Friday, February 27, 2009


The garage is a mess. So after trying to do some very trying clerical work, and being totally ineffective at it, I decided Stepson ( B.T.W. Stepson is meant, by no means, as a derogative term, its just to preserve his anonymity) and I would do something we know how to do, that is, get in and work like dogs. What you see here is sort of a after, before type picture.
We'd already picked up the garbage and swept when this pic was taken.
The objective is, beside helping us feel that we did something worthwhile, to provide Other ( this may be taken disparagingly, if you choose) with a room of his own. Yes, it may be in the garage but its a dry roof and as far as I'm concerned it'll be just fine for him.
The lower picture is a shot of what will become his room. I know it looks kind of small but we'll be adding another two feet on it which will give him approximately 96 square feet, not a lot, however, when you figure that both boys are crammed into probably less than 120 sq. ft. right now, it will give them both a great deal more elbow room.
Tomorrow will be another moving day for us. A friend, who has been living in a 23 ft. motor home, with his two school age sons, has finally been able to get into a house. They're totally stoked and although I'm sick to death of moving other peoples stuff, we're really really happy for them!!
The stuff we're moving is stuff that we've been storing for them for a while now and should only take two trips with the pickup truck. Not too bad.
Time to cook Ms. Lea's dinner...

Thursday, February 26, 2009


This is me today!!!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


We had a long day helping a friend move. I got home and collapsed on the couch, while Ms.Lea posted for the day. In doing research for her post, she came across something that made her smile. However, when she related it to me, I made a negative comment, as is fairly common of me when I'm pooped. So Ms. Lea tells me, "Honey, if you want good things to happen to you, you have to think positively." My reply was, "I don't know how." Her answer?
She said,"you have to tame your mind.
I can't help it. I immediately thought,
"I can't even tame the dog, much less my mind."
This photo is to illustrate my point.
If you look closely there, on the lower left hand corner of the couch, you'll see the back of Freeways head. Now there are a number of things wrong with this picture.
I'll enumerate:
1) The dog is not even supposed to be in the house.
2) He's not supposed to be on the furniture.
3) He's in my seat.
4) He's watching DIALOGUE on CCTV 9. ( Chinese television)
5) I don't like DIALOGUE, it's too political for me. ( I like TRAVELOGUE and CULTURE EXPRESS)

Obviously, we need some help with the doggy training. He's ruthlessly spoiled.




Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Here is a picture taken by astrophotogragher Alan Daly. Its the comet 17/P Holmes, which has amazed astronomers by suddenly flashing us.
Oh, don't worry, its not aliens, apparently its a natural phenomenon caused by its proximity to the sun. Its just that its way brighter than they thought it was going to be, some say, brighter that a supernova.
The cool thing is that, unlike Lulin, Holmes has been visible to the naked eye since July and with the flareup is very bright and still visible on the full moon.
If you are in the northern hemisphere look for Holmes in the Persues constellation. Happy hunting...

Monday, February 23, 2009


Interesting flock, huh?
Ms. Lea and I were out on the porch on morning and the guinea hens had come running over to see if we had bread or bird seed for them. Most of the time we feed them the same layer crumbles that the chickens get, but sometimes, when we can, we'll go to the bread outlet store and get stale bread to feed chicken and ducks and, of course the guinea hens with.
Lea went in and got them some bread and like clock work here come the wild turkey and the cats. You see, some of the cats have figured out that when were throwing food to the guineas, that it's bread and have developed quite a taste for it.
At first there were about five cats there, and lea and I were laughing so hard that I didn't even think of getting out the camera. When it finally occurred to me, I ran into get it but by the time I got set up to take the picture, the turkeys had run most of the cats away, only Tiger, our big tom and Pookie, our big bread eater, were left.
I took about five snaps, then tried to upload them to the desktop so I could share with you, and discovered that the software for the camera had gone faulty. It took us a while but Lea finally found the disk to reload the software. So I reloaded it, it still didn't work right. It took me half the day fiddling with it to finally get it to upload, so now we can share some of the amazing stuff that happens here on the farm. L.O.L....

