Some say the world will end with fire.

Others say with ice.

From what I've tasted of desire

I hold with those that favor fire.

But if I had to perish twice,

I think I know enough of hate,

To say that for destruction ice,

Is also great and would suffice.

Robert Frost


"Good things come to those who wait, but, only the things LEFT by those who hustle." - Unknown (at least by me)

"Life is wonderful, without it you are dead." - Hy "Pete" Peterson - Park City and Kenecott Miner

"Don't worry about those people in your past---there is a reason they are not in your present." - Unknown

"Life's tough - it's even tougher if you're stupid." - John Wayne

"The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary!" - Vince Lombardi

"If you aren’t living on the edge, you’re probably taking up too much space.” ~ Attributed to Jim Whittaker by Doug ‘Swani’ Swantner, Alaska Smokejumper and Air Attack Base Manager (Ret.)

About Me

My photo
I am married and have seven children and twenty grandchildren. I retired January 1, 2010 after working 39+ years for the Forest Service...NEW CHAPTER IN MY LIFE HAS BEGUN!

Sunday, December 30, 2007


Has been a very interesting vacation this year. I have done more nothing this winter than any other period of my life. I have watched more TV than I can imagine and look forward to getting out of the house to do anything.

I watched the Patriots knock off the Giants last night and really thought the Patriots had choked when they fell behind 12 points---just goes to show you there are great athletes out there today who don't quit---even in games that don't mean anything.

We went North to look at Christmas lights last week---insanity?---probably but it was a good trip and I enjoyed it.

I went to a dedication of a firefighter memorial yesterday for a firefighter who lost his life in 2006. It was very nicely done and there were many, many people there to participate. He was a great guy and it is too bad he died. I have struggled with his death and have finally been able to accept it.

One of my good friends has told me over and over that we have chosen (note chosen) a dangerous occupation and when we are all through with our careers we can look back and be thankful that we made it through alive. He has also told me I have to let it go---not to stop remembering but to stop letting it eat on me---I think I have been able to do that now....and I really do appreciate my friend that has tried so hard to get me through this. Friends like that are hard to come by---we were together on a fire team for over 14 years so we know each other pretty well. I am sorry he has retired.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007


"Twas the night after Christmas and all through the house---not a creature was stirring---not even a mouse. Everyone has gone to their own homes or out for the evening and the cat has KILLED the last mouse.

Man this is a lonely house when you are here by yourself---hardly ever happens to me but it is tonight.

Yesterday I talked to my college roommate and his wife. I haven't seen or talked to either of them since Dec. 15, 1967 (40 years and 10 days) when I left college to go to Basic Training in the military---when I returned from military training they had gotten married and had moved to New Mexico. I was sure they would never leave New Mexico---so when I went on a fire down there I looked for them in the toiwn he was from---nope---not there---in fact no one with the same name lived there anymore.....

Last week I decided to find them---I tried to get her dad's phone number where he lived---he is no longer alive---so I resorted to teh computer---the last blog was about that but----

We talked on the phone last night and it was exciting---we had all thought about the other ones a lot but didn't have any way to make contact---and never expected to do it again---It was great we shared a lot about our lives over the past 40+ years but there was a lot left out---some day we will get to sit down and talk about the good old days---but one thing we agreed about the good old days last night is that the speed with which we lived at that time in our lives (and it didn't seem like things were going fast or were dangerous) when we think about them--it SCARES THE HELL out of us. I wouldn't trade those two years for anything.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007


I have been going through a period where I have been trying to find people that were once important to me that I have lost through all the moves that we have made. I have been trying to find a college room mate and his wife for a couple of months. Yesterday I googled his name and got several million hits---so I googled it a different way---and got over a million hits---I tried it with just his first and last name and got quite a few hits--not millions but lots---I scrolled down one screen and there they were---both names on a web site---quite a bit of information about their ranch in Texas, and that they were still doing Rodeo---now they are raising the rough stock---world class rough stock---their world champion bucking bull is named after him---BILLY THE KID---anyway it was good to find them. They aren't home for Christmas but it will be good to talk to them when they get home.

Monday, December 24, 2007


Since I can't send out e-mails of any sort from this computer I guess I'll have to post everything here. 'Tis the day before Christmas and I wish you all a very good day tomorrow---hope everything goes well and that you travel safely---MERRY CHRISTMAS


This morning I decided to get up early and fix our hotmail accounts. Somehow we have errors in our program that won't let us mail anything. We can receive just fine--just can't respond or send anything new out.

