Chapter 1982, age 39-40

Themes and Events:
 By the end of the year the economy is climbing out of a recession. During the recession: unemployment hit 10.8%, a post WW II high, while the nation’s factories were operating at only 67.8% of capacity, the lowest since records were collected in 1948. The poverty rate reached 14%, the highest since 1967 and the federal budget deficit for the year climbed to a record $110 billion. On the bright side, however, the CPI declined to 3.9%, the smallest inflation rate since 1972.

Buttons & bumper stickers:
*  If you think the system is working, ask someone who isn’t.
*  Hungry? Eat your foreign car.
*  I may have my Ph.D., but I’m not stupid.

[Sunrise pouring through the trees near the east property line, taken from about 200 feet east of  the mobile home’s kitchen window.]

Jessie dog comes to live with us
he year after our move onto the property: With Donna and I at work in St Cloud for most of the week, our dog Griz seemed to become unhappy about being alone. Upon seeing his forlorn look every morning as we drove off to work, we decided to get him a companion. From spring 1981 to the spring 1982 Griz had a young Blue Heeler, named, Blue, with whom to pal around with. Blue was however, an adventurous fellow who just wouldn’t stay in the yard. He liked to walk six hundred feet down the driveway, cross the county road to a corn field and an occassionally bring a chopped corn stalk back to the yard. After living with us for a year, Blue was hit and killed by a car one night directly in front of our property. We buried Blue near our east property line and covered his grave with rocks.

A couple of weeks later, in April, Donna and I found a newspaper advertisement stating:
Puppies, ½ German Shepherd, ½ Black Lab, $25…”

We drove into St. Cloud to look at the litter and happily brought home a six-week old, black female pup. A few days later we named our new dog, Jessie.
In the months that followed, Griz and his little floppy eared friend, Jessie, became the best of friends. When ever one was seen sniffing about, or napping in the shade, the other was not far away.

As Jessie grew, her jet black fur coat was seen composed of short, coarse bristles and she had floppy ears both common to a Black Lab, however, she had the build and stance of a German Shepherd. Jessie grew to have adult weight of sixty-seven pounds and weighing eighteen pounds more than Griz.

Books read during the year
During the year, I read books on various topics, mostly whatever was either important in our lives at the time, or of general topical interest to myself, including:

Einstein’s   Universe © 1979 by Nigel Calder – A   study and extrapolation of Einstein’s concepts of energy, mass and time.
Life   After Nuclear War © 1982 by Arthur   Katz – Expansion of a study by Katz presented to a Congressional Joint   Committee on Defense Production, studies the economic and social impacts of   nuclear attacks on the USA. 422 pages.
The   Day After Midnight: The Effects of Nuclear War © 1982 Edited by Michael Riordan – Based on a   report by the Office of Technology Assessment, effects and Civil Defense. 143   pages.
The   Self Sufficient Gardner © 1980 by   John Seymour – A guide to growing and preserving all your own food. 256   pages.
The   Solar Greenhouse Book © 1978 by   James C. McCullough – Construction and operating principles of a solar   greenhouse. 328 pages.
Hard   Times: An Oral History of the Great Depression © 1970 by Studs Terkel – Eyewitness accounts of all   phases of the Great Depression of the 1930s.

During the spring we began beekeeping. Actually, this was more Donna’s interest than mine.  The procedure where one had to take the frames out of the hives for the honey, and in doing so deal with jillions of angry bees, was not my kind of thing. True, they were ‘smoked’ first which pacified most, but it seems Donna always got a sting for her valiant efforts. I just didn’t like bees. I stood at a respectful distance watching, while she worked. Several times I was apparently marked as the culprit for a hives aggression and was chased up across the yard and into the house by two to four angry bees.

We bought the necessary paraphernalia including a quality, two frame, stainless steel, centrifugal extractor and an electric comb knife.
I painted the six hives, assembled the frames, helped extract the honey and did clean up afterwards, but Donna wore the net bee bonnet, went into the hives and removed the honey frames.
That fall, we extracted one hundred eighty pounds of honey (!), besides leaving a considerable amount for the bees to feed on over the winter. Donna sold one hundred sixty-five pounds of honey at 90¢ per pound and kept fifteen pounds (twelve pounds per gallon) for ourselves. We made $162 from the sale which helped offset the cost of the hives and extractor.

