Friday, March 31, 2006

The Smartest Dog in the World!

Galileo wants you to know how very smart he is today!

He has two new tricks! One is roll over, which we have been working on for a while. Suddenly, after being in the kennel for two weeks, he's rolling all over the place!

The second, which I taught him today in 20 minutes, is "Pick Up". He picks up all of his toys, and puts them in a laundry basket (except his bone, which apparently is in another category for Galileo). Geesh, if I knew it was going to be this easy, I would have taught him this a long time ago!

Who knew the dog is the only one in the house with a knack for organization? I figure we can use this to our advantage! What's next? "Laundry"? "Dishes"? "Vaccuum"?

Oh, and we're back from vacation to LA. More on that later, I'm loading up pictures :)

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Contact your Senator!

reactions & reflections is watching the senate dealings for the immigration bill closely. I think this is very important legislation that could be either very good or very bad depending on how it's manipulated once it hits the senate.

It's very rare that I talk about political stuff on this blog, but this is a pretty important bill. I hope you will do five things:
1) Please take some time to read the bill yourself (Section 220). It's always good to read the primary source first before listening to talking heads telling you what to think (yes, even those of you who watch the Colbert Report).
2) Read Anne's commentary (more here and here and here). She's very familiar with the bill and immigration, and knows what she's talking about.
3) Read other commentary. Certainly many others have opinions on this bill. Find someone you trust, and read his/her opinion on the matter. If you have links to other opinions you find helpful or want to voice your own, go ahead and comment below.
4) Make up your own mind. Take some time to form an opinion for yourself based on your own beliefs and morals.
5) GET ENGAGED by contacting your senator on this very important issue (link's at the bottom of the first link in the post).


Friday, March 17, 2006


NorthtoAK will be on hiatus next week for vacation.

Please be sure though to remember to set your tivo's for the Iditarod coverage on OLN this week!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Russia on my mind...

Russia keeps coming up today for me.

For example, the Amazing Race went to Moscow last night. I haven't seen the episode yet but it's sure to evoke memories of college days.

Speaking of reality TV, how can we forget about Lenny? He's GREAT -- he says all the things that you'd like to say to some of these apprenti wanna-bes.

Then, has a story today about Russian Cafes in town.

Very strange. Is this a conspiracy?

Tuesday, March 14, 2006


Ooh, those of you on the east cost are lucky! Looks like the Iditarod should finish Tonight or Tomorrow morning for the race leader. If you are an Iditarod Insider, you'll be able to watch the teams come in all day tomorrow!

Monday, March 13, 2006


We already have pro poker players, dart throwers, and other various sports. Do we really have to be giving people $50,000 dollars for playing Rock Paper Scissors?

Weekend Musings

This was a great weekend! We started out by doing the Ski4Kids at Kincaid Park which was a 3k race to support cross-country outreach programs. It was a lot of fun, but a bit like what Yao Ming would feel like if he was at a roller derby. By that I mean, it was all kids, many of them who ski faster than we did, which we should anticipated, but we -- ok I-- didn't. But it was for an awesome cause, so I don't feel too bad.

Afterwards, Frank went to work while I went to the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour at UAA. It was really great, with a lot of amazing cinematography. There was one of people skiing off really high cliffs then opening a parachute as they are plummeting to the ground. One lady said this made her feel "alive". I thought, hey, going down the stairs in the dark can do that for me, which is a lot less expensive. This is another example of how being a chicken has advantages.

On Sunday, we went to see Madama Butterfly. I have to say it's not my most favorite opera, although I think the people involved did an outstanding job. I mean, we start off with the fact that B.F. Pinkerton is a real jerk marrying a 15 year old (!). The plot is pretty straightforward, and there is a lot of singing with no action, so it's hard for someone like me to get into it. My thoughts though:
1) Hasn't everyone had a little Pinkerton in their lives? Although the reviewer in ADN thought that Pinkerton did not have enough passion, I couldn't help thinking, hey, that's exactly how he should have played it -- like there was always something else a bit more interesting on his mind.
2) The big failure of Madama Butterfly is the classic Who Moved My Cheese problem. She would be "Hem", unable to face that fact that the cheese has been moved. The inability/unwillingness to adjust to new circumstances is the fatal flaw of Butterfly in this case.
3) Next time, I think they should stop the opera at the first break in the second act. Wouldn't it be more pleasant if we just saw the ship coming back? Everyone would be much happier. Of course this is coming from someone who doesn't like to watch the second half of Titanic.
4) What was up with the big American flag being the front-drop for the final scene? Very Icky! Set designer I think requires a few maturity pills -- the opera is pretty down on the US already. I think the flag on top of it is way too much and offensive.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Can you imagine?

The College Board, grand poo-bahs of the SATs, screwed up 4000 students' scores. Luckily, none of the scores were messed up more than 400 points. Can you imagine being one of these kids? They probably made college decisions based on these scores, and the College Board is only going to return the fees.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Team Norway Fun!