Sunday, February 22, 2009


Well now, it's been a long arduous task, but I finally got the digital camera back up and functioning.
Of course, you aren't going to get the awesome pictures of comets and such with a Vivitar digital camera, at least, not the one we have!

Ms. Lea and I realized, hey, it's almost March, it's about time for some flowers. Now I realize we might have been a tad ahead of the game, but....
We had the same problem last year, it doesn't seem to matter what kind of flowers we plant, this is what we grow!!!

Saturday, February 21, 2009


While I'm waiting for that call.. I read. I clean house. I look up stuff, like astronomy on the internet.
You may have noticed my interest in the stars by some of my recent posts.

I got the reading bug at about 8 years old. I think it was when my third grade teacher read to the class, A Wrinkle In Time. Remember that book? I guess that I don't really even remember any of the story, otherwise I'd give you a short synopsis just to whet your appetite. Anyway, that got me started. Of course, after that my favorite genre would have to be scifi. Right now I'm reading a fantasy series by Stephen R Donaldson called THE SECOND CHRONICLES OF THOMAS COVENANT. I'm on the last book and really enjoying it. Mr. Donaldson is a very descriptive writer. I don't really enjoy wordy books, I get bored with them very quickly! Although the writing in these books is very dense the story is very easy for me to follow. There is one issue though, I have to have the dictionary close when I'm reading because there are a lot of words in these books that I've never read before. I thought that I had a pretty good vocabulary before this.

Anyway, my reading scifi gets me interestd in things like astronomy and other sciences, so I tend to read a lot of scientific articles online, and because I find it fascinating, I like to share.

Last week I posted a little something on the comet Lulin, I found some more stuff on it today.
Monday night will be the best time to see it, however, they're still saying that you'll need to be in a very dark place to see it and will need at least, binoculars.

I'm pretty sure that I won't get to see it, as we're supposed to have some really bad storms coming in, starting tonight thru Tuesday. So I'm posting another picture.

There is another comet that you can see with the naked eye, its called Holmes. Apparently its going thru a offgassing phaze that makes it visible. but that's another story for tomarrow....

Friday, February 20, 2009

STILL waiting for the phone to ring.......................for me!

Thursday, February 19, 2009


I was reading in WIRED magazine a very eye catching article about the increased activity of sunspots. Among other things the writer mentioned that things are really going to heat up in the next 3 years and that by 2012 things could become very ugly.


Every 11 years or so, the sun gets a little pissy. It breaks out in a rash of planet-sized sunspots that spew superhot gas, hurling clouds of electrons, protons, and heavier ions toward Earth at nearly the speed of light. These solar windstorms have been known to knock out power grids and TV broadcasts, and our growing reliance on space-based technology makes us more vulnerable than ever to their effects. On January 3, scientists discovered a reverse-polarity sunspot, signaling the start of a new cycle — and some are predicting that at its peak (in about four years) things are gonna get nasty. Here's a forecast for 2012.
The forecast is for falling satellites, failure of GPS, radio black outs which may interfere with airlines or air traffic control. NOT good!
However, there is a bright side to this, the Northern Lights. It seems the increase in solar energy causes the earths magnetic field to stretch, then to snap back into place, creating sort of a magnetic explosion. Then those charged particles hit the atmosphere creating the light show.
In one article I read it said that those light may reach as far south as the Florida Keys. That would be something to see, except I don't know how we'll get there. No GPS, no airlines, I guess you might be able be able to get there using one of those foldy paper things, I think they call them maps?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


It was one of those days where the sky is covered by that thin layer of gray clouds that let through just enough sunshine to give you a hint of spring.
Not enough, mind you to satisfy those of us with S.A.D.. Therefore, I've been in such a blue mood all day, I didn't really think I'd write any thing today, but that NaBloPoMo thing bit me again, so this is what you get.
Ms. Lea, always the dreamer, always with the positive attitude, was looking at housing, probably more accurately, housing prices, in sunny climes.
She found a 4 bedroom home for lease to own for $900 a month in Sedona, Arizona.
When Lea mentioned it, I told her I'de been there. My dad loves deserts. Arizona was, being a desert on of my dads favorite family vacation spots. I think I was probably 15 or so the last time we went there. I remember it being very pretty and very warm. As the Stepson would say,"GOOD TIMES"!! Of course the chances of us actually moving to Arizona are slim to nil. Still when I feel like I'm freezing to death here....

