Friday, August 29, 2008


I hate Politics. I don't care what party you believe in, I feel none really have your best interests on their minds.

I once heard a Political Satirist say that there are two groups of rich people, and each group benefits from each other within their group, but benefits minimally from the other group. One group gets richer when Republicans are in charge, the other when Democrats are in charge. That's the only difference between Democrats and Republicans.

If I ever had the ear of the Nation, I would say, "You know what's wrong with this Country? Democrats and Republicans." I'd probably get shot the next day.

Now that we are in an Election year, we will hear all kinds of rhetoric, things we "want to hear," so that whoever is running, gets elected. Not that everything a Politician says is a lie, but it would take a lot to convince me of it's truth.

Yes, I am that pessimistic about Politics and Politicians. The only people that really know what's going on, are the ones there, behind the scenes. I can visualize them telling their candidates, say this and say that, it will get you elected.

Working for the City of Los Angeles, I felt that our last Mayor, Kenneth Hahn, was very good for our City. But people thought he had no charisma, and he was defeated by the current Mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa, because he charmed the voters. Charisma and charm doesn't get the job done. And though I do see that Mayor Villaraigosa is a better at "sound bites" and "photo ops" than Mayor Hahn, I still don't see that he is actually doing a better job.

What's very odd to me, is when you hear the "rumors" from people who serve Politicians. They say George W. Bush is nice, courteous, and friendly. His ranch in Texas is very "Green." Al Gore treated people like they were his servants, and didn't go "Green" until after he made the "Inconvenient Truth" and after his "faults" being pointed out to him that he wasn't "green." You'd think a person like Bush would have done a better job.

That doesn't necessarily mean that Al Gore would have done a better job than George Bush. NO, YOU DON'T KNOW! You can't rewrite history, it's done. Monday morning Quarterbacking does not change anything, and you can NOT guarantee what you THINK would have been different, really would have happened.

Unfortunately, we as a Country, have not gone beyond High School, when we all voted for the most popular person for High School Class President. And the same is still happening. Did the High School Class President ever do anything for you, or make your High School experience better? No.

One year there were two movies about fictional Presidential candidates. One was politics as usual, but then had an epiphany and changed his vision to do what's good for the Country. The other movie portrayed someone who was a weasel, and did what he could to "look" good and say what the people wanted to hear to get elected. In most of the Talk shows where the actor in the latter movie was promoting this movie, he was asked semi-seriously, if he would run for President. People applauded, I was appalled.....

All I can say is, don't vote for someone just because they are Male or Female. Black, White, Yellow, or Brown. Gay or Straight. Young or Old. And don't idolize any of them. Vote for who you think will do what's "right," not what their Party wants them to do. And then watch them, and hold them to what they say they will do. That is the key. I'm not saying I wouldn't vote for Obama, but I see too much faith being put on him. That disturbs me more. Make a choice with as much clear vision as you can have, and look beyond the image ANYONE is portraying. Don't tell me things will change, wait until it really happens, then rejoice.

The Country has been ailing for the longest time, and it's NOT just the fault of Republicans. It's the fault of everyone, including me and you. The best are not running for office. The best are not being nominated. And the best are not being voted for.

If you think I'm off base, if you think that ANY Politician will help you, consider this. Is there any Politician, that worries about their own Health Insurance coverage? Their own Retirement pension? Whether they would have a home, or something to eat today? Would any Politician balk at giving themselves more pay and increased Health and Retirement benefits? No.

What's the answer to all of this? One answer is easy, implementing it is almost impossible. Take out "Big Money" from Politics. You can only serve one master. That master has been greed. That needs to change.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

What Is That?

I'm jealous that my friend has a contest going on, so I will copy......... I mean, um, er, come up with my own contest.

What kind of animal is this? Can you name it? I'll give you some hints. I found it at the Dodger game. It seems to have many relatives, for I saw a few more of these creatures, here and there. It's difficult to see it's face, and even if it has arms and/or legs. All anyone knows is that they started showing up in the month of August. There is no prizes if you get it right. Why? Because I'm cheap.......

HMMMMMM No one has participated in my contest. I guess I'll have to conduct a survey on why.

My contest was a dud because:

A. I offered no prize for the winner.
B. I'm not a hawt chick, so who cares?
C. You're stoopid.
D. I'm stoopid.

Remember, Please Vote, if you don't, the terrorist have won.

*SIGH* I guess no one reads my blogs.... The correct answer to the mystery animal is: Manny Ramirez hair. The correct answer to my survey is: B & D. *sniff*

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Nisei Week

I used to LOVE Nisei Week. Back in the day, (that's what old people say), it was a place to people watch. Okay, so the people I watched were girls, I admit it. We always went to the "Carnival." There were no rides, it featured booths run by Church groups, Youth groups, Clubs, Fraternities, Sororities, and some businesses. There were "home-cooked" food booths, games of chance booths, and booths that sold things like t-shirts and other merchandise.

