ECC Day One

June 30th, 2007

I had to get up early to be up at the softball fields by nine in the morning. Playing cards to the wee hours did not help my sleep, but that is okay. I won money at cards, and now I get to play softball.

The team is mostly the same as last season with a couple of new players. We went out and quickly lost our first game. We ended up playing five games today and only won one of them at the end of the day. We started at the field at nine in the morning. We played five games and left there at eight o’clock at night.

Our pitcher took a ball off the chin like an upper cut as the ball bounced off the ground. He went down and went to the hospital, getting himself ten stitches. I was put in for him that game, because I was sitting out at first. I got a base hit. One of the few I got today. I had some walks, but I couldn’t hit the ball today. I was hitting poorly. We also had some pretty long breaks at times between games. One break was about three hours.

After all the games a couple of us went to Seattle to get some pizza at a place close to R-Place. At first I wasn’t going to go, but as I got on the highway to head home I decided to go out. All I knew was the place had Off Broadway in its name.

It was not in the phone book so I had a hard time. I just drove around a little bit back and forth and then I found a place called Billy’s Off Broadway. It was the correct place. The pizza was good. We sat around talking about a little of this and a little of that before leaving. The others were going out to the bars, I decided then to go home.

Big night at poker

June 29th, 2007

Tonight we had a poker game down at Newport Shores. They were playing two dollar/four dollar limit. That was killing me because I could not get anyone bluffed out of a hand, not that I bluff, but that a weak hand couldn’t push off a slightly stronger hand. I kept bleeding away my money. I was doing twenty dollar buy ins one by one. After eighty bucks I had no more cash. Then I got a small loan from Jon.

That is when my fortunes turned. The limit was raised to twenty bucks. So I could push some people at times. That was big for my game. Now I could play without the necessity of having the best hand, but being able to play cards.

I started to win back money. Soon I paid Jon back and just kept winning. One hand I got a ton of money when I had Ace/Nothing spades. The flop was three spades. I checked and Jon bet. Myself and one other person called. The turn did nothing to change the board. I bet about nine bucks. There was a call, then Jon raised. I called. The other person folded.

The river did nothing to change the board. I had the nuts. I bet a little bigger. Jon raised twenty bucks. I re-raised him his final eleven bucks. He called. I showed my nuts. After we were done playing for the night he told me I did a great job on that hand, he didn’t think I had nuts.

When the night was done around two in the morning I was up nearly a hundred bucks. I played one hand of four-five-six with Jon to give him a chance to win some money back from me. We got a natural and took the twenty bucks. But I went home with a lot of money.

Back at work in Bellevue

June 28th, 2007

Today I was back in the office for the first time since the downsizing. It really wasn’t much different sans Chris and Brian for me. I worked on getting a Windows Vista computer set up. It will be my new dev box.

I didn’t have a lot of stuff planned for the evenings this week. So I pretty much went home after work and that was about it. Not much of a day to report on.

Going to an M’s Game

June 27th, 2007

In order to make it over for the baseball game I got on the road early, but I had to wait until eight o’clock in the morning because I had to go get my softball mitt which was up at the parks and rec office.

I pulled into Issaquah close to the time the guys were leaving on the bus. I called Jon and he said he was putting out a fire at work so we was going to be late. I went to Dairy Queen in Eastgate then I stopped in at the park and ride to wait for Jon.

We got underway, but with the traffic and parking we were not going to make it for the first pitch. We did make it without missing too much of the first inning. We were able to listen to the game as it was being broadcast on the speakers.

Around the seventh inning I got a call from JT in Bellingham. He asked if I was at the M’s game. I told him I was. He said he saw me on TV. Later on that night while the game was being rebroadcast I got a text message and a second phone call from people who saw me there.

I was on TV second time was a ball came down to our seats. It was a pop-up and it was coming right to my brother. I was next to him. He had his mitt up. The ball was coming right to him. Then a guy, who was a Boston fan, stuck his hand over Jon’s mitt and caught it.

The Boston “fans” in Seattle… that is something else. I cannot believe there are so many people who live in Seattle and for some reason are all fan of Boston. In fact it gets loud in Safeco with all the Boston fans. They are annoying. I think next time I am going to wear some Yankees stuff to just make the Boston fans mad. Because if the person is a real Boston fan he will not like seeing the NY stuff.

Safeco Field

The view without Zoom on my Camera

Using my camera for the same shot with a 12x zoom

Ichiro making a play in center field

Pitcher is in the pitching motion

A little in front of the ball. The ball has a red colored highlight around it to make it easier to see

Lost Softball Mitt

June 26th, 2007

When I got over to the game in Moscow with Brandon we were going to throw the ball around. That is when I opened my softball bag and found that I was sans my mitt. That was a small crisis. I did not want to lose my mitt. I did not want to have to buy a new mitt. I did not want to have to break a new mitt in. I found a mitt that the umpire had. He let me use it for the game.

I got another double today. I am now two doubles and two walks from tying both records. I want to own the doubles records and I would like to tie the walks record. Sklyer has had the walks record for seven years.

After the game Brandon and I went to the Pullman fields to ask them if the mitt was found. One of the umpires was the field manager on Sunday and said he found it and took it to the parks and rec office. That made me feel so much better. But that also meant that I would have to stay in town until at least eight in the morning tomorrow. I was planning on getting out of town before that.

