Sunday, December 16, 2007

Kikkan Wins!

Kikkan Randall, our Alaskan World Cup XC skier, won a world cup race! That is awesome!

Monday, December 03, 2007

Ho, Ho, Ho, Happy Monday

Hey, Anne filled this out today and in the spirit of "Happy Monday" I'll do it as well...
1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Hmm I don't think I've ever had Egg Nog. Any drink with "Egg" in it is unappealing to me.
2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? Santa wisely leverages his E2E supply chain capabilities and right-sources the wrapping deliverables to elves so that he can concentrate on his core competencies.
3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? I like white, but since we always travel for Christmas it's been a few years since we put it up. Maybe next year :)
4. Do you hang mistletoe? Nope.
5. When do you put your decorations up? We usually travel, so we haven't put them up for a few years now. If I did put decorations up, I think I would start about the first weekend of December. In Anchorage, it's not unusual for Christmas lights to be up in October since it's already beginning to look a lot like Christmas (snowy and dark) by then.
6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? Hmm. Christmas Pizza? Cookies?
7. Favorite holiday memory as a child? Putting up the "Ugly ornaments" on the Christmas tree. Mom always would avoid the sixties macrame ornaments that were actually very pretty, but we loved them and always put them in a place of prominence.
8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? I think I figured it out eventually...what I really remember is Mom explaining Santa as "the spirit of Christmas" and thinking, well that makes a lot more sense.
9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? No
10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree? Frank came into our marriage equipped with a fantastic hallmark christmas tree assortment. I came to our marriage with a small box of handmade ornaments (like glued construction paper scribbles). Both have their positives and negatives.
11. Snow! Love it or Dread it? In Alaska, I love the snow. Studded tires and skiing make it more fun. In the midwest, I don't like the snow because that means slippery roads, bad snowplowing and no studs.
12. Can you ice skate? Yes! Although now I'm not sure I could get back up if I fell at the moment.
13. Do you remember your favorite gift? Aren't they all great?
14. What's the most important thing about the Holidays for you? Being with family is probably the most important thing.
15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? Cookies.
16. What is your favorite Christmas tradition? Almost every year when I was a kid, we travelled for the holidays. Christmas at our house was frequently rescheduled until we got back. In order to get the presents under the tree, my parents devised a scheme to "forget" something at the store, which someone (including us kids) would have to go get. When we got back, the presents would be under the tree, like magic! And we got to eat frozen pizza while chanting "Ho, Ho, Ho, Ho, Ho, Ho, Ho, Ho, Ho Christmas Pizza!".
17. What tops your tree? I *think* Frank has an Angel.
18. Which do you prefer Giving or Receiving? Giving. Now really, is that a question? Who wouldn't say Giving?
19. What is your favorite Christmas Song? Angels we have heard on high, because of the Egg-Shell-Sees-Day-O part.
20. Candy Canes! Yuck or Yum? Yum, but in moderation and bad on the veneers.
21. What do you want for Christmas? Oh, I've already sent my list off to Santa :) Seriously pregnancy mind lock makes it hard to think of a list without thinking of all the stuff we need for Kira.
22. Favorite Christmas movie? Scrooged, probably.
23. Ever been caroling? Yes.
24. How many days are you off for the holidays? Lots.
25. Traveling for Christmas this year? Yep, a midwest tour.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Sunrise thoughts


I woke up in a field of pink today. The "morning show" was just getting started and the sky was warming up to a pretty hot pink color. While I was getting breakfast, the color moved from hot pink, to peach, to a pale ice pink color, and finally to white. It's pretty breathtaking and always worth a look.

In the winter, if left to my own devices, I will sleep until the sun gets up. I hear of people having natural internal clocks that get themselves up at 6am every day, but that's something that I don't have. I had to get up at 5am on Friday for work, and the only positive I could see about it was watching a moose eat my neighbor's tree. If I do the math, I have maybe 28 potential sleep in days before Kira's ETA.

So I'm enjoying the sunrises and sunsets while I can :) On the positive side, I only have to wait about five more hours until the "evening show" starts.
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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Moose on a Bender

Bullwinkle the moose is a little too much into the holiday spirits.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thankful

Hi Everyone --

Hope y'all are having a great Thanksgiving day! In the spirit of the day, I thought I'd list some things I am thankful for (and these are in no particular order):
1) Real Teeth: Last year during the holiday season, I had four fake front teeth. Every time I ate something (like fudge) I had to worry about breaking them apart.
2) The Great Alaskan Shootout: We saw the UAA women's team win another Shootout, in two nail-biting matches. Our seats are on the floor right next to the benches, so we get to see everything. On the men's side, we got to watch Michigan (more coaches than players) lose to Butler (who has a really good guy with a very small head), Virginia Tech (really good guy with unbelievably skinny legs) win againts Eastern Washington (smallest Coach in the tournament). Up today is UAA vs. "Bobby Tech", and Gonzaga vs. WKU. Should be a good day :)
3) Happy Pregnancy: On a more serious note, a relatively uncomplicated pregnancy. Not only is Kira doing great (and has now graduated from kicking my kidneys to my ribs, thanks kid!), but I've only had minor gripes about the whole process.
4) Friends and Family: A cliche, sure, but the love and support I've received this year has been tremendous. I'm really thankful to be lucky enough to have such wonderful people around me, even those that are far away physically.
5) Recovery: Galileo, our TV star in residence, wants you to know he is very thankful to have his stitches taken out on Monday. He also likes his new stuffed rhino toy and his spider.
6) Repairs: We had a garbage disposal that could not grind up apple skin. Frank replaced the garbage disposal to a new, fantastically quiet and powerful, one. Way to go Frank!!!!!!
7) Future Snow: We did have really beautiful ski snow, but a chinook came in and melted most of it, which messes everything up. Alyeska got all of our snow -- 45 inches -- and is actually closed until they can figure out what to do with it. Suddenly, however, this is our first Thanksgiving weekend up here where we can't go skiing. So I'm going to just give thanks to the future snow, because it may be late, but snow is inevitable.

I'm sure there are a lot more, but those are the ones I can think of at the moment :)

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Frank and Lori vs. Baby Bjorn


How hard is it to adjust a Baby Bjorn? Plenty hard. We figured it out though :) Here's Frank practicing with a bag of sugar.
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Monday, November 12, 2007

Muppet Monday!

Doesn't everyone need some silly happy fun on a Monday?




Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Kira/Galileo Update

Kira: A personal update on Kira. She now has enough amniotic fluid to bounce around in, has a gall bladder, and weighs 12oz. At this point, we speculate that she has a larger than normal nose (a "Bohannon" nose potentially) and that she has rather long toes and legs. When I was at the ultrasound, she was hiccupping, which is a good sign because that means she is using her diaphragm.

To the side is a rather creepy widget that shows you how Kira is doing and how long I have to go :). If you click on it, you can actually see what she should be working on this week.

