Monday, February 29, 2016

Abbreviated Fur Rondy

 not much snow. i guess they did the sprint races but they were much shorter. i worked most of weekend so i missed much of the big events i often try to get to.  today i decided to just walk Blossom downtown.  it was as Fur Rondy as we were gonna get this weekend
 the day i headed back to work i got my hair cut by Jessie.  also added a few highlights.  he asked if i wanted him to curl it and all that...i said yes, knowing i can never replicate it.  fun to see what your hair is capable of in the right hands.  lots of compliments that night at work though.  one friend said you have to cut your hair every so often just for the compliments.
 work went fine.  adult icu first 2 nights then ER.  in ER i was regular staff much of night with hold nurse for a few hours tossed in there.
 always enjoy the snow sculptures.  this year they all looked pretty rough.  melting before the weekend is even over.  pretty sad.  hopefully, we just have to suffer through these 2 poor winters before having another happy, cold snow year again.  a friend was saying last time this happened was the year before i got here from Ketchikan.  that first year i was here we had a fabulous snow year.  March 17 we got a huge dump of snow.
 for some of these snow sculptures you really had to look at it to see what design it had been.
 still some fun ones.
 building up to the Iditarod start.  i still need to change my hotel reservations in Fairbanks for right after the race starts.  should be fun.  getting excited for a rapid trip north.  visit the snow and get out. hope the weather is decent.  not too cold, not too stormy.  also would love if the northern lights showed up while i was up there. there are over 80 teams in this years run i guess.
 not sure what it looks like in Willow this year.  we may need cleats on the ice of the lake more than snowshoes.
 did my mile swim tonight.  no drama, just a lovely and relaxing swim.  will have to see what, if any pool options exist in Fairbanks. i know there is an Alaska Club there.  may have to check it out and at least do some elliptical work out .
 been some avalanches this season.  guess a snowmachiner was killed this past week.  we think it's a low snow year so perhaps people feel safer in the back country, but this warm weather coupled with layers of ice formed after those more rainy can be dangerous.
 last week they were again writing about the role of technology in the Iditarod. i think the implementation of gps on the sleds and now an emergency beacon are for sure lessening the spirit of the race.  you no longer have to be self reliant, you can dare to imagine that all you must do is push the emergency button and help will be on the way.  of course, that is weather dependent.  technology is only as good as the ability to connect.  that is not always a sure thing in Alaska.  truth is there are spots in Anchorage where you lose connection.  sadly though, i fear this promise of help is coming will encourage ill prepared folks to make a run of the Iditarod.
 there isn't any way around it nor is there any way to back off of it once it was allowed into the race.
 An Alaskan Guard member went hiking from  Prospect Heights.  he's not been heard from.  they called off the search.  i have looked up towards the Chugach range that i see from my home and have thought about some poor person out there...dead or alive.  he was supposedly well trained and probably well equipped, but it doesn't take much in this part of the world to be in peril.  to find yourself in a life or death situation. most of the times we get lucky and come through it, but looking up at the mountains...the more days that pass the more likely it is that this man will not be found alive.
 apparently, Russia wants to fly over the US and take high resolution digital images..the spy world is alive and well apparently.  if you want to become a are still available.  who knew both nations already do a great deal of flying surveillance over each other.  not really keen on Russia flying overhead.  these are supposedly unarmed flights...Russia also is known to cross over into airspace with fighter jets and naval ships.  i don't like pushy neighbors.
 Guess there has been some minor success in a cease fire arrangement in Syria.  hopefully, enough to at least get some aid to the poor folks who have not been able to get out.  sounds like there are some pretty terrible situations going on.  the middle east continues to be a mess.  will it always be, has it always been.  still there are some brave folks that risk their lives to help out the helpless and terrified.  one woman...can't recall where exactly, but she has helped nearly 1000 people get out.  the stories are terrible and i'm sure we haven't heard the worst of it yet.
"insomuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me"
 the times are hard and are getting harder.  when that happens, fear and anger can take hold.  hate and blaming become common place.  we must all strive to stave off these feelings and have kindness and compassion.  there are always those who put others before themselves in these times.  it's not always about being right or having all the right answers.  some times it's about what you do in the moment that matters.   will compassion win out?  it's hard to have faith in the other humans out there, especially when you are constantly bathed by media sources with the evil that exists.  still, as hard as it is...i think it's best to try and have faith in the masses.  i believe that overall the fellow humans we share this earth with no matter where  they live, what race they are or what religion they follow...the majority are like us.  they want to simply live their lives, find some happiness for themselves and their loved ones.
 they seek out beauty and laughter and music.  am i naive...perhaps but i'd rather live believing than live hating.  we all make choices.
 at my work, i meet folks from all walks of life.  it doesn't hurt me to be kind and respectful and compassionate.  "turn the other cheek"....most of the negative will roll off of you.
 when i look at blogs from around the world or photo's on Nat Geo's My Shot from across the reminds me of that truth.  that most folks are like myself.  it can be tough with the media coverage that is out there to hold onto those truths.
 it's fun to look a the photo's i post and see people favoriting my photo's from so many nations...even places like Iran and Iraq..and you look at the photo's they have posted of day to day life in the areas they live and you realize that they are more similar than different.  not everyone  that lives in these places is nuts or a suicide bomber.  for some reason this gives me hope.
 what i do love about the internet is that.  us regular folks have an opportunity to connect with regular folks in nearly all parts of the earth and make that connection and realization.   they have jobs, they take walks, they cook and dance and laugh and smile and cry.  we dress different, we think different, but we all shit the same.  right?
 i do not go on these rides...i was actually starting to feel nausea being underneath a few of these taking these snap shots.
 was thinking about how some can think they are so right in their thinking in all areas of life while demonstrating they can be so wrong in their choices.  often how we see ourselves is so different from the truth of who we are.  intelligence in no way assures us happiness.  love is often unkind.  you can't intellectualize your way in relationships.  emotions prevent that.  perhaps the thinkers have a more difficult time in relationships because of that.  love is never rational.
 am i a thinker..? i know i'm an overthinker.  doubt i'd be called an intellectual anyway.   can't say i'm any more skilled at relationships than anyone else.  at this stage i think much is luck and timing.
 maybe we should just do a write in campaign for POTUS.  it's looking pretty bleak.  could just write in Blossom for President!!  saw a clip from the last round of intellectuals there, just screaming and name calling.  we are doomed...
 fun to walk around downtown today as a bit of a tourist.  there were the usual Fur Rondy folks out there, but also the parade of homeless.  alcoholics and drug addicts which seem to wander downtown Anchorage.  Blossom brought in much positive attention.  she got some loving out there.  her paws were sure dirty by the end of the walk though.  cities are dirty.
 Wyland is an artist out of Laguna Beach, California.  not even sure if he is still doing these Wyland Walls.  this one is in downtown Anchorage though.  cool looking. Beluga's and Bowhead Whales.
 catching up again on the news paper reading.  i seem to crash in the mornings after work after reading about 3 sentences.

