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.

Dad’s Alaska

8 July 2022

Here’s to Summer! All five days were wonderful.

9:00 AM It’s July 8 and it’s 51 F outside and it’s raining. I built a fire in the wood stove. It’s uncomfortably cool and damp. There could not be a more depressing day, at least for myself. While it is technically still Summer but we are starting to get little glimpses into our rapidly approaching cold future. Normally, at this time of year, I have my blackout curtains pulled tight. During the Summer sun is relentless and shining 17+ hours a day and can and does interrupt normal sleep patterns. Almost everyone in Alaska has their blackout curtains pulled tight so as to get some much needed sleep. Yesterday I decided that my bedroom curtains were going to stay open. I’m not too worried about Peeping Toms as I doubt that anyone, and I do mean anyone, wants to see a 77 year old man take off his clothes and go to bed. I’ve been working so much that sleeping is not a problem and I don’t want to miss any of the light. It’ll be dark or darkish for about 17 hours a day very soon and I don’t want to miss any of that gorgeous golden sunshine. I want to go to sleep looking at it and wake up looking at it. Of course, this decision comes a few weeks late. Then there was still bright daylight when I crawl into bed some where between 11 and midnight. Last night at just after 11:00, it was almost dark. Another one of life’s missed opportunities.

If you’ve been to the grocery store or your local gas station, you are likely suffering from ’Sticker Shock’. Now granted, I am old. However, even though it’s been over 60 years since I worked in the grocery store meat market with my father, I cannot believe the prices. I was in our local Safeway a couple of days ago, last Tuesday, I think. Anyway, as Summer, my wonderful and beautiful daughter, is working six days a week delivering the US Mail, I decided that I’d pickup some quick and easy dinner. I was thinking, maybe a roasted chicken, a couple of fresh veggies and something for dessert. I proceeded to the Deli and found that there were only two roasted chickens remaining. I was considering myself fortunate that there was anything left, as this is the tourist season. The Homer economy is geared to the tourist trade, they are like locusts. They clean out virtually everything in both grocery stores. There are aisles that have fewer cans of product than my own pantry. So back to the roasted chicken. I was about to put it into my basket when I decided to check the price. $12.83 !!!!!! Yikes! I quickly put that 2 pound critter back onto the heated shelf. Can you say ’Sticker Shock’? I can remember, while i was still in high school, working in the meat market and that we were selling fryer chickens for 17 cents a pound. For 17 cents a pound we cut them into pieces and wrapped them. I must have parted out a zillion chickens. Rotisserie roasted chickens were about a dollar-twenty-five. Dad roasted them, at least, three times a week and covered them in his special BBQ sauce on Fridays. They made the store smell wonderful. The point of this trip back into the distant past is that while things have become easier in many ways they really haven’t become any better. Food, gasoline and diesel are at the highest prices in the history of America. There is a looming worldwide food shortage and who knows what else whether the lights will stay on. There is an old adage, ”In the Land of the Blind, the one eyed man is king”. I am afraid that the ” man with one eye” will be the government doling out the food. Whoever controls the food controls the people. People will submit to or do anything to feed themselves and their families. The ”New World Order” seems to be the old world order where a few people controlled all of the land and the people were slaves to them. If you haven’t been stockpiling food, you may become one of the slaves. Just two years ago food, and fuel were cheap and plentiful compared to todays’ prices and shortages. The entire American economy is not just in shambles it is a full on disaster. I don’t have to say it but you know who to blame.

With winter rushing toward us like a runaway freight train, I have been busy buying, hauling and processing firewood. Normally, I would stop at 8-9 cords. However, in light of the exorbitant price of fuel oil, this year I’m doing, at least, 12 cords. I’ve heard it said that you aren’t a ‘real Alaskan’ until you’ve had to burn the furniture to stay warm. Two things: Much of the furniture is not flammable and there isn’t more than a day or three of it that is flammable. House empty in three days and then freeze to death. NOPE! This year I am able to buy some Birch logs which are much more dense and burn hotter than the Spruce logs that we’ve had for the past 5 winters. The 500 gallons of fuel oil we normally have in our tank, that is now empty, will likely cost in excess of $2800. I’m guessing the price because I’ve been afraid to ask the price. I do know that we’ll be buying it a hundred gallons (the minimum delivery) at the time, as we can afford it.

