Monday, October 30, 2006

Westchester County PD New Air 2

Today, I had the oppurtunity to go to the officials & press unveiling of the new Westchester County PD "Air 2".

The reast of the photos are posted,

Air 2 is awesome. It's a 2006 Bell 407. Here are some of the features worth noting:

-Has a "Bambi Bucket" for brush fires.
-Has a winch/lift with harness and stokes
-Camera able to transmit live video to off site locations, such as County PD headquarters and EOC.
-Infared Tracking Camera-A very large spotlight-Ability to transport a patient in stokes, if needed-Up to 4 members can repel off repellling bar at once (two on each side)
-Pilots have nightvision goggles-Cargo hook
-Extensive inter-agency communications capability-Detailed interactive mapping and navigation system

And a whole bunch of other state of the art technology. This is a really great asset for Westchester County in this day and age, and I'm sure it's going to make an impact on emergency operations. Thanks to members of the WCPD for helping me to get some great shots and explaining the different features.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

x635's Camera Fleet With New Addition

One of the questions I'm asked the most about my photos is "what are you shooting with?"

I actually shoot with two primary cameras. For when I am going to on vacation, to shoot something for the site, or recretionally, I use a Canon Digital Rebel 300D 6.3 MP with Tamron Xi 18-200 digital lens. To carry with me everyday everywhere and to work, I use a Canon Powershot Elph. On Wednesday, I purchased a brand new Canon SD600 6.0 MP Digital Elph to upgrade from my Canon S500.

Here's my camera fleet (photos were taken with Kristen's SD600):

My brand new Canon SD600. Much faster then my S500. This is my primary tactical camera. Like my S500, I also use it to shoot movie and sound clips. I like the Digital Elph series because they have always been durable and Canon cameras are easy to use and photos always come out great. This camera is very, VERY small and the LCD screen is huge. I'm impressed with it so far.

This is my s500. It's been used heavily at work and play for the past 2 years, and has been very durable. I too it everywhere. There is an issue with the lens/focus motor that I need to have repaired, but once that is done this camera go into fullt equipped spare status.

This is the camera that started it all. My very first digital camera, a Canon S110 2.1 MP. This camera is now in reserve status.

And the workhorse of the fleet, my Canon Digital Rebel 300D 6.3MP. This camera has been all over the country with me over the past three or so years I've had it, and taken thousands of photos. I really like the camera, and the Tamron Xi 18-200 lens is great, very versatile "walk around" lens.

So, those are the cameras I use. I'm currently looking to purchase a digital camcorder for shooting movies.
BTW, you may ask why I have spare and reserve cameras. It's because I HAVE to have a camera with me at all times. It never fails that when I don't, I miss a great shot.

Metro North Commuter Railroad M-7 Express Passing Through Hartsdale NY

Here's a video I shot with my new camera of a Metro North (Express from White Plain-GCT) passing through Hartsdale on October 26th, 2006.

Goodbye Carvel!

Well, after knowing that Carvel was planning on closing at the end of 2006 for over 7 months now, the Town Of Greenburgh seems to have taken interest. There's even an article in the NY Times, by reporter Erin Duggan who is one of few reporters nowadays actually covering issues that matter to us accurately.

Here are some photos of the dilipidated property. It definetly needs something, I would have liked to see Carvel maybe split the property (they do have a lot of property for just an ice cream store) and build a "retro" Carvel there. Note that I said Carvel.....the property was sold by the Thomas And Agnes Carvel Foundation, a formerly very active charity that funded a lot of childrens projects in Greenburgh. (Tom and Agnes were residents of Ardsley, and cared a lot about Central Ave) Now that both have died, the fund is run by people that don't have the same vision. Carvel Corp should step up to the plate, and build something that nods to the companies heritage there. It's BS that Focus Brands, the current corporate owner of the Carvel brand, says they couldn't do anything. Truth is, they could care less. They didn't want to do anything.

It's funny how the franchisee cited high taxes......and Supervisor Feiner is spending $15,000 of Greenbrugh tax money to "study" Central Ave. Coupled with the high taxes because of studys like that, and other Greenburgh extravagences such as a $20 million dollar new library in the internet age complete with a taxpayer funded cafe, and Greenburgh's ridiculous quanitity of regulations, it makes opening a business nearly impossible for someone just starting out or trying to keep their business alive.

