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!

Friday, October 31, 2008


Wednesday, Thursday and Friday the fire and fuels folks burned a 500 acre block. It was a good three days and I enjoyed very much watching them pull off the burn. Last night we smoked in a mine and tripped 17 CO detectors which makes the miners very nervous. We went up today and worked out the problems this caused with the mine managers. We also showed them what we are trying to accomplish and told them we weren't going to quit burning but that we were probably done until spring. I should have posted some pictures but alas like all times I didn't take a camera with me. Suffice it to say the crew DONE GOOD!!!!!!!! I love this job.

Monday, October 27, 2008


I am not smart enough to post the picture and then add words to it but I am smart enough to know it can be done. So this goes with the picture below. It was (IS) a good old truck. It (795) carried me many, many miles safely. I never worried when I went somewhere in it that I could be left walking. It had well over 250,000 miles on it when L* got it. My oldest son raced it down B Hill off the road and it still ran---it needed work but it still ran. the guy that owned it before me chased wild horses with it on the desert so it had many, many days of abuse. It was a Milford truck and no one should ever buy a used vehicle from Milford---but I did---and it was a good one mechanically.

L* hope it wins you another battle when you run it next time---not many vehicles get to run in two demolition derbies. Way to go!!!!



I bought a 1978 Chevrolet truck in 1984. It was a mess - had dents all over it and the doors wouldn't work right and the paint was really bad - but the price was right and it was a 4WD. I had wanted a 4WD for a long time so it was OK that it wasn't perfect. I spent many hours with the truck of many colors (as inklings called it) getting rid of all the dents and fixing up the doors and windows so that everything was good. The last think I did was re-upholster the seat. I did that with some really nice brushed red cloth and it was really nice. Then I painted it a light tan so that all the little dings and mistakes in body work didn't show.

It was a really good truck---we seldom had any problems with it and when we did I could fix them because it was still an all American Truck. All the regular tools fit and you could change everything on it with a 9/16 and 5/8 inch wrench---well almost everything. One year while the boys and I were hunting we turned it on it's side on top of a tree---which if it hadn't been there we'd of had a really good roll down the hill. We just hooked a chain to the front differential and hooked the handy man jack to another tree and jacked it back onto its wheels and drove away. No problem-no injuries-no sweat.

I did everything in that truck for ten years---I really liked it---even if it did rust out everywhere. It had the best mirrors for shooting that were ever put on a vehicle.

Thursday, October 23, 2008


I am on a Forest that goes way out of their way for the Combined Federal Campaign. They sell votes for $1 each or 6 for $5 and vote for people to do yucky stuff. They take the top 6 and they have to perform whatever disgusting thing the organizers come up with. Today is the last day for posting tickets so I waited patiently and bought myself out of the play near the end and snuck back to my office. Five minutes later I was twenty seven votes above the next closest nominee and many more than that from the rest. So it would have been over $300 to buy myself out a second time---so I just decided I would have to do whatever.

An hour later I was sixth highest with quite a few close so I bought myself out again for $10. Right---as soon as I had put up my stickers another 20 were put on my name---hence $120 to buy out---guess I'm stuck doing whatever. I'm happy to participate in this because the money goes to Primary Children's Hospital in Salt Lake City, UT---a very worthy cause. And on top of that is fun to have this many people laughing to spend their money.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Inklings went to the team meeting yesterday to determine where we are going with our five grand children and their mom and dad. They finally figured out that 12 months from the time of the pick up is December---NOT NOVEMBER---so we have a little additional time for the parents to get their lives together. Yeah another whole month. That is a good thing.

So I believe it is December 17th that we go to court now to determine what is going to happen with the rest of these little kids lives. The only one that really has any idea is the Judge and he has had some pretty harsh things to say in court. Guess only time will tell but I hope this works out for the best. The hardest part about that is that no one will know until it is all over what the best is.

Monday, October 20, 2008


After all the planning and getting ready everything looked good for the burn last night when I went to bed. This morning very early I woke up and headed for work---it had rained a little in town so I got to work and drove to the road junction near the burn site to see if it had rained out there. It had not rained so we eventually got everything in motion to do the burn.

