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

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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!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


I have sat here thinking about what is going on with the financial crisis in America today and have been trying to sort out what it all means. I have come to this conclusion:


I hate to say it but I can't see any other alternative---


T'day is the end of the fiscal year (2008 is in the bag)---and as usual Congress has not lived up to their job responsibilities---we have no budget to work from--so we are probably going to be on a continuing resolution for a good part of this year. What does that mean---well for one thing we will never really know what our budget is for the year and hence we will never really know what our targets are for the year and hence we will never really know if we can hire people to do the job or not and hence when the year has ended Congress will go on record stating that the DAMN LAZY GOVERNMENT WORKERS DIDN'T DO THEIR JOBS AGAIN THIS YEAR. Damn I'm glad I don't have long left to work. I am highly concerned that our representatives cannot get anything done at all---no matter how small there are always those that are opposed to it just BECAUSE.

It is a really good thing that our Money says "IN GOD WE TRUST" because right now there are no and I do mean No politicians out there that are worth a DAMN. NOPE NOT A SINGLE ONE!

Saturday, September 27, 2008


I was thinking about the horse I have been using since we moved here. He was a nut case when we got here but was a beautiful Palomino. I figured if I could work with him a few days he'd be alright. I had some terrific rides and some to scare you to death for the first two years but now he's one of the horses we can DUDE. That means anyone can ride him and he'll take care of them. He's turned out to be one whale of a good horse.

Only trouble with that is I just realized he has to be over 12 years old now which means he is over half a useful lifetime old for a horse. I can't believe how fast time is going. It seems like only yesterday that we came here.

Thursday, September 25, 2008


Yestrerday I went out to look at a few projects. While I was driving around I noticed that the colors are really starting to come out. By next week they will be past full colors and the leaves will be falling off. If you plan to take a leaf drive to see the colors I'd say you better get 'er done before next Saturday or you'll have missed the peak.


This morning the old pony was up and well---guess we did something right. Last night I was pretty sure we'd find him dead this morning. He's pretty tired and awfully hungry since he hadn't eaten for three days but he's good to go right now. Guess we'll keep him here a few days to watch him then turn him out to pasture for a few weeks.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Shock and Awe is still alive but isn't well---he is currently on his way back to the vet to hopefully get another relaxation shot and maybe he will be OK. He is a Missouri Foxtrotter and one of the best horses I have ever been around---hence---he has a very high chance of dying. The good ones die the bad ones don't even get sick.

One of the things I was told very early in my life is that if we could keep the death in the corrals we were fine---I still hope that the vet is able to save this horse. I really do like him.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


I have had more sick horses with cholic this year than ever before in my life. We have taken many of them to the vet who has treated them and tried to figure out why we are having so many. I told my range cons that my Grandpa always said that was the first rule. "THOSE THAT HAVE MUST LOSE." So if you aren't familiar with cholic in horses it is a very serious ailment and if the horse doesn't relax its muscles and pass it's bowels it will die. One of my range cons spent all night with this horse (named SHOCK AND AWE) walking him around and around the corrals trying to keep him alive. We got him to the vet right when he opened this morning and he gave him some big time muscle relaxers---he's fine now.

The vet asked us where he was getting the sand he was eating---well we filled the holes in the corrals with sand to keep the horses out of the water when it is wet. Tomorrow we will spend part of the day rototilling the sand into the ground at the corrals to prevent us from having a horse die from eating sand. Who'd a ever thunk a horse would eat sand?

Monday, September 22, 2008


Today is the first day of fall---my favorite time of year---bar none. The mornings are cool---the days are quite warm and the evenings are great. I love fall.

Yesterday we took a ride over Cedar Mountain to look at the colors---there are very limited colors on Cedar Mountain---because---it hasn't frozen hard enough yet to color up the aspen.

It was a good trip anyway because Inklings got to see her mom and dad and I got to see my mom. Not for very long but at least we got to see them. We haven't made that run since July so it was really good to get there.

This past week I got to see all of my kids except Dr. Psycho---would have seen him too but he wasn't home when I went up and I came back really early in the day so didn't stop. Sorry Bud but I didn't have a clue what was for sure up until Monday morning. I had a good trip and saw a lot of folks.

