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Showing posts from 2008
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So, the cold continues. It is around -20 to -25 constantly. The wood stove is as full of spruce and birch as we can make it. Yet the house is not uniformly warm. We have sealed off several rooms. In every room there is ice around the windows. J and I both get up several times a night to feed the stove. It is our only source of heat and it normally does a great job. This house is drafty though. The State has a program right now where they will pay up to $10,000 to weatherize homes. For you Alaska folks check out http://www.ahfc.state.ak.us/energy/weatherization_rebates.cfm if you haven't already. The first step is an evaluation. It turns out that this house is 1 star out of 5. Oops. A well built home has about 1/2 of one air exchange per hour. This house has 84. 84. When it is -25 out (like it is right now) that sure makes a difference. Today sucked. It turns out that J's car, a car that I am still making payments on and is the one used to transport the girls has major problems…
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So, winter has settled in. We got a lot of snow on Christmas Day. And it has gotten cold. I was outside today working on the Suburban and it was -10. The sun has just started to go down and it already -14. For my Canadian readers that is -25 C. You know what is weird? I went out this morning in sneakers and not wearing gloves. Andy is Outside and I went to check on his house. I shoveled the worst of his driveway for him. My hands were freezing. But I stayed outside for a big part of the day. Wearing sneakers and no gloves. By the time I came in I was not cold. Not my hands or feet. I once read that there is a photo of explorers in the South Pole shoveling snow with their shirts off in -10 F weather! I believe it....people really do adjust. I am sure it will be -20 or more tonight. Time to get the firewood in. There are times I am annoyed by this weather. Like this weekend it took 2 days to change the muffler on the Suburban. I kept dropping parts. My hands holding the muffler were so…
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So, Merry Christmas. As usual, the family spoiled the kids. Kadee just stopped being interested at one point: there was simply too much. We are having a quiet day at home. It is snowing like crazy outside and Kadee and I enjoyed a sled ride. We are going for a Rhino ride after we all get dressed. I hope that everyone who reads this is safe and happy today.
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So, happy solstice! Today is the day. I imagine the Earth coming to a grinding halt. Giant gears moving backwards. Back towards the heat and the light. Of course, it is less dramatic but in Alaska winter solstice is a big deal. To celebrate I went ice fishing. I took the Rhino loaded down. We made a fire. Cooked rib steaks. A local magistrate gave me a beaver tail.Cooked that sum bitch up too. The key to beaver tail is to hold it over the fire until the skin comes off. Then crisp. It is fatty and good. We drank Crown Royal over glacier ice. Last summer I snagged a piece of a glacier. Kept it in the freezer. Nothing like drinking whiskey over 10,000 year old ice. Of course we caught nothing. Needed Alaskan Madman for that and he is gone. But we had a good tour of Spirit Lake. When we got too cold we made a fire. When we got hungry we ate meat. When we got thirsty we drank whiskey over ice that saw saber tooth tigers and mammoths. I made a toast to the sun. I'll see you soon my o…
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So, sometimes it is the simple things about Alaska that make it so special. Like having a moose just outside your office. My office is the one on the corner with all the plants in the windows (I am saving my pepper plants for next year). The mama to this calf was there too but the camera batteries ran out just as I was taking the pic. Sometimes it is an amazing sunrise.
This pic was taken at our office. I drove down to the Kenai River just to get another glimpse. Amazing.
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So, I went cross country skiing tonight for the first time since I was about 12 or so. I am much more brittle now. Worried about breaking bones. I fell on my ass a bunch. Even though it was 3 degrees out, I was sweating. When I stopped I could see the steam coming off my head. By the time I was done, my hair was frozen. I need to practice. but it was good to get out. For the first time in my life I am gaining weight. Too much sitting around waiting for the darkness to subside. I started my summer 2009 list today. All the things I will do next summer. Stay tuned.
