Sunday, December 31, 2006

Beach Patrol Season Two: San Diego

One of my favorite shows is "Beach Patrol", Monday nights at 8PM on Court TV.

The first season, the followed the San Diego Lifeguards and PD, and it was awesome. Think like "Cops", but on the beach. They followed water rescues, EMS calls, disorderly conduct, cliff rescues, etc. It was very interesting viewing.

The second season was in Miami. I didn't really follow that season.
Tommorow night (Monday, Jan. 1 2007) is the third season premiere, with it being the second season in San Diego.

I'm looking foward to some new episodes of this very intresting show!

Preview Here:
http://www.courttv.com/onair/shows/beach_patrol/

Twilight Zone Marathon

Just a heads up, all day today and tommorow (Jan 1st 2007), on the Sci-Fi channel, is a marathon of "The Twilight Zone"

I love this show. Very well written, interesting plots. Quite the classic, yet still relevant today. Also a ton of famous actors on the show.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Man Stuck In Garbage Truck Saved By Cell Phone

Quite interesting and remarkable story. I wonder how often this happens when the victim doesn't have a cell phone.

Police save man stuck inside garbage truck
Trapped Detroiter calls 9-1-1 from cell
December 30, 2006
BY KORIE WILKINS
FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER

A cell phone became a lifeline for a Detroit man who woke up inside a
garbage truck that had begun compacting its load, Oak Park police said.

The man, 41, was scavenging for cans and bottles in the city's
Dumpsters, said Lt. Mike Pousak, when he apparently fell asleep. He was awakened
after the Dumpster he was in was unloaded into a garbage truck at about 2 p.m.
Thursday. The man, whose name was not released, used his cell phone to call
9-1-1.

Pousak said the man didn't know where he was, but that he hadn't been
drinking, and he isn't homeless. The man is, however, unemployed.

When dispatchers received the man's call, they issued an alert to all
road patrol officers to be on the lookout for garbage trucks in the city. A
short time later, operators lost contact with the man after his cell phone's
battery fell out. The man tried yelling for help but no one heard him, Pousak
said.

Pousak said an officer stopped a truck at 8 Mile and Coolidge, banged
on its side and got a response -- the man banged back.

Officers asked the driver to dump the truck's load onto a driveway, and
the man -- covered in debris -- was freed, suffering only a scrape on his hand,
Pousak said.

Pousak credited dispatchers for taking the man's call seriously as well
as officers who helped locate the truck about 15 minutes later. He would not
release the name of the garbage truck company involved. Waste Management
spokesman Tom Horton -- whose company handles residential waste pickup in Oak
Park -- said he was unaware of any of his company's trucks being involved in the
incident.

"It's a very bizarre story," Pousak said. "This man could have been
crushed, and no one would have known about it. It's really remarkable."

NYPD 24/7 Now Available On DVD

I don't know if anyone remembers, but a few years back, ABC did a minseries documentary on NYPD that I remember as being pretty well done and interesting.

Anways, in case you missed it or want to see it again, I just found out that it's available on DVD:

http://www.fire-police-ems.com/misc/dn1080.shtml

Tamron Releasing New Di-II 18-250 Lens

As many of you know, I love my Tamron 18-200 Di-II lens for my Digital Rebel SLR. The Tamron Di-II series are lenses that are specifically made for digital SLR cameras.

It's a great "walkaround", everyday lens. It's wide angle is great, and the big zoom makes the lens very handy and easy (not having to change lenses is a big help when shooting!)

Anyways, I found out today that they are releasing an upgraded model, with a 18-250 range:
http://www.dpreview.com/news/0609/06093001tamron18250.asp

I can't wait to see what this actually will retail for, I'd really like to pick one up.

Stew Leonards And Walgreens


While in Danbury today, Kris and I stopped by Stew Leonards Danbury to pick up some food for New Years.

I noticed they were building a Walgreens in the middle of the parking lot. I thought it was extremly strange, especially since parking at Stew's can be at a premium during weekends and holidays.

But, then I thought of Stew Leonards in Norwalk. What used to be additonal parking there, across the street on Route 1, is now a shopping center with Stew Leonards Wines and Walgreens.

Stew's must have some relationship with Walgreens, or it must be used to bring in some extra cash...I don't know why though, they do insane business.

Friday, December 29, 2006

My 2006 In Photos

Of the thousands of photos I took in 2006, I sorted through them all, and picked 136 that best represent my photos for the year.

There are some photos in there that haven't yet been seen, and also some "directors cut" editions of some shots that have previously appeared.

Here is my Year 2006 in photos:
http://www.x635photos.com/thumbnails.php?album=109

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Today's Photo Hunt

Today, I went on a photo hunt to test out and learn my new Canon Digital Rebel XTi and my new Garmin c330 GPS Navigation system, as detailed below.

Here are the photos:
http://www.x635photos.com/thumbnails.php?album=107

Another really lucky day, a lot of good apparatus I caught.

My New Garmin GPS c330


Recently, I aqquired a brand new Garmin c330 GPS Navigation system at a great price from Amazon.com.


After debating between getting the Magellan Roadmate 700 or the Garmin c330, I decided on the Garmin after reading user reviews, and my experience with it in my rental car when during my last trip to LA. I like the simlicity, quick accuracy, and very innovative and easy mount.


