Mug Nug


Everything Greg Did Not Say (And Some Things He Did)
September 30, 2010, 1:41 pm
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So, after reading Greg’s lengthy post below, I couldn’t really decide whether I should write anything at all; believe it or not, he is telling the truth about what’s going on up here on the frontier. As our official blogger/PR liaison to the lower 48, what he failed to mention is that we have decided upon a new moniker — Reed Lakes — to play music under. Took us fucking long enough to decide, but I believe we are all happy with the new name. It’s much easier to explain to people and is actually searchable on the interwebs now. Booyah. Keep your eyes peeled (what a weird expression) for new music this winter, now with even more microKORG!

Now that I have started writing I’ve realized how out of the loop everyone down south is. Apologies for dropping off the radar for a few months… I guess you could say this summer has been a kind of revitalizing experience for me, and this is a really difficult thing to communicate to the outside world. I would love to be able to share all of this with you in person, but I won’t be leaving Alaska anytime soon. Unless I can find some way to get out of work midseason, I’ll next be in the Seattle-Portland-Spokane triptych around April.

My summer was… I can’t think of anything adequate to say about it. It was, varied? I started working right away at Nagley’s General Store when I arrived in May, and quickly was pulled over to bus tables and then started hosting at the West Rib Pub where Bradley worked both summers. The last week of May, one of the bartenders drunk-broke his clavicle and I was asked if I wanted to tend the pub. Fucking duh. So I poured lots of draught beer all summer and made some cash, and saw that it was good. I drank lots of draught beer too, and lots of that money is now gone. Whoops.

I don’t really need to rehash our backpacking trips, as Bradley and Greg have done well at describing those. This summer was the first time I ever hauled a backpack, and so far I’ve been able to get out to the Mint-Bomber traverse (see previous post), up to the top of Matanuska peak (6100 feet), and Spence, Greg and I just completed the Resurrection Pass trail (38.8 miles) Tuesday in a total of thirty-five hours. These trips have been incredible, both for the experience of standing on alien terrain and propelling myself to remote, high alpine views, and also due to the mental, physical, and emotional challenges that orienteering and distance hiking provide. Greg and I are going to that ice climbing workshop tomorrow through Sunday, another step toward the goal of being savvy mountaineers someday. Stay tuned for winter mountain adventures — backcountry riding and snow hiking/camping.

There’s more to say, but I don’t know how to cram four and a half months into words. Come to Alaska. That is all.

Love George



Can we start singing Christmas songs yet?
September 23, 2010, 1:00 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Greg’s post reminded me that I also have been pretty bad about blogging this summer (which is over), so here goes:

After having lots of free time over the past few years, but very little money, I woke up one day and decided that I wanted money more than time, at least for a little bit. So I got a second job at the Cafe MAC and worked 6-7 days a week for a good 3-4 months. But that got old, not to mention beaver work began to pick up, so now I’m back to the one steady job at The Lands Council, and though I’d like to say I work 5 days a week, right now it’s more like 6-7 because the beavers keep me so busy.

Yesterday I performed my first beaver relocation! It actually happened! Here’s how it went down:
1. Joe, the other half of Team Beaver, and I built a holding facility in me, Tyler, and Kelsey’s backyard. It is 8′ x 8′, with granite floors and walls made of powder coated steel so that the sneaky beavers can’t dig or chew their way out. There is a tub of water that I change once a day or more where they can swim and drink, and then a dog igloo thing sits on top of the tub so they can hide and sleep some place dry.
2. We worked with trappers from the Colville tribe and they live-trapped a beaver for us. We named him Justin and he lived in the holding facility for almost a week.
3. I forgot to lock the gate one night and Justin escaped! Trust me, know one is more devastated than I am. Joe bought me a water buffalo stuffed animal to cheer me up.
4. The trappers we were working with weren’t getting anywhere, so Joe and I took matters into our own hands.
5. I learned how to set and bait very scary, strong, double-spring, live traps. We put an add on Craigslist offering free nuisance beaver removal
6. Joe and I set traps at this private property site outside of Mead and caught 4 beaver brothers and sisters! We named them Juliet, Bubbles, Chomsky, and Blisters.
7. They lived in the backyard for a week, where we fed them fresh willow branches and I read aloud David Sedaris and Thomas Pynchon to them at night.
8. Joe and I loaded them into smaller cages and drove them to their new home outside of Republic, where we released them in the water and they happily purred like kittens and played like otters. Beavers are so cute!!

