Page dedication

Dedicated to the Life and Service of Captain Witold Pilecki - May 13, 1901 to May 25, 1948

*WARNING* This blog may contain posts and content that has "salty" language or "graphic" photos. Told ya!

Infringements

All 58,173 (and counting) gun laws nationwide are infringements. REPEAL THEM ALL & DISBAND THE ATF!

Monday, September 28, 2020

Charity Breakfast Last Saturday

 Presented by The Skull Hill Biker Church for the benefit of the Guardians of the Purple Heart.






















 

The event was held at the Grace Fellowship Church of Baltic. My friend Richard met us at our house, and we took a nice back roads ride down. The weather was quite nice and my wife went, too. Tickets were $10 a piece and it was my turn to buy breakfast (not really, but Richard forgot... Hee Hee) I gave them $40 and said keep it for an extra donation. Breakfast was served inside from the church kitchen, and as is usual, eating outside somehow makes the food taste even better. A wide assortment of breakfast delights and all you can eat. One of the "other things Bikers can cook" was a sweet potato and corn bread pie. Baked and mashed sweet potatoes, covered with corn bread batter and baked in a large flat pan. That was a sweet and yummy breakfast side. There were several motorcycle clubs that were represented, and which is the tradition, shall remain unidentified. After breakfast we hung out for a while to socialize with a mix of bikers and Christian church goers. Masks only worn inside to get food, and as my usual, only to keep the church from getting any grief from the tyrants in Hartford. Outside was very "old normal" with no masks or bullshit distancing.

My wife is always worried she will feel left out because "she doesn't know anybody" on rides or at events. But as she has found out on these last two outings, everyone is warm and friendly and make her feel welcome. She had a good time again, plus she finally got to meet "Scarecrow" (actually the Pastor of Grace Fellowship Church) that I refer to all the time. Nothing like putting a face to a name. We were going to go straight home by a longer route, but she got a text from our niece asking if we wanted to go to her travel team soccer game. We didn't have to be home until 2 PM, so we went. We showed up at this large recreational multiple playing field area on bikes in our leathers. We walked past all the families to get to the field where my niece was playing, and probably freaked out a bunch of people. "OMG Karen, look... outlaw bikers! What are THEY doing here?" My sister-in-law likes to poke fun at me for being such a biker and being dressed in my leather, and asking my wife when she was going to get hers. I don't mind at all, because I know what a funny wise-ass she is.

I stopped by Cycle Gear in Manchester to kill some time while getting the windshield replaced on the wife's RAV-4 later Saturday afternoon. SafeLite claims they will do the replacement on your property at your convenience... EXCEPT when you have a vehicle full of nanny technology with special sensors in the windshield assembly. Then you have to go to their shop, at the appointed time for two hours. One hour for glass replacement and one hour for sensor calibration. Anyway, I walked down Tolland Turnpike to Cycle Gear and bought 3 Guardian Bells. These are small cast bells you hang anywhere on a motorcycle to trap evil road spirits so they can't ruin a ride. They're just little good luck charms that everyone has on their bike, but here's the kicker, in order to "work" you can't buy it for your self. It has to be a gift. They are $13 a piece and I will keep them with me and give them away as necessary. From there I went down to Lynch Toyota to use the restroom and ogle new Tundras. Big disappointment. The one and only truck on the entire lot for sale was a used 2018 Tacoma. When I went in to use the restroom, I ran into the parts guy I always deal with and asked him where the trucks are. He said due to COVID-19 shutdowns, there is no new inventory. The factories are just getting restarted. I did notice the lot was full of shitty little Prius' that no one wants, though.

Friday, September 25, 2020

Pretty Pooped By 11 AM

One of the guys in the fire department came over this morning at 8 AM with his hydraulic wood splitter. I had a large pile of 2 1/2 foot diameter oak logs that were too big to split by hand. I also have (had) a large pile of maple from a tree that came down in the spring that I referenced in this post. A few of those pieces were either too large or were forked pieces that would be very difficult to split with a maul. The rest I started splitting by hand, with a couple hours more to go, but I had had enough today.

The pile created by the hydraulic splitter













The backside fresh split and stacked on pallets. When I started there was one layer. I did the rest today.













The front side of the pallets with the wood ready to burn from last year.The remains of the maple is on the far left.













The only place I burn wood, in my outdoor stone fire pit. We use the barn as a clubhouse for food and drinks. Many a good time has been had here.













