“There is no real ending. It’s just the place where you stop the story.”

― Frank Herbert

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

How to get run over by your own truck. It can be done.

1988 F250, extended cab, long bed.   It can squash you flat.
This is an old picture of my F250. I don't think they have them overseas, so I put this on here to show what I was talking about for folks from out of the country.

I decided to go to the dump today.  Loaded up the truck and headed down the trail.  Where the gate is, the incline is pretty steep.  I stopped about 20 feet from the gate, put the truck in neutral and set the parking break. This is absolutely not the procedure I normally use for opening the gate. In the normal course of events, I'd turn off the truck, put it in low, set the parking break, then get out to open the gate.

I started walking down to the gate and I heard a loud "pop" sound behind me. Turned around and here came the truck, rolling down the slope.  I tried to climb up the bank but all I could do with just grab a branch and sort of lift myself out of the way. The trail curved there and the truck thumped into the clay bank about six feet in front of me and stopped. No real damage because the bank has thawed out and all the rain has softened the clay. If that curve hadn't been there I figure it would have run me over, since I couldn't really get high enough off the trail to get completely out of the way.

The moral of the story is that procedures exist for a reason.  I made them up originally to preclude exactly this event. But I was in a bad mood, I was thinking about something else, and I just didn't pay any attention.


This afternoon, having finished all the things on the get done list, I turned on my computer and the blog had 36 pieces of spam in the comments. They were all those things where somebody says "oh, what a wonderful blog, I learned so much from it. Please check out my blog at Toiletseatsforhalfprice.com.



The Spam filter on blogger is getting most of them, but I still get them in my email and have to open each one  to be sure it is spam.  They are all from anonymous.   I get plenty of valid, legitimate comments from real people who use anonymous, and I'd hate to change the blog comment set up to not allow anonymous comments, but I can't keep doing this and the problem is getting worse. I don't want to use those things that put a bunch of scrambled numbers and letters for you to interpret. Sometimes I have to try six or seven times to get them right on other peoples blogs. In fact, if I find a blog that uses that, I have to REALLY like the the person or it just isn't worth the trouble.

All I can think of to do is just tell people that in a week or so I am going to have to stop the anonymous comments capability in pure self defense. If anybody has another idea I'd be delighted to hear it.

41 comments:

  1. Harry, Harry, Harry, You are so very lucky. When I was at Disney they drove the same point over and over...Saf"D" begins with me. Even on the ramp at the airport, Safety was a big issue. Every time I got hurt, was because I wasn't paying attention.
    BE CAREFUL we all need your guidance, and experience.

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    1. Well. I tend to get preoccupied, and that's when bad things happen. Especially if I am angry at the time. I'm good for comic relief, if nothing else.
      ;- )

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    2. my buddy Rob is soooooo right! we need you around Harry for your guidance and experience!

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    3. Sometimes I think I'm getting senile, Kymber . Honest to God. Anyway, I'd like to go out on a better note than that. I knew an old man here who had a team of mules. One day he was harnessing them to his wagon for a parade in town, and something spooked them. They lurched forward, he got tangled in the harness then they dragged the wagon over him. I remember people were sad when they heard it but I also heard some guys making jokes about it. I don't want to croak in some undignified way and have a bunch of b**tards laughing about it over coffee at the gas station.

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  2. I've had an influx in spam comments also. Lucky I don't get a lot of comments so its not become a big problem for me.
    Luckily you were able to get out of the way of your truck. Those Fords have a real problem with parking. We have one also (but its computer died). I think they have A.D.D. and forget they are supposed to sit still.

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    1. it's the "back up's to back up's issue. If you turn off the vehicle, put it in low, and set the parking brake, as well as turning the wheels toward the cliff instead of the ravine, it's pretty hard for things to go wrong. Just getting out and leaving the thing pointing downhill, in neutral, with nothing but the notoriously unreliable parking brake in an older F250, was an act of unmitigated carelessness. When I saw it coming and thought it might get me, the only thing that popped into my head was "well, it's been that kind of day."

      I'm going to disable anonymous comments as soon as CC and some other folks have time to gen up an account if they want to.

      Good to hear from you. I've been keeping my eye on your blog in the blog list but hadn't seen any new postings. You don't' have to have a big reason to write, people are just interested in what you are doing and thinking.