Usually, the "grown-ups" went during the day, and the young adults, or kids, went at night. We were there to impress, or tried to impress, and check out all of the opposite sexes that were also checking us out? Heck, for all I know they didn't even notice us.

One of the highlights of the night would be the cruising. We all brought our cars, fixed up or not, and drove around the block that the carnival was held on. People had Imports and American Muscle cars. I once told a friend that my era created the "Ricers" that permeate the car shows now. But the most we ever did was put rims and tires on, lower them a bit and add Koni shocks. Very few tuned the engines on their Imports. How could we? There wasn't many aftermarket parts for them.

Only the Muscle cars were "fixed up," and they were usually "ugly." You see, the Imports were new, and we tried to make them look better with the money we spent. The Muscle cars were older, and the money went into engine parts, not the paint job or body work. My friend had a 67 Ford Mustang that he ran on the strip every so often, and another had a 65 Ford Falcon with a V8 in it. I had a 1980 Datsun 200SX. What's a Datsun? Well, back in the day................... never mind. It had a two-toned paint scheme, black on top and bottom, with silver sides and trunk. The rims were chrome with a gold colored middle. Hot! Not? Anyway, I did "race" my car a couple of times against a friend's friend who had a big mouth and went to a rival High School. I beat him twice, and almost a third, but he "canceled" the last race, because he thought he saw some Police cars. We left right away. He still owes me $40.

Another highlight was the Nisei Week parade. The parade featured Japanese dancers, marching bands, dignitaries, Beauty pageant contestants, etc. I was in a Japanese marching band and played for about 8 years, and never missed a parade.

Now, somehow, Nisei week has turned into 2 weeks, and the Carnival is no more. The parking lot it was held on, has been built over, and not much space is left anywhere else to hold it. Because of Health regulations, no Church or Youth group have booths anymore. They have been replaced by "Professional" food booths and merchants. It seems like you see the same booths over and over at any festival or carnival in the Los Angeles area. And cruising has been replaced by a Car show. It's just not the same. In my opinion, Nisei Week has lost some of it's "Community" feel.

Well, there's still the parade, and I'm still in it, almost every year. I ride on the Fire Dept's antique Fire Engine. I do it to show some Civic pride, and to let people know that there are Asian Firefighters, and maybe I can inspire someone to become one. Last I heard, Asians make up only 2 percent of our Fire Dept, so we could use some more.

Another good thing is now, I get to meet all of the Beauty pageant contestants. I have for the last 12 years. Unfortunately, I keep getting older, and they stay the same age, 20-25.

I always seem to be a dollar short and a day late.

There may be a Community Center built on a currently empty lot. It may be designed to hold a Carnival. Though it really isn't that bad right now, maybe Nisei Week will return to it's "Glory days" if that happens. Let's hope.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

For Rochelle

Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday Dear Dog loving, Cat loving, Dodger loving, Kauai loving, POG drinking, Lima bean manju eating, Cupcake eating, Strawberry and Peach Donuts from Donut Man eating, in fact all desserts eating, Vegetarian who cheats sometimes with Gummy bears, writes "teh" instead of "the" and uses "z's" for "s's", Florist, who looks HAWT in a bikini playing catch with Puka at the Beach,

Present? What present?

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Truth Always Comes Out

Continuing on my stories from calls that I've gone on, here are two where the "patients" were not so truthful about what happened to them.

Story #1
We were called to two brothers who were driving in their car. They told us that they were pulled over by the Police, and one of them swallowed some drugs that he had because he didn't want to be caught with them.

After asking what it was and how much was swallowed, we "advised" them that the small amount of marijuana swallowed, would probably do no more damage than if they smoked it. There is no "antidote" for what he swallowed, and it would have to go through his system the natural way. They were satisfied with the advice and refused any more assistance.

A half-hour later, we were called to the same brothers at a different address. The brother who swallowed the drugs was uncontrollable, and just flailing around inside his car. Because of protocols, we called the Police to restrain him for us, and we took him to the hospital. Though a little puzzled by his reaction to a little marijuana, we didn't think much of it.

Later on, the hospital had found cocaine in his system. His heart went nuts for a while, and they had to de-fibrillate him a few times to get him out of dangerous heart rhythms.

When his family showed up, the staff told them he had cocaine in his system and they would have to wait and see, because the effects are uncontrollable, and sometimes deadly. The family replied, "Oh, no, he doesn't use drugs." The nurse said, "Um, well, you see, we did a blood test, and found cocaine in his blood." Again, they replied, "Oh no, it's not possible, he doesn't use drugs." Denial is not just a long river in Egypt...........