Anothe side note for this building, this is the design that inspired Ray Croc (Founder of Mcdonalds) This building has so much heritage, yet I can almost guarantee it's going to be a yet another bland chain bank or pharmacy on this propery. Although I am hoping for a nice down to earth, affordable resturant or fun and useful retailer. And I hope Carvel is somehow incorporated into this new development.

Everybody claims they couldn't be the one to save's sad how the greed of a few people took another longstanding institution away from Hartsdale. Oh well, I guess that's the times we live in nowadays. I guess parent's don't take their kids out for ice cream anymore.

I'm going to miss the days where I could walk down to Barnes and Noble, browse through and pick up a good book, and then get a milkshake afterwards.

Thanks again to Erin Duggan and the NY Times for bringing what's happening in Hartsdale into the public eye. The Carvel article was great.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

NBC's "Heroes"

Is anyone watching "Heroes" on Monday nights on NBC? Such a great show! I don't watch a lot of television (most of my time is spent working on the internet when at home) but Kristen got me hooked on this show.

It's my new favorite show actually. Each episode it keeps getting better and better, and I love the suspense and the way the charecters are intertwined. There's not many shows I look foward too, but even with Tivo, this has me tuned into my TV every Monday night.

It's a hard show to get into if you haven't been watching from the begining though.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Fly To Chicago For Only $36

For the next 36 hours, jetBlue is offering a $36 fare to Chicago. GREAT deal, the only thing that sucks is that it's wintertime. Still a good oppurtunity to buff Chicago

[QUOTE]Between New York City (JFK)and Chicago (O'Hare)
Our $36 fare is only good for 36 hours! You have until 11:59 p.m. MST, Friday, October 27 to take advantage of this low introductory fare, so book now!
Prices do not include applicable taxes/fees. Sale fares require up to a 14-day advance purchase. Travel must be booked by October 27, 2006, 11:59 p.m. MT. Travel must be completed between January 4, 2007 and February 15, 2007. [/QUOTE]

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

M-7 Arriving In Hartsdale Fall 2006

From my train ride today, here's a photo of an Metro North M-7 arriving at Hartsdale station around 10:30hrs.

Metro North is such a photogenic railroad, especially in the fall.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Fire Engine Almost Rolls Over Arriving At Fire (Video)

Check out this video on YouTube from Queensland, New Zeland. The ladder truck almost rolls over arriving at a working fire. Intense video.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Simple Solution For Mask (And Firefighter) Identification

As those who have spent time on the fireground know, sometime’s it’s hard to clearly see who’s who when everyone is wearing an SCBA mask. Another issue is that sometimes all masks look the same, and sometimes your mask gets inadvertendtly swapped with someone elses whether at the scene or in the station.

I developed a simple solution for this that enhances fireground identity and provides for a definite way to know your mask is yours.

Read what I did at

( is currently in the process of relaunching and reloading content. More content coming soon)

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Hartsdale- The Community That Service Built

This is the sign that welcomes everybody to Hartsdale as they drive up West Hartsdale Avenue into Hartsdale. It's one of my favorite parts of the village, because it reflects what Hartsdale used to be.
"Hartsdale- The Community That Service Built" says a lot. Hartsdale used to be a working class town, with affordable houses for the people who worked in the factories in Yonkers and Hastings and other service industries in the area.
Hartsdale used to have it's own school system. It used to be a lot more down to earth, even when I was a kid. This sign is still a memento of times past, and I'm suprised (and happy) that it still stands today.
Hartsdale nowadays is a lot more bland. A lot of repetitve chain stores, a large commuter railroad station, and Greenburgh schools have all transformed this former community into just another suburban town. There's not much Hartsdale spirit left, and most of the figures that made Hartsdale what it was have moved on or died. For instance, the closing of the office supply store recently in the village section of Hartsdale was another death in the heritage of Hartsdale. This, undoubtedly, will become something boring, like the tanning salon that opened in another vacant storefront on the avenue, or something upscale or something you wouldn't use everyday.
Thankfully, we have Big Top still left.
"Hartsdale-The Community That Service Built". And now what? No more pride or buidling. Now just another bland section of the Town Of Greenburgh that people just live in or past through.....I miss the Hartsdale community that I remember was still there when I was a kid.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Disturbed's Music As A Weapon III Tour!

