By: joealaska , 7:23 AM GMT on December 20, 2012

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Winter is taking charge.

Over the last few days our light snow cover has been eliminated by high winds and rain and mild temperatures. A couple nights ago it was hard rain and sleet banging my window with 67 mph winds. Dutchie was screaming to go out in it. I explained to her it was WINDY. She continued to be vocal, so I opened the window as a joke. FINE, go out, See what you get. OUT she went. I thought she would return immediately, NADA. I returned and whistled for her several times. About an hour later she scurried back. Maybe she could not hear my whistle above the roar of the wind. Or maybe she is just one crazy kitty. Can’t experience it if you don’t go out in it. I guess we are sorta on the same page.

Even the foxes stay in on that type of night.

Tonight I watched a special on a photographer spending time in the back country of Yellowstone National Park in the winter. AWESOME. You do not get the photos if you do not go. Some good FOX videos.

Meanwhile, temps have dropped a bit and last night we had more snow. I have a new drift forming about a foot and a half high where I had a 5 footer most of last winter. The current snow base is about a foot deep here and there, but lower where the wind has scoured. Have not tried to go up, but the pass is probably blocked.

This weekend I cut off all my hair again.

Have not had a good earthquake or volcano in a while, seems about due.

We are busy at work. Got a 4th freezer van, 25 % increase. Looking for more housing for employees. Hired a new office manager, she started today. She has six kids. We also have a new van sitting on a Coastal boat ready to be unloaded.

Looks like AIVIQ will be towing KULLUK outta here on Friday. They will head south, possibly via Seward. No Xmas tree for Xmas.

I had to watch INTO THE WILD again a few nights ago. I noticed a stretch of road right away that I have been on many times, a deep cut in the mountains that allows Arizona 89 to climb up from the North Rim of The Grand Canyon tpo Page, Arizona. (Right Yellafella?). Recognized it right away.
At the end of the movie I watched the filming locations for the movie. PAGE, Arizona was one. Also Grand Canyon. But I also saw Laughlin, Nevada, Bullhead City, Arizona, and Kingman, Arizona. Went through those towns on my last trip. Then I was also surprised to see WINNER, South Dakota. Slept there on my trip a year ago through the upper peninsula of Michigan from Albuquerque. The picture of the big drive-in movie theater? I guess that is where they filmed the COMBINE scenes in the wheat fields.

I felt a very vague connection to the movie. Hey, I even drove past the trail head of the Stampede Trail when I moved from Anaktuvuk Pass to Anchorage 5 years ago. I drove from Fairbanks to Anchorage on The Parks Highway in a minor blizzard, so I was unable to check out the details of that trail head as I drove past. Says something for that area where Chris McCandless took his final hike.

Hope the recent shootings makes everyone re-think guncontrol. Sounds like that may be the case. I will believe it when I see it. It is almost a week and is still the ongoing news story. Obama has quite a TO DO list. #1 Fiscal Cliff. #2 Gun Control. #3 Everything else. He can have that job. I bet his phone rings more than mine.

It is dead calm right now. Weird.

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9. WunderAlertBot (Admin)
6:01 AM GMT on December 24, 2012
joealaska has created a new entry.
8. lotis2
8:44 PM GMT on December 23, 2012
We had the winds go through here a couple of days ago. Lost power about 5:30 PM and didn't get it back until 10:30 AM the next morning. A tree came down on the lines right at the transformer. Heard them cutting it up as I left for work that night. Guess the winds were too high & made it to dangerous to hook the lines back up until the next morning.

Hope everyone has a nice holiday!

Member Since: June 22, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 127
7. insideuk
1:25 PM GMT on December 22, 2012
I managed to slide out of the office on Friday lunchtime to rescue a butterfly…

That would be MY Christmas butterfly turkey, at the farm shop, on the far side of the flood plain. Which is once again submerged. Every year I order my turkey from the same place, placing a significant non returnable deposit on my fresh bird, and every year I have to battle against weather just to retrieve it in the brief pre Christmas window. I have been through deep snow, deadly low temperatures and thick pea-soup fog in the last few years. I knew the extra rain today was going to cause trubba, and it has. The main roads to the OTHER SIDE are now closing due to flood water.


