Sunday, December 31, 2006

Tick Talk

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Snow Shovelers Wanted

Open call. Anybody with 2 arms, 2 legs and a shovel. If you don't own a shovel, one will be provided for you. Free of charge. Oh, and I'll feed you biscuits and gravy. With caribou sausage.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Get Your Stick On Nanooks!

Tonights the night, we've been all waiting for. Its NANOOK HOCKEY night! The Alaska Nanooks are in Anchorage for the second half of the in state coveted Governor's Cup series. Anchorage wants the Cup back bad. Easy on the eggnog, Seawolves -- the Nanooks ... (Keep in mind this story does come from the Anchorage-based Daily News.)

My Nanooks find themselves in a must win situation at the Sully Arena at 7:30pm. The game will be played statewide on GCI cable TV. If you are out of state or in Valdez you can listen on the Radio/Internet.

The new Alaska Governor Sarah Palin will be on hand Saturday night to present the trophy.


Thursday, December 28, 2006

Let it Snow Video

Heres a picture of "our cabin" taken today. Thats my Montero covered in snow. The dresser is sitting outside because I'm moving stuff around inside. As soon as my snowmachine buddies come over they are going to help me bring it back in. Click the link below for a video of it snowing on youtube. WARNING! I'm singing "Let it Snow" on it!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Glowing in the Dark

The new monitor stove is working great. Keeping us toasty warm and burning less fuel than the old drip stove. It will pay for itself in the long run. I highly recommend the Monitor 2400. The btu output is an overkill in our 600 sq ft dwelling but when we build a new (addition or house) the monitor will go with it. In the meantime it is more than efficient. We set it at 70 degrees and forget it. Pretty darn cool.

Edited to add link to cabin picture:

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Snow Angel

Valdez kids get their very own size snow shovel for Christmas.

And if your a little girl you get your very own make-up kit.

This is my 400th post!

Monday, December 25, 2006

Happy HO HO!

I wish I could just hop on the Fish Taxi Air Express and give you all presents.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Albino Fawn

This deer was found by a family in Sweet Home, Oregon.
"A very eventful day around here... A once in many lifetimes experience!

Mark saw thi s lil' feller run out in front of a car, thought it was a lost baby goat. Stopped to get it, and WOW. A real Albino Whitetail Deer. Just hours old, but doing fine. No Momma deer around. Another car nearly hit it in front of Mark... Well, he is THE neatest thing any of us ever saw. And such a 'freak of nature', that only 1 in more than a million are even born. He took his bottle of food, followed us around the house, doing great. So, we called the Zoo & Fossil Rim, who were both interested, but we're going to send him to a Rehab farm. Maybe he will make it in captivity somewhere and be appreciated. So rare... Sure wanted to keep him tho. but, not the thing to do. And not LEGAL either; But, here are a couple of pix to show ya. He was snow white, pink eyes, ears, nose and hooves. Kids called him POWDER. He was SO small. That is my shoe lying beside him... cool is that??" "Pass this around, a lot of folks have never and will probably never even see another picture of an Albino deer fawn......"

Thanks Cindy!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Candy Maker

Ritz Bitz
Chex Mix
Rainbow Cookies

Peppermint Kisses

This guy Culinary in the Desert goes all out when it comes to making Christmas candy.

I am attempting Almond Roca.

Almond Roca (Adapted from BBCL - Anna)

