Saturday, October 25, 2008

Be near me

While on this journey through life the same question arises. Amongst my other thoughts during reflection on what I have done and what I will do. The riddle pops into my head yearning for me to answer. Each time I respond the answer changes. It changes as my life progresses. "What is life?" or "What is reality?"
In a chaotic world full of confusion I strive for a patent moral compass. One capable of weathering any storm. No matter how lost or bewildered I become it always points me north. So that I may continue on my journey.
To create such a compass I must began with the question "what is reality?"
All of earth and space is matter. The ground, the air, sky and us. We are matter. Matter is energy. Light energy that creates matter by vibrations. Slower vibrations in the light energy are more denser objects such as rocks and the earth. Faster vibrations are liquids, gases, and flesh.
Harnessing the light energy in my brain I am able to form memories and thoughts. These thoughts allow me to create my own reality. A reality of light energy. In my reality my choices affect everything in it. My world changes as I change it.
When I encounter another human being reality becomes a co-creation of separate realities. Therefore my reality is projected onto yours and vice versa. If my world is full of love. Then now part of your world is love. If my world is hate. Then your world has in it hate.
In effect I everything I do is reflected onto the other realities I encounter. Therefore if my mission in life is to create a safe and loving world for myself, my family and my community then my reality must reflect that. So that my reality can project onto others to make that mission achievable.
This requires a man to being open and loving. Not just any form of love but truly unconditional love. Any true man is capable of that love. The love that God intended for us. A man must purge himself and his wounds carried from birth. That baggage, hate and fear must be removed so the space left can be filled with love. Not a cheesy love but one that burns deep inside. Burning love that ignites in others through smoking embers that float from one reality to another. Burning love that will began to catch other realities on fire. Now my reality is as I choose it to be. A flaming ball of love, openess and integrity to others.
So be near me and feel this burning love. Let the embers travel to your reality and ignite your own fire.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Service

Service to me means:
    1. Assistance; help: was of great service to him during his illness.
    2. An act of assistance or benefit; a favor: My friend did me a service in fixing the door.
    1. Active devotion to God, as through good works or prayer.
    2. A religious rite.


So I'm a little confused when I hear these terms with reference to the
word 'service'.


Internal Revenue 'Service'

U.S. Postal 'Service'

Telephone 'Service'

Cable 'Service'

State, City & County Public 'Service' Customer 'Service'

This is not what I thought 'service' meant. But when I overheard
two farmers talking, and one of them said he had hired a bull to
'service' a few cows. BAM!!! It all came into focus. Now I
understand what all those 'service' agencies are doing to us.

Now you're are as enlightened as I am.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Fall Springs

So as you may have noticed I never got around to writing my second Hurricane Ike post. Shame on me. Amazing how after power was regained two weeks later, everything was back in full swing. That's life. Mentally, I had a wonderful hurricane preparation list I wanted to share. It was much more useful, in my opinion, to a normal human. At least compared to the BS list the TV and newspaper use. Too bad I've forgotten to write most of it down. I guess if my blogs ever going to popular I need to carry around a pen and pad.

So Fall is here. The weather has been nice lately. Allowing me to spend nights on the porch reflecting, people watching, catching up with neighbors and friends. When I was a younger tadpole, I remember enjoying the summers more. Probably the lack of school and responsibilities. Now I find the fall to be my favorite time of the year. Which is ironic as a optimist. Fall is used as setting in literature for dying, death, and the beggining of the end. But for me it's a chance to enjoy cool evenings and maybe even wear a few articles of clothing that I hardly get an opportunity to. The seventy five percent of the year when it's hot allows for very little wardrobe variation. Now I can pimp some long sleeve shirts and jackets without looking out of place.


