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!

Sunday, February 28, 2010


The 2010 Olympics are over today. It has been an awesome production. The USA walked away with the most medals ever in a Winter Olympics, Canada walked away with the most golds in history as well as the most medals by a sponsoring country in history. The US won medals where they have never even been a contender before. The athletes were great, the sportsmanship was great, and I got to watch almost every minute of it.

The four man bobsled got the gold for the first time in 62 years. 62.YEARS. Congratulations are in order there.

In 2002 I worked as the Logistics Chief for the downhill at Snowbasin so I didn't get to see hardly any of those Olympics. I was bummed out for the 2006 Olympics so didn't watch much of it. This year when Bode Miller was still participating in the downhill I decided I was going to enjoy every minute of the games that I could. I have not been disappointed. NOPE.NOT.ONE.BIT.

It'll be four more years before we get back into the frenzy but I'll look forward to then. HOPE EVERYONE ENJOYED THE GAMES AS MUCH AS I DID!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


I finished up my final $0.02 to my Forest Service and Fire friends and posted it---it went on blogger for February 10---so if you want to see it you'll have to go there. I am too lazy to retype it.

Monday, February 22, 2010


Early today I finished the painting inside our house. It is done---no more wall paper---nice clean walls---feels good to have it taken care of at least for now. There are other rooms that we need to do work on but I'm not starting anything new for a while. Here are a couple of pictures of the completed stair well after the pitures and the throw have been re-hung.

Friday, February 19, 2010


Taking the wall paper off the wall in preparation for painting. I am glad this is the last wall. I have really dreaded this one and have spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to paint it safely. Note the cat at the bottom of the stairs between the ladder rungs---she got a few rude awakenings while I was pulling the paper. I dropped a sign and a putty knife that both hit near her. She's pretty quick though and got away without any injury both times.

Painting the final wall in the house. The cat decided she needed to come up the ladder on the right to help me this afternoon. Luckily Inklings intervened and stopped her---that would have been a disaster 'cause there was no room for her to turn around at the top of the ladder. She has figured out how to climb and get down from ladders through this painting experience. I loved having two ladders on this wall---makes you feel a lot safer to be able to step on to either. Probably isn't though. I did set them both up so they couldn't fall though. It would have to be me that fell. INKLINGS---THANKS FOR THE PHOTOS!!!!

Monday, February 15, 2010


Should I be painting the living room or watching the downhill ski races at the Olympics. I am torn but the Olympics are going to win out. On my 2002 Winter Olympics poster on my I love me wall the second pin from the right on the upper part of the frame is Bode Miller's 2002 team pin. He gave it to me the night before he skied for the Silver Medal for one of my Forest Service shields. (If you double click the picture you can see the pin pretty good)


Saturday, February 13, 2010


Today I set about repairing some things and moving some others. I nearly have the windows in the living room repaired. Whoever put in the new windows did a terrible job of repair but then they were going to be covered by wall paper so looked alright. Spent most of the morning getting the mud on and smoothed out---it wasn't dry yet at dinner time so will have to wait until Monday to get sanded and new caulking put on to seal the frames. That will be fun. I always hate the caulking!

Fixed and sanded all of the holes in the walls that we have taken the wall paper off from in the living room---it is going to look really nice with new paint.

Moved the TV downstairs a little to square it up with the walls---one whole side fell off of the entertainment center when I started to move it. Can't imagine what happened with the break but suspect that Native Minnow or MJ (or maybe both) could probably fill me in. The repair was really easy. I went to the hardware store with one of the broken braces and a screw that held it on. The guy at the store took me into his cabinet shop---gave me 5 new braces (metal this time) and 15 new screws. I was tickled and wanted to know the price---he said I'll just give them to you...and he did. They fit perfectly and only took a few minutes to install. I put gorilla glue on the sides that touched the other wood too so the repair should hold for a very long time (at least until the next time that we move it).

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


There are many of you that do not know who I am or for that matter care and if that fits you just don't read this. For others I have known 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 have 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 (or maybe not at all). 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 (39 Years) on the Dixie, Kootenai, Deerlodge (before it was the Deerlodge/Beaverhead), Fishlake, Ashley, and the Wasatch-Cache National Forests. 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.

The Forest Service rating of 206 out of 216 as good places to work has disturbed me very badly. I have thought about it for months. 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 set lands aside that is owned by the Government. It really doesn't matter what you think about that but we that get to manage it have 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!

I thought I published this two months ago----


I ran out of paint after painting the walls in the bedroom and went to the same store where I got the other paint and bought another five gallon bucket. I bought the exact same brand, color (ultra white), sheen (satin not semi-gloss), type of paint.

When I was painting the ceiling the roller hit the wall a lot of times and I just thought it isn't a big deal the paint is exactly the same---wrong---after it dried you could see every spot where the roller had hit the wall---it looked terrible. I went to bed last night thinking after it really dried it would be just fine.

When I got up this morning it still looked like HE _ _, so I got into my paint coveralls and repainted the walls on the entire bedroom.

LESSON LEARNED: If there is any chance that you might run out of paint before you finish painting---buy the new paint and mix both cans together. That way it WILL be the same color. Yes White is a color - and yes there are many colors of white - AT LEAST TWO FOR SURE.

