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Saturday, October 30, 2010

California Politics. Has Everyone Gone Nuts!?!

Politics is a process by which groups of people make collective decisions. The term is generally applied to behavior within civil governments. Emphasis on the world "civil"..... because actually, I don't see anything "civil" about politics. Collective decisions---no, not at all! There's people arguing everywhere, and it makes me sad.

America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves. ~ President Abraham Lincoln

I really have had my fill of the election fighting! Has California gone nuts? Everyone's so mean. I just think that our state flag bear had a different meaning then swinging at each other. It's over the line. Is that the intent of our state symbol?

This is just a rant and I had to get it off my chest. I think what bothers me the most is the stress it causes everyone and the contention it puts in everyone's hearts. I know all of this bigger, harder, more hurtful messages will affect our children and desensitize them to think nothing of name-calling, black-mail, trashing  one another's lives and families, and children get the idea that deceitfulness is okay, to become powerful or to get "gain" in life. Life is hard enough to figure-out when you're an adult, let alone a child, we need to really watch and talk to them about what is bombarding children, young men and young women and also our single young adults. I'm not talking about as a censor in all things, but make sure that the integrity and downgrading of another is not at all what a person should make part of their personality.

I don't know about your state or country, but California has gone nuts. The state symbol of the bear was not intended for this:

It's Just Way Over The Line!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Adversity Real Firefighter Sayings #2, 60 Seagrave Triple Combination Pumper

 Be prepared: Always keep a firefighter tucked-in the spare square of your engine

I saw this huge cactus with bunches of flowers the other day on my way to swimming aerobics and stopped to look at it. The man that owned the house came out to inquire why I was parked in front of his house. I told him that his cactus tree was beautiful and he told me that because of the recent rains, it blossomed. I ask him if I could take a picture, grinning.... He said, "Yeee-ah."
Why did I want a picture?

I can honestly say my camera on my phone just isn't like it is in real life. This plant had a very striking floral display that I don't think I've ever seen before. Here, were lovely and very delicate flowers nestled in the most adverse of conditions. It was in the hot sun, hugged by thorns, and attracting many visitors that probably weren't as kind as I was by just taking a picture. My perspective has changed a lot over the years concerning adversity. The cactus is a great teacher.

Boyd K. Packer said in a talk about adversity and how it teaches us many lessons.
"But if they seek prayerfully for help and guidance, they shall be given power over adverse things. Find happiness in ordinary things, and keep your sense of humor."

My Other Fire station Sayings Are Here: Fire Fighter Sayings Old and New

"So You Are Having A Bit of Trouble Eating...We Can Help"
John Harber Engineer/Counselor

My husband is a fire captain, a good member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and a former Bishop, smokes all the time. But it isn't from cigarettes.

Engine 81 Crew With MED 421 Crew
& EMS 48 After a Long Day of Calls

Always Do Inspections

Don't Mess With Propane. You Could Lose Some Parts

We sat in a new restaurant in Monterey and the steak house had a register with a loud, old-type code coming out of it with a dot-matrix type printer. My husband could hardly eat, because it sounded like the old-model fire-locator just before all the tones went off.

Had to Stop it Quick, Can't Remember why.
Yes, It Pretty much Destroyed The Engine Sitting
On Top of the Hydrant
"Can I have that old hydrant?"
"It would look good in my yard"

Things are so crazy right now in our small town. Every time a chance comes up to talk about city finances there's a mouth that says that our fire station on the west-side of town is going to close.

Steve talks to everyone. He can't get out of the market, we can't eat at a restaurant, or even stroll down the street without someone stopping him and telling him sweet things about how his treatment was so kind and respectful. Or my husband asks, "How's your wife doing?" "How's your son, these days?"

Many, many of the calls have happened at the same time at the other station had a call. Fire calls come in bunches. Closing a station not scares him for his job, but for the town. The firemen and paramedics are really caretakers and they take the caretaker-part seriously.

