Thursday, June 29, 2006

Animal Behavior? Midwest Tour!

So here's an article about a lady who has trained her husband like one would a dolphin. Will it work for you?

Today is very hectic! We are leaving for the Midwest tomorrow night. One of us is already packed, and I am slowly herding items into a little circle on the floor.

It's very hard on the psyche to travel out of Alaska this time of year, because nature is just starting to come out to play. Today, on my long run, one of the first fireweeds were in bloom, and a lovely moose was chewing on a tree around Dowling. While I hate to leave, it will be nice to see family and friends!

Galileo knows something is up because he went to the vet to bring joy and happiness to everyone (oh and to get the health certificate). He was very happy to get treats at the vet -- last time they would not give him many because he was a little fluffy.

Anyways, enough about us. Everyone wish
Anne safe and happy travels to the Phillipines this week!

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Kauai Trip 9

While we were on Kauai, Frank and I walked the NaPali coast. It was very hard and muddy, but an incredibly beautiful hike! Here is my artsy shot of the coastline:
This is the Na Pali coastline. It's probably the most beautiful coastline in the world. Here's Frank hiking the trail. You can see that it is early in the trip because his shoes are still relatively clean :)

More Kauai Trip

This beach is probably the best place ever for a picnic. I believe you can start going down this way and make it over to the picnic spot.
On the road to the north side of the island, there is a valley with many taro fields.
I love how green and...leafy taro leaves are! They are so incredibly beautiful in the sun.

The Black Angel of Soccer and Cold Mountains

Remember a few days ago when I said I was watching the world cup? Well don't root for anyone that I am rooting for, because I am bad luck for any team.

Frank and I watched our first Netflix movie last night, which was Cold Mountain. The Civil War? Not really a happy time in the South. It sucked to be Nicole Kidman, but even worse to be her boyfriend. He really had bad luck, didn't he? As someone who does not watch the second reel of Titanic, the graphic violence also made me sick. Frank gave the movie a B-, I gave it a B- for too many people bleeding.

UPDATE: My bad luck streak continues!

Friday, June 23, 2006

Kauai Trip 6

Hey! I'm about halfway done with editing and uploading pictures from Kauai! Here's pictures from the end of the road that goes along Waimea canyon. The road was closed for the last mile, so we had to walk about two to get here. It was worth it!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Happy Solstice!

Happy belated solstice to everyone! Just remember, it is all downhill from here ;)

Getting Dirty!
To celebrate, Tara, Loren and I took our mountain bikes out on the trails after I got out of work. As a roadie, let me tell you how awesome it is to ride in the dirt! There are all these incredible dirt paths through Anchorage -- Loren and Tara are lucky enough to live practically on top of them. They were also patient as I learned how to use my new bike (which is AWESOME). We rode all the way up to Hillside and back, avoiding the Service bear with three cubs by singing "Bear Necessities".

The Lady with the Mystic Smile?
While getting a pie for dinner, The cashier at the grocery store told me that I looked just like the Mona Lisa. I have been mistaken for John Lennon numerous times, so that was quite a step up for me.

Solstice Fun!
Tara and Loren very gracious in inviting me to a little cookout at their place on Lake Hood. Lake Hood, for those of you who don't know, is the world's busiest seaplane base. What a beautiful spot their plane is in!

We had a wonderful dinner of chicken, zucchini, and (sweet) corn on the cob. It was really neat to be around great friends and wonderful conversation while you are watching ducks and planes go by!

After dinner, Loren was nice enough to take me up in his plane. It's pretty incredible to see the world from that perspective. It's very hard to describe how beautiful things are. The lakes were calm enough that you could actually see the sky reflected in them, the trees and plantlife were the greenest of green, and when the sun hit the water, the water turned a beautiful pink.

By the time we got done and had pie, it was 10pm. After work and all the excitement of the day, I pretty much collapsed to sleep as soon as I stepped into the house. Anyways, for sure this was a great day!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

World Cup!!!

Are you watching? If so, who are you cheering for?

