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Prepping isn’t just for disasters

November 29, 2015

As I sit in my loft and write this posting it is noon and the weak Alaskan winter sun has barely cleared the ridge line of the hills across the valley. But it is sunshine and seeing it for the first time in many days is a welcome sight. Though the snow for now has moved elsewhere the clear sky’s have prompted our temperatures to drop, so even at noon it is barely eight degrees.

Though not an expert I have over the years written a number of blogs about ‘prepping’. For those who do not know what prepping is my definition of ‘prepping’ is preparing for any emergency or disaster that would force you to live without outside help. Yes it does take me back to the days when I was, now don’t laugh, a boy scout with their motto of ‘be prepared’. Of course living 65 miles from civilization one does realize there are times when a 120 mile round trip for gas for the generator or milk for your coffee is indeed a bit much.

Of course like most of the world I was not always thinking like this. For 48 years living in Philadelphia with supermarkets and malls only a few blocks from my house one never thought about storing essentials. Whenever we had a good snow storm or hurricane we just drove over to the nearby store and bought a couple days worth of bread and milk. However as the people around New York and New Orleans found out during their hurricanes it was weeks not days before they could get much needed food and water.

Well tomorrow will mark the 14th day since I was last in town getting supplies and I had no problems because I had a pantry full of food and a number of jugs of water to carry me through, but how long would you be OK if you could not get out to get supplies or for that matter how long would you last if for some reason all the stores in your area were shut down?

Yes I am sure you are thinking you have enough to carry you through any problems, but I am sure this is not exactly true. I have talked about prepping to my children and they say they have plenty but when they show me their pantry I see barely a scant couple days of food and water. I am not saying you need a years worth of supplies but what harm is there in having a months supply of extra food and water?

Though I had plenty of food and water
as I did battle with the day in day out snowfall
I did run out of one item
a rarely used medicine
that I am now sure I will
never again forget.

This posting is made possible through Winlink
the emergency amateur radio email system.

My thoughts on Thanksgiving

November 24, 2015

For some reason this weekend before Thanksgiving my mind is wondering to an old move title, ‘The good, the bad and the ugly’. It could be because looking out my cabin window what I see and its consequences, evoke a similarity between those words and the situation out here. The good because the temperature has now gone from 19 below zero to 12 above, the bad because I am in the midst of another plentiful snowfall, and the ugly of course for the hours of work I need to clear those millions of angles tears from my driveway.

But with even this facing me it is nothing compared to what the world now faces on almost a daily basis. From terrorists bombings around the globe, to the citizens of this nation who now can no longer shoulder the financial burden of daily life with just one job. Add to this the concern for the loss of morality in our nation and in our children’s schools and my task of shoveling snow is truly insignificant.

Of course the glass that is half empty is also half full so one must not obsess over the negative and should always look toward the positive. So on this weekend before Thanksgiving I have decided to reflect on the things that are positive in my life. Physically my family is healthy and is blessed with jobs and the ability to survive and though at times shaken, my belief in God is strong. With this as my foundation and with my family there for support I am better able to face the uncertainties of the world we live in.

So I can sit down this Thanksgiving
and know without a doubt that
though my family faces challenges
we can give thanks for our
many blessings.

This posting made possible through Winlink
the emergency ham radio email system.

Some blog photographs are now being posted on
my Face Book page at Peter Burokas

Why Paris?

November 14, 2015

My thoughts and prayers go out to the families of those murdered in Friday nights terrorist attacks in Paris. France has shown humanity and compassion for the many Syrian refugees moving to France or crossing through its border, so one has to wonder why shouts of “for Syria” and “ala-Akbar” were heard as the terrorists shot and killed so many.

I am presently working on my last posting before leaving for Texas and wanted to maintain my neutrality towards any national or world news, but this attack has me perplexed enough to comment. One must wonder ‘why Paris’, what has the nation of France done to warrant such a long planned well thought out attack? What possibly could be the benefit from attacking civilians in France? I am sure those who masterminded this attack knew it would inflame the world community to even greater resolve to bring down terrorists organizations, so why seek out more vengeance?

I am sorry to say this old curmudgeon has no answers only consternation at what may lurk even deeper in the minds of those who rule these terrorists organizations. The fact that it was reported today, Saturday, that one of the terrorists killed had a Syrian refugee ID on him solidifies my opinion that unbridled acceptance of thousands of Syrian refugees is an invitation to disaster.
We can not just open the border
to anyone
and not expect to see
another disaster
like what happened in Paris.

This posting made possible through Winlink
the amateur radio email system.

Where would you be?

November 10, 2015

Just think for a minute….
You might not be allowed to work where you now do
You might not be allowed to travel wherever you want
You might not be allowed to read and say what you want
You might not be allowed to worship in the church you do

If you did not live in a country that ensured your freedom.

So please take a moment to
remember the veterans
who have made
your freedom possible.

This posting made possible through Winlink
the amateur radio email system.

A 70 year old Alaskan virgin?

November 8, 2015

Well not exactly a virgin but…..
We are now into our third week of snow continually falling day after day like dust from the sky with no end in sight. Accumulating a quarter inch here and a half an inch there. Yet some days I do see a break in the clouds with the sun shining for a few hours all to soon to be replaced with nothing more than a light coating of….more snow. Though shoveling is hard on these old lungs I manage to keep up with the ever present ‘gift’ of frozen Angels tears.

