the animal's journal

Where are you and where are you going?
CS
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Re: the animal's journal

Post by CS »

Small fridge and chest freezer would be a good combo. I have a small fridge. For some reason, despite its tiny size, the temp zones are a pain in the butt. To keep the front area cold enough, stuff in the back freezes. What the what? It's so small that I don't even know how that is possible.

I'm cheating by having 30 pints of homemade raw meat cat food in the main house freezer (freezer only unit). Much better quality cold.

Wood stoves have a lot of associated pollution, just in case you're thinking of having guests that it might bother. But then again, it sounds like you'll have wood heating anyhow...

theanimal
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Re: the animal's journal

Post by theanimal »

@bigato- I know the feeling. When I lived in the Arctic, the only noise at my cabin was the inverter. Like you, I turned it off when not in use. I enjoyed the sound of the wind through the trees, the crackling of the fire in the woodstove and the sound of the river running through a small opening in the ice on the coldest of nights. It's amazing what people get used to and put up with. I visited family during that time and couldn't stand the endless noises, mainly from the kitchen. Fridge, freezer, oven and exhaust fans were very bothersome. I'm still not fond of them today.

Do you shop for produce frequently? I'm curious how you get by without refrigeration.

@CS- That is annoying regarding the freezing and I've experienced the same thing myself. Certain portions of the fridge acting as a freezer is generally not what most are looking for! I also have a chest freezer now and it works great. Great to load up on sales and anything I'm able to get from the land. Appreciate the notes on woodstoves. I have lived with a woodstove before as my sole heating source and they are very common in my area.

theanimal
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Re: the animal's journal

Post by theanimal »

@bigato- That's very interesting. I'm going to have to try that. Now is a perfect time too with it being the warm season so theoretically if I can do it now any other time would be a piece of cake.
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Well I didn't end up going on the trip I had planned. One of the other trip members injured themselves the day prior to us leaving which delayed us. We were delayed again upon finding out there was a massive rainstorm last weekend. We explored some alternative options but all the mountainous areas still have a lot of snow. The coast was really only the viable option. It was pushing a bit close to the time I wanted to be done and one of the members going was being very negative/unnecessarily critical on a regular basis so with that I decided that I would back out and not go. I drove them to the start and regretted it momentarily but I am content with my decision. Another friend and I are going to go on a shorter trip, ~1 week, in the Alaska Range sometime this upcoming month.

I've had some massive anxiety the past few weeks. Feeling better now, almost no anxiety today but I'm not entirely sure of the root cause. Work has slowed leaving me with more free time as of late. My friend took back her piano so with that and no jiu jitsu I am down 2 hobbies. I have been doing more planning for my house build and also have increased my exercise and reading amounts back to levels I am happy with. Part of the anxiety was definitely concerning the trip as it involved a very large river that had me nervous and concerned. But with the anxiety peaking the past few days, well past the start of the trip and my decision not to go, I am unsure of the cause. I do have suspicions though, and one such suspicion is that it is women. There are 2 women in my life that I very well may have an over reliance upon causing me undue stress when I don't feel fulfilled. I'm still learning about these tendencies and the idea of being "addicted" to women, thanks to @bigato and his book recommendation (Women Who Love too Much). For now, I'm trying to stay aware of this tendency and figure out what emotional needs I am seeking in these relationships to better understand why I fall the way I do. I plan to discuss this further with my therapist. We did not meet at all last month. I would like to meet again soon but may wait until it can be done in person again.

I've also started two other practices in hopes of examining these anxieties and becoming more comfortable with myself. Journaling in the morning as well as meditating. I've mediated in the past and found it to produce positive results but have never been able to stick with it for more than a few months. I started up Naval Ravikant's 60 day challenge, of 1 hr every day for 2 months. This is much more intense than what I was doing in the past(~20 min/day) and I am looking forward to continuing it and strengthening my mental fortitude.

theanimal
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Re: the animal's journal

Post by theanimal »

I had made plans around having a dried in shell complete by the end of the month. Over the past couple weeks, I have been introudced to the joys that are dealing with contractors who don't operate as they say they will. My driveway and building pad was supposed to be in by the 15th, but was somehow postponed until the end of the month. I had a talk with the contractor and he got it moved back up but it's still late. Work began middle of last week and it's slowly moving along. The driveway is probably around 40 yards long and the pad will be roughly 30' x 30'. It rained a lot yesterday and is supposed to continue raining throughout the week, which is unfortunate as it's slowing progress.

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My building materials showed up on Thursday, so I'm just waiting for the gravel work to be finished so I can get started. I'm trying as best I can to stem the stress/anxiety that's lingering in the back of my mind in trying to finish by the end of the month. It should be possible as long as the gravel work is finished early this week as planned. The company I purchased the materials from said it's possible to set it all up in a weekend with 3 people. I'm banking on 5 days to account for my inexperience and any unforeseen issues. The reason I'm rushing to finish is I made a decision (which I now consider foolish) to terminate my lease this month. It'd be nice to have a roof over my head and a place to move my belongings into. Forestry work starts on the 8th so I'm crammed on the back end. On the positive side, I have 10+ friends who have expressed interest in helping, some multiple times. So here's hoping everything goes smoothly from here on out.

