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Alaskan Weather wins again

Let's change the name of my street to Apolo Ohno Drive

You just can’t civilize the weather. Doesn’t matter if you have heated toliet seats, unless you want to sit on the pot all day, the weather’s always going to win.

I have  a totem pole and a half on fire in order to type this. They’re candles my friend RoseAnne gave me ages ago. I used half of one for a party once. Now I am a party of one without light or heat on a cold Alaskan night. It’s about – 10 F out, not so bad as some places, but then the sun just went down so it’s not going to get warmer.  When things get cold here, they break.

It started the other morning when I unplugged my car from the heater and the plug broke off. I wasn’t yanking it. The cold was just too much for the stupid thin plug they put on the car. The winter extension cords we use to plug in cars are especially thick and cold resistant but that does no good whatsoever when you have to attach it to a car plug that looks like it came from a vintage appliance shop.

I’ll be bussing to work for the next few weeks. No point in getting a jump when the battery is going to die again every night. The tow trucks are filling up autoshops with ill prepared vehicles.  Anchorage is just about out of batteries and snow blowers. A friend went looking for a snow blower this afternoon and all they could find was a mini one, like one a kid might use to help out daddy/mommy. This is probably the same kid who has their own four wheeler they drive without a helmet after they’ve had their first beer at age four.

Another friend told me to pour Coca Cola over the car’s battery terminal which is all fuzzy with electrical acid mold. I might do that, when it warms up to zero so the Coke doesn’t freeze. Then there‘s the electrical box in my apartment. The combination of the furnace, bathroom fan, water heater and refrigerator motor became too much for it to bear in the cold weather. First we had some  brown outs which are not so scary if you make yourself believe that the entire neighborhood has turned a charming sepia tone. Then the lights started blinking like we were in a strip show, followed by a nasty beeping of the microwave in protest. Finally, there was a popping sound and the smell of electrical smoldering.  One of my power strips got fried as did my old clock radio, my roommate’s alarm clock and our answering machine.  Only the power strip gave off the smell of death, perhaps because it was proud to have saved my tiny television, dvd player and vcr. Thank you oh courageous appliance for laying down your life for your fellow electronics.

My landlord and his electrician are outside in the chill trying to remedy our complaints. I suppose that’s the price they have to pay for owning property. My roommates have baled to their girlfriends/relatives. I’ll stay here. That’s the price I have to pay for being picky about the company I keep.  I have enough blankets. People used to live like this didn’t they?   The pipes will burst sooner or later. But right now, my little totem poles are burning. I’ll have to put on gloves because no matter how fast I type, the cold is only one letter behind me.  I can’t even eat any more cookies because they are too cold. I never thought I would hear myself say that.  I don’t have to worry about anything in the fridge or freezer, it will only get colder.

But lo, I hear the furnace firing up. I don’t think they’ve fixed everything but probably given up trying to for the night. Time for a grilled cheese, and a hot shower. The oven seems to be the latest casualty of the electricity wars. Luckily I made and ate brownies the other day so I can survive until we resolve this issue, or at least until I can get myself to a decent bakery.


About polarflares

My head is so big because it has so many holes and air gets in.

8 responses »

  1. Glad to hear some relief before the end of your post. I would have worried with not much I could do…the car plugs are probable manufactured some place warm where they can’t even imagine the need for anything stronger, oh, how the poor plug has been suffering so far away from home in such hostile weather cursing the liars who told him Alaska was warm all year long…

    • You remind me of when I moved here at the end of April 1997. It was really cold and grey. We brought pots and pans because we thought everything would be too expensive to buy here, forgetting that Salvation Army is full of pots and pans brought by the people who left after the previous summer. I learned the best time to buy a car was September/October when people upgrade for the winter or move away. Even my car is made in Japan. It’s a Subaru it finally started today when the temp skyrocketed to + 11 degrees F.

  2. Another entertaining read. When are you going to publish a book? When it gets warmer?

  3. hey I can replace that cord plug.. and a battery blanket will do wonders for an old battery. message Me on FB

    • I never heard of a battery blanket, is it something you give someone when they are celebrating getting a new car? Now that it’s 20 degrees warmer the car started up so I think I’ll take it to work tomorrow and then to the shop for a look over. I’m also going to check out battery blankets, I wonder if they have little lightning bolt designs on them?

  4. Although I can empathize with your plight, being temporarily without heat or light, I must admit that I smiled at the image of typing by totem pole candle light, staying just seconds ahead of the cold and dark. When the power went out last month, I slept with woolen socks, a ton of blankets, and even wore a cozy hat. Fortunately, it was only out for about 16 hours…just long enough for me to appreciate all the modern conveniences, like the microwave that I’d wanted to use for popcorn. Hope you get the heat and light back soon!

    • Our heat and lights are back but most of the appliances shorted out. The microwave and the oven are kaput so it is interesting to find work arounds. I remember the days of using a double boiler to heat up leftovers! It was nice to get the wireless back too so I could post 🙂


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