Entering the World of Space Exploration

Looking Back

1957

*****************************

Entering the World of Space Exploration 

******************

By Ron Munden 

I had a great childhood.  I had every boy’s dream.  I lived alone in my own apartment at age thirteen. 

My parents, twin sister and I lived at 902 East Burleson for all of my life up until I left for college.  For 12 years Carol and I shared a bedroom.  As we got older my parents thought it was not proper for my sister and I to share the room. However there was one small problem  – we lived in a two bedroom house.  The question was “What do we do with Ronnie?”  I was too old to room with my sister but too young to join the Army.  My parents had a problem – me.

My dad was alway a problem solver.  As usual he found a solution to this problem.  Actually he found the solution to two problems.  The house did not have a garage and dad really wanted one for parking the car and his work tow truck.

Dad decided to think big.  Why build a two bay garage? Why not three bays?  One for the car, one for the tow truck and one for Ronnie.

I loved this solution.  What made it so great was that the garage was built as a separate building from the house and the bay nearest the house was for the car, the next one for the tow truck and at the end bay was my room.

My room was “rustic”.  A concrete slab floor and raw wood walls and ceiling. What made it perfect is that my dad built a workbench into the back wall and ran a gas line with a connection for my bunsen burner.

The room had no running water or a bathroom but that was no problem.  There was a vacant lot behind the house with tall grass.  My canteen solved the water problem.

This room doubled as my bedroom and science lab.  My friend Danny McKay and I constantly ran experiments.  We tried to boil everything using the bunsen burner.  This included trying to boil the mercury that we had taken from Mr. Ross’ science storage room at the Junior High School. ( I am assuming that there is a statute of limitation on stealing mercury – if not Danny did it.)

Fortunately our mercury evaporation experiment failed and we are both living today.  Who would have ever thought mercury was poisonous?

On October 4, 1957, the USSR launched Sputnik, the first artificial satellite to orbit the Earth.  The 187 pound, basketball sized object became a “superstar”  overnight . It became the talk of the town and the nation.  The United States entered the space race as did Danny and I.

We decided that we should build a weather balloon that could be detected by the radar at Barksdale Air Force Base. 

Our resources were limited.  We had half a dozen used plastic bags from clothes taken to the cleaners, a roll of masking tape from my dad’s body shop, a roll of copper wire I used on electrical projects, and a roll of aluminum foil from mom’s kitchen.  We also had an infinite supply of natural gas from the rubber hose connected to my bunsen burner.

The plastic bags from the cleaners were not in good shape.  We used masking tape to seal holes and copper wire to close the ends of the bags.

We used the rubber hose and our wind power to blow air into the bags so we could check for leaks.  Finally we declared the pre-flight test complete and we were ready for launch.

On launch day we assembled the four bags that had held air.  We cut strips of aluminum foil about 2 inches  wide and four feet long.  We use wire to connect them together.

At NASA, the rocket fueling phase is the most dangerous part of any mission.  The same is true when filling cleaning bags with natural gas using a rubber hose.

Our problem was that about as much gas leaked into my bedroom as got into the cleaning bags.  Actually, a post launch analysis revealed that about nine units of the natural gas went into the room for every one unit that got in the plastic bags.

We did know that it was not good to breathe natural gas but the gas connection was in the back of the room – about 20 feet from the door of the room.  So a person would fill his lungs with air, run to the back of the room and start filling a plastic bag.  The other person stood outside the door filling his lungs with air.  On a signal the person outside the room would run to the back of the room and relieve the person filling the bags.  That person would run out of the room to get air.  This process continued until the four bags had enough natural gas to allow them to float.

We took the four bags outside, tied them together with wire and attached the aluminum foil to the craft.  Without delay we launched.

At about 4:30pm we watched as the four bag craft lifted into the sky.  Sun reflected off the foil as the craft ascended.  We watched until we could no longer see the bags.  We declared the mission a success.  Since a breeze took the bags East, we were sure it would be detected by Air force radar.

The next day the Marshall News Messenger carried a story about a Sputnik Observation group spotting Sputnik just after 5pm the previous day. We were sure that they had spotted our craft, not Sputnik. 

Years later I realized the group had not seen our craft.  However it was more likely they saw our cleaning bags than a basketball sized object flying through space.

Footnote: 

Neither Danny nor I went to work for NASA but another Marshall boy, Paul Kelley, did after receiving his math degree from the University of Texas.  I did visit Paul while he was living in Houston.  So I almost made it to NASA.

***********************************

GIVE US YOUR FEEDBACK.  CLICK ON “COMMENT” TO TELL US WHAT YOU THINK or use one of the alternative methods for providing feedback.

Click here to submit feedback.  Let us know what you think.

click here to CLOSE THIS PAGE

—————————————————————–

Click here to go the the EastTexasExposed.com website

Click here to go to the iExposed.us website

—————————————————————–

EastTexasExposed.com 

P.O. Box 721

Scottsville Texas

75688

Sunshine Midway

THE MIDWAY HAS COME TO TOWN

October 2022

*****************************

Sunshine Midway 

******************

By Ron Munden 

This week the midway came to Downtown Marshall.  On Wednesday I was in downtown shooting and I ran into David Hill the owner of Sunshine Midway which operates out of Gilmer Texas.  Now I have the inside story on Mr. Hill’s business.

David said that the story begins with an intense but friendly competition between him and his next door neighbor over who could have the best Christmas light display.  Finally, the neighbors decided it had become too much and the competition ended.

Needing a project to fill the void, Mr. Hill decided to buy a 1941 carousel that was built in New York.  With that, Sunshine Midway was born.  That was 24 years ago.  Today the company has 29 rides and entertainment platforms.

Only a small portion of the rides  are set up in Marshall but there are plenty to keep your  children happy.

Mr. Hill  said the midway business is hard work but from our conversation it is clear that this is a labor of love for David.  He is particularly excited that his grandson is now working with him.  

The company starts the season in April  each year and its season finishes in November.  They are on the road in a different town almost every weekend during the season.  The area covered includes cities  in Texas and Arkansas.

