Hello World. Here in Moose Pass we've endured the last three sluggish days of heavy overcast, new snow for the mountain peaks and the first arctic mosquitoes have appeared. Thankfully, we expect the arrival of our swallows any day now. Strangely enough, scout swallows show-up first. I've watched them appear over the years, checking out each of the old bird houses and then flying off for my next-door neighbor. 4 to 5 days later, the main body of swallows return for about 2-months. What's nice is how each swallow can eat 800 to 1000 mosquitoes a day. The problem is these beautiful birds, the size of your palm, will occasionally run smack into my living room picture-window. I'll go outside to check on them, but only a small percentage of the birds will be on the ground. They appear to be a tough little bird. Since living here in Moose Pass I have learned we seem to be one of the main hatching grounds for these birds. Once their babies are old enough to take flight, they begin their lengthy flight back to the Lower 48. Makes one wonder what brought these birds to north country? Another bird I find interesting is our large Black Raven. A scavenger, he is very good at concealing their nesting areas and they survive up here year-round. Of special significance to the Alaskan Natives for ancient beliefs, the Raven is often placed in native artwork. They also come much larger than the Lower 48 version.
But my first bird love would always be the Alaskan Bald Eagle and up here they come big. I've been within mere feet of them in the wild and had one just miss my head as it zoom overhead and my eyes were riveted on the 3-inch long talons it carried. In Skagway and Haines I've seen hundreds of these eagles; bald, American and golden, feeding on salmon runs, at where the oceans waters transform to river and streams, Once, while bear hunting ( No, we never saw one that day), one of my hunting partners came up behind me and tapped me on my shoulder. He signaled for me to be silent and then pointed above me. I looked up and here was this rather large Bald Eagle glaring down upon me from a branch only 6 to 8 feet above. He never moved, just studied me, so we kept moving along. When we gave up hunting for the day, we tried our hand at fishing for salmon with our hands. The waters were freezing and the bears made it look so easy. We had a family of bruins about 200-yards away, in a no hunting zone and they were doing quite well. I think we caught 3 salmon that day. I've watched the various types of salmon hustle up the rivers to lay their eggs and then, once this chore was completed, they quickly died off and their remains would float by us on its way back to the oceans. For days you can see rotting fish and then, they're gone and the cycle begins all over again. I believe most salmon will remain at sea for 2 years, covering great distances before returning to Alaska's streams. For fishermen, I highly recommend them for the fight they provide, especially the Silver Salmon. But my fishing and hunting days are long over, but I had some great times.
For a book up-date, I have finally wrapped up my re-write for "Apache Snow, Book 3: The Sandbox Wars". This one concerns our current day battles in Afghanistan. Now I will begin on my 12-book series, "Fire and Ice", and apocalyptic adventure and the first book is entitled, "A Prophet Rises". "Blake's War", now has its cover design and will be released any day now. This is the first in a series of tales concerning the Blake family, where Captain Blake is appointed Captain for the new Arizona Rangers. Book # 2 is entitled, "Indian Wars". I've already finished the first manuscripts for Books 2 & 3, and they will need re-writes before passing them over to Susan, who does my editing. I'm in the process of changing my writing style, as I've had numerous critiques about my being too verbose and bogging down the flow of the story. So, I will be working on that. Thankfully, I have a good publisher, who is willing to work with me.
Today is our monthly payday. We will be heading out for a 65-mile road trip to Soldotna. Hope to see some of my grandchildren, as well as both daughters. I haven't been over for sometime and look forward to being outside the house. I'm constantly being locked in my room and fed only bread and water. Hey, if you look at my you can see all the weight I've lost. Holding at 193lbs and trying not to lose anymore. But today is doughnut day. I get to visit the best bakery in Alaska, where they produce these massive chocolate iced donuts. You ever notice how "donuts" and "doughnuts" both work? The "Moose is Loose" has the best chocolate icing I have ever tasted and the cinnamon bread they have makes the best toast. It is hard to leave the place without spending $25 to $30, but we only hit it once a month. But sometimes, someone is passing by and they drop-in to bring me home a donut. Nice people, who I have added to my Will.
Time for some news:
Gatestone News Service: France- It is illegal for France and their businesses, or organizations to call for a boycott of products. Yet, 14 such activists groups called for a general boycott of all Israeli products in 2013, and again in 2017. Now each organization was fined 1,000 francques. However, according to a recent report by the NGO Monitor, the French Government remains openly hostile toward Israel and now funds those agencies who support and promote boycott campaigns against the Jewish Nation. In effect, France is supporting anti-Semitism.
