Wednesday, November 19, 2008

30 Days of Night

I guess living in Alaska has jaded me to this movie, hence, I have some problems with it. Let me set a few things straight:
#1 The sun does not set and does not come up for 30 days. During the darkest period, there is something akin to a sunset during the "day light" hours. From what I've been told, it's usually quiet pretty (hence my desire to work a winter in Barrow)
#2 If I remember correctly, Barrow has two incoming and two outgoing flights, year round...last I heard, planes can land in the dark and when it is snowing during the night. ;P
#3 The sun does not, after 30 days, decide to pop up and come roaring up into the sky, it's a gradual thing. The sunset period lengthens, then one day the sun will pep above the horizon, each day showing a little more of itself before going back below the horizon.
Things I found a little funny/odd:
--the "Eskimos" all looked like Asians, sorry just because you put an Asian in a Kuspuk doesn't make them look like an Eskimo.
--Only saw 1, maybe 2 snow machines and loads of cars....if Barrow is anything like Nome, the ratio should be the other way around
--Don't you think that the vamps would have noticed the waste piling up from 6 people holed up in an attic? Think about it, any other time of the year, the smell would lead you to them.
--while we are on the subject of the attic. I find it hard to believe that people could survive 4 weeks in an attic during the time of the year where the temps get down to -50 F...if you have ever experienced those kind of temps, you will understand...I can only imagine the caloric intake needed to maintain your body temp, forget about the extra calories to burn when you are up walking around.
--on to the vamps....I know that they are the undead, and because of this they get superhuman powers. One thing that bugs me about the vamps in the movie, they are walking around in skirts, shirts and pants, no jackets to keep warm, no gloves to keep the fingers from freezing....and that is my point. If they are dead, they are not producing body heat...which is need to keep from freezing solid. Wouldn't you think that they would be afraid of freezing solid? Which wouldn't take long at the -40F range.
I do have to say, if I put on my Alaska blinders, it was a good Vampire flick.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The picture says it all

Obama Pictures and McCain Pictures

An Irish take on the U.S. elections

An email from Ireland to all of their brethren in the States...a point to ponder despite your political affiliation:

'We, in Ireland , can't figure out why you people are even bothering to hold an election in the United States .

On one side, you had a pants wearing female lawyer, married to another lawyer who can't seem to keep his pants on, who just lost a long and heated primary against a lawyer, who goes to the wrong church, who is married to yet another lawyer, who doesn't even like the country her husband wants to run!

Now...On the other side, you have a nice old war hero whose name starts with the appropriate 'Mc' terminology, married to a good looking younger woman who owns a beer distributorship !!

What in God's name are ya lads thinkin over in the colonies!

Another gem from a Yahoo Group

Gift Wrapping for Bird Owners

1. Clear large space on table for wrapping present.

2. Go to cupboard and collect bag in which present is contained, and shut door.

3. Open door and remove bird from cupboard.

4. Go to cupboard and retrieve rolls of wrapping paper.

5. Go back and remove bird from cupboard.

6. Go to drawer, and collect transparent sticky tape, ribbons, scissors,
labels, etc. . .

7. Lay out presents and wrapping materials on table, to enable wrapping
strategy to be formed.

8. Go back to drawer to get string, remove bird that has been in the drawer
since last visit to collect string.

9. Remove present from bag.

10. Remove bird from bag.

11. Open box to check present, remove bird from box, replace present.

12. Lay out paper to enable cutting to size.

13. Try and smooth out paper, realize bird is underneath and remove bird.

14. Cut the paper to size, keeping the cutting line straight.

15. Throw away first sheet as bird chased the scissors, and tore the paper.

16. Cut second sheet of paper to size - by putting bird in the bag the present came in.

17. Place present on paper.

18. Lift up edges of paper to seal in present. Wonder why edges don't reach.
Realize bird is between present and paper. Remove bird.

19. Place object on paper, to hold in place while tearing transparent sticky tape.

20. Spend ten minutes carefully trying to remove transparent sticky tape from bird with pair of nail scissors.

21. Seal paper with sticky tape, making corners as neat as possible.

22. Look for roll of ribbon. Chase bird down hall in order to retrieve ribbon.

23. Try to wrap present with ribbon in a two directional turn.

24. Re-roll ribbon and remove paper, which is now torn due to bird's enthusiastic ribbon chase.

25. Repeat steps 13-20 until you reach last sheet of paper.

26. Decide to skip steps 13-17 in order to save time and reduce risk of losing last sheet of paper. Retrieve old cardboard box that is the right size for sheet of paper.

