Dad’s Alaska

12 January 2023

Here’s to China Joe and the secret documents he doesn’t remember.

I can believe that China Joe doesn’t remember that he stashed documents marked Secret and some steps above Secret in an office closet and in his garage. I can believe that because, it is apparent that, unless someone tells him the date or the day, he has no clue. His mental faculties are not failing they are gone. The President of the United States of America is a zombie. A meat sack that spouts incomprehensible gibberish at every speaking engagement. A few days ago he mistook a Salvation Army man for a Secret Service agent and the told that ‘agent’ that he’d once been in the Secret Service. Of course, he’s never been in the Secret Service and the closest he’s ever been to the Secret Service is the agents protecting him. There have been so many gaffes and flights of fancy that it seems impossible that he hasn’t been institutionalized. Any normal American citizen who spoke and acted like this man would be in some institution where he could be monitored to keep him from wandering off and protected from himself. Actually, now that I consider it, he is in an institution where he is protected from himself and kept from wandering off. The White House has become a single patient eldercare facility. In spite of China Joe’s mental impairment, there must be people around him that think, even with his extreme impairment, that he’s better than Kamala. I can’t say that I disagree with that assessment. She’s little more than a brainless, cackling hyena. I though Hillary’s cackle was bad until Kamala came along. I doubt that there is a single Republican or Democrat that would propose the use of the 25th Amendment to remove China Joe from office. The potential of placing the’Hyena’ in the office of the President is reason is enough for even Republicans to be rooting for China Joe to finish his term. This brings me to another point. China Joe is getting the blame for all of the chaos that has ensued since his ‘election’. However, it is obvious that he isn’t cognizant enough of his surroundings and situation to have created this economic disaster or the invasion at our southern border. He is being ‘handled’. They put a piece of paper in front of him and he signs it. He’s kind of like a trained monkey and seems to have the intellect to match. This means that it is a cadre of unelected people are running the US into wreck and ruin. They haven’t just run America into a ‘ditch’, they have driven America into the equivalent of the Grand Canyon. There must be a reckoning, at some point. These people have usurped the power of the people and have been and are destroying America. When the Left Wing partisans are purged from the DOJ, FBI and Federal Prosecutors, some of these ‘Handlers’ need to be arrested, prosecuted and go to jail. Perhaps the Republicans will “Grow a pair” and make sure that this can never happen again. Not likely.

Another beautiful sunrise over Kachemak Bay.

The weather has, according to some of the people I’ve talked with, pretty much normal here in Fritz Creek. We have a few days of single digits, a few days in the teens, a few in the 20s and then a couple of days in the low 30s and then the cycle repeats. We haven’t had a lot of snow, for which I am grateful. We ordered and paid a $500 deposit on a 28” tracked snowblower from Ron’s Honda in Soldotna last June, maybe July. That snowblower has yet to appear. It was supposed to be here in September. I called mid-October and was told November. I called in November and was told that it would be December. I called in December and was put off until January. I called two days ago and was told that the snowblowers had been shipped and that they had been given the serial numbers. So now it look as if we might get this new snowblower sometime in February, I hope. The reason for ordering a tracked snowblower is that the wheeled device that we have gets stuck and has to be pulled backward even though it has a reverse gear. As I am approaching old age (I’m only 78) and Summer doesn’t have the physical strength to drag it out of the trenches made by the spinning wheels, we ordered a tracked snowblower. And that dear friends is why I am grateful that we’ve had but a very little snow.

The first piling bolted to the house.

I have been sidetracked by so many things that I am just now getting to the attachment of the house to the pilings installed by ‘Dangerous’ Dan last October. I will admit that I spent a good bit of that time trying to figure out the best way to make the attachment. 4 inch wide 3/8 inch thick steel strap was what I, finally, came up with. I looked at all manner of attachments at the building supply store. They all looked way too flimsy for a house sitting on pilings in an earthquake zone. They were mostly little bits of galvanized steel on the order of an 1/8 of an inch thick. Like I said “way too flimsy”. The steel reinforced concrete piling to which these straps are attached (one on each side) is 3 1/2 feet into the earth and sitting on a 2’x2’x 6” foundation. It is, also, surrounded by 2’ x 2’ of 2 inch insulation board. The insulation is to prevent the piling from heaving up when the ground freezes. It seems to have worked since the piling has not moved. The bolts through the piling, the support and the house beam are all 1/2” in diameter.

