Dad’s Alaska

26 November 2022

Here’s to the Red Wave.

Mine and Summer’s COVID tribulations are over now for a week or so. Summer now has the Flu which I’ll likely contract in a few days. The Mid Term elections are in the rearview mirror and the predicted “Red Wave” was not even a Red High Tide. The only Red Tide is/was Alabama football and they got their ass kicked a couple of times, I’m told. I was never good at sports. Most likely because I have absolutely no interest in sports. The last time I watched a complete football game was in January of 1967. I had just come home from 3 years in the Navy and old friends were having a AFL/NFL National Championship party. I just looked it up. As it turns out, that was the first Super Bowl and the last football game I’ve ever watched. I’ve seen snippets of games in bars, Alabama/Auburn moments on TV, but I don’t have the interest or patience to sit down and watch. I really, really have no interest or care who wins. I’ve told many people, “When the NFL starts sending me a paycheck, I’ll be more than happy to watch”. Politics are a much more interesting game. This is a game where winning and losing both have real life consequences. For example, assuming that for the next 2 years that the current flood of illegal aliens continues we will have some 11-12 million more people, mostly uneducated and illiterate. A great number of these people are criminals and terrorist enemies of the US. This flood of unwashed, illiterate, uneducated humanity will be greater than the population of New York City and Chicago combined. Or to put it another way the flood will be larger than the populations of the States of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama combined. Who is going to pay the cost of feeding, housing and clothing this human tsunami? Yep, you’ve got it. YOU!! The American taxpayer will be on the hook for everything. Liberal/Progressive Marxists will tell you that the government will pay. They seem to be disconnected from the fact that all of the working stiffs out in “Fly Over Country” are paying for that government largesse handed out so freely to these people who have invaded our country. There are homeless veterans, handicapped Americans and all manner of American citizens needing financial help far more deserving than these invaders. In addition to this tidal wave of humanity there is a tsunami is Fentanyl. This drug killed 50 TIMES MORE AMERICANS THAN WERE KILLED IN ACTION IN THE 20 YEARS OF THE AFGHANISTAN WAR. And that was just in the past year. 300+ Americans, mostly dumbass kids, die every day from this drug. The drug cartels are in charge of our border and our government is doing nothing to retake control of our border. Without a border we are not a country. The next election better be a “Red Wave” or our country is lost.

9:30 Sunrise in Fritz Creek

Haven’t gotten a lot done lately. It decided to rain for a solid week. The wet ground, finally, froze and we were again out of mud season. Mud Season seems to have been extended somewhat this year. This morning was a comfortable, if you were sitting by the wood stove, 18.4 F. I will need to get in wood later as were have burnt the stock inside. In anticipation of a really cold winter (See electroverse.co ) I am ordering 4 more cords of logs. It is a ‘better safe than sorry’ move on my part. A couple of years back we saw temps that were as low as -9F. That cold spell lasted for more than a week and we burned a crap load of wood. We ended the winter with an arm load of wood left in the tents. I would really like to not do that again. I’m keeping the fuel oil heater set at 61F to keep us from freezing when the wood stove burns out at around 3:00 AM. Fuel oil is now about $5 a gallon and we’d probably burn $15-20 in oil every 24 hours therefor fuel oil heat is backup heat.

As mentioned below this is one of the concrete piers that I need to attach to the house.

Last week I bought 20 feet of 1/4”x 3” metal strap from the local metal shop. I had it cut to various pre-measured lengths. This strapping will be attached to the concrete piers to secure the house to this new foundation. It is taking a lot of time as I have to drill holes to pass the bolts through and holes to put the big screws into the wood beam. None of it is ‘rocket science’ but it is time consuming. Some time in the near future, I’ll be going to the ‘big city, of Kenai. The closest Home Depot is in Kenai 85 miles up the road. The trip is to secure 4’x8’ sheets of 2” insulation for the stem wall and the skirting around the house. The foundation isn’t completed and the skirting will need to be removed next Spring to complete the foundation. Sometimes it seems that every job we do is a temporary solution to a permanent problem. The foundation is the major hold up in getting the inside remodeled. I am pretty sick of looking at walls with the studs and insulation exposed. Summer would like to hang some pictures and I’d like to not feel as if I’m living in a hovel. The full interior remodel will likely not be completed before next Fall. Patience is a virtue in which I am sorely lacking.

Me about this time 5 years ago after I found out haircuts were $25

We adopted another homeless dog. His supposed name was Rowdy. One minor problem: He didn’t know that his name was Rowdy. Summer and I were just supposed to take care of the undernourished skinny little critter for a few days until he could fins a “Forever Home’. He managed in about 3 day to find that home with us. So-o-o we ran through a half dozen names from Rudy to Critter. After 4-5 days of this name selecting process he became Charlie Brown. And, unfortunately, none of his fellow critters look anything like Snoopie but that’s not a hindrance in the naming process. The name Charlie fits his personality and he is brown. He’s half MinPin and Chihuahua. The white dog, Betsy Boo, is a Jack Russell/Chihuahua and the bigger tan colored dog, Buddy, is part Chihuahua and only the Good Lord knows what else. The dog in Summer’s lap is, Taco, a full blood, fat boy Chihuahua. Yeah, the couch is ugly but we’re waiting to finish the remodel before we buy new furniture. Don’t need drywall dust all over our new leather couch.

Flu inflicted Summer quadrupled dogged. The one on her shoulder is the new adoptee, Charlie
A sunset in Fritz Creek

That’s it. I’m going to fix this big refrigerator for Summer.

See ya later!!

Dad’s Alaska

20 OCTOBER 2022

Here’s to the fiction writers that make up the Main Stream Media.

The MSM is trying desperately to convince the American people that the feeble and cognitively impaired Joe Biden is in charge of our government. All of this when it is obvious that he isn’t even in charge of himself. He has to be led on stage to make some disjointed, incoherent speech and then led off the stage. He is unable to competently read a teleprompter and on several occasions he has shaken the hand of some imaginary person. He, often, is unable to discern the exit from the stage and has to be coaxed off when his wife isn’t near enough to take his elbow and guide him in the proper direction. All of this makes me wonder. I wonder about “Who is, actually, running the country” since it is clearly not Joe Biden. Is it Ron Klain, the Whitehouse Chief of Staff? President Xi? Vladimir Putin? George Soros? Some cabal of billionaire oligarchs? Therein, my friends, lies the crux of the most serious problem in these United States of America. WHO IN THE HELL IS IN CHARGE OF THIS ONGOING DISASTER?? We are now $31,000,000,000,000+ (that’s 31 TRILLION DOLLARS) in debt, the economy is in free fall, inflation is rising by the minute, food shortages are beginning, gasoline will be $8 a gallon very soon, our emergency oil reserves are being depleted as fast as they possibly can be and the average American is getting poorer by the day. We may be unable to discern who is in charge of the Executive Branch of the government. However, we can know who is ultimately to blame for this ‘train wreck’. Those people are Nancy Pelosi, Kevin McCarthy, Chuck Schumer and Mitch McConnell. Each and everyone of them has contributed to this awful mess by their actions or their inaction. This entire American disaster is down to and the fault of Democrats and RINO Republicans. After these mid term elections, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer will likely retire. McConnell will, hopefully, be unseated as the Senate Majority Leader. McCarthy is aiming for the House Speaker position where he will still be up to all of his RINO ways and continuing the destruction of America. If McConnell and McCarthy are in power in the Senate and Congress there will be no significant change in the future of the US. McConnell is, reputedly, tied very closely to the Chinese Communist Party and McCarthy, whose allegiances are, at the very least, suspect. The Speaker and the Majority Leader control the legislation that comes up for a vote. No matter what legislation is proposed in the Congress or the Senate, nothing substantive or Conservative will get past these two RINOs. They will allow only that legislation that aids their benefactors or themselves. Neither of these men give a Tinker’s Damn about the citizens of America. Only a majority of Conservatives, for instance, would be capable of changing these two bodies the way that the Democrats have changed them. All of this is why I keep harping on an Article 5 Constitutional Convention of States. “WE THE PEOPLE” are not going to be able to sort this out without repealing the 17th Amendment, Term limits, limiting the size, power and scope of government entities and codifying a balanced budget. Without these changes, I fear that the decline of America will continue and accelerate.

Got up this morning at my usual time, 8:00 am. I know that seems late but when you go to bed at midnight it seems correct. In the rack, as we used to say in my Navy days, for 8 hours is my current need. I was once capable of sleeping 2-3 hours, going to work and then partying again until the wee hours of the next morning. Of course, at that time, I was near 60 years younger. At 8:00 am the outside temperature was 29.1F. Summer had built a fire before she left for work so I got when I got up the house was cozy warm. Sunrise was at 9:04 and sunset is scheduled for 6:36. That gets us down to 9 hours 32 minutes of work time. Silly me, I’ve just spent a bit over 2 hours reading the news and drinking coffee. I guess I better stop here and go to work. There is still much to be done before the snow flies. Thankfully, we have sun instead of rain.

