Friday, January 28, 2011

Payback From Wayback

Wow have I neglected this thing or what? Last time I posted I was on the verge of getting a really nasty cold, the Chefornak strain. Since that post, my travels have gone like this:
Chefornak>Bethel>Anchorage>Chicago>Madison>Los Angeles>Madison>Chicago>Anchorage>Bethel>Toksook Bay.

There's alot I could have said about each leg of that journey, but I've let it slide. Sometimes once a memory isn't so recent, it's hard to elaborate upon it. Especially in a blog.

From Chefornak all the way to Chicago went smoothly aside from being sick. For those not in the know, going up and down in an airplane when you have a bad sinus problem makes it feel like your ears will explode out the side of your head.

Once I got to Madison I began feeling better. Maybe it was a big bowl of homemade chili that did the trick. As always, Christmas break was terrific. I spent time with not all, but many of my friends and family that I love and miss. Ate many tasty meals. I got to bowl a few nights in my old bowling league. I got to see the Badgers play basketball, hockey, and football. That's right, football.

The Rendall family took a little trip out to Pasadena to watch Bucky lose to the horned frogs. We had a heck of a nice time being together as a family on a trip for the first time in about 20 years, and yes, saying that does indeed make me feel old. Some things we did out in LALA land were: took a tour of the city, where we saw many star studded sites including this one at the Chinese Theatre.

And down the streed a spell was this gigantic macaroni noodle...

Of course, it wasn't all noodles and concrete out there. We visited Universal Studios, which was much cooler than I had hoped. We went to the Rose Parade, where we saw many things, including this thing:

I'd post a pic from the game, but, well, you probably saw it on TV, and we lost, and it's's just too early. But here we all are before the loss:

And we did get to see this guy:

So all in all, a good time. Last two pics, to give credit where it's due, were stolen from sister Janine's facebook.

Not long after the return from LA it was time to fly back up here to AK. That meant getting up really early, along with Dad (thanks Dad!) and putting the truck away, catching a bus to Chicago, and having another long plane ride to Anchorage.

There in Ted Stevens Int'l, watching the Packers trounce the Eagles, I ran into John, a former TO resident who has since retired and moved on to greener pastures. So neat to catch up with an old friend unexpectedly like that.

My plan was to head right on out here to Toksook Bay (Nelson Island School, home of the Islanders) a day or two after getting back to Bethel, but the weather just wasn't having it. The plans got all bumped back a week. Fortunately I had built into my schedule some flexibility for such weather related events, as they are a simple fact of life out here as an itinerant. Here's a little example:

After I got out here, I decided to head in for the next weekend, as a coworker and I were scheming a caribou hunt, probably the last opportunity for the year on that endeavor. But the weather had to go and change, thwarting those plans. I watched the Packers that Sunday dispatch the Bears, knowing I wouldn't be heading to Toksook Bay that afternoon as I had planned. Wanna know why? Because the weather in Toksook had a SMALL CHILD WARNING!! No, not as in the context of raining cats and dogs. Oh no, the warning was against having small children outside because it was so windy, they could be blown away. I can't make this stuff up, folks.

Things are going ok here at NIS, although schedules are full of bumps and unforseens. A good night's sleep is hard to come by, too. This week I will head to Bethel to judge for FIRST robotics competition, then head back here to conclude classes. Oh, and don't worry, I will be watching the big game in Bethel. And I will be putting on a Wisconsin spread for the occasion. You know....cheese, Johnsonville brats. Go Packers.

Following that, I'll do a little ice road truckin', and then be a daily commuter to Napaskiak. I'm looking forward to that stint, as it will afford opportunities to put some miles on the Ski Doo, and put some ptarmigan meat on the table. Mmmmmmm, ptarmigan.