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And coping with life
No date. No nothing. My ex stopped in for about 10 minutes on her way to wherever she was going. I suspect she was just verifying I was still alive. If I was dead she'd load the dogs up, pick my pocket and then call 911. She'd do that in a minute.
What the hell am I doing wrong. I've got a good heart. I put my buddy on a plane this morning at KCI. A family member had died in SC and the funereal is Sunday. Ned had no way to get there. A one way flight on such short notice set me back 240.00 and in my truck it's a good 3/4 tank up there and back to the airport. I'm not bragging. I'd do this for you too if you're in my life.
I donate to charity. I rescue dogs. I have more than I can handle now because I'm too easy. Dogs.
I smile at people regularly. I'll help old ladies across the street. I'm making all the right moves but something still isn't right.
I'm at a loss though. What the hell am I doing wrong?
I get along with everybody too. I'll cut your grass if you don't mind me getting in your yard and I know you. Again, I'm not patting myself on the back. It was how I was raised. If you invite me in your house, I'll invite you in mine as well.
The fit hit the shan last night though. I burn a fire every night in my front yard. I have an approved fire pit and it's legal. I sit out there with my dogs and a cold drink and maybe a friend or two, if they come around. I have a ton of wood and a good chainsaw and I like to burn stuff. Fire is hypnotic. I can stare at it for hours. Controlled burning.
Somebody called the Fire Dept and said I was burning my house down. The geared up and showed up IN FORCE. Two big pump trucks. Then got redneck with me because I had one piece of wood sticking over the edge of the pit. I'm sitting right there though, I'm on top of it.
The doused my fire. Used my own garden hose and filled that pit up with water. Then they left.
I started it up again after they'd gone. This is MY yard and I'm within my legal rights to burn.
No I'm not.
They came back again and this time they brought some cops. Cop #1 tells me if you start that fire again you're going to jail. At that point all conversation was moot. I told him that's all you had to say.
Fire didn't get started again that night.
Now I have to call the Fire Marshall, which I did this morning, and schedule some safety lessons, which we've done.
Then I can burn again. I've been burning for 10 years though. No one said a word about it. Some neighbor is pissed at me though. Why, I don't know. I don't know what I did. I don't have a clue.
What do you do? When you're taking hits from all sides and don't understand why, how do you deal? It can be almost overwhelming at times. I mean sometimes I just wanna go back to bed and stay there.... I'm 51 years old and NONE of this ride has been easy. Easy doesn't exist in my vocabulary.
Hang in there wyweb and keep doing the good stuff despite them.
I've had a peaceful relationship in this neighborhood for 10 years now. By now it's probably 11. I get along with everybody.
I'm in a bad neighborhood. Gangbangers live a few houses down and they shoot their guns on a regular basis. I shoot mine too. Just so they'll know I've got some. They know about my dogs as well. They nod at me when I drive by. Gettng a certified gangbanger to nod at you, as opposed to taking a shot, is actually a bit of an accomplishment. When I'm gardening big I take them tomatoes and cucumbers. It's a peace offering. I stay totally out of their business and they stay out of mine. It's a truce and however uneasy it is, it at least works.
This is the worst neighborhood in Topeka and I'm smack in the middle of it but I've been here for years and I'm not moving.
It wasn't them. They don't call the law. They handle their business on their own and they don't want the law anywhere near them.
There's a limited number of people who could have done this though, and I know every one of them. 5 houses down in either direction and on either side of the street and I know you.
And you're supposed to be my friend.
What the hell did I do? Tell me where I wronged you and I'll do my best to make it right. I'll make restitution in whatever fashion I have to. Just tell me what I did.
Man this is depressing and before anybody says just blow it off, I can't do that. Stuff like this stays with me for days.
Days? How about years? That's me.
|Man this is depressing and before anybody says just blow it off, I can't do that. Stuff like this stays with me for days. |
Or was me. Ok, is me. But, I can tell you that all of the major big thinkers say that you've got to to work at forgiveness. That's the only way. And it's tough. Which is why the major thinkers screw around with it. The major thinkers say that sometimes it is impossible to forgive. But, even then, that's what you need to do.
