Primum non nocere

Monday, August 30, 2010

Just like old times.

I moved to the great state of Alaska a little over 12 years ago.  Clinton was still President and I was still in my 20's.  I was coming up to work on fishing boats as an on-board fisheries observer.  I was scared and excited.  I had just graduated from college and to be honest the job prospects for a biologist in Wisconsin were grim.  So I was happy to find a high paying job, relatively speaking, in my field.  I never intended to make it a career but if you do something for over 10 years I think it's safe to say it is.  I still am technically a certified observer at least for another month but have officially retired this winter when I got my full time gig with Fish and Game.  But over the coarse of that decade you meet so many people and make so many friends.  This weekend two of those friends finally tied the knot. It's not odd that 2 observers should "hook up" or even date for an extended period of time.  But the job and life style really isn't very conducive to relationships.  So it's rare but not unheard of for 2 observers to get married.  As a matter of fact I can think of at least 3 that just come to mind.  But the point is weddings are times for celebration and the people that come out of the woodwork for them is great.  There were friends there I hadn't seen in over 5 years or longer.  In this day and age it's not hard to keep up with people with Myspace and Facebook, but observers come from all over the US and Canada and then leave to go back to all over the US and Canada. 

I remember back when we were all 20 somethings just starting out in our professional careers.  Some of us stayed up here others went back home and others went on to bigger and better things and places.  But it's always good to see old friends, and make new ones.  We are all growing up.  Getting married, having kids. 

Now it's funny.  I was perusing my blog list and I have 2 college friends that have little blogs.  They don't post a lot and one has officially quit his blog.  I noticed that Underachieversink was posting again.  This is a buddy of mine from college.  Freshman year  he had the dorm room right across from me and I eventually had his brother as my roommate years later.  I feel like a heel because I haven't talked to him in quite a few years.  I've always meant too.  

I remember when he and another buddy, who was also a roommate of mine for a time, both moved up here.  A little after me they were both searching for the same things I was, I think.  Alaska is a land of dreams, the mystical music that you hear in the background when it gets mentioned in the lower 48.  That's what we call the rest of the US, except Hawaii, or the outside.  

The outside.  It's a term that makes me smile.  I've considered myself an Alaskan after about my first year here.  When I got to Alaska, I didn't know if I was going to stay or like observing.  But I figured what the hell.  I changed my driver's license, because to be honest the only advantage to having a Wisconsin license was the cheap hunting and fishing licenses and I would have rather gotten a cheap Alaska hunting and fishing license.  My only true regret up here is I didn't try to get into Fish and Game sooner.  I work 4 years pumping out sea days observing before I started working summers for Fish and Game.  The outside.  It makes Alaska the inside.  That sounds insular and comforting.  Most of us pride ourselves on being fairly self-sufficient.  You'll be hard pressed to find people living in Alaska that were born and raised here and stayed.  And even harder pressed to find third or fourth generation Alaskans.  They're here just few.  So yes having spent the last decade up here I consider myself an Alaskan. 

The nice thing about Alaska or maybe for some the worst thing is that it isn't the little things you have to worry about killing you.  It's the big things.  We don't have poisonous snakes, we don't have ticks, we have only one kind of poisonous spider.  We do have Brown, Black and Polar bears and the largest ungulate, the Moose.  All of which could kill you, in more ways than one.  But the nice thing about all those is they're not very sneaky.  Most of the people that get mauled by bears or trampled by mooses get into trouble of their own doing.  I pride myself that I do not fear bears or mooses but I do have a great deal of respect for them.

And as I was sitting around the campfire this weekend, sipping a cool Pabst Blue Ribbon, talking with old friends about good times, being teased for stupid shit I did 10 years ago, and laughing my ass off, I thought about how small this world really is and how after all this time all of us had gone out in different directions but really weren't that far apart.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Why is a person so smart and people so dumb?

The punk bank NOFX has a song called the "The Idiots are Taking Over."  Find it. Listen to it, it's catchy and scary at the same time.  It's off their 2003 album The War on Errorism.   Up until that album NOFX had been pretty unpolitical, but this album shows how feed up people can get with their leadership.  It takes many stabs at Bush but also his cronies and the whole relgious right in general.

Why am I bringing up a song by a band you've probably never heard of, but you should? 

I'm watching all this drama over a Islamic Center that was going to be built near where the world trade center stood.  Now called Ground Zero by the pundits.   And by near I mean blocks away!  It must be a slow month of the Obama Haters.  And pretty much this crusade was started by a blogger, Pamela Geller, on her blog Atlas Shrugs.  And now with hate filled in there black hearts with nothing better to do, Fox News and all their pundits and sound biters are joining the bandwagon.  This project isn't even new. And you know I said Islamic Center right?  Not even really a Mosque. Well there might be a mosque inside. But that's like saying that a prayer study center is a church.  People pray there for sure but I wouldn't call it consecrated ground.

What this all boils down to is that the media with nothing better to latch on to has latched onto this.  And Islamophobia.  Do we get scared of Christians when a radical goes out and kills abortion doctors, or a cult has a mass suicide?  No we shake are heads and say what a shame, how misguided.  But we don't do that with Muslims. 

I can understand why most people are scared.  The media, especially but not limited to Fox News, lives by terror.  We as Americans in this day and age don't usually get too motivated unless someone scares the shit out of us.  People get worked up into such a frenzy it in itself is scary.  This is where mob mentality comes into play.  Plus the amount of misinformation put out by people with their own agendas doesn't help.  When you take a step back, take a few breathes, and think about it this is a moot point.  There already existed a Muslim center near the Twin Towers site and is it only natural with a church, temple, mosque or any other organization grows to where it's current facilities are inadequate for it's purpose it must expand and upgrade.