Head's up to all Distubed fans.....Music As A Weapon III has been announced (I know I'm a little late on this one, but I've been traveling)

I'm a HUGE Disturbed fan, and love their concerts. I've been to both previous MAW tours and loved them.

This year, Music As A Weapon includes not only Disturbed, but Flyleaf, Nonpoint, and Stone Sour, 3 other bands I also love! They seem to always have kick ass bands on the MAW tour and this year is no different! Disturbed always puts on a great show.

I will be seeing them in Amherst, MA Mullins Center on November 19th, I'm psyched!
No NY area dates scheduled yet (only New England), but I'm hoping they'll hit Continental or the Garden so I can see them again.

Anyone else planning on going?

Virgin America: New Airline Coming Soon!

Yesterday, I recieved an email from Virgin America. They have unveiled their first plane, an Airbus A320 entitled "Jefferson Airplane", at their home airport at San Francisco International.
They also announced their recruiting campaign to recruit 1,500 people.

Their main route will be SFO-JFK, and I bet the introductory fares and resulting competion will make for some affordable travel to San Francisco in the Spring, when VA expects to start flying.

Virgin America will be a "low cost" type carrier, very similar to jetBlue, but supposedly with more "amenties". Their intial focus will be long haul routes between the east and west coast. I'm hoping for a JFK-LAX with CHEAP introductory fares for a spring LA trip.

It's going to be interesting to see this brand new airline launch.

Here's their website for further:

Friday, October 20, 2006

"Inside American Airlines" Update- Reairing This Weekend

"Inside American Airlines" is rearing Sunday night (10-22-06) at 9PM and 12AM, entitled "Inside American Airlines", on CNBC.

This documentary is a 2 hour look at the operations of American Airlines. As mention below, CNBC was given unprecedented access to all operations at the airlines. It originally aired Wednesday night.

Code 3 Announces 1/32 Scale FDNY Rearmount Ladder

I can't believe I hadn't heard of this sooner. This is one of the disadvantages of the Code 3 Board being gone.At Code 3 Day at PastTime Hobbies in Brookfield, IL this past Saturday, it was announced Code 3 was going to be releasing an FDNY "Diamond Plate Edition" 1/32 scale FDNY rearmount ladder, possibly Ladder 10.

Here's a photo of their last awesome DiamondPlate release...FDNY Squad 61, which was very highly detailed. I would only imagine that the new FDNY Ladder diecast only builds on that.

This should be an awesome release!

Oregon Trip

I have finally posted the photos from my Oregon Trip last week.

Kristen and I went for a week, and visited Bend, Cannon Beach, and then Portland. All had their great qualities, and I really liked Oregon a lot.

Bend was great. Very artsy city, and a lot of it is brand new. It is in the Central Oregon, basically in the middle of nowhere but very cultured. Great resturants, shops, and especially the parks. Very scenic, clean, and quiet. A lot of wealth as well. Best part was the FOOD. LOTS of diverse great places to eat.

Cannon Beach was awesome. Extremly beautiful and scenic. The hotel we stayed at was probaly one of the best I have been to. Hey, you can't beat a room where you can walk right out onto the beach, start a bonfire and watch the sun set, come back inside to a whirlpool tub, and fall asleep listening to the waves lap up against the shore!

Portland is a great city, with an interesting vibe. One of my favorite parts of Portland was Powell Books, a GIGANTIC new and used bookstore. They had numerous books on just about every imaginable subject. I did some damge on the credit card. I only really got to see the Pearl District, where we stayed, but hope to return someday to Portland explore more. And of course, stay at Cannon Beach.

Overall, Oregon is beautiful, and the people are so laid back and friendly. Everything I imagined the Pacific Northwest to be and more.

And how could I forget to mention! The flight was on American Airlines, and for the first time I flew on an MD80! Although they were old, they were in great shape and very comfortable plane to fly in. American's a neat airline, we flew through their huge Chicago O'Hare hub going there, and through their Dallas hub on the way back, which was gigantic! Now I can techically say I've been to Chicago and Dallas.

