Category Archives: Alaska

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

Thanks as always to Pirate’s Cove, Bacon Time, The Other McCain and Whores and Ale for the Rule Five links!

Spent the weekend just past back in Colorado, helping my own dear Mrs. Animal get what’s left of my workshop organized for the movers.  In so doing, I almost certainly spend my last couple of nights in the house that was our family home for twenty-three years.  That bears a moment’s reflection.

First, Colorado:

I moved to Colorado in September of 1988, after a stint in the Army.  Back then it was South Wyoming, although some of the urban rot was starting to creep into the Denver area, and Boulder was already pretty nutty, although the nuttiness was at least contained.  I moved west for the fishing, the hunting, all the outdoors activities, and Colorado did and still does have those and to spare; in fact, I’ll still come down regularly to join loyal sidekick Rat on deer and elk hunts.

But the state has gone too far left to suit me now.  It’s East California these days.  Plenty of people are looking to places like Texas and Florida now when dealing with blue-state blues, but Mrs. Animal and I have always been drawn north, and indeed began looking with thoughtful eyes at Alaska since well before Colorado went off the deep end.  So here we are.   We are moving north for the fishing, the hunting, all the outdoors activities, and Alaska, even more so, does have those and to spare.

Second, the home:

Mrs. Animal and I actually bought our first house together the month before we got married, a small, three-bed, one-bath starter home in Aurora.  It was a nice little house, but it was a little house.  We had a growing family, so about a year after our youngest was born we started looking for a bigger place.  In the spring of 1998, my career was taking off and we started house-shopping.  We did examine some properties with acreage out on the plains east of the city, but the commute (this was before work-from-home was a possibility, much less a preference for anybody) and the fact that the areas we were looking at were already being zoned up for development deterred us.  “If we’re going to live in town,” Mrs. Animal said, “we may as well live in town.”  So we eventually found this place, the big, rambling, 4600-square foot barn of a house where we raised our family.

Sunset from the house.

Our kids all remember it as the house they grew up in.  To them, it’s home, even though they all have their own homes now.  To Mrs. Animal and I, it’s a twenty-three year store of memories, of our kids, our grandchildren, of work, of happy events and sad ones, of life lived and family loved.  A big part of us will always be there with that house.  When you’ve lived in a place that long you become a part of it, and it, a part of you.

So it’s kind of a thoughtful moment.  But life is water, not stone, and I’ve always been the kind of guy who prefers to look ahead instead of back.  And now we look ahead to our golden years in the Great Land, breathing the free air of Alaska, and knowing some reflective moments but not a moment’s regret – no, not one single moment of regret.

Animal’s Daily Return to Normal News

Before we start, check out the latest in the Mystical Child series over at Glibertarians!

Now then:  Alaska is moving back to normal.  Excerpt:

Gov. Mike Dunleavy signed a proclamation on Friday ending the COVID-19 disaster declaration in Alaska, immediately after he signed House Bill 76.

“Today I took immediate action to end the COVID-19 disaster declaration. Alaska is in the recovery phase where an emergency declaration is no longer necessary,” said Dunleavy. “Our systems are fully functioning with vaccine distribution, adequate testing, and health care capacity. It is important our focus remains on getting Alaska’s economy back on track and welcoming summer tourism throughout our great state. I am confident in our state’s future as we move forward.”

The Senate passed HB76, a bill extending Alaska’s disaster declaration on Wednesday followed by passage in the House on Thursday. A press release issued by Dunleavy’s office cites the ability of Federal COVID relief funds without charge back costs from the state treasury, estimated at $100 million on 2021.

“The House Coalition worked collaboratively with frontline health workers, hospital leaders, and business owners to provide practical tools needed to end the pandemic,” Speaker Louise Stutes (R-Kodiak) said. “Unfortunately, the governor opted for politics over policy and decided to gamble with the health of Alaskans and with our economic recovery.”

Senate President Peter Miccciche and Representative Cathy Tilton were in attendance for the signing of Dunleavy’s proclamation. By ending the disaster declaration after passing HB76, Dunleavy aims to continue vaccination distribution including SNAP benefits and offer “comprehensive liability protection” for Alaskan businesses. The proclamation follows a recommendation from Department of Health and Social Services Commissioner Adam Crum.

“While COVID-19 is still present in Alaska, the urgent nature of the pandemic has passed and we are no longer anticipating the widespread emergency that Alaska faced earlier in this pandemic,” wrote Commissioner Crum in a memo to the governor. “As a result of the state’s early containment efforts, we have established a comprehensive public health infrastructure to respond to COVID-19 that will remain in place as we continue to strive to keep infection rates low, testing availability high, and protect the capacity of our health care facilities to address cases of COVID-19, while accommodating all medical and health related issues that the residents of our state encounter.”

