Friday, March 26, 2010

It's a beautiful day....don't let it slip away!

Sometimes a picture speaks a thousand words.  Spring is in the early one for us...and all of the animals are dancing about, pretty darned happy about this.  Today was a good day to dance!

At days end, all God's creatures....casual, happy, elated, insane and bent, spectacular, curious, just too uptight, timid and tired....they must all settle down to a good nights rest.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

An unprovoked dog attack, the Iditarod winner, and a free beach!

I managed to make it almost 43 years without ever getting bit by a dog.  But that record ended several days ago, as I was brutally and viciously mauled and attacked, by a 'drop kick' dog as big as a tennis shoe.  Little dogs have always fascinated me.  They are always wound up, nervous little balls of uncertainty that bark way too much.  For those who have such small and mysterious little dogs, I am sorry.  They always seem to be too 'bad' for their own good!  Most of them seem to suffer from 'Napoleon Syndrome'.

This particular day I was simply delivering an invoice to a client and neighbor, just like so many days past.  As their son opened the door and greeted me, their two little rat dogs came out barking at me like they always do.  Only this time, something was different.  I was told later by the owner that maybe the nervous little gerble thought I was "scary looking" this day, to which the owner was quick to interject her two cents of nonsense stating that I did look a little scary in my snow outfit.....a jacket and cap!

The next thing I knew as their son was greeting me and the furry little neighborhood toughs were yipping I felt a strike, to what I would compare closely to a snake strike, on my leg.  As I spun around and looked down, the smallest of the rabid munchkin pack, was withdrawing, teeth still showing, while nervously spewing noise from it's stupid little mouth.  I yelled out an expletive, and found myself tightening up, doing what any red blooded rebel would do in such a predicament....began to swing my big ol boot aiming to take the hyperactive little fur balls' head off!  But then I instantaneously realized that the boy was watching in complete dismay at the unraveling events before him.  So without even giving a lot of thought to it I withdrew my anger.  But I was on full alert and prepared to twist the little jackasses head off in a seconds notice, shalt he have decided to come in for a second rip at me..  Man was I pissed!

The long and short of it was that I got one nasty welt of a bit that turned black and blue instantly, with teeth marks and all..  As well I was emotionally scarred from the trauma that I experienced from this savage and unprovoked attack!  The dogs Mrs. owner was in some kind of denial, as she seemed to doubt that I was really bitten, on the grounds that "he has never bitten anyone"!  Mind you, as I was showing her my injury I was just trying to blame the dog for a scratch I received the day before from some unrelated issue....oh for Pete's sake lady, give me a frigging break!  Like I have nothing better to do with my life than try and frame your little schizophrenic ball of nerves!!  Yes, she apologized but not without giving me a complex over the whole thing.  Funny, her husband told me that if it were him he would have knocked the dog into the next year....if he only knew!

Needless to say, we are going to have a battle of wits, and the human intervention of man vs. dog the next time I go to their house.  If I ever do.  I am thinking it is best for relations that I stay clear of that little rat.  Ok, now that I have offended every 'small dog owner' from here to wherever, let me say, I love dogs.  I have nothing against any, and have a great record with all dogs, of all creed, size, race and color.  But I have never been able to fully understand the 'little dog'.  And after this, my opinion of such has been altered slightly.  Imagine if I would have been a "scary looking" child in his snow gear?!  Or a baby crawling about, scary looking, minding it's own business.  I guess the lesson to this story is, just because your dog has never 'bitten anyone' before, don't assume that it wont!  There is two big signs at the end of my driveway, that warns people to "keep out", and there is a reason for this.  If the dogs dont bite.....the owner will!  I have never allowed my dogs to circle a guest at the door nor do we answer the door with our dogs wound up and barking.  It is a recipe for disaster, as I am living proof of.  Speaking of dogs.

Today at 2:59PM Alaska time, Lance Mackey arrived with his dog team in Nome making this his 4th Iditarod victory!  His team pulled this off from Willow to Nome in 8 days, 23 Hours, 59 Minutes and 9 Seconds!  Woo-hoo!!  Just as our weather has once again turned from winter to break up....for like the 8th time this winter.  Folks, I am ready for an early spring.  I am ready to hang up the whole winter concept, take off the plow and sport the Alaskan tan!  We had a good week and a half of cold, snow, and all that good stuff, ironically during the Iditarod.  But now it was 42 degrees the past two days, with snow melting fast.  We are so looking forward to summer though.  Last night Maryann pointed out that at 10:00PM, there was still a glimmer of light on the horizon!  A far cry from the dark months we have moved through over the course of winter.  Soon, Alaskans will be doing the summer chores, and out basking in the sun and daylight all hours of the day and night!
 The sign out on the highway in town, announcing the public's victory for our beach!

After almost two years of battle in and out of the court room, we here in Nikiski have finally won back the public access to our beach!  The company which controls the land that houses the OSK dock decided that due to Homeland Security requirements, they would close public access to the public beach, a move that did not sit well with locals at all.  Click link:  Kenai Alaska or Bust: .......Woodstock.....??**??

