Dad’s Alaska

My 14th attempt at a selfie.

5 April 2020 Sunday

In the background of the above picture you can see the snarled wiring that I am attempting to unsnarl. There is much electrical to be done. The are connections in the walls that aren’t in boxes and were covered up by sheetrock or wood paneling. Just wire nutted together and left dangling inside the walls. All of these stupidities are going to require that new wire be pulled in. What I have done in the interim is to make sure all of the wire nuts are tight and expose the wires. If there is a loose connection getting hot it will be visible and not burning behind the wall out of sight. In have worried every day and night that there is some connection unseen that will start a fire. Rewiring this house is high on the list of things that must be done soon.

Still don’t have the Corrosion Virus. I’m not rusting yet. Did not sleep well last night. My knee was hurting and burning all night. Decided this morning that it is indeed a gout flare up. The balls of both feet are slightly achy which is a definite indicator of gout. The “golden years “ suck. However, I am quite happy to have these ‘golden’ years, even if the price is some bit of pain. I‘m working with the full knowledge that “this to shall pass”. The Bible says that “to everything there is a season”. This is my season of gout. I don’t, usually, have these flare up unless I’m sitting around doing nothing but eating and drinking vodka. Seems every time I park my carcass in the recliner for extended periods I get a gout attack. Like the old saw “Doctor, it hurts when I do this.” Doctor replies,”Well don’t do that”. Good advice. I’ve got to end this sitting around crap.

It is another “Bright, bright, bright sunshiny day”. Today the wind is blowing 25+ with gusts even higher. There have been some so strong as to shake the house. Those, I’m sure, were closer to 50 mph or more. The strong wind and the temp above 35F is causing a rapid melting of the snow. Places on the property that were completely covered in snow yesterday are bare ground today. The ponds should be fully thawed in a week or so. Break up will be halted by several days of temps being just above freezing during the day and down into the teens at night. The halt will stop the running river under the house and I’ll, at last, be able to finish the last bit of house leveling. With the house level the new kitchen can be installed. Of course before that we must remove the ceiling sheetrock and do the necessary wiring to make the house electrically safe prior to the kitchen install.

I found an interesting fact today. On average there are about 7500 deaths a day in the U.S. These are completely unrelated to the COVID-19 “pandemic”. I spent 15-20 minutes on the web searching major newspaper sites trying to find out about yesterday’s death toll. I could find almost all of the hysterical rhetoric I would have cared to read but not a single word about the daily death toll. It is either so high that they are afraid to publish it or it is so low that they don’t want to give President Trump the credit or that the various government entities would have a hard time justifying all of this ‘House Arrest’. I did find that 95% of the deaths involve persons who are already deathly ill from some other disease. So in my common sense brain parts, I am thinking that it is the former reason not the latter. Why is there no body count like Viet Nam or all of the other military conflicts over the past 50 years? I did not find a single news story that gave that number. I’m starting to believe that the actual death toll is minuscule compared to the number of persons infected. Common sense commands you to know that there are tens of thousands of undiagnosed cases. And, also, that the majority of those with the virus are getting well without medical intervention, This is as Shakespeare said, “Much ado about nothing” as far as I can see. If you are healthy and under 60, your chances of dying in this “pandemic” are very near zero. Maybe I’m being paranoid but this does, in some ways, seem more about government control of people than control of an infectious disease. This seems particularly true at the state and local level. Just sayin’.

A picture of today’s weather.

Much Later

Got off my duff and worked on Summer’s bathroom wall. She had taped and mudded the wall. Problem is she had no idea of how to do it. The remedy was to use the mud knife to scape the dried mud as smooth as possible and then use a wet sponge to smooth it out. I’ve been using the wet sponge method on drywall for decades. It beats all of that sanding by a mile. Of course, there are still an few spots to be sanded but you aren’t spending hours breathing in the sanding dust. A bucket of water and a tile sponge gets the job done,

