Monday, April 30, 2007

Hiding Beacons

These are Alaska Mountaineering Guides training for avalanches. They bury 3 avalanche beacons deep in a snow pile. Then they have seven minutes to find all three. Anybody playing in the Alaska mountains, whether skiing or snow machining, should carry avalanche beacons. They are worth their weight in gold as they have saved many lives.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

New Toy Truck

Mr. FishTaxi flew up to Anchorage Friday night and bought me a new "to Me" Toyota truck! So I have wheels again! Look out world!

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Water in the Hole

The water table has risen! We now have clear, crisp, cold water running through the pipes just like downtown. Every spring the water table goes down. We are on a shallow well pump at 33ft deep right now. This year was a doozey and it took a long time for the water table to go up. I am babying that baby and trying to not get too carried away with the water usage. I've got 3 five gallon and one 2 and half gallons full in case I suck that well dry or a rock blocks the way. So far so good.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Ice Goes Out

Mountains in this picture appear closer than they are.

Ice Conditions

The current conditions on the Tanana River are as follows:

The Tanana River officially went out on April 27th, 2007 at 3:47 pm Alaska Standard Time.

We are still entering guesses in to our database, when that has been completed and we have finished checking everything, we will begin the process of contacting the winners.

Thank you for playing Nenana Ice Classic 2007.

The Jackpot for 2006 was $270,500.00. The Jackpot for 2007 is $303,272.00.

They won't be contacting me But I did guess the right day! Congrats to the winners!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Snow Shovel Award Winner

The sign says "Congratulations!!!
You have the first driveway cleared of snow and ice on Dadina Street in 2007. I would also like to applaud your efforts on clearing the drain also. You are awarded this finely decorated "Snow Shovel" to display proudly until Easter of 2008. You also earn the right to pass the shovel on to next year's winner of the driveway competition on Dadina Street. If you choose to display the shovel for a short time and would rather have someone else select the 2008 winner, please return the shovel to me, Mary Lou, and I will pass it on next year. HAPPY EASTER"

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Love Nests

This blurry picture is of a flock of ravens at the end of my driveway taking flight when they see me coming with the camera. Lately, I've been taking Roxy to the end of the driveway to brush her. She is shedding BIG time. Huge fluffs which I let go into the air away from everything. The ravens are recycling Roxy's hair and making nests! I knew a woman who spun her dogs hair she brushed out into wool. I think of that when I'm brushing out Roxys pretty multi-colored hair. Its nice to know the ravens are making good use of it.

The eagles in this picture were having a convention outside the Valdez Senior Center. There must have been 20-30 eagles. Some couples were soaring high doing the mating ritual. Others were socializing and looking for food while the juveniles were imitating the grownups.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Sea Shells

These beautiful sea shells came from the white sandy beaches of Australia. Brought back to Alaska for me from my world traveling daughter. I currently have the enlarged closeup picture of these sea shells on my desktop. Very pretty. Makes me want to go to the beach. Its almost time to start hitting low tide at Old Town. Read all about it on Old Town Talking in the archives.

Monday, April 23, 2007

On the Streets of Valdez

Heres' what some cool kids were wearing ---or not wearing on the streets of Valdez on Earth Day 2007.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Throw FishHeads At 'Em

Fishy situation at Sullivan is all because of this man

Ron Tomblinson, lower right, tossed three fish heads onto the ice after Matt Shasby scored the first goal just just 1 minute and 35 seconds into the game. (BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News)

Alaska Aces fan Ron Tomblinson said the fish heads he was holding before Monday’s ECHL playoff game against the Victoria Salmon Kings would guarantee a victory. Sure enough, the Kelly Cup champions defeated Victoria to advance to the next round. (By BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News)

By BRIAN SINGLERAnchorage Daily News(Published: April 22, 2007)

Ron Tomblinson’s faithful companion at every Alaska Aces game for about the last five years hasn’t been his wife, lucky jersey or clanging cowbell.

