Sometimes ya gotta bend the rules!

Karen Momsen-Evers

I read about this woman the other day.

Seems her husband sent her a text message just as she was getting on a plane and now she’s saying that Southwest Airlines prevented her from calling her husband to prevent his suicide.

I think that the whole incident was handled badly from start to finish. I hate to say it but I think the woman is trying to implicate Southwest as somehow partially responsible for her husbands death, perhaps for monetary gain.

I’ve read several versions of the story and with each version it seems more like she’s looking for someone to blame. 

Sadly her husband killed himself. But this lady had the option to step off the plane

Southwest

The Flight attendant could have explained other options to this distraught lady.

The flight attendant was DEAD wrong if in fact, she slapped the phone down. Try that with me and it’s going to get REAL ugly REAL fast!

I’ve noticed that flight attendants these days are far more sanctimonious and rule bound than they need to be. I know they put up with a lot, and passengers are already spun up by security, lines, and the cattle car environment of planes these days, but flight attendants don’t have to be assholes! They are after all, servicers!

Flightattendant

It would have been nothing for the flight attendant to tell the pilot about this lady’s concern and get a call to emergency services in her township. In fact it would have been easier for the airline to make that call than the lady herself. If she’d dialed 911 in New Orleans, she’d have gotten 911 in Louisiana. Someone at Southwest ticketing or even the control tower might have had better luck finding a Sheriffs number in Wisconsin, making the call with the address and getting emergency services to the lady’s home.

The problem is that the Flight attendant wasn’t listening. A problem we see all too often, these days and more often than in the past this not hearing someone out ends in tragedy.

All that being said, with each telling of the story I’ve heard or read, something doesn’t sound quite right.

This event doesn’t’ pass the smell test with me, I think if someone digs into it we’ll find other issues and possibly simple greed. 

Do life insurance policies pay off if the policy holder kills themselves?

Makes me wonder, how about you?

Come on, We’ve all seen this movie!

Ebola Graphic (CBS)

With so many cautionary tales;

Andromeda Strain 

12 Monkeys

The Walking Dead

28 Days Later

Contagion

Prometheus

Resident Evil

David

We know how this ebola thing has to play out.

Our Southern border must be closed.  Flights from infected areas or with passengers originating from restricted areas must be denied access to the US, or at least quarantined for 21 days before being allowed to merge with the general population.

The alternative is that we allow ebola to gain a foothold here in this country and then we no longer have the metaphoric high ground from which to battle the disease. 

BioHazard

This isn’t about political gain, being called racists, or being mean, it’s biology.

Since the disease has a greater than 50% fatality rate, I think it’s not something we want to underestimate or ignore.

The old bioweapon maps from the US Army, (which of course you can’t find on the internet anymore) showed very graphically just how quickly diseases with various methods of transmission could spread.

Obola

I am not suggesting, as some have, that ebola is a bioweapon. I’m saying that some pretty reputable science was done during the cold war that can give us predictions about what happens if something like ebola gets a foothold in this country.  This science is backed up by fairly recent history.

There was a little thing called the 1918 Influenza.  This pandemic infected an estimated 500 million people. Estimates are as high as 100 million people dead.

The really NASTY thing about this particular Influenza was that it killed mostly young adults in the prime of life. Contrast this, with most infectious diseases killing the very young or the elderly and that’s why the 1918 Flu is a standout in pandemics.

Biohazsuit

Oh and by the way, if anyone was going to weaponize a disease… the 1918 flu variant would be at the top of the list.  

It’s tactically sound. Kill off the young adults, send their surviving children to indoctrination camps and use the elderly to clean up the bodies.

Gruesome and cold, but the logic can’t be ignored.  You win wars by denying your enemy the ability to make war. No soldiers equals no fight.  That’s just the mechanics of it, the demoralization of a people watching their sons and daughters die, and an entire generation of orphans is one hell of a weapon.

Thankfully, the superpowers during the cold war, concluded that biological war was just too damn dangerous and unpredictable. Oh sure there were dalliances with small pox and anthrax but it really is a very dangerous game.

Atomic bombs are probably safer.

