Tag Business

Feeding the Ill

My wife sat hunched over her computer and beckoned me with her free hand.
“I just got an email from someone’s mom.  Her son can only eat Jevity and there’s a lapse in their insurance, so she’s looking for any cans she can scrounge up until they come through.  What do you think?”
“Perfect.”  I grinned, “Let’s feed him.”
Jevity is a liquid food substitute for people who cannot eat solid foods for whatever reasons.  I had this stuff pumped directly into my stomach via a feeding tube for several weeks while I was undergoing cancer treatment.  Unfortunately, this formula of food-in-a-can is quite expensive.  I was lucky in that my insurance company paid for it.  Others aren’t quite so fortunate.
When I had my feeding tube removed, I had a few extra cases of Jevity left over.  I decided that this would be a novel way to feed those who were not only in need of the rather expensive food, but are ill as well.  My wife and I locate cancer clinic and chemotherapy treatment centers and donate these cans—all adorned with the Rook symbol to those whose insurance doesn’t cover the food completely.
In this case, we had a specific person in mind.  He had been in an accident and is apparently dealing with a lifetime of living off of this particular liquid diet.  We loaded up a couple cases and ensured that her son will have something to nourish himself with until his insurance straightens things out.
It seems that there are many ways to provide food for those in need.

RLSH Metal Band Laundry Mat Video Interview

JACK [email protected] W METAL ZONE PART 1.mpgJACK [email protected] W METAL ZONE PART 2.mpg                                                                                                                                                                                               Hey this is The Ded Beat from Jack Havoc telling you to Check us out on The N W Metal Zone Radio Show, this is a video of it recorded on the above link by our Roadie  from the 80″s J.A. Lee.



How to be a superhero

Originally posted: http://www.nvdaily.com/news/2011/04/how-to-be-a-superhero.php
By James Heffernan – [email protected]
Former Spider-Man actor provides motivational address at Apple Blossom
WINCHESTER — As a soft-spoken, undersized farm boy growing up in Minnesota, Tom Schenck would shine a flashlight under the covers at night and live vicariously through the pages of comic books, whose larger-than-life heroes not only kept him entertained, but also taught him strong values.
“It wasn’t just their power, their superhuman strength, their X-ray vision. … They did what was right when it was important to do it,” he said. “They didn’t hesitate. They had courage. They had tenacity. And they never gave up.”
Those are lessons that Schenck, now an acclaimed motivational speaker known as “Tom Terrific,” says can be applied to one’s personal and professional life.
“If it’s the right thing to do, and it’s the right thing to do now, do it, whether it’s in relationships, with colleagues or in business,” he advised a group of about 300 local business leaders Wednesday at the Valley Health Fast Forward Business Luncheon on the campus of Winchester Medical Center.
Schenck said his first true superhero was his mother, a teacher who set an example for him and his six siblings with her quiet strength, wisdom and unwavering devotion to people. With her as a guide, Schenck would go on to become a straight-A student, champion collegiate wrestler — just missing the 1980 U.S. Olympic team — Ivy League graduate, master body builder, wellness expert, national sales champion and headmaster of a private school for autistic children.
As a young actor in New York, Schenck landed his dream job portraying Spider-Man for Marvel Comics. The promotional role would take him around the world and instill in him the importance of being a real-life superhero, not just for himself, but to others.
Just as Spider-Man has a nemesis in the Green Goblin, everyone has villains in life in the form of adversity, Schenck said, but they can be crushed by attacking each day with gratitude, passion and action, he said.
“All of you in this room can be superheroes,” he said. “You all have some combination of talent and skills that makes you unique. And the world needs you.”
But first you have to train to be a superhero, he cautioned.
The first stage involves finding and reconnecting with the people who believe in you and inspire you, whether they be a family member, a friend or a teacher. The second stage consists of identifying your superpowers and honing them. The final stage, and the most important, according to Schenck, means becoming someone else’s superhero — what he calls “guardianship.”
Just being a positive force is “absolutely intoxicating” and will draw people to you, he said.
And in an age when consumers have come to expect less, businesses and organizations can set themselves apart by going out of their way to create a bond with their customers and make them feel appreciated, he said.
After the talk, Schenck signed copies of his new book, “The Superhero Factor.”
Randy Collins, president and CEO of the Top of Virginia Regional Chamber, one of the sponsors of the event, said Schenck’s message is timely in what for many has been a difficult business climate.
“If they maintain a positive attitude and they look from within, they have all the skills they need to succeed not only in life, but also in running their businesses,” he said.
Jacqueline Post, with Valley Health’s Occupational Health Services, agreed.
“I think we got some nice tips on how to attack our villains in the workplace and in life,” she said.
“And don’t wait,” added Aimee Price, regional safety manager with Greatwide Dedicated Transport in Front Royal. “It pays to deal with your villains right away.”

