Wilder by Far

A look at life with the Wilder family. Updated most weekends and some vacation days. You can contact me at movingnorth@gmail.com..

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Monday, May 30, 2005

Used Cars

I've been on a quest, of sorts. It's finally warm up here in Alaska, and lovely out. That can't last long - winter will be back. So, the semi-eternal gathering of firewood has to start soon. Which is okay, since Alaska is lousy with wood. I know that there's a certain contingent in the world that says cutting wood is an evil way to heat my house. That would leave oil heating, which that same group would say is worse. So, instead of bowing to their peer pressure and freezing to death, I'll go with wood.

I've only one problem. I've got no way to haul the stuff. So, unless I cut my driveway down (pictured above) I've got to go somewhere else to get wood.

I've been looking for a used pickup.

A used car makes sense to me for a couple of reasons, the most important being that it doesn't drop in value immediately after purchase like a new one does. Forget buying from a used car lot - I don't like the games - so I've been out looking for a used truck.

Used vehicles in Alaska are peculiar for several reasons:
  • all of them have dangly bits - cords to plug in with during -50F weather to keep the engine warm
  • most of them have cracked windows - thermal expansion presents from that same low temperature exposure
  • an eternal coating of mud - you're likely going off-road, perhaps daily
  • non-working bits, like my air conditioner
  • 2nd set of tires for winter driving
  • evidence of accident in back right corner from backing into whatever
  • tow hitch
  • remote start for sitting in your house and letting your car warm itself up
  • duct tape as a major structural member, somewhere
  • bumper stickers
    • Mining - The Family Farm of the North
    • Alaska Girls Kick Ass
    • Got Blackhawks?
    • Alaskan for Peace (the actual sticker said "Alaskans", buy I've only seen the one sticker
    • I don't dial 911, I dial .357
  • polywhatever tanks for hauling water
90% of the vehicles around are 4WD pickup trucks. When I talk with folks, it's implicitly assumed that I own one. 4WD vehicles are silly in Atlanta, mostly, and doubly silly in New York City or Beverly Hills. Here, you need a nightmarishly large 4WD vehicle just to:
  • carry your favorite guns around (you'd need a trailer for all of your guns)
  • get massive loads of stuff from Home Despot
  • carry water to your house
  • make sure you don't get stuck and freeze to death
Before I moved here, I drove smaller cars. My least fuel efficient car got like 25 miles per gallon (35,000 kilometers per liter). Here, I do have a big SUV, but, alas no pickup.

So, I'm looking for one. Probably not this one:

I'm not sure if that's the year or the price. It's about four miles from my house, but I'm not sure it would make it all that far.

Probably not this one, either:

Dang, I'd like this one, but the Mrs. would skin me if I brought it home. Plus I'm not sure that it would fit down the driveway.

Maybe I'll just get a trailer.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Skinny Dick's

Relates to post below.

To Healy and Back Again

We talked last week and decided a trip to Denali was in order, since Grandmama would be returning home to the flat plains the following week. We saw the roadhouse pictured above on our way towards Denali. "World Famous Skinny Dick'’s Halfway Inn."” If you click on the picture, you can see the sign says that Skinny Dick'’s is a bra and panty optional restaurant/bar. That'’s nice, since I had left my bra at home that day. Makes me feel so free.

Grandmama had been helping around the house, since The Mrs. wasn't feeling up to full throttle, having just had the baby and all. Weakling.

Babies are perhaps the best parent-bait if you want them to visit, which we do. Grandmama had been with The New Boy continually since he broke out of the hospital through an act of sheer will. Okay, the non-Ayn Randian version is they told us it was time to go since our insurance company claimed that they were "“just out of money."” The Mrs. and I were even accompanied down to the front door of the hospital by a 5'’2"” nurse. She said it was because they had some sort of abduction-stopping procedure. Umm, I was a foot taller than her, and certainly 100 American pounds heavier, so, in an abduction attempt I'’m not sure what she would have done. Faint? I think she was there to make sure that we didn’t take a heart monitor or some silverware home. I fooled her - we took that stuff earlier.