Mr. Hill noted that over 15 midway companies have gone out of business since the start of the pandemic.   This has created an increased demand for the remaining companies.  David said that his telephone now rings off the hook.  He is booking all the dates that he can handle and is turning down work.

It was a pleasure to meet David.  I love to talk to people who are passionate about their work.  At 74 years, Mr. Hill has not lost that love of the business and enjoys going to work each day.

This weekend will be a great time to bring the kids out for a lot of fun in Downtown Marshall.

***********************************

GIVE US YOUR FEEDBACK.  CLICK ON “COMMENT” TO TELL US WHAT YOU THINK or use one of the alternative methods for providing feedback.

Click here to submit feedback.  Let us know what you think.

click here to CLOSE THIS PAGE

—————————————————————–

Click here to go the the EastTexasExposed.com website

Click here to go to the iExposed.us website

—————————————————————–

EastTexasExposed.com 

P.O. Box 721

Scottsville Texas

75688

CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS – 10/6/2022

FROM YOUR EPIDEMIOLOGIST:

 COVID State of Affairs: Oct 5

”…Here we go again. The start of a new wave. Eyes are on Western Europe, as hospitalizations are uniformly increasing….Interestingly, no new subvariant is driving this wave, as the majority of cases are still the “old” BA.5 subvariant….[BUT]…subvariants are brewing. They only make up a small percentage of cases for now, but they are gaining ground; historically, we feel their impact when they make up ~30-50% of cases. These subvariants will eventually add fuel to the fire…If we combine five of the top new subvariant leaders in the U.S. (referred to as “Pentagon”), it’s clear that case acceleration is brewing below the surface. Given the current growth, we will likely see an impact on national metrics in mid-November….”

(J. Harris:I suggest that you read the whole article referenced above. You might even want to subscribe to her efforts and send her some money. I did, but it looks like I’ll need to send her some more. We are likely to have another bad winter. The most important thing we old folks can do is to stay completely vaccinated, be careful, avoid sick people if possible, and avoid unvaccinated people. Remember, about half the folks with Covid do not know that they have it or just caught it and don’t have symptoms yet. AND, get your FLU SHOT.)

FROM THE LA TIMES:

Coronavirus Today: How COVID lies spread on Facebook

(J. Harris: Wonderful summaries of several papers—READABLE version)

FROM SCIENCE ADVANCES.        Almost unreadable version:

”Losing the battle over best-science guidance early in a crisis: COVID-19 and beyond

(J. Harris: I have a few readers who have advanced mathematical and statistical skills who can probably understand this article. I simply will have to agree with the conclusions.)

FROM BECKERS: 

CDC revises ‘up to date’ term on COVID-19 vaccination

”…The CDC revised its “up to date” COVID-19 vaccination term Sept. 30 to include the primary series and the recently authorized omicron-targeting booster.”

FROM THE WASHINGTON POST:

Can you get the omicron booster if you have never received the original coronavirus vaccine?

AND LAST BUT NOT LEACHED: 

***********************************

GIVE US YOUR FEEDBACK.  CLICK ON “COMMENT” TO TELL US WHAT YOU THINK or use one of the alternative methods for providing feedback.

Click here to submit feedback.  Let us know what you think.

click here to CLOSE THIS PAGE

—————————————————————–

Click here to go to the iExposed.us website

—————————————————————–

iExposed Us 

P.O. Box 721

Scottsville Texas

75688

Did You Know?

Did You Know?

October 2022

*****************************

National Domestic Violence Awareness & Prevention Month

******************

By Ron Munden 

The theme for this year is:  #Every1KnowsSome1.  The mission is to highlight how common domestic violence is and that it is more than physical violence.

Did you know?

*The U.S. Department of Justice estimates that 1.3 million women and 835,000 men are victims of physical violence by a partner every year.

*Every 9 seconds, a woman in the U.S. is beaten or assaulted by a current or ex-significant other. 

*1 in 4 men are victims of some form of physical violence by an intimate partner.

*Here’s another shocking statistic: the number of U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan and Iraq between 2001 and 2012 is 6,488. The number of women who were murdered by current or ex-male partners during that same time frame is 11,766, according to the Huffington Post. That’s almost double the number of people who were killed fighting in the war.

People who are in an abusive relationship will stay with their partner for a number of reasons:

*Their self-esteem is totally destroyed, and they are made to feel they will never be able to find another person to be with.  The cycle of abuse, meaning the ‘honeymoon phase’ that follows physical and mental abuse, makes them believe their partner really is sorry and does love them.

*It’s dangerous to leave. Women are 70 times more likely to be killed in the weeks after leaving their abusive partner than at any other time in the relationship, according to the Domestic Violence Intervention program.

*Statistics suggest that almost 5 percent of male homicide victims each year are killed by an intimate partner.

*They feel personally responsible for their partner, or their own behavior. They are made to feel like everything that goes wrong is their fault.

*They share a life. Marriages, children, homes, pets, and finances are a big reason victims of abuse feel they can’t leave.

For more information visit Christy Shay’s TikTok account.  The link is: https://www.tiktok.com/@beautifullybroken44

#domesticviolenceawareness #survivor #yourenotalone 

***********************************

GIVE US YOUR FEEDBACK.  CLICK ON “COMMENT” TO TELL US WHAT YOU THINK or use one of the alternative methods for providing feedback.

Click here to submit feedback.  Let us know what you think.

click here to CLOSE THIS PAGE

—————————————————————–

Click here to go to the iExposed.us website

—————————————————————–

EastTexasExposed.com 

P.O. Box 721

Scottsville Texas

75688

CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS – 10/1/2022

FROM THE ATLANTIC:

The Pandemic’s Legacy Is Already Clear

”...In furiously racing to rebuild on this same foundation, America sets itself up to collapse once more…”

”…America’s individualist bent has also shaped its entire health-care system, which ties health to wealth and employment. That system is organized around treating sick people at great and wasteful expense, instead of preventing communities from falling sick in the first place….

