Context and Precedence

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China is beating the war drums. Russia is angry that a US armored brigade is training in Poland. Muslims don’t want America great again. Mexicans don’t want to pay for the wall, though they know they will. Afro-American legislators who want to shake down their constituents for more money are scaring them with Trump. The inauguration is at the end of the week.
I’m headed for the mine, even though the place is covered by snow. The one nice thing about being self employed is that you can ask for time off whenever you want to – even though the boss is a jerk.
I have a meeting with the kitchen consultants, because I need to get the kitchen locked in before the architect (who fellow blogger Fredd wants me to fire) can finish the basic floor plan. In addition to the kitchen, there is a general pantry and a butler’s pantry because nobody ever said, “I have enough storage space”. Big Sub Zero fridge, under counter Sub Z freezer for ready items and a chest freezer in the utility room for long term storage and half a steer type stuff. The shack needs to be comfortable for myself and guests. It may be a hovel, but it will be a comfortable hovel.  A guy questioned me on the size of the garage. Two garages. 5 car capacity. Why would I want less garage/workshop space than that.  I’m working on a design for an out-building greenhouse for fresh herbs, peppers, tomatoes, squash, etc.
The grandkids have suggested that I include an institutional quality soft serve ice cream machine to insure their visits are regular. I’m looking for some antique slot machines and pinball machines to go into the rec. room. I think that I can pick those up in Phoenix. I may draw the line at a pool table and go big on quads and dirt bikes instead. Yes, there will be a tournament quality dart board.
I may ask my oldest daughter, Amanda (left) to help pack, but maybe not quite yet. She has her hands full with three young boys. The advantage of having daughters is that they like to take over and take charge for things like packing and cleaning up.

31 thoughts on “Context and Precedence

  1. I try to make-do, John. The soft-serve ice cream machine may be a little over the top, but the grandchildren assert that they "deserve" it.

    Unfortunately I'm still working when I should be fishing.

  2. A safe trip to you, and good luck with the consultants. I like your idea for freezer space. Will they keep themselves cold or will you have a backup generator or solar power? Sorry if you already explained this, I have a memory like a sieve now days.

    God bless.

  3. I don't think you are still working because you have too. You like what you do. And one of your rewards is a soft-serve ice cream machine that you shamelessly blame your grandkids for wanting. HA!

  4. I don't technically have to work. The work that I'm doing is stressful primarily because I'm very well compensated and so there is pressure on me to be "right". So far, so good — but you're only as good as your last game.

  5. It's under snow at the moment. I'll do some of that when we actually break ground. All you'd see is pines and snow, which is much like pines and snow everywhere.

  6. I'll have a propane-powered back up electrical generator that can kick in if the grid goes down. I'm struggling with using solar because (1) Pines shade the area; (2) The pay-back for solar is on the order of 20+ years to hit the break-even point – and I have electric power that I can pull into the house; (3) The hovel is located on the eastern slope of a ridge, which means that I get direct sunlight until about 1 pm and then it's obscured, so I won't get the full day's worth. I have solar on my present house but it has sun all day and it is sunshine on the order of 340 days a year. Not so at this place.

  7. Have fun with the kitchen. My main regret on ours is not having a big butcher block top somewhere to roll out pie crusts, and wanting a bit more counter space. (is there ever enough?) I built it (my trade) out of figured slipmatched cherry veneer in a streamline Art Deco/yacht sort of look, with big inside and outside curves on all the cabinet corners. Looks like a million bucks, but really, I would never do it again- it is too fancy for us. The way we live,, the kitchen is a everyday workspace, not a show place. Were I to do it again, work triangle, counter space, storage and easy cleanup would be the priorities. Appliances are a PIA- everytime we replace one it seems they are of worse quality than what went in originally. Some of that is due to mandates about water and electricity usage. Unless Trump flushes the EPA, pretty soon we will be washing dishes with recycled piss.