The Reserve Association Hit Bumps

June 25th, 2007

When I had the meeting for the reserve association to cover the constitution and the things we are trying to accomplish Chapman was critical of the overall idea and that it will drive a wedge between everyone. That having a shirt that says reserve association will drive a wedge. He wants a single unified front and that we should separate ourselves. That doing anything like that is bad. But there was no though given to the fact that we already have a reserve fund and that we have always used that separately.

I just think there are outside influences over this. It is silly. Anyone who is against what has been put together so far is doing so ignorantly. They could not have read what the goal and objectives are. They are basing everything on hearsay at best and bad assumptions at worse.

I just hope that between now and the end of next month people will have had some time to think about it some more. I need to speak with Chapman more. He pretty much derailed what was planned for the meeting.

One guy said that we should do everything that the association was going to do, but just not call it an association. Therefore making everything okay. So that would lead one to believe it is not about what the association does, it is about the word association. What is so scary about what we are trying to do.

I felt like I was left to hang last night. No one really spoke up if they were in favor of it. Even one of the most vocal people is saying that right now he has no position because he is not in Pullman. I told him that he is leaving me hanging because the thing will collapse if it appears that there is no support from the majority of the people.

I also plan to have a meeting with the union president. It seems that a lot of union members are asking why we are trying to start a union. Which goes to show the ignorance about what is happening. It also shows that they really don’t care other than to cause trouble. Because those people have been told to talk to me and none of them have. They don’t care about the truth. Maybe I am wrong about it, but come on, when people make assumptions, know where to get the correct information and refuse to get it… one word… Ignorance.

Back to Back Wins

June 24th, 2007

In softball today we had games against My Office and Trinity Baptist. My Office is an A-league that which is unbeaten. They lead the league. We were going to have to beat them in order to remain near the top. Having an extra quarter loss due to the FFT we had last week we have to make sure My Office and Zeppoz each get two losses. Zeppoz has one, and we play them once more. My Office has none, but we play them twice. So as long as we win out, we will be in first place in the league.

I started pitching against My Office and I was having a hard time with ball control. I walked several people and with errors we were in a six run hole after the first inning. I had Jake finish that inning of pitching and go from there. We started to hit the ball around a little bit and kept scoring runs. Finally near the end of the game we took a lead. By the last inning our lead was five runs. My Office had the last ups. They started to chip away and had scored four runs. With the tying run on second base. With only one out. We finally got some stuff going and made the outs. Their tying run was stranded and we won the game.

Now we had to play Trinity Baptist. They are a B-league team that is struggling. We had nearly a thirty minute break between games because of the game before ours starting late and going to seven inning.

When we got on the field we pretty much dominated them after the first inning with a couple silly plays where we ran into each other and what not. I had two triples in the game — they only had three outfielders.

It was pretty easy for us to win the game and more or less played around the whole time once we got a handle on playing well and hitting well. With the second victory we are now in control of our own destiny. If we win out we win the league.

Near Car Accident

June 23rd, 2007

I started out this morning waking up without an alarm clock. I forgot to set it before going to bed. I was supposed to be in Colfax at eight o’clock AM to have breakfast with Jim and Jerrid. I got up a quarter of eight. So I had to hustle. I got to Well’s in Colfax around eight-fifteen. I had breakfast with the other guys. Carl happened to be at the booth next to us when I got there. Today we are playing softball and golf.

After breakfast it was off to Steptoe for the softball game. It was Colfax fire against Steptoe fire. On the way there I was just outside of Colfax going up Buck Canyon. I saw a truck pulling over to the shoulder, then it kept going off the road into the ditch. All of a sudden the driver corrected and was coming back on the highway aimed straight at my truck. We were on a collision course. I hit my brakes and moved over a little bit. I was getting prepared for the collision. I was not sure where my truck was going to get hit, but I was very scared.

Then the driver re-corrected his path and started to spin out, He did a one-eighty. He was facing the wrong way going across his original lane of travel. Then he hit the soft shoulder and his truck rolled. I pulled over and grabbed my radio. I was shaking pretty bad.

I got out and the man in the car behind me said he thought I was going to get hit. I said “so did I”. I got ahold of Whitcom on the radio to let them know what I was out on. Jim and Jerrid were behind me and did not see the accident happen. They stopped as well.

I walked across the highway to the truck. The man was already out and getting things from his truck. It landed on its wheels and he was okay. He said he had fallen asleep. Once Colfax Police got on scene I cleared and we continued to Steptoe. The game had just started. We were on offense. Our hitters were not able to hit the ball very well, and the other teams’ pitcher could not get the ball across the plate. But we swung anyway. I did not hit the ball well at all. One time I did get patient and ended up walking.

On defense I played right field most of the game and I played at first base for two innings. We ended up losing to Steptoe. After the game Jerrid, Jim, and I stuck around and hit the ball around. We were hitting the ball well at that time. Ralph asked why we couldn’t hit like that during the game.

After we hit around for a while we went to the Steptoe fire station for a community barbecue. Jim and I were sitting inside the office area of the fire station when a mom with a six year old came in and said he got a couple slivers. Jim got an alcohol pad and a needle so we could help the kid. He was whimpering about the slivers. I used the alcohol pad to clean the hand, and then pulled out the needle. the kid wanted to see it before I used it. I handed it to him with the cap still on.

He pulled it out the cap and tried to recap it when he missed the cap and hit his finger with the needle. He screamed bloody-murder and cried like crazy. Then he would not go near me so I could clean the blood. It was pretty much a finger prick like when someone does a blood sugar check. It was nothing major, but he was going to have nothing to do with me after that. His mom took him to the bathroom to clean the blood.

The food was getting served so Jim and I got in line for the food and sat down with Jeff and Ralph. We ate and talked about fire department stuff for a while. This was also the day the big ball was going to get rolled down Steptoe Butte. We were planning on going to watch that. I went to get some gas. When I got back I found they were not going to go do that for a couple more hours. Jim and I decided to just go back to Colfax. I dropped Jim off at home and then I went to the jail.

I went to the Coroners office to drop off my case report from the death yesterday and then went to control and hung out until just after four o’clock. I updated a couple forms we use. The incident and infraction report has a margin on the left side that when it gets holes punched into it, the words are punched out. So I got that fixed by making the margin wider.

I went to Rosauers on the way to the golf course to get some pop and water. I went to the golf course and practiced some golf putting. I put on my new golf shoes and went into the clubhouse to pay for the tournament stop.

We got golf carts which was nice to have because I did not want to have to walk the whole course. We played a shotgun start, best ball tournament. We started on hole number six. We played nine holes and then went to the clubhouse for dinner. Once all the teams were back we ate and held the raffle for a lot of items that were donated. The golf tournament is put on by the Colfax police department for raising money for the Special Olympics.

After dinner and the raffle we went back out for the second round. We played with glow balls and had glow sticks on the flags and markers around the course. It was my first time playing in a glow ball tournament. It was fun to do. We had to watch the ball go because it was harder to see the ball when it went into the grass. I ended up losing one ball on the ninth hole, hitting it onto the road way. I had to use a second ball for the next five holes. I was doing very well today on my drives because I was not trying to crush the ball. In fact if I tried to over swing my ankle would hurt, so I had to ease back and that made a big difference in my game.

When I was done on the golf course it was almost eleven-thirty. I went to Pullman and waited until just after midnight for a poker game at Peter’s. We started playing near one in the morning. We played until four in the morning. I did very bad. I was calling on a lot of things and ended up losing about twenty bucks. That sucked, but it was a good day over all.

I got home and went to bed shortly after I got home. I was very tired.

Good Morning Pete

June 22nd, 2007

Rather than sleeping in a little bit, after being up to four-thirty in the morning, Pete had a different idea. He called me up to let me know of a case of a death in Colfax.

Turned out it was one of the people who live in Paul’s Place. He was well known around town and always was helping to keep the streets and parking lots clean. A lot of people were sad when they found out about his death.

When I was done working that case a while after the noon hour I went home and tried to get caught up with stuff there. That is when Jim called me about playing softball against Steptoe Fire in the morning and getting some breakfast.

Because I now have to be in Colfax at eight in the morning and I didn’t get a lot of sleep anyway, I decided that I would make it an early night. I did start my laundry. I had several loads to get through. I got those washing as I relaxed downstairs and while I made some dinner on the grill.

Structure Fire

June 21st, 2007

The softball game for tonight was cancelled so I had the evening to do whatever. At six o’clock I went to The Deuce to talk with Bien about the association. I was wearing one of the brand new shirts that I got today. It has the association logo on it.

While I was at the station the guys got called on out a rekindle of the field fire on WSU Campus from earlier today. Then they went to an EMS call. I was waiting around the station for them to get back. I planned on going to the jail to hang out and stopped by Colfax Fire. Before they got back a call came in for a structure fire.

I went to check the map for hydrants and where to come in with the engine. I heard the responding unit request a second alarm. That is when I decided to go to the bathroom and get rid of some of the stuff in my pockets. I went back in and started to put on my turnouts.

One other firefighter came running in, he was a green stripe until Monday. He was excited and ready to roll. I called Chapman to see if he was coming. I wanted to see if we could get a full rig before rolling. I saw Chapman came down and more people started to show up.

This firefighter tried to jump into the front seat. I told him to get in the back. I also made sure he tagged in. Then one of the Lts came. We changed over to taking Engine thirty-two. I got tagged in. Chapman was going to drive but the Lt said he wanted one of his career guys to drive instead. Chapman got out and went to Engine thirty-one.

While we were going I got into my air pack and waited to get on scene. We stopped at Spring Street and Main street. I was facing backwards. But I looked out my window and looked forward. That is when I saw the column of smoke and the flames shooting. I knew this was going to be a real one.

The building as it was when we got there.

Another view of the fire.

We were sent up to the house. It was a long way from where we were, becuase we had to walk up the road to the driveway and then up the long driveway. When we got there we were told to take the blitz line off the PL and use it to fight the fire and protect the exposure.

My team on a blitz line.

Three handlines fighting the fire.

We threw water on the fire for a while from the front of the building then we went to the back side. It was a small area and we had a two-and-a-half inch line. So it was tough to handle it. But we got some water thrown on the back of the house.

After working both sides for a while we went to rehab. I then got assigned to rehab manager. I got the area set up, but no one was really coming over after the initial wave of fighting the fire, it clamed down and was not all the major. We stayed outside of the building and did not go on air, so we never really needed any more rehab.

Finally I did get one crew over to my location, which was about one hundred feet from the scene. While I was waiting out there Jay came and asked if I wanted to stay there for a few more hours. I said “no”. I thought he meant in rehab. He meant on scene with the engine thirty-three — The Great White Hope. I told him I would do that.

The rescue crew switched out with a couple of other guys for various reasons. We hung around on scene for a couple hours putting water on the building from time to time. It was a pretty quiet night. Gribbon got some pop and other things for us to have up there because we had to stay up there until three in the morning. We also had to fuel the engine up before taking it back to the station.