Holding onto beavers is a lot of responsibilty and much like being a new parent. I more than once called Joe in the evening to ask him for advice and help in beaver psychology. We have two more families to trap and relocate in the next two weeks, so things will continue to be busy! Pictures to come, I promise! Tyler took some good ones, it just takes me awhile to get around to uploading them, choosing which ones, etc. In the meantime, I’ll bet there are some on Facebook that others have uploaded…

Beaver things aside, Spokane has given me a great summer. Kelsey and I have spent our time searching for the perfect white wine, and with my extra income I can now afford bottles over the $5 mark, which means things are getting pretty classy. Speaking of which, after trying our hand at gardening this summer, Tyler, Kelsey, and I have wrapped things up and moved on to a new fall/winter project: the cellar. It’s getting really classy. We’re talking record player, pottery wheel, wine racks (that actually have wine on them), sewing machines, artwork, and more. Though I haven’t gone on any good hiking trips, I’ve spent much time outside, doing overnight camping trips for beaver research, swimming in creeks for beaver research, cataloging plants for beaver research, that sort of thing. This weekend I’m headed to Boulder to visit friends of mine from Ecuador and they have some sort of 13,000′ summit trip planned, so maybe I’ll go on a good hike after all.

Since Greg mentioned some of his long(ish) term plans, I’ll mention some of mine:
Staying in Spokane through the end of 2011 because my job is so damn enjoyable, and because Spokane is keeping it classy. With our cheap rent, I’m able to save way more than I could elsewhere, so I should have a good nest egg set aside for future expenditures (long travel, group property?… I’m always down for some sustainable homesteading!). I plan on taking off the month of February and flying to Cambodia to visit our dear Shmaden and Shiloh if she’s still there. My other planned trips include a possible trip to NYC in November and/or a trip to Spain in March, both with my best friend Andrew Paul.

Which brings me to my last point: Andrew and his girlfriend Jess are visiting Sept 30 – Oct 4. It would mean so much to me if any of you gypsies could head to Spokane during this time to join in the many celebrations that will ensue. There will be a big party at our house on Saturday, Oct 2, to celebrate Andrew’s sister Maggie’s 21st (she’s a student at GU), but really the celebrations will be endless. Do consider joining us.

I miss and love you all, and know the feeling is mutual. Can’t wait to see when all our paths will cross again!

-Amandaugh



ME. You. and everyone we know.
September 21, 2010, 3:17 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

