Monday, March 31, 2008

FYI about upcoming races

I am heading to Anchorage in the morning and I won't be back until Friday evening. Unfortunately that means I will have no pictures of the start of the Kobuk 440 dog race (darnit) and the first day of the Arctic Circle Championship dog races. I will be out on Saturday and Sunday taking pictures of those races and the Archie Ferguson Willie Goodwin Memorial Snowmachine Race.

Link 5

I have been tagged for this meme by My Fairbanks Life . The rules for this meme are as follows. Go through your archives and link to five of your favourite posts that pertain to the following categories. Then pass it along to five other bloggers, two of them should be people you know but could stand to learn something about, and the others can be new friends.

Link one must be a post about family.

Oh geez....I don't really post much of anything about my family do I? Well it's not that I don't love my family....I just don't, for whatever reason, blog about them much.......with the exception of Uyaana. So here is a post about me, Uyaana, and Kaija playing out.

Link two must be a post about friends.

This post is about my friend Kathy

Link three must be a post about yourself.

This is 100 Things About Me in honor of my 100th post.

Link four must be a post about something you love.

Here is a picture of the boy that I love in the land that I love. Uyaana at Anigaaq.

Link five can be a post about anything you choose.

This will be two links. I get the most google hits from these two posts. I always wonder what people are looking for when they search for Sailor Boy Pilot Bread Crackers. Well, if you want to know what they are you can find that out here. If you would like to find out where to buy them you can find that out here.

Now, here's the five people I tag for this meme. Sorry if you have already been tagged in the past.

First I tag Becky at Stuck in Frump, Striving for Fab. I wish I could write like you Becky. I struggle to produse the few words I do. I'm better at photography than writing.

Second I tag Cabin Dweller or Flic the Bic at FieryBlazingHandbasket. Can't say not knowing if they'll play along...but I like their blog and wanted send people their way. You never sent for your sheefish cabindweller.

Third I tag Karen at Travelin' with (and sometimes against) the Wind. Her enthusiasm for moving to Alaska reminds me of me over 10 years ago.

Fourth I tag Bobbie at Virtual Scratchpad and The Right Blue. Bobbie lives in Hawaii and The Right Blue features her beautiful diving pics.

Fifth I double dog tag Ish at the Kodiak Konfidential cuz it's late, I'm tired, I can't think of anyone else. You know you wanna.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Feels Like a Heatwave

Yes, that says freezing RAIN !!!!! That liquid stuff that falls from the sky! Amazing. It feels downright tropical outside.

Unfortunately it looks like crappy weather is coming. That's a bummer because Uyaana and I are supposed to be leaving for Anchorage on Tuesday morning for a few days. Hopefully we'll make it.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Everyone Loves A Bargain

My friend Kathy wanted to organize a flea market where everyone could get together and sell whatever they wanted and socialize.

And she pulled it off. Today was the first Kotzebue Flea Market. She started advertising it a couple weeks in advance. We set up 22 tables and they were all full. People even set up their stuff on chairs. There was all kinds of and used clothes, houshold goods, furs, books, crafts, baked goods, Avon, Mary name it you could find it.

There were a lot of people who turned up.It was nice to hang out, visit with folks and make a few bucks at the same time.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Friday Feast

What does the color dark green make you think of

Right now the color green makes me think of trees, leaves, grass, bushes, weeds, moss, lichen.....ahhh summer. Don't get me wrong, I don't hate winter. If I did I certainly wouldn't be living in the arctic....but after almost 6 months of winter I am ready to smell spring in the air. *sigh* Another month and a half to go.

How many cousins do you have?

Myself I have 9 first cousins. That's it. I don't know any extended cousins beyond that. Uyaana, on the other hand has 46 first cousins! Uyaana's dad had at least 49 first cousins. It would take me hours to figure out Uyaana's second and third cousins. There would be hundreds, almost all of which live in Kotzebue. The poor kid will have to import a wife.

On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being highest, how honest are you?