27. Put present in box, and tie down with string.

28. Remove sting, open box and remove bird.

29. Put all packing materials in bag with present and head for lockable room.

30. Once inside lockable room, lock door and start to re-lay out paper and materials.

31. Remove bird from box, unlock door, put bird outside door, close and re-lock

32. Repeat previous step as often as is necessary (until you can hear bird outside door)

33. Lay out last sheet of paper. (This will be difficult in the small area of the toilet, but do your best)

34. Discover bird has already chewed the paper. Unlock door go out and hunt through various cupboards, looking for sheet of last year's paper. Remember that you haven't got any left because bird helped with this last year as well.

35. Return to lockable room, lock door, sit on toilet lid and try to make torn sheet of paper look presentable.

36. Seal box, wrap with paper and repair by very carefully sealing with sticky tape. Tie up with ribbon and decorate with bows to hide worst areas.

37. Label. Sit back and admire your handiwork, congratulate yourself on completing a difficult job.

38. Unlock door, and go to kitchen to pour yourself a drink and feed bird.

39. Spend 15 minutes looking for bird before reaching obvious conclusion.

40. Unwrap present, untie box and remove bird.

41. Go to store and buy a gift bag.

Bad joke....can't say I didn't warn you!!!!

Just received this from one of my Yahoo groups

Don't say I didn't warn you...

A pirate walks into a bar with a paper towel on his head. The bartender says, "What's with the paper towel?" The pirate answers, "ARRR...I've got a Bounty on me head!"

Monday, October 6, 2008

Yet we meet Alaska

My dear friend, Sarah, passed through Anchorage yesterday on her way to Nome. Her flight from Seattle came in too late to make the 157 to Nome, so, she got to spend the night here in Anchorage. I took her out for breakfast before seeing her off at the airport.
In the last two years, we have tried to meet up in St. Louis several times...where we were both born & raised and have failed. The closest we had come to being in ST.L at the same time was back in July'07. I called her shortly after my plane had landed, she was on her way to Memphis and was in Sikeston Missouri...about 2 hours away. Funnier yet, last October, I called her and she happened to be in the Anchorage airport (I thought she was traveling the next week) with about 3.5 hours to go before her flight left, so, we went out for dinner. We have now meet in Alaska 4 times
So, now it has become a little like a game with us. She is hoping to be able to extend her assignement in Nome, and I'm hoping to make another trip up there to see Nome at a different time of the year. If I'm lucky, I'll get an assignement in Valdez come March and Sarah can come to visit and see yet another city in Alaska (she's only been to Nome, Fairbanks and Anchorage).

The end is here!

Well, the end of our very short fall that is.
The night of October 5th, it snowed. In town, enough survived to more or less frost the ground. Further up north it was a different story, it looked like there was about 2 inches of the white stuff on the ground near Eagle River. In Willow, it looked like there was about 1.5 inches on the rails at my cabin.
On my drive up to Willow, on the radio, they were saying that we are supposed to get around 2 inches tonight. Well, my dad was looking on the computer for the Anchorage area and the forecast there said that we are to get 2-6 inches over night...maybe I will get to ski tomorrow!
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Saturday, September 6, 2008

If I had a nickle for every time I heard....

