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Monday, December 31, 2007

I have to blog before the new year starts.... just a few more seconds.....

Friday, December 28, 2007

My second week of CTO training was off to a bumpy start. I guess thats normal since all of us are coming from a controlled environment and in the real world of the control room, anything goes...

My grades were nothing to write home about. They were lower than I expected. But I kinda new that since I was, in my CTO's eyes, always asking for help in almost all my calls except for alarm calls. With the CTO hovering behind me, its hard not to do that. You're looking for their approval. You don't want to make a mistake or be over descriptive in making a call. And that's primary! Secondary is a different beast because most of the time, your RPs are asking for advice or referrals or making you send the officers to a very minor call like obscene calls. It was crazy. Some of the callers were even clueless as to what was happening to them.

Like I said, second week of CTO training was a bumpy ride. But I like all these hiccups. You learn by making mistakes. If you don't make mistakes, you won't learn anything new. This is very helpful in secondary.

I've noticed something though. There are times when I need a jumpstart to get going with my event. I noticed that with the calls today. Sure, I get the location, but I pause on the remarks field. I don't know how to start it. That's just a few calls though. Not all the calls I got. There were calls that were automatic... you know, easy as heck. There were some that just stumped me.... I need to learn from that. I don't take too many calls on secondary, but they sure stretch your memory muscle.

I've seen most of my classmates already. Some are very receptive. And then there are a few that have this big sign that says "don't talk to me, I'm busy!" Okay, I guess, I'll give space to them. Then again, we weren't that close to begin with, anyway.

My CTO and I tried something different today. He gave me space. He wasn't right behind me, sharing one pod station. I had my own station while he was on the pod next to me. That was cool. I had my own space. It felt like I was "signed off". Yeah, right. It felt different. It's like your first time swimming, I guess. You're starting out with a life preserver that's tethered close to someone. Then, the string is getting longer and longer. But you know that the string is still there, and you have that safety net.

Anyway, tomorrow is another day. I'll be seeing some of my friends as its going to be their Monday tomorrow. Familiar faces are cool. It doesn't make you feel alone. Its not like you're Will Smith in "I am legend". Familiar faces are comforting to me. I don't know, I guess I'm feeling very sensitive right now.

I blame it on the weather.... stupid windy bay area weather....

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Eve..... I'm spending today with Mom and my sister. I went to my Mom's early and decided to buy a pizza for lunch. I forgot that the pizza place was in this small strip mall that included Honeybaked ham! I thought to myself, since I was already there and had a parking space, might as well get some ham. I love their slab of ribs, so I took a slab home.

I brought with me my book, hoping that I would be able to study or at least look at different type codes and what my approach would be, in case, I get to receive the call, which is highly likely. But every time I head on over to Mom's, I just get to relax and bond with the family. So chances are, I won't be able to.

I am so tired after the third day of CTO training. I was too tired to wakeup that day, it was unreal. It was not like me. No wonder the schedule was set up like that. 4 days of ten hours and three days off in a row. That works like gangbusters.

Looking back, the past year has been a true blessing. From problems at my old job and the longing for a dream job, to actually getting it. From old acquaintances and friends to new acquaintances and new friends. From uncertain stability to instant stability but with guarded optimism. It truly has been a great and roller coaster kind of a year.

Mid year, I was wondering if I would get the chance of showing my worth in the PD. The long process of background checks and waiting for the response from the hiring people, was sure worth it. I almost broke down and could not feel my legs when I heard the news that I was in. Thank God for that.

Moving from one city to another has been a regular mandate for me. But with this most recent move, I think I made the last one.

Now, I think I need to look for my other half....

The quest begins in the new year....

Sunday, December 23, 2007

That was a crazy 4 days of CTO hands on stuff.... I am so physically and mentally tired right now.... I have to get ready, my brother is treating us to a late birthday lunch at Jerry's, which is turning out to be our favorite restaurant.

I'll update this later and probably try and upload my video...

Sunday, December 16, 2007

I was planning on posting earlier but changed my mind because I had to visit my mom today. Its her birthday, so I bought food and celebrated her birthday by watching a couple of movies with her and my sister.

