Well, it’s certainly been an eventful year. January saw us gifted with another grandson, a 10-1/2 pound chunk that his parents call “Moose.” This makes grandchild number six, three of each sort. All of our offspring are doing just great, and the family’s happy progress through the year was marred only the loss of one of my sisters to cancer.
When 2021 dawned, Mrs. Animal and yr. obdt. were still residents of ever-more-loony Colorado, which is fast transitioning to California East. But we had already purchased our new home in Alaska, and before the first month of 2021 was out we were officially residents of the Great Land. We have to wait twelve months for resident hunting and fishing licenses and Permanent Fund eligibility, but believe me, it’s worth it. This next year we expect to reap full benefit of Alaska’s wondrous hunting, fishing and other outdoor opportunities.
Just the bird hunting alone should keep us well-fed. Right in our area we have spruce grouse and a few ruffed grouse; the limit is 15 per day, with 30 in possession, from which data we can conclude that there are shitloads of birds about, and our observations to date have supported that assessment.
Of our move, which we have worked towards and planned for twenty years or more, I can only say this: Both of us are delighted with the transition, and agree that this was the best move – and perhaps the most timely move – that we have ever made in our life together.
Now, you ask, why would I add that ‘most timely’ remark? Well, I’m a-gonna tell you.
I mentioned the ever-more-loony Colorado. Well, with a few exceptions, most of the lower 48 went a little bit nuts this year. The Kung Flu Panic is now in its second year, and the power-mad at various levels of government and corporate leadership show little signs of loosening things up, despite the ineffectiveness of their largely illegal actions to date. A whole bunch of our major cities are seeing big spikes in violent crime, with several breaking all previous records on the murder rate, and local DAs and city pols seem unwilling to take any real action; indeed, they are in some cases actively encouraging it.
But up here in the Great Land, things are pretty quiet. The Moo Goo Gai Panic has largely blown over, at least outside of Anchorage. Some of our local friends have contracted the bug, but everyone we know suffered mild symptoms, stayed home for a week or two, and got over it, gaining some nice natural immunity in the process. The only time we’ve seen masks is when we’ve had to go to Anchorage for some things; that city supposedly has a mask rule, but it’s widely ignored. The exception to that is in the summer, where the presence of masks makes it easier to spot the tourists.
Crime isn’t an issue here, at least not the same way. Alaska does have some problems; alcohol and drug abuse is an issue, especially in some of the more remote communities where isolation is a problem. Some people don’t do well when isolated (although Mrs. Animal and I sort of enjoy it) and that problem is sometimes reflected in behavior.
But other crimes? The fastest way I can think of to get shot hereabouts would be to kick in someone’s door in the middle of the night. Almost everyone here has guns, not so much due to worry of home invasions but rather some of our larger, more aggressive wildlife, and that’s a pretty strong deterrent.
Meanwhile, in the Imperial City, we’re saddled with a supposed President who was a bumbling mediocrity throughout his tenures as a Senator and Vice President; now he’s a senile bumbling mediocrity that has to be carefully shielded from questions by an increasingly confused media.
His second-in-command, one 25th Amendment action away from the Presidency, is not even up to the level of a mediocrity; she’s a cackling harpy, one of the dumbest people to ever hold high office, and is only nationally known because of her rise to political prominence in California atop Willie Brown’s penis.
But wait! There’s more!
One of the few silver linings behind this clusterfuck is that the GOP is looking to score an electoral landslide in the 2022 mid-term elections. That’s a little encouraging; the Republicans are driving us off the same fiscal cliff, but a little more slowly. But have you ever known a political party more adept at snatching defeat from the jaws of victory? And assuming they do win – well, I’ll give the Democrats credit for one thing, when they get power, they use it. The GOP had complete control from 2017 to 2019. Where was the Obamacare repeal? Nationwide CCW reciprocity? All the other stuff they promised?
Well, we’ll see.
In the meantime – to all you True Believers, who have been reading these virtual pages for the last year and will (one hopes) will continue reading – our fondest, warmest wishes for a happy, safe, healthy, productive and profitable 2022. This evening, I will hoist one in your honor. Prost!