About the most exciting things happening around these parts are our idiot dogs chasing a moose and people driving their cars into the ditch. As previously mentioned, the temperature goes above freezing, the snow melts, the water runs onto the roads and the temperature goes below freezing at night. Then by the early morning when people are trying to get to work the roads are icy and often not yet sanded. Those that aren’t extremely careful end up in the ditch and with a $200+ towing charge. I totaled my truck last year on a patch of black ice. It looked just like water on the road until I started sliding and lost control and slid backward into the left hand lane. Fortunately, no one was coming up the hill before the truck ended up on it’s passenger side and down eight feet of embankment. I was only injured when I did something stupid and released the safety belt without holding onto the steering wheel. I fell to the bottom and banged my hard head. No permanent damage to me—truck totaled.

The refrigerator isn’t new. It was given to Summer by a neighbor. It’s about 5 years old and they didn’t want to repair it. They were quoted a thousand dollars to replace the compressor. I suspect that they paid close to $3000 for it new. I, at first, thought that the unit had a freon leak as I has ascertained that the compressor was not defective. After a thorough examination, I determined that the tiny little tube that carries the freon inside to the evaporator coil was plugged up. How or why? I have no idea. I ordered the new capillary tube assembly ($40) and now Summer has this huge refrigerator (no freezer) where, hopefully, leftovers and the salsa won’t get lost. We have two freezers, therefore a freezer compartment was not needed. The old and the new side by side. The difference is obvious. We still haven’t remodeled the kitchen or put sheetrock on the walls but we’ve got one killer refrigerator.

That’s it. I’ve got to go to town to get some longer bolts. Ciao!

Dad’s Alaska

30 December 2022

Here’s to 2022 a disaster preceding an even greater disaster.

At the end of each and every year of my adult life, I have been able to look back with some satisfaction at what had been accomplished not only by myself but my country. This year in retrospect has been and unmitigated disaster on the personal level. I totaled my 2006 Dual Cab F-250 on a patch of black ice. I had a utility trailer roll forward and pinch off almost a half inch of my left index finger. This cost me most of six weeks of prime Summer work time. I caught COVID and lost two weeks of work time. THEN as I became well enough to get out and get some of the work done, I caught the flu and lost another two weeks of work time. Then as I got well enough to get out and do some work on the property it started to freeze and snow. All in all I lost about half the Summer. I’m too damned old to be losing 2 1/2 months of my life. On the other hand, America is an unmitigated disaster. The invasion pouring across the Southern border is destroying America. The billions of taxpayer dollars going to the Ukrainian dictator Zelenskyy are putting us evcn further into debt. We’re like a ‘high balling’ freight train rushing past $31,000,000,000,000 (that’s 31 TRILLION) in public debt. That’s a debt we can never pay. Hence inflation. INCREASE THE MONEY SUPPLY which devalues the dollar and since the dollar is worth less and worthless we pay our debts in worthless paper. Millions of Americans aren’t even able to live ‘paycheck to paycheck’ any longer. The US Dollar is the reserve currency for the world. That means that countries value their currency, price and pay their debts in US dollars. When the money becomes worthless (very soon) the Chinese currency will likely become the Reserve Currency. The US Dollar will be good for nothing but wiping you posterior, if a paper dollar even exists. These scumbags are angling to make all of your money digital. That makes it even easier for them to manipulate it to their advantage. The only way to save US Dollar is to go back on the Gold Standard and wrest control of the money supply from the private company called The Federal Reserve. The Federal Reserve is neither federal nor a reserve. It is a bunch of the elites making themselves and their politician friends even more wealthy. We no longer print money. Nope, the Federal Reserve just deems it to exist. American is screwed and that means you are screwed. I’d like to see the government recall all paper money larger that a $20 bill. How would you like to be a Drug Lord and all of those shipping containers full of 100 dollar bills suddenly become toilet paper? Billionaire drug lords would suddenly be broke. They wouldn’t be able to pay their murdering thugs or the crooked politicians on either side of the border. I suspect that some of our Congress and Senate would suddenly become much poorer. What a wonderful thing that would be. Broke ass drug lords and scumbag politicians sleeping in tents on the street. One can only dream.

