Thursday, January 31, 2013

not many pictures but some news...

 rumors were out regarding me changing jobs.  wanted to get it all out there before i headed back tomorrow night.  i am transferring to the float pool ( now called the resource pool, though oddly, it's listed as a job in the float pool, the managers card says float pool).  the bottom line is for me to go back and forth between two units i really have to have the support of both management teams.  i definitely got that this wasn't going to happen on the one end.  it got busy and i felt like i was the scape goat.  i fear this will only happen again and again each time it gets busy.  so i've had a great run at doing both units.  i will continue to float to both units though now i will also float to other units.  i will miss going back and forth between the two units, but life is change and you have to be adaptable.  i don't believe in staying longer some place than you should.  if it brings you unhappiness you can leave.
 i waited several weeks and pondered this decision.  there were no attempts to meet in the middle. i found myself feeling irritated and angry.  my job is stressful enough without having to deal with silly interpersonal issues.  it's not worth the bother.  i don't want to become one of those angry people, stewing over trivial things because i am fearful of change.  so i am changing. i've learned a lot, made some lovely friends and have become a better, kinder person through this.  change is always a bit scary and difficult, but i know i will look back several months from now and realize that i made the right choice.  if not...i can always change again. thanks to my many friends who have been supportive and have listened to me drone on as i try to make this decision.
 today, i walked with the dogs out rovers run to moose meadow.  we've had a light snow falling off and on for a few days now.  i did manage to get the ski's into the car finally, but didn't get out for a ski yet.  they had groomed the base coat at rovers, but hadn't tracked it.
 i did manage to finally get to the POOL!!  you gotta start somewhere. i  did 60 lengths or 30 laps.  it felt great!!  change jobs, get my leg fixed and get back in shape!!  that is the goal anyway.
 my cats stay indoors.  an article in the paper today gives me another reason to continue to keep them inside.    the headline, "us cats kill about 2.4 billion birds, 12.3 billion mammals annually".  those are crazy high numbers!! many of the cats are ferral cats and not pet cats, but still clearly there is an issue.  my old cat kotenouk was crazy and eventually i let him out on occasion.  one day i think he left 3 tiny birds at my back door before i got him back inside...that was his last trek outside. i felt so guilty.  not sure how they actually got this data though.  hmm?
 the battle over the name of the big mountain in alaska begins again.  i'm all for it changing as are most alaskan's i believe.  it's known as mckinley, but that is after a president that never actually set foot in alaska.  before it was renamed by politicians, it was called denali, or the high one in athabascan.  this comes up over and over and a few people in ohio continue to battle it out.  one day we will succeed i think.  maybe we can switch the titles...denali mountain and mckinley national park?
 up to 100 young males have been found shot in the back of their heads, bound in syria.  both sides are blaming the other side.  such a sad mess syria has become.  those poor people are trying to escape the madness at alarming rates.  makes me grateful to be where i am.  so fortunate.  mali is still under taliban rule in some area's. one gentleman was saying all music was banned, even cell phone rings.
 so my little job change seems pretty small by comparison to what many across the globe are dealing with each day.  i have so much to be grateful for.  so a mildly stressful day getting all finalized and arranged and then writing emails to both managers to let them know of my decision officially.  the one i had the issues with wished me well and was pleasant in her response.  i think sometimes people just are embarrassed and prideful and it's just hard to admit they may have handled something least she didn't make it worse, i gotta give her credit for that.
back to work tomorrow. will have to start getting my new schedule sorted out.  hopefully i can do a similar schedule to the one i have enjoyed.  asked to change it up so i may get to the iditarod.  if not....oh well i guess.  we shall see.  figure i'm just orienting probably so what does it matter what days i'm there.  perhaps i'll find some nice comfort movie to put in and enjoy.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

day for a little drive...

 sometimes i get a bit of the cabin fever and feel like taking a drive out of anchorage for the day.  hiking different trails.  so i packed up the girls and headed to eklutna.  first i walked them out to thunder bird falls.  not a very long walk really, but a bit of a butt workout.  the falls weren't really all that magnificent today.  i didn't hike to the bottom though.  blind dog...steepness, blond dog, no fear.  we just went to the look out and back.  enough to make both dogs happy enough for the day.  driving wears them out anyway, especially rio.  she's so stressed in a car sometimes.  blossom just lays down and goes to sleep.
 this is actually from last night.  blossom lay down on rio's bed...something she never does.  rio had to make due next to her. it was kinda cute.  i'm easily made happy by dog stuff though.
 blossom was off and on leash dependent on how steep the sides looked to me.
 felt a bit haunted today by that brasillian fire in a night club.  over 200 people couldn't get out.  that is horrible.  fire scares me.  such an unpleasant and terrifying death.  my heart goes out to all those lost and their families.  to be so close to escape but not be able to claw your way to safety before the fire or lack of oxygen got you.  how could they allow any sort of pyrotechnics in a place with so little safety precautions or exits.  just irresponsible it seems like to me.
 a distant shot of the waterfall.  not much to see little section looked cool, but i'd have to be closer to really enjoy it.  blossom makes me nervous around open water with ice so that was another reason i begged off of taking the trail down to the little creek.
 with my concerns about heights i didn't need this sign  to keep me walking close to the inside of the trail, away from the steep bits.  i did like the picture of the little dude falling down though.  quite humorous.
 this trails is pretty popular in the summers. i rarely go there though.  popular is usually something i avoid.
 took a drive out the old glenn highway after i left thunder bird falls. nothing spectacular  but it's always nice to just drive and clear my head. have been lazy the rest of the evening...sorry to say.  ate taco's and then couldn't move.  so filling.
 has snowed off and on this evening, but the roads were nice and clear today as i drove about.