Don't forget to check out my photos (Well, some were taken by Kristen)

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Extreme Engineering: Inside jetBlue's New JFK Terminal

Next Wednesday evening (10/25/06), on the Discovery Channel @ 8PM EST, they are scheduled to premeire a new episode of Extreme Engineering: jetBlue's New JFK terminal.

I would think it's a little early on to be doing a documentary on the terminal, but still very cool and looking foward to the sneak peek!

Inside American Airlines On CNBC

This past Wednesday night on CNBC (10-18-06) at 9PM EST repeating at 12AM EST, the aired a 2 hour documentary on the airlines, and from the commercial, all its operations. Looks awesome, and as a new AA fan, I'm looking foward to it! According to sources, CNBC was allowed unprecedented access into the airline.....

It will be repeated a couple times this weekend, I understand. It's waiting for me to watch it on the Tivo.

jetBlue To Serve Chicago!

Crains NY Business is reporting jetBlue has won approval for 4 daily flights to Chicago- O'Hare Airport, starting in January. is a great addition for jetBlue, yet there going to have some competion on the route! Hopefully, with the new introductory fares, I will be able to make a quick buff trip out there! I've always wanted to visit Chicago!

Orginal Carvel Closing

Well, in another blow to Central Avenue retail, Carvel is closing.

This isn't any Carvel. This was THE original Carvel, where Tom Carvel (a former Ardsley resident) founded the store that sparked the famous ice cream soft serve chain. 95 South Central Avenue in Hartsdale is the location. Now I will have no where to walk to to browse through books and get a milkshake on a nice evening off.

There is a sign up, advertising "new development oppurtunity". They have a large piece of property, and this Carvel is falling apart. It's not even owned by Carvel, it's owned by an independent franchisee and he leases the property.

I am keeping my fingers crossed that a nice, down to earth affordable (not cheap!) resturant moves in.

With Barnes and Noble closing, and Treasure Island and the Fine Arts Cinema closed, that leaves very large voids in Central Avenue. We already have an inordinate amount of banks, cell phone stores, pharmacies, dry cleaners, and furnitures stores. Not to mention the banks, which continue to infest and I hear are looking for even more room on Central Avenue. Many bank chains have multiple branches within a mile or two of each other. I hope something that would diversify Central Avenue more will fill these gaping holes.

Excellent High Rise Firefighting Article

Excellent article with an awesome graphic illustrating high-rise firefighting in the Journal News today (Thursday, October 19th 2006) And a fire service front page story.

Here's a link to the great graphic, a MUST view "Fighting High Rise Fires" drawn by Bill Beccera with input from fire officials:

And here's a link to the article itself:
As cities add skyscrapers, fire officials say planning is key to safety

I was glad to see that all the cities involved were at least considering adding staffing. According to Doc Kiernan, New Rochelle's even planning on going full time with Rescue 4, and re-opening a downtown company disbanded in 1976 and doing a strategic study. This comes a long way from a few years ago, when Engine 24 faced a shutdown and members faced layoffs. Very progressive.

Which brings me to thinking, New Rochelle, Yonkers, or White Plains don't have any "High Rise Units" like FDNY, that carry special equipment just for high rise firefighting to my knowledge. I wonder if things like these exist or are in the works, and if it would be reasonable for the developers to "donate" this apparatus or equipment.

Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 was released today

Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 was released today.

I upgraded to it, and it seem really cool right now...may take some getting used to though. It looks a lot different, and features I'm used to are in different places.

Seems like it's trying to be more like Firefox. It has tabbed browsing, and you can "add on" a whole bunch of different options to make your browsing easier and more convienent.

Was an easy updgrade. I think it's going to make browsing the web much easier for the masses

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Interesting Train Consist I Saw Today

While heading home from Stop and Shop in North White Plains today, I took my favorite route which takes me past the North White Plains Train Yard and Fairview Fire Headqurters. While stopped at the Virginia Road RR crossing, I heard a slow moving diesel engine coming by and quickly whipped out my camera.

