Tag: crash

My Fifteen Minutes

My Fifteen Minutes

Everyone seems to get his or her 15 minutes.

I made the front page of a small East Texas Newspaper twenty-four years ago, in a most austere way.

Driving home this evening I passed more than one person who was weaving in their lane.  Usually it is because they are texting or trying to see who called and of course, they are much better at this than every other driver is, so they can do it safely.  Sometimes the weaving is simply because they are drunk, or high.

In the year 1992, my life changed forever.

After a head on collision at freeway speeds involving an intoxicated 80 year old, I was forced to re-invent myself.  Managing to live through being treated in a small country hospital that doubled as an emergency vet… (Joking…, I think…) I was destined to do other things.

The broken bones and lacerations healed, but the scars remain, hidden just under the surface, pain is a constant reminder of that fateful day 24 years ago.  I have legs today because I happen to enjoy coffee.  Moments before the impact, I had stopped to purchase Gas and coffee. Filling one of those stainless steel thermoses, I had the thermos upright in the seat beside me.  Topping the hill to find a Cadillac, in my lane coming at me, my two options were to dive into the other lane or hit the brakes.  A red Truck was in the lane beside me so, in the split second that I had to utter the explicative “Oh Shit!” It was all over.  Literally, the accident was that fast.  I had locked up anti-locks breaks, and bent the brake pedal…He never attempted to hit his breaks.

The combined collision speed was 115 miles an hour.  How they got all that I have no idea however, my speedometer was stuck at 45…frozen in time.

The memory of that split second in time, indelibly etched into my brain is a constant reminder of what happens when idiots drink and drive.  Every detail lives with me in excruciating detail.  Time fascinates me today because of this, as I think time is not linear but relative. During the Nano second of the impact, the event turned into one of those films you see that was taken by a high-speed camera.  Bits of glass tumbled frame by frame, horizontally from my left to right.  The dash came up to meet me as the steering wheel crushed my face and chest.  The thermos full of coffee tumbled from beside me, launching itself to the floor, lodging between the firewall and the frame of my seat.  The hydraulic effect of the thermos filled with liquid, stopped the dash from severing my legs and most probably kept the shaft of the steering column from piercing my heart.

The driver of the other car was under his dash. He was hauled away first in the first ambulance arriving on the scene.  He had one small cut on his forehead and released from the hospital that day. He was not even wearing a seatbelt.   I never heard what happened with the driver after that. Since both of us had the same insurance company. I was lucky to be compensated for my losses.  I remember the claims person as being nasty to me on the phone…  They did not even replace my truck as it was now 6 months old.  I was upside down on the loan and they did not care…. It was a smaller truck, not one of the full size trucks like I drive today.  I understand that claims adjusters work for the benefit of the insurance company but I was surely not in “good hands.” Insurance is in fact unavoidable, if you are lucky; you are pissing your money away paying for something that you will never need. They do whatever they can do to keep from paying out.

The trip to the hospital started as I said, after they removed and transported the person who was responsible for the accident.

My vision was fading, as the pain in my chest was intense.  I made my peace with God as I knew that I was going to die and strangely enough, I did not seem to mind.  There was a strange peace about it as if the answer was at hand; this is how it will happen. God however had other plans… While waiting for the final sting… I tried to relieve the pain, I managed to remove my seat belt, but the pain was still there.

With what was left of my vision, I was able to watch as they pulled the other driver from under his dash and put him onto the stretcher.  A man came to my window talking with me as I told him about the pain and the vision issues.  It hurt to talk and my statements were short as breath was scarce.  My face had met up with the steering wheel, Or the steering wheel with my face, so talking “clearly, plainly” was not really an option; nor was it possible as blood was now leaving my body through every orifice that I had visible and some places that were not visible.

The engine and tires of my truck were underneath my seat.  Using the jaws of life I heard the popping sounds of the metal as they cut my door away from around me.  Finally, they got to me after removing my door and cutting what was left of the restraining device that was still wrapped around me.  By now, my vision was all but gone, but I could still hear the noises of the equipment, and the voices of the first responders.  You have heard people mention the white light.  My vision had faded from white sparkles to a blank white screen. One of the responders said, “It is a miracle that he is alive.” Placing that plastic collar on me, they then pulled me out of my truck.  Once they laid me down, my vision returned.  I could see the emergency vehicles, and the wrecker driver picking up my belongings as they were now strewn over much of the freeway. Steam was coming out from somewhere under my seat which was now where the engine was. The bed of the truck was warped; the force of the wreck torqued and twisted the metal.

