Saturday, June 19, 2010

A dream in the midnight dusk.

2:48 am

I don’t normally remember my dreams, even the one’s that soon slide away after I’ve woken from a start. And I have never written down the fleeting shards of a dream as it scrambles away in the first moments of wakefulness.

But this one… this ethereal experience… this one I wanted to keep.

We were standing in back of our new house which was in an old and spacious neighborhood on top of a hill that rolled broadly down to the ocean. A friend was with us, and the friend’s daughter and our daughter we darting around the unfenced yard, diving behind the detritus left by the former homeowner then reappearing through unkempt tangles of shrubs.

In the middle of one foray, my daughter asked if we would like to see the “tunnel” then disappeared into a hole in the middle of the abandoned street in our back yard. I followed, expecting that she had found some old manhole… expecting to find the kind of place that just wasn’t safe for kids. I stayed down there long enough to know that it was fairly safe, then I went back out, looked at my wife, and said “You gotta see this.”

The opening of the tunnel lead through a break in concrete wall buried beneath our new yard. When we stepped through, it was like stepping into a time capsule. The concrete wall belonged to a house, a house that I’d guess dated to the late forties, a modern/post modern house that was very Frank Lloyd Wright, a house that was so perfectly preserved that I kept expecting the owners to come in and chase us away.

The windows of the house were large plates of clear glass bordered by leaded frames of red and blue and green art glass. The windows lead to expansive views of the harbor below, of the hill sloping down in a broad curve of grass, of boats bobbing quietly in a clear summer breeze.

As we moved deeper into the house, the floors began to rise and fall in short succession. It was like looking at a single still photo of earthquake waves. The walls were split in places, allowing the sunlight to stream in, but everything inside was preserved like it was in a museum.

As we moved further into the house, I began to wonder if it was some kind of semi-subterranean museum, but then I realized it was a hotel, an opulent art deco hotel, and we were moving down a grand hallway on the ground floor. Along the hallway were open glass shelves lined with Depression glass vases and craftsman style crafts. The place reminded me of the Philbrook in Tulsa, but larger… seemingly endless.

Lots of passages led into the old hotel from the town above. It was obvious that the upper levels of the hotel had been dozed into the suburban lawns and shopping malls of our town. Some of the passageways were open, and evidence of looting was strewn about—broken pottery, torn wallpaper, soiled carpets.

We started talking about what a shame it was that our town had let this happen to this wonderful grand hotel. It was the last ideal example of its kind... and the people from our town seemed to not even care.

It was at this point that a charley-horse pulled me out of bed. As I hobbled across the floor, I realized that it was dream, then I realized that it was more than just a dream. The house-museum-hotel buried beneath the urban sprawl was a metaphor for what Alaska will be in the future.

At this point, let me say that I am glad that we moved here, but I and also deeply saddened by what I see going on around me. I am glad because I have gotten to see Alaska in all it wild, pristine beauty. I am saddened because I know that this beauty is short-lived. We are in the process of neglecting and looting and burying Alaska just like the people had forgotten and abused the hotel in my dreams. And no one seems to care.

That’s what my dream was really about—Alaska in the future when everything that made Alaska, well, Alaska, will be gone. The Great Land will have been crushed by the indelible thumbprint of America and people will find small pockets of wonder buried beneath the subdivisions and shopping malls. And everyone will go about their lives as if this is the way things should be. Our manifested destiny.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

What am I gonna do now?

I emerged from a few days in a remote Western Alaska village to find out that our beloved govenress had decided to call it quits. It leaves me rather bewildered, to tell the truth, and I think my language will suffer.

No longer will I be able to refer to bulldozers which pillage the earth as Caterpalins. When a coworker makes a mistake, I won't be able to say "You really Palined up this time!" I won't be able to refer to vile, evil and bigoted acts as being 'palinesque'. And I'll really miss sitting down on the porcelain throne to take a palin.

But at least I'll be able to sing this little song...

(Thx to for the tune.)

Sunday, March 29, 2009


As I stood in the darkness stapling plastic sheeting over the open end of our stable, I heard two sounds: the crunch of snow beneath my ladder and the tiny little impacts of volcanic ash hitting the plastic.

My immediate thought was "Well, isn't this a unique situation."

But the stable need to be closed in because the chicken coop is in the stable and we just can't have our chickens breathing in shards of volcanic glass. (Which is, of course, why I was out there breathing in shards of volcanic glass.)

Every day is a wonder.

In other news, Omegadotter placed 2nd in the State Science Fair today. (Double WOOT!) After dinner this evening, we played while half-watching the Kid's Choice Awards on the tube. She asked me to be 'The Announcer' then give her an award. I asked her for what, and she replied "Best Sciency Gymnasticy Cooking Ice-Skater." For this, I give her a Triple WOOT! My little chicken farmer knows better than to put all her eggs in one basket.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I shoulda mentioned...

That the little ol' Louisiana guvner really can't help himself when it come's to knowing how to manage a natural disaster.

After all, he is a Republican.

And it was the Republicans who turned the tragedy of Katrina into, well... the TRAGEDY OF KATRINA.

Monday, March 23, 2009


This is an image from a seismograph located just a stone's throw from my house, my wife, my seven year old daughter, my dog, my two cats, three turtles and (sadly now only) 5 chickens. See all those big groupings of blue lines? Those are the signatures of Mt. Redoubt erupting.... six times in the past day.

It's been cloudy, so we haven't gotten any good images of this batch of belches from the neighborhood blowhole, but last time Redoubt erupted, it looked like this...

Yeah, scary shit.

But not quite as scary as this...
This is the little shithead governor of Louisiana who claimed that President Obama didn't need to be spending money monitering volcanos that are pratically in my back yard.

Obviously, I beg to differ. We do need volcano monitering right here in the good old USA. What don't need is more mindless Republican rhetoric.

(Note that I resisted going on a rant about how the Republican Party has become a haven for Neo-Nazi Fascism... because... well... take a gander at the pic of Bobby Jindal above.... what do you think he's saying?)

Sunday, March 8, 2009

What's Wrong With America, #7,362

I just did a quick Google in hope that I'd find someone who'd actually done brain surgery on a Barbie... but, alas, we Americans seem to lack the creativity and forsight to undertake such a task. Or we're just plain old lazy.

So now I feel challenged. Hmmm... I could pick up a scapel at the vet's office. (If I tell my vet what I'm thinking, she'd probably offer an operating room.) And I could use a dremel tool as a cranial saw... and I could pick up a brand new Barbie just about anywhere. (And yes, it would have to be a new one. I'd hate for my skeptiks to claim that an 'old' barbie 'lost' her brain before I performed my little experimental operation.)

(Okay, this is starting to sound a little weird. Sorry, but hellsbells folks, somebody's gotta do it. I see it as my duty in a sort of Save America kind of way. Show the world that we still have some spunk.)

Of course, part of me is afraid to do this. What if I opened Barbie up and found Sarah Palin's brain in there?

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Wanted: Laws Against People Posing as Parents

Middle of the night in Alaska, and I get up to grab a snack then try to surf myself back to sleep… only to find that I don’t want to sleep now. What I want to do is stomp my feet, scream out loud and smack some people upside their heads.

I came across a news story on CNN (Conservative Nuts & Neanderthals). I don’t know why I look at CNN when I should be sleeping. Actually, I don’t know why I look at CNN at all. It’s better than Fox, but that’s like saying that swimming in bat shit is better than drowning in bat shit. Either way, you get covered in bat shit.

People are up in arms because BBC hired a young lady named Cerrie Burnell to host two kid’s shows on BBC’s CBeebies television network. Ms. Burnell was born with only one hand. I didn’t notice this when I saw her promo photo. What I did notice that she is an attractive, blonde twenty-something who does not look like Barbie. For this alone, I praise BBC. I’m sick of looking at kids TV and seeing some Barbie Wannabee trying to brainwash my daughter.

(The dotter and I have been doing kitchen science projects as of late. I’m tempted to teach her Brain Surgery. We could get a Barbie, cut open its head, and say “Look… it’s empty!!!”)

BBC has received over 25 official complaints because Ms. Burnell is disabled. Some folks are complaining because she ‘scares’ their children. (She looks like the girl next door.) Others are whining because they have been ‘forced’ to talk about disabilities with their kids.

Who the fuck let these people raise children??????? Didn’t they have to fill out the oodles and scads of paperwork detailing everything they’ve ever felt, thought, eaten or drove by? Didn’t they have to pour out their entire lives to total strangers and a judge? Didn’t they endure the months of introspection? The tedious wait on getting their paperwork processed? The home visits by social workers that have nothing to do with the home and everything to do with the homeowner?

Oh… wait… I just remembered. These people didn’t have to do these things. I did. I adopted my daughter. I had to think long and hard about being a parent before I could be a parent.

These people didn’t have to do anything.

As I said on the rant that I posted to CNN… these people aren’t parents. They’re just folks who happened to have a sperm or an egg then they happened to have a baby.