Metro-North Operations fascinate me, I recently learned of this train. It blows the leaves off the track using compressed water stream and air so the trains do not lose traction on the slippery leaves. It was being led in this direction by a FL-9 #2011 with New Haven markings, and by my favorite Metro North Work Engine #104 at the other end. Apparently, these trains are a common sight this time of year.

Sorry for the crappy photos, but they were the best I could get given my position.

I was happy to learn something new about Metro-North today. (I learned of this train at Metro North forum)

Underground War Room Put On Ice, A Dumb Move By The Feds?

In my opinion, this is a move by the feds, especially in this day and age, that I don't fully understand.

[QUOTE]Keating said the new the control room, in contrast, could be damaged if a terrorist commandeered a jumbo jet and somehow knew exactly where to crash it. But "how unlikely is that? We think very," Keating said.[QUOTE]

You know, the federal goverment spent millions to design, build, and maintain this bunker. Even though the cold war is over, one doesn't know what could likely did we think 9/11 was to happen?

Why wouldn't they play it on the safe side, and keep an ultra-secure facility such as this up and running full-time? I'm glad though that there keeping it on "warm standby".

[QUOTE]Keating said it costs about $250 million a year to operate Cheyenne Mountain fully staffed. Congress's Government Accountability Office has said efforts to modernize Cheyenne Mountain were too expensive or behind schedule. [QUOTE]

So, the goverment can't get their act together with this place, so basically they are shutting it down and moving somewhere else is what I read from that line?

I find it annoying that OUR security is "too expensive", yet other nations security aren't. This is just another annoying example.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Hottest Ford Explorer I've Ever Seen

As obvious in another recent thread of mind, I am a Dodge fan.However, while passing Roberson Ford in Bend, Oregon last week, this '07 Ford Explorer....and the color....really caught my eye. It really looked sharp. And just a side note, I'd love to see some piece of fire apparatus in that color.

New Dodge Nitro

So, while on vacation in Oregon this past week, I was driving through Bend, OR and passed their Dodge dealership., and a new truck caught my eye

I currently drive an '06 Dodge Dakota Quad Cab 4.7 V-8 High Output. It consumes a lot of fuel, and as much as I LOVE IT, it is in reality probaly beyond my needs.Before I saw this truck, I was considering downsizing, to a Honda Element, after another Hartsdale FF got one, or even a Jetta or Civic hybrid.
Then, I pass by this Dodge dealership, and here is there Dodge Nitro. I never even considered this an option, because last I heard it was a concept, and possible release was '07...and I guess '07 is around the corner. It's about the size of a Jeep Wrangler, and really looks hot. They only had two on the lot, and I haven't done my reasearch yet as to engine options, etc, but this is defeintly something for me to ponder.

Dodge is really coming out with a lot of kick ass products lately. Just finished a weeklong rental of a Durango, and it was awesome.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

I'll Be Back On Sunday

In case you're wondering why the blog has been so quiet lately, it's because I'm on vacation in Oregon (Bend, Cannon Beach, Portland) for the week, and having a great time, trying to relax and unwind.

I plan to return home on Sunday, and have a lot to share and say, so keep checking x635:The Blog


Friday, October 06, 2006

The 9/11 Report- A Graphic Adaptation

I found this awesome bookstore on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood on Wednesday night (Book Soup). They have a ton of great books you usually don't see at Barnes and Noble or Borders, and a selection very much aimed at the 20-30 something generation and LA culture.

Anyways, I found and picked up this book "The 9/11 Report- A Graphic Adaptation". I found it fascinating. It takes the events of 9/11, and graphically illustrates them using artists from DC comics. It is very comprehensively written and illustrated. I reccomened it.
From Our EditorsThe 9/11 Commission Report is arguably the most readable federal committee report in history, but most Americans have never read it. Alarmed by that sad fact, veteran comic book artist Sid Jacobson and Ernie Colón have created a graphic version of the report that makes its findings indelibly visible. This 160-page adaptation succeeds not only in rendering the dramatic stories of that tragic day; it presents the sequence of events leading up to the attacks with unprecedented clarity. The book also covers the rise of al Qaeda and U.S. preparations and responses to terrorist plots.

My Code 3 Engine 79 Came Today!

My LA County Engine 79 Code 3 showed up at my doorstep today.

