Friday, October 27, 2006

Goodbye Shoebox, Hello San Salvatore

Okay, that is such an obscure reference that I suspect only one person on earth will get it.*

It's been a good interval of silence, I think, largely brought about by: 1) my trip back east and 2) the fact that I can't really blog at work right now. Obviously, it's hard to blog from someone else's computer when they have a crap dialup connection. The real problem is that, of late, I've had to do more work at work, with less time for a diversion to the blog. Of course, my boss will probably end up reading this.

I'm working right now, just not for the next 30 seconds. Really.

Most of my good ideas, rare though they are, come to me at inappropriate times. The muse never visits when I'm trying, she tends to wait until I have actual work things that I'm not fond of and tempts me to procrastinate just a bit longer or have a beer or something.

On occasion, she brings manhattans.

But before I return attention to my job here, I must announce that I am moving.

Not from Squarebanks, or even the Goldstream Valley. But people, I am moving on up. Or over, actually. I am vacating the craptastic cabin this weekend to a larger, less craptastic one. It's actually quite nice and a whole lot bigger. We might even be able to play bean bags indoors.
I'm contemplating buying roller blades just so I can do laps around the downstairs.

That's right, there are two stories even.

But still no running water. What did you think, I was going all posh?

Pictures will undoubtedly surface after the move and the celebratory drinking housewarming, and possibly even a political post. Damn. I missed a lot while I was gone.

*The villa in a not particularly great Merchant-Ivoryesque movie called "Enchanted April."

Monday, October 16, 2006

CabinDweller Abroad: a particularly immaculate version of Hell

Heh, that was a shout out, y'all, going all meta here, from Motown. I'm still here back in suburbia, coping with 8 days spent mostly in the company of my parents.

My homophobic, racist parents. Good times!

But by a certain happy circumstance, someone gave my parents a bottle of really good rum. Rum and cokes can do wonders for one's attitude.

So, heh. The Detroit Tigers are in the World Series, I am here, but alas, couldn't get tickets. And frankly, the constant rehashing of the World Series thing is getting pretty freaking irritating. 119-loss, blah, blah, Leyland, lunch bucket attitude, blah blah. It's like they just trot out the same stories they always write, in what I used to call the cotton candy form*, when a Detroit team wins something, like they have to service some mythological needs of the community every damned day....

Oh, and did I mention the 8 days with my family???

So, homesick for my outhouse and alien/dog and squirrel-infested cabin, I called home today. Or at least I tried to - damn! Did some maniac with some equipment painted yellow get a little enthusiastic?

That, and I am very entertained to find out about the hunters who got their trucks stuck up on the Dalton. You know, where you CAN'T drive your trucks offroad? Heh. All those trucks commercials showing pickup trucks going through anything just don't educate folks on how fantastically stuck you can get on tundra. Bog, slick clay kind of soil, and then, dayum, you're there for the duration.

And perhaps, guys? Maybe driving the second truck out there wasn't the best idea.

*Defn. cotton candy form: lots of volume (word count) with no substance whatsoever.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Dog or Alien? You Decide

Well, Rosario, possible-dog, possible-alien, is recuperating nicely. I'd planned on a stylish picture of her with her Cone of Death* but I am tired of dealing with her and it together.

And it turns out duct tape is quite useful in dog bandaging. It's not easy to keep the dressings dry - but with a cut up grocery bag and the silver stuff, presto! Dog-bandage-protector thingey. Ro has a check up appointment on her not inexpensively repaired foot in a few hours and the dressing has survived 4.5 days of... her.

Oh, and I get .5 CabinDwelling points for incorporating duct tape into a medical circumstance.**

I'm off to my hometown, Motown, for two whole weeks, so Flic will be picking up the slack I hope, ranting as she does so well. And I will point out that I did not time the vacation to coincide with playoff season - it is mere good fortune that the Tigers have somehow*** ended up in the running for the first time since I was in high school.

Yikes. That was back in the Reagan Years.

