Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Day Moon

This last week of February, with the clear blue skies, the moon is visible early in the day. Beautiful blue skies but bitter cold with the wind. Tonight, 90 miles per hour gusts are forcasted for the North Gulf Coast.
I can't help but think of the old adage about the first of March. "When March comes in like a lion, it goes out like a lamb." If the wind roars all night we can expect spring like weather the end of the month.
Buh-bye February!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Monday, February 26, 2007

Lake Louise Burbot

Mr. FishTaxi cooked up the Burbot he caught at Lake Louise last 4th of July. Burbot is a freshwater Ling Cod.

Like its saltwater relatives the Burbot has a mild tasting white meat.

The Burbot (Lota lota) is often considered too ugly to be worth an anglers time.

In some circles the Burbot is considered the poor man's lobster when boiled and dipped in butter. We went for a variation of the Deep Fat Fried Burbot in beer batter.
According to FishAlaska magazine the record holder Burbot in Alaska was at Lake Louise caught by George Howard, a 24 pounds - 12 ouncer, in 1976.
For a homely fish it sure was good eating, while remembering what fun we had at Lake Louise last summer, on a cold winters day.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Nipples to the Wind

Imagine my surprise when I got this email reply this morning!

Hello Valdez, Alaska!
Thank you for your kind message. You are obviously a person of excellent taste.

I'm still hoping to do an Alaskan tour one of these days. Looks like it'll have to wait until 2008 because of my current tour with the hilarious new play, "Nipples to the Wind." We'll add you to my email list so that we can give you fair warning as to when I might make it up your way.

Thanks again,
Kacey Jones
Nashville, TN

I first heard the likes of Kacey Jones on my fave internet radio station Whole Wheat Radio where we are encouraged to send emails of support to artists we love. I downloaded her Every Man I Love Is Either Married, Gay, or Dead CD from eMusic and absolutely love it! You can also order her music through CD Baby: a little CD store with the best new independent music. Tell them you heard about Kacey Jones on Whole Wheat Radio.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Kasuk's Catch

From vfxray I<<<, FishTaxi did not make this! I got this off of youtube!

Kasuk's Catch tells the story of an Eskimo's day out fishing. It's based one of my favorite New Yorker cartoons I came across while working there. I produced every aspect of this short myself in just over a month using Maya, After Effects, Premiere Pro, Pro Tools, and Audition.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Stir Crazy

I made this navy bean soup yesterday. A fun thing to do on a blustery day. Then I proceeded to take pictures of it and through its course it changed colors.

I added a chopped up sweet potato to the soup along with a couple of carrots.

The carrots kept their shape but no sign of the sweet potato. Once again Mr. FishTaxi ate sweet potato without his knowledge.
I've got a lot accomplished being holed up this week. The brochure is almost completed and ready to go to the printer. I've reorganized my corner and the dishes are almost done!
I am going a little stir crazy.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

As the wind blows

Mr. FishTaxi took this picture Monday from Civic Center hill. I have been hunkered inside out of the wind. I did go outside to chase my trash cans down. Only lost one far.
Actually, this month, Valdez has broken another weather record of NO snow. We've had over 15 days of sunshine. Really nice until Monday when a high pressure system from the north and a low from the south collided causing high wind warnings maybe through the weekend. oh boy!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Windy Chugach Mountains

This is why we did not go walking today.

Also, when you want to view the video, push play, then pause and wait for the video to fully load to watch. That takes care of skips and stops.

Radio Waves

Monday, February 19, 2007

the Boathouse

This house used to be a houseboat. Now it sits on land, still on its floats, so we call it the Boathouse. Every winter nobody shovels the roofs and every spring its still standing. The deck is falling apart and it is mostly used as storage now. In its day it was a homey place. From the second story window you could see Valdez Bay.
Valdez is clear and windy today. I'm guessing the big wind storm is coming. Time to button down the hatches...its going to blow.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

the Double Trouble

If your boat is going to sink it might as well be in the harbor with nobody on it.
Photo by Michael Sharp
Valdez Harbor Dec 2006
Taken, with permission, from his website "Never Give Up" located here:

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Rose Bard for Mom of the Year

