Friday, April 25, 2008

Alaskan Bear Tales

Revisions to the Manifesto are almost complete, we just want to go over it one more time before we send it to the printer. It's been hard to get any work done lately with the realities of our roughing it lifestyle in our face every day. We've got challenges we've never quite encountered, like the outhouse filled up with the neighbors sharing it and none of us had a clue how to dig a new hole in the frozen ground. They also put all their garbage by our burn barrell and the ravens got into it before we got out there..ewwwww.

Already 2 grizzly sightings on the road a few miles in each direction and Sharon's (the Mercantile) husband had a scary close encounter with a griz Fish & Game were tracking that had mauled a caribou. It lunged at him and Jim Jordan stuck out his Hams beer and the griz bit into it, popped the can, freaked out and ran away. The story was verified by a local skeptic who went to the spot and looked at the tracks. Jim has the beer can. He promised me an interview for the community blog. but anyway we're all keeping on our toes watching for bears while we clean the yard, uh huh. Lots of good local jokes about beers and bears.. somebody should contact Hams.

PrimitivWerks will open June 1 as planned. The museum may also be finished by then but it will be underway if not completed. No idea if Camp Redington will be open or if Tim's gonna go flag for the summer again. There's a lot of road work out here this summer and it's very tempting to go stand on the side of the road for 12 hours a day holding a stop sign for $25 to $42 an hour. Everyone we know out here is worried about next winter already because of the rising fuel costs. Fuel affects all Alaskan goods and services because everything is trucked in to us. The best milk in the state, Matanuska Maid Dairy went out of business and I just met one of the last two dairy farmers in Delta at Tonsina Lodge last week who told me he may have to sell all his cows cause he can't afford the feed. I made the mistake of telling him and his wife about NAIS and was so sorry I did after I saw the looks on their faces.

Moved the first load to the office/art studio today and already it feels fantastic to be in the new space. Our road is so muddy it's impassable without 4 wheel drive so things are a little behind schedule but we're moving as fast as the snow is.

Thanks so much to everyone who's been helping us lately, I'm very humbled by the support we get, it motivates me to do more and become a better organized writer. The new office will be home to ACL Books, PrimitivWerks, Camp Redington, Alaskan Webwriters and GerTee. It has high ceilings, windows, a great porch and lots of sun. After 7 months in a dark, cramped gertee, it's almost sureal.

I thought i finally had someplace to put my big 4x8' US flag sign but Nordica isn't as big a fan of flags as I am. She didn't grow up putting her hand over her heart everytime she hears Taps and she was slightly embarassed when I put out a huge Alaska state flag and a US flag over my house in Seattle when I started ACL research. Besides the fact I was raised on post, I was on a marching drill team when I was in high school so I have a thing for parade fields, flags, pomp and ceremony. I know they're all connected to the creepy communitarians but I still love the Shriners and what they say they represent. It's weird how selective I am now about what more I want to know, and how some things just refuse to sink in the way they should. The process of deprogramming ourselves and accepting the truth about the things we hold closest to our hearts is too hard sometimes. Holding on to the US flag is like holding on to my innocence and something that doesn't mean that much in the scope of things. I want to pretend I feel the trust and surety I felt when I believed my dad was fighting for the right side. I want to know there are US soldiers who still believe in what it means to say a toast to "God, country and the 82nd Airborne!" My dad never once in his entire career said a toast to "Gaia, supranationalism and the Mexican Navy!"

Maybe I can put the US flag in the museum, it's practically a relic now anyway, right?


Anonymous said...

That is too bad about the dairies. Maybe Nord needs to get back on the milk goat idea after all. Maybe your dairy guys could switch to cheese, if they don't do that already? Cheese seems to command much higher premiums than milk.

I wonder if you have skunks up there? Maybe you could have a cordon of skunks to keep the grizzlies at arms length? Skunks like trash.

I vote to stick with the flag. We are not out of the game yet. I always have at least one handy.

Anonymous said...

Dear Niki, I feel for the farmers, If you could have seen my face when I first read about the NAIS. It brought tears. Reality was faced about 2 years ago that if forced to comply, my horses would be destroyed. Its coming very fast now not because of NAIS but of the cost to feed them and many more owners of livestock will have to make the horrible decision. All of our dreams, our livelihoods will all come crashing down. People need to beware to start stocking up on food as prices will skyrocket very shortly. Grow and can your own food, purchase heritage seeds.

Niki have you seen this document UN's Global Biodiversity Assessment Report, what I am looking for is page 350 which states: that the grazing of livestock, including cows, sheep, goats and horses is not sustainable.

Thank for all you. gisela

Niki Raapana said...

I don't know about the cheese option, but I'll ask if I get the chance.

No skunks here, just porkypines and foxes and wolverines and lynx. I just learned why we don't have many bears sticking around, they just pass through cause our terrain isn't their style, we don't have berries or fish.

Gisela, I am so sad to hear you may lose your horses. I wish I could have done something that would have helped alieviate the way thsi is going down, but we never had a change to even try to stop the ways they can destroy our people. I wish I could say for certain that there will be a better reality to replae the dream. I agree with you, we should have options to relying on handouts when the U.S. stores run out of food. This really is the part of the plan that can bring us to our knees overnight. And Pete said the first thing they ran out of in Washington last year during the emergency flooding was beer.

I haven't seen that UN document, but I have seen plenty that supports it. Do you want me to try and find it?

Anonymous said...

Horses costs alot of money to feed, Last years hay was 9.00 a bale. Now consider the higher cost to diesel, I really do predict it will go up to 5.00 a gallon by the end of this year. And in 2 years I see it will go 9.00/gal So when does one say enough? I'm just trying to face reality, Hay at that point will be well over 20.00 a bale. All farm equipment is run on diesel. Can we see where the prices will go. I cant believe I'm seeing all of this in my time.

I'm not about to tell my husband about running out of beer.. LOL

If you could find me the supporting docs I would appreciate it. I also wrote To Tom Deweese for at least the copy of the page. I figure If I can show people this maybe they would get their head out of the sand.. thanks Niki. Just send it to my email address should you find them.

Anonymous said...

As to the NAIS thing and the feed cost thing, which are both artifical problems, if it comes to it, I wish instead of just feeling bad about it and slaughtering the animals that people would just turn them out.

If the government wants to kill off all our animals, let them get right out in public and do it with their own two hands in front of everyone.

In the meantime, at least it would give the animals a fighting chance to make their own way.

80% of government oppression is tricking other people into doing their dirty work for them, and keeping things out of the public eye so no one knows what it is going on until it is too late.