Memoirs of a 1918 Spanish Flu Survivor

Memoirs of a Spanish Flu Survivor

Memoirs of a Spanish Flu Survivor

CNN posted a story today titled “1918 Flu Survivors Share Memories as Research Continues”, and in it, several survivors of the 1918 pandemic were interviewed.  These folks are medical curiosities not only for their age, but also for the fact that even after all this time, they still have some immunity to the Spanish flu in the form of B cells, which CNN states are immune cells that produce antibodies.

Paulano’s great uncle Oscar “O. D.” Hansen (born Aug 2, 1893, died June 19, 1987) was also a survivor of the 1918 flu pandemic.   During that time, he was in the Army, stationed at Fort Dodge, Iowa.  In his 1980 memoirs, he described his experiences:

Pill Box for H1N1 researchers, physicians, immunologists

Pill Box for H1N1 researchers, physicians, immunologists

There was a tragic thing that happened at Camp Dodge in the fall of 1918. Well, throughout the country for that matter, in the terrible death rate from the flu.  There was very little evidence of the sickness in the camp prior to one certain day.  However, one day when the flu hit the camp it did so just like a wave or a storm.  The day that they announced the flu had hit the camp there was 35 or 40 people who were already sick when I [took the] sick call [data].  I became ill myself and had quite a siege while I was in the barracks, however, I did not go to the hospital because my fever never got over 101 degrees, and they only took those with high fever to the hospital because they were so crowded.  I had a friend from Lennox, (South Dakota) who happened to be in my company at the time, his name was Elmer Gedstad, and he spent several nights helping me with cold cloths on my head and neck.  Finally, I had some bleeding in my nose and mouth, and that seemed to relieve the situation and I started recovering again.  The main part of the siege was over.  I did get to town and had an examination by a civilian doctor who assured me that I had double pneumonia.  The death rate for several weeks, or at least two or three weeks, in Camp Dodge was said to be about  85 people per day, and curiously it seemed to be the big, strong, heavy people in camp where were most likely to succumb to this malady.”

World Wide concern over the H1N1, the Swine Flu

World Wide concern over the H1N1, the Swine Flu

Somehow, O.D’s retelling of his experience makes the current situation seem little more real to me than all the media hype.  Let’s all hope that this history is not repeated.

 

Paulano Gets Cool E-Bike just in time for Earth Day

Bikes equipped with an electric motor are green alternatives to cars

Bikes equipped with an electric motor are green alternatives to cars

If you don’t know already, tomorrow will be the 40th annual Earth Day.   Hoo-ahh!

Easy to Install, Fun to Ride

Easy to Install, Fun to Ride

Earth Day is a good time for us each to do a quick self evaluation, to see what changes we can each make to be a little greener.

Not quite yet a candidate for eco-Martyrdom, but not a total eco-jerk either, Paulano has been seen riding around Livermore lately on his new electric bike.   By cutting down on car trips and using the electric bike instead, I’m making headway towards being leaner and greener.  A little bit anyway.

Zap your Bike into a new Eco-friendly Commuter Vehicle

Zap your Bike into a new Eco-friendly Commuter Vehicle

Originally, Paulano was supposed to build an electric cupcake car for his daughter, Parker.  (Don’t ask)  The e-bike idea was conceived as an intermediate step once Paulano realized that he didn’t know much about batteries, or electric motors either.

The plan was to cut my teeth on the electric bike, and then move up to the cupcake car.

Ultimately, my e-bike quest ended with the successful installation of an Ampedbikes.com kit on a 2009 Electra Townie Original 1 Women’s Frame.   With no pedaling at all, I can maintain 20 mph, and get 13.5 miles per charge… more than enough to get me around town.   If I make the effort to pedal, I go a little faster, and I can easily double my range per charge.

My daughter rides the Electric Bike all the time too.  After all, the bike was supposed to be for her.  Remember?  At 90 pounds, she gets well over 20 miles for each battery charge with no pedaling.

By the way, the re-charge time on my 36V 10 AH Sealed Lead Acid (SLA) battery takes 4 1/2 hours.

And that whole cupcake car idea???   … virtually forgotten… Thank God.