I often feel like that guy in the old donut commercial. But instead of donuts it’s dishes. Take the dishes down, use the dishes, wash the dishes, stack the dishes, take the dishes down, use the dishes and on and on ad nauseam. We try, as much as possible, eat off paper plates. Yep, I am aware that some people think that it is bad for the environment. “You’re killing trees.” “Yes. But I’m saving water.” The next day someone is saying something different. You please one eco-wacko and anger another. There is no happy medium or common sense being applied. The truth is that there are more trees in America now that when the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock. There are, also, more deer and lots of more of other game in America than when the Pilgrims landed. I’m surprised that more of them didn’t starve to death. Management of our natural resources has been seen as a critical need and it is being met. BTW, I am truly sick of dishes. Maybe I’ll just start eating out of the pot or pan. Laundry is a lot like dishes. Maybe I’ll try to find some paper clothes or just go naked. Nope. On second thought naked isn’t an option in Alaska. Could have done it in Florida but not here. Oh well.

I think I’ve sorted out why I am having this gout attack. I drank over a half bottle of really good red wine on Friday and woke up yesterday morning with a sore knee. Drank some more of it yesterday. I barely slept last night because of the pain and now have pain in the balls of my feet. Since the red wine is the only difference in my daily diet, it must be the cause. No more large volumes of red wine. I will miss it. Maybe I can have a glass now and then.

The washer is playing that pretty little tune that says that its’ job is done and that now it’s my turn.

Social Distancing (quarantine) : Day 4

I didn’t get a lot done today. Just a bit of here’s and there’s. It was a tragic day. It all started with my slippers. Yes, I know, they are just slippers, but they are needed here in my home. There is no running barefooted in this house and I want my feet to stay warm. Betsy, as you all know had some sort of skin irritation that led to her being on steroids. Well, it made her tummy all sick and messed up. She ended up having bad stomach problems that led her to have a poopagendone all over my beautiful shag rug. Well, I stepped in it with my fabulous favorite slippers that I’ve had for about two years. Yes, they were starting to stink and they were leather. So I couldn’t really put them in the washer.

I woke up with Betsy making noises and she pooped on the bed. I thought that was all she did until I stepped in her rug mines. I was so grossed out by it and had to changed my covers that I just ripped off the slippers and left them in the hall with another soiled little rug. They sat there for almost a month until now. I decided that I would finally clean my slippers only to find out that the crap on my slippers chemically adhered to the rubber on the sole. No matter what I did, I just couldn’t get that crap off because its now part of the sole. I had to throw them away. So long favorite slippers!

I also replanted some tomatoes as well. My friend Tiana is asking what I’m feeding them. I just used two different blends of potting soil. They are looking so wonderful! I am kind of worried about some of my plants because they are growing in an accelerated rate! The ground isn’t defrosted yet and there is still a lot of snow on the ground. I can’t put in the Brussels sprouts into the ground yet! They just keep getting bigger. So, I am just going to repot them again when it becomes necessary. Everything is growing faster than it should be. I might have to rethink my potting mix.

Tomorrow, I will be painting my new vanity that Dan made me and while I’m in the painting mode, I will go ahead and paint my bee hives as well. Then, I can work on the bathroom wall and finish it. I want to be able to prime and paint ASAP. At this point, Dan will be able to put in the shower walls and my vanity top all in one day. I am super excited about this! It will be so nice to be able to shower upstairs on my own floor.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m extremely excited that my seeds have exploded like they have. I might need to sell them if I cant put them in the ground soon.

My gander (male goose) Lucifer, tried to kill one of my drakes (male duck). He was pretty busted up. So busted up that I knew I couldn’t heal him. When I figured out that he couldn’t be saved, I had to break out the 20 gauge. It took one shot and he was out of pain. It broke my heart. I couldn’t use him for meat due to adrenaline. I guess that’s part of farm life. It is what it is. He went over the rainbow bridge today and is out of gruesome pain. These geese need to be fenced in ASAP when the ground defrosts. My heart is broken, I hatched him out in my incubator and raised him. He has a twin sister and she is alive and well. I plan on breading more of this cute hybrid of peaking and well I don’t want to give up all my secrets!

