A new Vehicle

March 6th, 2008

I asked Ryan what he would say if I told him I was in Spokane. He said he would ask to have lunch with me. Then he asked if I was. I told him no. But I said I would be.

I made my way up there. I was going to Dishman Dodge to look at a couple Durangos they had on the lot. I met up with Ryan and Rocky’s Pizza for lunch. We spent about an hour talking about softball, baseball, and my new purchase.

Then it was off to Dishman Dodge. That took about seven hours total. I test drove two of the Durangos. One was a Ought-Seven and one was an Ought-Three. I like the color and seats of the Ought-Three. Plus the cab reminded my of the look and feel of the old Dakota. But the Ought-Seven was nicer over all, had many less miles and some other things I just couldn’t pass up. Plus it wasn’t a ton more than the older Durango.

So then it was time to start with the negotiations. That took almost as long for me as the actual test driving and deciding. We had to come up with an agreement. Plus I kept Jon in the loop the whole time. It was taking a while but I didn’t wanted to walk out the door. If it was in Pullman, I probably would have left for the night, but because it was in Spokane. I liked where the negotiations were going, and my goals were being met.

I suppose if I did leave I may have gotten a tiny bit more off the cost, but in my view and what cost to my time, gas, etc. I was happy with the deal that I made.

Then I had to play some games with the finance guy. Trying to up sell things. But I was able to repel the attempts at taking all my money.

I moved the stuff over from the truck to the Durango and made my way home.


February 19th, 2008

I was watching CSI on Spike TV this evening. One of the people on the show, Katherine, was running some experiments to determine how fast paint would dry. She would write down the results as the test progresses.

That reminded me about using scientific methods for recording and testing unknowns. That got me thinking about the days of my Chemistry Labs. I then thought back to one year when my Chem lab was from three to six o’clock PM on Friday.

Many people didn’t like to have a lab that late on a Friday. I didn’t like it at first, but soon I fell in love with it. As most people were in a hurry to finish and leave the lab, it would make it so there were no lines waiting to use certain shared equipment items. I wasn’t slowed down by other people.

I spent my time calmly working through my experiments and just relaxed. Then when I was done I would walk from Fulmer to the Roto for dinner. It was still relaxing as the spring was moving into warmer weather. People were scarce on campus as they had all left to go home.

But for me I was just relaxed. I would have dinner at the Roto. I would pull out my newspaper and read through it from front to back. I would get lost in my own world. People would come and go. Crowds would come and go. I would just ignore it all and read my newspaper.

I came to realize that there was no big hurry to be ready to go at six o’clock on a Friday night. Nothing really got going until later. So I wasn’t missing anything. I was able to relax as others were doing the old “hurry up and wait” routine.

Those were some good times. Sometimes I wish I could go back to them, but at the same time what makes the special is that you don’t do them anymore. If I was still doing that stuff after a decade it might not mean very much to me today.

Grandpa Patterson’s Funeral

February 15th, 2008

I started the day off at a swimming pool on Mercer Island. I had to do a swim test for the boat patrol. We started with a two-hundred-and-fifty yard swim, but they ended up having us swim five-hundred yards. That wasn’t that big of a deal because that is what I have been doing at the rec center. After the swim there was a thirty minute treading of water. When that was done we practiced some recovery swimming techniques. It lasted a total of two hours.

I got home and cleaned up for the funeral. We went to the Greenwood Cemetery for the funeral. We had the service. Jon and I were pallbearers. We went out to the gravesite for a graveside service as well. The VFW was there they did a gun salute for him. When that was done we all went back to our place for the wake.

Later in the evening Dave and I went to see Rambo. When it was over Dave and I sat in the parking lot for about an hour talking about my efforts to make life changing habits that will lead to a more healthy life for myself.

Sold my Boat

February 10th, 2008

I got an e-mail yesterday from someone wanting to buy my boat. I e-mailed him back and told him that he could come look at it on Sunday. He called me today and came over. It turned out it was his parents who bought my house in Colfax last year. Pretty funny. I was thinking that was the case when I saw the name.

He spent time looking it over. We made a deal and it was sold. I helped him load it onto his truck and away he went. I am a little nervous about being upset about selling it. Sort of sellers remorse, but I think it was the right thing to do for me and my situation. Now I have a garage that is more cleaned out and I can fit stuff into it better. I plan on now getting some carpet and setting up my poker table. That is pretty exciting.

Grandpa Patterson Died

February 9th, 2008

I got an e-mail from my mom today telling me that Pat died today. I called her to ask about some of the details. Sounds like he was sick and in the hospital for a couple days. But it was known by people that it looked like there was going to be a poor outcome. He died during the day on Saturday. So I have a funeral to go to when I am back home.

I made plans to meet up with Brandon and Kevin tonight. Russell also wanted to come over and watch the Devil’s Rejects. Kevin and Brandon also came to watch that.

In the morning I woke up in time for going to the Cougar Basketball game. I went up there with the fire department. Only four of us worked the game. The Cougs were playing a great game. They crushed USC. If they had played like that during the last couple games they would have won those games too.

On the way back from the game they toned for reserves to call the station for a transfer. I went on it. So that pushed back the time I met up with the guys. Because I was in Colfax I stopped by the fire station to pick up my W-Twos. I washed the ambulance when I got back and went to pick up Russell and Nick. Brandon and Kevin came over.

We had pizza and watched the Devil’s Rejects. Following that movie I took Russell and Nick home. When I got back Kevin, Brandon, and I played Racko and Mexican Train Dominoes. We stayed up until around three in the morning playing games.

It was a great time with them.

Met the New CEO

January 18th, 2008

I met the CEO of the new company. I am a little more worried about everything. I need to write a skills sheet. I am not sure if it is only going to be used like the CEO said, or whether he will be using it against us when it comes to negotiating wages.

I started out the day by picking up my quad from Renton Honda.

We went out to lunch and met up with Chris. We went to the Crossroads Mall. Because the new CEO was in the office and because we had to do some things I ended up not leaving too early.

The trip to Pullman wasn’t bad at all. While I was driving Mitzel called me about giving the softball team over to me! I have waited for this opportunity for a long time. It has gone from JT to Mitz and now me.

I contacted KStew about playing on the team. He said he would think about it. He is planning on possibly putting a team together again. I let him know that there is room on the team for him and Jake as well as some others.

A Job Offer

January 11th, 2008

I lost some sleep last night over what E-mail I got from the marine patrol. I was angry over the whole thing. It feels like we are going to be tested on something, but we don’t know the standards. I am told that everyone should be able to do it, yet we were all given warning to prepare for it. So what is it, should we be able to do it without preparation? Should we have to do some workouts to get ready. All this was floating in my head.

That is when I decided that it shouldn’t be causing me any stress at all. I do that for the fun of it. Something to do to keep busy. I got to the point that if that is how he felt, I would just turn in my stuff. I don’t need a “fun” job cause me any kind of stress like that. So I finally felt good about the whole thing, because I put it in perspective. I got to the point where I was willing to just let it go. I got to the point where I am ready to walk away if that is what is needed. I am relaxed.

I got a call today from the CEO of the company that is buying mine. He said I should be getting an e-mail with an intent to offer me a position with the new company. There wasn’t a lot of questions that I had, that I wanted to ask at that juncture, but I have a lot of questions. I am not sure what this will mean to my work-from-home status. I don’t know about pay, benefits, stocks, etc. I am sort of excited to do some negotiations.

I made some rounds today, getting some stuff done that I needed to complete. Including getting the glass ordered for my picture frame. I got my checks dropped off at the bank. I exchanged the shirt Jon got for Lisa for a larger size. I also picked up some new windshield wipers for the truck.

Most of the day was pretty quiet. I spent a fair amount of it on the computer. I also responded on a couple daytime calls. I had planned on working on the frame, but without the glass I don’t want to make any cuts or holes until I know how the glass will fit into it.

Ken is Senior Pastor

January 6th, 2008

Being as tired as I was I hard a hard time getting out of bed for getting to Colfax for Church. I got cleaned up, dressed up, and drove to Colfax. When I got to the church I shook the hands of the greeters and found my place near the back.

Joy saw me and gave me a hug. I also saw Tim, both chiefs, and Milt. Ken also saw me and came over. The church service was nice. They played a couple modern Christian songs. During that time everyone stood up. Some people sang along. They would raise their hands. Some of the songs were good ones. I guess I should say they were all good. But a couple got me tapping along with it.

Then they did a ceremony for accepting Ken as the pastor of the church. Following that Ken did a sermon on Time. There were some good points that he brought up. What is interesting to me is that this blog is called “Shorter of Breath”. Which is part of a line from the Pink Floyd song “Time”. I have included the whole verse in my blog description. It is big to me.

There was a period of time where I feel like I wasted my life. I spent my early twenties working every evening. I missed out on a bunch of things that my other college friends did. Maybe it was all for the best, but I still had the feeling of lost time. But I look back over my life and I feel like there is more that I could do.

