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Sometimes I should just turn the radio off…. republished from 5/18/2010

August 13, 2018

While I am in this dry spell I have decided to dig out some of the golden nuggets from my earlier postings. This one I am ashamed to say though 8 years old still has relevance today, in fact with a few minor changes this could have been presented as current events, so lets journey back to May of 2010 when I wrote………………

Radio stations here in Alaska are primarily the same as anywhere else in the US. The one difference I have noted is the commentators on the local talk shows are a bit more forceful with there remarks. I made the mistake this afternoon of tuning in to a Fairbanks station and the host opened an old wound of mine, balancing a budget and Social security.

I have always tried to live within my budget, it was easy. I made the money and gave my paycheck to my wife. She made sure the bills were paid and our standard of living was always maintained. My wife’s name was Teresa and I thank God for her common sense every day. When she passed in 1993 I found that balancing a budget was not as easy as I thought, but it can be done. You just don’t buy everything you want..just what you need. Though through the 28 years we were married she managed to push me a little to always look for a better job, (her definition was a bigger paycheck). But no matter where I worked unknown to me she was building a savings account for the family.

I bring this up because of today’s radio program reminding me that social security is broke and in the near future it will not be there. How can it be broke if men and women have been paying into it for years? How can it not sustain itself if the working population of the US is larger than ever? They still take out for social security from everyone’s check right?

Well it comes down to the budget. Our elected officials in Washington do not live by the same rules we mere mortals do. They do not live within a budget, they spend much more than they take in from our taxes. Then they borrow, (steal), our SS money that we pay in every week and use it to pay for anything but social security. They are supposed to pay it back into the fund but are so far in the hole they can not repay what they took out. So they tell us it will shortly go broke.

There is something inherently wrong with this. They were elected to protect our rights not take our money that was collected for one purpose and used for some pork barrel earmark.

Why can’t we demand that our government live within it’s budget??

I worry constantly about my grandchildren

and what the United States will look like when they are older.

In the 1700’s the people of America, tired of there representatives not listening to them,

felt as I do and they did something

so I may just get some tea

and dump it into the Yukon river.

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Shootout in Chicago…. a further example that gun laws do not work with criminals

August 8, 2018

Chicago Police superintendent Eddie Johnson reported that at least 74 people were shot, 12 fatally, between 3 p.m. Friday and 6 a.m. Monday. The victims ranged in age from 11 to 62 in responding to a reporters question he said, “that no arrests had been made in any of the shootings over the weekend.”

It does seem strange to me that there has be no outcry for banning the sale of assault style rifles or for that matter any form of new gun control. It makes me wonder if the futility of these actions on people who are criminals and by their very nature they do not obey any laws at all, has finally sunk in to the populace at large.

Time has come to realize
being PC and giving a second chance to
criminals and gang members
only results in more
death

Unfailing technology…. that fails

August 6, 2018

….for a long time I used to think it was me when something I owned stopped working but I have since learned better. Case in point my mid 2007 iMac computer that has done yeoman’s work for me over the years but is now one temperamental hunk of aluminum and silicone capable of frustrating me at the drop of a hat.

I have for the past two weeks been editing, (trying to edit), a short video for the blog about the world ice art festival in Fairbanks, but it has been one step forward two backward during that time. The computer always gives me enough progress and hope just before it crashes, freezes or tells me to bug off. Now in the world of computers anyone that is still using a decade old computer it is only happening because of a miracle.

The computer manufactures do not build their machines to last…. they are built to have you continually invest more money in eventually unsupported programs or ‘better’ hardware upgrades. Think of it like your cell phone where you are constantly upgrading, (getting deeper into the hole), because you have been told the newer model is way better and your friends will think you are cheep if you don’t upgrade.

This is the era of built in obsolescence
gone is the way of the pay-phone
or even land-lines
and when was the last time you saw
an appliance repair shop
we have entered the age where
its cheaper
to replace than repair.

I guess we should watch out
next thing you know
our jobs will be gone/upgraded or shipped overseas
funny thing
we must have blinked
because that’s already happened.

TV’s ice road truckers?…. no just Alaskan’s doing what has to be done!

