Monday, August 31, 2009

New blog: Lone Drone

My blog has moved to:

Now that we're back in Florida, the Alaska title doesn't quite fit and I want to concentrate my efforts in one place. My LoneDrone blog began while I was working from home in Anchorage - one woman's story of how to work from home in Alaska without going crazy or getting fat. 
Today, it's a blog about working toward more telecommuting opportunities and a self-employed career one day. So, jump over to and start reading. See you there!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

We're baaack...

Yep, that's right, we're back. Back in Florida enjoying the afternoon thunderstorms, obnoxious drivers and unbearable humidity. And we're loving it.

Our road trip from Alaska to Florida was incredible. It took us two weeks, about a hundred cups of coffee, about a case of Red Bull and one jar of gumballs to complete.

Here are some of the photos from our trip:

AK to FL 2009

So, now we're back in South Florida and on to Part 2 of our adventure. Stay tuned for updates...

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Trip update

Hi everyone! I haven't been able to get back to everyone's messages, so I wanted to post a little update here to let you all know how we're doing.

We made it through the ALCAN in about 48 hours. (Crazy, crazy drive)
Spent one night in Vancouver, then headed on to Portland. We're leaving Portland today for San Francisco.

That's about it. Talk to you all soon!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Leaving Alaska on a hot note

We're hitting record high temperatures up here in the great state of AK. It got up to 80 degrees yesterday, breaking the 79 degree record set in 2005.

From the ADN:

The weather in Southcentral has been experiencing a curious phenomenon in recent days that was largely missing last year.

Weather experts are calling it "summer."

Elsewhere in the city, temperatures crept even higher, though the marks were recorded at sites considered unofficial by the weather service. The Upper Hillside hit 82 degrees, and East Anchorage logged 83 degrees. The Campbell Creek Science Center hit 86.

Last summer, only two days broached the 70-degree mark at the weather service's Sand Lake station, setting a record for the fewest such days. On average, Anchorage sees 16 days that hit 70 or higher.

Andrew refuses to drive without the windows down and calls me a wimp when I beg for air conditioning. My argument: I'd still have the AC on if it were 80 in Florida.

So, we're moving out at the only time I've ever wished we had air conditioning up here. One of the movers asked me to turn it on yesterday and I chuckled. None of that up here. Even worse, we let them take our only fan.

It looks like I'll be more prepared for the Florida heat than I thought.

Unlike Mrs. Palin, we welcome the heat. (Along with a little AC, of course.)

Friday, June 26, 2009

Florida, here we come...

The papers are signed, we've got our orders and we'll be moving out of Alaska on July 11. Yep, two weeks from tonight Andrew and I will be preparing to drive out of here - all the way back to sunny South Florida.

We've mapped out the trip and it's going to take us about two weeks to get from Anchorage, AK, to Miami, FL. Factoring in all the little stops we want to make, it's going to be one great adventure.

Can't wait to see everyone when we get there!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

I heart New York, but not these folks

So, I haven't said anything about the Sarah Palin/David Letterman tiff (mainly because I think it's silly), but I just can't hold back from posting this video from New York Magazine.

They say two wrongs don't make a right, though somehow I don't think this group of Manhattan protesters have ever heard of the idea. Call me crazy, but calling someone's kid a bastard and his wife a slut won't erase anything the guy may have said last week.

I'm just sayin'...

My favorite quotes:

Lady in yellow: "This schmuck has nobody! You know what schmuck means in Jewish?"

Reporter: "How do you feel about Jay Leno?"
Protester: "I only watch Fox News channel."

Protester: "Go home and take care of your kids! They could be next!"

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Memories of D-Day documented on video

Andrew and I heard about this awesome website, Witness to War, while watching the CBS Evening News tonight and haven't been able to pull ourselves away from the videos since.

The Witness to War project is not about the set piece movements of armies, the military strategies of generals, nor the geo political nuances that led to war. Instead, it is about the ‘foxhole’ view of combat as seen by the soldiers who experienced it. It is about the fear, the emotions, the training, and the previously untapped wells of personal strength that enabled ordinary individuals to survive, and in some cases thrive, under extraordinary pressures and almost unimaginable danger.
This Saturday, June 6, is the anniversary of the Invasion of Normandy (D-Day). Visit the D-Day section of Witness to War and spend a few minutes listening to first-hand accounts of what happened.

I know war stories and birthday's don't make a great pair, but I still want to say Happy Birthday Kyle anyway. We hope you're having a fantastic girls' weekend in Naples with all of your friends.

(My apologies go out to Charlie Gibson for watching CBS, but the basketball game was on. Sorry.)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Wow, that's one fancy moustache...

Because Alaska may have the largest concentration of bearded and moustached men in the country, I didn't think twice when I saw a number of guys on Thursday walking around downtown with big twisty-ended moustaches. So, they take pride in their over-abundance of facial hair, no big deal. Later that night, I found out what a big deal it was... 

This weekend, Anchorage hosted the 2009 World Beard and Moustache Championship (yes, there is such a thing), where nearly 300 competitors from around the world showed up to display their fantastic facial hair creations.  

Participants competed in about 20 different beard and moustache style categories, including the Freestyle Beard, Alaskan Whaler, the Fu Manchu and the Musketeer. You can find a description of each category and a list of winners here.

David Traver of Anchorage became a hometown hero by taking first place as the World Beard Overall Champion. His snowshoe-like beard style (photo here) won first place in the Freestyle Beard Category and gave him the overall victory.

Sometimes I think it's crazy that I live in a place where the World Beard and Moustache Competition makes the front page news. Only in Alaska...

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Why Adam Lambert didn't win tonight

Though no one can be absolutely sure, the video below may quite possibly be the reason behind Adam Lambert taking second place tonight in the American Idol finale.

I guess all those wholesome Midwest folks just don't understand the power of the boa. What a shame...

Monday, May 18, 2009

I'm sure it was a great idea at the time...

Sure, the bar was less than a mile from her house, but using her seven-year-old as her designated driver was probably not the best idea that night.

Along with the father in Fresno, CA, who forcibly tattooed his son with a gang sign, I'd like to nominate Karen Koch of Fairbanks, AK, for the worst parent of the year award.

Last week, Koch was charged with reckless endangerment and permitting an unauthorized person to drive (both misdemeanors) after letting her seven-year-old drive her home, because she was too drunk to do it herself.

When the boy almost took out her parked car, a neighbor made the wise decision to call police and alert them of the situation.

From the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner:

Troopers were able to trace the plates to Koch’s nearby residence and arrived just as the boy was exiting the driver’s seat. Koch, who had leaned back in the front passenger’s seat, woke up a few minutes later and identified the child as her son.

She told the trooper that she let her son drive the car from a nearby stop sign and did not see what the problem was, according to a criminal complaint filed in court.

Trooper Sgt. Brian Wassmann said the child probably drove about a half-mile before reaching his destination. Troopers occasionally get reports of parents allowing teens to drive unlicensed, but it’s rare to get a report of an elementary school student behind the wheel.

Koch, who already has three drunken driving convictions under her belt, failed the officer's sobriety test and admitted to drinking two shots of alcohol before her arrest.

She posted bail (a whopping $250) and was released from jail Wednesday. No word yet on whether she still has custody of her little designated driver, but she's still got my vote for worst parent of the year.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

When's the last time you had a moose on your street?

A few days ago, I was leaving the house and before I could make it to the end of the street I saw this guy:

(With the sun going down and my fear of getting too close, this is the best shot I could get with my iPhone. Note to Apple: Add zoom and a flash to the next generation. Thanks.)

I was happy to be snapping pictures from the Jeep, because this moose would have towered over the little Corolla. Either way, he was too busy nibbling on tree branches to care about the paparazzi.

