Sunday, December 29, 2013

Work Hours

Someone that serves on the lake board with me always gives me grief about how much firefighters earn in a year. It's hard to argue that we don't do well, but there are some things the media, when they print our names and incomes, fail to mention-- ---Our retirement is only figured on our base pay, not on overtime. By short staffing, the city saves money on retirements, insurance, and benefits. ---Some of that overtime is voluntary. Much of it is mandatory. I worked 418 hours of mandatory shifts in 2013. ---I was physically at work more than I wasn't at work in 2013.... Compare that to our troops, though. Some earn as little as $17,832 for the year, and get, as I undestand it, about 30 days worth of 'leave' per year. Or How about AnnaMarie? Her pay is essentially zero (this is hard to quantify. She has complete control over our finances and has access to all 'my', technically 'our', income) But she has no real time off, either acting as Mom or Wife or Gardener or Painter or Entertainer or Chauffer or any of a thousand other tasks...

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Knott's Revisited

There's a special deal at Knott's Berry Farm for firefighters this time every year. I took McKenna and her friends a few times. Lauren couldn't care less for roller coasters, but Patrick, being Dangerboy, loves them. Since we downscaled from the giant Durango (7 seats) to the Versa (5 seats) we only invited 3 other kids. It was a great group and the park was pretty empty---they never had to wait for a ride and did 36 rides.... I touched bases with them a number of times but pretty much left them alone. I spent my time riding a few rides and researching alternative building methods..

I have to say I had to deal with some nostalgia. We sure had some fun back in the day, and though I wouldn't trade where I'm at for the world, I got that 'can never go back' feeling. That might have been part of my motivation to take Patrick and friends out of school for the day for the 2 1/2 hour drive (with no traffic) so maybe he could get a taste of it.