Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Dog Days of Winter

Rockett (RIP)
Tsaina (RIP)

The last day of Feb! woohoo! Seeds were out for sale on the rack today and I bought 3 packs of Livingstone Daisies. My favorite annual flower. In fact they were the first flower I ever grew. Wasn't into growing flowers. Grew vegetables instead. Can't eat flowers I said. Then low and behold I planted Livingstone Daisies. Livingstone Daisies are not instant gratification flowers. Sow the seed 8 weeks before last frost. Which here is Memorial Day Weekend. They only bloom on sunny days and not til around the 4th of July. Flourescent colors! On every sunny day til the snow falls. Been hooked ever since.

I don't keep them all. I start the flats then share when the time is right. They can grow in rock gardens to old logs. Livingstone Daisies are that hardy. ANd well worth the wait.

Come on SPRING!

Sunday, February 26, 2006

What a Wheathead

As usual the week-end went by entirely too fast. Saturday the hockey game started at 3pm Alaska time as the UAF Nanooks played Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana in the final game of the regular season. After losing 4-1 Friday the Nanooks were in a must win situation for home ice. Well, folks we won! BUT, and a big BUT here, Ferris State won their game in overtime against UM (U of Minnesota) which knocked the Nanooks down to 9th place with Notre Dame getting 8th place with home ice advantage. So the Nanooks stayed in Indiana instead of coming home all the way to Fairbanks just to turn around and head back to the South Bend for the March 2, 3 &4th playoffs. (Not all was sad as now the Nanooks coaches/announcers can attend the John Mellencamp concert this week in Indiana where JM is from.)

Nanook goalie Wylie Rogers was named the number 1 star of the game, Notre Dame goalie David Brown was named the #2 star and Nanooks Kyle Greentree got the #3 star with the winning goal in a 2-1 tight game. It was an exciting game and I was so nervous listening to it I cleaned my kitchen AND bathroom with nervous energy. I called my sis in Fairbanks before the game and told her to drink a beer, it helps! We had to wait a half an hour after we won for the game tracker to spit out scores to see if we got home ice. Too bad UM lost! I had a ride up to Frbks, time off from work and everything all arranged to attend! Theres no way I can fly to Notre Dame without charging up a credit card. Wylie's dad is going to go and Wylie knows we'll be listening here! in Alaska on KSUA internet radio. GO NANOOKS!

Then if all that wasn't exciting enough, after the hockey game Saturday night Whole Wheat Radio had a LIVE house concert in the Wheat Hole on a webcast! Radoslav Lorkovic, Robin Hopper, and Ann Pence ! It was fantastic! The next best thing to being there. Can I say I love the internet?

Thank - you Bruce (voice of the nanooks) and Jim and Esther (whole wheat radio) for your time and efforts. No need to say more about them just tune in and decide for yourself. Thats what the internet is all about. I love it. More than TV. But not as much as tomorrow.

Saturday, February 25, 2006





Thursday, February 23, 2006

Nanooks on the Big Screen

Friday nights face-off against Notre Dame in Indiana starts 3:30 pm Alaska Time. Watch on GCI statewide channel 88 with the sound turned down and listen to KSUA's "Voice of the Nanooks" turned up here!


Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Digital Photo Realist Artist

Bert Monroy-

All digital paintings in this section were created entirely in Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop without the use of scans.

Check this guy out! http://www.bertmonroy.com/fineart/text/fineart1.htm#

Amazing. Simply amazing.

Monday, February 20, 2006

My Little Sistor Kitty Cat

Don't let her good looks fool you. She's a killer. In her younger days it looked like a battle zone in here when we'd get home. She's slowed down a lot or there are not a lot of shrews left around here.

Okay. I got Photoshop! The wonderful IT guy was able to pick it up in time. Went to class tonight and got a homework assignment due before class next week. This is so cool that I can work on Photoshop at home. I'm learning a few tricks and liking the program a lot. One trick is to name your layers and get rid of layers your not using. We made 2 posters tonight in class. One in portrait and one in landscape. We had about an hour to do it. This teacher likes it done fast and gives us assignments that are like real work orders. Half the class have had some version of Photoshop experience. Its fun to see everybodys work on the smart board when we are done.

