One of my all-time favorite quotes pretty much sums up my feelings on this month’s commentary; “Don’t tell people how to do things, tell them what to do and let them surprise you with the results” – George S. Patton.

Nothing is more demoralizing than to have a job or responsibility ranked from underneath you, not because you were doing it wrong, but because your superiors did not trust your instincts, training, and/or leadership. If you’ve trained your people well, let them do their jobs. As General Patton stated, they may just surprise you!


Just limbering up the ol’ digits this morning! When sketching, I don’t do caricatures, per say, but find characteristics of people, their faces, their personality, and just start drawing. I don’t concentrate on getting a likeness as much as just allowing the artwork to take on its own life and lead me where it wants to go. Fun exercise – no rules!:)


…and just in time for all those summer wildfires, too. I am truly amazed every year as I watch reports from the network news drama-mill (insert Fox News, here) about folks who refuse to leave homes and property threatened by wildfires. Understanding that every home is a man’s castle and we’d all fight to keep ours, it’s comments like “I’m can fight it off myself” and “I’m not asking anyone to save me” that really wrinkle my diamond-plate! Because we all know as soon as reality settles in and ol’ man wildfire is licking at their back door, who they’re going to call to rescue them at the last minute. And of course, we do, because that’s what we do.

I’m preaching to the choir with this one, but hopefully it will be worth a laugh, if not a well timed sigh.


Isn’t it hilarious how those who were screaming “Drill, Baby Drill” and championing offshore Gulf drilling have become dubiously quiet? Surely a little thing like an environmental disaster wouldn’t effect their political grand-standing, would it?

I’m not naive enough to believe our energy needs will be settled by just turning off the oil pumps, but we NEED to begin an aggressive approach to renewable energy. The time is now, and this disaster is just a reminder of what is to come if we base our short-sighted hopes on off-shore drilling. It’s a short term fix at best and the consequences of a disaster, possibly larger than the current Gulf spill, is just too great. We’re the most resourceful, innovative, and proactive country in the world – we can do better than this!

Who’s Serving Who?

Ahhh, the stench of May elections is in the air and I just couldn’t resist pulling out my ol’ political cartoon pens to take a stab at our “helpful” elected officials – with an obvious fire service twist, of course. This cartoon expresses two points; the first being that our elected public servants tend to steer the wagon they’re sworn to empower (even when they’re clueless to the desired direction), and secondly, this is nothing new.

My Department is fortunate that our city officials allow us to operate with minimal interference – a result of mutual respect, a solid history, and positive communication between both parties. This of course is contingent from one election to the next – but we’ve had a great run. Unfortunately, it does not take much research or talking with folks at events like FDIC before you realize that the situation is much, much, much worse in other areas.

I have always loved this quote by Groucho Marx, “Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies”. Regrettably, these are the horses trying to steer our steamers.