"HP" means, Has Been. (?) OOPS! I mean, "HB" Thinks he's hot, but he's not. A bragger. I was confused by my mini-computer, it's an HP. Ugh.
"Dying is an option"

My husband is second from the right and assigned as Safety Officer. OOPS! I got told: Steve was RIC or RIT The acronym for Rapid Intervention Crew or Rapid Intervention Team. (Safety Person..Crew or Team) My daughter Bree was taking these pictures and while this conference was being held, she saw the roof move, just a bit. "Dad!" "The roof, the roof!" (I need to fix this too) Steve didn't hear Bree yelling at him because he was too busy trying to get the County Firefighters off the roof. Steve actually saw the roof start to give or go. He will not say much about how he felt at the time except, worried. My son and nephew were under that roof that was falling. There was no contact because Dustin saw it on in the inside at the same time (good firefighters do that) and was yanking his cousin by the pants out of the house. Dustin, comes out, "Wow! That was great!" Grinning ear to ear. The ambulance almost had to load my husband up for a ride.

Inspections Are Sometimes? Not Right!

Do you see the Exit Light On..or
Or Is Just Me?

"Dazed and Confused?"
"That was sure a crispy critter"
"It's ice cream, get your own"
"I'm driving"
"Know your out, before you go in"
"See that?" "That was a GOOD STOP"
On scene talk, between firefighters: "That ____is flat as a flibber"

Training With A House Burn. Over and over, and over...
Dustin on the Left & Dad, Steve Lazenby, Center

"Hey! We knew it was just around the corner!"
"Overturned vehicle accident!"
"Where are you located?" "Is it where the horse statue is buried with no legs?" No address!  (BUT...just so everyone has an idea-this is it, way out in the rural area. And... it just over eight miles away from Station 8, and first on scene).

Doctor to firemen, while a lady was delivering a baby. It was actually crowning: "Just stuff a towel between her legs and get her the h-e-double-toothpicks, up here!' Hospital Hill

Another of Steve's Car Fires Steve is in the Stripped Outfit (Turn-outs)

This was on his last shift Sunday, Nov. 14th
The car fire had a ruptured fuel tank.
The flames rushed toward the black & white cruiser
Steve is on the far right center

Steve and I go for a ride in the county, anywhere: "I've been to that car fire"
"And that car fire" and "That car fire"
"Oh, and that wreak there on that tree"
"And the burn-over, there."
"Wanna' go see where our strike-team camp was?"
"Let's go see where that_________ big fire burned" He's been there and fought it.
Just so you know the major fires have names, like hurricanes.
"Were you at the ______fire?" "Oh yeah...."
"Would you just take this opportunity to Shut-UP!"
"Well, you threw me under the bus, remember?"
"It's just easier to do it and ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission"
"Reports done, papers done, and it's all turned in... and I still get asked for it, again"
"If I have to explain all this, you wouldn't 'get-it' anyway"
"Quit stirring the mud because it just gets muddier and never settles"
"Flip! Flip it off! I'm still getting electrocuted" The yelling voice used here.
"___________ wreaked the rig!" "Did you get a video?"
Before any trip "I need more cigarette lighters, Velcro, and frequencies."
The lighters do not have to do with cigarettes but plugging in a bunch of fire stuff.
And this is all when we are going out-of-state. So we forget our toothbrushes....
"Quit sweeping!" Me, "You're making me nuts"
"The old valiant is going to fire engine red." Me, "Again?"
"I bet you want the convertible top white again, too."

Montebello Fire Department gave us back our old Seagrave. It is a precious present that we will treasure and be always grateful. Thank you so much, you have no idea what this has done for our little town and fire department and it was "free" How incredible is that? When I was a little girl my dad and grandpa let me turn the crank and wind it up so tight. The engine really has a great siren! It was rotting in a yard full of weeds as tall as the engine, in a little town in Guadalupe. The fire department tried to buy it, but a town just outside Los Angeles acquired it and restored it perfectly.The engine is a Model 760 Seagrave Triple Combination Pumper, Hose Wagon and Chemical Engine. I honestly cried when I saw it made it here and the other day when it was "up and running" My son now is the 4th generation to be able to drive it. Yes, she has a name: Bertha.

"We're getting a new truck!" Not us.
As in... Not for Steve and I, but for the fire department. Believe me, he says it like it's own personal vehicle!
"We're getting a new trailer!" Not us.

