Winter Crabbing

Don’t Count Your Crabs Before They’re Caught

Just before Christmas Nate called me to ask if I was interested in bringing Sister Susie, our boat, up to Anacortes, where he lives so I could teach him to sail and we could go crabbing. It sounded fun but when I started thinking about the logistics I wanted to forget it but he managed to talk me into it.
I had to take the boat out of mothballs which took a few hours. I got it all ready to go before Christmas so that I could hitch it to the car on Christmas afternoon. We were planning on going up to spend a couple days any way. Since Christmas was on Sunday I just parked the boat at the marina overnight and on Monday we launched it at the boat ramp in Washington Park on the west end of Fidalgo Island, a couple miles from Nate’s house..
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Life in Okinawa Part 3

While I was in Okinawa in the mid sixties it was still an occupied country. There was a civil administrator, an American, who ran the country. Most of the people were happy with this situation because they had freedom and prosperity compared to the war period and even before the war. It was a third world environment in that they still had open sewers, a reality which was very hard on the Americans when they first arrived on the island. In the city and

Rural village shop with children in the streets.

even in parts of the country side, the stench was overwhelming. Along the city sidewalks next to the building there were concrete trenches, a few inches wide, covered with concrete lids each about 2 feet long. Each of these covers had openings near the ends so that they could easily be removed for maintenance. These holes allowed the sewerage gasses to vent right into the sidewalk areas. They did have clean water though, complements of the American military. In the interest of economy and speed of delivery, the water pipes were laid on top of the ground in many areas so the water was not very cold coming from the tap but it was clean.

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Life in Okinawa Part 2

Okinawa Without Air Conditioning

The climate in Okinawa is sub-tropical. Air conditioning was for officers who could afford it. During the summer we lived with a constant layer of sweat on our bodies because it was so humid that it would not dry.

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Army Life in Okinawa Part 1

Home Life

While I was in the Army I was stationed in Okinawa, Japan. I was an Army Private, when I first went there, but since I was in the intelligence Corps, I had the good fortune to get permission to bring my wife. A few weeks after I arrived there, my first wife Marcia joined me and we found a small Asian style house to live in. It was much better than most native houses. It was made of concrete, had plumbing and the other usual amenities we were used to.

Me holding Thatcher next to our Okinawa home.

The house had a formal entry, a formal parlor, a family room, a bedroom, a sunken tub, a flush toilet, a kitchen and  was about the size of a 2 car garage. The rooms were small but without bulky furniture it was surprisingly spacious. The floors were traditional tatami mats, 2 inch thick rice straw mats covered with wolven rice straw coverings. Each mat was bound on the edges with black fabric creating a 2 inch border. Each mat was approximately 3 by 6 feet. Each room that had tatami mats was described by the number of Continue reading

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About Calling For Revolution

A few months ago we watched the news as several governments in the Middle East were changed by huge protests in the streets. As the world watched many were sympathetic and hopeful for a brighter future for the protestors, a few misguided Americans even expressed a desire for the same thing to happen here. I am afraid the so called Arab Spring is not likely to bring about the freedom and democracy the oppressed people yearn for, because it is hard to overthrow the power structures through anarchy.
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I Couldn’t Make This Stuff Up

A few years ago I was in the drug store looking at greeting cards when I accidentally overheard a man and woman near me. They were picking out a card and the woman showed the man a card and said: “Do you like this one?”; he replied: “I don’t care which one you get. If you want that one go ahead and get it.” She asked again: “Would you get this one for me?” Irritated, he said:”Look you said you wanted a card so just get what ever you want.”
I couldn’t believe my ears. She was trying to get him to choose a card for her so that she could feel that the sentiment inside was from him but he couldn’t bring himself to read it and say: Yes that one is nice. I will get that one for you.” 
My heart went out to her, so in need of some indication of caring from her husband but he couldn’t do it.

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Giving Children What They Need

When my first child, Thatcher, was born, I was very interested in finding out what I could do to maximize his potential. I read books on education and early childhood development.

Thatch making a sucessful move on the chess board. (about 5 or 6 years old)

There was a lot of talk about the idea of enriching a child’s environment when they are little to  increase their effective IQ. The crib mobiles were new then and we got one right away. By the time he was 5 he had his own Continue reading

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A Fourth of July to Forget

Blame Granola Gina

In preparation for a major Mountaineering adventure we often climb a closer and smaller mountain. One time I walked up Mt Si with 40 pounds of books in my pack. I didn’t allow myself any stops just continuous effort on a 4 mile trail with a 3500 foot gain. About 100,000 people climb the mountain each year many are training for a major mountain.
One spring Nate, Gina and I climbed Mount Si in preparation for our Mount Baker climb. It was a lovely warm spring day. We camped on the top. The evening air was warm and Continue reading

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Gina’s Granola Phase

Assault On Mount Baker

Mt Baker in winter, looking East from Fidalgo Island. We climbed the South face shown here on the right.

