Wednesday, May 31, 2006

The Blender


“The Blender” is the working title of the book/screenplay in my head* about emergency communications.

The title refers to the atmosphere in the communications center and I find the metaphor apt on several levels.

First a little introduction:

The municipality in which I live is the size of the state of Delaware but has only about 250,000 people living in it.

Every 911 call from my community goes through our dispatch center first. My agency dispatches only police. Medical calls and fire calls go to a separate dispatch center. Fish and Wildlife, Animal Control, and the State Troopers all have separate dispatch centers.

There are two separate job functions dispatchers perform: calltaking and dispatching. Any given day (a 12 hour shift) you will be on a radio for between 4 and 6 hours and on the phones the rest of the day. Everyone's mileage varies but we try to make sure everyone gets a bit of some kind of radio every day (because frankly being a calltaker all day is frustrating).

A rough sketch of how it works is this:

If you call 911 or the police business line, you will reach a calltaker. 911 calls have priority and every other call goes in a queue. 911 calls can go into a separate queue if there are more calls than calltakers.

The calltaker will determine where you are and what you need (in that order). If the call requires an officer response, the calltaker will quickly and accurately load a call for service into the computer.

Our agency has two separate "main channels" and our service area is split geographically between those two radios. Where the problem is located determines which dispatcher gets the call for service.

The dispatcher will look at all of the pending calls for service and determine their order of priority (the computer assigns priorities based upon the general call type but the dispatcher will weigh exigent circumstances when prioritizing calls).

The dispatcher keeps track of the locations of all officers on duty and assigns available officers to pending calls.

Seems pretty easy, right?

Not so much.

The way my book/screenplay is set up (again, at least in my head) is to follow a dispatcher from the recruit phase to the senior dispatcher phase.

The question is: does anyone care? Would you be interested in reading about the process of being subjected to the blender every day (with some wacky stories thrown in for spice)?

Do tell.

*by "screenplay in my head" I mean and on this blog as well. Creative commons license and all that. Don't get all cheeky about stealing my stuff.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Strangeness from Scottsdale



Two notes from Scottsdale, Arizona:

Through MySpace I got in touch with one of my best friends growing up and he happens to live in Scottsdale. I had forgotten I even had a MySpace account until I got the email that he’d sent me a MySpace message.

Fantastic. I’d mention him by name but people freak out when I do that unexpectedly (Hi Sherrie Dion!).

Anyway, great to hear from you, visit the blog often. As soon as the new website material comes up, I’ll pimp your band like a … well, like someone who pimps something really hard.

Second, I ran across this story on MSNBC online:


SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - The name of a new restaurant in Scottsdale is stirring up trouble. The Las Vegas-based Pink Taco Mexican Restaurant is scheduled to open its second location in downtown Scottsdale in June.

Nearly half a dozen people in the upscale city recently expressed their objection to the name, claiming it's a derogatory slang term for a portion of the female anatomy.
In late April, the city received four e-mails, three of which bore no names, objecting to the restaurant's name.

One of those e-mails stated: "The City of Scottsdale has a very fine reputation around the world. Let's keep the standards high. Let's let what plays in Vegas stay in Vegas."

Scottsdale Mayor Mary Manross has said she is offended by the name and went so far as to ask the owner to change it, although he refused.

Restaurant spokeswoman Lisa Perez said the company's name comes from one of its menu items.

Perez said the company has not received any complaints or objections about its name.

The original Pink Taco is inside the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

The Scottsdale City Council on Monday recommended that the restaurant get a liquor license.

The application was sent to the state liquor board, which has the final say.


Maybe it’s because Alaska prides itself on the establishment
“Skinny Dick’s Halfway Inn,”

but I think this is a big bunch of wasted newsprint.

And “nearly half a dozen?” If “nearly half a dozen people” makes up much of the mayor’s core constituency then she’s got worse problems than a saucily named Mexican restaurant.