Today, I had the chance to try it out while on a photo hunt in Southwestern CT, and I LOVED it! Very easy, very accurate, and I can't wait to bring it out to LA with me during my next trip. I'm glad I made this purchase. It really helps a lot.
The mount is the best part. It comes with 3 rubber feet, and you just place it on the dash, and it stays put...even when going around sharp curves. Also, it just plugs into the cigarette lighter....and the antenna is internal and gets great reception when mounted on the dash.



Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Santa Was Good To Me This Year!



Well, Santa was very good to me this year as I hope he was to all of you.

Amongst an iPod Nano, and an awesome all-inclusive trip to LA and many,many other awesome things, I got a brand new addition to my camera fleet, a Canon Digital Rebebl XTi 400D (10.3 MP).

I love the new camera (Thanks Ma!), and am excited to use it, especially during my next trip to LA (Thanks Kris!). It's so much faster then my current Digital Rebel 300D (which I will be retaining, putting into spare status)

The new XTi is equipped with a Tamron XR DI-II 18-200 lens, which was swapped over from my 300D. The 300D now is using it's orignal Canon 18-55 EF lens, until I can upgrade it to the Canon IS 17-85 lens.

I also bought myself a gift, a Garmin c330 GPS Navigation system as a gift to myself....it'll come in handy especially during my travels. The deal I got on Amazon was $100 less then the current retail price at any store. Lucky on that.

I am very blessed to have such a great family and a very nice holiday. I am very spoiled.
Now I really can't wait for my next LA or buff trip! Also, I'll be out shooting as much as I can with this new camera and exploring new areas with my GPS coming soon! And the train or plane will be so much easier with my new iPod!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas!

I just would like to wish everyone reading this blog a very Merry Christmas!

Stay tuned for a full report on what Santa brings me.......I'm predicting either a 20 yard truck or 40 yard truck full of coal! Hope it comes in a rolloff container, at least on a Mack Granite, lol!

Have a GREAT Holiday everyone!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Digital Photograpy Raising The Bar For Firefighters

I had another thought today regarding the multiple cameras that can be found on any fire scene nowdays.

Many of these digital photos end up on websites, such as EMTBravo.com, or passed around via email. Photography now has an easy global reach, instead of the "old days" of prints that made limited circulation.

The camera has the power to document what went on. Sure, the photo doesn't tell the whole story, or neccasarily give, excuse the pun, the big picture. But it does show who's not wearing PPE when they should be or wearing it properly, it can show when we make good moves or bad, it can show when we are placing ourselves into dangerous situations uneccarily, and it can show a variety of other things that can help or hinder us, depending on our egos and willingness to want to do our jobs better.

Besides viewing photos from curiosity, or trying to second guess what went on, we should view them as a learning tool. We should also realize that we too, at anytime, can be caught on camera doing our job and become the subject of scrutiny, even if it was one second of poor judgement- even if it was corrected and the subsequent photos don't show that. I am confident that I was trained well, and take ownership in what I do. If I make a mistake, and someone has documentation of that, then I want to be able to learn from that so it doesn't happen again, possibly harming me the next time.

Regardless, this should set the bar higher, for all of us, to do our jobs properly. As I've said, I feel many people are afraid of photos, becuase their afraid of being "exposed"...so they do whatever they can to ban, discourage, or discredit them. But when we look at photos with an open, accepting mind, and learn from our mistakes, then digital photos and fire scene photographers can be a great asset to the firefighting community.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The Next Addition To The Hudson Valley Mass Transit Infastructure

I feel the next addition we need to our Hudson Valley Commuter infacstructure is a real commuter rail link from Rockland and Orange into Tarrytown and onto the Hudson line. These suburbs are growing by leaps and bounds, and the current rail system, takes them all the way through NJ and puts them out in a PATH station, taking a very long time.

Having a commuter rail link, which hopefully would be interegated with the new bridge, would tremendously help to reduce traffic congestion on local roadways. Also, a light rail from the Tarrytown train station into White Plains would also help congestions and to keep vehicles off the roadway, as well as allow commuters to tie into the Harlem line. Coupled with the infastrucutre improvments going on at GCT and Penn, this would essentially allow someone to take the train (with some transfer) from Walden (Orange County) all the way to Montauk on the east end of Long Island.

These suburbs are only getting bigger and bigger, and it's my opinion that this is an issue that needs to be addressed. Having a true, efficient, and quick way to get commuters from these places into White Plains and NYC is sorely needed, and be a definite boost to the economy and help to take traffic- and pollution- off of the roads.

"This is the express train from Nyack. This station is Nyack. The next station is Grand Central." All on a new M-9 train.

It would also be nice for them to put a bike/walking paths onto the new bridge, it would be awesome to be able to bike into Rockland.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Greenville's 3rd Alarm 12-19-06

Well, the camera and I caught some action today. See the photos here:
http://www.emtbravophotos.com/News/121906.html

This is my first real fire that I've really "buffed".....it happened that myself and x901 were having lunch right down the street, and listenting to my new scanner. We have shots from the time the first due units pulled up. Sucks for the family at this time of year though

Greenville Capt. Nugent was the IC, and did a great job. All the manpower worked very hard, this was a difficult structure especially the manpower involved in the first half hour. Older Type III construction with multiple renovations over the years. Plaster/lathe walls and Slate roof. Many different floors and built into a steep grade. Roofers on scene working on coppper gutters upon FD arrival. Several firefighters with minor/moderate injuries, including smoke inhalation, exhaustion, and muscle injuries, and I wish them well and a speedy recovery.