So I went in and ran the install for the program---waited the 15 minutes for the computer to receive it---then got a note---INSTALLER EXPECTED A NEWER OPERATING SYSTEM---FOR INFORMATION ON UPGRADING YOUR SYSTEM PUSH THIS BUTTON---I pushed the button and got the message that Millenium Edition is no longer being updated---so I have to do the big debate on whether I want to buy another operating system to put on this old computer or buy a new computer with the new operating system already on it---HMMMM---I love it.

Friday, December 14, 2007


I made it back from Ogden safe and sound and close to nuts. It never really snowed hard on me today but it spit a little the entire way home. The roads were never really slick but they were never really dry and safe either. I love to make that drive at 55--makes you feel like you had a whole day of driving.

I never got to see any one up there because we worked on the project from 7 am 'til 6 pm every day but today---oh well we finished it up at about ten 'til 12 this morning and I had the whole rest of the day to get home---guess it was all worth it now that it is over.

It is pretty late in the season but tonite they are decorating our Christmas tree---a tradition (???) for the youngest---but hey once is habit with a baby and this is the third year in a row she has done it---better her than me anyway.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to y'all----BAH HUMBUG!!!!!!!!!

Monday, December 10, 2007


I have to go to Ogden for my job this entire week---does that make me jolly??? Don't think so---I could have gone the rest of my life without another trip to Ogden and it wouldn't have bothered me much.

There may be a good part in this---many of the folks on my fire team are from Northern Utah so maybe I will be able to see some of them.

WHATTA BUMMER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, December 9, 2007


I got up this morning to a snow covered lawn and house---my driveway and side walks were clear. How do you get any better than that. I did put salt on the concrete last night while it was snowing and that must have worked.

It is fairly warm--mid 30's---this morning and all of the white stuff will be gone before noon but it sure did make the ground look beautiful this morning and I hate snow.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Columns and Shadows

This is one of the best photos I have ever seen. You can see the column in the back and the shadow of the column in the smoke surounding the area in the front. It was awesome when we took that shot.
It is interesting to me that this lasted only a moment. Like many things in our lives great things happen and bad things happen but they only last a moment then they are gone. All we are left with are the memories---both good or bad---of what happened. Our memories fade over time. It is really interesting to me that the memories that last the longest (and I can testify to long) are the good things that happened. There is something in the brain that doesn't keep the bad memories as vividly as the good ones.
When bad things happen to any of us we need to have support to get through it. If we don't have that support we never really get over it......think about that and whether you are supporting your friends and family that truly need it.
AND SO IT GOES..............

Monday, December 3, 2007


Contrary to popular belief SLEEPING DISORDERS come from your children. No matter what is going on with them and no matter how old and grown up they get---when things go wrong with them or their families it effects the parents by disrupting their sleep pattern---yeah I know for sure on this one.

Sunday, December 2, 2007


What is the easiest way to ruin chocolate chip toll house cookies? Bake them.

Inside Stories is in the process of spoiling her grandkids again---she is making a huge batch of cookies to put in the freezer for in case the kids come---I am tickled she is doing this---I have been able to get at least three handsfulls of cookie dough and eat it while she was putting it out on the cookie sheets---there isn't much better in this world than raw toll house cookie dough!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks love--I needed that---

Saturday, December 1, 2007


Dec. 1--a good day to have the first major snowstorm of the season---right? NOT--NOT--NOT!!!! It should wait at least until mid December---you know after the 15th and then be gone for the rest of the winter.

There have been short times throughout the day when you couldn't see across the street because of the blizzard at our house---those didn't last long but it was really weird to have zero visibility at home. Especially on the one day of the week that I usually spend most of the day outside or looking around the stores in town. I hate being cooped up.

Hope tomorrow brings the sunshine to melt the snow that fell---


Last night we had a going away party For my boss who is going North for a new job with better pay. She has been the best boss I have ever had IN 35 years and I am a little nervous about what I am going to get in return. Guess it will all work out in the long run and if it doesn't I can always retire since I am fully eligible and have been for four years.

I emceed the program and it was good---I enjoyed doing it and there were lots of participants so it turned out really nice. I don't believe I have ever seen so many people wanting to talk about how great a boss she is. We started the roast at 8:00 and finished just before 10:00 so you can see there was lots of talk.

