Ure on 3-Day Injured List
I don’t have accidents often. The last “mishap” of any potential was back in our flying days. And it was while studying that when the concept of “Accident Chains” was drilled into me.
A flying story first to kinda “set the table.”
About 9-years ago, Elaine and I were on one of our transcons and we’d come out of Missoula, Montana from a fuel stop. It was a picture-perfect day to fly a single-engine over the Rockies.
We began our descent into Spokane at Lake Coeur d’ Alene. As always, I set up for a stabilized approach, but then the Tower can on. “Beech 1-2 Lima, please keep your speed up, we’ve got a propjet right behind you. Land long if you can but there’s construction at the west end of the runway and crossing jet traffic…”
Up went the speed. There went the stabilized short-field landing. I came in hotter than I’d wanted but noticed the left brake was “soft.”
An aircraft shop found the problem – pin-hole line leak. A hose and brake fluid and 2-hours of monkey-motion and a quarter of an Airplane Unit ($250; 1 airplane unit = $1,000. Like boat units…)
The First Chain Was Complete
So we take off from Spokane and head west to see my buddy the Major in Gig Harbor, Wa. Before take-off, I had noted that “Gee, that left brake is sure a lot more sensitive. Make a mental note to go light on braking when we land…”
Sunny mid-day landing, light (gusty) winds out of the north, which was about down the runway heading.
As we flared, I paused while waiting for the gear to “load up” a bit…and then began to brake. Intent on making the first turn-off
That was Chain #2.
In order to do that, applying moderate braking, the left brake grabbed like hell and slew the aircraft off the runway and toward to (OMG, don’t hit one of those field lights!).
As I fought to dodge the field lights, now we were onto wet grass…and braking was like being on ice. Which, by my reckoning was?
Accident Chain #3.
Eventually, I got back on pavement (like nothing happened), cleared the runway. And just sat there on the taxiway for a minute or two remembering what went wrong.
- I had work done at a new shop where I didn’t know (and hadn’t been flying with) the A&P mechanic.
- I’d also failed to do “hard test braking” after having the brakes serviced.
- Muscle memory applies to left (clutch) leg.
- And I got too committed to taking the first turn-off at KTIW. The second one would have been closer to the ramp, anyway.
The Ure family luck was running strong that day. Some ribbing from the Major but sandwiches and beer followed and no damage to anything…
Saturday’s Accident Chain
I was on a roll Saturday morning. I’d picked up some trash. When you have 30-acres, it’s amazing how stuff just “shows up” in the yard. Critters carry off paper cat bowls and so forth.
While heading for the burn barrel, I remember what was going through my head.
“… Next thing I’ll do, after putting this trash in the burn barrel is put that vertical antenna out of the walk-way. Hmmm.. I haven’t measured it, so I really ought to do that before I put it up. On the pipe racks of the out-building or lay it on the roof? I need to fire up the antenna modeling software….OHHHH SHIIITTTT!!!”
Right then, I realized that I had tripped and was falling. Gravity was still in charge. Left foot hit a hunk of 6-by-6 I’d been pondering some use for. It was out of my field of vision, though, because I was wearing new glasses that came in this week. Wasn’t used to the bottom of frame’s “blind spot.” Twisted the knee good, for sure.
That’s How They Work: An Accident Chain!
After seeing stars for a moment, or two, I hobbled over to the house where Princess Elaine directed me to my recliner and brought out the ice with instructions not to go move for at least a half-hour.
Of course, sunny 60-degree weekend days are not for such sloth. I was back at things in 10-minutes, or so.
This Morning? Bad Decision
Took a good 45-minutes to get rolling this morning: Did 20-minutes of red-light therapy on the now slightly puffy left knee. That killed most of the pain. What was left was run-off by a couple of ibuprofens and two cups of coffee, plus some vitamins.
Study of the “accident chain” leading to this was interesting:
- What was the 6-by-6 hunk doing there? (Bad short-cut George, you idiot!)
- Why were you not more in the present moment? (Mindfulness, idiot!)
- Elaine knows more about injuries, having been a trainer, gym rat, and masseuse. (Yeah, fool: Why don’t you listen to her?)
- Was there something wrong with the old glasses? (No excuses about ‘getting used to them’ — can’t BS Ureself, you know… )
I hate being at less than 150% of capacity. I will be doing more “sitting projects” than intended today.
But the worst part of all being old (not that 71.9 really is) is when I go for my ‘six-month service check’ with my primary care doc next month, I know what’s coming:
“Have you had any falls?”
Answer #1: “Well, there I was, working on antenna designs while hauling trash to the burn barrel and wearing new glasses and I tripped on a hunk of 6-by-6 I’d been too lazy to move and figured I get to it someday….”
Answer #2: “No.”
You make the call.
Todays Big Takeaway:
Accidents are not usually one thing. They’re usually a bunch of small things. Sort of like Lifetime Piling Up. But without the rap sheet or blue lights.
Hip Replacement For Elaine
Another health issue came into focus for us this week. Went to see an orthopedic surgeon since Elaine has started having increased hip pain. Diagnosis?
“I see a lot of patients who think they need hip replacement,“ began the doc. “But on a scale of 1 to 5 – with 1 being “you’ll need it some day” and 5 being “let’s get this done NOW” you’re a 5…”
Since we have a reasonable Medicare Advantage Plan, it won’t be a financially devastating event. What’s more, hip replacements aren’t as big a deal as once were. Doc figures a 40-minute operation. But, we found out, he explained if someone’s fat (like really really) it can take up to twice as long.
One of these days (CV shutdowns and so forth, aside) we will go to a “seminar” where we’ll be trained on what to expect. More importantly, they will figure out if we can write a check for the balances due at the end of it.
“Everything is a Business Model” after all.
My younger sister had hips replaced a few years back. And even after being thrown off a horse 6-months after surgery (I know…“What was she doing on a horse?” Riding….) no issues.
Elaine’s expecting the same or better, but not leasing her a horse for a 6-month warranty test!
Sunday In The Shop
3D printer is printing. Set up of the CR-10 planned this week.
Parts are on the way for an old Sears radial arm saw (113.19771) being restored. Found the cutting table dimensions on line – I’ll be doing 3/4″ plywood for that. And some poly on that to reduce table tear-out.
Changing power around for the big built-in shop vac. I’ll put it on a 20-amp compressor circuit that’s barely used, except when the window a/c unit is on in the summer. Cut list work will need to be done before 10 AM when it’s hot again. (Soon? Please?)
Garden parts are in hand for what may be a larger example of environmental failure this year. (Elaine has the green thumb, which is why the hips are important. I mean besides the shimmy-shimmy cocoa-bop and pole-dancing…part.)
Next weekend, a retrospective on Surplus Stores…
For now, more coffee and drugs sounds good. Drugs…yeah…
Write when you can walk,