Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Just Roll With the Punches

This self-portrait was taken a week or so ago and it makes me laugh to see it.  I had been chafing under self-imposed inactivity while my shoulder healed but when the 19th rolled around - our "Island Anniversary" day we celebrate every month, - Goldfish and I just knew we had to get outside and hike.  We made plans all day for after work - where we would hike, what we would bring for a picnic, if we thought the weather would hold.  We stopped at Safeway and picked up what we needed for a picnic lunch, right down to water and dog treats for Chico.  We got to one of our favorite whale watching spots and spread out our feast, the weather was superb.  Just then they started firing down on the gun range, Chico freaked out, Kelly and I looked at each other and sighed, wordlessly packed everything back up again, collected the panicked dog, and headed home.

On other Alaska blogging fronts, the Dillingham public radio station News Director resigned from her job today under a storm of criticism for perceived poor taste in the contents of her personal blog, www.chillyhell.blogspot.com .  I scanned the blog quickly to get an idea of the tone of her blog - one item that caught my eye was she used to work for our very own Anne Hillman - and I have to say that for me, she does seem a bit snarky for someone supposedly representing the common good.  You can read the Anchorage Daily News article here.  Drop me a comment, I'd love to hear your thoughts on the issue.

My brother should be here in about 12 hours!  Right about now my son should be picking him up at the Anchorage Airport and letting him crash at his place until his flight in the morning.  Great job Bro on an epic journey - he left his house 20 hours ago, driving to Portland, Maine where he took a bus to Boston.  From Boston to Portland, Oregon, then on to Anchorage.  Poor guy, it's taking him a day and a half just to get here.  And you know, if you look on a globe, it really is a very long ways from Maine to Unalaska, no matter how you travel.

Monday, July 27, 2009

View From the Living Room

You all know the tugboat James Dunlap makes my little heart go pitter-patter whenever it goes by the window to the East Channel, rattling the glass the whole time.  Well, yesterday there were two Dunlap boats pushing a barge around when I went home for lunch, the James Dunlap and the Mike O'Leary.  Despite appearances, the mighty "Jimmy D" is actually a more powerful and capable tug with 300 more horsepower and Z drives that allow it to apply full thrust in any direction.  You can view the whole Dunlap Towing fleet here if you are as crazy about tugs as I am!  The salmon boats riding on top of the containers are roughly 40 feet long for a size comparison.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

I'm Still Alive!

Just a quick post to check in - the physical therapy has been going great, today was my last day wearing the immobilizing brace (but I still have to wear it at night); my brother will be here in 60 hours and I am VERY excited; I have started getting out and about again and have lots of new pictures to post; finally, I do want to post my spin on all these fantastic local blogs that have sprouted up since I moved here!  I may have to post a couple times a day to get caught up with it all but for now I need to head to bed - cheers!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Great to be Outside Again

I took Chico, Goldfish and family friend Jedi Knight for a hike in the valley last night and it was good for the soul to be back in the hills, breaking a sweat.  I have to say the last 5 weeks of relative inactivity didn't do my cardio any good, but what I lacked in fitness I made up for in attitude and the old bones didn't feel too bad this morning, all things considered.

The wildflowers are popping up everywhere and it's interesting to note how a given species such as lupine will vary from extravagantly lush and showy enormous clusters at sea level to miniature groups of just a few plants at 1000 feet, made all the more precious by their scarcity.

On the way home there was two eagles and a fox fighting over some fish scraps and we were amazed by pluck demonstrated by the tiny fox - at one point he bit one of the eagles on the rump!  The herring spotter planes have been flying the last few days signaling the beginning of one of my favorite times out here; following the abundant food source will be whales and porpoises and the sea lions and eagles will feast on nature's perfect fast food.  A herring's gorgeous silvery color is created by guanine crystals embedded in their laterals, with a bluish green dorsal area.  I challenge anyone to hold a herring in your hand in the sunlight and not be completely mesmerized by the perfect design and appearance, they are truly a wonder.

I've got to turn in, Goldfish and I were just starting to doze off at 2 AM last night when the cold water supply line to the bathroom faucet inexplicably burst.  If Goldfish had not heard it and gotten me out of bed to fix it, we would have woken up to quite a mess this morning!  As it was, we only got a few hours sleep and I'm starting to nod off mid-sentence - I hope this post makes sense!  Cheers . . . . 

