Thursday, March 29, 2018

Back from Homer

 figured if i didn't jump in the car on yet another stretch of days off I'd be kicking myself.  light snow on the way down there by Cooper Landing.  i stopped at Seward for some beach play time.  the pups appreciated that. the sun was setting when we arrived in Homer so we quickly checked into the hotel and headed to beach.
 haven't looked at the pictures i took these past two days so these are a blend of iphone pics from the month and other walks.  i know...still lots of Iditarod pics to load in.  I'll get there.
 my back is a wee bit sore after driving and frankly from attempting to sleep with the two dogs on the bed last night.  those dogs did not leave me any room, did not show any interest in moving and were clearly beat from all their beach time that day...i see a bit of a repeat today, but there is more room on my bed, house and they have multiple favorite spots here.
 some heavy spring snow falls meant polka dot snowman action.
 today we just hit Bishops Beach, the spit and then back to Bishops beach before heading home. 
 no super low tides..well there was  low tide at 6:30 this morning but i was not waking up for that.  was a bit late for the lowest tide last night and left before it got low tonight.  plenty of beach to play on though.
 the last of the March Skelly, April Skelly shows up later.
 took the pups late to the March for our Lives.  they were crazy and the signs fell off.  next protest i attempt with these dogs I'll just put on their dog packs and put signs on those, more stable. perhaps attempt a gentle lead for crowds.  could work. have never attempted those.  would probably attempt one dog at a time to see how that went.
 listened to podcasts coming and going.  there are some really good ones. i was catching up on a few favorites. one such favorite is "stay tuned with Preet".  one commenter said he IS a "stable genius".  he is calm, well spoken, experienced and educated.
 one i listened to he spoke with Christine Todd Whitman.  she was Governor of New Jersey and the EPA administrator under Bush (W).   the two of them are working together in the interest of Democracy, which is interesting as well.  she was saying how concerned she is about the current adminstration and the EPA and the damage it is doing to science. it's gone from people don't believe the facts of global warming/climate change so therefore all science is no longer valid. 
 another episode he spoke to Adam Schiff about the committee.  new information is out since then.  the Nunes mess of course was discussed.  another was a discussion with David Cole, legal director of the ACLU.  just discussed cases. 
 then i switched over to something more lite and listened to "stuff you should know" episodes.  one was on Ford Pinto's in the day when they were "flaming death traps".  it seems that many of the newer smaller cars were at the time.  at that time car's were not really regulated.  people were getting severe burns and dying and it was found that car manufacturers were, surprise, surprise, taking advantage of the no regulation life and letting dangerous design flaws slip through.  cheaper that way.  who cares if people die or have to live with the pain and misery of severe burns...this is why we regulate corporations in the USA...when we don't  they screw us over for their own benefit.  it's been proven over and over.
 i drove a Ford Pinto.  i believe it was purchased for under $100 and i drove it for like 5 years.  i survived.  in the podcast they said that the Pinto was kind of the fall car for a lot of other poorly designed cars.  the American companies were trying to get back money lost to vw bugs and toyota corolla's.  so they skipped a few steps...they actually knew the possibility of the car blowing up and even how to fix it before the cars hit the market but they figured loss of life was minimal compared to cost of trying to go back and do the repairs...
 regulations are not cruel and unusual torture to corporations. they are the result of greedy corporations lack of oversight and protections to consumers.
 Skelly as "raining cats and dogs" it did occur to me that one day i may come home and find Skelly and friends have been stolen...then i would have to put up "lost" posters all over town i guess.
 there were discussions as well about Rosa Parks and Feral Children.
 today i listened to "ted talks radio hour" a ted talks podcast that combines a few lectures and interviews with lecturers from Ted talk stage...if you have never listened to Ted Talks you are missing out as well.  Ted stands for Technology, Education and Design but there are talks of all kinds.   some last as short as 5 minutes or up to 30 or so.
 one discussion was titled, "in search of".  one segment was about scientists searching for images of the famed Giant squid. they went deep into the ocean and did get the first video of the giant beast.  as tall as a two story building. Science is exploration, hope, discovery and curiosity...we need this in our nation.  it does feel like there is a war on science in the far right of our nation. we have studied far more of space than the depths of the oceans.  who knows what really lies down in the depths of it.  only about 5% of our oceans have been researched.
 another segment of that talk had a guy from SETI-not sure if i  have that right...the search for aliens.  always does seem a bit outlandish, but with all those stars in all those galaxies i guess it really doesn't seem that nuts that one or more of them may have some life forms on them.  if they did make contact that could be good or bad...hell we can't get along with all the beings on our own planet do we really want to bring in other planets!