The first two cords of security.
Birch rounds
These are some of the limbs off of a huge Birch tree.
The next two cords waiting to be processed.

At last, we are getting the foundation under the house. I had given up. I simply did not possess the necessary skills to fix what was slowly becoming an instant disaster. The house was slowly moving to the point that it would simply fall off the pilings and become a pile of kindling. Dangerous Dan, Summer’s significant other, is an expert in these matters. He has stepped in for free to stabilize the house and get a proper foundation under it. In spite of the free labor, this project will cost about $7000.

This is an older house built, in 1982, on pretty much whatever happened to be handy. Mostly old creosoted power poles and chunks of Spruce logs. None of the sunk more than 2-3 feet into the ground. With every freeze and thaw they moved up and down and slowly but surely leaned toward the downhill side of the house. We had maybe another year before we would be living in a tent and become homeless.

Substantial progress has been made.

Dangerous Dan made a lot of progress in a few days.

Yep, we need to paint on the house. But because the house was apt to become kindling I really had no desire to splash out for several hundred dollars for paint. Paint will likely become a reality next Spring.

Much of my life has been or should have been a TV show called ’How Stupid Can You Be’. I barely graduated from a high school whose year book was call ”Retrospect’. This was a book that sold for $15 that I could not afford to purchase. My only participation in that book was a Senior picture. No accolades. No participation. Just a blank space under my name and I was then and am now okay with that. I learned more in the 3-4 books a week that I checked out of the library than from all of the classes that I took. I do not know why Aristotle and Socrates were interesting for the same reason that Treasure Island, and hundreds of others caught my attention. All through high school, I was forced too visit various Student Counselors whose constant refrain was ”Robert, we know that you can do better than this.” The problem was and is that I couldn’t. I was being smothered. Education then was stultifying and now has lapsed into pure stultifying indoctrination. The NEA was just cranking up when I was in school. Now this same organization is selling ”I’m here, I’m queer and hand me a beer” to the children in kindergarten. I may be wrong but I don’t think that that equates to ”Mom and Apple Pie”.

I joined the Homer VFW a few months back. I haven’t been much of a joiner since a joined the Naval Reserve in 1961 at age 17. I was a pretty good sailor. I did my job. I didn’t do much. I was a Radarman on a ship that refueled other ships at sea. I made three trips to the South China Sea. Mostly boring as hell with moments of sheer terror. The reason I mention this is that I can’t seem to bring myself to go to the VFW Club. I’m not entirely sure why but I suspect that it is because I am afraid that I will meet someone like my late younger brother (Marine Recon) that really is a hero and next to him I’m a slug. My brother was the nicest most gentle man you might ever meet. I was standing next to him when a moron asked him ”Did you ever kill anybody?’ His answer was a classic. He replied ”Only women and children”. After he died from some weird cancer, it occurred to me that what he said was, at least, partially true. The NVA would put a gun in the hands of women and children during a firefight. The American soldiers had no idea who was or wasn’t the enemy. My brother, the poor bastard, had a dump truck load of guilt that he did not deserve. If the Agent Orange cancer didn’t kill him his guilt did. It’s a little late but Semper FI, Brother Doug.

I am back to my old game. I am repairing appliances for the nice folks around Homer and Anchor Point. Obviously, I can use the money but more than that after nearly 5 years of living on this hill mostly alone, I needed to see and talk with other human beings. Making a few bucks is good but interacting with other humans is wonderful. I am happy as a clam in soft sand that I get off this Greer Road hill a few times a week.

Well that’s it for me. It’s 11:42 and I have a refrigerator to repair tomorrow and 2 cords of wood to process. Good Night!

