Monday, November 28, 2005

Feeling the earth move under one's feet...

I felt it this time. There were two distinct pulses this time. Pretty weird!

Update: Apparently, 48 people in the area felt it.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Skiing Fools

I love to cross-country ski! For the last few days, we had done our regular route through Russian Jack Springs park. Today though, armed with a new map, we were brave and tried Beach Lake Trails in Chugiak, which at the moment is the only tracked ski trails in the area for Classic.

Since the sun went down at 4:30pm or so, it was dark by the time we started. There is nothing like skiing on a new trail at night to get you confused. We were doing fine until we accidentally found ourselves on "Executioner". The trails I am more likely to ski are called things like "creampuff" and "pancake", so this made me a bit worried. Somewhere around executioner we got turned around, and probably skiied 10k or so to get back to our car. It was great!

I am also excited about learning to skate ski. This of course required new equipment, and although I have not tried them out, our stuff looks very fast. Frank's new skis even say "Ultrasonic" and his boots are a beautiful silver color.

Of course, first is the marathon next Sunday! Agh!

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Thanksgiving Day in Anchorage

Happy Thanksgiving from NorthtoAK! Today we woke up to more snow to go with the snow from yesterday and the day before. The streets continue to be covered in white snow and many of the side roads are not plowed.

Last night, I remarked that the roads were not so bad, and that how my definition of "not so bad" is much broader after a year in Alaska. In the midwest, if the roads look like they do up here, people would be banned from being on the road.

So, Frank had fun using the snowblower in the driveway this morning(notice the tennis shoes):

Sadly, the driveway has about two-three inches more snow on it, so it will need to be plowed again, likely tomorrow.

We then got a chance to speak to our families, and Mandy taught me this cool thing that I have missed called text messaging. The only problem with text messaging is that every time my cell phone goes off with a text message, I get all jumpy since it's the same tone that pages me for work! But I think txt is gr8! I am going to learn lots of lingo like "LOL" and "ROTFL".

At noon, we went to Thanksgiving Dinner at Mick's at the Inlet, which is a great restaurant in the Inlet Tower downtown.

Mick's is a really cozy place to eat, with upscale food but a nice laid-back atmosphere. The music is really great as well. Sometimes, people mistake non-overbearing music for boring, which is a mistake. Mick's had a nice balance of music, from jazz, oldies, and even world music, to actually enhance the ambiance. We also had a very nice Pinot Gris from Maryhill Winery, which tasted very green and fruity. The food was great too! The highlight of my lunch was twofold -- I got to eat pomagranate seeds, which I had never eaten before, and also had chilean sea bass for Thanksgiving! The chilean sea bass was flakey but very tasty with a spice mixture on top and a chili oil sauce. Frank had the porterhouse steak, which was also good as well. Galileo, of course, got the scraps of steak, for which he was very happy.

After lunch, we scrambled to the grocery store to get supplies for the next few days, since the stores were all closing around 4pm. After a brief nap, Galileo and I went on a walk around the block, which was more difficult than usual since we had to break trail. The sky was hot pink in the southwest as the sun went down as we walked along (4pm!).

There's a bit of snow on the trees...

How do these branches stay up with all that snow?

We also got to ski for the first time all year! One of the coolest things about Anchorage is the lighted ski trails in winter. We went to Russian Jack, and it was beautiful -- everything sparkles in the lights, and the trees are just incredibly magestic. You'd never know you were right in town!

Anyways, I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Moon Picture

Better late than never...this is a shot from my driveway looking east. The moon has been huge lately!

Of course, we haven't seen it so much this week. It's been raining off and on for the last two days (a virtual "heat wave"). This was a total bummer because we all were looking forward to good skiing, and our snow melted!

Things are looking up this morning though. We had some sort of an ice/snow/sleet/wind (I would guess around 40 mph) last night, and it's continued today. Wunderground says we will get about 5 inches of wet snow, but it's always hard to tell.

I have heard complaints that there is not enough hockey blogging lately. This is because there's not much to say. UAA keeps finding more frustrating ways to lose. Last night, they *almost* won -- even scoring first for once -- but gave up a goal in the third and then another in overtime to Minnesota-Duluth. It's so frustrating, because last night was the best the Seawolves have played in weeks!

Anyways, up this weekend is a 15 mile run, yoga, and the Italian Lady from Algiers (it's an opera by Rossini). Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Think of it as the midday moon...

ADN points out something that I have been noticing in the sky. The moon is out a lot of the time, like the sun in the summer here. I've got a few pictures from the weekend and will try to post today.

Monday, November 14, 2005


A Subaru crashed into Barnes and Noble: "The crash unleashed literary upheaval -- the sort of disorganization that would surely horrify any type-A minded librarian: Books on Mexico and Venice intermixed with volumes on Vietnam and George Washington. Alaska Mileposts mingled with tomes about Spartans and ancient Rome. Thick texts on the FBI were shuffled among massive atlases. "

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Ginger Kids!

Did you watch it? It was all about Ginger Kids, which are kids with red hair, pale skin, and freckles. Oh, and Ginger Kids have no souls and suffer from "Gingervitis".

Here's the summary if you missed it.

As a "Ginger" myself, I couldn't help people really think of redheads in this way?

Anyways a really funny episode. South Park still has its' charm!

Speaking of comedy central, the Colbert Report is really funny and, sometimes, even makes a good point....

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

"Baku is the most beautiful city in the world!"

This was the regular cry of Georgi, a fictional character in my Russian reader during my semester in Moscow. I remember him saying that they have some really nice gardens. Now Georgi and other Azerbaijanis need support to establish a democracy in their country.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

The Underpants Gnome Theory of Investing

I was reminded of one of my favorite South Park episodes ever, called " Gnomes (Underpants Gnomes)" today, while reading Boing Boing.

I've found that the gnomes' three-phase business plan:
(1) Steal Underpants
(2) ....
(3) Profit! used quite a bit by companies. Here's a financial article on the Underpants Gnome Theory of Financial Investing which is basically this...make sure that the companies you invest in actually have a phase 2 strategy for turning an idea into profit!

If you are interested in investing, I also have to recommend my favorite show to run to...Mad Money. Jim Cramer cracks me up, keeps me interested in financials, AND makes me run faster!

Friday, November 04, 2005

Who knew?

There are military applications for Silly String!

Moore Blogging

Frank's research has been blogged by IlliGAL! He's also giving a seminar today for the Complex Systems group at UAA on his research.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Кандидат (The Candidate)

Golly, looks like we have exported another reality show! The Russian Apprentice show Кандидат (Kandidat) is down to the final two! It's down to Tatiana and Elena. I'm rooting for Tatiana because she works for PricewaterhouseCoopers, which is a very long name.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Search Results Fun

While looking at my list of referring pages for this blog, I found that I am #2 on the French version of Google for "art of killing counter"! Who knew that writing about UAA hockey could bring such things!

Also, those of you looking for Thanksgiving pictures, including those that are searching for an "Anchorage Turducken", are probably looking in the wrong place.

I'm happy to see that I've helped at least a few people researching running topics as well as volcano preparedness.