Monday, December 18, 2006

A Happy Ending To My Car Saga

Here's the follow up to my post below about trying to get a car for Kristen for Christmas. Now, I was only shopping for a Honda Pilot or CR-V because I knew she liked the Honda brand.

But after the experience with White Plains Honda, and after visiting and calling a lot of other Honda dealers, what Honda wants for its vehicles I feel is ridiculous. So I went shopping for other brands.
So, today first thing, I went to Croton Dodge, with a Dodge Nitro in mind. I have purchased my 2005 Dodge Dakota Quad Cab Laramie SLT 4.7 High Output V8 from them, and they have been my exlusive Dodge service center for my '01 Dakota since that was new as well. I have always loved their freindly, honest, and caring sales and service staff. They are truly a small car dealer, I hate those big "group dealers".


After an easy negotiation, I got a GREAT monthly lease rate on a fully loaded 2007 Dodge Nitro SXT with very little down. Croton Dodge made the process VERY easy and comfortable for me, and two hours after signing the deal, I was driving away in the new Nitro.


The next thing was to show Kristen her new car. She had known I was shopping, since Saturday's event. She LOVES her new truck! She's going from driving a 1994 Toyota Corrolla with 80,000 miles on it that she aqquired from her grandmother, hates car dealers, and so this is her early Christmas gift from me. (Plus, I couldn't hold this suprise to Christmas- I'm no good at withholding presents!)


Croton Dodge gets a million thumbs up from me, and I highly reccomend them. I should have stuck with Dodge in the first place- excellent product, excellent service.


Here it is, just after showing it to Kristen (sun was nowhere to be found today):



Thanks to everybody for all their help, support, and contacts!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

My Experience

Many of you are curious about my professional background or who I am, so here it is.

Fire Explorer since I was 14 years old, Explorer captain from 15 1/2-18, at 18-22 was a volunteer firefighter and explorer post advisor. Career EMT from 18-22, career dispatcher from 20-22, and a career Paramedic from 22- to now, 27. Career Firefighter from 26 to now, 27. Accepted with Hartsdale FD after deciding between offers from Montgomery County, MD and Los Angeles City FD, CA.

Education: Ardsley High School, Ardsley NY Graduated 1997

Northeastern University Boston MA (at 22-23 years of age, Northeastern University Paramedic Class 47 alumni) Associates Degree. NU Deans list.

Westchester County Career Chiefs Fire Academy, Class 03-05, Graduated 12/17/05. Instructors award.

Volunteer experience: Ardsley FD

Career Experience: Empress EMS-EMT-I (Yonkers & Mount Vernon EMS) , Stamford Hospital ED (EMT-I), Westchester County Police Dispatcher, 60 Control Dispatcher, UMass*Worcester ED (Paramedic), Westchester EMS-Paramedic (45 Medics), Hartsdale FD (Firefighter)

Worked (alongside) with: ALL Westchester County FD's, PD's, ESU's and EMS agencies, Stamford Fire, EMS &PD, Norwalk Fire, EMS, and PD, Worcester Fire, EMS and PD, Boston Fire, EMS, and PD, FDNY, Newark NJ EMS, Fire & PD and various other agencies.

Ridden Along With , trained with, or extensively observed operations: FDNY, Los Angeles City Fire Department, Los Angeles County Fire Department, UMDNJ Newark EMS, FDNY*EMS, Fort Lauderdale FD, Woburn MA FD, Boston FD & EMS, Greenburgh PD & EMS and various other agencies.

Professional course and certifications: Too lazy to list.
Total time in emergency services: 13 years (never worked another line of work). Seems petty in relation to somes career span, but I am lucky to have had such a wide array of experiences during this time.

Other related experiences: Very amateur photographer (but budding), and creator/founder, adminsitrator and webmaster of The EMTBravoGroup websites. Fire/EMS/PD/DPW, Plane, Train, and truck enthusiast. Internet addict. Diecast collector. Scanner enthusiast. Love to read. Have a ton of hobbies and projects I keep myself busy with.

Engaged. Wedding July 7, 2007. Homeowner. Proud resident of Hartsdale, NY.

More InformatioN On White Plains Honda

(This post is in reference to the post about White Plains Honda)

So, today I researched my credit score a variety of different ways. It wasn't nearly as low as White Plains Honda told me it was.

They told me due to my credit score, I had to pay more if I wanted the car. The number they told me my credit score was was a lie.

I am continuing to pursue this, and thanks to EVERYONE for all their support, emails, and contacts. If anyone has a hook with a GOOD Honda dealer, please email it to me ASAP at x635@EMTBravo.com.

I am trying to purchase my fiance a nice SUV for a Christmas present.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

White Plains Honda- LIARS & CROOKS WITH ATTITIUDE!

