Friday, February 24, 2012


Quiet mornings. Quiet mornings are nice. This picture was taken from the back porch of a house we rented for the week my daughter got married in Maryland. Beautiful is it not? “Sunrise Over The Chesapeake” and it was no less than amazing to sit on that porch each morning. Can you even imagine what it would be like to be able to wake every morning to that view. That view of the beauty of God’s creation. The only sounds the quiet lapping of the waves from the bay, an occasional bird whistle – the sounds of nature.

Quiet mornings.

I am a morning person if you are not you are missing out on so much in my humble opinion. Early mornings before anyone else is up, before the hustle and bustle of work. Before all the pressures of day to day living start to weigh upon your mind. Go outside and sit in silence, read from the Bible or some other book that has short inspirational thoughts to ponder.

Sit in silence and meditate.

Mother Teresa, the greatest woman to live in the 20th century had this to say about it in the book “In the Heart of the World” - “In the silence of the heart God speaks. If you face God in prayer and silence, God will speak to you. Then you will know that you are nothing. It is only when you realize your nothingness, your emptiness, that God can fill you with Himself. Souls of prayer are souls of great silence.

In the silence of the heart God Speaks to us so be quite and listen.

Mother Teresa also said. We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature - trees, flowers, grass- grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence... We need silence to be able to touch souls.

How many souls, all over the world did she touch, and continues to touch?

Be quite and listen.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

So Much For a Holiday Weekend!

Well, well well- last weekend was the Presidents Day Holiday Weekend and you would think a golf addict like myself would get in two rounds at least. If you did you would be wrong! I guess I should be happy to be alive, and I am but I sure did miss getting to play me some golf!

The weekend started out as an ok one- but Saturday morning turned into a disaster.

My wife and I had tickets to the Mystic Crewe of Zues Ball thing that they do every year in Hattiesburg. This was not my choice of how to spend a Friday night- all dressed up in a stupid looking Tuxedo - even if I was with a well dressed and very hot lady. If you know me go look at facebook to see one hot couple.
The first of this 'show' was actually good, there was an Irish Band called Graffiti Classics that got the ball rolling. The band consisted of two babes on violins along with one dude with a violin and another one with one of them big old six foot tall bass. The band put on a good show.
Next was this 'play' where they did Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes - with kids of Crewe members playing the parts. Basically a way to get the kids on stage, have their names called, in some cases "daughter of Mr & Mrs Theygotmoremoneythanyoudo".
Act III was when they introduced the King. Queen and their Court. Lots of fancy clothes with all kinds of glitter and more of the son of, grandaughter and cousin to some other persons. People do so like to hear their names over the loudspeaker in a theater! Some where in all of this they also introduced all past Kings and Queens that they could get to the theater.
Act IV was the grownups turn to play the parts in Mother Goose Fairy Tales. Grown men in their first year in the Crewe or "Dignitaries" all dressed up in silly costumes and paraded across the stage. Like all of the others these folks were also very proud of their family trees.
Act V: The party itself. A band at the Community Center- expensive drinks, which made me glad I don't partake of alcohol anymore, and almost now where to sit! This place was near to over crowded by the formula from the Life Safety Code and all there was to do was dance. Dance we did my hot little wife and I. We finally left after 2 AM getting home and into bed sometime after 3.
By the way- rich drunks act just as stupid as poor drunks they just look classy in those formal dresses.

I arose from my bed around 9 Saturday morning, cooked the woman and I some pancakes and sausage. After I had my breakfast I was sitting in my chair, going to watch some TV since it was pouring rain and there would be no golf. Well, well soon after perching in my chair I felt like my heart was doing flips in my chest.