So, you can dive into Google and read about how to forgive. And why. I wish I had a better answer. (I've looked and this answer is far from easy or perfect.) But, that's all I got.
Except to say, there isn't much wrong with you other than you're human.
I'm the fat bald white boy with dogs and guns who does stuff on computers. I caught this first hand.
Young gangbanger was walking home from liquor store carrying a case of PBR on his head. Older gangbangers had sent him on a run but he had to walk it.
It's a good walk up there too. A mile there and a mile back. It's the middle of August and hot as hell out there. He's sweating his ass off and I don't mind making points with these guys. Maybe they'll leave me alone. I stop and give him a ride.
He gets in the truck and says, "Hey, I know you." He's a kid, barely 18 and already packing heat.
I say, "Yeah I know you too."
"You're that guy that does shiit on computers right."
And then he outlines my rep in the neighborhood, in forensic, technicolor detail. They were gonna run me out at first, simply by virtue of the fact that I had guns. Actually what they were gonna do is take my guns from me, shoot my dogs with my own guns and send me packing.
I told the kid "You'd have had a war on your hands." And he was like, yeah, kinda figured that.
And he's not a spokesman either. He's a grunt they sent walking to get beer. It was an enlightening conversation though. I learned a few things that day.
I'll still take them tomatoes, if I have enough that is.
It wasn't them. They don't call the law. They just come kick your door down and do whatever they think has to be done.
Are gangs bad in your city?
[edited by: wyweb at 12:16 am (utc) on Apr 16, 2011]
This sounds like a little like Gran Torino!
Some people are just dicks. A neighbor doesn't like the smoke and says "**** that guy, I'm going to stop him from having a fire". These people usually have horrible lives themselves and take it out on others. A real person would go over and talk to you about it if it bothered them.
I'm not sure how much you're on the computer, but I hope you do get off it from time to time. With a full time engineering job as well as the website hobbies, I make sure to get off the computer on Saturday and most of Sunday. Partly because I'm burnt out from it, and partly because too much of anything is a bad thing.
Internet's nice and all but it isn't a real place...get out and see friends, make some new ones, etc. Hope you cheer up, good things will happen to good people in time.
No doubt. I look at this beefed up Dell as a ball and chain these days.
I do. I'm chained to it. Every opportunity I have that I can feasibly get away from this thing, I take. I go to the lake. I load my dogs up and we're gone.
My ex and I would get away for a weekend. The only condition she put on it was no laptop allowed and I honored that. No family, no dogs, no kids, no phone and NO computer. We'd hole up in little mom and pops bed and breakfasts and those were some of the happiest times in my life.
I'm concerned about who called the Fire Dept on me though. It's obvious they don't like me and I'd like to know who it was. Not for retribution but to try to correct it. I'll do whatever I have to do to get along.
Even if it costs me more than it costs you.
Which way was the smoke blowing? Or, was it a windless night so everyone in the neighborhood was breathing smoke? In any case, someone can be your friend and not want to breathe smoke.
The person who called probably didn't want to confront you, because you're the dude with scary dogs and you shoot guns in your back yard. ;-)
The webs is a great place, it's easy to stay into that window for hours. I know that too.
Sounds like you just need to break some old habits and look for some new ones. Getting out and meeting people takes effort, but there are plenty of people in your situation, your not alone. The same way you might be looking for someone else, they might be looking for someone like you. It happens all the time.
No doubt times do suck - sometimes. I worked on a project for two and a half years. Worked my butt off - 16 hours a day, six days a week. I was promised a promotion at the end. Didn't happen, poor economy. No one's getting a raise this year.
Bad stuff happens to good people. It does.
But the nice thing about life is you never know what tomorrow will bring. A sunny day, a great day of fishing... a drink with a buddy, a good laugh.
Hang in there wyweb, I'm 51 too and I know how you feel. I went through the same thing about three years ago.
No, it was somebody who has a beef with me.
Ronnie across the street has fires all the time. JD, 3 houses down, has fires, in fact that's his favorite way to cook. On an open fire. He feeds the whole neighborhood when he gets on a roll.