Dad’s Alaska

Here’s to all of you who see and speak the truth

Unlike lawyers, most people don’t see things as having several truths. The truth simply ”IS”. The truth now is that Lady Liberty is in a deep pond of male bovine feces and just barely keeping her nose above the stinking mess. Our President is suffering from Elder Abuse. He is so impaired that he no longer knows who he is or where he is much of the time. And yet, the abusers parade him out to say a few garbled sentences and drift off into some fantasy world where he was once a truck driver or a postman or some other imagined skilled labor or profession. Wife Jill has all but disappeared. She was, at first, allowed to be on stage to control and to take him by the elbow and guide him off the stage before he lapsed into one of his fantasies. Now he is often out on the stage alone and lost. Who is, actually, running the American government is a question on the minds of many, including myself. We appear to be living in a country where unelected bureaucrats are calling all of the shots (No COVID pun intended). With all of the inflation, shortages and other impositions of the failing economy, I’m not quite sure what to do next. Here in Alaska ‘next’ probably means hoping for an extra warm summer to grow enough food for next winter and beyond. Things are likely to get a lot worse before they get better. As for you in the Lower 48, I’d say plant a garden, harvest your crops, vacuum seal and freeze them. Groceries may be hard to come by soon.

Yesterday, Sunday, was the last day of Greer Rd Greenhouse. We sold it out almost completely. All that is left are some small, but questionable, purchases made by Summer nearly two years ago, some blow mold plastic pots and trays and a couple of boxes of fertilizer. On one hand, I am happy as a clam that it has closed and on the other hand a little sad. It was Summer’s dream. It could have been very successful this year but the long term outlook was far less lucrative than her new job delivering the US Mail. Summer and I took down all of the road signs yesterday. There is not a trace of the business left except the big tent/greenhouse where it once existed. On Saturday, a lady wrote down her phone number because she wanted to buy the tent/greenhouse. I don’t know why she would want to buy a used tent/greenhouse when you can buy the tent, the extra tent frame and greenhouse vinyl for about $1500. Plus the fact that you’d have to take it down and the reassemble it. It seems like a lot of extra work to me. People are a mystery.

Today was the day I was supposed to get on with the waterproofing of the store tent that is about to become the storage tent. The waterproofing entails ’buttering’ 1×2 strips of wood with roofing cement and screwing them down on the deck and against the 2x8s that the tent is mounted upon. During the construction, I put enough adhesive between the 2x8s and the deck to waterproof and attach the boards down forever. That’s what I thought. In spite of my best efforts the rain water runs under the 2x8s in several places. Today, of course, it is raining. I was, also, going to change from the studded tires to my summer tires and, of course, it’s raining. So this is what I’m doing. Sitting here, pecking away at my iPad and drinking coffee. I’ve got a huge refrigerator stashed in ”Dangerous Dan’s” garage. It has a freon leak somewhere. I’ve now got to buy a nitrogen regulator and a bottle of nitrogen to try and find said leak. I could use an air compressor but that would introduce moisture into the system which as you might guess is not a good thing. So-o-o here I am waiting again. There is, however, a good thing about the rain. Yep, it’s melting the snow. The bad thing is that the ground is thawing and we will be mired in mud for 8-10 days. This is one of those ‘You can’t win for losing’ situations. One good thing is that the chickens now are able to roam freely around the property and harvest the bounty of worms and bugs released from the frozen ground. This free range feeding saves a lot of money on store bought feed. There are always two sides to every coin but when I call ’Heads’ the coin often has two ’Tails’. Hmmm, I think I may be complaining too much. Sorry.

