Sunday, August 31, 2008

Sunday's Video:Retarded Policeman #17

Ordinarily, I like discussing EMS, but this guy has a whole series of these that really are a scream! Enjoy!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Pico and Sepulveda

More Cowbell!

I'm Feelin' it Friday.

I think I must suck at blogs! That's O.K. I guess. Not everyone can be good at everything. I directed a couple of friends to my book review and other posts & no one commented. Perhaps that's telling me something. Or not. I wish the Truth were prettier, more fun or attractive, in some way but I'll stick with it. I'm also sure that working 80 hours this week isn't the most conducive to Reflection, Perspective whatever. The only thing that's working is that I'm not fearful about money and it's a Good feeling, but, like Happiness, fleeting.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Book Review: Black Flies
*I want to start off by stating that I don't know the Author. I looked at his picture in the back and it doesn't "ring any bells" I have no interest, financial or otherwise in this book, other then the fact that I worked through this period for Health & Hospitals as NYC*EMS and FDNY-EMS, after the takeover in 1996 I worked in the Bronx during most of this period but I did Overtime shifts in Harlem, Bellevue and elsewhere (all over the place) in the 5 boros. It might even be possible that I worked with the author, though I have no memory of it.
I saw this book in Barnes and Noble and after reading the subject material, bought it. It is set during my first 10 years "on the job" so I'm familiar. Also, much of what we all went through remains unwritten and who knows, I might have a book in me one day but Anyway...
Right before Graduating the EMS Academy, I remember one of my instructors, Ray Simons, saying " You will be a different person after working in this job for a year. What you see, say and do will stay with you." He was right then and remains right today (he is in our Counselling Services Unit -CSU after retiring) This is one of the many stories of that process of change.
Working the streets is a real "meat grinder" and in between dealing with your partners, the public, the supervisors and all the Overtime you're forced to work, both to make the financial nut and keep enough Ambulances - or Busses on the streets it can and does eat you up inside. There are many sights, sounds and smells you can never forget. Seeing Evil on the TV is one thing- dealing with it (and it's effects)up close and personal is a completely different thing! Cops, firemen and other "professional rescuers" all have this in differing ways. Many drink, fool around, work and focus way too much on the job to the detriment of their family, friends and most importantly, themselves. Burnout is a Bitch and occurs a Lot! Ever wonder why the Divorce rate is so hi? I don't.
You have to develop a "thicker skin", a sense of purpose that will allow you to function in the middle of Chaos, a professional (and detached) demeanor, get rid of whatever preconceived notions you've got and Focus. You also have to learn to Cope, to leave the job, at the job when you go home, to remember to relax and re-charge your "batteries" so things like Patience, Compassion Humor, Love and Friendship have a place in Your Life. Believe me when I tell you this: Keeping your Head on Straight is a full-time job! Otherwise Burnout is not only Likely, it's inevitable. At times, the turnover rate in my job was higher then Mc Donalds! Even now, after the city acknowledging and trying to change it; the average EMT only stays for 3 years, the Average Paramedic:5 years.
Many of the stories of job and descriptions of places feel right on and were similar to what I've gone through. The actual process I assume was changed for dramatic (or legal) reasons. As for Partners: there are as many "types" and flavors as there are people. I recognize some of the "types" he presented but as you go on, all of you change- I can tell you that some of the folks I didn't like or didn't like me when I first got there turned out to be Great Partners and Friends as a result of shared experiences. Attitude and Approach are Important. So's keeping a Sense of Humor. And B.S-ing in the After-hours clubs ,parking lots bars,night clubs and other spots with Partners, the cops, firemen etc...
There was a mini epidemic of job-related suicides during this period. The last incident was last year when someone killed himself outside of the EMS Academy. We have struggled with this mightily.
That all said; the book is dark, like the job can be but it is not at all an accurate reflection of the EMS that I've come to know. Then again, I've lasted 15 years and am still Positive ( I kind of feel like saying my experience isn't the norm and isn't necessarily what others will go through-"past performance doesn't guarantee future results") but I'm not the Poster child for "normalcy"- whatever that is and don't want to be either! A good, quick read but keep in mind that it IS a novel with the flavor of NYC*EMS- not a mirror. I look forward to reading something else by the Author. I also hope that if this was his experience- he's Happier now and has gained some Perspective with time.
Enough with the writing- I'm going to enjoy the rest of the afternoon and take a walk.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Lazy Summer Sunday Pics: Beacon Showboat "Pirates"

My oldest (and best-est) friend Vicki and I were supposed to meet last night and she told me about a show/ performance happening in her town of Beacon. I came up with kitty and we took the above pics of their fantastic boats, part raft, with a working steamboat and alternative fuel engines. They remind me (probably on purpose) of the movie Waterworld. They were supposed to set sail at 8 pm, but Vicki got caught up in other obligations and I had to leave early as my Leiut. called me to fill in in a pinch (hey, money's Money) if I couldn't enjoy checking out the performance with my friend(s) I ought to go make some as the Hudson Valley Garlic Festival is coming up at the end of September in Saugerties and I need money for hotel and garlic (YUM!)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Something to Think About on this fine Sunday afternoon...

I was asked the other day how many of us who worked jobs most/all of our lives and have pensions/ social security / savings/investments built up are going to fare against the millions of folks who never worked long enough to qualify/ lost their good paying job and have lost/spent their pension/never had a "good" job (hello Walmart employees!) went to prison etc... I wish I had an easy answer for this but I don't. There are many for whom the "net" has large holes. Sure, social security will "pick up" some of these but how we deal with now is going to have a Huge impact later on, as the "baby boom" reaches retirement.

There are going to be A LOT of Unhappy people! I also expect there is going to be rampant elderly abuse, scams and even outright murder! So I ask the other 2-5 people who actually look at my blog: How do You think we should be looking at or handling this situation? Where should we start and who should we be asking?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Today was a Good Day!

I snuggled, I walked peacably in the sunshine, I treated nearly everyone I met well, I was witty and urbane, I looked ahead and saw myself overcoming much of what keeps me (and most of us) down, was considerate of both myself and others and generally have nothing to apologise for!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Hands Thrown Up « Culinary Couture

One from Lemmonex:
Hands Thrown Up « Culinary Couture: "Tuna Salad without a Name
Lemmonex Original
1/4 cup low fat mayo
1 1/2 tablespoons whole grain mustard (or dijon)
3- 6 oz. cans tuna (in water)
1- 15 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
3/4 cup frozen peas, thawed
1 stalk celery, diced
3 tablespoons red onion, finely diced
Salt and pepper
Mix together mayo and mustard in large bowl. Add remaining ingredients and stir together to combine. Let chill in fridge so flavors mix for about an hour before eating, but ideally overnight."

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Strange Paper.
I found this and think it's the strangest paper I've seen in a while. Who thought of this and actually went through all the trouble of having it printed up?

Sunday, August 03, 2008

More Pics...

Lately I've gone a little snap-happy with my digital camera. I should post to flickr or some other service but I'm always afraid that my pics will get used without my permission. Do you know anything about this? If so, Please let me know. Thanks for looking!

Friday, August 01, 2008

View of the City: L.I.E., Queens, 6 am
I just finished Overtime in Queens & was on my way home when I stopped and snapped this pic. Mornings are great dfor pics if you're not as tired as I was. Good Shot 'tho