 Bishops Beach last night. tide coming in but still low enough to play.
 another interesting ted talks today was about "nudges".  wording and education.  one was speaking about girls and how odd it was to her that for boys it was often, "oh boys are slow at weaning or slow at walking or slow at potty training" they get a break whereas girls often feel the need to be perfect.  how to train females it's okay to not have the perfect resume before going for the job.  we often put too much pressure on do we teach girls to be brave like boys are taught.
 i think that crosses over to all though.  i don't think only girls are nudged to be perfect.  guys are  brave though...many will ask any girl out no matter how outlandish you think it is.  often they will just ask all with crazy confidence and then see what happens, where as more females tend to be inclined to over think things. to question whether they are qualified for jobs/tasks....
 some basics about how simple changes can really impact if you cut up kids apples they are way more likely to eat them over just putting an apple in their lunch box. 
 the last one i listened to as i headed toward Anchorage was about stigma's.
 clearly our nation has failed when it comes to mental health and drug addictions. 
 with drug addictions it is hard to not stigmatize those who are addicts.  we want to find them disgusting i think at some level, we want to see them as weak.  they must be, right, otherwise we'd all be addicts. we want to punish them.
 what we are doing is not all.  a few countries have tried radical changes.  i think it was Honduras they were talking about.   they took the bold move of decriminalizing all drugs addict issues and instead they used the money they had been wasting on that to help get the addicts back into day to day lives, jobs.  if you hired an addict the state would pay half the wage.  not sure for how long or the details.  it hasn't totally eradicated drug addiction but it put a huge dent in it.  it was a pretty bold move.  i think Sweden kind of did similar.  they decriminalized it and then the drug addicts were assigned a clinic and they would shoot up under watch and then also had a work program.  major cut in overdose deaths. 
 not sure our nation is brave enough to be that radical.  they were discussing an old experiment on rats...they were given a water bottle and then another water bottle with heroin mixed in.  the rats went back to the heroin...this experiment was repeated years later as the claim was the original rats were put in horrid conditions and so it was repeated with rats in a luxury suite.  the rats in this case rarely went to the heroin laced bottles.
 it was then discussed how in Vietnam War all sorts of US soldiers were using all kinds of drugs over there.  the fear was that when they all returned we would have a major issue getting them off the drugs, but shockingly, the bulk of them just stopped once they were out of the war zone and back with family/jobs...
 drug addicts, mental health patients, often those are also military vets as well. 
 here are the puppies hogging the bed.  i ended up in the corner behind Ivy Rose...they both slept very comfortably.
 saw a few moose out there on the road trip.  loads of Bald Eagles. they were all over. 
 also saw a few swans, yes they are returning already.  they were at the kenai River/Lake open water area.
 at first i thought it was snow, but on closer inspection i saw it was indeed swans. 
 these are from a different walk out at Kincaid.  snow has given way to mud now.
 down in homer it's actual sand so we dragged a lot of that home I'm sure.
 the hotel was no doubt coated in sand.
 everything closed up pretty early in Homer and i got there just in time for the sunset walk on the beach so we booked down there.  when we were done walking i discovered it was too late for real food. boo.  i had brought some snacks with me.
 guess I'm back to work again tomorrow.  gotta make some calls in the morning as well. 
 the snow is melting pretty fast around town and for sure down in Homer.  more light snow on the return trek near the cut off for Cooper Landing and coming into Anchorage. 
 was looking like it would be a pretty sunset but by then i was just ready to get home.  it's a bit of a drive to Homer.
 i am happy we went.  it's always great to escape for  a few days and explore different beaches, especially after winter.
 just cute puppy pictures.
 Ivy often has FOMO-fear of missing out.  she was cracking me up on the drive out of Homer.  she was trying to stay up front with Tusker...he has demanded the front seat since he was a puppy..that is just how he is.  Ivy is very gracious and stays in the back usually, but today, she tried to lay down on a sliver of the seat..
 eventually, she went to the back. i have a ton of room in the element for dogs in the back....and yet, they battle for the small space next to me.  Ivy is next to me now though.
 these beaches won't have ice on them for much longer
 i better run.  should finish unpacking and putting stuff away.  amazing how much crap one needs for just an overnight with dogs to the beach. 
 a few skiers below on the trail
thankful for:  A.  safe travels to/from Homer  B.  decent weather C.  to sleep comfortably tonight in my own bed