The huge refrigerator

I don’t know what to repair first, the Range Rover or the tractor. We need them both. I’m leaning toward repairing the Rover as it looks like an easier, quicker fix. Also, the tractor may have and most likely has a parts availability problem. Pasquali no longer supports or stocks parts for this tractor and, apparently, neither does anyone else.. The tractor is an antique. As near as I can tell, it was built in the 1970s. You’d think that the manufacturer would still have some parts lying around after 50 years. I’d say that not having parts for a tractor that they purposefully built to last a very long time is pretty damned short sighted. I have a second Pasquali, in pieces, that I might have to reassemble to solve the tractor problem.

The above was written in April and it is now June 10. Pretty much everything described above has not been done. I decided for my own sanity and to make a few bucks to go back into the appliance repair business. I have decades of experience. However, those have seemed like the wrong decades as almost everything now has a computer in it. I was around for the beginning and middle of the computer invasion but am somewhat ill prepared for the full on computer assault on appliances that worked much better without the computers. This is not to say that I can’t repair these pieces of crap. What I am saying is that the old stuff was way more reliable. The old time Maytag washer would likely go 20-25 years before it, at last, needed both belts replaced or, maybe, a pump. A new Maytag washer might go 5 years before some major computer or electronic problem. I worked on a Maytag washer a couple of weeks ago that the wires supplying power to the pump were so small and brittle that they broke. I repaired one by splicing in a bit of more flexible wire. Then was called back a couple weeks later to replace the other wire to the pump. This was a machine that was less than 9 months old and the owner was angry. My advice to all of you is to keep your old machine until it dies or you die.

This is Friday. A week ago, I had an accident that took about a half inch off my left index finger, the one next to my thumb. It felt so good that I considered doing it again. NOT! It cut off some bone and now I’m handicapped with one good hand. The doctor tells me that I’m in for, at least, two months of healing. He told me this while he was using some nippers to cut off the jagged parts of the bone so that he could pull some skin back over the raw meat and exposed bone. The tractor and the Rover will likely go unrepaired until September. Of course, mid-September is when it typically starts to rain almost every day. This incident happened when I was unhitching the trailer. The trailer rolled forward and caught my finger between the ball and the trailer hitch. It didn’t cut the end of my finger off. It mashed it off. YIKES and OUCH!!!

Dangerous Dan, Summer’s significant other, has taken over the house foundation project. He is an construction expert. He, actually, went to school for construction and has over 30 years of experience in home building. He volunteered for this gig because since April the house has moved about 6 inches down hill and I am not competent to solve the problem. Dan has arranged to have a new foundation dug and concrete poured. I would be helping dig or whatever except now I am handicapped. Of course, I will do what I can which will likely be the act of providing money and material transport. My stupid accident could not have come at a worse time.

Well, that brings you up to date, if you cared to be updated. I often think about posting some stuff but then the time gets away from me. My usual posts often take 2-3 hours. With that in mind, I have decided that, in the future, I will attempt to post more often and make the posts much shorter than the ‘books’ I usually post.


Dad’ Alaska

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

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

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

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

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

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

Falling to pieces Example 1
Falling to pieces Example 2

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

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

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

Dad’s Alaska

Here’s to Spring springing soon.

Monday 28 March 2022 Got another snow fall yesterday and into last night.. The temperature was just barely below freezing 31.4F. Still the stuff stuck and accumulated to a couple of inches by this morning. Even before sunrise the temp was back up to a bit over 34F. The snow has melted off the roof, my car and everything else except the ground where it is destined to become ice tonight, if the temp goes below freezing again. The current temp at 3:09 in the afternoon is 40.9F and we are warmer than much of the lower 48. We were getting very close to being able to work outside again but then the little snow and then the prediction for today was rain. I and a few hundred thousand others are ready for this wintery mess to be over with soon.

Sunset on the homestead

Today as perviously indicated was a work inside day. This led to cleaning the stove top again. Summer can’t seem to cook without spilling on the stove top. I cook on the stove, as well But I’m blaming it all on her as I am riddled with male genetic defects as Dan often says about men, in general. It could be related to having outside plumbing but probably not. We had outside plumbing of a different sort when I and my brothers live with our grandparents just outside of Newport, Arkansas. There was a hand operated well pump next to the house and an outhouse a hundred or so feet from the house and the well. The outhouse was in the chicken yard where, also, resided a gigantic tom turkey that my grandmother named Big Tom.. At least, when I was a skinny little 8 year old, he seemed gigantic. There were two imminent dangers in crossing the chicken yard. Big Tom, of course but, also, the danger of stepping in chicken crap and having it oozing between the toes of your bare feet. What a wonderful sensation. The clean out of the toe goop was a trip to the hand pump where my brother, Johnny, pumped up the water while I used a small stick to scrape the mess from between my toes. We were always barefooted in the Summer. We only got shoes for winter. They were big, old brown brogan high tops. There was no need for this type of shoe. The primary reason was that they were cheap at, perhaps, two dollars a pair. Every Spring, I finished the last bit of school putting cardboard inside my shoes to keep the dirt out. The cardboard worked okay for the dirt but wasn’t worth a damn for water or mud.

Enough reminiscing about my lovely childhood. As I stated today was an inside work day. Almost three months of procrastination had to come to an end. I usually clean out the refrigerator every couple of weeks. The refrigerator portions that I did not clean after the recent Tater Soup Fiasco were looking like they might be some kind of biological weapons experiment. It has always amazed me that small bowls of this and that tend to migrate to be back where they can remain unseen. Sometimes, they can reside there in the back for months. I was, recently, wondering what had happened to all of our soup bowls. SURPRISE!! They are in the back and growing ugly stuff. Yikes! I filled a trash bag with partially used cans of dried up dog food, pineapple slices and stuff that I wouldn’t have recognized were it not for the label on the can. I cannot let this happen again. I penciled in a cleaning for two weeks from today. I spent a number of years in the used appliance business and the one thing I really hated was cleaning refrigerators. No matter how clean a refrigerator looked when it came in it got completely disassembled and cleaned. It was a lot of work for very little appreciation or money. The people who bought them were interested in only two things. Does it cool and is it cheap? Nobody ever said ”Wow, this is clean and it doesn’t stink” Anyway, a shelf by shelf drawer by drawer cleaning of the refrigerator greatly improved our chances of not dying from some sort of weird incurable disease. Next was the several days late on changing the sheets on my bed project. I usually change them every week on Saturday and it is now Monday afternoon. Time to do the dirty deed and install clean sheets as I intend to take my monthly shower this evening. Just kidding. Three showers a week in the winter and as many as necessary in the Spring and Summer. If you don’t sweat you don’t stink and you just don’t sweat much during the winter here in Alaska.

Taken while on one of my walks.