 A beautiful view of the ice covered waters. 

There is always the chance that Peak Oilfield services may appeal the ruling, but I think that the voice of the people and the judgment handed down was loud and clear that this act of closure was unacceptable.  Most especially when the lease agreement stated that public access to the public beach would never be tampered  with.  So once again, we are enjoying what I consider to be some of the most spectacular views of the bay, looking forward to those midnight summer walks on the beach, and the anticipated pastime of mine, agate hunting!  I felt it appropriate to leave this post with one last pic.  It symbolizes the movement forward, out of the grasps and angst of oppression put upon the people by someone who felt he had a power, a hold of sort on our freedom. 
 The steps leading to the 'once upon a time' guard shack that once stood there.  I think that is a cigarette butt pot in the foreground!  A reminder that oppression from our government, private industry, or otherwise will not be tolerated.  Heed notice!

God Bless America, man!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

It was a dogs' day!

Saturday marked the beginning of what is known as 'the last great race', the Iditarod 2010!  This years event moves in swiftly on the heals of the Winter Olympics, making it feel like having a couple of old visitors around the past few weeks.  That is one thing we have come to enjoy since we landed, is being able to watch the ceremonial start of the race, with our dogs of course, and being able to monitor the progress throughout the next couple of weeks as they race to Nome.  The Iditarod originally came about to commemorate the emergency delivery of diphtheria medicine during the 1925 outbreak in Nome, Alaska.  Here is a link that tells the story.

I am also including this link for those who are interested in following the race.

Sad thing in a somewhat happy sense is that this year we didn't get to watch the cerimonial start of the Iditarod.  Fortunately for us our dogs don't keep track of the calendar!  No, Saturday found me out snow plowing with Maryann along for the ride.  Yes, snow!  I mean it is darned near spring now....but finally we got snow!  Not to mention the weather did come just in a nick of time for the dog teams and their mushers.

This was one of the young moose born back in spring.  This pic was taken a few weeks ago during the early hours of the day.

Not far away was mom, who towers about four times the size of baby.  Notice it's size in comparison to a full sized truck?!

This winter just plain sucked!  It was pretty much a wash as far as any accumulations of snow.  It started out snowing in late November/early December, and looked as if it was going to be a hearty snow year.  But from just before Christmas until about the second week of February we had no new snow, and what was on the ground although still present, had compacted and froze.  So, the irony of this winter is that I managed to lick the doldrums of the long dark days, and went borderline anxietal and semi depressed from the lack of snow!  Lets face it, anybody who knows me knows I am a devout passionist of the snow and bitter cold....which by the way the bitter cold was about non existent this year....and with the lack of these elements, lets just say that Maryann was about done with my pouting and bad attitude and almost had me committed!!  Not to mention the absolute lack of income that is usually generated from snowfall in the form of snow plowing for me.  But to no avail, we have had several significant snowfalls the past few weeks and I am back in business making money with the powdered gold, and dancing nakedly with bliss amongst the falling flakes of love!  Almost sounds like the trailer of some up scaled porn flick.

Most of the winter has been alot of thaw/freeze.  It would warm up, the snow from earlier in the winter would begin to glaze over, and then several days of this it would freeze up again.  It was a complete nightmare for anyone who relies on walking or driving through their days.  Fortunately, I have somehow managed to maintain poise, and have staved off attacks from my arch nemesis....gravity!  We actually began having break up the past couple of weeks.  I mean, it was just too incredible to me that we were having such a snow less winter.  But we have had.   And of course now, alot of people have had the itch of spring, and hardly want any snow at this point, but yet it begins to stack up when we are all hoping for an early spring.  Meantime, the rest of the lower 48 has gotten pounded from what we have heard.  Oh well.  At this point I am just a confused stressed out individual over the fact that winter forgot to come here.  It's like a kid at Christmas, running down to the tree Christmas morning, only to find that Santa forgot to come!  Coincidentally, this never happened to me as a child so I don't speak from experience, but from sheer speculation.

The Kenai River with it's huge breaking ice. This is low tide near where the river mouth feeds into the inlet. That chunk about the middle of the picture near the waters' edge is a good15 feet tall! 

Last week I won as a door raffle at a Chamber event, this vibrantly 'not me' hot pink tee.  Not only was the color 'not me', but the shirt was too small.  But it fit Cherokee and he loved it!  So much so he wore it all day and all night.  Good thing dogs cant see in color, eah?!

Meantime we are back to the stinking sour subject of our water.  It looks like we will be drilling a new well, finally!  We have had positive response from the drilling company that we will more than likely be able to tap into cool, clear, stink less water at 110 feet.  Originally, they were considering drilling as soon as mid March, due to the lack of snow, and the thawing that was happening.  In leau of the colder temps and the ever so present snow stacked up, this may have to wait a little while, but we are going to move forward with it just as soon as the weather allows and the ground begins to thaw.  Stay tuned, as we anticipate the coming of a new age.  No more will our showers feel like....well, never mind.  You get the point!  We just can't wait.