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I know one isn't supposed to remember dreams but the mind is a curious thing...

The people are staring expectantly for some profound statement and I hear myself say, "No I won't miss the tingling anticipation of the needle popping through my vein and the hot... no.. cold flash, no, now hot waves of euphoria coursing along my newly excited nerve endings." I see all but one are staring shocked and wide eyed and one seems to have drifted off and is rocking herself slowly. " Indeed the first deep breath of new found power and my mind clearing of all normal debris to exhale the exhaust of willful abstemiousness and concentrate on riding this extreme pleasure to new peaks will not be missed!" I see doubt rising collectively from my audience and wonder if I said something odd... Digression maybe?

I look back and realize I have a beautiful girlfriend and even though she just turned 16 she has a new birthday mustang and she wants me to drive. All though I,m 17 I don't have a license but drive I do. The cop must have followed us with his lights off for miles and out of nowhere spinning red and white lights dominate and as we are spread out laying across the car hood. It must be cold but I shiver in fear as miles in the distance a line of spinning cherries works it's way toward us. The deputy waving his gun at us is more scared than we and soon the parade of cops arrives and cold hard handcuffs are clamped securely on wrists behind backs. Case dismissed, lack of evidence....

Montana lovely, but how did I end up in this water tank? The crude door cut in the side with a hasp welded on and locked with a master padlock, does this tank really have a dirt floor?... New digs.. a jail cell in Cutbank...two other guys and me in a cell. Time passes.....slooowly, small bowl of oatmeal at nine, white bread and Bologna at noon, and the piece de resistance Banquet tv dinner and two pieces white bread at five. Hmnnn, sounds like a party going on out there, much yelling and laughter then the little window in the solid metal door slides open and a string of lit firecrackers enters and the door slides shut..the acoustics of concrete and steel do their thing and the smoke adds a dreamlike touch. Much hysterical mirth outside and some cursing inside..a silence and the little window opens again, just a crack and a smooth shiny metal can appears... I cover my head with a blanket as we are hosed down....The next day the sheriff opens the metal door and I watch him through a slit in the blanket, he goes towards a file cabinet and stops and sniffs... then he looks at the floor and sees the firecracker mess and smells the mace. He exits and returns with a deputy who sweeps the mess up and lets us out for a shower, the first in two weeks. We have bacon and eggs with home made jam for breakfast and fresh trout for lunch. The sheriff mumbles something about not going for abuse of prisoners and the next thing I know, I'm at the Sweetgrass customs checkpoint and am supposed to drive a car to Denver for a cellmate who is being extradited for drug charges. The sheriff and juvenile officer give me ten bucks and say head out, I do.

Six o'clock in the morning and a blazing hot day already, the Ford Falcon wagon would not have run out of gas if the gas cap would have been secured. I still have five bucks so I hitch to nearest gas station 40 miles away in beautiful scenic Midwest Wyoming. I have money for gas but none for can deposit and decide to leave the car and hitch hike. No luck and a blue Chevy Blazer with a cherry on it stops and says get in. He takes me to a small house and a lady says she is the magistrate and we have court in her bedroom. She tries, convicts, and sentences me to 30 days in the Natrona county jail for hitchhiking. She tells the cop to make sure they put me in the juvenile section. Home sweet home, concrete block walls with two glass blocks for windows and oatmeal and two pieces of toast at 9am and pork and beans with two hot dogs and white bread at 3pm. Solid wood door nothing to read no one to talk to, this month will fly by!

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Forever Love Peace earings
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Waxxing nostalgic made recollections of my past appear and I realized I have had an amazing run of beginner's luck. I mean the first time I was run over by a car it totally missed touching me. That the radiator must have leaked on my trousers seemed pretty inconsequential at the time. The first time looking for gold made me think this is so easy I wonder why everyone is not here. In fact other than the car part its a wonder I ever do anything twice.
Here is my first speaker project, solid wood brazilian cherry and ebony.

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What's the worst job you've ever had?

I worked in a sheetmetal shop when I was a kid. My duty as the new guy was to make drives and s-locks. This involved picking up cut sheetmetal one piece at a time and feeding it into a machine. The cart the metal was on had 1200 or so pieces and I was supposed to count them. There was a clock on the wall I could not avoid looking at and how the time did drag. Worse I could see the chain of advancement and see guys who had been there anywhere from 2 to 40 years. Very depressing. The workers all seemed content with their situations but I only lasted two weeks.
I know spring is soon!!! Here is hope...
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About the middle of a fine winters day I hear the unexpected sound of snowmachines. Even more unusual is they are coming from up river. I was trapping and prospecting on the North fork of the 40 mile river and visitors are rare since the road is 35 miles away and the road has been closed for months. The nearest open road is 100 miles distant and who the heck would be coming from the opposite direction? Soon four snowmachines approach and I see BLM stickers on two. They stop, we talk, and they are freezing so I bring them in the cabin and get the fire perked up and serve tea. These guys are with a large mining outfit developing a huge asbestos mine about 90 miles upriver and chartered a plane to fly in snowmachines to scout out a route to bring in a dozer to do a bulk sample.

