Never Going to be the Polished Professional Type

Slept in for Sunday. Or least didn’t get up in any hurry. Read awhile. Played cards with my Mom for about an hour, still haven’t gotten dressed and it is already after noon. The Queen would not approve. 

Now I have K.D. Lang on the CD player. Mom says none of the US people in the Florida trailer park would believe K.D. Lang wasn’t a man when they saw her at the Olympics this year. Maybe she sounds like a very young boy but she sounds much more like a woman, however she dresses. 
Not much else going on today. I have mystery allergies. Resisting taking any allergy pills. Surely it will go away, any hour now. 
I want to work on my directory today. Should also login at BOTW and add links I have found for that one too. Need to write for the network with Deanna, I am a couple of months behind on that one. 
Zack wants to hear the web radio show I did with Bev for Elemental Musings. At least I don’t think I said anything I wouldn’t want him to hear. I am never going to be the polished professional type though. 

Public Safety Communications

 I’m looking into the 911 Operator course. It will start in February at the Georgian College in Orillia. These are some links I found tonight which I want to save. Kind of interesting to find so much out there. I didn’t expect to find anything much at all.

Proven Ways – designs and provides quality training and consulting in Emergency Services Communications. PROVEN WAYS has partnered with Ontario Colleges to offer students the opportunity to become certified as a “PUBLIC SAFETY COMMUNICATIONS PROFESSIONAL”. This full service communications course is designed to fit everyone from people interested in becoming communicators to senior communications operators. These courses are all best practices in areas of dispatch, call taking, 9-1-1 and advanced CRITICAL CALL MANAGEMENT subjects.

Note : Proven Ways is the business offering the course I am taking through Georgian College. I cut and pasted the above description from their site, that’s why it has the extra large punctuation.

Ontario Fire Communicators Association –  Fire Communicators are those responsible for the processing of requests for emergency and non-emergency assistance received via 911 lines, administration lines, the radio system or direct contact with the public. We work closely with Communicators from Police, EMS and other services to provide rapid, effective responses. We take our role in Public and Responder Safety most seriously, and continue to seek ways to enhance professionalism and our levels of service. The occupation of Fire Communicator is indeed a proud one, the vital link between the public and the emergency service response.

The Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials- International.
The Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials – Canada – The Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials, Canada, Inc. is a voluntary, not-for-profit organization dedicated to the enhancement of public safety communications. It serves the people who supply, install and operate the Emergency Communications Systems used around the Country from coast to coast to coast. Members come from every type of public safety organization in the country, including 9-1-1, police, fire and emergency medical services as well as emergency management, disaster planning and federal search and rescue personnel.   Job postings for Canadians.


National Emergency Number Association 
NENA (National Emergency Number Assoication) Ontario – NENA is an association that brings together a vast community of people who work diligently to make the 9-1-1 system what it is today. It is a group in which to generate ideas, share information and plan the the future of systems and services that keep the public safe. NENA is made up of individuals from Police, Fire and Ambulance agencies as well other interested parties who work together to make sure that the system works and keeps working well into the future. Includes job postings for Ontario.

The Evil Eye of Rogers Cable

Rogers is gone! I’m back to using Bell for the Internet again and it is faster, again. This is some of the Rogers stuff I pulled out from the back of the phone, computer and TV. The technician came and only took the boxes and TV remotes. Even he didn’t want to mess with that snake nest of cables and wires. I did though. Now I can plug in my radio again. Missed having it when Rogers took over every last plug in my power bars (2 of them). Now I could plug in several radios if I really wanted to. Nice to have Rogers gone and not feel so caught by all their cables in my room. I took this photo cause that last box was weird. It had no source of power, all the plugs and cables were disconnected yet that last evil eye from Rogers gleamed for hours and hours. I gave up checking it when I went to bed. In the morning it was finally out.

Bye bye Rogers. Don’t ever darken my door again!

Dragging a Corpse Around for Fun

I give the impression of a living person quite well. But I’m actually brain dead. I picked up something not very nice from my little nieces when babysitting and helping with the birthday for the 4 year old on the weekend. Now the back of my head is sliding down my neck, or I wish it would so I could get rid of this dragging head ache. Not that I’m whining, much.

I’m having a lot of fun and adventure with the communications here too. Last week I was offline due to a modem being fried. I changed to Rogers. Now I have everything possible hooked up in my bedroom with wires and cables all over the fricking desk and floor space and even running right in front of the TV screen. I don’t think it is right that I am paying $150 a month for this fricking mess. I hate the clutter.

Also, I do not see how the phone line was working before Rogers arrived and by the time they left only one phone jack works in the whole flipping house! Of course it is the phone jack in my bedroom. I started with two power bars which let me have space for the computer and TV and radio to be hooked up here. Extra space was there so I didn’t feel I was sitting in the middle of a fire hazard. Now, it is so plugged up wtih stuff that I had to move my radio and not have it at all. That is just not right. Bloody Rogers.