To whom it may concern or to who can help-

This morning, I went to White Plains Honda with the intention of leasing a 2007 Honda Pilot, at $0 down and $299 a month as stated in their ad in the NY Daily News on 12-15-06. Yesterday, I called and made an appointment with a salesman after he confirmed the offer. This lease was going to be a Christmas surprise present for my fiancé'.

At 9:15AM, I arrived and met with a salesman. After test driving a CR-V and Pilot, I decided on a Honda Pilot EX. After going over some numbers, we agreed at $0 down, $336 a month, with the bank fee weaved into the payment. I was asked for my credit card, which was charged $1500 for DMV, fees, etc. After specifically asking if there were any other conditions and if my credit would affect the deal, I was told NO. Since I wanted to drive this car away today, I also added this car to a new insurance policy which I set up while in the dealer. After filling out a credit application, I was told my car was going to be prepped, the salesman and the sales manager on the floor said specifically that I was approved at the rate agreed and that I would be driving my new car away in 1 hour. While waiting to see the finance manager to close the deal, the salesman took me out to explain the features of the car to me.

After being told that there was only one finance manager on duty that day, at 1:00PM, after a several hour wait in the dealership, I was finally able to meet with the finance manager. The finance manager was EXTREMELY rude and condescending to me from the minute I met her. She clearly appeared annoyed that she had to deal with me, and told me she had other customers to deal with that had appointments before she could see me, and she didn't know when that would be. I expressed my discontent about having to wait 3 hours, and she basically told me it's not her problem, that I should have made an appointment. I did not understand this comment, since I was sent to her by my salesman. I told her I was never informed of having to make an appointment, and due to her attitude given to me, I asked her if my business was valued by them. She responded by saying that she was the only person on duty that day to deal with the bank, and that she has more important customers to then me today that are buying more expensive vehicles.

When I went into her office, she then stated that my approval from the bank had not been processed yet. After 20 minutes of computer problems, she stated that I had a low credit score and open loan on another vehicle as well as a mortgage, which made me Tier II, not Tier I, so she could not honor the agreement the sales staff had made with me. She attempted to explain different factors- and having leased numerous cars before- I understand leasing.

I expressed my dissatisfaction with her attitude, and asked to speak with the manager. At that point, the sales manager came into her office and shut the door. He explained to me, in a tone that made it sound like he thought I was an idiot, that since I didn't read the fine print, it was my fault that they couldn't honor the deal. They could still help me to get a lease, but at a significantly higher price. At that time, after being in the dealership for several hours making this transaction and waiting for the finance manager, I expressed that I was very frustrated, and that I shouldn't have been led this far into the process if I couldn't get the deal that was agreed up hours ago with the sales staff. I stated that I felt like I was being ripped off, and that I would be filing a complaint with Honda Corporation.

At that point, the sales manager became extremely angry with me. He screamed "You think you are going to sit here and threaten me- it's not my fault you can't pay your bills" and also added that I had no grounds to complain. I do pay my bills, all on time, and was offeneded by that out of line comment. The reason explained to me why I couldn't be Tier I was because I had an open existing lease with Dodge already, and a recent morgatage that I had to purchase my home. I asked if I could have a co-signer for the lease deal agreed upon, and was told no, that it still would be a higher price. There seemed to be no other option to get a fair deal, even with an offer by me to get a co-signer or put a down payment.

During the sale of this vehicle to me, the staff was very pleasant, helpful, friendly, and accommodating. The dealership enviroment was very nice. But, after the several hour wait to see the finance manager, and then the disrespectful, rude, and offensive way I was treated by both the sales and finance managers,I decided that I did not want to purchase the vehicle from White Plains Honda as I do not like to give my money to those who do not provide excellent customer service. . The sales and finance manager seemed to care less, and stormed out of the office, and ordered my saleman to refund the money I had already given them. It was me, the customer, who was made to feel like I was in the wrong. I made a DEAL with the sales staff, only to be told after giving me the keys to the vehicle and having the sales staff saying the deal was approved, and making me feel like the vehicle was already mine, and all I had to do was sign some paperwork. After waiting several hours,The sales and finance manager told me that I had to pay more if I wanted the vehicle. This is, in my opinion, was a very fraudulent and dishonest sales practice and tatic.

I am very disappointed with White Plains Honda. I felt as if I was swindled. I understood the financial goings on, but the way I was treated was out of line. I was made to spend over 4 1/2 hours of my Saturday in White Plains Honda, being led to believe that I could drive off with a 2007 Pilot at $336 a month and $0 down. I was even given the keys to the car, and told it was all mine. Only to be told 4 hours later when I went to sign the lease that the deal couldn't be honored as agreed 4 hours previously. I drove off, without the car, and without and apology. While getting my credit card refunded and preparing to leave, the way I was treated by the sales staff was very disrespectful as well.

I admit I was frusterated and did get heated with the staff at the end, but given the situation I was in and the dissapointment that the dealer caused, I had every right to be angry.

The resolution I would like to see it that this does not happen to other customers. I would also like all involved reprimanded or fired for their poor and disrespectful attitude towards their customers. Other customers in the dealership were also visibly annoyed by having to wait for the finance manager, and at her attitude problem. I would have loved to drive off in a new Honda Pilot. This whole ordeal has reaffirmed my belief that car dealers are dishonest and fraudulent. I know many people that own Honda's, and have never had experiences like this with their Honda dealers. I have also leased through Croton Dodge, and was treated with respect during the entire "pain-free" and quick process.