Once in the ambulance the man told me that he was going to put some sugar water into me, the 18 gauge needle was going to hurt. Compared to the rest of the pain that I was in, that was a mosquito bite.

Arriving at the hospital, they were already working on the other person that hit me.  A curtain separated us, but I could hear him.  He was old, drunk and on medications.  His wife had just bought him another car as he totaled the last one.  He had badgered her about driving so she bought him this old big Cadillac so if he were in an accident; he would be protected. He bragged about how he guessed she was right because he was still there.

Laying there on the other side of the curtain, listening to him tell the story of his classic Cadillac, what was left of my blood boiled! It was not bad enough that they took the old person first, but I had to be in the same room with him!

It was now my turn to be treated like meat.

Cutting my clothing off me there was no shortage of witnesses to watch the story unfold.  Doctors, nurses, physician’s assistants (young attractive female with long curly brown hair) and a burly old cop who clearly had never missed a meal, were a few that made the cadre of spectators.

The report of the accident was read aloud to all that were present including the fact that my seatbelt was not buckled.

I tried to tell them that I took it off but, the cop was making notes, not interested in my wellbeing but who was at fault and if there was a ticket to write.  He looked down at me as if to say, yea sure…we have heard that one before…  I was pissed!  Arrogant son of a bitch!  If he could not see from the evidence what happened, he was a moron!

As they cut my shirt off, a large purple stripe across my chest and my belly that the belt left, told the tail, and at that; the cop put his ticket book away!  I was more concerned about living through this and he was looking to write a ticket.  I do not mean to sound churlish. I know many police who I call friends.  Thinking about this, I am still pissed at that asshole!

The doctor was wearing a black silky sports jacket with a yellow logo on it as he was at some sporting event and was on call.  He was not happy to be there and his bedside manner left much to be desired.  There were two hospitals in this town, one for poor folks, and one for people with means.  I had insurance and means and they brought me to the other hospital that was in need of so many things.

After examining my naked body in front of many people, the “doctor” flipped me over to stuff a finger up my butt as the final insult…  Now I had broken bones, crushed chest, face and legs and without x-rays or anything else, he treats me like a slab of meat to finish his exam so he can write up some orders for the nurses and get back to what he was doing before the rude interruption.  After he was satisfied with his initial exam, he left. They did a sonogram of my heart to find that it had been bruised.  Then they took me down to x-ray.  X-ray was close to the morgue, I could smell dead people, or was it me.

The ceiling tiles, stained from years of leaks and neglect told the tail of the financial history of this place.  The X-Ray machine would not stay in place.  After she would set it, get some distance to trigger it, the head would slide down, as its joints were old and loose.  We had to take several “pictures” before she was finished. No telling how much extra radiation that I was exposed to because of this antiquated relic that belonged in a museum.

Back in the emergency room, the man’s wife arrived.  He told her… “They said I was in the wrong lane.”

Laying there listening to him getting his three stitches on his forehead, it was not long before he was released to go home.  Before they left, his wife came over to me.  From what I could tell, I was covered in my own blood from head to toe. My beard was caked in blood.  She rubbed my forehead as she apologized… ”I knew better to get him another car.” She said…then she told me “I am not supposed to tell you this, we have good insurance…”

Even in my state of mind, I was too nice to tell her what she could do with her good insurance… I had to live through this day, this night and then another day before I could even think about getting things taken care of.

After hours spent in the emergency room; I was moved to ICU.  If you have never been in the hospital before “and I had not” this was not an experience that I would welcome or recommend.

Since I had a bruised heart, it was decided that I could not have pain medication.  A dentist came in and checked my teeth that had gone through my face.  Stitching up my face from the inside out, no pain medication was used.

The next fun thing was the doctor that set my broken nose.  This person reminded me of the professor on back to the future.  Pushing on my nose with his thumb, he could not get it exactly straight so again, without any pain management, he put these huge forceps up my nose and … got it straight.   The pain was unbelievable as the final crunching sounds of the bones ceased.

The machine that monitored my pulse echoed the throbbing of the pains in my body.

Listening to the beeping of the machine, I knew as long as it was beeping, I was alive.

