“Wyrd biõ ful ãræd.”

Monday, June 9, 2014

Sun coming up



   I got up before dawn,  made some bacon and eggs to get the day going. Then I sat out on the porch with a radio and listened to the local news. We have one radio station here. It's a "talk radio" station, but it also has local news programs.  The best way to find out what's going on in the area is by listening every morning.

We do have a county newspaper, but it's mostly a propaganda rag for the local politicians and the school board.  There was an interesting article in the paper this week.  They explained that out of our property taxes, ostensibly collected to support our schools, three million dollars have to be sent to Atlanta for the "Fair Share" program.  That means, for the black schools in Atlanta.  Why is it, when the term "fair share" crops up, it always winds up taking money out of my pocket for purposes that don't do me any good?

I think as soon as it's light enough the dogs and I are walking down to the waterfall.  I haven't been there in awhile and the dogs need a good long walk.  It won't hurt me any, either.  I'd never dare walk down there through the forest without the dogs. There are too many animals up here you might run into with dire results.  Starting at the top of my list would be feral hogs.  Then the bears, followed by mountain lions, bobcats, red wolves and coyotes.  None of these animals would hurt you in the normal course of events, but if you startle them it can be dicey.  Then there are always the mentally ill people, drug gangsters, and other humans that it's unwise to dally with in the forest.





This time of year back in 2008,   my brothers and I were house boating on Lake Shasta. That was a good time.  I guess it was our last hurrah, because we all seem to be a bit long in the tooth for such adventures now.














This is the shop/apartment at my brothers place in the Sierras. He used my retreat as a basic plan for his own, but since he had a lot more coin than I did, his is better equipped and more refined than mine.




This is his main house.  It's about the same size as mine, but was designed less for utility and more for comfort.  It's a big place, and it was built after his kids were long grown and gone, so it's designed to accommodate his boys and their families in a crunch.




Inside this big wooden box is a massive propane generator.  He can live up there with no grid power and run everything in the house.  He has a gargantuan amount of propane stored.  It's amazing what logistical problems are solved by the simple application of large sums of money.


23 comments:

  1. Harry thanks for sharing these photos. Yes when you have the means things do seem to go better.

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    1. "I've been rich and I've been poor. Rich is better."

      I can't remember who said that but he was spot on.

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    2. That was Mae West, who had quite the way with words. Some of my other favorites by her:
      "Goodness! What lovely diamonds!" "Honey, goodness had nothing to do with it!"
      "Its not the men in my life that count, but the life in my men."
      "Its better to be looked over than overlooked."

      On a side note, how did/does your brother make his money that he has such a great place?

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    3. I sent you a link to a business journal article that will fill you in.

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  2. Hey Harry,


    (captaincrunch)

    Cool retreat. Wish I had one of those somewhere remote.

    I dig the flag (Rebel not Racist)

    I also dig the 02' Toyota four runner (got one) That's a half a million mile engine or more with proper maintence. My Toyota tech has 545.000 original miles on his 1998 four runner (same vehicle as the 02) The heads have never been off the vehicle and the transmissions never been rebuilt. Just normal maintence and 3,000 mile oil changes. Now the four runner (with 545.000 miles) has been through five timing belts and five water pumps (that's normal) If you pull the timing belt off, the water pump's right in front of you and only takes two bolts to unscrew so its a good idea just to replace it every 90,000 miles with the timing belt.

    I also have an old 1990 Toyota truck (22RE engine) that I kinda restored. I got that thing so well tuned up, that after a week of sitting, it fires up on the second crank.

    Hey Harry,

    One thing I can say, having lots of money helps for a nice retreat, but going back to "The Field Lab" and John Wells shows that you can live well on very little (just gotta have flush toilets:)

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    1. My brother loves that four runner. He's had it forever.

      I carried that flag out there and we hooked it up on the boat. Strangely, considering where we were, we got a lot of positive comments. I think people were a little shocked we would dare to be so politically incorrect in the People's Democratic Republic of California, though.

      It's all a matter of what you need to be happy. Wells had a nice set up out there, and I think they said he only spent under $35,000 (by my math) for the 50 acres and the buildings and equipment. Since he sold his place in NY for $200,000 I imagine he is doing ok.

