Dad’s Alaska

Pain relief on the rocks

19 April 2020 Sunday

Had a little trouble getting out of bed this morning. It was not, as in previous mornings, a lack of motivation. This morning the problem was pain. I had muscle aches in places I did not know that I had muscles. Instead of simply sitting up and getting out of bed it was more of a slow crawl to grab the head board and painfully pull myself up to a sitting position. All of this pain was the result of working yesterday at burning everything we could possibly pick up and toss into the fire. On one occasion, I dragged a sixteen foot long, 6″ soaking wet spruce log about 90 feet to the fire. By the time I got it there my heart was pounding like a trip hammer on steroids and I was exhausted. I had to sit down for about 10 minutes before I could summon the energy to put the darn thing into the fire. I decided that I’d had an adequate level of cardio for the day. I’ve gotten very badly out of shape during the winter and it shows. We got about half of that same wet log burned today. As I stated yesterday, whatever burning we need to do must be done before May 1st.

They’ve been predicting rain for days. We’ve had none as of today. I have been disabused of the need to believe anything that anyone says about weather or climate. My 60+ years of listening to the radio or TV weather people getting it wrong almost daily has given me the knowledge that they don’t have a clue. With that said I cannot fathom how anyone can predict climate 20-80 years into the future. The ECO-wacko crowd are working off models. Models allow you to input data into a system in a manner to that produces the result that you want. The actual way the system works has been fully demonstrated with the COVID-19 predictions. First, it was 2.2 million plus people would die. Since then and almost on a daily basis that number has dropped until now it is somewhere in the around 60 thousand range. What appears to be happening now is that a person with a serious heart problem, with COVID-19, dies and it is being attributed to COVID-19 instead of the heart attack. This is being done to pump the numbers in an attempt to prove the model correct. This discrepancy in numbers is an excellent indicator that any modeling for any event or action is, usually, WRONG. Hurricane models are another example models always being wrong in the long term. Of course, common sense would have told you that a long time ago. One last thought, this so called pandemic is fulfilling Margaret Sanger’s (founder of Planned Parenthood) dream for America. It is eliminating a lot of blacks, old people, handicapped and other of her so called, useless humans. Certainly she would have wanted to abort them but I’m sure she’d be glad to take these deaths any way she could get them.

We are in the mud season here in Fritz Creek. The snow has very nearly all become running rivulets of water cascading down our hill. There are 100s of thousands, if not millions of gallons, rushing downhill toward Kachemak Bay. This was/is a temperate rain forest are that has dropped spruce needles and other plant matter that has become a layer of very fine soil that when water is added becomes a soft sticky mud. Even though it is only unfrozen to a depth of 1 to 2 inches, it grasps your boots like an evil Goo monster trying you pull you into the depths. Its’ grip makes it very difficult and very tiring to walk. Summer and I slogged around in this gooey mess for about 8 hours. We kept gathering up debris off the property and along our road frontage to feed the fire and dry out the burn pile so that it will, actually, burn. We have a couple of lawn chairs near the fire where we drank coffee in the morning and vodka in the late afternoon. It wasn’t quite as warm to day as yesterday. The sun was buried behind thick gray clouds being moved slowly along by the light wind. It was another good day to burn, but not nearly as nice as yesterday. We’re hoping tomorrow will be a repeat of today. About 6 PM the wind began to pick up so we let the fire burn out. Both of us had only eaten a couple of slices of cheese toast during the entire day so quitting and making some supper seemed the right thing to do. Trudging uphill in the sticky mud took very nearly the last bit of energy that I possessed.

During the day, the geese and the ducks were a little perturbed by a bald eagle circling overhead. The eagle was dissuaded of his intent of eating a duck or goose by Summer walking over into the gaggle of geese and ducks. It came back one more time. We shouted and banged on the shovel. The noise sent it gliding off down the hill to a potentially easier prey. Eagles ate two ducks and a goose last fall. They had some expensive meals. Expensive for us not for them. We do have bears, coyotes, weasels and other meat eating critters but not very many. The biggest problem lately has been a neighbor’s dog. It caught and ate one of the chickens, To solve this problem Summer loaned them our wireless perimeter fence transmitter and a collar. After a few shocks it will learn that leaving the yard is bad. Haven’t seen the dog since it started wearing to collar. We’ll likely let them keep the system for another 2-3 weeks. By that time the dog should well trained.

