Monthly Archives: September 2008

Postcard from Firecom

Today I did my monthly shift with the NSW Rural Fire Service. Formerly a Fire Fighter, I was a Communications Centre Assistant and now I am a Communications Centre Supervisor which holds the rank of Deputy Captain.

When I am on duty, it is my job to run the Fire Communications Centre (Firecom for short) and supervise one or more Assistants. Also, it is up to me to decide which Fire appliances are sent to particular incidents depending on the size and type of fire, vehicle type, crew availability and more. I supervise my team and also do the work when required including answering telephone and radio calls, updating relevant staff and organisations when required, keeping the resource board and paperwork up to date, deal with public enquires and more.

On occasions apart from working in the Control Centre, sometimes I can work in a mobile communications bus at fires and other incident senses as well as community events.

I’ve been a member of the Service since 2002, initially starting as a Fire Fighter. I joined Comms in 2003 and have been there ever since. Since 2004 I have been solely a Comms member and have been responsible at different times for things including equipment, training and running meetings.

I really enjoy being a member of the service. Usually I am rostered for one shift a moment on a volunteer basis and attend meetings and training when I can. Now that fire season is days away, it is time for me to be ready for a busier time.

Speaking of busy, today was a busy day. I started at 9am and finished just after 5pm. During this time, I was supervising up to 3 people, training one person for half a day, took numerous telephone and radio calls and had 6 grass/bush fires of various sizes, 1 house fire and 1 persons trapped motor vehicle accident. In addition to this, there were several calls from people doing hazard reduction burns and a call from a lady wanting to know if they could have an open flamed BBQ.

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Filed under Rural Fire Service stuff

Sydney’s Olympic Welcome Home Parade

I’ve been meaning to write this post for a few days. If they gave out a gold medal in procrastination, I’d win gold on this occasion.

After the recent Olympics in China (home of many rabbits), there were welcome home parades for the Olympians. With a country the size of Australia and that the athletes themselves would probably want to march in their home state’s parade, they decide to have several parades in the capital cities of the mainland states.

Sydney’s parade was the first parade held on Monday 15 September. There were a lot of comments in relation about having the event on a weekday. The event was presumably held during the week so office workers can see the parade during their lunchtime. The parade is usually held around lunchtime because obviously it can’t happen during the peak hours unless you are the Pope. Then the Police need some time to close the road and then open it again. But because it usually turns out to be a tickertape parade, there needs to be time to clean the street before it is re-opened to traffic.

The major complaint that some people had about the parade was that the Paralympians weren’t invited and some people thought that the Paralympians should have been at the event. No one in the popular media seemed to point out that the main reason the Paralympians couldn’t be in the parade is because the Paralympics was still going at the time! What were they supposed to do? Leave the competition to take part in the parade?

Let’s say that the Paralympics was over? What then? Then some people would say that the Olympians should come first. Then people would say that means that people are putting down the Paralympians down by having them at the end of the parade.

Personally I think that separate parades are the way to go. It would give each group the respect they deserve without one group overshadowing the other. The only thing that would mean is two parades and two disruptions to city traffic and business. Or do they need a parade at all? And don’t get me started on calling Olympians heroes!

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Erk Pod Round Table 9 update

This is just a reminder for Erk Pod Round Table 9 that will be held this weekend. If you would like to be a panelist, please let Drue or Erk know ASAP. If you are going to listen live, you will be able to do as well.

All the music is lined up, the button pushing software is loaded and we know some of the arriving panelists. Some news stories and discussion topics are ready to go, too.

Commencement times are:

  • East Coast Australia: Sunday 12pm
  • New Zealand: Sunday 2pm
  • UK: Sunday 2am
  • West Coast US: Saturday 7pm
  • Central US: Saturday 9pm
  • East Coast US: Saturday 10pm

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Filed under Erk Pod Maxi & Round Table

New Promos

There are some promos and highlights from Round Table 7 now online. To listen to these highlights and promos, click on “Promos Page 3” at the top of this page.

And here we have some special mystery promos. Feel free to listen to them below and let me know via the comments on this post which one you like the best!

Mystery Promo 01

Mystery Promo 01 – 23 seconds

[Right click to download]

Mystery Promo 02

Mystery Promo 02 – 30 seconds

[Right click to download]

Mystery Promo 03

Mystery Promo 03 – 32 seconds

[Right click to download]

Mystery Promo 04

Mystery Promo 04 – 63 seconds

[Right click to download]

Mystery Promo 05

Mystery Promo 05 – 37 seconds

[Right click to download]

Mystery Promo 06

Mystery Promo 06 – 39 seconds

[Right click to download]

Please Be Quiet, Bunny!

And if that’s not enough, here is the opening of episode 135 where Erk and Drue could not get a word in because of Anastacia the Erk Pod Bunny!