I don’t know if that is really the case. Maybe I can work harder and filling my day with less down time. But I don’t think it is about quantity of things done, but the quality of the time I spent doing it. I have a blog from several years ago when I was with the old softball group. We ended at Lester’s house. While there it just felt like we were having a high class party.

I find many times I have the best and most memorable time when I am out of my element. When I leave my comfort zone. But many time I have a lot of fun while in my comfort zone as well. I should sit in a corner and dwell on what makes it so I have a good time and work on trying to fulfill that.

When church was done it was back home. I went with Russell to pick up Nick from the Flag lane. He was coming in on the bus. We drove down to Cougar Country for lunch. Then I took Russell and Nick to Russell’s place. We looked at some photos from a party they were at.

After I got home, I worked on the photo board project for the fire station. I got my list ready of things I needed to buy at the store. I went to play poker at Zeppoz. I came in ninth place. That is a drop of two places from times past.

I stopped at Safeway and did my big shopping. I purchased a lot of fruit and vegetables. Plus many other things I was going to need to start my Body for Life twelve week program. This is something I can continue to do, over and over. To me each start and ending point will be a nice goal period. I get my weekly goals. With each Sunday is a “free” day. One were I can relax and not stay so regimented with the food I eat. Can you say Pizza?!

Also at the end of the twelve week period I will hopefully see a change in my health, weight, stamina, strength, and softball power hitting abilities. My first twelve weeks will be done at the end of March. I will be nearing the end when Softball season is going. I hope that I will see some positive improvement by then.

I started to work on my meal plan for tomorrow. They have the first week plotted out for you. I am going with that, and making minor changes along the one.

Tomorrow is the start of a new path. Since moving into my house I have done things to be cleaner. I have always been bad at leaving things laying where I last used them. I always had a clean kitchen, but my bedroom is always covered in clothes and other things that just never found a home. I have worked hard to keep the house clean. I wash my truck weekly. With the snow and ice I haven’t washed it lately. But keeping a clean truck is important.

I have kept that up longer than anyone in my family thought I could. Longer than I thought I could. I also have kept my budget tracking going the whole time too. I think I am ready for anther change in my life where this is not a fly-by-night one time work out. This is going to be a change in my life. I am trying to ease into it rather and shocking the system too much. So for the last week I have been eating less and more healthy on my own.

I thought about going to bed a little earlier. Then I will take a power nap after my work out to get a little more sleep before starting my day.

Body for Life

January 4th, 2008

I have been planning for a while to make my way to the swimming pool to start to get ready for the testing that I am going to have to do soon, but I haven’t done it yet. I also had my first Town Crier column. That started the challenge for me to count down the pounds. I have a goal that I archaically stated in my column. No one really knows what it means except for me. I am going to write down what the next value is. It will keep counting down until my last Town Crier, which should be two years from now. I hope by that time I will have make major strides into what I am doing.

I was paying a great deal of attention to eating smaller, lighter meals. So I was trying to figure out how many calories are in a Cougar Super Basket. I really don’t know if I want to know. But I would guess somewhere around a Big Mac meal at McDonald’s.

While I was researching that I hit upon (I should say hit BACK upon) the Body for Life site. I am going to give their twelve week program a try that combines weight training, cardio, and nutrition into a program that lasts twelve week. That is eighty-four days. What is nice about this program is that Sunday’s are rest days. You get to eat what you want. But I am sure that as you work hard for six straight days, people don’t tend to go nuts. But to know there is a day of the week you can have a bowl of ice cream or a candy bar is nice. Rather than not allowing for the occasional candy, you can have it.

I would say that is my biggest downfall. I don’t think I eat more than many other people. It is just the choices I make when I do eat. When I am hungry, rather than filling up on something more healthy, I tend to get less than healthy things to fill up on. For instance in the past, I was hungry and ate Oreo’s. I just kept chowing as I was hungry. What I needed to do was eat something else to satisfy the hunger and than have a couple Oreo’s as a treat. It is about access and taste. I think the biggest thing the could help me is if there was a way for me to all of a sudden like lots of foods I don’t like. Such as vegetables. That would make life a whole bunch easier.

It is going to be hard to stay on this strictly when I am back at my mom’s in Seattle, but I will do what I can during that time. Maybe the local gym would be willing to see a one week pass or something like that.

Other than that, how are things? They are well. I worked the women’s basketball game with Bien. I spent most of my time in the first aid room watching TV and working on new phone. Getting contacts set up. I was trying to get the recordings created so I could use my voice activated dialing. So far that has not worked out too well. Many times I tell it to dial one thing, and it really dials something else.

There is more work to be done on that.

Town Crier III – First Column

January 2nd, 2008

My first Town Crier Column has appears in the Daily News:

TOWN CRIER III: Help make 2008 the ‘Year of the People’
By Scotty Anderson
Wednesday, January 2, 2008

I host a local weekly talk radio show called The PES. Looking back to the year 2002 when I hosted my first show, the community has never been as divided as it is now.

I was looking over the summaries of some of my old radio shows and the subjects included the proposal for a national ID card, gun control and gun rights, gay rights, racial profiling, crime, the city of Pullman budget woes, Pullman Transit, zero tolerance rules, President George W. Bush, the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Enron, and the United Nations. I prefer to talk about local political issues, but there were no long-lasting hot-button issues.

That is until Wal-Mart, big-box stores, water rights, and the corridor development made the front pages of this very newspaper. Those issues have driven a wedge between families, friends, neighbors and cities. The battle lines have been drawn and for the past couple of years, those topics have dominated a large part of my radio show.

I believe everything that could be said about the Wal-Mart issue already has been argued – nothing new is being brought forth. It is time to stop the constant bickering.

A new year has just been thrust upon us. This is our chance to start a new focus on the people of the Palouse. Let’s make 2008 the “Year of the People of the Palouse.”

Allow me, if you will, to take you back one week into the past. I was driving to Pullman from Renton, Wash., after spending Christmas with my family. I exited I-90 at Tinkham Road. I was driving up a roadway that was narrow and covered with snow.

There was a four-wheel drive pickup truck in front of me. There was a small passenger car in front of the pickup truck. We were making our way up the hill into the woods. The farther we went, the deeper the snow got.

Soon the car was starting to get stuck. The driver of the car got out and walked back to the pickup truck driver and me. I noted he was wearing a grey sweatshirt with the symbol of the Oregon Ducks. He told us he was getting stuck and he would have to reverse his course.

The reality of the situation was that we would have to back all the way out to the main road. There was no place to turn around because of the amount of snow on the sides of the road. We didn’t argue with the man from the car. We didn’t get mad at him. We did what we had to do to help him get out of there.

As we were backing out, my vehicle got stuck in deep snow. Even in four-wheel drive, I was not getting enough traction to get out of the snow. Without asking any questions, without worrying about what university I was from, without being asked, the people from the car and the pickup truck came to my aid.

They got a shovel and started to dig my truck out of the snow. Once we got enough of the snow dug out, several people got into the back of my truck to add weight to the rear axle.

Three other people who were snowshoeing came to my aid, also, without being asked. The people on the snow shoes pushed from the front of the truck. One of them was wearing a purple Husky hat. Again, it didn’t matter to him that I am a Coug.

I got unstuck and continued to back down the narrow snow covered road. That was the true idea of neighbor helping neighbor. Cougar-Husky-Duck at that time we were neighbors, not competitors.

I am sharing this story about my experience on the snowy road to hopefully give incentive for you to find as many chances as possible to help out your fellow Palouse residents. With your dedication to this principle, we can make 2008 the Year of the People of the Palouse!

With the last couple words I have been granted to write in this column, I would like to ask the readers to keep track with me: T minus 148.

Scotty Anderson is a computer programmer who enjoys serving the community through various community-oriented service jobs. You can reach Scotty at crier@cityofpullman.com.

Looking Back on the Last Year

January 1st, 2008

Jan - Joining the CISD Team – I started the evening off going to Colfax for a CISD team meeting. They were looking for new members, so I thought I would see what it is about. Now it seems that I am on the team and they are looking at having a training class come in soon to get the new people trained.

Feb - How Many Really Know? – When I got home I wrote back and forth with Matt and Monte about the call from yesterday. I told Matt that I was not offended and that he could not offend me. I asked both to keep the information secret. I also asked Monte how Tom knew about it. It was Tom who told Monte. Monte said he heard about it several years about and it was a non-issue to him. I was surprised to hear that Tom has known about it for three or four years. Monte said “remember it is a small world”.

Mar - The Start of What was to Date my Best Softball Year – Then there was another play where I had to go hard to my right, more or less a dive and scoop a ball. When I came up with it I looked down at home where someone was running, but I did not think I would be able to make the play, so I held on it the ball. We were playing A Bunch of Old Guys, which use to be Don’t Care. We lost to them by three runs. It sucked.

Apr - My First Shift Patrolling with the Marine Patrol – Then we went to the boat. We went through some things about the boat and then we were underway. We made a couple stops of people who were breaking the wake zones. I saw him do an inspection. Then on the next stop I did the inspection. We spent some time driving along the shore line of Medina, Hunts Point, and we were working our way to Yarrow Point.