So I'm all set. Got my new computer, new digital camera and Photoshop CS2 (it also has a free Total Training Video Workshop included).

Can't forget to let you know the UAF Nanooks are in a 3 way tie for 8th place with Notre Dame and Ferris State. One more weekend for regular season hockey when the Nanooks travel to Indiana and face Notre Dame. UAF win means home ice and the Fishtaxi crew travel to the Carlson Center in beautiful downtown Fairbanks for the playoffs!


Sunday, February 19, 2006

Valdez Snowpile

Don't tell these girls there ain't nothing to do on a Sunday afternoon. Climb up that snowpile and slide down with no sled!


After sleeping 12 hours last night I woke up asking Mr. Fishtaxi what day it was? "Sunday!" he answered with a laugh. "All day!" said my friend Yukon Patty on msn messenger from sunny California. She's getting ready for a cross-country road trip in a Winebago with a new toilet. ANd a new laptop so she can keep in touch with her snowbound friends in Alaska.

Looking over my blog it appears I was in rare form Friday night. Paid for it yesterday and did most of my chores so today I can have fun!

So now I'm off and running to see what kind of mischief I can get into today or at the least take some pictures. I'll check back in later. Have a great Funday!

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Friday, February 17, 2006

Putt Putt

Yeah! Its Friday night! Its payday! It's SNOWING a little bit of snow. After beautiful weather all week today the blue skies opened up & are dropping pennies from heaven. Yeah! It's the weekend!

Sent $300 cash with the IT guy, who went to Anchortown, to pick up Photoshop CS 9.0 at the UAA bookstore. Theres a chance that he didn't make it by 6pm when they close for the weekend. Thats okay. I'm a grown up and I can take anything.

I am way behind in the class but once I get Photoshop on my home computer I'll catch up. My instructor understands so thats not a problem. Who wants to go to where they work 40hrs a week to do their homework?

GCI cable played the Nanook hockey game on statewide television everywhere but here. Valdez cable guys are asleep at the wheel.

Listened in when I could at work tonight on internet radio. The two teams tied and went into overtime and tied! Right now the UAF Nanooks are in 10th place but not out of home ice range. We are getting down to the wire.

Took this pic down at the harbor the other day. This guy rides all winter long!

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Fish Central

This fish business does it all...in the summer. Today this is what it looked like. Been having clear blue skies for days now. If I wasn't working I'd be snow tanning. Its been that warm & nice. Anything above freezing is warm to us by now.

We're upstaging "old movie" night Friday night at the college for statewide televised UAF HOCKEY!!!! UAF is playing Western Michigan in Frbks, the second to last bout, of the regular season. Then its on to playoffs. We (UAF) need to win the last 4 games to gain home ice advantage. Otherwise its Detroit or somewhere like that. As of today the UAF Nanooks are in ninth place in a big tie. (you know hockey and thier ties) The top 4 get a by and the next 4 get home ice.

My hope is for home ice and travel to Frbks the first weekend in March for the playoffs! I don't see myself going to Notre Dame for a game.

They still have the movie "DOA" scheduled but if not enough people show up for that we are switching to UAF Hockey live from Fairbanks.

The puck drops at 7pm Friday night.


Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Snow Hoarding

Don't be taking my snow away.

