Monday, November 22, 2010

Freezing rain has turned Fairbanks into a NO DRIVE zone

How bad are the roads, you ask? So slick that a Subaru with winter tires going 15 miles per hour can't come to a stop.

My first sign to turn around and not even attempt Ballaine Hill was sliding across Ballaine Road as I  made a low-speed right turn on to it.  But no, I thought driving cautiously and slow might be alright.

My second sign to turn around and not try Ballaine Hill, even slowly, came before the crest of the hill, when I asked a woman pulled over on the should if she needed a lift.  Her car couldn't make it up the hill, she said, so she had called for a lift home.

By the time I noticed and paid attention to the third sign not to attempt Ballaine Hill even at a near crawl -- the third sign being all the other vehicles off the road below me -- I was already sliding downhill, ABS fluttering away, into the opposite lane of traffic, trying to gain some control over my direction and not slide into any of the other cars off the road.  This was all happening very slowly, mind you, but that was little comfort.

Visualize, for a moment, a curling stone.  You know how it comes to a slow, graceful spiral as it nears the end of the lane?  That was my trusty, sure-footed little Soob. By sheer luck and maybe some decent steering, the Soob gently nosed into a mini snow berm on the shoulder. On my side of the road.  Facing downhill. In theory, I could have tried to get down the hill.  Problem was, there was no guarantee I wouldn't hit all the other cars half-in/half-out of the lane.  And there was no guarantee I wouldn't end up spiraling into the opposite lane of traffic again.  Which was a far sight better than most of the other 8-10 vehicles off the road around me.  Most are going to require tow trucks which are going to be hard to come by today.

I managed to get all of the Soob on to the shoulder and walked back home on the snowmachine trail by the side of the road.  As I was walking I watched two cars crest the hill going way too fast, lose control and almost hit the Soob and vehicles coming up from the other side.  

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Tea Party: Party of the Petulant

Joe reminds me of nothing so much as of a red-faced toddler drumming his heels on the floor and beating his sweaty little fists on the coffee table because he didnt get to eat the whole box of Sugar Bombs. With a poopy diaper to further enrage the lil' tyke.

Palin and Miller (aka Neo-Palin) have got that lower-lip pout down cold. When things don't turn out like the reality TV script said they would (whadda ya mean it takes more than 5" F**K Me heels and an up-do to win the vice-presidency???) , well these two do know how to pitch a royal fit.

Another "P" word: Paranoid. Party of the Paranoid, but we've known that for a long, long time. Voter fraud, conspiracy? Yeah right, Joe, gimme some of what you been smoking.

Because one thing is for sure - Joe's cognitive functions are a bit mussed up. He can't do maths to - well - win a Senate seat. Because, news flash Joe - winning the primary by just a couple of thousand votes when only about 28% (if that) of the electorate actually bothered to vote does not a path to the Senate ensure.

While it doesn't look like Joe is going to find out what moose-hunting along the Beltway is like, he is about to find out what eating crow is like.

And surprise, Miller is going to file yet ANOTHER lawsuit

It appears that the Miller campaign has been turning over a few rocks lately, looking for the worst possible examples of lower life form to add to Miller's Sturmabteilung. Witness the addition of Floyd Brown, the man responsible for one of the worst examples of racebaiting I've yet witnessed.

I'm sure Karl Rove will turn up sometime soon.

But in the meantime, peoples, I highly recommend the political shorts put together by Alaska Robotics. I missed them prior to the election while in my work-induced funk.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Every vote counts, unless of course, your intent was to vote for someone other than Joe Miller

Why are we surprised?  Has not the bar been set, nay, buried beneath a two-foot berm by our own two  million dollar hockey mom?  This is Alaska politics now, like our sad, dysfunctional national scene.

And, clearly, this is all the federal government's fault.

If they'd just eradicated any vestigial foreign-ness stemming from the Murkowski family's origins at Ellis Island, back when Lisa's great-grandfather emigrated to this country to something very patriotic and American-sounding like, say, Smith, we wouldn't be in this mess.  I'll bet the Democrats were in charge back then, too, allowing Poles to come over with their difficultly spelled names all willy-nilly taking away those low-paying jobs that our great-grandfathers wouldn't deign to do. 

Try it.


Easy!  Got it on the first go!

As opposed to Murkowsky  Murcowsky  Mirkowski  Murkowski.

