Wednesday, November 4, 2015

still coughing...

 these annoying coughs last forever.  the other night they called me to see if i could work soon after 7:30pm.  in the evenings if i am not working i take a nice low dose of my narcotic cough meds.  much lower than the rx, but i am frugal with this stuff.  it just takes the edge off the cough and that is enough to keep me sane i think.  haha.
 last nights aurora numbers were very high.  some folks got some amazing photos.  i got these from my back yard though.  i hit a movie with a friend last night.  probably should have just loaded my camera and tripod in the car.  Rio seems to have a "you can leave me twice in one day policy" after that she can get anxious pretty fast.  after the movie i did book and headed up Stuckagen Heights to see if there was anything to see. i must have been between flare ups as i saw nothing but pretty stars.  there was fog in town so going up there got me above the fog.  i returned home and just popped outside several times.
 these are corona which away from the city would be sweet!!  they were going nuts.  so between Rio and me being sleepy by then...i crashed around 2 am and called it quits.  boo hoo.  it was a good night to go hunting aurora.  i would like to do a few nights here and there.  don't think i'll become a regular as i do enjoy walking and i need that daylight mentally.
 when you are outside all night chasing aurora you sleep through the little light we have.
 great walks the last two days. yesterday the sun was out and i headed up to do Spencer Loop.  a butt work out for sure.  had Rio on the mind so i took the cut off so i wouldn't do the full 5 + miles but i messed up and took the short cut off the short in the end i think i went just 3 miles.  i'd done almost all of the uphill so still a good work out.
 today we went up prospect heights for a loop.  today it was another butt workout walk, a bit closer to 4 miles.  the sun was behind clouds but still a great walk with Blossom.
 the Rio update.  she seems to be recovering from the colitis.  cooking her bland meals and she is eating well.  she is getting older though and so she is moving less easily than previous.  she seems to have adapted for the time to sleeping downstairs and being okay with this.  i check on her often and so's good.  much better than watching her struggle to come up the stairs.  she still needs some guidance down the 2 stairs to get from the deck into the yard.  i'm cool with that.
 the funny thing to me is that as Rio is now sleeping downstairs, i've noticed that Blossom has been sleeping upstairs.  she usually just came and hung out for a bit and then went downstairs to sleep. nice to have part of the security crew at the bedside still.  when you live alone, having large dogs is always a comfort.  just like door locks.  in truth none of these things will be of any help if someone really decides they want in.  they are mere deterrents.  i'll take the deterrents that are available to me.
 these are just ice crystals that formed on the car windows one morning.  taken from the inside as the car warmed up.
 the movie...we saw "Bridge of Spies" with Tom Hanks.  it was really quite good. i mean, how can you go wrong with Tom Hanks and the director Spielberg, right?
 was reading a bit of the issue of Nat Geo on climate change.  it had an article about Greenland and the changes there and how that is impacting the way of life there.  i'd say also that the greatest and often times saddest impact to many of these once isolated places is how computers and phones and ipads have altered life there.  kids there now glued to electronics like the kids here are.  they are less inclined to get out and learn the ways of the older generations.  of course, the suicide rates in places like Greenland are increasing much as they are in other rural arctic areas.
 loss of a sense of purpose.  government support rather than independence play a role i believe.  when you just throw money at a social problem you will not always get the best result.  i know you may think this goes against the liberal aspects of myself.  i see myself as a realist though, rational...remember the political party i would wish to start would be the Rationalists Party.  people do need help and we should find better ways to get them help while helping them to help themselves.  this is always a better way to go.  give a man a fish vs teaching a man to fish, right.
 always sad about dogs and how they are viewed in other cultures. i mean i'm such a dog person.  it's hard to understand the views of others who see them as disposable when i see mine as part of my extended family.  i do know that the way i live is not the way all on the earth live.  one guy has a dog team that he keeps loose on a little island.  it's overall a good life, the dogs get tossed food daily, if the weather is good i believe.  at least they are loose and free.  dogs adapt well to most situations.
 hopefully, Rio will adapt to her live downstairs.  i did wisely figure out to move her main water dish to a place downstairs where she can get to it and stay on the carpet.  much more stable walking for her.
 these are from the longer walk with less hills Campbell Airstrip to Rovers to Homestead and then back down to the main Airstrip trails.
 a bit cloudy that day as well.  the lights were supposed to be good Sunday and Monday but we had clouds so not really an option.
 a plane that went down over Egypt is looking more and more like it was blown up.  it's a Russian plane and they are already going after ISIS.  i imagine there will be some payback from Russia.  they never have seemed to concerned with incidental losses...nor do they seem to be as held accountable for them as the US is.  be careful who you piss off in this world.  i guess Russia pissed of ISIS by going after them to begin with.  War really does seem pointless and futile but humans seem to end up battling each other in wars no matter how futile it can be.  there is always some crazy leaders who aren't happy with what they have and want more...they must be stopped.  hatred, anger, violence....seems never ending.  we just find new people to hate and new ways to hate them.
 ground is freezing....always cool to see where any bit of water was, it gets changed by the cold.
 this is the connecting trail between Rovers and Homestead.  i put a tiny snowman out there..polka dot of course.
 wonder if anyone noticed the little guy.  :-)
 a school in Bethel completely burnt down yesterday.  will it be arson?  i get pretty tired of school vandalism and destruction. i see it as a lack of respect for education in general.  something i feel we need to be doing a better job instilling in the generations coming up.  i'm all for uniforms and for any plans that help these kids realize that school isn't some social experiment it's their job as citizens.  i still am for some sort of summer of kids training in those tween years...gaining understanding of survival skills, community and citizenship.  so many are obviously not getting this from homes.
