the animal's journal

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

Post by Colibri »

My 2 cents here on the GF challenge.

I live in the north as well, Yukon Territory. I live in the city with 30 000 other people so there is plenty of men here. But my romantic life has not been what I was hoping for. I had an interesting conversation with my ex-BF, the guy I was dating this winter that ended up being my bf for about 2 months before I broke up realizing that he is a functional alchoolic with unresolved childhood trauma. We were discussing about the dating pool here and I made some comments about the fact that a lot of women ( and men too !) are actually moving north in search of more personal freedom and a lot of them tend to fall in love with the place as well. There is a lot of misfits in the north because here you can be who you want to be with no judgments. So when your heart is already taken by the place where you live and your mind is hungry for freedom, it is harder to make room for something else as big as a fulfilling romantic relationship. That is how I felt for many years and since hitting the 30 years old mark I am slowly (or maybe quickly) starting to crave something else, something that will fulfill me differently than the magestic mountains. I wonder if people in your social circle just don't see the point to settle down ? I know quite a few here.

Let me know if you are ever driving down the Alcan highway to the big horse.

7Wannabe5
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Re: the animal's journal

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

There's almost no words to describe the amount of pleasure I have in building a system (my body) that can do whatever I challenge it with.
Something I have been thinking about lately. Your body is de facto a system or else you are dead. So, what is going on when you (the system) is building or changing you (the system?*) I understand that you meant something more like "major muscles" by "body", but how is this process different from, for example, trying to achieve the ability to fluently read mathematical equations or effortlessly flirt with representatives of the opposite gender? It seems to me that these are all achieved through similar process, but there is not necessarily enough time in the day to practice, or even maintain competence, in all skills you may wish for the system which is you/your body to fluidly move between.

For example, in the book "The Overstory" which you recommended (so I assume you read), and I am currently reading, the character Neelay Mehta focuses solely on coding and only does the bare minimum to keep his body alive in order to continue coding. OTOH, in another new and recommended novel, "Lake Success" , the finance bro protagonist was a devoted nerd as a child, but in early adolescence made great, overt effort to practice his "friendship moves" and therefore ended up as great success in world of sales rather than quant work. It seems to me that Alaska might be too difficult an environment in which to practice new skills, but Thailand might be too easy. I offer this opinion based on the experience of twice being in long-term relationship with a man after his King-of-the-Global-Dating-Matrix phase.



*engaging in cognition with the environment

theanimal
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Re: the animal's journal

Post by theanimal »

@frihet- I've looked into Wim Hof's method before but haven't ever made any serious attempts at the practice. I'll look through your links. Thanks!

@ego- I remember you posting something similar as well. It was one of the first things I thought of when slowtraveler suggested going to Thailand. I can't seem to find it either, but I did find this:
Ego wrote:
Thu Jul 30, 2015 9:02 pm
... Here in Bali I find myself tripping over people who are posing in radiant bliss. I want to punch them in the face. How so very compassionate of me.
:lol:

Bali looks very interesting.

@Colibri- It sounds like we have opposite dynamics. Here everyone seems to be in a relationship and in the process of settling down with very few actively pursuing you describe. That's interesting as I imagine the places aren't that different in terms of the types of people. Will let you know if I'm ever heading through!

@7wb5- If I understand what you're saying, you are suggesting that it may be better to find something in the middle? Something that offers practice, but not enough ease to make that practice unnecessary?