May - A Police Officers’ Funeral – At about 10:00 AM the procession started. It was long enough that as my vehicle was pulling into the parking of the Kibbie Dome the last cars were leaving Tidyman’s. Along the route people were standing on the sides of the streets and police officers on Motorcycles where blocking intersections. There were people who had their hand over their heart, American Flags, signs of support, and cub scout troops along the way.

Jun - An Incredibly Fun Softball Tournament in Waitsburg – 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.

Jul - Final Men’s Game is a FFT – Tonight the records were supposed to fall, however, when the other team could not come up with enough players to fill the team, we would end up getting a FFT. That sucked because Michael B, Bill, and I were all up for records to be broken. I needed one walk to tie Skyler. That was my goal. I did not want to beat the record because it has been around for so long.

Aug - Ryan Gamble Get Married – Once that was done we were back at the hotel, the time was counting down for the wedding to start. People started to file into the Davenport hotel. The wedding started and it lasted around thirty minutes total. I was the best man and stood next to Ryan. It was neat to see the whole thing.

Sept - Bought a Lightly Used Truck – By this time in the day I realized that I did want to get the truck, but only if I got it for twenty-one-five. A while later the sales manager called back and said I could get it for twenty-one-seven, plus a full tank of fuel. I said I would do it.

Oct - Introducing the Next Coroner of Whitman County? – Pete said he was happy to hear that I would like to do it. He said he plans on not running in twenty-twelve. So that would be when I would need to run. By then some of the other guys would be a lot more trained and may want to run as well. So I figured I would talk to Pete right away and have him start to groom me to be the next coroner.

Nov - A Night of Arson’s in Pullman – On our arrival to the scene I could see a five inch across Spring Street. We parked in such a way to protect the hose. We walked up to the scene. While walking up the road a man asked us if the smoke coming from his garage was a normal amount. Because he was a neighbor of the fire, he figured some of the smoke was from the fire. But it was pouring out, and I could tell it was not from the other fire.

Dec - Ankle Operation Part Two – I walked into a room with a table for me to lay on. I got up there and the anaesthesiologist started to prepare me to go under. Before I knew it I was asleep. Later I woke up not feeling well. I was being wheeled out to the recovery room. I heard one of the nurses talking to someone else, saying “you’ll have to break it to him.” I still don’t know what they meant by that.

It is always hard to put this list together. There was the day at the jail when I found out that Poff and Capt, as well as everyone else, has known about me for years. Or November when the boys made their first trip to Pullman to see Cougar Football and Basketball. There are many other examples. As usual. If I were to do this another day I am sure some of these choices would be different, but some of them would be the same for sure.

Most of today I responded on calls at the station. But most of the time no one was showing up to go with me. So I stood by on most of them. One of the calls Gecas showed up and we went on the call.

We also got a couple calls during the evening hours. I couldn’t find my pager. I looked around the house for it, I looked around the station, I checked my truck as well. I couldn’t find it. I am a little worried that I lost it on the call I went on with Gecas.

I worked on getting my E-mail inbox cleaned out. It took a while to go through all the messages. I really should go through everything again and reorganize it some more. But I am probably not going to.

Big Night at Poker

December 20th, 2007

After work I met up with Jon to play some poker at Mike’s. He is one of the guys who puts on the games at Newport Shores. We got there around nine o’clock PM. There were six others already there. I was getting some good cards, but my community cards were really doing well.

As time went on I just kept winning. While I was there I only went to the showdown once and lost. I had a couple split pots. I had one situation that really burned me up.

I had a three-four offsuit. I was in an early position. I was only in due to being in the blind. A three-five-six rainbow came on the flop. So now I am one card from the straight and I have a pair. So I stick around for a little bit. A ten was on the turn. It was checked around. A three on the river. I had trips, but when the seven dollar bet was quickly raised to twenty-seven bucks. I felt that he had trips with a better kicker. So I threw it down. He let me know he had a ten. I told him that he made a good bed.

We played until one in the morning. When the card game was done I was up three-hundred and thirty-five bucks. Jon found some dice. We played some four-five-six. We only rolled a couple times. The first round Jon won with boxcars (trip sixes). Then I played again. He got a point of two. I rolled a four-five-six. I took bank. I got some bets and rolled a four-five-six again. I had sixty bucks now. Jon played sixty. I rolled trip-fives. I won again. I was on fire. Because of four-five-six, I ended up leaving with four hundred bucks.

While at work today we had our company Christmas Party. We were told we were being bought by a Canadian company. It was sort of a shock. Our future is known. My future is unknown. They want to be closed by the end of the year. So that means that by the second of January I will have a new boss. I spoke with my CEO to find out some more. She said that I have a great skill set. I can do all parts of the new code set, plus I can work on all of the old code. I am a valuable person.

Plus I proved to her that working from home is a viable thing. I proved to her that I do a good job without coming into the office. She said that our potential buyers has a president who works from home. So the new bosses are all for it. She pretty much told me I don’t have anything to worry about. I told Jon about that tonight while we were playing poker. He told me about a job opportunity at his company. I also told him I have yet to hear anything back from SEL. I don’t know how I am doing there. He told me that I could possibly get a job working for his company. I might look into that one way or another.

Happy Birthday Scotty!

December 18th, 2007

Well I got the normal phone calls and text messages from people wishing me a happy birthday. I got several on facebook and MySpace as well.

Reed McPherson wrote
Happy Birthday. Don’t mix too many of your drugs with your booze. Have a fun one

Andrew Wilcox wrote
Happy B-day man, hope your recovery doesn’t hinder you from partying tonight!

Sarah Daoud wrote
Happy Birthday Scotty!!! Hope you have a good one!!

Bryce Cuello wrote
Happy Birthday Man! Hope you have a good one!

Kristine M. Reeves (Spokane, WA) wrote
Happy Birthday! Loved the photos as of late…you are looking stellar!

Denise Keeton wrote
Happy Happy Birthday Scotty!!

Dax Berven wrote
Happy early Birthday old man

When I got to work today there was a $10.00 gift certificate for me from NetUpdate. They also made cookies and put them in the break room.

I actually got a couple things productive done today and checked in. Then the rest of the day it was spending time in meetings and having lunch. We went to Crossroads mall. Ricky, Noah, and I met up with Chris a former employee.

While there I got a couple different styles of die for my board game. I got several styles so I can play with them and see what I like the best.

The traffic home was worse than normal, but probably normal for the time of day. It just seemed like everything was backed up. I don’t like to spend time in traffic on my birthday. I was thinking that they should just open up the roads and step aside for the birthday boy.

When I got home my special dinner was being cooked. It was fatback and potatoes. Following dinner I got a universal power supply for my computer from my mom for my birthday. She made a cake with pudding topping. It was very good.

Compared to last year it was a pretty tame birthday. That is okay though. Actually, this is the first birthday I have been here for a while. My last few birthdays have been spent with just a couple friends.

I am thinking if there is anything ground breaking to say right now. It is the one time a year I can reflect on the past year of my life and think about it. But I have not done that. Maybe I can do that tomorrow. Make a decision what letter grades I earned this year in many categories. I am not sure it was one I can look at as one of the best. That is a shame. Every year should be better than the one before it. That would be a sign of a good life.

Maybe that means it is time for me to uproot my life as it currently sits. Maybe it is time for me to move to some new random place and get a new job. Get new friends. Get new activities. Just do something different.

But then again, when I think about the car fire recently and how it was still a new experience to me, that leads me to believe I still have things I can do here.

I think if there is one thing I work on this year it is to be more active in my down time.

I have worked hard this year to keep on top of things. Like washing my clothes and new truck, not when I am out of clothes or I can’t see the paint on the truck, but on a regular schedule. I do things and put things away rather than leaving things out when I am done. It is the new more orderly self.

But what is a problem is that when my work is done, and there is nothing more to do, I need to get to the rec center. Go for a walk. Go for a bike ride. Do something that will keep me from sitting around the house watching TV. I really want to get into the swimming pool and get some swim time in. That is the goal.

I hope in one year from now I can read this and say that I did a good job keep up with that change I would like to make.

One thing that I have noticed about myself is that it seems more people know about my homosexuality than don’t know in terms of my daily interactions with people. I thought I had done a good job keeping it quiet at the jail. But that is not the case. Everyone seems to know and those who don’t are told by those who do. I don’t like it when people tell others. That is not their business to do that.

So really the people who don’t know are those over in Seattle. All my friends who I went to high school with other than Matt. He found out when I admitted it to him on the Rose Bowl trip.

Ankle Operation Part Two

December 10th, 2007

I went in for the first ankle operation in February of ought-four. The operation was more involved. The ligament was repaired and the bone chip was removed. From the time of that surgery I was on crutches for four weeks and a walking boot for an additional two weeks.

The long term outcome of the surgery was that my ankle pain was not as bad when it came to recovery time. I went from a recovery of weeks down to a day or two. But would still have major problems when it was hurting. It was even at the point that I would sometimes crawl just so I didn’t have to deal with the pain. I knew I had to get something else done.

