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Old 01-12-2009, 10:44 PM   #21
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Don't get near me.
Why? She'd be the last person that the Grim Reaper would hang around. It would be like waiting for a lottery ticket to pay off. Even the Grim Reaper can find better odds else where.
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Old 01-12-2009, 10:56 PM   #22
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I just try to remember the funny ones. The really scary ones give me nightmares.

Working as a patrol cop one night my partner and I got three bogus calls to the same unit in an apartment complex. The occupant was a woman going through a divorce, her boyfriend, and her kids from her marriage. Soon to be ex-hubby was tormenting them and when the third call came in we started looking for the dude in the area of the complex.

Instead we ran across some other ne'er do well who couldn't keep the lies straight about what his name was. While we were playing twenty questions with him, this other guy comes walking up with his right hand in his jacket pocket. My partner was frustrated over the first guy's lying and popped off to the newcomer with a smartass question: "And what's your name?"

"None of your f*$*ng business"

To which my stupid partner (who was usually much better than this) replied: "That's a funny name"

He was also not paying any attention to the guy's hand in his pocket, the 1,000 yard stare and all the vibes he was sending off that screamed "I've got nothing to lose".

It was soon-to-be ex-hubby and he had his hand wrapped around a cocked pistol with his finger on the trigger. There were a few tense-moments until he was disarmed.

For years after, whenever my partner tried to assert that he knew what he was doing and I should trust his decision, I would just look at him and say, "That's a funny name".
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Old 01-13-2009, 06:32 AM   #23
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Remember the SwissAir plane that went down in the late 90s? I was on it 24 hours earlier...had a lot of trouble flying for a few months after that.

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Old 01-13-2009, 07:54 AM   #24
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Ever Had a "Close Call"
Yes. Very close. I would be shocked if anybody who had lived over half a century hadn't.

I guess the closest call for me was an encounter with a 27 foot great white shark. The shark was exhibiting classic aggressive behavior patterns as close as 10 feet to me when I was diving in about 80 feet of water off Makua (Oahu) in 1974. My dive partner (fiance) had been spearfishing so I suppose the bloody waters attracted and excited the shark.

I measured him by comparing his length to my dive partner's length (6 feet) when they were both equal distances from me. The shark's circumference was about the same as that of a boxcar, and his mouth was cavernous. I lay motionless on the ocean floor and stared him down, while I kissed my @$$ goodbye and regretted that my mother would never know what happened to me. Amazing how calm one can be when there is absolutely nothing one can do.

Then in typical unpredictable fashion, he swam away. We surfaced, climbed back into our inflatable boat, and left.
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Old 01-13-2009, 08:16 AM   #25
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Well, it all started when I was three weeks old....

Survived surgery that (then) had a 50-50 survival rate.

Run over by a car at age 5.

Crashed a motorcycle when 17 at 40 mph. No gear, no helmet, and nothing more than a bad case of road rash.

At 27, destroyed a perfectly good airplane, walked away from the wreckage w/o a scratch. The salvage crew said normally they burst into flame instantly under those circumstances.

Worked 18 years as a police patrol officer and the only injury was being bit by a dog.

Sometimes I wonder how come I'm still alive....
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Old 01-13-2009, 08:20 AM   #26
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Rafting down a dangerous river with my buddy in the PNW, raft flipped and I got sucked under a log jam in a river bend (friend managed to crawl onto the log jam). Knew for sure I was a dead man as I struggled underwater against the current. Finally I closed my eyes and let go of a branch I was hanging on to, knowing that my next breath was going to fill my lungs with water and my body would likely never be found under there.

The current battered me around a bit and just as I'm ready to take that life ending breath, my head pops up out of the river, about 50 meters downstream of the log jam. The water was freezing and I had barely enough strength left to fight the current and get to a fallen tree sticking out into the river. I hugged that tree trunk tight while I caught my breath for a minute as the river current beat down on me like a fire hose against my back.

Managed to shimmy along the tree trunk to the edge of the river and climb out onto solid ground. Still took us around 4 hours to find our way through the forest (him barefoot and me w/o my glasses!) to some ATV riders who helped us get to a main road.

