I’ve commandeered my masters keyboard for the time being and I figured I’d do a quick dlog (see what I did there? Dlog! A “Dog blog”). I figured I would give some insight on who I am since I’m the favorite despite the efforts of this new pup that goes by the name of ‘Roman’. Shithead thinks he’s so cool with that name.
I was two years old when I was adopted by my human. He stumbled on my ad on Craigslist one fine morning before work. My old human had put me up for sale for $50 and her story was that she was losing her home (which she ran a daycare out of) and needed to get rid of all of us. My human called the other human (Sandy) and was interested in adopting me. They quickly set up a time to meet outside the Wasilla Home Depot. My sister and I arrived in Sandy’s red subaru. We were kenneled in the back along side mounds of clothes and boxes. She pulled up next to a tall, good looking young man in a green dodge intrepid. He was wearing a silly orange polo with a logo that matched the store. I was let out of my kennel and that was when I met Ian. I was scared and unsure of my surrounding and it was raining. I don’t like the rain. Ian began to pet me head and I licked his hands….yumm….Chinese food. He gave Sandy $60 and placed me in the back seat. *Sniff* Fabreeze! Hawaiian Ocean Breeze, Fred Meyer special. Nice. On the ride home, I moved from the back seat to the front seat. Ian asked me to shake and so I did…yes it’s nice to meet you again.
My new home was a small one bed room mother-in-law apartment that was clean and well kept. I smelled two creatures known as cats, who didn’t care for me much at first. The space was adequate and the carpet in the bedroom was decent to lay on. I made my way to the office room which had a smaller couch and a TV! That was when Ian snapped the very first photo of me in my new home:
I was a sickly 35 lbs. You could see every rib of mine as well as my hips and spine. Dad (I will start referring to him as Dad now) decided he needed to do a Wal-Mart run for my food and some toys! He left me alone in my new home…. which scared me…You see I had this thing where when I’m left alone…I worry…I bark for someone to come. I eat things I’m not suppose to and sometimes I use the potty where I’m not suppose to. Dad was not aware of this. I found myself eating the feline food. All of it. I found their water bowl on top of the fridge. No problem getting it…floor to counter…counter to fridge. Score! I also sometimes move couch cushions and align them in specific formations on the floor. Was that a garbage can? Yes indeed. I tore open the bag and all of it’s contents. I didn’t know how to put it all back… Then Dad came home. I coward when he walked in and was ready for a beating. My old human use to beat me so it’s what I was use to. Sometimes I can’t help the way I behave and I know what I just did was a bad thing. Dad didn’t hit me though…He set his groceries down (oh my goodness he got me my own bed), looked at me, then proceeded to clean up my mess. I think by this time he knew I had a “condition”. We got back into the car for another Wal-Mart run. I pooped on the rug and Dad needed some carpet cleaner. I love car rides!
We finally made it to Wal-Mart and Dad left me in the car. I was left alone….again… I don’t like being alone. I started to pant and the windows began to fog up. I barked for Dad but he never came. I was scarred and I didn’t know if anyone was going to come and get me. I started to poop on the seats. The back seat, the front seats, the floor…. I poop all over me. I put it on the dashboard, the doors, the windows, even the roof! I will never forget Dads face when he came back to the car :).
Dad went back into the store and bought six of those carpet cleaning cans with the brushes on the end. It took him over an hour to clean the car in the Wal-Mart parking lot! It was a fresh ride home though! :)
The next morning Dad needed to go to work. He got a kennel from Grandma since he figured I couldn’t be left alone without one. This way I wont get into garbage and cat water. I was placed in the kennel and once I heard the front door shut…I was alone… I don’t like being alone… I get scared. I began to bark and I didn’t stop for eight hours. I tried getting out.. I chewed and I scratched. I pushed with my nose until I started to bleed. I even pooped inside :(. I barked but no one came. When dad came home, he cleaned my mess. I didn’t get beat. Dad brain stormed for solutions. Over the next three months, he would come home every day and clean my kennel and fix my cuts. He tried all sorts of funny things to help my condition (I would later learn that it is called “anxiety”). He tried benadryl to make me sleepy, calming treats, calming oils, even a cool bark collar that would shoot a calming lemon spray every time I barked! Nifty little gadget that had enough juice in it to last 30 barks. After 31 barks…no more spray :( I smelled great though! Grandma got a cd that played classical music at certain frequencies that help us animals sleep. The cats sure loved it…but I’m more of a metal fan myself. After months of trying, Dad decided to take me to Great Grandmas every morning before work and then pick me up after! Sometimes I would spend my days in doggy daycare with other dogs but most of my days were at Great Grandmas house! Dad invested in what we like to jokingly call a “dog whisperer” for further training. She taught him proper pack leader skills and discipline. Funny…she didn’t whisper shit to me and she smelled like tacos. Over the years, the training seemed to slowly help…I can do certain things I didn’t like to do and I’m proud of myself! I’ve been part of a loving family for over six (or seven?) years now. I weight a solid sixty eight pounds and I’m spoiled rotten. I am able to be left alone in cars for long periods of time and recently I can be left alone at home (with my little brother Roman) and 5 outta 7 days a week, I do pretty well while Mom is at work. Sometimes I have my moments but I know I am better than I was. My name is Cody. I commandeered my Dads keyboard to write a Dlog! I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. I love you all. Cody, out.
