Saturday, February 25, 2006

New Tivo Services

If you own a tivo, you might notice that there are New Online Services available, like Yahoo! Weather, Yahoo! Traffic. In addition, you can order movie tickets online, listen to podcasts, and listen to internet radio. I think it's cool that they are finally taking advantage of the internet connections tivo has.

Oh, and take it from me, if you don't want to wear out your remote batteries, don't play the new Tivo games!!!

Holiday Photos

I realized that I haven't published any vacation photos yet! Here are some from Puerto Rico:

This is the flag of Puerto Rico

Frank enjoys the warm sand and, you know, going outside in shorts without risk of frostbite.

Even limes go to the beach in PR!

So do sponges!

This is MY beach!

The dome of the capitol building of Puerto Rico

We visited San Felipe Del Morro Fortress, which was really neat. It was built with a lot of hidden passages and different ways to get places like a 3-d maze.

One of the secret staircases to the lower floor

While we were on our mandatory "tourist area" shopping stop, Frank and I ventured down a road that led us to this building, which we didn't know was the governor's house. While I was taking these pictures, a cavalcade of SUVs popped out of the gate and they waved at us. I like to think that it was the governor :)

After we finished our visit to the governor, we found our group at the Plaza de Colon. There's a statue in the middle of it, and it looked like Columbus was trying to lead the elves.

At the plaza, while waiting for people in our group to show up, I got really interested in the beautiful fountain that we were sitting on.

A bird was also very interested...

Here's a picture of the harbor from the boat.

I really liked Puerto Rico, although we really did not get to see much, since we got in late and had to get on the cruise ship the next afternoon.

The upside of cabin pressure loss

Juneau to Anchorage airline passengers were treated to a beautiful and up-close ride over the coastal range when their cabin lost pressure. Many of the passengers complimented the pilot on the beautiful ride.

Apparently this has happened five times in the last three days on different airplanes. Perhaps they are having a bit of trouble with their new mechanics crew?

This morning, I awoke to a beautiful snowstorm. It's beautiful because everything was starting to take on that icky grey/brown color that spring in Anchorage is known for. Hopefully there will be enough snow to de-ice some of the ski trails.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Olympic News and SNOW!

Rosie Fletcher, Girdwood's own, haswon a bronze medal!

The US Men's curling team has won a bronze too, which is the first curling medal ever for the US. There was also, apparently, a curling streaker. You know those curling fans are pretty crazy!

The biggest news, though, is that we are supposed to get snow in Anchorage tomorrow. Because of the lack of snow on the ground, many races, like the Fur Rondy dog mushing races, have already been canceled. New snow will likely allow a few more weeks of skiing, the Iditarod ceremonial start, and the Tour of Anchorage to all continue.

Thursday, February 23, 2006


Life in Alaska is apparently contemplating snowmachine ownership.

I was on a snowmachine once, in Chena Hot Springs. It was 35 below. I drove my own machine, and the guy kept asking if I was enjoying it, since I was going slow and had a quiet look of terror throughout the experience. I have to say, driving a snow machine was not as much about enjoyment as about "not dying". Frank, on the other hand, loved it, and would probably drive one to UAA every morning if he could.

In other news, I've made $10 in stock photography! How exciting!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

You'd never know it...

...but our US XC/biathlon skiers are doing quite well. We came in 10th in the women's sprint, and we came in 10th in biathlon.

Too bad NBC is missing this good story, eh?

Duct Tape

Apparently Duct tape is a miracle cure!

Bummer | alaska : Fur Rondy decides to cancel its sled dog race: "'Global warming,' Ford said. 'I think I'm going to sell out and buy a winery. It's getting warm enough now to grow grapes.'"

Wednesday, February 15, 2006


I've been tagged again, this time by Mr. Carr at the Carr Pool. So here goes...