Jesus (in this case pronounced “hay-suess”) wept.
~~
Oh and if you happen to be driving through Tempe and your car starts making strange noises, go by Greaser’s Auto.
Tell ‘em The Panic Blog sent ya.

Friday, May 26, 2006




created with Newspaper Generator

Oh and this story is completely ficticious. Any resemblance to any person, living or dead, is completely coincidental and ... okay, who am I kidding... but it's satire so get over it, "Hank!"

Thursday, May 25, 2006

I Like Bag Pipes


There's something about hearing bag pipes that makes me smile.

The only exception is when they play Amazing Grace because it reminds me of police funerals. The longer I work at my current job the more likely I've have to decide whether or not to go to another police funeral. I don't even want to think of that.

But back to the pipes. I have no desire to learn how to play bag pipes (which is unusual because if there's something I like there's a great possibility that I'll have or will soon spend way too much money and way too little time trying to learn it before giving up in utter frustration. See: my guitar. See also: my other guitar.)

We have calls at work from folks who find themselves living too close to the bag piper's practice field of choice. I load a call but always think "c'mon people, have you no soul?" It's like living in a brownstone apartment and having a guy on the floor above playing soulful saxophone on the fire escape. You have to love that.

Okay, so I've never lived in a brownstone apartment and after a couple nights of soulful sax I'd probably want to take a shot at the guy on the fire escape, but still.

This is why I don't own firearms.

On an odd side note, I was going to make mention of the fact that I loved the bag pipes but wasn’t so sure about the whole sporran thing.

Then I had to look up how to spell sporran.

Then I had to ponder why in hell, when I don't know exactly where I left my car keys last, I know a word like "sporran." For the love of dog, where do I even learn these things and why do I retain them when I can't reliably remember the name of our next door neighbor (who I refer to as "Jimmy" behind his back because I have no idea what his name is and I have to call him something when Kelli and I discuss the latest neighbor antics.)

If you want to get your learn on, here's the history of the sporran (from http://www.scotclans.com/story/img/sporran.jpg) :

The origin of the sporran goes hand in hand with the traditional highland kilt, since the attire didn't come with the convenience of pockets a leather pouch became a useful means of keeping together all those valuable items such as money, food, musket balls and the teeth of any unsuspecting rival clansmen!

The opening of the sporran (the cantle) was hinged and fastened at the top and this was secured to the sporran by leather thongs. These are represented by the leather tassels & chains, which can be seen in the modern sporran design.

Sporrans generally fall into three categories: Daywear sporrans, which are generally of leather and are worn as informal dress or hunting, dress sporrans, which are made from sealskin, musquash, rabbit, badger etc and are purely formal items and semi dress sporrans which are designed to be a compromise of the two.

~~

Be sure to click on my renter Erks. She's a kick in the sporran.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

This Week's Tenant: You know what ERKS me???

I offered out my spot this week for a total of 10 BE credits. This is astoundingly cheap considering what kind of click numbers I've been generating the last couple of months. So this is another week of experiments.

I picked

You know what ERKS me???


because she's got a new blog and because it's very funny. Click her. Now. You'll be glad you did.

You must see this !

Okay, I found this on 1 Cup Humanity, 1 Cup Profanity. Check out the site, it's fun.

WWW.SHAVEEVERYWHERE.COM
View it, play around with it. It's very very creative and funny.



you'll be glad you did.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

I'm a Doors fan, baby

cypress-hotel-doors
I've mentioned this before but I'm going to mention it again.

The number one security precaution you can take is to lock your doors.

Seems simple, right? I mean when you are home too!

I don’t care if you live in a town where you've never locked your doors at night or if you can leave a big pile of money on the porch and you know it would never be taken or if you can let your frisky 'in-season' collie run all over town off her leash.

If you lock your doors the bad guys will have a hard time getting in. Even the president has a problem with locked doors.

bush

Today a caller reported that a drunk and cracked up woman stormed into the caller's house (which was also occupied by the caller's two young children) and announced "I'm fucking drunk and I need some fucking tin foil to smoke some drugs." The caller gave the woman the foil just to get her out of the house. The caller proceeded to lock her door and call me.

