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!

Saturday, February 28, 2009


I already blogged that by the time I was a senior in high school the teachers were pretty much fed up with me and three of my friends. So much so that we had to plead with some teachers to let us into their classes. The Chemistry teacher couldn't take us in his class because we had already had it and did well in it. But he, being the great guy he was and my wrestling coach who didn't want me to be inelligible to wrestle, let us take a Chemistry lab that he called Chemistry II.

I'll give you an experiment we did in the lab and the results of it---I am only going to give you one and you'll know why after you read this.

You know what that is right? If not it is splitting the hydrogen and oxygen ions in water by the addition of electricity. You know---it takes energy to split molecules---and it takes energy to put them back together---but we'll get to that later.

We used a large car battery and ran the positive wire into a large container of water and up a post holding a one liter flask completely filled with water so we would know when it was full of Oxygen. We ran the negative wire into the water and up a post that held a 1/2 liter flask full of water so we would know when it was full of hydrogen. I just wanted you to know that we didn't produce lots of hydrogen and oxygen but we did produce the amounts given above.

Now the true experiment began. It takes energy of some sort to put hydrogen and oxygen together to produce water right---that is correct---it does. So we carefully transferred the hydrogen from one flask and the oxygen from the other flask into a two liter flask. To do this we filled the two liter flask with water and turned it upside down in the water. We took the hydrogen flask and turned it onto its side and let the bubbles of hydrogen rise up through the water into the two liter flask. We did the same with the oxygen. So we had exactly the correct proportions of hydrogen and oxygen to make a liter and a half of pure uncontaminated water.

So here are the four of us (unsupervised) getting ready to recombine the elements and prove our theory that the water would be absolutely pure. We were standing closely around the flask so we could all observe what happened - very closely. I lit a match and tossed it into the flask - there was a deafening explosion - the windows and the frames of the windows blew out of the building and landed in tact on the lawn outside (intact is the key word here). The flask had turned into absolutely pure white powder---not a single shard survived. The four of us were still standing around where the flask had been - we were all amazed to be alive - there was a ringing in our ears but we could still hear (amazingly). We were all deathly white and scared to death.

All of the teachers in the school (all of them) ran into the lab to see what had happened. We told them part of the story and they nearly died. We spent the next day putting the windows back in the lab and then went back to our experiments with all of the adults involved knowing full well that any future electrolisis experiments needed to be very small and very carefully supervised.

To this day I have no knowledge of why the blast didn't kill all four of us - the chemistry teacher said something about being at the very center of the blast probably saved our lives. I also had no idea that the flask would turn to powder---it could have just blown apart and shrapnelled us to death. We counted or blessings that we didn't get kicked out of school and didn't die and went back to work.

Our next experiment was to make black powder and determine how good of a blasting agent it was - we compared it to dynamite. You don't even want to know where we got the dynamite but I can assure you that black powder does not even come close to having the power that dynamite does. We also determined that ammonium nitrate soaked in diesel fuel (today this is called prell) would explode with the exact same force of the blasting agent used to set it off. The rest of the world figured this out two years later in experiments carried out by Thiokol. Damn if we'd of had any brains we could have been rich - we were just afraid we wouldn't gradute if we told anyone.

There were other experiments and they were all very successful - and we all got A's out of the class.

Friday, February 27, 2009

WHAT THE........

Here are some random thoughts that gave me night sweats last night so I am getting a very early start to this day.

Obama appears on TV and gives a speech--the stock market drops 2% at least....every time he shows up on TV. This is a constant thing - what a dreaded consequence for the new President. He had better get this fixed or stop appearing on TV.

Obama has set August of 2010 for withdrawal of our troops from Iraq (all but 35-50 thousand of them). He has set this number and date with the caveat that he will revisit the numbers and the date if the circumstances change significantly. With the little I know (because the news is no longer covering the war) this is probably a good thing. General Patreus is, in fact, in favor of this timing so my guess is it is a good thing. It comes after the next elections in Iraq so time will tell.