Now that spring is here, I hope to be posting lots of new wildlife photos. Stay tuned...

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Oh! It's a cake!

From Blogger Pictures
Nope, not a bunt. Instead, a Texas sheet cake (aka. fantastically delicious chocolate cake) for Andrew's birthday.

Since it's already April 23 on the east coast, I can happily say: HAPPY BIRTHDAY ANDREW!

I'd like to send out a big 'thank you' to my Grandma Ruth Daughenbaugh for the recipe. She's been making Texas sheet cake ever since I can remember and I hope to pass the recipe on to my grandkids one day. Tomorrow we'll put some candles in the cake, sing a little song and dig in (my favorite part of birthday celebrations).

Unfortunately, hearing my name in the same sentence with the phrase "baking a cake" once had my loved ones cringing in fear. If I recall correctly, my Grandma Singiser and my sister Sarah were at home during my most famous cake disaster.

It was the day I learned to pay closer attention to the pictures on the back of the Duncan Hines box. When they show two circle pans, they mean two circle pans. Sadly, the pictures didn't register and I proceeded to pour the entire cake mix into one circle pan.

What happens when you put an entire batch of cake batter into one small circle pan? A big mess.

Lesson learned. But I don't think I'll ever live down that story ...

I'm happy this cake was a success, and I just want to say it one more time ... Happy Birthday Andrew!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

O Canada ...

Last weekend we took a quick trip to Vancouver and had a blast, to say the least. If you're ever in the Pacific Northwest, we highly recommend checking it out.

Vancouver is a beautiful city full of great food and great fun. Take a look at the pictures below for a snapshot of our trip ...


Sex and the ... seniors?

I. Love. Florida.

... and the Daily Show for producing quality television like this:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartM - Th 11p / 10c
Dirty Bird Special
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Economic CrisisPolitical Humor

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Mt. Redoubt continues to rumble

Image: TNT Online
Dante's Peak may be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a volcano eruption, but it paints a really bad picture of what's going on up here in Anchorage right now.

Mount Redoubt erupted twice this morning, including a "huge" explosion around 9:30 a.m. that blew ash 65,000 feet high. The activity this morning brings the total number of eruptions for the week up to eight, since the volcano started erupting on Sunday night.

Flights out of Anchorage were canceled, but so far, everything is pretty much business as usual. Here's a little clip from the ADN:
No ash is expected to fall in Anchorage, but it may reach the upper atmosphere just south of city, Weather Service meteorologist Amy Bedal said. But those higher winds will probably be too strong and the ash particles that attain that height too light to reach the ground, she said.
Ash began falling in Homer shortly before 2 p.m. The city sent workers home early, said City Manager Walt Wrede, before a purplish plume blocked the view across Cook Inlet and the smell of sulfur wafted into town. Businesses closed up, he said. By 4:45, skies had cleared and a small sprinkling of ash covered the snow.
When the volcano last acted up in 1989, eruptions occurred over a span of four months. Nobody knows how long the current activity will last.

"We just don't know how much magma is down there that needs to get out," said AVO geophysicist Stephanie Prejead.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Leprechaun or crackhead stuck in a tree?

The people of Crichton, Alabama are still debating whether it was a real leprechaun up in that tree, or maybe it's a druggie high on crack. Doesn't matter to me who's right or wrong, I just think the fact that the debate even exists is hilarious. Watch the news report and you be the judge...

I can't believe they never caught the creature, even with such a detailed police sketch and a magic flute. Well, Happy St. Patrick's Day and I hope the leprechauns stay out of your trees.

Check out for more information on the legendary Mobile, Alabama leprechaun sighting.

Friday, February 27, 2009

This is why you're fat

This is why you're fat is my new favorite blog and here are just two (out of many) reasons why:

Corn Dog Pizza

Chicken Fried Bacon With Gravy

Yeah, a lot of it is pretty gross, including the 30,000 Calorie Sandwich, McNuggetini and Candy Pizza.