Story #2
We found a guy laying face up on the sidewalk, dirty, as if he slept in the grass all night. We aroused him and got him to talk to us. He was obviously beaten-up by someone. Black eyes, face swollen with bumps on his head, bruises, scratches, but very little blood. There was even a thinly carved word on his chest. We couldn't quite make out what it said, "LA--A."

He had no deformities, though he did have some possibly broken bones, and he could have had internal bleeding. Since my X-ray vision wasn't working that day, we didn't take any chances and took him to the Trauma center. The Police were also there.

While we were treating him and then taking him to the hospital, both the Officer and I questioned him. He gave us vague answers. "What happened? How did you get these scratches?" "I crawled under a fence." "Why did you do that?" "To get to where I was going." "Who beat you up? Who wrote on your chest?" "I don't know." "What was the last thing you did, where were you?" "I was with my girlfriend." "What's your girlfriend's name?" "Laura."

Wha-what?!?!?!? AHA! "LA--A" was Laura!

I don't know the full circumstances of what happened, but I know one thing....... Beware of Lauras in or around Echo Park!

(Just a note, there was no apostrophe after the first letter "L." You'll be safe with L'aura........... I think?)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Darwin At Work

Okay, my last post was due to what happened last night. I couldn't start anything without mentioning that particular call first. This one is pure "You've got to be kidding me!"

There are two types of medical calls. BLS (Basic LIfe Support) and ALS (Advanced Life Support). ALS is a Paramedic, BLS is Firefighters only.

The Fire Engine and a BLS Ambulance responded to an injured person. This person was on his 10 speed bicycle, trying to get away from the Police. He made a left turn onto another street, his bicycle hit the curb, and he fell off his bicycle. The Police caught him and handcuffed him. They recovered a weapon from his body, and call for us to tend to his injuries.

The Fire Engine crew arrives first and the patient is sitting on the curb, handcuffed. He has a few road rashes on his arms and small cuts on his bald head. They start asking him questions, "Where do you hurt, etc" and he starts berating everyone, and says "Get the "F" away from me." I guess he was frustrated at being caught, and feared the repercussions he faced.

Then he did something that only Darwin could explain. He tipped himself over and purposely slammed his head onto the sidewalk. He knocked himself out. Yes, really, he did. We were summoned because it went from a BLS call to an ALS call in one quick stupid move.

We packaged him for transport, still unconscious, and took him to the hospital. As long as we were with him, and when we left the hospital, he was still unconscious. He beat himself up pretty good.

I don't like to make light of someone who is badly injured, I don't even know the extent of damage he did to himself. I certainly hope that he did not do any permanent damage, or dies. But this one goes in the book under "What was he thinking?" He wasn't.

Language Barrier

I go on so many different types of calls, from the very ridiculous to the very serious-est. (Oh, by the way, in my Blogs, I will also make up words.) Some of these calls will be mentioned here, without names to adhere to all Privacy policies, because I deem them to be note worthy. I will start with a story that some of my friends here have already heard. I was NOT a part of this particular call.

Back in the day, when there were few Paramedic Ambulances, and probably even less Firefighters that spoke a foreign language, a Fire Engine was sent on an "OBS - Obstetrics" call. The nature of a call is determined by what the caller says on the phone to the 911 dispatcher. If you call and say you are short of breath, we will respond to a "DR - Difficult Respiration" call.

The Engine gets on scene and finds an obviously pregnant woman laying on a couch, and panting. The woman only speaks Spanish. No one on the Fire Engine speaks Spanish, and they are unable to find someone to translate.

The Firefighter has to find out if this is an imminent delivery. The ONLY way to do this, is to see if the baby's head is showing at the "birth canal."

The Firefighter tries his best to explain that he has to look, "down there." He tries to remove the woman's underwear, and she fights him. This goes on and repeats it self a few times. Finally the Firefighter decides it has been long enough, and if the baby is coming, he has to know so that he can deliver the baby.

He musters up all of his strength, and pulls off the woman's underwear. Whew! The baby is NOT coming. What a relief!

The Paramedics show up, and one of them speaks Spanish. After asking the woman what happened and why she called, the Paramedic listens to the woman's story. He then turns to the Firefighter and asks, "What did you do to her?" The Firefighter explains what he did. The Paramedics says, "She didn't call for herself, she called because someone beat up her husband. He's outside in the backyard."

Life, you just can't make some things up.

Monday, August 11, 2008

A Lesson in Japanese

When I was a kid, I had to endure going to Japanese School every Saturday. I don't know if they still have these language schools, but I have run into people who also had to go, before 2000.

There were different levels of teaching, the School I went to was more for baby-sitting than learning. A friend of mine went to a School that was much more strict and he learned a lot more Japanese than I did. Though I went all the way to "7th" grade, I don't think I had more knowledge than a 7 year old in Japan.

There are 3 types of writing in Japanese. Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji.

