Croker’s Mountains

If you believe in something desperately enough, you can make it real. At least to you. That’s the main takeaway from today’s post. You can stop reading now. But then you’ll miss out on learning about an entire mountain range that never actually existed.

According to an article entitled How a Fake Mountain Range Slowed Down Arctic Exploration, a guy named John Ross, a British Naval officer, was sent out to find the Northwest Passage. The British Admiralty made it sound like it would be kind of fun. Find the entrance to the passage, cruise on over to the Bering Strait, report back to London, then head out to Hawaii for some R&R. Cool!

But of course, it wasn’t that easy. In June, his ships got trapped by icebergs. For about two months, the only progress they made was when the crew dragged the ships through the slush. In mid August they finally got to Baffin Bay, a large patch of water south of Greenland. They began to explore.

After a couple days exploring the area, they actually found the entrance to the Northwest Passage, but they didn’t know that, because when the fog cleared, Ross came up on deck, looked up, and saw a mountain range, which he named Croker’s Mountains, after somebody or other who was important at the time.

Now, nobody else saw these mountains. And many crew members attested to the fact that weather conditions were not amenable to some kind of mirage. No. Ross saw mountains because he expected to see them, and probably wanted to see them after months of icy misery. And so he declared the area impassible, and had the ship turn around.

The crew was extremely disappointed and frustrated. The next year, one of his former crew members, William Parry, returned to the area, and easily found the entrance, and no mountain range at all. The entrance is now called Parry Channel in his honor.

It’s safe to say Ross kicked himself for the rest of his life. But one has to wonder what really possessed the man to conjure up an entire mountain range out of thin air. That’s one impressive imagination, I have to say.

I once wrote this post about an island the size of Manhattan that had been on charts since 1772, and it was only discovered that the island never existed in 2013. I have a new theory. This island, which I vaguely remember as being off the coast of Australia, somehow broke free, and floated around the tip of Africa and up to Greenland, where it lodged in the entrance of the Northwest Passage. Then, sometime between Ross’ visit and Parry’s, it floated away again, to God only knows where.

I’m sure it’ll turn up eventually.

Northwest_passage

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I Want to Buy Greenland, Too

Do you ever feel like you’ve fallen down the rabbit hole? Well, then we can be roommates. Nice to meet you.

Here’s what’s going on. Trump wants to buy Greenland, a semi-autonomous country, so he has approached Denmark about it.

Um… what part of “semi-autonomous” don’t you understand? Denmark can’t dump Greenland and all its nearly 56,000 residents, just on a whim, any more than we can lose the state of Texas to Mexico in a poker game. Prime Minister Frederiksen said that the idea was absurd, and rightly so.

Because of that, Trump cancelled a trip to Denmark, as he deemed her comments “nasty.” Notice how he never calls men nasty? And have you ever heard the way he talks about other leaders? Absurd is putting it mildly. Nasty is, too. He’s out of control.

This man has no concept of diplomacy. Denmark is an ally. You don’t throw a tantrum and wipe your sticky lollipop hands all over your diaper simply because an ally has pointed out the obvious.

This isn’t the 1800’s. Imperialism is dying a slow, embarrassing death. Land grabs, with no regard to the people living thereon or the taxpayers who would be footing the bill, are a thing of the distant past. The man has lost what few marbles he had left.

And this comment of his reinforces that belief. He says that people shouldn’t talk to America like that, and then made a comment about how Obama let people treat him like that, but Trump wouldn’t do so. He referenced the “fact” that the Philippines wouldn’t allow Obama to land Air Force One. He trotted that little bit of fiction out back in 2017, and it was debunked then, and it’s easily debunked now. If Trump had any grip on reality, he’d have given up on that absurd story when it didn’t work in 2017. But I guess some members of his base will believe anything, and his staff has probably despaired of setting him straight.

Oh. Did you see what I did there? I said “absurd.” I guess that means I’m nasty.

Having said that, I’d like to throw my nasty hat into the ring and say that I wouldn’t mind having a chunk of Greenland myself. Right now it’s mostly one big iceball, but what with climate change, and thanks to Trumps disdain for its inevitability, it may just be that Greenland will become one of the few habitable places on earth, provided you figure out a way to live without food and water.