It’s a black, hefty bag of (sometimes stinking) frozen fish heads that sits under
Seat 1, Section 120, Row 7 at Sullivan Arena.

Tomblinson’s job description is this — after the Aces’ first goal of every game, he stands up and chucks the basketball-sized heads over the Plexiglas in the general direction of the opponents’ bench and goaltender.

It’s the quaint Alaska touch for visiting players.

“Maybe it’ll rattle ’em a little bit,” Tomblinson said.

The tradition now nets the 46-year-old fan a season ticket, worth close to $600.

“I am more or less paid to throw it out,” Tomblinson said.

That’s the way it’s been for about five seasons and it gives Tomblinson a longer tenure with the organization than many of its players.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Pizza Partay

Beautiful night last night for the first campfire of the year for a "going away" partay for my daughter. She left this morning for a new job in Southeast Alaska. I'm going to miss her but she won't be more than a ferry ride away for me to go visit. Which I look forward to already. Tor, when you read this, know that I love you and I am really happy for you and wish you a great summer!
I made the pizzas' the easy way. Bought ready made frozen DiGiorno pepperoni pizza and added more cheese, pepperoni, mushrooms and black olives. Everybody said "good pizza" and we all had fun with DiGiorno jokes around the campfire.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Boats Breaking Out

And a lost shovel shows up! Nice warm day on Prince William Sound.
Its also nice in the interior where the Ice Conditions are as follows as of April 19th.
The current temperature highs are between 40 and 50 degrees during the day. During the evening it is cooling down to around 25 to 32 degrees. During the day the ice and snow on top of the ice are melting. When it cools off in the eveings, the water refreezes. There is a lot of water on top of the ice on the banks. We are starting to see signs of the ice rotting between the Tripod and the river bank. We expect the Nenana River to go out sometime within the next couple of days. The Nenana river is located 1/4 mile down river from where the Tripod is sitting on the Tanana River. The Tanana River usually goes out about a week to 10 days after the Nenana River. If the Nenana River goes out within the next couple of days the Tanana is sure to follow. Both rivers are very low, a good rain would definately help move the ice out.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Fresh PWS Shrimp

The shrimp boat came in yesterday so we were dancing last night. These were "smalls" but sweet & tasty. A 5 pound gallon ziplock baggie for $32.50 dock price. Fresh headed uncooked searun PWS shrimp. Mr. FishTaxi cooked some up with his secret recipe for steamed shrimp. (Old Bay Seasoning ) We ate our fill and the cats got some treats. Then we vacuumed sealed and froze the leftover raw shrimp for later days. More fresh shrimp to come!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Wild Blue Yonder

Sounds like a war is going on around here because Visiting pilots get taste of battle We have been hearing a lot of the action of the jets flying around but they are hard to see or take a picture of. So I photoshopped the above picture. So far in my photos the jets look like mosquitos flying high in the sky.
Operation Red Flag combat exercise goes on until April 21 with two more slated for this year. I will try and get a good picture.
Excerpt from the ADN story:
If you happen to see a dark gray jet take flight on the north side over the next couple weeks, and it looks, well, maybe a little more bumblebee than wasp, don't worry. Your eyes are OK.
That's a U.S. Navy Prowler, not a U.S. Air Force F-15.

Starting today, Alaska is playing home base to Red Flag, a big air-combat exercise that this year is bringing units from six states and two foreign countries to Elmendorf Air Force Base in Anchorage and Eielson near Fairbanks. As well as the EA-6B Prowlers -- a wide-bodied fighter-size jet that seats a pilot and three weapons specialists -- Elmendorf will host a dozen or so additional F-15s and an E-3 AWACs.

Eight French Mirage 2000 fighters and four Navy F-18 Hornets will fly out of Eielson, and a couple of C-130s from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Arizona will fly out of Kulis Air National Guard Base. The exercise also will put a couple of B-1 bombers, a few KC-10 tankers and other aircraft into the vast 67,000-square-mile military airspace over Alaska for two-a-day simulated war games.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Days of Wonder

My heart goes out to the victims and families of the students and teachers at Virginia Tech.

