Thursday, November 30, 2006

White Knuckler

I am not looking forward to taking off to Kotzebue today. Gusts of wind today are upwards of 40 mph and yesterday they were even looking to canceling school today. I don't mind flying, but it is the takeoffs and landings I hate. And actually, I have had much better rides on these smaller planes than I ever had on the major airlines. That last flight back into Nome on Alaska Airlines, the one coming back from our Ninilchik trip, was one of the worst landings I have ever been through. I've flown now dozens of times, but I still hold my rosary and say my Hail Marys on the takeoffs and landings.

We also have a pep assembly at school today and I'll have to introduce the volleyball team. I'm trying to think up a joke but I can't come up with anything.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

I like to move it, move it

Things are winding down and getting started. We now have only one practice left in volleyball. We leave Thursday night for regionals in Kotzebue and won't come home until Sunday morning. Long trip to play 3 or 4 games. I will be excited if we win and get to go to State, but if we don't I will also celebrate the end to a successful season, and the end to early morning practices and coaching. When the season is done, I am just so glad. This big burden and time-allotment has been taken off my shoulders. I had a great year, with fantastic girls playing, but it will just be nice to be all over. Sort of like the end of the run of a play. We did a drama class play in high school and prepared for weeks, but when it is all over there is a certain sigh of relief.

I actually took the day off yesterday. It was blustery and snowy and I just didn't feel up to facing the day. Odd. I need to get back on that gingko biloba I was taking, I think. It was in my vitamin supplement. I always noticed a good feeling from it. I am on this new multi-vitamin that doesn't have it and I think I miss it.

Career-wise, I have been looking around wondering what a guy with my credentials DOES. Really. What does a guy with an English major and masters DO? Who really besides a teacher will know the stuff I know? Poetry? There isn't a strong market for that knowledge, sad to say. Grammar? I can edit like nobody's business, but can I get paid well doing it? (Maybe--more research needs to be done.) Teaching is great, however, sometimes I struggle with that whole "starfish" concept.

That's my buddy's story. There's a man walking along the beach where millions of starfish are stranded. You go up to him and ask him why he's throwing some back into the ocean. He can't possibly expect to save them all. "Ah, but I saved this one!" he'll say and keep throwing. I understand that and try to save what I can. Now though, with NCLB and all this testing, testing, testing, I have to actually TRY to save them all. That old man on the beach saving the starfish must now on paper quantify and qualify how he is trying to reach the starfish he cannot save. Each starfish must have a plan. Even if the starfish grows human legs and runs away as fast as it frickin can, that old man must figure out some way of tackling it, while still trying to save the millions of others. And if more grow legs and run away?

This turned into a bit of a rant.

Monday, November 27, 2006

This I simply cannot believe. Granted, there are some serious traumatic events that can screw a person up, but who makes the decision on what's traumatic or not? Can you not see this being abused--or USED? What a great way to make people forget anything. I see something like this and think we are just steps away from the pills in BRAVE NEW WORLD and THE GIVER.

My review of the webcomic called BRAIN FIST is up at Independent Propaganda.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Seriously, have you been to yet? They have WHOLE RUNS of old DC comic books to download and read. It is absolutely flipping amazing, especially to read the old classics. Almost 4000 comics on the website now.

Fred Hembeck with another bad Batman pun.

Bit of a blizzard

Having a bit of a blizzard here in Nome, Alaska, today. Weather gauge in my Yahoo widgets says the wind is at 38 mph, gusting to 49 mph, making the air temperature of 16 degrees feel like -10 degrees. I tried taking some pictures...well, if anything, they show how blustery it is today! Good thing the volleyball team didn't go anywhere this weekend or I doubt we would have come back!

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Morgan just received her sixth grade pictures the other day.

Friday, November 24, 2006

We put up our Christmas tree this week. Kids make Christmas so much fun!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Superman PSA, Justice for All includes Children!

Another PSA featuring Superman. Part of my SUperman obsession is to collect these too.

Here is an old 1970s Public Service Announcement starring Superman!

