Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Dissappointment and lack of sleep.

I find myself running into that all too familiar situation that most Alaskans find themselves entwined in during these months. I can't sleep! It is 11:00PM right now and I just came in from pottying the dogs. Maryann is passed out, and although I am feeling a bit just got dark! The past week I have been finding the hours getting later to sleep and the hour getting earlier to wake. And if this summer is like last's only going to get worse! But somehow miraculously enough, we find ourselves energized by the daylight and able to cope with less sleep. And with the weather finally warming up there soon enough will be nights that will not only be sleepless, but filled with outdoor activity during the 'daylight endurance training' portion of the year!! Today the weather peaked at around 60 degrees or better out in Sterling and Soldotna. Although I was not home all day I think it was a little cooler in Nikiski since we do get the ocean breeze from the bay.

Here comes the disappointment which has nothing to do with sleepless nights. Now I have mentioned once or twice there are two topics of which I try to avoid within the writing of posts. One of these topics is politics. And I have to say I have done pretty good! But tonight I am bending the rule askew.

If there is the remote chance that you are easily offended by personal and/or political comments and views, it is probably best to sign off about here. However, I do respect the opinions of others and political affiliation of which they feel they are comfortable believing in. This is only my opinion. That said......

It is no secret or hidden fact to most that typically speaking when a Democratic President is elected that the portion of U.S. citizens that believe in and follow the 2nd Amendment of the Constitution Of The United States, which states the right to keep and bear arms, begin to feel threatened that this right will be taken away. And once again Mr. Obama, our savior, the one who will save the world from economic oppression and bring back the values and security that the U.S. needs to get back on her feet, is poised and ready to tamper with our rights. As if there is already not enough on dudes plate. Lets address the pig! Only this time around he is going about it in an underhanded and dangerous manner. The guns themselves will not be the first to go, but rather the primers needed to make ammunition. The mass panic that has followed the suggestion of this next move has prompted many gun owners to bear down purchasing guns at record numbers, and stockpiling ammunition and reloading supplies. This threat has created two things. An economic stimulus of sorts, as the amount of money that Alaskans alone have invested into guns and ammo since September 2008 when we realized the danger that we were about to be thrown into was real. They are continuing to do so at somewhat of an alarming rate. Again, I am only speaking of Alaskans.....we love our guns and the right to keep and carry them, although it is a nationwide panic. It "is" worse than than the pig flu. It as well brought people like myself into the realization that what I took for granted for so many right to keep and bears now forced to take a stance and stand up for what I believe in. I am pissed! It was in 2007 that the 2nd Amendment was challenged in the Supreme Court. The text in this Amendment says:
"A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed." These words were challenged as to whether this is meant for 'the individual peoples rights' or the 'states' right. The courts struck down the ban on handguns in the District Of Columbia and found it to be unconstitutional. This opened the door for gun advocates such as the NRA to begin their efforts to overturn a similar ban for example, in San Fransisco. In April of 2008 they succeeded in overturning the proposition that S.F. voters had passed in November of 2005. The shame in it all is what I see to be where does it end? Apparently not there. If we cant take away the guns we will take away the ammunition. Chicken shit! The argument that a civilized world does not need citizens arming themselves, or that the District Of Columbia's crime rate was reduced during the ban, or the 'carry concealed law' such as what we have the right in Alaska to observe, creates an environment of bloodshed and crime.....bullshit! The District Of Columbia is a jungle. You disarm the good citizens and it is the criminals who will have guns in the jungles of America. I have lived in this state now for about 2 years and have heard very little on the news of shootings and/or murder due to the right to carry a weapon. There is no mass murder rate. I think honestly more people in Alaska are killed as a cumulative by moose on our roads, drunk drivers, and grizzly bear attacks while hiking or jogging than there has ever been by guns. All that logic does not hold water with me. And what of murder. Is it a gun that kills each and every time? I still say it isn't guns that kill people, it is people who kill people. What about alcohol? I believe that there is a good probability that alcohol kills and maims more people in a year in this country than guns?? And maybe I am wrong about that. It is fact though that it does indeed kill. Why don't we take away alcohol? Why stop there. Lets make cigarettes illegal. Cigarettes and second hand smoke kills, right?! I suppose I can go on but what it comes down to is that we have to stand up for our rights. If an attempt to reinterpret the Constitution succeeds with one thing, what will it be next. It needs to stop. This is a blatant attempt by Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic party led by Mr. Obama to disarm Americans, virtually leaving us defenseless. And what of the subsistence population in Alaska? How are these natives and villagers to hunt for their food with the lack of weapons to do so. How are we to protect ourselves in the our own rural communities from charging moose or irritated grizzly bears? And what of the sport. What of those who take pride in competing and honing their targeting skills in honorable contests? What is freedom when there is no way left to protect ourselves? What is freedom when in fact we are no longer free to enjoy our freedoms? Those who are against firearms will continue to be, I am not going to try and change minds. But there are those of us who believe in our right and actively observe that right, and do participate in the sport, recreation, or ability to protect ourselves. It is legal in the State Of Alaska to carry a concealed weapon on ones person at any time excluding a few common sense situations such as in schools or courts for example. I asked a State Trooper Sergeant one day how Troopers handle this 'carry concealed law'. He simply stated that if they pull over someone who has a concealed weapon that the person is obligated to report it immediately to the Trooper making contact. Generally the Trooper will say "fair don't pull out yours and I won't pull out mine". Maryann asked a school mom when we moved here what kind of implementations were in place for Johns school in case of a school shooting or hostage situation. The woman looked at Maryann and said very frankly, "sweetie, don't worry, if anything was to ever happen, half the town would be here in less than 5 minutes and would have it resolved well before the Troopers could arrive to respond". Many areas of Alaska are rural and the only protection we have is the protection we carry. We all cannot rely on the police state in our country to protect us at all times from violence. It is also anyones right to have an interest in firearms strictly for the sport be it game hunting or target competition. Or for that matter like coins and stamps or any other hobby....just to collect. Educate yourselves. It is our responsibility to vote for leadership, and it also our responsibility to make sure our leaders are not leading us down a path of the extermination of our rights. One website that was recently brought to my attention was the Second Amendment Foundation. Google it. I never realized that the NRA actually sits in the U.N. Educate yourselves and decide whether you will take an interest and a civilized action to protect the rights that we have been given. Men and women have fought and died for the right for me to say this. Could you imagine tuning into this blog next week to find it is no longer in existence because of what I have written and that I have been taken away never to be seen again by friends and family? And you don't think this can happen?? I never thought they could take away my firearms. Chew on that thought! That is all for now. I am tired. Goodnight!

Thursday, April 23, 2009


So it was brought to my attention the disappointment of some as to no blog post in recent days. Weeks. And to this I replied:
I have spent the last 8 months in a bitterly cold and iced over wasteland, and have begun to lose the desire to write....somewhat like Jack Nicholson, in 'The Shining'. This is where I am at, in the head.....

We are seasoned. We have been through our second winter. Our bodies and metabolisms have acclimated to minus temperatures for durations, lack of light and life in the winter North land. My aunt was cracking up when she asked me the other day if it has gotten warmer out. I replied that yes, it was 42 degrees out that day and it felt wonderful! Ya just don't realize how a meager 42 degrees with sunshine can be a God send and feel so wonderful to the human body and spirit!! But it is true. It does. Thank God and thanks to many prayers, my aunt survived and is recovering from a heart attack she had on Easter. We love you aunt Mary, and know you will be fine and back on your feet before you know it!

Today was a little overcast. Ok, alot of overcast with some afternoon drizzle. But tonight the sun is out and although it is butt chilly from the wind, it is marvelous outside. The days are getting long. It doesn't get dark until 10:30 PM with the sun coming up me out here Erin, you are up before me...5:30AM?? And as I have stated before, it is really easy to lose touch with the time and realize that "oh crud", it is already 9:30PM!! But it is a great thing and we are so happy that the snow is melting fast, and the ice has finally made way to actual ground. And I kid you not this is the first we have seen of "ground" since October.Actual real live "ground"!!!
This is the ash, after the break-up that we will be dealing with for a while, all the way down to mowing the lawn when the lawn finally gets green.
The lake is slowly starting to reappear. Still iced but hopefully it will turn soon.

The huge rock recently re-emerged! We have missed our rock!!

The volcano is still actively erupting. Although most of the activity has been confined to low level plumes of steam and volcanic spooge that rise a few thousand feet in the air. No major explosions, although the forming lava dome is pretty impressive. But they say it is not over..... We wait.