VPI Victory March
(Revised 2000)

You've seen Mountaineers fumble,
You've been in Hurricanes' eye,
And you know 'ol Syracuse
Has learned the force of Hokie-Hi.
Worthy teams from all around,
Like Hoos from UVA,
Know a winning team awaits them;
Victory is ours today.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Words of Wisdom

Sunday, April 15, 2007

The Rapids Roadhouse

If you happen to be on the Richardson Hwy between Paxon and Delta you could pull into The Lodge at Black Rapids. A new roadhouse at an old location. So far the old historic Roadhouse is still standing. This is a beautiful stretch of highway through mostly federal military reservation land. No radio reception out of KCAM Glennallen's range. A stretch of road with caribou crossings, moose, rabbits, porcupines and abundant wild flowers, berries and mushrooms.

According to their website they should be opening this summer.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Top Dog

"The trailer: a 1963 Airstream, reconfigured as a frankfurter. The car: a vintage Checker cab, which proprietor Andrea Spaulding's husband completely restored, down to a ticking meter inside. The cuisine: hot dogs and nothing but." - comments and photo by Michael Stern,

The FishTaxi wants something like this only mine would be a Fish Taco instead of a frankfurter. The cuisine: "Fish Tacos and nothing but." I would drive it all over Alaska to festivals and various outposts. What a fun summer that would be!

Friday, April 13, 2007

Swinging & Singing

There is a daycare center on my street ran by a stay-at-home mom. Now that it's getting nicer the little rascals are playing outside more. Today I could hear them laughing and singing on the other side of the snowbanks. I didn't see they were swinging until I went over there...with my camera.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

FishTaxi's Spring Sockeye Salad

This is an opened can of my Peppercorn freshpack Copper River Red salmon. Fresh out of the ocean and into a can with only Peppercorns added. Look at the oil floating on top full of miracle Omega-3 fatty acids. I add the whole can to the salad. Skin and all. If you use canned salmon with the "bones in" that's even better for the added calcium. There are some bones in my canned salmon which after being pressure cooked theres no need to worry about choking on the bones.

I am getting low on canned salmon since I didn't can any last summer. Good thing the first run of the wild Copper River Red salmon is less than a month away. First commercial opener is May 7th this year! There is nothing like fresh Copper River Salmon. (Check out their prices. WOW)
I make my salmon salad just like you would your tuna salad. With ingredients that you like. I use Best Foods Mayonaise, onions, pickles, black and green olives or whatever I have on hand.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Bare Earth

Monday, April 09, 2007


By now everyone has seen or heard the Associated Press story about the huge mother shortraker rockfish, caught by the trawler Kodiak Enterprise some 2,100 feet down, south of St. Paul Island. Since taking possession of the old mother fish, biologists have measured, photographed, poked and probed. By removing the middle ear bone — called the otolith — the researchers were able to count the growth rings and estimate its age at between 90 and 115 years.

I searched the internet for a picture of the otoliths of this humongus fish to no avail. I would like to see how big they are. The above pictured otoliths were from maybe a 15-20 pound max snapper. (Which are shortraker rockfish.) I call them snapper because thats what they look and taste like. To me they are the chicken of the sea. I like them better than halibut. The above pictured halibut otoliths are from maybe a 60-80 pound flatfish. I always thought it was interesting that the Rockfish otoliths are way bigger than the halibut otoliths compared to size wise of the actual fish.

Another interesting tidbit about Rockfish is since they are caught so deep in the water the pressure from bringing them up to the surface causes their stomach to expand out their mouth and their eyes bulge. This makes for a pretty disgusting looking fish but not the ugliest fish in the deep blue sea by far. Their skin is a bright orange color. Like I said, Rockfish are very tasty, too.

All fish have 2 otoliths. They are for balance and buoyancy. They also make nice earrings when cut out of the fishes head. Salmon have little dainty ones. I'll get a couple this summer and show you. I'll also make some earrings out of the above pictured otoliths.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

The Devil Made Me Do It

Make Deviled Eggs that is. Next up is Egg Salad Sammies. Then Potato Salad? If anybody has any other ideas, let me know!

