with over 20 years in this amazing place. it's never dull. i hope to enjoy years of exploration here.
Monday, March 13, 2017
over reactive society...
there have now been 2 dog deaths this year. this does happen. generally it turns out to be pneumonia or a gastric ulcer or some unknown heart issue. there are also occasional accidents. last year a drunk snow machiner was going after teams in the middle of the night on a river. it was a terrifying experience for Aily Zirkle who the guy hit her sled with his machine and just kept coming at her, turning and coming back. she used an Iditarod marking stick to try and fend him off.
the guy later came back at another musher, Jeff King. one of his dogs was killed and another was injured. i think one of Aily's got injured as well.there have also been moose incidences. recently dogs that had been dropped were left outside to weather a storm...one got buried in snow and died. one dog that died this week was on the transport back to Anchorage. they had put the coats on the dogs and loaded them up. these dogs are so used to the cold that this particular dog succumbed to heat stroke. the Iditarod folks do make changes when they can to prevent future incidences of the same kind.
there are some that would like the race stopped all together. i think often in our society we have become over reactive. over the past 20-30 years it seems that every time there is a loss of life or injury in an accident...new laws are passed, people are sued. when i younger, accidents were accidents. nobody was at fault in general. it was just a bummer and folks moved on. now laws must be created or events stopped. it's all very dramatic. i recall watching Oprah i think it was and for some reason they were talking about a game we played in camp...Chubby Bunny. kids would line up and stuff a marshmallow in their mouth and try to keep it there while saying "chubby bunny". then the next kid and the next kid and then you would stuff a second one in and say it. kids puked sometimes...but one kid choked and died ... the game was outlawed i guess or they were trying to and nobody has every played again i guess.
so thousands of kids do this with no issues, one kid dies...react.
we have become so fear based...our society. like everyone should be wrapped in bubble wrap and never leave their house for fear of something happening. life is to be lived and if you all are out living it...well occasionally something bad will happen. it can be sad or tragic, but at some level, we need to re learn how to accept accidents. yes, lawyers can always seem to find fault somewhere, somehow, but should they? these law suits are ridiculous.
dog deaths happen and it does make me sad in this sport but still i feel there is value in testing the limits...both human and animal and pushing what we are all capable of. i think Iditarod does a good job of trying to limit these incidences but still 1000 dogs going 1000 miles, you can't prevent everything. the dogs do love to run, but they do need strong team leaders in the human.
i would be ok with a rule that would add time to a musher if caught falling asleep while mushing. i know sleep deprivation can be an issue. i feel that you are responsible for the team and if you are tired you should pull over and rest. you should not be nodding off while running dogs. you need to be watching for subtle signs of distress and you can't see that when you are asleep. dogs will literally run til they die. it would be difficult to monitor such a thing since much of the teams time is spent in the middle of nowhere...but this year already one musher fell asleep and then fell off the sled. the team of dogs came into the next check point, 8 miles away without him. in my mind....that should be a big addition of time if not disqualification.
Ivy seems to be doing well. her incision looked a bit rough when i got back from Fairbanks so she is now on AB's. i stopped off at vet between shifts the other day.
3 nights of work down again. i worked ER, then Peds as a tech and then PICU. the parent of the kid i had in PICU was very grateful and complimentary all night. seemed to really appreciate the cares i was giving and the attention.
i often say being a nurse has made me a better person and i am grateful for all i have learned in that role.
walked today out at the coastal refuge. did some loops and circles and got 5 miles in. it was warm and beautiful out there. had some thoughts of doing a drive. yesterday i considered it as well but i was super tired yesterday.
the two days before that i went to the dog park. the dogs were thrilled. they haven't been for so long. i decided to risk it. one day we ran into the danes. i thought i was going to get taken out by the one deaf dane...it's the one i considered rescuing. he kept playing with Ivy and Ivy tends to come right close to be when she is wrestling...brat.
i have enough bruises already this week. fell at a hotel in fairbanks. i turned out of a hall into the lobby of the hotel after we'd eaten there...they were apparently mopping and i went down. huge bruise on my elbow. several days before that i tripped over Tusker and fell down in slow motion. it was actually the first time i have tripped over one of the puppies since they arrived...which is pretty amazing.
these pictures are still all from the Ceremonial start in Anchorage. they are well past half way i think, several of them anyway. Mitch Seavey was running pretty far ahead of the pack but i think Wade Marrs came in to the latest check point first. still some miles to go and we have had some interesting endings these past years so we shall see. Dallas is up there at the top as is Petit. 3 women were in the top 10 last i checked.
that is one thing i like about this race. old, young, male, female...it's how you run your team and what kind of team you have. it's dependent on the weather and trail conditions. on the spirit of the team and the musher.