Here's one of those old Hostess cupcake comic book ads that utilized characters to pitch their product. There were hundreds of them, and this is one of those that involved Superman. These bring back memories!

Picture #2--I love how this one got captured by my camera.

Picture #1 of a sunrise in Nome this Thanksgiving day. We get some amazing ones this time of year due to the positioning of the sun being so low on the horizon.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

I found this interesting comic site that I need to review and thought I would share. It is interesting in a sort of surreal way that reminds me of my old Halfevil Graphics days. More on that later.

This is a snapshot of the scene INSIDE the little 19-seater charter plane that we took to Bethel.

My review of DR. ID, PSYCHOLOGIST OF THE SUPERNATURAL is up at Independent Propaganda. It's a throwback to older comics.

Skeletor is Darkseid, Darkseid is Skeletor

From on Wednesday, November 22, 2006

It is speculated that the Masters of the Universe movie is actually derivative of Jack Kirby's Fourth World;, featuring characters now found in the DC Comics Universe: Orion (He-Man), Kalibak (Beast Man), Kanto (Blade), and Darkseid (Skeletor). Cross-dimensional travel from Eternia to Earth is via a concept identical to the classic Boom Tube. There are many additional parallels to be drawn from the Fourth World source material to the characters in the film than from the He-Man material.

According to issue #497 of Comic Shop News, Comic Book Legend John Byrne says, "The best New Gods movie, IMHO, is Masters of the Universe. I even corresponded with the director, who told me this was his intent, and that he had tried to get [Jack] Kirby to do the production designs, but the studio nixed it."

"Check it out. It requires some bending and an occasional sex change (Metron becomes an ugly dwarf, The Highfather becomes the Sorceress), but it's an amazingly close analog, otherwise. And Frank Langella's Skeletor is a dandy Darkseid!"

I never knew this before but it makes a lot of sense, especially seeing the Masters of the Universe character Zodak and the Fourth World character Metron on their cosmic chairs! And DC did some of the original comic books (not the minicomics that came with the figures).

5 More Practices

5 more volleyball practices. That's all. That even includes the two we are adding this weekend in our final push to Regionals.

Tomorrow, of course, will have no practice, being Thanksgiving. Friday, we are going to hold a 4-6 pm practice. Saturday, we will have practice from 11-1. Then just Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday morning next week because Thursday we fly to Regionals in Kotzebue. If we make it out in first place, and my team is definitely good enough to beat Barrow, then the next week will be State in Anchorage. We made it there last year, but our Far North Conference had two berths to State due to some kind of rotational system, even though there were only three teams in the conference. This year, it is just one berth, one outright winner in a double elimination tournament.

We are ready. We started working through a 6-2 offense. Even though it may be a little late, it may be the spark we need to get to that next level. We usually ran the 4-2 all year, but maybe that wasn't agressive enough. The team's all set--they just have to want it now. They have to be the ones that say to themselves and each other that they're the best. I tell them that, but now is when they have to believe it.

5 more practices.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

On Sunday, we saw this cute little girl playing in a hangout at the airport. She was adorable.

In Bethel, they have this boardwalk that extends from the school. It's above ground and must have been easier than pouring a concrete sidewalk, oddly enough. Bethel also has an above-ground sewer. It was freezing down in Bethel this past weekend, much colder than it was in Nome.

This is the team boarding our charter plane with Bering Air for Bethel.

Been a few days

I have stumbled in my updates. Since I don't think anyone reads this, I won't worry about it. But I will catch it up.

So the volleyball team lost to Bethel again Saturday afternoon. Three straight games. We played awesome the first game and almost managed to take it, but we didn't. And the girls got so frustrated that we got taken pretty easily the second game. Then the third game was close but no cigar. They played their hearts out, they really did. We ended up taking home a second place trophy and two girls made all-tourney team. We had a nice team meeting after the game and aired some stuff that needed to be said, both ways, toward me and toward the girls, and I think we made some nice headway.