Funny story. I went to lunch with Maryann today in Soldotna. After lunch I headed back towards Kenai to finish my work. We ran out of heating oil this morning so I loaded the auxiliary 55 gallon tank into the truck to take it in to get it filled. Mind you, we are avoiding tapping into the full 500 gallon main tank until next winter. The price dropped per gallon again last night so I figured "fill it to the rim!" I pull into Alaska Oil Sales and as I am coming into the parking lot I noticed the driver in the tanker building was kind of looking like he was seeing a ghost drive in or something. I figured he was just another winter stricken Alaskan with that crazy eye, anxiously awaiting spring. As I pull up to the fuel pumping dock, I back the truck to it for easy filling access to our tank in the back of my truck, jump out as Dennis says down to me "how is your day going?". I was a little disrupted to that question as I noticed that my left tire is just smoking and I am smelling total 'burning brake'. In the midst of the menagerie of sight and sound, I muddled back to him "well, it was going good but I don't think it is anymore...." By this point he is smelling 'burning brake' and comments on it, but notices that I am staring in dismay at my tire and not responding. This draws his attention to that side of the truck to notice that I have some serious smoke dispelling at a high rate. I looked at him as his mouth flops open and he says in a clam yet direct voice...."maybe you should move your truck out int the parking quick..." This is when it dawned to me that my brakes may well be on fire. I am parked within several feet of 6 fuel pumping ports which are connected to God knows how many thousands of gallons of fuel behind the dock do the math!?! Needless to say it was a hair raising moment and we both got a chuckle after the fact, over both of our desires for the utter need of less excitement in this day, as the brakes cooled and the smoke subsided. And eventually I got the drum filled and went merrily on my way. Now, why you ask were my brakes burning? I usually don't need my emergency brakes in the winter, not only for the fact that emergency brakes do no good to keep a truck in place on sheet ice, but also the fact that I drop the plow blade when I park and that is usually sufficient for a holding grip! Guess who put on his emergency brake today for the first time in 7 months?! Guess who forgot to disengage that brake after lunch!? Whoops, man! That is what happens when one is 'fat and happy'!

John graduates in less than a month. Then the real world. Will he be ready? I really hope so because he is jumping head on into it! He informed us this past weekend that he will be moving out after graduation. Actually, he informed us that he was moving out back on Saturday until we informed him that he was not going anywhere until after graduation where upon he re advised us of his plans to leave after graduation. We are happy for him. Just pray that he is ready for it because although he is welcome back at any time....after he leaves, his room is being renovated and I will be turning it into the parlor/clubhouse/music room/office. And, did I mention that it would be happening in short order?? Like I said and I speak for both of us, we really hope he is ready, It was thoroughly his decision and we will honor it. The more we realize that soon we will have the house to after the kids! Woo-hoo!!!! Nudism and freedom, here we come, man! (huge grin)

The end of this month our beloved 'Sweet Pea' will be hanging it up. She will officially be gone as Maryann is tossed into the official position of General Manager/Operations Manager/Booking Agent/Bookkeeper. All this and in less than one year! I am hoping on that note for an early retirement. Workout in the new clubhouse, relax in the new parlor, and enjoy smooth the new music room! Ah, a dream..... So for now, we hold tight to the arrival of summer, kiss break-up and winter goodbye, and hope for some excitement in this coming year. Our love to all!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Senior Prom

The one thing every parent dreads....Senior Prom! It is simply another reminder that your child is no longer a child and soon will be flying free in the big real-time world. And so tonight, John and his beautiful date are out having the time of their lives. And for note: he wanted to take the Chevelle! HA!! After his irreputable image as a traffic scofflaw, coupled with the ice and snow still prevalent on some of the roads....what do you think the answer was? But, you gotta give the guy credit for mustering up the courage to ask such an impudent question. Jeniffer's dad has a Chevelle also, so she was in on the 'question'!! Apparently she has a thing for Chevelle's much like her Prom date. That said we are happy for them both because they are very cute together and do get along so well when they are together.

We were given a week long reprieve from Mt Redoubt with the activity limited to gas, steam and miner ash emission. No major eruptions have occurred all week....until this morning at 6:00AM. So far today that has been the only event. We are still fortunate to be out of the cross hairs from anymore ash. This is good news. Homer on the other hand was not so fortunate. These are pics that were posted on the AVO website from this mornings eruption and it's effects in Homer.

This picture was taken at 8:00AM and the sun is up with daylight present at this time.

Again, this is around 8:00AM.

The is supposed to be Spring, man. We were getting into the mid 30's there and then we got more snow (woo-hoo!). the nights are supposed to be getting down in the teens and single digits the next few days and there is rumor of possible snow later in the week (woo-hoo, but not without a caveat: I love the snow, and I love the money it brings... but.) If we don't get some meltage happening here soon, my parents will be visiting in May with snow suits! And they don't have any!! How funny is that!!!