Cupcake Pillbox? Yes.  Cupcake Car?  Not so much...

Cupcake Pillbox? Yes. Cupcake Car? Not so much...

As long as I am discussing E-Bikes, I should mention that I highly recommend the product, price and service I got from Ampedbikes.com. I also can not say enough good things about the entire product line of retro-sleek Electra bikes.  Check them out. And in case you are wondering, those are both unpaid, unsolicited Paulano endorsments.

All things considered, I wish now that I had gone with the Townie Original 7, Men’s Frame.   The seven speeds would lend added versatility, and the Mens’ frame would give added strength.  Live and learn.  But still, the Women’s Townie One frame fits my

Riding a bike to work is good for business

Riding a bike to work is good for business

daughter better, so it was a great choice too.   Ultimately, it is entirely likely that this e-bike will elimate or at least delay the need for another car in the family.

Happy Earth Day.

Many of the images in this blog post can be purchased at Kyle Designs. Kyle has gift items for the eco-friendly person in your life.   She offers over 300 original, unusual designs, in dozens of colors on Hundreds of Items that you use every day, from wall switch plates to business card holders.   She offers engraving and Monogramming too.

Skunk Removal Remembrances and Suggestions

This cool skunk vitamin case is a great gift for skunk fans.  Click on the picture to get one of your own.

This cool skunk vitamin case is a great gift for skunk fans. Click on the picture to get one of your own.

Over the last couple years, the feral animal problem in my back yard has gotten worse and worse.  So last spring, I bought a Have-a-Heart Trap. For several weeks, I carefully set the trap with bait, eager to catch a opossum, a raccoon, or even a cat.   But day after day, the trap remained empty.

After a while I lost interest.  The trap sat for months, alone and neglected, just outside my wife’s office window.

This Heart Design Wood Jewelry Box with Glass Insert is too small to hold a skunk, but makes a great gift anyway.  Click on the picture to see more.

This Wood Jewelry Box with Glass Insert Has-a-Heart but is too small to hold a skunk. It makes a great gift anyway. Click on the picture to see more.

Then early one morning, a strange muffled clap alerts my wife to the fact that something has been caught.   She peers out her window and gleefully runs upstairs to give me the news.  “Wake up, O intrepid trapper!”

The title of this blog post pretty much gives away the contents of my Have-a-Heart Trap. I have to say, it works great.

So now the problem becomes what to do next.  I’m in no hurry to startle my new pet, or to test his patience in any way.   If he sprays, he is sure to hit the house.  It’s time to call in the experts: Livermore City Animal Control.

“We don’t handle skunks”, they tell me.  “Call the County”.

OK.  So I call Alameda County Animal Control. “We don’t handle skunks”, they tell me.  “Call the City”.

“But they just told me to call you.  What do you suggest I do?”, I ask politely.

“Try the Yellow Pages sir”, is the curt reply.

Money Managers, Investment Bankers and Trappers will enjoy this Business Card Case with Dollar Sign Design

Money Managers, Investment Bankers and Trappers will enjoy this Business Card Case with Dollar Sign Design

I soon discover that the yellow pages do indeed have listings for people willing to handle skunks.    I call a few and each quotes about $125 for skunk removal. “Too expensive.  Thanks anyway”.

I hang up and decide that Paulano can handle this himself.   As I “strategize” about how to do this, I realize that because of the bushes and plants, maybe I can get a better look at the trap from my neighbor’s backyard.  Normally, my neighbor and I keep our distances, but when he finds out why I’m knocking on his door at 8:00 in the morning, he’s very accommodating, and gives me access to his yard.  He even offers to shoot my skunk for me.   “Thanks for the offer”, I say, “but I’ll pass”.

After a fair bit of reconnaisance and thought, $125 is starting to look pretty cheap.  I get back on the phone.  “Hello, AAAA Varmit Removal?  How soon can you get here?”

In less than an hour, a guy pulls up in a truck that you can smell before you see, making me thankful for my

Vegetarians and other healthy eaters will enjoy the Vegatables Design Retractable ID Badge Holder by Kyle Design

Vegetarians and other healthy eaters will enjoy the Vegetables Design Retractable ID Badge Holder by Kyle Design.

decision not to put my Mini-Van in harm’s way.   Ten minutes later, the guy has left with my skunk and my money.  Nothing and nobody got sprayed.

