BULLIES come in all ages

BULLIES come in all ages
(click to see movie trailer)

Surround yourself with positive people,
energy, and situations;
always avoid negativity.


Life is too short to wake up with regrets.
So, love the people who treat you right.

Forgive, and then forget about the ones who don't.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Wordless Wednesday (Kinda)

Arctic Camsters
New Year's Eve, 2008

Note: Today is the last day to view Panda Cam live.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Arctic Camsters

What is an Arctic Camster? Someone who enjoys watching the same scene, 24/7, from downtown Fairbanks? Yes, it's cheap (free) entertainment, but as Dermot Cole's column suggests, there's much more involved here.
(Be sure to click on the article picture to enlarge)
You, too, can become a Camsters:

Monday, December 29, 2008

Monday's Musher

Lance Mackey

Lance Mackey has been described as cagey, steadfast, stubborn, cocky, confident, tough, survivor, and a true Alaskan legend!

In 2007, and again in 2008, Lance Mackey made racing history when he won two 1,000 mile races back-to-back, the Yukon Quest and the Iditarod, with most of the same dogs - an incredible feat of endurance, long considered almost impossible.

For his achievements Lance was nominated for a 2007 ESPY - Excellence in Sports Performance Award, and in 2008 he was named Sports Illustrated's #2 Toughest Athlete in the World. In September 2008, Versus, a media partner of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, conducted their Red, White, Black, and Blue (RWBB) "Cam Pain". Lance Mackey was voted "Toughest Athlete on the Planet". Lance beat out the likes of Bret Farve and another Lance, Lance Armstrong, during the competition.
Lance's indomitable lead dog, Larry, is the only dog in the world to win the coveted Golden Harness Award from both of these grueling races.

Lance, a cancer survivor, comes from a family of sled dog racing champions. His father Dick Mackey helped create the world's most famous race, the 1,049 mile Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, in 1973. Five years later his father won the race by one second in a world-famous photo finish.
Lance, his wife Tonya, and their family make their home, Comeback Kennels, near Fairbanks.


Q&A for Lance from Discovery Channel

What do you find is the biggest challenge when working with animals?
"The biggest challenge working with a large team of dogs is the individual personalities. Like a classroom full of kids, all with issues, wants, questions, some barking wildly to get my attention and then there are some who just do what needs to be done and require only a nod or a smile. Every dog is different. Every need is different. That's what I love. The reward is seeing them all come together as a team working for a common goal. It's just cool."

What made you choose your lead dog?
"Lead dogs are not 'chosen' to be leaders, they are either born with the drive to lead or they are not, and from that, only a few become GREAT leaders. Like Larry or Zorro."

How long does it take to train the dogs for the amount of endurance required?
"It is a year-round effort training and conditioning the dogs. Like any athlete, it is a lifestyle of proper nutrition and a good exercise program. We start serious physical and mental training the first of September to race a thousand mile endurance race like the Yukon Quest or Iditarod."

How do you keep yourself motivated when you're on the trail?
"My motivation is a strong determination to do well and showing everyone the full potential of my dogs. The reality is, I want to make my dogs proud of me. I work as hard as they do and I think they know that. There is nothing more rewarding than happy, enthusiastic dogs at the end of a race. It's difficult to explain. It's just a tremendous drive and a want."

What do you think is your biggest strength and/or weakness when competing?
"My strength is my determination to do well. I am good under pressure, I find it very motivating. I thrive on those that say to me 'can't do' and I don't need much sleep. My weakness when competing — when I do sleep, I sleep hard. What I lack physically, I make up for mentally. For me, it's all about appetite and attitude."

I asked my friend, Janet Tremer, to add her impressions of Lance. Janet has been Lance's Idita-rider the past 2 years.

"What attracted me to Lance Mackey originally was an article in 2006 about him stopping on the sea ice outside of Nome. Why did he stop? To thank his dogs and to celebrate the moment with them before the chaos of crossing under the Burled Arch was upon them. Anyone who loves his dogs that much and who after 9 sleep deprived days and 1,000+ miles under brutal conditions still has the presence of mind and the spirit to live in the moment and to stop and smell the roses on the frozen Bering Sea in order to celebrate life, gets my vote.