Fire in the sky but no smoke on the water

After much unavoidable delay and procrastination, I have begun to connect the new concrete pilings to the house. Well that isn’t entirely true. I have begun to attempt to connect the concrete pilings to the house. On the first set of straps that I attempted to install I found that the holes I had drilled into the metal straps were too low at the top. They were not going through the center of the beam supporting the floor and the eastern wall. This sent me back to the drill press. While attempting to drill the new holes the chuck came off the drill press. This set me back for more than several minutes. After pounding the chuck back into place I began to drill again. Then the chuck slipped off again. I figured out after much cursing and stamping of feet that the chuck had been put on in Florida when the metal was much expanded due to the ambient temperature being 50 degrees higher than today. I lowered the drill deck and with a 3 pound hammer and an axe head as an intermediary, I pounded the chuck on at Alaska temps. I finished the drilling just in time for the sun to start getting low in the western sky. It didn’t matter because all of the bolts I bought for this project were either too short or too long. Tomorrow, I’ll rectify that problem, if the building supply store is open. Otherwise it will be January 2 before I get back to this. You can’t hurry perfection.

I won the Ugly Sweater Contest.

The weather has been weird. -2.5 on one day and +40 a few days later. The wavy jet stream has the weather screwed up all over the world. I recommend electroverse.co, if you really want to know what is happening with this weird weather worldwide. We’ve had wet snow, rain, sleet and dry snow all in less than a week. The weather apps seem to be getting it right which is scary.

As a matter of convenience summer and I rented a dumpster from a company here in Homer. We get our water from these people, as well. Their water deliveries have been precise, on time and greatly appreciated. Their water guys chain up their trucks, if our short road looks too icy. They do this all of the time during the winter. It’s regular, not uncommon. The guy who is supposed to pickup our dumpster every other week deemed our road icy and too dangerous. I questioned the lady at the dumpster service and she told me that the driver that deemed our road too dangerous was the Vice President of their company. Their excuse was that it was a different kind of truck than the water delivery truck that comes in every three weeks regardless of the snow ice or lack thereof.. A water delivery truck is likely hauling, at least, 3000+ gallons of water at 8.3 pounds per gallon plus the weight of the truck or close to 60,000 pounds. I doubt that a garbage truck weighs in at anything near that. The driver, I was informed was a great driver with years of experience and as previously stated a Vice President of the company. I wonder if he just didn’t want to chain up because he’s somebody. Our dumpster is about 75 yards from the main road and on solid road bed at the edge of a heavily graveled parking lot. Mysteries. Life is full of mysteries.

2 January 2023

As you may have observed it is days later from the writing of the above until now. I hope each and every one of you had a fun New Year’s Eve. Here’s hoping and praying that our 2023 personal lives will be a better and that our country is somehow saved from looming disaster caused by arrogant politicians and really ignorant people. 2023 wouldn’t have to go very far to be better than the last three years.

This is a young cow and I took this picture from about 20 feet away early this last Spring.

Today, I assumed that the building supply store that charged me an arm and a leg for bolts would be open. That was an incorrect assumption. So I’m still stuck with short bolts that are too short and long bolts that are too long. Not that it really matters today. We’re having some major warm weather and the temperature has been above freezing for a couple of days now. This advent brings us back to ‘Mud Season’. I hate mud. I can do hands and knees in the snow and ice but mud, NOPE! I am not going to crawl around in the mud, even if I had the correct bolts. The trip to town was not a total waste. I picked up a few groceries and some vodka. The grocery prices were outrageous and the vodka was even worse. Summer and I will have to do the COSTCO/Anchorage 450 soon. We need vodka, wine, coffee, dog food, dog treats and some other less important stuff like food. The COSTCO/Anchorage 450 consists of 225 miles to COSTCO and then 225 miles back in the same day. This marathon 2 hour (We limit ourselves to two hours in the store) shopping spree is because of the dogs. We have no one to leave them with and no hotel will allow 4 small dogs. Yeah, we’re probably not smart as we keep adopting dogs that other people don’t want. This time of year this will be a 13-14 hour adventure on icy roads, some through some mountainous areas and some crazy, stupid drivers in Anchorage. And again we’re probably not smart to take this trip but even after expenses we can save $400-$500 over the cost of the same products in Homer. When we go we load the wagon, so to speak.

A warm day in Fritz Creek.

We have about 4 more months of snow and cold left in this winter and we’re going to buy 2 more cords of wood later this week. As I previously said we are in a warm spell. However, the really cold weather is in January, February and the first couple of weeks in March. Because of the unusual cold in November and December we’ve burnt a lot more wood than usual. We’ve burned nearly 3 cords. We have about 5 cords left but like that old saw “Better safe that sorry”. I’ve had more than one person joke that “If you haven’t had to burn the furniture to stay warm, you aren’t a real Alaskan”. I think I’d just as soon stay a real Alabamian.

That’s all folks.

Dad’s Alaska

21 December 2022

Here’s to all of you who still Say “Merry Christmas”

Merry Christmas!!