 loved this beluga's cute
 and the whales are so huge but seem to have such tiny, kind eyes.  the innocent lives of the animals we share this earth with.
 downtown Anchorage with it's few tall buildings. it was pretty day out there with blue skies in abundance.
 a 3 year old in Egypt was convicted of killing 3 when he was 1 year old...clearly the 1 year old is innocent as he would have been incapable of such a deed at the age of 1.  they have these mass trials, which clearly are not overly based on facts.  very distressing and real however for the actual family members of this young child.  our justice system can have its failures, but we should be quite happy that by and large corruption is rare and the system is more good than bad.  there are always bad seeds out there, but overall, our police are well trained and good intentioned.
 the air force has identified 2 more victims from a crash in 1952. such an odd story.  the crash happened in 1952, 52 servicemen died in an area of Colony Glacier.  the remains of the crash were sighted within 6 days of the crash but then the glacier shifted and the entire scene was engulfed...the area of the crash sight began resurfacing on the glacier a few years back i believe...some 60 years after the crash.
 since crash debris surfaced in 2012, recovery operations have occurred to finally bring the remains back to the families and bury the victims with full honors. so far of the original 52 lost, only 35 remain missing.
 above the WWF office in Anchorage.  need to encourage them to take a more active role in protecting our walrus population.
 the no longer functioning old 4th avenue theater.  it's pretty run down at this point which is sad.
 snow was moved to the streets for the fur rondy events.  should be pretty messy by the time the ceremonial start comes up.
 wandering around more as i head back to the car.
 the rail depot is down by the snow sculptures.