From the Seattle PI in August of 2006

From my blog:
Tuesday, October 25, 2005

My heart goes out to Rose Bard
What a horrible ordeal to go through. Her resillience is remarkable and I want to give Rose Bard a big smile and thank her for being who she is. Not everyone would have survived this horrible accident and she did. A mother who was only thinking of her daughter and her unborn child. Women are strong when they have to be and Rose Bard showed just how strong a woman can be when she has to be. Just going out and working on those floating processors is commendable. Gone for months, away from your family, in unforseen condtitions. Only the hardy apply in the first place. Her fellow workers who saved her life need to be commended, too. Thats above and beyond the call of duty to keep a clear head to do what had to be done.If consumers have to pay a higher price for seafood to make fishing safe then so be it. Whatever it takes its well worth it. And I hope Rose makes a full recovery and goes on to a fuller life, with enough monetary compensation, to never have to work again.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Fishing with the Nanooks


Feb. 14, 2007

Although Alaska senior defenseman Nathan Fornataro considers himself a "city boy" from Calgary, he has enjoyed the great outdoors while playing his collegiate hockey in Fairbanks. Fornataro recalls a summer road trip to Klutina, Alaska, where he spent a weekend fishing some fellow Nanooks' teammates. Despite not catching as much fish as the others, Fornataro's story ends on a high note after finally concurring the elusive red salmon.

Slaying Red Salmon with the Boys By Nathan Fornataro

It all began one Friday morning on campus while I was sitting on a Model C Walker mower. My teammate and grass-cutting buddy, Curtis Fraser, stopped me to ask me if I wanted to go fishing later that day. I told him to let me finish mowing and I would talk to him about it at our morning break. Well, the break started and after five minutes of discussion between me, Curtis and two other teammates (Jordan Emmerson and Brandon Gawryletz), we decided that we would leave work at lunch, go home and pack, and hit the road. It was a fairly easy decision for me considering my fiancée, Kelly, had gone back to Calgary a week earlier and it was a great chance for a boys weekend out.

None of us city boys really knew where the best place was to catch red salmon, so we recruited a fellow mower, who was also a local, named Jaeger. We wanted to invite as many boys as we could so after a few phone calls we had confirmation from Kyle Greentree and Kyle Jones that they were both in. Lunchtime came and we all went our separate ways to head home and pack. I quickly got home and threw some things together and was waiting for my ride on my driveway. All of a sudden, screeching around the corner appeared a 1987 Toyota Camry (also known as Curtis Fraser's Loser Cruiser). I jumped in and headed for Fred Meyers, where we picked up some essentials (hot dogs, knee-high waiters, and some dill pickles). We figured that we would catch so much fish that we wouldn't need a lot of food.

Greener, Jones and I all rode with Fraser and we would meet Jaeger, Gawryletz, and Emmerson in North Pole so we could follow them to our destination: Klutina, Alaska. To our surprise, when we arrived in North Pole, our guys weekend out turned out to be the boys plus Emmerson's girlfriend. We would have to make the most of it.

Before our departure, I ran into a little gas station while we filled up and purchased a great fishing hat along with a cool pair of shades. After a little over four hours of driving, we finally arrived and set up shop. A few of the guys thought they would test their luck right away, so they grabbed their rods and took the bank. With only about 10 minutes left of daylight, no fish had been caught. The worries started to set in if we were even going to catch one fish; however, a nice older gentlemen caught a great looking red and unselfishly gave it to us. We started a little fire and grilled up the salmon. It tasted unbelievable, mainly because it was a taste of things to come tomorrow (at least we had hoped so).

The morning came early because, believe it or not, Alaskan summers are beautiful. We all rolled out of our tents, fired up the pit and cooked up some breakfast (three hot dogs each). Jaeger informed us that we would be hiking about a mile downstream to find the hot spots, so we gathered our food, drinks, and of course rods. It was just my luck that the previous night, my rod wasn't working properly, so I had to leave it behind and take turns with the other guys. After 45 minutes of walking, we arrived at a wide-open bank, where the river split in two and then joined again. It didn't know what was about to hit it.

