The three Obama "youtube" shorts were borrowed from a fellow blogger. I just wanted to give credit where credit is due. Check out his blog. It is quite interesting from an EMS educational point of view. http://paramedicine101.blogspot.com
Never forget lest history repeat itself. Make no mistake about it, these people want to kill us. They need no reason. They want us exterminated. There were a total of 2,993 deaths, including the 19 hijackers: 246 on the four planes (from which there were no survivors), 2,603 in New York City in the towers and on the ground, and 125 at the Pentagon. An additional 24 people remain listed as missing. All of the deaths in the attacks were civilians except for 55 military personnel killed at the Pentagon. All were civilians except the 55. All were innocent people just going about their daily lives. Just in the wrong place that day. Where were you? What if you had been one in one of the wrong places that day. NEVER FORGET. 343 were Firefighters just trying to help. Say a prayer for the families of those lost today.
Finally, I got to go on a lengthy vacation. I purchased a Road King last July, and have been really enjoying it. I have rode it all over the area and as far away as Bristol, TN last March then to Washington DC in May. A trip to South Dakota has been planned since last fall. Sturgis South Dakota. We left from Newark Ohio, on Friday at 16:00 and spent the first night in Indiana. Up early on Saturday and stopping the second night in Iowa. Arriving in Rapid City, SD at about 1 7:00 on Sunday evening. Stopping at a local Pilot truck stop for a break before heading to the reserved campground. One of the three of us was a little concerned about a rear tire on his bike. After inspection he found a nail in it and the tire was going down. Since we were at a local truck stop, I suggested getting a plug for it just to get us to the camp. Then we could get it to a shop in the AM for a new tire. It seems bike tires are not the same make up as auto tires. After plugging the tire and airing it up, off we went. After about 4-5 miles the tire went flat again. Another plug was placed in it. The bike is a gold wing and it has a compressor on board. Again, 4-5 miles and another flat. A third plug and then a forth and fifth, we finally arrived at the campground at around 22:00 hours 35 miles from the pilot. Now here we are at the camp and trying to put up tents in the dark. The next morning, after a new tire was installed, we were off to see the sights. For the next 4 days, we rode to all the local attractions. To include a quick trip into Wyoming and Montana. We had such a good time, even if it rained nearly everyday. Most of the time just for a quick storm then the sun was back out. Leaving on Friday again to head home, we decided to travel somewhat South into Nebraska and then Kansas, through Missouri to see the Arch in St. Louis. Then arriving back at home on Sunday afternoon at around 17:00. All in all we traveled nearly 3700 miles. Saturday on the trip home we started at 09:00 and went until 02:00 in the morning traveling 680 mile that one day alone. We were in 10 states in 9 days. One would say I have been getting my money's worth out of my bike. I got it last July 20 with 3400 miles on it. To date, after our trip out west, it has 16,400 miles on it. Just a little over a year I put 13,000 miles on it. Good thing I have a comfortable seat. It was a good time, but it is always good to come home again. I can't wait until next year. The plan is to do it again.
A few weeks ago, two of my buddies and myself went on another great adventure on our bicycles. We left Cumberland Md. and traveled over the Eastern Continental Divide. From Cumberland it is an uphill trip from start to finish and is approximately 22 miles across the Mason/Dixon line to the top, in Pa. It took us 5 hours to arrive at the top. Then another 20 miles to the town of Rockwood Pa, this time on the downhill slope. It only took us another 3 hours to reach our destination from the top. A total of 8 hours and 42 miles in the saddle. It was nice to get a camping spot, build a fire, cook and eat, relax and discuss the day. On day two, after another campfire and breakfast of pancakes cooked over the fire. We weren't sure about making the trip back to the same camp so we decided to pack our gear. We continued on the down slope another 20 miles to the town of Confluence Pa. We had our lunch at noon in the town square. I would like to personally thank the guy who was mowing the grass, while we were trying to enjoy our lunch, especially after 4 trips up and down the sidewalk past us to blow the grass off. I guess he never heard of a broom. I didn't know that city workers had to work on Sunday.
