"I'm going to speak my mind because I have nothing to lose."--S.I. Hayakawa

Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Joke's on You, Mother Nature

I woke before the alarm clock went off.  In the early dawn,  I took one look out the window and immediately wanted to go back to bed until next May.

Not funny, Mother Nature.  Not funny at all.

Alas, hibernating for the next six months was not an option.  I had to run the mail route today and that white stuff drastically changed my plans as to how I was going to do that.

Sigh.  I'll bet my bed was still warm.   Oh, well, only 130 miles to go.

Yes, Mother Nature, it's pretty.  I'll admit that.

Very nice.  Not the wet black ice underneath, though.

Let's just say the drive was a bit interesting.  No, that's not my truck upside down in the ditch.

I made it to the post office in Hope just fine--45 mph for the first 20 miles, then smooth sailing after that.

Two hours later, the truck is still there and it's occupants were walking around, waiting for the wrecker.   Two miles down the road, another vehicle was upside down in the ditch.

Tern Lake was stunning.

Jerome Lake was beautiful, too.

By afternoon, most of the snow was gone, as you can see in the above pictures.

So while Mother Nature played a trick on us by dropping the first snowfall two weeks earlier than the average date, the joke was on her:

That's right.  Brand new studded snow tires that I just bought Monday  to take advantage of a sale.  Joke's on you, MN.  You thought I wouldn't be ready, didn't you?

Wait!  Didn't someone once warn that it wasn't nice to fool Mother Nature?

Friday, September 28, 2012

What am I? A writing prompt from Ann Linquist

Our online writing instructor asked us to look at something in a different way and write about it without revealing what "it" is.  Can you guess my "it?"

Odd that I never considered you like this before. Odd in a bad way, not a good way. There you sit, like  a frightful gargoyle freed from your concrete bulwarks, disguised in commonality. You think you rule the land, don’t you? We couldn’t exist without you? That without you, chaos would reign supreme and orderly society perish from the earth?

I despise you, you wolf in sheep’s clothing, pretending you are merely here to serve, hiding your latent intent, appearing docile and innocent while you wait the exact moment to pounce upon the unsuspecting. You silently contemplate your mischief, then rise up, shrieking like banshees from Hades.

Do you really think us so gullible, so innocent, so unwary of your kind?

Think again. We know you. We know what a malingering evil you are.

(Facebook friends:  no fair revealing an answer you already know.)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

There are moments and then there are moments....

There is a saying that I absolutely love, and to which I have related many of the moments in my life.  It is this:

“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the number of moments that take our breath away."--Anonymous

Here is one of those moments:  one new upper denture:  $4500.00

That isn’t exactly a moment I will cherish.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Frost Heaves, Bumps in the Road, and Our Politicians

I try to stay away from politics here, but I can't stand this and have to vent.

I live in Alaska.  That means I am very well-acquainted with frost heaves, which are those nasty seasonal rises and depressions in what used to be smooth pavement.  Caused by multiple freeze-thaw cycles in roadbeds prone to water retention, you're lucky if your vehicle doesn't bottom out on them, or worse, have the front bumper and rear bumper crash onto consecutive frost heaves, leaving it suspended in the air, or your vehicle bumper-less and your gas tank leaking.

That's why I feel President Obama's pain when he recently spoke about a bump in the road.  Did you hear about that?  Here's a brief explanation to put his remark in context:

Terrorists attack our consulate in Libya and our ambassador is slain; Obama goes on Letterman and says "we can't think about the election all the time."
Anti-American demonstrations occur in twenty Middle East countries; Obama fund-raises with Beyonce and Jay-Z.  Tickets were only $40,000 each (yes, forty thousand), presumably so the 47 per cent could attend.

The Taliban attack Camp Leatherneck, killing NATO forces and destroying 6 Harrier Jump Jets, each worth more than double-digit-million dollars.

The President refers to all these things as a “bump in the road.”  He refuses to confirm the consulate attack was terrorism.  On Sept. 11? 

Secretary Clinton meets with top foreign leaders during the annual United Nations meeting in New York City: Obama goes to New York and appears on The View. The President won't meet with foreign leaders in New York nor will he meet with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu re Iran’s approaching nuclear threat and what will certainly result in world war.

As I said, I feel the president’s pain.  Perhaps we should smooth the road for him this November election day so he can devote himself to show biz full time.


