Friday, November 13, 2009

Oh sure...I'll remember all that!

Have you ever been at a place that has an Emergency Procedures Manual?

Just about every place I have worked since the 1990's has had one.

In light of the Ft. Hood shooting, I thought it would be interesting to share the instructions from one work place concerning:

Violent Criminal Behavior

(Please note that I did not write this particular list...although I have written lists for a couple of libraries that had a lot better instructions than this one!)

If you see or know that a person has a firearm, hear shots fired or witness an armed person shooting people, you should protect yourself first.

You should immediately move to a safe location and take the following steps:.

1) Conceal yourself and others within a room if it is not safe to evacuate. You should enter and stay in an office, classroom, bathroom, or closet.

(We librarians have always discussed what we planned on doing if we had a shooter in the library work area, after noting how many shooters seem to wind up in libraries. We librarians agreed that if we were out on the library floor or reference desk we would all charge a shooter...throwing waste cans, books or anything else we could heave as we ran. We figured as middle aged librarians we could probably scare a guy long enough for a few younger and stronger types to tackle the shooter. We also agreed that NO WAY would we just sit back and let someone shoot up a bunch of students while we awaited security's arrival.)

2) Close the door and lock the door if it is safe to do so. During violent crimes in progress, entering the hall to lock the door would be unsafe.

3) Leave no external indication that you are in the room. (tuck away coats, purse, coffee cup, shut down websites on computer screen, turn off lamps. Oh sure...I could do all that in a flash!)

4) Dial 911 to give your location, the number of people present, injuries, etc.

(Let's I need to dial a "9" first to an outside number, or will just 911 work? Will I remember my address? How on earth would I have any idea how many people are in the library/facility at any moment?)

5) If the door cannot be locked then you should place heavy objects, from within the room, against the door as a barricade.

(I'm supposed to do this while concealed?)

6) Turn off the lights.

(Again, while concealed?)

7) If there are windows with window coverings then you should close them.

(Don't you just know that the blind cord will jam this time for sure...)

8) If glass is present in the door it should also be covered.

(Covered with what? Scotch tape paper up? Any ideas??? Ideas that can be done while hands are shaking like mad?)

9) Move to a floor level position furthest from door.

10) Get under a desk or table if possible.

(Another reason to watch my weight to make sure all of me could fit under my desk.)

11) Silence cell phones.

(Oops...must dig out cell phone in the dark now...set it to vibrate? Should I text message someone? And if so...who?)

12) Do not go near or open the door until instructed to do so by police or firemen.

(this could take awhile...regular potty breaks should be taken so in an emergency situation one could cower under a desk for up to three hours without a continence issue. Of course if someone is shooting up the place, wet pants might just be the least of your problems.)

Seriously...I have written security procedures for several companies in the past. The one thing that we always had going at most public libraries was the presence of an armed guard. We also had concealed alarm switches in a couple of places.

The public libraries were cool like that.

One oil company's building had unarmed security. A few months following 9/11 a semi-opened package was left in front of the company's library doors, in a hallway.
I called the security department. A young guy showed up. I showed him the box, and he decided the best course of action was

(...are you ready for this???)

to kick it.

Yup, kicked that box like it was a soccer ball during a playoff game.

I about came unglued. If that box had held a bomb, and it had gone off, the whole floor could have been blown up.

In Academic libraries there were security guards that did sweeps at closing time to make sure everyone were out of the building. They would also come by if you call anywhere from 5-15 minutes.

Our burliest staff guy was usually drafted to speak to any questionable people with a request that they leave the area. No extra pay was involved in that "other duties as assigned" part of his job description.

Those are just a few examples of how various places have handled the idea of a shooter in the past. I've learned that most larger churches in America now have plain clothed security guards with guns, and the police have floor plans of the church buildings on file. Interesting, no?

Here in Utah we have a thing called Concealed Weapon Permits. By paying a small fee, and attending a class, and undergoing some background checking, a person can be licensed to carry a weapon in public legally.

I have to admit...that fact makes me feel a little safer here in SLC. If some shooter decides to fire at folks in a public place, there is a pretty good chance that someone is going to return fire before the shooter has a chance to re-load.

I'd like to think that a dedicated Licensed Concealed Weapon Carrier regularly visits a shooting range, and will be able to wing, (rather than kill) a shooter seriously enough to stop the shooting quickly.

In fact, with that option in mind, this is what I really would like to see the Violent Criminal Behaviour policies to read as follows:

1. If you see or know that a person has a firearm illegally, hear shots fired or witness an armed person shooting people, you should protect yourself first.

2. Pull out your weapon and shoot at the criminal shooter. Continue shooting until the shooter is hit, and you are sure the criminal shooter is down.

3. Get the criminal's weapon away from the criminal.

4. Call 911.

5. Give interview to the newspaper.

6. Get back to work.

I've never liked having to remember more than six steps to do anything anyway.

The original Twelve Steps Guide that was issued?

You've got to be kidding me!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veteran's Day: Boys from Utah Then and Now

They went off to the war to end all wars...two brothers from Utah, long ago.

(My grandfather Matthew Stein, seated in picture above with his brother Conrad.)

They shipped out from Salt Lake City; left behind seven siblings and a mother and father...most of whom were German born.

(My grandfather, standing in middle.)

His father Ludwig Jr. as a young man, (born 1862) is the first man standing on the right.
His grandfather Ludwig Sr. (born 1826) and grandmother Margarthe (born 1830) a picture taken in Germany.
Germans...through and through.

Did it matter that Matthew's family was German, that they spoke German, and often lived in Germany, although Matthew was Utah born?

When the time came, he and his brother signed up in the US Army, and found themselves fighting in Europe.

My grandfather took a pipe with him, and carefully carved the name of each place that he served.

Camp Kearney in San Diego...a place he would later make his home.

Liverpool...Southampton, Havre, Scotian,
Camp Mills, Poitier, Bordeaux...
Camp de Souce
I wish I could have him here today to ask him about all the places he served.
What it was like to fight against "his people" as an American.
And what it was like to live through the Spanish Influenza that killed more soldiers than fighting ever did.
I'd like to know the memories he held of each place that he carved into his pipe as a souvenir.
We have a few pictures of him taken during his service time...the typical playful photos that soldiers always seem to take.
One day I will pull up his service records, and learn what I can about what he and his brother Conrad saw in the theater of war.
Maybe they chose not to speak of it later because they were just glad to come home.
Grandpa Stein was always a cheerful man with a ready smile.
Years later he took his wife, my grandmother, to Europe on a grand tour of France and Germany.
Apparently he knew Germany at peace as a child, at war as a young man and again in his middle years as more men went off Europe to fight for freedom again...
It must have felt really, really good to go there again and see the sights freely.
Free once again from hostility and war.
Today is his birthday...he would have been 105 years old.
I wonder what he would have thought of the world as it stands today.
Another young man from Utah went to serve in the Army just a little while ago.
He was to come home next month, and had a girl here waiting for him
He had already bought her a ring...they were nineteen...he was going to propose at Christmas time.
Instead of reunion this Christmas and wedding plans to be made...
the family will mourn.
The bride to be will grieve.
All because of a moment at Ft. Hood when a man shot his fellow soldiers, angry that he was soon to be sent to fight against "his people" (not with a gun mind you...but to support those who would do the fighting...)
Yes...I wonder what the Utah boy with German parents and siblings who fought against those of his own lineage would have had to say about this.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Warm and Fuzzy...

I was polishing up my kitchen appliances the other night.
They are all stainless steel, and less than eight months old.
They may be stainless...but I'm discovering that they are not scratch less.
I've discovered all the horizontal handles (oven, dishwasher) now have slight scratches just left of center.
Because I am a married lady and I wear a ring (most days...) on the third finger of my left hand.


Thankfully a bit of buffing and all was OK again.
But it made me think.

While I lived in Houston I acquired a felted ring. At the time I got it because it just made me laugh. A fabric ring! Imagine that!
The ring is comfortable, soft, colorful, and feels especially good when I rest my head on my hand, or am holding hands in cold weather.

In fact, wearing that ring to work yesterday gave me that "comfy sweater and slippers on a Saturday morning" kind of feeling all over. Funny how something so small on my finger could create good tactile memories all over me.