Four days until Christmas and I’m still sitting here on my duff and not shopping. For most of sixty years I have done ‘Man Shopping’. I procrastinate until the day before Christmas Eve or Christmas Eve to do my shopping. Of course, by the time I get into the stores they are out of anything and everything that might be appropriate for those on my shopping list. For all of our children’s lives it was up to Connie to decide what was needed and discern what was wanted by these two legged animals. I simply had to shop for Connie, I learned early on that ‘Man Shopping’ for Connie was easy and sometimes relatively inexpensive. I would go to a locally owned jewelry store on Christmas Eve, pick out something that was about twice the price of the cash I had with me and offer that for the item. I once bought a large Opal mounted on a 14 karat gold ring for $350. The marked price was $1100. Unless you think that I took advantage of the poor store owner, he was in a mall that was scheduled to be demolished after the first of the year and he was liquidating his inventory. Anyway, a jewelry store is a ‘Man Shoppers’ best Christmas friend.

As you can see we are still remodeling this old house.

I just got tossed off Fakebook for the… I have no idea how many times. I stopped counting at 20. This time for “incitement to violence”. What I said was that Jane Fonda should have been tried for treason 60 years ago and given the proscribed punishment ie. A firing squad. To me that seemed much more like a personal opinion than an “incitement to violence” I did not say that someone should immediately go kill Jane Fonda as that would have been an incitement to violence. She did in fact ’aid and abet’ an enemy of the United States. It is the opinion of many, including myself, that her actions led directly to the deaths of many of the 58,220 American Army Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, Air Force and Coast Guard who died in Viet Nam. We think that she should have been tried for treason. If it had been during WWII and she was aiding the NAZIs, she would have been executed. Hanged by the neck until dead or stood in front of a firing squad and she would have deserved it. Fast forward 20 years and we have the existence of a Dual Justice System made obvious. One for the elites and another for us peons. Had any other ‘Jane’ been in North Viet Nam, danced around on a North Vietnamese antiaircraft gun mount and condemned the United States they would have, at the very least, been serving twenty to life in a federal prison. I think I may be through with Fakebook. I’m about as sick of their arbitrary behavior as they are of my comments. On the other hand, they did not make any indication of how long this suspension was to be. This leads me to believe that I may be permanently suspended. C’est la guerre!!

It had warmed up a bit before I thought to take this picture

I have not been sleeping well of late. Not really sure why but my brain just won’t stop ticking over. I go to bed at my usual 11-12 and often see 1:30-2:30 on my bedside clock. I’m really not worried about anything in particular. Some of it is rehashing the past and some of it is concern for the future. None of it I can change or do a damned thing about. Anyway, this has led me to sleeping well past my usual by or before 8:00 am ‘crawl out of bed’ time. Yesterday, I got up a few minutes after 9 am and noted that the outside temperature was -2.5. That folks is pretty cold in my book. The sun was yet to get completely out of bed and it was still pretty dark. Even though the temp here in Fritz Creek pretty low, the temp in Chicken, Alaska was lower. Their low for the day was -67 and the high temp was -55. Now that folks is really, really cold and I want none of it. According to electroverse.co, it is and has been very cold in the Lower 48. I hope y’all haven’t given all of your coats to the Salvation Army due to the Global Warming myth.

Some of the sunrises are just too beautiful.

The water froze in the kitchen and in the water house during the -2.5 episode. The heat tape on the line from the big tank to the pump failed. At least, that is my working theory. I switched over to the 500 gallon tank and we have running water again except in the kitchen. Because it has been so cold 9-10 degrees during yesterday, I haven’t done anything to get the big tank operating again. Summer went into town this morning and will purchased a new heat tape that I will install on the warmest day possible and before the 500 gallon tank is empty, I hope. I am sick to death of fighting this water situation. This coming Spring and Summer, I am going to add an addition to the house that will contain the water tanks. I intend to get rid of the 500 gallon tank and install another 1000 gallon tank. The addition will be extremely insulated and have it’s own heating system. I will not go through another winter worrying about whether the water will flow or not. The water must flow!