So i’ve hardly updated anyone this summer or been on the interweb much at all but I think i’m due for some internet blogging. Facebook makes me anxious as soon as i log on so i’m sticking with this. Another summer flew by. In many ways this was both the hardest and the best summer of my life. My job was amazing – i made great money serving tables at a restaurant which serves good food, brews their own beer, and is owned and managed by the best couple i have ever worked for. I truly feel like part of the Twister Creek/Denali Brewing Company family – it feels great to work for a business which you believe in and see the ways the owners re-invest in the small close knit community of Talkeetna. Indeed i have saved more money than i have ever previously in my life. It really helped paying no rent and feeding sled dogs instead (an experience worth a whole other story). Sassan (the owner of Twister Creek/Denali Brewing) even went out of his way to personally contact the owners of three restaurants here in Girdwood (our beer is on tap at these restaurants so he knew these owners personally) and tell them to hire me as a server for the winter. That was before i even applied and indeed when i met the owner he said i had an amazing reference. So it looks like i have a great serving gig at a busy restaurant (Jack Sprat) locked down for the winter. I’ve done more backpacking, climbing, hiking, and bouldering this summer than ever before. Im sure you all have seen some pictures – we’ve summited peaks, traversed glaciers, negotiated passes, traveresed peaks, navigated off trail and pushed ourselves to new limits. These have been the most meaningful experiences of my summer. With my pack on my back and a pass or peak in front of me to climb i feel most myself. i love every aspect of it – planning and map reading, choosing routes, pushing your body, carrying a pack, getting hurt, feeling sore, the views of the landscape, navigating, and gaining the mental toughness when things get intense (which they have). Alaska is fucking insane. amazingly fucking insane. the most beautiful and dynamic place i have been. One of my goals this winter is to get serious about back country mountaineering and snowboarding. Indeed the only reason my flights to the northwest don’t match up with Brads is because I am taking part in a 3 day glacier traverse and frozen waterfall/ice climbing course on the Matanuska glacier the first few days of October. As it turns out ill be in the northwest from October 4th through the 15th; flying in and out of seattle. Very excited about that. One of my passions lies in the mountains – i want pull myself up to the highest places on earth. This is how i want to travel in the future – long backpacking treks into mountainous villages in all parts of the world. My dad and i are planning to complete the john muir trail the end of next august. Its one of his disappointments in his life and its something i really want to do. So we’re doing it. I’ll be getting avalanche and crevasse certified in november after an intense 3 day course. I’ll be snowboarding all winter and then heading out on my big trip for the year. In April and May i will be taking part in a NOLS high alpine mountaineering course in the Himalayas. It’s a 45 day course which covers 115 miles and takes your over 13,000 feet of elevation gain to glaciated passes at more than 19,000 feet. Plus i get to use my Americorps scholarship money so its hardly costing me anything. I am sure most of you are familiar with NOLS and this course should give me all the skills and gear testing i need to climb peaks on my own as well as lead and plan trips with others. South America is still very much on my horizons as i plan to head down south after the john muir trail (and a break) and backpack an ancient Andean trail 225 miles through the andes to Anacongua, the tallest mountain in the Americas. My hope is to be able to climb it. I should have enough money saved up to be gone for a while. I’ll definitely be back in talkeetna next summer, before all that, as my job pays great and i have some connections to learn to fly and get my pilots license next summer; which is something else i have always thought about. Plus i have been seriously considering buying some land near Talkeetna as an investment and possible future completely sustainable homestead. My parents even offered to help on a more expensive lot as i almost purchased a small plot this summer.This winter is shaping up to be awesome. Our band has the potential to get some serious gigs. Look for a name change and re-invention very soon. We played a great venue here in girdwood a week or two ago and it was great. Got paid way more then we thought and they wanted us back right away. Its crazy to get paid for playing shows. really crazy. Venues in talkeetna want us back this winter and we should be getting gigs in anchorage very soon. Its so amazing playing with Rebecca. She really belts when she is behind a full band. glorious. So between writing, playing and making music, along with snowboarding and climbing on a daily basis, as well as a great serving job, this winter should be the best ever. We are all in Girdwood AK; we even signed a lease till April (scary). The only ski resort in AK is here and its beautifully nestled in a glacier valley. Girdwood is a fantastic town. Everyone is outdoor oriented, open minded, friendly and fun as hell, progressive, and pot smokers. We already feel like family here. There are a least a dozen amazing trails within 10 mins of our house. Just yesterday Brad and i went mountain biking on a sweet single track trail for several miles while ryan and spencer climbed the north face of the ski mountain. everyday you can do something outside. I highly recommend a winter flight to anchorage. We’ll take care of the rest. I’ll be flying into seattle the evening of Oct. 4th and flying out the morning of the 15th. I’ll be spending the first few days in seattle – then a day or two in portland (the hardest part of my summer, as i am sure you all can guess, has been the end of my relationship with Ashely; and as i have not even seen her since CA this past April we need to have a personal conversation so i can get some closure on all this); then of course several days in Spokane before heading back to Seattle to fly out. I cannot say how excited i am to see you all, share stories and spend time together. I am a terrible communicator when i am at a distance from friends. I apologize for that but i intentionally want to see you and spend time – however brief. If anyone wants to do any hikes or brief overnight backpacking trips while i am back let me know. I’ve been looking into some trails. This all seem rather self-indulgent as i read over it but i suppose its a good for me to type out my thoughts and plans; regardless if anyone else cares. But there was a snapshot of my summer and my life to come i suppose….at least as it stands now. I have spent more time than every before seriously thinking my identity, who i am, and what makes me happy this summer – the mountains, travel, people, and music are what i come back to – so that’s what i’m focusing on. life is too short to not do what you want. I’d love to talk more but i’m going end this rambling autobiography.
Love you all, so excited to see you,
Gregoose



