After forgetting the 12 of 12 in January, I was not going to miss this month.
Today was an average work day with just a few meetings (even with a wrong date on the agenda) and some paperwork and no exciting incidents to attend. I did manage some exercise up and down the stairs between meetings.
There were some noises coming from the front of the car. One ended up being the siren speaker having come unattached from its mount which was quickly fixed by our work electrician. The second noise is a little more serious and will hopefully be fixed tomorrow by Nissan.
Once at home, it was time to get the recycling ready for tomorrows pickup and check that the parrots had left us some peaches (we netted the tree last night).
A giggle to finish the day with some Engrish instructions that arrived with some waterproof phone/GPSr pouches I received from an eBay seller in Hong Kong.
Another 12 of 12 is over …
Today was a special day, in that as well as being a 12 of 12 day it was also the 12/12/12 – this won’t happen for another 100 years and I don’t think I will be here for that one …
Wednesday is bin day and they came around early today – it was going to be a hot day with a top temperature of 37C (99F).
The pool was ready and with the kids on school holidays, it would get a work out today.
What wasn’t working was the airconditioning on the Nissan Patrol. It had died slowly last night coming home from work but had nothing but heat this morning.
After calling into the post office to check for the mail, I was starting to get hot under the collar by the time I got to work.
Called the Nissan dealer to explain the predicament and they said bring it in – great.
After lunching across from Unley Nissan, it looked to be taking a bit longer than they expected so back to work for a few more hours.
Adelaide was subject again in this time with more of the tropical weather we are becoming accustomed to, with more thunderstorms and floodings. High humidity and high temperatures soon takes it out of you.
The car was ready by the knock off time but there was no one around to drop me back to the dealer. Time for a new experience (not that new – just haven’t done it for a while) with taking public transport to pick up the car.
Being the 12/12/12, there is of course a geocaching event and tonight’s was in the Badlands (north of Grand Junction Road) - 12.12.12. – The end of the Flippen ‘Numbers. It was a good turnout with a BBQ and good company.
My plan today was to find 12 geocaches today but lost count and overachieved with 13 finds.
Made it home around 10:30 pm and that finishes a very different 12 of 12 ….
Today was the day for a visit to the LA City Fire Department. Originally I was trying to hook up with Brian Humphrey, one of the PIO’s I had met up with many years ago but this was not possible. I had however met one of the Air Operations Battalion Chiefs in Reno and he said come on out.
It is an interesting setup at the Van Nuys Airport. It is a little bigger than Parafield Airport but not as busy with regard to landings and takeoffs but the LA City Fire Department has 2 heavy airport tenders and crews based here in addition to their Air Operations.
LA City is slowly replacing their aging Bell fleet with an Italian made AgustaWestland aircraft. As this is the first department to use these in a fire setup, it has been a interesting and sometimes frustrating process due to the differences in expectations between the 2 parties.
It was time again to tackle the LA Freeways again – rather than do the downtown route, it was recommended to go east and then bypass the City area but this didnt make all that much difference.
Well it has come around again. I have the opportunity to travel to the US to attend a couple of conferences for work – one in Reno and one in Seattle. The only drawback is the long flight in 3 legs.
I decided to take advantage of this by finding a geocache (2031 SA Geocaching Awards) at 7:30 am in Adelaide South Australia before getting on the plane to Reno Nevada to find a geocache (Name that Tune series – Part Eight) at 3:30 pm. That is a cache in the northern and southern hemispheres on the same date and 13275 kilometres apart – you have to love the International Date Line …
The first flight from Adelaide to Sydney was late getting off the ground due to the plane arriving late into Adelaide. Once airborne, the flight was very smooth and soon (1.5 hours) we were in Sydney. Thought I might have time to meet up with a mate, Paul Baker, but due to the late departure it was not going to happen.
Over to the Overseas terminal, through Immigration but a hold up on the security check. They wanted to have a look at what was inside my carry on. Doesn’t everyone carry a couple of GPSr’s, satellite phone, GoPro camera and a whole lot of associated cables.
Looking out the window at the A380, it is an impressive site, you have to wonder how it actually gets off the ground.
We were soon all loaded and despite being fairly full, I managed an empty seat next to me. The only drawback was that I was over the wing so the view was somewhat diminished.
