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, June 30, 2009


Well I'm a little bummed out right now because no matter how I look at it nor how hard I try to justify it I have determined that a Harley for me is just a WANT. I have looked for a long time to find one this big in this good of shape for this amount of money --- but none of that really matters. If I had the bike I would probably ride it less than four times a year. That calculates into a lot of money per ride no matter how you figure it. I have an ATV that is a couple of years old but has only been ridden by me four times---yup---four times. So I guess it was a WANT TOO - even though I didn't really want it. I just bought it from my daughter so she could ruin her life and buy a car she couldn't afford.


One of the guys that works for me dared me to blog about my morning yesterday. He said no one would ever believe that I got paid to do this stuff. So RI here 'tis.

I got called early yesterday morning by a man with some really high concerns. He wanted to know if I could meet him immediately and evaluate the situation. I thought about it a few seconds and told him sure I could come help with the evaluation. So I got into my truck and drove about 40 miles to the place he said he would meet me. As I neared the location I noticed a truck following me and thought "that has to be the guy". I pulled in to the area and he pulled up beside me.

We visited a minute and decided we would just take my truck in to do the evaluation and then return for his after we were finished. We drove the additional five miles into the area where we got to evaluate BEAVERS....get your mind out of the gutter....these were the four legged dam building little animals. We walked a long length of the stream and determined that they were fine and weren't really causing any unusual damage so I told him we would not be relocating them. He agreed so we left.


Sunday, June 28, 2009


Yesterday we went to see Inklings and her parents and later on in the day to see my mother. Inklings Mom surprised me at how well she looks. She is still shaky and weak but I can't believe how much she has improved in the week since I saw her last. We were tickled to see the improvement.

My mother hasn't improved any and is still nearly tied to her chair. I talked to her hair dresser and she told me it makes her sad to watch my mother take 40 minutes to get from her chair to the bathroom and back. It makes me very sad too.

After visiting with mom we headed back home. We got a ways out of town and decided we could waste an hour until the sun went down so we could see the baloon festival night lighting on main street. We turned around and went back. We ate at one of my favorite fast food places and waited for the sun to go down.

The Smokey Bear baloon was there so we walked down to see it. I asked the guy if my daughter could get on the baloon. I told him who I was and what I did and he let her get on. I took a picture of her in the basket and focused on the plaque so she could read it. It was pretty neat that they let her do that.

We visited with a few of my friends and I had a good time. I think she was probably bored to death but that's the price you pay for going with Dad. At the very end I found out that one of my friends from quite a ways away was there and that he was trying to sell a Harley Davidson classic edition bike. I spent some time trying to find him in the crowd and told my daughter I was sure one of the bikes we looked at while we were looking for him was his. We walked all over around the crowd near that bike but never found him. Right when I was going to go we walked back to the bike and he had just started it. I tapped him on the shoulder and he turned it off and we visited for quite a long time (may have been close to an hour).

He told me about the bike he wants to sell and the price. I told him I would discuss it with Inklings and let him know. He and another friend both said it is easier to get forgiveness than permission. I told them it would be way out of character for me to spend that amount of money without full agreement from my spouse (unless of course it was a horse and those days are long gone).

Anyway the bike is a little smaller that what I really want but it does have a 980 cc engine so it is pretty close to the 1200 cc I want. YEAH I KNOW, GROWING UP IS OPTIONAL - GROWING OLD ISN'T. I haven't really ridden a motorcycle much since 1969.

Saturday, June 27, 2009


During my career the agency I work for has run on tradition and history - well for most of my career anyway - for the past 16 years we have been steadily moving away from that. Anyway I thought I would give you a little history lesson.

It is really interesting to note that since it was first established in 1881 there have been 20 agency heads in Washington D.C. More interesting than that is that the first 20 years and the first three agency heads apparently don't count since we were in a different Department during that period (I could give you examples of where to look to see this displayed on a single page but have determined that I probably shouldn't at this time).

So here is the history lesson---depending on how you use the above figures I have worked 39 years for the agency and that is either 30% of the agency's history or 33% depending on which date you use to count from (1881 or 1901). I have also worked under 9 agency heads or 45% of them or 53% of them depending on which number you use (20 or 17).

And here is the history lesson---no matter where you look or what you read the agency does not count the time that it was in the other department except occasionally when it can be used to make a point of how long we have served America and even then the dates are not the same and vary from 1881 - 1891 - 1901 - 1905. The dates you can count on showing up the most are 1901 or 1905.

And here is the tradition lesson---maybe we should re-establish the agency establishment date as 1993 when we first became an agency that had politics brought to the fore front for our leadership. Thats almost half of my career (41% to be exact).

Reviewing this post has re-affirmed my decision to retire.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


I called Inklings last night and she says her Mom is getting a little stronger and a little bit better every day. She got so far down before her last surgery that it will probably take a few weeks (maybe months) for her to get most of her strength back. I am glad we live close enough that she can go help out until her Mom is a lot better.