After lunch we began our trek back towards camp. The return trip is now on the up slope. It took us quite a bit longer to return than it did to arrive. We did make it back 20 miles, to the same campsite. Another evening around the fire and a good night sleep, Except for the never ending train whistles that blew every couple hours all night long. At 6 in the morning the train was so loud, I actually thought about getting up to make sure it was not going to run over my tent. After breakfast, we were packed and back on the trail at about 8:30. The climb back to the divide was just as long and just as gruelling. But after getting to the top, it was smooth sailing all the way to Cumberland. The return trip after going over the crest was mostly coasting. Only peddling now and again to keep pace with your buddies. Three days and a total of 120 miles on the trail, a couple side trips into town brings the odometer to 138 miles. What a good time. The trip was a nice retreat and getaway. Anyone on a fire dept. can tell you, especially if you volunteer, the pager can go off at anytime. You have to be "ready" at all times. When you get a chance to get away, you take it, even if just for a couple days. Then you can truly relax and not "be ready". And everyone needs to relax once in a while.
Every year since 1991, over Memorial Day, there has been a "ride to the wall" event to the Vietnam Veteran Memorial Wall in DC. Bikers from all over the U.S., mount their trusty steads and head to DC to show their support in memory of the many POW/MIA's from all the many wars, headlining Vietnam. It started with as little as 200 bikes. Today it includes nearly 1/2 million bikes. My buddy Tyson and myself with his wife, left home on Friday evening and went to our other friends home (Matt) in Cumberland MD. I met Matt last June when we went on a bicycle trek to DC down the C & O canal. Matt opened his home to us and I can't say enough about his hospitality. The three of us stayed three nights at Matt and his wife's home. Friday night we arrived to open arms at Matt's around dark. We visited a while and then went to our assigned sleeping quarters. On Saturday morning, Matt suggested we ride bicycles up the mountain a ways to see how the trail is and to decide which direction to ride our bicycles. The trip to DC is mostly level. However the trip towards Pittsburg travels over the mountains. The first 22 miles rises in elevation 2000 feet. After riding about 6 miles up the trail and back we deciced that the three of us are going to ride, this time, heading towards Pittsburg Pa. The trip is scheduled for the weekend of June 13th. After our 12 mile up and back on the trail we visited the Canal museum and the train depot. Then off for lunch. We had an excellent meal at an outside cafe. Back to Matt's for more visiting. Tyson and myself are not the type to sit much, so we deciced to ride to the next town to see some sights. Off we went. After some riding we stopped at a Wal-mart to see about getting a new SD card for my camera. I had been concerned about mine not working correctly. On the way back to Matt's, it began to rain and by the time we got "home" we were soaked. On Sunday, we headed towards DC for the Memorial Day event on our motorcycles. Matt gave us directions and off we went. We deciced to leave early, so as to arrive early. Matt said that there well be a lot of traffic and short parking so we should get there early and find a spot and then walk to see the sights. He said to get fuel in Frederic. We did then on to DC. After a short ride on I-495 we got stopped by the local law. They were stopping everyone on the freeway. In a short moment, we found out why. Here come a line of motorcycles that were getting on at the ramp. The line lasted nearly 1/2 hour. The lawman told us that if we wanted in the parade we could join in at the end. By the time the end arrived, there were about a dozen bikes waiting with us to join in. From there the next 35 miles was all motorycles. Bikes were joining the parade at every on-ramp. Every overpass had several people waving flags and cheering. It wasn't anything that I ever imagined. Upon arriving in DC we found a spot like planned. One between Arlington and downtown. A short walk to see both. A visit to Arlington Cemetery and the changing of the guard. It is indescribable. Makes the short hairs raise on the back of your neck just to watch. Back towards the center of DC, and much to our surprise and joy the bikes kept coming and coming. For approximatley 6 hours, the roar was deafening. People were cheering and waving flags, showing support for our military (Past and Present). We visited most of the memorials. It was most interesting to be among that many people and that much noise, and then when visiting the Wall, the silence was eerie. There were many there, who you knew, were THERE. Many older men wearing biker vests with tears in their eyes. The walk along the many names on the wall was crowded and slow but I would not have missed it for anything. The things that were left along the wall, for the fallen, I cannot describe. Few words were said, and then they were quiet words. Most just walked and remembered. In my case, I am old enough to remember when my Uncle left and luckily returned. Many did not. They are named on the wall. I remember the many letters my Mother sent to her Brother and the worried face when she spoke of him. He was wounded but not seriously and survived. We got to see everything we wanted while in town. We must have walked several miles during the day. It was an experience for me that I will never forget. The weekend put over 900 miles on my Harley, by the time I got back to Ohio. I can't wait until next year.
