Dad’s Alaska

Greetings from my disaster area.

Of all of the silly thing to miss about the South, I miss Golden Flake Potato Chips. I have missed them before. I was sent to Hawaii for my stint in the Navy. All of the chips there were thick, greasy and tasted weird. What brought his to mind is that I’m sitting here eating LAY’S Wavy chips. They are altogether completely unsatisfying. The only saving grace for them is that they are plenty salty. Don’t often eat chips but I’m sitting here watching the predicted rain. The weather people got it right for once. Still not much of a rain. It’s more of a drizzle or maybe a pizzle. Not much more than a mist, really.

I’m sitting here in a self imposed quarantine. Summer has gone to visit a neighbor and then onto Dangerous Dan’s to return an extension cord and take him some of our leftover spiral sliced and double glazed Easter ham for lunch. After eating ham for five consecutive meals, I can attest to the fact that there is such a thing as ‘too much pig’. Hadn’t had ham since Thanksgiving (I’m not much of a turkey fan) and I had forgotten the ‘too much pig’ thing. By the next time Summer or I say “Why don’t we buy a ham?”, I will likely have forgotten the ham sweats again. “Those that forgot history are bound to repeat it.”

Spent some time sanding the sheetrock joints in the upstairs bath. Summer is anxious to paint it but not very anxious to sand it. After all my sanding, there are still places that need to be re-mudded. This will lead to more sanding. I hate sheetrock. One problem is that I hate all of the paneling that I can afford to buy. The good stuff is $300 per 4×8 sheet or the equivalent by the plank. I’m really not interested in spending $5000 on walls. I guess it’s sheetrock or what we have now, exposed insulation.

Exposed insulation and the TV I held in the last earthquake.

This house had beautiful wooden planked walls sometime before we purchased it. Some idiot ripped it out and left it as it appears now. We haven’t covered up the ugliness as we still have to rewire everything. We will be removing the ceiling soon. The light fixtures are in the wrong place Four of them on the main floor are on a single switch by the back door. Some weird stuff was done when this house was originally wired. There are no building codes in Alaska. That should tell you a lot about that with which I am contending. Sometimes I think that Summer and I should have stayed in the travel trailer and gutted this place completely instead of trying to live in and remodel it at the same time. Or, maybe, we should have torn it down and saved all of the lumber possible to be used it in the new house. We would have been living in the new house by now. Too late now. There is, however, the possibility that we will have a big earthquake that shakes it off the foundation and into the big hole we dug for the new addition. We are insured for earthquakes but we could never get that lucky. My luck it would be at night and we’d be in the big hole picking splinters out of our asses and looking for the dogs. That scenario is, of course, assuming that we weren’t lying in the big hole dead. All of life’s scenarios have some unfortunate drawback.

I’m sitting here listening to Santana’s Black Magic Woman with Miss Suzy doing her ‘cute dog’ trick i.e. sleeping. Been worried about her for the past week or so. She has taken to not eating. She only weighs almost 6 pounds, has next to no fat on her little body. It wouldn’t take much for her to starve to death. Summer went to town yesterday and while there she bought an assortment of dog and cat foods in the small containers. We’re trying to find something she will eat. Last night she ate one of the small cat foods and then later at a few bites of a small package of wet dog food I opened. She’s a Yorkie about 10 years old and they live 15 years or more so it isn’t time for her to be losing her appetite to old age. In dog years she and I are near the same age and I have the problem of eating all of the time instead of not eating.

I am still C-19 free or so it seems. No fever, can still taste and smell. Aside from being bored nearly to tears, I seem to be faring very well. I may have gained a few pounds which isn’t good for my stupid blood pressure. You can’t have everything but I can have another Fig Newton. Ran out of brewed coffee and started heating up the sweet tea and adding creamer. I drank about a half gallon of it today. Wanted more coffee but the coffee limit had been reached. 8 cups is pretty much my limit but I oft times want to drink more. I would have made more coffee except that the coffee maker only does 12 cups and Summer wouldn’t drink anymore. Coffee is too valuable to waste. Pouring it down the drain should be a sin punishable by a long visit to Purgatory and I’m not Catholic.

