Thursday, December 15, 2011

To Blog or Not to Blog

Sorry, I don't have as much interesting stuff to post when we are south for the winter. Seems like a lot of our family are no longer blogging. I'm wondering whether to keep this one going? Any comments? Your input would be appreciated.

I spend a fair amount of time thinking about items for Alaska for next summer. We plan to live in the unfinished cabin so I need to bring along everything necessary to get water, propane, and stove oil heating operational, hopefully within days of arrival. Other decisions in the mix are cabin exterior, and what to use for ceiling? My friend Gene has a lumber yard and has given me some fantastic deals on materials. You will recall he donated most of the windows and interior doors from his mis-orders, and we built around them. The few windows I needed to complete the six window riverfront he must have given me at his cost. He also got me the complete steel roof on a good-ole-boy deal. After a lot of cogitation we decided to use knotty pine for the ceiling. That should give the interior a very cabin-like feel. Gene called a few days ago and said it will be ready after the first of the year. He is going to place the order for the exterior siding in a few weeks. Every time I thought about siding with something cheap like T-1-11, or mill our own boards from the trees we cut down, he would urge me to go with cement plank, saying it won't rot, burn, or mold and he can get it pre-painted. He has a lot of experience and I have gone with his advise on everything. On the negative side I am faced with the fact the siding weighs 5000 pounds (according to the company web site). I will need to put another axle under the utility trailer to transport that much weight up to Alaska next spring. But I can't complain. We knew building remote would have its problems. I feel blessed to have so many friends lend their assistance, input, and encouragement.

I am now ready for Christmas. The last present was purchased this morning. :-)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Update 12-4-2011

Two Daughters, Three Granddaughters, ...and a Strange Boy

A big wind storm here in California the past week with some gusts reaching hurricane force. Our power went out and took 34 hours to get back up. No problem. The wood stove heats the house well, and I ran an extension cord from the 5th wheel generator to the house to run the refrigerator periodically. I enjoyed not having internet or television for a while.

Paulette talked to neighbors in Gustavus and learned the pond is frozen so kids are ice skating. Plus a brown bear has been prowling both sides of the river. This time of year bears should be in their dens for the winter, so after taking calls about the bear out and about this late the wildlife powers-that-be evaluated that the ursa is probably old and was unable to put on enough fat for winter. That makes it a threat to the community, especially to playing children. An authorization to shoot it was given. If you have seen the documentary Grizzly Man you understand why.

I am about finished with a few modifications to the boat. The deeper I go into the structure the more I appreciate the craft. The stringers appear to be eight inch square aluminum tube, so should be very strong. Every joint has continuous welds. The fuel tank is fiberglass so not subject to the problems of aluminum tanks. Sweet.

We made our annual migration to Houston for Thanksgiving day. A highlight for me was taking the grandchildren to an aviation museum. A UH-1D was on display, and it gave them a visual aid of our units transportation in Vietnam. We drove straight through on the way home in twenty-two hours. At our age that is something I will never do again. (I've said that before).

Norah and Gracie looking cute at Hermann Park