At this point, the trap is empty of the skunk, but still full of dirt from the skunk’s effort to dig his way out.   I shake it clean, and place it on the other side of my yard, rignt next to our vegatable and herb garden.   And then, for reasons completely unknown, I re-set the door of the trap.  In so doing, Paulano made another $125 mistake that didn’t become apparent until the next morning. As I took out the garbage after breakfast,  I noticed that another black and white had found his way into my trap.

“Hello, AAAA Varmint Removal?  Do you give quantity discounts?”

After my summertime skunk experience, I have this suggestion for skunk capture and skunk removal:  Before you set your Have-a-Heart Trap, be sure to partially wrap it in several plastic garbage bags, and position them in a way that will easily allow complete wrapping after you catch an animal. Good Luck. You’ll probably need it.

Good Luck will follow you for the whole day with your Four Leaf Clover gift items by Kyle Design

Good Luck will follow you for the whole day with your Four Leaf Clover gift items by Kyle Design

If you, your friend or your pet has had a recent run-in with a skunk, if you are a skunk lover, or if you just like skunks a lot, be sure to check out Kyle Designs. She has dozens of skunk themed gifts and gifts with skunk images that will be a great way to remember your last skunk experience.  Kyle offers engraving too, to give an extra personal touch to your treasured skunk memento.

 

Boeing 40c Itinerary for Pemberton’s Transcontinental Flight

Way back when, postage for transcontinental airmail was 24 cents

Way back when, postage for transcontinental airmail was 24 cents

Months ago, I wrote a blog post on Addison Pemberton and his restored Boeing 40c.   Be sure to check it out for background.  Today Pemberton began a transcontinental flight in his plane that began at Republic Field in New York, and will end on Monday in San Francisco.  The flight plan retraces an old transcontinental mail route.  Here is the latest info I can find on the 40c Itinerary.

Biplane image on this Kyle Design Vitamin Case

Biplane image on this Kyle Design Vitamin Case

Transcontinental Air Mail Route Schedule, Sept. 10-15, 2008

Subject to Change Due to possible weather-related or other delays.

— Wed., Sept. 10 — Depart New York Republic Field 9:30 a.m. Arrive Bellefonte, PA late morning. Depart and arrive Cleveland, OH Burke Lakefront Airport (BKL) late afternoon/early evening. Overnight stop.

— Thurs., Sept. 11 — Depart Cleveland (BKL) 9:30 a.m. Arrive Bryan, OH (OG6) late morning. Depart and arrive Chicago, IL Lansing Airport (IGQ) late afternoon. Arrive Iowa City, IA (IOW) early evening. Overnight stop.

Aviators Christmas Ornament at Kyle Design

Aviators Christmas Ornament at Kyle Design

— Fri., Sept. 12 — Depart Iowa City 9:30 a.m. Arrive Omaha, NE (OMA) late morning. Depart and arrive North Platte, NE, (LBF) late afternoon. Overnight stop.

— Sat., Sept. 13 — Depart North Platte 9:30 a.m. Arrive Cheyenne, WY (CYS), late morning. Depart and arrive mid-afternoon Rawlins, WY (RWL). Depart and arrive Rock Springs, WY (RKS) early evening. Overnight stop.

— Sun., Sept. 14 — Depart Rock Springs 9:30 a.m. Arrive Salt Lake City, UT (U42) late morning. Depart and arrive Elko, NV (EKO) late afternoon. Depart and arrive Reno, NV (RNO) early evening. Overnight stop.

— Mon., Sept. 15 — Depart Reno 9:30 a.m. Arrive Hayward, CA (HWD) late morning. Depart Hayward mid-day for San Francisco (SFO or Chrissy Field). Return to Hayward. Overnight stop.

Be sure to check local airports for details on public views and access.  Also, you can follow the flight on a daily basis via the following link:  Smithsonian Airmail Odyssey.

 

Beverly Hills Chihuahua Trailer inspires Aztec Chihuahua Party with Mayan Temple Play Structure

Want a Chihuahua Nightlight?  Click here on the picture!