Sunrise today was 6:24 and sunset is at 9:24. 15 hours of daylight reflecting off my TV screen so that I can’t see what is happening. Can’t lower the drapes as Summer’s vegetable plants are on shelves in the windows. If it weren’t pizzling rain it wouldn’t matter as I would be outside until near dark. I could put on rain gear and go out except that rain gear makes me sweat and is uncomfortably bulky. If the weather forecast for tomorrow is correct (fat chance) it won’t be raining and I can get some work done outside.

It’s 5 o’clock here, 9 o’clock on the East Coast and 8 o’clock in Mobile, Abbalama. If you aren’t already well on your way to tomorrow’s hangover, you need to get with the program. CHEERS!!!!

Dad’s Alaska

16 March 2020 Monday

An Alaskan summer sunrise.
No food in corona virus epidemic-No Problem

Today we got water. After the truck left, I checked for leaks other than the one I had already repaired, Found one small one that took only a few minutes to repair. Still the water did not flow. Got out my jet heater to thaw out what I thought were frozen pipes. The jet heater was, of course, out of fuel. I wandered around looking for the diesel jerry can and failed to find it. That was when I decided that re-leveling the front of the house. I mentioned yesterday that it had sunk about and 1 1/2 inches along the 40 foot front. Took a lot of grunting, groaning and cussing to get the jacks in place and lift the house.

Summer called. She suggested that I get the Range Rover and ‘The Beast’ topped off with fuel. I took all of our empty gas cans and filled them, as well. This Corona virus crap has people panic buying fuel, in addition to food and toilet tissue. Panic buying causes artificial shortages. I have seen it many times prior to a hurricane in LA (Lower Alabama) and Florida. After going through Hurricane Frederick in 1979 with nothing in the way of preparation, I will never do that again. Trying to insure 4year old, 1 year old and wife eat regularly was more than just a little bit stressful. No water, no electricity, my business destroyed and, more importantly, no air conditioning in Mobile, Alabama was an abbreviated glimpse of hell.

Got back to the house and filled the jet heater with diesel and started it to defrost the pipes in the water house. It ran for over an hour and still no water. This led me to think that the line into the house might be frozen again. Sure enough, the power was off to the heat tapes for the water line into the house. Further investigation found that the GFI receptacle had failed and there was no power to the heat tape. I ran an extension cord and in about an hour we had running water.

Today Summer went to the two grocery stores only to find lines near an hour long. People with buggies full of groceries that they’ll be eating months from now, if ever. This entire panic is all Mainstream Media driven. It is shames me as an American that so many of my fellow citizens are so easily panicked. My father, a WWII veteran and a Great Depression survivor, would be absolutely appalled. He was a man with a sixth grade education that could talk with you about virtually any subject you might desire. He read hundreds of books and had a very low opinion of the college educated with book smarts and no common sense. He called them “educated idiots’. And today those are the people that are driving Americans crazy and creating this silly panic.

After all of the fuel purchasing and water folderol, I went back to my leveling project. I took some doing but I got the place leveled again. While I was leveling the front I noticed that there was a beam further back under the house that was not down on the two pilings that were intended to support it. I crawled under the house with a couple of jacks and some shims. It took about an hour all told. By the time I finished I was completely tuckered out.

Got inside, made a vodka drink and decided to wash my filthy clothing. Days of crawling under the house and sloshing through the mud had cause my outer clothing to be covered in mud, dirt and who knows what. I had been taking it off at the end of the day, shaking it out and then putting it back on the next day. It was gross. Now that we had water the possibilities were endless. I ran the dishwasher and hand washed some bowls and pans that really don’t fit in our new 18″ dishwasher. Life is good when you having running water.

That’s it for me today. It’s 11:00 PM and I’ve had a shower, dinner and a couple of vodka drinks. Time for bed.