Equipment

Player Of The Year

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The whistle was going off and it was time. I looked over to the coach and he gave me a nod, a command of sort, to get out there and do my job. I started running from side to side and dodging other players, hitting shoulder pads from time to time. I got hit from the side and almost fell down, but with my sure feet that was not going to happen. I can hear the fans cheering and I look up at the time clock to witness that time is running out. I reach down into my container and pull out a water bottle. I bring it up to another players mouth, enticing him into a squirt of water hoping to rehydrate him. I am the Water Boy and proud of it. I look to the sidelines and get hand signals that it is time to come back off the field. The few minutes of adrenalin I received in that short moment had fulfilled me. I am the water boy and proud of it.

Bilodeau,D.H. 2014

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The Old Shed

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The old shed in the yard is about to become firewood. It took a contractor to tell me it better end up on a brush pile to be burned later. I am about to embark on new beginnings and get rid of the shed that has become an eyesore. Why do I keep things so long in the first place? I like most people have a hard time of letting things go. I have saved old things around here just because someday I would need them. I haven’t used a lot of this stuff and it just sits around and rots. I have saved old nails and screws, old metal hinges from doors, every lawn mower, weed whacker I have owned. I know on some of this stuff I saved for the fact of having another piece of equipment around just encase the one I was using broke down. I have been without a riding lawnmower and had to push mow about three acres and decided that would never happen again. So today I have two of everything just about. Maybe it is the Mainer in me that I am a holder of stuff. I am not a hoarder by no means, but do like to have back up for equipment.

The old shed has been some cover for some stuff but it is falling down and needs to be cleared for a project that I am about to have done. The contractor needs to have the shed area because of bringing a dump truck into the area where the project is about to happen.

I am kind of sad to see the old shed gone. It has been a fixture around here for a long time. I have memories of that structure. Our kids have played around it and it has been a holder of my woodpile for many years. I will never forget the time our daughter went to get the riding lawn mower and a snake was hanging from the rafters. She sat on the seat of the mower and something caught her eye. It was a garter snake and was just above her head. She came out of the shed faster than lickity split and she never went in the shed again. I remember the time I started up the snowmobile and the throttle stuck. I pulled the cord and it lurched forward smashing through the wall in front. I remember the times I went in and bumble bee’s were everywhere. They were going down a crack in the floor and I had to put them to sleep. Probably a crazy thing now that I look back on it but I used starter fluid which has either in it. I never did see the bee’s again. Good thing I didn’t start the lawn mower for a couple of days either. I remember the winter that we had tons of snow which piled up so high and the shed held on for what she was worth to hold the weight. The shed didn’t do so well and now I have a good curve in the building. It is time to tear it down but I do have a lot of memories with the shed.

It is time to let her go and go back to earth where she came from. I’m going to miss her. See ya shed, you have been a good girl.

©Bilodeau,D.H. 2014

Vintage Technology- Enhancement To The Elderly

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I’m still amazed that my folks, Eighty-five and Eight-four are into techno gadgets. They have wireless, laptop, Kindle’s, and the latest is a smart phone. I remember the day when my dad told me he would never be on a computer. I had an old one at the house and my mother wanted a computer. She only wanted it to play games and maybe do some of that email thing. I set up the old computer and my dad started watching how I was setting things up. He actually was very involved for the fact he wanted answers so if my mother was having trouble maybe he could help out. He ended up being the computer guru in his house. He took that old computer and upgraded the ram himself. Later down the road they finally bought a laptop and a desktop which is when he decided to put in a wireless router. Really, I’m very amazed at how well they did with technology. So you can teach an old dog a new trick , they are proof.

I spent the day today showing my mother how to operate the new android phone she bought. Wow, she is amazed at how much stuff is built into the phone. It will take a little time but I’m sure my dad will integrate to a smart phone soon after he starts using my mothers. I can hear her now. Get your own phone! Where will all this technology go when I reach my eighties. Who knows , but I’m sure the use of laptops will be long gone. The desktop is starting to become extinct at homes and it wont be long that in the industry they will fade out too.

I give a thumbs up to my folks for learning all this technology and being patient with me training them on certain apparatus. My kids are very computer and techno literate and my days of training will have to go down to them showing my wife and I down the road. You know that some day you wont even see phone booth’s. I was floored the other day when I traveled to the North part of the State in Maine to find out the gas pump I was using didn’t have a credit card slot. Huh! It really messed me up. There is stuff from ancient times still around in the country and I cannot wait for the day when cell phones will work everywhere. It still is left to be desired in this region. My android works great at my house via WFI but doesn’t work at my workplace unless I go outside or go to the tenth floor of the facility. I know that with changing times it will be awesome it will just take a little time and some more computer IT specialist to figure it all out in the future. I will be waiting and maybe learn that my landline phone will be history in short time.

