24 February, 2008

Winter Festivities

When your "winter" lasts almost 6 months, you have to find things to do to break up the monotony. So we party. Every February, we celebrate... whatever... at the Anchorage Fur Rendezvous. It started as a gathering of hunters & trappers to trade furs and get supplies. Now, we spend the time with parades, races, food, ice sculptures, sled dog races, snowshoe softball, ice bowling, fireworks and many other events. I know people who spent all day Saturday downtown for Rondy. They got up early enough to go to the pancake feed, visited shops, attended events, and just enjoyed the party atmosphere.
Fur Rondy

It's been a long time since I've been downtown for any of the Fur Rondy events, but this year Greg was part of a team running in the Outhouse Race. While I was too comfortable in bed to get up for pancakes, I did make it down for some shopping, food, and the race. No way I could miss that!
Outhouse Royalty

It started with the Outhouse Royalty walking the "prizes" down the course so the crowd could see what was up for grabs. Then each team took a run for the time trial - and so the onlookers could see the participants. Apparently, this year there were more entries than ever before, and a larger crowd too. One outhouse was done in a Mardi Gras theme, another like a rocket, a third in a mexican theme. There are specific rules about how many runners and requirements for construction - the outhouse has to have a seat, a roll of toilet paper, a rider, and reading material. Some were short, some tall, one decked out like a salmon... people were very creative.
GeoCache Express Racers

Our team created the GeoCache Express - a short outhouse in the style of an ammo can (?!?). I don't know how they did in the time trial, but they were quick and aggressive. Which netted them 2nd place in the open class, and 3rd place overall. Way to go!! Prizes are decorated toilet paper rolls, and the 1st place team got one of those Ed McMahon huge cardboard checks... for $5.00 (that they had to give back after the pictures were taken). They're already making plans on what to do differently for next year.
Time Trials


Rondy is a week-long smorgasbord of events. Yesterday will probably be most of my involvement - but it was fun. If I weren't content to be at home with things to do, I'd go down for the Running of the Reindeer. I heard that people dress up and act wacky to get the reindeer to run... like putting on a costume with carrots all over so (hopefully?) they'll be motivated to chase you. That might be worth seeing. =)

10 February, 2008

Valentine's Toses

Heather & I went to a real SPA today to get pedicures. If you haven't had one before, I highly recommend them. And while I won't be going back to the spa we went to today, I'll be frequenting spas more often and mall shops less. The whole experience was nicer and definitely higher quality - on the products used and the overall "pampering" feeling. My feet even got their own mask today. Of course, the spa was more expensive than the mall shops are, but we had gift certificates, so it wasn't too bad.
Mall Toes
The mall shops are okay - quick in, quick out. They've used a razor-type implement to get off dead skin - which, according to the gal at the spa, is very bad for my feet and even illegal in some states. Who knew?!? But the mall shops can give me a french pedicure with green instead of white and paint pretty little pictures on my toes. Apparently the spa is a little too high-brow for the pictures. And they didn't have lime green for the toes either. One color seemed close (and it had sparkles!) - but I was told that was sheer, so no one would see the color. I wanted something a little wild - since it's winter and only me and one or *maybe* two other people ever see my toes anyway... Oh well. I got a nice, respectable red for valentine's. That'll have to do.
Spa Toes

Office Politics

We're in the process of "organizing" the office. This entails removing the flotsam and jetsam of the office into the living room so we can determine what will be replaced and what is refuse. It's much more time consuming to put things back than to take them out. That's always the case, but sometimes it seems rather daunting. I'm half tempted to just open up a (sturdy) garbage bag and pitch things in. Unfortunately, as soon as it's gone for good I'm sure I'll find that we're missing something important and life will not go on as it should... so I'll take the time to investigate the eviscerated guts..

03 February, 2008

Super Bowl

Superbowl Sunday is just another reason to get together with friends and eat. At least, that's what I think it's for... oh! and watching the commercials to see what's new and clever. Since our house is currently non-visitor friendly, we went to visit at some friends' house. My contribution was chili. Since I watched a Superbowl episode of Emeril (while I was exercising), I decided to try making Emeril's Chili. I normally use ground beef, but the recommendation from this show was stew meat. I figured that'd dress things up a bit...
Raw Chili Fixin's

I started cooking in our big stock pot, since I planned on doubling the recipe. Once it got pretty full, I was going to move everything over to our largest crock pot and finish adding ingredients there. Turns out my stock pot is bigger than my crock pot. Which was bad news, since I still needed to add three cans of beans and 6 cups of water. Fortunately, Big Blue is still in residence. I borrow Blue from a friend (quite some time ago) to make a large batch of chili. It's gargantuan - and heavy - and everything fit. Whew!
Almost Chili

Transferring to Big Blue

We also brought corn chips (Fritos) and shredded cheese for toppings. It was yummy. I only had two bowls - that covered lunch & dinner. The rest of the time I spent eating pesto, stuffed mushrooms, baked brie, boneless buffalo wings, and some cinnabon coffee cake. I really am going to need to exercise this next week, just to make up for all the eating I've done over the weekend.
Heather Eating Chili

I normally pick my team based on the color of the jerseys, so I would have gone with the blue team (Patriots). But this year I decided to go with the underdogs in the white jerseys - go Giants! An exciting ending to the only game of football I've (mostly) watched all year. But I *definitely* enjoyed the company and the food!!