4:56 AM, Alaska time.
“Ian get up…something happened, theres been a crash”
I wasn’t sure what my mother meant by crash just yet… A plane crash?? Did another local bush plane crash? Happens every year. No that wasn’t it.
“Get up now…you need to see this”
September 11th, 2001, I was fourteen years old. My eyes cracked open to the silhouette of my mother standing in my doorway urging me to wake up. Something serious was happening and it was happening live on the news. I reached for my glasses and rushed upstairs. I wasn’t sure what to expect. I focused in on the live footage of the world trade center, the north tower was burning. The headlines indicated that a plane of some sort had crashed into the side of the building.
My mom yelled.
I instantly knew this wasn’t a mistake…even before America slowly started to figure out the obvious. We were under attack. I watched the plume of smoke pour out of floors 93-99 of the north tower. By now if I remember correctly, the news made it quite obvious it was a commercial airliner.
5:03 AM, Alaska time.
As the cameras slowly zoomed out to get a wider shot of the north tower, a silver object came out of the corner of the screen and slammed into the south tower. I was speechless…I remember telling myself that this couldn’t be real. This stuff only happens in movies! I watched as the explosion shattered floors 75-85 of the south tower. All kinds of thoughts ran through my mind. Are we safe here? What does Alaska have that could be attacked?? The pipeline, Prudoe bay, Valdez… shit. I rushed to my room and got dressed as fast as I could and poured a bowl of cereal. As I ate my breakfast, I watched as people began to jump out of the world trade center. I was witnessing real people dying. I didn’t know what to think…. I was in shock.
My Dad wasn’t home, he was out hunting with a friend of his and had been for a few days. They had no way of knowing what was going on but I remember wanting him to be there. I was worried. By now the headline on the news was changed to “America Under Attack”. The entire nation knew that this was intentional, but who the hell was doing this?
5:37 AM, Alaska time.
Breaking news cut to possible explosion at the Pentagon. Rumors spread saying it was a missile of some sort at first. Holy shit. Holy shit! What the hell is going on?! The white house is going to get hit next I know it! I remember thinking this to myself. There was now live footage cutting back and forth from New York to Washington.
5:59 AM, Alaska time.
The south tower of the WTC collapses. I watched as the tower seemed to buckle and collapse down to the ground. How could this be? All those people inside. Did anyone get out? I remember the thick gray cloud of debris cover the city as it made its way through the jungle of buildings and streets. Various cameras from the air and ground rolled the footage of people running, covering their faces as the emerged from the blanket of dust and smoke. I remember my hands shaking and the lump in my throat got bigger. I just watched more people die.
6:28 AM, Alaska time.
The north tower collapses. I remember looking at my mom who had glazed eyes. I can’t remember if my sisters were watching but I’m almost positive they were. The news anchors were in silence as the second tower collapsed 102 minutes after being struck by Flight 11. I should add that at 6:07 AM (Alaska time), flight 93 crashed into Somerset County, Pennsylvania, killing all 40 passengers and crew on board. There was almost too much for the news to report. The confusion in the media was chaotic. It was so much to take in. I do remember thinking that I wish I wasn’t 14. I wish I could sign up and go kill whomever was doing this. I felt helpless… I think we all did.
Time to go to school.