Work has been interesting of late. Somewhere deep inside I've even found a new love for my work. Feelings most of which came from reviving a elderly woman at a nursing home. The call came in as a respiratory problem; the normal routine stuff. We arrived on scene weary eyed and zombie like at 2am. It struck me something was awry when I saw the look on the ambulance crews' faces. There was our patient laying face up on the bathroom floor motionless. With the two of them seeming lost and giving indirect looks that asked for help. It took me longer than I care to admit before I was fully conscious. CPR was initiated, intraosseous needle to the leg for IV access. The cardiac monitor was textbook asystole (flat line). Not ten minutes later we had pulses back.
A few days later it felt like a full moon. By lunch time we had already made a call where a guy jumped out of a car going sixty plus down the freeway. Apparently he had given up on life. His girlfriend was driving and in the middle of traffic he invited death to take him. The lucky SOB managed to not get hit by surrounding traffic. He was briefly unconscious when we arrived. To my disbelieve I could only find a large hematoma on the right side of his head where he made love to the concrete. Of course he had large sections of fleshless abrasions on his elbows and knees. En route to the hospital he looked at me and asked if he was going to make it. Despite most peoples understanding that we are inclined to give reassuring comments, its actually the contrary. Giving false hope is a terrible seed to plant that can blossom and blow up in your face. It's not we don't desire to give hope. Just not in false assurances. We do it through actions. Nothing worse that looking into the face of someone breathing their last few breaths and their last facial expression is a sorrowful "why did you lie to me" look.
However, in this case the guy was actually going to make it. So I told him "yeah man, you're going to be alright." To which he quickly replied as if in pain "ahh no, damn it." I said some things to him. Most of which I can't seem to recall. It was a transfer of invisible energy from the heart of someone who thrives on the beauty of life to one who finds it undesirable to the point of anguish. The words were not thought through. Then he cried, making sounds I haven't heard a man make. He wanted me to hold his hand and I obliged. All the reasons inside of me that make me do this type of work wanted this story to have a happy ending.
One of the less talked about type of problems with this job is not always seeing the happy ending. Sometimes it reminds me of lighting a firework but turning away. You never know if it's a beautiful display or a dud. Take my suicidial friend for instance. We delivered our boy safely to the hospital were he'll be receiving treatment for his traumatic wounds. Then they'll transfer him to psych. From there they'll examine his head in a total different method from the ER. Part of me wants to beleive he'll be a new man. But it's the part that likes to give false assurances as well. The romantic, dreamer part of me that often fails to see reality. That's where my realist side steps in a sort of couple like compromise. So I fear I'll never know the outcome and what the future holds.
The rest of the day was full of insanity. Lot's of overdoses on every type of meds, drug, alochol cocktail you can imagine. It makes me wonder if our instant gratification society now turns to an easy alternative for confronting internal strife. What's in our programming to make us behave in such a way?
Later that night we had a stab wound call. Well actually we heard it on the radio and told dispatch to add us on the record. Upon arrival we found a lady, half covered in blood and still partly in shock, walking towards us. Apparently there was a small get together. Everything was going well. Everyone was enjoying themselves. Until one of the peeps went beserk breaking glass, mirrors and grabbing a knife in the process. We found the sheath to the dagger. It had a dragon painted on the leather. Similar to the ones bought at the renaissance festival. The interesting part of the story is after the guy went beserk and stabbed a few people. Someone called 911 and by the time we got there all the party goers had fled. Which to me screams drugs. Let the imagine wonder... The woman was fine. So we had no patient. I did make sure to watch my back walking around the darkness of the house while there's some guy loose with a medeival dagger.
En garde!

Well that's my spill for now. I did want to share that I have been doing some work on myself. Actually going to a retreat in a few weeks. Nervous and excited about it at the same time. Some skeletons in the closet I'm not looking forward to seeing.

I'd like to close with a challenge for my readers. Go out and do something extraordinary today. Stop for a few minutes in silence and listen to your heart, conscience, internal monologue. You might have to really listen, something most of us are not accustomed to. Hear what it's telling you and take action. If you desire shoot me an email or comment on the outcome.

In harsh and brutal unifying love,

Monday, September 22, 2008

Ike and the Aftermath Numero Uno

Whoa, what a crazy time for the Gulf Coast. Here we are well over a week past Ike and still no power. Trees and debris still litter lawn and streets. An insane week at work with an unheard of amount of fires. Despite the chaos I am grateful that most survived. That and I will have a historically low electric bill next month. :)
I was originally going to wait till I had power and some symptoms of a normal life again before posting this. However, there's no guaranty when the power will be restored. So before I begin to forget what this experience was like in my personal and work life. I'm going to kick off the first week or so. Enjoy!

THE FIRST NIGHT:
After thirty six hours of work, I wanted nothing more than just to relax. I had spent twenty four hours at the fire station. During which I received a call to ask if I would come into work at my side job to help evacuate people on the south and southeast parts of Houston. Hard to refuse. So I went straight from the fire station to evacuating half a dozen hospice patients. One of which had already discontinued feeding. When Friday afternoon rolled around at home I was still in a lethargic mode. Spoke with a few of the neighbors to get their thoughts on leaving town. Most replied they would be staying and sticking it out. In agreement I decided to hunker down.
At dusk I moved the couch from the living room to a centrally located hallway (actually the only hallway in the house). I brought Maxine, my cat, indoors. We sat on the couch all night. I found it comical that about the same time my neighbors that were supposedly "sticking it out" were now leaving. Maxine and I sat quietly on the couch. Outside it was anything but quiet. The initial wind was hot and humid. It reminded me of mother nature's breath. Which surprised me. I thought there would be more rain at the beginning.
Around 10pm the lights went out. I lit a candle. The winds continued to grow in intensity as the night progressed. The closer the eye slithered toward us the worse it got. By 2am the wind around the house was as loud as a train. Intermittently it would sound as if medium sized objects were flying by the windows on the east side of the house. At times it felt as if the pier and beams under my house were loose. Ever so slight movements of the floor sent a few shivers up my spine. I gripped the couch tightly.