*Known in veterinary-type circles as an "Elizabethan Collar." Based on the amount of damage she inflicts when wearing one, Cone of Death more accurately describes it.
** You get more points for medical circumstance involving humans; points awarded for degree of difficulty, ingenuity, and seriousness of the medical circumstance.
***Excellent pitching.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Righteous Pagans Get Thumbs-Up from St. Peter

Limbo is shutting its doors forever

As heard today on Public Radio International, the Vatican has decided to rescind the concept of Limbo, thereby redirecting un-baptized babies and “righteous pagans”* to some other type of eternity that is not spent hovering betwixt and between one of grace and one of debauched hellfire and brimstone. A little bit of additional research revealed that the Vatican’s plans to shut down Limbo actually were made just under a year ago, when a Vatican-appointed group of theologians recommended that the Catholic Church abolish limbo. There is no further information on what sort of chaos this created in the celestial train station while souls en route to limbo waited, well, in limbo, to see if they could really get their tickets upgraded to a one-way to the pearly gates.

And what of the souls already in limbo – which according to one roll call includes Plato, Lincoln, Moses and Abraham (even the Old Testament VEEPs were not immune) and lots and lots of babies – how are they handled? Is there some vast immigrant processing center – a heavenly Ellis Island – where their souls are examined for blots and blotches and their paperwork stamped with a golden seal? Or are they sort of raptured up and out?

Now, granted, I am no theologian, but how the hell, er, heck, does an earthly construction like the Church simply decide that for the past 800 years or so, its just been dead wrong about Limbo? Isn’t that the sort of re-organization that should be left to the CEO and the board? Which in this instance would be God and his several angels - with maybe the apostles as an advisory committee, as ones who have been there, done that in terms of earthly matters. I cant imagine the Greeks one day deciding that Mt. Olympus was simply not prime enough real estate for Zeus et al – or Thor and Frya and all the other Teutonic Gods and Goddess up and decamping from Valhalla because they were offered a better deal on a condo in the French Alps from their puppet humans.

Doesn’t Pope Benedict worry that going Limbo-less is just the thin edge of the wedge? I mean – isn’t the establishment of afterlife clubs really up to the deities in charge? It surely seems to this pagan (righteous!) that if a earthly body of men (certain-sure, there were no sistahs in that Subcommittee on the Status of Limbo) can suddenly wipe out Limbo – it calls into serious question the existence of other afterlife states - and thus futher weakens that tremulous house of cards called "organized religion".

* defined variously, but generally by those in the know as “people who for whatever reason never had a chance to know Christ's teachings but otherwise were good people who would have lived according to those teachings if given the opportunity."

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Candidate non-answers ought to frighten Rural Alaskans

As a reluctant Fairbanksan (and a transplant from Rural Alaska), I'm pretty suspicious of the number of questions that Sarah Palin failed to answer that deal with the state outside of Anchorage, Wasilla and Squarebanks.

If you're reading this, you're either one of my friends bored at work or you are like me and read most of the Alaska blogs regularly, including Alaskan Abroad, who teamed up with the Anchorage Press on a gubernatorial candidate questionnaire, which is posted here. Their questions were a pretty well thought out survey on statewide issues.

Questions which Palin skipped:
  • Do you support oil and gas exploration in Bristol Bay? How would you ensure that the salmon fishery there is adequately protected?
  • How would you change the Alaska coastal management program? Would you move the Fish Habitat Division from the Department of Natural Resources back to the Department of Fish & Game?
  • Do you support a 90-day legislative session?
  • How would you rectify the long-standing issue of dual wildlife management in rural Alaska? Do you support changing Alaska's Constitution to match federal law on subsistence?
  • Would you reinstate municipal revenue sharing? How would you find a sustainable way of paying for the program? Is a Permanent Fund community dividend a possibility?
  • How would you improve health care in rural and urban areas? How would you lower health care costs?
  • What is your position on law enforcement in rural Alaska and the wish by many predominately Native communities to use tribal courts and tribal police to resolve disputes in the absence of state troopers?
  • How would you describe the cultural value of Alaska's Native communities? Should that be enough of a reason to preserve them?
  • How would you deal with attempts to expand tribal sovereignty in the state?
I'm not sure whether she is unwilling to say what she thinks about these issues and risk showing her true colors/priorities and cost herself the rural vote - or more frighteningly, is perhaps so unfamiliar with Rural Alaska that she can't formulate answers to those questions... that it is all completely off the radar for her campaign. Which is worse, cluelessness or dissembling?

