Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A Volcano Ate My Homework

Seriously, is there any better excuse for not leaving on a much-not-looked-forward-to work trip than a volcanic eruption?

Or, as in my case yesterday, a flight cancellation because the flight crew scheduled to work the morning flight never made it to Fairbanks?

With apologies to those actually suffering through Mt. Redoubt's effects, ash, vacation plans mucked up, etc., I have been actually rooting for Redoubt to keep on rolling. Every ash cloud in the last week has been the harbinger of a possible delay - a much wished for one. It was with great relief that I got up at 4 a.m. yesterday to check the flight status for the 6 a.m. flight out of Fairbanks and saw the words 'canceled.'

Sadly, though, Redoubt isn't going to get me off the hook today.

I wonder if Ish has dug out of the snowdrifts yet?

Friday, March 20, 2009

You Can Tell A Lot by Their Appearence

Or Not
Thursday was the last day of the Tanana Chiefs Conference Convention. This is the annual three-day meeting of delegates (typically First Chiefs) from the 42 tribal communities of Interior Alaska. In addition to reports on the previous year's business and financials of the tribal consortium, there is a healthy invite list of those in power that can, for good or ill, impact the governance and business of the Interior Athabascan tribes and their members. Among the invited dignitaries are, of course, Alaska's governor and its Congressional delegation.

Senators Lisa Murkowski and Mark Begich graciously addressed the Convention through the wonders of modern technology. Although their time was limited because of Congressional duties, they both still managed to deliver addresses that spoke to their goals and to some of the more pressing issues affecting Interior villages, and to answer follow-up questions.

Then there was Don Young. He sent a pre-taped video, which is what he does every year, and will no doubt continue to do, technology be hanged. Pre-taping obviates the need for him to convincingly act like he gives a rat's ass about bush Alaska, since any wooden stiffness and peculiar disdainful facial tics can be written off as artifacts of the video process. It also protects him from any audience questions that might spur him to do what he does so well ...putting his foot in his mouth by uttering some off-color, insensitive and outrageous response.

But hey, as obnoxious as Don Young is, at least he bothered to sit down and tape a message.

Not so Palin. What did the tribes get from Palin? Nada. A big fat zero. Certainly no personal appearance , even though now that she personally moved the capitol to Anchorage, we are only an hour away by plane. No live-feed, no taped message, not even a phone-call with regrets that she could not attend or appear via any of the technological substitutes for a live appearance.

In other words, the tribes got a resounding kiss-off from the lipstick queen.

Oh, she did allow her Rural Advisor to attend, but he came late, and hid in the audience, and who can blame him? TCC's president, Jerry Isaac, never one to mince words, offered some very pointed observations on the Governor's utter lack of respect for the Interior tribes, but its unlikely the Rural Advisor is going to report that back to his boss...heads have rolled in this administration for less.

On the brighter side, it's clear she's ignorant (willfully or no) of how closely her ongoing conduct and actions mirror those of her predecessor. In Frank-the-Bank's case, his arrogance resulted in plummeted approval ratings and a lost primary. We can only hope for the same outcome for Palin - both here and on the national stage. Keep up the good work, Sarah.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

OMG - Yet Another One

This is bordering on the ridiculous, as well as the redundant. But who knew when I started this little gag list back in '07, that it would grow, and grow, and, well, grow.

The latest ex-legislator to do the perp walk is Bev Masek. She bumps Kott off the list as the Cheapest Date in the House - since VECO bought her for a mere 4K.

