Posts in Category: Writings

Turn Off The Lights

DSC_0464, originally uploaded by dziner.

Dear Harrisburg,

Will the last person out please turn off the lights? Thank you.


Centralia, Pennsylvania

Over the weekend I had a chance to visit Centralia, Pennsylvania with some friends. Centralia is a town in the coal region of Pennsylvania has had a coal fire burning below it since 1962. Most of the residents have moved but some still remain.

More info on Centralia can be found through David Dekok’s website and books on the disaster. Wikipedia also has information on Centralia, Pennsylvania.

Interesting notes via Wikipedia:

  • The town of Centralia was featured in the episode “Engineering Disasters #7” of Modern Marvels on the History Channel.
  • The town was featured in episode #59, “Fire”, of the radio program This American Life.
  • The town was featured in an episode of Life After People: The Series on the History Channel. It was used as an example of what would happen to a town after twenty five years without humans.
  • The town is the inspiration for the 1991 cult film Nothing But Trouble, written by Dan Aykroyd.
  • In the 2006 horror film Silent Hill, the town of Silent Hill has been abandoned due to a prolonged mine fire, which writer Roger Avary says was inspired by Centralia.[16] Aspects of this are shown throughout the movie, such as characters wandering through the misty version of Silent Hill wearing mining gear.


Vent pipes that vent gases from the mine fire burning below dot the landscape.


Route 61.


Politics in Centralia, Pennsylvania. A sign from the residents of Centralia to the Governor or Pennsylvania.


Cemetery headstones visible beyond a wasteland landscape.


S S Peter-Paul North Cemetery.


St. Ignatius Cemetery.


Old Route 61 which is abandoned and falling apart due to the coal fire burning beneath it.


The coal fire burning below old Route 61 has destroyed the road surface.


This pit outside the cemetery contains a crack that is smoking from the coal fire still burning since 1962.

Motorcycle Accident Follow-up

This week I met with Scott Cooper of the law firm Schmidt Kramer in Harrisburg to discuss my accident. One of my concerns was that my auto insurance policy states that I have a limited tort option. Scott informed me that since I was on a motorcycle that I have full tort options because the motorcycle is not considered a passenger vehicle. Scott was very friendly and cleared up many concerns that I had.

I have since delivered several pay stubs, photos of my motorcycle, a photo of my back injury, the estimate of repairs needed for the motorcycle, my health plan book, and signed off forms so that he can contact my family doctor, Hershey Medical Center, my insurance company, and my employer. Two things that I am still working on is an itemized list of the motorcycle gear I was wearing at the time of the accident with a replacement cost, and a follow up appointment with a specialist to look at my rib injury. Even though I was told nothing was broken, I continue to have pain in my ribs on my right side. This prevents me from lifting anything, pulling any doors open with my right hand, sleeping on my right side, and hurts like hell when I sneeze.

The crew at Velocity have been wonderful to deal with. They picked up my motorcycle at the scene of the accident, have gone over the motorcycle with a fine-tooth comb to make sure they identify all parts of the bike that need repaired, and have helped my itemize my list of gear and prices.

I have not heard anything from my insurance provider (Erie) except the day of the accident when they called me to inform me that they would not cover any of my medical expenses. How thoughtful and perfect timing of them. Nor have I heard from the other parties insurance company.