Half Past Awesome2018-08-03T12:49:35+00:00

It Just Happened Today, Again

September 11th, 2015|Categories: Siren Songs, Tales of Misery|

Every year on this day, we are reminded of that most dark chapter of the fire service, and our nation; I've written more than a few essays on a fireman's point of view on 9/11. When it happened I was a 26 year old side pocket, ladder-truck fireman, who's only [...]

The View From Up Here

August 25th, 2015|Categories: Siren Songs|

Imagine if you will, you're now a lieutenant. Scratch that. You're a LIEUTENANT on the CITY OF SPRINGFIELD, MISSOURI FIRE DEPARTMENT, and that is an alleged "Big Deal" to the Administration of aforementioned department and now you have responsibilities. Real responsibilities with real consequences. One of those responsibilities, among the [...]

Fully Sleeved, On My Sleeve

August 4th, 2015|Categories: Amigos, Family DysFUNction, Siren Songs|

The tones ring out, again, at 3am. People seem to have a lot of emergencies, real or imagined, at 3am. Conversely, my tolerance for people who abuse the 911 system is at an all time low when you've roused me from a two hour catnap because you've stubbed your toe [...]

To The End, To Failure, To You & Me

June 17th, 2015|Categories: Uncategorized|

We filed in, the last visitors in uniform of the day. There is no good news on this floor of the hospital; people here often aren't going home. Family members stand teary-eyed and solemn, holding vigil over their loved ones as they slip loose these earthly shackles and transition to [...]

5128

May 13th, 2015|Categories: New & Unimproved, Siren Songs|

On May 5th, 2015, the City of Springfield Fire Department was dispatched to its five thousand one hundred and twenty eighth call for the year. For run #5128, Engine Company #1, C-shift was toned out for a "fire in a house" call at approximately 7:50am. The house in question was [...]

Thank You, Anonymously

March 30th, 2015|Categories: New & Unimproved|

The note with my handwritten name on the envelope arrived at the firehouse, an event unusual enough. We rarely receive personal mail there outside of the obligatory thank-you note from grade school kids after a tour or event. The hand writing caught my eye, as I did not recognize it. [...]

Do It All Over, Again

March 16th, 2015|Categories: Less Lardass, New & Unimproved|

"Your story isn't calm. The road has been chaotic at times, filled with detours and rain and loss so sudden and soon. Sometimes, the bliss was so elevated your heart could hardly hold it. Sometimes it was maddening to have, and then to lose. You learn soon enough that it [...]

Ring Of Fire

March 5th, 2015|Categories: New & Unimproved, Siren Songs|

The tones came in as they would any other: "House fire, xxx East xxx Street for Engine 7, Engine 10, Truck 6, Truck 10, Rescue 1, Battalion 1, Battalion 8, Air 8", and we loaded up on the rig, ready to roll to an unknown; these kinds of calls happen [...]

Thaw & Light

February 24th, 2015|Categories: New & Unimproved|

O, Wind, if winter comes, can spring be far behind?  - Percy Shelley I've always loved the winter. It's cold and stark and you can, to quote Wyeth, feel the bone structure of the landscape. Growing up in Southern California, it meant that the temperatures dropped from 78 degrees to [...]

  • Tap Tap Tap, Is This Thing On? A Conversation With Derek Shimeall
    by Uli Gulje on September 14, 2018 at 12:00 pm

    As one of the owners of 4 By 4 Brewing Company, Derek Shimeall is a part of a new scene in the Springfield Missouri area, as the number of local breweries and taphouses begin to multiply in number. Located in Southeast Springfield, 4 By 4 takes on a rogue aspect, with an indoor beer garden and a family friendly environment. In this conversation Derek explains the company philosophies, how it all came to pass and how he was willing to allow me a venue for this very podcast based on similar outlooks on what we're trying to offer. If craft beer and local business is your jam, you're gonna wanna hear about how it all came to pass. Cheers! […]

  • Scorched Earth: A Conversation With Katie Mooneyham
    by Uli Gulje on September 7, 2018 at 7:12 pm

    Katie Mooneyham brings a perspective to our social media landscape that is oftentimes lacking as we delve into the mud-slinging personal attacks and staunch political stances. She's well informed, a voracious consumer of information and news and offers up critical thinking skills that guide her thought processes. She works in advertising for various hunting, fishing and outdoor publications, yet is an unabashed liberal, leading to many potentially uncomfortable conversations; today it's not uncomfortable at ALL as we cover a wide range of topics, from murder podcasts to conservation to dating philosophies. I really enjoyed our time, and I think you'll enjoy this hour! […]

  • Slingin' The Bean: A Conversation With Amber Ottoson
    by Uli Gulje on August 31, 2018 at 12:00 pm

    She's a small business owner, wife, mom and transplant from the Great Northwest. As the owner/operator of Trailer Perk Coffee, Amber Ottoson can often be seen toting her trailer to various events, Farmer's Market and all over town, creating some of the most delicious beverages you might have enjoyed. But like many of us, she faces the challenges of a modern-day marriage, striking that balance and effectively pursuing her passions. As she and her husband Peter forge forward together, I took the chance to enjoy a growler of something delicious from 4 By 4 Brewing with her and pick her brain, gaining a valuable perspective and my respect for both of them grew even further from there. Enjoy! […]

