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Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear.
~ Ambrose Redmoon
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The greatest of all mistakes is to do nothing because you can only do a little. Do what you can. - Sydney Smith
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It is our attitude at the beginning of a difficult task which, more than anything else, will affect its successful outcome. - William James


Goals Completed: 10
Goals in Progress: 36

After getting home from Burning Man, I'm beginning to socialize with other people - although they've all been people who were there. I'm having trouble today with connecting words and thoughts together, and I spent all of yesterday in bed sleeping, and not doing anything healthy or productive.

Today I have managed to perform a few chores, gotten my flu shot, and activated my new Fitbit. Laundry is mostly done, I've checked in with the Rangers and ESD, I've taken care of a few bills, gotten the work crises resolved, and cleared some of the mail. Maybe the gym tonight, or tomorrow. Tomorrow: taking care of the vehicles, and clearing the bed of all of the Burning Man gear.
grim23: (Darker)
There's no such thing as 'zero risk'.- William Driver


Goals Completed: 10
Goals in Progress: 36

So much has happened since my last update. First, however, please know that some bad things happened at Burning Man this year (please see the news reports) and that every Black Rock City Ranger and Emergency Services Firefighter that was on the playa is hurting right now and needs some gentle support, including myself. I'm still processing and decompressing, and I'm a bit raw.

On the Body and Mind sections of my 101 list, I did not run the Spartan. I was not fit enough to safely complete the course. I've not been to the gym in weeks. The only progress was my yearly Haiku of Sadness that I left in the Temple. There was so much loss this year. Seven Rangers, several to suicide, a President of the Bavarian Illuminati Motorcycle Club I patched in, friends and acquaintances, and coworkers at the Burn were lost to tragic and unnecessary death.

The Zombie section: I towed the Whorse to the Burn, and used her pre-Burn, but I was not allowed to use her for Ranger Intercept - because I needed to ride with other Rangers and complete the mentoring process. I rode five shifts (with a double after the chaos of Burn Night), vectored and communicated well, learned and improved, and (I believe) completed the mentoring process. I'll find out in a couple of months, once the Ranger Intercept Cadre has met, if I'm allowed to drive the Whorse next year as a full Ranger Intercept Ranger asset. The Whorse will get stored and more work will be done to clean and repair and resupply her over the winter while I wait.

Travel/Adventure section: I've already started the process to decompress from Burning Man 2017 - we briefly stopped at the healing waters of Summer Lake Hot Springs for a soak, and I'm back safely and doing the things to clean and repack all my gear, a very Zen and calming process. The Universe is providing the things I need to heal and keep going - no worries. I may just be a bit angry and sad for awhile.
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"Do not make major decisions from a place of fear or desperation." - Therapist Tiffany Louise, Uncharted Supply Company
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Others can stop you temporarily, but only you can do it permanently.- Bob Moawad


Goals Completed: 8
Goals in Progress: 38

This is the first chance I've had to update my journal in a while. I have just gotten back from an almost two-week roadtrip going across almost all of the country with a friend, helping her move all of her possessions that she had in Michigan to Portland. I have reorganized and filled in a lot of the gaps on my 101/1001 list, and my list is now pretty full.

As a result of the roadtrip, I haven't been to the gym in more than two weeks and have engaged in no physical training at all. This raises some concerns as to my ability to run the Spartan this year. Also, other than some mindful eating practices, I haven't done any mind/spiritual practices. Also, there's been no maintenance tasks, nor preparation for the Zombies, other than some work on the Whorse (still at the mechanic's shop).

However, in the Travel/Adventure section, there's been some substantial progress. We visited the Grosse Pointe lighthouse, a freshwater lighthouse near Chicago, and we visited the St. Louis Arch and the Old Courthouse (and earned the Junior Ranger badge) for the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial site. I hadn't realized that this courthouse was where the Dred Scott Case was heard, and I enjoyed the exhibits and the history. We found a lot of very old geocaches, including the oldest remaining geocache in nine different states (Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio, Missouri, Kentucky, Kansas, Colorado, and Nevada). We found the largest ball of twine in the US, and well as the Geographical and Geodetic Centers of the US, in Kansas. We visited Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument and Arches National Park (earning more Junior Ranger badges!), and we spent time with friends and family throughout the trip - although I never heard back from my brother in California and wasn't able to visit him.

