Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Mom's Hamburger Pie

Sometimes called Shepard's Pie, but not my mom's!



2lbs 95% lean Beef

2cans Cut Corn

2cans Campbells Tomato Soup

1 Diced Onion

1 Diced Bell Pepper

12 Servings of Mashed Potatoes

12 slices of Cheese



  • Preheat Oven to 350*

  • Cook instant or fresh Potatoes and set aside.

  • Cook Beef, Onion and Bell Peppers in large skillit or pot until beef is brown.

  • Drain, don't rince, and place in pot.

  • Add Corn and Tomato Soup and heat until warm.

  • Empty Pot into large 13x9 glass cake pan.

  • Add cooked mashed potatoes as a second layer, do not mix with first layer.

  • Add sliced cheese on top, enough to cover the potatoes.

  • Place dish into oven and cook uncovered for 15-30 minutes.

  • Once the cheese is melted, pull out of oven and let sit for 2-3 minutes, then serve.

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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Flashing lights don’t mean what they used to.

As a firefighter I have traveled hundreds if not thousands of miles behind the wheel of an emergency vehicle with the lights and sirens on. I know that I am not alone when complaining about people not pulling over or getting out of the way for Fire, Police, and EMS vehicles in route to an emergency. I often have wondered why this is. Until recently I just agreed with the general consensus, that the drivers are just not paying attention or too busy on the phone.

Today while traveling by the construction along West Cache Rd I noticed the road filled with city and private construction company trucks with flashing lights of all colors to include red, blue, white & amber. Often I see T&G Construction and other construction company vehicles traveling on the road, several miles away from any construction zone, with their lights flashing. Being a firefighter I find this to be a bit troublesome that construction workers are using emergency colors for everyday use.

This bothered me enough that I actually looked it up in the state statue and found a bit of a surprise waiting for me. §47-12-229 states that the DOT will adopt standards for such use and allows State, County, and City owned vehicles to have flashing red and blue lights.  So under this statute, private construction companies are not allowed to use flashing red and blue lights unless the company “is an agency of the state” which means that the state would own them.  §47-12-218.1 allows for Tow trucks to use flashing red and blue lights, but only while on the scene of an emergency.

Coming back to the construction on Cache Rd, this week I saw Cache Rd filled with those construction vehicles as well as a Lawton Fire Truck responding to an emergency, all competing for driver’s attention with their red and blue lights.  All the drivers hear is a siren and several vehicles with the flashing lights; it would take the driver several seconds to find the true emergency vehicle and take the necessary actions to give way to it.  Now looking at all of this in perspective, a driver may see flashing lights several times during an average day.  The problem arises when you ask, when are the flashing lights important, when is it an emergency?

I should also mention that several studies have been done over the last decades that state the need for emergency vehicles to use amber lights. These studies find that tired, confused, and drunk drivers will drive toward the red lights.  These same drivers will drive away or around the amber lights.  While the studies have concluded that emergency vehicles need amber lights, they limited it to one placed on the left rear of the vehicle. This is also why traffic cones are amber and not red and blue.

The CDC reports that 116 road construction workers were killed in 2009. Construction workers are very vulnerable while working on streets and highways, and so flashing lights are necessary, just not red and blue.  Drivers are becoming complacent with all the red and blue flashing lights because so many different types of vehicles are using them for different uses. Red and blue lights were originally meant for emergency vehicles responding to emergencies.  We can do this by only allowing red and blue lights on emergency vehicles as outlined in §47-12-218, which is only for Police, Fire and EMS.  This leaves all other uses for flashing lights to use green, amber, and white lights.  This would allow the driver to distinguish the emergency vehicles from the non emergency vehicles moving on the roadway. When responding to a call, emergency vehicles need to use the red and blue lights.  When on the scene, emergency vehicles need to change to “Blocking” mode; this would turn off most if not all of the red/blue lights and turn on the amber lights.  This would increase scene safety and also give drivers the ability to recognize the difference between “Attention” and “Emergency” lights, once again.

Matthew Eccles

Monday, January 28, 2013

Turtle Thumper's Bread Pudding

Prep Time: 30 Minutes

Cook Time: 45 Minutes

Ready In: 1 Hour 15 Minutes

Servings: 12



6 slices of white bread

2 tablespoons butter, melted

1/2 cup raisins

4 eggs, beaten

2 cups milk

3/4 cup white sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla extract



1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Cut bread into small pieces into an 8 inch square baking pan. Drizzle melted butter or margarine over bread. If desired, sprinkle with raisins.

3. In a medium mixing bowl, combine eggs, milk, sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla. Beat until well mixed. Pour over bread, and lightly stir with a spoon until bread is covered and soaking up the egg mixture.

4. Bake for 45 minutes, or until the top springs back when lightly tapped.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Random Thought

I think part of a best friend's job should be to immediately clear your computer history when you die.

Life in 2012


Every Year we make Picture Books and send them to the family. This year is no different... I designed them and sent them off to Apple to make and should get them within a few days. So in the mean time, take a look at what the book looks like...


Saturday, January 26, 2013

Double XP

It's double XP weekend, but I just don't feel like playing.. Seems to happen on every double XP weekend....

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Crazy Cat!

Look how baby reacts to the laser!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Mia turns 7

Mia turned 7 today! She was sick this week, but was feeling great today.


Baby the Present

This is where Baby ended up during Mia's Birthday Party.

Build Your Own Adobe Creative Suite with Free and Cheap Software

Adobe's Creative Suite is one of the best software packs out there for professionals, but the suite is prohibitively expensive for most people. If you can't drop the cash, you can still get a similar experience with free or cheap software. Here's how to build your own Creative Suite.

Adobe Creative Suite is more than just Photoshop: it contains other software that helps you build web sites, design logos, edit video, layout books, and more. Recently, Adobe accidentally gave free access to the 2005 version of Creative Suite for free, and it's clear demand for even outdated versions of the software is high. You can't get as great of an experience with free software as you can with Adobe's offerings, but you can at least get close. Whether you're a student looking to test the waters of design before diving into the Creative Suite, or you're just an amateur who doesn't need all the bells and whistles, these free replacements to Adobe's lineup offer enough for most of us.


Almost done with 3 days of training... It's been a long 3 days of stuff that either does not apply or that I already knew..