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, January 30, 2010


Last night we went to the Utah State Junior High Wrestling Championships for 1A, 2A, and 3A. Can you believe that---Championships for Junior High? Anyway we have a grandson that was wrestling. He lost last night but wrestles again today at least one more match. It is really hard for me to believe that they are having this tournament. I guess it truly is the State Championship because all the kids are there but it is amazing to me that they would put that kind of pressure on the kids that are participating.

Since I wrestled in high school and college it is fun for me to watch. Probably not so for my spouse but she's a good sport and goes anyway. There are some super good young wrestlers at this meet. The future of wrestling in Utah looks good.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Yesterday I started to take care of the stuff I have moved several times and it kept ending up in the garage. I went through the four boxes I have moved four times. I can't believe that I moved that stuff all those times. I salvaged six books out of the boxes and the rest went to the garbage. Most of the stuff in the boxes was Logging Engineering materials that I got at Oregon State back in 1981. I used it a lot in Philipsburg and some in Beaver but I haven't had any cause to use it for the last 18 years. Oh what a pack rat I am.

One of the books I salvaged I wish I had known where it was several times in the last 18 years but not enough to try to find it in the boxes (I knew it was in one of those four boxes). Now it is on the book shelf with the rest of my education books. I'll probably never again have a reason to look anything up in the book but it makes me feel better knowing where it is. It cost me a heck of a lot of money when I bought it in 1975 ($29.95). That was when I had about $20.00 left of the pay check after the bills were paid. EXTRAVAGANT - You betcha. I used the book at least twice a week to look up insect pests when I was responsible for timber sales. I used it a lot---probably more than any other book I ever had. It was a good reference and was easy to find insects in....the pictures were great and showed the damage to the tree that was visible. People actually thought I was smart at that time because I could figure out the pest so quickly. Guess I was smart---I bought the book.

This blog didn't go where I thought it was going. Suffice it to say that I have now dealt with all of my moving home stuff---ALL OF IT---I am through moving. Today I am starting on cleaning out the garage---that ought to be fun.....

Monday, January 25, 2010


Went shopping with Inklings this morning to get a few things to eat later in the week. When we finished I went to the sports section to look at GUNS. They had the 0.410 shotgun I have been watching for so I decided to buy it. I spent the money that I got for retirement from an adjoining District and another $67 to get it but I am way happy to have it.

I also bought some shells. They only had 0.410 shells with 00 buckshot where I bought the gun (so I only bought one box). What do you think the chances are of hitting anything with four pellets. They are loaded in-line. I don't think there is much chance of hitting anything, but the buckshot is the same size as the barrel so maybe you could get close. I think they are really for the 0.410 pistol, which I also wish I had.

I stopped at another store where I tried to get them to order this gun for me and they still haven't so I told them I have it. I did buy two boxes of shells from tehm though because they have several choices of shot. 8, 7 1/2, 6 - Not much chance of massive damage with those loads.

I came home and put it together and tried out the action. The gun feeds really well and after I readjusted the barrel after I jammed and ruined a shell it is going to be fun to shoot. Everything is smooth and the feed works well---can't wait for the first hunt.....

Saturday, January 23, 2010


We went North yesterday between snow storms to the fiftieth wedding anniversary of an old friend and range con from our Beaver days. We were good friends and they were surprised to see us there. I am so glad we went.

After the party we went to our son and his wife's home for a quick visit before we hit the road for home. While we were there another good friend came over and brought me these two pen and ink drawing he did for my retirement. They are both signed and both have a very special message to me. The cowboy picture says:
"To my friend Dee Ice Hole-one straight shootin' son of a _ itch."

I have been friends with this guy for 39 years. He worked for industries where we became acquaintences doing business. Usually the company he worked for was applying for new permits and he got the assignment to acquire it. I got the assignment to deal with these permits and make sure all was correct before we issued them. We spent many years working together in these capacities.

Our relationship developed into one of respect and trust followed a little later by loyalty. We both had a great time doing our jobs and we got to know each other very well. He can read me like a book and I think I can read him too. We can communicate pretty well without saying anything. Had lots of corporate meetings where we were the only two that really knew what was going on.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


This morning we took our kitten to the vet to get fixed and remove her claws. Last night she ripped up the carpet by the kitchen door trying to get out. She may rip it up again but it will be a lot harder starting in a few hours. She has been driving me crazy clawing everything she passes including me. She draws blood everytime she attacks. We get to pick her up between 1:00 p.m and 5:00 p.m.---I'm thinking as close to 5:00 as possible so we don't have to sit a hurtin' cat as long!!!!

