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Showing posts from July, 2007
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So, I am going to do something I have never done here before: I am going to criticize the State of Alaska. In fact, I am going to sue the State. I might not win. I am not a civil lawyer (although I know a few). I don't have the resources of the State. But the State will probably spend more defending the suit than just doing the right thing. Here's the deal. In Alaska, each eligible resident gets a Permanent Fund Dividend (or "PFD"). People can be excluded from receiving this check (which ranges roughly between $1000 and $2000 per year) for a variety of reasons, such as being in jail or not really living here. However, the basic critieria are 1. be a citizen or permanent resident and 2. a resident of Alaska. One of the groups of people who don't get this money are people who are here on the types of visas that J and I are here on. Fair enough. I had no intention of applying for the money because I was aware of this. But, in anticipation of being "residents&qu…
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So, my blog (and all blogs actually) have now been banned, or "blocked" from all State computers. Technically, it should not be. The State lists the following as blocked: adult material, gambling, illegal or questionable, tasteless (yeah, yeah, I know), violence, weapons, advertisements, internet radio or Tv and security. My blog doesn't fit in any of those categories as defined. Nevertheless, there is nothing that I can say or do about it. Technically, the State can block anything that is not directly related to State business. That argument would prevail if I was inclined to complain. However, as usual, there is another side to it. Everyone who has never wasted time at work raise your hand. Even more, every Public Defender or DA out there who has never gone in on a weekend or worked nights or through lunch raise your hand. The fact is if someone wants to go in a Sunday and work but then look at my blog they can't. I had several blogs that were written by other defe…
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So, the bounty of Alaska is absurdly rich. I went halibut fishing yesterday. 3 of us caught 64 halibut. The average time to hook a fish was six seconds. For this monster I had to don my fighting belt. I learned how to filet a halibut too. I took a series of photos and was going to write about how to do it but maybe I'll save that for another day. These were all small..from 10 lbs to maybe 22 or 25. But I put maybe another 40 lbs of filets in my freezer after the other guys gave me some of their fish (the limit is 2). My only fear is that all this will be gone someday. As more and more people come here I can't see how it will last. It is obnoxious for a newcomer to say this but there are too many people here. Maybe I just feel that way because half of Alaska is in Soldotna dipnetting. Yesterday even the grocery stores were empty of a lot of things. But people have the right to move around and make a good life for themselves. I just hope those in charge of resource management do…
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So, I was going to write today about how my boat was finally ready. Four months and five thousand dollars more than expected. It was even in my driveway after passing the final sea test. The engine is new. The jet is new. $13,000 of borrowed money into parts and labor. On the brink of financial ruin. Many fights with the wife but here she was. Indeed, many thoughts of walking away. But I was proud today of my "new" boat. So several residents suggested we go dipnetting tonight (where one can dip a net into the river and scoop out 25 salmon for the head of household and 10 for everyone else). I agreed, even though I am not a resident and so cannot participate. I stood on the boat and watched and drank beer. It was fun to be out with so many people and see fish caught. The scenery was amazing as usual. Until the motor died. I mean dead. I mean smoke pouring out of it dead. Hell, it lasted an hour. So we drifted. Towards Japan. Down the Kenai river. One of my buddies used a net …
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So, I caught my first Kenai King last night! A trophy? No. Hardly. But damned exciting nonetheless. The limit is 2 per year and, despite the small size of this guy, I had to keep him. Maybe if I get my boat I will be able to fish myself (although I probably won't as I intend to fish with Jason every day I can) . Right now the delay is that I have instructed the mechanic to start making it into an ice cutter. No seriously, the jet was worn out. Damn. I have had this boat 4 months and it is not ready to go. Just a few more days and $5000 more than budgeted. But all the mechanical parts will be new. This fall should be great. The hunting and fishing will be out of this world. This week has been hard. Not only the shock of going back to work but the continuing emotional fallout of my friends leaving. Believe me, the post visit blues can be pretty overwhelming. As usual, however, there are many things that cheer me up. One is the beauty of where I live. Another is my little girl. …
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So, I feel like the hobbits after the ring had been destroyed and they returned home. At the end of a great adventure what do you do? Today I am sad. I am not ashamed to admit that I cried after I dropped off my friends at the airport. Even now, three hours later, I have a pain in my chest. I have not made a lot of friends here, and it would be hard to match these guys anyways. I guess I am not writing this post for the world but for me. I hope when I read this in the future I remember how I feel right now. How short and precious life is. How I need to do a better job of squeezing each day for all it is worth. About the cost of moving around. I guess I just miss my friends.
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So, we are driving down the road checking out Tustumena Lake. I had my brakes done about a week ago. All I can say is No Bueno. I guess someone forgot to tighten the lugs. Oops. Good thing the Portugi bastard was there. We fixed it with several rocks, a trailer hitch and a lug wrench. We lost several lugs and limped into town on just two lugs and a prayer. Luckily, everyone was there and it was actually pretty funny once we had a few six packs into us. The guys go home in the morning but we have had a great true Alaskan experience.












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So, just wanted to post some more Alaska photos. Credits to Steve G. (aka the Portugi "cheap bastard"), Brian M. ("where are the strippers"), Neal G. "why am I sober at 9 am?" and Dan "is this .50 caliber large enough to kill this squirrel??" H.
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So, not much to report. Still waiting on the boat. We have been going out the Kenai with a co-workers brother (who I think is probably the coolest guy ever born). Still haven't caught a King but have been doing okay with Dolly Vardens. The only problem with these vacations is how fast they go. These guys will be gone in a few days, and I know I'll miss them. As I have written before, the hardest part of moving around so much is leaving all the good people I know behind. The guys that are here now are some of the best. It makes me sad really. But at least I got to see them. And not go to work for a week. Because this view is far better than what I see at work!
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So, another day of fishing. This time it was just the 5 of us on a charter. Caught my first halibut and ling cod. We limited out and now have an absurd amount of meat. Well over 100 lbs of filets. Will be up processing all night, even thought the charter boat fileted them for us. 3 days into the vacation, the meat is set, thanks to the Charter and the friend who gave us the salmon. Today, within 30 seconds of stopping to fish, Dan had hooked about a 60 lb halibut. Minutes later I landed a 38 pounder. The ONLY reason we stopped fishing was we got too sore from hooking so many fish.


So we kept a couple smaller (i.e. 20 lb) halibut to get our limit. I caught at least 20 halibut today (and released all but 2...my limit) and at least 10 ling cod. I only kept 1 (my limit), the one I am holding. At the end, we had a box of fish. Anyways, I have to go. Am starting the smoker and have to go process fish. A good day.



P.S. We are done! Hre is what all that fish looks like. Jeremy and G, I'll …
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So, a really fast note. When the fish are in they are IN! The (meat part) of the salmon is done. Tomorrow we are going on a halibut/ling cod charter. Today is J's 29th birthday (happy birthday to my beautiful wife!) Tomorrow is my 34th birthday and my buddies are treating me to the Charter. I have already been told that I am not allowed to pay for anything while they are here. Ribeyes, scotch and charters all around! Despite having no boat, I am determined to show these guys a good time. Before fishing today we went clamming and I finally learned how to do that. A clam gun is a must! Well I gotta go. We are treating J to dinner. Then we have to come back and clean 60 or so clams and 24 (yes 24) salmon before bed. Up at 4:30 a.m to go kill more fish. God I love Alaska. It'll take a bullet to get me out of here. P.S. G I wish you were here too. Get down here! P.P.S. More pics tomorrow of HUGE halibut, lingcod and rockfish. We are going out with a professional and this i…