Monthly Archives: December 2012



So, I’m in the Big Orange Box Store getting a few things for the jobsite this morning. I’m busy running my credit card, since the stores make the customers do the work these days, when the clerk (I can’t bring myself to call her a cashier) asks me, “Do you think we’ll see sixty below this year?”

Without even looking up I reply, “Oh yeah. No doubt about it.”

When I had finished my role as cashier, I looked up and noticed that the woman’s chin was resting on her chest. I looked at her questioningly.

“How can you say that? What makes you think that?”

“It’s bound to happen, it’s shaping up to be a brutal winter. All the signs point to it.”

“What will we do?” She asked with obvious horror written across her facial expression complete with tics.

Now I was confused, all I thought was: What the hell does that mean: ‘What will we do’? “We’ll do what we always do; we’ll suffer through it, go through a bunch of fuel and get gleeful messages from so-called friends in the Lower 48 asking ‘How cold is it today’?”

“But do people go to work? Surely little children don’t go to school. Are businesses open? Will this store be open?”

I’m sure my expression clearly showed that I was thinking, ‘My god, this woman is nuts.’ But I asked, in what I thought was a rather kind & considerate tone, “Is this your first year here?”

“Our second.”

“I see. Everything is open. We go about our business as usual. Just make sure you vehicle is winterized and is running properly.”

“Oh, well we have a garage.”

“A heated garage?” I asked.

“Oh yes, of course.”

I could feel my eyes start to narrow. I could feel my jaw tighten. I could feel the hairs on the back of my neck stand straight out. My blood pressure suddenly rose. “You realize that any sympathy I may have felt for you has completely evaporated. Just deal with it like the rest of us.”



Merry Christmas

Path of the Sun

Path of Sun Solstice 2012

This is a great shot put out by the University of Alaska Fairbanks of the sun’s path this past Winter Solstice. The picture, taken from campus, is eight exposures at 30 minute intervals.

It was a solid -40F the entire day, and you can clearly see the icefog that is blanketing the town below the UAF campus.

The photo really gives someone who has never experienced the north country a feel for how little daylight we get at this time of year.

Photo courtesy of the University of Alaska Fairbanks

misunderstood mayan

Courtesy of TJS

And now one for a sponsor…

Hatchet Jack

“I, Alaska Mike, being of sound mind and frostbit legs, do hereby leaveth… Ha. I don’t think so. You’ll have to pry my cold, dead fingers from the steering wheel…”

But I digress…

Happy Winter Solstice! We will soon be gaining daylight, and as long as the firewood holds out…

Say…Umm… Excuse me…


If this Mayan Revenge thing doesn’t go through as planned tomorrow, do you think we could raise the temps… at least in the far north… by a few degrees? This minus forty-five to minus fifty shit is really getting old.

It would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

Dutch Harbor Dragnet

beach seine

More from the Unalaska Police Blotter:

1146 – Suspicious Person/Activity – Caller reported a tall man carrying a buoy, an activity which he found suspicious. Officers did not locate the buoy-sporting suspect.

8 December, Saturday
0118 – Trespass – Caller asked police to remove a woman from his residence, and told the responding officers that the woman never leaves after he invites her to his house. Officers suggested that perhaps he should stop inviting her. The woman left without incident.

1100 – Harassment – Woman reported receiving annoying text messages from an unidentified sender. Officers determined the sender was an 11-year old girl who had forwarded the messages after being told that forwarding the messages would bring her luck. The girl and her parents were informed of the problem.

0949 – Welfare Check – Caller expressed concern about being unable to contact a friend by phone for the last several days. An officer contacted the friend, who stated that he turns his phone off when he’s sober.

13 November, Tuesday
0125 – Suspicious Person/Activity – An amorous bloke who in a misguided attempt to attract a mate placed his genitals on full, flapping display in the roadway instead caught the attention of a passing police officer. The luckless lad was allowed to leave without charges since the intended victim couldn’t be offended by what she couldn’t see.

Moose Explosions

Cold Chevy

It was -50 Sunday morning and -50 again yesterday morning, but luckily it warmed up to -46 this morning. I always love that slight delay filled with silence when you turn the ignition in these temps and are left wondering for that split second if the engine is going to turn over.

My winter moose is back eating all the willows. With the snow up to the level of my little deck, the moose tried to climb aboard last night and found that hooves on snow covered lumber do not go well together. The resulting crash shook the entire cabin.
The sliding hoof marks in the snow dust are still there.

At around 2am I was awaken by the sound of mortar fire and howling sled dogs. Eventually I climbed out of bed and took a peek out a frosty window to see glowing balls of flame shooting up into the night sky. I processed the scene for a moment and came to the conclusion that the moose had jumped a fence and had been caught eating the neighbor’s trees. I stumbled back towards the bed, turning a fan on full-bore as I passed.

Around 3pm this afternoon, I received a phone call, and was asked if I had any fireworks sitting around not being used.

Name that VeeDub!

1973 VW Snowball

Looking at the tint the lighting makes up here in the north, it makes me feel like I’m living under a glacier.

Sunrise: 10:55am
Sunset: 2:39pm
Daylight Hours: 3hrs 44mins

High Temp: -37F
Low Temp: -46F