Had to go into town tonight. Summer needed some pharmacy supplies and wasn’t feeling well enough to go into town. I went to the Safeway as they, also, have a pharmacy and they were the only place open. While I was looking for the Pepto, I met one of the masked store employees. I spoke to him and said, ” You Millennials are scared to death aren’t you?” His reply was “I’m a Gen-X and this is for your benefit.” I laughed and told him that he needn’t have bothered. “The management makes me wear it” he replied. He helped me find a couple of other needs and was walking off as I said, “You’re a gentleman and a scholar. I don’t care what they say about you up front”. “I don’t either” he said over his shoulder as he was pushing his cart away. I am still of the mind that the mask thing is nothing more than a scare tactic touted by the Main Stream Media. Most employees would stay home, if they were sick. If an employee arrives with a fever or appearing ill the management is going to send that employee home. There is no need for the mask to protect the public. I’ve heard the “asymptomatic’ argument but I’m still thinking that we need to pursue the Herd Immunity solution.

Supper was leftover meatballs in marinara with some freshly cooked pasta. Both of us were too tired to do anything else. The thing we have to look forward to for tomorrow is more of the same. The large stumps have to be reduced to ash whether we want to or not. Try not to ‘Go gently into that good night” and I’ll yap at you again tomorrow.

Dad’s Alaska

4 April 2020 Saturday

Woke up this morning with my left knee aching and feeling swollen. Since I spent 9-10 hours sitting in my recliner yesterday, I don’t understand how it could be sore. I have not taken a fall anytime in the past year or so and it would be very difficult to bang it against something in a reclining position. It’s a mystery. I guess could have wrestled a bear, defeated a squad of ninjas or saved the world from space aliens. I don’t remember anything about doing any of those things, so they seem unlikely. Like just about everything else in my life, I have a mystery but no clues or it might be that I’m just clueless. Either one works.

Did not get up at my usual 8 AM. I was up at 7:30 to let the dogs out. After they had concluded their business outside, I let them in. That was at about 7:40. I stood by the back door for a minute or maybe two, trying to think of a good reason not to go back to bed. I could not think of a single good reason to stay up so I went back to bed. I got up at 9:30 when Summer arrived home. She made the coffee so I had to get up.

Now that I am up, I can see that the sun is trying to break thought the clouds and give us another “bright, bright, bright sunshiny day”. I’m about halfway through my first cup of coffee so my thoughts are semi-coherent and my fingers are kinda sorta hitting the correct keys. I took a typing course in high school and made a ‘D’. I could never type the required 40 words per minute. I have the hand-eye co-ordination of ….well I can’t think of an example bad enough. Never mind. I’ll just throw in a couple of pictures to distract you.

A Sun Dog

It is obvious, to me, that the American way of life is being destroyed. What will replaced it after all of this government interference in our daily lives is unclear. I do know that many Americans are stocking up on guns and ammunition. I’ve always been a fan of the Swiss. When their soldiers finish their mandated service they take their gun (mostly real automatic weapons) home with them. They have a continuous standing army, since every man must serve. Seems odd that you never, or rarely ever, hear of mass shootings in Switzerland. This is a country that remains neutral and refuses to participate in the stupid wars that politicians all over the world drag “We the people” into for no apparent reason. I am continually wondering why the hell we are still in Iraq or Yemen or any place else in that God forsaken part of the earth. I’m for just letting all of these Communist crazies, nutty religious sects and little Third World countries in Africa and South America (with their tin horn dictators), fight it out. If they attack us we should employ the full and complete awesome power of our military like we did in WWII and destroy everything. If we are attacked the attackers’ country should be reduced to rubble. All of that power, all at once with no mercy and no allowance for the fools to surrender. Total and complete annihilation of their military. No stone unturned. Nothing but death and destruction as far as the eye can see. After one example of that there would be no more attacks. The USA could become a neutral country like Switzerland. It is now that, our national interests are so much closer to home, we should make it clear that we will no longer be a target. We are now no longer dependent on OPEC for oil and it is time for Europe to grow up or a pair or both. With all of the new technology coming available, oil production in the U.S. is very high. Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, California and Alaska have billions, if not trillions, of barrels of oil untapped. Not only do we have oil we have trillions of cubic feet of natural gas. Fracking has come to the forefront of oil production and is likely to remain so in the future in spite of the eco-wacko contingent. If the Europeans have troubles in the Middle East, it ain’t our problem.

