the animal's journal

Where are you and where are you going?
Jason
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Re: the animal's journal

Post by Jason » Wed Oct 04, 2017 7:54 am

So a chick really raised a glock to your head?

No wonder you are wandering the earth.

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7Wannabe5
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Re: the animal's journal

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Wed Oct 04, 2017 8:01 am

@Jason: Well, the only known antidote to suffering the fate of being "led on" by a devious chick is to assume the lead your own bold self. Sometimes females accept relatively crap contract because better contract was never literally proffered.

Jason
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Re: the animal's journal

Post by Jason » Wed Oct 04, 2017 8:38 am

Well, this plays into "I should be banging this chick instead of that current douchebag she's with." Rightly or wrongly, you have to assume you are some type of improvement. And if she's living with a guy, well the contract is out, just not signed. So you have to be a better back up offer.

However, when I was in college, two guys were fighting over a chick. They were all graduating so this was not "who's getting blown by this chick on spring break" but potentially "who's getting blown by this chick for the rest of their lives."

The girl was stunning and just peaceful as all shit. One of those chicks who you just assume that her vagina smells like a rolling meadow of roses and eternal bliss.

The two guys involved were completely different. One was tall, good looking, could have any chick he wanted. I actually think he stole my girlfriend but he was such a nice guy I couldn't blame her or him. The other guy looked like and was a complete fucking asshole. If I had money at the time, I would have bet it all on the former. To everyone's fucking amazement, she picked the asshole. I'll never forget consoling the other guy. He was crushed.

Moral of the story: who the fuck knows.

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7Wannabe5
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Re: the animal's journal

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Thu Oct 05, 2017 11:08 am

@Jason:

There is an almost exact balance between the female tendency to choose the asshole male and the male tendency to choose the insipid female. It's one of those Wheaton level things where first you don't even see it (innocence), then you see it and you react unproductively or inappropriately (adolescence), then you start to respond more productively and appropriately (practice competence), then you get bored with it, then you realize that even though you are totally bored with it you still have a sex drive and putter along experimentally, then you no longer have a sex drive and you can freely choose to focus your energies on amateur naturalist species identification and reading 19th century memoirs.

Jason
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Re: the animal's journal

Post by Jason » Thu Oct 05, 2017 1:22 pm

I don’t know Seven, I get the idea that camper still has some spring left in its shocks.

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7Wannabe5
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Re: the animal's journal

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Thu Oct 05, 2017 2:10 pm

The season of rose-stink now past, the pumpkin squats in frosty field.
Grasses twist and splay, gray-black and angry,
Like the eyebrows of an old man knuckle-deep in brine,
Grasping for the last pickle.

Jason
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Re: the animal's journal

Post by Jason » Thu Oct 05, 2017 2:19 pm

Ok, maybe not.

Enjoy the memoirs.

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theanimal
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Re: the animal's journal

Post by theanimal » Wed Oct 25, 2017 4:10 pm

No need to call PETA just yet. The move in happened pre-animal.


I came back to the Arctic and went looking for sheep with a neighbor. While we didn't find any sheep in the area we could hunt, we did spot a grizzly bear high up in the drainage among the rocks. He saw us on the opposite side of the ridge, but the wind was in our favor so he did not take off running. I decided to pursue him and ran the few hundred yards to the top of the mountain before moving along the opposing ridge, out of sight. Crawling atop the snow, I settled into position and took aim. One shot. Two. Both missed. I misjudged my distance and was firing from too far. After the second shot the bear became wise and took off into the drainage beyond.

I returned unsuccessful, but the experience was enough to motivate me to pursue bears over the following week*. I found plenty of sign but no bears. One morning I awoke to what I'm certain was a bear outside my cabin. By the time I emerged with my rifle, there was nothing to be seen. Last week, there was a bear wandering around near the village. That made me a bit paranoid walking around for a few days. I imagine that bear was beyond hungry, with ice in the waters, snow on the ground and night time temperatures dropping as low as 10 below.

Image

The rivers and lakes are all frozen up now, permitting travel with caution. Next week a friend and I are going to head out for a couple days to a large lake in an an attempt to catch Lake Trout through the ice.

I have internet at my place now. $34/ mo for 6 GB. I think I can get a lower price, but I still have to look into that. In the process of setting it up, a whole slew of mishaps occurred and I ended up frying my inverter. That was no fun and set me back another $200...All resulting from a failure to read all of the directions.

Somebody killed a cow caribou (can only kill bulls in that unit) and the trooper gave it to me. Another ~100 lbs of meat or so for the cost of a gallon of gas to pick it up.

Image

Otherwise not much else is new. Plenty of reading, walking and writing. The trips to the gym have ceased and my level of contentment has not decreased. I've been mixing up workouts at the cabin of Insanity Max, P90x3 and bodyweight stuff.

I'm tired of owning a car, will probably try to get rid of it soon.

I'm likely going to be making a large purchase in the near future. The generator I have now is a tank. A Craftsman 3500. Way beyond my needs and very inefficient. Everyone here uses the Honda 2000. I can buy one new for $950. The savings on fuel on a yearly basis would be upwards of $250 compared to the Craftsman. Based off my current use and with proper maintenance, the Honda would likely last decades (my neighbors estimate roughly 5000 hr run time). That price tag sure isn't pleasing though. Occasionally, there are some offered in good condition, used for $750-850. They're snatched up quickly though. For the moment, I'm waiting and hoping to come across one of those deals.

*For both the meat and hide. Grizzly bears in northern Alaska have a good taste due to their diet of roots, grasses and berries.

halfmoon
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Re: the animal's journal

Post by halfmoon » Wed Oct 25, 2017 8:03 pm

Animal, that first photo is stunningly reminiscent of Ansel Adams. Maybe you could be selling prints?

It's hard to argue with a Honda 2000 (we have one), but we've gotten more use from our propane-fueled generator. It's actually dual-fuel, but we've never even put gasoline in the tank because the propane is so preferable. It doesn't get old, doesn't spill gas when refueling, doesn't require an oil change...just infinitely superior. We rarely use the Honda 2000 anyway because it won't pull our well pump.

We use the generator only a few times a year during power outages to pump water. It's such a gift not to deal with gasoline.

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Gilberto de Piento
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Re: the animal's journal

Post by Gilberto de Piento » Wed Oct 25, 2017 9:41 pm

I don't suppose it would do the animal much good since he is living there already but I read the book Coming into the Country recently and found it to be an interesting look at life in Alaska.

Glad things are going well.

halfmoon
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Re: the animal's journal

Post by halfmoon » Wed Oct 25, 2017 9:54 pm

I always dreamed of living in Alaska until I read Coming Into the Country.

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C40
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Re: the animal's journal

Post by C40 » Wed Oct 25, 2017 11:43 pm

"Somebody killed a cow caribou (can only kill bulls in that unit) and the trooper gave it to me. Another ~100 lbs of meat or so for the cost of a gallon of gas to pick it up"

Wow! What a score.

mxlr650
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Re: the animal's journal

Post by mxlr650 » Thu Oct 26, 2017 12:09 am

theanimal wrote:The generator I have now is a tank. A Craftsman 3500. Way beyond my needs and very inefficient. Everyone here uses the Honda 2000. I can buy one new for $950. The savings on fuel on a yearly basis would be upwards of $250 compared to the Craftsman. Based off my current use and with proper maintenance, the Honda would likely last decades (my neighbors estimate roughly 5000 hr run time). That price tag sure isn't pleasing though. Occasionally, there are some offered in good condition, used for $750-850. They're snatched up quickly though
Buying a used one for 15% off is a good idea if you know the owner and the history of the generator first-hand. Otherwise I would say it is a gamble if you don’t have the know-how to fix engines. First off, for $950 I am sure it will not come equipped with a tamper-proof hour meter so you are relying on the seller to tell you the hours on the engine and response from sellers are obviously way off even if you ask. Two months of use can easily be 200-400 hours (10% of engine life) Also, there is no way to determine how diligently routine maintenance like oil change/air filter change/valve clearance check was done as they do determine the eventual life of the engine. Air filter may be less of an issue if the place you live around is not dusty.

While Honda is known for quality, you may just end up being the unfortunate buyer to come across issues with ignition which are hard to track and expensive to fix. The short version of this is: when you pull the starter (similar in concept to motorcycle kickstarter), the AC generator (this is a separate generator that is part of the gasoline engine whose only purpose is to supply power needed for starting the gasoline engine) sends AC power to rectifier where the AC from the generator is converted to DC, and this DC is fed to CDI/Ignition coil that creates a high voltage across the spark plug gap at the right moment to ignite the gasoline mixture in the engine. And the rotational energy of the running engine is converted to electricity by the main generator whose output you will use. Even with solid electrical background, it’s time consuming to isolate and fix electrical problems.