I would like this deal that I was promised through another Honda dealer. As my faith in the Honda Car Company has been damaged, I still would like to obtain a 2007 Pilot EX, leased, with a good deal like I was told I would be getting with White Plains Honda.

-Seth *************

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

My IAFF Sticker Conterversy

During my travels this week, I stopped to get some gas and a snack.

Feeling chatty, I noticed another guys truck with the IAFF sticker on it and blue lights on the dash and grill. I asked him where he was from, and he told me. Pretty sure that was an all-volunteer department, I asked him if they were career or if he was career. His reply- "No". He was a volunteer firefighter, with no family or friends in the IAFF. Due to his apparent age, I was pretty sure he wasn't career anyways.

So then my next question is where he got the sticker and why he displayed it? His answer- "because I am a professional firefighter too". He got the sticker from his friend, and all the guys in his company have it- he also said it's great "to piss off the paid guys" in the next town over. Aren't you looking to get on the job? I asked "Yes" ,was his reply- in a nearby big city.

I shook my head, and let it go at that. I'm not looking to create conterversy, it's just that the IAFF sticker represents not just being a firefighter- it represents membership in a brotherhood union- that stickers is something that is earned (and paid dues for)

Also, a move with intentions like this is immature and disrespectful. I'm sure this kid would love to get on the job and thats his intention, so why is he intentionally looking to create conterversy? There's no reason to start a war, and if you are young and looking to get on the job- why are you so against it now?

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

x635's Boston Photo Hunt 12-12-06

Today, I went on another photo hunt to the Boston area.

With the stupid winter days, I run out of usable sunlight quick, so I didn't get as many photos as I would have liked.

And I actually buffed a fire in Boston thanks to my new scanner (I was right around the corner)....and made it as the first due units (E37/T26/R2) were pulling up. BUT, it turned out to be nothing, of course. I was all set to get the BFD in action too. I tell ya though, Boston gets their ladder trucks in there, no matter if they can fit or not....they make them fit and get that stick up right away!

Check out the pics from my hunt:
http://www.x635photos.com/121206PhotoHunt.html

All in all, I think I did pretty well.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Today's Photo Hunt In Dutchess County

Check out my photo hunt from today in Dutchess County

Some very cool finds!
http://www.x635photos.com/121106PhotoHunt.html

Special thanks to LAGRANGEFF40

Saturday, December 09, 2006

My New Scanner

Today, I recieved my new scanner, a Uniden BCD-396T Digital Scanner. I purchased it from ScannerMaster, which is excellent and has excellent customer service.
(http://www.scannermaster.com)

I've been a Scanner buff since my father bought me my first "Realistic" (Radio Shacks scanner brand) desktop scanner a long time ago, at 9 years old. As a teenager, at the height of my scanning interest, I had a few portable Unidens, and mobiles.Now, I basically only listed with my desktop, a BC-760XLT.

This new scanner I got so it could go everywhere with me, and I could listen to everything going on- from local FD's to Metro North while on the go. One of my hopes with this new scanner is that it will lead to new photos for me, and the site. This scanner has so many features, I don't know where to begin. It can montior APCO 25 digital systems, and trunked systems, which allows me to monitor agencies that I haven't been able to listen to in years. It also has "Fire Tone Out", which allows it to act sort of like a Minitor II, and pick up tones when they go out. I also like the alpha tagging, so I can see/read what I'm monitoring. (It's hard to remember what every frequency is!) The Close Call feature automatically picks up any nearby transmitters, which is great at a fire scene where you don't have the Handi talkie frequncies. It is preprogrammed with 400 cities, so off the bat I can monitor a whole bunch of places while traveling without having to do a thing. I also purchased the Butel software with it, so I can program it using my computer, as well as record audio (maybe for the website as well)

Now, I can give Truck4, tbendick, JTCamp, Photofires, and ndemarse all some competion on buffing and shooting jobs, since I will be in the know everywhere I go!

It's also going to be great to be able to monitor LA City and other cities when I travel.

Also, HFD23 (BDiddy) and I have something new to do for when we work together, lol!I'm so excited about this new scanner, however it is very complicated and is going to take me a while to learn, but I'm going to have fun with the whole new world it opens up to me again! I'm back into scanning!


Friday, December 08, 2006

First Time To Chipotle?

Many people know about my obsessive love for Chipotle Burritos. I first fell in love with Chipotle when I found them in Rockville, MD while pursuing a career with Montgomery County Fire-Rescue.

It's only this past spring that I've discovered my favorite- and closest Chiptole location. East 44th Street in Manhattan, by Lexington Ave and GCT. I take the train in at least once a week to satisfy my Chipotle craving. I'm not the only Chipotle fan....everyone I know who eats there loves it, and everyone who tries it at least once is hooked. I am also completly hooked on their beautiful resturant designs and catchy marketing, besides the delicous food.

The burritos, by the way, are HUGE and filling. GREAT value!

Yesterday, during my Chipotle run, I picked up a card that was a guide for first time Chipotle'ers. I figured I'd retype it here onto my blog, so all of you can read more and understand my fascination with Chipotle. Here it is:


First Time To Chipotle?

