Friday, March 26, 2010

Windshield to Debris Field

I'm sitting in the waiting room/lobby waiting to get a new winshield
on the Camry that Sheila used to drive. The car goes to Courtney in a
couple of weeks. As I sit here and ponder the thought that Courtney,
my oldest daughter is beginning to drive, what could be going through
the mind of a teenager in this era of super technology. Facebook,
Myspace, Blogging, Texting...whatever it is; are kids doing this while
driving? I have researched many publicized events in which teenagers
texting while driving causes much grief for family and friends. If
Nancy Grace ever gets a hold of it, never mind the family grief, but
drag the entire continent through the grief as well. The likes of
Oprah, local TV, 60 Minutes and many other outlets have explored the
texting and driving phenomenon. The reason I sat down to write this
blog was not driven politically, out of frustration with rules, or any
other reason other than just simple love for my girls. Don't get me
wrong, the texting and driving laws should be an effective way to
deduce the likelihood of a catastrophe, but is texting all that kids
do? What about rushing to school? What about eating breakfast? What
about friends in a car? What about a bad day at school which pro-
generates homeward bound frustration? What about the iPod connection
failing? What about the assignment they missed and all they could
think about was just finishing it and not the red light they just ran?
What about the billboard marketing a new Disney movie that they just
had to go and see? What about the wind that blows so hard it jostled
the car? What about the accident they just got in because......?

There are many questions that any normal parent would think the moment
their own child takes the keys to the car. You can only hope that you
don't get a call from authorities asking you to come and identify your
child's body in a debris field caused by an accident that occured with
them in it.

Some simple steps to help avoid a mishap can simply start with wide
open communication. Know what your child does. Know what their intent
is when they go somewhere. Know what their destination will be. Know
who their friends are and who they hang out with. Know their frame of
mind prior to them leaving. Triggering on Rushing is a trademark item
that I teach as a result of Safestart, but do kids do it? Are they
under tremendous amount of pressure? Yes! Have frequent discussions
with your child to better understand their frame of mind. You can
only hope that it won't be your last conversation.

In exactly two weeks Courtney takes the keys to the old family Camry.
She will be 16....where did the time go? With all my will, I have to
restrain fear and hope that Sheila and I have done a good enough job
for Courtney to think on her own. I think a tall tale sign is when
she constantly points out my distractions while I drive myself. It
sounds funny. But seriously, I get a bit defensive, but I know she is
absolutely right! So I just (mostly) bow my head and say alright,
alright. But she has been able to communicate like this because we do
it with her, but it is only fair that we behave as we want our kids to
behave, because the last thing we want is to have our kids peer
through the windshield and the last thing they see is a debris field.

I love you Courtney! Please take the wheel to your car and know that
your mom, sister and I love you and always want you to return home
safely just as you left it.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Three Awe Shits

Three times this week. Three freaking times! Ok, the first one was
no big deal. They couldn't find an authorized gate agent to operate
the jet way. Who was the person that shut the door on the outside.
They are authorized to shut an aircraft door but not authorized to
operate a jetway? How unproductive is that. Maybe that's why they
filed bankruptcy..... Hmmm???

Okay the second time was in Columbus, Oh. This is the lowest form of
wierdness I have seen US Airways pull. There was an odd flight
attendant with an incredible Napolean Syndrome, except she wasn't
short. She wanted everyone to know that she had authority. I mean,
gosh! Let me give you an example. I flew first class on the way to
Columbus and that flight was very comfortable and the service was
impecable! But, as the old addage goes, one awe shit takes away alot
of atta' boys. I digress, the return trip is the second awe shit in
this series of awe shits. The flight attendant I started explaining
about was stopping in every aisle forcing everyone to push their bags
in "or else!!". Now this is where it goes crazy! She cannot manage to
get the dinger sound to work to get the other flight attendant's
attention. She is in the rear of the aircraft and she was trying to
hail the front of the aircraft. The dinger didn't work. She came all
the way to the front of the aircraft and banged on the cockpit door,
they unlatched the lock to the cockpit and she literally screamed to
the pilot that the overhead dinger didn't work. It all sounds so
silly, but I was there! I was in my assigned seat, 5F (no upgrade
this time). The pilot calmed her down and told us we would be delayed
until they can get the dinger to work. 30 minutes later they still
can't get the dinger to work. But the pilot came on the sound system
and said very sarcastically, "we have other means of communication
within the aircraft!". Almost to say to the flight attendant, SHUT
UP! But of course he was politically correct with his calm submissive
self towards the antichrist of type A personalities.