Santa's The FBI's Little List (First posted in December 2007 - Updated on March 12, 2009)

Tom Anderson : Naughty Gray Bar Hotel
Bill Allen: Very, Very, Very Naughty Pled Guilty
Rick Smith: NaughtyPled Guilty
Pete Kott: Naughty and Easy Gray Bar Hotel
Bruce Weyhrauch: Naughty Indicted
John Cowdery: Naughty Indicted, Pled Guilty, House Arrest
Vic Kohring: Naughty Gray Bar Hotel
Ben Stevens: Very Naughty - In the Bag
Ted Stevens: Very, Very Naughty and Haughty - CONVICTED!
Don Young: Naughty and Rude, Under Investigation and Spending $ Like Crazy
Frank Murkowski: Naughty and Slow, Give 'im rope
Jim Clark: Very, Very, Very Naughty Pled Guilty
James C. Hayes: Indicted, Tried and Convicted Gray Bar Hotel
Murilda "Chris" Hayes: Indicted, Pled Out, Gray Bar Hotel
Beverly Masek: Pled Guilty, Gray Bar Hotel

Oh, and on an entirely different political topic, How about those ruptured nuptials of Bristol Palin - are we surprised? The death knell of that particular union was rung on the day that the future mom-in-law got busted for drug dealing. To paraphrase a certain song about rehab (or in this case, drug-dealing): SarahPAC says no, no, no!

Monday, March 09, 2009


Two other bloggers, Naturelady at Boreal Kraut and Dusty Bee at Well Seasoned Woman, dropped us comments saying they'd nominated FBH for a Lemonade Award.

To which I say, on behalf of Flic the Bic and and I, thank you. Awards make me twitchy. I try not to talk about blogging itself usually - better to just write about the stuff rattling around the old brain pan - but I suppose a nod from others won't kill us.


The award, vaguely dedicated to blogs showing 'great attitude or gratitude' requires one to bestow the same upon 10 other bloggers. And copy the lemonade stand thingey at right.

Does this mean we have a good attitude? Because we've worked very hard to communicate our bad attitudes about many things great and small here in Squarebanks. We've stuck to our amateurish layout, bad grammar and profanity for a reason. We're amateurs. We both deal with grammar and style in our day jobs and see no need to muck about with it on our free time. We both make liberal use of profanity.

Whatever the psychological implications of taking part in this may be, I'll play. Oh, and I'm implementing a new rule of my own. I won't nominate either blog that nominated me. Otherwise these things turn into a mutual nominating thing and suddenly we're all patting each other on the back. And I'm nominating five other blogs, not ten, because I am on mug of coffee number one and lack motivation.

1. Keeping it Real - When I read this blog I feel like I am still living out in coastal Alaska and have someone to talk to about it. (And shares my love of nigipiaq.) And the pictures are cool, too.

2. Kodiak Konfidential - He of photoshopping She Who Shall Not Be Named's face into a Vogue cover. I suspect that if Ish lived in Squarebanks we'd sit at the Eagle having a beer, coming up with even better blog ideas.

3. Redneck Mother - Not an Alaskan blog, but if I am ever a momma, I am so going to steal ideas from her and have to read back through a few years of 'raising children, lettuce and hell."

4. Ester Republic - The indie publication serving the Peoples Independent Republic of Ester and beyond.

5. AK Dave Down Under - Beer, koalas, and lots of pics of warm climate critters. Oh, and more titillating post titles than you can shake a stick at.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

At Least We Were Spared the Blue Mustang

I don't know about all you gentle blog readers, but I really can't bring myself to like the new airport at FAI. I miss the funky building of questionable provenance, and the dusty plane, the scruffy taxidermy, and the colorful flags from all the Interior tribes.

Every time I disembark from an Alaska Airlines jet ('coz when I fly bush with Frontier, I still get to go out of the last vestige of the former airport), I miss the old place so much it hurts. For some oddball reason - maybe for the same reason why I still like landing on gravel strips with no outbuildings and a cluster of snow machines waiting to pick up freight and people - exiting a jet way into the drab, worn upstairs of the old terminal was just coming home. Now it could be in a terminal anywhere in the Lower 48.

There is no funk or eccentricity, it's all laminate, sparkle and faux granite. I am not sure what the orange vestibules on the outside of the building are supposed to be, but to me, they just look like an architect's rendering of the ubiquitous ATCO unit. The worst part about the new airport is that in its effort to look modern and hip and polish, it kinda flops - and it just seems even more outre than it did before.

But hey, it could be so much worse. We could exit the orange cubicles to a Blue Moose with crazy eyes.