Helping Stranded Motorists (In Cold Weather)

First thing to remember when helping people, keep in mind that they are in fact entirely too human. People make simple mistakes that can be dangerous to their safety, and to your’s. So you have to assume the safety of everyone in a situation when you arrive on the scene. You just might save someone’s life.. including your own!
Make sure the vehicle is safely out of the lane of flowing traffic. Either push it out of the road, or use tow straps. Be careful, as most people strain their back muscles during this phase and often have no clue, until later, that they hurt themselves pretty badly.
Make sure that that everyone from the stranded vehicle is warm and protected from the elements. A lot of people jump into their cars without a jacket because they think they’ll just be out for a few minutes and don’t need a coat. Make sure to carry a few heavy blankets in your trunk, if you don’t have a few old coats Some motorists also get soaked through even if they have a winter jacket, so they need to get them off immediately. Remember to stock extra gloves, knit caps, and scarves! Dress in layers so you can remove them as you heat up from working and shoveling. Stay away from cotton under layers as these retain moisture and keep you cold.
Having people sit in the vehicle you are working on isn’t a good idea. People move unexpectedly, they also add weight to the vehicle, and both conditions add stress to the support jack which can cause it to collapse. Have them wait in your vehicle if they have to stay out of the elements. And yes, I know.. you’re concerned about someone stealing things from your car. Take reasonable precautions, but safety and preventing cold related injuries are also important.
Even if someone has their own jack, I never use it. I carry my own, heavy duty scissor jack. I am familiar with it. It’s heavy duty so that I can use it even under a pick-up truck. And all I need to do is make sure it is secured in place on the frame to lift and support the vehicle. Even if someone has already jacked up their vehicle, I slide my jack under and tighten it up. Most people have changed very few tires, and if they have they might not have done so on their current vehicle, or with the current style of equipped jack they have.. this means they might not have done it right. Always assume that unless you’ve secured the vehicle yourself, it is not secure.
While I’m on the subject, I also carry my own tire irons, two of them. One standard measurements, the other metric. Never trust someone’s dealer equipped tire iron.. these are often cheaply made and likely to strip lug nuts, bend, or break. Wear heavy work gloves, and keep your first aid kit near by. Cuts and bruised knuckles are common injuries. You might even break a finger or hand if you’re not careful. Mother Nature loves to strand motorists in snow, or freezing rain, and these conditions make tools slip in the blink of an eye. Go at a steady pace.. this isn’t a race.
Wear a reflective, brightly colored vest if you can. Even in daylight you can go unseen, especially if there is snow blowing about. Some accidents happen because a driver passing by will unconsciously turn toward you and the vehicle you are working on because they have a tendency to steer slightly toward the direction they are looking. Wearing emergency colors helps, but does not eliminate this danger Have someone use a flashlight, or road flares, for warning traffic around you if you’re in or beside the road working.
Buy a good ergonomic shovel to help you shovel out. They’re worth the price! You can lift snow easier without killing your back. Have salt (and sand if you can get it) available too. Motorists often don’t have either a shovel or grit for traction, so you’ll have to provide both.
Standard Emergency Aid Supplies For Your Vehicle
Towing straps (cold, or old, chains sometimes snap and become shrapnel!)
Tire chains
Heavy duty jack
First Aid Kit
Heavy work gloves, and safety glasses (stuff gets splashed off the road, or rust flecks off tires and lug nuts)
Good ergonomic shovel
Salt and sand (grit) for traction
Extra blankets, old jackets, gloves, hats, and scarves
Granola bars, or other emergency food (some folks may have been stranded for hours without anything to eat)
Bottled water (though be careful storing in your vehicle in winter)
Flashlights (more than one is best), extra batteries too
Road flares
Emergency repair / jump-starting kit
In some areas you are not allowed to use tire chains while driving. But they can be used to help a stranded vehicle get unstuck, then remove them. Do not use tire chains unless they are in good shape, you are familiar with their use, and that they are secured properly.
Emergency battery powered glow sticks–which include a flash light, solid color, or blinking mode–can be used in lieu of road flares. (Thank you, Phantom Zero and Nyx, for this contribution.)