Maybe an 8. Kinda ironic everybody answering honestly about how honest they are??? I am a pretty honest person. When I do lie it is usually to protect know..."Does this shirt make me look fat?" "Do you think my speech was good?" That sort of thing. It can be hard to be "tactful" and "truthful" at the same time.

Main Course
Name something that is truly free.

Something that is truly free. That is a tough one. It depends on what your definition of free is. I suppose someone could argue that there is some sort of "price" to everything. I know some people could say that faith is free, but is it really? There is often a human toll to faith.

Using the letters in the word SPRING, write a sentence.

Sixteen porcupines romp in new gardenias.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Mr. Photogenic

Today was awards day at June Nelson Elementery School and today Uyaana receieved an award!

Here's my Good Citizen receiving his award from his teacher (the woman) and the vice principal.

Now Uyaana is at that stage where he absolutely cannot have a fuss made over him in public. It's EMBARRASING, and he has to act like he would rather be flogged with a stick than be up there getting that award. And God forbid I should want to take his PICTURE.

Here is the first picture I tried to take of him with his certificate. See how thrilled he is. I said "You better knock it off and stop looking like that!"

This was the best shot I got. *sigh*

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter

No dog mushing pictures this weekend. There were junior races yesterday and today but I never went. Yesterday I was gone all day fishing and today I was to busy making an Easter dinner and being lazy.

So yesterday we went fishing. It was kind of cold but so nice looking out that I couldn't bear to stay in.

We headed out on the noatak trail and then cut over towards the mouth. We ran into a group of people and made a couple of holes by them. The ice in that part of the River mouth was only about three feet thick.

Now I'm not the most patient person in the world. If nothing bites in a half and hour I'm ready to move on. We tried again over by Paul's Slough but didn't catch anything so we decided to head to camp so we could start a fire and warm up.

Kaija was happy to be back at camp. She spent the afternoon sniffing lynx tracks and looking for rabbits.

Uyaana colored while warming up.

Then we headed back to town on the Noatak trail again.

Here is a pic of Uyaana this morning. His eyes were barely open but apparently he was awake enough to stuff candy in his mouth.

Friday, March 21, 2008

More Photos of Juneau

Here are some more pictures from my trip to Juneau last month. I figured instead of posting them all at once I would save them and post a few here and there for when I don't have anything else to share.

Here's a photo of downtown taken from the 7th floor of the Goldbelt Hotel. This hotel is old and nothing ffancy, but the view is nice.

This shot was taken from the North Douglas Highway on Douglas Island, looking over the the water to the Mendenhall Glacier.

One of the best things about Juneau isit has trees....

...lots and lots.....

...and lots of trees.

And glaciers.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Wordless (almost) Wednesday- Akulaaq



The other day our friend Carla calls my friend Bree and asks if she can borrow a big stock pot. Bree said that she could so we headed over to drop it off. I waited in the car and read catalogs while she ran in to give the pot to Carla. Just as I was beginning to think it was taking her a long time, Bree came out of the house holding a box. The look on her face was a sight to behold.
"She gave me some crabs" Bree said, her face all wrinkled up.
"Crabs? Like as in LIVE crabs?" I asked.
"Yeah" Bree replied a hint of pleading within her voice. I sighed my most long suffering sigh and said,
"I suppose you want ME to take care of the little buggers, right?"
Yep, that was the plan.
Bree said "I can't kill them."
I told her "They have tiny little brains smaller than a pea they just live to eat. You can step on a spider can't you? Just think of them as a big crunchy spider." She wasn't convinced.

So we took the crabs back to work. I went in the kitchen and started putting gloves on.
"What are you doing?" Asked Jordan, one of our employees.
"Bree has crabs, I'm going to help her" I said as I snapped a rubber glove on my hand.
"What?" Jordan said, confused.
"She has crabs....I have to help her take care of them." I said again.
Looking concerned Jordan said "Don't you think she would want to keep that private?"
I glanced back at Jordan, shrugged my shoulders and said "Naaaah"
As I walked out of the house I had a procession of people following me out. Seems they were not so concerned with Bree's privacy after all.