We were all staggered down the bank, casting and reeling for about two hours. No fish. Fraser, Emmerson, and Jones decided to walk another 15 minutes downstream and try their luck there. Another half hour past when I heard Gawryletz yell at the top of his lungs, "I got one!" I ran towards him with, what I like to call "the bonker". We finally caught our first fish! We were ecstatic! It wasn't long after that when we heard yelping coming from downstream. We couldn't see the others but we could sure hear them. Scream after scream. Either they were under attack by a bear or they started slaying the salmon at will.

Another couple hours passed and I had failed time and time again. I kept thinking, "What was I doing wrong?" Fraser on my right and Greener on my left both kept bringing them in and I still hadn't caught one. We had found a ridge just off shore, where everyone was having great luck, so I tried it. As I stood on the ridge, the water was running strong about two inches above my waiters, basically making them useless. I quickly got one. I couldn't believe it, but just as I started backing up onto the shore...nothing. I had lost it.

This is the feeling I would begin to know very well about 12 more times. I tried different spots in the river and different rods, but the fish just didn't want me to catch them. We had been out there for about eight hours when my luck would change. Again, I got a fish on my line, but by this time I just wasn't excited. After so many failed attempts, I was lacking confidence until I got far enough up on shore that the salmon jumped right into Greener's hands. I will never forget the look he gave me. It was hilarious.

I must say that, for us city boys, gutting the fish was less than pleasing, but we all tried it at least once. By the time I caught my first fish, everyone else was tired of catching them. I begged the boys for a few more minutes and of course they obliged, mainly because they felt bad. The next three times I cast my line out into the water, I brought in three beautiful red salmon. My trip was complete. I ended up catching the least amount, but I like to say that I caught the biggest one. Quality over quantity, right?

Anyways, we ended up not getting back to the campsite until about 7:00 p.m., meaning that we were out there for about 11 straight hours. Originally, we had planned on fishing a little bit on Sunday as well, but because most of the guys had maxed out, we didn't have any more room to bring the fish home. We got everything packed up into the loser cruiser, said goodbye to Klutina and headed home. We ended up getting back to Fairbanks at about 12:30 p.m. to join other teammates at one of the cabins. I'm pretty sure that we slept all day Sunday and woke up Monday morning ready to tell everyone our story of slaying red salmon.

Original story from here

Go Nanooks tonight! They take on the fighting Irish of Notre Dame tonight at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks. The puck drops at 7:05pm.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Walking and Singing

Keeping up with our daily walks and going further and further. Today was such a pretty day. We almost made it to the beach. The snow started getting soft from the warmth of sun. Roxy even fell through a couple of times when she ventured off the packed snow trail. She slips on the ice sometimes then quickly gets her grip. She loves every minute of our walks.

Today I sang "Walking in a Winter Wonderland" while walking. Tomorrow I'm going to bring my headphones and music.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Shoup Bay Trailhead

Thanks to the snowmachiners we have a packed trail that I can walk on without snowshoes. This was as far as I made it today. Tomorrow I will come better prepared and see how far we can go. Roxy is raring to go to the beach!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

A walk a day

Roxy and I have been going for longer walks every day. She is so much fun to walk with. She doesn't need a leash and heels when a car comes by. I don't even have to take my hands out of my pockets.

Its staying light til almost 6pm now. I don't know what time it gets light in the morning:) Its light when I wake up.

No snow to speak of here in over a week. It looks like the midwest is getting all our snow. Its been mild weather here lately which makes getting out and playing much more enjoyable.
My winter of discretionary time spent in non-compulsory activities, away from cares and toils is drawing to an end. I have a few job possibilities.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Camp Robbers

At one time there were 7+ Magpies in this tree today. Making all kinds of noise. We get lots of bird action around here. Little Sistor was outside and at this time of year I get concerned about hungry eagles. My cat was fine as it was only the local camp robbers. As soon as I got my camera out they dispersed and Little Sistor came back inside to take a nap.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Got the Fever?

Gold Fever that is. This is what Mr. FishTaxi does to fend off cabin fever in the winter. He replaces it with Gold Fever. He orders bags of dirt from Felix Paydirt's Gourmet Gold - Fairbanks Alaska. He sets up in the frontroom and wiles away the hours panning for gold.

Years ago we both worked for a gold miner. In fact, we bought our land from him. The mine was way back up in Mineral Creek and he allowed us to take home buckets of tailings. In the winter, back when we had no electricity, no tv and no internet, we would pan out the tailings. Thats how we paid for our land. Then the price of gold dropped under $300 per ounce and the gold miner closed his mines down. This was in the early 90's. Todays Gold Price per Ounce is US$667.00!

It was fun then and its fun now.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Snow Piled High

This snow pile should still be around in July.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Pretty in Pink

These photos were taken off of a website where people from around the globe upload pictures of their bathrooms, kitchens and living areas. Check out Normal Room if you have some time to kill. I found this site off The J-Walk Blog where I find stuff that may or may not interest me.
The pink stove was the original stove when the owner bought the home. It doesn't work but was left in place just because it was so pretty in pink. She said she could smell gas when it was turned on. Maybe its a simple fix. Long live the pink stove!
The toilet with the sink spout in the tank is the norm in Japanese homes. A spigot on top of the tank of this flush toilet allows users to conserve water by washing their hands in water destined for the next flush. Clever.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Phoney Halfrack

Halfrack has been hanging around on the phone lately. I saw him sleeping on the phone today. Yesterday morning, without hearing the phone ring, old messages began to play. I was sleeping and in dreamland I heard my mom talking, then the local GCI cable woman promising the Governor's Cup hockey game would be on channel 10 (she lied) and another message I was saving. Well, Halfrack deleted them. After he stepped on the button and played them.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Storm Soup

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Super Bowl Sunset

Mr. FishTaxi took these pics Super Bowl Sunday. We were treated with a beautiful sunset along with having a superb time with super friends, food and spirits. And what a football game! High scoring in the mud and rain. I was happy for the Colts and rooted for them since there is no way this Packer fan could root for da bears. Monday was a Superb Owl hangover day.
Good news was when I heard this: Rogers named top CCHA goaltender of the week! Talk about being happy! We Alaska Nanook hockey fans still have 3 more regulation hockey weekends before the first round of the playoffs. That will take us through February into March and spring! Go Nanooks!

Monday, February 05, 2007

Saturday, February 03, 2007


My Alaska Nanooks went into overtime AGAIN tonight at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks, Alaska, against the Miami (Ohio) Redhawks ending up with a 3-3 tie. Not bad for the weekend. Not bad at all getting 3 out of the 4 points possible. Too bad Kyle Greentree didn't get a hat trick and win the game as he scored 2 goals tonight with 20 so far this season. Kyle is up for the Hobey Award so go here and Vote for Kyle Greentree .
While listening to the game on KSUA 64 KB Stereo (High-Bandwidth) UAF College radio I got most of the prep work done for Super Bowl Sunday. The BeenieWeenies are ready to go in the crockpot. The clam dip is made and chilling. All the eggroll ingredients are chopped and marinating.
Since I didn't wear my #34 Alaska Nanook hockey jersey all weekend for the Super Bowl party I am going to new secret wheatie xl, ls, Alaska Nanook Hockey T-shirt. Go Nanooks!

Friday, February 02, 2007

Nanooks Win Tonight!

Thats right folks! BIG WIN in Fairbanks tonight against the Miami (Ohio) Redhawks! 2-1 in overtime. I don't have the game stats yet but I think Wylie Rogers had 34 saves and came within 23 seconds of a shut out. I know Kyle Greentree scored and Aaron Lee got the game winning goal. My sister called from Fairbanks, as they were leaving the Carlson Arena, with one question: Was I wearing my #34 Alaska Nanook jersey? I answered "No, I didn't even take it off the shelf." She told me to leave it up there the rest of the season. It seems when I wear it they lose. And we can't have that! They play in Fairbanks again Saturday night. GO NANOOKS!
We are getting the menu together for Super Bowl Sunday. I'm taking my DeLong deep fryer over to our friends who have a big house and a BIG tv. I'm making egg rolls and my friends mom is making funnel cakes with it. She used to have a funnel cake stand in California. I am interested in how she makes them. I'm also making a pot of beanie weenies and a clam dip. Everybody is bringing something so it should be good and plentiful.
I don't care who wins the Super Bowl just as long as Mr. FishTaxi wins the $1000 board!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Full Moon Stew