The food was good. I really love King Eggroll.

Anyway, last Friday's ride-along was awesome!!! Car stops, alarm calls, a DUI stop, 1051, driving w/o a license and turns out to have 2 6m's on him.... it was great patrolling district Charles. The officer I was rolling with is up for sergeant. Good luck to you Robbie!!! We had an earlier call that said there was a 415A w/ almost 20 people involved! I was surprised but I told Rob, hey, I'm down with that. If someone's gonna hit me, I'll kick their ass back, you know... But we were on the other side of the city, when we got there, the fight was over but the people were involved were running all over the place but we were able to catch one of the guys. As we were arriving, he hid behind this white SUV. We jumped out of the car and headed towards him. He went down on the ground, bleeding. Apparently, he jumped over a steel fence with some barbed wire. He had a wound that was 3x the size of a quarter, and some scratches at the back from the barbed wire. That was a cool call, air 2 was flying over trying to catch another guy that got away. All in all, a great ride-along.

Today was the start of CTO training for my academy. I don't get to start till Wednesday. That was cool. Have to go to PAC tomorrow to p/u my blue book to study in advance for my CTO. I wanna stay ahead of the game, that was how I tackled the first 5 weeks of the academy and it worked wonders. Plus I need to get my flash drive from Debra to try and finish this project I'm doing w/ the pictures and get some of the pictures that Kim took during graduation. Boy, I never thought it was gonna be a long day... oh well... at least I get to start on Wednesday, right?

Thursday, December 13, 2007

As promised... the web premiere of the video I made for Academy #34, the edited version... Not sure if the extended version would fit here, but I'll try it when I'm done with it...

Graduation day has finally come and pass...

We were practicing the march and ceremony 4 hours before showtime. It was quick and easy. Surprisingly, everyone followed and no one made a mistake. I guess that's the big difference with having a lot of women and having a lot of men in a graduating class. The women listen more often than the men.

It was uneventful. It was mentioned to us though that the badges that we were getting had to be returned at a later date. They weren't our own to keep. Apparently the badges that were ours are being made and we'll be given the new ones at a later date. A few of my peers questioned why? Made me scratch my head. Does it matter? We just graduated. The badge is just a symbol. Like I said before, sometimes the priorities of my peers are sketchy. I just don't get it.

Family and friends were aplenty today. My sister almost pissed me off today. Just couldn't follow directions. My brother showed up too. That was good.

I had my mother and sister join me in touring the place that I work. The parking was unbelievable. Apparently, everyone parked there at that time. I showed them where the control room was, but we didn't go inside. They didn't want to, but Irene wanted us to go in.

We later ate dinner at Gerry's. That was a great dinner. I'm still full. I could barely breathe. Thank God we were coming in tomorrow at 3pm. I could catch up with a little sleep.

I'll try and finish my extended pix show later. The one I did for graduation was good but.... See, I wanted to show it during graduation day itself. Instead, I showed the whole class the video and it sort of lost its magic. And then, loop it before graduation, man, I got sick of the song already.

At least with this new and extended one, I'm using different songs. It'll be better, I'll see if I can post the short one, or as I call it, the movie version, here.

Tomorrow is Ride-along day. Officially, THE last day of the Academy. That's gonna be a first for me. Most of the veterans of the control room said to go to a busy district or at least do a C3. That would be cool.... something to definitely look forward to.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Slight correction to the last blog.... Floyd kicked Hatton's ass on the 10th round, not the 7th, as I previously mentioned.

Today's Tuesday. You know what that means... its exam day. Not only is it exam day, but the Finals!!! I didn't get much sleep last night as I was prepping for the test. I wanted to take the written test first, then go do the practicals. I got my wish. The written test was easy, well I thought it was easy. It was a bunch of recall, I had to stretch my brain muscle for that. But I got it. I passed that. Now, onto HELL... the practicals. Everybody dreaded doing it because you never know what you'd get or what you'd be able to do under pressure. I, personally, thought they were easy. I was just too stupid to use the right typecode. I know what it was. Why the heck I used those is beyond me. My left brain was telling me to use A, but my hands stopped listening and developed a mind of its own. Ergo, I made 3 critical errors that killed my score. I passed though, but it should've been higher. My bad.

