Update for October 2005
Tuesday, October 25, 2005 7:15am PDT (Portland International Airport, Oregon)
Flight delayed several hours at this point due to the weather back home being generated by Hurricane Wilma. Wilma is still kicking up 125 mph winds which is messing up travel to the east coast. So we are on an Air Traffic Control ground hold at the moment. Supposed to be several inches of rain and the one web site says that Newark is currently experiencing 30 mph gusts with sustained winds of 22 mph. Had a great visit. Just short. Guess I will do some computer work. I am down at the Service Center here in concourse D right now. Got my power and wireless internet hooked up. So I am set until we get ready to board.
Monday, October 24, 2005 10:10am PDT (Bend, Oregon)
Having a good time in Bend. Have had the opportunity to see my niece and nephews. Talked with family and relaxed. Mom made one of her famous chicken recipes that I love for dinner. Tonight the kids and I are going for pizza. I have school work that I need to get done tonight and so do the kids. So it will be a short evening. Wish I could spend more time here but I did not win the lottery so have to head back to Newark to work tomorrow. Just generally relaxing today and trying to get a few things done. Got laundry done and now have to fold and start packing some of it away.
Sunday, October 23, 2005 1:45pm PDT (Portland International Airport, Oregon)
It has been a very fun trip to Portland. Got an opportunity to see both my mom and dad on the same day. Dad & Connie drove up from Grants Pass to see me. We had a great breakfast and did some shopping over at Lloyd Center before parting and they headed back south. Then went up to the VA Hospital where I saw my mom & Bill. Bill was there for a procedure before they headed to Hood River for the weekend. They are going to be meeting me at the Redmond airport in just a few hours. Then I fly back on Tuesday to Newark. This weekend was also special because Mark (my former room mate here in Portland) won the election to be Emperor XXXII of the Imperial Sovereign Rose Court of Oregon. So I got to watch him get crowned last night. Talked briefly with him today and then left for the airport. Got an opportunity to meet a bunch of old friends here and make a few new ones. Also got a shock when the current Prince of Portland (who is an old friend of mine) asked me to host their Prince and Princess ball in December. So I am going to check with work as soon as I get back and see if I can get the time off to come back in December. All in all, it was a very fun and enjoyable trip. Now I am looking forward to traveling to Redmond / Bend where I will visit with family.
Thursday, October 20, 2005 8:10am PDT (Portland, Oregon)
Made it to Portland just a little late. Had a nice time out with friends last night and getting used to the time shift. Have to get going to meet my dad for breakfast. Need also to download all of these changes I did to my web site while on the plane. Finished uploading / downloading my school stuff so I am set for the next several hours.
Wednesday, October 19, 2005 6:50pm PDT (CO 784 EWR to PDX)
Finished up all of my school email. Had to change batteries part way through but since I was on a roll, did not want to stop. The seats up here in First Class and nice but they are sticking to my butt. Need to get up and stretch when I put the computer away. Think I might take a few minutes and download all of this when I get to the airport. Either that or I will do my normal and download it from Starbucks. I think my hotel still does not have broadband service so I walk to the Starbucks about 2 blocks away near Portland State University and upload / download my files. Sounds like this is going to be an interesting class. Have not done to much reading, just the bios of the people in this class. That is one of the first things you have to do. Post your bio and read others. This class has several Texans and 4 people from my area (NYC). Two live in NYC and two of us live in North Jersey. It's getting a bit cold. Maybe I will put on my sweatshirt that I brought. Still about 1 1/2 hours out from landing since we had a rough start. Oh, I never finished my story. After they played with my seat and moved me. Then they got ready to push back from the gate and one of the doors emergency slide would not engage. So we had maintenance again come on the plane and spend about 20 minutes getting it to work. Then we finally pushed back and took off about 15 minutes later. I think we started off about 40 minutes late. The pilot thinks we will make up some of it in the air. We are supposed to land at 8pm EDT but I think we are going to be a bit later than that. Just have to wait and see.
Wednesday, October 19, 2005 7:20pm CDT (CO 784 EWR to PDX)
Hard to believe I have been so busy that I have not typed anything in this web site for a long time. Just lots going on. Right now I am on a flight to Portland. I am really looking forward to the next 6 days. I get to see my dad & step mom. They are coming up from Grants Pass to have dinner with me while I am in Portland. Then on Sunday, I fly over to Bend to see my mom, step dad, my sister and her family. Only there a day but really looking forward to just kicking back and chatting with relatives. I do have school work to do. Started my next masters class yesterday. The first week is normally rather a building week with lots of reading and a short assignment. I printed out my lecture and have it with me to read. Also brought some fire magazines that I have been meaning to read. Think I will do some clean up right now. It's a bit bumpy at the moment. The pilot said something about us being at 30,000' which was a bit low but better weather. Not sure how things are going to be flying back home. With Wilma possibly heading up the eastern seaboard, not sure what is going to happen with the weather. We had a bad start to the trip. My seat in 2F was busted and would not stay up. Every time I put it forward, it would start to sink back. A maintenance guy came onto the plane and looked at it and took it out of commission. They will have to replace it. So I am sitting in 1B instead. Very nice up here in the elite class. Wow, food was nice and everything. But it is still just as bumpy as in the back. Just much more leg room and room for my big butt.
Let's see, what else has been going on. Fire school has been interesting. Just finished one class and started another one. Not sure if I told you before, but here are the fire classes I have or are taking. All are night classes, normally on Tuesday and Thursday night at Mahwah Fire Company 4 fire house. I started in August with ADRF - Arson Detection for the 1st Responder (5 classes). Then BCWO - Building Construction: Wood & Ordinary (7 classes). Just finished with HMIA - Hazardous Materials Incident Analysis (5 classes). Just started on Tuesday, ICTO - Initial Company Tactical Operations (5 classes). I also have starting 11/8 ITCO - Instructional Techniques for Company Officers (5 classes) followed on 12/1 with the class that I really want ISO - Incident Safety Officer (5 classes). I have to miss one of the ICO classes because I will be in Palm Springs. But I have already talked with the Instructor to make arrangements for a make up. The last class is CISD - Critical Incident Stress Management which is very important in the fire service. You have to remember that these firefighters are volunteers and that they are human. Some times you see things that normal people would not. So the stress can really eat away at some people. You need to be able to recognize it and know when and how to help defuse it.
I think I have old batteries in this computer. I am already down to 44 minutes left and have a few other things that I would like to do before I shut down. I have some school work that I need to read before I land. Hopefully while I am in Oregon I will post a few more things in here before I head back to my very busy world in Northern New Jersey.
Oh, last week it rained so hard and long that the entire front of the lab (street) was flooded and closed. We all had to use the back which still had about 5 inches of water. I left my car at work on Friday, put my fire boots on and walked home. Then came back later and got my car. Hwy 17 North was closed under the I-80 overpass. So, traffic was stacked up and no one could get out. It was not pretty.
I also just did another Fire One evaluation. This one was at the beginning of all of the rain. That Saturday we had 21 students total and only 6 evaluators. So we worked our way through the evaluations together. I got to evaluate fog pattern, Ropes and Knots, sprinklers and my usual stations of salvage and fire extinguisher attack. Other than it being wet, I had a great time. Then went to the Wyckoff Wet Down for Ladder 1. A friend of mine from work is the Fire Commissioner for the town right now and former chief. So I got an invite. It was really great touring their station and seeing their apparatus. I have some great pictures. Maybe I will attach one later.
Less than a month to go for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Looking forward to seeing that while Jeffrey and I are in Boston that weekend. Have seen the trailers and they look great.