 UP TO DATE REASONS TO GET VACCINE BOOSTER!

(J. Harris: The numbers in favor of boosters are convincing.)

COVID VACCINE AVAILABLE IN MARSHALL NOW FREE:

We have plenty of Pfizer COVID 19 vaccines (primary and booster) doses available. If you have a business or group that would like us to schedule an onsite vaccine clinic, please let me know.

Jennifer Hancock, RN, BSN  

Executive Director – Marshall-Harrison County Health District

805 Lindsey Drive  |  Marshall |  TX 75670

Tel 903.938-8338  |  Fax 903.938.8330

www.mhchd.org

SHORT VIDEO ANIMATION OF HOW MRNA VACCINE WORKS

(Thank you, Ken Belson, NYT)

FROM HOPKINS SELECTIONS”

1. COVID-19—Clinical Practice

Long COVID Has Forced a Reckoning for One of Medicine’s Most Neglected Diseases (The Atlantic) ME/CFS involves a panoply of debilitating symptoms that affect many organ systems and that get worse with exertion. The Institute of Medicine estimates that it affects 836,000 to 2.5 million people in the U.S. alone, but is so misunderstood and stigmatized that about 90 percent of people who have it have never been diagnosed. At best, most medical professionals know nothing about ME/CFS; at worst, they tell patients that their symptoms are psychosomatic, anxiety-induced, or simply signs of laziness. While ME/CFS patients, their caregivers, and the few doctors who treat them have spent years fighting for medical legitimacy, the coronavirus pandemic has now forced the issue.

2. Public & Global Health:

Five things about covid we still don’t understand at our peril (The Washington Post) Since a new coronavirus launched the global pandemic that has now killed more than 6.5 million people — 16 percent of them in the United States alone ― scientists in record numbers have devoted themselves full time to unraveling its mysteries. In less than three years, researchers have published more than 200,000 studies about the virus and covid-19. That is four times the number of scientific papers written on influenza in the past century and more than 10 times the number written on measles. Still, the virus has kept many of its secrets, from how it mutates so rapidly to why it kills some while leaving others largely unscathed — mysteries that if solved might arm the world’s scientists with new strategies to curb its spread and guard against the next pandemic. Here are some of the most pressing questions they are trying to answer.

3. Moderna seeks FDA nod for Omicron-targeted COVID shot for adolescents, younger kids (Reuters) Moderna Inc said on Friday it has requested U.S. authorization for use of its Omicron-targeting COVID vaccine in adolescents and children. The company is seeking emergency use authorization of its updated vaccine in two age groups – adolescents aged 12 to 17 years and children aged six to 11. The application for the bivalent vaccine for children between the ages of six months and under six years is expected to be completed later this year, the company said in a tweet.

4. (27 Sept): PANDEMIC PREDICTIONS Recent increases in COVID-19 cases in the UK could signal that the US is heading into a fall and winter COVID-19 surge. Historically, the US lags the UK in case trends by about one month, and the UK trend began rising the week of September 17. Some models predict US case trends will continue to decrease into October before beginning to rise, and while current predictions suggest a big increase in infections, the infection-detection rate likely will remain low due to declines in testing. Because the US population has some underlying immunity, and most experts agree the country has the pandemic under control, the death toll is expected to be rather modest….

But this modeling is based on the Omicron BA.5 subvariant, and the emergence of a new variant or subvariant could upend these predictions, particularly if there is a reduction in cross-variant immunity. BA.5 continues to account for the majority of new COVID-19 cases in the US (83.1%), but BA.4.6 (12%) and BF.7 (2.3%), an offspring of BA.5, are beginning to show growth advantage over BA.5. BF.7 has an additional genetic mutation in the spike protein compared with BA.5, which could reduce the efficacy of the monoclonal antibody treatment Evusheld, one of the few remaining therapies effective against BA.4 and BA.5. The mix of variants in the UK appears to be about the same as the US, although epidemiologists are watching to see whether emerging variants such as BQ.1.1 and BA.2.75 grow in proportion.

FROM YOUR LOCAL EPIDEMOLOGIST:

1. BOOSTERS STIMULATE YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM TO RESIST SOME NEW VARIANTS

”…an updated booster will increase the diversity of our antibodies and that memory will be retained by our immune systems…”

2. mRNA in breastmilk. That’s okay. And more on COVID19 vaccines and pregnancy

(J. Harris: Extensive review of Covid and pregnancy biochemistry/immunology.)

FROM THE NYT

1. In a Game Built on Violence, No Player Is Safe

(A football article written by honorary Marshallite, Ken Belson)

AND LAST BUT NOT LEASED:

***********************************

GIVE US YOUR FEEDBACK.  CLICK ON “COMMENT” TO TELL US WHAT YOU THINK or use one of the alternative methods for providing feedback.

Click here to submit feedback.  Let us know what you think.

click here to CLOSE THIS PAGE

—————————————————————–

Click here to go to the iExposed.us website

—————————————————————–

iExposed Us 

P.O. Box 721

Scottsville Texas

75688

CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS – 9/23/2022

CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS – 9/23/2022

SO, WE CAN STOP THIS COUNT FOR NOW, AND, HOPEFULLY, FOREVER.

OUR AREA IN TEXAS IS NOW IN  A “LOW DANGER” AREA. I ANTICIPATE THAT MY MAILOUTS WILL BECOME INCREASINGLY INFREQUENT. I KNOW WE ALL HOPE SO. 

STAY WARY. 

FROM BECKERS:

BEST WAY TO TAKE A PILL AND GET QUICK RESULTS

(J. Harris: What a nice study. I never even thought about this. Quick clearance of the medications might really help when taking medicines that “burn” the stomach lining, like aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs — as well as steroids. KEEP RIGHT!)

FROM THE NEJM:

NEW MODERNA VACCINE WORKS WELL AGAINST CURRENT VARIANTS

”The bivalent omicron-containing vaccine mRNA-1273.214 elicited neutralizing antibody responses against omicron that were superior to those with mRNA-1273, without evident safety concerns. ”

FROM MEDICARE:

”…Important: Updated COVID-19 vaccines are now available to provide increased protection against the currently circulating Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants….