31 October 2022

The above was written Pre-Covid. Not pre-pandemic but Pre my getting Covid. For the record it was everything that people said that it was. From Sunday a week ago uNtil this past Thursday, I coughed so hard and often that my ribs hurt and my diaphragm was so exercised that it hurt to breathe. I had coughing fits that lasted five minutes or more. I did not get any chest congestion and that was likely because I was coughing so hard and so often that nothing had the opportunity to settle in my chest. I’ve had a cold/flu where I had chest congestion. It is miserable feeling as though breathing is almost too much work. I had my first real meal since contracting this miserable damned disease. I scrambled a couple of eggs and ended up feeding half of them to the dogs. Summer has had Covid since some time prior to last Saturday and neither of us has felt like cooking. She tested negative last night and went back to work this morning. I’m feeling much better today so I’ll test this evening. If I test negative, I’ll finish up the work I started almost two weeks ago. This isn’t the sickest I’ve ever been BUT it is the longest time that I’ve ever been an invalid since open heart surgery 21 years ago.

AT LEAST, IT IS A SUNNY DAY AND WON’T BE RAINING FOR TRICK OR TREAT.

As you might surmise NOTHING has been done here at home. The outside temperature has dropped into the mid to high 20s during the day and in the high teens some nights. It’s 12 noon here and the temp is 26F. My only ventures to the great outdoors has been to retrieve firewood. Normally, I would not take 26F as being that cold but I think the China Virus thinks that it is very cold. My appliance repair business has ground to a halt. I’ve had to turn down calls for two reasons: One-I don’t feel like doing anything, Two-Nobody else needs to get this if they can avoid it. The last time I have ever been seriously ill was in January 1987. I came down with something on a Monday morning before I could go to work and I was in bed with a high fever and deliriums until early the following Saturday. For most of 6 days I did not know what world I was in. The only remarkable thing about that experience is that since January 1987, I have not had a cold, the flu or any other malady remotely related to those illnesses. That is, of course, up until last Sunday. That bout with whatever it was had two outcomes: The first, of course, was that I haven’t been sick since. The second was that, because of it, I quit smoking. I got out of bed on that Saturday afternoon, lighted my first cigarette in nearly a week. It tasted so bad that I stubbed it out, put two cartons of cigarettes in a paper bag and gave them away the following Monday. I have not returned to cigarettes for these 36 years since.

Dangerous Dan pulled off our foundation job to take care of some long neglected projects at his own home. Also, he is leaving in a few days for a visit with some of his family in Minnesota. Deer hunting is on the agenda. He makes this trip every year and comes back with a cooler full of venison. As for our house, I think the foundation work is over until next Spring. The ground is frozen so digging is done for the year. I still need to bolt the new foundation piers to the house and would have done that this past week except for the obvious reason.

ABOVE IS ONE OF THE PIERS WITH A PIECE OF REBAR INSERTED WHERE THE BOLT GOES THROUGH.

A CORNER WHERE I NEED TO BOLT THE PIER TO THE HOUSE.

Before my bout with this Wuhan Flu, I managed to pick up most everything running loose on the property. There are still a few stray pieces of lumber and some rocks that I need to retrieve, but, for the most part, the picking up is done. The Rover still sits forlornly on its blocks, I need to start the tractor that I haven’t started in near two years. I was going to get gravel and dirt delivered last week and use the tractor to spread it. I still need to do these things but I’ll be doing them in much colder weather. One good thing has come out of the cold snap and that is that it has stopped the incessant raining. Actually, two things have happened. The rain stopped and the ground froze. We are now officially out of ‘Mud Season’ and I could not be happier about that fact. We’ve had a couple of dustings of snow that only lasted but a few hours. The real snow will start in earnest in a couple of days according to the weather forecast. Last winter we went through a period of snow, warm, thaw, freeze, snow, warm thaw freeze and more snow. This pattern occurred several times. This left us with 2-3 inches of ice all over the yard and our gravel street. It was a necessity to wear ice cleats every time you stepped off into the yard. Not wearing cleats risked broken bones and maybe death. I don’t mind the snow so much but I hate the ice. Maybe we’ll just get cold this winter ands stay cold until “Break Up’.

ONE OF THE TWO VOIDS AT THE SIDES OF THE HOUSE THAT NEED TO BE FILLED WITH DIRT

Someone gave Summer a near new refrigerator. It is one of those All refrigerator-No freezer things. It was not cooling when they gave it to her. It, apparently, had a freon leak somewhere around the compressor and/or the evaporator coil. The leak now seems to be repaired and I am being harassed to reassemble the damned thing and get it into the house. Again King Wuhan stepped in and stopped all progress. Now that the temperature has dropped, I’ll have to reassemble it in the store tent but won’t be able to recharge the system until I can bring it inside for a couple of days. I have a couple of other refrigerators that could be repaired except that it is very difficult to adjust temperatures or troubleshoot when the temp outside the box is about the same as the inside of the box. It would be nice to have a warm, insulated place to work. Those will be next Spring projects.

SUMMER’S REFRIGERATOR WAITING FOR ME TO REASSEMBLE IT.

It is 1:23 PM and in 11 hours and 37 minutes I will be 78 years old. That’s it for me. I’m going to lie down for a while.

DAD’S ALASKA

16 October 2022

Here’s to the professional politicians “May they all rot in hell’.

Biden, McConnell, Schumer, Pelosi, Swalwell, Schiff, McCarthy, Murkowski and all of the other useless life long political scum of both parties are the real problems in America. Almost all of them owe allegiance to China and all of them work against the American people’s interests. What was once a duty to be undertaken as a service to one’s country has become a cash machine for most of the 535 people who are supposed to be upholding our Constitution and serving the people. The vast majority do neither. They serve themselves and their big donors like George Soros, China and whichever BIG TECH OLIGARCH WILL write the ‘Big Fat Check’. I have often wondered how a Congressman or Senator who gets elected with a net worth of a few hundred thousand dollars becomes a millionaire while drawing a salary of around $200,000 a year. Don’t you ever wonder about that?? If I sound angry, it is because I am. I have spent much of my life advocating for simple things like fiscal restraint, smaller government, equal application of our laws and other simple Constitutional behavior by our governments. I really don’t think that it is too much to ask to have a politician put in jail for fraud the same as some two bit con man. Actually, most politicians are a lower class of human being than most two bit con men. It is past the time to ‘Throw the bums out’. It has, finally, come to the point that “We the people” must put our collective feet down. We cannot vote these bums out. They have too much money and power for “We the people” to be able to touch them. The only solution left for us is a Constitutional Convention as authorized by Article 5 of the US Constitution. In such a convention we can get Term Limits, Repeal of the 17th Amendment, Equal application of the law, eliminate and/or curtail some of the activities of the Executive branches of the government like Education, Reform immigration law, and a number of other things that need to be done so that the average American can reap the benefits of “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” guaranteed to us in our Constitution. We have traveled to a point where just the act of getting out of your own bed is likely violating some federal law written by some nameless, faceless unelected bureaucrat in a unknown sub-department of some useless branch of the Executive Department. It is time for a change. Not a change of politicians but a change of the Constitution to eliminate the career politicians and their power over our everyday lives. I was talking to a guy the other day about repealing the 17th Amendment. He wanted to know Why? I explained to him that, before the 17th Amendment federalized the Senate, the various State legislatures appointed the Senators for their State. That meant that there likely WOULD NOT be a career Senator. This is because of election changing of new people in the legislatures, even those of the same party, were likely to appoint a different person at the end of each six year senatorial term. You might suffer a career Congress person but not a career Senator. This makes sense because the Senate was to be the ‘safety valve’ that kept the Congress in check. Did you know that the Congress ( House and Senate) exempt themselves from many of the laws that they make for “We the people” to live by? For example they and their staff are exempt from the Obamacare debacle. That’s just one example and there are dozens, if you want to go find them. They have set themselves up as our Masters. Your primary purpose in life is to work and pay taxes. Whether you can feed, clothe and house your family or yourself is of no interest or consequence to the various government entities from local to federal. Go to conventionofstates.com for an education.

Sunrise on last Monday.