©Bilodeau,D.H. 2014

Merchant Ship Isabella

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I was on the merchant ship Isabella and the cargo was a dangerous load of bombs destined for the war in Europe. The day started out in the Portland,Maine dockside loading all day with the stevedore’s, the dock workers who load the ship. It was a warm day with the wind blowing slightly from the north. My coworker and I had the day to explore so we took off into the city of Portland. We walked down Congress Street and was noticing that all the streets were cobblestone. I had never seen streets like this anywhere in the States. The boys and I decided to get a bite to eat and have some mugs of beer. We was talking with this one man inside the bar and asked where he came from. My name is George Thurman, I was a sea captain years ago and I’m retired from working. I spent my entire life working at sea and now I am enjoying staying grounded. How about you boy’s? He replied. I told him that I started a year ago working on the Isabella and I was nineteen years old. We told the old sea captain we had to leave and said our goodbye. Til we meet again boys, bon voyage, and tipped his beer at us.untitled

We loaded ourselves onto the ship and within twenty minutes we were off. It was a sunny day and my buddy and I were on the deck taking in all the scenery around the Portland waterfront. The Isabella was off and we sailed all through the night. The swells were starting to get bigger and the ship was rocking back and fourth. I decided to go check the cargo hold where the bombs were being stored. They were loaded in the front of the ship and stacked like cord wood. I was starting to hear some clanking, like metal to metal, but really couldn’t see anything loose. I went back up topside and reported this to the captain. The captain told me to make regular checks and to keep reporting back to the bridge of the findings.

The sea was getting worse by the moment and now the ship was rolling and moving up and down. My buddy Ricardo and I decided to take another check of the cargo hold. What we found was very concerning. The bombs that were stacked like wood had now tumbled and were all loose. The bombs were being tossed around every time the ship rolled. They would clank against the ships hull. We ran up topside to tell the ships captain when we felt and heard an explosion. I looked up and the whole front of the ship was flying through the air. The bombs had detonated and I was thrown backward and hit my head on the edge of a railing but was still conscious. Ricardo was knocked into the water, I awoke in my daze to realize that I had to try and save Ricardo. MAN OVERBOARD! I hollered this three times and no one came to help. I took a life preserver and tossed it overboard to try and help Ricardo but he was long gone.

The ship stopped moving and I could see the front of the ship starting to go nose down. We were sinking real fast and I had to find something that would float. There was some foam sheets along edge of the railings that I could use. I ripped them off the railing and prepared myself to go overboard in a last attempt to save myself. I couldn’t see if anyone else was trying to get off the ship. I looked up at the bridge and I could see the Captain calling on the radio. I’m sure the communication lieutenant was tapping out Morse Code, SOS-SOS-SOS. Save Our Ship was being repeated. The ship was now listing to port and I could tell that this ship was going down real fast. I had my foam sheet and was prepared to jump into the sea. The captain came out of the bridge and hollered. Abandon Ship! That is all I needed to jump into the cold and salty waters. One-two-three and I jumped.

The coldness of the water took my breath away at first and the salt in my eyes made it hard for me to see anything. I was able to see others jumping off the ship but I had no energy to swim over to help them out. I laid on my sheet of foam and floated away from this area. I took one last look when the ship finally made its last plunge to the depths of the ocean. I floated for hours and with the day being sunny I was able to warm my body. I looked out over the ocean and could not see land anywhere. I had no water or food and I was starting to worry that I would die on this floating device.. I dozed off to the sounds of seagulls.

I woke up and looked out to the horizon and could see land. I was coming up to a beach of some sort and I could see people laying on the sand. I was wondering if maybe they were survivors of another ship wreak. I could see men and woman and children playing in the water. I could see many woman in bikini’s, with their bodies all tanned up from basking in the sun. I could see a Ferris wheel  and could hear music playing in the distance. What is this place I had floated too? Some kind of Utopia, and Circus? I came to rest on the shore, this one young lad comes up to me and kicks sand in my face. Hey Mister? What kind of stupid surfboard is that? I opened my eyes to see this little brat smirking at me. I raised myself and starting looking for other shipmates. I cannot see anyone. I see this very attractive lady in the distance. I walk up to her and ask her where is this place? Her reply is Portland Head Light, Maine.  I had left from Portland, Maine. untitled

I thought about what had happened. The bombs were stacked like wood and with the rolling of the ship there was friction on the surface of the bombs. It only took a jolt up and down and this is what discharged the bombs. There was no other survivors- I wondered now if I was even on a ship or if I was dreaming.

©Bilodeau,D.H. 2014

 

Mechanism’s of Life

CPRDispatch, Code 99 in progress please respond to 1112 Park Street. This was a call for help and I was the man on duty. I was eating breakfast with my wife and kids when the call came out. I jumped up quick from the table and spilled my coffee. The wife looked at me and couldn’t believe that I would not stop for a minute to clean up the coffee.. Hey, I have to get going in a hurry, someone’s life is on the line.

In the heat of the moment the only thing you can think of is responding and trying to beat the clock of time for this patient. I jumped into my truck and reached in my pocket for the keys and realized that I didn’t have them, they were in my street clothes. Argh!  Back into the house to my wife saying what is the matter? I forgot my keys honey. I rushed up the stairs and retrieved my keys and hurried on back to my truck. I turned on my red light and off I go to try and mitigate, or stop the progression of dying. I’m thinking in my head, ok open the airway, check for signs of circulation, if none start compressions and breathing. I had trained for this so many times and when it is real life you still go back to the basic’s. ABC-Airway-Breathing-Circulation.