 

I will split the last of the maple pile by hand (because I enjoy it), and also get a couple more pallets to stack the additional wood on. Once this is all cleared up, I will attack the two trees that broke in half and fell up the hill from tropical storm Isaias. At the moment, eastern Kommiecticut is in a severe drought, and the entire state is under "Very High" wildfire danger. I don't want to be responsible for a stray ember lighting up the woods, and MY fire department (and probably mutual aid) having to come and put it out, so we will hold off on any burning.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Miscellaneous Crap Off My Phone

This guy, a good size male Pickerel Frog (Lithobates palustris) lives in my backyard under the garden hose reel cabinet. They say you have a healthy yard if you have amphibians. I have seen some smaller frogs and lots of toads hopping around when I mow. I keep an eye out for them and either move them or mow around them. That goes for snakes, too. Usually Garter and Ring-Neck variety.

Pickerel Frog next to my foundation under the deck





















 

 

Speaking of creatures in my yard, this big Dark Fishing Spider (Dolomedes tenebrosus) was down in the yard where my chickens are. It was on the door of the coop when I opened it, and wanting not to hurt it, I tried to move it with the pooper-scooper I use to clean the coop. I got it on the pan, and it ran and jumped to parts unknown. I found it with my cell phone flashlight on this rock and snapped a photo. It was a biggie, but not as big as the photo makes it out to be. I try to handle them with care because I am no expert, and don't need to end up in the hospital for a spider bite. Click on the picture to enlarge it and look at that face!

A Dark Fishing Spider (Dolomedes tenebrosus)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Late last week was pretty busy in EMS around here. Two out of the three Lifestar helicopters were taking off and landing at Windham Hospital simultaneously. This one was on the ground when we got there and took off with a critical patient for destinations unknown. Ambulances normally go in and out of the ER right next to the helipad. All vehicle traffic is kept away whenever the chopper is landing, taking off, or on the ground. When that happens we park by and bring patients in and out of the ER visitor entrance. I had just walked out and heard it running so took a video of takeoff. The video is a little shaky from the rotor wash and the papers I had in my hand. That's what blew in front of the lens at one point.




Tuesday, September 22, 2020

A New SCOTUS Justice Would Roll Back The ACA???

 A tweet today from Your Captain:









My wife and I have had no traditional medical insurance for almost 2 years. We have a supplemental policy that would pay us a lump sum for certain illnesses or accidents and we in turn pay the medical bills. So we have a little something. Everything else we pay cash for and save a shit ton of money. Believe me, there are different prices charged by doctors, dentists, and pharmacies when you pay them instantly with no paperwork to do. Here is what I tell people that would make medical insurance affordable, accessible, and usable for EVERYONE!

  • Completely remove the "bond" between medical insurance and employment. Over the last few years of being unemployed three times, I never once lost my homeowners insurance, auto insurance, motorcycle insurance, umbrella policy, or life insurance. But I lost my medical insurance every time... immediately. COBRA coverage was totally unaffordable. I was able to pay the premiums and all my other insurance stayed in force.
  • Buy the a la carte coverage you desire and can afford with NO STATE MANDATES! Over 60? No need for pediatric or maternity care or FREE birth control is there? Relatively healthy? Get catastrophic coverage only and pay cash for routine stuff.
  • Buy insurance from any carrier anywhere in the U.S., not just within your state boundaries.
  • Go to any doctor, hospital, or other healthcare facility without having to be in a "network."
  • Allow for interest tax-free HSA that you own, and doesn't have to be used by a certain time. If the account gets bigger than you think you need, take the money to buy a car or go on vacation, and pay NORMAL income tax rates on the withdrawal.

The beauty of such a plan is twofold; First, no government interference. When I was a kid, my Dad had a Blue Cross family plan for emergencies and catastrophic stuff. You know what the last thing my Mom did when she took us kids to the doctor? She wrote a check. When she went to the pharmacy, she paid cash.  Health insurance in this country has been repeatedly fucked up by government interference. The first time was the creation of HMO's. People only went to the doctor when they were sick. Government (probably influenced by medical lobbyists) decided people should go to the doctor when they are well. The HMO paid for it so... BLAMMO! That created the ever escalating inverse price war between health providers and insurance companies, who would charge as much as insurance was willing to pay. That made healthcare costs skyrocket, along with premiums. Uh oh... government must step in again with the ACA! What a cluster-fuck! That brings me to the second benefit; introduction of market forces into healthcare. Is your doctor charging too much? Shop around for another. Hospital A gives the same care as Hospital B but charges 50% more? Go to Hospital B. You as the patient, in conjunction with your doctor have ALL the power in regards to your healthcare. By the way, #LIBTARDS love to equate health insurance with health care, saying it is a human right. Wrong... no one in this country is ever denied health care, health insurance only determines who is going to pay for it. If you have no insurance and truly can't pay and don't own property (like the poor and homeless) your health care is free and written off as charitable.