What about that Tiger Woods comeback? He played great golf the first day (and I do mean great) then got eliminated by three strokes the second day. Guess anyone is entitled to a bad day but I never thought I would see Tiger have one. MARK MY WORD---HE WILL BE BACK AND EVEN BETTER THAN BEFORE THE SURGERY.

How about OLD Manny Ramirez turning down the $45 million offer from the Dodgers...$25 million the first year and $20 million the second year or he could buy out the second year for that amount. He turned it down because he thinks he is worth $100 million. He probably was worth that at one time but the time has gone. Manny I hope to see you playing this year because you are entertaining but I think you are history if you don't take the offer and run - or is it bat?

Wow how about the Yankees stars Damon and Nady not being able to pay their bills? They got caught up in the Stanford investigation and their assets are frozen in the Stanford bank. Guess it could happen to anyone but for these two who have contracts over $12 million a year can't even pay their rent is scary. Where is your money safe? BUY GOLD!!! Just kidding there but gold is up to over $1000/ounce and predicted to reach $1400 by summer....I'm not running out to put any of my money there...will probably be sorry by August.

Michael Vick will soon be getting out of jail. Convicted of fighting dogs and killing some of them he will be out probably before football season starts this fall. It is a sad thing to see a good player throw his life away. So here is the question - he has been gone from the game for a few years - DOES HE HAVE ANY CHANCE OF A COMEBACK? I think not because of the time away but welcome hearing from all ya'all on his chances. Everyone could learn about appologies from this dude---HE DID A LOUSY JOB OF SAYING I AM SORRY---LOUSY.

Sunday, February 22, 2009



Today I went to church in the town where I was born and raised. When I was going to High School I was pretty hard to handle. When I was a Senior five of us had to plead with teachers to let us come to class so we could graduate. One of the teachers that determined we could go to her class was the business teacher at the school....she said we could take her type class---if, and only if, we learned to type. We all laughed about it at the time and took the class with all girls except for the five of us. We were a little nervous because at that time BOYS did not type---not at school and not at work.

We (all five of us) were pretty nervous about all of this. The other classes we managed to convince the teachers they needed to let us participate were all going to be push overs---you know---the wrestling coach---the basketball coach---the shop teacher (this was also the year that we convinced a teacher that the five of us needed to take advanced chemistry but that's another story). We all knew we could graduate if we passed all our classes and we had no doubt we could pass them all except for TYPE. One of the five of us had been involved in a horse play shop accident our Junior year and had lost the ring and little finger on his left hand. Needless to say he was really worried about how he was going to type with just two fingers and a thumb. The teacher started him on a really nice electric typewriter and he did extremely well. About half way through the first quarter he was typing over a hundred words per minute and smoking everyone on the tests---the smart girls included---and he was really smoking us who were supposed to be his friends---

We figured out pretty quickly that if he could do it we could do it too and so we all set out to master the keyboard. We all competed pretty well and the smart girls found out that BOYS could type---in fact they could type better than GIRLS because it was just repetition after you learned where your fingers should go. We all aced the class and went on to College and all five of us did OK in the real world after we graduated from College. It is always fun to see one of these guys when I go home. The five of us haven't been together at one time since we left High School---probably a good thing.

Last week in my office I was typing a letter when one of the people that works for me came to the door and stood watching for a minute. After a minute he exclaimed "you type pretty good for an old guy." We laughed and I told him that I had never regretted weaseling my way into a TYPE class in high school so that I could graduate and being forced to learn to TYPE to get enough credits to make it out of school.

Why this post you ask? Or maybe you don't ask but I'll tell you anyway. Today at the end of the church service I was talking to a couple of old friends and I saw my TYPE teacher in the back of the chapel. You need to understand that it will be 43 years since I graduated in a couple of months. She isn't an old shriveled teacher looking lady and still looks way younger than her years but she was trying to get through the crowd and out the door. I walked up to her and gave her a hug and told her that she was one of five teachers that had had a profound impact on me. She laughed and said---"YOU WOULDN'T HAVE SAID THAT FORTY YEARS AGO."