The PA came in and tried multiple times to get me to tell her what I was taking.  “C’mon, we know you are taking something, what it is…we need to know…”  “Really…my word meant nothing… I don’t do stuff like that, never have!”  Several times she tried to get me to tell her what I was on…the answer was always the same. I maybe the only person on this damned planet who has never done it but…I don’t…

“We don’t know what you are on so we can’t give you pain medicine.” She said… What was I supposed to do, lie so they could manage my pain?

The next day, after the worst night in my life the toxicology report came back…my potassium was low…”What are you doing to cause your potassium to be low?” the doctor with bad bedside manners asked.  “Ummm, I don’t salt my food…” Never did get as much as an aspirin.

The days and nights blurred together as I could not sleep.  My nose was packed with cotton, and it throbbed for days. I could barely breathe as my ribs and chests were broken, breathing hurt!

Every few hours someone came in and jabbed me several times with a needle to get blood.  The phlebotomist, if that is who they were, sucked at it! I was still getting saline from an IV so peeing was the only activity that I could muster.  Lifting the sheets was near impossible and on several occasions, I had to get help…talk about humbling…

After the third day, glass from the accident was still imbedded in my hands left arm and face.  My beard was one solid chunk of caked blood and not so much as one person offered to get the glass out of me or clean me up.

For entertainment, I found that I could control the beats of my heart.  Using some biofeedback technique, I could slow them down to an eerie slow level or speed them up. I was hooked up with a remote telemetry gadget so someone somewhere could look at a screen and see my heart rhythm.  There was also a camera on the ceiling watching me.  At some point in time, I wanted a nurse and could not get one.  I pulled the telemetry leads off my chest.  The monitor went to a silent tone and … nothing.  Nobody came for close to 15 minutes! If this was ICU, I shuddered to think what care was like in a regular room.

The next day the hospital administrator came to my bed as I had asked to be transferred to Houston.  I personally knew Dr. Debakey and he knew me.  He even told me once if I needed his services to let him know.  If there was anything going on with my heart, I would much rather he and his team take care of me than this bunch of people.

The next day they moved me to a private room in the “best part” of the hospital.  Some wing of the hospital had been made via donations from someone.  It was there, with help from family that I managed to get myself into the shower, and stay there until I managed to get all the dried blood off me, out of my hair, and what have you.  I then dug into my luggage and used my own damned tweezers to get the glass out of me.

The doctor with the crappy attitude before releasing me was much nicer on his final examination.  I guess he was finally satisfied that I was not on anything…the wreck was in no way my fault or…he got lucky the night before…. Either way, I was happy to leave that hospital.  Holding a pillow next to my chest my friend of many years drove me home where I lost months of employment and finally had to leave the job I loved, as I was no longer able to do it.

One of the people that I missed was Dr. DeBakey and his team.  I had spent years taking care of the doctors in the Texas Medical Center and ended up in a small East Texas hospital that was a joke by any standards.

Loosing months of pay I got a call one day from MADD…mothers against drunk driving.  While I could ill afford it, I sent them some money anyway.

Today 24 years later I am often teased about my driving.  I am very defensive, leave lots of room in front of me and preach to those that will listen. I tell them to pay attention to what is going on at least 15 cars in front of you and leave enough room so you can see them.  I am often told, I drive like a grandpa…slow.  Slow translates to the speed limit or a mile or two above or below it, depending on the average terrain.

Driving a full size truck with many airbags is only a small part of my strategy.  When I see these people with their damned phones driving and messing with the phone, part of me really wants to scream at them.  Then the cops have radios, phones and a laptop computers and a host of other distractions while they drive through school zones…Folks, they are no different from you… Watch them; you will see them drift all over the road as they mess with their toys. I have seen them, and I cringe.

Keep your distance from them, big trucks and cheerleader types who think a selfie while driving through a school zone is smart.  They do it!  They are all over Facebook… Just the other day a young woman picked up her child from school and took off from the school, passing everyone doing 40 or better in a 20.  She was on her phone at the time…texting as she passed me.  “Where is a cop when you need one I said…”  With that, a cop pulled up on her bumper on his motorcycle.  She drove a long way without noticing him behind her, as she was texting on her phone.  That ticket had to be pricey!

Who do you think you are that you can endanger others with your BS?

I wish I could say that this is a story and “blah blah blah” but the truth is, that this is the truth.