Monday, July 13, 2009

A Study in Contrasts

No photo tonight as I have not been taking photos - the "Immobilizer" does a lot more than stabilize my shoulder and aid recovery, it apparently immobilizes my spirit as well.   Using my good camera is out of the question unless I use a tripod, and even using the point and shoot is a pain.  I'll try to do better but I can't promise much for another couple weeks when I can lose the sling and drive our car again (manual transmission).  The motorcycle is out of the question until maybe September, unfortunately.

With the whining out of the way, I have actually been out and about and doing things.  I went to the Geology of the Aleutians lecture at the museum on Friday (Zoya, words fail me to describe how sorry I am about your loss - you are in my prayers), followed by sushi and a walk home with a friend.  Goldfish has been sick, to the point of actually missing a day's work, so things at home have been pretty low key.  Elaine and Bear are back from vacation - the island seems a bit "off" when they are gone, welcome home ladies.

Work is a bit painful, and very awkward, so the days seem to be dragging a bit for the first time.  I skipped the hardware store clearance sale tonight because I remember standing in the middle of some large stores in Boise last month looking around thinking I should buy SOMETHING while I'm here, but not seeing anything I needed.  I also thought "Wow, this is almost as good as the internet" - fellow islanders that shop largely on-line will understand . . . . . 

I had a thought that if I apparently can't come up with a decent post on my own until I can get out and do some photography, I can devote some time pimping the other island blogs that have sprung up in the last year, so I'll start doing that in the next day or two.  I am super stoked that my brother will be here in a couple weeks - can't wait to see you Bro!  

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Brief Update

The Oshoro Maru got a little help from a tug making the sharp turn into the East Channel earlier this week.  

I went to my first physical therapy session this morning at Aleutian Chiropractic.  I haven't been doing much in the evenings since I got back from Idaho because work wears me out a bit more than normal but I'm getting a bit more range of motion every day.  Goldfish and I have been working on a little side project lately - hope to have some news to post on that soon!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy 4th of July!

Chico was in a holiday mood until the sirens started!

Captain America and his Dad.

Lauri from "Life on the Rock" - welcome home!

For other pictures of the Unalaska parade today see Cookie Dough's Blog as well.  The weather held off long enough for us to enjoy the parade but we cancelled our beach bonfire plans due to wind and celebrated with friends inside instead - hope everyone had a great weekend, the fireworks are starting, gotta go!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Idaho By the Numbers

I am back in Unalaska and returning to work tomorrow!  Just a few highlights form the "vacation" . . . . 

4 - Number of problems fixed in my shoulder surgery, primarily medium rotator cuff tears, bone spurs and a SLAP lesion repair.
6 - Number of weeks I'll have to wear the "Immobilizer" to bed every night (it is not as cool as it sounds).
2 - Trips to IHOP in Boise - love that place.
2 - Movies seen in an actual theater (the new X-Man one and The Hangover).
4 - Number of fruit trees my sister has planted along her house (one for each of her children),
1 - Batch of soap made with my nieces - great job girls, lemon and wintergreen with ground lemon balm.  We learned that pure wintergreen oil will dissolve a plastic cup - fun with science!
3 - Servings of my sister's perfect strawberry shortcake.
4 - Number of pounds lost while I was outside (makes no sense to me either).
11 - Books read on Goldfish's Kindle while I sat in a recliner 24/7.

All in all, it was wonderful to be taken care of (I mean, my Daddy cut my meat up for me and cut the corn off the cob) but if is also wonderful to be home to the island and to Goldfish.  Gotta go, we watching a movie (yeah, back to Netflix) . . . . 

I'm way behind on reading my favorite blogs but I'll get caught up this week and get back to posting myself - cheers everyone!

Riddle Me This . . . .

So, on the way DOWN to Idaho, I have just normal luggage - some soap making supplies to teach my nieces how to make soap and a few clothes.  My bag gets yanked for additional screening by the TSA.  On the way BACK to Unalaska, I'm traveling with almost a thousand rounds of ammo and bags of herbs (it's lemon balm folks) and I get no notice at all . . . . . .