 our emergency medical transports of late have been 22% spice calls.   no doubt another large percent alcohol related.  we are wasting our money picking up drunks and addicts, treating them and releasing them back to repeat the process all over. i saw some poor fireman the other day standing over an inebriate on the streets the other day.  soon people won't want to go into these critical professions or will leave if all they are doing is dealing with these situations.  a holding tank would be a better use of funds than wasting time and money in ER visits for most of these folks.
 tired of all the Presidential election crap and there is a long ways to go.  it's a pretty sad group on both sides...anyone want to join the Rationalist Party and run?  is there still time?
 ice forming all over....i love winter.  i know that makes me a bit nuts but i do love all things arctic.  Walrus, Polar bears, snowy owls, ice, glaciers,'s all super cool!!
 lots of folks getting their tires changed over to studded.  we had that ice and snow the other day and loads of folks went off the road or crashed into other cars.  it was a mess from all reports on Monday.  i had my tires changed over weeks ago.  it seems to always do this...that first snowfall becomes a big mess and then everyone races to the shops to get their tires changed over.  of course, i laugh because so many people who are probably more recent transplants get ticked at the city for not having every road cleared by 7am when they are trying to get places.  so annoying.
 you live in Alaska.  if you don't like winter or don't want to deal with wildlife pack it up and head south.  always annoyed when people move here and then want to make it "civilized".
 these are at Spencer Loop.  it becomes a mecca for cross country skiers in winter so once they have enough snow my dogs and i won't be allowed out there.  ski only.  it seems that fat tire bikers do not feel this applies to them so i suspect more and more the fat tire bikers and lycra wearing cross country skiers will battle it out over these once coveted spots.  those fat tire bikes do far more damage to groomed trails than most dogs or walkers could do.  if we have a good snow year...the battle will erupt i suspect.  with the lousy ski year last year the bikers took over trails that are generally left to bikers.
 always love success stories. of course, we all have different views of success i guess.  i don't believe success must mean becoming a millionaire.  often success is relative.  someone who finishes high school or college when none in their family have achieved this before.  success is often just providing for yourself or your family.  success in the case of Linda La meant immigrating from Vietnam to Anchorage and eventually opening 5 Vietnamese restaurants.
 her sister had an American father so life was not easy for them in Vietnam.  it took many years to get over to the US, in her case to Alaska where she had some family contacts.  it's always impressive what enterprising people are capable when pressed.  other family members operate several of the other restaurants for her so she has created work for many in her family and made it possible for the next generation to have options that were less available to her.
 there are over 100 languages spoken in the Anchorage School District.  Alaska is a very blended society.  i love that about it up here and that people in general get along well.  it's something to be embraced and appreciated.  i always enjoy hearing the stories of how they came to be here and how they have adapted.  we have several Hmong families.  i recall talking with a parent of a patient who was Hmong and he was so very proudly telling me of the efforts by the brave Hmong in the Vietnam War and how they saved many American lives.
 we all may come from different places and situations but we are mostly the same.  trying to live and work and become better people.
 stood under this tree as the snow was dropping off due to the warmth of the sunlight out.  fun to try and snap a shot of the snow falling....and probably a bit ridiculous...what is life if we can't be ridiculous sometimes.
 really beautiful out there yesterday.
 looking back on the trail, the hill i just walked up
 this is some sort of bird of prey.  it didn't look  like a young bald eagle. didn't get the camera up to get off a decent shot.
 loved how the light was filtering in.
 just off phone with my vet friend in CA.  she's an awesome resource for all things dog and cat.
 so i will finish up my little blog entry and then head down to chill with Rio for a bit.
 there was this interesting and probably true article talking about how now that heroin use has increased in white middle class homes and that now those parents don't wish to see their kids in prison.  they seem to be pushing more for drug addiction to be seen as a medical issue  or disease rather than a crime.  drug overdose deaths are now more likely for young adults than car crashes.  it's always sad to me to see so many young folks come in through the ER with addiction issues ...just such a waste of their lives, talents and potential.
 always love how the snow weighs down the pine trees.  not sure i have mastered taking a photo that does the beauty of it justice though.
 snow is beautiful....the crunch of it under foot.  so bright and the silence.
 there are a few cool places i'd like to check out for Northern light watching, but that would require walking on dark trails.  not going to do that alone and the bears are still wandering around so this seems like a bad idea until they are settled in for the winter. many of the bear dens in Alaska are surprisingly close to trails that we all walk and wander in the winter.  you would never know.

 little bench facing the mountains to rest after you have managed the walk up the big hills to get to this point. i didn't stop...we just kept going.  love a good walk like this.
 doing better on my 10,000 steps/day goal this week.  hopefully i can keep this up and add back in my other exercises.  when i get short i have done the bike/jump rope or just running in place.  there is dancing too.  put on the music and just rock it til i hit at least 10,000.  it's not exact but it is an easy way to measure and ensure activity.
 this is the shorter short cut that i shouldn't have gone down. i just thought it was a new sign, it does look like a new sign.  oh well.  hope this snow stays to start that base coat for a good snow year.
thankful for:  A.  friends with expertise in areas and are willing to give great advice...:-)  B.  that Rio seems to be improving from her colitis.  that dog has 9 lives....and she seems to be using them up at a rapid rate  C.  for my little Honda Element.  it just went over 100,000 miles and is still ticking.  it also held up against a grizzly bear.

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