Tuesday, June 11, 2019

So long Keith

Tough day yesterday.
I drove my daughter, Elisa, over to Seattle to see Keith. Keith is her significant other. A nice gut, a talented carpenter, hard worker. A guy that was footloose and an adventurer, he had spent the last nine summers mining gold in Alaska. He didn't get rich, but always made wages, with a little left over. Kinda like a couple of month vacation for free.
Last year I grubsteaked them for a grand, with the agreement that they would pay me back with an ounce of gold. Overall, they broke even, with a little eft over.
Keith had no problem finding work, as he has an excellent reputation as a talented carpenter and a hard worker. Everything was going according to plan.
Then he started having abdominal and back pain, and one day his eyeballs turned yellow.
The diagnosis was devastating. He had pancreatic cancer that was inoperable. The cancer was pinching odd the bile duct on his liver, so they installed a stent to allow the bile to drain, but there was nothing to deal with the underlying cause.
So since November we have had to watch him decline.
He steadily lost weight, and went from around 190 down and down and down.
When I saw him to say goodbye yesterday, his chart said that he weighed 123 pounds.
He looked like he had just been freed from a concentration camp.
He faded in and out. Sometimes he was there, sometimes not.
I got to say goodbye and get some sense of closure.
It is very difficult to believe in a God who tortures people to death slowly. No man could have devised a nastier way to kill someone.
So I told him I would see him on the other side, and shed a few trees.


Friday, June 07, 2019

Winning With Weed

Lately I have been seeing a lot of posts on facebook about Weedstock, which is my term for the feeding frenzy developing around the possible financial gains to be made around the legalization of Marijuana.
Reminds me of the idiocy surrounding the .com frenzy. People who have no idea what they are doing are presented with an "opportunity" that sounds good and should in theory should make a bunch of money without doing anything.
Is there an opportunity to make a ton of money in the marketing and sale of legalized weed?
Hell yes!
Are you going to make it investing in every two bit grow operation?
Hell no!
Out of the thousands of small businesses will still be standing when the smoke clears, which ones Will still be standing is something no one can predict. It would take a lot of research to sift through all the hype to figure out who actually has a product or service that actually have value.
My money is on Big Pharma. They will find some way to control supply and distribution. Or some legal doorstop to keep it all in house.
Take your hard earned your money and buy some boring solid investment that has a guaranteed return over time.
Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

So Long MOM

a week ago today, my Mom passed away. She Had been in poor health for the last year or so.
She Had been in and outof the Hospital several times recently.
Each time she came back a little weaker. She set up a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) order,
She crashed about three weeks ago, and the family made arrangements for a Hospice worker to visit. Then we set up the deathwatch, so that one of her kids was with her tenderfour/seven.
Since I live three hours away, I was not able to participate as much as some of the other family members that live closer.
I went in and stayed Tuesday night and Wednesday with her. Not one of the easiest things I have ever done, but not that bad either, since she was mostly unresponsive.
When I showed up I went in and stood at her bedside and let her know I was there, for a brief moment her eyes focused and she smiled at me.
She was a great mom.
Growing up when I saw shows like Leave it to Beaver, I thought that was the way all families were. Dad Worked, mom ran the house, and the worst that happened was that somebody picked on you at school or you got In a fight, but home was this comfortable safe place. Stable. Loving.
It wasn't until I got out in the world that I found out that we were the exception.
We were never beaten as children, but Mom was the possessor Of the dreaded wooden spoon. The spoon was more of an insult to your dignity that pain.
All seven of us siblings (Three boys four girls) is an intelligent, stubborn, independent person, ans keeping us all under control must have been a lot like herding cats.
But we all turned out fine. No drug addicts drink or criminals in the lot. Not to say we never  got into trouble or stretched the boundaries.
My favorite memory is the Fall we spent canning Peaches. Dad had gotten some super deal on fresh peaches. We spent several days blanching peaches, sterilizing jars, cutting up peaches and spooning into jars with a little syrup water. Spent a lot of time talking and joking and making light of the work. We canned 13 boxes of peaches, which turned into over 100 quarts in the jar..
She always loved going berry picking, and made wonderful Freezer jam. Blackberry was her favorite. When I moved out to Sequim, I saw a few blackberry bushes, so I started looking around for more, and soon found enough here and there to make jam, so for the last few years I have been her source for home made jam. She always appreciated it, because she understood the time and effort it took to get the berries. And the love that it was made with.
So from now on, when I stop and make toast and blackberry jam, I will be thinking of her.
Not a bad way to remember your Mom.

