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!

Thursday, July 30, 2009


Today I got a call from the manager of a construction company that is reconstructing a road across the District. He asked me if I could explain the ribbons around the rock source. I tried to explain it to him on the phone but he was having trouble seeing what I was talking about. I asked him to walk to the south west side of the source and look south easterly. He did and then I told him to look easterly and he'd see the ribbons. I told him to follow them to the east until it hit a corner that turned North. He started to walk it and then said OK I see them now.

Then he said he was with a guy that wanted to know if I was the same Dee Ice he had known in Montana 30+ years ago. I knew the guy and was good friends with him when we lived in Trout Creek and he and his family lived in Plains.

It is really hard to believe he is here crushing rock on the District I am responsible for. It was good to talk to him on the phone for a few minutes. We haven't seen each other for over 30 years but it will be good to see him next week.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Today I took a road trip back on the mountain to see how the road work was progressing. It was progressing very well - in fact - it was progressing so well that I watched as they finished up the contract.

I had planned to go home off the north end of the mountain but couldn't resist going back the way I came so I could drive the newly reconditioned road all the way....I wasn't the first to do it because my boss did that earlier but I was in the first 10 so that has to count for something.

I told a lot of people we would fix that road when HELL froze over - there was ice on my windshield last Monday morning. I honestly never thought I would live long enough to see that road fixed. I can hardly wait to hear why I chose to stop doing the road where we did. I am sure it will be all over the street that somebody pissed me off and I quit before their cabin.

L.S. - it is in the middle of the mountain....the road comes up from the west going east from the town to the south.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Went for a little road trip with Inklings last night. We went south to check a road we are reconditioning and see how great it was. We drove to the end of the reconditioned part and it was nice - REALLY NICE. We drove across the unconditioned part just so I could remember how bad it really was before it was ground up and reconditioned. It was a great trip saw lots of elk and a few deer.

We got home late because we didn't leave early enough to get clear across the mountain in the daylight (and Inklings had to try out her new camera). We ended up going off the east side of the mountain and home via paved highway and still didn't get home until after 10:00 p.m. It was a great trip even though my truck won't climb a mountain with the air conditioner on. Luckily it was cool enough that if we rolled down the windows we were fine.

Inklings posted a few pictures of the trip.

Saturday, July 25, 2009


We went visiting family yesterday. We had our third daughter and her boy friend with us. We stopped to see my mother but she was asleep - we went in anyway and she couldn't stay awake so we went south to see Inklings mom and dad. On the way our daughter wanted to take her boyfriend to Red Canyon to see the views. We went through the tunnels and she honked like I used to do when we went through. Then we drove on up the canyon a ways.

I asked her where we were going. She said she forgot we weren't going to Bryce and turned around. We came back through the tunnels and her boy friend wanted to climb the tunnel and have his picture taken. We stopped and did that. That is him on top of the picture even though you can't tell much. He almost ran to the top of the tunnel.

When we came back to my mother's house my youngest brother, his wife and two kids were there. His first comment was "Well Hello fat boy!" That's the pot calling the kettle black but I just let it go - for the first time in my life - I LET IT GO.
It was good to see everyone.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


I came home from work today at 1100. I was so sick and tired of looking at the computere screen I just left. Not for the day but for the week. I have had enough.

So I come home and blog????? Yup but they are both short and I'm gettin' ready for my afternoon nap. No one else is in the house so I'll turn on the noise box (TV) and take a snooze.


This has been a tough week for me. I spent three days in a environmental audit of two projects we have completed in the past two years. I really enjoyed getting to see the projects but I HATED doing the evaluations for the projects. Both projects turned out extremely well as far as I am concerned, but in the review we found little things (that in my opinion really don't matter) that either we had not said anything about or what we said we were going to do wasn't what we ended up doing.

Anyway to make a long story short this past week is a re-affirmation of my decision to retire. I have seen the future of the Agency and I have chosen not to be a participant. I have said it a thousand times that "today is somebody's good old days - It just isn't mine." TRUER WORDS WERE NEVER SPAKE.

