Dad’s Alaska

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The trailer with about half the logs processed into rounds.

The trailer unloaded and the rounds on the ground.

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

Jenga in reverse

Jenga resulting in bruised ankles if you do it wrong.

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

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

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

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


Dad’s Alaska

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My stubby finger with its’ deformed finger nail.

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

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

Dad’s Alaska

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dad’s Alaska

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dad’s Alaska

30 July 2022

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

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

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

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

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

Dad’s Alaska

28 July 2022

Here’s to China. They conquered America without firing a shot.

The Chinese Communist Party, hereinafter referred top aa the CCP, owns much of our farm and ranch land. They own a vast number of food processing plants in America AND they own most of our politicians. ”We the people” are screwed. The CCP has been at war with America since the 1940s. They have not surrendered or taken a step back. The have moved forward at a snail’s pace and consolidating each minor victory as they’ve moved. UNTIL NOW! The CCP controls most of the computer chip business, all of the solar panel business, much of the America food industry, 100s of thousands of acres of farm and ranch lands, untold 1000s of homes and apartments. While this war has been being waged politicians like Mitch McConnell, Nancy Pelosi, Eric Swalwell and a bunch of both Democrat and Republican politicians have either just stood by and watched or actively aided in the conquering of America. The entire Federal government has been co-opted by the CCP. There are two things left to the American citizens. 1. You can stop buying Chinese manufactured merchandise that would include computers, cell phones and a bunch of other crap you don’t need. You don’t need a new computer or cell phone every year or two. Do we have to satisfy our every retail fantasy at the expense of losing our nation and our freedom? 2. Call for and force your State Legislature to pass a resolution calling for a US Constitution, Article 5 ’Convention of States’. At said Convention the US Constitution may be amended by 34 States and ratified by 38 States. Changes to the Constitution should include term limits for the Congress and the repeal of the 17th Amendment The 17th federalized the US Senate. Before the 17th, the State legislatures appointed the Senators. This appointment process was the insurance that there would be no lifetime serving Senators and that the Senators represented their state and not the federal government. The 17th Amendment was the beginning of the slippery slope on which we are racing into the 3rd World abyss.

The next 2 cords of wood are here. I picked them up last Thursday and have made very little progress in processing them. For the last several days, I have been feeling exhausted. Last night I went to bed and hour early (11:00) and got up this morning 45 minutes late (8:45). I was feeling very tired when I arose but as the day wore on I felt much like my usual ‘busy bee’ self. I think that sometimes the enormity and sheer volume of things that need to be (must be) done just overwhelms my little pea brain. I, sort of, go into survival mode. Kind of a tip toeing past the grave yard scenario. If I just creep along the boogey man might not pay attention. The main problem with this behavior is that nothing gets done and more things pile up that must be done. Summer has continued to work 6 days a week delivering the mail on her 62 mile rural route. Most of her ‘Get up and Go’ has got up and went. She’s been coming home and stacking wood for an hour or so. This has led to the wood piling up outside the tents. Some of it is kind of green so the lying out in the rain has not helped it dry. I had hoped to be able to have all of the wood in split and in the tents by the end of August. It doesn’t appear that this is going to be the case. Jeff, my wood guy, has been slow in getting the 12 cords of wood that I agreed to purchase. With his failure to call and tell me he has the next two cords, I am not taking care of business like I should. Therefore, it is Jeff’s fault and not mine that I haven’t fully processed this last load of wood

Unstacked wood
Unsplit wood

Unbucked wood

The Dangerous Dan house leveling project is proceeding along swimmingly. He works all week at his regular job then spends Saturday and most of Sunday working to keep our house from falling off the pilings. I can tell that all of this work is grinding him down. Because I am not an expert at construction, I spent two summers trying to do what he has done in 3-4 weeks. By last summer I had given up on the project. However, this spring the house slid forward about 12 inches and Dan jumped in to save the house from becoming kindling. I’ve told you this before but it bears repeating. He is the only thing between us and homelessness.

