Nick Varney

Nick Varney

Unhinged Alaska: Enough is enough

Ole Mother Nature must have misplaced her backup box of vintage dregs from a Cold Duck wine vat.

OK, OK, enough is enough. Ole Mother Nature must have misplaced her backup box of vintage dregs from a Cold Duck wine vat.

She is flat cranky and throwing an ice-hearted snit about whatever has her uninsulated thong in a twist.

Normally I’m a big fan of hers, but when she starts spewing hellcat winds and dumping snow from skyborne avalanches that require a metal detector to locate our rigs in the morning, we are going to have serious issues.

This is the time of year I usually transition into the critical phase of my holiday shopping because the stores aren’t jammed with Black Friday mosh pits featuring frenzied shoppers cage squabbling over anything with a red tag and no pulse and it’s still way too early for the panicked stampedes on Christmas Eve.

Plus, I have a secret to share. I’ve actually listened to my bride’s subtle suggestions over the year and won’t require a Yuletide gift guide survival manual like certain buds of mine who sport a special-lady-shopping-I.Q. of a kale chip.

One would think they’d catch a clue after their significant other has been posting pictures of her dream gifts around the house since August.

Come on guys, pick at least one of them just to avoid another last-minute panicked purchase of the only pair of adult slippers left on a warehouse’s footwear shelf. Especially, if they come anywhere near the entrancing pair of slip-ons you snapped up last year just before the doors closed. Not cool. Women prefer a bit more elegance than something reflecting the startled look of a bunny head flip flop just goosed by sudden insertion of someone’s big toe.

You’ve been warned.

By the way, if these mutant storms continue to be thrown at us by the riled-up Lady M, this year bargain hunts are going to be approached in a much different manner. Not only because of her petulant attitude, but a plethora of other asides such as rusted-in-place supply chains, the red glare of rocketing inflation, and my ability to get to town without being ingested by an industrial snow blower or adding a moose ornament compliments of a white out.

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m sure she will eventually slow her roll and we’ll return to the time of moderation when frozen stuff is cool again.

Take for example, snow cones. They can be delectable if they are not the type capping your teeth while trudging into the brunt of a white-out.

As for ice? Hey, it’s a great addition to an adult beverage quaffed in front of a warm hearth while a blizzard rages outside. Icicles can be beautiful unless they are being wielded by an unhinged proctologist or hanging from your eyebrows. And let’s not forget how a plethora of frozen substances enhance ice hockey, skiing and snowmachining along with their soothing qualities when applied to areas of the body sprained, maimed, smashed and totaled by participating in the aforementioned sports.

But, as for now, Ma is continuing her exasperating and vexatious ways.

Remember just a few weeks ago when that bonehead Zeus was on a tear waterlogging the region turning the surrounding area into swampville rather than prospective skating ponds and cross-country ski trails? Well, that disastrous outlook certainly came to an abrupt end.

Enter the sneaky enchantress to refrigerate the area and brew up a soft comforter of fluffy crystals enticing us to cavort in the wilderness. Then, wham, just as we are into a full winter-play mode, the old gal has an ethics seizure and throws an inlet-effect snow tantrum along with a full tilt wind storm.

Special Dull Note: In more serious and solemn scientific terms … The heavy snow was due in large part to an area of snow banding, that produced localized heavier amounts of snow across southern portions of the Kenai Peninsula. This mesoscale event is pretty typical in affecting the intensity and magnitude of the snowfall, which is why areas of Homer saw significant snowfall and your eyes glazed over reading about it.

Anyway, you still have a bit of time before Santa rumbles into the state so you might want head out on a few local sales safaris if the weather breaks when the she-devil gets her wine keg topped off.

Yeah, I know, I know. It’ll be tough trying to decide between a new Peloton bike or using the money for Christmas dinner ingredients and the gas needed for a round trip to pick up the cornucopia of goodies.

Hang in there, according to some government soothsayers this inflation is but a temporary blip and what you order today should arrive no later than Christmas 2022.

Wishing you all a beautiful and peaceful Merry Christmas and a much-deserved happier New Year.

Nick can be reached at ncvarney@gmail.com.

More in Life

Virginia Walters (Courtesy photo)
Life in the Pedestrian Lane: Downtime

Now here we are, two-thirds of the way through the longest month of the year

Robert “Bob” Huttle, posing here next to Cliff House, spent the night in this cabin in April 1934 and mused about a possible murder there. (Photo courtesy of the Huttle Collection)
Twists and turns in the history of Cliff House — Part 2

How much of the doctor’s actions Bob Huttle knew when he stayed in Cliff House 10 years later is difficult to know.

Achieving the crispy, flaky layers of golden goodness of a croissant require precision and skill. (Photo by Tresa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
On the strawberry patch: Reaching the pinnacle of patisserie

Croissants take precision and skill, but the results can be delightful

This 1940s-era image is one of few early photographs of Cliff House, which once stood near the head of Tustumena Lake. (Photo courtesy of the Secora Collection)
Twists and turns in the history of Cliff House — Part 1

Here, then, is the story of Cliff House, as least as I know it now.

File
Minister’s Message: What’s in a name?

The Scriptures advise, “A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches.”

Visitors put on personal protective equipment before an artist talk by Dr. Sami Ali' at the Jan. 7, 2022, First Friday opening of her exhibit, "The Mind of a Healthcare Worker During the COVID-19 Pandemic," at the Homer Council on the Arts in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
ER doctor’s paintings follow passage of pandemic

Dr. Sami Ali made 2019 resolution to paint every day — and then the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

Almond flour adds a nuttiness to this carrot cake topped with cream cheese frosting. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
On the strawberry patch: A ‘perfect day’ cake

Carrot cake and cream cheese frosting make for a truly delicious day off

File
Minister’s Message: A prayer pulled from the ashes

“In that beleaguered and beautiful land, the prayer endures.”

A copy of “The Year of Magical Thinking” by author Joan Didion is displayed on an e-reader. (Photo by Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Off the Shelf: Didion’s “Year of Magical Thinking” is a timely study on grief

‘The last week of 2021 felt like a good time to pick up one of her books.’

Megan Pacer / Homer News
Artist Asia Freeman, third from left, speaks to visitors on Nov. 1, 2019, at a First Friday art exhibit opening at Kachemak Bay Campus in Homer.
Freeman wins Governor’s Arts Humanities Award

Bunnell Street Arts Center artistic director is one of nine honored.

Zirrus VanDevere’s pieces are displayed at the Kenai Art Center on Jan. 4, 2022. (Courtesy Alex Rydlinski)
A journey of healing

VanDevere mixes shape, color and dimension in emotional show