Hiragana is the Japanese alphabet. They are letters based on the vowels A, I, U, E, and O. All letters with the same vowels rhyme, and are pronounced the same each time it is used. Here is a link to the letters.

Katakana is the alphabet, but used for words that are not Japanese. For example, beer is not a Japanese word, and the Japanese did not give beer a Japanese name, so they kept the original name and use Katakana to spell and pronounce it. So beer written in Katakana is "Beeru." The only problem with this, is that the Japanese uses the letters literally, when sometimes it would work out better if it was done phonetically.

Beer uses the Japanese character "Be" then elongates it for the extra "e" and adds a replacement "ru" for "r." Which is pronounced "Bee-rue" All "R's" have that L/R pronunciation. Thus is done because with the exception of the letter "N," all Japanese letters end in a vowel. Therefore the use of "Ru" at the end of Beer. If they wrote it our phonetically, it could have been "Bee-ya" which is much closer to Beer than Beeru. Make sense? No? You should see how they "spell" McDonald's.

Kanji is the characters used for words, instead of writing it out in letters. You can do both, but it takes less space with Kanji. I can only describe it as Chinese writing. They are very similar and I would guess, based on the same things.

Now the biggest problem for everyone is how to pronounce these letters. The easiest way I can tell you is, is to pronounce it as you would a Spanish word. The vowels are all pronounced the same way.

A = ah
I = ee
U = oo
E = eh
O = oh

Now, this is just a simple way of explaining it, and don't even try to correct me or get more specific. Most people will have enough trouble using this guide.

So, why do I bring it up? The Olympics. When it was held in Nagoya, Japan, and broadcast by CBS, I could not watch it. Nagano, is pronounced, Nah-Gah-Noh. CBS pronounced it like a Surfer dude, "Nawg-Ah-Noe." The mis-pronunciation really bothered me. Why? Because prior to the start of that year's Olympics, CBS's National Sports Director was told that they were pronouncing it incorrectly. What was their answer? Not, "Our apologies, we will pronounce it correctly." It was, "Oh, that way is too boring." Then the National Sports Director pronounced it "Nah-Gah-Noh" in a robotic-like voice and said, "AMERICANS don't speak that way."

F' him. I actually e-mailed all TV Stations in Los Angeles, and advised them of the correct pronunciation. Only Hal Fishman of KTLA 5, made an On-air correction. It was rumored that Tricia Toyota, who worked for CBS at the time, was insulted because she was forced to pronounce it the "wrong" way.

So tell me, why does this happen? I once saw a correction of how Tienanmen Square in China was pronounced on TV. And you are looked down on and thought of as un-schooled if you pronounce French words like "hors d'oeuvres" incorrectly. Hell, I had to look it up to see how it was spelled! At least Karaoke is spelled the way you pronounce it, and you STILL get it wrong.

Why do you think this is? My opinion? Dis-respect. Japan attacked Pearl Harbor to start the United States' involvement in World War II. Japan was beaten, and the added hatred because of the attack meant they didn't deserve the respect of pronouncing it's words correctly.

I can't think of any other reason why Japanese words are butchered every day. Karaoke = Carry okie. Hiroshima = Heroh shim a. Sake = Sa-kie. Listen to news outlets. They are always trying their best to pronounce foreign names correctly. But not when it comes to Japanese words.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Should I be Proud?

After reading another Blog, I took this quiz.....


Created by OnePlusYou - Free Dating

I can take 19 5 year olds in a fight............. Should I be proud? Or ashamed that the number is too low? You know, it wouldn't be easy fighting a multitude of 5 year olds. It would be almost like a Zombie attack. They'd just keep coming and coming. You don't think so? Ask a Kindergarten teacher, they would know. Or the Ice Cream man. *shudder* My heart goes out to those people.

Oh, and if you want to know, I'd also make a slightly better human shield than you would.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Internet Friends

As I wrote before, I made a lot of friends while on the website, A few of the friends I made were strictly Internet friends. Why? Because I never got to meet them in real life, that's why. Duh!

So today, I was invited to an Engagement party held by a couple that I met on Yelp. Amy first and then Linden, after she got him to join. They are a nice couple and a darn good looking one too. Amy has pretty eyes, and a great smile. Linden....... well, if I was gay.......... I guess I can say that he is very handsome. Damn that Oprah! Why do I listen to her? Get in touch with my feminine side my ass....... Good thing I'm not gay. Did I just say I watch Oprah?

Anyway, I still feel it odd to meet people on Yelp, especially since I left over 2 months ago. I didn't run into anyone who had disagreements with me, though who really knows? Maybe some were just being polite. HMMMMM Judy DID try to run me down in her car. Damn! I thought she'd be the last one to do such a thing. And L'aura DID wave some kind of weird hand gestures at me. It didn't involve one finger, so maybe it was nothing.