The herb bed
One of our Spring projects was to make a permanent herb bed, at one side of the garden. Our procedure was to set a rectangular, pressure treated wooden frame around one of the four-foot wide by twenty-five foot long raised garden beds. The frame was held in place by wooden stakes driven into the ground and spaced about the perimeter. The herb bed was almost completely filled with a mix of top soil, rotted manure, partially decayed leaf mulch, straw then repeatedly rototilled. When soil temperatures were warm enough to begin planting, we planted Jerusalem artichokes, basil, garlic, chives and thyme in the bed.

Although Jerusalem artichokes were not herbs, they were planted in this bed for two reasons: 1) So we could more easily control its prolific tuber growth. 2) Jerusalem  artichokes are left in the ground over the winter and harvested in the Spring, but if they’d been left in the general garden, their presence would have interfered with the Fall and Spring rototilling and bed maintenance process.

The garden expands
[Photo at right, late summer. Our Bio-organic,     French Intensive, raised bed garden.]

When the 1982 garden was planted, we increased the crop variety and brought our food production facilities to a peak. We had several years experience with gardens and that summer, handled the largest, most varied garden to date.
Since  we were both working full-time, maintaining a household, and very large yard, we realized our expansion was going to take all the time we had available, particularly during Fall harvest. The vegetable crops we raised included:

Asparagus Egg plant Salsify
Basil, herb Garlic Squash, Acorn
Beans, green snap Grapes: Beta & Concord Squash, Buttercup
Beets Jerusalem artichoke Squash, Spaghetti
Broccoli Kohlrabi Squash, Yellowneck
Brussels sprouts Lettuce, various Squash, Zucchini
Cabbage Onions, Yellow Globe Strawberries
Cauliflower Peas Thyme, herb
Carrots Peppers,Bell Tomatoes
Chives, herb Peppers, Wax Turnips
Cucumber Potatoes, Russet

Our gaggle of geese, ducks and sheep
I building an 8 ft deep x 10 ft wide x 7 ft sloping to 6 ft shed, with dirt floor, two windows and French (split doors) in the lower yard about 125 ft from the bee hives.
We stocked the shed with:
•  Twenty six White Peking ducklings,  that had been ordered from Sears Home and Farm Catalog for $39. The ducklings arrived on 25 June 1982, while my cousin Bob was visiting.
•  A few days later, on July 1, we ordered eight Goose goslings through Sears.
•  Donna found an advertisement stating a local farmer was selling Suffolk-Colombian cross lambs,  we bought four.

As time passed, we found that the geese had a tendency to pick on the smaller ducks when all were kept in confinement. After their first  winter together, we divided the shed with fence wire to keep the ducks and geese separate at night. During the cold months, the shed’s dirt floor was covered with a thick mat of straw so the birds could make sleeping nests.

With the purchase of ducks, geese and lambs, we became, ‘hobby farmers’.   :-)

The big ‘fly in the porridge’ became evident on the day it was time to slaughter our first duck. It was my job to chop off the ducks head with a hatchet, it was not a pleasant chore (!), never-the-less the deed was done. I plucked his feathers, turned the carcass over to Donna who roasted our duck.

Our ducks and geese were not raised in cages, nor exclusively fed corn; they grew up wiry, muscular, running around the homesite chasing young frogs and bugs. Frequently, we’d watch as the ducks or geese walked in a rough side by side formation across the yard, scaring up ‘things’ in the grass, then making a mad dash to catch and eat the unfortunate insect before it could hop or fly away.

When it came to cooking the duck, yes, the meat tasted alright, but it didn’t have the same texture or benign taste as a restaurant’s “Pekin duck’ (a $16 per plate of corn-fed, cage raised duck). Ours birds had a tough, sinuous, wild taste.