Sunday, February 7, 2010


I know there are a few people from where I used to work that read my blog occasionally so wanted to fill them in a little on my retirement.

I wrote a few blogs about moving back home with all of my work related clothes, pictures, books, and office supplies. That took a lot of work to sort through and get what mattered into the house in book cases, scrap books, files, mounted on walls and yes---even one box of work related stuff that I'll keep until I am sure I won't have to prove when I worked or what training (fire) I have taken stored in the basement. One day that box can go in the trash all at once. Woops guess not---it'll have to be shredded---every piece of paper has my name, date of birth and SSN on it. OH GOODIE ANOTHER COUPLE OF DAYS WORK GETTING RID OF WORK. I also took care of the four boxes of materials I have moved four times and never opened. I blogged a little about that but did salvage the books from those boxes.

I haven't taken care of the materials I had in my truck that I took to fires and used for everything else yet. It is still too cold to spend a lot of time in the garage although I have made some progress in getting it cleaned up too.

I have been working patiently on getting all of the rooms that Inklings took the wall paper off from painted--I am down to fixing and painting one window and painting a ceiling. Not too bad considering she pulled the paper off five rooms all at once. Should have that finished Monday - or Tuesday - or Wednesday - or Thursday - or whenever---will seem really good to have the house back together. Through this process I have found muscles that I haven't used for a while and have also found some that I didn't even know existed - I have been pretty sore in the arms and legs doing this. We have been debating flooring changes---still not sure if we are going with hardwood floors or carpet when we start changing them out.

I have been enjoying reading books---I have read---a lot. Yeah I know I did a lot of that at work too but this is for enjoyment not to find out where the next alligator was lurking.


Saturday, February 6, 2010


Kinsey has started watching TV in the last couple of weeks. It is funny to watch her watch the movements on the TV. She doesn't always sit like this but I think it is funny when she tries to copy my posture...she's a pretty smart cat.


I am pretty sure it is unused muscles but I have been painting the bedroom this week and every single thing in there required two coats of paint to cover the walls. It was wall papered and never really painted---it was primed before they put up the wall paper thank goodness. Inklings pulled most of the paper off a few months ago but we got sick and then kept putting it off after we got better. I still have the ceiling left to paint but all the edging is done---so all that is left is to roll the paint on the ceiling. But SORE---my legs feel like they are on fire from climbing up and down on the chair a thousand times a day---they hurt like H E _ _.

I also replaced the lights in our bathroom. We went shopping and decided to look for a light set that we liked to replace the old hanging lights in there. We found one on sale for $7.50---reduced from $52.95---so we bought it. The guy that was helping us said they had stopped carrying that model and if we wanted the floor display he would take it down and give it to us at the advertised price. We loved the light set so we bought it. I tore out the old one and repaired and painted the ceiling and mounted the new lights. It is really nice. I could not believe we saved $45.00. It is a nice set for less than $8.00 and that included the light bulbs.



This past week I have been painting our bedroom. There were a few minor repairs in walls and windows that needed to be made before painting. I started on them and decided that since they were going so good I'd fix the window in the kitchen at the same time.

Whoa whatta mistake - it is mostly repaired but will likely take me a good share of today to get it finalized - that along with the final repair on the window in the bedroom.

SO - the dilemma of the day - fix the windows first so they can dry out for the final sanding or paint the wall first so I can get both coats on it today - aaahhhh - it's nice when no matter what the decision is it will be just fine.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


Got my 0.17 HMR back last night so had no choice but to sight it in today right? That's what I thought. So Inklings and I went out to the range while I shot it a few times.

Shooting the first group of three.

Finishing the first group of three and getting ready to go down range to check the pattern on the target - then come back and readjust the scope and try again.

Here is the target and here is the sequence that the target was shot - see if you can tell which group of three goes with this description. Here is the sequence and you can see the group of three getting closer to the target center as the shots are taken. Upper Right, Upper Right, Upper Right, Upper Right, Middle right, Middle Right, Upper Left, Middle Left, Lower Left; Lower Right(12 shots at this one but you can't count them because some went through the same holes). Yeah I know 39 shots to sight in a gun is way too many but when you are doing it there just seems to be no excuse not to get it down to one or two clicks.

We lead a pretty boring life but I am now ready for next Christmas when we blast the Christmas balls on Christmas day!!! A little early but that's OK. Would have been fun to have the kids here for this but it is more fun to see their faces light up when they hit their first shot at the glass balls.


I purchased a Henry 0.17 HMR a couple of years ago and have loved to shoot the rifle. I shot it a lot but not so much that the barrel should have gone out. About a year ago when I would shoot it sometimes the bullets would tumble. They call that key holeing in the fire arms business. Anyway I tried a lot of things to fix it but nothing worked. As time went on all of the bullets tumbled.

I took it to a gun smith and he told me I should just call Henry and talk to them about it. He was pretty sure they would repair it or replace the rifle. I called them and they told me to send the rifle in and they would evaluate the situation and repair it or replace it. I asked them the price of the repair and they said they wouldn't know until they evaluated the gun.

I got a letter from them saying the had received the rifle and that they were running the tests and would either replace the barrel or the gun depending on what they found in their testing. Last night I got my rifle back with a new barrel and new loading sleeve. The bill for repairs was $0.00.