Sunday, January 17, 2010


Friday we headed North to a retirement party for a woman I worked with for five years on a District. She retired on the same day I did and our parties were, at first, scheduled on the same date. Mine was changed to allow others to come that needed to be to both. It was a fun party and I am glad I went. I got to see a lot of old friends and had a great visit.

The best part of the trip was we got to see our four girls and one son and their children, or at least most of their children. I also got to spend a couple of hours with one of my friends that has very bad cancer. I am very glad we made the effort to go to the party. I had a great time and am glad I got to do the visiting I did.

We also planned to go to Barnes and Noble to spend the gift certificate I got at my retirement party - you know the one in University Mall - wrong there isn't one in that mall---shoulda visited the one further North. Oh well hind sight is always 20/20 - ALWAYS!

Thursday, January 14, 2010


Yesterday I finished the filing, hanging on walls, putting in filing cabinets putting into scrap books and throwing into the trash all of the stuff I brought home from work. Guess I am finally HOME - and only HOME. I have a pretty good sized pile of clothes and other personal gear that was in my work truck in the garage that needs to be gone through and taken care of. BUT, It is out of sight and out of mind for's too damned cold to sort stuff in the garage for a while.

I am pretty happy that I don't have to go into work any more. I have found that if I try I can stay in bed after 4:30 and actually go back to sleep until 7:30 or so....I guess I am starting to get used to a new life.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Several years ago I saw one of our permittees out on the range. I told him "Man your cows look good and your calves are growing awfully fast." He said "Yeah I have some nice mother cows." I told him "I'll bet your calves come off the range this year over 700 lbs." He said "Nah, they ain't that good of mothers." I told him "I'll bet you a steak dinner at Maddox Ranch House that the claves come off over 700 lbs." He said "You're on."

Later that fall he came in a told me he owed me a steak dinner. I asked him how much the calves weighed. He said "Never you mind the weight - but I am more than happy to buy you the dinner because of their weight." He never told me the weight and we have arranged to have dinner many times but something always interfered and we never did it. This morning I got a call and was invited to breakfast here instead. I went with one of my co-workers too. We had a very nice breakfast and a lot of good discussions. He told me "YOU CAME TOO LATE---AND YOU LEFT TOO EARLY." That made me feel really good about having been here. Just as we were getting into the trucks to leave he said "and by the way - the calves averaged 725 pounds." When I was a young the mother cows didn't weigh much more than 800 pounds---oh how the range has changed.

He is getting quite old and is starting to be a little frail. I hate seeing good people get that way. As we walked out the door together he said "THAT MAKES ME FEEL A LOT BETTER - NOW I DON'T OWE ANYBODY ANYTHING." I'm not sure how I feel about that. I would rather he owe me forever than for him to get frail and die.

What happened this morning is what I will miss the most about not working anymore. I loved my job.

Monday, January 11, 2010


These are the plaques and pictures from my office and party that I couldn't fit into a scrap book---lots of good memories on the wall.




I have known thousands of you through the Incident Command System where I participated on a type 1 team for 20 years and a type 2 team for 5 years I bid you farewell. I have had a good run and loved my job. Through the incident command system I met far more people that have influenced my life than I can write a note to so guess y'all have to get it this way. My old White Boots have walked in both the Pacific and the Atlantic Oceans on incidents - once in the same year - and across some of the finest land in the world. Thanks for letting me go along on the ride.

I spent a portion of my career on the Dixie, Kootenai, Deerlodge (before it was the Deerlodge/Beaverhead), Fishlake, Ashley, and the Wasatch-Cache. I have met thousands of great employees of the Forest Service. I have been blessed to know you and I am a far better man today because of you. Thanks for your friendship and help.

I went to work for the BEST FEDERAL AGENCY way back in 1970. I have worked for the BEST FEDERAL AGENCY for 39+ years. I do not believe the Forest Service is a bad agency to work for. I do not know anyone in the Forest Service that dislikes their job. I know a lot of people in the Forest Service that are unhappy with the work arounds we have to do to accomplish our jobs. I still believe the Forest Service is the BEST FEDERAL AGENCY.