What made matter worse, was that when I took a second duck to the wood pile, the entire flock followed me then stood about twenty feet away watching me through the yard fence—yes, watching and quacking amongst themselves. I felt terrible and knew that they understood that I killed their sibling. That second duck was the last duck slaughtered, er, murdered.

Likewise, we only ate one goose. Our ‘feathered friends’ did however help pay for their keep, every spring and summer we collected duck and goose eggs, which due to their size practically over whelmed our ability to keep up (our gathered egg statistics are given in ‘Produce comparisons’, Chapter 1983).

The remaining ducks and geese lived a life of country luxury, being fed kernel corn in the morning, then browsing around in the upper and wilder lower yard, swimming in the pond. They roamed about the  acre plus sized yard as miniature predators, hunting bugs, eating an occasional weed, involved with their social lives while always watching out for hawks, owls and anything furry sneaking through the weeds.
Over the years, about half were killed by wildlife or dogs, there were a couple unfortunate accidents, but the rest died, one at a time, of old age.

[Livestock: Our ducks,     geese and sheep. ‘Yard  boss’, Griz     looks on. Camera pointed SE across the front yard. The Lower yard  is across the driveway. Pond  and SE corner yard fence posts are seen     in the distance.]

It wasn’t long after the ducks and geese came to live with us, that we grew use to seeing them they became pets, of sorts. In synopsis, one could live on duck and goose meat in an extended emergency situation. The meat would be tough so would need to be diced into small chewable portions and cooked in stews, otherwise, buy my advice is to buy the meat at a supermarket. Raising the sheep was successful, slightly profitable, fun and in the end, the lamb tasted good. The problems with larger livestock is ‘input’, you have to put a lot into the endeavor, take chances, and depend ofn services that may not exist when you need them. Also, sheep are quite small animals, under all that wool is a small creature without all that much meat. Think ‘tall thin dog’. By the time you pay to have the animal slaughtered, the meat cut and wrapped the value of raising the sheep is small.
I didn’t see ‘raising sheep’ as a profitable, sustainable, or time efficient endeavor for an extended emergency situation. It doesn’t sound romantic, and certainly flys in the face of ones desire to be self sufficient, but I  think unless you’ve been raised and worked around livestock, and have experience with farming-ranching, that you’re better off purchasing 2+ cases of  #12 (gallon size cans) of Mountain House freeze-dried meat. The alternative is: installing fence; depending on luck and the vagaries of animal disease; predators; inbred-genetic problems; maintaining a supply of feed and antibiotic supplements; working out the information and techniques to process the animal; then have freezer storage capacity to hold the meat. There is a lot of ‘know how’ and luck involved with raising large livestock, processing them into meal size parcels, and storing the butchered carcass. What do you do if the power is out?

Music [midi: Within You]

Donna has thyroid surgery
One day while sitting at her desk at Landy Packing, Donna noticed that her heart seemed to be beating quite hard for a person sitting and at rest. When she took her pulse she was surprised to find it one hundred twenty beats per minute. Being concerned, she telephoned our neighbor and friend, Arlene, who was a Licensed Practical Nurse  in a Sty Cloud doctor’s office. Donna asked Arlene if her pulse was normal, Arlene spoke with the doctor and made an appointment for Donna to immediately come to the office for an examination.

An hour later, the doctor found, that indeed, Donna did have an abnormally high pulse rate, her blood pressure was abnormal as well, being low on one end and high on the other; she also had an enlarged thyroid.

The doctor informed Donna, “You are a walking stroke case!”

The over riding diagnosis was, “Hyperthyroid”. Donna was given a prescription of liquid iodine which was to be taken as a mixture with water; she was also referred to Dr. Hans Engman, a Specialist in Internal Medicine. Over the course of the next few months, Donna had a series of blood tests and a thyroid scan at the St. Cloud Hospital. It was determined that her thyroid gland was growing into a butterfly goiter and that surgery would be required  to correct the situation and return her to normalized health. However, before the surgery could take place, Donna’s pulse and blood pressure had to be brought down into the normal range; he was put on a stabilizing regime of medications.

