Saturday, November 21, 2015

Dates and links for the 2015-2016 Mushing Season

Dallas Seavey's team during Iditarod 43's ceremonial start in Anchorage, AK.

I've chosen to just link up to the "main races" in Alaska... I feel like I've missed one or two, so if you catch one I've missed please comment below and I will fix that problem!

Knik 200
January 2, 2016
Website / Twitter / Facebook
Copper Basin 300
January 9, 2016
Website / Twitter / Facebook
Kuskokwim 300
January 15, 2016
Website / Twitter / Facebook
Gin Gin 200
January 22, 2016
Website / Facebook
Tustumena 200
January 30, 2016
Website / Twitter / Facebook

Denali Doubles
February 4, 2016
Website / Facebook
Yukon Quest
February 6, 2016
Website / Twitter / Facebook
Yukon 300
February 6, 2016
Website / Twitter / Facebook
Iditarod 44
March 5, 2016
Website / Twitter / Facebook
Kobuk 440
April 7, 2016
Website / Facebook

I don't know if I will have time to blog about the races this year or not, hope to. Iditarod, at least, will get my attention. Also the T200 - should the snow we have now grows/stays... no more cancellations! We need a real race season!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Lance Mackey to run in Iditarod 2016

Four time Iditarod Champion Lance Mackey made headlines yesterday when he announced on Facebook that he will run Iditarod 2016 if he can come up with the money to do so. Mackey is one of the most recognizable names in Iditarod history, as his story of overcoming adversity to win his 4 consecutive Iditarods resonates with people. Lance is part of a mushing dynasty with his father Dick and brother Rick also having won Iditarod titles - and his father was one of the original Iditarod mushers.

Mackey made headlines in the 2015 race when he had one of his worst races in recent memory, he was suffering from severe frostbite to his fingers and two of his dogs passed away on the trail. Lance gave an interview during the race saying he just couldn't do the race anymore. With the help of his brother, Jason, Lance Mackey and team made it to Nome, but everyone expected him to retire.

And retire he had, or so we all thought.

Mackey has been travelling to different film festivals this year, following along with the documentary about his life and racing entitled "The Great Alone." The film has been wildly accepted and won numerous awards, with Mackey making a quick trip to Hollywood earlier this month. It's no doubt that the story is more than one about a musher and dogs, it speaks to people in all walks of life. It's inspirational.

One has to wonder if it isn't what inspired Mackey to not hang it up just yet.

Where MY personal concern is, is Lance Mackey's health. I am not trying to suggest he is ill, or anything like that. I don't have insider knowledge or sources to suggest he isn't healthy. My concern is based solely on how he fared in the race this past March. Mackey was unable to handle the cold temperatures (a record bitter cold of -40+ in some parts of the trail), losing feeling and movement in his fingers meant he was slower to care for his team. Jason, his brother, scrapped his own race plan to run alongside his brother and help him get to Nome.

Mackey losing two dogs suddenly while running the trail caused concern as well. Necropsy reports could not provide a reason for their deaths. It was just quick onset death. This ruled out Lance's issues on the trail as being a factor in the cause of death. Most dog mushers suggested it could've been a defect in whatever line the litter was from. Speculation is all any one can do, the matter is closed, and Mackey - while devastated at the loss - moved on as best he could.

All of this prompted bloggers, fans, media, and other mushers alike to post their support and hope that Mackey would finish what they all declared his final race. Again - Lance himself also said it was most likely this last time he would run.

But I have to think that the documentary's success has Lance thinking differently. I haven't yet seen it, but it's heralded as being uplifting and inspiring. Fans have reached out to the musher all year hoping that he would run again. Lance looks better than he did all of last year leading up to the 2015 race. Things are looking up. That attitude alone no doubt has bolstered his drive to try again. Maybe this will be his final run, and he just wants to go out his way, or maybe that "I can't do it anymore" interview he gave to Iditarod Insider last year was just a man frustrated with how his race was going and he wanted to quit in the moment.

When Lance runs in March, I wish him the best. Hopefully the weather is kinder, and he can finish the race on his terms. But, I do hope that he takes last year's race into consideration when he assesses not only his team of 16 dogs... but of himself.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Yup... we have another Disney trip on the horizon!

