Sunday, April 18, 2010

"No good deed goes . . . "

Back when we were in Wisconsin visiting The Wife's family a couple weeks ago, I was conscripted to build a cold frame for my mother-in-law.  Well, "conscripted" might not be the correct term here since, you see, I knew that Jan would accompany any project of this sort with ample quantities of top-shelf domestic macrobrew and, if it's early enough in the day, the occasional bloody mary.  I was quick to volunteer for the task.

Having grown up in the West, in places where nobody is really from, it's always fun to visit central Wisconsin.  If you grow up in rural Wisconsin and move 50 miles, it's a big move.  If you go to, say, Alaska, you might as well be in another country.  My brother-in-law, and good friend, Tyler is one of those locals with deep roots to Marathon County.  You need a used window?  He's got a guy who's got a dozen for you.  You need some lumber on Saturday when the local yard is closed?  He's got as many clear 2x10s as you might need.  Tools?  Forgetaboutit.  If Tyler wasn't such a nice guy, you'd think he was part of some Wisconsin Polish mafia.

With materials and bloody mary in hand, Tyler and I made short work of building the cold frame.
The sides are 2x10s cut to the appropriate length and width and joined like a log cabin so it can be disassembled for easy transportation or storage.
The window is on a hinge for easy access to the inside. 

And an updated picture with the fresh planting:
Of course, now that we're home and things are starting to warm up, The Wife is going garden crazy.  She's already sourced a bunch of old windows and, as the saying goes, no good deed goes unpunished.  She just better have a bloody mary waiting.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Spring ski season is in full effect around here, and one of the great things about Anchorage is that the Chugach Front Range is a mere minutes from town. 

Brian, one of my coworkers, and I had been talking about skiing together for a while.  With weather a bit too nice to be indoors, we ditched work a little early last Friday, picked up Brian's dog, Tika, and went out for a quick ski. 
Since I forgot my camera, Brian took all the pictures.  Since Brian's dog ran off, I did all the skiing.  Bummer.  Me part way up the skin track (I'm on the left side of the run, near the rocks) while Brian skinned around the flats looking for Tika:
Brian eventually found his dog, but not until after I had turned down worried that something serious had happened. 
Well, Brian, at least we weren't still in the office.

Monday, April 5, 2010

"Of course it's cold and wet . . . "

I'm not really sure how it happened, but one of the most viewed posts on this blog is my retort of fly fishing as a quiet sport.  Another fly fishing blog that I peruse on occasion, Buster Wants to Fish, has a similar post about the suffering of winter steelhead fishing.  It's great, and anyone who's had their guides freeze in the name of steelhead should give it a read.