Winter Oympics in Valdez. 2016

This is cool

Rash makes pro bowling historyFIRST WIN: Dimond grad is first nonexempt bowler to win a PBA tourney title.
Rash (Photo courtesy of Professional Bowling Association)
Rookie Sean Rash of Anchorage racked up his first victory Sunday by winning the PBA's West Virginia Championship at Emerson Lanes in Parkersburg, W.Va. Rash, 23, defeated Mike DeVaney 194-178 to earn $40,000 and an exemption for the 2006-07 season. (Photo by ED THOMAS /The Associated Press)
By MATT NEVALAAnchorage Daily News(Published: February 13, 2006)
On a sleepy Sunday morning in Anchorage, Sean Rash realized his dream thousands of miles away from his hometown.
He also made Professional Bowlers Association history.
Rash, 23 and a 2000 Dimond High graduate, won the PBA Tour's West Virginia Championship to become the first nonexempt PBA member to win a tour event.
He had to bowl his way through qualifying rounds just to make the 64-person tournament field (exempt bowlers are spared this), so he was considered a long shot. But he defeated legendary bowler Walter Ray Williams Jr. and many others on his way to the title.
Now, besides pocketing $40,000 for the win, he also earned a PBA exemption for the 2006-07 season. His total bowling earnings before Sunday were $28,000.
"The biggest thing to sink in is that I've got a job next year," Rash said by cell phone. "It's been a successful week for me. Things went right.
"Dreams are meant to come true, and I've worked hard. Small goals lead to bigger goals, and I'm on my way."
Performing for the cameras and ESPN's national television audience, Rash used timely spare shooting and two clutch strikes to defeat Mike DeVaney in the title match. Rash won 194-178 before a packed house at Emerson Lanes in Parkersburg, W. Va.
Rash stayed on top in the match by picking up the difficult 2-10 split in the eighth frame before knocking down back-to-back strikes to open the 10th frame. DeVaney left the 10-pin standing on his first shot in the 10th to clinch the win for Rash in his first televised finals appearance.
As DeVaney lined up to bowl in the 10th frame, Rash sat in his chair near the lane with his face planted firmly in his towel-covered hands.
"At that point, I had done everything physically possible I could to win," Rash said. "It was up to (DeVaney) to determine his fate -- and mine."
When the 10-pin didn't fall for DeVaney, Rash jumped out of his seat and hoisted his arms in the air in victory. He immediately ran over to father, Gene Rash, who was sitting in the front row, and shared a tight embrace. Sean hugged other friends and former Wichita State University teammates as the camera followed his every move.
ESPN broadcaster Dave Ryan said it was "Super" Sean Rash's day as Rash played to the crowd, waving and pointing to himself. He shouted "right here, right here" with a big smile on face.
"One of the (television) producers said they wanted you to win, but they were also looking for entertainment," Rash said. "They wanted you to put on a show and enjoy it."
Rash left Parkersburg later Sunday and was in the process of making a 500-mile drive through a snow storm to North Brunswick, N.J., site of this week's 63rd U.S. Open, one of the PBA Tour's four major tournaments. Competition begins Tuesday and ends Sunday morning on ESPN.
"I'm sure there will be some eyes on me," Rash said. "I just need to concentrate on learning and getting better."
Rash's success sent a small shock wave through parts of Anchorage.
Diana Rash, Sean's mother, said she received about 200 phone calls, both locally and internationally, at the family home near Dimond High. A league at Jewel Lake Bowling Center -- where Rash grew up firing strikes -- postponed play until the title match was over.
"It's just awesome," Diana Rash said. "Just because you're from Alaska doesn't mean you can't be a star. The opportunities are there for you to go for your dreams."
Rash's friends and former friends from Dimond burned up phone lines to make sure everyone watched the title match.
Myrtle McLaughlin was one of them. A former security officer, McLaughlin retired recently after 28 years at the school. She spoke to Rash by telephone just last week as they offered each other encouragement.
"What Sean is doing is not an easy thing," McLaughlin said. "He gave up a lot to take bowling all the way. We should be proud of him in Anchorage, not only as a bowler but as young man. I'm proud to know him."
Rash said the same of his hometown friends and family. He said he'll be back in Anchorage sometime this summer.
"It's my hometown, Jewel Lake, all the centers, I grew up in them," Rash said. "It means a lot to me that all those people took the time to watch a show from some 5,000 miles away.
"The support means a lot to me."
Daily News reporter Matt Nevala can be reached at mnevala@adn.com or 257-4335.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Golf of Alaska

Spent the day getting my house spruced up for the week and watching the Winter Olympics this evening.