I am cheering for Sweden, Netherlands and the US of course. I'm cheering for Sweden and the Netherlands because they both have great uniforms, and the US because, well, I live here.

A little bit of interesting World Cup trivia for you -- did you know that Anne, David Beckham and Taylor Hicks (WATCH!) and I were all born in the same year?

Monday, June 19, 2006

Run Naked!

Ok, run barefoot! I think of the guy I ran with at Big Sur who was only wearing moccasins and trying to convince everyone else to give up their running shoes. Do you think these are a good idea?

Saturday, June 17, 2006


Hey! I ran the Mayor's Half Marathon today! Things were different this year, namely:
1) It was threatening to rain, but didn't rain vs. last year's downpour
2) I had no training for this race, which was an interesting challenge.

Despite no training, I did pretty well (2:16). Here are some of the moments I remember from the race:
-- Geese "fly-by" over the runners at the start line
-- The Alaska State song still sounds like "He Leadeth Me".
-- Running through the purple wave of TnT-ers at the start.
-- Two planes flying right over the treeline approaching the airport.
-- The beautiful lupines along the airport road after the turn-around (who doesn't feel great at the turnaround?)
-- The two mid-age impressive guys who ran past me very closely, then walked at the mile 11 water stop.
-- The guy that showed up in flip flops and canvas shorts to a half marathon.
-- Talking to DeeDee Jonrowe (although I didn't know it was her until later) about triathlons along the big hill at the end (who is the twisted mind that puts the big hill at the end of the race?)

All in all, a great day! I am tired!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Unpleasant Discovery

This morning I was gazing at my pretty plants in my office window when I noticed something strange. Those green bugs that I *thought* were on the outside? Totally on the inside. The little bugs were climbing up the window. I looked closer at the plants. Like Daleks, they were multiplying and hiding from me on the stems of the plants -- and entire green bug army!

To make it worse, the stuff I thought was pollen dropping from the plants? Oh, that was little white bugs. And the goopy stuff I thought was condensation on the window? That looks like some bug slime of some sort.

What a horrible discovery at 5:30 in the morning!

I put the plants outside and wiped off what I could of the infestation (thorough cleaning after work). However, I am on alert -- every little tingle makes me thing a bug is crawling on me. Ick!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Strange News Day

There are a lot of odd stories in the news today:
1) ADN reports on the Alaska Fighting Championship, which is a mixed martial arts tournament that happens monthly in Sullivan Arena, from the perspective of a female participant.
2) In another Alaska news, apparently polar bears are cannibals.
3) Darryl Hannah (remember Splash?) was removed from a tree.
4) Coffee apparently might prevent liver disease.

Just thought I would share for your Tuesday enjoyment :)

Monday, June 12, 2006

Big Ben Crash!

Ben Roethlisberger got into a motorcycle crash and is undergoing surgery. Oh no!

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Rhubarb Madness!

In April, when the snow started to recede, revealing what had been hidden beneath it since November, I could see it sprouting. The dreaded rhubarb plants that we tried so hard to kill last year (and the year before), were already popping up along the east side of our house. In fact, I believe the rhubarb even divided in order to make me angry.

Eventhough I talk smack about it, there is something about rhubarb that I admire. I mean, the plant virtually grows itself -- I never water it -- and it has such a huge will to live that you can pull the plants out, dig a foot into the ground, and next spring you will STILL see shoots in the ground. On top of all of that, rhubarb's oxalic acid is also saving the ozone layer.

The real problem with rhubarb is, what can you possibly make with all that rhubarb? Every other week, I pick a few pounds of rhubarb and have to make something that tastes good. I've tried rhubarb crisp, rhubarb pie, rhubarb strawberry pie, but can't find anything that I want to make more than once.

Anyone have any suggestions?

