Sunday, December 27, 2009

South American Vacation

I thought this posted earlier, I'm an idiot. Anyways click here for our South American exploits and I'll return to this blog in March. Paz.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Ain't no business like snow business

There is hardly any snow this year and it grieves me. I also don't like to use the word "hardly." It's not a good word.
So there is about 4 inches on the ground and it's zero. Great weather to play in, nothing to play on. Word from the far north is that there is a decent amount north of the Elliot Highway but for those of us in the Golden Heart that is not happiness. A couple of days ago it was nearly 30F. But then every winter is strange in Fairbanks, that's about the only thing you can count on. I leave you with an igloo I built a few years ago when I was weathered in at a cabin in a whiteout blizzard.
And northern lights which have been depressingly non-existent this winter. What the hell?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Cool like Fonzie

Things got a little chilly here last week as I headed up into the Brooks Range for a week and the temperature dropped to -50F and stayed there. It was good times though and I don't mind the tooth cracking cold as long as there is a warm cabin to crawl into at days end. I spent my time cutting wood, rebuilding my snowmachine and cutting wood.

And today I finally got my photography website up so check it out and tell me what ya'll think. Stay warm.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Storms a comin'

The first good winter storm of the year is screaming across the Seward Peninsula right now with howling winds, raging seas and a bit of snow for Fairbanks. We're only supposed to get 4-6 inches but I am hoping for 2-3 feet followed by another 2-3 feet. There will be a statewide shutdown and no one can go anywhere unless they have a Skandic Super Wide Track.

Here's a map of the storm, red means "prepare to have your butt kicked by high winds and blizzard conditions." Green means lame.

Please Santa, that's all I want for Christmas...

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Halli Hallo und Herzliche Wilkommen aus Fairbanks

Due to the magic of Google Analytics it has come to my attention that this blog is frequented by Germans so I wanted to give a quick shout out to Deutschland.

Gruss Gott! And if you speak German you should watch this. Munich is my favorite city and I think the accent there is the best for storytelling.

In other news I got vaccinations for yellow fever and hepatitis B yesterday and now I can barely lift my arms.

But now I am ready to face South America next month- aside from altitude sickness, intestinal parasites and malaria I am really looking forward to it. The trip starts in Bogota, Colombia and that's all I know at this point. If anyone has suggestions for what to do with 6 weeks in Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, aside from drug trafficking, holla back.


Monday, November 02, 2009

20 Below in Fairbanks

The thermometer read -21F this morning, luckily the truck was plugged in. When I went downtown it was only -4F so I'm quite confident I have the coldest lot in Fairbanks. Yeah for me. It warmed up to zero later so I took the dog for a walk and made some snow art. Enjoy.
I took some other pics on the walk to document a proposed expansion by Great Northwest Inc. They are a gravel pit and peat extraction company that has been here for years. They now want to expand their excavations up to my back door. Literally. But they need permission since it's all wetlands. The problem is it's their land and they've been there forever so I doubt it can be stopped. Their remediation is applauded because they leave duck ponds where once there was black spruce. The problem is you can walk and ski and travel through black spruce. These "duck ponds" are massive sink holes 20 feet down in the bog so you can't ski or walk in and out of them and they are bordered by dikes 20 feet high. I am contacting the Army Corps of Engineers to see about the public input process but I fear my lovely back yard will soon look like a WWII battlefield.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

It's snowing in Fairbanks

There's finally snow in them thar Fairbanks hills and it's still coming down. I'd say close to 4 inches in the past 24 hours. In honor of the happy white stuff I took my snowmachine "Earline" out for a ride.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

White rabbit, white rabbit

Normally if you start seeing white rabbits you should back off your medication. Here in Fairbanks it's a good sign. It means winter is coming and I'm all about that. While walking the dog this morning a white rabbit shot past us, it wasn't completely white, still a bit of gray pepperings, but if it snowed tonight he would be set. I discovered that the nearby gravel pit is bigger after a summer's excavating and it's frozen with perfect ice. I shall sneak over there tomorrow morning and see how many turns I can get in before someone gets their panties in a wad.
Viva la ice skate revolucion!