Grandpa is going with Twist today to get his eyes checked and get his new lenses so he should be able to see a little bit better. Right now it is a good thing that their kids can come help out. Without the help there would be a lot of things that would not be taken care of.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


I was a little shocked to see how I looked while I was teaching the drug awareness class last week. I am sure that each and every one of my kids has seen this exact facial expression.
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Wednesday, June 17, 2009


I am in absolute shock at what happened today at about 3:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. The Secretary of Agriculture appointed a new Chief to lead the Forest Service. I am in shock because the now replaced Chief was in place only a very short time. I don't think anyone really saw this one coming - and I know for sure that the rest of the leadership in the Forest Service didn't have a clue this was coming.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


She is doing a little better every day...little is the key word here. She is eating a little better but Inklings says that is because her daughters are doing the cooking so she is trying not to insult them so she eats a little.

The doctors said it was going to take a month for her to feel better and it looks like that will be true. She can't start chemo until she is quite a bit better. If I remember correctly Inklings said she is taking her south on the 30th to see the Doctors.....can't remember if that is the right date or not but I believe that is what she said.

It is amazing to me to see how she went from the pillar of strength to as sick as she is now in just a few short weeks. I for one am really happy she went south to see the doctor - if not for that we would have buried her this week.


T'day I had the privilege of teaching a drug class to a bunch (120) of firefighters. In addition to the course I was responsible for teaching zero tolerance for both drugs and alcohol. Every time I do one of those classes I wonder if anyone really understood anything I said except that we have zero tolerance. I know they understand that - they have seen removals from both the fire line and the service for both of the above.

I always wonder why I get selected to teach these crappy courses---but then I think it boils down to the fact that I will when others won't.

Monday, June 15, 2009


OK most of you have heard me bitch about how sore I am after the two day trip horse back. Well NO MATTER HOW YOU CUT IT there is no tour like one aboard a nice horse.

The first picture is of the whole group that went the second is of the three Rangers together and the last is me about to die from pain. (Amberlily fixed the last picture so the last is now first - thank you very much.) The pictures were taken near the end of the ride. I know you can all tell who is the best mounted of the group - well maybe not of the whole group but for sure the best mount for the Rangers.


Friday, June 12, 2009


I just returned from a two day horse back trip. We spent two days riding through a fire that burned 38,000 acres in 2004. It was awesome to see the recovery that has occurred in the past five years. When we left for home in 2004 the fire area looked like a moon scape. I was surprised at how well it has recovered.

I also cannot believe how sore I am. Everything I've got hurts - even with Advil and Extra Strength Tylenol. It sucks to be in this poor of shape. It is hard to get in shape to ride horses when you don't ever ride horses. I knew better - this is my first horse back trip in two years. Last year when they did this annual ride I was on a fire in Northern California.

I turned down a fire assignment this afternoon to an adjoining forest (first turn down in my career). It was a single resource order and I told them my team was up and I really didn't feel good about bailing out - hope that wasn't a stupid move. But then again I didn't know I was going to be this sore.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

6/10/2009 5:30 p.m.

Talked to Inkilings a few minutes ago and they are keeping Grandma another day. Nene answered the phone at the hospital so I thought I had a wrong number. I nearly hung up. It is good to have the two girls together to help with this situation.

Hope things go good and they get home tomorrow.

I am going on a two day horseback trip to the southern end of the state tomorrow morning so won't be home again until Friday night late. Sorry - just couldn't pass up this opportunity. Hope everything goes well with the rest of the world while I am recovering my sanity. I think I can find it we are going riding through a fire I was on a few years ago to review the rehabilitation and to see how the recovery is going. I think I lost my mind when I was on that fire - I think that is where and when it went - but maybe not.


I talked to Inklings late yesterday and she said her Mom is going to be released from the hospital Wednesday morning if all goes well. I wasn't going to blog any more updates because I am not sure of anything anymore dealing with this.

I am sure that Grandma is getting better. Although it is slowly. She will regain her strength and be able to do everything she was doing before all of this sickness hit her.

After a few weeks she will again be the youngest 80 something that the Doctor has ever seen. It is a terrible thing to be bleeding internally and not be able to get your Doctor to listen or to fix it. I am way glad she finally threw a fit and got into surgery.

I am not glad about what happened after she went in but if she hadn't gone I don't think she would be here today. That is how sick and weak I think she was. We love you Grandma.


Tuesday, June 9, 2009


I called in yesterday morning to see how Grandma was doing but couldn't get through. I don't know why but they couldn't connect me even through the front desk. I had to go to an orientation session for all the folks that work for me so was out of service until after 3:00 p.m. I didn't get through until after 3:00 p.m.

The prognosis as well as I can tell is that she is getting better quickly. The reaction to the anesthesia has been treated and was pretty effective but it made her sick to her stomach. They couldn't stop the treatment because of her leg and arm twitching so she had to suffer through the sick stomach to get the anesthesia reaction fixed.

They finally let her eat real food. She will tell you that she nearly starved to death because they would only give her clear liquids and she couldn't stand the salty broth and now hates jell-o....any kind of jell-o.