Tuesday 29 March 2022 Got up at my usual 8AM. It seems late until you know that I am rarely in bed before midnight and sometimes closer to 1AM. I guess I hate going to bed as much as I do getting out of bed. I’m sitting drinking coffee and dreading the cleaning of the downstairs bath. Mostly of the dread is two baskets full of bath towels, hand towels and dish towels that need to be folded and put away. I suppose I could turn all of this, folding and stacking on the shelves, into some Zen like exercise because it requires absolutely no thought. Ohm-m-m-m-m. The first thing this morning, even before coffee and nothing should come before coffee, was to rekindle the fire. It was 32.4F outside and a bit chilly inside. Aside from today’s scintillating foray into towel folding and commode cleaning, also, included organizing, and cleaning as necessary, the refrigerator freezer and the upright freezer in the pantry. This is Alaska and you’d think that there would be some exciting stuff to do. Mostly, you’d be wrong. There is ski stuff in the winter but to downhill ski is a 150 mile trip to a ski slope at Alyeska. Or you could do some exciting cross country skiing. A whole lot of work to go no where fast. You could buy $15k-$20k snow machine and go fast on some prepped trails but once you done them, then what? AND the snow machine sits under a tarp for eight or nine months of the year. “The fishing must be great” you say. Well, the fishing is great for about 15 minutes every summer. The limits are low that you spend $100 or more on your fishing trip then catch two fish and you are done for the day. Because of this limit you see people piling 4-5 people on a boat that should max out at three. Some of the boat occupants might not fish but their presence makes it possible to catch and keep more fish. If you are going to spend a $100 you need to have enough people to ‘limit out’ and make the trip worth the money. Because of the limit rules, and that some people are needing the fish to feed their family through the winter, they drown a few people every summer. And another thing, some of the fish that you might catch are so protected that you cannot take them out of the water. If you, accidentally, catch one you must unhook it in the water. I don’t know how you unhook a wriggling fish in the water but IT’S THE LAW. In the South and most of the Lower 48, you go to the river, creek or lake and you catch fish and whatever fish you catch you keep. Of course, there are limits of some gamefish but mostly you take home what you catch. You catch three Bream, four Catfish and a couple of Perch and they all go home with you for a family fish dinner.dinner I know people in Alabama that just catch and release in both salt and fresh water but even that is mostly against the law up here. I can understand the need to limit the salmon catch but all of the other fish, as well? It makes no sense in a state with only 750,000 residents, millions of acres of land, tens of thousand of acres of rivers, lakes and streams. And most of the year you can’t catch and keep a single damned fish for your dinner, while you are camping out. What is more surreal the State of Alaska spends taxpayer money to stock certain lakes every Spring so that people can go catch a good mess of fish without transgressing some law or regulation. It is truly weird. Hunting up here is like everywhere else. There are seasons, bag limits and there are lotteries for some protected big game like Musk Ox. The result of all of the myriad of convoluted, complicated laws regarding fishing is that I’ve been up here for over four years and have yet to wet a hook. Enough!! No more ranting about the fishing or lack thereof in Alaska. Time for my second cup of coffee and a further delay in getting to the bathroom/laundry room and the mindless towel folding.

Sunrise over the outdoor kitchen.

The dogs just went crazy, again. The moose wandering through the yard drives them nearly insane. All of them are little dogs, mostly or all Chihuahua. All of three of them together seem to think that they are a pack of big wolves and capable to taking down a moose. We can’t let them outside, if there is a moose in the vicinity. They’ll try to chase the moose and the moose will likely try to stomp them to death. All of that yipping and yapping only makes the moose mad and if it has a calf with it it becomes deadly mad. I’ve seem a cow moose, with a calf, chase Taco for about 30 yards and then very nearly stomp poor old Gandie who was simply trying to take a dump in the middle of the road. This incident happened during our first Spring here in Fritz Creek. The current moose visitor has departed and all is quiet again. All I’m hearing aside from the tinnitus ringing in my ears is the fire popping and the little heat driven fans on top of the stove whirling. The sun has, finally, come out to play. The weather forecast was for cloudy skies. The bright sunshine makes me happy. That’s it for the second cup. It’s time to get on with my household chores.

Our Gandie man, a year or two before we had to put him down. He was an excellent companion. He got old and senile. He had no idea who he was or who we were and lost control of his body. Poor old man, I sure do miss him.

29 March 2022 continued…..Two hours later. The bathroom is clean. US Navy training makes me kind of a ’clean freak’. From the looks of that bathroom, however, you’d have never known that bit of info. No matter what your job is in the Navy, your first job is cleaning. 200-300 men on a ship would be a big mess in a hurry if it weren’t for the Navy insisting, demanding that everyone be a cleaner of things. All of the towels got folded and stowed neatly. While I was cleaning, the fire in the stove went out, which was just as well It is currently currently 42F outside. A nice, warm sunny day. If it weren’t for the leftover ice and snow, I’d be out in the mud getting some stuff done. Last fall I took the rear tires off the Land Rover to ascertain what was making the roaring noise at the read. The calipers were, supposedly, bad so I took them off and was planning to replace the brake pads, as well. When I took the caliper off to remove the brake pads the entire rear axle came off with the caliper. I had located the source of the roar. The bearing were none existent. I had never checked the rear end for grease/oil and since the vehicle had been ’professionally serviced’ I saw no point in it. Also, a visual inspection when changing the tires (Summer tires/Winter tires) showed no oil leakage at the ends of the axles or on the rear end itself. What happened to the rear in lubrication is a mystery. What is not a mystery is that ’professional service’ does not include checking the rear end or greasing any fittings (if there are any) on the steering/suspension. They change the engine oil and the filter, collect their small fortune, pat you on your ’little pointy head’ and send you on your way. Apparently, doing anything else entails a potential liability for them. Your car can eat itself but they have no liability for that circumstance. As Rush used to say ”It is what it is”. We bought another Land Rover, with a bad engine, for parts and it is my great hope that the rear end of it is good. There are 27 bolts holding the rear end on on both cars. So it will be 54 bolts out, 27 bolts in, several skinned, bleeding knuckles and without a doubt a great spewing of not nice words.