7Wannabe5
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Re: the animal's journal

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

Actually, on second thought, I am going to back-off of what I suggested above. Correct me if I am wrong, but the problem in your current locale isn't that there aren't any attractive women, but rather that the only attractive women are already "taken." You may wish to seek confirmation from other members of blue-haired matron guild, but in my estimation and experience, if he isn't her husband or her live-in baby-daddy or one of your best friends, then it's fair game for you to throw your hat in the ring, because either she wants commitment or she doesn't, so either she doesn't have what she wants yet or she's choosing to remain open to other possibilities. So, it comes down to more difficult version of the same skill set you have to obtain and keep sharpened, even within the context of another-Saturday-night-in-long-term-committed-relationship which is active pursuit. Based on what slowtraveler has written about his adventures in Thailand, it seems like the skill set needed in that locale would be more like filtering females who are pursuing you. I suppose it would likely also offer more straight-up practice of in-the-sack skills, but once some girl is chasing you down the street on a mini-bike, she's likely going to be 9/10 there already.

theanimal
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Re: the animal's journal

Post by theanimal »

Forestry work is coming to a close. One more week and I'm done for the season. The last few weeks have been really enjoyable with great weather and lots of work in the mountains. I don't have definite plans for the winter yet. It appears I'm getting a promotion (including pay raise) with the insurance gig. That makes it all the more attractive option as I can work as much as I please and head out on some trips I'd like to do.

On my last break, a friend and I went sheep hunting in Wrangell-St. Elias N.P. We didn't have any luck with the sheep but had a great time nonetheless. That area is where I had my NOLS course and it was great to be back travelling through that country. It is really beautiful. I experimented with a little filming on this trip and made a little movie. If you're interested in watching, here's the link:https://youtu.be/r1Un4Lb39IU

Otherwise I'm really looking forward to September! I have a moose hunt in a couple weeks and will be set net fishing on the Yukon not long after that. I do have a couple hiking/packrafting trips I'm looking to go on as well so its shaping up for a fun month.

Hope everyone is enjoying the end of summer/early fall!

Image

Image

Image

2Birds1Stone
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Re: the animal's journal

Post by 2Birds1Stone »

Your pictures are always breathtaking. Which mountain range is the second one?

theanimal
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Re: the animal's journal

Post by theanimal »

2Birds1Stone wrote:
Fri Aug 30, 2019 4:12 pm
Your pictures are always breathtaking. Which mountain range is the second one?
Thanks, the landscape does most of the work :) . That's the Wrangells.

theanimal
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Re: the animal's journal

Post by theanimal »

Well moose hunting didn't go as I would have hoped. My partner bailed on our original plan and I had to scramble last minute to work something out by myself before the season ended. I didn't spend much time out. However, after becoming frustrated with what I thought was a poor choice in area on the first day, I caught a glimpse of a bull just before descending a hill. He was about 600 yds away with a stream and plenty of brush between us. He responded well to the call and came closer quite quickly, halving the distance within 10 minutes. He was in an open area but too far for me to shoot. I made the decision to descend and try to call him from below. I never saw him again. In hindsight, I acted too rashly and should have descended first, getting myself into a better position (there was one) to where I could take a shot before calling. That all happened on day one. I didn't see any other moose. Oh well. There is a winter hunt opening up in a couple of weeks and I'm going to try my hand at that with a couple of friends. There is also a caribou hunt a week after. So odds are somewhat favorable that my freezer will see some fresh meat soon.

I've been set net fishing on the Yukon River and have had great success. This is far easier than dip netting (what I do to catch the salmon discussed in my previous posts) and involves 3.5 hrs less travel time than the Copper River (one way!). There is no limit here since it's a subsistence fishery. I went with friends for the day a week ago and caught 11. A mix of salmon, whitefish and pike. I went again yesterday and spent the night. This time I caught 49!! Mostly salmon, but also whitefish, pike and burbot. I conservatively estimate that my total catch (of the 49) is 140 lbs. The permit is free and the cost is essentially just gas and depreciation of the net. Well under $0.50/lb. Some friends want to go back and I may get some more at no additional cost (I'm the only one with a net). Almost nobody here does this! It's insane, I feel like I've found a real life cheat code. Next year I'm going to go in the summer as well and put out a net for king salmon. If only hunting were this easy...

