Burning time

Sorry for the lack of posts lately, folks. Like I told my mother last night: I haven’t had a whole lot to say lately.

That, and I’ve sort of been overwhelmed with other projects. Mostly a burst of new tools, and initiatives, and programming that no one seemed remotely interested in a few months ago. Now some of the things I’ve envisioned and wanted for so long are finally starting to gain some footing. Exciting, for sure. But some of it’s happening so fast I feel like I’m barely keeping up.

That said, no “American Idol” tonight. I called for a break so I could work on some of my other projects and we’ll try to catch it on our DVR tomorrow night. Some time between dinner and “Lost.” …

Frankly, I’m also going through a phase right now where the last thing I want to do at night when I get home is watch TV. Unless it’s Wednesday night and “Lost” is on … I already quit “Heroes,” and I’m giving some thought to breaking it off with “Grey’s Anatomy,” too … Some days I’m so tired and clogged from listening to people chattering all day at work that the sound of a television could push me to insanity.

So tonight I’ve been listening to my iPod almost since the time I arrived home. And it’s awesome.

Here’s one little story about an interesting segment of my day, though …

It happened around 1:30 this afternoon. I had just returned from an assignment and barely taken my seat when the emergency tones went off. Dispatch was getting multiple calls about a lot of thick smoke in one neighborhood, and it appeared to be a trailer on fire …

I sighed, got back to my feet and headed out the door again … Only, in my haste I misheard the address. I started driving toward 16th Street when I should’ve been heading toward 68th. It wasn’t ’til I got close to 16th and saw no signs of a fire that I called back to my editor and double-checked the address. He had heard 68th Street, and I turned around … Dang.

Halfway there, I was stopped for a red light at one of the city’s major intersections, in the middle of the city. I’m biding my time, listening to the radio when I look up to my left and see one of these. … Oh God, that’s a spot I didn’t know existed. I faced forward and couldn’t turn my head again, half wondering if the people in the car next to me were doing double-takes …

By the time I got to the fire scene, the firefighters were rolling up their hoses. I was met first by a police officer who was on our burglary case. Any time I see any of the guys on that case, they still ask about it …

In the back yard of the home, I found a couple investigators jotting notes and a burly man dressed in flannel and looking befuddled in front of the charred RV … One of the investigators looks at me and says “Space heater,” while pointing to the charred and melted remnants resting on the patio.

As the story went, the man had last been in his RV, which was parked in his tiny back yard -- the rear of it was practically butted against his porch and the front was almost touching the garage -- about two weeks ago. The thing had junk piled to its roof, and the owner left the space heater turned on -- plugged into an old extension chord.

Space heater. Old chord. Lots of junk. Fire.

As I talked to the man, he told me he smelled the smoke but he thought it was from the hamburger he’d just made. Then his neighbor knocked on the door and asked “Do you know your trailer’s on fire?”

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