I have been honored to be a District Ranger for the past eight years and am grateful that I had the chance to make a difference to the land we are lucky enough to be allowed to manage. This is the only Nation that had enough foresight to put lands aside that is owned by the Government. It really doesn't matter what you think about that but the FOREST SERVICE IS A NOBLE OCCUPATION. I never spent one day of my career dreading coming to work---maybe I am daft but I'll venture to guess that most Forest Service Employees can also say that. My final comment is HANG IN THERE---DO THE BEST YOU CAN DO---THIS TOO WILL PASS. As my favorite Ranger used to say KEEP ON KEEPIN' ON - AND THAT IS MY FINAL $0.02!

Thursday, January 7, 2010


T'day I got two calls from friends and co-workers from fire. They both wanted to know what I was going to do with myself in retirement. I told them both I didn't know, but I was for sure going to enjoy being retired.

To be quite honest I am having a little trouble putting my work stuff into my home environment---maybe I shoulda tossed it all.


Today I hung my pictures, put my awards into a scrap book, found all of my work history since 1973 and sealed it in a box, put all my fire and other incidents CD's into a CD case where I can find them in seconds, recovered all of the business cards I have accumulated over 40 years and put them in one place wrapped by rubber bands so they can't slide all over the place, wrote one message on face book and one on blogger.

Seven plaques and 3 boxes left inside the house and then I can start on the garage---OH MY!!!!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


Started today right - actually did my exercises - even though I am sore from yesterday. I think it will get easier as time passes. I can't believe I have let myself deteriorate to the physical state I am in.

Monday, January 4, 2010


Yesterday morning I got a call from my college room mate and his wife. I have not seen them in 41 years but I still like to talk to them on the phone and when they used to have a computer on e-mail. It was great talking to them.

Last night I got a phone call from my 99 year old babysitter congratulating me on my retirement. We had a really good visit. It was great talking to her.


Sunday, January 3, 2010


I was out of bed maybe 5 minutes getting dressed at about 6:45 when the phone rang. Inklings was just getting settled back into bed and I ran for the phone. Before answering it I said "THIS CAN'T BE GOOD!". She replied "I KNOW!"

I picked up the phone and two of my good friends from college back in 1968 were on the phone and said "HAPPY NEW YEAR". It was really good to hear from them again. This is the couple I have blogged about before that own their own rodeo company. When we were in College I was roommates with the guy and traveled to the rodeos we participated in with them. Sometimes in my car, a little red Chevy Nova, and sometimes in his car, a big white Cadillac. He was the original Cadillac Cowboy.

They have raised rough stock together for 40 years. This morning they told me that they just got their horses back from the rodeo but that the PBR has changed Bull Riding (our chosen sport) and everyone is trying to raise bucking bulls. He said the bulls used to pay for the horses but with all the changes that have gone on now the horses are paying for the bulls.

I blogged about finding these folks a couple of years ago. I knew that her father was an attorney where Native Minnow lives so I asked him to look up his number in the phone book. He tried but there was no one in the book with her father's name, after I found them I found out he had died a couple of years earlier. Anyway I finally found them on Christmas day with google. I nearly died when I found their names associated with a rodeo company. I knew immediately it was them and called...they weren't home so I left a message to have them call me back...they did Christmas night and we were reconnected. We haven't talked a lot on the phone since then but at least two or three times a year we call each is great to maintain friendships. We should all be happy for the internet, google, blogs, facebook, phones and anything else that keeps us connected to our friends.

Saturday, January 2, 2010


The way all of this is working is that I started out with the barns burning and that triggered the previous stories. I was going to go into the barns burning but have decided just to tell you a little about that.

The barn closest to the house burned on a cold spring night. I remember the fire trucks parked near the houses keeping the roofs cooled down so that the houses didn't burn. They did really good because none of the houses were damaged. I believe it was four in the morning when the fire alarm went off. The fire inside the barn could be seen raging through the wooden walls on the outside. That was my very first view of wildfire raging and I have never forgotten what it can do. The turkeys, cows and pigs were turned loose and we helped round them up and put the turkeys in the shed and the cows and pigs in neighbors pens the next afternoon.

