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Getting to Know You, August 2021


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2 hours ago, TaleSpinner said:

August 12: What’s the scariest thing you’ve ever done, and why did you do it?

Accidentally walked into a hunt for a supposed active shooter. 

 

Why? Because the college's emergency notification system didn't work right. (No real shooter, turned out to be a student's angry ex trying to arrange murder by cop)

 

Second place would be corralling unruly special needs students in an office to get them hidden during an active shooter lock down.  Why? Because someone had to. (Again no real shooter found but spent ammo found in elevator prompted a lockdown)

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August 11: What’s the worst job you’ve ever had?

 

Roofer in Nebraska.   I did this for a summer out of college, and then stayed into winter.  I realized that if any of the employees had any common sense, they would not work on a roof.   Nail gun fight between 2 buildings (no one was hit);  a lot of pot,  "road hunting"  on the way to the site, from a dump truck;  drunkeness (work started at 6am) , and general stupidity. 

 

the last straw was just seasonal,. In the summer it at least paid well, but when winter came we were "on call"  and had to check if the boss thought the weather was suitable for working in. for a month 10+ hours was a good week  

 

 

August 12: What’s the scariest thing you’ve ever done, and why did you do it?

crossed a long river bridge,  highway speed traffic, no sidewalk. because our car ran out of gas and the only gas station in miles was just on the other side.  no one would stop, at night to pick up teenage boys.  at the time cell phones were something limos had, sometimes. 

 

Edited by Evilhalfling
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3 hours ago, TaleSpinner said:

August 12: What’s the scariest thing you’ve ever done, and why did you do it?

Run for political office. 
 

1 hour ago, Thoramel said:

...grabbed me by my hair to try and yank me out of my chair....

 

...because normal folks don't just start swinging when they get angry...

I think it should be more normal than not to start swinging if someone unexpectedly grabs you by your hair and tries to yank you out of your chair.  

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3 hours ago, TaleSpinner said:

August 12: What’s the scariest thing you’ve ever done, and why did you do it?

I'm not sure.  I know joining the forums ranked highly on that list.

 

The scariest thing I've done recently was driving through a severe thunderstorm on a highway for close to an hour.  I don't recommend driving only 15 mph on Interstate 81 but that's all the visibility we had.  This could easily have ended poorly but, luckily, didn't.

 

Why?  As the navigator, I misjudged.  I thought we could drive through the storm because we were moving faster than it was - and we were trying to get to the hotel before it got very late.  Then we hit major downpours, suffered poor visibility, and slowed down - and the storm ended up being faster than us.  We should have just pulled off the highway and waited for an hour.

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2 hours ago, Thoramel said:

…grabbed me by my hair to try and yank me out of my chair…

Punching an idiot who would do that sounds kinda normal to me. 
:unsure: :rock:

 

 

I wouldn’t necessarily punch someone that tried yoinking my hair…I might settle for trying to detach the offending arm at the elbow. Intellectually I know that would not work, tendons are stronger than that, but I might well try it anyhow. 

 

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4 hours ago, TaleSpinner said:

August 12: What’s the scariest thing you’ve ever done, and why did you do it?

I guess leading the Tactical Unit fighting fires on Death Row at a Maximum Security prison.

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4 hours ago, TaleSpinner said:

August 12: What’s the scariest thing you’ve ever done, and why did you do it?

That I can write about publicly? Probably free climbing in the San Joaquins. One time I get stuck on a bad ledge that caused me to have to backtrack about 15 minutes. The last 5 minutes in (and back out) were with legs and arms fully extended as a belly of rock slowly pushed out my midsection (so I looked like this: (( ). Fatigue almost got me, would've been about a 400' drop to a scree.

 

Another time, same peak. Crested a resting ledge: spot to sit, dangle feet and drink a beer, it was maybe 3' wide by 2' deep, a really nice spot on a relatively sheer face. But this time, there was a little rodent right at the lip, facing away from me. Trembling in fear because there was some kind of eagle or hawk with wings fully spread, about to pounce on senor rodent. Bird flew off, rodent bolted somewhere, I reigned in my adrenaline spike and pulled myself up onto the ledge. That one would've been more like a 500' drop to scree.

I got into rock climbing to overcome my fear of heights, and because it's good fun.

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5 hours ago, TaleSpinner said:

August 12: What’s the scariest thing you’ve ever done, and why did you do it?