Also survived a nasty car wreck (vehicle folded up like an accordian) but not without permanent injuries.

Few other near miss type things, but those two were for sure the closest to death.
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Old 01-13-2009, 08:28 AM   #27
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The one that comes to mind happened while I was ice fishing in Canada.
We stopped our snowmobiles to look at the view. (bright sunshine -5 f)
I saw what I thought was a spot of oil back 20 ft. that we had just run over. I fell through the ice (60 ft. of water), but luckily, it was cold enough that my gloves froze down when I reached out and I pulled out of the hole like a seal, and crawled away, shouting to the others to keep away. The cabin was about 11 miles away, so we jumped on the snowmobiles and took off. When we got to the cabin, I was stuck frozen to the snowmobile and all zippers frozen. The guys got the teapot off the stove and poured hot water on the zippers to get me out.

When my clothes dried I went back fishing.
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Old 01-13-2009, 09:25 AM   #28
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Incidents I was told about:

1 year old - fell face down in irrigation ditch w/ a couple ft. of h2o, Mom momentarily distracted

2 years old - fell from moving car when door left ajar

incidents I remember:

5 years old - rope burn on throat when fake hanging went wrong while playing "cowboys & Indians"

10 years old - fell through ice while playing alone on frozen lake

17 years old - bad car accident

20 years old - USMC, Vietnam; most of tour "in the sh*t", worst day resulted in purple heart & couple months in hospital/recovery

27 years old - 50 mph motorcycle accident

59 years old (last year) - matter of seconds from drowning while trying to rescue wife from under-current at Costa Rican beach

These are the "highlights".

I am typing this very slowly with my left hand because my right hand/wrist is in a cast.

Am/was I reckless or stupid, lucky or unlucky? Mostly a combo, I guess.
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Old 01-13-2009, 09:28 AM   #29
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I am amazed at all the falling through the ice stories. Scary.
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Old 01-13-2009, 09:37 AM   #30
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I am amazed at all the falling through the ice stories. Scary.
The only ice I like is in my drink..........

I forgot another event. When I was 8, some kids dared me to jump into the deep end (10 feet) of the local swimming pool. I hadn;t learned how to swim yet and almost drowned. The lifeguards saved me.......
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Old 01-13-2009, 09:39 AM   #31
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Couple times surfing. Once got all the way to acceptance, that drowning wasn't so bad.
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Old 01-13-2009, 09:41 AM   #32
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11-Sep-01: I was supposed to be at the Risk-Waters conference at the Windows of the World, on top of WTC1. I had a conference call in the morning which I felt I couldn't miss, so I decided to stay home for it and go to the conference at lunch time. No one who attended the conference survived, including 2 co-workers of mine who were there on time.
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Old 01-13-2009, 10:06 AM   #33
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Circa 1974, 35,000 feet above the central US, at night, on a training mission in a KC-135. The navigator had control of the aircraft while practicing celestial navigation. What could possibly go wrong?

This was a routine exercise where we pretended WWIII was underway and we could only use a sextant and the sun or stars to navigate. (If you think that was primitive, you should have seen what we called a toilet.)

For the pilots this was a couple of hours of boredom while we tried to stay awake and follow the nav's occasional requests for change of heading. Prior to beginning the celestial nav training, we notified ATC what we were doing (we'd be wandering aimlessly across the central US, lumbering in one direction, then another) so they could keep separation between us and other aircraft.

An hour or so later, half asleep, this image flashed from left to right across our windscreen:

After having a very interesting conversation with the ATC controller (and the guy who suddenly replaced him on the radio), I recall thinking how nice it was that PanAm kept the spotlights on their vertical stabilizers turned on when flying at night. Made it easy to see them...
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Old 01-13-2009, 10:11 AM   #34
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Circa 1974, 35,000 feet above the central US, at night, on a training mission in a KC-135. The navigator had control of the aircraft while practicing celestial navigation. What could possibly go wrong?

This was a routine exercise where we pretended WWIII was underway and we could only use a sextant and the sun or stars to navigate. (If you think that was primitive, you should have seen what we called a toilet.)

