30.6.07

26.6.07

"..if I drink all this beer, i'll need a line of coke; then i'll need some dope..."

Its amazing the things you hear while walking, on other peoples cell phone conversations. On the way into firecom yesterday morning thats the line I overheard. Then today, I heard this one -

"...He's bullshitting this whole thing; I cant imagine he would have the nerve to say something like that, you know, that his boss is gay, acting straight in his marriage..."

I mean this shits better than live television.

Anyway back to the everyday bullshit. (altho' I cant resist thinking they could have been talking about the same persons) ...







Today the surf was angry. Windblown slop at the usual spot. Must have paddled over a billion waves, each not formed well enough or lined up enough for anything more than a waterborne speed-bump. I imagine it is all as well, since I am and have been pretty much a funk-i-fied version of meself. If i look in the mirror, I see one tired camper, as well as one sad/depressesd individual. Truthfully, I am burnt the fuck out.

Since Champsters luau, May 28th, I have worked everyday. (Cry for me, Argentina) If I go back before that, I recall some day off around April, altho' I could be wrong. I know I am burnt because my brain is a complete wash of blues-tuned thinking. Yep. Muddy can write a symphony off the crap running round my head. Most of the requisite explanation comes from the fact that son dumbass is being, well, a dumbass. And this bodes nothing but bullshit for me.

And the surf was angry.

Yeah, it was. But in those wet moments were had some gems of clarity. Clear that web filled brain bucket, and pass the tobasco, some spice is needed. Being tired/exhausted is a excuse of sorts; for me to feel sorry for meself. Pressing on, I find that the root of the lingering soak in a bath of sorrow is of my own making. And yet, not.

I cant make adults think. I cant force anyones decisions, and in those facts lie the cause - You're fucked by others if you care too much.

I keep getting fucked in my minds eye from a bunch a shit; be it a suicide victims dead eyes staring at me on the freeway, lying in a pool of her own blood; or the sounds of my boots caving in the chest of a dead fire victim.

Angry was the ocean, today.

Everytime a drive by that fucking freeway overpass, every time I read of some selfish act. That fucking eye is staring at me in the mush.

Water washes away you sins.

No, it does not.

Because the dirt is on the inside; its hidden in the darkness. Little fucking dust bunnies waiting to gang-up and grey out the peacefulness you so badly desire.

Oceans anger was a harmony; playing for you if you'd only listen.

After my surf, after my rinsing off at the showers, after the drive home, after the changing of wet shorts to dry ones.

After washing the sand crusted feet, after putting away the board.

After the greeting, after the fruit.

I watched Kaleo James sleep.

And my heart refilled itself with joy.

Aloha.

20.6.07

More.

Charleston, South Carolina is mourning the deaths of nine firefighters who perished battling a blaze that raged through a furniture store and warehouse Monday night. Just before dawn Tuesday, the last of the firefighters’ bodies was carried from the wreckage as the ruins of the building continued to smolder.

Excluding the September 11 attack at the World Trade Center, which claimed the lives of 343 firefighters and paramedics, the tragedy at the Sofa Super Store warehouse and showroom was the nation’s deadliest episode for firefighters in three decades.

The fallen firefighters ranged in age from 27 to 56, and had 131 years of experience between them. Killed were James “Earl” Drayton, 56, with 32 years; Michael French, 27, on the job only 18 months; 30-year veteran Capt. Bill Hutchinson, 48, who worked off-duty at a barber shop; Brad Baity, 37, a part-time house painter; Capt. Louis Mulkey, 34, also a high school football and basketball coach; Capt. Mike Benke, 49; Mark Kelsey, 40; Brandon Thompson, 37; and Melvin Champaign, 46, who joined the department just three years ago.

News of the fatalities hit the Charleston community hard. With a population of 106,000, the city has 237 surviving firefighters in one of the oldest professional fire departments in the US. Some firefighters wept outside the scene of the blaze; others sat despairing on the bumpers of their fire trucks. A steady stream of area residents drove by, some stopping to leave flowers on the sidewalk near the site of the fire.

The nine men entered the building in an attempt to rescue employees who were inside as the inferno quickly spiraled out of control. They died doing what firefighters do across the country on a daily basis: risking their lives to save those in danger.

One employee trapped inside was able to escape relatively quickly. Another, Jonathan Tyrell, a part-time repairman, tried to leave but could only see smoke. Firefighters punched a hole in the wall of the burning building and pulled him to safety. Some witnesses reported seeing firefighters drag a total of four people from the burning building, covered in black soot.