In early September, Donna was admitted to the St. Cloud Hospital for her thyroid operation. Late that same day, the surgery was performed which removed ninety-five percent of her swollen thyroid gland. Donna recovered nicely, without complications or problems. She remained in the hospital another five days recovering and for observation, before returning home. After about a week’s rest at home, Donna returned to work. The operation was so successful that no post operative medication was required.[1]

Although surgery is always a major event in one’s life, the thyroid problem didn’t cause any hardship or suffering. It was simply something that was discovered and needed attention. When the thyroid was ‘fixed’, the family went on as before.

Heat pump and cold frame
Ever since buying our mobile home, we were acutely aware of the rising heating costs each winter. Every hot and muggy summer afternoon, we sat in the mobile home with the windows open,a large circulating fan set blowing on us, while we continued suffering from the heat.

In early 1982 we became aware of the concept of a heat pump. Heat pumps were devices that during the Fall and Spring, could wring a little heat from the cold air outdoors and transfer that heat into the house.  During the summer, the heat pump acted like an ordinary air-conditioner, pulling heat from the inside of the house and transferring it outside. The heat pump was therefore either a space heater and an air-conditioner, depending on the outdoor air temperature.
[Photograph: The ‘cold     frame’ I built over the heat pump. The south-facing structure helped warm the spring and fall air, thus increasing the efficiency of our heat pump.]

As an economic tool, it cost 25% to 50% less to move heat from the outside, into the house in the spring and fall, than to generate the same amount of heat with our forced air electric heating system.

After shopping around, we purchased a high efficiency, General Electric ‘Weathertron’ heat pump.[2]

The heat pump was installed on May 21, at a cost of $2,430, for parts and labor. From that day on,  we enjoyed the luxury of air-conditioning throughout the summer, then had reduced heating bills during Fall and Spring months.

The heat pump was installed partially as a backup system to our mobile homes main electric heating coils, the whole system tied into a more complex thermostat located on the front room wall. We set the thermostat for the air-conditioner to come on when interior temperatures rose above 74ºF.

The thermostat was set to provide heat from the heat pump when interior temperatures dropped below 65ºF during the day and below 60ºF at night. During the Fall and Spring, when night temperatures could drop quite low, the “automatic” setting on the thermostat first called on the heat pumps heating coils. If the pump was unable to keep up with the heat demand, then a single bank of the electric furnace heating coils would automatically switch on in assistance.

According to its specifications, the heat pump was supposed to be able to draw heat from outside air as long as temperatures were above 10ºF. In practice though, the heat pumps coils spent so much time defrosting in the low teens, that we figured the efficiency was too poor for practical use. We found that the heat pump provided its more efficient heating down to about 20ºF. So, on nights when the temperature was to be in the teens we left the furnace set to “emergency” which bypassed the heat pump and only used the electric furnace.

Generally, from December through February, the heat pump was turned off and we heated the mobile home with the electric furnace’s forced air. From some time in MArch through late November we used either the heat pump to provide either cheap heat or air-conditioning.

Garbage disposal at the rural acreage [3]
When we first moved to our rural homestead, we had to restructure our thinking and make plans to dispose of all of our rubbish ourselves, there were no garbage trucks, no dumpsters, ‘waste’ became our problem.

The procedures we settled on included:
•  Paper and other combustibles were incinerated in a fifty-five gallon steel drum which I set up off the ground on concrete blocks.
•  Clear glass was stored in a fifty-five gallon drum. When the barrel was full the glass was transferred into cardboard boxes and sold at the St. Cloud Recycle Center for 1/2¢ per pound. Once we collected a “whopping” 50¢ for our labor (grin).
•  Colored glass (brown and green) was treated the same as clear glass, except that it was stored in a different barrel and delivered separately to the recycle center.
•  Aluminum cans were smashed flat (by foot) and stored in a fifty-five gallon drum. These were also delivered to the recycle center, where they brought 16¢ to 22¢ per pound. Once we received $5 for a three-quarter full drum of flattened cans.
•  Tin cans, wire and other small pieces of metal were thrown into the ‘trash can pit’ about one hundred fifty feet north of our trailer, or about forty feet beyond the back yard fence.
•  Table scraps and grease drippings that accumulated during the day, were temporarily kept in a small plastic container. Every morning these scraps were mixed in with our dogs commercial, pelletized dog food to improve palatability and fed to our happy, hungry pets.
•  Compost scraps which accumulated during the day were temporarily stored in a conveniently sized, open container. When the container was full, its contents were dumped into a tightly covered flexible plastic, five quart ice-cream pail. When the covered pail was full it was dumped into our compost bin and eventually returned as soil to the garden.

