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Even Better News

Just a few tidbits of good news to share with everyone:

Norm Coleman Ordered To Pay Al Franken $95K By Minnesota Court

Miss California Losing Crown After All

John Ziegler, Palin’s personal filmmaker and shameless self-promoter, gets a smackdown

Gingrich looks even more ridiculous by accusing nominee Sotomayor of pretending to break her ankle

And just for fun, here’s a quote from an online chat with Kathleen Parker, columnist over at www.washingtonpost.com:

San Francisco: Do you think that a lot of the interest in Palin is just curiosity? During the election campaign, everyone I spoke to, liberal or conservative, said they would go to hear her speak – but not a one thought she was a qualified candidate for national office. They just wanted to see her because she is such an anomaly.

Kathleen Parker: She’s interesting. As Flannery O’Connor once said, “People will stand in line to shake hands with a monkey.” Or something to that effect.”

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Palin’s had a busy week, yet again. I missed most of it due to a nasty case of strep, so I think I’ll just sum up.

Wednesday: Pipeline- That pesky Senator Begich is poking his nose into Sarah’s business again, asking questions about her pipeline. Who does he think he is, a public servant or something?

Wednesday: Phew!- Luckily, one good thing happened to Sarah this week. Another ethics complaint was dismissed by that handy Personnel Board. Good thing she hired most of them herself.

Wednesday: Public Education Standards? Pshaww!- Palin got on the short bus this week to join a small group of governors who have said thanks but no thanks to helping develop national education standards. Who are these other brave governors? Why, none other than Texas Governor Rick “Let’s Just Succeed From the Union” Perry and South Carolina Governor Mark “You Can’t Make Me Take Money for Education” Sanford, of course. Oh, and Missouri Governor Jay Nixon. I have yet to figure out what his problem is.

Thursday: Politicians Use Their Power- Alaska Legislators are considering flexing their override muscles when it comes to the stimulus money that Palin has refused to accept. Now, if they could only get her to actually ask for it. Hmm…maybe if they tell her that she’s the only state in the whole country to refuse to take energy money. Nah, she’ll just feel all mavericky and stuff.

Thursday: Political Correctness: Screw It- AKM braved the most difficult challenge yet: facing both Michael Reagan and Sarah Palin in one sitting. Warning: this post is hard to sit through, and that’s not because of AKM’s writing. It’s just, well, nauseating.

Saturday: Pay Up!- Sarah has until June 23rd to repay the state for her family’s illegal trip-taking. I sure hope she got an advance on that “book.”

Saturday: Palin Plagarizes- You remember that speech up there? The one listed for Thursday? Well, turns out she didn’t write it all by herself. Raise your hand if you’re surprised. Yep, that’s what I thought.

Saturday: Parade- What’s the best way to wrap up a week like Sarah’s? A parade, of course! I bet Sarah felt like Miss Alaska again, even for just a moment. She’s going to need those positive feelings to last. I mean, tomorrow’s the start of another long week for the Governor. Lets hope this one works out a little better than the last one.

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One Lovely Blog

A dear friend of mine who I met through Mudflats awarded me the One Lovely Blog award this past week.
OLB+award

I am humbled, as it is her blog that I feel is truly worthy. Therefore, I’m giving the award back to her. You can read her amazing food blog, Life’s a Feast, here. Jamie is one of those cooks who makes the most divine dishes look simple. She’s living in France, but spent seven years in Italy, which makes her food even that more exotic and amazing. I wish I could jump on a plane right now and go try her artichoke-asparagus risotto. Jamie presents the backstory for each recipe, and then takes you through it, step by step, with gorgeous pictures to lead the way. She amazes me. So thanks, Jamie. It’s been wonderful to get to know you and your lovely blog.

Since Jamie passed on her award to more than just one blog, I shall do the same. Here are just a few of the blogs that I’ve discovered in the past year that have improved my life and opened my eyes.

Making it Lovely- Nicole Balch is a designer/shop owner extraordinaire who never ceases to amaze me with her talent and creativity. She owns a little shop called PinkLovesBrown.com, where you can find unique stationery, note cards, pins and mirrors. Nicole is on maternity leave right now, as her new baby girl has recently arrived, but is still posting at Making It Lovely.

Da Goddess- My friend Joanie is a photographer. She loves da blues, and her kids Mojo and Little Dude. Joanie has become one of the unlikely people I’ve encountered through the tubes that I think I’ll be friends with forever. Her life has its ups-and-downs (whose doesn’t?) but she always shares whatever is happening with us, and for that, I think she is one of the bravest people I’ve ever met. Her photos are beautiful and she enjoys sharing her expertise with the reader. You deserve this award, Joanie. Thanks for being a great friend.

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For all of you women (and you know who you are) who want come up here to find Mr. Right up here in Alaska, you might want to check this out.

David Traver of Anchorage, Alaska, the overall champion of the 2009 World Beard and Moustache Championships.

On the right: David Traver of Anchorage, Alaska, the overall champion of the 2009 World Beard and Moustache Championships.

That’s right, his beard is in the shape of a snowshoe. Niiiiice. There is a saying we have up here about Alaskan men: The odds are good, but the goods are odd.

Hey, I’m married to an Alaskan man. You can take my word for it.

For the ADN article and links to more pictures, click here.

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Alaska is known for its tough men and equally tough women. Now, thanks to a group of cold-hearted middle schoolers in Palmer, we can add children to the list. According to the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman, a group of middle school PE students taunted a moose so badly that he killed himself. I just don’t understand how we have come to this. What makes a person tease an animal big enough to kill an adult male so severely that it kills itself? According to other students who witnessed the tragedy, the students doing the teasing were laughing at the moose as it threw itself into the fence and made fun of the witnesses for crying and feeling sorry for the moose.

As an educator, I see cruelty almost every day. Children can be cruel to each other as well as to adults, if we let them. If taught from an early age that this behavior is unacceptable, it stops. Too many parents these days are either too busy to take the time to see what kind of people their children are becoming, or they just don’t care. We must do more to raise our children. When our children don’t have the sense to not only stay away from moose but to tease and taunt them, we have failed.

These kids are lucky. I could be writing this story about their death instead of the moose’s. I can only hope they understand what they have done and have some sense of remorse.

RIP

RIP

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Iditarod 2009!

My family and I spent the day today watching the Iditarod, live and in person. We decided to go down the street to the Chester Creek Trail instead of going downtown. We figured the crowds would be crazy, plus anywhere Sarah Palin is, I am not. I want to avoid her at all costs. (I don’t want the crazy rubbing off on me.)

Here are some pictures:

ed-stielstra-46

Ed Stielstra, #46

jeff-king-41

Jeff King, a 4-time winner (he’s won 4 times out of the 19 races he’s run. That’s over 20%.), was holding his cell phone above his head, yelling, “Make some NOISE!!” You could tell he was really having fun. My question is, who was on the other end of the cell phone?

Here’s a little video of Lance Mackey’s run:

If you’re not familiar, Lance has won the last two Itidarods and is a cancer survivor. This man is tough as nails.

After seeing Lance, we went down to the Alaska Native Health Consortium building where Horizon was hosting a community get-together to watch the race. There were free hot dogs, chips, soda, hot chocolate and cookies. It was a real treat to have food while watching the race. The best part was that they were wrapping up hot dogs and offering them to the racers as they flew by. One musher, Jen Seavey (#61), yelled “Yay, hot dogs!” as she went by, catching it on the fly. It was pretty funny. Many mushers seemed grateful to be offered food while on the trail. Good times.

Here’s one more picture to help explain the uniqueness of Alaska:

only-in-alaska

And yes, that is a woman. You gotta love Alaska.

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What I Want for New Year’s

I found this Snowzilla T-shirt today and I love it. Cool, no?

jitcrunch

You can buy it and many other Snowzilla items here.

Looks like Snowzilla has some competition, though. ADN is reporting that for Fur Rondy, the city has the mayor’s blessing to build an even bigger snowman. Game on.

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My sister gave my a DVD of The Electric Company for Christmas, which we just finished watching. It was amazing just how much of it I remembered. In particular, I remembered the animated songs, like the “ly” song:

I remembered “Hey, You Guys!”, but didn’t know it was actually Rita Moreno playing Millie, the helper in one of the Bill Cosby skits.

And that led us to You Tube, where we found some of our favorite Sesame Street clips. My husband remembered this one:


And this is one of my all-time favorites:

Remember this one?

And these?

And this one from Sesame Street, courtesy of my friend Kara:

And my all time favorite skit, The Yip-Yips Meet the Telephone:

And just to prove Sesame Street kicks ass:

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We went to visit Snowzilla this evening, figuring he could use all the support he could get. While we were there, I took a little video and thought I’d share it with you. It’s not much, but it is a little glimpse into a true Alaskan legend. (If you look closely, you can see how tiny the woman is standing in front of him–gives a bit of perspective.)

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a Good Night!

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Long Live Snowzilla!

Yesterday, Anchorage became famous for being the first (I hope) city for threatening to kill Frosty the Snowman. That’s right, you heard what I said. Here’s a picture of said snowman:

Courtesy of adn.com

Courtesy of adn.com

The city told the owner of Snozilla’s property that he must cease and desist the construction of the 25-foot snowman. So, he did. Anchorage residents were rightfully upset. They called into local radio talk-shows to complain. They left comments on the adn.com website. There was even a website created. Go to www.snowzilla.org for more info.

I decided to visit Snowzilla, since I didn’t know whether he would be taken down by the city’s backhoe or by the owner himself (he was threatened with arrest if he built it). He was magnificent! He is much grander than the photo belies.

The city has issued a press release:

In reference to the many questions received today regarding Snowzilla, below is the response from city officials.

Snowzilla Response

December 23, 2008

Anchorage prides itself on being a family-focused city, encouraging community spirit and comraderie. However, there must be a balance, especially for those most affected by spectacles like Snowzilla, which is the neighbors who are enduring hours of increased traffic flow; cars stopped and parked to take photos; the latest pattern of inebriated locals stopping in the middle of the night to photograph Snowzilla; and the overall impact of having a structure this size in the middle of a neighborhood. This is a neighborhood of small homes on small lots connected by small streets. It can’t support the volume of traffic and revelers that are interested in Snowzilla.

This property owner has repeatedly ignored city attempts to find ways to accommodate his desire to build a giant snowman without affecting the quiet, residential quality of the neighborhood. The property owner appears to operate a large junk or salvage operation year-round from this residence. He has violated MOA land use codes for thirteen years. The owner has reneged on dozens of commitments he has made to his neighbors and city officials to cease the most offensive property uses. He currently owes the city more than $100,000 in fines and other assessments, primarily related to his junk and trash operations.

We continue to be willing to meet with the property owner to resolve these legitimate neighborhood concerns. We don’t expect the city to take any further action until after the Christmas holiday.

Jenny Evans

Communications Director

Office of Mayor Mark Begich

907-343-7103

Nice. What a great way to make the city look good- air all his (completely unrelated) dirty laundry in public. I bet Mayor Senator Begich is proud.

Long live Snowzilla! May he live to fight another day!

Courtesy of adn.com, reader submitted

Outside of City Hall, Courtesy of adn.com, reader submitted

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