I was surprised they graded both exams on the same day. They mentioned earlier that the scores for the afternoon class might be delivered tomorrow. That would be diabolical. Half of the class would be on pins and needles, waiting for their score. But as soon as the advisers emerged from the training office, they came out with both exams. They handed it out and we got our grades. I'm not sure where I stand in class, but I think I slipped to the middle of the pack.

I believe all of us passed the Finals, which means that everybody is marching on Thursday, G-day. Graduation day. Nice...

Now comes the tough part of our test, CTO training. No more excuses. This is where you separate the best from the good. I look at this as my career. I've always endured in hardships. This won't be any different. I expect a tough road ahead. Nothing less.

From the stories that were shared from CTOs and our advisers, not everyone from the graduating class last the probation period. Not because of their own performance, but because they chose to leave. I'll be honest with you. I find that weird. The whole hiring process was backbreaking and thorough that when you do pass, you'd hesitate to leave because you'd feel kind of disheartened to go through that long process then quit in the end. There may be a few classmates of mine that might not last rotation. That's just me I guess. It might be me. I don't know....

All I know is that I passed the damn exam, I passed all the exams without any retakes and I passed Academy 34!!!!

My brother was nice enough to foot the bill of dinner on my graduation day. Cool. He gave a few suggestions on where to dine. I liked Gerry's but they open quite late considering we're gonna be leaving graduation at around 3pm at the latest. Probably not there, but we could kill time with a movie or something.

All I know is that a couple of bottles of lager would be going down my system tonight... I can't wait to empty a clip tomorrow at the range... that's what I'm looking forward to doing.... sweet!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

What a great match. There were too much holding calls. I'm pretty sure the ref, Joe Cortez, got his money's worth on that fire. He was almost in on every move of the match. There were too many holding and dirty tactics that both boxers were using.

But in the end, the better fighter won. My boy, Floyd, knocked the limey wanker out in the 7th, not once but twice. He fell badly the second time around that if Joe didn't stop the fight, the corner made sure that the fight would be stopped because they threw the towel in. Hatton was cut and his face was getting badly swollen. Sure, Hatton was throwing more punches but he was missing. Floyd was throwing less, but he was more efficient. He was landing more power punches. Floyd's been fighting top notch opponents. Hatton was fighting opponents that weren't top notch, not till the last 3 fights and those were to fighters well past their prime. To be the best, you got to beat the best. He didn't.

Floyd said he'll be concentrating on his promotion outfit. Probably fighting in 1 or 2 years from now. Yeah, right. He said that when he kicked Oscar's ass. But, I don't know. He might be serious about it this time.

I'm watching the replay right now. That left hook of Floyd sure is sneaky. It just comes out of nowhere and the funny thing is, it keeps landing and Hatton knows that its coming, but he still can't defend it. That's the problem if you have no strategy and just go gung-ho and attack your opponent.

I should be getting right now. I have a study group to go to at 11am. Too early, I know. My brain isn't responding right, right now. But let me tell you, I'm forgetting some of the codes and abbreviations right now. My classmates would be my salvation.

I'll finish the fight tonight. I might visit Mom later, not sure yet.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

I've decided to buy the PPV to Mayweather-Hatton match. While watching this, I was jumping to the UFC's Ultimate Fighter show. Sad to say, it's a delayed telecast. I hate being in the West Coast. We always get shows 3 hours late.

The preliminaries are done and the fight will begin in probably 25 minutes.

I need to take a break. That's what Ms. Lannigan said during her talk to us in our Ergonomics class. Always take mini breaks. It will relax you, or something like that.

I love watching Mayweather fight. He's really good. I hope he kicks Hatton's ass. I think that guy fights dirty.

I'm watching the weigh-in right now. Boy, that English crowd sure looks rowdy. Hatton is not in Floyd's league....

Break time...

Updates later...

Friday, December 07, 2007

Today was more practicals and a few tips on how to approach our final call-taking exam on Tuesday. For the most part of our practical sessions during the last 3 days, those kind of calls are the kind of calls we'll be expecting during the finals, the caveat is that the callers would be much better and there would be a CTO hovering over your shoulder, grading your every move. The trick is to NOT FREEZE.

