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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Wednesday, November 09, 2005

"Note to self: never vacation on an active volcano."-Crow, MST3K



High noon at the Wilder house in November. Note the alien ship from the planet "Sony" materializing in my front yard.

The picture above shows a bit of high-noon up here in the Great Land. As you can see, there’s very little high about noon this time of year. In fact, the Sun is never very high in the sky during any portion of the year; sometimes it’s just out all of the time. At high noon in the beginning of November, the Sun’s rays stream horizontally through our windows into the house. Before long, the sun will be below our trees, and we won’t see direct sunlight in our windows again until February. So, for two months, the days will be shorter than the amount of time that Terrell Owens will spend with his next team. We won’t have any Sun-created shadows in the house. The reflected glow from our pale skin serves as our primary illumination during these months.

We’re also getting ready for the time when the daily high temperature occurs essentially randomly. The Sun has surrendered its battle with the air coming down from the Arctic, much like the French Foreign Legion surrendered its battle with that quick, perky Roadrunner. The Sun’s rays become so weak that they no longer warm up the air outside, and the major influence is wind movement from the north or from the south.

It’s also this time of year when we stop hearing many stories about global warming, since it’s a hard sell with newsfolk standing around in -45F temperatures attempting to convince people it’s getting warmer. I can see that now . . .

News Babe (On Location In Alaska): “Yes, L-l-l-arry, it’s –45F here, and w-w-well it was –43F here last w-w-w-winter on this day. S-s-s-o you see it’s g-g-g-getting warmer up here in Fairbanks.”

Larry (In Studio): “Ummm, isn’t that colder than it was last year?”

News Babe: “E-e-exactly as s-s-some predict, it’s getting colder, which shows that it’s getting w-w-warmer.”

Larry: "So what's the forecast like now?"

News Babe: "W-w-we're predicting a hurricano."

Larry: "A hurricano?"

News Babe: "Yes, L-l-larry, a combination of hurricane and volcano."

Larry: "Did you just make that up?"

News Babe: "Y-y-yes."

Larry: “Umm, shouldn’t you be wearing a coat?”

News Babe: “M-m-my contract prohibits that. It says I have to w-w-wear a sheer silk blouse no matter the outside conditions.”

I do know that Leonardo DiCaprio is very, very concerned. He’s like the poster-actor for, I guess, Concerned Hollywood Actors About Scientific Thingys. He’s got the Global Warming Committee. Thank Heavens we have him, since I know his intensive acting training has prepared him to understand the nuances of climatologic phenomena. If I were looking for a spokesactor on a complicated subject, well, who better to pick than DiCaprio? For global warming, he’s a natural: he had intense training with ice-related issues in filming of Titanic. I don’t mean to spoil it for you, if you are one of the three people (including The Mrs. and I) that never saw Titanic, but in the movie the ship hits an iceberg. That almost never happens anymore, so, that’s another sure sign of global warming. And, in what I’m sure is his biggest qualification, Leonardo cares.

But, caring won’t stop the Sun as it dips lower and lower in the southern sky, with correspondingly fewer hours of daylight. It does tend to make you sleepier in winter, since we still react like the big mammals we are to the amount of ambient light that’s available.

Pretty soon it’s 6PM, and you yawn and say, “Isn’t it time to go to bed?” And not for the fun stuff, but to sleep.

Some people buy “anti-depression” lights that they stare into for an hour or so a day to deal with the omnipresent darkness. The Mrs. and I buy “anti-depression” beer. It seems to work okay, and it doesn’t use any electricity. My brother worries about that, since he’s part of some religious cult that doesn’t drink (Christians). We’re Christians, too, but we read the part of the Bible where Jesus was kicking back with his buddies having some wine. The reason Jesus was drinking wine? No beer.

One other thing that changes is that people become concerned. They stop when you have car problems. Last winter about this time, I stopped to see if I could help several people. In all cases, I was the third, fourth, or fifth person who had stopped to offer assistance. The cold does something good to people – it allows them to be their best, since we’re all in this together.

So, if your city is as impersonal as an ATM machine, a 120 day cold snap might be just what you need. But, watch out for the News Babe. And the hurricano.

9 Comments:

Blogger Woofwoof said...

Oh good. Since you have not seen Titanic, perhaps I can interest you in this idea. There is a new DVD version of the movie, Special Collector's Edition or something like that, that contains a feature called "alternate ending." What could be an alternate ending to Titanic? Leonardo lives forever, becomes actor-environmentalist activist? Sometimes the truth is scarier than fiction. Please watch the DVD and let us know.

3:23 AM  
Blogger Mary said...

Yes, it's true that beer is better for the environment than using electricty to run a light. But just remember we don't have glass recycling in Fbx anymore. So be environmentally conscious and drink your beer from cans and wine from boxes. Or plastic sippy cups. Whatever floats your boat.

10:05 AM  
Blogger Dame Koldfoot said...

Ah . . . my name is Dame Koldfoot. This is my first TA meeting [Titanics Anonymous, not tonsils & adenoids] .

HI DAME.

And . . . I have . . .(start crying) never seen (keep crying, small hiccup and snort) . . Titanic (continue crying, add sensless blubbering).

THAT'S OK, DAME. HERE, HAVE A BEER. IT HELPS WITH THE DEPRESSION AND MAKES LEONARDO SEEM MORE INTELLIGENT THAN HE REALLY IS.

Thanks, I'm feeling better already.

11:59 AM  
Blogger Garry said...

I don't understand these alleged Christians who are against wine. It's illogical.

I've got one of those happy lamps:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/pigstyave/61931240/in/set-968256/

It goes well with wine - a mediterranean scene.

And don't get me started on that movie Titanic.

11:34 PM  
Blogger John said...

woof,
Ahh, the alternate ending. I think I would rather take a melon-baller to my eyes than watch any of it . . .

mary,
I prefer cans, but I can't find my brand in cans here. Only bottles. Which amuses me.

dame,
That seriously cracks me up. Even on the third read.

garry,
Me neither. Do you like the lamp?

11:41 AM  
Blogger Duck Hunter said...

You also see people help each other in times of disaster. So, living a winter in Alaska is like being in a disaster area.

6:34 AM  
Blogger John said...

duck,
That's insightful. Our disaster-level conditions show up on schedule, each year.

2:14 PM  
Blogger Candice B. said...

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11:13 AM  
Blogger FDR said...

I am only a year behind in reading your blog, so perhaps this will never be read, except by Candace b.

Anyway, as Buffalonian, I have little tast of "bieng neighborly." You go through the year insulated from the world outsifer, then WAMM-MO, your hit with a storm that knocks everyone's power out for a week. YOu humbly knock on Fred's door, kitty-corner across the street, because he has a generator and HOT COFFEE. You trade him use of your chainsaw....

As far as Christians and alcohol: Psalm 104: Give thanks to God for "...wine that maketh glad the heart of man."

Christ's first miracle: Water into wine.

St. Paul tells Timothy: "Take a little wine for your nervous stomach...."

Beer on the other hand.....

from, the wine-bibbing deacon

6:00 AM  

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