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Wednesday, October 6, 2021

More Snow...

Another big storm hit this past weekend and when it finally ended, we had over half a foot of heavy, wet snow.

We had ample warning it was coming, so got most of our projects finished and stuff put away, at least as far as it ever gets done now.

The old sauna has become a storage shed and was stuffed full of firewood before the snow hit

After getting things back to normal, it was time to run dogs again. They like snow, they can cool off by laying  down after getting back in the yard. Thirty degree weather may seem cool to us, but these fuzzy guys are hot dogs after a run.

Saturday, September 25, 2021


Couple of firsts, the first dog run of the season..

And then the next day, the first snowfall. Well we did get a dusting earlier in the week, but it all melted immediately, so this is the first one that "stuck."

Just like fall, winter comes early up here. According to the weather bureau, this snowfall is about right on time for the normal first snow.

The storm that brought us the snow. The jet stream pushing a "pineapple express" into Canada, then curving westward to dump on Alaska. Areas to the east of us got a lot more snow, so we were lucky to only get a few inches.

Monday, September 20, 2021


Fall has fell, as they say, and we've had one of the nicer ones in recent memory, sunny and warm for the most part. Been a great time to finish the summer projects and get out for a few bikes rides. Here's a few pics...

The max colors were likely yesterday. but didn't get this shot until today. Mounted the stump grinder on the tractor and ground up a few stumps to celebrate.

One of the sunny days last week. Took advantage of the nice weather to paint the side doors on one side of the garage green, Andy's favorite color, and curry, a dark yellow, on the other to match the trim. Amazing how much you get done in the fall, knowing winter's coming soon!

Took a couple of bike rides out towards the "park." Stopped at a new cafe on the way for coffee and a chocolate muffin, pretty darn good!

Friday, September 10, 2021


 Maybe 15-20 years ago, we started to hear some people say gotcha whenever we said something. It was pretty annoying, but then it kind of disappeared. Now just this past week, I had a physical and both the nurse and Dr. said gotcha whenever I answered one of their questions. Is this the best thing you learned after all your  med schooling I wanted to ask, but kept it to myself. That got to me to thinking of the other gotcha, Game of Thrones. Now we had never seen it when it was first shown, we don't have cable. satellite, or direct TV here, but it sure seemed to suck a lot of people into it.  Then one day while perusing the internet, saw a DVD of the first season of GOT as it's often called, was on sale cheap. so couldn't pass it up. After watching it, well it's not that great, but the scenes with the so-called dire wolves were pretty good. While they're actually extinct, the "dire wolves" in the movie are a domestic breeding from England that combines Malemute, Greenland husky, and Siberians that are trained to act as wolves.  

The "dire wolves" from Game of Thrones. They looked kind of familiar.

That's when I realized, we had a "dire wolf" right here in Mac the wonder pup, tho he acts more like a dour wolf when he's being obstinate. He's our very own GOT-cha dog!

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Fall Already...

 While it always seems a surprise here in August, fall often comes early to interior Alaska.

One of the earliest signs of fall, when the high bush cranberry turns bright red. The leaves look similar to the red maple in the lower 48.

But the birch are soon to follow. After two weeks of rain and cool weather, it's finally cleared off and sunny. Amazing weather when the sun shines!

Thursday, August 12, 2021

Switched Guzzi

Besides rebuilding the carbs this winter, decided to replace the v65 handlebars. They were so low and narrow that they put a lot of weight on the wrists and forearms. As I got older, this became increasingly uncomfortable, I'd put old Triumph western style (cowhorn) bars on the 850 for this reason,  so looked for  somewhat higher and wider bars for 650. Found a set on the MG website, but they turned out not that much different, so they sat for a while before I decided to try them out. Unfortunately, the handlebar controls aren't easy to remove, so it took a lot of grunting to get them off, and as luck would have it, broke the turn signal switch. I went ahead and put it all back together and rode the bike a few times, but then decided to replace the switch. Since the switches aren't repairable, had to find a complete used switch console and harness on ebay, not easy for a thirty year old bike, but did find one and ordered it. This is what I got...

While the switch he sent looked the same, the wiring harness (a dozen wires) is almost a foot shorter, so had to reroute the bike's main harness, attached to the frame,  and then it was still a stretch to hook the two together. I was able to get it to work like that, but am trying to get the seller send me a longer one. Will see how that goes.

