Tagged: family

Rose colored glasses

I should be annoyed.

It’s a holiday weekend, and I had to work a 24 Sunday instead of spending it with my family. It’s been HUMID; not hot, but wet and sticky. We wished for a good thundershower to wash the air and replace it with ozone. We never got one.

It did look kind of nice, though.

The shift seemed to be overly populated with folks who think they know how to do my job better than I do. For the record if you are not my boss, my family, or someone I admire, I’m not going to lose much sleep over your opinion of me.

Regular Partner is on vacation, but Partners du Jour were all good people.

This morning I did a few chores and then set off to meet the family in the Great Green North. It’s 85 degrees, the windows are open, and the music is good. I took a few extra laps around the Route 1 rotary in the TDI just to enjoy the G’s.

My polarized shades show a fabulous bright blue sky with puffy clouds in front of me, and the forecast is for four more days of the same. Bring it on!

Through the eyes of a child

Beth and I spent some time in Boston’s Public Garden and the Back Bay today.  She loved these flowers.  I find them very Seuss-ian.


We strolled down Boylston Street looking for lunch.  Boylston is one of Boston’s fanciest shopping districts; I see expensive stores and well-dressed crowds.  Beth stopped suddenly and pointed up.  “Look, look Dad!  Look!”  It took me a minute to notice this ratty old brownstone being subsumed by stores.


Sadly I’d left my good Nikon at home, but the iPhone takes passable pictures if you are careful.

Photo update – 3/28

Just catching up on a few photos:


From back on 3/8 – I’ve mentioned the new ride but never shown it.  Here it is at the bus stop in the morning, with ‘Dog is my Co-pilot.’


3/21 – The calendar says spring, but no one told the weathermen.


3/21 – Jasmine watches over us by flashlight.


3/22 – I’ve mentioned this in previous posts but never shown it before (two links there).  If you call the FD in my hometown, this is one of the places it rings.  And it still RINGS.


3/23 – Beth and I have taken to watching the cranes replacing the Hines Bridge during our spare moments.


3/27 – And we wait.


3/28 – Science Park on the Green Line.


3/28 – There are still PCC cars running at Mattapan.  I’ve known they were there for years, but I finally got out to see them today.

The Return of Project 365

I find that I’m missing Project 365. I can’t guarantee that I’ll manage a photo every day, but I intend to start shooting and posting again.

So without further ado. . .


March 13 – In Quarters. . .



March 14 – Making chips on the Sherline mill with Beth.  I’ll learn brass soon, but wood was a safe, easy place to start.



March 16 – None of my cars are complete without a W6 decal.  Now the new TDI is ready to roll.



March 18 – A nice spring day brought on Spring Cleaning at work.  The bays stayed clean for at least 20 minutes.



March 19 – Jasmine takes care of me during an unpleasant day sick in bed.

Furmily update

While scrolling back through the blog this morning, I realized I’ve been remiss.  Back on 11/18 I introduced Jasmine to the Interwebz as a foster cat in need of a Forever Home.

As alluded in my year-end post, Jasmine no longer needs a new home.  My Christmas gifts to Mrs. Mack505 included one Certified Preowned Siamese Cat.  Somehow I neglected to mention that fact here.

That is all.

Christmas (P365 update)


12/25 – Santa brought the one thing Beth asked for.  Woohoo!


12/26 – The perfect storm.  There’s lots of snow in the forecast, and I’ve never seen four companies at the Diesel pumps at once.


Also 12/26 – Tea.  With the world’s best dog and a camo butterfly sweatshirt.


12/27 – I’ve always loved the Christmas lights on our town common.  The leafless trees make them appear to just hang in the air, and a fork in the road makes them visible from afar.

Christmas Eve

The run up is over.  It’s time to pour a glass of wine and sit in front of the fire with Mrs. Mack505.  Beth has been wonderful today, positively exploding with anticipation.

Merry Christmas to all of our friends and family.  We couldn’t have made this year without you.


12/22 – Cold morning at the Mill Yard.


12/23 – Christmas is often about warm, comfortable times with our families.  Chai is doing her part.


12/24 – And to All a Good Night!  Clarabel looks like we feel.  Tomorrow will be worth it, though.


Silence. Sun shines, dead leaves rustle in the breeze. Two hundred firefighters stand in straight lines, flanking the driveway to the church. I’m glad I brought my trench coat, as the November day is not as warm as it looks.

The motorcycles and patrol cars have passed, a fine show of respect from our Brothers across the aisle. Limousines, a few private cars, two buses. The lines don’t waver.

Someone with an authoritative voice calls, “Atten-shun!” Backs straight, eyes forward. I watch the patent leather shoes of the firefighter across from me and suddenly wish I’d brought darker sunglasses. There’s nowhere to hide behind my customary orange lenses, and for the next few moments I want to be anywhere but here.

The Voice calls again, “Present arms!” Two hundred hands go up, more or less in unison. I hear it before I see it. The distinctive clatter of a Cummins diesel at idle. Two Cummins. Three.

The lead engine passes slowly, draped in black, warning lights spinning and blinking silently. Behind it, a second engine follows, also draped in black. Its warning lights are covered, blinking a strange purple-black. It idles past, clattering in the way that modern fire engines do, less than an arm’s length away. I’m struck by the ‘W6″ memorial decal in the cab window. Eleven years ago this very week we were mourning six firefighters instead of just one.

The hose bed has been emptied, and it now carries a flag-draped casket. Two firefighters ride the rear step, backs straight, eyes forward; protecting their Brother in the only way left to them. We hold our salutes as the rest of the motorcade passes and remain at attention until the Honor Guard and pallbearers have completed their task.

An hour later we form up again, this time in 50 rows of four. The motorcycles and buses pass, but the engines stop behind us. Slowly, silently we lead the procession past the station, past the spot where it happened, under the ladder arch, and into the cemetery. We line up behind the grave – ten separate honor guards in the front, chiefs behind them, the rest of us in the back – all to the cadence of a lone drummer.

The pallbearers escort the casket to the grave, accompanied by pipe music. Prayers are uttered, the flag is folded. The engine company lines up for their own small remembrance. My heart goes out to all of them, but especially the officer. It’s an officer’s responsibility to bring his guys home safely, but sometimes it’s simply not possible. We’re bringing him home now.

The bagpipes warm up, and I know what comes next. I stare at the neck of the chief in front of me and steel myself. ‘Amazing Grace’ on the pipes flattens me, anytime, anywhere. It’s OK. Everyone feels the same way, and no one is looking. I still wish I had my dark glasses.

The band plays one verse as a solo, one with the full band, and the final verse with one lone piper and drummer receding into the distance.

And then it’s over. “Detail DIS-MISSED.”

Over for me. It’s only beginning for the Rehoboth FD and the family of FF Ken Marshall Jr. God bless them.