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, April 28, 2009


Yesterday I got up early and started getting ready for work. I reached for the toothpaste and had a pain shoot across my lower back. I tried to work through it and get dressed but ended up taking the advil/extra strength tylenol mixtue that replaces prescribed Ibuprophen. It got worse all morning and I went home sick at 11:30.

I got an appointment with the chiropractor for 4:20 and was terribly happy when the time came to go see him. They put me on the electronic shocker for about 20 minutes to relax all the muscles in my back. While I was hooked up I moved my knees down the table at least four times. That means that through the relaxation my muscles released my legs enough that they extended at least two inches longer than they did when I got on the table. That makes sense because I was pretty tied up when I went in.

He twisted me around a few times and popped the vertebra that always causes the problem. My muscles were fighting him pretty good but he finally got it to pop on the right side. I went home and within two hours I was feeling pretty good as long as I did't move. This morning when I got out of bed I felt fine until I tried to put on my boots - it felt like I was hooked to a 110 volt wire when the shock went up my back. I finally got dressed and feel pretty good so am going to work.

Sunday, April 26, 2009


I got notice last week that one of my friends had a growth in his esophagus that was making it hard for him to swallow. They scoped it and it looked pretty bad so they sent him for further testing. The tests were to be taken Thursday and he told me he'd get back to me as soon as he knew anything. I called him Friday and left a message and called him again tonite. I talked to his wife and asked her how things went - she said she couldn't talk about it and gave the phone to my friend. He told me he had me down to return a call but he just hadn't been able to get himself up enough to call me.

He told me they had diagnosed the growths as cancer and that they had mastatized into his lungs, liver, kidneys and stomach. He said the doctors gave him 12 to 18 months to live. He said he is going to live long enough to see his son graduate from medical school four years from now. My money is on him making it the four years - my hopes and prayers are that he makes it through this nightmare with the radiation and chemo therapy. He said that even with the therapy and radiation treatments they didn't give him much chance of lengthening his life.

He told me that with this diagnosis he is planning to just keep working until he dies. He also told me he always thought he would go out with a heart attack. We worked together on the same district in Montana early in our careers. He also grew up in Omaha, Nebraska where Inklings mostly grew up. So we have a lot of things we can just visit about. This is a great guy and he's been a pretty important part of my life for the past 12 years since we lived close and I took the job he left when he went to be assistant director for the Olympics in 1997. I worked for him as part of the incident management team for the Downhill races at the Olympics. He worked for me on many, many fires after that when he finally started doing fires again.



Some of you know some don't that we had custody of five of our seventeen grand children last year. We were required to get licensed as foster parents in order to get them released to us by DCFS. So what that entailed was Inklings was required to take 24 hours of training in parenting and I was required to take 12 and had to make up the additional 12 hours before May 1 - yeah - May 1.

I completed those hours of training yesterday after spending Friday night from 4:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. and Saturday from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Guess that is cutting it by a thread. The last day for me to take those classes is next Thursday. So was it procrastination? No just good planning because all of the other classes like the required one were taught at a different location except for this one. I am glad that I could take it from home though and not have to drive hundreds of miles to do it.

Now all Inklings has to do is take 12 hours of training a year and I have to take 4 hours a year to keep the license in effect. Those trainings are generally somewhere else and we go to them together so they aren't too bad.....last year Inklings had 25 hours.

These grand children went back to their parents in December and are doing pretty good with them. It was hard to have them with us because they didn't want to be here, but it is pretty hard to have them gone and not get to see them too.

Friday, April 24, 2009



I went in to work today for a short time just to take care of payroll and make sure there wasn't anything major going on today. Even with nothing going on it took me four hours to get out of there. I had already worked my required time so went in just to make sure things were OK.

How about the Jazz - I couldn't believe they beat the Lakers by two last night. Deron got a good final shot with 11 seconds left when the Jazz got the ball - but Kobe still got the final shot - and missed. Jazz by TWO - hope they do the same tomorrow night.

A good week overall at the market - after all the ups and downs throughout the week the market closed up 2% overall for the week. Not time to sell yet. There are still too many greedy people out there playing for keeps.