For the pilots this was a couple of hours of boredom while we tried to stay awake and follow the nav's occasional requests for change of heading. Prior to beginning the celestial nav training, we notified ATC what we were doing (we'd be wandering aimlessly across the central US, lumbering in one direction, then another) so they could keep separation between us and other aircraft.

An hour or so later, half asleep, this image flashed from left to right across our windscreen:

After having a very interesting conversation with the ATC controller (and the guy who suddenly replaced him on the radio), I recall thinking how nice it was that PanAm kept the spotlights on their vertical stabilizers turned on when flying at night. Made it easy to see them...
Unreal........... Didn't you fly fighters too?
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Old 01-13-2009, 10:29 AM   #35
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Didn't you fly fighters too?
No, other than while in training I flew only the heavies.
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Old 01-13-2009, 10:33 AM   #36
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Got charged by a black rhino in Kenya. We were walking with an armed guard on a rhino preserve and had been instructed to scramble up a tree if a rhino was aggressive. We were hiking across a huge open area when this momma and her calf approached perpendicular to us, saw us, and charged. Caught in the open, it was useless to run. The guard fired his rifle in the air and the rhino turned off and retreated. Before our arrival, another guard had had his leg pierced by a rhino horn, so the danger was real.

Later hiking up Mt. Kenya with an unarmed guide, we came upon fresh elephant dung, which is scary because wild elephants will stomp a human just as a precaution if they have young with them.
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Old 01-13-2009, 11:07 AM   #37
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Two summers ago, my husband and I were on a tour bus back from El Portillo ski area in Chile. There is one good road between Chile and Argentina - a two laner and all of the semis use it. They also all drive like maniacs (not just the truck drivers) in Chile - perhaps I can even generalize to South America. I was in the second seat behind the driver with my head turned talking to the person in behind me and my husband next to me. The next thing I know their eyes go bugged-eyed and the bus swerves right and slams into a 20 foot side wall. We kept going and then stopped a little later to see the damage. Turns out a semi was passing another semi and in our lane and at that point of the highway there was a block wall on our side and a ravine/cliff on the other side of the road. Somehow, the side wall swerved just enough to the right and the truck barely passed the other truck in time for us to not end up in a head-on collision on a highway in the Andes. Our driver did not have his seat belt on and was thrown across the bus. We were stopped a bit later down the road by the carabineri (national Chilean police) and told that witnesses of the near-accident were sure we were goners. You wouldn't believe how courteously the driver drove after that. Luckily I didn't see the incident, only felt the slam.

Other was boogie-boarding at Manhattan Beach and having to wave off because some smart-ass 11 year old stole my wave - unfortunately another wave came down right on top of me and did the 'force me down, scrape me across the bottom and luckily spit me out on the back-side.' While I was being given the underwater ride and bottom of the beach view I wondered if I would make it back up in time for air.

Last was white water rafting for the first time on the American River. We had a yahoo who on the boat who was telling his wife to 'put her game face on' - she was the heels and make-up type. Our boat came up upon a rock on the middle of the river and got stuck on it - the people in the front of the boat fell out and floated down. I and she got stuck on the rock with fast swirling water around it. She then told me she couldn't swim........I got to be the guinea pig for grabbing a rope and sort of floating to the side. I had to lay out flat and try not to have the current slam my legs or head against the rocks and logs underneath. They kept telling me to just go with the current, but I used some arm strength I didn't know I had and pulled myself out. For the non-swimming lady, they found a better angle and she just glided over. I almost smacked both husband and wife for their stupidity. I was later told they were amazed at the strength I had to pull myself against the current and get out. One's body can do amazing things when it senses life or death situations.
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Old 01-13-2009, 11:10 AM   #38
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got asked, "does this dress make me look fat"?
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Old 01-13-2009, 11:12 AM   #39
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got asked, "does this dress make me look fat"?
Don't tell us you replied, "Not as much as the one you wore yesterday."
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Old 01-13-2009, 11:14 AM   #40
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"no, the dress is fine, ..."
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