Category Archives: insanity

Bear with me

Some blog housekeeping:

Upon my return from the lake, I found that WordPress has finally forced me to use their new editor. I have avoided it, ignored it, and found loopholes around it for months now. The demons finally got me when I had my back turned while trout fishing. I hate the new editor and I hate it with a passion. I simply do not have the free time to learn the ins and outs in the summer months. Things could be interesting in the meantime.

To further add to my frustration, my internet connection seems to have slowed to a torturous crawl when I was away. My provider sent me an email today admitting that it seemed slow, but that there were no lines down.

I thought that a bit obvious, since I have service, just slower than postal service. That part of the equation may take a while, as we live in our own time zone up here.

Hopefully, I will continue to just bull my way through it until I get it all figured out, before I’m forced to use a newer editor, but if I get cranky and disappear for days at a time, don’t be surprised, and don’t send out a search party. I’ve either gone back to the lake, or gone back to my typewriter.

Cheers from Alaska

Mount Everest

It’s a long way from the days of Mallory and Hillary:

Traffic jam at the top of the world; Photo credit: Project Possible/AFP/Getty Images

I’m absolutely fascinated by the recent photo to come from the summit of Mount Everest. Over 100 climbers, queued up in a line, in the death zone of Everest, waiting to summit. The death toll on Everest has reached 11 this year, as a result.

A record number of permits, 381, to climb the world’s tallest peak were issued. Which means at least double that number, if not closer to triple, were on the mountain, since guides and sherpas are not included in the permit number.

Also, the window of good weather was extremely small compared to most years, so everyone was forced to summit basically at the same time. Waiting in a line, using up oxygen, stepping over dead bodies that had been left behind, all while trying to combat exhaustion in the death zone.

The entire concept, just spins my head. The desire to climb Everest, I get, although I’ve never really had that great burn to do so. We’ve reached the point where we wait in a line at the roof top of our planet, for what? To take a selfie? Thank about it: One couldn’t take a picture from the summit without people in it! I live in Fairbanks so that I can avoid lines. I walk out of the post office if the line has more than three people in it. I realize, I’m the odd duck on this planet, but I can not imagine my extreme disappointment, if I climbed Everest, only to be forced to endure a conga line before summiting.

One has to ask about the skill level of so many climbers. Are they experienced climbers, or thrill seeking amateurs on a selfie hunt? Peter Beaumont wrote in The Guardian that climbing the world’s tallest peak “has become a trophy experience.” I have to admit, I agree with him.

What would George Mallory think about The Mountain now?

Beware of the Winter Jokes

A friend of mine posted an obscene, apocalyptic headline Sunday night:

Winter has come…”

I’m thinking, “What the hell is wrong with you?”, but I refused to be baited, tried my best to ignore the comment altogether, and had a beer out on the deck in the sunshine.

Turns out that Sunday night was the start of a new “Game of Thrones” season.

It was probably for the best that I refrained from commenting.

Oh Shit
It’s midnight. You’ve been drinking tequila. You suddenly remember you have to meet a client in the morning.

There are days…


…when the idea of homesteading off of a tributary of the mighty Yukon River, where there is no internet, phone service, mail service or any other form of immediate contact, seems like pure heavenly bliss.

Today turned into one of those days. Don’t be surprised if my phone battery refuses to take a charge in the very near future. It happens.

Ignorance is not an excuse, it’s a symptom

The month of September brought snowfall measured in feet instead of inches to Interior Alaska. Tuesday’s dumping brought down trees and power lines. At one point, over 21,000 GVEA electric meters had stopped moving throughout the borough. It’s been a mess.


I am amazed at how many local drivers do not understand that intersections with non-working stop lights automatically become 4-way stops until power is restored. I have seen an endless stream of full sized trucks flying through intersections at high speed thinking that a lack of power turns the roadway into the autobahn. Today took the cake: there was a woman in a small car with several kids was in front of me. She came to a full stop, before making a left turn and I could see that the oncoming, bright-red, full-sized, Dodge pickup was not going to stop. I still don’t know how they missed contact. The Dodge never changed speed or course. I’m sure the woman floored it when she saw the truck, but the little Toyota hardly seemed up to the task. Luckily, it was or I would have witnessed a nasty T-boning.
At that moment, I wished I had a solid, old hunk of Detroit steel to ram the bastard in the Dodge right off the road. Obviously, I would never do such a thing… I like, and need, my vehicles too much.

Off soapbox

A half mile up the road, there was a backhoe sitting on the snow filled shoulder. The operator had a chain fastened to a sedan in the ditch, and he was lifting the car out with the bucket. The grin on the backhoe operator’s face would have rivaled any kid’s on Christmas morning.

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.

Final Selfie

Final Selfie

Oh Oh… Is it Chocolate Marketing Day already?

Goldy V-tine

“What are you doing tonight”
Me: Going to a hockey game.
“But it’s Valentine’s Day!”
Me: Do you want to go to a hockey game?
Me: They do have a kissing cam during the second intermission.
“You’re hopeless.”

Happy V-Day

Construction skills at work:

When a customer calls me up and starts the conversation with, “I saw this really great idea…”, I know that I am probably in trouble.

This time was no exception.

“You start with glass blocks, drill a hole in it, then stuff miniature Christmas lights in the block, but I have no idea how to drill the hole, and I figured you would, so…”

Glowing Blocks of Glass

When I did the prototype, I called the customer back and said, “It looks pretty good, so I’ll do it, but don’t tell anyone else about it. How many do you need?”

I received an email tonight with several pics of the blocks in action, with the message: “Everyone loves your blocks, and I’ve told them all about you… You’ll have to start a side business.”