Pelmeni!
September 14, 2010, 6:32 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

As I am waiting for school to start I have been cooking every day. I would like to share some of these dishes with all of you at one table, but that is impossible. Maybe some of you will wan to make these little Russian tricks. Here is a simple dish that will warm your heart these Autumn days.

To feed five people you need to make the dough out of 1 egg, 3 cups of flour, 1 tsp of salt and about a cup of water. Make a nice dough and let it rest for half an hour. During this time you need to make the filling which, as it’s often done in Russian cuisine, can be anything. Ideally its a mixture of ground beef and ground pork with very finely chopped (if not graded) onion, garlic, spices and herbs. Today I used beef that I seasoned with paprika, hot pepper, chili powder, salt, cilantro, Italian seasoning and, of course, CUMIN!

Roll out a thin slab out of your dough, using lots of flour and cut out circles with the rim of a glass.


Using a spoon fill each circle with the goods and shape them into these cute little hat-like forms.


If you fuck around long enough with the shape you will see how easy it is to form them.

The finished product can be deep fried, steamed, or boiled. These are very forgiving and can be frozen for future generations. Ideally served hot, with sour cream! If you are deep frying them make sure you seal the edges very well. They actually cook very fast and the meat steams inside to produce a juicy explosion in your mouth. The juice will drip down your elbows.



Ch, Ch, Ch, Ch, Chaanges!
September 8, 2010, 3:41 pm
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Hello friends! I hope you are all well, wherever you may be. I thought I would let you all know what is new in our little Interbay apartment life.

First up, I got a job! I am now a misc. sorter at the Crown Hill Value Village, the same one Kaliene works at. It’s only been about a week, but I like it so far, and it feels good to work again. I’m still broken up that Kaliene and I didn’t get to take our trip to Shmalaska, but it was good to return to Spokane and visit our loved ones there. I’ve got to admit that I feel pretty silly. Had I gotten this job a month earlier, Alaska would have been a viable option. Hindsight, however, is always 20-20 as they say, so there’s little point in ruminating over it now. There’s always next summer, assuming the boys decide to go back.

In other news (or maybe not), Kaliene, Bob, and I are continuing the search for a new place to live. Robin’s awful little dog persists in trying to eat Bob’s throat every time the two dogs see each other; this has been going on since last Thanksgiving. That situation, or rather its not being resolved despite our best efforts, is the primary cause of our decision to leave. Additionally, the tension between the animals has bred tension between the humans, so it’s best to leave while we’re all still friends.

Initially we were looking for places in Bellingham exclusively, and thought we had found one, but my attempts to reach the owners have been to no avail. Since time is running short, we’ve extended our search to Seattle, and recently turned in applications for this little place on Ravenna. It’s a small, red brick apartment that is detached from the rest of the units in the complex, and it is right next to a park and ride and I-5. We both really liked it and are hopeful that it will be offered to us. The best part, of course, is the $600 per month rent.

