Ed Lada

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Ed Lada last won the day on April 23

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About Ed Lada

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    Super Anarchist
  • Birthday November 3

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    Poland

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  1. Ed Lada

    What Did I Ever Do to Piss Off the Gods?

    A pergola made from old sails would be cool but I live in Poland. People don't have a lot of money here, if they have any old sails, they probably make clothes for their kids with them or maybe potato sacks! But more than likely, by the time they would retire a set of worn sails, they probably look like cheesecloth and aren't good for anything.
  2. Ed Lada

    What Did I Ever Do to Piss Off the Gods?

    I'm doing my damndest to keep the levels up!
  3. Ed Lada

    What Did I Ever Do to Piss Off the Gods?

    Thanks BC. It's a lot of work but I like the satisfaction of doing something tangible. I am loving your paintings, I might need more!
  4. Ed Lada

    How Did You Pick Your Profession?

    It's a stream of consciousness thing. I am used to telling my story here to my students and others, and it all kind of tumbles out. Sorry. TLDR: I did a lot of different shit, lived a lot of different places and never held one job for more than 6 years. Now I am retired.
  5. Ed Lada

    How Did You Pick Your Profession?

    Yes, in Chambers was the psych ward for the serious cases in the '60s and '70s. I am not sure when they closed it but in 1988 when I first went to FT Sam for training, it was no longer in use for that purpose although the building remained. When I returned to FT Sam in '91 I was actually in the building, we were taking part in some recruiting videos and taped a couple of scenes in the building. It was kind of chilling, some of the larger ward rooms had protrusions in them with small windows with wire reinforced thick glass in them. I presumed they were for the staff to watch the patients. Kind of reminded me of a prison. I believe they had plans to remodel the building and use it as a child care center, but I am not sure if that ever happened. I'd love to hear your story!
  6. Ed Lada

    What Did I Ever Do to Piss Off the Gods?

    I have been plodding along on my deck renovation project. I manage to work about 4 hours before I am totally exhausted and aching everywhere. The damn muscles just don't have enough nerve stimulus to get into any kind of decent shape. Since July I manged to replace the top rail and flower boxes and I am starting to replace the deck boards on the lower part of the deck. Here is a photo of the upper part along with some new furniture we bough and a pergola. I built the table/umbrella stand as well. I think I will manage to replace the deck boards on the lower level before the weather will get to bad to work anymore. I hope to have the energy to replace the upper level floor next year, we'll see.
  7. Ed Lada

    How Did You Pick Your Profession?