While Gina was in college she developed an interest in the wilderness and decided that she liked to hike. I don’t remember just how it happened but we decided to climb Mt Baker. At 10,781 feet, Mt Baker is the third highest mountain in Washington and an active volcano. In 1999 it claimed the world record for the most snow fall in one year at 95 feet. We climbed the South face known as the railroad grade. This is a fairly easy approach in the early spring. As the snow and ice begin to melt in the spring the crevasses begin to open up and the South face becomes less appealing than the North face where the sun does its work more slowly. We set a date and began preparing. When the date arrived the weather was not encouraging but we called a weatherman, we knew, and asked his advice. He told us that there was a small window that would work but we had to get up and down on schedule or we could be caught in a storm.
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Men Will Be Boys

Wilderness Adventures

When Nate was 15 his scout troop was planning their summer adventure and had decided to do a canoe trip on Ross Lake. I was one of the leaders and planned to go with them. As we planned the event I suggested that we cook together as a group but they rejected the idea. I can understand their point of view. They were concerned that the food would not be what they liked.  I was taken with the idea that canoeing is essentially different than backpacking in that it is not necessary to pack light. The canoe can carry considerable weight without much extra strain on the body, so I decided to teach by example how to enjoy this fact.
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A Milestone

On Halloween my daughter Lara presented me with my 30th grand child. Susan is my 13th granddaughter. Her birth helps even up the tally since there are already 17 boys. I

I hope the yawn doesn't indicate bordom with Monster Grandpa.

once heard a speaker say the reason we have been commanded to multiply and replenish the earth is so “we can have joy and rejoicing in our posterity.”   I want you to know that I am doing just that. I am proud of my 7 children and my 30 grand children. Everyone of them are a joy. I only wish that they all lived closer so that I could enjoy them even more.

Lara and Susan

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Living in Potato Country

Since the farms around Carey, Idaho grow potatoes, and harvesting took a lot of labor, school always closed for 2 weeks in the fall so the kids could pick potatoes. As mentioned on other blog posts I started school in Carey a month before my 6th birthday and I only went to school there one year so I was picking potatoes at the ripe old age of 6. Continue reading

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Great Times In Benton City

We lived in Benton City, Washington while Dad worked on the McNary Dam on the Columbia River. I think I was in the 3rd grade then. We rented a house on several acres of land. Dad had an arrangement with the owner to pay for the rent by finishing the inside of the house. He would work a little each month in the evening and on Saturday. When we first moved in, the building was just one big room with a small enclosed porch on the back of the house which you had to walk through in order to get to the bathroom. In one corner there were kitchen cabinets, sink, refrigerator and electric range. We lined up all our beds along one wall and our living area was in a corner. This was just a temporary set up which was replaced by another temporary change. Continue reading

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I Cut My Beard Off

I cut my beard off last week. I have had it for about 12 years and I just thought maybe I would like not having it. When Chris came home I was interested to see how long it would take for her to notice. We talked for about 30 minutes and then we sat down to watch the news. I asked her to give me a kiss on the cheek which she willingly did. She even put her hand on my other cheek. We watched the news a little longer and I was thinking it might be days before she noticed, so I asked for another kiss on the cheek, an out of the ordinary request which made her wonder what was going on and as she put her hand on my cheek she finally noticed.

I wish I had just waited for her to notice on her own but, I didn’t want to wait that long.  She still likes my beard better so it is growing back.


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Global Warming

Years ago when I first heard about global warming my first reaction was: Okay. Good. Maybe this will get the attention of the people and they will stop polluting the air and the water with chemicals from industrial waste. Then I heard claims that the oceans were raising and the ice caps were melting and I thought wow, I live right by the ocean and I cannot detect even the slightest change. Pretty soon every time something happened it was because of global warming, even when it was unusually cold. I thought something is weird here so I began to take note of the preposterous claims and began to be more skeptical. I started doing a little checking to see if there were people who did not agree with the main stream press and I found that indeed there were many people who were not convinced. Check out the following link: Article

This article, written by Patrick J. Michaels discusses some significant arguments against the “settled science” proponents of global warming. He also wrote a book which documents some very serious challenges to the theory, called 
Meltdown: The Predictable Distortion of Global Warming by Scientists, Politicians, and the Media. This book is very heavy reading. It is filled with foot notes documenting all the science sources discussed. I have had a little education in the sciences but not enough to be able to understand the book fully but I read it 3 times and began to understand and agree with his point of view. After reading the book I  continued to read things on the internet and I am now convinced that global warming hype is being used to reach a political agenda which if allowed to proceed unchallenged will do great harm to the United States economy and to our personal prosperity. I think it is important that each individual should take the time to become informed on this issue so they can vote intelligently and otherwise use their informed judgment to counter the momentum of this destructive movement. 

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