Friday, November 30, 2007

An aside...

I know, I know...not Alaska-related, but I put my other blog on hiatus and I need to post this somewhere.

Two points about the Packers-Cowboys game:

1. AARON! F*@%!^&! RODGERS! The kid is for real! Or, as Sara pointed out, maybe it was the mullet giving him power.

and...

2. Final Score -> Packers 27 to Cowboys 23 (+ Refs 14 for a combined total of 37)

That is all.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Crazy Weather

Yeah, it's almost December, and the high temp today is supposed to be in the 40s. What the heck is going on? Not to mention this...
KUSKOKWIM DELTA
- INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...BETHEL...HOOPER BAY...NUNIVAK ISLAND
859 AM AST THU NOV 29 2007

...HIGH WIND WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 7 PM AST FRIDAY...

SOUTHEAST WINDS 45 TO 60 MPH WITH GUSTS TO 80 MPH ARE EXPECTED
ALONG THE COAST AND NUNIVAK ISLAND THROUGH FRIDAY EVENING. WINDS
WILL BEGIN TO DIMINISH FRIDAY NIGHT.

A HIGH WIND WARNING MEANS A HAZARDOUS HIGH WIND EVENT IS EXPECTED
OR OCCURRING. PEOPLE ARE URGED TO SECURE LOOSE OBJECTS THAT COULD
BE BLOWN AROUND OR DAMAGED BY THE WIND.
Let's hope our satellite dish doesn't get blown away before the big Packers-Cowboys game after work today!! (BTW, thank goodness the NFL Network is on the basic Dish Network package...seriously! Between the nationally televised games and the amount of times they've played not at the same time as the Seahawks, we've only missed, I think, 2 or 3 Packer games so far this season...not to shabby for being 3000-and-some-odd miles away from the home market :-P)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Pure fluff

Man, I don't know how I plan on keeping this blog from turning into baby-central once the munchkin arrives...I can't even keep myself from posting pictures of the d*mn dog all the time...

Said dog investigating his new snowdrift that formed over the weekend


Same dog enjoying our xmas lights, flabbergasted that Sara dared to leave the house and walk next door.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Gobble gobble

Wow, how have I let a couple weeks slip by without posting? I suck.

So let's see, what have I missed? Not too much, I guess. Sara and I hosted our first holiday gathering on Thursday, and that seemed to go over quite well. Despite a little pre-event stress, everything came out just fine (even the turkey). Many of our fellow teachers brought over a bunch of wonderful food, and we sat and talked and ate and watched football...pretty much all you can ask for from Thanksgiving :-)

Other than that, not too much else exciting to report. Plugging along into the last month of the semester at school...trying to get everyone where they need to be, etc. Kinda stressful, which may explain my desire to just get out of dodge at the end of the schoolday, and not sit around and blog. Alas, before we know it, it will be Christmas break, and we'll be back in Point, kicking it with family and friends. Just in case you're wondering, we'll be getting into O'Hare and back to town (weather permitting, of course) sometime late on Dec. 22nd, and be headed back to AK on Jan. 11th. So, we'll be bouncing around, trying to see everyone in that time...so if you're around and want to grab a beer or something, just let me know! I have a bit of a rule to try not to turn down *any* chance to go out and have fun while I'm back in WI...'cuz I have plenty of time to sit around and stare out the window when I'm up here :-P

Friday, November 9, 2007

Friday Afternoon (Random Thoughts)

Just in case you needed another reminder that we're not in Kansas anymore, Toto:

Fearing rabies, villagers shoot more than 20 dogs

So apparently, there's this pack of rabid wolves hanging around Marshall, which is what, 3 or 4 hours north of us on the Yukon. Last week someone from Fish and Game said something along the lines of that his advice to the people there would be to "get out there and shoot them, they're in season!" Which, of course, I've already read some backlash about from some wolf conservation groups downstates. There was a time, I guess, I may have agreed.

But things are a little bit different up here.

