Thursday, September 29, 2011

Rocket launch

Perhaps you know, or don't know, that Kodiak has a rocket launch complex (near where the buffalo roam). One launched this week and was reportedly pretty spectacular. I, however, missed it because I had just returned from my travels and had forgotten all about it.

It was a beautiful morning and the launch was something to see.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Boiler malfunction

Upon my return from the East Coast, I walked into our apartment and it was so hot in here, my eyeglasses fogged over. Literally!

I spoke to the landlady about this. The synopsis: a boiler zone valve is apparently stuck open. It is at least 90 degrees in here, quite a rarity for Kodiak.

Fortunately, heat is included in our rent. A repairman is on the way.


After six long months, I am back in the land of Internet connectivity. Wow, I can't believe it's been that long but hey! I now have phone, e-mail, blogging, streaming video, you name it! Here's a snapshot of how I've been spending my September:
  • Took a a two-week trip to the East Coast (D.C., West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania and probably Virginia) with Robin. (Once he returns with the camera, I'll upload photos.)
  • Got a new best friend, Samantha, our GPS unit. She guided me throughout that clustered area of D.C., West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania and probably Virginia.
  • Toured Harper's Ferry and learned all about John Brown, the Civil War icon, and could find nary a Park Service guide or interpreter, despite the high $ this park rakes in. I did add more to my knowledge of the man, whom I only knew that "John Brown's body lies a molding in the grave," (really, listen to this song) compliments of my weird elementary school music teacher and her course on Civil War music.
  • Visited Antietam National Battlefield. This place was awesome! If you don't watch the video at the visitor center or listen to their ranger (yaaawwwn, boring) talk, you can get away without paying a fee! Seriously, this was a little-trafficked battlefield so it was a great place to tour, learn and be away from the crowds.
  • Visited Gettysburg National Park, the site of Robin's very first Park Service job, and where all the crowds were.
  • Saw Robin's brothers, met Robin's high school buddies, saw my sister and brother-in-law and visited with friends in PA.
  • Saw my first groundhog, although I didn't get a picture of it. Those things are just as fast and elusive as that @#!! lame porcupine (aka Porky) in Gustavus!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Quote of the day

"Rebuffering? Rebuffering? What does that mean?!?"

Robin in response to a message on the computer while trying to watch a YouTube video on the Internet. (It's been a very long time since we had Internet.)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

A whirlwind summer

Since moving to Kodiak in April, we lived in three places. The first month we spent living out of our totes at a bed and breakfast. The second month we spent living out of our totes in a small house. Now, we finally moved into our permanent apartment and partially unpacked our totes before heading to Maryland/West Virginia/Pennsylvania for a few weeks.

In the midst of all that, I started a new seasonal job (Salmon Camp) which ended and started a new permanent job (as a communications and PR person at the hospital). We celebrated our Sand Ceremony. We had friends Hal and Lindy visit and my sisters and their husbands visit. And bought a boat. And haven't slept!

Here are a few of the photos from our whirlwind first summer in Kodiak.
  • 4th of July bash: We had a party at the Buskin Beach House (official headquarters of Salmon Camp). Everyone had the same 4th of July t-shirts on (Wal-Mart, the only place to shop, had $1.98 t-shirts on sale).
  • Visit with family: My sisters Mary and Sharon, along with husbands Carlos and John, came for the sand ceremony and fishing.
  • Bears and views: What would Kodiak be without brown bears and scenery? We've seen plenty of it and are lovin' it!

Friday, September 16, 2011

My first set net experience

Set netting is a type of subsistence fishing. You set a net on either side of a "fish highway" (like stringing a net from one side of the road to the other to catch any cars going down the road). You catch all the fish that are passing through. Only with the net there, they get stuck. Usually, they get stuck around the gills (which also kills them) and you have to wrench them out of the net (picking the net).

Once they're caught, you pick the net. You take your boat and keep working up and down the line of the net, pulling all the fish out that are stuck. We went with our friend when he set net for red salmon. We hauled in more than 75 fish in one day. It is a lot of work. Whew! But really good eating -- yum!

See pictures of set netting for red salmon.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Sand ceremony

What a journey these past four years have been! Alaska. Florida. North Carolina and back to Alaska!

We celebrated with a party and a sand ceremony, an Outer Banks, North Carolina tradition. During the ceremony, we poured two individual containers of sand into one. We also drank a special "unity" wine my sister Mary brought with her from Pennsylvania.

We had the ceremony in a lagoon near an island around Kodiak. My dress came from Colorado (Robin bought it without me and it fit to a T!). His tux was borrowed from the local dry cleaner, and it happened to fit to a T! Of course, what would an Alaskan celebration be without Xtra Tuffs, decorated by our friends Hal and Lindy.

See a few pictures, narrowed down from the hundred taken that day.