I’m sure it is obvious to even the most casual of observers that no work is being done outside in this unusual cold snap. I have the metal straps to attach the house to the new foundation pilings. What I don’t have is any source of heat at the drill press where I need to put in the necessary holes for the attachment to the house and the pilings. Even with insulated gloves my fingers are numb after about 30 minutes even when the outside temperature is in the mid and high 20s. In the current temperatures (teens), I might get in 10 minutes before I stop feeling my fingers. The temps are predicted to have highs in the upper 20s during the rest of this week and into next week. I’m going to attempt to find a way to heat myself that doesn’t result in carbon monoxide poisoning. Not sure what that will be but I’ve got to do something before and earthquake shakes us off the new foundation. I’ve got some electric heaters that I could use. One of them might keep my feet and legs warm. However, there is one draw back and that is 35 cents per KWH. Two heaters, one high and one low, would cost over a dollar an hour and add to our $300+ monthly power bill. The other problem is that the drill press is in the Conex where the only power source is an extension cord. I’m going to have to do some figuring but I guess I’ll just have to tough it out.

Well, Summer is back from town and I am going to have to tote slabs of water and groceries. See ya!

Dad’s Alaska

17 December 2022

I hate to break it to you but you no longer have a country. Countries have borders and we have none. Countries have laws that are enforced and obeyed by their government. WE DON’T! Our government is a lawless cartel of Marxists in our government that are bound and determined to destroy America. Our Southern border has vanished. US States that were once along that border have become part of Mexico thanks to the drug cartels and the Narco-Government of Mexico. The Mexican government is being paid to bus tens of thousands of illegal aliens to what was once a border by the drug cartels. The cartels are fleecing these illegal aliens for millions of dollars for the chance to cross that non-border. Worse than that there are likely hundreds, if not thousands, of criminals and potential terrorists amongst this flood of human debris. Even worse than that, there are literally tons of drugs coming across the Southern border. Even more worse, these drugs, mostly fentanyl, are killing 300+ Americans every day. Most of these drug deaths are young people. We are allowing a good portion of a generation of Americans to be murdered. None of this is by accident or even benign neglect. This is the purposeful destruction of America and it’s people. Many of Americans voted for this disaster and have been, so far, immune to the consequences. Unfortunately, by the time they realize the error and vote again there may be nothing left of our great country. We’ve had a good run. Here in Alaska we have been immune to much of this. However, if America fails, I expect that all Alaskans will suddenly become Russian citizens again.

Well-l-l-l, as I may have mentioned the last time we spoke that Summer caught COVID and then I caught Covid. We were well enough for Thanksgiving. Then Summer caught the flu and, of course, a few days later, I had the flu. COVID was no ‘Cake Walk’ but the flu kicked my old ass. There were times that I truly felt that I would have to get better to die. There were rivers of snot running out of my head, coughing fits producing nothing but more coughing fits and intermittent muscle and joint pain. This miserable existence continued for almost ten days before I started feeling human again. Even then I was too weak to do much of anything except bring in the necessary firewood. Bringing in the firewood was exhausting and I’d have to sit between armloads brought in from the sled. Since I haven’t been ‘Go to bed’ sick in decades, this was a new and humbling experience. During those decades people around me would fall ‘go to bed’ ill and I might get the sniffles. Usually, I caught nothing. I was certain that I was ‘bulletproof’ with regards to all of the various infectious diseases that were going around at any particular time. My current theory is that COVID weakened my immune system and that led to this awful flu experience. At 78 years old, I need to be a bit more careful about being exposed to infectious diseases. I’m not sure how I can avoid these illnesses. Summer works at the Post Office and is around a lot of different people. Many of these people have kids in school. Kids have ‘Kiddie Cooties’ from being exposed to one another. Their parents bring it to work and then their co-workers take it home. How to avoid these “Kiddie Cooties’ is a mystery that I have been unable to unravel. Summer’s previous job (walking dogs) had her spending most of her time outdoors and only minimally exposed to humans. In addition, most of those humans had no young children. As a result, she didn’t catch any diseases and bring them home to me. We were living a happy, healthy life.

It has, finally, snowed enough to cover the frozen mud. AND even though I am happy about the snow coverage, I am dejected. The realization that there are four more months of this mostly below freezing weather ahead of us. I know! My Dad used to say that “Some people wouldn’t be happy even if you hung them with a new rope.” Meaning, of course, that some people are just never happy about anything. This morning I awoke to 7.5F outside. The damned water has frozen again and I’m out of diesel fuel for the jet heater. The closest diesel fuel is 7 miles down icy roads with some people driving way-y-y too fast. I drive at about 45 mph and some of these fools pass me on the few straight parts of the road. When they start to pass I slow down because if they lose control I don’t want to be anywhere close. Yeah, the hills and curves are sanded which helps but even sanded areas can be very slippery. Well that’s it for the moment. I’m off to get some diesel fuel and thaw out the damned water house again.

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.”