 npr was discussing women in combat.  the rules were recently changed to allow women to be on the front line.  the guy they were talking to said that in the old days of war there was the front line and then the support network.  women stayed in the background in the support network.  these days there is no front line really.  everywhere and everyone is up for attack.  women are already being put in this position.  they are being successful.  seems reasonable to give them the credit and opportunities they are already being pushed into anyway.
talk of how different war is now than in the days of old and how it took the officials some time to get out of the rut of seeing the wars the same as they had been in the old days.
 not sure i got any stellar shots of eklutna.  black and whites were fine, but i think i like some of the colour just cause the colour pop's out there in the snow.
 as is always the case.   anytime i am anywhere i seem to attract the attention of someone who doesn't seem to trust my presence.  there is nobody there in the winter, but the gate was open and there is a little box that asks for $5.  so i paid it and went in.  i was probably only there for 1/2 hour or 45 min and was very respectful in my activities.  still as i left a van pulled in.  i gave him a nod as i got in my car and that was that.
 eklutna is a small town though and so i'm sure word spread fast that there was someone in the cemetery.
 i think it's really cool that they build these spirit houses over the graves.  they don't believe in maintaining them and eventually they will just become part of the grounds, which i'm cool with as well.
 the russian orthodox religion came over years ago and many natives converted.  this cemetery demonstrates the combination of the two belief systems working together.
 the tiny church is cool too.  i guess there are two buildings, the old church and the newer church. the new church is still used for sevices.  it is really pretty small and can't hold too many church goers.

 this person chose to have a spirit moose i guess watching over them.
 there are spirit houses in different states of disrepair.  a few new ones from time to time, so they must still use this as a burial site.
 cloudy day out there.  not sure what the weather will bring for the rest of the week.  we've had such a strange winter this year. it's either very cold or too warm.  too little snow fall for most of us.  we are happy with whatever snow we get.  some were talking that there are rumors they won't be able to do the ceremonial start in anchorage due to the low snow.  still a ways away, but we do need to get some serious snow cover before the iditarod. i think a few preliminary races have had troubles due to the lack of snow.
 the forecast does seem to call for chance of snowfall.  it also says possibly!!  don't warm up again!!
 a fenced dog park is looking like it will become a reality.  apparently the park they are looking at has become a place of ill repute.  they are hoping if they add a dog park it will reverse the trend of drinking/drugs and prostitution.  dogs do rule!!  dogs to the rescue to clean up a park!!!  we'll still go to university lake and north bivouac trails.
 research is showing our frogs will fare poorly with these global warming trends.  these little guys freeze solid in the winters.  they burrow in and freeze up by excreting the glucose from their cells...testing my memory here!! with less snowfall they may have multiple freeze thaws and not survive.  they really do freeze solid though.  i find them fascinating.  alaska isn't a place for reptiles or amphibians in general though.  i think it's just this frog, maybe more in the southeast panhandle.  no snakes, no lizards for sure.  also no ticks, or fleas. haven't seen any ants or cockroaches either!!
 the french seem to doing fairly well in mali.  i hope they can help those poor folks out.  npr again...something about some thinking it's bad that we are taking a back seat in all these places.  like we should be lead all the time.  lead is expensive and people don't like you.  besides, these seem to be the same people who used to be angry that we were always out there getting in everyone elses business.  just can't please some people.  i'm totally happy to let other nations take a lead role.  spread the hate around, spread the money around.  we are helping out and i'm sure if things got worse we'd take a bigger role.
 this is as close as my lens got to the one section of the waterfall that wasn't totally frozen.
 these are with the zoom lens out there.
 hard to see the crosses.  they are russian orthodox crosses which are different than the regular christian crosses.

 always good to reboot.  guess i could fly to hawaii and reboot, but this was cheaper.  not sure where to head tomorrow.  south or north.
 will check the weather in the morning and see where that takes me.
 bald eagle feathers.  illegal for most of us to have, legal for the natives so these are legal.  saw two bald eagles flying around the glenn as i drove north today.  always an amazing sight.
 see the colours are nice...

 this modern house has always impressed me.  of course, if anyone makes a spirit house for me, i'd like one that looks like a cool log cabin...the one i haven't been able to afford all these years. perhaps i could afford a miniature version.  since i  prefer cremation it could be even smaller!!  i like how fancy this one is.
 alaskan homes are often surrounded by old stuff. i will refrain from saying junk.  one mans junk is another mans treasure...that goes for women too.  this property had some cool old cars.  i probably should have gotten out of the car and gotten some really cool shots, but in some of these more rural area's that sort of activity could get you shot.  alaskans have guns and they are not afraid to use them if they feel threatened.
 jumbled in here is a few of the old bridge on the old glenn.

 more old cars.
 i'm sure this owner plans on doing something with these bad boys one of these days.  that was my dad as well.  just from that era where you didn't waste anything.  everything was salvaged for possible parts.  now we all have junk.  people just collect different stuff.  my parents would have like 10 toasters. when one broke they would buy a new one, but the old one was never just tossed away.  nope it was packed away.  i try to be better and i have my moments of purging, but i live in about 1300 square feet and i seem to be able to fill it no problem.  entire families and their crap live in 1300 square feet so clearly i have too much crap.
 this is my sad story of the day.  i saw this moose on the side of the road.  as i pulled closer i realized that there was a dead baby moose right off the side of the road.  it was covered in a layer of snow, meaning it had probably been hit overnight.  when i was there is was late afternoon.   this poor mama moose was lingering around her dead calf.  just broke my heart.  i wanted to cry, i wanted to get out of the car and hug her or sit with her.  i realize she would not have appreciated my acts, but i just felt so badly for her.  wonder how long she will linger in the area, how often she will return there.  still makes my eyes well up to think of her out there on the side of the road with her dead calf.
poor girl.