If it has been at least 2 months since you completed your COVID-19 primary series or had your last booster, then you are eligible for an updated vaccine. 

Remember: Medicare covers the COVID-19 vaccine at no cost to you

FINE A VACCINE SITE NEAR YOU

FROM HOPKINS SUGGESTED ARTICLES: 

AS OF 22 SEPT: UNITED STATES

The US CDC is reporting 95.6 million cumulative cases of COVID-19 and 1,049,101 deaths. Daily incidence continues to decline, down to 55,332 new cases per day. Daily mortality appears to have plateaued, with an average of 356 deaths per day. 

1. Lancet Commission on COVID-19 response: ‘Massive global failure’

Lancet Commission on COVID-19 response: ‘Massive global failure’ (CIDRAP) A stinging new Lancet Commission report on the international COVID-19 pandemic response calls it “a massive global failure on multiple levels” and spares no one the responsibility—including the public—for millions of preventable deaths and a backslide in progress made toward sustainable development goals in many countries.

(J. Harris: This is a readable summary.)

2. Should Your Flu and COVID Shots Go in Different Arms? (The Atlantic) At a press briefing earlier this month, Ashish Jha, the White House’s COVID czar, laid out some pretty lofty expectations for America’s immunity this fall. “Millions” of Americans, he said, would be flocking to pharmacies for the newest version of the COVID vaccine in September and October, at the same appointment where they’d get their yearly flu shot. “It’s actually a good idea,” he told the press. “I really believe this is why God gave us two arms.” That’s how I got immunized last week at my local CVS: COVID shot on the left, flu shot on the right. I spent the next day or so nursing not one but two achy upper arms. Reaching high shelves was hard; putting on deodorant was worse. And it did make me wonder what would have happened if I’d ignored Jha’s teleological advice and gotten both jabs in the same arm.

3. Nation warned to brace for a difficult flu season (The Hill) Health experts are warning the nation to brace for what could be an exceptionally severe flu season this fall and winter, as more people who have not built up immunity over the last few years mix and mingle. There are two big reasons why more people could be vulnerable to the flu this year. The first is that with coronavirus restrictions such as the wearing of masks all but forgotten, people are more likely to come into contact with the flu virus this year than over the last two years. The second reason is that fewer people are likely to be immune from the flu virus this year because fewer people have been getting the flu over the last two years — as the pandemic locked people down and as people worried more about getting COVID-19.

4. Additionally, the WHO last week strongly advised against the use of 2 different antibody therapies—sotrovimab as well as casirivimab-imdevimab—to treat patients with COVID-19 because they have limited clinical activity against currently circulating viral variants. The US FDA previously pulled or limited the use of the drugs, and some experts criticized the WHO for waiting to make the updated recommendation. The WHO expanded its conditional recommendation for the antiviral remdesivir to cover patients with severe COVID-19 and those with non-severe infections but who are at high risk of hospitalization….

Only a handful of COVID-19 therapeutics remain useful against currently circulating SARS-CoV-2 strains. While researchers quickly developed 4 effective treatments for hospitalized COVID-19 patients in the year between January 2020 and February 2021, no new therapies for hospitalized patients have been authorized since February 2021, raising concerns about whether treatment advancements have stalled

4. There’s a Shortage of Moderna Covid Boosters in the US (Bloomberg) Some pharmacies are reporting shortages of Moderna Inc.’s new bivalent booster shot for Covid-19 as one factory used in producing the vaccine remains offline following a safety inspection. The US government supply of Moderna’s shot is currently limited, causing appointments for the product to vary across the country, a Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. pharmacy spokesperson said in an emailed statement. Meanwhile, CVS Health Corp. says some of its drugstores have used all of the updated shots they received from the government, and the company is trying to get more doses. Moderna has been coping without one of its vaccine-manufacturing facilities.

FROM YOUR EPIDEMIOLOGIST:

State of Affairs (Sept 19): COVID19, MPX, Polio, and… Flu

1. SARS-CoV-2 continues to mutate, and there are a few Omicron variants, like BA.2.3 and BJ.1, on the horizon with potentially concerning combinations of mutations. But evidence thus far is extremely limited. Most eyes are on BA.2.75.2, which is a second generation subvariant and has three additional spike protein mutations. Two preprints have shown substantial immune escape, even compared to BA.5. This means it has the potential to cause future waves. The number of BA.2.75.2 cases is still very small across the globe, but counts are doubling every week. If this growth rate continues, BA.2.75.2 may be one that causes the much anticipated winter wave.

2. Flu: Finally, flu. The flu season in Australia wrapped up, and it wasn’t pretty. This is notable because, historically, Southern hemisphere patterns predict what is to come in the Northern hemisphere….U.S. flu activity remains low, as is typical this time of year, but flu season is just around the corner. Given the Southern hemisphere’s warnings, we predict that this activity will change. However, right now, the only predictable thing about viral behavior is that it is unpredictable.

3. The “common” viruses for our kids may be back

(J. Harris: Check this out if you are around kids or grandkids or school kids.)

FROM THE CONVERSATION:

Polio vaccination rates in some areas of the US hover dangerously close to the threshold required for herd immunity – here’s why that matters

”…even today, there are communities in the U.S. that have lower-than-necessary polio vaccination rates. Because many people have not been vaccinated, there is now a real possibility of a resurgence of polio in the U.S….on Sept. 9, 2022, New York declared a state of emergency due to ongoing poliovirus transmission. As of that date, using wastewater surveillance, officials had identified 57 samples of poliovirus in wastewater from four New York counties…As a result of the continued poliovirus detection in wastewater, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention declared that the U.S. now meets the World Health Organization’s criteria for “a country with circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus.”….There are two key types of polio vaccine in use around the world today. The inactivated poliovirus vaccine is given as a shot, and the oral attenuated (or weakened) poliovirus vaccine is administered as oral drops, sometimes on a sugar cube…

Since 2000, the U.S. has exclusively used the inactivated poliovirus vaccine, which cannot cause disease since it does not contain live virus. But in countries where the poliovirus continues to circulate, such as Pakistan and Afghanistan, the oral attenuated poliovirus vaccine is still used…..In extremely rare cases, the weakened live vaccine used in other countries can mutate back into its virulent form and lead to paralysis. This is how the adult in New York is believed to have come into contact with the virus….For poliovirus, researchers estimate that between five and seven individuals would be infected for each case if those people were susceptible. Based upon these calculations, experts determined that at least 80% of a community or population should be vaccinated against poliovirus to prevent its spread…]]

UT Southwestern opens first academic medical center campus for southern Dallas County

AND LAST BUT NOT LEASED:

***********************************

GIVE US YOUR FEEDBACK.  CLICK ON “COMMENT” TO TELL US WHAT YOU THINK or use one of the alternative methods for providing feedback.

