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And That Was On A GOOD Day

July 21, 2017

A guy died and went to the afterlife. He was somewhat surprised when he was met by his Spirit Guide.

Isn’t this heaven?

Well, you actually get to pick your eternal reward. But, you were kind of jerk in life, so you choices are somewhat limited.

What choices do I have?

I’ll show you.

The Spirit Guide took him to the first location. It was the classic picture of hell. Fire and brimstone everywhere constantly burning, but never consuming the poor souls condemned there.

What else have you got?

Next, the Spirit Guide took him to a frigid wasteland. The land, if there was any was buried under ice and snow. The wind howled incessantly as the wretched souls huddled together, freezing, but never frozen.

Is that it?

There’s one more choice, but I have to warn you, it’s pretty bad.

The Spirit Guide took the man to a literal cesspool. The smell was overpowering. He saw countless people standing neck deep in the filth. Other than the smell, the place didn’t seem too terrible.

I guess I’ll choose this one, if those are my only choices.

You’re sure?

Yeah, I’m sure.

Okay, just remember it’s for eternity and you can never change your mind.

With that, the Spirit Guide disappeared and the man found himself neck deep in the muck. Just then an authoritative voice boomed:

Okay, break’s over. Everyone back on your heads.

I spent the day in Sitka, Alaska yesterday. Don’t let my leadin mislead you. I had a great time. We took the city tour. Our guide, Clint was funny, knowledgeable and very, very punctual. The 9:30AM tour left the dock at 9:10. At the first stop he announced we were leaving at exactly 9:45am. He even made us pull out our cell phones and synchronize our clocks.

At 9:45 on the dot we pulled away from the Russian Orthodox Cathederal. The two ladies who stayed to take that one last picture eventually rejoined the tour later in the day, but the trains in Italy should run this precise.

Sitka, has a population less than 10,000 and it’s the 5th largest city in Alaska. It’s located, like many Alaska cities, on an island. The airport and one of the three high schools is located on an another island connected by a bridge. In between the two were a few islands just big enough for a house. The weather was nice. It was overcast and about 65 degrees.

I grew up in the Pacific Northwest, but I’ve lived in the Utah desert long enough to be awestruck by the greenery. We walked through forests of Douglas fir. We wandered along the pebbly beach. We watched sea lions frolicking in the bay. The salmon were running, and the sea lions were taking full advantage of it.

In short, the day was great. It was 100 degrees in Pleasant Grove, Utah yesterday. Knowing that made wandering the temperate Sitka streets even more enjoyable. I think it’s natural when you go on vacation to think, “What if we lived here?”

It would suck.

Seriously, it would be terrible.

My dad used to say,

You have to trade all of yours for all of thiers,

when we would talk about how great someone else had it. We typically pick and choose the exciting parts. We do the same thing with jobs. I love my job. It’s very challenging and I love what I do. There are times where I’m walking through our call center and I get a chance to talk to some of our agents. Many of them are jealous of my job. After all, I don’t have a set schedule. I get to take my cell phone on the call floor. (Something they would be fired for.) I can pull people off the phones on a moment’s notice to help me with a project, or a test. In short, my job looks great.

They don’t have to think about working 70 hour weeks, with no overtime, as I’ve done more times than I can count. They don’t have to be concerned with trying to coordinate 12 different projects, each with its own schedule, but all of which have to mesh perfectly with each other. They don’t have to think about the tens of thousands of miles I’ll fly between now and the end of the year.

All of yours for all of theirs.

Sitka is a great town. We visited the “old prospectors” home. We bought a couple of things from the gift shop. While there we had a wonderful conversation with the woman who runs it. A man from our ship holding a very expensive camera came in and mentioned how disapponted he was that the clouds hadn’t cleared off enough to let him take some pictures.

He didn’t realize that yesterday was a good weather day. In fact, it was a nearly perfect weather day. Think of where you live. Think of the best summer day imaginable at your house. For Utah, it’s probably 85 degrees and a mild canyon breeze, with large puffy white clouds floating in an azure sky. Anything else, is a worse day. Yesterday in Sitka was that day. It’s the height of summer. This was the best it gets.

Sitka doesn’t get a lot of snow, but it rains over 300″ per year. That’s two and a half FEET of rain every year. (EDIT: it’s not two and a half feet, it’s TENTY FIVE feet of rain! Even more a reason NOT to live here year round.) It’s a rainforest. That’s why it’s so green. And that ocean view? There are days that the folks in the houses in the bay cannot go to work because the weather is too bad. Think about how bad the weather would have to be to not be able to make it across 30 yards of inner harbor? Stand on your head, indeed.

Today we are off to Ketchikan, Alaska. I’m sure it will be memorable. It might even be the perfect Alaskan summer day: cloudy and 65 degrees.

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren. 

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One Comment
  1. Eric S Scott permalink

    HOW many inches of rain?

    30″ is 2-1/2 feet.
    300″ is TWENTY-FIVE feet.

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