Dad’s Alaska

29 December 2021

Here’s to my hero. OMICRON!!!!!!

Our freedom is, apparently, being saved by a virus. The Omicron virus is, by all accounts, a very mild illness. People who have had it have remarked that it was like having the common cold. It seems to be causing a bunch of reported cases but fewer and fewer hospitalizations and deaths. We are, at last, being able to see a light at the end of the tunnel that is not an oncoming train. The politicians are not going to want to relinquish their newly found power. At some point, we’ll just have to ignore the politicians and go on about the business of living our lives. Anyway, it seems that the Omicron virus is enough like Delta and the other variants that it will give immunity to the other more deadly viruses. As I said earlier, we are being saved by a virus. I still have not taken the MRNA gene therapy ”vaccine”. The military researchers have come up with a real vaccine that I suspect will never see the light of day. This is because too many politicians and bureaucrats have too much of a vested financial interest in the MRNA gene therapy. Now there is a pill you can take, if you get the virus that seems to be very effective. The drug companies have finished the major drug trial i.e the coerced vaccination of 200 million Americans and only God knows how many others outside the US with an experimental drug. Sad thing is that the experimental drug did not stop the spread of the virus. Millions of people took the ”vaccine” and still got sick, spread the virus and many died. I’m reminded of the scene at the beginning of The Walking Dead where they discover that there is no cure for the virus that created the zombies.

The last picture of Miss Suzy

Little Miss Suzy was the last vestige of 43 years of marriage to my wife and my best friend. Summer and I had to take her to the Vet and have her put down. Some disease in small dogs makes the throat collapse. She got to where she couldn’t eat or drink. It is a terrible thing to have to kill that which has become almost another child to me. Suzy was Connie’s dog. She doted on this little critter right up until the last days of her life. When Connie was in hospice, I would take Suzy to visit. Suzy was a bed hog. She would sleep on top of the bed covers between Connie and myself. Some how every morning I would find myself barely on the bed and Suzy lying across the bed. She pushed me so that she could be comfortable. After Connie passed away, she continued to sleep on the bed and I gradually became her human. That did not stop her from shoving me to the edge of the bed. I did become comfortable having her sleeping against my back. Her little warm body was like having a heating pad against my sometimes sore back. Connie died almost 5 years ago and I got the honor of being Suzy’s human since then. She went everywhere I did. She made 3 trips on the ALCAN as were going to and from Alaska. She was the perfect passenger. She was on my lap looking at the scenery or sound asleep. She was no trouble at all during our travels. For almost 50 years, I have not slept alone. It has been an adjustment. I miss my wife terribly but I, also, am missing Suzy. She was my buddy and her presence pretty much was the only thing that kept me sane after Connie died.

Summer’s two barkity critters. Taco looking at us and Betsy Boo sound asleep.

As you can see in the picture, we still don’t have the oak flooring down. We are going to rewire the entire house which entails taking out all of the sheetrock on the walls and ceilings. There will be a lot of tramping around on the floor and a crap load of sheet rock pieces and dust so the floors have to wait. We have the flooring, we have the kitchen cabinets and we have the wire. It is now just a matter of waiting until Spring. The entire kitchen has to be removed and we’ll have to set up a cook house outside. That is the one thing we really can’t do in the winter. As I have stated previously, I have surrendered to the house as far as getting it level is concerned. I have a guy coming when the ground thaws to pour some concrete and stabilize the house. After that I might be able to level it. The original plan was to lower the house to level it. However, I’m inclined to raise it a couple of feet so that I can get some heavy beams mounted of concrete pillars.

Winter is bad for your health. There is no way to work outside in 18 inches of snow. Any serious construction will have to wait for spring. During the summer I would rack up 2 and sometime 3 miles of walking around the property along with whatever exercise that the current job required. Since the snow started, i’ve been sitting on my rear end doing nearly nothing except eating all day Chewing does not count as exercise. All of this eating and inactivity led to my gaining 5 pounds. Since I’m already about 20 pounds too heavy an extra 5 pounds isn’t a good thing. My solution to the growing poundage is to walk, at least, 2 miles every day. I thought that I might be biting off more than I could chew but two miles seems to be the correct number. I get a little cardio going up the hills on the road and it doesn’t completely exhaust me.