Regionals is the first weekend in December. No games this weekend for Thanksgiving but we will have a practice Friday afternoon. The seeding for our three teams was drawn out of a hat. Kotzebue got the first seed and a first round bye and we took third seed. That means that second seed went to Barrow, thus our first match of the Regional. Good to get that going actually. Since it is a double elimination tournament, we will have to beat Barrow twice outright anyway. This makes it so the best team actually goes to State and not some fluke.

Then I missed just about all of football this weekend. We didn't land back in Nome until 2 pm. And last night, the family put up our Christmas tree and decorations so we were busy during Monday Night Football. I am sure I had the most fun though. Madison is at that really fun Christmas age right now. She keeps saying, "Santa Claus is coming soon." It is so much fun. Morgan is having a great time with it all too. Pictures will come this week.

Other than that, not much this first half of the week. Romeo and Juliet with the sophomores and Midsummer Night's Dream with the seniors, so I get my Shakespeare fill!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Versus Kotz yet again

We beat Kotzebue again this morning, 3-0. The first game was awfully close and we were actually behind for a majority of the game. But the girls managed to come back and then take the next two games pretty easily. I chalk the first game up to simply being a morning game (although with practicing at 6 am, you'd think we'd be better at morning games).

We will have to play Kotzebue again, at the very least once, at Regionals, in Kotzebue, on December 1 and 2. The three way, double-elimination bracket will mostly likely give us second seed, even though there is much debate about the whole thing with Nome never playing Barrow this year during the regular season. That means we will play Kotzebue to start Regionals. If we win, we will then play Barrow. Unless we beat Barrow that first game, we will have to play Kotzebue again in order to move on to Barrow again. (Barrow beat Kotzebue this year in the two matches they played and no one foresees them losing to Kotzebue again.) That also means we must beat Barrow twice to move on to State, no matter what. The only way we will have to play Barrow only once is if we beat them in that first game against them and then Barrow somehow loses to Kotzebue.

That is why it is so important to play teams from your conference during the regular season. There is this stigma hanging in the air that Nome can't beat Barrow. That first game may all be nerves. However, I think my team is pretty darn awesome this year and if we eliminate some little mistakes, we will take 'em!

Just a Geek about Star Wars

I always love Wil Wheaton's blog at because he makes me feel that it is okay to be a geek--there are a lot of us out there. Some of us still like Star Wars and Star Trek and bits of our own personalities and developmental age come out of those things. We like that stuff and goddamnit it is simply fine to stand up and say we do. As Polonius said in Hamlet, "This above all: To thine own self be true."

So I liked the original Star Wars trilogy too. Loved it in fact. I remember things about my childhood from it. I remember my mom and dad hollering up the stairs when I was four, saying that the previews for A New Hope were on Siskel and Ebert again. I remember, at age seven, writing stories and playing out back with my friends after Empire Strikes Back all about how we would save Han Solo from the carbonite. I remember, at age ten, my mom taking my sisters, me and the kid across the street Sammy Kim to Return of the Jedi, and I already knew the whole story and the characters' names from the storybooks. Jabba's little friend is named Salicious Crumb, not once ever mentioned in a movie, but we die hard Star Wars fans all know it.

It sounds a little like whining when Wheaton talks of how George Lucas "betrayed" the series with the new ones. However, I simply have to agree with him, through and through. The new movies were simply not produced to "tell a great story." They were produced because they could be and would make money.

When Episode 1 The Phantom Menace came out, I was so excited. A year or so earlier, I attended all the re-releases for the Star Wars Special Editions with all of their new footage and new effects. (However, I really really really despised that stupid song in Jabba's palace in Return of the Jedi and wondered just what the hell Lucas was thinking.) The Phantom Menace meant a return to the universe that helped define me generationally. Then it stunk to high heaven. I think he needed some serious test screening before he released it because then he never would have had to defend the flak against the crap that was Jar-Jar Binks. I simply despised his Star-Trek-explanation to the Force with the midicholorians in the blood--I hated it so much so that it actually detracted from that special magic in the universe. It slapped against everything Yoda taught on Dagobah in Empire. The only, and I mean the only, redeeming factor of the movie is that it was the first step in the grand scheme of Emperor Palpatine to take over as the Emperor we all knew and loved from Return of the Jedi. It was the first power play, and in that regard, succeeded admirably. It threw off any scent as to what Palpatine was doing. Oh, and the lightsaber fight with Darth Maul at the end was super-cool.

