Saturday, May 31, 2008

Three way coincidence

Sometimes I really like blogging. It makes the world seem so small. I just got a comment from a person that owns a resort on the Campbell River. That just happens to be where Ed and Mary Alice Denson are as we blog.

If you recall I did a post on the worlds largest non-nuclear explosion that took out Ripple Rock on the Campbell River in British Columbia. The Campbell River is sometimes called the inside passage.

Here's the comment from Silky

"Silky Pearce said...
Hi.. I live at Seymour Narrows and see these currents everyday. You are correct about the Cruise Ships veing cautious in these waters ans this area, they waite for slack tide and use a special captian to navigate through these waters. At my beach there are gigantic wirl pools that start out like little dimples and create a hug wirl pool that stops all navigation coming and going. It's georgous here, and my beach is perfect for sitting and watching all of this activity. I have no idea how I came to your web site, but glad I did. Come and visit some time. It's fun to watch the Cruise Ships this time of year, they come in so close it disturbs my view. SO you went right pass me and did not wave. see my beach at the narrows Silky

I’ll provide a few links for your entertainment.

The end of Ripple Rock.

Siky’s place

Eds Blog

Friday, May 30, 2008

Outrageous Outrage.

Eureka and Humboldt Bay, with Indian Island on the mid-left.

Hmmm… Say my uncle Fred ( I don’t have an uncle Fred) told me a story that he heard from a man that he works with, that heard from a friend of his wife’s that was told a “true accounting” of some great piece of history. Say that accounting of history explained a lot of things that people have always wondered about. Should it be told? Or should it be untold as “Unverifiable”.

Say that a guy jumps out of his best friends wife’s window, and tries to run home in the middle of the night, and gets killed by a mountain lion. ( That didn’t happen either). How much of the story should be told? What would be gained, and what would be lost by the complete telling of the story? I’ll let you think about it. I would reveal that a man was killed by a mountain lion, and let the rest go.

Say I knew all the names of the people who killed the Indians on Indian Island in Eureka, (I don’t) should I tell? If the names of those people were known, how would we treat their descendants. Are we good enough as fellow human being to allow them their individual honor, based on who they are personally? Or would we condemn the whole family as murderers. Many people feel that Larrabee Creek should be renamed, because that family had something to do with the murder of the Indians on Indian Island. Could you meet, and shake hands with, someone with the last name of Larrabee, and not wonder if he was a descendant of the infamous Larrabee?

Heraldo Riviera, who writes the famous “Humboldt Herald” blog is outraged that the massacre happened, and has demanded full disclosure: “While the perpetrators of this crime are safely dead, it is likely that living descendents know their names. May they have the courage to step forward and reveal Eureka’s darkest secret.”
Although Heraldo’s dramatic rendering of the tale of the Indian Island massacre is very poignant, and it outrages today’s society. It inadvertently reveals something about yesteryear that would not be accepted today. The man had a following of people that agreed with him. Yet they must have known that it was wrong, because they kept it a secret. I would imagine that they did not even tell their families their horrible secret, and I think that it died with them, as it should. Why would they want to dump that legacy on their descendants?

Sometimes I think too hard about things, but it is easy for me to see why some history should die in the boots that it walked in.

Just as a side note, I find it ironic that someone who is the most “anonymous” person in all of Humboldt County would be demanding names. It leads me to wonder how he would use them if he had them.

How would we feel about Heraldo Riviera if found out that his name was “Larrabee”? ( I don’t think it is)

A link for Rose: We can't judge what happened then by who we are now. The comments on that post are the best comments that I've ever recived, they were very thoughtful.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Still here, been busy.

Where has my time gone?

The little 104 degree weather got the attention of my refrigeration and air-conditioning customers, that took a little of my time. The Redway Barbecue took a great deal of my time. Then politics took a little of my time. I started to feel guilty about not spending enough time with my wife. That, and I was beginning to miss her.

Chris Brannan invited us to his place in Ferndale, that just happens to have a great view of the Kinetic Sculpture Race finish line. So I took my wife to the place that we went on our first date. The Kinetic Sculpture Race. We had a great time. It seems like “time” is becoming my watchword here.

