Sunday, December 23, 2007

Boton College Vs. Northeastern University

Yesterday, Kristen, my mother, sister, and I traveled to Boston College to attend the Boston College vs. Northeastern Mens basketball game. I graduated from Northeastern, and my sister from BC, so it was a fun game and rivalary. (My mother roots for BC though-crazy BC Men's basketball and football superfan) BC won, but only by a point and both teams played a great game. We had a great time, and a great dinner at Vinny T's in Brookline afterwards.

Believe it or not, this was my first time at a live sporting event. I must say, I enjoyed it tremendously. Much more fun to be there in person then to watch it on TV.

Also, I noticed Chipotle, my favorite burrito resturant chain, is making it's move into New England, opening two locations. One is in Brookline, MA..down the street from BC, and the other suprised me even West Warwick, RI where Bickford's used to be. And, across the street from Walt's Roast Beef......a favorite stop for me when I choose I-95 to travel home from Boston.

Why can everyplace else in the country get Chipotle but Westchester? CHIPOTLE...come to the Hudson Valley already so I don't have to travel by train once a week to Grand Central to satisfy my craving at the Chipotle near Lexington Ave on 44th St. I can guarentee it would be inmmensly popular!!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

A Christmas Present From Bee-Line

I'd like to thank my good friend for this awesome Christmas gift.

It's a limited edition model of a Bee-Line Orion V, made by Loayza Enterprises
The model bus is numbered for 600, all Orion V's of this type operated by Bee-Line are 601 and above. It also reflects Route 20/Whte Plains on the front, but Route 20 usually operates with an artic (articulating bus). It is very detailed and accurate.

An awesome piece that I am very lucky to have!

Monday, December 17, 2007

The Farnsworth Invention-GO SEE IT!

Last Sunday, December 9th, I had the chance to go see "The Farnsworth Invention", starring Hank Azaria (Voice of many characters on "The Simpsons") and written by Aaron Sorkin ("West Wing" creator)

This drama was based on the actual invention of the television, and all the drama and conterversy surrounding the main characters, Philo Fansworth and David Sarnoff. I found the show to be fast-paced, and packed with information. I went into the show after reading the reviews, expecting it to be so-so, but I really, really loved the show. The acting and the way the information was presented were both excellent. Very stimulating, great diologue, exactly what you would expect from Aaron Sorkin. Both Hank Azaria (David Sarnoff) and Jimmi Simpson (Philo Farnsworth) were both terrific in their roles. Hank Azaria's voice in the role of Sarnoff was great, sounded very similar to "Moe The Bartender" on "The Simpsons". Also had a great stage presence.

I highly reccomend this play. It's playing at the Music Box Theatre at 235 W. 45th St. in Manhattan. I don't know how long it's playing for, especially with Hank Azaria in the cast, so I'd see it as soon as possible.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

New Route 9A-Taconic State Parkway Flyover

This week, while returning from Croton, I noticed they opened the new Route 9A Southbound to Taconic State Parkway Southbound flyover, similar to the northbound version on the opposite side.

This makes things so much easier, no more getting off 9A in Hawthorne and getting off the exit and having to go down the road and get on that stupid BRP/Taconic/Sprain merge. Now, you just exit 9A and get directly onto the Taconic.

And, the project seems to have been completed really quickly. For once, a nice addition to our roadway system in the Lower Hudson Valley.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Visit To Orlando 12-1-07

Last week, Kris and I visited friends who live in Orlando, FL.

We had a great time, we visited Disney World (haven't been there since I was 4). I've got to say, Thunder Mountain and Space Mountain rock!

We also want to this amazing event called "Ice", at the Gaylord Palms Resort And Convention Center in Orlando. They fly in world famous Chinese Ice Sculptors, and take a large part of the convention floor and tents, and create these giant ice sculptures. You're given a parka as you walk through the exhibits, since it's nine degrees. When you exit, you have the option of taking a trip down a slide made entirely of ice. Really, really cool thing to do while in Florida during Christmastime!

One of the highlights of the trip was flying jetBlue out of HPN (Westchester County Airport). The trip down, we departed 5 minutes late and arrived 1/2 hour early! On the trip back, we were treated to an exciting landing courtesy of 40+ MPH wind gusts. Despite the plane rocking from side to side, the jetBlue pilot did an amazing job, and we landed smoothly, as the passengers erupted in applause. But we were stuck on the plane for 15 minutes after arriving at the gate.....because it was so windy, they couldn't get the airstairs to the plane safely.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Interesting England EMS Story

So, last night I picked my sister up from JFK airport. She is home for winter break. She is currently in graduate school on a full scholarship at Oxford in England.

Anyways, she tells me a story on the way home that she was at a party (in England), and a friend slammed his finger in the door, and in the process literally amputated it off. So, he's bleeding profusely, she calls 999 (their 911) while another friend puts the fingertip on ice.
The 999 operator says they'll send an ambulance, and hangs up. A few minutes later, the 999 operator calls back, and says there aren't any ambulances available, that they're all out at life-threatening emergencies and they'll have to figure out how to get to the hospital on their own. My sister informs the dispatcher that she's at a party with drunken college kids, this kid is bleeding a ton, in pain, and doesn't look good. The 999 dispatcher suggests someone drive him to the hospital. My sister again requests an ambulance be sent, and the dispatcher refused, saying there wasn't one ambulance within 45 miles that could take the call (in all of Oxfordshire County, which is pretty populated). She suggested they call a taxi (which where they were from experience would take a while and cost a lot), my sister asks them to send a police car, they say it isn't an emergency or police matter. She also informs the dispatcher that most of the kids are American and aren't familiar with where the proper hospital is, and the dispatcher says again to call a cab. So, finally my sister hangs up and finds one of their sober friends to come over, gets the kid, the finger, and brings him to the ED after having to call directory assistance because the dispatcher refused to provide hospital information.

England has socialist health care. Although I did enjoy "Sicko", this wasn't the scenario portrayed by Michael Moore in his movie.

Intresting story from my sister Danielle, just thought you all would find it interesting as well.

The 2007 Granville Christmas Tree

So, based on the fact that I'll hopefully be living just a little north of the area sometime soon (grrr on the housing market), I took the Jones Family Farm as recommended by friends on the EMTBravo Network forums.

We went to get our tree this afternoon. It was AWESOME! I couldn't believe the amount of trees they still had-rolling hills with hundreds of acres of beautiful trees. A very busy but very organized operation. I hope this place stays around for a while, and no greedy developer gets his hand on it.

And, coming up on the Merritt Parkway, one out of every 5 cars had a tree almost guarenteed from this place on their roof.

Jones Family Farms, Shelton CT- HIGHLY RECCOMENDED!!!!

Here's me with the tree, right before I take it's life so it can sit in my living room for a month and then get tossed out....but I guess it's good in a way, it keeps money in agriculture and the tree usually reused somehow benefical. Plus, it's pretty, fun to decorate, smells nice and puts me in the Christmas spirit.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Metro North and Bee Line

Whenever I can, I like to use public transportation to get places, especially when I travel into Manhattan. It's so much easier then driving.

I was thinking today, we are so lucky in Westchester to have Bee-Line and Metro-North.

Both agencies have a top notch, clean fleet, friendly staff, and reliable, customer responsive service. I love riding both, and it's always a pleasure getting to and from my destination.

To the management and staff of Bee Line and Metro North (especially the Harlem line), you guys ROCK!

It's also nice to have NYC Transit, especially the subways, although always packed, they compliment the above agency's services nicely.

I should note, it's also sad that here in Westchester County, we have a better centralized bus system then ambulance system.

Back To Blackberry

As some of you may know, around this time last year, I upgraded my phone to a Nextel Blackberry i7100.

If you know that, then you know a month later, I got rid of it for the Nextel i580 rugged phone. I disliked the Nextel Blackberry because it was a non-QWERTY keypad, and it was big and bulky, and wasn't a comfortable phone.

So last month, I decided to try a Motorola Q from Sprint. I really, really liked the phone, but it didn't have the push email capabilities I desired, so I returned it after my month's trial was up.

This week, I ordered and recieved a Blackberry Curve "Titanium" 8310 from ATT Wireless (Formerly Cingular). This is in addition to my Nextel i580, which I'm keeping for a phone. The Blackberry is for data only. I really love it, especially the Blackberry push email service- you can't beat it. It's extremly small and light and very low profile, which is great since I'm also carrying the somewhat bulky i580. It also is very intuitive and easy to use, and features the new very easy trackball....and most importantly to me, has a full QWERTY keyboard.

I'm learning to use the email and device, it has so many features. Hopefully will help me with my scheduling and tasks as well. I'm really excited to learn how to use the camera, and how to make entries to the blog wirelessly. With the camera, should make for some neat entries when I'm not near a computer yet my mind wants to post.

