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My little cousins have invaded my house. At 6 and 3, they add just a bit of excitement to life.


I've gotta think of a subject to do a industrial security presentation on by Monday morning.


Three Times A Lady.


hamburger & fries.


I need to take a shower as I am headed to see a movie in about an hour.


July 21: Preparing for Jessie to move home.

saturday, july 21st

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Quote Du Jour:
"To really love a woman to understand her you’ve got to know what's deep inside, hear every thought, see every dream and give her wings when she wants to fly..." (Bryan Adams, Have you ever really loved a woman?)

Since early Thursday morning, I've been telling folks how big of a dumb ass I am... Way too many people are agreeing with my observation.

Shortly after midnight Thursday morning, we were dispatched to a fire at an old, abandoned grain storage facility. There was heavy fire showing when we arrived but we had a chance to contain the fire to one wing of the structure. Alongside the fire building were five doors made of sheet metal and wood. They were about four feet wide by 12 feet tall and offered the only access we had to the building. Originally, these doors slid along the walls of the building on metal rails but time had locked most of them in place.

When sliding the doors on their rails didn't work, another firefighter and I tried to pull one free from the building. The door was stubborn and remained in place. I grabbed a pike pole (a long pole with a hook on the end used for pulling down ceilings) and tried another door. I hooked the door near the top and pulled. With our previous failure to pull down a door fresh on my brain, I didn't expect my efforts to be successful. I was wrong. The door came down... right on top of me.

Luckily, I wasn't directly under the door. I didn't fall down but stumbled back a few steps into the arms of another firefighter. He assured me that I was alright and, with my mission completed, we moved on.

Except that everything looked a little funny -- sort of out of focus.

I stopped in my tracks and pulled my safety goggles off of my face and up onto my helmet. I then took off my prescription glasses to discover my problem: one lense was missing. I swapped out my regular specs with a pair I usually wear while firefighting and went back to work.

We had the fire extinguished in about an hour or so. After mopping up and reloading our equipment, I solicited the help of about six dozen firefighters to help me look for the missing lense. We searched for the better part of five or ten minutes before someone asked, "you said you were wearing your goggles?" When I said, "yes," he shined his flashlight at my face and said, "I found it."

The lense had fallen off into the frame of the safety goggles and remained there through the rest of the fire. It never dawned on me to look in my goggles. I had thanked the guys for their help and announced to the group that I had to be the dumbest son of a bitch in all of the world.

I guess all that matters is that the fire was put out, nobody was hurt and I found my lense. Of course, more than three days later... I'm still feeling like a mental midget.

A memory just popped into my head out of the blue the other day and left me sitting there sad for a moment. I'm not sure what brought it on, but it made enough impact for me to have thought about it several times since then.

On the last day of my trip to Washington, D.C. last year, Alex and I went off on our own while our group was visiting the Air and Space Museum. We were both taking an aviation class that semester and it was interesting to be able to understand both the history of the event some of those planes were a part of... but also the history of the planes themselves. Shortly before it was time to rejoin our group, we sat down on a bench on the upper level. We didn't say much at all. We just sort of sat there and held hands.

I can remember a few moments where I needed to use that hand for something like scratching my head or moving one of our packages, but I put that stuff off. It was the last day of our trip and I figured that she would go weird on me again when we got home. I wanted to savor the moment. I guess I was successful. Here it is nine months later and I can still remember it vividly.

I've updated Alex's cast description.

I haven't seen Alex in two months. I believe that's the longest we've gone without seeing each other since we met. Do I miss her? Hmmm. The jury is still out on that one.

She was an oddball from the time we returned from Washington until we left school. I didn't get to see her on graduation day because of other commitments. I called her the week of her birthday (in late May) and she called me after my fireworks display July 4th. Other than those two phone calls, communication has been limited to a couple of e-mails...

Subject: Question
Date: Tue, 03 Jul 2001 05:25:25 -0500
From: Thomas Fletcher <dontsteal@myemailaddress.com>
To: alex@herdomain.com

Hey, am I ever gonna see you again?


From : "alex" <alex@herdomain.com>
To : dontsteal@myemailaddress.com
Subject : Re: Question
Date : Tue, 03 Jul 2001 17:20:17

Good question...............Alex

Maybe it was the e-mail that inspired her July 4th phone call. (Part of me wishes she called because she remembered being at my house last year for Independence Day. Of course, that's the unrealistic part of me.) I'm living without her. She's living without me. I guess that should say it all.

Shouldn't it?

copyright © 2001-02, Thomas Fletcher. all rights reserved.