Got my teeth cleaned yesterday and a small cavity filled. So I was numbed up most of the afternoon. I'm glad thats done and over with.

Going to bed early tonight and no beer drinking today so I can make it through my long work/school day Monday.

Have a great week everybody. My horoscope says to buy a lottery ticket every day this week. Too bad Alaska doesn't have a lottery!

Saturday, February 11, 2006

First PhotoShop Project

Bergman Bookstore
We'd like you to create 2 ads for our store using only one of the photos below.
One should be a black-and-white newspaper ad with 150 dpi resolution. The dimensions should be 4 by 4 inches and they want it as a PDF.
The other ad is for the chamber of commerce website. This one can be full color and the dimensions should be 100 by 350 pixels. They want it as a JGP.
We want both ads to be as similar as possible. The only text we want is the name of our store with the words BACK TO SCHOOL SALE
We're excited to see what you come up with.

I'll be back with it. Have to work on it at the college since I don't have photoshop on my home computer, YET!!

Coldfoot Bar 1994

The northern most bar in the U.S.

Friday, February 10, 2006

I've been tagged by Heidi!

My first time! Now I feel I have arrived in the blogging world. When I first started reading blogs I googled Alaska Blogs and found Bossco's. She's from a big Alaskan family and reading her blog I got to know them. Her husband PrudhoeMan takes awesome pictures of the North Slope. Princess Sarah just moved to Houston, Alaska and Klondike Kate to Texas. Heidi is a Girl Scout leader and I just figured out JD Plumber is her husband.

My family doesn't blog, yet. When I saw them in Frbks last fall for the wedding I mentioned a family blog to them. We are all spread out and that would be a great way to keep up with everybody. I need to get on it!

Okay here goes. I'm going to do it the way it was sent to Valatte by Hydrogen Guy.

Four jobs I've had:

1. Boxgirl at Safeway then went on to Checker. I was the second boxgirl Safeway ever hired. This was in 1970. They wanted me to wear a skirt and I refused. They said okay but no jeans. After working there all through high school, I turned 18, and they sent me to Checkers School. I quit on a busy Saturday and they told me "I could never work for Safeway again!"

2. Fiberglass Fabricator for the Boeing Company. The only men in the dept were supervisors. They said "men itch from fiberglass." And women don't? Then I did an unheard of transfer from A3450 to R6575 which was maintenance plumber. Instant raise. After a few years I had an "I quit Boeing Sale" and moved to Alaska.

3. King Crab line at the Star of Kodiak.

4. Parks & Recreation in Anchorage. What a fun, good paying job that was. You got your birthday off paid! I was permanent seasonal and my birthday is in the summer. That was Local 71 when Al Baffone was the head of Local 71. He made the city pay benefits to part-time/seasonal employees.

Four movies I can watch repeatedly:

1. Fried Green Tomatoes

2. South Pacific

3. Overboard

4. Outlaw Josey Wales

Four TV shows I love:

1. China Beach

2. Ted or Alive

3. The Carol Burnet Show

4. David Letterman

Four places I've vacationed:

1. Garmish, Germany

2. Reno, Nevada (my 21st birthday)

3. Winnamucca, Nevada

4. 4 months on Maui

Four of my favorite foods:

1. Red Ripe Tomatoes

2. Cod Fish

3. Beer

4. Sandwiches

Four places I'd rather be:

1. Moose camp.

2. Lake Louise

3. Fishing in Hawaii

4. On top of spagetti covered with cheese

Four groups or albums I usually can't be without:

1. Hoyt Axton

2. Herman Hermits

3. 4 non blondes

4. Old Dogs

Four vehicles I've owned:

1. 1966 Plymouth Valiant 2 door slant six with a 3 speed on the column. Shag carpet with a AM radio. Took my first drivers test in that thing. Figured after that I could drive anything.