Well, just a few more Yelp people I'd like to finally meet. Maybe one day. I wonder if I'll ever meet Rochelle? Melonbar? Daryl? We'll see.

Friday, August 8, 2008


What's so special about today? According to some, the number 8 is a lucky number for Asians, or more specifically, the Chinese. The number 8 is also similar to the symbol representing infinity.

Many people are doing various things today to increase their chances of longevity and/or luck. Some people are getting married. My friend Catherine is getting married today. May it indeed be a lucky day for her.

Some people are probably hoping their child is born today. I wonder at what lengths people will go through, to ensure a birth today? Induce labor by medicinal means? Duct tape the Vagina until today?

Anyway, I don't believe in all this, but I wasn't going to take any chances. At approximately 8:08 AM, I bought a Mega Lotto ticket for today's jackpot. I wonder if I won. I haven't checked yet, because I am at work. I never check the winning numbers at work, because I think it would be bad Karma to not finish my shift. I know if I win a big jackpot, I would go home right away. But, doing so would mean that the unit that I work on would be shut down, meaning no Paramedic Ambulance until the next day when the next shift comes on duty.

I think that Asian people are mistaken about today's date having any significance. If you are going by the Chinese Calendar, the Year is not 2008, it is 4645. It could also be 4605 or 4606 depending on who's interpretation you go by.

Well, now it is 08/09/08. Nothing special happened to me today, though I still haven't checked my Lotto numbers. It was just another day in my life. I had a terrible night's sleep, had to wake up early to go to work, was half asleep most of the day, missed an on-time lunch and dinner because of 911 calls, and now I am up late because I'm not sleepy.

My life is a vicious cycle that repeats itself over and over again. Too bad it isn't like "Groundhog Day." Then I could re-live the day over and over until I get it right, and make improvements like learning to play the Piano. I used to play the French Horn, so I can play similar instruments like the Trumpet, if I start practicing. But instead of the Piano, I'd probably try to learn how to play the Saxophone or Guitar. Maybe the Drums. At least I'd be banging something.

What? Oh, you dirty....... I meant for stress relief. WHAT?!?

(Update: I did not win the Jackpot.)

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Please Don't Kill Me

I have a dangerous job. We do what we do based on risk factors. What do we gain? Is it worth it? Am I afraid? Of what? A big fire? Terrorist attacks? A big earthquake? A psycho killer? Zombie attacks? No. I'm more afraid of you, driving in your car.

WHAT?!?!? Yes, you heard me. You. driving. in. your. car. All of us who drive Emergency, or lights and sirens, know that we have to watch out for you. Why? Because vehicles are made differently now. There's sound deadening, extra loud stereo systems, air conditioners and fans blowing. You usually can't hear us coming until we're right behind you. And you're still looking for where we are.

The worst drivers are the ones that don't know what to do. The law is, vehicles on BOTH sides of the street, and cross traffic, "Pull to the right and stop." Not, pull to the left. Not, pull to the right and roll. Not, drive faster and hope the Emergency vehicle turns onto another street. Not, I don't really have to stop until I get to the intersection. NOT, Gee the Emergency vehicle isn't going that fast, I'm in a hurry, I'll just drive past it. Not, if I hurry up and get into the left turn lane, I'll be safe. If you're in the left turn lane, you're supposed to, get this, "Pull to the right and stop." But that's not practical, because you'll end up in the middle of the intersection and make things worse for both of us. You've already have gotten in the way by being in the left turn lane, now stay there and we'll try to go around you. Because you're more important.

Practically, you don't have to pull to the right all the way to the curb all the time. The safest place for an Emergency vehicle to drive is right down the center of the street. That way, it is on the driver's side of all vehicles, and can be seen by drivers going in both directions. So, if there is more than one lane going the same way, just clear the number one lane.

And you've heard it before, the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. If you are in the way, and an Emergency vehicle has to go around you, then you just caused it to NOT go the shortest distance. This doesn't matter so much for one car, but have you ever seen an Emergency vehicle do a slalom around multiple cars? I have. Other things that slow us down, are pedestrians who cross streets right in front of us. You only have an excuse if you are deaf, and even deaf people don't cross, because they are more aware of their surroundings and will notice the flashing lights.

The others who slow us down are people who cross in front of us, and then "pull to the right and stop." This happens mostly when we pull out of the Station. When an Emergency vehicle is pulling out of a building or driveway, you should just stop, if safe to do so. Crossing in front of an Emergency vehicle, and then pulling over is keeping us from getting anywhere.

And the absolutely WORST drivers, are the ones on Cell phones. No arguments! I have seen many clueless drivers still on the phone while getting in my way. They are in their own world and are a hazard to all.

Incidentally, do you know that the only legal requirement for an Emergency vehicle to go emergency, is "One steady red burning light." Yes, not the multiple flashing lights all around, and not even a siren, just, "One steady red burning light."