We were just helping Dustin launch his kyacks in the Ventura Keys near some fancy homes and Steve said, "Someone gave a little electric car, just like that one!" Instantly, my mind darted to the thought of me zooming though the ranch with the dogs on my side and checkin' Jurassic Park and off-roading all over Danger Ranch. Steve could see, as my eyes glazed over, I was thinking "US" and he burst that bubble real quick. "It's a donation to the department!" Me, (moan...)
"Alright! We're getting new furniture and someone gave us a huge big screen TV!" Not us.
"We're getting a new "Jaws of Life" Okay, I know that's not going to be ours, but he doesn't get that excited about our stuff, not even a John Deere riding lawn-mower. So, it doesn't work, but looks good in our driveway. Or not.
"Just saying..."
Cops got miffed because Sparky parked the engine in the wrong place. Dang! Cuffin' "the fire dog" after a "Field ID" OOPS! That's a "cop saying" too much watching Cops on TV. Yes, this arrest was located in the school field. And Yes, it was Sparky. But... he doesn't park the fire truck, he can't see through the head of the costume...duhr

Steve and John have matching black eyes from Different Stuff

The Decal was Not Put Up by The Owner

The morale of the department is at an all time low. The wages have been cut-back, there's way more work, little overtime, and no extras, all of this can make a bunch of firefighters dealing with stress, crazy. So, here's a distraction. We have this spider box, but it doesn't say "Spider Box", it has words that say, "Don't open" Ya, think they won't open it? Yes, they do and scream like little girls.

Free Carwash
3 Year Olds Can't Read! Grandma's A Meaner

Cookies Needed

I've heard:
"Bed Rat!"

"Don't get Medieval on me"
"She'll send her flying monkeys after you"
"There's this dog!"
"You'll love my new turn-out gear, you want me to model it for you?" Me: "Okay...the pee-green is sooo your color!" "It's the new black or dirty yellow!"
Me, "You smell like smoke." Steve, "Yeah, I know...nice...huh?"
"I didn't call it in, I found it with my nose." Call on Yale, two blocks from the fire station and just smoking in the attic. "No smoke showing."

Recent Car Chase & And Injured Suspect
"You're cuffing, him!?!" that was from firefighters to cops. Firefighters:"He's got two broken legs, a possible skull fracture, and a compound fracture with one arm and the other one's snapped." "He's not running away...!"

We have An Small Airport Next To
The Riverbed. It has Been
Used As Another Landing Site
"Hear that?" Me, "What?" "Firetruck" "Ambulance" or he says, "Cops"
I've heard all the cops vs. firemen that I can handle. Two of my son-in-laws are in law enforcement, What can I say? "Save a cop, shoot a donut?" soooo lame.
"They are all just a bunch of cops that want to be firefighters"
Rude Firemen...just back at cops for saying, "You just sit in your recliners all day and hide-out!"

The Real Meaners
Steve's been a firefighter for over 25+ years and I still call his Turn-Outs, an outfit. Where's your "outfit" Steve?

Firefighter's Outfit (turn-outs) Parts
Steve Getting Timed!

"We have a call" Not, on-duty excuse to leave a party
"Dustin! Wake-up, you have a call" Steve calling station 82, when he's off-duty monitoring the radio all night.
"It's a car-B-Q"
"He always gets away, smelling like a rose, instead of what he really smells like"
"No more Bar-B-Q Sauce!"
"It's not hot, try it" Burning hot Herbanero Chili Sauce
"Fire in the hole!" That's not even when it's in a hole.
"Go find a snake so I can play with this." No, I'm not, on couple levels. He want to use the snake-catching kit, which is a soft tong and a pail, with a lid. Contraption that humanely removes rattlesnakes and they are relocated. I'm NOT looking for snakes.

I've learned the basics of Smoke Ejection and Roof Opps. Why Roof Opps, I don't know! But... the smoke ejection lesson has proved very valuable in the kitchen while cooking (burning) or at night when my "summer heat" comes and I know where to set-up a fan and what windows to close.

Just a thought, I've seen and heard that photoshop-like programs and apps on the phones like the ever popular, "fat-booth" are a hit at the fire station. Who would have thought while waiting for the gas, electric, or public works to show-up to a call so the engine can be released...the firefighters are having "app-parties" at 2:00 in the morning?

Train wreck at Hallock. The whole interesting note with this accident is that the car was parked on the tracks and the train only goes 2 miles an hour. No one was hurt except the person that owned the car when he had to pay for the train damage. Actually, this is really a bit scary, no one around here stops at the railroad tracks, ever. We know if a car or truck stops, they are Outt'a towners.

We all have learned you can not win in a water-fight with Dustin or Grandpa! They take it too way too personal.