Now I have to phone and bitch, Bitch I mean – with a capital B. That is not easy for me. I’m nice. I am understanding. I don’t bitch.

So unfair. I have to be up at dawn to see if I can get into a workshop which was already booked up. If someone doesn’t show up I can attend. But I feel dreadful and don’t even want to move my dead brain and body into the shower.

On the bright side… I did get WordGrrls.com pulled together, mostly. I just want to do something else with the blog skin. Need to figure out the code to convert blog skins to the code for b2evolution. Or just customize one of the skins I’ve already found and test driven. I am liking b2e though. I think it is not hugely different from working with Blogger once you get over the different dashboard look.

Must drag my corpse into the shower now.

Voter Apathy and Disinterest

It was the election tonight in Canada. The Conservatives have won. I gave them a vote. It must be about 20 years since I last voted. I just didn’t care enough to bother. Tonight they say only 58% of people across Canada voted. That doesn’t count a lot of people who have slipped through the cracks and were not even counted as being eligible to vote. My brother being one. I’ve been one in the past and didn’t care to do anything about it.

They are talking about voter apathy and trying to come up with reasons and fixes for this. I listen and no one is really getting to the real reason, at least for me. I am just not interested in listening to them nit pick and bash at each other like a bunch of spoiled, rude children. How can you take anyone who behaves that way seriously. I sure don’t see myself bothering to vote for them. If that is all the political parties have to offer, it’s just not enough. I’d vote for someone who could at least try to appear like an adult.

That is partly why I voted this time. My sister had talked about how much she wanted to see Conservatives get in. I listened but still wasn’t planning to vote. Then they came around to the house, which isn’t that new or unusual. Only the Conservatives actually did so. The others sent out the standard brochures bashing the other parties and sounding like a pack of whiny babies.

Then our candidate for this area showed up at our door one night, himself. That was nice! It was about a week before tonight, the big election. He must have been hugely busy. But, there he was, a personal appearance at our door. He did not talk politics, he just introduced himself and asked me if there were any issues I’d like to ask him about. I didn’t have anything in particular. But, geez, what a hard working guy to go door to door himself. I was impressed for the first time in a really long time.

Since then they phoned a few times. Really too many times as it was the holiday for us on Monday and we were busy enough. We had their sign on our front lawn. First time I have ever had an election sign at the house. Across the street the new neighbours had a Liberal sign up. Diagonally across the other neighbours had a Conservative sign up, bigger than our own.

Anyway, listening to the talk about voter apathy is making me think how silly it is to consider mandatory voting, where it is illegal not to vote. If this is a democracy people should be able to choose not to vote. It is sending their own message. It’s just a shame that the politicians are not really listening. I think most of them are so self involved they can not hear anything beyond their own nose. I wonder what people do in Australia where they have mandatory voting? I bet there are a ton of spoiled ballots. So, really, what has making voting mandatory done? Can someone from Australia comment about the mandatory voting and voter disinterest?

Happy Election to the USers. At least it is done for awhile again here. I kind of envy the US cause they only have elections every four years. Here they are called randomly. But the elections in the US seem to go on for about a year before they finally vote and shut up about it all. I’d really hate that. Do you just shut off the TV and radio and try to turn a blind eye to all the election stuff on billboards and everywhere? I was only in the US for part of one election. Glad I missed most of it.

What are elections like in other countries? How about in the UK? Do they backbite and bitch at each other too? I remember when they did not do that here. It started a little trickle when I was in my teens and has snowballed since then. I really do think that is the main cause of voter disinterest/ apathy. We just have no respect for someone who can’t behave any better than a tired and grumpy two year old.

At least in other countries you don’t have two official languages. I’m so sick of hearing everything in French and English. Kind of a joke that the Liberal candidate for Prime Minister (what the US calls President) couldn’t really understand English. My brother said it really came down to choosing between French and English. I agree, it was. I voted for English. I’m in Ontario and we just tune out anything in that French babble. (Nothing personal to the French speaking people. But if you are in a room where everyone is speaking a foreign language how long does it take before you get annoyed with it and just tune them all out?)

Just Empty Space

I think of space when I think of that day. Kind of odd I guess. But space as an element, a thing you can almost reach out and touch, something that you could hear if you listen during a quiet time.

An empty space is mysterious and unknown. That’s likely why we fear it. Around the corner, at the other side of a dark room, the backseat of the car when you know no one is sitting there. Our hitchhiker was like that. Something in the space that you could almost feel but not actually see, smell or touch. Just something sensed enough to give a creepy feeling and start us looking into dark corners expecting to see her there.

Her, was the girl who died, of course. Alone, in the rainstorm, under a bridge, she drowned in her over turned car. I thought it was a sad way to die. Hoping to be found and yet time passing with no help. Could she see the clock on her dashboard, watch the seconds and minutes pass as she died. The water rising but not filling the car quite enough to ease the pressure so she could force open a door and escape. Or was she already gone when she hit the water? Did she never even know she was dying until she was dead?