“tick tock, tick tock, tick tock people. Time keeps slipping away”
Stevie Ray Vaughan

I have been spending as much time as I can, trying to help Estelle with her campaign for supervisor. I have gotten to know her pretty well. She plays very fair, and I admire that quality in a person. This campaign season has been very rough on her, in that she is trying to be respectful of Rodoni’s death, and be fair with the widow, but it seems like the widow wants her husbands old job. We feel that it is important for all of the second district to get Estelle elected.

From my standpoint, it is difficult to be involved in a campaign. Going into it, I promised myself that I would not let it get personal, and friendships are more important than politics, and if I disagree with someone, I want to disagree respectfully enough to not damage a friendship. I hope that I’ve maintained that philosophy, and in the same time not damaged Estelle’s chance to become elected.

I have had some great fun going door to door and meeting up with some of my old friends that I haven’t seen in years. I think that I might be slowing the campaign down a little by reminiscing with old friends, but Estelle says that it is okay as long as we remember our focus.

She has been well received by most people. It is obvious that they are being more than just polite. They seem genuinely interested in talking to her. Estelle is a very intelligent person and is very engaging.

Anyway, that’s what I’ve been doing instead of blogging. How about you?

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Redway Fire Department Barbecue

I'm going to just keep adding to this post as the barbecue progresses. So don't think you've seen it all until I tell you. Or 'til the fat lady sings!

This is the kitchen crew simmering down the thirty-two gallons of sauce. From the back left is Jim Hoeffer, Pete Genolio with the canoe padle stirring the sauce. In the middle row left is Jayce Snodgrass and Aurora Studebaker. In the front row demoing the can opener is Kayla, she belongs to Aurora. She is a real sweety and a real handful, but she is actually a lot of help. The Kitchen crew also made three gallons of the chilli dry-rub that goes on the Buffalo and the beef.

Not shown is yours truly, Ernie. I was taking the picture. The rest of the crew was out back unloading the silt that we use to cover the pits. Tomorrow night I will be more responsible and take more pictures... that is if I can get people to stand still long enough.

The meat wrapping crew

The man in Burgundy shirt shirt in front is our former fire chief, Ed Brady, who now travels the world anywhere that he doesn't have to fly on a plane. The man with the spicy fingers is our current Fire Chief, Brian Anderson. The man standing beside him is Tom Willis. The man with the antique wrist watch is Jim Hoeffer. The man just beside him is Pete Genolio. The man with the tan hat is Patrick Dowd, of the world famous Dowd family. The man way in back with his hands in the victory vee is Vern Snodgrass. To the left of him in back is Scott Trombola. And last is the assistant chief, putting the final tie on a package of meat, Roger Ralsten.

Carnitas just dropped in the pan to sizzle!

The Chief's truck, and Our newest truck across the street Utility 5841

This is me, Ernie Branscomb, last Christmas. I'm the one in the middle. I just wanted to have my picture with the rest of the group.

Jeepers Creeepers!

The unreasonable fear of spiders is called “arachnophobia”, whereas the reasonable fear of snakes is called “common sense”. As you might guess I have a fear of snakes similar to touching a live electric wire, the first sight of one stops my heart for two or three beats.

The photo of the spider is totally gratuitous and was placed here just to creep out the people that are not afraid of snakes. You are welcome!

I understand that some people feel that same fear that I described, upon seeing a spider. I don’t react to seeing a spider. My only thought is to identify it and stay a respectful distance from it’s territory. And, if it interferes with my life, it gets whacked. Sorry, but that’s life in the fast lane, and some spiders just don’t survive.

But, all snakes have to leave my yard! Rattlesnakes would have to leave dead, and I will move anything else in a gentle fashion that doesn’t harm them. Otherwise, I imagine them sneaking into my house at night and slithering onto my bed, eating my dog, and causing all kinds of snaky mischief. So they have to go, far, far away!

I understand that some people don’t feel that way about snakes, and in fact, would welcome them into their yard. The thought gives me the Heeby-Geebies, the Jeepers Creeepers, The Willies, and the Shudders, if you get my drift.

But, Kaivalya asked this question, so I thought that I might pass it on to more reasonable people than myself.