Dangerous Dan continues his frontal assault on the foundation of the ragged old house. Both the front and back of the house have been stabilized. He is now under the floor in mud that is over his boots and with the consistency quicksand. I was under there earlier this week installing insulation. At one point, I thought that I was going to have to abandon my boots and crawl out in my sock feet. I was near boot deep in the mire and sinking. I could not seem to free either foot. I remember thinking that “If I fall down in this I may not be able to get up”. My second thought was “I hope I can reach my phone so that I can call Dan or 911”. The situation may not have been life threatening but it was scary because the longer you stood in one position the further you sank. I had visions of the scenes from old movies where some poor sap stepped into the quicksand and the last you saw of him was an upraised hand and a few bubbles. However, the femme fatale always get saved. Since I was not feeling very feminine then or ever for that matter, I had serious doubts that Tarzan was going to show up and pull me from the muck. I have made it perfectly clear to all concerned that I will not again be installing insulation under there until the ground has frozen solid. The background on this dummy episode is pretty straight forward. I got out of bed, got dressed and made myself a cup of coffee. I looked at the digital thermometer and it read 22.1F. I surmised that since the temperature was so low all night that the muck that Dan had been working in would be frozen solid. Of course, as you already know my surmise was incorrect. This decision to go under the floor was based upon false assumptions and insufficient data not unlike all of the Global Warming/Climate Change decisions. I did manage to, with great difficulty, extricate myself from the muck. This was a lesson in BOB STEELE RULE #1 “Everything good or bad that happens to you is, generally, your own damned fault.” There is one good thing about decisions, if you made a bad one you can just make another. Unless, of course, you’ve jumped from a tall building or a high bridge. Every decision has the potential to be life changing and some are, unfortunately, life ending. I’ve done so many stupid things that I am amazed everyday that I’m still alive. A funny story I often tell when someone mentions my or their life span. It was my 47th birthday. I had driven from Mobile to Bessemer (Alabama) as I did every weekend for months to visit my father who was dying from cancer. At this point, he was bedridden. I sat by his bed and we talked about this and that. Nothing of any consequence. As it was my birthday, that came up as a subject. I said, “I never expected to live this long”. He was sitting up in the bed and there was a long silence while Dad was,apparently, staring at the wall in front of him. After this most pregnant of pauses, he looked over at me and said, “Hell, Boy, I didn’t think you’d live to be 21”. And that brings me to something my Grandma Byrd used to say, “Better lucky than smart”.

A new treated lumber ladder on the roof to service the stove pipe and the roof. The old one was not treated and had been there since 1982.

We are almost ready for winter. The wood is stacked in the tents, the loose items on the property have nearly all be stowed away, Summer and I have changed over to studded tires and my pre-winter ‘To Do’ list is shrinking daily. It snowed a bit this week. Very fine white stuff was falling out of the sky. It wasn’t sticking but is was falling. I am taking this early snow as a portent for a very cold and snow filled winter. The last two winters I have used a wheeled snowblower to clear our parking area and make paths for the dog to run in. The problem with the wheeled snowblower is that it often gets stuck and once it is stuck it has to be extricated by brute force. Putting it into reverse just digs it in even further. I’ll be 78 in a couple of weeks and snatching that 100+ pound hunk of iron out of the trenches it dug is getting to be too much. Summer decided that we would use our PFD (Permanent Fund Dividend) to purchase a snowblower on tracks like a tank. Dutifully, I traveled to the local Honda dealer 80 miles away and paid a $500 deposit on a $3800 tracked snowblower to be delivered in the last week or so of September. The delivery date was then pushed back until the first week in October. Since I had not received a call to come get my machine, I called earlier this week. Now they tell me that we will get the machine sometime in December. I am starting to believe that the dealer bet mine and other people’s deposits on some stupid football game and lost it all. I sincerely hope not because I’m old. Actually, the last couple of sentences were a joke except for the part about my being “old”. However, it seems that to Honda, we aren’t very important here in Alaska. Our equipment gets shipped last, if at all. With less than 800,000 people the entire state population is smaller than some medium sized cities in the Lower 48. The economics make sense for Honda but aren’t very helpful for us Alaskans.

If rocks were dollars we’d be billionaires

When I changed over to the studded tires, I found that the brake pads on the front wheels of the Subaru were very nearly gone. This coming week I’ll get the brake pads and new rotors. Then one day when it isn’t raining I’ll get them installed. One more little job before the snow flies. The Subaru had been running kind of funky for some time. I realized that all of the gas that had been put into the tank had come from the same place. I changed the gas location and now it seems to be running much more smoothly. They must have had some water in their gas or something. I won’t be buying gas there for a while. A couple of weeks ago the Subaru was running a little too hot. I took it to the local Subaru shop and found out that after the new radiator had been installed that the engine hadn’t been “Burped”. Who knew? Anyway the mechanic explained to me that Subarus have a quirk in the engines that traps air. Because of this you have to start the engine and let it idle for some time after the initial fill of the radiator. As the engine heats up the air trapped in the engine comes out and the radiator burps out a bit of fluid whilst releasing the air. The engine burped several times This process only took about ten minutes because the engine was already warm. The mechanic had a special funnel that fit tightly into the radiator opening so that no fluid was lost and after the final burp he filled the radiator to the top and put on the cap. I was very lucky that the engine was not damaged by the overheating.

Inside the big green tent with much stuff left to go to the Salvation Army

Summer and I spent a few hours yesterday (Saturday) going through the big green storage tent. This is a project that we’ve put off for many, many months. While the tent was closed the chickens were still able to get inside. They would climb and/or fly up onto the shelves, that I built to store glassware and other personal stuff, and lay their eggs. All of this flapping and moving around on the shelves, of course, knocked things off the shelves. There was broken glass and cooking utensils scattered around on the floor amongst the chicken droppings and shells of broken eggs. The plan was to go through the stuff and donate that which we no longer wanted or needed to the Salvation Army. About three hours into this mess we called it for the day. Today (Sunday) we will attempt to finish this filthy, disgusting project and make the run into town to the Salvation Army store. Five years ago we brought up a lot of stuff that we find that we did not need and now don’t want. Things that seemed useful or valuable at the time are now valueless and worthless in this new stage of our lives. Before we left Florida we donated a bunch of stuff (four pickup truck loads) to the Florida Sheriffs Boys Ranch. In retrospect, we should have donated everything except our clothing, a few pots and pans and some dishes. The trip up to Homer would have been way-y-y easier and exponentially less stressful. Again, I find myself quoting my Grandma Byrd. “Live and learn. Die and forget it all”.

A trailer load of green tent trash headed for the dumpster.
Kindling drying in Summer’s greenhouse. We’ll likely use it all before this winter is through.

Well, that’s it. We’re back to work. Winter is coming too soon

Dad’s Alaska

Here’s to the morons that think that the human race can survive without fossils fuels.

There do not exist enough sheep, other sheared animals, fur bearing critters or fields of cotton to clothe the entire human race. I went to the continually virtue signaling site of Patagonia web site. The vast majority of their clothing is made from petroleum derived materials. It was the same at REI. With all of the shouting about banning coal and oil production, you’d think that, at least, one of these Eco-Wacko dummies could suggest an alternative better than killing 90% of the human race or wiping out every single fur bearing critter on the planet. Virtually everything these Eco-Wackos use in their miserable, mentally challenged lives is petroleum derived. Their electric vehicle battery materials were gouged from the earth using heavy, heavy equipment burning tens of millions of gallons of diesel fuel and spewing millions of tons of CO2 into the atmosphere. The plastic shell and all of the plastic interior was derived from petroleum. The tires it rolls on were made from petroleum. The lubricants that allow it to roll are made from petroleum. The electric cord with which to charge it is made from petroleum. The the generators and power lines that bring the electricity to and through the power cord were likely smelted using electricity derived from the burning of petroleum products or coal. The car is charged using petroleum/coal generated electricity to charge it. Their electric car is little more than a fancy coal fired electric golf cart. Their hair brush, their comb, their toothbrush, their fancy schmancy shoes, their clothes, the food packaging that protects them from disease and virtually everything else is derived from petroleum. Almost all of the life saving materials at the Emergency Room, in the ambulance getting them to the emergency room and making them comfortable during their hospital stay is derived from petroleum. The list goes on and on through out their miserable, unfulfilling, mentally challenged lives. YOU ARE EITHER STUPID OR INSANE OR BOTH TO ADVOCATE FOR THE BANNING OF PETROLEUM OR COAL (Ditto nuclear power). Here in ‘my neck of the woods’ the Eco-Wacko city council banned petroleum derived plastic grocery bags even though almost everything we put into those bags was packaged in petroleum derived plastic. I am old enough to remember that the argument for the use of plastic bags was that we were destroying the trees. The Eco-Wacko wisdom on the 70s was that we needed to use plastic bags instead of paper bags to “Save the Trees”. Fast forward 50 years and we are using paper bags and killing the trees to ‘Ban the Petroleum”. Eco-Wackoism is a form of brainwashing. It doesn’t need to make sense as it’s adherents are moistly incapable of coherent thought. A few minutes of logical thought shoots gigantic holes into the assertions of looming ecological disaster. I was raised in the suburbs of Birmingham, Alabama during the heyday of the steel mills. The air pollution was real. You could wash your car and an hour later your could write your name on the hood in the particulates that had fallen from the sky. That was real air pollution not this phony CO2 shell game being played now. Any person can get on their petroleum derived plastic clad computer and learn that CO2 levels have been much higher in the past. A past where there were no SUVs and few if any bipedal mammals. Neither the average human nor the use of coal or petroleum pose any great threat to the free world or the human race. The greatest threat to the free world and the human race is the Marxist inspired Eco-Wackos trying to impose their ignorant, ill-informed, cult religious vision of the world upon you.