Mom dropped me off at the front end of the library. As I walked towards the double doors, I noticed a large circle of people gathered around the flag pole. They were holding hands in silence and with their eyes closed, they were praying. I believe this was the Alpha & Omega group who typically gathered there every morning and pray before class. The group was nearly four times bigger and took up all of the walk way. The lump in my throat was back. I walked into the building and saw kids scurrying around, trying to get as much information as possible. A few were crying…probably scared..I was scared too. Library computers had groups of people around them, reading live updates on the situation as it unfolded. There were no cliques, no “groups”… we were all friends.
My first class was history with Ms. Reed. She quickly became one of my favorite teachers through out high school. She held herself together and set all usual classwork aside. She did her best to explain what was possibly going on and who was rumored responsible for the attacks. I could tell she was choked and emotional… we all were. That was when I heard his name for the first time in my life…..a name we would all grow to be familiar with. That name was Osama Bin Laden. Through out the day I had mixed emotions much like everyone else. One that I will always remember was anger. I had seen first hand the pure evil and hatred humans could have towards another. I wanted to kill who ever was responsible. I wanted to join the military right then and there. I was upset at myself for being too young. I couldn’t do a damn thing but watch it on the t.v. But I also felt proud of my country. I witnessed first responders rush into those towers and got as many people out as they could. I watched strangers helping strangers of all types of race, religions, etc. For several months afterwards, the patriotism was incredible. For the first time in my life, I noticed America was whole. We weren’t divided and we didn’t argue with each other.
I will never forget that day. I will tell my children about it. The good and the bad that came from it. I will tell them to never be sheep and that they are born in a family of sheep dogs, raised to defend the sheep against the wolves or to die trying.
It was a semi-hot Saturday in Wasilla, Alaska. The sun came out long enough to dry my lawn and grace me with enough time to mow it. I had pre-work blues already since I had to head back up north on Tuesday. I was anticipating the LAN of the Brave event that was starting at 1pm and ending at 1am. I have never been to a mass LAN (Local Area Network) event before and needless to say I was geeking out. In my early gaming years as a teen, I hosted a few small LAN parties in the confines of my home with some of my closest friends. Mass amounts of Red Bull and junk food was our fuel of choice along with loud music and the occasional guitar, drums, bass jam session for our “rest time”. I had a typical windows set up with windows xp and dual monitors (I thought I was cool with it)…they weren’t the flat screen kind either. Dialed in for hours, the smell of machinery, warm red bull, body odor (it actually wasn’t terrible), cables going every which way, and with a room temperature of 91, you’d think it was a scene from the 1995 motion picture ‘Hackers’. I believe the most I’ve had crammed in my room (a few in the upstairs area) was probably about eight….or nine. I truly miss those days of endless gaming, downloading, uploading, streaming, MSN updates and Bob Marley incense. We didn’t have Myspace and to send a text was ten cents a text. Our own wonder years.
Nicole and I finally made it to the LAN around 5 pm. As I stepped out of the vehicle, I was mildly trembling with excitement. Yeah yeah cue the jokes. “It’s just a bunch of people playing video games you nerd!”. But to me it was much more than that. I’m sure Nicole was unsure of what she was expecting but I knew exactly what I was looking for. I heard music as I carefully carried JARVIS II (my PC). As I stepped inside, I could see the rows of tables lined with various brands of monitors and PC towers. Most of which made JARVIS II look out dated and obsolete but fear not, hes still a little ass kicker and please be kind, he has feelings. We scanned the room for a possible open spot and found one at the end of a row some what in the middle of the room. I set up my PC first then the gaming laptop for Nicole to use. Shes a fairly good Hearthstone player and fairly new to World Of Warcraft, game i.d. Kneecoal #1658. I typically play all #Blizzard games now days (game i.d. Younglondon#1694) and dabble a bit on #XboxOne (gamer tag Nebelwurfer182).