The patient was lying prone in the living room and some family members were trying their best to hold their emotions and still try to perform CPR-CardiopulmonaryResuscitation . It is a very hyped up scene when responding to a code 99. We  hope that we can respond in time for the patient. The brain will die in about 6 minutes max,  lactic acid will start destroying the vital organs in a short time thereafter. Because the family was at the home and were instructed from the dispatcher to stay calm and start performing CPR this patient had a chance. Blood flow to the brain and body was continuing.

The medic with me hooked up the twelve- lead monitor and determined this patient needed to be shocked back to life. Clear! Everyone cleared the patient and Six-Hundred Joules were induced across the heart of this patient. We checked the monitor and a good sinus rhythm was now shown on the screen. The paramedic put some drugs into the veins of this patient and everything was looking good. We had stopped the line of progression of life or death.

The family was instructed to meet at the local hospital and that the patient was stable at the moment but not out of the woods. Because of the lactic acid the patient could have liver, or kidney failure, it could be a long-haul in the hospital.

We as responders will try to do everything possible to change the outcome for a patient. Our own family members sometimes never turn on the switch. It really is a switch from going from family function’s to rescue mode. Sometimes we feel like Jekyll and Hyde. No not really, but to switch modes on a dime is the comparison. Honey, I will clean up the coffee, Just give me a minute, Ok?

I do not work for an ambulance. I did at one time back in the 80’s. I do medical work at my workplace and respond via local fire department when called upon. ©Bilodeau,D.H.2014

Motorcycle Pepe’

2009_v-star_650_classic_right_sidesmallI am about to take an endeavor like no other. The crazy wild me has determined that life is too short and decided on a chance to win a bid on a motorcycle. The call came in and I was the high bidder. Wahoo! Now what? I pulled out the old snowmobile helmet, exact words from my wife. That is a snowmobile helmet! Hey, That is all I have and I’m going to use it. You have to use what you have at the moment. The biggest worry for me is getting that motorcycle out of the lobby of the bank without tipping it over in front of all the local bank dwellers, most of which I know by person. I can picture myself putting the kickstand up and the motorcycle doing a timber.

The next endeavor, is when and if I do, getting the motorcycle out of the bank and hoping that it will start. The bike has been sitting in the lobby for over a month. I’m not sure the battery is any good. I do have a backup plan for that. I have one of those jump start units, oh that reminds me, bring tools to take covers off.  I haven’t had a motorcycle for almost 20 years now and just getting familiar with all the controls will take a minute. First find out where the key switch is located. Then where the gas switch is located. The wonderful world of the internet has provided me with some information so I’m not totally clueless. I did however find the most valuable bit of information. If the kickstand is down and you put the motorcycle in gear it will shutdown the motorcycle. For once they got something right. I can remember many times when younger I had to find out the hard way with the kick stand down and trying to corner in that direction.  I hope it warms up a little before I take this ride back to my house. It is only 30 deg F and a tad cold for a motorcycle ride. It is suppose to warm up to 43 F today so it might not be as bad. I will dress up somewhat warm, I only live 15 minutes from the bank. The picture on post is not actual bike but same as this year and color similar.

Watch out world because this grandfather is hitting the road. Good day everyone.

©Bilodeau,D.H. 2014

 

Fire Road Twenty-Four

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe night of the snake encounter. My brother Mike had asked if I wanted to go hiking in the Sierra Mountains, Near Kirkwood Mountain ski area. I guess by what he was saying you could go about 12 miles into the mountains via fire roads. He would go to the local information center in Kingsbeach area and get topographic maps so we could follow the roads and hike different mountain peaks.

I didn’t have much for mountain gear to start out with. He told me I probably will need a decent back pack and to go to the local Circle K and maybe I could find one. I went to the store and in the sporting equipment section I saw the perfect back pack. It was in stripes and stars of the American flag. It was relatively cheap looking and that was ok because I only had a little money. I had to get some other supplies. A thermos and maybe some plastic cups and plastic silverware would do.

I was feeling good that I was packed and ready. My brother picked me up at my house. Hey bro, How you doing? I’m doing great and excited for the trip. How many day’s do you think we are going to hike. Well, I have three days off and do not have to be back until Friday night. Ok, I replied, sounds good to me. The drive up the mountain pass to where we was about to begin this trip was like forty-five minutes away. Hey bro? Here is a beer to start the trip. I was smiling from ear to ear.

Mike was an ambitious young man and the outdoors was really his fancy. I liked being around him because of this outdoor excitement. We did a lot of trips together which I probably wouldn’t do if it weren’t for his planning. We made it to the start of the hike, Mike brought out the topo maps and we decided to take Fire road 24 which would take us to the north ridge. We hiked all day and stopped for a few beer breaks along the way. Mike told me that we better start looking for a place to bed down for the night.

We found a nice flat spot near the top of the North Ridge and it was a perfect place to start a small campfire. It was hidden by tree’s and hopefully we wouldn’t start a forest fire. We had some cans of beef stew and cooked it up. We needed the protein for energy for the hike tomorrow. We sat and talked for a few hours until I told Mike that I was going to bed. I lay awake for a few minutes and fell quickly fast asleep.