Want a Chihuahua Nightlight? Click here on the picture!

The trailers for the upcoming Disney movie “Beverly Hills Chihuahua” are readily available on sites all over the internet… Disney or YouTube just to name a few. My nine year old daughter Kayden thinks they are hilarious…. (ok, so do I). So much so that over the summer, the theme for her birthday party was “Aztec Chihuahua“.

Aztec Chihuahua Birthday Party Decorations

Aztec Chihuahua Birthday Party Decorations

Not surprisingly, party favors and party supplies that have an Aztec Chihuahua theme are a little hard to come by, so we had to improvise. We made our own Aztec Chihuahua party invitations and pinata. We also made an Aztec Chihuahua mural for our dining room and my wife made a stunning Aztec Chihuahua cake. We made our own Chihuahua plates, and our own Chihuahua dog collars for the girls to wear and take home. The complete details on the party can be found on the Kyle Design website. (While you’re there, be sure to check out the rest of the sight. Kyle has many unique ideas for kids birthday parties, birthday cakes, and Halloween Costumes. She also has a virtually unlimited selection of cool contemporary personalized gifts. You could easily get all your Christmas shopping done in one visit. )

Aztec Temple, Mayan Temple, Meso-american Pyramid

Kids Play Structure Inspired by: Aztec Temples, Mayan Temples, Meso-american Pyramids, and Disney

Originally, as my daughter and I were planning the party, I committed to building some sort of a Aztec temple or Mayan temple as a decoration. I figured I would use PVC to build something light and cheap. Somewhere along the way, I decided to use wood instead. It was at that point that I got a little carried away. The end result was a functional pyramid-shaped play structure that is inspired by the Aztec and Mayan Temples of Pre-Columbian Central America. It measures 13’x13′ at the base and is nearly 11 feet tall. It features four staircases, a hammock, solar powered light fixtures by Malibu, and a priests’ penthouse at the top. The total price tag for everything was about $600, not including labor or gas money for countless trips to Lowe’s, Home Depot, and Orchard Supply. ( I would have gone to Independent Hardware dealers, but there are none in Livermore.) The sheer entertainment value of building it and using it this summer has already been worth at least $600.

Chihuahua Party Favors were worn by the girls at the party-  big hit!

Chihuahua Party Favors were worn by the girls at the party- big hit!

I built the pyramid in my front driveway. I had intended for the design to be somewhat modular, with all the staircases held by bolts and thus easily removed. At some point, I was sure I would want or need to take it apart and move the pyramid to the back yard. As the project developed, I sacrificed modularity in favor of strength and stability, and ultimately decided that my driveway would be a perfectly fine permanent home for the pyramid. Hey, it matches the house quite nicely, and pizza deliveries to our house are easier than ever. Forget the address, just look for the house with the Aztec temple. Ai Chihuahua!

Check the Kyle Design website for additional details and pictures of the temple and the Aztec Chihuahua birthday party. There are a few there now, and I will be posting more shortly.

A Washington D.C. Family Vacation: Paulano’s Ultimate One-Page Travel Guide

After spending 4 days in Washington, DC with my family, I thought I would take a quick moment to recap some of the highlights and lowlights, and offer a few suggestions to those of you who are thinking of making the same trip.

Tip 1: Use Reagan National Airport if you can. It is only 7 minutes from the National Mall, and the taxi fare from the airport to the hotel was about $11, not including tip. The airport terminal is really nice, and surprisingly laid back.

Tip 2: Stay at a hotel that is as close to the Mall as you can get. We stayed at the Capitol Holiday Inn on “C” Street. It is only a block from the Air and Space Museum, and very close to the other Smithsonian Museums as well. Sure it costs more, but the convenience and time savings is worth it. The hotel itself was just adequate. At the hotel restaurant, be sure to steer clear of the Scampi. For a lite meal, the chicken soup was very good.

Tip 3: Be sure to write to your Congressperson and your 2 Senators, to let them know you are coming to town. They may be able to reserve tour times for you at places like the White House, the Bureau of Printing and Engraving, the Capitol, the Supreme Court, the JFK Center for the Performing Arts, and the Library of Congress. As it turns out, Paulano does not have a lot of clout within the Beltway. He only scored a tour of the Capitol, given by Brianna, an Ellen Tauscher summer intern who was almost as new to DC as we were. The good news was that she related really well to my daughters, and the Capitol Tour was one of the highlights of the entire vacation for them.