Came the news that Miller and that bunch of Outside wackos, aka the Tea Party, are suing to make make any misspelling of 'Murkowski' not count.  From the ADN:
"Miller is asking a judge to stop the state from making a judgment on a voter's intentions if the voter wrote in something other than "Murkowski" or "Lisa Murkowski." State law allows no leeway for other spellings, his lawsuit says."
What if a voter wrote in 'Lisa Ann Murkowski'? Or 'Lisa A. Murkowski'? And how shocking that Joe Miller, lawyer and ex-magistrate -- who made such an enduringly positive impression on his peers that word is that the magistrate's association spurned his campaign's request for an endorsement prior to the election -- has pursued this further.  I'm seriously suprised surprised.

Better yet is Miller's argument that minor misspellings, may, in fact, be 'protest' votes.  Frankly, I think one could make the case that a huge number of voters, hundreds even, intended to vote a protest vote and accidentally spelled the name correctly.

So there I was in the ballot box, so I misspelled it just to make some weird point that I don't understand but sounded really good when I heard it on talk radio... and I -- dang it -- what was that again ? Murkowsky  Murcowsky  Mirkowski  Murkowski. Oh, shit!  I think I voted for Lisa Murkowski!

Really, I am shocked that he hasn't started challenging correctly-spelled versions of the name on the grounds that they were cast, actually, by voters whose intent was to misspell it.   It is entirely possible that 98% of those write in votes were cast by people in protest and they spelled the damned name right!  My god!  How will we ever know? 


Saturday, November 06, 2010

Sayonara, Mike!

The voter booting of the uber-grinch, Mike Kelly, can't go unremarked by this blog, where once, in more optimistic times, we blogged regularly and even posted a pic of Mike being burned in effigy. The near-win of Karl Kassel (losing by only seven votes) the last time Mean Mike was up for re-election was painful, but finally the screw has turned.

I could scarce believe it when I woke to otherwise very dismal election news last Wednesday. Could it be that the district 'Dweller and I live in is finally tipping to the more liberal side? Probably not - since our district has led in Joe Miller votes - both in the primary and in the main election. More likely, the late-in-the-day campaign that highlighted Mike's dismal record against organized labor and domestic violence did the trick. Whatever it was, I am grateful. Enjoy retirement Mike, and please, stay out of politics in the future!

So, yeah, as this country continues slouching on its path to government-as-reality-TV, there has been little to celebrate. Still at least two of the three Sarah Clones got a righteous shellacking (although Bachmann is still alive and kicking and as mentally incontinent as ever) and Alaska didnt wake up to the news that Unsavory Joe is our senator (y-e-t). Of course, he is doing everything he can to totally muck up and delay the ballot-counting process, but then could we expect anything less from such as he?

Criminy. Never did I think that one day I would write on this blog that I miss the days of Ted, Frank ( M-U-R-K-O-W-S-K-I), and all the rest of the corrupt bastards. True, they were less than forthright with their constituents, but by gawd, at least they were old school politics.

Yeah, even Don Young is looking better and better. Sure, he is still a foul-mouthed ass, but nothing like Tea Partiers and Joe Miller to make him look more like Robert Byrd every day.

They had C street smarts (even if sometimes they were too smart for their own good), they knew their facts and if at times they twisted information to suit their own purposes, at least it was clear that they were doing so for a reason other than pure babbling ignorance.

They were arrogant, but theirs was an arrogance born of ability, intellect (OK, maybe not in the case of Frank or Don) and experience. It was not the insanely annoying petty arrogance of Palin and her spawn who take no care to hide the fact that they just don't give a shit about accuracy, fairness, common decency, or truth, because none of that matters to the Legions of Christ when they are inspired by the Spirit, or mama grizzlies or whatever. Or, more accurately, are engaging in the magical thinking that, as any licensed psychologist will point out, goes along with extreme dysfunction. As in Michele Bachmann's case: if she says it costs 200 million a day for Obama to visit India, then it does, because she said so, and that makes it so (and ain't nobody going to prove her wrong).

On the other hand, her suggestion that Obama and entourage "visit" India via videoconference makes a weird sort of twisted sense. In this digitally-crazed age, people like Bachmann are where they are primarily because they reign within a pixellated realm fabricated by cable TV, Twitter and Facebook.

On a completely unrelated topic - 'Dweller and I have been AWOL due to a combination of anomie (the shrill onslaught of the Palin Pods has put the muscle on us) and too much going on in work and personal life.

Maybe I will start blogging about chickens again: they continue to be a constant source of entertainment and useful instructors in the nuances of human behavior in these dark days (and I am not referring solely to the solar cycle)....

The feng-shui is very very very good

....along with other daily marginalia, like the profound relaxation and enjoyment I have been garnering from my new wood-fired sauna, which I hocked my truck to have built. But it was worth it - a balm for the soul in during bleak times.....maybe Obama should try one.