My earthquake sensor has been going nuts for a couple of days. The earthquake reporting app I have on my phone has indicated about 30+ small (under 2 Richter Scale) earthquakes appearing on it in the past few days. My common sense is screaming “We’re gonna have a big one soon”. This cluster takes in both volcanoes on the other side of Cook Inlet and much of the Kenai Peninsula south of the Chugach Mountains. Anchorage had a 7.0 a year or so back. It translated to a 4 something down here in Fritz Creek. For that one we weren’t prepared or had any inkling that it might happen. Summer got caught upstairs and I was sitting downstairs. My first clue was when the TV started rocking back and forth. I immediately jumped up and grabbed the TV and held it for the duration. Summer came running down the stairs slightly panicked and asking “Don’t we need to go outside.” But then she burst out laughing when she saw me protecting the TV. By the time she stopped laughing the quake had stopped. A man has to have his priorities. The TV is now attached to the wall so that it can’t fall unless the wall falls. I discussed the number of small earthquakes with Summer and she jokingly suggested that maybe one or both of the volcanoes was about to blow. That was something that I hadn’t considered. Mt Iliamna blew it’s stack in 2016 and Mt Redoubt in 2009. Could be time for another fire and ash show. If it were to happen we might get some of the ash but the solid chunks of ejecta aren’t likely to get the 40-50 miles over to Fritz Creek. But I will drive the 30 miles around to Anchor point to watch.

Later

Went into the big city of Homer today to get sandpaper to work on finishing the sheetrock in the upstairs bath. First time I’ve been off the property in several days maybe over a week, Can’t remember for certain as all of the days have run together. Did notice that except for the snow piled up by plowing there is near no snow anywhere in town. It was amusing to me to see all of the terrified citizens wearing masks. scarves and other snot blocking paraphernalia. The checkout counters at the local hardware store had sneeze guards like that was going to make a difference. One study has indicated that the sneeze production could travel 26 feet and hang in the air for near a half hour. “Yep, Dude. You are really, really safe behind that sneeze guard.” All of this seems to be a waste of time and energy as it serves no real purpose. There were more old people, like me, in the store than young people. Almost every younger person was wearing some kind of snot blocker and the older people weren’t. At some point, you begin to see foolishness for what it is.

At least, today I didn’t sit on my fat arse and eat. As Martha says, “That’s a good thing”. Summer and I sorted through the towels sheets, blankets and comforters to downsize and be rid of things we were never ever going to use again. Nothing wrong with it except the number of them or the size or the color. All of it will be going to the Salvation Army next time one of us goes to town. We brought a lot of stuff with us that we didn’t need and the Salvation Army is always in need. Since you are stuck at home, why don’t you do a bit of downsizing. You probably haven’t seen it in years and the Salvation Army or other local charity can convert it into cash that helps the less fortunate among us.

Y’all come back now. Ya hear?

Dad’s Alaska

January 14, 2020

I’ve learned a few things since moving to Alaska. Born, raised and living in the South all my life, I was ill-prepared for the weather, the lack of stores, the convenience of popping out to get fast food or ordering a pizza to be delivered. The disaster of a house we purchased has been, well to put it politely, trying. I’ve learned how to lower a house. I learned to shovel snow. How to turn clean snow into flushing water, drinking and cooking water. How to drive 50-55 mph on icy, snowy roads. How to dress ((so that when outside in below zero temps)) so I stay warm. That not only do the pipes bringing the water into your house freeze but the pipes taking water out can/do freeze, as well. I’ve learned to stop in the doorway when going outside and take a look around so as not to surprise a moose or a bear. I’ve learned that moose kill more people in Alaska than bears. I’ve learned that moose is both singular and plural. I’ve wondered why the plural of moose isn’t meese. And, also, that it couldn’t be mice because ‘mice’ is, obviously, already taken by Mickey and friends. I’ve learned to become moderately proficient with a chainsaw. I haven’t sawn off any appendages or cut a major artery. I learned, maybe relearned, how to load and operate a wood stove to get maximum heat and how to make the fire last almost all night. I’ve learned that being different in Alaska was once the norm and not so much anymore. I’ve learned that most old time Alaskans are friendly, anxious to help and will talk you through your newbie/tenderfoot problems. I’ve learned that $8 haircuts cost $25. I’ve learned that Alaska is being Californicated. I’ve learned that Anchorage has already been Calfornicated and that Homer is being Californicated in a rapid pace. When I arrived, I already knew that banning plastic bags is not only stupid but is just the first of many eco-wacko abuses to come. I learned that I need to plug in my truck when the temperature goes below +20F, so that the block heater would allow the diesel engine to start more easily. I’ve learned to appreciate sunrises and sunsets. I’ve learned that the snow on the boughs of spruce trees is a beautiful thing that can fall on your head and down the back of your neck. Lastly, I’ve relearned that things happen when they are supposed to happen and there is damned little that you can do about it.