I'm still debating whether "tethering" myself to a computer even more is a good thing or a bad thing. I'll keep you updated....

Monday, November 26, 2007


"Becuase Thirsty Is Too Late"
Like many people, I have trouble keeping myself properly hydrated. Sometimes, I won't have my first sip of water until late afternoon.

I recently heard about this unique product called "Hydracoach". It's the world's first intelligent water bottle. I picked up one today for only $29.99 and am excited to use it.

Product Features
Calculates your personal hydration needs
Tracks your fluid consumption through the day
Paces you to ensure
hydration goals are met
Motivates you to stay properly hydrated
strength and endurance

Product Description Product
Known as the world's first interactive water bottle, the
HydraCoach looks just like other water bottles, but with one notable
difference--a built-in hydration monitor. This patented technology lets users
program their own personal hydration needs into the integrated computer and
track their daily water consumption sip by sip. It's the best possible way to
achieve optimal hydration whether sitting at work or running on the treadmill.
Among the measurable details are total amount consumed, total elapsed time since
the computer started, average hourly and daily consumption, percent of daily
goal, and total sips. And technophobes needn't fret, as all you have to do to
calculate your personal hydration goal is enter your weight. Other features
include a built-in clock and calendar, an easy-to-clean polycarbonate shell, a
soft silicone mouth piece, and a finger ring. The blue HydraCoach is backed by a
one-year warranty.

Product Description
Proper hydration is a combination of the right amount of
water, consumed at the right pace and HydraCoach is smart enough to figure it
out for you. The world's first interactive water bottle is smartly programmed to
calculate your personal hydration needs and then it tracks your water intake, it
paces your consumption for optimal benefits. To motivate you to stay healthily
hydrated, the built in LCD displays the amount and percentage of water consumed
relative to your daily hydration goals. Also shows time, date, fluid intake per
hour and time elapsed. Silicone mouthpiece is angled for easy sipping. Features
a large finger ring that also hooks on a carabiner clip. Measures 11" x 3"
diameter and holds 22 oz. Runs on a CR2032 button cell battery included.
One-year warranty.
Better hyration can lead to Daily Use of the HydraCoach leads
• Improved muscle tone
• Appetite suppression
• Increased fat
• Conversion of food into energy
• Transportation of nutrients and
oxygen to cells
• Enhanced strength and endurance
• Rapid removal of body
waste and toxins
• Protection against heat exhaustion
• Insulation in the
• Body temperature regulation
• Increased cushioning for your
• Increased protection for your organs
I'm excited to use this product, and will keep you updated as to if it meets what it promises.
More product information:

"Sicko" On DVD

Just a head's up, Michael Moore's "Sicko", a comparitive look at the US healthcare system, has just been released on DVD.

Even if you don't like Michael Moore, I encourage you to watch this film, with an open mind. It's fascinating, and funny, and I highly reccomend it.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

New Britain, CT EMS: How Do They Do It?

Yesterday, I had the oppurtunity to visit New Britain EMS, to photograph 2 pieces of their fleet. (I hope I can return to photograph their entire fleet more extensively)

Now, at least the part I saw of it, the City Of New Britain doesn't seem to be economically thriving, and many areas appear to be run down, and I figure a very high run volume.

However, EMS appears extremly well funded, with a brand new spacious modern building, a brand new, nicely spec'd and maintained fleet, and ample equipment.Does anyone know how they do it?

If they can have such a apparently top-notch EMS agency, how come other cities in the northeast can't follow their lead???

By the way, they have the sharpest EMS paint scheme I have ever seen.

Medic 25, 2007 Ford F-450 Super Duty 4x4/Frazer (Frazer is a very unique ambulance, the entire module and emergency lighting are powered by a small generator, which takes a huge load of the engine and chasis. This results in colder air conditioning and warmer heating, brightly lit interior, and plenty of power. The inside of the module is built very rugged, for high volume EMS. These ambulances are popular in Texas, and I don't know of any agency that operates them in the Northeast. The only other time I have seen one was at the JEMS show in '05, when they were trying to make a push into the northeast. I had a chance to check one out then, and was very, very impressed. I'm suprised more agencies haven't loooked into Frazer. )

New Britain, CT Medic 25
2007 Ford F-450 Super Duty 4x4/Frazer

Medic 13, Duty Supervisor and Special Operations Vehicle
2007 Dodge 2500 Turbodiesel/Swab

Sunday, November 18, 2007

My Worcester/Boston Photo Hunt 11-17-07

Yesterday, I traveled to Worcester and the Boston Metro area to shoot some apparatus I've been after for a while.

I'm excited with what I had the oppurtuinity to shoot and who I got to meet along the way. A great day overall and helped to take my mind off other things and lift my spirit a little.

MA FF's are great, very kind and hospitable, very different atmosphere then the NY Metro area.

Thanks to everyone who helped me along the way.

I'd like to thank paul612 for his help and driving me around the Worcester area to get some of these shots.

.(The only things I missed was some Boston FD and EMS units, since they seemed to be running like crazy and not in quarters when I came around, and Newton's new Pierce Arrow XT Tower Ladder, which had a warranty issue, it blew a solenoid moments before I arrived and wouldn't start. Also, because of time and daylight issues, couldn't get some more on my list, but that just gives me the excuse to come up again!)

The results of this "photo hunt" can be seen at

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Matt Lamb

Matthew Lamb, an EMT for Empire State Ambulance, died this past Thursday after the ambulance he was riding in struck a tree. At the time, he was on duty with Empire State Ambulance, returning from a transport.

Matthew was 25 years old, and engaged to the love of his life, Jennifer. He was a very active member of Carmel FD, and Carmel VAC. Matthew was in traumatic arrest at the scene, but resuscitated and transported to Hudson Valley Hospital. Although he was clinically brain dead, he was flown via Stat Flight from Hudson Valley Hospital to Westchester Medical Center, so that he could give others a chance at life by donating his organs.

On Thursday morning, November 8th, at 5AM, Matthew died with his fiance and family by his side, after he saved several more lives.

Matthew was loved by everyone who knew him, and the devastation of his tragic fate has sent shockwaves throughout the Hudson Valley and beyond.

I didn't know Matt, and I regret that. In my five years running EMTBravo, this is one of the biggest outpourings of support from the EMTBravo community I've seen since Jimmy Boy also tragically passed away.

I really believe in fate and karma, and believe God took Matthew because he needed him for a higher purpose. But one is still left to ponder how many wounds that has caused to those of us still living? It's caused wounds, but I think many of us will carry on Matt's legacy, and lessons learned from him. If anything, we've learned to value life and appreciate every moment we have with each other, because you never know how your life can change in a second.

As a newlywed, I couldn't imagine the devastation of losing my fiance, and that's what hit me the hardest. It's very apparent that Jen and Matt were madly in love, and they were ready for a blissful life together. I don't know Jen, but my prayers are with her, and I know Matt's will be there with her in spririt for the rest of her life. But, there's no real words for that kind of devastation, no way to fill that void. She'll have a lot to carry with her each day, but love will always be there as will the support of all her friends and family who also love her.

If you're a registered member of, we ask that you take a moment to sign the online condolence card, which will be printed and sent to the family.

Matt will be buried tommorow, but he'll NEVER be forgotten, and I will make sure that he's never just some inscription in a memorial.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Recycling Info On Sanitation Trucks

Currently, in the Town Of Greenburgh, where I live, the sanitation department used to collect all recyclables every Wednesday. Now, every Wednesday is different, and it can be affected by holidays.

Our sanitation trucks, on the packer body, say "Greenburgh Recyles" in permanent lettering. I think putting a changeable sign, promoting what gets recycled this week, and any other messages, such as Hazardous Materials Collection day, Change Your Batteries in your smoke detector, etc should be placed on our sanitation trucks. Basically, they're a giant billboard that you see several times each day while driving through the Town Of Greenburgh. The Town shops could probaly fabricate a metal bracket or similar, and changeable signs.

We have one of the best sanitation departments in the county, so why not make it more progressive and use vehicles we have on the streets everyday push a message?

Wonder Bread Snowplow

Well, I've been waiting for this unit to be set up for a photo op, and today was finally the day.

Does anyone else find this concept wierd? I can't imagine this being a good plow vehicle????

Monday, November 05, 2007

Heartbreaking News: Ted Knoesel Passes Away

This morning, I recieved heartbreaking news....a longtime friend of mine passed away.

Ted Knoesel was an ex-chief in the Ardsley Fire Department, where he served 57 years. He meticuloulsy maintained the department's 1928 Seagrave, "Old Betsy".

