One more time

October 27, 2017

Ever since we saw ‘Only the Brave’ at the local cinema I have
been searching for the right description of said movie. So
imagine my surprise opening todays newspaper when on page
two the answer was revealed to me.

The movie reviewer for the paper said it best in the header-
‘Brave’ is a war movie: Firefighters vs Wildfires. That was
connection I had been searching for. Certain occupations by the
nature of the risks involved develop into a brotherhood like
no other.

As she mentions the movie highlights how team work and hard
physical labor, along with individual strengths and weaknesses,
and loyalty make a good war film. This movie has all that and
then some. What takes it to a different level is the fact that
the story is true.

What you see happened in the Granite Mountain, Yarnell fire
near Prescott, Arizona in 2013. Hotshot groups from around the
country have endorsed this movie with statements like “that’s
our life”. If you decide to see it you may want to bring a few
tissues or a clean hanky as it will get to you.

The strange part is that the wife and I usually disagree with
this ladys reviews, but after reading this one agree 100%.
It is rated PG-13 for sexual situations, foul language, and the
intensity of the firefighting. Personally, I’ve heard and seen
worse on TV.

Enjoy our Friday as the weekend begins and the trick or
treaters will knocking before we know it. Since I ate all the
leftover pizza earlier I need to get more caffeine in my body.
Comments are always welcome.

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We know it’s late…

October 20, 2017

but I wanted to wait until after we saw “Only the Brave” at our
local super cinema. Since I’m not big on movie theaters we’ll
start with the fact that I saw “Love Story” at a Drive-In when
it came out, next came “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s
Stone” in 2001, and today “Only the Brave”. So I’m probably
good now until around 2040 if the good Lord lets me hang around
that long.

As for this movie, all I can say is WOW! I was a little
handicapped knowing something of the tale before we walked in
but was still impressed. The move stayed close to all I’ve read
written by Amanda Marsh and others, with some creative add-ons,
that rang true to us.

What did surprise me was the sound. Everything seemed
amplified to one good ear including helicopters flying over
and fire trucks racing to the fire. And I’m glad we didn’t go
see it in 3-D. Seeing a full sized bear, on fire, running out
of the screen and into my lap would have been a bit much.

We went to the matinee, paid over $10 for an iced tea and a
Coke, and saw more trailers for upcoming attractions than I
thought possible. It was still worth the hassle of having the lady who follows me around dragging me to the theater.

The only word that comes to mind after this movie is ‘real’.
It felt right. The lady who follows me had her eyes start
leaking at certain points. Josh Brolin played Eric Marsh and
Jennifer Connelly played Amanda Marsh, and the entire cast
just seemed to make the movie better.

Can’t say I’d go again as that’s not my thing yet have no
regrets seeing it today. Now we wait until it comes to the
small screen to see how much that changes the movie. Enjoy
our Friday as I know we will. I’m stocked up on pizza,
Snicker’s, and critter food so we’re good.
Comments are always welcome.


October 17, 2017

Since the morning chores are done this looked like a good time
to get a post done. The feral kittens are letting me get a
little closer, the birds are fed, and I’ve had just enough
coffee to be semi-coherant.

The California fires have been in the news lately, not because
it was bigger than others, but because of the casualties and
property losses. And it amazes me that people are looking for
the cause of said fires instead of answers on how to avoid the
next one.

Wildland fires have been around since we’ve had wildlands and
there are even controlled burns at times to cut back on excess
vegetation. But what would be wrong with putting in fire breaks
before the fires start? Environmentalists won’t like this idea,
but if cutting down some trees now could stop fires later,
why not?

You may remember when lumber companies cleared land to make
lumber to build our houses before all the protests and new laws
to save the three toed frog or whatever. With millions of acres
of wildland there are places this could be done without ruining
the natural beauty of our wildlands.

And other natural firebreaks have been removed by either a
government agency or our need to live closer to nature. We no
longer see much bare land around the forests as fear of erosion
fueled some to fill the bald patches with plants while builders
are more than happy to erect homes on the edge of said forests
for those who like to wake up to the natural beauty there.

Somewhere common sense has to prevail in this matter. Those
who say putting in fire stops harms the planet evidently don’t
consider what the smoke from all the fires does to air quality.
If people just stayed calm and drank more coffee we could
figure out a solution that most could agree with.

Enjoy our Tuesday.
Comments are always welcome.


