Thursday, July 31, 2008

And yes, I did bet a CCC trail worker he couldn't drink a quart of polenta after dinner. I lost $20.

Apparently, when you work the trails crew, competitive eating is what you do in the evenings. Because there is nothing else.

Twitchy eye movements

I mentioned the Buck Rut Tree just a little further down the page- the world's biggest Ponderosa! Three hundred years old! Fire scars eighty years down, and then again fifty years further! Eight feet in diameter! No branches for the first thirty feet! Growing on a tiny hill in the center of a meadow! (Thus getting the waters needed to grow seven thousand feet tall)

Yeah, the National Guard protected that tree from the ravages of fire.

The effort must have been great, we know, but they managed to overcome the obstacles required to save this tree. They cut off all branches on the first 70 feet, and put dozer lines through the meadow to protect this valuable resource from FIRE! THEY PUT DOZER LINES THROUGH A GODDAMN MEADOW! Do you have any idea how hard that is to fix?

Day two of fire school, the teacher described a perfect safety zone.
"One hour fuels or no fuels. A border of three times the height of the fire. Ideally, a damp spot." His eyes glazed over, "If you're doing things right, you would be comfortable in flip flops, a lawn chair, and a glass of ice cold be-lemonade, watching that fire burn the forest around you to ash." Then he showed pictures of, I kid you not, this very meadow. I'm really glad our governor sent the fine men and women of the National Guard up here to protect us. I weep for Iraq.

I tried to find a link to the article so that I could be incredibly sarcastic about it, but apparently someone in the chain of command had the sense to kill that press release.

Friday, July 18, 2008

I joined Facebook. Friend me already

You know it's Wisconsin when someone has four pages of friends, and all of the third page is last names with Van.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Buck rut tree

We stopped and saw the newly crowned officially biggest Pinus ponderosa today. We ate lunch nearby, and tried to locate our boos to tell her that her survey area was a fire danger area, with no one allowed in. We didn't find her- I was supposed to make sure she got back safe because I live on the compound, and I forgot until this very minute. Vehicle presence check-

Oh good, she's not trapped in a fire. Woman should listen to the radio, dammit.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Great moments in doubletalk

We'll call you back tomorrow morning at 0800 am.

I worked 175.5 hours in the last 11 days!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

And I thought I explained the ducklings.

I got asked to use simpler words today. My offending words? Pernicious and obiquious. Excellent. And I hate botany rules for data formatting. If you're going to be that picky, you should put togather a database that edits information for you. INFP means "I construct logical frameworks to compensate for my flakiness and disorganization". It means "I can't remember things that are a certain way just because".

We in the RAD BOTS have a term for following the Logistics Chief or Incident Commander and writing down everything they say while firing off all the questions generated since the last time they came through: being a duckling. Two or three people will trail behind an important and informed person and quack repeatedly. I guess on day eight or so, we were sort of zombie ducklings...

But I get a day off, two days before my 14th day, so yay. And I don't know whether I'm going back to fire. Lord knows I'm not good at it, and it's not what I want to do, but the people are a lot nicer- Imagine, I actually like my boss- and the money is good... It all depends on the weather and fate. And which task books I'm allowed to complete. Between you and me, the real number should be 0, but I might get as many as 2. The advantages of sounding like my mother and causing no trouble.

We had to throw together a series of rides for 20 odd people going to three different places on our own tonight, and did pretty well. We asked the trails person to drive one bunch- she dresses and acts like she's pretty enough to get away with anything, but I'm not seeing it. It may be that her whole faces is botchy and her eyes are swollen shut because of the smoke- although she still uses lots of pink in her makeup. I thought she just lacked an understanding of appropriate color usage, but having sat in for her thrice while she goes and harangues her doctor for steriods, I now know- allergies. She's thirty five, she should really have an actual personality by now.

Anyways, she said she'd love to drive, so we called her seven times when she was on call. No answer. She waltzed in an hour later, and asked where we wanted her to go. I said,
"Well, everyone already left because we couldn't reach you." She pouted. (Actual, literal pout.)
"I really wanted that overtime! I was right next to my phone, I would have heard it ring!" A sigh, a hairflip "Oh well, it would have interferred with my plans for this evening."

And that is why I am still in W town, staffing the Communications center whilst other people who volunteered to do this as a favor went to deliver crews. I haven't seen C since Friday- his birthday- for an hour- and haven't been home since the Sunday before. I hope her evening plans go swimmingly.