Flips in my chest, a feeling I have had before and thought I had fixed last August with a  procedure called Ablation. I was converting into AFib or Atrial Flutter which is a condition where the heart is misfiring causing the atrium to not beat properly. It is actually a fairly common condition that some people live with every day. When I go into A-fib there is this other problem. The bottom part or ventricles take over and compensate for the lack of beats from the top and starts to beat really fast causing me unbearable pain.
The big problem with A-fib is that blood can pool inside the atrium causing clots which could cause a stroke so I almost immediately got up and   took a Pradaxa which is a blood thinner that works almost immediately. I had these on hand, on doctors orders just in case this were to occur. I then tried to just sit around and find a comfortable position and could find none. I took a shower, got dressed and again tried to make it ease, it did not. I then told my wife to get her a shower that I was ready to go to the hospital.
Before I had the Ablation  this was something I did about every three weeks and had not had to do it in just over 6 months. Normally I would go in and they would try IV drugs, first to slow the rate and then to convert it to normal rhythm. This has worked only one time. All of the other times my doctor would take me to the cath lab and convert it by electro shock but this was not going to happen on a weekend and I knew it.

I will not go into all the trials of the ER- they pussy foot around way to darn much for me but will say that I got there- they took me right in- hooked me up - said yes you are in A-fib and your heart rate is 184 bpm.
Wow- no wonder it hurts so damn bad- chest hurts- jaws hurt, it feels like someone has their giant hands around my throat squeezing hard and I can't breath worth a hoot. So do something. They started me on the same IV drug that slows the rate which eased the pain and said they would have to admit me, which I knew they would- they always say that. During the week I can get my cardiologists to over rule that- shock me and send me home but not today. They did at least call his office, he was not the one on call but I did see one of the partners.
I got a room- and sometime later they gave me a pill that would 'help' the other drug slow my heart down since it was still about 120. Well now that just did the trick- heart rate went down to like 40- now its to darn slow! Long story short my heart did convert to normal on its own about 1030 or so Saturday night. First- it stopped for about 8 seconds, or they said it did- they were monitoring it with this thing in my pocket. I know when that happened and I realized that right after that I was in normal rhythm. I almost passed out- got real dizzy had some tingling sensations all over my body and could not see nothing but stars for a short bit- then all was well. They came- more than one of them- several of them to the room and said we have to do an EKG- I said ok, but my heart is normal right now. She said that is what the EKG shows. So I thought I would go home in the morning. Note they did not tell me about the 'pause' and I did not know at that time that it occurred.  The doc told me Sunday morning.
He told me about it and after thinking about it I know the dizzy spell was when it stopped. He also said that he thought it was probably the drug combination but he wanted to keep me for 24 more hours and monitor it- so I said ok- that was quite a fright to say the least.
Anyhow- my Doctor came in early Monday and sent me home, he thinks it was just the other drug and should not really worry about it- I already had an appointment with the doctor that did the surgery in Jackson for next week and he decided to let that doc decide the next course of action.
I knew going into the Ablation last August that it was not guaranteed to work- that it sometimes takes two or three of them to work 100%. I was feeling confident that the one time would be enough after 6 months but I guess I was wrong- now its time to see what the doc thinks we should do and my sweet wife and I to decide which way to go from here.

Oh yea- I have a date with my youngest daughter to play golf tomorrow afternoon!

Friday, February 17, 2012

The Rules Donot Apply To Me

Part of my job here at SSC is to issue permits for folks that work here to be able to use "convenience  appliances" such as microwaves and coffee pots. It sounds silly but with about 6000 folks here if they did not regulate it we would probably have fires from people using old worn out stuff or using it in an unsafe manner. Anyway- I got this application for use of- from one of the Safety people. He works in Safety and is over a large construction project and should know the rules, and does know the rules.
One of the main rules on appliances is this: "Only approved electric cords manufactured for use with the appliance being operated shall be used. electric cords shall be kept in good condition, protected from heat or mechanical damage, and plugged directly into a wall or floor receptacle as specified in OSHA Standard {29 CFR 1910.334}. Extension cords shall not be used."

What part of "plugged directly into a wall or floor receptacle" does this guy not understand? Does he think I will make an exception because it is him?
This is what he wrote on his application: "Will be used by J** D******** on porch on south side. Used with extension cord and brought back into office 104 each day."