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So, the State has denied Kadee's PFD. I had hoped they would be smart. But this way will be way more fun. First, I will exhaust my administrative appeals. Then, to paraphrase a line from my favorite movie (Braveheart), I charge. Fools. I have bled in court for murderers. I have defended junkies, hookers, child molesters, dealers and drunks. For my own child, it will be total war. I have a lot of lawyers who are going to help too. I know at least a dozen who are going to volunteer. Ken, you may get that quill from the Supreme Court yet! The State's main argument is that they can impute a temporary intent to stay in the United States onto an American citizen! Can you imagine that? Jose Padilla was bad enough but now the State of Alaska wants to say that only some citizens are citizens. The nobles will negotiate. If not, we charge. Just as good. Life is normal around here. It has been cold. This weekend I focused on getting firewood and a Christmas tree. Threw in a little rabbit …
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So, victory! Two assault with a dangerous instrument cases and two acquittals. Well, not exactly. I beat the count involving an assault with a truck. I hung the jury 9-3 in favor of acquittal on the assault with the fish bonker. The DA may re-try the case. I say rack 'em. It really is true. As a young lawyer I lost cases that I should not have. As an older lawyer, I am winning cases that I could not have won 10 years ago. Tonight we said goodbye to AM. I cooked and we drank and played '80's music. Those of you who know me, know that is pretty standard fare in this house. Argh, G. Argh. It makes me sad as hell. So what did I do? I looked at old photos. Always something that cheers me up. Not really, but not much will tonight. There is only twelve days left of gathering darkness. But who the hell will be left to do anything with the new light and warmth? Crap.
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So, I am still in trial. Tomorrow is day 7. We'll see. I must admit that I am sick of working nights and weekends. Leaves me little time for anything else. Like hanging out with AM, who leaves this week. This time in a week 2/3 of the men in this picture will be gone. Crap. I did manage to rent my house, which took an enormous amount of pressure off. Unfortunately, this month, the rental needed some things so most of the rent will go to that. This month will be tight, but it is back to normal next month. The weather here has sucked in the last few days. it melted and froze, melted and froze. Everything is now covered in a glaze of ice. Walking around is hazardous to your health. Driving is bad. Accidents and falls are common. It sucks. Those who have lived here a long time say it never used to be this way. But climate change is a big damn liberal conspiracy. Yeah, way to think that through Governor. Moron. I have little else to report as I have been swamped with …
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So, it is cold. It is dropping to -10 tonight. Despite that fact, Kadee and I just came in from playing outside! She is tougher than I am. Or she will be. I am in trial this week. My client allegedly hit someone with a fish bonker. Bah. We are arguing self defense. I'll let you know how it goes. Self defense in Alaska is an interesting legal area. We have to meet the "some evidence" test before the judge will instruct on self defense. We'll see about it. My stress level is still elevated as I still have not rented our little house. That means between now and Christmas day (when I am paid again) we have $170. That's it. Hell I go through $100 a month just in milk. Crap. Thank God we have all the firewood and meat we need. A couple lights, a moose roast, a box of wine, the Lord of the Rings trilogy and Christmas will be great! I'm not just saying that because I'm broke. It really will be great. When I'm 70 I will read this blog and smile. Rememb…
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So, happy Thanksgiving. Here is the one day when all people in America, despite all the troubles in the country, need to remember how lucky we are. Today, of all days, we should put aside the stress and remember that we do not live on $1 a day. Live in a garbage dump. Watch our children die of hunger and basic preventable diseases. Scrounge for a drink of clean water. We should also be thankful that this country is coming out of a dark period indeed. Enjoy this day. Enjoy your family and friends. Alaskan Madman and his family are over. In total, there are 5 kids. 5 adults. Drinking cosmos and listening to 80's music. I am thankful for many things. My amazing girls immediately spring to mind. Last night Kadee was in bed. I told her I loved her. For the first time, she said "I wud you too Dada". I thought my heart would burst onto the floor. Wow. But I am also thankful that, for all the problems in our marriage and despite how isolated I know she is sometimes, that J…
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So, life goes on. Winter is settling around us. It was -6 F the other morning when I went to work. Ha. G. What was it in Sacramento? A balmy 60? For once I can rub the "cold" in the face of a Fairbanksan. Life has been a little stressful lately because of my rental house. I had some tenants who created a mold problem. They called me to tell me about it and when I asked to come over and see what I could do to fix it, I was told they had already moved out! They have left me in a bad situation as I may have to pay two mortages in December. Just in time for Christmas. Yay. I went and cleaned up the mold and it has not returned. The tenants are claiming $1300 in damages so a court battle looks likely. At least when I am stressed I just have to look around. These pics are what my drive home looks like. This is Mount Redoubt looking over the Kenai River flats. In fact, these pictures are little subdued compared to the way the mountains often look. I will try and get mo…
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So, G is gone. Let me tell all of you attracted to Alaska something you need to know: she exacts a heavy price. A heavy, heavy price. Either you will leave all those that you care about to get here or you will watch those that you care about come and go. I guess this place is is too big. Too wild. Too beautiful. I don't know. I know it will take me some time to get feeling right again. Life goes on. I have ordered some rabbit snares. My Rhino is overheating. The stove needs feeding. There are still 5 weeks of gathering darkness. I have yet to see Alaskan Madman leave. The girls are growing faster than seems possible. Life is funny. Enjoy it while you can people.
