Monday, October 31, 2011

This was the driest and warmest October in our 5 years here. Down to 32 just a few nights, then up to the forties. And....only 1.6 inches of rain compared to the 5 inches expected my the middle of the month. I don't know what the level is at the end of the month but it will surely be LOW.

But, can you believe what the national weather said recently: "Scattered snow-showers with occasional sun where it is not cloudy".

PS It is snowing again at 34 degrees. I must admit, it feels colder when it snow-showers....specially without sun.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The 2nd storm of October was not so kind.

On the last blog I said the 1st October storm was mild. Well, such was not the case last night.

It seemed like our usual 7 mph winds. But the power went out 4 times between 2 and 3 AM (at least that is how many time I woke up because the printer kept turning itself on and off).

Here is an email I got at work this AM. There we get a T1 line that goes under the sea to the mainland. Not so for the home Internet and phone users.

GCI Managed Broadband Major Outage Notification
Initial Notification

Site(s) Affected: All Kodiak Sites
Date/Time of Outage: 10/25/2011 0516
Services Affected: All Services

Outage Summary: High winds collapsed a building by Mill Bay road that took down a power/aerial fiber cable. All services are down in Kodiak. Technicians are on site accessing damage and secondary crew is coordinating a dispatch to Kodiak from Anchorage to assist. Tentative estimated time of repair is 1900.

Imagine: having to flyin a crew 280 miles to fix a power outage.

Living in "heaven" has its price, but we accept it.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Another famous ship in Kodiak

You might have read about the pile of debris floating to the US form the tsunami in Japan. There was a recent story about it being located by a Russian ship, the Pallada.

Isn't it strange how you can read a story in the national news and suddenly realize: I know something about that?

Well, guess what. The Pallada was here in Kodiak this July, as it made a voyage with crew of Russian military and merchant marine academy students in training. This was their first sea crossing and a requirement for their certificate.

Here is a pic from the Kodiak's KMXT public radio's staff (which I pirated from the internet) as the ship came into Kodiak. The rest are those we took during our tour.

Boy, did those guys look young!

Here is part of what an article says about the Pallada's encounter with the debris:

"Early computer models predicted that the debris would not hit the United States for two to three years.

But a Russian training ship, the STS Pallada, following a map of the computer models, hit an extended field of debris in mid-Pacific, close to Midway Island, a U.S. territory about 1,700 miles from Hawaii.

The ship’s encounter with the 1,000-mile-long mass of tsunami debris came in September, 300 miles ahead of schedule, and nearly 2,000 miles from the site of the tsunami in Japan."

Read the article at:

For more Pallada pics and story:

The Pallada is a 354 foot long three-masted frigate "tall ship", meaning that it is rigged the classic sail pattern. But, in fact, it is said to be the tallest such ship in existence. Now you know the rest of the story.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

It's green....but autumn's in the air

The first October storm has come and gone.....just the usual high winds, rain, and high seas. But, actually, not as strong as usual for an October storm.

The deciduous trees have changed their colors. The grass has slowed its growth, but is bright green still. Our coffee-stimulated flowers keep blooming, despite the dip to 28 degrees.

The sun has now returned. So, we took the opportunity to mow for one last time. And put the tractor away till spring.

Hope the burning heat has ended, wherever you may live.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

It's the 18th of October: Alaska Day

Today is Alaska Day. A day to celebrate the transfer of AK from Russia to the USA, back in 1867.

The original ceremonies where in Sitka. And from what I hear and read, that is still a day for a great parade there. Here are some pics I downloaded from their website of their parade in 2009.

And they party, dressed up in time-appropriate costumes.

For those who want more detail: Secretary of State Seward bought it for over $ 7 million or 2 cents an acre. At that time many called it Seward's Folly.

Since the discovery of gold and then oil in the North Slope, many have come to consider it a great deal.

But not all agree that Alaska was such a great buy. These claim that it cost a heck of a lot to develop the infrastructure to get out our natural resources. It would have been cheaper to invest that original 7 million, let Britain buy AK, let Britain (and subsequently Canada) develop it and just buy the resources form them (in view of our friendly business relations with them both). Check out their thoughts at:

But if the current history is any guide, I bet Washington would have wasted that money on something else and we'd be a third rate country.

So, lets just celebrate Alaska Day and party like the folks in Sitka!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Back into pictures again

The scars from surgery have finally healed from the tears this summer. The arm comes out of the sling this Wednesday. But, I have been practicing my one-and-a-half arm camera-holding technique.

Here is a flower that recently bloomed around our house. Isn't October rather late for things to bloom in Alaska? Not if you plant the bulb in May, in a special nutrient: fully concentrated used Bustelo espresso coffee grounds.

A cafecito cubano is magic food: gives energy to humans as well as bulbs!