Savage Addiction

“Springfield Truck 10, respond to XXXX W. XXXXXX St. for a possible J4, with an unsecured domestic situation in progress” “Truck 10 copies, en route. Truck 10 will stage upon arrival, Dispatch, please notify when scene secured by PD” “Truck 10, update, there is no domestic, that was a child crying in the background, this will… Read more »

Under The Sea & Into The Soul

Today Facebook gently reminded me that precisely one year ago I walked into Hearts of Fire Tattoo shop to get some artwork committed to my body. It’s my take on a mermaid kissing an old-school deep sea diver, and while the artwork’s original, the design isn’t; when I first saw it, and saw it in… Read more »

Lift With Your Heart, Not Your Back

One year ago today I wrote this essay right here. It was about embracing your inner weirdo, forging forward through failure and a promise to be by your side as we stumbled through 2016. It was a story not of false hope but that through it all, we’d grow together. And the first chapters of… Read more »

For Every Man, A Sheila

“For last years words belong to last year’s language, and next year’s words await another voice” TS Elliot   The way he looks at her when we’re talking ABOUT her. The way that he describes his often broken past, the triumphs and shortfalls, his kids, his desire to be in Mexico RIGHT NOW, his unabashed… Read more »

A Muse Me

“Spend your years/ Spend your time/ With all these tears/ Not all were mine”* N. Rateliff, “Thank you” Gratitude and ego. Forever there is a balance to strike, these two dogs growling and circling in our minds, and in equal measure I’ve written about both. And, like lunar cycles, we will all go through phases… Read more »

L’eggo My Ego

SO much good is afloat. So much for which to nod our heads humbly and be grateful. According to something written down somewhere gratitude is one of the highest forms of passion, for the person that lives from a grateful standpoint is one without limits and limiting factors. I think I read that on a… Read more »

Everywhere Signs

Like a scene from some Norman Rockwell painting of the Midwest, I was sitting on the porch stoop enjoying some watermelon while lightning bugs began their twilight mating rituals, tiny Vegas signs beckoning members of the opposite sex with bright lights and the promise of a good time. It should have been more pensive, but… Read more »

To Soar Again For The First Time

“Did she push you off the cliff after taking the picture?”       -“Something like that, but not” “You’re still alive, that’s what matters. Although, knowing you, you’d just figure out how to fly on the way down, anyways.” It was singularly the kindest thing I’d heard in a while from an outside source, but… Read more »

Fire In The Soul & A Heart On The Run

“So, a fireman walks into a tattoo joint called “Hearts of Fire”…..” And thus begins a joke that has never been told. Mostly because it’s not a joke, but partly because the journey, like so many before, is unpredictable at best. It began so long ago, and the path has been so twisted and arduous,… Read more »

Paper Tigers In The Golden Cage

And another Sunday is spent at the firehouse, and with it, the promise of less radio chatter, fewer demands, and more time for the mind to roam across our own plains. Even our usual clientele seems less inclined to dial 911 on this day; it’s as though they are intuitively gearing up for a week of rampant… Read more »

  • Half Past Friday ~ May 15th

    Welcome to the birthday edition of the Half Past Friday highly scientific opinion poll. This weeks’ question was “what was the worst movie you’ve ever sat through?” Included from emails, FaceSpace updates and the like, here is the ranked scorings, in 3D. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I will celebrate turning a decrepit 35 while… Read more »

  • Ax Slinger

    A short while back, The Wife and I attended a wedding reception held out in the picturesque countryside, complete with a Jimmy Buffett cover band working their magic poolside. I took note of these guys for two reasons: 1. They looked like a bunch of middle aged goobers with Hawaiian-shirt- covered paunches,  “skullet”-style haircuts, and… Read more »

  • Half Past Friday ~ May 8th

    So I’ve decided to add a new catagory to the Half Past Awesome corner of the world: the Half Past Friday Top Ten list. Each week I’ll toss a random subject out there and the answers will be harshly judged and the best will be posted. This past week I asked via FaceSpaceTwit what the… Read more »

  • To The Silt

    “OhMyGod you are so stubborn!!!” This is not an unfamiliar phrase to me, so when The Wife or anyone else yells this in my direction, I am inclined to take it as a compliment. For many years I attempted to deny my true self and would argue the point. From the childhood years up until… Read more »

  • Hair Trigger Puke

    So, as far as I can tell, everyone in the fire service has a vomitus trigger. We have the sympathy pukers, whom you can always see flying out of the back of the ambulance when the patient has tossed his or her cookies. There are also environmental hurlers, those who wade knee deep into a… Read more »

  • Hell In A Handbasket

    Do you ever wonder about the appropriate age to transition from one generational club to another? I do. We can all remember that guy who was, like, 26 and still lurching around high school bonfire parties. While he served a definite purpose (being of legal age), it always seemed rather awkward and creepy to have… Read more »

  • Missouri Masochism

    The call was routine, inasmuch as a 911 call for a potential stroke victim can be. The station tones came through right after lunch, and we rolled out in a cacophony of lights and sirens, me grinning from ear to ear as I watched the mad-dog soccer moms swerving all over trying to get out… Read more »

  • In Which The Cat Shoots Me The Bird

    Yesterday one of our shop cats took the opportunity to have a batch of kittens while I was at the firehouse. This cat, commonly referred to as SkunkButt, is an industrious little beast. She knows full well that I was aware she wasn’t just “getting fat” and that soon our place would turn into a… Read more »

  • Bright Lights, Mid-Sized City

    People outside of the fire business seem to have an insatiable curiosity when it comes to this line of work. When folks find out that you’re a fireman, there is a predictable litany of questions that run the gamut from “What’s it like to face potential threat of death regularly?” to “What is it that… Read more »

  • Blast Off

    Each Thursday that the crew of Ladder Truck 2-B is on duty, we train with the Hazardous Materials Team down at Fire Station #12. This training lasts most of the day, and while there is always the threat of learning new and valuable techniques for dealing with spills, releases and the mayhem that makes up… Read more »