Friday, March 01, 2019

Snowmageddon 2019, Sequim

On a Friday about six weeks ago I had an appointment in Silverdale to go to the Pain Clinic. The appointment was for 9:20. Snow was forecast for afternoon
I needed to make a decision about which car to drive  The HHR gets around 30 mpg on the open road. It has front wheel drive and pretty good tires. Or the Dodge which had four wheel drive but gets about 10 mpg but has brand new 23 inch mud meats.
I figured I could get to my appointment and back before the snow get bad enough that I would have any problems. Valley Road, a dude in a Pickup truck came to a compete halt in the middle of the road. Once I lost momentum, it was all over.
A kindly neighbor eventually came by and pulled me up to the top of the rise. I eventually made it the last mile home, but there was no way for me to make it up the driveway. Our driveway is about fifty yards long and uphill all the way. So I parked the car at the foot of the driveway and walked.
The car remained there for two weeks. I managed to move it to the side enough that the Dodge could make it past. Richard, my neighbor came by woih his excavator and cleared the driveway.
But even if we could make it to the road, the roads had not been plowed.
After about a week, the roads got plowed enough that the Dodge could get around, and we could do some shopping.
We had gotten 32 inches of snow. Paths had to be shoveled out to get to the cars. to get to the woodshed, to get to the greenhouse, for a dog run, and last but not least the driveway.
After 10 days, Carol decided that the roads were clear enough that she could make it to town to get her haur done. About the time she put down the phone, it started to snow It wasn't sticking much, so she set out for town. Ten minutes later she was back. She had gotten about a mile from home and the snow had gotten  bad enough thet the car started sliding, so she wisely came back and got the chauffeur (me) and made it for her hair appointment.
The truck had no problems.
We still have about 12 inches of snow in the yard.
The melting snow ripped the gutters off the garage, but the house and awning have come through fine.
Snowmageddon HAH!~
We will rebuild

Friday, October 26, 2018

Things Fall Apart

I haven't posted on a quite a while, mainly because I never took the time to sit down and do it. I guess I have fallen out of the habit. I need to set aside a specific time every day and just do it.

Things have not gone well in the last week

First, I had gone in to town to pick up a few things, like lacquer for a table I am working on. As I was coming back, going up third ave. I downshifted and a loud rattly clatter, clatter, and the truck quit running.

I managed to get off the road. I got out and raised the hood. A small wisp of smoke drifted up from the engine by the exhaust manifold. On closer inspection there was a hole about the size of my fist in the block. I have been wanting to get a different truck for a couple of years, but was having a hard time selling the idea. Guess I get my truck. It was kinda weird because although the truck had the correct amount of oil and water, neither one spilled on the road. So now I am looking for a used 4 X 4 truck. I am in no hurry.

Then our daughter Lisa's fiance' Keith came down sick. We all had a cols at about the same time, but he just kept getting worse and worse. Then he started having belly pain. And it kept getting worse. On Wednesday his eyes turned yellow, so he went to the Hospital. He had a mass on his pancreas that was blocking the bile duct on his liver, so they shipped him off to Tacoma for surgery. The result was not good. He has inoperable cancer of the pancreas. At this point we don't know how much time he has or what he wants to do. He implied today that he wants to go back to Missouri where his mother is, but we don't know anything yet. He will be coming back here tomorrow, and I guess we will have to figure it out from there. I feel so sorry for Lisa. She finally found someone who is perfectly suited for her, and she is going to lose him.

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

End of the Alley

When I was n the Army on Okinawa from 68 to 70, I helped start a nightclub.
There wasn't a lot of decent entertainment there. Tittie bars, strip clubs, and a few pitiful music clubs attempting rock n roll. On the weekend we would wander around looking for something different.
Bt we, I mean the enlisted personnel of the Psychiatric Service Clinic in Sukiran.
Sukiran had no nightlife, but Kadena was right down the road.
We were exploring the bars and ended up in a little hole in the wall bar having a drink when this chick strolls in with a guitar. Single white women were a rarity, and a chick with a guitar had our interest.
We asked her to play us a tune, and she did 500 Miles. Cool.
I played and sang, so it was suggested I play a tune. I pointed out that I played left handed, with the strings backwards. She said "In case you didn't notice, this IS a left handed guitar."
Holy Shit! What a convergence of stars.
So I played a finger pickin' version of Don't think twice. She countered with another folk tune, I played Portland Town.
Back and forth. The place slowly filled up until we had a pretty good audience. Then another guy walked in with a guitar, and he joined in. We were having a great time, drinking beer BSing and trading tunes and tunings. When I came time to leave, the two Okinawan ladies who owned the place cornered us and said "You come back Tomorrow, yes?"
So we did.
They had set up a small stage and a mic. and a couple of speakers. Word had gotten around and there was a pretty good crowd. We had a blast.
This was a weekends only thing, but every weekend we put together an open mic night. They owners expanded the stage and the bar twice, and Saturday nights it was standing room only.
It became too much BS and I dropped out after a while, but for a while I was a part of something great.
Funny how things slide in through the back of your head and pop up in you consciousness.
Here's something that popped into my head today

                                      Moose Goosers

Then moose goosers ain't they a gas
sneak up on them moose
an goose 'em in the ass
Goosin' them big moose
goosin' them tiny
sneak up on them moose
goose em in the hiney
You can be a moose gooser
ain't nothin to it
SNeak up on that moose
then you goose it.