Wednesday, June 27, 2007

More White Stripes

Wow, looks like I'm getting some White Stripes fans to the blog - so I thought I'd pass on some more local sites that documented their visit to the Yukon.

Also - I didn't say in my last post just how NICE and gracious these guys were. They took a genuine interest in the spear-throwing and shocked me by offering to go and pick up the darts after they threw them! Most visitors don't do that, let alone rock stars in clean black suits!

Another great part of their visit was playing in our local park the afternoon of the show. Jack White mentioned how they'd heard that a lot of people didn't get tickets so this was their way of giving everyone a bit of a show. He talked about how nice everyone had been (they were walking all over town in the day), and joked that they liked it so much, they might even move here! Which of course, got the crowd downtown going crazy.

It's great to see a band really interested in the places they tour.

So check out these sites to start with:

Whitehorse Star had a front page picture (may be gone later today):

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Listen to CBC this Thursday at 10:30...

Weird, weird things are happening in my universe lately. The land and that whole craziness is one thing, and being called for jury duty was another (it was cancelled, thankfully... yet I really wanted to do it!).

Then yesterday, the White Stripes (huge band for those of you not familiar with these rockers) casually walked into my work, with huge camera crew in tow. I jumped on the chance to show them how to spear throw (they actually asked to do it!). And yes, I shamelessly inquired about the "sold-out-in-10-minutes-concert" and they readily put me on their guest list. Not only did I get on the list, Stephanie (my lucky friend!) and I ended up in front row centre (well, 3rd row) seats! It was awesome in case you were wondering. My relative deafness today is worth it.

Now! I get a call from CBC, who is doing a show this week on debt. I'm not sure whether to be flattered or insulted about them calling me due to my personal debt, but hey, anything to get this student loan nightmare out there to the masses. If for no other reason than to let other massively-in-debt-frustrated-students arm themselves with knowledge and power to take on the mess that comes with student loans.

It'll be on Sounds Like Canada at 10:30 on Thursday I'm told.

In the meantime, here's some photos of 1/2 the White Stripes practicing the atlatl. (a phrase I never thought I'd be saying...)

They don't stand out or anything do they?!?! :)

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Mission Accomplished! (Part 1 of 1,000...)

The driveway is in! The driveway is in!!! Ok, sort of...

Loading up the pallets (my future floor) the night before.

By the way - this was almost midnight.

I didn't get any pictures of the trail on Saturday.... doh! But I headed out again today, this time with dogs and here's what we accomplished the day before.

With my trusty work crew of Paul, Jon, Laura, Sean and Stephanie (in order of arrival!), we hit the trail all day. Sean was in charge of putting up the wall tent frame (the wall tent is his afterall, not that he's ever set it up before as someone just gave it to him last year), but when he got there, we didn't even have a trail to get the tent TO the site. This was really the only day I had Sean (he's expecting twins soon! Well, Heather is incubating them, but they have a lot on the go - building an addition to their small cabin for the new litter for one thing), so we had to make this day count. (He's a carpenter too, so any mistakes we could officially blame on him.)

So we somehow busted through with the 4-wheeler pulling the trailer full of plywood and the tent. It was a bit tricky, took a bit of maneuvering and manhandling to get the tent in to the site, but it was successful! This crew was awesome and I wish I could use them to finish the whole driveway, but alas, I'd much rather pay The Driveway Guy to do that really hard and time consuming stuff!

So the driveway kind of started to get narrower and narrower the faster we cut (I think the crew could sense the beer and hot dogs waiting in the meadow for them), and finally we broke through to the clearing! How freakin' exciting it was!!!! When The Driveway Guy comes, he'll just mow down these willows with the heavy equipment.

Nice of Jack to smile for the camera while peeing!

The wall tent!!!

Sean sits admiring our handiwork after the successful tent setup!

Here's Laura jumping up and down with excitement and relief because the hard work is done. Or was it the cooler full of beers she was so excited about?!? Too close to call.

Closer view. I love the little Christmas tree in front of my new home!

The dogs still love those ponds. It was warm out today and I went out to do a bit of sewing on the tent. The tent was HOT and full of bugs. Must do something about that. Oh, and the two ant hills INSIDE the tent. I just hope they respect my privacy.

What happens when the lens cap doesn't fully open. But it captured exactly what I wanted, George and Lucy in the pond. And Gracie's butt.

Next up: more freakin' work...

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Here's those shots of the driveway after Steph and I finished that first day.

Not bad after like, 8 hours of work! I'm not sure why I left these two trees right smack in the middle at the beginning of the clearing, but I took care of those suckers tonight.

I'm in a bit of a mad rush to get as much done on this thing as I can before the weekend. Since this was supposed to be the "tent raising" weekend and all. It would be good if we could get to a place to actually put the tent. So it might be the Tent-Raising/Driveway Clearing party! Hey, what could be more fun that physically exhausting yourself by moving trees and shrubs all day while sweating and getting attacked by thousands of bugs?!?!

Man, I have some GREAT friends. And even crazier is that they've actually volunteered for this! Hmm, makes me wonder what I'm gonna owe them in the future. Or maybe the promise of beer n' burgers is enough?