Now, I've got a lot of catch up to do before I leave for Burning Man. The decking on Ol' Number 3, training for the Spartan, the Whorse, and a thousand other tasks are calling my name. *smile*
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Renewal is the principle - and the process - that empowers us to move on an upward spiral of growth and change, of continuous improvement. - Stephen R. Covey
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Most people don't aim too high and miss, they aim too low and hit. - Bob Moawad


Goals Completed: 4
Goals in Progress: 38

This morning I'm sitting in another hotel ballroom getting more CEUs, and I'll be here for the next three days at the Northwest Institute of Addiction Studies Conference. After attending this conference, I'll have gotten all of the required continuing education required to maintain my licensure for this year. This morning I sat zazen as well, having gotten up early to drive a friend to the airport.

I have signed up for three overnight shifts on an Engine for the Black Rock Volunteer Fire Department, and four shifts for Ranger Intercept. This weekend I'll be getting my yearly basic Black Rock Ranger Training, and then I'll be set to hit the playa ready to go.

This last week I, with a lot of help, did get the deck and the top of Ol' Number 3 derusted and painted, and ready for new decking. She looks a lot less weathered and is a lot more protected. I'm going to put new composite decking on top of the bus, a lighter and stronger alternative to her old sun-degraded wood, when I have both the time and money. This will allow a better ham radio antenna, and solar panels, and better storage options.

The Whorse is still in the mechanic's bay. She hasn't yet been cleared to even drive to Burning Man, much less operate during the event. Whether or not the Whorse can actually get to the playa, I'll sign up for Ranger Intercept shifts and get the training and mentoring for next year.

My monthly haiku:

unrelenting sun
water in wooden cracks
crumbling rusty deck

a life of training
constant learning and review
part of the Way

Showing up, aware -
Having a plan, useful goals;
Manifestation!
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Leader in its most important sense means being the agent of your own life, influencing the things you care about most in the world to make it a richer life. - Stewart Friedman


Goals Completed: 4
Goals in Progress: 36

I'm continuing my practice of mindful eating this week, and also working on getting more and better sleep patterns. There is no Tai Chi training this week, as the Sifu is on vacation. I haven't been to the gym this week, but I plan to go this weekend.

I'm typing this as I sit in a hotel ballroom, getting some more CEUs to meet my yearly requirements. I've also completed another Wildland Firefighter class last week, a repeat of a class I completed during the Firefighter Academy, and that should complete all of the bureaucratic requirements for Oregon Wildland Firefighter certification.

I've not been slacking, however. Ol' Number 3 has gotten all of her old degraded and unsafe wooden decking removed, and the top of the bus cleaned. Today we should get most of the old paint and rust removed on the steel frame, and the bus cleaned again for repainting.

The Whorse is still in the mechanic's bay getting a new alternator, but she looks like she'll be ready for Burning Man. I'm working on the shifts and documentation for both Ranger Intercept and the Black Rock Volunteer Fire Department, and I hope to get everything completed by next week.
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Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now. - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
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For the 4th of July, I showed up early in my Class B uniform at the Fire Department for a long day of volunteering.

I was initially traffic control for the parade, and hitched a ride at the end of the parade on the Water Tender and threw candy for the kids. After a very short break, we all deployed again to the local park for an amateur logging competition and then again for a professional logging competition. I've never seen a logging competition before, and the skill for the athletes cutting, chopping, climbing, balancing and log rolling was pretty amazing. *smile* All day long, I kept getting lessons and orientations into everything from fire extinguishers to water rescue as we set up and prepared for different activities.

After a quick BBQ back at the station, we deployed for the fireworks show. We set up a progressive hose lay, got into our turnouts, met with the pyrotechnics crew, and checked our emergency victim extraction gear. Then I got the best view of a fireworks show that I have ever seen, less than 100 feet from the launch platform. *grin* We were so close that some of the spent cardboard tubes were landing on us. Afterwards, I learned about emergency scene lighting on the new engine, pulled and rolled hose, and we got back to the station after 11pm. Once everything was secured and reset, I got multiple sign-offs on my Firefighter I taskbook, and finally got home about 1:30am.

