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, December 19, 2010


Even with a computer with viruses and worms I still had to work---here are a few photos of what I have been up to.

Saturday, December 11, 2010


I hope that this series of photos will help you understand how we straw mulch the places in a fire where it has burned extremely hot. The reason we mulch is to hold the seed and the soil in place until the plants from the seed can hold it stable without the straw. When you lose your top soil you don't have much chance of producing a lot of anything. It is really important to keep all the soil on the hill rather than wash it down the streams. If you double click the photos you can see them bigger.

I have the photos in about a perfect reverse order but am too tired and lazy to reshuffle them so here is a little explanation of straw mulching.

Center ridge has been mulched---notice the yellow color of the ground.

Straw bomb just about to hit the ridge after it was dropped from the net hooked below the helicopter on a long line (150 foot cable).

Helicopter being used to fly the straw mulch. We are using three of these.

Another straw bomb before it hits the ground. Notice how much they expand before they hit.

About 2200 pounds of straw in the net it is dropped from.

Crew loading net for pick up.

Crew waiting to remove an empty net and re-hook a full one. Sometimes there is less than two minutes to hook, refill the net, and hook again. This is a supreme helitac crew. They run (and I do mean run) steadily from sunrise to sunset.

Helicopter heading out loaded but you can't see the net full of straw because it hasn't cleared the stack yet.

Straw stack.

Bigger straw stack.

Biggest straw stack. Tractors and bale wagons used to transport the straw up the hill to the helispot from which it will be flown out.

Stack of straw in easy reach of the landing.

Trucks delivering straw at a rate of about 300 tons per day. We'll likely end up flying over 4200 tons. That is a lot of trips since each flight carries about 1 ton.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


Yesterday, just a couple of hours after I posted my last post, we got the decision that the appeal was being over ridden by the Chief and we can go back to work completing the rehab on the Twitchell Canyon fire. That is great news. We still have a weather window that is good for seeding and mulching so we'll go for it and see what happens. I am personally glad that an appeal without merit, in my opinion, was over ridden. CAN'T WAIT TO GET 'ER DONE.

Monday, December 6, 2010


Went to the office today to get a list of the rest of the straw that has been tested and approved for use on the rehabilitation project. While I was there I got lots of comments like---"we're really glad you are doing this project because if you weren't we would be tied up almost full time in it," AND "I'm so glad I dont have to give people the bad news like you are having to do with this project," AND "we don't seem to get any news on what is going on with the project, what's the deal?"

Well here's the deal---the contract is under appeal and a stay has been put in place---we have requested that the stay be overridden by the Chief and we get told to go back to work. Until that happens or the appeal is resolved----NOTHING IS GOING ON EXCEPT MY PHONE BILL. I get a lot of calls for a few minutes each day but don't really think that constitutes working on the project so I am not charging for any of the time I am putting in either.

If the project was at a decent and clean stopping place I would give it back to them. The past three weeks hasn't been much fun.

Saturday, December 4, 2010


Went back to my home town again today and after the funeral viewing went up to my mother's old house which is being reconstructed by my brother. I have been told by many people that there are huge changes in the house---I can tell you that the footprint on the front is exactly the same. The house has been expanded nine feet in back and a covered deck has been added back there too. Makes the peak of the roof higher but I doubt you can tell that with the naked eye. But who knows---maybe the OLD ladies that told me they could see the difference really can. There are some other subtle changes to the roof too but they are hard to see.

After--I noticed that the chimney in the middle of the roof and the upright in the middle of the porch are not there if you compare to the before picture.

This is the before photo---just before they started tearing the North 2/3 off the house and recontsructing it.

Friday, December 3, 2010


Took Inklings to Tangled last night. All I have to say about the movie is that Disney's animators and artists are great. Imagine a horse following a trail like a blood hound---YUP---one did that and it was hilarious. The rest of the movie was great too. I believe that the lead in to the movie said it was Disney's fiftieth full length movie. I don't believe I have seen fifty of them but the ones I have seen make me happy there are Disney studios. Young parents---take your kids---old folks go see it---it is worth the money.