Now, why is this dangerous? Why am I asking you not to kill me? Well there's two reasons.

One. Driving emergency is dangerous if there is an accident. Pay attention. An Ambulance weighs over 8000 pounds. A Fire Engine weighs over 30,000 pounds. You are more likely to die if you get into an accident with one of these. But Fire Dept members have been seriously hurt in accidents, and some have even died.

Two. When you are behind an Emergency vehicle that is driving the same direction that you are headed, and it stops at it's destination, what do you do? You drive around them, don't you. Why? Because you are going where you need to go and nothing else matters. So, "What's wrong with that" you ask? Well someone called 911. That means they have an emergency. Maybe it's life or death, maybe not. But we were called, and we drove there. Now we have to GET OUT of the vehicle to help whoever called. But you are driving past our doors at 35mph, and we can't get out. Has anyone ever gotten out of an Emergency vehicle and got hit by a car and killed? YES! And I know someone who almost got hit by a bus! Missed him by one inch. The Ambulance door did not survive.

When you read this, you might think, "Wow, I never thought of that." Many of us have tunnel vision, and are short-sighted. Try to look at "The Big Picture" and then you might start to see things in a different light.

Public Service Announcement - Earthquakes

So, now you know that I'm a Firefighter/Paramedic for the Los Angeles City Fire Dept. Many of my posts will probably have to do with something that happens to me while I'm on-duty. But not everything. I'm saving most of it for my book. Yes, one day I will right a book. Really, I think I shirley right guud enuf.

Today's topic is Earthquakes. What to do? How to prepare? No, look it up on the Internet yourself. There are many guides on what you should do, how to prepare, etc.

This is about ONE thing.

On July 29, 2008, a moderate earthquake hit Los Angeles at about 11:40 AM. There was very little damage, and no one died. Or did they? For about ONE hour after the Earthquake, the LAFD had very little emergency calls coming into their 911 system. Why? Because there was no damage? Because it wasn't that bad? NO! Because everyone and their mother was on the phone trying to call someone to see if they were okay, and/or talk about what just happened.


People with emergencies, whether or not related to the earthquake, could not get through. Emergencies happen every day and every minute regardless of any other factors, such as an earthquake. You could have kept someone, in dire need, from getting help because they couldn't get through to 911. Did someone die because of this? I don't know. All I know is, after the first hour, the 911 phones rang off the hook.

Remember, stay off the phones for at least one hour after an earthquake, even longer if you really don't need to call anyone. Save it for the people who really need to make a call.

You never know who is trying to call for help. Maybe someone you know.

Who I'd Like to Date

More about ME! Anyway, I'm single. I've been this way for a while, it's a disease I tell you! It's hard to explain why, but a lot has to do with things I just don't have control over. Let's see, first, I am naturally shy. Yes I am! *blush* I had to overcome this, and I did by over-compensating and being a Joker. No, not the Batman kind. Although........ never mind. You know, the typical "Class Clown." But not THE Class Clown. I just played a minor role, Class clown #3.

My best friend, the one who could kick your ass, was also the best story teller. He would have us in stitches all the time. He rubbed off on me, and I rubbed off on him. We complimented each other. I'd like to think that he could have gone the other way and joined a gang, but didn't because of me. And his Aunt, who would have whipped his ass if he did.

After High School, I worked in a Gas Station and made $5.00 per hour. I met a few women who came in regularly for gas, and some may have been attracted to me, but I was clueless. I look back and recall this one girl who asked me, "Why are you so nice to me?" She had a slow leak in her tire, and I would always fill it up for her. Rico Suave in me answered, "Um, I'm nice to everyone." D'OH! Anyway, I'm not that vain. I still think on the scale of 1-10, I'm a solid 6, okay!, 5 1/2. It probably was just an innocent question and not a come-on. Then again, I was just a poor boy, nobody loved me. He's just a poor boy from a poor family! *STOP IT!* Damn Queen.... I was "poor." Where could I take a girl, with a real job, on a date since I was only making $5.00 an hour?

My biggest "chance" to find someone, was when I worked for Bank of America. I met a hell of a lot of people there, and many of them were women. I did come out of my shell by then, but I guess I over compensated again and was a little too forward sometimes. It's okay though. The last girl I pursued from B of A would have been a disaster for me. I started talking to her and found out she was interested in a job that my friend was looking to fill. It was as a Civil Engineering apprentice. She got the job, and I started seeing more of her, because I often had lunch with my friend. Eventually I had a few lunches with her. There was one problem. She lived with her boyfriend. She almost left him for me, but fate saved me. Nothing ever happened. Eventually she married the guy, and the guy caught her cheating on him with one of her co-workers. Whew! I dodged that heartache.

