Two people have now come into my office and said that the snow is sticking on the ground. I work two stories underground, so I cannot confirm it at this time. It did snow in August, but so far no snow has been sticking in the lower elevations. The hills along Chena Hot Springs Road had a light dusting of white yesterday, though. Is it time to accept that another Alaska winter has begun?
Dutch Reporter to Use Heroin, Pot on TV
AMSTERDAM, Netherlands - A field reporter for a new Dutch television talk show plans to use heroin and other illegal drugs on the air during the weekly program on issues that concern young people, producers said Wednesday.
The announcement of "Shoot Up and Swallow," scheduled to premiere as a late-night show Oct. 10, sparked an outcry.
Even in the liberal Netherlands, where marijuana is sold and used openly, the proposed drug use by reporter Filemon Wesselink is illegal.
"This is dangerous and it sets a bad example," said Pieter Heerma, spokesman for the governing center-right Christian Democrat party. "We're going to ask the justice minister for his view on what the law says about this, and his view on the dangers and risks involved."
Justice Ministry spokesman Ivo Hommes said it was not immediately clear whether Wesselink could be prosecuted. Possession of any amount of heroin is illegal, but in practice police usually do not arrest anyone with less than a half gram of the highly addictive narcotic.
"The actual taking of drugs is a health problem, not a criminal act, though it's obviously hard to take drugs without possessing them first," Hommes said. "In any case, it's not something we endorse, and doing it on television is undesirable."
The show's in-studio host, Sophie Hilbrand, will interview guests about drug use and abuse, while Wesselink appears in segments taped in the field as he experiments with drugs and liquor. Another reporter, Ties Van Westing, will do segments about engaging in sex acts, but not on camera.
For one episode, Wesselink, 26, plans to smoke heroin, said Ingrid Timmer, spokeswoman for the show's producer, BNN. For others, he plans to go on a drinking binge in a series of pubs and to take the hallucinogenic drug LSD — on his couch under the supervision of his mother.
"It's not our intention to create an outcry. We just want to talk about subjects that are part of young people's lives," Timmer said.
The Netherlands is known for its lenient marijuana policy, under which the sale and use of the drug in small quantities are not prosecuted even though technically illegal. Other drugs, including heroin, LSD, cocaine and Ecstasy, are outlawed, and dealers are prosecuted. The legal age for consumption of alcohol and tobacco is 16.
According to the Trimbos Institute, a Dutch group that monitors international drug use, the Dutch are about average among industrial nations.
It says 6 percent of Dutch have used marijuana recently, compared with 8 percent in the United States, 8 percent in Britain and 9 percent in France. For cocaine, it was 1.1 percent in Holland — and rising quickly — compared to 1.3 percent in the United States, 1.5. percent in Britain and 0.3 percent in France. Comparable data for heroin were not available.
BNN has drawn viewer complaints for previous shows, including one that included a segment on how to have sex in a nightclub.
It's got nothing to do with the intriguing Inuit movie. It's got everything to do with Tom and the Equinox Marathon.
Tom has been working hard and training all summer for the marathon, which follows a particularly grueling trail to the top of Ester Dome and back. Some call it the second-toughest marathon in the United States. Part of the course runs along Goldhill Road. Since Hidden Hill is about 3 miles from the finish line, I decided to gather a crowd to support Tom. We met with chairs, barbecue and keg in Susan's driveway and settled in around 10:30 a.m. to wait for the runners. We didn't have to wait long.
We were joined at various times by James Savage, Gretta and Jacob Stone, William Walters, Scott Bell and his daughters, Melissa Hart, Ian Burcroft, Nancy Fresco, Jay Cable, Jen Wenrick, Don Crow, Margaret Friedenauer, Justin and Sofia, two women we didn't know and two guys who stopped their car to see if they could have some beer, then gave it to their friend who was running.
I had made signs to encourage Tom, since I was sick and couldn't yell much. We clapped for all the runners until we saw Tom coming down the road. Then we started yelling and cheering. He was about 20 minutes ahead of his projected schedule, and looked like he was in great shape. He called out to us as he went by, but didn't stop for a hamburger or a beer.
Melissa lent me her fancy digital camera so I could head for the finish line and capture Tom in all his sweaty glory. As the clock ticked steadily closer to 4 hours, Tom appeared out of the woods and headed for the finish chute.
At 3:46:32.5, Tom crossed the finish line in 22nd place. He was in suprisingly good shape considering what he'd just put his body through. After numerous congratulations, I left him to shower and headed back to the party.
With only Bob Eley left to root for, we started offering up beer to the runners along with the water and Powerade. Only 14 people took us up on the beer offer, and none would go for a kegstand. Bob Eley passed up the offer of a beer and finished the race in 6:57:47.1, a great time for someone who was not exactly active until a year ago.
I hope Tom plans to run the race again next year, because we had a great time encouraging all the runners. I'm grateful to all my friends who came out to help support Tom, and I'm incredibly proud of Tom for blowing a lot of the competition out of the water in his first marathon. Way to go!!
Did that get your attention?
Wis. Librarians Pose for Sexy CalendarWAUPACA, Wis. - Projecting an image very different from that in which librarians are usually portrayed, six area library administrators have produced a sexy calendar they are selling to raise money for their libraries.
The idea for the "Desperate Librarians" 2006 wall calendar came about because Craig Lahm is retiring after 32 years of running Kaukauna's library, and his colleagues in the Outagamie Waupaca Library System wanted to come up with a different kind of gift.
Twelve of them decided they would use photographs of themselves to make a simple calendar that they would print at a Walgreens. But after the librarians took their idea to Countryside Photographers in Seymour, they decided to professionally produce a calendar and sell it as a fund-raiser.
That's when six of the 12 librarians bailed out. But five middle-aged library directors and a 32-year-old assistant each put up $200 and posed provocatively, using oversize books to cover what their clothes usually do.
Proceeds benefit the public libraries in Weyauwega, Clintonville, Marion, Seymour and Manawa as well as Waupaca.
The women appear to be naked in many of the photos, but all were at least partly clothed during the shoot, said Ellen Connor, Manawa's library director.
The six who took part in the project posed for two months each.
Connor said the women knew their idea was offbeat, so they decided to put up their own money, rather than ask their library boards to foot the bill. But they all got permission from their boards to participate and agreed to donate any profits to their libraries, she said.
As part of my indexing work at UAF, I've been working on the 1974 issues of the Pioneer All-Alaska Weekly. I came across this in the police blotter and, well, I just found it interesting.
25 bears?An Anchorage man reported taking seven bears in defense of life. The man said he and a companion had shot the seven bears at Dot Lake where he said 25 bears had attacked him. He said he didn't know whether or not he wounded any bears.
Troopers investigated, reporting they searched the area and found no sign of bears - that they found only some empty rifle casings and some trees had been shot up.
The troopers concluded the men were either having flash backs or were on some kind of drug trips.
Ah, Fairbanks during the pipeline heyday.
Since I moved into Hidden Hill, I've seen Hillbillies enjoying alcohol,
For anyone who's been living under a rock, Lost is an ABC television show that started last year. It tells the story of 48 plane crash survivors who find themselves trapped on an island with many secrets of its own. Sound like any other stupid plot? Well, it's not.
For starters, the first season focused on 14 of the survivors. Yes, 14 main characters. Despite the huge number of characters, nearly every one was fully developed, usually through a combination of island scenes and flashbacks. Some you love, some you hate, but you'll get to know all of them.
The island itself can almost be considered a character. Like the survivors, it has secrets. Early on, viewers learn there's something large and dangerous that lives on the island. There's also a polar bear and mysterious transmissions from a French woman.
Even if you've watched the entire season, watching it again is a new experience. Once you know a character's background, you can see new meanings in the way they act and react.
But the proof is in the pudding, so I put the DVDs on in the main cabin Monday night. Jen, Don and I started watching, then William wandered in and got caught. After 3 episodes, I tried to draw the line, but William and Don were demanding more. Tuesday night William returned, and Jen and Don soon wandered in. Savage derided us, then sat down, then started asking about the different characters. Again, I stopped them after 3 episodes.
Wednesday night I had burlesque rehearsal until 10:30, so I spent the night at Tom's and stopped by Hidden Hill to change in the morning. Don was not happy to see me. It seems William came over again Wednesday night, and the first thing Don said was "She's not here." Since the DVDs were locked up in my place, they couldn't get their fix, and they were jonesing. Bad.
I've promised more episodes after dinner tonight, but I'm not sure if they can handle this. They're screaming for 2, 3, 4 episodes a night now. What am I going to tell them when Season 1 is done and we only have 1 episode a week for the new season?
One of the best parts of Mondays is reading the list of births in the local paper. Many an extraneous 'n' or 'y' appears in those names. This week featured the following monikers and my best guess at the sex of the babies:
Lillian Katelyn: girl
Konnor Vincent: boy
Aurora Berlin: girl
Jenna Raelyn: girl
Chay'ne Michelle: girl
Gideon Lehui: boy, perhaps
Cheyne Lucas: boy
Ryder Carson: boy, maybe
Kylar Rain: girl
Colt Augustus: boy
Kierra Naomi: girl
Serenity Divine: stripper, I mean girl
Amaya Naje': girl
I found this article yesterday, which proves that odd names happen around the world.
British office complies list of odd names
LONDON - Horatio Hornblower is an odd name, but consider his siblings: Azubia, onstantia, Jecoliah, Jedidah, Jerusha and Erastus. Rene Jackaman, archive assistant at Cornwall County Record Office, found all those names after coming across a real-life namesake of C.S. Forester's fictional naval hero in county census records.
The Hornblower name has been on record for centuries.
Inspired by that discovery, staff and researchers at the Cornwall Record Office compiled a list of more than 1,000 unusual names found in censuses as well as in births, deaths and marriage records going back as far as the 16th century.
"My all-time favorites are Abraham Thunderwolff and Freke Dorothy Fluck Lane," she said.
Other discoveries included Boadicea Basher, Philadelphia Bunnyface, Faithful Cock, Susan Booze, Elizabeth Disco, Edward Evil, Fozzitt Bonds, Truth Bullock, Charity Shilly, Gentle Fudge, Obedience Ginger and Offspring Gurney.
Levi Jeans was married in Padstow, Cornwall, in 1797.
Other remarkable duos in the marriage records included Nicholas Bone and Priscilla Skin, joined in wedlock in 1636; Charles Swine and Jane Ham in 1711; John Mutton and Ann Veale in 1791, and Richard Dinner and Mary Cook in 1802.
Tom decided to work on the outhouse yesterday. Probably because I volunteered to be the one, to, um, scrape and level the shit in there. That's the job he definitely did NOT want to do. We started ripping out old boards before I had to go to burlesque rehearsal. After my rehearsal (OK, after the kegger I went to after my rehearsal) Tom couldn't wait to show me his handiwork.
May I just say he kicks ass? I didn't really want to use the outhouse at all before, but he put in a new floor, added supports under the deck, fixed up the foam seat, put up a squirrel-proof toilet paper holder, cleaned out all the mess, replaced the broken boards and hung some record album art. The outhouse is now a pleasant place to sit and read for a while. Pictures to come. Shit leveling to come, too. I'm trying not to think about that....
While looking for information on bird feet baskets (don't ask), I learned some new proper terminology.
Bird, Flipping the is written Middle-finger gesture
I've recently applied for a job with the borough library, and I do hope I get to show off my useless knowledge if I get an interview.
I've been slow on updating the blog lately. My only excuse is that it's autumn. Autumn inevitably makes me depressed as I realize that another glorious summer has passed by, and therefore I am one year closer to death.
After a busy Saturday of burlesque rehearsal and bellydancing at an outdoor Renaissance wedding, I decided to take a break on Sunday. Tom and I headed out for the White Mountains and hiked out on the Wickersham Dome trail. It was overcast, which kept most other people away, but it didn't rain much. The colors are as glorious as they get in Alaska, which is still nothing compared to New England. In Fairbanks, there are birch and aspen trees, which turn yellow. No trees turn red, but some bushes on the tundra do. We found several blueberry patches that were still quite tasty, so we spent some time collecting berries.
My attention is now focused on the rest of the month:
* Equinox Marathon - Tom will be running on September 17, and I am hosting a party, since my driveway is only 3 miles from the finish line. Unfortunately, the race starts at 8 a.m., which means I've got to rouse some people and get them out there for the barbecue and keg by 11:30-ish, when he should be passing us.
* Dance workshop and hafla - I am stuck in one part of my new choreography. I need to finish it so I can get everything nailed down. This is why I don't like choreography.
* Burlesque - Fleurs du Mal will be performing the weekend after the hafla. Which means I need to create another bellydance choreography, plus learn all the other routines I will be dancing.
Life in the far north is not always all it's cracked up to be. I can't see Russia from here, but that's probably because of the ice fog.
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