Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I'm Happy To Not Go To Fairbanks

In my 24 continuous residence in this state I've had a total of about 6 hours in Fairbanks that I would consider a good time. 2.5 hours watching the Seawolves win a game they shouldn't have and 3.5 hours getting drunk after watching the Seawolves lose a game they shouldn't have. I wouldn't classify the number of trips I've made to Fairbanks as extensive. Over the years I guess I've found actual reasons to go there about 10 times. I made two separate trips to watch the Seawovles play. One trip for work. One trip for the stupidest soccer tournament ever held in any city. And the other 6 times (or so) ranged from passing through to actually having Fairbanks as the destination.

I know there are plenty of people that live and work there who are quite fond of their little berg. Good on them. They have some hidden character trait that I don't. I'm quite sure there are plenty of people that live and work there who are simply stuck there. Poor bastards.

In summer the single defining characteristic of the place is mosquitos. Anything else is a distant second to the predominant nastiness of the bloodsucking menace. From what I could tell there really is no part of the town that could be considered as a respite from them. And everyone smells like deet (bug dope ... oh um .. insect repellent for you "outsiders"). Ever see what deet does to styrofoam? I spilled some on a coffee cup once ... it melted it minutes. I never put that crap on my skin again. It's a stretch to blame Fairbanks for deet's problems that but hey don't think for a second that I'm not capable of making such a connection. If you can manage to get far enough away from the deet-imbued populace then you're likely as not to be nasally innundated by smoke from some nearby wildfire. There is no real fall or spring in Fairbanks so lets talk about winter. -60F maximums (or would that be minimums) with below zero temperatures often lasting more than a month. Do I really need to say more. Ok then ... Ice Fog. How about vehicles running 24 hours a day to keep them from freezing up. At times you can't escape the sound of a diesel engine F350 clattering away in any part of the city. And of course there is the darkness ... lots of darkness (ok ok ... 2 hours and 42 minutes of "daylight" on the winter solstice).

Fairbanks served as a useful centralized trading post and destination through the first half of the 1900s. Once established it served as a useful destination for the Alaska-Canada highway. Over 1/3 of employment is on one government payroll or another. The city's "big-time" was during the pipeline building days when assholes like George W. Bush could be found in one or another of the many bars and/or whorehouses boozing it up and snorting cocaine (you voted for him .. not me). Nowadays the place is home to the world's largest battery backup system for the electric utility as well as one of the largest compost heaps in North America! Woohoo! Hey, don't underrate compost.

Since there really isn't much logical need for Fairbanks to exist in this modern era the University of Alaska system decided it was best to put most of it's investment in education into the area in order to keep the place a viable community. uaF has most of the really quality science programs the University system offers. Even though the place is at minimum 400 miles from ANY ocean it is home to the Ocean Studies program. They get pretty much all the Geological study money as well. Not surprisingly, uaF has the premier competive riflery program in the United States. I know if I lived there I'd want to sit in my basement and shoot things. Lastly, the absolute stupidest road in the United States runs right down the middle of Fairbanks. No matter why you go to Fairbanks you'll have to navigate it at some point. What makes it so stupid? For some unknown reason, an apparently drug-addled engineer put 8 foot chain link fences on each side of the road for nearly it's entire length. To get to Airport Way from virtually any business along it's borders requires backtracking in one direction or the other. It is unfathomable. If you wanted to walk 50 yards across the street you might have to cover a mile to get the job done. Crazyworld.

Don't go there if you don't have to. I don't have to since GCI will be televising the games. If they weren't being shown on TV, I still wouldn't go. I'd listen to mah man Kurt Haider on the radio. In fact, if I never have to go to Fairbanks again that will suit me just fine. Did I mention paying 140 dollars for a hotel room that used under-sized flatsheets instead of a regualr bottom sheet and when I questioned them they vehemently insisted that was common practice for any hotel room in the United States. I almost forgot ... state representative Jay Ramras lives there and bilks tourists out of their money; having that podunk ass in the vicinity acts as another deterent to any visit from me. A fact that no doubt makes lots of Fairbanks residents quite happy.

I'll preview Maine on Wednesday and Mercyhurst on Thursday.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

are u sure its on gci?

Suze said...

It's on the gci website

Anonymous said...

Donald your right win or lose Fairbanks loses because there stuck in the Artic Gettho.

Kris said...

Correction, Fairbanks is 360 miles from Anchorage. Anchorage on the coast of turnagain and knik arms. That makes squarebanks like 360 miles from the nearest coast. Sorry just had to say it.

Suze said...

Very funny write up Donald, and I agree 100%. Gotta put a quote on the USCHO for ya, too good to pass up. LOL

One more thing about the city, their streets are sheets of ice and they don't sand. Road maintenance is dismal.

Anonymous said...

I say Final Score Uaa 3 Maine 2....In Faircraptasticbanks...

Anonymous said...

I hear SCSU is scheduled to play in the Anchorage tourney in the next year or two...true?

Kris said...

Next year is Michigan and U-Mass Lowell according to ADN's story on Saturday's recap. Obviously it will also include the "two" hosts. I say that with some amount of sarcasm but it still makes me sick. I can't believe the Ath. Dept. and the Sully can make those cranny lovers feel like they are playing at home.

The year after that I have no idea. We have done conference foes before but I thought that we were trying to stay away from that. Of course with the new "scheduling arrangement" either the nookies or the Wolves would almost have to play a conference foe every now and then. There are only so many other teams out there.

Marquette Mo said...

Wow. Sounds like a pretty place to take the whole family. Thanks for the great write-up. As a Northern Michigan guy, I'll try to avoid that trip if it ever comes up. I'll fake a knife wound if I have to.

Anonymous said...

Hey Donald Dunlop, U Are A loser. I heard the real reason you don't like Fairbanks is you were cited for soliciting sex..From a straight hitchhiker who ended up beating you up. When you reported the assault was not the ass-ault you were hoping for the police laughed and told you not to come back. hahahah

I think it is probably a good idea if you stay in Anchorage - there is not much of a homosexual community in Fairbanks and definitely no gay bars. Oh you already know that don't you? So no hard feelings but please be honest in describing why you don't like the town.

Post a Comment