Wednesday, January 31, 2007

News from the Cave

The last day of January brought a full moon and blue skies. An absolutely stunning day.

At sunset yesterday a fog rolled in and made everything pink. After raining all night before the snow pack on the roof was ready to slide. Mr. FishTaxi took care of that hazard.

It almost felt like spring today. A little nippy but a refreshing cold. I saw the Heliskiing Valdez operation back in town a month early getting ready for what looks to be like a banner season. I am going to talk to them about a job making the Food again.
For a good local ski report this guy is right there He lives out at 19mile at the base of Thompson Pass and is an avid back country skier.
Its supposed to be nice the next couple of days. Nice enough to do some snow tanning maybe!

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

These Boots are made for walking

And thats just what they do. One of these days these boots are gonna walk all over Peru.

The ice grippers are on the boots. All systems are good to go walking. Forget skiing, snowmachining, dog sledding, insurance on your legs and all the other expensive stuff when just walking can be challanging.

Don't leave home without them.

Monday, January 29, 2007

If Once You Have Lived in Alaska

By Marie L. Blood

If once you have lived in Alaska
You'll never be quite the same,
Even though you look as you've always looked,
And your name is the same old name.

You may travel the world around for the rest of your days,
or simply stay home and sew,
But Alaskan days and Alaskan ways
Will follow you wherever you go.

You may hob-nob with the finest bunch,
Or with an ordinary group just keep,
But you'll remember Alaskan friends
And dream of them in your sleep.

And you don't know why, nor can say how,
And you'll never ever know
Why Alaska is buried deep in your heart
Whether you're a Cheechako or Sourdough.

For there's something about this very land
Which leaves its mark forever---
And it could be the touch of the Master's hand
Bringing you closer to His endeavor.

Copyright 1981

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Icy Port Wine

Went to Valdez town today for the first time since last year. While I was in the store the power went out. A few minutes later the back up generator kicked on so I was able to finish shopping and check out.

The sun has risen over Sugarloaf you just can't see it. Mr. FishTaxi took this picture looking towards the whale hatchery* from the ferry dock. That low brown cloud is from oil tanker emissions. Valdez was picked for the terminus of the Trans Alaska pipeline for being the northern most ice free port.

I made this quick flyer in Photoshop for some snowboarders who are looking for work. I'm running out of ink so thats why its in black and white. They wrote in names and phone number. This is turning out to be a profitable winter. Just need more ink.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Snow Cat

Little Sistor kitty cat stepped outside today for the first time this winter. If only for a minute or two.

A reprieve from snow today and if its nice tomorrow we might be able to see the sun rise above Sugarloaf mountain. Then the days will be noticably longer. We are on the uphill climb to spring.
My Alaska Nanooks tied tonight in Ohio 2-2. That got them 3 much needed points this weekend. 2 pts for the win and 1 for the tie since we were the visiting team. Depending on scores around Division 1 mens college hockey we could have even gone up a notch in the standings. The team really needed to score some points this weekend. I'm proud and happy that they came through!

Friday, January 26, 2007

Alaska Nanooks WIN!

Final Score tonight in Ohio: Alaska 5 - Bowling Green 2! Wow! After losing 11 out of our last 12 games this was a BIG win. I am so happy for the Alaska Nanooks. Wylie Rogers came in the game early in the second period after BG scored twice in a 33 second span on sohomore Chad Johnson. Good move on coach Tavis McMillon's part, as the former Alaska All-Star Goaltender Wylie Rogers, allowed no more goals. BIG WIN!
Another fun thing tonight was we had our first Secret Wheaties party on Whole Wheat Radio at the same time. Course, I couldn't miss the hockey game and showed up after the game in a great mood. I was ready to open my present. I couldn't believe what my Wheatmas present was. My Secret Wheatie read my blog to figure out what to send me from North Carolina. An ALASKA NANOOK xl ls t-shirt! Its beautiful! Thank-you Secret Wheatie. My Secret Wheatie liked the present I sent her, too. She lives in Talkeetna and is 12 years old. I couldn't very well send her my canned salmon. So I opted for an American Express gift card instead.
What a great day!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

FishTaxi's Frontroom

I've been known to throw appliances outside in the snowbank every winter. That 32inch Phillips TV acting as the backup phone stand is going out the door if I have my way. Mr. FishTaxi thinks he can fix it. He can fly helicoptors too. In his dreams.
If I throw out the nonworking TV I could set up a fishtank in its place.
Halfrack (on the right with the 6 toes) and Little Sistor (whose not so little any more) are going stir crazy when they are not sleeping or eating.
Here they are staring each other down.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Fish on Ice

Valdez Star Photos The deep snow in Valdez adorns the top of the humongous fiberglass salmon mounted atop a pole in front of Hook, Line and Sinker.

January is second snowiest on record
Weather service predicts more this week

By Lee Revis
Editor, Valdez Star

January is proving to be a fertile month for snow in Valdez. An impressive 112.6 inches of snow—over ten feet— has fallen in town in the month of January alone, according to Rob Brooks of the National Weather Service in Valdez. That is on top of the 92.9 inches that fell in December.

That makes this snow season second only to the infamous snowfalls of the 1989/90 season that saw a whopping 281 inches of snow fall by January of 1990.

As of Tuesday morning of this week, the town has received a respectable 219.6 inches of snow for the season. But what makes that number extraordinary by Valdez standards is the fact that 205.5 inches of that snow fell in less than two months time.

The average snowfall for the months of December and January combined is 118.5 inches said Brooks.

“We are 87 inches over average,” he said.

These numbers put Valdez in the midst of its sixth snowiest winter season on record - so far. With several months to go before winter ends, Valdez could still see many more feet of snow.

The whole story is online in The Valdez Star - Valdez, Alaska 's weekly newspaper.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Chess Players

My little friend who goes to swimming lessons, ballet lessons, loves to play chess. Here she is setting up the board. She's making mistakes but thats how you learn. At almost 4 years old she is catching on. I am so proud of her and love teaching her chess. She already plays a mean game of checkers. Our cats are interested in chess, too.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Snowbank Haven

Are you tired of looking at snow pictures yet? We got a light dusting of about 9 inches overnight. The Shitzubitchi won't start so I'm afraid its going sit all winter. We are looking for something else for me to drive. Not an old beater this time. I like the new Rav4 but not the price tag. Looking for something around 5 grand. A used 4wd Chevy S10 in good shape would be awesome to find. I check alaska craigslist every day. Just to torture myself I look for trucks in Washington and Idaho knowing they are over 3 thousand miles away. Good prices and nice shape though.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Caribou Balls Anyone?

Made a big pot of spaghetti and meat balls yesterday. I used a package of Caribou burger and a package of Caribou sausage. We like lots of meatballs! I used to stand at the stove and fry the meat balls 3-5 at a time. Now I roll them all up and bake them on a cookie sheet in the oven. So much easier and just as good.

For the sauce I added mushrooms and black olives.

Another trick I learned while working in commercial kitchens is how to prevent sticky noodles. As soon as you drain the water off, put the noodles back in the pot, mix in a couple ladles of the sauce. Nobody seems to mind the red noodles. Its snowing today. Big storm coming into South Central Alaska. Cordova is supposed to get more snow than Valdez. Valdez is at 20 inches above average snow fall. Anchorage is having the fourth snowiest winter ever.
Spring skiing is going to be GREAT!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Job Hunter

Weekends are not the same when you're unemployed. They are like any other day except for one thing, Hockey! My Alaska Nanooks lost last night 6-2...BUT they are going to come back tonight and win! I hope. They have lost 8 games in a row, poor guys. As a fan I'm used to it. My football team are the Packers and my baseball team are the Cubs. Even though my 'Nooks are in a losing streak I'm still tuning in and rooting them on, win or lose. Go Nanooks!

My unemployment is going to run out soon so I've been job hunting more diligently. Sent in a couple of resumes and emailed a former employer. Heli-coptor skiing will be starting up next month and thats always good for 3 months of work. I have a plan to work for myself this summer by starting my own business. I'm positive it will make money but will keep it under my hat until its a sure thing.
Thats my kitchen window peaking out from behind the snowbank. No snow today which was nice for a change.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Alaska Hockey News

Don't forget the games on TV locally on Fox 7 and nationally on ESPNU. And' if you can't get either you can listen on radio or the internet. OR - you can catch a video broadcast on the web. Go to the Athletic Departmetn web page - and click on the Penn Atlantic box in the upper left hand corner of the page. You'll need high speed internet (you can run a test of your speed from the Penn Atlantic site) and it will cost you $6.99.