The point is, if things are heading towards failure but have not failed yet, there is no way you can figure these out without taking things apart which is not feasible when buying. So, unless you know how to fix things it’s not worth it to buy used one for 20% off, although it would be a different story if it was 60% off.

Four stroke engines themselves are very reliable if maintained well, and maintaining these engines is not as big of a deal as people make it to be. Most important task is to change engine oil regularly. Engine oil is used for lubricating the engine and the oil quality degrades due to the oil circulating at high engine temperatures, and due to shear forces while lubricating the high speed engine parts etc; Degraded oil will increase engine wear. The oil change itself is 15 mins job - warm up the engine to make the engine oil flow better, open fill hole (to create flow – just like the vent hole for water dispenser), open drain hole, collect the engine oil, install drain bolt, fill fresh oil which for Alaska may be 5W-30 (for CA climate it is 10W-40). Walmart store brand Supertec is actually Pennzoil, and that is the cheapest I have found in my limited search. Buy a spare air filter so swapping air filter is 5 minutes job.

Digressing -- on Amazon it is not uncommon to see new and used items listed for almost the same price or like 1% cheaper, and I always wondered who the fuck would buy used shit when new one is close enough? Following three incidents convinced me that there are indeed people whose decision making process is -- lets say this in Australian accent -- fucking crazy mate!

1) Brexit 2) Putin’s girlfriend showing up at WH 2) Indian scammers posing as IRS agents and making tons of money. FFS if people can’t tell apart Kevin Trudeau from Pat Robertson speaking in King Julien accent, we are truly fucked.

Obviously the previous paragraph was not aimed at theanimal as he had no part in any of them.

@theanimal: Wish you the best with Alaska adventures!

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theanimal
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Re: the animal's journal

Post by theanimal » Fri Oct 27, 2017 12:16 am

@HM- Great idea! I'll look into it.

@GdP and Halfmoon- I read Coming into the Country a few years back and loved it. I'm a sucker for any good literature about Alaska. I just finished A Land Gone Lonesome which I found very good and is somewhat of a sequel to Coming into the Country. Some, like Edward Abbey, thought that Coming into the Country portrayed a rose tinted version of Alaska. He preferred Going to Extremes (another good read).

Most people in Alaska identify as Alaskans first, rather than Americans. Part of this shows in reading tastes. I know of no other state where the residents read so much about the area in which they live (including the non regular readers).

@C40- It's great. This kind of thing happens pretty regularly, more so in the hunting season. In urban areas there is a lottery for moose that are hit by cars. You simply have to sign up on the list and eventually they'll call you saying there's a moose at X, can you come and get it? In smaller areas like mine, the trooper knows everyone and he'll just ask around until someone takes it.

@mlxr- Many thanks for the detailed reply. The ones I've seen at a discount were for generators that people purchased new, yet hadn't ended up using. I'm much more wary of buying one used, because like you mentioned, there is no way to tell its prior history. I'll definitely be factoring that in even more now.
mxlr650 wrote:
Thu Oct 26, 2017 12:09 am
1) Brexit 2) Putin’s girlfriend showing up at WH 2) Indian scammers posing as IRS agents and making tons of money. FFS if people can’t tell apart Kevin Trudeau from Pat Robertson speaking in King Julien accent, we are truly fucked.

Obviously the previous paragraph was not aimed at theanimal as he had no part in any of them.
That's what you think. 8-)

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theanimal
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Re: the animal's journal

Post by theanimal » Sat Nov 04, 2017 6:40 pm

I've spent the past couple weeks in a funk. Not much writing. Too much internet. Not much worthwhile. I don't feel like Ihave any meaningful work that awaits me here. I'm visiting family for a couple weeks around Christmas. I'm thinking of spending the interim time in town. Probably try to find some short term work somewhere. I'm too lonely here. My interaction with people amounts to less than 10 hrs a week. That's seeing, talking or interacting in any way with others. Most of it happens over two days. That's not healthy for me and not in line with what I profess to value.

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Seppia
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Re: the animal's journal

Post by Seppia » Sun Nov 05, 2017 5:13 am

Short term work sounds like a great plan: not a huge commitment, but should give you the human interaction you seem to be looking for.
What you are doing is already in the superhuman realm for most, so don't be down on yourself; you probably just need a break

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TopHatFox
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Re: the animal's journal

Post by TopHatFox » Wed Nov 29, 2017 12:14 am

@theanimal, mind hopping over to Fox's Journal and showing him the path to professional adventuredome? :P

Pwease? Meanwhile, I'll keep reading your journal~
theanimal wrote:
Mon Jun 23, 2014 10:27 pm
Transitions and Mind Games

My mind likes to twist my ideas. As some of you may have noticed in my journal, I've jumped from one idea or potential job to another over the past year or so. For a while now I have been very happy/satisfied with my plan to work in outdoor education part of the year and go on my own adventures or do whatever I want the rest. But there are days like today where I really question this and feel somewhat lost. I've considered all types of jobs ranging from the military to programmer to various outdoor jobs.