Myself and Tyson, a lieutenant on my dept, along with a friend who lives in Cumberland, rode our bicycles down the C&O towpath from Cumberland MD to Washington DC last June. A 184 mile trek down a cinder and mud path, that the mules used to tow the canal boats along. A mostly level trip with short 8 ft down hill slope at the 70 locks. All I can say about the trip was that it was a blast. A grueling 2 1/2 days. But I would do it again in a heartbeat. Actually we are doing it again! This year with a twist. 184 miles is a long way for anyone on a bicycle. Now we are not young buff kids any longer. I am 45 and Tyson is 35. And we are both overweight. Last year we did some "training" for the trip. We have a bike trail locally and did 20 miles at least once a week to get ready for our journey down the towpath. This year we are working harder in our "training". We are attempting to do the 20 miles at least twice a week, and at an accelerated pace, one 10 mile trip a week, to try to be better prepared. Our path here is paved, follows a railroad tracks, and a little easier to peddle on. Last year Tyson was a smoker. He is a non-smoker for almost a year now. That should help him, a lot. We haven't worked out the details with our buddy in Cumberland yet but the scheduled date is the weekend of June 13. We are considering attempting to travel the Allegheny Trail Passage this year. Not as far but not level. This trail goes through the Eastern divide. Over the mountains. It follows an old railroad bed. Should be a challenge. More later.
My wife and I returning from a trip to Parkersburg Wv. We traveled 238 miles, just to have dinner. Two other couples went along. Tyson, took the pictures. Actually his wife took it while he was driving his Yamaha V-star, with his camera. He did reach into the saddle bag and get it for her. I don't know if that was exactly safe while traveling down a turning lane, but he did it. You can see his shadow if you look. We are planning a Poker Run this coming weekend to benefit a small boy that was hit by an SUV over the winter. Should be a good time.
Last year, I got a chance to go to Cumberland Maryland with a buddy from the dept. and ride a bicycle down the C & O towpath to Washington D. C. with another buddy who lives in Cumberland. That was 184 grueling miles. We started training in mid April and rode the path in early June. We are going to do it again this year. This year we have been training since early March and hope to do it easier, without so much exhaustion at the end. More on the preparation and the trip later.
With the early spring weather, and warm temps. I have had the opportunity to ride the bike to the station on a relatively daily basis. Usually in the spring, it rains daily. This spring has seen less rain than usual. I have gotten the chance to ride often. I love my scooter. On Saturday April, 18, myself, my wife and a couple from the dept. got a chance for a road trip. We decided to go to dinner on the scooter. The main question, was where to go. I suggested maybe a trip into Amish country. Off we went. Dinner in Strasburg Ohio and back home. I neglected to get any pictures on this trip. My mistake. On Saturday April, 25, Another scooter trip for dinner. This time three couples with scooters got to go. Again, where to go. This time maybe south. Off to Parkersburg WVa. 3 hours each way. Dinner at Ryan's buffet and return home. Nice day for a ride. One of the guys also takes pictures and wanted to stop somewhere to get a picture of something that says WVa. on it. This is a picutre of Parkersburg South High School. His picture is a close up of the High school sign. Check out his blogPlanet M3 He shares the blog with another buddy. The other buddy lives in Cumberland Maryland.
