Archive for the 'family' Category

Community readiness

First of all, I apologize to all my readers for the lack of posts.  Since I have gone back to school, life has been crazy.

One of the many things I have been busy with was the flooding that took place in Northern Illinois a week ago.  I work part time for a county Office of Emergency Management, and I think most of the towns in our county handled the disaster as best as they could.  Others, however, I think did a dis-service to the people who live in their towns.  My mother’s basement was taking on water through a window well on the side of her house.  She contacted multiple departments in her village and was not able to get a simple resource as sand bags.  Other municipalities near her were coming to the county to get more sand bags for their residents, and my mom’s town simply said “Not our problem.”  She would have been fine with as few as ten sand bags, but instead, now has thousands of dollars in damages.

I would just like to remind everyone that September is National Prepardness Month, and you should check with your municiplaity to se what they will help you with and what they won’t.  My mother didn’t, and could have helped herself had she kept 10 sandbags in her garage.  Also, even though your not by a body of water, doesn’t mean you won’t be affected by flooding.

NIU, CBS2, and the Gun Control Debate

I want to start off by giving my condolences to the victims, family and friends of the victims of the NIU massacre. My heart goes out to you.

Chicago’s CBS 2 covered the story and interviewed a student who thought the incident would have been a lot less bloody if students and teachers could have armed themselves. They then cut over to Chicago’s Mayor, Richard M. Daily, who said this incident just shows that we need more gun control in this country. Richard M. Daily, YOU. ARE. A. IDIOT. You can not admit when something you push for so much isn’t working.

CBS2 was taking comments from viewers on this issue.  I was very happy to see that so many people in Illinois, one of only two states with no conceal carry laws, want to have the right to arm themselves in public to protect themselves, their families, and others.  Many people who were against it didn’t do their research.  One of the most common comments for gun control was that the people who were carrying in other stats were untrained.  Most states that have conceal carry weapons (CCW) permits require permit holders to go through training including both class room and range time.  This class room time includes firearms safety, legal considerations, and use of force training.

When you take away the right of law abiding citizens to carry fire arms, you take away their right to protect themselves and their families.  What are your thoughts about this.  Please leave them in the comments below.

Milk vs. Laptop

The milk won.  I will need to send out my laptop for repair as my 2 year old daughter spilled milk on it.  I’m hopping it’s just the power supply, but I don’t know my way around laptops that well.  The big downside, my homework that is due tonight was on there, so I will have to redo it this after noon before class.

Rings and Vows

Yesterday, I got to see one of my friends get married.  As a married man, this was only my third wedding I have attended with my wife.  The first wedding I attended, I realy don’t count with the other two, as it was only a week after our wedding.  For me, though, I get this re-comitment feeling from attending a wedding.  Now, I have only been married just short of two years, but my wife and I lead very busy lives.  We both work full time, go to school part time, are active in our church, have a part-time job, and we have a two year old daughter.  Some times I feel that we get streached too thin and miss the big picture.  As I was watching my friend and his wife during the ceremony, I saw this spark that they both had.  It’s this spark that isn’t seen often in cuples.  I don’t know how to explain it.  I know my wife and I had that spark on our wedding day, though.  And I know many other cuples who have had the same spark durring their weddings.

Now, as I write this, I compleatly lost where I was going with it, other than the fact that watching my friend marry his wife help bring that spark I felt on my wedding day back into my life.  However, if that spark was always in my wife’s and my relationship, nothing in our house would ever get done, because all we would do is stare at each other, smile, and giggle like little kids.

End of the holidays

Well, today was the official end to my holidays.  I had to go back to work.  I only worked two days last week and four the week before that.  I got thrown right back into things today.  The weather caused mass chaos with 3 foot snow drifts next to our building and planes coming in late.  The holidays were good to me, though.  I got to see my brother who doesn’t come into town near enough for only being a three hour drive away.  My wife and I also got many of the things we were hopping for this Christmas, including a miniDV camcorder, the Wii, Guitar Hero, and a new wide screen monitor.  The camcorder got me to final download some OSS video editing software.  After I get to use all the programs or fall head over heels for one, I will post a review.  I did get use Adiocity just before Christmas to put together some audio for a video for my mom, and thought that was a great program, but again, more of that to come later.

