Tuesday, August 23, 2011

1/2-way Point

Monday night, which almost marks the half-way point of this two-week tour of duty at work.  Things on the job are pretty much normal.  The stuff that is usually good is till good, and the stuff that is usually messed up beyond all hope remains pretty much hopeless. 

I sometimes feel like I am trying to cram two different lives into a single life-time and it is not always an easy juggling act.  When I'm here at work I have little freedom to pursue my own interests and limited contact with my 'outside' life and lifestyle.  The nature of my job requires me to maintain a 'professional distance' from my co-workers, just in case I'm ever in a position where I need to either treat their medical issues or address security threats.  Most of my contact with the world outside the work site is via the Internet, but the company filters out anything that could be considered offensive to anyone on the planet, anything from popular file sharing sites, social networking sites, photo sharing sites or pretty much anything else that might be classified as fun. 

To use my own computer I have to rely on the world's slowest dial-up connection, which is almost as limiting and frustrating as the Company's stinking content filters.  FaceBook takes forever to download, and sometimes requires reloading to work properly, and of course large media files are completely unworkable.  I am able to maintain good awareness of current events, though. 

Perhaps the most important current event affecting Interior Alaska is a decision by the U.S. Post Office to NOT close 25 small, rural post offices that serve communities that are not accessible via our State's limited road system.  That's very good news to me, as I have some friends who live in the bush with no access to telephone or electronic communications.  About the only way I have to communicate with them is the old-fashioned way, via snail mail. 

The last couple of days were very wet.  So wet that Sunday was the second wettest day of the year thus far.  That was newsworthy enough to make today's issue of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.  Actually, here at work the weather started breaking up a bit Sunday evening, resulting in an interesting verticle prism effect just south of my work place.  I was able to capture an image of it that you may enjoy. 

Partial rainbow south of my workplace.
 Just a few days ago, a camper on the Granite Tors trail, about 20 miles from my house, was rudely awakened when a black bear dragged him from his tent.  He was not badly injured, but I image he and bear were both pretty startled. 

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner Outdoors editor Tim Mowry lives just a couple of miles down the road from me.  I always enjoy running into him at the post office or the Lodge and his work is usually pretty well considered and well written.  In an article in the Sunday edition I think he may have been a little 'fast and loose' with  the facts, though. 

Tim wrote "Tom Paragi is an Alaska enigma. He’s a hardcore greenie who also happens to be a hardcore hunter and trapper.  “He kind of shakes up the old paradigm that you’re one or the other,” friend Dave Payer, an ecologist for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, said.  Paragi is just as passionate about saving the planet as he is filling his freezer."

Actually, most of the hunters and trappers I know have a similar attitude as Mr. Paragi.  Most of us are more interested in putting healthy, tasty meat in the freezer than hanging a useless dead animal head on the wall, and most of us are very much concerned about maintaining a healthy wild environment.  It's a nice 'fluffy' story, but I really didn't find anything particularly unusual about it at all. 

Meanwhile, here at the edge of the White Mountains the season continues to progress toward sure-enough autumn.  I'm seeing more and more yellow leaves in the trees, and now also lying on the ground.  It's enough to take a guy's mind away from fly fishing and aiming it more toward hunting.  Although I'll be out of state during the early part of our general moose hunting season, I'll have a few days available to look around in the woods before I have to return to work.  If that doesn't work out well for me, I also have a drawing permit for a November hunt in a more remote area.

I guess that covers the news of interest for now, and it is time for me to make my rounds.  Wishing you the best in all you do....

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