Well, here I am getting ready to write out my journal/blog and I glance up and low and behold, I've got a cloud that could be a doppelganger to the one the special effect dudes used in the movie. But now mine is now slowly drifting off the mountainside....just like it does in the movie...Um-mm...If you don't hear from me or anyone else from Moose Pass, beware...you might want to check our heart beat before letting us inside your house. Even if we come baring cookies. I always loved those old movies and the British were very good at making them back then. Then they turned to Herman's Hermits comedies and early Dr. Who. They even tried a couple westerns and that was a mistake. But their war movies were good and they made some of the best documentaries. They also made a spook one back in the early 1960's, called "The Haunting" and believe me this had some of the best special effects I'd ever seen. In Fact, Walt Disney incorporated a few of the effects in their Haunted Mansion Ride at Disneyland. Of course Hollywood took the movie and remade it years later here, but it wasn't nearly as good. Color ruined a lot of the effects the old black and white could produce.
So, today is another wood cutting day. With these colder temps and a lot colder to come, we will burn through the cords pretty fast. I remember last year I was down to three good armloads, when I was ready to tear down my first woodshed to cut up, when my wood cutter saved us with another cord of firewood. All the dead trees, or fallen, have been cleared off my property, we estimated at 12-14 cords came out of that. For you non-wood burners, you do not drop green trees and expect to burn them the same year. It take at least a year for a tree to dry out and burn properly. Most of my live ones perform the duty as a sound break, separating us from the highway traffic and the obnoxious sounds a tractor-trailer makes.
We succeeded in our Food Bank and Bread Store run so the food pantry is full to hand out food for the locals in need or maybe they simply need a particular item and the cost of gas for 60-miles r/t far outweighs the cost of the item. Several people out of work now that summer season is over. Its nice for people to be helping each other out. Our Friends Chad and Kendra Leaders, they're helpful for a lot of locals. Since we moved here 14 years ago, there have been a good amount of people who have helped Mona and we are sincerely grateful.
Long ago, because of some fateful decisions I had made, I was in a financial crunch and I didn't see how I could provide a Christmas morning for my two sons- all the children I had at the time. I had no idea of the herd that was to follow. Anyway, I only mentioned my concern to one friend at work, thinking he'd keep it quiet. But oh know, loose lips must've spread it through the shop like Flash of DC Comics, only I never saw the evidence of it. But I was out all day on wrecker runs. Yes, I was now out of Security Police/Dog Handler and a wrecker/bus/taxi driver/dispatcher in the military. But on a positive note, this is how I met my beautiful Mona, yet another example of life's mysterious and pro-founding ways.
So, back to my story, by the end of the shift I was called into my supervisor's office and presented with an envelope filled with cash. A lot of cash and no ones. I don't recall the amount now. But my kids had a nice Christmas and our food cabinets and frig was filled. To say the least, I've been paying it forward ever since then and will always try too. When people need help, we should do the best to help them- this is compassion and one of the stronger traits of humanity. Now, I'm pretty good at spotting the con-men, but I'm sure I've been hit by them a few times. It happens. But kids should always have a good Christmas, if for no other reason it becomes a positive point in their life to build from. They remember the happiness and hopefully the day will come they will know the true reason why the Day is celebrated. I've arrested a good share of bad dudes who talked about how bad their lives were, a lot of them blaming it on their parents, but they always recalled that one or two childhood Christmas's where everything was perfect- TV family like. I know for a fact some of these men and women came out of prison with positive life changes and they paid it forward, too, reaching out to those lost souls most people walked across the street to avoid. Sometimes the lost soul wasn't a drunk or drug addict, but simply a lonely person or a veteran having trouble grasping The World upon his return from overseas. I was bit like that.
In World War One, Two and Korea, it often took the returning soldiers as much as two weeks or more to leave the battlefield and return home. For Nam veterans, like myself it was 22 hours and bang, we were let loose upon the streets of San Francisco or their big airport for a transfer to a home state. It was crazy. I used to lay for hours in my favorite park, simply watching the people and the kids. One day an old gentleman, a WWII veteran came up and he seemed to know I was a Nam vet. We set their an talked the day away. That helped me a lot. I reported back to duty a couple days later, my new assignment. That old man's kind ways had helped, the healing had begun. It was later, when my Dad, a Korean War Vet, who had seen too much action, set down and we finally talked. Communication helps in so many ways. Pay it forward, just like the movie and book title says.
This season begins pretty soon, so think about all those people out there. I believe there are people around the world who need our help, but I also believe we should begin in our own backyard and work out from there. Put some volunteer time in at one of the many local agencies. If you don't want to help a religious ones, there are a lot of non-religious ones, too. If work takes all your time and your family needs those remaining minutes, then maybe first off you should re-evaluate your priorities and if its all you can do, then maybe purchase a food box for another family or ask a caring agency or church where your funds could best help.
Okay, Time to climb off my apple crate. Yes, I know most people stand on soap boxes, but I like apples. It's proably because I miss giving the Sunday sermons, but our preacher is GREAT. He's an historian, who really brings the Bible alive and a fine family man. He's also our next door neighbor.
For those of you Old Rockers, you might have heard we lost the Bass Guitarist for one of the great rock bands of the 1960's- CREAM. This was Eric Clapton's big 3-man band, who had several top-20 hits. Jack, sorry forgot his last name, was 71 years old. I'm feeling old. Ginger Baker was the drummer and he could make those skins come alive like no one else. Jack was a busy Bass player, he had to be for a three man group and then Eric Clapton did everything else. As far as I know, Ginger is still alive, but retired. Eric, I doubt he'll ever retire.
A few News Briefs: Current Ebola Statistics from WHO: 10,141 cases, of which 4,922 have died. WHO is now showing less than 50% fatality rate by 229 deaths. So, it dropping and hopefully it will continue to do so. Sadly, other mosquito carrying diseases are on the rise through Caribbean Sea, Central America and moving into Southern areas of the U.S.
Tehran, Iran: Reyhaneh Jabbari, 26 years old, was executed by hanging for murdering a man who allegedly tried to rape her when she was a teenager. She was convicted in 2009, but her appeals which were stretched out since were all denied by Iran Supreme Court. Under Sharia (Muslim) Law, it then went to the family, who were given 10-days to provide the offender with a reprieve. In this case the family refused. Several Human Rights Groups pleaded for International intervention, saying the evidence was not enough to have convicted her, but they had also failed to sway the Iran Supreme Court. Sharia Law was put into place in 1979, following the Islamic Revolution.
Russia: President Putin, "Calls for restoration of Intl systems, accuses US Dictatorship." Putin says US "unilateral dictatorship and enforcement of western models" bring about an escalation of conflicts and expanding chaos. He adds, the world needs, "new global consensus of responsible forces", to "restore the effectiveness of the international and regional institutional systems." Putin then accused the US of its "omnipresent" involvement in global affairs. "Does the way the US implements its leadership bring benefits? Di its omnipresent interventions in a global affairs bring peace and welfare, progress and democracy? No." ( Global Times, which carried this article, is an English speaking Chinese Newspaper and it often carries Pro-Communist propaganda and I suspect the blogs it carries are placed by Communist Party members and sometimes humorous to follow. But the paper also carries interesting stories not carried by American newspapers for days later or if at all. But I have verified through other sources. China puts out several English speaking newspapers, one deals mostly with the stock market and general economy, which is easily verified through our American papers. At least through their English speaking news papers they're not trying to hide anything concerning the economy from the general public in China. But as I said, the blogs are a reminder of the fictional books of 1960's through 1990's which led up to Nuke war with Russia and possibly China. They're somewhat scary in how the people talk and this is why I suspect it is provided by communist party members, foul mouthed ones, too. Still, the stories reported show a wide view in China's economy, anti-corruption work underway, military budget items and new pieces of equipment being constructed and tested, and their political picture. This gives me a wide-eyed view of how the communist party, which is growing in dislike, has handcuffed their people's basic rights. It is like a return to the time of Mao. The big items to watch for now are (1) the release of the Chinese troops stationed in Hong Kong against the Occupy movement. (2) Events transpiring between China and India concerning the border issue and India's desire to build the border highway and China refusing them, even stationing troops in the area. China refuses India to have a defined border, knowing India would be allied with the US and US/India alliance would possibly be used to contain China's southwestern border. (3) China's building of the new and massive canal in Honduras, which will outsize the Panama Canal. (4) China and Russia building the massive pipeline from Siberia down into China, with roadway and now talk of railroad.