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    2. Harry,
      I actually had started a post a couple weeks ago about the lambs. Then I never got around to finishing it. Just to tired at night. So finally got around to putting something together yesterday. Hopefully with this rain FINALLY coming, I will have the time to sit down and write a little more.
      Kimberly

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    3. I know how that can be. I'm trying to spend a little less time on the computer, and it's difficult to strike a happy medium. I enjoy your postings, particularly about the animals. I used to have a lot more animals here before my kids grew up and moved away.

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  3. Lucky you...and about the anonymous comments, I shut it down for the very reason you mentioned. I have very little to nil spam. People adjust. It isn't difficult to register with Google and have a 'name.' Don't give it a second thought...do it.

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    1. I've decided to do that but I want to give CC and anybody else that writes anonymously a chance to set up an account if they want to. As you say, it only takes a second or so.

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  4. My dad would bitch at me so much if I parked a vehicle and didn't put it in reverse that it is now an unthinking process. I rarely if ever leave anything running even to open a gate.

    As for the spam ignore it. I delete spam comments off my daily posts the first day and after that rarely bother. It isn't like it costs or something.

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    1. I usually don't either. Today I just had too much going on and got careless. That's usually how you get done in up here. Something you've done a million times, but this once, you changed something and that was that.

      I'm too much of a perfectionist to let that stuff stay in my blog. For me, the blog is a record and spam infuriates me. Logically you are exactly right, I just can't help it.

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  5. oh Harry - reading this made me sick with worry...i am sooo happy that you weren't hurt. and glad that the truck is ok. the straight part of our driveway is about 75ft long with a 15 degree incline. jam always goes and unlocks our gate, then drives the truck right out onto the road and then re-locks the gate. i am always telling him to just drive down, park the truck at the bottom of the driveway in front of the gate and then unlock and relock the gate. he has been absolutely adamant about NOT parking the truck on the incline. i guess you just proved his point and i guess i owe him an apology.

    as for anonymous comments - we had to turn ours off as well. we had about 10 different people use anonymous regularly, none of whom wanted to make a google account/name...and now they don't comment anymore. it sucks but you do what you have to do.

    anyway, i am really glad that you are safe. Rob is right...we need you around! your friend,
    kymber

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    1. Kymber, my trail down off the top of the mountain to the forest service road at the bottom is dangerous. It's also not all weather, as we just proved this past week. Every time I've had something happen on that trail though, it's been the result of poor choices on my part. And those usually happen when I'm bent out of shape about something. Which is still my own fault.

      I'm going to shut down the anonymous comments capability but I'm going to wait to try to give people who want to a chance to make an account with whoever. I know people worry about operational security but you can make up an entirely bogus account with no real information about yourself. Beyond that, if the government wants to run you down posting anonymously isn't really going to protect you anyway.

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  6. glad you are safe buddy - procedures exist for a reason and i have paid the price for not following them many times myself..

    as for the comments, i don't know what to add other than shitting in the woods is free ;-)

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    1. Having been a pilot for many years, I'm a big believer in procedures. I have set procedures for just about everything and as long as I adhere to them I do ok. But if I get rushed, distracted, or angry I'm at risk of doing something foolish like I did today. I need to ratchet back a bit.

      You are quite right about the woods, Jam. No argument there! :-)

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  7. G'day Harry,

    Sounds like you had your excercise for the day, glad the truck missed you! I'll have to remember to use your normal parking procedure, I have driven manual vehicles all my life but have just purchased an automatic. Usually on a slope I would turn off the motor, put the vehicle in reverse and engage the handbrake but I can't do that any more.

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    1. I've got a granny gear low, so I usually use that. It would take an earthquake to get the F250 moving in low. I guess with an automatic you'd shift to park, but on a slope when you come out of park a lot of times it "thumps" the transmission, depending on how steep the slope is.

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  8. Oh my! I'm glad you are ok! That could have ended very badly.

    Once my Dad had his car running. My sister, who was 5 at the time was in it with her friend. It was just minutes really. They decided to put the car in reverse. It was an older car. Off they went. Luckily no cars were coming, and the curb across the street stopped them.

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    1. True. If it had run me over I'd still be down there under the truck, and it's raining and cold now. That would have been a humiliating way to go! ;-)

      It only takes a second for things to go sour. I would imagine your mom was not thrilled with that episode. I've done things like that. I don't like to remember them.....

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  9. Glad you were ok. I stopped taking anonymous comments for that very reason. It took care of the problem.

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    1. Lisa, I'm going to shut that off in a bit. I hate to, because there are some good folks who use anonymous but I can't stand too many more of those cheesey "what a great blog...." comments. I get them all in a rush, on old posts, going back months.

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  10. Man, you manage to pack a lot of excitement into a short post.