Instantly I could smell the familiar “massive amounts of electronics confined in one room” smell. The cluster of people “dialed” in to what ever game they wanted. Friendly competitive pvp (player versus player) and others helping each other out which tech questions and gaming advice. There were tables of various consoles set up and free for anyone to use. The internet seemed flawless (on my table at least) and the Red Bull was within my grasp at a moments notice. I loved the energy in the room. I don’t think it was #907Gamers biggest LAN party but it was the biggest (and first) LAN I have ever actually been to (that’s not counting my own LAN parties as a teen obviously). It brought back memories and I loved that fact that I was sharing it with Nicole. Not many know but gaming was and is a big part of my life. I offered to take photos with my #Nikon since I figured it was also a good way for my to practice taking photos of humans doing human things. Around 8pm, massive amounts of pizza was delivered and we stepped out into the burning light and ate real food. I took the following picture which consists about 1/3 (maybe half) of fellow gamers… Overall I had a blast and Nicole had fun. I met some new people and everyone was friendly and cool about me creeping on them with my camera. It meant a lot to me to attend this LAN because I have missed out on over a year and half worth of previous events due to my work schedule. I hope in the near future I can attend another and meet more people with one common interest; gaming. If you haven’t yet, check out the FB page of over 6,200 members and growing with various sub groups for some of the popular games out there today. Join the teamspeak server and have a chat with some local (or locally raised) gamers. It’s a great community filled with techies, nerds, geeks, trolls and most importantly…Alaskans. Listed below are a few links of importance. Thanks for reading and keep calm, game on. Lulz.
907Gamers Facebook Page:
My Extra-Life donor page:
What is Extra-Life?
This year I am participating in the Extra Life event. The 907Gamers group will be gaming for 24 hours, on November 7th, to help raise money for the kids here in Anchorage, If you want to read more about it, look at the link below. I’d appreciate any donations you can give. Last year over $11,000 was raised just by the 907Gamers group alone. So please, support me in this awesome way to help kids! #907Gamers #Extralife #Alaska.
March 14th, 2011.
A New Hope
I stepped off the plane not knowing where the hell I was. This is it, the North Slope. I’m finally one of them! As a kid you hear of your friends parents being slope workers. Most of them had rotational schedules of two weeks on two weeks off. You become familiar with the stories of extreme subzero temperatures and no sun light for weeks on end. I was never one with pieces of paper in academics which proved I was useful to society other than being a laborer. I spent my early adult life in retail and I’ll never go back, so help me God. But I remember saying to myself “I’m a fuckin sloper now!”. Now most people don’t know what the hell we do up here and most of us wonder ‘what the hell are we doing here?’ There ain’t shit to look at and all we do is eat, sleep, work, repeat. It’s twelve hour shifts, seven days a week, two to three weeks at a time. Keep in mind, we do get 2 weeks off (depending on your rotation, some people are two on two off, some are three on three off). Essentially we only work six months out of the year and we get six months home yet we make a years salary in those six months. Money is good. Very good. Hell half the people I know getting out of college with four year degrees don’t even make what we can make. I wanted in for the long haul.
March 14th, 2012
Fear Through The Eyes of Madness
I am seasoned. I am part of the brotherhood. I made it through the hurdles of being the FNG (fuckin new guy). I made it through my first brutal slope winter. By this time in my slope career, I’ve traveled to Germany, Switzerland, France, & Austria and was in the slow process of finding a house. I was still loving the job. Digging six to eight foot holes on a daily basis. Building scaffold for insulators and lifting pipe lines for corrosion inspection via x-ray. Shit was cool. I felt good about myself. I was going places and saving money as if an i.v. needle was hooked up to my savings account. Also around this point I was on a three week on three week off rotation. Figured it was a good idea for more traveling. I could go somewhere for three weeks then take a week off and just relax at home. Home becomes a little more sweet with a rotational schedule. You realize you take the simple things for granted. I love my couch. I love my lawn, my stuff, the dust under my furniture, the small problems that are bound to happen. All of it (despite how much I bitch about it too). We had a new batch of guys come in, little did I know a few of them would become best friends of mine. I now had opportunity to mentor. I never thought of myself as leader and I’m probably a really shitty one, but I enjoy doing it. I enjoy imagining myself heading into battle with a small elite squad of soldiers, taking out bad guys and getting out all in one piece. I am the first to set on the battlefield, and the last to step off. Sometimes lol.
Cuts Marked In The March of Men
It’s routine now. Well they insist nothing is routine here but holy shit it is. At this time I’ve seen many brothers come and go. Some quit, some fired, some onto better things on the North Slope. Good for them. We form a certain bond, doing what we do. I’ve watched brothers get married, divorced, and have kids. I’ve also watched those kids grow over the years. You don’t find much brotherhood sitting behind a desk. It isn’t quite exciting coming by to work by now. It’s become a part of us now. In our DNA and bones. Each day being a countdown with hours to minutes, minutes to seconds. Not many understand the feeling of coming up to work. Don’t get me wring, it’s not like its twelve months in Iraq, kudos to all those men and women though. But rotation work does have it’s toll. Each time we go up to work, there is two wars going on. Two fronts if you will. The war of being here and the war at home. It’ s always hard on our loved ones when we are gone. Shit always seems to break and there is nothing you can do to fix it from here. When shit happens at home, its amplified for us by a thousand. From battling shit-ass reception, crappy internet, and failed texts, it can get frustrating. The common tools we take for granted are never one hundred percent optimal. Obstacles. One more thing to develop leather skin.