    It seems I have made a successful career of not having a career. My father was an incredibly skilled watchmaker and had his own jewelry store. I started working for him on Saturdays, when I was 10 years old. I did odd jobs, learned how to do engraving, learned a bit about watch and jewelry repair and also started to wait on customers when I was around 15. After graduating from high school I didn't want to go to college right away so I worked at the local General Electric plant. I started in a machine operator training program and learned to run a turret lathe. I figured out quickly that being a machinist wasn't for me and transferred to another building assembling commuter train cars. That was fun and the pay was great but I didn't see much of a future in it. All of this time I was also working when I could in my father's store. Then I joined the Army mostly because I wanted to travel. The draft had just ended, Viet Nam was winding down and I enlisted for 2 years with a guarantee to go to Germany. By some stroke of luck, the Army thought I would make a great baker so I went to baking school instead of any of the combat arms. Of to Germany I went and worked in a large, fixed hospital in Nurnberg, Germany. I made friends there in just about all areas of the hospital, from the wards to the mortuary. Had a lot of fun, got in a bit of trouble, hated the Army and the discipline and stupid people telling me what to do. At the end of my 2 year enlistment I had barely made PFC and was happy to become a civilian again. I went back to GE and assembling commuter cars for another year and then I went to college. I decided to major in business with the plan of taking over my father's store. I hated the business classes and changed my major to theater, one of my loves in life. I liked the technical aspects of theater, lighting and scenery, but I did act in a few shows. My father, happy that he had someone to watch his store, planned his vacations around my school schedule, so I went to school and worked. I partied a lot too, and I took a year off to earn more money to supplement my meager $300.00 a month GI Bill so I took 6 years to finish college. Armed with a theater degree a a few skills, I started looking for work. My father was a good guy but like any independent person willing to work 70 hour weeks to run his own business, he had some personality traits that I just couldn't deal with so I scrapped my plans to take over his business. I got a job working at a local winery, it was owned by some family friends and they needed some temporary help for the bountiful 1983 harvest. The temp job became a year long job doing everything there, from planting vines, to making wine. It was a great job, often hard, cold, dirty, wet work but also a lot of fun and I learned a lot about wine and met a lot of wonderful people. Then I went to work as an assistant manager at a mall chain jewelry store after my father retired. That lead to a job selling insurance for a large insurance company, the money was good but I just wasn't amoral enough to stay with it. So I walked away from that and ran my own remodeling business for about 5 years, utilizing my theater skills. It was nice but it was feast or famine and I got tired of being hungry. In the meantime I married my first wife and we went off to Cleveland Ohio and I worked as an apartment superintendent in a luxury high rise property in a Cleveland suburb. Then at the age of 32 I decided maybe I would go back in the Army. I had matured a bit by that time and was looking for travel and a steady income. After the entrance exams and physical I went to talk about jobs. I told the SGT I wanted a medical job, I learned a lot of interesting things when I worked in the hospital in Germany in the '70s. He SGT told me the only medical job open at the time was in mental health, Behavioral Science Specialist they called it. I said that sounded fine and off I went, back to basic training. It isn't as terrifying or fun the second time around. Then off to 5 months of school in Texas, I graduated 2nd in my class and by some stroke of good fortune, I was assigned to a small Army base in Japan for my first duty station. My second boss there was a LT Colonel and incredibly intelligent social worker, that taught me many things and gave me ever increasing responsibility and challenges. I loved the work, it was interesting and challenging, and I dealt with many kinds of cases, from run of the mill mental health issues, to child sexual abuse and other horrors. I was on 1 week of emergency call about every 6 weeks and that was interesting as well. In the meantime, because of my interest in medical work I worked during my of duty hours in the evenings and weekends in our small emergency clinic. I got along well with the docs and they taught me all manner of things and I got to do a lot of suturing and assisting the docs. I was promoted to SGT, E5 after about 19 months in the Army and was a super trooper. I received sever awards for going above and beyond such as being the sole provider of mental health services on our small base, 2 times for 6 weeks, due to staff shortages because of transfers, training and medical issues. I wanted to teach in the mental health school, so I put in a request and lo and behold, when my tour was up in Japan, I went back to Texas as an instructor in the Behavioral Science Specialist course. I enjoyed that as well. While at FT Sam Houston, I went to the medical center there which also had a level 1 trauma center and asked if I could work there outside of my normal duties. They said sure, but I need to be a certified EMT and they were offering a class to get the certification. So I got my EMT certification and worked in the ER/trauma room which was quite exciting. Lots of gang violence and gun shot wounds among other things. I applied to go to the Army Physician Assistant school there but at the time my knees were getting bad and I ended up getting a medical discharge due to the condition of my knees. I wanted to make the Army a career, I was ion the promotion list for Staff SGT after 5 years of service, but I ended up a civilian again, with a check for $30,000 and a 'Don't let the door hit you in the ass on your way out.' I did a number of odd jobs in San Antonio, I worked for a private ambulance service, worked in a food warehouse, sold season tickets for the San Antonio symphony and a few other things. I divorced my first wife. In 1996 I applied for a job with a contract company to work in social services for the Air Force, at Osan Air Base in Korea. I got the job, married my live in girlfriend and went to Korea in the space of 3 weeks time. After a year in Korea, my company lost their contract and I worked for the American Red Cross at a nearby Army Post, Camp Humphreys. After 2 1/2 years in Korea, I got a civil service job with the Army in Germany, again in social services. I was the Outreach and Exceptional Family Member Program Manager, for the Army Community Services at Grafenwoehr and Vilseck, 7th Army Training Command. It was an OK job, my first boss was very good, he had worked at my Army Post in Japan shortly after I had left there. My next boss and I didn't see eye to eye so I am probably one of te few civil servants that ever got fired! I volunteered for a while at the local Red Cross office in Grafenwoehr and then my wife, who also worked civil service got a job in Heidelberg so we moved there and I worked at the Army community library and then for the Inspector General's office for the European Regional Medical Command. Then I moved over to United States Army Europe HQ in the G4 (Logistics) in the Sustainment Operations Division, for 6 years. It was pretty interesting getting a high level view of planning an executing a war during Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. I got to attend classified briefings with the 4 star commanding general and had a birds eye view of how big people make big decisions. But after the war ground on, it got to be pretty routine, re-deploy, reset and deploy again, rinse and repeat. In 2006 I divorced my 2nd wife, met my 3rd wife and after 2 years I left my job in Germany, married my 3rd wife and moved to Poland. My new wife asked what I would do for a living and I replied, "Teach English, of course!" I taught in a couple of private English schools as well as working as a freelance teacher and after 9 years of that I decided I didn't want or need to work anymore and 'retired' at age 62. My wife and I separated for 3 years but in July I moved back with her and we are getting along well. Due to various ailments I managed to get my disability rating up to 90% (about $2,000 a month) and I decided to take my Social Security benefits at age 62 for another $1,000 a month. That's good money in Poland and between my wife's income and mine, we live quite comfortably. Life being what it is, as most of you know I have managed to acquire some degenerative neurological condition (which is looking more and more like ALS) that is slowly destroying my body so I doubt I will live a long life. But I had one hell of a ride, managed to do things 'my way' for the most part and I have lived and worked in 5 countries on 3 continents. I have met some incredible people along the way and had some incredible experiences. I believe part of a life well lived involves collecting stories and my stories have stories. I get bored easily, I like stimulus and learning new things and if I had my life to do over I wouldn't change a thing. I am living proof that if it doesn't kill you, it makes you stronger, I am a pretty strong guy. Life has taught me if nothing else, that it isn't the shit you worry about that gets you, it's the things that come out of left field, that you never see coming that bite you in the ass. My current condition is proof of that. Of all the ways to go, I never dreamed of this one. But that's OK, I have no regrets and I have seen and done a couple of lifetimes worth of things and I am quite happy overall. My lifestyle isn't for everyone, especially for those that like security, but apparently it worked for me and I don't think I could have lived any other way.
  8. Ed Lada