I digress. We decided we were going down to Denali, so, we went.

Bad Idea: Attempting to drive Grandmama to see a mountain on a cloudy day. Contrary to popular belief, one cannot see scenery hidden behind a thick layer of clouds. The picture above is about the only mountain you could see from Healy, unless your vision encompasses the x-ray spectrum. If your vision does encompass that spectrum, Denali is the tall one, and stop staring at that waitress, you cad.

Worse Idea: Driving 90% of the way before giving up. We got to Healy, which is most of the way from Fairbanks to Denali Park. The Boy, having remembered our previous trip, announced he was hungry and wanted to stop for food. The funny part is that this was about two miles before Healy, and there were no real signs that an inhabited part of Alaska was coming up -– I think he just remembered about when we ate the last time were through. We stopped at the Totem Inn again. We did see the mountain shown above, and found out that the Totem Inn is still hiring. The business there wasn'’t brisk when we were there, but you could see the signs that it would be changing, and soon. They have the tourist menus out now, and soup at the Totem Inn is $75.21 a bowl.

The tracked snow vehicle shown below was in the front parking area, and is for sale. It looks like it was made for the Korean War, and may even run. The owner wants a mere (not making this up) $7500 for it. Not pictured is a 1974 Toyota Frankenlandcruiser, parked next to the snow vehicle. It looked to have been made from the parts of about 7 other Landcruisers, and had a flat tire. Yours for only $2500.

Worst Idea: Taking an obsessed 4 year old with you. The Boy talked non-stop between Fairbanks and Healy and back again. Non-stop.

"“Where's Denali?"”

"“You can't see it."”

Repeat 7,255 times.

"”Where'’s Denali?"”

"“You can't see it."”

And, we didn't that day.

When Grandmama flew out, though, the sky was a deep blue, not a cloud visible. You could see Denali crisp and clear from the ground in Fairbanks, so I'’m in hopes that she got to see it from the air.

Given her previous luck, though, my guess is that she was on the other side of the plane when they flew by Denali.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Just Say "No" to Fire

This is your tourist on fire. Any questions?
(click on picture for larger version)

Tourists are a love-hate proposition for Alaskans. It seems that this is the case in any scenic state I've visited/lived in, like Colorado and Maine.

Folks love that the tourists spend money.

Folks hate the fact that the tourists actually had the gall to come and visit.

While it would seem like it might be logical and have the tourists just send the money directly to the residents of (insert scenic location name here), most tourists that I have suggested that to have indicated that they consider that theft. Especially when guns are involved. Then they call the police. Theft, taxation, redistribution of income - seems like such a quibble to me.

Factually, the economy of places like Fairbanks depend greatly on tourism - in winter one can rent an entire wing of a hotel for a single sea otter pelt. In summer, a single unfurnished closet in that same hotel can only be rented months in advance, with a deposit of an actual human kidney and first option on any usable organs you might have, plus copyright to your DNA. You sign a waiver so the organ donation doesn't depend on a death time of your own choice. They decide when they want the organs. Don't even ask the actual cash price of the room, since if you do, a saucy French man named Jacques will sternly fap you about the face with white linen gloves and look at you very sternly.

The Princess Cruise Lines (of the same company that brought America the term "Lido Deck") operates a hotel here, just so they can suck one more dollar from the marrow that is a tourist's wallet that they:
  • already boated in to Anchorage,
  • bused in to Denali, and then
  • had immigrant porters deliver to Fairbanks riding piggyback.
In fact, tourists on a Princess tour (as near as I've witnessed - having made most of this up already) rarely interact with anything remotely related to Alaska.

Which is good.

Alaska is a state where one can easily step out of the tour bus, straight into the food chain. Don't believe me? I saw a t-shirt that said exactly that, so it must be true. And the cartoon bears on the shirt looked very hungry. Imagine putting a person from, say, Iowa into a group of cartoon bears. Oh, my, the pic-a-nic baskets that would be stolen.

