Monday, March 6, 2017

Nothing about politics

Huge storm on the mountain the other day.


It's been quite a while and we have a lot to go over so we'd better get started. This is going to be mostly about the East Pole so be ready for that. I seem to be all healed from my adventure with the maul that sent me to the emergency room last time. Big whew on that one. You get to be my age and you wonder every time you get hurt if this one's going to be permanent  I came in to the East Pole two days ago. I can't remember having a better trail – like a highway. Then I got farther up the trail to the cabin than ever before pulling a heavy freight sled. I was here with everything in the cabin in less than two hours. Even got the snowmachine unstuck where it had stopped. And for once I wasn't exhausted. Sometimes parts of that chore slop over into the next day.
     Chickadees arrived just about the same time, so I fed birds even before I got a fire stated. It's been cold here and the indoor thermometer read zero. In two hours it had reached comfort level though not completely warmed yet. Opened the cabinet doors to thaw all the canned goods.
     By midday Sunday I was moved in and living here and comfortable with it. That usually takes three days or more. Felt so good I made a real meal, roasted chicken breast, mashed potatoes and gravy and green beans. Usually it's Dinty Moore and Chef  Boy R Dee for the first few days.
    Had a bit of a mystery early on. A couple of days before I left last time I had tried to bring down a huge birch tree for firewood. Talking 70 or 80 feet, another one that blocked the Denali view. The problem was it didn't fall. I cut the notch on the side where I wanted it to fall and then a horizontal cut above it from the other side. I got almost halfway through and the tree leaned backward pinching the bar and chain in the cut under a couple of tons of heavy birch. I tried yanking it in a couple of directions with a come-along but it wouldn't budge. I finally had to give up. I unbolted the bar and chain from the rest of the saw and took it up the hill, hoping the tree would fall while I was gone.
     Well it had fallen all right but a new snowfall buried it. A few cursory eyeball searches couldn't locate it. No visible bumps in directions I had thought it would fall. So yesterday I went down and poked around with my avalanche probe. I found it but it had fallen in quite a different direction than I had expected. As a matter of fact if you drew a line between the two expected paths, this would have made a 90-degree angle. That's the kind of situation that made logging one of the most dangerous jobs in the country. I am glad I wasn't cutting at it when it went down.
       By that time it was getting late so I went back to the cabin. I did a test of my arm and tried to split one of the huge sections left over from the last tree. I did it with a small sledge hammer and a wedge and split it into halves. Those I could split more with the small maul, a sled full.
     Then today I reassembled the chainsaw with new bar and chain and headed down the hill. It took two tanks full of gas but it is now all dug out and cut into sections. I brought three up and found out something wonderful. They split easily. I was just trying it out to see how they would work and didn't expect that. I was able to split all three including one of the huge ones that came from near the base of the tree. So now I am even for the trip so far, three sleds of firewood out to burn, three put on the stacks. If it's this easy I will get well ahead of it by the time I am done with this tree. Next year's firewood..
     Clear and cold and I see a half  moon a'risng and Venus bright off to the northwest. Temperature goes just below zero at night and then up to almost 20 during the day. Beautiful night skys with moon shadows playing down the hill. Not quite warm  enough to sit on the porch with a scotch in the sun yet, but it's coming. I even learned something about my camera today that will make my pictures better. Nothing to help my view of things though.
    At this writing there is a faint line of pink right on the horizon. The mountains are black shadows against a sky deep gray heading into the night. A few stars out to accompany Venus on her voyage through the night. Creedence on the stereo. Peaceful. Good to be home.

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Interesting quotations

My dear Mr. Frost: two roads never diverge in a yellow wood. Three roads meet there. — @Shakespeare on Twitter

"The mark of a great shiphandler is never getting into situations that require great shiphandling," Adm. Ernest King, USN

Me: Does the restaurant have cute waitresses?

My friend Gail: All waitresses are cute when you're hungry.

I'm not a writer, but sometimes I push around words to see what happens. – Scott Berry

“The rivers of Alaska are strewn with the bones of men who made but one mistake” - Fred McGarry, a Nushagak Trapper

A non-writing writer is a monster courting insanity. – Franz Kafka

We are all immortal until the one day we are not. – me again

If the muse is late, start without her – Peter S. Beagle

Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very;’ your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be. ~Mark Twain Actually you could do the same thing with the word "really" as in "really cold."

If you are looking for an experience that will temper your vanity, this is it. There's no one to impress when you're alone on the trap line. – Michael Carey quoting his father's journal

Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. – Benjamin Franklin

It’s nervous work. The state you need to write in is the state that others are paying large sums of money to get rid of. – Shirley Hazzard

So far as I can remember, there is not one word in the Gospels in praise of intelligence -- Bertrand Russell

You know that I always just wanted to have a small ship to take stuff from a place that had a lot of that stuff to a place that did not have a lot of that stuff and so prosper.—Jackie Faber, “The Wake of the Lorelei Lee”

If you attack the arguer instead of the argument, you lose both

If an insurance company won’t pay for damages caused by an “act of God,” shouldn’t it then have to prove the existence of God? – I said that

I used to think getting old was about vanity—but actually it’s about losing people you love. Getting wrinkles is trivial. – Eugene O’Neill

German General to Swiss General: “You have only 500,000 men in your army; what would you do if I invaded with 1 million men?”

Swiss General: “Well, I suppose every one of my soldiers would need to fire twice.”

Writing is the only thing that when I do it, I don’t feel I should be doing something else.—Gloria Steinem

Exceed your bandwidth—sign on the wall of the maintenance shop at the West Coast/Alaska Tsunami Warning Center

One thing I do know, if you keep at it, you usually wind up getting something done.—Patricia Monaghan

Do you want to know what kind of person makes the best reporter? I’ll tell you. A borderline sociopath. Someone smart, inquisitive, stubborn, disorganized, chaotic, and in a perpetual state of simmering rage at the failings of the world.—Brett Arends

It is a very simple mind that only knows how to spell a word one way.—Andrew Jackson

3:30 is too late or too early to do anything—Rene Descartes

Everything is okay when it’s 50-below as long as everything is okay. – an Alaskan in Tom Walker’s “The Seventymile Kid”

You can have your own opinion but you can’t have your own science.—commenter arguing on a story about polar bears and global warming

He looks at three ex wives as a good start—TV police drama

Talkeetna: A friendly little drinking town with a climbing problem.—a handmade bumper sticker

“You’re either into the wall or into the show”—Marco Andretti on giving it all to qualify last at the 2011 Indy 500

Makeup is not for the faint of heart—the makeup guerrilla

“I’m going to relax in a very adult manner.”—Danica Patrick after sweating it out and qualifying half an hour before Andretti

“Asking Congress to come back is like asking a mugger to come back because he forgot your wallet.”—a roundtable participant on Fox of all places

As Republicans go further back in the conception process to define when life actually begins, I am beginning to think the eventual definition will be life begins in the beer I was drinking when I met her.—me again

Hunting is a “critical element for the long-term conservation of wood bison.”—a state department of Fish and Game official explaining why the state would not go along with a federal plan to reintroduce wood bison in Alaska because the agreement did not specifically allow hunting

Each day do something that won’t compute – anon

I can’t belive I still have to protest this shit – a sign carriend by an elderly woman at an Occupy demonstration

Many people hear voices when no one is there. Some of them are called mad and are shut up in rooms where they stared at walls all day. Others are called writers and they do pretty much the same thing. – Meg Chittenden

Life should be a little nuts or else it’s just a bunch of Thursdays strung together—Kevin Costner as Beau Burroughs in “Rumor has it”

You’re just a wanker whipping up fear —Irish President Michael D. Higgins to a tea party radio announcer

Being president doesn’t change who you are; it reveals who you are—Michelle Obama

Things sports announcers say

"… there's a fearlessment about him …"

"He's got to have the lead if he's going to win this race."

"Kansas has always had the ability to score with the basketball."

"NFL to put computer chips in balls." Oh, that's gotta hurt.

"Now that you're in the finals you have to run the race that's going to get you on the podium."

"It's very important for both sides that they stay on their feet."

This is why you get to hate sportscasters. Kansas beats Texas for the first time since 1938. So the pundits open their segment with the question "let's talk about what went wrong." Wrong? Kansas WON a football game! That's what went RIGHT!

"I brought out the thermostat to show you how cold it is here." Points to a thermometer reading zero in Minneapolis.

"It's tough to win on the road when you turn the ball over." Oh, really? Like you can do all right if you turn the ball over playing at home?

Cliches so imbedded in sportscasters' minds they can't help themselves: "Minnesota fell from the ranks of the undefeated today." What ranks? They were the only undefeated team left.

A good one: A 5'10" player went up and caught a pass off a defensive back over six feet tall. The quote? "He's got some hops."

Best homonym of the day so far: "It's all tied. Alabama 34, Kentucky 3." Oh, Tide.

"Steve Hooker commentates on his Olympic pole vault gold medal." When "comments" just won't do.

"He's certainly capable of the top ten, maybe even higher than that."

"Atlanta is capable of doing what they're doing."

"Biyombo, one of seven kids from the Republic of Congo." In the NBA? In America? In his whole country?

"You can't come out and be aggressive but you can't come out and be unaggressive."

"They're gonna be in every game they play!"

"First you have to get two strikes on the hitter before you get the strikeout."

"The game ended in the final seconds." You have to wonder when the others ended or are they still going on?

How is a team down by one touchdown before the half "totally demoralized?"

"If they score runs they will win."

"I think the matchup is what it is"

After a play a Houston defender was on his knees, his head on the ground and his hand underneath him appeared to clutch a very sensitive part of the male anatomy. He rolled onto his back and quickly removed his hand. (Remember the old Cosby routine "you cannot touch certain parts of your body?") Finally they helped the guy to the sideline and then the replay was shown. In it the guy clearly took a hard knee between his thighs. As this was being shown, one of the announcers says, "It looks like he hurt his shoulder." The other agrees and then they both talk about how serious a shoulder injury can be. Were we watching the same game?

"Somebody is going to be the quarterback or we're going to see a new quarterback."

"If you're gonna play running back in the SEC you're gonna take hits."

"That was a playmaker making a play."

Best headlines ever

Sister hits moose on way to visit sister who hit moose.

Man loses his testicles after attempting to smoke weed through a SCUBA tank

Church Mutual Insurance won't cover Church's flood damage because it's 'an act of God'

Homicide victims rarely talk to police

Meerkat Expert Attacked Monkey Handler Over Love Affair With Llama Keeper

GOP congressman opposes gun control because gay marriage leads to bestiality

Owner of killer bear chokes to death on sex toy

Support for legalizing pot hits all-time high

Give me all your money or my penguin will explode

How zombie worms have sex in whale bones

Crocodile steals zoo worker's lawn mower

Woman shot by oven while trying to cook waffles

Nude beach blowjob jet ski fight leads to wife's death

Woman stabs husband with squirrel for not buying beer Christmas Eve