Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The hell with Godot, waiting for snow in Alaska is worse

I am getting damned tired of scenes like this every winter.

So weather has me putting off my trip to the East Pole. Seems like a great day for random whining about life in general: gray, rainy, trapped.

First of all, raining and 40 degrees IN ALASKA, in NOVEMBER … later at 9:33 to be exact, the temperature hit 50 degrees and I had to check a GPS receiver to make sure I am where I think I am …

Then there's this headline: "APD Conducting Black Friday Traffic Enforcement" So as I understand it the Anchorage Police Department is going after black friday shoppers in their own form of black friday shopping. Hope they don't run into long lines.

The Anchorage D News has posted a story about where to go for a free Thanksgiving meal. You have to wonder how many people who would benefit from a free meal have access to a computer and the Internet. Why not print a bunch of posters and put them on walls and poles around town?

And, yes, I did not capitalize "black friday" on purpose. I realize I am quite alone in this but I absolutely detest the term. First of all, naming a day that is supposed to be associated with happiness of the season "black" seems antithetical. Secondly with the complaints about commercializing Christmas (that battle is lost) we anticipate a grand holiday dedicated totally to shopping, spending money, saving money by spending more money.  And get this, Monday there will be reports about how much was spent and how it will affect retailers going forward. Merry Chri$tma$.

Gwyneth Paltrow has a toothpaste squeezer that cost $244 …

SeaWorld defends keeping killer whales in captive swimming pools by stating they released two rescued sea lions to the wild. I am sure the wild killer whales appreciate that…

Bernie Sanders had this to say on Twitter: Why are we told that it's OK to bring in lettuce and tomatoes from unregulated farms but we cannot bring brand-name drugs across the border?

People are reporting more and more starlings in Anchorage …

Here's a comment from my friend Joe May who lives not too far from the East Pole: Got two falls of a foot each, a day apart. Blew up the old snow blower on the first one. Got to Wasilla for a replacement between falls. Now gone to 40 deg and I've got yogurt in the driveway. Ahhh, but the struggle continues – wouldn't have it any other way – the alternative is playing shuffleboard with old farts in Florida and that isn’t my game.

Facebook thinks I might know someone named CarolLaura CrispQuintana …

Another baffling headline from today: U.S. sanctions businessman helping Syrian government buy oil from Islamic State. Can anyone tell me Milo Minderbinder isn't alive and thriving?  (You'll have to ask.)

An introvert's worst nightmare: When your plans to be alone in the woods for Thanksgiving are destroyed by weather and now you have to explain again why you aren't going to accept any of the invitations you already turned down. ("I'd really love to but I have this turkey that's thawed now, so …")

Just learned the full moon in November is called the mourning moon. Amen …

In the past week or so, I have unfriended two people because of their posts hating on President Obama …

I burned up my mixer earlier in the week so I had to improvise
to make my punkin pie! Hammer drill setting nor required. My
nephew posted this on facebook today. I've  done this too.
People found a newborn baby in the Nativity scene outside a New York City church…

What do I do now department: A California policeman pulled over Google's self-driving car for going too slow.…

With a death this week there are only three northern white rhinos left in the world …

Avalanche warnings are out all over the place and there have been a few. A skier missing in Hatcher Pass …

For the first time a privately funded ship will launch from Cape Canaveral with a load of cargo for the International Space Station next year …

I saw The" Hunger Games, Mockingjay 2" the other day. Wrapped up the series nicely and didn't stray far from the book … 

Still no answer back from CarolLaura … and we have two mutual friends …

It's very frustrating that there is lots of snow and a huge storm north of here, unfortunately too far north. I'm pointing at you Fairbanks …

A Food Network survey lists the best breakfasts in each of the 50 states: In Alaska? Gwennie's reindeer sausage omelets. I have had the omelets there but not the reindeer and they are awesome. But, the best breakfast in Alaska used to be served in a place called Hogg Brothers Cafe which closed several years ago. They served something called a royale which included what might have been eggs Benedict but with asparagus involved. Now that I am on a low-cholesterol diet I am kind of glad I can't be tempted by one of those any more.  No. kids, not THOSE reindeer.