Saturday, July 18, 2009


We just got back from the family reunion. It was great and I got to see quite a few people that I have been looking forward to seeing. I also didn't get to see a lot of people that I have been looking forward to seeing - because they didn't come.

It was a good day and good food and quite a lot of visiting. In October I will have been married to Inklings for 40 years and I am quite certain that this is the first time I have been to this family reunion. I have been to the other family reunions at least three times but this is a first for this one. I have always been on a fire assignment when they have had this one - wanna talk about a slow season - yup this is one.


Today I have a full day off unless something goes terribly wrong at work. I am going to a family reunion in a town about 100 miles south of here. I am looking forward to seeing folks I haven't seen in a very long time. I am trying to remember if I have ever been to this reunion - if so not often - primarily because it falls right in the peak of fire season.


It has been a whole week since I added anything to this but that is mostly because I have been a little busy. My management fire has finally hung itself up along some cliffs, small draws and light fuel types so it is over. There is still a little smoke hanging around and it will be there for quite a while but the fire has very little potential to get back up and run. I am very pleased with the results.

Yesterday we had a going away barbeque for one of the women that work for me. She is my lead fire person so I will dearly miss her. She is really good at what she does and where she is going she will do good.

We are getting a new guy in to be her acting while we try to fill it permanently. It should be good to see how this new guy works out. He works nearby and I have done fire with him in the past but he was not the one in charge - I'm looking forward to see how he reacts in tight spots and under pressure. From what I have seen he should be really good.

Saturday, July 11, 2009


In case any of you were wondering why I haven't been blogging the past week let me explain. Fire season was slow to arrive but has finally made it. I have been tied up with four small fires that we managed for resource benefit (three of them have burned themselves out at 1/4 acre and the fourth is close to it at probably 50 acres) and three that we put out.

The remaining fire that we are managing is underburning in a ponderosa pine/Douglas-fir stand and is doing an exceptional job. It is burning all of the slash from an old timber sale, some of the brush that has grown up since the sale and most of the pinion and juniper (P-J) in the stand. It interesting to watch what is going on with this fire because right now the live fuel moisture is significantly different in each fuel type and the fire is burning differently in each of them.

The sage brush fuel moisture is 190% and the fire is just burning the edges where the other burning fuel dries out the brush first. The P-J fuel moisture is at 90% and the fire is burning through the crowns on about 80-85% of the trees (which is exactly what we want to do to remove the invasive species from the stands). The ponderosa pine and Douglas-fir fuel moistures are at about 150% and they are not burning unless the crown fire from a P-J preheats it to the point that it ignites. The oak brush is at 119% and the fire is consuming all of it after a period of pre-heating from fire burning in the leaf litter.

Right now this fire is progressing nicely and is very easy to manage because of these conditions. As the season progresses and things continue to dry out the management of the fire is likely to become more difficult. I am hoping that we can have a significant amount of the area burned before that happens.

I have been going up to the fire in the mid-afternoon (peak of the burning period) to observe what is going on and getting home in the late evening most days. I love doing fire but it is, for sure, hard to have one going on your own district. It takes a toll in time watching it and a toll in not being able to sleep at night because you are responsible for it and can't see what is going on out there.

Friday, July 3, 2009


Well what we thought was going to be a lonesome fourth is turning out quite different that that. Native Minnow called last night and told us he thought he was going to come for the weekend. He did and we met him south and visited with both of his grandmothers on the way to our house. While we were visiting Inklings parents Dr.Psycho called to se if he could come see us too. We told him sure so when we got home he was waiting at the house with two of his children.

Tonight for the first time in a long time we have four adults and five kids kicking around the house. It is noisy but seems kinda good. Best part is I don't have to parent any of the kids.


We went to meet Native Minnow today at Inklings Mother's house. I was absolutely amazed at how much she has recovered in the last six days since I saw her last. She is no longer using the walker and is no longer panting when she walks across the room. And believe it or not she has some color in her face. She is doing lots, lots, lots better. I would say she is close to the same as she was in November. I am totally amazed at how good she looks and acts.