Sunday, March 27, 2016

It's Friday Night

Like you've heard me say many times that Friday night is always a big night at my house. I guess it goes back to my working with the tools days  when Friday was payday and we'd splurge a bit. So the other night I practiced a new song I'm working up and then perfectly timed a couple New York steaks and washed them down with a really nice Merlot from the Stags Leap District of Napa Valley that Chris gifted us. So as it was a beautiful evening and the wine was so good that we decided to follow it up with a nice white wine while we walked down to the river and surveyed the estate...It was perfect magic until we climbed the hill to find the man door in the garage locked. But no worries, I have a garage opener in the truck that is....locked also. Now when I told this story to Jacques Lizin yesterday he said they always hide a key just for that eventuality...of course we do to Jack-o, but our's is in the house from when we used it on the last time we locked ourselves out.  But the good news is the kitchen window is unlocked and here I am using my natural athleticism to climb through the window...the pic is a bit blurry because MP was laughing so hard it was impossible to hold the phone still.
So we're safe and sound settled in on the couch @ Rancho Deluxe and we decide to watch a movie. Well, when we got back from Mexico I had it in my mind that I was paying waaaaay to much for Direct TV and I'm scaling back on the HBO etc... ( after Friday night I've changed my mind, no expense it to much ) So with only 150 channels instead of the old 350 we can't find a movie to agree on which is difficult for us under any conditions, you see MP just loves the old 'period pieces' and if it's in any way English or close to a ' Downton Abby' type I don't have a chance. So we end up with a movie called ' Deep in my Heart' on.....yikes, it was so miserable I took a pic of the characters. I bet you get the idea, a pox on TMC ( Turner Movie Classics) and the Hallmark Hall of Fame.
I couldn't handle it. I'm reading a really , really , really dull book about the famine in the Dark Ages and I went to bed to read.....guess who shows up 1/2 hour later to read ? Yup, she couldn't handle it either. So here's a list of some of MP's all time favorites that I've endured through the years, she thinks some are even worth watching over and over and over and...I pine away for a Bruce Willis movie.

Dutchess of Duke Street
Upstairs Downstairs
Pride and Prejedice
Horatio Hornblower
Downton Abby
Forsyth Saga

Well, you get the idea....and the all time worst Movie in Jeff's world,,, Doctor Zhivago....

And that my friends is a big Friday Night at Mile 14.

Friday, March 18, 2016

A Medley

You know that word, it's when a guy like me sings a few lines or one verse of a song and then leads into another and another, that's this but without music.
That's the view upriver to Mt. Redoubt from the Big Eddy just up from our house about a 1/4 mile. This morning it was just so clear and gorgeous so MP and I couldn't help but notice that the mountain was 'venting' a bit. All 4 of the Volcanic peaks across the Inlet from us have erupted in our 40 years here in their shadows and when it happens it's a mess, not to mention disruptive. So I did a little due diligence and found out that the venting is actually a good sign in that it means the pressure is being released instead of backing up in the earths core and that the only reason it's so noticeable is that the conditions are perfect for that, cold and clear. So, I guess that just makes it more interesting and in a certain way more pretty.
I think the NCAA tourney is about the coolest thing in sports. I love that all the Conference winners have a chance and that every year we see upsets and under dogs and cool stories of cool kids playing the game. I usually go big time with Gonzaga because I just love the way that name sings but I know that's stupid and they always let me down so this year I only took them for the first round...most likely be sorry for that. Already we have Michigan State ( my all time favorite player Magic's school) put out by.....Mid Tennessee.... I know you have to guess some upsets....but not too much. Here's my choices, I'm big on UCONN and Xavier because I had a connection to that X, my fishing team, Team X, the hardest fishing team in Mazatlan.
Every year out St. Paddy's day parade gets a little smaller but I gotta hand it to our town, they keep the faith even when it's blowing , blustery cold like it was yesterday.  You know me and the music so you know I was impressed to hear real live Irish Ballads coming down the Spur Highway. Difficult conditions but I gotta hand it to these guys it sounded great, if you want perfection, stay home and put a CD in. Thanks guys for the effort.
And of course this a year of politics and we had some of that. I don't really know what the message was about, whether they were with Bernie or against him.... I just know they weren't committed enough to hold a sign and stand out in the weather and let us small town folks find out who the messenger is. I guess that's just part of the game any more....
As me and MPeasy were having our anniversary supper and talking of the days...and how we got to where we are and of course the peculiarities of a happy married life she had a GREAT idea. Some things that are just an anchor in everyone's married life take years to the junk drawer. So she suggested we could go into business selling pre-collected junk drawers so newly weds wouldn't have to go through the work , stress and strain of collecting their own. Brilliant. It's better than the time she suggested they sell you 3 socks instead of 2 because they know you're going to lose one and just want you buy another entire pair. Here's a pic of of ours. And oh, we got one in the car to.
A thing of beauty. A couple old film cameras, the top of a Patron bottle, sunglasses and a deck of 51 cards. Of course car keys to long gone vehicles, candles, a cool Sucrets can, a butane filler for that barbecue lighter you used to have and the weirdest thing....a Rubics Cube....and it's SOLVED ! I'd love to take credit for that but I cannot tell a lie, so it wasn't MP either. So if any of you who have spent time at Mile 14 are responsible for solving the Rubics Cube step forward so we can give you all the credit you deserve right here, up in lights, with the  mystery makers of life at Mile 14.