Promo – Please be Quiet, Bunny! 3 minutes 55 seconds

[Right click to download]

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Drue & Orange Tim appear on the Wasting Time podcast

Wasting Time podcast episode 72 – 93 minutes EXPLICIT

[Right click to download episode]

Regular listeners to Erk Pod would be well aware of the Wasting Time podcast hosted by our Chicago mate Richard Jeffries. Richard continues to be a huge supporter of Erk Pod and is a regular panelist on the Erk Pod Round Tables, including on the upcoming Erk Pod Round Table 9.

Usually, Richard hosts his shows solo as he talks about whatever is on his mind and about things that are going on in the world as well as playing a selection of Podsafe music. However in episode 72, the music is replaced by Erk Pod co-host Drue and Professional Podcast Guest Orange Tim.

Join Richard, Drue and Tim for an extended Wasting Time episode where they talk about podcasting, politics at home and abroad, weird and wacky news and a lot more. They also take advantage of the show’s EXPLICIT tag so you will hear Drue like you have never heard him before on Erk Pod.

Enjoy the episode – I know I did!

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Filed under Drue, Erk Pod Maxi & Round Table, General, Interweb, News, Orange Tim, Other Podcasts, Podcasting - General, Round Table

Haiku of Frustration #1 by Erk – Peanut At Traffic Lights

Peanut at Traffic Lights

Attention peanut
Turn your indicators on
When you are turning!

I wrote this haiku for Jen’s website Haiku of Frustration. I was at a set of traffic lights near my house on Saturday. There were two lanes. The left lane is for turning left or going straight ahead and the right lane is for going straight ahead or turning right. There are no arrows on the road or a sign saying that you must use a particular lane to turn.

So I was stopped at the lights in behind this guy in the right hand lane. The guy (who was the first car) did not have his indicator on so I assumed that he was going straight ahead just like I was. When the lights changed after a couple of minutes, the guy puts his indicator on to turn right.

After waiting for a car going straight ahead to come across from the opposite direction, he turned and then I could then go straight. Had he of had his indicator on to turn right, I could have got into the left hand lane and got around him easily.

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Book Reviews – “Case of the Singing Sword” & “Case of the Pitcher’s Pendant”

This is a combined book review for two books by author and podcaster Tee Morris. The first book published in 2004 is called “Billibub Baddings & the Case of the Singing Sword”. The second book is a sequel called “Case of the Pitcher’s Pendant: A Billibub Baddings Mystery” which was first published in 2008. I purchased both books after being involved in the Double Trouble promotion and interviewing the author as a part of the promotion.

Both books follow the story of Billibub Baddings, who you will come to know as Billi. In the opening of Singing Sword, it is revealed that Billi is a dwarf from a mystical place who goes through a vortex and ends up in a public library in downtown Chicago in 1929. After learning about his environment through reading books in the library and remaining hidden while trying to live in the library undetected, Billi decides to put his skills from his previous life to good use and become a Private Investigator. He soon gets a case investigating a death and the first book follows Billi’s adventures including encounters with the law and also the underground of Chicago.

The Case of the Pitcher’s Pendant is set in the following year where Billi gets another case investigating the success of an unknown baseball team. You will not need a detailed knowledge of baseball to follow the action. The further Billi investigates, the deeper he gets involved in the case. And the deeper Billi digs, he finds himself investigating a very different type of crime.

While the books are classified as fantasy, you can read the majority of the book as you would if it was not a fantasy book. While the fantasy element is there, the environments that Billi finds himself in are totally real and totally believable. While it could be easy to base the entire book in a fantasy world, author Morris combines real life happenings with a fantasy element and he does it well. For the majority of both books, you would read on not even thinking that Billi is from another world. While the stories depend somewhat on the fantasy element, the blend would please both fantasy & mystery fans. Both books are very much a mystery just as much as they are fantasies.

While there is a 4 year gap between each book being published, there is a 12 month gap between the two stories. You do not need to read one book to understand the other but if you do read both books, be sure to read Singing Sword first. There are some Singing Sword references and characters in Pitcher’s Pendant. Once you start reading this book, don’t think that you will only be able to read 1 chapter at a time. Soon enough, you will feel like you are walking with Billi and you will want to read on to find out what happens next. The plot is ever changing so it does not become predictable and before you know it, you would have read 5 chapters or more. Once you have finished reading Singing Sword, you will want to read Pitcher’s Pendant as soon as you can.

To me, it does not matter if you are a fantasy, true crime or mystery fan. If you enjoy any one of these genres, you will enjoy both of these books. They are well written, have touches of humour but also have a lot of realism which might seem strange for a fantasy book but it works well. Both books are well worth buying and for the full effect, read both of them! I give both books 9/10.

If you enjoy reading both books, you may also enjoy the Billi podcast as well. I have not done this yet because I wanted to read the books first.

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