Yesterday, Dangerous Dan and I, got the piling for the west corner of the house installed. On Friday, he got the 4X4X4 foot hole dug and managed to pour the concrete footing. He managed this without my advice, my micromanagement or any of my physical labor. I was out in the boonies struggling to install a tub boot on a front load washer and, frankly, with the way the boot installation went, I’d rather have been sloshing around in the mud helping Dan. I have put on dozens of the damned things but this one simply did not want to participate. It seems simple enough. You put the boot’s retainer ridge into the groove around the washer door and snap on the spring loaded wire ring. As I said, “I’ve put on dozens of them”. After an hour of trying every solution that my peas brain could conjure, I gave up. The ‘Battle of the Boot’ will resume on Monday. I made a “Strategic Withdrawal”. My late brother assured me that Marines never retreat but they do make “strategic withdrawals’. I was in the Navy, so I did not know that fact or procedure.

In the previous post, I noted that Summer had filled up the two wood tents. Now what is left must be stacked on pallets and covered with a tarp today. Hopefully, that by the end of this day’s work we will be free and clear of wood except to bring it inside and set it ablaze. We discussed digging the potatoes because it has continued to rain almost daily. We’ve been getting a day of sunshine followed by several days of rain. I suspect that the potatoes are rotted and not worth digging but only by digging them will we discover that fact. Summer is, finally, off the six day a week work routine. She will be off Monday and Tuesday. On her off days she is going to clean out the greenhouse and plant her garlic and something else that needs to overwinter in the ground.

We got rid of all of the chickens and the incessant rain has washed away all of the chicken crap. As Martha used to say “That’s a good thing”. Did you know that ‘crap’ is derived from Crapper which is the last name of the man who, in England, invented the flush toilet? I am feeling liberated. I no longer must worry about ducks, geese or chickens. The only critters that must be fed and watered are the three cute but useless dogs in residence. Overwintering the chickens made an enormous amount of extra worry and work last winter. Their water froze several different times due to failures of various heaters. I had to snow blow a path to the coop and keep it open all winter to restock their feed box and water tank. Carrying 50# bags of feed and 5 gallon buckets of water in the snow and, sometimes, ice was both arduous and often dangerous for an old man. “If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands”. I’m clapping very vigorously. Buying a couple dozen eggs a month is a small price to pay, even at $6 a dozen, for being free of the work and the responsibility.

I’m borrowing a tent from dangerous Dan. I want to use it to partially enclose the Range Rover. This is so that I can attempt to make the necessary repairs even if it snows and certainly to stay out of the rain. Crawling around on the wet gravel holds no appeal for me. This is a project that would have been done months ago had I not lopped off the end of my finger. A finger, that by the way, has physically healed but has little feeling in it. Mostly it hurts to use it. Well, it doesn’t really hurt much unless I bang it against something but it feels very uncomfortable, almost painful, when I use it to touch something. It’s a very weird sensation that defies description except as very uncomfortable.

The Range Rover when the axles fell.

The birch leaves are all yellow now and blowing off the trees. There were a few days where some were yellow, some were green and yellow and a few were still green. It is Fall. They are all yellow and falling. The snow will not be far behind this annual event. The raining and constant mud since the end of June has made me look forward to the coming of the snow. Of course, by the end of February I’ll be wishing for the snow to be gone. I guess that I’m just your basic human and not happy (except for the chickens no longer residing on the property) unless I’m unhappy. Since the Summer work season is coming to a close, I have been picking up everything that I don’t want to lose until next Spring. If it snows this winter like the last, anything less than three feet tall will be ‘missing in action’ until Spring. Often the things that go missing are the very things you need in January. There is an ancillary problem with picking up and putting away tools and such. That problem is that I often forget exactly where I put the damned thing of which I’m desperately in need. First Law of Physics: For every action there is an equal but opposite reaction. First Law of Storing Stuff: For every bit of ability to safely store an item there there is an equal but opposite ability to forget where in the hell it is. Such is life.

Beautiful yellow leaves

The last of the wood that needs to be on pallets because it won’t fit in the tents.

Again we have come to a stopping place and I have to go outside and do some actual work. Those pallets won’t move themselves and the wood lying on the wet ground won’t stack itself on the pallets. Summer is on the injured reserve list. She pulled a muscle in her neck/shoulder area and is in some good bit of pain. That means that the old man has to move all of the wood. ALOHA!!

Dad’s Alaska

Here’s to Governor DeSantis. He’s doing everything in his power to ready Florida for Hurricane Ian.

All I can say is GOOD LUCK AND GET THE HELL OUT OF FLORIDA!! Talked with my former son-in-law for about a half hour. He, his fellow owners and the staff of some kind of specialty electronics business are busy getting inventory as high as possible. I don’t know exactly what they sell but, apparently, water would not be good for it. Their warehouse is located in a low lying area near Tampa. It’s “All hands on deck” time. There are some high spots around them but they aren’t atop one of those.. My first experience with a hurricane was Hurricane Frederick in Mobile, Alabama. It was September 12, 1979. I had just gotten my portable street sign business to the point that it would begin to make a profit. In the aftermath there was over a week of no electricity and no clean water. My thirty-five 4’x8’ changeable letter portable signs were no where to be found. The adjustable legs that had been staked down through the asphalt parking lots were mostly still right when I pounded them in. $1200 a month in pure profit gone in one night. It, also, totaled my fluorescent light service. Most of my customers were destroyed and when they were rebuilding they were getting all new lighting. No service needed. Hurricane Frederick put me out of both businesses. I was a father of two children with a wife and absolutely no income. So I am acutely aware of the depression, worry and anger that comes with this kind of disaster. When I’m wishing these people in the path of Hurricane Ian “Good Luck”, it isn’t just a throwaway phrase or platitude that you might voice to someone going hunting or fishing. It is a prayer for them and their families safety and a fervent hope that they do not end up homeless and unemployed.

Well the foundation work has progressed to the point that the back of the house is now level. There is one more gigantic hole to be dug on the west corner. When that hole is dug, the concrete pad poured in the bottom and the concrete piling set in place the rear of the house will be not only level but stable. That will not complete the foundation but it is a major milestone. Of course the hole will need to be refilled and I’ll be the one shoveling the two plus yards of wet mucky soil back into the hole. Dan will dig the hole and I will fill it. It seems a proper division of labor since he is 20 years younger than myself. Were it not for Dangerous Dan none of the foundation work would have happened. You can put a price on the work that he has been doing but there in no price large enough for the friendship. He has toiled away every weekend for months stabilizing this old house. Were it not for him Summer and I would likely be homeless by now as the house was, literally, about to fall off it’s foundation.

East end of the new support beam under the back of the house.
The west end of the new support beam for the back of the house. Yep we need to paint next Spring.

