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CERT Training

From the Citizen Corps website.. http://www.citizencorps.gov/cert/

“The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program educates people about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. Using the training learned in the classroom and during exercises, CERT members can assist others in their neighborhood or workplace following an event when professional responders are not immediately available to help. CERT members also are encouraged to support emergency response agencies by taking a more active role in emergency preparedness projects in their community.”

As an active CERT member in my community, I can not recommend this program enough to other capes and regular citizens alike.  The training is free, but invaluable.  It also opens the door for RLSH and citizens to work with local organizations, and the authorities, during times of emergency where untrained volunteers would be more of a liability than assistance.
As RLSH work towards legitimacy and acceptance in their home communities, taking actual training and working with existing organizations is important, if not vital, to accomplishing those goals.  Certification, training, volunteering, and service mark the difference between active legitimate RLSH, and their keyboard counterparts.  Being a superhero is much more than being photographed with women outside of bars, or having a thousand friends on Facebook.  It’s about doing what you can to make an actual difference in your community.


So I made a new friend at the new gym today, a Bail Bondsmen. & in between sets we were shooting the breeze & I asked him “So…how do you guys find most of your Jumpers?” I thought he would say The people who posted their bail would turn them in or Former partners in crime turned them in after some Roughing up or something…maybe even Predator drones or something.
Know how they catch most of the Perps?

FACEBOOK.Yup, They just start watching Facebook, watching the guys family & friends for posts about “My Dad is coming to take me for a haircut” or some crap then be waiting there to pick them up.
I had to admit I was slack jawed 😮 I couldn’t believe it, we’re talking High Risk warrant type guys too. I was blown away.


Where do they come from?

Why is it there is always some guy who comes along every few years….who lets us know “I’ve never been a RLSH…but you’re all doing it wrong & need to listen to me!” the latest one being some idiot who used footage of me in one of his videos & then posts “Superhero Supports this!” on his Facebook. I wish they’d check with me first. I can’t bitch about the video part…fair use & all & I put it up there so steal away but damn. Who was the idiot a few years ago? “I’ve never done this…but you all need to listen to me! Stop wearing spandex because when people throw MOLOTOV COCKTAILS at you the spandex will melt!” (really he said that)
So I asked back “Jesus Christ! where are you patrolling? Stalingrad?” Then they get all huffy when you point out they’re talking out of their ass.
Seriously…where do they come from?
And why do I know there will be more? I know…let’s run into hospitals & tell Doctors how to do THEIR jobs! That should go over well…


Vance Major


* Proudly posted as a public service announcement from Capt Black’s Super Spotlight. His FaceBook address is at end of his blog-post ENJOY!*

After all I’ve been put through-I considered strongly just walking away from everyone.

But I think its now more then ever we need people..good people-to be beacons of light in this dark world.
The best thing you can do is cast off all negativity. It has helped me a lot. And I have found that when you turn your back on negative people they tend to change their attitude and become positive- so you really aren’t turning your back at all.
I used to be negative all the time after everything and looking at the big picture- my motto now is that you are in control of your mood so if you wake up each determined to have a good day it will usually happen.
I smile way more now. I have helped a lot of people- you guys come forward to lift me up when its a struggle and I thank each and everyone of you.
And like a wise person said to me-someone I cherish “You have been an inspiration to so many people. I think that you do need to put yourself first sometimes though.”
And I do.
Ill never give up helping people-or being who I am. We all are needed to lift each other up. Its not about fame-or heroics-or self gain. Its about common decency. Treating those around us as we want or need to be treated. About being better then all that came before us. Shaping the next generation whose lost their way.
Its about hope.
Don’t ever give up
By: Vance Major