I went to a doctor in Seattle because I wanted to get a different opinion on everything and a different set of eyes looking at it. Over the next several months in the middle to late ought-seven, when I would visit Seattle I was seeing the doctor. I got X-rays, MRI, and an injection. The injection made the ankle pain go away.

Finally it was time to have another operation. Today was the big day for that. Jon picked me up from the house. I went to work for a couple hours before going to Overlake Hospital.

I got to the doctors surgical area. I went back and had them start to ask questions, and fit my with a surgical gown, slippers, and IV. Soon it was my turn to go for surgery.

I walked into a room with a table for me to lay on. I got up there and the anaesthesiologist started to prepare me to go under. Before I knew it I was asleep. Later I woke up not feeling well. I was being wheeled out to the recovery room. I heard one of the nurses talking to someone else, saying “you’ll have to break it to him.” I still don’t know what they meant by that.

I sat in recovery for a while. I felt sick and tired. Jon showed up and talked to me a little bit. I was not in the mood to speak at all. I ate some apple sauce and a Popsicle. I took some pain meds. I was there for a while longer before Jon got his rig ready to take me home.

On the way home I felt horrible. He stopped to get my prescription filled, but they said it would be an hour. So we left it there and continued home. Jon swerved from something. I looked at him with the evil eye and asked if he was trying to make me puke. He laughed and said he wasn’t. That he was just swerving to miss something.

When I got home I made a straight line for my bedroom. I just wanted to lay down and relax my stomach. I thought I was going to puke for sure. After laying in my room for about two hours I started to feel better.

I made my way downstairs at one point to check my e-mail. The pain was never very bad. The worst part to me was the nauseous feeling.

My Interview

November 13th, 2007

I was scheduled for an interview at SEL today. It was for eight in the morning. I got up and dressed. I had to scrap my window. Then I got to SEL. I was taken to the interview room which was in a different building. I had three people asking me questions.

I think I did well with the questions that they asked. It took about two hours in total. They did not ask any specific coding questions, just things in general about my previous work. It sounds like there are two others who would be working in the same area as I would work. I would be working to get data from Access databases and move them to SQL server. Then I would build front ends for them in ASP.NET. I am not sure if they job will be a good fit, because I get the feeling they have the normal eight-to-five work schedule rather than the mentality of a development company that gives more flexibility to developers. They may worry about that too, because the main guy did ask me a question about the flexibility that I have.

When I was done with the Interview I got my jail uniform on and went to work in the jail. I had lunch first at the fire station in Colfax and then worked for the next six hours in the jail. I did a partial round, mainly worked as help on the floor doing fingerprints and some stuff with getting inmates to see the nurse.

When it was close to time to go to Colfax Fire a call came in looking for help to package a patient for sending on the helicopter. I went to help out. It was the patient that Colfax fire had transported earlier in the day. I hope everything turns out well for the patient.

I got some dinner and ate at the fire station in preparation for our board and business meeting. When the meeting was over Tim and I watched House before I came back to Pullman.

Phone Interview Complete

October 30th, 2007

I had the phone interview for SEL. It lasted about twenty-five minutes. It pretty much was one that covered things in general about my experience with developing and supervising projects. It was all straight forward. I don’t know if I nailed it or not. I was told I should hear something in a week or two. So I have a while to wait.

I had gotten up at almost five this morning. I don’t know why I woke up so early, unless it was my mind racing about the interview. I did spend some time working on some of the work for my job in Bellevue even though today is a day off for me.

I went to the station for a call around nine-thirty. It turned out my time with Brown was moved around and changed. The guys from station two and I went to the tower with Engine Thirty-three. We worked on doing some pump stuff and covered a lot of the items on the engine. Then we got Brown up there.

I did my test and I aced it. I am now an engineer on Engine Thirty-Three. I drove it back to Station one and got a ride back to the Deuce with the ambulance.

I went home and worked on cleaning up my stuff from washing my truck on Sunday. The hose and washing stuff was still out. I put it all away.

I went to the station again around six o’clock. I helped with the rig checks. I spent the evening at home relaxing. Because I got up so early I was tired. I went to bed sort of early and almost slept through a call. I was woken up by a phone call for it and went to the station. It turned out we didn’t do anything on the call.

Got a New Truck

September 28th, 2007

Got up early and got my stuff put into the truck and picked up the boat trailer. I went to Jon’s and picked him up. We went to pull his boat out of the water. I took it back to his place and backed it into his driveway. He followed me to the Dodge dealership. The guy wanted to know if I wanted it. I went back to the whole issue about not having the radio controls on the steering wheel.

The guy asked why don’t I look at a new truck. He had me write down some of the things that are important and did some searching. He found one or two trucks with a gas engine and the steering wheel controls but did not find the color I liked. He had me go to the lot and see the other colors. I wanted a blue truck. Plus we were adding nearly ten grand. I didn’t want to do that. I made it clear if I were to get a new vehicle it would be one-hundred percent of what I want. The junior car dealer was trying to tell me I could not get one-hundred percent. I told him that I could. I said that if I were to get a new truck it would not be today. I realized that this deal was either the used truck or no truck.

The sales manager came over to assist. I made it clear that I was apprehensive over getting this vehicle because of the missing audio controls. Plus the additional debt load. The sales manage asked if I would do it for twenty-one-five. I thought about it, sort of waiting for a reaction from Jon. Jon finally spoke up saying that if I was taking so long to accept the deal then obviously it was not exactly right.

We left and Jon said to me outside he thought he was going to have to grab me by the back of the coat to get me out of there. I told him I was waiting for his reaction. I made a plan for what I was going to do.

I told the dealer I was going to look into a couple of things and then get back to him. After lunch I called him and said I would do the deal for twenty-three-five with a one-hundred-thousand mile warranty included. He called me back and said he could not do that. The warranties were out of his hands. I asked to speak to the finance division to find out what a warranty would cost. He called me back later and said twenty-four out the door with a lifetime drivetrain warranty. I told him I would think about it.

I told Jon and Jon thought the drivetrain warranty was not enough. I agreed. I called BECU to find out what their warranties would cost. I got a price of eighteen-hundred-and fifty. I called the dealer back and said I would do the deal for twenty-one-five out the door. He said that offer was not on the table. I said it was earlier. He said the sales manager was trying to see if I was worried about debt or the audio controls. That was not a real offer. I said to find out if it was and call me back.

By this time in the day I realized that I did want to get the truck, but only if I got it for twenty-one-five. A while later the sales manager called back and said I could get it for twenty-one-seven, plus a full tank of fuel. I said I would do it.

I went to the dealer and moved all the stuff from my truck to the new one. I then started to sign all the paperwork. I thought I was almost done, but I had more negotiating to do for the warranty. They wanted twenty-four hundred. I said I could get the one through BECU for eighteen-five. He trying to tell me that the dealer warranty is better. I did want to get the dealer warranty, but I did not want to pay twenty-four hundred.

After some negotiations I got it for twenty-two hundred and a fifty dollar deductible rather than a one-hundred dollar deductible. I left in my new truck.

I went back to the office and got my stuff. By this time it was nearly nine at night. Because it was so late I decided to go to Jon’s neighborhood poker game for a while. I told Jon about the latest dealings. Then a tournament was being organized from the cash game that was going on. I got in on the tournament. There were sixteen players. They were paying the top four. I was on the bubble, but I was way behind. I ended up going out on the bubble.

I then hit the road at about eleven o’clock at night.

Should I get a new truck?

September 27th, 2007

I had lunch this afternoon with Jon and the other guys. When we were done eating I went to Dodge of Bellevue. I knew that it would not be good to go there, but I did anyway. I wanted to see what kind of low mileage trucks they had available for sale. They didn’t have the exact same program as the Ford dealer in Moscow had, but they had a couple on the lot.

I wanted the twenty-five-hundred. I wanted to get a truck that would be full size to hold a camper. There was one that was the same color as my truck, two years newer and more than seventy-thousand less miles. They wanted me to ride in it. They wanted nearly twenty-nine thousand bucks for it. I told them I had to leave but I would be back. But I was not sure that I would want to take on that much debt.

When I came back I went for a ride. The saleman was still annoying me. I tuned it to the radio station wanted to listen to and then he turned the station to something else. He was pointing out things about this truck that I already know about because my truck is nearly identical. When we got back to the dealership they went into over-drive trying to get me to buy the truck. They kept on trying to get me to look at the monthly payment. I told him it was not about the monthly payment I cared about the bottom line. I wanted to stay out of deep debt.

I figure I am going to be paying for another eight months on my truck, but I don’t want to do more than twenty-four total. That would add on sixteen months to the total payment. I am okay with that.

But they were not budging a whole bunch. They would put an offer on the board and I would be very indecisive about it. So then they would work on another amount that was lower. But I would still be unwilling to say yes to it.