Oh, yeah thankful for the new lens too.
There is a guy whose real name is now Santa Claus on the city council in North Pole, Alaska…

CNN put up a poll of the greatest love quotes, mostly from movies. I liked this one: "Life is messy. Love is messier." From something  called "Catch and Release"…

That's probably enough but for this:" Thankful I am not going to die trying to get to the East Pole. Thankful for family and friends. For a place to live in relative comfort. And that in spite of and because of the weather I live in the most beautiful place on earth. And  I bet I might be the only one ever to say this: thankful for the Internet. Without it I'd just be another grumpy old man living alone and complaining about it. Oh. wait …

So, let's end on a positive note, or notes as they may be:


  1. I am thankful for you, your friendship, and your writing. Is it wrong that this post made me laugh? It's definitely wrong that it's colder in California than it is in Alaska!

  2. I would be disappointed if you didn't laugh. And I am thankful for our new friendship too.


Interesting quotations

· " “Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.” — Ernest Hemingway

When I write, I feel like an armless, legless man with a crayon in his mouth. Kurt Vonnegut

“If you wrote something for which someone sent you a cheque, if you cashed the cheque and it didn't bounce, and if you then paid the light bill with the money, I consider you talented.” Stephen King

The thing about ignornance is, you don't have to remain ignorant. — me again"

Never debate with someone who gets ink by the barrel" — George Hayes, former Alaska Attorney General who died recently

My dear Mr. Frost: two roads never diverge in a yellow wood. Three roads meet there. — @Shakespeareon Twitter

"The mark of a great shiphandler is never getting into situations that require great shiphandling," Adm. Ernest King, USN

Me: Does the restaurant have cute waitresses?

My friend Gail: All waitresses are cute when you're hungry.

I'm not a writer, but sometimes I push around words to see what happens. – Scott Berry

“The rivers of Alaska are strewn with the bones of men who made but one mistake” - Fred McGarry, a Nushagak Trapper

Many people hear voices when no one is there. Some of them are called mad and are shut up in rooms where they stared at walls all day. Others are called writers and they do pretty much the same thing. – Meg Chittenden

A non-writing writer is a monster courting insanity. – Franz Kafka

We are all immortal until the one day we are not. – me again

If the muse is late, start without her – Peter S. Beagle

Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very;’ your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be. ~Mark Twain Actually you could do the same thing with the word "really" as in "really cold."

If you are looking for an experience that will temper your vanity, this is it. There's no one to impress when you're alone on the trap line. – Michael Carey quoting his father's journal

Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. – Benjamin Franklin

It’s nervous work. The state you need to write in is the state that others are paying large sums of money to get rid of. – Shirley Hazzard

So far as I can remember, there is not one word in the Gospels in praise of intelligence -- Bertrand Russell

You know that I always just wanted to have a small ship to take stuff from a place that had a lot of that stuff to a place that did not have a lot of that stuff and so prosper.—Jackie Faber, “The Wake of the Lorelei Lee”

If you attack the arguer instead of the argument, you lose both

If an insurance company won’t pay for damages caused by an “act of God,” shouldn’t it then have to prove the existence of God? – I said that

I used to think getting old was about vanity—but actually it’s about losing people you love. Getting wrinkles is trivial. – Eugene O’Neill

German General to Swiss General: “You have only 500,000 men in your army; what would you do if I invaded with 1 million men?”

Swiss General: “Well, I suppose every one of my soldiers would need to fire twice.”

Writing is the only thing that when I do it, I don’t feel I should be doing something else.—Gloria Steinem

Exceed your bandwidth—sign on the wall of the maintenance shop at the West Coast/Alaska Tsunami Warning Center

One thing I do know, if you keep at it, you usually wind up getting something done.—Patricia Monaghan

Do you want to know what kind of person makes the best reporter? I’ll tell you. A borderline sociopath. Someone smart, inquisitive, stubborn, disorganized, chaotic, and in a perpetual state of simmering rage at the failings of the world.—Brett Arends

It is a very simple mind that only knows how to spell a word one way.—Andrew Jackson

3:30 is too late or too early to do anything—Rene Descartes

Everything is okay when it’s 50-below as long as everything is okay. – an Alaskan in Tom Walker’s “The Seventymile Kid”

You can have your own opinion but you can’t have your own science.—commenter arguing on a story about polar bears and global warming

He looks at three ex wives as a good start—TV police drama

Talkeetna: A friendly little drinking town with a climbing problem.—a handmade bumper sticker

“You’re either into the wall or into the show”—Marco Andretti on giving it all to qualify last at the 2011 Indy 500