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  3. Politicians can be real imbeciles. Our area politicians latest 'brain storm' for revenue is raising the taxes on ALL mobile homes by approximately 10,000 worth of value. No consideration for new vs. old trailers, or considering that at least 30% of our areas revenue is gained from northern 'snow birds' visiting us in winter to get away from cold weather. Given that tax increase, I think a whole lot of folks will tell them to 'fly a kite' (or words to that effect :^) and stay away entirely. Hey they are driving here with a trailer, the trip just gets shorter.

    That looks like a comfortable retreat and yes, moving from high value property to lower sure does make the pocket book fat - he did a wise move.

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    1. Our county commissioners got a 1% sales tax increase here in order to build a "fine arts center." This in a county with endemic unemployment, many people under the poverty line. Last Saturday the local first Baptist handed out bags of groceries to the indigent, and the line was all the way around the church , into the parking lot, and out in the street. It's easy for him to do, since all the retirees from Florida vote for things like that, and the well off here vote for it, and the poor don't vote at all. In the particular instance where this tax increase passed, less than 5000 out of a total population of more than 27,000 bothered to vote. So now we have a fine arts center under construction where the doctors kids can go do painting and sculpture. How nice for them.

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  4. From the looks of the first photo I'd say that the crazies and gangsters need to be watching their own tails out there in the forest. Good for you.
    Unbreakable AZ

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    1. Forewarned is forearmed. I'm careful not to compromise my own security. There's no help out here if things go wrong.

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  5. What a beautiful waterfall. The only potentially dangerous wild life where I lived in northern MN were black bears, wolves and an occasional moose who had wandered too far south. I've heard tales of black panther in those woods years ago, but have never seen one. My brother-in-law tells me that the only wild life he sees now days are the drunks coming out of the bars at closing time. ;)

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    1. Vicki, I've read that moose are very dangerous, but there are none here so that's one worry I don't have. I'm actually more concerned about drug purveyors and mentally ill people than I am about animals.

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  6. We get feral dogs around here. I had a pack of em actually tear through my back door several years ago they were so hungry. Other than that the Mountain Lions do come out occasionally. Had one hit not but a mile or two from my house a few years back. Never seen em mess with the sheep though.

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    1. The DNR here assured us that there were no mountain lions, despite people seeing them frequently. It was like the UFO thing, if you think you saw one you are obviously crazy. Then their own game trail cameras caught one and the picture was on the front of that years hunting regulation book.

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  7. Gosh I would not step outside without dogs either. Love the waterfall Harry, just beautiful :)

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    1. It's nice here, Tanya. This time of year it can be a bit muggy but it sure is green, more so than my wife and I can remember seeing it in past years.

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  8. I'd be well armed and with dogs too! We're just getting reports of bear in our area. Last night two timber wolves got out of their cage - a licensed breeder lives near us- and so far I don't think they have been found. That is something no one around here is used to dealing with.

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    1. I hope they capture them ok, and don't harm them. Usually that kind of thing ends badly because the Sheriff's department just shoots the animals.

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  9. Dogs come in handy for protection.

    That generator would come in handy.

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  10. The generator has been really handy this week. We've had sporadic power outages one after the other.

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  11. Harry - is it bad that i wish i had a single relative that had a single cent to pass on to me someday??? then i could build a retreat that would make JW, Rawles envious - bahahahah! alas, i don't have any relatives. sad, that. but if any of your readers would like to improve our situation here at the Manor - they could just simply ask for our address in which to send the box of money to - bahahahahahah! Harry, your brother's retreat is gorgeous. but i got a special soft-spot for your beautiful cabin.

    your friend,
    kymber

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    1. Kymber, no it's not bad. Most rich people leave their wealth to foundations these days though, rather than to relatives. I have a well off Uncle who is leaving his money to different wild life preservation foundations because he feels his relatives would "squander" it, which means spending it on something they would enjoy or need. Suits me. He can leave it to the Brown Trout Foundation, it's his money.

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  12. I always liked Mae West.

    "Why don't you come up and see me sometime?" It's no coincidence that the life preserver with two huge frontal flotation lobes was called a "Mae West."

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