Then Episode II Attack of the Clones was just worse. The whole relationship between Padme and Anakin was stretched to fit. Anakin grew in years and the princess didn't. There was no chemistry. No matter what you say about the whiny Anakin, just watch Luke in A New Hope say, "But I was going into Toshi Station to pick up some power converters!" That blended well as they were both whiny. The whole origin of Boba Fett tried but just falls flat if you ask me. Especially when he simply gets bumped into the Sarlacc pit in Jedi, one wonders if this was the grand scheme for this character. And I'll be honest, the princess would not have married Anakin AFTER he slaughtered all those Sandpeople.

Episode III had some redeeming factors, although still fell short for me. I simply wish that Lucas would have let some real writers help show how Anakin becomes Darth Vader. Instead, he just turns into him, and we the audience are just supposed to understand it all. The whole time with lava at the climactic battle we Star Wars geeks knew would be there and were very happy it had all the lava. Somehow, that was written into our mindsets way back in the early 80s.

All in all, I just felt disappointed by the whole new series. If, in fact, these two trilogies, these six movies, all led up to Darth Vader's final redemption by destroying the Emperor at the end of Jedi and looking upon his son Luke "with [his] own eyes" then I think it just didn't work. Maybe the ending to Jedi to could be refilmed from scratch to do it better justice and fit in better.

I really think that the story, and this is what we all learned as kids, was supposed to be nine movies. What works is a story that involves Luke in the next three installments falling into the Dark Side. I get a lot of this material from conversations as a kid and the Dark Horse mini-series from the mid-90s called "Dark Empire." Luke, in order to defeat a great evil in the universe, must take power from the Dark Side and get in close to the evil. Darth Vader was supposed to have done this too but he could not bring himself back from the Dark Side until it was too late. Luke accomplishes this, thus defeating the Dark Side permanently.

I think Lucas forgot the roots of the story and transplanted some new story over the top of it. I think, instead of deriving Star Wars from the classic source material he did, he thought his story was better.

Wheaton is right about one thing, we may be geeks about this stuff. Star Wars, though, is such a part of this generation, that we felt ownership of it. That is true fandom. I love Star Trek, but have never felt the same kind of ownership of the basic structures and storylines. I will simply say that I love some Trek episodes and storylines and despise others, and that's all right. But Star Wars is all of us.

I even feel more generational ownership when I asked my English classes the other day, "Who's the bad guy of the story" Who's Darth Vader?" 90% had no clue as to who I was talking about. Seriously. Most have never ever watched Star Wars. That's how I feel a more generational ownership of the whole Star Wars phenomenon. We may be geeks, we may be a certain percentage of the population, but we loved the original so damned much that mucking with it hurt us.

Versus Kalskag

We made it to Bethel just fine. Turns out that what we thought was the same big tournament as last year is now just a few games hodgepodged together over a weekend. We flew down on the same plane with the team from Kotzebue. Then we had to wait in the Bethel Regional High School lobby on top of our luggage for four hours until the games began.

We only played one game tonight, at 4:30 versus the Kalskag Grizzlies. We won 3-1. We won the first two and lost a bit of focus in the third game, but then managed to play just fine in the fourth to win the match. Kalskag has one exceptionally good player that is just a phenomenon.

We then walked to the Bethel AC (Alaska Commerical grocery store) for some refreshments for later in the evening. They've got this boardwalk, this elevated wooden walkway that goes all over. It's pretty icy out and I managed to have my footing give out from under me and fell on my backside. There'll be a big bruise there tomorrow. I really bumped down hard. I must need new boots because the traction in them is just about gone.