4 sticks butter
2 cups sugar
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups sliced almonds, divided
1 teaspoon baking soda
12 ounces fine quality milk chocolate bars, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 Evenly spread 1 cup sliced almonds onto a baking sheet and place in the oven for 6-8 minutes until they turn a light brown, stirring occasionally, so they do not burn. When done, cool and slightly crush the almonds. Cover a 10X15" pan with foil and set aside. Place butter in a large heavy bottomed saucepan and melt over medium heat until it starts to bubble and you can smell a pleasant nutty aroma. Stir in sugar, water and salt. Attach a candy thermometer inside the pan and leave the heat on medium, bring to a boil without stirring. When the temperature reaches 245, stir in the remaining 2 cups almonds and keep stirring until the temperature reaches 295. When at 295, remove pan from heat and carefully stir in baking soda. Quickly pour into the prepared pan, gently pushing into the corners. This will begin to set very fast so don't mess around too much. After a couple minutes, sprinkle chocolate over the top of the candy and let set for 5 minutes. Using a small off-set spatula, spread the softened chocolate evenly over the top. Sprinkle with the crushed almonds and let cool at room temperature for 60 minutes. Place in the refrigerator and let sit for a couple hours so the chocolate can set. Break into chunks with a knife or your hands.

Sounds easy enough and I've got everything. Fun thing to do on a windy winters day. I'll be using Nestles chocolate chips for the 12 ounces of fine quality milk chocolate bars, chopped.

I remember Ol'Bobs Almond Roca. He used an ice pick to break his up. I hope I don't need an axe!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

The Return of the Light

Happy Winter Solstice! At 2:22pm Alaska Time the sun said to renew, replenish and was being outshined by the light of the silvery moon.

These are the coolest woodstoves. I can't find the website right now but they are expensive and made in Europe. I think they can burn coal, too. This size is perfect for boats, cabins and tents.
Called a "little sardine" and a bigger one is called "the halibut". This picture was in their gallery and its called "the salty wink".

Alaska newbie says Valdez snow is mind-blowing

Dec 21, 3:38 PM EST

By MARY PEMBERTON Associated Press Writer

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) -- When Alaska newbie Gordon May watched the snow pile up in Valdez this week, it blew his mind.

He thought it doesn't snow like this in College Station, Texas.

"It is really amazing to see the snow stack up on the roofs and the cars drive around with 2 1/2 feet of snow on the roof," said May, who moved to Valdez with his wife and children in July. "From what I hear, it is nothing. This is just the tip of the iceberg."

May is right. Valdez gets an average 350 inches of snow a year. That's more than 29 feet.
Valdez - where many of the homes have steep metal roofs to slide off the snow, only to have the white stuff pile up and sometimes cover the first floor windows - was having a relatively snow-free winter until the big storm moved into the southcentral Alaska region on Tuesday.

May had been warned about the snow that routinely buries the city of about 4,500 residents on Prince William Sound, 125 miles east of Anchorage.

Still, it was something to see, he said Thursday.

When the snow began falling in earnest, May could only watch in amazement and grab for the snowblower provided free of charge by the National Weather Service to help keep the driveway and walkway clear.

Over a 24-hour period, the city got 21 inches of snow, breaking the record for Dec. 19, recorded in 1985 when 12.5 inches of snow fell on Valdez.

"We absolutely buried the record," said Valdez meteorological technician Robert Brooks, who recently spent three years in Yuma, Ariz., where summer temperatures reach 115 degrees.
"I absolutely love it up here," said Brooks, who moved to Valdez in early August.

May said the snow really piled up quickly. Valdez got 10 inches of snow in 3 hours. In the next 3 hours, it got eight more. And it didn't stop there. By Thursday morning, the town had received a whopping 31.5 inches of snow.

The big snow dump did not put a damper on May's enthusiasm for his new home.

"Personally, I love snow," he said.

The Department of Transportation reopened a portion of the Richardson Highway Thursday morning near Valdez that was closed because of two avalanches, said DOT spokeswoman Shannon McCarthy. Some blasting was done in the area to bring down the remaining snow, she said.

Crews reported very hazardous driving conditions because of the heavy snow between Mile 12 and Mile 42 of the highway, McCarthy said. The problem was about 20 inches of snow on the roadway, she said.

"I think the Valdez and Thompson Pass crew have the toughest jobs," McCarthy said. "They live in a place that has some of the heaviest snowfalls in the U.S. They have to deal with heavy snow, wet snow and lots of it, and have to clear it from a mountain pass all the way down to sea level."