It’s about that time and I’m tired. It’s time for bed. Good night and enjoy your time off if you have it. Thanks again for my friends who are truck drivers (Shana the Bad Ass), and all others that are still working to keep America getting mail, packages, and food!

Dad's Alaska

24 March 2020 Tuesday Morning

Alcohol kills corona virus. So I’m killing billions of the little critters.

As I sit here drinking coffee, I am reading the news. Rush isn’t on today so I’m having to read the news for myself. I will say that the news is, at best, depressing. I was supposed to take Miss Suzy in for her Spring grooming appointment but the groomer has closed her store. This was damned inconsiderate since I had to get up early to take the dog in for the grooming session. She could have called and let me know so that I wouldn’t have gone out and have driven 10 miles into town. So far about 17,000 people have died worldwide. Out of 7.8 BILLION people that is .000218 of 1%. If 5 times that many die it is still only 1/10 of 1% or in other words about the same as any flu virus yet known. This is a level of panic for which I can find no obvious reason or cause. More people die in car accidents on a daily basis than COVID-19. Still we persist in driving our cars. 151,600 (approx.) people die every day from all causes and yet the news media has caused a pandemic of panic where no medical pandemic exists. For those of you who are hiding under your bed, try looking up Herd Immunity. It is our only hope of saving our country and civilization.

For the past three days, I have been to town to buy some few groceries, some lumber, working on the house and contemplating my navel. We are in the ‘fits and starts’ of break up. It rains, it snows, the sun shines brilliantly, the clouds hang low, the fog enshrouds the bay and the temp fluctuates from 24 and 40 each day. If you dress for the 24 and you get outside to work you are almost immediately too hot. You dress for the 40 and you are way too cold. This time of year is a damned nuisance. The only bright spot is that snow is melting pretty rapidly and will be gone soon. The roads are mostly clear of ice and the borough (county) has been opening up the ditches to keep the water off the roads and on its’ merry way down to the bay.

A winter sunrise

I’ve gotten the new electric in the new stairwell wall. You can now turn on a light in the stairwell from the second floor or the first floor. No more going up or down in the dark. Also, got the sheetrock on the wall inside the stairwell and partially on the outside in the living room. Will finish that today. and then install sheetrock on the other wall inside the stairwell. For reasons that are beyond human comprehension, the previous owners ripped out sheetrock all over the house including the wall in the stairwell. Not only did they rip out the sheetrock in the stairwell they took out all of the 2×4 studs. I cannot imagine what they must have been thinking.

The entire front of the house is now level. It was a job for Stupidman and I fit the description. There is some leveling to do on the back side of the house. This leveling I will be doing as soon as I finish the sheetrock projects. Under the house is a mud pit and I have procrastinated by finding other repairs to do. This, however, cannot continue. I have to be like a big ol’ fat boar hog and go rooting through and wallowing in the mud soon. Summer wants the kitchen finished. The kitchen people have the solid surface countertops done and they want them out of their shop and to install the cabinets ASAP. So much pressure. I think I might be cracking under the load. NOT!

I’m down to my last two sheets of sheetrock. That means that I’ll probably be going to Ghost Town Homer tomorrow. The Yard Manager at the local building supply told me that he has a large number of slightly damaged sheets that he will sell to me at a very deep discount. According to him most just have corners broken or some damage on the edges. That kind of stuff will work in a house where the studs range from 17-26 inches apart. Unbelievably, there are a few of the 2×6 studs that are actually on 24 inch centers. I suspect that they had some kind of measuring error for some of the studs to be exactly where they are suppose to be. Anyway, I’m risking the COVID-19 scourge (big whoop) to go pick up, maybe, 10 sheets and some 2x6s.

A full moon seen through the Spruce trees

I told Summer yesterday that had I known how much work this house was going to be, I might not have bought it. On other hand, we are gradually turning this sow’s ear into a silk purse. I’m just hoping to live long enough to enjoy it after it is done. Summer and I had been planning a tour through America for next August. We would have liked to have seen Mt. Rushmore, the largest ball of twine and any other Americana like Car Hinge that pops up down the highways and byways of America. We, also, wanted to visit family and friends back in Florida. It would probably take us a month or six weeks to do this properly. Now it looks like we just have too many responsibilities here in Fritz Creek.

