Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Layoff Projects

Last Friday was my last day at Pivotal Communications. So I have been banging out some of my projects at home. Since then I have:
  • Changed my car's timing belt
  • Installed the diaper sprayer on our toilet
  • Installed a baby gate at the top of our stairs
  • Cleaned rust off of Dad's drill press
  • Cleaned, peened and sharpened my scythe blade
  • Repaired the shoulder at SR 500 and 65th Street (video later)
  • Changed the CV joint in a friend's car
  • Been to dentist and chiropractor appointments
A lot of things that have been on my to-do list I knocked out in four days. I am looking for work, but it is harder to motivate myself to find a job when I am so productive working for myself. Of course, if anyone needs a GIS Analyst or drafter, let me know. I can send out my resume.

Sunday, January 06, 2019

Fire Lookouts

The men who built and staffed fire lookouts back in the 1910s and '20s were some determined dudes. They moved the materials for these cabins to the top of some of the tallest of the Cascades. Often by pack mule, but by hand when they had too. And then they spent long summers alone, waiting to call in the location of any fire. Once World War II started the lookouts used for the Aircraft Warning Service were often staffed through the Winter as well. Long cold nights at the top of a mountain. My hat is off to them.

Silver Star Mountain Lookout in 1964

You can read some of the stories of the lookouts and the men who manned them at Eric Willhite's excellent website. There were lookouts on trees, peaks and mountains all across the state. At many places a foundation is all that remains. Eric has visited nearly all of the sites and taken pictures of them. He also shows panoramic pictures taken when the Forest Service was deciding to build one at a given location. It's fascinating to look back at a time when our forests were being developed. To see old maps marking ranger stations which were decommissioned long before I was born.

The Cook Creek Lookout
These men were determined problem solvers. I am planning an event to maintain one of the roads they used. It will be an honor to follow in their steps.