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Showing posts from 2010
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So, Merry Christmas. I hope that everyone had a good day. Once again, as I sit here with a belly full of beef and whiskey, having spent the day with family and friends, I am reminded how lucky we are. We may not have everything that we want, but we have everything that we need. And we are so very, very lucky. I mean look at these little girls...the most beautiful girls ever.... PS Kadee got make-up for Christmas. Sigh. Make-up. Clothes. Hair bands and accessories. That is my next 18 years. Now she just has to learn how to put it on a little more 'gingerly'....
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So, I thought I would save a few buck for Christmas with a toy chest for the girls. Umm, no. Even though I was only "re-finishing" it, it turned into a huge project. I had to take it completely apart to replace rot. I decided to replace rotten wood with cedar. After sanding it, buying new hinges and basically rebuilding it, it didn't turn out to save any money. But. I had a lot of fun doing it. And now the girls have something that means something. Not just another toy made in China. I am going to ask them to use it for dress up clothes. Have any of you (especially with kids) just taken a walk through your house and realized how much stuff you have? Especially stuff that is just everywhere? My god. And to think I paid for most of this stuff. Is it really necessary? To my girls: one day you may look at this chest and wonder where it came from. Know this: I spent weeks in the cold shop working on it. There is something special about working with wood when it is -10. From t…
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So, Gold Rush: Alaska on Discovery Channel. I love it. Yes, yes there are many haters out there. People who say they aren't "Alaskans". True. People who say they are chewing up the land. True. People who say they are excessively jumpy about bears. Yup. But as G said, this is a 'Ben Adams" operation. Lets look at the facts. Alaska! Check. Excessively armed. Yup. Overuse of the "F" word. You bet. Running machinery to the full hilt when you don't really know what you are doing. Ahem. Constantly worrying about money. Geez. As I said, I love it. Oh I know it isn't really "reality". But as Jack Hoffman said "There isn’t one man in America, if he’s got anything inside him, who wouldn’t want to be here with us". You're goddamned right Jack. It looks awesome. I admire you all.
9:33 Alaska time. The lunar exclipse starts now. The Solstice is tomorrow. As is custom may I just say: tilt, bitch, tilt. I've made it through another…
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So, these aren't the greatest photos but I wanted the girls to have them. I argued their PFD appeal last week. The girls did great. At the end the Judge complimented them for being so well behaved. The matter is under submission. I don't know what will happen or what the end result will be. It doesn't really matter in one sense: I will fight until all appeals are exhausted. Then I will ask politicians to change the law. I will be like Andy Dufresne in Shawshank with his letter a week. The State has no constitutional authority to declare you non-residents because of my citizenship. Good job girls.
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So, Sarah Palin's Alaska. How can I put this nicely? Hmmm. Ok. I got it. What a dumb bitch. I have a number of problems with this show, beyond the obvious trash TV quality to it. I must admit I have been drawn to it a few times, like a fly to garbage. I feel ashamed of myself. But I have noticed a few things. First, I like how she claims that Alaska is just chock full of these adventures. Well it is, but she never mentions that being a multi millionaire helps. Gee Sarah, can I come along on the private float planes/helicopters that ferry you around the State? Second, she is just so full of crap about her family. About how it is the most important thing in the world. Ummmm, Sarah, why do we almost NEVER see Trig? You know, the special needs child who probably needs you a lot. Does he have a nanny? I mean where is he when you are having all these great adventures with Todd? It's not really my place to judge how you raise your family, but when you make your family choices politic…
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So winter time is for sleeping in Alaska. Life continues here. The girls are excited about Christmas. They will have a good one. I have been re-finishing a toy box for them. Their English family has sent an absurd amount of stuff. As far as I'm concerned, a nice beef dinner (rare in this house) is all we need. That's good too. We had a few bucks set aside for Christmas but the washer went out this week. And that's ok. We went and got a good Alaska scrub spruce for our tree. The house is warm. The kids are excited. I expect the next months to be quiet. One bit of excitement: on December 15 at 1:30 I am arguing the kids PFD case. I am hoping to pack the courtroom.....most people who hear my argument agree with it and are looking forward to seeing it. Pretty basic: a US citizen is a US citizen, right?
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So, I haven't been writing much. I am at a strange place in life. It is a mixure of being bored and overwhelmed at the same time. I am bored because I don't really have anyone here to do the things that I want to do things with. The one chance I had to get out (I would have been in Kodiak hunting deer right now), I could not do because I had Mr. Eacker's motion for a new trial this past week. A decision has not been made. I love doing things with the kids but it is not the same. And I am really struggling with the new family dynamic. I don't always know what to do with the kids "new" dependence on me. There are times that I just need a break. I guess that makes me a bastard. I don't know how people do it all day, every day. But otherwise life is quiet...maybe too quiet. I want to do things this winter but am not sure what to do or who to do them with. And by things, I mean things that are hard to do with a 4 year, a 2 year old and a month old. …
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So, happy belated Thanksgiving. I hope everyone took the time to be truly grateful for all we have in this country. And for what we each have. Maybe it just a product of getting older but I am more aware that the day is coming when I just won't be here anymore. To recongize the continuity of life, I put out some of the few things I have from those who came before me. Some pictures that hung in my great grandparents house. A vase that belonged to my great, great, great, great grandmother. And among those ancient treasures, I enjoyed the company of friends and family. Absurd quantities of food. I hope that everyone, everywhere is well.