We’ve had a heat wave. The daytime temps have been at or above freezing for most of a week now. The snow on the roads has become ice and I’ve been forced to wear cleats on my walks. This is Wednesday and they are predicting 80% chance of snow for Thursday and Friday. This will likely put us to over two feet of snow on the ground and cause me to be wrestling with the snow blower. I was going to build a snowman but the snow was too dry and wouldn’t ball up.

Since Christmas, I have been eating soup for every meal. I made potato soup the day before Christmas and it was very good. Summer and I ate a lot of it that evening. I had it for dinner last night and breakfast this morning. I made a Minestrone soup on Monday which I alone have eaten for every meal this week that wasn’t potato soup. I am about souped up to my eyeballs. The rest of the minestrone is headed for the freezer.

As you can tell there isn’t much going on here at the homestead. I’ve watched too much Antique Aliens, Unexplained and news shows. There is always one little chore or project to do but 30 minutes later you are stumped as to what you might do next. Most of the time there is nothing else to fo but screw around on the computer or watch another dumbass show in search of Sasquatch, Antique Aliens gold, tuna, crabs or even worse watch the depressing news

Yesterday on my walk a moose cow decided that I was not going to pass her by. She ran out into the road as as I was approaching. I backed up and walked up a drive way and stood behind some brush. I stood very still for about five minutes. Abruptly, she turned and trotted back up the hill where she had been eating. I, again, got back on the road to continue my walk. The crazy moose then ran back into road and stood in the way I intended to go. I was only about 300 yards from the house and Summer happened to looking in my direction and saw the moose and me. Summer drove down to where i was and the car noise made the crazy moose run off down the slope. The first time it blocked my way, I was within 15 feet or so. In other words, too damned close. People in Alaska are more afraid of moose than bears. Moose kill far more people than bears is a fact of life in Alaska. There aren’t a whole bunch of things that scare me but that moose scared the crap out of me. I was so scared I forgot to take pictures

Below are some pictures I took on my walkabouts and from the house.

Midday sunshine
My old ugly mug. I ain’t pretty no more. It was about 33 degrees when I took the picture.
Dawn on the homestead
Dawn a few minutes later
The sun is setting while I’m walking down Tom Cat Drive at about 3:45 pm
An absolutely beautiful Alaska sunset taken on Hill Ave just before Tom Cat Drive.
Another picture along Tom Cat Drive

Well that’s it for me. I hope everyone had a very merry Christmas and may your God bless each and every one of you.

Dad’s Alaska

Here’s to the Omicron virus that might save us all from COVID forever

I’m pretty much isolated from the human race up here on Greer Road hill. Yeah, I have the interweb and streaming TV. My isolation is physical rather than mental. I talk and text with friends in Florida fairly regularly and I harass a few people on Fakebook when I’m not in Fakebook jail. I think I’ve done about 16 thirty days stents plus several 3 and 7 days sentences. I figure that if they aren’t putting you in jail you aren’t spreading the truth. Anyway to my point, I read several on line newspapers every morning whilst sucking down 32+ ounces of coffee. I just read a day or so back that GlaxoSmithKline have developed a real COVID vaccine. I haven’t taken the jabs that are currently available as I’ve been waiting on a real vaccine that is not the MRNA gene therapy currently being foisted upon the public as a ”vaccine”. The CDC changed the definition of ”vaccine” in order to call this gene therapy a vaccine. This new vaccine, apparently, generates a natural resistance to COVID like the polio or measles vaccines. According to what I’ve read it has few, if any side effects and encourages the bodies own defenses to recognize and attack the COVID virus over much longer periods of time. It is being approved for use in Great Britain but is unlikely to be approved in the US. This is because the CDC/NIH/FDA and other alphabet agencies have a reputed financial interest in the MRNA vaccines being used in the US. It’s another ”Follow the Money” deal. I guess I’m naive but I was not aware the government agencies ( and maybe government employees) could profit from research done with taxpayer money. Anyway, the take away on this is that there is a better, safer real vaccine out there that you probably won’t hear ever about here in the Marxist Republic of America. Now on to more mundane and non-medical things.