Steve Lazenby and his son, Dustin both Captains
East side, West side Station 81 and 82,

Teaching Safety To Others

This weekend is The Big Drill

Station 81 in Quarters

Added November 17, 2010
Old favorites plus my husband's on my old computer files:
1.You can tell what type of fire it is by the smell of the smoke 10 miles or more.
2. You lay-out your clothes from the day so if there's a call at night you can fink them quickly
or even sleep in your clothes, with your boots because you know you'll be called-out.
3. You have ever been airborne without an aircraft and water was your thrust.
4. You carry a ton of specially modified tools in your pocket that would rival a Swiss Army set.
5.You've ever clung to the air horn chord for dear life because the driver is insane
6. You're engineer turns the wrong way and insists he knows where the call is and you know
it's on the other side of town. Still happens!
7. You've ever played jungle bells at Christmas time on the air horns to clear traffic. No, but he
did go by an off-duty firefighter and play Happy Birthday at his house and the mike was on
so the whole county heard it. OOPS!
8. Have ever stomped-out a fire with your fire boots because you couldn't wait for water.
9. Have ever walked a couple miles into a wild fire in 100゚ in full turnout gear and a 5 gallon or
more water can strapped on your back just to put out a fire.
10. Your kids are afraid to get in water fights with you. (BIG YES! YOU WLL NOT WIN)
11. Your work gear makes you sound like Darth Vader. Kids are now not so afraid--thank you
12. You get all smoked-up and dirty some may even go so far as to roll around in something just
burned to make your new gear look old.
13. You carry enough in your car to extinguish a minor blaze. Have an emergency 72 hour pack
will last a whole month, including tools survival tools, even though it all tied-down, the
stuff rattles...ugh!
14. Your won vehicle has more lights than a Christmas tree. Yes we do have a few safety lights
on our FJ.
15. All the shirts you own or wear say you are a firefighter, including BBQ equipment, apron,
and ties you wear to Church.
16. If you have more pager, telephones, and walkie-talkies than money in your wallet.
17. If assembling a mile and a half of hose running up a hill to cattch a fire is a good day.
18. If you have more than 20 calls in one segment and haven't written the reports yet and it's
still a great segment.
19. Refrigerator, microwave, or any alarm goes off, you're looking for the incident online or
on the cell-phone.
20. You will call (walkie-talkie cell-phone app) and tell the engine a call is coming-in, so they
will be going to the call before they get dispatched. Always monitoring dispatch. Ask me why
I listen to music all night.
21. If you have ever woke-up in the middle of the night thinking your pager has gone off and as
you're looking at it...dispatch starts and then your pager goes off or the alarm. (insert
♫ ♬♪♩ Twilight Zone Music Here ♫ ♬♪♩)
22. The extrication of someone by cutting the car doors off on one side and realized there was
nothing wrong with the other side. ( Memorize this it's called: TRY BEFORE YOU PRY)
23. If you have more fire-type toys than your own children
24. If on a Strike Team you're so tired that the hose bed calls your name.
25. If your on a Strike Team and you drink gallons of water and can't go potty. You're a mess.
26. If your on a Strike Team and you go through a Toll Road (the fastest route with tons of
more trucks) rolling code each time you go back and forth, and your city gets citations for
over $1000.00. for "no pay" hahaha Steve! The funny thing is he got in trouble ?! Sheesh!
27. You go to the market and you see someone you thought had died. Even more freaky when
the person comes over and thanks you.
29. You have to take pictures of fire department stations in every single town you ever visit in
your life. Such fun to see all those pictures and don't even know the town. Another, oops.
30. Ever say..."See you at the big-one" and the "big one" is that very night.

I have more to add to this blog post but have to run-it-by the Captain first. Ahh, I might get in trouble.

Hahaha....I don't believe in evolution, but some firemen (not firefighters) are still at the lower level.
Cross reference here: Men

10/27/10: Jus' sittin' here in Steve's Cert Class: This is my own Real Fire Fighter's Wife... pickin'-up sayin's in Ojai:
"Jus' turned around"
"Jus' Sittin' there"

This class is #7 and the the most frightening. There's lots in this class on "Terrorism" just the thing I want to start thinking about as I go to sleep tonight.

Go See the Movie RED Fun & A Such A Fantasy!
Perfect for Grandpa and Grannies.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

They Don't Let Go 'til It Thunders! Southern California Is Free At Last

Southern California is actually having some really weird weather. A week of thunderstorms just like the area my daughter has been living for a few years, Arkansas. I almost forgot what lightning and thunder was. I've been thinking of Bree all day. I was so relieved that when she ran in the big "Race for A Cure" there was no rain. The her first run was the 10k was in Toad Suck, Arkansas.

