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Monday, October 31, 2016

Sheratin Circuit

Shelly Lake - we walked around the far side in the sunshine

Yesterday Brewster and I did the Sheratin Mountain circuit with Philip T.  We dropped a car at the Red Cloud trailhead and then drove to the end of the road and hiked up the trail by Small Creek.  We dropped down the backside and checked out Shelly's Lake and then climbed around the backside of the mountain.  Philip knew a route through the cliff bands and we were hiking with the goats.  At one point there were massive cliffs both above and below us.  We finished the hike in the big bowl on the east side of the mountain and hiked out the red cloud trail. 

Funnily enough it is not all that of a time consuming hike.  We were only hiking for 4 1/2 hours and really did not rush things.  Door to door, even with longish drive over the pass and the shuttle, the trip was only 6 hours total.

The sunshine was glorious and it was hard to believe it is almost November.  We even saw some plants sprouting new shoots like they think it is spring!  Patrick

Cliff bands and goats (if you look carefully)

Sunday, October 30, 2016


MMMMmmm Popcorn. ..
Last night Nora and I went to Molly and Ryan's housewarming/Halloween party.  As you can see Nora was a box of popcorn while I was a freaky vampire.  My costume came with face paint and after applying it I remembered why I hate using it.  It itches like crazy!  And the wig hair touching the face itched too. 

By the end of the night I had rubbed most of the paint off of my face itching. I also seem to remember having itchy face paint during Halloweens past.  I think it is one of those things you do every 5 years or so after you have forgotten how much they make you uncomfortable. 

The bottom photo is a selfie I took with Molly's camera.  She handed the phone to me to take a picture of her and Ryan in costume and it was on selfie mode.  I did not expect to see myself!  So I took a picture.  A VERY rare patrick took selfie (I still do not own a phone). 

Tomorrow night is trick-or-treating on Cliffside.  I think I'll be a vampire without the face paint!

I actually took a selfie with Molly's cell phone!

Saturday, October 29, 2016


 Oh No!  What are Stuey and Nora doing behind bars in a police car? Have they been delinquent?

Never fear it was all part of a St Mary's field trip to the Kodiak Police Station.  I helped drive the children from school to the station and with the other parent drivers helped out as a chaperone while at the station.

I must say I was impressed with the place.  It was far more modern and larger than I had expected.  Of course the kids did have to ask about doughnuts. ... .. . Awkward moment.

The hit of the trip was the tour of the police car.  I was sort of amazed that the officer just let the kids do whatever they wanted to inside the vehicle.  It seemed very trusting.  I thought, 'Oh man and they are letting Stuey inside there - get ready for some real sirens'. But then I realized that the back of the car is stripped down so that detained individuals can't damage it.  What could a kid do that a violent drunk could not?

 The St Mary's students were energized and asked a lot of questions.  I give quite a few school tours myself at the Alutiiq Museum and it was interesting to be on the other side of the tour.  I was proud to be a St Mary's parent.  Patrick

Friday, October 28, 2016

Pumpkin Seeds

While Stuey played basketball with 2 'play-date' friends from school, Nora and I cleaned out and carved the Halloween pumpkins.  Nora took extra care to get every seed, and afterwards I roasted them with oil and salt.  So simple, so good.

Basically I just put the seeds in a roasting pan, and sprinkled them with a liberal amount of salt, some ground pepper and a hefty dollop of oil.  I stirred them all up and then broiled them 20 minutes or so at lowish heat (325).  I basically wanted to dry the seeds out.  Then I turned it up to a full broil (500) and kept a more watchful eye - stirring quite frequently.  After about 10 minutes the seeds were all browned and crispy.  Perfect!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Stuey hitting 'em like LeBron

Tip off at the start of the game

Stuey was on fire at last night's 'Lil Dribblers basketball game.  In his first game Monday night he did not score a point, but last night he sank so many shots I lost count.  My best guess is that he scored 18 points, or all but 3 of his team's (A Balanced Approach or ABA) baskets.  And he was shooting from ridiculous angles and distances.  If there had been a 3 point line he would have scored 26 points!  Until late in the game he seemingly could not miss - he drained everything.  I'm not so sure hitting so well is good for him in the long run.  He may never drain them again like he did last night.

The other team was very good.  To their credit they passed and defended much better than Stuey's team.  But Stuey and his hot hand had his team up by 6 well into the second half.  And then he got tired and the other team upped their defense.  The other team had taller players and limited ABA's passing, and they also had one VERY good player (#6 in photo below) who was draining 3 pointers almost as well as Stuey.  They came back and won by 4.  It was a great game. 

As regards my situation, I've noticed that the ipod mix in the car has been throwing up 'I can see clearly now' by Jimmy Cliff quite frequently.  It's a good sign.  Patrick

Stuey on a breakaway

Stuey is a little out of focus, but he did drain this shot

Stuey grabs a rebound

Another 3 point distance try

Is it going in?

Stuey on D

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Middle Sister Circuit

Yesterday I took the doggies on a 2 hour hike - a circumnavigation of the middle sister.  Initially I had titled this post 'backside of the middle sister'.  And indeed the best part of the hike was on the steep sunny slope of the middle sister that faces town - the 'backside'.  But I quickly realized that the unintentional double entendre might draw the wrong type of google hits to the family blog. 

For such an obvious hike I am surprised that I have never tried this one before.  It only took 2 hours and there was virtually no bushwhacking.  I started on the trail up the backside of the North Sister (the trail that used to start up the creek but has since been fixed).  Walked across the big bowl and up through the saddle between the middle and third sister.  And then I enjoyed the sunny slope side of the middle sister.  There are some gorgeous views of town too.

