Friday, March 27, 2009

Random Facts Courtesy of Thor...

Thor occasionally tells us things that no one would know, or would realize they ever needed to know...

To cover the earth in a living blanket would take 255 x 10 to the 14th power squirrels!

(That's 25.5 quadrillion squirrels.)

Assuming squirrels float, of course.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

No Volcano problems for us...yet.

Mount Redoubt erupted, six times so far, throwing ash 9 miles into the air.

But the winds up there are blowing away from Anchorage and the MatSu valley (that's where Wasilla is), so mostly the ash is falling on uninhabited area. There's a lot of that in Alaska.

However, we still have a chance to have fun dealing with the ash. Trace amounts of ash have been detected in Anchorage. And last time Redoubt blew, it was active for five months (I think.). So if the winds shift and it erupts again we could be dealing with the fallout. Woo.

Tess is very disappointed -- she was really looking forward to days off from school (I should point out to her that those days will be added to the end of the school year...I don't think she would be so thrilled to miss school then.).

Personally, eh. We just replaced the water pump and oil lines on the Suburban, so I am perfectly happy to not have volcanic ash sucked into the engine. My only real concern at this point is that it not mess up my plans to fly to Minnesota in May for a family reunion.

Other than that...spring has not sprung yet. We had a dusting of snow last night, it's in the 20's and all the snow that got slushy over the past couple of days when it was warmer is now frozen and thus the roads are really rough with small slippery patches.

CNN just said Redoubt erupted again, sending ash 13 miles into the sky. I guess we have to start watching for ashfall alerts. That's a new one for us...

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Spring! Spring!!

It's spring somewhere. It's in the 80's in Tucson. My sister in Washington has bulb-y things like crocuses blooming in her yard. It's hit 60 and the annual giant puddles have appeared in my parents' yard in Minnesota...

And in Anchorage, we have snow. Lots of snow. But south-facing roofs and streets that have the sun shine on them are bare, sorta, or at least bare with icy edges.

But while it's only 30 degrees out, the sun is shining brightly and it feels like spring is way down the block, around the corner and down a couple streets. Because when you step outside you feel a bit o' heat from the sun, even with the breeze having that icy chill to it from blowing across the snow.

Another sign of spring...since the Iditarod is almost over, people on post are finally taking down their Christmas lights. That's right, people leave their Christmas lights up (and on! Turn them off already!) until the middle of March.

Christmas lights are not festive in February. Icicle lights do not cheer the heart in March. Christmas lights should be off by the middle of January. I don't care if you leave them up until a warm day, but damn. Turn the things off already.

In other news I have finally finally finally finally finally finally stopped coughing! No more hacking up the odd lung every couple of hours, no more waking myself up in the middle of the night, and best of all, I can finally start using my CPAP machine! Which is awesome, because I found out last year I stop breathing an average of seven times an hour when I sleep. Which means that on an average of seven times an hour I rouse enough to start myself breathing again, and that means I don't ever get a good night's sleep. But now. Now I don't always wake up in the morning feeling like I got a crap night's sleep.

Daily Alaska photo...Last September, somewhere on the back forty of Fort Richardson.
Just a little reminder that Alaska is not all snow...

Monday, March 16, 2009

I hate long hair...

I live with a guy who has almost no hair. I mean, there are plenty of hair follicles on his head, he just chooses (okay, he's in the army, so his choices are limited) not to take much advantage of them. CIMG07189

But Thor and Tess both have long hair. (And I can't find a photo of either of them at the mo showing their long hair. You will just have to take my word for it.) Tess's hair is pretty much to her waist, and Thor's is halfway down his back.

Aside from having to help them brush it out occasionally, because not only is it long, but it is a mixture of coarse and fine hair, so it tangles easily...

I also hate long hair because it is EVERYWHERE. Doing laundry I pick long hairs off the clothes as I dump them in the laundry and more long hairs off the clothes as I fold them.

Then there is the vacuum cleaner. I love my vacuum cleaner except for one thing...the carpet brush is hard to get off and back on again. But every couple of weeks, the brush gets so full of long hair it no longer works properly.

So I must disassemble and cut the hair off (hair is tough. I use a steak knife to saw through it -- and yes, it is dedicated to stuff like that. I don't toss it back into the scary drawer. [The scary drawer is the one full of sharp and pointy knives. We didn't use to have a knife block in it, but now it's not quite as scary. ]).

On their heads, it's gorgeous. Thor's is a coppery red and really really thick. Tess's is brown under and has a deep hint of red on the top layers. She used to be a blond blondie, but it is gradually getting darker. I think eventually she will have brown hair with some seriously nice coppery highlights. Like mine, only better. Mine is mostly just brown.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Weekly Winners!

Weekly Winners courtesy of the Sarcastic Mom!

As if using the elliptical trainer wasn't bad enough, this is my view. I am watching Roswell on DVD to pass the time...

Volcano preparedness. Bottled water, extra canned goods. Not much beer though. Must fix that.

Thor and Tess have gotten into this war game/model thing called Warhammer 44k. They spent much of their spring break painting tiny little models.

Tiny little models.

Teeny little grumpy heads.

Thor or Tess took this photo. You can see how tiny the guys are. Apparently you then build some kind of battlefield and roll dice. That's all I know about the game.

One raven thought there was something interesting in the street. Pretty soon there were eight or ten checking out whatever it was. We have to be careful not to have overflowing garbage cans, because they can get into them and make a big mess.

Pecking at the ice. I don't know why.

Abe has a thing about birds. He would really really like to be chasing the ravens flying away.

Tess was in the city-wide 6th grade honor band. She had a three note solo on the was great.

Tess on the tympani.

Moose in the neighborhood.

It was really icy one evening. The next morning, we saw four or five cars like this.

The Knik Arm of the Cook Inlet. Icy and cold.

Cool pattern in the road.