Away We Go
Imagine going to a job with the thought of it possibly not being there for you the next day. Now imagine that each and every day. While most of you celebrate low gas prices, we cringe over them. This last February, I watched seventy or so slope workers get laid off. Seventeen of which were brothers from our own craft. They were gathered in a meeting room and let go within four minutes. They packed their bags and stepped onto a plane to Anchorage. It can happen just like that. The i.v. to the savings account violently ripped out without warning. I couldn’t even imagine the feeling. To be honest I don’t think I could find work that paid just as well in Anchorage. Life would be at a halt for me. The sheer fact that in a blink of an eye ones job can be stripped from them pisses me off. We were always told that this could happen and has before. Up to this day, we could all be gone at the same blink of an eye. It never made sense to me to cut the actual workers who work while desk dudes sit comfortable in a six hundred dollar ergonomically correct office chair but hey what do I know. Careful, opinions equal a bad attitude. Most of them have found other jobs on the slope which I am very happy to say. But my point is, its more slope work. Its like a drug. That time off is pretty sick and it’s hard to give up. Some day I’ll have to take that road but as of now I am nowhere near ready to. At this point there is no way I could afford to live comfortably without this job and that’s just the reality of it.
The End Complete
I’m not even sure the point of this whole thing. We do this job for our families, our soon to be families, our hobbies, homes, loved ones, our own amusement (lulz), all the crap we like to buy, etc. Most of us don’t know any thing better and will be lifers. Some of us take other paths and learn other crafts. I myself joined the fire dept. here and plan on learning as much as I can before going for a full time position at any fire dept. back home. It’s no vacation here. We are all here for the money. Good money. It’s never easy and it’s never fun. I hope some day I can put the slope behind me and do something else. Shit, I get way to antsy sitting in one spot anyway! This job will continue to supply my dreams of traveling with my lady. It’s bed time now, for I work night shift. Enjoy your desk.
She’s our home. Our roots. Our foundation.
You’ll have to excuse me for my writing skills, for they are quite unsuitable for nothing more than the blog of a C student.
To most, Alaska is unknown and hardly looked at as a place one would want to live. Most people I’ve run into that have never been to Alaska think it’s located in the Gulf of Mexico (I’m kidding). But what makes those who have lived here for some time so unique? What are the first few words that come to mind when you think of yourself as ‘Alaskan’?
The first few words that come to my mind is “tough as nails”. Because in all reality, we truly are. We are a special kind of breed that separates us from the norm. Anyone who has an Alaskan friend would easily say they were “different”. We are different. We are taught to adapt, evolve, and overcome most situations in our every day Alaskan life. You have to, or you wont make it. I’ve traveled to many places and have experienced complete polar opposites of Alaska. 98% of everyone I have met outside of Alaska usually is fascinated with where I am from. This fascination usually comes after a shocked, slightly nauseated, yet curious look on their face. Yes I am from Alaska, the 49th (out of 50…Hey some folks don’t know that!) and largest state in the United States of America. With a population of 736,732, Alaska is 663,300 square miles of complete awesomeness.
Every Alaska can agree that we are bombarded with the same kind of questions every time we meet a new person in the lower 48. Some of the usual questions are; “is it always cold there?”, “have you seen a penguin?”, “is it night time all the time?”, “do you live in an igloo?”, “do you have power?”, “do you have internet?”, “do you use cars?”. The list can go on and some of those aren’t even the bad ones. Most of us have gotten use to the onslaught of bad questions and we normally are happy to answer each one with smiles and laughter.
Now most people would think that due to our smaller towns and cities, we are quite a small world. But from all my travels and cities I’ve been to, it really seems the opposite. Being Alaskan, we have to travel what city folk would call “a long way” to get to places. I live in Wasilla. Which means If I wanted to go to the mall, it would be a good 45 minute to an hour drive. We do it so often and so many things are 1-3 hours away that it becomes normal for us. A simple three or four hour drive is nothing. Hell you can drive for seven to fourteen hours straight and still be in Alaska. A small world I think not.