Kaivalya Quote:
As a reptile-lover, I've been trying to relocate snakes into my garden. I'd rather have snakes than moles and mice eating my dinner!And I've got to give some props to rattlesnakes - they usually give you lots of warning before they attempt to bit you. A funny thing is happening in Texas were rattlesnake round-ups are popular; through the many years that rattlesnakes have been rounded up, it's easiest to catch the ones that like to rattle the most. Therefore, there are more and more rattlesnakes not inclined to rattle due to their genetic successfulness. So when I hear a rattle, I think of it as the snake letting me know it's there because it doesn't want to have to bite me.The Humboldt Herpetological Society has been considering putting together a reptile response line for a while now. The idea is that you could call 24/7 to get advice or have snakes relocated from your property. I'm pretty sure that I would be the only Southern Humboldt contingency, but that's better than nothing. I guess we've just been a bit cynical about potential use. What do you Think?
End Quote:::

I think it's creepy, but I realize that my perspective might be different from normal people.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

This is where I'll be this week.

Well, I'm sorry. But it's like the man said: "This is the dues you pay for the life you get"

So, I'll be out paying my dues on my great life this week. This is the week of the Redway Fire Department Barbecue. Tuesday night we have a coordination meeting to make sure that everyone has done their job, and that we have all of our permits and licences. And, we worry about everything.

Wednesday night we make all the sauces and spices, and get the sand for the pits. And we worry about everything.

Thursday night we wrap the meat and have a carnitas and beer party. And we worry about everything.

Friday night we start the fire and have a pot luck dinner. We set up the dinner tables, and get all the serving stations set up. We store the trucks in other garages for the night. We place the meat in the pits and cover it. And we worry about everything.

Saturday morning we bring all the trucks back and put them on display, we un-dig the pits and grab a package of meat out and open it to check for doneness. Everybody says "Wow, this is going to be the best barbecue ever" and we stop worrying about everything!

We Serve from Noon 'til 7:00

And don't forget this is the same week that KMUD has their block party, so come have fun and wander back and forth and be part of both parties. There is no admission fee!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Lloyd Padon, Catskinner.

1957 Caterpillar D7 -17a. Called a "hot-rod 7" because it had so much more power that it's predecessor.

This is called a pony motor when it's being talked about politely. It starts the main engine when you can get it to run. It was the weak link in getting anything done with the dozer. The battery was usually dead or fried or broken from all the impacts that a Cat takes. So it usually had to be cranked by hand, by putting a crank on the rod that sticks up through the cover over the big engine.

Okay, it’s too hot to work, and Twizzie is over her AC vent, and I’m over mine.

My cousin Jim tells me that he runs into Lloyd Padon every now and then in Hiouchi/Crescent City . So, I’ll tell a story on him. Back in about 1963 I was setting chokers behind Lloyd in a canyon south of Lymon Jewetts place in Harris. He was punching a skid trail, with a 17a D7 Cat, up a steep little draw to some logs at the top. He shook loose a hornets nest and they flew at the Cat. They seek out heat, and the hottest thing around is the exhaust stack that comes out the top of the engine compartment. They hit like BB’s You can hear them hitting the metal just like pouring dried peas in a can.

Most Catskinners don’t want to take the chance of sticking around to see if they all hit the exhaust pipe. The hornets are, mean little, very active Son-of-a-guns in the heat. It only takes being stung two or three times to lose interest in fighting them. So, Lloyd threw the winch in gear, and set the winch brake. That will lock the transmission and tracks firmly in place and the Cat won’t move. That’s the theory. It works good if done right.

He then bailed off the Cat, swatting at the bee’s. He ran down the hill and stood by me, quietly congratulating himself, with a big grin on his face, that he didn’t get stung. As we stood there. It looked like the winch line was creeping out. We looked at each other, then looked back at the Cat, looked at each other again, and we both took off running up the hill as fast as we could toward the Cat. Just as we about got to it, the Cat took off back down the hill toward us, spooling the winch line out as it went. We didn’t take the time to look at each other this time we took off back down the hill making tracks like “Old Slew Foot“, at forty feet a leap.