Makeup is not for the faint of heart—the makeup guerrilla

“I’m going to relax in a very adult manner.”—Danica Patrick after sweating it out and qualifying half an hour before Andretti

“Asking Congress to come back is like asking a mugger to come back because he forgot your wallet.”—a roundtable participant on Fox of all places

As Republicans go further back in the conception process to define when life actually begins, I am beginning to think the eventual definition will be life begins in the beer I was drinking when I met her.—me again

Hunting is a “critical element for the long-term conservation of wood bison.”—a state department of Fish and Game official explaining why the state would not go along with a federal plan to reintroduce wood bison in Alaska because the agreement did not specifically allow hunting

Each day do something that won’t compute – anon

I can’t belive I still have to protest this shit – a sign carriend by an elderly woman at an Occupy demonstration

Life should be a little nuts or else it’s just a bunch of Thursdays strung together—Kevin Costner as Beau Burroughs in “Rumor has it”

You’re just a wanker whipping up fear —Irish President Michael D. Higgins to a tea party radio announcer

Being president doesn’t change who you are; it reveals who you are—Michelle Obama

Things sports announcers say

"… there's a fearlessment about him …"

"He's got to have the lead if he's going to win this race."

"Kansas has always had the ability to score with the basketball."

"NFL to put computer chips in balls." Oh, that's gotta hurt.

"Now that you're in the finals you have to run the race that's going to get you on the podium."

"It's very important for both sides that they stay on their feet."

This is why you get to hate sportscasters. Kansas beats Texas for the first time since 1938. So the pundits open their segment with the question "let's talk about what went wrong." Wrong? Kansas WON a football game! That's what went RIGHT!

"I brought out the thermostat to show you how cold it is here." Points to a thermometer reading zero in Minneapolis.

"It's tough to win on the road when you turn the ball over." Oh, really? Like you can do all right if you turn the ball over playing at home?

Cliches so imbedded in sportscasters' minds they can't help themselves: "Minnesota fell from the ranks of the undefeated today." What ranks? They were the only undefeated team left.

A good one: A 5'10" player went up and caught a pass off a defensive back over six feet tall. The quote? "He's got some hops."

Best homonym of the day so far: "It's all tied. Alabama 34, Kentucky 3." Oh, Tide.

"Steve Hooker commentates on his Olympic pole vault gold medal." When "comments" just won't do.

"He's certainly capable of the top ten, maybe even higher than that."

"Atlanta is capable of doing what they're doing."

"Biyombo, one of seven kids from the Republic of Congo." In the NBA? In America? In his whole country?

"You can't come out and be aggressive but you can't come out and be unaggressive."

"They're gonna be in every game they play!"

"First you have to get two strikes on the hitter before you get the strikeout."

"The game ended in the final seconds." You have to wonder when the others ended or are they still going on?

How is a team down by one touchdown before the half "totally demoralized?"

"If they score runs they will win."

"I think the matchup is what it is"

After a play a Houston defender was on his knees, his head on the ground and his hand underneath him appeared to clutch a very sensitive part of the male anatomy. He rolled onto his back and quickly removed his hand. (Remember the old Cosby routine "you cannot touch certain parts of your body?") Finally they helped the guy to the sideline and then the replay was shown. In it the guy clearly took a hard knee between his thighs. As this was being shown, one of the announcers says, "It looks like he hurt his shoulder." The other agrees and then they both talk about how serious a shoulder injury can be. Were we watching the same game?

"Somebody is going to be the quarterback or we're going to see a new quarterback."

"If you're gonna play running back in the SEC you're gonna take hits."

"That was a playmaker making a play."

Best headlines ever

Sister hits moose on way to visit sister who hit moose.

Man loses his testicles after attempting to smoke weed through a SCUBA tank

Church Mutual Insurance won't cover Church's flood damage because it's 'an act of God'

Homicide victims rarely talk to police

Meerkat Expert Attacked Monkey Handler Over Love Affair With Llama Keeper

GOP congressman opposes gun control because gay marriage leads to bestiality

Owner of killer bear chokes to death on sex toy

Support for legalizing pot hits all-time high

Give me all your money or my penguin will explode

How zombie worms have sex in whale bones

Crocodile steals zoo worker's lawn mower

Woman shot by oven while trying to cook waffles

Nude beach blowjob jet ski fight leads to wife's death

Woman stabs husband with squirrel for not buying beer Christmas Eve