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Soon to be location of a smooth and level building pad


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My dog looking very wolf like on a ridge silhouetted against the sky on a recent hike

theanimal
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Re: the animal's journal

Post by theanimal »

@Bigato- Thanks. You understand me well. I had a friend say essentially the same thing to me yesterday. That same friend may have found me a short term rental with someone who is fixing a house and can't rent it out at the moment. Otherwise I think I might try to find a wall tent and just camp on the land if there's no structure. I wouldn't mind that, the only thing I would be concerned about it my piano.

Regarding your questions...the land is about 1.9 acres total so there is a good amount of space. The house is on close to the property line on on side of the property and the area is well surrounded by trees and other vegetation. I realize the photo makes it look fairly closed in, but the property actually receives a lot of light, I would estimate 16 hrs plus of direct sunlight right now at peak light. I was actually wondering if there was too much light! But then again, as you've suggested up here there really isn't such a thing.

sky
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Re: the animal's journal

Post by sky »

Is there a lot of bug pressure where you live?

theanimal
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Re: the animal's journal

Post by theanimal »

@bigato- Maybe we can work out some type of trade of bananas for wood. ;)

@sky- Yes, for about 3.5 months. Mosquitoes are around right now and it's the most I've seen around my home since I've been here. They'll taper off sometime in mid to late July then there are no see ums and various type of flies which hang around for the short fall season. Usually all done with bugs by the end of September.

ffj
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Re: the animal's journal

Post by ffj »

That's a good looking dog you got there. You can't ever go wrong with a dog, that's the truth.

You have 10 friends that want to help and a 16 by 20 home? Buy some beer, grill some moose and have a great weekend. Good luck man.

Jason

Re: the animal's journal

Post by Jason »

ffj wrote:
Mon Jun 22, 2020 9:45 pm
That's a good looking dog you got there.
I googled "dog model." The average annual salary is $48,560.00. You can start with an Instagram account. Best part, because he's a dog, he'll never know he's a model, so you keep all his earnings. It's better than having a cute kid who might start asking questions. I would try it. He's got perfect posture and the camera loves him. Plus, you got all that dramatic scenery. He's like the Alaskan dog version of The Marlboro Man. A few good years and that's some serious coin. Not to mention you'll both benefit with your respective female communities.

7Wannabe5
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Re: the animal's journal

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

I think it's interesting that both you and bigato have plots of land that are around the acreage available to each human if the planet was divvied up. Especially interesting because you are in such different climates. Since metabolic production per acre is a function of temperature, the fact that you hunt on additional wilderness acreage will serve to make your allotments more equitable. In my region, less than 200 mile roughly North/South trail/water system separated Native tribes that were primarily horticultural from those who were primarily hunters. They frequently traded these goods. Are there any deciduous trees in your area?

@ffj:


Clearly, you have not met my sister's 3rd dog, Barbara Jean. If she was a human female, you might recall her as "the one who keyed my brand new truck and torched my sofa."

ffj
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Re: the animal's journal

Post by ffj »

@7

Well 99 out of 100 are good boys and girls, but yeah there is always a Barbara Jean. My wife still has a scar on her nose from when she tried to kiss her childhood dog, Boots. They can't all be perfect.

theanimal
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Re: the animal's journal

Post by theanimal »

@ffj- Thank you. I think I will do that very thing. I think the building should go quickly since much of it is already prepared and cut. We shall see.

@Jason- Intriguing. I never thought about having an influencer dog as an income stream before. That's a hefty ROI. I'm not sure

@7w5- Yes, there are a few deciduous trees depending on where you are in elevation. There are birch, aspen and cottonwood outside the lowlands and on any slopes besides northern. That's it for Northern AK. Not much plant diversity here, only 7 different tree species total, including the three mentioned previously. The population density of this land prior to western civilization was very low, much like the animal populations they depended on.

theanimal
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Re: the animal's journal

Post by theanimal »

Finally got going this week! Foundation is slow, learning about everything and trying to make sure everything is level, plumb and square. Today a friend and I were wrestling around the 300 lb concrete pads and got the 4 corners plumb, level and square! 5 more to go, should be much quicker tomorrow. Hopefully get some of the floor framing in as well.

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I had to move out of my place and decided to move into a friend's rental down the street. I'm all moved out but have stuff just in boxes and am not planning on unloading much stuff as I won't be around the house much. I was planning on camping until the night of the 29th when I decided to rent it. It's been a very buggy, wet and cool summer and a dry box is a bit more appealing. Last night was 29 degrees at my place and my neck is full of bug bites that I look like a pimpled teenager.

