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

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.