Actually, I think it's more common for folks to be eaten by bears up here than to be killed in traffic accidents. I'm not sure, and research would take time, so I'll make up a statistic that says that you are 17 times more likely to be eaten by bears in Alaska than to meet Christopher Walken in an alley. 17 times!

So, the moral of the story? Friends don't let friends be tourists on fire.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

The Moose of the Fields

They are out there, the moose.

I saw them.

Their beady eyes, staring at me, flocking around the house.

I think that they must go to the library, you know. They have to get internet access somewhere, because I am careful to be only respectful to them when they can hear me. They know that I derided them the other week. Now, retribution is at hand.

Dang moose, anyway.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

The Road to Chena Hot Springs II

We made it up the road a bit, and found ourselves at the end of the road. I know it was the end of the road, because the sign says so. There are a lot of roads in Alaska just like that. There is no somewhere else to go to, the end of the road is here.

Fairbanks is like that, sometimes. I was driving home one day and saw a woman standing by the side of the road. She had a cardboard sign in her hands - "HELP ME GET HOMELAND SECURITY OUT OF MY HOUSE." I stopped, and asked what she was doing.

According to her, for some reason Homeland Security had recording devices in the trailer home she was renting. Hmmm. There's no good comeback when someone says that. I suggested she call the Sheriff.

Like I said, this is the end of the road - the last community of any size on the last road in the last frontier in America. Adventurers, misfits, and fortune seekers are the primary folks who live here.

Anyway, Chena Hot Springs is the end of this particular road.

Chena Hot Springs' biggest attraction is . . . the hot springs. The pool is shown above. Like any picture on the site, you can click it, and through the magic of computers it gets bigger. Ahem.

The pool is wonderful, The Mrs. and I hit it in November. Beautiful dark sky, and no one in the pool but her and I. Our hair froze from the steam hitting it, while under the water we were a toasty 102F.

According to the clerk (a wonderful woman from Hooper, Colorado) they put all of the rocks 'round the outdoor pool to keep the moose from hanging out in the pool. I've never had the visual image of moose in a hot tub before, but, hey, it's Alaska, and apparently it's a real problem.

Hot Tub Bandit

Well, The Mrs. and I enjoyed the naturally hot water, and when we were done we passed the next occupants of the pool, a Japanese man and woman. A lot of the signs at the resort are in Japanese, as well as the menu at the restaurant. I do not speak Japanese, but I do understand the tonality, volume, and intonation of pissed-off-wife. This was absolutely the most pissed-off woman I'd seen in public in a long, long time. I could here her rapid firing what I assume was the Japanese version of:

"I can't believe that you spent money to bring me here in the middle of winter - Alaska in the middle of winter- you fool. I wish I'd married Hiroshi - he knows how to treat a woman. Why don't you make more money?" And more of the same. For minutes. The poor guy looked utterly defeated.

There's a rumor (probably not true) in Alaska that Japanese folks have two beliefs relevant to Fairbanks:
  1. Hot Springs increase, ahem, potency for the Japanese male
  2. Children conceived under the Aurora are more intelligent
Regardless of these beliefs, I heard the way this woman was talking. Of all the things in the world I know, I know that there was no child conceived that night, regardless of the poor guy's potency.

The pool looked just as inviting on our latest visit as when The Mrs. and I hit it at -10F in November. They don't allow kids in the pool, so since we have The Boy and Little Brother, it's unlikely that we'll be hitting the pool soon as a family unit.

We drove home, and saw the above pictured moose munching down on the salad that was the roadside with a moose friend. Unlike deer, they don't run off when they think that there might be a human within 300 nautical miles, they just hang out while you sit and watch them. I'm willing to bet that someday they'll be playing video games in my basement, drinking my sodas, eating my Doritos. Except during hunting season.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

The Fairbanks Horror or The Bathroom From Beyond

Okay, I'm willing to bet most of you have never, ever seen a toilet bleed.