The second barn and all the neighborhood sheds and fences in the middle of the block burned on another very cold stormy fall night. It also went up in smoke around 4:00 a.m. It was also a raging inferno and the fire men did a great job of keeping the rest of the block from going up in smoke. The cows, pigs, chickens and ducks were also let out so they didn't burn up. We helped round them up just like the other time.

Both barns went up in smoke due to fires starting in hay that was stacked inside the barn for feeding the animals. The fires cleared the best baseball field that there ever had been in town. Shortly after the second fire dump trucks and a loader were brought in to clear out the debris and level the ground. Five neighborhood yards were impacted by the fires so the interior of the block was pretty much cleaned up after they were through trucking the debris out of there.

When they finished the clean up a power company came in and built a sub-station on the North side of the block. After construction they put up an eight foot chain link fence with three razor wires at the top to make it vandal proof. As soon as it was completed the baseball games began. The south fence of the sub-station became the left field home run fence because when a ball went over the fence there was some time required to get it back. Most of the time we only had one ball so it was imperative that it be retrieved from the sub-station over the vandal proof fence or the game would have to be cancelled.

At that time in our lives our church had meetings in the morning that got out by noon and then a meeting at night that started at 7:00 p.m. Everyone in town had the same Sunday schedule so right after lunch everyone would come to the baseball field for the Sunday games. We would play from about 1:00 p.m until 6:00 p.m. and then everyone would go home, get ready and go to church. Every boy in town from three years older than me to 4 years younger than me would show up every Sunday for the games (and fights and arguments and anything else that came out of the game). I have one tooth that was knocked out by a mad dude with a baseball bat and there are lots of others that participated that have a similar kind of memory of the ball field. (I was in Boise, Idaho a year ago and ran into one of the guys from that period. He and his wife were on a Church Mission in Boise. His first comment was "Do you remember all the fun we had at the baseball field on Sundays?")

I was pretty small growing up and it became my responsibility to retrieve the baseball from the sub-station over the vandal proof fence. If someone didn't do it the game would have to be cancelled. I got good (and still am) at climbing the chain link fence then weaving my way through the razor wire. When I made it through the razor wire I would jump down into the sub-station, retrieve the ball, throw it back over the fence and climb back out repeating the weave through the razor wire and climbing back down the fence. To retrieve the ball sometimes required a long stick to get the ball out from under or away from the transformers. We had a kitchen broom on hand for just that purpose. I have often wondered if the power company employees ever questioned why the broom was inside the sub-station and how it got there or if they knew and just let us continue to have our Sunday afternoon activities.

Many, Many, Many years later I was in Logan Canyon and could see Logan City employees working across the river from Third Dam. There is a chain link and barbed wire fence across the dam to prevent the public from getting in there. In order to get to the workers I either had to walk several miles or climb the fence and walk a few hundred feet. I climbed the fence. Just as I was getting down the second side of the fence a Logan employee met me and said "Fences don't mean much to you do they." I replied "Yeah they mean a lot...I thought they were put up to climb." We laughed a little and went over and inspected the job they were doing. Every time I see anyone from this crew they always bring up me climbing the chain link fence and weaving through the barbed wire. Wonder where I learned that?????

Friday, January 1, 2010


'Tis the month after Christmas and the kids are still wired,
But it doesn't faze me, because I'm retired.
They've eaten me out of my house and my home,
And returned to their homes, leaving us all alone.

Their ma, with her cartoons, and her internet blog,
Is keeping her siblings amazed and agog.
But I have been working for so many years,
That to be without work is now building my fears.

So I'll put on my slippers, and sit down in my chair,
Then I'll grab my remote, to see what's on the air.
Be it sitcoms or qame shows, commercials or soaps,
I'll watch 'cause my sanity is right on the ropes.

So with reruns and movies to hold fast my gaze,
I will sit and just stare 'til my eyes feel ablaze.
Then perhaps I will settle for a long winter's nap,
While I sit and I pet the cat on my lap.

So while ringing my doorbell, you make a big clatter,
If I don't jump up to see what is the matter,
Don't worry too much, through the windows don't peep,
With slippers and remote, I've fallen asleep