Monday, October 27, 2014

Rain Day

It's been cold and a bit snowy for the past week, and last night a storm from the south brought warm and rain. As a result, our roads are a slick, icy death trap. Nearly all the roads in Bethel are dirt, and cambered to allow for water runoff. This means icy inclines just steep enough to send you slipping off the road.

I'm at work doing some work but also doing some digging through this old blog. I just canceled my cell phone service, so maybe I'll take this up again to feel like I'm communicating with someone.
Vandals, take note; misspelling dilutes your message.

Monday, January 28, 2013


I remember weather reports in Michigan always saying something like, "It's 20 degrees, but with wind chill it will feel more like 17." As ambient temperatures get colder, wind chill increases exponentially.  20mph of wind will lower the ambient temperature 6 degrees when the ambient temperature is 40, and 14 degrees when the ambient temperature is -10. Out here, winds blow across hundreds of miles without anything to slow them. What I'm trying to say is, "brrr."
School is cancelled today.

I walked across the barren tundra to school anyway in order to get some grading done. I was dressed something like this, but with thicker gloves:

Saturday, January 5, 2013

A closer connection to the cycle of life

Warning: The following blog post contains content about what goes down my toilet.

This is my sewage tank.

The box on top is covering the hole in the tank. There is a hole in the tank so that a large tanker truck can back up to my house and suck everything out of it with a hose. Here's a shot of the inside of the tank:
To paraphrase Nietzsche, "When you stare into the void, the void stares back at you."
Since it gets so cold here, what's in the tank regularly freezes. In that instance, I put this long pipe heater in.

It heats up and melts the frozen sewage. When you take it out of the tank, what you're smelling is basically sewage soup. The good people at Water and Sewage come by, put this removable stem into the tank, and suck out everything I've put down the drain or flushed down the toilet.

If your tank is frozen when they arrive, you get a blue tag put on your door to let you know that you are responsible for properly thawing your frozen sewage, and that you need to call the city to schedule a return trip. A return trip for a tank this size is $75. However, my landlord is the world's last generous landlord, and as such has paid for a few return trips to my tank and replaced the pipe going into the tank and cut the old stem out and replaced it with this fancy removable one. If you are forced to have a close relationship with what goes down your toilet, mine is the healthiest relationship around.

What gets sucked out of hundreds, if not thousands, of tanks just like mine is pumped out of the tankers trucks into a giant pond of sewage, generously called a "sewage lagoon."

Enjoy your next meal.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

In spiritual news, my dogs and I ran on water today. Take that, Jesus.

 In canine news, I fostered a puppy for a few days. The puppy did not come on the ten-mile run.

In seasonal affective disorder news, here is what the horizon looked like at 11:00 a.m. yesterday:

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

I've seen sunny days that I thought would never end...

It has been gorgeous in Bethel lately. To feel the heat of the sun on your skin after such a long and desolate winter is indescribable. I could never appreciate it as much had I not been deprived of it for so long.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

(More) Positive Graffiti

I found more positive graffiti a few weeks ago; under a bridge, this time. Why was I under a bridge? No! I wasn't doing heroin. I was walking on the last of the creek ice before it melted. Now that the weather's warmed up, foot travel options are limited.

Here's what I had to walk over:
See all that snow? It's all water now.

Here's what I found under the bridge:,_1800.jpg/220px-Thomas_Jefferson_by_Rembrandt_Peale,_1800.jpg
"I'm a great believer in luck. The harder I work, the more I have it." Thomas Jefferson
"The harder you work, the harder it is to surrender." Vince Lombardi
"When you are at the end of your rope, tie a knot & hang on." Franklin D. Roosevelt

There you have it.