The Day My House Almost Caught On Fire

So over the couple month or so, I’ve been going about my weekly routine.  I wake up every morning, shower make coffee and quickly head to my car to drive to work.  Normally I’m early, but this particular morning was different.  When my weekends normally come to an end I start them off by doing my laundry.  Yes all of my laundry that has been piled up by my bedside for the previous week.  It takes me roughly three hours to fully wash and dry all of my loads of laundry.  Well this morning was different because I had procrastinated and had not finished my last load of laundry.  I let it sit in the washer overnight and figured I’d toss it in the drying once I woke up.  Somewhat out of my routine already that Monday morning I tossed the last load of washed laundry in the dryer, showered and headed downstairs to make my coffee.  Before I made it down the first flight of stairs, I smelt what I couldn’t even fathom. Smoke…  I quickly ran up, opened the dryer and was met with a large, thick poof of smoke barreling towards my face and freshly washed cloths from the night before.  Already realizing that something wasn’t right, I then saw the small flicker of light coming from between the dryer roll and where the electrical wiring is.  With the speed of a rabbit getting shot at during small game opener, I ran downstairs and grabbed the only thing I could think of, a glass full of water.  Throwing it at where I assumed the now flames were coming from did nothing.  I repeated this twice more and managed to put out whatever fire had started inside of my dryer.  I was already running late for work and now all I have on my mind is what the hell I’m going to do now and how much is it going to be for me to replace the dryer.  Already late for work I called in and let them know of the situation. I decided to take the entire day off so I could just deal with the problem at hand.

Luckily, I later found out that the expense of the dryer would be covered by my landlord.  That news definitely lifted a huge weight off my chest since I’ve already been struggling to make ends meet.  The only problem that later arose was that my landlord also wanted an electrician to come in and take a look at the outlet and circuit breaker.  Little did I know, my townhouse was one of the last townhouses scheduled to get a circuit breaker upgrade to stop all of the annoying brown outs we’ve been getting lately.  Later in the afternoon, after getting a new washer the electrician showed up.  We had a good laugh at my dryer problem and suggested that I kept a fire extinguisher handy in case something like this ever happens again.  He then went to work and I decided to hang around the house and catch up on my new book that I just picked up.

Alex, the electrician was probably the most professional person I’ve ever dealt with here at my townhouse.  He explained to me in a professional way that he did not have the correct parts to replace my circuit breaker panel but would come back first thing in the morning and get it done.  We arranged for my landlord to let him although he promised to be here before I left for work the following morning.

The next morning, Alex arrived at my townhouse early like he promised and even brought me a fire extinguisher that he picked up from my landlord before hand.  I left for work and only a few short hours later he called me and let me know he had finished and locked my doors.  What can I say, for something that had gone so wrong the day before it sure was nice to feel like I had done something right to receive such great service.  He even left me a card and wrote a note on it saying to give him a call if I ever need anymore electrical work.

Alex – Thanks for showing such professionalism and making me feel like I was the most important customer you’ve ever had. I’ll for sure be giving MN Licensed Electrician a call the next time I need electrical repairs!

Review of a public meeting

I decided to attend a city council meeting in Burnsville, my hometown of 18 years. The meeting took place at the Burnsville City with a start time of 6:30 and an end time around 7. There were four council members and the mayor involved, who essentially make up the body of the Burnsville Community. The meeting itself was very informative and surprisingly interesting. The meeting began with the pledge of allegiance, followed by announcements and proclamations, then they have some time open for citizen comments/questions/concerns, then they made any additions to the final agenda, followed by the consent agenda, and finished with the regular agenda. The consent agenda includes topics that are non-controversial that need little or no deliberation. The regular agenda consists of items/topics that require individual consideration by the council. After attending this meeting I decided to focus my review on the topic of “Freedom of Speech.”

There were multiple people who contributed to speaking at this city council. The 5 main city council members (and the mayor) basically acted as the narrators and monitored the council meeting. The mayor would begin by choosing a topic to discuss and then one of the other city council members would open up with a brief overview of the subject. Following this they would ask the citizens if there were any questions, comments, or concerns regarding this topic. Depending on the topic, people would either sit there in silence, or raise there hand and express their comment out loud. Technically, there are constraints for the speakers because you can’t just blurt out or comment, but generally speaking that is just common courtesy and there were no problems with people following that. Anybody who was in attendance was allowed to speak, given that they raised there hands and waited for them to ask if there were any questions or concerns. Sometimes, if a citizen would say something that would cause a negative reaction throughout the room, the mayor would ask them to sit down and the council members would respond to their question appropriately. The rules for the format of the meeting were described earlier in the intro, but there were no “strict” guidelines regarding the length of what people could say. Again, the room is filled with mostly adults and people understand how these meetings operate, so there wasn’t anybody who would start talking for long periods of time.