My youngest son turned 34 today. I delivered him in the car on I-15 on the way to the hospital. I also made it 70 miles over tough roads (including the delivery) in just under one hour. At the very end of the drive I passed a Highway Patrol Officer going the opposite direction on the interstate. I was rolling pretty fast and looked back to see if he was going to make the turn across the interstate - he missed it so I just kept the car floored and went in to the hospital.

Later that night after all had settled down I was on my way to my brothers house to spend the rest of the night. As I turned off the main street to go to his house the patrol man hit me with his lights. I pulled over and had a nice visit with an irate patrol man (nice is figurative here). I told him over and over that I had delivered my son on the interstate and was on my way to the hospital when I passed him. He finally looked in the back of the car and it was a MESS - bloody sheets everywhere. Anyway he finally made me get in his car, drove up to the hospital, took me in while he asked the nurses if I had in fact brought my wife and baby boy in recently. Everyone laughed at that and told him the story. He took me back to my car and told me to go to my brothers house but to watch my speed because he would be following me. HE DID - clear to the house.

Happy Birthday Minnow - this is the fear factor I referred to on your blog today.

Sunday, April 19, 2009


Well the Jazz at least played all four quarters today even though it wasn't good enough to do anything. Told you they were on their way out. NO CHANCE THEY'LL WIN ANYTHING THIS YEAR. Lakers will likely win it all.

When I was on my way out of church today two little boys that I have been trying to get to play with me in church suddenly ran up to me and gave me fives on both hands at the same time. I wasn't expecting it and I jumped. The lady next to me said why would they do that? I said I have been trying to get them to do it separately for at least a year. It was cute and I think they agreed to bushwhack me. Pretty funny for a three year old and a four year old.

I read a joke this morning about a dying priest who asked to have Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid come to see him before he died. They showed up and each took one of his hands. They asked why did you ask for us? The priest replied Jesus died between two liars and thieves and I wanted to do the same.

Talked with my old boss yesterday. She's extremely busy and not likely to get any relief. She is pretty sure the paired Forest thing is going to continue and she'll run both of them. She said her next open appointment is in May. I would hate to be that booked. When I have every day in my calendar booked I start to get clostrophobia - would hate to have it booked solid by 15 minute intervals. I don't know how she does it but if anyone can get past it she will.

We bought a really nice looking yearling quarter horse last year pretty cheap. He has grown nicely and has grown pretty big. We had a guy start breaking him a couple of weeks ago. I was really afraid he would be tough to handle and we'd have to sell him off as a poor purchase. The guys son (that is breaking him) has him going good enough that he can ride him bareback and with just a halter rope. I'm tickled he is going to turn out OK. He is going to make whoever rides him look like a cowboy. He is beautifully marked and has four white stockings that are up to his knees. I told everyone he was my insurance policy. Robert B. Parker, in A Day At the Races, said that there has never been a man commit suicide with an untried two year old in the barn. I still haven't tried him and probably won't until he's had lots of wet blankets (wet saddle blankets from being used make good horses). I never used to be at all worried about a horse bucking but I am now. I stayed on the last one that bucked with me but I was sore for over a week just from the pounding I took.

The whole Obama/Chavez meeting this week made me angry. Obama needs to be careful how he portrays the United States - I really didn't like his appologizing - and I don't feel like he represents me very well.

Time is ticking away. I am down to under 23 million seconds left to work. I'm starting to get excited about retirement. Is there a move in our future - PROBABLY.

Saturday, April 18, 2009


I went to Wal Mart yesterday to get some more manure for our garden. I put the ten bags I got earlier on but they didn't cover the garden spot so I went and got five more. I got a lot irritated when I got back to the truck and found that I had been charged $2.77 per bag and they were marked in the pile for $1.24 (way to pay attention there man). So I went back and got part of my money back. My grandpa would still roll over in his grave if he knew I paid anything for manure - ANYTHING.

I was planning to roto till the garden this weekend but the weather is pretty nasty right now and pretty cold - so I'll wait until later today to see if it warms up. If it doesn't it will have to wait a couple of weeks because I have to go to training next Friday night and Saturday all day.

