Thursday, December 27, 2012

Sandy Hook / "Gun Control"

As we process and respond to the tragedy in Connecticut, one things the news media keeps saying is we should have more “discourse on gun control”. For those of you that know me, you know that I own firearms. I’m a firearms instructor, active in firearms-friendly legislative activism at the state level, a novice competition shooter, a state-licensed armed guard, and yes, an NRA Life Member. I teach Boy Scouts how to shoot. I own guns. I carry a gun more often than not (when I’m not working, that is). I’m well versed in firearms law as it pertains to individual ownership and carry (because anyone who carries a gun needs to be).

There is lots of talk about gun control on a daily basis. I try to tune much of it out, because my father once taught me something about wrestling with a pig. Sometimes, I attempt to have reasonable discourse – often it ends with folks who like to profess tolerance and acceptance telling me they are sick of arguing with me, and that they shouldn’t have to “tolerate” my kind. I always find that bit ironic.

Some of the discussion lately has gone so far as to suggest drastic restrictions on gun ownership – like the bans in the UK and Australia. News flash: The Supreme Court has repeatedly upheld that the Second Amendment does, in fact, grant residents of this great country the right to keep and bear arms. If you truly want to discard the Second Amendment, I urge you to reconsider. The framers gave us 12 amendments as a proposed Bill of Rights to cover issues not addressed entirely in the Constitution (11 of those were passed as amendments, and the 12th would drastically increase the number of members of the House of Representatives, so it’s probably just as well it hasn’t passed).

Any argument that could be used to justify the repeal of the 2nd amendment could be used to justify the repeal of any of the amendments. I would fear for our country if it comes to this. What would life be like without freedom of the press, or freedom of religion? What about the protections against unreasonable searches and seizures? If we see the Second Amendment gutted, how long until we have “papers, please” checkpoints and searches throughout the country?

There’s a parable that is attributed to Martin Niemöller, a Lutheran minister and outspoken opponent of the Nazis:
First they came for the socialists, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak for me.

This particular parable speaks volumes to me because I AM a Jew. Yeah, I’m even a member of JPFO, Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership (

For my Law Enforcement and .mil friends – if you haven’t heard of the Oath Keepers ( , I’d strongly encourage you to look into the group. Many elected and appointed public servants SWEAR to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” Oath Keepers profess “Not on our watch!” They say they will refuse unconstitutional orders, such as firearm confiscation, or the unlawful detention of Americans.

And what of lesser measures? We had an “Assault Weapons” ban for 10 years. There is no real evidence it made a difference in firearms crimes. All it did was raise market prices for things like “pre ban” magazines and firearms. Registration? Well, why does the Government need to know what guns I have… unless it is a prelude to confiscation? On top of that, once they have the information, no good can come of it. The number of times that law enforcement has successfully used registration data to trace firearms in crimes is statistically insignificant.Now What?

I’m all in favor of discussing mental health, and “keeping the crazies from getting guns”, to quote something I heard on Facebook. I’m not convinced that more gun laws are going to make a difference in preventing another mass shooting event.

One thing that many of these shootings have in common is that they occur in areas where firearms have been prohibited. Add to the fact that several recent events have been stopped, at least partially, by folks lawfully carrying concealed, and I am having a hard time understanding arguments in favor of restricting concealed carry.

As for incidents, look no further than the Clackamas Town Center shooting last week. 2 Dead, 1 injured. An individual carrying a concealed firearm says he drew down on the shooter, but held his fire because he didn’t have a clear shot. The shooter than retreated and took his own life. In the Tuscon shootings, one of the civilians that ran TOWARDS the shooting to help was carrying a concealed firearm. Since that psycho was already restrained, he didn’t need to use it.

Oh, and I’m assuming most of my readers have already seen the “RUN. HIDE. FIGHT. Surviving an Active Shooter Event” video. It’s linked here anyway ( Look at 0:58 in the video. The Section 30.06 Trespass warning is clearly visible. ( The video illustrates the point that shooters often choose Gun Free Zones. On top of that, we are told that, as a last option, we should fight with improvised weapons – like chairs and fire extinguishers. Why must they be improvised? Oh, that’s right – we’re in a GUN FREE ZONE. So why does the shooter have a gun, again? Oh – he’s not really concerned with violating one MORE law, given that he’s planning on KILLING a whole bunch of folks. From what it sounds like, that’s exactly what at least some of the Sandy Hook staff did. And they paid for it with their lives.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Vending Machine

The other night, I was on with the Campus First Responder squad, and I got toned out at 3am for an “alcohol evaluation” – that’s Campus PD code for “come look at this drunk and try to talk them into going to the hospital.”

As I rub sleep out of my eyes, I go to the truck, driveacross campus, and meet up with campus PD. The call is in a vending area off ofthe lobby of a residence hall. I get a brief story from Campus PD – turns out,this guy came downstairs to the lobby, walked over to the vending area, andthen passed out. PD found him lying in a pile of quarters, out cold in front ofthe Coke machine.

So I work my way though the assessment. I ask him what hehad to drink tonight. At first, he gives me the ubiquitous answer “Two Beers”,but I press on, and ask again – “What did you have to drink?” So he starts:  “I had a Skittles. And a Reese’s, and a 3Musketeers…” I look over at the snack machine the patient is facing. Sure enough, I see he’s reading off the row of candy. Then he finishes off “… then I had a Fritos.” I look at the cop, and he looks at me. Both of us are trying to keep a straight face, and failing.

In the end, he signed a refusal (Press Hard, Making Two Copies), and I went back to bed, but not before I talked with the cop. Turnsout both of us had the same train of thought… we’d heard of a Skittles shot,and a Reese’s shot seemed logical… then we both noticed the vending machine,and realized he was demonstrating he could read candy bar names right as he gave the punch line: “…then I had a Fritos.”

And people wonder why I volunteer on the college campus.Not only is it a chance to take a break from ALS CCT and keep my BLS skills sharp, but sometimes the patients say the darndest things.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Sandy Hook - Some Links, The Victims and the Media

Over the past several days, the tragedy in Newton, CT, has been on the mind of our great nation, and the world. I was at work on Friday when it happened… A local paramedic I follow on Twitter summed up thoughts of my partner and myself Friday: “I have been on some nasty scenes @ work. I hope I never see something like this.”

Kelly Grayson has a great post up on the thoughts of all EMS and Public Safety being with not only those in the Sandy Hill School community, but in the Newtown public safety community. To the Newtown Volunteer Ambulance Corps and mutual aid EMS (including folks from my employer), Newtown and surrounding FD’s. Newtown PD, neighboring municipalities, and CT State Police, and all the federal agencies that are involved in the response to this horrific event – you are in the thoughts of every one of your public safety family. Thank you for doing what needs to be done, and remember – when the dust settles, you’re victims, too. If you need to talk, or get help – do so. There is no shame is that.

For the second link, there is an excellent blog post that I’ve read a couple of times now posted over at I strongly suggest that you read that, too. I’ve seen kids like “Michael” before. They do exist, and his is not an isolated case.

Now, to the actual events, and my take on them. When I found out about the shooting, I was at work. I turned on the news on the TV for about 15 minutes, caught the first press conference, and then just turned it off. I had no desire to watch talking heads talk about what they didn’t know and make wild guesses.

We live in a world of 24 hour news. I understand that they have a job to do – but that environment can be very toxic. I was at work as a security dispatcher on the day of the Virginia Tech shooting. CNN was on all day in our dispatch center, for a number of sound reasons. They showed the same images repeatedly for days on end as they talked about the events, the killer, and speculated about everything they DIDN’T know. I can’t really think of any benefits to that. All it does is cause stress to those watching it. On top of that, the motive behind many of the terrorists that cause such massive death is to go out in a blaze of glory. They usually leave manifestos and statements, and the media feeds into that by publishing their names and faces, as well as their life stories. They get to be household names in death, when, in life, no one knew who they were.

There was a posting floating around the internet over theweekend attributed to Morgan Freeman that called out the media on their vulture traits. Turns out, it wasn't Morgan Freeman – but that doesn't make it any less accurate. The Fourth Estate needs to do some serious soul-searching (if they know what a soul is, anymore), and really think about what their purpose is. If they want to help, they need to spend more time talking about each of the victims than the shooter – in fact, I’d argue that since the shooter did what he did to gain notoriety, that the worst punishment would be to not mention him. Don’t show his photo. Don’t print his name. Don’t talk with his relatives, and don’t speculate on his motive. In the end, he’s dead, and will answer to no earthly judge for his heinous crimes.

The text attributed to Freeman said something else that really illustrates this point. Let’s talk about “Active Shooter” events of the last few years: How many victims of these events can you name? How many if you discount Congresswoman Giffords? Can you name the date of many of these tragic events? For many of the events, the ONLY thing we remember are the locations, and the names of the terrorists. Let’s honor the victims, and not the event itself.

