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Posts Tagged ‘knowlege’

My mind has taken a turn towards Alaska today, and what our geographic location contributes towards making us culturally unique. I think living here requires a certain amount of humor and fortitude, both of which combine for some useful nuggets of wisdom.

I’d like to start this post with a few of my own nuggets of wisdom, and then encourage any readers, Alaskan or otherwise, to add their own so that we can create a thread of Alaskan knowledge here.

Note, the wonderful thing about folk wisdom, by my definition, is that it was learned the hard way.

I’ll confess to learning some of the below the hard way, but not all.

  • Don’t eat the yellow snow. (Enough said.)
  • When riding as a passenger on a dog sled, keep your mouth shut.
  • Don’t pee into the wind.
  • Don’t dive for anchors.
  • Always keep a sleeping bag in the car, you never know when you might break down.
  • When in Chitina, always clip the tails on your king and reds before you string them.
  • When in Chitina, always fill out your harvest card before leaving the rock you were perched on.
  • Don’t buy a cheap tent.
  • No matter how bad your voice may be, always sing when picking berries. In fact, it is a little know fact that the best singers are always the first to be eaten by bears. So sing, but do it poorly.
  • Shaggy manes don’t grow on horses.
  • Highbush cranberries aren’t really cranberries.
  • When hunting, never kill anything more than a mile from your vehicle, boat, etc.
  • Don’t try to drive across the tundra to rectify ignoring the above. Story
  • Don’t crash the riverboat with your in-laws on board, if you like them. If you don’t, go for it.
  • Don’t set your glasses on top of the car to glass for wildlife. (Especially when they are prescription glasses, I still haven’t had the nerve to ask my wife if I can replace them. Again.)
  • When swarmed by mosquitoes, don’t breathe deeply.
  • Don’t play in the cow’s parsnip before lying out in the sun.
  • Don’t eat the mussels until someone else has, and survived.
  • Off bug repellent, when used liberally enough, doubles as fingernail polish remover. (Who knows, it might give your children that genetic defect that proves to be an advantage someday.)
  • Don’t stash goods next to the trail and expect to remember them, or even find them, later on. (True outcome yet to be determined.)
  • Cold porches work well as freezers from October to March, and refrigerators in September and April. Longer, if the weather holds out.
  • That fishy smell never really goes away.
  • When visiting a village, and somebody offers you smoked salmon, don’t eat the whole jar or bag. The plane ride home can be awfully long.
  • Driving upstream against flowing water is more difficult than driving downstream. Better yet, don’t drive in the stream at all, despite how much fun your 7-year old is having.
  • When the oil industry starts running advertisements, more than they normally do, watch your back and check into your legislator’s bank account balance.
  • Never mistake and orange construction cone for a caribou, you will never hear the end of it.
  • Never take hunting advice from a fellow hunter, particularly if they are hunting the same thing at the same time.

I could go on, but I’ll give others the chance add their points of wisdom.

Potential contributors, I’ll keep your identity secret if your wisdom is embarrassing.

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