Monday, July 30, 2007


I collect glass insulators. I think I've written about them before. It's amazing how some chunks of colored glass can capture your attention. My collection is quite small, even though I have been picking these things up for over 20 years. I have a couple that are purple and several that are a real light yellow called "straw" in the trade. My daughter got me interested again when she purchased several for me on the internet. I have since purchased a price guide book and a number of different pieces that strike my fancy. Most of my pieces aren't worth very much, but I really enjoy looking at the sun shining on them. Fortunately, my wife likes them too, so she doesn't get upset when I buy some new ones. Got one today that I think is valued at $75 - $100 that I bought on e-Bay for $15 and the price included 3 others that I didn't have. I'm trying to specialize on just one company and hope to get an example of every insulator they produced. If you have any old insulators lying around, give me a buzz on e-mail and maybe we can arrange a deal. I have to warn you, I'm pretty much of a cheap skate, so I can't promise too much of a deal. However, I will tell you if you have something valuable and give you a few places to check to sell them. I'm not sure if my kids will want my collection when I'm gone, they may just sell the entire collection for a couple of hundred bucks and have a party on the old man. That's fine.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Fire Fighting

I am feeling a little nostalgic this evening. I've been reading the agenda for my High School 50 year class reunion. It doesn't feel like it's been that long since I felt that I could conquer the world. Anyway, as thoughts go, I soon found myself remembering my days as a wildland fire fighter. I had started working for the US Forest Service a week or so before graduation, classes were done and we were just waiting for the evening of graduation. I had to lie about my age, I was only 17, but I found myself on the brush crew/fire crew for the Fort Rock District of the Deschutes National Forest. We lived in a camp in the forest about 40 miles from Bend, Oregon with an older Crew Boss and his wife(she was the camp cook). We spent our days stacking slash from previous logging activities along the many miles of road in the district. We did spend time in fire fighting practice including falling a large dead snag about 3 feet in diameter with a hand saw. That was a lot of work and we were glad that we had a large supply of chain saws in our truck to do the heavy work. We were just dying to fight a fire and prayed for lightening storms. When the long anticipated thunder storm came along there was only 1 fire started in our area. It was a fire in the top of an old dead snag and rather than send the fire crew they sent the fire guard who was stationed at our camp for just such a situation. The guard found the fire about a mile off the nearest road and called for two guys to bring a chain saw and some fire rations because we were going to be out all night. The crew boss selected me and another guy to carry out the mission. We were pumped! Our first fire! We were finally going to see flames! They took us out to the jump off point and let us out. We packed our packs with water and food and fuel for the chain saw and set off, me with the pack and a shovel, and the other guy with the chain saw and a Pulaski. We found the fire guard with no trouble by following the smoke from the fire. We arrived at the fire fueled by adrenalin ready to fight the raging flames. To our disappointment the "fire" was at the top of a 100 ft snag and showed no flames, only a little smoke from the rotten wood at the top of the tree. None the less, we got out the chain saw, cleared an area for the tree to fall in and proceeded to fall the tree. The chain saw made quick work of the falling and it took us less than 20 minutes to put out the smoldering fire. Firefighting rules called for the fire to be out for 12 hours before declaring the fire dead out, so we sat down and ate out supper and prepared to spend the night at the "fire". We had forgotten to bring coats or sleeping bags and it got cold quite quickly after the sun went down. So we had to build a campfire to keep warm. We wound up digging trenches for our bodies, filling them with hot coals from our campfire and then covering that with a thin layer of dirt. That way the down side was warm and the up side was cold. When the up side got too cold we would roll over and warm the other side. It was one of the most uncomfortable nights I ever spent. The next morning it took us longer to put out our campfire than it did to put out the tree fire. The only upside of our first "fire" was that we got 12 hours of overtime.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Well, I'm Still Here

After my last Blog I sort of expected a call from some of the enforcers of King George II's security. I am still concerned that I will be put on one of those lists of people who disagree with the way King George II is ruling the US. Despite all his talk about keeping America safe, he has done nothing but trample on the constitution. I still wonder about the parallels between the reign of King George II and the reign of Adolph Hitler. Instead of Jews we are told that the Arabs are bad, thereby giving us a good scapegoat to blame everything on. He has steadily reduced our rights in the name of protecting us from the "dirty" Arabs. The congress and the media have been complicit in their acceptance of GW's policies. I can't understand why congress and the media aren't screaming bloody murder over the infringments of our rights. Folks, don't let King George II get away with it. Throw the rascal out!

Well, I'm

Friday, July 13, 2007

King George II

I just finished watching Bill Moyers' Journal on PBS. He was talking with two conservative writers about impeachment of both Dick Cheney and George Bush. The two writers were calling for impeachment of both men to protect the Constitution. They claimed that the president and vice president had indeed committed high crimes and misdemeanors against the Constitution and should be impeached. Their feeling was that the impeachment concept was a way to protect the government against an imperial president. Their fear is that if Bush and Cheney get away with their unconstitutional actions that they will set a precedent for future administrations and that we as citizens will have lost another piece of our freedom. It was a very interesting discussion and I think that even Bill Moyers learned something. The two gentlemen stated that the impeachment of Bill Clinton trivialized the process because it was done for political purposes. They talked at length about a monarchical president and the fear that the framers of the Constitution had about just such an occurrence. They also were despairing of anyone in Congress having the backbone to start impeachment proceedings.

I have a better understanding of the impeachment process after watching the show. I also have a fear of the secret service calling on me if I espouse impeachment for Dick and King George II. They have been arresting anyone who disagrees with them especially if they have an Arabic name. Disagreement makes you a terrorist. I am one of the 54% of Americans who want to see Dick Cheney impeached and also one of the 45% who want to see King George II impeached. Come on Congress, get off your butts and start proceedings. Real patriots defend the Constitution

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Back from St. George

We made it back from St. George Sunday evening early. We saw fires all the way from St. George to Burley, ID. where we spent Saturday night. Apparently there are fires all over the west, we got a heads up that they might have to evacuate Burns, OR. Burns and Hines have a population of over 4,000, so that would be quite an evacuation. The reunion was great, we met relatives of Jean's that she had never met as well as an aunt and cousins that she had not seen in 60 years. They were all great people. Jean's aunt from Prineville had a slight stroke and spent the week in the hospital. She improved greatly and was able to go home on Friday.

We went to Zion National Park on Friday and had a great time even though the temperature was 113 degrees. That was down from the 119 on Wednesday and Thursday. We did walk up one trail for a 1.5 mile round trip. The park is a fantastic place and I would recommend it to everyone. The use of shuttles to ferry folks around the park is a great idea. The roads are not clogged and the air is not fouled by all the exhaust fumes.