Phoenix Jones Sells Snake Oil, Calls It A Supersuit

I spent a long time thinking of the title for this. That’s about the best I could do.
Phoenix Jones has reached the point in his (in his head) celebrity status where he can solicit donations from his fans. Not for a charity, not for a worthy cause, or to help the homeless, or to feed starving children.
For a bulletproof suit, for himself.
You might think this is not such a bad idea, heck, you may even support it. Every superhero needs gear. I know I’ve put a fair amount of money into upgrading my gear over the two years I’ve been active. I’m sure Phoenix Jones has even spent some of his own money (some) into his gear.
But what does the average citizen superhero do to get the gear they need to do justice in their communities?
They work for it. They scrimp, they save, they work extra hours or second jobs.
Peter Parker, minus the powers, is probably the closest thing to an approachable RLSH you can get. He’s broke, he has responsibilities. He pays rent, he works a crappy job (I’ve worked some of the jobs he’s done). Yet he still manages to have the money to sew up his spandex suit and build web shooters.
But Phoenix Jones isn’t doing that this time. Because according to his Facebook page, he doesn’t want to be corrupted by corporate GREED. which is why he is asking for money from his fans. How much is he attempting to solicit, you ask?


Yes, 10 grand. that’s more than a lot of people make in a year. That’s more than most people (like the homeless) will ever see in the rest of their lifetimes. But Phoenix Jones needs a custom built, bulletproof supersuit, with a live streaming HD camera built in (he already has a HD camera by the way).
Why? For what? So he can get arrested again and have it confiscated by the police again? So he can run into a volatile situation involving a handgun and tackle some armed nut job in the middle of a crowded Seattle street? It’s happened before.
But I ask you, is this really necessary?
Do you really want to help?
Do you want to make a difference?
Giving Phoenix Jones your money is not the solution to a problem. It’s a WASTE is what it is. Phoenix Jones could easily take this kind of money and transform his team, the Rain City Superhero Movement into a completely trained, certified Non Profit Organization complete with all bulletproof gear, change the face of Seattle as a crime fighting organization and charity and raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for worthy causes. He could help start a homeless shelter or a new soup kitchen. If the RCSM was a NPO they could easily solicit donations from major corporations (who get a tax write off anyway) and really, truly change their community.
But why NOT put this money into the RCSM Jones? Why not put this into your team mates? into something BIGGER than YOURSELF.
Because that’s not the point. The point is to make himself look good. that’s ALL that matters to him.
I’ve collected some links to gear that can achieve pretty much exactly what PJ wants, and for a lot less than 10 G’s. Kevlar Helmet, Bullet Resistant Vest, Bullet Proof Mask, Ballistic Athletic Cup, Ballistic Neck & Shoulder Protection, Live Streaming HD Camera.
See Phoenix Jones? All that hardware could be yours for the low low price of a lot less than 10 grand. But that’s not the point, is it?
See, Phoenix Jones surprisingly has a lot of pull. He should use it to pull his head out of his ass.
But Phoenix Jones doesn’t want to do that. That doesn’t help make Phoenix Jones a better superhero, let alone a better person. It makes him what he proves himself to be time, and time again. An egocentric glory hound, who really only wants to propel himself further into the limelight. In the comics, superheroes make headlines, good or bad. That’s exactly what he wants, and all he wants. This is his ticket to that level of fame.
This is nothing more than a self service to him. Who benefits from this other than Phoenix Jones? NO ONE! PJ is the ONLY person that will benefit from YOU giving Phoenix Jones TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS. Not the city, not the homeless, not victims of domestic violence or starving children who sleep in the cold all night because they are homeless and HAVE NO MONEY THEMSELVES.
I could go on and on, I think I’ve made my point, and if anyone cannot ereally grasp what I am getting at here, then I don’t know what else to do.
I’m not opposed to Phoenix Jones soliciting funds for a worthy cause, a charity. Hell, if he did any of the things I mentioned above I’d honestly throw a few bones his way.
I am not opposed to Phoenix Jones creating a new supersuit. He used to wear a balaclava and MMA shorts and a cape. His rubber suit, was (somewhat :/) of an upgrade. I looked into those xtremedesignfx suits before Peej got his and thought they looked dumb, in my opinion, but I digress.
What I disagree with completely is his soliciting funds to buy himself a new bulletproof suit, and such an absurd amount at that!
Go make a POSITIVE CONSTRUCTIVE change in your environment. The COSTUME DOES NOT DEFINE THE SUPERHERO. It does NOT make you a better crime fighter, it does NOT make you more effective. This is not Iron Man, this is not a comic book, or a movie. This is REALITY, something you obviously fail to grasp. Get with it dude, seriously.
And for the record, Phoenix Jones, I want you to be a BETTER superhero, a GOOD superhero. Not the next Booster Gold, which by the way, in personality and style,. you two are half brothers.