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So, today G, Andy, Alaskan Madman and I took the machines up Snug Harbor road in Cooper Landing. I still think that Kenai Lake is one of the prettiest places in all of Alaska. It snowed like hell today and we had a great time. I guess this will be the last ride like this. In a month two of these guys will be gone. I must admit that it has made me sad. I have even thought about leaving Alaska. Everyone else seems to be. But when I am riding in the world as it turns blue and I realize that I am happy, I can't imagine any other place I would want to raise my kids. G and AM will just have to come back and visit. Shouldn't be too hard to get them up here. No. I think that Alaska is still the place for me. And although I want the best for them, part of me hopes they decide to come back.
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So, G. is here. One last hurrah before he begins life in California. We have been relaxing so far but intend to get out and spend some time outdoors the rest of the week. Of course we have been riding the hell out of the Rhino, drinking whiskey, target shooting and playing WW II games. Good vacation. I must admit it makes me a little sad. Soon, G. will be gone. We have been helping Alaskan Madman move too. It makes me realize that when Spring comes that there will only be a few guys left to do anything with. As G. knows, life in Alaska is only as good as the company you have. Of course, the girls are too young to really get out yet and J. is doing the bulk of the child care (they are doing great as you can see). So this week is really it. Damnit. Well, I am going upstairs to enjoy what time I have.
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So, thank God! I cried for my daughters tonight. Let the whole world rejoice. The only downside is that Palin comes home to ruin our lives in Alaska. Yet even that horror will not diminish my joy tonight. I did cry. I kissed my girls and told them that everything will be alright. Eight years of murder and torture ended tonight. Thank God. Time to get hammered.
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So, GO VOTE!!!!!!! Go. Seriously. I would give my left nut to be able to vote tomorrow. To help remove the Republican douchebags who have changed this country so much. When I got to the United States 8 years ago it was a different place. Now there is extraordinary rendition. Drowning people, reviving them and drowning them again. Torture. Black prisons. American citizens arrested on American soil and held without any rights for years. Not to mention the gutting of the Treasury with an unnecessary foreign war. I know you are out there. By the millions. But, it is strange. I do not know one single person who is voting for McCain. I guess I just run in liberal circles. Except even the conservatives I know are voting for Obama. ENOUGH! I think I might cry if Obama wins tomorrow. Not because I believe in everything he stands for. Not because I am a "Democrat". But because the Republicans have turned over this country to dangerous, furtive men. Men who crave power. Men who care on…
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So, Happy Halloween! The girls went as witches this year. Here in Soldotna, the younger kids seem to go to the (only) mall as it is cold outside. I must admit it is only the first of November and I am already getting tired of the relentless cold. I don't mind the cold (really) but I wish it would warm up above freezing once or twice so I could do some of the things that I need to outside. For example, the pipes out to the brewery/butcher shop are already frozen. Making beer without water is awfully hard. Also, I discovered that some of my lagers blew up in the cold. Damn, this could be a long winter. G will be here next week as we spend one last week in Alaska together. Despite the cold, we will be finding some outdoor things to do. Not much else is new. I remember that it was one year ago this post that I was feeling awfully down. Things are better this year. Things could get a whole better on Tuesday when the balance of power in this country changes! Get out and vote please.
P.…
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So, it has been a while. The computer went down with a virus. $189 later and I am pissed. There is really no choice, as both J and I need the computer to stay sane in the winter months. But who the hell get their kicks out of creating programs that do nothing but cause others misery? Winter is here with full force, despite the fact that it is only October. When I went to work this morning, it was 1 degree. 1. Winter seems to be causing problems this year. I learned that a good friend, G., is moving back to California in November. Oh, he claims it is for a woman, but I think the idea of another winter in Fairbanks scares him. G. I would not be in Alaska but for his relentless prodding. Now he is leaving me. Bastard. To make matters worse, it appears that Alaska Madman is also leaving. I guess winter is too hard on his family. Well that sucks. I went to my third Public Defender Conference last week. I left feeling depressed. Last year I recognized maybe 80% of the faces. This year I onl…