From WBZ News from Boston, the victims:
Charlotte Bacon, 6
Daniel Barden, 7
Rachel D’Avino, 29
Olivia Engel, 6
Josephine Gay, 7
Ana M. Marquez-Greene, 6
Dylan Hockley, 6
Dawn Hocksprung, 47
Madeline F. Hsu, 6
Catherine V Hubbard, 6
Chase Kowalski, 7
Nancy Lanza, 52
Jesse Lewis, 6
James Mattioli, 6
Grace McDonnell, 7
Anne Marie Murphy, 52
Emile Parker, 6
Jack Pinto, 6
Noah Pozner, 6
Caroline Previdi, 6
Jessica Rekos, 6
Avielle Richman, 6
Lauren Rousseau, 30
Mary Sherlach, 56
Victoria Soto, 27
Benjamin Wheeler, 6
Allison N. Wyatt, 6

Monday, August 13, 2012

One of our own needs our help

Anyone ever been to [url][/url] "The EMS House of DeFrance"??? Well, the site admin there, Valerie DeFrance, needs our help.

A little online EMS history for you. Valerie DeFrance has been maintaining an EMS presence online for decades. From Ambulance Driver (Kelly Grayson):
Before there was a JEMS Online or an EMS1 or an EMT City or EMT Life, there was the EMS House of DeFrance, one of the most comprehensive EMS resources on the web. And the person who ran it, my friend Valerie DeFrance, did it for years via a 56k modem from Hope, AK.

I don't believe I've ever met Valerie in person, but I can attest to her impact on our community. She was a driving force behind the ill-fated Prehospital Perspective magazine... an EMS publication BY EMS providers, FOR EMS providers, prior to the blossoming of the Blogosphere. She was a poster on the Yahoo EMT group (where I met some of you before I found this site), and many items posted here as news articles have been found through her site.

Here's the info on what's going on, and what you can do to help, from Of Mule Dung and Ash:
Let's give Valerie a hand
If you don't know Valerie DeFrance you're missing an important piece of EMS history. Valerie was an Internet pioneer, building and hosting dozens of EMS educational websites over the years and she still maintains the EMS news and education site, the EMS House of DeFrance. Valerie is one of our most important EMS dinosaurs. Over the years she has offered her expertise and knowledge to anyone needing a hand, and doing so more often than not without charge. Valerie has always been a giver... never a taker.
Valerie lives 75 miles from the oncology clinic where she goes for her treatments. The ongoing treatments have left her unable to work and therefore without income. Just the simple act of buying gas for these trips back and forth has become problematic and is an immediate need. In the long run there will be those substantial medical bills to pay, but right now we just need to get her to the clinic and back. We need to kick in and help her get past this hurdle.

The goal right now is $10,000. As of this post, it's over $1800 collected. There is a widget below you can click on:

I've also started a thread on this over at, if anyone wants to join in.

Oh, and if you remember Prehospital Perspective, check out [URL=""]Interventions, a similar concept being published by some friends of mine.[/URL]

Tuesday, August 07, 2012


I always want to blog, but when I sit down in front of the computer, I manage to do everything BUT write the posts that are circulating in my head. I think many of us have these problems.

I find myself stuck in a rut right now. I’m honestly not sure where I want to go in life right now, so I’m comfortable maintaining my current existence. I’m looking at starting graduate school in the fall (MPH), because I don’t have a compelling reason to NOT do so. I question if I could truly be happy working in a cubical, writing health policy. On the flip side, If I do run that option out, then there’s the potential to actually make REAL change happen for EMS on a larger-scale level than I could ever hope to enact as a street paramedic – so maybe it wouldn’t be so bad.

At the same time, I’m also looking for full-time employment, and I’m open to relocating (probably staying in the mid-Atlantic area to be close to family/friends, though).

I’m also sitting on a couple of things I need to do in the next week, the biggest being that I need to complete my protocol review for my Maryland Paramedic certification.

So... that's where I am this week.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Burn (The Movie) - A Review

Last night, I went to go see the movie Burn (BURN: One Year On The Front Lines Of The Battle To Save Detroit). The filmmakers are actually hosting 4 fund-raising screenings in Philadelphia (Last night and tonight) at the Prince Music Theater – Tickets and info here. Having seen the various trailers and sneak peeks (here, here, and here) for Burn, I was really looking forward to the film

The audience was probably 85-90% male, and many had fire service t-shirts on. First, I was trying to figure out why the theater was full of folks with IAFF and FD shirts from all over the USA. Then I remembered that the IAFF is holding their convention in Philly right now, so it made a little more sense.

