Monday, August 10, 2015

no it was not snowing in Anchorage yesterday...

 my patient and his wife were very convinced and adamant that it was snowing.  i suspect it was a bit of an illusion with the rain.  in the end it was not worth further discussing so i simply said, "i've seen it snow in pretty much every month up here".  of course, when it was snowing in July, i was at a higher elevation and the ambient temperatures were well below 50-60 degrees F.  since the wife believed it too i had no need to get a CT on my patient.  we can all admit that we may be wrong even if we believe pretty clearly that we are not.  always being right is not possible....we are all wrong sometimes.
 these are from the second round of flying to Barrow.  above is Susitna i think and above that is the great Denali.
 got out the bigger camera for these and decided to try black and white.
 floating to different units in the hospital means that i need to rely on the expertise of those who normally work the units...of course on occasion those who work the unit do not necessarily have as much expertise as i hope.  the computer is great for many things but in certain situations it causes more confusion rather than clarify it.  thankfully, it wasn't just me that was confused and no actual harm was done.  as they say in medicine, "do no harm".  i'd prefer things to be more clear though.
 i was in the ER one night and in the cardiac care unit for the next 2.  i've always seen myself as somewhat of a jinx for those cath patients so that unit is probably my least favorite.  the funniest thing is that it is in many ways the easiest long as there are no incidences.  hearts are funny things. it only takes one beat to turn a quiet night into a code.  in other words....hearts work great until they don't.
 the flight clouded up north of Denali, but was quite lovely before the clouds took over
 you can sneak peeks of peaks and of glaciers.
 got a letter to the POTUS all ready to go...thanks speedy.  not that it will be read or responded to but in life you never know anything until you go for it.  nothing ever happened by doing you go for it.  in this process of fighting for walrus i have hit many road blocks and have taken roads that led to nowhere at all.  in the end i think we helped, though i often worried that someone else would be far more qualified to take this on.
 a few chatters on the walrus cam site were talking about WARIS and how much they like the web even though i know it needs a great deal more work and i need to set up for is always great to get some positive feedback for my efforts.
 these actually almost look fake of the mountain.  pretty clear considering it was taken out of a commercial jet window.
 it was raining today.  oddly, rain lifts me up and i headed out to walk after sleeping really well.  i always sleep better in the rain.  was tempted to take Rio along but i really don't think she likes the rain as much as i do.  we did a loop out at North Bivouac.
 a few errands...what to do tomorrow.  i'll just have to wake and see what my options are.  wouldn't mind an overnight or just a nice drive somewhere.  haven't been to Talkeetna for a bit.
 finally made it out to "the Rusty Goat" a newer restaurant in town.  Thanks KH for treating me to dinner!!  forgot your thank you card that has been sitting on my Kitchen table for some time now.  love the look of the building, just a cool building.
 lots of big Birthdays this month as well...and i'm behind on those as well.
 saw a few mushrooms out there..not too many yet.  soon we will be loaded with shrooms.  right now the place is all berries.  i really should head out to Whittier and see if can find some salmonberries.  TO said something about walking....perhaps she'd be game for that.  maybe do Portage on the Whittier side.  we'd have to take off earlier than later.
 Russia and other arctic nations are making claims in the arctic ocean.  the USA had better start involving themselves in this lest we have Russia right off our northern coasts.  i highly doubt Russia will use any cautions to protect the walrus, polar bears or whales in their quest to get oil and such from the arctic as the melt clears more for exploration.  somewhat frightening.
 other Russia news....apparently some natives who live near the Bering Strait will be able to visit their relatives in Russia without getting the usual required documents.  they must have a letter of invite i guess from the relative over there. little and big Diomede are seperated by just a few miles, other wise the distance between Alaska and Russia is 55 miles at the Bering Strait area i guess.
 discussion of Cecil the Lion continue.  i realize that the big game trophy hunters often give meat to the local communities and a great deal of money from these hunts goes towards writer was speaking of these things and of all the good that these hunters do.  if it had been any other lion nobody would care...
 personally, i understand those things attempt to balance out things.  for me and i think for many out's just this question about what sort of person wants to kill large animals just to put their heads as trophies up on a wall.  who are these people? one would like to believe that we have evolved socially to a point beyond this.  is it a matter of feeling macho or manly?
 i think it is always odd to me that these trophy hunts just don't seem like fair battles.  where is the challenge that makes the deceased animal a real trophy.  they pay others to set it all up so that they have a nearly 100% success rate.  animals are baited in so easy kills.  this sort of trickery just goes against the average persons sense of fairness.
 i have a great deal more respect for someone who takes off for a week into the mountains to traipse after mountain goats or sheep and then carries it back and out of the wilderness.
 just so odd to want to pay so much money to have someone set up a basically "fake" hunt so that you can kill an animal that has been set up to be killed.  all for some warped pleasure of having it's head on your wall?
 this oddly placed drive up window was curious. we never ate here and i understand that the drive up window was never actually used.  the owners of this place have changed hands so often that the old signs are left in place and just covered  by the newer signs
 the oil/gas and i think sewer lines were often seen above ground.  this is a place of permafrost.  you will see many of the buildings are build up on stilts.  what they have found is the warmth of a house right on the ground will melt the permafrost below a bit and then the house will settle.  i think this is also one of the reasons they have never bothered with paving any streets. of course, it could just be that nobody was concerned about it.  i do feel it's probably more related to maintenance costs being too great with paving.
 this is an older cemetery in town.  i think this one filled up and there is a newer place out of town
 the fog was dropping in and we had quite a bit of fog the entire time we were there. fog is really common in the summers out there.  this seems to be true of all the coastal areas of Alaska.