Here's How It Works

1. Pick Your Style. Burrito, Bol, Soft Tacos, Crispy Tacos, or Salad?

2. Start Filling. Just walk up to the counter. We'll lead you through all the good stuff.

3. Pay Up. Chow Down. Hang out and soak up the scene or carry the love home with you.

Burritto: Giant Flour Tortilla, cilantro-lime rice, choice of pinto or vegetarian black beans, choice of meat, choice of salsa, cheese, sour cream, or guacomole.

Fajita Burrito: Just like a burrito, but with sauteed' peppers and onions instead of beans. The vegetarian fajita has both sauteed veggies and black beans instead of met, and comes with guacomole.

Burritto Bol: Burrito or Fajita in a bowl, no tortilla

Tacos: Three soft flour or four crispy corn tortillas, choice of meat, choice of salsa, cheese, and or sour cream, and romaine lettuce.

Salad: Leafy romaine lettuce with beans, choice of meat, choice of salsa, cheese, with a freshly made chipotle-honey vinigrette

WITH

Chicken: Naturally raised vegetarian fed chicken, marinated for hours in our chipotle pepper adobo, then simply grilled

Steak: Naturally raised beef, marinated for hours in our chipotle adobo, then grilled

Carnitas: Naturally raised pork, seasoned with thyme, bay leaves, juniper berries, and freshly cracked black pepper- seared- then braised for hours.

Barbacoa: Spicy, shredded naturally raised beef, braised with our own chipotle adobo, cumin, cloves, garlic, and oregano

Salad: Any of the above of a bed of leafy romaine lettuce with our chipotle-honey vinigrette

Vegetarian: Includes our fresh made guacomole and vegetarian black beans. Add sauteed peppers and onions, for a vegetarian fajita.

SALSAS:

Roasted Chili-Corn: medium

Tomatillo- Green Chile: medium

Tomatillo- red chile: hot

Fresh Tomato: mild

EXTRAS:

Chips And Guacomole

Chips And Salsa

Guacomole

Chips

Drinks:

Margarita

Specialty Beer

Domestic Beer

Bottled Drinks

Soda

2 Things, Thousands Of Ways. Don't see what you want? Just ask, and we'll put together something special for you.

http://www.chipotle.com

We believe in treating all with respect: the farmers and ranchers, the animaals and the land, and our suppliers who bring it all together for us.

We take pride in knowing where our food comes from. We look back along the supply chain and spend time on the farms and ranches, and at the faciltities where our food is grown, raised, and prepared.

We believe in using meats from animals that are raised naturally, without hormones or antibiotics and are fed a vegetarian diet. Naturally raised meats are in some of our resturants. We're working hard to find more suppliers so we can expand to many more locations.

Our food is the best we can find- for now. We are constantly sarching to make it even better.

It started like this . . . a classically trained chef decides to put his unique culinary take on burritos and tacos. He's focused. Obsessed with using only the finest, freshest ingredients. Runs the kitchen of his little burrito joint like that at the five-star restaurant where he honed his skills. Prepares everything fresh each day. Spends hours getting everything perfect, so your order is ready in seconds. After all, just because food is served quickly is no reason you can't have a great meal.
It's that kind of attention-to-detail that sets Chipotle apart. We only serve a few things, so we can concentrate on doing them very well. And we use only the best ingredients. But they're simple. And that idea, taking something simple and elevating it to something special is what Chipotle is all about. It's all summed up in our name. A chipotle pepper is just a simple jalapeño pepper that's been smoked and dried elevating it from ordinary to something extraordinary. Tasting is believing.

Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE:CMG) (NYSE:CMGB) offers a focused menu of burritos, tacos, burrito bols (a burrito without the tortilla) and salads made from fresh, high-quality raw ingredients, prepared using classic cooking methods and served in a distinctive atmosphere. Through our vision of Food with Integrity, Chipotle is seeking better food not only from a variety of fresh ingredients, but ingredients that are sustainably grown and naturally raised with respect for animals, the land, and the farmers who produce the food. Chipotle opened its first restaurant in 1993 and operates more than 530 restaurants today. For more information, visit www.chipotle.com.


For my Chipotle photos, click below
http://www.x635photos.com/thumbnails.php?album=12



I hope that's given you a good primer on Chipotle, and you'll try it next time you're in NYC or any other community blessed with this place.

Urinal Butterflies?

OK, so as most of you know, my camera comes EVERYWHERE with me, and therefore documents everything I see that interests me.

Since I have a severe bladder disease, I spend a lot of time at urinals in all different kinds of places all over the country, so this is something that interests me. I will be installing one in my next home as well.

I was in the bathroom at JFK Terminal 4 late last night, and it was empty. Now, something I've been noticing on urinals at JFK is that they have this small butterfly graphic on the urinal . Actually, on a lot of urinals throughout JFK I've noticed. Do women have the same thing?



What is this supposed to be for? Is this supposed to be a target, so if you aim there it will all go in, and not some on the floor, therefore saving the janitors some work and keeping the bathroom cleaner? Are us men really that stupid or childish that we need a target to aim at to keep our urine in the urinal? Geesh.


Just wondering what the deal is with these butterflies? I mean, I've seen targets and even ads in the urinals before, but these butterflies have me wondering?