While talking to me the drunk cracked up woman crouched by the caller's fence in the front yard and smoked her drugs in the foil then staggered down the street.

The caller was appalled. I would be too.

But guess what? Drunk cracked up women don't get in my house because my doors are locked. They can knock but (and here's step two) I don't have to let them in.

One can speak through a door with great ease and clarity. Try it sometime. It's fun.

mittensI'm not trying to sound superior to anyone or give an unwelcome lecture but for the love of dog, lock your doors!

locks

Thank you.

~~

You'll find VaVaVoom has an open door policy. Click on her blog and then go on in. Although if you get weird her dingo will eat your baby.

~~

Photos:

Cypress Hotel Doors

Locked Door

Bush

Cats

Why So Blue, Panda Bear ?

Milky Way commercial. You know the one. Or if you don't, click HERE and you can view it.

I hate it. I think it's... well, it's just wrong. I'm not even sure whether I think it's disrespectful of asians or of women in general but I just cringe every time I hear "Why so blue, Panda Bear?"


It's worse than the creepy plastic Burger King and that's saying quite a bit.


~~~

If you are indeed a blue panda bear, click to visit VaVaVoom ! You'll be a happy Koala!

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Daughter of TV Bounty Hunter 'Dog' Dies

May 20, 11:44 PM (ET)
HONOLULU (AP) - A daughter of reality TV star Duane "Dog" Chapman was killed in a car accident a day before her father's wedding, a spokesman said Saturday.

Barbara Katy Chapman, 23, died Friday night near her home in Fairbanks, Alaska, said Michael Feeney, senior vice president of A&E television network.

Duane Chapman's wedding on the Big Island went forward as planned Saturday after the family consulted with a preacher and agreed to celebrate her life at the ceremony, Feeney told The Associated Press.

The star of "Dog the Bounty Hunter" married his longtime sidekick, Beth Smith. The couple have been together for 16 years and have two children.

The wedding will be featured in an Aug. 14 episode of the show, about Chapman and his tattooed crew of fugitive finders.

Barbara Chapman had not been expected to attend the wedding, and the circumstances of the accident were unclear, Feeney said.

She was one of 12 of the bounty hunter's children. She is survived by her mother, Lyssa Greene, and her 4-year-old son, Travis Drake-Lee Chapman.

I don't like the show. I 'm not a big fan of what I know about the man himself.

But this is very sad.

Plus I did not know about the Alaska connection to Mr. Chapman.

Recently Read Books

A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore
Read by Fisher "Short Circuit" Stevens.


Fantastic! I cannot recommend this book highly enough. It's funny as hell and it's the first time I've heard the word "fucktard" in an audiobook. One minor criticism: Stevens pronounces Ghiradelli as "jeer-ar-delly." I was taught to pronounce it as "gear-ar-delly," which after some research I have confirmed. Torques me off when readers don't do their homework and editors don't pick up on it.

Update: research from www.ghirardelli.com

Prior Bad Acts by Tami Hoag
Read by Holter Graham

A tight little thriller. Much better than:

Dirty Blonde by Lisa Scottoline
Read by Barbara Rosenblat

Which is not nearly as tight, and not read as well.

~~

Another good read is my renter's blog, VaVaVoom !

Friday, May 19, 2006

I Don't Like Wine


White, red, sparkling, flat. Doesn't matter. I don't care.

I don't like wine.

There, I've said it.

Beer either, come to think of it.

And I can't remember the last time I had any alcohol as a beverage in any form.

Maybe my youngest rental niece's Quinceanera in March? A sip of sparkling wine at her toast? Dunno.

One less thing to overindulge in, I guess.

~~

One thing you can't have too much of is clicking on my RENTER! She'll make you all tipsy, but not in a creepy way. VaVaVoom = Australian for Beer!

~~

Photo © 2005 Helle Bro.

Obtained through www.yoursdaily.com

Thursday, May 18, 2006

The State of Network Television Today

With "Will and Grace" gone and the current television season over for most if not all networks, here's my first annual rant on the state of network television.

ABC:


Grey's Anatomy: Great. Soap Opera, yes, but it's well written.

Desperate Housewives: Less than great.

Everything else: crap.