The Range Rover awaiting the tender mercies of the impact wrench and hammer.

The Pasquale tractor that we’ve used for a bit over three years has started to leak the drive train oil so badly that it is barely usable. The seals on the shaft that drives the back half of the 4 wheel drive work horse are shot. To replace them it is necessary to separate the two halves of the tractor. It sounds simple but I expect to spend all or most of 8 hours just doing that simple task. After that it will require disassembling portions of the front half and the rear half to get to the offending seals. Did I mention that this is an antique? The project after that will be finding the oil seals for and obsolete tractor that the manufacturer no longer supports. This is a special tractor as it is articulated. The unit is jointed in the middle so that the front can move horizontally and independent of the rear half of the tractor. This comes in very handy when you are trying to dump a load of something exactly where it is needed. The horizontal movement is facilitated by a hydraulic cylinder on each side. Turning the steering wheel operates these cylinders. Of course, when you point the front in a particular direction, while you are moving, the back half follows. It, also is articulated vertically. The front end can be at an angle while the rear is level or facing the opposite angle. They were designed in Italy to be used in vineyards and other applications where the ground might be uneven. It is the perfect Alaskan homestead tractor, as far as I am concerned. I have a 600 pound concrete weight attached to the back of the tractor. I have on, occasionally, picked up things heavy enough to lift the back of the tractor and the 600 pound weight off the ground. I put them back on the ground instantly.

The Pasquale sans hood

Well that’s it for me. I’ve got to put on my boots. I’ve got to go collect the eggs and make sure that the chickens and the geese have food and water. “Stay thirsty, my friends.”


Here’s to mean tweets, a closed Southern border and $1.79 gasoline

We’re living in some kind of time warp where everything is backward. We’ve slipped into a rabbit hole far deeper and scarier than Alice could imagine. The ”Woman of the Year” is a man possessing a penis. The best woman swimmer in college is a man with a penis. The `WOMAN who wants to be on the Supreme Court cannot define the word ’woman’. Joey is doing his dead level best to start WWIII while Putin is sitting on the world’s largest stockpile of nuclear weapons. The zealous support by the Hollyweird Left and all of the Democrat party for Ukrainian borders far exceeds the support for our own Southern border. A border where thousands of illegal aliens pour into the waiting arms of Border Patrol nannies and tons of Fentanyl and other drugs are carried in each week. Over 100,000 Americans died last year from Fentanyl poisoning. The border is a war zone where heavily armed narco-terrorists fire weapons across the river at the barely armed Border Patrol nannies. All of this is absolutely insane. But if that isn’t enough to bring you to your senses, how about this? Gasoline at over $7 a gallon in The Peoples Republic of California foreshadowing similar pricing everywhere, potential food shortages due to the extreme price of diesel, ports clogged, apparently, on purpose by the unions, colder than normal weather over much of the US causing crop damage and late planting. Inflation estimated by the government to be 7% but the true inflation rate maybe twice that number. A piece of beef that 18 months ago was $3.99 a pound is now $8.99 a pound or more in some places. To simply say that ”Things are bad” would be an astounding understatement and yet that is what we here from our government. Things aren’t just ”bad”. They are disastrously worse than “bad”. There are very few people living who have seen it worse as the ”Great Depression” survivors are pretty much all gone. Just as an aside, I opened and ate a 7 year old can of pinto beans the other day. The were a bit mushy but they still tasted like pinto beans. Do you have a years supply of food? Now might be the time to stock up before the price and availability becomes a major problem. A 7 year old can of beans may not be desirable or very tasty but it will keep you from suffering the ‘Missed Meal Colic’. I may be ‘all wet’ but to paraphrase my Grandmother Byrd who raised three children while living through the Great Depression ”Better safe than starving”.