Much to our surprise it is blowing our third blizzard for this winter. The entire property is covered in about 18 inches of previous snow with another six to ten inches predicted for this blizzard. Those items which we did not picked up have disappeared until late April or early May. The same goes for all of our outside projects. I had intended to put a porch deck on the back of the house in November. And then frame in a walled, roofed ‘Arctic Entry’ atop the porch deck. In that entry we would have had a bench, a place to hang coats, other outerwear and snow covered boots. That just isn’t going to happen. The Fall and early Winter has been colder than in previous years. We bought ten cords of firewood logs this year. I reduced them to rounds, split and stacked most of it myself. Ended up doing the last two cords with only one working arm. I had some surgery on my left shoulder. The doctor told me to not pick up more than five pounds with that arm. I waited until six days after the surgery to start splitting the last two cords. I was using the left arm just to balance the round before I put it on the splitter.

The geese have, finally, resigned themselves to their captivity. They are no longer trying to get around, over, under or through the fencing. Their pond has frozen solid so we’re having to take water to them every day. Taking water to them every day is a small chore until you find yourself ’post holing’ through 18 inches of snow. This struggle led to starting the snow blower. The snow blower was built for the genteel suburban snow. That is to say moving snow off concrete or asphalt paving. The suburbanite opens his/her garage door, starts the snow blower and cleans his/her driveway and sidewalk. No problem as the machine is operating on a hard surface and does not get stuck every three feet. The narrow tires sink into the snow left behind and will not proceed forward. When shifted into reverse it will not back up without some major snatching and jerking to get it out of the holes the tires dug. I spent almost an hour and a half forcefully shoving the plow forward in order to clear a path to the goose house. This time included the time I had to take to let my pulse get back under 140 or some number that made me think my heart might jump out of my chest at any moment. I seriously contemplated what I might do if I stroked out. I really didn’t want Summer to find me slumped over that confounded machine dead. I certainly got my cardio for the day. After resting up for awhile I plowed my way to the wood tent and then to the conex (40’ shipping container) and the water tank sheds. This plowing while strenuous was done on packed gravel which made it a lot easier.. Not easy but easier.

After my heart pounding trip to the goose house it was time to take water to them and then post hole my way to the chicken house to collect eggs and check on their water. They were good on food as Summer had dumped fifty pounds of food in their feeder the night before. Of course, they were out of water so struggling back through the snow to get a bucket of water and then returning with that 40 pound bucket of water pretty much did me in for the day. It was only about 3:00 PM and sunset was just over and hour away, but I was done. There would be no more snow blowing trenches.

The next morning I ate my cinnamon raisin bagel, sucked down 32 ounces of coffee and then went outside to start the infernal machine. I was and did plow/trench my way to the chicken house. It was pretty much a repeat of the goose expedition only maybe 20 feet further and on the side of a hill. During the previous days fiasco I developed some techniques that made it somewhat easier. I got pretty much the same cardio workout but finished the longer course in less time. Just as I got the blower back up the hill a neighbor, one of Summer’s friends, arrived with his snow plow truck. He had plowed his own driveway and the drove down to our house to plow our road. This, usually, costs money but he does it for us no charge. Snow plowing isn’t his occupation. He works up on ’The Slope’ or in oil field for you Lower 48 denizens. It just happened that the last blizzard came at a time when he was off the job for a couple of weeks. I think he works 2 weeks on 2 weeks off but now that I’ve said it I realize that I really don’t know. After he had plowed the road he was backing out to the main road and somehow got his truck stuck. He’s gotten a little too close to the edge of the road and the truck slipped down the slight embankment. My truck covered in snow and ice had to be cleared to be able to see well enough to extricate his truck. After my truck had warmed up and melted the ice off the windshield, I went to pull him out. Had to jerk his truck harder than I would have liked to get him out of the ditch. My heavy rope tow line got cut on the blade of his snow plow which leaves me with 6 feet less rope and all of my other rope that size is buried somewhere under two plus feet of snow drift. I guess I’ll just have to make do with the shorter rope until Spring when I probably won’t need a longer rope. After he went on his way, I plowed Summer’s parking area and the ‘turn in’ to the parking.

