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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Sunday, March 09, 2008

"Well, not exactly at peace, but it wasn't easy being married to a food critic. He rated everything I did." - Widow, Psych


Vampires Beware - sunlight in Fairbanks in February.

This is not the newspaper, but recently two items came into my hands that I thought I had to review, simply because they begged reviewing.

Okay, shameless Alaskan plug. I just got a (gratis) copy of Dermot Cole’s new book “Historic Photos of Alaska.” I loved it. If you want to, you can buy it here.

If you don’t know who Dermot Cole is, watch anything on Alaska on the History© Channel or the Discovery™ Channel, and he’s the guy that’s sitting there with the words “Dermot Cole” underneath him while he nods sagely from his leather chair in his library, snifting at his brandy (or, whatever it is that real writers do).

I’m sure that Mr. Cole did write all of the captions (assuming that he doesn’t farm that stuff out to lackeys), but as The Boy asked, “Who took the pictures?”

Good question. I’m fairly sure that Mr. Cole isn’t 160 years old, so I looked at the copyright notice in the front-ish area of the book to see who took the pictures. The copyright notice said that burly men with barbed hooks would seize my home and shave me bald if were even to think about copying one of those photos. I’m afraid that even describing them to you will send me to an intellectual property version of heck, so, I’ll avoid that.

I’m also betting that Mr. Cole spent literally minutes slaving over archives to pick the best ones (since, heck, any picture of Alaska is pretty darn cool). This is much more time than I spend in making things up research, so I certainly give him the nod there.

The pictures and captions in the book capture eloquently the spirit of invention and resilient spirits that life on the edge of civilization brings. I loved the book, and it made me homesick. If you love Alaska (or like us, miss Alaska) go and buy the book. It’s wonderful.

Thanks, Mr. Cole, for making me long for -30°F and overcast when it’s 73°F and blue-sky sunny. I even stayed inside all day next to a roaring fire. I think that is gonna make my air conditioning bill pretty big next month.

The other review is not so pretty. The Mrs. and cuddled up and watched “Thirty Days of Night” the other day. We like vampires, having both had a significant fear of them at a young age after our parents became living undead after a vampire attack, or, something similar in the morning before coffee. We love Alaska. So, a movie about vampires in Alaska? That must be raging good. A place (in this case, Barrow, AK) where there’s no Sun for days at a time? Coool.

In retrospect, it would have been much better if we had watched it before we ever lived in Alaska.

Umm, after the first four minutes we had paused the DVD player about sixteen times, picking on things like the angle of the shadows, the way the snow looked, and the severe wuss-ness of the characters to what any Alaskan would think of as a marginally-chilly day. This started a horrendously long wine-fueled discussion that resulted in our DVD player turning off due to inattention, and us deciding to do something else, like sleep.

The next night we decided to finish the movie. The filmmakers got a few things right, like everybody around knowing your business, and guns being pretty commonplace. There were a few cool things, like beheading a vampire via a shotgun (that has to hurt). The stupidest thing? That no planes go to Barrow during the winter. I have been on that plane DOZENS of times, I assure you it goes there daily, except during peak periods of vampire infestation.
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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Had a friend go up to Barrow to do some IT work for UAF. He was sad to report that no vampires where found.

2:59 PM  
Blogger GoGo said...

And i repeat.

Alaska: Where the men are men and the women and men.

Wait.. Alaska, once you move there and then just all-of-a sudden pack your bags and move to Texas, you will miss her.

Man she put a spell on you! (Alaska)
Maybe you could hire a hit man to coral a grizzly bear to eat the man in charge up in AK. Then you could get a higher position and move back! Genius idea..

Hi John.
Its the truck driver who thinks he is a film maker.
Ive bean reading and enjoying watching the little blond lad grow. In pictures. At least the back of his head seems to be getting larger.

I feel like a turd for my absence. Hopefully with this comment i will smell less like turd and more like 4 day old dishes. Dishes that need washing. Because they smell, right now, in my sink.

7:24 PM  
Blogger John said...

He went in summer, right????

Aye, Alaska assigned another amazing adventure. We do miss it. But we'll always have Paris.

7:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nope he went just last month.

6:58 AM  

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