At first glance, the tragic outcome of Monday night’s fire seems to have been unavoidable considering the scope and strength of the blaze. It began about 6:30 p.m. at the Sofa Super Store, a one-story corrugated-metal structure about 5 miles west of Charleston’s historic district.

Witnesses described a scene with plumes of black smoke, flames shooting up more than 30 feet, and overwhelming fumes of burnt plastic. Windows popped out of the warehouse one after the other, shattering below. The front of the store collapsed within an hour of the warehouse catching fire.

Entering the building, firefighters had to make their way through rows of sofas and mattresses stacked five and six high. Charleston fire Capt. Jeff Harrison said that gases inside may have heated the building and its contents so quickly that it burst into flames, a condition known as “flashover.”

Furniture warehouses are particularly vulnerable to such high-intensity fires, because polyurethane foam, wood lacquer and other highly flammable materials can reach flashover at relatively low temperatures, sometimes within minutes. The building also had a drop ceiling, trapping oxygen to fuel the blaze.

All of these factors seemed to intersect on Monday night, resulting in a raging fire that claimed nine of those battling to tame it. But as in other such tragic incidents, as information has begun to emerge certain details suggest that the magnitude of the tragedy could have been reduced. And as is so often the case in contemporary America, these factors are connected to money and politics.

The cause of the fire is under investigation, although arson is not suspected in this case. The building, however, did not have a sprinkler system. According to Charleston Fire Chief Rusty Thomas, sprinklers probably would not have put out the fire, but would have at least slowed it.

Despite the lack of fire sprinklers, the building had been up to code when the land it was on was annexed by the city. Michael Parrotta, president of the South Carolina Professional Firefighters Association, told the New York Times that the state legislature killed a bill two years ago that would have required older buildings to install sprinkler systems. The only explanation for such a vote is that legislators were pressured by businesses not to enact the regulation.

Parrotta also said that firefighters in South Carolina do not operate under federal recommendations which advise that for every two firefighters involved in rapid-intervention missions, another two should remain outside the burning structure. He said the state followed a “two-in, one-out” rule as opposed to the “two-in, two-out” guideline.

Under the US federal system, regulations governing fire safety are predominantly the responsibility of state and local authorities, and they can vary widely. This results in an inadequate and underfunded approach to the prevention and fighting of fires, both industrial and residential, and a subsequent increase in unnecessary and preventable fatalities among both firefighters and fire victims.

Abandoned warehouses are prime targets for fires. Just two days after the fatal blaze in Charleston, a fire swept through an abandoned textile warehouse in Philadelphia early Wednesday morning, collapsing the roof and forcing about 100 residents to evacuate nearby homes. Firefighters rescued a man from the second floor of the building and was taken to the hospital. One firefighter was taken to a hospital in stable condition.

Deaths from fires and burns are the fifth most common cause of unintentional injury death in the United States and are the third leading cause of home injury fatalities. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), someone died in a fire about every two hours in the US in 2005. In that same year, fire departments responded to 396,000 home fires in the United States, claiming 3,030 people, excluding firefighters.

Growing poverty and the deteriorating infrastructure in the US—reflected particularly in blighted urban districts and rural areas—compound the dangers. Most at risk are children under the age of four, adults over 65, African Americans and Native Americans, residents of rural areas, and the poor. Fires are often started by candles or space heaters when utilities have been cut off because poor families cannot pay the bills.

House fires engulfing century-old wood-frame homes claiming the lives of parents and young children are a regular feature of local news broadcasts. Most recently, on June 12, a fire killed five children, ages three to seven, in a poverty-stricken neighborhood in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In one week in May, fatal house fires claimed a total of 16 lives, including 13 children, in three homes in Baltimore, Maryland, and Detroit and Saginaw in Michigan.

Building collapses remain one of the biggest dangers facing firefighters, according to experts. Despite many departments providing firefighters with improved fire-retardant clothing and breathing equipment, a 2002 report by the National Fire Protection Association found that firefighters entering burning buildings are dying at higher rates than ever. While in the 1970s, traumatic deaths inside structures occurred at a rate of 1.8 deaths per 100,000 fires, by the late 1990s the rate had increased to 3 deaths from 100,000 fires.

The study’s authors asked, “Are firefighters putting themselves as greater risk while operating at fires inside structures? Do firefighters think modern protective equipment provides a higher level of protection but do not realize the limitations of that equipment or are ignoring those limitations?”

The answer to the first question seems clearly to be “Yes.” Firefighters are known for their compassion and dedication to saving lives, even when their own are in great danger.

