07/11/12 116 W - + 4 - 3 Like This Blog on Facebook

With a whopping 117 "likes" on Facebook, let's see if we can raise that number a bit. Visit this blog's Facebook page and click LIKE. It's that simple. You'll see these blog postings in your Facebook stream. And you can comment and start discussions on those threads, as well here. (And with no approval required for comments on Facebook!) Also, while you're social media-ing, consider following the blog on Twitter as well. Real easy to find, it's simply @legeros. (And does Mr. Blogger get, with more people liking and more people following? More eyeballs. More reach. Ego expansion. That's about it. Still haven't wanted to make money on this thing...)

Why Would I like this Blog, you want approve my Opinionated Comments, even if it is about Raleigh. You doosche.
Upset - 07/12/12 - 08:07

Point taken. Thanks for expressing yourself.

These days, my criteria for comment approval is along these lines: Signed comments get greater latitude than anonymous comments. Personal attacks aren’t permitted across the board, however. Sh&t-stirring comments rarely make the cut, as well. Tactical criticism isn’t a favorite of mine on this blog, either. That hasn’t proven itself as a value-add on this site, with these users, and within this fire service community. (But Mike, you’re always linking to places like Statter911, and they hold nothing back in those comments. What’s with the double-standard?) What works in one place doesn’t always work in other. For years, the QBs and KICs (Keyboard Incident Commanders) posed their questions and offered their advice on this blog. They’ve chewed over many a fire in Raleigh and Wake County. You can search the blog for those (in)famous threads. The problem is that they caused heartburn to the guy that runs this site. Blame him. Maybe he’s just a softie. Or a doosche. Thanks for reading.
Legeros - 07/12/12 - 08:29

Maybe the comments don’t get approved because of spelling and grammar?
E14 - 07/12/12 - 08:34

One of my favorite quotes from an e-mail signature seen long ago: “Please don’t attribute to bad spelling what is poor typing.”
Legeros - 07/12/12 - 08:36

For myself, I’m happy with your criteria. If a person can’t put their name or “handle” on a comment, then do they really mean what they wrote; do they not want to be identified with the comment? If not, you probably shouldn’t have written it in the first place. I also praise you for not allowing pot-stirring or derisive critisism of management decisions – if they made a mistake, odds are they know it, and have to live with it. I think you offer critisism in the proper context when/where it is warranted. Reminds of an editor I know of, of a weekly sports journal for a sports team, was offered the job by the owner, and replied he would take it only if he could also be critical of the team when performance warranted it. He got the job, and the critisisms he hands out are always in good taste. Some folks just don’t want to see or hear things/comments when those disagree with their own views. In my world, you do not fall into the mentioned category. Let’s try finding someone else who would take on the tasks that you do around Ral/WC.
Tim B (Email) - 07/12/12 - 09:02

Thanks, Tim. A future version of this blog will use Facebook for comments. That will negate the need to approve incoming comments. Will heated discussions also return? Maybe. The thing about firefighters is that their conversational centers are calibrated to the Moderately Confrontational setting. Must be from years of day room conditioning…
Legeros - 07/12/12 - 09:16

KIC... that’s good!
DJ - 07/12/12 - 10:56

Mike…what is a doosche ? I like your site, and keep up the good work….. Maybe Upset is a doosche-mag
RIP Falls Fire - 07/12/12 - 13:08

Thanks RIP. I think a doosche mag is the type of flashlight that I carry in my camera case.
Legeros - 07/12/12 - 13:51

Mike, we’ve never had this before in our area until you came along. You and Lee do a great job and put a lot of heart into what you do, so keep up the good work and a big “Thanks”, from all of us that appreciate you.

As for “Upset”, well, he’s a DOUCHE (proper spelling).
Silver - 07/12/12 - 14:43

Great web site and a great service to fire fighters in Wake County. Mike has the right to post or not post comments. It is his site. This is from the point of view from a guy with 39 years of service as a volunteer.
Bob Edmundson - 07/12/12 - 16:16

Thanks Silver, Thanks Bob. Correct spellings of feminine hygiene products notwithstanding, I can understand his frustration. I follow another board, and don’t always agree with the moderator(s). It can be quite annoying, but I accept their prerogative. If you run the show, you get to call the shots. You get to be the doosche. And those unhappy with the system can go elsewhere or build their own or simply endure. What would I change if I had to start all over again? Everything and nothing, including the evolution from wide-open to moderated comments. The fits and starts and upsets and apologies have all been entirely necessary. They’ve produced the learning that, to me, is as crucial as the entertainment. Have fun, but have growth. (Yes, this blog is educational. Tell your station captain that this counts as “school.” Let me know what happens.)
Legeros - 07/12/12 - 16:55

