Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Moving Ahead

 Advanced spiritual people such as Buddha, Christ and their immediate students seem to be always painted with golden haloes around their heads.  I don't know if it's because some artists can actually see Auras, or whether they want others to think they do. But it appears as far back as time itself.  In Australia's remote West Kimberleys you can even find prehistoric cave paintings, many thousands of years old, depicting people with golden haloes.  (By the way, I did spend last weekend visiting museums in New York City with my family and some friends- just in case you're wondering what the genesis of that factoid is.)

As most of you know, there isn't a night that goes by that I don't tuck my kids into bed and put them to sleep.  My princess is 3, and my power ranger is 4.   It's somewhat of a challenge every night when I lay in my son's bed with the lights out.  He usually asks me to tell him a bedtime story, and I always start it off with "Once upon a time, far, far away..."  But tonight, I decided to tell him about his own past.  I told him how 'when he was a baby', I lulled him at night to my best rendition of Harry Chapin's "Cats In The Cradle".  He and I used to call it the "Bum Bum" song- much easier for him to have pronounced.  "Can you sing it to me tonight daddy?"  And as I did, and his eyelids slowly shut, I could swear I saw cartoon-like figurines coming out of his 
precious little sleepy head- giraffes, fluffy rabbits, puppy dogs, baby elephants, ponies and lollipops.  

Harry Chapin died in a freak car accident right here in Jericho, New York on the Long Island Expressway in 1981.  Frank B., an old timer firefighter in my department told me that he was one of many who responded to the accident back then.  "I picked up his head from the backseat," he said very matter of factly, looking hard into my eyes with a straight face.  I wonder what Harry's aura was like. All Frank B. said he saw was "a lot of blood". 
Gotta go and find a mirror now.  See if I have one of these aura things around my head.   I think it has something to do with my hair loss. There's gotta be someone I can sue. 

Monday, February 25, 2008

The Blue Light Special

A firefighter, responding in his personal vehicle, is seriously injured when he swerves to avoid a truck at an intersection and skids into a city bus...

A volunteer EMS responder is killed in a car crash on his way to the Fire Station for a cardiac call...

Perhaps you've read about such accidents in an emergency services publication. On the other hand, maybe one of them hit closer to home, and the story made your local newspaper. Either way, the news isn't good. According to the NFPA, fire department emergency vehicles were involved in an estimated 14,900 collisions in 2001 while responding to, or returning from, incidents. Firefighters' personal vehicles were involved in 1,325 collisions. Together, they resulted in 1,100 firefighter injuries.

24 firefighters - 17 of whom died in crashes - were killed in 2001 while responding to or returning from alarms: the second most common activity resulting in firefighter fatalities.According to U.S. Fire Administration statistics, nearly 20–25% of accidental deaths in the fire service are related to vehicles, and many, if not most, of these accidents involve intersections. A study published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine (December 2002), “Occupational Fatalities in Emergency Medical Services: A Hidden Crisis,” states the leading cause of occupational fatalities for EMS personnel during the study period (1992–1997) was transportation incidents (86/114 fatalities).

Section 375, subsection 41, sub-subsection 4 of the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law reads as such:

4. Blue light. a. One blue light may be affixed to any motor vehicle
owned by a volunteer member of a fire department or on a motor vehicle
owned by a member of such person's family residing in the same household
or by a business enterprise in which such person has a proprietary
interest or by which he or she is employed....

That's right.  The good people in Albany, New York say that ONE blue light is allowed.  Not two, not blue and white, just ONE, BLUE light.  The law hasn't changed in more than 20 years.  Makes me feel like a kid again:

"Oh, please Mr. Lawmaker, gimme just one more light? Pretty please?!"

Well.... I hope you all join me in thanking our thoughtful lawmakers in Albany, and others like them for looking out for guys and gals like me, who may not make it to the next call because of the one light limitation.  Thanks for caring. Really. My wife and kids thank you too.  

And as for my brothers and sisters, lets be careful out there. I, for one, care about you. 

OK. Gotta go put my kids to sleep now. It's light's out time. Night night. 