This had nothing to do with smoke. It was me. But I don't know in what respect.
It's just depressing is all. It's confirmation to me that it doesn't matter what you do, how good you are, how you treat people. Someone, somewhere will be having a bad night and decide to take it out on you.
All bets are off then. I probably didn't do anything to them. They're seeing me having fun in my yard and something about that ticks them off.
Barring more conclusive evidence, I'm going with that one.
Thanks for listening guys and I apologize for the rant...
|I apologize for the rant. |
You've got that feeling you've done something wrong. The cops say you did. You haven't done anything wrong. Don't listen to that, especially from yourself.
|Bad stuff happens to good people. It does. |
Right. And we want and need justice. That's what makes just us who we are. But, justice is rare. And, end the end we have to forgive and let go.
|I probably didn't do anything to them. They're seeing me having fun in my yard and something about that ticks them off. |
That's where my money is.
Did you consider:
a) one of your neighbors may have asthma and asthma and smoke don't go together or,
b) all of your neighbors are sick of their house smelling like a bonfire?
It's spring, people open windows, nobody wants that smell drifting in the house.
Doesn't matter what all your other neighbors do, it's the house you stunk up that made the call.
And to put other speculation on this, maybe one of your neighbours kids had visitors who called the fire service instead of taking about the problem to the adults in the house.
Fast forward to your nice neighbours watching the fire being doused, then the fire-service returning for a second time, and a lot of fuss. Now too embarrassed to come say "sorry, it was all the fault of someone else's 4-year old who smelt smoke, remembered what to do from pre-school lessons, and got hold of the phone when we were drinking on the back porch and couldn't see what the kids were doing" .
Even I cringed saying that - and I invented it ;)
Me - I'd be right on over - probably while the fire service was there. But I know lots of people who would hide in their house hoping it would go away.
Wyweb I like your writing style. I like the issues you raise. So please hear this in the tone it's meant not criticism, but concern: I think maybe time to think about what you're thinking.
Don't be a good person. Be a great person. Although it sounds like you're already there.
And you're smart. So think smart.
Think about good things. The things that allow you to be a better person.
Not the things that you can't answer because you don't have all the information, or wondering how to change outcomes that were out of your control because you weren't the only person making decisions in the chain of events, and similar.
Bad things happen to good people. Good people know they are bad because they live a life where "bad" things are not the norm. They know they are good people because they can recognise bad things and tale some time to wonder how to avoid them in the future.
But to be great, good people have to avoid spending too much time thinking about bad things. If they do, there's no time or energy to do good things.
Be a great person :)
I'm not saying this applies to you OP, but I once heard someone comment about how we often ask "why me?". This person suggested that we may not be as innocent or good as we think we are.
It made me laugh, but sometimes I'll think about that when I feel down and it helps put me back in my place and things into perspective.
Here are my thoughts on your situation, taken from lessons I've learned and to-this-day apply in my own life. I hope you find them helpful.
In social psychology there is a concept which is called "locus of control."
I'm no psychologist, but I've been exposed to some theories here and there and this one has improved my life tremendously. I remember the first time I heard this strange phrase was in a talk by Brian Tracy. As Wikipedia so aptly puts it, "Locus of control in social psychology refers to the extent to which individuals believe that they can control events that affect them."
As I understand it, it goes like this:
People with an externallocus of control believe that their particular experiences in life (and subsequently, how those experiences make them feel) are a result of circumstances outside of their control, and suffer much anger and frustration due to the feelings of helplessness that this belief creates when something inevitably goes wrong. Sound familiar?
|What do you do? When you're taking hits from all sides and don't understand why, how do you deal? |
People with an internallocus of control believe that their particular experiences in life (and once again, how those experiences make them feel) are mostly the result of the things they actually can control - I believe this refers to thoughts, beliefs, and behavior.
