Sunday, September 16, 2012

Arts, Beats, & Eats review

I know it's a couple weeks after the fact, but I wanted to share my experiences. First off let me share this was my first AB&E experience, and it was average at best, but has potential.

When we first arrived we were already through the turnstiles before security chased us down and stopped us to look through our diaper bag.  Also, the whole entrance/exit gate areas need to be reworked, they put them right next to concert stages so its hard to hear the cashiers and ask questions.

Next we started walking around aimlessly, because again I could not hear the cashiers if there were maps of the event available.  We finally found the main stage and my wife and I enjoyed watching Saving Abel and Theory of a Dead Man.  The only complaint I have was lack of shade over part of the area to be cool, as it was hot & sunny.

After the musical acts, we started walking past a few food booths and was suprised at how expensive some of the food was.  I was not expecting things to be that expensive so we ended up holding off on eating until after we left and ate in Downtown Royal Oak.  We did find a carnival food trailer that was accepting cash or tickets and I did the math it was $2.50 for a pop cash or the cash equivalent was $3.15 using tickets.

On our way out we walked past some art booths and I was disappointed.  I was expecting better quality or at least a juried event, but some of the items I saw were not even made they were bought at a store and trying to be resold for profit.

I do want to salute the men & women of the Royal Oak PD & FD.  I saw the FD run 3 medical calls in the same area within 30mins, they were so busy even the Chief and other fire officers were getting hands on helping out at medical calls.  I do suggest that the city make the event hire a private EMS agency to assist with the call volume.  The PD was great they were there and you could see them, but at the same time they stayed out of sight, unless needed.

I don't know how the event faired later in the evening, but I did not see any serious issues while we were there and will definitely be back in the future.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Where were you?

As tommorrow marks the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks, I wanted to share my memories with you.

I remember that morning, not a cloud in the sky and I was on my 2nd day as a 911 Dispatcher for Rochester Hills FD.  My supervisor, training officer, and I were over at the Oakland County complex for computer training.  The supervisor's pager started going off like nuts from the office saying find a tv a plane crashed into the WTC.  We were thinking a small plane, no big deal until she got another page about a 2nd one, and then the Pentagon.  She went looking for a tv and couldnt find one.  We still really had no idea the seriousness of the situation until we went to lunch and saw pictures for the first time.  After lunch we went back to training and this time there were armed OCSD deputies outside checking id's of everyone going in. 

The ride home that night was erie, I saw gas gouged as high as $5 a gallon, and I remember getting home in time to see one of the smaller towers collapse.  I, like many of you, stayed glued to the tv and felt a sense of patriotism and wished thete was something we could do to help. 

Over the next few days it was odd not seeing or hearing planes in the sky with exception of the occassional military jet.  The out pouring of support from residents as they showed up at our fire station bringing us baked goods, cards, and just to say thanks was amaizing. 

Some agencies from Michigan sent groups of workers to Ground Zero to assist in the rescue and recovery efforts, while other agencies organized drives collecting money and supplies to send over there.

One of the fire information paging groups I belong to has this archive of events from that day showing how the information was spread across the country to fire buffs.  As you can see it was very hectic and confusing.

Our lives were changed forever that day.  Nothing will ever be the same again, but I do believe we are better prepared to handle disasters because of it.

Two years ago I was able to stop out at the Flight 93 Memorial construction site.  The experience was very sobering and made you realize how lucky we are.

Now leaving out any conspiracy remarks or other negative feedback what are your memories?

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Frustrated Volunteer

There's a community in Oakland County having an event this Saturday.  The group organizing the event went out of their way to invite me to volunteer at the event.  This was done months ago, and at the time, I asked what kind of help was needed.  I told them the types of things I would like to help out with, but said "whatever you need, let me know."  The group responded with a message saying they would get in touch shortly after they had their meeting and things progressed.

Now, time has passed. I never heard anything from the group, and I made other plans for Saturday.  Finally, on Thursday, the group sent out a mass e-mail telling people where they need help and for how long.  You cannot expect people to keep a whole day roped off in case they are needed and not communicate with them.  If I approached them, that's one thing, but they initiated the invite, and then did not keep me posted about what would happen.  This is also not the first time this group has done this to me and others.  Heck, half the time they're begging for volunteers at the last minute and telling them to bring friends.

If you are organizing an event, you have an obligation to keep volunteers posted about what's going on, invite them to attend meetings, and make sure you keep the media involved as well.  Hopefully, this group will eventually learn from their lack of communication and make some changes so they can make sure there are enough volunteers for future events.  If changes are made and I am available, then I will be there.

Saturday, September 1, 2012


What is up lately with all of these politicians using the term misstated or misspoke?  Why don't they either stick to their beliefs (Akin) or say they lied (Ryan) about what they said.

A few weeks ago you may remember Rep. Todd Akin made some incorrect comments about how if a woman is legitimately raped the body has ways of fending off pregnancy.  After lots of pressure from media, various groups, and even fellow politicians he took it back and said he misspoke. Why didn't he stick with what he believed in?  or say that he was wrong and will be doing further research on the topic?  When he said he misspoke it makes it seem like that is not what he meant to say or he stumbled over what was on the teleprompter.

The newest addition to the list is VP canidate Ryan.  In an interview he said that he ran a marathon in under 3 hours (under 7 minutes a mile).  After several questions arose he eventually said he misstated the time and it should have been closer to 4 hours.  How do you just lose an hour in a marathon?  Did he think someone would say that 4 hours is way to long of time to run a marathon?

So who is the next political person that is going to use this excuse as a scapegoat?  No, you can't say VP Biden because even President Obama would admit that he was mistake.