Click here to submit feedback.  Let us know what you think.

click here to CLOSE THIS PAGE

—————————————————————–

Click here to go to the iExposed.us youtube channel

Click here to go to the iExposed.us website

—————————————————————–

iExposed Us 

P.O. Box 721

Scottsville Texas

75688

Do Companies Actually Read Customer Surveys?

Chapter 2

*****************************

Do Companies Actually Read Customer Surveys?

******************

By Ron Munden

When I receive an online survey form I often think – Will anyone actually read this form or will a computer just scan the responses and store them in a database?  Will my responses just be a dot in the composite data collection?

Earlier this week I posted an article titled, “Is Peters RAM in Longview Texas Where RVs Go To Die?” It was an article about my nightmare experiences with my new Thor Sequence RV.

On the day I posted my article I  received a Customer Satisfaction Survey Form request from Thor Motor Coach.

Since it was mailed a few days prior to my publishing my article, I cannot credit my powerful, compelling writing with me receiving the survey from Thor.  But I am very happy that the Thor Customer Satisfaction sent me the survey.

Of course I was very interested in completing the survey.  If you read my last article on this subject,  it will not be a surprise to you that Thor Motor Coach did not receive high marks on the survey form.  I think my 2000 character description of the current status will clearly identify to Thor why they received very low scores.  They now know I have very serious issues with their product.

So now this is the question – will a human ever review my survey?  Will the Customer Satisfaction Team ever reach out to me?

To be fair I must let you know this is my first time dealing directly with the Thor Motor Coach  company.  My dealings have been with the RV dealership and the RAM Service Center.  So Thor begins with a clear sheet of paper.

After completing the survey I received an email from the Thor Customer Satisfaction Team.  It said: 

Thank you for participating in the Thor Motor Coach customer satisfaction survey process. Our goal is to continue to provide superior products and services. The feedback you provided will assist us in meeting this goal.

Your response will be reviewed by our dealer and product support teams. If we identify that we have not met your expectations, we will take the necessary steps to follow-up to achieve an amicable outcome.

Sincerely,

Customer Satisfaction Team

Now the question is – Is this Thor goal part of its marketing campaign or part of the company’s mission?

Time will tell and so will I.

***********************************

GIVE US YOUR FEEDBACK.  CLICK ON “COMMENT” TO TELL US WHAT YOU THINK or use one of the alternative methods for providing feedback.

Click here to submit feedback.  Let us know what you think.

click here to CLOSE THIS PAGE

—————————————————————–

Click here to go to the EastTexasExposed.com website

—————————————————————–

EastTexasExposed.com 

P.O. Box 721

Scottsville Texas

75688

Peters RAM

A Horror Story

*****************************

Is Peters RAM in Longview Texas Where RVs Go To Die?

******************

By Ron Munden

The Quick Version

On July 21, 2022 I bought an RV.  I have had numerous small problems with the RV which were addressed by the RV dealer.  The cab air conditioning stopped cooling in August. The RV Dealer said it was under RAM warranty and I needed to take it to a RAM dealer. On September 1, 2022 I took it to Peters RAM to do the warranty repairs.  As of September 20, 2022 they still have the vehicle and there are no signs of progress.  I have never been able to use the unit and next week I make my first payment of many.

A Longer Version

On July 21, 2022 I became the proud owner of a new Thor Sequence RV which is built on a RAM ProMaster frame.

I have had a series of problems.  I drove the RV to Missouri where I purchased it and the dealer fixed the house problems.

On the drive up to Missouri the A/C in the cab stopped cooling.  When I reported this to the RV dealer, I was told that this was under the RAM warranty and I should take it to a RAM dealer for repairs.  The lack of A/C has made the vehicle unusable.  I just hate driving around on a 100 degree day without A/C.

The RAM dealer in Marshall said they were not certified for RAM Pro Master work and referred me to Peters RAM in Longview Texas.

I called Peters for an appointment and was told I could not make an appointment for A/C repairs. They said I would need to drive it over and they would “work it in”  but they could not guarantee one-day repairs so I would need to drop it off and they would call me when it was ready.

I arranged for someone to pick me up in Longview and drive me back to Marshall.  On September 1, 2022 I drove the 30 miles to Peters Service Center.  

Prior to taking the RV over I had experienced difficulty starting the vehicle if I turned it off and then needed to restart it within a few minutes.  I had no problem if I waited a half day to restart it.

When I got  to Peters I stopped the RV beside the Service Center and turned it off.  I had the windows down driving over because of the lack of A/C. I realized I needed to raise the window.  The vehicle would not start again.

I went into the Service Center and met a very friendly Peters’ employee.  He was helpful and checked my RV in.  I detailed the problems that I was having – the A/C cooling and the RV not starting a second time.

We walked outside and he verified the problems.  The vehicle still would not start and jumping the battery did not work.

My ride arrived, I waved goodbye to my RV.  Sadly this was the last time I saw my young RV.

Today it is September 20, 2022.  Peters has never called me.  Some of my calls to them have been returned.  Everytime the story is the same – they have not found the problem but they are still looking.  They have no estimate when I might get my RV back.

Based on my conversations it appears that Peters Service Center has no clue what is wrong and they are getting NO HELP from the RAM factory.