Neither had I.

But I did. I had just flushed the toilet, and, looking down expecting to see clean, clear water gracing the cool white bowl, I looked down at what looked like about a half a pound of hamburger. Red, uncooked hamburger.

Immediately, I had this thought, shuddering:

See a doctor. Now. Right now. It's 11pm, but the emergency room is open.

Not feeling unwell, I decided to allow the scientist in me to do the logical thing: flush again. Immediately, the hamburger started flowing into the tank. I shuddered. Thought two then entered my mind:

Get an exorcist. Now. Right now. You've seen the Amityville Horror. You may have to move. Pray.

I flushed again. The results were the same. I then recalled that I had never actually opened the tank lid in the short months we'd lived here. I did. Inside I saw a thick coating of rust.

I recalled, we had an iron filter. Heck, I'd changed it the previous weekend. But this iron in the toilet tank (perhaps half an inch thick in places) had been lurking, waiting for a warm Alaskan spring and a new person from Outside to launch this prank on. That's one of the things about Fairbanks - the water can be thick enough to walk on, even when it's not frozen. Minerals, and, I hear, in some places, arsenic. Many folks have to carry water in via pickup in a polysomethingorother tank for home drinking water. I'm lucky, my water just occasionally makes it look like my toilet is a Civil War battle victim.

If this were the only thing my bathroom did to vex me, I would be assured that it's not out to get me. Philip K. Dick said that paranoia wasn't being worried that your supervisor was plotting against you - that might be rational. Paranoia, said Dick, was being worried that your supervisor's phone was out to get you.

That brings me to the shower. You see, it leaks a drop or two into the basement. Not when I shower, mind you, but only when The Mrs. showers. It's not a big leak, but it is one of those things that grinds on my mind. Water, except when you want it out, should be in a pipe, a gutter, or on the ground outside. Not on the floor. It's like Poe's Telltale Heart, dripping its steady drip.

I took apart all of the parts that I could, gentle reader, and ended up sitting in work out shorts and a soaking white t-shirt holding a flashlight, waiting for the valve, the pipe, anything to leak. Yearning to see the leak-then I could fix it. Nada. I ran the entire house out of hot water in my Ahabesque quest to find some sort of physical reason that the shower could or would discriminate based on sex, height, or some other parameter.


I chatted with The Mrs., and came up with a working theory. The Mrs. showers approximately the length of time one would cook a fifty-eight pound Thanksgiving turkey. I killed that theory by using all of the water in the house. She also, apparently, stands in a different position than I do when she showers, causing a consistent splash down the front of the shower. I have since coated the entire face of the shower in a layer of silicon caulk 7-5/8" thick. Wish me luck. The Mrs. and I had a conversation where she indicated she could just shower in the other bathroom. To quote my dear uncle, Stevie Ray Vaughn (hey, he's dead, he can't refute it), "You can't hide from your house, John. You may have to hit the light switch three times and duct tape a cat to the shower rod to use the dryer, but you just can't hide."

I will not run in fear of the leaky shower, nor the toilet that drips blood. Now, the deep, rasping voice saying, "get out," from the wraith-like figure with glowing red eyes at the top of the stairs . . . .

Sunday, May 15, 2005

The Road to Chena Hot Springs, Part I

Anyone else think it was funny the way whichever Gabor sister said "hotscakes" when speaking of hot cakes? I just had that typing experience today - Hots Prings. Grr.

Anyway, we dolled up The New Boy, and The Mrs., The Boy, and Grandmama all got into the family truckster and did the touristy thing and headed up the Chena Hots Prings.

The Mrs. is doing remarkably well for having had her body opened a couple weeks ago (shudder) to bring The New Boy into the world. You Shakespeare fans might remember that qualifies him to kill Macbeth. But, she was feeling up to the trip.