This happened, and I am certain that by now, some of the memories have faded but I must tell you, most are still there including the pain.  Twenty-four years now, I have lived in unmitigated pain.  I take nothing for it.  I live with it, working out as best I can to help manage it…but there are no meds that would leave me mentally acute.

I do not know what happened with the man that hit me.  I know that if you have the same insurance carrier, you lose. By now I am certain he is gone, but there are plenty others to take his place.  There were no smart phones back then…Now everyone has one. Weed is legal in some states and I fear that those people will drive impaired as well. Even in states where it is illegal, I am certain that one of three folks is under some sort of influence.

Defensive driving if taught correctly, would be money well spent.

-Best

© All rights Reserved 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Future

The Future

There are many salient words of wisdom that I could pass on to people that some might actually remember. 

In many of my writings, I do just that.

I think that one of the most germane “tips” that I could offer today is for folks to learn history.

History is cyclical.

  • The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire… Why?  What happened?
  • The rise of the Third Reich.  How did it happen?  What were the mechanism that took place during it, what happened during it and who took the fall? What changed as a result of it?
  • The Weimar republic, what happened and how did it happen.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperinflation_in_the_Weimar_Republic

I was in an office today talking with some folks and one person mentioned that she had just lost her job and found one where I was.  She was now part time but “thank god she got Obama Care!”

She went on to say that it was an HMO through Blue Cross.  She could not keep her doctor and had to use their doctors but her prescriptions were free, and her out of pocket was only $30.

My thoughts wondered to Greece as she was lamenting about not being able to keep her doctor, and how she felt that this doctor was not as good as hers.  But since it was basically free to her, she guessed that it was ok.

So what will the future look like?

When this monstrosity of a bill was passed that nobody in congress even read, business reacted by changing their employment practices.  Whatever the delimiter is between full time and part time, that is the max hours that they hire someone for.  If that means hiring twice as many folks keeping them all part time vs full time; thus dumping them all onto the health care exchange (taxpayer funded) so be it.

This is why many companies have agreed to raise minimum wage.  They don’t have to pay for health care or other benefits so they can afford to pay a little higher salary and they look like the good guys!

The employment numbers now “artificially” look good but, these are part time positions.  Some companies hire through agencies allowing them to bear the burden of insurance and regulations. They become contract positions much like “Kelly Girl.”

Other companies hire folks for just enough hours that the part time minimum wage employee, can stay on government assistance, get a stipend from the company while still qualifying for government assistance.  (TAX Dollars)

Now we have a huge percentage of the population at or under the poverty level, and each political party simply has to blame the other to create a voting base for themselves.  The narrative is that it is the other sides fault.  (It is both sides fault BTW.)

Those millions of dollars that each candidate raises is for the express purpose of manipulating you.  Each and every one of them is lilly white and all of the others are bad.  You know, throw grandma off the cliff bad!  Its all Bullshit smoke and mirrors.  

With the massive amounts of data collected, on you, they know where to scientifically play smear campaigns, and on which air time slots, during which programs to place them. for maximum effectiveness.

Swing states will be the target and Ohio will be one of the largest along with Florida!

The more that the government intervenes with its “social justice,” the more the people who bust their ass to work to get ahead, get screwed.   

Families are simply too busy being the middle class to “learn history.”  I don’t know what college teaches today, but obviously not history! 

Just what is your fair share of what someone else worked for?

There should be one price for goods and services and that is simply not the case.  If you are working, making good money, you pay much more than the person who is on welfare.  As the matter of fact, the person who stays home all day may not pay anything for the same goods and services that you pay through the nose for.

That is socialism. 

The progressive agenda that Greece is now the poster child for and why it does not work. Progressives buy votes with the middle class’s money.

The Greeks are so selfish or so misinformed that they want to continue to get free stuff, and allow, nay demand that the EU keep funding them.  They don’t know how to fish.  They have been on the government tit so long, that they are lost and somehow feel entitled to be provided for, much like your errant teenager who still lives at home after college because playing video games and sleeping half the day is much easier than getting out of bed and securing employment. Some parents enable them which is crippling them even worse!

This president is not the first to bring this country towards socialism, but he has pushed it much farther along than anyone before him by printing money and pushing social justice.

Greece is in trouble and China is now suffering from their economic policies.  What we are seeing in the news today could be the beginning of the “crash” that I have been talking about since 2012.

