This morning, I went down to the Department of Natural Resources office to turn in my paperwork for the much anticipated Red Card. While I was waiting at the information desk to be directed through the cubicle labyrinth, I eavesdropped on the couple ahead of me in line. They were a down-to-earth looking pair that were probably in their early fifties. She had long gray hair pulled back simply and well worn tennis shoes. He was wearing busted Carharts and Xtra-Tuffs, the Alaska State Uniform. They looked like the kind of folk who grow their own tomatoes and have a couple of old dogs sleeping in the truck. They were putting in the final paperwork for their remote gold mining claim. I love this state.

After being assured that the Fire Medic program would have my card on file by the end of the day, making me officially eligible to be called up, I scooted over to the fire station. Hoodies and shirts were in, and sucker for good design that I am, I wanted to get my paws on the stash:

Although I don't get my patch until I've been on my first fire, I can tell you right now I will be wearing these two items out in the mean time.

On the personal medical front, I have not pulled a shift at the fire station since the first week of the month. After the LTC training trip, I came down with a minor cold that has turned into a nasty fifteen-day ordeal. I am absolutely to blame for not taking a little time to recover when I first got sick, but be that as it may the little bug is thoroughly entrenched now. I've done garlic-and-ginger tea, neti-pots, sudafed, nyquil, mucinex and theraflu. It won't go away, although a steaming pot of water under a towel has given me some relief tonight. (Can't find the eucalyptus, Nello ... health food store tomorrow.) I am nearly at the point of going to the doctor [state of American health care ... rant, rant ... insurance, copay, deductible ... blah, blah] but we'll see how I feel in the morning. In the mean time, I feel like the front of the medic shirt should be a broadcast warning whenever I leave the house with my tissues and lozenges and sniffles and walloping hacks:

Biohazard indeed.

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