Aside from the catastrophic deaths of firefighters in the 9/11 attack, the most recent multiple-fatality tragedy occurred on December 3, 1999, when six firefighters died in a blaze at the Worcester Cold Storage and Warehouse Co. in Worcester, Massachusetts as they attempted to rescue homeless people from the burning building. The Worcester firefighters plan to send a contingent to a memorial service scheduled to be held for the fallen firefighters in Charleston.

The commemoration for the firefighters will undoubtedly be addressed by politicians who will extol the virtues of the men and praise their service for going the extra mile. At a time of growing popular opposition to government policy, particularly the war in Iraq, Democrats and Republicans alike are quick to exploit such tragedies, celebrating their self-sacrifice and human decency to divert attention from the vast social problems confronting millions of people.

However, while they are called heroes at such ceremonies, these accolades find little expression in the compensation paid to the vast majority of working firefighters in the US. Median hourly earnings for firefighters as of May 2004 stood at just $18.43 an hour, with the lowest 10 percent earning less than $9.71 an hour. The highest rate was $29.21.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean hourly wage of firefighters in Charleston is only $10.83 an hour, with annual earnings of just $29,837. An estimated 70 percent of firefighters in the US are volunteers or part-time workers, receiving minimal or no pay.



From a internet news source.

There is a reason I work 2 jobs, I guess.

Aloha, SC.

19.6.07

They saved 4.

Nine brother firefighters died in the line of duty in South Carolina. Early reports say that 4 people were saved from the fire.

Words are useless.

What can I say?

Peace.

16.6.07

Work/Surf/Work/Surf/Work...Summer.

I think Faulkner said - "I'm just a farmer who likes to tell stories" ... Or something strangely attuned to that. Or not. Or perhaps. Eh? Me, I am just a surfer.

Used to be in the days looooong past that a days worth was measured by time spent surfing. Or at least getting to the beach. Grommet hood meant getting tot he beach, staying at the beach, and surviving at said beach. It seemed that a year was spent being in school, participating in some kind of organized sport (Football) and trying to expel the demons of want for the ocean; except those demons never did leave.


It's OK!


Sure those demons got side-tracked at times - "Hey! its a good idea to go to college 15 zillion miles away from the nearest ocean!" Not. Because you would spend way too much time delving into surf magazine contraband sent from the home of surf. Or experience the sting of trying to skateboard your way to a aquatic nirvana that was a false god no matter how hard you tried. But just like the truism that equates - Work alot; and it makes that surf time all the more VALUABLE and no mathematical formula is truer(?) than that. If you only had time to surf all day and all the time, what real value would you place on it? Probably little more than a shoulder shurg.

Guess that makes me the bankholder of a great amount of time checks to cash.

Its OK.

Loving to work doesnt make me horny to work. Lets get that straight. Matter of fact, far as I am concerned, it is fucking salt peter for the stoke. Needed, but damn, it gets in the way of what shapes my life. It is with great satisfaction that I will attend to the duties of being in the Fire department, its with (OK, so-so) ambivalance that I care about the pink and its swath of tourists, good and bad.

In the end, at the call of the day, I am still just a surfer.

Aloha.

15.6.07

Portions Of Reality

Day 19 in a row of work. I really can not complain as I have been able to get a surf in most days prior to Hotel-isms.
It isnt that hard to squeeze in a surfy in the AM, its just a juggling act; get home, get board, get out before anyone awakens. See, that way no one can grab meself for a task or assignment. It does tho', make for a tired resemblance of me. Thats OK, plenty of coffee and energy drinks to go around.

Firecom has been brisk to say the least.

Pink has the seafood buffet tonight, so I will be crackin' and the hotels house count is at 90+ %. Happy management, busy worker bees.


Good Bye Sun
East
Munch

Firecom has been busy.

Gotta hang w/ da KJ for awhile.

More fun later!

Aloha.

8.6.07

Home -"improvement", KJ style.

Had to sit thru 4 hours of Hotel propaganda. During a break, Michelle calls to say the water isnt working.

Hmmmm?

Call Firecom to see if maybe a water main break was affecting service in our area.

Nope.

Called Board Of Water Supply, Honolulu, see if had problems in our area.

Nope.

Stumped, I asked Michelle to see if the closest spigot was working near the connection to the city main by the road.

Not working.

Right next to that spigot is a water valve that shuts-off the water supply to our home.

A certain little chap was playing with it earlier, Michelle says.

Me- "is it in-line with the pipes, or perpindicular?"

Michelle- "its perpindicular to the pipe"

Seems Mr Homeimprovement had turmed the valve to the "off" position earlier.