We then had to go fuel Rescue up as well. I got home and in bed around four-thirty in the morning.

The sunset through the smoke of the fire.

Teaching CPR

June 20th, 2007

This evening I was teaching a CPR class. Only three people came to it, so the class went by pretty quickly. It started at six in the evening and I was done around nine-thirty, then I had the clean up and decon of the equipment so that adds more time to everything.

I got home and invited Russell over to watch Rescue Me and have some pizza with me. I also told him about what happened in the jail recently. He thought it was a pretty funny story.

A Win with Nine guys

June 19th, 2007

We only had nine guys show up for softball and we were playing a team that already beaten us this season. But our defense was very good and out hitting seemed to be even better. It has carried over to my city league. I was getting solid basehit after solid basehit. It was nice.

The sun was out and it was pretty warm, but we kicked some butt and won the softball game. After the game several of us went to My Office for a couple hours and watched some TV and hung out.

Green Stripe Removal

June 18th, 2007

Tonight at the training we had a green stripe removal ceremony. All the guys who just finished their training got to remove their green stripes. Then they shook the Crew Leaders’ hands and those of the Capt and Lt who were on duty. They are no able to go into burning buildings and do everything as they have completed their training.

One of the guys left his helmet at the station. I found it so I put a green stripe back on it and took it down to station two for him. I handed it to him with the green stripe facing him. When he saw it he got a big smile.

When I run, the wind stops

June 17th, 2007

With a knock on the window of my truck it was time to get up and get into my softball uniform. I went into my tent that was set up to use as a changing room and got on the uniform. I grabbed a granola bar and some pop. I was very amazed that my ankle was not causing me a great deal of pain this morning after having allowed it so much time to rest and get tight. But I was able to move around with very little pain to show for it.

We headed out to the field for our eight o’clock in the morning game. The field we were on had a strong wind from right field. I was playing catcher. For the first little bit Jake worked on learning the wind so he could put the ball in the strike zone. Then he was grooving them in. We were making good defensive plays. We also played well offensively. We consistently hit the ball well through out the first game.

Just like with any video game, as you move level to level the competition gets harder. That was the case today. We then faced the team that beat us in the first game to put us in the loser bracket, Ameritile. We went out there and really kicked some butt. Ameritile had just come from the other field having scored thirty-eight runs. We did not let that scare us, as we went on to hold them scoreless for the first three or four innings. In fact Jake was pitching a one hitter behind solid defense. In the fifth inning they started to hit the ball and scored a couple runs against us, but the mercy rule kicked in ending that game.

Following that we had to face the Pounders, which was a team that had beating Palouse Tavern in another tournament by ten-running them. They also chose to be the away team. They wanted to go out and set the pace and put the other team in the hole early on. They scored several runs quickly, but our defense really turned it on, and we started to turn some double plays. Jake’s pitching was really good as we now had played two games with the wind and knew how to play with it, that was our home field advantage. While playing the Pounders their catcher was joking about my speed. Then when I got to first base after a base hit, he yelled out to me when I run the wind stops. It happened to be a lull in the wind and people laughed.

We had a lead on these guys going into the seventh inning. They had the first at bats. They strung a couple hits together and cleared the bases scoring several runs. They were one run from tying up the game. That runner was on second base. The ball came in to left-center. Kenny came charging the ball, I could see the guy round the bag at third. Kenny let loose with the ball, and it was a strike coming in to me at catcher. I got ready for the play at the plate to end the game. I caught the ball, and kept my mind on where the baserunner was. Then I turned and made the tag. He was out and the game was done. It was a fun ending to the game.

After three straight game we were moving to a different field. The next field over had two undefeated teams playing each other. We were playing the losing team for the right to play in the championship game. Those two team that had just played had a see-saw battle with the runs. They both scored into the twenties. With the Donks down, they went into the final inning and put together a rally, scoring the winning run on a nice single. So we had to play a team with these bright orange shirts.

They looked like they had several homerun hitters. Turns out they did. Defensively we were solid, on offense we couldn’t get anything going. It was zero to zero for a couple innings which surprised me. Then we broke it open with a four spot. They went up and loaded the bases for a grand-slam homerun. That tied the scored. We then scored two runs. And we would continue to tack on runs for the rest of the game. Finally we had a nine run lead going into the seventh inning. The first guy to the plate hit a homerun. Then the next couple guys we some basehits. Then another guy hits a homerun, and finally a couple batters later, another guy hits a homerun. That was three disallowed homeruns for outs in the seventh inning to end their day. We were in the championship game.

We had played four games straight without a break. We were going to game five. I could see by now, the sun had come out and the energy level of everyone was draining. It was to keep the energy level we had early on. The outfielders were tired. The infielders were tired. Peoples’ arms were hurting. We were thirsty. But we were hungry for a championship.

The Donks were a local team. They were undefeated, for us to win, we would have to beat them twice in a row. They were undefeated for a reason. But we ignored that and went out to play some softball. We did our part with the sticks making a lot of good basehits and scoring some runs. But on defense I could see the hours of play was wearing people down. Matt didn’t get to a ball that normally he would have gotten to. The outfield was just a bit slower on some plays. The infield has a couple of uncharacteristic errors. That coupled with an out call at home that ended our inning, plus an out that was never called because the umpire said our outfielder dropped the ball caused us some hardships.

But we had an eight run lead going into the seventh inning. They were the home team because they were undefeated. In the bottom of the seventh all we had to do was to get three outs and go to the second game. But they started to hit the ball. I knew our team was hurting when after the inning the jumping back slaps that Kelly and some of the other would do turned into just back slaps. The jumping was over with. In my second to last at bat, there were two outs and I was on first base. My quads were sore and I did not want to run. But I brought up my positive mental attitude by thinking about the fact that I want this. That I had gone this far and I just have to do it.

Physically I was sore, but mentally I was building back up. It paid off as during my last at bat, I hit a ball well, and went the guy bobbled it for a second I ran for second base. But now the task was defense. But it was not to be. We could not make the outs we needed, like I said one out was taken away from us. But they still hit the ball well enough to score nine runs and beat us. We ended up second place for the tournament. I hope that in the future I will get invited back to other tournaments with Kelly.

We went back to camp, cleaned up the area, and said our goodbyes to everyone. It was a neat tournament. We had an average age of the outfield of twenty-one, and the infield’s average age was about thirty-six. With two of the players over fifty. I learned to be a lot more aggressive on the basepath. I stretched several hits into doubles because of a bobble, where in the past I would not have. I also scored from second on single because I ran hard and was aggressive about running. It was also said that I had the highest batting average for the team. One of the guys, George, said that it was good playing with me. He said I was a real professional. That is from a guy who had played for the twins back in his prime.

I got on the road and went home. It was home, showered and ready to be on call for the fire department. We did not get any calls from seven o’clock on. It was very quiet. I was very tired as well. I actually went to bed around nine-thirty in the evening.

Waitsburg Softball Tournament

June 16th, 2007

Our first game this morning was at nine-fifteen am. I was up around five in the morning. I could not sleep because I was pretty warm in my truck. I got up when I saw Jake was up and about around six in the morning. We made a fire. I sat around the fire with some of the others while I was having some granola bars from breakfast.

We went to the fields early to do some batting practice. Then we went to our first game. We were playing a team we should have won, but we could not get our sticks going very well. We ended up losing by a couple runs, nothing major. Because of the loss our next game was going to be out at field three. That was a baseball field. So the bases were actually on the grass rather than the dirt.

We did well in that game going on to win. Kelly had redone the batting order. I was hitting ninth, but I did okay in the first game, so I was moved to eighth. One guy who was doing really bad was moved to tenth. He also moved a couple other people around in the line up. That line up we seemed to score more runs so we kept it for the next game. We won the second game and had a four hour break. We went back to the camp and had some food. I also took time to rest in my truck.

We got on the road and to the field in time to see we were nearly thirty minutes early because the game on the field before us was going long. I found out there were no time limits. Because of that we were able to play the whole game. But there was a mercy rule of ten runs, not twelve.

The umpire had a strike zone that was nearly impossible to hit a strike. Jake struggled for a long time. After the first two inning they had seventeen runs against us. We were down by thirteen. But we went to work finally with our sticks. We got patient at the plate and allow the umpire to issue some walks and got some well timed hits.

Then we made a run in one inning and scored a lot of runs. Soon we were up. The game went all seven innings with us winning twenty-eight to twenty-four. We also had played in what felt like the longest game I can remember playing. When it was done we play nearly an hour and fifty minutes.

When that game was done we went back to camp. Got the fire going. We had dinner together. Sat around the fire and talked about a lot of different things because finding our way to bed. It was around eleven o’clock at night when I went to sleep.

Heading to Waitsburg

June 15th, 2007

This morning I got cracking on the login controls as well as the other parts of the demo I was scheduled to create. I was working away at it. I was a step ahead as I had just done this stuff in my learning process, so I was able to set it up quicker than normal. But I was running into a problem when I was told we are not going to use a database for this demo. That meant I had to figure out another way to do the profiles. After much searching and not getting anything to work, I finally decided to talk to Ricky about using session variables. He said we will be using those, and because of that, I was able to get my stuff done.

I spent some time getting packed for going to Waitsburg for the softball tournament. I also would check the computer for new messages. I was able to get a few things tweaked as I was getting that done.

I went to Jess Ford around six o’clock to meet up with Jake, Kelly, and Matt to head to the park. We pulled into Lewis Clark State Park around eight o’clock. I got my tent set up. Everyone was impressed with how easy it was to set up. It is a Coleman with all the poles built in. All you had to do was snap one object into place. It was super easy.

We talked to the park ranger who did not want us to use the cement pad for a fire pit. He said just pull up the grass and use that. So we built a fire pit after carefully taking out the grass and setting it aside. We got a fire going and then spent part of the evening sitting around the fire and talking with everyone as we waited for the morning for the softball tournament to start.

Big Shake Up at Work

June 14th, 2007

Today there was a lot of stuff going on today. I had several meetings plus a poker game scheduled for today. I got a message from Chris saying that we were all called to a company meeting for two o’clock pm today. When I called in the CEO said there was good and bad news. The bad news was there a couple people were let go. The good news was a lot of positive things were around the corner. But the CEO made it clear that we were all going to have to pull out weight and that if it appeared someone was not up to the task they would be let go.

Let me tell you that was a scary thought for me. As I have learned, you get job security and low pay working for the government, and you get high pay and no job security working for private companies. It makes you realize how fragile your job and financial situation is. I was meeting with a loan officer today to discuss what it would take to buy a piece of property and then build on it down the road.

But with the whole situation at work it made me realize that I should not be doing anything with big purchases which would include buying the house next to mine, even though I do want to get it. The CEO also asked that I get over to Seattle a little bit more. She said that I have been very good about working from home and that I was pretty much the poster boy for people working from home. I also talked to my boss, Chris, who was one of the ones let go. He said that same thing. He was kept on as a dev though. But it is pretty much a contact position.

