TEEX - ESTI
"Weeklong" at Texas A&M
July 21-25, 2008

I was invited back to teach again as a Guest Instructor at the TEEX - ESTI Fire Training School at Texas A&M University.  TEEX is the leading school in the country for hands on, fire related classes and live fire drills.  I'd been going down to College Station for the last few years with guys in my department who would go to take fire classes while I taught classes.  This year the missus came with me and the only guy from the department to attend was Ryan, who brought his wife along, too. 

Every year we had a sort of tradition.  As soon as we got into town, we'd stop at the "Always Open, Kettle Inn".    This year it wasn't.

Closed

So the week progressed from there. We checked in to the Plaza Hotel.  Now, I know what you're thinking, because I did, too.  And let me tell you;  I stayed at the Plaza Hotel on 59th Street in New York, and sir, this is no Plaza Hotel!  The room had a slight musky smell.  The air conditioner never cooled off to less than 74.  The parking lot had so many pot holes you thought you were on the Belt Parkway.  And my favorite was the maid service.  It seemed to me that they had only four things to do each time they entered your room, but only ever got around to two of them:  Install a new roll of toilet paper, make the bed, replace the towels, take out the garbage.  We'd come back and there would be a new roll of toilet paper and the garbage was gone, but there would be no towels and the bed was still a mess; or there would be fresh towels and the bed was made but the garbage pail was overflowing and there was no toilet paper.  Each of the seven was an adventure in acceptance.  And there was never enough help at the front desk:  "Hello, front desk.......No, I'm sorry, there's no one here right now, I'll leave a message for the next crew."  "Hello, front desk.......No, I'm sorry, there's no message about that.  I'll leave a note for the next crew."  "Hello, front desk.......No, I'm sorry, I'll have to leave a message for the manager.  He'll be in on Thursday."

But the school was kewl.  And I got to watch a bunch of the burns.

controlled burns controlled burns controlled burns controlled burns
controlled burns controlled burns controlled burns controlled burns
controlled burns controlled burns controlled burns controlled burns

And a bunch of other stuff.  Like Ryan's rope class.

rope class rope class rope class

And some wrecks in Disaster City.

Disaster City Disaster City

And what trip would be complete without a bunch of random pictures?

Random picture Random picture Random picture Random picture
Random picture Random picture Random picture Random picture

And here's one of my TEEX liaison.  That's the person making sure what I'm teaching for the school matches the curriculum for the governing body so the students get the proper education for the course.

My TEEX Liaison

Here's the missus in front of a car fire class.

In front of a car fire controlled burn

And then some random and a not so random pictures of students taking my class.

One of my classes One of my classes One of my classes One of my classes One of my students

The world's greatest instructor in the world was there, too.

World's Greatest Instructor

But the best part of the week was being to help a friend in need.  Not that the friend was in need, but that I was able to help.  That's right.  Ryan's SUV broke down and he called me to come help him.  So the first thing I did was grab the missus and head over to where he and his wife were stuck.

Ryan's dilemma Ryan's dilemma Ryan's dilemma

Then I took him to the local parts store, where I told him to make sure he gets a 8 mm socket.  Ryan said, "I'm a pipe fitter.  All I need is a crescent wrench.".

Ryan's dilemma Ryan's dilemma

That girl must have confused him because he ignored my suggestion to get an 8mm socket.  So we returned to the car and we set off to work.

Ryan's dilemma Ryan's dilemma

But he couldn't do it without an 8mm socket, so we went back to the local auto parts store.

Ryan's dilemma Ryan's dilemma Ryan's dilemma Ryan's dilemma

And after getting an 8mm socket set, we then went back to his SUV.  Here's the culprit.  A sticky thermostat.

Ryan's dilemma

So, without further ado, knowing better than to let a boy do what a man needed to do, I set about batting down the hatches.

Ryan's dilemma Ryan's dilemma Ryan's dilemma Ryan's dilemma

 

And we got the SUV running again and went about the rest of the week without incident. I even got some halfway decent videos on my cell phone.

Car Burn Plane Burn Rope Climb

 

 
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