Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Getting ready for spring!

    Hello everyone sorry haven't posted in so long but the life of a farmer-rancher-toolmaker-writer and of course dad, is busy especially this time of the year. I've been planting more pom trees trying to get in another 15 acres so things are quite hectic. We are nearly finished so hopefully it will calm down a little anyway. 
   I was watching the news the other day about the guy who flew his plane into the IRS! In a way I don't blame him at all especially after reading his manifesto on his web page, it was amazing. What he had to say is so true that it's time us "sheeple" wake up before it's too already is. The super rich and the big corporations have a free ride like he says and the hardworking american taxpayer bails them out when they're in a bind! What a crime!!!!!!! And then when some poor man has a hard time paying his taxes (unconstitutional by the way) Watch "Breaking the Invisible Shackles of the IRS" by Sherry Peel Jackson. Google it and watch it and then tell me what you think!!!!!
I guess this was the only way he could fight back. But God forbid! He is called a terrorist and criminal! What about our forefathers that fought their own government????? Were they terrorists? What about the civil war. Were they terrorists? What about Andrew Carnegie when he had five hundred of his striking workers killed. Why wasn't he called a terrorist? I'll tell you why, because he was a billionaire and could do anything he wanted to and get away with it. Man I could get into some good conspiracies right now but we'll save that for later....gotta go back to work. Good day folks. 

Saturday, February 13, 2010

A harrowing incident for a naive adult. A gold mine for us kids!