The fact that The Notorious RBG is getting ready for her dirt nap with the worms and Trump is still President until January 20th (of hopefully 2025), he gets to nominate her replacement. It would be a great day in America to have a SCOTUS with a majority that actually follows the Constitution, instead of making up rights out of thin air. I like El Rushbo's idea of not holding unnecessary and not required hearings and going straight to a vote.

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Yesterday's Breakfast & Ride

Had a great breakfast at The Vernon Diner with not one, but TWO riding buds. The second guy that joined us disappeared from riding for a while, but he is back. One guy had the famous Farmer's Omelet while the other had a short stack and sausage. I enjoyed the Southwest Breakfast Burrito and several cups of coffee.  Now that the summer heat has melted away I don't have to worry about caffeine intake and becoming dehydrated. I bought breakfast for everyone `cause that's the kind of guy I am.

We hit the road after deciding to do a loop through eastern CT. From the diner we headed down Lake Street in Vernon to get out to RT. 6 in Bolton. We took RT. 6 east all the way to RT. 169 in Brooklyn. As we headed south on 169, I remembered something about a closed bridge down that way with a detour, so we jumped onto I-395 S in Lisbon to bypass any such trouble and it also put us around the city of Norwich. We got off I-395 at RT. 82 and pulled into the commuter lot to stretch our legs. When everyone was ready to go, we headed east on RT. 82 to Salem 4 Corners (can't really call it that anymore since they put in a roundabout) and headed north on RT. 85. That took us up through Salem, Colchester, Hebron, and back into Bolton. The other two guys jumped on I-384 to head back to Manchester, while I continued north on RT. 85 to get to RT. 6 & 44. I split off on RT. 44 to head back up to the quiet corner. I got home a little before 15:00 and had plenty of time to mow two sections of yard before dark. I got in a good 140 miles of riding for the day. Normally the Mrs. is off but she had to cover for someone out for medical reasons so she worked a full day. Being that Friday is my volunteer ambulance duty night starting at 18:00, I could not have stayed out all that much longer anyway.

Friday, September 18, 2020

Nice Day Off, Out On The Beast

 At a diner awaiting my riding bud for a late breakfast, so won't be much to say today.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Updated Ethnicity Map & Estimate

I received an email this afternoon from Ancestry.com, and I have to say I am a little disappointed. Below is a screenshot of my info.

The 3rd estimate and map update since the original that said I was actually mostly Spanish. Whaaaat?














 

It turns out that I am still more German than Polish, although not as much as on the last update. This is only as far as DNA is concerned, my maternal grandmother's parents still came from Auschwitz in the early 1900's, while the other three great-grandparents came from the Quebec area of French origin. I am still proud of my Polish heritage, even though I can speak and understand a little German but almost no Polish.

This little gem showed up on the previous update. A little blob from just outside Minneapolis tagged "Minnesota French Settlers" that is related to the other little blob called "Centre-de-Quebec & Ramsey." If I had to guess, there was some trade or seasonal trapping route between the two, which caused some offspring to appear.















As far as Ancestry.com is concerned I have no living family. I purposely used my nom de plume and have all the Ancestry "family connection" permissions set to off. My immediate family has it all turned on, and constantly get contact requests like "hey.. I'm your 6th cousin once removed from Idaho!" or some such bullshit. No thanks. The other reason was not to have my real identity linked to my actual DNA in any way. Supposedly Ancestry keeps your data safe in a secure database... yeah.... secure until someone hacks it. Not interested in having my ID and DNA stolen for God knows what nefarious purposes it could be used for. I did download a numerical code copy of my DNA, stored as a text file on my home PC, but it is just a jumble of numbers.

Gov. "Jolly" Ned Lamont Getting Called Out For Tyranny

 And he wasn't too Jolly, he was totally aggravated! Click on the link below and watch what happens. The look on his face shows just how pissed he was.

Gov. "Jolly" Ned Lamont Not Too Jolly Getting Called Out in Public

 

Good... I am glad to see him publicly called out, instead of hiding behind his little managed pressers almost every day. It was obviously effective, and you can see it on his face. I hope to see this happening more and more. Never mind an anti-lockdown parade around the governor's mansion while he hides inside. GET IN HIS FACE!!! Plus, there are now lawsuits against his abuse of power, and I hope the precedent set in Pennsylvania will have a lot of influence.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

A Couple of EMS "Firsts" For Me

WARNING: This post may make you queasy if you have a weak stomach. Some may find this post on the gross side. Told ya! 

