Sunday, May 31, 2009

KISAR Helicopter Training on Old Woman Mountain

On Sunday, May 31, 2009, KISAR had a helicopter training session with the U.S. Coast Guard. After a hangar orientation, the group headed up Old Woman Mountain for hoist training. Unfortunately, the clouds came down just as the helicopter arrived, so we did only one hoist with the litter before the HH60 had to slowly make its way down through the fog. Nonetheless, it was a valuable training exercise.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Audubon Society Termination Point Hike

Stacy Studebaker led the hike with 26 participants. The trail was in good shape with some muddy spots and some fallen trees blocking portions of trail. Weather was good: overcast and not too chilly.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Fishing on the U Rascal

A great day on the water with Chris Fiala and crew - I came home with two nice halibut and several large rockfish. NO kings, unfortunately.

Ugak Island

A few of the fat halibut we caught today

Chris and Dan discuss a successful day on the water

Friday, May 15, 2009

Team Sarah is Anti-Free Speech!

The Team Sarah website has "suspended" my membership after I posted a blog entry supporting the Palin/Prejean ticket for 2012. Apparently, Team Sarah does not share Alaska Governor Sarah Palin's support for the First Amendment and free speech. My account on Team Sarah was under the name of Thomas "T" Bagges, a pseudonym I use to avoid harassment from left-wing extremist eco-terrorist, tax and spend, big government, anti-American, tree hugging, global warming believing liberals. Oh, I left out commie pinko socialist teleprompter-needing. Sorry.

I received the following message:

You have been suspended from Team Sarah

Sorry, Thomas "T" Baggs, you can not access Team Sarah as you have been suspended. If you feel that this was in error, please email with details as to what happened prior to your suspension of membership privileges. When an account is suspended we utilize a review process with other individual members, not just moderators, who decide to suspend an account. NOTE: When a serious offense occurs or when profanity is used, we suspend membership privileges without any review. If you wish to have the suspension lifted, with the proviso that you verify your identity and agree to abide by our Terms of Use and Community Standards please email

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Name the Sarah Palin Memoir on Mudflats

Head on over to The Mudflats and record your suggestions for the title of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin's memoir. Or just read the titles already proposed - you won't be able to stop laughing!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Obama's Public Health Insurance Option


The choice of a public health insurance plan is crucial to real health care reform. But right now, it's being smeared by conservatives and insurance-industry front groups. Here's what you really need to know:

1. Choice, choice, choice. If the public option passes, Americans will be able to choose between their current insurance and a high-quality, government-run plan similar to Medicare. If you like your current care, you can keep it. If you don't—or don't have any—you can get the public insurance plan.

2. It will be high-quality coverage with a choice of doctors. Government-run plans have a track record of innovating to improve quality, because they're not just focused on short-term profits. And if you choose the public plan, you'll still get to choose your doctor and hospital.

3. We'll all save a bunch of money. The public option won't have to spend money on things like CEO bonuses, shareholder dividends, or excessive advertising, so it'll cost a lot less. Plus, the private plans will have to lower their rates and provide better value to compete, so people who keep their current insurance will save, too.

4. It will always be there for you and your family. A for-profit insurer can close, move out of the area, or just kick you off their insurance rolls. The public option will always be available to provide you with the health security you need.

5. And it's a key part of universal health care. No longer will sick people or folks in rural communities, or low-income Americans be forced to go without coverage. The public option will be available and accessible to everyone. And for those struggling to make ends meet, the premiums will be subsidized by the government.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mother's Day Hike to Termination Point

Valerie (White) Aartun, visiting from South Carolina, joined us on Sunday for a great hike to Termination Point. Sunny skies, light wind, and dry (for Kodiak) trail combined for a very enjoyable afternoon. We ran into four other hikers with two black labs and a wiener dog on a leash. They said the weiner dog is the one that goes wild and they have to restrain in the woods.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Brown Gold for the Garden

Today, the spousal unit and I collected bison chips for the garden. Michelle Obama's organic garden can only look on with envy as we add the magic elixir to our raised beds.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


Thanks to researchers at Cranfield University, you don't have to feel bad when you plow into a group of pedestrians who are crossing the street too slowly. They have designed an external airbag that mounts to your hood at the base of the windshield. Research shows that this is the area where a pedestrian's head is most likely to hit in an accident. "Test results indicate that the system works extremely well. When fitted to a demonstrator vehicle not originally designed with pedestrian protection in mind, the results were well inside all current legal criteria for pedestrian protection currently in force in Europe," Roger Hardy of the university's Cranfield Impact Centre said.

We're Number Three!

La. tops gun death list, Alaska 3rd

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) -- Louisiana has more gun-related deaths per capita than any other state, and Alaska isn't far behind.

That's according to the Violence Policy Center, a nonprofit based in Washington, D.C. Second on the list is Alabama, followed by Alaska, Mississippi and Nevada. The group said Wednesday that Hawaii has the fewest gun deaths per capita.

The study says that each of the states had a per capita gun death rate far exceeding the national rate of 10.32 per 100,000 for 2006. Louisiana's rate was 19.58 per 100,000, followed by 16.99 in Alabama, 16.38 in Alaska and Mississippi and 16.25 in Nevada.

The Violence Policy Center says each of the states with a high death rate has lax gun laws and higher gun ownership rates.

The nonprofit compiled its list by analyzing data from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


On the Net:

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Guns, guns, guns

"...guns have no loyalty; they're not like dogs." (Philip K. Dick, Counter-clock World, p. 173)