I told her no I wouldn't have but at that time no one would have ever believed that there would be a key board and computer on every desk in the work place. I also told her that being able to type was one of the skills that set me apart and ahead of most of the people that I was competing with for advancements.

She laughed and said "NO ONE WOULD HAVE EVER GUESSED THAT MY TAKING FIVE BOYS INTO AN ALL GIRL CLASS WOULD HAVE DONE ANYTHING OTHER THAN GET YOU GUYS OUT OF SCHOOL." She also said that she never again had five boys in her classes that were all in the top ten in the class. She said "It really was a good thing that I took you guys in. I always knew you would grow up---eventually."


Hillary Clinton once said "It takes a village to raise a child." That is certainly true in this instance and I count myself blessed by all those that chose to help raise me.

Monday, February 16, 2009


I made a terrible mistake for today. I made an appointment with the tax man to get my taxes figured out and submitted. I didn't make the appointment until 5 pm because I thought I might go rabbit hunting with all the guys today. They left at 7 am and I decided not to go. Mainly because I didn't know when the would be coming back and I didn't want to miss the tax appointment.

I hate having the taxes hanging over my head and always breathe a big sigh of relief when they are submitted. I also have never minded paying the taxes I have had to pay - it just always meant to me that I had made some pretty good money. I know the American way is to hate paying taxes...but...I am happy to pay what I owe to help keep our country strong.

Saturday, February 14, 2009


OK so last post I told you I was going to tell you who the greatest athlete of all time was so here we go.

Michael Jordan was one of the all time greats in basketball and set lots of records. He is picked on the all time team. He was more fun to watch than most because he appeared to fly when he went for the basket to dunk the ball - BUT HE ISN'T THE GREATEST.

Wilt Chamberlain, my personal all time favorite basketball player, scored 100 points in a game while the rest of his team just helped him to score all of the points of the game. I watched that game and it was boring as hell until you realized what he was going to do. He is definately one of, if not, the greatest basketball players of all time. He was more fun to watch after he decided the game was about defense - not offense. He spent the rest of his career being the greatest defender of the basket in history - BUT HE ISN'T THE GREATEST.

Billy Jean King probably did more for womens tennis than any athlete before her. She set all kinds of records and put many, many players to shame. She still holds the record for the most wins in a career - BUT SHE ISN'T THE GREATEST.

Venus Williams has been a great tennis champion but she has lost her touch on the hard court. She still won the doubles in Australia with her sister - AND SHE WILL WIN AT WIMBLETON ON THE GRASS - (anyone want to wager on that?). She is probably the best grass player of all time - BUT SHE ISN'T THE GREATEST.

Serena Williams is kicking butt all over the place. She is doing great in Paris and it is a shame that the matches there aren't televised like the Australian open was. She currently has 10 single and 10 double grand slams. It has been said that she has something inside that just helps her win - "after all she is Serena Williams". (Bijan) BUT SHE ISN'T THE GREATEST.


The greatest athlete of all time once said "For life is a fair trade wherein all adjusts itself in time, for all you take from it, you must pay the price sooner or later. For some things you may pay in advance, for some you should pay on delivery, and for some, later on when the bill is presented."

OK so here we go into his accomplishments.

  1. He won a gold medal in the Olympics in his chosen sport.
  2. He won the Championship of the world (1) when he was 19.
  3. He defended that championship several times and then it was taken away from him because of his beliefs.
  4. He was allowed to recompete in his chosen sport ten years later when he should have been way past his prime. He won the title back (2) easily.
  5. He lost that title several years later on what I always contended was a fluke to a young up and comer. He won it back (3) at the first rematch and may have realized for the first time he had to work for what he wanted.
  6. He lost the title in one of the most famous matches of all time.
  7. He won it back (4) in the second most famous matches of all time when he was way past his prime and everyone said he was too old to compete.

OK that is four World Championships that he won - three of which he was probably too old to compete in - at least one of which he was ten years out of competition before re-entering the game. Try it sometime - you lose the edge in the game after only 30 days out of competition.

He could have been a great wide receiver, a great half back, a great forward, a great guard either in football or basketball or any number of other positions but he chose to do it on his own - where he got all the credit or all the blame and there was plenty of both in his career.

This athlete has in fact paid "...the price sooner or later. For some things you may pay in advance, for some you should pay on delivery, and for some, later on when the bill is presented."

No matter what anyone says or what they believe the greatest athlete the world has ever seen is CASIUS CLAY aka MUHAMMAD ALI. No debate HE SAID IT AND HE DEFENDED IT - FOUR TIMES HE WON THE CHAMPIONSHIP - and he is still paying the price GOD BLESS HIM IN HIS BATTLE FOR HIS HEALTH.


Okay so the bail out bill passed both the house and the senate yesterday. The bill was 1071 pages for $787 billion and no one read the whole thing. I can't believe our Senators and Congressional representatives didn't read it. At $734 million dollars per page you'd think they would have at least made an attempt. My take - REPLACE THEM ALL.

Fanny May, Bank of America, Citi Group and one other bank that I didn't get written down have decided not to pursue any more foreclosures until March. Each of these banks got more than $35 billion from the first bail out bill which they used to buy other banks. DAMN IT'S BIG OF THEM TO HOLD OFF FOR A MONTH ON THE FORECLOSURES - I'M SURE EVERYONE AFFECTED WILL BE RECOVERED BY THEN - AFTER ALL THE NEXT BAIL OUT HAS PASSED AND I'M SURE IT WILL GO TO THE LITTLE PEOPLE RIGHT????

Michael Jackson has a MRSA (staff infection) infection in his face and body. They are trying to treat it with great amounts of antibiotics but the infection is immune to the antibiotics. He moved out of the United States after his last trial and said some pretty terrible things about this country. Did he stay out? NOPE WHEN THIS FLARED UP HE CAME BACK TO L.A. FOR TREATMENT.

The peanut butter scandal continues to grow. It is now pretty obvious that the CEO knew they were shipping a tainted product but they have it on record that he ordered continued shipments after he knew. CAN YOU SPELL HOMICIDE???

I looked up Utah State Universities record in basketball yesterday. They are currently 24 wins - 1 loss. On top of that they have a 19 game winning streak going if it isn't the longest in the nation it has to be close. GO AGGIES.

Lance Armstrong is back on a bike. I think he is now 37 and is planning on going on to the Tour de France. There will be lots of rumors about his drug use and all the steroid stuff. He has never tested positive for any drugs - but you can bet the talk will be all about how he uses them. WHATEVER THEY HAVE TO SAY ABOUT HIM HE IS DAMNED GOOD!!!

OK my next post will be on athletes. I won't be able to cover all the greats but I will tell you who is the greatest athlete in history - if you think you know who that is feel free to guess here.


Thursday, February 12, 2009


The Jazz beat the LA Lakers by four points last night. Ronnie Brewer did a great job of defending against Coby Bryant - A GREAT JOB - it was incredible to watch what went on in the paint and Ronnie never, ever backed off even a little. The referees let the game go a little and it got pretty rough in the paint. In my opinion that is what makes basketball worth watching.

A few posts ago I compared Coby to Wilt Chamberlain - since then I have done a little research - or should I say the commentators at the game did it for me---Coby has scored a lot of points in his career to date. Wilt had scored the same number of points 300 games earlier---not 300 points earlier 300 games---After Wilt set the scoring record he determined he would be the best defender out there---he stopped shooting and scoring and concentrated on defense. I don't know for sure but I bet he holds all the records for intimidation and blocked shots and maybe rebounds.

Brett Farve has decided to retire again - what's all the to do with the media??? The guy is and has been a great quarterback - if he wants to stay I bet there aren't many that could beat him out in head to head competition. GO BRETT---whatever you decide to do is OK with me---you've earned the right to choose and the media be damned.

Whoa what about them TAR HEELS? The seniors on the team are 4-0 against the Blue Devils on the Blue Devils court. The Seniors at Duke have also never beat North Carolina on their home court - that is an amazing thing for those two teams. WANNA talk about rivalries - THIS IS AS GOOD AS IT GETS!!!!

A-ROD and the Yankees---I had one of my friends who is a Red Sox fan tell me quite a few years ago that he was really happy that the Yankees had signed A-Rod because they would never be a contender for the world series as long as they had him - YUP HE'S BEEN RIGHT.


(You know that an expert is defined as someone from out of town)

  1. Scale back significantly on your credit card debt and use.
  2. Own your home or have plans of how you are going to do that.
  3. Have skills that are marketable.
  4. Give money away (it makes you a better person and makes you appreciate what you have more).
  5. Know yourself.
  6. Know smart people.

All of those things will help you to be a better person and will help you enjoy your life a whole lot more - THOSE EXPERTS WERE RIGHT - this is the first time I have seen these in one place (and I stole them) but they are all correct principles. I can tell you they are CORRECT - if you can do all six by age 30 you will be way ahead of where I am at age 60. I am a slow learner.

Monday, February 9, 2009


Today I got notification that if I was interested in going to Australia to help out with the wild fires then I would need to get my passport right away and send my notification in that I am willing to go for 30 days plus travel. I feel horrible that the fires are killing so many folks down there and I know I have the training and skills to help out a bunch if I went but I have a terribly hard time just saying YES.

I love going in the states to these fires and look forward to it every single time. When the phone goes off the adrenaline pumps pretty good. I get to see the folks I have recruited over 20 plus years on teams and it is sorta like an extended family. So why not go? When folks go to these foreign assignments they all go as single resources. When you get there it is likely that you will not know anyone else working the incident and you will not truly understand the fire behavior you will see or really how to deal with it or how to get the things you need to fight it. To me it is a fear of the unknown - YES FEAR - that appears to be keeping me from throwing my hat in the ring - that and the fact that I really don't want to go for thirty days plus travel.

Sometimes I feel like I'm not helping when I should be but guess that is just the way it has to be this go round. Maybe if they really push for help I will reconsider but for now this is my decision - NOT TO GO!!!

Sunday, February 8, 2009


Yesterday three of us went hunting rabbits where we went over Christmas. When we were there before the snow was half way between your ankle and your knee and frozen so it was pretty tough walking through it because every step you broke through. Yesterday we went dressed for that kind of snow conditions. What'd we find - NO SNOW - bare ground that was dry. So we drug those heavy snow boots all over the hillsides. By the time I got home I was done in - MAN IT'S GREAT TO BE IN SHAPE. Round is a shape isn't it????

The worst part about it was that the rabbits have moved- we saw less than 10 - the best part about it was we had fun and got a little exercise. I shot four shots - one at a rock to see if it was the gun that couldn't hit anything - NOPE THE ROCK DISAPPEARED - so guess I need to shoot a whole lot more so I can get my eye back.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


OK it looks like the second round of bailout money will pass the House this week and Obama will have his first best chance to gain respect. His major promise is that the bonuses that get paid out of this money need to be reduced to $.5 million per person for the companies that get the bailout money....that's a little tough for me to take.....but not as tough as the damn banks that got the last go round of the money that used it to buy other banks that were nearing failure in order to bolster their bottom line. They did not make any loans to help increase spending to help turn the recession around. This is one of the biggest examples of greed in America that has ever been demonstrated and they did it on the backs of our unborn generation and we're not out even starting out of the recession. By the time the second authorization is passed out we will have put somewhere in the neighborhood of $1.76 TRILLION dollars into a quick fix of the economy. I don't claim to have the answer but I for one do not think this is it.