We got behind a tree as the Cat passed us. It rolled down to a flat spot in the road and as it just about stopped we started breathing a huge sigh of relief, then it edged over the side of the bank. We started saying; “Oh shit, Oh shit Oh shit…..” It edged over the bank and darn near tipped over, but it righted itself again and headed down to the dry creek below. It hit the bottom and slowed down again, and we were just about to crap our pants with happiness that it was going to be okay, when it rolled up on the bank on the other side. It rolled up over a stump, it did a little pirouette like a ballet dancer on the drive gear, and it headed straight down a bald ridge about a hundred yards long.

I’ve never heard such a racket of noise in all of my life. The winch was screaming like a siren on a fire truck, and the tracks were clanking loudly. I remember when it started moving fast that the tracks ballooned out from centrifugal force, they were flying so high above the top idlers that they were hitting the cabin fender. Sparks were flying, and dirt and crap was flying everywhere. Again Lloyd and I were saying; “Oh shit, Oh shit, Oh shit….” it rolled down to the bottom of the ridge, through a gentle little swale and up the other side, still moving like a bat out of hell, it missed several big trees and stumps, and it slowed down to just about a complete stop when it started down the other side. It ran into some small pepperwood trees and it stopped right there on the top of the ridge like nothing had happened.

It took us about half an hour to get down to it. Weak kneed, and knowing full well that something must be badly broken. We inspected each and every part, and didn’t find anything wrong, so we pushed a few things with it and tried all the gears everything seemed to be fine. We went back up the hill and spooled the winch line back on, found a turn of logs and headed to the landing. I’m sure that our faces were as pale as ghosts under the dust, and we were expecting Roy Goforth to be standing there with our paychecks in his hand. As we pulled onto the landing, we didn’t see Roy anywhere. We pulled up next to the deck and as I was unhooking the chokers we noticed that both doors were open on Roy’s truck. That’s unusual, because people like to keep the dust out of the trucks as much as they can. I walked over to the truck and Roy was laying on his back across the seat, snoring like a bear.

If a tree falls in the woods, and no one is there to hear it, does it make a noise? Better yet, if a Cat runs away in the woods and the boss doesn’t hear it does it happen?… Hell no it didn’t. You owe me Lloyd.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Twizzle guarding the air-conditioner vent.

Caninus Doggus Domesticus Spoildus.

This is my dog Twizzle, guarding "Her" air-conditioning vent. When it's hot outside she will come in and stand in a four leg staddle over the vent to cool off. She will even push the chairs out of the way to get to it. She is not too happy with me in the picture because I made her stand in the light to get her photo.
She is a valuable watchdog, she is the only thing between us and the coon that sneaks in the doggie door at night to eat our faces off while we sleep. For this service she demands air-conditioning.
The fact that I put a new post up doesn't mean that we have to stop putting up those great catskinner and snake storries. This blog, and it's owner, are real loose. Just move your stories into here. I have a couple more myself.

This one's for Cousin Jim.

My cousin Jim just reminded me of a story that I had almost forgotten about. Back in 1962 I was the youngest man on the woods crew, and the “Kid” was always the target of any practical jokes. Jim said:
I love the old stories of our logging days. I found out in the 60's I couldn't live on unemployment and feed the bear dogs too. I have some stories that would be a "10" and good for polite company, however very few folks would understand now days.One comes to mind as I write. The old rattle snake in a flour bag. I laugh whenever I think about it. Two bags, one with jerky in it and one for you. LOL
Yeah, that was real funny. There's nothing quite as humorous as someone offering everybody on the landing a piece good old home smoked venison jerky. The stuff that everybody knows that I would kill for, then have the guy put it back in the Jeep without offering me some.
I didn’t know what to say: “Hey you forgot me”. Or “Um… Could I have some”. I was seriously and deeply pained that Bill hadn’t offered me any jerky, and my mouth was already watering for some. I remember just leaning back against the tree that I was sitting at while eating lunch. And just sitting there stunned, and trying to convince myself that loggers don’t cry.
Then he looks right at me and said; “Damn Ernie… didn’t you get any? I thought you were first”. Feeling instantly much better, as Bill jumped up, went back to the jeep and grabbed a white paper bag full of what I though was jerky. With a great big smile on my face as I dipped my hand in the bag to find a Damn dead, but still squirming, Rattle Snake. It’s head had been cut off but that didn’t make any difference to me. A snake is a snake.
About that time, Bill tipped the bag over so I could see in, and I damn near broke my arm getting my hand out of the bag. I remember feeling that damn snake still today. I remember not wanting to have anything to do with that hand with Rattle Snake Blood all over it. I rubbed it in the dust on the landing and was looking around for some water, when I came to my senses and realized that everybody on the landing was roaring with laughter. I said, “Good one Bill” then I went back to leaning against the tree and ate my sandwich dirt, snake blood and all. The rest of the day I had to put up with little snickers but at least I had the joy of making them wonder if they would eat a sandwich with snake blood all over it.
And the best part of the story is Bill gave me the rest of the bag of jerkey at quitting time. I was real careful to peak in first before I reached in the bag every time that I took out a piece, Like I thought that it would turn into a snake. You never really knew around Bill.