Galileo: Galileo is doing well and is back to wagging his rear enthusiastically. He is finally off his pain medication so he is a little less groggy. The back scratches are healing, and of course he's starting to pick at them a bit. The gashes are sealing up fine, and luckily so far he has not thought of pulling the stitches out. Stitches come out in a week and a half, so if he starts pulling them out, we will have to put him in the elizabethan collar that he really, really, hates.

Popular Pachyderm

Maggie's fans are overloading the elephant webcam in California!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Bad day for Galileo

Galileo got out of the back of the car, walked about five feet, then stared into space for two minutes.

It's probably the anesthesia. He had stitches put into his arm and groin this morning, and his back is shaved. He actually looks pretty normal except for his arm and back, which look pretty icky.

It started with a few nicks during a grooming session last night, but Galileo also kept picking at the wounds, making things worse. We took him into the PET center (Pet ER) this morning, and by 1 they had fixed him up.

In "good" news, they are filming a reality TV show for the Animal Planet in the ER, so it's possible that our little Galileo will make it onto TV. Frank also won an Ipod at the Grocery store, so that is all good.

Anyways, send good vibes to Galileo for a good healing, and I'll take some pictures once he's done sleeping off the drugs.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Darwin Strikes Again

Frank's talk is today on Evolutionary computation!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Bye Maggie! UPDATE

So Maggie the Elephant is on her way to California to live in an animal sanctuary, thanks to Bob Barker. This news is a culmination of a difficult struggle in Anchorage over the welfare of the elephant living in Alaska.

We saw Maggie last weekend at her goodbye party. Our little zoo was packed by children and parents braving the cold to see Maggie for the last time in her elephant house. The zoo has, I think, done everything they could to give Maggie a warm and healthy environment, and so it's sad for everyone involved.

The journey for Maggie includes a big crate in a huge air force plane, a 16 hour transfer from Air Force bases, and a rush to get Maggie to the sanctuary before traffic hits tomorrow. I wish her well in her new life and hope that California takes care of Alaska's favorite elephant.

UPDATE:
Maggie is doing fine in her new home -- here's a webcam where you can see for yourself. She is in the near pen.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

It's a girl

So everyone, Chikin is definitely a girl! Those of you who guessed right can now lord it over all of those who guessed wrong :)

The amniotic fluid issue is improving, and Chikin/Kira is doing just fine. My AFI was 9 which is just on the edge of acceptable, as opposed to 7, which was most definitely not. It's likely I still will not be able to do anything but sit around the house and drink insane amounts of water until it improves, which sucks.

In other news, it's my birthday! I share my birthday with many interesting people, like Anne, Kevin Kline, Scot Peterson, and Levi Leipheimer. It's also Pear day in France, and the first snow day of the year up here in AK.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Crazy!

Here's an optical illusion that has been making its' rounds, and if you read the solution it's pretty insane our eyes work in that way.

In "Pregnant" news, the doctor says I can't go to pre-natal yoga today or any day until I get an ultrasound to see if my ogliohydromnios thing has been alleviated or not. I know I should not be self-centered and should be patient, but man, am I disappointed. Not doing anything strenuous for a week is turning me into a jigglypuff.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Contest Extension!

So everyone --

I've got great news and not so good news.

The good news is twofold:
-- Chikin is totally fine, has all of the parts that a fetus should have, including a bladder, kidneys, brain and heart. Chikin moves, waves hands, jaws, feet, etc.
The bad news is also twofold:
-- I'm sick so the amount of fluid in the womb was "abnormal".
-- Chikin was sitting on his/her feet with his/her hand over his/her parts. So, we couldn't tell if Chikin is a he or a she.
Back to the good news:
The contest below for chikin gender determination has been extended! Feel free to up the ante by putting your choice in the comments -- the reward will be the ability to say "I told you so" to all of my friends and family :)

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Chicken Gender throwdown

Hi Everyone --

On Tuesday, we will find out chicken's gender to 85% accuracy. While we are waiting, we might as well run a poll, so here it is:



Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Reality Bites: Meerkat Manor

Frank and I watch Meerkat Manor on the Discovery Channel. It's a show that follows the lives of meerkats in the Kalahari desert. Despite your stance on anthropomorphism, strangely the meerkats provide one of the most compelling hours of television around, if you can get around Discovery channel's signature "post-commercial recap" tendencies.

So, one of the most beloved meerkats, Flower, died in the Sept 28 show. For meerkat fans, this was very traumatic. Some people have questioned why the scientists did not "save" Flower when it was clear she was dying. Personally, unlike most reality TV, I'm thrilled that the filmmakers actually felt an obligation to not intervene, in order to let nature take it's course. To see this on a show geared for kids is a brave move -- maybe the "grown up" shows will take a hint?

ETA: Of course, I'm not suggesting that, for example, Survivor let contestants die! However, we all know that producers are influencing results to make for good television.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Sunsets and Snow

As Fall finally draws to a close, Anchorage starts to get spectacular sunrises, like this one:
Once the skies turn pink, it's only a matter of time before the inevitable happens:

October 7, 2007 -- first snowing morning on Anchorage Hillside.
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Friday, September 28, 2007

What not to wear...

Does anyone watch Survivor anymore?

I was watching this week, and it is amazing how clueless contestancts continue to be. In the first episode, apparently people were "suprised" by the fact that the game started without them getting a chance to change into something more suitable.

I don't know about you, but as soon as I was selected for a show that would require living on an island in mud and rain, I would not be wearing heels again. I would be wearing multiple layers of clothes with waterproof hikers and a necklace made of flint and bug dope. Perhaps a nice tarp cape over my goretex rainjacket, tied to my neck with running shoes. Maybe a hat that folds out to a tent. Edible jewelery would also be a plus.

Yep, the other contestants in their summer dresses and dress pants would laugh and mark me as the crazy Alaskan doomed for elimination, but hey, how long would that last as I slept comfortably in my little hat-tent wrapped warmly in a cozy tarp?

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Monday, September 24, 2007

The unbearable lightness of being fluffy

Let me start off by saying that I don't think of myself as a vain person when considering body image. Save for a few months here and there of either teenage panic or general upsetness about not being able to fit in a pair of jeans, I am more interested in the functional aspects of what my body can do -- like running, biking, skiing, etc.

So it really hit me when I looked in the mirror the other day. It's not like I'm suprised, but it's really odd to see myself expanding like a pregnant gal should and not immediately think about fluffiness. I'm still not at the point where I look more pregnant than fluffy to anyone else. However, when you add that to the fact that I have been advised not to exercise hard due to a regularly high exercising heart rate...it's just hard to deal with it all at the same time.

So what does Lori do when she can't run and needs a body image boost? That's right, go shopping :) In my quest to find cheap, nice-looking maternitywear, so far I have been horrified by the pickins in town. It's like having a nightmare where you go to an outlet store. Finally, I've settled on buying online and having them shipped -- images look so nice on the internet and I figure if I can just get them in the house, I can grow used to weird stretchy jeans with strange bands of material above the belt line. Otherwise, I can return them to the store (thanks modern world!)

I'll tell you how it goes :)

Thursday, September 13, 2007

When I grow up I want to be an Association Manager

...whatever that is.

