Oh Yeah, Work Started

Back we are, driving through the Franconian wilderness. I got a new vehicle, a new route, a new co-driver, all “brand” new, with little chips around the edges.
I took over a vehicle that needed a bit of cleaning and disinfecting. The former driver (a stand in, as I was told) did not take too much care on things. I noticed that the tank was half full – or half empty, what ever you may prefer – but at the filling station only ten litres went in. The fuel gauge was stuck – nothing dramatic, but not nice. A trip to the trader’s garage. Also the ad-blue reservoir was nearly empty and had to be refilled.
On the first day I realised that a part of the restraining devices was not working properly, what meant a trip to our own garage. This is not a “not nice” “thing”, but dangerous neglect of duty.
I had tried to reach the parents of my kids before starting, but out of five, I just spoke to two. One family did not react to my calls and messages (they simply thought it not to be necessary), while two families were totally out of reach, because the phone numbers I was given, were simply not working / outdated. I was a bit miffed.
On the Frayday before work would start seriously, I drove the whole tour alone, just to make sure where to go, turn around the white wale, look for places to maneuvre etc. I have to cover mostly one small rural town. On Tuesday the following week, the first real workday, the lovely Franconian town’s administration had installed at least three new constructing sites. So it was improvising from the start. It is not a large town, and I visited it ages ago, but the traffic guidance is, let’s call it peculiar.
I had asked my new co-driver whether she was briefed on the different devices for securing wheel chairs etc., and she happily said “yes”, she could show me how it was done. Sadly she did not know how to use necessary belts (“We never used this.”), and she had absolutely no idea about medications. Now she knows about both.
On Thursday afternoon it was initially a nice drive, the kids (those who can speak and interact) were having fun, when the lovely black girl in the wheelchair all of a sudden started to make some unwanted noises. I only saw her in the mirror, and had no place to stop. I wanted to get out the first child (for reasons I do not want to explain). When we stopped at her place I took care of wheel chair girl, and realised that she had an asthmatic attack. I opened her jacket and found that she had been fixated in her wheel chair so strongly that I could not stick a finger under these goddam belts. In fact I could barely stretch these damn things to open them. I threw the crap off while the co-driver searched through the child’s school bag for medication. She found a haler, and some other stuff. I was unsure, and in the end decided that we could make it home, when I saw her breathing steadily. She took a position where she could straighten her trachea, was not turning blue or something like that. To this minute I could still rip my arse off : I should have given her the haler without further thinking – it would have made it a lot easier for her. Next time I know better.
At this moment, when I saw I could go on and would not need an emergency doctor or other help, I realised the noise around me : The fourteen year old girl was whining loudly, the eleven year old boy was yelling about death, and the mother of the first kid was standing in the slide-door weeping. Goodness, at least my co-driver was silent. I politely told them to be quiet (“Ruhe jezz !”) and then rammed the vehicle through the commuter traffic to reach her place. At least she was breathing freely by then.
Next morning we finally met the girl’s father who showed (& explained) us the different medications, and some tricks with the wheelchair – we could have had this earlier if I had reached him (or someone else from the family) by phone.
I never have started a new tour so unprofessionally.
Frayday morning I went to my dispatcher to tell him about the whole thing. The list I was given, with names, contact data, and a column containing additional info about the kids was crap (for wheelchair girl nothing was noted down !) Other information was not accurate, contact persons had moved, family names were wrong. And it can not be that a co-driver happily explains that she knows how to handle things, when basic practices are not explained / shown to her. (What means that in the two months before the holidays, when she had started (in June) and worked with a part of “my” kids, they drove around without basic restraining devices – that’s a no go !) I was angry & serious, and I know that he understood.
He said that they had to hire a lot of new people in short time, and that proper procedures were neglected. He knows that he can’t let things slide. I doubt that there will be a mandatory information event about proper restraining etc. and / or medication. I would be happy if these topics would at least be addressed at the next works meeting (“Betriebsversammlung”), because everybody must take part in such an assembly, no excuses.
I had more action in those first four days than on other tours in a whole school year.
Now I have to look for Sunday Music.

Apus apus

BIttersweet, yes I think this characterises this week best.
Wednesday I sat on my balcony for some hours in the late afternoon, looking at the sky and watching those admirable little birds, Mauersegler, apus apus, or common swift. It’s possible that a few swallows were also in the group. I always remember that the augures, Roman seers, used to watch the birds, their behaviour & sounds, to catch a glimpse into the future. I was not that classy, and looked mostly back.
I finished a project that run over several years, mostly by accident. Nevertheless I felt a bit melancholic, pensive. At one point some years ago, I naively nursed the hope that there was the possibility of a long & steady contract. I made some suggestions that were rejected in clear words. Now I learned that the man who hired me ten (!) years ago retired last year, and that the (then) head honcho will leave for good to the end of this year. So the whole thing is buried now, as it was meant to be from the start. I have to go through some papers, billets etc. for the last outstanding bill, and that was that. It was a long good-bye.
There are one (or three) “things” that vex me, I know that there is a need for further investigation, research. I always defined myself, when asked “and what are you up to ?” by saying “Oh, the usual, lesen schreiben, recherchieren (read, write, research)”. I do not want it to end with a whimper. call it bus driver’s pride if you like.
The heat was unforgiving over the last days, finally this afternoon brought heavy rain, but no real relief. It’s a Dampfbad now, but at least with clear air. The small creek down there is not so little right now. She (it’s die Haslach) rose out of her bed and drenches adjacent fields. Too much water falling down in too little time. More rain is promised, at least slightly falling temperature too, but this promise was given & not kept a little too often over the last weeks by those weather people. All one can do is drink water, reduce the intake of “news”, and feed one’s brain. (The local firefighters arrived in the creek’s behalf, and put up some barriers, so yeah, they did something : If someone ignores these plastic things and gets wed feet, or falls in and drowns, the municipality is on the safe side – hey, we told you to not to !)
I do not want to blether on & on. I am tired in a way. My clothes are spread all over the place to dry, I was caught in the afternoon’s downpour. After less than ten meters walking it was useless to seek shelter, because t-shirt & trousers were already soaked, so I enjoyed the walk in the rain.
I want to end this with something friendly, swinging – so here is some music to enjoy.