It is still raining, more like drizzle really, but it has nowhere to go. Huge sections of the country are now affected from Cornwall in the south west up to Scotland’s north east coast. The railways are STUFFED. Local trains spent yesterday crawling through the water at 5mph, today they can’t even attempt that. Many roads are closing or are partially submerged, so where the trains are replaced by bus services many buses are struggling to get through. Low slung cars are facing long diversion routes that change every 5 minutes.

Essentially, anyone who wanted to get home for Christmas should have left in mid October. Anyone who made it home may not be getting the roast turkey dinner they planned. And anyone who bought loved ones waders as a Christmas gift this year had such foresight they should tell us all which French mountain the aliens really are hiding in for the next end of the world date…

Just 3 more sleeps ‘til Santa.

I trust the elves are busy constructing a hovercraft.
Member Since: February 28, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1628
6. Rotty3
7:09 PM GMT on December 20, 2012
mess is about to hit here... tornado warnings / watches all day till 7 pm tonight.
This system already has a history of tornadic activity in the Mobile, AL area.

Just updated my no-ad paid membership with WU. If anyone wants a gift one (free for one year) lemme know :)
Member Since: January 6, 2005 Posts: 18 Comments: 1618
5. osdianna
5:30 PM GMT on December 20, 2012
I have a friend who gave up her sedentary lifestyle to travel into our national parks for months at a time to photograph...and coincidentally she is now in Gardiner just outside Yellowstone, doing a photo essay of sorts on the daily life in the park. She got deeply into the wolf situation...seems they have a real battle between the wolves of Yellowstone vs the hunters right outside the park; every time a wolf goes across the line, the hunters shoot it, particularly the ones with collars. She is trying to photograph them before they are finally wiped off the earth, and frequently is exhausted by the emotional toll it is taking on her. Those who study the packs know the wolves individually as well, and they care for one another; following the death by hunter of the alpha female of one of the packs the remaining pack members had a howling session on a ridge in their territory and Deby not only got the video but the sound. It was definately different than the usual "lets-get-together-and-howl-for-a-while". Another gun story....

On a closer note, Joe's storms have a way of migrating down to my area, and we have a a few days of high wind, heavy rain (in my case, snow elsewhere),
even lightning and thunder yesterday. The rain gauge in my yard gave me 2.72" of rain over the last 24 hrs.
That's a lot, even for this part of the country, but since we are a sand spit, it usually drains off within a one or two day period of time, unlike UK's locale. However, we are also having unusually high tides, and the obligatory storm surge...so there are some awesome puddles around here right now. Again, nothing like UK is dealing with. Also, my dog is a lab and has longer legs, so she doesn't soak up the water like the spaniels do...just loves to splash through puddles, or as in the past two days, wade through the wind-whipped sea foam...dirty but not quite as soaking.

As for cats...I love my former strays. They found me, adapted well to my dog, but still go awandering despite the local healthy population of coyotes; I don't trim their nails so they can take to the trees if necessary. They are very glad to stay in all night in this wet and cold weather, but hate to use the litter box and demand to go out after sleeping most of the night; lately I am getting up around 6:30am...not what I prefer but it will change as they change. They do not go in the house, but dash from the doorway to under various objects that give them some shelter until they reach "the" spot.

Good luck with the expanding business, Joe, and with Knu Mom...six kids...I'll take my cats.

Member Since: March 5, 2009 Posts: 35 Comments: 647
4. cybersuze
3:30 PM GMT on December 20, 2012
I can't believe you cut your hair!
Member Since: April 2, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 299
3. Rotty3
1:25 PM GMT on December 20, 2012
good luck w/ the new office person and let's hope the phone stays a bit quiet for you at least.

As for Dutchie, cats will be cats. She may watch too many nature movies and thinks of herself as a tiger? Or maybe she lacks common feline sense?

Funny you mention the kitty losses, Dave. It's about a year that Mamma Cat ventured into the dog area and paid dearly for that mistake.

Little Miss is doing okay, but I can tell she's lonely. Still looking for a companion for her. I know when the time is right, there will be one showing up. Always happens that way...

Supposed to have "gale force winds" this afternoon. We'll see...

Member Since: January 6, 2005 Posts: 18 Comments: 1618
2. insideuk
1:22 PM GMT on December 20, 2012
People prepare for the end of the world in different ways. Some buy weapons, others stock up on canned foods. Joe scalps himself.

