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[personal profile] resqgeek
 The very nature of my job means that opportunities for work related travel are extremely limited. I am currently in Seattle on a rare work excursion to visit some of the companies that file applications in the technology I work on (image analysis). These trips are intended to be educational, a chance for us to meet with inventors and attorneys on their turf and learn a bit more about what they do. I'm being paid, but off the production clock, so it should be a relaxing week, sort of a free, paid vacation of sorts. This is only my third such trip during the 27 years I've worked for the Office, and the first that didn't go to Silicon Valley in California.

Yesterday was our travel day, and we flew out on Alaska Airlines on a non-stop flight from Reagan National Airport, which got us here before lunch time. We took advantage of the free afternoon to do some sightseeing, visiting the Space Needle and the Pike Place Market. The weather was incredibly clear, and we got some absolutely breathtaking views of Mt. Rainier throughout the day. Today we start our visits, which will continue through Thursday and we will fly home on Friday.

Downtown Seattle and Mt. Rainier from the Space Needle

So long, Photobucket

Jul. 17th, 2017 05:01 pm
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[personal profile] moem
I've been a Photobucket user for 15 years or so. Now they've gone and done this. It is, of course their right to change the conditions of service, and I can see why they want to be paid for hosting. However, I dislike their way of changing things. It breaks a large part of the web.

So long, Photobucket. I've deleted my account. You've had a decent run; the first few years, without those giant ads and all the tracking, were the best. Not sure whether I'll start using a different picture hosting service. Do I even need one?

Tribute to a fallen brother

Jul. 13th, 2017 08:13 am
resqgeek: (Default)
[personal profile] resqgeek
 A week ago today, i started noticing a number of condolence messages popping up on my Facebook feed, indicating that someone I used to know had died. This prompted me to do an internet search for news about the accident that was referenced in those posts. What I found was more than a bit of a shock. My old friend, Rod, had been killed in an accident, along with two other employees of the ambulance company he worked for when their car drove under a jackknifed tractor-trailer on the interstate between Syracuse and Watertown, in upstate New York.

I knew Rod from my time at Clarkson University, when I joined the Potsdam Volunteer Rescue Squad. I took my EMT class with his wife, Patsy, during the fall semester of my junior year, right after I joined the squad. The next autumn, I took my Advanced EMT-Intermediate class with Rod. He was one of my mentors in the squad, and I considered both him and his wife to be friends. I have fond memories of time spent hanging out with Rod at the rescue squad during my senior year at Clarkson. I even returned to Potsdam a couple of times during the first couple of years after I graduated to visit.

However, the distance proved to be too great an obstacle in that pre-World Wide Web world, and I mostly lost touch with them. Eventually, we reconnected on Facebook, but he was apparently not one of those people who spent lots of time there, so our Facebook connection was mostly symbolic. For my part, I felt some nostalgia for my college/rescue squad days when I saw his name, but otherwise there was no real connection to his current life. Specifically, I did not know that he had begun working for R.B. Lawrence Ambulance, a private ambulance company that provides inter-facility medical transport services for the North Country region of New York, and certainly did not know that he had become an EMS Supervisor for the company. I have no idea how active he was with the Potsdam Rescue Squad, but during my time there, I know he was a huge part of the organization. Given what I know about him, I know that he was a huge asset to the emergency services in the communities up there.

This week, I have watched Facebook fill up with notes and photos from his funeral.  It is clear that he was widely respected and that his sudden passing was a shock to the community.  These photos of the funeral procession moved me deeply:

              

The other surprise were the photos that showed that members of the FDNY Pipes and Drum Corps came up from New York City to pay their respects to a fallen brother. And the photos of the funeral procession passing underneath the giant US Flag hanging between the extended towers of two ladder trucks from different fire departments brought tears to my eyes. This was a funeral on a magnitude that is probably unprecedented in these small communities, and I think it shows just how widely spread the reaction to this tragedy was felt.

There was just no way for me to be able to attend the funeral myself, but I am comforted by the images of the massive outpouring of support. Rod dedicated his life to helping his community, and the community went to great effort to acknowledge his work on their behalf. Well done, all. Rest in peace, Rod. You will certainly be missed.

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