Posts

Showing posts from September, 2009
Image
So, to celebrate the end of another summer, and my 3 years with the Alaska Public Defender Agency (which was yesterday), I went to one of my favorite places on Earth, Tustumena Lake. The day was amazing. The fall colors stunning. The boat ran flawlessly. It is almost getting too easy. I am getting to know the lake and the boat. Where are the fires? The close calls? I am even beginning to be the guy. The guy who knows where the cabin is. How to launch properly. Where the water is safe and unsafe. How the hell did that happen? Jesus, don't ask me....how the hell would I know.....except sometimes now I do know. Of course I still have a million things to learn. I am not getting cocky...just surprised at all I have learned. It is days like this that really make a difference. I must admit that lately I have been feeling a little down. Wondering if this is all there to life. But then I feel guilty for feeling that way. I mean look at my girls! Look at my life. I am where I wanted to be…
Image
So, there is something so satisfying about having every single thing (other than a few seasonings) on the plate from the back yard. We often eat like this at this time of the year. Now it is pork, but I also have rabbit and chicken. I consider the fish I caught and even the road kill moose to be "my" food too. I just bottled some homemade Merlot. We have dug up a hundred pounds plus of potatoes. We still have some root crops coming out of the garden, and the kale survived the first real frost, which was Wednesday. Talk about a taste of things to come. I have to go out and start the truck before I can go to work because of the frozen windshield now. The woodstove is going well. The freezers are stocked. God you should see the freezers. 300 lbs of pork. Moose. Chickens. 30 rabbits or so. Vegetables. Salmon. Halibut. A few odds and ends. Absurd really. The garden is in or the crops still there are frost hardy. The kids are happy and healthy. The bills are (more or less…
Image
So, time to kill the pigs. I always hate this part. But there was no choice. They were the right size and I finished them on barley, corn and molasses as well as strawberries and melons that Safeway was going to throw out. It was just time. And before anyone makes a stupid comment about why I am smiling, it was a social event. Once I had actually shot the pig (the part I hate), it was not too bad. A crew came over and we got them both done. Both pigs died instantly. They lived good lives. And now their bodies will help sustain my life. The lives of my children and the families of the people in these pictures. Thank you pigs.
So, this episode of Star Trek always brings me to tears. This is not the entire episode but a video. God, life is short. This episode is called the Inner Light. Anyone who has not seen it should. This is the tune I want played at my funeral.
Image
So, happiness in Alaska in September is a meat locker full of moose. I mean full. You can't see around the door. There are 3 moose in here...and no I'm not poaching. I have the shop so I'm helping to butcher. These were all shot in Kotzebue around the same time I was there. Thank God for Everts Air Cargo...a service every Alaskan should know. It is bad news for me. I am sure I am going to get some of it and I already have a full freezer and the hogs go next weekend. Quite a problem to have. Anyone need any moose meat? G? Seriously dude....let me know. Please. Anyone willing to pay for the box and the shipping can have moose. There has not been much to report lately. So, I am going to do something else. As often happens I get emails or calls from those who are considering working for the Alaska Public Defender Agency. The other day I got an excellent email, some of which I will share. I hope the writer does not mind. Like many other law students he is coming out of school w…
Image
So, I took Kadee fishing for the first time today. It was the first time all four of us had been on the boat. It is a gorgeous day and I just went to Sports Lake. It is small enough that if anything went wrong we could be on shore in seconds. Kadee is already a better fisherman than I am. I was bored after 6 or 8 casts but she wanted to keep going. Thank God there might be one decent fisherman in the family.


Image
So, the Noatak river! Simply stunning. I am so disappointed that pictures cannot do this place justice. We went up to retrieve some supplies that had been left behind at camp. A storm came up and people had to run for it. Unfortunately when we got there we discovered that a brown bear had found the supplies first. I also learned that you do not ever say the word 'bear'. The visitors to camp had apparently continued to use this word despite being asked not to. My guides partially blamed them for the visit I think. I also learned that we were not going 'hunting' or 'fishing'. Oh no. We were 'going for a ride'. 'Messing around'. 'Looking around'. But the animals can hear you. So I helped clean camp up and we went fishing. Oops. I mean we went for a ride. It just so happens that I caught my first pike on that ride. God that was thrillingI could actually watch the pike hunt my 'mouse' or my frog underwater and then strike it. You…
Image
So, I went hunting last night. Borrowed a 4 wheeler. Went towards where the caribou were. But, with my luck (those of you who know me know what 'Adams' luck means) Sadie Creek was too swollen to cross. First time in years apparently. So I turned around. I found a trail that lead into the tundra and decided to take it. I had been told before I left that the 4 wheel drive was not working. To make a long story short, I got stuck. Off the road in the tundra. By myself. Not a single person in the world knew where I was. So I did something I doubt very many people have ever done. I used whale bones to try to get the 4 wheeler out. I had found a bunch of whale vertebrae down on the beach. Since there were no trees and I could not move the 4 wheeler by myself, I used the whale bones to try and shove under the 4 wheeler. It did not work. I tried for about an hour. I decided to start walking. I walked and walked and walked and saw no one. Finally, two women who were going berry picking…
Image
So, it is really, really sad. I did a trial call today and 100% of the cases were alcohol related. What makes it worse is that there is no residential treatment here in Kotzebue. The DA is taking the unfortunate position that jail is the only remaining option. I say unfortunate because I know jail will not solve a thing. It is a vicious circle that just goes around and around and around. The problem is that many of the people here drink to really drink. Like blowing a .24 at 9 in the morning. I don't have a solution. I know that Kotzebue recieves millions of dollars in grant money each year. I know that the State of Alaska and the Native Corporations have money. Why there is not a treatment facility here blows my mind. I wouldn't be surprised if the vast majority of the population has a severe alcohol problem. Caging them is not an answer. On the other hand, if they are committing assaults, sexual assaults and DUI when severely intoxicated, the State is not going to look the …