When winter hits, the snow builds up, you dig trails for the dog and for us to use to get about the property. Once it gets deep enough, the hounds can no longer jump out and they leave their reminders behind smack in the middle of the foot path. Yet, when spring comes and the snow melts you will find hundreds of little reminders. You'll even discover the moose piles. They leave behind piules of nearly perfect nuggets. Some of our more bored Alaskans go out and pick these up, bake them and turn them into ash trays, cup pr pencil holders, even jewelry for a joke. They get painted gold and I hope are told what these nuggets truly are. You''ll find them at fairs and garage sales, even martini sticks in bars. One thing Alaskan are is inventive. We have houses built with tires, bails of hay and even glass bottles. We even had one gentleman build a home in Fairbanks that copies the Seattle Space Needle, but about one-third the size. I'm not sure how high it sticks up there all by itself, but it sure won't have any bear problem.
Now when it comes to log splitters, Alaskan have figured out how to use just about any engine they can beg, borrow or ....borrow for a bit longer than the owner might have loaned it for. Motorcycle engines, boat engines, D6 Diesel engines...now those can overpower the guy on the splitter if he isn't watching. A couple people have used human power on bicycles, but it might've been easier to have simply used a maul.
I was a city boy in the Los Angeles area, born and bred and my heat came from this little pipe than ran along the bottom of the wall. I could adjust the heat with the wall mounted thermostat and in the summer we had air conditioning- eventually. Until then we had open windows. Our first TV was a 15 inch black and white and WOW, it was first rate to own one. Color arrived in our house 4 years later and it was this 19 inch job. No games back then. But I loved TV and all the western serials. later, as I grew up, the military service sent me over to Southeast Asia and I gained an important education on what poverty was all about. I'm thankful for that part of the education.... Americans have no idea what true life and death poverty is like...it is ugly.
Now back to wood cutting. I married this Oregonian lady who grew up in a family of Mom & Pop, plus 9 kids. Pop was gone and I sure wish I had gotten to meet him as he must have been quite the man. The family often lived in logging camps and they knew all about logging wood and of course burning it for heat and cooking their meals over. They were also jokers, especially if they liked you. This is why I let them live, I grew mighty fond of them, too. Actually, I grew closer to them than my own siblings.
One morning we went on this one going-after-firewood-journies, an epic adventure to test one's stoutness and ability to handle severe pain, a clever jest and sheer exhaustion that made football practice seem like a game of dodge ball. You'd also come home literally covered in wood chips, spiders and maybe a threatening squirrel you'd just taken his home from. Now at this time of year with all the leaves now on the ground I didn't know the difference between a standing dead tree and a live naked one. OR which tree we wanted. I learned we wanted dead ones and a year old or older was best, but before rot had set in. My job was to split the rounds into stove size chunks, which were coming in at around 3-4 feet across and 1-2 feet high. There were some big evergreens on the hillside my family was up there dropping and I'd estimated 4 trees would easily fill up our 4 trucks. I forgot all about them taking the branches off and us needing only the center part of the tree. Seemed like a waste to me at first, now I understand. I used the limbs to help build campfires, burn trash and let the kids roast marshmallows.
I wanted to impress the new family, show off a bit and I took this 8 lb maul, which I had never used such an animal before, prepared myself the way I was shown. Strange thing I never noticed the saws had all stopped nor that I had like 7 or more sets of eyes staring at me from the upper treeline. There went my old Combat Antennae I gained overseas, it was not working at all. So I sucked in a breath of air, glared at that round of wood below me that was...I think back it was probably 2...maybe 3 feet tall, and released all my air, as I swung the mighty maul with all my strength- Casey at the Bat- right down into the center of that round. Splattering sap went everywhere.
For any of you woodcutters, you already know what happened to me, especially when I tell you my new family of brothers had sent me down a perfectly live green piece, full of sap. They had dropped a big one to let it die and then come back for it next year. Too many trees were growing too close together and it created problems for the trees.
Back to my showing off. The maul bounced off the green wood, sent a small quake-like vibration up through the handle and tossed me backward a foot or so to lose balance and my feet. I lost the maul and I landed on my behind, arms and legs up in the air. Then I heard received the applause of my relatives and several he-haw shouts. Sure, I was really angry, embarrassed, but then I broke out laughing. It was a great joke when I realized what they had done to me.
Maybe along the way I shall share with you some of the pranks police tend to pull...but only now and then and when we can get away with it.
Today's News Brief's: Quiet Sunday.
Archaeologists in Eastern Poland claim to have discovered new evidence related to the Nazi Regime evil: the Holocaust. This September, they say they have found, hidden underneath an asphalt roadway at a former Nazi concentration camp on the outskirts of the Village of Sobibor, gas chambers- intentionally hidden by the Nazis, following the Jewish Camp Uprising on October 14, 1943. The gas chambers were quite large and Jewish artifacts, such as gold rings hidden away from the German's, was found inside the gas chambers. A reported 250,000 Jewish prisoners were killed at the Sobibor Extermination Camp in heinous ways. Germans went so far as to raise large groups of geese to cover up the screams made by the prisoners being tortured or killed. Then in October 14, 1943, an uprising occurred and a massive escape transpired. This ended up closing the camp and hundreds of Nazi troops were needed to locate the escaped Jews. Sadly, all but 50 prisoners were founded and murdered. But 50 people survived to tel the story of the horrors of Sobibor.
