Update for August 2004


Sunday, August 29, 2004 3:35pm EDT

Having a nice Sunday.  Working on my school stuff after a fire department drill this morning.  Also did some walking around and a bit of playing.  Meet a nice person that I would like to see again.  Will see if he emails me back.  Otherwise everything is quiet before the big Labor Day weekend here.  I am working at the Ice Palace next weekend and Edward will be in town.  I pick him up Thursday from the airport and then we come out to the island. He then will spend the rest of his visit with a friend of his out here.  It will be good to see him.  Tonight is the big Billie Ann Royal Review at the Ice Palace.  I am working security tonight and then taking the late boat out of here and back home.  Got to work this next week.  Lots of things on my calendar at work.  


Saturday, August 28, 2004 9:40pm EDT

Have not been in the mood to write much recently.  Have also been rather busy.  Sent flowers to Grandma's funeral and memorial service.  Mother reports that they were beautiful and just like how Grandma would have loved them.  I am really going to miss her.  The office sent me some flowers.  They had them delivered to my UPS Store where my mailbox is.  So I left them there with the staff.  Lot more people would appreciate them there and Tiffany would probably have tipped them over trying to eat one of the flowers.


Last night was the Fire Training Graduation ceremonies for the Bergen County Law & Public Safety Institute Police, Fire and EMS Academies. I walked on stage and shook hands with the officials when they called my name.  About 100 graduates from previous classes were there.  About 400-450 friends attended the ceremonies.  My friend Stephen from work attended and took a few pictures.  Frank (also from work) dropped by as well.  


Right now I have to run back to the theatre.  I am out on Fire Island and the second show tonight is starting up at 10pm.  I am working the spot light for the show. 


Wednesday, August 18, 2004 11:40pm EDT

I could not stay at home any longer so I went over to Starbucks to be with friends.  Glad I did.  About 10 minutes after I got there my mother called to tell me that Grandma had peacefully passed away at 6:33pm Pacific Time.  My pink flowers (her favorite) had arrived at the hospital just minutes before.  Grandma knew everything was going to be ok when the flowers arrived.  It was my way of being with her, my mom and step-dad, sister and everyone there.  I am sure it was a powerful symbol of love and life through the beautiful flowers that arrived.  Grandma always loved pink flowers.  I was thinking of sending her some over the past few days.  Guess I was just saving them up so that I could send her one last arrangement.  I know she will miss receiving them.  


Wednesday, August 18, 2004 8:00pm EDT

Grandma fell today.  Mom called and said she is in a comma and will probably pass tonight.  My heart is heavy with grief.  I really loved that little old lady.  She was always full of life.  She really loved being at her new place in Bend after moving.  She is leaving behind a lot of warm and heartfelt memories.  She will be missed.  May the Blessing Be.


