Ripping Through the Mountains is so Fun

Sorry I forgot the GoPro today, but I got my first flight where we really went after it and it was so much fun.

The terrain here is just so diverse and beautiful and I love it.  I seriously could go fly somewhere new everyday here and never get bored.  

With that being said, I have lost a lot of my flying stamina so I am exhausted and ready for bed.  I’m so happy to be here.


Enjoying My New Home

I have already written about how much I love living in Reno.  It is so wonderful to be back in the mountains.  I have also mentioned how awesome the disc golf is here.

I went to a new course today that is every bit as good as the other one I usually go too, if not better.  It certainly was more challenging, but I look forward to having that push me to do better.

My favorite part was the awesome view from the course as it was set in the hills and had an amazing view of the whole area.

I am just so happy living in this picturesque area.

Waking Up to Snow

Ever since I was a kid I have always loved waking up to snow.  When I was younger it was because I was hoping they would cancel school, though more often than not it just meant I had to walk to school in it.

Now that I am older I just hope that it means I don’t have to go to work.  Okay, not most of the time, but still some of the time.  I have just always loved the peacefulness of snow in the morning.  

I remember waking up early to go to seminary and being the first person to drive down the roads.  Everything was covered in white and seemingly silent.  I almost felt bad breaking the silence and purity with the sound of my parents car.

Waking up to snow this morning was just one more reminder of how happy I am to be living here.

I Really Enjoy the Arts

I’ve never been a very artistic guy.  I was in band through Junior high and high school, and I was okay at it, but it was apparently it was never going to be my claim to fame.

Even before that though I had always had a great appreciation for the arts.  It is mostly music, but I also really love plays and and dance, and other forms of art as well.  I’ve never been a huge art museum kind of guy but I do appreciate some of that too.

It has been a really long time since we have really had the chance celebrate to go to many artistic events, so when my Queenie found a Christmas concert with the Reno Philharmonic Orchestra she just bought the tickets and told me we were going.  Which is fine by me.

We ended up taking the two girls and they both seemed to really enjoy it, though Hannah definitely got worn out.  It was just such a fun, entertaining night.  Not only did they have a great Orchestra, they had a choir, hand bells, tap dancers, a dog show, and a lovely soloist.

The highlight for me though was the conductor.  He was dancing all over his platform, and even sang the Grinch song.  You could just tell he loves what he does and really puts his heart into it.  It is no wonder that his kids orchestras here in Reno have over 300 members, and they are adding two more to the three they already have.

It really makes me sad that the arts are slowly leaving schools in favor of chasing test scores.  I hope that we don’t realize to late that the arts are what make life beautiful and colorful.

To quote Robin Williams in Dead Poet’s Society, or at least close, “Math, science, law, medicine, these are all necessary to sustain life.  But, art, music beauty, these are what we sustain life for.”

I really hope my kids appreciate the value of art in their lives.  You don’t have to love all of the different forms, but it is important to understand and appreciate the value that they are to life.

Feeling Useful Makes Life so Much Better

The last couple months has pretty really tough on me because I haven’t felt real useful at work.  I couldn’t fly and I didn’t have access to computer drives and such to be able to do other work.  

But this last week has been so much better.  Obviously I got to fly, which makes everything in life better, but I also have been more useful in some of the other admin stuff around the squadron.

I always prefer flying to paperwork, but I also understand the importance of paperwork for the smooth flow of such an operation.  I feel like I have actually earned my paycheck this week, which is not something I have been able to say for awhile.

It is always nice to get paid so you can take care of your family, but it is so much more fulfilling when you feel like you actually earned it.

I’m Grateful for My Life

It is amazing how close the line between happiness and misery is.  Maybe what is even more amazing is how much of it is a choice.

Sure I have struggles in my life.  I just got my first paycheck in a month and a half, I’m probably going to have to get a new roof in the spring, I have son with seizures and who knows what other issues because even though he is four, he can’t communicate with us.


I have been able to pay my bills, I love where I live, and I have a family who loves me dearly.  I have the most amazing wife he loves me despite my crazy work life and schedule.  She trusted me that this move would be best for our family despite her very legitimate fears.  

I have a daughter that fights through painful feet because she would rather play hard that sit and feel sorry for herself.  I have a son that pretends he is super rough and tumble, but has one of the most tender hearts I know.  I have a sweet little daughter that just loves spending time with me even if it is just snuggling on a couch.  I have a son that 7 months ago had never met an American, cried for an hour at bedtime every night, and could barely walk, but now he runs after his siblings, smiles for most people, and will just melt your heart after he drives you nuts.

I stopped really caring about my birthdays probably about 20 years ago when I got my license since that was the last real beneficial age change in my life, but I will always be grateful for days that remind me just how blessed I am.  I don’t know what I did to deserve any of it, but I will always be grateful for all of it.

One PT Test Closer to Retirement

Like many things in life, exercise is one of those things that loses its appeal when I am forced to do it.  Such is the case with the PT test that I am required to do for the Air Force.

Mostly I just hate the run because I have never been a strong distance runner.  There was a time that I was a fine sprinter so things like playing basketball or soccer I have always enjoyed, though as I get older I notice that I have lost a step.

Today was my PT test and I am super glad that I passed.  I actually am really proud of myself because I had the best run time I have had in years.  I was actually quite surprised since I am about 4,000 feet higher in altitude here than I was in Japan.  

The only thing I could think was the drier air and that it is a little cooler.  I also think it helps that I am quite happy here.  I got to fly last night which made me even happier, and I am just generally happy.

I really think that positive attitude had an impact and I look forward to doing even better next time.