Bear Feed Call For Help – Anchorage Curling Club


Dear Bear Feeders, I come to you asking for to help out a long-standing part of this blog.  Many of you know that a fairly big part of my Alaskan life spun out of the game of curling.  From just a few months after I arrived in Alaska right up until the last month I was in town I was a curler, sliding those rocks up and down the ice with a broom in one hand and a beer in the other.  The whole of which, I did as a member of the Anchorage Curling Club, an organization that existed five years before Alaska had statehood.  Our clubhouse has a long history as well, last seeing a major renovation to repair it after the Great Alaskan Earthquake of 1964.

But Right Now – The Anchorage Curling Club needs our help!

The game can be simplified as a game of rocks and ice … yes, and brooms and beers, but you can curl without brooms and you I hear you can curl sober.  While rocks are rocks, ice isn’t always ice. In October, just as the season was kicking off the cooling system in club had a major leak.  As a result, there has been no curling in Anchorage since that day; and the 160 members have no place local to curl.

Before you ask, no they can’t just open the doors and let the arctic air freeze water – curling ice requires precise cooling controls.  Temperatures need to be maintained consistently over the entire length or the stones will not act predictably.  The game could be played on lake ice, that is how the game was invented of course, but not when you are playing at a high level in modern curling — and especially when the junior program is developing some of the best young curlers America.

In order to fix the cooling system, the ACC is looking at two options – one is a mat system that will lay over the current rink.  This option would allow for them to use the system if they ever moved out of the current club to a nicer place.  There is a repair option using an epoxy system into the existing cooling tubes – the benefit of which is that once the money is there the job can be done in a week.   Either option is going to cost around $70,000.

Since the leak occurred, they created a GoFundMe site.  A link to that site is here:
GoFundME Anchorage Curling Club
The ACC has also set-up a non-profit organization (Anchorage Curling Foundation), so any donation is tax deductible.

So let’s get down to the guts of this post.  I am asking you to help support the fundraising to help fix the club.  While I know I am not there any longer, my time at ACC will live with me for the rest of my life and fostered some of the best of times in and out of the club.  Part of which is this blog.  If you took any joy from reading this blog, or any specific joy in the curling posts over the years – then I ask you give back to what started it.  Give anything — $5, $10, $69, or one dollar for every game I won in my curling career ($2).  Anything & Everything helps.

You know I love you guys, now please show a little love in return to a place I love as well.


The Answer’s Probably No, So Quit Asking


I tried my hardest to avoid writing a fifth straight blog post about the weather, but y’all just kept asking me questions.  The problem is that my answer is most likely No … and then thru gritted teeth.  For those of you keeping track (or ready to poke at me that you are somewhere where the weather isn’t that bad), Boston was first hit by Winter Storm Juno last week then had a suckerpunch that showed up Monday of this week.  Suckerpunch … yeah … the storm was supposed to drop 6-12 inches, but Boston’s Logan Airport reported 15.9 inches.

This means in a 7 day period, Boston has had 40.2 inches.  The most in any 7 day period in Bostonian history.

If you are not sure how much snow that may be – here’s a good way to think of it:  ITS ALOT!

We’re not talking about piles 3-1/2 feet high, we are talking an average coverage of 3-1/2 feet – so to pile up snow, you are looking at piles six to seven feet high.

So, people say to me  — this must be common for you, since you lived in Alaska.  WRONG!  The two years I lived in Alaska, Anchorage got around 60-70 inches during the whole year.  That would mean we would have had two-thirds that snowfall in just 7 days. The biggest snowfall I saw when I was up there was about 10 inches, which is nothing to sneeze at – but it is a half a foot shorter than the LESSER of the two storms we go.

Plus I had a garage in Alaska.

Plus the plows could make it down our streets.

Plus there were places to put the snow.  Talking to one of the city workers the other day, that’s the biggest problem, on the main roads they can bring in dump trucks and front end loaders to move the snow – but on most the 800 miles of Boston roads, they can only fit a small plow and push it around a bit..

Now granted, where I went to college in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, we got a lot of snow – around 200 inches a year — but when you get that much, you are prepared for that much.  I swear, the whole city of Houghton was designed to funnel snow on the roads down to a point where they can haul it off by 6am everyday.

This mess is nothing short of frustrating.  It takes forever to get out of any parking, just because you are constantly digging, and wedging yourself in and out, and shifting around your spot.  It takes forever to get anywhere, with most the roads .losing a lane or two from snow drifts or pedestrians because sidewalks aren’t cleared.

And then I got y’all saying things like .. You must be used to it!!

Yeah — like Floridians are used to hurricanes.