Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Crap Cord, Real Weather = Cold Lump of Soob

Ah, don't you just love all this real winter weather?

At the moment, Weather Underground
summaries include -44 at Wainwright, -44 in town, and -45 at Eielson and Nenana.

Sadly, I must report that Francesca, the Soob, is doornail-level dead this morning. We had to push her down the driveway so the s.o. could get to work. It looks like the old battery finally gave out - that and the plug-in cord is questionably functional. She was so frozen it was hard to turn the steering wheel.

Why the Pollyanna act? Three reasons:
  1. The new woodstove, the Blaze King Princess Ultra, arrives tomorrow. Finally. Which means that the cabin will get above 59 degrees on days like this and won't be consuming .3 gallons of fuel per hour.
  2. Reason # 1 is a perfectly fine example of an excuse for the party we intend to have.
  3. Weather like this is a very important to the future of Interior Alaska.
Some of you might be a little hazy on the details of #3. It's not about any of that environmental stuff, actually, but more about maintaining Fairbank's status as one of the worst places to live in the United States.

Oh, I could give a crap about the book, this is more in line with my theory, one which I've been slowly tinkering with in my 14+ years in Alaska, about how any place that is cool must also be sufficiently crappy in order for it not to be overrun by well-heeled Yuppies/suburbanites/tourists. I call it, and bear with me, The Sufficiently Crappy Theory.

If Squarebanks, or the other, more rural place I lived, had more of the following: less extreme weather, less expensive cost of living, were on the road system, more sunlight, less rain, more of the cosmopolitan extras that make a visit to Seattle so nice... well, damn, all those Californians wouldn't be satisfied with buying up Oregon. No, they'd set their sights further north. And the property values would be driven up even farther than they are now and we'd slide further than we are into the typical American suburban lifestyle.

More to the point, if a place doesn't kind of suck, it is doomed.

Think about it. Ketchikan? Absofreakinglutely gorgeous, not too cold. And tourists in droves in the summer. The Kenai Peninsula? Phenomenal fish runs, pretty far south and on the road system. Wall to wall people in the summer, full campgrounds and combat fishing.

Plus, if it is too easy to live in a place, it will be loved to death. Meaning people will move to "Alaska" and immediately begin to try to turn it into the place they came from.

Like, say, Anchorage.

Above: Gratuitous frosted dog picture.


tablefor4 said...

Love your blog!
Anchorage bites. Couldn't pay me enough to live there. Oh wait. Maybe for A LOT of money.

CabinDweller said...


I really tried to live in Anchorage once and lasted about 18 months. Those were the worst 18 months of my adult life.

But I will say this: Anchorage has a lot of good places to eat. I'd never had thai food until I went to Anchorage in my early 20s.

Ishmael said...

After the last ice storm here in Kodiak I stopped on the way into my office to chat with the maintenance guy for the building next door. He was chopping five inches of ice off of pretty much everything. But the sun was shining and it was beautiful after the storm. "Just the price we pay to get to live here," he said. "Yep," I replied, "if it was easy to live in Kodiak everyone would want to."