Surely there is someone at the RAM factory that can help the Peters Service Center identify and repair these problems.

Next week I will write the check for my first RV payment.  I have not been able to use the RV a single day in the two months I have had it.  I had hoped that my RV and I could share the signing of that first check together but I fear we will be apart.  I will be at home and my RV will be at the Peters Service Center or the Peters Graveyard.

Come-on RAM – you can do better!

***********************************

GIVE US YOUR FEEDBACK.  CLICK ON “COMMENT” TO TELL US WHAT YOU THINK or use one of the alternative methods for providing feedback.

Click here to submit feedback.  Let us know what you think.

click here to CLOSE THIS PAGE

—————————————————————–

Click here to go to the EastTexasExposed.com website

—————————————————————–

EastTexasExposed.com 

P.O. Box 721

Scottsville Texas

75688

Marshall Depot Board Accepts Original Painting of the Depot From Local Artist

September 16, 2022

*****************************

Marshall Depot Board Accepts Original Painting of the Depot From Local Artist

******************

At their recent monthly board meeting, the volunteer Board of Directors for the Marshall Depot Inc. (MDI) gratefully accepted a beautiful original painting of the historic Marshall Depot painted by local artist, Jack Cargill. 

The Board will hang Mr. Cargill’s original acrylic painting of the Depot in the Marshall Depot Gift Shop, next to the Texas & Pacific Railway Museum, which is located on the second floor of the historic building.

Christina Anderson, president of the MDI Board, shared: “On behalf of the Marshall Depot Board, I want to say how much we appreciate the generosity of Jack Cargill in presenting to us and donating his lovely painting of Marshall’s beautiful, historic Depot. We’re delighted to receive this gift and will proudly display it.”

Jack Cargill shared: “I have always thought the Depot is a beautiful building, and the view of it from the Viaduct, with those old railroad cars in the foreground, is particularly scenic. One day I took a sketchbook and drew it from the Viaduct. Later I decided it warranted a painting, so I took a photograph, on which my acrylic painting is based.”

Mr. Cargill added: “I also love traveling by train, and I have been through that Depot on journeys to and from Chicago and California. Beautiful old buildings should be preserved; they are the ongoing history of our city — the Depot, the Ginocchio, the old Courthouse, and many others.”

A number of original paintings by Jack Cargill are currently or have been displayed in locations in downtown Marshall and in our East Texas region including at Joe Pine’s Coffee Shop, Texas Tea Room, Marshall Public Library, Warehouse 308, and the Longview Arboretum.

Ms. Anderson added: “There are many wonderful reasons to visit the Marshall Depot, Jack Cargill’s painting just adds another one. As you know, we have an outstanding Texas & Pacific Railway Museum at the Depot and we’re incredibly blessed, as a community, to be one of only 525 cities nationwide to have an Amtrak stop. This provides our community members a valuable transportation option for traveling on the Texas Eagle route and connecting to Amtrak’s vast National Network.”

Amtrak’s Texas Eagle provides long-distance daily service through Marshall between San Antonio and Chicago.  Amtrak ticket agent hours every day at the Marshall Depot are: 7:00am-11am and 4:30pm-8:30pm. 

The Texas Eagle train (heading west to Dallas/Fort Worth then south to San Antonio) has the scheduled departure time from Marshall each morning at 7:50am and the Texas Eagle train (heading north to Chicago) has the scheduled departure time from Marshall every evening at 7:31pm.

Ms. Anderson added that the hard-working volunteer Board of Directors is in the process of making a number of upgrades and improvements to the operation, safety, and aesthetics of the Marshall Depot and has great plans going forward.  “We look forward to sharing more information about these plans and ongoing improvements in the coming weeks and months.”

She also shared that upcoming community events will include a Halloween at the Depot celebration and the Depot’s participation in Marshall’s popular Wonderland of Lights Festival. 

Ms. Anderson also shared that Board Vice President Donald Hocutt and Treasurer Cathy Wright are working with the Depot Board and Depot Gift Shop manager, Abby Herman, on expanding and enhancing the inventory in the Marshall Depot Gift Shop. 

She noted: “Board members and Ms. Herman are in the process of taking the steps to make the Marshall Depot Gift Shop a shopping destination for our community not only for the upcoming Christmas season but all year round.”

Marshall Depot Museum and Gift Shop hours are:  Wednesday through Friday 10:00am-3:00pm; Saturday, 11:00am-3:00pm. Closed Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday.  

Ms. Anderson also noted that the Marshall Depot is one of the few Amtrak stops on the Texas Eagle route that is not operated by the city it serves. A volunteer Board of Directors operates the Depot as a working Amtrak station, history museum, and gift shop.

Marshall Depot Inc. is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit established in 1990 to assist the City with the restoration, operation, and maintenance of the Depot. The volunteer board raises funds, through tax-deductible donations from individuals as well grants from foundations and governmental entities such as the City of Marshall and Harrison County, to maintain the funding needed each year for the operation of the Depot, including insurance, utilities, security, safety, maintenance, and ongoing preservation of the Marshall Depot and T&P Railway Museum. 

She reminded the community that the 2022 Annual Marshall Depot Fundraising campaign is still underway. The Board would appreciate community members making a tax-deductible donation by sending a check to Marshall Depot Inc, at the following address:  800 North Washington Avenue, Suite 1, Marshall, Texas 75670.

Ms. Anderson concluded: “We, on the board, are very grateful for the strong support of our City, County, and community members and for recognizing the valuable transportation asset that the Marshall Depot is and the many other benefits it provides related to economic development, tourism, education, quality of life, as well as documenting and continuing Marshall’s rich and fascinating railroad history.” 

***********************************

GIVE US YOUR FEEDBACK.  CLICK ON “COMMENT” TO TELL US WHAT YOU THINK or use one of the alternative methods for providing feedback.

