Friday, January 15, 2010

Nashville here I come!!!

Nashville here we come!! This year we traded Kevin for Ann!! This was taken at the airport for our quick plane change in Philly!

Keeping with tradition we headed to Imaging USA a few days early. We hit it just right to visit The Hermitage, home of Andrew Jackson on the anniversary of the victory of the 1812 battle of New Orleans. In which Andrew Jackson was the general and one of the major factors that advanced him to president.

A great time line of this interesting president. Amazing how many challenges he faced we are facing today

I guess being from the north we don't see the direct effects of slavery. I can tell you this a very uncomfortable part of learning of our history.

Hard to read the stories and see how much these human beings were treated like property.

I just couldn't read their stories and not feel ashamed of our history.

Here is the trio with Andrew Jackson son's home behind us. I can't forget to mention it was COLD out!! What happen to warmer weather in the SOUTH??

Being an historic day at The Hermitage , there was lots of extra events.

On with the tourist stops. How could you be in Nashville and not stop at the Grand Ole Opry! This is the view looking from the stage to the back of the Ryman Theater.

Now from the balcony looking down. You can see why the acoustics and amazing here. We were told the second best in the world.

Don and I amazed at our surroundings!!

The trio taking their act on the road!!

Later that night we found ourselves at the "Big Bang Bar". A sing-a-long dueling piano bar! WHAT A BLAST!!

Don and I enjoying diner at a famous bar-b-que called Jacks. Unreal, Don treated for 11 of us, food AND drinks for $125. Trust me, no one went home hungry.

The locals that Don is a family friend of. What great host, and boy did they take care of us. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU, you made our stay in Nashville extra special!!

Downtown Nashville!!

We were so mesmerized by the Ryman, that we bought tickets for the show that night. Not only did we get tickets but VIP tickets!! AWESOME seats!!

This car was out front of the Ryman should have been a hint of our night ahead.... it was Nascar night! Country music and Nascar fans. Lets just say the beer consumption that night beat all records.

Now this is the music I grew up listening to. The sound was like nothing I have ever heard in a concert!

This is Danny Gokey!!

Holly Williams (Hank Williams Jr daughter) on the stage!

Nascar and country collide. Believe it or not.... this is Nascar driver Kyle Petty signing his own stuff on the Grand Ole Opry!

And when things got CRAZY and the crowd got rowdy!
HANK WILLIAMS JR and Nascar. Yep, it was a sight to see!!

If we were not being entertained enough, Vince Gill showed up DRUNK, yep he was 100% drunk!! Coming from his daughters engagement party, he seemed to have celebrated a little to much before coming to work

Some more classic county music from Riders in the Sky.

Chris Young did a great job! His first night on the stage of Grand Ole Opry!!

Vince and Chris signing a classic Hank Williams in honor that his son and grand daughter were on the stage that night.

By the time they got to the second verse, they forgot the words. YEP, Vince made them up. Too funny!

Wayne getting our shooters ready!

One, two, three!!!

Down they go!!

Oh, that is right.... we came for Imaging USA!! Print display was the best EVER!!

Bobby Jenks with his Kodak gallery award image!

We were graced for 24 hours with J Michael! with his Gallery award that he actually took when he was at PPANE.

Bobby Jenks won the highest award! Way to go Bobby!!

Bob times 2 TWO!!

Let the celebration begin!

Wayne capturing the moment!

Bob talking to Memere to tell her the news!!

Look at the size of this tree, INSIDE!! We were at the largest convention center under one roof. It was a challenge not to get lost.

See the top floor, the top 3 windows from the left. That is our room!! Talk about staying in style!! Another great trip!!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Instructor Training

After the retirement of our departments HazMat instructor I volunteered for the job. My background in hazardous materials training with the Fire Service was about to come in handy. I still needed instructor training and I found the perfect course at The Department of Homeland Security's Center for Domestic Preparedness in Anniston, AL. I spent a week on the federal dime becoming a certified instructor for Homeland Security

10 hours a day for 5 days I spent the long hours honing my skills to teach, speak, present, course design, and make computer presentaions. We were issued a laptop and spent many hours after class back in the dorms researching our given presentations. I would give two presentations with computer enhancements. My terrorism presentation would be the 1972 Munich Olympics, and my preparedness presentaion would be on the Emergency Response Guidebook for Hazardous Materials.

ITC 10-04, Instructor Training Certification. Security badge for access.

Main classroom where all 29 of my classmates would receive our lectures and assignments. The room is set up great, plenty of workspace, comfy chairs, and fantastic technology built into the room

Break out class room where my study group researched and completed our presentations. Another great set up, 8 workstations along the walls and a center conference table. This is the same room I gave both presentations in, one of the presentations was video'd for self criticism purposes

Our dorm facility across campus. There are 6 such buildings, Allows for hundred of students to attend training. There was classes for Medical personnel, law enforcement, Fire, Rescue, and Emergency Management.

Due to some of the sensitive nature of the training, security is top notch. No unauthorized entrance!!

Welcome sign! As you can see on the white board there would be several classes on campus. A total of 143 students woud be around this weeks, 29 in my class.

Cobra Alley, pictures of classes that attended training over the last year. COBRA is an old acronym for Hazardous Materials( chemical, ordinance, biological, radiological )

My spacious room. Not too bad for the G (government). Full wi-fi, coffee maker, fridge, microwave, and maid service,

I will be returning in March for Weapons of Mass Destruction Standardized Awareness trainer.