Canvas Water Bags.

How many people remember the old canvas water bags that were the mainstay of the logging woods operation?

When I worked in the woods we used to have canvas water bags that would hang from the back of the Cat canopy. Nothing tasted sweeter than fresh cool spring water from a canvas bag. We usually developed a spring in the woods operation where we were working, with a pipe that would trickle into a bucket that we could use to pour the bags full of water.

A well aged and sweet water bag was a precious item. They started out tasting like flax, which about like what a person would think that varnish would taste like. We would soak them in a running creek for about a week, then we would fill then with baking-soda and water and let then soak for another week, then we would flush them out a few times and start using them. Slowly the flax taste would fade away and it would become a valuable possession to the person that had it.

The canvas bag was preferred over the canteen because the bag stayed cool from the water that would seep through it and stay cool from the evaporation.

Working ten hour days in the woods would mean drinking at least a gallon a day. I’ve told people how much a hard working choker setter will drink in a days time and people don’t believe me, so I’ll just let it go as someone working a ten hour day in the summer sun drinks an unbelievable amount of water.

The water bag was hung right above the fuel tank on the Cat. It was the choker-setters job to fill the fuel tank, and he knew that getting even as much as a drop of fuel on the bag would bring the wrath of the whole crew down on him, no matter who’s bag it was, everyone would take a turn chewing him out. There is nothing more precious that fresh clean water to a woods crew, and trying to work your way around a ruined water bag was complicated.

Taking care of the bag was important!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Just copied off my weather link

15 May 1:48 pm
101 Degrees
48 Dew point
17 % Humidity.

And we have had two fire calls already, one controled burn, and one fire 3/4mile North of Phillipsville on the west side of the freeway into the power lines.

It looks like the frost is over and I can go ahead and plant my garden!
Oops! It just went to 103 deg. At 2:48.
104 at 3:48.


This is just a "Pre-last-call" reminder, I will be doing a whole post on the Barbecue later.

The barbecue is Saturday May 24th. 2008, at the Redway Fire Hall.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Cue the “Twilight Zone” theme.

On April 14th, 1561 the skies over Nuremberg, Germany were reportedly filled with a multitude of objects. Known as the "Nuremberg Event".

Link to the Nuremberg event

Okay, I know that the rest of you sometimes question your own sanity, and have seen things that you don’t talk about because it’s just too weird. Sometimes you get a good explanation and other times you don’t. Like when a few years ago I saw a Roadrunner run down the main street of Garberville, hop over the bank above the Bowling Alley parking lot, and hit the ground running off toward the river. I looked around to see if anyone else saw it, and I didn’t see a soul. So I thought; “This is something that I’m just going to keep to Myself.” And I did.

About a year later I was in a conversation about strange happenings, and a friend of mine said “You’re not going to believe this, but I saw a Roadrunner run through Garberville one time”. Of course, after that, I felt a lot better about my sanity. And cautiously admitted that I saw it too. I still have no idea how it got there, but I was satisfied that there must be an explanation, and at least there was one other witness.