We were very busy, and did a lot of protection of the community. We were ready for a lot of disasters and rescues, and we worked hard. We also got to be outside in the sun and we got a lot of practice, as well as see and experience a pretty fun 4th.
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If you really want something, work hard, take advantage of opportunities, and never, ever give up. You will find a way. - Jane Goodall


Goals Completed: 4
Goals in Progress: 33

I've been in the gym a bit more this week, and gotten my running in to train for the 10K in two days. I've also been training Tai Chi the last two weeks, and we're starting to learn some of the Bagua and Eight Palm methodology in addition to the usual forms. After the 10K, my focus turns toward the Spartan Run in August, so I expect to engage in even more strength training, pushups, situps, and burpees (a new goal).

Although there's not been much progress with Mind since the last update, this morning I'm at another CEU training for cultural competency, working on my yearly required CEUs. I've added a new goal of engaging in a only healthy food diet for a month. In the Zombie section, I managed to complete my mandatory yearly training for the fire service, and also managed to get more sign-offs in my taskbook towards my certification. I'll be back for the 4th of July in uniform, and planning on being back again next week for yet more training.

Travel and Adventure also has new goals of getting the Whorse back on her feet, and getting myself trained, mentored, and approved for driving her on-playa at Burning Man. I've also added another geocaching goal of finding the 100 oldest surviving caches in Oregon. I've been to a great concert to see REO Speedwagon, and I hope to work on some of the three geocaches left to complete the Oregon History Challenge on Sunday with a good hike.
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Train for Life. Make every rep count. Be prepared. - Nick Koumalatsos
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Life is in the here and now. Either we meet it, we live it - or we miss it. - Vilama Thakar


Goals Completed: 4
Goals in Progress: 33

I've been really busy working on things on my list, in pretty much all categories.

In Body, I've gotten a good week of Tai Chi training in around all the other things, and even gotten to the gym a couple of times and ran a fun run 5K. I've started longer runs in preparation for the 10K next weekend, and I expect that it'll be a good run. In Mind, I did get my formal zazen practice for the month completed, and I'm working on another book. In Maintenance, I did complete my First Aid/CPR course, and I've seen my new dentist (no cavities!). In Zombie Preparation, I've continued to clear out and upgrade both Ol' Number 3, and prepare for deck work up top.

Travel and Adventure, though, is the main focus of this post. I took a roadtrip to Utah via southern Idaho and found a few really old geocaches that let me complete the hard part of my grid of finding at least one geocache placed for every month since geocaching started (called the Jasmer Challenge), a goal that's been on my list since the second list. I also worked on my goal of finding the oldest caches in new states/countries that I haven't already found, and got two. Additionally, I found an old Oregon geocache, way at the eastern part of the state, that was part of the Oregon History Challenge.

The main reason for the roadtrip, though, was to buy a Black Rock Ranger Jeep, a Burning Man icon called the Whorse, that needed some love and attention. The Jeep has been dropped off at my mechanic and is being worked on to see if it'll be ready for the playa this year. She needs some love and elbow grease and some faith, at this point. The Jeep comes with a hard top, a bikini top, some custom parts, a tow package, and a ham radio. *smile*

Some hiaku:

sweat blinding my eyes
8am is still too hot
got to run earlier

Warm sunny days
being outside versus the gym
training at odd times!

The Jasmer Challenge,
memories of the journeys -
Well worth the time!
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There are no contests in the Art of Peace. A true warrior is invincible because he or she contests with nothing. Defeat means to defeat the mind of contention that we harbor within. - Morihei Ueshiba


Goals Completed: 3
Goals in Progress: 32

I haven't been in the gym or at Tai Chi classes like I'd like to, but I have maintained some training. I will be running another 5K tomorrow, a fun run, that I will use to kick off a more intense daily training regimen and start preparing for the Spartan Race this August. Tomorrow I will also be getting in my monthly formal zazen, and then driving north to get my bi-annual First Aid/CPR training. Not much progress with my Body, Mind or Maintenance sections, other than that.

However, I have done a bit with Zombie Preparations. *smile* I have completed satisfactorily another tactical weapons course, and I have learned that I have a lot of practice in store for me before I take another course. I also did fairly well with being a SOAK Fire Safety Lieutenant, mostly because my fire attack line was experienced, well-trained and competent. I have finished all of the coursework and practical skills tests to become certified as a Wildland Firefighter Type 2, and that actually allows me to work as a Firefighter at Burning Man this year.