Update:  I got the replacement switch but it had wiring problems. So I was going to send it back, but no, maybe not, just got this email: "we don't take returns....these things are all 4 decades best thing is to take the two you have and make something work." So it's back to work on it, no matter where yah go, there yah are!

It's all back together now and after some carb and throttle adjustments, runs like a far.

Wednesday, July 28, 2021


We had talked about taking the bikes out for a trip to the park (A Ride in the Park 7/8/16). but then the rains hit. Last week we got over an inch and yesterday, almost another. This reminded me that the gutters, or eavestroughs, as I was once told: "gutters run next to the street, it's eavestroughs that are fixed to the roof," needed repairs. So on the next sunny day, we got out the extension ladders to fix the "eavestroughs."

While we originally had wooden gutters, they didn't like the winter's ice and snow load, so eventually replaced them with plastic. While the gutters hold up reasonably well. the support brackets are the weak spot and often fail when the snow and ice cascades off the roof in the spring. It's always a bit of a chore to replace them.

Andy volunteered to clean out the down spouts after all the repairs were finished. It takes a real knack to disassemble and clean the down spout while hanging off the top of the ladder.

Monday, July 12, 2021

Ninety Footers...

When the line crews came through last summer and dropped the trees, they commented on the bigger ones, the "ninety footers" as they called them. I didn't think too much about it at the time, but now I realize how much work it takes to buck up, haul in and split the wood from a tree that big.

The chain saw has just an 18" blade and the tree's over two feet thick, so it takes some manipulation with the saw to get it bucked up.
The bucket on the tractor is six feet wide, but only two feet high, so it's hard to get in a decent load of logs.

Finally it's almost all stacked up; another load or two and we'll get'er done!

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

One Trick Pony...

Tamarac was left at the local shelter (dog pound) with some of his litter mates. By the time I went to check them out, all the rest had been adopted. Since they had said he was shy, I stopped at the local Freddies (Kroger store) and picked up a box of dog biscuits, then put some in  my pocket before I went to see him. While he did seem shy, he readily took a biscuit from me, so I figured, well how shy could he be? So we adopted him. Then I found how shy he could be. After two years, he still won't come to me when I call him and he freaks out whenever I move too fast near him. But he did learn to give paw! We teach the dogs to sit and give paw so it's easy to put on their harness when getting ready to hook up for a sled run. Tambo, as he's called now, is a star with his paw.

Whenever he's feeling friendly, he'll come up to me, as long as I'm sitting down, sit next to me and give me a paw. Then the other one.

He'll just keep doing that until he get's a dog biscuit, then go off on his way. He won't come back to me when I call him, but when he wants another biscuit, well then he's a one trick pony.

Friday, July 2, 2021


The French once had their own names for the months and July was Thermidor (The end of Thermidor 7/31/14). It means heat, I guess, and it sure has been hot. Not as warm as in Canada, the official temp at the airport here was 87° (that'd be 30° C to the French), but it was up over a hundred in the sun.

The garden's doing great in Andy's capable hands, tho it'd sure be nice to get some rain.

The birch that's being split now has a wicked twist to the grain, so not only does it hang up and not split cleanly, it'll sometimes twist sideways when splitting and one time even knocked over the wheel barrow. Too much fun!

Sunday, June 20, 2021

Dog Daze 2...

 Went into town the other day to run some errands, then meet my friend Bill for coffee. We do this most every month and it gives us a chance to swap stories and catch up on news. As is usual, the conversation turned to dogs and I mentioned the sled dog pup we got last year had grown into a serious hulk. He wanted to see a picture, so when I got home, we let the dogs off for their free run and then Andy tried to take a photo with her i-phone. Well that didn't work so well, they all thought it was a new treat and tried to eat it. So I sat down on the grass and started playing with a few of them, then called Mac over for the photo. Here's the results...

I keep a bunch of biscuits in the jacket pouch to keep them motivated to stick around and come when called.  Mac was determined to get into it and have some.

When he finally gave up on the biscuits, he decided the next best thing was to lick my face, so then I had to deal with that.

So while Mac kept me occupied, Tamarac (aka Tambo Rambo) snuck around the other side and made his move on the biscuits. Pretty funny how a few dog biscuits can command so much attention.

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Dog Daze...

It's been up in the 80's the last few days and it's way too hot for the dogs.

 Mostly been hauling the wood in from the trees cut along the power line and splitting them.

Been trying to split at least two wheel barrow loads a day but with the warm weather, it's hard to keep motivated. We're also getting some forest fires in the area, so cooler, wetter weather would be nice!