So yeah, since we’re dreaming, what the heck, sign me up! I’ll bring a bunch of canned goods once the place thaws. I’ll live right next door to one of Trump’s golf courses in Greater Trumplandia. Ooh, and can I please buy the Eiffel Tower, too? It would look wonderful in my back yard, next to my garden gnome and my plastic flamingo…

Greenland Melts Away

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Natural Insensitivity

When I was about 5 years old, I had a “lucky” rabbit’s foot keychain. The fur was dyed green, which was supposed to make it even more lucky. I would pet this key chain for hours, because the fur was so deliciously soft, but I’d get this little frisson whenever I’d feel the bones underneath.

I was a fairly sheltered kid. I didn’t really realize what I was holding in my hands. Well, I did, but not really. I didn’t think of the rabbit’s violent end or the grizzly process involved in making the foot into a keychain. If I had, I would have never bought one. When researching for this article, I was horrified to discover that these creepy things are still readily available and seem to be popular, although I haven’t personally seen one in about 30 years.

I know that these rabbits’ feet talismen have been a tradition in many parts of the world since around the 600’s, but for the life of me, I can’t understand why. I mean, obviously they aren’t very lucky for the rabbits. The karma alone of having this little part of the corpse of Thumper dangling upon your person seems a little prohibitive to me. But that’s me.

Somewhere in the world, someone is sitting next to this heaping pile of rabbit corpses, picking them up one by one, and chopping their furry little feet off. Crunch… crunch… crunch… perhaps throwing the feet in a pile to the left, the corpses over their shoulder, then gluing metal key chain caps over the exposed bones. That is their job. That’s what they do every single day. I’d like to meet that person. I’d like to look in his or her eyes and see what’s there. Or what’s missing.

Maybe the rest of the rabbit is used for good. Maybe they make huge vats of hasenpfeffer stew, can it, and distribute it to all the food banks in the world. Maybe the fur is used to line the coats of homeless people in Greenland or Alaska. I don’t know. I kind of doubt it, though.

But then, I have a lot of nerve taking the moral high ground while sitting here in my tennis shoes with their patches of suede, after just having eaten a hamburger.

rabbits Foot

Kayak Angst

While on vacation I read a book (Packing for Mars by Mary Roach—I highly recommend it) that mentioned a very interesting syndrome called Kayak Angst. I’d never heard of it before (and can’t imagine why I would have, being the land-based mammal that I tend to be), so I decided to read up on it.

It turns out it’s a type of panic disorder that’s been found mostly amongst the Inuit of Greenland.

Imagine this: You’re sitting in a kayak, all alone, in calm seas. There’s no land in sight, and the grey sky is reflected in the glassy water. Suddenly you feel like your kayak is tipping up or dropping down, and you’re convinced you are going to drown. You feel utterly lost, can’t figure out which direction is north or south or east or west. In a nutshell, you completely freak out. Your brain has absolutely no frame of reference. For all you know you could be floating in mid air, and there’s no one, I mean NO ONE for miles around to help you.

I cannot imagine a more hellish type of panic attack than that. Not only are you having a panic attack, but if you’re not careful while feeling like you’re going to die, you really could die. It’s kind of like a perpetual motion machine of anxiety.

Apparently a symptom of this disorder is a tendency to avoid kayaks. Well, duh. Wouldn’t you, after experiencing that? That’s not disorder, that’s freakin’ logic, if you ask me.

The problem in this situation, of course, is that as an Inuit in Greenland, that avoidance means you’ve just cut off one of your main sources of food for your family, so there’s a whole other level of anxiety piled on. For the love of God, where does it end?

I’ve been experiencing a figurative form of kayak angst for about a year now. I have no idea where to go or what to do. I feel as though I have no frame of reference to draw upon, and there’s no end in sight. Maybe I need to splash the water with my oar so I can figure out what’s up and what’s down.

Hopefully I’ll see land soon, ’cause it’s freakin’ cold out here.

inuit_kayak400

Two Short Steps Away from my Life’s Dream

Wow! The other day I wrote a blog entry asking for a reader from Greenland, as that was one country I had yet to hear from. And within 14 hours, I got one! That left me marveling at the power of the internet and this blog. I mean, that country doesn’t even have a total population of 60,000, and English isn’t their first or even their second language, but there you have it. I got a reader. Yay Greenland!

When I was bragging about that to a dear friend, she said, “Ask and ye shall receive.” And that got me thinking. For many years I have been working and studying and struggling and striving to achieve my life’s dream, and there seem to be only two small hurdles that remain in my way. So why not ask? Maybe you can help change my life for the better. Come on, now, wouldn’t that make you smile?

Now, I know you’re busy, believe me, so I’ll break this down into bite sized pieces. You can determine what you want to read based on the headings.

What I Need:

1)      A full time job in Panama City, Florida.