Last year I waited way too long to do the garden and we didn't start getting anything from it until way late. I won't make that mistake again - I will plant it by Mothers Day from now on.

Friday, April 17, 2009


John Madden announced his retirement yesterday. He has been announcing football for thirty years and coached before that. His team won the Super Bowl then he went to announcing. He was a great coach and should have made the Hall of Fame in 1985. He made it this year and Joe Horrigan one of the keepers of the Hall of Fame said "he brings both fashion and credibility to the Hall." He will be missed by anyone that watches professional football.

Kevin Garnett is not recovering well from his injury. He is uncertain to play in the post season. If he doesn't play in the post season the Celtics are HISTORY.

The Jazz have got to start playing the fourth quarter or they are HISTORY too.

Yogi Berra threw the first pitch out in the NEW Yankee Stadium - WOW - whatta STUD.

Oscar De La Hoya is hanging up the gloves. He has won ten National Championships and has made more money than any pugalist in history. So why is it that the only fight I ever remember him fighting is when he threw up his hands and started yelling "NO MAS - NO MAS - NO MAS?" He is staying in the game though and will be part of Golden Boy Promoters. Hope they get some good young fighters going - it's been a while since there were any new good ones.

OK - Just for the record there are lots of folks predicting a large stock sell off soon. I am predicting that the stock market will continue to a make small upward climb and we'll all be too greedy to lose tomorrows gain. Hence the stock sell off that is predicted won't happen. OH YEAH THAT ISN'T SPORTS IS IT?

Thursday, April 16, 2009


Last night I watched a clip from Britan's Got Talent. Susan Boyles, a 48 year old that has never had a date or been kissed, HAS GOT TALENT. Over 10 million viewers have watched the clip of her song this week. She has a beautiful voice and did a great job. I tried a few times to get on the web site to listen to her last night and was just going to try one more time before I quit and up it popped. My eyes probably popped out of my head when I heard this woman sing. SHE'S GOT TALENT. My bet is that she wins.

My youngest daughter and I have had a few races giving blood to see who could fill the bag the fastest. Ibeat her most of the time but she beat me the last go round with 4 minutes and 2 seconds. She told me she was disappointed yesterday because it took her 6 minutes and 8 seconds to give the blood. SHE SAID IT WAS TIME AND A HALF.

Can you believe United Airlines is going to charge obese people double tickets to fly with them. It will be really interesting to see how they determine who is obese and has to pay the fare. I know it is uncomfortable to sit next to someone that is greatly overweight but I doubt that anyone will be able to make the determination hold up---I SEE LAWSUITS ALL OVER THE PLACE ON THIS ONE.

Al Capone, the lovely Scar Face, wrote a love song while he was in Alcatraz before he died there of syphillus. The Title: MADONNA MIA. It is for sale for $64,000 to anyone that wants to record it.

I thought it was interesting to note that Nevada determined that they would not add a sin tax to it's BROTHELS. Interesting but primarily because to tax them be to recognize them as a legitimate business and putting this tax in place would make it tougher to get rid of them. I doubt Nevada will ever get rid of it's legal BROTHELS - but I doubt they will ever recognize it as a growth market either.

I read today that you can tell which businesses are doing best by watching trains. You can tell because the businesses doing the best will have the most rail cars on the trains. Trains are carrying more freight than they did a year ago. The gas price rise did wonders for this industry.

I can hardly wait for Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince gets to the theatre. Everything I see of it makes me want to see it.

Obama made a stupid statement, in my estimation, in Mexico today. He said we want to see an end to drugs and guns. I can see the NRA starting to prepare for this battle.

We all know Madoff is going to prison for stock fraud - my question is - ARE WE SMART ENOUGH TO GET HIS HELPERS TOO?

lAST BUT NOT LEAST. Should we be looking for a large stock sell off? Many in the know say expect it sometime this year. I say if stocks continue to come back at the current rate we will all be too greedy to sell them off and hold onto them for what they will bring tomorrow - JUST SAYIN'

Have a great day - I think I'll be back with a sports rundown later tonight.

