Emergency Preparedness Vendor Fair | Video | The Register-Guard | Eugene, Oregon


Source: Emergency Preparedness Vendor Fair | Video | The Register-Guard | Eugene, Oregon

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Why I became a news stringer


cam_1Your driving down the road, suddenly you hear a slew of sirens wailing in the background, you look in your review mirror and see the flashing red and blue lights of several emergency vehicles behind you racing to the scene of an emergency – you pullover and they race by you as fast as the road runner can trot after the big bad wolf in pursuit of his hungry fest.

Having no idea where the scene of the crime or the emergency is and you there was a way to know where, the scene and the chaos is taking place with firefighters fighting frantically to save a burning building from burning to the ground or saving someone trapped in a confined space rescue no one would ever attempt to dare, except for those bravely trained in such retrievals and more.

Dispatcher James Crockman, man’s Breaking News Network’s Newsdesk and Dispatch Center with various Police Scanner’s covering NYC.  Photo New York Times

Breaking News is all around us at any time of the day or night, 24/7/365 days a year – the action is virtually non-stop!

When news breaks, it’s up to the local news crews and freelance news stringers to bring the news to those who seek to stay abreast of the happenings in their community with their police, fire and emergency services agencies.

In the mid 1990’s, shortly after getting out of college from my Journalism degree studies, there was a fad of opportunity to keep abreast of what was happening locally and nationally at a time when Alphanumeric text pagers were widely available from pager carriers, who often carried the services of Incident Paging Notification Networks, who utilized their paging services to bring the most up to date breaking news stories from local Police, Fire and Ems Services agencies in their communities and across the country.

Incident Notification Network Services utilized a cadre of “dispatchers or stringers,” who were able to cover the story from their own newsdesk’s in their own offices or from those who dispatched incidents and jobs from home using their own computers, while listening to a bank of police scanners covering their local police & fire departments in their communities.

The set up became the hub for information to the roving news reporter and camera crews and freelance news stringers, who covered the breaking story day and night.

Popular online scanner listening site Broadcastify is one of the most popular online scanner listening services online.

Shortly getting out of college, I founded a small incident notification network and spot news agency called, Oregon Firepage, which once had a growing dispatchers and reporter along the I-5 corridor cities of Eugene/Springfield, Salem, Portland & Southern Oregon.

Throughout the years several dispatchers remained and left the agency. Today, OFP still strives with just a original faces who stayed behind with the network to monitor those communities OFP once covered with their own dispatcher. With new technology made readily available many news stringers and incident dispatchers can now monitor those one communities that held regional coverage by a dedicated dispatcher in those cities via the internet, utilizing such services as Broadcastify.com on their computers or a free smartphone scanner app on their smartphones called “Scanner Radio,” which is also connected to the Broadcastify site available from the Google Play Store.

One of my favorite memories while stringing over the years is when the former Maryland Fire Network (MFN) located in the Washington, D.C., area had a full-blown media newsroom and roving camera crew to report live from the scene whenever possible to their website as they paged their incidents over the systemwide pagers to their subscribers and media outlets on a daily basis.

With the recent explosion of social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Periscope, incident notification networks have been able to move their fledging incident paging operations to smartphone and tablets capable of receiving such information via the internet.

Periscope has allowed media outlets show live coverage to anyone with a Twitter account to their followers from the scene of a major breaking news story. Oregon Firepage recently utilized Periscope into their capabilities and has yet to broadcast live from the scene of a breaking story – it’ll happen sooner or later.

Covering the news has a local stringer has brought me up close with some of the most tragic and interesting breaking stories through the years, as long as there is breaking news, I and several others will be there to cover the story!

North to Alaska


While watching the late John Wayne in the classic movie “North to Alsaka,” it reminded me of a friend who recently moved to Alaska from California – hence that John Wayne’s character “Sam McCord,” picks up a pretty lady and takes her back to Alaska via boat from Seattle – well, this one picks up a good Vlogger by the name of Cory Williams who just happens to see his daylights fall apart, picks up a great lady by the name of Kristen and well, moves to Alaska via a U-Hall truck full of stuff – rather than mustering it out via the high seas as Wayne’s character Sam persuaded the wayward lady north.