2)      Affordable rental housing in Panama City, Florida.

More details about these things below.

A Description of my Dream:

For the past 30 years I’ve been trying to relocate to the Appalachian Mountains. Unfortunately work up there is very scarce, so I decided to go back to school and study something that would allow me to create my own work. So recently, after selling my house and moving 3 ½ hours south where I knew absolutely no one in order to go to school, I graduated with honors with a degree in Dental Laboratory Technology and Management. I fell in love with working with my hands, creating retainers and other dental devices. For me, this would be a job that wouldn’t feel like work. I’d love every minute of it. Eventually I want to buy a house in the mountains and set up a dental lab in my garage.

But first I need some hands on experience. I applied to 198 orthodontic labs all over the United States and Canada and had no luck finding a job. Either they weren’t hiring or they could sense I would eventually move on. That’s when the power of the internet intervened once again. I met an angel named Vicky. She runs her own orthodontic laboratory in Panama City, and she’s willing to mentor me. She seems to think that with some hands on experience, I should be able to start my own business in about a year and a half or so. The fact that she’s willing to take the time to share her expertise with me is amazing. It’s a rare thing in this world to come across someone who is willing, even eager, to improve your life.

Unfortunately, I’ll still have bills to pay. So if I can only get a job, any job, in Panama City and find a place I can afford to rent, I can spend time in Vicky’s lab during my off hours, and my dream could come true. It’s so close, so freakin’ close, but I have to get there first.

My Housing Needs:

I have two little dogs, so I need a free standing place with a fenced yard for them to play in. They’re older, non-destructive dogs, and as a matter of fact I’m also older and non-destructive. I don’t throw wild parties. I don’t smoke or do drugs. All I want is a tiny little roof over my head with a washer dryer hook up. Unfortunately the most I could pay in rent is 600 dollars a month. I’ve seen lots of tiny little houses in the Cove and St. Andrews neighborhoods of Panama City. Those would be ideal locations.

My Work Needs:

I need a full time job that pays at least 10 dollars an hour. Basically any office job, security work or customer service work would do quite nicely.

I am dependable, intelligent, competent, I take my work seriously. I don’t have children or destructive habits. I learn quickly. I’m fluent in Spanish and I have an unarmed security guard license. I’m creative, innovative and analytical, and I possess excellent writing and communication skills. I’m known for completing tasks in a timely manner and within budget. I’m very well organized and I require little supervision. I’m skilled in a wide range of areas including editing, interviewing, event planning, customer service, training, field work, public speaking and record keeping. I type 60 wpm. My computer skills include Quickbooks, Microsoft Word & Word Perfect, Access & Dbase, Excel & Lotus 123, Outlook Express, Memory Stick Voice Editor, and PowerPoint.

I’ve been a bridgetender for 12 years, so I’m an expert at writing reports, communicating, ensuring the safety of vessels, vehicles and pedestrians, problem solving, and time management.

I’ve also been a freelance editor, transcriber, and writer for many years. I definitely know how to multitask.

Before that I worked as a Maintenance Management Systems Engineer for the State of Florida Department of Transportation, where I analyzed and managed data regarding production, personnel, equipment and materials, performed crew studies and conducted production meetings to enhance the efficiency of employees responsible for safely maintaining highways for the traveling public, evaluated and adjusted a 40 column, 104 row spreadsheet to ensure that the maintenance yard operated within budget, and remained within limits of contracts, equipment, and labor. I inventoried all features of the state roads in two counties by way of field work and database maintenance and supervised an Engineering Technician III and a Word Processing Systems Operator.

In a Nutshell:

Have you ever had a dream that is so close you could practically taste it? That’s where I am right now. If you’re in Panama City, or know anyone who is, please send them a link to this blog entry. Post it on your Facebook page or theirs. Publish it in Reddit. Spread the word any way you can! If you hire me or rent to me, you won’t regret it.

If you can help me, simply put your contact information in the comment section below. I promise it will be there for less than half a day, then I’ll delete it and contact you.

Thanks for listening. I’m hoping the power of the internet will smile upon me one more time. My fingers are crossed!

fingers crossed

(Photo Credit: rgbstock.com)

Calling on Greenland

Okay, indulge me. I’m one of those people who firmly believes in the whole concept of six degrees of separation, so I have an assignment for you: someone out there must know someone who knows someone from Greenland, and I want them to check out my blog.

