Monday, November 30, 2009

Letter to Kenmore

To any and everyone at Sears and Kenmore:

I've owned my Kenmore "True" (drop-in) glass top stove for less than 16 months and the handle stripped off of it. I examined it and realized that it was a design flaw. The screws were too short and the plastic the handle was made of was too soft. I can already tell by the comments here:

that I will get no useful help on this matter. I assure you that I will fix it myself but I will never buy a single Sears, Kenmore, or any other related product as long as I live. This problem is not one of ignorance or even neglect it's a lack of basic human consideration towards the people who put food in your mouths. Make better products or you will fail as a business. Feel free to contact me if you care to keep or lose a lifelong customer and a future generation.. over a set of screws.

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Sunday, November 29, 2009

I'm Alive!

Well of course we had a fire last night. Several in town actually. And they were this morning actually. The first that I heard about was one of my firefighter's rental properties. He left to tend to that and I rolled over, said "ok" and fell back asleep. That was about 4 am. My engineer (driver/operator) woke me at 5:30 am and told me that we had a house fire to tend to. I never heard the fire phone or even the radio crackle so it seemed sort of unreal. In fact all I knew when I got in the truck was that we were going to a fire. I assumed, because of all the radio traffic that we would be second or third on the scene. I was wrong. All the other companies were at the other 2 fires! We were the first on scene and the entire back corner of the house was blazing. Worst part was that there was a family supposedly still inside. I kicked the front door in while my firefighter began the attack. It was too hot and there was too much smoke and fire to go any further than a few steps into the living room so I pulled a second line of hoses around the other side of the house and attacked the fire until it was down enough to do a quick search. "Where the _____is everyone?" , I said out loud to myself. I knew it was foolish and against department policy to go in alone but I had to even though I thought it was too late. We're trained to do a right-hand search pattern so I put my axe under my arm, held my flashlight in my right hand and stepped into the blackness. Not to brag but I never get scared or even nervous at fires and I had no reason to be scared so I did my thing and searched the first 3 rooms. Even in broad daylight a fully involved burning house is as dark as any cave. With my flashlight I could see about two feet in front of me. The house was bigger than I thought. The 3rd room was huge compared to the other child-sized rooms before. I took a few steps in and I heard my air pack whistling. That sound meant that (under normal circumstances) I should have about 5 minutes of air left..... only it went off way too soon. It had been leaking... For the first time in my six year firefighting career I was afraid. I immediately turned around and headed back down the hallway towards the entrance. All was well until, what should have been an open entrance to the living room, ended up being a bathroom. My heart quickened a bit and I backed out and headed left again but ended up in an entirely different room... I backed out of that room and headed left again. Surely the entrance was right there..but it wasn't. Just a wall. I stood there a second and gathered my thoughts. 'calm down and figure a way out or you're going to die in this house". Sounds discouraging but I needed a wake up call and I was alone. I knew that if my air ran out my mask would suck to my face and there would be no one to keep me from tearing it off filling my lungs with super heated air and smoke. That's when the real panic sets in. That's the reason we find bodies under beds an in closets. That's how a mother or father can leave their children behind in a burning house. It's instinct. Instinct is not something you want to rely on in a house-fire. So I told myself to calm down, take a breath, slow my breathing and heart rate and find my way out. Still I just couldn't seem to get back on track. It would be at least 10 minutes or even longer before anyone would even notice I was gone. I was sure no one even saw me go in. I've never felt so alone in my life. I cursed myself for being so stupid. I cursed myself for having no sense of direction. I get lost in shoe stores! What the hell am I doing alone in a burning house? Why am I even a captain? How did I get this far? I made one last attempt to back track my way out but still I ran into a wall... I forgot my radio. I couldn't even call for help. I nearly lost it. I was going to die. I thought of Paul Smith... station 8 was named after him. I would be the next fireman to have something named after. But I was not going out like that... lonely crying.. I had an axe and by God I was going to pick a room and chop my way out! Only my mask was tightening on my mouth like a huge hand slowly closing over my mouth. I would run out of air after the third swing.... Think.. think... I heard water splashing! The fire was at the left rear of the house so.... there was at least a reference point! I kept the sound at about 11 o clock and made my way across a room and there it was. The window I'd opened earlier out back to put the fire out. I don't remember if it was daylight or fire that I saw from the outside but it looked just fine to me. I leaned my head out of the window, pulled my mask off and shouted, 'how much have you knocked down?" The captain on the nozzle said, "not much!" All was well. I pulled my air pack off, threw it out of the window along with my axe and dove head first onto the safety of the soaked back lawn. By now the house was blazing. I ran around front and an engineer loaded me up with another air tank. That's when we noticed the air leak. Until then I thought I was just breathing too hard. After a new air pack I went to help the other team who had arrived and were trying to control the fire. After the fire was under control I did a thorough search. No one was in the house. Thinking about it now I can't help but laugh at how I got so lost in such a small area. However I made a promise to myself and my wife (not out loud) that I will never enter another burning building alone. I'm alive to fight another fire.... yeah... now I know I can handle it. Now its me time.... where's my guitar?

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Other Pics from Fire

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Saturday, November 28, 2009

sleep or chapter 9?

Well. I'm at chapter 9 of 'eclipse' (book 3 in the 'twilight" saga). Once again I face the delima: should I sleep or push through another chapter? I'm very tired but at the same time I'm so curious about what is next. I know if I read any further and if it gets any better I may end up pulling an all nighter. Tomorrow I need to start over recording an album for my friend and fellow songwriter (Terry Floyd) who painted my truck for me as payment. I was nearly finished with the album when I decided to run System mechanic which destroyed my hard drives and divided them into 8 partitions! But I didn't get much sleep last night (2 hours to be exact) which makes me sort of afraid to go to sleep here at the fire station. Imagine waking up to the deafening roar of a cake dish-sized bell only to be given a specific address for God knows what kind of situation. The harder you sleep the more difficult it is to think quickly and safely for the matter. Yawn... let you know tomorrow. Good night humans.

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A New Station... A New Beginning

My engineer Stanley and I got moved to a new station. It's number 5. It's not as far from home as my old station. I'm enjoying it so far. The kitchen is very small but it has recently been remodeled. I'm only a few blocks away from my wife's place of employment. It has a nice office area and a huge chalkboard. I even found this nice green Zyrtec mug. Still have the same problem with someone not washing their dishes. Disgusting huh? I love the new truck too. It's a Cadillac compared with engine 6. So I've decided that I love my new workplace.

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A Nice Long Walk Walk

Thanksgiving morning I came straight home from work to two happy puppies. I decided I would let Angela sleep in and take the kids for a run on the levee. It was such a nice morning and Todd n Lucy had such a good time. Just thought I would share that. Happy Thanksgiving. By the way this is the first mobile blog. Sorry so basic and short. It will get much better. Stick around!

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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

sleep or "It"

Ok I've been trying to blog from my mobile. Ain't been working. So I'll try to explain all these empty titles.

This one was about my decision whether or not to get a good nights sleep or stay up and watch Stephen King's "It". Well to make a long story short I was exhausted the next morning from all the evil clown dreams but my horror thirst has been quinched.