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

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?