The flight was smooth all the way. I think this maybe an advantage of being over the wing. You don’t notice the turbulence as much. Even though the plan was to get as much sleep as possible, only managed 3 hours in the 13 hour flight.
Immigration and Customs was a breeze but there was a show at the baggage carousel. Not sure what sparked it but there was security running from everywhere to restrain one person – he was carted off somewhere.
A short walk to Terminal 4 to catch a plane to Reno and through security again – they didnt even want to see what was in my bag
We all loaded onto the plane on time, not much sitting around this time except when we were about to go. It was discovered that a fuel cap was missing and they were sourcing a new one. Once replaced, they had to get clearance from Dallas to fly the aircraft. We ended up leaving 45 minutes late. The pilot tried to make up time and my GPSr was indicating speed of 850 kph. Not bad considering this was a small plane. The A380 was doing 980 kph on the Pacific leg so this was impressive for a small plane.
It was very spectacular flying over the snow covered mountains with only a bit of buffeting as we were landing in Reno.
Arriving at the Grand Sierra Resort, all I wanted was my room, a shower to freshen up and then head out for a walk but unfortunately my room wasn’t ready. So left the bags with the Bell Hop and went for a walk to find a geocache then off for some culture at Walmart. I had ordered a phone a week ago and it was to be here today but no it wasnt. Plan B was to grab a prepaid phone and use it for a few days then post it onto Jenny once she arrived, so not all is lost.
Headed back to the Grand Sierra Resort to find the room is still not ready (it is now 4:30pm) and I think the Check In girl worked out I wasn’t a happy camper so an alternative room was found.
Time for a shower, some tea and then finally getting to bed around 9:00 pm. I had been up for around 32 hours so was ready to crash …
One thing with my life, it is like a magical mystery tour - you never know where I will be.
With the warming weather curing this massive growth and a lot of dry lightning storms there have been some large fires threatening townships and station homesteads.
The role of the SA crew has been to burn strategic breaks around Alice Springs and provide a rapid response to nearby fires.
My role has been that of a Planning Officer within the Incident Management Team. The amazing thing about these fires is the sheer size of them (e.g. 4000 square km just for a single fire) and the small amount of resources managing these fires.
Today started early with lightning heading through Central Australia starting a number of new fires. So apart from chasing up information on existing fires, it was a case of chase up on the new ones as well.
The temps were high today with 35 degrees and some good winds so fires were moving well. The main fires giving more interest were east and west of Alice Springs.
We were starting to wind down when I starting doing a scan of the latest satellite data and spotted some new fires south west near Yulara and on the Stuart Highway north of Ti Tree. Another flurry of work then it was time to head back to the hotel.
It was only 5 minutes back at the hotel and a fire started directly across the road. Our crews were out working north of town so we rang the local crew and watched them get to work.
Time for an ice cold beer to finish the day
A small drive out from town we were told but I suppose 45 km is a small drive for Sydney Siders. A toll on the M5 and we were soon at the complex.
They were lucky to obtain a warehouse for the training complex which allowed for all weather training in USAR, Vertical Rescue and Confined Space Rescue as well as a base and store for the USAR cache.
Noise is not a problem as it is located in the industrial area of Ingleburn. In fact weekends, it is almost a ghost town so no annoying the neighbours when training.
They have made a good use of containers to provide props for all aspects of USAR training. The best bit is that they have utilised the skills of the firefighters to produce these props.
It was a good opportunity to see whether our program is on track and from what we saw, we are not doing too bad and now also have some ideas for our training.
It is time for a road trip again. I am heading to Sydney for the AFAC Conference and rather than fly in, I decided to take a couple of days and drive across picking up some Geocaches and Munzees on the way.
Planned time of departure was 9:00 am and after dropping Bradley at Football umpiring, packing the car and saying goodbye to Jenny, Rachael and Molly, I was on the road at 9:01.
It was a good trip with a couple of stops before hitting the SA-Victoria Border then there were a lot of new caches to grab and I put out around 20 Munzee’s as well.
I was into New South Wales when it was getting dark and the wildlife was becoming restless. I was travelling on the southern edge of the Hay Plain and there were roos, rabbits, hares, sheep, cattle and owls (WTF). I hit a couple of rabbits but missed the rest.