Memories of the telephone system 1982 [4]
In a process that started in the late 1960s and continued  into the 1980s, Long Distance telephone companies were switching from copper telephone wires to microwave receivers and transmitters set on towers. The tall microwave towers began showing up here and there on the horizon, along with television signal repeaters, AM-FM radio transmitters, TV transmitters, and other narrow beam and broadcast antennae.

The 1970s and 1980s were a time of rapid growth in various information systems. Cable television spread across America, through cities and into small towns, but not to the separate, isolated rural farm houses.

[The pond in the southeast  corner of the yard. Dogs, ducks and geese, and later the Girl Scouts–all  enjoyed  the pond.  Seen here, our  White Pekin ducks.]

When the US Government broke up the monopoly held by American Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (AT&T) in the early 1980s, it eliminated telephone company policies regarding the use of “other equipment” on their lines, this made it easier to buy a decorator phone take it home and plug it into the wall jack. After AT&T was dismantled into a half-dozen regional ‘Baby Bells’, these splinter companies developed a really voracious appetite for consumer money. Basic telephone rates rose dramatically across the country [5]. The public cry over rising phone rates were heard for about a year. When everyone, on all sides of the issue had their say, the rates stayed high and continued rising, meanwhile service quality slipped. So the gi=overnment, looking out for our interests broke up a monopoly, and pushed prices higher, just the opposite of what was supposed to happen.
(When dealing with government policy, things frequently go worse, do less, and-or cost more than originally proposed; this effect should be recognised as a law of nature.

In the latter half of the 1980s, telephone ‘Directory Assistance’ changed and was no longer a free service. Residential users were allotted two free Directory Assistance calls per month, beyond this we were charged 50¢ per ‘Assist’.

The ‘sound’ of Directory Assistance changed with the times as well. The service line which always had been answered by a woman was more frequently answered by men as well, however, the number you requested was given by a computer generated voice. Since a computer gave the information then disconnected the line, there was no further chance to request additional information, unless you redialed  the 411 Directory Assistance number again to ask the operator.

Meanwhile, the cost of a phone call made from a ‘public pay telephone’ rose rapidly from 10¢ to 25¢.

Meanwhile, a new kind of ‘pay telephone’ was starting to appear at the major airports. Sitting side by side along with the coin operated pay phones were telephones that collected their fee from special prepaid debit credit card. These cards were inserted into the machine, then extracted past the internal scanner and ‘read’. Plastic credit cards were already very widely used by the public for almost any retail and service transaction.

Over the decades, the perception that utility poles, with electric power or communication cables strung between them, had been a symbol of progress, that idea was being replaced by an attitude that saw them as “eye sores” and “blight.”

New plastic sheathing allowed the cables to be buried, which helped clean up the scenic view and resulted in lower maintenance costs. When I lived  at the Dixon Street apartment in Hayward in 1969-70, there was a thicket of telephone and electric wires running in all directions above my apartment’s outdoor patio, and through the entire apartment complex. Now some twenty-five years later, Donna, Jane and I live in rural Minnesota where the telephone wires are buried; even the electric line is buried as it comes six hundred feet in from the county road to a transformer behind our mobile home.

