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Monday, January 28, 2008


No posts for a week

I've been on a binge since Thompson bowed out of the Presidential race.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


Dipping a toe into the water

Myself and a couple friends initiated Saturday evening boardgaming at the local game store this past weekend. We are planning to have a regular game session on the third Saturday of every month, and may possibly increase it to twice a month if warranted.

This week we played Ingenious and Nexus Ops.

Saturday, February 16, will be the next session, at the Comic Shop. I am looking forward to it.

Sunday, January 20, 2008


Boardgame content, anyone?

This is supposed to primarily be a boardgame blog, after all.

Not to be confused with real boardgame content. This post is just masquerading as content.

Top 10 games I own, haven't played, and want to play.

10. Kreta

9. Shogun

8. Blue Moon City

7. La Citta

6. Quo Vadis

5. Perikles

4. Medici

3. Borderlands (No Doug. It really is a game.)

2. 7 Ages

1. Die Macher

Any volunteers to help me whittle down my pile of unplayed games?

By my calculations, if I am able to play these games there would still be 131 more that need to be played.


I spent most of my money on women and booze...

...The rest I just wasted.


Friday, January 18, 2008


On Black Helicopters

I guess it's not just me. People are starting to talk about helicopters in Fairbanks. It was a topic on the local radio show the other day and I read a story from a local musher who was tailed by 3 helicopters while taking her dogs for a run.

We have noticed many helicopters flying low overhead at our house in the last couple months. Of course I live a couple hundred yards from the Alaska pipeline and I attribute the increase in air traffic to an increase in patrols of the pipeline.

A few months ago I had helicopters throw a spotlight on my taxi as I drove on Ft. Wainwright. It happened a couple times in one week and I figured they were just training. If I had not had passengers in the cab I would have slammed on the brakes, thrown the car into reverse, and thrown my spotlight on the helicopter just to mess with them. Most of our cabs are retired cop cars. We get them with the spotlight still attached. The spotlights come in quite handy when looking for an address in the middle of the night, or doing a lockout in a poorly lit location.

Thursday, January 17, 2008


In most places the weather must first get cold before it snows

You know you are in Alaska when it must first warm up before you see snow.

Frigid air is just too dry to produce meaningful precipitation.

And warm up it did. I had a foot of snow on my car this morning.

We will be firing up the barbecue this weekend.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008



Stephan Gage


I'm a month late on this one. Just found out.


You may need to live in the Arctic to appreciate this stupidity

Map lifted from MSN Encarta.

Picked up a lady a few weeks back who told me this story.

She went from Anchorage to Inuvik, NWT, for the holidays.

For those of you who may be unfamiliar with Inuvik, it lies near the mouth of the McKenzie river, and is the most northerly city in Canada on the road system.

Inuvik is about 900 miles from Anchorage, if you take the short route on the Taylor and Top of the World Highways. On the 417 mile stretch from Dawson City to Inuvik there is literally one place to stop, Eagle Plains, which is about half way.

She couldn't afford to fly so she drove.... the long way, through Whitehorse. I will venture a guess that by going via Whitehorse the trip is upwards of 1500 miles.

In a clunker.

In the winter.

With two infants.

Just to visit relatives.

For further explanation, roads in the north are generally not paved. Those thick red lines that denote main roads which you see on maps of Alaska, The Yukon, and the Northwest Territories, are (more often than not) narrow, graveled roads. Such is the case of the Dempster Highway, which leads from Dawson City, YT, to Inuvik, NWT.

On the Dempster Highway she drove into the ditch.

She had to wait six hours before another car drove by to help her get out of the ditch, and she was lucky she didn't have to wait longer. I will reiterate: With two infants.

She is thinking about visiting next year at the same time.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008


Wild Political Speculation

A couple weeks back we heard the "news" that Barack Obama wanted to be President when he was in kindergarden.

I thought that story was odd, even absurd. Furthermore, I thought the media lingered a little too long on that story. Even by liberal, Clinton obsessed, media standards that's not a story worthy of 3 days of coverage.

My speculation:

The story wasn't important. It wasn't even a legitimate news story.

It was a message from the Clinton camp to the Obama camp, unwittingly transmitted by the Clinton-obsessed media.

Clinton was sending Obama a message that if he does too well the Clinton machine will take him down. They've done their homework, and they have the goods on Obama going back to his childhood. He has a choice, he can be the vice-Presidential candidate or he will be drug through the mud. After all, that is the only tactic in the Clinton playbook.