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

less words, more pictures...

 at least that is how i feel today. these first few are from the Alaska Wildlife conservation Center. 
 the ravens don't actually live there, they just visit.  many birds figure out the bear feeding schedule. 
 didn't see any grizzly's out but the black bears were out.  they had just been fed some dog food which tells me they had been out for at least 5-7 days.  start them out slowly.  like our bear in the wild munching on buds.
 here is the second bear emerging from the den...bears wake slowly it seems, coming and going from their slumber for a bit before they really start to venture out.
 i feel like that every morning so i can relate.
 another raven. 
 guess a 3 year old died up in Barrow last night...can never easily recall the new changed name.  had a patient from there once and i asked him how to pronounce the new name and he said, "Barrow". so clearly not everyone up there was happy with the change.  it was a gun shot.  not sure of the details just that according to what i read the child died en route to Anchorage for further cares.  this happens way to often i can attest to that.
 a woman died in Anchorage after her car went off the overpass and landed upside down on the road below i think? heard reports that she was driving erratically before this.  it's good no body else died in this one.
 the bridge north is open i think?  that was the rumor, that they would have it repaired for Monday's commutes.  spendy accident.
 break up means a dirty car so i tend to use it to spread the walrus love. 
 i do love a sweet musk ox too though..don't get me wrong.
 these are from tonight's trek down to Woronzof again.  the ice won't last long and the sun was setting. the dogs approved. 
 today we had 3 for the Monday walk so we did gasline-powerline-tank.  it was pretty out and then we enjoyed our Kaladi chat time.  always fun.
 a bit slippery out there at this time.  ice/hills.  trying to prevent any broken bones before the melt is done.  always a good goal i think.
 read somewhere that Utah passed a law to allow parents to use "free range parenting" tactics without fear of reprisal...or as we called it when we were young, "just being kids".  sad that our society has become so judgmental of parents who allow their kids some freedoms and  sad that kids have become so overprotected out of necessities it seems. 
 of course, the headline in the Anchorage paper I'm seeing is "kick the kids out of the house for playtime..." so i think in general there is more freedom in this state.  kids have all that day light in the summers and they are out and enjoying it from what i see. 
 Alaska is switching over to mail in ballots for voting.  seems like it could help decrease the possibility of interference in actual election results which is good. nice to be in the comfort of home doing the vote i guess.  still some work to deal with details but i think it will be good.
 soon all this beach ice will  be melted off for another year.
 below is the remnants of melted ice on the beach.  it's like a big slush pool, kind of fun to walk in
 icicles abound..making for some fun photo ops
 it doesn't take much to make me happy i think. 
 always fun reading your patients stories in the local news reports.  life working in the and obits become much more interesting.
 re-reading the sad tale of Petit and the lost trail.  Joar's interviews at White Mountain.  learning a bit more about the quiet new champion.  he's in the US on a sports visa so he donates his winnings since he can't keep them.
 got a few things done around the house this afternoon which is always nice.  cleaning is perpetual with animals.  it's worth it though.  slowly getting rid of all the carpet in the house.  not a fan of it, especially with pets. 
 reading about how two heroin addicts broke into a local gun store and stole 36 guns to sell for drug money....23 are still not recovered and one was used in a murder.  how legal guns rapidly become illegal guns....and how Good guys with guns easily lose control of guns to bad guys. 
 the iitoo has once again made a play at preventing transgender's from serving in the military.  i do always laugh...for as much as they detest transgender's they are actually protecting them, which seems odd to me.  just let them serve...who cares?  you aren't serving, someone needs to and they want to. 
 these whole bathroom issues are ridiculous too.  i guess up here we all share the same outhouses.  it's shit, literally a place to shit.  why get so bent about it all.  just enter, do you business and leave.  make them all unisex. 
 Ivy slips around the top part of this ice pancake on land.  it's falling apart underneath her but the top layer is slippery.
 Tusker is King of the ice berg
 the free items i put out front are slowly disappearing.  always fun to watch them find new purposes.
 enjoying the longer hours.  sun didn't set until nearly 8:30 pm.  as i was driving over there it seemed the sun was still pretty high up there, but it dropped pretty fast after i arrived.
 it's always a busy place there.  everyone likes to come watch sunsets there. 
 saw a few moose, a baldie and some adorable puppies...:-) 
 there was a German shepherd down on the beach as well. he stole our tennis ball so that was the end of that.  the pups were well behaved overall.  they stopped and stayed in place as requested both coming and going as others were coming up/down the hill.  i got impressed compliments on their good behavior.
 still a bit stiff in the shoulder but happy to say that so far in their 2 years of life with me i have not had any major injuries.  that is quite an accomplishment i think.  haha.
 I've been on a kick of snacking on herb triskets and cheese.  that is what i am munching on now. 
 was going to pick up some Henry's hard grape to enjoy for tonight but there is none to be found i guess.  boo.  good stuff.
 so just water...which is pretty typical.  good to drink lots of water.  supposed to drink it right before you head to bed i was reading and when you wake up.  helps with kidney function and helps to prevent those morning heart attacks.
 just ate cottage cheese for dinner.  chatted with friends on the phone and my brother as well, thanks for the call, he's a friend too, i am happy to say.  we have many great memories from growing up together.  we got at each other but what siblings don't.  trips to the beach house would have been very dull without him and my other brother as well.  the three of us spent a great deal of our non school hours hanging out. happy we were free range kids.  then later latch key kids i guess.
 conflict makes you stronger and wiser. 
 ice in mud
 turned out to be a pretty nice sunset. 
 I'll have to get back and post some more cute Iditarod dog photo's.  they are super cute.  mix it up a bit.
 hoping to head to bed soon though i think.  should probably try to arrange another appointment with the cabinet guy and make sure my construction guy knows I'm alive and still wanting the work done.
 the rest are a few cell phone shots from around...below is at the dog park
 my sweet Tuskers snow covered mug
 what a cutie
 blue skies
 and the little free library.  the books shift around, come and go.  will be interesting to watch it in the summer time.  hopefully, it doesn't fall over.
thankful for A.  my sisters safe arrival home, despite feeling sick B. chit chats with friends and family.  C.  evening mud fest to enjoy the sunset.