The rear addition and pantry [6]
Donna and I became concerned about the long-term availability of food after seeing the grocery store shelves empty in Arcata, California, due to a trucker’s strike, around Thanksgiving 1971, . Reinforcing our concern was another truckers strike in 1973. The strike only lasted three weeks, but once again resulted in the grocery store shelves being completely emptied of meat products. Meanwhile, there was the possibility of NATO’s ‘Cold War’ with the Soviet Block breaking out into a nuclear war.

[Building the rear addition. With winter rapidly approaching, I was  rapidly working to enclose the rear  addition.]

In the first year after our marriage, all we were capable of doing was to maintain a kitchen cupboard full of canned food and dry goods. Our first attempt to increase food storage had been to build a six-foot high set of shelves, which were painted bright colors and stocked with canned food. These storage shelves were left in California when we moved to Minnesota.

Soon after arriving in Minnesota, we began raising vegetables in a small, rented garden at the Veteran’s Administration Hospital in St. Cloud. The size of our garden’s expanded, and quadrupled when we moved into our mobile home at Rockwood Estates, then tripled again in size when we moved to our rural Gilman acreage. Overall we had a full order of magnitude increase in garden size, not counting the orchard.

Once we were living on our rural property, I built a 16 foot wide by 12 foot rear addition onto the mobile home. The room was divided into two each, eight foot by twelve-foot, rectangular rooms. One room found a variety of seasonal uses, including the storage of boxes of kindling and a three-foot high by eight foot long emergency wood pile during the winter.

The second room, became our pantry, We installed shelves against three walls, which were  then filled with a rather large supply of common everyday foods, and non perishable products, see the table below.

[The ‘rear addition’ finished and in the process of being stocked.]

We kept our 19 cubic foot freezer in the pantry. The freezer held about $320 worth of frozen meats and produce [7].
From Fall into mid Winter, the pantry was also used to store bushel baskets of garden produce.

Typical canned and dry goods stored in the rear addition, in 1982 prices:

Item Quantity Cost Item Quantity Cost
beans, lima, dry about 10 lb. $5 potatoes, dehydrated 80   servings $4
beans, navy, dry about 10 lb. $5 rice, bulk bag 25   pounds $8
beans,  pinto, dry about 10 lb. $5 soap,  laundry, 45 lb. box 90   pounds $36
coffee,  freeze dried 12  bottles $48 spaghetti, 2 lb. packages 10   pounds $3
Kleenex, large box 6  boxes $4 sugar, 10 lb. bags 60   pounds $17
macaroni,  5 lb. boxes 20  pounds $7 toilet paper 96   rolls $18
milk,  dehydrated, 8 boxes 160  quarts $43 tomato sauce 48   cans $22
oatmeal,  bulk 5 gallon pail $6 tomatoes,  canned, whole 24   cans $21
paper towels 8 rolls $5 tuna  fish, canned 96   cans $76
peaches,  canned, sliced 24 cans $16 vegetables, various, 48   cans $19
peanut  butter 6 large jars $15 wheat, grain, 50 lb. bag 100   pounds $24
peas,  split, dry about 10 lb. $5 whisky, McMasters 12   liters $79

Freeze dried food storage
Between November 1982 and January 1983, we developed a very long term food storage strategy, which included the purchase of eighteen cases of Mountain House freeze dried food.  Each case contained six each one gallon (# 10 size) tin cans of nitrogen packed, freeze dried food products, providing a total of one hundred eight cans, of forty-eight different freeze-dried foods. Donna and I put a lot of thought into exactly what we wanted to buy, comparing the reconstituted volumes with other canned foods that we had in storage, as well as considering our annual garden produce.

Before making the bulk freeze-dried food purchase,  we bought a two-day supply of Mountain House freeze-dried food in foil pouches, the type commonly used by back packers and mountain climbers. We rated each reconstituted food and compared it with comparable canned or home-made products. Our findings showed the freeze-dried variety to have about eighty-five percent as much flavor as the normally prepared variety. Some extra spices or shortening were required, otherwise the foods were good.

