Tuesday, February 13, 2018

It's Out!

Now available on Amazon, The Education of Stuart McGrath. In paperback or Kindle. Grab a copy today right here




Stuart McGrath, the mayor’s erstwhile assistant, tells the tale of his meteoric rise (don’t meteors fall?) from volunteer campaign worker to chief of staff for third term Mayor Nathan Higgins. With a new degree in political science, Stuart is fascinated by electoral politics and Scranton, and when he gets the opportunity to fuse them by appointment as the high titled but low paid chief of staff to the mayor, his real education begins.
In the style of political satirists Christopher Buckley and P.J. O’Rourke, Gary Ryman looks at small city America as personified by Scranton, Pennsylvania.  Hard scrabble fading coal town, Joe Biden blue collar mecca, home of Dunder Mifflin paper, Scranton is all of these and none of these.  City government is however, a combination soap opera and situation comedy and Stuart is up for best supporting actor. With inspiration from television and newspapers—sources of questionable accuracy at best—Ryman puts his own spin on how the city runs (or doesn’t). 

The Education of Stuart McGrath

Sunday, January 28, 2018

A New Novel On The Way!


I treat announcements like this with the importance of the birth of a child, an engagement, election of a Pope, or a projected retirement date—that one’s looking more important every day. Recognizing that others do not consider such news in the same categories, I humbly ask you to read on anyway, and share with your friends. 
Coming soon—which means hopefully within a month or so—my new novel, The Education of Stuart McGrath. This book enters new ground for me, political satire. While I profess no expertise in the political arena, in fact just the opposite—profound ignorance—I can read a newspaper and view the internet with the best of them. These days, that’s all I needed to inspire this work. 
So what’s it about? Stuart McGrath, the mayor’s erstwhile assistant, tells the tale of his meteoric rise (don’t meteors fall?) from volunteer campaign worker to chief of staff for third term Mayor Nathan Higgins. With a new degree in political science, Stuart is fascinated by electoral politics and Scranton, and when he gets the opportunity to fuse them by appointment as the high titled but low paid chief of staff to the mayor, his real education begins. Hard scrabble fading coal town, Joe Biden blue collar mecca, home of Dunder Mifflin paper, Scranton is all of these and none of these.  City government is however, a combination soap opera and situation comedy and Stuart is up for best supporting actor.
Updates will follow and as soon as I know more about the schedule, so will you. 

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

A Fun Upcoming Event

Will be signing copies of all my books on July 25th at the Circle Drive-In in Dickson City, PA for Christmas in July. The event benefits the Lackawanna Historical Society.

Monday, April 24, 2017

The Third Chief Ryman

Incredibly proud that Michael Ryman has become the third generation of Ryman's to wear the white coat and helmet of a chief officer. He is now a certified chief officer in Montgomery County, MD at Station 15-Burtonsville. Congratulations Chief 715B. Your grandfather is smiling down from heaven at you today.


Saturday, April 1, 2017

HUGE Sale--SCBA Cylinder Valve Insertion Tool

What an incredible deal. Painted red for fire service use--only $999.95 down from the list price of $1250.00
(Gray version available for $49.85)

And yes....it is April Fools Day.  (Actually a wine bottle corker).


Sunday, March 12, 2017

Planning Your Area Training Weekend: A Satirical Guide...

A chief was tasked by his areas mutual aid association with obtaining course information from two of the myriad private training companies out there to put on a weekend program. He sent me the email string resulting. It’s entertaining.  Especially since everyone kept hitting “reply all.”  I have edited names to protect the guilty. 
 

From: RuralChief@ Heatmail.net

Gentlemen, our local association has settled on your two companies as the finalists to provide our first annual Hot Dogs and Hydrants Training Weekend training, which we hope will become the region’s top event. We know it will cost us a few bucks a head, but think it will be worth bringing your experts in. If you could provide some information on the programs you’d propose and your instructors, it would be appreciated.   

From: ______@heavyfireshowingtraining.org

Our kick ass hands on programs are second to none.  For your folks we’re thinking one of our heavy duty firefighter survival classes would be helpful. Our experienced staff which includes retired captains and lieutenants from busy departments across the country, including the requisite FDNY officer all training companies are required to have.  We’ll teach your personnel sixteen ways to bail out of windows including the head first ladder slide with half gainer. No one else in the industry knows these techniques. For only $450 per head it’s a great value.  
 
From ______@throughtherooffiretraining.com

The firefighter survival stuff is so yesterday. You need a company like ours who can give you the latest in research based suppression. We’ll teach you how to use drones to read the smoke and determine the fire flow path (our drones—which we can provide to your departments for only $8500 per unit plus shipping and handling) are painted LaFrance red and use infrared technology.  Our instructors have adopted every new bit of terminology which will enhance your student experience. For example, we’ll teach your personnel to say “transitional attack” instead of “hit it hard from the yard” like you have for 40 years and much more.  We’ll use our ‘Hefti-house’ to model live fire behavior at small scale in your parking lot.  We even have mini firefighters and ladders. Our program runs only $400 per student, a fantastic value.

 
From: _____@heavyfireshowingtraining.org  

We know you don’t want any of that doll house crap the other guys are selling. Our instructors are all highly experienced. Each one of them has burned up at least three leather helmets in local burn buildings. They all have the standard large droopy mustache or Fu Manchu; mandatory for tough firefighters.
 

From: ______@throughtherooffiretraining.com

How about tattoos? Our guys all have at least half sleeves with flames and Maltese crosses. Nothing says excellence in fire instruction like tattoos. By the way, how about an occupancy based session?  We offer the only program in the country on Mosque firefighting. Our head instructor, Captain Don “Hydrant” Outlet is highly experienced with this occupancy having run over four automatic alarms at one. Only $350 per head. 
 

From: _____@heavyfireshowingtraining.org  

Our guys and gals (we offer female instructors) have tats and mustaches. I bet there isn’t a Mosque within a hundred miles of your area. You want specialized occupancy, can do. We do the only program in the country on backyard gazebo fires.  Only $300 per head. Talk about a challenging building type. The flow path characteristics are like no other.  If you get on scene before it has collapsed, our training will give you the tactics needed for an aggressive interior attack at this tough, challenging, building type. 

 
From: ______@throughtherooffiretraining.com

Do they teach sheds too? You want specialized and unique?  We got it. Garbage trucks. These bad boys are incredibly dangerous and require a full haz-mat assignment, particularly for decontamination afterward. The disposable diaper residue commonly present is highly toxic and needs careful handling and our training gives you the tools. We’ll teach the use of CAFS for vapor suppression and will do this as an add on to our Mosque program for only an additional $50 per head. 

 From: RuralChief@heatmail.net

Gentlemen, thanks for the information and proposals. Since our budget is only $15 per head, after careful consideration, we’ve decided we’re just going to run a fire police class.  One of our local guys, Charlie, will teach it if we feed him lunch.  Charlie weighs in at around 375, so lunch for him won’t be cheap. Perhaps when our budget is bigger or somebody builds a Mosque or we have a major increase in gazebo fires, we’ll get back in touch….