So, not everyone agrees – big surprise – but Alaska’s moving back to normal.  One thing that has changed immediately is that people, both residents and non-residents, flying into Alaska are no longer required to have a negative ‘rona test prior to arriving, although tests are available free to residents and non-residents at Anchorage airport (at least) as an option, if travelers choose to take it.  Quarantine plans are likewise no longer required.

As with so many issues, on the matter of the ‘rona, Alaska is a bit unusual.  A particular worry early on in this mess was the bush communities, where a sudden severe illness may require a long trip by bush plane or boat to any treatment.  Another concern is the summer tourist season, which sees a lot of people coming to the Great Land from a host of other locations, and while that’s always a concern where communicable illnesses are concerned, it’s also an economic consideration, as a lot of the state’s economy depends on this.

Were I to summarize Governor Dunleavy’s action in my own words, it would be “we’re moving back to business as usual, but will keep an eye on things.”  Not an unreasonable way to divide that particular baby.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

Since our move to the Great Land, I’ve been thinking about the Old Man a lot.  He would have loved this place.  I would worry that our owning only a tad over two acres may have made him feel hemmed in, but the fact that there are thousands of acres of state land just behind us that he could have wandered at will would have eased that problem.  Yesterday I was having a look ’round in my woods – that’s a great feeling, to be able to say my woods – and told Mrs. Animal, “there are a couple of dead birches I’ll have to knock down and cut up for firewood.”  “You sound just like your Dad,” she said, and I’ve never received higher praise than that.

Now then…

On To the Links!

Now this, this is some first-rate trolling.

It’s like they want to provoke some kind of national divorce.

Ice Age hyenas hunted in the Arctic.

How Denisovan DNA spread into Oceania.

Our nearest stellar neighbors may be a good place to look for life.

How giant pterosaurs’ long necks worked.

I’m pretty happy with Alaska.

A rare moment of sanity?   Eh, probably not.

No shit, Sherlock.

No shit, Sherlock 2.

We have ranked voting here in Alaska now.  Not sure how it’s going to work out.

There shouldn’t be any Imperial funding for science, unless (maybe) there’s a national security issue at stake.

Things you need to know, Part 1.

You forgot the oldest profession.


Bill Maher finds an acorn.

Mummy returns:  Voice of 3,000-year-old Egyptian priest brought to life, first words from mummy:  “Epstein didn’t kill himself.”

Tyrannosaurs may have hunted in packs, like wolves.  Imagine that!

Let them come on up to the Sustina Valley and try it.

This Week’s Idiots:

Leftist British MP Claudia Webbe is an idiot.

House Democrats resort to idiocy.

Extinction Rebellion’s Alison Plaumer is an idiot, as are all the members of Extinction Rebellion.

Jerry Nadler is a whiny little crybaby, and an idiot.

The Baltimore Sun‘s Ben Jealous is an idiot.

Idiots being idiots.

The appearance of this image of a wood-chipper is purely coincidental.

Idiot Maxine Waters incites insurrection.  Why is this moron not in a Federal jail?  If this isn’t a damned clear-cut case of fomenting an insurrection, then I’m the Queen of Denmark.

Michael Wood, who is apparently the Administrator for the Oregon Department of Occupational Safety and Health, is an idiot.

CNN’s Mitch Landrieu is an idiot.

CNN’s Van Jones is an idiot.  Again, seeing a pattern.

You stupid, pusillanimous fuck!  What ever happened to due process and presumption of innocence, you cheap, crooked hack?

Guilty on all counts – and at least two idiot politicians made his appeal case for him.

And So:

You don’t see a lot of Aussie culture up this way, but back in the Eighties, the Aussie band Men At Work got a fair amount of play on American radio (and on MTV, back when MTV was still ‘Music Television.’)  Here is that band with their 1980 hit Down Under.  I’m not sure why the Aussies haven’t yet made this their national anthem.  Enjoy!

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

One week ago today we completed our initial journey to the Great Land with truck and trailer, and things just couldn’t be going any better.  We still have to deal with a lot of snow on the ground – we haven’t even been able to get to, much less into, our greenhouse yet – but even here in Willow, winter is losing its grip on the countryside.  The snow is melting, a little bit day by day, and before we know it, the wildflowers will be blooming.  On Sunday last, in fact, a great mass of snow finally slid off our roof, partially blocking the drive and requiring a fair amount of shoveling.

