Friday, June 20, 2008

Spitsbergen Norway

Pine Mountain

Hello again from Pine Mountain. We are into our summer weather pattern here on the mountain. The temperature is in the mid 80’s F (30 C) in the daytime and mid 50’s F (16 C) at night. Our project this week was to equip our 4 wheel drive camper with a rear bumper. I have to head for the desert next week to work on some irrigation pumps. The camper is a combination of a 1992 four wheel drive ranger pickup and a camper from an old 1978 chinook. The ranger was a long bed but the camper was still a couple of feet longer. I started by making a tube steel frame 4 meters long made from 5 cm x 7 cm steel tube. I welded this together then attached a 5 cm x 10 cm steel tube 2 meters long for a bumper. I then bolted this sub frame to the truck main frame and now I have a complete frame under the camper and a bumper to stand on as I enter the rear door of the camper. Now I am stocking up the camper for the service trip. My sister and her husband are on vacation and staying at the ranch so they will look after the menagerie of animals at the ranch while I am away. It is going to be hot out in the desert over 100 F (40 C ) but someone has to do the work. The secret to desert work is to keep hydrated, not just with water but an electrolyte solution. The second secret is try and stay in the shade if you can during the hottest part of the day. The third secret is keep a look out for rattlesnakes and scorpions. They like the shade just like you do when it gets really hot in the middle of the day.

Those of you that have just joined us, here at the ranch power is supplied by 2 wind turbines and a water turbine. We also have a few solar panels that charge up a battery bank. Our horizontal turbine looks like a small wingless airplane on top of it’s 80 foot tower. We purchased that one from Our vertical turbine we purchased from, it spins away on a 30 foot or 10 meter pole out by the barn. Our water turbine in the dam of our pond came from an Alaskan alternative energy company There have been more windy days than calm days this week. Even on a calm day we have been able to produce more energy with our wind turbines than we use.

Next we have our usual sections on Alternative Energy, Nutrition, Traveling and Adventure

Alternative Energy

Is your electric bill going through the roof? Are you paying $200 or even more per month for electricity? Do you want to cut costs or even learn how you can sell electricity back to the power company so they pay you instead of you paying them? Learn how you can supplement you electricity and reduce your electric bill for only a small investment of less than $200 in alternative energy. Go to and learn easy ways you can cut your electric bill.

The price of fuel keeps going up in price. Gasoline is now over $4.73 a gallon. Everyone is looking for anything that will increase fuel economy even a little. Most Alternative energy fuels are still years away but there is a way to improve your mileage, increase your horsepower, and reduce your emissions all at the same time. You will be able to turn your vehicle into a fuel efficient one with only a few readily available items from your local hardware. The instructions are easy to follow and there are many diagrams so you can see how to do it too. It does not matter if you have a gasoline or diesel engine vehicle it will work with either one. Go to to learn more while supplies last.

Do you want to increase your fuel economy and create 30% less pollution? How about increase your gas mileage and increase your power too. An environmentally safe non toxic product called Ethos will do just that. It improves gas economy by reformulating your gasoline to allow more air to be mixed with the fuel vapor. This causes cleaner combustion and increases power. Your fuel burns more completely and thus produces less emissions. All you have to do is add a couple ounces per tank of gasoline or diesel. Go to and learn more about this alternative energy supplement.

Nutrition and Health

These days everyone is concerned about nutrition and health. Most of our food is over processed and has very little nutrient value. Our food looks great but not much more. If we want to stay healthy in today’s world we are forced to take supplements. The question is: What supplements will provide what you need for the least amount of time and money? I believe one of the best supplements out there is called acaiplus. It is a blend of vitamins and minerals plus acai to promote health and long life. They also have vitamins to help improve your long term and short term memory. They also have an energy drink that gives you steady long term energy. To learn more about these products go to Check out Acaiplus, Feed My Brain, and White Lightning.

Travel for Less

Are you tired of paying high airfares only to be crammed into a tight seat when you travel? Find out how you can save hundreds of dollars on your next flight. You may even be able to fly first class for the cost of coach if you know the secret. Learn how you can save enough money to take that once in a lifetime vacation. Go to and find out now while supplies last.

Discover how you can fly around the world on a shoestring budget. There are ways to travel for free. These ways are easy to learn if you know the secrets.. Go to to find out. You will be glad you did.

Have you ever wished that you could travel for a living. Does the call of far off places thrill you? Would you like to travel the world on your own schedule and see the places that you want to see? Would you like to enjoy your vacation and get paid for it too? Long to travel on your own schedule and enjoy your vacation? Would you like to travel for a living and see new and interesting places every day? Do you like to write letters to your relatives telling them about your recent vacation? Then you have what it takes to become a travel writer. All you need is a little instruction and you can have a dream job too. Go to and learn how you to can become a travel writer.