It poured, she was running in ankle-deep water and developed the largest blisters of her life, on the bottom of her feet.

 October here is usually hot and we're in the middle of fire season. I feel very blessed this season because maybe we have skipped the "fire storms" for now. My firefighting husband may not go on a strike team and Danger Ranch may have escaped the danger of fire that's always threatening our little forests and meadows.
My Steve, Right of Center, Green Valley @ Copper Fire
Feeding the livestock and pets this evening was so strange. The ground seemed wet but steam was rising off the ground. Bugs were everywhere and the air was so heavy. Not a puddle anywhere and how can that be with all the downpours all last night, and this morning, and even early afternoon?  I didn't have my big, rubber, fireman-type boots to do the chores. Yes, you guessed it, they were full of water from being on our uncovered porch. Surprise rainstorms and humid weather didn't allow my boots to dry-out at all. But, I didn't slip one time in my regular Walmart shoes.

I wish it had rained like this during the summer and then I could blame the sky for all the cats and dogs. And today, it was one of those days "The devil was beating his wife." That's what happens when it's raining hard and the sun is just a'shining away. Now, the rain is just beating on our metal chimney like the stupid woodpecker that thought it was a redwood tree. I can't even begin to describe the sound that reverberates our whole house and neighborhood. We don't like woodpeckers, they make holes in our house. The chimney is metal, but our house is redwood.

 Actually, I think that stupid bird just fell-out it's nest too soon and it just walks (they do that) up the metal chimney or maybe that's may be the one that got its neck rung twice and he was still floppin'  ... pay back?

Oh, no The dang lightening is hittin' the ground all around here. And I'm writing about our metal chimney with no rod? I'm all alone here because Steve's on duty. Well, at least he'll be the first up here if I call the station and we do have fire --- Uht oh, I'm freaking-out, lightening just hit the big metal pole out in our field, recycled light pole that we use to tie horses. Bet the rope's gone. It hit the pole, brightest light and instant thunder. I'm writing like I'm talking,  my mom would say, "Hush! You're chattering like a chipmunk." Oh my gosh, another lightening hit in our trees in Jurassic Park. It hurt my eyes to see it. I still see it..crooked bright light IN THE LIVING ROOM. I just witnessed God's natural, huge, Lincoln Welding Machine. No wonder God can fix anything.

Not My Idea of Fun Either
Quitting blog will come back tomorrow. I think I'm calling my husband because there is yellow out there where the tree was hit. A few minutes ago, I was thinking all the other places in the county were getting a "light show" and I was missing it. Sometimes a person gets what they wish. We have hail and debris... all the leaves are coming off our roof. If it hits the ground again... and it just did. Dang, I'm going out and getting in my car! This is scary! Okay, fires out and the yellow flickering light is gone. It's raining so hard and I know the rain must have put-out the fire. It is the hottest rain weather, I bet it's almost 80 degrees ...it's hot.  Is the storm going because of the really warm temperature and the rain?  This is hard for me to comprehend.

This is Right Outside My Son's House Near The Beach, 25 Min. Away From Our Place & This Cell Slowly Came to Us Late.
 Once in for all I'm NOT EVER moving to Arkansas, Colorado, Utah, or ... I don't know... does everyone get storms like this? But us? Sheesh, I may sound like a baby, but that was way, way too close. Every 20+ years is enough for me. You know that "saying" at the beginning of my blog, I said, "They don't let go until it thunders."  I was talking about "snappin' turtles" That's a saying that I really didn't comprehend, having never lived in the south. I can't count Southern California as "South." So really, what I'm talking about here is, if you have snappin' turtles you have thunder, right. Just wait a little while and there's a thunder and lightning storm and the turtle attached to your body, dog, cat, stick, whatever will let go. Still.... would hate to have a big 'ol turtle hanging on my arm for half a day. Guess what? ... We don't have snappin' turtles here. This all might cause me to have some really ugly bad dreams.

Poof! Crack! Sizzle! Oh no, here we go again! Lightning and thunder at the same time!

It has just occurred to me, since it's been a very, very long time since we've had this kind of storm. There's really been no thunderstorms like this since I was in grade school. Snappin' turtles would've just starved to death hanging on to something. They'd all just shrivel up and die. They are extinct.