Over seven days in February 1953, 187 inches fell on Thompson Pass.

Valdez city manager John Hozey said a fair amount of Valdez's $1.4 million streets department budget goes to snow removal. Valdez has four full-time heavy-equipment operators, two seasonal operators and the city contracts out snow removal in outlying areas.

When the city was relocated after the 1964 earthquake, it was designed with snow in mind, Hozey said. The city is more spread out now, with subdivisions laid out with park strips down the center.

"In the summer it is a park, but in the winter it gives us a place to put the snow," Hozey said.
Hozey, who grew up in Philadelphia, said people in Valdez genuinely like snow.

"Everyone was getting a little depressed at the lack of snow so late in the season. Now, we are going to have a nice fresh coat for Christmas. I think everyone is excited about that," he said.
On the Net:

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

It's a Marshmellow World

"A winter storm swept into Southcentral Alaska and buried Valdez in 21 inches of snow over the past 24 hours.

That’s bad, even by snowy Valdez standards, said Tabatha Bolduc, who works as a senior office assistant for the city’s parks and recreation department and civic center.

“I’ve never seen snow like this here, actually...It was like 5 or 6 inches an hour,” she said.

Valdez could see another 6 to 12 inches by midnight tonight, said Scott McKim, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service." (From Anchorage Daily News)

"It's about time!" said the FishTaxi.

Update~Thompson Pass is closed due to avalanche. Valdez Harbor - all boats need shoveling even if you shoveled them last night. One boat, the Double Trouble, has sunk and it was shoveled last night.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006


Its 5pm and I'm in my pajamas already after shoveling snow and helping Mr. FishTaxi move stuff around in the yard. We always seem to wait til it really starts snowing to make room for the plow to move the snow into the backyard. And its really snowing now with more to come.
I prefer Hot Buttered Rums over Egg Nog drinks but a friend recommended this. Egg Nog and Kahlua with whipped cream folded in and chocolate syrup swirled on top. And it is yummy! Another good egg nog drink I had this morning is an egg nog smoothie. Frozen bananas and egg nog in place of milk. Different and not too bad. Tis the season!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Let it Snow

Today was the first substantial snow Valdez has had since I got back from Outside.

While I was gone it was high winds and bitterly cold everybody tells me.

As you can tell from the picture my Montero hasn't gone anywhere. I've been keeping myself busy inside with a Photoshop brochure for a former employer. Also checking on-line for jobs and am thinking about applying for one in Shemya on an Air Base. I've never been down on the Aleutian Chain.

Theres lots of Alaska I would like to see and experience. Might as well make money while I'm at it.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Jimmy's Pirate Pub

I would like to take this opportunity to welcome my little brother to the blogging world!

Some of the best times on my trip outside was hanging with Jimmy in his man's room. Its got everything a guy could want. Good music and beer! Oh yah, Hamms beer was $11.99 for a 30pk in Boise. I hadn't even seen the 30pks here.

So I'm happy to see another guy with a dog in the back of his truck blogging!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Wild Taxi

This is that slot machine I played that night in Worley, Idaho. I donated $40 to their light bill.

Tonight we are going to the company Christmas party. Prime rib and shrimp dinner with the ever entertaining Chinese auction. Always lots of fun!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Comic Cosmo

For the better half of my life this has been my home. Mountains out of every window. Mountains out of every door. Last night there were Northern Lights, Locater Stars and Meteor shows. Thank goodness theres Whole Wheat Radio.

Thursday, December 14, 2006


tomorrow at Joe's Crab Shack! There was a 45 minute wait for a table so I opted for Subway. I did get Mr. FishTaxi a T-shirt that says "I got Crabs at Joe's Crab Shack."