Piano is going really well! I finally got to the point where playing with two hands is natural again and am making steady progression. I've been playing everyday when I'm home for 45 min-1 hr. My parents made all my siblings and I play the piano and I ended up playing for 7 years. I really enjoy it a lot now and am happy to have this keyboard from my friend. She's letting me keep it at least through the winter, maybe longer. It's really easy to pick it back up with all the tutorials online. If YouTube was around when I was younger I think there was a good chance I would've stuck with it instead of quitting.

I joined a Salsa class! It's been a lot of fun so far. I don't have much to say on that. Maybe eventually we can have Dancing with the Stars:ERE. I'll have to practice a lot more before that, I wouldn't want to get too embarrassed by @FBeyer.

The pay raise happened and I'm now making $25/hr. The work is more stimulating and engaging than what I was doing previously. A lot more time in excel and playing with data. Still working from home on my own schedule so I'm going to leave it at that.

While I had my net out I started to reread the ERE book again. It's been at least a couple years now since I last read it. Far too long for me. I find reading the book really recenters my beliefs and gets my actions back on track. It is my version of a cleanse. No lentils though... I have become softer living in the urban environment. My mom has poked fun at me and thrown some barbs a couple times this year. The first was when I bought a mattress and the second was when she found I have a 2nd monitor for my laptop. "You lived in a 12 x 12 cabin with no phone and no internet. You are getting sofffft!" She says it in jest but I know it to be true. I still do plenty of things that I and others deem challenging and hard. Yet, I've found myself slipping with regards to problem solving. Back sliding into purchasing solutions instead of solving them more than I should. "Oh I can just work extra to pay for it." No more!

My biggest expense far and away is housing. It's slightly more than half my monthly expenses. I've thought a lot over the past few years about alternative options. This area is VERY favorable to alternative forms of housing but many of them are impracticable due to the nature of the area, mainly the cold. Things like RV, van, yurt/tent living go out the window. Yurt could be done (and is by some here) but I think it's kind of stupid as it just means you are cutting a ton of wood. There is plenty of raw/slightly improved land to build a cabin on up here but at current costs I don't think it would drop my housing costs as significantly as I'd like. I've been toying with the tiny house idea. I have friends who have told me I can build a cabin on their land so location is secured. We'll see.

theanimal
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Re: the animal's journal

Post by theanimal »

I've been offered a timber cruising job in off the coast in northern California. I haven't given an answer yet. I'm somewhat on the fence but leaning towards no. I would be working on my own and responsible for my own living situation. If I did it, I would just camp and base myself out of the car. The project continues through Aug 2021 but the work is only done over the winters. It would be a few months commitment. The pros are the job itself (work I enjoy) and the potential to meet new people (although the area is not very populated and I would be working by myself). The cons are not being in AK (very big for me) and being away from friends here. I would be making upwards of $6k+ per month with no per diem. I'm going to take the weekend to think about it before giving my final answer.

Mister Imperceptible
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Re: the animal's journal

Post by Mister Imperceptible »

Jack London combined experience in AK with his experience in the Pacific and in the Bay Area to weave a rich tapestry.

I vote yes.

7Wannabe5
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Re: the animal's journal

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

Then he died at age 40 of dysentery and late-stage alcoholism. I vote no.

Mister Imperceptible
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Re: the animal's journal

Post by Mister Imperceptible »


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C40
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Re: the animal's journal

Post by C40 »

Would you leave Alaska entirely? Or do the winers working in CA and AK the rest?

theanimal
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Re: the animal's journal

Post by theanimal »

No, it would not be a permanent move. I think at most something like a 6 month stint, more likely 4-5 months. I really like the winters up here, especially the second half from late February to late April. At the moment I can't imagine doing this for more than 1 season.