CBS:

CSI: every part of the franchise is getting old.

Without A Trace: I like the show but never watch it. Sorry Anthony.

Two and a Half Men: I hate to admit that I actually like this show. Didn't want to, but I do.

Everything else: crap.

NBC:

Scrubs: best thing on the air. Hip Hip Hooray.

ER: oh, I watch but it jumped the shark so long ago.

Law and Order: See CSI… or rather, skip both. Watch both in syndication, buy the DVDs but I'm not staying home to see them. Okay, I'm staying home but I'm not watching.

Deal or No Deal: wouldn’t this be a great part of "The Price is Right?" Nope, and it's not good as a long-assed primetime game show. Must be very cheap to produce.

My Name is Earl: I love the cast, I don't love the show. Sorry Jason.

The Office: I keep meaning to watch. I bet it's funny. Never seen it.

FOX:

Family Guy: wait… this is the BEST THING ON THE AIR. Sorry, Zach.

Cops and America's Most Wanted: yes, I'm helpless and hopeless. I watch regularly.

24: nope. First season = great. Second season = sucked. I stopped watching.

American Idol: you've GOT to be kidding.

Did I miss anything? Am I wrong?

~~

Visit My Renter! They have better TV in Australia. It's upside down!!

~~
photo from www.woot.com

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

This week's tenant: VaVaVoom

I know some of my readers thing the whole "Rent My Blog" thing and the tenant announcement is just a sorry excuse for a real post from me and don't understand the whole BlogExplosion credit thing.

I like the idea of spotlighting a blog which I haven’t really been to much before (if at all).

I chose VaVaVoom because I liked what I saw when I visited after she bid the ridiculously low price on this week's tenancy. Ridiculously low in light of the fact that so many other blogs want to charge much larger prices but don't generate nearly the click-throughs I have in the last couple of months.

The price will probably go up next week again but this week I wanted to charge a little and provide a lot.

Catherina describes herself thusly:

Creative chic, single 32yo mother living in Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia, who's starting fresh in life. I'm easy going, loves a good laugh and being around other creative, artistic or funny people. I'm originally from the Philippines but grew up here in Australia. Va Va Voom is my main character in an online game I play called City of Heroes.

Do me a favor and click on her blog. Do yourself a favor and read her blog, it's great.

~~
More words later in the week. I know I've been lax in my wordalurgy lately.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Birthday Meme

Okay, I stole this from Bonanza Jellybean but I won't tag anyone. I just found it interesting.

The trick is this. Go to Wikipedia and put in your date of birth (not year, for instance April 21). Pick 3 events, 2 births, and 1 death. Now list them on your blog (or just comment on mine if'n you'd like).

Here's mine: April 21

Events:

753 BC - Romulus and Remus found Rome (traditional).

1918 - World War I: German fighter ace Manfred von Richthofen, known as "The Red Baron", is shot down and killed over Vaux sur Somme in France.

1986 - Geraldo Rivera opens Al Capone's vault on live television and finds nothing. (Yes, I watched this on TV and yes, I am as bitter as Geraldo is).

Births:

1729 - Empress Catherine II of Russia (d. 1796)
(yes, the one with the urban legend regarding a death under the influence of an equine lover)

1926 - Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom

Death:

1910 - Mark Twain, American author and humorist (b. 1835)

~~

Thought you'd want to know.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Bad Boys, Whatcha Gonna Do ?

SAN LUIS, Ariz. -- Two police officers have been suspended for five days without pay for pulling a prank involving a sex toy, the mayor of San Luis said.

Mayor Nieves Riedel said the incident involved an officer who planted a phallic sex toy in a patrol car as a joke on another officer last week. One of the department's sergeants learned about the incident and an investigation led to the discipline.

She said she was briefed by the city's police chief, Heriberto Bejarano.

"Boys are going to be boys," Riedel said, while adding that officers are supposed to set examples for the community and saying the incident was in "bad taste."

"They didn't stop and think. ... You have got to be careful about the things you do because it reflects on you," Riedel said.

Police spokesman Ernesto Lugo declined to discuss specifics, but said such cases are treated as sexual harassment by the department.

---

Information from: The Sun, http://www.yumasun.com

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Happy 80th Birthday to My Grandma !


My Grandmother requested no gifts this year. She instead asked each member of the family to write her a poem. The poems did not have to be about her and they could be in any style.

These are our contributions.

From Kelli:

Grandma sweet and kind
classy and intelligent
wearer of purple

From me:

While the male lion will roar and pose and intimidate,
the lioness patiently waits,

knowing she can kill, will kill,
to protect or to feed her young.

Lionesses do most of the hunting.
Male lions will take the “lion’s share” of the food,

although they lay around most of their waking hours.

Lionesses spend a great deal of time with their cubs,
even after they have been weaned.

Lionesses will stay with their pride for life.
Male lions inevitably leave.

Male lions lose their willingness to play early.
Lionesses will always play, from cub to elder adult.

My grandmother is a lioness


~~

Happy Birthday Granny Nori !


~~
for those who like numbers, this is post 333.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Living With Multiple Personalities

Yes, my new tenant this week is Cat at LWMP.

Here is her bio:

I am a 32 year old mother of two living in the mountains of Colorado. I’ve been married to my bestest friend, my husband, for almost 10 years. We have been through trials and tribulations together and have only grown closer through the years.

My children are complete blessings. My son, the 13 year old, is going through those lovely times that teenagers love. He is in the 8th grade and is quite a handsome young man. He does pretty well in school but struggles with some classes. He is quick with math but hates writing/reading, unlike his mom (and like his dad).

My daughter is 8 years old and works to avoid going to 3rd grade. She doesn’t like her teacher this year but she’s incredibly smart and I think, sometimes, she’s just bored with the schoolwork. She reads at over a 5th grade level and finds books easy to ‘eat’, like me. She reads fast and takes in the story well (good comprehension) so it will be a challenge to find a class that can keep her busy anyhow.

My job entails working with computers. I have done web design, graphics design, brochure production/creation, business cards, complete system builds/upgrades, case mods., consulting and computer repair/fix. It has been an amazing trip here in this town to do the computer work and I could easily grow my company with some motivation. After dealing with hard times last year, mentally/emotionally, things slowed down to a crawl and I now focus on housework and online jobs. I would like to eventually grow my company again. Hopefully this year will bring me more opportunity for that.

My husband is an interior trim ‘artist’ and works on new construction homes and remodels. With us living in a fast-growing mountain town, this keeps him quite busy with new jobs. He has worked on many log homes this past year and has enjoyed the difference in the building styles here in Colorado - compared to his hometown in Texas. He has hopes to do some big things this year and I will reveal them in my blog as time allows.

Our family works hard to spend time with each other, enjoy the outdoors, stay busy with working on our new home (we hope to purchase it this year, currently we’re doing a lease option/to buy) and keeping the clutter out of our lives. I joined up with other women on a site called FlyLady.net and it has motivated all of us to keep clutter out of our home. It’s taking time - but we’re doing it!

So, this year there’s many hopes and dreams ahead for us - and I will blog about most of them and try to share my past with you as well so that someone can benefit from my experiences.


So try her blog out HERE !.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Begs the question....

Wal-Mart Employee Finds Man Glued To Toilet Seat

Who uses a Wal-Mart restroom toilet without using an ass-gasket?



(shudder)

~~

Visit Noi ! She puts those gaskets on bus seats and on her own toilet at home. That's how clean she is!