I realized that kind of feeling, especially on a Monday workdays needs to be accessed more often.
I went (virtual) shopping.
You can shop along with me by clicking on the words in brown below each picture!

Definitely getting this modern art is ordered and on the way!

Thinking about the flowers. If the roses could come in a variety of colors, they could work as mood rings too...wearing a yellow rose could signal one mood, an orange rose another mood...

I like the Calamari-like simple rings. They are a total bargain too!

I'm drawn to the elegant mixtures of sea sponge, pearls and wool.
(I'm getting that one too...)
The crafter/artist has made a series of sea inspired rings.

It cracked me up to think wearing a finger pumpkin.
Little kids would be fascinated.
Adult kids would be fascinated...
What a conversation starter!

I would like this one too... maybe Santa will get it for me!

A long tube would keep my ring finger extra snuggy warm.

This my favorite orange and green combo...think I might have to have this one.
Peas and carrots!

(or yawn...depending on your mood.)
I'd never get any work done wearing this is just too cute! Isn't it amazing what can be done with a bit of wool roving?

Yes, they hold up just fine to average wear and tear.

Yes, I wash my hands with my felted ring on sometimes by mistake...the wool repels water.

Yes, they make me smile.

Yes, they are all available on Etsy

And yes I want to learn how to make them.

Like take a class with friends? I've read how they are made...not too hard at all really.

Yes, it would be a lot more fun to be making the rings with friends.
Guess I'll now have to get busy finding a class.
Or maybe even learn how to teach it.
(PS: Two people on my sidebar are involved in this craft: Glorious Hats makes wonderful felted items, and Hat Diva sells wool roving for spinning and felting. Check them out too!)

Room in the heart...if not the brain

(I have just four grands so far...grandkitties...above are Cessa and Hensley. I get videos of them almost daily!)

We just read the obituary of daughter of one of the former Presidents of Brigham Young University (the LSD ground zero shall we say...)

The dear woman had 14 children...

86 grandchildren....

144 great grandchildren (to date..)

All I could think of was "Wow, she must get up early every morning, start the coffee and get busy making another birthday cake."

Then I realized she wouldn't have been one to drink coffee as a Mormon.
Maybe that gave her more time to bake cakes.

If each of her kids married...that would be 28 "kids" plus she and her 30 b-days a year just in the immediate family.

The grandkids must have married to make great that would be 176 people

Plus 144 more from great grands, assuming they were all too young to marry.

340 birthdays a year. That's a lot of cake and candles to deal with!
My favorite line in the obituary: The laundry was always done, and there was always a nutritious hot meal on the table. Mom even made most of her children's clothing.
Keeping the laundry "done" for just the two of us stumps me sometimes...having it "done" for sixteen people? I'm in total awe.
(The SLC obits are often amusing/interesting. Recently one woman was memorialized with the phrase "She loved to iron." Another woman received "She was greatly loved inspite of herself"
while another said "She was greatly affected by the human condition". I had to wonder if she had a choice there...being human and all...)
Around here it is pretty typical for a woman to have 20+ grandkids. Women my age usually have ten or eleven or so. Holidays are a big deal...the "family" comes home for the holidays and Christmas dinner for forty or fifty seems pretty standard. Women don't downsize when the kids leave home...they shop for bigger homes to house the growing family over the holidays!
The other day I eavesdropped on a woman surrounded by three younger women. They were examining three part buffet warming servers. It was really cute to see them discuss the pros and cons and then excitedly decide which was was going to be just right for the holiday meal.
I should have hung around to see how many they bought ;-)
One buffet server surely wouldn't have been enough.
What really makes me laugh is listening to the older men. They usually will admit that after the first thirty grandkids were born, that they pretty much lost count. (One old guy's obiturary noted that he had "over thirty grandchildren". Another one noted that there were a certain number of great grands and "two more in the oven".)
A lot of the old guys aren't really sure how many grandkids they have.
They will tell you that they can't remember all their names...
And the great grands?
Um...yes...they have some. The oldest maybe nine...and there were two more born last month...
Birthday parties?
Yeah. Lots and lots of birthday parties.
And then they change the subject to golf.