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Childrens Hospital Mini Firehouse Room Unveiled

Today, I had the pleasure of attending the official unveiling for the WMC Childrens Hospitals "Mini Firehouse", located in the Heroes wing.

This room is mostly known for the firetruck cab, made possible by the Tegtmeir Foundation and Ray Nichols. This actual E-One engine cab is fully wheelchair accesible, and has working lights. The children of the hospital love it.

A while ago, two forces, Jim and Gina Arena, and the Greenburgh Uniformed Firefighters Assocaciation Local 1586 (The Firefighters of Hartsdale, Fairview, and Greenville) decided to kick up the room a notch.

Jim and Gina Arena, who are parents that had a sick child that spent many hours in that fire engine, among other things, collected helmet shields from each department in the county and got them hung up in the room.

The Greenburgh Uniformed Firefighters Association IAFF Local 1586, of which I'm a proud member of, led by Vice President and Hartsdale FD Group 3 Firefighter Chip Nanko, raised the funds (with some help from the brothers in Rye), coordinated the effort, and worked with a muralist to make the room look like a realistic firehouse.

The muralist, Lisa Samalin ( http://www.deerstooth.com ) did EXCELLENT work!!! The room looks colorful, cheery, and like an actual firehouse. I liked many of the details, since they're generically replicated from my department's Station 1. I also loved the mural of the turnout gear for Jimmy Boy, which signified a lot about this room for me.

Hartsdale Group 1 firefighter and GUFA Trustee John O'Reilly scratch-built a wooden childrens table with a maltese cross inlay. It's a beautiful addition to the room, as we all know every firehouse needs a kitchen table.

Jim and Gina Arena signify what this room is all about, and their spirit brings a lot of life and hope into this hospital and room.

The Farreris made this hospital happen. The Tegtmeirs started this room off.

It's times like this where I'm proud to be a member of IAFF Local 1586....the men who lead this union truly look out for the best for both their men and their community. Thanks Chip, Billy Malone, and all GUFA members who made this room and other things for the children of this hospital possible.

In closing, the photos do not do this room justice. It is BEAUTIFUL, amazingly detailed, and something that will bring some relief to suffering children. You have to see it for yourself.

Here are the photos
http://www.x635photos.com/thumbnails.php?album=75

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Sperry Car!

I'm very proud of this shot, I've always wanted to add a real Sperry car to my collection, and on my photo hunt today, I shot this one at a siding in Hastings.

Amongst my other train photos today, here's Metro North's GE Genesis #206 at Yonkers Station, 1:17 Local to Poughkeepsie with a track change to Track #2.


Port Of New Jersey 1197, in Bayonne.


And finally for my train photos from today, a CSX Duo heads northbound through Yonkers. Notice the notch which allows it to clear the third rail, thus enabling it to travel in Metro North terrirtory.


As always, all my photos can be seen on http://www.x635Photos.com


Still Being Ignored By UMDNJ*EMS

Well, some of you know my dillemma about not being able to shoot University Hospital EMS- Newark NJ Rescue. I was denied after asking permission face-to-face with the director of the agency.

Here's the topic on EMTBravo Network for further information and history:http://emtbravo.net/index.php?showtopic=14339

Here's an update on the situation.I have made several emails, calls, and letters to people at UMDNJ*EMS and the hospital public relations about obtaining photos, and haven't gotten any reply whatsoever. These were all sent progressively, when I didn't hear from one person, I waited, then went to the next, etc.

So, today I was in Newark, and the Rescue was in the yard. I waited for a few minute, to see if the rescue or ambulances would go out on a call....no such luck. I parked my car, walked down the sidewalk, and managed to shoot standing away from the fence or across the street, but through a gap and over the fence, zoom in, and get a shot of their Rescue from a public street.

I think it is a beautiful piece, and the sun was shining right on it. It's too bad UMDNJ wants to ignore me, I have a ton of respect for their field personel, but this whole situation leaves me with a bad taste about UMDNJ....especially when I've had other agencies I've contacted be helpful and friendly. I'm told to I need formal permission to shoot their rigs in the yard, or get them from public property. Yet, I can't even get a hold of anyone to find out how to get formal permission. I can't chase rigs around Newark, especially when I live 1 hour away.

And here's the original shot, before I zoomed and cropped. You may reconize the yard for the internationally televised TV show shown on TLC and then Discovery Health, "Paramedics". The yard has also has been shown in a number of local media shots and videos, and other photographers have been allowed (I assume) to shoot this rig in the yard.

Take, for example, http://www.fdnytrucks.com/files/html/other...ounty/UMDNJ.htm

Now I have contacts at UMDNJ that have offered to help, but since the Director wanted me to go through the formal channels, I am trying to do that per her to get to photograph this rescue.....

I live 1 hour from Newark, and I can't chase rigs around Newark to get photos, nor do I want to risk my safety by doing so, thats why I want to shoot this in the yard.

I'm not a crazy person, well maybe I am, but I just think that this situation and "policy" is ridiculous.



Sometimes, I'm Glad I Don't Get Fires

Sometime's I'm glad I don't work on the groups that get fires in my department, which would be Group 1/3.

This morning, while walking in my neighborhood, I noticed a HUGE pile of garbage dumped in the parking lot behind my firehouse, covered in water.