DAY TWO, SATURDAY
At 4am everything went silent. The eye floated over surveying the wake of it's destruction and sighing with pleasure. It only lasted briefly and the wind was back in full swing almost instantly. From then on the winds slowly decreased until the sun rose Saturday morning. The winds were still blowing fiercely as the few remaining neighbors began emerge to peruse the damage.
There was debris all over the lawn, house, and road. A piece of a tree, about the size of a SUV, had landed in my backyard. Thankfully missing the house. My neighbors seemed to be alright.
I took a trip to the fire station to see if anyone needed to be relieved. To my surprise they had more people than they needed. Still in the middle of my days off I left. But not before getting the scoop from the guys working last night. They had three or four fires (we usually make one a month if that) including the Brennan's restaurant downtown. At the storm got worse they were unable to effectively use water as the powerful streams (150-200psi) would veer off at an 90 degree angle from the wind. Even at only twenty feet away. I charged my cell phone off the station generator before departing.
The rest of the day was spent texting and talking to friends and neighbors. I went by Mechelle's and Emily's houses to check the damage. Mechelle had a large tree laying across the power lines. It had even ripped the weatherhead off the house. Emily had a section of fence down. As well as a medium sized shed that had blown over into the neighbors yard.
At night we found there were two bars within walking distance that were open. No power, they were serving beer on ice by candlelight or even flashlight. So we spent the evening in the dark, drinking with silhouettes of friends. We celebrated surviving.



















DAY THREE, LAZY SUNDAY

Mildly hungover, I think most of the alcohol was sweat off in the heat. Some of my neighbors returned. It rained heavily during the night and allowed for severe flooding. Most of the roads in the Heights were flooded. The rain stopped early allowing the water level to go down. We spent a few hours cleaning debris from the street and piling it along the curbs. Some stacks four feet high. I got to meet some neighbors I hadn't previously as well as get to know a few better. We felt optimistic about the power coming on soon. We hadn't really heard anything other than rumors from the AM radio.
I managed to find an open grocery store. They only had non perishable foods. There was tons of news cameras and reporters standing outside. The line stretched around the corner and down the street. A man standing next to me and I had to scold a father and son for trying to cut in line. I stocked up on groceries. Mostly chips and cereal. The rest of the day was spent reading. That night I went to my friend Erik's since he had power. It was a nice escape from the heat. His parents also came over since they were powerless. We ate some venison, which was delicious. We also watched the TV a great deal. I hoped there would be some football on but it was all Ike coverage. Seemed overly depressing. All we wanted to hear was some positive. I kept hoping they would stop the news coverage with something like a monkey juggling. You know just to get morale up.

DAY FOUR, CLEAN UP
I went by Lowes, a hardware store, to buy some tools. Mostly because mine were locked in the garage. I couldn't get it open without power. There's no other door besides the main one. I also needed a crowbar and axe. I headed over to Emily's and spent most of the day cleaning up. She was out of town helping take care of her nephew and pregnant sister.
After a long day in the yard I managed to cut the fence into sections that could be used again, I cut down a tree with an axe, and piled all the other debris by the street. Then headed over to Erik's again for a nice shower. By this time I was running out of gas. I passed two gas stations on the way but the lines were atrocious and didn't seem to be moving. I crashed early that night.

DAY FIVE, FIRE STATION, TUESDAY
I awoke early and headed back into town. The whole city was black. I was unable to find any gas stations that had power and were open. When I arrived I found out the fire station had regained power on Sunday evening. We scrounged through the cabinets to find enough food for breakfast. It was my turn on the paramedic unit. We had a very busy and yet interesting day. One of our first calls was a worker who had a mishap with a chainsaw that took a good chunk out of his foot. There was a kitchen fire also in the a.m. It was small and not that interesting. We had several 911 calls for people having anxiety attacks. Some had been stuck in hi rise apartments without power. The only way for them to leave the building was descend several stairs. We ran all day. We lucked out and had a break long enough to grab some dinner at the station. That night was like a dream. As we drove around in the darkness, we had to dodge trees and sometimes even people. It's difficult to describe the feeling you get when you look around a city of four million people, pitch black. You know there's a million people the direction you're looking but it's a ghost town. Silent, black and still. The only sounds heard was the occasional sirens. We had made a call to the Houston Transtar center where the mayor and other dignitaries were giving press conferences. We stopped to talk with some HPD and Harris County Sheriff Deputies. The rumors passed were that several lootings had taken place and apparently not been reported to the public. Something about a Wal-mart that got hit. As we drove in the engulfing blackness I wondered how many lootings were taking place.








