14 December 2011

Humpday Happenings...
It might be raining outside today, but we're not going to allow that to dampen our spirits, right?
Sure glad it's not Monday...again...LOL.
But, we DO only have about ONE WEEK before Winter arrives...THEN the fun starts, hmm?
In the meanwhile, pour yourselves a pleasing beverage (and that can include some "high-octane" eggnog), sit back and lets take a little stroll and see what's been shaking...fair enough?
*** A house fire claims two lives - two escape.
Here's the link to the story:

It's claimed the fire started near the wall behind the Christmas tree, and that fire investigators believed there was not a working smoke-detector, although the landlord's ex-wife states there was.
This story is tragic, given the nature and the location of the residence. Robinwood Drive is nestled in the (...all together, gang...) SOUTHEAST SIDE of town .
The victims were graduates of Norwell High School and were listed (on Facebook) as both being employed by the U.S. Army, and my heart goes out to them and their families.
If the tree was a "live" tree, then it MUST be kept "alive", and to do that, you need a water dish at the base that is CONSTANTLY full of water (and not dust or dog hair). My father was very keen on making sure our dog didn't use that bowl/dish as an "auxiliary watering hole" around Christmas, and chased the dog away whenever she got "curious".
A DRY tree has a very low flashpoint, and the pine resins are fuel for the fire. In some cases, when the fire gets hot enough, the damn tree can EXPLODE. Ask those who live in the PINE BARRENS Of NJ what I mean...they'll tell you.
If the fire was an electrical issue, then you have to KNOW that any outlet can only accommodate SO much wiring. You can't get more than is expected from that outlet, and when you do draw the max power from it (like 20 amps), the wiring can get HOT. A break in the wire will want to short-to-ground, and then...you got fire.
As to the smoke-detector not functioning, many times, people remove the battery from it, so they use it to power something ELSE.
That will ensure the potential for disaster, if nothing else.
That's also why the fire department has the public-service announcements that REMIND us to CHECK THE BATTERY every 6 months - and they do have "test" buttons on the smoke alarms to "chirp" the unit.
When the battery gets low, the alarm will also chirp on it's own, reminding YOU to change out the battery.
Ignorance might be bliss...but it can ALSO be quite fatal.
It was a tragic (and quite possibly preventable) event, but one that hopefully many can learn from.
Few of us leave this world WITHOUT leaving something behind for someone.
*** Along those lines...
We had a fire/police call to the next street over from our "fortress" (4825 Warsaw) yesterday afternoon for a fire (actual call was for a signal *48* - suspicious).
Seems we have this (*ahem*) "gentleman" occupying a bungalow, rented by his relatives - a violation of Neighborhood code...NO 3rd-party occupancies, who has this habit of taking his small grill and building fires in it.
Yesterday, he did it...in the LIVING ROOM of the house, causing the fire department to make a run, as did the EMS and the FWPD.
(CTL # 11F192963 16:25:49 48 SUSPICIOUS 48XX WARSAW ST)
Now, if you're thinking this guy is not the brightest crayon in the box, pat yourself on the back.
He's the kind of guy that pushes a shopping cart full of "stuff" all around, and talks to himself at 2AM in the middle of the street...because he can.
Sound familiar?
(reminds me of the "duck-lady" who roamed in downtown Philly way back in the 1970s...gotta tell 'ya THAT story some day)
Yeah, we've seen people like this...the type that need some sort of SUPERVISED CARE.
Well, having NEIGHBORS watching to see if you're trying to burn the house down is NOT what I consider "supervised care"...
The RELATIVES (mooks that they are) are the people responsible for this person's actions, and if he needs to be cared for, then by God, THEY should be the ones doing it...period.
Technically, the fire COULD be labelled attempted ARSON, because the man is NOT the renter of the house, and HIS name doesn't appear on the lease agreement. And the relatives could be charged with NEGLECT (of a dependant)...if justice was meted out in the manner it's SUPPOSED to be.
Not to mention, I'd hate to see OTHER people be displaced because of one person's inability to reason that fire can be "dangerous".
('Ya THINK?)
If he's using the grill to COOK, because he hasn't a working stove in the residence, then THAT (again) is a Neighborhood Code violation for basic housing requirements.
So WHERE is the NCE on this anyway?
Seems they have a decent case to follow up on...right?
Personally, another vacant house around here wouldn't be that bad these days.
*** A FEDERAL ban on drivers' cell phones in vehicles?
Here's the link to this story:
Okay, so it's NOT set in stone yet...but rather an "urging" from the Feds...like they don't have ENOUGH problems already?
I'll be the FIRST one to tell you that doing ANYTHING other than driving (while driving) is not the BEST way to keep all four fenders on and that shiny side up. I've seen my share of things that can go wrong behind the wheel, and most of it ain't all that pretty.
Hell, I was wrecked one morning (along rt 130 in NJ) by a woman that was sleep-deprived (her mom had a heart attack, and she was coming home from the hospital after many hours at her side)...I was caught up for no reason other than another person's carelessness.
Then, there was the time I looped a service van 360 degrees on the off-ramp of I-95 in a snowstorm...at FIVE MPH...and didn't do a lick of damage (and my partner thought that was cool driving, but my Guardian Angel had to change it's undies), so you don't need another person to "help" with traffic hazards sometimes.
My father ALWAYS drummed into my skull that I should:
"Think of DRIVING as your SECOND JOB, son."
And I always have...none of that clutter that detracts from my ability to keep the head on a swivel, check my mirrors and look out for something that go wrong real fast while behind the wheel. I even keep the radio turned way down...just enough to hear it at a stoplight.
I am always harping on Wifey to do likewise, and she's pretty damn good at it.
You will inevitably come across a situation (while driving) that will test your reaction time, and just 1/2 second of indecision or lapse of reaction can cause a vehicle to travel over a HUNDRED feet (or more, depending on your speed). Doesn't allow much time to "think on it"...does it?
Expect the UNexpected...ALWAYS. That way you'll be as prepared as you CAN be....and always treat your driving as you treat your performance on whatever job you have...strive to do the BEST you can.
*** And that brings me to this new "study"...
Purdue University released this recent study on driving.
Here's the link to the article:
Apparently, we "older men" are more OVERconfident behind the wheel, and THAT causes more accidents.
(( * ROLLS EYES * ))
Sorry, but being OVER CONFIDENT and KNOWING YOUR LIMITATIONS are TWO different animals
( Just ask Clint Eastwood in the movie MAGNUM FORCE...LOL)
Over confidence leads to lapses in attention, while knowing YOUR ability and the handling characteristics of the vehicle you're driving most always ensures safety all around (excluding external forces like OTHER drivers with their cell phones glued to their ear or hands & their heads up their damn a$$!)
No one never "knows it all" when it comes to driving, especially in bad weather or winter weather.
Hell, NASCAR or INDY drivers will always tell you even THEY don't know it all, and they get PAID to drive (and damn well, too).
When I see these mooks around us hop in their POS and take the hell off without paying attention, it sickens me, because by the looks of THEIR vehicles, they've been auditioning for some demolition derby.
-- They will allow toddlers to exit a vehicle on the STREET side (dumbassery at it's finest).
-- They don't know what MUFFLERS are.
-- They raise the vehicle on stupid-ass tires and rims (altering the handling).
-- They have burned out or non-functioning lights (front and rear).
Of course, when you're driving a "government-sponsored" vehicle, doesn't much matter HOW you feel...you do whatever the hell you want to...and to hell with anyone in your way (they usually don't have insurance or allowed it to lapse...like their reasoning skills).
All of this serves no one, and yet, the police are tasked with finding such people, and citing them for violations in this regard.
Wish they'd listen to ME, and come down here and write a few HUNDRED tickets for such vehicles (and that would be on ANY given week).
Maybe I could get a gov't GRANT and do my OWN study as to why these entitlement-driven people "on the dole" that are lazy-ass wards of the state are so damn stupid ? It has the novelty of never having been tried...yet...LOL!
*** Lastly today, yes, winter IS coming, and today I spoke about some things that can go REAL bad...REAL fast.
During the holidays, people seem to not want to be "of their right mind" for whatever reason.
Depression sets in, and I know I'm not immune to that either.
We get distracted by the season, tempers flare, and road rage seems to be all around.
But, we don't HAVE to give in to our "mindless primitive"...we can STILL behave as human beings.
We can still promote charity towards others...and we can not get caught up in all the holiday hype.
It takes strength...it takes resolve...and it takes courage.
And those are things we should be practicing ALL throughout the year...and not just for a month or so at the end.
We have an obligation to ourselves, our family, our friends,and even to strangers we might never meet again to make sure we "got it going on", and that we can weather whatever storm is tossed at our lives.
We don't need to be superhuman to accomplish that...all we have to be is attentive.
And I think we can have that happen in whatever time we are allowed.
Be well, make a difference to someone, and...
Stay safe out there, America.


