Saturday, October 04, 2008

Dinner with Superman

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Which is the strange visitor from distant planet?

Longtime readers of this blog know I'm an active member of the Equipped to Survive Forums. The forum is part of the Equipped to Survive Foundation, a group dedicated to saving lives by:
1. Raising awareness of potential survival emergencies.
2. Promoting preparedness as the key to surviving life-threatening circumstances.
3. Performing research and offering objective information to allow intelligent selection of effective survival and emergency preparedness equipment and supplies.
4. Providing education in practical survival and emergency preparedness techniques and procedures.
5. Encouraging development of new and improved survival and emergency preparedness equipment, supplies and techniques.


They work with equipment manufacturers, aviation and marine authorities, government agencies, and anyone else involved in keeping us alive to try and get the best survival techniques and gear into the hands and minds of you, the consumer. You know the safety spiel flight attendants do before take off? The Equipped to Survive Foundation helped write it. Those life rafts on cruise ships? They make sure the rafts will work. Emergency radios, flare guns, and PLBs get tested by the Equipped to Survive Foundation.

The head of all this is a guy named Doug Ritter. He looks like a normal guy but I'm pretty sure he's actually alien from the planet Krypton!

So why am I convinced Mr. Ritter is really Superman? Well, a quick read of his bio only touches on all he does and all he is trying to do. Not only fighting airplane manufactures and airlines to make planes safer, testing safety/survival equipment to make sure you can bet your life on it, and designing/marketing his own line of top rated survival gear, but also giving lectures, reviewing government safety plans, giving lectures, drumming up donations for the NON-PROFIT Equipped to Survive Foundation, but also many, many more things. He's the guy on the road over 40 weeks a year trying to keep you alive. Seems Supermanish to me.

Plus when I whacked him with my Red Kryptonite ring he turned all weird and violent, just like in the comic books!

Joking.

So what's a guy like him doing with a shmoe like me? Turns out he's been following my posts over on the Equipped to Survive Forum and being stuck in Houston a few days for a conference on airplane cabin safety he thought I'd be good for an evening's entertainment. He sent me an e-mail asking if I we could meet. To me this was just one step below Summer Glau showing up outside my tent and asking to come in and Misseswether saying, "Sure, come join us." with a mischievous smile...

Um, better not digress down that path.

Anyway, long story short Doug Ritter, Clark, Misseswether and I had supper together at Pappas BBQ at Peirce and San Jacinto. I'm giving you the location because I was rather disappointed in the joint. The pork was dry and the people behind the counter were not a very friendly or hard-working bunch.

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Trying to get Mr. Ritter to let us into the Justice League and not just so I could get Misseswether wearing spandex and high-heeled boots. I'm told she already does that whenever I go out of town.

Despite the food and hair-netted slackers the evening was wonderful. Stories were told , questions we answered, knives were compared (Mr. Ritter won hands down), and then the REAL fun began. As mentioned earlier, Mr. Ritter designs and markets a line of survival gear especially for adventurers. I've drooled over this stuff, both before and after purchasing several items. Turns out, I'll be needing to generate a lot more drool. Mr. Ritter began pulling soon to be released items out of his bag for us to examine. Unfortunately, we were sworn to silence on the stuff to prevent copycats from learning about the stuff. Let it be known though that even Misseswether, who is totally not a survival gear junkie (heck, she only carries two knives!), has demanded that several of the items end up in her Christmas stocking. The only other thing I can add is one of them may be coming with it's own custom Altoids tin (fellow ETSers will understand).

This of course lead to us showing him our EDC kits, though when I say "our" I mean "Clark and Misseswether". In a moment of absolute dunderheadedness I left my EDC kit at home so as to have room for a camera in my pocket. My theory was in case of TEOTWAWKI, my truck was only a few steps away. Once I got to that it'd take more than an apocalypse to stop me. Turns out though that while I came without EDC kit, I didn't leave without one. Mr. Ritter showered with assorted gear and even one of his coveted ETS caps!

In return I promised I'd start writing emergency preparedness articles and reviews for his foundation. Due to copyright issues I won't be able to reprint the articles here on my blog. Don't worry though, this site will still keep going with weekly tales of adventure, parenting, travel, and occasionally eating weird stuff. I love your attention too much to stop!

Peace be with you.
-Merriwether

4 comments:

Christina E. Rodriguez said...

WOW! That is so cool! What did Doug smell like? I bet he smelled good....

Packman said...

Wow. First teaching classes of wild edibles, now writing for ETS. Pretty cool all around. DR seems like an interesting guy, and I can't wait to see what he has up his sleeve in terms of new product. My birthday is coming up. . .

Merriwether said...

Christina,

Um, he smelled exactly unlike a cheerleader's hair.

You know, that is probably the third strangest question I've received through this blog.

Mike H. said...

OMG! Now that would have been a great dinner to be at!

The imortal DR! You should have convinced him to go on one of your river kayak trips.