No matter what you do, no matter how much time and effort you invest, you can never control the actions of other people. Pinning your ability to experience happiness on this will always result in frustration when somebody inevitably does something that you don't like. The truth is, you don't know who it was or why they did it - and you probably never will. Maybe there was a completely understandable and valid reason for it, or maybe it was malicious. Chances are you will never know, and even if you did manage to find out, and settle this particular hiccup, another will inevitably follow beginning the whole process anew. It sucks, I've been there, and it feels like it's constantly one thing after another after another with no end in sight.
So the million-dollar question becomes "How can you create a condition inside of your own mind, that will allow you to sustain the good feelings you desire, regardless of what the world throws at you?"
I don't think it's really about forgiving and forgetting, then carrying on (I can't do that either). I think it's about turning your attention and focus inward and spending some time dismantling your internal algorithm to find out what core belief caused this past event to push "happiness" down past SERP #100 - and then consciously identifying and changing a bit of your core code that will allow you to walk away from these situations unfazed because while fires and neighbors can be good things for increasing your enjoyment of life, they need not be foundational or integral to it.
Look for examples in others. How do some non-violent prisoners find contentment when they are locked in an 8x10 cell? How do people who live in the worst conditions imaginable manage happiness? There are examples, and it's fascinating to read about them. I believe that finding happiness is about changing how your mind works, not how your neighborhood works.
Next time you to attend an industry event I'll come get you drunk and buy you a girl! ;)
|no matter how much time and effort you invest, you can never control the actions of other people |
Agreed. But I can can control my own actions towards them. I can try to make my interaction with them as positive as I can. I'll cut your lawn. I'll give you a ride to the store so you can spend your food stamps. If your washer breaks down, you can do a couple loads in my house. I'll help you chase down your dog if he gets loose. If you need a couple bucks til payday, I'm there. Your kid needs his bike tire aired up? I've got a compressor. That door's coming off its hinges? Let me go get screwdriver. I'll be back.
All of those have happened.
You have to understand this is pretty much ghetto over here. The houses are better than an actual ghetto but it's Topeka's version of same and no mistake about it. When you hear gunfire just about every night and police sirens are so common you barely even hear them anymore, you develop a bond with your neighbors.
I guess it's like a sinking ship and people hugging each other as it's going down. There's this "we're in this together" feeling. I've lived in a split level ranch houses in the suburbs before and couldn't tell you the name of the guy across the street because in three years we'd never talked. We wave and that's it. Sometimes we don't even do that.
I'm doing a poor job defining this. I can't control your actions. I can make my actions a good experience for you though. I'd rather do that anyway. I can try to make you laugh and that in itself, in at least some small degree, should be able to influence how you feel about me. This is correct, no? Or am I wasting my time?
I don't hole up in this house either. I'm outside as much as possible when weather permits. Trust me, I get away from this desk as often as I can. Sometimes I'm locked to it for days and days on end so yeah, when I have the opportunity to get up and move around, start paying attention to my dogs again, I take it.
And Bill it's not about the smoke. I've built fires all my life and my fires smoke very little anyway. Once they get started, they burn clean. There are wood burning stoves in this neighborhood that put out far more smoke than my little pit does. And other fire pits. In a 3 or 4 block drive straight down my street at 8:00 on a summer night, front yard fires litter the landscape. It looks like a scene from one of those post apocalyptic movies. It's a social thing. The facebook of the slums. Build a fire and people will come. You sit around it and drink beer and talk about what happened that day.
It's like posting on someones wall but in this case you get to say it to their face.
[edited by: wyweb at 11:04 am (utc) on Apr 16, 2011]
|Next time you to attend an industry event I'll come get you drunk and buy you a girl! |
ROF.. you caught that one eh?
I'll bring a girl. I'll take you up on the drink though.
Note he didn't say the girl would be real.
Think $35 inflate-a-date.
Probably why he was going to get you drunk first do you didn't notice.
Back to the fire thing.. this is still about coping.
It was the main firefighter, the guy with the rank, that was making the most noise. He was mad at me because now they're wasting resources on a stinking fire pit, as if it was me who called them. 2 of the big pump trucks, 8 firemen standing around in the street wondering why they're here. They're geared up for a house fire but there isn't one to put out. It's basically just a campfire.