It's been a week since my parents flew in from St.Louis for a two week stay, and it's been go-go-go ever since...and I'm beat.
We started off last week with a trip to the state fair in Palmer, obviously it was the first time they had been but it was the first time for me too. I really wanted my parents to see the massive veggies that are entered each year. I had to chuckle at their comments regarding the massive size of the rutabagas and parsnips (dummy me waited too long to write and have forgotten the weights). The a lot of the cabbage weighed in around 70-80 lb. Three days before the start of the fair, there was an article in the ADN (Anchorage Daily News) regarding a man who usually enters the fair with large cabbage, his this year "exploded" and the remains weighed about 109 lbs, which would have been a record.
The next day we headed off to Hatcher's Pass, and that is when the 'Wow!', "That's gorgeous', 'The view is _______!'-fill in blank with:awesome, stunning,beautiful, etc.
Monday, we headed out to Whitter to see the glacier and the Wildlife Conservation park. It rained all day, we got soaked to the bone, but that didn't dampen their enthusiasm. Comments I heard :'Wow!', "That's gorgeous', 'The view is _______!'-fill in blank with:awesome, stunning,beautiful, etc.
Tuesday we drove to Valdez, nearly the whole drive I heard :'Wow!', "That's gorgeous', 'The view is _______!'-fill in blank with:awesome, stunning,beautiful, etc, 'Stop!!!! gotta take a picture!'
Wednesday, we attempted to troll for silver luck :( but the comments continued:'Wow!', "That's gorgeous', 'The view is _______!'-fill in blank with:awesome, stunning,beautiful, etc.
We stayed a second night for we had decided to try our hand at snagging in the harbor and shore luck, again (the SOB's were jumping right next to the dock for Pete's sake and I still couldn't snag one!!) When dad and I went out to scout out a place to shore fish (it was low tide), we saw some black bear out and about munching their way through the dead fish. There were even more when we returned about 3-4 hours later (2 hours from hight tide) and mom got to see more bears too(she wasn't with us on the scouting trip).
Friday we drove to Homer, stopped along the Kenai River a couple times. Their first look at the river was awesome...I tried to explain the color of the water, but like the person that tried to explain it to me, it was not enough, and they were shocked.
The comments were even more emphasized:'Wow!', "That's gorgeous', 'The view is _______!'-fill in blank with:awesome, stunning,beautiful, etc.
Today we are going to go up to my place and 'relax' a little...going to try to fish for some silvers at Willow Creek, and some rainbow trout at Montanna Creek. We may even try fishing in a couple of the many lakes that are around.
I need to prepare myself fore on Tuesday, we are driving up to Denali Park and Wednesday we are going to be doing a tour in the park...I can hear it now:'Wow!', "That's gorgeous', 'The view is _______!'-fill in blank with:awesome, stunning,beautiful, etc.

Friday, August 29, 2008

O.k., I'm felling old

Lord have Mercy, I'm feeling old!
Obama is 5 years older than me, Palin is only 2 years older than me.
I'm too young to have people close to my age running for president/vice president.
Nuff said....hopefully it will be a while before they (any of the canidates for pres.) are younger than me....then I will feel ancient. Ugh.

Alaska, the Last Great Frontier

Since Alaska is the Last Great Frontier, that would make Anchorage a frontier city, and I had a rude reminder of that on Saturday. Since moving to Anchorage, I have become totally accustomed to having moose roam the streets of downtown, but I was not prepared for the news of a grizzly bear roaming the very same streets the moose meander down. Yes, you read that right, grizzly bears roam the same downtown streets that moose do.
The following link is to the story that was in the Alaska Daily News regarding a grizzly bear that was hit and had to be shot due to it's injuries:
Grizzly hit by SUV
The thing that got me regarding this bear is the fact that it was hit only 1/2 mile by road (that is going down 3 blocks and over 5 blocks to get to the site where the bear was hit), or less than a 1/2 mile as the crow flies.
Needless to say, since all the bear attacks had occurred in one park on the outskirts of town (more than 5 miles away), I hadn't been too wary of walking around in the neighborhood until Saturday. Now, I'm very leary of walking just from my truck to the apartment in the dark...forget about a moose, at lease Bullwinkle doesn't look at me as meal on the run.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Oh, looks at the cute...OMG, you have a bird with you!

Every time I go home, Paco comes along because it's usually cheaper for me to pay the $80 to bring him on board that to board him when I'm gone. The boarding fee is $20 a night, not to mention the nearly $200 fee for the blood tests needed to be able to board him at any of the facilities here in Anchorage.
The airline fee just kills me for if the carrier was void of an animal, there would be no fee involved, it would just be a carry on, not to mention the fact that if I can rack up frequent flier miles, why can't Paco? Hhhhmm? He's paying for space on the plane (well, I am anyway).
On the flip side though, I find it absolutely hilarious when people ask me, with out looking into the carrier, what kind of cat I have (which reminds me, I really need to teach Paco to meow on command!). I find the look on their face even funnier when they do look in the carrier and they see a blue bird...."Oh my!It's a bird and it's BLUE!". I can hear Paco, "Yeah, what a Sherlock you are, must have graduated from Kindergarten to figure that one out...Yes, I'm a bird and I'm blue, have been all my life."