Roads are fickle things here in Alaska. In wintertime, they're as strong as anything you might imagine. In spring and summer, they are questionable at best. You see, water at -50 mixed with soil makes a fine concrete. When the spring sunlight hits the road it melts said water, turning the road foundation into a substance as strong as Enron's financials. They get bumpy. All of the roads I've seen are asphalt. Asphalt has three distinct advantages over concrete:
  • Asphalt can flex (whereas concrete cannot), so the periodic decision of the base of the road to turn to the consistency of mashed potato is okay.
  • Asphalt is here (remember than big pipeline?). Concrete you have to ship in, via ship.
  • Asphalt sounds funnier than concrete.
So, we braved the bumpy road.

It was an overcast day, which will partially explain the relative quality of the photos.

The first "photo worthy" things were these really strange cattle. I'm assuming that they were cattle, and not some sort of bizarre mutant half-breed Area 51 experiment. They were shaggy, like a wookie, but had horns like normal cattle, and absolutely no thumbs to operate a weapon. The shaggy would be helpful when it dropped to -50. The thumbs would protect them from the wolves, if we gave them guns.

Grandmama, who raises cattle, could not identify them. We were puzzled. We did take an impromptu vote in the car, and we decided we would eat them, if it came down to it. Mm, bbq'd whatever. Somehow that makes the whole "not having thumbs" thing better, since if they had thumbs, and knew about the planned bbq . . . you can see that's just not good.

The next sign item which brought up a question in our minds was this one:

Doing a little research, as near as I can tell, this is a way for folks from Los Angeles to look at the aurora and then hit the beach. As you can see, this sign has sustained only moderate small caliber handgun and shotgun damage. The "no shooting past this sign" signs along the way were really shot up. I can see the logic - use up your ammo before you do something illegal. On the sign.

Thus endeth part the first.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Zen and the Art of Jeep

So, when going to the transfer station, there is an expression of the ultimate environmental goodness - reuse.

There's a covered area where folks put things they don't want but feel that other folks might want. I've seen a motor cycle, bicycles, kids toys, chairs, and other nice things that people are just done with. On Saturday, folks lurk around the area waiting for something that they might need. Like a garage sale without the garage. Or the sale. I'm waiting for the Corvette to show up there.

I'm not sure of the etiquette of what person waiting gets what thing, but I'm sure that it's polite because everyone's armed.

Mainly, I just take trash there.

I'm tempted to take The Boy's electric Jeep there.

The Mrs. saved every single Pampers Points label from when The Boy was using such things, and after 19,721 used diapers, we'd saved enough points to win the Jeep.

Strangely, the number of points required was exactly the number that we'd accumulated until the boy was getting potty trained. I'm thinking someone got fired for that promotion, since when we ordered said Jeep, we were informed that it was a six month backlog. I'm guessing that they set then number of Pampers Points too low, and that some Pampers Executive found his or her career in the proverbial crapper for the sudden expenditure of a million parents all getting an electric ride-on Jeep all at once. I can see the conversation:
"Really, that's enough points, how often do parents change diapers, like, once a day? No one will ever save enough points to get the Jeep."

Every parent we ran into of a similar aged child has the Jeep.

"They change diapers HOW OFTEN??? I thought when we put on our label 7-10 pounds that was how much they held. You mean to tell me that's the size of the kid? They're that small?"

The Jeep, though, is one wheel drive. And the wheel is made of plastic. And, if it's on a surface that has even the slightest irregularity or has a coefficient of friction less than tape-on-tape, it just sits there and the one wheel drive spins. And spins. The entire effect of this is just to piss The Boy off. Most of the time he's pushing the Jeep around to find that magic spot so he can get in and go 1.74 feet before the wheel ceases to find traction.

If you could bottle anger and use it as an energy source, I would suggest giving these Jeeps to children 'round the world. Petroleum consumption would drop overnight. 'Cause The Boy gets really, really, really mad. He doesn't know any cuss words, but if he did, he'd be using them to describe his love-hate relationship with the Jeep.