On top of all the hectic activity, one of my grandmother's passed away this morning. It was expected to happen somewhat soon but still sad. My grandfather and her lived 5 min away growing up so we always got to spend a lot of time with them. I have many good memories. My biggest regret is that I didn't interview her and my grandfather about 4 years ago after reading the book 30 Lessons for Living. She died at 90 and they were married for over 60 years. Unfortunately their health took a turn for the worse about 3 years ago and I never was able to complete the project. I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to make it to the wake/funeral because of covid.

Thanks for reading all. Hope everyone is enjoying summer.

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C40
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Re: the animal's journal

Post by C40 »

Condolences on your grandmother.

About the regret, I will share my own experience with my Grandmothers (Grandpas both died quite long ago now).. I don't know what is recommended/done for the 30 lessons thing, but I tried some numerous times to have some conversations with them where I pulled out some of their main life lessons, or advice, or just getting to hear about their key life moments. There was some interesting stories, especially from one of my grandmas who is very naive and did things like run off with an outlaw motorcycle, sleeping in ditches (though she said "campsites"), going to Sturgis, working at a strip club, and stories of one of my grandpa and his family who were all assholes (including my grandpa killing someone in Mexico, and him and his brothers planning to kill their father's mistress but not doing it)....

On the other side of my family, the grandma and grandpa had incredibly simple lives. I read a book written by one of their family, and to me the most interesting thing that came up was that they used WW2 German POW slave labor to dig a ditch for an irrigation pipe on their farm (particularly interesting in this case because they were Mennonites, and were pacifists and conscientious objectors, even in WW2)

Anyway, as far as wisdom and life lessons, there wasn't much. If that's what the interview would be about, there's a good chance you didn't miss out on much.

theanimal
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Re: the animal's journal

Post by theanimal »

@C40- Thanks. I think you're right. They were both good storytellers and shared a lot about their lives over the years. I'm not sure if I would've learned much that was new but it might have been nice to have it recorded and share with the family.


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I was able to finish the foundation today. I was working by myself for most of it so it took a bit longer than I hoped it would. I'm scrambling to find some help for tomorrow so I can get the floor done. I'm enjoying it much more than I thought I would so far. If you asked me a week ago, I would have told you I wished I just bought a finished house. Still lots of unknowns and lots to learn, but not as scary/anxiety inducing as I feared.

Image

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One tired puppy today after a run and lots of play yesterday

ertyu
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Re: the animal's journal

Post by ertyu »

beautiful.

2Birds1Stone
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Re: the animal's journal

Post by 2Birds1Stone »

A ton of respect and admiration for anyone who decides to build their own house. So cool to see yourself among others here doing exactly that.

mooretrees
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Re: the animal's journal

Post by mooretrees »

Nice! Really interested in seeing how your place turns out. Seems like it will be up and livable pretty quickly?

theanimal
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Re: the animal's journal

Post by theanimal »

Thanks, everyone!

@Mooretrees- Yes, that's the hope anyways. If all lines up with regards to help from friends, it could be up and livable by Wednesday.

The past two days I've been working mostly alone and progress has slowed much more than I would have liked. But that being said I got the beams up that the joists rest on yesterday (not sure of the actual term for these?) and today got the joists trimmed and installed with the rim board. The weather was perfect today, 70 F with a light breeze that kept the bugs away. Late afternoon had some high cirrus clouds drifting quickly high above. Those are my favorite and I spent some time watching them as I worked off the ground. I started cutting chicken wire and am stapling it under the joists to hold up the insulation. I have about half left for tomorrow, then I'll put in the insulation and attach the subfloor. The materials also didn't have hangers for the joists so I'll have to pick some up to attach them properly tomorrow.

It'll probably take longer than I'm expecting, everything has so far. But I have some friends who are interested in helping later in the afternoon, and if the floor is done perhaps we'll get the walls up? With a crew of 3 it would go fairly quickly, the walls are already setup in 4 ft sections with siding attached and there's 18 of them total. My optimistic view is this being completed tomorrow, then working on the roof Monday and Tuesday. Installing the doors/windows Tuesday evening. Wednesday I leave for forestry for a couple weeks so it'd be really nice to have it done prior to that. But we shall see. I've learned not to count on help from others until they're actually there. I lament the fact that we live in a society where these types of relationships are transactional, helping others only in exchange for something else. The Amish and traditional societies have been front of mind lately due to their communal/tribe aspects. The same desire present as the past few years, yearning for a tribe, or at least a strong community. I try to live my life the other way, giving freely but I guess I am still expecting some type of return from others. Perhaps something for me to work on going forward.

Image

ffj
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Re: the animal's journal

Post by ffj »

"I've learned not to count on help from others until they're actually there."


I usually work alone, haha. Then the only person that disappoints me is myself. Kidding aside, you'll find that you only need help for the big events, such as raising large walls or installing heavy beams, so save your volunteers for that if they are scarce. There is a tremendous amount you can do yourself, such as building a floor system. ;)


Do you guys not have huge frost upheavals where you are located? How are you going to keep your pillar foundation system level and plumb?

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