close to town

This is a short video about some folks seeking alternative places to live around Fairbanks, AK.

Check out the “tiny houses”.

Some of them look close to town….some of them are out in the woods.

“Close to town” in Alaska is probably pretty different than close to town in North Carolina.

No matter how close I get to town, I’m never far away from thinking about this kind of stuff all the time.

This second documentary is kind of interesting….

There are so many different ways to live.

Alaska Into The Wilderness©

This is a long special…a series of specials…. that’s on YouTube now.

Check out the lady’s last name who posted this…..IT’S “NORWAY”.

How could I resist posting this?

Wilderness living and a “poster” named “Norway”?

It’s a “no-brainer”….just like I like ‘em.

I wrote a blog post about Heimo Korth before.

He’s an interesting person.

This series of 4 specials profiles a number of different people….a number of different situations….all up in Alaska.

It’s a big world….and it’s all pretty amazing.

Sparrow and the Bee

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Jenny called me at work the other day.

When Jenny calls me at work, I need to turn off the radio and pause for a second before I open the next mailbox.

I need to listen.

“Do you know what Sparrow just did?” she asked.

“No…..took her first step?”

I miss a lot. Everybody who works (away from home) misses a lot. I guess that people miss things if they aren’t at home.

“No….” Jenny told me “she was sitting in her high chair outside, eating something sweet, and a yellow jacket landed on her table, and she picked it up and put it in her mouth.”

I didn’t know what to say.

My experiences with yellow jackets usually end badly.

I don’t touch them.

I don’t eat them.

“Oh, no….what happened?! Did she get stung?”

“No….she started laughing and the bee flew out of her mouth. I think the bee was kind of surprised….”

What the heck? That yellow jacket didn’t even see that one coming in a million years.

People putting a yellow jacket in their mouths is not standard operating procedure.

It must have tickled some to make her laugh like that.

I was glad that she didn’t get stung….funny little Sparrow.

That’s a funny way to live….not expecting a bad thing to happen.

You see the bee….and you put it in your mouth….and it’s funny.

It’s not scary or troublesome.

Until you get stung, you don’t have a care in the world.

I’m going to pick up my grass carp this morning.

The outfit that sells the fish is coming with a big tank trunk….so I need to drive out to the hardware store to get them.

I’m thinking, “What if these fish die? What if that pond kills them? That’ll be 60 bucks down the drain….”

“What if they don’t eat all the grass?”

“What if some big bird eats them?”

I’m worried about stuff that I don’t know about.

How did that happen?

Sparrow puts the bee in her mouth…and laughs…and I’m worried about everything.

What kind of example am I? Is that the role of the “Good Daddy”? To worry all the time….see all the boogie men and KILL ‘EM ALL before they can get us? Or spend a lifetime looking for them….ready to “kill ‘em all” if the bad times ever really do come around?

Good things happen. Bad things happen. All kinds of things happen.

It’s the things that actually do happen that should fill my head and my life.

What’s that Mark Twain quote? Let me look it up quick…..

Ah….

I have been through some terrible things in my life–some of which actually happened.

I guess that you just push through….no matter what life brings you.

Nothing happens all at once, anyway.

I think that would make the Universe implode or something.

Nothing happens all at once.

You just eat the bee….and wait to see what’s going to happen next.

I do think that it helps if you laugh while you’re doing it.

Maybe that’s the secret.

“Wonderland” Angie Aparo

gasoline

New York And New Jersey Continue To Recover From Superstorm Sandy

I was filling up the Mail Jeep the other day….the “Mail Jeep”….very official….and realized as a I felt the weight of the gas begin to weigh down the back of the Jeep and move me a little even when I was stopped at the pump…that I REALLY LOVE GASOLINE.

Of course, it’s a love/hate relationship.

Part of me wishes that I did something where I could ride my bicycle everywhere I needed to go.

I’d like to live in a way that I could walk to get all my groceries….work at home….rideshare….be a “totally green man”.

I’d like to live in a way that was gentle to the Earth.

Maybe, I’d fly a solar-powered hovercraft.

There is a lot that I could do that would be better.

But, for now….GASOLINE ROCKS!!!

I say, “GASOLINE ROCKS”….and the ice caps are melting and the sea level is rising and things are changing….but I still like being carried wherever I go….carried in a big metal box with rubber wheels that outweighs me by….a bunch of bigger numbers.

I guess that I embrace what I don’t know how to avoid.

I have to drive around if I’m going to bring all this mail to THE PEOPLE.

I am made to serve….and I need to consume to do it.

Gasoline! It carries me on my route….and it carries me to the mountains….to the meadow….where my heart mends (sorry, GAR)….lots of places.

Now, I could be actively pursuing a green lifestyle.

I could quit my job and campaign to be the head of a major environmental organization.

But….I’m afraid I’d have to drive or fly everywhere so that the people could be exposed to all my green wisdom.

I can’t beat this gas rap.

And to top it all off….at some point, Jenny will say, “Was that you? Did you just…..?!”

That’s a different kind of gas, I guess.

Methane powered vehicles!! Maybe that’s the way to go?

I’ve heard that “grease cars” smell like french fries.

What do “methane cars” smell like?

Who knows.

What I do know is that some of my best experiences started with putting it in and pumping some gas….and driving, driving, driving.

So…I love gasoline.

I don’t love what it is….I don’t like how we get it….I hate how we can’t seem to stop using it.

(The earth will collapse in on itself like an empty puffball because of all the fracking. One minute, we’ll be driving around on the newly thinned out crust, and the next minute we’ll be imploding straight to Hades. That doesn’t sound good to me.)

Gasoline runs the world.

Gasoline runs my world of motorvation.

I’m going to zip around while I still can.

I’m going to hurtle through space in my big metal box.

I’m going to listen to the radio really loud to cover up the road noise.

I’m going to go somewhere else.

Thanks, gasoline!

“gasoline” Britney Spears

GPS

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We took a trip out West a couple of summers ago.

We drove the old Dodge Caravan minivan….and except for leaving a gas cap somewhere in North Dakota, didn’t have any trouble with the old car.

That was kind of a miracle.

We bought a GPS for the trip….and I guess that it helped, some….for the most part….it told us where to go and we went.

We put a lot of faith in something that we’d never used before.

Continue reading

every year

Every year…these leaves come down….turning brown….falling down.

No big magic in that.

No big magic….but sort of amazing, really….to see the seasons come together, year after year, pulling off the mundane miracle of moving into another phase of our lives.

It may just be “pre-coffee moroseness”….that may be what’s doing the talking here….but I am impressed with the movement into Fall.

That’s pretty cool…that it’s getting cooler.

I better drink some coffee.

There….that’s better.

Coffee…..!

I guess that it’s good that I appreciate the juggernaut.

Whether I appreciate it all or not, it’s all going to happen anyway.

No matter what kind of lighting or climate control I have in my house, the seasons are going to happen….with or without me.

I used the phrase “mundane miracle” early in the blog, but there’s really nothing mundane about any of the things that go on around us.

There’s nothing mundane about Nature.

I think sometimes that I take it for granted because it’s kind of tiring to live in a constant state of amazement.

That could really wear a person out to be amazed all the time.

So, maybe it’s easier to just call something that’s pretty consistently grand….”mundane”.

It’s like always driving a Maserati….after a while, it’s just a “car”.

Anyway….we’re moving into Fall and I like it.

I know that it means Winter is coming soon….and it’s going to get cold and a little bit harder for a while….but I love Fall.

I’ll deal with the Winter when it comes…now it’s time to enjoy the coolness and the Fall colors.

It poured here for a couple of days.

I think that I heard that there’s a big storm somewhere in the world.

When other people get huge storms….our storms aren’t quite as extreme.

We didn’t get the typhoon….just a lot of rain.

Taking Nate to school yesterday, we had to detour where a tree had fallen across the road.

Our straight shot became a small loop because of that tree.

I guess that the ground gets soft with all the rain….and then it doesn’t take a whole lot of wind to push it down.

I just read the beginning of this blog again before I hit “publish”….or contemplated writing some more….and the phrase “phase of our lives” jumped at me.

“Phase of our lives”? Why do I have to personalize everything? In the big picture, I really am pretty irrelevant….and that’s OK. I’m not the hub of the wheel….my importance is negligible.

I try and take care of my family….try to pay attention to my personal hygiene…try to handle at least some of the details that make things roll smoother….

but I’m not a big shot.

I don’t think that releasing my album to 500 million Itunes users at the same time would make me a big shot.

In the face of Nature….and the presence of God….I’m pretty small potatoes.

Thank goodness.

It would be rough to be responsible for the really big ticket items.

It’s hard enough just taking care of my family.

That’s enough for me.

 

his brother’s records

louden

I lived in Georgia growing up.

It’s where I heard a lot of the music that I still love for the first time.

A lot of the really “cool” music was on records that were owned by friend’s older brothers or sisters.

I don’t think that they knew that we were listening to them.

I’m sure they wondered where the new scratches came from.

One of the albums that I heard for the first time was the second album by Loudon Wainwright III.

My friend John’s older brother Tommy had a copy….and we listened to it on Tommy’s stereo in the room he shared with John.

It was pretty hilarious music….dark and funny.

Good stuff.

I think that we took a pocketknife to a Captain Beefheart album that we thought was a little too weird that same day.

It was a little too far from being an Almann Brothers album for our tastes.

What a pair of punks to scratch up someone else’s album like that.

We took the music from where we could find it.

Loudon Wainwright III….in a cardboard sleeve….on a brother’s stereo…for the first time.

It doesn’t get any better than that.

I used to play this song on the guitar…..wail and play….sing along with Louden.

It’s from the album that came after the one we listened to on Tommy’s stereo.

It’s from the album that had the song about the skunk.

paint

paint cansThere’s a lifetime worth of old paint cans on the property we just bought.

The more I dig into the situation, the more I think that the people who sold us the place didn’t do a lot to “stage” it.

There wasn’t a whole lot of staging going on.

Of course, I’m kidding. We bought the place “as is”….in fact, the house wasn’t even included in the appraisal….it was too “atypical”….too outside of what a lending institution would consider lending money on.

Anyway….there’s a lot of paint cans. Continue reading

My Cousin Has Tickets

The first concert I ever went to was “Wings Over America” in 1976.

My friend, Dee, said that her cousin Terry worked at a radio station and had tickets to the Wings Over America concert at the Omni in Atlanta….and “would I like to go with them?”

I’m a big Beatles fan….so in spite of an 8 dollar (!) ticket price….I was pretty excited.

That was really something to see Paul McCartney live so soon after the breakup of the Beatles.

It was a good first concert.

Here’s a couple more videos from that tour.