I Gave it to one of the inspectors to go and take a look to see if it was ok for permit issuance. He was back in the office in about 3 minutes, laughing, and asked me if I had read this. The whole crew had a good laugh out of that one.

I called the dude, seems he eats fish almost every day (health nut) to get the omegas and such stuff. The other occupants said they would tar and feather him if he put anymore fish in the microwave. What ever type he eats stinks to high hell or something.

I told him no. I know it is temporary. I know this and I know that. I don't care if you think you have to eat fish for your heart.

Sorry its still no. It is not Rocket Science. Would you allow the contractor on this job to skirt the rules- knowing it would be your rear in the sling if it goes bad? The guy next door wants his extension cord also, gee where does it stop?

Give these folks an inch and they will take a light year.

Now I am an asshole.

So be it.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Time time time- constant demands on MY time.

I threw this thing up last week thinking I would post from work, which is really the only time I mess around on the internet. Yea- I am one of those that take time from work and goof off- so freaking what.
Now- back to the time thing. Truth is, in the normal fashion of my job, I have enough spare time to do so. In fact I goof off at times just so I don't get it all done to soon. My boss has been gone for two weeks now so you would think I would have more time to screw around and do things like write on a blog. Hell no! When he is gone I get his  work he is required by the company to get out- and for the company or the customer things have to be on time- remember the Govt holds its contractors to a much higher standard than the Govt has!

Speaking of the Company- this actually is a great company to work for, one that actually cares about the employees. After 30 years with the City of Hattiesburg and one mayor that actually said "firemen are a necessary evil" it is refreshing. There  are the demands- high pressure at times- to meet contractual requirements but at least they do it with a smile. Audits- damn audits- this place is the most audited place in the world. Paper work audits- you know, "did you do what you say you do when you say you do it and where is the proof". I hate audits- and when they catch you with some errors- even a darn typo- and write you up! An audit write up requires more paperwork to track- a plan to fix and then darn proof that you did what you say you did!

Anyway- some darn dignitaries are due here- past due now by 8 minutes to see the station and I have to give the 75 cent tour- more darn demands on my time!

I will find time to post- I am actually working on a short story about a fire crew making entry into a house fire and since the Captain is me it will be R rated!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


BLOG? Me BLOG? I don't even know what the hell blog stands for. Oh wait while I go Google it.

I get it now, I think. This is the acryonym for weBLOG. Why BLOG? It sounds like something nasty, something you spit out, blog, blog, patoey!

I read a few blogs when I get the time. Some interesting, some that make you think and others that are just plain damn stupid. I have also been told that I should do one, so I guess now that I have started typing it is being done. I don't know why though. I do have lots of thoughts but am not, repeat am NOT one that puts words on paper in any type of coherent fashion.
I am not an author. What I am is a tired old fireman, very tired retired from public service and now working my rear end off in the private sector, or for a contract FD on a Federal Base. Not bad but here it is a high pressure corparate world.  "Excellence, On Time, Within Scope and Within Budget". One thinks the government holds it contractors to a much higher standard than they live by, doesn't one?
I am a tired old fireman but not a firefigher anymore. I know push paper or computer keys and my desk is full of stuff I have to get entered into they system. My job as Fire Prevention Officer keeps me very busy with 8 inspectors going out daily and then having to research the Fire Codes so I can site word for word to idiots that they have to do what we said they have to do to protect their or their workers lives. Its a never ending merry-go-round.

Anyway I have a question. Should I do this? Should old HT write a BLOG? Darn that is such a nasty sounding word. Would anyone actually read what I put down? I do have thoughts, as does every one and I have opinions on most anything.
One that is hitting me at the moment is the death penalty since good ole Misasipe just killed another one. Thing is I was an alternate on his trail- did not have to vote since the original 12 stayed on but I did have to sit through the entire thing. This is one of the many reasons I am now opposed to the death penalty. Does anyone want to read about that crap. Let me know.