It’s Hungry Bear Season again. They are eating everything in sight because they will be hibernating soon. With that in mind, I am being a lot more careful when I’m outside. I have no ambitions to become bear poop. The moose hunting season is over. I do not know anyone that got a moose this year. That might be because I have a very small circle of acquaintances or that the people I know are really bad at hunting. An old joke: What do you call a bad hunter? Answer: Vegetarian. It may not be funny to vegetarians but I still find it amusing. Me, I’m not a hunter. I’m like that comedian in the credit card commercial, “I’m a diner”. 70 or so years ago, I helped my Grandpa Byrd run his trap lines on weekends and I trapped rabbits all winter. I’d check all of my traps before the school bus arrived. I had box traps because Grandpa Byrd wanted them alive and unmarred by a steel trap. He would kill them skin them and tack the skins to cedar boards to dry out. After he had collected hides of various critters all winter, he’d take them to town and sell them. My grandmother would freeze several rabbits every winter and then, sometimes, cook a fresh one for supper. In the fall, after all of the leaves had fallen, Grandpa and I would take his .22 rifle and go possum hunting. I walk through the woods on a sunny day and locate all of the Persimmon trees. That night and for about a week or so we’d go around to all of the persimmon trees and look for a possum to be up in the tree. I’d hold the light and he’d dispatch the critter. Back at the house, with me inside warming up my nearly frozen feet, he’d gut the possum and throw the guts to the hogs. The next day he’d take it to town and sell it for one dollar. Gas was about 17 cents a gallon and we were only about 5-6 miles outside of the little town of Newport, Arkansas. The gas to and from town was about 10-12 cents and the .22 bullet was about 2 cents so every possum was up to 88 cents profit. Doesn’t sound like much but when you are a farm laborer and the farming has stopped for the winter, it amounts to survival money. Before the persimmons had all fallen to the ground we’d kill 6-7 of the marsupial critters and they would feed poor people in town. Even back then, if you were poor, meat was expensive. For many people a 15-18 pound possum was a source of protein and protein is protein regardless of the critter. That part of my early life made me a ‘diner’ and not a hunter. Only the Good Lord himself knows what my grandparents put on the table for us three boys to eat. It could have been pork from one of the hogs or it could have been chicken, catfish, raccoon, possum, muskrat, rabbit, squirrel or fox. I never knew and never questioned where the meat came from I simply ate it because it was all there was to eat. “A country boy can survive”. If this Biden economy keeps crashing, I and many others may have to become hunters again.

It was 32.6F when I got up this morning at 7 AM. We are nearing the time to harvest our smallish potato patch. Neither Summer nor I have had the time to garden this year. We got the potatoes in a little late again this year and it has rained almost nonstop since the end of June. Therefore, I’m not holding out a much hope for a bumper crop of potatoes. With all of the rain they likely have rotted in the ground. After the two or three good frosts and before the ground freezes, we’ll dig them up and see how we did. I suspect that we’ll be lucky to have enough potatoes to make a bowl of potato salad or mashed potatoes. Our entire gardening efforts this year reaped a few tomatoes, no beans, some kale and a crap load of cucumbers. We now have enough pickles to feed a small army. There are dills, sweets and a couple of others of which I have no knowledge. Summer is the Pickle Queen of Fritz Creek. It is likely that neighbors will be receiving pickles as Christmas presents.

It is now Thursday, 29 September and southwest Florida is a disaster area. The cleanup will begin in earnest by Saturday. Right now as I watch the TV they are still trying to rescue some of the silly people that were gonna “hunker down and ride it out”. There is no such thing as “hunker down and ride it out” when you are within a couple of miles of the water. So far the reported death toll has been pretty low. That number is likely to rise significantly once the get around to searching for the missing “hunkered downers”.

The rain here has been almost incessant. Summer has been stacking wood in one of the tents in what passes for a torrential downpour in Fritz Creek. It is a mere shower compared to the afternoon thunderstorm gully washers that we used to experience when living on Mobile Bay. It is still annoying and uncomfortable as the outside temperature is around 46F. The tents are supposed to keep the wood dry and dry out that which is not fully dried. However, the tents are now 3 years old and they aren’t quite as waterproof as the once were. This weekend we’ll be covering them with leftover green house plastic sheeting. They’ll be water and snow proof once again. Whatever doesn’t fit into the tents will be covered in greenhouse plastic right where it lies on the ground. Summer and I are completely done with the wood thing. We’re down to whatever is the easiest.

Up here you can never throw anything away until it is totally and completely destroyed. Even then, if it is mechanical or electrical you might find yourself salvaging stuff ‘that might come in handy someday’. I have a pretty substantial pile of it next to the Conex and some of the stuff that isn’t a waterproof inside the Conex. I’ve always been something of a packrat and living here has exacerbated that tendency in myself. Now I have ‘stuff’. Speaking of stuff the four wheeler has decided not to start. Was going to take it into the local dealer until we realized that it was likely going to cost $700-$800 for them to do the repair. Not to mention that they were not going to be able to get to it for nearly two weeks. They charged $155 per hour for shop work. Geez am I, so obviously, in the wrong damned business. Also, the running lawnmower that I purchased for $300 has decided not to start. It, also, has starter problems. But as luck would have in my ‘stuff’ is a derelict lawnmower with the exact same engine with the exact same starter and it works. NOW, if it would just STOP RAINING, I might get one or both of them repaired. I found out last night that there is a fuse in line with the starter on the four wheeler. We might just get lucky and only have to replace a blown fuse.

Summer and I have been talking about getting new furniture. It’s just talk because we still have ceiling sheetrock to remove in order to rewire this firetrap. This winter when it starts snowing and I can’t work outside it will be sheetrock time. This is going to be about as much fun as having four root canal surgeries at the same time.

Full tents mean happy Bob and Summer

Well that’s about it. I got the starters swapped on the lawnmower and still have the same problem. It’s always something. Summer has just come in from the wood stacking in the rain. Both tents are full and closed as much as possible and that means ten cords stacked. There is another cord or so lying on the ground needing to be tarped. Y’all keep yours chins up. Life may sometimes be tough but it beats the hell out of the alternative ie. six feet of dirt in your face.

Dad’s Alaska

Here’s to the Queen! A person of real substance in a world filled with politicians, hucksters and liars.

I could have just made the caption on the above read “filled with politicians’ and that would have covered the other two categories. I am apt to overstate the obvious, occasionally. I beg your forgiveness. It occurred to me that when I heard that the Queen had died I was sad. I can remember when she became Queen, I was nine years old and it was a big news event here in the US. Isn’t it odd that you can remember exactly where you were during some big event. I sitting on the floor of my grandparent’s home listening to the radio when she became Queen. I remember exactly where I was when I heard the news of President Kennedy’s assassination and on 9/11. There are others but those are the three big ones that I clearly remember in spite of my advancing age.

Crawled out of bed this morning at 7 AM instead of my usual 8 AM. I am going to try to break a decades old habit of going to bed at or just after midnight. By getting up an hour earlier, I hope to be able to go to bed and be asleep before midnight. I’ve always had a problem sleeping. I once told a youngish heart doctor that the only way I can sleep is to ‘run the string all of the way out’. She was puzzled and asked what that meant. I had to explain that it meant that I had to be totally exhausted in order to lie down and sleep. I have searched the interweb for the source of that saying but have found nothing. My best guess is that it is from the South and is related to “coming to the end of your rope”. Anyway, if I go to bed only a little tired I will lie awake, sometimes for hours, with my brain sifting through the detritus of my life. Useless thoughts, recriminations, project planning and all manner of things swirl through my pea brain unless my body is totally exhausted. Sometimes, even then, I will lie awake for a long time before sleeping. When I was younger, I slept only 5-6 hours a night. Nowadays, it requires a minimum of 8 hours and, sometimes, when I can’t think of a good reason to leave the bed, it will stretch into 9. I’m hoping that changing my sleeping pattern won’t be as hard as quitting cigars.

Dangerous Dan was digging a hole for another foundation concrete piling. This man is a machine. He dug a 4’x4’x5’ hole today. After he dug this gigantic hole he poured concrete into i wooden form that I built out of scrap lumber. Tomorrow he will put the piling in and refill that gigantic hole. He has done work on the house that i would never be able to do.

The gigantic hole dug by Dangerous Dan and at the bottom the newly poured concrete footing that the concrete piling will sit atop.

One of the 7 concrete pilings to be installed with a temporary post atop it.

Wood has been my life for the past several days. Chainsawed two cords of logs into rounds and then began splitting it. I’m about six weeks from being 78 years old and I can tell you that this would be pretty tough work even if I were almost 38. The splitting has been going well even though it rains off and on almost every day.

The trailer with about half the logs processed into rounds.

The trailer unloaded and the rounds on the ground.

At one point I had the ‘Reverse’ Jenga pile almost 8 feet tall. Then I tossed a small piece on to the top. That piece could not have weighed more than a couple of pounds but it set off a catastrophic failure and about half the pile came crashing down. It reminded me of a logic thing my Grandfather once asked me. “If a camel is carrying all of the feathers on his back that he can carry, can he carry one more?” Logically, if it is carrying all that it can carry the answer is NO but In my 9 year old mind I saw no reason that the camel couldn’t carry one more little feather. He patiently explained to me that when something reaches the limit of it’s ability and you add just one more small thing that ‘something’ will fail. My grandfather had a 3rd grade education but a doctorate in common sense and every man logic.

Jenga in reverse

Jenga resulting in bruised ankles if you do it wrong.

The lopped off end of my finger has healed but it has no real sense of touch or feeling. Bumping it, however, causes pain resulting in a plethora of curse words that can likely be heard a half mile away.