Williams and his Wife Kristen pack the U-Haul and make the drive from Los Angeles to Anchorage, Alaska with their dog Penny and their two cats where the journey takes more than a week to accomplish along the Interstate Five Corridor between L.A. and the US/Canadian Border.

“North to Alaska,” is a late John Wayne classic, that seems to play all the parts of a modern day move from Cory and Kristen’s move to the Yukon Territory of Alaska and the great North American frontier as their trials and triumphs are Vlogged in today’s technology carrying gadget world as we submerse ourselves with YouTube videos and favorites, while following Cory’s “YT” Channel “DudeLikeHella”.

The movie not only reminded me of their move, but also on how the way we travel nowadays has changed since the movie was made and the story was told – travel was either back in the time of century where getting to Alaska was either by wagon train, horseback or by boat versus the means today of travel we have readily available and can take in the realms of Planes, Trains, Automobiles and course by boat to say.

blogpix3.jpgI needed something to write about and something that would attach the idea of a writer’s hack to pen today’s blog, it just so happens this blog post was still sitting in my draft box gathering dust, since watching North to Alaska two or three weeks ago and just today, I finally finished it on a “Throw back Thursday!”

In my own opinion, North To Alaska is a cut rate awesome family film to watch with the whole family or with just yourself looking to enjoy a classic John Wayne movie with some buttered popcorn and a nice cold brew of tea, soda or water and the optimizing of a classic John Wayne movie.

All in all – comparing the two between John Wayne and Cory William’s and his Vlog’s along with his growing YouTube Channel, Cory and Kristen seem to make the modern day leading characters in the John Wayne classic written into a modern day fairy tale told in the eyes of the Vlogs that William’s produces for his YouTube channel followers on a daily basis – it doesn’t get any better than that, besides it’s North to Alaska and just how awesome is that!

It’s September? Already!


Well looks like September is here? Just how in the hell did that happen? It’s still a couple of weeks away before the official start of fall starts in North America and the climate changes south of the Equator take change.

This Summer has been an indeed interesting hike all across America with wads of wet weather in the midwest, a late start in Hurricane Season, now sporting three major storms off the South Pacific near Hawaii and two more in the works they say in the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts.

Each day’s sunrise and sunset’s have made for some interesting photo ops of our sun as the wildfires burn out of control in the western portion of the United States – it’s enough to ring in some satire writing ideas for the working writer and bloggers in just about ever corner of blogosphere you look.

With Labor Day Weekend just a few tad days away and the ending of the Summer for the kids, everyone would be gearing up and getting ready to go back to school and hit the books, the lockers and score some new friends and enemies, but mostly friends to say – it all becomes the wicked ways of life.

More than thirty years ago, I once walked those haunted halls of my high school Alma Mater. Today, the high school is a completely different beast and animal than it was back than in the 1980’s – luckily, I came out with some good life long friends whom I’m lucky enough to remain in contact with today in my adult life.

Has I daily dish the thought of the past, I’m quelling the mist of the future as we dwell in today’s world – technology is far more advanced than it was in the past, information is right at hand in smartphones and or with the flick of the wrist in Dick Tracy style watches with an Apple Watch or the likes of an Iphone or other type of smartphone.

I’m garnering what the future hold for the month of September? Ideally they say, September is National Preparedness Month. FEMA is upping this years theme for NPM as, “Don’t Wait. Communicate. Make your emergency plans today!”

Which is wisely a very good choice to begin with to say. Preparedness is the key to survival in today’s world as disaster strike at just about every corner of the world, Earthquakes, Hurricanes, Tornado’s, Heavy rains and flooding, just to name a few – who’s prepared and who’s not? Any time a catastrophic disaster takes place, no one is ever prepared to the unexpected, except for those whom have taken preparedness seriously with their family, neighbors and friends.

