Well, well; let's find out if I can post? Hmmmm, yup, old ancient dial-up from Oz shakes hand with blogger and even lets me login this time! Wee-Hoo!
It's not that I've be purposely ignoring the blog (and I've got a great story for you), but there are many times I can't connect to any secure server in the US from here with an old dial-up account. Gee dave, why don't you get broadband? Because we live in one of the very very very very few areas in the Hills that CAN'T get it! Oh, Telstra finally offered the area wireless broadband --at a disgustingly over-inflated price and with only a 50 meg download per month before it reverts to dial-up speeds... JERKS!
I can hear you folks in the US gasping that our broadband is capped each month, you want more megs --then you PAY loads for it.
Ah well, the price I have to pay for living in a year round summer paradise with free health care for all.
Getting back to the Alaskan Dave Down Under theme, I have a story for you. It is the story of the picture a few posts ago. Here is the pic again:
Why Did The Two Idiots Jump Off The Roof?
Remember, the bloke on the left in the red jacket (John) is now a brain surgeon, and the bloke in the blue snow pants is yours truly.
It all started when myself and two friends (they were also my teaching assistants at UAF) were renting a house close to the U. The three of us had the upstairs, and the downstairs was rented by John's girlfriend and one of her lady friends.
Do I even need to bother to tell you that there were some pretty fantastic parties at that house that year? Well, there was! Hey, I can light (and keep lit) the charcoal grill when it's -52 F outside and we had 20 people over for seafood shish-kabobs. But that is another story (along with the 3 gallons of Jim O'Briens Hurricane Punch).
That winter was also one of the heaviest snowfall season that Fairbanks had seen in many a decade! Quite a few rooves in some older houses collapsed, so did many sheds. Over at the party house, the girls couldn't see out of the downstairs windows, and you could practically step off the balcony onto the snow. John enjoyed the shovelling (he's from Alabama), but Jim and I grew up doing that crap so we let him have all the snow shovelling fun --aren't we nice?
One of the nice things about Fairbanks snow is that it is very soft and dry. Heck, you could stuff your pillow with it and it'd be softer than goose down!
Anyways, back to the story... One fine spring day in March, I was actually helping John shovel off the balcony/deck out front. As we puched the snow off the balcony, we noticed it formed a really really nice high pile of soft snowy goodness. Being the naturally inquisitive young blokes that we were at the time, we decided to climb onto the balcony railing and jump into the pile of snow. FUN! WEE-HOO!
We soon noticed that as we extracated ourselves from the pile of snow and floundered through the yard, that the snow in the yard was about SIX FEET DEEP and it was also pure, soft, pristine, powder... Our thoughts then went into overdrive as we looked at the roof at the top of the second story and then at the six feet deep powder in the yard.
Can anyone guess what came next? Let me tell you:
We got the big extension ladder from around back, leaned it up to the lowest part of the roof, and then climbed up. When we got to the roof, we quickly went right back down and grabbed shovels as the snow on the roof was over 3 feet deep. It took us the better part of an hour to shovel out a trench to get to the high part of the roof. When we looked down, we noticed the snow close to the house wasn't NEARLY as deep as the stuff in the yard --that could hurt... So we spent the next 20 mins digging out a trench of the top of the roof for a "run-up".
DOESN'T THIS SOUND LIKE FUN???!!!!??!
When we were finally ready to jump, John and I stood at the edge of the roof for A LONG TIME looking down. It's odd how when you are on the ground looking up the height doesn't seem that high... But when you are up there looking down, it's seems like you are looking off a mile high cliff.
Who should drive by, but our landlord and his wife. Yup, no joke. John and I instantly went over to a section of the roof and started shovelling snow off it in the hope that they'd figure we are doing them a great favor. Guess what? It worked! Ten minutes later they drove off.
John and I go back to the precipice...
By now, some neighborhood kids had showed up to watch (as you can tell from the photo).
John and I jumped...
Whiteness everywhere, bright sky overhead, and still the feet hadn't touched the ground! WOW! FUN! HOLY SHIT LET'S DO IT AGAIN!!!! Then spend five mins "swimming/crawling" out of the post hole we each had made in the yard.
Oh, WAIT! Let's get Jim to take a picture! Jim had (wisely) decided not to partake in this pasttime, so we figured he could take a pic or two.
That's the story behind the pic. Second jump of the day off the roof. We did four more jumps each, and then we didn't trust ourselves to not hit one of the existing holes. The neighborhood kids were BEGGING us to let them jump off our roof. However, these were probably the same brats that knocked over one of our 6 foot high snow turrets we built along the driveway the week before so we didn't let them. Ha, serves em right!
So there you go, nothing broken, totally sober, and we even shovelled the roof too.
Hmmmm, that was a pretty lame story dave... anything else? Well, yeeeeeessssss...
THE NEXT DAY:
One of my buddies came over and I told him what we did. He really really really wanted to jump off the roof. But there were no safe landing areas off the side where we KNEW the lawn was bare. Buuuuuuuuuutttttttt on the other side was snow that *looked* smooth, deep, and soft. Needless to say, Al and I clambored onto the roof, shovelled out a trench to the far side of the house, and jumped. Wee-fun! In fact, we jumped a couple more times!
After the spring melt, we found out that we were landing just a foot or so away from a pile of twisted wire and picket fencing. Ooooooo, that coulda hurt --a lot. I think my guardian angel had to work extra hard that weekend. When I showed the pile of twisted wire and sharp pickets to Al a few months later, all he said was, "Wow, good thing we missed that. Wanna beer?"
I'd give you a food post today, but I just want to get this story up, so hang tight till later for more food goodiness.