The similarities are disturbing.
But if Phoenix Jones wants money for crazy new gear, there’s already programs in place of that. Phoenix Jones believes he’s too big to fail, which is why he needs a new supersuit, luckily the government offers bailout programs like the grants listed on this page.
According to the Community Guidelines set forth by Kickstarter.com Jones’ new suit violates “Fund my life” under Prohibited Causes.
Kickstarter Community Guidelines

Ways to be a Hero Without Using Your Fists

First, I’d like to say that the vast majority of the following is not my work.  Delta, a fellow RLSH compiled this list and posted it on the message board in an effort to help newcomers answer the question “how do I get started?”  Indeed, more experienced RLSHs have benefited from it as well! I found myself referring back to it while talking with others so often that I begged his permission to put this list on my blog for easier reference.   The list began to grow as more and more people added their ideas (credits noted) and at this point, we have 31 ways to be a Hero Without Using Your Fists!
1. First things first. Take a first aid course. Be ready to help someone in an emergency situation. Don’t assume someone else will be able to do it.
2. Be a hero, donate blood. Better yet bring a friend. Can you imagine the publicity the Red Cross could get out of a photo of a half dozen RLSH at a drive?
3. Look for paint, not pain. Go on a graffiti patrol. You don’t necessarily have to get rid of it yourself. Document it and report it to the town/city officials. Some places, like the City of Boston has a special graffiti phone hotline.
4. Serve up kindness. Volunteer at a local soup kitchen or free community lunch. What could bring a smile to a downtrodden face more than a hot meal … having that meal served by a caped do-gooder of course.
5. Brown-bag it. Put together a meal in a paper bag, write “for the homeless” on it and leave it where a homeless person can find it. (credit to Knight Hood)
6. Get around. Walk around your neighborhood in order to get to know your neighbors. You can find out who needs what kinds of help and meet people who might be able to help in the future.
7. Be a “Super Scout”. Aim to do one good dead every day. It could be as small as holding a door open for someone or returning an empty grocery cart to the store entrance.
8. Curb appeal. Offer a free lawn mow or snow removal for a neighbor who might have trouble doing it. You could also offer to sweep the walk or wash windows. If they want to reward you have them pay it forward.
9. This is a job for … Trash-man? 1. Get a garbage bag. 2. Go outside. 3. Pick up trash until you fill the bag. Picking-up trash is about the least glamorous thing I can think of, but it can still inspire others to be less apathetic.
10. Clean house. Go through your stuff and set aside anything you don’t really need or want anymore. Take it to a Salvation Army or other charity store and donate it. This one gives you a clean room and the feeling that you’ve done something good. Talk about win/win.
11. Cut back on the caffeine. Skip your coffee/soda habit for a week and give the money to a charity you believe in. You could also buy it and give it to someone who can’t afford it.
12. Go back for a second course. Take a CPR class. Go back to number 1 for the reasons.
13. Speak up! The next time you hear someone say something you know is just plain wrong, call them on it. Write a letter to the editor at your local paper to bring attention to a problem you see. You don’t need to wear a cape for this and, somehow, that seems more heroic to me.
14. Be prepared. Put together emergency preparedness packs for home and travel. Put aside a little extra for others. If you are ready for a disaster you can better help those that are not.
15. People watch. Visit these sites to see if you recognize a missing person. www.amw.com; www.namus.gov; www.missingkids.com. There are more sites if you look for them. (Rook’s note:  I like posting these to my Facebook account and asking others to share. The heightened exposure will hopefully increase the chances of someone being found)
16. Get out the vote. If you are old enough to vote, VOTE. Encourage others to vote. Pass out literature showing how to register. Democracy works better if everyone participates.
17. Do the write thing. Everyone loves to get real mail. Write to someone who doesn’t get out much, an old friend or a member of the armed services. Every letter you send will brighten up someone’s day. Don’t forget about postcards.