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


I just keep getting fatter and fatter.
I've been of work so long now, that I think I've gained 25 lbs.
When Ms. Lea and I met, I was a bodybuilder, competing in one or two contests a year. Which by necessity made me keep my weight somewhere within 30 lbs. of my competitive weight, of 195 at 3% body fat. Which at 6'2 put me looking more like a male clothing model than a bodybuilder. Anyway, after doing that for 5 years, I began to have severe back troubles,
and had to taper off of the weight training to save my back for work.

I have found, though, that if you don't use it, you lose it. So, after probably 4 years of not training at all, I've made the decision to go back to it. I started several months ago, trying to get back, but found, at 47, I don't heal nearly as well or quickly as I did at 37. So after a month of nearly constant pain, I decided to give it a rest. It didn't rest, it stopped.
Last week Ms. Lea and I went and saw our LMT, who is also an old friend, it had been awhile.
She was appalled at my physical condition! I tried the old "I'm conditioning my mind" gambit.
It didn't work. She told my that's not a holistic approach, she's right. Not only do I feel better, but my brain works better when I'm getting regular exercise. It just hurts me that, at 47, I can't train the way I used to. I want to start out with 300 lb dead lifts and 200 lb bench presses and I want to see the difference tomorrow! No, I have to start with 90 and 90. I have to start with one workout a week or maybe two, and instead of concentrating on the weights, I'm supposed to walk or at least do more of the dreaded cardio. I hate that cardio crap, but they tell me that, that is the only way I'm going to be able to get my weight down to where my back doesn't hurt and will eventually allow me to get back to lifting heavy, Which is what I like to do.
I won't ever go back to competitive bodybuilding again, but I would like to get down to the point where my back doesn't bother me all the time. Maybe somewhere around 210-220.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Here in the rurals of Oregon, we have lots and lots of trees. No duh, huh? Trees are nice I love trees, the five acres we live on is very treed. However, there are also drawbacks to trees. For instance trees die then they have to be cut down and cut up into little chunks that will fit into the wood stove, then they must be packed to the wood shed and stacked neatly so the wood will dry out and can be burned to heat the house. Yep thats right here in Oregon we sometimes still use wood to heat with, especially if your as poor as we are right now!
The other draw back to trees is that some types of trees shed thier leaves in the fall. Now that creates a very pretty phenomenon called the changing of the leaves wwhich is just beautiful.
AND THEN THEY FALL! Hence the name for this time of year, fall. Thats when a guy like myself usually becomes intimately aquainted with the implement of pain that you see in the photo.
Now I know it's not fall, fall would be the easiest time to rake those dreaded fallen leaves. But no, not me, oh no, I'm too stupid to rake up my leaves in the fall before they get all soggy and heavy.
If you are the industrious type and get to your leaves actually in the fall while they're still nice and dry and light you may use the nifty implement in the photo on the right.
Ms. Lea, my beloved wife, doesn't like leaf blowers, as they are noisy and shatter the silence, making it impossible to hear the sigh of the wind though the trees. On principle I firmly agree with her, in practice? Sorry, nope it's just too much of a pain to rake.
In truth it wasn't my intention to rake or blow at all. I mean here we are ten miles out in the woods, it's all natural landscape, right? Wrong! You see, I got a letter from the county, providing my with all sorts of rules for rural living, among them, any combustable items, wood, tall grass, weeds, and yes leaves must be kept 200 feet from any building on the property. It's a fire thing!
SO. Guess what I did all day, yep, got it in one, raked. I was so industrious that I managed to get 50 feet from one building. One building, one building out of four. By the time I get it all done it'll be time to start all over again. bummer!!!!

