Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Manuel Noriega gets Rick Rolled

My lady and I saw Ira Glass at the Herring Auditorium last night and it was delightful. I don't mean we bumped into Ira as he took in a concert, he was in fact "the concert." He started off with the lights down in the theatre and then his distinctive voice came on and he talked for 3-4 minutes in the dark and then the lights came up and he talked for nearly 2 hours about his stories, career and the pathetic excuse for journalism that crawls towards us from local newspaper and television sources across the nation. He was great. He got me thinking about NPR and PRI and so I'm listening to it this morning on the computer as I design a house to build on Google Sketchup 7. (a very cool program once you get the hang of it)
Public Radio often catches the news that falls through the cracks or is reported by other organizations but passed over. This morning was no different but even NPR missed this little tidbit that I am reporting to you now:

Manuel Noriega was Rick Rolled by the United States Military in 1989.

It was "Operation Just Cause" and the U.S. was trying to get General Noriega out of Panama so they directed loud speakers at the palace he had holed up in and played the following list of music:
I know it's tough to read, the original link is here. But you will see that "Never Gonna Give You Up" by Rick Astley is on the list. For those of you that don't know, if someone gets you to listen to this song it is know as getting "Rick Rolled." It's a hellish experience and my faith in the U.S. Military is restored knowing they have been using the most brutal torture tactics available to protect us. If you're wondering why General Noriega is in the news once again your guess is as good as mine.
I also see "Iron Man" by Black Sabbath and "Paradise City" by Guns and Roses on this list. That rocks.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Spring is just around the Corner

All is well at the homestead, the snow is melting, the birds are chirping and the sun is getting stronger. Breakup is easy this year since there wasn't much snow and there have been some cool days interspersed with the hot so most the water is evaporating instead of flooding the outhouse. Although the outhouse is starting to lean a bit and will need leveling, like everything else in Sphagnum Estates. Aw well, still like it better than a real house.
Speaking of which, this is my buddy Brent's cabin out in Eureka, I dig the woodpile action he has created this spring, if it's not carried off by carpenter ants this summer it will be a warm winter for Brent and the dogs.

And in another chapter of good living I went to Silver Gulch Brewery with Steve and his daughter Clarity yesterday. We sampled some fine ales and she got her first taste of root beer. Good stuff, came home with a growler of Foxanator, Lowbush Cranberry, and AK IPA which we shall devour tonight with kabobs and corn on the cob.

Friday, April 09, 2010

The Last Northern Lights of the Year

The northern lights came out in force the last 3 nights for a great sendoff to end winter, I think.

I was out on the deck today putting in a cable railing and it was cold and windy with a few flurries. Not the best weather to work in. But the railing is nearly completed and looks decent. Hopefully it will hold up in the years to come. It's way too late to be up now so I'm off,

Monday, April 05, 2010

March is over and I miss it terribly. It is the best month in Alaska if you love sun, snow and winter travel, which I do. There are ways to pretend March lasts more than a month and staying in the Brooks Range through April is one of them. Alas, I could not swing that this year. I think I will plan a trip out to the Hoodoo Mountains instead and kick around a bit. I'm trying to rally a few slednecks for the last gasp of interior winter.
March Madness
Here in Fairbanks the ski trails have less than a week left. They are icy and fast right now and you can ski in a t-shirt which is nice. The biggest drawback to melting snow is that it exposes Fairbanks' dark underbelly of trash. It is everywhere right now and does not look pleasant. My neighbor appears to be cleaning his junkyard but I'm not getting my hopes up. The other night I heard his air compressor at 2am, that's not cleaning, that's building, so who knows what kind of monstrosity will crawl into view next.
Ah well, there are better things to obsess about... The northern lights put on a ripping Easter Eve display Saturday night around 11pm and it was great to watch them from the deck just before bed. It is light until almost 10pm now with sunrise just after 6am so the days are plenty long. Summers a'comin'!
Before I go I would like to give a quick shout out to my buddy Greg Pacetti, owner of Pacetti Instruments. You can view his blog here. He is a luthier which means he builds amazing instruments out of wood by hand. Works of art really, so check him out.