    In Vegas Dad and his brothers had made quite a few friends during their prolonged stay. One of them was a man named Don Ritter.* At this time in their lives, there was a plethora of 'End of the World' talk going around in our family. Their favorite pastime was to get together and discuss this eminent doom. Now Mr. Don was somewhat a fanatic about doomsday and was continually buying doomsday related products like guns, ammunition, powder, and reloading equipment.
    During the later part 1969 U. Porter decided he had enough of Las Vegas. He figured he would get out while he could and move to Mexico and help his dad run the farm. Besides, he sincerely believed a worldwide economic collapse was eminent and the sooner they got out of the big city, the better.
   The grapevine has a loud mouth and no sooner had he made up his mind to leave when Mr. Don heard all about his plans. He hurried over and casually brought up the subject.
    "You know," he said warming up, "I've been thinking about moving south. I want to get away from it all because this country is about to collapse. I do have a lot of stuff to haul down though and I don't have a lot of room in my truck. Say, if any of you guys are going down, how about hauling  a few things for me? Heck, I'll even rent a box truck and one of you could drive it down. There will be lots of extra room for your stuff also. All I've got is a few supplies, like canned goods and a few other things for hard times. So, how about it?"
    "All righty then," said U. Porter glad to have a prepaid trip. "No problem, just let me know when you have it loaded."
   Now dear reader, before I continue, I must inform you how strict the laws are in Mexico concerning weapons and ammunition. When it comes to things like assault rifles, gun powder, grenades, anti-aircraft missles, F-14 Tomcats...well now, I'm exaggerating just a little here but you get the picture, right? Anyway these things are totally illegal to cross into Mexico. If you are caught, it's life in prison, no exceptions or maybe you may get the electric chair! (They don't have capital punishment in Mexico, darn it!)
    As soon as Mr. Don had loaded his doomsday equipment in the box truck he threw in a few boxes of canned foods and things of that sort to hide it. Then he called U. Porter and told him to come on over and get it. U. Porter headed over and loaded up his household stuff without even checking what Mr. Don had put in. He then packed up his family, bid farewell to his brothers and started the long trip south.
    He arrived at the border totally unaware of the contents in the back of his truck. Now the laws in Mexico were specifically designed to facilitate the offering of bribes. In order to import anything into that country, you have to hire a customs agent and itemize everything you have. This process is so tedious and slow that one would much rather slip them a few bucks and be on their way.
    So here is U. Porter driving across the international border and as usual, he gets pulled over to be inspected by the Federales. (Customs officers) But he had not fear because all he had on board was household goods and he thought. The Federale swaggered over and ordered him out of the truck.
    "Where you go?" he asked in broken English.
    "Oh, just down to my dads farm," said U. Porter.
    "You no bring contraband, like weepons, or goons, or loots of mula?"
    "Oh no way, just some stuff for my house and some food for my poor papa."
    "Open up dee back," ordered the Fed.
    "Sure no problemo," said U. Porter walking around to the back of the truck totally unaware that he was three feet from life in prison or even better, execution by firing squad! He rolled up the big door and stepped back as the Fed laboriously climbed up to have a look.
    "See, I told you so," said U. Porter as the Fed aimed his flashlight towards the front of the truck.
    "You have mucho stuff in heer," he said with a scowl, "Maybe I make you offload it all...or you can fork eet over," he continued making the universal sign for money.
    "You don't have to do that. It would take way too much time...uh how about twenty bucks?"
    "Oh no, you offload eet right now," he ordered.
    "Wait a minute, we can work this out, how about forty bucks, that's a lot of loot," offered U. Porter.
    "Well...OK you got a deal," he said grinning from ear to ear.
    U. Porter crossed his palm with two crisp twenty dollar bills and then climbed in his truck and headed for his new home. Arriving at the ranch, he parked the truck and hollered at some relative (we'll call Birdbrain) to come help him unload his "furniture."
   Birdbrain hopped up in the truck and began throwing things down. As soon as all of U. Porters stuff was unloaded, they began to throw the junk Mr. Don had sent.
   "What in tarnation is this?" said U. Porter as he caught something quit heavy.
   "Oh just a couple of semi-auto pistols," said Birdbrain as he threw something else down.
   "Well what in the name of Willy Coyote is this?"
   "Hmm...well that's a twenty gauge shotgun and here's a twelve gauge, and oh wow here's a double barrel ten gauge with gold plated engravings!" said Birdbrain with glee.
   "Well what in the hell else is in there?" asked U. Porter with a scowl.
   "Huh...let's see, here's a 357 magnum and a 45 auto, and oh looky here, a 50 cal pistol! Oh wow check this out, a fully auto M1 Garand. Cool stuff huh man, where did you get all this loot? Oh boy, what is this? A bucket of gun powder and here's way! Here's a barrel of TWO barrels!"
   By this time U. Porter was frothing at the mouth he was so angry at his "friend" Mr. Don.
   "Son of a gun," continued Mr. Birdbrain. "Look at all this awesome stuff...there must be three or four trunks of M1 bullets in here. Oh what's in these sacks? Oly cow there must be two hundred pounds of 22 bullets in here! OH MY GOSH!" shouted Birdbrian. "There's barrels of shotgun shells, reloading equipment, cases of primers, caps and bullet shells...this is so cool!"
   By now U. Porter was laying on the ground white as a ghost, his blood veins bulging out of his forehead in anger. Visions of deep dark dungeons and Mexican firing squads flashing through his mind. He was so angry at his so called friend that if he had been there, he would have used some of his own weapons on him!
    You can be sure, after this alarming incident, there were constant threats of "the Fed's are coming" floating through the grapevine. Therefore U. Porter set to work to hide the arsenal of weapons he had just inherited. The guns went up in the attic and the rest of the loot went down into a hidden cave and there they stayed for years. Soon he got the jitters and out of the attic came the guns and into some other hiding place they went. After a while they were moved somewhere else. And then once again. Eventually the years passed and they started  disappearing one by one. Either they would get misplaced and lost, or more likely stolen. Some were even sold to the locals. Many years later Mr. Don finally came to the conclusion that doomsday was still off in the distant future and he showed up one day at the farm and demanded his loot back! Well, what he actually received compared to what he sent down was like a freckle off an elephants rear-end. But after listening to our harrowing stories of being hounded by the Federales, and the Judiciales, and every other 'ales you can thing of, he was consoled and resigned himself to leave with a few of the most expensive weapons.
    During that period, we never had so much fun wasting bullets. We shot at cans and bottles, quail and jackrabbits and anything else that had four legs. There were at least twenty thousand rounds of 22 and M1 bullets and we young bucks wasted every one. It took several years, but we accomplished it with glee!!!!