Well Now that I have read the expectations for this blog, I can understand why. You sir may not be a Douche, however in the moment of Rage about not having comments, which actually had very valid points in them, I blurted out somethings. Kind of like KeyBoard Turrets. But hey, it got a lot of comments for proper spelling and grammar, which brings up a good point. Why don’t incorporate spell check on here?
Not as Upset - 07/12/12 - 22:33

That little red line under most of your words indicates that they are not spelled correctly. Right click it and see the magic! But based on reading your most recent comment, you might want to just slow down and edit your work before you submit or sign up for English 110. It’s pretty hard to take a blogger’s “opinionated” statements seriously when they can not form a sentence at the eight grade reading level.
To: Not as upset - 07/13/12 - 07:29

Regarding spell-checking, some web browsers provide this feature. On my computer, the Firefox web browser does this. When I am typing into a “text box” on a web page, a little red line will appear underneath misspelled words. Right-clicking on that word will, as the last commenter notes, “show the magic.”

Regarding grammar and forming sentences and such, there are some variables worth considering. Not everyone expresses themselves as well as they might want, when typing into a text box on a web page. (These days, they might even be posting a comment from a smart phone. Talk about a typing challenge!) Here’s a tip that I posted some time ago, and one that I often use myself. Don’t start typing your thoughts on the blog. Instead, open Microsoft Word or even a blank e-mail message. Write and re-write. Get your thoughts good. Save them, if you get interrupted. When ready to post, copy and paste into the text field on the web page. Works every time.

Regarding writing in general. Is this a skill that’s undervalued in the fire service? Quite possibly. Why does a firefighter need to write well? (That’s the age-old question! “Why does a firefighter need to…”) Odds favor that you’ll be engaged in job-related written communication at some point, and probably pretty early in your career. But, you ask, does it really matter if that writing is “good” versus “just okay?” I think so.

First, there’s the problem of perception. Poor or weak writing can produce a perception of poor or weak intelligence. Around the fire station, or a small department, maybe not an issue. Everyone knows everyone, and they know the different “smarts” that a particular person has. Maybe that understanding or benefit of doubt is shared department- or industry-wide as well. But what about the general public? What about other city or county officials? What opinions and judgments might they be forming? Think on that one for a bit.

Second, there’s the core issue of communication. Writing serves to communicate thoughts. The better the first person writes, the better the second person understands. Come on, admit it. Raise your hand (which I just typed as you’re hand, then I caught myself ) if you’ve ever said to someone else “I thought you meant something else by that e-mail message.” Or, for that matter, “I didn’t really understand what you were saying, so I just deleted the message.” You get the idea.

My goodness, look at the length of this comment. Great example of a long comment that might benefit from editing. If I had more time, I’d copy and paste this puppy into Microsoft Word. Then I’d re-read the thing. Then I might edit a bit. Then I’d copy and paste back into this text field.

(Bonus tip. Here’s the single best way to write better. Read what you wrote out loud. Not in a mumbling, under-the-breath voice. Read or say the words in the same volume that you’d talk to another person. Pretend someone is with you, and read it out loud. So effective it’s scary.)
Legeros - 07/13/12 - 07:52

Writing is a basic skill that is fundamental in this career just as any other profession. This does not mean writing at the college level, but simply at the 10th grade level. We write EMS reports that can be used in court. Once promoted we will be writing evaluations and fire reports. Writing is a necessary skill of professional firefighting.

With regards to this blog;

If you can’t express yourself at a 10th grade level, then you are not worth reading.
e14 - 07/13/12 - 08:11

Thanks, e14.

Disagree, to a degree. I am wary (or maybe also weary) of exclusionary thinking. I see your point, but think there’s value in the sharing of thoughts despite any weaker writing skills.
Legeros - 07/13/12 - 08:18

And, here’s a short version of my thoughts above on writing:

Poor typing does not equal poor writing does not equal poor thinking.

But it’s deceptively easy to think otherwise.
Legeros - 07/13/12 - 08:21

Something I heard from a very experienced Chief officer the other day… (not pertaining to this blog). Essentially (paraphrased): “If a person has something to offer that is negative, it is because they are inexperienced and unprofessional. The experienced professional will quickly identify they have been in those “shoes” before and if something is said, it will be positive or encouraging so the error is not repeated… only fools make the same mistake twice.” Simple yet solid words. In my opinion, maybe we should “practice” brotherhood more rather than “just saying” it. BTW, Redneck spelling is: “doosh”
A.C. Rich - 07/13/12 - 09:06

To begin with, I don’t mind putting my name and e-mail on my posts. This is not meant to be inflammatory or derogatory. And if this offends you, perhaps you’re one of those of whom I speak.

