Flying with Heroes

A little over a month ago, something different happened on the way home from one of my occasional trips to Washington, DC. Prior to calling Group A to board, a large group of older gentlemen in matching yellow shirts began congregating in the pre-boarding area and eventually boarded the plane.

It turns out that I was on a plane with a group of World War II veterans going home after visiting their memorial courtesy of Franklin County Honor Flight, a not for profit group dedicated to making sure the remaining WWII veterans in the Saint Louis area who are willing and able to visit the World War II Memorial are able to do so at no cost to them.

As I boarded the plane and headed to the back passing row after row of veterans, I could tell that they had experienced a wonderful day. You can see the pictures from that day on the organization’s web site. Even Bob Doll was there! Well, it turns out that their day was not quite over. Once we had reached cruising altitude, the leader of the group took over the microphone duties from the flight attendants and began recognizing each veteran on the flight one by one giving their rank and a description of where and how they served in the War. It was an incredible experience. After everyone had been recognized, the veterans received a well-deserved round of applause from everyone on the plane. I will not soon forget my flight with some of the best from the Greatest Generation.

If you’d like to learn more about or donate to Honor Flight, visit Franklin County Honor Flight in the Saint Louis area or the national site for the Honor Flight Network.

The New Normal

When my family and I lived in San Diego, we used to love going to the Birch Aquarium at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography of UCSD. I still get email updates from Scripps occasionally, and in the most recent version of Explorations, there is a fantastic article about climate change and its potential effects on water delivery in the western United States.

Keeping with my recent focus on environmental issues, I highly recommend reading the article when you have a chance. Although it focuses on the western United States, communities around the world can benefit from rethinking their use of the water resources in their areas. Climate change is happening, and we all need to do our part to conserve our resources and prepare for the “New Normal.”

Earth Hour Inspires Eight Year Old to Save the World!

For those of you that went through your lives last Saturday without even realizing there was a world wide movement happening, let me fill you in a little bit. Earth Hour is an event designed to inspire people to take action on climate change. It all started in Sydney, Australia last March, and on last Saturday, cities of all sizes around the world participated by turning off non-essential lights for an hour. My family participated in our own small way by turning off all of the lights inside and outside of the house. It doesn’t seem like all that much, but we all felt like we were part of something bigger.

That leads me to my daughter, a newly christened environmentalist. She has always cared deeply about other people, and it doesn’t surprise me at all that she found Earth Hour very appealing. That night while we were all sitting around in the dark, my daughter asked if Earth Hour can help make the planet a better place, why not do Earth Hour every night instead of one night a year. That sounded like a good plan to me so we agreed that the Probst house would go dark for an hour each night so we can do our little part to save the world.

Now, I can’t say we’ve lived up to our promise every night, but we’re trying. With work, school, sports, Girl Scouts, etc., life can be a bit hectic to commit to such a bold schedule right away. I think if we can pull off a weekly Earth Hour to start, we’ll eventually be able to work our way up to a nightly hour in the dark.

If you’re interested in helping save the world (and a little money), try turning off all non-essential lights around your house for an hour this weekend. It’ll make you feel like you made a difference, and it’s a great time to bond with your family. Who knows, you may have a little environmentalist in your family too.

Another New Look for Probstisms

Another new look? Yep, I spent some time this weekend changing to a new theme. I wanted something cleaner and modern, and I think I found what I was looking for. The new theme is called Neoclassical and was designed by Chris Pearson. The images at the top of the page are pictures that my wife and I have taken over the years, and they rotate randomly as people view the site.

I would really like to hear from everyone out there to see what you like and dislike about the new look. Please leave your comments on this post so I can make Probstisms better and more appealing for everyone.

Thanks for reading!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everybody! I hope the holidays were very good to all of you. My family and I had a wonderful time visiting family and friends in Chicago and Wisconsin, and now we’re back at home getting back to normal to start the new year.

I’m a little late out of the blocks with posting on Probstisms this year, but my plan is to post as often as I find interesting things to write about, and the first few days of 2008 have provided quite a few exciting things.

Stay tuned for what I hope will be an interesting year for Probstisms!