* Names are changed to protect the guilty.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Life's little miracles.

    And then came Amanda Raquel. She was born on January 18th 2000, the Y2K year. The year the millennium started...or did it? Amanda was a beautiful pink chubby little girl. One week into her life, she began throwing up everything we fed her. She could not keep anything down. Her lips would turn blue and she quit gaining weight. We took her to a Pediatrician to find out what was wrong, hoping it was something we could cure with herbs. The Doctor listened to her heart for a few minutes and then sat down at his chair with a serious look on his face.
    "I hate to have to tell you this, but your daughter has severe heart problems and needs to see a heart surgeon at once," he said sympathetically. "I would recommend the Children's Hospital in Salt Lake City. They have some of the worlds best heart specialists," he continued. "There is a hole between the two main chambers in her heart and it is mixing the oxygenated blood with the un-oxygenated blood. This is why she is turning blue around her lips. You should leave immediately, it is serious."
    My heart was now in my throat as I sat there listening. We definitely were not expecting this tragic news. My wife made a few calls and arranged to have our kids taken care of while we were away. So, with heavy hearts and a precious child, we headed north to Salt Lake City.
    Arriving in Salt Lake we were invited to stay at my brother's place. My wife made an appointment for the next day and we went and checked Amanda in. They did a sonogram and sure enough, they found a hole between the two chambers and also a main artery had grown in the wrong place. She would need major heart surgery to correct the problem. Her surgery was scheduled for the following week so we had time to contemplate and pray for a miracle.
   The scene in the hospital surgery hall was one I will never forget. We were both crying as we handed our precious three week old child over to the nurses and watched as they disappeared behind swinging doors. It was a feeling of total helplessness and despair; a feeling of letting our little child down.
    In the waiting room, two surgeons came in and introduced themselves. They sat down and explained what they had to do. She would be hooked up to a special machine that would totally stop the blood from flowing while they operated on her heart. Thus she would actually die for a few minutes.
    "We were just wondering if you had a preference on who performed the operation," continued the youngest doctor after explaining what they had to do. "I would like to perform the operation...but it's up to you...huh, to be honest, I don't have as much experience as Dr. Hawkins here, but he will be my assistant and I'm confident it will be fine.
    "How many of these operations have you performed?" I asked turning to Dr. Hawkins.
    "Over a thousand...but it's up to you."
    "Well, no offense but I would prefer the experience."
    "OK, that's no problem," they said getting up to leave. "We have to tell you there is a fair chance your child could die from complications as this is a very difficult process."
    The next six hours were the longest six hours of our lives. We could not eat, talk,or hardly think. Each tick of the clock was counted agonizingly. Time seemed to stand still. The thoughts that went through our minds tormented our soul. Finally a nurse came in. "The operation was a success, thank the Lord," she said. "We have her in the ICU now. I will be back soon to let you come see her."
    I'll never forget the moment we walked into the ICU and saw our precious child lying lifeless and naked on the bed with countless wires and tubes hooked up to her tiny body. Tears flowed freely as I took her seemingly lifeless little hand and whispered in her ear, "Daddy and Mommy are here now and we love you little angel. We will never leave you again."
    Her grasp tightened around my finger as if she would never let go, and I knew she heard me and was comforted. All of the nurses were like angels from heaven. They treated us like gold. Even the Doctors were considerate of our opinion. What an incredible difference from other hospitals I had been in. They gave us our own little room with a small bed so one of us could sleep while the other was with Amanda.
   Every day the nurses had to take a blood sample from her. This was extremely difficult since her veins were so small. Usually they would call a special nurse in and she still had a hard time finding the vein. Amanda would scream in agony all the while, so much so, that my wife could not stand it and would walk into the hallway and cry. One particular day just after this ordeal, I came in for my turn to be with her and found the nurse holding her in her arms and sobbing silently, as the tears cascaded down her cheeks. She wiped them from her eyes and explained she had fallen in love with little Amanda and just couldn't stand to see her in pain.  A week after the operation, it was time to unhook her from the heart monitor and let her heart beat on its own. They turned it off but her heart would not pump without it so they had to leave it on. The doctor said that if her heart would not start working within the next week, he would have to install a permanent Pacemaker. Every morning they would try to unhook it but with no luck. For five consecutive days, they tried to get her heart to beat on its own, but it would not. We were very worried and praying with all our might. Early the sixth day, I was sleeping in my truck when Mom came out and woke me up with the good news. Here tiny heart was now working on its own.
   When my first son was born, we were treated worse than animals and I vowed to avoid hospitals at all costs. But with Amanda's experience, I must admit it changed my attitude towards some doctors and hospitals. The whole staff was genuinely concerned about our welfare and the well being of our child. During the long hours of the night in the ICU, I would sit and visit with the nurse as she cradled Amanda in her arms and took special care of her. We even became good friends with some of them.
   It was an experience we will never forget.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