Summer’s ‘new to her’ truck.

Today I had almost nothing to do. No plans, no schemes and damned little ambition. After much procrastination, I carried water to the chickens. I picked up a few eggs and yelled at my brick headed dog.Buddy, as he had stolen and was eating one of the stale bread rolls that I has tossed to the chickens. I tried to get the roll but he ran under the house and that was the end of the chase. I should have brought in wood today. I didn’t. I should have changed the sheets on my bed. I didn’t. I should have tried to better organize the conex. I didn’t. I needed to do some laundry. I didn’t. After even more procrastination, I took the 6 dozen eggs to the local feed store and sold them. On the way home I checked the mail only to find that the mail box was falling down. It along with three others were all but on the ground. I went home and got the necessary tools and a few pieces of lumber as went back. After about an hour and some amazing engineering the 4 boxes were up stable and not likely to fall before we get our shiny new aluminum mail boxes this Spring. The shiny new boxes have cost each family about $200. These new post office like boxes are keyed boxes. Frankly, I like the new keyed boxes. A box at the US Post Office can cost up to $100 a year and this is a one time cost of $200. Seems a bargain to have your mail private and safe.

Coming back from Soldotna using my new iPhone 13 Pro

It appears that were are in full on ’breakup’. The snow is melting very quickly in the above freezing days and barely refreezing at night. This phenomenon is almost a month early. Of course, things could change and we’d be back to colder than………well, you know. This winter has had a lot of ups and downs. All of it due to the wavy jet stream. The normal jet stream runs pretty much in a straight line around the world but these past several months it has been wavy and dragging warm air up and cold air down. It isn’t unprecedented but it is aggravating and sometimes dangerous. I’ve been looking at a website called and have found out weather stuff of which I had no idea.

Taken out of my bathroom window with my new iPhone 13 Pro

I wrote the last blog mentioning sidetracks and the responses were both amusing and edifying. So-o-o here is a list of yesterday’s early sidetracks. Got out of bed and made coffee. Went back to the bedroom to get properly dressed. Decided to lie down again for a couple of minutes this led to sleeping another 45 minutes. Got out of bed again and went to get a cup of coffee. I felt kinda cold I had completely forgotten that I wasn’t dressed properly This led to building a fire which led to having to split up kindling. I then realized, just before splitting kindling, that I didn’t have my glasses and splitting kindling without glasses could be hazardous for fingers. I went back to the bedroom to get my glasses which led me to see that the bed had not been made. Made up the bed and still being a bit chilly, I got dressed for outside. On my way back to the kitchen I saw that I had not split kindling or lit the fire. I split enough kindling to start the fire and then lit the fire. On my way back to the coffee maker and the kitchen, I noticed that the dishwasher was displaying END. This led me to opening the dishwasher and putting away the dishes which led me to looking at what hadn’t been washed from the last evenings dinner. I put these last few things in the dishwasher and that caused me to notice that yesterday’s chicken and goose eggs had not been washed. I washed the eggs and was putting them in the refrigerator when I noticed that the red light on the coffee maker was on. And that is when I poured a cup of coffee, sat down and began to read the London Daily Mail online. By that time, I was already feeling exhausted and it wasn’t even 9AM.

I guess that I have run out of drivel. So y’all take it easy and live to see tomorrow.