Now when most people buy crabs they get them at a grocery store where they have already been legged out, cooked, and flash frozen. All you have to do is defrost them, warm 'em up and eat. Not these guys. These were the freshest of the fresh, just off the jet from Nome.

I told Bree that if I was going to take care of the crabs she at least had to hold one. She was not happy but finally agreed. Just when she was thinking it wasn't so bad....

......the thing moved.

Everybody has their own preference for cooking crab. Some people use the biggest pot they have and stick the buggers whole in boiling water. Ive never used that method for basically two reason. First of all, while I don't really mind killing them by had the thought of dispatching them in a pot of boiling water is too gruesome for me. Second, when they are whole they take up too much damn room in the pot. I use a different method.

First you flip them over on their back. You place the toe of your boot firmly on their butt.

Then you reach down and grab them by the front legs and pull up on their front legs. This causes the crab to come away from your foot leaving it's butt and guts behind and allows all the inner blue liquid to drain out. It's generally nasty but it's quick.

Then you flip the crab back right side up and let everything keep draining out and your done. All that's left now is to remove the legs from the body and wash them. As far as I know crab needs to be kept alive til your ready too cook them. If you don't want to eat them them right away you need to cook them before you freeze them.

After the legs are removed from the body they fit nicely into the pan. Again there are differing opinions on how to cook crab legs, but the important thing is that you do not over cook them as they become mushy. My method is to put the legs into a pot. Fill the pot with cold water until they are covered, Put the stove on high and bring the water to a boil. Make sure that the legs stay submerged. When the water is at a rolling boil shut the burner off and let the crab sit in the water an additional 3 minutes.

At this point the legs should be a bright orange red color. If you are not convinced they are done you can break one open and check the meat. It should be firm and white with no translucent areas. To eat you just crack the legs and claws open, dig the meat out, dip it in melted butter and enjoy. It's the sweetest crab you'll ever eat.

The legs were so good that we decided to order some ourselves. We ordered them from where our friend got them, Norton Sound Seafood. Whole live crab is about $4.99 a pound. We ordered 12 of them. If your not into taking care of them yourself you can order the ready to eat frozen kind for $8.99 a pound and they ship anywhere in the U.S.A.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

8 Dog Championship Day 2

Today was Day 2 of the Kotzebue Dog Mushers Association 8 Dog Championship. It was another beautiful, but cold day. The temp was about 3F with a northeast wind at 10mph.

Uyaana decided to tag along today. The mushers left the chute in the order they placed yesterday.

First out was Paul.

Second out was Levi. Levi is the umpteenth generation of dog mushers in the Harris Family. It's great to see the tradition carrying on.

Third out was Buddoo.

Fourth out was John.

Fifth out was Joanne.

Uyaana and I went to my friend Kathy's house to warm up wait for the mushers to return. Unfortunately we were distracted by pineapple upside down cake something came up and we missed the finish of the race.

Here are the final results. More races next weekend. I'll be there taking pictures if I'm not out hooking sheefish.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

8 Dog Championship Day 1

Okie dokie...back to mushing. Today was the first day of the Kotzebue Dog Mushers Association 8 Dog Championship. This is a 2 day, one heat each day, 12 mile race, winner determined by overall time. I forgot to bring a paper and pencil so I don't have any times yet. I will get those tomorrow, but the results without time are (I think I have this right).......

1st Paul Hansen

2nd Levi Harris

3rd John "Buddoo" Gallahorn

4th John Goodwin

5th Joanne Harris


Friday, March 14, 2008

Check This Out

Behold this weeks Arctic Sounder . Those are my pictures. That is my article. I'm not much of an article writer, but that's ok. My stuff is 2 half page spreads....granted the editor is really good about printing stuff people send in, BUT STILL that's MY stuff. I'm a little peeved at a couple things she screwed up changed but they are minor. One of the captions states that this was the first race of the season in wasn't. But really, Tamar, it's no big deal, the photos look great and you used all of them and that's really cool. It is always nice to see your stuff published somewhere.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Photo Friday- The Good Life

The Noatak River is God's country. It is the good life.