  • Moonshinin' With Brandon Moore For #21: A Conversation At Copper Run
    by Uli Gulje on August 24, 2018 at 12:30 pm

    For Episode #21 I thought we'd mix it up accordingly: you turn 21 you buy a drink, so I headed to Copper Run Distillery in Walnut Shade and visited with Brandon Moore, who's not only the musician providing the soundtrack for my podcast, he's one of the distillers there. He asked if we could flip the script and interview me for a different take on the show, which felt odd, but was a fun way to spend an hour in the rickhouse over some whiskey, some live guitar pickin' and good times! Enjoy this ride and get a look at a different take on The Real State.&nbs […]

  • All In: A Conversation With Randy Lopez
    by Uli Gulje on August 17, 2018 at 12:30 pm

    He's one of the most loyal, hard-working, devoted people I know. A small business owner, a family man in a BIG way and an all-around genuine individual. He's been through life in a way that might leave some salty, but contrary to that, he's a passionate, grateful, relentlessly authentic dude and just as real as anyone I've ever met. To listen to him describe his upbringing, a life in construction and the very things that shaped him into the man he is today is nothing short of a lesson in respect and love. We talk about our Dads, our kids, marriage and what it takes to maintain a positive attitude when you're a polarizing, passionate person in a vanilla, conformist world. He even quotes Eminem. Take a listen to a gentle, strong man give you an honest look at his own journey; it'll inspire the hell out of you! […]

  • Goin' Rogue: A Conversation With Ryan Mulcahy, The Rogue Barber
    by Uli Gulje on August 10, 2018 at 12:30 pm

    In this episode of The Real State, I sat down with yet another of the Renaissance Men of The Greater Springfield Area. He's called Bingo games, worked as a Camp Counselor, played drums barefoot in a band for 12 years and narrowly missed meeting his wife when she didn't show up for their first (blind) date. He ran into her the next night, used the cheesiest pickup move ever and the rest was history; in fact they married three months later, and 7 years later have one of the strongest unions around. Now, together with his wife Dacy, they own and operate The Rogue Barber & D's Wax Factory which is a fixture in Downtown Springfield and provides some of the most innovative and personal attention to detail in the business. Ryan travels the country as an ambassador and educator for products such as Hattori Hanzo (remember Kill Bill?), and with the smoothest voice around, he was willing to spend some time with me at 4 By 4 Brewing Company, where we wasted an afternoon laughing, telling stories and just enjoying a wandering conversation about all KINDS of things. Enjoy! […]

  • What'choo Fighting For?
    by Uli Gulje on August 3, 2018 at 5:54 pm

    Jeff Weeks is a fellow firefighter, casual musician, father and husband, but he's also working on something much bigger than meets the eye. Although he owns Hot Fusion screen printing, he's thrown himself into a project he's called "Fight For It" where the shirts they're making are about raising awareness about causes that desperately need more attention. Tune into an fun conversation with an awesome friend! […]

  • Not A Shadow Of Doubt: A Conversation With Shadow From Q102
    by Uli Gulje on July 27, 2018 at 1:45 pm

    If you listen to Q102 here in Springfield Missouri, you know the voice of Shadow Williams. In today's conversation she brings her own brand of kick-ass confidence to 4 By 4 Brewing Co. to sit down over some delicious pints and we wander around a decade of friendship, how she got into radio, the proper pronunciation of "cilantro",  busting each other's chops and just having a good time laughing at one another.&nbs […]

  • The Growler: a conversation with 4 By 4 Brewing Co. brewer Chris Shaffer
    by Uli Gulje on July 20, 2018 at 12:30 pm

    He's thoughtful, wicked smart and after a lifetime of interesting endeavors just wants it quiet while he concocts some of the best beer I've ever tasted. He's Chris Shaffer, THE brewer of 4 By 4 Brewing Co., which not only sponsors this podcast, they offer a great experience on the Southeast side of Springfield, MO. in a family-friendly environment chock FULL of great brews. From his time guarding missiles in the Air Force to finally making the break from a corporate gig to be the full-time brewer in this partnership of friends, "The Growler" can be found in this giant laboratory whipping out a delicious blend of science and art. Enjoy a conversation with someone I've come to call a friend! […]

  • Death Becomes Her
    by Uli Gulje on July 13, 2018 at 12:30 pm

    Michael Harris is a tour de force of love and compassion. She founded Grey Matters Fund (@GreyMattersSWMO) after going through brain cancer herself. Married to the boy she met in 4th grade after a few long diversions, she is Queen Bee of The Church of Skatan, a safe haven/local half-pipe where locals and tourists alike find themselves on a Sunday afternoon, doing their best to shred 40' of chaos. Michael loves PBR and Hamm's beer, her children, her community and all of us who feel lost in this world. In this conversation, she de-mystifies death, gives us insight into her father's influence and displays for all her ability to be about as genuine and real as a person can get. I'm grateful for her friendship, grateful for her time, and stoked that she and Troy have opened their home to wayward souls like mine. Enjoy! […]