Patriot Day

Patriot DayToday is Patriot Day in honor of all of the public safety personnel who have paid the ultimate sacrifice, especially those on September 11th, 2001. Like everyone else in America, I remember the moment I found out like it was yesterday. I was away at collage at the time. During the beginning of the attack, I was in a Chemistry lecture, and when I arrived at my Art Appreciation class, the teacher made the announcement that planes had crashed into the twin towers and the Pentagon. She then had the audacity to state “While other teachers have chosen to cancel their class, I have chosen to go ahead as planed,” at which point almost 75% of the class, including myself, got up and left the lecture hall. For the first few hours, I kept thinking that it was all some sort of bad dream, that I would wake up and everything would go back to normal. I never did awake from that “dream” and finally came to the realization that the world had changed forever.

Every other blog I have looked at has asked where you were, but my question is how do you plan to remember that dreadful day. I will be taking part in my county’s annual ceremony today, in my dress uniform (oh, how I hate wearing the hat and tie!!), at the county’s Fire and Police Memorial.

The Case of the Missing Urn

As I believe I have mentioned before, I work contract security for one of the larger shipping companies in the world. Yesterday, I was approached by the cartage manager at my station. He stated there was a shipment going from a funeral home in our area to an address out of state. He said that the package had come up missing and he thought it may be in our station. I asked him what the package contained. He hesitated, and told me that it was an urn. “Was this urn empty or occupied?” I asked. He told me my worst fear, that it was occupied.

So, I thought, we are missing someone’s ashes, and the poor family is probably flipping out. The cartage manager did not have any of the information I needed to start looking for it on video, so, I just kind of looked around the station, but didn’t see anything that looked like it contained the urn.

Today, though, the station manager approached me and asked for my help. He said after I left, the cartage manager got the information he needed and started looking at the video, but was not able to find the box. I normally look at the video for theft investigations and have the best working knowledge of the system at our station, so he wanted me to take a look. He and I went into the video room and he told me when it went missing…August 10th. For those of you who didn’t do the quick math, that’s a day short of two weeks this poor man’s body has been missing. I quickly found the driver who had picked it up, and saw a box that matched the description go onto the belt. A short while later, I was able to track the package as it was removed from the belt because it didn’t have a shipping label on it. For some unknown reason, instead of the box going to the pile to be researched, some one on the dock tossed it into a corner. We went out onto the dock, and sure enough, Grandpa’s ashes were still there. I feel bad for the family, but the ironic part, is that the funeral home that shipped the package has been told before that the company I work for does not ship human remains. So, to try and hide it, it was the funeral home that waited almost a week and a half from when they knew there was a problem until the told us.

I feel horrible for the family. I could not even imagine finding out that one of my lovedone’s remains were sitting, collecting dust in the corner of a shipping warehouse for two weeks. Has anyone else ever had something like this happened to someone they know? How would you react if it did happen to you? Leave your thoughts in the comments.

Small Church, BIG Family

One of the things that I love about going to a small church is the way you feel like you are part of a large family. When I went to a larger church, I felt like I got mixed in with the crowd. But where I go to church now, I couldn’t get lost in the crowd if I tried. My church has about 50 members and another 25 non-members who regularly attend services. My wife and I are going through a small family crisis, and it was great to see how my church reacted. Nick and his wife asked us if they could make dinner for us and play some cards to help us take our minds off of our problems for a while. Unfortunately, we had to decline, but the gesture was still there. When we informed the whole church of what was going on, we had three or four people who told us if we needed anything, we should let them know and they would try and help us out. Immediately after the service, quite a few of the ladies took my wife aside (she’s having a harder time than I am right now) and talked to her and prayed with her. In bigger churches that I have been to, there was never that closeness. There was never a time during the church service where you could address the church with something that was on your mind. It was just very…corporate. I guess the best way I could compare it would be the difference between your small time, “mom and pop” type business compared to the big corporation, where if you had a problem, you would have to sit on hold for ever with “corporate” before any would would get to you, and even then, you kind of get shoved off. What are your thoughts. When your looking at a church you may go to, would you rather go to a large Mega-Church, or the small church on the corner? Why would chose which ever you would? Leave it in the comments below.