Basic First Aid Kit

Before I begin, I will leave you with this word of caution: IF YOU COME UPON AN EMERGENCY FIRST CALL 911, OR HAVE SOMEONE ELSE DO IT! Then render aid only as your level of medical knowledge permits.  If a person is conscious and alert, you must ask permission before treating them, even if it’s just putting a band aid on.. you may not render aid if they refuse for any reason.
When you’re out on a patrol, or an Outreach, you should always carry a first aid kit with you as part of your standard equipment load out.
The typical First Aid Kit contains things like (and I’m using a general purpose military first aid kit as an example):

  • x2 2” x 6 yds. Bandage Gauze
  • x1 6” Elastic Bandage
  • x2 3” x 4” Sterile Sponges
  • x16 3” Bandage Strips
  • x1 Ice Pack
  • x1 Tweezers
  • x1 Scissor
  • x1 Pill Bottle
  • x1 Eye Pad
  • x1 Hand Soap
  • x4 Pain Relievers (I carry both Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen)
  • x1 Magnifying Lens
  • x1 First Aid Instructions
  • x6 Safety Pins
  • x1 Pair Examination Gloves
  • x4 Aspirin
  • x1 First Aid Cream
  • x1 Triple Antibiotic
  • x1½” Tape
  • x3 Alcohol Wipes
  • x3 Iodine Wipes
  • x3 Antiseptic Wipes
  • x3 Clean Wipes.

This is a pretty standard set-up that you will find in most $10 store bought kits.  I suggest buying additional items for refilling the kit, or adding extras for items you may need more of.  I also suggest a First Aid pamphlet, or handbook.  But make sure you are familiar with the information before hand, so you don’t have to desperately look things up while someone is bleeding.
As you can see, such a kit would quickly become depleted after a few uses. But many of the most commonly used items can be bought at a $ dollar store, so making a kit from scratch, and having more uses than a standard kit, is relatively cheaper and easier.
I strongly suggest a couple pair of blue nitrile gloves.  Never treat a wound without a barrier between you and bodily fluids. (At the time of this writing, KnightOwl is working on an article about applying medical attention in the field.)
Of course, keep the kit water proof.?

Some of the more interesting Things…

That have happened to me.
I’ve been doing this for a few years & maybe some of it will be useful to someone.

