Its no fun, with(out) illegal aliens

OK, so fine, its a Sunday, its a slow day for news. But as I will not get anything done tomorrow (job interview, ghastly journey, at weird hour) for sure, I thought I’d throw something out, and then if I dont post again till Wednesday, no one can say anything!

Fine, I know, politics, not a good idea on something like this, but each to their own, just remember my political views dont necessarily match yours! Yes, I match Jean Harlow, Democrat by nature lol. And no, that doesnt make me a Hilary fan, either! In fact, if it was her, against say, Kasich, I’d vote Kasich! Yes, I know!

But this isnt about a quiet mannered, sensible politician, this is about Hurricane Donald. Thats right, cant stand the man! But one of his claims is that he will rid the US of all illegal immigrants. Yes, I saw an article about this, which doesnt make this idea so great.

It seems if this happened, the US farming, fishing, care, and construction industries would just about grind to a halt. Yes, large percentages of workers in those industries are illegal immigrants! And I’m talking at a minimum level of about 16%, some a lot, lot more! The other one that got mentioned that had special meaning to me, was the food service industry. Especially the fast food industry! Why does that have special meaning to me? Oh, maybe because I was offered a job in that industry, back in 2003, despite no paperwork to do so. No, I’m not naming the franchise, but its a well known one, and they knew I didnt (at that point) have the paperwork to work there, but they didnt care, they offered me a job!

Yes, in hindsight, I did the crazy thing, and said no, and flew back to the UK instead. I guess the thrill of handing over fast food to customers didnt quite hold enough appeal for me! But yes, fine, I could have got in the US as a worker, and who knows where it might have led from there?

Oh, the other amusing fact, if all the illegal immigrants in the US could even be found, and were dispatched over the border, on 650 buses a day, and none got back in, it would take over 20 years to clear them all out! So seriously, its not going to happen!

No, I’m not saying I want to come in as an illegal immigrant, but I’d love to come in, even only temporarily, as a genuine one. So if any businessman (I think I’ve burnt my bridge with Mr Trump somehow) wants to sponsor me, to work, in the US, doing anything reasonable, please, give me the chance!

Someone tells me the US gives £20,000 to anyone moving to Alaska, is that true? If so, I assume thats only open to Americans, right? If not, if someone in Anchorage wants to offer me a sponsored job, even better! Please, let me know, someone.

OK, the video. Yes, no originality in the choice here!

To take you to his mansion in Nome

Fine, challenge, anyone that can work out what the video is tonight, before you look, I’m seriously impressed, because this is about as cryptic as they get. There will be a possible clue before we get there, which might help, but even so…

Last year, I achieved something that I never thought I would, as I’m not one of those workers who flies everywhere (Yes, Kate, I’m only teasing you x), I always thought that gaining any real status on the couple of airlines I’m a frequent flyer on, would be way beyond my abilities. Then of course, I flew to LA twice, in the same year, with the same pair of airlines, and lo and behold, I hit silver status with Delta Airlines (video clue, here), until the end of 2016, with of course, the possibility for more. Except for the fact, that as things stand, getting to fly anywhere this year, seems to be becoming an impossible dream! Yes, so frustrating. Even more so, given that I so want to make a flight in my new name, but anyway…

Oh, for the curious, the other I have membership of, American Airlines. I used to have both them, and US Airways, before they amalgamated, but I’m not even close to any form of status there, all the same. But yes, Delta is the one I want to fly with this year, given the chance!

And this weekend at least, where would I love to fly to? Why, Anchorage. An extension to Nome would be even more heavenly, but being in Anchorage would do me just fine. Why? Because as I write this, the ceremonial start, through the city, of the Iditarod is taking place. The race proper, starts tomorrow, a little way out of town in Willow. Then 85 incredibly brave teams, will set off, for just under 1000 miles of Alaskan wilderness, until they reach Nome. No, are you kidding, I wouldnt do that for a million dollars, even now! But would I love to see them set off, or even better, finish, you bet I would!

Maybe one day I will finally get to Alaska, its my dream. Being practical, at my age, and with my health issues (joints), I’d have to do overnight stops en route, both ways, if I did. So fine, even if the financial situation ever improves, its not likely to happen until post retirement, simply because of time issues, in my life. So I suspect it will be one of my dreams, to my dying days, somehow, getting to Alaska. No, not in March, too cold in all probability, but at any point in the year, would be good.