DAY SIX, REST

At least I remember trying to rest. After a crazy day at work I wished badly that my power would be restored. Unfortunately it had not. I took a cold shower in the dark and slept a few hours in the damp, warm house. Later, I managed to find gas at a station that had a long line. However there was a separate line for emergency responders (cops, firemen, etc). I was so tired that I spilled a decent amount of gasoline when my tank overfilled. The usual clicks in the pump that stop it didn't seem to be working. I tried to play it off and left. I made a trip to the fire station to charge my cell phone. I spent most of the day reading and reflecting. That night a cold front had moved in which brought some minor relief. To my dismay I found out my previously scheduled retreat would be canceled this weekend. A much needed vacation.


















DAY SEVEN, BACK TO THE FIRE STATION

And back to the paramedic squad again. Another crazy day. We had a huge fire in the morning. The roof collapsed and we never found the old lady that lived there. I said a few prayers. One firefighter was injured. Thankfully it was only minor burns to his hand. The day continued with several other small fires, the usual EMS calls. We ran non stop. We did manage to snap some photos from damage in the Heights area in between runs. Most of which you see littering this blog. In the evening an older lady went unresponsive across the street from the station. She had a massive cerebral hemorrhage. We rushed to the hospital but unfortunately the bleed was too much and she wasn't expected to make it.






DAY EIGHT, HEAT, FRIDAY
I slept in at the station. I knew when I got home there would still be no power. I was right. A week later and still no power. Another cold shower and an even hotter morning than usual. The cold front had left and moved on. Leaving the humid, heat in it's place.

DAY NINE AND TEN, THE NEXT WEEKEND
Since there was still no power at my place or my whole street for that matter. I decided to work thirty six hours at my side job, most of Saturday and all of Sunday. It was rough since my side job doesn't have power either so we slept in the heat yet again. We did however have a generator which allowed us to watch some football. Although the Texans game was a huge disappointment.

DAY ELEVEN, MONDAY
GENERATOR! My dad got power back a few days ago and was nice enough to drop his generator off at my house while I was at work yesterday. In fact that's how I'm writing this blog is all thanks to the generator. Also got to do some laundry. A few fans helped battle the heat.















I hope others are fairing well!
More to follow.....

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Accident

So today my partner and I where en route on a routine 911 call somewhere on White Oak. I love when we get calls in the Heights. That way I don't even have to use the map. I was driving the squad aka dog catcher as we like to call it. It has the front of a SUV and the back is all compartments that open from the outside. The compartments are filled with our various EMS gear. Everything from cardiac monitor to electric cooler for certain medications.
I had lights and sirens blaring. Inside, however, we were quietly listening to the radio traffic and some Rolling Stones on the FM radio. Slowed to an intersection and creeped through. Right before I cleared it we were struck on the passenger side, mid way back pretty hard. Luckily our vehicle has a low center of gravity and instead of flipping over we spun slightly with the impact. The other driver was in a small coupe style car. Which had its grill and bumper laying in pieces on the hot concrete. It's airbag deployed doing it's job of protecting the driver.
Byrd and I were both alright for the most part. I had some minor bruises. Byrd was complaining of his chronic back injury acting up. He has surgery on it about a year ago. I had to call the dispatcher on the radio and let them know we were involved in an accident. Then began asking if everyone was okay and if we needed a mechanic/tow truck. To which I both replied no. Within 5 minutes I had two fire trucks show up to help and shortly after two chiefs arrive. Needless to say it was a big mess and I was in the middle.
HPD brought out an official accident invistagator. Which was routine for all accidents involving a city vehicle where someone has been injured. Mostly CYA (cover your a$$). It was interesting to watch the invistagator go to work. He took several measurements of the width of the lanes in the road. I watched him for a while then got tied up in my own paperwork.
The Chief told me that I needed to go get a drug test and then I would go home for the rest of the shift. I laughed and asked if it was because I had a crazy haircut. Fortunately, it was just routine. So we cleaned up the scene. I went downtown with the Chief for a fun and exciting urinalysis test. After being in the military and now the fire department, I figured I've probably had close to 40 or more by now.
We returned to the station just in time for dinner. I had a nice warm welcome from the dozen other firefighters at my station (sarcasm). And yes cake and ice cream will be available at my station on Monday.
Morale of the story is be careful out there while driving. With text messaging all the rave and pimped out sound systems, not even bright lights and a loud annoying siren can protect you.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Back in Business!

After a long hiatus (seriously), I'm ready to kick this blog of formally. Look for new posts coming next week. Hopefully they will continue on at least a weekly basis.