The weather report with the words ‘chance of snow’ reappears day after day without any change, and the temperature has been mild for this time of year. When we should now be seeing more and more readings below zero it stays the same comfortable 20 above. This extended fall temperature has the advantage of not using the stove all day long, which of course means that every day the temperature stays this warm I am saving money.

The down side is when you combine the warm temp’s with the almost daily snow fall you see roads with conditions that bring back memories of bumper-cars at a carnival. The reason I used the title ‘A 70 year old Alaskan virgin’ is because every winter I have to learn anew how to drive on roadways that are nothing but sheets of ice. The 60 mile drive from my cabin to Fairbanks becomes a new adventure each winter because with old age dulling my reflexes it makes the relearning process quite a bit more interesting.

Between my home and town there are four hills that must be crossed and here is where I find it most interesting of all because on the down slope of these hills, (one hill namer Wichersham Dome is over 3,000 feet), I never touch my breaks. I am sure most of you know what happens when you hit the breaks on ice….nothing but an out of control skid. So I have taken to using the gears instead of breaks, something I learned when I drove the ‘big rigs’ across the country earlier in my life. Though dropping gears may not be the ‘officially proper’ way to drive, it works for me.

I remember my first few winters here when each week over our morning coffee Rose the woman who owns the property that I live on and her daughter enjoyed hearing my tales of woe doing 180’s in the switchbacks on Wickersham. However lately wether because of seasoning or experience these tales have stopped and I can drive that 120 mile round trip with nary a slip!

So yesterday on my first icy drive to town
I once again lost my virginity
and for most of the drive
my foot
never touched the breaks………

This posting made possible through Winlink
the ham radio emergency email system

It snowed again…..

November 5, 2015

It snowed again….. Well at barely an inch maybe not snowed but like every day for the past two weeks a daily dusting. I guess I could wait until the sun returns and we have a few days of no snow, but at my age shoveling and ‘keeping up’ with whatever falls is way better than waiting and trying to struggle
with feet instead of inches of snow. I am sure I could use this as an excuse for my lack of postings, and the quality of those that do reach your computer, but the truth is far more simple, I am tired.

Tired of the frustration of pointing out the continual ironies being foisted on the American public. Tired of the fact that ‘we the people’ have to live in balance with our income and the government, both state and federal, do not. Tired of the fact that one can no longer express their displeasure at the way others
live their lives without being called a racist or bigot. Tired of the fact that even though our constitution was founded on and written too include the words of Christian principles, that today these values are ridiculed as obsolete and should not be expressed in the halls of government or for that matter our schools.

For years I received great satisfaction in writing and reading the comments you my readers would send, now I feel as if it is an exercise in futility. It may be enhanced by the fact that in Alaska we are now experiencing many more hours of darkness, or the fact that I can no longer interact with my blog. Whatever the reason each day when I climb to my loft and sit before this computer there arises no spark, no burning force that demands that I take my thoughts and like an artist paint a picture of the world as I see it.

No I am not giving up my attempt to voice my minority opinion, just shedding light on some possible reasons why these postings have been fewer than normal and lacked the quality you have been accustomed to. In a little over a month I will visit with my family in Texas and hopefully the daily interaction with my son, daughter-in-law and grandchildren will boost my spirits. I am also sure the access to running water, full time electricity and yes once again my blog page will also help wash this coating of malaise from me and recharge my spirit for when I return to Alaska.

For now though still tired
I return to clearing the snow
and vainly attempting
to push back the lengthening vale
of the Alaskan night.

This posting made possible through Winlink
the ham radio email system.

Angels and daemons

October 30, 2015

The moaning of the wind whispered in the background as I sat and scanned the different bands on my radio. I was up in my radio room not because I thought I could make contact with anyone but because the loft was the warmest place in my cabin. Then just on the edge of audibility was someone calling CQ. I turned the antenna until I had a stronger signal and answered back with my call sign.

Faith and hope…. without those traits I believe life would be a very sad place. Like my sitting there day after day listening for a signal with an ever dwindling hope that I would hear one. I still had faith that thousands of other amateur radio operators would be on the air and just maybe one would hear my call.

I have long passed the time when I believe in fairy-tales but living in the world today and seeing how it is being transformed makes me wonder if they may be true.
I can only describe today’s world as one full of ‘Angels and demons’. Angles for the major advances we are witness to in the fields of medicine and electronics and demons of course because of a government that no longer answers to the will of the people and puts future generations on the brink of financial disaster. Plus the relentless spread of death, torture and misery by both fanatical religious elements and more importantly clandestine powers that are molding this world to their will.

If you step back and think rationally a bit I wonder how can one ever imagine that the thousands of people from South America decided one day to flood across our border at almost the same time or more recently the hundreds of thousands of people from the middle east flooding into Europe? If you accept this as a unprompted action by millions of people then surely you believe in fairy tales. Unfortunately I lean more to the cause and effect resolution, which means for some reason entire populations of people on two different continents were somehow motivated to give up their homes and move elsewhere.

We few who long for a bygone time can but sit back and watch this transformation of our world today because those forces that initiate these massive changes are hidden and the final outcome will not be evident till we are long dead. If one speaks out that these migrations and the financial collapse of nations around the world were directed they are looked upon with disdain and ridicule.

But if these mass migrations are not directed
by some unseen power
than daemons must surely exist
and we must have faith and hope
that we still have time
to change our children’s future.

This posting made possible thanks to Winlink
the amateur radio email system.