Victim

The problem today is that our Government seems completely … what? Disinterested, Over-confident, laissez faire, about ebola and the ease with which a disease like this can bypass formerly insurmountable natural barriers; oceans, mountains, etc. Yet they’re the ones who have the Science suggesting the outcomes of transmissible diseases on large populations.

Given the events in TX, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to institute some serious and active quarantine measures.  Mr Duncan, should never have made it to this country. He should never have been ABLE to pose a threat to the health and well-being of American Citizens.  


treatment

I’m sorry that Mr. Duncan died.  However, I find myself asking the following questions:

Who is going to pay for his hospitalization and treatment?

Is his family going to get a bill from the hospital?

Since his family is playing the race card, what the hell, I might as well go all in. So I have to ask:

What is their immigration status?

The immigration office has gone on record as saying that Liberians are among some of the people most likely to overstay their Visas. So why is The State Department still issuing any Liberian Visas? For that matter why are any Visas being issued to anyone from the affected countries in Africa?

How did Mr. Duncan come by the money for a plane ticket?

Duncan

Was he a test subject from Boko-Haram, ISIS, or some other Muslim group? I do hope that our law enforcement is looking into his finances and the finances of his family. I personally wouldn’t be surprised to hear that his family got some “interesting” deposits.

I’m not trying to victimize the victim here, but there are many questions that have remained unanswered surrounding Mr. Duncan. These questions are worthy of some answers.


The race card has been played internationally and within our own country. The aggregate of the reports suggest that people in Africa believe that we have a cure for ebola, but that we didn’t give it to Mr. Duncan because he was black.

Maybe we do have a cure, maybe the experimental drugs work, but they’re in short supply and hard to produce. After all, they’re experimental, and by definition produced in very small quantities. It’s not like we can just turn on a factory and start churning out this stuff. Hell OUR generic pharmaceuticals are produced in India!

Blood Types

Some reports have commented on Mr Duncan not being given blood from one of the survivors. These reports attempt to imply that the reason these blood transfusions weren’t provided is because Mr. Duncan was black.

The more likely reason is because of a little thing called blood types. Based on the distribution of blood types around the world it’s likely that Mr Duncan was type O. This is a very common blood type.

But, there are relatively few survivors of ebola. It is entirely likely that of those few survivors healthy enough to donate blood, none were type compatible with Mr Duncan.

This means that if one of the survivors had given Mr Duncan a transfusion, and they were incompatible, the transfusion itself would have killed Mr Duncan before ebola.

These FACTS are not racist, these are scientific and biological facts

blood bag

It’s concerning that even black people in America believe Mr Duncan was denied drugs or treatment simply based on the color of his skin. That speaks to a fundamental lack of education in, or understanding of science & biology.

Moreover it speaks to the level of divisiveness that has permeated this country for far too long.

If white people wanted to kill black people… they’d do it.  You wouldn’t have to rely on whispered conspiracy theories and innuendo. You’d have bodies in the streets.

It’s time for all of us to realize we’re all Americans and we’re all pretty much equally fucked if this disease gets a foothold here.

Duncan Apartment

Sadly, due to the apparent level of ignorance about science and biology, it’s likely that minority neighborhoods will be the hardest hit.

I say this because if these neighborhoods don’t understand basic biology, or medicine they’re going to be unable to comply with quarantine requirements or even recognize the danger.  

We’ve already seen this when the family of Mr. Duncan violated their quarantine and had to be placed under guard.

Instead  minority neighborhoods will likely re-enact something akin to 12th century Europeans killing cats as a measure against the black plague. Ironically, the feral cats were one of the only protections against the plague.

Plague

See the plague was carried by fleas that lived on rats and the cats were helping to keep the rat population in check. Yes, the cats had fleas too, but their predation of the rats was of greater value.

Think of it like the disclaimer on drugs today. “Your physician has determined that the benefits of this drug outweigh the potential side effects.”

When the wholesale slaughter of cats began, the rat and consequently the flea populations exploded, and with them so did the disease.

Put simply; Ignorance and Stupidity Kills!