Finally he asked what I wanted to pay. I told him that I would like to get it for twenty-two thousand out the door. The guy said he would talk to the sales manager to see if he could get that. I told him I wanted to talk to my brother. I went to my truck to call him. I could not get him but I got ahold of John to talk to him about my situation. I ran everything by him and he said I should not buy it tonight, but wait until tomorrow.

I went back inside and they were getting close to closing time. The guy said they were close. He said twenty-three-five out the door. I said, yeah, you’re close, but not there yet. He said what if we split the difference. I said no. Then the sales manager asked what I wanted. I said twenty-two out the door. He said “done.” I then said I still want to think about it over night. I told them I would come back tomorrow.

They told me I should take the truck home. I told them I needed to haul a boat. They said that was okay. He told me it is made to haul stuff and that if the truck cold not haul something that I should let them know.

So I got ahold of Jon and he said to come by. We spent time on the computer looking over the deal and other vehicles. We decided that deal was not bad, but it was not a screaming deal either. I came to the conculsion I wanted to get it for twenty-one-five out the door.

When I got home I told my mom I got a new truck. She looked outside and said “no, you just washed your truck.” I laughed and said it is a different truck.

Ryan’s Wedding

August 18th, 2007

Today is the big day. I woke up and got cleaned up. Russell and I needed to go to the tux rental shop to get new pieces for the tux. My shoes needed to be bigger as well as a better fitting shirt size. Once that was completed Russell and I were off to find some roses.

We drove around for a little while and bumped into a place called Just Roses. We were able to get two red and two pink roses. We went back to the hotel to check out and send our postcards that we wrote last night.

Russell and I took Ryan’s parents to dinner at Franks Diner. I had to cut out a little early and pick up Anna and one of her friends from the mall. I took them to the hotel and then parked my truck.

I had been stressing about the best man speech, but this morning in the shower I figured out the direction I wanted to take the speech. I was going to talk about what friends are and what a best friend is. I was going talk about meeting Ryan and playing softball and hanging out with him over the years. I felt better now that I knew what I was going to say.

We went to the hotel and started to get ready. Nick came and I got some photos of him and Russell together.

Russell and Nick looking dignified

Once everyone got their tuxes on we went around and took photos. I got one of Ryan in the dressing room in a chair. I also got Russell and one of me in the chair as well.

Ryan in the chair

Russell in the chair

Me in the chair looking like I am from the nineteenth century

I also got one of me being silly.

Being Silly

We then went out and took photos around the area. I also was getting photos. I got one of Ryan’s brother and his new brother-in-law.

Ben (ten-six-seven), Ryan’s new brother-in-law

Keith, Ryan’s younger brother

Once that was done we were back at the hotel, the time was counting down for the wedding to start. People started to file into the Davenport hotel. The wedding started and it lasted around thirty minutes total. I was the best man and stood next to Ryan. It was neat to see the whole thing.

We went and got some more photos and then made our way to the reception room. They made a grand entrance for Ryan and Anna. I sat at the table with Ryan and Anna. I went and made my way through the line for some chow.

As it turned out Russell and I were sitting at a table with a couple other gay people. So it was the gay table. With Nick there as well. We did not know the other guys, but it was pretty obvious about them.

It came time for the toast. I got up to give my speech. I did a great job doing it. I was prepared and it went smoothly. I did not try to be funny, but the parts that were lighter got some laughter. That was good.

Making My Best Man Speech

Ryan and Anna did their first dance together.

The first dance

The first dance

Russell and Nick got out there to dance a little bit as well.

When the reception got going Ben gave Russell and I a cigar. We went outside to smoke it. It was not very tasty. Russell got a great photo of him smoking it.

Russell smoking the cigar

As the night was winding down I signed the paperwork for Ryan and Anna’s marriage. While we were doing that Keith mention that he lost a stud from his tux. Ryan looked at me and said “So have you”.

First Night in Spokane

August 17th, 2007

I got off work early today to head up to Spokane for Ryan’s wedding. I picked up Russell and we hit the road. It was slow going with all the traffic going both ways. We got near Spokane and I called Ryan to tell him that I had to turn around due to a car accident on the highway. Russell called him back shortly after I hung up worrying that Ryan would be too worried.

When we got to Spokane we went to the Davenport where the wedding was going to be held and where we were staying. While in the lobby I saw Ben. He was ten-six-seven. It is funny how different people can be different ten-six-sevens. Ben is more of a young-man like ten-six-seven. Russell thought he was good looking as well.

We started with the rehearsal. Everyone practiced walking to their appointed position. Went through the workings of the ceremony. Then it was off to the dinner. We were eating a place just around the corner from the Davenport.

On the way back from dinner I decided to walk because we were a block away. Ryan, Russell, Anna, and her friend went back with Ryan. While walking down the road Ryan slowed down to ask “how much”, making a joke that I was a hooker.

I said, really loud, “For you, big boy, anything for fifty cents”. I was two steps from the corner. As I turned it there was a guy and a girl walking around the corner we almost bumped each other. The guy gave me a funny look.

We had to hurry to get to the comedy show. We ended up sitting up front. That added to the joy of the night for sure. One comedian was on stage and asked if anyone lived with their mom. I started to make a clapping motion then stopped just before hitting hands. He noticed this and pointed it out to everyone. I started laughing very hard.

The rest of the evening different comedians would joke about me. One guy looked at Ryan and Russell and said it was nice of them to take “their special friend” out on the town.

When the show was done it felt like I had been roasted. It was a great time. I went to the bar area where the comedian who did most of the roasting was. He saw me and came over. He shook my hand and gave me a half-hug. We talked for a few minutes. One guy who was watching the show said I earned a Good Spirit Award for taking the ribbing so well.

We went back to the hotel and I started to try to think about what to say for the best-man speech. I was having a hard time coming up with anything. I pulled out a postcard that the Davenport gives away with the room. I got a phonebook and opened it to a random white page location and randomly pointed at a name in the phonebook. I then wrote a message to that person on the postcard.

While I was writing the letter to the person a phone call came in around two in the morning. It was hotel security saying we had a noise complaint against us. I then wrote in the letter “We just got a noise complaint, WHATEVA!”

Russell got a postcard and also wrote to the people who lived in Medical Lake. We thought that was pretty funny.

After Ryan left the room I spent some more time trying to think about what to write, but I was not able to come up with anything. I finally went to bed around three in the morning.

Got a New Laptop

July 2nd, 2007

After spending time with my P-III – Eight hundred laptop for several years and how slow it is these days, I finally decided that it was time to upgrade. I have been wanting to do it for a while but I never wanted to spend the money while the other laptop worked. But for the last two days I have been scouring the web looking for deals and a good laptop. I went from not wanting to spend a lot of money and get something that was middle of the road laptop to wanting to spend around fifteen hundred and getting a real good one. Then I would go back and forth on that for while.

Finally I found one and speced it out. I was at just over a grand. I was happy with it. More than I wanted to spend, but less that I was going to spend. I did a lot of research on the duel core chips. Finally I was ready to pull the trigger when I found one on the Dell Outlet site that was a nice system, had nearly everything I really wanted and it was only a couple hundred more. At that point I decided that was the one I was going to get.

So after doing a little bit more looking I decided to buy it. Because the system is already built I should get it by the tenth. I am looking forward to that. I also am going to get the brand new Office Ultimate and Vista Ultimate. I have been using Vista lately on my newest desktop at work. I now have three machines. Two dev boxes. One with Vista and one with ought-three Web Server. I have been reading up on some of the new Vista stuff. I am excited to use some of these new features. I am not sure how much I will like Office at first. It is a lot different with the menus, GUI, and other layouts, but I hear people really like it after using it for a while. I am going to jump in feet first and get use to it.

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.

The Funeral of Officer Lee Newbill

May 25th, 2007

Officer Lee Newbill

I have the somber privilege to attend Officer Lee Newbill’s funeral today. Starting out around 0800 hrs this morning I made my way to the staging for the procession which was at the old Tidyman’s in Moscow’s East side. I arrived with the parking lot about half full of police cars from all over Idaho, Washington, and beyond. Police Officers who did not know Officer Lee Newbill and those who did were gathering for this event. Fire engines and other fire rigs from Pullman, Colfax, Lewiston, Moscow, Whitman County Fire District 12 and others were also there to pay tribute to this man.

Police Cars fill the Tidyman’s parking lot

Patrol cars from Latah County and Moscow fill nearby parking lot

A couple of the fire department rigs lined up on the street

A close up of the officers waiting from the procession to start

At about 10:00 AM the procession started. It was long enough that as my vehicle was pulling into the parking of the Kibbie Dome the last cars were leaving Tidyman’s. Along the route people were standing on the sides of the streets and police officers on Motorcycles where blocking intersections. There were people who had their hand over their heart, American Flags, signs of support, and cub scout troops along the way.

We arrived at the Kibbie dome where a Lewiston Ladder truck and Moscow Ladder truck had their ladders crossed with a huge American Flag blowing in the breeze. We walked into the Kibbie Dome and made our way to the seating on the floor. There were about 800 chairs on the floor. Over the next two hours officers from the various agencies mingled with one another.

Officers Walk to Kibbie Dome with American Flag in the Background

Then Glenn Johnson asked everyone to the seats as the funeral was about to get started. By this time many people from the public had made their way into the Kibbie Dome, nearly all the available seats were taken with both police officers, EMS workers, and the public.

Moscow Police Chief Weaver talked about Newbill and his qualities. He got a couple laughs when telling a story about Officer Newbill and Moscow’s purchase of a Segway Scooter.

It was Officer Newbills who was testing it out riding it around the UI campus and to the police station. An event was held to show off the scooter to the public and the media. Part of the rules were that the officer riding the scooter had to have a helmet on. While Newbill was riding the scooter he crashed it, only as Officer Newbill could. Later as the public were making comments, one elderly lady said “It is nice to see the police are hiring the handicap”.

The children of Officer Newbill got up to speak. His two daughters went first, both telling some stories about their dad. Some more laughter was heard from the crowd. Then Officer Newbill’s son, who is in the military like his father was, and plans to be a police officer, spoke. He quoted a poem from the Officer Down Memorial Page. Following the poem he was getting choked up and could hardly talk. He was in his Air Force uniform. He turned to his father shrine on the stage and saluted. That caused a lot of emotion from the crowd. I could see people starting to wipe tears. I could hear people sniffling. It was touching.

The flag was presented to the family and a 21-gun salute was given. That is when Whitcom (the dispatch center) got on the air. So soon as people hear the sound of the mic keying up, I saw heads quickly drop. We all knew was coming.

“149 – Moscow”
(the police emergency tones go out)
A couple words are spoken in honor of Officer Newbill then it was said:
“149 out of service”.

Following the funeral a large number of bikers were outside near the ladder trucks each one holding an American Flag.

Bikers Line up with American Flags

A New Roommate

May 21st, 2007

I now have a roommate at my house. Today Tyson and his dad worked on moving stuff into the house. I had to move my things out of the bedroom and I put it into my den and my bedroom. That may be enough to get me on the ball.

We had fire training tonight. I also set up a meeting to discuss the reserve association once again. I also set up a meeting with Bien and Stallcop to work over the constitution and bylaws. I also did a training session for the new events page plus we did the sunglasses order.

After training Bien and Stallcop came over. We started to work on hammering out some ideas for the association and I worked on getting the Eastside Fire and Rescue constitution and bylaws scanned into the computer.

I am hoping that by next month we can go before the other reserves and get this association started.

Drive By Cellphoning

February 11th, 2007

I was so tired I just couldn’t get myself out of bed. I had planned on getting up around ten o’clock am to call George. I finally got up around noon and called him about getting my truck seat fixed. I left a message and he called me back a while later. By they I had planned on going to play some poker at Mr. Z’s, but I wanted to get my truck seat fixed. He gave me directions to his place and I headed there. He has a really nice house over looking the LC valley. I helped him remove the seat and chatted with him while he was fixing it. It did not take very long compared to what I thought it would take. It was a total of two hours. He glued all the foam back together as well as added reinforcements to it so it will not happen again anytime soon.

After he was done he took me to his house to show me around. he had a very large house that he built himself. His downstairs had twelve foot ceilings so he can display all his hunting kills. He has a ton of those as well. I got back to Pullman with some time to spare before rig checks. I made myself some dinner and kicked back ever so slightly.

Before long though I had to go to the station. I first spent time with the new guys on their map tests. We got several of them knocked out. While working on the map tests a call went out so I asked Tyson to go on it in my place. It was only a fire alarm. By the time they got back I had started to wash out the bay. We got another call. I went on that one and had Tyson go over some of the tools on Engine while we were gone.

Finally we were able to get back and just work on the rig checks. We were nearly done. Tyson and I did the pump test while Keith and Brian showed the new guys how to use the tools.

When we were all done I went home and started on the project for the HazMat team. I have a bunch of DVD’s they want copies of. I wanted to go to bed because I have to be up for the radio show, plus I am leaving town and wanted some sleep before I would have to prepare for the road.

As I was working away on the DVD copying project I was also working on my organizing of the boxes of files and papers I have that I need to get put away in order to complete the move-in process.

I was able to get a fair amount of that complete as I started the next DVD in the machine. But on the last DVD I was having problems with it not finishing the read.

Before I got to that point, however, I got a call. When I got onscene I was helping with the patient and Matt, from WSU PD, made a joke about the patient having the same issues that I was. I had heard why we were there and then when he said that wasn’t sure I heard him correctly. I was taken aback slightly because I was unsure if he said that because he knew about me or if he was just making a joke. It because clear to me it was a joke at the time. As we were walking out of the apartment he said he was sorry. I then told him I heard he gives reach-arounds, something Kelly, yesterday, said I need to joke with him about.

That was that as far as I knew. But when I got back to my place and I was working on the DVD project I decided to check my facebook account and there was a message from Carl.

I was talking to Matt who told me what he said to you at the Medical call. He said that he felt really bad about it and it was not his intention to offend anyone. He always jokes around but wanted me to tell you he was sorry.

So when I saw this I figured he must now know, if he didn’t already know. I tried to get more information from Carl. It seems that somehow Monte told Matt about me. What really surprised me is that Monte knows. I am not sure how he would have found out. I am curious as to how Monte found out, unless he remembers it from that one article that Rob wrote for the Evergreen. So now Matt knows.

I hate it when people find out. It causes me concern. It is the whole idea that when only I know they other person is normal or what they do to me is them acting out who the are. But when they know I am gay and I know they know then I seem to be hypersensitive about it insofar as I am always wondering what they are thinking. Because now everything I do will go through their “gay” filter. They will wonder if I did something because I am gay. That will be on their mind, and because I know they know I am gay, then I know that they are thinking certain things, therefore I get concerned about what they are thinking. So rather than them being themselves around me they will self-censor and I can never really have good friends if they are always afraid of being who they are.

They should not worry about making any kind of jokes. I don’t want them thinking they need to keep their back to the wall around me. I want them to judge me on being a softball player, or a firefighters, or whatever I am doing. Not based on the fact that I am gay.

How do you explain that to someone? John G. seems to understand what I am saying and he gives me a hard time. Which is how John acts, so he does not treat me differently. But what about Matt. How can I explain to him the concept of being gay I don’t fully understand it. I can explain that I am not happy that I am gay. That it is not something where I make a conscious choice to be attracted to certain guys. I can try to let him know that I would love to be attracted to women and that I could live out a normal life. But because I cannot the only thing that will help is if people don’t stop being themselves around me.

I want him to understand that I believe that you must choose to be offended. And in no way was I offended on the call. He probably thought that because of my reaction, but my reaction was because I was concerned that he knew.

I now have to try to talk to him and hope that he doesn’t start to act differently around me. I hope that I can also get him and Monte to not say anything to anyone as I want the information to not make it out to everyone. I like having my own little secret.

So to top that off we got two more calls. One was for a rollover car accident. Turns out that no one got hurt, but we were on scene for a bit. We got the rig cleaned up. It was nearly five in the morning I figured that we were done for the night, but nope. We had a drive-by cellphoning. That is where someone sees what appears to be a car accident and rather than stopped to see if people are okay, they keep driving and call it in on their cellphone.

The problem is that many times no one is hurt so we all go out there to find the person is fine, or that no one is even there anymore. I wish people would just stop for a couple minutes and see if the person needs an ambulance before calling it in. That would help everyone involved in the situation.

A Year in Review

January 1st, 2007

JanI Have Problems with Vomit – I was dealing with the patient when the patient fell over and started to puke. I was doing well until about the third time puke came flowing. Then I started to dry heave hard core. My second one was so bad. I was facing a cop who jump and got out of the way because he thought I was going to puke. After having my dry heaves keep going, Chris got there and saw me. He asked if I was okay. At first he thought I had gotten hit or something. Shane told him what was going on. Chris said I should just go downstairs. My pride was hurt hardcore. I did not feel really bad, it just sucked going downstairs with people watching.

FebGrandma Dalen Died – After about thirty minutes of trying to sleep the pager went off for a call. But it was about seven in the morning so I decided not to go. I was way too tired. About fifteen minutes later I got a phone call from Mom. I had a feeling what it would be. I was correct. My grandma had died over-night. So now I had to figure out how to get to North Dakota.

MarMariners Spring Training – You can get really close seats at Spring Training. We got to see a lot of the Mariners players. It is a pretty neat experience. Everyone is very laid back. We were always sitting close to the field. Close enough to hear the umpires and players speak. Very strange in deed.

AprChampionship Game – We got to the South Fairway fields into for our game. Don’t Care is our opponent. They are a very good team who have not lost a game yet. We had to be on our A-game. We started off well. And early on had a small two-run lead. But as soon as we got it, they went to work, coupled with several errors, cost us eight-runs. So we were down by six. After that it is like the team gave up a little bit. We could not hit the ball and ended up losing the game. We are the number two team in the competitive league this year! So we are happy about that.