And, to put my ire into context, I just finished reading Bob Woodward's The Price of Politics, so I now have a clearer idea of how things work in dysfunctional Washington, DC.  Bob Woodward is the investigative reporter for the Washington Post (currently an associate editor) who, with Carl Bernstein in All the President's Men, helped bring down President Richard Nixon.

Woodward quotes both sides in his book, which deals with last year's negotiations regarding the debt ceiling and the deal that culminated in this coming January's sequestration and the so-called Fiscal Cliff.  

The juxtaposition of those quotes from those involved in the negotiations reveals much about Congress and the presidency.  The secret deals, the spin, the fibs, and the blatant lies to the public infuriate me no end.  And they come from both sides of the aisle.  

Let's just say we won, is one of them.  Or, this is good for us.

Simply put, you can't believe a thing any of them say.  I don't think they'd recognize a truthful statement to the public if it were a massive frost heave in their road.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Dreaming about Bon Voyage

You know you're getting excited about your up-coming cruise to Antarctica when you dream about six-foot tall Emperor penguins roaming around your dog team's pen and you're afraid they will stab the dogs with their long pointed bills.

Emperor penguins

The Norwegian MS Fram, my home for three weeks this November.  Hey, if you're in the neighborhood, stop by.  I'll be in cabin 614.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Ride Along

Step outside my home and close your eyes.  You'd swear you were at Niagara Falls.   A tremendous amount of water is cascading down the mountains and it is loud.

Yes, those big white patches are snow from last winter.  This is the view from my kitchen window.
And the view from my living room window.

 Yes, it was raining when I took those shots.

I heard on the evening news that Moose Pass was among the communities affected by flooding from recent storms that have dumped an above-normal amount of rainfall in these parts, so I decided to go see if I could find anything that looked like flooding.

This is part of Trail Lake where the railroad crosses the outfall of the lake.  Yeah, the lake is high, but I've seen it worse.

The railroad trestel.

The planes and floats at the local flying service looked okay.   I really didn't find any flooding.  Like I said, I've seen it much worse, but there is rain forecast for the weekend.  Without the hurricane-force winds this time.

Nothing exciting going on, so I headed home.  Want to see where I was?

 Well, I did say "where I was,"  not "where I was going."

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Rolling Along into Winter

Unbelievably, considering the hurricane force winds that have been ripping through here, our autumn colors remain.

My favorite birch tree in autumn.  She grows all alone in a spruce forest and thus her colors stand out against the dark green.

A tree, a rock, a picket fence and colorful bushes.  What a cool scene.

Golden birches and  willows,accompanied by blueberry bushes turned red in my side yard.

The view from my kitchen window on a rainy day.

The quaking aspens guarding my driveway.

Weather forecast:  hurricane force winds during storms three and four this month.  Flood warnings.  An "atmospheric river," they're calling it, funneling high winds and heavy rain right into Alaska.

We'll see how long the leaves remain on the trees.

And you, my little friend, where will you be spending the winter?   In my woodshed?

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Long Time Gone

For a couple weeks I'd been planning a trip to Anchorage to run errands, my list growing exponentially with every passing day. 

One recent day, I woke and realized I needed to go to town that day, a two hundred mile round trip.  Hop, skip, and a jump.

It took four trips to the car before I felt I had everything I needed.  Then I drove off without my list.

It took three trips into Costco to get everything right, and even then I missed a couple things because I didn't have my list.  The day continued like that until finally I felt like I should have stayed in bed and forgotten all about this day.

The weather had been spectacular all day, after days of rain.  In the early evening, I noticed just a piece of a rainbow over the Hillside as the sun caught a localized shower over the Chugach Mountains.

Eventually, I left Anchorage as the sun was starting to set.

It's 35 miles from Anchorage along Turnagain Arm to the town of Girdwood, just a bit more than one-third of my way home.  It took my an hour to travel that far because I kept stopping to take photos.

Eventually, I reached home and looked at my forgotten list.  I now have a new list started for my next trip to Anchorage.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Somebody changed everything....

...while I wasn't looking.

I have spent the last two plus months with my nose to the grindstone.  Or, to be more correct, to the
sanding disc.  This basket of tools, in particular:

When I finally reached the end of my project for this season, I looked up and looked around.  Darned if someone hadn't changed the season on me.  To wit:

Sigh.  back to cleaning up the mess from the sanding discs...