To be fair, Knowles skipped a question, too. Go read the rest already!

Alaska Dividend Breakdown

Amount of this year's dividend: $1106.96
  • Deduction for traffic ticket from 2004 that languished in my desk w/administrative fees : $150
  • Cost of timing belt, water pump, tow, and labor after Sept. 30 breakdown in the Valley: $697
  • Vet bill for wayward dog that returned at 1 a.m. last night with an artfully* cut front paw: ~$20
Actual amount of this year's dividend that is not spent one day after receiving it: $59.96

How? Why? Will I ever have a fall where calamity does not descend immediately after the PFD arrives?
*The vet looked at Rosario, supposed-dog-but-possibe-alien-masquerading-as-dog pictured above, and said the cut was "artful." In addition to the vet bill, I now have 30+ bloody paw prints in the Soob and cabin to clean up. Oh, and duct tape is unsuitable as a subsitute for roller gauze and medical tape.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

But at least we don't live in Texas

Hobbyist or Intent to Distribute?

In furtherance of the argument that liberals indeed possess a sense of humor, for your perusal I offer the linked bit of YouTube hilarity which has been making the feminist, liberal-type blog rounds. Plus, it seemed relevant in light of Flic's recent post regarding the fact that 'personal lubricants' may once again be carried on board airplanes.

Oh heck, I might just as well add that you oughtn't watch the clip if you are youngun or easily offended.

The clip about 'educational devices and personal massagers' comes on the heels of the U.S. Supreme Court's refusal to hear a case from Texas that deals with laws there governing the sale of sex toys "educational devices and personal massagers."

Hee. And once again, I count myself lucky not to live in Texas, where I might be considered a criminal. :)

Stupid, Stupid, Stupid!!!

Or, Living With the Consequences of Yesterday's Local Election

Apparently, enough people harbor the belief that we can do all these simultaneously:
  1. Wipe out 1/2 of city revenue in Fairbanks by capping the mil at .5 mils
  2. Make enactment of a sales tax a voter-approved action not available until the next general election in 2007
  3. Have the City of Fairbanks provide in any meaningful way any of the services that we have generally assumed that municipalities provide: the cop shop, fire protection/EMS, snow removal, etc.
I don't know, maybe there is a tiny workshop in North Pole where tiny, non-unionized, illegal immigrant elves will spin gold from used straw?*

The cop shop has been working without a new contract for over a decade. They have a total of three detectives working for the ENTIRE city. So what happens if a homicide happens? All those cops will be working the homicide, forget about investigating anything else, like, say, the recent rash of burglaries. And, I must point out that the city hasn't been honoring the old contract anyway, really, because they haven't been funding what they agreed to... I mean for chrissake, until last year, the cops had to buy the tires for their own patrol vehicles.

Perhaps it'll be like my hometown, way back East, where it is not uncommon to have an hour wait on a 911 call.

Oh well, this bit of fiscal folly comes to you courtesy of folks like the one quoted in today's Fairbanks Daily News Minus:
"Proposition 3 sponsor Nelson Miles applauded the results of his initiative. He suggested the elimination of the city’s property taxes will encourage more borough residents to start to move inside the city limits over the next few years. It’s just a positive thing for the people in the city,” Miles said."

What? You think my cash-strapped, waterless self is going to move into the city? Now???

And, just consider for a moment the tax revenue which the voters have just pissed away in the form of that box store complex on the east end of town, which is inside city limits and would have been subject to the old property tax rate.

*With all the dog lots around here, if this is the case, I stand corrected and we merely need await a budget surplus. Apologies for the fractured fairy tale/political metaphor. The coffee just ain't doing it! [Edited on 10-4 because of stupid Blogger font issues.]