Saturday, June 30, 2007

Saturday Wrap-up

This is the logo of our new football team. They have quite a following in Anchorage, but still trying to win their first football game, after 14 losses, and 3 coaches. It's a lazy Saturday already, and the end of June. Tonight is the end of smoking in any public place in Anchorage. It's also a big, important baseball game between our Anchorage Bucs (.com) and Glacier Pilots. Our players need a little boosting up, as their self esteem dropped a heap last night when the Fairbanks Goldpanners wiped them out. There's probably a lot more going on that I could write about, but I know you want to surf fursther.

Monday, June 25, 2007


The local news describes the terrible fires on the Kenai Peninsula. For readers unfamiliar with that area, it's south of Anchorage about 150 miles, and the 'end of the road' is in Homer. You may remember hearing Tom Bodgett recite his prose about this, or at least his commercial about "we'll leave the light on for ya!" . .. The rains I wrote about yesterday do little, well maybe 'a' little to quell the flames, and the beautiful wooded areas are carrying the lovely homes with them.
I did not see a word in the morning paper about the 'other' fire in Lake Tahoe Looking at L.A. Times website, it shows some of the luxury class homes going up in smoke. The Reno paper had no mention of the fire, even tho' they're only a few miles away. I didn't check today's paper, but we were looking at last night's information. There's got to be a way to control all these fires, but no one's come up with a magic I-pod, or cell phone that can shoot a fire out. They do everything else. In fact, they're putting so many gadgets on cell phones now, it makes one feel primitive to not have one. That's me. I had two cells, for a year each, and gave 'em up. Guess I'll settle for my computer and fax machine to keep up with the times. I still get hard copy newspaper in the morning, too. Just an old fashioned gal . ..

Sunday, June 24, 2007

The Rains Came

I guess it was time to have the gods water the plants . . . Anchorage has had a beautiful early summer so far, so we were ready for the rain to come, and also to put out some terrible forest fires on the Kenai Peninsula.

So, what do you do on a rainy Sunday afternoon. I've given up on movies, so decided to sort out some images. I'm posting this one of the Eskimo drum I made in a class at the University. Our teacher was Becky, and she knew her stuff -- all the supplies were there and she helped us thru all the steps. The elk drumhead is just beautiful, and I like the way the mallot turned out. The sound is a great full bass, and now I have to figure out where to play it. One of my piano students tells me she plays drums, so perhaps I'll invite her to use mine when we have our monthly birthday party at the Pioneer Home - you see, I play the piano for this every fourth Thursday, and here it is already the end of June. By the way, the mostly-hidden drum behind this big native drum is one I got in Mombasa. That's on the Indian Ocean, east side of Kenya. It surely sounds tinny compared to my new drum. Ta-dum, ta-dum, ta-dum.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

A Ho-Hum Day

This is one of several images of mailboxes that I received today. Leave it to those Texans to come up with a theme. The weather has been so beautiful in Anchorage lately, and we hope it lasts. It reached 80 degrees today!

We had our annual cemetery walk this evening. The originator or this has passed on, so a young couple deliver the narrative of interesting Alaskans that are buried there. It always draws a crowd of a hundred or so, and is so interesting to hear stories and scandals of old.

Now the days will start getting shorter, as now it stays light all night. It used to bother me, trying to sleep, but being a true Alaskan, it's just a natural thing up here. I was just whipped in a game of Scrabble, so I'll cut this short before I make excuses. Guess I'll stick to Sudoku.

Le coeur fait boum... Chez Maya !

Le coeur fait boum... Chez Maya !

