Saturday, December 29, 2007
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
............................For the record, I coulda done the back bridge with my kids but someone had to take the picture. Mike joined us for Christmas which was great---he's easy company. Everyone got everything requested from Santa except for my time machine---maybe I'll have to be a little better this year.
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
This is a demonstration of our Night Vision Goggle system. We can do all the same stuff at night (Hoist rescues, water drop firefighting, longline operations, etc) that we do during the day, the one exception being the hover fill with the snorkel (too many little droplets and the pilot can't keep a good reference) so we just do a ground fill operation instead.
As far as I know Los Angeles is the only other place in the whole country that will do night firefighting. The wildland/urban interface nature of the areas make the risks with it.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Monday, December 17, 2007
Now for Snow White. Going just by the plot in the Disney movie, there is a serious flaw. Unless you don't care about exposing your kids to movies where rules just don't matter, better skip this one.
The queen/witch makes a spell potion and saturates an apple with it. The book of spells is very clear that 'The Sleeping Death' spell can only be broken by LOVE'S FIRST KISS.
After S.W. has a bit of a dancing fling with the seven dwarves, she calms them down with a love story. She states a young girl fell in love with a handsome prince.
Statement from one Mr. Sneezy---"Was the girl....You?"
S.W. admitted---"Uh-huh" and nodded yes.
Question from Mr. Sleepy---"Did ya (sic) steal a kiss?"
(S.W. sang her response) "He was so romantic...I could not resist"
What can we gather from this?
1) S.W. had already fallen in love with Prince C.
2) S.W. had already kissed Prince C.
S.W. of her own free will bit into the apple offered by the queen/witch, even after specific instructions from the homeowners not to let anyone in. She did in fact fall to the 'Sleeping Death'. When Prince C. sought her out and kissed her FOR THE SECOND TIME, the spell was broken. Technically the Prince should be tried for necrophilia and the dwarves charged with witch slaughter after running her off a cliff with no due process whatsoever.
Friday, December 14, 2007
Our copter made the cover of TIME magazine 'year in review'. It was taken while we were saving a part of Rancho Penasquitos. This picture has nothing to do with the Witch fire but I used it because I like it better. We hoisted a firefighter off the ridge with a broken leg just before the ridge burned up, then landed to transfer him to an ambulance (normally we'd just do the hoist rescue and fly right to the hospital, but we were kinda busy) The best thing about this picture is, I look like a yeti following the ground crew while they do all the lifting.
Friday, December 7, 2007
Thursday, December 6, 2007
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
A few times a year I get sent to these Dept. of Homeland Security focus group things. Annamarie comes with me if we can get someone to watch the offspring. A few months ago we went to Eastern Kentucky University for one. A.M. came along....
I love to travel but the logistics do get me uptight, I'll admit. Our flight left Lindberg Field at 6 A.M....We got there early, got through security and to our terminal. A.M. needed a potty stop so we went to the restrooms along the corridor.
As usual I got out way first and waited. The corridor was empty, except this couple walking towards me carrying their luggage. He was tall, thinning black hair, maybe 50. Thin. The woman with him was at least a foot shorter with dyed red hair, wearing white pants and one of those jackets that are squares of fabric sewn together like a quilt. She was laying in to him about how he thought he was sooo much better than everyone else, how superior he thought he was, and why did he have to always act like that? He didn't react---just kept walking forward. It was the kind of thing you wouldn't say with anyone else in earshot. They walked right past me, and I wanted to see if he'd reply so after they passed I waited just long enough so as not to be obvious, then turned to look at them.
They were gone.
The hallway was too long for them to go anywhere. I only waited a second or two. There were people way down at the end, and at the other end, but they just were gone.
A.M. came out of the restroom and asked, "What's wrong with you?" Mind you, I was in rush travel mode, in an airport, early morning. This sort of thing was furthest from my mind. I told her what happened, and she said, 'Let's go down the hallway and look for them' which we did.
There was nowhere they could have gone in the time it took me to turn. We saw nothing.
Sunday, December 2, 2007
I was giving the standard copter dog-and-pony show the other day to a local Fire Department...One of the guys asked what the scariest call ever was. He thought it would be a hoist rescue like we had been talking about...Actually it was this HazMat call. The liquid oxygen truck was leaking LOX all over interstate 5 near the Sea World exit on a hot day.
LOX will saturate asphalt and make it extremely shock sensitive. I had to thaw out the ground with the firehose while walking towards the truck with LOX spilling out....I think it's minus 76 degrees. The valve was one big ice ball, as were the steps leading up to the 'doghouse'. After a steady hose stream they thawed enough to be shut off...
Saturday, December 1, 2007
I think people don't live long enough to understand weather cycles. I also think there's something in the human psyche that predicts a doomsday---the second coming of Christ, nuclear holocaust, the superflu, global warming.
Here's what I believe. The world will still be here, with healthy people on it, thousands of years from now. Furthermore, I believe as communications improve, we head towards a global utopia. Small societies will collapse and there will be wars, but the general direction will be towards improvement. I believe studying history proves this out.