We'll they're here now and they're gonna put a fire out, even if it's just small.
While the LT (he might have even been a Captain. I never got a good look at his bars) is using my hose to put my fire out, rookie fireman comes up to the fence and I ask him, "Why are you coming down on me for this? You guys know me. You know I burn all the time."
He goes, "Man, I don't know. I don't like it either. I was in the middle of a good show back at the station."
I'm saying, "This is NOT right. This is not right at all."
Junior fireman says, "It doesn't matter. Just do what the man says."
And so I guess it doesn't matter. Do what you're told whether it's right or wrong.
I'm sorry but I have a problem with that particular one and when they left I started the fire back up. And they came back. And now they're really mad. This time it's on me though. I was told. I just didn't like what I was told.
This is still about coping. I used to consider myself one step away from being an outright activist. Peaceful protest, it was mainly nuclear issues back then, yeah I'm there. I drew lines though. I wouldn't take it to the streets and I'm not gonna hurt anybody to get my point across. I might yell but violence was never a part of my agenda. Nor is it today.
I rarely even get mad anymore. My anger seems to have been replaced by these stinking bouts of depression. Life let me down again. Crap. Why, after seeing as much of life as I have, does that even surprise me anymore? It oughta be a given by now. Life will let you down. The only thing not certain is the exact date and time. It'll happen though. People will lie to you. People will steal from you. They will talk about you behind your back and they will use you if they can.
To expect anything different is, well, it's pollyanna I guess.
Maybe that's why I love my dogs so much. When a dog smiles at you, you know it's real.
|I'm doing a poor job defining this. I can't control your actions. I can make my actions a good experience for you though. I'd rather do that anyway. I can try to make you laugh and that in itself, in at least some small degree, should be able to influence how you feel about me. This is correct, no? Or am I wasting my time? |
I have many friends like this and I think they are awesome people, so it definitely works on me! And based on what you've shared here your actions have won over quite a few people indeed - but at the same time it's important wield a philosophy that prevents those unavoidable failures from lingering in your mind, slowly collecting one after another. If you don't find a mental technique for shaking these things off you'll go crazy, like me. I'm not that crazy yet though. I was only planning on getting incrediBILL drunk, then dressing him up like a girl before getting you drunk and setting you guys up. That way I can steal secrets from both of you in a single night - and get some blackmail material in the process. There is a reason Brett chooses Vegas you know.
|I was only planning on getting incrediBILL drunk, then dressing him up like a girl before getting you drunk and setting you guys up. That way I can steal secrets from both of you in a single night - and get some blackmail material in the process. There is a reason Brett chooses Vegas you know. |
That's excellent mister. That is very, very good. Not the actual intent mind you but I got a serious laugh out of that and that's always a good thing.
Make him shave first. Otherwise I'll know...
Thanks Fribble! And thanks for your posts. I'm feeling better already. Sometimes that's all it takes. A good nights sleep and a good laugh first thing in the morning.
Coffee even tastes better this morning.
The depression thing comes and goes. I'm in therapy for it now and it helps. Somewhat anyway. I've never been in therapy before but I have no problem opening up and that's the main thing, that and putting into application whatever you're advised to do. It was my ex and me at first. We're trying to salvage a busted up relationship and hoping too much damage hadn't already been done. Maybe couples therapy can help. It didn't. She left but I stayed on, with the therapy I mean.
Switching gears here but still about coping.
I talk about dogs a lot. Dogs help me cope. They help me with the depression thing. They do so in a number of ways.
I have bad days occasionally. Days when life just seems so overwhelming and the only reason I even get out of bed in the morning is because I have to feed them. Once I'm up and moving around, a cup of coffee doesn't sound all that bad, and while I'm up I guess I might as well check email. Better get something out of the freezer so it'll thaw in time for supper. And I hate having dirty dishes in the sink in the morning so I'd better get them started too. Without even being consciously aware that it's happened, I'm knee deep in a new day and you know what, maybe life doesn't look that bad after all. Those days don't happen all that often but when they do my dogs have the ability to force me to participate in my own life. They need me, but more importantly, I need them. It's a powerful force, being needed. Being there for them is gratifying for me. It boosts my sense of self worth, which I seem to have some issues with.