I have been writing this over several days. Things have progressed since two days ago. Dangerous Dan got a new treated 20’x 8×8 beam installed under the back wall of the house. The final wood pilings are not yet installed but the house is already far more stable than it has ever been. There is still another 20 feet of back wall that will need to be supported. I guess that will be next weekend. I finished the wood splitting except for the small ends and pieces. Most of them are less that a foot long so I’ve just been making them into chunks that you can toss onto an already red hot bed of coals and close the damper completely. These chunks will burn for hours. Load up the stove with the chunks and go to bed the house will stay warm for most of the night. When the chunks have, finally, given their all the oil heater takes over until the morning fire is built. Ordered 100 gallons of fuel oil to be delivered this week sometime. The big oil tank (500 gallons) had begun to tilt toward the house due to the frost heaving last winter. Dan helped me level it a bit on Saturday and then I braced it against the house. We added some addition bracing so that it would get through this winter. Next Spring, I’ll have someone lift it off the old ratty stand and build a nice new much more sturdy structure.

Mt. Wood. Elevation 8 feet covering a 14 foot circle containing approx. 600 cubic feet of combustible material. It is one of the Seven Wonders of Fritz Creek, Alaska.

Well that’s it for me. To quote one of my heroes, Red Green. “Keep your stick on the ice.”

Dad’s Alaska

Here’s to President Biden who in one speech managed to anger everyone that wasn’t already angry. WAY TO GO, JOE!!!

I didn’t get to watch all of President Biden’s ‘DARTH VADER’ speech. I caught part of it and, quite frankly, I thought that it was a parody. It looked like some talented You Tuber or TikToker had done it just for kicks. After watched for a while and then realized that this was not going to be funny. That is when I moved on to watch an old Clint Eastwood movie, ‘Hang ‘em High’. It was still entertaining and a good movie even after having seen it 2-3 times already. This time the thing that caught my eye was the dude in dude’s clothing. His speech from the gallows was a master piece of cinema. He should have gotten an Academy Award nomination at the very minimum. BUT it was a Western and Western movies were not thought of very highly in those days. Anyway, watching the mentally challenged geriatric Joe Biden did not have much appeal. After all he’d already called me “a semi-facist” and a hater of The Constitution. I dare say that I’ve read The Constitution many more times than Joe. I’ve read The Constitution enough that I know that all of the laws that the Democrats have passed in the past nearly two years are invalid. I know that because Section 5 of Article 1 requires that there must be a quorum present in Congress “to do business”. Present means in the same location. It makes no allowance for anyone to ‘deem a quorum’ for any reason. The only votes that may be counted are those of the people that are present and no vote may be taken without a “quorum”. ALL OF THE LAWS PASSED IN THE PAST NEAR TWO YEARS HAVE BEEN PASSED WITHOUT A QUORUM PRESENT. The Democrat leaders of the Congress and the Senate have been allowing people to vote from where ever they are, even it they are in a foreign country. This is completely un-Constitutional and illegal. But what else would you expect in The New World Order?

This year a synonym for August is RAIN. This was the wettest August on record since they started keeping records in 1952. I’ve been so wet all month that I am growing gills and, also, webbing between my toes and fingers. Here it is in September and it is still raining. I was outside all morning helping Dan, when I could, and getting soaked to the skin. I can’t find my rain gear. I guess I’ll have to buy some more. Anyway, Dan installed another concrete foundation piling under the east end of the house. After the piling was installed he left muttering something about a hot shower and a nap. He’s been getting up early to moose hunt, working his regular job all day and then going back out to hunt moose in the evening. Poor devil is getting up before 5 AM and getting to bed at about 11 PM. Then on his off day he comes here to work on the foundation having moose hunted in the morning and going back out moose hunting in the evening. The man is a glutton for punishment, it seems.

Yesterday, which was September 2, I made the trip to Soldotna to see my wood guy, Jeff. He and his buddy, Eric loaded two cords of spruce logs on my trailer. While they were doing that, I went to the local Honda dealer and put a $500 deposit on a snowblower on tracks. We already have one on wheels. The wheeled version does not do well out here on the rough ground. The wheeled versions are really for town folk with concrete or asphalt driveways. Now with the deposit paid we wait and see if the dealer receives any snowblowers. They are scheduled to arrive late this month. We’ll see.

The trailer load of spruce logs is parked out of the way for the moment. I needed it moved so that I can pull all of our cabinets for our future kitchen out of the big green tent. The chickens have been roosting on top of them and you know what chickens do. I will be scraping the chicken droppings off the boxes and taking them to a place where they’ll be a lot safer, just as soon as it stops raining. I am assuming, of course, that it will stop raining sometime in this decade.

Me and my buddy, Buddy, on a warm sunny day last winter. I know it’s an ugly sweater but it’s warm and it was free.

I don’t remember if I mentioned that I had about 3/8 of an inch of my left index finger pinched off. I disconnected the small trailer and didn’t chock the wheels. The trailer rolled forward catching my finger between the hitch and the ball. Oddly enough it didn’t hurt much then and really hasn’t been very painful at all up until recently. Now every time I bump it against something, I spray a plethora of dirty words into the atmosphere. The nerve endings are not back so the when I touch things it feels as if there is a bandage on my finger. Still any sudden contact with the end of the finger greatly pollutes the atmosphere with exhaled CO2 and dirty words.

My stubby finger with its’ deformed finger nail.

The sun has kinda, sorta come out to play but there is still a problem. It is still raining. My grandmother always said that when it was raining and the sun was shining that “The Devil was beating his wife”. When I was a kid I wondered who would marry the Devil. Today, I’ve kept a small fire going in the stove. The outside temperature now is up to 52.8F according to the digital thermometer. It was 47.2 earlier. The inside temperature is 73F and I like it. While there has been no full sun there has been enough solar radiation through the clouds to heat the house some. When I lived down on Mobile Bay, 73F would have been considered a cool day. Here in Alaska 73F is very warm day. We don’t see many, if any of those days in an average summer.

Well it has stopped raining so it is time to go to work. Ciao!!

Dad’s Alaska

Heres to the FBI assiduously destroying their ‘Good Guy’ image.

There seems to be no length that the ‘Deep State’ will not go to destroy former President Trump. It very well may be that they have a point that some of the materials that then President Trump DID NOT PACK UP and move to Mar A Lago might be important to national security. The point is that he had no part of selecting or packing of the documents. Also, I have serious doubts that he or anyone else spent hours going through those documents. He allowed the FBI access previously and told them come back any time. Add to that the question: To what end would rifling through tens of thousands of pages of boring ass crap be? With 24/7 camera surveillance and Secret Service personnel on site. who would risk trying to pilfer anything? Whether you are a Democrat, a Rastafarian, Episcopalian, Republican or Conservative this has to reek of political harassment. What do you think the reaction would have been, if President Trump had authorized a similar raid on former President Obama’s home? This has constitutional implications, not the least of which is ‘Can a sitting President revoke the privileges of a former President’. If that is constitutional we are likely to see President Biden’s, conversations with staff, his documents confiscated and his entire life investigated and exposed. Whatever your true political religion might be we cannot allow this to become a trend. Regardless of their politics, former Presidents must not be politically harassed by anyone.

Life in Alaska has been and is continuing to be difficult for me. Some days I am very tired. I’ll be 78 in November. In the past week or so, I have bucked up 2 cords of firewood and then have split most of it. Summer has been working 6 days a week so she has been very little help in getting the firewood stored away in the tents. It is not her fault that she has little time to help out here on the ‘homestead’. Dan and his brother have been working on the new foundation of the house every weekend. Dan works full time and then works his weekends here. It’s been way more Dan than Dave on this project. However, I am appreciative for the effort Dave puts into the project. I have been helping wherever I can but I seem mostly to be in the way and firewood processing has been my life for days and days. It has rained incessantly and I that I may be growing webbing between my toes. I’ve split wood in the rain but drew the line when it started to thunder. Thunder is a rarity here in Alaska. It is so rare that people will go outside to look for lightning. As of today, I’ve had to stop splitting the birch as the tent floor is covered in split birch. Tomorrow after a 10:00 AM clothes dryer repair, I am going to be stacking all of that loose birch. If I get that done quickly, I’ll be back on the splitter doing more birch. I finished all of the spruce rounds today and they are piled up awaiting a new tent. I’m doing, at least, 10 cords of wood for this winter. If I have the money and the time, I’ll do 12-14 cords. I’ve heard that you aren’t a Real Alaskan until you’ve had to burn the furniture to stay warm. If that is the measure, I think I’ll pass.

Dan’s handiwork. The front of the house with the foundation in and the dirt put back in place. The top of the black stuff is 6 feet above the insulated foundation.

A 4’ steel reinforced concrete pier sitting atop a 24”x24”x6” steel reinforced concrete pad on the back corner of the house. The 4×6 is temporary.

One of 7 four foot steel reinforced concrete piers going under the back and sides of the house.