Ouch! Something had just punctured me in the thigh and I about jumped through the roof of the tent. I was trying to find my flashlight but that was outside in my backpack. I tried to find the zipper on the tent and something hit me again right on my stomach. Ouch! I found the zipper and ran out of the tent hollering all the way. My brother came out of his tent and asked what is all the hollering about? Something just bit me, twice actually Mike. He had a flashlight and looked into my tent. Oh my god bro, it is a timber- rattler. I was starting to feel a little dizzy and getting very weak. Bro? I have to get you back down the Mountain in a hurry if you are going to survive this. He gathered all our stuff and left my tent right where it stood. Bro, we have to get moving fast. He put his arms around me and we started the trek back down the ridge.

I was really starting to fail fast and walking was like I had never walked before. Bro, you have to keep going! Hang in there because your not going to die on my watch. We finally made it back to the vehicle and Mike raced fast as he could to the nearest hospital which was twenty minutes away in Truckee, California. The doctor put some anti-venom into me and by the next morning I was starting to feel like myself again. My brother had save my life and I owed everything to him.

I loved my brother and his exploration of the wilderness. He had a love of the world like no other and wanted to share everything about it with his family. Mike took ill back in 1990 and couldn’t survive the infections that he had. If only I had half the ambition he had for life. I will never forget the time in the mountains with him. Thanks Bro it was a wonderful memory of you today. I’m looking up to ya Bro.

©Bilodeau,D.H. 2014

Crying In The Woods

Avalanche_Rescue_Dog_Looking_A_6552172I am part of an elite special search and rescue team out of Ashvielle, Texas. Our major concentration and training has been in Search and Rescue. I am special- qualified in low angel rescue and searching with dogs. Our team was called out to the the State of Maine because a woman had gone missing on the Appalachian Trail a week ago. I had my dog Bert with me and another person on my team was going with a search dog too. I had all my gear in my back pack and flashlights for hiking at night if needed. This woman was hiking alone on the AT when she failed to contact her husband Tony two days before. Her husband new that something wasn’t right and called the authorities.

The day started out with all our team meeting at the local fire station in Apton with our team leader Dean giving us a pre-op and giving us coordinates to search for the day. I looked over the map of the terrain that Bert and I would be canvassing and notice the elevation to be around 3200 feet. I had hiking boots with spikes in the bottom which gave me better traction. One of the firefighters gave me a ride closer to the area I would be searching.

I found out that this lady had an enormous amount of hiking experience and that she was well prepared for hiking in the mountains. I’m sure she just went off trail and got lost and that we would find her in no time. Usually our team found most people that we went looking for and I felt like this was going to be the same. I had been all day searching and calling out her name. Julia! Julia! I hollered for her all day and never heard any response back. I called back to my team leader Dean to tell him I had not found any indication of anyone hiking this area. I could find no foot prints and also looked for turned over rocks, or broken whips on the tree’s. The hike was starting to wear me down so I decided to stop and get some water. There was a big rock and the sun was shinning on it brightly which I felt would give me some warmth. Bert sat down next to me and I brought out some water for the both of us. I was looking at my map and making decisions to change course when I thought I heard someone crying from within the wood line about 100 meters ahead. Sometimes when your looking for someone so bad your mind does strange things and I just thought it was my mind thinking I’d heard a voice within the woods. Again, I could hear someone crying. This time Bert’s ears popped up so I knew that I wasn’t just imagining this sound.images

Bert and I  moved toward the ridge line and into the woods. The crying sound was getting stronger and I know could hear this person calling out, Help! Help!  We were about to cross over this stream and down next to the stream and near a large felled tree I saw a woman. I called out, Are You Julia? Yes, Please help me. I got on my two-way radio and called team leader Dean to give him information of my coordinates and that she had been found. Julia was so happy to see me. Here is a link of a true story that happened in Maine. This woman was never found.  http://appalachiantrail.com/20131214/search-missing-appalachian-trail-hiker-gerry-largay/

I accessed her condition and found that she had two broken legs from a fall she had taking. She had dragged her injured body at least one mile through the woods. She understood that she needed to get to a stream if she was going to be found. Both her hands were cut up as well. I took out my bandages and wrapped them around her hands. I had soft splints in my gear bag and splinted both legs the best I could. The crying from Julia had stopped. She had no more tears to let out. She was very dehydrated. The rest of my search team embarked upon the scene and we were able to carry her back to the fire station to an awaiting ambulance. Her husband was relieved that his Julia had been found.Cave_Rescue_training_12_4in

In the weeks afterward our team was called out to another search and rescue. The Arizona mountains, where a team of sky jumpers could not be located. Bert and I were ready for anything- – – – – – – – – – – –   ©Bilodeau,D.H.

One Fraction To Completion

Icicles13I’m looking at the thermometer and it reads 31.5 deg F.  The saying one step for mankind is popping into my head. The icicles are a half of a degree from a droplet, slowly within a solid matter just waiting to become a liquid. Now, the ketchup bottle is in my mind, one more drop, hit the bottom to get to the last drop.

If you think about it, How often have situations been one millimeter from making it all the way? Or winning a race, he was only fractions of a second from winning. I myself have been in this situation. I was running once in the playground and a kid was ahead of me. Whoever makes it to the tether pole is the winner. I am running so fast with my PF fliers sneakers and I’m sure I am going to win this competition when something tugged at my foot. I looked down and someone who tied my sneaker didn’t do a very good job and I tripped. I was so close to that boy that I could taste dust.