Oh, and we had a lynx walk through the yard, right past the house.  We didn’t see him but found his tracks the other morning.

Now, with that out of the way…

On To the Links!

As many as I can, while I can.  I think this guy has plenty of company.

On his own petard, hoisted he is.

Study:  Cops aren’t racist murderers.

No Gestapo here!

Why penises are shrinking around the world.  Yipes!

Add to that The Scourge of Chronic Scrotal Pain.  Yipes again!

Will we use Asimov’s Three Laws?

Ammo manufacturers address ammo shortage.

Some sports-ball guy makes a pretty good point on race relations.

Uh, bribery?

Pregnant while pregnant.  One would think being knocked up would preclude getting knocked up, but biology is a funny business.


Thanks to our blogger pals at The Daley Gator for the link!  If these guys aren’t on your daily read list, they should be.

This Week’s Idiots:

Delta’s CEO be-clowns himself on voting security laws.

John Brennan is an idiot.

Crazy Eyes, in addition to being an idiot, is one of the least effective members of Congress.  Well, duh.  That might explain why some of her fellow Dems are ditching her.

Governor Andrew Dice Cuomo proposes a new tax plan that is a giant steaming pile of idiocy.

Hunter Biden is a liar, a grifter and a crack-raddled idiot.

Salon’s Amanda Marcotte is an idiot.  But then, we already knew that.

MSNBC’s Hayes Brown is an idiot. 

The Nation‘s Dave Zirin is an idiot.

These guys are idiots.

The New York Times’ Jamelle Bouie is an idiot.

And So:

Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart (who, as we recently noted, also played with Tom Petty) performed as Eurythmics, and had kind of a neat style.  Not my usual cup of tea, but they had talent, and a unique kind of sound.  Here’s a good example of their work; this is 1983’s Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This.)  Enjoy.

Animal’s Travelogue Day 5

And finally, we wrap up this epic journey with details of the drive from Tok, Alaska, to our own new home in Willow!

We arose early to get a good start on the road, leaving the Alaska Highway at Tok and heading for Glennallen, there to take the Glennallen Highway for Palmer, Wasilla and home.

I was a bit surprised to not see a recreational marijuana shop in Tok.  I mean, if there’s any place in Alaska that should have a now-legal pot shop, you would think it would be Tok.

There was a snag – when we got up on Tok, it was snowing.  That’s hardly unusual in Alaska in March, mind you.  There was a couple of inches down and we had some mountainous country yet to traverse.  But we struck out, cautiously, slowly.  We crawled over the snow-packed road to Glennallen, where we turned west for Chickaloon, Palmer, Wasilla and home.  The roads slowly improved until, by the time we hit Palmer, things were wide open.

And then, finally, we pulled onto the Parks Highway, heading north for Willow and our new digs.  We arrived at mid-afternoon, exhausted but happy, to begin our new life in the Great Land.

We’re home at last.  After this tiring, exhausting, fascinating, beautiful and long, strange trip, we’re home at last, in Alaska.

Rule Five Road Trip Friday

So, first, some housekeeping notes.

Later today, after I take care of some work chores, we’ll be loading our cargo trailer, packing up all of our remaining office equipment and supplies as well as what firearms and ammo I still have remaining in Colorado.  In fact, we’ll be packing truck and trailer with probably a third to half of all the stuff we’ll be hauling from Colorado up to the Great Land.

Next, posts:  Tomorrow we’ll have the Saturday Gingermageddon as usual.  Next week, instead of placeholders while we’re on the road, I’ll probably post some photos of random, interesting scenery along the 3.200 mile trip.  Normal posts should resume on either April 1 or April 2, unless we encounter some difficulty along the way.

Mrs. Animal and I always enjoy road trips.  We have taken a lot of them together over the last thirty years or so, and we inevitably end up talking, planning and laughing the entire trip, just like a couple of kids.  I guess we just enjoy being together, even (especially) after all this time, and given that this road trip is the penultimate act in the culmination of our twenty-plus year plans, it’s going to be even more fun.

And, of course, there’s the trip itself.  About half of the drive is on the Alaska-Canada Highway itself, which we’ve wanted to drive for years.  Problem is this:  Canada is hurrying people through right now because of the ‘rona, so no time for sightseeing, and frankly this isn’t the best time for that anyway, not to mention we’ll be towing a trailer and have a canoe tied atop the truck, so not the best vehicle configuration, either.  Not to worry; we have plenty of time, and we’ll plan to make the drive again sometime when we have time to sight-see.

