Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Heather's Return

Most of you that read this blog know that I have been away for the last three weeks. While I was gone, I let my husband take over the blog. Hopefully you enjoyed his posts! Now that I'm back, it will be primarily me posting, but I'm sure from time to time I'll let him post as well.

It was nice being away (for the first couple days) and then I really started to miss being home. The weather was great in Virginia while I was there, but I kept thinking about how Juneau must look with fresh snow on the ground. And I kept thinking about how the days are getting longer and that soon it will be summer! (ok, maybe not that soon...) I'm pleased that since I've been back we've gotten several more inches of snow. The icicles above are hanging off our roof. We actually had some blue sky for a couple minutes when I took this photo. You can tell that it's in the afternoon since the sunlight is only on the mountaintop across the channel.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Think it's been snowing?

This is our mailbox from a couple days ago. It looks like we might even get another 3-6 inches over the weekend. I can't wait to go driving.

Homebuilt

Heather's hobby is photography and my hobby is competitive shooting. We each participate in the other's hobby as seen over the past few weeks and we've had some successes. Since Heather is coming back this weekend, I figured I should seize the moment and do a post that showcased some of what I do in my free time. The gun shown above is a M1911 chambered in .45 cal. I ordered all the parts and peices from Brownells and, with the help of a Gunners Mate at my first unit, put it all together in a marathon 14 hour pistol build.

Now it doesn't take that long to slap the peices together, but I was building a gun that could be used in competition and that meant many of the parts needed to be custom fit to each other to ensure the least amount of 'wiggle' and hopefully make the gun as accurate as possible (custom built guns by master gunsmiths cost a couple grand and can take several months to build). It took a lot of elbow grease and patience since any excessive trimming would either mess with the accuracy or ruin the part. We started before noon and didn't finish until about 0230 the next morning. A few hours of sleep and I took it out to the range for the first shot. It took a few hundred rounds to break in properly, but it didn't blow up in my hand AND it was more accurate than I was. Mission accomplished.

It's fun to shoot and compete with. Heather prefers it to any of the smaller caliber center-fire pistols we have and I have to agree. The gun has a light (appx. 4lb) and smooth trigger that makes keeping the sights aligned properly relatively easy.

If you want to see some truely great pictures of guns, there's no better place than Oleg Volk's A Human Right or Gun Gallery.

UPDATE: Amazingly, this week's Carnival of Cordite is a special .45 edition. Too bad I didn't enter this as an entry.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Zoom Zoom Boom

Apparently Juneau is catching up on all the snow we missed in November and December this week. It's not supposed to be a huge dump over the next day, just 4-7 inches, but I just couldn't replace the beatiful and sunny picture of D.C. with snow. So, another warm picture. This was taken on the 4th of July this year in Ashland, OR (home of the highly acclaimed Oregon Shakespeare Festival). Part of the festivities is a fly-by to kick off the parade. These two F-15s followed the main avenue and passed right over us at about (W.A.G.) 1500 feet. They weren't supersonic, but WOW did those engines scream.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Photo Friday: Pink

This picture was taken in Washington D.C. while the cherry blossoms were beautifying the tidal basin. For those who have never been to D.C., the blurry building in the back is the Thomas Jefferson Memorial. We got to the area at 6am one Saturday and the place was PACKED. We ended up parking about 3/4 mile away and spent the rest of our time weaving through the crowd and trying to get a decent picture without a mass of people in the background. I'm relieved I could find a 'pink' picture in the archives because otherwise I might have been forced to skip this week's challenge.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Cold Winter Evening

It has snowed the past couple of days here in Juneau and with the threat of rain tomorrow, I thought I should try to take a picture before it all washed away.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Happy 78th!

Even though I know she won't read this (no computer at home), I'm going to wish Granny a happy 78th birthday today. Yes, this is the same demonic-puzzle-challenge-war Granny that Heather posted about at Christmas. She's an amazingly spunky person and it's clear what genetic line I get my solid-like-a-rock stubborness from. I'm mortified to realize I don't have any digital pictures of her to post - perhaps my sister will help me out. (Laura: if you'd email me one or more, I'd greatly appreciate it). She celebrated on Monday with my family and some friends by having dinner at my sister's place. I've been told that a good time was had by all. Wish I could have been there.

Guilty Pleasures

So Heather may, or may not, have been tagged by Margaret to list 5 guilty pleasures - at least two Heathers comment on her blog, and it wasn't clear if she was talking about my wife. Anyway, here's my list since my Heather is not here:
  1. Driving in the snow - I love sliding around, the crunch of snow under the tires, and the way the roads look, covered in white. However, Heather doesn't like the sliding part...at all. It makes her uncomfortable and nervous so I always feel guilty sliding around even a little when she's riding with me. It's so fun though, I just can't not spin out at least once.
  2. Sweets - in general but mostly the baked and/or chocolate kinds. I'll blame genetics because my Dad is a serious chocoholic.
  3. Children's / Teen Books - Despite my somewhat advanced age, I still enjoy reading children's picture books and have been spotted making quick runs through the young adult section at book stores. There's something about the simplicity of those books that is attractive to me. At least the library will be ready when we have kids.
  4. Showers - I am a bit of a shower hog. It's wasteful on several levels (time, energy, water) but it's not uncommon for me to take 20-30 minute showers.
  5. Last but not least, my wife. It's sometimes troubling to know how utterly happy and comfotable I am with Heather and then realize that many others do not have a relationship like that. I can honestly say we've never had a fight; of the yelling or silent treatment varieties. So the picture for this post is one of many aspects of Heather that continues to captivate me...the girl next door...with an edge. Picture taken as part of our wedding festivities.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Photo Friday: Success

During college both Heather and I shot competitive pistol. We had some successes and enjoyed it a lot. In case you're wondering, Heather has the two gold and I have the other four. That's her gun in the back which is an updated model of the one used to win three of my medals and one of hers. I was also invited to compete in the 2000 Olympic qualifying matches and ended up going to the first match where I found out the difference between 'collegiate class' and 'world class'. At least I didn't finish last. While we've lost the edge we had back then (5-6 days of shooting per week will give you quite an edge), we still enjoy going to the range. You can find out more about collegiate / Olympic style shooting by visiting USA Shooting.

What a sight...

It is an amazingly beautiful day today. Sunny, crisp, and cold (18 F). So I went to Auke Lake to take a couple pictures. With the height of the mountains only a few places have the right light on them to take pictures in the morning. Most of the other senic spots are best lit in the afternoon and evening. Auke Lake is a good morning spot. It's thinly frozen right now but I've been told that Mendenhall Lake is frozen thick enough to walk and ski on. Perhaps later, if the weather holds, a trip to the glacier will be in order.

UPDATE: I went to the glacier and was about 30 minutes too late for the good light. Who knew that 1445 was the last time the glacier would be completely in the sun. When I arrived at 1515 it was half in shadow. Perhaps tomorrow, weather permitting.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Photo Friday: Panorama


Taken this summer by Heather from a helicopter. There's a reason some people think Alaska is one of the most beautiful places in the word.

A new voice

Hello. This is Nick, Heather's husband. Sorry for the lack of new pictures the past few weeks - but the holidays are busy and Heather couldn't find the time to post anything. She's away learning how to control Search and Rescue (SAR) cases for the next couple of weeks and has graciously granted me permission to post on her blog while she's away. :) Such trust. So, I get the first post of the new year.

A word of warning. I am not as good with the camera as she is.

Anyway, this picture was taken last year as we burnt a truckload of Ikea boxes in the church parking lot. Mmmm...fire...