Think about in warfare, one ship shoots at the other one, both however are shooting at the same time. One shooter decides to eat some Dorito chips before firing and because he put his head down for a fraction of a second his ship get destroyed. Only millimeters away from success.

What about the guy who decided to cross the ocean in a bunch of balloons tied to a lawn chair. He was so close to making it across the beach that he almost crashed into the ocean. I guess he wasn’t close was he?

One step for mankind, I’m still watching the darn icicles and not one drop has come down.  I remember a car race my father had brought me to when I was a young lad. These two cars were neck to neck and the finish line was approaching. One guy looks down for a split second, I think he is eating a Dorito chip, then the other racer takes the checkered flag.

If you look at most things in life that were so close, you will find a reason why they didn’t succeed. Mostly because of not paying attention, or probably eating Dorito’s. Have a great day folks, coffee and peanuts on the menu for me.

©Bilodeau,D.H. 2014

Abundance Of Something

2014-03-13 13.01.33What is all this white stuff around here. I decided it was time to go out and start cleaning the snow. I was very comfortable in the living room. The woodstove was pumping out some nice heat and going out into the cold just didn’t seem right. I was thinking that if I wait long enough the snow would be gone. However being the smart guy that I am, How was I going to get to work in the morning? So I went into my cellar to retrieve my snowmobile suit and gather up my mad bomber hat and some gloves.

I’m all bundled up now and feeling a little locked in. I make the move out to start cleaning off one of two trucks that I have. One truck I use everyday and it doesn’t have a plow. The other truck is the old truck with a plow. I decided to get the everyday truck cleaned off first . I tried to open the drivers side door and I couldn’t open it. Frozen in time. I pounded on the handle and finally the door opened. I spent some time cleaning this truck and it was not easy. The snow we had last night was filled with a lot of moisture and I had to pound ice off. I then proceeded to the old plow truck. I tromped through the snow and started the cleaning process. Phew! I”m getting tired already and haven’t even started cleaning the driveway yet. 2013-12-30 06.57.11

I finished the plowing in the driveway and now it was time to start the snow blower so I could clean the walkways. This was going to be a task since I burned up the starter during the last snow event. I had to take the spark plug out and spray starter fluid to assist me in starting this. I pulled on the pull cord many times before it started up. I proceeded the process of cleaning. I was about halfway done when the snow blower quit. Oh no! Now I have to try and get this started without the starter fluid. Lucky for me it started right back up.2014-03-12 17.53.03

You know what usually happens when your all bundled up like this? You have to go to the bathroom. Back into the house and reverse the process.  Then start the process over and so I can finish the job outside. It is not easy being me.  I finished this job and felt like taking a nap after all this work. So I told myself, You? Take a nap, Me, Ok no problem. The wood heat is feeling so good. I will have to make it another day to finish this story. Good night everyone. The shoveling will have to be completed in the morning.

©Bilodeau,D.H. 2014

Jetliner Lost?

fvUG-v8AI cannot find my keys. I understand that you can lose small items like keys, How can you lose a jetliner? I’m glad that authorities are still out searching the ocean for ten- thousand square miles. The first problem in this search is they forgot that the earth is round. They should be searching ten thousand round miles first. The next in the equation. How can lose something this big in the first place? I can understand a small items like your wallet, sunglasses can be misplaced, but not a jetliner.

They have the technology to find such things and for the sake of the family’s I hope that the liner is found and the people are safe. I lost my teeth once and had an easy time finding those lodged into a tree limb. I lost my virginity once but found this too. I got lost once and ended up finding my way, except for the time I got lost walking in the city when I was ten years old. A young lady found me and called the police, so this one doesn’t count. I have lost at gambling before, I never found that one back. We can lose things here on planet earth but sometimes we find the items or someone finds them for us.

I sure do hope this jetliner is found, I’m still searching around my neck of the woods but all I have seen is deer, squirrels, and birds. I will keep searching and maybe if everyone on this planet keeps searching we will find this airplane. I know we have the technology, we just have to keep looking.

Time To Change

untitledTime to change the time and get some exercise. I decided it was time to run around the house and change all the clocks. You never know how many you have until you have to run around the house changing them all.  I proceeded downstairs and change three of them. I ran upstairs  and changed three of them. Back downstairs because I forgot one. Back upstairs because I put the wrong hour on the clock. When upstairs I remembered that the vehicle’s needed a time change. I put on the jacket and outside I go. Changed in the car, then changed in the truck. I ran back into the house feeling like I had ran the marathon. I sat down to take a breather when I forgot I usually change the batteries in the smoke detectors. I ran upstairs and changed them in the detectors, then downstairs to the main floor, then in the cellar to change another. I heard a beep on one of the detectors. The one all the way upstairs is beeping, bad battery. I forgot about another one on the main floor, beep beep, the one in the cellar is beeping. Must be a bad batch of batteries. I changed this one and I hear a beep again. I go all the way upstairs, nope. I run to the main floor then run into my wife using the microwave and hitting buttons. Phew, I’m exhausted. Good for another year!

