Good day all.
It has been a long, LONG while since my last update, though I am sure you all enjoyed the opportunity NOT to have to read more of my electronic propaganda, but all good things must come to an end. I thought I would do my best to bother you all once again.
OVERSTAYING HIS WELCOME
Old Man Winter, the bastard son of Mother Nature, the fly in our proverbial and increasing solar energy ointment, the Urkel to my Carl. Do I really need to go on?
Staying true to my own weather-nerd nature, and given the fact that nothing really exciting is happening right now, I will talk a little bit about the Fairbanks "Spring"...
I stood by and giggled when the Plains were baking under 100+ degrees...I openly guffawed when a foot of snow dumped on Minden...I was seen holding my side and slapping my thigh when I heard the comments regarding the "frigid" temps that you all experienced during the winter (5 below?!?! How did you survive?!?!)...perhaps this is my payback. As you know from my last update, snow on my birthday is nothing new, but snow on the 2nd of May? We have gotten almost a foot and a half of snow in the last 3 weeks. This was all mixed in with the 2.5 inches of rain that fell and melted all of the snow...flooding anyone?
But you also have the fact that I am missing out on good thunderstorms. I was lucky enough to be able to now-cast for my friend, Jayme Horning, on a chase a couple of weeks ago. Now-casting is the act of a chaser phoning someone who is unlucky enough to be stuck in a frozen wasteland looking at a computer screen filled with red-boxes and satellite pictures and radar pictures. The poor, bedreviled soul sitting in his office is able to help direct the dynamic and blessed chaser to a good spot relative to the existing storms and the atmospheric conditions. Not that I am bitter or anything...
Actually, it was fun to get back into the chasing game, even if I had to do it by surrogate. Jayme did get to see some nice storms, and a persistent funnel, which could not be confirmed as a tornado at the time she saw it...only a week after knee surgery no less! She is taking every chance she can to chase since she too will be shipping herself out of Tornado Alley this year. She is starting work towards her Ph.D at the University of Arizona in the fall. Are you still sure about choosing UofA over Univ. of Oklahoma, Jayme?
However, spring is definitely on its way here in Alaska. The ground is now free of snow in the city, and the temperatures are slowly eeking upwards...we should hit 60 this weekend, and what a rapturous event that will be. Also, I killed my first mosquito of the season this week. We are going to be having quite a summer as far as mosquitoes go, what with all of the rain we have had.
Also, there is the ever-present sunlight situation. Here in Fairbanks, the sun rises at a brisk 4:49 AM and sets at a mind-bending 10:50 PM...making for a grand total of 18 hours! Not bad, but still not Barrow. The sun rose in Barrow today...notice I only mentioned the rising. Yes, today is the wonderful day that Barrow (the northernmost point in Alaska) has 24 hours of sunlight. But don't worry...it will set again in August.
WHO KILLED FIONA?!?!?!
I am not sure how many of you have heard of "How to host a murder". They are a little kit that you can buy, and it is a theme dinner party, somewhat akin to the board game "Clue". Each of your guests is given a character to play, a script, and a shove in a direction somewhat parallel to social suicide. Just joking. It is actually a lot of fun. The group has to act out the parts to find out who killed the unfortunate victim. It turns out, as a matter of plain entertainment, that everyone could have done it, and on some level, WANTED to do it. It is neat.
Anyway, about a month and a half ago, I was at a Pictionary Party hosted by my neighbor, Stacy. Near the end of the evening, conversation turned to who would host the next get-together, and I, being the naive glutton for punishment that I am, decided that I would host it.
About a week later, I was trying to figure out what I could do at my party to make it mucho funno, and Stacy suggested that we "Host a Murder"...she had one of these kits, and hers was centered around a story that takes place in Ancient Greece, and since I already had enough experience wearing at toga (http://www.qsl.net/kc0hoj/bmh/fun1.html bottom of the page), I came up with the idea of writing our own story, centered around Alaskan themes and Alaskan characters. I called it Murray Mukluk, Alaskan Private Eye in "Murder under the Midnight Sun"
So, we put together a little ditty, and it was pretty shaky, but we are working on it. The story is about Fiona Freeman, the local gold mining tycooness (I know, that isn't a word, blah, blah, blah) who is murdered. There are 8 players (suspects) and each of them had the motive and the means. The characters included Roger, the washed-up Riverboat Captain, Geena the Greedy Glacier Pilot, Joseph the Mayor of Fairbanks, Megan the jealous niece, Fred the annoyed brother, Victor the Russian oil tycoon, Annie the architect, and Doug the dog musher.
We tried it out a couple of weeks ago with some friends of ours, and it was pretty unorganized, but it was a good start. The party helped us to plow through it, see what areas needed more work, and what we had done right.
So, what was the result you ask? Who killed Fiona? It was Megan, played by Cynicka, and Roger, played by Paul. And of course, they were lovers and were in cahoots...it wouldn't be a good story without lovers in cahoots...if I learned ANYTHING in high school English, it was that...just kidding Mr. Green.
Well, not a whole lot to report here...like I said, it has been the dog days of winter here.
I am looking forward to a busy summer and autumn...Keith's (my older brother) in-law's relatives, Bob and Inez, are visiting Fairbanks at the end of the month, and we are going to see each other...apparently they lived here about 35 years ago...just a few (million) things have changed.
T-minus 5.5 weeks until Ruth and Andy (my sister and her husband) descend upon our city to commence the 2002 "I wear my sunglasses at night" Tour, and planning of that is going just fine.
Wow...too much stuff to mention...I will tell you about it when it actually comes time.
We have another guest submission for this edition of "Injections", from Jessica Hill:
There was a tradesman, a painter called Jack, who was very
making a penny where he could, so he often would thin down paint to make it go a wee bit further.
As it happened, he got away with this for some time, but eventually
Church decided to do a big restoration job on the painting of one of their biggest buildings. Jack put in a bid, and because his price was
so low, he got the job.
And so he set to erecting the trestles and setting up the planks,
buying the paint and, yes, I am sorry to say, thinning it down with
Well, Jack was up on the scaffolding, painting away, the job
completed when suddenly there was a horrendous clap of thunder, and the
sky opened, the rain poured down, washing the thinned paint from all
over the church and knocking Jack clear off the scaffold to land on the
lawn among the gravestones, surrounded by telltale puddles of the thinned and useless paint.
Jack was no fool. He knew this was a judgment from the Almighty,
got on his knees and cried: "Oh, God! Forgive me! What should I do?"
And from the thunder, a mighty voice spoke...
"Repaint! Repaint! and thin no more!"
Ok...that was enough of a groaner that I will spare you anymore.
A note to everyone who actually read this far down before deleting, hit reply and let me know how you are doing.
Talk to you soon.
Brian "Murray Mukluk" Hartmann
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