Ted owned Ted's Texaco (now County Gulf) in Ardsley for many years, and was an excellent mechanic and wrecker operator. He was friendly, and, as he was born in Ardsley and lived there his entire life, everybody in Ardsley knew who he was. Even in his retirment, he served as a crossing guard at Ardsley schools until his wife passed away. He didn't do it for the money, he always loved to work and be active. Ted was a survior himself, valiantly overcoming several critical illnesses.

Ted lost his wife of 39 years, Sheila, last year after her valiant and brief fight against Leukemia.

His son, TJ Knoesel, is a Westchester County Police Officer.

I knew Ted initially through my father and grandmother, who were friends with him. I got to know Ted myself when I served alongside him in Ardsley FD. I will miss Ted a great deal. He tought me so much, he was so energetic, enthusiastic, and giving. I have many memories with him during the 10 years I served with AFD, and he will always remain in my heart.

My condolences go out to the Knoesel family.

KNOESEL, THEODORE I. November 05, 2007 Theodore I. Knoesel
, 83, a lifelong resident of Ardsley, died November 3, 2007, after a brief
illness. He was the son of the late Frank and Helen (Neppert) Knoesel. In 1961
he married Sheila Hollis. She died in 2006. For over 25 years, he was the owner
of Ted's Texaco in Ardsley. For 57 years, Ted was a dedicated member of the
Ardsley Volunteer Fire Department, where he was an Ex-Chief. In his retirement
he has been a school crossing guard for the Ardsley School District. Ted's
family wishes to express their gratitude and appreciation to all the
schoolchildren that brought such happiness to their dad, as he worked as a
crossing guard. He is survived by his loving children, Ilene (Nick) Caruso,
Norine (Ronnie) Roemer, Susan (Frank) Leone, Mary Pat (Dennis) Kopek, Kristina
(Michael) Morano, Jr., and T.J. (Keira) Knoesel, 14 beloved grandchildren and
one beloved great-grandson. Mass of the Resurrection 9:30 am Thursday, Sacred
Heart Church, Dobbs Ferry. Visiting 7-9 pm Tuesday and 2-4 and 7-9pm Wednesday, Edwards-Dowdle Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to eitherthe Ardsley Fire Dept. or the CDLS Foundation at EDWARDS-DOWDLE FUNERAL HOME, INC. 64 Ashford Avenue Dobbs Ferry, New York

Friday, November 02, 2007

Top Secret Genetics Research Facility In Hartsdale, NY

I'm a fan of the NBC show, "Heroes", which airs Monday nights at 9 on NBC.

So, I'm watching the show, and Dr. Mohinder Suresh brings his patient he's studying to a top-secret genetics lab and hospital in Hartsdale, NY.

Pretty cool shout-out on an international TV series, but I don't know of any top-secret genetics research facilities in this town, and I've lived here for 28 years and am a firefighter here, lol. I wonder how they picked Hartsdale to place this fictional lab?

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

B And H Photo Superstore New Digital Photography Department

B and H Photo, the NYC photo mecca at 34th St. and 9th Ave, opened their new Digital Photo department today. I am proud to be one of the first customers of the new department (a Hoya 62MM Digital UV Protective filter)

Although it's not fully completed yet, it is HUGE! It encompasses the entire second floor, and has a lot more digital photography equipment on display, as well as more counter people and new technologies to make the buying process even easier. The new department is really, really impressive!

I was sure suprised when I walked in, I didn't even know they were doing this expanision! If you ever need anything related to digital photography, or want a nice place to browse, check out B and H!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Coffee Milk

After living a couple years in Woburn, MA (suburb of Boston), I grew to love coffee milk. Those that know me know I am a choclate milk addict, and this twist on that really tasted good!

Now, I don't drink regular coffee, and never have, but coffee milk grew to be my morning beverage of choice. After moving back home to NY, I couldn't find it anywhere else in the whole country. I'd have to drive up I-95 to central CT a little when I had a craving. But now, like other New England regional products, I can find it in Stop And Shop, since they're based in Boston, MA.

Here's my favorite version of it:

And, as usual, Wikipedia gives us the lowdown....

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

30 Days Coming Back!

Last night, while watching the incredible season finale of "Damages", I saw a promo for a new season of one of my favorite shows, "30 Days". It is a reality show produced by Morgan Spurlock ("Supersize Me"). The test subject, sometimes Morgan himself, puts himself into a sitation for 30 days, while the camera documents it. In past episodes, he's spent 30 days living in poverty, living as an illegal immigrant, and in jail, amongts other things.

Such a great show, very well done and it gives a unique perspective to current events. I can't wait to see this new season on FX!

Information On The Show From Wikipedia:

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Metro North Railroad Harmon Shops Open House 10-20-07

On Saturday, October 20th 2007 I had the pleasure of attending the Metro North Railroad Open House, which took place at their Harmon Shops facility in Croton.

When I arrived at 10AM, the line for the shuttle bus was already long. Arriving at the shops, Peekskill VAC had 75-B-2 on display, and Metro North ESU had their radio truck and equipment out.

Upon entering the shops, I was given a map to guide me through the various exhibits in the shop. All divisions of Metro North had some sort of exhibit, and many trains and related equipment were on display. Although I've been to this facility a few times before, it always impresses me.

The hospitality of the Metro North staff at the event was amazing. Very friendly and knowlegable, which is not a suprise at all as the staff encountered on the trains- the people of Metro North that are seen the most- are always very friendly, pleasant, and outgoing.

I learned and saw some cool things at this open house, and am very appreciative that Metro North puts on such a comprehensive event for families and enthusiasts.

However, I did have one idea for the event.

I think that Metro North should open the event 1 hour early to those who want to take photographs. Several times throughout the event, I was berated by obnoxious, territorial "railfans" who had their tripods out and, in a gang like fashion, would't let anyone near some of the train displays for several minutes while they got their shots. They even yelled at little kids trying to look over the massive locomotives. This event had a huge turnout, including a lot of families and kids. A great event for all, but maybe a portion should be reserved for those who really want to lookover the displays without having to wade through little kids running everywhere and crowding each display and train. Although if I was a kid, I'd probaly behave the same way, because this event was awesome.

Anyways, I am VERY appreciative to Metro North for holding such a comprehensive event for people of all ages, especially nowadays. Very unique, and that's what makes it THE best commuter railroad in the world.

Safety Sign At Metro North Harmon Shops

This was the October safety banner hanging at Metro-North Railroad's Harmon Shops on 10-20-07. Interesting and somewhat comical way to deliver a safety message.
More on the open house a little later, just wanted to share this pic.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Bully Of The 8:02 To Penn Station

Definetly an interesting story....

October 14, 2007 -- He's the self-appointed etiquette enforcer of the Long
Island Rail Road - only he's more Charles Bronson than Emily Post.
Chat too loudly or yap on your cellphone too long near John Clifford, and the hulking, 6-foot-4 ex-cop will get in your face.
Protest or persist, and he's apt to
get ugly.
Cowering commuters on the 8:02 a.m. from Long Beach to Penn
Station say they've witnessed Clifford scream, punch and poke, swat cellphones,
pour coffee over heads, and even throw an egg sandwich - an incident he denies
but which earned him the nickname "The Eggman" among fellow travelers.


Brian Williams To Host "SNL" Tommorow Night

Brian Williams, anchor of NBC Nightly New With Brian Williams, the succesor to Tom Brokaw, will be hosting Saturday Night Live tommorow on NBC at 11:30PM.

From what I am told, Brian Williams was a former volunteer FF in New Jersey (he actually hosted a series on NBC about Fire Departments a while back), and also- I'm not sure if this is true- a resident of New Caanan and grand marshall of their FD's 125th anniversary parade.

Definetly a unique host, SNL, for the most part, has really sucked the past couple of seasons- hopefully Brian Williams will show the funny side of a man we trust to bring us the most critical of news.

"Into The Wild"

Last night, I saw what had to be one of, if not, the best movie I have ever seen.

It's entitled "Into The Wild". It's a motion picture based on the book of the same name. The movie is about the life and death of Christopher McCandless , who, in April 1992, graduated from Emory University. He came from a wealthy family, and instead of taking on a career, he decided to give up all his money and wordly possesions to become a "wanderer", and eventually live alone in the wilderness of Alaska.

From the time he abandoned his life as he knew it, to the moment he died, it was a complete adventure. He kept a detailed journal which dramatically portrayed his days on his way to and in Alaska, and the people he met along the way. His spiritual journey and some of his reflections on life were fascinating, and I can completly indetify with some.

I don't want to give too much away, but go see the movie-it's one of the ones where you HAVE to see it on the big screen, especially with the beauty of the wilderness of Alaska as the background for portions of the movie.

The movie was EXCELLENT, the acting and the photography was amazing and beautiful (as was the landscape) I highly reccomend it. Now, I'm going to read the book.

