Sunday, May 28, 2006

We're Back...

We're back from Kauai! Here's a quick picture of it:
Not quite what you were expecting? This is a picture of Waimea Canyon which is on the west side of the island. The island is covered in super-red dirt that permanently dyes sneakers a beautiful orange color. More pictures soon!

Yesterday on my way to the store, the sky was a funny beige color. Little did I know that Port Mackenzie was on fire. Because of the really dry spring, the forests are really dry, making wildfires quite easy. Let's hope that it rains soon! Posted by Picasa

Friday, May 19, 2006

One Vacation Down, One to go...and an Update

Los Cabos is beautiful! We got back last night around midnight, worked a full day, and then are leaving again tonight for Hawaii.

Los Cabos was great, but HOT! I have worked through 125-with-heat-index days in the sun, but I swear the Cabo San Lucas boardwalk was the hottest I've ever been. No wonder people take siestas there! More later, but here's a picture:
I'm looking forward to the Hawaiian dancers that help us Alaskans get in the mood at 2am at the airport. There's nothing like standing in a line at 2am with flowers you are allergic to around your neck (I know I shouldn't get the lei, but golly, that's part of the experience!) It should be even better on cold medication :)

And one "very important update" for you all..
As many of you know, my wonderful husband is not only a talented musician, he has also avoided American Idol on principle. Today, he watched the final three, and has jumped on the Taylor Hicks bandwagon with me.

So, not only is Taylor Hicks my age (and yours Anne!), but Frank is a proud member of the Soul Patrol. If that is not a reason to dial in and vote for Taylor, I don't know what is!

Take care, have a good week!

Friday, May 12, 2006


Where is the moment when needed the most/
You kick up the leaves and the magic is lost..."
"You had a Bad Day" by Daniel Powter

So although all good fridays might consist of a yoga class and a caipirinha, there are many other factors that make a good day a great one. To use a music reference (in honor of Anne's new piano) today at work I hit some good clunkers and the song ended on a minor chord.

One thing that one learns when doing things like marathons is how to be patient and endure the highs/lows of life. Not every run, not every mile, is going to feel wonderful and springy. Sometimes your legs will feel like lead, and for sure one day you experience your own personal definition of "bonking". However, without those bad days you would never appreciate those runs where you might as well be flying over the asphalt.

So with that said, for the rest of this post I am going to tell you five things that are good about today:
1) I'm going on vacation for two weeks!!!!!!
2) Yoga was hard but very relaxing.
3) Walking outside is wonderful. Today it's 65 degrees in Anchorage. Can you believe it?
4) Looking outside is almost as much of a joy as being outside. The sky is spectacularly blue and the mountains are graciously losing their snow (finally).
5) The world's greatest dog asking me to play ball, and the world's most wonderful husband is ready for another adventurous vacation!

How lucky can a gal get??? Have an excellent few weeks and see you on the flipside!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Sunrise, sunset...

When Frank explains what I do for a living, he sometimes says "She gets up early, works for a technology company and talks on the phone to people around the world." Some days, that feels about right ;). Today I started meeting 1 at 5am and was treated for meeting 2 at 5:30 with an awesome sunrise! Tomorrow, my day starts at 4. I thought I would be able to see the stars tomorrow (which I haven't seen in a while), but I realized this morning that the sun was already coming up at 4:15. Hopefully, at least, there's another good sunrise!

UPDATE: If you get a chance, the Google ads at the side of my page, especially those for Alaska Bike and Alaska Mountain Bike tours, are really good. Lots of neat pictures and tours if you are into mountain or road biking!

Monday, May 08, 2006

Weather Report

This was the view out of our front door Saturday night. Every sunset like this makes me feel lucky to live up here. This is the view outside of my window. Mornings like this make me feel not so thankful.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Dr. Who!

Are you watching it?

It's really a great show. I never liked the other Dr. Who shows, but I caught a bit of this late at night once and got into it. It's a bit cheezy sometimes, and sometimes the accents are a bit hard to understand, but it's well worth the investment.

Of course the best part is Christopher Eccelston, who just does an excellent job playing the Doctor.

If you have already missed the first few shows, you might want to look for the Dr. Who first season DVDs that should be out this summer.

So, go set your Tivo to record it! If you don't have a Tivo, then check the Sci Fi Channel listings to record it!

UPDATE: Ha! Even Dilbert has Who-fever!

Whistling Swan Final Concert of the Season!

Last night was Whistling Swan's last concert of the season. Every year, it's amazing how high caliber the performers are that "Boston Mike" is able to bring up here!

The unexpected first act was Cheryl Wheeler. The reason Cheryl went first was because she was really, really sick. She was able to get quite a few tunes out, transposed to "Bea Arthur" keys, and certainly put on a great show despite her condition. I really did like her musical style, quirky but intelligent.

