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Hello KPers:

I've had an amazing past 2 days, mostly disconnected from the internet.

It all started Thursday afternoon with a call from one of our NCOs telling me that we had a plane available to transport a patient to Omaha, Nebraska. I had been planning for this short trip for a few days and had written omahafool letting him know that I would be around his neck of the woods. The trip had been set for Friday afternoon, but now it had been moved up to Thursday afternoon on very short notice!

I rushed home and picked up my overnight bag and got my patient ready for the trip. He had recently suffered a heart attack and my boss insisted that a physician accompany him on the aerovac flight back to his home base in Omaha, Nebraska.

We all got in the ambulance and went to the flightline to await our plane. Amazingly enough, the freakin' SPACE SHUTTLE was landing at our base. Apparently they needed a place to hunker down to avoid the huge storm that was heading up the Gulf Coast before they headed to Florida. The Space Shuttle Columbia had just had a big overhaul at Edwards AFB and it was now sitting atop the NASA 747 on its way to the Kennedy Space Center.

Well, you would have thought this was the only exciting thing that was going to happen that day, but no sireee, you would be wrong. As soon as we got to the flightline I saw the Base Commander waiting outside Base Operations with his wife. They were both waiting for a two star general who was to arrive in a few minutes. So here we are in our ambulance when 2 F-15s land. Our Base Commander goes out and greets him while we hide in our ambulance (our Base Commander asked us to disappear for a bit, and that suited me fine, since I am General-aphobic). The 2-star general came down from his F-15 and went inside base operations with our Base Commander.

We all went outside and saw the Space Shuttle land atop its 747. Many pictures were taken. I don't think I had seen that many people before waiting for anything to land at our base.

Finally, our C-9 aerovac transport arrived. We got our patient set up and took off headed to Omaha. The trip only took an hour and a half and we had the plane to ourselves. Just imagine one fully decked out C-9 jet (DC-9 in the civilian world), 1 physician, 3 nurses, 3 techs and 5 other members of the flight crew all there to transport one person (apparently this C-9 crew needed some training and we provided the opportunity/excuse to make it possible).

We touched down in Omaha and were met by his physician there. Once the patient got taken care of, I called Benjamin (omahafool) and he offered me a place to stay in his home for the night.

Benajmin and I have been friends for about a year, but this is the first time we had met in person. It was great seeing him in person. The first thing I did after changing out of my uniform was to call another Fool, jmartyc who had been a student of ours at the last RB Seminar. Marty (jmartyc) is the Chief of Police at Boys Town in Omaha (you know the one from the film starring Andy Rooney).

Fittingly enough, we all had dinner at Warren Buffet's steak house (I forget the name ?Gunther's). There we talked about our lives, some about stocks, and in general had a very nice time.

Here we were 4 people (omahafool and his wife, jmartyc and myself) enjoying a nice dinner and conversation. Four people who would have never met had it not been for this great community we have at The Motley Fool (thanks Tom and Dave!). We were talking so long the waitresses threatened to evict us because they were set for closing time.

omahafool and I stayed up until 4 am talking and enjoying each other's company, thinking up of strategies to deal with this bear market in tech and in general having a great time. The next day we got up at 8 am, had a nice breakfast together and omahafool drove me to the airport. We talked some more over a cup of coffee and I just had to try a Krispy Kreme donut (just to see what all the hullaballoo was about). There we talked as old friends as I awaitied the boarding to my flight. As the airport clerk announced my boarding call, omahafool and I gave each other a big hug and said goodbye. It had been a good visit, short in time, but rich in significance for both of us.

The real value of this place is the human ties it creates. As we share our hopes and dreams, fears and uncertainties, we grow!

It really is all about sharing and learning together.

God bless the Motley Fool and God bless the Kua`ania Partners. May we all continue enriching our lives (if not our pocketbooks) by meeting here and sharing our knowledge with each other.


xerohypeianly yours,

Erick
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