However, I wish I could sample a few of the dishes, specifically the Deep Fried Cupcake With Chocolate Syrup And Sprinkles and the French Fry-Encased Hot Dog On A Stick.

Just take a look and you'll agree that this is why we're fat, but a lot of it looks absolutely delicious. Yum.

Woah! Nobody messes with Alaska’s volcanoes


Alaskan’s are fuming, fuming mad over Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s comments in his official Republican response, calling out “volcano monitoring” as unnecessary spending included in the stimulus package.

"Their legislation is larded with wasteful spending," Jindal said. "It includes ... $140 million for something called 'volcano monitoring.' Instead of monitoring volcanoes, what Congress should be monitoring is the eruption of spending in Washington, D.C."

Bad timing, dude. Volcanoes are big news up here right now. Located right outside of Anchorage, Mt. Redoubt is rumbling and ready to create a giant mess in town in the form of volcanic ash.

I’ve talked to people up here who work in offices where they have to cover their entire workspace with plastic before leaving for the day. Why? The last time the thing blew up, ash went everywhere and destroyed hundreds of computers when it made its way inside city buildings.

From the Anchorage Daily News:

Jindal's comments provoked an eruption of their own. Alaska politicians, liberal bloggers and some scientists began pointing out how useful it is to let people know when a volcano in their neighborhood is about to explode.

"Volcano monitoring is a matter of life and death in Alaska," Democratic Sen. Mark Begich said in an open letter to Jindal.

Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski quickly agreed, noting in a press statement how "absolutely appropriate" it is to spend money on volcano monitoring. However, said Murkowski, Jindal raised "a legitimate question about funding volcano monitoring in legislation that's supposed to create jobs for unemployed Americans."

As it turns out, the $140 million Jindal said volcano observatories will be receiving actually breaks down to about $14 after all of the funds are distributed to other U.S. Geological Survey projects.

I’ve never been through a volcanic eruption up here before, so my opinion on the topic is pretty weak. The most I’ve heard is that the eruption makes a big mess, but it doesn’t seem like too many people are worried about it.

Whether it’s frivolous spending or not, I really don’t know. The next time I come across a professional geologist I’ll ask his or her opinion on the subject.

Until then, the only advice I have for Jindal is to have his interns do some better research. Don’t make harsh comments about volcano monitoring when it’s the top story on the nightly news up here.

Am I really writing about volcanoes? … Really? Only in Alaska. Really.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Just when you think your toilet paper is safe ...

Just when you think your toilet paper is safe, you find a crime scene like this ...

The main suspect? Simone. (Mug shot below.)

Ok, so she likes to tear up my toilet paper (she really loves to destroy the extra cushy and extra costly Charmin Ultra Soft), but who could yell at a face like that?

Well, truthfully I do yell. I yell and clap while chasing her out of the bathroom, like the cat will actually learn a lesson from it.

She's got the last laugh though, because I know she's going to do it again. When I catch her, I'll yell and clap and the neighbors will wonder why they live next to a crazy person. Then after all the yelling and clapping, Simone will smile and start plotting her next attack.

So, next time you come over our house and wonder why our bathroom doors are locked, please don't ask - we have a cat with a toilet paper fetish.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

New GLR podcast and upcoming event info

The latest Good Life Reggae podcast is up at, listen to it here.

For any Anchorvillans who may be reading ... You can catch Good Life Reggae tonight at SubZero. Come on by and listen to Andrew's latest set of favela beats.

Mark your calendars for the Bob Marley Celebration on Friday, February 20, kicking off at 8 p.m. at Humpy's. See you there!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Sorry Florida, no sympathy here

I’ve been trying really hard (actually, not very hard at all) to be sympathetic to the low temperatures South Florida is feeling these days. Tonight it’s supposed to dip into the mid 20s and everyone is wondering where they cand find a pair of gloves, maybe a scarf, too.