    In order:

    Truck - holy crap, man! Well, I guess we have SOP's for a reason, right? Glad you're okay. You know what they say..what doesnt kill you makes you stronger...but usually it just kills you. Didja at least have your cell phone in case youw ere pinned under the rig?

    Spam - Do you have the option of the 'Captcha' text recognition like Ryan uses on his blog? WordPress has a buncha anti-spam add ons and they work well for WP. I get maybe three or four get through for every couple hundred that get captured.

    And finally....happen to get anything in the mail from yours truly?

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    1. I had a cell phone, but if the truck went over me on that trail I wouldn't have needed it. I'd have either been squashed outright between the front bumper and the cliff, or I'd have been flattened by the underside of the truck. An ignominious exit and there would have been plenty of people here who would have hooted when they saw it in the paper. I did something similar with an aircraft thirty something years ago but I don't want to remember that. Fortunately one of the ground crew saved my face (and an aircraft, and probably my neck) on that occasion.

      I could do that but people really hate having to fill out a blank to leave their comment. What happens to me is that I do a comment, hit post, then zoom off to another blog and because I didn't put in the numbers my comment doesn't post, then I wind up wondering what could have offended someone so they removed my comment. It's only later when I comment again that I figure it out.

      Not yet. I'm looking for it. Mail has been really slow getting in here lately, I'm waiting for an amazon package that should have come by now too.

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  11. I just turn moderation on so I see the comments first on the Design tab under comments then click on them and hit publish for the ones I want to print. The others you click on and say Spam or Delete forever.

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    1. Kathy, I thought about doing that. My problem is that I feel like I'm spending too much time on the computer, and I want to lessen the administrative side of blogging, which I don't like, and just do the fun part which is posting and talking to friends. I need a secretary. Your idea would work, and that's what I would do if I wasn't so sorry and shiftless.

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    2. I have found that some spammers are now creating profiles so they don't come over as anon but the profile links back to their company. I just deleted about 9 comments the other day from the same "person". Some Canadian business phone company.

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    3. That figures. So turning off the anonymous function wouldn't help in the long run. I will try the comment moderation suggestion you made, it seems like that would work. Also I don't want to lose people who have some qualms about setting up an account.

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  12. Harry, That sounds like quite a day. I think many bad experience stories start with "I don't normally do this but...."

    It's just human nature. We get annoyed/ tired/ lazy/ in a hurry and cut some corners. Occasionally it bites us in the behind. Anyway glad you are OK.

    I have the 'captcha' and agree that as a frequent commenter at other places I hate it. I also don't like moderating comments. It creates more work for me and stifles conversations. Over the years the balance I've come to is having the captcha in place and only moderating comments on posts older than 14 days which are almost always spam.

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  13. Ryan, I can do the numbers if they don't distort them. The thing I absolutely can't make work is the numbers and letters all warped and swirled together. There have been times at your blog when I have had to try to figure out what the "code" was after six or seven attempts. It helps if I go get my reading glasses, but usually I don't.

    This was just a truck. I did something very similar many years ago in an aircraft and was only prevented from a smash by an alert ground crewman. I still shudder to think of it. In fact, I don't think I will.

    Deviation from standard procedures is just asking for it. To paraphrase "he who deviates is lost"

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  14. Harry,


    (captaincrunch)


    First, Im glad you did not get hurt.

    Second Marine, "PAY ATTENTION TO DETAIL" (Don't mean to Shout) but your my Marine and I have to keep you alive. You no good to anybody if your Dead and I want to meet you sometime when you alive and not read about your death from your wife posting on you blog.

    Third, I don't think your going senile. I think your so relaxed in your safe environment that you can get careless. It can happen on a watch after two hours of boredom and then something really bad happens and casualties are the end result.

    Fourth, I've done some of the same things and I really have to go out of my way and into "military mode" sometimes so I can focus. If you have to' print out the "Ten General Orders" and recite them over and over and certain dormant neurons reawaken in your brain and some of them "Marine Instincts" kick in. They may have saved your life in the past, don't be afraid to 'jump start some of the dormant grey matter between your ears.

    I appreciate what you said about holding off to give people like me some time to get gmail accounts or something.