I’m driving a 22 year old car. A 2000 Subaru Forester that day before yesterday lost a fan belt on the way home. This was not the first time that the same belt had failed. Since I was already changing the missing belt, I decided that it would be prudent to change both belts. This led me to discover that the belt adjustment idler assembly was broken and not adjusting anything. Since my car was not drivable, Summer had to pick up all of the necessary parts. This was a project for ”Stupidman”. I had already disassembled the belt idler when Summer arrived home with the new parts. The closeness the radiator cooling fan assembly to the Idler assembly was too small for my hands. There were two bolts holding this assembly to the engine block. I broke them loose with a socket but there wasn’t enough room to remove the bolts with the socket and ratchet. This left me poking my arthritic fat fingers down into the narrow slot and turn the bolts a quarter turn or less with each movement. It was a major bit of aggravation that took over 15 minutes. Then the idler adjustment screw would not come off the assembly. This led to another 15-20 minutes of aggravation. My fumble fingered efforts, finally, managed to reinstall the assembly back onto the car. All total this little project took two hours. Had there been a single inch of extra space this job would have taken less than 30 minutes. Like my old Grandpa used to say ”If it was easy anybody could do it and everybody would.” BTW the parts alone were $96. I suspect that doing the work myself saved us $200.

Fat fingers will barely go into this slot. The shiny parts are the new parts.

When I first started working on cars, back in the 60s, you could very nearly sit under the hood with your feet on the frame to work on the engine. Now under the hood there is barely room to put a tool on the engine. This is an improvement?

With about 90 days until the snow flies. This next few weeks we will be getting ready for the snow by picking up anything and everything that will become a trip hazard or end up in the intake of the snowblower. It’s that time of the year again. While we try to keep things picked up, we end up dropping one project to take up another or some emergency. This, inevitably, leaves things lying around where they shouldn’t be lying around.

Well, I’m done. I spent an hour chainsawing logs and now i’m through. It’s Vodka-thirty.

Dad’s Alaska

21 July 2022 Thursday Temperature 51.0F at 9:00 (1:00 EST)

Here’s to strong backs and weak minds. Mine in particular.

Got up this morning to another gray sky. There are no rainy looking clouds, just haze gray. Yesterday was much the same at the beginning but cleared up some and the sun was out for a few hours before cycling back to haze gray. I started off my the morning way overdressed. When I began to split firewood rounds, that quickly became obvious. I shed the raincoat, then a little while later the light sweater, then the long sleeve shirt and spent the rest of the day in a Tee shirt. I split rounds for five straight hours taking only two breaks. One to drink a bottle of water and the other to refill the splitter’s gas tank. The mound of rounds has been greatly reduced. I did not split the large and very heavy Birch rounds. Splitting these big boys is going to require moving the splitter to their location and from the horizontal to the vertical mode. There is no way I can pick these damned things up and put them on the splitter. Below are some pictures of the wood project progress. Compared to yesterday’s pictures the progress is obvious.

About two cords of split wood. Some Birch but mostly Spruce.
Some ’big boy’ Birch rounds and a small pile of Spruce are all that is left today.

Today, I have to go look at a nice lady’s washing machine before I get back to the splitting. I’d like to finish all of the small stuff today. Summer was looking at the Birch rounds and now wants a couple of night stands and other small tables. She want to use slabs of these heavy critters for these table tops. They’ll likely be very pretty but will definitely be a lot of work. I guess I know what I’ll be doing on rainy days in the future.

I haven’t read any news today but I’m certain that there is something stupid going on somewhere and probably In Congress.

It’s off to see the washing machine. Y’all keep it between the ditches and the greasy side down on The Yellow Brick Road.

Dad’s Alaska

20 July 2022 Temperature 49.8F at 9:00 AM (1:00 PM EST)

“Something evil comes this way.” I previously opined that in “The land of the Blind the one eyed man is king”. I suggested that the ”one eyed man’ might become the government doling out food. It is reported that the Netherlands are the prototype for the ’The Great Reset” using the ’Green New Deal’ as the template. And what do you know, I found this this morning. “

While I have been splitting some wood everyday, it has become imperative that I dedicate the next two days to that effort. Friday, I’m going to pick up two more cords of logs. If I don’t split the existing rounds I will have no convenient place to pile up the rounds from those two cords. I’m predicting a miserable couple of days in the neighborhood. Rain, shine, sleet, snow or round brown stuff falling from the sky, this pile of rounds must be completely split or, at worst case, greatly reduced in numbers. Yesterday, Summer got much of the previously split wood, and a good portion of what I had split during the day, stacked. Neither the splitting nor stacking is or can be done quickly. The hydraulic ram on the splitter cycles fairly slowly, I’m splitting the wood smaller and the stacking has to be done with some finesse in order to maximize the amount of wood that gets put into the tent.