Monday, April 13, 2009

My Grandpa -

Tonite I went to Wal-Mart and bought ten bags of manure for my garden at an amazingly low price of $1.97/bag. If my grandpa knew I paid that much for manure he would roll over in his grave. He was a rancher/farmer and raised hundreds of cattle. He would have gladly given you all the manure you could haul away just to get it away from the feeders.

Every time that I buy the bagged manure I think about how much manure all those cattle piled up in the feed yard. There was always a pile in the middle of the corral that was ten feet high and tapered out from there. When it was rainy and wet the cattle would go climb up onto the pile so they had their feet out of the water. It was funny to watch them do that, but they do it all the time.

I emptied the bags into the garden tonight and I'll have to go back and buy at least five more bags if I want to get a decent spread over the garden.

One of my friends stopped by tonight and we went down to the warehouse to look around and make sure that the horse I put back in tonight was still in the corral. As we passed the corrals he said "there is a huge pile of horse manure out there in the middle of the corral why don't you just go get a load of that." The reason I don't is because a few years ago one of the employees here was charged with theft of government property for taking a load of it home to his garden. That sucks pretty badly but you can bet your biffy I won't be using any of that manure on anything that is mine.

1:21 left in the Jazz game and it looks like they will win one for a change. They will have a tough time losing this one when they have a twenty point lead right now - stranger things have happened though. They did in fact win for a change. Was a good game where there was lots of teamwork and ball sharing for a change. It is fun to watch them play when there is that much passing of the ball going on.


Sunday, April 12, 2009


Today was a very strange day for me. I got out of bed and Inklings was blogging. There was no one else in the house for the very first time on Easter Sunday. It was strange. We went to Church as we always do and came home.

I turned on the TV since there wasn't much else to do and lo and behold NCIS was on - at 4:00 p.m. it was on. So I watched it. Then another episode came on at 5 and I watched it then another at 6 and I watched that too, and another at 7 and another at 8 and another at 9. I started to watch that too. But I had already seen it so I came down and read my e-mail and decided to blog.

Don't have much to blog about so you get to see how boring my life is right now and you can know for sure it will get more boring when I retire. Oh well, such is life in the slow lane.

It was pretty amazing though that the Navy Seals shot and killed three of the pirates holding the Alabama Captain hostage. Interesting that they all had head shots at the same moment - makes you wonder what brought the pirates heads up at exactly the same time - makes you wonder even more how the Seals knew it was going down at the exact time - there is a lot they aren't telling about this little escapade. I can tell you for sure that the military did something to get the reaction from the pirates but what it was you will never hear about - NEVER. I hope the pirates that got away are paying attention to the lesson given and learned it well. I am pretty happy about O'Bama's decision to allow deadly force to be used to free the captain. Yeah he had to give the order that it was OK or the military would not have done it.

How about those JAZZ -0 yeah - I know they suck really bad right now. I can't believe they have failed to show up at a game ever since they clinched a playoff spot. That SUCKS!!!! I hope Jerry kicks their a _ _.

Saturday, April 11, 2009


While I was in Reno I ran into one of my old friends from fire. He has made lots of money contracting in the fire game and is extremely wealthy now. He and I took a liking to each other many years ago. He reminds me a lot of my grandfather. He is about the same size (real small) with the same coloring and his eyes are the lightest clearest blue just like grandpa's were.

This past year he had to have a pace maker put in to keep his heart in rythm. When they did the surgery they left a 4"x4" sponge below the pacemaker when they were closing up after the surgery. He was very sick and full of infection and finally went back. They removed the sponge and worked on some other problems he was having. While they were doing it they found he had cancer very badly in his bowels and removed a large part of his colon. He is doing really good now and is starting to gain back some weight. He lost a tremendous amount fo weight through this ordeal and is very thin.

We were visiting and he told me "everyone thinks I should sue the doctor - everyone - and I know I have a well documented case that an error was made during my surgery. My biggest problem with suing the doctor is that if he hadn't made a mistake and I hadn't been required to go back he wouldn't have found my cancer and I would be dead now. I really don't feel like suing him. What do you think?"

