Sunday, February 02, 2014

The End of an Era

     Soon, I am going to start looking for another place to live. I have not had to do this for many years', so It's Anxiety-producing time. Oh, I'm allright of course, I've got a job, I'm not quite destitute & I'd like to think I have some choice where I might go. Angst, just the same though. I'm going to Miss this Quiet place Very much & expect never again to find anywhere like it. But it's Time... Wish me luck as I start the "Hunt" slowly, but Ernestly

Monday, March 18, 2013

An open letter to FDNY commissioner S. Cassano

* The following letter was published by The Chief newspaper under the Title of: EMT's Shortchanged. They did correctly discribe it as an Open letter underneath, but it's an Open Letter, just the same*

The following open letter to Fire Commissioner Salvatore Cassano is printed here at the request of its author.)
Dear Commissioner Cassano:
I noted with interest your comment on the recent story about the physical fitness (or lack thereof) of the recent firefighting class. Many things were said about the former FDNY/EMS command. While there might be several good reasons to attack these men and women in public, they serve to highlight the chasm between standards and practices in standards and practices between firefighting and its EMS counterpart. There is also a suggestion on how to avoid this going forward.
 
Firefighting is an inherently dangerous occupation; of that there is no doubt. Running into burning buildings, hauling equipment and hoses up multiple flights, and operating safely at fire and accident scenes requires top physical conditioning, expert training, and experience. You have a right and a duty to expect this of your employees and candidates. That is not in dispute. What is in dispute is what was not done to adequately prepare and encourage those already in the department to meet (or exceed) those expectations. A more-jaded person than myself might conclude that it was done on purpose.
 
EMS is a very different occupation and is practiced under conditions that would frankly be deemed intolerable by most firemen! Let’s have an experiment: Take a busy engine company and for the next 12 months, treat them exactly as the department currently treats its EMTs and Paramedics. To wit:
 
• At the start of their tour, have them bring all their equipment and go sit in the engine.
 
• Take them out and away from the firehouse and park outside somewhere in or close to their area.
 
• Unless they are working, cleaning up (20 minutes max) or using the facilities (bathroom–same amount of time=20 mins) they are to sit in the engine and monitor the radio. No exercising outside or doing mutuals— they are to keep the exact same schedule, whatever that entails—up to 24 hours just sitting there. They are not allowed to go back to the firehouse and cook or even eat a meal in the engine—they have to eat out.
 
Would you like to bet now on what their physical/emotional condition will be at the end? The average firefighter makes this job his (or her) career, but the average EMT lasts approximately three years; the average Paramedic, five years. Our injury and sick rates match or exceed yours. Our workload is also 2-4 times greater, bringing stressors that strain even the most even-tempered folks. This is not an excuse, merely a statement of fact.
 
When the current rules regarding FDNY advancement were put into place, it was generally believed that those FDNY/EMS employees would not have long to wait between the time they were hired and their admission to the academy. Who knew that a judge would halt all hiring for 5-7 years? Even the most motivated of people must have grown discouraged by the events that unfolded. To the best of my knowledge, this department made no attempt to reach out to these members specifically or any FDNY/EMS MOS to encourage, motivate or train them, outside of the annual medical day.
 
One would have thought that the department would go out of its way to actively encourage members to meet the physical challenges of the job: After all, they knew these members would show up at the academy sooner or later. Those in the upper echelons of the department were aware of this situation and have known (or should have known) that the failure to do this would result in this awful merry-go-round of failure. I’m going to use a word I’ve oft heard bandied about this department in other fields: pro-active.
 
Now, perhaps I’m wrong (I’ve been wrong before and I’m sure I’ll be wrong again) but it is nonetheless true that failure to plan is planning to fail. This lack of planning seems more...deliberate then a mere oversight. Again, a more jaded person then myself might try to use this situation to advantage:
 
• It highlights the argument that minority hiring would somehow lower the standards of the department.
 
• It allows the department to sever its hiring connection to FDNY/EMS “for cause.”
 
• It plays out great in the press: “Fat FDNY medics/EMTs fail fire academy.”
 
Now I believe in Chief Mannix’s assertion that the only measurement that counts is the ability to do the job, without any concern of race or sex, but I cannot help but think that these employees, who have proven their worth under fire, were cruelly used as cannon fodder to advance the agenda of some.
 
Like it or not, the FDNY/EMS command is here to stay. We are all one department with the mission of protecting and preserving the lives and property of the people of New York. Being pro-active means acknowledging where problems are and moving to address them.
 
If I were to speculate on how to turn this situation around going forward (I’m sad to say that it’s too late for the current candidates) I would suggest that the department establish training facilities for all department employees, in all boroughs, using both dedicated and light-duty personnel, to provide training, motivation, diet/meal planning etc... Also, those employees wanting to advance to Firefighter join dedicated training groups (much like the Navy S.E.A.L.S) to encourage each other to get and keep in the kind of condition the department desires. I am aware that this will cost money—nothing worthwhile is ever cheap—however, the benefits of the program to the department (fitter employees, lower LOD injury rates, lower Workers’ Comp claims) more than outweigh the risks of doing nothing. It also lets the people of this city know and believe in the FDNY’s Bravest!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

IPv6: What it means to You

     The internet has just about run out of addresses! Who would have believed that could happen (& so Quickly!)? Certinly not the original  engineers; they thought 4.2 Billion addresses were plenty, back in the days when Very Few folks had home computers. The current Internet Address Protocol is named IPv4. Many of you are familar with it as it is the string of numbers, seperated by a dot (Period) Example: 96.233.174.23 These could route you to Any site on the Internet, regardless if you knew the actual name of the site or not.

     Worldwide work has been done to come up with a Working solution and that solution is IPv6 which can provide (and I warn you, I have yet to look up the exact name for this number) 18,446,744,073,709,551,616 addresses! If anyone wants to let me/us know what that number is exactly named, please feel free to leave a comment! In the Absence of a name, I will just refer to it as: A Whole Lot! (see what I just did there?)

     The main difference you will notice is that 1- A Colon(:) is used between numbers, 2-A long string of Zeros can be shortened by a Double Colon(::) For example: This is what a complete IPv6 address would look like, if written out:  2001:0DB8:0000:0003:0000:01FF:0000:002E  (really Un-Wieldy!) Instead it can be notated as: 2001:DB8::3:0:1FF:0:2E or 2001:DB8:0:3:0:1FF::2E It's a Math type of notation, allowing for more concise addressing.

     The Big Question you're asking yourself is: Why the hell do I need to know Any of this? Simply put, you need to know it because it is the future of computing! All providers of the content on the Internet are Going to use this new system! Unix, Linux, MAC & Windows are already there! Right now IPv4 & IPv6 are most commonly used in something caled a Dual Stack,(depending on ISP availability) coexisting on the same connection. The Bad News is that they are Not Compatable! Eventually, you will Need to know how to Navigate this! The Good News is that there IS information out there you can use to access, use, establish a IPv6 connection so you won't be the Last Kid on the Block! As my former union president was Well Known for saying: Change is a Process, Not an Event!

     If you are interested, go to www.ipv6.he.net that's the site for Hurricane Electric, a leader in this field. You can find anything you need to know about IPv6 there! If you have any comments, please leave them below. Thanks!

Friday, February 01, 2013

Mensa is the word for Table...

Mensa is the Word for Table...

 
     I grabbed a table my neighbor tossed out. It had seen Better Days (read POS) & it's missing an expansion insert (which I will have to fabricate) I saw it while coming home at 11 pm, the day before collection. However, it intrigued me & I went back and carried it home. The next day I brought it in to evaluate & it needed a LOT of TLC: the legs were loose & coming off, there were signs of previous repairs to them & the top(s) were stained & scored.
 
      I pulled out the caulking tube of construction adhesive, the box of deck screws, the drill/driver & went to work, mending the cracked areas and gluing/screwing the base until it is solid as a rock again, I then got out my palm sander & took off about 75% of the Walnut veneer on the 3 tops & legs and today, in the bitter Cold, I mixed a small can of maple stain mixed with Poly, cut it with Terp and covered the tops & legs. Right now, it's sitting outside, so I won't poison my  living space with fumes. Tomorrow, I will go over it again & wait until Monday for it to dry in the shed, then bring it back in for a run with Beeswax & a trial as my new dining room table!
 
     What I like about this table was it's designed & built-in versatility. When completely folded up, it's the perfect size for 2 people. When company comes over, one side of the base expands out, you flip the top over & Voila! a table for 4! Pull the other side of the base out, install the insert & fold down the extra pair of legs & now it can accommodate 6-8! The Best Part is: It'isn't Valuable! I got it for free, I will use it until I can't and I can recycle it easily to someone looking for just such a table! For The Win! I'll post pics soon. Hope You are all keeping Warm & Happy!

Monday, December 31, 2012

om!

 
Ladies & Gentlemen, I present for your Entertainment: DIY: BACON!

 

Saturday, March 24, 2012

What I Lost before I went on Vacation...

     Well. I'd like to tell you that I'm not an idiot, but after buying (from the awesome @greenmom) learning to operate & enjoying all the advantages of owning an Ipad for over a year, I PUT IT ON TOP OF THE CAR, DROVE OFF & LOST IT!!!, so I think the evidence is tending to lean the Other Way. I always put it into a case that I'd carry, except for that night, as I wanted to go to my ambulance corps meeting put it on the hood of my car, went back into the house to get ...something, I don't remember, got in my car & drove off. I didn't realize I did it until I got to the building & went screaming back,twice looking all the way.

     So, back to using the laptop for me for a While, not terribly happy about it either, but I have only myself to blame. I hope however found it has fun. It was Locked, but, as I understand it from Apple, once they try entering the wrong code 10 times, it locks. Apple WILL NOT refuse to unlock it, They will reset the device, erasing ALL CONTENT though, nor will they even go so far as to record the serial number. I just had the software upgraded to the latest version, which includes Icloud, which Does have an app called find my ipad, which would allow them to locate it within 30 feet using GPS, but One thing was NOT explained to me- namely that I had to go to my email & accept the Terms & Conditions in order for this app to be activated, so I'm SOL!

     Then I went upstate to Fishkill, NY to work on a campaign for my Union for a week (which our candidate Won!) I especially liked the town of Poughkeepsie, up by the Mid-Hudson bridge, for it's wonderful old housing stock, it's Great views of the Hudson & a Great restaurant, Allemants on Acadamy st.- Great food! well prepared (to order- no less!) by a seasoned chef and his family! Try the Cevieche'...

Monday, March 12, 2012

And For my Next Trick;I'll need a volunteer &a condom

Just finished my last shift for approx. 11 days! I'm Stoked to be able to get a bunch of personal business done, see a few Friends, Go work for my Union doing political Action (don't know where I'm headed- I'll keep in touch) and just to Not have to show up to work! My intention is to Relax, have a Great time and hopefully more then a few laughs & recharge the batteries. I bought the 1st season of A Game of Thrones as it was on sale for < 1/2 price one day at Target- I liked it and am looking froward to reading the other books in the series & watching HBO do a Fine job of translating to the the screen.If you like fantasy- you'll like this! It has been Unseasonably warm this past winter- the warmest in my memory! I'm hoping we are Not in for a Hot summer! That is as much of a Disaster as back-to-back Blizzards! How are You making out?