It makes me ashamed to be an American when I see all this hate on TV or read all this garbage on the internet.  As a cynic it's amusing to watch a person getting interviewed or giving their opinion, clear state that they are all for religious freedom and the 1st Amendment and then contradict themselves in the next sentence so long as it isn't here or Islam. 

And people should put down the remote or at least change the channel and educate themselves on exactly what they are talking about.  To lump all Muslims together is like trying to lump all Christians together.  I'm sure the Protestants and Catholics would love to that.  How many people have died over that spat?  Or a Seventh Day Adventist and a Mormon.  And to get more insulting you could view both Islam and Christianity, in all their forms as just Jewish Cults.  We hate our Fathers.

Sorry I'm rambling.  I tend to do that in a rant.  Especially one that involves religion, hate, and ignorance. 

There are kooks and crazies in every society and religion.  Sometimes they get a soapbox big enough and high enough that there words are heeded.  And this is not to say that there are not differences in all the major religions.  Some small, some vast.  Are they irreconcilable?  I hope not. 

In the end this Center probably will be built.  Once the next catastrophe has taken our gaze away from this story. 

In the end it makes me sad to look around and see all this hate.  There are most definitely people in this world that hate me because I'm not a Muslim or Christian or Jew, and American.  Simply for those two things.  Not their religion and American.  That makes me sad as well.  I am not try to espouse that there are not mad crazy evil radical Muslims out there ready to rip my throat out and bomb my schools.  There are. 

In the end it makes me sad to see people to use things like this to make their bigotry and ignorance  acceptable.  It is not. 

Sometimes I just want to hide my face in my hands.

It's pretty incredible that you can get famous by having a kid out of wedlock and 17 and have a mom who quits one of the most important jobs in the state of Alaska so she can make big money saying stupid shit on Fox News.  I just saw a blurb on MSN about Bristol Palin is being considered to appear on "Dancing with the Stars".  I think the show is going to have to change it's name.  Seriously.  If this is all you have to do to be considered a star worthy enough to be on a show called "Dancing with the Stars" this is just another sign of the coming doom.  God we are a stupid culture. 

How ironic is it that she now makes her living preaching to other kids to wait to have sex?  God what hypocrites. 

DUMB DUMB DUMB.  Some times it makes me ashamed to be an Alaskan.

Friday, August 20, 2010

New custom auto Cards Betty White, Abe Vigoda, and Russell Johnson

Well as promised the new Customs Auto cards I just sent out to try and get autographed.  I posted a similar blog over at collector's crack but I promised I'd post some stuff here and i'm trying to get JayBee to add this to the blogroll, even though it's more eclectic and not necessarily a sports or sports card blog but then again it's not not either. 

Here we go.

We'll start with the latest Russell Johnson who you will all remember was the professor on Gilligan's Island.

The Incredible Betty White.  She's still got it.

And the legendary Abe Vigoda.

Now you're probably wondering why I picked these 3 to start.  Well first they are 3 actors that I like and grew up watching and second they are all getting up in age and I wanted to get their autos before they pass away.  Morbid maybe, practical absolutely.

I also decided that I wanted to make the cards as professional as possible and larger than a regular trading card.  I also decided to do different series based on profession.  Obviously these cards are for movie and tv stgars.  I plan on doing some sports, and other themes too.


Thursday, August 19, 2010

Remembering Uncle Ted

Well I was going to post some custom Auto cards I made up and am just about to send out but my girlfriend stole my computer last night and now i'm posting from work.  We are in morning up here in Alaska.

Last night we had the funeral for "Uncle" Ted Stevens.  For those that don't know Ted was killed in a plane crash last week.  He was the longest sitting Republican Senator ever!!  And was deposed last election over a trial that was so blatently farcicle that it makes me ashamed.  He was convicted of 7 charges, and later exonerated, but pretty much the trial did him in.  He still almost won.

I met him once when he came to Haines, gave a little speach and then took off. 

Say what you will that man did a crap load for Alaska and will be missed.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Customs and what not.

I've given it some thought and decided that I'm going to start posting my custom autograph cards and successes here as well as my rants and postings of the odd and unusual.  And also get put up on the Sports card blog roll so I can get a little more readership.  you hear me Jay Bee add me!!!!!! 


WTF? Research could pave the way for advanced methods of enraging monkeys!!! I shit you not.

So as usual it's slow at work weather sucks ect.  My boss hands me this article

It's from the Christian Science Monitor.  Not the Enquirer or as I had originaly suspected the Onion. 

The second sentence in the secondary headline is "The research could pave the way for advanced methods of enraging monkeys."


Really?!?!?  God I'm in the wrong line of work.  Who knew there was money to be made in making monkeys mad??  And I hope they get funding soon for God knows we don't have enough angry monkeys running around. 

But to CSM's credit this is no where on the front page it's buried in the Science Section. 

I'm going to start shapening sticks to poke at monkeys so I'm ready when the funding comes in for advance methods research.

Until next time.


Monday, August 2, 2010

Signs of the Decline of the American Empire

I was out with my girly the other day shopping and we pulled into a parking lot for a multiple shopping complex (ie strip mall but with major chains).  And I sat looking at how many parking spaces were blocked by shopping carts from people too lazy to walk the extra 100 feet to the cart corral so the carts were out of the way.  It made me sad that we are such a lazy people, not everyone mind you I know I hate to lump everyone into the same pot, but sometimes it's unavoidable.  So put your damn carts away and I vow as never to be THAT lazy, just normal lazy.