The most annoying thing about the entire night to me was the sound system. I don't know how you say it, but the mike was really odd. Cheryl could not keep within the "pickup range" of the mike, and Crosby Loggins had to be right on top of the microphone to get it to pick his voice up, but then the words sounded muffled. I guess that's the unfortunate story of performing, but I am grateful to have been in the front row so that I could hear.

Crosby Loggins is, of course, the son of Kenny Loggins. He's got an awesome voice, a great violinist (Paul Cartwright), and truly some really great songs! You can find two on his website above. His new album is coming out soon; I'll post a link when it's ready so you can buy it.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Beginning Mountain Biking, TNT Update, and where is my mint julep?

I have been having a great time learning to use my new mountain bike. Although there are a lot of similarities between road and mountain biking, there are some serious differences.

Here are some that I have found:
1) Both road and mountain require a good three-point position (two hands on handlebars, and your seat), but on a road bike you can get away with leaning back a bit on your rear when you get tired. On a mountain bike, you've got to keep that balance, because you have to be able to stand on the bike with your feet at 3 and 9 position as well, which is quite a bit more difficult than it sounds.
2) The bike is heavier, so going up hills requires smart gear shifting.
3) Getting on and off the bike, at least for me, is a bit more exciting. I'm debating on wearing shin guards because I am having a hard time learning to get on and off the bike (you have to stomp on the pedals a bit harder to get moving from a stop). My shins are black and blue from screwing this up.
4) Although I've only been able to ride the hard trails (dirt trails don't dry up until June 1), I can already tell that maneuvering the new bike will require good bike skills as well as additional upper body strength that road biking does not require.

For more information on moving from road to mountain biking, here's a good
article to read.

In the Tuesday night torture session, I continued my "Captain Consistency" streak of running the same time throughout the night at 1:56 for a 400. That's pretty darn good for a slowpoke like me, so I am happy!

Did you know that the Kentucky Derby is happening in a few hours? It's the most exciting five minutes you will ever spend watching TV. Do you have your hat and mint julep (for Steve, of course, some bourbon) ready? If so, who are you rooting for? I'm rooting for A.P. Warrior because the jockey's jersey looks like a superhero. This means that A.P. Warrior will not win, because I always pick wrong. Keep that in mind when placing your bets :)

Going to the Beach

Sometimes, living in Anchorage while everyone back in the midwest is actually experiencing a spring is a bit of a downer. Up here, we are just finally starting to see our bulbs pop up and our grass start to turn green. Stories about 70 degree weather really make us jealous.

In order to escape the spring "blahs", Frank, Galileo and I went on a bit of an adventure last Saturday and made our way to the "beach" at Kincaid Park. In order to get there, you have to find a good trail off the coastal trail -- the best trail can change based on the day and tide schedule.

It's worth it though! Take a look at these pictures:

That's real sand!
Piles of driftwood and the water behind it.
Aren't those mountains a nice backdrop?
At first, this looked like a mushroom cloud, but of course it's really just a strange cloud formation.
A driftwood "hut" on the beach.
This is just a nice picture of the beachfront.
We were very close to the airport.
Down at the beach, it really feels like you are far away from everything. It's just you, the water, the rocks, and the scenery.
The rocks are interesting down there too. They are so colorful and unusual to this Midwestern girl!
Another picture across the mud flats. We saw (and heard) so many birds that day!
Galileo LOVES the beach!
We played a lot of tag with Galileo...he loves to run back and forth between us. Galileo's got this drive to get us both right next to each other. Here he is trying to "herd" me back into the fold.
Here's a view over the sandbar and reeds. In the fall, you can see moose sometimes out here.
This sign is a warning, but it's really hard to read from where we were. The bluff there also shows where the coastal trail was in reference to the beach.

It was really great to be out there enjoying nature. Although spring has taken a long time to get here, it's amazing how fast things change here once it takes hold. For example, the flowers below in the windowsill? They are HUGE now -- I had to move the flowers into their own pots after a week! Our grass that was covered in snow? Every day there is visibly more green. Our raspberry shoots are halfway through our yard now -- totally crazy and out of control.

Have a good weekend! Happy belated Cinco de Mayo!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Drink Coffee for Bird TLC at Kaladi Brothers!

Bird TLC will be presenting a Bird TLC education bird at every Kaladi Bros. location in Anchorage on Saturday May 6th from 9-11am. In addition, proceeds from the Boreal Brew coffee of the month will go to Bird TLC. It's a great deal for a great cause!

Psst...for those of you not in Anchorage, you can still get coffee from Kaladi Brothers! You might even be able to buy Boreal Brew soon!