Thursday, November 27, 2014

Remembering Big George at Thanksgiving

 I bought this solid brass cuspidor (spittoon) for my dad, Big George in 1973. He would keep some spare change in it. At most family get togethers, a penny, nickel, dime poker game would break out. Big George loved to play cards. 500 rummy was his favorite. Anyways, Big George would get the cuspidor out. He generally was the banker too because he had the most change. I inherited the cuspidor back when dad passed away. We never play cards like that anymore, but I think back and smile about the good times with Big George, my brothers Charlie and Larry. my brother-in-law Mike and myself.
 My grandkids came over for Thanksgiving today. Chloe remembered the change that I keep in the cuspidor. She likes getting her hands full of change and putting it on the couch or chair and then goes back for more. She has no real concept on what all the change is, she just likes getting her hands full of change.
Older brother Tripp saw what she was doing and had to get in on the action. This went on for most of their visit. All I could do was smile, because I knew dad was looking down and smiling. Unfortunately he passed away never meeting Nick's wife or any of his kids, but he knows and I know he's smiling.
 
I miss you Big George! I hope we all get to play cards again some day.


Happy Thanksgiving!


Sunday, November 23, 2014

A well traveled church in Fairbanks, Alaska

Just a quick post. I have a lot of photos to process from my weekend trip to Fairbanks. This is Immaculate Conception Church in Fairbanks. If you want to read an interesting history on a historic landmark, you have to read this one. Here's a link to their website. Check it out.
 
More to come..... 

Friday, November 14, 2014

Saturday, November 8, 2014

I should listen to my dog more

So this past week I was extremely busy at work. Too many hours, to much stuff and not enough down time at home. I didn't even post last week.
 
 Macy told me I wasn't paying enough attention to her. She got up on the kitchen counter while I was at work and ate a whole bag of Greenies. She only acts up when I'm not home enough. It's not that she wasn't getting her treats anyways. Just not enough walks and play time.
 So, I took Friday off to run errands. She went with me every where's except to the Audubon Alaska open house. She waited in the truck while I went into Stewarts Photo and bought the new Canon 7D Mark II. 
 Then we went out today to play and see if I could figure out my new toy. I have the Canon 7D, but the new 7D Mark II is  a lot different. So far I like it, but I have a lot to get use to. I need to get it together before dog mushing season. No problem, just have to go play more.
 So, listen to Macy. Less work, more toys and more play.
 
Thanks to Dr. Karen Higgs for the title. We had a conversation on the phone and it always turns to our dogs. She's the one that told me that we need to listen to our dogs more. She's a pretty smart gal, but don't tell her I said so.
 

Monday, October 27, 2014

I went to Fairbanks for the weekend to work?

Well I did, but you can't work all the time. As usual, some of the time I spent driving around looking for a photograph.
 I think "The Lucky Duck" needs deicing. Just one of the sights at Pikes Landing. This is on top of their greenhouse. They're pretty heavy into hydroponics.
 Earlier this summer I saw this historic sign and saw the hangar was under renovation. I was hoping they wouldn't cover it up. They didn't Wein Air Alaska still lives.
"Know Fear" A C119 "Boxcar" with jet assist in Everts Air Cargo storage yard. Geeze do I like old planes. I'd love to go sit in the cockpit. I scared a bunch of pigeons that scared me while I was shooting.
 My friend Rebecca took me along to watch some agility training. It was pretty cool. I've seen it in action in Anchorage outside, but this is a first inside one for me.
 It was tough to shoot because of the type of lighting in the building, but there were cool things happening. The corgi's name is Lady, not sure what the lady's name is. 
 Rebecca has a challenge with Chloe, but she's sticking to it. Chloe is young, hyper and easily distracted, but Rebecca is having fun and not giving up.
 There's lots of pretty sights in Fairbank. This I took on my way to the airport to head home Sunday morning. I think it was +23°f. See the steam rising off of the Chena River?
I don't think Fairbanks Fire Department has used Truck No. 1 in a while. This old Seagrave is in pretty good shape considering it's out in the weather. If it could talk, I wonder what it would tell us.
 
Until next time Fairbanks.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Down on the Reindeer Farm

A trip to the William's Reindeer Farm before the snow flies. The kids love it and I think their mom & dad does too.
 From hay maze to horse back rides to a horror barn, the kids checked out it all.
 All the kids rode this beautiful black Clydesdale. It was as gentle as it is big.
 Smiles all the way around.
 I constantly heard from in the crowd on how nice the staff is.
 All kids love pumpkins.
 I think his eyes are bigger then his stomach.
 What cotton candy???
And of course the reindeer. This big guy had his own bale of hay.
Mom & Dad always make time for kid fun.
 
What a fun day and the weather cooperated. Temps were in the high 30's, no wind and no rain or snow.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Rainy Days and beagles

It's that time of year. Pre-winter. The leaves are mostly off the trees. Termination dust (snow) is more then half way down the mountains. Macy likes the smells this time of year brings.
 We don't get a lot of rain, but it's been drizzling since last night.
 That nose goes 24/7. If anything gets her in trouble, it's that nose. It amazing how many people come up to me when we're out for a walk and say "I use to have a beagle" or "Does she bark a lot?" or "Hi puppy". Well the puppy is 5 now. I don't have her exact birth date, so I go by when I got her.
 This is the second beagle in my life. I understand why people do have them, not why they don't. She's well behaved most of the time, barks very little and steals the covers.
 She doesn't care if it's raining, lets go for a walk. She'll sit patiently while I play with the camera but doesn't like posing.
And probably wonders why I'm taking photos of dried up berries with rain dripping off of them. Lets go home and get a cookie.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Happy Anniversery to Me


Well, I'm not talking about my blogiversery which was last month, since 2007. I'm not married. Well, it is mine and Macy's, but that's not the one I'm talking about yet. It's the one of me not making it to the end of the road just yet. Well, maybe one...
 And because of great doctors, nurses, hospital staff, family and friends I got to see a lot more of life and appreciate it a whole lot more in the past year.
 My sister and brother-in-law came to visit and they got to see Denali among a lot of other parts of Alaska. This summer has had such great weather, I've seen Denali out more than ever before.
 Macy, one of my adventure pals. She's always there for 3 years now. She's the best!
Humpback Whales!
So cool!
 So much wildlife. Photography helps me remember.
Traveling the state with Petra and Hal, two bald eagles....
and Ghost the snowy owl. 3 awesome ambassadors for Bird TLC. Meeting awesome people from all over the world.
Along with some awesome volunteers, helping the injured wild birds that come through the clinic.
 
I'm a lucky man to still be here, to have what I have and have the opportunity to do what I do. I don't have it all, but then yet maybe I do.



Saturday, October 4, 2014

With Utmost Respect

It's very comforting when I go and visit my brother and sister veterans to know that their final resting place is well taken care of. It's also in such a peaceful location.
I go near here often, but don't visit as often as I should.
When I visited this time, the fall weather was in full bloom. The maintenance crews were trimming the grass. You couldn't find a stray leaf anywhere.
 At one time there were 217 Japanese soldiers from WWII buried here. Although they were enemies at the time of their death, their memorial and grounds are as well kept as the rest of the grounds.
Thanks to all who care take our veterans and their final resting places. It makes me fell very comfortable knowing that this peaceful place is available to myself and other veterans.
 
 
For more on Fort Richardson National Cemetery, click here http://www.cem.va.gov/CEM/cems/nchp/ftrichardson.asp
 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Yukla 27, I remember

 It's September 22, 1995, 7:47AM. I had just retired 9 months ago from the USAF, the 3rd Wing or specifically the 962 AACS or as we called it AWACS. I was opening an auto parts store that I managed back then, when I got a call from a friend. She asked if I had been listening to the news. I told her I hadn't, that I was getting the store ready for opening. She then told me that AWACS had crashed. I couldn't believe it. I walked out of the store and looked towards base and could see the cloud of bellowing smoke. My heart just sunk and I cried.

It was just a year ago that I was the crew chief on 002 and I had put in my paperwork to retire. It was being replaced by the end of the year by 354 so she could go into depot. Now it's gone, along with 24 brave crew members. I can still see that cloud of smoke like it was yesterday.

Yes Yukla 27, I remember.


For my previous post on Yukla 27, click below.





Sunday, September 21, 2014

Autumn is Falling Fast

With  the fabulous summer we had, we can't complain about fall going so fast. Mother Nature has us Alaskans paying for that summer, but that's OK.
 The rain has the leaves falling fast, but some of the colors are still out there.
 Not everyone has gone to their winter home yet.
 This eagle was traveling so fast that I barely had time to focus and shoot before he was long out of range. He was in a hurry for something.
Macy wasn't in a hurry for anything. That nice warm sun felt good.