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Kauai Trip 3

More pictures from Kauai:
Here's a stream going through the red dirt of Kauai:

Frank looks out at the canyon: I LOVE these trees with the yellow feather things:
Here's another shot of the canyon:

Kauai trip 2

More pictures from Kauai! Here's a picture on the road to Waimea Canyon, which is quite steep: The Waimea valley is beautiful, and a lot of it is owned by the Robinson Family, who also owns Nihau:

Here is a beautiful stream that winds its' way through red dirt:
I LOVE the red dirt! The original Red Dirt Shirts, by the way, were made on Kauai after a T-shirt factory's entire merchandise was soiled from hurricane Iniki. Believe me, don't wear your favorite white sneakers on Kauai!

More to come!

Kauai Trip 1

I'm still trying to get all the Kauai pictures done! Even today, I found new pictures that I had forgotten to download :)

On the first day, completely jetlagged, we went to Waimea canyon on the west side of Kauai:
The dirt on Kauai is really red!

The island that you see in the distance is Nihau.

In other news, Frank, Galileo and I went on a hike with Tara and Loren. Galileo LOVES trampling through the really black mud on the top of the mountain. What the dog does not like is the hour it took to bathe him once we got back :)

Friday, June 02, 2006

Friday Happenings

Some interesting news for your weekend:

Red-colored showers over Godfrey Louis' lab in India might contain alien lifeforms.

Bear season is starting up again! From ADN: "A large black bear broke into an Anchorage home early this morning, rummaged around like a burglar and feasted on a box of chocolates before the homeowner shot him dead with a Glock."

Word Up!
Did you watch the Spelling Bee last night? I know you did. Do you have any favorite words? Here are mine, I will use them in a sentence for you.
Let us not go near the Escargotiere!
Do you? Shedu!
At the Milli Vanilli concert, Jane's hair was *totally* croquignole.
Get your shadow off of my heiligenschein!
Are you going to Dave's big hukilau this weekend?
At the season finale of Dr. Who, there will be a lot of weltschmerz in the audience.

Have a great weekend!

Los Cabos Travel Report

It's hard to believe that almost three weeks ago we were in Los Cabos! For those of you who are geographically challenged, Los Cabos is in Mexico, on the Baja Peninsula (here's a map). Los Cabos really means "the cape" and signifies the general area at the very tip of the peninsula. The area consists of two towns that are very different from each other -- Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo -- and a corridor full of hotels that connects the two towns.

Sleep-deprived, we got to walk outside from the plane to immigration. It was like walking in a moist oven compared to Anchorage! Our bags took a long time to come in, but the most exciting part of the day was right past immigration.

I had gotten us tickets on a "collectivo" (shuttle bus) to take us to our hotel in San Jose. I thought it strange that the lady gave me really specific directions, like "Go straight through the doors! Don't talk to anyone! Give this ticket to Hito and only Hito -- he is tall!". Boy was she right -- you go out of that immigration place and--whoosh!--into a massive group of opportunists and timeshare body snatchers, all speaking at you at once!

After pushing quite a few timeshare bodysnatchers out of my way, I found Hito, who was tall. Relieved, I gave him our little ticket. We must have looked particulary gullible (which we must have been) because he passed us off to another guy who gave us a timeshare presentation before sending us to the bus. In the bus, as a courtesy, we got to wait for 20 minutes for more passengers.

Our hotel, Posada Real, was actually quite nice. The people there really made the difference, and the room was rather big and roomy. Posada Real was in San Jose, which is the sleepy, more authentic town (Cabo San Lucas is too touristy).

On the first day (yes, before we took a nap), we tried to save some money by walking up to city center. It was very hot, and although it was only a mile, it felt like 5! The city center of San Jose is quite beautiful, with a wide open plaza with very nice benches to sit on after a long walk.

Apparently, at this Mission, the Indians did not like the priests so much.

This palm tree looks unusually big for some reason. Anyways, this is what downtown San Jose looks like. Those yellow and red vans are taxis, and there is always one around if you need to get somewhere (i.e. no reason to be walking uptown unless you are stubborn like we are).

After our long walk, that night we just ate at the hotel and crashed, as you can imagine after being up for a day and a half.

The next day, we went to the estuary in San Jose. It was actually behind one of the hotels (Hotel Presidente) so it's really hard to find. There are all sorts of birds there, like this mom who was trying to distract us while her chicks were scurrying back into the grass.