I was supposed to shoot the real Engine 79 on Tuesday, but it was in the shops with the pump panel removed. But I still got to see it in person. It is unique, since LA County doesn't have any engines on a Freightliner chasis, or commercial chasis. This engine was purchased as a prototype.

The model looks GREAT! Here is a photo. Sorry for the crappy shot, didn't have time to get a nice one.

On another note, this could be easily kitbashed into a White Plains engine.

Need Help Identifying An L.A. Metro Rapid Bus

So, I am starting to become a bus fan, especially after seeing the variety of them in the California area. While in L.A., I found my new favorite bus. It is part of LA's Metro Rapid fleet.

I tried to get a better shot of this articulating bus, but couldn't do it...always in traffic. Next time I'm out, I'm going to attempt to find the depot for better shots.

My question is, does anyone know the make & model of this bus, and any other details? This bus looks really cool, and futuristic. I really dig it.
This is the best shot I could get:

Please post any information you have here:

Ardsley VAC's New Building

While I was away in California (See Below), Ardsley VAC's new modular building was delivered from Canada and assembled onto it's foundation. It appears it will be a drive through bay. Here's a photo:

Meawhile, over at the Ardsley Firehouse construction site, work is begining on the foundation:

Stay tuned as I continue to track the progress on both these buildings...

I'm Back From California!

Well, I'm back from California, and packing for Oregon. I'm leaving tommorow morning for that VACATION! I'm excited.

San Francisco and Los Angeles were great, and I had a really good time. I saw some really neat stuff, and brought back some cool ideas I hope to write about in the near future on I'm glad to be back home with Kris though. You can read all about my trip by browsing through the previous entries on this blog.

My only regrets about this trip.....not getting photos of Santa Monica or Beverly Hills Lifeline ambulances, or of the LA County East shops. I simply ran out of time. Good news though, this trip earned me enough TrueBlue points to get a free roundtrip ticket anywhere jetBlue flies. I hope to go back sometime early next year, funds permitting.

So, want to see all the photos? Click here to view the Photo Feature on my trip.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

A Day In The Antelope Valley

Today, I spent the majority of the day touring around the Antelope Valley section of Los Angeles County with my good friend with a ton of LACoFD connections, Orlando. Los Angeles County is HUGE, and so is the FD. Put it like would be like if FDNY Rescue 4 in Queens was in the same department as Poughkeepsie Ladder 2. And all these companies run like crazy.

Upon my return home, there will be a feature on containing more of the photos I took and bigger versions. Here's just a sampling of what I got today:

The photo of the trip. LACoFD's first KME Predator with CAFS, and the first and only with a black over red paint scheme.

LACoFD Quint 33 was in the shop, so they were using a spare. Not often you see a rearmount ladder around here.
A plane at Fox Field at the National Forest Service Air Services Division Angeles National Forest HQ. This plane drops retardant over a large area during brush fires.

Cascade unit at Station 129. Another unique LACoFD piece.

Water Tender 129

The old and the new. Engine 129 using a reserve ALF Century, and LACoFD Engine 33's KME.

LACoFD Brush Dozer

LACoFD Emergency Support Team 129. This unit is from 1991, and a commitee has been formed to determine its replacement. The EST has a pump, small tank, EMS gear, and various tools, and responds as extra manpower or takes the special equipment, such as the water tender, from the station when needed.

China Lake Fire Crash Rescue Truck

LACoFD Paramedic Sqaud 129, using a spare.

Helicopter Tender 129. As you can tell by now, Station 129 is no ordinary fire station. They have LACoFD's North Air Operations (Helicopter), the north Training division, and the north fleet maintance facilities.

LACoFD Spare/Training Ward LaFrance. Just more proof how great these trucks are/were, and many departments to this day still use them.

LACoFD Station 129's Training Tower

The new headquarters of Code 3 Collectibles, on Lemona Drive in Van Nuys, CA. It's right across the street from target, and several homeless guys living in vans. They weren't too freindly about me taking photos of their building from a public roadway. Dissapointing, especially considering how much I used to think of them and how much money I spent with them....only to be shooed away for taking a photo (didn't even walk in or anything)

Johhny Weismuller's (Tarzan and Olympic Gold Medalist Swimmer) abandoned and vacant Bel Air estate. It was wiered to see this in the middle of this multi million dollar neighborhood. What fascinates me most about this house is the moat like pool that surrounds the house, so Johnny could swim laps without having to turn around. When me and Kris win the lottery, I am buying this house. Wonder why this hot property hasn't been bought already?