Anyway, I went back to school while working for B of A, because my main interest was becoming a Firefighter. So, I enrolled in Community College and took Fire Science classes. I also took some General Ed classes, and did so well, I got on the Dean's list. Imagine that, a High School drop-out on the Dean's list. Sacrilege.

By now I was too busy to do anything else with my time, even dating. I focused on getting a job as a Firefighter. I did well enough on the last testing process for the City of Los Angeles, but LA announced a hiring freeze on the day I had my Oral interview, and I had to wait two extra years to get hired. If it wasn't for the Riots, I probably would have had to wait a little longer, or had to re-test for the job.

I finally got the job, and it was time consuming. Being a Rookie was 24/7/365. On-duty or off, I was training or studying. After Probation, there was still much to learn. Then, when there was a "lull" I decided to volunteer for Paramedic school. That took another long year of training, and then I was assigned to a very busy Station in the Pico-Union District of Los Angeles. We were always one of the top 3 busiest Paramedic ambulances in the City. I always came home beat. I mean come home and sleep till noon beat. Yeah, there were times when I wasn't, but it was few and far between.

I could go into more of that, but you see my point, too busy to date. Now, I have personal issues that keep me tethered to home. I can go out, but only on a limited basis. Unfortunately, most of the women I meet today, are too young for me. At work, even when I was on Yelp, all under 30. And my ideal range is over 35. I guess I could be one of those "Dirty-old-men" with a girl 20 years his junior, but I just can't do it. If I did, she would have to have a ton in common with me, and that's not likely. Hey, don't get me wrong, I do get tempted sometimes, but not enough to act.

I'm still called clueless, and having "eyes wide shut," so maybe I'm missing something. Maybe. But like most things that have happened to me in life, including becoming a Firefighter, fate did it's job. I almost got hired as a Firefighter 12 years before I did. I wasn't ready back then, and passed on it. It was the best thing to happen to me. I didn't know it at the time, but fate was making sure I was physically and mentally ready to become a Firefighter. Fate also kept me from dating that one girl I mentioned above. So, I still wait, but this time, I'm getting less physically able, and more mental. Um, what do you expect from an old man like me? Still I know whoever I'm waiting for, is out there and is gonna be everything I NEVER looked for in a woman. (Please don't be a man!) Isn't that the way it always is?

But wait a minute, that's not the title of this post. So, who would I like to Date? Wouldn't YOU like to know.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Yelper for Life?

I just realized that my life is now defined by my experiences on Yelp. All of my friends are people I've met on Yelp. My tenants are friends I met on Yelp. 99% of my friends on Facebook are people I met on Yelp. Undoubtedly, my girlfriend will also be from Yelp. If I swing the other way, my boyfriend will be from Yelp. If I get married, my future ex-wife will be from Yelp. I'm even meeting someone from Yelp for lunch today! Yelp, Yelp, Yelp, Yelp, Yelp! IT'S A CULT!

That's why I left. If you aren't one of the "followers" you will be shunned. Be assimilated or removed like a cancerous cyst. For more than a year, I was a follower. But I was never a very good follower. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a very good leader either. I'd rather do my own thing.

That's the downfall of Yelp. It's a great idea, but it has poor execution and policies. Think about it. You are a business. You want to be successful. To do that, you need to grow. The more people you have, the more you grow. Yet one of Yelp's policies is to kick people off, or allow them to leave. Now, I can understand if a person is an Internet Troll (See Wiki for a definition) but they allow trolls to stay and harass people, and allow their "real" users to leave! What kind of policy is that? I bet MySpace doesn't kick people off. Well, unless you're a pedophile or something, but then, that would make you a troll.

So, now I'm on my own again. I'm trying to cut the umbilical cord of Yelp. But it's hard. Some people I can contact only through Yelp. I do have "regular" friends. But most of them are busy with married life, children, work, etc. And my schedule is different from the norm, so I don't get to see them much. Most of my contacts with people now, are at work, and here on the Internet. Nah, I'm not lonely or starving for attention. I'm just telling it like it is, as I see it.

Isn't that what blogging is about?

Monday, August 4, 2008

For Corazon

So now you kinda know about Yelp. I wrote reviews, and some people liked them. Some people actually read them. One of these suckers............. um, er............ friends, was Corazon. After I left Yelp and deleted all of my reviews, she told me that this was one of her favorites. So, I will post it just for her. Hey, don't read it, it 's for her..................

Truly: A Vegan Restaurant

So, there I was, 8 hours of sleep in three days. Not good. Something’s wrong, I.............. I have a need to vent. What's wrong with me? Why am I spilling my guts like a, a ............... a Girlie man? Like Robert De Niro in "Analyze This," without the bawling. I need help. Intervention, something! So I get in touch with a friend so we can talk and have lunch. Yes, that's it. Like all Macho Manly men, we need to talk it out, and communicate. And where else better to do this, than at a Vegan restaurant. Yup, here I am spilling my guts, eating Vegan. What have I done to deserve this?

