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Showing posts from 2013
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So, Merry Christmas 2013!  As usual, the kids were spoiled.  I was lucky enough this year to get the kids pretty much every thing they wanted.  Sure I felt a little guilty about it, but how many Christmases do you get with little ones?  Still so full of wonder?  Besides, 2014 promises to be the year where I finally get out of debt and actually have money.  For the first time in my life. Work has been going well. We are busy and the building is getting so close to being done I can taste it.   I am working seven days a week. There are always things to do when you are building a business. In theory I am the managing partner with a smaller case load in order to run the place, but things are always just nuts.  I have every reason to be hopeful for 2014.  I have set a goal for myself: one year from today I will be sitting in Alaska.  Visiting for the Christmas break.  I will be debt free.  All the bankers in the world can just suck it.  The firm will be humming along.  Our immi…
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So, I am feeling pretty restless. The building is within two weeks of being done. Tens of thousands of dollars are still owing on it. I honestly feel like I have reached the end of my patience. Yet more must be done. 2013 has been a year of working hard and seeing very little for it. Yes, the building is amazing. But this may be the last decade where I have my health. I just want to start living! That's tough to do when everything is going into the business. Blah. It's the same old complaint. Nevertheless, I am hoping that this year I can pay off some or all of my debt. It is my goal to spend the Christmas of 2014 in Alaska with my family. I have a long way to go before I can get there. But, again, given that I have handed over hundreds of thousands of dollars to start this place, I am feeling positive...when I'not tempted to burn this place down out of sheer frustration. The kids are doing well and are excited about Christmas. Very little else is ne…
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So, happy birthday to my Sasha. She turned three on November 2. I feel bad for her in a way. I was way more active in chronicling life when we lived in Alaska. It's harder now for a couple of reasons. First, I am far more busy at work than I used to be. Second, I am just not as excited about the blog as when I lived in Alaska. Life since I left Alaska has been hard. In particular, this building has drained all of our earnings away. It was supposed to take 6 months and $100,000. It has taken over 16 months and $300,000. That 'extra' $200,000 was money that I could have used to build my life. Instead it has all gone into this place. So I am still renting. Still deeply, deeply in debt. The only good news is that the building should be done by the new year. We have some furnishing to do but I think we are within $70,000 of being done. As God is my witness, 2013 is the last damned year that I will be broke. Otherwise things are fine. The kids are doing wel…
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So, it is with unbearable sadness that I announce the passing of my beloved dog Becky. Out of 4 dogs I took to Alaska, she was the only one who made it. She circled a brown bear. She swam in the ocean.  She (unwittingly on my part) rode on the bumper of a truck for over 20 miles down a highway because she would not be left behind on a car ride.  She died suddenly on September 11, 2013. It looks like she was poisoned somehow. She and I had many grand adventures together in the Alaskan wilderness.  Her death makes Alaska feel even further away.  The last few days have been filled with tears and heartache.  I am having her cremated and taking her home. I will spread her ashes on Tustumena Lake. There is nothing else to say. She loved me and I loved her. I miss you Becky.

Once again, I quote the closing of Graham Vest.  "The best friend man has in the world may turn against him and become his worst enemy. His son, or his daughter, that he has reared with loving care may p…
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so, the first day of school. I can't believe that I have two kids in school. Time flies. I was a little worried about how AJ would react but she is doing great. It is Sasha that I feel awful for. When we got home she called out for her sisters. When she discovered they were gone, she was inconsolable. She is getting a little better but I hurt for her. Otherwise, things are moving along. For the first time in a long time, I am beginning to feel optimistic. Business is picking up to the extent where I can actually think that I might make some money today. It helps that the construction costs on the back of the building are winding down. Good lord its been expensive! We are getting the back area done. It will be area to meet with other lawyers and clients. The one thing I have learned about how to get cases is that personal relationships matter. All the advertising hasn't lead to even 10% of the cases that just knowing people has. So a nice space seems prett…
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So, it is almost a year since I left Alaska.  The last year has been a real struggle.  Emotionally, leaving Alaska along with turning 40 has messed with my heart and my mind.  As well, 'starting' over in my career has been difficult at times.  Financially, I am quite a bit worse off.  My cost of living has about doubled.  Taxes, health insurance, rent and debt payments eat 100% of my income.  100%.  Every drop of gas I burn, is on credit.  Every bite of food.  Every thing the girls need.  The building which was supposed to cost $100,000 and take 6 months, has cost over $150,000 and has been a year.  The front hasn't even been started.  It will be another $150,000 to finish this place.  The civil side of the practice has been far slower than I anticipated.  It has meant that I have to scrape together every dollar from criminal law just to keep going.  It isn't enough.  My debt has exploded in the last year.  The things that I loved to do in Alaska just haven't been…
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So, Alaska!  A week home.  It was glorious.  We didn't get to do exactly what we set out to do, which was climb the Tustumena Glacier.  Equipment issues.  Ahem.  But we got close.  And we camped.  And shot guns.  And drank good booze.  And drove a skiff.  And ate well.  And climbed a mountain.  And felt alive, because we got close to death.  God, I wept when I had to leave.  I got mostly drunk and let Jeremy drive and cried the entire way from Soldotna to Anchorage.  It wasn't pretty but I'm not ashamed.  I will be back in a year (or less).  I don't quite know how to get from this place of being broke to where I want to be.  I cannot wait to escape this feeling that every major decision I have made in life has been wrong.  The solution to that problem is simple: Federal Reserve Notes.  And lots of them.  Millions in fact.  So I can have the experiences that I want to have before I go.  Like more time in Alaska.   More time with my kids.   I don't what els…