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So, I have to wonder if everyone who has a third child goes through this? The shift in family dynamics? The acting up of the now middle child. The extra time it takes to do everything. The shift in responsibilities. The constant wondering over how to pay for everything. Can I do it? Of course. But what do we give up to pay for the extra $100 a month in just diapers? I already don't eat lunch out very often. I make my own coffee. Is there excess? Sure. But what do I do? Drive less? Buy less groceries? Get rid of more stuff? I cannot deny being exasperated lately trying to sort all this out. I have to wonder if every working family goes through this. Sigh. Will we starve? Of course not. But can I give my kids everything I want to? No. And right now I'm just not sure where the money is going to come from for things like diapers. One paycheck + 5 people + one small house + a couple toys + bad luck = how the fu&* do I do this?
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So, this post is dedicated to my four old daughter. Her new deal is taking photos. With my camera. Ouch.... But what the hell....here are some she took. Not bad huh? I think one of the best things about having kids is the wonder of what they will do. The things they will see and do and the places they will go that I can't even dream about. Dream big Kadee! Growing up in Alaska I hope you get to see, and photograph, beautiful places that most people will never see and photos will never do justice to...and if you break my camera in the process, well that was worth it.
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So, winter arrived over the night. The first real snow of the year. Now we settle in for 6 months. Talk about timing. I just had the money to put the snows tires on. Last night, Bill and I finished clearing off some firewood from a 5 acre lot. The freezers are full. Time to cook and read. For my winter reading, I have started the History of WWII by Winston Churchill. I love how Americans always think they won that war on their own. It was Churchill who made that victory happen...."We know it will be hard; we expect it to be long, we cannot predict or measure its episodes or its tribulations. But one thing is certain, one thing is sure, one thing stands out stark and undeniable, massive and unassailable for all the world to see. We cannot see how deliverance will come or when it will come, but nothing is more certain that every trace of Hitler's footsteps, every stain of his infected, corroding fingers will be sponged and purged and, if need be, blasted from the surface o…
So, this is dead on. Can't you get me probation? And I love the "in my training and experience". There isn't a judge alive who doesn't fall for that like Oprah on a baked ham.


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So, at 1:54 p.m. on the day of first snow of winter 2010 came my Sasha Jade. And just like that I was in love with a 19 inch 7 lb 1.6 oz little girl. The newest Alaskan. Despite what the State says, I vow to my dying breath to fight the assertion that you are a second class citizen because of my citizenship. I vow to fight anyone who would hurt you. So many emotions were in my heart and mind. I was proud of J for doing such a good job. Amazed by the life in front of me. Amazed at how, once I saw her, all the worries over how to make it work financially just disappeared. I don't have a lot of time right now. But to my little girl: already, I love you more than you will ever know. I promise to give you all I have and all I am. Your mom and I have given up a lot to be in this amazing place called Alaska so you could be born as free as anyone ever has. I can't wait to show you this place. I can't wait for you to get to know your sisters. They are amazing, beautiful little girl…
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So, I butchered my first DLP moose today. It was unexpected. I was trying to get the place ready for winter when I got a call. What is a DLP moose? That is an animal shot in 'defense of life and/or property". It is perfectly legitimate as long as you say it normally. But try saying it in the voice of Ed McMahon. "Yes! Shot in defense of life and/or property. Yes! You are correct sir!". Seems dodgy now doesn't it? But it was legit. So, I got the boys, and we carved that sum bitch up. Was I planning on other things today to get ready for winter? Yes. But a 800 lb moose cow that was so fatty we had to carve the fat off to get to the meat? Well that is preparing for winter too. The nice thing about a DLP moose, as opposed to road kill, is that there is no vehicle damage. Damn I can butcher up a moose these days. And the boys? Hell yeah. I am proud of them...we are learning together and we make a team that can take an animal down to pieces in nothing flat. Afterwards…
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So, those of you who know me would be shaking your heads right now. Even for me this is bad. For those of you who don't know, I have the worst luck in the world with anything 'mechanical'. Even when the stuff is new. I have had mechanics shake their head and say 'I have never seen that'. Or "I didn't think that was possible". And those of you who know me, know it is just bad luck. It isn't me being too hard on stuff. Just using it. Or not. For example, a .22 bolt action (I mean bolt action for God's sake) rifle that worked fine when I put it on the hooks is now refusing to load or shoot. The oil pump on the chainsaw went out and the mechanic said "even with the big impact he couldn't get it off" as he shook his head. He hadn't seen that before. I sure couldn't get it either. The boat, well don't get me started. A brand new fuel pump was faulty. It burned through valves, lifters and a cam shaft. Crap. The Rhino needs …