"This is not the fish you are looking for...."

I have to laugh, back on August 6th, I flew back to St. Louis for a family reunion. I brought back about 50 pounds of sockeye salmon and some halibut for mom & dad. I did grill 6 fillets for the reunion, it should have been about 2 or 3 more for nearly everyone was fighting over it! I couldn't believe my ears when one of my little cousins, about 7, came up and demanded "When is that fish going to be done?!". Another, but older cousin (he is about 22) told him that the hot dogs were done and he could have one of those...thus ensued the argument between a 22 year old and a 7 year old as to which was worthy for a 7 year old to eat.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

You won't believe this fish story, but I've got pictures!

Yesterday evening a friend and I went fishing for King salmon at the mouth of Ship Creek. We weren't there much more than 5 minutes when Barbara snagged some fishing line in the water. I didn't think much of it for nearly every time I've gone fishing, I've either found or snagged line, but it was what Barbara said next that caught my attention "There is a fish on that line!". I didn't have enough time to say anything when this huge fish jumps up out of the water and 1/2 way in between Barbara and the fish, up pops another fishing pole!
Now, when the fish jumped, that caught the attention of all the people fishing around us. With the encouragement of the forming crowd, Barb reeled in the fishing pole, then grabbed the wet pole and reeled in the king. Turned out that it was snagged in the tail, but before we could release the fish, some guys that had been trolling for kings to tag for an up coming fishing derby had come over and wanted to tag it. Since Barb couldn't keep it, she let them tag it and release it.
In the mean time, the guy that had lost his rod had come over wanting to claim his rod and fish. Turns out the the guy is not from Alaska, well, he never actually said that he was from the lower 48, it was the comment "What do you mean I can't keep it?!". Not only was he not from Alaska, he was most certainly a novice fisherman for he had placed the pole on the ground to chase a piece of plastic that had blown out of his tackle box. Now, I consider a pole with a lure in the water the equivalent of a drink at a night club, you never put it down and you most certainly do not take your hands off it!
The two guys that helped Barb get the pole and fish to the bank told her, after the guy who had lost his pole had left, that they would have made sure that she kept the fish. I do believe by law, that it would be hers since she was the first to have her hands on the pole when the fish was on the line.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Youtube funny

A. Make sure you don't need to pee
B. Do not, repeat, DO NOT attempt to drink anything when listening to this!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Alaska Zoo

Lord have Mercy, am I spoiled rotten or what!
Re: Zoos, that is. The Alaska Zoo cost $10 person to get in! Those of you that have not been to the St. Louis Zoo, it's free! Granted, yes, you have to pay to ride the train, or get into special exhibits, like the insectarium or the Children's Zoo (it's free to get in there also, if you get there before 9am, if my memory serves me correct.)
I also need to mention that the zoo here may cover 1/5th the ground (and I think I'm pushing it) that the STL Zoo does. Not to mention the number of animals that are in cages and not in bar free large enclosures.
If you are looking to see African exotics, this is not the place for you. They used to have an elephant, Maggie, but they sent her to a rehab center somewhere in California for she was not doing well.....Well, DUH, the last time an elephant walked around up here had HAIR, and LOTs of it (woolly mammoth). She should have never been brought up here to begin with.
One cool thing, the native animals, like the Arctic Fox, Bald Eagles, Linx, etc. are all from an animal rehab center and the animal could not be released back into the wild due to their injuries.
I will link up my Picas photo file from yesterday...

It's Paco's hatchday!

O.k., so, I'm a day late posting this one.
Some days it seems like I've had him only for a couple months, then, like today (keep threating to make him a ringneck parakeet) it feels as if it has been eons since I drove up to Chicago to get him.
Here's a picture of Paco on his new Wingdow, the postman was gracious enough to deliver it on Paco's hatch day.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Portage Lake

Well, after one days rest (from Fur Rondy that is) Martina & I went out to Portage Lake for a walk about...we quickly discovered that we should have brought our snowshoes! We have both decided that we were going to go back out when we get back from Fairbanks and we are going to try to ski to the glacier, if the snow is still too deep, then we will shoe back in to it. I can't wait!

Running of the Reindeer

Ok...just imagine the Running of the Bulls....substitute Alaska for Italy, reindeer for bulls and crazies for, well, a different breed of crazies.
I'll just let the pictures do the talking (I do have to admit, I thought it was hilarious)
o.k. for some reason, I can't get the photos to upload, was able to link a slide have some mushing and skijoring pics, but you will know which ones are the "Running of the Reindeer" pics.