Friday, September 19, 2008


Yesterday was officially my last day on an Incident Management Team. It feels really strange to not be connected to a team. The last three years I have done Type 2 rather than Type 1---which does the most complicated incidents because I really liked the IC that I went over to and wanted her to be successful. SHE WAS SUCCESSFUL!! But with Type 2 Teams at the end of the three years they are disolved and have to be put back together in the spring---with type 1 you run through the entire year and are prepared to go to anything---so for the first time in 20 years I am officially off. Could be for the season---could be forever.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


I left the house Tuesday on my way to teach what I thought was one class at a High School North of here. I arrived and the teacher informed me that he had me scheduled to teach Biodiversity to all five of his classes that day. It was kind of fun and I have to tell you those kids are pretty damn smart. They knew within five seconds that it wasn't going to be a day where they played around with the new person in class or the sub or whatever you want to call me. I thought it was funny because one kid started right off the get go and all I did was stop talking and look at him---in total silence in the room---for five full seconds---no one else wanted to go there so I had a pretty good day trying to show them how all of the biodiversity stuff enters into Forestry. After I finished that up I drove to a University North of here where I participated in a panel discussion on what you need to do to regenerate aspen. I had no idea I was considered to be one of the people that knew how to go about insuring that aspen came back and survived---all I have to offer is that if you treat aspen stands where there are likely critters (both domestic cows and elk) then you need to fence the project with an 8 foot fence for three or four years---spendy? YUP but compared to a failure of a treatment it is cheap---try sometime to get an aspen to grow and think about doing that same thing on 500 or more acres---

While I was there I took our daughters and one son in law and three grandkids out to dinner. It was fun and I really enjoyed seeing my new granddaughter for the first time---she is three months old. She is a doll and is one of---if not THE---happiest child I have ever seen---she doesn't cry---when she's hungry she fusses a little but I wouldn't call it crying. It would have been more fun if Inklings had been with me.

Monday, September 15, 2008


I got a call early this afternoon asking me to go to Beaumont Texas to deal with the aftermath of Hurricane Ike. I went to the aftermath of Rita and swore that I would never, not ever, do a hurricane assignment again. I went to Rita and worked hard for 23 days and nearly missed Christmas at my house because of it. I went home and spent all day Christmas day sitting on the couch thinking how terrible it was that all those people I just left (I came home December 23) were not only not going to have Christmas presents they had no shelter or nowhere to go to celebrate it. Needless to say it was a totally wasted Christmas (much of it spent with tears running down my face) for me and I don't intend to ruin another part of my life.

I am surely sorry for the impacted folks but I know from experience that there is really nothing I can do to help them---there is too much red tape in the government to help them---quite frankly all of the work we did while were doing Rita (and it was a lot) simply went into a box that allowed for the cleanup of the debris from the peoples property---it didn't clean anything up and it didn't provide anywhere for the people to live---I have never been so disgusted in my life. I understand that before you can do anything on peoples property you have to have permission to do it but I don't understand why you have to have every single person in a community agree to the work before you can go to work----'nuff said---I'll be at home.

Friday, September 12, 2008


Today I came to work in the hopes that I could round up a few extra dollars for doing business on the District. I have everything in a pile to send forwrd for the purchases but so far the powers that be have not approved the money. Oh well guess I'll call it a day. At least I am going home knowing that if by some small chance the money would have been approved I would have been here to take advantage of it.

I told the contracting officer when he asked me why I was at work that when money was being passed out I was going to be sure I was at home base with my catchers mitt on. Let it never be said I let any money get away because I wasn't working.

Thirty nine years I have played this game---and rest assured I am good at it and know the rules perfectly. Monday will come soon enough and we'll be back at business as usual after an early morning budget frenzy. Betcha I get my share!!!

Thursday, September 11, 2008


I got to work only seconds after the first plane flew into the first tower. One of my co-workers had the computer up showing what was going on and told me his wife had called and told him what had happened. We watched a few minutes as the smoke billowed out of the tower. We watched in disbelief as the second plane cruised around in a left bank and flew directly into the other tower. It was crazy that this was going on---in AMERICA---we were in awe that this had happened---then we watched as the announcement was made that a plane had flown into the Pentagon and then the field (I can't remember where the field was but I do remember the HEROES that were aboard). We had a co-worker working just down the road fron the Pentagon at the time and our concern level rose considerably (we learned later when she called to let us know that she was OK that she had watched the plane fly into the Pentagon but she was totally safe).