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Brain Bubble

The promised rain (and the promised drop in temperatures) just evaporated. Instead it became hotter, the “official” weather thingy says 34° C for today & tomorrow, my appartement says 27° C a few minutes ago. Maybe the sauna starts on Frayday, or maybe not.
My phone made squeaky sounds and demanded an update, finally I gave in – and watched my “data volume” vanish in the haze (purple haze ?), including a warning that things would soon be very slow. I use this apparatus only for phoning, not for internet access, the occasional photographic picture, sometimes sent. I am not in the mood to check my contract, yadayada … may they do what they want.
My brain is seemingly half shut down, now and then a thought bubbles to the surface. Some thoughts circled around those Unknown Areal Phenomena, that’s how UFOs are called nowadays. Obviously there are objects that do strange things on the fly. Objects, things, they are, simply because they reflect whatever radar beams we send out. Pilots watched these objects, and could not get their heads around what they saw. Now it seems that the USNavy seriously starts to investigate what is out there.
I do not think that we see extraterrestrial objects. I think VALLÉE (Ger., Eng.) was the first (I may be wrong) who came up with the interdimensional hypothesis (Eng.). It says in short that these objects are not from “outside” but from a terrestrial origin.
Life seems to be anywhere in the universe. I read that physicists came to the conclusion that we live in a more than four-dimensional space (height, length, depth ; time – of course in my layman’s understanding). If these two things are true, then there is life in other dimensions. And these are everywhere, Earth including.
I have no clue how life may look in a more-dimensional space, but it must be there. And it must be all around us. Maybe these unknown objects are just probes, explorers ? Or the damning enterprise of a multi-dimensional salesman like Musk, who sends adventure seeking billionaires to the “unknown place”, to visit the apes ?
I never saw an UFO, and am not keen to encounter one. As a young child I may have felt the “presence” of “something“, but these are very faded memories I surely can not recall, and do not want. I watch the moon storm up to its zenith, and that does it for me. A little bit of sleep would be nice also.

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Look Out

Some days ago I visited an old, green thumbed man, who has reduced his once sprawling garden into a very carefree affaire that demands just some cutting of the lawn nowadays. He pointed to the apples rotting in the meadow – they are all too early ; the trees throw them down because of the drought, simply because they can not keep to the regular schedule. He also mentioned that at least one local creek fell dry.
Two days ago we decided that it was time to go out, air the brain & move the flaccid body around – so a visit to a nearby recreational area with lakes and a small river – that would be it. The lakes were still there, and locals were still bathing, swimming, and drinking beer in naturalibus, but the river is gone.
Larger rivers like Kocher and Jagst e.g., or the Neckar, have remarkably low water, of course a danger for fish and other wildlife. Transport by inland vessel on Rhine and other Wasserstraßen becomes difficult, the loading capacity must be reduced – hence more vessels needed, hence more cost.
At least the South of Germany is spared (large) fires ; some hectares of woodland were destroyed by fires in the Spessart and in Northern Franconia, but this is not comparable to the fires in the Eastern Federal States, which in itself are far far smaller than what our Southern neighbours in Portugal, Spain, Greece, Italy, and Southern France had to endure.
We have to reduce the amount of natural gas used for heating, in order not to freeze off some limbs in the coming winter, thanks to Vlad (and our idiocy to trust this fine man !), so some cities already closed public swimming baths to reduce costs and consumption. It seems that there is a connection between natural gas and production of electric energy, another area that may see some difficulties in the (near) future. I also remember to have read that our electric grid’s digital administration is already infiltrated with foreign maleware, or viruses. Thanks again, Vlad. Or Kim – who cares ?
All I know is that the cost for heating, warm water, and energy in general, will soar sky-high. Things will become uncomfortable for the average citizen
It is unhealthy to look into the news too long, bookmark articles etcetc., the image is bleak nowadays. The only highlight is the search and seizure action at the little fuehrer’s whorehouse – there is still a chance for the American Federal State. But I doubt that this will comfort me in the coming winter, when I’ll sit rolled up in a rug at my desk writing my thoughts down on a piece of paper wile the candle gently smokes. I only hope the ink will not freeze.

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