Here's a vid that rocks, I'll post pics soon.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Bank of America - Worse than a pack of wolves

I'm hopping mad. I just paid my VISA card online for the first time in 6 months. Used to be I could go online and click "Pay this Card" and that was it. But for 6 months it has said "Bill pay temporarily unavailable." 6 months is not temporary you suns a bridges.

I finally called customer service for a WTF chat. Turns out you now have to click the "Customer Service" button, then go to "Transfer from another account" then type in your bank routing and account numbers. Then throw your cell phone across the room. Then type in whatever you want to pay for that month. You will not be prompted to payoff your bill in full.

I imagine this is netting the Bungholes of America massive late fee charges and missed payments.

I hope your outhouse tips over door down you shitcicle eating puta madres.

Monday, October 19, 2009


Well the last 3 days of zero degree mornings finally froze Ballaine Lake and so I hit it with the skates and my dog yesterday and it was glorious. Perfectly smooth, except where the dern kids had thrown rocks on it, the ice was clear and hard and the sun felt great. After about half an hour Mazzy decided it was safe and ventured out for a bit.

On Saturday we finished the craptacular Bailey's Warehouse on South Cushman. Years from now I imagine myself saying, "You see that big non-descript steel warehouse? No that one, no, no that one. Yes! that's the one, well I helped build that and no, there wasn't that much raven crap there when we finished and the meth lab wasn't there either. But it was good times, now pass the Soylent Green..."
It's 140 feet long and 70 feet wide and 28 feet tall and we did it in less than 5 weeks. We ARE the champions, my friend....

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Beautiful South Cushman

I went for a run the other morning with my sweetie and I saw this:

I believe it's the remains of a grouse. It made me thankful to not be a grouse on an early morning. But it also made me think how tasty grouse are. Marinated in cream of mushroom soup they are tasty birds.
I started a new job this week, building a steel warehouse for Bailey's Furniture in Fairbanks. I work with a great crew and have the delightful panorama of South Cushman Industrial District at my feet.
We're working 10 hours a day, 6 days a week in an effort to beat winter. We got the roof on last week, insulated and covered with steel, so the first hurdle is cleared. Next week is the walls and if there is slush, frost and sleet dripping off the roof life will be mighty unpleasant.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Craigslist Scam in Fairbanks

I'm trying to sell an overstuffed chair on Craigslist. Seems simple right? Here is one of my responses:

how much is still for sale?

This is obviously a scam but sometimes I like to poke the tiger at the zoo so I write back "$315."

And I get this:

I am glad to read from you. Am okay with the price and condition .I really need to get this right away. i am ready to pay on time. No need of shipping it. i will like my shipper to schedule a pick up immediately you get the payment confirmed. I would have love to come for it or see it but i must let you know i am okay with it. i just want this as replacement.
I will offer you extra $50 to remove the ad from the posted site to be sure you are selling this to me ok. I will be able to make payment in form of US Certified Cashiers Check that is payable in any American banks in us dollars . I will like you to let me have information of whom i should issue the payment to.
Such As :
*Full Name,
city ,

So now the scam is confirmed, but I'm curious why they would pay extra to remove it from Craigslist. Do they hate Craigslist or is it one of the ways they can check to see if you are falling for the scam. I don't know so I write back:

Thank you Sherry, this money will help pay for my operation. You see I was in a bad car accident earlier this year on my way to the bank, it was a real shame since I was about to pick up a check from an Algerian inheritance that I didn't even know about. In the accident I lost my left arm so sorry if this letter took awhile to get to you, I don't type very fast anymore. Anyways, I thought I had enough money for a new arm last week when I was selling a kidney on Craigslist. The buyer never showed up though and unfortunately I had already taken the kidney out, it sat in my sink for 2 days until I ran out of enough ice to keep it cold. I was wondering if you could just pay me an extra $500 for the couch and then I will send you the change back. It's easier that way because I am trying to get a date with the girl at the bank and the more times I go there the better cha
nce I have of her saying yes to a date with a one armed man. Do you think less of a man with only one arm? I hope not. By the way, how old are you? Could you send a picture. Maybe we could hang out sometime.