I just noticed the drawer needs a golf ball.....

Friday, March 11, 2016

Pre - season

It's been so gosh darn nice that I just can't keep from walking the wilderness  along our stretch of river here at Mile 14. MP has a list of things for me to do and just as I get to bare down on one the sun comes out, it's 47 degrees out and a flock of  Trumpeter Swans flys over and I'm off to the river again. All you have seen me post many a picture of Fall-in-Hole but does this look more like June than March or what ????
I hate to tell ya Keith but by the time you go on a Marine salvage run this place is gonna be pretty well picked over...I might even fire up the ol S.S. Minnow in a couple days. So here's pic of my first cost recovery item of the year...a nice, only few months old Pixie in the best color....yahtzee.
Now I know some of you wonder is Jeff really uses all the stuff he finds in the world famous Kenai River so here's a shot of all the 'keepers' I've found in the last couple years. With this next year being a Humpy year you certainly need an inventory of # 5 Vibraxes...and I got em. So when one gets chucked into the woods or snapped off on a hump hooked rogue male pinks salmon....I say " no worries, we got a few spares ".
So here I am in this beautiful place ...and I'm all alone. It's funny, I feel completely at home, not worried about bears, not worried about falling through the ice,actually not worried about a single darn thing. This pic is the only 'sign' I came across, me and a neighbor.
So just as I'm at peace with the world and it's all starting to make sense to me.... I hear a boat coming...I ain't kiddin ya, it's the 10th of March and I hear the howl of a jet unit coming up from downriver. Many years I've been the first one out and of course our ice usually won't go until mid April so I'm kinda wondering....just who in the world ???? Stupid me , of course it's the G-Men.
Normally for a guy like me that's a pretty sight. A boat clean up on step making it's way over the riffles and shallows of this place....BUT, I get to wondering just what in the world are those guys doing and especially what could they be doing that takes THREE of them ???
So I try to wave them over so I can ask them because I know if it were me out there in mid March they'd sure as heck want to know what I was up to but they just waved a bit and kept going....

Park Ranger: " Hey Bob it's awful darn nice out today, I got a brand new motor on my patrol boat to break up,,,ah, I mean break IN... so ya wanna go screw around " ?

ADF+G:  "Well I don't know Steve I'm awful busy creating last years sonar counts" .... " but I was told to get some more signs put up for this summer's Red run so maybe we could go scout locations"...

Park Ranger : " oh boy, that's a big job, you better bring a helper"

ADF+G :  " Actually we'll take the boss....I'm sure he could use a break from dodging phone calls ".

And my personal favorite.

