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July 30th, 2006

How I spent my Friday night

Okay, this video I took at a house fire Friday night is 4MB long, shaky and not very interesting at that, so those of you with dial-up might want to consider avoiding it ... it's just that I was curious about how well LJ's new video feature worked, and this was also a way to let everyone know I may not be very active at the moment, but I'm still around ... There'll be more on the fire itself to come, along with a couple of pictures.

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How, you ask, would a broken computer lead to me being with the first truck in on a house fire? Fair question.

That morning, my daughter hit the power button on our trusty Mac, and was hit back in return with -- nothing. No welcoming chime, no e-mail, no LJ, nuttin'. She tried to e-mail me with the problem, but ... :-) On my particular model there's a little place on the back which, when pressed with a toothpick or pencil tip, can often get a reluctant computer going, and so it did -- it got my computer going to that little blinking question mark stage, which on a Mac means you're in big trouble, Mister. After a great deal of work that I didn't really have time for, I was able to get the computer going from the install disk, but when I tried to reinstall the system software, the install disk told me it couldn't install onto the hard drive because there WAS NO HARD DRIVE. This is bad.

I know: "What about the fire?" -- wait for it, I'm getting there.

By now our tight schedule was half a day further behind, so we went on with our various other jobs in what generously could be described as a foul mood. But we had scheduled in some time to check our e-mails, so I got a bright idea. How about, I said to my daughter, a trip to the fire station? They had two computers there, old but internet capable, which is more than I could say for any computer at my house. We could relax for awhile, check our e-mails, and generally take it easy. Also, the station's offices are air conditioned. The perfect plan.

By now you've figured things out. I had just turned to jillyh2009 and said, "Well, we'd better get on home and get back to work", when the pager went off. This is why jillyh2009 spent the rest of the evening watching TV at the fire station.

(Oh, and before I forget -- the next day I hit the power button on my computer out of hopeless desperation, and it came right on. Maybe somebody just wanted me at the station that night.)

Thus, I was first at the station and made the first truck, in a somewhat more excitable mood than usual considering the dispatcher was receiving reports of an elderly disabled person still trapped inside. Neighbors -- gotta love 'em -- pulled him out of a doorway before we arrived, which is a good thing, because the so-called "modular" homes can burn just as fast as mobile homes, and this one did. Those of you familiar with my previous posts will be happy to know the electrical service was buried and the heating system's propane tank didn't get *too* hot ... although you can add aerosol cans to the list of items that can cause excitement at a fire scene. Here's the news article on it:

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