Libby has a cute admirer.
this guy was being so thorough about getting each paw cleaned before putting on the bootie.
was thinking a bit about our capitalist society and how information being more readily available is probably a bit rough on capitalism. was also thinking that Jesus would not have been a capitalist. i imagine if Jesus were here he would not put up with mega churches or many of the activities of these big churches. i'd like to hope that Jesus would not be building elaborate houses of worship, living in a mansion or driving a fancy car. i'd like to hope that Jesus would live simply and would use any monies he could to serve others, those less fortunate. would he be a socialist? not sure.
i doubt he would like a theocracy....freedom to be who we are. judgement to follow later i guess.
that whole what would Jesus do...? i suspect Jesus would want more open borders. would want us to help those who need help. would want us to feed the poor and minister to the sick.
don't think i recall Jesus speaking of education. my personal view is the more educated our society is the better for us overall. the same with health. a healthy society is more productive.
i don't have kids in the education system nor am i a teacher so it's hard for me to speak on what is working and what isn't working. i do think that we should balance the work with physical so the kids can stay fresh and learn. i like the immersion schools. i think in middle school and high school we should have more options that will help students that lean more towards a trade than college. not everyone needs a college degree but i think everyone should have a good solid 12 year education.
our nation has fallen behind. we don't make health or education a priority. this will not be fixed it seems in this current GOP run government. you have to educate all not just those with money. we need to make school a job for these kids...it can no longer be taken for granted. uniforms. kids and parents need to be invested in the schools they attend. teachers need to be supported and respected. that seems to have fallen away..part of that goes back to the idea of an over reactive society. if a kid fails it's the parents fault...it's always someone elses fault.
the hard rock cafe down town anchorage.
being a dog handler is not always an easy job.
was talking to my brother today. he was saying a relative we know had made a rule of not talking religion or politics when they are together.
it made me think....
actually i think we should all start talking religion and politics. we need to put these conversations back on the table. we need to be civil when we do this but the divide will just keep getting deeper if we don't start actually speak to what we believe, what we agree on, what we don't agree on. it doesn't need to be a debate til one side wins or another side loses.
just a civil conversation. will opinions change, perhaps, perhaps not. i think that we all communicate poorly through social media...we need to speak live. we need to hear what the others hear on their news sources. we need to be heard as well.
we need to find out that we are more similar on more things than we realize. if we don't start talking, really talking then we will believe the various media and the social sites that make it all seem impossible. that make it feel like we are all on such opposite sides of every issue that there is no possible way we can ever come together.
the above Iditarider got ripped off. they pay money to ride these sleds through town...most of the other iditariders are comfy and cozy on sleds decked out. i did see a few of these bare bones ones though. that looks cold!! many of the riders are from out of state and no doubt not used to our temps.
love how excited the dogs are to run.
not sure what these kids did, but this guy seems to be giving them the what for...
it's always said a person has the life of ryan? who is ryan and why was his life so good...and am i even saying that right. i tend to screw up those old sayings. we had a big discussion once about that one no skin off my ? no skin off my nose i thought, no skin off my teeth another said. it is fun to figure out the origin of some of these odd sayings. Siri as usual is not helpful...haha.
this rider looks a bit more cozy. would be a fun ride through town i think. i don't have $1000 plus to spend bidding.
did get some of those pesky health stream education things done the last 2 nights of work. always a long and tedious prospect.
lots of good viewing spots downtown. you can see folks in upstairs windows checking out the scene downtown.
checkpoint Huslia is a community of about 300 folks . there is still no wifi service or cell phone service in many of these remote communities so they still communicate by hand held radios. everyone has one and many also have one they carry. the community just keeps it dialed in to a certain number. i recall being out on St George Island in the Pribilofs and this was how they communicated.
this guy below seemed to be enjoying his day of dog handling.
it's about time for me to turn in. dogs will have to be walked all over again tomorrow. it is amazing how energetic they are. i do fall in love with these pups a bit more each day. Blossom's pic is up in my office here...thanks Tom and Darla...!!
another sad sled ride for an Iditarider...
lots of howling downtown that day...
grateful for: A. beautiful days like today. walking in snow with my pups B. deep and lasting sleep C. longer days
have lived in alaska since 1995, lived in ketchikan for 6 years and here in anchorage since 2001. it's a wonderful place and i enjoy getting out nearly daily for a walk/hike/stroll or ramble. enjoy the pics