Find out what your true calling is by going here and entering nycareers/landmark.

My top 20 were:
1) "Association Manager" -- A vague term for the one person who basically does it all for the operation of some "Association".
2) "Health Care Administrator": This one ALWAYS pops up for me.
3) "Project Manager": Ding!
4) "Computer Engineer": Ding!
5) "Operations Research Analyst": Ah, here's where my education went :)
6) "Management Consultant": See a pattern yet?
7) "Industrial Engineer": How about now?
8) "Electrical Engineering Tech": What's the difference between these two?
9) "Electronics Engineering Tech": ?
10) "Industrial Engineering Tech": This is where it gets weird
11) "Hotel Manager": Great!
12) "Cable Installer and Repairer": ...The cable gal!
13) "Optical Lab Technician": Kinda like the electrical engineering tech, but with eyes
14) "Massage Therapist": Huh?
15) "Logistics Specialist": Another one of those things I considered in school...
16) "Mathematician": My undergrad major only wound up being 16. I wonder if they have any majors for "Association Manager" yet?
17) "Ship's Crew": I'd much rather be the captain!
18) "Welder"
19) "Boilermaker": See, Mom, there's a reason I didn't go to Purdue!
20) "Computer Support Person": Obviously I like the computers but don't like to support them.

Anyways, have fun trying it yourself. Who knows, maybe you'll find a new career?

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

One..Two..Three..Four

Have you heard that catchy Feisttune in the iPod commercials yet? The entire album is great. Happy Wednesday!

Four things to share today:
It's gettin' cold here!
Not that I don't love summer, but I find up here I am impatient during the "hump seasons" of fall and spring. This year, winter seems late so I was excited to feel the weather turning this week. In fact, the local farmers are conceding that frost should come sometime this week. Maybe Termination dust will be following soon???
Shaken, not stirred
We also had a 4.3 earthquake last afternoon, about 60 miles from Anchorage. It was shaky enough to cockyswabble our wall hangings. Basically the movement seemed directly north to south and lasted, it seemed to me, for a very long time. Frank, at work at UAA which I assume has all the earthquake proof acoutrements, did not feel a thing :)
Pregnancy Report
Yes, I am still pregnant. Everything is fine -- although I am unbelievably hungry all the time! I blame Chicken, especially for the cravings. Today, Chicken is begging for some Nilla Wafer bananna pudding and nachos. Neither is on the "Good Granola mommy list of things to eat while pregnant to insure optimal nutrition and minimal exposure to fast food/simple sugar which lead to a lifetime of obesity and junk food addiction". I also think it is a good idea today to buy supplies to make a bunch of layette clothes with my own two hands out of t-shirts, fabric paint and dye. For me and Chicken's sake, I hope this goes away. I went to my first pre-natal yoga today, which was fun. It was nice to see other pregnant women maneuvering gracefully (and sometimes not). An overachiever, I had to be reminded to chill out multiple times, but all and all a successful experience.
3) I am happily touched to be "number one on Anne's top 8". I'm not sure exactly what that means but I assume it's good?

Friday, September 07, 2007

A "Delicate Situation"

I eat two breakfasts. And dessert. Every day.
I have hiccups all the time.
I am now dangerous in a supermarket due to my awkward body memory.
Sometimes I get pains in my kidneys I can't explain.
I crave grapefruit. Pink Grapefruit to be exact.
Oh, and I'm tired. Very tired.

Does this sound like a "delicate situation", as I heard someone describe it today? If you haven't guessed it or didn't know yet, I'm "officially" pregnant. Chicken (gender-neutral for the moment) is due to arrive during the ides of March 08 (for those of you who follow horoscopes, this makes Chicken a Pisces and a Rat).

We are very excited, and are quickly getting used to the idea of being parents, while I'm getting used to the great experiment that is now happening within me.

Anyways, I thought I'd let the Blog world know now that it's official, hopefully blogging will commence more now that we are all on the same page :)

Friday, August 31, 2007

NMKY

For your Friday enjoyment...


In Moore news, the clan will be travelling to Valdez this holiday weekend!

Monday, August 27, 2007

"Can chimps and humans interbreed?"

I don't especially want to know what was going through the guy's head who asked this during Donald Johanson's lecture on Friday at UAA.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Cell Phone Woes

Guess what? There is no way to block specific spammers from your cell phone without turning off texting completely, which means in order to stop spamming and the subsequent charges from spammers off your phone, you have to actually change your phone number. ARGH.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Travel, Canning, and Real v. Imitation

Vacation Report
Well, we are back from our vacation in Utah and have a few days until our next trip :) We had a very busy vacation, packed with six national parks in five days (Bryce, Zion, Grand Canyon, Arches, Capitol Reef, Great Basin -- about 2,300 miles in all of driving). It was unusally cool (only 95 degrees) for the first four days, then we got into the serious temperatures. To simulate 110 degrees, just start breathing into your hair dryer turned on high and see how it feels. Terrible!

Unfortunately, my Olympus "died" on day 2, so I don't have many pictures. My favorite park, I think, was Zion, for its' huge red canyon and varying landscape (definitely take the drive through the tunnel to see completely different scenery -- and absolutely through the Grand Staircase National Monument), and the biggest suprise was Capitol Reef, which was just completely different and "foldy" and incredible. Of course, other highlights were seeing the famous arches of Arches National Park, and the caves at Great Basin, although we missed the 4,000 year old bristlecone pines (my fault). I really got so much more of an appreciation for what our national park system does, and how incredibly lucky we are to have all these uniquely beautiful places at our disposal.

In other news, while we have been gone, Alaska is in its' final push for summer. Our garden is HUGE, the willows in the back are a good seven feet tall now, and the mint, which we thought had not survived, is now slowly plotting to take over our yard.

August is Canning Month!
The big news is the raspberries are in! That is a sure sign that we are at the very peak of summer, and it is time to start canning and preserving our harvest.

My canning adventure started with peaches. When you live up here, it's a treat to have really good fruit produce, and this year, the peaches are especially good. I made a peach and basil preserve yesterday that is out of this world. I know, because "luckily" one of them did not vaccuum properly so we get to try it :) It tastes like canned peaches but it still has that crunchy freshness and it isn't so artificial "peach" flavored. I just might have to make more before the peaches go out of season :)

Real vs. Imitation
Like the peaches, I've been interested in eating more "real" versions of sweets and it's been fascinating to realize how much we've forgotten what things taste like.

For example, we all know that the taste of an orange is nothing like the taste of an orange skittle, but we still call the skittle "orange-flavored". Why is that?

I made brownies from scratch for Frank's birthday, and it was odd to realize that 1) brownies from scratch take only about 5 minutes more than making them with a mix 2) The flavor of a "real" brownie is subtle, less sweet, and completely different than a brownie-mix brownie. "Real" vanilla pudding is the same way -- it's very easy to make if you just try it out, and the taste far superior than the pudding-in-a-box version we grew up on.

It's very freakish to realize that in our world of fast and instant, I had no idea how much I was missing from the culinary world. Does anyone else feel the same way, or is it just me?

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Back!

Sorry all, back from an extended break, spanning 6000 + miles and multiple midwestern cities. We are only home for 7 days before we fly off to vacation.

When I'm tired, it's hard to amuse me, which is why I am very happy to have found this video on YouTube.

More soon!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

The Long Downhill to Winter

Thursday was the solstice. Now in the lower 48, I would imagine that very few people actually celebrate it. Here though, it's an unofficial holiday. It allows us to celebrate the "peak" of summer (it still does not feel like we're at the peak of summer yet) and it also signifies the long, slow downhill towards winter.
It's true. Every day this year will be a teeny bit shorter than the rest. We've got maybe eight weeks -- on an unusual year, maybe 10, before the termination dust appears on the Chugach range, signifying the eight week countdown to winter. We've probably got six weeks until the fireweed is at its' peak fiery redness, and berry picking season will be soon on its' heels.

I kept reminding myself of all this while watching the sun at 11:40 pm on Thursday:

Not much darkness is there? Four weeks ago, we were wondering if our willows on the right of the photo were still alive, and here they are screaming to get out of their flowerbeds.
I woke up the next morning to a completely different view and the smell of barbeque smoke:

We have three significant fires around Anchorage -- one on the Kenai, two in the valley. It's a big deal, although you won't hear about it on the national news -- apparently as long as we are not California, it's not a big deal. Who cares what happens to Alaska as long as we are not trying to build bridges?

We're having to ask for firefighters from the lower 48, and federal funding is now being used to fight the 80,000 acres on fire, which has already destroyed homes. That yellow film glaze is not a touch-up, that's the smoke from the fires sitting here on Lower Hillside.
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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Feed me!



By Popular Demand...here are pictures of our monster tomato plants. If they get too much taller, I will have to cut a hole in the ceiling :)
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Sunday, June 17, 2007

Safety Girl takes a Tumble



This is a story about my new biking socks.

I got them today while we were getting our bikes checked out after our 16 mile epic (for us) ride at Eklutna Lake with friends. We had a lot of fun riding along the wee edge of the minor cliff down to Eklutna lake.

Everything was going well, and so when we got to a little piece of technical trail with roots, I decided to try it. My first spill resulted in an impressive bruise, a wee bit of knee scraping, and a bit of ego issues. I brushed it off, readjusted my seatpost which had become cockyswabbled, and then caught up to everyone.

The end of the ride is essentially the far end of the lake. You can see where a massive avalanche took out a good section of forest. We stopped to take a look before continuing to a rest area. When I got to get back on my bike, I slipped on the loose gravel. At that point, my leg went into the disc brake:



Bummer. The good news was, it stopped bleeding relatively quickly. The bad news was, we had eight miles of dusty, dirty and muddy trails to ride back to the car. Can you spell infection? But the view was nice from that side of the lake:



The way back was uneventful, and I was able to keep my hypochondriacal self in check mostly. We got ice cream and smoothies on our way back which makes all scrapes feel better, too.

When we were having our bikes checked on, I saw these socks and felt like "Ride Bloody" socks were speaking to me, and would be a good addition to my biking wardrobe. It's good to be a mountain biker!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Kenai, Crash n' Chicken

Last weekend, Frank, Galileo and I spent our time along the Kenai river with our neighbors (Hi :)). They have a great place right along the river, so you can watch the eagles be chased by the seagulls and also the moose wade through the shallower parts of the river.

We also went fishing! To fish on the Kenai river for King Salmon is a treat, even if you don't catch anything. It's so peaceful, beautiful and the river moves so fast!


I see that the Kings are definitely out now, with even Ship Creek in downtown Anchorage starting to run. Who knows, maybe we will get out there and try our rookie luck ;)

In other news, this has been the week of fires due to the lack of rain and the super-high winds. Tuesday, we had a downtown fire and a fire in the valley that took out a high school. Hopefully we get a reprieve from the forces of nature soon!

On the fitness front, Frank and I continue our pursuit of mountain biking, despite the wind and the bears. As usual, we take different approaches to learning a new sport. I use the "chicken" theory, which to means go slower and walk before I fall off the bike on big hills. Frank's "crash" approach is to keep going on the bike, and taking the fall sometimes when you have to. They are different approaches, each with their unique pros and cons. One thing is for sure, Mountain biking sure is fun!
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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Barrow



Last weekend, Frank and I drove up through interior Alaska to Fairbanks and then on to Barrow for a "Day at the Top of the World".

The trip up to Fairbanks was suprisingly uneventful. Whenever we drive out of Anchorage, my suburban roots begin to show as I get nervous about experiencing a tire blow-out or run out of gas in the middle of nowhere, having to live on pretzels and gum for mutliple days while fending off bears.

Luckily, I had heard of The Milepost, which is a book that chronicles every nook and cranny of the Alaskan Highway system. This is an absolutely essential book for every Alaskan Traveller! This made me feel less agoraphobic in the wilderness.

So saying that, I can now attest to everyone that, yes, the travel and tourism board is not lying, there are enough adequate gas stations along both the Richardson and Glenn Highways. The roads between here and Fairbanks are more than adequate. In fact, if it wasn't for the lack of exits and guardrails, I would say the road system was actually better than I75 in most cases (certainly the gas prices were better :)).

We stayed at the River's Edge resort, which consists of small one-room cabins along the Chena River. It's really a fantastic place in Fairbanks, further away from the tourism traps of the other hotels.

The next morning, we were off on our way to Barrow.

Barrow Alaska is the northernmost town on the North American Mainland. Point Barrow, which is essentially a spit that juts into the Arctic ocean, is the northernmost point in the US. That being said, it is cold but not as cold as you might think -- the average low in January is only -19 degrees. The day we were there, it was about 30 degrees.

I would like to say that there is a lot to see in Barrow, and maybe it does for a town of only 4,000 people. But once you've seen the museum, the Wiley Post/Will Rogers memorial, eaten lunch at Pepe's Mexican, and checked out the prices at the local supermarket (suprisingly not that much different than Anchorage, although dairy products were super-high), you've pretty much seen the town.

All that was left, really, was to see the polar bears. Driving out to Point Barrow, I remember feeling really claustrophobic. Since the sky and ground are both white, there is just this unnerving loss of direction. I could so easily get lost in that whiteness and be eaten by a polar bear! Speaking of polar bears, we did see some in the distance by the bone yard (you see remnants of that in the pictures) -- luckily for our safety and unluckily for picture-taking, the polar bears were driven off by some jerk behind us driving like an idiot.

So, will we be packing up and moving to Barrow? Probably not. But I'm glad we went and saw what it was like. The fact that people have lived and thrived on such a seemingly inhospitable place since 500 CE is an incredible testament to the human race.

Monday, May 28, 2007

It's the edge of the world as we know it...

 

Barrow is cold. Here's a picture of Frank at the Point Barrow, the northernmost point in the US.

More later!
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Monday, May 21, 2007

"It's Time to call 911", Part 2 :Update


Through a series of strange circumstances, Frank, Galileo and I found ourselves at Jodphur trailhead for a hike this afternoon. As we were walking along the cliff edge, we heard a big boom sound. The smoke soon followed.