I don't know for sure but my bet is they let her out Tuesday around mid-day to go home. Don't know that for sure but I think they have everything taken care of that they can do so will send her home to mend. That's my bet......for what it's worth.....

Sunday, June 7, 2009

UPDATE 6/7/2009 8:20 P.M.

I called the hospital and talked to Inklings a few minutes ago. Grandma is having a reaction to the anesthesia and can't control one arm and leg and jerks them all over the place. They are trying to get a pill to counteract it but they have to get it from the old hospital so haven't done that yet. When she jerks around she pulls the IV from her arm and her arm is a mess. She is bruised badly on her arm where they have tried to keep the IV inserted. Inklings told me that they have decided to leave the IV out because of all the bruising.

I guess she had one Doctor that told her that the only thing wrong with her arm and leg was stress and if she would just relax that would go away. She has been telling them all day she is having a allergic reaction to something - maybe she should have been a Doctor - she seems to know more about what is going on than anyone else.

Inklings said they are staying at least through Monday night and have paid the room until then. Maybe they will get to bring grandma home Tuesday. If you look back at the comments to my blog you will see that Nene is coming out Tuesday and is going straight to the hospital so maybe between the two girls they can convince Grandpa to stay until Grandma can come home.

It is way nice to have the rooms in the home that was built to help people from a long way away to stay in at fairly cheap prices.

The last thing Inklings told me was that visiting hours end at 8:00 p.m. and they are going to give Grandma a valium to see if they can get her to sleep tonight. So if you were planning to call tonight and read this first wait until morning.


Just got off the phone with Inklings and they don't know much about what went on with the surgery. They do know that the polyp they took out was cancer and they think they took everything that needed to come out.

Her mom is sore and hungry but otherwise seems to be doing OK. This will make a huge difference in how she feels now that they have the bleeding stopped. She'll get back to her old self pretty quickly. She is pretty danged tough.

Inklings and Grandpa are staying down there until at least Monday but don't have a phone number where they can be reached because the house where they are staying doesn't have phones in the rooms.

I am really tickled that they figured out what was wrong with her and were able to fix it. I'm also happy that Inklings can be with her through this. I think it is important to have support.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

1 - 2 - 3

No triple crown winner this year - nope not even for the jockey. Mine that Bird was run into the ground in the last 150 yards by Summer Bird - his half brother by a different mother (couldn't resist that).

1. Kentucky Derby
2. Preakness
3. Belmont Stakes

Well that is pretty good for a little horse from New Mexico that ran off at 50-1 for the Derby. He made a good showing each time and went down running for it so he is one damned good horse. I still wish he had been able to run a total of three lengths faster to win all three races but that is why they call it horse racing.

I was glad to see that all 10 horses made it off the track with no injuries and that the Jockey that rode Summer Bird finally got his win in the Belmont. He has won three Derbies, Two Preakness', and now finally a Belmont so he has finally made himself a shoo-in for the HALL OF FAME.

I, however, am really surprised he didn't win it all because I failed to record the running of the Derby. It has been a long time since we had a horse good enough to pull off a triple crown run so I am really looking forward to the horse that finally comes through.

UPDATE: SATURDAY 6/6/09 2:07 P.M.

Inklings left a few minutes ago to pick up her dad in a community about 100 miles south of us to take him to another town about 150 miles south of us to be with her Mother who is undergoing surgery this afternoon to remove the part of her colon that is bleeding. They did figure out what was going on and this removal should fix her. I am uncertain if they are going to just take the polyp that is bleeding or if they are going to remove part of her colon. Whatever they do she'll be better in a few days than she has been in months.

This has been a crazy week for all of us and I will be mighty happy when the sun goes down tonight and we start a new week. I know things can get worse but I certainly hope they don't. I don't think I can stand it anymore.


Wednesday morning Inklings went south to help get her mother into the hospital to get a colonoscopy because she has been sick a long time with whatever it is and her dad can't drive very safely. She spent the night with her father because they didn't get the colonoscopy done until way late and found that her mom was bleeding internally but couldn't find where. She also needed a blood transfusion because she had lost a lot.

They couldn't find a match for her blood because she has O+ (and they say slightly negative with antibodies) so they have trouble matching it. Good thing she wasn't really bleeding to death because they didn't get the transfusion done until Friday afternoon late.

I took Inklings north Thursday night to the U of U Medical Center where she had an appointment for Friday morning. They didn't find anything out for her but did take 12 samples of blood for blood tests. She will know if or how bad her liver is when they get through with those. She went to the department head of the Unit for her appointment so we feel like she is in good hands. He told her he thinks her liver failure was from a virus she got in the jail when she was teaching and that her liver is probably OK now but he made her another appointment in six weeks just in case he needs to follow up with it.

It sucks to have family in hospitals in the very south and very north parts of the state at the same time. Maybe that is where stress comes from.

At least I have Inklings home - until she decides to go south to see her mother - which will be OK too - will be interesting to see if she can convince her dad to go with her.