I need to learn how to let things go. I agree. Oh, I do agree. I've sat here and watched me change. I've watched my evolutionary progress and I'm not happy about that either. 20 years ago I'd have gotten pissed about this. I'd have stormed around the house and made a lot of noise. 20 years ago I'd have gone to jail for this. Just to make a point. I'd have told that cop, "You think you're big enough to come in here and take me out of this yard? You better bring some friends mister."
And he would have. He'd have brought some friends. And they'd have come in this yard and they'd have taken me to jail. And they probably would have slammed me around a little bit too. Don't ever tell a cop he can't do something. Not if you're smart anyway. I'd have been one line of text in the next days "Police Report" in the daily paper and nursing black eyes for resisting arrest. I'd have done it though. Did it in fact on a number of occasions. In Texas spending a night in jail was an occupational hazard. Your woman and one of your buddies would show up in the morning with some bail money and take you home. She might not even say a word to you. She might not even look at you. Your buddy wants to know the full story though.
I don't seem to get mad anymore though and I don't know if that's a good thing or bad. Things that would have ticked me off 20 years ago only make me sad now. I got kicked again. Oh well. Time to go to bed. It's safer not to get mad but man, I don't know. This friggin' deflated feeling, yeah it might not get you thrown in jail but it's useless for any other purposes.
At least anger has the capacity to get some results.
Being deflated just makes me want to crawl in hole and hibernate.
They're going to have to amputate my leg too. The writing is on the wall. 3 weeks ago I spent 6 days in Stormont Vail and we talked about this every day. It has to happen. I'm stalling though.
I wrecked a motorcycle in Huntsville, Alabama 13 years ago. Full dress Honda Goldwing and I laid her down on a turn on a wet road going waaay too fast and then went straight through a barb wire fence. Leg should have been taken off that same night but some bored Alabama ER surgeon thought he'd get a little creative and got some hardware in place (external fixation).
This is an actual picture of my leg 2 months after the accident. Some skin grafts that they took off my butt had already failed and rotted off so that's why you still see the open wound.
And yes this is my site but there's nothing commercial about it at all. It's used for testing and serving forum images only. There's a splash page in place but it only serves non-profit ads for animal shelters. I don't make a dime off them. I do it because I care. I hope like hell you'll let these links stand. No commercial gain here baby. No plugging. It's just how I show people images.
This is my leg when the hardware got taken off
This is the Titanium plate they had to put in there when the Alabama Drs crappy stuff started falling apart. Fixation failed completely.
And this is what my leg looks like on a bad day, which happens a couple times a month and usually lasts for 3 or 4 days at a time.
Now they want to cut it off and I'm not especially opposed to that idea. I'm not hugging it with open arms either. It's a body part and I'd just as soon try to keep it. They should have made this decision form while I was in a coma for 2 weeks. They didn't, and now it falls on me and I am SOOO sitting on the fence with regard to this one. It hurts though. It hurts all the time and they won't give me good drugs anymore because I like them too much.
And this is my truck ...LOL.... She's got a bored out 360 in her and will climb straight up a tree if I let her.
I had to get her in there...
That's how I cope these days. I load up the dogs and we get somewhere.
Sometimes it works too....
Jeff you have an abundance of friends here! We enjoy your company and friendship immensely.
Believe me when I say happiness starts at the physical level. Much of what shapes us emotionally and mentally is chemical... chemical in the way the body produces them, hormones, sugar level, etc. This internal chemistry functions best when the body is fit.
Get to baseline with your body and your mood swings will even. Get to baseline with your body and your energy level with soar and give you the drive for new and interesting things. Get to baseline with your body and sadness will be replaced by self esteem and happiness. Do not have thoughts more important on your plate than getting your physical part to baseline. Money is not more important, your ex is not more important, the neighborhood with its problems are not more important... the only thing that is important is you and your resolve to get physically healthy.
