Friday, July 3, 2009


It's been awhile I know, no real excuse other than laziness. I'll be brief in bringing all you fans up to speed.

Well the very proud parents of Sarah Ashley Jefferson went to Missoula, Montana to attend the University of Montana graduation ceremonies. We had a great time. We met Grant, (Sarah's beau, also UM graduate, and a really nice guy). We cannot express how proud we are of Sarah. She has made us happy beyond words. She will undoubtedly be her own person and have all our support whatever her endeavors (unless she disagrees with me.) yuk yuk

Sarah and Grant standing on the 'M' above the university

What a putz I am for not posting this blog. I apologize for my ineptitude. Again, no excuse other than laziness.

Some significant things have happened in the last few months. For one, I had an encounter with a brown bear on a walk into a friend's cabin. It was the closest bear encounter I have ever had. Approximately 15' from me bear appeared and could have had me if he wanted to. I had no time to reach for the 45 I was carrying. I screamed as loud as I could and fortunately the bear ran off. It happened so fast that even if I was on my guard, it would have been a frightful situation. The next day, I went out and purchased a Mossberg 500 shotgun. I have vowed not to let that happen to me again. I have been practicing with the shotgun and building confidence with it. I'm not a trophy hunter. I don't want to shoot a bear unless necessary. I've had many of opportunity to do so. I don't begrudge others of doing so. It's not for me. Cost of taxidermy, place to put the trophy, etc..... I don't need it. Don't want it.

Chris and I are going on a trip to Texas in a few days. Going to see Danielle, Kyle, Brighton,and Porter. I can't wait! Lots of things to do, little time to do it.

I will post more often, I hope.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day 2009

Today I attended Memorial Day services at Fort Richardson National Cemetery. I would estimate 1000 people were there. It was a nice ceremony. Many of the people attending lost a loved one serving our country. I personally do not know anyone who sacrificed during war. I do honor the memory of the 24 souls lost September 22, 1995 in the AWACS crash of aircraft 0354, Yukla 27. I knew and worked with them all. Some of them were with the Canadian Forces.

Yeah, Memorial Day weekend is a time for cookouts, camping, yadda But please take a moment and think about those who gave their lives to help make it possible for us to live in the greatest country on God's green earth. Land of the free, because of the brave.

If you will notice, the Marine represented in the above photo was 2 weeks from his 21st birthday. I didn't know him, yet my heart goes out to him and his family. To suffer such a loss can not be imagined. I thank him as well as all others who have honorably served this nation. I am proud to be an American.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Learning to weld

Recently I purchased a welder. I finally got around to it as I've been wanting to for a long while. My first project was a spare tire carrier for my four wheeler. Well, I'm delighted how the project came out but there is much I need to learn about welding. I've researched about it online and bought a couple of books, but practice is what I really need. Also there are some pretty good welding forums out there on the net. There are several reasons for me to jump into the welding craft.

For one, I like building stuff. I also like to think I save myself some money by doing things myself. (That isn't always the case but it's what I tell Chris. She does the finances so I know She doesn't always believe me!) Another reason is I get bored pretty easily when I'm home for two weeks at a time every other two weeks, especially in winter. I like to have some kind of project to look forward too. So now I'm planning on building an 8'x16' trailer to carry my four wheeler, four wheeler trailer and most likely other peoples wheelers. I have an 8'x10', but that is just not big enough. I figure I can build the 8x16 for half or less the price of a purchased one and I can customize it to suit my needs. Working in the non-destructive inspection industry for the last eight years, I have learned some things about weld inspection. I intend to be able to make a trailer with higher quality than a purchased one. Safe equipment traveling down the road at 75mph is something to be taken very seriously.
Anyway, that's the update. Oh yeah, one more thing............Chris is stuck in Chicago due to the Mt. Redoubt activity, Sarah is visiting her neice and nephew in Utah (Danie, Kyle, Brighton Lee and Porter Oakes) and I'm wishing I could be with any of them. Bye for now.

Monday, February 9, 2009

21st century covered wagon

My latest project has been modifying a 4 wheeler trailer (commonly refered to as a meat trailer here in Alaska) into a piece of equipment I can get convenience and practicality out of. This wagon will be used primarily for 7-10 day hunts in the Alaska wild. The Alaska wilderness offers recreation and beautiful scenery, but no amenities. When I'm 20-30 miles from the nearest road, it will be nice to have some creature comforts. This wagon will allow me to bring many conveniences and mandatory gear to have a comfortable time. It will also, hopefully, aid in bringing back a moose or two. Cut up of course.

