Wednesday, December 19, 2007

I'm Burning Up

I just spent $48.13 to fill the gas tank of my Audi A4. WTF? I mean, DUDE! Exactly what is up with that? Now, on the whole, I have an outstanding staff at my law firm. And by no means are they stupid people.  And in cases like this, most seem to excel in mathmatics. The equation goes something like this...  $15/hr, times 3, is $45, so, if i siphon out Rich's gas tank, I can leave early today. I saw some gas tank siphons for sale on eBay. And they were pretty cheap. 
The siphons were certainly cheaper than what the media has termed "priceless" when referring to the contents of the ceremonial room that was on fire next to the White Hous
e today.  That's all the news report babbled about... the utter treasures in this room next to the white house. 

Oh, also, she mentioned the secretarial
 desks.  This is what makes the news.  Does anyone else see something wrong with this picture? There wasn't even a footnote about the firefighters who entered that place.  Is it such a high matter of national security that the windows to this place are bullet proof? And that they are welded and otherwise secured shut? When you're a firefighter, and you are going into this type of situation, you know this much:  the smoke and gasses in th
e room are much more dangerous than the fire itself, which is why you have to VENTILATE VENTILATE VENTILATE.  Failure to do so will result in a flashover. And you will die. Life and Death.  It's that simple. I can't IMAGINE what it was like for these brave souls to go into that death trap, fully aware of the consequences of their actions.  They carried out their duty with courage, poise, and professionalism.  And all that smoke billowing out of the building that served as the basis for the media's trumped up drama was the understated product of these few good men and women firefighters.  If you want to watch a video of the difficulty these firefighters had with the windows, click right here, and play the video- which of course has a commercial that precedes it. 

Apparently, neither the president nor the vice president were anywhere near the building. With all of the technology available to them, not to mention the hordes of their executive staff, you would THINK that it would be easy for them to utter two simple words:  "Thank" and "You".  I mean, the 'important people' can hide themselves in a command center in an AWACS plane in the air, or in some mountain somewhere, they can launch nuclear attacks from their bedrooms, they can recognize the bravery of these firefighters, wait- I guess that's not possible. Congress has to set up a separate budget and task force for that. But hey- there are some really really nice secretarial desks in the building next to the white house. Thank goodness for that. 
How many tanks of gas do you think one of those desks costs?  Here's an idea for all of you car manufacturers, so concerned with America's drivers- forget gas, forget electric and hybrid cars, and gasohol, forget it all- one secretarial desk from the White House should ke
ep a car running for about 5 years or so.  Oh, wait... can't do that.... that would mean my law firm employees could come to WORK and EARN A LIVING SUING YOU.  

I just gave out holiday bonuses to my law firm staff- gift cards to the Hess gas 
station.  And I just called my financial advisor to set up a gas fund for my kids.  Forget the college fund. They won't be able to afford to drive there anyway. 

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

I'm Not The Only One To Find This Life "Appealing"

The Next time you hear a siren, pull over.  There could be a lawyer on board an ambulance making his case for the benefit of dedication and compassion.   

If you want to play the video, click HERE and play it. Otherwise, read the story below.  

Rock on, brother Ned:

Lawyer Moonlights As St. Louis Paramedic
Created: 11/22/2007 5:08:02 PM
Last updated: 11/22/2007 5:11:38 PM

By Mike Bush

(KSDK) - Let's face it, lawyers are not always the most exciting people.

"I enjoy the research", says attorney Ned Fryer. "I like the
thought processes, the intellectual challenge."

So spellbinding he's not but Fryer is successful.
He's been on the fast track since he got out of college.

"My first job out of law school was being a law clerk for Judge William Webster," says Fryer.

That's the same William Webster who went on to direct both the FBI and the CIA.

These days, he's a partner with Bryan Cave, one of the largest law firms in the country. Even at 60, Fryer still works 12 hour days. And on weekends? Well you'd expect to see him on the golf course. You'd expect that but you'd be wrong.

Some lawyers get a reputation for chasing ambulances. Ned Fryer drives one. When he's got time off, he's a paramedic for the St. Louis Fire Department.

"As a paramedic you're licensed to provide what's called advanced life support," explains Fryer.

On most weekend days and some weekday nights you will find
Fryer saving lives.

It all began when he was asked to be on the board of directors of the old July 4 celebration, the VP fair. His job the first year was driving the golf cart for a paramedic.

"It was a very hot year, the first several years of the VP Fair was very hot and the crowds large and the medical emergencies were numerous. So we had a lot to do," recalled Fryer.

You could say the idea of helping people, appealed to him.
So he went to school to become an EMT and later a full-fledged paramedic.

"When they told me he was a lawyer, I said you guys have to be kidding!" says Yvonne Ewing, a paramedic supervisor with the St. Louis Fire Dept.

Even after seven years with the department there are still people who don't know that Ned Fryer leads a double life.

"Ned is conscientious," says Ewing. "He's a hard worker. He doesn't duck and dodge. He gets down and dirty just like the rest of us."

In this job, instead of the statute of limitations he worries about
ventricullar fibrulation. While according to Ned there's still an intellectual challenge, there's also an adrenaline rush.

"That's one aspect of this job as opposed to my other job. Rarely are the moments quite as exciting," says Fryer.

What his colleagues find most impressive is Ned's ability to
stay calm in any situation. What you might find most impressive is that Ned does it all for free.

"I'm paid but I contribute my salary to the St. Louis fire department life saving foundation," says Fryer.

The life saving foundation trains first responders and helps provide the department with up to date equipment and technology.

If you're keeping score at home that's 2 jobs. 12 hours a day.
Often 7 days a week. In making their case, some lawyers tend to overstate things. Ned, apparently is the master of the understatement.

"I have a very understanding family," he says.

So the next time you hear a siren, pull over. There could be a lawyer on board that
ambulance making his case for the benefits of dedication and compassion.

Ned Fryer enjoying a life where there's never a dull moment.


Saturday, December 15, 2007

The white house is painted with lead

Honestly, it makes me want to vomit. All of a sudden, the media is covering the issue of Lead Paint, and how it affects children.  The dangers of lead based paint have been known for decades, and lead paint has been in existence even longer.  In fact, as far back as the late 1800's, there are stories documented about how sick dogs became from lead paint poisoning- lead based paint, which is thought to withstand the elements better than other paints, was often used to color outdoor dog houses.  There have been thousands of cases in the court systems brought by children and their families against landlords for failing to abate lead based paint from apartment houses.  Still, even in the most egregious of cases, there are no cases holding landlords, toy manufacturers, or anyone else, criminally responsible.  Quite the contrary: building insurance companies now specifically disclaim coverage right in their policies for any claims brought by children affected by lead based paint.  This leaves even kids so severely affected by lead paint that they cannot speak, nor maintain their bodily functions, without any recourse whatsoever.  And you can forget the toy companies. Countries such as China and Mexico, where the toys are manufactured and then covered with toxic paint, protect such profiteers.  Take a gander at this article.  

The brain damage caused by lead paint is irreversible.  The lead based paint tastes "sweet", further urging kids to eat even more of it.  Children naturally put things in their mouth anyway, called pica.  But why should any of this matter, when the politicians need something new to embrace in order to create appeal.  Trust me on this one- its going to be a major presidential campaign point. The flames of american nationalism will be fanned.  You will hear how bad foreign countries are towards our american children.  Strangely ironic, though, the statistics show that the vast majority of kids affected by lead are undocumented immigrants.  

I'm conducting some empirical research studies on the issue myself using my own children as subjects.  On occasion, I feed them large doses of matzoh ball soup.  To date, they have not shown any affects of lead based paint.  It seems that Jewish Penicillin is a vaccine against lead paint poisoning.  Who knew? If any of the presidential candidates happen to mention my work, I hope they remember the little people.  

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

A little diddy about faith

It's been a while since I have written. Probably common amongst most bloggers. Ironic as it may be, during this holiday season, I find my faith in so many things in my world challenged on so many levels.  

I think it's very important to understand the difference between faith and religion.  Faith is a feeling. Faith is a hunch- a hunch that there is something bigger connecting it all, and connecting us all together.  

Here's a little diddy, all about my faith in my precious prince and princess:

You could say I lost my faith in science and progress
You could say I lost my belief in the holy church
You could say I lost my sense of direction
You could say all of this and worse but

If I ever lose my faith in you
There'd be nothing left for me to do

Some would say I am a lost man in a lost world
You could say I lost my faith in the people on TV
You could say I lost my belief in our politicians
They all seem like game show hosts to me

If I ever lose my faith in you
There'd be nothing left for me to do

There is a part of me hoping that for the things I do as an EMT, some increased degree of goodness, comfort and protection will come to those I love.  It was 4am when the pager went off last Saturday morning- auto accident on the parkway. I didn't hesitate. Fast speed on the parkway + accident + rescue alarm over the pager=something bad. "Make sure you lock the door when you leave" my wife's sleepy voice beckoned.  When my bus got to the scene, the car was fully involved in flames, resting on its side.  Only one car was involved in the accident.  It looked like a movie set.  

The driver literally walked into the ambulance. The odor of alcohol was on his breath. He didn't have a scratch. "Sir, are you hurt anywhere?" "No," he managed to get out of his mouth.  "My son is an EMT".  Sheesh. Talk about a non sequitur.  I don't think it was exactly the good people at Chrysler who kept this man from harm though.  His son's beneficence didn't keep him from getting arrested about an hour later.