I had a poker game scheduled for my place. Philip, Brandon, JT, Peter, and I were playing here today. I didn’t do very well and lost about ten bucks on the night. It wasn’t too bad for me, but I could not get a hand to save my bacon for most of the night.

Rescue Me Night

June 13th, 2007

In celebration of the Season Premiere of Rescue Me, I set up a get together at Station Two for the reserves. I had about seven of them show up to watch Rescue Me. I also had the sunglasses from Oakley that we had ordered. I gave those out to everyone as we sat around and watched Rescue Me.

It was a successful night and everyone loved the show. I would like to set up more get-togethers in the future.

Back Playing the Game

June 12th, 2007

After nearly a week without softball, I was weak. Okay, that was pretty gay, but seriously, I was excited to get out there. I worked in the office this morning. I got the new wheel and tire put on my truck. As I was getting ready to leave I ended up getting myself into something that went on for forty-five minutes. It put me behind when I wanted to leave, but I still had time before the game.

When I got home it turned out I was just fine, arriving quicker than I was thinking I would make it. I did some stuff on the computer, brought in the mail, and started to get ready to play softball.

We went against Smitty’s team. We held them scoreless for four innings, then they scored eleven. They put two more on later to beat us by two. I had a very bad game going one for four. I could not get ahold of the ball.

After the game I went home to get my stuff done around the house. I had to update my budget spreadsheet with the money I spent in Seattle. I had to go through the sunglasses order that came in and figure out what items belonged to what people. It was nearly a thousand bucks in orders, so I want to make sure everything is just right.

I finally got to bed around three in the morning. Normally I spent a whole day working on getting caught up, but this time it only took a couple hours.

Oceans Thirteen

June 11th, 2007

The plan was to hang out with Peter tonight. After I was done working I got a hold of Peter. I went to his Condo in Bellevue that he rents. He showed me around that. We talked about his job search. I was trying to find out why he doesn’t want to be a lawyer anymore.

He never would say, but I started to think that there could be something else. I then sort of figured out that maybe something happened with the LSAT test that made it where he didn’t feel he could get into a good law school. I don’t know if that is the case, it was a guess.

We walked to Lincoln Square to watch a movie. We ended up seeing Oceans Thirteen. It was a lot better than Oceans Twelve. The movie had a lot of little laughs through out the movie. It was one once again where they were in charge and in control. Whereas Oceans Twelve it seemed like someone else was always controlling them.

When the movie was done we walked down to Jack in the Box for some dinner. We sat in there for about an hour or so talking about the housing situation that I am in. Trying to figure out if I should try to get owner financing on the place next door, or if I should try to buy some land and then down the road have a house built. I am not sure what direction I am going to go, but I need to at least talk to Pam about doing the owner financing on her place.

My Own Survival Situation

June 10th, 2007

Mr. Thuot woke me up around six o’clock in the morning. When I got to the camp he asked me to do a round and get everyone to come back to the basecamp. He was doing his final briefing before everyone went through all the camps and talked about the pros and cons of each one. While that was going on Joe and I stuck around the main fire and watched it dwindle out as we do not throw new wood on the fire after that point. I sat around playing with the fire at that point.

When everyone came back Mr. Thuot was handing everyone back their car keys and cell phones. He also gave out some OJ and donuts. Everyone ate with happiness. I noticed one guy there with what appeared to be a wedding band on his left ring finger. I wanted to ask if he was married but I never did. Now I am curious if he was married and a senior in High School.

When we left, we carpooled to Ken’s Truck Town and Mr. Thuot did his final send off there. I decided that because I was so close to the old camping spot, I thought I would go check it out. I drove up there. It seemed like things went further back than I remember them in the past.

I was cruising along going higher and higher up. I still recognized many of the landmarks as I went along. It has been nearly a dozen years since my last trip up there. I was up near where the camp sites should have been, but I could only see places where large boulders were placed in what were once roads. I came to realize they have shut down those camping spaces from people. That really sucked to see.

I decided to keep going up to the top of the road where it ended and you could see the river flowing at a very high point and it was like it was in a waterfall type state. I am not clear exactly how far away I was when I kept hearing a metallic-type sound. I also was having worries in the pit of my stomach. No one knew were I was going and I had no cell phone coverage. I figured I could be entering my own little survival situation.

So finally I needed to take a leak and I wanted to see what the sound was that I kept hearing. I got out and found my left read tire was halfway off the wheel. It was shredded up badly and my wheel was heavily damaged as well. Not a good situation for me. I drove up the road some more in order to find a spot where I could turn around. Also something wide enough I could be off the road way and where my spare would not easily roll over the cliff edge and leave me stranded.

It took some time to get the tire changed, but I got it done. I made my way down the hill, but I went around five miles per hour the whole way down the rougher part to make sure I did not damage another tire as then I would really be stuck up there.

I got out of the woods about three hours after going inside. I figured that would be a short hour long trip. I was wrong.

When I got home I got a call from Don from the Maulers. I am going to play with them during the ECC at the end of the month. I am really looking forward to doing that.

I went in the house and helped with replacing the vents that Bill pulled down so he could vacuum them. I then finally got a shower to get the smell of smoke and mud off of me. I spent the rest of the day trying to stay awake and watching some TV, doing some stuff on the computer. I wanted to go to bed late so I would not get on a totally messed up schedule for me.

