Thursday, July 9, 2009

Cooler Weather & "Other Stuff"

After I posted yesterday's update I did a bit of housework inside, where it was 10 to 20 degrees cooler than outdoors. At feeding time the thermometer was still reading 88 degrees, but once I'd fed, watered and scooped I fired up the garden tractor to finish mowing the play area in the dog yard.

According to today's issue of the Fairbanks Daily News Miner, yesterday's temperature set a new record, and was the first time we've seen temperatures in the 90 degree range since 1994. Just before midnight a nice storm front rolled through, bringing some pretty good rainfall that dropped the temperature nicely. It was still warm enough that I slept on the blankets rather than under them.

The forecast is calling for highs in the 70s today, and then warming up again for the weekend. I'm going to have Cassiopeia and Capella spayed tomorrow, so they will be hanging out in the house. I doubt I'll be going very far away from home over the weekend, as the girls will need to stay inside in crates to recover from their surgery. It could be pretty boring, but sometimes boring is a good thing.

Today I'm going to try to brush out some of the shedding fur in these dogs. Some of them are blowing coat so badly that they look downright ratty. I think some time with a coat rake and Furminator(tm) will help remedy that, and will probably let the dogs feel more comfortable when the temperature climbs again.

A very nice person who follows the blog wrote an Email asking "other than your dogs and your "place or employment" what else do you do? Kids? I figure if one follower asks the questions other are probably curious.

I do have one child, a daughter from my marriage with my first wife. I couldn't be more proud of Kati. She put herself though college on a full academic scholarship (the elusive "full ticket") and was recruited by Caterpillar as an engineer, designing transmissions for the 'yellow iron' that builds and maintains the infrastructure of the human world. She has created a very comfortable life for herself in Peoria, Il.

Dogs and employment do indeed take up the bulk of my "free" time. I've been an historical reenactor for more than 30 years, so I participate in as many historical events as I can, though in Alaska they tend to be few and far apart. Every couple of years I make a trip to a living history event Outside, sort of a reminder that the reenacting world is much larger than the occasional small gathering here in Alaska.

I'm also a free-lance writer. The most rare type of free-lancer, I've actually been well published. I focus on non-fiction and for quite a while I was frequently published in emergency services trade journals. I also am a frequent contributor to magazines catering to living historians, including a column I share with some other northwestern fur-trade reenactors in On The Trail magazine. When I describe myself as "old school" I'm referring to the late eighteenth and early 19th century fur-trade, and that is truly OLD. I've been writing since I was about sixteen years old, published for 25 years or so.

That pretty much does describe the life of Swanny, though. I care for and run my dogs, serve my sentence at my place of employment, and probably spend more time at the key-board than is healthy. I don't do as much fishing as I once did, but I still enjoy the feel of a good fly rod in my hand once in a while. I hunt large game when my work and training schedules permit, and spend as much time out on the trail as I can.

It's simple, and satisfying. Probably not the kind of life most people dream of, but I am one of the few people I know who can honestly say I'm content with my life and lifestyle.

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