23 February 2009

AT LEAST 85 rappers alive better than Lil' Wayne

So, I was letting the standard rapper boasting slide when it was just coming from Weezie. It's understandable, and accepted as de rigueur for the form. But after having to put up with Kanye for so long, and now having to stomach the mainstream actually buying into and supporting this tripe, I just couldn't take it anymore. You can push a man just so far. And please, won't someone think of the children? Thus, the below list.

A note on the numbering: Except for the two cats at #1, it's completely arbitrary - I'm only numbering them to drive home the point with a huge, Charles Martel-sized hammer. As for those two gentlemen - I've spent the better part of 20 years trying to decide who's on top, and change my mind every six months or so. Thus, the tie.
As for everybody else, the list was just an angry stream-of conscious rant until I couldn't think of anyone else off the top of my head, and my hands cramped. You didn't have to be the best to make it, jes better than weezie.

And I think all of these cats are still alive, though I'm not really sure on #'s 17, 38, and 51. Even if they are dead, I'm certain that their rotting, festering corpses could spit something better than "Rodney King baby, come and beat me like a cop". I know ODB still can. (R.I.P., Big Baby Jesus, R.I.P.)

I am sure I've left out some deserving fellows. Please send me a shout-out with any additions you'd like to see, and I'll update and add them in. I'd love to see this list grow longer.

Now, as for you, Lil' Wayne....let me make this as clear as possible, you mush-mouthed dwarf: Your cavorting & capering may amuse, but you (and your rhymes) are trash, plain & simple, and the dust-bin of history is only waiting to sweep you away.

1) Kool G. Rap

1) Rakim

3) Jean Grae

4) MF Doom

5) Kool Keith

6) Del tha Funkee Homosapien

7) Mos Def

8) Talib Kweli

9) Pharoe Monch

10) The GZA

11) Raekwon

12) Ghostface Killah

13) Method Man

14) Biz Markie

15) Styles P

16) Jay Z

17) Craig Mack

18) Redman (Doc!! Reggie!! Brick City!!)

19) Slug

20) Nas

21) Sage Francis

22) Lateef

23) Lyrics Born

24) Gift of Gab

25) Chief Xcel

26) Special Ed

27) Aesop Rock

28) Pete Rock

29) CL Smooth

30) Prime Minister Pete Nice (ok…this one is debatable)

31) MC Serch

32) Dizzie Rascal

33) Saigon

34) Reks

35) Lupe Fiasco

36) That cat from Das FX

37) Big Boi

38) Kid Frost

39) BluePrint

40) Paris

41) Ice Cube

42) Yella

43) MC Ren

44) Big Daddy Kane

45) Kool Moe Dee

46) Eminem

47) Eyedea

48) Cee Lo Green

49) Havoc

50) Prodigy

51) King Tee

52) Trick Daddy

53) Murs

54) The Grouch

55) Eligh

56) LuckyIam

57) Scarub

58) Bicasso

59) Sunspot Jonz

60) Aesop the Black Wolf

61) Arata

62) Jeru the Damaga

63) Snoop

64) Warren G

65) The D.O.C.

66) Chuck D

67) Black Thought

68) Malice

69) Pusha T

70) Phonte

71) Big Pooh

72) Scarface

73) Chali 2na

74) Akil

75) Zaakir

76) Mark 7even

77) El-P

78) Vast Aire

79) Too $hort

80) Mr. Lif

81) J-Live

82) Posdnous

83) Trugoy the Dove

84) Pasemaster Mase

and.........85) C-Murder (who, you may be interested to know, was convicted of murder.)

Rest assured, Mr. Dorfman: I may be lost in the AK, but it is still a Hip-Hop Nation up in this b*tch.

21 February 2009

I know why Jack London turned to drink...

…..snow removal.


So, last winter season (call it Oct 1 to May 1 2007-08) we received a total of 134 inches of snowfall.  That was slightly above average, a fairly heavy year for snow. 

 This year, as of Feb 26, we have recorded 148 inches.  With 2 months still to go. 