I told him "If you really think they wouldn't have found the cancer if you hadn't been required to go back then I wouldn't sue him - but that is entirely your call."

He said "That's the problem with the world and why doctors and hospitals cost so much is that everyone wants something for nothing so they sue. When they win all of our bills go up. The doctor did a good job of keeping me alive even though I was pretty sick for a while. I have thought about this for a long time (almost a year) and I am not going to sue him."

I really enjoy the friendship I have developed with this old gentleman and this little incident makes me very happy that I know him. He has always been fair in all of his dealings and I think that is why he has become so wealthy.

Later on in the evening I had one of the Logistics Chiefs from California come up to me and ask how I could afford to go out on the town with him. I told him that we didn't do anything that required a lot of money. Mostly we just went to dinner and visited, but if he had wanted to do anything else he could damned sure afford it - he is worth several billion dollars. It makes me happy that I have a friend like him that just enjoys visiting about things we both enjoy.

HOPE HE GETS LOTS BETTER AND MAKES IT TO FIRE CAMP THIS SEASON - he was too sick to make it last year.


I have been in Reno for the past week to the fire team meetings. We hold them every year to go over new things that are expected and to meet with the new folks on the team so we at least know the name and face when we get called to an emergency. That way we can start building the team before we get the call out. It is very interesting to me to go to those meetings now. I am the longest term (continuous) member of a team in the nation and have been for about five years. There are people working on teams that have been working longer but they all had a break in service of some kind.

I clearly remember my first meeting. I always sit in the back of the room on the chair closest to the door in any meeting I attend unless it is occupied before I get there. I was sitting there looking around and remember clearly thinking "LOOK AT ALL THESE OLD BASTARDS." A few years ago I remember the same thing and leaning over to my neighbor and telling him the story which I closed by saying "AND NOW I AM ONE OF THEM!"

It sucks to get old but it beats hell out of the alternative.

Sunday, April 5, 2009


I just read in the paper that Jazz Coach Jerry Sloan was voted into the Hall of Fame. What a great thing to have happen to one of the greatest coaches of all time. BUT - even better than that is some of the others of the Class of 2009 that will go into the hall with him.

I am sure this is not the complete list but it just goes to show you how great this class really is. The ones listed in the paper today are:
Jerry Sloan;
John Stockton;
Michael Jordan;
David Robinson; and
Vivian Stringer.

Even if this is the total listing of those that made it into the Hall it is still one of the greatest lists of all time. Karl Malone becomes eligible for the Hall next year and he'll join John and Jerry on the first vote.

Michael Jordan and Scotty Pippen - John Stockton and Karl Malone will be on every list of the greatest pairs in sports for many many many years to come. One of my greatest dissapointments was the night Michael Jordan and Scotty Pippen knocked the Jaszz out of the Championship. But it was a game well played by both teams and the team with the ball at the end won - just as predicted.


Saturday, April 4, 2009


AAAAHHHHH - College Basketball is about to finish up - the final four is going on tonite with Michigan thumping UConn and it looks like NC will thump Villanova. The way things look to me the NC Tarheels will be the National Champions. I don't think Michigan has what it takes to beat them and I know they have what it takes to beat Michigan. Anyway through it all I think NC is far and away the best team this year. Yeah I know we are all entitled to our opinions but I'm still picking them and they have two games to go.

The Jazz suck right now. They didn't even play the final quarter the last three games (maybe more). I hate watching them play the last quarter. And I don't have any faith that they can win even when they have a 10 point lead with less than two minutes to go. It makes me crazy to see them blow these big leads with hardly any time left. I certainly hope they make it into the playoffs but I have no aspirations that they will make it to the final four in the professional ranks. NOPE - NOT A SINGLE ONE.