The, at last, empty trailer ready for another load of wood.

Split birch ready to be stacked. The birch, much of it green as grass, will have to dry until next February/March before it can be burned.,

About a cord of split spruce awaiting the new tent. The tent in the rear is holding about 5 cords of spruce firewood.

These are just a few of the several hundred rocks that came out of the foundation dig. A lot of them were reburied because they were too small or too heavy. If rocks were dollars we’d be billionaires.

My appliance repair has not been a great financial success. The problem is that there just aren’t enough people to make it a real business. There are only about 8,000 permanent residents in the area that includes Homer and Anchor Point. Frankly, I don’t think I’m game for another business with even 2 employees much less 28. Mostly, I work here on the ‘homestead’ and get an occasional repair call. It isn’t monetarily very rewarding but it gets me off this hill and into society from time to time. Long before we moved to Alaska I was bad to talk to myself. My late wife, Connie, would chide me about this habit. Just to aggravate her I would tell her that when I wanted to speak to someone intelligent, I’d talk to myself. The problem with spending so much time alone is that you start to answer yourself. You have long, serious conversations about trivial things. I can see how when a person is left alone for a long time that they withdraw from society and become hermits. You don’t have to move into a cave to become a hermit. You can easily become a hermit in any neighborhood in any city. Where do you think that the “GET OFF MY GRASS” people come from? They are people that have lived alone so long that they have become un-socialized. They are urban/suburban hermits.

Enough “Deep Thoughts”. Old time SNL watchers will recognize the joke. SNL was once funny. Nobody was above the ridicule that they dished out. The made fun of Republicans, Democrats, Hollywood stars, all manner of politicians and they made us laugh Now they become so WOKE and politically leftist that they are no longer funny. They are, in fact, a mere shadow of the real SNL I really miss the days when comedians were allowed to be funny, we laughed at each other and no one was offended. I am now offended by the fact that so many people are offended about everything that amounts to nothing. I’m afraid that humor is dead and soon to be buried by the Marxist WOKETARDS.,

On to other things. Dan seems to think that we’ll (meaning himself) will get the house level and stabilized before winter. I am hoping that he is correct. If he gets the house leveled, I will be able to get the skirting around the house. This will make the house warmer and protect the plumbing that we’ve been burning a crap load of electricity with heat tapes to protect them from freezing. One of our electricity bills from last winter was near $350 and that has nothing to do with heating the house aside from the fan in the fuel oil heater. The entire house, except the kitchen, is lighted by 9 watt LEDs. The security lighting is on motion sensors and is, also, LED. We, necessarily, have to heat the water tanks and water lines in the water house. They are on thermostats that are set for 35F and both of the tanks and the houses are heavily insulated. If I have time before the snow flies I am going to put 2” furring strips on the outside walls of the tank sheds and then add 2” of foam board insulation and top that with plywood sheathing. Winters seem to be getting colder and electricity is getting more expensive. I think we are already paying 30+ cents per KWh. In Florida we were paying about 10 cents per KWH. The difference is significant to say the very least.

A project that has lain idle for nearly a year is now on my radar. That project is the repair of the Land Rover. It had a terrible scraping noise in the rear. I took it to a mechanic and he said that the brake calipers were rubbing on the brake discs. I had visions of someone else repairing this until he gave me a price of $800. New calipers and new brake pads are about $150. This meant that I was going to be the one that repaired the Rover. I dutifully removed the tires and unbolted the calipers. To my surprise when I had unbolted the calipers and started to remove them the entire rear axle came out. It seems, as I have stated before, no one thought to check the oil in the rear end. All of the bearings were not just worn but completely gone. We bought another Rover of the same model and year for a few hundred dollars about a year ago. I will be removing the entire rear axle assembly from the black Rover and installing it in the Red Rover. It reminds me of a kid’s game that kids can no longer play because it is exclusionary and racist. Never mind. Anyway the project requires removing 54 rusty bolts and reinstalling 27 newly cleaned bolts. With the normal interruptions and aggravations it will probably take me two days to complete this relatively simple task. I’ll be buying two cans of WD40 tomorrow. I suspect that I might need it all before I get the 22 year old bolts out of these vehicles. It seems that a third operating vehicle would be a luxury and superfluous, but Summer needs a vehicle to get to work and I need a vehicle to get around for whatever I need to do on the ‘homestead’ or my pitiful appliance repair endeavor. If one vehicle breaks, I’d be stranded on this damned hill or driving Summer to and from work. Neither option appeals to me or Summer.

This expected, anticipated “adventure” into Alaska has been a drudge. For five years now it has been very low on the adventure scale. I have not been fishing. I have not been hunting. I have not done any touristy sightseeing. I have not joined the local yacht club so that I can go do the sailing I love. What I have done is work too much and drink way too much vodka. I did join the American Legion. I’ve been to the club twice. Once to fill out the application to join and once to give them a copy of my DD214 to prove that I was, indeed, a war veteran. I’ve never even had a beer in the place. I was put off by the fact that on both visits the people at the bar were older than me and that’s really old. They don’t seem to be trying to attract younger veterans or any auxiliary people. The fact is I don’t see how they are keeping the doors open.

Alright, It’s 11:00 at night and I vowed to go to bed earlier than midnight. Two reasons for the earlier to bed. One: I drink less vodka. Two: I get an extra hour or so of sleep. Both are good reasons for early assumption of a horizontal position. One great benefit of this new bedtime is that it is very difficult to drink vodka lying on your side unless your are drinking Russian style. That’s out of the bottle, if you didn’t know. GOOD NIGHT!!!

Dad’s Alaska

Here’s to the Communist Chinese Government that can’t tell a friend from an enemy.

Recently, the Chinese official news was threatening to blast Nancy Pelosi’s plane out of the sky, if she was foolish enough to visit Taiwan. I found that amusing as she is and has been a good and loyal friend to the CCP for many years. It was all very strange. It was as if she was trying to start WWIII. It’s over now. The Chinese have completely surrounded Taiwan and the semi-conductor business will cease shortly. Your new phone is on hold.

It seems lately that non-face to face interactions are leading to massive depressions. You need to go meet your neighbor. You might scare him or her at first but they’ll get over it. Even if you detest your neighbor, you should keep a dialogue open. The lack of human contact and the realization that we are in a Matrix designed by people not accountable to anyone ie. Soros, Xi, Yuckerberg, and a bunch of others who have FU money and power. The American public is being ’sliced and diced’ to keep us separated. Dems, apparently, hate everyone. Repubs hate Dems. Blacks hate whites. Etcetera, etcetera etcetera. ad infinitum. It really is Us against Them. It is really, really the U.S. against Them. The “Them” being all of the billionaires and despots (like Xi and Putin) deciding how we should live and in what manner America will exist.

On another matter the Monkeypox ‘Scare you to death’ campaign just took unexpected turn. Now the government is admitting that, so far, it is a disease of gay and bisexual persons. If you don’t want to believe me here is the info. You aren’t likely to find it anywhere else. https://www.theblaze.com/news/biden-monkeypox-gay-bisexual-men

It has been an interesting week. Summer caught Covid. She had the first Covid jab and reacted so badly that they would not give her the second jab. It hasn’t been much of an imposition for her. She’s had no appreciable level of fever, if any at all. Mostly she’s felt tired and weak but otherwise just fine. I have, so far, tested negative for the Covid Crud.

Dan and I got the waterproofing barrier (Bituthene) onto the new foundation wall. It really wasn’t that difficult on my part as the ‘helper’. With the barrier on we are now ready to backfill. Of course, there will be drain piping around the foundation on both sides that will be done just before the backfilling commences. Summer will be very happy to have her house stabilized. Sliding down the hill into the abyss, as Martha might say “Isn’t a good thing”.

The Bituthene moisture barrier installed.
The Fabulous Fabio and his ladies expecting a handout while I’m taking the foundation picture.