Only Minutes Of Clarity

Surgeons%2520Looking%2520at%2520PatientA call came out to a report of an unknown problem. My heart skipped a beat. I had to drop the tools I was using when trying to fix an electrical issue. I grabbed my pouch of tools and walked faster than normal. Someone is calling out for assistance of an unknown factor, they are in distress. My mind is trying to swap from electrical fixer upper dude to a medic. No reports of what has happened but to just report. I get back to my shop, drop my tools on my work bench, then retrieved my medical bag. I am no longer the electrician. I walk to the trailer where this person is located to find someone clinging, minutes to possible unconsciousness. I have to figure out in only a minute or so what is wrong with this person. My mind is still stuck at the electrical job I was just working on minutes before. What is wrong, I ask a few questions to the people around him and get a medical history report of the patient. He does have a medical history and I find that I can make a difference in a hurry. I reach down to my medical bag, take a quick inventory of my supplies and grab what is needed. I give this person a quick dose of what I believe his issue is. Within minutes this person starts responding to my treatment. He is starting to understand a little more than before and things are starting to come back to normal for this patient. Two other responders show up and we monitor this person for awhile. The patient shakes my hand when I’m leaving. It doesn’t get any better than that. I walk out the door and my mind has to swap back to electrician, just like that. Moments like this make you realize how precious minutes can make. Enjoy your day, I will.

©Bilodeau,D.H.

Hand For You

imagesLVUEGR8IWho was that person who held my hand? I was involved in an auto accident last year and spent six months in the hospital for numerous broken bones. I was driving a semi truck down Route 68 out of Toledo when a small car swerved in too fast into my lane. The only move I could make at the time was to cut the wheel as fast as I could to prevent hitting that small car. I looked out at my mirror and could see my trailer fish tailing. When the trailer came around it took the cab with it. I went down over an embankment and smashed into several larger boulders. The cab exploded and that was the last thing I remember except for the moment someone was holding my hand. I woke from what seemed like hours. I could hear voices, cut the A-post, then the B-post, and remove the roof. Still someone was holding my hand and I could not see anything. This hand holding was what kept me going through this ordeal. The next thing I know was I was lying in a hospital bed. My eyes had been wrapped up because of injuries to my facial region. Someone was holding my hand. I called out, Who goes there? No one answered my call. I could still feel someone grasping my hand as to say hold on, we will make it together.

Time has passed now and I am going crazy as to who that person or being was that held on to my hand the night of the crash , also the hospital bed. Is there someone out there that goes from person to person helping people in need? I want this job, I could do the same thing. You are going to be ok because I have your hand. AHELPINGHAND.COM would be my business. I know that someone was out there that day. I could feel the warmth from their hand. Maybe it was some greater power that is beyond my imagination. Maybe I will never find out. I just want to thank that person for being there for me. This story is a Fictional. I was not in any accident. Good day Everyone. Cool in New England. ©Bilodeau,D.H.

Of Medical Attention- Please!

imagesWho is there for me? I sometimes wonder if something happened to me that a responder would be near enough to help. Living in a rural community, the rescue service tries their best, but at times they could be quite far away. I hurt myself last summer and I was trying to make a decision to call for an ambulance or drive myself. It is hard making decisions in the moment. I sliced my hand, no it was not life threatening, so I decided to drive the truck to a local doctor. Still not a good decision but I made out reasonably good. I was stitched up and off I went.

I am a first responder at my workplace. We usually have three or four  guys that I work with responding to medical calls. It all depends usually how many of us are there. Someone might be on vacation, or taking a paid sick day. I sometimes wonder if something happened to me in the mill would there be someone to help me, like I have helped others. It is hard to get people to sign up for this extra duty when they are already doing their normal positions within the facility, including myself. I work as a electrician normally, but still respond to fire, hazmat, and medical calls. I  put myself into this position because I did this for 20 years at another industrial facility. I was not going to throw away a chance to save someones life if needed. I really do enjoy doing this stuff. But who is there for me?

Are people not signing up as responders for a reason? I wonder if they are scared of what they will see. Yes, I have been witness to some horrible stuff, but I look at this as part of my job. I would want the next person to help anyone in dire need. Bystander’s are always around when we have incidents, but are usually just standing there. I know these people would help out in any situations of an emergency. But still they hold back from signing up as responders.

The fact that I’m sitting here all alone right now and thinking about what if something happened to me right now? I  think that every human should have one of those life alerts available to them. I’m not just talking a cell phone. You might not be able to speak. I am going to ask the government for a grant so that all Mainers can use this service for free. I will call this service the Healthcare  Act 2014. Calling ALL MAINERS- YOU CANT GET THERE FROM HERE if you don’t have your new government issued life alert device.

On a serious note: Really, have you ever set out a plan as to what you would do in an emergency of medical attention? It is hard to put a band aid on your finger with one hand when the other is bleeding. DARN-IT I just spilled hot coffee on my foot. Oh the pain, so what do I do now? Goo on Boo or not? The answer is somewhere in a book, or on the computer, but now the foot is starting to bubble up and the pain is serious. Now you cannot walk to call for help, your starting to feel a little dizzy. I have the answer! Hit the Life Alert Button on your new Government issued button.