You see, despite it's utter uselessness, The Boy is drawn to the Jeep like a moth to a flame, like Ahab to big whales, like Kirstie Alley to a doughnut - he cannot stop going back to it, and wishing that somehow, some way, today it will work, and he'll proudly drive down the road to our house, wind blowing in his close-cropped hair, he being the envy of every preschooler.

But, he gets about 1.74 feet down the road, and the bubble again bursts. Maybe, just maybe, the Jeep is a better learning toy than I thought . . .

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Astronomical Insanity


The dark in winter is easy to get along with in Fairbanks. Throw down another beer and put another log on the fire, cozy up with a good book. I'm used to nights. I am not yet used to looking out the window at midnight and seeing the sun not yet down. I am not yet used to waking up a 4am and seeing the start of a bright new day.

Since we just moved into the place, there's a lot to do. You see, the last owner of the house was Jabba the Hut. For example:
  • Somebody removed downstairs drywall - with a hammer. By smashing it.
  • The bathroom door handle was about to fall off, because Jabba had never bothered to tighten the screws.
  • All the trim was ripped off of downstairs.
  • Exterior insulation was ripped off, for no apparent reason.
  • The kitchen faucet leaked - incessently.
  • None of the windows open well.
  • The slaves and droids are pesky and need constant feeding and maintainance.
  • There's a statue of some guy made of carbonite.
  • The lawn is the size of Rhode Island. I feel it looming as it starts to turn green. I would like to get goats or some grazing-type critter, so I could be lazy and not mow, but I think the bears would eat them.
I think you get my point, there's a lot of work to be done. I'm not complaining, the condition of this place allowed us to afford it. Plus, there's a monster in the basement that we can use for Jedi control. (They get thick up here in summer.)

This summer I've got to refinish the basement, figure out some sort of heat source for down there (unless we wanted to refilm Rocky and use it as a meat locker), redo the roof, and bring home 7-10 cords of wood. Oh, and I've got to build bookcases and unpack my books, games, and etc. Plus, there's a new baby.

Don't get me wrong - I like picking up the old power tools and cutting off various body appendages as I refinish drywall poorly. Keeps the hospital in business, and gives the next owner something to laugh about.

My problem is the Sun. Darn thing rises in the Northeast, sets in the Northwest. Soon it'll be doing a complete circle above us. I think the sun only actually sets for a few days in June. Up North, in Barrow, the sun's now up. Until August.

Since the sun is always up now, you get the darkness clue to get tired, so you keep working until all hours of the night until you realize - holy crap - it's 1AM and I should be asleep. Duplicate this day after day for a week, drinking copious amounts of coffee to jump start the brain. On the seventh day, sleep for 14 hours because you're exhausted. Repeat.

The Mrs. is exhausted, too. We brought The New Boy home. Slept through the night the first night.

I mean me, I slept through the night. All four hours of it.

The Mrs. was up like a million times with The New Boy, whose primary communication channel appears at this time to consist of random grunts and some sort of wailing noise. Not ready yet for a long discourse on Hooke, Newton, or the Enlightenment worldview. Not ready, even yet, for a substantiative discussion of the implied economic commentary of Joe's not apparently having a job on Blue's Clues and the Cold-War growth of social benefits in American society. Just wants to eat, sometimes.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

The New Boy

The New Boy joined us this weekend. He's still fresh, but like a car, once you drive them off the lot they depreciate quickly. Also, like a car, they require air freshener.

The Mrs. refers to this one as her "contract extension" baby, so in 18 years we go on year-to-year status.

The Boy likes The New Boy, which is good. I'm certain that wedgies will start once diapers are off, as will noogies, swirlies, and covering The New Boy in mud. As near as I can tell, that sort of behavior is as instinctual as breathing.

The Boy has had some issues. If you've ever seen a four-year-old walk down the hall complaining that he's being kicked by the baby he's carrying inside his abdomen, I think you know what I mean. If you haven't, well, let's just say it's a bit disconcerting.

