Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Christmas Photo Bonanza!

Below are some of the good Christmas pictures. If there is not one of you, it's only because the picture did not come out well.

Also, as Mom pointed out, on the sidebar below the weatherpixie is my web shop. It's got ornaments and stuff that you can buy. Please check it out!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!


Mandy strikes a pose

Holly Rose will be extra-fast in here cheetah nightgown!

Frank enjoying his new blanket

Mom got a Kodak Easy Share camera!

Doug got new pants!

Sanae, Daniel and "johndeere"

Dad is well equipped for the Sun Bowl

Willie and Heather

Mom is suprised by how warm the Estonian poncho is!

No Christmas blogging would be complete without a picture of Puppy!

Merry Christmas from the Lohrmans!

Picture of Mandy mangled by editing :)

Dax appears to enjoy Christmas

Christmas Suction Toy

Nicely wrapped Christmas present

Mom caught Willie disguising himself as a Christmas present...

Monday, December 27, 2004

Sleep in Heavenly Peas...

Now that the holidays are almost over, I figure it's "safe" for me to post this note (didn't want anyone chuckling through christmas services!). For those of you who don't have enough reason to chuckly through the season, here are a ...multitude of mondegreens that you will not forget by Christmas Eve service...

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Indiana has great sunsets too...

On our way to Dayton on Monday, We were treated to a great sunset just north of Indianapolis.

Sunset Picture in Indiana.

The clouds were these fluffy dots, here is a picture from our moonroof:

Clouds Picture from the Moonroof

Late Sunset

Late Sunset 2

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Soybean Contamination

A by-product of the accident of the Selendang Ayu off of Unalaska is a massive amount of loose soybeans. It is now knee deep in soybeans on some beaches! Alaska has brought in Illinois soybean experts to help determine what the affect will be to wildlife.

So, Frank, Galileo and I are on our way to the "Outside". Wish us luck!

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Where is Miss Beazley?

I admit, I love the BarneyCam. Barney's new video is out: Where in the White House is Miss Beazley?


Snapping out of Gingersnap Addiction
I am looking forward to the airplane ride to rid myself of my gingersnap addiction. It all started when "Nana's Sauerbraten" recipe required 17 gingersnaps for completion. I hesitated pulling the box down from midtown New Sagaya's aisle 8 (mexican food, cookies, chips). This is because I know that mass doesn't disappear in mass quantities, in this case translating to the first law of groceries: the food within boxes not used in the meal will ultimately require consumption by someone.

While the Sauerbraten was about a 6 on a normal scale (not one of our best recipes this week), I was reminded that gingersnaps were addictively tasty. Knowing that sugar is not my friend and already admitting I had a problem, after about 10 extra gingersnaps I hid the box at the very highest point in the "cabinet of junk food", which is where we hide things that we really like to eat but don't want to eat too much of. However, it was no use, like the sirens in greek plays, the gingersnaps call for me to eat them every time I pass the kitchen.

The worst part about this is that Frank does not like gingersnaps (he prefers Denali ice cream), so I can't depend on Frank to help me finish them before I hurt myself. The dog loves them, but I am not sure that gingersnaps are really good for him. So I am alone in my gingersnap torment.

So I hope to break the gingersnap's hold on me by flying 4000 miles to Chicago, where I hope to find a gingersnap-free zone.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

I feel the Earth move...

At 9:30 we had an earthquake 39 miles from Anchorage, which gave me time to reevaluate my "they are not scary" comment earlier. It reminded me of 9/11 when a plane broke the sound barrier over Oxford, but I suppose it also feels like an explosion happening somewhere near. The ground shook suddenly -- if it had a noise it would be "pop" -- and the windows rattled a bit.

The big question, did I follow the guidelines to Drop, Cover and Hold on that FEMA asked me to do? No. I didn't feel it was necessary :).

Frank and I are very excited about our "Lower 48" tour coming up next week. I wanted to print up shirts like a concert tour, but thought that would be cheezy. Galileo is not so excited so far but that's because he is just a dog.

"Have you ever dreamed of being carried into the sky by a giant bouquet of colorful toy balloons?"

No. But John has and has made his dream come true!

This reminds me of another extreme sport that I probably will not try...mountain unicycling.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Weekend Pictures

Hi Everyone, pictures from this weekend:

These little birds were doing some sort of race around our house last week. Now they have been scared away by the Ravens (not the football team!) which hang out on house roofs and cackle all day long.

We took Galileo to Earthquake Park on Saturday. This is a park dedicated to the really awful '76 earthquake that leveled Anchorage. I've been trying to play with some of the automatic finishes that come with this camera, but in low-light conditions, I've found that my camera does not work very well, and the automatic adjustments are pretty bad. So bear with me :)

View over the arm. This shot I have also in edited form, but really this blue tint is more what it looked like than the computer-generated choice.

Another view over the arm. This also is more true to life than the "fixed" version, which adds a lot more white and red to this picture.

Frank and Puppy at Earthquake Park. Doesn't Frank look handsome in his hat? We bought them for our Scandanavia trip, but didn't really use it them until we got up here. You'll notice that this shot is a little grainy -- this is because it was too dark in its original format.

No, this is not a comet...it's a plane (we were by the airport).

Sky on Saturday (at 3pm mind you!).

Sunday Sunset. I got this shot through our west picture window looking out. It looked much different than what I could see from the ground...

See? Here is the same sunset from the back door.