Peace and quiet on Earth.

Well, the sheetrock won’t hang itself so I’m off my butt and onto work.

Dad’s Alaska

February 27, 2020

Winter day at about noon

Today was kind of a lazy day. Spent about an hour talking with an old friend, Melvin, from my high school daze. Looking back I seem to have been in a daze. Stripped my bed and laundered all of the bedding this afternoon. Moved Summer’s starter plants from southeast window to the southwest window. Cleaned up the kitchen. Drank my usual 48 ounces of coffee and ate my everything bagel. I’m really not good at having nothing pressing to do. I almost decided to go back to bed. I probably would have tucked myself back in, if I hadn’t just thrown my bedding into the washer and pulled the trigger. Too late to get them out as they were already wet and rolling over in the tub. I wandered around the house looking at the disaster in which we are currently residing.

Back into bathroom, I realize how really filthy I had let the place get. Also, I have been deferring the replacement of the wax ring under the commode for a couple of weeks. Nasty job. Swept and mopped the floor, vacuumed the the large bath rug, cleaned the sink, cleaned the commode and cleaned the bathtub. Having delayed as long as I possibly could I removed the commode. Scraped two old wax rings off the floor flange. I used my SOG Survival knife to scrape the wax. I’m pretty sure that this wasn’t a purpose that SOG had in mind for their lovely knife. BTW that wax ring under your toilet is made of beeswax. That probably explains why it is so sticky and difficult to get off yourself and your tools.

SOG On Wax or Wax on SOG

Having finished the distasteful job of replacing the wax ring. I decided to go into Homer and check the price and availability of a snow blower. Nobody had one, which suited me just fine. I really didn’t want to spend the money even though Summer is insisting that we really need one. With no one having a snow blower, I went to Safeway and wandered through the aisles and almost bought a package of spicy guacamole mix. After a half hour of walking around, I left. When I leave empty handed. I always expect someone to come after me and accuse me of shoplifting. I think that it does look a bit suspicious for someone to wander around for a long time and leave with nothing. I am always aghast at the prices of food here. Example: A package of four ears of yellow sweet corn $5.95. Same corn, but fresh out of the fields, in Alabama or Florida are 3 or 4 ears for a dollar. I didn’t get stopped for allegedly shoplifting and for the life of me I don’t understand the anxiety that leaving empty handed gives me. There was no incident in my childhood that would cause such anxiety. Maybe I’m feeling guilty for wasting their valuable time and taking up space or I’m just weird. Maybe both. The main reason I bought nothing is that I’m going to Kenai tomorrow. My every 6-8 week pilgrimage to Wal Mart and Home Depot. Need dog food, grow lights and a bunch of other stuff that we want or will need for the next 6-8 weeks. All of it is 10-20% less expensive in Kenai. Could save a lot more by going to COSTCO in Anchorage but that is a 5 plus hour drive through avalanche country this time of year. Am considering hooking up the travel trailer next October and going to Anchorage for an extended shopping trip. We get our PFD (Permanent Fund Dividend) in October. The PFD is money from the oil pumped here. Every man, woman and child who has lived in Alaska for two years gets a PFD check and still the population shrinks every year. This year it was only $1600, whereas it had been over $3000 in the past. The Tax and Spend Legislature skimmed $1306 off the top of the PFD this past year and are angling to take it all in the next year or two. The Alaskan government is in the top 5 most expensive per capita governments in the USA. Anyway, a trip to Anchorage to purchase nothing but the years supply of dog food would save us most of the cost of going.

As you know Homer buckets have many uses. This is one that I devised. I didn’t invent it, I just improved it. We don’t waste heat regardless of the source here in Fritz Creek. The bucket is about half full of water to catch the dust and lint, if you were wondering.

Lint catcher for the dryer.

I’m gone. Got to check on the animals.