Luckily, we were in the only place in Kincaid park where you could get cell phone reception, and were able to call 911. The fire trucks were there pretty quickly (they had to crawl up the sand dunes) and saved the day!

UPDATED: Story on ADN with more cool pictures

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Monday, May 07, 2007

"Making a mess with Lori and Frank" Redux

During the spring, every alaskan gets a little twinkle in their eye. Despite the fact that many of us were never interested in gardening, up here, I swear there is something in the air that makes you want to nurture green stuff up out of the ground.

We are no different. In our first Spring, we put together a massive tiered garden in our backyard. Because the ground up here gets a bit shaky and wood in general warps, we had some repairs to do this year.

Task #1 was mulching the gardens and beds to (hopefully) assure that only things we want to grow actually grow.

The second task was a little harder. It involved fixing the herb garden fencing which was a little cockamamie. This task first involved cutting treated wood with a dull hand saw and levelling boards. Suprisingly, no people (or dogs) were hurt in that exercise.

Which brings me to the last part of the exercise. Frank had to nail metal braces to keep all the boards together. It proved to be difficult, and provided a colorful vocabulary lesson to the neighborhood kids.

Oh, and Frank took a hammer to his knee hard enough to cause an inch gash on the side of his knee. The gash has finally stopped bleeding and luckily it looks like the knee is operational, albeit stiff and sore.

This effectively ends the gardening extravaganza for at least a few days.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Spring has (somewhat) sprung...


Here in Anchorage, it takes quite a while for us to get into spring, but once we do, watch out! Things grow incredibly fast here once they get started.

In our case, we've started working on the garden, in anticipation that soon we'll be able to put plants in the ground. Inside, we have tomatoes and peppers, as you can see :).

Outside, things are going great as well, here are two pictures of the infamous rhubarb and the ever-present "pansies", our first flower of the season:


One of the things we are talking about is what to do with our deck which is currently a 4x4 square about 2.5 feet off the ground, making it difficult to negotiate. My idea I thought was whimsical and pretty darn cool -- make a little beach!

Hear me out...pavers, decks, etc are difficult up here since the earth moves a lot. You might be OK for a year or so, but you know that eventually it has to be redone. Sand can just be replaced/reraked, and, unlike gravel, is soft and reminiscent of hawaii. A coconut umbrella, little fru-fru drinks, and some tiki torches would complete it. Before the first snowfall, we could take a big tarp and put it over the sand to keep the snow from being dirty.

What do you think?

Monday, April 30, 2007

It's Time to Call 911!

In Fairbanks, a 4 year old called 911 when his mom collapsed. He knew how to do this because one of his favorite books was "It's time to Call 911: What to Do in an Emergency". It's an incredible story --make sure to listen to the audio recording of the call.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Friday hodgepodge

Today's post is a grab bag of smaller posts, all that have been sitting in my post box for a while. It's Friday, and I"m ready to play a few games of pangya and get ready for the weekend.

Even Boston Marathoners get the blues...
Do you know what the worst thing about running a marathon is for me? Not running 26 miles :). I hate post-marathon let-down. Before the marathon, anything is possible! Afterwards, my mind is inconvenienced by reality and the body of course is also a bit shaky.

Which brings me to the bike ride :). Not wanting to subject our road bikes to the gravel and ick of spring ANC muck, we went on a mountain bike ride. I almost died -- I think my legs were telling me that perhaps I should take it easy for a few more days.

Despite my breakdown, we had to go out, because..Frank has a new awesome mountain bike! It's a Giant Trance -- the most important thing is that it has suspension on the front and back for an incredibly cushy ride. He is going to have so much fun riding on all of our favorite ski trails in the summer!

Planet Earth
In Boston, I got hooked on Planet Earth. Except when a fragile creature was on the losing side of the game of life, it provided to me the stressless entertainment I needed to be calm on the night before the marathon. I introduced Frank to it yesterday; needless to say, we are hooked on the incredible videography. The series is out on DVD, and you should all buy it :)

In Garden News...
...it's not time to plant things outside yet here in AK. The weather is warm, but it's still not warm enough to really keep plants outside all night. On the other hand, we bought pepper plants and tomato plants that we are starting inside -- we're hoping that we can get a jump start on these so that they actually produce fruit by the end of the season. I'm hopeful, because the tomato is already producing buds like it's at least "thinking" about growing fruit.

Anyways, I am going to try to update the blog more often :) Maybe we'll go looking for ptarmigans this weekend!

Friday, April 20, 2007

How does it feel to run in a Nor'easter?

As I said below a LOT can happen in almost five hours. It's been really hard to process all that happened and put it into a coherent story.

Marathon Day started at 5:30 am with ritualized race day prep. I always do the same things in the same order, just to make sure I don't forget anything. Monday, this ritual also included putting three layers on to keep warm during the anticipated wet,cold, and windy conditions.

Dad met me downstairs around 6:00 to walk to the hotel where the buses were waiting for the team. It was an ominous sign that it was already windy, rainy, and cold that morning and it did not look like it was going to warm up. I was extremely nervous, so it was really great that Dad was there to keep me calm.

After some waiting, we got on the bus and drove the 26 miles to Hopkington (which takes an hour or so). Once there, we were lucky enough to be able to wait on the bus (most other people had to wait outside or in the high school gym). On the bus, the talk of the morning was all about clothing and temperature, and the air was filled with the confidence that can only come BEFORE you run your marathon.

It was infectious! I contemplated a four-hour finish in epic conditions as I watched the rain while assembling my shoe solution (sock within taped grocery bag, grocery bag within shoe). Before I knew it, the first wave had started (those are the fast people) and it was time to put up my hood and start moseying down to the corralls.

Boston is the biggest marathon I have ever been in, and it was truly amazing at how many people were running. Like cows, we herded ourselves towards the start line, following the sound of a bullhorn.

People were incredibly friendly. Hopkington, where the race starts, was so geared up for bad weather that homes along the start corralls actually had opened up for people to take shelter from the rain. The entire town was out cheering us on as we got ready to race.

The gun started, but it was about 10 minutes before I actually got over the start line -- even then, we hadn't started running yet. Once people cleared out enough so that we could run, everyone around me took off downhill.

The first few miles of the marathon were downhill, wet, and warm. At around mile 3, I got started sweating, so I had to toss my REI vest.

Soon, but I guess not soon enough, we got out of Hopkington and into the next town. Suprisingly, everyone at that town also was cheering for us. Little did I know, this would be how the entire race course would be!

Somewhere around mile 6, despite all the cheering, my bad second quarter began, and I started to feel cold, queasy and out of juice. I was using a training-tested nutritional scheme, but it just did not seem to be working in this weather. I ducked into a bar for a restroom (everyone cheered me on as I left). About that time, I also decided to switch back to my tried and true gel (luckily, I had brought four gels along with me). Combining fuel I could stomach and a few more downhills, I started to feel better, and around mile 10 or so I finally got back to "normal".