Today's session of practicals, especially during the control room session for our group, I was fortunate enough to get TC. She asked me if I wanted to take the calls or type the responses. I said I'd take the call, but was presented another option: Do you want to do both? I thought about it, and I said, what the hey, let me do both. So from 1240-1540, I was getting the calls. Whether it be primary (mostly alarm calls) and secondary (referrals and transfers), I was on it. I took them like a pro. I'm not sure if T was being funny, but she said if it were her, she'd be signing me off! Yeah right. I still need to learn the essentials of handling the calls. Because if it were me, I'd be making events out of almost all the calls I get.

There were a lot of downtime today though. It was busy at one point, but for the most part, I've been getting alarm calls. Apparently there was a power outage in the East side so most of the calls coming from that area would be alarm calls. During my time with T, she pushed me aside in one call. It was so confusing, even the other CTOs were baffled about it. Sorry, 1036. But in the long run, I was proud of myself. I took them like a champ. It wasn't that hard, but then again, it wasn't that easy, especially the secondary calls. You have to be well versed with the law and how PD responds. I need to brush up on that.

For the most part, my group went to their CTOs. I thought that was cool. At least you get to learn and get your feet wet with your CTO. But some of them weren't just ready yet to take a call. My philosophy: let me sink or swim. I have the basics, you're there. You won't let me drown, I have a life preserver, what's to worry about? If I don't know the answer, I have someone to fall back to. Plus, T was very helpful in feeding me the info. Unfortunately, she was telling me the questions on my ear thats got the headphone in. So, I was really practicing active listening.

It was, all in all, something that I see myself doing for years. There's never a dull moment. Everyday is different. Not to mention the benefits we get from the city. Heck, yeah, I see myself doing this for a long time. The only way you'll see me out of here, is if you fire my butt. Which, of course, won't happen.

Again, a lot of back-biting today from some of my classmates. I just couldn't believe the bickering that they do. Like Rodney King said before, Can't we just all get along? I guess, you can't teach old dogs new tricks. Its hard for them to adjust. But I think that's a cop-out. You adjust to the rigors of the job, even if its an academy. The instructors/advisers should not adjust for you. As a matter of fact, they've been bending backwards for us. Its just crazy. At the rate they're going, they might just talk their way out of a job. I just don't care who your SO knows, what kind of help would that do when you're alone in a pod taking calls in primary? You can't just start name-dropping in a middle of a call right? You settle down and go back to basics. Back to what our advisers, who you thought were too hard on you, kept harping on us. They are being hard for a reason. This is the master plan. Its worked before. Why change something thats not broken? When you're on the floor, you're gonna be ready. Because the academy prepared you for situations like this.

Stop complaining and man up. Like my old boss said, NUFF SAID.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

A week of almost practicals, getting ready for the big one this coming Tuesday. FINALS!!!

Oh yeah, I passed the test last Tuesday. Nice. Back in the high life, baby!! Now its concentrating on Finals. Its a day where we get 2 tests. A written one, it has 75 questions worth 88 points, and a practical call-taking test. Nobody has failed a final call-taking test. I take it back. If somebody freezes, then they fail. Its their form of weeding out the bad seeds... and keeping the ones that can adjust to pressure. I think I'll be seeing all my classmates at the next level. Confidence is dictating me to say this. I know I'm very capable of passing that test. I know myself. I know I won't freeze. Freezing is not knowing what to do after you say hello... I hate to be that person.

Well, its just a few more days till graduation. My whole family is going. Its going to be great!! If they want, they can tour my "house". But knowing my brother, he may want to skip that, so we might just be eating out afterwards. That's cool. At least I get to spend it with my family and friends from work.

I finally met my CTO today. GG looks cool. When I was doing my sit-alongs this week and mentioning that he was my CTO, they kept telling me he was a great guy. The CTO that signed them off. I hope I don't disappoint. He's a fellow techno geek so we will be able to relate. And the best part is, I just realized this yesterday, I'm getting the holidays off!!! I thought Christmas eve and New Years eve fell during the middle of the week. I was wrong. It fell on a Monday and Tuesday. That was extra cool! I know my mom would be very appreciative of that fact. Coolness!!!