This is not a function of racism, it would be a function of the “Dumbing Down” of Americans through shitty education in the K-12 sector of our schools.

Think about that, the next time Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, or anyone else talks about how racist our country is.


Twitter1

Sunday 10/12/2014

And here we go! Healthcare worker preliminary test is positive for ebola. A twitter user probably said what a lot of folks in Dallas are thinking.

Then there’s this. Duncan’s family is making noise about a lawsuit. To which I say you have to be fucking kidding me! 

I hope the people of Dallas file a class action law suit against Duncan’s family for all the emotional distress that his selfish actions caused.

The racist implications Duncan’s family are trying to make are disgusting.

Since America and American healthcare is so racist and unfair, I’m sure the people of Dallas would be more than happy to put Duncan’s entire family on a plane to Liberia.

Some of the things I’ve seen

Untitled 1

Quite the mélange isn’t it?

I’ve been rained on in Texas. and I mean RAIN. I opened the car door in San Antonio this morning and thought I was at sea! The wind was blowing the rain so hard, there was no way to exit the car without the interior getting drenched.

I’m treating myself tonight to a Holiday Inn Express at a reasonable rate. I’ve had enough of cheap hotels and not sleeping soundly. Believe me, I’ve been in some really bad hotels on this trip.

This is a nice place and I needed it

Will be home in a couple of days, maybe…

On the Road

Sitting in a Starbucks whose WiFi credentials are questionable so I have no idea when this is likely to be posted. I’ve turned off my WiFI but it might be too late if the router is being run by a bad guy.

Sadly, there is no LTE cellular connection either.

I’m in Pensacola after a rough nights sleep.

The room I got was a disaster, it smelled like an ashtray mixed with harsh chemicals. One of the beds hadn’t been changed and whew when I pulled the sheets back, there was a powerful stench. Thank goodness there was another bed that had been changed.

Ah, the little surprises of traveling.

I was too tired to fight about the room last night. I’d planned to stay in Tallahassee but refused to pay 139.00 or more a night for a hotel room. I checked with several hotels outside the Tallahassee city limits. Apparently the Florida senate is in session and all the hotels were full of lobbyists. “Your tax dollars at work” are being bought and paid for by entities outside your government.

I’ve been noticing folks having bible meetings in public places like restaurants, and this Starbucks in fact. That’s strange to me but what the hell, as long as the Christians and Satanists don’t try to have meetings in the same place at the same time I guess it’s going to be cool.

Of course God help them both if the Atheists, (who’ve made atheism a religion in and of itself) should happen to show up. I’d be outside selling tickets and taking bets. In this area I don’t know if I’d bet on the Atheists or the Christians, both are probably packing heat!

I will say there are a lot of damn cute and generally fit men in a lot of the places in FL I’ve been. Even the guys discussing religion are damn fine! LOL I suppose I could convert them. Uh Oh, they’re quoting from Luke and talking about forbidden things… I suspect the next topic will involve the abomination of homosexuality!

Oh give me a few hours… I haven’t converted anyone in a long time! I’d love to give Torquemada a run for his money.

What would Jesus think about the horrific expense of a cup of Starbucks coffee? Wouldn’t that $4 be better spent feeding the poor? If I was a real bastard, I’d point that little hypocrisy out to them… After all there’s a dunkin doughnuts across the street.

Nah… Not worth the time, but amusing to think about.

I’m taking the trip back to CA more slowly. I’m actually not sure that I want to go back to that way of life. Perhaps by the time I get home, I’ll have a better idea for the next direction my life will take.

I hope you’re enjoying your day as much as I am.

It’s past time to go home

NewImage

Things that have gone untended this past month at home are starting to need attention. 

Most recent is the Alarm System.

Don’t get me wrong, I can handle a ton of this stuff over the phone. Which is what I’m doing now, albeit I’m in a hold queue.

Something has apparently gone wrong with the cellular radio in the control panel. First it was just a minor inconvenience. Our ability to remotely arm & disarm the system wasn’t working. No big deal, the other half just armed and disarmed with the panel code. 