It was a fun project to upgrade the wagon and if I ever want to sell, it will go quick. I tried to make it a top quality product and keep it as user friendly as possible. I can set up the stake sides and put on the waterproof cover in about three minutes. Knockdown time is a bit shorter. If I had to, I can sleep in it. The inside measurements are 4'x5'. Yes I would sleep lengthwise, before any of you toss in vertically challenged people jokes!

I look forward to posting the first trip with the wagon. A short camping trip will teach me things that will be valuable information for the true test of an Alaskan hunt. That trip I'm really looking forward to!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Buster Remembered

This is my good friend and next door neighbor, Tom Ptomey.

Near two years ago, Tom and his wife Marcela lost a family member, Buster. I knew Buster his entire life. He was the best dog anyone could possibly have. He would lie in my driveway and 'stand guard' over my fish smoker while I had a batch going. He always made sure the fish was smoked to perfection and was persistant that he was the judge of it's readiness. At the time of his passing, Vets have confirmed he was the largest and oldest Bulldog in Alaska, unconfirmed, possibly the country, or the world! Bulldogs just don't live that long. 8 years average. That is a testament to the care Tom and Mars bestowed upon him, diet, exercise, etc. Buster was the greatest!

The following is an unedited email Tom sent out shortly after Buster passed away. When I read it, I felt the sadness Tom was experiencing. I often thought when someone lost a pet, 'it's just a dog', well now I understand the hurt of loss and love people have for their animals.

Mon 2/19/07 2:01 PM

As you all known Buster had pneumonia day after X-MAS was in the hospital for two days , had 2ea IVS and oxygen plus amoxicillin and enrofloxacin . Fluid was in his lungs. We send blood samples down to Washington State Vet. Buster white cell was to high. To bring it down more amoxicillin and cephalexin was given and at the end of January it was working his white cell count was getting back on line . On the 2ng of February Buster was going down hill loosing weight and slowing down nothing was helping or getting back to him old self . Friday old Buster pass away he lived for 13 years and 4 months . Which is very long for a English Bull Dog. I was told in human years almost 72 years. His Dad lived 5 years and his mother lived for 8 years . I don't known about Buster two sister how long they live or still around. But as you can see he lived a very old age. But before he left he had his head on my knee then look at me grab my hand with his paw as to say something, then close his eyes . He was a good friend.

The dog is a saint. He is straightforward and honest by nature.
He knows by instinct when he is not wanted, lies quite still for hours when his master is hard at work. But when his master is sad and worried he creeps up and lays his head on his lap. Don't worry, Never mind, Let us go for a walk and forget all about it.

He is your friend, your partner your defender your dog.
You are his life his love his leader. He will be yours faithful and true to the last beat of his heart . You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion.

Cheers --------------- Tom and Mars

It's been almost two years since Buster passed. Tom and Mars contemplated for a year now on getting another Bulldog. Last night Tom introduced Chris and I to Zorro. He is a beaut! Champion bloodlines. Most likely a show dog. Chris immediatly fell in love with him and could'nt leave him alone! She went to Wal-Mart the next morning and came back with 2 toys for our grandkids and THREE for Zorro! (true story)

Zorro has a big pawprint to fill, and if he is half the dog Buster was, he's alright with me.
We'll see how well he guards the fish smoker.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Happy New Year

Okay, it's been several weeks now since the last post, you remember I don't do any posting while on-slope (work) for two weeks. Well I got back home New Years Eve, and Sarah flew in a couple of hours after I. We opened Christmas gifts Jan 1. I received a tie tack and cologne, Chris got a NASCAR pez dispenser and a Wii, Sarah got 1000 rounds of .22 cal. bullets and a Leatherman Wave (multi-tool). I'm sure the tie tack will get plenty of use...........right! Anyway, we needed something to put Sarah's bullets in so we went to a gun shop and Sarah decided on a Ruger single 6 revolver. Stainless. Sweet gun. Chris, Sarah and me went to an indoor shooting range in Palmer (30 mi. away) packing a 45 auto a 10/22 and Sarah's new heater. We left after 600 rounds were put downrange. You would not believe how well Chris killed the paper. She was a fantastic shot and was surprised how much she enjoyed launching lead. We intend to go back again later this week. Chris didn't like the 45 too much. Sarah likes the 45 but she was really concentrating on mastering her new revolver. Much fun.

I also spoke to my cousin Will Marengo who lives in Fla. He and his family are doing well and I look forward to speaking with him again. You can see his profile on Facebook.

Something else I did this trip back was buy a four wheeler. It is a two-up seat so Chris can jump on back and away we go.......when it is not -20 degrees outside.

I also got to meet Gov. Sarah Palin two blocks from the house during the Alaska 50 year anniversary celebration. It was -25 deg. outside and of course the camera failed when Gov. Palin and I posed for a picture....bummer...but it did happen!

Not much else happening here. Wanting to go ice fishing with Andy P. but it's too cold. Can't spend too much time outside, it's too doggone cold! Global warming my Al Gore! (Al Gore is interchangeable with other expletives as well)

And of course we missed seeing Lil'B this past Christmas!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Sorry, Long Time No Post

Sorry I haven't posted in a while, been quite busy at work and play.

Early November, Chris and I went on vacation to Arizona and Utah. We had been looking forward to the trip for several months. The following is a short synopsis of the trip.

Started out rather unusual. We got to the airport 3 hrs. prior to departure. We were traveling first class and were entitled to lounge in the Alaska Airlines Anchorage board room. It's a relaxing area with drinks and snacks complimentary. When we were going in, my left shoe felt odd. I looked down and discovered the comfortable shoes I had not worn in several years had torn on the inside bottom of the left shoe. I thought "oh well, I'll just change into my sneakers when we land and toss the torn shoes. By the time we climbed the two flights of stairs to the board room the shoe had deteriorated quite a bit. We sat down and after five minutes I looked at the floor in front of me and to my surprise the floor was riddled with what appeared to be disintegrating rubber. My shoe was now in total meltdown and the entire bottom was falling off. I looked at the bottom of the right shoe and it also was starting to disintegrate. I'm about to get on an airplane flying first class and I'm wearing a pair of shoes that need to be tied around the bottom to stay together. The board room closed and I'm embarrassed to get up. I could then see portions of my shoe in the path I took to my seat. By the time we got back downstairs the other shoe had totally disintegrated also. Fortunately there was a store in the airport that carried slippers. Of course my size was unavailable. So I wore extra large slippers for the next 10 hours and two flights. It was quite funny.

Okay, we got to Las Vegas and drove south to Eloy, AZ. There I went indoor skydiving prior to re certifying in the air. I was able to get in only 5 actual skydives but it was great.

After two days in Eloy we traveled to Pheonix and spent a couple of nights there. We went to a NASCAR race at PIR. It was a blast and Chris was certainly in her element. She was able to explain to me many things of the pre-race activities. We are looking forward to going to another race at another venue. Then we headed north to the Grand Canyon and drove around the east rim. It is beautiful. We didn't spend much time sightseeing because the best part of the trip was still ahead of us.

We were anxiously heading to Cedar City, Utah, to be introduced to our first grandson, Porter, and seeing the extremely missed Brighton. Oh yeah, Danielle and Kyle were going to be there also. We spent near a week there which wasn't long enough. Got to enjoy the company of Kyle's sister and brother-in-law, Casey and Tyler. I went golfing with Kyle and Tyler in St. George. It was great. Time flew by and we can't wait to get on the move again.

As soon as we got back, I had to head back to the slope for another two weeks. I've been back a week and have been somewhat lazy, but not too much. We went to the Acuren Christmas party and had a good time. I spent two days in Anchorage at a company business meeting. I hope to go ice fishing with Andy Penyak this Saturday. I've got to go to San Fran Monday for a 1 day meeting that will take three days round trip. I'll get back from there on Wednesday and fly to the slope on Thursday. Another 2 weeks in the grinder.

May not get another post in until I get back home on the 30th of Dec. Sarah flies in the same day I do and we are looking forward to seeing her. She will be back for a couple of weeks vacation from her senior year at the University of Montana.

I'll try not to take so long until the next post. Drop me a line to say Hi. I think of you all, that's why I'm always busy...............Love, Dad, Bob, Jeff, G'pops, and other names I may not be fond of!!