On a lighter note, it’s another gray, dank day with the potential of rain. I built a fire and the dogs are huddled up to the stove. I’m down to the last half of my second cup of coffee and procrastinating as hard as I can. I know that when I get to the last drop of coffee, It’ll be ’Game On’. Socks, meds, comb hair, brush teeth, pull on a light sweater and my stuff my feet into a pair of Xtratufs. After that, I will don a raincoat and a water proof hat. And then, finally, I will be ready for 50 degree temperature of the great outdoors.

Y’all have a great day whatever you end up doing or not doing

Betsy Boo napping by the fire

Buddy dozing off
Taco looking like roadkill.
The rounds yet to be split.
About a cord of wood stacked and unstacked

Dad’s Alaska

18 July 2022 Temperature 51.4F at 9:00 AM (1:00 PM EST)

Here’s to Monkeypox. It made people forget about COVID.

The Monkeypox outbreak in New York and particularly in New York City has the Gay community in a panic. There are people now blaming Uncle Joe and his minions for not getting this vaccine out sooner. They had the Covid non-vaccine out all over the place in a few weeks. The Monkeypox vaccine seems to have been or most of it still is on a slow boat from China. Fortunately, the Monkeypox vaccine is a true vaccine because after you take it you can’t/don’t contract the Monkeypox. This is unlike the COVID ’vaccine’ where you take two shots and 47 boosters and still come down with COVID. Anyway, so far the Monkeypox is mostly in the Gay community as was AIDS for a short while. Will we all be forced to get a Monkeypox vaccination very soon? Or like the Flu and now COVID are we just going to have to live with it? The answer is probably not. The Flu and COVID are now endemic which in layman’s terms means that the horses are already out of the barn and there’s no good reason to close the doors. If the Monkeypox starts spreading into the general population, I will be first in line to take the vaccine. The Monkeypox vaccine and previous vaccines used against it have been around for decades. I was hiding in the bushes when they were trying to give me the COVID stuff. I had read the early VAERS reports and I wasn’t having it. No way. No how. Enough of this foolishness!!

Been splitting wood like there’s no tomorrow. Actually, we are likely less than 100 days from snow. I really don’t want to be, as in previous years, splitting and stacking wood in snow and 15-20 degree weather. Every year is a race to cut, split and stack the wood for the coming winter. Summer, my darling daughter, has a new chore for every day she comes home from work At least, 30-45 minutes of stacking wood.

As for me, I will be splitting wood after I make some kind of door for the greenhouse. This piece of crap has just been shaking itself apart in the wind. There are ten million little bolts and almost all of the have had to be tightened over and over. The entire door assembly simply fell off. Chinese junk and I’m not talking about a boat. Well that’s it for now. “Hi Ho, It’s off to work we go.”

Buddy sleeping on my bed

19 July 2022 Temperature 52.4 at 9:00 AM (1:00 EST)

Today, Tuesday, is ’Old Farts’ day at Safeway. In addition to whatever is on sale, we get an extra 10% discount. Not a great deal of money is saved but it is worth the drive into town as we make a list of things we need or want all during the week and I buy it on Tuesday. Yesterday the sun shone brightly for a few hours and then it began to rain AGAIN. Now the forecast for the next ten days is 40-60% chance of rain. We are on the cool side of a very wavy jet stream. for some interesting weather updates. I really need to mow but mowing tall wet grass just clogs up the mower and takes 2-3 times longer. The greenhouse door install did not go as planned. I will need to make the door a couple inches more narrow and get some decent hinges. The hinges in the picture are an old plastic flower pot cut into pieces. It will, for now, suffice to keep the warm air in the greenhouse. I’ll get it done before the snow flies. Today’s itinerary is Safeway, hardware store and home to the wood splitter. I split wood earlier and then split more, for about an hour yesterday, while Summer sacked the splits into the tent. She got almost a half cord stacked during the hour. There is still a big pile to be stacked and I’ll be adding more today. The splitting process is taking longer because, while the wood is technically ’Dead Standing’. it is still pretty wet and I’m have to make smaller pieces to insure that it dries properly. My wood guy, Jeff, texted me yesterday that he had another 2 cords of wood ready for pickup. I’ll go up to Soldotna Thursday or Friday to haul it home Well, here we are again. I’ve had my requisite 32 ounces of coffee and it’s time to get to work. I need to load the dishwasher, wipe down the countertops and clean the top of the stove before shoving off to ’Old Farts’ Day at Safeway. Before I go, here is a Monkeypox update