Monday, I got the last of the firewood logs reduced to rounds and when it wasn’t raining I split all of the huge pile of rounds. Then came the stacking. I hate the stacking. Splitting is kind of a Zen thing. You can contemplate the current state of the world or wonder why ‘W’ is pronounced Double ‘U’ and not Double ‘V’. Or why the plural of tooth is teeth but the plural of booth isn’t beeth. In other words, as long as you keep your hand out from the front or back of the moving ram there is no intellect required. There is no need to think about which round you put on the splitter, it is simply whichever one that is closest to the splitter. Stacking, however, requires thinking and not about lunch or supper. In order to get as much wood into the tents to protect it from rain and snow, it is imperative upon you to think. Every nook and cranny must be filled. Summer is the ‘Stacker Extraordinaire’. I am a slug by comparison. The stacked wood must, as closely as possible, resemble a solid wall with the large voids avoided. All of this filling in and making sure that it is all stacked as tightly as possible requires you to decide where each piece of wood fits into the stack puzzle. It is Jenga in reverse and if you don’t stack carefully you will end up with a lot less wood in the tent. The result of that would be wood lying out on the ground getting wet and later, covered in snow. The result of that some of it will be frozen so solidly to the earth that only an earthquake or the Spring thaw will release it. So-o-o-o for better or worse, I stacked all of the dry Spruce. And that’s another thing. I bought, from my wood guy Jeff, a good bit of Birch and paid extra for it. Only when I began to process it into rounds did I discover that it was all green as grass in June. Some of the large Birch limbs were rotted in the center making them useless except as fire starting material. Of course, even they will require drying as the wood surrounding the core is green and wet and the rotted center is like a sponge. I will take the blame for this fiasco. I did not specify dry Birch and it seems that many Alaskans are literalists. “You ask for Birch, you got Birch. If you wanted dry Birch, you should have told me.” Now, Summer and I will be stacking wet Birch in the back of the second wood tent. This we do so that, MAYBE, it will be dry enough to burn next February or March. I will be buying only Spruce going forward. I won’t be complaining too much to Jeff as he has been the least expensive source for firewood that I have found. Besides complaining would simply be complaining about my own stupidity. BTW each tent holds just a bit over 4 1/2 cords of wood.

Firewood stacked as closely as I am capable.
All of the wet Birch that will be stacked in the back of this tent.

Today I will get on with taking all of the stored items out of the second wood tent, if Summer is up to helping me lift a few things. In the above picture you can see a portion of a heater, the end of the door that was/is destined to be used on out Arctic entrance when the house is completely leveled. and no longer moving south. There is, also, some moderately heavy stuff hidden behind the pile of green Birch. The tires pictured are the winter tires for the Subaru Forester and there are only three. I have no idea where the fourth tire has gone. It was supposed to have been stacked with the other three. That is a mystery that will necessarily need to be solved before the snow flies. Anyway, somehow or other, I will be moving all of this stuff to the big tent that was once Summer’s plant store. It is 16 feet wide and 40 feet long. We can store a lot of useless junk in that much space.

Monday will be another trip to Soldotna. This trip will be a combination of truck repair and wood hauling. The truck we purchased had an ignition switch problem. You have to jiggle the switch around while attempting to turn it. Summer has figured out the combination of jiggle and turn so that it is less of an aggravation to her than myself. It has taken months for the dealer to procure the switch and make the appointment to have it installed. Procuring the switch was complicated by the effort to get the ignition switch that would match the door locks. You would think that with the VIN number that it wouldn’t be a problem. You’d be thinking wrongly. Anyway, the plan is to drop the trailer at Jeff’s wood yard and then be at the dealer before 10:00 AM. This is going to take a superhuman effort on my part because I don’t usually go to bed before 12:00 AM and I normally crawl out of bed at about 8:00 AM, bleary eyed and craving coffee. It’s about 80 miles to Jeff’s wood yard and another 5-6 miles to the dealer. I’ll make it. I just won’t like it.

The Tuesday, Wednesday or however long it takes, the plan is to clean up the area around where the backfilling of the foundation will take place. There is a bunch of drops of various pieces of lumber used to construction the new foundation along with some other debris and tools that needs to be removed from the area. Also, There is a stack of 80 pound bags of concrete that need to be moved to a drier location. They’ve been stacked there for over two years and some of them have solidified. Those will be used to build a retaining wall or something. The good stuff will be moved into the former goose abode. In the picture below under the green tarp is 50-60 bags of concrete. Also, while I am moving material there are a bunch of nice rocks in the hole. I am collecting them for some yet to be defined project. I find that, often, I at am at loose ends and need just one more thing to do.

The clean up area and in the background the Tent of Useless Junk that we won’t throw away.

I guess that brings you up to date. Now I have to go out and do some of this stuff. Ciao!

Dad’s Alaska

30 July 2022

Here’s to the Mexican Cartels making drug and human trafficking great again

There are by some estimates nearly 2,00,000 people that have crossed the southern border illegally since the Biden Administration stopped enforcing the border. That number is about 2 1/2 times the population of Alaska or about 4 times the population of Atlanta or just a little less than the current population of Chicago. These people are from 100s of different countries. We have no idea who they are or where they have gone. They could be just regular people except that we have no way of knowing that. They could be spies, criminals or terrorists and we have no way of knowing that either. One thing we do know is that they have few, if any, intentions of fully integrating themselves into American society. They refuse to learn the language, they take over and turn neighborhoods into an American version of the craphole they left behind. If they do partly learn English it is just enough to take an American’s job. Along with this invasion comes a flood of drugs, primarily Fentanyl. This is a drug so deadly that a pound of pure fentanyl could kill over 200,000 people. Already over one hundred thousand and counting Americans, mostly under 30s, have died from fentanyl poisoning. This poison comes across the border in pill form stamped as some common drug that millions of Americans have taken over decades. There in lies the danger. People think that they are taking a sleeping pill, for instance, and go to sleep permanently. Tens of thousands more will die, if we don’t close the border and stop the drug smuggling. The question is how many more young Americans must die before the current US Government closes the southern border. The Mexican Cartels are making billions of dollars a year smuggling drugs and people. They are better armed than the Mexican government and I would not be surprised to learn that they have anti-aircraft missiles and other materials from the Biden Administration Afghanistan debacle of a nearly a year ago. They have the money to buy anything they want. The Mexican government is so corrupt that Mexican officials are, no doubt, benefiting from this illegal and deadly invasion of the mostly United States of America. At what point do we say ”Enough”.

Well, I’m calling that rant done. The ‘homestead experience’ continues. I’ve been running some appliance service calls and then returning home to work on various things, primarily firewood. I told a customer the other day that I was going home to chainsaw some logs and she asked me ”Why don’t you pay someone to do that?” I explained to her that it cost too much. She doesn’t live in Alaska full time and likely has no idea how expensive it has gotten to have split firewood delivered and stacked. Five years ago, when we first moved to Fritz Creek, you could but a cord of mixed birch and spruce firewood for about $225-$250 delivered and dumped in your yard. The current price of the same cord of firewood is now $350 and you might have to go get it and bring it home yourself. I’m currently buying a mix of spruce and birch in 8’ log lengths for $220 a cord. Even with the cost of fuel to haul it home I am still well under $240 a cord. The cost of processing is about $8 a cord for chainsaw and splitter gas. My labor is, of course, free except for the groceries I consume. So all totaled up and rounded up I’m paying about $250 a cord for the firewood. If I purchased the 12 cords of wood that I’m buying already processed the cost would be $4200. If I buy the logs and process it myself the cost is $3000. $1200 is a lot of money to waste in these times of $7 a pound hamburger meat and near $6 a gallon gasoline. This is not to mention the fact that our 500 gallon fuel oil tank is empty. Not almost empty. Absolutely empty, Nary a drop available. I am still afraid to ask the fuel oil supplier how much it will cost to fill that tank.

Today the forecast is for 100% rain. So far that has been correct. It is about 11:15 AM and the rain has stopped. This is likely temporary because the sky is still the same gray color as when it was raining 15 minutes ago. I had intended to finish up the chainsaw work on the remaining 40 or so logs left on the trailer. The logs range in size from about 5 inches to 15 inches with the average being about 8 inches in diameter. A couple of hours of concerted effort would have them lying on the ground and ready to split. I could put on my rain gear and take care of the logs but it is 54F and very damp outside and I have no desire to abuse myself. I have abused my body quite enough in the past 7 decades and further abuse is just ’piling on’. I texted ‘Dangerous Dan’ and suggested that he take the day off from the foundation repair that he is doing on our house. It was out of character but Dan agreed that working in the rain today was not a good idea. He has worked in the rain on the foundation project recently so as I said “it is out of character” for ‘Dangerous Dan’ to not work regardless of the weather. He has stabilized the house but it is not yet level and we have not poured any concrete footers under the center of the house or along the back of the house. That drudgery will come in the next few weeks. During that time I still have 6 more cords of wood to process and stack. The fun never stops. There are times when I think, that if I had known how much work living in Alaska would be, I’d still be in Florida. Most of the time I am happy to be here. I’m kind of like the old time comedian, George Burns. He often remarked when he went on stage late in his life, ”I’m happy to be here and at my age I’m happy to be anywhere.” He was in his 90s when he made that remark. I am only approaching 78 but I understand the sentiment.

Well, folks, that it for me. It looks as if the rain has subsided for a while and were getting a bit more light through the clouds. That means that the logs on the trailer are calling my name. It may be damp but I’ll likely be sweating before too long. Y’all be careful. It is a dangerous world, outside your front door.