So the third Awe Shit happened today on my way to Ohare, my second
least favorite airport; Denver International is my least favorite.

The aircraft secondary electrical system didn't work. I know that 72
degrees isn't stifiling, but put 143 people into an Airbus 320 and it
becomes a sauna. The AC didn't work without the secondary electrical
system. Well, guess what else doesn't work without that SES? The
engines won't rotate to start, so they have to roll the cart that
blows air into the engine to get it started. This really didn't annoy
me, because it has happened on several occasions. What really did
annoy me is a passenger in my row who didn't get upgraded to First
Class. I didn't either, but I don't let the whole world know I am
pissed because I didn't recieve an upgrade. She had the "whole world
owes me" attitude. I don't know what causes that kind of attitude but
I promise all of my readers to never act that way! If I do please let
me know!

So no matter what happens, if you are just glistening for doing
something so great and awesome, it can be overshadowed by just one awe
shit. You can have many great accolades, but one awe shit will delete
them forever. Why? It really doesn't matter why, but just remember,
people have a tendency to remember the bad things you have done
regardless of all the good. Don't leave this world with a bad taste
in everyone's mouth. US Airways has so much to give and learn, but I
see the same problems over and over again. I don't know if they can
recover from so much shit. No pun intended.

Sent from Tim's iPhone

Monday, February 8, 2010

SWA seat 15 A

I'm sitting in seat 15A on Southwest (SWA) flight 1509 traveling to Portland, Oregon. I find myself laughing at myself.  My ass is killing me, the flight is completely full.  If they served cheeseburgers the seat capacity would expand so far that everyone would need those slimming jeans for women.  Yes!!!! The men too.

I wanted to comment on the psychology behind the Southwest boarding phenomonon.  If you have never traveled using Southwest you may not know about the rules and the boarding process. Let me explain:

The boarding process on SWA is a simple process for seasoned veterans.  You know who I am talking about!  The "A" listers.  The people that fly SWA more than 30 segments a year.  I fall into that category but I don't buy into all of the hoopla. But if it is your first time you are going to be blown away.  Before I begin I have to explain that there are two types of SWA passengers. The first type is the anal pascifist who is an A lister who flies SWA so much he/she is recognized by every single flight attendant.  The SWA A lister gets to skip the long security line and recieves boarding priveledges over the second type of passenger.  The second type of passenger is the "who cares where I sit passenger" when they board or the person that knows nothing about the SWA boarding policy and arrives dumbfounded.  What is this letter and number mean?  Is that my seat number?  Oh my god! Really?! I didn't know I could check in online. Those are a few quetions the second type of passenger might ask.

Now, when the second type of passenger arrives at the gate they approach five tall silver pillars and two tv screens.  The pillars identify where you stand according to your boarding pass number and group. The tv screens tells everyone how the boarding process works but no one pays attention. 25 minutes before departure the gate agent reviews the boarding process.  Again, no-one listens.  What do you mean I board after the "A" group?  That is what a woman asks traveling with her two small children.  SWA is not family friendly.  The families board between groups A and B not first.  The A group has potentially 60 people. The B group also has 60 people but they board after the A group.  A, B, and C are the three boarding groups. Respectively, A goes first then B then C.  If you are in the A group you are almost guaranteed to get any seat in the airplane. If you are B, you are mostly certain to get a non middle seat but not your first choice. If you are in the C group you are very likely to get a middle seat.

Now, here is the phenomonon; most A listers travel together and sit together with a middle seat open. They also have a tendency to lean inward at the middle seat.  If you happen to be at the end of the B or in the C group, you are gonna have to chose the middle seat.  Secretly people are hoping you will pass their middle seat as they cower closer and closer towards the middle hoping you walk by them.  If you happen to chose that seat, you are polite and ask if anyone is sitting there.  As soon as you ask, you see the red sea split and that middle seat is wide open.  The person sitting  next to the hatch leans against the bulkhead and the aisle person leans out into the aisle.

It is comical watching people boarding on a SWA flight!  Today the biggest person on the flight boarded last and was flustered because all that was left were middle seats.  The guy sat between two other guys that were just as big in the shoulders.