Wood split and wood stacked.
The really, really crappy door install on a really crappy greenhouse’
The doors before my halfassed attempt to repair. This greenhouse was a serious mistake in purchasing.

Dad’ Alaska

Here’s to COVID because it allowed us to see our politicians for what they are ie. Potential Dictators.

13 July 2022

My adopted brother, Dave and his wife, Lisa are on COVID Quarantine again (Dave is ’Dangerous’ Dan’s older brother). At least, I think it is again. They’ve had the shots and a booster but are again put upon by the new OMICRON Covid monster. The variant going around up here in Homer, Alaska is the OMICRON, so I’m told. I have read reports that it is about the same intensity as a bad cold. I was seeing my doctor about my trailer hitch shortened finger and I mentioned that it appears that the current state of affairs seems to be a “Pandemic of the Vaccinated”. He laughed and acceded that it did appear that it was indeed the case, while admitting that he had been vaccinated. There are millions of us recalcitrants who have not been nor will we ever be vaccinated with a product that does not protect us nearly 100% from the disease for which it is intended. You take the Bubonic Plague vaccine and you are pretty much 100% immune to any exposure to that plague. The same applies to Chicken Pox, Polio, Measles and others but not to COVID. By definition, a vaccine protects you from the disease therefore the “COVID vaccine” is not a vaccine. The government is selling ”Taking the vaccine lessens the symptoms”. whilst vaccinated people were dropping like flies from previous variants. However, unvaccinated people who’ve contracted the OMICRON variant state that ”It was like a bad cold”. Which means Fauci, the CDC and the NIH are either uninformed or lying. You decide. Ultimately, millions of “We the people” refuse to be stampeded into a behavior that might be more detrimental to our health than OMICRON or any other COVID variant.

It has been a cold summer by my experience. Some people seem to think that it is normal but 51.4F at 7:30 AM and then only 53.9 at noon seems a bit chilly to me. I built a fire this morning. The sun was behind a thick layer of clouds and it felt damp in the house. Burning some of the newly acquired and split wood warmed me for the fourth time. The first three times, cutting it, splitting it and stacking it were not nearly as gratifying as sitting near the warm wood stove. This past weekend, I chainsawed 2 more cords of logs into rounds using my 14” RYOBI chainsaw engine pulling a 16” bar and chain. This $129 or $139 chainsaw has cut over 20 cords of wood, several trees and starts 2nd or 3rd pull every time. It even started on the third pull after having set up all last winter. It has been a remarkable piece of equipment. I bought a brand new STIHL a few years ago that was a useless piece of junk. It often took 10-15 pulls to get it started, if it would start at all. Almost $400 and it was a POS. I will never buy another piece of STIHL equipment.

Some pictures of before and after. I’ll need to start the splitting and stacking, in earnest, soon.

The loaded trailer with some large Birch limbs on the front
Some huge Birch rounds
The trailer load reduced to rounds ready to be split.
Another view of the 4 cords of rounds ready to be split.