Instead what I found was a Buick broken down in the middle of Gulf to Bay with two young women & a four year old in it! I pulled in behind it, and after a quick assesment determined the battery was the cause. Unfortunatley the battery was too far drained to jump it with my charger. so quickly, when the light changed again I pushed the car across the street (Yes One handed) Into a plaza parking lot, and called the location tag and discrïption into CPD so they would know where they were. after it was established that AAA would come and change the battery and everyone was safe, I got ready to head out. One of the women said “What do we owe you?” I gotta admit I was dumbfounded by this. I said “You don’t owe me anything, I’m a SUPERHERO” (duh) and headed home.
What a night!
I get some road cash at a ATM & head out up enterprise road.
There on the sidewalk is a guy parked in a Hoveround with his chin on his chest out cold.
“Oh S**T!” says the Superhero. “He must have had a seziure or something!” I whip the vette around and pull up to him. Now he’s awake & putting away up the sidewalk. I lean out the passengers window & say “Hey buddy! you ok?”
He swings his head around like he’s one of those bobblehead things you set in sports collectible stores & says “I’m fine man…”
Holy S**T! says the Superhero “He’s drunk!” So I decide to make a citizens arrest.
As I’m reaching for my door handle it dawns on me…
Yeah he’s drunk
But he’s on the sidewalk
He’s driving
But he’s not in a car.
“What the Hell do I do?”
So I did what every red-blooded American Superhero would have done.
I stuck my head out the window said “Ok sir you have a good night” and Drove off.
Is there such a thing as DUI Hoveround?
Finally dropped of the Arma 100 to Clearwater SWAT today! they were training at the substaion by my place so I ran over.
I went behind the complex and there were a bunch of human wrecking machines in fatuquies running around so I figured this was the place.
I walked up to the first guy and said “Hi where’s my pal Billy?” who ran up to tell me I had just met the SWAT commader!
“Oops! sorry sir! I didn’t see any bars on your uniform sir!” He just smiled and laughed, regular guy and asked what i had with me.
I showed him the ARMA and explained how it could have saved that kid who pulled the sword last year.
Now mind you this guy is the commander of one of the top SWAT teams in the nation, but he listened to what I had to say very intently. I could tell he was doing so and was very impressed with that. He held the Shot bag from the ARMA and gave my pal Billy over to me so I could check him out on the weapon even though a drill was going on!
I got Billy checked out fast to get him back in the game, Just as Pinellas Swat Cranked up a HUGE A.P.C. that kind looked like a giant Cadillac V-100. or Soviet BTR-60 on steroids. their snipers had their remmington 700’s tripoded and ready to go and the drill was heating up. It was not place for a superhero so I turned Billy loose, he High fived me and got back in the game. My reward will be when he tells me the ARMA saved somebody’s life. Exciting afternoon!
Yep! You read right! I was leaving work early tonight & headed north Over the Eastbay overpass when lo & behold there’s a Big SUV with it’s hazzards on and a pool of Fire underneath it sitting in the median! another car stopped about the same time I did, both of us FAR away.
I asked them to call 911 and pulled the fire extinguisher from my trunk. nobody is in, or around the SUV, no owner present.
As I’m walking back the fire is growing, black smoke, fire from under the hood, etc. The hood is popped but not open. I DO NOT open it the rest of the way (I’ve seen Backdraft way to many times for that) and instead I stick the hose of my extinguisher under the hood as far as I can without getting burnned. I pull the trigger & woosh! out goes the fire!
“That’ll learn ya.” I smirked to myself and then the fire RESTARTED!
I stick the hose back under the hood again, and dump the entire contents of the extinguisher under the hood! it goes out, Than Floof! it’s starts right back up!
Meanwhile a Largo Police Sargeant & a Cleartwater cop along with a auxilary have stopped & I can hear fire trucks.
The Clearwater auxillary had heard of me, and said “Oh yeah! you’re the Superhero!” while he directed traffic around us. Largo Fire arrived and I told them to be careful as my extinguisher did not put a dent in the fire, “Relax” the fireman said “You just needed 500 gallons of water to do the trick” and it did. My actons may not have put much of a dent in things, but at least it kept things at bay and a gas tank explosion from happening before the fire Dept. could get there. I asked the largo Sargeant if he needed a statement or anything, than took off.
Moral: start carrying a fire extinguisher. Odd that I always find accidents when I’m OUT of uniform huh?
12/28/06 DUI PERSUIT
No sooner did I hit the road than “Hit & Run, dead adult & 3 year old child” Pours thru my headset….
I think I’ve mentioned before how bad this Pisses me off, It happens every day! you just killed a 3 year old. Why don’t they stop! So I race to the bridge and into a pursuit position, I hear the descrïption, it’s a beige SUV. (About as incospicuous as the Supermobile ) He’s already in Clearwater so I start searching the major parking lots for the vehicle while the cops criss cross the roads (I can hear ’em). I gotta admit, I’m a big fan of Law enforcement first, but I wanted this guy. I wanted him bad, I was so hoping his big ugly bloody SUV was going to parked infront of me. Sure I’d have called it in, And hoped the guy got out and wanted to leave so’s I could dim his lights. Anyway all the sudden I hear that they snagged him up on Keene, Felony style (God I hope he resisted) So I went back to my buisness all worked up but happy the guy was caught.
Whoa! Bizzare mission tonight! Found out a officer friend of mine named “Matt” was hurt down on the beach, decided to run out there with some lunch and check on him.
Whilst on my way down there I’m scanning of course and hear this:
So I detour over there hoping to lend a extra car and set of eyes to the search, and lo and behold there sits Two cruisers and a cop who I don’t recognize talking to a young Blonde Woman. The cop goes inside, I pull into the complex drive and ask the woman:
“Is this where the missing little boy is?” she’s obviously distraught and just then as I go to pull out of the lot I hear “Hold it Speed Racer!”
Out comes the cop, with his huge Partner, with there flashlights in my window.
I say “I was looking to help on the call with the missing boy.”
They say “There is no call with a missing boy.”
I say “I heard it over the scanner.”
They say “No missing boy, this is a domestic dispute and you just interupted it.”
I say “Oh shit.”
Now I’m looking obstruction of justice in the face but thank God My names gotten around the locker room.
“I’m so-and-so’s pal from the Gym” No Deal
“I’m The Radio Guys brother.” NO Deal.
“I’m Superhero.”
just then the smiles come on “Oh yeah! we know who you are!” how ya doin’ tonight?” (Ya think they would have SEEN the Big SH on the car & my helmet!)
“Yeah Hero, no missing kid here.” everythings cool.
I say “Sorry for interupting, you guys have a safe night!” and I race for the beach and watch Matt take some guy in a skirt with a filet knife to the pokey…
THIS is what I was trying to make clear to Dark Guardian, you guys have GOT to have Police support! If you don’t have it your screwed! If they impose a few small requests on you, (Forbidden areas of town and such) respect there wishes. The day will come when you’ll be glad they like you back!
Then a Shooting happened.
I know after my last two blogs this is gonna sound like bullcrap, But I swear on my logo this happened tonight…
Me and my Girl went to see Psycho Beach Party in St Pete. Halarious check it out, but anyway as we come off the 275 overpass into Clearwater and there’s a car off the road, and UPSIDE DOWN in the drainage ditch!
One other guy has stopped, and he’s standing next to the victim, a young girl who’s like 25 feet away from the wreck and up on the bank! (huh?)
she’s sitting up and I yell “Is there anybod else in the car?” just as she flop’s flat on her back, I yell to the other stopper to call 911 and jump into the ditch with a splash, and sink up to my ankles in the mud. I yell to the girl one more time “is there anybody else in the car?” no answer the car is halfway emersed in the muck , I fumble around until I find the door handle & it pops, but being in the muck, it don’t budge. All I can think about is somebody hanging upside down from there seat belt head first in the water, or worse a kid in a baby seat. Now, I’m a 215 pound knuckle dragger, I like to powerlift, not bodybuild, but still, don’t ask how I ripped that door open, it just happend.
It’s pitch black in the car and I yell “FLASHLIGHT!” just as some new guy from the bank tosses me one! (great timing!) and I’m down in the car. Nothing, no kid, no adult, nothing. Thank God, now I can concentrate on the victim. Like I said this girl was at least 25 feet from the car, a nurse pulled over (Even better timing) and all this kid had was a broken forearm!
Some other new girl crouching with me says “Girl you have been saved for a reason!” stands right the @$ up and starts PRAYING aloud to Jesus thanking him for this girls life!!! I look down on her holding her head to keep her from moving it and say “I can’t argue with the prayer kid, this is some kinda miracle! I don’t have a clue how you ended all the way up here!” The Fire dept. arrived, she could move everything (Except her fore arm) they boarded her and took off.
Every body at the scene tells me what a great job I did, which they did just as good a job as me. And I took of home to get the muck outta my nice shoes.
I really needed this, I gotta admit after the Airsoft fiasco, I really felt like the “Circus clown” of the super hero community. This pulled my head outta my butt! The fact that I saw a situation and acted instead of reacted gave me my omph back.
MORAL: Just when you think you’ve totally blown it, your luck will turn up. don’t give up being a hero!
10/6/06 NEARLY SHOT:..
decided to head home and call it a quiet night when I saw two officers parked behind a little red truck, working there asses off on the left rear tire. I pull in behind their cars and park, My place is two minutes away and I offer the one cop (Older guy, don’t know him) the use of my floor jack, fix-a-flat, etc. he says “no we have it under control”. so I say good night and turn to leave when I hear “HOLD IT!”
I stop and the cop says “What the Hell is That?” he’s spotted my airsoft Mac-11 and is walking towards me, it’s dark but I think I see his hand on his weapon.
I try to tell him it’s a airsoft, and stupidly reach for it this is when he yells for his partner.Things are deteriorating fast. The guy has no clue what a airsoft anything is, or who superhero is either. Thank God his partner did. The partner says “oh yeah” it’s airsoft with a big smile and take the gun, admiring it I think, and trying not to laugh at his partners dismay.
the first guy calls in my tag, suddenly it’s smiles and handshakes and we appologize to each other and I race for home.
The moral of the story: STOP CARRYING AIRSOFT GUNS! I’m not sure who else does other than The Eye but guys it’s just to big of a risk.
If I twitched the wrong way, BANG! right on the spot! I think what is really bothering me about this whole thing is that we have all accepted we might get killed doing this. It’s a possibility (Hell maybe a inevitability) but I NEVER thought I would get shot by a cop! Never! John Q. Public views us as odd anyway, odd with guns is a recepie for disaster.
I’ve been discussing Green Laser Technology with Prime & Chameleon and I think this is the way we need to go. It’s a lot less offensive looking and just as good of a weapon.
Usually I’m the one who says “be safe” but tonight I’d just be being a hypocrite. I can’t beleive I did something so stupid, so I’ll just say…
…Don’t repeat my mistake