Around mile 12, I started to hear this high pitched roar, and it took me a while to figure out that it was Wellesley college. The ladies of this college take it upon themselves every year to create the loudest, most inspirational mile of the course. This was the first time during the race that I got teary as I slapped the hands of all the kids. The fact that they were still out there, considering that we were now many hours into the race, was inspirational.

We climbed out of the Wellesly sound tunnel, and made our way closer to Boston. Along this way, I started really trying to realize that I was here, actually running the Boston Marathon, and that by golly I was going to have a great time! I continued the high-fives, especially to little kids, and also started sampling various confections that people were handing out on the side road. During the race, I also got interested in the baseball game (anything other than the marathon became interesting at this point), and eventually the Red Sox won. I also got a chance to encourage a few people who had fallen behind that I knew as well.

This made a lot of miles 13-20 a blur to me of hands, cheering, cookies and gatorade. I was having a blast, and to me, I was really going pretty fast. Mile 20 starts the infamous heartbreak hill, which is pretty substantial, but not as horribly long or difficult as people say it is, especially since the Boston College kids come out at the top to cheer you on while drinking beer -- imagine, they were lining the street five deep and overflowing the metal barricades.

I kept looking for the haunted mile -- the mile where there were supposed to be very few fans and a cemetery on one side, but I never found it. Miles 22 through 24 for me were really more high fives, cheering, gatorade and jolly ranchers. At one point, I got to play someone's gong on the side of the road; at another, I jumped up and down with my hands in the air along with a group of spectators. I was pretty loopy, and luckily, it was just like a very big (and long) party.

Suddenly, we went down an underpass for a street, and I knew we were really close to the finish! Around this time, another runner in a yellow rainsuit "befriended" me and decided to motivate me by cheering me on and slapping me on the back in a firm but friendly manner. This is not a good thing to do to someone at mile 25 of a marathon but honestly, I didn't have enough energy left to get upset. The throngs at the side of the road got louder -- I noticed there was a big left-hand turn coming up in front of us and..it was Boyleston Street! "That's where the marathon finishes!" I shouted to my yellow friend. And I took off for that left hand turn with all I had left.

Around that bend, you could see the Boston Marathon finish line -- the most famous finish line in all of running. I got teary for the second time on the course, and had to stop sniffling because it makes me hyperventilate.

As usual, I "sprinted" the last 250m or so and as I crossed the finish line (4:49:37), I celebrated by screaming something inaudible and flinging my fists in the air. This awkward act at the end of a marathon produced a massive shock wave of pain throughout my entire back, rendering me incapable of moving my arms for a few minutes until (very very luckily) the pain subsided.

It's amazing how good it feels to stop running sometimes.

Immediately I focused on following the crowd through the post-marathon chute. I got a heat blanket and luckily since my arms were still immobile, they put a little happy sticker in the middle to keep it on my shoulders. The next thing was to get the chip off my leg, and after a bit of discussion with my leg, I was finally able to get my foot up high enough that the lady could get the chip off my foot and tie my shoe back up. We discussed the complete success of my grocery bag shoe solution, which kept my feet dry and blister-free. Then the shoe lady put the unicorn finisher's medal on me -- you can't imagine how excited I was to see that little guy!

After all of that, it was so very great to have Dad at the finish line. Of course it's always great to have someone at the finish line after a race, but especially great to have your Dad there. He'd just finished the Glass City Marathon the day before, and had flown all the way to Boston just for this moment!

So, to summarize, the weather in Boston was not great, but it wasn't as bad as everyone said it was going to be. The Boston Marathon is hands down the best marathon I have ever been in because of the spectator support. It might take until I'm 80, but I'm definitely going to try to run it again -- maybe qualify next time :)

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Boston Marathon

When you run a marathon in 4:49, there is a whole lot to say. I'll try and come up with a more complete recap but some basics:
1) Weather was rainy and warm at the start, windy and cooler in the middle, and downright cold at the end.
2) The fans in Boston are the best anywhere! My hand is sore from high-fives.
3) I am unsure if any running event ever will beat making a left onto Boyleston street and seeing the most famous FINISH banner in the world in front of me.
4) I might never run a marathon without grocery bags on my feet again -- this is the first marathon I've ever finished blister-free.

More soon!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Boston Marathon Joke

What's Sad?
--Testing whether grocery bags taped to your feet are an effective dry-shoe solution
What's sadder than sad?
--Standing in the shower with rain gear on to determine just how waterproof your waterproof jacket is.

Happy Marathon Monday!
Lori

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

There is no bad weather, just different types of good weather

Yikes! Imagine getting this in your mail a few days before a marathon...

As the Boston Athletic Association continues to make preparations for Monday's Boston Marathon, we are monitoring the upcoming weather conditions forecast for this area. Based on the National Weather Service's most recent report and in cooperation with the Executive Office of Public Safety (Commonwealth of Massachusetts) and the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, together with the eight cities and towns along the 26.2-mile marathon route, we are planning for likely heavy rain and windy conditions on race day. However, all race day plans remain the same. The Boston Athletic Association advises participants in Monday's race to plan accordingly for their run, bringing with them gear and apparel to suit the conditions. The B.A.A. will continue to update its web site as necessary.


Lovely! At least, I figure, the worse the weather, the better I'll be prepared at least!

Friday, April 06, 2007

Learn to read with Morgan Freeman

Before Morgan Freeman became super awesome, he was "Easy Reader" on Electric Company. You Tube is great, isn't it?

I really feel that he gets into his character there -- I totally believe that he loves to read.
Of course there's this one too:

a GIANT Morgan Freeman is pretty scary too!

Happy Good Friday!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Running to the beat of my own...nothing

I was reading the Runner's World -Boston edition last night and came across a note saying that headphones are not allowed for safety reasons.

They are kidding, right?

The last time I ran without headphones was a triathlon, because they don't work well in the water. But that was 3 miles, a half hour. Four hours is a whole different story.

I mean, kudos to the gazelles who need to concentrate on their form so that they can finish in two hours. I'm sure the no headphone rule does not phase them. Us "sturdy folk" will be out there twice as long, and geesh, having one more distraction available to use is a big deal.

Yes, I'm bitter. I'll get over it but that does not mean I like it.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Oahu

OK, OK, Hawaii Pictures are

Oahu Vacation


Up...

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Ski Championships!

Yesterday, Frank, Tara and I went to the US National Alpine Ski Championships here in Alyeska Ski resort. I FORGOT MY CAMERA. ARGH!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Where is NorthtoAK?

Well, I'm back from vacation. I know I have not updated the blog in a while, but there are a two reasons:
1) I'm trying to get all the pictures and data from Hawaii up on the blog, which takes quite a bit of time. Ok that only explains the last two weeks :).
2) Springtime in AK. Although we likely have more sun than you do in the lower 48, we still have snow on the ground. It is on track to be the fourth coldest March on record. We traditionally have snow-free spots by the first week in April, and unless there is a serious disruption on the Earth's access, that ain't gonna happen. So many Anchoragians (like me and Frank) are a tad unhappy. This distress also is causing havoc in the MatSu Valley, where they are so cranky people are suing for ownership of office cats.