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Ego
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Re: the animal's journal

Post by Ego »

Is timber cruising a skill you were looking to cultivate? This is a step up from what you were doing before, right? Would you keep your place in AK? The pay seems good but how much will you have to shell out for lodging. I'd imagine that living in a car in northern CA could get mighty cold. Do other employees with the same job typically have an RV?

theanimal
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Re: the animal's journal

Post by theanimal »

The forestry work I have been doing for the past couple summers contained timber cruising as one component of what we did. With this being the sole focus, it'd likely be much easier because of that. There may be a few minor differences but I think the biggest thing would just be learning the different tree species, which wouldn't be too challenging. It would be a step up in pay. The work I did for the govt did not sit well with the crew I was part of for both seasons as we were able to work quickly and efficiently, finishing before other crews and getting paid less for it. Since this is paid per each unit completed, the incentives are now in my favor. I do enjoy this work and would prefer to do it within AK but the equivalent company up here doesn't have work for more people until the spring.

The housing is something I've been trying to think through. If I were to go, it seems like it would be stupid to keep renting the place I'm at. I think I could either get a storage unit or stash stuff at a friends.

I'm not entirely sure what people do for housing. In the summer, I believe most camp but in winter I think motels and the like become more attractive options. I could pick up a trailer here for cheap now since the seasons over and likely sell it for a small profit in the spring. Otherwise camping would be fine. I think we might have a significantly different frame of reference for what constitutes as mighty cold. ;)

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Ego
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Re: the animal's journal

Post by Ego »

Hah! Truer words were never spoken.

theanimal
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Re: the animal's journal

Post by theanimal »

I turned down the job. I have a hard time being on my own for extended periods as it is and that situation wouldn't do anything to help that. Maybe some other time.

I've been going through another lonely/down stretch lately. I've gone from experiencing loneliness due to almost never being around humans (when I lived in the Arctic) to experiencing loneliness due to being surrounded by humans but lacking meaningful connections. Once again, much of it is due to the area I'm living in. I came to the realization last week that not only are there very few single women here but there are very few single men. I tried to think of the number of single men I know counting all friends and acquaintances and came up with 2... Everywhere else I've lived, I've had no issue establishing a group of close male friends. Here I've found that to be very hard to do. I think a lot of it has to do with the couple centric culture and the home based social scene. Unlike most other urban areas, Fairbanks nightlife and social experiences outside the home (in some other building) is essentially non existent. BBQs, potlucks, game nights and outdoor activities/trips are the most common options here.

As I've mentioned previously, I currently work from home. This means that unless I make an effort, I won't be seeing people during the day or if I do my interactions are transactional/basic (library interactions, grocery checkout etc). I can do fine with a few days of this but for extended periods I do NOT do well and get VERY down. Since living here, I've tried to establish a lot of friendships and set up things to do during the week with others. Big ones are running, swimming, skiing and dinners. On really good weeks I'll have 4+ days of these types of interactions. On average it's probably more like 2. This is still too few for me. It's hard to increase as my friends are either too maxed out from their daily commitments or have something going on with their boyfriend/girlfriend. So far I've tried to mitigate this by getting into other activities and trying to make more friends. I've been taking a salsa class once a week and recently started doing brazilian jiu jitsu every day. They help, but I haven't found them to be the solution. Part of me is very frustrated that I have to try all this stuff out and learn (which I do truly want to anyways) just to meet my social needs while friends (at least those that are in a relationship) seemingly carry on without this issue. But the alternative sucks and is not something I want to embrace.

So ideas I'm left with is volunteering and/or taking a part time job. I've only started looking into this recently, so nothing really here yet.

Of course an easy answer would be to move. I really love Alaska though and can't see myself anywhere else at the moment. There is such a large difference between cultures here and the rest of the United States.

So for now, I find myself stuck between a rock and a hard place.

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Ego
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Re: the animal's journal

Post by Ego »

Would a coworking space help? There would be a cost, but you might meet people in the same boat.

TopHatFox
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Re: the animal's journal

Post by TopHatFox »

Maybe an extended travel trip where you practice day approaches, and then bring the lovely lass to live with you in Alaska? :D

You can only do so much with a poor dating location, no matter your resolve. The meal is as good as the chef and the ingredients, but the chef can only do so much with poor ingredients. What about moving a bit south to Canada, western Montana, or CO?

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