Another time I was hunting on Red Mountain and I saw a Chinese Pheasant fly around the hill. After about a month or two I cautiously asked my hunting buddies if they had ever seen any pheasant on Red Mountain. They answered “nope”, but they had heard a story that the Fish and Game planting some up there a few years ago. Phew, dodged another bullet.

One night after a fire meeting, it was a bright clear winter sky and the stars were shining and sparkling, I always watch the sky at night and pick out the constellations, and I’m fascinated with the stars movement with the changing seasons. There is a beauty in the night sky that I always take the time to appreciate.

As we were leaving the meeting, I was standing outside talking to a fellow firefighter while I was staring at the black, diamond filled, sky. When I saw lights glittering almost straight up and half way off to the west. I watched them for a while and they would glitter in all the colors of the rainbow. The blue would glitter for a while then a yellow would glitter, then an orange, a green and a violet. Then I noticed that the violet glitter was always in the same spot, and all the other colors would glitter in their own respective spots. After watching them for a while and they weren’t moving, I asked the fellow standing with me to look at all the colors in the sky, and what did he think that they were. He glanced up and said “it’s an airplane” and he just starting to leave. I said “no wait, it can’t be, it’s the wrong colors, and it’s not flashing right, and they are all in the same spots.” he went on to leave, and I stood there and watched them another five or six minutes trying to figure it out. Finally I decided that they were going to be there for a while and I called the other guys out to witness my discovery. You guessed it, the minute that they stepped out there, they started to fade away. They didn’t see anything and I had to put up with all the ridicule; “Ernie sees Lights in the sky”, that I normally try to avoid.

Once you see something with your own eyes, you can’t help but believe it, so I set about trying to figure out what they were. They were as bright and distant as pin- pricks. They were all colors of the rainbow and they weren’t moving.

CLUE: rainbow. I found that when a clear cold front abuts a clear warm front it can cause an “Atmospheric Lens” that will distort normal starlight just like a prism would. Bingo, an explanation to what would have otherwise have bothered me to my dying day. I took great joy in chiding my fellow firefighters that they didn’t even know about “Atmospheric Lens”. What a bunch of ignoramuses. Atmospheric Lens, became my new favorite words. And, I got to see something that few people will ever see in their lifetime. I consider myself very privileged.

I have a friend that works for the state highways. One night north of Garberville, in the deep Redwood forest, he saw Bigfoot run across the road right in front of his truck. Of course he didn’t tell anybody, but soon it was eating on him, so he cautiously told his wife about it. She seemed to accept it okay, so he told a few of his closest friends about it, and as you might have expected he got the hardy-har-har horse laugh, and he stopped talking about it.

I have no idea what he saw, and if you’re going to talk about things like that you have to either prove them, or you get to be crazy until you do. So, be’ins I don’t know what he saw, I am quite content to think that he’s crazy. Hey, he’s the one that told on himself.

Okay, now here’s the sticker. I “feel” Earthquakes before they happen. Cue the “Twilight Zone”, start the horse laugh, giggle behind your hand, and have a round of mirth and merriment on me. Just remember, I get even.

Back before we had the series of three earthquakes back in 1992, I was working in the basement of the Benbow Inn and I kept getting this overbearing feeling that I shouldn’t be there. I remember looking around me and reassuring myself that I was perfectly safe and the building had already survived many severe north coast quakes. I put it out of my mind I remember thinking that it was strange that I hadn’t had that feeling before when I worked there. The next day we had the first of three severe earthquakes.

This strange feeling has come over me before, just previous to having earthquakes. But, this time it really made me take notice, I took the hazard of telling my wife about it; that I got a strange feeling before an earthquake. And she reassured me that I was okay by making a noise kinda’ like a horse makes when they blow through their lips, only with a small and wife mouth size noise. I didn’t become reassured.

Sometimes before and earthquake I get the same feeling of disconnectedness, where it feels like your footing isn’t quite solid, and you’re sure that if you look around you things will be swinging and moving but they are not. It’s totally weird. My wife says that it’s easy to prove, that all I have to do is tell her about it before it happens. So several times I’ve told her about them, then pointed out on television that there was an earthquake. She say’s; Well, sure, there’s an earthquake everyday somewhere”. Then other times I get that strange feeling, and it doesn’t pan out. It’s like when you hear a tree popping and cracking, and you know that it is going to fall, but you can’t say exactly say when. I feel something impending, but I’m not certain when.