    Heres a list I came up with.

    googleissatan@gmail.com
    novascotiasurfclub@gmail.com
    padreisland.icefishing@gmail.com
    texasgulfcoast.icebreaking@gmail.com

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    1. Harry,

      (captaincrunch)

      almost forgot to ask. Were you going to the dump to dump that motorcycle in the back of the truck????
      Is that motorcycle good. I got a fondness for motorcycles ( and anything else that's fun with an engine) If that bike's shot, that's one thing. If you find a hillbilly or a redneck that may trade for it for something useful, try that approach. Heck' you could get a Mosin Nagant for it in trade, who knows until you try?

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    2. CC: That's just an old picture I put on there so people (particularly some of the folks overseas) would know what an F250 looked like. That picture dates back to when I was hauling my son up to the off road trails at the lake. He would ride with others, while I sat with the older crowd around somebody's camp fire and had coffee. Lots of those people came up there to the trails from way off, even South Georgia, and they had campers and tents, so they would set up and invite local people like me to eat and drink with them. It was a really good time. My son is gone now, and outgrew that bike. I gave it and all his "teenaged" sized equipment to a coworker, who had a young son just getting the right age to learn to ride. I don't know if you ever did any dirt biking, but the bike is just the start. They need a riders suit, which has armor incorporated in it. They also need helmet, chest protector, leg protectors, gloves, and it goes on and on. It was worth it, though.

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    3. CC: I like your choices of names, they're all good. However, I was just reading a comment by another blogger, Kathy, and she let me know that my solution of shutting off the anonymous function won't stop the email. People are just setting up email accounts that are fake now. So I am going to try comment moderation.

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  15. Well, I love the blog, anonymously or not, and have since I discovered it a couple years back and you told us about your solar set-up and ARs at Wal-Mart. I won't try to sell you any toilets at half price, either. Glad you escaped this potential brush with pain or death, truly. The motorcycle reminds me of a blog that's about as addictive as your own, via www.advrider.com about a 60-ish year old guy from Nebraska named J. Downs who is riding around South America, right now, on a Kawasaki 250cc Super Sherpa motorcycle-fascinating stuff I found via Survival Blog. A search of "South America and back on a 250 Super Sherpa" should get you to his fascinating picture- and story-filled travelogue. Take care, I love the blog. KB

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  16. Harry - Very glad that your evasive action worked! I concur with the procedures - rather endure a slightly more predictable life, than have brush with such possible danger...

    Also pleased that your solar panels weren't in the path of the truck :)

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    1. Dani, that's an old picture of the truck. I just put it on there so people would know what an F250 in that configuration looked like. The gate is way off from the house, down towards the foot of the mountain. That solar panel is part of my old 1999 off grid system I built. The only part of it I still use anymore is the generator. Seems like most of the time when something goes wrong up here, it's because I'm not doing things like I usually do.

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  17. I'm one of the anonymous commenters and understand the dilemma with spammers - I'd be sick and tired of it myself. I'll continue to read your blog - some great topics.

    So truck brake gave out when you were downslope - yep, Murphy was an optimist. I'm glad you were able to get out of way - I've been hit by a slow moving truck and was lucky enough to be shoved out of the way, rather than thrown underneath it.

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    1. My problem is that I read the comments in my email, to make sure that if someone commented on an old post, I don't fail to respond. But these damn computer generated advertisements masquerading as comments take a long time to wade through and they are getting more and more numerous.

      The F250 from the late eighties is notorious for the parking brake letting go. That's why I normally shut down and put the truck in low going down to the gate. It sure got up a head of steam in a short time.

      I'm glad you will still be coming by and maybe at some future time when you are comfortable with setting up a name we can talk again. I understand the hesitation to do so these days though.

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  18. So glad you are safe and sound Harry, that was a lucky escape. So easily done though when you are distracted or not functioning as usual for some reason. When Ian was in the hospital and Sophie and I hadn't slept for a couple of nights as we had been there almost 72 hours straight, she persuaded me to drive to a nearby McDonalds at 6am for breakfast and coffee. I parked up and we went inside and ate, I came out to find the car had rolled forward on the slight incline, it had travelled about 15 feet, somehow missing parked cars on either side and had stopped literally 6 inches from the big plate glass window on the side of the building. I had been so tired I had just turned off the ignition but left the car in drive with the handbrake off! The thought of what could have happened and the mega bucks it could have cost me sure woke me up fast that morning. Thankfully it was early so there weren't many people or vehicles around. Taught me not to drive whilst I was tired though!

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    1. Dreamer, I'm really glad your car didn't hit anything. First, you really needed it at that time and putting it in the shop would have been logistically difficult. Nor did you need more to be taking care of at that particular time. Sometimes when we are overloaded I guess our brains just shut off some of the routine things and that's when these kinds of issues come up.

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