Friday, March 4, 2016

th,th,th,thirty eight

Yup, that's how long me and Mary Patricia Brown have been married. Tonight we're going to celebrate with some good food and listen to some home made music and we'll even do it on the right night. You see we celebrated our anniversary on March 5th for about 35 years and low and behold...we were wrong. I guess that the two of us were so overwhelmed with the idea of a entire life together that we just forgot. We were going to get married in the Catholic Church of course but after we did the ' how to be happy' class given by a Priest we were then told about the waiting period and you know me.... I don't wait so good. So here's a pic of us in my folks living room, that would be my dad next to my bride.
I was a little hinky with the whole deal and my mom wanted the house to be just right so I went fishing that morning, no kidding. I did manage to track in a bunch of  Montana mud but as you can see from the next pic we got er done. I look a little relieved as MPeasy and I share big R afterwards. She still looks at me that way to this day.....usually followed by a " what were you thinking "!!!!
After we decided to give the Catholic Church the hook we asked our friend Bill Hunt to marry us. We used some of the vows that his son Joe had used and I made up a little poem.  I do believe that the moe-joe that came from Bill Hunt added to our future. He was a 20 year member of the Montana Supreme Court as well as a WW 2 hero and just one of the smartest, neatest , liberal thinkers anybody has ever met. He died just last week so I have to tell you Bill, Mary, Jim, Billy, Kate Pat and Joe...we love and have loved you all, thanks for the wonderful friendship. Here's a pic of MP with Bill and Mary.
Here's a pic of the line-up at the apre wedding event ( in the basement) . The guy with the big hair talking politics on the left is my big brother Jack. Of course my dad is always around the beer and MP next to Tom Hanson who sang Color my World for us, ya know you can't get married back then without Color my World . Then we have my best buddies Curt and Beno with his wife Jan who is his wife no longer....little bit of that with this married deal eh ? As you can see we've moved on to the PBR, or maybe they just weren't Rainer guys like me, I don't know.
There's a few things in life I'm really good at and love is one of them...and after all , that is really all marriage is eh ? It ain't complicated, it's just love. So I think I'll do one of those lists that I like so much of the keys to love least for me and MP. I 'll kinda gear to the guys and of course it ain't no primer on how to stay married it's just a few of the things that have worked for us...

1. Move... I'm convinced that Alaska helped make us what we are, happy. Ya know if we'd stayed in Montana around all the old ways and all the old habits and all the old....well, there's a country song that says " you're always 17 in your hometown ''s true, when you move, you're 'all in' as the poker players say.

2. Be poor... That's goes right down the alley with #1...If ya don't wanna be poor ya gotta work. Work = respect = appreciation = mutual support which = 38 years...but being poor gives you the 'baseline' data you need for a life of love.....

3. Code of the know me I preach it all the time and with friends and associates it's hard to attain but with MP it's always job 1. Not only do you support and nurture, you protect....always. MP ain't perfect, none of us are...but I'm the only one that gets to say that. You hurt her, you hurt me, it's simple.


5. Separate toothbrushes....but you can share in a jam

6.'s one of the things we do a lot. I guess you could call it a 'date night' . We love the big screen and we love to talk of the story line just as we do with books we read...and every now and then you'll see a movie like Jerry McGuire and oh baby, we're learning love.

7. Dishes...when Max left Alaska following love I told him that a key to happiness is dishes, do dishes.

8. Explore...New things, new places , new friends , new ideas , new projects...take the lead and don't be scaredy chicken...Even when you find things you might not like or even get hurt by do it together and you learn why you're in love .

9. Passion for....things and interests . It's easier to be proud of and share each others lives when you know it's 100 %...For me it's the fishing, the music, MP...for her it's the art, the Flowers, her family, it's all 100 %, no cutting corners.

10. Shower together.....yup, I scratch your back, you scratch mine.

11. FRIDAY....I don't why, maybe it goes back to my working with the tools days but Friday is always a special day, a day to celebrate. I cook a nice Steak, a little Chardonnay, a fire in fireplace, we re cap events and scrabble.

12. Kids... that's a biggy....nothing in the world makes you a better person more than having kids. Once you have kids, gone is selfishness and greed and I think people notice, I know MP did.....It's really what life is all about I'd say and that comes from the love and commitment of marriage. In all parts of life I never trust people in any decision making processes that don't have kids...

13, Dog....MP told me one time that ol Jet-Dog made me a better person....I don't know what it says about a guy that needs a dog to become a better person ...but ...I'll take it.  We shared a love for that animal me and MP did..a little like the kids I suppose.

14. Two Newspapers...makes those sometimes difficult first few minutes of the day easier. Got coffee, got your own soup.

Well, I could go on and on but I figure this might start sounding like a lecture and nobody needs that, besides that I'm not telling any of you anything that you don't know. So I'll leave this deal with one more pic of me and MP on our wedding night and I'll say this, no, I'll shout this....I love you MP , I loved you that night 38 years ago but I really, really, really love you now, now that I've learned how.