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.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

I like smoke and lightning, heavy metal thunder

I've been a tad too frozen to post lately but that's no excuse.  I haven't been too frozen to shoot some pics though so here's life from my eyeballs in -50F Fairbanks ice fog and frozen snotcicles.
Dense ice fog in the spruce trees along Geist Road at high noon.

The intersection of Airport Rd. and University Ave. around 1pm, -45F

The thermometer has been well and truly stuck on -50F for 3 days now, I tap it, wiggle it, scream at it, nothing moves.

Mazzy Mae is originally from Georgia and she loves going for a walk in -50F.  I don't get it.  She sticks her nose in the snow and hunts for mice, never gets cold feet and demands biscuits when we get inside.  Unfortunately she is useless in a harness.

I pulled the truck over to get Angela in front of the sign at the base of the University.  I passed the sign 4 times later on in the day and there was someone taking a picture every time.  One time I even saw 2 girls in bikinis screaming at their friend to hurry up and take the damn photo.  I have never seen anyone in bikinis in Fairbanks before, let alone in -43F.  Unfortunately I did not get a picture of that but it made me think that camping out in front of this sign on a -40F weekend day could make for an interesting photo story.  I think the trick is to catch the cold snap early on.  Now everyone is sick of it and the novelty is wearing off.  I should also like to take this time to thank the frozen truck gods for looking after my toyota and keeping her running.  I shall buy her a round of Marvel Mystery oil for her tank in celebration.

Stay warm friends and Happy New Year!