Tag Archives: Boy Scouts

consumerism essay NY

It is daybreak No. 3 after the storm.

We are still without power.

Our utility company has all hands on deck trying to restore power. I am certain that they are doing their best.

We prepared for the eventuality of not having power for up to a week.

The maximum ETA is that power will be completely restored by midnight Sunday. Hopefully we aren’t the last ones on that list.

But we have prepared well and can ride this out. Maybe not in luxury but neither are we living only out of cans and PB&J.

Our generator is handling our fridge, industrial fan, TV and some electronics. Plenty of lanterns and batteries, gasoline and propane for our generator, grill and camping stove.

The motto I learned as a Boy Scout wasn’t just a passing thing. I adhered to that motto, Be Prepared, to everything I do in life, especially in the face of these storms.

Too many of my community neighbors have been complaining about the length of the power outage.

The main reason is that they prepared for the storms that passed and not the one still to come. I have heard so many say that they never expected this much damage in Central Florida because previous storms turned, grazed or substantially weakened before arriving and passing through the very middle of the state.

But then came this storm, with the largest extension of wind coverage completely covered the entire state.

And then Irma’s drunken path moved her left to right back left and then again right, bringing incredible damage to the entire state.

Today I heard an official say that for the first time in Florida’s history, 99 percent of the whole state’s counties emergency control centers are at full activity.

With so many of the population and areas affected at once, it is only sensible that power and internet to residences would take a low priority.

Today people are being rescued from flooded areas, people returning to areas almost completely devastated and people still being forced to evacuate due to rising waters.

My in-laws fell into that last category. Their senior living community survived the wind and debris damage, and they had power restored until yesterday when they received word that the entire community needed to evacuate.

Even without electricity but with an intact structure, they are here with us. Together we shoulder the load and await the power to return.

Related:

Hurricane Irma: Of Battened Hatches and a Little Elbow Grease

Hurricane Irma: Who Needs Lights Anyway?

Hurricane Irma: Surviving Tornado Sirens and Power Loss

Belching and Wet Spots: The Boys Scouts This Ain’t

AMR contributor Richard Rodriguez offered a pretty good account of what can only be described as an epic camping trip from nearly 30 years ago, but there are some salient details he overlooked that I want to add or clarify based on my hazy memory of this adventure.

As I recall, Rich was in charge of getting the tent.

And as I recall, the manufacturer’s instructions recommended pitching the tent, wetting it down with a hose and letting it dry to help activate some kind of waterproofing.

And as I recall, Rich did not do that.

So when the rains came down, down, down like in “Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day,” the tent leaked worse than Edward Snowden.

The result was there were numerous wet spots that rendered parts of the tent inhospitable.

But that was not the end of it:

As I recall, John somehow got his hands on beer and ice cream and proceeded to fumigate the tent with a green fog that damn near gassed us the way an exterminator would if he were trying to rid a house of termites. (Picture the faux extermination scenes from “Breaking Bad.”)

Pedro and I ended up sleeping in Rich’s Dad’s station wagon because the tent was already overcrowded and did I mention that parts of the sleeping area were also now wet?

That Pedro and I were relegated to the car meant the two biggest guys in our group would be in the most confined space.

I do not remember which of us ended up sprawled across the front seats and contending with the steering wheel, but I do clearly recall that we needed chiropractors in the morning!

Of all of us, I think I was the only former Boy Scout and the one with the most experience outdoors and with camping.

But you would have had no idea of that based on the way I was behaving.

I was petrified/obsessed with raccoons that were foraging in a nearby garbage can. Every five minutes, I would poke my head out of the tent with a flashlight like some crazed movie usher to see what they were doing.

As Rich noted, there was a steel-cage belching contest that I recall Gary winning on the strength of a masterful performance, which featured quantity, volume and endurance.

Though I finished that weekend dethroned as a title-holding belcher, I went home with many great memories of this trip!
Read more blog posts at www.aboutmenradio.com and at http://aboutmenradio.net

Like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/AboutMenRadio and follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/aboutmenradio
Have a question or a comment? Write us at amr@aboutmenshow.com

Friendship Forged With Ketchup and Cameras

Some friendships are forged in pick-up games of basketball, neighborhood games of stickball or friendly games of tag.

Mine were cemented in crime scene photos.

I was about 13 and active in Boy Scouts. I was a mere Webelo at the time and we had to do some kind of photo essay for a photography skill award.

Or maybe I’m ascribing all of what I’m about to describe to the Scouts and I was just a goofy, demented kid with too much time on his hands.

Anyway, the idea was that each photo would depict some scene and all the frames in sequence would collectively tell a story.

So, naturally, I chose something that would involve guns, drugs and suicide. See previous comment about being a demented kid.

At the time, I was fascinated by all things cops on TV (“Adam-12”, “The Rookies”, “S.W.A.T.”), so I thought it would be cool to re-enact some kind of crime scene and photograph it.

Over time, my friends and I ended up doing three different kinds of photo essays (one of which involved ketchup for blood after the perp gets “shot”).

Another called for my friend John and I to portray drug dealers who flee the cops and then get arrested as they draw down on us.

In these dramatic photos, (see attached) John and I (in the black jacket) complete a drug exchange (note the paper bag) while Pedro and Jimmy keep us under surveillance and then bravely rid the streets of filth like us.

Cue dramatic music. Roll credits.

But my true Cecil B. DeMille moment came weeks later when I decided we would stage a drug-addled, suicidal John standing just inside a bedroom window of my family’s third-floor apartment.

We took the window screen off for dramatic effect. And, oh yeah, the window was open. Wide open.

But we needed a cop. Someone who projected authority and sympathy and who could be seen as realistically trying to talk John out of jumping.

So we befriended the new guy at school.

Enter Pedro.

I don’t think he could have been there more than a week when we broached him with this half-baked idea.

And, in a display of the kind of white-hot intellect that only 13-year-old boys are capable of, Pedro said: Sure!

Somewhere I have photos of Pedro wearing a cop-like windbreaker, hands outstretched, pleading with John to come back from the ledge.

And there’s John, looking back – eyes glassy and his hair disheveled, looking strung out from drugs. (We used my acne medication as a prop in one of the photos.)

Sadly, Detective Pedro fails and John “jumps” from the third-story window. I shot a photo from out the window of John sprawled on the sidewalk below – SPLAT! – with a squirt of ketchup near his head.
Translated from Spanish, Pedro would later tell his mom that day: “I guess that’s just how white kids play, mom.”

Fast-forward nearly 40 years.

The photos have faded but the bonds of friendship – and the over-the-top sense of adventure – have endured and remain as bright as ever.

P.S.: Did I mention that Pedro and I recently went on an Olympic bobsled ride at speeds of up to 60 mph?