Gold Rushes, Choker Setters and Home Building… in 2013

31 Dec

As I sit here, attempting to allow my “Micromanaging Fascism” to be transformed into “delegation and diplomacy”, due to health issues…

I’m looking forward into what I hope and pray will be a better year for us all.

I’m already seeing the blogs and website posts lamenting “this or that”, or promising “here and there”…

While most of these posts are apparently written by people who “cannot see the forest for the trees”… I literally can’t see the forest for the trees…

I mean, I’m surrounded by them. Having moved here (to Montana) almost a year ago (where did the time go?), it’s hard to imagine having to drive into a metropolitan area daily, amidst the flotilla of traffic and the navigation of “sardine can inspired sub-divisions”…

As we brace for the arrival of 2013, talk is flowing around the shops about “New Year’s Resolutions”.

Rather than lie about what we “wish” we could do (we cannot end war, provide for world peace or even instill peace and goodwill to all mankind… that’ll take a group effort… ),  I’m gonna take a brief look at the past and then… maybe I’ll let you in on what we’re planning here at RR;

Most of you know that I recently returned (the worst for wear) home after some “travel gyrations to seemingly everywhere.” November was a bad month for us, let me tell you. It’s almost January now and despite the weather, we’re still clearing burnt lodgepole pines. The recent heavy weather in MT has brought “push” to “shove” and now we’re forced to remove trees that endanger structure.

Admittedly, it’s hilly work and not without risks.

We’ve all watched “Ax Men” on cable.

As we plotted and debated this, one of the guys here told me about how he worked as a “choker setter” as a kid.

(Someone else I know had a similar experience. They talked about how an errant cable can cut you in half in the blink of an eye.  They talk about being crushed by  logs.)

I told them what I’m telling you… that they were just being “whiney babies”…

You see… as a kid, I’d spent some of my summers in Oregon as a “choker setter”, too…

I don’t know what the big deal is. Years ago, when I fancied myself “skilled” –  I produced a “production collar/capture” series of my own.

And as a “choker setter” I too encountered some dangers…

… usually while fastening an…

(wait for it… here it comes…)

… ornately crafted choker around the neck of some local beauty, while trying to avoid staring down into their cleavage.

(Yeah, yeah… I can hear you screaming into your monitors that I’m a p-i-g. Look… G_d  made women beautiful so you’d look at them, want them, desire them… even (gasp!) listen to them. You’d have me defy G_d? Whaaaaaa? You’re supposed to look. It’s right there in your DNA.

Don’t believe me? Go Google “Darwin”.)

Where was I? Oh yeah…

Some of the “freshly chokered” weren’t as nice as others. As I affixed those glistening gold and silver chokers around their necks… they’d look right thru you, trying to cut you in half, like a chainsaw through the heart,  with their mascara accented – steely gazes, like “if looks could kill… I’d killa you two time!”

Okay I admit it. I was a geek “genetically incapable of wooing the estrogen enabled with “daring do”… I had to settle for the ability to provide… shiny trinkets and baubles produced from the trunk of an Italian car. The “daring do” part came later… after a faithful investment in dojos and gyms and even (gasp!) recording studios (with a hunk of ash and rosewood hanging around my neck)…

And hey… I risked surviving “being crushed” too, as some of those girls were just gorgeous.

In fact, the only close calls I ever had were with the “larger limbs”…

…usually proffered by their boyfriends or husbands, should my eyes linger too long on the “foliage…”

So… while these guys cry like little girls about “the risks of logging”… I don’t know what the big deal is.

Compared to girls, WOOD is easy. All you do to fell a tree is slap a shape charge on it and then scream “Fire in the HOLE!” before you click the detonator. Then, you just duck. No Problem.

I can hear a pal of mine in Louisiana, we’ll call him “Tony”,  screaming in anguish;

“The trees… oh, the trees!” 🙂

I thought you guys and gals could use a laugh as 2013 approaches in a few hours…  even if it is at MY expense. 🙂

And so, you “Little House – Men of Men” (you know who you are)…

Despite the preaching of the Dali Lama – Sometimes it does indeed merit using a sledgehammer to kill a fly… Get over yourselves… LOL!

Hey, I’ve been burning the candle at both ends assisting families building ISBU homes, helping house oil rig lackeys so they don’t freeze to death in the tundra, and continuing to contribute to the operation of a NJ Post-Sandy Aid op.


We actually  learned a LOT about providing REAL aid after events like Hurricane Ivan and Hurricane Katrina.

Our New Year’s Resolution around here is pretty simple and even predictable;

“Build for those who cannot build themselves. Shelter those who lack shelter. Teach those who can teach others… and defy those who say that we’ll fail. “

Happy 2013. Go get ’em.