You see, whenever someone from another country visits, it colors in their country in my statistics map, and so far, Greenland has remained as white as its snowy landscape. That bugs me. I’m losing sleep over it. Seriously. I mean, I realize the population of the entire country is only about 56,000, and 89 percent of them are Greenlandic Inuits who speak Kalaallisut, and the rest mostly speak Danish, but they do teach English in school, and surely someone on the world’s largest island is a computer geek. I mean, what else is there to do at night? Fishing is the primary industry, but there are scientific expedition stations scattered across the ice sheet, one is called Summit Camp, and according to Wikipedia, their radio station Jørgen Brønlund Fjord was, until 1950, the northernmost permanent outpost in the world. Those scientists can’t play World of Warcraft all the time. They must check out other stuff once in a while, so why not my blog? Some Greenlanders could even be my distant cousins, because I’m Danish on my mother’s side. So if extra motivation is required, do it for family.

If you are from Greenland and are sitting there in your home, trying to stay warm in the perpetual light of your icy country, I send you my greetings. I’d love to know more about you. I think your flag (below) is cool. I love rubies, and didn’t even know that you had ruby deposits until I started researching for this blog entry. Not that I’m hinting that you send me one. But I wouldn’t turn it down.

Thank you for visiting. Please come again!

Tak for dit besøg. Venligst komme igen!      (Wish I could also say that in Greenlandic, not just Danish, but there doesn’t seem to be a free translator on line.)

greenland

I’m Going Slightly Mad

I’ve got another cold. I’m feverish, and I suspect I’m hallucinating, so I apologize in advance for whatever I write today. Combine that with the fact that I’ve been looking at a summary of the search terms that people have used to find my blog, and having quite a giggle over that. Why did the following search terms bring you to me, dear readers? I have no idea.

  • range rental of rant stable apt
  • coole account bilder psychedelisch
  • stupidity
  • the book something girl reality-based
  • walmart sucks the soul out of you

Okay, so I’m trying not to take the “stupidity” one personally. And on top of all of that, I just got through watching the movie Contagion. Don’t ask me why. But in it one of the characters says, “Blogging is not writing. It’s graffiti with punctuation. “

So…hallucinating…weird search terms….graffiti…are you following me? Probably not. But from that muddled mental soup I got the idea that it would be kind of fun to write a surreal paragraph that would bring me an unexpected readership. So here goes:

Nuclear war is the broccoli and cheese soup of the Elizabethan Era. Labradoodles often breed anarchy amongst Croatian Cosmonauts. The porcupines of Greenland are constantly mistaken for barbed wire handbags. The robots of Kuala Lumpur toil vigorously in the Martian vineyards. Classic mustangs carry swine flu in Tamar Braxton’s panties. Daylight savings time accosted Justin Timberlake in the Australian outback. Barack Obama eats boysenberry aspic on melba toast while doing the watusi in a frothy silk kimono.

And that’s all I have to say about that, Forrest Gump.

hallu (Credit: Wallpaperscraft.com)

Where is China, Greenland and the Whole of Africa?

Since I haven’t been able to afford international travel in the past several years, I travel vicariously by checking out the countries of origin of the people who visit my blog. WordPress is even kind enough to provide a nifty little world map, with the countries that have visited colored in for me.

WordPress.com_20130223_085359

When I get a new country visitor, I’m always so excited. I imagine someone from Bangladesh, for example, sitting at their computer on the other side of the world, looking at something I’ve written. What is that person like, I wonder. What does the room in which they’re sitting look like? What sounds are they hearing out their window? What drew them to my blog? Did I make them think about something in a different way? If it’s a country that I know very little about, I rush off to Google and learn a thing or two.

It’s a particular thrill when it’s a little tiny country, because I figure the odds are a lot longer that someone there would visit. I’d love to get Andorra or Lichtenstein, for example.

I’ve had visitors from 49 countries so far. In addition to the countries visible on the list from my screengrab picture above are Switzerland, Chile, Singapore, Austria, Greece, Ukraine, Slovenia, Malaysia, Mongolia, Finland, Mauritius, Israel, Guatemala, Iceland, Thailand, Croatia, Turkey, Viet Nam, France, Lithuania, Nepal and Brunei Darussalam.

I was particularly excited when I got my first visitor from the Russian Federation, because that REALLY added color to my map! What I can’t figure out, though, is why I haven’t sparked any interest at all from any nation on the African continent. What does a girl have to do? I’d also love to get Greenland and China. I’ll really know I’ve arrived, though, when I get someone from North Korea. But I won’t hold my breath.

So if you are a new visitor, welcome! I am waving hello to you from another part of the planet, and I’m really glad you’re here! Come back soon and bring your friends!