(Its) (knot) about (pour) (righting)/typing skills as much as it is about spelling, grammar, punctuation, and usage. (Inn) this day and age of technology, it is inexcusable (four) anyone to misspell or misuse a word, leave out punctuation, or use improper grammar. Many people put (two) much emphasis on speed over quality. That hurts my eyes. Just because (your) using a keyboard instead of pencil and paper, (yew) shouldn’t be excused from using proper grammar, spelling, punctuation, and usage (their, they’re, and there, for example). If you don’t (no) (witch) is appropriate, perhaps you should ask instead of inserting (won) and hoping it’s right. Considering the education level that many employers require (fore) employment and advancement within an organization, (eye) (cant) believe some of the atrocities I’ve (scene) over the last few years as the current generation comes into the workforce. Is it the fault of the schools for not teaching the basics, does fault lay at home with parents not checking behind their children’s work, or is this generation just (to) lazy (too) care about sounding and looking poorly educated? Personally, I’m appalled at myself if I misspell or misuse a word, even in something simple like a text message (damned auto-correct!). Worse than that is that all these abbreviations and typing shortcuts from the digital world have leaved into every-day writing. EVERYBODY should be appalled by that. My father was a science teacher for 22 years, and was an English minor (which meant he could substitute as an English teacher). Both my sister and I had a good basis for grammar, punctuation, spelling, and usage from the start. Perhaps after almost 37 years, that’s why I cringe when I see the things (sum) people consider OK for the rest of the (whirled) to (sea) as an example of (they’re) educational level.
Duda (Email) - 07/13/12 - 09:23

Mike, While I like the thought of using Facebook for posts, it does present a problem for some of us who read and post to your blog at work. I do not know about Raleigh, but where I work, Facebook is blocked from our computers. Just a thought as you move forward. I have a quote from my first Fire Chief, Ray Thaxton from Holly Springs, that I share with my son on a regular basis. “You have two eyes, two ears, and one mouth. If you look and listen twice as much as you talk, you will be just fine.” I have not always lived by those words, but when I do, it has worked out very well.
Donaldson - 07/13/12 - 09:35

Where’s the “Like” button for Donaldson’s quote?
Duda (Email) - 07/14/12 - 14:56

We haven’t talked about listening in this thread. And that’s also part of the equation. Using your ears (and your brain) before speaking or, in this case, typing your response. Yeah, yeah, electronic communication makes it SO easy. That REPLY button with e-mail. That comment field for a blog posting.

Be honest, how good are you at counting to ten? On e-mail, there’s a magical RECALL feature. I’ve used that baby more times than I can count. What’s the equivalent of RECALL on the blog? Duh! Send a message to me. I am happy to remove something that you’ve thought about, and thought it better left unsaid. (Or at least, no longer read.)

You can also supplement yourself. As you think about it later, or watch others respond to your words, you can further explain yourself. “This is what I was trying to say…” is a powerful phrase. Or go whole hog with “I apologize for the miscommunication.” Tricky business, this thing called talking (and writing). Compounded by the annoying fact that the participants are human beings.
Legeros - 07/15/12 - 10:28

The worst part of text is that, without the unprofessional and goofy addition of “emoticons”, it’s difficult to convey the inflection of sarcasm, happiness, chagrin, etc. What one meant as a friendly jibe can be taken completely wrong and start a firestorm of bad feelings.
Duda (Email) - 07/17/12 - 09:49

The Upset guy could have meant it as a friendly name call. Which I mean Dousche, Dooshe, Douce, Douche, or however you spell it, can be taken any way you want. He could have meant it in a way such as “you dooshe”- I hate you and your blog sucks, or “you Dooshe”- unspecified meaning or joking manner, or “you Dooshe”- I just think you should approve the comments occasionally. Whatever this means, after 24 comments, I believe the subject has been looked at from all views, as some would say, “beaten like a dead horse”. All people have opinions and Blogs are mostly opinions when you have topics as this one. And my Final thought, as you state earlier in the post, KIC’s, this blog post looks almost like a Wake County Critique/ Wake County KIC covention , everybody sits around and runs someone, somebody, or some department in the ground. Where’s the Brotherhood, haven’t ya’ll ever joked around in the Fire Station/House before?
Who Cares? - 07/17/12 - 20:09

Thanks Who Cares? It’s worth noting that many of those 24 comments are from me! Not sure we’ve necessarily heard a collective perspective.

If there’s a single lesson that I have learned from running this blog, it’s that skins are a lot thinner when criticism or just chops-busting is done anonymously.
Legeros - 07/17/12 - 11:24

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