Sunday, February 15, 2009


I asked the question a while back, why blog? I expressed many different ideas on the subject. All of them rather fuzzy and meaningless, I thought. The closest I think I came to any real sense was that putting things down on paper helped me to put them in perspective. Well now I've found the clinical proof for that. While reading the banner on my gmail page I came across a headline that sent me to a article in Wired Mag. that I thought was very interesting!

"Naming feelings takes some of the emotional impact out of them by engaging a brain region that aids self-control, according to new research.
"Putting feelings into words activates this region that's capable of producing emotional regulatory outcomes, which could explain why putting feelings into words dampens them down," Lieberman said in a presentation at the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences annual meeting on Saturday." Here's the link. Check it out."

Saturday, February 14, 2009


O.k. so I agree yesterdays post was lame. Gratuitous and just plain lazy, far too easy.
Here we are though, February 14th and I just have to ask, How did it go?
I am not a big fan of the holidays, myself. Any holidays. Especially this one, I just can't seem to get it right!
I guess it starts with the attitude. In order to have a good Valentines day, it seems that you have to put a lot of effort and forethought into if, which is an issue for me, because I usually can't even remember what day of the week it is, much less which day of the month it is!
Before meeting Ms. Lea I never even bothered with any of the holidays, just seemed like a whole lot of effort with a whole lotta heartache for the return. However, after we got together it became quickly apparent that, that attitude was not gonna fly. You see kids need their Christmas and birthdays, it gives them something to look forward to and teaches them that it's better to give than receive. Ya right! I've got quite the story to tell on that subject, but that's for another post, maybe next Christmas.
I guess for me, everything about Vday seems so cliched and by extension I feel like anything I get her is going to be blase. I would really really like for just once to actually surprise her. You know what I'm saying? I'd just like to blow her mind! Like maybe plan a trip to someplace sunny and sandy. She's the apple of my eye, my heart and soul. I love her soooo much and really wouldn't want to consider what life would be like without her. So to me, candy and flowers just don't cut it, they're like my post yesterday, phoning it in. But, because we're penniless at this point she got flowers and candy. She even acted happy about it. I felt bad!
The story is;
We were in walmart getting groceries and I kinda slipped off into the candy isle and grabbed a bag of chocolate hearts, but when we got to the register she had to pay for them as I had no money. Good, are'nt I? I wasn't feeling good about that, so in all of my running around yesterday, I went and got her some flowers, when I got home and put them in the vase I realized that there was just going to be no place to put them where they would look good because the house was a mess. Now normally I keep the house fairly nice for her so she doesn't have to come home from work to a big mess, but the last few days I've been outside cutting wood so I'd gotten a little bit behind. Well on realizing that, that wasn't going to fly, I jumped in, washed the dishes, cleaned and mopped floors and in general just spiffed at least the front half of the house up so my flowers would present well.
She got off of work, after a 12 hour day at FTD, at 7:30 pm. I picked her up and we had to drove an hour and a half to Roseburg to drop of the Stepson so he could spend the weekend with his brother. At 10 pm we started the return trip home and finally got home around 11:30. She walked thru the door and saw the flowers and made pleased sounds. I, however, was not pleased, as "OTHER", my stepsons friend who is staying with us had apparently made himself dinner and left his dishes on the counter by the sink. This is how holidays turn out bad for me, I was upset, it kinda ruined the mood. Know what I'm sayin'?
So, my philosphy is this;





Friday, February 13, 2009

Ok guys, here we go.
It's that time.

or else!!!

Thursday, February 12, 2009


While having my coffee in the morning I like to check the email, horoscopes weather, etc. A lot of the time I will check out the news items from the Google news banner at the top of my gmail page. This one really caught my attention.
Discovered by a meteorology undergraduate student at China's Sun Yat-Sen University, Comet Lulin is on a fast track toward Earth. Quanzhi Ye made the find in July 2007 while studying a picture taken by a Taiwanese astronomer working at the Lulin Observatory, for which the comet was named. It became visible this month.

The article said that comet Lulin will make its closest approach to us on February 24th. However, it said that unless you live somewhere without a whole lot of background light that you probably won't be able to see it with out the aid of binoculars or a telescope.

