Who Said Brewer’s Blackbirds Could Sing?

#FIRSTWORLDPROBLEMS.Here’s a quick outfit photo – my hair is getting long, even after the terrible haircut I received in Guam. Oh, I didn’t tell you about that? I went to the largest & poshest hotel’s spa in Guam, for a hair trim. A half hour and 5 inches off my hair later, I was leaving.

“Just a trim, please.”
“Oh no, you get haircut.”

VOLUNTEER. — A couple weeks ago, my squadron from work volunteered to do some Minot trash cleanup. Basically, because of the Minot Flood 2011, there is still so much debris in the river, in once-exclusive neighborhoods, and parks. Those volunteers that usually pick up trash are few and far between due to displacement from the flood waters. We focused on Oak Park, a beautiful neighborhood filled with unique turn-of-the-century and Depression-era homes. The flood had deposited all the trash that had floated downstream at an embankment, blocking a water culvert under a bridge. About fifteen guys were balancing on the trash to pull it out, piece by piece, which took about two hours. Devin even went so far as to channel Huck Finn and use a discarded door as a raft and a 2×4 as a paddle. He glided by and collected trash bags onto his sweet pontoon. Devin’s on the left down there, and Larry’s in the green jacket. I took the ladies to clean up various trash in the neighborhood, including rotting sandbags and other lovely decomposing jewels (I am on the right in the black and white photo). Regardless, we spent four hours and made a huge impact. A year later and these homes are still in devastation. It’s very sad. On the 23rd, Larry and I are running a 5k for Flood Charity, but Larry doesn’t know it yet. Dat’s a bingo!

SERE LITE. — So it was that time, time to refresh my military survival skills. We drove to the Canadian border and set up our training area in the Turtle Mountains… I suppose 2,900′ in elevation is a mountain for North Dakota. After a few hours of classroom instruction, we headed out to practice fire craft, making a shelter (that we got to sleep in that night, joy of joys), day & night land navigation, shot a shit ton of flares and parachute signals, practiced some cool classified stuff, and of course, enemy evasion through the woods. We found a huge leg bone in the woods – I sure hope it wasn’t human… It was rainy and cold (40°F) for the duration, just like my first survival training in 2009 (0°F and rainy). Guess some things never change! We spent the night in our lean-to shelters and generally froze our asses off. Sure beats sitting at a desk at work, though!

LA FAMILIA. — For Memorial Day, Larry’s mom and her gentleman friend ventured over by car from Seattle, Washington. Quite a haul, I must say. As they rolled into town, the weather became overcast and chilly. The sun didn’t come out the entire time they were visiting! We even drove to Canada to see the Peace Gardens – which were overgrown and sad in its winterish state. But, of course, the weather cleared the day they left to sunshine. Figures!

I’m heading down to North Carolina to welcome the birth of my first nephew over Fourth of July. It’s our family’s first boy (“May your first child be a masculine child”) and I’m super excited to see him. He will be about two weeks old by then. I will get to visit with my parents and my sister & her husband (whom I never see).

HEALTHY BODY, SICK MIND. — Today I am going to try my hand at grinding my own wheat berries to make flour for baking. Larry gave me a grain grinder for my (upcoming) birthday and I want to give it a go. Speaking of domestic, I planted a small vegetable garden in the back yard using 100-year old bricks I found in our yard. I have lettuce, carrots and tomatoes; the squirrels dug up my beans, the bastards. Today I am planting spaghetti squash. If you’re interested (feign like you are), the bread recipe can be found here. If you need grain & supplies, Honeyville Grain has flat shipping for $4.49 per order.

For B-52 ops: Finished my latest checkride. We just finished an exercise and are looking to another one this next week – can we say “Alert Shack”? Can’t wait… Oh, and while studying for my checkride, I thought you might enjoy the sweet retro illustrations in the aircraft manual. 1950s, what?

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