A Chuckle While Tidying Up…


Tidying Up

A couple of our favorite blogs have changed their “homes” recently. We would like to congratulate them on their new digs and encourage you to look at the the projects they’ve taken on since moving.

Bill Hess , Alaskan photographer and blogger extraordinaire (amongst all his other accomplishments and activities ) has moved from his delightful Wasilla by 300…  to a more photograph friendly set up at Logbook -Alaska, Wasilla, Beyond.   The quality of the visuals on his new site are blow-your-shorts-off better . Bill is the same , thank heavens, and has created another wonderful place to visit.

Saima of Kotzebue had started a blog about raising chickens in the far north at Tundra Chicks in 2009 on a Blogger platform. This last October she moved to a WordPress platform and the new tundrachicks  promises to continue to delight as a window on her chicken projects as well as family life .

The links in our blogroll on our Home Page lead to the new homes our neighbors have moved to and we hope you stop by and see what they are up to!

A Welcome Smile

Search terms which bring  folks to Anonymous Bloggers tend to be fairly predictable. People who have questions about Alaskan Salmon, cold climate housing, cold climate gardening, and fishing issues stop by regularly since they tend to choose  those terms for searching.

We see folks regularly popping in to read the little bit we have about subsistence issues, alternative energy info, and so on.

Sometimes a term just makes us wonder though, wonder how it got people here and what they got out of their visit.

In this last few days “just found out alaska is not an island” has brought someone(s) to visit here 3 times.

I laughed until I almost cried when I saw that in the Search Engine Terms list in the background here.

It reminded me of so many funny and sometimes frustrating attempts to get things shipped into or out of Southeast Alaska, trying to explain we don’t have UPS Ground because we don’t have any roads ,well yes, we have local roads, but there is no road into or out of Southeast, no, we’re not nearer Hawaii than Seattle, the barges which serve us come out of Seattle, yes, we are mostly islands but also part of the continental United States while not being part of the contiguous United States… Agh!

I remembered opening a gift at Christmas when I was 6 and how my excitement  turned to horror when I really looked at it . It was a map puzzle of America and Alaska was an island off in the South Pacific ! My ma assured me with a smile that Alaska hadn’t fallen off  the continent but I never did put that puzzle piece back in that place. I  laid it north of  Washington State and taped it on so it wouldn’t fall off ever again!

We appreciate everyone who stops by, even and especially those who remind us in unconventional ways of how much we treasure this place, this Alaska, this non-island on the huge island of North America.

Thanks for stopping by.


20 Responses to “A Chuckle While Tidying Up…”

  1. fromthediagonal Says:

    Thanks for sending that smile this morning!

    I agree, geography is not “on the map” of way too many citizens.
    One would think that people would at least have bothered to find out more about the home state of a potential future VP?
    (Not going into politics, merely the lack interest in education).

    I was surprised this past year that people still have no idea that Juneau is the seat of State Government, nor do they have the vaguest idea of where on the map to find it.

    You have dealt with this general ignorance all your life.
    That has to be very discouraging.

    Let me return that smile to you:
    On my first journey to AK in 1999 a friend and I actually found out how to get to the state overland! Yes, two middle aged women driving from the Southeastern end of the continent to canyon country, to the Pacific Northwest, up the AlCan Highway, around the state and down past Anchorage to where the road ends. There she decided to stay and after three more weeks of admiring the beauty of the surroundings I flew back home,= to flat country, vowing I would return. As you know, I did this year by taking my grandson to Juneau, and so I will again, circumstances permitting.

  2. alaskapi Says:

    I am hoping so very much that you get to return to Southeast fromthediagonal!
    And you did make me smile. This place gets into your head and heart and never lets you go, doesn’t it?
    I have learning disabilities which made/make it very hard to sort out what I’m seeing often times. My beloved Pop sat me down when I was about 5 and taught me how to orient myself directionally to NESW , telling me that right and left only told me where the world was in relation to me and that knowing my bearings told me where I was in relation to the world, which he thought was much more useful.
    We spent hours and hours, over years, spinning a globe, poring over maps, and outside looking at geographic features to measure from.
    When I talk with someone or read about a place I’ve never been I can hardly wait to find it on a map and try to give it a “place” in my mind. :-)
    I think so much of Alaska, off the road system and off the railbelt, exists in folks’ minds as some vast uncharted place because the usual measures of highways and so on do not apply.( Maps of the US which are more interested in political boundaries than real “whereness” , which put us off in the South Pacific, don’t help either.)
    It’s a problem here too- amongst ourselves. With so many folks clustered in and around Anchorage who have all the usual measures of highways and all , so much of the state seems exotic and far away and unreachable to them because one cannot get there-from-here in ways which seem “usual”.
    Makes me sad that it is considered a “barrier” to have no road in. It’s pretty dang cool that we have ferries and other water transportation in a place of water and islands, that we have better air service than communities Outside of similar size. Our “place” is easy to reach if folks drop the “usual”. :-)

  3. fromthediagonal Says:

    I thank you for your reply and the description of your studies in geography. Your grandfather’s teachings probably molded your understandings in many more ways…

    My moniker, by the way, is descriptive. Both from the geographical and from the political approaches I have arrived at this stage in life through the non-conventional thinking and being that comes with living in different places and cultures.

    I feel that I know a bit of you from your commentaries and would love to exchange thoughts with you…

  4. benlomond2 Says:

    and here I thought Alaska was part of the Russian island chain !! I mean, it’s right there! Wave to Putin for me, will ya ??? …and ben scurries around the corner !!

  5. alaskapi Says:

    ben! :-)

    Actually- we’re all waiting to wave at the Renda a mile or less from shore off Nome!
    Will add a wave for you my friend !


  6. benlomond Says:

    Been following that ship’s journey… hope it gets there in one piece and safely delivers its much needed cargo…..hhhhmmmm is this a new annual event, similar to delivering vaccine ???

  7. jim Says:

    Hi Alaska PI:

    You mentioned UPS. This made me also think of USPS. I think bypass mail will be one of this year’s big issues for rural Alaska.

    Canada may value its federalism a lot more than our United States values ours– Canada’s federal government supports Canada’s northern regions. I can tell you from personal experience that they intensely value Canada’s sovereignty over their Arctic territory. They realize the importance of sovereignty in all its various flavors.

    Losing bypass mail in Alaska could have far reaching consequences not only to Rural Alaska but also to the United States. Too bad that our federal government may not understand this.

  8. ugavic Says:

    I am watching the news and have heard that the ice breaker and fuel tanker in now in NOME!! Yippee!!
    Through up to 8′ of ice at times. Some 300 miles of it!!
    Am glad our little corner is good for both fuel, so far, and snow…manageable!!
    One thing I have come to appreciate in AK is how to REALLY look at the landscape, usually from the air, so I know where I am. I have always been lucky that I had a ‘sense of direction’ and good with maps but learning to look at terrain and how the light can affect that.
    Learning to make my way not just with a GPS when there is ‘flat light’ and lots of white only:-)
    Alaska does get under your skin and is well worth anyone coming to visit any part of the great state!!

  9. fromthediagonal Says:

    ugavic, I like the term “flat light”.
    I have always just called the Light of the North, but this is so much more descriptive.
    Growing up on the North Sea coast I have vivid memories of the effect of flat light on a flat winter landscape. It can be as disorienting as the “pea so” of rapidly rolling in sea fogs. Yet there are rare occasions when the sun on its low orbit breaks through the cloud or fog cover and each twig, each leftover stand of grain become a fragile, crystalline sculpture.
    Whether it embraces us in the peace and quiet of new snowfall or lashes out with the harshness of storms which brook no errors in judgment, each landscape has its own beauty if we just permit ourselves to see it.
    You just jostled loose some old memories, and I thank you, Ing

  10. fromthediagonal Says:

    Sorry, make that … “pea soup” fogs…

  11. Susan in North Pole Says:

    I like to check and see how people stumble upon my AK blog every month or so. Last week, someone found me by searching for “junky cars for sale”. I have no clue how that brought them to my site, as I don’t have a junky car for sale, nor have I ever had a junky car for sale.

    Just yesterday, someone came to my blog when they searched for “duck hug images”! I don’t think I’ve ever seen a duck hug, but that sure would be an interesting photo to add to my gallery.

  12. alaskapi Says:

    ben- I’ve enjoyed the Alaska Dispatch’s “dispatches” from Captain Garay all along the way :

    and as always, The Nome Nugget, with it’s long articles and coverage of local news

    The current Jan 12th edition has a long story about the whys and hows and whos of this project.

  13. alaskapi Says:

    I have grave concerns over the wrangling about bypass mail too. It is another one of those highways-which-don’t-look-like-the-usual-highway kind of things like our Marine Highway here in Southeast, only larger. In this time of concern all across the country about how government money is spent , I am more and more concerned about the tendency to view anything and everything which is outside the ken of “usual” as frivolous and/or special.
    We are on the verge of consolidating too much in the name of fiscal prudence. We are shutting out rural areas even more than we have in the last 30 years from some notion of they-aren’t-paying-their-fair-share which is shaky at best if you look at the vast subsidized underpinnings of the “usual”.
    It makes me sad and disgusted.

  14. alaskapi Says:

    I truly laughed out loud over “ducky hug” and “junky cars for sale” ! :-)
    We had changed the link to Saima’s blog some time back but hadn’t called attention to it until now. Lo and behold , she has a post up currently about “nudist” being a term which was bringing folks to her blog!
    It’s fun to think about what brings people to visit and thank you for stopping by here.
    Your pics and remarks about your dog and booties-to-be-found-in-the-spring fit right into a conversation here in the background about all of our dogs and booties and 2-3 legged hops of those who shed theirs along the way to do their business.
    Small world, eh?

  15. benlomond Says:

    Pi… I’ve been following on Yahoo as well as the Dispatch…Wife following the Italian Cruise ship incident closely ( travel Agent) and I read Alaskan Ear frequently on ADN.., reminds me of Herb Caan of the SF Chron – miss his outlook on things… I’ll check out the nome nugget..

  16. ugavic Says:

    Looks like the Nome fuel delivery is a success, but they still need to get out of there safely.
    @Susan- I got a few minutes to peek in at your blog..great pictures!

  17. Bill of Wasilla Says:

    Thanks for the plug for my new blog and the kind words!

  18. alaskapi Says:

    ben- here’s a cool video about the Nome fuel tanker thing.
    The Nugget has been expanding it’s format in a lot of welcome ways- one of the best papers in Alaska, in print and online.
    Watch out for loud music though on that vid- :-)
    Sure sorry to watch that cruise ship tragedy unfold.

    Bill- you are welcome! So glad to see the better photo format there and have long enjoyed your view of the world- through a camera eye or in commentary. Very best wishes to you!

  19. benlomond2 Says:

    Thanks ! saw on news refueling of Nome completed … now if the ship can get back out and away safely …. uuuhhh… maybe Nome can put it’s order in NOW for next winter’s fuel , with an August delivery ??? hehehhee! ben runs for the hills…

  20. Miss Demeanor Says:

    As a shopkeeper, I have had out of staters ask if we in Alaska accept US currency.
    I have also been told by mail order businesses “We only ship to the North American continent.”
    The lack of knowlege is staggering at times!
    Love your blog, and your photos.

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