We, here in southern Oregon, probably won't be able be able to see it due to over cast skies. We had several very nice weeks there, at the end of January, but it seems to have gone back to winter on us. According to NOAA there's a storm warning in effect for tonight thru tomarrow. They are forecasting up to 15 inches of snow in the higher elevations, which actually means we'll probably see maybe 1 or 2 where we're at. I'm hoping that it will hold off until late tonight as Ms. Lea has to work a 12 hour day today and won't be home until 9:30 or 10 pm.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Whew, it was along day! I feel like kicking back and just lookin' at the scenery....

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Kinda hard to see I guess but those are some monster snow flakes there! It snowed hard until about 3 pm when it turned to rain. It probably would have built up to about three inches if it hadn't been like two degrees too warm. Just three days ago I was outside cutting trees down ( you can see them out there next to the service road) and it was so warm that I actually took my shirt off (not pretty) for a little bit, at least until the boys made so much fun of my fat stomach that it was either turn into Leatherface on them or put my shirt back on. I opted to be gentle for a day.

I was really quite under the weather yesterday and really didn't feel like posting, so I didn't.
You may, however note that there is a post for yesterday and that is thanks to my sweetheart of a wife, Ms. Lea, who started this whole blogging thing with her blog, Four Miles To Nowhere.


Monday, February 9, 2009

If this guy....................................

Had been more like this guy.....................
Would we still be having this?

Sunday, February 8, 2009

THERE IT IS. I hate it, every minute of it! cats are all up on the porch, dogs are stuck in their kennels and I'm stuck in the house.

Saturday, February 7, 2009


This is me and the boys today. We went out to the west 40 and cut down 5 Madrone trees today. It took us about 4 hours to buck up 3 trees and load them into the truck. while doing so we picked up and piled brush and started it burning. Burn days around here are few and far between because this area seems to be prone to air inversions. Most of the neighbors don't seem to care about that, it seems like they just burn whenever they want.
I guess they figure that we live so far out that nobody will catch them.
Anyway, we worked about half the day and by that time we were all falling down tired. Even the chainsaw was a little tired. I had brought the dog down there so he wouldn't sit on the porch and bark at us and when I told the boys it was time to head back up, the dog kept trying to get in the truck. He was tired too!
Any how thats my day, now it's time to fix dinner for Ms Lea. I like to have dinner ready for her when she gets home so she can just sit down and relax for the evening. How does a salmon quiche sound?

Friday, February 6, 2009


In addition to the Crater lake Lodge, I've already mentioned having started out my career with the carpenters union on the job at the Oregon Shakespearian Theaters, Allen Pavilion in 1992.
Heretofore I had never been on such a huge job, having been a residential carpenter on Whidbey Island, Washington.
To say the least, it was quite an eye opener to me. The need for safety is paramount on huge construction sites like this, especially when you have the general public standing right out side the Chautauqau wall.
I made several blunders on this job that could certainly have ended rather badly, don't worry I'm still here, so it wasn't too bad.
One of my jobs as an apprentice was to make sure that the holes for the caisons were covered up every time one was finished. For those of you who don't know, basically a caison is a column, only it's in the ground. The Allen Pavilion has about 60 of them, if I recall correctly. The deepest one was over 60 feet deep, while the shallowest one was probably less than 10 feet. They have to be drilled until they hit bed rock, because, once drilled they are filled with rebar and concrete and once the concrete has cured, they drill all the way down thru all of it and put a giant bolt in it, called a rock anchor. In this manner they take a big 'ole top heavy building like the pavilion and tie it right down into the ground so it won't tip over or have the wind blow it over.
The next morning I had to pick up some of the covers to get ready to instal the rebar. The covers were labeled "DANGER HOLE BELOW". So I picked up a couple of those sheets. It was about the third one I came to that wasn't labeled, being in the hurry that I was. I assumed that it was just a peice of plywood somebody had dropped on the ground. So when I went to pick it up I lifted one corner of it and stepped foreward to lift it and stepped right into a 17 foot hole in the ground. What a surprise to find yourself 17 feet down in the ground. When I looked up, guess what? The plywood had fallen back over the hole. Well, what do I do now? No way to climb out. There's equipment running all over the jobsite, so nobody will be able to hear me yell, What do I do?
It seemed like I pondered that question for at least 10 minutes, when I heard the operator of the drilling rig, yell"man in a hole!". He'd been watching me because they drilled that hole the night before after I had gone home and he knew that I didn't know, that, that hole was there.
It took them maybe 10 minutes to swing the crane over to the hole and hoist me out. My heels were a little sore, other than that, I was fine and went right back to work. You talk about embarassing tho, I got teased for the duration of that job.