Speaking of that drive, here’s how the itinerary looks, for any of you True Believers that might be curious as to how this works:

Day 1:  Denver, Colorado to Shelby, Montana.  Shelby is about twenty miles south of the Coutts, Alberta entry station into Canada.  So in the morning we’ll want to get an early start to deal with the bureaucracy at the border.

Day 2:  Shelby, Montana to Dawson Creek, British Columbia.  Dawson Creek is where the Alaska Highway proper begins.  I’ve done some reading about the town, and it seems like it would be a hell of a fun place to spend a few days, once the Kung Flu panic dies down.

Day 3:  Dawson Creek, British Columbia to Watson Lake, Yukon Territory.  This is where gas stations and so forth get thin on the ground, so it’s prudent to keep the tank topped up.

Day 4:  Watson Lake, Yukon Territory to Tok, Alaska.  Tok is where we leave the Alaska Highway, which continues (officially) to Delta Junction, while the highway continues up to Fairbanks.  Now we’re back into the States, and officially into the Great Land!

Day 5:  Tok, Alaska to our new home in Willow, Alaska.  This involves a trip down the Glenallen Highway, which is a gorgeous drive, and then through Palmer and Wasilla to home.

It’s going to be interesting and exciting!  Mrs. Animal will still have to fly back to Colorado to meet the movers to load the remaining stuff for the trip north, then to arrange for the Colorado house to be cleaned up and sold.  Denver real estate is crazy right now, so we expect to do well on that deal.  But when that’s done, she comes home, and we settle into our rural Alaska home for good.

So, stand by for news from the road!

Great Land Bonus

The other evening Mrs. Animal spent quite some time, standing by the window, watching the sun go down over the trees on our new Alaska home.  This, True Believers, is why we came up here.  Not just to escape Colorado’s increasingly-loony political climate, but for the peace, quiet and serenity of our new Sustina Valley digs.  This is it.  This is it.

Animal’s Daily North Slope News

Oil reserves.

Before we start, check out the latest in my SHTF series over at Glibertarians!

Now then:  Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy recently weighed in on the Biden(‘s handlers) Administration’s recent attacks on the extraction of oil and gas.  Excerpt:

We can’t afford to be naïve about the motives of Wall Street banks. While the mega-rich like Larry Fink put on a show about saving the planet, they are knowingly underwriting those who are destroying it. When they fly in to Bristol Bay in their private jets, they lodge just miles from some of the poorest communities in America – places desperate for the very economic opportunities these billionaires have decided to take away.

It’s these everyday Alaskans – people looking for jobs to feed their families – who shoulder the burden of Wall Street’s decision to sell the world a lie.

This isn’t a personal attack on investment bankers. I’m aware that it’s self-interest, not honesty, that makes the world go ’round. Trading a shrinking traditional energy sector for one that will require trillions of dollars of investment, all while masquerading as the “good guys,” makes perfect business sense.

But when Fink’s self-interest threatens to destroy the future of my state, I have no choice but to intervene. I have no choice but to showcase the hypocrisy of the billionaires and environmental profiteers who spread falsehoods about development in Alaska.

They will never tell you that the central Arctic caribou herd has actually grown from about 6,000 to 30,000 animals since Prudhoe Bay development activity began, or that the “threatened” Porcupine herd of caribou now numbers 218,000 animals – the highest in recorded history.

They won’t tell you about how Alaska’s stringent environmental regulations far outclass those in the rest of the nation – that we pump our gas back into the ground instead of flaring it, that we operate the most technologically advanced pipeline on the planet, that we don’t let our mines turn the tundra yellow with acid water.

Why won’t they tell you?

Because attacking Alaska is easy and profitable. In the case of the Wall Street bankers, they’re playing a long game by betting on a new industry. Others, including many environmental groups, are collecting their profits up front. Take the Environmental Defense Fund and the National Resources Defense Council, for example. Did you know that their CEOs earn $665,748 and $526,053, respectively? I’ll let those numbers speak for themselves.

Again, as I’m always saying, read the whole thing.  It merits a bit of thoughtful consideration.

Here’s the problem Governor Dunleavy faces:  Alaska is a damn big state geographically, but it’s a small state politically, with only Vermont and Wyoming having smaller populations – and our population is spread over a state that’s almost three times the size of Texas.  The Great Land’s sole Representative and two Senators give it a paltry three Electoral College votes and the state votes very reliably Republican, meaning we get pretty much ignored in Presidential campaigns.

Which means the Biden(‘s handlers) Administration can throw Alaska under the energy-production bus without much thought for the consequences.