Oh fine, the video. If you managed to get the cryptic clues worked out, and come up with this song from 1973, I’m impressed. Somehow, I doubt anyone did!

On the road again

OK, for the second night running, lets start with some depressing news, the death last night of Lauren Bacall, at the age of 89. At least in this case it was natural causes, unlike yesterday’s.

Rest in peace, you will be missed.

On a more light hearted note, a few here will know, in terms of US states visited, I’m quite well travelled. 21 visited in fact, not bad for a Brit. I’m sure there are Americans with a ‘full set’, and plenty of others with more than me, but given that 18 of those have come in the previous 10 years, its not bad. Yes, 3 of the New England states, (Connecticut, Rhode Island and New Hampshire) were only visited in 1988, but the rest have either been visited again, or for the first time since 2003.

I think the one that would amuse most Brit’s that I havent visited, is one of the most popular states with us, Florida. No, never been there, and to be honest, its not at the top of my list, even excluding the 3 I will add to the collection next month. Kansas, and Missouri obviously, and I’m flying via Atlanta, so I can ‘state bag’ Georgia as well! Unless I get to Vermont in November (that state, and Maine are the only 2 in the North East I’m missing), I’m not quite sure when I even get to halfway.

Most of the misses are obvious ones, Alaska (I’d love to) and Hawaii really are too far, and the ‘redneck/deep south’ states really arent on my list, beyond maybe Alabama, due to someone I know online. Funnily enough, the other big miss is the Mid West, and Rockies zone, but at least I can right that a bit.

I’d like to hit 25 clearly, halfway point and all that. In a sense, I’d love to reach 30, but no idea how its going to happen. But for now, I look on it as a challenge, and maybe one day, probably when retired (and before health insurance goes crazy) I can get to Alaska, by splitting the journey both ways.

But for now, in just 4 and a half weeks time, I’ll be on the road again.

No, not Canned Heat, nor Willie Nelson, though I did consider both. But as a 30’s girl, this is probably far more suitable lol

Beyond the bit on the You Tube page, I know nothing about them

Like a ghost town

Lets get in another Iditarod related piece before the race is over. I know, it wont happen until next week, but I have only 1 chance in the next 9 days to blog, so lets go with it, while I can.

About a century ago, give or take a few years, Iditarod had a population of about 10,000 people. Nearby Flat, had a number between 6-8,000 depending on tales, and given their proximity, there may have been some double counting in there. On what is now the northern race route, was a much smaller community, Ophir, that got to between 100, and 200 people living in the area.

Now all have one thing in common, all are ghost towns. Iditarod was the first one to go, despite having been the largest, by the mid 1930’s, it was all but gone. Though strict ghost status only dates to this century, when the last trapper moved out of one of the derelict buildings, when he reckoned that the race coming through every 2 years made the place too lively for comfort!

Ophir survived the war years, but somewhere around the early 50’s, the gold ran out, and so did the last few people surviving there, heading for other points presumably?

Flat actually survived as a community until 10 years ago, though by then the population had dropped to 5! Then the post office closed, and like the mail, people no longer came to town. Funnily enough, the only one of the three not visited by the race, though I suspect a few trappers and the like, still make use of the buildings there.

I have no idea what its like to live in anywhere like the Alaskan wilderness of these areas, nor do I really want to, unless someone wants to provide an internet connection to the area lol! As for what it was like, a century ago, in the depths of winter, I hate to think.

But, at least all these places were once a community. Even more uniquely, there is one checkpoint en route, that only ever has people there when the race comes through, every 2 years! Cripple only exists as a checkpoint, to break up what would otherwise be nearly a 150 mile stretch between Ophir, and Ruby, not really practical. Its supposedly in one of the coldest spots in Alaska, in winter, and thats saying something! Probably why no one lives there!

I must admit, there is a perverse side of me that would love to visit Iditarod, just to see what its like now, and to imagine what it was like, just over a century ago, when the gold rush started there. Probably never will get there, but, until I know its out of the question, I can dream.

The video, a tribute to two tone music, and a comment on the Thatcher years over here, as well as an offering to these places

Get ready to race!

Yes, that time of year has come around again, its time for that short sprint known as the Iditarod dog race, just over 1000 miles! In fact this year, given that it traditionally now starts on the first Saturday in March, its as early as its possible for it to be. Yes, the big event really gets under way next Sunday, from Willow, but the people of Anchorage (and the Committee) would tell you that the grand start is in Anchorage next Saturday.