Thursday, February 5, 2009


I don't know if you saw it or not, the little NaBloPoMo button down there in the middle of the page, but I signed on to post something on Pb4ugo everyday for the month of February. now nobody is twisting my arm to do this, however, on days like today it gets pretty hard to sit down and put some words down on the page without making it sound like I'm a total whiner.
Years ago someone that I worked with explained to me the difference between whining and bitching. You see, supposedly, it's all right for a guy to bitch but not all right to whine. The way it was explained to me, was, whining is done in a high nasally tone of voice and bitching is done in a somewhat deeper tone of voice. Frankly tho, I've always had a tendency to let the tone of my voice rise a octave or so when I'm upset, so, since I'm not quite sure how to convey the lower registers while I'm sitting at a keyboard, you're just going to have to take my word for it.

I'm not whining!!!

The theme of this months NaBloPoMo is, "WANT".
I don't know if you can tell from my previous posts or not, but I really like to do, what I do, namely, build buildings, actually build anything!!The upshot?

I "WANT" A JOB!!!!!!

Especially, on a day like today, when one of the first things on the agenda is to call the creditors and explain to them why I don't have their money. The other thing I was supposed to do is take the two 19 yearolds I have living under my roof, for free I might add, to their college bowling class. (bowling? that's not college!) Maybe I shouldn't rush through this, 'cuase that may sound like whining.

Some facts you need to know:
1. My wife has my truck because, unlike the men in the household, she has a full time job.
2. The clutch is out in her 4runner.
3. I don't have the measly $150.00 that it costs to put a new clutch disc in it.
4. My stepson only took 2 credits this semester. guess. Got it in one! Bowling!
5. He needed at least 6 to qualify for the student discount with the insurance co.
6. I can't afford to pay the difference.
7. No insurance= no driving.

I repeat I am not whining!!!

8. Things being what they are, we needed to take stepsons truck.
9. With me driving.
10. Every where I go, so Freeway goes, Freeway is a four year old Victorian Bulldog. Guess how he got his name? Because he goes everywhere with us!

Okay, now back to the narrative.
I got all ready to go take the boys bowling, including grabbing my cigarettes and a cup of coffee. Mind you, I'm not allowed to smoke in Stepsons truck, a rule that I adhere to. It is after all his truck and I don't even like the way cig. smoke makes my truck smell. The issue begins here when I get Freeway ready to go, I'm getting the feeling that Stepson doesn't want the dog in his truck. Tough shit! So I put the coffee cup down on the hump between the seats, the dog climbs in and of course spills the coffee. Any of you that have teenagers know the "HUFF"! Yup, that's right I got the "HUFF". OOOOk I'm irritated now. Finally, we get the dog in the back, it's an xtra cab and the other teenager insists he's going to ride in front with us.
The truck is a 1986 Ford Ranger 4x4, it's small!! I'm 6'2 265, Stepson is 6'2 165, Other is 6'0 186-190. We don't all fit in front. We can't get our seat belts on, I'm getting more irritated!!!
Deeeep breath.... count to ten, don't loose it big fella( internally of course, and in a lower octave also I might add)
Zoom zoom away we go! Before we get to the bottom of the driveway the bulldog finds a nice tennis ball on the back on the floor board. Another big fuss!!!!
You probably don't know much about bulldogs, but you don't play fetch with bulldogs, they don't let go, they were bred that way, that's what makes them bulldogs. What's more, they will pop a tennis ball in one chomp. That ball is toast, another "HUFF". I'm done, I'm soooo Dooone! I turned the truck around drove back up the driveway, got out, got the dog out, and told the boys, you're on your own, I'm not going! No sooner had the door shut and away they go, sans insurance and all.
I just received a call tho from Stepson, he'd drove a mile down the road to where Others aunt lives and talked her into driving them to college. (bowling!!!)

