Dad’ Alaska

Here’s to my new heroes, Elon Musk and the Man Of the Year, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, President of the Ukraine.

Elon Musk may or may not be the savior of free speech but he certainly rocked the world of a lot of Liberals and Democrats. His purchase of just over 9% of Twitter has created a tsunami of criticism and applause. With Musk you never know which way he might turn next. With Twitter he might just collect his dividends and let the operation continue as it has. On the other hand, he could start cleaning out the Liberal Board of Directors and set the company on a path to equal access. He might even restore President Trump’s Twitter account. Or he could simply buy enough shares to run it however he wishes. Or he could just pump it and dump it to make few hundred million dollars. Only time will tell. The Rasputin lookalike the used to run Twitter runs SQUARE. I did not know that until today. I will be dumping SQUARE for some other payment company. If you run a small mobile business you must take cards but I’ll be damned if I’ll make Rasputin another nickel. Anyway, many of us will be waiting anxiously to seek what Mr. Musk does. As for President Zelenskyy, he has shown us what a man should be and it isn’t some ’snowflake’ in a dress. ”I don’t need a ride, I need ammo” are the words of a man and a hero. The movie ‘The Three Hundred’ comes to mind when I read about him and the Ukrainian people. They are facing an enemy with very nearly unlimited resources due to the fact that some of the is EU still buying heating fuel from him.

My foray into appliance repair has not been going very well. I get a two, maybe three, calls a week. Almost all of them are unrepairable or needing to order parts. Parts take a week and sometimes more to get from somewhere in the Lower 48 to me. By the time the arrive, I’ve forgotten who they are for and that has me looking at the invoices to find the customer to whom they belong. I went on one call on a front load washer and did the trouble shooting. Their handyman had already come up with the answer to the fault except when he did exactly what I would have done it didn’t fix it. I told them that if the new sensor didn’t solve the problem that the Control Board was likely defective. They said ”Thank You” and I’ve heard nothing else about it. I will say that I am curious but not curious enough to go back. There is no point in getting involved in something that no longer concerns me.

The closing of Summer’s Greer Rd Greenhouse is continuing. She’s losing about 10% on everything she sells but 90% of something is better than 100% of nothing. I ran the store last Friday and Saturday. There weren’t a lot of customers so I set up the camera that also has a motion detector. That way I could do whatever needed to be done and the motion detector would ping my phone, if a customer went into the store. I swear all of this new fangled stuff is like magic. I can be a hundred yards away or in the house and get the ping and see the customers on my phone. I could talk to them too except the speaker is so small that it is barely audible. I’m thinking of charging up a couple of walkie talkies and leaving one on the counter of the store. So when the camera pings me I can talk to the customer and tell them I’ll be there in a minute or two. Keeps the customer happy and I’m not having to rush.

Summer sold all of the geese. All six went to a lady that has other Toulouse geese. She needed some fresh blood in her flock. I was really, really happy to see them go. It is one less thing for which I have to be responsible. Even though I haven’t had a lot of service calls for my appliance repair business, I expect that it will gradually pick up. When it does I will have less time for the ’homestead’ duties. I got my fill of farming when I was a boy. I lived with my grandparents outside of Newport, Arkansas. They were farmworkers. That meant that we boys were farm workers. I was in the cotton patch in the Spring hoeing the weeds out of the cotton In the Fall, I was dragging a cotton sack. I was 7 years old when this began. I distinctly remember that we were being paid $3 per hundred pounds picked cotton. At the age of 8, I picked, maybe, 60-70 pounds of cotton from just after daylight until about 5 o’clock. Not much money nowadays but the $2 a day that I earned made a difference in how we lived. By the time I was 12, I was picking 140 pounds a day and earning $4 every day we picked. When I was 12, my brother Johnny was 9. He, like myself, picked a row next to our Grandma Byrd. He’d pick 70- 80 or so pounds a day. Every little bit helped. Early every Saturday morning my grandmother lit a fire under her wash pot, pumped it full of water and when it was steaming she dumped in all of the clothes and agitated them with a boat paddle. The clothes were guaranteed to be bacteria free. We weren’t, as we taking a full bath only on Saturday mornings. Everybody bathed in a Number 3 wash tub. Unlike in the olden times the bathwater did get changed. There was no potential of ”Throwing the baby out with the bath water”. We three boys were laundered in a single tub of water. The adults, my grandparents and my mother all got a fresh tub of warm water. The warm water was from the wash pot. After the laundry was done the pot was emptied and bath water was heated. By noon on Saturday we were on our way to the big city of Newport. My grandmother and my mother went shopping and would then visit my Great Aunt Ginnie ( Virginia, my grandmother’s twin sister) at the county courthouse. My Great Uncle, whose name I don’t remember, was the janitor for the building. Part of his compensation for being the janitor was an apartment in the court house building. It was a hold over from the Great Depression, I guess. As I understood it, he had been in the job for many, many years before I was born. Grandpa Byrd would go and stand under some trees next to the railroad track which ran parallel to the main business district. Yep, There downtown he would talk to the other farmers and farm hands about the weather, the crops and who was sick or dead. In other words, the local gossip. Johnny and I would get 25 cents to go to the movies. 10 cents to get in, 5 cents for popcorn, 5 cents for a candy bar and 5 cents for a soft drink, usually a Coke. In looking back I don’t remember being unhappy and, quite frankly, I had no idea that we were poor. Our financial status seemed about the same as everyone else. Get up in the dark and then go to bed when it got dark again. The experience gave me my full quota and fill of farm life.

Some of you might be considering buying a greenhouse for your backyard. There are a bunch of them on the market and most of them have the translucent corrugated panels and aluminum frames. The look like a good idea. However, they are crap. The easy assembly kit contains hundreds of little nuts and bolts which make it a nightmare to assemble. Worse yet the assembly instructions, we received, might has well have been written in Swahili or Erse. The company was buying them from China and had little or no expertise in the assembly process. Summer spent hours on the phone trying to get a coherent set of assembly instructions, all to no avail. In fact, the guy with an Asian accent seemed to be pissed off that we were bothering him. Even worse than the previous worse is that the damned thing has literally fallen apart in the wind. Nuts have shaken off bolts, the sliding door has fallen off and the plastic panels blow out constantly. The damned thing really has been a nightmare. No matter what brand they are all crap and are a million piece jigsaw puzzle with parts that may or may not fit properly. DON’T BUY ONE!!!

Falling to pieces Example 1
Falling to pieces Example 2

It is fairly certain that you have become an Alaskan when 40F is considered a heat wave. We’ve been having heat waves almost daily for a week of so. There were a couple of times that it was warmer in Homer than in N. Florida. I’ve been looking at the site and that has explained a lot of these weather anomalies. It is weird that it has been blizzard snowing in all of the northwest states and western states in April. They’ve, also, had record breaking low temperatures.

We are about to tear out all of the sheetrock on the lower floor of the house. This will entail removing all of the furniture, all of the kitchen including the cabinets. It is going to be a mess. We’ll have to remove everything including clothes in the closets. Again, this is going to be a mess. Everything will be moved into the defunct store. I’ve run electrical service to the store but have yet to hook it up. We’ll be cooking and eating in the store but I think we will still be sleeping in the house. It will be a weird several weeks until I get the house rewired and have the sheetrock reinstalled and finished. It will be a panic trying to get it done before winter sets in again. I really don’t think sleeping in an uninsulated tent at near zero temps would be very much fun.

Well that’s it. Hope everyone has had a Peaceful Passover or a HAPPY EASTER!!!


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