Did she now wait on the bridge, looking at the world of the living and want to come back, to join us again or just finally get home.

My husband parked the car there, at her bridge. He’d noticed the floral offerings at the side of the road and wanted to take a look. We often made road trips to cemeteries, abandoned farms and houses. He liked to put them in a more gruesome and haunted light. He’s into horror. I’m not a horror fan, not someone who’d stay up after midnight to watch movies about murderers, violence and gore.

He remembered hearing about the accident and her death on the news. We talked about it. I was sad for her. There was nothing left of the car of course, it had all been towed away, put away and dealt with. He wanted to take a better look, maybe find some car part left over or something of hers which had been overlooked. So he picked his way down the weeds and stepped around the muddy shore searching for a souvenir.

I took some photos of her flowers. They were looking pretty weathered and shabby but I was glad her family and friends had given her a memorial, a tribute. Then we got back in the car, thinking of how welcome a hot chocolate would be. The girl was in my mind, as any tragic figure lingers awhile before becoming just a memory and passing thought.

Did he look over his shoulder first or did I? I’m not sure. More likely my husband did, he was driving and had a reason to check the rear view mirror now and then. He didn’t say anything. Just drove on down those wet dirt country roads, splashing through puddles but not laughing about the spray of water as he usually would have. I decided he was feeling a bit somber, as I was myself. When I noticed he was a bit jumpy I laughed and asked if we were being followed, maybe he wanted to play at being secret agents and spies as he sometimes liked to do on drives along quiet roads.

He didn’t answer right away. Then he asked if I could see, or did I feel, anyone in the car, in the backseat. I gave a quick look, humouring him. I was all set to say “Of course not”, but I did catch something out of the corner of my eye. Just something in that space. I turned around in my seat, pushing the seat belt off my neck, for a better look. Nothing. Of course nothing. We hadn’t brought anyone else along, not a dog, not so much as a goldfish.

“No”, I said. I didn’t laugh or make a joke about it though.

We drove farther, closer to the road into town. Each of us would sneak backward looks. I could see him look in the rear view mirror several times on a road where we were the only traffic.

He pulled the mirror down to focus on the back seat. I scrunched down to watch the back from the passenger side mirror. It began to feel really creepy in that car. Something was in that space of nothingness, something we couldn’t see.

Just behind my head I could feel eyes, keeping silent, soundless as the dead, ironically. We hardly dared to breathe ourselves. I wished my husband could find the bravery I lacked and flip on the radio. Surely something as normal and ordinary as the radio could chase away the skin crawling creepiness of whatever lurked in the backseat.

She must have been so cold, dying in that deeply chilled water. How desperate she must be now to find some warmth, something human, to not be alone and quite so dead. If you believe in ghosts surely you could see how she might want to sit in our warm backseat with the heater making the car so toasty warm. Only now I was getting chilled just thinking about heat sucking ghosts sitting just out of sight, right behind me.

Another quick flick of my eyes to the backseat. My imagination pictured her sitting there. Her eyes dark and haunted, bruised looking. Her body so cold, right through, unable to feel warmth. Dripping water. I imagined hearing the little plop, plop, plop of water as it dripped from her cold, dead self. Maybe she would shiver, not knowing that a ghost isn’t alive and wouldn’t need to shiver.

It was a long trip back to town, we didn’t speak again. How can you speak about what isn’t there.

At the coffee shop, back in the living world where the spaces are all filled with artificial light, noise from the living and the smell of bacon and eggs, it was very easy to shake off the creepy feeling and put it down to just imagination. But, the feeling came with us when we got back in the car. I feel it still.

It’s been days since we took that road trip. I’m often alone in our apartment after my husband takes the car to work. Those spaces of time which I used to do laundry, make dinner, wash dishes and vacuum are no longer just the passing of time. My space is captured by something I only feel, see out of the corner of my eye. It’s her I’m sure. I think she is sad, missing the people she knew and the things she liked to do.

Since that day at the bridge I’ve stopped looking in the backseat when I’m in the car. I avoid mirrors especially, they give me a very creepy feeling. When I brush my teeth each morning I look down, avoiding my own eyes and anything that might be in that space behind me. I never take that space for granted any more.

You see, she isn’t the only one there now. I think they followed her to our home. Someday they’ll fill all that space. Taking it all. I hardly dare to take a real breath any more. I never look into corners and I always have the lights on. Someday they will suck out all the space around me. I don’t know what will happen then, when the dead fill the space of the living. My husband thinks I’m crazy so I just don’t talk to him about it any more. But I can see he gets nervous too, sometimes after dark when the apartment is quiet and he gets that creepy sense of something else, something that hitchhiked back into the living world with us and won’t now let us go.


My Halloween story. By me.

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