I have been in EMS since 2007, but yesterday and this morning I experienced a couple things I have only done on manikins or with training devices. Nothing uncommon, just the circumstances of the hundreds of calls I have been on never called for them. Kind of like what I have been told about serving in the military and actually seeing combat; it's the luck of the draw. Many thousands serve in more of a support role, like in the 123rd Messkit Maintenance Depot (or a rear echelon medical HQ unit like yours truly). But as I was once "schooled" by a combat wounded Viet Nam Vet, we all signed the blank check to Uncle Sam payable up to our lives. No service member is unimportant or shielded from making the ultimate sacrifice, so never think your service wasn't important.

New Thing #1

So yesterday, we had a call that turned out to be a catastrophic stroke in an elderly patient. The patient was unresponsive and having snoring respirations (which are not good quality) and needed respiratory support. I attempted to insert an oropharyngeal airway (OPA) but the patient still had a gag reflex, so it was removed. Below is a couple of photos of the airways and their use.

Berman Style OPA Kit we carry. IMHO, these are better than the tubular style












This is how they work once inserted. They prevent the tongue from blocking the airway.













 

 

I have used an OPA countless times, mostly on CPR calls where the patient is completely unconscious without a gag reflex. You measure the patient from the corner of the mouth to the ear opening with an airway estimated size, and go larger or smaller as needed. It is inserted curved end up to the roof of the mouth, pushed in and rotated 180 degrees. As long as the patient doesn't have a head injury but has a gag reflex, you can use a nasopharyngeal airway (NPA). This is a surgical rubber tube inserted in the nose to provide a clear path to the upper airway. Below is a couple of photos of the airways and their use.

Standard NPA Kit


Insertion and use of an NPA




















 



The airway is measured from the nose to the ear, the tube is lubricated with surgical lube, usually inserted into the right nostril (tends to be larger) with the beveled edge towards the nasal septum, and rotated as it is inserted fully to the flare. We also provided bag-valve-mask (BVM) and supplemental high flow oxygen to assist the patient's breathing. Unfortunately, even with our efforts the outcome will be the same, most likely organ donation.

New Thing #2

This morning we got a call for a person having an allergic reaction at the local convenience store. We were short handed and did not have personnel to staff our ambulance, so I went alone with the Rescue Truck. I called for a mutual aid ambulance as well as the non-transport intercept paramedic that was initially dispatched. When I got to the patient, they were well on their way to full-blown anaphylaxis. A healthcare worker that was on scene had her pulse oximeter on the patient, whose pulse was through the roof and oxygen saturation was low. Just to be sure, I took hers off and put mine on, and got the same readings. The patients eyes were swollen shut and looked like the size of tennis balls, and he said he felt like his throat was closing and scratchy feeling. Per our standing medical control orders he gets a 0.3mg dose of epinephrine by auto injector, known by most folks as an EPI-Pen. I have trained on these forever, yet today was the first time using a real one on a person.

EPI-Pen and EPI-Pen Jr. Adult dose is 0.3mg, and pediatric is 0.15mg. Our ambulance and rescue truck both carry one of each.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since we carry both adult and pedi, you have to make double sure of the dosage so you don't O.D. a kid or under dose an adult. We are allowed to give the first one ourselves, but if there is no improvement, we can call our medical control for authorization to give a second one. The leg is bared at the muscular part of the thigh (my patient was wearing shorts this morning so easy-peasy) and prepped with an alcohol wipe. The blue "safety" cap is removed and the orange tip is pressed against the prepped site. The large gauge needle pops out and the epinephrine automatically pumps into the muscle. We are required to hold the needle in place for 10 seconds to ensure all the medication is delivered and then extracted straight out. As the needle is withdrawn, the orange part comes out to fully encapsulate the needle for safety. My patient has had one before so knew the drill and didn't even flinch. The patient bled a little from the injection site and held a piece of gauze over the site. This is what it looks like after use.


The only other thing I have never done that I can immediately think of is a child birth. If I ever do one, I hope it is not the woman's first kid and there are no complications. All I'd have to do is catch, swaddle, suction baby's nose and mouth, deal with the cord and placenta, and of course the mess. I don't shy away from maternity calls like some people do. Deliver a kid and you get to wear a stork pin on your dress uniform, as well as be in the family's life forever!