I had a wild hair grow this spring. In March, I was thinking about getting the scooter out for a trip. I was trying to think about where to go? I saw an ad for the Bristol Nascar race. After some thought (about 30 sec), I mentioned my thought to a couple fellow scooter riders at the dept. The race was a couple weeks away and it was currently 20 degrees outside. They both looked at me with skeptical looks. I told them, here is the plan. On Thursday before the race, we would look at the weather and decide. If it was a go then we would leave on Saturday Morning, arrive in Bristol later that day, after riding the required 6 hours to get there. Find a spot to pitch our tents, scalp some tickets, go see the race and then return on Monday. Should be minimal cost and a good time. After 30 seconds thought on their part. One of the guys suggested that he knew some fellow co-workers that go every year and take campers down. He said that he would ask if they had room to put us up. They stay across the street from the track and it would be great. We decided, "Let's do it". Our plan was set. The guys with the camper said, " the more the merrier". All we had to do was wait until the Thursday before the race. And check the weather, Sunny, we go. Rain or Snow, we scrap the idea. Thursday came and the weather was a go with clear skies and sunshine. Saturday morning and we met at the fire house at 10am. All were ready with the scooter packed for a three day trip. It was 38 degrees, but promised to be in the 60's later. Now 6 hours on a scooter is not too bad but it was a cold start. We were dressed for the weather and good to go. We arrived in Bristol and found our camping buddies. We sit around the campfire that evening and enjoyed the company. On Sunday morning we went down to the track and found our tickets. And paid $5 less than the track price for each. The race was marginal, but something different to do. The weather was sunny and in the low 70's. The ride was what the trip was about and the opportunity to get away from the ever present dept. pager. Again another evening around the campfire with our buddies and then Monday morning, we packed up and again 44 degrees, we headed home. We took the scenic route home and with a short detour (one of the bikes picked up a 5/8 bolt in the rear tire. We had to stop by a Harley dealership to get that replaced) we were on the scooters just short of 10 hours. The middle of the day was in the 70's and we shed some of our heavy outerwear. Nearing home, a stop for fuel, we replaced the gear as the temp was dropping with the sun. Back home and back into the 40's. All in all, a great time and inexpensive weekend getaway.
I believe three people actually know that my blog exists. I think most know that I am a firefighter/paramedic. But, did you know that I also am a small business owner? Yep. I have owned and operated a full line bakery for 22 years. I started working when I was but a lad of 15. (1979) I wanted to get my drivers license and my Father told me that I would have to get a job and earn enough money to purchase my own car and fuel. At that time the economy was much like it is now. I applied for a few jobs where 3 positions were available and 200 applied. At 15 my chances were not too good. I went to Wendys and they told me "You are too young, but if you come back next year.... " That is when I went across the street and applied for a job in a family owned bakery. 7 years later, and getting some college under my belt. I was earning $3.25 an hour and I had moved up as high as possible, short of marrying one of the owners daughters. Well she was not my type and I was already married. I began looking for something else. Through different channels, and a lot of talking, I was able to purchase my own bakery in Ohio. (1986) I was happy and making a lot more of the green stuff. Things went well the first few years with a lot of work and not much sleep. Then the unspeakable. My wife decided that she didn't want to be married any longer to a workaholic. (1990). After a couple years of single life, I took the dive again. Now married and still working a lot. I always dreamed of running the "shop" and not having to be there all the time. In the year 2000 I went to our local fire dept. for a benefit dinner and found out that they were going to have an EMT class starting in January. I thought that it would be interesting to learn some first-aid stuff and maybe a little more. I checked into the class with the Chief and found out that it cost nearly $500. I thought that was a lot of money and told him that I didn't think I would be doing it. He said that if I signed a contract to run with the dept. for 2 years that the dept. would pick up the tab. 2 years is not that long and they are going to pay for the class. Sign me up. At that time I told him that I didn't think I would be interested in the fire stuff. I passed the class and got my basic card, started making squad runs and enjoying them. Still working full time at the shop. He talked me into getting "just the 36 hour" fire card. Said it would be better for the dept. if I carried a fire card. Said that I wouldn't have to fight fires if I didn't want to. I got my 36 hour card. Then, you guessed it, a fire run came in and I was one of 3 at the station and they needed 3 on the engine. I went. I was the second guy on the hoseline into the burning house, I watched the flames roll across the ceiling and was hooked. Things were changing at the shop and I was able to spend more time away. My sister-in-law came to work at the shop and was doing more and more of my work. I began allowing her to do most of it and enjoying the time off. Our dept. was talking about putting on a paid day time shift. Was going to hire one full time Paramedic/Firefighter and have him work with a different part time person Monday through Friday. I was getting bored with so much time off. I talked to the Chief about the position and told him that I thought about applying but didn't want to be a Paramedic. He said to go ahead and apply and we could talk about the medic thing later. The state of Ohio requires that a full time firefighter have a 240 hour fire card. I got the full time spot and went back to fire school. My time off became non-existant and I got real busy again. I was going to fire school, working 7-4 at the station and still had a business to run. I began going to the shop at 3:30 am, back home at 6, and at the station at 7 till 4. Then working several hours at the shop on Saturday. I got my Professional fire card and the Chief said that now, I needed to think about Medic class. I thought about it and he said that a class is starting in April and that I should be in it. One year later after juggling my schedule at the shop, school, dept. along with clinicals and ride time. I passed my National Registry and became a Paramedic. My wife had to call me on my cell phone just to see if I was still alive. Today, I still go to the shop at 3:30 every morning and then at the station at 7 and some evenings back to the shop, if things get behind. I get to do most of my shop paperwork at the station. That helps a lot. The extra income from the dept. allowed me to purchase 20 acres of land and within the next few years, I am planning on building a new house on it to move into. I think I will try to be my own contractor and do a lot of the work myself....in my free time. And to think, my first wife called me a workaholic.