I had the Pad Thai, which I have had at my favorite Thai place the week before, and this Vegan version was very good. In fact, add chicken, and there would have been no difference from the Non-Vegan one I had. My friend also had the Pad Thai, and I believe they made the two together, then separated it into two servings. How did I know this? My plate had 2-3 pieces of tofu, while hers had about 100. No, it didn't matter. After JayChan said tofu turned men lady-like, I refuse to touch the stuff. So, anyway it was very good, filling and the prices were very reasonable.

So now it's all over, I'm back to normal. I've caught up on my rest, and I'm starting to feel like a Man again. I go home and watch TV. Queer Eye is on, and I find out I'm doing everything wrong! I need to paint my rooms in vivid colors, get new furniture, get clothing that complements my features, learn how to cook exotic dishes, and resupply my bathroom with specific toiletries suited to my skin. I'm back to square one. Will someone come over and hold me for a while?

My Internet Claim to Fame

I never got into MySpace, or anything prior to that. AOL, AIM, and Chat Rooms were all foreign to me. All I ever used the Internet for was to E-Mail friends, Shop for things, Traveling, and to find information on something.

Then one fateful day in May of 2006, I was researching places to eat in San Francisco. I was going up for a weekend and heard about a place that served Waffles any way you wanted them. One of my friend's ex-girlfriend, who lived there, took him to this place. It was near SF Chinatown. I never found the restaurant, but I found

If you don't know, is where "Real People" write "Real Reviews" of any businesses. Most of them are for restaurants. This is where sites like Chowhound and Eater make their mistakes. They are always putting Yelp down because they just don't get it. They complain that the reviewers are terrible writers, or that the reviews are not thorough enough.

Basically Yelp is a site where word-of-mouth reigns. You know how you found that small hole in the wall that serves the best whatever-it-is that they serve? A friend told you about the place. Or that great mechanic that fixes your junker? A friend told you about them. You didn't find it in a Zagat survey, or on Chowhound. A friend told you. That's what Yelp is about. People going to their favorite places, and writing about them.

Well, though I wasn't the first one to register in Los Angeles on, I was popular enough to be voted King of their Prom. Yelp also sponsors themed events, like the Prom, where certain users deemed "Elite" are invited to attend. Although I think the voting was rigged, because there were a lot of hanging chads that were overlooked.

Anyway, here's my story, you want to hear it? Here it goes........

Come and listen to a story 'bout a man crowned King
A poor writer who could barely spell anything
Then one day he was looking for some food,
And up from a search came some Googling good
Yelp that is, Real People, Real Reviews.

Well first thing you know I'm going to the Prom
Jenny said, "Hey, take me, not your Mom!"
She said Hollywood is where we ought to be
So we got up on my Harley, and we rode up to the Key
Club that is, Yelping Stars, drinking fools

Well then it was the time for me to say goodbye
I had it up to here, and got spit right in my eye
I wasn't invited back and got kicked right out the door
So I registered on Facebook and I asked for a little more
Friends that is, Real Friends.

Y'all come back now, y'hear?

Ahhh, 2 years on a dating site, and I have nothing to show for it. Ain't life grand?

A Little About Me.

I was a 140lb weakling in High School. I was not picked on because I was friendly, or because my friends could kick your ass. I don't know which, pick one. My best friend since Jr. High was once approached in a bathroom at High School by a "Cholo," (Mexican Gang member) and was "asked" for his money. My friend got him up against the wall and said, "No, you give me your money." My friend had money to spend that day. Not much, but enough for lunch.

I was neither an Athlete nor an "A" student. I spent one year on the "practice squad" being the Human Tackling dummy, of the "B" Football team. The "B" team is the lowest level, 1 Varsity, 2 Jr Varsity, 3 B, although only Varsity and B games were played against other schools. And I quit High School with one semester left and took the GED. Why? I had it up to here with the LA City School District's idea of what you should be taught or what to learn.

I do have a disadvantage from leaving School early. You will see though my Blogger existence that my grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and vocabulary all are in need of correction. However, don't, because my friend will kick your ass.

So I went out and got my life experience working at various jobs. My first real job was with Safeway Stores as a bagger. I also worked for my best friend's mother's boyfriend as a Plumber's Apprentice. Since my High School days, I have been interested in cars. I had many Classic Mustangs, and took a few of them apart, and put them back together, including the engines. I've owned trucks, and a couple of Import cars, even a Mini-Van. I also worked for a friend at his Full Service Gas Station.

Other than Football, I played Little League Baseball for 2 years, and played on a Recreational Basketball league team for about 10 years, after High School. I like to jog when I can, and sometimes I work out.

Mostly, I spend my time in front of a 20 inch LCD screen, typing into cyber space. All of my friends have turned from skin and bones to bits and bytes.