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Kimler Adventure Pages: Journal Entries
It takes time to create blog entries and not everything that happens, merits an entry. So, we've created this 'news' section, to keep readers up-to-date with our misadventures and accomplishments. Read about it here FIRST, before it makes it into a blog entry.
NewsBrief: [Then There Were Three] The Kimler's lose an egg-laying hen to predators • [ISP Woes] A local circuit board fails and when it's replaced, everyone is reconnected, except us
NewsBrief: [Live Fire] For two days, Randsco executive - Scott Kimler - underwent grueling "live fire" training exercises at the Justice Institute burn building in Maple Ridge, B.C.
Live Fire Exercises
Maple Ridge, B.C. - Randsco exec, Scott Kimler, underwent a grueling set of "live fire" exercises, this past weekend, at the Justice Institute in Maple Ridge. Four other North Cedar Fire Hall firefighters attended the 2-day class and they were joined by other firefighters across the Province, bringing the class total to 20.
It took the better part of the evening to make the journey from Vancouver Island to the mainland, as the North Cedar guys caught the 5:00 PM ferry, fought infamous North Shore traffic and finally made their way to Pitt Meadows, where they stayed at the Ramada Inn.
Saturday's class was split up into two parts. The first part (morning) was an introduction to facilities, policies and other class-mates. After a short lunch break, the class began the practical portion, rotating through three scenarios: dumpster fires, auto fires and door entry into burning structures.
Sunday's class was all practical, as the 20-people were split into four groups of five and rotated through a number of scenarios.
The first scenario involved the entire group entering the concrete "burn building" and participating in a "fire behavior" lesson. Donning Scott 2.2 air-packs and full turn-out gear, they entered a small (20 ft x 10 ft) room, which contained a stack of wooden pallets. Breathing self-contained air, the pallets were lit on fire using a propane blow torch. After several minutes of fueling the pallets, they were roaring hot and flames were reaching the ceiling. The instructor then closed the metal doors to the room and students watched the pallets continue to burn, as oxygen diminished. Smoke and other hot, un-burned gases filled the ceiling, as everyone crouched and watched the hot thermal layer descend. The pallet fire, now starved for oxygen, turned a dull, orange color, while flames lazily danced upwards.
Students were instructed to remove a glove at floor level, exposing their hand and then raising it slowly into the thermal layer ... reaching a point just above their heads where raising their hand any more would seriously burn it.
Gases at the top of the ceiling were reaching 1000 °C and the thermal layer boundary was at about 500 °C. Flames were rolling across the ceiling and the instructor shot a 1-second blast of water from the fire hose into the ceiling, which immediately turned to steam and expanded (1700 times the water volume), having a cooling effect on the hot gases and flames, which reduced in size. He did this one more time, nearly extinguishing the flames ... then took a quick shot of water into the pallets ... which pretty much finished off the fire. In an instant, using little more than five gallons of water, the fire (and super-heated gases) were surpressed.
Next was a demonstration of hydraulic ventilation, as 2 doors were opened and a 50-degree water stream of 95-gallon-per-minute water out of an 1.5-inch hose was directed out of the building. Within seconds, the room was clear of smoke. Amazing.
The rest of the day was spent in various evolutions, as the four 5-man teams were run through a variety of scenarios: fighting 2nd story fires; sub-level fires, ground-level fires; searches for victims during firefighting efforts; ventilation of smoke-filled rooms and initial fire size-ups, radio communications, door-entries and hose-advancement techniques.
Each firefighter had turns as nozzleman, door entry & backup, hose-advancement crew, and search/rescue. They ran through several 2216 psi bottle of compressed air and got to experience real-life fire/smoke/heat/zero-visibility conditions. By the end of the day, they were all sore from countless advances of hose up/down and around/into/out-of the building. They looked and smelled like charcoal briquettes.
All-in-all it was a great learning exercise. Many made friends with other firefighters from several other Vancouver Island locations (Mill Bay and Colwood Fire Departments were two other Vancouver Island crews that were there).
NewsBrief: [More Girls] Alex sold some Girl Guide cookies to neighbors and returned home with four chicks (baby ISA-Brown hens) • [Another Odd Egg] Randsco has gone to the birds, as we reported an odd - v.small - egg last week. This week, it's an egg without a shell!
NewsBrief: [Loonie Egg] One of our ISA-Brown chickens laid a loonie-sized egg this morning, which was preceeded a few days ago, by an egg that didn't have a shell.
The Loonie-Sized Egg
Hutton House Henhouse - Scott went out this morning (in the pouring rain - Autumn has finally arrived), taking yesterday's food scraps to "the girls". In return, he picked up - as usual - four eggs. But one was very unusual; it was pint-sized.
"The girls" are the name given to the Hutton House "flock" of four ISA-Brown hybrid chickens, all just under a year old. On a daily basis, they consume most of the previous day's families kitchen waste (there are only a few things they're not given - onions, coffee grounds and orange peels among them). The girls happily consume things like vegetable peelings, crushed egg shells, plate scrapings, chopped-up banana peels, prawn shells, fruit cores, salmon carcasses and (their favorite) leftover rice or pasta. Chickens are very good composters!
The kitchen waste is a dietary supplement. Their main diet consists of "Layer Pellets" (a dietary food with protein and vegetable matter, mixed and pressed into pellets) and "scratch" (supplements of grains and ground corn), both of which cost about $10 for a 20 kg sack and lasts for about 2 months.
The main product from all of this consumption - besides droppings - are eggs! The Hutton House girls lay somewhere between three and four eggs per day (ISA-Browns are prolific layers, for the first year after they begin laying). They lay big brown eggs mostly (big enough that it's difficult to close the lid on a "Grade A Large" cardboard egg carton). Every once in a while, they'll lay a HUGE egg, with a double yolk (double-yolk'ers).
Infrequently, they'll lay a "strange" egg. It may be mis-shaped, have unusual speckles, be rough at one end, mis-colored or have some other oddity. A few days ago, one of the girls laid an egg that was covered by only a thin, very flexible "shell" (really didn't have a shell at all). Scott found it on the mesh floor of the coop and thought it was broken - nope!
Today, Scott picked up the very first "pint-sized" egg and decided to take a photo of it. (Maybe we'll take photos of the unusual ones and put them in a photo album - "An Odyssey into Egg Oddities").
NewsBrief: [Many Water Pumps] When the water pump went out on the 1983 Honda Accord, Scott reflects about how many water pumps they own • [Indian Summer] Scott scrambles to do outdoor projects, while the weather remains dry and warm • [Week Three] College football week three. Penn State remains unbeaten • [Mo' Boats] Scott and Rachel consider purchasing two ocean-touring kayaks.