Go Kits

As I had stated in a previous post, the month of August is National Preparedness month and I planed on writing quite a few posts on the subject. I haven’t had time to write much, though. Any ways, I digress.

What would you and your family do in the event of a serious emergency. Imagine that your town was hit by a (fill in the appropriate natural disaster for your area); what would you do? Do you have the necessary supplies to survive and a way to get the information you need? The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) suggests that you have all the necessary supplies to survive for 3 days in a “Go Kit.” But what would you put in a Go Kit you ask? Essentials!

Food and Water

You should have enough food and water for 3 days. When packing food, remember that you have to be able to open and cook what you pack. I suggest going to a sporting goods store and purchasing a backpacking propane stove, small can opener, and freeze dried food. You should also have 1 gallon of water per person per day. So, a husband, wife and child should have 9 gallons of water. This is enough water form drinking, preparing food, and cleaning, although should be used sparingly. If you are in an extremely warm area, more water should be added to your go kit. Also, don’t forget to pack a small pot and utensils. Nothings worse then having food and no fork or spoon!!

Clothing

Make sure you pack cloths in your go kit, or have some ready at all times. To keep your kit lighter, I suggest packing cloths in backpacks and keeping the backpack in your closet. In the event that you have to evacuate, you can through the backpack on, and then have both hands to grab your go kit or small children. You should also make sure that the cloths in the bag are season appropriate. Yes, I know. This means you have to CHANGE the cloths in the bag. Nothings worse that having to grab it in the winter, leave your house in a panic, and then find out all you have in the bag is shorts and tank tops. A pair of sturdy shoes you can walk a long distance in is a good idea to have, as well. When your packing your bag, think about what you would pack on a trip. Don’t forget things like sock and underwear.

Hygiene

Don’t spend money on some of this stuff. Remember, this would be used in a major emergency. Pack your old tooth brush when you go to retire it. Get travel sized soap and tooth paste. My big suggestion here is waterless shampoo. You can find this at most drugstores. It’s not the best thing to use, but it beats using all of your water to wash your hair!! Also, pack some sort of hand sanitizer. You should also have a first-aid kit with enough supplies for three days. If you get banged up in a tornado and have a bad cut or burn, you will need to be able to change the dressing on it.

Tools

If I haven’t stressed this enough during the post, the goal here is to survive self sufficiently for three days. Pack tools that you my need to build a shelter or get a fire going. A hatchet is a necessity. You can use it to cut wood or use it as a hammer. A multi-tool comes in handy as well. I recommend either a Gerber or Letherman, as both of them stand up well with a lot of use. Depending on where you live, a camp shovel may be nice to have as well. If you live in an urban area, though, it probably won’t help too much. Pack what you think you may need, but don’t go overboard. Tools get heavy, and you my have to carry your go kit with you for quite a ways.

Other Essentials
No, not your notebook or Ipod. I’m talking about other things you need to survive. Medication that you have to take daily is a big one that is often over looked. If it is a prescription medication, tell your doctor that you would like a few days or a weeks worth to pack in your go kit. Most will write you the small amount. Make sure you rotate it with your normal medication, though, so it doesn’t expire. People with young children should pack dippers, wipes, and formula.

For more information, you can check you Ready.org which is run by FEMA. What would you pack that I might have forgotten? What other tips might you have? People who have back packed before should have an easy time with this, as you need to pack the essentials, but keep it light. I also hope none of you that read this will ever need to use it, but don’t count on it never happening to you. Think like the Boy Scouts and “Always be Prepared.”

National Emergency Prepardness Month

August is National Emergency Prepardness Month.  I will have a slight Emergency Prepardness theam this month, which works out because I’ve had some major writers block the last few days.  Today is also National Night Out.  Many communities will be holding events tonight all over the US.  I encurage all of you with kids to contact your town hall and get out tonight.  If nothing else, it will be something free to do with the kids!!