Tip 4: Stay away from the shuttle services that continuously run a circuit around the museums and monuments near the National Mall. The Trolley we used was unorganized and overbooked. Every time a Trolley came by, the waiting mob made a wild dash for the Trolley door in hopes of getting on. The courteous, the slow and the unlucky were condemned to wait for the next bus, with no guarantee of getting on that one either. For the attractions that require transportation, such as the National Zoo, Arlington National Cemetery, Georgetown, and the Lincoln Memorial, a family of four can travel much more quickly and comfortably (and perhaps even more cheaply) by simply taking a taxi. Almost everyplace else you can walk to.

Tip 5: Due to large demand, some sites will only admit ticket holders. These sites include the Inside of the Washington Memorial, the Holocaust Museum, the Bureau of Printing and Engraving, and the Supreme Court. The tickets are free, but the process of getting tickets typically involves a family member waking up early on the day you want to go, and standing line. It’s not bad, really. At 6:00 AM, I was first in line at the Bureau of Printing and Engraving. Or second, if you count the homeless guy in the blue blazer who pretended to work for the Bureau. He kept me (and himself) entertained as he barked orders at unsuspecting newcomers to the line.

Tip 6: The Air and Space Museum and the Museum of Natural History are open until 7:30 on most nights, so make those your last stops of the day. The National Archives are usually crowded, so make that the first stop of your day.

Tip 7: The Museum of American History and the Arts and Industries Museums are currently closed for renovation.

And finally, Tip 8: There is actually too much to see. Don’t spend any more than 2 hours at any single museum, and no more than half an hour at any single monument. Obviously, try to organize each day to minimize walking and backtracking. Things I wanted to see but missed due to inexperience were the National Aquarium, the Crime and Punishment Museum, the Library of Congress, the Supreme Court, Mount Vernon, Monticello, and the elusive White House.

For me, the highlights were the Lincoln Memorial, the Afghanistan Artifact Exhibit at the National Art Gallery, and the National Zoo. The lowlights were the terrible, embarrassing condition of the National Mall, and the poor customer service skills of nearly every cashier we encountered . All things considered though, DC is a great place for a family vacation.

For patriotic gifts, and for items that make great easy-to-carry hostess gifts while you are traveling, go to Kyle Design online.  All of the items pictured in this article can be purchased at Kyle Design, including  Refrigerator Magnet Clips, Bookmarks, Money Clips, Business Card Cases and Stampboxes.  Just click on the pictures shown in this post.

Vintage Boeing 40C Airplane in Spokane Restored and Ready to Fly

Earlier this month, my dad toured the Pacific Northwest on his motorcycle. Low points of the trip included a June snow storm in the Rockies, and a South Dakota pheasant that flew straight into the side of my dad’s head. At the time, dad was traveling down I-90 at about 80 miles an hour. I have no idea how fast the pheasant was going.Motorcycle Night Light

The result of the accident? Dad kept on truckin’ and the bird paid the ultimate price. My dad said he was awfully glad he had more than a bandana on his head. Now every helmet out there with a DOT sticker on it can boast that it is “Pheasant safe at 80”. Truth be told, dad wasn’t completely unscathed. Later in the day, he did experience a little stiffness in his neck, but that’s all. Tough old bird.

Fortunately not every aviator my dad encountered on his trip was as reckless and unfriendly as the pheasant. While dad was in Spokane, dad was able to check out the Boeing 40C Airplane that has been restored by Pemberton and Sons Aviation at Felts Field.Mountain Wilderness Theme Night Light

The story behind this plane is incredible. The 40 series was Boeing’s first airliner, transporting mail and passengers on a regular basis. This particular plane was flying a mail route with a single passenger in 1928 when it crashed in the Oregon wilderness, near Canyonville. The pilot survived, theWhiskey Flask with Diamond Design passenger did not. As it happens, the passenger was a jeweler, transporting diamonds in a satchel. Over the next decade or so, treasure hunters would scour the site for the treasure. Reportedly, some but not all of the diamonds were found. There are anecdotes of women all over Oregon who swear that the diamond on their finger was taken from the wreck site. Over the years, the location of the site became a bit of a mystery.