    What Did I Ever Do to Piss Off the Gods?

    Yeah, too bad we couldn't get out sailing, things were too hectic and I wasn't in very good condition either. Having lived in Japan, I can't blame your GF for preferring life in the US. That is one chauvinistic society among other things. Fascinating and wonderful country though.
  9. Ed Lada

    What Did I Ever Do to Piss Off the Gods?

    I have done a couple of treadmill tests in the past, as well as on a stationary bike. I couldn't do either anymore in my condition. I have had 3 heart cath procedures as well. Not near as strenuous as the other 2! When I had my 2nd heart attack in Germany in 2005, the cardiologist was pissed that he couldn't find any blockages and he didn't get to put in any stents. He said my arteries were disgustingly clean as he angrily stomped out of the room. My 2 heart attacks, at age 39 and 50, were caused by inflammation from a viral infection, there isn't anything they can do about that, you either survive or you don't.
  10. Ed Lada

    What Did I Ever Do to Piss Off the Gods?

    Sure, I think I can do that. Look for them in late October or November. I have been to Tenerife once and Gran Canaria 3 times. The islands are quite dry, and although palm trees abound, there isn't as much green as you would expect. they are volcanic so most of the sand is kind of a gray color. Where we go in Maspalomas on Gran Canaria, the currents push nice clean sand on to the beaches and there is a national park with very large sand dunes and no development on the southernmost tip of the island. The sand is very nice and yellowish/sand colored. There is a large dormant volcano in the middle of the island. Besides tourism, the main industry is growing flowers in greenhouses which are all over the island. They ship the cut flowers all over the world. I wasn't impressed with Tenerife, to me it wasn't very pretty and the hotels and apartments didn't appear to be as nice. The first time I went to Gran Canaria, our plane stopped on Lanzarote first, it looked like a big rock desert, brown everywhere. I imagine it might look nicer elsewhere, we were only at the airport about 1 hour.
  11. Ed Lada

    What Did I Ever Do to Piss Off the Gods?

    Thanks SJB, I'm doing the best I can!
  12. Ed Lada

    What Did I Ever Do to Piss Off the Gods?