Thursday, December 09, 2004


Scared you, didn't I? I just thought you'd like to know that earthquakes happen here all the time, but they aren't scary. There were three today at various times -- I have only really felt one (on a sunday there was one that was almost a 4), the others really just feel like the ground is shaking because there's an airplane overhead. Oh wait, sometimes they are airplanes flying overhead. Either way, I've learned to sleep through both -- all that "training" in Oxford :). To check out the current seismic activity, look for earthquakes in the cook inlet region.

You might wonder what the emergency preparations are in an earthquake. FEMA says Drop, Cover, and Hold On, meaning don't run out of the house or try to find an appropriate doorway. Just get under something, like a table.

Anyways, happy thoughts for you today from Alaska!

Killer Tomatoes and more AK reflections

We are in a National Tomato Crisis! Hurricanes and bugs have wiped out enough of the tomato crop that prices have been skyrocketing. In AK, this is a big deal. I can confirm that not only are tomatoes expensive, but that places like Wendy's do not offer tomatoes any more due to the insane prices. When will it end???

AK reflections
Leaving the gym yesterday, I realized that I was not cold. It was 18 degrees outside. It's interesting how the body adapts.

As it's getting colder, I am seeing more wildlife -- the ravens fly through our backyard all day. They are HUGE birds! On the radio, I heard a story of a lady from the bush who was recounting the first time she had seen a plane. She saw it in the sky and did not understand what it was. Upon questioning the elder about it, the elder told her it was a giant raven that was trying to pick up children so she should run home as fast as possible! After seeing these ravens, I can see why people would think that.

I now have waxed nordic skis, shoes, poles, and bindings! I have no idea how to use them yet! Can't wait for our ski lessons in January!

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Weekend and more on Aurora

CNN has another report on Aurora and J-1.

Anne McCue and Peter Mulvey

Frank and I saw Anne McCue and Peter Mulvey this weekend at the Snow Goose. Both are artists that you should check out.

Anne McCue is from Australia, and is one of Lucinda Williams' favorite songwriters. She plays guitar well, and her melodies are really great as well as the lyrics. We bought the album below at the concert, and it is really great. If you go to the link you can also hear some excerpts:

Peter Mulvey was the headliner, and I was quite suprised that I liked his music also. He is also a gifted songwriter and also an interpreter of other songwriter's music also. Steve, if you see this, most of these people tend to circle around Boston quite often, apparently because Chris Smither does a show every week from a club there so you HAVE to go! Just like above, the link will tak you to some excerpts:

Frank and I saw three moose in total on Sunday on our way to New Sagaya, lower down the hillside from our house. They were our first moose sightings since the first week we got here, partially due, I'm sure, to the fact that neither of us have much animal sighting experience. It was such a beautiful morning, with the birch trees covered in white snow, and all these huge ravens flying through the sky.

Every day I'm amazed at how different each day is here. Today, we have fluffy clouds that are grey passing by an ice blue sky. Since the sun is still finding its way out of the mountains, the horizon is kind of a peachy-white color. When the sun goes down in the afternoon, there's always something different also -- I've seen pink/peach sunsets, as well as different cloud patterns. My favorite time is just as the sun goes down, the mountains stand out as light blue against a dark blue sky.

I'll try to take more pictures so you know what I mean :).

Christmas plan
Ever wonder how all the exaggerations about Alaska come about? Apparently, there is a tradition up here to exaggerate stories when going "Outside". I thought Frank and I could work on this while we come home for Christmas. Frank has new big winter boots for his Christmas present, so if he would only grow a big bushy beard, wear a fur hat, flannel shirts, and talk funny, wouldn't that be cool? I could do my best impression of Mrs. Crabtree from South Park. We could talk about our pet moose and the igloo. The stories of our antics trapping our own food and mining for gold would be priceless. The clincher would be when we started talking to birds, like people here talk to ravens.

However, Frank for some reason does not think this is a good idea. Something about integrity, looking silly...yah yah. We'll see...I have 11 days to work on it before we leave :).

Also...everyone send good vibes to Anne, who debuts two more songs at the Jazz Factory in Louisville on Wednesday!

UPDATE: I've added the links to the CD's on the side of the page for posterity :)

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Thursday, December 02, 2004

News Roundup

I thought another news roundup from the newly-frosty North was in order.

Don't throw the Bab(ies) out with the Dishwater...
Anchorage has been following the tragic romance of J-1 and Aurora at the Alaska Sealife center. J-1 the 5 and 1/2 year old giant octopus was living a lonely life in a big tank at the center when Aurora washed up in Resurrection bay this spring. Aurora, abandoned by her family, was nursed back to health and there was great hope that perhaps Aurora and J-1 would "hit it off" -- J-1 was quite old, and noone knew if he was even interested at this point. When Aurora was introduced into his tank, suddenly he sprang to life, impressing her by changing colors multiple times. They soon mated, and then J-1 died a few months later. Aurora though, laid some eggs, but most thought that nothing much would come of it. However, as they were siphoning off water in the tank to clean out the eggs, an astute biologist realized that they were actually growing little octopi!!!

The Anchorage Film Festival

The Anchorage Film Festival is this weekend. Where else can you see Christmas in Spenard, Christina Applegate, strubbery, and accordion players (not in the same film of course)?

'Tis the Season...
Anyone can remember their favorite christmas special, but how many can you name on this list of the 10 Least Successful Christmas Specials of All Time?

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Carnival of the Vanities

This week's Carnival of the Vanities #115 is really good. These come out every week and represent the best (and sometimes worst) that the blogosphere has to offer. While I can't vouch for all the articles listed, I did find the few I read interesting. Check it out.