Koby Bryant IS a great athlete - he single handedly set a one person scoring record in Madison Square Garden of 61 points - that in and of itself is a great accomplishment. BUT Kobe will never be the greatest scorer in history - that will remain with Wilt Chamberlain - I can clearly remember the night he scored 100 points - his entire team's score for the game. He went on a scoring drive that entire year. I don't have a clue how many points he scored but it was a huge number. The next year he came back and worked exclusively on his defense. He worked very hard at defense and let the others work on scoring - he shut all of the players he guarded down - through excellence and through intimidation - he will go down in my book as the greatest defensive player of all time as well as the greatest scoring player of all time - it just wasn't at the same time. Michael Jordan will remain the best (most colorful and remembered) dunker in the history of the game. I don't think there will ever be a single individual with as much will to win as he had. I will never forget him single handedly defeating the Jazz in the finals when he had a fever of over 1o3 degrees. His eyes appeared glazed over but he just kept dunking the ball and putting the Jazz back behind - he did it all night long - every time the Bulls needed to score he scored.

OBAMA MADE A MISTAKE? Yup he selected Tom Daschle who owed over $128,000 in back taxes and penalties. Sure he paid them after he got the nod for the position. Why not before? He hated to part with his hard earned money.

Georgia basketball - The Bulldogs can do a lot better than to hire Bobby Knight as their coach. Sure he has won a lot of games - both at Indiana and at Texas Tech - but he has gone a long. long time without winning games during March Madness - HE'S LOST THE EDGE - and he's way too hotheaded for todays game with todays tender athletes. He needs to stick to commentating on the games on TV. He has a remarkable basketball mind but he has an even more remarkable temper. If you think he can contain it call me and I'll fill you in on personal experiences with him.

Time flies when you're having fun - gotta get some sleep.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


Today was a training day for me and all of my staff. We went to the session with our minds open but necessarily willing to learn a lot. It was a way good session and we learned a bunch out of it. We even worked on a real life project and did most of what we need to do to finish it. It was good to be there and get through it.

I got several phone calls through it but the one at 11:00 made me really happy. I was selected to go with a fire team again and I got to keep my entire section for the fourth time in a row. That's pretty good---it means that we have been together a minimum of 12 years. A few of them have been with me for eighteen years---yeah that is a record---and yeah that makes us pretty close to each other.

The second call I got was later in the afternoon. I quietly answered it---hello please hold on a minute. I walked out of the training and said hello. The guy said you must be the dad. I said what dad? He said the dad of whoever owns this cell phone, I found it and opened it up and this number said dad's cell phone so I figure you must be the dad. I looked at the caller ID and said yes I am the dad.

He asked me what I wanted him to do with the phone. I asked him where he was and he told me. I asked him if he knew the place my daughter worked. He said he was right across the road from there. I asked him if he would take it over there and ask for her by name and give the phone back to her.

He walked over and gave it to the clerk and told the clerk to give it to my daughter. She got her phone back just like that---amazing that the guy would call like that but then I guess I have done that a time or two also but usually I call that phones number and see what the answering machine says first---that usually helps but not always---then I look for ICE---in case of emergency and if that is there I call it----most of the time those two things will get you to the owner---I am sure glad I have caller ID.

AND I'M ESPECIALLY GLAD I DIDN'T ANSWER THE CALL HELLO DOLL HOW ARE YOU---like I usually do when her name shows up in my caller ID.

Monday, February 2, 2009


Well the Cardinals almost pulled it off---with 2:45 remaining they scored and were 3 points ahead---yeah 3 points---just what I predicted. What went wrong---they scored with too much time on the clock and Pittsburgh came back and kicked their butts. Oh well it was a tremendous game and I ate snacks until I was stuffed---I am still full this morning.