The home improvement projects are coming right along. The new Monitor is installed and working beautifully. It has caused a chain reaction towards the beautification of our shack. Rearranging and decorating for Winter Solstice around here. Nothing like a clean, steady warm temp inside when the weather outside is frightful. Not really, its just so cozy inside and since I don't have to go anywhere I'm not. Now if there was a Joe's Crab Shack in Valdez...hmm

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Shark Tales with Ryan Musprat

When Alaska junior forward Ryan Musprat is not playing hockey or hitting the books to maintain his high grade point average, you may find him out on the water pursuing one of his other passions. The move to Alaska to play for the Nanooks not only afforded him to play college hockey, but also a chance to enjoy some of the greatest fishing in the world. In his own words Musprat shares his favorite fishing shores in "Fishing in Alaska".

Excerpt from Ryan Musprat's First-Person Story on Fishing in Alaska:

"After a 45-minute battle with this 300 pound Salmon Shark, I finally got it to the boat where the captain gaffed the fish and proceeded to kill it. I was completely exhausted; I had sweated through a T-shirt and a sweatshirt during the battle, and had to take a good 10-minute breather after the fight. Once I caught my shark, it was my dads turn to have a similar experience; being a true fisherman, I would argue that his battle was much easier since my shark was the superior fish of the two. My dad let his fish go after we tagged it for Alaska Fish & Game and my kept shark would supply us around a 100 pounds of meat. Now you are probably asking, why keep shark? Actually, it is not a bad meal, having a similar taste to swordfish."

Read the whole "Tale" here:

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Make an Elf of Yourself

This is a lot of fun! Do it and share with your friends!

We've been busy all day getting ready to install a new Monitor heating stove. To do this we have to put it on an outside wall without an eve overhang. Which means I had to change the whole frontroom around. A bookshelf is outside, our bed is covered with books and the plants are on the countertops in the kitchen. But! We are close to drilling the hole in the wall and hooking it up! Mr. FishTaxi has the barrel stand built and enough #1 diesel to start it up tonight. We have a 150 gallons of #2 diesel in a 300 gallon tank that we can't use with the new monitor. We'll keep that and the old drip stove hooked up in case of a power outage.

This is going to be so nice. After years of heating by wood, then many more years of the drip stove (which is hard to regulate), we will now have a thermostat!

Better go help!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Alaska's Iditarod Memorabilia

For Sale on ebay here Joe Redington Sr. "Father of the Iditarod" !


Joe Redington, Sr., was born February 1, 1917. He began homesteading in Alaska and mushing dogs in 1948. He was the driving force behind the first Iditarod in 1973, and through his efforts the race became an international sensation. He personally competed in seventeen Iditarods from 1974 to 1997, and continued to mush until he died of cancer on June 24, 1999. He was 82 years old. There can be no doubt about Joe's place in the heart and history of Alaska. His contributions to the sport of dog mushing earned him the title "Father of the Iditarod." When he passed away, Governor Tony Knowles ordered the Alaska state flag to be hung at half-mast. In 2003, the Iditarod Trail Committee Headquarters unveiled a memorial to Joe with a life-size bronze statue.

Susan Butcher, four-time Iditarod champion, said, "There's no one like Joe. He taught me some about mushing and the Iditarod, but mostly about what being an Alaskan is, and how a true pioneer lives."

Sunday, December 10, 2006

How I spent my time in Sacramento

The Greyhound bus station in Sacramento was just a few blocks over from Capitol Drive. How lucky can a girl get with 3 hours to kill.
The FishTaxi looking for Arnold. The front lawn is sectioned off because of a crime scene. Err, they were using that crane to decorate the Capitol Christmas tree.
View of the Tower Bridge from the Capitol. It looked a long ways off but it was only about 15 blocks.
View of the Capitol from the Tower Bridge intersection. It was starting to get dark fast so I hung with this group of people until it was time to get back to the bus station. We went to Joe's CrabShack.
The Tower Bridge. Its is more yellow than it appears in this picture.
Info on The Tower Bridge.
Beautiful sunset then boom. It was dark.
Now I can say I've been to the Capitol of California with pictures to prove it. I have been to Alaska's Capitol Juneau briefly, in the middle of the night, on the ferry. So I don't really count it.