Sunday, August 15, 2004 6:30pm EDT

I passed my certification test for Firefighter 1.  Hurray !!!  I am now a certified Firefighter.  Today I relaxed, watched a movie and generally recovered from yesterday.  It was difficult but very rewarding.  I felt good going through the stations.  There was 18 stations in all.  My partner Sean and I started off at the salvage tarp station, water extinguishers, window venting and ax chopping.  After that we went over and did the sprinkler station.  We then did positive pressure ventilation and 35' ladder stations.  We then went and got our SCBA (Self Contained Breathing Apparatus) tanks on and did the direct fire attack station.  At that station, they had a simulated couch on fire.  We had to attack the fire using a direct attack.  We then went upstairs to the search station.  They had a cafeteria setting filled with smoke.  I took the #1 position and did a right hand search through the room.  Sean did the light sweep from the door, left the light at the door and then did a left hand search.  We met up on the other side, stopped and listened for anyone.  Then headed back to the primary door.  We checked air, and I told Sean that I had seen another door.  We started to head for the second door to search when the evaluator stopped us and said everything was great.  We then headed downstairs and took a little break.  After that, we went to hose appliances (did excellent there), hose roll, and minuteman load.  At this point I was very tired and drained.  So I went and sat down at the water station while Sean headed off to do the aerial ladder station and the 2 man and 1 man ladder raise.  Oh, did I mention that Sean is about 15 years younger than me?  He is also much more in shape but we get along great as a pair.  He works for a competitor laboratory so we worked well as a team.  The senior instructor came over and talked with me.  He checked my progression card and was pleased that I had already done the hardest stations.  He then told me not to put my coat on or SCBA for the remainder of the day.  Only two more stations normally had coat and SCBA.  However, they were not hostile environments.  I had already did the smoke one and the one with the gas burner simulated couch.  After a bit of rest and lots of water I headed over to the 1 man ladder and 2 man ladder stations.  Did those two stations just as we were breaking for lunch.  Sean and I headed off for Boston Market which was really great to get some food in me.  I also was able to sit down and take my vitamins which helped put some minerals back into my system.  I was feeling much better after lunch.  Sean and I headed over to the Forcible Entry and Water Vent station.  I went to the aerial ladder station while Sean did ropes and knots.  After I finished the aerial, I had just ropes and knots left to do.  After being so scarred of doing the ropes and knots I was very pleased with myself.  The two people just before me really were having a problem with them.  I had to keep looking away to make sure I did not mess myself up.  Then it was my turn.  I took the vent fan and tied the appropriate knot for hoisting and then the tie line.  The evaluator was still having problems with the other guy.  He looked over at me and said "Excellent".  That really made me feel good.  Next I had to tie a pike pole, Halligan or ax for hoisting.  I grabbed the Halligan (it is a pry device for forcible entry) and tied off my hoist rope and my tie line.  The evaluator looked and said your done.  I broke everything down and then joined Sean over of the picnic benches to relax while we waited for everyone else to finish.  


Later, after everyone was done and the stations were all picked up, we dropped our gear at our cars.  I put on a new shirt since mine was soaked.  I had brought several since I always sweat.  And we headed up to the classroom.  They called up several people that needed to be told that they had problems with a station or two and that they needed to work on them.  Then they called out our number (mine was 2).  We were dismissed and had passed.  Outside there was lots of hand slapping and hand shakes with the instructors who we had known over the past 5 months.  Then it was home and to bed for a few hours.  I had made it !!!   I am now a certified Firefighter 1.  


Friday, August 13, 2004 12:10am EDT

Off to bed.  Got an email from Mom.  She is back home and was curious about my 35 out of 35.  Yes, that was for my Master's class that I just started.  Ok, now that that is settled.  I am off for bed.  Hugs to all.  Oh, and she is still having this error on her system being generated by my system.  Hmmmm.  Well, it was not the weather stuff.  Oh well, another mystery.  Maybe it will have to wait until early December when I am there for several days.  Hmmmm.


Thursday, August 12, 2004 5:20pm EDT

Never dull around here.  Our Governor announced this afternoon that he was gay, had an affair and is resigning from office November 15th.  As for me, I got a 35 out of 35 on my second week of class.  So things are going well.  Lots still to do.  I have to be back at work in another hour for a special session that I need to attend.  The alternatives were to go on a Friday and that was just not cricket.  Have some reading to do for class.  Over at the Starbucks right now just working away.  Oh, got my new Firefighter license plates in the mail today.  Need to put those on my car when I get a minute.  We really are getting hit with the weather here.  First Bonnie is coming our way and will dump some rain on us and then this Charlie is right behind her.  If it all goes well, we will be dry Friday night and Saturday during the day.  Just perfect for me being outside doing my Firefighter practical examination.  Either way I have a graduation ceremony I am attending on Friday the 27th.  So that should be interesting.  My friend Stephen is going.  Invited my Firefighter (ex-chief) friend Rick to the ceremony.  He has not confirmed yet.  Decided to can the weather thing.  It might be introducing some problems.  Will check.  Hey Mom, you still got that error?  


Monday, August 9, 2004 9:45pm EDT

Having a nice quiet evening.  Got caught up on my reading and now have a paper that I have to get done for class.  Work was a bear today but I made it through.  I am rather tired since I got to bed last night at 1am and will now be up for several more hours here at Starbucks working on this paper.  Oh well.  I have my practical evaluation this weekend.  Suppose I should stop putting off working on this paper and get to it.


Wednesday, August 4, 2004 7:00pm EDT

Headed into the city in a bit after I finish a paper for class.  Started my Masters degree class and my first paper is due today.  So I have just finished my textbook work on my firefighter classes and now have plunged into my Masters program.  What was I thinking about?  


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