Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Um, Weirdness afoot

Two weeks ago it was -10F outside.

I know, that seems cold to most of you southerners (and in this case, 'southerners' refers anybody not from Fairbanks or points further north - yeah, you too, Canadians), but the truth of the matter is that it should be closer to -30F out.

In fact, starting Sunday the temperature has been hovering around 50F. It rained, hard, Monday night and all the snow melted off. I worked all day Monday and Tuesday in the shop with the big outside doors open and the heat turned off - like I do in the summer.

Yeah, that's right: Palmer, Alaska in mid January and it's 50 and no snow. It should be 4 feet deep out there and -30F. Weird.

Then, last night the temperature dropped into the mid twenties and today we got 6 inches of fresh snow - and it's still coming down. Which means I've got to plow. Which does not thrill me, for a number of reasons, but mostly because I slipped on a patch of ice yesterday. That's right, the only damned patch of ice in the entire MatSu valley and I stepped square in the middle of it getting out of my truck.

And fell.

On my shoulder.

The bad shoulder.

Of course.

This seems to be an annual event for me, last year I spent three days on the couch moaning, doped up on morphine and percocet. And while that may sound spiffy to some of you, it wasn't. At all.

This time it is not nearly so bad. I hurt, but it didn't require a trip to the hospital. Just hot packs and Naproxin.

So, I get to plow.

Screw Al Gore, come on Global Warming.

Stupid snow.


  1. Really sorry to hear about your shoulder. That stinks. And the weather? Wow, that's weird. The past decade or so here has been snow, rain, melt, freeze, snow, melt, rain, etc, etc. But we're like a billion miles south of you. You should be very cold. Very very.

    Now, that said, I'm not wishing more work on you or anything, but still -- you live in Alaska. Some things are just a given.

  2. some things are just a given

    Well, yeah. But see, there's this moment of false hope, when you think Hey! It's fifty out and I've got the shop open - maaaaaaybe it won't snow again.

    And just like that - Bang!

    - Sorry, I was watching Dead Like Me last night and this morning - what a great show. Too bad the bastards canceled it - Hey, you're in show business, can you call somebody? :)

  3. Um, sorry again, that last was directed at Nathan.

    Nathan, really, call somebody, will you? And while you're at it - Journeyman, it was just getting good when they pulled the plug, take care of that too will you? Thanks.

    And now, snow removal. Bah

  4. Hate to burst your bubble, but I'd have an easier time getting your driveway plowed for free for a month than I would getting anyone at a network to take my call.

    (And no, that doesn't mean I know someone who'll plow your driveway free for a month.)

  5. That's OK, Nathan, I feel charitable towards you since that whole soup business.

    Plowing is mostly done. And I got the neighbor's drive done, and the community mailboxes. Now I'm drinking coffee and trying warm up and massage some feeling back into my left hand.

    Got to cut a path to the kennel with the snowblower, then I'm done moving snow for a while. Yah.

  6. Hmm. Sorry about the shoulder. I'm thinking my shoulder and neck tightened up in sympathy, which is why I'm at home today, and just got up. Hot packs, drugs, and an appointment in the next few weeks to see what's up so I can get full range of motion back on my wing.

    Yeah, Nathan, I want to know why Profit was canceled all those years ago. That was one creepy show, and I loved it. My opinion - they scheduled it right before Melrose Place, and they had a mutually exclusive audience.

  7. Sorry you're feeling the crappy.

    And Nathan? We wants Dead Like Me, Precious. We Wants It.

  8. So you all are saying that I should add "Dead Like Me" to my Netflix queue?

    Is this a show that's safe to watch with one's grandmother (i.e. minimal or no boinking)?

  9. Oh... err...

    Sorry you're feeling bad, and hope you're feeling better soon! (That's the problem with coming late to a post, by the time I read through the comments, the shiny has distracted me from the original bits.)

  10. For those of you who may not have been paying attention, I have zero influence with anyone who knows anyone who has influence with what's on TV. Feel free to continue telling me what you want on the air, but make sure you maintain extremely low expectations.

  11. Michelle,

    Re: Dead Like Me Grandmother safe. Um, no - or at least no, probably not.

    It is one of my favorite shows - all two seasons of it (in fact the very last episode is absolutely the best, but you've got to watch all the rest or you won't get it, at all). But, it is a weird, quirky, sad, funny, and strange show. It is often profane, but there is no nudity (well, in one episode they did show a eighty year old guy's ass, but that's it) or strong sexual content, BUT the f-word is used often and with great enthusiasm. Certain sexual situations are discussed which may make your grandma uncomfortable.