Fast forward to 1993. The wreck is found, and in 1996 extracted by a group of aviation enthusiasts, who each store pieces of the wreck in their barns and sheds.

Biplane Design on Business Card CaseFinally, Addison Pemberton comes into the story. He buys the wreck, and begins the 8 year process of painstakingly reconstructing the plane. Along the way, Pemberton had a little help. Boeing supplied Pemberton with the 40C’s original blueprints, which included nearly 900 drawings. InWorld Design Money Clip addition, a core team of 9 other people worked on the plane, including his two sons. Because of the condition of the wreck, there were only about 50 pieces from the original that were used in the reconstruction.

The result of the team’s efforts is the world’s only airworthy Boeing 40C. Pemberton took it on it’s first flight in February of 2008, and described the stability of the plane as “like a rock”.

Later this year, Pemberton plans to fly the 40C 1,400 miles to the 2008 AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, July 28th through August 3rd. After that, he plans to go to the Antique Airplane Association
Fly-In
in Blakesburg, Iowa and then to Brodhead, Wisconsin. Then it is on to New York, the starting point for his plans to retrace the Pacific Air MailOriginal 40C Mail Route Route all the way back to San Francisco. The itinerary for this is not yet public, but historically, stops may include New Brunswick, Cleveland, Chicago, Moline, Des Moines, Omaha, Cheyenne, Rock Springs, Salt Lake City, Elko, Reno, Sacramento, Concord, and San Francisco. If Mr. Pemberton stays true to the Route, the plane enthusiasts from the Livermore Airport will have to drive (or fly) the short hop to Concord or San Francisco.

UPDATE:  As of Sept 10, 2008 the itinerary is:
— Wed., Sept. 10 — Depart New York Republic Field 9:30 a.m. Arrive Bellefonte, PA late morning. Depart and arrive Cleveland, OH Burke Lakefront Airport (BKL) late afternoon/early evening. Overnight stop.

— Thurs., Sept. 11 — Depart Cleveland (BKL) 9:30 a.m. Arrive Bryan, OH (OG6) late morning. Depart and arrive Chicago, IL Lansing Airport (IGQ) late afternoon. Arrive Iowa City, IA (IOW) early evening. Overnight stop.

— Fri., Sept. 12 — Depart Iowa City 9:30 a.m. Arrive Omaha, NE (OMA) late morning. Depart and arrive North Platte, NE, (LBF) late afternoon. Overnight stop.

— Sat., Sept. 13 — Depart North Platte 9:30 a.m. Arrive Cheyenne, WY (CYS), late morning. Depart and arrive mid-afternoon Rawlins, WY (RWL). Depart and arrive Rock Springs, WY (RKS) early evening. Overnight stop.

— Sun., Sept. 14 — Depart Rock Springs 9:30 a.m. Arrive Salt Lake City, UT (U42) late morning. Depart and arrive Elko, NV (EKO) late afternoon. Depart and arrive Reno, NV (RNO) early evening. Overnight stop.

— Mon., Sept. 15 — Depart Reno 9:30 a.m. Arrive Hayward, CA (HWD) late morning. Depart Hayward mid-day for San Francisco (SFO or Chrissy Field). Return to Hayward. Overnight stop.

Due to possible weather-related or other delays, Itinerary may change.

Be sure to check local airports for details on public views and access.  Also, you can follow the flight on a daily basis via the following link:  Smithsonian Airmail Odyssey.

End of update

There are several detailed accounts of this story. For more information on Pemberton and the 40C, check these links to the Air And Space Magazine, the Southern Aviator, the Spokane Journal of Business, the Spokesman Review, and the U.S. Centennial of Flight Commission.

If you are looking for gift ideas for a pilot, aviator, airplane lover, jet lover, or vintage plane and biplane enthusiast, be sure to check out the selection at Kyle Design. Any of the items you see pictured here, including money clips, business card cases, night lights, christmas ornaments, hip flasks, and pill boxes, can be purchased online.