Survival Outting

June 9th, 2007

When I woke up this morning I spent time finishing up The Ecomancer. I was near the end and I wanted to finish it off before I went to the survival outing. Honestly, I wanted to take some time before I went up there. I wasn’t going to be on time. I figure if I got up there later, I could have a normal meal.

I went to Safeway and got some pop, water, and some food. Then I went to the spot at Bandara Air field. I got to camp around five in the evening. The students were getting a briefing. I got a chance to see the others who are there every year.

It was good to see everyone. I also found out that the school district is bring back Survival Science for at least one more year. That was good to hear.

The rest of the evening was spent around the fire like normal. Talking with everyone and remembering back to people back in high school. At one point my forehead was starting to burn like there was some OC or something sprayed on it. I don’t know what caused it, but I put some water on it and then some lotion and it started to feel better.

Around two in the morning I went to my truck to get some sleep.

Washington Poker Tour

June 8th, 2007

After work I went to Jon’s and Jim came over. We went to play in the Washington Poker Tour’s latest tournament. It is an eighty dollar buy-in. That covers the beer, food, pop, and equipment. It was pretty neat.

I started out okay and kept growing my stack through the first four rounds of play. After the fourth round of play we got to do an add-on. I did that. I was sitting near the lead on the table, but really, most of us were pretty even.

Once the fourth round was done people started to fall out of the tournament pretty quick. I hung around for a while, but I finally got knocked out. I went in with the best hand, but got busted on the river.

I went to a cash table. I did pretty well there. I was on the table for a couple hours playing and winning some money. At one point I was up one hundred bucks. That would have meant that I was even for the night. But in one hand, I lost everything. I had top pair, Aces, with a ten for a kicker. But the other guy was betting and I figured he may have had me out kicked.

Then on the river there was a nine. Turned out he had an Ace-Nine. That gave him two pair to my one pair. He beat me on the river. I had about thirty bucks more. I played some more. Once again I lost on a hand where I was doing the best, but someone caught up to me. We left around two in the morning.

It was fun, and I hope one of these days I can do it again.

Marine Patrol Cancelled

June 7th, 2007

I went to Bellevue this morning. I got up around five in the morning and hit the road. I pulled in as Ricky, Chris, and Brian were getting to the office. I got on the computer and started to do the normal morning things. I also got the projects that I have been working on moved over to my desktop.

I got a call from Keith letting me know that Marine Patrol was cancelled this weekend. That meant that I would be able to do the whole weekend long survival science outing.

I called Mr. Thuot on the way home and he gave me an updating on what the plan was working the weekend. I let him know I would be able to be there pretty much the whole time.

Zeppoz Beat us like normal

June 6th, 2007

Tonights softball game was going to be one where we were probably going to lose. We did. Zeppoz scored eleven runs in the first inning and never looked back. We did make some come backs as much as we could. We scored about two to three runs an inning but that was not enough.

After the game we went to the bar and hung out for a while. It was good to get out with the team. I bought a pitcher of beer because I hit a solo homerun. As usual when I hit a homerun, it is not that I meant to do it, but it went out on me. It felt good to hit it. I was trying for a hard hit, but it just flew out.

OTEP Trainer didn’t show up

June 5th, 2007

I went to Colfax because the softball game was rained out tonight. I went down to Colfax early in hopes of making it out on a call should one go out. But as I sat there nothing was happening at all.

We went to Steptoe for OTEP training, but the trainer never showed up. We sat around for about thirty minutes. When no one showed up still we all left to go back to the station.

I was at the station and we watched NCIS and House. During the last fifteen minutes of House we got a call from a hemorrhage. When we got to the scene, there was a lot of stuff in the way we had to move to get the patient out. We called for some back up to help get the person out.

Once we were at the hospital we were asked to stay around because there was a possibility that we would be doing an emergency transfer to Spokane. We waited around for about an hour and we ended up not doing the transfer. So we went back to the station. Resupplied the ambulance and then I was on my way back home.

Seems Like Forever

June 4th, 2007

Today going to Monday night training seems like it has been forever since I have done that as part of the reserve corp. But today we did aerial operations. We spent time using the tools in the bucket of the PL as well as practiced taking people down a ladder using different carries.

Training lasted a couple hours and towards the end we started to see some lightning strikes. It was pretty cool. The wind picked up a lot as well.

I slept in today. I did not get up until after the noon hour. It felt good to sleep in, but a little later I learned about a fatal motorcycle accident. I don’t know if I was called for it, but I did turn off my cell phone because I did not want anything to wake me up.

Three Hours Later

June 3rd, 2007

I went to bed and only three hours later my cell phone was ringing. It was six-thirty in the morning. I was being called to an unattended death near Hooper. That is in the western-most part of Whitman County. In fact while driving there typically you drive into Adams county then South back into Whitman County. I was on scene for just under an hour. Then I went back to the funeral home and did my work there. I went to the coroner’s office following that to do my report and print everything off. By the time I was done it was after the noon hour. I went to Colfax fire and hung out for a few minutes.

David, Craig, and I were there. I was pointing out the last time it was just us and the guy on duty we got… then Craig said “don’t say it.” David and him both remembered that we got that fatal accident that I was IC of.

I went back to Pullman and down to the fire station for daily rig checks. We got those knocked off in a couple hours of time. It was very hot outside and inside the bay. We had a total of four people helping. For about a half hour of the shift neither Brian nor I could be on duty. That is why we did the rig checks early.

I went to my softball game and Brian was finishing his up. Brian left to be on duty and we took the dug out. We were playing our first regular season game after nearly three weeks off duty to a rain out and a week off for Memorial Day.