" That's just dandy! I guess I'll be moving" I say.

"Asbestos has never been proven to hurt anyone from being in the water" says one of the college educated geniuses from the BLM.

"How are they going to mine 100 million tons and not get some in the river and if it's in the river it's in the air" I retort.

"I suppose that's true" says the now thawed out bureaucrat.

The ramrod in charge tells me he wants to hire me as a guide since the proposed route is on my trapline. The proverbial bone to the natives I assume. He offers a seasons trapping pay for ten days consultant work and I accept.

An airplane buzzes the cabin and the boss says it's here to pick him up. This should be interesting, the only place to land is on the river and it is narrow, on a bend, with high cliffs on one side, plus I have prospect holes dug here and there. The plane comes in and as it touches down a 40 foot section of ice caves in leaving a hole right in front of the plane. The pilots mouth is open a mile and he guns the engine and steers hard left, guns it again and steers hard right and clears the gap by a good five feet and taxis up and shuts it down.

"Ice is a little rotten there?" says I

"Oh I've seen worse." says the still wide eyed pilot.

The boss issues orders and while getting on the plane tells me he is sending me two cases of beer the next day. Sure enough the next day the plane lands with beer.

A few days later a crew of nine including three BLM watchdogs begins the journey. The cat train is quite a sight, a bandbox new D7 Cat pulling a small bunk-room on skids with another large sled and a trailer on tracks behind it. Fuel, tools and everything it takes is just dragged along.The boss talks to an expediter on a SSB radio every night and orders stuff to be delivered. The whole crew crams in the bunkhouse to eat and sleep, they even have a cook. I sleep outside as they party till the wee hours every night. The plane lands every day to bring beer, steaks, and girly magazines. All goes well the first few days and I tell the boss about bad places in the river to avoid and he tells me "as long as you have power you can't get a Cat stuck so don't be bothering me with river reports".

This morning I tell the boss I have wolf traps that I have to move and I'll be gone most of the day. Coming back down river in the dark I wonder where the Cat train is, thinking they should have made more progress. Rounding a river bend I see lights, but something looks funny. As I approach, an awesome view comes into focus. The bunkhouse and attendant equipment look OK but only the top three feet of the cab of the Cat is visible in a hole in front of the procession. Further scrutiny reveals the Cat operator drove on a place that had six inches of ice, four feet of air, and eight to ten feet of water under the snow. The boss comes and starts on me about it's my fault and I just point to my tracks and say "I went around this". That's the end of that conversation.

This contingency has been planned for and a call is sent for the rescue dozer to come. I meet the "tow dozer" 60 miles away and escort him to the site. He takes one look and asks the boss why he lied about how stuck it was. The boss says he didn't think he would come otherwise, and tells him to give him a list of what he needs.

The next thing I know I'm in my wetsuit getting in the river with a chain that has one inch thick links to put on the tow hook under the belly pan. The hole has a lot of ice and as I'm holding my breath with large ice chunks impeding progress I nearly get pinned against the under carriage by these floating pieces. Time seems to stand still as I struggle and I picture the men above staring down at the hole, and one says "he sure has been down a long time" and another says "how longs it been?" and "WOW how can he really hold his breath that long in that ice water!" and I know I'm on my own and with the supreme effort of the desperate, push a block down enough to get over it and surface gasping like a beached whale. I do get help to the bunkhouse to warm up.

Later the cables are hooked to the winch of the rescue dozer and with sparks literally shooting off the straining cables out she comes. Some repair work and soon the operation is underway and the mission accomplished.

50,000 dollars is the price of arrogance and the boss was lucky he got someone to rescue him for that.

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Christmas cactus
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I heard an acquaintance remark "I'd be doin fine if the damn economy would straighten out and since Obama got elected I bought two semi automatic rifles and if Obama wants them he can have em bullits first".

Typical comment from one who depends on government spending to trickle down to pay off credit card interest. I realized it is futile to explain there is no fix to this mess. Government spending it's way out of debt is like bailing a sinking boat from bow to stern. End term economic collapse will necessitate barter for essentials. For some reason I can see this picture clearly. I'll be OK, I live in a cabin in the woods and don't need much, but many are in for a rude awakening. As the saying goes "having no plan is a plan for failure".

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Peace... from the North
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Big fish habitat, Mummy Bay, Knight Island, PWS, Alaska
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It's whats for dinner..
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