  8. The forest service had some crazy things going on out there – no shooting in the forest, and they were laying logs down and fences across trails they didn't want people walking and riding on…I didn't get the official story, just what people were saying when I was there last. The sheriffs and the governor were fighting them – maybe the new administration will have an effect…

  9. P.S. I appreciate your foreign policy commentary. I am reading Bill Gertz's new book iWar: War and Peace in the Information Age and am into the chapter on China. The world is a frightening place. Thank God Hillary lost.

  10. Propane powered backup sounds perfect, given the view you are going to have.
    Underground cold cellar could be a viable backup, too.
    Safe trip.

  11. Listening to the media Trump seem to shake up and make more impact in a sentence or two than any previous politician. It will be interesting to see if he choose to withdraw the small numbers of US military in the Baltic's, Poland and Norway. If he do that and also shut down any further anti-missile effort in Europe he will for sure be best friend with Putin when he reduce any obstacle for free trade with Russia. But all European NATO members really seem to have got a wake up call and have start discussing how they can spend more on their own defense budget. Time will show how it goes but Russians are good chess players planning three generation ahead.

  12. I want functionality but I have a problem with new fancy refrigerators that promise big and deliver small. I have one now that is going in the rec. room of the new place. I only want to buy appliances one more time in my life and am willing to pay for quality (once more). There aren't THAT many rules up in the mountains, 45 miles from the nearest city. Or if there are rules, you just do what works and people leave you alone.

  13. I noticed some of that. No motorcycles on the trails, etc. However, the Coconino National Forest does get a lot of use and they may have had people taking advantage. I don't know which side I'll fall on all of that. I plan to become a Forest Service Volunteer, which will allow me to inspect trails on my motorcycle…

  14. Thank you. I'll keep the foreign policy thoughts coming. There is a lot of change with the Trump approach. Progs and Rinos don't like it, but what we've been doing didn't work. Time to try something else.

  15. John, I have no idea how that will play out, but Trump plays chess and so does General Mattis. My sense is that the Russians want some reassurance (backed by actions) that we will play fair. We want the same thing. I don't know if it will go further than that or if we can calm down. As with all things, the best course is to trust but verify. The USA has been duplicitous during the Obamanation years. We need to try and figure out who our friends are, who our adversaries truly are and who is on the fence. That alone will be a departure from the Obama regime.

  16. The 2000 square foot basement will have central heating and cooling. If I am to do a root cellar, maybe I should place that under the green house, and shore the walls with railroad ties bound by rebar so that digging rodents can't get in. I've had root cellars as a kid and they work very well to keep vegetables cold. A squash will keep all winter in that environment as will potatoes and carrots, etc.

  17. I really hope the 300 US Marines arriving today for winter training (wearing uniforms that fits a sunny day in Texas) feel they are welcome here. The US have invested a lot in infrastructure and have heavy equipment ready in the mountains and as long as the Norwegian government do not spend money to secure the US investments here it is good to see that the US Military take action. Trump made a difference already by "scaring" the politicians to find money to pay their fair share. That is good because it put national security higher on the priority list. From my point of view I really hope the long relationship between US and Norway, having the border and coastline where the Russians pass through with their subs with nukes to the US coast, will remain solid and good in the future. I also think that your castle should have a soft serve ice cream machine since they use to have them on US submarines years ago. Your house will be no less.

  18. Oh, a *cold* cellar. That's a good idea. I thought Linda was talking about an "underground GOLD cellar." That's also a great idea, though.

  19. Have a great time on The Rim! We're under about a half a foot of snow now, but I don't think it's much worse in NorAZ. Good luck with all the design decisions and work!

  20. I thought the Marines would have learned that when in Norway, you should dress like a Norwegian… They keep making the same mistake.

    I can't wait to get back to Norway (in the summer). We need to get Randy on the ball so I can "scam" some Norway time.

    Who doesn't like ice cream?

  21. Think China is beating the war drums to see if Mr. Trump will s^&t his pants like his predecessor?

    I know next to nothing about appliances. Are restaurant grade better and worth the money?

  22. Are they worth the money? I don't think that they need to be replaced as often. Comparative value is a question that I can't answer.

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