We started sort of slow, but then picked it up and hit the ball well. We went on to twelve run the other team and currently, with pre-season included we are undefeated.

I went home and got ready to be on call for the fire department. Then I went to Brandon and Peter’s to play some poker with them. At one point I lost a lot of money on one hand where I had the same hand and someone else by I got out-kicked.

I went down to under a dollar and sat around that level for quiet a while. Some people thought I would just go all-in on nothing. But I waited for my hand then I would play it. I ended up winning each time I did end up going all-in. Finally it was nearing the end of the night. I walked out only down four dollars. Not too bad for having been sitting at thirty-five cents for a little bit.

Got my Lawn Mower Going

June 2nd, 2007

I have been needing to get my lawnmower set up for a long time. Since my last trip to Seattle when I bought it. I finally got it set up today. My lawn was already short, so I just ran it across the lawn and helped to cut it. I am going to have to do that probably twice a week and it will keep my grass nice and short.

Later in the evening I went to Dissmores to get some chew. While there I saw Brandon and Peter. Kevin, the ten-six-seven, was working. He pointed at me and said to a co-worker of his that was the guy who gave those bad beats. Peter invited me over to play some beerpong. I went home and got cleaned up then went to Peter and Brandon’s. I played one game of beerpong and then Peter, Brandon, and I sat around watching the end of WPT.

I went to Zeppoz to see Russell. Beren was also there. I talked to him about his house going up for a sale due to him not paying the mortgage, that is when I found out Denise was no longer dating him, or something like that, at the very least she moved out and that is what put him in a pinch.

I spoke with Russell only briefly, then I went home. I was up until around three-thirty in the morning when I finally went to bed.

Years of Being Crafty for Nothing

June 1st, 2007

My day on Mercer Island Boat Patrol was cancelled for today so that meant I had a day off and I could do what I wanted. I decided I would work the jail. But I had some things to take care of in Pullman before I left to go to Colfax.

When I got to Colfax I went into Control. I ran control for about an hour before going to the Auditors office to get the tabs for my boat and trailer, but because I did not license them last year, if I were to do it today, I would have to pay for all of last year, plus this coming year. If I wait until the end of the month, then I will only have to pay for the next year. That made it a no-brainer.

I sold a phone card to a guy in Orange. Sgt Poffenroth came with me to make sure I could log into Swanson. She didn’t think I would be able to, but I was able to login just fine. So I got the phone card sold. We were heading up stairs to the staff office when she asked if I was the one who always put the backgrounds of the military aircraft. I laughed. I said I don’t even know what that one was. She said, you would probably put pictures of naked men. It because pretty clear she knew that I am gay. She could see me blushing, I could feel my face go flush.

Later I went to her office and asked how she knew. She said he has known for years. She figured it out on her own. She said pretty much every officer knows. I was shocked for sure. I knew that Tom knew, so that would increase the chances of others knowing. Captain came in and he confirmed they had known for years. Poff also was shocked that I didn’t know that they knew. Which is a sign that no one really cares at all. I told her how careful I always was with that information because I didn’t want people there to know.

Poff said a while back when Donna was trying to set me up with a girl over in the Treasurers office, that she had to tell Captain to let Donna know it would be a moot point trying to get me hooked up. Then Captain said that they knew I was dating the guy who worked at JTI. I knew they were talking about Thomas. That surprised me because he didn’t know who Thomas was, just that I was dating someone from JTI. But Thomas and I were only friends, we never dated. Then he said that we are in a small town. Just like Monte said to me a long time ago.

I let Captain know that Thomas and I were just friends. But we use to joke about living in SGC “South Gay Colfax”. He laughed. Poffenroth was cracking up over the fact that I was in the dark about them knowing about me for this whole time. One of my biggest fears was that they would treat me differently or that the inmates would find out. None of that has been the case.

Now I wonder who all actually knows and who doesn’t know. If they all know in the jail, do the people over at Colfax Fire know. No one at Colfax Fire has ever said anything to me. But it would be interesting if they have known for a long time too.

While working at the jail I got a text message about playing some poker tonight around eleven-thirty pm. I went to Peter’s to play. He had people who work with him at SEL over to play. Kevin, a ten-six-seven, from Dissmore’s was also there. Blue eyes and blonde hair and tall. Plus very nice. He was a good sight for the night. While there another ten-six-seven showed up. He was someone who was stopping by with some over people.

We played for hours and hours. In fact it was getting light out. Pretty soon the light coming in the window was actually casting shadows on the poker table. The game broke up around seven o’clock in the morning. When it was done I had lost a total of six bucks, and that was good considering I was all-in a couple times.

One of them I knew I was being beat. There were two Queens on the board. I had a King. There was one King on the board, so I had two pair and I knew Kevin had trips. We went to the river and I knew I needed a King, and a King hit giving Kevin and I a full-house, but mine was better. As it turned out one other guy who was in also had a King, so it turned out we had a one-outer. It came through.

Another time I was playing and had pocket-eights. All night long eights have been hitting. So I played them aggressively. I ended up going all in. Kevin again was playing against me. He had over-cards and got two of them on the flop. He was leading. The turn had nothing to help either of us. I was all-in and I needed to have an eight. I was dealing. I burned a card. Then I held the card over the spot where I needed to turn it over. I held on to it for a while because I did not want to see it. Then rapidly I flipped it over. It was an eight. I had won. Everyone was laughing. Someone said the way I did it reminded them of the movie Maverick.