Okay, so it's not *just* a Disney vacation. It's a family trip to the Southern West Coast of the US (Alaska being the Northern West Coast haha). Seriously though, we're planning an over two week trip that starts in Anaheim/SoCal and ends in Oregon. It's a combination of celebrating mom and dad's 35th wedding anniversary as well as visiting family close to the holidays.

To say I'm excited is an understatement. I know, it's 385 days away, but it's still fun to plan and dream and all that. As it looks now we have 4 full days of Disney fun planned. We'll be going in November so hopefully they'll have the Christmas Decor up (at least some of it) as that's what mom is hoping to see. She's seen the fall/Hallowe'en stuff, so now she wants to see Christmas. We haven't been to Disneyland since 1990 (as a family, I have obviously been multiple times since then). Dad was turned off to Disney parks after our three day trip to the park when I was 5. It was hot, I was cranky (spoiled brat, that's me), and mom didn't want me going on any of the big rides for fear I'd fall out. Lots of whining and arguing. Not his idea of fun.

But we took him to Disney World a couple of times and he's warmed up to the Disney Parks since 1990. With the addition of Carsland dad wants to go and check it out.

The itinerary is a work in progress, we still have to get dad's time off approved... but what we have planned:

Nov 11 - Fly ANC to SNA (John Wayne International Airport)
Nov 12 - Disney!
Nov 13 - Disney!
Nov 14 - Disney!
Nov 15 - Disney!
Nov 16 - Drive to Grass Valley, when in Sacramento eat at Jaime's Broadway Grille
Nov 17 - Girls Trip to San Francisco (take the long route and stop first in Santa Clara before hitting San Fran)
Nov 18 - Grass Valley
Nov 19 - Grass Valley
Nov 20 - Grass Valley
Nov 21 - Drive to Grants Pass
Nov 22 - Grants Pass
Nov 23 - Grants Pass
Nov 24 - Grants Pass (Thanksgiving)
Nov 25 - Fly PDX to ANC


Sunday, September 6, 2015

August flew by, September isn't slowing down!

I have been crazy busy this summer with work, photos, family, friends... I need to slow down but there seems to be no end in sight. It's getting more than a little draining on the nerves!

But with September comes the start of fall season TV premieres. I am SUPER STOKED for my shows this year. Arrow came out with their promo this past week and I got all fangirly, it looks like it's going to enter the season with a major BANG and the humor we've come to know and love is also present. I really hate that the CW shows aren't airing until October! I don't want to wait that long (one month to go... *sigh*).

Speaking of waiting. The Blacklist is also set to make its comeback in October. Originally set for the 24th the promos now say Oct 1. I am not happy about that - again, I do not like waiting - but the promos have been good - and they even gave us a half hour look at what's happened so far and what's coming up (and it's hosted by the most wonderful Ryan Eggold)!

The Big Bang Theory left us with a very big cliffhanger (no more SHAMY?!) and I cannot WAIT to find out just what the heck is going on (I mean the ring and the break?! seriously?!). It's also the only show of mine that begins in September. I just realized that. What the crap television executives?!

But really the only reason I even wanted to do a blog post at all tonight was GAME OF SILENCE FINALLY HAS A TRAILER! OMG! It's a mid-season show that still does not have an airdate (I've read sometime in January... I'd be okay with it airing on, oh, say, the 21st... heehee), but the cast started shooting in August and so there's been a lot of buzz in the fandom. *YAY SILENCERS!* I have to admit I had a lot of reservations about this show - mainly wondering if it would resonate with tv viewers, but the trailer has set most of those fears to rest. I really think this show will have staying power. 

CHECK IT OUT! (and once again MRJFanpage is awesome and has posted the vid to youtube!)

I still hate a certain actor's haircut, but I love him enough to not care too much. ;)

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Shameless Plug - Because I can

So I've gotten a LOT of love and support over my latest series of photos (Midnight on the Kenai). I am SO SO SO humbled and grateful for the comments that I've received, some from photographers I've admired for YEARS. So thank you, everyone for your comments.

I've also been asked if one photo in particular is for sale - the Kenai Harbor at midnight shot is by far my most popular photo to date! And after a little work I HAVE gotten a few sizes and prices together and put them on my online store (provided by SQUARE)! I can take either local orders or add shipping and I can get that order to you.

