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I've completed the requirements to be a certified firefighter.


I've got a headache coming on.


Leeanne Rimes:
"I Need You."


Sonic hamburger. 


I'm not doing much thinking b/c my head hurts.

wednesday, july 19th

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Quote Du Jour:
"Fairy tales can come true. It can happen to you. If you're young at heart. For it's hard, you'll find, to be narrow of mind if you're young at heart. ... And life gets more exciting with each passing day. And love is either in your heart or on it's way." - Frank Sinatra, "Young at Heart."

As of today, I completed the practical requirements to be a certified firefighter in my home state. Granted... it's the most basic of certifications... But it's a good first step towards doing something that I've always wanted to do. Although, it didn't go off without a hitch.

When a home with a truss roof doesn't have an attic door, there is usually a small square hole in the ceiling of the garage for attic access. Tuesday night, I had to climb through a similar hole wearing full firefighting gear. While I'm not a "lard-ass," I'm not skinny by any stretch of the imagination. The building I was attempting this in was hot & smoky (albeit simulated smoke). I tried once. I tried twice. I tried three times. Each time, I kept hitting the top of my air tank on the side of the hole. About that time, the low air alert whistle went off on my air pack.

For some reason, I forgot every problem solving skill I have. I got frustrated. I knew that the two firefighters ahead of me had already made it through the hole. That upset me. I tried to blow my way through there. Bad idea. Finally, with some convincing words from my instructor, I got through it. Whew. What a relief. But the more I think about it, the more it upsets me. I should have been calmer about it. Why didn't I use brains instead of brawn... because brawn did not work for me.

I love the phrase, "improvise, adapt, overcome."

Notice that "frustration" isn't included in any of that.

Maybe it's cocky of me, but when it comes to much of the work I'm doing at my newspapers... I think I'm the best there is at each paper. Am I the best in the world? Not a chance. The best in the nation? I don't think so. The best in the state? I could probably hang. The best at my papers? You betcha. The problem this creates is that I'm not challenged. Firefighting challenges me. I'm no where near the best. I'm not even good enough to polish the best's brass. But I want to be there one day. I want to be on top. I want to be challenged and I want to meet the challenge.

I haven't felt like this in a while. And boy does it feel great. (0119)

Addendum on coworkers:

My younger female coworker who believes she is the shit (see Monday's entry) freaked me out a bit today. She plays some interesting tunes at times. It's funky stuff. People scream a lot. You can't understand the words. A few days ago, I joked about how after listening to some of that, I expected her to draw a pentagram on the floor... and light candles... and chant.

Today, she forgot to log out of Hotmail while using my computer. I noticed that her e-mail address used the numbers "666" in a prominent way. I believe in letting folks do what they want to... but that's just freaky kids. I'm a good, God-fearing boy living in the Bible belt. I can't support that "sign of the devil" stuff. And she lives in the Bible belt, too. So why would she even go and do something like that? It's asking for trouble. If not from friends & co-workers... then from God... (I'm betting on both).

I asked her about it... because that's the kind of guy I am. She made a nervous laugh... and asked me not to tell anyone. Why the hell would you make your e-mail address something that you were ashamed of? (0129)

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