Ahhh Jon... I like the way you talk. I've told you that on more than one occasion. And I'll tell you that again.
I just want peace and the harder I chase it the more that bitch seems to run from me.
I'm making the right moves man. I know damn good and well I am. I'm doing all the right things.
Things are just.. well, they're just messed up is all.
I can't control it so I guess I just have to live with it.
|People will lie to you. People will steal from you. They will talk about you behind your back and they will use you if they can. |
Yes some will, no matter how nice or helpful you are to them. So now that you know that, buck up and quit worrying about what others think of you.
You need a change of scenery. A chance to meet others with similar interests and goals. I don't think you will find a lot of people like that living in the ghetto. I know you don't want to move so maybe a vacation is in order. It doesn't have to be pricey either.
You once mentioned having a mountain property somewhere you liked to visit. I also like to relax by visiting my vacation property in Missouri. 24 acres of uncut wilderness with river access and an ice cold, fresh water creek. Sounds like you aren't all that far away from it- you're more than welcome to take a road trip and camp out there if you like. Mark Twain National Forest is less than 10 minutes away if you're interested in other activities (if your leg allows you the mobility).
Consider purchasing a RV. I purchased a class-b RV so I can hit any national and state parks whenever I want and still retain most of the conveniences of home. This is nice, because any weekend can be a short vacation. Dogs are welcome at most parks and so what if you bring a computer and get some work done while you're there. Bring a chair, get a fire going, kick back, fish, whatever. The point is, get away from all of that nonsense at home and just enjoy yourself.
Get a copy of your local ordinance relating to such fires. Make sure your fire is in compliance. Show the cops the municipal ordinance when they show up. Would be good to have a video tape of the next encounter to show the mayor/city manager/chief of police.
Everyone should obey the law, especially law enforcement officers.
|Make sure your fire is in compliance |
Well, that's just it. Technically I wasn't in compliance. It matters.
I have a copy of that ordinance scanned and saved somewhere on my drive. Doesn't matter.
There were actually several things I wasn't doing right and the LT jumped on all of them. Bear in mind they've never stood up for any of these before. Never. Doesn't matter. Selective enforcement was in full play that night.
A water hose needs to be near the fire. It has to be close enough for you to reach in seconds. Mine wasn't. In fact I'd actually pulled it around back to water some plants. Reaching it in seconds wasn't possible. I've never had to reach a water hose in seconds though. Not once in my life that I can recall. Doesn't matter
I had a single branch hanging 6" over the side of the pit. Doesn't matter. That's a no no. That piece will burn through and the overhang will fall to the ground and still be lit. It could start other things on the ground on fire. Conceivably anyway. In theory.
I'm on top of this fire. I'm sitting within 2 feet of it. Doesn't matter. My yard is nothing but dirt in this particular area. Grass won't even grow there. There's nothing to burn when that 6" piece falls off. Doesn't matter. Dirt won't burn. Doesn't matter. When that 6" piece falls off, I'll get out of my chair and throw it back in. I do it all the time. Doesn't matter.
I could understand his frustration. This got called in as a house fire and these guys don't mess around when they hear that. They gear up and get somewhere and they do a fine job in my city. They roll out and they roll hard. I have nothing but respect for our firefighters. They'll go inside while the house is still burning and pieces of the roof are dropping all around them and pull you and your kids out. They've even been known to go back inside and get your cat out too. In my town they do.
I'm not mad at these guys. I was then but that one faded quick. Very quick. Legally they were correct. They were taking a lot of this crap out on me though. They engaged 2 trucks and 8 guys but there's no house fire so they're pissed at me now.
Hey, I didn't call you guys. Doesn't matter. Rank was looking for way to justify that he's even there, much less brought his guys and 2 trucks with him. They probably burned 60 bucks in gas just to get those two trucks to my house and back to the station. Plus I interrupted their evening for no reason. Or someone did anyway.
Most firemen I know are looking for a way to overcome the boredom that permeates most of time they're on the job. Nothing like a house burning down to get their hearts pumping. If they were pissed it's probably because they didn't have a real fire to fight.
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