Q and A: Painting / Recoloring Plastic

Silver Sentinel
PostSubject: Painting / Recoloring Plastic Sat Dec 12, 2009 12:24 pm
Does anyone have any suggestions on how best to paint over plastic? I have motocross armor, but I need to recolor the black plastic to silver. It also needs to resist chipping and rubbing off.
Silver Sentinel
PostSubject: Re: Painting / Recoloring Plastic Sat Dec 12, 2009 12:29 pm
As an embarrassing side note… When ordering armor, make sure you’re not conservative with the estimate of your actual size. It turns out I’m less like Hercules and more like Buddha, so now I’m walking the treadmill of justice so I can fit into my suit!
We can lie to ourselves, but never lie to your tailor.
PostSubject: Re: Painting / Recoloring Plastic Sat Dec 12, 2009 1:18 pm
Plasti-dip. Comes in a spray-paint version. Its basically a rubberized spray, is flexible when dried, so it will NEVER crack.
Don’t ever try to spray it on stainless steel, though. It’ll peel.
PostSubject: Re: Painting / Recoloring Plastic Sat Dec 12, 2009 1:20 pm
Actually, I just missed the black to silver thing… I’d say visit your local Home Depot and ask the guy there how to spray a plastic chair that is made to bow and flex. They’re usually pretty helpful, i’ve learned more from the guys at Home Depot than from the internet.
the visitor
PostSubject: Re: Painting / Recoloring Plastic
actually, the plasti-dip isnt a bad idea. It comes in a clear spray, so just spray paint the armor silver, then spray the whole thing with the clear plasti. It will keep the paint from chipping and/or rubbing off. Since it is a “rubber” spray itwill also make it water proof. Ive used the spray paint/plasti-dip idea for a latex costme piece for halloween nce and it worked great!
PostSubject: Re: Painting / Recoloring Plastic Sat Dec 12, 2009 2:54 pm
Ive never seen any store i’ve ever been to carry clear. Dude.
Silver Sentinel
PostSubject: Re: Painting / Recoloring Plastic Sat Dec 12, 2009 2:56 pm
Dang.. ask and ye shall receive!
Thanks guys Smile
I’m changing the primary focus points on my uniform to silver to help banish the ninja / dark avenger look and to help make myself more approachable. I don’t want to scare small children or anything.
Big Simon
PostSubject: Re: Painting / Recoloring Plastic Sat Dec 12, 2009 2:58 pm
Yeah, they have a “make your own color” kit that comes with a 22oz can of clear Plasti-Dip and five tints, so you can decide what color you want.
the visitor
PostSubject: Re: Painting / Recoloring Plastic Sat Dec 12, 2009 10:11 pm
just check around ebay and such. Thats where I found mine. It was a single spray can just like the colered ones you can get.

