Sunday, November 3, 2013

Warm October, Cold November?

After an unseasonably warm October, colder temperatures have arrived in Fairbanks. The temperatures weren't the only thing strange about last month. Usually, there's a few inches of hard snowpack by the middle of the month, but we had stayed snow-free until the 31st. Once November 1st rolled in, we said goodbye to the 50's and 60's we were enjoying and said hello to the 20's. Still, we are warmer than is average for this time of year.

I like to think that we got a warm October because of the previously long, long winter; the longest winter on record. I really have no idea what will happen this or the months to come. Every winter up here had been different in its own way. This time, however, I will be a little bit more comfortable.

On Saturday morning, I slid into Auto Trim Design off of S. Cushman (roads are icy now), and scheduled an appointment to have auto-start installed in my truck. Sure, they are expensive. Yes, you can start your car for free. In the dead of winter, it is such a chore to go through the motions to simply warm up your vehicle. It'll save a lot of time and effort on my part if I could just push a button and continue to work.

Back to snow. We have just an inch maybe of snow still on the ground. It's not enough to pretty things up too much, but more appears to be on the way. Winter sports enthusiasts rejoice! My bike has been itching to float on some fresh powder, and I have already seen some fat tire tracks in the snow.

It may get down to normal temperatures eventually, but I feel lucky to have had it so easy so far. Winters can be really tough for the unprepared. I'm ready to take the (temperature) plunge.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Wautumn is Here! Prepare for Winter!

Under my shoes, you can hear the crunch of yellow fall leaves and...snow?

Two. We have had two snow storms roll through Fairbanks this month. Needless to say, the snow is early, really early. Ever since I moved up to Fairbanks from Texas we have had unusual weather, or so they tell me. Most of the snow has disappeared except in the shady spots, and the leaves haven't completely died. A lot of trees are still green!

Strange to see the green, yellow, and white all getting along together, at least for now. Winter is coming green or not, and I have already swapped out my summer tires for my studded winter ones. Another helpful winter accessory would be getting auto-start (or remote start) installed in my truck this year. Don't get me wrong. I love having to disrupt my daily routines to:
  • bundle up
  • run (duck walk) outside
  • start my truck
  • run (duck walk) back inside
  • un-bundle
  • do something for a few minutes
  • bundle up again,
  • jump into my truck and go
Auto-start is a bestseller in Fairbanks. Many times, when you leave a hockey game, cars will roar to life as you walk to your cold, sad vehicle. You are forced to sit in coldness while others walk to their warm, bright vehicle that has auto-start. It is like having a small hand-held butler minus all the other butler stuff, of course. Maybe it comes with a hot chocolate dispenser?

They can be as costly as you want them to be. How far will you (or will you not) go to start your car is the question. Some will work only with line-of-sight while others will work a mile away. The fancier models have a screen on the fob that will let you know if you successfully started your car. What service!

These things need to be done before winter hits. Otherwise, all of the automotive shops will be flooded (snowed in?) with procrastinators, leaving you stranded and cold.

We will see if I indeed get auto-start installed this year or not. It is an investment for sure, but it'll save time and possible head injuries from slipping on the ice.

Another thing: why hasn't auto-start taken off in the blazing hot states? I'm looking at you Texas.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Shake it Off!


"Where is everybody?"

"They all left."

"Ahh! Who said that?!"

"Your previous blog posts." *cough, hack, wheeze*

"Oh. Well. What should I do now that I am here?"

"Continue writing. That's the only way they will come back here. Otherwise, this will all fall into the Nothing."

"Ah... Wait! What? A Neverending Story reference? Seriously?"

"Why not? We posts are all originally cut from the same literary cloth, aren't we?"

"Gosh. I don't know. I was hoping this wouldn't get all philosophical. I mean, I just write about what I see in Alaska, you know? So many things up here are different from the rest of the country, and nobody Outside really knows what it is like."

"Very true, but I do hope that you find your way. Many times, blogs like this one have fallen away into shadow, never to be seen again. You have much work left in you. I can see that."

"You think so? Really? Hmmm. There's a list of topics I've been meaning to write about sooner or later. Plus, all of the crazy Alaskan things I have taken part in, too. Maybe there are some more posts left for me to write. Starting up again seems so difficult, though!"

"For many, it is difficult. Most would only have to begin writing a post or two before the inspiration returns to them. All journeyers lose their way, but it only takes a step in the right direction to put them back on course."

"There's that philosophical gunk again. One step, eh? I can do that."

"Good luck!"

"Thanks! I--Whoa! Where'd you go? ...Looks like I am going on alone from here. Starting out alone, anyhow. Shake it off! Let's go!"