Browse Category


DC Fire Chief

I asked the Fire Chief a question today on The Washington Post

Washington, D.C.: During the 911 calls of a recent SE fire, I heard one of the callers say the well worn phrase “If this was a fire in a white neighborhood, you would respond a lot faster?”

How are you going to fight that perception?

Chief Dennis L. Rubin: Wow. We arrived in less that five minutes to that call. Should we look into being Rocket Propelled? Our response times are great through-out every corner of the City. I worked five and a half years in the Trinadad section of town (E-10), we did everything that we were doing in upper northwest. I would submit that DCFD is color blind.


Chief R


65 years ago today was the Battle of Midway. If you have never read it, I recommend this book by two Japanese naval officers who were in the battle

Midway: the Battle that Doomed Japan. It is published by the Naval Institute and is part of the core reading at the Naval Acadmey. It is also a lesson for management, in that the Japanese assumed so much (wrongly) and had too much faith in their own superiority such that they were caught it the open when luck and skill went against them.

What we will soon have, maybe

In Tsim Sha Shui, just over the Star Ferry from Hong Kong Island, I came across this new vending machine in the subway station of all places. It’s selling SIM cards for mobile phones, both the GSM and the CDMA variety (for those visiting China and wishing to have CDMA). Cards cost, mostly $98HK which is about $13 USA.

Almost all Hong Kong phones are sold “unlocked” meaning you can switch SIM cards at will. I was able to unlock my USA T-Mobile phone before I left, and now have SIM cards for the US, UK, Germany and Hong Kong. I think there is a market for a SIM card holder as they are always bouncing around in my wallet.

Will we ever get to this point in the USA where a phone is as easy a pack of gum? I hope so, but as long as the big carriers “lock” mobile phones most Americans won’t know that getting a cellphone can be this easy.

Grey skies

I’m still trying to get the things going past my window function working. In the last week we’ve had several freighters, a warship and two cruise ships pass by, but the function to list them all is proving to be a bit difficult. Today it is cloudy outside and the only thing I can see are the occasional waterman laying crab traps. There seems to be several on this side of the Bay today–wonder if the crabs are here in the Spring (and if I shoudl set a trap