The funny thing is, given all the freezing cold weather, and snow that has hit the ‘main 48’ states this year in the US, the race committee had the opposite problem, a lack of snow on the trails! Indeed, it was only decided about a week ago that it was fine for the race to take its normal ‘even year’ (Northern) route, and not have to move the restart to Fairbanks, just to ensure enough snow for the dogs to race on. So Iditarod gets to remain a ghost town this year.

One sad omission from the race this year, that my regular readers will know about already, is Lance Mackey. Sadly, his health issues mean that he cant join the race this year. Oh, and in case you have a few spare dollars, the link to the fundraising campaign, and a better explanation of matters, is at

https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/3g2Dd

I would truly love to get to Nome, or even Anchorage some day, but its such a complicated (and immensely long) journey from here, that I’m not sure when it will happen. By the time I retire, and have the time to split the journey up, I probably wont be able to afford it, or the medical insurance to go to the US! But hopefully, some day…

Anyway, this is supposedly a piece about Anchorage, from the tourist people, but I dont see many shots of Anchorage itself lol! But a few dogs, pulling a sled, yes!

Theres no place like Nome

No, I’m not going to publish my story of the same name here, not unless I get a rush of demand at least. But for some mushers at present, there will be no place like Nome, because it marks the end of the Iditarod race across Alaska, and for the leaders at least, it will end at some point tomorrow. For others, its going to be a few days yet before they see the Burled Arch that marks the finish, though barring calamities, it does look like everyone will be finished before the Celebration Dinner on Sunday at least.

At about the time of posting (9.10 pm gmt), the 2 leaders will be starting out on that last 77 mile run to Nome within the next half hour, probably about 13 minutes apart. How can I tell this? Simple, when they reach the White Mountain checkpoint, its a compulsory 8 hour stopover for everybody. In fact the 3rd, Jeff King is only just about an hour and a half behind Mitch Seavey, and Ally Zirkle, and though its unlikely he can catch them, you can just never tell. Yes, a woman in second place, and before you sound amazed at that, she finished second last year too. In fact, she must be sick of racing the Seavey family, it was Dallas who beat her last year!

I’d love to see her win, but in all honesty, in my eyes, they are all winners for doing what they do, under incredible circumstances, and low temperatures. But in the end, its those amazing doggies that put in so much effort, without them the mushers wouldnt get far. Oh, and before any animal cruelty people throw up hands, again this year, not one dog has died during the race as yet, and touch wood it stays that way.

So in tribute to them, and what the leaders will be doing shortly, we come to the video. No, Nome isnt home strictly, just the end of the race, but the sentiment is there.

A first today

After the Space Needle today, I went on to the Science Museum in Seattle, only just around the corner. In terms of science museums that I’ve visited, its not the greatest, but still warrants mention for one reason.

Because my visit there was part of the City 6 pack, I automatically got a choice of IMAX film, and even that wasnt easy to do! The one I missed out on, was Tornado Alley, which tempted me, because I suspected that at least some of it would be from Kansas. But the other one was set in the Arctic, and Alaska, so alright, that won out.

What I didnt notice at the time of making my choice (I’m blonde, for heavens sake!) was that the Arctic one was one of those 3D films, something I’ve never seen before. Its weird, and not just the glasses, though wearing them, in front of your own, is definitely an experience in itself. The sensation is amazing, they had snow seeming to come out of the screen in the opening credits, and then all the words of said credits, turned to ice, broke up, and seemed to come flying towards you as well. And yes, at one point, I ducked out of the way lol!

Seeing a film in 3D for the first time is quite something, I was most impressed. How I looked, might be another matter entirely though! Also, I have to say it, I’m not sure I would like to watch sport in 3D, seeing a ball literally flying towards me would probably put me off more than any extra enjoyment I might get! Lets just say its something I’m glad I’ve done, but wont be rushing to repeat. But I suppose its like a lot of things, you get used to it in time, probably just me showing my age?

Tomorrow, while the weather holds up (though about 10 degrees lower than today), I intend to do the harbour cruise, and see Seattle from a different perspective. I also plan to visit the Aquarium, something I enjoy doing in places, though I have never quite worked out why? Soothing effect maybe, otherwise, not a clue.

Sorry for those who enjoy them, no video tonight, I just couldnt find anything suitable.