I think you said it best when you said a little experience in an engine helps. Also the words in your post about the extreme heat is the key to opening the nozzle. Yea i agree, no water on smoke, UNLESS, it is the "black fire" with extreme heat that should be cooled in efforts to complete the push into the fire area/room or to hold up for ventilation. The penciling deal is crap. I am a Swede instructor for flashover in the can and we stress "PAY NO ATTENTION TO THE NOZZLE TECHNIQUES USED IN THE SIMULATOR"!!!!!!!!! I was taught to pencil the hallway when trying to make the fire room, but if you are close enough and encountering enough heat to open the nozzle then keep it open, work it properly and you just might be close enough to make the knock!!!! I feel the penciling deal causes the line to stop a lot of times. As you say Ray, "if the line isn't moving its losing". I feel we don't stress the importance of moving a line while flowing water. Obviously if you are encountering justifiable heat to open the line, but you are not seeing the flame this is not where the push stops. So in efforts to be successful and make the room, flow the line, move in, and put the water on the fuel. Penciling in my opinion is slowing the push and allowing conditions to worsen. Watch the video, as they are penciling there are no affects on the seated fire.
Oh yea, I forgot the foggies, if you like the fog why is stream set to straight??
Dont you worry about the thermal balance brother? Ive been warned by some real experts about disrupting the thermal balance. Do you share these concerns?