Friday, October 25, 2013

Some Changes at 618Rants

I have spent virtually my entire working life trying to help people, to make them safe, to make sure they go home to their loved ones at night. All too often, though, I put the needs of the many ahead of the needs of the few, or of the one, as Mr. Spock might say. My career in law enforcement and private-sector security cost me two marriages, a couple of intervening relationships, and almost cost me my life. It left me an alcoholic, vicious, mean, bigoted bastard; it took me almost twenty years to recover from that (I haven't done any drinking since 1989, and had it not been for the lovely yet talented Mrs618, I might never have recovered).

More recently, I've been engaged in firefighting and yet another round in EMS (my third). Because these are paid-on-call jobs, they weren't as time-consuming as police work, but I still tried my very best.

No more.

A couple of things happened yesterday, including hearing my alcoholic, psychologically-abusive father tell my drunk junkie brother that HE was the reliable one... after the lovely yet talented Mrs618 and I left a pair of $50,000-a-year jobs and moved to Maine to take care of my parents. After I've been fixing their house -- at MY expense -- for six years. After putting myself in the hospital a bunch of times with exhaustion, chest pains, bad knees, pneumonias, and a few things that looked like strokes or heart attacks.

Plus, I've been getting some really snotty emails from the local logistics person at the Red Cross, who seems to feel it is MY job to verify all the logistical issues for a class (if that is the case, why do we pay a full-time logistics person? And what does she do to earn her keep?).

I lay awake all night, thinking about things. About 4:00 AM, I felt a door close, then I got really cold, then everything just kind of mellowed out.

I had made my decisions:

  • No more caring about anybody other than the lovely yet talented Mrs618, Emily (the Lab), Joey (the cat), and my son.
  • I will continue to do the best job I can with the FD and EMS, but that's all it is now, a job. If you live, fine. If you don't, well, sucks to be you.
  • Someone else can do the 14 or 15 different functions I'd been filling at the Red Cross for the last six years, including getting up in the middle of the night to go to house fires (I'll still go for the FD, cause they pay me).
  • No feelings, no emotion, no empathy, no sympathy. Talk to the hand, dude.
  • Ditto with their cultural norms, belief systems, languages, religions or other ethnic crap. You live in the United States, you adjust to OUR way of life. You don't like it? Go back to Trashcanistan.
  • I'm not going to worry about watching my tongue anymore. Fat-Ass Paul LePage is a fat-assed teabagging douchbag. So is his fat-assed daughter. So is Rafael Eduardo Hijo de Puta Cruz, Canadian-born anchor baby spawn of cigar-sucking Cuban √©migr√©, Castro supporter and Desi Arnaz wannabe Rafael Bienvenido Chinga tu Madre Cruz. So is Bible Spice and her oxygen-thief brood. And all the other cretinous yahoos who need to chlorinate their little corners of the gene pool, like the various Kardashians: Kleenex, Klepto, Klamato, and Klimax. Half of those fucks oughta be shot. Hell, most of 'em oughta be shot.
I don't know if this blog is going to continue. I may post again, I may not. I don't know.

For those who have stopped by and commented in the past -- the folks like BadTux, Jurassic Pork, The Dark Wraith*, skippy the bush kangaroo, the gone-but-not-forgotten Firestarter5 -- thank you. You gave me the encouragement to continue, and you let me think that maybe I had something worthwhile to offer. For the newer folks, the medical and fire service folks like Michael Morse, Justin Schorr, and Curt Varone, we may not agree on everything, but we tried. By God, we tried. To the folks on the old Yahoo wildlife groups, DLP in particular, thank you for the encouragement (and the occasional ball-busting).

BTW, I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Jurassic Pork and his missus are in pretty tough financial straits; if you can toss a few coins his way, please do. They really do deserve to have a roof over their heads.

* The Dark Wraith has been missing in action for a couple of years now, and Google is now showing his old site (and the companion site BigBrassBlog) as possibly infected with malware, so no links. DW, if you should happen to see this, you are missed. Same for Firestarter5.


Speaking of Cats...

Mr618, the non-cat, non-owned, non-penguin...

Heard Around the Barn...

I was working on the engine outside the Station a few days ago, when I noticed a little girl nearby in a little red wagon with little ladders hung off the sides and a garden hose tightly coiled in the middle.

The girl was wearing a firefighter's helmet.

The wagon was being pulled by her dog and her cat.

I walked over to take a closer look.

'That sure is a nice fire truck,' I said with admiration.

'Thanks,' the girl replied. The firefighter looked a little closer. The girl had tied the wagon to her dog's collar and to the cat's testicles.

'Little partner,' I said, 'I don't want to tell you how to run your rig, but if you were to tie that rope around the cat's collar, I think you could go faster. '

The little girl replied thoughtfully, 'You're probably right, but then I wouldn't have a siren.'

    Friday, October 18, 2013

    This Date in Fire History: Oct 17, 1966, The Wonder Drug Store Fire

    I must have been brain-cramping like mad yesterday. I meant to post this, but forgot all about it.

    Which is inexcusable.

    Twelve firefighters died, twelve wives lost their husbands (and breadwinners), AND 32 CHILDREN LOST THEIR FATHERS.

    And I forgot to post this.

    From the New York Times, Oct 17, 2006:

    It is Oct. 17, 1966, and Vinny Dunn, a 31-year-old lieutenant in the Fire Department, is sprinting east on 23rd Street to get his orders on working the rear of a burning building on East 22nd.
    He reaches a chief who orders him and his engine company into an adjacent building. Then the chief turns and orders another young lieutenant, Joseph Priore, to have his company pull a hose line into the Wonder Drug store on 23rd Street, which backed up to the burning building. Lieutenant Priore and the men of Engine 18 disappear inside, never to be seen alive again. They were lost in a floor collapse, which killed 12 firefighters, including the commander who ordered the men in, Deputy Chief Thomas A. Reilly.
    Among them, the dead men left 12 widows and 32 children. It took 14 hours to dig out the dead. Until Sept. 11, 2001, it was the heaviest loss of life in the Fire Department’s history. A lengthy inquiry showed that a cellar wall had been moved, leaving the drugstore’s five-inch-thick terrazzo floor unsupported and vulnerable to collapse.
    This was yet another watershed moment for FDNY, in that it opened the city's eyes to the dangers of illegal building renovations (a cellar wall had been moved,  leading to the collapse of the building).

    For once, we do not have the usual suspects to blame: overcrowding, flammable decorations, insufficient exits, etc. This time, it's just greed - moving a wall to increase storage space, without shoring up the ceiling.

    Left to right, top to bottom:
    LT John J Finley, L-7
    LT Joseph Priore, E-18
    DC Thomas A Reilly, 3rd Div
    BC Walter J Higgins, 7th Batt
    Fr Bernard A Tepper, E-18
    Fr Daniel L Rey, E-18 (probationary)
    Fr James V Galanaugh, E-18
    Fr Joseph Kelly, E-18
    Fr Carl Lee, L-7
    Fr John G Berry, L-7
    Fr William F McCarron, 3rd Div
    Fr Rudolph F Kaminski, L-7
    And, as always, the firefighters stood by their fallen:

    10,000 firefighters -- ten thousand -- from across the country turned out for the funerals, including firefighters from Anchorage, Alaska, and San Francisco. There were 500 who came from Boston alone.

    Thursday, October 10, 2013


    From the lovely yet talented Mrs618...

    Heh, indeedy.