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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Saturday, January 28, 2006

"Block of wood, bucket of ice and a hatchet, sir" - Tim Roth, Four Rooms

Oh, sure, building a McDonalds in Fairbanks in winter sounds easy, but instead of bagging just the fries, you gotta bag the entire restaurant.

For those that are interested, there's a 2.9MB download available of the water vaporizing: here. A little bit better quality. We'll film another version soon to get some more contrast.

Winter continues in Fairbanks. I could, however, keep writing about winter until June. For those keeping score, January 2006 is on par to be the third coldest winter in Fairbanks since Aerosmith was formed, back in 1908. Actually, it really will be the third coldest since 1971.

I’m quite certain that some sort of global warming theory would account for the unusually cold winter, like the theory that Greenland’s ice would melt due to global warming was quickly supplanted with the theory that Greenland’s ice would thicken due to global warming when it was discovered that Greenland was getting more icy. Global warming would, of course, lead to a new ice age in Europe, which would account for the hot summers.

Puzzled? Yeah, me too.

Regardless, I haven’t seen uber global warming hack Al Gore up here when it was winter. Al’s been convinced that global warming is real since he heard about it in class in college. I just wish he’d studied something more practical, like astrology or alchemy instead. Regardless, we could use him since I’d love for Fairbanks to be a hot spot of invention, and he could invent tons of way-neat stuff up here, like metal blades you could strap to your feet to move across the ice with grace and speed. What could he call that? Hmm, Goreskates? Anyhow, I’m wandering.

It’s been hovering around –50F all week, and that makes it a bit hard to do a lot. Like drive.

I’ve been fighting my car all week. When it gets down to –50F the power steering fluid gets thicker than Angelina Jolie’s lips (I still haven’t seen the stem where she adds the air) and I have to pretend that I’m Conan the Wilder just to turn the steering wheel a measly few degrees. The automatic transmission fluid likewise becomes as solid as Carmex, and it takes a little bit of driving for it to change gears normally. Add in the ice fog, and you can have your opportunity to pretend to be Han Solo dodging asteroids. Except the asteroids are cars, and moose. And Chewbacca is a five year old. And you can’t see the asteroids until they’re 10 feet in front of you.

Even the moisture is stir-crazy, and will do anything to escape.

It’s +50F (100 degrees warmer than outside) in the basement, which is a real improvement over last year. Last year it was much colder, and all but useless. When The Boy and I placed insulation this summer, it made a huge difference. But, there’s still work to be done. I’ve mentioned “chinking” before (filling the gaps in the logs of the log cabin), and winter is a fine time to spot the fine cracks between logs that normally wouldn’t be seen. What happens is the hot (80F) air inside the house can carry a lot more moisture than cold air. When, like Elvis, it leaves the building, the moisture that it can no longer carry drops out and accretes on the cabin like carbohydrates did on Elvis.

But the cold takes its toll in other ways. Our big husky is getting to be just a bit nuts – she wants to go outside and run, but it’s cold enough that she’d sure rather stay inside. The other night, I saw her murmuring to herself in dog speak, “It puts the lotion on it’s skin . . .” I’m not sure I trust her now, with her brooding doggie-eyes . . . thank heaven she has no thumbs.


Blogger Woofwoof said...

Take the husky out dogsledding. She'll be grateful and shed less :) And she steers much better and faster than a car with gooey steering fluid.

7:15 AM  
Blogger Johnny G said...

Well, at least the cold hasn't frozen your sense of humor, keep up the good work and remember the mosquitoes will be here soon enough...

2:18 PM  
Blogger John said...

This one's not single-minded enough for sledding. I'm pretty sure she even forgets to breathe sometimes. (She's a little slow.)

Ahhh, mosquitos. They and the tourists will be here soon enough . . .

4:48 PM  

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