Four Jobs I've Had
Let's see, mine's quite boring:
1: Amusement Ride Operator -- That's not at a carnival, but Six Flags Great America, mind you. Despite the vomit cleanup, it's probably the most fun job I've ever had.
2: Computer Lab assistant, Education Department
3: Assistant IT person (I don't remember what my title was, sorry)
4: Current Job: IT person/project manager, some fortune 50 company :)

Four Movies I watch over and over
Actually, I watch very few movies. So here are ones that I would actually watch again:
1)Office Space. Did you get the memo?
2) Brazil. Do you have a 97-b/6?
3) Ferris Bueller's Day Off. The question isn't "what are we going to do". The question is "what aren't we going to do".
4) Hmm had to think about this. Probably As Good as it Gets. It's still a great movie!

Four Places I've Lived
1) Anchorage, Alaska
2) Oxford, Ohio
3) Moscow, Russia
4) Grayslake, IL

Four Shows I like to Watch
I like Mad Money too, but the podcasts are much better...
1) The Olympics! Even Curling!
2) The Tour de France
3) Survivor
4) The Colbert Report. Bears!

Four Foods that I like:
1) Moose's Tooth pizza is hard to beat...
2) Potato and Kale soup with Gruyere
3) Bun Bo Xao
4) Copper River Salmon with pinot noir reduction, peppercorns, and sweet potato chips from Glacier Brewhouse

Four Websites I visit Daily
Let's see...
1) Anchorage Daily News
2) Dilbert
3) Althouse
4) Rick Lee

Four Things I Want to Do Before I Die
1) Finish the Tour of Anchorage
2) Complete an Ironman
3) Go to Mongolia
4) Go to Nepal

Four People I am tagging
Here goes!
1) Amy
2) Anne
3) Mom -- You can do it!

Monday, February 13, 2006

C'Mon D!

Personally, my favorite character this olympics is the guy who shouts at the US skiers in the startbox. He says all the silly things you expect, in a rough heavy metal voice. For example, with Daron Ralves, it's "Cmon D! Kill this thing! Aaargh!". For Marco Sullivan, he said "Cmon Sully! You've got to want this!". I find it amusing and a bit frightening. If I were there, I would tell Mr. Testosterone to stuff it.

Which brings me to my next points. What is wrong with some of our athletes and their judgement? The whole ski-gate during the downhill is an excellent example. Bode had a new set of skis from Atomic that he used in the last training run. Daron Ralves then decided, at 4pm Saturday to take a twin pair out for a run. Then he decided to use them (although he had the fastest time on the first training run with his "old" skis) on the downhill final. Except, then Bode only got 5th, so there was Daron, about to go into the starthouse, switching back to his old skis. He wound up 10th.

I think that guy at the top shouting at skiers has something to do with it and is probably related to the Bad Idea Bears. Can't you hear him say,"Cmon D! Change your skis a few times!"?

Then this story of Lindsey Jacobellis comes out, and I start to think -- were athletes always this reckless, or is this a recent development in sports?

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Hidden Hakkinen and other Olympic musings

Hidden Hakkinen:
So we recorded the 20k biathlon yesterday, and were excited to watch Jay Hakkinen get get 10th, which is the highest placing ever in biathlon for an American. He was one minute out of medal contention, which was equivalent to one penalty for missing a target. However, NBC chose to instead show everyone BUT Hakkinen, including people who came in way behind him. It's either because they were not employing their own crews or perhaps because they didn't think he was going to do well. Pretty insane for a US newscast to not get one shot of our US hopeful in an "unprecedented" two hour broadcast of biathlon. Thanks NBC!

US vs. Switzerland:
Did you watch the US women's hockey team take on Switzerland? Because women's hockey is still more of a finesse game (although for sure they do cross check when required), the passing and dexterity of the game is really incredible. I highly suggest watching a game if you get the chance.

"High Hemoglobin Levels"
That Hemoglobin level rule of the Ski Federation is totally bogus. 12 XC skiers were suspended for this, although it's a proven fact that altitude training as well as dehydration can cause these levels. In addition, although it is supposedly done "for the athlete's safety", why is the number for women arbitrarily lower, even though competitive women skiers have been shown to have hemoglobin levels roughly equal to men? Dumb, Dumb, Dumb. Let's use proven detectable methods of finding dopers instead of some silly rules that catch dopers and non-dopers alike.