I'm hoping to get back on track soon, get those Hawaii pictures up as well as give an update on Boston Marathon training as well as the US Ski Championships at Alyeska this week (Yippee!).

P.S. And who won the Iditarod this year? Not Martin Buser, but he did come in 4th and led for a while. Lance Mackey became the first person ever to win both the Yukon Quest and Iditarod in the same year. It's a huge dramatic story that is definitely worth reading about.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Having a Halibut time with the Iditarod

While you in the midwest are enjoying your so-called spring weather, here in Anchorage we are still knee deep in the white stuff.

However, there are signs of "not winter" like ADN's coverage of the opening of halibut season: "Today at noon thousands of baited hooks will descend hundreds of feet into the dark depths of Alaska's frigid waters and shortly thereafter untold numbers of halibut will make the mistake of a lifetime.

And we will eat them for it."

We also have the Iditarod! Are you watching? If not, you won't know that some of the big favorites have suprisingly scratched, and my favorite Martin Buser is in the LEAD!

 


Anyways, look for a Monday/Sunday finish to the race, it will be a very fast sprint to the finish I think!
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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Nature's Electric Slide

Good news first :) Last night, right as we were going to bed, I remembered that there was supposed to be really good aurora activity that night. So, Galileo and I decided to check out the north windows. Sure enough, a bright green streak was lighting up the sky to the north of us! It looked something like this. An aurora kind of waves at you, gets a bit brighter in one place, then another, and can go from being "band-y" to upright in a matter of seconds.

As an ex-physics major, I thought I'd read up on it for you. So far, it has to do with ions travelling together, forming a plasma that hitches a ride on a solar wind. Or something like that.

All I really know is...to see this massive set of particles dance in our atmosphere is incredible; to see it out of your own home's windows is priceless.

The Aurora predictor at UAF says that tonight will be another good night for the northern lights.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Accepting the things one cannot change...

Wrestling with my hair today, I found something new about myself.

I thought at first it was a trick of the light, but I found a very very light hair on the side of my head. To test, I pulled it out and matched it up to different things in the house that were white. It was not quite as white as the sink, but certainly when you put it up against a navy shirt, it was definitely light and not very red at all.

There are really two different conclusions I could make -- 1) that I am turning blonde or have always had a very blonde hair on the side of my head or 2) that hair was decidedly white. I've had 30 years of inspecting my head (granted, I'm not much of a detail person), so I'm assuming that it was, perhaps, a grey-ish hair.

Yikes. "Grey hair is for old people" was my first thought (Sorry, old people :)). Then I thought, "Well...and for Taylor Hicks (my age) and even my sister (who is not an old person either)". Even if it was a grey hair, it's not like everyone else in the whole world for generations hasn't gone through this too, right?

I've been reading a lot about mental attitudes preparing for the marathon. One of the biggest things to remember when running a big race is separating those factors you have influence on (your training, your nutrition) and those you can't (the weather).

So, I chose to put this grey hair stuff into the mental bucket of "things I cannot change", acknowledged it, and tried to leave it at that...

..which lasted for five minutes. Apparently, I require something I can control to worry about to replace the grey hair worry-- this is probably why I have many hobbies. No, I'm not saying that it's a healthy reaction, but I'm being honest here.

So, the second thing I did was take a real good look in the mirror, and thought about what I do control, and what I can do something about next.

The fact is, for a newly old person, I am doing great. Hey, I'm functionally sound -- no broken bones, no permanent injuries to really complain about. In fact, with the marathoning and skiing, I am actually in better shape and fitness than I was at 17.

So, I'm going to focus my energy on two things. They are physical and a bit vain, but of course, so is worrying about grey hair:
1) I'm going to beat my Marathon PR, which is 4:18:44 (Columbus, age 26), at Boston in April.
2) I'm going to lose those last five pounds where it will facilitate that Marathon PR and not hurt it. If my calculations are correct, this requires a reduction of 3% body fat (not muscle), which is realistic, keeps me in a healthy BMI, and shouldn't interfere with goal #1.

Wish me luck :) I'll also work on getting used to the grey hair and her friends.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

"Spencer Day"

Since the ski conditions have been especially awesome in Anchorage, Frank and I decided that Sunday would be our "Ski Spencer" day.

Spencer is probably the most famous trail in Anchorage, known for its' sharp, twisty downhills and insanely dramatic uphills. Personally, I think it is cursed. I've only been on it once last year, and "almost died" (I planted my face down in the snow five times). When Frank and I tried last year, he pulled his groin during the first 100 meters of downhill.

So we got our courage up today to ski Spencer again -- and we also coaxed Tara to go too. As Frank got his skis together, I carefully packed extra sport jelly beans and overdressed, just in case there was an emergency (I already wear a "safety orange" jacket for such times).

As we set out, it was looking like a great day. The ski wax was a little too warm for the day, which was actually good this time, since we wanted to go a little slower than usual. Spencer starts with a severe but small dip into the unknown before you start the gradual uphill battle to the top of the mountain. At the beginning, we were all in a good mood, but gradually, the mountain really wears even the most positive person down. By the time we got to the top, even I was swearing like a sailor!

Of course, what goes up, must come down. So once the hour of going uphill was finished, we started our harrowing descent. It reminds me of going down a bobsled run on skis, especially since there are names like "Luge" and "Labrynth". The Labrynth takes you right up to the gate to Hilltop ski area (that's right, we slog up the back of a mountain that smart people use a ski lift for). In fact, if you don't make the turn, like I didn't last year, you can easily run into the wood fence. There's a few more turns like that, but eventually you find yourself back on the Gasline as a "Spencer Survivor".

So Frank, Tara and I did Spencer and it was awesome. I didn't enjoy the downhills, but Frank certainly did ;). And, do you know what? It really was not as scary as I remember it.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

We Ski

While the rest of the high school world is heavy into basketball season, Alaska is finishing up their high school XC ski season. That's right--kids here are truly growing up dreaming about being crowned skimeister. It's great!

The Cook-Inlet conference championships are at Kincaid this weekend.

In other news, I ran a 10 miler today that felt GREAT! This is very encouraging, since the last few long runs I have run in order to get ready for the Boston Marathon have stunk. For recovery, I came up with a new Korean-Mexican concoction I am calling "Huevos-Bap", whch is a mixture of Huevos Rancheros and Be Bim Bap. From the Huevos, I diced up tortillas and fried them. I added onto that a fried egg (which is what the two meals have in common). In addition, like the Korean dish, I added massive shredded vegetables and, since I didn't have any good marinated beef, chicken sausage with a deglaze of cooking tequila. It was suprisingly good for a post-workout meal. The best part was...it only took 15 minutes to make, which is always a good thing for a post workout meal. Try it!