Being a Reliable Eye Witness

By Silver Sentinel
To become a reliable eye witness, an aspiring field operator should practice developing skills in providing quick, accurate descriptions. When attempting to describe events, vehicles, or persons, write down the details of what you have observed while they are still fresh in your mind, so your descriptions to law enforcement officials will be as accurate as possible.
When describing events, write down:
• What happened;
• When it happened;
• Where it occurred (note the nearest cross street, home address, or landmark in relationship to the event);
• Whether injuries are involved (Be prepared to report visible or suspected personal injury. Be as specific as possible – this could save a life!);
• Whether weapons are involved (this information, whether observed or suspected, is vital to responding officers).
When describing vehicles, write down:
• Vehicle license number and state, make and type of vehicle, color, and approximate age;
• Special designs or unusual features, such as vinyl top, mag wheels, body damage, pinstripes, etc.;
• Direction of travel.
In preparing descriptions of persons, it is important to write down the following:
• Sex;
• Race;
• Age;
• Height (estimated from eye contact level measured against your height);
• Weight;
• Hair (color and length);
• Hat;
• Facial Hair (beard/mustache);
• Shirt/tie;
• Coat/jacket;
• Trousers/pants/shorts;
• Shoes;
• Any peculiar or distinguishable mannerisms, physical disabilities, dis-figurations, scars or tattoos;
• Voice characteristics;
• Direction of movement.
A good article on mis-identification of suspects can be found at; “Reliable witness identification of suspects”
Try your hand at an on-line Observation Skills Test here; “Observation Skill Test Video.”
Learn how to practice Improving your Observational Skills here; “How to Increase Your Observational Skills”