2. 1971 Volkswagon convertabal. It was VW red which could look orange or red depending on the eyes of the beholder.

3. 1971 Volkswagon Camper. Sold the ragtop and bought the bus and drove it to Alaska.

4. 1990 Chevy Silverado 1500 4x4 White with a Brahma canopy & a modified 6" lift. 6 banger/5 speed tranny. 140,000 miles. And I can't forget the anti-spray devices.

I also have a 1969 bug in my backyard that I hold the title to and have the key.

Four sites I visit daily:

1. Alaska State Trooper Report

2. Anchorage Craigslist

3. Whole Wheat Radio

4. My Horoscope

Where will the children playay...

Snapped this pic in a parking lot in town. I know the guy and he doesn't mean no harm to children or animals. It was dark under a light pole and I was happy with the picture.

I got my assignment for the first project in Photoshop. The instructor set up a web page. All I can do is read it in my book before class on Monday as I don't have the software loaded on my computer at home. I was going to try and sneak in there at work and no...too busy working. With the sun shining you could see all the dust I was ignoring.

Funny thing: I've been cleaning mouses, keyboards and phones at work. I ask them, when collecting their trash, if they want it done and some people prefer to do it themselves. Fine with me. But, office people, your desk needs to be cleaned by a professional once in a while.

Last night I dusted the top dog's office and cleaned his phone. I hate dusting and especially knick-knacks. Not too bad if you use those swiffer mitts. For cleaning the phone I use a toothbrush damppened with a disinfectant. The phone is the push button office type phone and it quit working. I thought, well, maybe it will fix itself by morning. Turned out the next morning when the top dog's office lady came in the clean phone was ringing and ringing and ringing. She couldn't stop it from ringing!

By 10am they'd called the IT guy (Employee of the Month!) and he came in and in 2-seconds it was fixed. It wasn't the freshly cleaned phone. It was a system failer.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

The View from the top

Just in case you didn't check out citydata.com. The dentist took this picture of Mineral Creek Canyon on that heli-copter ride.

Speaking of the dentist I get to go see him Sat for a teeth cleaning. I love getting my cleaned. This dentist does it all. Lives in his dentist building and is a one man show. No receptionist, no overhead. He does good deals for people with no insurance and is a great guy. And a damn good dentist. We are really lucky to have him here. He doesn't do oral surgery or inplants. Have to go elsewhere for that.

Now, an optometrist in this town, is an optical illusion.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Let there be light

The sun has officially risen over Sugarloaf Mountain! Its the mountain smack dab in the middle of this picture. See its shadow!

Still got most of Feb left and March but I can see the light.

Then theres that stupid daylight savings day crap. Messes with me twice a year. I like this time best. Forget saving time in your mind. Its not worth it.

The only time I never had to switch times was when I was in the great state of Hawaii. Never been to Arizona which is the other state that doesn't save the light for another time.

Lets all not do the time warp again.

Drop Dead Gorgeous Day

Today was one of those days that answers the question of why I live here beautifully.

My mantra for the day was:

"If I was a skier I'd be skipping school."

I was outside with no jacket and it felt good. It was snowing this morning when I was sleeping. By noon the weather cleared up and it looked neat, tidy, white and clean outside everywhere.

Totem Pole was happy today, too!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Birds Eye View

My dentist took this picture of Valdez on a beautiful summer day riding in a heli-coptor. He posted it on CityData.com if you want go there and see the BIG picture.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Name that mountain, ranger

My current desktop photo. The narrow peak to the left is Sugarloaf. The rest do not have an official name besides part of the Chugach Mountain Range.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Nanooks best #1 ranked Ohio Redhawks

What a game tonight! Final score was 4-3. Here's an excerpt of the last minutes of the game:

Facing only its second home-loss of the season in front of a sold-out Goggin crowd, the RedHawks gave it all they had to catch the Nanooks for a second time. Miami pulled Effinger with 59 seconds to go in the contest in favor of the extra attacker and earned a two-man advantage 12 seconds later when defenseman Jordan Hendry (Nokomis, SK/Battlefords-SJHL) was penalized for cross-checking. The seconds couldn’t dwindle fast enough for UAF as Miami continued to move the puck trying to find an opening. Jones finally got a clear shot off with 3.8 seconds on the clock, but Rogers came up big with a glove-save to force one more faceoff, and preserve the win.Rogers had a season-high 41-saves performance as the Nanooks got their third victory of the season over a nationally ranked #1 team.


