Monday, August 28, 2006

Bottom of the World, Ma

Kimberly got a good phone call from her best friend, Donna. So her day started out with a big laugh. I got a call to go to work at the prep school, which is what I have been waiting for, and the painter was painting and the roofers were insulating. Furniture is finally being delivered tomorrow!! All was right with the world.

Then the phone rang yet again. It was the Nelson Hospital, asking if Kimberly would escort a patient on a flight to Christchurch.

Well, duh.

"I couldn't get dressed fast enough and I didn't even need to be in uniform, (picture coming soon...wait for it...)

I arrived at the hospital with the ambulance waiting for the patient and me to take us the the airport.

I was handed the patient chart and a bottle of liquid morphine to keep "Ivan", my patient comfortable. No, Barry, there is none left.

We arrived at Nelson Airport to find a private plane waiting for us. It only held 10 people. But I had been in much smaller planes while visiting Alaska, so this was no big deal.

The reason we were going to Christchurch (CHCH) is that Nelson does not have an MRI machine and Ivan needed an MRI.

Jason, an American RN working for Doctor's Flying Services, along with the Pilots, Barry and Steve, escorted us onto the plane.

We took off into perfect weather. After making sure Ivan was "comfortable", (sorry again, Monk) I was given headphones like a football coach and this was the mode of communication for the next hour.

While trying to read Ivan's chart, I was distracted by what was out the window. I was looking down on the Southern Alps, the highest mountains in the Southern Hemisphere...and we were damn close.

For the next 30 minutes I was speechless and talkative at the same time. These guys take this trip 3 times a day, but it was my first I wanted to know everything. They pointed out sites as we flew. It was simply splendid and unique.

As we neared CHCH, we started our descent.

Another ambulance was waiting to take us to the hospital, which turned out the wrong one. Back in the ambulance to the correct one, 45 Minute MRI, more morphine, back to the ambulance, back to the plane, more morphine. All staff was friendly and efficient.

6:15 PM departure back to Nelson. We took off to a spectacular sunset.

Quiet ride back ending with Jason, the nurse, asking me if I was interested in a job with the company since one of their other nurses just quit that very day.

Stay tuned.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

You Talkin' To Me?

Some of you are not talking to us and might like to

There is a GREAT program now available on your computer. It is called SKYPE. Here is the link right to it:

By downloading Skype, which only takes a minute, you can call computer to computer anywhere in the world... FREE. anytime, and talk as long as you want.

The sound is much better than a land or cell phone. Other people in the room can participate. Your computer probably has everything you need, except possibly a microphone.

Microphones can be obtained at Radio Shack or computer stores for about 10 bucks.

In addition, with Skype, you can call from your computer to a regular phone for much less per minute than any other system.

So we have Free Phone calling.. all you need to do is get on the program.

DO IT NOW and search for us under michael bortnick and add us to your contact list. Then whenever you are on the internet, you can make or recieve calls from other Skype users who are also on line.

This is a very cool way to communicate. Get into the 21 century. Get!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

She's Got My Child, But It Don't Look Like Me


Our son, Brandon, and his wonderful, beautiful wife, Vanessa, are expecting a baby of some sort in mid January. This would be around the same time as my 60th birthday.

Everyone says being grandparents is better than being parents. Time will tell. Kimberly and I have plans to kidnap the child and take it to New Zealand where life is MUCH safer. We just don't know how to deal with the air travel problems.

Friday, August 11, 2006

When I Paint My Masterpiece

Forgive us readers, for we have sinned. It has been at least a week since our last entry.

In that time, we have shifted into our new house and had the carpet cleaned as we mentioned.

Well, we really don't like the color of the carpet. It is a dark blue and the walls are a dark green. The house looks dark. We decided to live with it until summer and then get a lighter carpet.

Carpets make the house quieter and warmer in winter.

Time flies....The next morning, I was pulling up all the freshly cleaned carpet.

The beauty part is that beneath the rug is beautiful solid Rimu wood. So now we have a home with all solid wood floors...and a billion carpet tacks.

2 days later, 4 huge blisters, and the floors are smooth.

But they need to be sanded and polished. If we are ever going to paint the walls , we should do that before the floors are sanded, right?

The painter is here now, Kimberly picked our colors, the sander comes next week, the barge with the furniture follows.

Plus, Kimberly got a job at the hospital and I got a second job doing internet research.

We came here for peace and quiet, but the merry-go-round ain't stopping just yet.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

May the Four Winds Blow You Safely Home

We just got back from a whirlwind tour that took us to Tucson, Arizona for a wedding and family reunion. Nothing will be said about those events at this time. If you were there, you know what fun we all had.

Let me tell you about overseas air travel.

If you take the actual flying time, waiting time, driving time... you might as well figure 24 hours if you are going to New Zealand. The poor folks like us can do it for about $1500/person. If you have money, there is business class. We were able to sneek a peek into that section during boarding. It looked like there was heaps of walking around space and some sort of lounge chair seats. I'm sure the food and drink was flowing all day and night. Probably warm moist towelettes to wipe lobster sauce from the hands and face.

If you are super rich, there is a stairway to heaven on the plane that goes to some sort of first class area. We believe there are couches, big screen TV, buffet food and naked playboy bunnies in hot tubs.

Like a fool, I always ask if there is room in first class when we pick up our boarding passes. It does not work that way sir. We will never see first class. Kimberly thinks we might. Or, SHE might.

OUR seats, meanwhile, were 3 across, quite small. Being the gentleman, I took the center seat and gave Kimberly the aisle. I thought it was going to be for the first 6 hours and then we would switch.

It did not work that way sir.

After 12+ hours, 2 movies, 2 meals, very sore butts, we landed in Nelson.

The car was still there waiting, so we jumped in and readied ourselves for the 5 minute ride to our rental. It didn't work that way.

We got rear ended by a guy who did not see us stop at a light. He was very apologetic and took the blame. We both have the same insurance company. To be honest, everyone in town has the same company. A cop came along. He did not issue any tickets, but told us to work it out and he went on his way. Welcome to New Zealand.

As luck would have it, the other driver owns his own panel beating shop. Panelbeaters are body shops. So all will be well.

We got to the rental, moved all our stuff to the new house, had a man shampoo the carpets, went out to dinner, watched a torrential rainfall, and passed out in our little sleepout due to wet carpet everywhere else.

Here are some pics of the house and yard and view.