Sunday, November 11, 2007

Why I yam what I yam!

No, this has nothing to do with Popeye (although the Robins Williams Popeye movie was GREAT! I have it on DVD).

This is to explain why I like to talk (write) about the pool so much. Which, BTW, started out at 28 C (82.4 F) this morning and should be at least 33 C (91.4 F) this afternoon so that when a friend who invited herself over for a dip stops by for a swim and a home-cooked Dave Dinner (I'm such a sucker) it'll be nice and toasty.

Anyways... Why do I write about the warm water and the endless summer down here? Is it cus I'm a jerk and like to torment those of you who have to deal with that thingy called "winter"? No, not really...

How's about I give a list of the various temps and activities I put myself through while living in the arctic throughout five decades (yes, I count five cus Jan and Feb of 2000 were really really really cold).

I've swam in a pond while there was still ice in the middle of the pond, while only wearing shorts --on more that few occasions!.

I've windsurfed in the Gulf of Alaska.

I've ridden a bicycle through too many snowfields to count.

I've been in the Gulf of Alaska in a sailboat during a storm when the windspeed hit 100 knots (200 kph, 125 mph).

Coldest temp I've ever felt: -62 F

Coldest temp I've ever felt while being outside for over an hour: -58 F

Coldest windchill temp I've ever felt while being outside for over an hour: -95 F

Coldest temp I've ever felt when waking up in a tent: -35 F

I've sorted freight for 3 hours in the back of an unheated freight truck at -42 F

I've been stranded in the middle of nowhere for 3 hours cus it was so cold that the diesel fuel gelled up even after the additives were added.

I've had my eyelashes freeze together numerous times.

I've taken out the trash barefoot at -35 F --and I was SOBER!

I've camped out in the winter for a couple of weeks with nothing but a few malemutes and two stinky guys for company.

I've waded through freezing waist-deep glacial rivers too many times to count.


Hell, after seven years I'm STILL thawing out some bones...


Kentucky Girl said...

I'd have DIED at some of those temperatures. My body can't function below 72F. D-I-E-D.

That being said, I don't like anything above 92F. Which means that I HAY-ATE our hot tub.

I'm such a weenie.

Frankie said...

Holy hell. Why did you live there in the first place?

Sorry I am just not ready for winter yet. What I don't think I am ever ready. But then again it does give me an excuse to lay by the fireplace when its too cold out.

akbushbaby said...

Fine! I guess I won't resent you anymore, as you've paid your dues and then some. Right now it's a balmy five below in Fairbanks (off Farmer's Loop near the Mushers Hall)and snowing lightly. I'm taking full credit for the snow. I bought a new sled last night and left it uncovered outside knowing that the one time I didn't cover my sled it would snow on it. Sure enough, it's snowing this morning. Yes, I'm that powerful.

Ishmael said...


Some day I'll live someplace warm, where it doesn't rain all the time. Don't know when though...

My record: -73F in Kotzebue while there on a Region I high school basketball tournament trip. We all walked downtown to the Dairy Queen. Crazy teenagers....

Windchill: The night before, -103F. We got off the jet in a blizzard and were told to follow the rope tied to the stairs into the terminal, which we couldn't really make out, except for the sodium vapor light shining dimly in the distance.

My favorite cold story though: I took vacation during the end of January one year and went to North Carolina. It was about 68F and I was in shorts, drinking beer and watching TV. On CNN Headline News came this tidbit from where I had just left: "The Kuskokwim 300 Sled Dog Race in Bethel, Alaska, has been postponed because of windchills of 130 below zero." I cracked open another beer and moved a little further into the sun.

Alaskan Dave Down Under said...

Hey Ishmael. Yup, Kotzebue can get bloody cold.

-103 wind chill... damn, I'm impressed!

Have you ever been down stateside and told the tales how we all live in igloos? It's great when you get people to believe it!

"Some day I'll live someplace warm, where it doesn't rain all the time" YOU are more than welcome to come down and enjoy the pool, no worries. December and January would be best for thawing out frozen bones.

Alaskan Dave Down Under said...

akbushbaby: I had a reply for you... but the damn 'puter barfed and I lost it.

I'll try to sum up: your snowing trick is much better than the ole washing the car trick to make it rain! And make sure that you take some good pics of the dogs on your 20 mile race coming up --yeah, you'll be busy, I know.