If you want more information on this amazing story, there are excellent articles on Wikipedia:

Thursday, October 11, 2007

NBC plans to sell Burbank studio, move to Universal City

WOW. HUGE news. NBC's Burbank facilty is massive. I'm shocked, this seems to have come out of nowhere.

Also, the NY changes are equally dramatic.

Really a shakeup in infastructure. Could be a really good thing though.

And I guess that NBC let the cat out of the bag that Conan "is slated" to move to LA when he takes over "The Tonight Show" from Jay Leno in 2009.

NBC plans to sell Burbank studio, move to Universal City
AP Posted: 2007-10-11 18:05:37

BURBANK, California (AP) - NBC Universal plans to sell part of its site in
"beautiful downtown Burbank," home to the studio housing "The Tonight Show With
Jay Leno," and move to a new broadcast facility across the street from Universal

NBC (which is owned by General Electric Co.) will take the "Access
Hollywood" set, local news operations and other facilities with it when it moves
into the new location in 2011.

Meanwhile, it plans to move "The Tonight Show" to the nearby Universal
Studios' Stage One lot when Conan O'Brien takes over hosting duties upon Leno's
departure in 2009.

The new facilities will be located in a new building adjacent to a subway
line connecting Universal City, in the southeast corner of the San Fernando
Valley, to downtown Los Angeles.

They will be across the street from Universal Studios, the Universal
Studios Hollywood theme park and the CityWalk tourist destination.

"When looking at our long-term business operations, we realized there are
very real strategic and synergistic opportunities in bringing our production
facilities and talent together to grow in Los Angeles," Tom Smith, senior vice
president of West Coast real estate for NBC Universal said in a statement posted
Thursday on the KNBC-TV Web cite.

Company officials said they are pursuing opportunities to sell part of the
34-acre studio lot in the Burbank Media District. They would lease it back for
news operations until the University City facility is finished.

NBC also announced that, starting Oct. 22, MSNBC will begin originating
from its new home at Manhattan's 30 Rockefeller Plaza.

The switchover from MSNBC's old Secaucus, N.J., home base will solidify an
effort to combine the New York-based operations of NBC News and MSNBC under one
roof. The centralized newsgathering facility will include the editorial and
production staffs for nearly all NBC News and MSNBC programs.

MSNBC will air from an 8,500-square-foot studio equipped with a motorized
platform for the anchors that can travel on a 50-foot-long track.

Also on Oct. 22, "NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams" will christen its
refurbished Studio 3C, the network said.

NBC's Burbank complex, purchased in 1951, was made famous by the late
"Tonight" show host Johnny Carson's frequent tongue-in-cheek references to its
location in "beautiful downtown Burbank."

Burbank Mayor Marsha Ramos said she was sad to learn the show is leaving
the Los Angeles suburb of some 105,000 residents.

"`The Tonight Show' put us on the map," she told the Los Angeles Times.
"Without that line from Johnny Carson about beautiful downtown Burbank, most
people wouldn't even know that we exist."

NBC officials say the new facility will include virtual studios,
interactive graphic capabilities, a glass-walled newsroom and other modern

Its news set will be modeled in part after the network's "Today" show set
in New York and will host the "Today" show and NBC's "Nightly News" whenever
those programs broadcast from Los Angeles.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Third Watch: The Complete First Season On DVD Feb '08

According to, Third Watch: The Complete First Season will be released on DVD in Febuary of '08.

This will include the entire first season, including the pilot episode, and many special features.

I liked the first season a lot, I'm glad to see a lot of my favorite shows getting released on DVD (like the recent release of CHiPs, and Emergency.

Third Watch On DVD:

Monday, October 08, 2007

The Apparatus Of The City Of Hackensack, NJ FD

Today, I had the pleasure of shooting most of the fleet of the Hackensack, NJ FD.

I also got several other Bergen County departments, of which I'll post at a later date.

Hackensack is a lot closer then I thought it was, and has a very interesting setup. Busy department, is the county seat of Bergen County and is very densly populated with a mix of residential, commerical, industrial, and highways. The apparatus is definetly put through it's paces, and though it won't win any parades, it shows how hard the FF's of Hackensack FD work.

Northern NJ in general has some very nice apparatus, and I think I'm going to start shooting over there some more!

Special thanks to FF Mike Martinelli of Hackensack Truck 1 Platoon 1 for the invite. It's really appreciated, and helps to take my mind off other things going on and gives me somthing to do.

Also, thanks to the members of Hackensack FD and the other departments I shot (keeping them a secret for now) for their AWESOME hospitality! If it wasn't for my tight gas budget, and limited time, I could have stayed all week shooting apparatus!

Anyways, I had a great day today, the photos are posted on

Tappan Zee Bridge News

In Tappan Zee Bridge news:

Today, I notice they are placing new barricade/side rails on the bridge to replace the small, low obosolete (IMO) grate-type rail currently there. I can't get a photo, but the barriers look like a steel or heavy aluminum tall "Jersey Barrier", with a rail along the top. These seem much better then what they have now. It seems it would contain a car or truck from plunging off the bridge, and also make anybody contemplating jumping off the bridge think twice, as it will be harder to scale this new style barrier.

It's currently installed on the northbound side, on the causeway portion of the bridge right before you enter Nyack. I don't know if they're going to do the whole bridge, or those are just prototypes. I hope they do the whole bridge, because it's sorely needed.

Also, a new Wrecker 1 is about to be placed into service for the Tappan Zee Bridge Patrol. It's currently being readied at the NYSTA West Nyack Equipment Maintainence Section. Photos on

Chasis is a Sterling Acterra, body is by Weld-Built, a Long Island based company that specializes in special service wreckers for tunnel and bridge patrols. Although this appears like it can tow a medium size truck, I'm suprised they didn't get one of those self loading wheel lift wreckers, where the operator doesn't even have to get out of the truck to load the car. Seems that would be safer and more efficient.

Anways, it's good to see a new addition to the Bridge Patrol fleet, it's sorely needed and deserved as there current fleet is showing its age...and mileage. These guys deserve top notch equipment and staffing, just like the George Washington Bridge has.

This is a heavily trafficed, (proven) dangerous bridge, and needs more funding for the Bridge Patrol program.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Orange County Choppers New World Heaquarters Progress Newburgh NY OCC American Chopper

This morning, I decided to take a ride up to Newburgh, to check out the progress of Orange County Choppers (of "American Chopper" fame) new World Headquarters, located off Route 17K by the I-87/I-84 interchange in Newburgh.

I had passed it on my way home from Montreal last week, suprised knowing it was being built but actually seeing it, and was too tired to backtrack and get photos.

Initially, I had heard that this project was being funded by the Discovery Channel, and it was going to be a production studio coupled with a tourist attraction (viewing area for visitors to watch bikes being built, etc) as well as OCC's headquarters and manufacturing facilty. I thought this was supposed to be completed months agos.

Also, apparently the OCC owners have their own construction company, "Full Throttle Construction", or at least it seems because they have a similar logo.

I don't know if "American Chopper" still has the same popularity it once did, especially since they switched from Discovery to TLC. Also, whenever I tune in it's always a repeat or the same old stuff.

That's why I think this building came a little too late for fans, but maybe chopper enthusiasts are now the main target.

Impressive looking building, and I look foward to visiting the completed "OCC World Headquarters"

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

A Little Taste Of Virgin America

Yesterday, I had the oppurunity to check out a brand new Virgin AMERICA plane. As many of you know, Virgin AMERICA launched last month, with daily service between New York JFK, Washington-Dulles, San Francisico, Las Vegas, and my favorite, Los Angeles LAX. Although they share a name, this is a seperate airline from Virgin Atlantic.

Virgin AMERICA is a low-cost, domestic US carrier, but you wouldn't know it. They've set themselves up to compete with jetBlue, and as much as I love 'Blue, I must admit I'm excited for when the time comes that I can try flying Virgin AMERICA .

Virgin America is currently using brand new Airbus A-320's.

Departing from Terminal 4 at JFK, you check in at either a kiosk or the ticketing agent, if you haven't checking in online. The kiosk is very stylish, and prints you out a unique boarding card. Not a flimsy piece of reciept-like paper that some other airlines do.

The boarding process is quick and smooth. You walk down a long ramp that has large glass skylights all around. As you go into the tube and approach the plane, you see a purple glow. It's mood lighting that changes colors. Once your on the plane, there's some variations in the colors, and it's kind of soothing.

As you enter the plane, the stylishly dressed young crew gives you a warm welcome. The carpeting is black. You pass through a small "First class" cabin, which has some extra ameneties such as larger seats, but isn't a full first class. As you approach the coach section, the brand new plane is impressive. The black all leather seats are very nicely contoured, and seem very comfortable. The white plastic seatbacks add to the style. There were plenty of blankets to go around once, if not twice. Overhead space seems plentiful.