The GPS system in my rental truck. I love the "beanbag" mount, what an ingenious invention! You just throw it up there, and it doesn't move at all! Very cool!

So, that was my day today. Tommorow, I will bum around Santa Monica and Beverly Hills a bit before heading to Long Beach Aiport to fly back home, which is good because I miss Kris and everybody. I am also excited to go to Oregon with Kris on Saturday for a note, that trip is a VACATION for me and won't be blogged.
Stay tuned for the complete set of my LA Trip October 2006 photos coming mid-October to!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

"Into The Fire" Hollywood Premiere

On October 13th, The History Channel will premiere a documentary about firefighters entitled "Into The Fire"

"10-13-06 08:00 PM Into the Fire. Firefighters' stories fromaround the nation tell about the risks taken to keepus safe. Academy and Emmy Award-winning documentaryfilmmaker Bill Couturié breaks down the hero myth andgives us a glimpse at the real people. From big citiesand small towns, we meet both volunteer and careerfirefighters and see them portrayed in recenthistorical events. With powerful music from BruceSpringsteen, Bob Dylan, Dire Straits and others, we'lltake an emotional journey into the hearts of firstresponders, that forever changes the way we thinkabout firefighters and the fire service. CC [TVPG]"

They actually had the Hollywood premiere at 1900hrs PST tonight, at the Directors Guild on Sunset Boulevard right down the street from where I am staying. It had the red carpet and everything, even firefighter paparazzi (Me!!) I caught it during my stroll down Sunset. I was actually invited to go last minute today, but I didn't have a suit or tie or a uniform with me but still was fun to see :-(. Here are the photos:

Day 1 Buffing LA Proves Fruitful

After mucking around and exploring different parts of LA this morning, I met up with Orlando where we shot at the LA City FD shops and at their training facility.

My favorite part of the day was my tour of LAFD's shops. Their shops is one of the most awesome places I have been to, ever. They basically do everything with equipment and apparatus in house. They have multiple departments, even one that builds furniture for the fire stations. They have a parts department, SCBA shop, Oxygen shop, small engine shop, machine shop, turnout repair shop, woodshop, supply and equipment depot and warehouse, aerial shops, triple (engines) shops, ambulance shops, light vehicle shops, body shop, pump and aerial test shop, new delivery shop, and the list goes on and on. Each department was so comprehensive. Basically, LAFD can do anything they need to do with any piece of equipment in house. This was my second time their, and the knowledgeable and capable staff who work their impress me a ton.

Also got to go to "Turnout World", LAFD's own turnout gear supply facilty and check out their custom designed and built Morning Pride gear. Though I am not a big Morning Pride person, this new coat was nice (Sorry, no photos). LA City is a STRICT low-bid city, and whoever makes the best product that meets the spec at the lowest cost wins. As evident by LAFD's equipment, this is not neccarily a bad thing.

Here's a sampling of the photos I got today. Many more and bigger photos will be posted in a complete feature on in late October.

Here's my AWESOME rental car, 2006 Dodge Dakota Quad Cab V4.7 V-8 Sirius Sattelite Radio and Magellan Navigation system. Very similar to my 2006 Dakota Quad Cab.

LAFD Truck 27
LAFD Engine 62

Command Post 3

Engine 89

The training ladder trailer, designed to be similar to the way the trucks carry the ladders.

What's wrong with this picture?

Engine 20, 2006 Pierce Arrow XT just delivered

An ALF on the lift at LAFD's shops aerial division.

The triple shops at LAFD shops

A new 2006 Seagrave Marauder II, assigned to Engine 68

LAFD's training tower

Truck 58

That's it for now. I'm going to go for a swim, then a stroll down Sunset Boulevard to people watch. Tommorow, it's with Orlando to buff LA County. LA is such a great place, they have such nice apparatus and equipment, even beyond the FD.