Click here to submit feedback.  Let us know what you think.

click here to CLOSE THIS PAGE

—————————————————————–

Click here to go to theEastTexasExposed.com website

—————————————————————–

EastTexasExposed.com 

P.O. Box 721

Scottsville Texas

75688

CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS – 9/17/2022

HELLO, 

Below are cited multiple new articles that validate the effectiveness of some of the vaccines against the newer Omicron variants. Even Norwegians and Tomatoes should be convinced to continue taking the vaccines, especially if they have a bit of age on them. Covid is waning in our part of East Texas.

FROM HOPKINS:

1. ”US RESPONSE As the COVID-19 pandemic enters its third fall in the US, the White House has signaled it plans to slowly restructure its response efforts, including the phaseout of the White House COVID-19 Response Team mid-2023. With dwindling federal funds, responsibility for vaccinations and therapeutics is shifting to private industry and consumers within the next 6 months. Any remaining funds are largely being used for vaccination campaigns promoting this fall’s updated boosters and the purchase of at-home, rapid tests for the Strategic National Stockpile and Test-to-Treat locations. Officials are tentatively hopeful that the national public health emergency declaration for the pandemic may be allowed to expire in early 2023. While part of this transition can be attributed to fewer COVID-19 cases, deaths, and related hospitalizations, as well as the widespread availability of vaccinations and therapeutics, most response activities need to wind down due to a lack of new funding from the US Congress. Experts and officials emphasize that the pandemic is far from over, with COVID-19 on track to remain the third leading cause of death in the nation….”

2. Additionally, recent research conducted by economists from Stanford University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology estimates that the labor force shrunk by about 500,000 people due to COVID-19 illness. Millions of people left the workforce for various reasons, including lack of childcare, fear of COVID, and retirement. But this research examines the direct impact of COVID-19 illness, estimating that workers with week-long COVID-19-related work absences are 7 percentage points less likely to be in the labor force one year later compared to otherwise-similar workers who do not miss a week of work for health reasons. In August, the total size of the labor force reached 164.7 million people, exceeding prepandemic levels for the first time. However, workforce recovery is experiencing slow-growth compared to prepandemic numbers, and economic recovery will depend on an expanded workforce in the long term.

3. BRAIN FOG When the COVID-19 pandemic first began, brain fog was not included in the list of possible symptoms. However, many COVID-19 patients report experiencing the condition, both during acute infection and lasting 3 or more months after recovery. Brain fog symptoms appear to be independent of initial disease severity. According to one review of multiple studies, about 22% of individuals report cognitive impairment 12 or more weeks following their initial diagnosis. Brain fog is often described as a disorder of executive function, the set of abilities that includes holding attention, remembering and recalling information, and blocking out distractions. Cognitive tasks that once seemed simple become excruciatingly difficult, and in some cases, impossible. Some people have had to leave their jobs due to an inability to perform their tasks, and many have faced frustration in obtaining medical care, often being dismissed as having anxiety or depression. Complicating the matter is that few clinicians are aware that many viral infections, not only COVID-19, can lead to brain fog and there are few reliable diagnostic tools. 

Other neurological complications have been reported following COVID-19 infection, including stroke, delirium, and encephalitis. A recent study published in the journal Brain showed that patients hospitalized with COVID-19 had elevated levels of sera markers of brain injury, neurofilament light (NfL) and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP). However, no specific pathogenic mechanism was determined responsible. Researchers continue to investigate what leads to brain fog—with possible causes including neuro-inflammation, autoimmune responses, or microclots that inhibit blood flow, and therefore oxygen supply—and are hopeful treatments can be developed.

4. In South Korea, experts are concerned over simultaneous outbreaks of COVID-19 and influenza during the colder fall and winter months, calling for the development of better diagnostic tests, including one that could detect flu and COVID-19 at the same time, and for healthcare services to offer individuals both vaccines during the same visit. …”

5. The Future of Hospitals’: Flexible Space for the Next Pandemic (The New York Times) The early waves of the pandemic came crashing into hospitals, revealing intensive care units without enough beds, hallways and waiting rooms that forced the healthy and sick to commingle, and ventilation systems that became conduits for airborne pathogens. Given that hindsight, many hospitals are remodeling with a philosophy of flexible design, the idea that spaces should be adaptable for different purposes at different times. When the next pandemic comes, they’ll be able to better meet the moment. 

6. UNITED STATES

The US CDC is reporting 95.2 million cumulative cases of COVID-19 and 1,046,195 deaths. Daily incidence continues to decline, down to 60,558 new cases per day. This is the lowest average since May 1 and a 54% decrease from the most recent peak on July 16. Daily mortality continues to decline as well, down to 350 deaths per day. This is the lowest average since July 9 and a decrease of 30% from the most recent high on August 12. The CDC reported a slight increase in both daily incidence and mortality on September 12, but this is likely due to delayed reporting over the US Labor Day holiday weekend.*

7. LONG COVID IN EUROPE An estimated 17 million people across the WHO’s Europe region experienced post-acute sequelae or long-term symptoms of COVID-19, also known as long COVID, during the pandemic’s first 2 years, according to a modeling study conducted by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) for WHO/Europe. The region comprises 53 Member States across Europe and Central Asia that are home to nearly 900 million people. The report highlights the ongoing public health challenges posed by the condition, which is characterized by cognitive and mental health problems, fatigue, shortness of breath, and other symptoms experienced 12 weeks or more following a COVID-19 diagnosis. 

The report, published September 13, found the number of new long COVID cases identified between 2020 and 2021 rose threefold, driven by the rapid increase in confirmed COVID-19 cases from late 2020 through 2021; women are twice as likely than men to suffer from the condition; and the risk of long COVID increases dramatically among people with severe infections who need hospitalization. WHO officials and the report authors said that although most people fully recover from COVID-19, the findings underline the need for additional analysis and investment to determine the long-term effects of the disease, including implications for the workforce and the need for rehabilitative and support services.

FROM YOUR EPIDEMIOLOGIST:

STILL MORE THAN 400 COVID DEATHS PER DAY IN THE USA

”…We are losing ~400 Americans a day. In the last 7 days, we have lost 2,299 people. During August 2022 alone, we lost 15,284 Americans to COVID-19.