July 29, 2018

….I just crested a small hill and through the mist saw hundreds of blinking red taillights snaking down the road ahead of me. I was running near the top of Pennsylvania on interstate 80 it was 29 degrees and the misty rain that had been falling for hours had now turned the interstate to pure ice. As I inched along never once touching the break peddle looking for a place to pull over and wait out the storm, I passed many cars off in the ditch and even a good number of tractor trailers sharing that same fate. I was in my last week as a trainee with Schneider National trucking company and beside me my instructor was gripping his seat like he was in an airplane about to crash.

In 1996 at 50 years old I went back to school to learn how to drive a tractor trailer. At the time I knew I was going to Alaska to live and was looking to learn things that would benefit me in my new home. I also took a first aid and CPR course though not as detailed as I would have liked it polished what I had been exposed to years before in the Army. Of course things change and when I finally moved to Alaska I ended up first working as an assistant hunting guide and though I used my big-rig driving skills a few times I ended up giving up my CDL license. However I never lost my admiration for the truck drivers in Alaska because I realized that my one night encounter that I had with the black ice in Pennsylvania, these Alaskan truckers do everyday for a large portion of the year.

 

Though as they sat around the dinner table at the Hilltop truck stop and laughed at how dangerous the TV show ‘Ice road truckers’ made there job appear…. danger was a reality for them on almost every 1,000 mile round trip between Fairbanks and Prudhoe Bay. In the warmer months they had to deal with animals on the road, rain that turned the dirt roadway to a consistency that they themselves say is slicker than snot and tourists that at times took up both lanes of the road or people insane enough to drive their two lane road with a bicycle. However it was in winter when a -30 degree temperature throughout the North slope was considered a warm day and twice each trip they would have to drive the gauntlet at Atigun Pass where avalanches were a common occurrence. Then for frosting on the cake the drive would have to be done on roads that were covered with ice over from late October to April the following year.

…a truck caught in an avalanche photographed minutes after it occurred

Yes… they sat in the restaurant and laughed
and never considered themselves special
they were just doing their job…

but behind them
two plaques on the wall
were a reminder
of the drivers
who have given their lives
on America’s road to the top of the world

More photographs…. the good, bad and ugly of my Alaskan home

July 24, 2018

In 2002 I moved into a home that I would occupy for 14 years.
Below are some photographs some not pretty
but all show the reality of my life
on the edge of nowhere.

Our welcome mat at the driveway entrance

 

My son and daughter visiting at the cabin

Entering the cabin on a ‘cool’ day

 

My ‘kitchen’ and

my kitchen in use

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My “living room”

The heater that kept me warm at 43 below

Food storage, work shop and electric power

A bed in the loft for me and any visitors

..also in the loft my ‘ham’ radio station and computer

…some people asked about how I get my water and what do I do about snow removal

 

 

 

 

 

 

…or what do I worry about the most

…but in the end I was blessed to live

in a land

touched by the hand of God

Whispers from the hereafter…. or learning a lesson too late in life

July 22, 2018

….I could picture the first time my father ever said it when we were sitting at the dinner table and my dad said, “ if you don’t have something important to say then you shouldn’t say anything.” Well my friends you may infer from my lack of postings that I indeed have nothing important to say even though this old earth hasn’t stopped spinning any more than Washington or the media has stopped acting without any common sense after all its not like there is nothing to write about…. I just have lost the will to write

Yes the desktop of my computer is papered with new postings folders, some half done but most merely a few thoughts and a direction I think it should head. Now I could blame the many consecutive days of mid 100 degree heat we are currently dealing with and yes it is a problem but that heat is more like ‘salt into a wound’ and I am having trouble putting my finger on the paramount reason for my lack of will. I can also cross of my current health issue because just this past week I received somewhat good news in that the blockage in my carotid has not progressed any further since my last echocardiogram in July 2017.

So whatever the reason for my absence from these pages I thought I might try something that I have found on other WordPress blogs and use just a simple photograph and a thought. Now whether this sees the light of day or ends like my previous attempt to have video blogs only time will tell. Though used over the years hopefully the photographs presented will provide a brief respite and hopefully an interesting moment in your otherwise busy day.

‘A Ray of hope’ Photography by TriciaLynn

Texas in July is just like….

July 13, 2018

OK Peter
you have done some good during your life
so I will give you a choice
of where
to spend eternity