Thirteen Ways to Eat Sailor Boy Pilot Bread

Today's Thursday Thirteen will honor Sailor Boy Pilot Bread crackers! These crunchy rounds of true Alaskana attract at least 5 hits a day from google to my blog Who are you people???? Are you Alaskans far from home craving our favorite snack? Are you survivalists looking for a food guaranteed to survive any disaster? Come on, speak up, I know your there.

13. Sailor Boy and Goober PBJ. Never mind Powerbars. It is the perfect Alaskan bush sustenance and a boating necessity. It's fast, it's easy, it doesn't take up much room.

12. Sailor Boy and akutaq (eskimo ice cream) Akutaq is a mix of caribou fat, seal oil, sugar and Berries. It is high powered Eskimo fuel guaranteed to keep you going sitting out on the ice jigging for sheefish.

11. Sailor Boy Pizza. I wrote about that a while back. It's fast and easy and keeps kids happy.

10. Sailor Boy and cheese. That's what my boy is eating in the picture above. Another kid favorite. It's a fast snack they can get themselves. As you can see my son has a particular way he eats it. He must nibble the cheese around the edges until it fits the round cracker and then eats the rest of it.

9. Sailor Boy and tuna salad.....I guess you also include in this ham salad, egg salad, potato salad, macaroni salad....basically anything that has mayonnaise in it.....which brings me to ....

8. Sailor Boy and Mayo. This is a Kotzebue staple. I know people who cannot possibly eat their supper without this.

7. Toasted Sailor Boy and butter. Take your crackers, throw them in the toaster, butter them up and then try and eat it without the butter dripping through the holes all over your shirt.

6. Sailor boy and SPAM....which of course includes mayonnaise. This is another essential because, as we know, SPAM is one of the food groups.

5. Sailor Boy with crisco and sugar. I'm not kidding. My son's Ahna (grandmother) used to love this when she was a kid she said it's delicious. I'll take her word for it. She usually tells that story as an accompaniment to the story of walking 15 miles to town to buy sugar.

4. Sailor Boy crackers crumbled up in your caribou soup....or moose soup, or rabbit soup, or musk ox soup or fish soup, or duck soup, or goose soup or moose nose soup..........

3. Sailor Boy crackers and fermented salmon eggs........Absolutely vile, but I know plenty of people who love it.

2. These are the best teething biscuits around.

1. And my personal favorite.....Sailor boy and smoked oysters. Another perfect combination to take when hunting. One can of oysters and 5 pilot crackers is a meal. There has been more than one time that I have eaten this while shivering under a blue tarp in a boat, in the middle of nowhere, hunting caribou on a cold, raining, fall day. Aaaahhh....memories.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Photos From Juneau

And now for something completely different for those of you who are all mushed out. Here are some pics from my rip to Juneau the last week in February.

Here is the Alaska State Capitol building. Going here was the main reason for visiting Juneau. I was there to take part in the Key Campaign. The Key Campaign, sponsored by the Key Coalition is a statewide group of supporters, friends, and advocates of individuals who experience developmental disabilities, and their families. The focus of the Key Campaign, held each spring for the last 21 years, is to lobby the state Legislature and administration to create a state that has no wait list for services and to develop a rural and urban system of community programs that are fiscally healthy and consumer driven.

After all the meetings and all the walking up and down that hill there was plenty of time for sight seeing. Here is the marina at Auke Bay.

It was nice to see some ducks. We won't be seeing ducks here in Kotzebue til around mid May.

The weather was downright tropical to me....around 35-40 degrees, so of course that meant it rained much of the time. Even still the scenery was beautiful.

The sun even popped out a few (short) times which was nice. I have some more photos to share but I will save them for later.