    But, you should see it. It is loosely (very loosely) based on Piers Anthony's On a Pale Horse and the story revolves around Georgia (George) Lass, a dead girl who died in an strange way, who is now a Grim Reaper - her job is to take the souls of the living, right before they die and help them get where they're going. What that is, George doesn't know, and you never do find out. Several of the Grim Reapers (yes, more than one) have strong traditional religious beliefs, but one is an atheist, George doesn't know what she is. I especially liked the Character of Daisy (a not just because I'm a sucker for Laura Harris). Daisy seems shallow and unlikable, but as the 2nd season went along she was revealed as complex, intelligent, and very, very sad. The rest of the cast is terrific too, especially in the 2nd season and the show was filled with mysteries and questions and was just hitting it's stride when it was axed (probably because there wasn't any nudity. It was originally a Showtime series, and people there expected nudity. Stupid viewers.)

    It's one of my favorite series, ever. Not only is it funny, but it's intelligent, which is incredibly rare nowadays.

  12. Nathan, we know you're just being modest.

    Now, I've got this screen play I need you to get to Steven Spielberg...

  13. Tania, my sympathies. No really, I know people just say that, but really I mean it. Nobody should have neck and shoulder pain (well, maybe Ann Coulter)(well, um and Dick Cheney, and - well ok some people do deserve pain, but not you).

    How's the neck now?

  14. Dude, sorry you fell. That's how I broke my leg. Only patch of ice anywhere on my driveway, and I hit it after getting out of a friends truck. It may have been 5" wide. I was down before I realized it and fell wrong. not good.

    The weather has been all over the board this year. We just went through the cold snap. Well, coolish for you but cold for us.

    Reminds me of when I did a stint in Dallas. One morning, driving to the office, it was finally as low as 70. So I was in my shirtsleeves, hanging my arm out the window, singing to the radio. Everybody around me has their windows up, heaters blowing, wrapped in jackets and sweaters (seriously).

    I have my Carhart coat. I can go out in the teens with only a t-shirt on underneath, as long as it was zipped before I lost heat, I'm good and cozy. Love that coat.

  15. Jim,

    Mr. Spielberg's mother used to own and operate a kosher dairy kitchen in L.A. (I don't even know if she's still alive much less whether or not she's still got the restaurant.) Years ago, my mother went to lunch there when she was out there and handed a scrap of paper with my name and phone number on it to her. She told her, "My son's in the biz, too. Steven should call him."

    I was horrified when she told me about it. And that's as close to Spielberg as I've ever gotten.

  16. Steve, yeah Carharts are the shit. It's basically the state apparel up here. If I didn't have mine, I wouldn't go outside in the winter, and some of the summer.

  17. Sorry about the shoulder. But pop a Prilosec if you keep up the Naproxen.

  18. Neck and shoulder are doing better. I can dress myself (hurrah!) so I don't have to worry about exposing my nekkid self to the cats.

    As long as I keep it moving, I'm ok. But if I don't move my arm and stretch the muscles, they clamp down like Unca Scrooge on a pound note.

    Dead Like Me is a great show, and could be Grandma safe. My grandma would like it. Then again, she was sad when Brisco County Jr. went off the air. Nathan, you really need to talk to your people about the crap that gets left on the air while interesting shows are abandoned.

  19. Depends on the Grandma, I guess. Mine would have had a heart attack at the first f-bomb.

    Glad to hear you're doing a bit better. Sounds like muscle spasm, which is never fun. If it wasn't such a trip, I'd recommend you head back to the hot springs and soak for a couple of days in boiling water.

  20. Can I submit Space: Above and Beyond as another show that Nathan needs to get back on the air?

    Sorry to hear about the shoulder pain. I spent my day with my midback in agony - think I strained it earlier this week lifting something too heavy, then the chiropractor crunched it this morning and voila, what feels like cramps that I can't stretch out. But it's getting better... may all of us have pain-free days tomorrow. :)

  21. OK,

    Just to satisfy all of you, I am going to make it my first priority to amass the influence necessary to tell any network executive what shows should be on the air...and what time slot I want.

    The bad news is that the first show I'm going to champion is Lancelot Link: Secret Chimp.

  22. Lancelot Link? I loved that show. Anything with chimps...

  23. I think language may be okay for my grandmother. After all, she watched "The Departed" with us with the warning that there was lots of foul language. The only thing that really bothered her was the boinking and any gruesome blood.

    Well, and the fact we had to keep pausing to movie to explain what was happening.

    My grandmother is a bit out of the ordinary in that she loves science fiction of any sort, has enjoyed most of the superhero movies we've watched (she didn't like Spiderman 2 very much though), and has also enjoyed watching the handful of "kung fu" movies we've watched.

  24. Michelle, I think I like your grandmother.

    Because the show deals with death (it's a show about grim reapers afterall) there is at least one or two death scenes in each episode. However, they are usually funny or unusual - and never gruesome. Based on what you've said, she would probably like it. Despite the fact that the show is centered around death - it's really about life, and how you live it.

  25. My grandmother is pretty awesome.

    I know death wouldn't bother us (We still have the final season of Six Feet Under waiting for us to watch.) And I loved "On a Pale Horse" and I don't think it would bother her either. I mean, she is 90 and one of the last of her ten siblings left alive. And our family is the one that got frowned at by people at my great aunt's funeral--because we were laughing and carrying on too loudly. :)

  26. Michelle, the more I hear about your Gram, the better I like her.

    And I thought I was the only one who laughed at funerals?

  27. I'm mostly Irish, we always laugh at funerals, and drink - which is probably why we have so many funerals...

  28. No drinking for us. Just telling stories. And that's usually enough to get everyone laughing (as you can probably guess from my stories about my grandmother.)

    Not that we have anything against drinking. We just managed to get silly all on our own without assistance.

  29. We're Irish, we have to drink - it's the law.

  30. This is the most hilarious comment thread! I should have read it last night rather than wallowing in my depression.

    Jim, I think you may have bought the soda machine from Al. I'm just sayin'.

    Series back on the air? I'm thinking Firefly, myself - it definitely deserves a resurrection.

    But really, if Nathan is going to exert his awesome powers of influence and persuasion, I'd like to see him settle the writer's strike and get the good shows and movies back on the air.

    And Nathan, while you're at it, do you think you could persuade the networks to reverse the trend toward cheap-ass mindless reality tv shows?

    I don't know about Dead Like Me, but my mom has expressed an interest in my Battlestar Galactica DVD set, and she'd hate the darkness and sex... I keep "forgetting" to give it to her.

    I hope everyone with sore shoulders, necks and backs improves today! Because distributing virtual Vycodin and Flexaril just doesn't do it, I know.

  31. But Jeri, they killed half of the cool people off in the movie...

    Unless you literally mean "resurrected" in which case, it would be western themed space show with zombies. How could it lose!

  32. I was POed too about the death of the funniest guy on the ship and husband of one of the hottest chicks around. It never happened, I say!

  33. Yeah, I was disappointed when the Preacher died -- but I was livid when Wash got skewered. LIVID.

  34. I'll second or third that. I loved all of the character, but it really wouldn't be the same without Wash. And Shepard Book - Book was becoming by far the most interesting character, I'd love to know what Whedon intended for his character.

    Yeah, Nathan, restart Firefly and make the deaths didn't happen (if that's the proper phrasing. And, while you're disappearing things - make that Star Trek movie, the one that Shatner wrote and directed, disappear too, will you? And if you really want my undying gratitude - get rid of Mylie Cyrus. Thanks).

  35. Yeah, why the heck DID Shepherd Book have such clout with the Alliance officials?

    I agree, although the movie WAS good... rewind it and restart with all characters intact. As I learned from Wil Wheaton, this would be called retconning.

    I really liked Wash too! Although -- a zombie Wash could be a lot of fun. He'd do zombie well. :D

    Unfortunately, Summer Glau (River) is really busy right now w/ the Sarah Connor Chronicles. I haven't seen it - has anyone here? What did you think?

  36. See, I have to disagree about "Serenity" as much as I hated that Wash died (if I take those what character are you quizzes, I'm Wash) I thought the movie was perfect.

    Why? Because they went up against the freaking Alliance AND the Reavers! Just one of those could catch you a good case of dead. Both of those? They're lucky anyone got out alive. And believe me, after Zoe and Simon got hit, I was afraid Joss Whedon *was* going to kill everyone off. (It's not like he ever hesitated to kill people off in Buffy)

    So as much as I want more Firefly, I have to accept the movie as being the perfect ending to the show.

    Also? I'm convinced that Shepherd book was an Operative who retired. I'm just waiting for the comics to bear me out. :)

  37. Don't get me wrong, Serenity is one of my top ten movies of all time.

    But, it does pretty much writes off any kind of sequel or continuation of the series.

    And, yeah, Book had to have been an Operative.


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