Tomorrow we play Kotzebue, yet again, at 10:00 am. Kotzebue told me there is a lot of hoopla being emailed around about seeding for Regionals, since Nome never played Barrow this year. They may end up drawing it out of a hat, if you can believe that. Then we'll play Bethel at 2:00 pm, hoping for a bit of revenge since they beat us twice this year on our home turf. Unfortunately, there is no going home early with all of the shuffling of teams and backhauling--each flight is interconnected with another flight.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Bethel Trip

I'm off today on one of the last volleyball trips of the year. Bethel, Alaska. It's actually bigger than Nome.

Now before you go thinking that this is all in the glamorous life of a coach, let me explain. First of all, I had to get a sub for myself and my chaperone today, no small feat on a Friday in this district. Sometimes, I would rather go in sick and work than get a sub with all of the planning you have to do for a sub.

Next is the trip itself. It's pretty nice flying on a charter as opposed to a commercial airline, I'll admit. But our schedule is dependent upon all the backhauling and shuffling of other teams around the state to play in various areas. Our plane will pick up Kotzebue, volleyball and wreslters, and continue on to Bethel, dropping off more wrestlers to bring back. Sunday, we aren't supposed to get picked up until almost 1:00 pm(which means I will pretty much miss all of football). When football is really the only sport I watch all year, it's kind of a bummer.

Then is at the new school itself. I fully expect to be taking my showers by using the faucet in the boys' bathroom, since Bethel is undergoing new construction and facilities are being upgraded. We'll get fed the equivalent of school lunches. We'll play tonight and then through most of the day on Saturday, with this being a tournament. Most times, Saturday is pretty boring because you have to wait the entire day in boredom to wait for the Saturday night game. However, here we will have plenty of games.

Above it all, I'm "on" all weekend. There's no alone time, really. Sure, I'm the male coach and have to sleep in another room, but I am still available should anything happen. The nights get pretty late. We have to take the girls to the store or on little walkabouts all together as we can't leave them. It's just a long weekend. Then if you have an "incident" like we did on one trip this year with a few girls making a silly decision, the night can get longer. (I wish I could explain further but dare not.)

But you know, I wouldn't say no. It ends up being a wonderful trip and a wonderful experience.I get to experience a trip to a place that not very many people go. I get to visit new people, with people that I really like, namely my team. We get to play some games and just have fun for a couple of days.

It may not be glamourous, especially the showers, but it's a hell of a lot of fun.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

My other review of Dead@17 by Viper Comics is up at Independent Propaganda. Cool stuff.

My review of the fumetti-style comic called DOROTHY is up at Independent Propaganda. Check it out!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Remember these old ads featuring the weakling who got sand kicked in his face, only to take this muscle-program and come back and whip some ass? Now we see these as late night infomercials.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Versus Kotzebue Once Again

The Nome Nanook Varsity Volleyball team took on, once again, the Kotzebue Huskies here in Nome this past weekend. And we beat them again on both nights, both nights 3-0. (Even though the third game on Saturday almost stopped my heart a couple of times because the final score was 30-28, so that back and forth action was killing me.) Saturday was our Senior Night. I ordered flowers for the seven seniors and they got all choked up during the announcement of starting lineups. Our national anthem singer couldn't finish because of tears so we all, and everyone in the stands, finished the national anthem together. Quite sweet, actually.

My team looks good, and that is one of the reasons I have the previous head coach, who took off a couple years of coaching for family reasons, coming in to help out every once in a while. One night last week he held a small clinic for us that focused on blocking and hitting. He is immensely good at breaking down all the little things. He came in today to help show us some little things that I think we all needed to see, such as some court positioning. He calls them "LTLP," or, "Little Things, Lots of Points." We had a tremendously good practice because of it. He has been coaching regular girls and mixed 6 for years, and even won state with Nome back in 1999. He knows his stuff.

This coming weekend is one of our last trips. We are going to Bethel to play in their yearly tournament. We would like to take some revenge on Bethel, as they beat us twice this year earlier. That will be phenomenal practice before Regionals the first weekend of December.

I still wish we played Barrow, our other conference rivalry, at least once before Regionals. But we will be prepared. This team is great and I think they are starting to feel great too. Going into Regionals, that's all you can really hope for. If they get psyched up, they will do great things.