I had planned to wear entirely black for the party but my spouse convinced me I needed to wear a different color shirt---I wore the pink one my daughter bought for me that has "TOUGH ENOUGH TO WEAR PINK" embroidered on the inside of the neck.

Whe we were walking out the door after the party was over my boss asked if she was ever going to see me again---I said if you work Monday---otherwise this is it. Man that was a tough thing for me to realize.


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

What the Heck

I have been seriously debating the value of blogging---I guess I have to admit that it is pretty cool to be able to see what everyone else is blogging about even though I am pretty poor about putting stuff on line myself. I have had a lot of questions regarding why anyone would put all that stuff out there for the world to read and can't seem to get past that part of it. I guess I just come from another time and place.

I don't spend a lot of time on doing the blog stuff each day but it is nice to be able to take a few minutes and see what everyone else has been up to. But like everything else I don't have a real exciting life---except when I am having a real exciting life---at which times I don't have time to even get through my job let alone blog something. So I wonder why do it at all.

Friday, November 23, 2007


Well Thanksgiving 2007 is history and history was made at our house. We had 31 for dinner and I kept myself in a low enough profile that I didn't piss off any of them. It was good to see our 7 children and the spouses of those that are married but it was great for me to see the 16 grandkids and see how they are growing up and also how well they get along at Grandpas.

Inside Stories spent most of her waking and sleeping moments cooking for the tribe and it turned out great---at least for me---can't speak for her. The food and the company were both good and the day passed into history gently.

We had some family portraits taken by Dr. Psycho and they turned out good---it has been 16 yeaars since we have a photo with all of us in it so that was fun---they also took a picture of all the grandkids piled into the stairs---I haven't seen that but it should be great too.

Hope everyone else had as good of day as I did!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, November 19, 2007


Today I got the news that my daughter's ex had again really screwed up her life---I thought we had passed the point where she would have anything to do with him---over the weekend he ran up over $700 on her credit card and would have done more except he maxed it out---I got to talk to him about that---I certainly hope he pays the bill as he said he would---if not it leaves one more reason for my daughter to regret her relationship with him. Time will tell but time can't heal all wounds in this case.

Friday, November 16, 2007


This is a pretty nice shot of a very small fire whirl. When these are showing up is a good time to be really paying attention to what is going on with your fire. These are great indicators of very unstable air. They are fun to watch move across a fire---they bob and weave and swirl around.

They are pretty and pretty scary!!


A couple of nights ago I got a call from my son and I could tell immediately that something was bad wrong---I could hear the shake in his voice and the trembling of his lips. His daughter had just been shot in the eye with a BB gun. It was really hard on him 'cause he is about 400 miles away from them and really has to work to get where he can help.

We struggled with the news through the night and all the next day. Last night we found out that after all the CT scans and all the other tests that she is probably going to recover 100%. That is a great relief to us. She is having a very difficult time doing what the Doctor tells her she has to do---think about what it would be like to sleep at a 45 degree angle and not be able to move around or lift your head---I think it would be extremely tough even for me to meet those requirements.

When I was young we used to have BB gun fights in the old barn out back of the house. We did it every day and for many years. The end of those wars came because one of the participants got shot in the eye while he was looking through a crack in the barn. There were lots of tears and lots of concern and we were all terribly sorry about what happened---the rules were you couldn't shoot above the belt---but how do you explain to the parents what the rules of a game doing what you had been told all your life not to do---YUP---IT NEVER GETS ANY EASIER.

Just so y'all know he turned out OK too but through luck---not good management.

Monday, November 12, 2007


OK this afternoon I watched Second Hand Lions again to see who I reminded my daughter of---guess it is OK that he was the one since I can see some reasons I may remind her of him.

And by the way it for sure is a love story---both from the Princess and from the young boy standpoint---a real love story---I especially liked the Lion the second go round because she truly loved the boy too---maybe I have a new show that I can watch as much as I watched 8 Seconds---when I do that the world will wonder what has happened to my mind!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AGAIN!!!!!!


Today is a Federal holiday---it is not necessarily a State or Local holiday---it is for sure not a school holiday so while I have the day off my wife, who works for the school, does not. So what do I do on a day that I have off alone---well for starters today I have been reading through all of the jokes I have on the computer trying to find some that are appropriate for my boss' going away party---notice I said trying---I am doing the MC for her party so wanted to at least have a few good jokes to throw in there---I now have a few (very few).