NewImage

I called ADT and after speaking to a little lady who had no idea what she was talking about when she told me that the device in my house was connected to the internet via my router…

It isn’t, for that to happen ADT would have to know my network password. When  confronted with that bit of information, she claimed that ADT had installed their own router in my house. Again, incorrect since the only hardline internet coming into my house is under my control. Therefore an ADT installed router wouldn’t do them any good since it again wouldn’t be connected to the internet. 

When I pointed out that the panel wasn’t even connected to my telephone line, she transferred me to the next tech in their hierarchy who did actually know something about the system.

He tried to reset the alarm system remotely but the system refused all commands. 

NewImage

The tech suggested that we unplug the adapter, and then pull the backup batteries out of the machine to reset it.

Had I been home I’d have done that but I didn’t want the other half attempting this maneuver due to inexperience with very compact circuits in a confined enclosure. 

It was at some point in this exercise that we discovered the transformer that runs the panel is screwed into the outlet with a square bit screw.

No, it couldn’t be phillips, flathead, hex or torx it had to be the ONE screw head type I don’t have a driver for. My cunning plan was to unplug the unit from the wall and then let the batteries die over the course of 24 hours. It was my hope that at that point we could plug the adapter back in and effectively reset the device. 

My cunning plan was thwarted by a damn screwhead.

This led to setting up an appointment for Thursday to have a repair person come to take a look at the machine.

Then at 3 am on Saturday, the other shoe dropped. In this case the “shoe” was the last leg of the radio communications gave up the ghost.

No big deal you’d think… 

Yeah, except that the panel started beeping constantly reporting that the long range radio failed. It did this intermittently until the other half who’d not been able to get any sleep called me and asked me to make it all stop!

I get back on the phone to ADT and ask the little lady who answers the phone how to make the panel shut up. “Enter the code and press off,” she says.

“We’ve done that and have been doing that since 3 am, every 30 minutes the alert starts beeping again. Can we shut it up permanently?”

“I don’t know how to do that sir,” she said.

I’m thinking “you’ve got to be kidding me!” 

This is the first time one of these systems has failed? REALLY? The ADT people don’t know how to control it? Worse is that the other half consulted the manual seeking answers. Much as Homer Simpson concluded about the bible there were no answers to be found in the alarm system manual even with an index!

The other half managed to shut the alerts off, by accident! It was simple but the ADT people didn’t seem to know how.

Since we had a hard failure, I asked to get someone out to repair the system right now!

Nope! no can do…

I called ADT again this morning and asked for a supervisor, this is insane.

I asked the supervisor the following questions and got little in the way of reasonable answers.

1) Why was there no call when you completely lost communication with our system? It seems that should have raised some eyebrows somewhere in a monitoring facility.

2) A hard failure trumps installs and/or minor repairs, why are we still looking at a Thursday, earliest repair visit?

3) What were the ADT people thinking, effectively asking unskilled labor to open a control panel and start fiddling with it’s connections? Not to mention that the installer had made it impossible to unplug the transformer if we needed to.

If that’s what’s required then clearly a tech should have been rolling to the house right at that moment.

(We now own a nice shiny set of square drivers, but at this point I want to leave the system in failure mode so they can actually fix something!)

4) Clearly the folks on the phones at ADT have no idea what their machines do or are capable of. Those first line phone people need a lot more training.

5) Why am I paying for 24/7 monitoring?

None of these questions or statements were answered or challenged. 

NewImage

We will be chatting with the insurance agent, after all they give us a discount on our policy for having a monitored security system.

I wonder how they’d react to learning that the monitoring may not be 24/7 as advertised?

All this has led me to wonder if there’s another vendor of alarm services that might be better.

For example…

This was a fun encounter

IMG 0189

Went out to the get the mail, and ran across this guy.

He wasn’t concerned about me at all. The local name is “Sand Crane.”

This guy was wandering around the yard feeding on insects and seemed almost tame.

It’s always fun to see wildlife.

Still have no idea how long I’m going to be here. I’ve been busy with many chores and details that had fallen through the cracks over the past few months.

It’s Ok, but I’m beat.

Still here.

I did have a laugh today. The political ads here in FL are funny.