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

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Bad, the Ugly, and the Even Worse: All the stuff you don't want to happen a week before you go to the other end of the world

So, I'm leaving in a week for Antarctica.  Where else would an Alaskan go in the winter?  Some place where it's summer, of course.

I was  well on the way to stress-free preparedness and organization in Packing Central, which is what I call the spare bedroom where I hide these preparations from Pablo's view.  No sense putting up with an angry parrot in the days preceding my departure.  I prefer to spring it on him when I haul the suitcase down to the garage.  Makes for a better trip.  For me, anyway.

So here's how my last weekend went:

Bad Kindle. Bad broken Kindle.

Loaded with several new books for my voyage, the selector broke and I cannot access anything.  I made it worse trying to glue it.

 Bad heating system.  Bad broken heating system.

Broken pump on boiler = insufficient hot water for the in floor heat.   Can't leave a house sitter with a cold house.  Note there's no impeller on the pump shaft.  It disappeared.

 Bad mixing valve.  Bad broken mixing valve.     Just means scalding hot water going to my shower.

 Bad truck.  Bad broken truck.

 Bad, bad battery.   I can't leave my truck in Anchorage and have it dead when I return late Thanksgiving eve.  I'd be stuck in Anchorage until shops open again on Monday morning.


Bad alarm clock.  Bad broken alarm clock.  The minute hand won't advance so I can set the correct time.  I might miss my plane.

Bad Mother Nature.  It's not fair to have 5 degrees in October.

All of that in two days.



 Well, hello there new Kindle.   Goodbye $179.00.

Well, hello new battery and fresh oil in the engine,   Goodbye $196 and gas for a 72  mile round trip.

Well, hello new pump,

and hello new mixing valve,

 and hello new air bleeder. 

Hello decent temperatures in the heating system again.   Goodbye somewhere around $2000.00 because plumbers cost $165 an hour when they are called out on weekends, and he was here a long, long time, plus two 150 mile round trips, plus parts.

So that's how my pre-trip days went.  Nothing like a bit of stress added to my concerns that the travel company made my reservations from Los Angeles to Buenos Aries, Argentine, on American Airlines--that airline of the flying seats, sick pilots, and bankruptcy.

The alarm clock is still broken.  Who gives a damn about alarm clocks?  I'll go into Anchorage the night before my flight.

Two good things happened today on my trip to Seward for truck repairs, though:

1.)  The trooper didn't stop me for going close to 70 in a 55 zone while I was distracted by the new Kindle on the seat beside me.




  1. Do I detect Murphy's Law in that tale? You've certainly earned a nice vacation....bon voyage my friend.

  2. Unbelievable sequence of events! You've earned yourself a beautiful, safe and enjoyable adventure...looking forward to some of your outstanding photography from this latest adventure.

  3. I'm a newcomer here, one of those cases when you end up somewhere very different from where you thought you were headed. Which seems to be very easy to do in today's electronic world. That being said, have enjoyed exploring your lovely blog (very much) and look forward to reading about your travels to Antarctica.

    I would like to subscribe but can't seem to find a way to do so. Will have another look.....

  4. Welcome, Colleen. Thanks for leaving a comment. I don't understand the subscribe thing either, but you can always just add this blog to your favorites and check in once in a while. Gully

  5. After all that you deserve an amazing and wonderful trip. Have a great time! I'm looking forward to the pictures and a description of the trip.

  6. Nice to hear from you way down there in South America! Alas, always McDonald's everywhere you go...am sure the people in Argentina much prefer their steaks! You sail on Tuesday, we vote. Love and hugs. Patti