We even spied this beautiful crane. I would have taken a closer shot, but I don't have a telephoto lens.

The estuary was very quiet and quite beautiful, albeit still a bit hot for my taste.

After going to the estuary, we hopped a taxi to Palmilla beach, which is located on the corridor between San Jose and Cabo San Lucas. It is a beautiful beach tucked in behind some of the most beautiful resorts you will see anywhere, where the swimming (at least that day) was very safe for children. Apparently the birds also like the beach!

Here's the beach and a bird. I know it looks rocky, but just outside of the shot there were many children playing on those rocks while others watched us take photos with interest.

Guess how my shoes got wet taking this shot?

You can see the very exclusive "One and Only Palmilla Resort" on the cliffs behind these fishing boats.

That night we went to Habaneros which is a lovely little restaurant on the road to town. If you go to Cabo, it has fantastic food for an excellent price. Frank had one of the best quesadillas he'd ever had, and my fish sandwich was extremely tasty!

The next day we went to a timeshare presentation in Cabo San Lucas, so that we could get a free lunch and a sunset cruise. The timeshare presentation was the first time in a LONG time that I had to worry about my age -- in order to qualify for the presentation (and all the goodies), you were supposed to be 30 years old, which I am not yet. Luckily, they checked my drivers license, but did not see (or care) about the DOB! The timeshare presentation was just fine (Pueblo Bonito resorts are fantastic!).

By giving Pueblo Bonito two hours of our time, they gave us 100$ to eat at Cilantros, a restaurant in the Blanca resort. Cilantros was right on the beach, and we ate lunch while watching the parasailers and other water toys go by. The food, once again, was fantastic. In addition, they make these HUGE margaritas which are very good as well.

After the lunch, we walked uptown to Cabo San Lucas. I was already feeling very sick, probably from dehydration (margaritas at lunchtime, probably not a good idea), so we went to the air conditioned mall. We had three hours to kill before we needed to be on the boat, so we eventually went outside to walk along the boardwalk, which is very nice but so hot you could probably fry an egg on my forehead. Ugh.

It was worth it to go on the sunset cruise, despite having to wait at the harbor for so long in the heat. We went on the Sunrider sunset dinner cruise, which was pretty much a "booze cruise" with a better boat captain and some food.

Our boat captain was so awesome he got us so very close to the famous arches that dominate the Cabo San Lucas harbor.

You just can't believe how close we got this rather large boat to these rocks -- amazing!

Here's a shot of Lover's Beach -- make sure to click on it to get an up-close look:
Now we are down to the sunset shots. Every place's sunset is different, and Cabo is no exception. The light was really golden and the color of the sky was just amazing. Here's a picture behind one of the many, many hotels along the corridor:
Here are some people enjoying the sunset from the beach:
I had a LOT of boat pictures. Here is a sailboat on its' way back in to the harbor.
Gratuitous "boat and rocks" shot :)
Another sailboat. Can you see all the construction behind the boat? It's incredible the number of resorts going up in Cabo.
The sunset was just beautiful behind those little puffy clouds. About this time in the sunset dinner cruise, the music was turned up and people started line dancing. I took a LOT of pictures so that I did not have to join silliness like the Macarena and random AC/DC songs (sadly no Electric Slide).
About that time, enterprising pirates hijacked our boat and stole all the liquor. Just kidding! We saw many other sunset cruise boats; this was one of them.
This one here was the one that mooned us, which of course was very classy. I believe they are not waving in this picture, but dancing to Achy Breaky Heart. Very glad we were not on that boat!
More pictures of the Achy Breaky mooning people. Their sillouettes came out pretty nice though!
Pirates again! Or is it another sunset cruise?
Can you see how petal pink the sky was? It reminded me of an opal.
Well, that's all I have for our Los Cabos trip. To mis-quote Cash Peters, would I go back? Certainly! The people were really friendly, and the beach was really beautiful. I would learn to take a siesta though to get out of the insanely hot sun.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Aces Win!

ALASKA CHAMPS! Alaska wins the ECHL Kelly Cup!