If unintentional things count, it was spinning out on a mountain road in the middle of CA. I was young, maybe 20, and it was in the wee hours of the mornning driving from Barstow to San Luis Obispo, crossing over the mountains. I was going as fast as my little Datsun 210 would go (maybe 60) and suddenly saw something on the road and swerved. Bad idea. There was a fine layer of dust across the dry, dry road... my car began to spin out, the long drop in thed just one lane away as my car drifted across the 2 lane highway.

 

Turns out I swerved for a tumbleweed. Ah... youth....

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2 hours ago, kristof65 said:

 

I think it should be more normal than not to start swinging if someone unexpectedly grabs you by your hair and tries to yank you out of your chair.  

 

1 hour ago, TGP said:

Punching an idiot who would do that sounds kinda normal to me. 
:unsure: :rock:

 

 

I wouldn’t necessarily punch someone that tried yoinking my hair…I might settle for trying to detach the offending arm at the elbow. Intellectually I know that would not work, tendons are stronger than that, but I might well try it anyhow. 

 

 

I mean, you're both right. But in the circumstances I not only increased my risk of danger but also increased the risk to my coworkers. Always a good idea to stay as calm as possible in odd situations so that even worse crap doesn't happen. Or, at least that's how I try and live these days. 

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2 hours ago, Xiwo Xerase said:

I'm not sure.  I know joining the forums ranked highly on that list.

 

The scariest thing I've done recently was driving through a severe thunderstorm on a highway for close to an hour.  I don't recommend driving only 15 mph on Interstate 81 but that's all the visibility we had.  This could easily have ended poorly but, luckily, didn't.

 

Why?  As the navigator, I misjudged.  I thought we could drive through the storm because we were moving faster than it was - and we were trying to get to the hotel before it got very late.  Then we hit major downpours, suffered poor visibility, and slowed down - and the storm ended up being faster than us.  We should have just pulled off the highway and waited for an hour.

 

That reminds me, I also drove for about an hour and a half through extreme thick fog at night...

That was pretty scary.

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5 hours ago, TaleSpinner said:

August 12: What’s the scariest thing you’ve ever done, and why did you do it?

Honestly, it's hard to say, so I'll go with one that scared everyone else I was with.  Arenacross event I was doing first aid at we had a rider faceplant in the inner 180 turn, aaaand she didn't get back up.  Didn't move either.  According to my partner there, we were in the middle of talking, and one moment I was next to him, the next I had launched myself over the cattle fence. 

 

...The race hadn't been stopped yet, and kept going for a short while. Apparently I waited just long enough for the other riders to pass around the wide outer 180, and then went.  Some of the other first aiders were thankful off record I did such, because it brought attention to the pro riders, who then basically nagged the hell out of the officials to stop the race, knowing full well that if she wasn't moving there was a huge issue. 

 

Turns out what happened was with how she fell, her bike wound up fracturing her femur, and she was dancing in and out of consciousness due to the pain, and it took a while for us to get her off the track, even with paramedics (it took over 45 minutes, and we had three people trying to hold her leg stable as he rolled her from face first onto her back (and onto a hardback stretcher). 

 

Yeah, St. John's Ambulance Brigade has about half a dozen more rules now because of me, but for over two years the pro riders at that event would call me by a specific nickname.  Looking back, I'm just thankful I'd practiced a few different ways to get up onto those fences earlier in the day, because it's what allowed me to instinctively go through the maneuvers. 

 

Am I proud of it?  Unknown.  It was arguably a rather stupid risk I put myself in (the active riders passed me at least once, many getting their rear tires within inches of me), but it also revealed to me just how tunnel visioned I can get at times. 

 

Dad was silently impressed at my focus, but also made sure to grill me a good amount for throwing my own personal safety to the side so readily, doubly so because one of the things Amy first aider is supposed to do first is survey the scene.  Yes, I trusted the skill of those riders, but still. 