ms nk rey said...

The 2 victims of the fire were friends of my granddaughter. Carson and Kate were in Show Choir together. This tragedy has touched our family. The federal ban on cell phone use in vehicles?? Haven't they learned yet that they can not legislate common sense? I don't do it because it is DANGEROUS.

Bob G. said...

They looked like two good kids trying to get their lives started and both serving to some capacity in the ARMY.

Carson Tubbs was attached to the 31st battalion military police, rank of PFC (according to the Facebook page)

I will say this much (having not been through the property, but knowing how they're all so "well-maintained") - The houses down here are in SERIOUS NEED of a "walk-through" with NEIGHBORHOOD CODE ENFORCEMENT!
(and their staff is SO overworked as it already IS)

What passes for a "landlord" THESE days is a far cry from what we had when I was young.
They say the house that burned was "assessed" at $47.5K...now THAT surprises the HELL outta me.
OUR house is a CORNER PROPERTY, has a 2-car DETACHED garage and has a SECOND FLOOR!
And we've been "assessed" at ONLY $26.7K....I mean WTF??

A similar house like the one on Robinwood (here) would usually go for UNDER $20K...period!
(and what you GET for that money isn't worth the COST of renovating it to habitibility...so these deadbeats move people in with a coat of paint & a carpet-steaming (and call it done).

THAT (imho) is why we seem to have an unusual amount of FIRES.
Anyone hear about something called an INSPECTION?
(guess not)

As to the cells?
I agree...you cannot legislate STUPIDITY...OR common sense.
Technology without wisdom...terrible combo!

Thanks so much for stopping by to comment today, and please give your grand-daughter our condolences.
(I was in CHOIR myself...they're a tight bunch)

Stay safe (and dry) down there.

Slamdunk said...

Sad to hear about the fire deaths.

We use artificial trees now exclusively--just have to keep the little ones from swiping the ornaments to play with them elsewhere in the house.

I'll still classify myself as a young man; so they can publish all the studies they want to about older drivers.

Bob G. said...

As much as I would love to have a real tree, we also use an artificial one.
And I come from a generation that had Mom buying a SILVER foil pom-pom tree (once - in the 1960s...LOL)
I'm pushing 60, but I'm still YOUNG-at-heart...so I take that as an exemption from that study...!

Still, the most dangerous PART on ANY vehicle IS...the "nut" that holds the wheel.

Thanks for taking time to drop on by today (in the rain, too) and comment.

Stay safe (and dry) out there.