The film covers, at least peripherally, the “big things” that have been going on in Detroit for the last few years. From Charlie LeDuff's investigative reporting (DaveStatter tells of LeDuff's antics reporting here), Detroit's “browning out” of companies, the death of Ivory Ivey in 2011, and serious firefighter injuries and deaths, including an 8/13/10 (Friday13th) building collapse with serious FF injuries, and the 11/15/2008 LODD of Senior Firefighter Walter Harris in a roof collapse.

As the film opens, we are introduced to the crew of Engine 50, one of Detroit's busiest fire companies, on the war-zone East Side of the city, and we follow them through a year of fighting fires and personal battles. A big point is the equipment issues faced by Detroit's firefighters, such as apparatus that is out-of-service, or run down to the point of falling apart. One scene shows a firefighter with duck tape on his turnout boots, because the rubber toe cap was falling off. Another shows the (current, for now) Fire Commissioner touring the apparatus shops, showing the truck that was hit by a train, an engine that was driven under a bridge, and other battle scars on apparatus.

Part of the story is shown through the eyes of FEO (Engineer) Dave Parnell a 30-odd-year veteran of DFD. He's presented as the senior man in the firehouse, and he's also a resident of the East Side. Parnell is presented alongside arson investigation staff and serves as a “tour guide” of the burned out hulks and vacant lots that cover the city. Detroit has 80,000 or so of those abandoned structures., lots of which are boarded up after fires or vandalism that has already weakened them. Those structures are time bombs for the Fire Department – only a matter of time until someone lights them off again, and in their already weakened state, they are practically death-traps for the firefighters. Many of the firefighters in the film punctuate the discussion of these risks with stories of their own injuries.

Speaking of injuries, the filmmakers spend a lot of time covering Firefighter Brendan Milewski, and his recovery after being paralyzed in the 8/13/10 building collapse. That, coupled with the other injuries that are covered really seemed to hit home with a lot of the crowd, and the potential for death and serious injury was discussed at some length in the Q&A session. During that Q&A, Brendan even mentioned that volunteers take the same risks, and EVERYONE needs to understand the potential for a life-altering injury or death.

In the end, the film does a fantastic job of covering the PEOPLE that are fighting to save Detroit, one fire call at a time. It's like a cinematic Report From Engine Company 82 – except with fewer resources and quite probably more fire. In the Q&A, the firefighters said that after the most recent cutbacks, Detroit is only running 40-50 companies a day, instead of the almost 70 that are on the books as in service. they are leaving the firehouse every evening and running non-stop until almost 5am – every shift. The movie does as good a job of capturing the intensity of their job, and the drama of their lives as well. As honest, and therefore bad, as it presents the City of Detroit, it really honors the firefighters.

So – Keep an eye on Burn's websiteFacebook, and Twitter. Go to a fund-raising screening, if you can. If not, keep your eyes open. They say they are hoping to release the film this fall – but the filmmakers need to raise HUNDREDS of THOUSANDS of dollars to cover costs before the film can be released. They have funded almost the entire movie like this (there's a big list of donors in the credits). So if you really want to see this film released – consider donating a few bucks to make it happen. This is a story that needs to be told.

Other background on the film:

Monday, April 09, 2012

Music Monday - Lit

Alright. It has been a little while since I blogged. I've got a whole pile of almost-done blogs, and en even longer list of ideas. I just need to get them to a state where I can post them.

For today, I'm going to take the easy way out. It's Monday, so I'm going to do a Music Monday post.

It is the classic “My Own Worst Enemy” by Lit. Yeah – a near one-hit wonder.

In my experience, this is a song that EVERYONE in my generation knows – and everyone seems to feel it is a sing-along song – in a bar, in a movie, anywhere. Granted, I'm guilty too – but what is it about this song that makes it so memorable?

Friday, March 02, 2012

EMS Today 2012 - Part 2

Yesterday was the first full day of EMS Today. My day started at 0830 for Kelly Grayson (@AmboDriver / His presentation was "EMS Blogging and Social Media: How To Do It and Keep Your Job."

Kelly's presentation was good. It wasn't anything too eye-opening, but he made a link I hadn't thought of before, and pointed out that foursquare and geotagging makes obscuring patient info much more difficult.

Next up was "Report from the Eagles" - not the football team... This is the major metropolitan medical directly group - a bunch of real winners. Topics were many, including that atropine appears to do no good in cardiac arrests, and it actually does harm in asystolic arrests. Also discussed: drug shortages and pushing drugs past the expiry dates.