An amazing woman

October 16, 2017

You probably haven’t heard of Amanda Marsh but you may if you
see the movie “Only the Brave” when it comes out on October 20.
She is the widow of Eric Marsh who was a wildland fire fighter.
Because of her husbands death she was a consultant on the film
when it referred to her husband.

When younger, she and her family lived in Chino Hills,
California. She moved to Arizona to study creative writing at
Prescott College and spent her nights in a bar. She had a
problem with alcohol when younger, had stopped, and met her
husband in a 12-step program. Eric Marsh talked at one meeting
about his work with the Granite Mountain Hotshots.

They discovered they had mutual interest in music, rock
climbing, and horses so in January of 2010 Eric proposed during
a trip to the San Juan Mountains. The first fire of that season
left Amanda alone and she knew she couldn’t live by his
schedule as work became his mistress.

She got busy and worked their horses and grew her business
while he fought fires. They had settled into a routine
until June, 2013, when she received the call that her
husbands crew was missing.

When news did come she wanted a beer and cigarette but didn’t
act on it. She remained sober a day at a time and later sold
their place with the five-horse stable and got her own place,
started the Eric Marsh Foundation for Wildland Firefighters,
consulted on the film, and some criticized her of being in it
for the money as her business prospered.

We believe she is an amazing lady who is surviving and keeping
her husbands memory alive through the foundation. We find it
hard to believe that some people would try to shame her for
that.

Enjoy our Monday, it’s the first day of the rest of our lives.
Comments are always welcome.


Here we go

August 11, 2017

I know this post is late but couldn’t decide between two very
different stories. One was straight forward and featured a few
upcoming events that we will be attending and the other about
suicide. So I took the bull by the tail, faced the situation,
and chose the later.

After reading an article about the recent death of a smoke
jumper I admitted to being confused. Said article mentioned the
firefighters’ name but not cause of death. Then when I got to the
bottom of article there were 3 links that were all about suicide.

I was surprised when reading another article that mentioned 1
million people worldwide commit suicide every year and the
smokejumper was the 5th suicide in 7 years, of smokejumpers.
Knowing these are people that jump out of planes into remote
areas of our country to be the first line of defense against
wild fires it was a shock.

So rather than talk of the right or wrong of suicides a link
will be provided to an article about suicide prevention. It
covers all the bases, and is lengthy, yet talks of everything
from understanding suicide, to risk factors, to a list of
suicide prevention hotlines.

If we learn the warning signs and know how to respond quickly
while offering help a life may be saved. Here is a link to the
Suicide Prevention article.

Enjoy our friday. Now I have to find a pizza with my name on
it.
Comments are always welcome.


The moon with a side of news

August 10, 2017

The man in moon was trying to hide last night but did so with
class behind a sheer curtain of pastel colored clouds that
looked like lace from the east coast of Iowa. And although he
did whisper, we had our little chat.

We noticed new candidates for the city council received a
mention in the local newspaper, we know one of the two, and it
could get interesting around election day. Since I couldn’t
sleep we talked until the moon finally disappeared behind a
solid grey cloud.

Dale Gilmour is running for 6th Ward Alderman and JJ Condon is
aiming for the Alderman at Large seat. Both are small business
owners and lifetime residents of the area.

Mr. Condon is a member of the Zoning Advisory Committee and is
on the board of directors of River Action, Inc. I don’t know
anything more about Mr. Condon, but wish him well.

Dale Gilmour is a life long resident of Davenport and we went
to the same high school. He has had his business for 25 years
and has been to more city meetings than almost everyone already
on the city council. When I was still going to the meetings I’d
see him there. He also has some really neat cars.

If we lived in the 6th Ward we’d vote for Dale but since we
don’t we wish him the best of luck. The elections will be here
before we know it.

On another note, the fires are still burning our west and we
hope the firefighters take the R & R when offered. Sometimes
you just have to step back and take a short break.

Enjoy our thursday. Even though the wife doesn’t believe me
I’m going to try to act like a responsible adult today.
Comments are always welcome.


Fire update

August 3, 2017

We mentioned the Whetstone and Meyers fires in the past and
things have gotten interesting out there. The two fires are now
one and cover 11,593 acres.

Evacuation notices were issued as this fire keeps raging. Low
humidity, no rainfall, and winds have not helped the fire
fighters. As of 14 hours ago the fire was burning with even more
intensity and expected to get worse today.

The fire is 25 miles SW of Phillipsburg, Montana. To see the
last incident report on this fire, go here.

Comments are always welcome.