The only tricky part is when you turn left to go back to the saddle between the North and Middle Sister (upper right in the photo above).  You do have to stay high on a steep slope to avoid some pretty bad brush.  If it was wet or if there was any frost the slope would have been scary.  But yesterday it was just fine. 

All and all, a nice 2 hour tour with the dogs.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Kids Killing Time

For the record, Stuey took the trampoline picture above to post on his blog and had me take the one of him and Nora playing connect four for the same reason.  He has already posted on the connect four game and plans to post soon on the trampoline action.  So this time I am cribbing his action for the family blog and not the other way around.

 Lately the kids have been doing a pretty good job of entertaining themselves.  Part of it is a newfound independence on their bikes, and they have been biking over to the park side apartment to see their cousins.  They have also really gotten into jumping on a neighbor's trampoline.  Thank you neighbor.  They will literally spend hours on the trampoline - and yes that is an 's' on the end of 'hour'.

And then Saturday night they discovered the game 'Connect Four'.  We had dinner at Mike P's house and they had the game on their coffee table.  Stuey and Nora played 50 games during the dinner party and Stuey won 25-24-1 (one draw).  I had a hard time getting them to leave.

Since then it has been a 'connect four ' weekend.  We bought the game and last night they played for 2 solid hours.  On Sunday I gather they played 140 games!  Wow!  Now that's a good game.  Patrick

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Walking in the late October Sunshine

 This morning Nora and I climbed up Pyramid Mountain with the doggies in the sunshine.  We started out freezing cold at the parking lot, but warmed up as we climbed the mountain.  Nora remarked that she prefers hiking up when it is cold because she doesn't get so hot like she did on sunny days last spring.

Late October sunshine has a distinctive quality.  A saturated golden quality with lots of contrast.  The sun is low on the horizon and the light rakes across the landscape at a low angle creating shadows.  It is a photo friendly light because everything just pops.  I did not have to do any adjustments to any of these photos in iphoto (except for the one with the frozen stream icicles).

Up on top the sunshine was warm and the sky blue.  A beautiful day to go for a walk.  Patrick

Saturday, October 22, 2016

More Doggies on Mountaintops

Yesterday after we finished backfilling the Kashevaroff Site I took the doggies on their daily mountain hike.  What a difference a day makes.  In the 24 hours since our last hike there had been some 'termination dust'.  The little bit of snow put some contrast into the mountains - a little bit of black and white.  Where the day before everything was sort of brown and drab; yesterday was dramatic. Uksuq Taiyuk - Winter is coming!

Brewster had 2 partial heads in this photo after photo stitching - hence I had to blur one end

Friday, October 21, 2016

All Filled In!

The Block B hole is all filled in - the Kashevaroff Excavation is OVER - RIP

This morning Molly, Alex, Ryan and I completely finished with backfilling the Kashevaroff Site.  A little more than 2 months since we stopped digging and it is FINALLY finished.  Back in September we had gotten all the dirt back in the hole, but there remained a wall of sods and some scrape shovelling to complete.

This morning at the start it was freezing.  It seemed like ages and ages ago that it was summer and we were all too hot when we first started digging at the site (click here for link).  What a difference a few months make - my hands felt like blocks of ice.  But after a while the constant activity warmed us all up.

We were worried that the sod wall would have all welded/grown together.  But we need not have been concerned and backfilling went rather quickly.  We finished in time to have lunch at the Rendezvous.

Wow that feels good.  Kashevaroff Site (2013-2016) is DONE!


Pretty much done - it is a wrap!

Gothic at the start of the day - guess I was not supposed to smile

Energetic start to the day - it was COLD.  Did Molly catch 2 shovel fulls of dirt in the air at once?

Look there's the moon!

Doggies on the go

Lately I've been taking the doggies for walks up mountains after work.  Yesterday we climbed up the backside of the North Sister.  The doggies ran this way and that - total bliss. I looked back towards the 4rth sister and wondered, 'where's the snow?'  It has been a warm fall.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

'L'il Dribblers Begins

On Wednesday night we all went to Stuey's first Little Dribblers basketball practice. Tonight there was another practice and they chose teams.  Nora and I sat in the bleachers and watched.  I tried to take pictures but the light was pretty bad and the distances far.  I used a fixed lens on my good camera and pumped the ISO up to absurd levels.

Stuey wanted me to take pictures so that he could have some to post onto his blog to write about.  So that's what I am going to do - he'll have the exact same photos on his blog as I have here on the family blog.  It'll be interesting to see what he says about the same pictures.

My narrative is that it was a lot of squeaking shoes, kids shouting, balls bouncing, poor acoustics and gym lighting.  Controlled chaos with parents and siblings watching from the stands.  But I am sure Stuey has a different take on it.  Go check it out (it may not get posted until tomorrow) -

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Small flakes a blanket make

After work I picked up the doggies and climbed the North Sister.  It was spitting snowflakes when I started and some snow squalls moved in while I was climbing to the top.  I thought to myself, 'I better capture this quick because it is the first snow of the year and will soon be gone.'

But I got to the bottom and it continued to flurry.  I picked up the kids at school and it continued to flurry.  Nora asked, 'do you think it will accumulate?'  I did not think so.  And then while I made chicken noodle/minestrone kale soup (which the kids loved for once) it started to snow REALLY hard.   And suddenly it was a white, white world with a blanket of snow on the ground.

The kids were ecstatic.  Patrick

Check out Stuey's version the first snow at his new blog -

On the way to basketball practice

Sunset after basketball practice