The in-flight entertainment system is called "Red", and is interactive. Not only can you watch TV (not as many channels as jetBlue), but you can order a ton of movies, music, play games by yourself or against other passengers, or even IM anyone in the cabin. The RED system can be used to order food or drink with your credit card after the initial complimentary beverage service. The flight attendant will bring your selection within 5 minutes. From what I'm told, the RED system is experiencing a few glitches, but VA is working to resolve them.

One feature I really liked is each row has two 110V outlets. So, if your laptop or iPod battery dies you can re-charge in in flight.

The Customer Service and staff that showed me the plane were extremly friendly, and I have a good feeling about this airline.

Virgin America is COOL!

Related Article On Virgin America On Wikipedia:

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Best Cops Ever!

Tonight, COPS aired their 20th anniversary special on Fox.

This episode was full of action packed and unique clips filmed over the 20 seasons COPS has been on the air. The clips ranged from funny to dramatic to dangerous to outright shocking.

One reason why I liked the episode is because it portrayed the dangers Law Enforcment Officers face everyday, and the public doesn't usually see. This episode should be shown to community groups, with some narrative, to detail why LEO's use the force they do sometimes, because they want to go home at the end of the shift. I also liked this episode because it demonstrated how Tasers can effectively and quickly descalate an incident.

I'm sure this could have, easily, been a two hour special, if not more.

I hope they release this on DVD, with bonus footage.

The x635 Lego Project

Right now, I'm going through an extremly stressful period caused by a few isolated malicous, lying, heartless, and corrupt individuals. Since I'm cleared by my doctors and ready for full duty as a Firefighter again, yet not back at work despite doing all I can do to do to fight the above, I've been looking for ways to keep myself occupied, and my stress levels caused completly by the above people under control.

So, while in Montreal, I found this really cool Lego Technic set. I'm going to be building this, and posting my progress on my blog here. I've always wanted to do a Lego Technic set, specifically the crane (I really like the bulldozer too!), but have never had the time or desire to spend the money. So, when I came across this, I decided to splurge, and it might take my mind off things. I can only spend so much time out taking photos, working on the website, watching TV or reading. Need more frequent diverse things to do.

Build a realistic rescue vehicle!
This authentic model is ready to fight any
fire! Open the control panel on the side of the truck and use the 3 separate
gears to operate the aerial lift with ultimate precision. Adjust the boom
incline, angle and rotation -- the aerial lift raises to over 21" high and
rotates a full 360 degrees!
-Working outriggers lower to stabilize the truck!
-Use the gear at the back to control the steering!
-Rebuild into an equally authentic light-duty rescue truck!
-Includes building instructions for 2 models

Lego Technic has a bunch of cool machines to build, and if this goes well, there's a ton I want to do in the future! Check them out at:

Specifically, these are the models I want to do in the future when finances permit:

Tow Truck:


Unusual Occurence While At Mall In Montreal

While Kristen and I were browsing through the Complexe Desjardins Office Tower Shops in downtown Montreal on Thursday (9-27-07), all of a sudden we heard a loud "BOOM" from across the mall that sounded like an explosion. Quickly after that, we saw people running from opposite where the sound has come from.

As we made our way through the crowd that had calmed down and gathered to spectate, I saw EMS already on the scene treating a young girl, who was surrounded by shattered glass.

A large pane of decorative glass had, for an unknown reason, shattered, and rained down on this girl, who was on a field trip with her school. The patient was treated and transported to St. Francis Hospital with moderate cuts and bruises, but is reportedly in stable condition and injuries are not life threatening. Several other teens in the group were hysterical and treated for shock.

I noticed a couple of things that were different. What a difference a Country makes.

1. Patient wasn't removed from the immediate area where the glass collapsed.
2. Civilians were allowed to use the exact same entrance on the opposite side of the mall after the glass collapsed, despite their being numerous other ways to exit.
3. Spectatators were allowed to gather in immediate "collapse" zone.
4. Response was completly minimal. An ALS and BLS ambulance, one Truck company, one Patrol officer, and one Patrol Supervisor. That's it for being on scene for the first 15 minutes.

It seems Canadians are very laid back. They handled this incident calmly and differently then had it happened in the US. If this had happened in the US, I'm sure that additional apparatus, such as a Collapse Unit would have been summoned.

Additionally, the patient would have been removed from the collapse zone, and the area would have been secured until the cause of the shattered glass was determined.

However, the EMS anf Fire response was extemly expeditous.

Also, the media coverage on this was minimal. It was lunchtime, and the mall at the base of an office tower was packed. It was barely picked up by the local media. I feel the local media here would have been crawling all over this. Anyways, I'm glad the girl was alright.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Banksville FD Old Engine 158 To Become Dump Truck

Posted by an member: "Unfortunately the old 158, a Mack has been sold. It will be reincarnated into a dump truck. The truck has served us well for 19 years, and will serve its new owner well. It is definitely sad to see her go but it was time."

Any chance that it could be saved? I'm sure it's still a useful Engine with life still left in her.

There are departments in this Country that would consider it a blessing to be able to obtain this engine at a low/no cost, especially in the Hurricane Katrina/Hurricane Rita affected areas.

These areas have been very negelected by the goverment, and lack the proper tools to serve their communties. We here in Westchester are very fortunate to have what we have, and going to these areas is like going to a third world country, IN OUR OWN COUNTRY!

Everyone was so quick to want to help immediately after these horrific storms, but it seems many have already forgotten while these communities are still, to this day, completly devastated.

To turn this Engine into a dump truck, IMO, is a tremdous waste. It could be used to potentially save more lives in the future.

Now, I love Banksville FD and am friends with many of their members, and I don't know anything about the disposition of this engine other then what was mentioned above, but I really hope that this Engine can be saved from all things, a fate as a dump truck, and given to a needy community.

Or, maybe someone else reading this is getting ready to replace apparatus and will think how fortunate they are and how their "old" or "obsolete" piece could once again become very valuable to another community.

I know my department is going to be disposing of an Engine soon, that with some minor TLC, would still be very useful for many years. I hope they donate it to a needy community here in the USA, and I will push for that when the time comes.

Greenburgh Multi-Agency Cooperation Commendable

On 9-25-07, Greenburgh Police, Greenburgh Technical Rescue Team, Greenburgh (career) FD's (Hartsdale FD, Greenville FD, Fairview FD), and Greenburgh DPW assembled at Desanti Plaza in Hartsdale, for a confined space detail.

Greenburgh DPW was making an investigative entry into a storm drain/underground river that drains into the Bronx River that failed during heavy rains in April 2007, causing devastating flooding in downtown Hartsdale.

All units on scene cooperated to make sure all safety precautions were met, and entry was made by a Greenburgh Firefighter/Technical Rescue Team member and Greenburgh DPW member (also trained in confined space entry) to investigate and determine the problem.

During this detail, members of all agencies on scene also trained together on confined space and rope rescue techniques, and command and communications integration. Greenburgh PD's new Mobile Command Unit was on scene, and was utilized for technical assistance with the entry.

This successful multi-agency effort once again proved how all Town Of Greenburgh departments can respectfully synergize to provide top-notch, critical services to the Town Of Greenburgh residents.

Lessons learned at this detail/drill reinforced the importance of interagency cooperation and frequent training and utilization of equipment.

In addition, and most importantly, members investigated a possible cause of a devastating flood so that any problems can be rectified to prevent reoccurrence.

Many Hartsdale residents gathered in curiosity to watch the operation, and were very impressed (and IMO comforted for lack of a better word) by the level of service provided, qualifications of the manpower, and equipment used by the Town's agencies.

Photos are posted on

Monday, September 24, 2007

Norwalk's New RED Engine 1

City Of Norwalk, CT's New Engine 1

2007 Spartan/Marion

This is a new (conterversial) paint scheme for Norwalk FD. For many years, their apparatus has been all white with a red stripe. With this delivery, all Norwalk apparatus from this point on will be red, including the new Rescue, which is currently being spec'd.

Norwalk is appox. 45 minutes from NYC, on the Long Island Sound off I-95 in Southern Fairfield County, CT. They serve a very diverse city, with a large mix of income levels. Also, a very large area of diverse residential, commerical, industrial and institutional facilities, as well as several major roadways.

They have a really, really great and talented apparatus maintainence staff, that has built several custom apparatus for the department using a mix of aqquired chasis and bodies. They operate from a former transit bus garage opposite the Volk Central Fire Station (Sta 2) across I-95. The spacious facilty houses a large, well equipped shop as well as housing for Norwalk's antiques, and special operations vehicles.

Anyways, here's the photos. More can be found on

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Westchester's Longest Serving Firefighter

According to an article "Westchester Superlatives" in the October 2007 issue of Westchester Magazine:

Bravest (longest serving) firefighter: Fire Chief Walter Schoonmaker,
of Hartsdale, who started as a firefighter on August 1st, 1959

I believe he's been Chief since 1971, and still going strong at the helm of my department. He's hired every career Hartsdale firefighter serving today....some have even retired already!!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Pascack Valley Hospital in Bergen County, N.J., to close by end of

It's amazing how populations grow and become more affluent, but more and more community hospitals are closing, especially this hospital located in a very affluent area. Is it not getting enough back from insurance, or poor financial managment? Patient census low? Why?

Pascack Valley Hospital also provides the Paramedics for the VAC's in the area of the hospital, which butts up against Rockland County. Does anyone know who may take that over?

Pascack Valley Hospital in Bergen County, N.J., to close by end of
(Original publication: September 20,

Pascack Valley Hospital will close its doors for good by the end of the
year, Vice President John Corcoran said this afternoon.

The hospital has lost $50 million over the past four years and had a
projected loss of more than $16 million for 2007. It had been in negotiations to
merge with Hackensack University Medical Center, but those talks fell

Read more about this story tomorrow in The Journal News.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Photo Of Campaign Litter

Here's a photo of the campaign litter I was talking about in a previous entry. This photo was taken on the afternoon of 9-19-07, the day after the primaries these signs were put up for. If anyone else did this, it would be a big deal. But I'm glad that the citizens have greater respect for the visual appeal of this town and don't do this on a regular basis. After all, there is a code concerning this.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Campaign Litter

Driving around my town lately, there are campaign signs EVERYWHERE you look.

These same politicians who are posting these signs are the ones who make the laws about business posting signs, and littering. However, when it comes to themselves, obviously, the laws aren't applicable to them.

In one municipality where these signs are appearing, you're not even allowed to post Garage Sale signs without a permit, and you must take them down immediately after the event. Other signs are regularly taken down, and violations are issued by Codes Enforcement officers. In fact, DPW personel are taking down signs, and the campaigns are right there behind them putting them back up.

It's even gotten so vicous between campaigns that they're even taking each others signs down, or blocking each others signs with their own.

However, the politicans campaigning obviously don't think that the law applies to them. It's sad they can't practice what they preach. The insane amount of campaign signs around my town is ridiculous....the people campaigning are going overboard. Not only is it visually unappealing, the amount of material they are wasting is disgusting. I know they have to get the message out and are trying to rally voters to vote for them, but enough is enough.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Phelps Hospital EMS Training Center

Today, I started my Paramedic Refresher at Phelps Hospital.

I haven't been to Phelps in a while, but when I pulled in, WOW! A whole new building and parking structure had been built.

Inside the brand new building, is a brand new, spacious, amentiy loaded EMS training center. It was really amazing, one of the nicest EMS facilities I've ever seen. Everything is BRAND new, it has several classrooms loaded to the gills with the latest in A/V equipment, several simulation labs, including an ambulance simulator being handcrafted currently by Phelps EMS Training Director Jeff Meade. There's also a cadaver lab! The manequins you can perform a complete interactive ACLS scenario or many other simulated situations utililizing real equipment on.

Now, if only Phelps Hospital started offering their own, daytime Paramedic program. It would be a tremendous asset to those wanting to become Paramedics in the Hudson Valley area.

There's an open house September 29th, I HIGHLY reccomend to all in the EMS Community to go and check it out! You'll never want to get your EMS Education elsehwere.

On Saturday, September 29, 2007 from 1-4 pm, the public is invited to celebrate
the official opening of the new 100,000 square-foot Medical Services Building at
Phelps Memorial Hospital Center in Sleepy Hollow.

Speeches and a ribbon cutting ceremony begin at 1:30 pm, followed by tours of the $10 million building in which several of the hospital's busiest services will be located. Of special interest are the Frank and Lisina Hoch Center for Emergency Education and the Outpatient Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Department.

The opening event includes fire engines and ambulances that young visitors can explore and light refreshments for all. Residents of the entire area served by Phelps, as well as emergency medical personnel from the surrounding region, are encouraged to come see how Phelps is growing to better serve the community.

Phelps' Emergency Training Center was originally established two decades ago and has provided nearly 30,000 training sessions to emergency first responders
throughout Westchester County and beyond. In the new 7,000 square-foot Frank and Lisina Hoch Center for Emergency Education, EMTs, firefighters and healthcare
providers will have access to the same type of simulation technologies that
pilots use to build critical emergency experience.For example, one training room
is the actual interior of an ambulance where EMTs treat life-like computerized
mannequins programmed to display physical symptoms such as constricted airways, rise and fall of the chest, and breath sounds. The "patient" responds to the
treatment administered, giving the student immediate feedback as to whether the
treatment was correct. "Just as an airline pilot learns to handle emergencies in
the air by training on a flight simulator," explains Jeff Meade, Director of the
Center, "students and practitioners at our Center can learn how to safely handle
crises they may not see every day. When they do see these situations, they will
know exactly how to respond because they have trained for them on the simulator.
Ultimately this type of training will save lives."

The new Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Department offers outpatients physical and occupational therapy in a spacious, state-of-the-art facility. Exercise equipment is surrounded by a carpeted "track," and there are large private treatment rooms
for therapy sessions. Patients recovering from stroke are able to practice
activities of daily living in an "apartment" that includes a true-to-life
kitchen and bathroom with handicapped features. The new facility features the
Kathryn W. Davis Therapeutic Pool and Aquatherapy Center, which adds a new
dimension to the rehab service at Phelps.

Other services that will find a new home in the building include the Wound Healing Institute, IV Infusion Center, Diabetes and Endocrine Center for Children & Young Adults, Phelps Counseling Center and Blood Donor Services.A further cause for celebration is the opening of a new 750-space parking garage. Phelps is able to offer patients and visitors plenty of parking - and it's free!

Keith And Hudson

Today, I had the oppurtunity to visit my longtime friend, Westchester County Police Officer Keith McCartney, who's assigned to the Special Operations Dvision as a Mounted Police Officer. Keith and I worked together at Empress EMS, County Police, and 60 Control. Many know Keith as "624".

I happened to be driving through Ardsley, and saw a lot of activity at Ashford Park, including horses and the WCPD chopper. So, I decided to stop by, hoping that Officer Chris Lieberman was there with the chopper, or Keith with the mounted unit.

Well, Chris decided to enjoy this beauftiful day and fly tonight, and Officer Barry Silverman was giving the public a tour of the helicopter. But, Keith and Hudson were taking full advantage of the beautiful weather. I must say it's awesome to see County Police have a Mounted Unit. It really is a great addition to a Law Enforcement agency such as County Police to have. Their horses are beautiful. And I was very proud to see my longtime friend atop that horse. He earned it.
I would have never believed you if you told me that County Police would have a mounted unit, and Keith would be a part of it 10 years ago. They've certainly come a long way in 10 years! I admire County Police and their staff for being so progressive. What's old is new again, and better then ever!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Seinfeld Moves To 5PM EST On TBS!!

Well, yesterday, I went to watch my two Seinfeld episodes at 6PM, like I do almost every weekday evening (sadly), and I look foward to it.

So, when I turned on the TV, and saw possibly one of my most hated shows on.....I shudder even saying it...."Friends", I was curious and hoping it was just a temporary shuffle for when they have the Atlanta Braves game one.

After a little investigating, it seems TBS has moved the Seinfeld block to 5PM. I liked it where it was. Oh well, thankfully I have Tivo and am able to adjust my TV viewing schedule quite easily.

They call themselves the funny channel. This move isn't funny to me! Thanks Ted Turner! (Grrrr!)


"Why Don't You Just Say The Name Of The Movie?"

Monday, September 10, 2007

My First Trip To Phoenix, AZ

This weekend, I took my first trip to Phoenix, AZ. Really nice city, and some very interesting apparatus and concepts.

Scottsdale (Snotsdale) was a really nice area!!!

In the Valley, they even have In-N-Out and plenty of Chipolte Mexican Grill locations to keep me full and satisfied. However, I must say that after LA and this, I'm actually a little In-N-Out/Chipolte burnt out right now.

70 of the photos from my 2 day trip can be seen here:

Stayed at the Santuary on Camelback Mountain. What an awesome resort!!!! Probaly one of the nicest, most unique hotels I've ever been to.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

The Out Of Towners NYPD Welcome To NYC

So, my wife's cousins, ages 7, 14, and 17 came to town from Colorado with their mother to watch NY Baseball as their combined birthday gifts a few weeks ago.

After a nighttime Yankees game, they catch a cab back to their hotel room in Manhattan. During the trip, the cab becomes involved in an accident in a sketchy dark neighborhood in the Bronx.

The cab driver gets into an intense verbal altercation with the other driver, while they remain in the car, and after several minutes a cop shows up.