A city, to me, is a small world. Uncomfortably small. Everything you need is within five to ten minutes away, which to me, makes your bubble even smaller. Granted this has its perks and by no means am I bashing these perks. But I do believe things like that diminish our natural human need to explore and expand. Your whole world is packed for you in twenty blocks of concrete buildings, quarter acre lawns, billboards and traffic. It’s definitely a different kind of world. Exciting, but different.
So how would an Alaskan handle being away from the mother land? How do you transition from fresh air to just….air? Or mild traffic to…fast pace chaos. How do you go from mamma moose and her twin calves or mamma bear and her twin cubs to alley cats and and the occasional suburban dog? If any of my friends who have managed to stay out of Alaska for over a year, please comment with answers. I’m not oppose to moving out of Alaska, for I love exploring and risk taking. But I was born here and I’ll die here.
What would you miss the most?
I’d miss everything. I’d miss those winters of going snowboarding in untouched snow. That soreness you get from a full blue bird day of shredding down the side of an Alaskan mountain. I’d miss spending a good afternoon mowing the grass and weed whacking, then having a beer shortly after and admiring your fresh groomed lawn. I’d miss local mom and pop restaurants and businesses. I’d miss the community that we have which is full of kindness (for the most part) as well as that unique Alaskan, independent mentality that we all have. I’d miss the natural season change indicators. The termination dust on the mountain, which means winter is coming. The rotting leaves dog shit smell in the April, which means spring is here. The fireweed as it begins its journey from green, to purple bloom, to the funky cotton stage, and then finally orange and red. That crisp smell in the air just before and after a fresh snow fall. I’d miss the “do it yourself” attitude because in Alaska, sometimes there isn’t a business you can just call to fix a certain thing. You have to just do it. I love that.
Could I live anywhere else?
Why not? Adapt, evolve, and overcome…right? Seems like everywhere could use a little dash of Alaskan. In a few years who knows what the world will offer me and my soon to be bride. I just hope, where ever we live for a bit, they have good salmon….and real crab. They gotta have real crab…
Adapt. Evolve. Overcome.
I was born in Alaska. I will die in Alaska.
Dear Friends and Family,
I’m on a mission to save kids and I need your help. My local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital treats thousands of children each year, regardless of their family’s ability to pay. These kids are facing scary stuff like cancer, cystic fibrosis, and injuries from accidents to name just a few.
I’ll be participating in this huge worldwide celebration of the social impact of gamers of all kinds from video games to board games and tabletop RPG’s! Since 2010, Extra Life has raised more than $14 million to help children’s hospitals provide critical treatments and healthcare services, pediatric medical equipment, research and charitable care. It’s my sincere hope that you’ll find it in your heart to support my efforts with a monthly pledge or one-time gift that will go directly to my hospital.
Your donation is tax-deductible and ALL PROCEEDS go to help kids.
I need your help to reach my goal For The Kids. Please make a safe, easy donation online today. Click the “Support This Participant” button on this page to get started. Thank you so much for supporting my efforts!
Check out my page:
Things to do before I’m forty. A good friend approached me with this one the other week and challenged myself and Nicole to think of a few things. I figured I’d make it into a blog and try to get some fun participation from my readers. The list can be endless with me but I’ll try to keep it simple yet fun. If you would like to throw your list in via comments or pm please do so! Here goes nothing.
1. Travel To Italy
I mean who the hell doesn’t want to visit Italy? This is probably one of my all time must do and must do freaking quick! I’ve always been fascinated with Italy and everything it has to offer, which to my knowledge is food, history, beautiful sites, and food. Yes I know that’s not all but I suppose I’ll just have to find out huh? Selfies with the coliseum, naked statues, white sand beaches, endless Italian food. The list could go on….and on…..and on. Just give me four weeks and a lonely planet book.
2. Sky Dive
Now I had no interest in doing this until I met Adam Chapman. He was the first person I’ve met who didn’t just sky dive once, but made it into a hobby. Hearing his experiences and stories of the adrenaline rush one gets before and after jumping out of a perfectly good airplane was enough to persuade me to do it. I’m a fairly homey kind of guy, but once I get my adventure ball rolling, it’s on.