Fur Rondy

This past weekend was the start of the winter festival here in Anchorage that goes by the name Fur Rendezvous or better known as "Fur Rondy".
Rondy has everything that a regular festival/carnival has, rides, games & contests, but with an Alaska twist. There was the World Championship Dog Weight Pull, Snow Sculptures, mushing races and skijoring (skier being pulled by an animal, usually a dog). This year, they added something new, Running of the Reindeer (please see separate entry for this one cuz it deserves an entry all its own). This event proves what can happen when cabin fever hits in mass.
All in all, I enjoyed myself. Tried a reindeer sausage (tasted like deer sausage to me) and had a good time taking pictures.

This little gal is just about ready to start her race down 4th Street. Keep in mind she is somewhere between 5 & 6 years old.

This is a shot of the carnival rides that were there. And, no, I didn't ride any of them....does "windchill" mean anything to you? ;P

This is during the weight pull. If memory serves me correct, this guy had only been training to pull for about a month, also, he was pretty lanky, so he was quite young to boot. His owner was trying and trying to get him to pull, and everyone had a good laugh when he just plopped his big butt down on the ground and just stared at the crowd or his owner.

This dude here, he is aptly named...he weighs 180 pounds and is named "Dozer". I wasn't able to hang around for the end of this feet were turning to ice. The previous weight class, 85-125 pounds, winner pulled right around 4,200 pounds. Another kicker for me, "Dozer" looks like a twin to the Malamute that my parents had, we thought that "Bud" weighed close to 120 pounds, looks like we were off a couple pounds....

Yep, there were people dressed in all sorts of garb. This man happened to also be an artist that was selling paintings...had I had an extra $100, one of his paintings would be on my wall right now.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

I nearly choked when I read this....

O.k...I have to admit, on occasion, I do read the Rant/Rave section on Usually it's all rants, but on a rare occasion, a gem pops out:
The first post, a seemingly innocent question:

is there walmart in alaska?
Reply to:
Date: 2008-01-23, 11:01PM AKST

do you have Best Buy, Target or computers up there?Just wondering?Is it really that cold up there?

Now, here's the response that nearly killed me (bad timing on swallowing a drink of water and reading the post).

RE: is there walmart in alaska
Reply to:
Date: 2008-01-23, 11:17PM AKST

Wal-Mart? What is that? I have seen pictures of stores and buildings, but we only have ice houses called igloos. Also, please tell us about these fancy automobile thingies. I hear they go faster than the dog teams we use to commute with.
Do you have to clean up poop from cars too?
Which end do you feed?
Hold on, my polar bear can’t find his squeaky toy…

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Finally got my "Alaska moose" picture

When I got off work on 1/20, I was very tired...hadn't been able to sleep well the previous two days.
Anyway, as I was getting ready to pull out of the parking lot, there she was, munching away at the landscaping across the street.
It's taken me 14 months to get a picture of a moose in the city....I've seen LOTS of them out away from civilization, but this was my first, well, second that I've seen in town. My first was in Fairbanks, about 4 days after I had been there....dummy me left the camera out of my bag. Lesson since learned, I've had a camera with me ever since.

Monday, January 21, 2008

The Bird Speaks!

Well, not much more than 60 minutes ago, Paco uttered his very first words in front of me. He said his name!
I totally feel blessed!
Oh, you say, what's the big deal?
Well, Paco is going on two years old this March and had yet to say one word when I was in his direct line of site...he actually spoke when he was about 4 months old. He said his name...I was in my bedroom trying to sleep and he was in his cage in the living room. Since then, he as said a whole host of things like "I love you", "come here", "step up", "what's your damage!", "Paco's a good boy" & "damit to hell", all while I have been safely hidden in another room.
But today, for some reason, was different. We were bantering back and forth...some weird little noise that sounds like a growl...I decided to change it up and say his name. Well, he started to say it! I tried to get him to say it again, but he had a look on his face like "aw, shit, she knows I can talk!!!".
I can't wait for him to say something in front of me again to be able to give him some positive reinforcement in hopes that will encourage him to talk even more. Though, I know better than to hold my breath for I will more than likely end up turning more blue than him before he utters another word in my presence.