 Absolutely brutal. 

 It rarely arrives in a nice 2 or 3 inch fall.

 Our first snowfall was Oct 9 – it began snowing around noon, and by the next morning we had 35 inches on the ground.  That’s abnormal, even for here, and not how I wanted to wake up three weeks before Halloween.

 8 inches, 27 inches, 18 inches, 11 inches, 31 inches.  That’s how it arrives.

 So what do you do with 12 feet of snow?   Put it wherever you can.  The majority of the yard we pack down with snowmobiles; but the only answer for main pathways, roofs, etc is a shovel.  I believe I know how John Henry felt at the end of his day. 

 Using a conservative estimate of a cubic foot of snow weighing appx 4 lbs, over one 3 day period I moved about 4,600 lbs of snow.  Two days later we got another 13 inches.  Good times.  

Pass the bottle, Mr. London, and throw another log on the fire.  Winter ain't over yet.


Enough babbling.  What does 148 inches of snowfall look like, you ask?


DK and the dog sprucing up the front yard

the woodpile in sunnier days

the woodpile two weeks ago (I'm standing on top of it)

hey DK, whaddya do when there's three feet of snow on the roof of the chicken coop and it's ready to collapse?

hey DK, whaddya do when you need to get to the logs you've milled for cabin construction?

hey DK, whaddya do when 47 inches of compacted snow has built up on the new cabin's roof?

hey DK, is there any justification for dealing with winter in the AK?

just a normal day

so, a story about what you do at 20 below - if you're  me, you put on about 7 layers of wool, polypropylene, and polar fleece, and head outside to "put in a dog lot".

Race season is upon us - when after 3 months of winter, these f'ing cabin-fever crazed citizens will race just about anything over the snow - snowmobiles, dogs, skis, bikes, outhouses (yeah, that's not a joke).  We've been a host/checkpoint for a few different races the past few years, but two have been consistent : the Susitna 100 and the Jr. Iditarod.

The Jr. Iditarod is fairly self explanatory, it's a dog-mushing race for teens (14-17) who run their own teams, completely self-sufficient over a 150 mile course (we're a major checkpoint).  It's a pretty cool thing.

The Susitna 100 happens a few weeks earlier,(Feb 14th this year), and it's much nuttier.  It is a "human powered" race - meaning you can ski, bike, or snowshoe the race -  which is 100 miles, all wilderness trails.  100 f'ing miles - completely on your own, through some absolutely frozen, desolate landscape.  These people are total nut-jobs.  We're the halfway point for this, and there is some serious comedy as shell-shocked bodies start rolling in.

But back to the dog lot - it's needed for the Jr. Iditarod, so that racers can rest their teams, and any injured dogs can be checked out by a vet, dropped off, flown back into town, etc.   We also have a lot of adult mushers who come out for weekends to do practice runs for their teams, stay overnight, etc. I knew practically nothing about dog-mushing before I came up here -  not that I know all that much now - but I am amazed at how much care these people take with their animals.

So, "putting in a dog lot" consists of first finding where you stashed the dozen posts you used last year (these are wood, about 8 feet long, 6-8" in diameter).  After you realize they are against the back of the tool-shop with about 6 feet of snow up against them, you take half an hour to shovel them out and move them out onto the frozen lake, into a couple hundred foot oval area that you've previously spent an hour packing down with a snowmobile.  You then take a chainsaw and cut two foot deep holes in the ice to drop the posts into, each about 20 feet apart. 
This is about the point where I step back and reflect on the moment: I'm standing on a frozen lake,  chainsawing holes into the ice, so that people have a place to rest the dozen animals that brought them in a sled through 50 miles of snow. 
Then you pack the holes back in, connect some strong chain between them for the mushers to hook their teams up to, let it freeze overnight and bingo, there's a dog lot.  all while it's about -22 degrees out. 
That was my Monday.  My life is ludicrous.
but it's worth it, as happy doggies are the result  - the  photo is an "action shot" from 2008's dog lot

for more info on races in the AK, visit your local library, or check the links: