Monday, August 29, 2011

Caqit ukut: Planking, Owling, Leisure Diving, Horsemaning?

It seems like every couple of weeks there is a new viral internet photo craze going around.  Planking was the first big one.  There was a guy at Mike and Erin's wedding that kept planking on everything, and it got me thinking about it more.  So for those of you who haven't figured all of them out, here is a run down of some of the top photo trends...Did I miss any? (all photos from Google Images)

Planking: Where the subject lays face down, with stiff arms and legs, in strange unexpected places.

Leisure Diving: In this technique, you stage a photo of the person flying through the air, usually into a pool, in a very relaxed pose, hence "Leisure" diving.  Few people in Alaska do this, because who has a pool?

Horsemaning: Inspired by the "Headless Horseman," two people are used to make an illusion of one person beheaded, often with the "body" holding the "head."  Supposedly the photo below was taken in 1920, and has repopularized the technique after being discovered in a garage sale and posted online.  I kind of want to try this one.

Owling: Supposedly the next greatest thing after Planking became popular, I am least inspired by this one, despite my Alutiiq name meaning "owl."  Like Planking, but in a owl-like position, the subject perches in various unlikely locations.

Update: We had to try horsemaning at home.  Here is our most successful attempt. Emmy thought it was hilarious.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Japanese Knotweed - Invasive Species

So...the saga of the backyard septic installation continues.  We were happy to see our grass growing in the new backyard fill, even though there was also a prevalence of weeds.  There was one plant that I had never seen before, which I hoped was some sort of nice bush I could use in my landscaping.  It sprouts with a reddish tinge, grows quickly, and has broad oval pointed leaves.
 Unfortunately, as a visiting friend warned us, this plant is Japanese knotweed, which is highly invasive.  Apparently there was a landslide where various contractors were getting fill dirt from, but was from a location highly infested with knotweed - a highly aggressive invasive species.  So, my options are now to use poisonous chemicals, cover with heavy black plastic for a number of YEARS, or cover with 5 FEET of new clean soil.  Pulling up from the roots can actually spread it worse, since root systems can be 45 feet long, and only a small root fragment can restart a colony.  Another option is to cut it down up to 6 times a season for 5 years or more, which is sometimes used for large stands of it, but it can regrow to full size within a month or two.
 I asked the Kodiak Water and Soil Conservation District to come and look at it, and they suggested they could target spray it with something, and only kill a little grass since the knotweed are not yet well established.  It might or might not fully address the problem.  What a pain!

A Beautiful Wedding

Yesterday we attended the wedding of Erin and Mike.  It took place at Abercrombie, and it was incredible.  Everyone in the wedding party wore whatever they wanted, but somehow it all looked planned.  The bride was radiant, the father proud, the couple glowing.  Jeremy was a best man and Brent was the Officiant.  Emmy was a flower girl.  The weather was fantastic, with just a few thin clouds, and everyone was having a great time.

Saturday, August 6, 2011


Pingaqtaaka Cingiyaq. I like Chiniak.  I must admit it, I like it even better than Pasagshak.  It has a nice rugged coastline and round little bays surrounded by trees, with beautiful ocean views all the way along the road.  Today, since my parents-in-law are in town, we brought them out to Isthmus Bay, the same place we were last weekend.  Although it sprinkled rain most of the afternoon, we had a blast.  It would be quite nice to have a place out there some day...
We set up Emmy's "kids tent" to have some protection for Laura from the rain.
Being an avid sports fisherman, Matt caught and released most of the day, but he and Jeremy kept three of the brightest pinks for the freezer.
There may have been just as much fun to be had in the tent as there was on the beach.
Emmy eating her cookie and enjoying the scenery. The seiner in the background made sets all day long.
Laura seems to enjoy being out doors and getting fresh air. She was very cheerful.
Looking back from the beach towards the winding stream.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Summertime Sunshine

It really has been a lovely summer for weather.  Our home water supply has taken a hit due to the scarcity of rain, but I really can't complain.  These photos are from our trip to Chiniak last Sunday.