A friend told me that I need to put something in here besides the Wordless Wednesday. I know he is right but due to time restraints, that is difficult to do. However, I am willing to try. I guess you could say it is a New Years Resolution. I will start by talking about the last year. My Year in Review: Not much happened in the first few months of 2008. The usual, snow, ice and cold weather. That pretty much sums up the first three months. In April, I got an e-mail from "Firefighter" one day and he wanted to know if I would be interested in doing a bicycle ride down the C & O Towpath? This path is an old canal starting in Cumberland Maryland, and travels 184 miles to Washington, DC. Without thought, I said Yea. I actually didn't think he was serious. Then much to my surprise, the plans were being made. Firefighter has a friend in Cumberland "M3" and he lives near the beginning of the path. (They do a blog together.) After several "training" trips down our own bike path here in Newark, (20 miles a week), we thought we were ready. On Father's Day weekend, we headed to Maryland. A total of 4 of us, Myself, Firefighter, M3, and a 21 year old firefighter that works at our station house with us went the 184 grueling miles down the path to DC. After arriving in DC we rented a U-Haul truck for the trip back to Cumberland. Two and a half days pedaling and a little over 3 hours in the truck. Firefighter and M3 in the cab and myself and the 21 year old in the back with the bikes. Maybe we will do it again this year. I am willing if they are. Hint Hint.....
In July, over the 4th, my Wife and I went to Northeast Ohio for the weekend. During the weekend, we stopped at a flea market, a street fair, and various other assorted spots. During the trip, we stopped at a Harley Davidson dealership to "look". That is when it started. I began talking to my Wife about the pleasures of owning a Harley. I have had motorcycles in the past but never a Harley. Again much to my surprise, she agreed to let me seriously look into getting one. Well before she could change her mind, I found a 2002 model with only 3400 miles on it. And best yet, it was a Firefighter edition. We went to look at it and my Wife actually wrote the guy a check. Needless to say, I was on the top of the world. After a month of waiting for the check to clear, actually it was only one day. The guy called and said the check cleared and I could come get it. I told him I would be there with my enclosed trailer, since I didn't have plates or insurance on it. He said that he would meet me half way and I could ride it the rest of the way home. He lives on the West side of Columbus and would meet me on the East side. He said I could use his plates and insurance until 9 am the next day. Told me to mail his plates to him. A fellow firefighter and a trusting fellow. My first ride on my new Harley was at 65 MPH, 30 miles down interstate 70. Again, on top of the world. It rode like a dream. In August, I took the bike to Madison Ohio, just east of Cleveland, to see an old school buddy. 200 miles each way. I haven't seen my buddy for a couple years and it was nice to see him again but ride made the trip that much more pleasant. I think I will see him more often. (A good excuse for a road trip). In October, my Wife and I took a ride to Hocking Hills to see the colors of the fall. With warm clothes and full saddle bags we left. Going South, we went to Lancaster, then West to Circleville to the Pumpkin Show. Then back East to find a room for the night. The next morning, there was ice on the seat of the bike. We went to a restaurant and to wait for the sun to warm things up a little. Then down through the hills and the colors. A nice ride to say the least. We traveled over 200 miles on the two day trip. The bike now has 7400 miles on it and I've only had it 6 months. With fuel prices at nearly $4 a gallon when I got the bike, it gets nearly 50 MPG. I rode it everywhere. Until about the second week of November when the cold made it too unpleasant to ride. A couple of those days, it was near 30 degrees going to work at the station. With fuel coming back to bearable levels, I put the bike in the garage. Christmas this year was less than the usual good time with the family. That is a whole story in itself. On December 27, the temp got to 65 degrees for the day. My wife and I took the bike to Zanesville for lunch. ( another good excuse for a ride) I hope to be able to ride every month in the year. Even if it is one trip each month. Other than work two jobs, that pretty much sums up my year. All in all, I have to call it a good year.