With the cab being undriveable, the cabbie informs my family that he's unable to get them to their destination. So, here they are, in the middle of some scary South Bronx neighboorhod, and no other cabs are coming by.

So, my aunt asks the cop on scene how she could safely get her and her boys back to their hotel room. The cops has major attitude and sounds annoyed and says "It's not my problem". So she asks where she can get another cab. He points and directs her three blocks in another direction, but cautions her that she'll probaly get mugged on the way and might not get a cab for a while. She asks about a bus or subway, but the cop says he doesn't ride the bus or subway, so he doesn't know. So she asks if the cop can take her to a safer location or to the hotel, which wasn't too far away. He again states that it's not his problem, gets into the car, and leaves. The other driver of the vehicle that hit the cab leaves.

So, finally, the cab driver calls his cousin, who doesn't speak a word of english, and he comes in his own personal, beaten down station wagon and drives them back to the hotel.
I mean, what was wrong with that cop?

I know complaints are often filed against Police Officers because of bogus things, but this guy definetly deserves some discipline and training on what being a police officer is all about. Leaving 3 kids and a woman from out of town alone in the middle of the Bronx. Real nice guy.
Just wondering what others thoughts are on this situation?

Intermunicipal Sharing of Police Services Considered

I'm for this. There's no reason why there needs to be so many small, fragmented departments in one town. It used to be that the Police Officers in these Villages were from the Communties, and knew the residents and village inside and out. Today, not so much. There's no reason, in my opinion, why there needs to be a highly paid command structure for each department, each department needs their own fleet, etc. It's duplication of resources. Money can be saved, and applied to putting more officers and supervisors on the street. The current Police stations can act as precincts. This would also benefit officers, as it would allow them more advancment oppurtunity and being able to change once in a while from patrolling the same small village to a different beat. It would also centralize communications and allow for better allotment of resources.

The same should also be studied to address the multiple, fragmented fire districts in the town for the same reasons.

Duplication of resources costs taxpayers money.

As the Town Board liaison to the Greenburgh Police Department’s Community
Advisory Board, I met several weeks ago with Dobbs Ferry village and police
officials to discuss the possibility of conducting a study on the benefits of
sharing services between police departments. The study would not cost
Greenburgh taxpayers, as New York State has grant money available for this
study. We think it is beneficial to conduct this study while grant money is
available to pay for it. A study previously done that looked at
consolidating the police departments in Dobbs Ferry and in Irvington suggested
the villages could each save over $1 million per year. We are hopeful this same
taxpayer savings could be realized with the sharing of services with the
Greenburgh Police Department. The crime rate in Greenburgh is at its lowest
point in recorded history. If sharing services could provide a cost savings to
the entire town, as well as increase public safety, we need to explore this
possibility. I will continue to update you as we move forward. Please feel
free to call (993-1544) or email with any questions or comments.

Eddie Mae Barnes, Councilwoman Town of Greenburgh

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

"The Academy" Premieres Tonight At 8PM On My9NY

Heads up, "The Academy" premieres tonight at 8PM on Channel 9 (NY Metro Area). Full review here on x635: The Blog tommorow.

The Academy
Episode 1
"Black Monday"
60 mins.

Day 1 (“Black Monday”) of the L.A. Sheriff's Department 18-week recruit-training regimen is when “hell breaks loose,” says training officer Dwight Miley---as a recruit seen drifting off in class discovers. Later, recruits must do push-ups in business suits and recite the department's core values from memory, and a flustered recruit breaks down. Bad move. “There is no crying in this job,” barks Sgt. Mark Wilkins, the training director.

The Hartsdale Barnes & Noble Pumpkin

Well, yesterday morning I passed by the now-vacant Barnes & Noble on South Central Ave. in Hartsdale. And boy, was I suprised. It was being painted in a very festive orange and black.

Now, since there wasn't any signs posted, and the "for lease" sign is still up, I'm assuming it's going to be a Halloween costume store- although I don't understand why they would invest that much money into paint for a couple of months, although it does make the building really, really stand out as you can see.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Los Angeles City "Fire Station 9" Trailer

From what I understand, this is a trailer for a possible TV series

Fire Station 9 in downtown LA is the busiest fire house in the country.
They rarely fight fires. This is their story.


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Why Are We Always Looking For A Bargain With EMS?

With the turmoil EMS is in in the Hudson Valley region, it seems more and more elected officials want to seek out the best bargain they can when it comes to providing EMS, meanwhile, the companies that provide it continue to bleed cash and barely stay alive.

So, why is it that these communities are always looking to get a bargain for such a critical, life saving service? I'm sure these same elected officials don't care about how gluttonous some fire departments are, or how much money their DPW is losing them.

Although EMS is the new kid on the block, we stand shoulder to shoulder with Firefighters and Police Officers. Nobody would ever suggest contracting out for Fire or Police or even DPW, yet even get away with doing it.

I blame ourselves. I don't think EMS does anything proactively, like community education as to what we do. Nor do I think EMS makes a good enough case to justify to the elected officials that we're neccasary. I really think some elected officials truly think it's just a ride to the hospital.

Although there are excellent private companies that provide superior EMS, I don't feel EMS should be provided by for-profit companies. I also don't think that "BLS Interfacility Transports" should be considered Emergency Medical Services. All this does is blur the line for us.

Take Yonkers for example. There's no reason why they can't provide EMS that sets an example and a standard, just like their Fire and Police Departments do. Also, look at Port Chester-Rye-Rye Brook EMS. They cover 3 muncipalties with fully staffed, ALS ambulances. They've progressively grown from a volunteer agency to one of the premier, self sufficient, independent agency EMS systems in Westchester County- pehaps the only one. Also, look at other area systems like Stamford or Greenwich EMS. There's a number of different ways to do things, and it's time we bring EMS to the next level NOW instead of dragging it there. Lives are at stake, yet some people think it's their egos that are.

EMS needs to start coming together as a whole, demanding that EMS is provided by the muncipality directly as it's own department, staffed with either full-time civil service employees, or volunteers, or both. Although there may not be enough call volume in some muncipalities to warrant this, there's no reason why communities can't come together to form "EMS Districts", like we have sewer and fire districts.

How come communties don't contract out their DPW? It would seem that it could be done better and cheaper by private contractors, right? (sarcasm)

Maybe we should take a look at the pensions and benefits some of these elected officials get for only a couple of hours of work each week. Maybe we could get money from there?
We live in one of the wealthiest, fastest growing areas of the nation. Compared to other similar parts of the nation, even communities inferior to us, that have EMS, looking comparitevly, EMS around here is a real shame. It's pathetic.

Also, the ego-driven fragmentation of EMS in this area doesn't help things.

In a future post, I'll detail how EMS is provided in some other similar parts of the country, including Los Angeles City Fire Department, where EVERY community has an ambulance, and Los Angeles County Fire Department, who's hybrid Firefighter-Paramedic ALS system, and Private Transport service collaboration makes us look pathetic. The West coast, heck, even poorer parts of the South and Midwest, makes us look lights years behind.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Stone Sour At The Chance Theatre Poughkeepsie

This past Friday evening, Kris and I attened the Stone Sour concert at The Chance Theatre in Poughkeepsie. This was Kris's first metal concert.

First, the venue was awesome. It's a small theatre, so you're close to the band no matter where you are. A little run down and old, but it serves its purpose. It was also reassuring to see Poughkeepsie's Bravest come in to do an exit checks and a quick fire safety and occupancy check, especially with the crowd and age of the building.

The opening band, Human X, hails from Poughkeepsie and were awesome. I just ordered their CD from CD Baby, which is an awesome website for ordering unsigned bands or smaller labels. Maybe in the future I'll catch one of their live shows, since we came in halfway through their set and it was great enough for me to buy the CD.

The second band to take the stage was Dirty Little Rabbits, hailing from Johnston City, Iowa. I'll say they were very interesting, and leave it at that.

The next band to take the stage, Sydonia, hailed from Australlia and were unique and awesome. The bass and guitar players joined the drummer, with all three playing the drumset at once, which was awesome. Their beat thundered through the theatre, and I'm sure that people in East Fishkill could hear!

Finally, Corey Taylor and Stone Sour took the stage. (Corey Taylor is also the lead singer for the band Slipknot). They were absolutely amazing. I had listened to Stone Sour before, but was never really into them until seeing them open for Disturbed during the Music As A Weapon III Tour at the Mullins Center at UMass Amherst last November. Their performance their was awesome, the lead vocals, Corey Taylor, puts on an awesome live performance, is great at engaging the crowd, and is just a insanely talented performer who's songs actually have meaning. This was my second time seeing him live, and he delivered big time. They played an awesome set, the entire "Come Whatever May" album in order from start to finish. For an encore, they came on an played a few songs from the debut alblum, "Stone Sour". Extremly awesome performance. They brought down the house and then some.