Game started at 3:35pm Alaska time while I was at work. We have GCI cable and the big screen set-up. I really was hoping this game would be televised on GCI cable statewide. Turned out they showed the UAA - St. Cloud hockey game instead. So I set the IT guy up to listen to it on KSUA Fairbanks on the internet and he gave me updates. 3-0 (Nanooks lead), 3-1, 3-2, and by the time I left for lunch at 5 it was a new game at 3-3 in the middle of the third period. Tuned it at home and told myself I might be taking a longer lunch. I was glued to the radio and got to hear NANOOKS WIN!

Wylie Scores!

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner
Rogers leads in shutouts
Staff Writer

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Put University of Alaska Fairbanks goaltender Wylie Rogers in the seat of airplane and he's asleep like an infant in a hospital nursery.

"It's not that I don't get enough sleep," the sophomore said after Tuesday's hockey practice at the Carlson Center. "It's just that I'd rather be sleeping than sitting on a plane and listening to people talk around me, or having that uncomfortable, awkward silence between you and a passenger. I'd rather just sleep."

For the two seasons he's taken road trips with the Nanooks of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association, Rogers falls asleep on a plane right after he sits down and fastens his seat belt. "It's a skill like anything else," Rogers said. "It's something that takes practice ... practices makes perfect."

Practice also led Rogers to a perfect night of goaltending last Saturday and a precedent in UAF history. Rogers stopped 31 shots in a 3-0 victory over Ohio State, securing a split of the weekend series at the Carlson Center and making the Rogers the Nanooks' all-time career shutouts leader with five. "He was sharp the entire game and he made the saves when we absolutely needed him to," said UAF head coach Tavis MacMillan. "You didn't see him with overmovements Saturday night. You saw him compact and you saw him playing with a lot more control than he has recently." Rogers had previously shared the UAF career shutout mark of four with Todd Henderson (1990-93) and Preston McKay (2000-04). Rogers saw the Nanooks fall 5-1 Friday night to the Buckeyes, and he remembered last season's road trip to Columbus, Ohio. He was in the net each night at the Value City Arena, where the Nanooks fell 2-1 and 5-2, respectively, to the Buckeyes on Dec. 3-4, 2004. "It did cross my mind, the frustrating feeling after Ohio State last year," he said. "But I think these are two new teams--we're not the same team as last year and neither is Ohio State. I had to take it like a new game; but, of course, if I'm 0-2 against a team, I want to get some redemption."

Rogers is often modest in his 5-foot-10, 178-pound frame, as he cares more about a Nanooks victory than he does a personal achievement. It was easy, though, to savor Saturday's milestone. "It's like a feather in my cap, and now that I've reached it, it's something I want to defend, obviously," he said. "If that gets me to play my best every single game, then that's great. "But it's a team accomplishment, too. I wouldn't have had five shutouts if it wasn't for the guys on the team." Rogers is grateful for his teammates' defensive efforts, whether they're blocking shots, clearing rebounds or clearing traffic out from in front of the crease to give him a clear view of oncoming shots. "That's just more motivation for me, that's more fuel for my fire," Rogers said. "It's just a landslide effect when someone does something great and everyone on the team feels it. It impacts every player on the team in a positive way, whether it's me making a big save or (sophomore defenseman) T.J. Campbell taking a slap shot off the chest or (junior defenseman and tri-captain) Jordan Hendry getting the puck on a must-out. "Everything like that has a positive effect on the team. I think it's not so much what they do to help me, but it's what every single guy on the team does to help each other."