Apparently, during shift change, a driver from a private carting firm knocked on the firehouse door, and stated the compactor of his truck was on fire. Sure enough, heavy smoke was showing from the refuse body, and the load was dumped, a line was stretched from the hydrant, the burning parts were pulled apart, and extinguished. Note that during the operation, all FF's had SCBAs, what is pictured below is about 1 hour after the extinguishment was complete. Also note it was 29 degrees out. The truck was towed away, and the garbage company removed the garabge and cleaned up the water and parking lot. This was normal business trash. This same IC had a hazmat incident last week too.

Good job by my brothers!













Monday, December 04, 2006

Apparently, There Is A 1:00 In The Morning, Too.

So, let's ask why Seth is up and online at 0110hrs in the morning, when he really should be looking at the back of his eyelids and dreaming about his next trip to LA. (Luckily, and I say this sarcastically, I'm currently on 4 days of no sleep-insomnia so I wasn't sleeping anyways)

Well, it's 0110hrs here in the City Of Hartsdale FD Communications Center (read 0110hrs!), and our business line phone just rang. Guess who it was? Our friend Rosanna! And she went on for 5 seconds about some commisioner in Rye, and I hung up.

I know someone out there did this to me. Looking at the "Whos Online" list of EMTBravo, and listening to the radio, I have some suspects.

P.S. I'm starting to think this lady used to be a dispatcher, or maybe still is one and is among us. She's way too good at what she does, she knows all the right numbers to call. Hmmmm........

See:
http://emtbravo.net/index.php?showtopic=15002
for further information on this issue

NYS DOT's New Mack Granites

Today, I finally got a good shot of one of NYS*DOT's New Mack Granites. These are the first Mack's I've ever seen for NYS*DOT. They seem to religously use International, or at least that's whose gotten the bid for as long as I can remember. It's nice to see them using Macks.


Saturday, December 02, 2006

Swim Pursuit On Cops Tonight

Tonight, I saw the best, and now my favorite, "Cops" segment.

This particular incident went down with Brevard (?) County Sherriff in Florida. They had a foot pursuit, and the subject went into a large pond. It was in the middle of a golf course, at night.

The officers jumped in and swam right after him, along with the K-9 dog. The officers outswam this guy and made a nice collar.

That perp was lucky there weren't any alligators in that pond!!!

Never seen anything quite like it! Just when Cops was getting dull, boring, and routine, they capture something fun!

Friday, December 01, 2006

Big Crime Scene Right Outside My Window!

So, I'm sitting in my bed, relaxing and watching a Tivo'd episode of Seinfeld, when HFD23 calls me. Now, I heard a ton of sirens, but wasn't feeling so hot so I ignored it instead of trying to find out whats going on.

He says that @ 1 North Central there's a large crime scene outside my house here in the City Of Hartsdale. Sure enough, I open the window here at the EMTBravo offices that overlook Duane Reade, and theres a large police presence, inlcuding the GPD Crime Scene unit.

Word is on the street, and at the neighboring Sunoco station, that it was the "Bomber Robber", who robbed the Subway next to my house and other Westchester establishments by claiming he has a bomb and demanding money. There was reportedly a foot pursuit, and GPD Officer Pat Grady (a cop who wants to be and enjoys being a cop) made the collar. Sounds like quick action by GPD resulted in the capture of this brazen guy.

This is all I have right now, and the info is tentative. Thanks to HFD23 for the info.

Oh yes, and of course, I had to go get some photos. So here they are, before News 12 has it, before The Journal News, x635 and HFD23 have it!

Photos taken @ 2215hrs, Incident began around 2045hrs from what I understand. I really, really need to get a tripod.
Attached Image

Attached Image

Never a dull day here in Hartsdale. Oh yeah, what happened to the storm? I could see stars!!

Home Depot Hawthorne Spy Shots


Well, after a MASSIVE, MASSIVE amount of site work and trucking in fill, Home Depot in Hawthorne is close to opening. This Home Depot is on Dana Road off 9A, opposite the Dana Road the WC Fire Training Center is on.

Hopefully, this Home Depot will be clean and well stocked, and not dirty, cluttered, poorly stocked, packed, and skelly like the one in Yonkers. And it's closer then Port Chester, which is my closest nice HD. Now only for a Lowes in Westchester. Hawthorne's going to be very convient for many central Westchester people.

From what I understand, this is going to be a much "freindlier" home depot, with bright lighting and wider aisles, and a much more upscale layout then the typical Hoome Depot. More like Lowes concept.


Oddly enough, for those that remember, there used to be a Lloyd's Home Improvement Center right across the street (then it was Tops Appliance, now Bloomingdales Furniture Clearance Center). I loved Lloyds, my father and I used to go there as a kid to pick up stuff for fixing up the house. Now, years after they went under, here comes Home Depot right across the street.
And to those Greenburgh residents, the tax dollars from this could have been ours....but Paul Feiner and his adminsitration didn't want it in the town, so Home Depot moved it a few feet up, over the line into Mount Pleasant, but still on the Union Carbide property. After some vicous court battles, this scaled down Home Depot is the result.

I'm sure this Home Depot will also add some run volume for Hawthorne Fire/EMS.
Here's one more photo of a wall (I think) they are building so they can widen 9A at Dana Road and add turning lanes.