All Nanook home games will be available for video streaming on Penn Atlantic.

Former Nanook Ryan Lang, a forward who donned a Nanook jersey from 2000-2004 and is the current captain the East Coast Hockey League's Augusta Lynx, participated in the 2007 Rbk Hockey ECHL All-Star Game at the Idaho Steelhead's Qwest Arena Wednesday night in Boise, Idaho as a member of the American Conference roster.

The American Conference defeated the National Conference 6-3. The 5-foot-10, 175-pound center registered one assist in the All-Star game and was also the second fastest skater in the RBK Hockey Fastest Skater skills competition. Lang set up teammate Brad Schell of Gwinnett for the first goal of the game at 4:26 of the first frame, and was four one-thousandths shy of winning the fastest skater title with a time of 14.654.

And, don't forget the following "Hockey Week in Fairbanks" activities - The Nanook Alumni vs. Gold King Alumni game at the Carlson Center at 3 p.m. on Saturday followed by the Police vs. Firemen game at 4:15 p.m. - and, bring your skates to Saturday's game if you want to join in the Skate with the Nanooks and Ice Dogs following the game.

We're starting the silent auction of the retro jerseys - powder blue replicas of the Nanook Jerseys from 1978 worn by the Nanooks during this year's Governor's Cup games. This weekend we will be auctioning off the jerseys of Kyle Greentree and Wylie Rogers (however due to a new NCAA ruling the nameplates will be removed). The minimum bid is $150 and each additional bid must be at least $5 more than the prior bid. Bidding will end at the start of the third period on Saturday. If your maximum is at least $5 over the highest bid you will be declared the winner for the highest in person bid +$5 (shipping extra).

And, the "Road to the Joe" will be in Fairbanks this weekend. Stop by the display at the Carlson and enter for a chance to win a hotel room and game tickets to the CCHA championships to be held at "the Joe" on March 16-17. There will also be T-shirt giveaways and you can bring your camera and have your picture taken with the Mason Cup.

The Nanooks take on the mighty Michigan Wolverines tonight and Saturday night at the Carlson Center.


Thursday, January 18, 2007

Seven Sunrises

The sun is almost up over Sugarloaf! Its the mountain on the left. And its only the 18th of January. This is the time of year when we get 7 sunrises. The sun comes and goes through the mountains. Soon the sun will rise above Sugarloaf and this winter will be on its way to spring.

Caution! Blowing Snow

I found this picture on the www. somewhere and it cracked me up.
I took pictures on my walk today and none of them were as good as this one.
Back to learning Photoshop...

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

the Ultimate taxi

The World Famous Ultimate Taxi is a 1978 Checker with 493,768 miles on the odometer. The Taxi has been modified with 4 Red Lasers, 1 Green Yag Laser Projector, Wildfire Blacklight Effects, Color Kinetics C-30's, LightWashers, LightOrbs, Mini-Strobes, Color Changing Fiber Optics, a Mirror Ball, a Dry Ice Fog machine, 14 Mini Stage Lights, a Killer 900 Watt Alpine 6 Disc CD System, the Yamaha PSR-620Keyboard, Yamaha DD-55 Digital Drums, a Nikon CoolPix 4300 digital camera, the Panasonic EZ-1 DV Cam, a Sony GRS700 Notebook Computer, a Sony Mini Dye-Sub Photo Printer , an Aironet 2 Megabit high-speed Wireless LAN, an SFX Haze Machine, a Nokia Cellular Phone, and 100 feet of Cool Neon EL Wire from Check out a Wheel, The SU-10 Midi Sampler, The Batteries In The Trunk, A Backstage Look At The Wiring, An Audio Mixing Board, Or A Picture Of The Ceiling Fan Mail Reservations Media Exposure Aspen Photos Links Memphis Hotel Deals And Discount Reservations Atlantic City Hotel Deals And Discount Reservations Drive Exotic Cars At Drive Your Dream Car San Diego Hotel Deals And Discount Reservations Discount Car Rentals Jeep Suspension And Truck Customization Your Web Team For Search Engine Optimization Next Advance Laboratory Instruments Biotechnology Lab Freedom Rocker Blot Processor Minneapolis Minnesota Business IT Products And Services San Antonio Hotel Deals And Discount Reservations New York City Hotel Deals And Discount Reservations Explorer Of The Seas St Thomas Coki Beach With Coral World In Background

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


This is a fake sign. I made it here at ATOM.SMASHER.ORG . Exxon does not operate a gas station in Valdez. Our local gas prices at Tesoro, the only game in town, are 270.9, 276.9 and 282.9 respectively.

I'd been living in Valdez about 3 years when in March '89 the Exxon Valdez hit the chartered Bligh Reef. That summer was like taking a trip around the world and never leaving Valdez. Everybody came here.

That was when I came up with the imaginary boat, the FishTaxi. Anybody with any kind of boat made a ton of money in the effort of cleaning up the sulphur rich thick Alaska crude. I was in Lower Herring Bay when it filled up with oil. We helplessly watched as the tide came in. The next day it looked to me like what the morning after being nuked would look like. No life.

I was surprised when I saw Exxon gas stations all over on my trip outside. I thought everybody cut up their Exxon gas cards. I have not written here about the spill before but I still think about it. Especially when I see Exxon gas stations.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Avoiding Avalanches

This is what I woke up to this afternoon. Late last night I heard the big crash when a bunch of snow slid off the roof. This is why Alaskan cabin doors open swaying inside. Otherwise you could be trapped in. Don't let this happen to you and avoid it by keeping your roof shoveled. Or build an artic entry way. Or better yet move to some place where snow ceases to exist.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Before and After 2

It was time to shovel out the Montero today. Mr. FishTaxi rented a bobcat to help move the snow from around the heating fuel and propane tanks. And among other places like the shed door where he keeps his Honda Shadow.

He scooped while I shoveled.
Now I just have to see if it will start for me.
Its been parked since it started having electrical

As an added bonus to todays snow report: This short mov. was really funny to me for some reason.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Chugach Mountain Recreation Center

These awesome pictures came straight off of Local snowboarder Ryan McCune is the brains and brawn behind the planned Chugach Mountain Recreation Center. Chugach Mountain Recreation Center will provide a year round chair lift in Valdez, Alaska with over 5,500 acres of downhill terrain, outstanding customer service catering to each customer’s needs and skill levels. The center will capitalize on Valdez’s snow pack and terrain, existing status in worldwide skiing, snowboarding and mountaineering marketplace while providing a safe but thrilling mountain experience for all visitors.
Checkout aerial video footage of the site!

I can't wait for this to happen. We need to put all this snow to good use.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Trail Busters

Valdez kids attack the snow head on. They are not afraid of snow. THEY LOVE SNOW. Snow means money for gas for their snowmachines.

I hired them to break a trail to the beach this weekend. We have to go around the city park across the street because no motorized vehicles are allowed any time of year. It would be the quickest route to cut through the park but being law abiding citizens the longer route is the plan.

The snow machines will pack the snow down and make walking without snowshoes possible. Breaking the trail by snowshoes is a lot harder work than paying snowmachiners to do the job. Once they get the trail busted through we can get to the beach at low tide.

Then a whole new world opens up. Walking the beach where there is NO SNOW!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

"Sack" Eye Salmon

Sandra's Gold & Silver, a local Valdez company make and sell these unique "Sack"Eye Salmon. If you are wondering what they are for you stuff them with those plastic grocery bags at the tail and pull them out of the mouth when you need one!

My sister-in-law gave me one for Christmas one year and I thought it was a wind sock and hung it outside.

Check them out. No two are alike. Mine is now doing its rightful duty and works well!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

On a dark desert highway

Cool wind in my hair....

Going through my trip2006 photos. I'll be back posting real time pictures of snow soon.

Where am I?