Presentations from their 2012 meeting (last week) are here:

Then it was a very interesting afternoon session put on by Doug Wolfberg and Steve Wirth of the PW&W EMS law firm ( They discussed the good, bad, and ugly of testifying in court and being cross examined. The class ended with an actual cross examination roleplay. They always told me there are 2 types of EMT's - those that have been to court, and those that will go to court. So while I hope I never have to - its only a matter of time, most likely. Steve and Doug are great speakers, and they lecture at a variety of local an national events. Much of their staff maintains EMS certs, and understands our field. If I ever have to go to court? I sure hope they are my lawyers.

The sessions ended with a keynote by Randolph Mantooth. Lots of "who's he" and "what did he do"?

Randolph Mantooth (Wikipedia) played Johnny Gage on Emergency! (Wikipedia). If you've never seen it, it's on Netflix. Go watch a few episodes. Emergency! did great things in advancing out profession, and the late Jim Page (the P in the PW&W law firm above) was a technical advisor to the program. Yes, it's dated, but it's a great EMS history lesson. If your service hasn't changed much since 1974, perhaps it's time to try to change things!

Actually - one more thing. Before Randy Mantooth spoke, AJ Heightman of JEMS spoke and urged everyone to support the PSOB update bills - its great to see a national publisher getting behind something so great for EMS (I'll post more about the PSOB bill once I'm home next week).

Then we hit the exhibit hall. Got to see the World Premiere of Code STEMI ( It's a Setla film production, and a great collaboration between PhysioControl (, Tom Bouthillet and the EMS 12-Lead group (, Ted Setla (, and the First Responders Network (

It's a good start. It'll be nice to see the story continue to be told. STEMI's are something we, in EMS, can make a big difference in.

Then it was dinner and bed early - I was tired. I'm bummed I missed the MeetUp/TweetUp over at Uno's, but I needed sleep... Friday will be a long day, I'm sure

Thursday, March 01, 2012

EMS Today 2012 - Part 1

I came into Baltimore Wednesday night in time for the EMS 10 awards. It was great to see Tom Bouthillet get an EMS 10 award for the EMS 12-Lead blog ( Oh and let's not forget about the rest of his team - David Baumrind and Christopher Watford.

Congrats to Tom and the rest of the award winners, and a HUGE thank to to PhysioControl for putting on the event and inviting me.

Then it was off to Pratt Street Ale House for the EMS 2.0 reunion. Gotto see Random Ward (haven't seen him for all of 3 days), MedicSBK, Ted Setla, Chris Montera, and the rest of the gang. Also got to meet a fellow Ham Radio geek that I've known online for a few years... Good actually meeting you, James!

Looking forward my first sessions on Thursday.

Friday, February 24, 2012


It has been a busy month. I've got a few blogs in the pipeline, but nothing ready for prime time yet.

School's started in full, and I've got 2 EMS conferences coming up.

The first is the National Collegiate Emergency Medical Services Foundation 2012 confrence. It's in Baltimore this weekend. Oh, and did I mention, I'm presenting?

Second is EMS Today, the JEMS conference:

If you'll be at either conference, hit me up.

Oh, and Philosophy is a pain in the butt class to take.

More to follow - probably after this weekend.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Trying to Get a Leg Up

 While I’ve met a LOT of cool Fire and EMS bloggers (and know quite a few LEO and Firearms bloggers), I’ve got a new favorite blog. Sorry, it’s not my buddy Chris at LUTL (my old favorite)… It is a new addition to the blogosphere: Joe Riffe over at Prosthetic Medic (

Joe’s got a pretty heartbreaking story… He’s a paramedic with Louisville Metro EMS. He was hiking one day, slipped and fell into a waterfall, and has made the tough decision to have his lower left leg amputated. His hope is that as he heals, he’ll have more function with a prosthetic lower leg than he can hope to have with his current foot. His very real dream, is to become a Prosthetic Medic, and return to full duty. He’s been posting a LOT, and I’m looking forward to following his recovery.

I’ve been following his posts for about 2 weeks, and today, he’s been admitted to the hospital to have his amputation. Joe, I’ve never met you, but you’re a member of the great brotherhood of Paramedics, so I hope you are able to achieve your goal, and I hope your operation goes smoothly.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

DCFD - Part 1

Like many in the blogosphere, I’ve been following the DCFD saga for a while. I think it’s getting a little ridiculous now… and while both sides could be handling things better, management seems to be TRYING to piss off the IAFF members.