 our first walk around town.  liked how this satellite dish had all the stuff blown off of it.
 gas lines above ground to prevent disrupting the permafrost.  the ground only ever thaws a few feet i think.  of course with global warming this is changing a bit and as the permafrost thaws it releases more gases that have been trapped for years.
 they do have some brightly painted houses and some interesting abodes

 this one above looks coated in insulation.
 summers are short.  doubtful that landscaping is a priority. they do have a landfill but in a remote place like this, stuff is often repurposed.
 this boats are lying all over.  these are covered with seal skins and then used at sea for hunts.
 this was a neatly kept yard.  not all of them are.  liked the bowhead address holder.
 several old vehicles laying about with very flat tires
 many relics of snowmachines and 4 wheelers as well.  those are very common modes of transportation in many more remote parts of Alaska.
 another seal skin boat.
 many dogs in town.  i found several actually looked similar.  no doubt some of the same blood lines in such a remote place.  did see some other dogs like dachshunds and other smaller breeds...not sitting out on chains like this guy. i only actually saw one loose dog i think.  dogs are chained up.  the fox in the area do have active rabies at times.  i suspect a loose dog can be met with some severe punishment
 in later photo's you will see our guide getting fish out of a net that is out in the water that looks like this one.
 many of you medical/dental and veterinarians are hired on contract for various periods of time.  we met one dentist...he did not seem to excited with Barrow.  guess he'd lived out in the Aleutians the last 10 years and i think he just loved it there and this for him didn't compare.
 last few weeks in Anchorage have been terrible for spice overdoses i guess. that stuff seems pretty nasty.  meth seems to make heroin and cocaine seem like childs play as well.  pretty sad all these young lives that seem to be wasted on drug addiction.
 usually i try and find boats in coastal areas with the name of the town on it...those are pretty few here. there is no harbor that i saw.  i think the arctic shelf is fairly shallow and extends out a ways..probably why the animals enjoy feeding there.
 those tall dark things are baleen.  those are found all over along with whale bones.
 strange to see a Kaktovik rescue truck in Barrow.  all these northern communities work together and have many ties together.
 here was a map of the northern region of Alaska.  may help you to visualize Alaska's north.  guess i better check the laundry and get the trash can out.  it's after midnight.
thankful for:  A.  no harm done B.  rain, love the sound of it and the feel of it  C.  the fact that my cats snuggle and get along took some time when Miss Breezy Chatterbug came onto the scene..they seem to get along pretty well now.

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