Sierra Leone- the country is struggling through the final day of the 3-day lock down. Some people were seen running away from their homes, clashing with Healthcare Workers, who are trying to bury the dead. One burial team came under attack, while trying to bury 5 Ebola victims and police had to be brought it. The bodies we just dropped in the road, which made them a ticking time bomb as this is when the Ebola is in its most virulent stage. Later, with police on scene, the Ebola infected bodies were buried. It is still unknown what the numbers are for how many case of infected and how many dead were discovered by the 30,000 healthcare Workers. For a lot of the citizens, they were frightened the volunteers were there to kill them and the soap being handed out was poison.
The U.S. House of Representatives unanimously condemns the swell of antisemitism in Europe. ( Nazism is returning and an all too frightening speed).
China reports their health care research department has produced a portable Ebola testing kit.
China's Vice Chairman of Central Military Commission has met with visiting Indonesian Defense Minister.
One of China's naval fleets has sailed into the Persian Gulf, a first for China, and has docked at the Iranian Port of Bandar Abbas. Both Iran and China prepare to conduct joint naval drills in the Persian Gulf. ( This will sure put our fleet on high alert, with so many aircraft flying around.)
China's Coast Guard continues patrol of the highly disputed Islands of Diaoyu in the South China Sea. China considers these islands inside their territorial waters, but Japan has made the same assumption and the two countries have nearly come to the brike of war over these small unoccupied specks in the oceans. The matter actually concerning drilling rights for oil, natural gas and precious gems off the island's coastline.
New Chinese Anti-Terror guidelines have come out, which say authorities will punish people who are verbally abusive to the government, or the leadership, or such offenders will be assaulted , considered to be "heretics" or "Religious Traitors". (This will become a sure fire way to arrest, detain and assault Christians all over China. A new law to hopefully force the Christians to leave or take the consequences. The time of the open Christian church may be over and China may be going back to the secret underground church.
Nigeria authorities report some of the Boko Haram Terrorists have surrendered their firearms voluntarily following the relentless onslaught by federal troops.
Jordan arrested 11 Islamic State terrorists who had entered the country from Syria.
U.S. make a request of Algiers to provide a list of all the Algerians who have and are joining the Islamic State.
In a Guinean Village in West Africa, questions linger as to how 8 Ebola aid workers and journalists were brutally murdered and their bodies thrown into a sewer ditch- known there as a latrine. Healthcare workers are sometimes attacked when home occupants feel the workers are there to killed them, but nothing so bad as what happened in this Guinean Village.
A couple weeks back I wrote about a story from Fox News concerning a judge deciding a Ten Commandments monument on the front of the Oklahoma Capitol Building was in violation of church and state and must be removed. But now that decided has been reversed and the monument may stay. The monument is 6 feet tall, ornate in style and was erected in 2012. State Republican Republican Mike Ritze and his family had used personal funds amounting to $10,000 to for the statue. But the main reason behind the reversal came from a judge deciding how the monument serves a secular- not a religious- purpose. It shows how our laws come from history and that makes the monument historical- IT STAYS!
In Moscow, thousands of peace activists marched through the capital streets to protest their government's role in fueling the Ukraine Conflict.
Today's listing of earthquakes over 4.0 shaking our world number 15. A lot more under the 4.0 mark. Indonesia area had 3 quakes at 4.3-4.7 range. Iceland is busy, but so are the volcanoes. Chile had 2, Fiji had 2 and Japan had a 5.2. New Zealand also had two in 5.2 and 5.3. There were no quakes today above 5.3. Indonesia remains active also for last few days.
Ebola outbreak is reportedly now seeing black market dealings for "Blood Serum".
Gays, Muslim or not, will face canings with 100 lashes in Indonesia, if proposed Sharia by-law passes. ( Not too many people survive a caning of that extent.)
Non-profit group in Denver CO is out on the streets handing out free marijuana to hundreds of military veterans. ( I know things have changed a lot, but in my day, I would not accept anything handed to me by the peace activists who smoked pot and want to give it to vets. Most of the time they were spitting at us, throwing cups of urine at us or fake blood. Real friendly people. But as I say, times have changed. But now with Ferguson, Los Angeles and New York, we are back at the time when cops have become "Pig" and even worse. Post 9-11 is forgotten, I hope it doesn't change for our troops. I'm still affected by my homecoming, I do not wish that on any soldiers, marines, airmen or sailors.
It is later now, quiet and I believe I am the only one awake. Even the hounds are asleep, unless they hear me open the frig. They never get fed from it, but th