These are JUST PRINTS. I don't have the ability to get professional frames and mats done for the order (as the only place I know I can trust here in Soldotna does charge a pretty penny and so it wouldn't be cost effective for anyone).

Anyway if you're interested you can CLICK ON THIS LINK to order the harbor photo (and later on I should have the Redoubt at Midnight photo as well).

Monday, July 13, 2015

Midnight on the Kenai in July.

I attended Conway Seavey's Concert in the Park on Saturday night. Show went from 8pm to midnight, and was really good! It's hard to think of the littlest Seavey as all grown up, but he is. If you were in the area and didn't go, you missed out on lovely weather and good entertainment.

But that's not what this post is about. I left around 11:30 (a whole 2 hours after I'd planned to leave as I had to be up early for church on Sunday), and on my way home noticed that the sky was bursting with patterns or light. So I pulled over when I got into Kenai and headed for the bluff to see what the river and inlet looked like.

I was not disappointed.

Even the dipnetter campsites were nice to photograph. It was the first weekend and the run isn't at its strongest, yet, so the beaches aren't as littered... yet. I expect that to change this week.

Anyway, here are my favorites from the other night. Love that midnight light!

Friday, July 10, 2015

Farewell, Bubba Jack.

I got the message from my aunt today, the little one-eyed (who soon after became no-eyed) black pug that Judy found out in the middle of the street passed over the Rainbow Bridge. We never did find out how old the guy was - but it was thought that he was at least as old as Yuka, maybe older. Originally the vet we took him to when we found him didn't expect the dog to last a week. Then it was 6 months, then it was 1-2 years. The dog lived nearly SIX YEARS after we found him. He outlived so many dogs younger and healthier than he. We joked he would outlive us all.

He very nearly did!

Bubba Jack never let the fact that he was without eyes get him down. He had very few teeth but still played tug-o-war, popped the squeakers in every dog toy Judy could find, and was EXTREMELY sassy. He didn't need eyes to know when the bark at things (he didn't really need an excuse to bark). He LOVED Judy, so much so that that's how SHE ended up with him and not me.

Once Judy and Gaylord moved to California I didn't get to see him much, but we talked on the phone often. Yes, you read that right. I talked to a dog over the phone. He and I had some epic conversations. I'd talk, he'd bark... Judy would laugh and silently judge me. But it was always the highlight of the evening. He would keep me up on all the latest stuff going on, and how his sister ticked him off. He'd bark until he was tired of barking and then go to sleep. I will miss that.

Now he's off to the Rainbow Bridge to meet up with all those that went before him. He'll be able to see again, and maybe now Yuka and he will finally get to play together. Rest well, big guy. Marf loudly!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Dear visiting dipnetters

To the 10,000+ visitors headed down to the Kenai Peninsula this weekend to hit the mouth of the Kenai River and dipnet for red salmon to stock their freezers I have one request - please be respectful. I know, it's the biggest party of the summer for a lot of you. Camping on the beach, there's ample opportunity to drink too much and play a little too loud. Most weekends, that works out great, but when you look at the sheer size of the camping group it becomes dangerous.

So, please, be respectful. Pick up after yourself, catch and kill what you are legally allowed to - don't practice sadism by catching other types of fish and torture it before throwing its corpse back in the water. Keep the crime in your city of Anchorage, don't bring it with you. Kenai has it's own share of delinquents, we don't need the big city's problems as well. So if you feel like you need to have a knife fight, take it home. You're here to fish to supposedly provide for your family, keep that as the only priority.

I know it's hard to use common sense when you're cold, tired, maybe drunk or hung over, but don't go out farther than you need to. Trying to wade into the middle of the mouth of the river will not ensure you catching more fish. News flash, they typically run closer to shore. Our first responders are too busy dealing with knife fights and drunk and disorderly - they can't be floating up and down the water 24/7 to rescue your butt.

With that in mind, don't overload your boat and swamp it. You lose everything, a lot of waste happens, and it's expensive for our town to rescue your butt.