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So, I am glad I am not Steven Hayes lawyer. Seriously. Rape, torture and murder of a family in a home invasion. The Petit family murders. I may be a defense lawyer but I strongly believe that these two men deserve to die. Quickly. Yes, yes, I know the problems with the death penalty. I know the cops screwed this up too (surprise!) But I do think the ultimate penalty has a place. It pisses me off when a guy who shoots a clerk gets the death penalty. It cheapens it. And no, the argument 'if it was my daughter who was shot' would not change my mind. Prison is a horrific place. And more than suitable for most crimes. Including most murders. But these two.... Well there is a special place for them. It has nothing to do with either specific or general deterrent. It has simply do with removing a cancer from society. What they did was so horrific that they should pay with their lives. And that is why I am glad I am not their lawyer. The lawyers defending Mr. Hayes…
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So, for the first time in a long time, I have nothing to write about. Winter (i.e snow) is not here yet. Neither is Sasha. I have settled into fall. I am not having 'adventures'. The boat is in the shop. And everything I am doing is routine: work, gathering wood, family time, work around the house..that sort of thing. I don't even feel like ranting. What good does it do anyways? Even in Alaska the People are on the slow march to tyranny. I guess I am just writing to say that it is slow right now. I know it won't stay that way for long. After delay, it looks like the business plan that I hatched with my buddy Jeremy may be a go. Maybe I will even get to see him again...I have no buddies here (Bill don't get butt hurt..you know what I mean...you like to run marathons and drink diet coke...I like to drink something in my coke and I definitely don't run for miles).
For example, I managed to take this picture as I tried to hand a new co-worker a gun for the first ti…
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So, I am back from my annual Public Defender Conference. My fifth. I learned some things. New law. That maybe some of the conclusions about where our lives are going are correct. For example, the most important thing is that some of the lawyers I work with think I should not have this blog. At all. Apparently there is a feeling that everytime I am less than enthusiastic about my life, that 'negativity' is imputed to the Agency. In fact, I got my ass chewed. I have made this clear before, but it is time to do so again. First, I do not speak for the Alaska Public Defender Agency. Neither formally nor informally. I am a peon. My views are, I am sure, quite different than every other lawyer in the Agency. I write this blog for personal reasons in my own time. It is fully protected by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. And the times I am frustrated by the difficult job of being a public defender have nothing to do with my employer. I am careful not to write abou…
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So, hog killing day. A freezer full of pork. Skinning hogs is different than most critters, especially as we were trying to save the fat. Takes a little practice. Tomorrow is butchering day. We try to make a day out of it. A bunch of people help, we drink a few beers, listen to music and then afterwards cook up a bunch of ribs or something. It has been raining hard so the pen was mucky but we have a pretty good system. After the hog is shot, I stick it. Then we drag it out and wash it with hot water and soap. Then we skin it, gut it and cut it in half. Both hogs are hanging in the meat locker. We will do the usual cuts as well as make a half dozen types of sausage. It is good time to put them away as J is getting pretty big and it was awkward for her to feed them when I am not here. Well it is done. Killing hogs is not a job I enjoy but I was as humane as I could be in life and in death. Thank you pigs. Thank you for helping me live my life. Thank you for your sacrifice that feeds …
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So, something happened today. Something that is too private to blog about. But something that makes it seem more likely that my family will be leaving the Kenai area. Maybe even Alaska. I won't talk about it. Those of you who know me know how livid I was today. Those of you who know me were just as livid. Instead of talking about it, let me talk about the Kenai/Soldotna area. When I moved here, I thought Alaska would be free. That is what I cared about: being free. I remember it clearly. And in someways it is incredibly free. But on the Kenai Peninsula, the people are insane. They demand cops, ever more cops. It is easy to blame the cops (and I do) but the real problem is with the people in this community. People who don't know how to mind their own business. People who call the cops foreverylittle bullshit thing you can imagine. I don't know these people personally. Everyone I know in this part of Alaska cherishes freedom. But they are out there. Bible thumpers. Busybodie…
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So, four years with the Alaska Public Defender Agency. To be honest, I'm not sure how I feel about it. Where the hell has the time gone? The only concrete difference is that I am now vested 75% in my retirement account. 364 days until 100%! To 'celebrate' I went out bird hunting on a spectacular fall day. Our September continues to be amazing. We had our first frost last night and the day felt like a true fall day. Bright blue skies and fall colors. Truly amazing. As for the job? I don't know. I have my complaints, but I am sure as hell not going to talk about them here. And they are personal to me. The Agency continues to be a great place to work. Bright lawyers, great staff and adequate resources are the norm. I am just at that place where I need a week off. I am getting sick of some parts of this job. Sometimes I just want to grab people and shake some sense into them. YOU HAVE KIDS! STOP SLAMMING METH! GET A JOB! GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER! But I don't. Instead I …