Completely unrelated to the above, it seems I have a new hobby, and it is called papercraft. Distinct from origami, papercraft involves cutting, folding, and gluing to produce the final result. So far I’ve only made spaceships, but as I get better tools, a proper working area, and develop more efficient techniques, I’ll eventually get to more complex and rewarding projects. Below is the model I’ve been working on since Saturday. I don’t believe it’s completed in that picture, but I’ll post more elsewhere so anyone interested can see the process, which brings me to my final bit of infos for you, my dear friends.

I deleted my facebook account due to some disagreements I have with their terms of service, in addition to some other factors. It’s something I’ve debated for a while and finally just decided to go ahead and do. If you navigate yourself to inthehamagain.blogspot.com, however, you’ll find a blog that I recently started. I’d like to use it to allow anyone interested to see what’s going on in my life. It will also be a place that I’ll be able to post pictures that I take and things I write that might not be of general interest to most people (such as the process of building the model below).

I miss you all, and am anxiously awaiting perad’s return from Shmalaska. Let’s all have a reunion again, I say.

Toodles,

Clayton



September 3, 2010, 6:05 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

This morning I woke up in a rush for my first day as a student teacher at Shadle Park high school, which was recently remodeled so the athletic training and physical education facilities are really nice! I had to be at school by 7:30 and in a rush to not be late, left the house at 7:05. Unfortunately, I forgot my cell phone at home. oh well. Just disappointing because I am still Holding my breath to hear about my Athletic Training exam via e-mail. I thought today would be the day to find out.

I really enjoyed my first day at the school all of the teachers I work with are really nice.
Chad- department head (my supervisor and also varsity women’s basketball coach )
Kristy moore- PE/health (was my hurdle track coach at mead, when I was in high school)
Amy- PE/health
Ron: PE/health
Sean: PE/health
Lindsay pugh (aka Wagstaff): PE/Health (old family friend. Brad was good friends with her younger brother scott Wagstaff, her mom is the tennis coach at Whitworth)

spokane is so small!

At Shadle Park I get to teach…
two 9th grade health classes!! followed by one P.E class for 3rd period, then two sports medicine classes for 4th and 5th and I get a 6th prep period. Not to shabby. I’m excited about the sports medicine classes, didn’t think I was going to get to teach that subject.

The day went by really quickly and suddenly 2:30 pm rolled around and the halls were flushed with students from all angles. A lot of the students are taller than me and in a rush through the halls I get lost a lot. The new shadle has three levels and I have classes on all three with an office in the basement. Hahaha.
Also a funny story from today. I was in the staff bathroom that took me way to long to find, so I’m rushing… I find the bathroom, open the locked door, feel for the light switch and it clicks on (click? no Flip, motion sensor? I don’t know) but soon will. I make it to the seat and before I sit less than 2 seconds the click light on the far wall turns off! WHAT…peeing in the pitch black fumbling for keys, totally not cool. HAha. even funnier happened again in a different bathroom. I feel so stupid I even tested the click light later, seriously it stays on for less than 10 seconds. NOT even I can pee that fast.

ANyways. after school got out I hurried home to see where the hell my phone was and to check my email. I find the phone in my bathroom, its dead. Plug it in to see I have 10 new emails. Check my email to see that the pass/fail results have been posted online and I have to go to the BOC EXAM website and log-in. Now, I wasn’t sure this was something I should check while being home alone, considering the depressed puffy eyed me is CRazy. But I did it anyways, and to my pure joy I read the most magnificent six letters aloud. PASSED!
then quickly refreshed the page to make sure it wasn’t a joke. I can’t stop smiling. Going out to dinner with MOm and Dad with Tyler should be fun.

So the perfect ending to my first day of school. I am a certified Athletic Trainer! Can I get a Woop Woop : )

love, Kandee