I don’t think I’ve told the remarkable story of Summer’s chicken boy friend (not Dangerous Dan). We were given a ramshackle chicken house by a lady relocating to the Lower 48. The terms of the gift included having to take the few chickens and the several ducks. We agreed and it took most of one day to get the chicken abode onto our trailer and unloaded at our place. This was in the late summer. We kept and fed these chickens and the few that we had prior to this transaction through the winter. The next Spring, chicks were hatched in our incubator. Among those chicks was a chick that became an extraordinarily pretty rooster chick as he got a few weeks old. Fast forward about 2 months and he was handsome and becoming more handsome by the day. Summer thought him so handsome that she named him Fabio after the handsome guy that graced the covers of dozens of romance novels back in the 90s. Then one day Summer went into the chicken coop to get the eggs and feed the chickens only to find herself face to face with a small black bear attempting to open the galvanized trash can where we stored the food. This upset Summer and we decided that the chickens had to go. We gave them all to a couple who had done some work for us on the same terms we acquired the chicken house. ”You can have the chickens but you have to take the chicken house.” They agreed and Summer started catching chickens and loading the in to carriers. Summer had caught Fabio and a hen which she placed in the first carrier. The couple’s son was the door keeper on the carrier and he opened the door too soon for the next two chickens and Fabio escaped. All of the other chickens were caught and hauled away to their ‘old’ new home. Fabio, however, had escaped into the bush and was not seen again for months. We decided that he had become dinner for some critter out in the wild. That was not the case. In late winter, approaching Spring, Summer saw him roosting in a Spruce tree about 20 feet from where the chicken house had been. She tried to catch him after dark on a couple of evenings with no luck. We had and have no idea what he ate or where he roosted during that hard winter. Anyway, Summer began putting food out for him and he, eventually, began to wander around the property. Soft hearted Summer decided that he was lonely and bought two hens from a neighbor to keep him company. The remarkable survival of Fabio through a winter where there was, apparently, nothing to eat and the temps had been as low as -6F is a testament to his unbelievable tenacity. And that fact does not even address the constant dangers of eagles and other very hungry carnivorous critters wandering around in the snow looking for their next meal. His winter survival is nothing short of a miracle. Now that he has been back for a couple of years, Summer will not even consider getting rid of him. And that is how we ended up with 15-20 free range chickens. Fabio has been a busy boy.

The Fabulous Fabio and a couple of his lady friends

Dangerous Dan and his brother, Dave were working on the house foundation this past weekend. They nailed all of the plywood to the studs and beams supporting the house. Dan had put just enough nails in them to keep them attached to the studs, during the previous weekend. Dave put a ton of nails in them to insure that they would never move. After that they jacked up the other corner of the house and installed more beams and studs. Dan did not want to apply the balance of the plywood before removing all of the now useless beams and structures under the edge of the house. This needs to be done so that the foundation can be insulated. If the foundation is not insulated the ground freezes around it and it heaves. The frost heaving ground can and will break or lift the concrete foundation. Breaking or lifting the foundation is not a good thing since it would require a great deal more money and work to repair it. Even with the free labor this project is costing $7000+. I had given up, if Dan hadn’t jumped in to do this, I guess that the house would have fallen off the existing piling foundation before winter and left Summer and I homeless. This house was built on pilings that some only went 2-3 feet into the ground. Some of the pilings were untreated Spruce logs others were chunks of old power poles. The Spruce logs had rotted away completely and I had replaced them with house jacks. The house has moved so much that the house jacks had been pushed over and are no longer supporting anything. I replaced the house jacks with concrete blocks topped with a wooden pad. The house moved more and some of the concrete blocks fell over or were no longer supporting anything.. Now, in a couple of more weeks, the house movement will be stopped for the foreseeable future and I and Summer will continue the inside renovation. I had quit on the house because I was expecting it to become a pile of kindling very soon. I am now re-enthused and ready to start the interior renovation as soon as Dan says that the house will no longer move. We will still have to do some more jacking to get the entire house level. I am really and truly tired of living in a disaster area.

Here are some pictures of the progress and the potential disaster.

The southwest corner of the house reinforced with beams and studs.
An 8 inch piling and the house is no longer sitting on it.

Concrete blocks no longer supporting anything

The leaning pilings under the house and the goose destroyed insulation on the sanitary drain.
Another shot of Dan and Dave’s handiwork, on the southwest corner, this past weekend.

Some time during this week I have to move the water line feeding the house as it is in the way of getting in another stud on that SW corner. Also, since the house has moved more, it is once again in a strained position. Adding a bit of pipe will eliminate the 90 elbow and the potential for it to come apart at one of the joints. As you can see I have already had to take the strain off once before. That is how the 90 elbow came to be installed.

Well that’s it for today. I’ve got to get my old bones back to work.