Telegraph News: Germany- Almost 300 German soldiers are being investigated over the "Nazi salutes" and attacks made on asylum seekers.
Washington Free Beacon: Louisiana Governor John Edwards, a democrat, reportedly pledged $4.3 million of taxpayer funds in a grant to a chemical manufacturing company, which is owned by the Chinese Government and is said to have direct ties to the Chinese Communist Party.
Washington Free Beacon: D.C.- EPA employees were reported to have billed taxpayers $15,000 to cover their private gym memberships in Las Vegas. But they complete access to use the gym on the Las Vegas University campus.
New Zealand Star News: China- South Korea's Yon Hap News Service Agency is saying that China is preparing for trouble across its southern border with North Korea and have moved an extra 150,000 troops to the 1420 km long border region. China is also sending extra medical units to handle North Korean refugees. Reportedly, China was preparing for the after-effects of "Unforeseen Circumstances", such as a pre-emptive US Strike on North Korea. Once the story was released, China has denied the movement of 150,000 troops to the border. ( Maybe it was only 149,999 troops).
Global Times: China- New freight train links South China's manufacturing hub with Vorsino, Russia.
Global Times: North Africa- UNICEF reports 11-million people in urgent need of food and drinking water in drought hit Northeast Africa- Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia. People of South Sudan now down to eating leaves, when they can find them.
Global Times: Europe- Nearly 13,000 migrants illegally entered the European Union in March of this year.
The Local: Italy- Farmers are turning cow poop into crockery. (Enough said.)
Telegraph News: Finland- Iraqi refugees in Finland returning home to Finland's "Chilly" weather and their hostile locals. Thousands of applications for asylum have been canceled, with Finland chartering flights to return the refugees back to Baghdad.
(NOTE) I have just learned my trip to Soldotna has been postponed until tomorrow. This is for my family living in the big city.
Manila Times: China- Agense France-Presse reports a Human Rights report by Amnesty International, says China has executed more people in 2016 than all the other nations of the world combined. Report says China has executed thousands of people.
Gatestone News Service: Britain- UK's foreign aid budget is reportedly "funding at least two-dozen Palestinian schools, some of which are named for the terrorists and murderers and which openly promote terrorism and encourage pupils to see child killers as role models". An estimated 400- homegrown jihadists have returned to the United Kingdom, after fighting in Syria, but only 54 have been prosecuted. Some returned Jihadists are roaming free on the streets of Britain. Islamic sharia law is now dispensing justice outside the remit of the British legal system.
Gatestone News: Germany- In Germany it is reported dishonest Muslim translators are lying to German Immigration Officers concerning former Muslims, who converted to Christianity, who are seeking asylum, to have their applications rejected.
Gatestone News: France- an IPOS Poll by France Television and Radio France found that 61% of the people polled, believe Islam is incompatible with French Society.
Manila News Service: Philippines- Reportedly police were being given cash bonuses for the street executions of drug suspects, planting evidence at crime scenes and carrying out the killings they have blamed on street vigilantes.
Iran Times: Iran- New United Nations reporter, Azma Jahangir, finished her very first story, in which she said ISIS was under a lot of pressure, detainees face torture, abuse and death, as people are being executed at an alarming rate. As of December, 2016, Iran was holding (24) journalists, bloggers and social media activists. They were either in detention or sentenced for their "peaceful activities". 530 people were executed in 2016 and 156 have been put to death in 2017. Iran reported to execute he highest number of juveniles in the world over the last ten-years. Some of those sentenced receive "blinding" or "finger amputation", Azma is a Pakistani UN reporter.
Telegraph News: Italy- Violet Brown has become the oldest living person at a reported 117 years.
Telegraph News: Britain- Bill Gates, the billionaire, is reported to have said, terrorists could wipe out 30 million people by "weaponising" a disease like smallpox.
The Local: Rome, Italy- a report on how Italy's tourists are being fined for washing their feet in Roman fountains, an act long made famous through movies and tales.
The Local: Italy- Hitler's book, Mein Kampf, a surprise entry in Italian school kids Top Books list.
That's all the news for now. For those of you who have just become recipients of the Moose Pass Journal, the news I report is off-beat and will rarely see the light of day in an American newspaper. Other than my research of 20 worldwide news sources, I do not write any of these stories and try to show the news source, for you who wish to read the full story. This week the stories covered a 5-day span.
I will say my goodbye now. Our septic tank was just pumped and we can run water again. With all the snow melt, it became serious. Now I can take my monthly shower.
God Bless, BILL