Eat Moose, Wear Wolf

I saw this bumper sticker yesterday, for about the millionth time. It's a very common bumper sticker up here. You can click on it for a larger version.

Simple sentiment, expressed clearly. Alaska girls kick ass. This one statement wraps up about 90% of the Alaska experience. Man or woman, in the North toughness is implicit, and if you'd like to whine, you can go back to wherever you came from and whine your heart out.

If you look at the rest of the picture, the Alaska girl in question was driving a 4x4 Chevy Siverado pickup. Also common. Unlike, say, New Jersey, there is a real need for a pickup and a 4x4 up here. If it's -50 outside, you might want to think twice about getting in a vehicle that gets easily stuck. Also, a huge number of people up here live in a very rural setting. Many folks need a pickup just to move stuff to their house, like water, since they don't have wells.

SUV's are silly in Darien, Connecticut. That's where one organization is from that doesn't want folks up here killing wolves legally. In Alaska. Think about that one for a second.

A group
in Connecticut
about Alaska

Most times when a "green" group is protesting some thing up here in Alaska, they're off at some distance, say, Seattle, Los Angeles, Connecticut. When they come up here, sometimes they allegedly break our environmental laws. Very few Alaska residents are in the news protesting moose hunting. A more typical Alaska sentiment is:

Eat Moose, Wear Wolf

Saw that bumper sticker on Friday. Wow. I wish I'd had my camera at the time. As I understand it, this is the official position of Alaska PETA members.

Then, driving down the road during the same trip, I listened to a talk radio host who was upset because he wanted to own automatic weapons, real machine guns. Thought they should be legal for anyone who could legally own guns. All callers agreed. Again, wow.

So, to summarize:
  • Guns still popular in the 49th state, but people want more of them, larger calibers, more ammo
  • Moose thought to be tasty
  • Wolf thought to be fashionable (and warm)
  • Protesters based in Connecticut like wolves
  • Alaska girls (including The Mrs.) kick ass
(Sunday Afternoon Addendum: A local editorialist also wrote in the paper negatively about the dead wolf this weekend)

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Stop The Moose!

Took the picture above a few miles outside of Fairbanks. My opinion is that this sign should probably be repeated on every road, every mile. Why?

Alaska is crawling with moose. They threaten to overwhelm (or at least whelm) all of us. I was driving in downtown Fairbanks on the way back from the doctor's office with The Mrs. On the busiest street in Fairbanks, a cow moose was waltzing her way back toward the woods. Not even in a hurry. This was around 1pm, so traffic was fairly busy. There was nigh a moose crossing sign in sight, so I was wondering if this particular moose was illiterate or just plain rude. I think most moose are pretty crafty, so I'm betting that she was just rude.

As the snow melted in my backyard (more global averaging, no doubt) I found moose, umm, "gifts" everywhere. These moose have no shame! There's a bathroom down the road at the gas station.

So, my list of reasons to Stop The Moose:
  • They don't respect private property or no trespassing signs
  • They camp and sleep on public lands without paying fees
  • They leave their waste products everywhere
  • I haven't seen a new episode of Bullwinkle in a long time - someone needs to pay
  • Not a single one of them has auto liability insurance
  • Many of them mistakenly voted for Pat Buchanan in the 2000 election
  • They never offer to pay for beer when you're hanging out with them on Friday night
These moose have got to be stopped. Our children are at stake here! (Please don't ask me to defend the previous statement. Whenever I see some sort of illogical rant for someone to do something that has no other merit, people "trot out the kids," to quote The Mrs. and if you argue with them, it's because you hate kids. So, be warned, if you disagree on my moose-stamping-out proposal, it means that you don't love your wee infant.)

Also, out driving, saw this:

Okay, I'll admit I had to tweak the contrast on this one, and enlarge it, etc., but no digital camera is quite as good as the human eye. If you squint, you can see that this is the basis for Gorbachev's tattoo.

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