I will always try my best at being a medical responder and I would hope that some day if you ever thought about doing this stuff to please reconsider it. A life is worth saving. Enjoy the day folks, I’m styling in my new Government Issued Alert Button.©2014 Bilodeau,D.H.

Equipment At It’s Finest

imagesIt truly is amazing, or some telepathic connection, that every time you need something to work in the worst conditions it never works correct. We have a new storm brewing in the Northeast, Maine to be exact. I decided that I wanted to clean a little more snow at the end of the driveway before the next storm that is coming in tonight. I hop into the old plow truck and the starter makes that distinct click like the battery is dead. I proceeded to get the jump starter out and give the battery a boost. The truck starts after getting a few more electrons. I’m all fat, dumb, happy and I push the button for the plow from the hand controls. The power light doesn’t respond and now I’m stuck with another dilemma. I hit the on/off button a few more times and this time it responds. I move on down toward the end of the driveway and it feels like I have a flat tire. The tire is going flat and I’m stuck with another episode.

It always seems like when your equipment has to perform it seems to know and it rears it’s problems just to piss you off. I worked the night and came home. I took a nap from 0800 and then was called out at 0930 hours to another resident going through the same issues. His was much worse. I believe my truck and his truck were talking on the cell phone prior to our issues. This truck decided to catch fire and possibly almost ruined a young mans curly moustache. He survive the ordeal by bailing out of the truck. Equipment always seems to give you troubles.

I was once snowmobiling with my wife and two children. We had climbed a mountain in our region. We got to the top and was enjoying the 360 degree panoramic when we decided to drive back down the mountain. I sit down, put the kids in the dog sled, the wife was sitting with me, and the equipment failed me again. I could not start the snowmobile and we had to be dragged eight miles to the nearest road.

I’m sick of machines, all of them.  I have two riding lawn mowers incase one fails me. Last year both failed me at the same time. You see! They must of chatted with each other via email before spring. We will get him good on this one, Hee! Hee! Oh and when he goes to change the neglected lawn mower blade make sure it slices his hand good. Yes, I’m sick of machines. If only machines could talk, I would give them my two cents worth.

©2014 Bilodeau,D.H.

Axes of Ages

untitledLingering winters and men and woman chipping ice in their driveways. It almost sounds like a symphony around here with all the different chippings in the neighborhood. Some people have long handle axes and some with short handle axes. They each vibrate at different frequencies and make a distinct noise. When you live in a tight neighborhood it really is like a music ensemble. Dah, Dah, Dit, Dahhhhhh. I might have to bring out the golden handle axe my father gave me when I had my first child. This is the axe of all axes. He built it himself and hollowed out the center of the handle. He put it on a balancer to make sure that the weight was distributed evenly. The magic of this handle is he put a reed inside. With the vibration of the handle it will vibrate the reed and make a sound like no other. I can see all my neighbor’s heads turn in unison when I chip ice in my driveway. They are like, what the heck is he using up on the hill? I will never tell them because I have one up on them. I’m going to pass this axe down to my children, the first born, when he is old enough to swing the handle. I have to get ready for some work in the driveway so have a great day everyone , I will. Dah- Dah- Dit Dit Dit, Dit/ Dit, Dit, Dit ,Dah Dah.

Riding the Gravitron

untitledSpinning things and I do not get along. I remember one fall we had a local fair and my wife and I wanted to take the kids for entertainment. We approached the fair and found parking. I could smell all the food from the venders, oh what a smell that was. We paid the attendant after parking and decided to take the kids through the animal building first. The kids were smiling and petting some of the lambs and all of a sudden, SMOOSH! I stepped my right foot right on animal secreation. I did a Curley Shuffle at that moment and almost lost my stomach. I wiped the stuff off as quick as possible as to not let it sink into the sole of my shoe.

Time to move on so we brought the kids down to the boardwalk where all the guys are hollering at you to spend money so you could get a 20 cent stuffed animal for like two dollars. You can see I’m really enjoying this. I could hear people in the distance laughing so we decided to walk to see what all the noise was all about. There right in front of us was the ride the Gravitron. People were just completing their ride and they were laughing and smiles from ear to ear. I thought, hey that is what I came here for, to have a wonderful time. I look back now at this picture. Do you see any smiling faces?gravitron_lg

I bought tickets for this ride and was standing in line looking at this monster of a ride. It had flashing lights all around it and was in the shape of a spaceship. It was making all kinds of noises and music was playing. It was an impressive looking ride. The door was  open and the line was moving forward. I walk into this spaceship thinking what the heck have I done to myself. The attendant tells everyone to get into position on the outside walls of this vessel and put the strap around your chest. In the center of the cylinder is where the guy operates the controls. The center is stays in one place with the outside which is left to spin. I’m in position, I say hello to both people on the sides of me. I can smell lamb poop, I hope no one else can. The loud speaker makes a squelch noise and the attendant tells us over the loud speaker, HERE WE GO. I’m thinking about this for a second. Where the heck are we going? The vessel starts picking up speed and I can now say I want off this ride. I really do not like spinning on anything. It reminds me of the late night drinking events. This things is moving like Mach 10 when all of sudden the floor I was standing on drops out from under foot. Ok, I am having an almost barf moment here. The people to either side are starting to look a little pale. I think I am pale too. I just do not see any enjoyment here. Why was all those people laughing when they came off before I decided to step on the Gravatron? The ride started to slow down and the floor remounted itself and finally it came to a stop. I took the strap off and fell right to the floor. At this moment I took a quick glance around and everyone else was laying down too. No one, and I mean no one at this point knew up from down, left from right, or even how to get out of this vessel. I crawled on my hands and knee’s and finally exited the ship. http://www.nasa.gov/missions/science/hyper.html A link of information on spinning. Some people just live for this.33542main_hyper1

This was not a laughing matter. I was sick to my stomach, pale, and could smell lamb poop. I look out behind the fence and all the people are laughing. I understand now that it wasn’t the ride dwellers that were laughing it was the parents and other people that were smart enough to stand it out.  So I will never again in my life go on a spinning ride ,thanks to the Gravitron.