From Team Norway's coverage: "DeeDee Jonrowe has still turned on her after-burners and is currently moving like a Swingly-King-deadly missile towards Takotna as #4." Ha!

Seriously, it should be a good race. Watch for Martin Buser in 15th at this point, word is his dogs are running well.

Continuing on the list of unfortunate things that happened this week, here's my tip of the day: If you use serrano peppers in your spaghetti, make sure to wash your hands really, really well before washing your face and putting on nighttime moisturizer. Yikes!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

The Ice Classic and strange days

The Ice Classic is a tradition where a tripod is put up on the Tanana river near Nenana and you bet on exactly when breakup will occur.

Seriously, it's been a weird start of the week. Yesterday morning, I turned on my computer, and it sounded like a jet engine waiting to take off. At the same time, the smoke detector decided it could not wait for a new battery and started beeping every five minutes while I was on call for support. At the same time, the dog had to go outside in the snow, then roll in the only available patch of dirt, which required me to pick him up, throw him into a bathtub, and wash his feet while the smoke detector was beeping. Things are getting better, but I just wonder what's next :)

Monday, March 06, 2006


Can you imagine poodles in the Iditarod? They completed the race four times!

That gives Galileo some hope...:)

Seriously, the race is underway! Every year, mushers revamp their gear, and come up with improvements. This year, one of the best ideas is a hand-warming handle bar from Jeff King, a perennial innovator.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

More Iditarod Pictures!

Here's John Baker from Kotzebue: More happy dogs!
Hugh H. Neff grew up in Evanston, IL:
I got a great shot of Martin Buser and I believe his son -- certainly mushing is a family affair!
Shortly after Martin Buser came through, Frank and Tara staged a mutiny based on cold toes and something about standing out in the cold for two hours watching dogs go by not being very fun after a while. Therefore that's the end of the pictures of the Iditarod for this year :( -- if you like the pictures, say so in the comments, so maybe Frank will wear insulated boots next year. On the other hand, we went to the Empty Bowl Project for Beans' Cafe. I'll hopefully talk about that tomorrow.

Hope you had a good weekend! Posted by Picasa

More Iditarod Pictures!

Ray Casillo is a fly fishing guide in Big Lake and is originally from Buffalo, NY: Ron Cortte is having a great time! He's back running the Iditarod after a 22 year hiatus!
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More Iditarod Pictures!

Katrina Pawlaczyk works with Linda Plettner and is doing her first Iditarod:
She looks thrilled!
Fabrizio Lovati has a kennel in the Italian Alps:
Tollef Monson trains with Ed Iten in Kotzebue: Posted by Picasa

More Iditarod Pictures!

A closeup of Rick Larson:
Here's Tove Sorensen from Norway: A very stylish set of ropes for these dogs:
This is Randy Cummins, a rookie, originally from Texas:
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More Iditarod Pictures!

A very serious Ryan Redington: More stylish dogs from Rick Larson:
How can a dog not be happy with those booties on?
Many dogs really loved seeing all the people:
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More Iditarod Pictures!

Here, you see that the dog on the right is quite a bit smaller than the rest. Many mushers will use puppies for the ceremonial start because it's not too far, slow, and also gets dogs used to racing around people. More happy dogs for Ryan Redington, grandson of the Iditarod co-founder Joe Redington Sr.
Here's another member of Team Norway, Tore Albrightsen: Posted by Picasa

More Iditarod Pictures!

Look at these stylin' dogs: Here's their stylin' owner, Tim Osmar:

Rachel Scdoris is legally blind, and is running the Iditarod again. Last year she had to scratch, but I'm sure she'll make it this time: Here's a close-up of Rachel Scdoris:
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More Iditarod Pictures!

More happy dogs...
Here's Terry Adkins -- he was born in Kentucky. Note how much fun the musher handler and the Iditarider are having!
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More Iditarod Pictures!

This is Bjornar Andersen, one of the Norway contingent this year. He is a refridgeration mechanic in Oslo. Robert Sorlie will be following the race, but only races every other year. This is Rick Swenson, the only five-time winner of the Iditarod:
Here's Cindy Gallea from Montana:
Linda Plettner is in her 12th Iditarod:
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More Iditarod Pictures!

Here's Sebastian Schnuelle and his dog team: Once again, happy dogs!
What a smirk!

Saturday, March 04, 2006

More Iditarod Pictures!

Eric Rogers is totally my hero -- he's got his theoretical particle physics PHD. So he is one very smart Iditarod rookie... Robert Buntzen, a local physician, is also on the trail this year:
I do have more pictures from the ceremonial start, but I'll post them tomorrow. The official start is tomorrow in Willow, remember!

Gerald Sousa lives in Talkeetna: His dogs look happy too!
Bryan Mills finished his rookie Iditarod last year. He looks thrilled to be doing it again -- AND he's from Wisconsin:
Judy Currier is also out on the trail:

More Soon!