Although I haven't made any progress with the Travel/Adventure section, I intend on a good roadtrip next weekend to score a TopSekret Awesome Thing, as well as get at least one major geocaching goal completed.
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You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality. - Ayn Rand
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It is futile to judge a kind deed by its motives. Kindness can become its own motive. We are made kind by being kind. - Eric Hoffer


Goals Completed: 2
Goals in Progress: 32

I've not been in the gym much, or focused on mindful eating practices, since my last update. The theme for the month of May is training, mostly in the Zombie/Disaster Preparation section. I'm scheduled to get another tactical course next week, I've spent two days at the Red Cross Disaster Academy, learning about integrated condolence teams for Disaster Mental Health, and also how to be a part of a Wildfire Incident Command Post, and also to keep up with my yearly Red Cross certifications. I've also spent two days of intense mentally and physically demanding training towards completing my Wildland Firefighter Certification Type 2.

This next weekend, I'll be using what I just learned as a Lieutenant/Shift Lead for the SOAK Fire department - hopefully just as practice, and not for a Wildfire. The weekend after that, I should have two more days to finish certifying for my Wildland Firefighter 2, and complete that goal. This will mean that I'm fully trained to work on a fire line and to operate as a resource.

I'm not completely neglecting my Travel/Adventure section, however. While I was at the Red Cross Disaster Academy this year, I was able to visit the Oregon State Hospital Museum of Mental Health as part of the academy, a very interesting museum on the hospital grounds. I also have at least one roadtrip scheduled where I might get a couple of geocaching goals completed.

This week I'm going to be getting back into the gym, restarting my mindful eating practice, and going to SOAK. I've got a lot of chores, packing, and preparation to do. *smile*
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Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated. - CONFUCIUS
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A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself. - Joseph Campbell


Goals Completed: 2
Goals in Progress: 31

I've been training hard in the gym, still working on strength and conditioning my bicep, and I'm still making small gains with chest and arms. I trained 3 weeks of 4 with Sifu with all of the Tai Chi forms. I still haven't followed up with a hard-style school as of yet. I continue with a mindful eating practice, and I am learning about what is in my food and beginning to adjust my diet accordingly.

The ShivaShakti Puja was completed, relatively successfully. Despite rain and cold, and various small changes and chaos in the original plans, and no real practice, we appeared to create a lot of positive energy, overcoming obstacles over and over. The Temple Crew was all a well-functioning team, even though some of us barely or didn't know each other before this weekend. Every one of us had shifts in energy, and cut away energy that didn't serve - some more noticeably than others. The Temple Wings, my own dikini, Lakshmi and Ganesha, and of course Shakti, were all complete rock stars, and manifested their own power and grace the whole festival.

This week I also started and finished a book I was called to read, Epic Survival, by Matt Graham. His book is about learning what the human body and mind do when pushed to the brink, building awareness, developing our senses, improving our physicality, and finding balance. His tenets: (1) Set your own path, and constantly continue to learn; (2) Be physically in control, gaining strength in running, swimming, and climbing without competing with nature; (3) Know yourself, slowing down and observing, and learning by doing; (4) Deal with danger, by considering different ways and respecting danger without fear; and (5) Learn from others, without worrying about failure. A very good book for me at this juncture in my life.



Although rain threatened,
Ganesha with Shiva,
protects the Temple

Shiva, with flowers
arriving just in time
sooths Shakti's fear

Ffynnon at Beltane -
magic happens anyway,
despite cold and rain
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Stop worrying about what's going on around you. Focus on what's in front of you. - Nick Koumalatsos


Goals Completed: 2
Goals in Progress: 30

I'm still striving to get more strength training in at the gym, working on my chest, back and arms. I'm also trying to keep up on my cardio because I'm training for my next serious run, a 10K, on June 1st.

Puja meditation and practices are going generally well, and I'm in the third week of four (Bhoga to Shakti). I've also sat zazen this morning at the Heart of Wisdom Temple, and finished this month's haiku. I've continued a mindful practice this week with my eating habits, and I'm currently restricting my caloric intake to 1500 calories daily.

No maintenance tasks or Zombie preparations have happened, although I did take advantage of a couple of sales and improved my gear loadout. Not much travel or adventure planned for this weekend, either - geoevents, setting up the Tantric Temple, and SOAK meetings will take up most of my time.


shoulders and chest -
pleasant aches well soothed
hot, quiet waters

postworkout hunger,
not many calories left
time for more oatmeal

new responder bag,
new boots and carry tools?
20 percent sale!
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