By now, you are probably wondering what all this is leading up to. The other night, before the China quake, I walked over to the television and was checking the mounts that was holding it to the wall, and it occurred to me that I was feeling that feeling of an impending earthquake stronger than I’ve ever felt it before, and I told my wife. I didn’t tell her I have that feeling again. I told her flat out “There is going to be an earthquake”. The next morning I turned on the television and they were talking about an earthquake that had just happened in China. Her response was “Well there’s an earthquake somewhere all the time”.

I have heard that animals can sense that same feeling of impendingness, that they become restless for no reason just before an earthquake happens.

It is my opinion that there is something tangible that can be sensed before an earthquake. But, like my wife, who I have to agree with: what good does it do to know that there’s going to be an earthquake somewhere sometime? We already know that.

I’d be really relieved to find that I’m not the only one to think that they sense earthquakes. Maybe someone knows of a scientific explanation. Because, I’m big on science, and really weak on superstition. And, I don't like to think that I'm crazy

Monday, May 12, 2008


A few posts back a fellow by the name of Frank suggested that I add some Worcestershire sauce to my "Oysters, South Fork Ernie"recipe, to add a little zest. If you've tasted my sauce you would probably know that it is plenty zesty. But, next Friday when the Aqua-Rodeo oyster people are at the local farmers market, I'm going to get some oysters and try adding a little "Wooster Sauce" to my sauce.

I’ve always liked Lea and Perrin’s Sauce, and I use it on a bunch of different things. You can make a very good steak sauce by mixing a little Lea and Perrin’s with a little catsup. It goes great in a tomato beer, it adds flavor to cheese dips. It is one of the main ingredients to the world famous Redway Fire Department Barbecue sauce. (The Barbeque will be held from noon ‘til 7:00 Sat. May 24th, Memorial day weekend. More later)

But, as a super-taster (Me) I’ve noticed that the Lea and Perrin's sauce is watered down from the recipe that they used years ago, and it takes more to bring the flavor out. At one time it was thicker and darker right out of the bottle, but now I have to simmer the sauces that I make with it quite a bit longer to reduce the sauce to it’s original flavor. I wonder if there is anyplace that a cook could get concentrated Lea and Perrin’s to save time?

There are other things that are not as good as it used to be. Remember when they made Del Monte Catsup, with real pineapple vinegar? Del Monte is just not the same. Also some soy sauces have been watered down. I'll bet that they thought that I wouldn't notice. Like boiling frogs, if you heat them slow enough they don't notice. Well I ain't no frog, and I noticed.

Have any of you noticed that some foods are just not as good as they used to be? The only thing that I know of that has improved dramatically is fresh corn on the cob. Which, by the way, is even tastier with butter and wooster sauce.

Friday, May 9, 2008

The end of Ripple Rock, the worlds largest non-nuclear explosion.

The worlds largest tides are found in the Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia on the Atlantic Ocean. The tide fills the Bay of Fundy from the entrance, it flows to the back of the bay, then sloshes back to the entrance just as the next tide is coming in. The interference of the tide going out meeting the tide coming in causes the water level to change as much as 52' (fifty-two Feet). It sloshes like a bath tub, and it is called the worlds largest bath tub.(Bay of Fundy link)

The Bay of Fundy is at about the same latitude as Alaska. That latitude is where the largest tidal effects take place. Ketchican, where my cousin Jim lived on his boat, has as much as a 24' (twenty-four foot) tidal change, with no bay to cause the sloshing action. South of Alaska along the coast of British Columbia, there is what is known as the inland passage to Alaska. The surge through the passage is one of the strongest ocean currents in the world. In the middle of this passage is a place called "Seymour Narrows" where the water swirls so strongly that it has been known to suck boats down into the abyss. Sailors dread the passage and even the largest ship has to wait for the right conditions to make a passage. (Seymour Narrows Link)

In the middle of those narrows was a rock called "Ripple Rock" That had two sharp peaks that stuck up to about nine feet below the surface. Just the right depth to gut even the mightiest ship. It sunk 119 ships and killed 114 people. On April 5th 1958 they blew the rock out of the water with the worlds largest non-nuclear explosion. Its' worth the time to load and watch the clip. To make it full screen click on the Snowflake looking symble in the lower right corner. It will go back to normal when it ends. The End of Ripple Rock

Oysters South Fork Ernie

I’m sitting here in Garberville next to the Farmers Market eating fat little oysters as I write this.