For those that haven’t seen it, there was this stunt this afternoon:

DC Firefighters Protest Chief's Schedule Proposal:

HT to Statter911

Yup. An estimated 100 folks in DCFD apparel made a scene and publically expressed their displeasure with their leader. Was it understandable? Heck yes. Was it right? No. The fire department is a paramilitary organization. As much as you dislike the officer, you have to respect the RANK, otherwise the whole system will start to fall apart.

Now on to the big issue: Uniforms.
As of the start of the year, the storied “DCFD” brand is gone. That change has been in the works for about 6 months… not a total surprise. In this memo Fox 5 has on their website: Chief Ellerbe says:
All permissible uniform accessories must have the “DC FIRE EMS” logo or be plain with no writing at all

Fair enough. So some guys turned their t-shirts/sweatshirts inside out, took patches off their outerwear, or bought plain blue/black coats. It sucks to have to go out and buy clothing because your boss tells you he doesn’t like the logo that was “in” last winter. But it’s life.

Fast forward 3 weeks. Now there has been another change:
"D.C. Fire and EMS views itself as a para-military organization and is striving to no longer be a homeland security risk by allowing firefighters to wear unmarked uniforms, a spokeswoman said.This latest change to the department's uniform" DCFD DC FEMS Spokesperson on ABC 7

The Chief’s answer in an earler interview was to say that the firefighter could always wear the “running coat” he or she is provided by the department. Yeah, that’s a BRILLIANT idea. Although turnout coats are well insulated, they are designed to keep one cool in a area of high heat… they can be awefully cold in the winter. Further – here’s a point the news media hasn’t even touched. Turnout gear is DIRTY. It gets exposed to a whole host of things, by nature. Many firehouses I’ve been in have areas like offices, the kitchen, lounge space, and the bunkrooms posted “No Turnout Gear Allowed.”

Further, wearing one’s PPE all the time is likely going to cause it to be exposed to even MORE things that can damage it over time – like light, heat, cold, and moisture. That’s not even counting the increased wear-and-tear because guys are forced to use a $700 coat instead of a $100 one. So why would a firefighter want to wear it? Further, when it’s time to replace the gear earlier than planned, that’s going to cost a CRAPLOAD of money. For more on the hazards of gear exposure:

Yes – I see the potential for allied agencies to have confusion spotting firefighters – but here’s a big clue. They usually come on a big red vehicle with lights and sirens and “DC Fire and EMS” on it. Oh, and they are the ones that look like they are there to help. Perhaps there is a better solution. Credential everyone, and make everyone wear their ID’s on any non-fire call. That way, everyone who really wants to can see official, department-issued ID.

On the flipside, I can definitely see it from the firefighters’ viewpoint. This is apparently the 5th uniform directive in a year. If you told me I couldn’t wear the last coat I bought with the (then) Departmental Logo on it… well, I’m going to go ahead and just buy something that’s blank. That way, I don’t need to worry the next time a uniform logo gets changed. My “uniform accessories” – hats, sweatshirts, coat will be plain navy blue. I bet they are cheaper, too… Go to the discount store, and you can probably get half a dozen plain sweatshirts for what you’ll pay for 1 new jobshirt.

Next time – Schedule.

Saturday, January 21, 2012


I have a love-hate relationship with snow. I love how even an inch can turn a grimy cityscape into a fresh Winter Wonderland. I love the reflection of my strobing red lights in falling snow. I love the way the town is turned into an otherworldly Christmas card.

I love the feel of an all-wheel-drive vehicle hugging the road, even through a thick white blanket. One can even practice things like resolving skids and handbrake turns without putting undue stress on vehicle parts.

Snowmen. Snowball fights. Even just walking in snow can be fun, if you're in the right mood.

I hate snow, though. It piles on you and weighs you down. It makes even the most routine responses anything but routine. It hides the street signs, and it can give you the same powerless, out-of-control feel of sledding - in an ambulance.

After its done, though, all there is to do is hate it. It goes from pretty to dirty, soot stained and yellowed in a day or two. Then, depending on how much there is, it can linger. It makes simple tasks like parking on the street, and walking down the sidewalk, a treacherous challenge. It also makes good people have accidents. They slip and they fall, and as they shovel out, they overexert and injure themselves, in some cases, they even have MI's

Tonight I get to enjoy it, though. It is only a dusting - an inch, maybe two. Someone else did the driving, and I'm off duty for my last weekend off before my (hopefully) last undergraduate semester starts next week.