From vacation to near tragedy!

A few days after I returned from San Carlos a good friend invited me and a few others on a boat ride. The river was flooding and it sounded like fun so we readily accepted. He owns what was a very nice jet propelled river boat. We went for a cruise up and down the river for about an hour and then returned home. It was exhilarating. A few hours later he loaded up four other guys and headed out to go exploring. About an hour down river they came to an area where it divided into several several smaller streams. The section he chose had a large tree on one side of it. He was going about 30 miles an hour and it was quite a sharp turn to get through. It was too tight and the boat clipped the tree and flipped over, spilling its frightened riders into the churning cold water. Two guys were trapped in the cabin part of the boat but managed to escape without any harm. The boat rolled down river a few hundred feet and then stopped where you see it in the picture. The water was cold and they were soaking wet, it was late and they were far from home. After hiking through the mountains for several hours, they arrived home. The next day twenty three men on quads headed down blazing a treacherous trial through the mountains to rescue the drowned boat. After three hours of tugging and pulling, we tipped it right side, tied it off and headed for home! Here is a link to some video. More coming soon.

Monday, February 1, 2010

San Carlos was tops!

They say, "A picture is worth a thousand words." So I say, "Start counting." We had a blast. Fished for two consecutive days. First day went out on a 48 foot yacht but the captain wasn't too accommodating or friendly. He quickly lost a cool grand because the next day we rented two smaller boats and the owner took us out himself. I would recommend him to everyone who wants to go there. His name is Bryan Replogle  at He knows his stuff. San Carlos is a beautiful place and not a tourist trap. It is more for those who want to have a good time and have fun fishing and it is also one of the best scuba diving and snorkeling areas in the country.  So next time you plan a vacation, fly on over (or drive, 6-7 hrs from Tucson AZ.) to Guaymas  Sonora Mexico and then take the short fifteen minute drive to San Carlos and start having a great time; That's an order!
A note to all you Mexico haters. All the violence going on in Mexico is in the big cities and is always connected to the mafia and drug dealers. So if you aren't in the mafia, or you don't deal drugs, you are comparably safe in Mexico. Just don't get caught driving around in a pimped out Hummer or Escalade and you won't be picked up and held for ransom...!

Lisa, thanks for the 'Kick-ass' award. I would send it back to you but darn...your blog was kick-ass before mine and someone else beat me to it!

I'll post some videos of us fishing on youtube, later.
Been gone for a few days and have a lot of blog reading to catch up on so enjoy everyone!