Monday, October 31, 2011

By George, I think he's got it: The GOVERNMENT can...

Thanks Mom, for pointing this one out.
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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I'm not going to get tired of this song

Internet links to this tune keep disappearing, but I've found one again. The band has reformed (after a brief detour into being "November Project") minus the featured vocalist for "Something More Than This," Mary Fahl.
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Sunday, October 23, 2011

Hey DC

Whoever you are in the Washington DC area....
(Herndon VA?) .......that keeps looking at my blog, it's public, that's what it's there for, but don't you think you should, at this point, say hi?
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Saturday, October 22, 2011

To God be the GLORY, Great things he has done (I'm alive)

It's pointed into the sunset.
This is or was "my" truck. It's always hard for me as an ex Finance/Lease manager to term anything that I leased as being "mine." I leased this truck from my "employer" and was called an "owner/operator" or "independent contractor." Both of these are misnomers. I owned nothing. I was not independent. All of my dispatches came from the same people who leased me the truck and as I said, leasing is not owning.

 Tuesday at 7:30 AM CDT I was awakened by an unusual jolt and instantly began to receive a constant stream of verbal updates (with some mild obscenities interlaced) from my co driver. We'd left I-70 and were air-born. This is not a good thing in an 18 wheeler. The increasingly distressed nature of my co driver's updates as he rapidly ticked off our progress (sideways) down an embankment combined with the never before felt vibrations and jolts (extremely hard) didn't do much to improve the outlook. I was dead I thought. Now. In the dark, in a sleeper of a truck. Violently. Probably in very gruesome and painful fashion. 

I re-upped with Christ on our status, claiming him as LORD and savior in what I thought were my last moments. I'm sure he hadn't forgotten that I'd done that before. I certainly hadn't forgotten, but nonetheless I acknowledged him and claimed him and braced for the end. There was another violent shock and the bunk came up and slammed my back hard, and I felt something give and announced to my co driver that my back was now broken. Shortly after that we came to a rest in the way you see above.

That's the picture side, the other shows a bit more damage.

 Looking at it quickly, my truck might seem able to drive after a tow, but it is hopelessly broken in many ways. The steer axle is bent. The two drive axles are knocked out of place and skewed. Approaching the truck from the rear you can see the components of the drive line scattered across the Kansas cornfield. Once the trailer was detached from the truck and towed, you could see that the frame was bent below the fifth wheel plate. It is likely that it is bent in several other places.

As it turned out later, I was in error about my injuries. There was indeed a broken bone, and yes it was near my back, but it was a rib. I walked out of the ER in Oakley Kansas a few hours later, a hurtin' but upright unit.

Oakley is a great place to have a disaster. Someone called right away with extremely detailed location information as our truck left the roadway.

As soon as we stopped moving, I asked my co driver to assess the damage, he got out and did a walk around and saw what I described above. He wasn't gone long. By the time he announced to me the condition of the truck he was also accompanied by one of Oakley's finest. The officer in question had met him as he checked the truck (a process taking two or three minutes) and had asked my co driver if he had called 911. He said "No, you're here already."

The ambulance wasn't far behind. The EMT's were great. They got me on a back board and braced my neck. There was a discussion about "using the saw" to get me out to which I responded "please don't."

In the end they stomped merrily and efficiently around in the truck settling on removing the passenger seat and we went out that way. I think I will remember the eagerness of the responder wanting to use the saw to my dying day. I chuckle every time. Even if it is very painful.

Oakley was great. The Hospital, the Police, the EMT's, everyone.

I had a chance to survey the accident from several angles afterward. The truck left the highway and tilted at what had to be more than 45 degrees as it went down slope, yet it ended "shiny side up" which is a strong commentary on the grace of God and the skill of my co driver. Not a soul viewing the site could understand how the truck didn't roll.

I have mulled over several names for my truck for several reasons. I think I need to give it one for a ship that was lost, but all of whose passengers survived.

I'll probably end up back at a name I liked best but could never quite finalize. "The Millennium Cornbinder." She was the fastest hunka junk in the fleet. We were well below the speed limit though that day, not that we ever spent much time on the wrong side of the limit, wherever or whatever that limit might be.

I've also thought of the name "The Student Prince," which refers to a Leo Kottke song in which the instrument makes the player sound good. I've never thought I was that great a driver, but the ship I sailed in made me look like I was. In the end, the "Student Prince guitar" of the protagonist in the Leo Kottke song, is lost to someone sitting on it and it's never the same.
"Tilt Billings saw a guitar in a pawn shop window.
Not much to look at but he knew that he'd found
The old Student Prince that they made years ago
So easy to play!
What unbeatable sound!
Paid twenty bucks and grabbed his guitar
Still be a steal at ten times the dough
It was amazing how a mere beginner
Could play just a few notes and sound like a pro
He'd play his heart out when he was at parties
Guys would get jealous
(but girls were impressed)."
(Leo Kottke/Ron Nagle - Round Wound Sounds)

That kind fits as well.
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