18. Food, glorious food. Organize a food drive. It could be as small as your classroom or office. If you can go bigger try to get the whole school, company or place of worship involved.
19. Walk the walk. Many charities have walk-a-thons to raise money and awareness for their cause. Put on your best cape and most comfortable shoes and join in. Once again a crowd of RLSH will really get some notice for the cause.
20. Now you’re cooking. Make a meal for someone who can’t get out or has recently suffered a traumatic loss. If you don’t do the cooking at home it might be a nice gesture there too.
21. Will someone think of the children? You may still be young yourself but there is always someone younger. Visit a children’s ward, tutor someone, read stories at the library and/or be a mentor. Spending time with kids is a top way to prevent crime in the future.
22. Make a dog happy – Dig a fire hydrant out of the snow or cut the weeds back around one. The time it take someone to attach a hose in an emergency can make the difference in the loss of life and property. Heck, unclog a storm drain while you’re at it.
23. Go undercover – Join the local neighborhood watch in your secret identity. It’s a great way to get to know the area and its trouble spots. You may also get some training and possibly a recruit or two.
24. Sign up for amber alerts –Every set of eyes count. It doesn’t matter if they are behind a mask or not (Rook’s note:  See #15 regarding Facebook).
25. Go ahead and jump – If you have a car make sure you have a set of jumper cables and know how to use them. (I keep a cheat sheet). Stow a few other emergency supplies in the trunk like a spare blanket, bottled water and some rope. You’d be amazed how many ways they can be useful.
26. Give of yourself – Sign up to be an organ donor. I know it’s a bit morbid to think about, but if the worst should happen you can still save a life or lives.
27. Be a good listener – Sometimes the biggest help we can be to someone is to be someone they can talk to when they are experiencing hardships. You don’t have to be a therapist to let someone open up about the things that are bothering them the most. It’s not necessary to try to “fix” their problems, just be that “hearing ear” that they need. (credit to The Muse at VisualAdjectives)
28. Go in feet first – Take water lifesaving training. You never know when you may have to dive in and save someone from drowning.
29. Say it with Flowers – Take flowers to a critical care or cancer ward. (credits to Kindrid and Rook)
30. Walk for Pennies – “You wouldn’t believe how much change gets dropped on the ground. While on a boring foot patrol I started picking up trash that turned into finding loose change all over. When I started looking I started finding more than I expected. This sparked the idea, once a week at the least, we should all go out and do a Penny Patrol, you can donate this money to The McDonald houses at any McD’s location or donate to any local cause you may have. You’ll be surprised how many quarters and dimes you will find while doing this.” (Credit to SupermanX of the Super Samaritan Society)
31. Oh, Shoot! – Get certified with firearms. It doesn’t matter if you do or don’t want to own or use one. Becoming certified gives you a grasp of what guns can do. It is an excellent idea to know what you are doing if the unthinkable ever happens. Think of it as knowing (and having a healthy respect for) your enemy.
I’ll update this as they become available.  Many thanks to Delta for putting this together!

A quick shout out for Tothian.

I gave him one on Facebook…then realized since I don’t have a Facebook anymore nobody wold see it. The other night when I was desperately trying to get a hold of somebody in the Orlando area to check up on Master Legend, Tothian was all over it. I had no idea you could 911 from anywhere in the country…Tothian knew.
By the time I got a hold of somebody (I’m two hours away) they arrived to find the paramedics already there.
Way to go Tothian, way to be on top of it.

Symbiotes MMA Debut! :)

Not a MMA Judge by any stretch but I work on the Pay-per-views at the network end. This fight is awesome & actually has a little more of a mix of Stand Up & ground then most of the Pro Fights I see which seem to go just one way or the other.  I didn’t understand why it was a split. It looks to me like the guy got one choke & the rest of the time Sym is either on top of him, choking him, or using his head as a speed bag. This is one of the reasons I love patrolling with him on the rare occasions we get to. I have no problem with him being able to hold his own & he’s actually more level headed than I am anyway 🙂 Way 2 Go kid.

