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!

Thursday, July 31, 2008


We are in the process of putting a new front door in the house. Last night we stood it in the doorway and set most of it. Today we will finish the installation and put on the handles and locks. It is way nice to have a friend that can do this type of work---sometimes he is a little overworked and is always slow getting it worked into his schedule but when he is done it is always first class. I love the way it looks even before it if fully framed in. Some of you will need new keys!!!!

1500 Visits

I checked my blog tracker a couple of days ago and I had 1501 visits---I looked a little closer and 1500 of them were from folks I was OK with---ONE was from OPM in Washington DC---guess big brother is alive and well somewhere.

It seems amazing to me that there have been that many visits to a meaningless web site. It is fun though to see who is reading the blogs and really fun to get the comments when there are any.

Monday, July 21, 2008


Today I completed, for the first time, a designation of beneficiary, which means as soon as the paper work clears the office that what remains of my income upon my death will go to Inklings if she is still alive---if she's not it will go to L* for distribution evenly between her siblings---she already blogged about her being so nice she will let each of her siblings have one of the grandkids we currently have custody of and she'll go without because there aren't enough for each sibling to get one.

Just for the record I laughed my A _ _ off when I read her blog about that---it was really big fo her to think about her siblings first----think wahahahahahah.


Friday, July 18, 2008

Preparing for Retirement

I have spent a little time this week trying to get all of the stuff for my retirement correct. What a pain that has been---not only did I need to straighten out a few things---there were other things I had to do before I could fix the ones I was aware of needing fixing. So by the end of today I will have proof positive that I have paid back everything that I have ever owed the government---and I have bought back my seasonal time which gives me three years more service---and I can prove that with receipts from the Office of Personnel Management.

I will also be in posession of all of the papers I need to file for designating my beneficiary which everyone knows is Inklings---right---well that is correct, however, if I don't designate her, with all of the proper forms, then all of the things she stands to inherit will have to go through probate court---which sometimes takes up to two years to get through. I can't imagine how anyone could ever get through two years without what they own and deserve.

I won't get those papers in the mail today though because no one can tell me the address and person I need to send them to---since we reorganized and sent all our personnel activities to Albuquerque.

So the rest of you take a hard look at what this means to you and if you want everything to go through probate court---let your stuff go through the other normal lawful process---as for me I want Inklings to have what she deserves as soon as she can get her hands on it.

I probably should have titled this PREPARE TO DIE.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


I arrived home Saturday night about 6:00 P.M. after a 12 hour drive. It was good to get home. Things are a little crazy there and I was really tired so was probably really grouchy---anyway I think I have recovered from the trip now and I hope everyone else at home has recovered from my return.

I went in to work Monday for a couple of hours to try to catch up---and got home at 4:00 P.M. but I did mostly catch up with at least the major stuff. I still have a lot of things to take care of but will catch up this week at least at work.

Last night I weeded the garden and tonight I will mow the lawn---that should just about take care of the outside chores that I should be taking care of...last go round the Little Prince had to do them for me---thank you very much.

Monday, July 14, 2008


Well I got Home Saturday from a three week tour of Northern California---I was on a complex for fourteen of those days (two days were spent travelling on each end). When I left for home and the two day drive back the acreage was 14, 036 acres and the containment was 14%--at the current rate of control the fire will be taken care of October 6th and the acreage will be about 100,000 acres. I would guess that those numbers will be close to where it finishes up unless it rains like H _ _ _ in the next few months.

I had a good run---we had three minor accidents with all the folks we had on the fire---we got most of the resources we asked for---we all came home safe and sound---what more can you ask!

As I was driving in to Redding I called my firefighter friend referenced by Inklings and said "We may not be in such a good spot."
He said "Why do you say that?"
I said "Look out your left window and you'll se a tanker dropping retardant---look out your right window and you'll see a tanker dropping retardant."
He said "With all the smoke I knew it was bad---but I never considered it would be this bad."

We made it into Redding and had stopped for gas when they closed the road---I think we made it through with about three minutes to spare. I've always said I would rather be lucky than far I've been consistantly lucky.

Monday, July 7, 2008


And from that quote you can tell our fires aren't. We have steadily gained acreage since we arrived---we are currently at 9731 acres and by tomorrow it will be over 10,000. The Klamath Hot Shot crew is doing an exceptional job of a burn out this afternoon and haven't lost any acres outside the line so maybe we are going to finally have some success. Guess we have had a lot of success already since we've burned around a lot of houes and structures and so far haven't lost any---time will tell but I think we may be close to winning the day we leave---we won't win in our tenure....too much fire and too few crews and engines.

Saturday, July 5, 2008


'Tis another day in the sunny state of California and the wind is blowing so the fires we have may just get up and go....Arnie announced that he is mobilizing another 200 National Guardsmen today---that guy is a shrewd politician---they can't even get trained up in time to help. I am fully recovered from whatever I had yesterday and am doing fine. Amazing how that happens.

We went cone gathering this morning and picked up a few sugar pine cones. They are the longest of all the pine cones so we got a few for those on the team that wanted some.

We think we will be replaced Tuesday and drive home Wed and Thur----so I'll have Friday and Saturday off before the team goes back up---we'll most likely go right back out somewhere when we go up. It's going to be a hell of a fire season.

Friday, July 4, 2008


Today in fire camp I got sick---kind of a flu and I have tossed my cookies many times. Think about how bad that would be if you had to upchuck in one of the standard blue outhouses filled with blue water----now you've thought about that it is never going to happen to me as long as there is land outside the hut but that doesn't make me feel a lot better.

I am now in the recovery mode and will be fine. This is the very first time I have been really sick in fire camp---Inklings thinks these things are happening because I am too old.....she might be right....but I don't plan to quit the team anytime in the near future. YUP Native Minnow is right I do love doing this stuff.

Thursday, July 3, 2008


I have been working in fire camp for just over a week and we are starting to get acquainted with the people that work for us. Just a few minutes ago we were in ground support talking about the Yurok Tribe that one of the ladies is a member of and I asked her if by chance she knew my friend Lynn. She said she didn't but the guy sitting there asked if I was talking about Flies Without Wings mother. I told him yes that was who I was talking about---he told me he was her brother and wanted to know some things about FWW---I showed him his blog site and we visited a few minutes---It is amazing how small the world really is---he is working for us as a driver.

He really got a chuckle out of the pitures FWW had posted on the hair cut.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


I am still in fire camp about 30 miles south of Happy Camp---there is an awfully lot of fire round these parts right now but none of the fires are ripping. We lost a little part of line last night with the burn-out so will spend most of today securing that before we move forward. Hope Mother Nature behaves herself today and gives us a shot at securing it---like my title says---she has the last word anyway.

The camp is still at 400 people and our 6 fires have burned 6358 acres as of nightfall last night---we are currently estimating 5% containment and a containment date of October 1---that's a while off---we'll get to go home before that as the rules are 14 days with travel outside those days or with an extension 21 days with travel included.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


Arnold Swartznegger stepped up today and activated over 200 National Guard members to help deal with the fires. Only problem with that is they aren't trained to do what we do so we'll busily train them to fight fire for a couple of weeks before they can fight fire safely---then they will fight fire for 14 or 21 days and go home---it is way too bad that the Forest Service can no longer supply the troops they once did to these types of incidents but you can thank Congress and the Senate for that---and by the way OMB for sure knows everything.

The situation here is not as bad as it is in other parts of California, but we still have all the fire this team wants to handle.