I went in to work very early this morning because I forgot to do something Friday---It has been bothering me all weekend and I didn't want it to ruin today too---it was good to get it done---I no longer feel guilty.

After I finish this up I think I will go take a nap---that is always an appropriate use of time off.

Oh such a beautiful day---I look forward to the 20 days of annual leave I will be taking in the next two months---I think I should get the paint shook and start painting the hall that the girls started stripping the wall paper off from---yeah that is part of the price too---to finish what others started and didn't have the time to finish.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Great Day

Here is a shot of a bomber dropping slurry against a house with the lead plane for the next load just to the right of it---this was taken on the Hayman fire in Colorado---one of the best shots I have ever seen. One of the most amazing fires I ever went on also---It was the largest fire in Colorado history and nearly got Denver during it's initial run.

Monday, November 5, 2007


I just learned today that when you are replacing plumbing parts that you should always take it clear to the wall with whatever you are replacing. I replaced the faucets and drains on all of the bathroom sinks in the house a couple of weeks ago. One of them leaked---pretty badly---all over our towels. I got stuck under that particular sink while I was replacing the drain so I was pretty upset when it is the one that leaked. I decided today that I was going to fix it after I got off work---no matter how nervous I was about crawling back inside the sink cabinet---so I took everything out when I got home and went to the plumbing store (not Wal Mart or K Mart or Home Depot) and took all the parts in with me.

I asked the guy that waited on me if they had a new drain part---he went into the parts part of the store and came back with a new drain and all of the parts for the pea trap---I asked why I needed the pea trap stuff---he said that when you tightened up new stuff that the gaskets were pinched into the pipes and made them water tight---when you did it the second time if you got the gasket exactly like when you took it out it was fine but if it didn't match it was likely to leak.

I told him I thought as long as you tightened things good you didn't have to worry about that. He said that is why he loves home plumbers---he gets to sell the first replacement parts then when it leaks he gets to sell all new parts to stop the leak---yes he asked me the first time if I needed the pea trap stuff---I told him no---

Just as I was leaving the store he told me that I needed to cut all of the pipes the proper lengths and showed me how to measure the pipe to be sure the length was right before I put it together. He explained that if I didn't do that then when all the parts were matched up it was likely that one of them would be too far into the other pipe and would touch the place where the pipe turned and would act as a plug---when I got ready to put everything back together I measured the inside of all the pipes and cut the two that I needed to cut to the proper size---when I checked it for leaks I was astounded by how well it drained---the old pea trap pipe and the drain pipe itself were too long and plugged the drain---I didn't know drains could take water out that fast---I have never seen one that drained that well.

I'm sure glad I found out that a penny saved is not necessarily a penny earned---No matter what Ben Franklin said about that---unless he liked wet towels---oh yeah he didn't have inside plumbing.

Sunday, November 4, 2007


What a great fall day--sunny and bright and temps in mid 60's all day with no wind---you gotta love it.

Actually fall has always been my favorite time of year, mostly because things are starting to slow down a little and it isn't quite so crazy about what you are going to be doing tomorrow---and you are probably not going to leave town on an unknown assignment.

We watched Second Hand Lions last night. It is a great movie---now I just wonder which of the eccentric old bastards my daughter thinks reminds her of me. Bottom line is it doesn't matter since there isn't much we can do to change what we think and who we are unless we make a very concerted effort to do so. Anyway I loved the movie...

Friday, November 2, 2007

Great Timing

I have been really trying to manage the time I work so that I can use up all of my annual leave before the end of the year. I get 208 hours a year so figure that out---it is 26 days or five weeks and one day. Lots of time. So I have been trying to work four or five hours a day and take the rest of the day off. It has been great and I have really enjoyed having the afternoons off. Today (Friday) I was supposed to work until 11 a.m. then go for the rest of the day and I was really looking forward to doing that. As I was getting ready to leave I had someone come in and ask if I would accept a large poster from one of the schools for the school presentation we do every year. I told them OK, I would do it. They said good they'll be here between 2:30 AND 3:00P.M.---so much for the time off---and I can't not accept the poster from the kids---that would be way out of line!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


Here is a pretty good shot of a fire in Idaho just North of a fire camp--look in the lower left the black thing is a shade cover for a Yurt---this was a pretty fun fire to be on because it kicked our butts every single day. What is fun about doing fire is that if you leave things to Nature---she will do it in a grand way---every single time.
I got back from the California fires Friday night late--Monday morning I got a call to go back in a different job---I said nah _ don' think so---I have been doing this for 38 years---this is the very first assignment that I have turned down.
It was great that while going down I was able to see Native Minnow---pretty funny how that worked---I called him all day to see if we could get together and left messages---as I was nearly past Vegas I called him one more time---he answered.
Him "Where are you"
me "just about to go by exit 37"
him "take that exit"
me "I don't know if I can get across four lanes of traffic to take it"
him "just take it and drive straight down until you come to the Thomas and Mack Center then turn left into it"
me "OK I am into the T/M Center---now what"
him "keep coming to the van that is on your left and turning toward you and turn left there"
me "OK"
him "I can see you---keep coming I am waving at you"
Was REALLY GOOD to see him.

Friday, October 26, 2007


I just got back from the California wildfires and I had only just got there when I was released to come home. When major ragers start it is not uncommon to have several different people order resources to help out with the management of the incident. In my case several folks ordered Supply dudes and we all showed up at the same time---that is why we get ordered is to prevent everyone else ordering resources---so we all fully understood what had happened---the team in control of the incident tried to find jobs for all of us but it was crowded....I finally told the guy in charge that I would be OK with going home if they really didn't need me and were just finding me a job.....he thought about it for a few hours and let me go sucks to drive 500 miles and then be released but it sucks a lot more to drive 500 miles and take a job that really isn't necessary and isn't really helping---I'm glad to be home.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


Here is a picture of one of my favorite days. See if you can count the number of horses associated with this picture. It was a great day and no one got bucked off and we only had a couple of rodeos for the day---and those could have been prevented by just not pushing the horse so hard.

I have done cool stuff like this most of my life---

Sunday, October 14, 2007

I tried but I couldn't do it!!!!!!!!!!

I tried to put the bomber behind my header and it worked sorta---it took two full screens left/right and up/down to see it so I took it off. I had a great birthday and the weekend following it was good too. Three of my girls and two of the grandkids came down Friday night. We had a nice visit and celebrated my birthday. It was fun---I had four candles---because I can't blow hard enough to take out that many candles.

I did add Fire and Ice by Robert Frost---it has always been one of my favorite poems.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

I started to do this post yesterday and got a call to go look at a burn we are going to do this fall with the burning bunch. YUP--the burn won out---wonder why that would be? So here I sit 59 years and one day old---had a great day yesterday---read the last book of my favorite author (Robert B. Parker) today and mostly just sat around the house.

If I'd have known I was going to live this long I too would have taken better care of myself.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Here's the damn picture I deleted off the blog site when I was setting mine up---I ain't smart enough to put back so if any of you know how to do it let us know---those of you that have suggested ways so far don't work because what you talk about in the fix ain't there in the header. So if you have suggestions on getting this back where it belongs please get them in.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Fixin ta paste 'er

Here is a shot from the lead plane bringing the tanker in to paste the west side of a major rager. Note the column in the background---this ain't the only fire in the neighborhood but happens to be the one we got.

Just in case you can't figure it out this is a huge adreniline rush for me---even looking at the pictures makes me happy that I chose to do this as part of my career. Guess if you have done it for 38 seasons you had better like it.

It is pretty hard for me to set things out for the world to see so it will take some time before you really get anything that means much.

Monday, October 8, 2007


It has been kind of fun trying to figure out how to use this. Someday I may even be able to put something in this that means something---but in the interim here is one of my favorite helicopter shots---taken a few years ago at first dam on the Logan River. If you look across the water you can see the fire on the hillside right next to the water. This is one we caught with two hot shot crews and the helicopter above. It crashed two hours after this picture but no one was injured---hope it posts.

Sunday, October 7, 2007


Well I did get the picture on the blog site---even though you can't tell what it is. This is one of my favorite pictures of an aircraft dropping retardant on a fire. It was taken by my favorite ever Operations Chief's on a fire in Nevada---we lucked out and shut that fire down---without losing any houses---always makes you feel good when you can pull that off.

I got to thinking the other day and I have been fighting fire seriously on a team since 1985---that has taken me to 18 states where we have been very successful in our duties---I love the team thing and have had a ball doing it.

Friday, October 5, 2007

I have seven kids. None of which is my favorite contrary to popular belief. Thanks Native Minnow for helping me get this set up---don't know what I will do with it but it might turn out to be some fun---we'll see.