Time Drain….a real life Super villain.

Social media. Back when I started doing this…you know I’d come home from patrol & Dino the Dino would rush the door & tackle me, I got curious after a few years if there were other guys who were doing the RLSH thing. I looked online & found about 8 guys who were. Neat.
Then Myspace came along & we could all communicate with each other which was even better and over time the 8 became 17 then 22 & so on.
Then forums came along, then Facebook. Yesterday we had my mom over for early Mothers day, then went to lady-heroes Nephews house to watch them while her sister had a night out & periodically thru out the night I’m trying to check Facebook because my phone is going “Ding” telling me people are posting about it instead of enjoying my family time because of some squabble with some idiot who literally lives on the other side of the continent from me who I’m never gonna meet, and who wouldn’t run his mouth at all if he was face to face with me anyway. This nonsense never cut into my patrol/event/charity time…but it does make me wonder how many peoples time it does cut into.
I deleted the damn thing. In the grand scheme of things…do you really care if I’m having Tostadas for lunch? I don’t care if you are. If you are a active RLSH…be active.
Be aware that you can get sucked up in those things & that takes you out of the actual game.  I was fine before they existed…I’ll be fine now.

Desert Sage

“Hey…” she said, “go give that guy a water bottle.”
The homeless man she was nodding toward was sitting on a bench with an overstuffed shopping cart.
“Man,” I chided myself as I made my way toward him with my water in tow, “I didn’t even see this guy. She’s better at this than I am!”
Later, I smiled as she beckoned a waitress in a conspiratorial tone. ?See that older couple at the table on the other side of the dining room?” she asked, “Do you think you can put their meal on our bill, please? Don’t tell them though, it might be seen as a bit creepy.”
The couple, previously invisible to me, was sharing a small meal and positively glowed as the waitress removed their bill.
She’s much better at this than me!
Using her Facebook account, my wife gathered donations of soap, shampoo, lotions, and other toiletry items to place in bags to distribute with the water bottles. As we sat at the table at home, she commented “I read your blog…I had no idea you talked about me so much.”
“Of course,” I affirmed, “All of my best ideas came from you.” In fact, it would be helpful if you would choose a name so I can stop referring to you constantly as “My Wife” when I write.
She thought for a second. She bounced around names of muses, mythological deities, and a few Shakespearean characters. Finally, she decided.
“Watson!” she exclaimed proudly. Soon, she had determined her logo. The silhouette of a Victorian gentleman with a bowler making an “At-Your-Service” bow. It was humble, and emphasized her service orientation.
While stuffing the bags, she thought of the Rook labels that I place on the water bottles.
“Perhaps we should label these bags with both of our logos.” She mused.
She had indeed done most of the work with these.
“True. However, many RLSHs, when they combine forces, often form a kind of team, with a new logo.”
“Yes, but just two of us, we hardly constitute a ‘team,’ and I really don’t want to form a team with a bunch of people I don’t know.” She confessed.
A new voice joined the conversation. Our daugther’s fiancee’, who sidled up to the table and began stuffing bags noted “I’ve already chosen my name…Sage.”
“Nice!” I nodded, “It’s a plant indigenous to this area, it is often used for cleansing, and has a double-meaning for wisdom.”
My daughter wasn’t too far behind. “My name’s always been ‘Ember.’ I’ll use that one.”
I grinned over at my wife and she nodded.
It looks like we have a team now.
Soon, our new RLSH group had chosen a name (Desert Sage), adopted a logo (a simple line drawing of a sage leaf) and made plans to create a Facebook page to generate awareness, contributions, and support. Alas, “Desert Sage” was taken in Facebook, so we had to create it under a different name. The RLSH team Desert Sage, consisting of Watson, Ember, Sage, and myself can be contacted at the “Arid Sage” Facebook page at: