Monthly Archives: March 2015

Sharing Grief

Last week, a firefighter lost his life while fighting a high-rise fire in Cincinnati. Daryl Gordon, a 30-year veteran, died when he fell down an open elevator shaft and became trapped. He was in the process of clearing one of the floors of the building, knocking on doors and ensuring that all of the residents made it out safely.

His funeral is expected to be very well-attended, perhaps 3500 people or more, most of them uniformed firefighters from Cincinnati and across the nation. But some of those who will not be in attendance are those firefighters from nearby cities, Columbus in particular, who have volunteered to work shifts all day tomorrow so that Gordon’s friends and colleagues, those that he worked with every day, can attend his funeral without leaving their posts uncovered.

This… This is how those of us in the jobs that cannot be left unmanned work together to share grief, to help each other out in times of need.

Categories: Wonderings | Tags: | 1 Comment

Playing with Fire

I have a suppressor. It is new, and I’m just now getting to take it to the range to try it out.

I was recommended by the manufacturer that coating the innards with white lithium grease prior to shooting through it would make cleaning it immensely easier. I’m all for easy mode, so I went in search of this.

I started at the Big Blue Box Store and found it in the Automotive department. “Great!” I thought, “That was easy!” Then I read the can.

“FLAMMABLE!!!” in big red letters. “Hmmmm,” I thought, “this could be a problem, given the use to which I want to put it.” So I asked a random employee of BBBS if the grease itself was flammable, or if it was just the propellant. She had no idea. I have no idea why I thought she would know, but another customer recommended that I head to the auto store across the street. He said they’d be far better able to help me.

I walked into Orange Auto Store and asked for white lithium grease. I was taken to a shelf where I had several choices, but they all said “FLAMMABLE!!!” in the same big red letters, so I posed my question again.

“Is it the grease itself or the propellant that is flammable?”

Upon consultation, the four employees decided that they didn’t know, but that there was only one way to be sure….


We opened one can and sprayed some onto a supply cart, then tried to light it on fire! (Didn’t catch. Didn’t flame up. Didn’t explode. We decided that it must be the propellant and not the grease. I love science!)

Categories: Firearms, Humor | Tags: , | 2 Comments

Stress Test!

Drove home from downstate today. It’s interstate freeway all the way, so not a bad drive most days. Today, though, was most definitely a Monday.

— The wind was blowing crazy strong the entire way, mostly across the road, and in big gusts a lot of the time. Even cars (not to mention the big trucks) were being blown around in startling fashion and causing all sorts of brake lights from time to time.

— Lots of big trucks playing at silly truck games, passing each other for going 1mph faster or slower, and all of them well under the speed limit. I hate the double- and triple-Parcheesi block that takes miles to resolve.

— A car directly in front of me almost hit the bridge piling in the median at 70+mph when he drifted from the fast lane across the shoulder and into the grassy median. He recovered and got back onto the shoulder only a second or two before he would have hit the concrete piling, but then kept going right through the fast lane and into the middle lane. Then he drifted back into the fast lane and slightly onto the shoulder before finally settling back on the middle lane. When I passed him a minute or two later, the driver looked across at me, a very wide-eyed look on his face. Even better, the brand new Lexus SUV was wearing a dealer license plate, so it wasn’t even his car to wreck.

I’m just glad to have made it home.

Categories: Around Town, Wonderings | Tags: , | 1 Comment

Kids These Days

Since my dad got his new knee, he’s been stuck over in nursing care at the big house. It’s not much fun, and he’s realized there’s a limit to how many books can be read and how much daytime TV can be watched (the upper limit of that being about zero).

So today, we imported my youngest nephew for a short time after he got out of school. Fun was had by all. Card games were played. (Grandpa came in last many times.) Nephew even beat g’pa at rock-paper-scissors a few times! Ice cream got gobbled (and got on the school sweatshirt…oh noes!), and then it was time to go home.

When mom and I were taking him home, the nephew asked, “Can we please have some music in the car?” Now, my parents never play the radio when he’s in the car, because you never quite know what you’re going to hear, but mom has a new van with a CD player and a hard drive. We’d spent earlier drive time uploading some CDs onto the hard drive, so I figured why not…

I go to turn the stereo on, and the nephew pipes up again, “Do you have any Vivaldi?”

“Excuse me, what?”

“Do you have any Vivaldi to listen to?”

“Ummm… *blink* *blink* I don’t think so, but let me look.” I started frantically searching the hard drive to see what we might have uploaded. No Vivaldi. “I’m sorry. No Vivaldi, but here, let’s try this.” I put on a strings orchestra version of “Stars and Stripes Forever”.

“I guess this is ok, but I think I would like ‘Blue Sunset’ better.” That was the song listed two higher in the list.

“You what?!? You’re killing me here, kid! But ok… ‘Blue Sunset’ it is.” And the rest of the drive, we listened to various strings orchestra versions of American composers.

Kids these days!

Categories: Family, Humor | Tags: | 2 Comments


I had errands to do today.

Wait. Make that Errands, with a capital ‘E’.

I put 150+ miles on the truck and spent almost 4 hours behind the wheel as I traipsed from the east side of Big City to far out west, then down to Small City to drop off my forgotten pager (which I’d never turned in, because I never remembered that I even owned it!), and then finally back home again.

I’m not often up in Big City, though, and definitely not far enough up to be at the lakeshore. Today, though, I was driving right up by it for several miles at a couple of places. I’ve never seen it frozen solid before. From shore to horizon, solid ice. Nothing was moving out there, as far as I could see.

I drove past several buildings with “exclusive condominiums” and “expensive apartments” on the lake. I’ve always figured those would be really cool to live in, to be able to look out on the lake and see the boats and ships going by.

Today, though, I realized just how desolate the landscape would be for 3 or 4 months a year. You’d sure see the snow coming, when it blows in off the lake! Not sure I’d want one of those places, after all… Or if I did, I’d have to turn the heat -way- up some of these icy cold days!

Categories: Around Town | Tags: , | 1 Comment

In Search Of…


I’m a confirmed and long-standing adrenaline junkie. I’ve known this for years. My hobbies reflect this; I learned to surf in high school. I ski. I shoot. I ride horses. I’ve gone white-water rafting on rivers nearby and far (even up in Alaska).

And my job was perfect for someone who needed a regular dose of adrenaline. Sure, lots of nights were dull and boring, the routine…just sniffles, colds, ankle sprains, and the like, but when it all hit the fan, that’s when the ER shines. That’s why I loved what I did. That’s when we made a real difference.

Now I just have to find my adrenaline in more…mundane ways. I’ll survive. And maybe find some new hobbies in the doing.

Categories: Bucket List, Long-term Goals, Wonderings, Work | Tags: , | 5 Comments

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