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November 14, 2006 - Alaskans Are Liars...

And we're whiners, too.

Since the end of October, we have had an almost unprecedented streak of sunny and clear weather. One of the things that comes with clear weather is falling temperatures. We're getting about 17 to 18 hours of darkness at this time of year, and between the clear skies and several inches of snow that has been here since our last snowstorm back before Halloween, each night's low temperature is a bit cooler than the night before. Cloudy skies and snow generally mean warmer weather with temperatures in the 20's or even 30s. But for now, we're suffering with the severe clear. Yesterday we added a new weather feature to the mix: wind.

The complaints were almost universal. Nobody could walk into a building without commenting on the biting cold, with temperatures in the single digits and 40 mile per hour winds. It was actually very unpleasant, but this is Alaska, and all in all, cold is the norm in the winter. This isn't the usual Alaskan weather, but we certainly get a few days of this every winter.

So yesterday morning I was in one of the local convenience stores, and the manager was commenting to me about the weather, and I said to him that I could go for a little snow right about now... and he immediately shot back that he was glad that it wasn't snowing, because he didn't have to have the parking lot plowed. I thought to myself, "Which is it? Is it too cold, or too snowy? You can't have them both!"

Not everyone is complaining about the clear weather. My friend at Talkeetna Air Taxi was loving the clear weather, but lamenting the lack of flying customers. Clear weather is something of a rarity in November, and any opportunity to fly is a good one this time of year.

Here is where the lying part comes in. If we were enjoying day after day of snow and 28 degree weather, we'd be complaining about that, too. Alaskans don't really dislike the winter weather, they prefer to complain about it instead. So when you hear one of us talk about the wind, or the snow, or the rain, the proper response is, "You're a lying whiner! You like this, and you like the alternative, too!"

That is when they'll insist that they don't.

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