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Showing posts from December, 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…