3. Cage Dive With A Great White Shark
I’m scared of them. Well maybe not scared of them but I’m sure as hell scared of being eaten alive. How much would that suck huh? At the same time, one must conquer their fears by facing them. So I want to face a great white shark. I want to face them right in their face with a GoPro. Then I’m gonna take a photo of me facing their face and Facebook it via Wifi as I’m in the shark cage being a fear facing facer guy. Yeah.
4. Travel To The Philippines
I’ve always wanted to trace back some roots on that particular side of the family. This one is a long shot but it really doesn’t have to be. I want to spend several weeks traveling around with a small bag, my lady, my camera, and one hell of an appetite. Part of me loves the grime and grit of traveling deep into a city and really absorbing the culture and all it has to offer. I want to go to place not many of the people I know would ever be able to go and maybe bring back a little to share with them.
5. Have A Kid…Or Two
Babies! More Amidons! You know you all want more Amidons in your life. I hope some day to have a kid on the way (whenever the Mrs. is ready of course). Being the greatest creation my parents have ever….created (this includes my sisters Caiti and Alex. Love you punks) , why not give them a creation created by the greatest creation of creations?
6. Visit Europe for A Second Time
I LOVE Europe and I certainly didn’t get enough of it. Not even the tip of the iceberg if you ask me. I will always be a history freak, especially World War 1&2. I’d like to take another four solid weeks and just backpack around with the lady and camera. France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium (waffles bro!). This one is also a not soon but freakin soon pleasekthxbye.
7. Get Married
Most of the people I know want to get married or already are and as far as some of you may know, I’ve jumped on the band wagon already! Yes that’s right. I found the winner of the ol’ ball n chain contest and shes the best ever. I’m thankful that she puts up with my nonsense and rebellious habits. We will be getting married in the Florida Keys on December 19th, 2015. You can check that box!
8. Meet A Navy Seal
Considered one of the worlds most lethal war fighter. I admire these guys and their skills in combat. I could only dream of being one and I would love to listen to one of their stories, assuming I met one that was okay with telling one of course. Next lifetime I’ll join up :P.
It’s Been A Long Battle……But it’s all about to come to and end.
As I sat with my crew, burying my face in chicken strips, mahi mahi and flank steak, we discussed the recent events that have gone on these past two days. The Dalton highway from Fairbanks to Prudoe Bay was shut down due to flooding and foul weather. Over 700 loads were backed up as well as dozens of semi trucks carrying fuel, supplies, ect. This in return caused our whole camp to shut down and only allow critical work in order to ration what fuel we had left. It was rumored to be about 3-5 days of waiting but it looks like we will be heading out tonight.
>><< Now back to the point of this blog. >><< AT&T. You bastards. We love you and we hate you. But right now we love you. In my 4 years of employment in Kuparuk, I’ve had AT&T. The sad thing is AT&T doesn’t have 4g and barely even has service. Countless hours of “can you hear me now?”, texts never sending, receiving random messages from strangers, skimming by for weeks on end with a half bar. And lets not forget my favorite “Off Network” message displayed about 98% of the time, kindly reminding you that AT&T is absolute shit up here. “Off Network”……..oh Off Network….I’ll give you “Off Network”. OH! and lets certainly not forget….”E”………..fucking “E”! >><< E stands for Edge (It’s where the 4G icon usually is but it’s absolute doodoo) >><<
Edge……….A perfect name for it, except it might as well mean the EDGE of the solar system, because that’s where “Edge” should be found. Not here. Not an hour and ten minute plane ride from civilization. Among other icons and letters, I’ve seen it all. Everything from O to its little buddy o and even “G”. What the hell is all of that anyway? Do they use the whole damn alphabet? Clearly you can sense my anger towards this problem because not more than 45 minutes away is Prudoe Bay and they have been bathing in AT&T 4g for awhile now. It cuts right off as if we were behind some microwave iron curtain, keeping Kuparuk in some late 90s primitive communication block. I am a child of the late 80s and I do know how to live without cellphones and crap but come on! This is the age of social media and being up here is already extremely secluded and cut off from your average civilization.
Cry no more.
Because as I am typing this, a little man by the name of 4G man, good guy, is standing on a ladder, patching in beautiful blue cables that will connect us to home. The brand new, smooth, sturdy cables that serve as an internet highway for messages, videos, email, everything, is finally being installed. The man installing them…well to him it’s just an average day doing what he does. He has NO IDEA that he is a Kuparuk hero. You sir, will never be forgotten. Rumor has it by end of spring, the whole field should have 4g. It’s still a ways to go……but its happening. It’s really happening.