Although they are a heavy, Grammy nominated metal band, they do have a mainstream hit that was #1 on the Billboard charts for 7 weeks in a row, "Through Glass"

You can listen to some of their tracks on their website or on their MySpace page.

The only dissapointment was that I won meet and greet passses, but no one knew anything about a meet and greet, so I missed that.

Corey left the stage with the message "Take Care Of Yourselves, Take Care Of Each Other, And Bring Our Troops Home! He's very much a rock star with intelligence and class.

Yes, I am made of scars. And my innocent wife is a budding, closet metal fan, despite the fact she'll deny it (Her favorite SS song was "Socio") Can't wait to take her to a Disturbed concert when they hit the road again. Also can't wait until Corey Taylor comes through the area again.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Nathan's In Yonkers May Close!!

According to an article in today's "Journal News" (8-15-07), they imply that the Nathan's on Central Ave. & Cristfield St. in Yonkers (the third Nathans store ever and the perfect place for a Post 13 10-27) may close because of the valuable real estate it sits on. It's a 100,00 sqaure feet hot dog stand, basically. With a locally-famous arcade.

Here's a snippet:
It's the third Nathan's in history. It's a landmark in Yonkers. It's one of
the biggest hot-dog stands in the world. And it's one of the last tastes of a
time when anyone would even think about building a frankfurter emporium - let
alone build it.

Still, 10,000 prime square feet are a lot for a latter-day food court,
and there's serious talk of putting them to more cost-effective use.

In short, the historic emporium will eventually be history. But even
when the building goes, Nathan's reportedly will stay.

"We've been here for a long time, and we intend to be here for a much
longer time," says Bruce Miller, a director of operations. "We're determined to
stay in Yonkers. It may not be in this location, but it will be in this

And a link to the main article:

Monday, August 13, 2007

Call 911 Immediately If You See An Illegal Gun

The following is a letter to the editor I sent to The Journal News:

In August 13th's edition of "The Journal News", you quoted Whamon Pedrow as
saying "If you see a guy walking around with a gun, put a quarter in the phone,"
he said. "Do it anonymously."

Readers should know that they shouldn't
even have to worry about the quarter, they should just immediately find a phone
and call 911. You can remain anonymous. Make sure you give the police dispatcher
as many details as possible, like the description of the person and what he/she
is wearing, and anything else you notice.

A trivial argument on a hot
summer's night can quickly turn deadly when someone has a firearm and
impulsively uses it. Even if you don't think the person is planning on using the
weapon, still call 911 immediately, as someone walking around with a illegal gun
is a loose cannon- and you could be the next victim.

-Seth ********
Hartsdale (Greenburgh)

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Gas Prices: What's Up?

OK, Gas prices have gone insane, officially, I'm convinced.

Here's my survey based on recent fillups or observations within the past week:

Hartsdale, NY Sunoco Downtown $3.17

Exxon down the street from above: $3.02

Shell, in Hartsdale: $3.29

Garden State Parkway, NJ: $2.73

Danbury, CT Shell Mill Plain Rd.: $2.99

Danbury, CT Sunoco Mill Plain Road: $3.17

Mount Kisco: $3.28

Yorktown: $3.11

Now, keep in mind all gas stations priced above are name brands, in commercial areas with high traffic. What's with the extreme differences in price???? How can gas vary in prices so much in one town? It's ridiculous, and something's not right. But, regardless, it seems gas prices are coming down, hopefully they'll get back under $3.00 a gallon soon in NY. And, hopefully when Bush and Cheney depart the White House, we'll see prices fall even more, since hopefully the new leadership won't have a vested interest in oil companies making money.

I would say that increased fuel prices would be beneficial, because it would encourage people to use less. Instead, the middle and wealthy classes don't seem to be that phased by it, and the poor suffer even more.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Putnam County Legislature Takes Away Lifesaving Service From Its Citizens

As some of you may know, the Putnam County Board Of Legislators has decided that it cannot afford the increased cost of providing Advanced Life Support (Paramedics) to it's citizens.

Empire State Ambulance has been providing ALS for the county under contract, as well as some BLS ambulances, for about a year now. It is a money losing operation, and they have chosen to opt-out of their contract effective October 1st. What does that mean? That the rural Putnam County will be without professionals who's critical medical interventions can spell life or death for victims of illness or injury.

Things can pan out in a number of ways. Pressure from Emergency Services agencies and citizens could push the legislature to increase funding. The indvidual muncipalties could hire their own ALS. They could steal ALS from other neighboring communties. Or, Putnam County could take a very progressive step, and start their own, countywide ALS system.

Advanced Life Support availabilty is standard in mostly all communities in the Hudson Valley. Putnam County is developing, and has a large and diverse population. The decision by the legislator to take away this service is wreckless endangerment, in my eyes. I may not know the full politics behind the move, but I hope I'm hearing wrong and someone steps up to the plate.

EMS should not be delivered by FOR PROFIT agencies!!! This is a fine example of why. We don't contract out for our Police or Highway departments to for profit agencies, so why EMS?

Putnam County, do the right thing. Spend the money, set an example, and start your own County-run ALS system. Lives depend on it. Also, give EMT's and Paramedics what they deserve-job security, proper training, quality pay, and pension. Care for those who care, please!

Damages on FX

Has anyone been watching "Damages" on FX, Tuesday nights at 10PM. It stars Westchester resident Glenn Close, Ted Danson, and Tate Donovan. It centers around a young female lawyer who is picked up by a high-stakes litigator to be her protege'. Her career path becomes entangled with a number of different issues. It's a great legal thriller that twists and turns throughout every episode, with the conclusion of each episode leaving you wanting more. It's hard to write more about this show without giving too much away, so I highly reccomend tuning in.

FX is replaying the fist couple of episodes constantly, so it's easy to catch up on the show. From what I understand, it's a miniseries and a one shot deal.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Get Your Sicko Health Care Card!!

'SiCKO' Health Care Card


As seen on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

You now have the opportunity to print and carry your very own "'SiCKO' Health Care Card."

Playing the 'SiCKO' card has worked for a family in DeBary, Florida, whose daughter suffered profound hearing loss and was denied a cochlear implant. Her father sent a letter to Cigna asking, "has your CEO ever been in a film before?" Before he knew it, his daughter's denial was overturned.

It also worked for a family in Flint, Michigan who was stuck with a $66,000 medical bill until they posted their healthcare horror story on YouTube. Click here to see what happened next.

Download the PDF of the card below and follow these simple guidelines:

Carry the card in your wallet with your insurance card.

If denied treatment, show your SiCKO card to your doctor/insurer.

Ask your insurer if they'd like to be in Michael Moore's next movie, DVD, or appear on

Tell them that, if denied, you will seek coverage from your local media.

E-mail your story to

Trucks On Our Highways: Under-Enforced?

Is it just me, or does it seem like there's very little commercial truck enforcement on the Tri-State area's highways?

These truckers drive like maniacs, and from their actions, it seems like they know they can get away with it.

On I-95 especially.

I'd like to see more funding for more troopers targeting agressive truckers on the highways.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

The Arena's On TV Land

So, I was watching TV Land (cable channel) today, and apparently beginning August 11th they will be airing the reruns of ABC's "Extreme Home Makeover"

In the promo ad (that I saw a couple of times today), they use scenes exclusively from the Arena family (from Somers, NY) episode, prominetly featuring Jim and Gina.


Monday, July 23, 2007

The Photographers Rights

Interesting. And could be useful. It's getting ridiculous trying to get photos nowadays-some people are getting so overzealous, to the point where the terrorists are oppressing some of our rights and freedoms under the guise of "Homeland Security".

Sunday, July 22, 2007

I HATE Nextel

I HATE Nextel.

Every time I have an issue, I call them and get passed around to several different people and departments, and each time having to explain the story again, and each time having to explain the story again becuase "I" called the wrong department- despite THEM transferring me around.

I recently had an issue where that was the case. They had billed me twice for one month- the exact amount twice, automatically debiting out of my bank account. I was passed around, and finally was so pissed off after 2 hours on the phone with several different departments denying that this occured and that they couldn't help me, that I asked to be transferred to the cancellations department. There, I was called a liar and they wouldn't let me out of my contract without paying them $500, and they could care less about the numerous problems I had with them over the months. I am now disputing the charges with my bank.

I am desperate to switch to Verizon. I just dread having to call Nextel, and spend 2 hours on the phone with them only for them to say "Sorry, we can't help you". The Direct Connect is great, but is not worth the aggrivation.

It shows a lot that they are dumping customers who complain-maybe if they SOLVED the problems they wouldn't have the issues.

I hope Nextel goes out of business for their arrogant, unorganized, and crappy customer service.