Adventure and Treasure Hunting

Do you watch movies like Indiana Jones and wish you could do that in real life? Do you like a good mystery and a good adventure? Would you like to use modern methods and tools to find long lost treasure?

All this is possible if you learn from the best. Stan Grist world renown adventurer and treasure hunter has written a cohurse complete with step by step instruction on how to become successful. Go to

And check out his course “Creating Wealth Through Adventure”

And now our feature story. Roxana has been traveling again. This time she took a trip to the northernmost islands of Norway. Here is her story.

A Trip to Spitsbergen, Norway

Spitsbergen is the largest island of the Svalbard archipelago.It is in the Barents Sea only 1300 kilometers from the north pole. There are approximately 3400 permanent inhabitants, 1500 are Norwegians. Most of these people live in the main city Longyearbyen. In the summer months, cruise ships from Norwegian cruises stop by so the tourists can see the arctic wildlife. Most of the permanent residents either work in the mines or are scientists studying the artic flora and fauna, the arctic animals, or the effects of the hole in the ozone layer. The other two cities, Piramiden and Barentsburg are mostly inhabited by Russian miners.

Longyear is a vast valley between two mountain ranges. It is covered in sand, clay, and sediments. Longyirbyen is the main port. On the right side of the port are the church and the governor’s house. On the left are warehouses, a school, a hospital, a cafĂ©, a few gift shops and the individual dwelling houses.

The climate is that of a dry steppe with sea fogs 300 days out of a year. The ground only thaws for short periods in the summer. The only plants that grow in this severe climate are lichens and mosses. The true owner of this region is the polar bear. The polar bears are protected from hunting so they are afraid of no one. They frequently wander down the main street of the town along with reindeer, caribou, and artic foxes. There are even black signs with a bear in white saying polar bears have the right of way. If you leave the town area be sure and take an armed guide with you to keep the wildlife at bay.

Most tourists arrive by cruise ship but a few arrive by plane at the small airport. The first destination of arriving tourists is the small gift shops. Here you can buy badges, t shirts, and numerous items made from animal skins. The archipelago is a free demilitarized zone. Only a Norwegian transit visa is necessary for a visit. The governor is chosen for 2 years. He governs the city, hands out hunting licenses, handles city communication, and building permits. The governor also handles mining permits, and makes sure pollution and dust limits are followed.

During the tourist season, adventurers from all over the world gather to watch the aurora borealis or northern lights. The best time to view the aurora borealis is from March to April and from September to October. In Summer it does not get dark enough to see them and in winter it is just too cold. People come here to experience the artic stillness and vastness. Here it seems that time slows down and lasts forever. One can become lost in the vastness and stillness of the place and realize how small and insignificant each person is against this huge backdrop.

In the summer season one can see the yellow poppies bloom. The leaves work like mirrors and magnifying glasses to concentrate the sunlight so the seeds can mature in the minimum amount of time during the short arctic summer. There are also giant wind hewn rock sculptures that the wind has worked on since the dinosaur ages. There are also rock fossils of dinosaurs and giant ferns from the Jurassic and Devonian eras of time. Giant beluga whales swim by in the bay. Sea bears with almost human eyes wander on the ice flows. Giant blocks of ice from melting glaciers fall into the sea with a thunderous crash.

During the summer months the sun never completely sets. It just goes to the horizon and then comes back. In the winter it is just the opposite, the sun never rises. It is just like dawn at midday then back to night again. Even with almost perpetual daylight in the summer, the temperature rarely gets above 8 C because the snow pack does not completely melt. In winter when it is dark the temperature can fall below – 30 C and the wind can whip snowstorms into blizzards.

For the adventurer, Spitsbergen is one of the last frontiers on the planet and should be visited at least once in your lifetime. To soon our visit to Spitsbergen ended and we headed back to warmer climates. For those of you wishing to visit Spitsbergen, Norway cruises has a cruise every week during the tourist season. Experience the luxury of a world class cruise plus the adventure of the arctic north.

Pine Mountain Evening

Tonight Squeekers (My african grey parrot) and I are in the living room. we just finished watching a nature special on Australia. I am relaxing with my coffee from Tonight I am sampling Organic Rainforest. It is a medium bodied coffee with a rich flavor. It kind of makes you want to swing from jungle vines like Tarzan. I do not think I could do the Tarzan yell though. I have finished my coffee and now it is time for bed. I put Squeekers in his cage and now I am heading upstairs to bed. Good night all see you next week.