Thursday, November 15, 2007

Home, and a little time off

I think it might be a while before I feel like flying again. It's sad: when I was a kid, and later as an adult, I loved to travel. I lived to travel. After the last couple of airline experiences, I think I'm starting to dread it.

We were delayed out of Dutch Harbor, and didn't get home until after 1 am. Our luggage didn't make it, and isn't here yet. We are rigorous about traveling with carry-ons only, but for the hop from Dutch to Anchorage, we let them load our bags into cargo - or so we thought. When we got to Anchorage, we were told that luggage had been "bumped" and ours would not be there until the next flight. And, of course, it wasn't there with the next flight. They assured us that when it arrived, it would be delivered to our house. Hmm - it's been over 24 hours since we last saw those bags; wonder if we'll ever see them again? Thanks so much, Alaska Air (and PenAir).

But otherwise, the visit to Alaska was pretty nice. I saw dozens of nearly-tame bald eagles, a couple of pods of humpback whales, some curious sea lions, and some of the most beautiful scenery imaginable. It never got unpleasantly cold (at least for the gear I brought). And the people were unbelievably friendly.

Seriously: everyone I met there was chatty and nice. I've heard about the so-called "Seattle Freeze" which implies that we Pacific Northwesterners are a little distant...this was like going to the anti-Seattle. It was strange, but strange in a good way. They say that the best part of travel is meeting people, and I felt this to be really true for the first time.

I took over three hundred photos, and some of the better ones are viewable on my Flickr stream here.

One thing I wasn't able to photograph: we were in close proximity to most of the "Deadliest Catch" captains while we were there, and Brett even got filmed by the crew, as he was assisting with the "fish tickets" for one of the captains. There's a small chance that he'll be in the show when it airs in April. Even if he's not, we should see several of the people he worked with.

There's a big scandal going on in the world of crab fishermen right now: crab icon Sig Hansen has allowed his name and image, and his boat's name and image, to be used for the packaging of some King crab that's actually from Russia. Everyone was talking about it while we were there, and no one was happy. Poor Sig is going to be the black sheep of that industry for a while. Remember, people, crab that only costs $9 a pound is NOT fresh Alaskan Red King. Bleah.

In other news, I got my CueCat while we were gone! Do you remember in the late 90s or early 2000s, when they tried to sell these goofy barcode scanners, intending that you'd scan a product label and get more info about it online? Well, for various reasons, the program failed. But the millions of CueCats that were produced are mostly still out there. I bought one from LibraryThing, because they've got their site set up so that with a CueCat, all you have to do is swipe a book's barcode and it will enter it into you library. Here's mine, as of right now. I'm probably going to try and find some time to enter all of our books (or Brett will) eventually. Tagging them might take a while, but it's still fun.

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