Dick Button!
What would we do without Dick Button? Well, last winter olympics, we didn't have him. And Scott Hamilton is to platitudinous to really be able to provide the biting criticism Dick Button does. The last few times I have seen ice skating, Dick has been upset about the "flutzing" techniques of jumping that had become prevalent. This year, it appears at least for pairs he has two new problems -- the sit spin and the descent into the death spiral. In the sit spin, they don't sit down far enough, and the girls stick their rears out while descending into a death spiral.

Anyways, the Olympics are very fun, but it is quite stressful to try to keep up with Tivo. If Olympics-watching ever becomes a medal sport, I've got a shot :) More tomorrow!

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Opening Ceremonies!

Did you watch the Opening Ceremonies last night? My favorite part was when the dancers made the giant skier, although I thought they could have turned it into a luge as well. The fire people were quite cool too...very Ka. And the Mongolian's hats! Don't you want one?

As for the US outfits, don't you think it's fitting that we choose a Canadian clothing company to make our outfits?

Friday, February 10, 2006

Olympic Apprenti and Avalanches

Can you believe that NBC is planning to vote an olympian onto the Apprentice? Very sad.

In other news, conditions are really bad on the Seward Highway. There were avalanches yesterday, but it has just reopened. Word on the radio is that Eagle River is not doing well also.

On the home front, the sun finally came out after a long day of snowy/rainy weather. Hopefully, the rain didn't do too much damage to the ski trails. Yesterday, the skis were so FAST!

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Technology at work

Here's a great local story about a person using webcams to catch a theif.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Tivo Stress

Am I the only Olympics nut stressed out about Tivo in the next few weeks?

NBC, who is a partner with Tivo, has put together an unprecedented set of coverage for Torino, but the timings all overlap! Imagine the horror, finding out that I have to choose between the USA Women Curling vs. Sweden and biathlon! I might have to buy two tivos to get it all (just kidding, although I've thought about it). I've had to do all sorts of DVR gymnastics to get close to what I want -- some of it I have to actually program manually which is a pain.

Regardless, thank goodness, in general, for Tivo! Without it, I would feel obligated to watch the massive coverage in real time, which in Anchorage would require staying up into the wee hours of the night. In this case, I still feel obligated to watch, but on my own time.

Wish me luck!

Monday, February 06, 2006

Steelers WIN...

...but apparently many thought it was a boring game. I think they are all Seahawks fans, because there were some really cool moments. I mean, how many times does Randle El have to do that trick play where he throws before a team actually catches on to it?

Other than that, this weekend was fun in other ways.

Ski for Women
Tara and I did the Alaska Ski for Women at Kinccaid Park during the Super Bowl (which was being Tivoed of course). It's the largest women-only ski event in the US. There were 1300 skiers of all abilities, and many wore cool costumes. A group I saw was wearing volcano hats like Mt. Augustine. At the start, we did the wave a few times, and then were off. It was really cool to ski on warm snow, which makes you go much faster! Both of us made it, and I actually got my second wind and passed a few people on the way up the last hill. All in all, it was a great time!

Extreme Ironing, part 2
Frank and I also got all geared up to do our own ski waxing. You might think that this should be simple, but it requires a whole bunch of things, like a special iron and different papers and sticks of different materials. As a gadget and safety gal, I was in my element. Many of you will be suprised at this, but I actually picked up an iron, albeit not a clothing iron, and did all four sets of skis. Now my ironing quota is done for the month. Ha!

Ice storms and Tsunami Warnings
Last night, apparently there was an ice storm. What truly stinks is that the rain that followed has ruined our snow again and things are starting to look ugly as the dirt and grime begin to pop out of the snow. Ick. All the schools, including UAA, were closed today.

In addition, there was a little training snafu at the National Weather Service in Anchorage, when someone accidentally double-clicked an icon, sending a tsunami warning throughout the area. They are going to fix the software so that a tsunami warning is confirmed before sent. Good idea, I think :)

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

"More Craziness!"

That's what Frank wrote yesterday when explaining why traffic was backed up on Lake Otis yesterday during his commute.