I've been going back and forth about whether to write about this new movie, Into the Wild, that seems to have been drumming up a lot of reaction here in Alaska. Now, I've never read the book, and of course I haven't seen the movie, but it seems like there's a bunch of people look at this guy as some kind of counterculture hero. In Alaska, people seem to mostly see him as an idiot who went out in the wilderness without the right supplies or knowledge and died because of it. Here's a good collection of stuff about him and the movie from the Anchorage paper.

I think a couple years ago I would have liked this movie, maybe thought the guy was a visionary or an adventurer.

I'm glad I hadn't heard of the story before moving up here. Now, I just think the guy was a moron.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Bread of Life...

I know, I'm not always good at including cultural/culinary Alaska stuff here, but when I read this story in the ADN yesterday, I figured I should share it with my lower 48 pals...

Alaska staple is safe: Rumors of Pilot Bread's demise are false

Seriously. I'd never even heard of the stuff before moving here. At least, not in a context other than Civil War soldiers used to complain about hardtack. Now, I eat it pretty much every day! I found myself craving it this summer, back in Wisconsin...it's the ultimate random foodstuff. The edible equivalent of a blank canvas.

Whenever we move back to the midwest, I think I'm going to have to figure out how to order the stuff...

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

KWN N.Y.O. Pictures (& November Rain?)

Sorry about the G'n'R reference...I just read the latest weather forecast for the week. Sad, sad. We're stuck in this upper-20s to mid-30s pattern, which has meant lots of snow (good), but no ice being made on the river (bad). Hence, our lovely snowmachine is left sitting, waiting for a chance to get off the boardwalk and out and about across the river.

Been a while since I posted, hasn't it? Been kinda busy, but then again, that's a good thing. I was able to accompany the school's NYO team to Quinhagak this past weekend, and it was loads of fun. In fact, why don't I just post a few of the pics I took and tell a little of the story that way?


Loading up the boat to head over to the airport. One of the older guys that works at the school said that this is only the second or third time in his life, that he can remember, that the river's still open in November. Someone call Al Gore.


At the airport...our buses have arrived!


For some reason, I'm almost always on the wrong side of the plane to be able to take a picture of the village coming in or out...that, or the weather's too bad to see anything. Friday was beautiful flying weather, so I was able to snap a shot from a little ways away. Hopefully, sometime, I'll be able to get a better, closer shot.


The airport in Quinhagak is a couple miles out of the village proper, but unlike Nunap, they have actual roads! So some nice folks from the school came and picked us up...and Carey and I "got" to ride in the back of the truck. A little chilly, but a nice view of the mountains!


One of the best things about being able to travel to Quinhagak was seeing our friends, Eric and Sherry, and their little one. Sara wanted to come along and see a whole bunch of students, teachers, and parents she knows from when she taught here for a couple years, but unfortunately, there ended up not being any room on the charters for her to tag along. Here, Eric is teaching his boy an essential NYO skill...the High Kick!


After we got settled in, it was time to start the events. Since there were only two teams there, I ended up helping to judge almost everything. This is the third meet that I've helped, so I'm starting to feel like I'm understanding all the rules enough that I won't be nervous about judging on my own, if need be, next time. Anyways, here is one of our students balancing for the One Arm Reach.


After all the events were over on Friday night, the Quinhagak team stuck around for a sleepover with the Nunap team at the school. Lots of hanging out and open gym time. They have a bunch of rollerblades at their school for some reason, so everyone had a good time playing rollerhockey and generally skating around and trying not to fall on their butts.


video
We were ahead of schedule when we finished up on Friday night (another nice thing about only having two teams there), but we still had more events to do on Saturday. Here is a very quick video of some kids practicing for one of my favorites, Eskimo Stick Pull (named so as to differentiate it from Indian Stick Pull, which is a completely different beast, and involves Crisco. Seriously.)


Another benefit of bringing a big team to a small meet...here's the high school team accepting the 1st place trophy!


It had been a long 24 hours, and without much sleep, as I can attest...here are the boys, (mostly) sleeping on the plane ride home. The pilot woke them up shortly after this pic was taken, however, with a few good rounds of "roller coaster" :-)