The foot deep drifts of white stuff he created in his bathroom at the weekend are a comfortingly safe and warm reminder of outdoorsy life for the more sedate Fluff, who has more sense than to clamber out windows with the more agile Dutchie.

Most especially since the window openings are rather narrow. There is no dignity in requiring a firm shove up the backside from a fire rescue worker whilst trained paramedics hold an oxygen mask to your face.

Which is what I'll be needing to get near the fresh vegetable aisle of the supermarket on Sunday morning...

Christmas is soon upon us, even if some rotten, cold-hearted, tight-fisted SHELL SCROOGE buggers tow my tree away.

I'd call it shysterism. Only adverse weather is going to see that 2% state tax collected now...

All that flooding we had here a couple of weeks back never really drained anywhere, it made itself comfy wherever it pooled. Then it froze solid. Then it thawed. As of today it has made itself right at home where it is – like refugee droplets from another planet seeking elemental asylum, making camp across sizeable swathes of busy pub car parks, railway cuttings and playing fields.

Since yesterday we have had 24 hours of constant, but fairly light rain. The heavier burstages are due any time now. The dog needs stilts. Her furry undercarriage doubles as a sponge in terms of water containment abilities. If the efficiency of spaniel fur to hold bucket loads could be replicated and manufactured into a usable car cleaning product I'd have my own sales slot on QVC nightly.

She is happy to walk in it, even wade through it, most especially if it's really muddy water. But once she gets indoors she wants nothing more than to sit on something dry, which generally involves finding an absorbent surface on which to PRESS. All her chairs (she has her own favoured resting spots) are covered in layered blankets with good reason. Each layer is steeped in turn. Once unfavourably soggy she seeks revenge on it, she pounds it, scruffs it up and discards it to go down to the dryer layer beneath. Once she's down to the more expensively upholstered bit she's usually bone dry. Usually.

Using the hair dryer as a short cut to pleasantly kiln dry fur is only acceptable if scooby snacks are made plentiful for the duration of said spa treatment. Such delicious treats find a way of expanding her furry girth, which in turn expand her furry sponge capabilities. It's a vicious circle.

As Joe already found out living in one of the wettest parts of the US.

Hence the home scalpage.

A final thought for the day.

If having SIX KIDS doesn't qualify you to manage a busy office then NOTHING DOES.

Once she's had a day or two to settle in and adjust her chair I think you can safely hand over Obama's TO DO list as well.

Respect goes to GNU MOM.
Member Since: February 28, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1628
1. DHaupt
10:32 AM GMT on December 20, 2012
Ah, Joe: headstrong, brave and foolish cats; out of the roughy 24 that we have had in our marriage, we've had a few of those. I think it is just part of their cat-hood. The more some well-meaning vet harangued us about keeping them in (citing statistics, telling horrific anecdotes, definitely frightening us) the more determined Pumpkin, Nermal or Muffet were to escape our tyranny IN TO THE WILD . OK, kitty, it's been nice knowing you; come back if you can.

They generally did, but not always; I'm not sure if I named them all. Pumpkin went out and got herself ette by a smelly s#!t-eating neighborhood dog; Nermal ate rat poison, we think (the vet said it looked like DIC); Muffet grew too old, feeble, blind and deaf for such a life style and wandered under our neighbors truck tire when he came home late one night (he felt horribly about it; I told him not to take it so hard; at least, now, we didn't have to make the tough decision to have her put down); oh, and Schwartzy II: we don't know what happened to her; she disappeared a day before an ethnic holiday rumored for the eating of all-black cats, which she was. Lumpia, anyone?

So, we have learned to love our cats while we have them and to respect their cattiness: That they may, at times, prefer the company of Snake or Baby Black out behind the garage to our suffocating devotion, that's OK with us; I guess we prefer that pain to the crushing heartache of loosing a beloved dog, like Schonste, my boyhood dachshund. That was like losing a spouse and, like many, I just could never face that again, at least, not for a dog.

Yeah, POTUS doesn't pay enough to make me want that job. But, remember that POTUS only has to answer the really tough calls, like: "The ship sank with all our orders and we're down for 4 weeks. Can you manage it?"
Member Since: March 28, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1167

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About joealaska

After moving back to the lower 48, I have bought an RV and have been living on the road.

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