Web Log Entry #0029, Friday, January 3, 2003: Day 46
Anchorage Sunrise: 10:12am Sunset: 3:55pm High Temp: 27° Low Temp: 18°
Many years ago, I first saw a car with an electric plug hanging from the front grill. Those readers who have never strayed far from warmer climes may be curious, as I was. An electric car? No, engine block warmer! (For the uninitiated, it's an electrical device that gently heats the engine oil while the car is parked. When temperatures get well below freezing, an engine suffers a lot of wear from a "cold start" because the oil isn't doing such a good job lubricating while it's hunkered down in the oil pan, shivering. The block heater keeps Mr. Motor Oil runny and happy (a rare combination for most of us).) At our condo, the parking lot has little posts with electrical outlets just for plugging block heaters into. I haven't needed it, because I get to use the heated garage (a trade-off; Stan gets the larger bedroom).
But these are not the coolest toys Alaskans have for their cars. When I leave work, the parking lot has several unattended cars with their engines running. Walking through the lot, an empty car nearby fires up with a "brrruummm!" Remote starters. A sign of a true Alaskan. Why walk out to a COLD car, when it can be all toasty when you arrive? If they had remote windshield scrapers, life would be grand indeed.
I wonder how many Alaskans telecommute? It's either a really big thing here, what with not having to drive through ice and snow, or nobody does it, because it wouldn't be Alaskan to avoid the ice and snow. Being willing to admit that the Forces of Nature are much more powerful than I am, I don't need to battle them daily merely to get to work. But I'm not an Alaskan.
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© 2003 Evan M. Nichols