The freeze-dried foods were estimated to have a shelf life of 30 years under optimal conditions, however, probably would last more like twenty years in central Minnesota. When we placed the order, our cost for the eighteen cases of freeze-dried food was $1,000, delivered

Long term, freeze dried foods in storage[8]

Item # Cans Item # Cans Item # Cans
egg omelet w/ cheese 1 macaroni and cheese 2 milk, dehydrated 4
eggs, scrambled 1 potatoes and beef 3 cheddar cheese 1
eggs, scrambled w/ bacon 1 rice and chicken 5 banana pudding 1
beans w/ beef franks 1 spaghetti and meat 1 butterscotch pudding 1
beef  almandine 1 vegetable  stew w/ beef 3 chocolate pudding 1
beef and rice 3 beef patties raw 1 crackers 2
beef chop suey 1 beans, green 4 granola 2
beef flavored rice 2 carrots 3 L.U.R.P.S. 1
beef stew 2 corn 5 apple slices 5
beef   stroganoff 1 peas 5 applesauce 3
chicken  chop suey 1 potatoes, hash brown 9 banana chips 2
chicken stew 2 potatoes, mashed 3 blueberries 2
chicken w/ noodles 3 spinach 1 peaches 2
chicken w/ rice, carrots 1 cocoa 1 pears 1
chili and beans 3 lemon aid mix 2 pineapple 1
chili mac w/ beef 3 orange aid mix 3 strawberries 1

Most of the cans provided between 18 to 20, half cup servings of reconstituted food.

The cases were stacked on planks, several inches above the floor and away from the walls in the rear addition, where they remained year after year, insurance against a dire emergency.

What’s on TV tonight?
My favorite programs in 1982.
•  Local Evening  News
•  National Evening   News
•  Private   Benjamin
•  Magnum P.I.
•  The Greatest American Hero
•  Simon and Simon
•  ABC, CBS or NBC evening movies
**  Marco Polo, a miniseries

Among the movies that Donna and I attended this year were:
48 HRS. with Nick Nolte, Eddie Murphy, Annette O’Toole, James Remar
A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy with Woody Allen, Mia Farrow, Jose Ferrer
Blade Runner with Harrison Ford, Rutgar Hauer, Sean Young,   Edward J. Olmos
Conan The Barbarian with Arnold   Schwarzenegger, James Earl Jones, Max Von Sydow
E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial with Henry Thomas, Dee Wallace, Drew Barrymore
Fire Fox with Clint Eastwood, Freddie Jones, David Huffman,   Warren Clarke
Porky’s with Dan Monahan, Mark Hettier, Wyatt Knight, Roger   Wilson
Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan with William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Ricardo   Montauban
The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas with Burt Reynolds, Dolly Parton, Dom DeLuise
The World According To Garp with Robin Williams, Glenn Close, John Lithgow
Victor/Victoria with Julie Andrews, James Garner, Robert Preston

[1] Many years later, Donna was required to begin taking medication.
[2] The heat pump had a cooling capacity of 24,000 BTUH and a heating capacity of 23,000 BTUH. The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio for summer was 10.85, where a SEER of 10 was rated with excellent performance. The Heating Seasonal Performance Factor was 6.95, where a HSPF of 6.5 was rated excellent performance.
[3]  See also Journal 12, Point of View, page 2100, “Archeological Digs”
[4]  See Journal 14, Trace of the Temporal Visitor, page 2744, “My Memories of the Telephone System”
[5]  Between Dec 1983 and Oct 1987, basic monthly telephone service rates rose from $7.00 to $11.35 in Los Angeles, $13.65 to $18.76 in Minneapolis and $8.83 to $18.38 in Washington D.C.
[6]  See also Journal 1, The Gordian Knot, “The Pantry” and “Long Term Emergency Food Storage”
[7] In 1982, the $320 worth of food  in our freezer represented a week’s gross income from  my job.
[8] Twenty five years later with the expiration of their estimated shelf life, the freeze-dried foods were disposed of. They had fulfilled their role as an insurance policy. Just as with auto insurance, you hope you’ll never have to collect, but you carry the insurance for the protection.

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Filed under Autobiography, __4. Little House in the Woods- Beginnings: 1980-1987

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