Though UAF sits in 11th place (6-10-2 conference, 10-11-3 overall) in the 12-team CCHA, the Nanooks sport the second-best penalty killing in the league at 87.3 percent (151 denials out of 173 power plays). The Nanooks denied 15 of 16 Buckeyes power plays, including all nine Saturday night. "It's all determination," Rogers said. "We're determined to not get scored on and it's something we take pride in as a team. That gives a lot of chances for guys to shine." Rogers, who is scheduled to start in Friday night's series opener against ninth-place Nebraska-Omaha (7-9-2, 13-11-2) at the Carlson Center, ranks seventh among CCHA netminders with a 6-6-0 record, 2.46 goals against average and .920 saves percentage. His saves percentage also ranks 20th nationally in NCAA Division I.

The emergence of 6-foot-2 freshman Chad Johnson (4-5-3, 2.81 GAA and .914 saves percentage) and the steady development of 6-5 fellow rookie Brandon Cross has made Rogers work for playing time this season, following a standout freshman season.

Rogers played in 32 games last season, compiling a 15-12-4 record with a 2.88 GAA and .906 saves percentage. He earned a first-team All-CCHA Rookie Team honor and an All-CCHA Super Six Tournament Team selection after backstopping the Nanooks to third place in the postseason tournament in Detroit.

"All three of us push each other in practice," Rogers said. "Day in and day out, you know your job is up for grabs every day. I've got to approach every game like it's my last game, and I'm not one guy who wants to sit and watch the game from the bench."

Staff writer Danny Martin can be reached at dmartin@newsminer.com or 459-7586.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Back to the 50s

I was born during the 1955 August heat wave at St. Marys Hospital in Mad City, Wisconsin. According to my Grandma Cripps, the first 3 weeks of my life were spent in a baby buggy, in the shade.

My Great-Grandfather was the Chief of Police of Waunakee at the time. He was the only full-time policeman for the whole town. The other cop, Hank, was part-time policeman/part-time garbage man. (What a concept that city council had back in the fifties.) I spent the next five years of my life in Wisconson (still have the accent) before my dad went into the Army and never looked back at the farm.

With a wife and five kids in tow off we went and my formative years were spent in Colorado, Germany and Washington State. Us kids wanted California and sang "California Here I Come" all across the United States but you go where your dads Army tells you to go.

My dads mom, Grandma Lil, ran "Lil's Cafe" in Madison, near the University of Wisconsin campus, around the 50s. It burned down a couple of times but she kept rebuilding it. It was a hot spot. My running a restaurant dream comes from my Grandma Lil.

Heres to the 50's!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Fudge It! Its February!!!

Sorry about the F word in the title of my first post in Feb. February might be the shortest month of the year but its the longest month in Alaska.

Three more months until the first of May! Hooray! Hooray!

In the meantime buried in snow, leaning up against the box truck, is the FishTaxi's paddleboat.

Its not all mine. I have partners.
We got another partner last summer because she has a trailer thats perfect for hauling our paddleboat. She has the trailer leaned up at her place. This year we will make it a "legal" trailer with license & lights. The trailer is nice because its small enough that you don't have to back it in anywhere. Just unhitch and move the trailer on human power. All you need is a vehicle with a hitch to pull it. I need a dropdown hitch to pull it with my truck.

Whats cool about the paddleboat is you don't need gas, know about engines and 2 people can lift it.

Last summer two of us planned to paddle out to Gold Creek. Launched at the small boat harbor and I clocked our speed on my Garmin GPSr. A mile and a half an hour at tops. 4 miles to Gold Creek. We get to the breakwater and were forced to go port instead of starboard to Gold Creek by the waves. Turned the corner, got out on land and went back and did it again and again and again...

I love seeing kids captaining the boat. Thinking for themselves, working together and getting exercise at the same time. No smelly fumes. No noise. No costly mechanical failures. No slip or drydock fee. No men needed. No title. No registration. No seatbelts. No insurance. No shit.