Nick Varney

Nick Varney

Uninged Alaska: The dawn of winter

During the Code 3 pursuit, I noticed that I could see my vitriol firing breath which was a signal that the seasonal clock had just struck mid fall

While I was embattled with an obnoxious woodpecker practicing wicked acid-jazz beats on our logs this morning, a small flock of chittering sea ducks cruised over the cabin and appeared to cheer the relentless wood vandal on.

I didn’t think much about the incident until after the pile-driving, iron jawbone with feathers abruptly decided to jet toward Costa Rica after spotting what resembled an enraged Sasquatch fuming his way snarling epithets that would embarrass a Navy Seal instructor.

During the Code 3 pursuit, I noticed that I could see my vitriol firing breath which was a signal that the seasonal clock had just struck mid fall.

I wasn’t surprised. Local cranes had begun prepping to blow out of here ever since they detected the fading daylight hours and the emergent chill of autumn. So, once they finished their offsprings’ flight formation training, schooled them in basic shotgun pellets avoidance maneuvers and bulked up, they joined other gathering flocks and launched south for warmer climes and frost-free beaks just as September dipped toward its conclusion.

Things really drop a gear around here when the tourist activity winds down below a slight tic on the hamlet’s Thundering Invasion meter and the RV crowd swarms south in a migration of mongo motor homes sporting roofs that could serve as alternative launch platforms for Predator drones.

You can almost hear the doors slam as seasonal vendors begin to shut down and campsites become emptier than a mid-winter nudist beach in Nome.

The expression “nice flats” normally associated with the type of fillets in the freezer morph into a term associated with bragging rights about the size of big screen TVs covering the walls in man caves that have more leather seating than custom Hawgs at a Sturgis biker’s rally.

Yet as October continues to spiral down a glassy slope of a developing winter, hard-cores will still be adding to their delicious stashes of smoked, canned, frozen, fermented, pickled, and honey cured seafood. They might even take a shot at another a new secret recipe from weird Uncle Fred for salmon caviar that usually results in something that only he and his acutely deranged cat can stomach.

College and NFL Football have kicked into high gear along with flying hockey sticks and political dust ups making our legislators look like they’ve spent way too many hours working out doing sit-ups under parked cars.

Customers are bellowing at the oil dudes for price gouging while the black-gold backers are talking smack pointing out that they consider the clueless gang ruling the government is a collection of rusting mental tools standing in the way of the U.S. developing its own resources.

Both sides are shooting so much hot gas into the atmosphere, they could reduce global warming by 50 percent if they’d just clam up enough to quit distorting the quality of the night’s lunar beams thus trashing the my “nocturnal skies grooves.”

Believe it or not, I have received several emails asking what action I was going to take to conserve fuel and fight global warming. A couple of them even encouraged me to bike to town. Great idea but I sold my Harley years ago and I’m now sporting a back that gets downright cantankerous when I pull myself into the cab of my truck. The final curtain has come down on my deep rumbling cruises and “wheelie” days.

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not in any team’s trench when it comes to the global warming question. Yes, the climate is going through another transformation cycle but give it a rest with the cow fart theories or creating a “solar shield” in space by mining the moon of millions of tons of its dust and then “ballistically ejecting” it to a point in space about 1 million miles from Earth, where the floating grains would partially block incoming sunlight. Jeeze.

As for the global warming issues, less than cerebral celebrities should stay out of it before doing something lacking basic forethought.

I remember when ole “Indiana Jones” star Harrison Ford once made a regrettable appearance during a Conservation International TV ad in 2008.

He had his chest waxed and his hair ripped out to raise awareness about the effects of deforestation on global warming for which I immediately awarded him a ten+ on my “Significant Loon” scale.

What the hell was that supposed to prove? I would have been much more impressed if he would have moved the whole procedure south of his personal equator line where his “deforestation” would have brought tears to every man on the planet. My buddy Turk suggested that we trim a few nose hairs in solidarity.

But I digress. Let’s get back to readying ourselves for the winter and the froth-inducing debates to follow.

With major elections on the horizon, international anxieties, and the barren lands of TV reruns to roam after the dark days of the writers’ strike, there will be a plethora of issues to raise hackles and a ruckus about.

Batten down the hatches.

Nick can be reached at ncvarney@gmail.com if he isn’t still trying to convince the spruce log assassin to take a free first-class luxury seat to the tropics via his wrist rocket special.

More in Life

tease
Getting creative with camping

Making healthy, diverse meals while outdoors takes some planning

James Franklin Bush was arrested and jailed for vagrancy and contributing to the delinquency of minors in California in 1960, about a year before the murder in Soldotna of Jack Griffiths. (Public document from ancestry.com)
A violent season — Part 4

James Franklin “Jim” Bush stood accused of the Soldotna murder of Jack Griffiths in October 1961

Will Morrow (courtesy)
Hard to say goodbye

I’ve mentioned in the past that I’ve been perfectly happy with my 14-year-old, base model pickup truck.

File
Minister’s Message: Faith will lead to God’s abundance

Abundance is in many aspects of our lives, some good and some not.

Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion
Lisa Parker, vice mayor of Soldotna, celebrates after throwing the ceremonial first pitch before a game between the Peninsula Oilers and the Mat-Su Miners on Tuesday, July 4, 2023, at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai.
Kenai and Soldotna square off once more in ‘King of the River Food Drive’

Food can be donated at the food bank or at either city’s chamber of commerce

These noodles are made with only three ingredients, but they require a bit of time, patience, and a lot of elbow grease. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
Filling the time with noodles

These noodles are made with only three ingredients, but they require a bit of time, patience and a lot of elbow grease

[csC1—]Jack and Alice Griffiths, owners of the Circus Bar, pose together in about 1960. (Public photo from familysearch.org)
A violent season — Part 3

The second spirit, said Cunningham, belonged to Jack Griffiths….

Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion
The Kenai Potter’s Guild’s annual exhibition, “Clay on Display,” is seen at the Kenai Art Center on Tuesday.
Expression in a teapot at July art center show

Kenai Art Center’s annual pottery show takes front gallery, with memories of Japan featured in the back

Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion
Attendees take food from a buffet during the grand opening of Siam Noodles and Food in Kenai on Tuesday.
Soldotna Thai restaurant expands to Kenai

The restaurant is next to Jersey Subs in Kenai where Thai Town used to be located

Ruth Ann and Oscar Pederson share smiles with young Vicky, a foster daughter they were trying to adopt in 1954. This front-page photograph appeared in the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner on June 17, 1954.
A violent season — Part 2

Triumph, tragedy and mystery

Nick Varney
Unhinged Alaska: Sometimes it’s not cool to mention heat

Thanks for the joke fest material rolling into our Unhinged Alaska headquarters folks but chill out.