Friday, February 22, 2008


When I was a young lad, I used to think Sharon Stone was hot. I'm all grown up now. She's not hot anymore. She's ugly with a capital F. And she should learn to keep her mouth shut if she has things to say like her most recent defamation of my country. 

This is my brain on drugs

Props and credit goes to Emergency Emily for this one.... It's what's inside that counts, right?

It's been like spinning plates for me this week.

This pretty much captures what my life has been like this week.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

"Trust Me"

A client came into my law firm yesterday. He was scared. Genuinely scared. And he was a firefighter/EMT. He sat in the chair across from me in my office, and the first thing he said to me was, "I'm here because I trust you." He suspected he was going to be sued for discrimination. Even if he prevailed on such a case, he still would be scarred and marked for life. Think "The Rocket" Roger Clemens walking around with a halligan and a trauma bag. As I listened to his story, I felt it was more important to look into his eyes as he spoke rather than taking notes as I usually do. "I don't know what to do, Rich. Is this the end for me and my family?". I told him in no uncertain terms that there was no danger and that he did nothing wrong. He was thankful- both to God and to me. "I know I can believe you, Rich. Thanks." We finished up, and he gave me a Svengali-like bear hug. Royce Gracie, eat your heart out. He left my office a new man, ready to fight fires and rescue the injured.

I responded to a car accident that night. Three cars, and a lot of damage. A young girl, who was anunrestrained backseat passenger was walking around at the scene. No outside signs of DCAP-BTLS, but my suspicions ran high for internal bleeding. She must have called her parents before my bus arrived on scene, becase they came to the accident site. "Why aren't you taking her to the same hospital as the others? It's closer." Not much time to sit with them in consultation to explain the difference between a trauma center and the other hospital. I told them that I have two children of my own, and I would do the same thing for my kids as I would their daughter. "OK. We trust you are doing the right thing."

My kids are both sick today. They sound like seals when they cough, and elephants when they blow their noses. My house is, literally, a zoo. They take the medicine I give them so readily. I tell them that they will be better soon. "When, daddy?" "very very soon." They smile at me, and then they go downstairs to play.

I went to the gas station to fill my tank up before I hit up Dunkin' Donuts for some coffee and a bagel. I had to pay the attendant before he would turn the pump on. Guess he didn't trust me.

Face Mold

Ok.... someone just found my blog site using the search term "lady face mold". Houston, we have a problem.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Bourne Mexican

Wonder if the character would work with other nationalities too.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Breath Sounds

It gets all too overwhelming for me sometimes. Rarely, but sometimes. And that's too often. One thought turns into two, then five, then five million. When it snowballs like that, I can't catch my breath. So usually I take a long drag from a Marlboro Light. Go figure.

It was noisier at first in the Trial Assignment Part courtroom today. An annoying cacophony. Kinda like a bunch of lawyers all saying the words "peas and squash, peas and squash" to one another, really not talking about anything at all. Then Judge Sweeney took the bench, the bailiff called for order, and it got real quiet, real fast. I swear, someone farted. It was gross. No one flinched. No one moved. No one made a face. All for fear of being removed from the courtroom and missing the calendar call. All anyone could do was breathe in the stale, thick air. Amidst the quiet, the EMT in me couldn't help but take such opportunity to fine tune my caregiver skills, so I listened to the bodies around me for crackles, rales, and I think i even detected a heart murmur, all without a stethoscope, without getting out of my chair, and without flinching from the old smelly lawyer man ass gas. Did I mention my ear is bionic? Lindsay Wagner, eat your heart out.

I got home relatively early. I promptly changed my clothes. That's when the pager went off. Signal 9. Female with chest pains over at the cablevision offices. I started to breathe heavier. I always do that though when I get a Signal 9 across the pager. It's exciting. A good exciting. So, no Marlboro Light. Go figure. We found the lady just hanging out in her boss' office. She's had this pain since the morning, or so she says. She was fine really. No shortness of breath.  But we packed her up in the bus and took her to the hospital. There were two other EMTs riding with me. One started to give the lady some aspirin. He was relatively new, so, we had this 5 second debate as to whether our protocol allowed us to administer the aspirin without asking Med Comm. I backed down, and listened to the lady's breath sounds instead. Her lungs sounded just like the breath sounds of the smelly lawyer man from this morning. So I put some blankets over her in case she farted.

My wife and daughter were home when I got back from the call. We started watching Americas Funniest Videos in bed. My wife took a phone call and went downstairs. I shut the lights off, and cooed my little princess to sleep. She rested her beautiful head on my chest. I think she was listening to my lungs.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Wall Street

Wall Street is one of my favorite movies of all time.  The sequel is due out soon.  I'm pumped for it. 

Here is a great clip, introducing Gordon Gekko to the world. If you listen carefully, you will hear Gekko's receptionist tell him his wife is on the phone. He doesn't flinch!!

 Here are some memorable quotes from the original:

"The richest one percent of this country owns half our country's wealth, five trillion dollars. One third of that comes from hard work, two thirds comes from inheritance, interest on interest accumulating to widows and idiot sons and what I do, stock and real estate speculation. It's bullshit. You got ninety percent of the American public out there with little or no net worth. I create nothing. I own. We make the rules, pal. The news, war, peace, famine, upheaval, the price per paper clip. We pick that rabbit out of the hat while everybody sits out there wondering how the hell we did it. Now you're not naive enough to think we're living in a democracy, are you buddy? It's the free market. And you're a part of it. "

"The main thing about money, Bud, is that it makes you do things you don't want to do."

Gordon Gekko: [at the Teldar Paper stockholder's meeting] Well, I appreciate the opportunity you're giving me Mr. Cromwell as the single largest shareholder in Teldar Paper, to speak. Well, 
ladies and gentlemen we're not here to indulge in fantasy but in political and economic reality. America, America has become a second-rate power. Its trade deficit and its fiscal deficit are at 
nightmare proportions. Now, in the days of the free market when our country was a top industrial po
wer, there was accountability to the stockholder. The Carnegies, the Mellons, the men that built this great industrial empire, made sure of it because it was their money at stake. Today, management has no stake in the company! All together, these men sitting up here own less than three percent of the company. And where does Mr. Cromwell put his million-dollar salary? Not in Teldar stock; he owns less than one percent. You own the company. That's right, you, the stockholder. And you are all being royally screwed over by these, these bureaucrats, with their luncheons, their hunting and fishing trips, their corporate jets and golden parachutes.
Cromwell: This is an outrage! You're out of line Gekko!
Gordon Gekko: Teldar Paper, Mr. Cromwell, Teldar Paper has 33 different vice presidents each earning over 200 thousand dollars a year. Now, I have spent the last two months analyzing what all these guys do, and I still can't figure it out. One thing I do know is that our paper company lost 110 million dollars last year, and I'll bet that half of that was spent in all the paperwork going back and forth between all these vice presidents. The new law of evolution in corporate America seems to be survival of the unfittest. Well, in my book you either do it right or you get eliminated. In the last seven deals that I've been involved with, there were 2.5 million stockholders who have made a pretax profit of 12 billion dollars. Thank you. I am not a destroyer of companies. I am a liberator of them! The point is, ladies and gentleman, that greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right, greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms; greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge has marked the upward surge of mankind. And greed, you mark my words, will not only save Teldar Paper, but that other malfunctioning corporation called the USA. Thank you very much.

I don't go to bed with no whore, and I don't wake up with no whore. That's how I live with myself. I don't know how you do it.

Blue Horse Shoe Loves Anacot Steel.

You stop sending me information, and you start getting me some.

Carl Fox: He's using you, kid. He's got your prick in his back pocket, but you're too blind to see it.
Bud Fox: No. What I see is a jealous old machinist who can't stand the fact that his son has become more successful than he has!
Carl Fox: What you see is a guy who never measured a man's success by the size of his WALLET!
Bud Fox: That's because you never had the GUTS to go out into the world and stake your own claim!
[Long Pause]Carl Fox: Boy, if that's the way you feel, I must have done a really lousy job as a father.

Carl Fox: "I came into Egypt a Pharoah who did not know."
Gordon Gekko: I beg your pardon, is that a proverb.
Carl Fox: No, a prophecy. The rich been doing it to the poor since the beginning of time. The only difference between the Pyramids and the Empire State Building is the Egyptians didn't allow unions. I know what this guy is all about, greed. He don't give a damn about Bluestar or the unions. He's in and out for the buck and he don't take prisoners.

"It's yourself you have to be proud of, Huckleberry".

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Remember When.....

Here's an excerpt from one of my wife's recent phone conversations....

Wife's friend:  "Remember when you were a kid and you had lice?"
Wife:  "Um, no. I never had lice when I was a kid."

Having a hard time figuring out what you are looking for when you think your kids have lice? This picture of the 3 stages of the head lice life cycle can help:

m'K.  I'm getting itchy.  And im officially skeeved out. I think I'll stop now.   

DIY Shrunken Head - Great For Valentine's Day!

So Valentines Day is just a few days from now and you're thinking: "I want to make my lady something special that she'll remember. Something romantic and sweet... I know! I'll make her a shrunken head!"

Ah, you slick fox. You're one smooth man, you know that you can get any lady you want. And this is your lucky day, I have just the instructable for your next catch or your current jog. Here's an easy cost effective way to woo this special lady of yours. Follow me and I'll teach you how to create a shrunken head without having to visit your local morgue, prison, city hall, or anywhere else heads may be rolling.

First, find a willing partner; if you want to give her your head on a plate (think surrounded by red rose petals) you'll need your partner to do some very uncomfortable things to you, so get ready to get close to your friends.

My willing partner was mike, you'll see him below, we helped each other make the other persons face.

Step 1: Get Materials. Get Secluded. Make Mold.

You'll pretty much need to be left alone for the next few hours because any interruptions are going to disrupt the process and create for a jibbley mold. Also, you'll look like some kind of freak with a gobliny white face

Materials Needed:
A pot
A spoon

All together this should set you back 13$

Now take your moulage and on a low heat setting on your oven heat it up till it liquefies.

Take it off the oven and let it cool down a bit. Only a bit.

Hand your partner a pen and a pencil and two straws. Take a spoon and dab a little bit on his face. If he looks like he's about to cry... put more. You want to put it on in thin layers, so cover the entire face with the first layer, all except the nostrils and ear holes of course.

Step 2: Strenghten The Mold

Here is where you strengthen the mold by adding many layers of moulage. Once the initial burn is over and his face is coated with a thin layer of the warm goop. Go over it again and again, it'll hurt less and will get thicker over time. Avoid the nostrils till you've accumulated a good thickness.

Once you've reached the nostrils, insert straws into your partner’s nose and goop a whole load onto the nose, this is a weak part of the mold because of the need to breathe out of it. So make sure to put enough.

Try to find straws that fit the nose fully, so get McDonalds straws(I don't eat there, but they like you to guzzle your food and have wide straws), Wendy's straws are a bit thinner.

When you have about 1/2" of moulage layers on your partners face, let him wait and feel the stuff ooze into his ears. This is when the pencil and paper come in handy so your partner can let you know if he's suffocating or what.

Step 3: Toughen Up, Foo!

If you have any left over moulage, just goop the rest onto the layers you made. This will just create a thick layer that will strengthen the mold.

Another way to strengthen the mold is to use wire mesh, something like from a screen window will do well.

Step 4: Remove, Distort, Cast, Distort

Now that you've waited for the moulage to cool, and your partner is freaking out deaf dumb blind for a few minuets you should carefully peel the moulage mask off your partners face and set it on something face shaped, like a hat.

Now that you have your face mold, you can cast it with plaster of paris. But you want a shrunken head, so cast a few, and let the moulage dry out a bit, crunch it, twist it and let it dry, and then cast it. Basically it's like silly putty and you can control the way it drys so you can get all sorts of deathly faces.

Step 5: Show Your Affections

You may now embellish the castings you've made in anyway you wish. You can paint them, cut them with sanders, shatter them and glue them together, coat them with egg white varnish, or take a high- speed film of you playing baseball with your head.

Now that you've gone through all that pain, you can understand true love. Share your deepest affections to your lover with any presentation of your visage. Let them know how much you care.

-I hope all lovers this season have happy shrunken head filled Valentines Day gifts. -Rich