Finally arrived into Jerilderie at 8:30 pm after 11 1/2 hours on the road. Tomorrow the trip continues into Sydney …
Today was to an average sort of day so I thought I would match Foursquare check-ins I had during the day with a photo of each location. It ended up I had too many photos today with the day almost ending up with a bang.
The day started out quiet in our street but heading to work I got held up by a freight train at the Blackwood Railway Station (Foursquare Mayor here). Stopped off at the Blackwood Post Office (Foursquare Mayor here) to pick up the latest Geocoin Club geocoin.
Got held up some more on the way into Adelaide with a number of roadworks. It is not too much of a problem as the car tends to be a mobile office these days anyway. Arrived at the Adelaide Fire Station (Foursquare Mayor here).
A normal sort of day and one of my cohorts suggested lunch at Chinatown and in particular one our favourite haunts – Singapore Delights (Foursquare Mayor here). We walked down through Victoria Square to a packed Chinatown but another great meal of #11 with extra chilli.
Walked back to work through the Central Market and finsihed off my Fire Service day or so I thought.
After work it was time to go to the Scouts Rally SA Office (Foursquare Mayor here) to put in another 5 hours with the Rally only 2 weeks away. On arrival, Ivar told me there was some sort of gas leak in the front office.
After a quick sniff, it was time to bring in some guys in a “Big Red Truck” to use the meters to find the source of the gas. After a bit of detecting and searching, we came up that it was a refigerant gas leak from the air conditioner. Thats a job for tomorrow and we had work to do tonight.
We rugged up, turned off the heat and opened the windows, got down to it and finally came up with a Draft Entry List for the Rally at 11 pm.
Todays 12 of 12 started wet, continued wet through the day and ended wet. Winter is here and three weeks early. There has even been 25cm of snow at Falls Creek.
Had a couple of pickups this morning with a new mouse GPS to connect up to the Netbook when out on the road, then a couple of fluoro jackets for the Scouts Rally SA.
The Police HQ building behind the Fire Station is still being built but is looking closer with a lot of the external hoardings and scaffold being removed.
We then did an audit on our satelitte phones checking they worked and replacing the sim cards that didnt work. That was in between the rain showers.
You can see from the pile of paper on my desk, that I will never be short of something to do at work, but still had time to listen to the Geocaching Podcast live.
It was then lunchtime and of course it was still raining. Dropped off the jackets to the Rally Office then back to work to find a venue for some work meetings. I had been trying the Richmond Hotel for a couple of days but had no reply.
Tried a couple of Scout venues but they were unavailable but ended up booking the Maxwell Cooper Room at the Coopers Alehouse.
It was time to knock off and grab a couple of Geocaches on my quest to make 5000 finds by the Moderately Old Farts Birthday Bash on the Border Track on the 20th and with 8 Days to go and 34 caches to find – should be achievable ….
What was going to be a normal day at work after having a couple of weeks off on vacation on the West Coast, it certainly didn’t finish off that way.
First thing this morning started with a pager test as it is the first day of my 7 days on call as Safety Officer for the Metropolitan Fire Service. A quick check of the lights and siren on the Camry then through the car wash to rinse off a couple of weeks of grime from sitting in the driveway.
There were a couple of packages at the Post Office to pick up. They came from the US. One was a box of travel bugs from Reno and the other was an Every Trail T-shirt. I got the T-shirt for tagging photos on the Every Trail website a few weeks ago.
Getting into work and it was a little hard as the builders next door had blocked our back driveway to put the sign up on the new Police HQ building.
I was asked to trial a few speed apps for the iPhone but there doesn’t seem to be any decent ones around.
Spent the day doing the paperwork it takes to run a Fire Service, before heading home for the day.
Wednesday night is “Night Owls” Lawn Bowls at the Blackwood Bowling Club. I was heading up to the Club when I got my first callout for the night – to a Shop Fire at Gawler (58 kms away). I was turned back quickly and went back to the Bowling Club.
I was about to take my first bowl when the pager went again – this time for a Hospital Fire at Victor Harbor (88 kms away).
I thought I would have got turned back on this call but I was requested to attend the scene and report back to the On-Call Commander and the Deputy Chief.
After attending the fire at Victor, I managed a few geocache finds on the way home.
Again, another very different 12 of 12.