As soon as we all arrived a cloud passed over us and sprinkled across the burn unit---not even a measurable rain---just a sprinkle---that shut the entire burn down for today and maybe for another year. If it warms up for a couple of hours today it will dry it out and we will be able to burn it tomorrow. We'll give it another try then.



Last Friday I had lunch with a guy that used to work for me. Twenty three years ago he had a massive heart attack and it took me over two hours to get him stabilized, into a truck and driven to the hospital. I put him in the front seat of the stock truck (with all its manure and everything in the back) because that was the closest one to us. I drove him to the hospital and parked the truck in the ambulance entrance (duh my passenger had just had a major heart attack). The emergency room nurses threw a fit that I had to get the truck out of there---I threw a fit that they needed to get the guy in the truck into the emergency room---I WON BUT IT WAS A TOUGH FOUGHT BATTLE.

After many trips to the hospital in SLC and much concern that he wasn't going to make it---HE DID---and contrary to all of the predictions he is doing great. He went out on a medical retirement because all of the doctors said he would never be able to go to 10,000 feet again and more than half of the District was above 10,000 feet so he worked until he was eligible (about 18 months) and then went out. He has worked very hard at keeping in shape and doing what he needs to do to stay healthy. He was finally able to get back to 10,000 feet.

Two weeks ago he shot a six point bull elk on one of our favorite areas on the District. It is at an elevation above 10,000 feet and we spent many memorable days together near where he got the elk. He brought some great pictures of it to the lunch and we had a great visit. I am SOOOOO glad he is OK.

Everyone has someone that worked for them that they use to rate everyone else against---HE IS MINE---and has been for 27 years. I hope we have this friendship for another 23 years and more if possible.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


I spent this afternoon out evaluating a prescribed fire on the north end of the district. It is ready to burn and all the parameters are in prescription. We are going out on Monday and torch it. There are a few deer hunters in the area that will be upset but I have missed this burn window for the past three years. I'm not missing it again. It will be a great burn to improve wildlife habitat but it will take two years for people to see the improvement.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


I spent part of today up on the mountain determining how we are going to do two projects to help mprove things for wildlife and water quality on the district. It was a great day---there were eight of us looking over the project and kicking ideas around on what we wanted to accomplish with the two projects. We had a great day and came to an agreement that was better then any of us thought we could do. It was also better than any of us had thought about on our own.

Not every day is that good or even close to that productive but it always feels really good when things come together. I have been doing this for a very long time but I still get excited when we finally get around to making a project happen. Yeah I know I'm an adrenaline junkie and like to win but it still feels good.

I have said many many times that there is noting that smells as good as fresh dirt and diesel smoke---can't wait to see the smoke rolling.


Sunday was my birthday and a good day it was. I always said I would never get older than thirty so I am now 30-30. It sucks to get old but that is better than the alternative I guess.

I got a note from one of my friends regarding aging---he said it isn't for wussies. He's right everything I got hurts except what doesn't hurt doesn't work.

Inklings made me a birthday cake and even the candles on it were tired---they kept laying down on top of the cake to take a nap. She bought the number candles because of an incident earlier where the candles burned down and put wax throughout the cake. That happened at our party at Logan when we were moving away and the fire guys all thought it would be funny to do a birthdy cake and dress up in their fire clothes to present it---it was pretty funny---but---the cake was ruined.

Friday, October 10, 2008


T'day was a good day out in the boonies---we found a dozen or so cows that should have been off so we booed them a little and started them off at a dead run. While booing them I ran a few meters and got my feet tangled up and did a header. Glad no one out there SAW that because I sure felt stupid.

Things looked gloomy on the stock market this morning but things have picked up and look a little better this afternoon---I'm telling you AIG is a good buy today....Sorry not good enough for me to risk any money on it though. Inklings will be happy with that---MAYBE---but when AIG gets back to full value we'll all say I wish I'd a done what Dee Ice Hole said a few years ago---I could retiure a millionaire. YUP---NO GUTS---NO GLORY. No matter how you cut it.

Thursday, October 9, 2008


I just read Inklings blog and she is right. There are things out there that are way sacrier than ghosts and goblins.

I don't know if the presidential race is that scary. It has always been the case that the only difference in the political parties is that one is in and the other wants to be in. For the past fifteen years there hasn't been a single congressional session where they have accomplished anything---they are too busy playing party politics to be worried about what is going to happen to the NATION. VOTE 'EM ALL OUT.


I have written several times about retirement and planning to do so. Today is one of those days when I think about what it all means and what will happen to me if I do decide to go out the door.

Just for the record I pulled most of my 401K out of the stock market when the S&P was above 1400 and put it into the no risk area. But the gambler in me says today is the first day in the rest of my life and if I take the jump today when the market is at the bottom I could make millions---I know for sure that these are the times when millionaires are made but I can't for the life of me make the leap. If I was sure I was working five more years I'd make the leap and hang on for dear life.

Does getting older make you wiser---nope---just, perhaps, a little more cautious. But if I were a youngster today I'd buy $2000 worth of AIG stock. The FEDS have already demonstrated that they won't let them fail by loaning them $123 Billion---heck I'd settle for 1/10th of 1% of that. See I'm not too greedy.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


I have spent a good share of today in contemplation of what we have given up for the past five or so months in order to care for our five grandchildren. Most of it doesn't matter and is just related to money. The one thing I miss the most is being able to take Inklings and go somewhere---even if it is just a walk around Wal Mart---

You're a good woman Inklings!!!!!!!!!!!


We have been home a total of 30 hours and I bet the kids have had more timeouts in that amount of time than they usually get in a week. They have easily forgotten more rules over the weekend than we will be able to reteach them in a month.

Maybe little get-a-ways aren't all they are cracked up to be---or maybe we made the wrong choice of where to leave them.

Monday, October 6, 2008


We headed out Saturday morning to a demolition derby where my daughter and her husband were going to demolition derby my old truck that I gave them after I bought their truck. We got to nearly Salt Lake City when they called and said the derby was cancelled.

We had made arrangements to leave the kids at their aunts and grandmas houses for the weekend so we just kept going anyway. Even though I didn't get to see the truck demolished I had a lot more fun seeing my kids and getting away for a few hours. It was a good trip.

Friday, October 3, 2008


Yesterday was our 39th anniversary. It is unbelievable that we have been married that long but if you look our oldest son is 37 so guess it is true. For those 39 years Inklings has been my best supporter. She has been willing to go wherever I thought I needed to go to get on with my career. That has led us through a lot of places. I started out planting trees on the Escalante District, went to fencing on the Teasdale District, then to thinning on the Cedar City District. The next year I worked on the Panguitch Lake District (that no longer exists) and the Powell District. Then I worked on the Powell District, came back to work on the Escalante District then worked again for the Powell District before I got a permanent appointment. These Districts are all on the Dixie NF. While I was working here I did an awfully lot of fire suppression. I went to Idaho and Montana almost every year for the duration of their fire season. I found that I loved doing the fire suppression thing and worked hard at learning what fire does. That knowledge has served me well through all the rest of my career.

We moved to Montana in the fall of 1975 to Libby, Montana. From there we went to the Cabinet District in Trout Creek, Montana. Both of these Districts are on the Kootenai NF. In 1978 we moved to the Philipsburg District on the Deerlodge NF. While we were in Montana we spent a lot of time homesick and wishing we were closer to family.

In 1981 we moved back to Utah to the Beaver Ranger District (Fishlake NF). In 1992 we moved from there to the Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area (Ashley NF). In 1997 we moved on to the Logan Ranger District (Wasatch-Cache NF) and in late 2001 we made our last move to another District.

That is a heck of a lot of dragging around and through the world. Inklings was and continues to be great to support me through all the ups and downs associated with my career. I believe there were 26 moves included in that. I know Inklings says she has moved 28 times but I think I have the right number of moves during our marriage. Any way you look at it if three moves are as good as a burnout we have burned out almost 8 times.

Through all of that we have been lucky enough to raise seven great kids. Some have had serious problems but they are still great. Our life together has always been good but it has never been easy.