 successfully read several days of papers.  laundry getting done as well. time for bed.
 hard to tell but this snow sculpture was straight out of a Calvin and Hobbes cartoon.  always loved that cartoon.
 hard to tell at first what this was but then i got to a different angle and it was clear it was a kayaker with a spy hopping humpback whale. hopefully, it's been colder up north and i'll be able to enjoy some more intact ice sculptures in Fairbanks
Grateful for:  A.  family...such an odd assortment of characters.  we don't always see eye to eye, but i suspect they would come through for me in a crisis.  great to chat with several siblings this past week, great that several are friends as well as siblings. family and old friends...some time may pass between visits/calls but you always just pick up like no time has passed.  B. a relaxing swim C.  the uniting perks of the internet.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

i think we had a successful first run!!

 went smoothly.  feel like i'm still a bit green in front of a crowd, but it takes time and experience.  we will just have to have more events in the future.  hopefully, a few folks start making plans for their Round Island adventure!!
 these super cute walrus cupcakes were created by Speedy!!  folks reacted with smiles as soon as they saw them.  pictures were taken.  well done Speedy!!
 i slept in a bit and then headed for the woods.  wanted to make sure i got my steps in before the event tonight.  steps in . my average this week is over 12,000/day so more than goal!!
 love these dog imprints left in the snow by warm dog meltage.  so cute!
 of course, started thinking on the walk so i had more work to do when i got home.  i had some copies of Round Island Map out and also a list of gear one might need out there.  then i decided to print out a little paper to slip in with our pamphlet and sticker about how one could donate more directly to help out Round Island.
 we had goodie bags to win...i'd guess we did have the 40 folks there.  so 5 went home with bags.  i think they were all pretty excited about that!! only a few folks left before we announced winners.  KH did some knitting that we were able to add in to the goodie bags.  quite the haul!!
 actually feel pretty tired after the day.  i think it's just stressful worrying that all will go off well.
 Mike at REI was totally nice and helpful.  guess they got several calls through the day of folks who hadn't signed up but wanted to come still.  he told them to come on in
 i let him know we may want to repeat this again next year...figure it's a great way to help convince folks to make their travel plans to this super cool place.
 this stellar was enjoying the seeds and peanuts on the back deck.
 the stellars are always so pretty.
 no animal sightings on the trail today.
 got their early to set up and meet with our speakers.  i took my camera thinking i'd take several shots, but then i was enjoying the lecture so i just chilled and listened.  i was desk person, getting folks to sign up for drawing and greeting everyone.
 the calm before folks arrived.
 i love Seinfeld so i cracked up when i saw this random Kramer in the event room.  haha.  i knew if they were Seinfeld fans all would be fine.
 only took these two shots during.  above, our room has filled and below our Walrus Biologist speaker, Joel Garlich-Miller was speaking.  he spoke general about Walrus, and conservation.  after him, Ed Weiss spoke more detailed about getting to Round Island.
grateful for:  A.  all the bits coming together for a lovely evening  B.  my speakers for coming out on their time and volunteering to talk walrus  C.  friends and board members who came out and supported and helped get this thing planned and successful.  night.