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!

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!

See Alaska by dog sled!

Yes, its that time of year again, when mushers and dogs set off from Anchorage (ceremonial only, Willow now the true start point) for Nome, covering about 1000 miles of Alaska in the process. You’ve got it, its Iditarod time! Starts Saturday folks, though the real long haul starts on Sunday of course.

Seriously, people enjoy covering 1000 miles of tracks, frozen rivers, and indeed at one point frozen sea, for the delights of winning a long distance dog race, you bet they do! Me, I think they’re crazy, but do I admire them for doing so, you bet I do! This year is my favourite route, the southerly one, purely because that means they actually pass through the ghost town of Iditarod, that the race is named after. Well, technically its named after the trail to there, but you get the point?

And finally, having endured temperatures that could easily drop to minus 40 and beyond, especially in the Yukon wilderness area, they finally roll into Nome, where they are quite rightly treated like heroes. It used to be easy to say that Lance Mackey would be amongst the front runners, but for the last couple of years, that hasnt been the case. I’m not sure if the Mackey era is over just yet, but it might be. But what he did, winning as many consecutive races as he did, amazing stuff. And such a nice guy too, from all I read and hear of him. No, I’m never likely to meet him myself, but have read too many people saying nice things about him not to believe it.

Fortunately, my holiday split means I should be able to follow most of the first week quite well, unfortunately the finish is likely to run into Cheltenham, but fingers crossed I can still keep an eye on things. One day I dream of getting to Nome, but given my age, the state of my knees for really long distance flying, and everything else, it probably wont happen, and will always be one of my regrets in life. Even Anchorage is pretty tough from here, but maybe, just maybe…I hope, even if its not at Iditarod time.

The video, what can I say, I dedicate it to all those brave dogs, who will do just this for 10 days or more, allowing for rest breaks of course, and thankfully there are plenty of them. The song, a true one hit wonder from 42 years ago!

Its A Dogs Life!

No, this isnt about Fenway, Kate, lol!

Well its the life of a number of dogs in the far north of North America at least! What you ask, long distance sled racing of course!

I have no idea how I first got attracted to the Iditarod race across Alaska, so please dont ask. All I know is, its been a few (at least 4 or 5) years now, and I’m absolutely hooked on following it. I suppose the fact that I’ve always had a hankering for Alaska plays a part, but the thought of running a team of dogs, for over 1000 miles, in those temperatures, in that terrain, truly amazing. I suspect the fact it ends up in Nome plays a part for me, lol! But alright, the ghost town of Iditarod intrigues me just as much, even if they only go there every other year.

In recent years, there is one name that stands out in mentioning this race, Lance Mackey. You either have heard of him or not, but try checking him out on Wikipedia, to find out just how amazing. The thing is, unlike so many sportsmen, he seems a really nice guy. Competitive, yes, will to win, you bet, but when it comes to saying the right words, at the right time, he’s a consummate professional. There are many others as well, probably just as nice, but Lance is the one that seems to be focussed on, for obvious reasons.

Oh, and you think a thousand mile plus race, the field would be spread out at the finish? Well to some degree it is, but one year, not so long ago, the Iditarod was won by 8 seconds. 10 days out on the tracks, and the winning distance, 8 seconds. The Yukon Quest winning distance this year, nearly as long a race, 26 seconds!

Two weeks from now, this years race from Willow (Anchorage nowadays is only a token start point, due to housing build up in the area) will restart, and over 60 teams will head for Nome. Not all will make it, but the majority will. And before anyone says its cruel to the dogs, not one has died, or been badly injured in the last 2 years! Hopefully we get the hat trick this year.

But yes, I will only be following this over the internet, funnily enough.

No music tonight, just film of the end of this years Yukon Quest. If the Iditarod is also this close, now wouldnt that be something!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t0PDdY16lO8