Saturday, January 31, 2009

What's New in Alaska

We have a beautiful volcano, located due west of Homer . . . and . . .. it's about to erupt. There's a watch on it now, and we're waiting for the spray of dust. You can see from this image how pretty Mt. Redoubt is . . . but the last time it erupted was about 12 yrs. ago, and it was unforgettable. The sticky gray film landed everywhere in Anchorage, and even stopped some of the flights from taking off, as this dust got caught up in the engines. Personally, my car had it over the windshield, and you didn't want to turn on your wipers, which would only smudge it. I promise to follow up on this upcoming problem, but if you want to read our very skinny newspaper, click here.

Of course, you don't want to read about funerals here, but I did want to mention a rather special one that was held today. Maxine Reed was reaching a hundred, but didn't make it. Her husband, a real Pioneer, was holding her hand as they passed, and things won't be the same without her. Her daughter eulogized, "She was the internet before the internet was invented" and that was aptly put. Bye, Maxine, see you later.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Winter in Alaska

Ah, it's great to be back in Alaska after a month in the lower states. Just to see our beautiful landscape was a wonderful welcome home.
Of course, I escaped during the extremely cold spell, but not totally. It was below zero when I was in Chicago, and Lake Michigan can't compare to Denali. (I do love Chicago, tho', in spite of their bizarre politics).
January is the 'lull before the storm' in Anchorage, because things are gearing up for the big Fur Rendezvous celebration, and the start of the Iditarod Dog Sled Races. These two events have unofficially merged . . . back to back at the end of February. In the holding pattern, there are many offerings in sports and arts. The Anchorage Opera continues and Anchorage Concert Association is filled with programs throughout the 'school year' . . . . The University of Alaska (UAA) is noteworthy this winter for the nationally recognized women's basketball team. Unfortunately, women's sports still don't draw a crowd, but it's probably better entertainment than men's at this time.
Come to Anchorage in the winter. You'll love our Town Square. And the best part is that there's no construction going on . . . remember the old adage, "There are two seasons in Anchorage, winter and construction".

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Missing Alaska

It's always sad to leave Alaska for too long, and this month has made me realize that no matter how far you travel, you can't beat Alaska for the good life. . . just to update my blog, tho', I'll give you a quick rundown on the past month . .. .
After arriving in Tampa, I drove a great Chevy rental to Naples, and this was an easy 3 hour trip south . . . my condo was quite large and over looked the Gulf, but you also have to ignore the brush between you and the sandy beach. . . Pelican Bay runs a golf cart shuttle back and forth all day, and it's quite nice, but a bit inconvenient . .. they have a beautiful Philharmonic Hall that draws big crowds to all their performances . .. however, everything in Naples caters to the idle rich and price there are pretty scary . .. back to Tampa, and taking off on Carnival's Inspiration for the New Year's Week .. good Las Vegas type shows, good food, and ports of call were pretty neat, too, as we toured Cozumel (first time since Earthquake) again, and Grand Cayman . .. back to Tampa, and flew up to Fayetteville NC to visit DD at Cape Fear hospital (visiting nurse from Anchorage) . . . but this city is also home to Fort Bragg, which is an absolutely huge post with great museums, and everything else military offers .. .. back to Tampa and some good restaurants andother things . . I love Bahama Breeze, which is trendy place on a non-island between Tampa and Clearwater . .. and also some movies, Marley and Me, and the Curious Case of Benjamin Button . ... and some dances . .. and church . . . you know, the usual from a nice city which could also be considered a resort. .. I'm thinking of that now, as I'm sitting in Chicago, freezing my xxxxx off .... I couldn't believe it could be colder than Anchorage, but sure enough, it is. .. last night we went to Navy Pier for dinner and were the only ones in the restaurant. . . I noted in todays paper that several schools and businesses are closed due to the weather, and here I am, wearing all my Florida clothing - at once, in layers -- to keep warm. .. ah, but I hear tomorrow will be better, and thank goodness for that because my family is driving down for the weekend to visit, which is the purpose of my trip . . . but Sunday is coming soon enough, and I'm heading back to big A, with busted pipes in my condo, I hear, and other problems, but it'll be good to get home. . . check back with me, because I'll be writing about some big things coming up in February with Fur Rendezvous and the Iditarod Races forthcoming.