Monday, April 26, 2010

I've been rereading portions of the 1st edition AD&D Dungeon Masters Guide and it is more of a remarkable text than I had remembered. It's fascinating, rich, and well worth revisiting. This was always one of my favorite little images from it.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

And, here comes some slushy snow again.

The plan is to take more pictures of Eagle River on my bike rides as it melts and document the emerging happiness. The plan is on hold.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

44 degrees is plenty comfortable for a bike ride. The roads and bike paths are full of melting snow and sloppy gravel from the road, but I'm out there riding again. No complaints. I went on my standard 30 mile round trip to Eagle River, a place that needs a little more melt. We'll get there.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

I should have photographed it, though I know there will be other opportunities. It was just so beautiful. The Kalua pork was shredded into a pile of tender meat and juices that looked identical to what we had seen and copiously consumed in Kauai. It looked right. And after smelling it in the crock pot for 18 hours, it smelled right. In the end, it tasted completely right. It's a cheap and delicious way to grasp the islands. We'll be making this often, very often.


Spring is coming.

I dreamt of fishing along a beautiful river here in Alaska with some old Chicago friends. They were catching King Salmon and I remained casting away. I then hooked into a huge Musky and successfully landed him after a long fight. I held him up for a picture before releasing him. He was completely tattered and torn up from being in the river with the aggressive, spawning salmon. There are no Musky here in Alaska, but when thoughts of summer fishing populate the near future of my life it's hard to keep the Midwestern good times from shoehorning back in.

There is still plenty of snow on the ground. I rode my bike to Stuckagain heights yesterday, which is a neighborhood up the hillside in East Anchorage. It was drizzling at our place when I left, but snowing at the top of the climb.

Spring is coming slowly.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

The roads have been dry and dusty and it appeared that we were in a full scale melt of the remaining snow. This is probably still true, but not for the first half of today. I woke up to 33 degree temps and about 2 inches of wet snow everywhere. That snow will probably be gone by the end of the day, but it stands as an extended palm to Anchorage's burgeoning spring excitement. There is still 4-5 weeks left of high snow probability.


Driving down the Seward highway toward the bike shop on Saturday, I felt a piece of gravel ping off my shield. That is an Alaskan winter tradition to be sure. I had a few small chips in my windshield already, but no cracks. I chalked this up largely to avoiding the Glenn Highway on my daily commutes. Well, on my drive to work Monday morning my defroster found the little Saturday gravel ping and spawned a 10 inch crack across the bottom of my windshield.

I'm getting more Alaskan by the minute.

Friday, April 02, 2010

I really want to see this, though I have a feeling even the Bear Tooth theater may not get it. That's what dvd is for.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Alaska is a pretty clean place. The air is almost always excellent here in south central Alaska(though Fairbanks has large amounts of particulates in winter -- though not for the reasons most people would guess) and when you head off to fish, ride, hike, or camp you will mostly likely find beautiful, clean wilderness. Sadly, there is sometimes a random piece of litter to let you know that humanity made it to this little piece of heaven before you did. It stinks, but that's life. In general, Alaska is very clean. A great deal cleaner than Chicago, and a fair amount cleaner than Wisconsin (and Wisconsin is a pretty clean place). I'm beginning to split hairs here, but suffice to say -- Alaska is just about as clean and beautiful as you would expect.

However, as the snow melts each April we are confronted with our annual, dirty task -- cleaning up the trash. All along the roads a brutal amount of trash collects, waiting for volunteers to attack it within a few weeks in preparation for summer and the visitors it brings. It's kind of nasty to glance at, but it does make a cruel bit of sense. Think about it. All winter long random pieces of little trash find their way onto the roads, only to be plowed into the snow back . Our winter has no freeze/thaw cycles -- it only all melts once, and that is after about 5-6 months of snow. So you find a plethora of junk neatly assembled on the sides of the road, all ready for picking. It's kind of like getting the majority of the city's annual litter in a 2 week window.

Everyone is now starting to get in good mood as the snow melts a little more each day. The parking lots everywhere are turning into gravel and the trash is preening itself for the light of day. Soon trucks will come around and pick up all of the gravel and we'll get that litter taken care of. It's the annual eyesore before life explodes into green and seemingly endless daylight and we are all reminded yet again of why we all live here. Just a few more weeks...