 

~~~

 

Another one that comes to mind was when I was marshalling a drift event in Calgary, when Race City was still open.  I was watching a car come around the far wide 180 and about a third of thee ay through the turn thought something wasn't right.  By the halfway mark, I knew they'd lost control of the vehicle.  I was about halfway down the straight, convenient next to the swamp.  Anyways, they managed to mostly regain control of their vehicle about a second out of the turn, but then hit the wrong pedal, and wound up panic accelerating...  They hit the brakes once they realized the direction they were going, but yeah. 

 

Without seemingly thinking, I took three long steps forward as the world felt like it slowed down... And a second later that car flew right through where I'd been standing previously, and went riiiiight into the swamp. 

 

One of the photo guys was sooooo happy, because his new Land Rover had a winch and he hadn't gotten to use it yet...  A friend of the guy who went into the swamp wound up volunteering to get the cable attached, and of course, like anyone who doesn't want to get their nice jeans soaked in swamp muck did a superman dive onto the guys hood - and landed it too. 

 

That one got a few blinks followed by "wait a second...." from me. 

 

~~

 

Another that comes to mind was being the flag drop guy at a flying finish of a stage rally, uh, stage. Many cars were going by at 160+ kph, and you're on the side of the road just standing there with one arm above your head holding a safety vest, waiting for them to fly past you so you can drop the flag (and by drop, we mean swing your arm down as fast as you can).  These were logging roads, so not really the widest of gravel roads, to say the least. 

 

Anyways, one competitor was coming around the bend in their older Corolla that had a Toyota Hemi in it, so arm goes up... Then I watch them cut just a bit too much into the inside corner, clip something and spun horizontally at least 3-4 times, then suddenly stopped at the front end hit a few trees.  We knew it was the last car, and that it would be at least five minutes before any follow up official cars, but since flag was raised, we had to wait. 

 

What we didn't know was if they were okay or not, and so thirty seconds passed by.  Radio guy who was with me was trying to get in touch with our checkpoint half a kilometer down the road, but we didn't realize the batteries had frozen in the -25C weather.  One minute passed, then two, and right after I said the words "I'm going to check on them" we finally hear their engine fire up. 

 

We found out afterwards that what happened is since they came around the corner full throttle that the carbs had flooded, and the impact had also jarred them pretty good, so the first thirty seconds was just them regaining their bearings and doing the "am I okay, are you okay, and is anything on fire" mental checklists, and then 90 seconds trying to get the engine to start again.  They did apologize for making us worry - they had tried to signal "we're okay" but hand signals aren't all that visible when you're over half a kilometer away. 

 

2 hours ago, paintybeard said:

 

Sail with Russian crew.

I'm guessing that's the crew that could turn a fire extinguisher into a flamethrower? 

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9 hours ago, TaleSpinner said:

August 12: What’s the scariest thing you’ve ever done, and why did you do it?

In a VW ratracing down a interstate in High School. I was not the driver.  After we took a test at a school about 45 min away, the driver of the car that gave me the ride accepted a challenge to ratrace (dodge in and out of traffic to beat the other driver) a Camaro and another muscle car back home.  I had no other way home so I was in the back with three other students in the VW (total of 5 people).  He weaved into and out of traffic an took the lead.  To keep the lead he took a shortcut.  As you get off the interstate the road makes a sweeping 100 deg turn. The driver took that turn at speed drifting into the other lane to lessen the turn.  Just then another car appeared in that lane coming at us.  The driver jerked the wheel to get us back in our lane but overcorrected.  We drifted off the outside of the turn off the road heading for a deep ditch.  The driver jerked the wheel to get us back on the road.  He overcorrected again and sent us to the oncoming lane, missing the other car's back bumper by less than a foot.  When we go back we beat the two muscle cars by 10 minutes. 

 

Many years latter I learned that our driver had Leukemia and died in about a year after this incident.  That may have explained why he took those risks.

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11 hours ago, TaleSpinner said:

August 12: What’s the scariest thing you’ve ever done, and why did you do it?

 

I think the trip out to Angel's Landing at Zion Nat'l Park, Utah. It's at the very top of a mountain that you hike all day to get up. When you get to the top, the bus is the size of a grain of rice. You can walk out along the crest to a point called Angel's Landing. There is a chain bolted to the rockface and you walk along it. I didn't make it more than a couple hundred meters out, because there was too much traffic. You would think some people go this way, wait, then some people go that way, but that's not how it works. 

 

I did the Rat's Nest Cave in Canmore when I was younger, and not as fat. It's guided only, and you have to tie off everywhere. The falls are certainly less dramatic than Angel's Landing, but body recovery would be more difficult. 

 

EDIT:  I guess the traffic got too much, and people shoved and pushed their way to their deaths. Now there's a permit to limit traffic out there. There wasn't when we were there. 

 

Edited by Great Khan Artist
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