Anyways, write back as soon as you can and let me know that you're not mad at me for only having one arm.

So I figure who would possibly respond to that, really. And I get this:

okay ....john how are you now hope evrything is alright with you and i like to se you to but how can i se you maybe you can send me your picture to me and i will like to see your picture so i hope we can make it if you want to see me and how is your bissness over there and i hope
evrything is going on with you so i will love to se someone like you becuase you realy tell me your mind so how can we meet now? and will be waithing for your reaply here get back to me

can you see my picture now let me see yours to get back to meSo now I'm like "Damn, she's hot, she has a phone, she likes restaurants, isn't one of those people who uses a ton of product in their hair and may possibly be eastern european because her punctuation sucks and there are little awnings over the windows in the background and only europeans think that look is still cool.

So what do I do now???

Friday, September 25, 2009

Winter is just around the corner

It's sleeting again tonight and I'm sure the snow is sticking in the hills. It feels good though, like the next season is coming and we're all ready for it. I haven't heard anyone bitching about the oncoming winter, just the darkness. And for the most part everyone is stoked to see snow. I went out on the Tanana yesterday for the last time this season and it was gorgeous. Saw an osprey, a young bald eagle and a magpie. I have never seen a magpie in Fairbanks before, I think Healy is the farthest north I've seen one, but not anymore. And it was DEFINITELY a magpie.
Mazzy is done with fall.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Starting to Snow in Fairbanks

Ok, I'm back after a long hiatus that was part laziness, part living in the Brooks Range and nowhere near an internet connection for the past 3 months. But life is good and there continues to be plenty of things that I need to discuss with you, the anonymous public, so kick back and relax and read more about the greatest state in the greatest nation on the greatest planet in the most perfect solar system in the swellest Nebula I know of.
Don't try this at home.

Monday, May 25, 2009


I taped up the windows and started painting last week.  The weather has been 75F in the middle of the day all week and the bugs aren't bad so it has been good going.  But painting is not much fun.
I think the cabin looks a lot more balanced now with the addition and the added color.  A deck would be nice on the front but that will have to wait until the money tree gets watered again.Now dirt work is fun times.  Especially with heavy equipment.  I finally got some good 2 inch rock on top of the driveway and it cleaned things up a lot.
And it spreads like butta.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Hot Town, Summer in the City

Fairbanks got all nice and interior hot last week with temperatures jumping into the 80's around the cabin.  I took the opportunity to start painting the addition.  The whole cabin is getting a new coat of paint and fresh color so hopefully the weather stays nice.  It's only about 40F and gray today.

I enjoyed about 5 minutes of no mosquitos and then the little bastards showed up.  This time of year they are big and slow though so not a real hazard.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Breaking up is hard to do - in Fairbanks, what with the slush and all...

Ok, so I had a bit of blogger's block and blew off posting here for a mighty long stretch but here's the latest:
I went snowmachining into the Brooks Range for a week.

View from the Arctic Oven on a cozy -40F morning.
The internets are driving me crazy with their slowness right now so this will have to do for a bit.  On the weather front it snowed here last night and is cold and windy.  Hopefully it will warm up for the weekend and I can go into the mountains.

Monday, March 09, 2009

This weekend was full of good old fashioned Fairbanks fun as Rachy came up from Anchorage, a snow storm left the area full of powdery goodness and hijinx ensued.
Here's me getting the lead out of my iron dog.  Still haven't decided if I really need a windsheild, me loves a good set of frozen snotcicles.