MayI Have Sleep Apnea – Dave and I left around midnight. We had chatted through out the day about the CPAP machine and his situation. He also has a CPAP machine. I got some distilled water for the humidifier. I went home and had it all set up.

JunTory and Brandt Died – I thought about Tory. He fit all the descriptors. He lived on Merman, he had past medical problems and he is about twenty-nine. So I got this sinking feeling in my gut…I met Brandt through Garrett a couple years ago out boating. I have written about him in my blog before. He loved to go balls to the wall on the tube. He was fun to have around boating. I have been trying to find out when he is coming back to the area to get him out boating again.

JulBecoming an Engineer – We went to the tower and pumped water for about an hour and a half. I took a hydrant. I flowed water and simulated the foam. I set up the relief valve and calculated friction loss and the whole works. I passed the test so now I am an engineer.

AugSold My Colfax House – I got a call today from my real estate agent. He said the paperwork is signed and I can start to move my stuff from the house. I have set the plans in motion with renting a new storage place that is larger. I also sent out an E-mail to a lot of people looking for help. I am willing to throw a kegger with a free-roll Texas Hold’em tournament for those who help.

SeptCrew Leader Anderson – I will forever remember the day I became crew leader. It is “the day.” September Eleventh. Five years after the terrorist attacks on America.

OctMercer Island Boat Patrol – While at work today I got an E-mail from Heston regarding employment on a Mercer Island boat patrol. I jokingly asked Heston if he would miss me this summer. He sent me contact information for the Sgt in charge of the boat patrol. I called him up and he wants me to meet with him when I got to Seattle next week.

NovBuying a House – Following the show Peter and I went to Moscow to get my boat. We took it to my place and put it into the garage. It fits in there. I was happy about that. Peter and I went around the house. He thought it was a nice looking place. I think over all I am going to be happy with it.

DecThirteen Deaths on the Roads – I got on scene of a truck that had rolled pinning the victim. I did my photos and investigation. Following that I went to the funeral home to complete the investigation. I also went to the coroners office to do my paperwork and print the photos. Pete showed up there and we went over the case and the photos.

This was pretty hard there were about four different things I wanted to post about in September, but I think the longest lasting is my promotion to Crew Leader at Pullman Fire. Over all one thing that has been big the final three and a half months is the high number of traffic fatalities in Whitman County. We were averaging about one death a week. I also had my chance to be the IC on a major call for Colfax Fire.

It has been an interesting year that has allowed me another job with Mercer Island. I also got a lot of experience with the coroner’s office on two suicide hangings and many car accidents as well as other deaths.

Today, to start off the new year Brian and I were on Rescue running some calls today. We started with three calls for the night. We broke the ought-seven ice for both EMS and fire calls. But they were all pretty minor calls.

I am the Best Man!

December 15th, 2006

It is something I have always wanted to do. Being the best man is something that does not happen to everyone. You have to have a super strong bond with another man, who is your best friend. That is what I have with Ryan. He called me up today and asked me. I was so excited that he asked me. I am thrilled that I am going to be the guy. Now it is time to learn about everything I need to do on top of getting ready for the wedding, which is still almost nine months away.

The power was out all over the Puget Sound region so I did not have the ability to VPN into work. I had my dentist appointment this morning. I got my crown installed. It feels good to have that in.

I went to stand by a tree that appeared that it was under imminent falling earlier in the day. I stood by it for about two hours keeping people away and waiting to be relieved by Avista. A couple time people just drove over the cones and up the road. I stopped one guy who said he saw them, but he just didn’t think it meant the road was closed.

After that Peter and I went to go see Stranger Then Fiction. That was a pretty good movie. Later we came to my apartment and watched Saw II while having some pizza. He also helped me do some cleaning in my den. I have a lot of clear floor space. I am able to move around and things are a lot better organized. There is still a lot to do, but I am trying to always be working on something.

My First Poker Party

December 9th, 2006

I was excited by the fact that this evening would be my first poker party at my new house. I had the people who helped me move come over for the poker game. But before the party I had to get my house all set up and ready. The morning, however, started off with a phone call from my mom. She told me Gary’s mom, Natalie, died. I found the obituary online and read about it. I don’t know much about what happened at this time.

When I went out shopping for stuff for my poker party, I got a card for Tom. I am going to send it to him.

I got my house cleaned up and set out all sorts of things for people including my hard-A collection. I got some beer and pop at the store as well.

Peter came over early and we watched Four Brothers on DVD. Shortly after that was over Mike showed up and we got the computer set up for the poker party. John, Andrew, Russell, as well as Peter, Mike, and I were here for some cards. We started at around six-twenty in the evening. I got wiped out early by Russell on an all-in bet. I had to rebuy. The game carried on. My plan was to have a break at seven-forty-five for pizza. I had ordered it earlier in the day.

But they showed up thirty minutes early. So we took our break early and had pizza. We knocked out all the pizza’s before getting back to cards. After the fourth round we had the final re-buys and add-ons. Then it was time to knock people out. We had already knocked out Andrew. He chose not to rebuy. Then we knocked out Russell, John, and Peter. Finally it was just Mike and I playing heads up, but I was not getting anything at all and he had about ten-times my stack. I slowly lost my money mainly to blinds.

Then we broke out the change and started to play a nickel-dime-quarter poker game. It was dealers choice. Peter, Mike, John, and I played until one in the morning. When we completed our final game Peter, John, and I hung out for a few minutes talking and I got my kitchen and dining room cleaned up and everything put away so I did not have to do it in the morning.

The Office is Gone

November 27th, 2006

After years of renting office space on Nye Street in Pullman, I have closed the office and turned in the key. I will take the money I was spending on the office and put it towards my new house payments. I also will cancel my phone and DSL service. It is cheaper for me to use cable and it will work out okay, as far as I can tell at this point.

I got my cable installed today. Because of the savings of not having the telephone bill, and the offer that cable has at this point, it is going to be the same price to have cable TV and internet service. So I will have both for six months. Who knows I may keep cable TV, with just the basic channels, but then again, I am so unproductive when I have TV calling my name. I will decide soon. It probably was a bad idea to get TV.

I would like to hook up a computer to the cable system so I can record shows and watch them when the time is good for me rather than being locked down to watching the show when it comes on the air.

I went to my OTEP training tonight, but then I got a call about a CISD about the car accident from the other night, so I opted to go to that instead. That went about four hours. I got home as it was snowing and ugly. I only have three hours until I have to get up again.

Incident Commander

November 25th, 2006

When I woke up this morning, if you had told me what I would have been doing today I would not have believed it. I started out as expected. John came over and helped me load up all my trash from the boxes that I have been going through the last few nights. I have been getting rid of a lot of things that I don’t need, but I have held onto over the years. Anyway, John and I went to the dump and threw everything away. Then we went to my office and he helped me get a couple more items from there and dropped them off at the house.

We went inside and just hung out for a while we were talking about Pullman fire and the divide between the reserves and career guys. We talked about the union and their position on things as well as how Moscow Ambulance covers Pullman when there are no career guys left to cover the city. I told John that I thought it is strange the union would argue that a reserve cannot run the ambulance but at the same time allow a volunteer from a different state cover the city. John argued that the volunteers have experience running the ambulance but the reserves don’t. That I would be one of the only reserves who would be able to do what is necessary to run the ambulance and only because of my experience from Colfax. John said he felt I was experienced.

After John left I headed to Colfax to work on my coroner’s report and printing the photos from the case I had on Thanksgiving night. I was in the Coroner’s Office printing the photos and typing up the report for about an hour and a half. I got everything completed and was starting to gather up all the case files for this case and organize it when Pete showed up. I went through the photos with him and he agreed with me about my findings. I took off and went to Rosauers to get some pop and my plan was to go to Colfax Fire and hang out for a few hours because I wanted to relax from all the moving stuff I have been doing over the last two weeks.

Jim was working and we just were talking about the weather, with the snow coming, plus the case I had on Thanksgiving, as he was a responder to that case. It had been a little over an hour when a call came in for a roll-over accident. I was shotgun with Carl driving. We got on scene and pretty much were cancelled by Squad Eleven-Thirty-Five who was first on scene. We went back to the station.

Carl left, David, Craig, and I hung out with Jim. We were there for about twenty minutes or more. We were watching some TV and talking about the call. Plus we were listening in to WSP and Colfax PD going to slide off after slide off in the S-Curves outside of Colfax. The snow was not falling too much, but it was cold and things were getting slick. Then Craig mentioned that we should get some food before we get too busy. I said that if you eat, go to the bathroom and are totally ready for the call they will not happen.

I said that as I sat on the couch thinking about how bad I needed to go to the bathroom. But no sooner than that we hear tones. A two car injury accident the S-Curves south of Colfax. David jumped in the drivers seat, I took shotgun and Craig got in the back. I was going to wait for Carl to show up, but then I hear someone was unconscious so we hit the road.