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Surprise Surprise

I did it! I switched! It was painless. I don't know if I'm going to stick with this template or not. It was fun changing it all around. The new blogger makes it easier. Theres still more I can do but I think I'll stop for now.
This picture is of a purse made out of salmon skin leather. I know when I'm cutting up Copper River Reds to put in the can the skin dulls my knife fast. I don't skin the fish first for freshpack or smoked.
Maybe I should and start making lampshades.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Cold Alert

It never fails. When we get clear skies sooner or later we get the winds. Its pretty cold. Thompson Pass has a travel advisory out due to high winds. I hope they die down by the weekend so I can go visit my sister in Kenny Lake. Just heard on the news its 28 below there! 2 below in Talkeetna where Whole Wheat Radio is. Happy Birthday Jimbob!

Its a balmy 10 degrees here but with the chill factor from the winds its got to be colder than that. Not as cold as where Prudhoe Man is though!

Took this picture from the bridge about 3:30 this afternoon on our walk. It was starting to get dark already.

Stay warm!

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Paved Road

Paved with snow that is. The weather was clear blue skies all weekend. And we are gaining over 3 minutes of daylight a day! We won't really notice it until around the 27-28th of January when the sun rises above Sugarloaf. Today the sun rose at 9:54am and set at 3:51pm for a total of 5 hrs and 57 minutes of daylight according to the National Weather Service, Valdez Weather Service Office, AK .

Snow conditions are great for any snow sport enthusists. My snow sport of late is walking down the middle of my flat snowpacked road with my dog. Getting in shape for the Iditawalk.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

T-Shirt, Cards, Booties & More

More Joe Redington collectibles up on eBay!

These are 28 items from Tim Redington's personal collection. They are all in great condition.

IDITAROD COLLECTIBLES: T-Shirt, Cards, Booties & More!!

Friday, January 05, 2007

Xmas Quad

Somebody's mom got a new Polaris. She hasn't even ridden it yet. Thats okay. We just talked on the phone then sent the Quad Driver to the store. We waited almost 15 years for this.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Snow Jumper

Roxy LOVES the snow. This is her first winter with us. We are so happy with her. We had to work out a few quirks like her barking profusely at anybody that comes over to visit. She now understands that its okay to bark a couple of times and thats her job. But after that there is no threat. Its her breed, Australian Shepherd. Once they know your safe they can learn to settle right down. It took time, patience and dog lovin' friends. And now we have a really great dog!

Here's another video called Snow Jumper. No singing this time just a lot of laughing...

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Icicle Blues

I had to take a picture of these before I broke them off. They looked deadly. As you can see we got more snow and the forcast calls for snow through the weekend. Today, for variety, the winds came and blew the snow around.

For entertainment I poured blue food coloring on the roof so the next icicles to form will be a beautiful blue. I used red one time and it was not a pretty sight. Blue food coloring works the best. Try it if you can.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

My PFD Check

Received this nice email today:

Happy Holidays from the Permanent Fund Dividend Division!

January 1st marks the opening of the 2007 PFD application period. Thank you for applying online last year. We invite you to apply online for your PFD again this year by logging on to

The Early Bird gets paid first in 2007. Apply online in January, and select direct deposit. Qualified applicants will receive a dividend in the Early Bird Direct Deposit on October 3, 2007.

All other applicants who qualify for direct deposit will receive their dividend on October 17, 2007. Checks will be mailed beginning November 13, 2007.If you did not electronically sign your application last year, we encourage you to sign up for a myAlaska account at

Setting up a myAlaska account is easy. You choose your own username and password. With a myAlaska account, you can electronically sign your PFD application this year and for years to come. For the majority of applicants who electronically sign, PFD does not require additional paper documentation to be submitted. Once you set up a myAlaska account, you must be logged into your myAlaska account to electronically sign your PFD application. After you have logged into your myAlaska account, click on "Permanent Fund Dividend" to complete your online application with an electronic signature.

We appreciate any comments you have regarding our online application and electronic signature programs. Email your comments to We will try to respond to your email within one business day.

The PFD Division

This site shows how much money is in the fund and how much each Alaskan would be paid if it was paid in full today. wowza!

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy 2007

Went to a slumber party Saturday night that lasted til the fireworks last night for New Year's Eve. You could see the fireworks from my friends deck. We had lots of fun and I am paying for it today.

Happy New Year world! Now I am heading back to bed.