Monthly Archives: August 2015

Officially Denali


We can file this one under the heading: I didn’t see this coming.

On the eve of the President’s visit to Alaska, the White House announced on Sunday that Mount McKinley would officially be changed back to its Athabascan name Denali.  Alaska has had a standing request to change the name since 1975 when the state legislature passed a resolution, and then-Governor Jay Hammond officially appealed to the federal government.

Alaskans have long referred to The Mountain as Denali, but Ohio politicians have blocked the official change for decades.  The Interior Department cites a 1947 law that allows it to change names when the U.S. Board on Geographic Names refuses to act in “a timely manner”.  The Board has been deferring to Congress since 1977 on the issue, which seems to qualify.

Ban The Plan

So I have this friend who is an excessive planner. If he ever got a tattoo, it would be of a calendar. He’s the type of guy that buys his Franklin Planners five years in advance, and follows them on Facebook. He subscribes to the app “What Happened on This Date 10 Years From Now”.

I have another friend who is visiting the area. The Excessive Planner bemoaned the fact that the visiting friend could not make plans with him months in advance, because he had to remain flexible. Upon hearing this, my feelings for the visiting friend went soaring. We’re talking Denali heights.

To celebrate the news, I went out and bought a planner for myself. It’s getting cooler out now, and I’m going to use it for firestarter in my wood stove.

Fighting to make life loose-goosey again.

I may have to make up a t-shirt.

Laundry Epiphany

When one does three weeks worth of laundry, and realizes that everything going through the washer & dryer is work clothes.

It may very well be time for a vacation.

The Walls of Hades

I took on a painting job, even though I was far too busy to justify it, but I wanted the money. I sprayed out the ceiling and walls earlier in the week, and today I applied a coat to the bathrooms and kitchen via brush & roller.

Everything was going great, although the CDC did issue a warning when I pulled out the refrigerator and stove from the wall, but all I could see was the check at the end of the tunnel.

Then I reached the “master” bath. I’m not sure what the originally, invisible, film of toxic waste was on those walls, but it showed itself once the paint was applied. Okay, no big deal, I thought, that’s why they make Kilz Primer. So I started to apply that, and the toxic film ate through the Kilz quicker than a Great White goes through a seal pup. It was mortifying to watch, but I really became torqued when I realized the toxic waste had clung to the Purdy roller cover and I had to throw it away.

What was I thinking? I know better than to use a Purdy on a rental property.

An extremely frustrating turn of events, but it was 4:15pm and all I wanted to do was go home, open a beer and sit behind the Rover’s steering wheel and imagine that I was driving south, leaving the insane, “can you fit us in?”, mania that always hits just before the first autumn snowfall, well behind me.

I may be forced to mask off the tiny bath and spray the walls tomorrow morning, in an attempt to entomb the Blob’s spawn before it oozes out and ruins another perfectly good Purdy.

“Well, it ran when I parked it…”

"It's all there"

“I’m pretty sure it’s all there…”

Even you Naknek?

Nikolai, Alaska

The website Gawker has gone through the Ashley-Madison information dump, and they found that only three zip codes in the entire U.S. did not have any Ashley-Madison users on record. Three!

Two of those zip codes are in Alaska: Nikolai and Perryville. Populations of 94 and 113 respectively. Polvadera, New Mexico (population 269) was also on the list.

There are approximately 43,191 zip codes in the United States.

Old Fords Everywhere…

1949 Ford
1949 Ford

Old Ford trucks have been just coming out of the woods(work) lately here in the Interior of Alaska.

1943 Mercury Pick up
1943 Mercury

They seem to be everywhere as of late.

Steve McQueen’s 3800

1952 Chevy 1 Ton

Steve McQueen’s 1952 Chevy 3800 one ton pickup with camper shell is currently being auctioned. The truck looks to be in great shape and has not been restored. The odometer reads 38,920 which could very well be actual miles. The ’52 Chevy comes with the original straight six engine and 4 spd manual transmission. The camper is a custom made unit called the “Dust-Tite” out of Yreka, California.

McQueen's Chevy 1 ton

The venerable Chevy from McQueen’s classic car collection was the last vehicle of his that McQueen rode in, as it transported him to the airport on his way to Juarez, Mexico for his final cancer surgery.

Steve McQueen died four days later on November 7, 1980. The ’52 Chevy 3800 was purchased from his estate in 1984.

As of this posting, bidding was just shy of $98,000 with reserve not met.

McQueen's Chevy - Interior

It’s a beautiful old truck.

The Rover gets hitched

Rover's old hitch

I wanted to replace the old hitch with a receiver hitch on The Rover. A previous owner must have backed up into something, because the tab was bent upward, causing the trailer ball to lean inwards towards the truck. They must have been moving pretty good, because that is some beefy metal that was bent.

New receiver hitch

Unlike some parts that I’ve bought for vehicles, the replacement hitch mounted up perfectly. In fact, I think it was one of the easiest replacements I’ve done. My only complaint, is that if a company is going to send a set of fasteners to mount the thing, please send a complete set. And since I’m on the Parts Soapbox: If you’re going to send grade 8 bolts, why send grade 2 nuts? It’s a hitch… let’s go whole hog and make it a proper, and complete, set.

Still, it looks good and the new tow bar for the Beetle hooks up quick & easy.

Moving The Rover to the front of the line

Now that the scent of autumn is in the air, it’s time to put The Rover back together. Zipping around without the top has been fun, although it has been raining since I took the thing off. I think taking the top off will become a summer tradition. A soft top may have to be procured.

Dropping the windscreen

The first order of business is to replace the weatherstripping at the bottom of the windscreen. Other than the two ends, it was in surprisingly good shape. The snow leakage came from the top of the windscreen.

Dropped windscreen

I probably won’t make a habit out of driving with the windscreen down, with the drag the wiper motors make.

One dirty Lucas motor

Speaking of the wiper motor: Who would have thought that the underside of that Lucas motor would be that dirty?! It’s not like Lucas electrics leak…