Seawolf Hockey Update

Before I start, here is a little Anchorage weather report. Yesterday it literally snowed all day -- in fact, I still see a few flakes coming down. Sometimes, the snowflakes were big and flaky, sometimes they were wet and tiny. Overall, I think the weatherman was wrong (although Frank argues he was "Big O" right -- it's a computer science theory joke, ha) when he said we were only going to get an accumulation of only one inch.

Anyways, our infamous mythical sea creature hockey players had their second-to-last home game yesterday against the MSU-Mankato Mavericks. Their colors are purple and black, and yes, their mascot is a angry purple cow. Apparently, a Maverick is a cow that likes to stay apart from the herd -- a "Lone wolf" cow if you will. I would assume that in Mankato there are probably many people you would consider mavericks in their own right, so it's a fitting name.

Of course, we are mythical sea creatures. What does that say about Anchorage, eh? I say "eh" because five out of our six starters are from Canada (the other guy is from California I think).

I haven't talked a lot about UAA hockey this year, and the reason truly is that they have really been terrible. Last year, they showed signs of offensive life, this year they seem to get confused and either dump the puck behind the goalie or just skip the middleman and pass it to the other team.

To top it off, our starting goalie, our "Rex Grossman" if you will, was especially bad. At one point, he would make an amazing save, and we all would cheer for the good goalie. The next time the puck made it his way, he literally skated out of the crease to get a puck and did not make it back in time to actually stop said puck from making into the darn goal. Geesh.

Last night was no exception to the bad year. By the end of the first period, we were down three goals. They pulled Rex the goalie and put in the new freshman kid, who seemed to do a great job(blocked 27 out of 28 shots!). But they did not pull the rest of the players, who kept dumping the puck, passing it to the other team, and, like usual, getting their fair share of penalties.

Sigh. I wish there was more to say about the Seawolves this year, but there just isn't.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

What Frank and Lori have been up to...

Since Christmas, the Alaskan Moore clan has been very busy!

Last weekend, we were in Homer (see the pictures below) with our good friends, Tara and Loren. We had a great time, saw some wildlife, saw a really cruddy super bowl, then came back refreshed for a new week.

For excercise this week, we have been doing a lot of XC skiing, both classic and skate. Anchorage has had incredible snow luck, so the skiing is super-good. In addition, I ran 18 miles (!) yesterday in training for the Boston Marathon. This makes me tired and cranky for the rest of the weekend (poor Frank!).

I also am writing this entry on our brand new photo computer, which is really awesome. It's HP (of course), and has been a super breeze to put together. What has been a little more difficult is getting the switch set up (that's a device that will let me flip from my work computer to my home computer). I had to go through three different switches before settling on the Belkin Flip. Argh! Anyways, this computer should be all set for my photo business soon.

Hope you all are having a good week!

Monday, February 05, 2007

Monday, January 29, 2007

"Only in Alaska News"

Today I thought I'd share some news stories that would only happen in Alaska:
1) Juneau residents lose power due to a deer head-dragging eagle crashing into the transmission lines.
2) Here is a story discussing whether
young kids should be riding snowmachines. Yikes!
3) We have a Coffee-stand bandit in town. He pulls his sleeve down over his hand -- it's unclear whether he has a gun or not.
4) Craig Medred pleads with the Anchorage Moose population to learn to look both ways before crossing the street.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Heat Wave!

For the last two days it has been unusually warm in Anchorage. Right now, it's a balmy 35 degrees outside.

To put this warmth in perspective, we really have not seen a temperature this warm since mid-October.

During our ski outing yesterday, I was burning up so much that I wound up shedding layers, gloves and hats until I was in only a long underwear shirt and light ski pants! It felt great.

It looks like we are getting more snow tonight and maybe even "ski killing" rain on Sunday (ick). Luckily, it looks like it should cool down mid-week for more skiing fun!

Friday, January 26, 2007

News Flash -- Anchorage is Snowy

To add to all the crazy weather this year in the lower 48, Anchorage is having a snowy crisis of its' own. Yes the snow is really high, but I don't really see it as too much of a difficulty. We've got the absolute best snowplow system in the country and with studded tires, it really hasn't been too slippy.

The Moore member with the biggest problem is puppy, who has to climb through the snow to do his business. It's funny to see him out there because the snow is taller than he is. His favorite thing to do in the backyard is to pat down the snow and sit down on the willow trees.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Hello Moto!

I had to get a new cell phone today and I chose the Pebl in a lovely orange color (to match my hair you know).

Being not of the cell phone generation, I ask for simple things from my cell phone -- I want a phone that is small enough to fit into a ski jacket yet substantial enough that I won't drop it. My top two requirements are reception and clarity. If I cannot hear, it's a total waste of a phone.

So far I am really impressed with the Pebl. Let's start out with design. As I heard someone comment, it's like a smooth (orange) river rock. It feels like a rock -- substantial for its' size. The phone is round so it does not have any corners I can snag or pieces that I can break off. There is a little button I can press on the outside to make it silent, although I am suspicious about turning off my phone accidentally.

Now the keys -- many reviewers don't like the keys, which are flat and kinda weird. I still can't figure out how to press the little "select button" on the middle of the selection circle without a pen. Luckily, I am not doing fancy gr8 ltrs with my texting so I can handle the funky keys.

What is truly fantastic about the phone is its' reception and clarity. I bought it particulary because of this feature, and it did not dissapoint. I sound like I'm on a regular phone, and can actually hear the other person on the line. This is ten times better than my old Nokia.

So, if you are on the lookout for a new phone but maybe are not interested in all the cell phone magic that the kiddies want, give the pebl a spin!

Worst Slogans Ever

Happy list for your Thursday!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Inch of Snow = Chaos!

London got an inch of snow, causing chaos in the city. While I know not everyone is used to two feet of snow on the ground, it still strikes me as funny.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007



When it's cold like this, it's good to have amusing commercials like this onePosted by Picasa

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Cold becomes her

Alaska is a bit colder than the Caribbean. Today it was a balmy -2 degrees as a high. Since I hear some of you have not had much of a winter, I thought I'd share with you a bit of ours from our backyard:

Boston-bound

First of all, sorry for not posting the pictures of our vacation up yet -- I'm still working through the gazillion photos :)

Another thing has come up to take my attention...

As a sponsor of the Boston Marathon, my employer receives a set of promotional slots for the race, and run a lottery for the spots.

Well, Monday morning I found out that I'd been one of the lucky 40 chosen to run the Boston marathon! Considering I'm a slowpoke, this is probably my only chance ever to run the race, so I'm very excited!

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Back to the cold country for us...

 

Greetings from Puerto Rico! San Juan is a beautiful but confusing place -- we have been here four times and I still get turned around. Today is three kings day (kids here get presents from Santa Claus AND the Three wise men, lucky kids!). Everything is closed, but we went out to old San Juan anyways and walked around in the sun with the other tourists.

It's been a long week! We've been to Barbados, Antigua, St. Lucia, St. Maarten, St. Thomas and here. Tomorrow we begin our epic 13 hour flight sequence from San Juan, Atlanta, Salt Lake, Anchorage, arriving early Monday morning. Yuck.

Anyways, many more stories and such to share coming soon! Posted by Picasa