Saturday, April 07, 2007


Gelasio Fernandez enjoying the horse tail's falls in Valdez, Alaska
Posted by:
on 12/24/06 4:52 AM

Final Game (Frozen Four)

The Michigan State University Spartans lay down and stretch in preparation of the final mens college hockey game of the 2006/7 season. They take on the Boston College Eagles in St. Louis at 7pm their time on ESPN2 for the NCAA Championship game. This ALASKA NANOOK hockey fan is rooting for the Spartans. They are in our DIV 1 CCHA mens hockey league and we play them all the time. We have beaten them before though not this year. Just goes to show what a tough Division we are in.
UPDATE- THe game is on now on ESPN not 2! I'm glad I checked. I missed the first period!
Another update...Michigan State University Spartans WIN in the last minutes of the third period of an exciting end to a record breaking crowd in St. Louis.
Congrats to the MSU Spartans!

Friday, April 06, 2007

St. Ignatius Mission

Forty miles north of Missoula, Montana, off of highway 93, is the home of the St. Ignatius Mission. On my Road Trip 2006 we went to the town of St. Ignatius just to see the inside of this beautiful, historic church. My friends husband had been there before years ago and told us we had to see it. Not being Catholic, did not matter, he said. It was late fall and we had the place to ourselves. There was an honor system inside for donations and postcard fees but always open and unlocked to the public during the day.
I felt like I was walking into the Sistine Chapel though I have never been there. Coincidently, while I was there, my sister was in Italy, at the Sistine Chapel. Only she wasn't allowed to take pictures while I snapped away.
The history is quite a story. The mission cook painted the 58 murals on the ceiling and walls. This gifted man was Brother Joseph Carignano (1853-1919), an Italian Jesuit who served the mission as cook and handyman. Although he had no formal training in art, he undertook to paint the church with murals of scenes from the Old and New Testaments, as well as paintings of some of the saints. When you stand inside the church, it is extremely difficult to believe that this was done by an amateur who painted in what little time he could spare from his primary duties as a cook and a custodian.
It was worth the side trip and I was very happy I got to see the St. Ignatius Mission. From there we headed to the National Bison Range.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Museum Quality

Yet another steal from The J-Walk Blog. Yukon Patty sent me the photo of the painting of Don Quixote. I uploaded it to Museumr with above result. Try it. There is four to choose from.

I put the two together on google and found the The Don Quixote Exhibit. All about Don Quixote there.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Fast Times in Valdez

Went to lap swim tonight. Put flippers on my feet and used a small boogie board. I flew through the water. I don't know how many laps I did. Quit counting. It was funny. When I saw someone swimming with this gear last week I said to myself "I gotta get me some flippers and a boogie board." When tonight I found out they've got boxes of each for lap swim use. See, my friend and her mom don't use the gear. They are swimmers. Now I'm just having a ball! Its not the full cardio workout but at least I don't have to worry about drowning.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

7 Chances to win!

Its time once again for all Alaskans to play the Nenana Ice Classic ! At $2.50 a ticket we try and guess the exact minute the ice goes out on the Tanana River in Nenana, Alaska. There is a tripod set in the ice and when the ice breaks up, knocking over the tripod and tripping the wire, it stops the clock. Alaskans have been playing this guessing game since 1917 making this year the 91st year for the Nenana Ice Classic .
The earliest the ice has gone out is April 20th in 1940 at 3:27pm and the latest a month later on May 20th in 1964 at 11:41AM. Lots of leeway there. Lots of variables, too. Educated guesses for this years breakup are for the second week in May. Contest closes on April 5th, 2007. All times are Alaska Standard Time and not Alaska Daylight Savings time as the Tripod was placed before we reverted to ADST.
I'm going to spread my 7 guesses out from late April to early May. Pay out is June 1, 2007.