Summer was at one of the ’up the hill’ neighbors home for a visit a few days ago. For some reason the lady had to move her truck. While moving the truck she backed into Summer’s car. The fender was bent, a headlight crushed, the grille popped out and the radiator support bracket bent. All of this damage on her 2006 Subaru might lead the insurance company to total it out. I was supposed to have repaired the Summer’s Land Rover in latter part of October. However, it rained and rained and rained and then when the rain stopped it started snowing. Needless to say the Rover is not repaired. Of course, we look like the rednecks we are with a dead car on blocks in the yard. The Rover repair is postponed until May or June of next year. Summer has said that she could borrow one of Dan’s (her significant other) trucks while the Subaru is being repaired or condemned. If they condemn it she will just buy it back from the insurance company and use the settlement cash to have it repaired. She is in love with that little car.

The poor little Rover abandoned in a snow bank until Spring.

We failed to sell a couple of fruit trees (one pear & one apple) this spring and summer. We now have them sitting in our living room. Because we were trying to sell them (and because of the 42 other ‘opportunities’ that cropped up) they did not get planted on the property. And here in Alaska, it is more than just digging a hole an plopping the tree into said hole. The moose like fruit trees. When the trees are young the moose will eat them almost to the ground and the tree dies. You must build a moose proof wire cage to protect the young trees. We just didn’t have the time, hence trees in living room.

We’ve had continuing water problems. With the new 1000 gallon tank installed and the 500 gallon tank residing in a newly constructed shack, I thought we were good for the winter. Yeah, I was wrong AGAIN. A heat tape failed and the pipe, by which the big tank is filled, froze and cracked. Fortunately, when the pipe froze and burst the pipe was plugged with the ice and we did not lose the 100+ gallons of water still in the tank. Still some of the fiber glass batting insulation got wet so I had to remove it and take it inside to dry off. Two trips to the hardware store plus digging through my own plumbing supplies got the fill pipe rerouted. The insulation, at last, dried and was reinstalled. This process only took parts of two days as there were other chores that needed attending. We had been using water from the 500 gallon tank as the 1000 gallon tank was near empty. We did not realize that the tank heater had failed on the small tank. So when the water truck arrived on Monday, we still could not fill the big tank because of the burst pipe problem had not been resolved. Also, we found that the little tank fill pipe would not work. I opened the tank to find three inches of ice all the way across the tank and into the fill pipe. I used a hammer to break a hole in the ice so that we could fill the tank from the top. I held the hose in the tank while the water guy ran the pump. We got a week and a half of water pumped into the small tank and I got the tank heater working again. The object of the two tanks was to have a month of water and then only have them filled once a month. This would save us a couple of hundred dollars each month. Water is my mortal enemy but I shall prevail over it.

This is Friday at about 8:30 AM. I’m sitting down with a sausage biscuit on which I placed a dollop of mustard and, of course coffee. Sunrise is at 9:54 and sunset will be at 4:02 this afternoon. This means that I’ve got just over 6 hours to tend to the critters, bring in firewood and whatever other outside chore that needs to be done. There is the reopening of the pathways to all of the various destinations on the property. The previous day’s heavy snow (it is still snowing) has rendered the near stroke inducing snow blown paths of Tuesday and Wednesday pretty much useless. I see some snow mowing in my future. If I don’t get the paths blown out again today, they’ll be full again by tomorrow.

I have included some pictures for your enjoyment.

Wednesday’s Sunset after it, temporarily, stopped snowing.
Tuesday just after sunrise,
The Chicken Trench
Icicles after last weekend’s warm up to above freezing.
The Goose Trench
Summer’s ‘closed for the winter’ store.

That’s it for me. While the pictures were loading I fried a Honey Bun in butter and ate it. The sausage biscuit just didn’t do the job. Hope all of you had a Happy Thanksgiving. See ya soon.