My hypothesis for why this has been occurring is because it's finally set in that I'm done with school and I'm not used to this (potential) freedom. Maybe I'm just scared? I'm not really sure. I do believe that outdoor education is the right path for me.

Yup, that's about where I'm at right now!

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theanimal
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Re: the animal's journal

Post by theanimal » Sun Dec 03, 2017 7:00 pm

Quite the difference one month and a change of location makes. For the first week and a half of last month, I was in an extremely poor mental state. I was restless, somewhat depressed and borderline crazy from not seeing people and feeling cooped up in the Arctic. On my first attempt into town, I lost control on a sharp turn after coming down a large hill and totaled my van. I was and am OK. A friend drove me down a few days later.

I stayed with friends for about a week and a half then got my own place here. It's a dry cabin about 350 sq ft. Feels like a mansion after living in the last one for so long. I have tons of spare space. Plenty of room for dancing and all kinds of activities. I'm paying $450 a month and am in a great location. I could likely save $75-100 living elsewhere but my location would suffer. My neighbors are all friends/acquaintances. I'm within walking, skiing or biking distance from grocery, water, laundry, library, gym and good friends. Within a 1/4 mi of my place are two networks of trails (50 mi +) . I'm not buying another car. I bought a fatbike instead and have been loving riding that around.

I think I'm down here for good. At least that's the feeling for now. The area isn't as pretty as where I was, but forcing myself to stay was and is not healthy or sane.

No real job yet. I haven't been looking too hard as I'm leaving two weeks today to visit family for 3 weeks. I did a little work for the researchers I was working with this past summer. I do have some things planned though. In the mean time, magazines are interested in publishing more of my essays so I have been working sporadically on those.

I've been out trapping with a friend for beaver. I caught my first one this past week. We skinned it out and I've been working on fleshing the hide. I'm not sure what I'll do with it, maybe make mittens or a hat. I took a good amount of meat to add to my stash and the rest of the carcass was given to a friend who is in a vet program at the university.

No luck with the ladies. But certainly a lot more of them here than out on the tundra!! For the most part, things are going well. :)

halfmoon
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Re: the animal's journal

Post by halfmoon » Sun Dec 03, 2017 9:08 pm

Sounds like a good move, animal. Never fear change; the courage to change brought you to Alaska in the first place. No reason you can't take trips into the wilderness. I also think that friends and social interaction are critical at your age. If you find a life partner for whom the world is well lost, you might change circumstances again. Flexibility, adaptability, evolution for the win.

slowtraveler
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Re: the animal's journal

Post by slowtraveler » Mon Dec 04, 2017 8:00 am

I'm happy for you. You sound a lot better. Human contact is essential, you got everything you need close, and you seem like you got a lot farther than the into the wild guy.

No way to meet ladies if none are around.

Your post reminds me of when I moved and stopped feeling the same level of depression. You're living light and can do whatever you want. Enjoy that beautiful life and freedom you've built.

Hoosier Daddy
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Re: the animal's journal

Post by Hoosier Daddy » Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:59 am

Hey Animal!

I was curious: Have you ever thought of posting the same type of content you post here in the forums on your blog as well, perhaps in another section? I enjoy your Arctic Essays (I have the blog bookmarked as a favorite on my phone :) ) but I also find your posts here to be possibly even more fascinating. I really enjoy the voice you have in the forums as a "normal" guy who just happens to live a bad ass life in the Arctic. Getting to share in your experiences, decision making methodology, psychology, etc. is what keeps me coming back. Thus, I was wondering, with all the Alaska TV shows nowadays, have you considered trying to promote your blog via podcast interviews, etc.? Given the national interest in getting away from it all and having a simple life in the Arctic, your story might be the right story at the right time; If you did it right, perhaps you could solve your social concerns (via interacting with like minded people via podcast interviews) and help in the financial space as well as you improve the monetization of your blog?

In any case, thanks again for all of your sharing. I really enjoy benchmarking my "complainy pants" syndrome against your badassity. It helps give me good perspective and helps shapes my thoughts on how I can continually improve my own savings rate, etc.

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