The one bright spot for the oil/gas and pipeline workers is that Alaska isn’t the only state affected by this horseshit.  States from the Dakotas to Texas are seeing thousands of good-paying jobs suddenly gone due to these idiotic changes in policy.  The question is this:  What impact will all this have in 2022?

I know what the logical outcome of this ought to be; but it remains to be seen whether energy-sector employees can manage to push any elections past the margin of fraud any more.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

I’ll be the first to admit, it’s cold up here in early February.  Temps right now are down around zero at night, in the teens in the afternoon.  And the days don’t last long.  The sun comes up hereabouts at about 0930, and is down by 1700.  Plenty of snow on the ground, which I expect will stay until mid to late April.

But boy is it quiet.

The winters here, though, honestly aren’t any worse than those I grew up with in northeast Iowa.  The daylight hours are the main difference, but we’ll make up for that with twenty-hour days in midsummer.  I think we’re making a good trade, especially considering how loony Colorado (and, frankly, most of the 48) is becoming.

Moving right along, then…

On To the Links!

Haw haw haw!

No thanks, I had bugs for lunch.

President Biden continues doing his impression of an actual potato.

Stop the third party insanity.

Now do water fountains!

No shit, Sherlock.  I’m reminded of an early-Eighties-sometime interview of David Lee Roth, done by some Rolling Stone putz-head.  Roth had talked about his and his Van Halen band-mates working-class youths, and the contrast with how much money they were making with the band.  “You know, Dave,” the interviewer pontificated, “they say you can’t buy happiness.”  “Maybe,” Roth replied with his trademark grin, “…but I can buy a yacht big enough to sail right up next to it.”

They guy really did know how to command the stage.

What the Left really means by “equity.”

Yeah, Portland’s probably fucked.

Even if California kicks out Gavin Newsom, anyone who takes his place would be likely just as horrible.

Liberal reporter calls out Crazy Eyes for being a lying piece of shit.  Well, not in so many words, but the message is clear.

This Week’s Idiots:
It’s not commonly known that John Kerry once pursued an acting career.

John Kerry is an idiot.  He’s also an arrogant, elitist fuck.  But Ted Cruz did a pretty good job of dismantling the asshole.

I actually burst out laughing at this idiocy.  Paywalled, but the headline is all you need.

Idiots have to be warned against doing idiot things.

Crazy Eyes continues in her usual idiocy.

USAToday‘s Rachel Mikva is an idiot.

Wired‘s Malkia Devich-Cyril is an idiot, and an idiot who has no fucking idea what the concept of free speech means.

Barney Frank is an idiot.

And So:

Just the other day our oldest daughter reminded us of this song, saying that it always reminded her of her Dad.  It probably applies even more now that we’re abandoning suburban life for rural Alaska, and it is in fact at least a half-hour to a Walmart or a grocery store.  This is Aaron Lewis with Northern Redneck.  Enjoy.

Animal’s Daily Great Land News

Before we start,be sure to check out something different I wrote for Glibertarians!

Last weekend was a considerable adventure, as Mrs. Animal and yr. obdt. flew the Friendly Skies to Anchorage on Friday, then Saturday morning drove north and took actual possession of our new home in Willow.

Two honest feet of snow at the front door.

Adjusting back to country living was faster than I expected, given the amount of time that has passed since my Allamakee County youth.  Example:  A good portion of the heating of this house is via a woodburning stove, which requires bringing in wood at least once a day;.  Fortunately the previous owners left us a good supply.  There are other chores I haven’t gotten to yet, on this our fourth day of residence, but they’ll follow.

Big empty house.

The house is pretty empty at the moment, but we’ll be filling it up.

When we first arrived Saturday morning, about eleven AM, it was sixteen below zero.  There is about two feet of snow on the ground.  Up north around Trapper Creek and Talkeetna, we have it on good authority that there is six feet of the white stuff in places.  Welcome to Alaska winters!

On Sunday evening, we had our first guest.

We first noticed her, a yearling cow moose, out by the now-empty dog run.  She’s on the skinny side, but didn’t seem uncomfortable as she moved slowly along, browsing on twigs and buds.  Last night as I was bringing in some stove wood I noticed her bedded down about twenty yards from the woodpile, and she raised her head to watch as I took in an armload of wood, but didn’t react.  She is a bit thin; Mrs. Animal and I were hoping she makes it through the winter, as a lot of young animals don’t.

Also yesterday, we went over to Palmer and visited the DMV for driver’s licenses.  We’re now, officially, Alaska residents.

A life properly lived should ever have one embarking on a new adventure.  Mrs. Animal and I have lived up to that, I think, in general; but this one is our biggest yet, greater even than Desert Storm in many ways.  Stay tuned!