We continued to watch the activity on the internet---it was crazy---people were jumping out of windows more than thirty stories up in the Twin Towers to their death. We were all sure that the buildings were properly constructed and would be OK---then in a huge cloud of dust they began to crumble. I will never forget the looks on the peoples faces as they ran past the cameras in their retreat from the crumbling building. It was awful---thousands died inside---thousands died outside---and thousands (that were the firefighters and police) died from whatever it was they breathed while they were trying to save some people. It has always amazed me that as others run from the fire or other types of incidents for that matter firefighters run toward it to try to make others safe.




It is always amazing to me to see what happens when the crunch is on and people are looking for additional target completion for places to put money at the end of the year. Today I got a large sum of money to refurbish my spray program for noxious weeds simply because the district did a whale of a lot of weed spraying this past summer.

Tomorrow I expect to get a huge sum of money for fencing a project that is planned for burning next spring and fall. I had the money once this year but the powers that be took it back to cover fire suppression costs. The final look at that today resulted in a bunch of money that can be returned for project work. I fully expect that those dollars will return along with others that I haven't even thought about yet.

This should be my favorite time of year---BUT IT'S NOT. I believe this kind of thinking meets the 6 P's---PRIOR PLANNING PREVENTS PISS POOR PERFORMANCE---guess that's the price paid to you for being credible---sometimes it even feels good.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Adrian Dantley, former Jazz guard, was inducted into the hall of fame on his sixth run at it. Why did it take six tries to get one of the best players of all time inducted? My guess is that the TEAM never got far enough into the play offs while he was trying his guts out for him to get the credit he deserves.

I believe that without him and what he did the Jazz would not be in Utah today. He gave his best shot every night on the ball court, as he does now as an announcer. Congratulations A.D. Sir.

I am tickled he got there---he was a great player and is a great man.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


I have been telling everyone for the past nearly five years that I am going to retire when I have one bad day in a row. Last Saturday (the last day on the fire) was nearly it. It is a good thing that the afternoon went well or I'd be outta here---and I'm not kidding---and everybody knows I'm not kidding.

I have always wanted to be the WalMart greeter.


Today was my first day back to work as required by the work rest ratio for firefighters---so I went in thinking I'd be in the office most of the day.

One of my range cons came in and invited me to a meeting with permittees on an allotment on horseback. How do you pass that up? Well I didn't---but it was a tough day. I have only taken one short horseback ride this year and that was in April. When I got home I could barely walk and my back still hurts like H _ _ _.

My boss laughed when he saw me walking into the office late today---he did the same thing a week ago. One of my grandfathers favorite sayings was "NOTHING IS AS EASY AS IT APPEARS AT FIRST GLANCE." Truer words were never spake when it comes to riding horses---long distances=sore muscles.


I really love it when the blog I wrote doesn't publish and I have to do it over---I never get it the same but here goes.

Monday I got a call from the Ranger of an adjoining Ranger District asking if I could go fly with him to look at a fire on his district that he was considering letting burn for resource benefit.

I hurried down to the helipad and flew to his airport where we picked him up and flew to the fire. We looked it over carefully and took a few pictures of the fuels and potential for running in the basin. Then I asked the pilot to get me a high view so I could determine if the fire had much potential for coming to town.

We determined that even if the fire got running good there was very little chance of it coming to town so he decided to let it burn for resource benefit. He got all kinds of support for that call and it was a good call. Even if the fire doesn't do anything he had to go through the gut wrenching of making a decision to let an uncontrolled force of nature do it's thing. Takes GUTS lots of GUTS.

He has his first one in the bag now no matter what happens-0--I hope he calls me for help next time too---I love doing that---I also love letting nature do HER thing. See first line of my blog site.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


I got home Sunday night about 8:30 p.m. It is way good to be home---I spent part of yesterday washing my gear and repacking my fire kit. Our team goes up again Friday Sept 5. I told the IC that I can't go out again until Sept. 9. This is a tough time to not be available to go since if the team gets called it will be the last go for that team---ever---the three year term for teams will be up and the rotation schedule ends the first of October.

I don't want to wish the team any bad luck but I really hate to miss the last go round so I am selfishly hoping they don't go or at least don't go until the 9th.

This is the time for every fire team when I start to wonder if I should take another run. I know I am getting older and I know I get more tired than I used to but in my mind I can still GET 'ER DONE. Makes you wonder sometimes where the time went for your life.