Now, as I explained to you b4, I'm a big man, 6'2 265 is nothing to sneeze at, admittedly I'm fat. 40 pounds over weight, but still heavily muscled. You don't compete as a bodybuilder AND work in construction without putting on some muscle. I'm ugly! I shave my head, my hair (facial) isn't even gray anymore, it's white! I'm tattoed and pierced. Let me put it this way, if I came to your door, say to borrow a cup of sugar, most likely, you wouldn't even open your door to me!
I pose now to you this question:


I know what the problem is, I'm a Gemini, what is more I'm a double Gemini. My sun sign is Gemini and I was born under a Gemini moon. I was cursed with the ability to almost always be able to see both sides of the situation. I empathize. When I'm in a good mood I'm a nice guy, too nice. However, being a twin means that there's the other side......

And some times I whine!!!


Wednesday, February 4, 2009


Here is a nice picture to illustrate just how deep the snow gets in the winter at Crater Lake! the end of the building you see there is the lodge and it is actually 4 stories tall.
One time in the spring probably of'94 the labor foreman parked one of the company trucks on the far side of the building that you see there. Actually I guess you can"t quite see where the truck was parked, it's just out of the picture, but there was still some snow on the roof, not for long though, as it warmed up that day the snow began to melt and finally cut loose like an avalanche slid off of the roof and landed on the truck. Woops! The company had gone out and bought two bran new ford ranger xlt's just for this job, they were now down to one, as the snow crushed the cab of the truck and blew out all of the windows.
Oh but don't worry it wasn't the fist time some thing had happened to one of those trucks.
The fall before the foreman and superintendant showed up in the other truck minus the windsheild. It seems they had hit a patch of ice on the way up and rolled it over in the middle of the road. nobody was hurt though so the two of them managed to get the truck back up on it's tired and commence on their way to work. Had to have been a very cold ride the rest of the way without the windsheild!!!
I couldn't laugh though, just about all of us eventually had minor mishaps on the way up due to copious amounts of ice and snow. Even me. Iwas all by myself one morning when I hit a really bad section of black ice in my 4x4 Toyota and the right front tire caught a little bit of crusty snow and spun me right around180. I was stuck in the snow bank and the truck wasn't going any where, fortunatly more of the crew were on thier way up and it was no time before we had the truck out headed back the right way and on our way to the lodge. fun fun fun!!!!!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


The question mark is there in the heading just as a warning that I may get a little side tracked in my narrative today. You see we had a visitor today, someone that we haven't seen in a few years.
I'm shamed to say it but it was my dad. My folks only live about 30 miles from our house in Murphy Oregon. So it's appalling to admit that it"s been that long since we last spoke. I guess what it boils down to, is the fact that dad and I are actually quite a bit alike, probably more than we'd like to admit. Which means that whenever we have a "miscommunication", neither one of us are willing to be the 1st one to step forward to resolve the issue. As is usual, again dad proved to be the bigger man, that's why I love him! God bless you dad!!
However, all of this fits in very well with the Crater Lake thing, because dad was on that job also.

At Crater Lake, dads job title was "quality control".
Since our commute was an hour and a half one way, we rode together most of the time. Being of different generations, we didn't agree very well on what was on the radio, so we both made some compromises . The music I put on my
playlist, Jethro Tull, was one of the tapes that we listened to the most, I think. At least that's the one I remember most. Dad was also a big fan of Foreigner, believe it or not.. Hot blooded check it and see, hot blooded......... Oh well, I don't sing so good.