Take your time getting here. I know, I know, the best camping spots go early - but if you're traveling this weekend to get here I hate to break it to you: they're already taken. I was down at the beach the other day and folks are already parked and camped. Sorry, you're too late. So stop playing chicken on an already overly dangerous road system. There are 10,000 of you coming this way, you want to get here, right? So take it slow, give other drivers their space, and enjoy the drive. It should be the least stressful part of your dipnet experience.

When you get to town, don't treat it like a Tickle-Me-Elmo sale on Black Friday. No fights need to happen in the checkout line because the last case of Miller Light, or the last bag of Doritos was taken right out from under you. If you HAVE to have the "fun stuff" bring it from home where your big city has several major box stores that have shipments almost daily. We don't.

Yes, I know we know you're coming. Yes, I know we can be prepared. We are, but it seems like you come in like locusts taking everything! It looks like a warzone in Fred Meyers the entire month of July. That isn't us, that's you. We do our best to host you, try and be a nice guest for a change.

Speaking of locusts, we have tried very hard to accommodate your camping needs, you food needs, your walking needs. Follow the signs. Don't destroy a VERY DELICATE ecosystem just because you can. You don't have to live with the consequences, we do. Maybe if your property taxes went up each year to deal with the extra cost of taking care of the mess you'd think differently - but, then again, I doubt it.

Take your limit and leave. Yes, we see you - taking a few extra. Or worse those groups - who I won't describe for fear of the PC police coming down on me - that get dozens of extras to use in their family owned restaurants. Uh-uh. That's not what Subsistence fishing is. This is a PERSONAL USE thing. You want to sell the fish or cook it up for pay? Yeah, you need to go to the COMMERCIAL FISHERIES. We have several in our area you can go and pick up from.

I know, I come off as sounding crazy angry. It's not just because my 20 minute commute will double for the next three weeks. It's not because I can't use the beach in relative quiet. It's just that this has gotten ridiculously out of hand in the last few years. Yes, I know it's not JUST people from Anchorage - the locals get nutso, too. And trust me, I rant about our issues just as much. But TEN THOUSAND extra potential problems arise when you arrive. So PLEASE, for the love of all things holy, BE RESPECTFUL. Let's make this a positive experience this year. If you promise to play nice, I promise not to rant about you next year.

"They're like locusts... After they've consumed every natural resource they move on..." - President Thomas Whitmore (Bill Pullman, Independence Day)

Monday, July 6, 2015

Pug photo fun!

Took these photos of the boys a few days ago. Stitch is not a fan of the noises that the camera makes so he spent most of the time barking. Such a booger. We're working through getting him to settle down and not be such a timid little dude around any noise. He's very naughty in other ways - gets into EVERYthing - but noises scare the bejeepers out of him. We're also working on obedience training but this boy is STUBBORN. I was very spoiled having Yuka from such a young age, as stubborn and naughty as she was she was incredibly smart and learned commands quickly. It's a slower process with Stitch. Right now we're working on sit and come. Neither which is working out too well. Even with super yummy treats. Oy.

Anyway, here are Sushi and Stitch from July 3. I'll have to get more pictures soon.

30 Days of Television: Day 19

Best television cast

I may not watch the show anymore, but I still ADORE the cast of Once Upon A Time - past and present. They are just a great group of people, so giving to the fandom (even now that it is insane and full of hate). They seem to genuinely care about each other in almost a family sort of way, supporting each other throughout the year in all of their endeavors and giving shout outs and encouragement.

Sure, the show is corny and sometimes some of them overact to the point of bllllaaaahhhh, but they all fit their characters (seriously can anyone think of anyone better to play any of the characters?!). The men are ridiculously attractive - Captain Hook never looked so good - the women [used to] kick major booty. All seem to have a *wicked* sense of humor when it comes to the ridiculous storylines (and family tree).

They all love what they do, they aren't taking life so seriously. Team 7 reaches out and engages and encourages fans (Gabe Kouth is my favorite on instagram, Michael Coleman is king on Twitter).

I could've gone with Arrow, or MASH, as they definitely round out the top three on my list. But ultimately it's the cast of OUAT that won out - because I can't think of a single cast member I don't like. They're all amazing and perfect for who they play. So... they win.

(and really SDCC in 2013 wins all kinds of everything.)