Friday, December 31, 2010

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Not much to report

Just crunching data, waiting for more snow to fall. Hope everyone is enjoying a nice holiday season!

The fuzzies were snoozing very cutely last night, so I snapped photos from above:

Couldn't leave out Millie:

Then I figured as long as I was getting the household, I couldn't leave out myself:

(I was brushing my teeth.)

Everyone at once!

Oh yeah, can't leave out myself!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Fairbanks catches up

We're finally getting city recycling.


And here is the weather report:

Warm temperatures and snow every day! Yay!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Report

Christmas morning, the girls and I had breakfast at Rosie Creek Farm at the invitation of a friend who is house-sitting for the farmers while they are away for the holidays.

Diego, one of the farm dogs. He is very, very, very sweet. He likes to put his paws out for you to hold, while he gives you kisses.

Seven! Seven dogs playing around the living room! Ah, ah, ah!

Then we headed out for a ski:

So much fun for them!

From the farm, you can ski right to the Tanana:

Then later we headed to other friends' for Christmas dinner. Yay! Gluttony!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

7 a.m. on a non-workday

With apologies to the incomparably more talented Allie Brosh of Hyperbole and a Half.

Friday, December 24, 2010

A walk in the woods

Around noon:

The dogs are happy and bouncy!

They are always ahead, my little trailblazers:

A bit of blue sky on top of the ridge:

The tallest trees catch the orange sunlight:

Sam is comfortable in her jacket and booties:

My girls don't need a jacket or booties:

Happy, happy! Joy, joy!


Merry Christmas, everyone!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Last night, one of our very promising ANSEP students was killed in a head-on crash on the highway near my home. She was very funny and lively. What a damned shame.

My guess is that they weren't wearing seat belts. People don't wear seat belts in the villages, so they aren't in the habit. Also, I'm sure the remaining ice on the highway from Icepocalypse didn't help. People need to slow the hell down when driving on ice! Death is too high a price to pay for a few minutes of time saved. Not to mention, even if you get into a non-death, non-injury accident, you'll still lose at least half an hour while you wait to get towed out of the ditch!

Several people died in villages earlier this winter, as well, due to the late start on winter. The ponds and routes that they normally snowmachine over had not frozen solid yet, and they went in and died.

Alaska is a strange place. Everyone thinks the cold threatens us, but what's closer to the truth is that we acclimate to the deep cold, and when it's only slightly cold instead of butt-ass cold, we have all sorts of trouble. I'm sure the remaining ice on the roads and highways will cause problems for months to come. :(

Now, to cheer you up after that, here is an adorable video of some kids in the Yup'ik village of Quinhagak. Story described here. Merry Christmas!

Here is another shot of my current crew. Pretty girls, aren't they? The dogs pose nicely; Millie shows her best side. :)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

We like tha mooooooon!

Last night we had a total lunar eclipse:


Five! Five fuzzy things in my cabin! Ah, ah, ah!

All of the dogs know who the sucker is when it comes to begging for handouts!

Rufous is a cuddlebug, like Autumn:

He's also silly!

Aren't they cute?

Rufous has never seen a bunny he isn't allowed to chase or eat!

Dawgs learn quickly the difference between familybunns and otherbunns. Even my girls, who like most huskies have strong predatory instincts and will happily kill and eat squirrels and voles from the yard, learned within a few days not to hare-ass the hares. :) Sam, the first time she came over, took her cue from my girls, and I expect Rufous to follow suit. Millie takes them all in stride and in fact yawned in Rufous' face when he barked at her. :)

Rufous lives in Central with his papa, who works on the North Slope and passes through Fairbanks on his way between home and work. They live a whole 'nuther kind of Alaskan roughing it... Not only do they live in a dry cabin, they don't have a Water Wagon either; they have no access to any tap whatsoever. They melt snow in winter, and in summer, they treat water from a pond on their land. Central has no gas station, supermarket, or anything commercial at all. Rufous and his papa have a 55-gallon drum strapped to the top of their truck, which they fill with gas in Fairbanks. They go grocery shopping once a month. However, Rufous' papa reports quite the gourmet spreads from the North Slope--he gets ripe bananas (while I in town get green ones!), and kiwis!

Happy Solstice, everyone! The days will start growing longer again!

Monday, December 20, 2010

My Christmas retreiver is here

Sammypants is with us while her parents are in Montana for the holidays. She is a bit like my girls combined--she is smart and silly at the same time!

Aren't they cuuuuute?

I think they'd like a bite of my cornbread!

Four! Four fuzzy things in my cabin! Ah, ah, ah!

Sammy has to wear an insulated coat and booties to go outside when it's below -10F/-23C.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

I see a bad moon rising

Here is my cabin as the girls and I return from a nice morning of skiing.

Who would ever have thought that -15F/-26C could feel so lovely!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Waxing gibbous

Monday it will be full, and there will be a total lunar eclipse!
Tuesday is the Solstice, and the days will start getting longer!

The moon is fantastic here in winter when it's full. It stays up as long as the sun in the summer (think about it...), and illuminates the whole sky...

Apparently, some spots in the Lower 48 are having a cold snap. My rule for cold snap sympathy is this: You only get sympathy if your cold snap temperature versus your normal temperature actually changes something mechanical for you. For example, if your area doesn't normally go below freezing, and you go below freezing and your pipes burst, you get sympathy. If your area normally gets only to 0 or so, and you drop to -30, and your car won't start since you don't winterize your car, you get sympathy. But you get no sympathy if your area normally only gets to 60s, and you drop to 40s. Or if your area normally only gets to the teens, and you drop to negative single digits (I'm talking to you, Anchorage!). Suck it up. Here, of course, I expect complaining rights when temperatures come up. :)

Thursday, December 16, 2010


Talking about the weather here is not small talk. It's serious conversation. This morning, on my commute, the radio weather person informed us that the expected highs today would be -25 to -40.

This is me after walking a few laps around the parking lot while my car warmed up last night. The frost on my eyelashes melts almost as soon as I stand still, when the vapors from my exhaled breath rise straight up. Check out my hair.

Here is a photo from the Minor News:

Low-lying areas may see 50 below tonight; Fairbanks officially hits 40 below

Well, when it's -40 in town, at my house it's a relatively balmy --hah!-- -35. At these temps it doesn't matter whether I mean Fahrenheit or Celsius; they are the same at -40 and pretty close to the same in the -30s. Another thing I escape is the ice fog, which gets trapped in low areas, along with smog and other particulate matter, causing air quality problems.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

In which I flash my black silk underwear

Dead sexy, huh?

Miss Millie B. Doofus, Supreme Ruler of the People's Independent Republic of Bunnistan, sez, "You floozy!"

The dawgs are warm and fuzzy: