^^^^^^^^^^^^

We didn't get along, but her relatives were fine people who went out of their way to make me feel welcomed.

"Oh, you're the husband of the grand niece, ya sure".

When we moved to Seattle, we first rented a house in the Magnolia neighborhood, across the ship canal from Ballard. After her first visit to Ballard, she told me she had been in a neighborhood where, "Everyone looks like me".

Some more Scandinavian humor.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pfXkLvhoL7s