Cold Kentucky Morning

Virtually working from the second floor of 111 West Main Street in La Grange, Kentucky today. It’s 25F, windy, and very light snow.

The sounds of the traffic are comforting, and CSX manages to send a train right down the middle of Main Street every hour or so.

It’s a small town, but only an adrenalin junkie would dare call this place “boring.”

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Patch of the Month: Presidential Champion

Last month I talked about the President’s Challenge and the Presidential Active Lifestyle Award (PALA) as being important incentives to changing my thinking and my lifestyle, to getting me off my ass, off of fast food, and onto a much better life.

After earning the PALA four times, I decided to take on a much tougher challenge, the Presidential Champions Award. I managed to make it to the Bronze Award last year, and was starting work on Silver when the program was terminated on August 10.

I’m incredibly proud of this award, which is the highest recognition that I have received for any physical activity since I was in High School. It took me the better part of a year to complete the requirements, and by the time I had completed it, fitness had become a part of my life, rather than something that intimidated me.

Coping

Aaron at school, getting his mind around the devastation.

#thomasfire

#OVSstrong

#OjaiStrong

We will rebuild.

Even better than before.

Thanks and best wishes to the Ventura County Fire Department, the Los Angeles County Fire Department, CalFire, the thousands of firefighters who responded from ten states, and the crew from Lake Dillon, Colorado (WL-8) who walked every inch of the OVS grounds making sure that the fire was “cold out” in and around the campus.

The Aero-Bomberos of Buenaventura

A tiny LZ in city park. Trecherous 45-knot winds. Blowing debris and embers. And still, this guy lands on a dime, takes on fuel, takes on water, and heads off to make water drops on the fire less than two miles from this spot. We sat and watched this scene at Ventura Community Park for probably half an hour. Two helicopters were bombing the fire in this division area, each making a drop every five minutes.

There was not a single firefighter on the lines of the Thomas fire without gigantic cojones, especially on this first morning when it felt like absolutely nothing could stop this hell-beast from burning the entire county, or the state. But the people with the biggest ones of all were the men and women making air drops from helicopters in conditions that kept fixed-wing bombers on the ground.