I know why the suicide rate is highest in Alaska.
Winter – unless you’re 13 years old and get to avoid a day or two in a government school every now and then, courtesy of the white shit that falls from the sly – sucks.
It is like home detention. You know, not prison as such. They just make your home a prison, forcing you to wear an ankle bracelet that keeps you from going anywhere. Snow – and cold – does the same thing.
This is supposed to be the South. I can deal with a Southern winter. A month of harsh cold, maybe – but for the most part daytime temperatures in the mid-high 30s, often rising into the ’40s and ’50s. You can still wear shorts – with wool socks and a sweatshirt. But none of this Eskimo kabuki of putting on multiple layers and making sure no skin is exposed just to make the 400 yard trek down to the mailbox and back without incurring damage – and forget about riding motorcycles or even taking the classic muscle car out because of the got-damned road salt that now covers everything and will not be gone until it’s rained hard for several days and that requires temperatures that aren’t freezing.
Everything is on hold. Except, of course, feeding the wood stove. When it is cold like this, the stove is hungry. I have already gone through three full cords of wood (that’s a stack 4 feet tall, four feet wide and eight feet long) and the got-damned winter is only about half over. What is normally cozy and even fun has become a chore.
It depresses me to go out to the garage and see all the bikes I can’t ride, the car I can’t drive. Forget running, too. That outlet – which helps keep me from the bottle and other destructiveness – is denied me. Try running on glaciated crusty snow through 20-30 MPH wind gusts on a 16 degree day. You will never father children, I assure you.
@Eric re: chicken water – be sure you keep a lid on the bucket. Otherwise the birds will perch on the lip and “fowl” the water. Just cut a notch in it for the heater cord.
It was 9° at 3:00 this morning when I got out of the truck to go to work. But the Sun has been out all day and it’s now about 40°. Once the Sun goes down the temp will plummet again.
I don’t mind the cold so much as the grey. That’s why I moved out west where the Sun shines bright, even in the shortened days of winter.
I checked to see what the daily lows and highs were for last January. This January has been much colder – both in extremes as well as averages. The coldest day last January, for example, was 11 degrees. It’s been well into the minuses on several days so far. And last January, there were several days with daytime highs in the mid 60s; most days were in the middle 40s. Not one day like that (60s) so far and many days with daytime highs not out of the 20s.
I’m hating it.
I was talking w/Dom on the phone earlier and told him – in all seriousness – that if this is the New Normal, I will give thought to relocating somewhere warmer. Losing four months of the year (a third of each year) to brutal weather is not acceptable. I hate not being able to ride – or even drive my old car.
The whole thing just sucks.
I’ll be ready to stay inside all day when I’m an old man. But I’m not there yet…
When God gives you snow, you snowboard! That’s my philosophy. Have I mentioned how much I hate the fucking traction control on my car? I stab the gas and come to a complete stop. It’s amazing really!
I’m glad you mentioned that, dom. Yesterday I was driving an SUV with traction control up a small snow covered incline, it started to slip, the VSC kicked in (Stupid buzzers went off too) so I hit the gas a bit and I felt like the damn thing stopped ever so briefly.
The stop was so brief I thought maybe it was just my imagination,… or perhaps there was something wrong with the vehicle.
Now I know.
13° here, so dry right now just hoping for no sparks, just wish it would snow. Global warming is killing us. Turn up your chain oil and go cut some firewood…..you’ll get warm….and be glad you don’t have to feed the hogs and try to get them some H2O that’s not solid.
No hogs, Eight … but chickens!
The heated waterer is partially frozen….
Chickens are easy. I have a suspended nipple bucket with1 heater in it for all 50 or so. It’s the 40 rabbits in individual cages with crocks for water that’s eating us up. When will I be able to reactivate my gravity-fed watering system? And I’m in Maryland, just a bit north of you, Eric.
Did you rig that up yourself or is it store bought? We have a 5 gallon heated waterer that – up to now – has worked well. But the brutal temperatures we’ve dealt with this season have proved too much for this unit. It will partially freeze over when the air temp falls into the low single digits (or lower).
On rabbits: Ah feel your pain. We had one – and that was enough!
I made the bucket using nipples from FarmTek. Put in a small “tank” heater. But our coop is fairly well insulated, and the accumulation of droppings under the roosts becoming “compost” generates some heat that we will keep going until spring – then into the garden.
I’ll look into that; thanks!
I think the chief problem for us this winter has been the abnormal – the brutal – cold. Temperatures in the subzero ranges are highly unusual for this area. For them to hold for days on end, incredibly unusual.
The leftists certainly don’t have much of a sense of humor when it comes to comments about global warming in the present environment. It’s currently -6˚F up on the Cumberland Plateau in TN, where I live. But, I’m in Austin, TX right now where it’s around 27˚F and the locals are freaking out. I just love this degree of denial. We could be looking at another ice age and those loons would still be carrying on about AGW and solar energy……at least my Avalon has heated seats…..