Kolohe, this keiki is, I tell ya.

ALoha!

6.6.07

Surf session report

I forgot for a while what this blog was supposed to be about.

Surfing. Maybe lose/lost a few readers, sorry.

I'll kwitmybitching now and focus on more positive outlooks.




The days session turned out pretty good. Trades are back, and the breezes combed the faces of the waves pretty good. A bit stiff at times, and a tad inconsistent in the swell. Meaning - not a lot of waves coming in often. No complaints here, tho'. Just stoked to be wet.







Not much of a crowd, and no bad attitudes so thats a plus. Caught a buncha waves and set down some solid lines and carves with the Makani 9'0" Couple of pretty good drops and carves, not to mention a little tuck into the barrel on a good sized one.






Nalu was out. He is a Firefighter friend/brother. Excellent waterman. Capatalize excellent. Good to see him, and talk story. His dad was a rescue captain for years, and another superb waterman. He used to go with Nalu and paddle in the morning on Kayaks before going on duty at 0800. One day while he was with Nalu, he had a massive heartattack while paddling. Imagine being with your father; enjoying nature, and wham!, just like that he is gone. CPR on a kayak is next to impossible. Nalu is a good soul.





Need to work on the photog skills. Dont really have a knack for this cam, (like I have any knacks at all)





Aloha!

4.6.07

Random Pix

Tastes Better



I'll just lay down, for a little bit.

Aloha.

Cookies for 270

The pink is packed. It is the start of summer, and the weather has been unreal choice. Just gorgeous. Light trades, 80+ in the sun, full moon nights and starry evenings granting bliss to all the tourist-types willing to part with big time coin to visit.

Yep. Its busy.

Tonight we have a gala for over 2000 Japanese Cosmetic sales ladies. 2000. Hella lot. And the company that they work for signature color is, of course, Pink. Big bucks on the line here, as they bought out the Monday Luau to the tune of well over 50K. Thats just to NOT have the luau tonight, so they can have the gala. Thats gonna cost a pretty damn big Yen extra.

But hey, lets say "sexual intercourse that" - and get right to the fun of idiots.

Last night, a perfect evening of just busy enough to be steady, and not too busy as to be impossible was coming to a glorious end. 1030PM, the close 'em up and tally 'em up time.

Room 270, The Fanelli party calls.

"Aloha, In-Room dining, this is Mar...-"

I want 2 fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies and a tall glass of milk, right away.

(you are already on my bad side for cutting off the fucking standard starwood intro, biatch)

"I do not believe we have any cookies at this hour, but please let me check with the kitchen"

Ooooh you better. You did on Friday. And you damn well better have them tonight.

(youre just getting better by the moment, arent you)

"One moment, *cough-bitch-cough* Mam"

Quickly, hurry up.

(oh Fuck that)

So lets go to the kitchen, which goes skeleton crew at 1030, and see if there are any fucking choco-chip cookies for this lightly resembling a humanbeing. Oh well. No more. and I'll be taking my time getting back to the phone, as well.

" I am sorry ma....----"

Sorry? You stupid fool. I am going to call the manager. I am going to call Starwood headquarters. You have no business answering or trying to recieve and order from a VIP guest, your name is what again?

"Mark, mam"

Mark? You wont be doing this again. You go into whatever goddamn kitchen you need to, and bake me some fucking cookies, capish? (yes, she used the word Capish) And you fucking do it now!!

So I hung up on the bitch.

30 seconds later the phone is ringing again, from her suite.

Fuck that. Call the fricking manager. Call the fricking corporate HQ, asswipe. Do you really think I care?

30 seconds after she gaives up, the assistant Hotel Manager calls.

Um, Mark? Can we get 2 cookies to Ms. Fanelli's suite right away?

"If we HAD chocolate chip cookies we would, we dont, so I cant"

Do you know if the kitchen can bake them?

"The kitchen is closed, only the graveyard chef is on; you can ask him"

Oh. Ok, I , Uh, will.

Good on you, I could care less, and this reptile has just made a good night taste like brackish water.

-Lets fast forward to today, shall we?

So I come in, all shits and giggles happy. My immediate boss wants a 'word' with me about the 'problem' with 270.

Long ass tale short; the hotel baked this assklown 2 dozen cookies the following morning just in case she orders. Well thank you for standing up for me getting verbally abused Starwood!

Of course, nothing but revenge reeks in my small evil mind, you see, because I gotta work with certain things - I have access to certain things that have numbers and expiration dates.

Catch my drift?