Superheroes Anonymous 4: Saturday

Note: This is one of several articles about Superheroes Anonymous 4, a gathering of Real Life Superheroes being held in Portland, Oregon. This series, written by Treesong, is a collaborative project of Heroes in the Night and Song of the Trees.
Today was the first full day of Superheroes Anonymous 4. In spite of the rain and various other logistical snafus, we had a fun and productive day and night, and we’re looking forward to meeting again tomorrow.
I started my day this morning at 5:35 am. After two days and eight hours on the Greyhound bus, sleeping on an actual bed was amazing. I slept like a baby for the precious few hours that I had available to me. After a shower and some basic morning yoga, I met up with Zetaman, and we all got together for an early breakfast.
Breakfast was good. We have a variety of backgrounds, personalities, tastes, and so on, but we always seem to have good conversations. Sometimes it’s serious talk about the work that we do; other times it’s completely ridiculous and hilarious banter that isn’t quite ready for prime time. Either way, it’s been good to eat and work and play alongside a group of interesting and genuinely good-willed people.
Our work for the day started at 9 a.m. with a two hour shift of volunteering at the Oregon Food Bank. I had vaguely assumed that this food bank would be bigger than anything I’d seen before, but I was deeply surprised and impressed at the scale and sophistication of it. It was literally an entire massive warehouse filled with donated food that was being received, processed, stored, and delivered to people in need. Some of the volunteers remained in a small area up front to bag food while the superheroes and another batch of volunteers walked to the other end of the warehouse to box some food.
As we headed to the back of the warehouse, we walked among isles of three or four storey tall shelves stacked with palettes full of food. There were several forklifts available to move and lift the palettes, and several different work areas and types of food on the shelves. Our tour didn’t include a detailed explanation of the entire process, but it was a very clean and efficient-looking facility, and they were clearly able to handle large amounts of food.
When we reached the back room, our volunteer coordinator explained to us that we would be boxing food that had been donated. Believe it or not, the food was actually loaded onto a conveyor belt, and it was our job to grab food as it went by and pack it into boxes. At first, it seemed like something from an I Love Lucy episode, with random cans and boxes of food cruising by in front of us as we tried to box them all. But soon, we got in the groove of the work, and it all went very smoothly. Our superhero team was spread out pretty evenly among the different volunteer positions. Skyman was taping together boxes and bringing them to the conveyor belt; Dreamer was one of the people checking for damaged or recalled items; the Irishman was doing some heavy lifting at the far end of the conveyor belt; Civitron was taping shut the filled boxes of food; Zetaman, Apocalypse Meow, White Baron, Victim, and I were on the conveyor belt itself. When Blue Blaze made it out there, he joined us at the conveyor belt too.
It was a simple process, but really quite impressive in its own way. If I remember correctly, we boxed about 12,000 pounds of food, which means that each of us individually helped in providing over 400 meals.
This was a great outcome. Everyone I talked to during and after the event seemed to be having a good time and glad to be able to help the community in such a direct and concrete way. The volunteer coordinator was very personable, helpful, and grateful for the help of all of today’s volunteers, whether they came as superheroes or simply came to help. We took the time to thank him and the Oregon Food Bank itself for the work that they do.
After lunch, it was time for the CPR and first aid certification course offered by Red Cross.
The course was very educational and empowering. Not everyone took it because a few people were already certified or about to be certified through some other means. But most of us took it, and it was quite an effective and informative class. The instructor was very down-to-earth and also seemed quite happy to see a group of superheroes taking the course simply because we want to be able to help others. It was a very good course, and I feel like I learned quite a bit in just a six hour course. I feel like Real Life Superheroes in particular should take this course, but so should just about anyone. Even if you don’t have a high risk job, or a job that puts you in contact with the public, training in first aid and CPR can mean the difference between life and death for someone in your life who is suffering from a medical emergency.
After the Red Cross training, we went over to an event in the park that was gathering winter coats for people in need. Their goal was 500 coats, and the donations we brought them were just enough to put them over their goal.
For a while during the coat drive and our dinner, the fate of our night patrol was uncertain. The rain had picked up again, and between the rain and the hectic conference schedule, we felt less than fully prepared for a night out on the streets. At first, we planned on going ahead with the patrol. Then, we decided that we should cancel it. Finally, at the last minute, we ended up going ahead with it.
On the whole, I feel like the patrol was a success. At first, we just came across various people of Portland who were out for a night on the town and not really in need of what we had to offer. We had a few conversations of varying quality with passers-by, ranging from occasional explanations of who we were to brief encounters with people who just found the spectacle of costumed people amusing. When we got to a certain area of town, though, we really started coming across people living on the street who could make good use of our food and toiletries and other supplies. Socks were a really popular item, and we only had a few pairs to go around. Water and chips were also popular, followed by the delicious brownies and cookies that were left over from our meet-and-greet dinner last night.
Since there was a big group of us, and a big group of people to serve in one area, we spontaneously decided to split up. This lead to some of us scurrying back and forth as we figured out who had the supplies that each person wanted. Some people were casual and nonchalant in their acceptance of our supplies, but others showed a mix of excitement and genuine gratitude. I had a few short but interesting conversations with people, and I saw other people in our group of superheroes doing the same.
People living on the streets are just statistics to some people, but I feel like it was important for us to talk with them, and interact with them as fellow human beings, and offer what help we did have to offer. It seemed like we were all touched by the seriousness of these people’s situation and the importance of outreach to people in need. Skyman in particular seemed taken aback by the whole experience – especially when Zetaman gave away his own jacket to someone in need!
This jacket was a very nice (and very new-looking) blue hoodie with a custome Zetaman logo. I already knew that he was a genuinely kind and generous guy, but I’ll admit that I too was moved when I saw him giving this jacket away. He explained that we were out of socks, and that the person he was giving the jacket to had no socks and no means to stay warm. He also said that when the night is over, he and the rest of us would be going back to a warm, dry place to sleep, whereas this person would not. But hopefully, they should be a little better off now that they have a brand new hoodie.
All of us have contributed in our own ways to making this conference a success. However, I feel like Zetaman deserves special recognition – both for this act of kindness and for working so hard with Apocalypse Meow and others to organize the event.
What impresses me the most, though, is that as I see it, all of this is only the beginning. All of us face a variety of problems back in our home communities and in society in general. All of us respond to these problems in different ways. But if more people of conscience would just decide to overcome their apathy and inertia and get more involved in their local community, then we could solve these problems together.
With that written, I need to go to bed! But I’ll have more news soon. In the meantime, thank you to everyone who made this conference (and my attendance here) possible. I’ll be writing a more detailed thank you in my final installment of this SA4 series, but in the meantime I just wanted to express my gratitude. This has been a good weekend – and hopefully we have many more good weekends, and weeks, and months, and years to come.