This means COVID-19 remains the third leading cause of death in our repertoire of threats. And it’s largely preventable. In the U.S., death rates are not back to pre-pandemic times; excess deaths are still 10% above “expected.” This is changing our average life expectancy. In fact, the U.S. experienced the sharpest two-year decline in life expectancy in nearly 100 years….

It’s abundantly clear the majority of deaths continue to be among the unvaccinated (20% of Americans are still without even one dose)…In addition, there is a clear dose response with vaccines: the more vaccine doses one has, the more that person is protected from death. According to the CDC, vaccinated people with one booster had 3 times the risk of dying compared to people vaccinated with two boosters. Unvaccinated people had 14 times the risk of dying compared to those with two boosters.

Interestingly, the under- or un-vaccinated are more and more likely to have been infected. So, models are no longer comparing vaccinated people to immune naïve; rather, they are comparing vaccinated (or hybrid immunity) to those with more and more infection-induced immunity. This indirectly highlights a positive effect of vaccines against death compared to infection.

(J. Harris: A quick, easy, and important read. I had no idea that more people in FL are more unwise than many in NY.)

FROM THE LA TIMES:

Coronavirus Today: How universal healthcare could save lives

”…The United States accounts for a little more than 4% of the world’s population, but it’s responsible for about 16% of the world’s COVID-19 deaths…”

(J. Harris: Worth the quick read)

FROM THE NEJM:

Effectiveness and Durability of the BNT162b2 Vaccine against Omicron Sublineages in South Africa

”TO THE EDITOR:

Data are limited regarding the effectiveness of the BNT162b2 vaccine (Pfizer–BioNTech) against the BA.4 and BA.5 sublineages of the B.1.1.529 (omicron) variant of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) that drove the recent fifth wave of infection in South Africa.1 We previously reported a vaccine effectiveness of 70% after two doses of the BNT162b2 vaccine against severe disease during the fourth wave of omicron infection driven by the BA.1 sublineage in South Africa.1,2….. after either two doses or three doses of the BNT162b2 vaccine, we found rapid waning of vaccine effectiveness against the current sublineages of the omicron variant with respect to protection against hospitalization. Our data indicate that boosting maintains vaccine effectiveness against severe disease caused by the current omicron sublineages, although the evidence of rapid waning of durability indicates the need for regular boosting as early as 4 months after the last dose or the need for vaccines to incorporate variants of concern to maintain protection.

(J. Harris: So keep getting your Covid Boosters when the CDC says to do so — like right now. A later study is said to show “A booster dose of mRNA-1273 after the initial two-dose vaccination resulted in neutralization titers against the BA.2.75 variant that were similar to those against BA.1 and BA.2 and higher than those against BA.5 (letter).”

FROM JAMA:

COVID-19-Associated Hospitalizations Among Vaccinated and Unvaccinated Adults 18 Years or Older in 13 US States, January 2021 to April 2022

”Findings  In this cross-sectional study of US adults hospitalized with COVID-19 during January 2022 to April 2022 (during Omicron variant predominance), COVID-19-associated hospitalization rates were 10.5 times higher in unvaccinated persons and 2.5 times higher in vaccinated persons with no booster dose, respectively, compared with those who had received a booster dose. Compared with unvaccinated hospitalized persons, vaccinated hospitalized persons were more likely to be older and have more underlying medical conditions.

Meaning  The study results suggest that COVID-19 vaccines are strongly associated with prevention of serious COVID-19 illness.

FROM NATURE :

Association between BNT162b2 vaccination and reported incidence of post-COVID-19 symptoms: cross-sectional study 2020-21, Israel

”…we compared vaccinated individuals with those unvaccinated and those uninfected, in terms of post-acute self-reported symptoms. Of the 951 infected, 637(67%) were vaccinated. In the study population, the most prevalent symptoms were: fatigue (22%), headache (20%), weakness of limbs (13%), and persistent muscle pain (10%). After adjusting for age, time from beginning of symptoms to responding to the survey, and baseline symptoms, those who received two vaccine doses were less likely than unvaccinated individuals to report any of these symptoms (fatigue, headache, weakness of limbs, persistent muscle pain) by 62%, 50%, 62%, and 66% respectively, (Risk ratios 0.38, 0.50, 0.38, 0.34, p < 0.04 in the listed sequence). Compared to the 2447 included individuals who never reported SARS-CoV-2 infection, double-vaccinated participants were no more likely to report any of the mentioned symptoms. Vaccination with 2+ doses of BNT162b2 was associated with a reduced risk of reporting most of the common post-acute COVID-19 symptoms. Our results suggest that BNT162b2 vaccination may have a protective effect against longer term COVID-19 symptoms.

FROM THEN ANNALS OF INTERNAL MEDICINE (? REPEAT)

Effectiveness of a Fourth Dose of COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine Against Omicron Variant Among Elderly People in Singapore

”Discussion: Our study found that 4 doses of BNT162b2 or mRNA-1273 reduced the risk for symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection, hospitalization, and severe COVID-19 illness versus 3 doses among persons 80 years of age or older, corroborating studies in a younger cohort in Israel (4, 5). In Singapore, the risk reductions in hospitalization and severe disease were helpful in managing the case surge from BA.5, avoiding the need to tighten control measures as was done for the Omicron BA.1/BA.2 wave in January through April 2022. Consistent with findings of sustained protection against severe disease from Israel (6), we found no waning of this protection after 60 days.”

FROM BECKERS:

2022 the most financially difficult year for hospitals, health systems since start of pandemic

AND LAST BUT NOT LEASED:

How about a blonde joke?

***********************************

GIVE US YOUR FEEDBACK.  CLICK ON “COMMENT” TO TELL US WHAT YOU THINK or use one of the alternative methods for providing feedback.

Click here to submit feedback.  Let us know what you think.

click here to CLOSE THIS PAGE

—————————————————————–

Click here to go to the iExposed.us website

—————————————————————–

iExposed Us 

P.O. Box 721

Scottsville Texas

75688