Banning together is the key to survival in today’s tech savvy world, packing survival kits is more important now than ever – since the article from the New Yorker Magazine was published earlier this Summer it has frenzied people to craze minded dashes to the hardware stores and home centers as well as to survivalist company for disaster and preparedness kits.

The Red Cross and Community Emergency Response Teams are rallying together promoting 72 hour kits, but more are advocating for more than 72 hours to more than Three weeks without such essential services after a major disaster.

One of the simple things to do is get training from the Red Cross in First Aid and also from you local Community Emergency Response Team.

Being prepared and getting your family, friends and neighbors ready would go a long way when the unexpected comes as we experienced back in the 4th of July, when Eugene and Springfield felt a pretty sharp jolt from an Earthquake that shook the Central Willamette Valley.

Be save, be prepared as you never know, when disaster will strike and it’s just a matter of time of when.

Writing naked raspberry satire


Desk This morning, I woke up naked. Not a soul on the other side of the bed was nearby – not even the ghost of the dog, who’s been gone for almost three years next month. As I woke up, sitting naked at the edge of the bed – I was wondering, what the hell I was going to write about in today’s, Daily Dish? Literally, my brain when kaput! Nada! Nothing.

It’s been a week since my last blog. It’s been a nightmare since my last blog – okay, its been nearly three times as that since my last blog – my brain as a writer went completely blank, yup naked, trying to drum up another blog to post to the website, something that would garner the attention of readers who’ve subscribed and the general readership alone.

So, I did the impromptu thing I could think of? I went back and read last weeks blog post for some much-needed ideas – as I was reading it, I came up with this rant of a tale idea, might be kinda out of poise, but the idea does seem to work some magical wonders with readers these days on the internet, so, I came up with his idea – “blog naked, sleep naked, write naked, research naked and have sex naked!” Have sex naked?

Now Houston, we might have a problem having sex! There’s no artificial intelligence of the human kind anywhere near this office of the opposite sex – that’s the problem.

Someone wrote to me last week, a friend actually and they suggested, “I write like crazy” – the crazy crap that people read all over the internet and literally take seriously, when most folks know it’s raspberry satire and gibberish garbage in the local supermarket rags, that sit along the isles of the grocery checkstand. They’re idea was to write “gossip or porn,” where most of the gibberish satire seems to grab the attention of readers and their much-needed money to the raspberry satire they read at the checkstand.

“Mad Magazine,” wasn’t my kinda idea of writing daily satire, but, it was a good read in my younger days, before I started writing and blogging.

Picking up one of those grocery isle rags with people claiming to see or been abducted by the latest UFO and it’s Mothership, seems more like satire along the Amazon River and Jewel on the nile in the red river of love. It was neither a love or hate relationship to read, but writing that kind of raspberry satire seems to stir the simmering pot over some hot coals burning the fire pit.

Sure, it’s writing and sleeping naked and writing sex, isn’t actually my cup of tea to begin with, but it cure the ever-growing nods of trying to come up with writing content on a Monday morning quarterback drills on the football practice field between the San Francisco 49’ers and the Denver Bronco’s looking to score a rematch in the Super Bowl.

It’s giving me some thought to drive my insane mind to ground with thoughts of writing raspberry satire that never seems to work on a remedy to cure an ulcer to write a blog at four-thirty am in the morning. Maybe I better go back to bed naked and start thinking of where to dish up another cranberry sauce of satire works.

…., Sigh! Good grief Charlie Brown, Lucy never told you this was the truth on life – only, if Snoopy had loaded up his Red Baron dog house with the things that mattered the most, the idiot dog at the typewriter on top of the Red Baron was probably right after all – life if full of satire shit some people seem to like in the tabloids these days, rather than picking up a decently dished article in the latest Rolling Stone Magazine.

Go figures, let’s write and blog naked in our sleep – I’m going back to bed, Gracie.