I've learned under countless circumstances what a heart this man has and how thankful he is for what he has. While riding in his sled in 2007 & 2008 Ceremonial Starts, I was priviledged to hear him thank every single volunteer and police officer who helped with the race. The people poured out love and good wishes to him as we passed and he loved the fans right back, thanking them for coming out to support the race. I've watched him in checkpoints on the frozen Yukon ask for little and expect nothing while taking time to chat with the checkpoint volunteers and residents. Lance clearly loves life and his enthusiasm for it is infectious."

Janet and Lance

Nome, 2008

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Just a Cold Snap?

From Fairbanks Daily News-Miner:

Cold snap headed to Interior Alaska
By Tim Mowry
Published Saturday, December 27, 2008

FAIRBANKS — The winter’s first cold snap is about to hit, and it won’t be pretty.
“It could be cold enough to freeze warts,” quipped Bob Fischer, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Fairbanks.
Not to worry, Fischer reassured, that’s just meteorological humor. Temperatures won’t reach that of liquid nitrogen — minus 423.17 degrees Fahrenheit — but it’s probably going to be colder than Interior residents have seen it in a long time and for a longer period of time.
Temperatures are expected to start falling today, and by Sunday night lows are expected to be in the minus 30 to minus 40 range. After that, it’s simply a matter of time before clouds move out of the area and temperatures bottom out, Fischer said.
“Once the skies clear, we’re going to see lows in the minus 40s in the Fairbanks area and minus 50s in some of the colder outlying areas with no ice fog,” Fischer predicted, adding that the coldest temperatures will likely be in the eastern Interior near Tok and the Canada border.
There is no end in sight to the bitter cold that will envelope the region, either, according to the forecasting models Fischer and other meteorologists are looking at.
“Current indications are that it will last at least seven to 10 days, or even longer,” Fischer said. “Once it gets cold, it’s going to stay cold. We’re locked into this pattern for the foreseeable future.”
The cold temperatures are the result of a cold air mass over northwest Canada that is moving toward Alaska, Fischer said.
“That air is going to infiltrate slowly to the south and more cold air is going to develop in place over the eastern Interior,” he said.
With little or no warming from the sun at this time of year, daytime highs probably won’t be much warmer than nighttime lows, Fischer said.
“Fairbanks will probably see temperatures of 35 to 40 below for highs and 40s below for lows,” he said. “It probably won’t be more than 5 degrees between the lows and highs.”
Temperatures in the hills also will be cold, though it will be slightly warmer at higher elevations than in town, Fischer said.
The last time Fairbanks had a cold snap in which the low temperature hit 40 below or colder for 10 days in a row was in January 1989, one of the coldest winters on record at the National Weather Service, Fischer said. That cold snap lasted 14 days, from Jan. 5-18.
“Some of the worst cold waves on record have gone on for three weeks,” Fischer noted. “This could turn into one of those.”
So far this winter, Fairbanks has avoided any prolonged stretches of severe cold weather. The coldest temperature so far this winter has been 31 below on Dec. 2, the only time the temperature has hit 30 below this winter.

Keep up with Fairbanks weather conditions here:http://newsminer.com/arcticcam/

Shop-Lifting Dog, or Santa's Helper?

Wroooo! Wroooo! Wroooo!
This is Buddy blogging today and I am hopping mad!

Every report that I have seen covering this story has given it a negative slant, referring to this poor, innocent fella as a "shoplifter", "thief", even "dirty rotten scoundrel".
Did any of you humans consider a different scenario here?

It was Christmas Day, the dog appeared to be well groomed and fed, friendly, and he knew his way around the store.
Could it be that this pup was on a special mission, helping Santa Claws deliver Ho Ho Ho to homeless dogs and cats? Santa sent him in to retrieve just one more bone (that's all he took)...
Look carefully People, he looks like a jolly SLED dog to me. Rr-UH!!!

I think Santa's Canine Helper deserves a public apology.
I'll be watching and waiting, CNN!!!
Wroooo! Wroooo! Wroooo!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Sassy Says

The difference between a conviction and a prejudice is that you can explain a conviction without getting angry.

No, it's not Marley and Me-

It's Comet and Me.

I've been looking through old photos today and found this picture of our first Lab, Comet.
Can't you just see him looking for something (trouble) to get into?
I'm sure Comet and Marley would have been great buddies (AKA Partners in Crime).
They never last long enough.



Thursday, December 25, 2008

Jingle Bells

Happy Holidays from Dog Daze

Don't forget, Marley and Me opens today at a theater near you.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Daddy's Santa Mugs

I haven't been able to get in the Holiday mood this year. I think the Holidays are difficult for many of us as we remember Christmases past and loved ones who are no longer with us. This year has been particularly hard.

I did continue one tradition this year, displaying Daddy's Santa mugs set. Daddy made these adorable Santa pitcher and mugs in 1963, when we were stationed in Albany, GA. I remember one year he served beer to all his "Jarhead" buddies in the Santa mugs-good memories.


A couple of weeks ago someone sent me an e-mail inquiring about the picture over our mantle. Sorry it took me so long to repond. We bought it while on a camping trip to Newfoundland several years ago.

Monday, December 22, 2008

My First Award

One of my favorite blogs is Sunbonnet Cottage . I can feel Melissa's positive energy and spirit each time I visit.
Sweet Melissa (love that song) has honored me with my FIRST EVER AWARD-The Christmas Spirit Award/Meme.

Hugs to you Melissa.

The rules for this meme are very simple. Good manners dictate thanking (and linking to) the person who gave you the award. Then simply list five things you love about Christmas and pass the meme forward by tagging as many people as you'd like to. To keep the Christmas spirit flowing, be a good sport and tag at least one person.

1. The words of Merry Christmas: Synonymous with "Peace and Goodwill" universally.

2. The Hustle and Bustle: I taught 1st and 2nd grades for 27 years...No place in the world more exciting than a classroom full of 7 year olds the month before Christmas!

3. Time with Family: That's a difficult one for me, as I have no family other than my wonderful husband and the dogs. I am an only child, no children, parents deceased...sounds lonely but my heart is full of love, and "friends are the family you choose."

4. Decorating the Christmas Tree: I just couldn't get into a tree this year. (GO GREEN-really, Go Lazy). But I do have lights and garland on mantle and railings...out of the reach of dog tails.

5. The Comforts of Home: Our home is tucked away in the middle of 29 acres in the North Georgia mountains. Now that we are retired, it's not uncommon for us to "get lost" on our property for days at a time.
I love the warmth of the fire, glow of the lights, aroma of roasting turkey, Mannheim Steamroller in the background, hubby in his recliner, and dogs at my feet. Simply perfect.

So now I pass this award/meme on. I know it's close to Christmas and if you don't have time, don't worry about it...

Ho Ho Ho!

1. Kelli at Kelli's Blog

Monday's Musher

Susan H. Butcher
Dec 26, 1954 - Aug 5, 2006

In anticipation of my up-coming trip to the Iditarod in March, I've decided to feature a different musher each Monday. I'll share some interesting information concerning featured mushers' professional and personal lives.

With so many impressive mushers to choose from you might think it was difficult to make my first choice.
But I had no doubt; I must pay tribute to my favorite musher of all time: Susan Butcher.

Susan Howlet Butcher was an animal lover, a business woman, a wife and a mother. Susan was the reason I became interested in the Iditarod and dog sledding many years ago.

Each year I taught a Winter unit in my classroom. As part of the unit my class would watch and discuss Reading Rainbow episode #805, "Snowy Day: Stories and Poems", featuring Susan. I remember being surprised to learn that Susan was born in Massachusetts (East Coast girl, like me), a year younger than I, and she moved to the
Wrangell Mountains area of Alaska, at the age of 20, to pursue her love of the wilderness and animals.

The more I learned about Susan, the more I admired, respected, and envied her. Her love for the dogs convinced me that dog-sledding was not a cruel or inhumane sport. Her devotion was obvious and I sensed that she would never do anything to jeopardize her dogs' safety or well-being. She truly considered them as family members.

Butcher won the Iditarod four times in five years, so often that "Iditarod," as well as the sport of mushing, became synonymous with her name. Her success led to the saying, “Alaska: where men are men and women win the Iditarod".

Alaska Governor Sarah Palin said, "No one exemplifies the spirit of Iditarod more than Susan Butcher. She was a great role model for so many Alaskans, including me. I greatly admire her perseverance, dedication and competitiveness.

December 2, 2005 Susan Butcher was diagnosed with leukeacute myelogenous mia, which manifested as a blood disorder three years earlier. She underwent chemotherapy at the University of Washington, and received a bone marrow transplant on May 17, 2006 after the cancer went into remission. According to her husband David Monson, "someone said this might be a tough disease, but this leukemia hasn't met Susan Butcher yet."[1] Butcher died on August 5, 2006 after fighting graft-versus-host disease and learning that the cancer had returned. She is survived by her two daughters, Tekla and Chisana, and her husband, attorney and musher David Monson. On March 1, 2008, Susan Butcher was honored by the State of Alaska when, just prior to the start of the 2008 Iditarod, Gov. Sarah Palin signed a bill establishing the first Saturday of every March as Susan Butcher Day. The day coincides with the traditional start of the Iditarod each year. Observing the special day, the bill noted, provides opportunity for people to “remember the life of Susan Butcher, an inspiration to Alaskans and to millions around the world.” (wikipedia)

My only regret is that I didn't get to the Iditarod sooner...

I would love to hear your memories of Susan...Please share in comments. (it's easy and pls post your location, thx)

Any guesses on next week's featured musher? I bet Ms. Janet knows...

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Sunday is for Family

Grandpa, Uncle Jack, Grandma and Me
Christmas 1957
Savannah, GA
Mother made everyone matching Christmas pajamas.


Enjoy this neat video of Winter Solstice Eve from downtown Fairbanks: (thx, Clint)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Frohe Weihnachten!

I received this cute E-card from my new Arctic Camsters friend, Karin in Balve, Germany!


Ein frohes Weihnachtsfest und alles Gute zum neuen Jahr!

Tausend Dank!


Only 5 More Days!!!

Time to get a move on!!!!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Sassy Says

Every boy should have two things:

a dog and a mother willing to let him have one.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Cheers with the Girls

Happy Holidays, Ladies

( Yes, I'm the senior member of the group)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Monday, December 15, 2008

Iditarod Bound!!!

It's official, I'm going to the Iditarod in Anchorage this March.

For those who know me, this is no surprise. I have traveled to Alaska several times, but never during The Last Great Race.
It has been a dream of mine for years and several recent circumstances have led me to the realization that this is the year to "Just Do It!"

What might surprise you is that I'm putting on my BIG GIRL PANTIES, getting on that plane and flying to AK without D. I'll be meeting my new Idita-Sista, Janet and her husband Walt.
As ~L put it, "...It's a good thing to get out of the comfort zone once in a while...makes us grow..." Thanks for the encouragement, ~L.

I am a loyal viewer of Fairbanks Daily News-Miner Arctic Cam. Through this site I have met many new and exciting people from all over the world, who share my love of Alaska. We have developed genuine friendships.

One of those new friends is Janet. Janet has been to the Iditarod several times, as an observer and an Idita-Rider. She wasn't just anybody's Rider. She was Lance Mackey's Idita-rider the past 2 years. Hmmm-he also won the race those 2 years. Janet has graciously volunteered to lead me around on this Field Trip of a Lifetime!!!!

Lance Mackey and Janet

2008 Iditarod Ceremonial Start

The staff of the DNM (Julie, Venus) and an AC friend (Faith) decorated this lovely tree today in the DNM parking lot for all of us viewers...I'm telling you, this is really a special place with special people.

Faith, Julie and Venus decorating tree.

Isn't it lovely? Thanks, Ladies!

Here's a cool video showing them trimming the tree:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AByW7WVeH7g (thx, miganut and Mark)

Arctic Cam: http://newsminer.com/arcticcam/

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Sunday is for Family

Great-Grandpa Kepler
(Love those mutton-chops)