I hope that I am wrong.  This house of cards could topple and I am not sure what will happen if and when it does.

I suspect that some sort of financial reset may occur.  What will your retirement portfolio look like?

I would keep my eyes on what the richest people in the world are doing with their resources.

With Millions of folks crossing our southern border; most if not all adding to the already “entitled” section of our population, disaster is not too far away.

Will it be a repeat of the 20’s. 

http://www.history.com/topics/1929-stock-market-crash

The path that we are currently on is fraught with dangers.  Those who manipulate the masses, are playing Jinga with the economies of most of the world’s super-powers, knowing full well that printing money is not the answer, but yet they are all doing it.

Where do the current billionaire’s invest their money, what is in their safe?

Know history…

Most of history is not worth repeating.

By the way, entitled is a misnomer in the way it is used today. To get entitlements, that means to get something that you are entitled to!  That means that you did something to earn it!   So, I ask again….Just what is your fair share of what someone else worked for?

-Best

© All rights reserved 2015

Denmark vs USA

Denmark vs USA

Facebook, where the ideas coalesce, and intelligent folks discover just how stupid some are.

Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt.”

“Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue.”

The great common denominator of the day is social media.  It levels the field as it were and if you are of a mind to “let it all hang out” here is your soapbox!

Blogs are another good place to be shown as a fool, if you are indeed one.

Today one of my friends posted on Facebook this “Occupy Democrats” post regarding Denmark and how wonderful it is.

denmark

Without further investigation one would happily share this and ask, what the hell, why cant we do that?

  • Free University
  • Free Childcare
  • Free Healthcare

First off my friends, there are no free lunches.  Just like lunches; there are no free Universities, or childcare, or healthcare. Someone pays for it!  They have to!  So who and how is the question.

  • Denmark enjoys a tax rate of 55.4% at the low end up to 65.9%..
  • Denmark also has a VAT or Value Added Tax of 25%

All of this free stuff is broken out into different sections of their overall tax structure, much like the USA except ours is like 39%

So for you who did not pay attention in school when we talked about such things as math, lets do a little exercise should we?  

That highly skilled Burger flipper is getting $20 and hour.  Immediately 55.4% goes to taxes so he or she is in effect making $8.92 an hour.

The VAT is pretty flat at 25% on frivolity such as that burger (prepared food vs. grocery store food,) so that burger if this is correct is $5.60 plus $1.40 VAT making that burger $7.00.  That is not the drink or fries, just the burger.  

Folks, that $18.000.000.000 in debt that This President has put us in with Obama care and all of his entitlements will force the next president to institute a VAT or some other form of taxation to pay for this. If not that than most likely there will be a worldwide economic collapse as the countries monetizing their debt (printing money buying our own debt with faux money) with their house of cards, will come crashing down.

Liberal thinking must be a mental disease.  Only an insane person would walk a country down the road to its destruction, like we have done during the last 6 plus years!

The Danes have the free universities to encourage people to take advantage of it for higher paying jobs and to be globally competitive.  Obama wants the tax payers to foot the bill for higher education for certain people to be more competitive but, his agenda is social justice, not world competitiveness.

The Danes can hire and fire at will as they are not constrained by the laws that we have in this country so I look for business owners here to be under attack as well.  

The work week in Denmark is about 35 hours a week for the women and 41 hours a week for the men.

Denmark tries to keep their commuting time down to a minimum which is in stark contrast to the US where we have “downtown” as the place to work, forcing people to sit in long lines of traffic burning fossil fuels, and wasting hours and hours a week sitting, breathing carbon monoxide, and other noxious fumes.

The Danes on average live longer than Americans and I would have to think that their commute plays a role in the equation.

If the US had the brains of the Danes, they would think outside the box and Decentralize business’s  as to cut down on congestion on the freeways.

A couple of other differences between them and the US is the amount of people and types of government.

I noticed that I have some readers in Denmark, if I have something wrong, or you would like to contribute please do.

My facts come from hours of research and I am certain that I don’t fully appreciate the eccentricities of your government and its taxation schedules and lets face it, the facts that I have found could be in error.

Either way; it appears to those of us that know how to use a calculator that when it all boils down to the nuts and bolts, our burger flippers are making about the same as your burger flippers, ours are simply having to pay extra for the things that your high taxes are paying for currently.

-Best

(c) All rights Reserved 2015