I mentioned that one of our first projects when we started was to tear the roof off of the lodge, well once the roof was off, of course a new roof had to go back on, as quickly as possible! At least before it snowed on us. The way that happened, was that dad had gone up, even before the crew got there and took very detailed measurements. Then took those measurements, made a drawing of the roof lines and sent them to a company in Brooks Oregon that prefabricated the whole roof system in northern Oregon. So just about the time that we had finished with the demo and shoring, the roof started showing up on trucks in the form of prefabricated panels. With the help of a crane we were able to immediately begin assembling the roof.
Know what?
It went together perfectly, that's how good dad is!
By time time the snow flew we had the roof on, the exterior walls sheathed and the whole building wrapped in plastic. That's not to say it was nice and warm and cozy or any thing. No once winter hit, I doubt that the temperature ever really got above 35. It was cold!! The management had their offices on the 3rd floor on the north face of the building. Between the snowfall and the snow constantly sliding off of the plastic on the roof, before we were done for the season, the snow actually covered up their windows.

One day, that 1st season, I happened to be in the office when the snow plow operator came in and asked "what the hell are you guys still here for, the snow is blowing up over the tops of your trucks out there?" Well as I recall, that was about noon and we were there until 5:30 pm. Not really believing him we just kind of laughed him off. Nobody even checked to see if he was joking! Well.... At 5:30 guess what we found, not our trucks.... because they were completely buried!!
It took us about 2 hours to dig out and drag some of the smaller vehicles out to the plowed portion of the parking lot. After that someone always went and checked every once in a while to make sure we didn't get snowed in again. GOOD TIMES!!!

Monday, February 2, 2009




Contract for phase two of the Lodge reconstruction project is awarded to a Portland Company for a bid of $8.9 million. The new lodge will have 71 rooms when completed. Each room will be enlarged over the old ones. The project should take two to three years. Landscaping and outside restoration will be a third phase. The Park Service is still “studying” the erosion problem behind the Lodge. One scientist says the slippage is great, while two others colleges say the rate of sliding is virtually nonexistent...”at least during the life of the new lodge.”

There is a picture of the crater lake lodge for you to see
Of course the first thing we did was a whole lot of demo. By the time we were done with the domo work the whole roof system was gone as were the exterior siding and sheathing. We removed all of the old windows, The masons, believe it or not, even took down the rock walls one rock at a time, labeling each and every rock so that they could put them back in exactly the same place that they came out.
The first season one of my jobs was shoring the floors up from the basement to the roof. We hauled 1 ton iron beams into the building by hand, supported them with 6x6 wood posts and jacked and leveled until we had everything well leveled. Then the work of removing old and rotten framing
started. However the Historical Society wouldn't let us just remove and dispose of the old lumber
no, we had to reuse anything that was even remotely usable, consequently there was probably twice as much lumber in the new building as there was to begin with.
See all of those windows? The last year I was there my primary job was to install windows, so almost every one of those windows you see there I put in! Boy do I have some stories to tell about that job, but seeing that I'm such a slow typist I'm tired of typing for today, so I'll save some of those for tomorrow and the rest of the month.
Until then..........

Sunday, February 1, 2009

So where was I? Going crazy, huh? Yep that's me, bored to tears and stressed out! However I do have big hopes that the Obama administration is trying to fix things for me and everybody else like me who has been out of work or is looking forward to being laid-off. His plan to overhall our infrastructure is work that is right up my alley, schools, hospitals, bridges that is predominantly the work that union carpenters do, so I have my fingers crossed that some of that will come our way.
In 1991 when I moved back from Whidbey Island Wa. I signed on with the union and was lucky enough to get put to work on the Allen Pavillion at the Oregon Shakespearean Festival, which was a huge job. We remodeled the outdoor Elizabethan theatre and put a state of the art dome over it. It was such a high profile job that it was covered in Time magazine and the picture that they published just happened to be some of the work I'd done in reassembling the wings to the stage. Nothing really fancy, nevertheless.
From Shakespeare I got to follow the same company to the Crater Lake Lodge, and worked on that remodel, which was very involved, for 3 years. While there I was interviewed by a tv station from Portland Oregon and shared my views on the importance of restoring and saving those old historical buildings. I also expressed my astonishment that such a building could be built with only hand tools. Quite impressive!