So, I’m sorry if I don’t sound very sympathetic when you call and say it’s “cold” in South Florida because I’d be happy for it to be in the mid 20s up here. Here's today's forecast for Anchorage:

I know I’ve only been up in Alaska for a year now, but here’s my advice:

  • Cover your flowers
  • Put on a sweater
  • Turn on the heat
  • Call the A/C guy when your heat won’t work because it hasn’t been used in two years
  • Try the heat again
  • And have a bowl of soup

Well, I think that’s enough bitterness for one day... Try to send some of that "warm" 20 degree weather up here and maybe my mood will lighten up a little.

P.S. I’m writing this as I wait for the Jeep to thaw out in the garage before I go to the store. Give me a call when you can’t roll down the window because it’s frozen shut, until then, just go put on a jacket.

Monday, February 2, 2009

One busy week in review

Last week would have been the perfect week to be back in Florida. Not only would we have escaped the chilly single-digit temperatures up here in Alaska, we could have helped Martha celebrate her birthday (Happy Birthday!) and would have had an incredible time at Nick and Danielle’s wedding (Congrats!).

From what we’ve heard and seen in Facebook photos, the wedding was beautiful and everyone had a great time. Andrew and I wish we could have been there to join in on the good times, but I’m sure there will be many more in the years to come. Congratulations from both of us and we hope to see you soon!

To everyone up in Pittsburgh – Go Steelers! For anyone who was hiding in a cave over the weekend, the Steelers won their record sixth Super Bowl against the Arizona Cardinals in a 27-23 victory. With 35 seconds remaining, Santonio Holmes caught Ben’s pass, tapped his little toes in the end zone and scored the winning touchdown. It was pretty nice.

We'd also like to send a little get well message to my grandpap Chuck Singiser. Only days after his back surgery on Friday, he was up and walking around. We hope you have a speedy recovery and are feeling great very soon!

For us, we’re just doing our best to keep warm up here in Anchorage. Other than the cold and snow, the news around here is full of buzz about Sarah Palin’s shoes and a volcano that’s about to erupt, but that’s about it.

I’ll keep you posted on the volcano, Mount Redoubt. Scientists say it could erupt in days, weeks or maybe won’t even happen at all. It’s about 100 miles away from the city and the biggest danger it has in store for us is “several millimeters of ash.” Here’s what it looked like when it last erupted in 1990:

(Photo -

Monday, January 26, 2009

Dancing eyebrows, I want a pair

Cadbury's Dairy Milk (it's a UK thing) just released a new commercial featuring "two mischievous children performing bizarre "eyebrow dance moves" to an electro-funk soundtrack."

Someone needs to make a commercial like this in the US:

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

How could I forget?

Happy Inauguration Day!

I know it's the 21st already on the east coast, but we're still celebrating Barack Obama's inauguration over here.

My favorite part of the swearing-in ceremony was when Rev. Joseph Lowery gave the benediction, especially his colorful ending:

"Lord, in the memory of all the saints who from their labors rest, and in the joy of a new beginning, we ask you to help us work for that day when black will not be asked to get in back, when brown can stick around ... when yellow will be mellow ... when the red man can get ahead, man; and when white will embrace what is right. That all those who do justice and love mercy say Amen. "

It made me smile.

Back in Alaska...

Well, we made it back to Alaska. The few weeks we spent back in Florida and our quick trip to the Bahamas were fantastic. Thanks to everyone who housed, fed and lent out cars while we were visiting home. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

It was pretty tough returning to the snow and ice after spending three weeks in the South Florida sunshine. At least we missed some of the worst weather of the season and brought back just enough of a tan to remind us of the great time we had back home.

Here are some pictures from our vacation:

Vacation Dec 2008

Visit the Good Life Reggae MySpace page to check out pictures from the Winter Music Fest in Girdwood, Alaska, organized by Andrew and held the weekend we got back in town.

The event was great. Good Life Reggae spun records while Bare Roots performed, and we got to spend the weekend in Girdwood, one of our favorite towns in Alaska. Click here to see all the pictures.