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Weekend in Sitka, Alaska

The flight to Sitka, from Anchorage, takes about 3 hours, as you have to stopover in Juneau en route. The reason for my visit was the annual meeting of the State Council on the Arts, and our Sitka member arranged a great visit for us.
The images above show the Russian Church downtown, and Mount Edgecombe, which is all on Baranof Island. Sitka was the first capital of Alaska, and the Russian influence remains. The people there are all so hospitable, and many get their full time livelihood from the deluge of cruise ships that visit daily throughout the summer. Because the dock has shallow water, the passengers have to be lightered in, but it is well worth the inconvenience to get to see all tourist attractions. The first one they run into is the Archangel dancers at Centennial Hall. This is the only large building/theatre in town at this time, and it houses some meeting rooms, souvenir shops, a collection of photos in a small museum, and complimentary coffee. This is where we had our meetings. The airport, and SEARHC hospital are on a separate island connected by a beautiful bridge built in the 70's. The Raptor Center is a short walk from Sheldon Jackson College, and the walk takes you thru the national forest where there are totem poles, floral bushes, and great signage. The Shee Atika Totem Inn where I stayed is right on the banks of the channel, and if you walk a short distance west, you'll see the fish processing plants. This short paragraph hardly covers all that Sitka has to offer, so you may want to read further about this charming town.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Anchorage Bucs Baseball

The baseball season in Anchorage is pretty short, but it's a great delight to go to the Ball Park and cheer for the Bucs.

We are part of the Alaska Baseball League, and there is one other club in Anchorage called Glacier Pilots. This is the second week of the season, and the players are still arriving from the colleges in the lower states. There are several highlights during the 6 week season, but the most important event for the players is probably the scouts coming near the end of the season, recruiting some players for the Major League Farm Clubs. You can view the success stories of some players on their webpage. . . . there's also a link to the famous Abbott and Costello banter, "Who's on First". I hope the reader is old enough to remember this, but I suspect the new age -- Generation X -- would enjoy it, too. So, Take me out to the ball game. Take me out with the crowd, buy me some peanuts and cracker jacks, I don't care if . ...

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Iditarod Sled Dog Show

Quite by accident, I attended this sled dog show, and it was such a delight that I highly recommend it. It's a great idea for summer livehood of the once-a-year Iditarod dog mushers, and their families. You can view it at this site. After the performance, you are invited to go 'backstage' and hold the darling puppies, huskies, Samayods, etc. and looking at the size of their paws, you can tell what they'll look like next year. . . there are so many new tourist attractions every year, and it's getting hard to remember how primitive Anchorage was when I moved here in 1966.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Hello, Sunshine

We've been blessed with another day of sunshine. Today's paper features a great local couple who celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary with a neighborhood party and dedication of a staircase on a downtown street-connector. Anyone who knows Anchorage would know their names when they view the image above, but I don't use names on my blog. There were four picnics yesterday that I knew to choose from. The Petroleum Club held my favor, and it was a great, well-planned picnic held on the lawn between two commercial/office buildings. There were several booths with varied games like ring-toss, basketball shoot, etc. Then, the buffet line include the usual fare plus great barbecued pork ribs. Attendance was surprisingly low, and I often wonder why more members don't take advantage of the complementary events at the club. In the evening, another party for my son's in-laws who are returning to the lower states tomorrow. Food and drink a-plenty. So I call today a wind-down day.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Beautiful Day in Big A

This is one of many clever license plates in Anchorage. The local newspaper has a bunch posted here. Wait for a rainy day to view 'em all.
This evening is the start of Bucs Baseball season. Couldn't ask for a nicer evening at beautiful Mulcahy Park. We're playing Stockton (CA) so they expect nice weather like this. Maybe they brought it up.
Friends came over for tea this afternoon. The daughter is a helicopter pilot. Interesting, eh? I have another friend, whose daughter is an elephant trainer in Florida. Gee, I feel like times are changing so fast. Also had time for a swim, but that was indoors at West Hi. The slide is broken due to mechanical failure. I couldn't figure out what that meant, so a few questions later, I found out the female life guard burned out the motor for the cascading water that keeps the slide cool. Our own version of Paris Hilton. Oops, did I say that? Tomorrow is picnic day.

Friday, June 8, 2007


Don't get me started on the weather - just hoping for a sunnier weekend. Froze on the golf course yesterday, and the wind keeps stirring things up, which is worse than the temperature. My golf pro scolded me about using slick (worn out) grips, so I dropped them off to get new ones. Glad he keeps me in line -- or should I say, my ball.
The aftermath of the big fire in Anchorage -- I think I wrote about the luxury condos downtown that burned down -- had so many horror stories that I won't blog, but in addition to some homeless friends now, I found out two other friends, within blocks of the condo, have an amputated leg, and bone cancer, respectively. It's awful news. Looking at a happier side, the Convention and Visitors Bureau had their monthly business exchange last night at Rust's Flying Service, and it was delightful. The winds calmed down long enough for free flightseeing rides, and there was a band playing, several stands from local restaurants with 'bites' all complimentary. I invited some friends and relatives, and we all enjoyed.... how could you not! Here's a picture of my deck.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Fish Finally!

This is the fish submitted by another piano teacher . . . scales, get it? To see all the fish goto . . . this is the first time I've posted a link but I think I have to do it in html language, here's where you click.
I've already written about this event, so I won't 'clog my blog' with that. The big news from Anchorage is that there were three bad fires yesterday - a whole school burned down, and the fourth/top floor of a luxury condominium downtown. The black smoke spread everywhere and all major arteries to town were closed. Occupants had to move out, but many were at work and wouldn't have known til they tried to drive home. So that's my condensed blog for the day.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Blue Monday

The influx of tourists is in full swing. The weather is not cooperating so far, but tomorrow is golf day, so of course, we'll have sunshine. Dream on. We have a local celebrity that captures the admiration of just everyone. His name is Hobo Jim, and he composes all his material. He also wrote the famous,
I Did, I Did, I Did the Iditarod Trail.
No, he didn't but he sure can put the song across. He performs two nights a week in Anchorage and moves on to the Kenai Peninsula and other places the rest of the week.
I don't want to let you down by not complaining about something - besides the weather. So this is my gripe of the day. Why do computer ads imply you can just turn your new computer on and start working because all the programs are installed. In actually, it takes a good four hours to get to that point. In yesterday's paper was an article about removing Norton, that keeps popping up everywhere. Good luck on that. It AIN'T easy.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Anchorage Fish

Credit for this beautiful fish art comes from Ray Troll. He's a great artist who lives in Ketchikan. I wasn't really trying to 'steal' it without permission, but my subject today has no pictures. They will be coming tomorrow I'm sure, as the big fish display was today in the atrium of the Conoco-Phillips Building, and there was a huge crowd of locals there viewing, and voting for, the decorated fish. The ideas were all so clever, and it was hard to just choose the favorite one. I'm just being too cheerful today. Of course, I have to gripe about something, and today's gripe is one that is more far reaching than just the fish exhibit. So here goes . . . WHY do people who re talking in a microphone think they have to shout to be heard. Today is the spoken word of some woman, but I am referring to rock singers, vocalists of all kinds, politicians, etc.
I hope that whoever reads this will take note that you don't have to shout into a mike if it's a working mike. So there! It's a beautiful day in big A.

Friday, June 1, 2007


The first Friday of the month in Anchorage means certain events happen to attract the population to race downtown. That day is today, and I'm programmed to attend the party in Town Square, and do the Art Walk to all the galleries within 2 blocks of wherever I get a parking spot, and attend the opening of the new branch of the Title Wave Bookstore, which is very popular. Actually, they are going to market the two volumes of "Fond Memories", a hard copy self-published by the Pioneers of Alaska. One of the state officers of the Grand Igloo is going to meet me there to sign the contract with the manager. At the Anchorage Museum of History and Art, a local pianist is going to do a 'concert'. It's her birthday, so it should be a special performance, as she has several guest musicians playing with her. So June is coming in like a lion -- oh, wait, that was March. Well, summer's here. Welcome!