The stock market is on the rise - finally - since January it had lost about 30% - this month it has gained about 10% - but the 10% is on a way reduced total so it isn't a 1/3 recovery. It is on the rise though and that is a good thing. I believe when it starts to recover it will recover rapidly but who am I to predict the market - I chickened out and pulled out back when it peaked - I am very happy that I did because it will help to have that money when I retire in January. However, if I had played it safe my entire life I would have less than 1/4 of what I have to retire on. My advice - IF YOU HAVE MORE THAN FIVE YEARS UNTIL RETIREMENT - LEAVE YOUR MONEY IN THE STOCK MARKET.

I have been sponsored to hire a student into a job where they will be trained as a professional while they are going to school - and when they finish up they will have a full time professional job. It is a neat program and it tickles me that I get to do it occasionally. I hired a young lady. Her family brought her down from school to look for housing this weekend. Her father is very tickled that she is getting to do this job (I think it would be his dream job). I think she wants to do it too but not as bad as her dad wants her to. Her Mother is having a little tougher time letting her little girl move further from home and having her gone for the summer. It is pretty tough when your kids go to college but it is lots tougher when they stop coming home to work summers. She's as cute kid and I hope she enjoys the job and learns some new and exciting things this summer.

Spring is nearly here - it snowed and blew all night last night but none of the snow stayed in the valley. There was just a dusting this morning but the mountains around the valley were very white when we got up this morning. The moisture is a good thing - the COLD AND WIND sucks - badly.


Thursday, April 2, 2009


Today was different than most first days back from being gone for a while. I arrived at work at 0630 and opened my e-mail. At 1030 I took a five minute break from looking into the one eyed monster. By 12:08 I had finished reading the mail I received while I was at the training session - that is correct 5 1/2 hours of solid reading with a five minute break and a short visit from the boss. ABSOLUTELY NOT WHAT I SIGNED ON TO DO WITH MY CAREER.

After lunch everything was settled down again and things were back to normal. Not a usual day - usually when I get back from being gone I spend at least two days chasing the broken things around the office and trying to put them back together again. Kind of like Humpty Dumpty because no matter how hard you try you never get all the pieces recovered. I was more worried this time because my computer was upgraded to a different operating system and through the upgrade they dumped my dial up capability. I had no idea what was going on while I was gone. NOTE TO SELF - DON'T CHECK IN ANYMORE - it is easier to come in cold and fix things than have them brewing in your belly for a few days before you get home.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


Well maybe not so lovely but I just returned from a meeting with all of the middle managers of the agency I work for. It was a sales job - SALES JOB - to get us to support the decisions that were made behind closed doors a couple of months ago. Now when things need to start moving forward we are brought along and told what we are supposed to be supporting, how they all tie together, and how they make us a much better agency. I certainly support one decision that has been made recently. This reaffirms the decision for me to retire - soon - it can't possibly be too soon but I am greedy enough that I will stay until I maximize my lump sum payment for annual leave. Hence January 2 - yeah it is worth quite a bit of money to maximize it but I will still go out on one bad day in a row if it should happen between now and January 2.

I was really looking forward to seeing all my friends at the meeting - only a few attended. I called a few of them and asked why they weren't there. The answer - "We are protesting the travel cap that has been placed on all of us. What better place to protest than a meeting that they want us all to be to." I should have been wise enough to boycott the meeting too.

It is really going to be an interesting year financially and project wise for our district. While I was at the meeting we picked up several additional projects and over $520,000 to do them with. There are still a lot of projects out there with money requested to accomplish them but it is starting to look really good for getting some projects completed that I have been wanting to do for a long time. When I was asked how we got all of that money I simply said "INCREDIBLE THINGS HAPPEN WHEN YOU ARE CREDIBLE." We have accomplished every target we have been assigned in the last eight years and people know they are going to get completed projects if we get the money and target to complete it. That is a huge comp0liment to the folks that work for me.

There is a down side to this kind of funding though and that is that by the end of this year if we get all of the money we have requested we will have completed all of the projects that we have finished the environmental analysis' for. That is a really tough place to be in for the next year - but then of course I won't be here then and it would be fun for me to see all of these projects done before I retired. I have faith that we will never get through everything we have available to work on because the other areas will pitch a fit if we get all of the money. That right now is probably a good thing.