Taken in that light it all makes sense.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Once in a while you will meet a random individual who is truly politically informed. It really doesn't happen very often, most people still think Bush is running for re-election, and that Al Gore actually won in Florida in 2000.

It is even more surprising when the informed individual is a stripper. For those of you who may have never given a stripper a cab ride, strippers talk about A) other strippers B) geeky men at the strip club C) parties. In that order.

True story: Gave a stripper a cab ride the other night. I had the radio tuned to the news channel and the topic was the Iowa caucuses. We started talking about the Presidential race, and she was surprisingly informed. Scarily so. She even had a firm understanding of Hillary's "Rose Law Firm billing records scandal".

She is a Ron Paul supporter, btw.

Saturday, January 05, 2008


Aftermath of domestic violence: One story in three parts

It was a typical January, Friday night in Fairbanks. My company had around 25 cabs on the road, the big company had about 35, and there were probably another 20-30 cabs on the road from numerous small companies. There were probably 80-90 cabs total on the road last Friday night in Fairbanks, and I got all three of these calls.

All three calls for a taxi were placed by different individuals, so it wasn't an issue of one person calling his habitual cab company each time. The odds of me getting all three calls had to be extremely slim, a-a-a-a-and the last call came in much later than I normally work. Extremely slim indeed. Perhaps I was meant to blog this story. A-a-a-a-a-and there was actually a fourth call related to the incidents that I will preclude for brevity.

The kid in this story is probably 7 or 8 years old, which is the age of my own daughters.

The first call was to a nice hotel. I picked up a drunk lady and her son, and brought them to an older hotel. The lady was dropping her son off with the father and then going to a bar, so she asked me to wait. In this particular older hotel each room has an exterior door (IE. no hallways, each room opens directly to the parking lot). I parked outside their room, they got out of the cab and went in. As soon as the door to the room opened the fight was on. Mother and father were pushing, shoving, slapping, grabbing, yelling, etc.

After a minute or so it was clear that the fight would continue for a while. It was also clear that if I wanted to get paid I had better interrupt the fight.

When I got to the door the kid was crying. Another drunk woman was in the room trying to join the fracas. Not being one to hold my tongue, I not only asked for the money but I started chewing butts for fighting in front of the kid. They stopped fighting to listen to me, then started trying to persuade me that the other was at fault. Then the fight broke out again.

The kid was still crying. I told the parents that myself and the kid were going to wait in the cab. I thought it would be best to get the kid away from the dispute, if I could. I asked the kid who they were visiting at the first hotel. The kid said it was his "Auntie". I asked the kid if anyone was fighting there. He said, "No." I asked if he wanted to go back. He said, "Yes." Since the first hotel was only a couple blocks away I told the parents I was going to take the kid back to the nice hotel. They didn't seem to care. The mother even pre-paid his cab fare, which I did not ask for, nor was I expecting.

I took the kid back to the nice hotel, walked him to "Aunties'" room, told "Auntie" what happened, then called the police to let them know where the kid was, and that he was in a reasonably safe place. "Auntie" was drunk, but gladly took the boy in. The boy was certainly glad to be there.

To skip to the end of the story, both mom and dad ended up in jail, and probably for an extended period of time due to what I later gleaned were parole violations.

My heart went out to the poor kid.

A couple hours later I was called back to the nice hotel to pick up an unrelated party. While I was waiting the desk clerk told me that "Auntie" had just been arrested for being unruly and loud.

I asked what happened to the kid. He said the troopers left him with "Aunties'" older teenage boys, whom the trooper deemed to be sober and responsible.

My heart went out to the poor kid, yet again, for having to watch "Auntie" get stupid and arrested.

A couple hours later I was called back to the older hotel to pick up at the adjacent room.

The lady in the adjacent room was related to the domestic violence couple. She asked to go to the nice hotel. We got there and she asked me to wait. She came out with the boy and another young girl.

Overhearing their conversation, and knowing the events previous, my heart just broke. She was putting the kids on a plane in two hours. "To go home?" They asked.



"Probably to Barrow."

"For how long?"

No response.

"For how long?"

"To live."

"Live with who, Uncle (so and so)?"

"I don't know yet."

Yes, it is a scene that probably happens a thousand time every day. But it is sad when kids are involved. But in the long run it probably is best for the kids.

One stupid drunken fight, and just like that BOOM a child's whole life is set topsy-turvy. One night you're in the big city with your parents, going to a movie and shopping for toys at WalMart and the next morning you don't even know where you are spending your next night. Uprooted from school. Uprooted from home. Parents in jail.

Say a quick prayer for those poor kids.

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