These past few days, I've noticed there was a lot of tension in class. The class seems divided but not really. Just a few ego's clashing. The funny thing is, it doesn't involve me, considering I'm the only guy in the class. Too much estrogen, I guess. I'll be honest with you, I don't really much care about all that, I got other things to worry about, so with my buddies at class.

These last days will not define us @ work, it will show our true mettle... This is where you separate the good ones from the bad... and from the looks of it, all of us will make the grade. Unless someone trips... chances are, nobody's gonna help them pick up. Tomorrow is another day of practicals, so I'm looking forward to it. Nothing better than to hone your skills...

Let's get this party started.... Bring on the pain...

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Rejoined some of my classmates for a quick study group for this coming Tuesday's test. It was comforting to know a few items that I missed from my original studying. Now I think that I will do better than expected this time around.

During the study group, a few items were discussed that weren't related to the exam for next Tuesday. I couldn't believe that they still can't get over it. A friend of mine once told me about two things in life that you should never forget: Never rat on your friends and always keep your mouth shut. I'll leave it at that.

I was disheartened that the 49ers lost another "close" game today. What can I say? I'm not expecting too much from them nowadays. I think I'm gonna give up on the QB. Its time to move on and get a good one from the draft, or at least get someone that can turn this franchise around. I know its early but it might be time to say that Mr. Smith was a mistake.

What I did to forget all this was to watch the past. My favorite years of 49ers football was the 88 and 89 season. Those were great teams especially the 89 team, which I thought was the best team of all time. Even better than the 94 team. I think, head to head the 89 team would beat the 94 team very handily.

Just a couple of weeks till the academy is done. I can't wait to start the CTO phase of my stay at the PD. I want to start getting calls right now, dang it! I know, be careful what you wish for... This is why I was hired, to take that call. Thanks for the instruction, but let's put it into action! I believe that is what we'll be doing for the next couple of weeks. I'm so excited I tell ya...

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Okay, I forgot to post the day after the POST exam... I passed... not the highest but I passed. It was a sigh of relief to know that, to be honest with you... I, again, was ill prepared. If I were doing my radio show, I'd just be introducing the next song or probably do a time check. It wasn't pretty, but I got the job done.

Anyway, I saw "American Gangster" the other day. I was surprised that the director was Ridley Scott. It does have his usual color though. It was nicely shot, kudos to the DP. The acting of Denzel Washington was superb. Russell Crowe too. But as a whole, I was kinda disappointed. I was expecting this great movie. It was a good movie, don't get me wrong. It wasn't great. I was disappointed.

I went to my favorite store to buy the Bluray copy of Dave Matthews live at Radio city. To my surprise, it was all gone. I'm not even sure if they had it to begin with. But normally, they carry the obscure kind of DVDs there, but not this particular one. Instead, I bought some other dvds to add to my collection.

The study session last Friday was complete and productive compared to the week before. This past session was more straight-forward and geared towards the test. As in, spoon feeding us the "possible" answers to the test. Of course, Kim wouldn't tell us what's on the test. But she sure made a point to tell us what to study for the test. She sure showed a lot of poise that day. She never exploded or snapped at anybody for asking stupid questions. If it were me, I'd probably give a smart-ass response. What can I say, I'm a jerk at heart. But she didn't, which is why I applaud her efforts.

I found out who my CTO was yesterday too. I'm going to do Watch 2 with GG with SMT as my days off. Thats cool. That means that after my ride-along, that last day of the academy, I'll be having 4 straight days-off before coming back to work on Wednesday! Score!!!! That's cool, I still get to see my close friends and the rest of my batch mates. With the way the Watches are structured, we'll get to see each other for about a couple of hours or so, then the shift change.

Now, its just a couple of weeks of practicals. Getting us ready for the final 2 exams, which are on the same day. Talk about tension. Our CTO will be grading us on our practicals. I don't even know where to start when it comes to the final exam.

That's for next week. I'm more concerned with the coming test this Tuesday...