Story and art by Josh Howard
Published by Viper Comics
(Review to be published by Independent Propaganda.)

Asia is one of those teenagers with such a strong personality that she is tough to contain. She beats boys up at school for grabbing her and does it with such ferocity that she is the one that gets into trouble. She’s the perfect person to save the world from the legions of the dead, especially ending up dead herself.

The track record for writer and artist Josh Howard already speaks for itself. He’s already had DEAD@17 as a bestselling mini-series and two successful sequels and two spin-offs. This issue of DEAD@17 is the first of the regular series. Even though the reputation precedes itself, this is my first experience with Howard’s work.

And that reputation simply does not disappoint. First of all, the cover is one of the best I have ever seen on a comic. It is so mysterious and menacing yet so provocative at the same time. The art throughout the book, evocative of manga or a stylistic cartoon series is phenomenal in every panel.

The storyline is also clear and multi-faceted. While following Asia through her day before her eighteenth birthday, we also learn of Henrick Strauss on the trail of the undying walking among us. We learn of Zach Pitch who wants to discover the truth behind his father’s death. They all blend together to form a very decent and enthralling story that will definitely make people pick up successive issues.

DEAD@17 is alive and well. If this first fantastic issue is any indication, this series will keep kicking for a long time to come.



Volume 1-6

Published by Illusive Arts

Photography by Greg Mannino and Theo Panousopoulos
Story by Greg Mannino and Mark Masterson
Written by Mark Masterson
Special 3D effects by Theo Panousopoulos and Ray Boersig

Starring Catie Fisher

(Review to be published by Independent Propaganda)

When you first get a comic, you know how you hold it in your hands and just look at it? You settle it so it’s cradled in your palm so that you can open it without cracking the spine. You perform a quick flip-through, just to take a peek. Your eyes rest on the cover, just to soak it in. When you’re holding a copy of DOROTHY, all this examination makes you sigh with delight and awe as there are absolutely gorgeously assembled books.

I have not had much experience with comic books that have used real photos. Most of the time, these have looked cheesy and out of place. However, with DOROTHY, it is a concept that seems to blend with the tale so well that it helps to give the story the true feel of the fantasy land that we all know so well as America’s fairy tale, the land of Oz. Chief Operating Officer Anna Warren Boersig says, “Dorothy is a fumetti-style comic, blending elements of Dorothy’s modernity with the dreamscape of Oz and its denizens. We use digital photography, practical models, 3D models created in Lightwave and 3DMax and Photoshop to create this unique vision of Oz.”

The tale has been updated and improved upon. Dorothy is now a very modern twenty-first century young woman. Her pain, the inner Dorothy, radiates with not just a modern passion but with a more human passion. Her parents died and she was left with Aunt Em in the middle of Kansas, a lonely place to a young city girl. The narrative is nothing like watching the old 1939 movie, not at all. There are new elements interlaced that while it is a familiar world, and it is also a new and exciting one, with new traps and treasures around every corner.

Also, the origins of two of the famous quartet, notably the Scarecrow and the Tin Man, are extraordinary pieces of creative fiction. They not only stay true to the original L. Frank Baum tale, but they expound upon them, giving them such strong human emotions that lends a deeper strength to the story as a whole. The work on the Tin Man in Volume VI was especially absorbing, breaking my heart as well as the Tin Man’s.

DOROTHY is an absolutely engaging and captivating experience. The gorgeous high resolution pictures are enthralling, especially when mixed with the computer digital effects. The story, photography, and artwork all blend for a mesmerizing literary experience that will have the reader as lost as Dorothy in the Land of Oz. DOROTHY is simply a must-have.

Fred Hembeck on Batman puns.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

The rare "inverted jenny" stamp was used to mail in an absentee ballot! Even I knew of this stamp and I am not an avid collector. Wow.

Friday, November 10, 2006


This week is one of those odd confluxes of time. We had a three-day school week followed by two days of parent-teacher conferences. This weekend is also another pair of volleyball games versus our conference rivals Kotzebue. This will be the third pair of matches we have played them this year.