I laugh beacause I start wondering what kind of SWA passenger I am...being an A lister, I don't have to check in online because I am guaranteed to board in the low A's. The only demand I have is usually a window seat that is perfectly situated to where my shoulder fits in it.  Guess what?  15A wasn't assigned, it was selected. I chose to sit here.  I suppose the irony between the two type of passengers are the one's that choose and the ones that settle. I want to choose what I want! I don't want to settle. I will live my life with this as my motto. For you SMFPB.   

Sent from Tim's iPhone

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Spasms to Arrogance

Oh jeez! I guess being a safety professional keeps me honest in regards to power tools, ladders, safety glasses, oh and many other things! One thing it does not do, it does not allow me to have clairvoyance on potential progressively, worsening back injuries. Namely: Mine.

I think for those that know me, I have had minor back problems off and on again for the last 3 years. It has flared up causing me pain I labeled 5 out of a possible ten. I cannot tell you what a ten is on a scale of ten, but I think i might have a guess.

When I broke my leg in 1997 I called that a ten. To give you a picture, I was sledding down a small hill with my oldest daughter in the front of the sled. I promised the two ten year old boys that I would test the ramp before they got on it, and so I did. I hit the ramp, and went leg came out and before you know it the Alpine Volunteer Fire department showed up to mend my broken leg. It was broke in two spots. The smaller bone called the fibula was broke and the major damage was done to the tibia/ankle connection. Yeah my ankle broke away and my tibia separated from my foot. I called that a ten on a scale of ten....If you scaled it on a score of cussing, well I think I said every cuss word I have ever said when I was in the Marine Corps.

So seven months ago, I received my last adjustment from my Chiro. I felt pretty healthy. I was playing baseball, traveling and doing everything I normally do, pain free. Some minor pain returned prior to Christmas and our trip to Illinois. It was a 3 on the scale. We drove to Illinois, and at times I reached a 5 on the scale of ten. I got a call from my chiro while I was in Illinois and he delivered the results of my MRI that was ordered after my last visit. It was pretty shocking: I had a herniated disk at L5-S1 Which is the last disk going toward your legs. The disk extrusion was bad enough that it pushed and pinched my sacral and sciatic nerve. At first the pain radiated down my left leg and then overnight started down the right leg. After we returned from Illinois the pain gradually increased until one day I could not stand up. The pain was an 8 on the scale.

At my last chiro and doctor's visit they gave me a pain killer shot, but that didn't even take the edge off. I couldn't even stand up. The ride home in the truck was painful too, you see, I couldn't sit either. I get home, my chiro even made a house pain reached 9 on the scale. I was on my back on the floor for comfort taking muscle relaxers, pain meds, and anti-inflamatories. They just weren't working.

The last straw: going to the rest room. I couldn't even crawl back to my spot on the floor. I officially reached a ten on the scale. It hurt so bad that an ambulance was needed to take me to the hospital. I cried I was in so much pain....It hurt!

The hospital was the turn around. I got three shots, and Valium. When I returned home I slept on the floor with the cushion from the futon and the pain started going down to a 4 during sleep and back up to around an 8 on the scale of ten, in the mornings.

All in all, I feel much better but will no longer have arrogance and ignorance about my back. Safestart has really taught me alot. Safestart has been in motion with most everything I do but now it will be EVERYTHING especially if I know my back will be involved. I know, I know! There wasn't one injury that caused my back problems. But you see, that's just it! I took it for granted! Even today, I opened the door and leaned out the door for someone that was in a wheel chair. I used my back to force the door open and I felt the strain. I noticed it this time, but would have never thought about it before. (Mind on Task) (Self Triggering on the Amount of Energy)

Now the reason I titled this blog entry Spasms to Arrogance is simple. After watching the State of the Union last night, I was introduced to a phenomenon I have never seen before. Obama was so arrogant last night and the feel of his delivery felt circus-like. Most things were a joke and he kept cracking jokes. Our situation in the U.S. is so dire, why joke now? What about this crap calling the Supreme Court out in front of everyone. That is rediculous! It was a spasm to his arrogance. I will work hard to remember where I am, how much force I need to use, and understand the level of energy that will cause me to use force before I commit my back to anything. Unlike Obama, I will think first before I have a spasm causing arrogance(ignorance.)

I would not be in the spirit i am in today if it weren't for Sheila. She was there every step of the way. She brought me breakfast, lunch and dinner, she prepared my medication, she helped me bathe, she maintained the needs of the kids, the needs of the house, and managed to do this all with her back hurting too. Babe I love you! I will never be macho and I will never be arrogant about my back or anything else ever again!