Monday, October 22, 2007

Wildland Firefirefighter Foundation

As we approach the 1 year anniversary of the Engine 57 tragedy, I again made my donation to the WFF's 52 Club. That amounts to one dollar a week to a foundation that supports the families of our injured or fallen heroes.

Here's the LINK to the WFF.


Inferno in California

The strong Santa Ana winds have caused a massive disaster in Southern California.

Malibu (Canyon Fire) is burning and the media is covering that fire like Britney's custody battle. Santa Clarita/Canyon Country (Buckweed Fire) homes are burning.

San Diego (Harris Ranch Fire) is a disaster area and had loss of life. And Orange County (Santiago Canyon Fire) has one as well.

Near Hooterville, our BDF is fighting 2 fires in the San Bernardino forest: The Grass Valley and the Slide fires. Homes are burning to the ground and resources are so stretched that many will lose their homes. The Cajon Pass fire has closed I-15.

The Governator has called in out-of-state resources but I haven't heard about calling in the National Guard. Yet.

Please keep our firefighters in your prayers.


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Looking Back to the 70's

Ah, the 70’s. I was a single mom at the time, living in Joplin, and had two roommates that shared a house with us. We were all bartenders, but I also worked days at the television station and nights at the Sheraton tending bar. After the bars closed, we’d have a pot of coffee ready and discuss the night’s stories. Full moons were especially entertaining.

Being busy women, we had decided we wanted a housekeeper. After searching awhile, one of our guy friends found out and he offered to come and clean the house as long as we never mentioned it to any of the other guys. Sounded good to us. He did a great job.

One night after he cleaned, I stumbled into my room to go to bed and there was water all over my hardwood floors. Did I mention I had a waterbed? Well, not the whole thing. I didn’t have a frame. I had a waterbed mattress on the floor. After all, this was the 70’s. We’re talking hippie here. Big posters, candles, black light, beads. Waterbed mattress. Leaking waterbed mattress.

Seems our housekeeper’s dingo boot buckle caught the seam and put a tiny rip into it that day when he was cleaning my room. The tiny rip becamse bigger and the bed was flooding my room.

Who do you call at 2:30 in the morning when your waterbed is leaking? My roommates and I grabbed all our towels and tried sopping up the water and I called the water company. Hey! They have pumps. Right? Of course they just laughed at me so I called the Joplin police. They sent an officer over who kindly offered to shoot it and put it out of my misery. I finally called Roto Rooter and he hung up on me. After all, it was the middle of the night, and it was a call about a leaky waterbed. But the guy was curious, so he came over. While the Joplin police officer watched, the Roto Rooter man put his hose through my bedroom window and emptied the waterbed in about 2 minutes flat!

I called the tv station and left a message that I would be late. Little did I know that our news department at the station picked up the police call on their scanner. I guess a few of Joplin’s finest had a good laugh at my expense and they were all talking about it. Of course, we knew most of the local cops, being bartenders in town, and they made their sweeps through the clubs on the weekends. So the station wrote up the story and put it out on the AP wire as one of those funny, weird stories they use on the news. Believe it or not, my sister saw the story on the news and called me. She lived near Alameda, California at the time.

So that was my fifteen seconds of fame!


Thursday, October 11, 2007

Our Cruise-Monarch of the Seas

Monarch of the Seas--our Junior Suite
Monarch of the Seas at Catalina Island on Wednesday
We had originally booked the Vision of the Seas 7 night Mexican Riviera cruise for 10/8, but due to some huge expenses in June and July, I cancelled and rebooked the Monarch's 4 night instead.

Sunday we had the Doubletree's park & cruise package booked, so we drove to San Pedro Sunday afternoon and had a restful night at the hotel before the cruise the next day. The P&C package allows you to leave your car at the Doubletree and they shuttle you to and from the World Cruise Center. Since parking at the WCC is $12/day it really made a great deal. The package comes with a wonderful breakfast buffet and they sent a bottle of champaign to our room that night.

Monday we boarded with priority boarding and sat up on the pool deck until our stateroom was ready (about 1pm). Our luggage arrived almost immediately so I unpacked and got everything put away before we had to go to muster.

We had early seating so dinner was at 5:30pm and we were at a table for 8. We enjoyed the company of our tablemates and enjoyed the dining room each night except Tuesday.

Tuesday morning we awoke pulling into port in San Diego. I had purchased online the Old Town Trolley passes so we checked in at their kiosk near the port and boarded the trolley about a half hour later. We enjoyed the tour of San Diego's gaslight district, the Seaport Village and Coronado Island before getting off at the San Diego Zoo.

We were a bit disappointed in the Zoo as they were undergoing construction and we didn't get to see much on the double-decker bus tour. The Zoo used to be world-class but it looked very tired the day we were there. Hopefully when they are finished it will be the same Zoo I always loved.

We got back on the trolley and went to Old Town. I love Old Town! Lots of wonderful shops and the historical park is interesting. We walked through the old original school house and then stopped at a great restaurant for a Margurita and fabulous Mexican food. We didn't go to dinner that night because we were still stuffed from our lunch--but later that night I had room service.

Wednesday was Catalina Island and it's a port where you have to get on a smaller boat (called a tender) and they take you to the island. We walked around the main street and did some window shopping and enjoyed the view of the harbor. We tendered back to the ship in the afternoon and went up on the pool deck to watch the men's bellyflop contest and relax in the sun.

Thursday was Ensenada. We had fun looking in all the shops and stopped at Mango Mango for chips and salsa and Marguritas (me) and beer (Paul). We met a young couple from Barstow and enjoyed visiting with them before heading back to the ship.

Thursday night I had to pack our bags to get ready to leave the next morning. Sad. I could have stayed longer.