John and Ralph

  untitled They had been planning a trip to Alaska for three years. This was going to be a camping trip like no other. John called Ralph again to make sure he was bringing his 30-30 rifle and enough ammo to last the two weeks they planned in the deep woods. Ralph asked John to make sure he had all the fishing gear and if he had to go to the store for anything. You know, last minute stuff. Looks like we have everything and Ralph told him he was going to pick up John at 0500 hrs. Be ready be square. John was wondering what he meant by be ready be square. Ralph always was making comments like this that totally made no sense. Oh, that was the way he was. A good nights sleep and off for our vacation of a lifetime. The airplane was taking off at 0700 hrs and we better be on time.

Ralph was honking the horn early this morning. John woke up early and had a coffee so he was quite ready. The trip to the airport was non eventful, with Ralph chatting all the way. Some people just talk to much, John had a headache now. The two of them gathered their gear and took them to customs to check it in. The rifle was going to be mailed by Ralphs’ wife and would arrive before they landed in Fairbanks. They both loaded into the airplane with John taking the window seat. images

The trip so far was very long and one can only read the magazines in the back of the seat so many times when you start going a little stir crazy. The plane had been flying for about four hours when suddenly there was a loud bang, a vibration under foot. The plane started gyrating up and down and baggage started falling from the cargo holds. We could hear alarms going off and the oxygen mask had extended. John and Ralph looked at each other and both knew that they were in big trouble. The plane started a decent like no other and the angle inside looked like we were going straight down, nose first. This went on for about a few minutes when the plane felt like it was starting to level off when all of the sudden the whole fuselage exploded. I could see people flying in the air and both John and I were bouncing off the walls of the plane. I hollered for John, and kept hollering. There was smoke bellowing, black, and I could see some fire ahead of us. People were screaming to the top of their lungs. Coughing, this black putrid smoke, to get even a little breath of air. The plane came to a stop and I knew we had crash landed somewhere. images

Ralph, Ralph ? Yes, I am right here John, you going to be ok? I don’t think so I’m coughing up blood and my right arm is severed. Please tell my wife I loved her, nonsense John, you are going to make it. Remember we are going on this camping trip together. We are going to walk right out of here and continue with our trip. Ralph? I’m not going to make it, you are my best friend, Tell my children I was the best daddy and I loved them. At that moment Johns’ color changed and he was gone. Ralph was devastated, his best friend was gone. imagesYL59QIUJ

Ralph had to figure out how to get out of the airplane. The smoke was choking him so badly that he had to escape now. He could see people gathering to the right side. This must be where the exit is located. Ralph made his way to the doorway and jumped. A slide was deployed upon impact so that emergency rescue was possible. Ralph slid all the way down to the bottom not knowing where he was in the first place. It was daylight, that he could tell through the black smoke. When he finally was able to get his feet underneath himself he took a look around to see where they might of landed. Certain things stated to look familiar, scents around him smelled like coffee. He could hear a bark in the distance and someone next to him where he was standing. Oh god where am I ? A voice, so gentle and pretty had  spoken. Honey! I made you breakfast, and made sure that all your bathroom supplies are packed. I wanted to make sure you was ready for the trip.imagesYZXJ2I7C

©2014 Dwayne Bilodeau

No More Polar Vortex

imagesY5J56Y8XA Vortex of sort that is sucking down all the cold air from Canada. What most do not know is the Vortex also takes in the cold air but also produces colder air.

A little History this one technician told me. The difference in pressure inside the Vortex with it spinning is what causes the colder air to escape. Way back when River Paddle boats were transporting people they had to find a way to keep food cool. Don’t ask me how it was performed but they created a vortex in a room where the food was stored, thus keeping the food from rotting.

Vortex’s are used everywhere today. We have them on control boxes in the power plant that I work at. It if you put mill air into the Vortex the output is much cooler air so we pump this air into the inside of the box to keep the electronic stuff cooler. We also use Fireye’s on the boiler to detect flame and this also has a Vortex which will keep the electronic in the eye from heat failure. So Vortex’s are used in lots of applications.

The only Vortex that we do not want this time of year is the Polar Vortex. The air coming into the Vortex is already very cold and to make it drop temperature on the output of this is bad news for most of United States. I hope this thing clears soon because my wood supply is dwindling quite rapidly. I think the wood is in direct proportion with the Vortex.

Stay warm folks and keep an eye on the elderly. I’m going in for another sip of hot coffee.

© 2014 Dwayne Bilodeau