    Fear not you despicable denizens of this dreadful hell hole, I am still around. It warms the crusty cockle burrs of my slightly damaged heart to read the heartfelt wishes, concern and advice, I appreciate it. Except for PB. There is nothing funny about the Grateful Dead, they suck and we all know it! Bruuuuuuuuuuuce!!!!!!!!!!! Since I returned from the US to Poland at the end of June, I made a few decisions. The biggest one is that there is no way I can ever live in the US again. I haven't lived in the US for 22 years now, and I spent about 5 years total outside of the country on other occasions prior to leaving this time around. I just can't live there, too much of the culture has passed me by. I felt like a complete stranger in my home country this last trip. I will visit the grand kids if I am able and they can come see me here as well. I have a feeling that they won't be old enough to really know me, but that's life. I did buy a 'Grandfather Journal' while I was in the US, it's pretty cool. It has places to write many things about my life and experiences and I think it will be a great thing to have when they are older. Right now, my physical condition has deteriorated quite a bit. I can't walk easily and anything more than a few feet is slow and arduous and I get tired easily. I am also noticing weakness in my arms which has started in the last month. I moved back in with my wife after a 3 year hiatus, we are working on getting along and so far, so good. In spite of my physical problems, I have been renovating the deck I built 9 years ago. When I originally built it, I got a great deal on some 8' lengths of pressure treated pine deck boards for about $1.00 a board. I knew it wasn't the best wood but for the price I couldn't pass it up an I built the deck with replacement of the wood at some point, in mind. he underlying frame I made of steel, so that's fine and I am redoing the top of the flower box walls and the deck surface. I have managed to do all of the work on top, I am waiting for an order of 100 10' Douglas Fir deck boards (at about $12.00 each), they will be here in about 3 weeks. I manage to work slowly for about 4-5 hours and then the next day I don't do much, and recover from the prior day's effort. Rinse and repeat. I have been doing this for about 6 weeks now. It's hell on my body and I get exhausted and it's painful, however it keeps me busy and my mind of of other things. I envision the day will come soon when I won't even be able to do this much so I am moving while I can. I have to say, even though I could have done the whole job in about 2 weeks of 10-12 hour days a few years ago, by working and moving slowly, I noticed the quality of my work is better. So there's that. I indulge nightly in some cannabis which helps with the pain and every Thursday, a very nice looking young Polish massage therapist comes to our house and my wife and I each get a wonderful 1 hour massage. And today is Thursday she will be here in a couple of hours! The physical problems are worse to me than the mental stuff. My wife and I are flying to the Canary Islands, specifically the southern tip of Gran Canaria, Maspalomas, at the end of October for some sun, fresh fish, and good Rioja. We booked an apartment at a small place we have been to before, it's right on the promenade overlooking the ocean. There are some nice restaurants down the promenade a little ways, we will just walk slowly. I love to walk on the beach but I probably won't do much of that but just sitting and seeing the ocean and hearing the waves while eating good food and drinking good wine will be fine with me. It is one of my favorite beach holiday places. Our family doctor is an old Prussian German guy, he is quite cool and been a doctor for about 50 years. He also sings in my wife's choir. The other day after choir practice he asked my wife how I was doing. She explained my condition to him and he pondered the news. Then he told her; "You know Eddie has lived many places and done many things, he has done twice as much in his life as a normal person, so he is wearing out because he has lived 2 lifetimes, he isn't 62 years old, he is 124 years old!" I like that idea and that's my story from now on. Actually for 124 years old, I am in pretty good condition. And I'll be 126 in November. I always wanted to live the life I wanted, to do it my way and somehow I did. My motto over the years is 'no regrets' and I can honestly say I have enjoyed my life very much, the freedom, the travel, the adventures and the good as well as the bad. Life is about learning and I learned a lot and if I had it to do over, I wouldn't change a thing. Having a career, stability, and a normal life isn't for me. Thanks again for the kind thoughts and words, don't worry, I won't get a swelled head over it. I re-read a good part of the thread today, and I don't have any memory of posting most of what I posted in the past here. If I didn't comment or thank each one of you, please forgive me and consider it done. So that's where I am at at this point. If I remember, I will post now and then and keep y'all informed.
  13. Ed Lada

    What Did I Ever Do to Piss Off the Gods?

    Fear not fellow denizens, I am here but a little quiet. I appreciate the concern. I'll try to grace you lucky SOBs with my presence a little more often. The only thing about Trump in Europe is that I fear he will come to visit Poland where the current government is not unlike his. It's scary.
  14. Ed Lada

    Todays Useless Fact

    Not quite cutting clothes but it's about a cut. We had a code 3 case one night, the ambulance radioed that the victim was stabbed in the chest. The EMTs rolled the bare chested guy into the trauma room and we proceeded to cut the rest his clothes off , no problem. The stab wound turned out to be pretty superficial, although it was a good gash on the left side, about where the heart is, the blade didn't get through the ribs. The guy is laying there and he says, "Did the bitch cut the tattoo, did she? Tell me the bitch didn't cut the tattoo!" The rather ornate dragon tattoo on his chest was marred by the fact that the tail was now in 2 pieces. Dude wasn't very happy when we gave him the news. To add insult to injury, a routine search of his jeans pockets revealed a fair amount of a white powdery substance wrapped in tin foil. The MPs were called and they said the guy wouldn't get arrested since he was brought by ambulance, however they confiscated the package for testing.