Redpolls, so sweet and innocent looking, hard to believe they eat their weight in thistle seed 3 times a day.
Rachael is still riding the Polaris 500 she bought 1992 and as you can see there's still some juice left although my Tundra has barely half the horsepower and rallied on the powder a bit more handily.  What can I say, Ski Doo sets the standard...
Then we went and snowshoed the Moose Mountain acreage.  3pm sun lit up the valley nicely and we were sufficiently wooped after breaking trail to the top.  Can't wait to unleash the chainsaw and open the place up.  I just need to find my goalie mask and white trenchcoat...

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Suga suga how'd you get so fly?

It was an epic week of sturm and drang and now the driveway is piled high with snow on either side.  Me likey.  Yesterday I report that nearly a foot of snow fell, a daily dump amount that Fairbanks hasn't seen for decades.  If this is global warming I say thank you Al Gore, you make some mighty fine ski trails laddy.  The snow was followed by gusty winds which blew everything off the trees and drifted over the roads and made snowmachining on my Tundra a bit painful on the facial region.  The lack of windshield lends to the affect.  But it's gorgeous today, about zero, crackling blue sky and I plan on more skiing and snowmachining.
In other news, the Arctic Entry way is completely dried in and has the first layer of insulation in the walls.  I'm going for about R40 in the walls and R65 in the ceiling to try to keep the heating bills down.  GVEA just took away my arch nemesis, the Fuel Surcharge, and my electric bill instantly dropped from $98 to $54.  Hooray for cheap petrol!  Un-hooray for GVEA though, they are going ahead with "Clean" Coal investments in Healy.  I weep for the future.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Now I Wanna be Your Dog

I apologize for a massive drought in postings, blame it on the darkness, roadtrips, laziness, whatever.  I'm just in on off the 2009 Yukon Quest so enjoy the pics, more soon...
Brent Sass prepares to drop off Eagle Summit.  Pucker factor:  High
Brent Sass pulls William Kleedehn's team up to the top of Eagle Summit.  I lay on the frozen grass for 2 hours waiting to see something, anything, and was well rewarded.  Thank you camera gods.
Warren Palfry's wheel dog Gumby makes the finish line look damn satisfying.
Palfry's son Jesse, 9, the youngest musher to cross the Yukon Quest finish line.  Look for him on the trail again in 10 years...

Monday, February 02, 2009

She said wait a minute honey gonna add it up

With classic Alaskan Feng Shwee the Arctic Entry is taking shape.  I decked the roof in -20F and blew a fuse trying to get the saw to turn since the blade was frozen.  It's all good now though, the snow can't get in, the front wall will get framed as soon as the thermometer hits zero and then the insulating can begin.  Yeah!  I love fiberglass!  
Mazzy Mae is not a fan of my Paslode nailer...

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Her Style is New but the Face is the Same

The chill is back, I was out framing the arctic entry and the next thing I knew it was -18F and my hands weren't working.  Usually I figure that out about the time I regain consciousness and the ladder is laying beside me but there was no harm done this time.  I put the tools away and called it a day, so 4 lonely rafters currently overlook the front door.   Tomorrow morning Angela and I are off to Talkeetna and hopefully it's nice and warm and sunny and snowy down there.  We'll see.  Right now Palin is giving her State of the State address and I'm about to vomit, Bush is gone but she's Palin in comparison.  God save the Queen, my train of thought just derailed.

Monday, January 19, 2009

All in all, it's just another brick in the wall

Well Angela is officially climbing the walls around here.  During a long, cold Fairbanks winter these things happen and in this case there is actually a membership involved.
She's like 8 stories up in this picture.

We both went down to the SRC last week and got safety certified to climb their walls which are actually pretty nice.  The best part about the safety meeting was the instructor saying, "If you get hurt, grab a basketball and crawl out onto the court so risk management doesn't shut us down.  They hate this wall and are looking for the first excuse to kill it."  So we make sure there is a basketball nearby when we rope up.  
After 15 minutes I couldn't feel my arms and all the skin was gone from the tips of my fingers so I'm pretty much done with that for the semester.  
In other news it snowed an inch of oatmeal today and we are gearing up for a 3-day weekend in Talkeetna and that is going to rock me Amadeus.  I can't wait.