Oysters South Fork Ernie:
Six medium oysters placed on a glass pie dish, arranged like a six petal daisy, so they hold the liquid. Put them in a microwave oven for four to six minutes, or until they steam and pop open.

While they are cooking mix two tablespoons of “Fred’s” fresh ground horseradish with two tablespoons Weitchpec Chile Company “Klamath River Red” Pepper Sauce and two tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon. Stir and place on the table. There will be enough for about one teaspoon full for each oyster.

Remove the oysters and let them sit for five minutes, then pop the tops being careful not to spill the juice, drizzle a teaspoon full of sauce on the top then fork it into your mouth. Then sip the juice and sauce out of the shell, then dive for the next one.

When they are all gone go get some more and do the same thing. When you get full, hide all of the empty shells and then you can tell your wife “Honey I made you some oysters”. She will think that you are just the sweetest thing, and life is good!

This same recipe is better if you cook the oysters in an enclosed wood fired barbecue, but it is not as convenient for lunch.

Hey Ern, I didn't know how to add a picture to your blog but here is a shot from my deck with the tide starting to go out. All those things out there that look like rocks are oysters.
Hood Washington

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Town Cars.

Robin Shelly said... "I don't know any of the Coombs family but somebody (my dad?) told me a story about Mal one time & how he used to drive a Cadillac car with the back seat removed so he could haul all his woods equipment (chain saw, gas, etc.) in it. Apparently, he drove it all over the hills & used it just like a pickup. Anybody remember that?"

Back in the fifties, the only road that had pavement was the 101 highway. Most of the logging roads were better maintained than the county roads. Often the loggers would build a section of road to bypass a particularly rough section of county road. Road traffic would start using the logging roads for regular traffic.

Both of the present day Alderpoint road and the Eel Rock road were built by loggers. I, ahem, had part in building both of those roads. I was the kid on the ground that changed the angle and tilt on the blade. Back when it was done manually, with jack screws on the blade braces. The fact that we had modern adjustable dozer blades was a big deal at the time, it was state-of-the-art equipment.

Previous to the modern Alderpoint route, a person had to go to Harris and turn back north to Alderpoint. The road from the top of the hill that goes straight down to Alderpoint was called the “Alderpoint cut-off". It was built by the loggers and lumber mill people.

It wasn't unusual to see a logging company straighten a corner or two on a weekend. Usually they would ask the ranchers that owned the land if it was okay to build roads through their lands. The answer was always "Sure, go ahead!" The ranchers looked forward to having roads on their land, it made their job easier, and increased the value of their land. Often the ranchers wouldn't allow loggers to pass through their land unless they improved the roads. The agreements were made about as fast as it took you to read this, and it was sealed with a handshake. Times have changed a little in the last fifty years haven't they?

Most of the Southern Humboldt, Northern Mendocino lumber barons drove Cadillac cars. Some drove Buick cars that Charles S. Howard made famous. Howard was a Buick dealer in San Francisco. He was popular because he stabled Sea Biscuit, the world famous race horse, in Willits. Howard also built the first modern hospital in Northern Mendocino. Howard was a very popular legend because of his fame with racing Sea Biscuit. Two loggers that I remember was Mal Coombs and Axle Erickson, that drove their Cadillac cars in the woods.

It wasn’t only difficult to keep a car nice, it was impossible. Some of the wealthy families kept cars that were only used on the highway 101 and in the cities. They were know as “Town Cars”.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Redwood Forrest Foundation: Usal Plan

Redwood forrest Foundation: Usal Plan

For all of you people that have been asking about Art Harwoods logging plan for the Usal Drainage, the link above will take you there.

With much thanks to Kim, who did a post on her memories of Usal.