Conferences revolves around us bunch of teachers at our own individual tables in this big room in the high school called the RC. The parents, if they want, can come in and talk with us. Last night the hours were 12-8 pm and today it is from 8-4. I just wish we could somehow mandate parents into coming. I still think Bremerton had the best idea I have seen so far with their student-led conferences where the parents had to come in order for their child to receive a satisfactory grade on their portfolio for that year, which was a state-required cumulative project to graduate.

I'm getting out of my funk for the most part. I simply don't like being down that I end up berating myself internally to get out of it. I'm a fighter when it comes to that, learning at an early age to live every day fully. I'm here I may as well be the best I can be.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

My review of issue #2 of Viper Comics' A DUMMY'S GUIDE TO DANGER. Read it at Independent Propaganda.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


I am in a depression lately.

I don't even know why. There is no cause for it. I just feel that people in general are not being the best they could be. Lots of apathy in the air.

How do you motivate others out of apathy? Maybe I need to read some books on the subject.

Hell, even I am not being as outgoing and motivated as I should. I am trying to write at least 15 minutes a week, my stories. I have to get published. That may be a key awakening for me.

Sometimes, as I wander around, I often wonder about being destined for great things. Does it fall in your lap? Or do you have to struggle to reach for it? I really don't know...

Sunday, November 05, 2006

So has justice been served?

I used to love the old 1970s Disney movie called THE BLACK HOLE. Yeah, it was a serious rip off of Star Wars, especially the droid factor, but I thought it was infinitely interesting. I think this movie actually led me down the path to thinking that black holes could be pinpricks in the dimensional fabrics of the current thoughts in "string theory." I believe that black holes may open up new universes as big bangs.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Have you ever played with Google Earth? It is a phenomenally fun little program. Here is a picture of our apartment complex (the light blue building in the upper left corner of buildings) and the Nome-Beltz school complex. It is absolutely amazing the clarity and depth these images get to. Just imagine this--if this is civilian satellite images, imagine what they have for the government?

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Matt Butcher quoted in Nome Nugget again!! I also get a photo credit!

Nome volleyball team defeats Kotz but not Bethel

By Tara McCaw

The Nome Varsity Girls Volleyball team is confidently but diligently preparing for the regional championship later in the season. Nome beat Kotzebue's Varsity team in two match-ups this past weekend at Nome Beltz High School. Nome will be challenging Kotzebue and Barrow for a chance to compete in the State Championship, so this recent victory makes the Nome's chances look good. Unfortunately, Bethel's Varsity team proved to be a tough opponent and took down both Nome's and Kotzebue's teams returning home undefeated in this weekend's tournament.

Despite the loss to Bethel, Coach Matt Butcher is optimistic about the remainder of the season, "The season is proceeding very well. The girls have come together as a team. We just need to put together some final adjustments although we have played very well so far."

This, weekend there should be some interesting match-ups on the volleyball court for the Mix Six Tournament in which teams made-up of three boys and three girls compete. The event will be held in Nome but teams are planning to travel to town from the surrounding villages.

And Madison, here sucking on some of her trick-or-treating booty, went as a Hello Kitty Princess. There was a tiara but it got misplaced sometime during the night.

Morgan dressed up as Carmen Miranda tonight. I should have given her a million Chiquita banana stickers!

Here are the pumkins we carved. The ghost one was supposed to have eyes and a mouth but I couldn't figure out how to carve it out so we put tissue paper in it to issue a soft glow.

We did our annual pumpkin carving yesterday. Madison here is helping remove the pumpkin "brains."

Morgan also had her face painted: "Candy or more candy; that is the question."

Saturday night was also another tradition in Nome, the Junior Class Carnival. They get to decorate the armory and put on carnival games for everyone, sort of like a fair. Madison got her face painted like a butterfly by resident artist-extraordinaire James Adcox. I even donated some time in the dunk tank. I was placed underneath a basketball net with this device that popped water balloons if you made a free throw. No pictures of that one, thank goodness.