As we were en route I thought about the number of patients and what we would see. I told Whitcom to make sure Rescue Eleven was going to be responding, so they toned out Rescue Eleven. When we were getting closer we were told it was near Huber. We could see the car accident as we rounded the last corner. I had been thinking about my size up and what to do when we got close to the scene. Dispatch advised us that we had something and one code black. I cannot even remember what the “something” was because when the words code black were thrown at me I did not have time to think about it more than someone died. I had to get on the air and give a size up. I could see a big suburban and a small car. I Suburban had eating the small car. I could see the deceased in the front seat of the small car. I saw people gathered around the backseat of the small car. I saw someone in the front seat of the Suburban. I gave my size up, but I lost my train of thought with all the things I was thinking about at once. I cannot even remember my whole size up. I had a nearly impossible time saying who I was and what I was naming command.

I went to the car at first and tried to open the door of the back seat. It was jammed. I wanted to make sure it was unlocked. David could not get to it from the front because of the deceased. The EMT who happened on the scene was not able to get the door unlocked. We needed extrication.

The small car was handled by the people there so I went to the suburban and started to talk to the people there. Seeing they were not really badly injured I knew they were green. I went back to the small car briefly. In that time the people had moved around in the Suburban. I went to the passenger side where the driver was now sitting. I spoke with him briefly. I told him that someone would be coming to do patient care. Ambulance Eleven-Two was coming on scene. I took Milt with me to a truck where the others from the Suburban were sitting. I had the others go to the guy in the Suburban.

With my nerves jumping and the cold weather I has shivering really badly. My teeth were chattering and I was trying to see what was wrong with the patient, if anything. I talked to them and they seemed okay for the most part. I went back to the Suburban. The guy agreed to go to the hospital, but he did not want to go by ambulance. The driver of the Suburban agreed to go to the hospital. When I was explaining that to the driver of the Suburban, Jenny, who was holding C-Spine was shaking her head “no” because of the mechanism of injury she felt they had to go by ambulance. I went back towards the truck. During this part I was not really thinking I was command even though I initiated command. Then Milt sort of inadvertently got me into command-mode. He started to ask me about what resources we had and what I should call for. I knew that if all the patients were to be transported we would have two red, and three green. Which would mean four ambulances. One red would have a prolonged extrication and the green were ready to go if we could convince them to go.

While I was thinking about resources I knew I needed another ambulance. I asked Whitcom in Albion Ambulance was en route. They told me it was. One red was already en route to the hospital. I soon got word Whitman Community was putting us on divert. So all additional patients needed to go to Pullman. I contacted the people with the car and tried to find out about the patient who was still in the car. I was told the patient appeared to be in bad shape. I knew we needed MedStar but I was not sure if it could fly. I contacted Whitcom and asked them MedStar’s status. I was told they could fly. I said to launch them and have them go to Whitman Community hospital for the LZ. I told Albion Ambulance when they arrived where to park. We got two patients with Albion and one in Ambulance Eleven-Two. Now I only had one patient. I also had Paul-Sixty-Five put on alert. About two minutes later I got a call from Whitcom. I saw the number and knew what they were doing. I answered the phone and they were putting me on stand by. I informed them I was IC and that they needed to put Patti on stand by.

Rescue Eleven’s crew and some of the others who were on scene were working on getting the Suburban lifted and the patient extricated. I got called on the radio by Scott to see if we needed him up at the scene. I told him we needed ILS and had him come. He came POV. He started an IV and did patient care. We were trying to find out where MedStar was and they were getting close, but extrication was taking a long time. The Suburban had T-boned the car at a slight angle. The drivers wheel was on top of the patient in the back seat. It was ge
tting dark and we were still working on everything. I was not cold anymore. I was quite comfortable in an odd way because it was cold outside, but I still needed to go to the bathroom really bad.

Ambulance Eleven-One was back and Ambulance Eleven-Three out of Steptoe had been called to assist on another accident that happened. It turned out to be non-injury so they asked if we needed them at the scene. We had all the people we needed and had no ambulance in the city. I told them to go to Colfax Fire and stand by for additional calls.

We had the Suburban cribbed and using airbags to get it lifted high enough, but we were starting to run out of cribbing. Carl asked me if we could remove the deceased. That is not something that is done unless there is a good reason. I asked if it was necessary for the rescue operation. He said it was. I told him the living that priority. So I said that we could remove the deceased. I took a bunch of photos for the coroner as the deceased was removed. All of a sudden a loud noise happened and I saw the Suburban break some cibbing and the airbags came out and the Suburban fall back into its original position. We called for a tow truck to help. When it got on scene we had it lift the Suburban.

MedStar then wanted to know if we were nearly ready for them because they wanted to transport the first red patient. I contact the people doing the extrication and they said they were close. I was then told they wanted to know in minutes how long. I asked Scott and he said if they need to leave send a second bird. I told that to Whitcom. Within about seven or eight minutes the second patient was free and I told Whitcom we were transporting the patient to hold the bird if it had not left.

We were finally in clean up mode. We were done. Chief Krause pulled me aside for a moment. He said that he did not take command from me because he thought I was doing a good job. He let me know I had done a good job. I had been asked by State Patrol how long the coroner would take. I said she was coming from Garfield. They asked if we could have the coroner coming. That was a while back and I had the coroner en route. She arrived just after we got the last patient free. I told her what happened and she started her investigation. We cleared the scene and I terminated command. It had been nearly an hour and a half since the incident started that we had the final patient freed.

I went to Colfax fire and took the camera to the coroners office to download the photos for Patti. I went back to Colfax fire and spoke with the people there for a few minutes. Scott said that I had done a good job. Then I went to the funeral home to work with Patti there. The deceased had massive injuries. Following the time at the funeral home Patti and I went to the coroners office to print photos and she wrote her report.

I finally left the coroners office around nine-thirty at night. I took a body bag to the ambulance to replace the one we had used from there. Then I went to Pullman. But as I got to Colfax Body I saw the cars and state patrol there. I stopped in and spoke to the trooper. I got a copy of the drivers license and looked at the car some more. It was amazing, a miracle that the patient in the back passenger side even lived.

I went to Pullman and then to Whitcom. I showed Jamie the photos from the wreck. We talked about it and how the whole scene went. I spoke to the other dispatchers who were also there for part of the wreck. I stayed at Whitcom for a couple hours unwinding and talking with them about various calls and learning more about how they dispatch things.

That was my first time being command through out a major incident. Normally I can stay command on Pullman calls if it turns out to be a small call, like a fire alarm. Many times I initiate command but it is taken from me as soon as someone else arrives. I have been thinking about all the things I did not do that I probably should have done. Nothing affected the outcome that I did “wrong”. It wasn’t necessarily bad, it would have been better form if I had done certain things. When Scott got there I should have put him incharge of a patient care group. And I should have put Carl or Krause in charge of the extrication group. That is pretty much what had happened anyway, but I did not verbalize those things. I just wish I had verbalized them. I should have had someone on safety detail as well. I was doing that job myself. I made sure that I mitigated the things that I saw that needed to be done for safety. It was a great experience. I had five patients, two car, extrication, cops, the coroner, and multiple agencies and rigs that I was dealing with. Everything happened that needed to happen and things went pretty smooth considering what we were working with.

I was Hired!!!

November 13th, 2006

The PES today was great. Peter and I were on fire. We were talking about a lot of the big issues that have happened over the last week. We really fed off each other well and it was great.

Following the show Peter and I went to Moscow to get my boat. We took it to my place and put it into the garage. It fits in there. I was happy about that. Peter and I went around the house. He thought it was a nice looking place. I think over all I am going to be happy with it.

As I was dropping off Peter I got a call from the Sgt from Mercer Island. I was not sure how my polygraph came back. So I had been nervous all weekend. He asked if I had a few minutes to talk. I said that I would in a few minutes. I wanted Peter out of earshot when we talked in case I had to explain anything or whatever.

I went to the office and took care of some stuff online while I waited for the phone call. He called up and said the polygraph and my background came back good so I was being offered a position! I set up some times in late November and early December to do some training and even work a couple shifts. That is pretty neat.

I had fire training tonight with Pullman. We are doing more extrication training. That was taking place at the Deuce. Before the training I asked E. Dearth how his hiring process went with Mercer Island. They were interested in hiring him. It turned out they did hire him, so I will be working with him over there too. I don’t know why, but he is going to have forty hours of different kinds of training before he is going to be able to work, where all they are doing with me is some boat drive time and equipment familiarization. It could be my background that is moving me along faster. When the Sgt. heard I was a corrections officer and whatnot he was very excited about getting me hired.

So far I have not told anyone that I have been hired by Mercer Island. I think I will leave that unspoken. Not that I am trying to hide it or anything, it will just be a fun little thing that no one will know about.

Training went until nine o’clock in the evening. Then we had to fill some air bottles and get Rescue back in service with the things we used. By the time we were done it was after ten-thirty. I got some pizza from Pipeline and then went to Mike’s to play some poker.

I was going to play for about an hour and leave, but it turned out to be a couple hours before I left. It was nearly two in the morning went I finally got to sleep.