China and 20 other countries have just signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on establishing a new multilateral bank for infrastructure projects in Asia.
Police strike in Belgium enters 2nd day. Firefighters in England prepare to go on a 5-day country-wide strike over pensions.
North Korea strongly condemed South Korea and the US for conniving at the "catastrophic" anti-North Korean leaflet drop, calling for a halt of such moves. (pro-democracy leaflets and often Christian scriptures and messages imprinted on leaflets are attached by the dozens to special balloons. These balloons have timer or height devices on them that upon reaching a certain point or time will begin releasing the gas. These balloons are released very close to the border in secluded areas, where North Korean soldiers will not see the volunteers doing the balloon work. Numerous underground Christian churches receive Bible scriptures this way and they share the different leaflets among themselves. But now, South Korea has announced that they may stop the leaflet program if any violence occurs on the South Korean side by those forces opposed to the program. (Apparently, there are some people in South Korea who feel such moves may interfere with the two Korea's reunification process. )
At a Pentagon News Conference, General Curtis M Scaparrotti, top American Military Commander in South Korea, said, he believed North Korea had most likely completed its years long quest to shrink a nuclear weapon to a size that could fit a top a ballistic missile (medium range and not intercontinental). If correct, America's calculation of North Korea's ability to strike America, its allies and sell such nuclear weapons to others, is a world changer. But General Scaparrotti also cautioned, North Korea had not yet tested a miniaturized weapon, and for a weapon, "that complex, without being tested, the probability of it being effective is pretty darn low." Also North Korea has yet to successfully test fire an ICBM Missile, capable of reaching the U.S. But it new medium range missile has been tested with positive results, and these missiles can easily strike at South Korea, Japan and goes as far as hitting Alaska.
Earthquakes: 4.0 quakes and higher around the globe- (12) in last 24 hours. (5) small quakes over 2.5 have struck Alaska- 3.0/2.5/4.6/3/4/2.6 (4) mild quakes struck Oklahoma 2.5/2.6/3.0/3.0 Previously unknown fault like discovered under Minto, Alaska area- very deep, which has caused (3) 5.0 or better quakes this year.
NATO has confirmed Russian Army has soldiers still inside Ukraine, in violation of International Law. USAF General Breedlove, NATO Commander, advised reporters of this at NATO Military Command Headquarters in Belgium. Some Russian troops had left, "But the force that remains and shows no indications of leaving is still a very,very capable force," General Breedlove emphasized.
Yes, I know there was a lot of news out today, but you have all those news papers and online sources to read about the world's happenings. As I mentioned before I only record in my Blog and my notebook, certain news briefs that catch my eye and might have something to do with where our world is headed. The sudden drop in fuel prices here in Alaska, nearly 43 cents a gallon over the last two weeks, was strange. But the international money market, from rubles, yuan, yen, Hong Kong Dollars, Euros, British Pound to American Dollar, is hard keeping an eye on. I'm no economist, but the future of the American dollar is not great. Just go through the market and write down the stuff you normally buy every payday. We get paid once a month, so its easier to keep track of. But check month by month and see how your commodities go up and how the packaging grows smaller and the company lies to you. Example: I use this because it was the most noticeable for me besides candy bars shooting up to $1.49. But we use natural sugar in 10 lb bags. Says so right on the bag. Used to be that ten lbs would fill my two glass containers and my sugar bowl. Fill them up. Then one day I didn't have enough to even add to my sugar bowl and I thought maybe it was a fluke. But every time we bought it, there was less sugar and not enough to put in the sugar bowl. Now, there's not enough sugar to fill the second container, but it still says "10 pounds " on the bag. Same with 50 pounds of rice or flour, they do not weigh 50 pounds anymore, off by 3-5 pounds. I had a good scale.
Oh, I'm not sure if I mentioned it, yet, but I went to the doctors for an evaluation and he said I was fine. But I lost some more weight and I am down to 242 lbs. I weigh 2 pounds less from when I graduated from the police academy in 1982, and was running 6-miles a day. Now I'm eating sweets when I want and still losing a couple pounds a month.
Now its time to put my cold weather gear on and go outside to work on the wood pile. I really do love Alaska. For a city boy, who left California at 18, who would've believed it.
God Bless, BILL