So in the evil world of my sickly demented mind, I wanted to display the fart-brains certain number all over the internet and watch how much fun they would have with that.

But I wont.

Not that I dont want to.

It may be chicken-shit, yeah, but it really rakes a nerve when people act this way.

They must orgasm out to the max by spewing the intolerance that they have.

Oh well, 24 tomorrow.

Sometimes you just wonder about mankind, ya know?

Shoots then, Aloha!

2.6.07

Musings

Credits Neil, Hi Surf Advisory.
Been a helluva few days. Champster-meister luau is in the books, the following Memorial Day 24 shift is pau, and 3 surf sessions sandwiched in between the garishness of the pink, and finishing with 24 yesterday at FireCom. I believe in the past 6 days, about 18 hours of sleep have been captured; coffee and more coffee along with a never ending stoke factor of water time have kept this dog sane.

Lack of sleep creates for minor demented thoughts carousing thru my age-addled, salt water filled brain waves. (why the hell do I always try to spell Sleep as Sllep?) Never mind.

Had to do the SCBA competency test for the Fire Department yesterday. always fun to don 90 pounds of equipment - (sorry- SCBA - Self Contained Breathing Apparatus) or The big tank of air latched to our backs. Then run up a buncha flights of stairs, run down, run over to 200 feet of inch and a half hose, run it out till it is done, and thats it. Just drain the sweat from your body after, and we are all good. Passed, and did not falter, so thats good. FWIW.

After surfing for 3 hours the day before, it didnt make it it any easier, I guess. No sunburn, as I am a crispy shade of brown and dont really get hacked too much from the UV rays. Just the fun wax-rash from the board that makes putting on clothes soooooo much fun. Lemme explain - you see, in order to have so traction on the surfboard, you gotta apply wax to repel the water to make a surface on which you can stand and adhere to. Eating shit falling off a slick board is no fun, and will do nothing to raise your status in the line-up as well, meaning "the boys" wont let you get shit waves if you are a dweeb. So wax that stick. Problem is, wax is kinda like, irratating. And water well, is cold. And nipples, well they get 'proud' when they are cold. There is a reason for those wet T-Shirt contests, you know, yeah?

OK, back to nipple erestion problems, and what the wax has to do with that. Ya see, you prone out on the board to paddle. So said erect nipples rub the shit outta the wax on the fiberglassed board; and you paddle alot. So those said nipples get awful fricking raw. And they scab. And they reallly, REALLY dont like clothing after they get all pissed off from all that rubbing.

But you never know how sore it might be till after, of course.

Them inner thighs take a beating, too. Compression shorts help, but not when those session go on and on, and well, ON. I imagine salt water plays a factor, but thats a given, eh?

Gawd, now I am a Canadian.

Never mind.

OK, back to the self induced hallucinations due to lack of sleep. (shit - I spelt it right the first time, but is that how to spell spelt?) Spell check, please. Irreagardless, the damn things suck eggs when trying to do the damn SCBA competency is what the hell pointless poit I was making.

Ergo.

FireCom has been just a bundle of bees pissed off from someone shaking the hive, fo' sure. Around 200 alarms a shift. (spelt alarms wrong, - damn) But it hasnt been with out the resident whack jobs -

"Theres a large boat off shore to the South East of Sandy Beach, I think its unmarked, it could be a terrorist vessel"

Ok. What makes you think it might be a terrorist vessel?

Do you remember Pearl Harbor? Its terrorists.

That woulda have been planes, sir.

I know that! What'd about 9.11? Do you remember that?

Yes sir, I do. But what cause you to beleive it is a terrorist vessel? What reason brings you to that opinion? (I do reallllllly well when tired with bullshitting the warped ones.)

You need to call the military, you are gonna be wrong, I can tell.

(those pesky voices again, eh?) Sir, I will connect you to the coast guard, how about that?

Do they have guns?

----Transfered----

Just more fun as usual. Of course tradgedy is always right up there with the fun. Because the calls are routed thru 911 call takers they give the choice of Police, Fire, or Ambulance. Some people are in such a state of shock that they have no idea who to ask for. And horrors of discovering loved ones self-inflicted damage or death is not pleasant nor is it ever expected. Hearing terrifed parents/loved ones on the other end kinda fucks with your mind a bit, but your job is to rescue, heal, help so that kind overrides the halting-ness of the discovery, You question, you investigate. And you move real fast. In the field, you see the damage, you can compartmentalize the scene away from your minds eye. Focus on the patient demands attention, at FireCom voices are always ringing your personal call button.

Rattling on, arent I?

Have a damn sweet Sunday.

Aloha!