Friday, January 16, 2009

You Hustle, You Deal, You Steal from us All

Today had some ups and downs, but that's the way nature rolls the dice.  There's balance, but in a swinging pendulum kind of way.  A good thing happened: I got Angela to work without wrapping the truck around a power pole (the roads are craptacular with all the thawing), but then a bad thing: I had to go to AT&T to sort out a dead cell phone battery.  Goddamn but I hate cell phone companies.  There is a special spot in hell for their maggoty, soulless corpses and it would be worth going to hell just to see them burn.  Long story short, I didn't get a new battery but I got the runaround and if I didn't love my Toyota truck as much as I do it would be unkindly parked in the middle of the Teddy Bear Plaza AT&T office.  But then good thing happens: I get a call from the Eskimo lady who was making me a beaver hat and mitts and they're done and they're exactly what I wanted and hoped and dreamed about all my life (I'm a simple man).  But then bad thing: I come home and the hoar frost that accumulated during the -50F melted in the 40F and is dripping into the living room.  Nothing a few pots can't handle, and the day ended on a good note anyways: the new deck got insulated and sheeted and is now ready for walls which I can always build in the garage if, I mean when, the temperature drops again...

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Heat is On

Today was a Fairbanks scorcher, 33F at the cabin and I heard Eielson reported 50F, they were reporting -50F last week.  Crazy.  So I was out happily pounding nails as the trees dripped and the birds sang and there was even a slightly woodsy smell like you get when the life isn't frozen out of everything.  I got the floor framed for the Arctic Entry and will insulate and deck it tomorrow.  Next week I hope to get the walls up before a long weekend in Talkeetna, have to see how it goes, for now the hot weather feels mighty fine.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Oh well uh, you might think I'm crazy

Finally, I get to use the shiny little "+" button on my laptop.  It's +2F!!  The birds are out in force, I just finished the last stretch of kitchen countertop and now it's on to the Arctic entry, at least the deck needs to go on, glue down and make ready for some walls.  So far I have put in a hot tub, wood stove, greenhouse and water slide in my plans for the entry but I fear it will only have coats in the end due to time and budget constraints.  Onward and upward...

The bottom drawer is big enough to sleep in, I got a little carried away.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Moving up and so alive, it's good, so good

The little bi-metal spring in my thermometer outside is alive and well and expanding.  This morning's official driveway temperature was -22F which feels downright balmy after 15 days of -40F or lower.  Fairbanks is well on its way to a mini winter heat wave which may even see above zero temperatures.  If that happens the arctic entry construction will begin in earnest and we will add 80 square feet to the cabin and break the 500 square foot mark which is much more conducive to happy cabin life.  Soon the insulating blinds will go up, ice will melt from the windows and we'll all practice squinting once again.  We have over 4 hours of sunlight now and gaining over 5 minutes a day.  Welcome back cancerous orb!  (I'm talking about the sun, not Governor Sara Palin)
Here's Angela enjoying the last few minutes of sunlight and -41F.

Friday, January 09, 2009

How Can We Dance When the World is Turning?

This is eerie, the graph above is nearly identical to my "daily temperature" graph.  Although this graph is making the interior cabin temperature much more affordable.  Yeah!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

And I can't see at all, And even if I could it'd all be gray

Day 10 of winter cold snap...can't feel my legs...I'm so cold, so cold.  I see a bright light, is it the sun?  Can't be, there's no cold, so cold.  Air is thick, too thick to sleepy...

It's fog, which is pretty, but it's ICE fog, the deadly cousin...

The Eye of Sauron - oh yeah, it's real my precious.

This is what my cabin would look like if we put in enough wood stoves to keep Angela as warm as she wants to be.
Why do people go out in these temperatures?  Seriously.