A lot going on even though things are slowing down, work at least, and things are shifting to winter mode. I needed to throw out an update because it is overdue.
So our fire season is over and seasonal employees have been laid off. The forest has shifted into its winter mode and this means a few changes for us in dispatch. One change is our schedule. We can now come in at 0700 and work our 10 hours. Getting off at 1730 (5:30 pm) is nicer than 1830 when most has closed in town. A lot of our daily routine has been eliminated and now we are working on projects geared towards next year's season. Prescribed burning is in high gear as we burn fuels and clean up the forest to keep it healthy and lessen the possibility of severe fires in specified areas.
The weather has been the defining element to the end of our fire season and the rain has arrived to Humboldt County. I've already had a few early morning dark and wet bike rides to work. My schedule also changed in the days I work. Instead of Fri-Mon I now am working Wed-Sat with Sun/Mon/Tues off. Finally nab part of a weekend which will be nice to be able to finally check out some of the varied things that happen on the weekends.
I finally got to make a trip home for about a week. With the change in my schedule I was able to find a week of time and only have to take 2 days of leave since I don't have much built up yet. It was fantastic to see the family and I got lots done. My honey-do list had been growing since I first started my new job so I got to work. I replaced a bunch of light switches and outlets in the house, fixed our fence in the front yard, stacked and cut a bunch of fire wood, fixed a shower head, fixed a toilet water valve, removed an old gutter, and some other odds and ends. Having projects to do was fun. Some of these should have been done long ago but, regardless, they got done finally.
Went to Medford with Sam and we went to see My Soul to Take in 3D. It was alright. Then we went to Lava Lanes and bowled a few games. The next day I spent with Emily driving around the roads near our house. She just got her driving permit and so I took her out and let her drive around for an hour or so. She did awesome! So it was a great trip home and so needed!
Fortuna has been ok. Sucks being away from family; sucks not knowing anyone; sucks not having a car. But otherwise being over here has been comfortable. My cooking has slowed down quite a bit recently. Cooking for one person is hard to get motivated for. So I've been lazy and eating out a lot. Its so easy to stop at one of the many Mexican restaurants and grab a huge burrito on the way home. Another favorite is a Safeway sandwich. I get the large during the day, eat half at work and have the other half for dinner.
Hard to live in Humboldt and enjoy good beer. Thus, my beer consumption has increased quite a bit since being over here. Its too easy while in Fortuna to drop by the brewery and have a pint or stop at the Lost Coast Brewery while in Eureka for a nice brew.
I'll be so glad when this election year is over. If you live in California you know what I mean. The stuff on tv is driving me nuts. Speaking of election year, we have Prop 19 this year, to legalize marijuana. This prop is messed up and written pretty poorly. However, they can fix those things later and polish it up. I'm eager to see the legal system get cleaned up and to clear up the prison system, which is far too overcrowded to have petty pot smokers locked up. If passed, however, Humboldt county here would be devastated I think. Marijuana is the number one industry up here because the price is profitable. Legalized, the market could potentially collapse and really hurt these growers. But Humboldt has an opportunity to make themselves known if it becomes legal. They already have the brand name recognition so all they need to do is make this a destination of choice for people around the world, similar to the Amsterdam.
Starcraft 2 is out! And Cataclysm is just around the corner! I love you Blizzard! Yes, I have been playing Starcraft 2 exclusively since it came out. They have really taken RTS to the next level! Incredible story, stunning CGI cinematics between campaign missions, and huge online play and community. I've also grown addicted to watching 'shout-casts' of games between pro players. The original Starcraft had a huge player base complete with world-wide tournaments and tens of thousands in prize money. In Korea it is still a daily game show. So with Starcraft 2 finally out, the tournament play has already kicked into high-gear and watching matches with the right commentator is really exciting.
Brought my bass over with me and have been spending more time practicing and thumping around on it. More than I have in a few years. Spent some time last week watching my landlord so some really cool pottery work. He has several kilns and I finally got to see him work with them. He had made some flower-vase type pieces and was doing something called 'glass shatter' or something along those lines. He applies the glaze, sticks it in a kiln. heats it up, then at a certain time, takes the piece out. The piece is then sprayed with misty water, the glaze cracks into fine little cracks as the water sizzles on its hot surface. He than takes the sizzling piece and puts it into a metal garbage can filled with newspaper or other highly flammable material. The material catches fire, the lid is placed on the can. Inside the can, the thickening smoke penetrates all of the fine cracks in the glaze and, when done, gives the coolest look to whatever its done to. Incredible process!
Fortuna recently got done with their annual apple festival. There is a local orchard and they have an annual event in town where you get to participate in making apple cider, tons of events and other things going on in town during this festival. I tell ya, Fortuna really has their town squared away. It is pretty, clean, low crime, and friendly people. It is the 'Friendly City' after all.
Got to check out the Somoa drag strip the other day. Will definitely be attending some drag racing next year. And its even a NHRA certified track! I was there helping out the EVO (Emergency Vehicle Operator) course we had going there. I was playing the dispatcher and creating lots of distracting fire traffic as the participants drove fire engines through a course with an evaluator on board, code-3, sirens blaring. It was fun.
Family has been fantastic. Sam is in his senior year of high school. Wow! He also got homecoming king this year. We just finished getting his senior pictures done and they turned out so good! Can't wait to share em. As of now Sam plans on going into the Air Force through the ROTC program. He may have to do a year at a junior college, however, to get some course work done that is required. Emily is the usual busy-bee with a million things going on all the time. Ang has been busy with work as well as holding down the fort which is a full-time job in itself.
Football season sucks. I've never seen such a good team (the 49ers) suck so much in a season. On the plus-side, in baseball, which I never watch, the Giants are 2-0 in World Series and I have been surprisingly enjoying the games so far.
A sage smudge is the best odor-hider around. Jelly Bellys are the best snack! I've been a die-hard satellite tv lover for years. However, if I lived over here I would have local cable. I love watching all the local advertising and local news. We have nothing in Yreka but our local channel which only shows select local events at random times.
This winter will be busy for me at work. They are sending me to lots of training, which is great! I'll get to go to Ione for Cal-Fire's academy, which Forest Service sends people to. It is for the dispatch part of the job. I'll be down there most of January. Then I get to go to McClellan for a couple week course and have a few week-long courses they are sending me to.
Nakedness is natural (and fun).
Taco Loco makes a burrito that's gotta weigh 5 pounds! Its HUGE! Keep your spirits up and stay optimistic. Reading several books at the moment: Starcraft II Heaven's Devils, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, and Galileo by Clive Barker.
Well I actually thought this would be longer but I've probably babbled enough already. Take care.