A few times throughout the meeting I did notice that a few citizens would raise their hand while the city council member was still speaking, regardless of if they were finished or not. The mayor would politely chime in and ask for the citizen to lower their hand and wait until they asked the audience for their comments. A few other times, members would blurt out comments like “that’s outrageous!” or “I agree!” in which the mayor would again, politely ask the audience to be respectful of the person speaking and let them finish. Although there were people who would try to interrupt the city council members who were speaking, more people would actually interrupt when a citizen was talking. I felt that the citizens (for the most part) respected the council members, but you could tell that some of the citizens didn’t respect the other citizens, especially if they make a comment that the citizens don’t agree with. Whenever anybody attempted or actually violated the group norms/speaker rules, the mayor would always chime in very politely and in a very monotone voice saying “please respect the speaker” or “wait until we ask for questions or concerns” so that the speaker themselves could finish up whatever they were saying.

There were no groups that were excluded from the meeting. As far as any changes that could be made to distribute the power more equally, I think there are a few different things you could do. First, I’m not sure if they provide the citizens with the agenda for the night prior to the actual meeting, but I think that’d be very beneficial if the citizens knew what topics were going to be discussed. If they knew the topics prior to the meeting, they could submit their views or arguments online and they could go through all of them at the END of the meeting. I felt that the flow of the meeting was disrupted a few times due to unnecessary comments from people that got the meeting off topic. I think finding a way to prevent people from saying irrational comments or comments that caused a negative reaction from the audience should be avoided at all cost, but I’m not sure how you would implement that.

After attending this meeting it was cool to see how many citizens actually want to be apart/involved in their community. It was also cool to see how freedom of speech came in to play and (for the most part) how well it worked. It’s now more evident than ever to me as to why freedom of speech is so important, because like anything else people have strong opinions about topics that can create potential conflicts throughout the community. Without freedom of speech, I feel that there would be a large amount of citizens that would be unhappy with how their community was operating, especially if they didn’t have any voice in the decisions. I also think that freedom of speech helps people feel like they are more involved then they actually are, whether that is a good or a bad thing. When you are able to have a voice in the decisions made in your community, you are going to feel a sense of involvement, which is never a bad thing. Freedom of speech helps people in a community come to middle ground on certain topics, which obviously is beneficial because if you lived in a community where the decisions made were never trying to make just a select group of citizens happy, you will be left with a large number of citizens who are unhappy. Overall, I think freedom of speech really helps in building strong and positive environments in the communities that they live in.

Part 1: Finding Happiness

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Step 1: Find things that you enjoy, whether it’s hiking in the mountains, walking your dog, or just eating your favorite ice cream. I feel that the most important part about being happy is that you need to be selfish, which is odd because being selfish was always considered a “bad” thing growing up. The way I look at it, you need to be 100% completely happy with who you are, and where you are at in life, before you come close to making others happy.

Throughout my life i’ve found a great deal of satisfaction when it comes to making others happy. I’m not sure what it is about making others happy that ignites my happiness, but it’s something i’ve realized over the years. The most common mistake a see within people is that they’re always looking and searching for this human being to bring them happiness. I’m not saying that’s the wrong way to go about it, but you shouldn’t ever have to depend on others for happiness.

Getting older has made me realize that depending on others will bring you to a lot of dead ends. You get let down a lot because you are expecting something from this individual, and when they don’t provide you with what you were expecting, that creates disappointment. When in reality, you’re creating the disappointment yourself because you shouldn’t of ever expected something from them in the first place.

Maintaining and controlling my own happiness has been one of the most beneficial things i’ve done with my life to date, and I mean that. I can’t remember the last time i’ve been let down or been disappointed with someone. People always ask me why I don’t get down or why i’m never upset and that’s not really the case. I’ve just learned the hard way through rough experiences that when you are in full control of your happiness and you are depending on anybody else to bring you happiness, life becomes so much more enjoyable. The best part about not expecting anything from anyone is that when they do provide you with some happiness, it means so much more because it’s unexpected.

Live. Laugh. Learn.

Putting our happiness towards work.

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