I headed out right after work tonight to continue the job and got a few hours in until the thunder and lightning started. I figured it was time to go when the rain started to come down and I saw flashes of light in the sky not too far away. Call me crazy, but I'm thinking that brandishing a chainsaw and standing in an open clearing is probably not THE smartest thing to do during a storm.

I'm finding I'm getting much more pleasure out of this than I thought I would. It's freakishly satisfying, seeing a nice wide clearing after bushwhacking through this so many times. I couldn't get to the next tree fast enough! The things you learn about yourself in times of stress...

Trees, glorious treeees!!!! Just think of allll that as future firewood!!!!!

The new bend in my driveway, because I was a little off course - but that's actually a good thing. Windy driveways mean less visitors. Or so I'm told. My goal tonight was to cut as many trees as fast as I could and make a bit of a trail down to the meadow. That way we can at least drag stuff in with the 4-wheeler. Then I'll widen the road once we have the main trail figured out. I didn't even break through to the willows, but it's sure getting closer.

So if anyone is thinking of coming out this weekend, this is your warning! It will be hard work, but damn I'll be grateful to anyone who can make it. I'll be out there on Saturday morning sometime (not too early though, I do my best work in the afternoons/evenings!).

And, of course there is a promise of food n' beer when we finish for the day - at 1am... :)

Sunday, June 10, 2007

First BBQ!

For clearing the driveway, we just happened to pick the freakin' hottest day of the summer to work. It was hot, buggy and totally lacking wind in the trees. Every so often we'd run out into the clearing beside the highway into the wind, flailing our arms and smacking the mosquitos. Must have looked funny to those driving by. I never wished for rain and clouds so much!

Here we are starting out. I never did get a picture at the end of the day, but if you think real hard, and look at that open space, imagine it being only about 100ft further. That's how far we got on my 800+ foot driveway! Turns out I am horrible at estimating driveway-clearing time. In case you're wondering, it takes a LOT of time, pain and effort.

Oh and in case you're curious about what happens when flesh meets chainsaw:

No really. You didn't see this. Best to move on now (especially you mom...)

But that didn't stop us from having the first-ever BBQ at the homestead:

I'm glad Stephanie thinks ahead. She brought out steaks, pasta salad, juice, gatorade, peaches, first aid kit(*ahem*), the bbq itself (although she did forget the ever-important matches, luckily we located some back at the trucks) and much more.

I brought out granola bars, water and beer.

Oh, I also brought the most food obsessed dog in the world.

A bit overexposed, but you get the point.

Please....just a teeny tiny bit of your steak Steph... or all of it. Whichever you prefer. Can't you see my winter layer of fat fading away??

Yes, I now realize they are freakisly close to me. But when you live in a 16x16 cabin, we are always attached at the hip! It's a normal occurence.

Stephanie did forget the dish soap...

So Gracie offered to help out. How nice and unselfish of her. Now we can use those paper plates again. As long as she didn't gnaw a hole in it.

A happy, relaxed, TIRED pooch at the end of the day!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Wall tent reconnaissance

Well, things are progressing nicely regarding the land. It seems to be coming together. Almost too well, which has me slightly suspicious...

We'll see though. I will try not to be too cynical.

Laura and I went out that way to measure up some stuff and scope out a potential dogyard and tent site. I think we came up with a pretty good one - the tent will be partially in the trees, faces south, and I'll have the dog fencing right behind and surrounding me basically. But with the tent fenced off on it's own. For it's own protection.

The flagging tape illustrates where my gate/door will be. Trees are damned handy for putting up fencing! Can't you just imagine it all? The dogyard will be in behind in those trees, and partially in the open as well. I can't wait to get started. Most likely this weekend. Got my gravel permit, so life is good. :)

Laura made me stand in the "doorway" - "look like a dork" she said. I think I did a pretty good job of that.

"Hello.... why, no I don't have a house. Why do you ask??"

Speaking of Dorks:

She always seems to do this "moose" pose. Freak!

Speaking of Freaks:

What is that you ask? Why, it's me - frolicking in the meadow of course!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Random Chaos

Things are finally getting nice and green around here:

Biking up the highway. When you have one of two ways to go, it gets pretty dull quick. Thank goodness for teammates (none of which joined me this time) and the iPod shuffle!

Tomorrow - Laura and I hit the highway by my NEW place. We are doing some GPS'ing on the land and then heading out towards Haines Junction. Woohoo - new road! Hopefully I will have new, exciting, riveting pictures of pavement.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch - told you I did some packing!

I'm pretty astonished at how little stuff I have. I'm not quite done packing yet, but getting very close.

Then I had to take some FETCH! breaks of course thanks to the incessant barking and bouncing around of Ripper:

I'm not quite sure why my thumb looks like some kind of deformed claw - I swear it's the angle. But I do like the shot of Crazy Boy Ripper.

Rupert is mellow, just following me around and trying to trip me as I launch the ball for the others. He seems a bit sweeter and clingy since Kate's been gone.

He is so dirty I want to bathe him. But he finally started shedding, and you can't see it here - but he is much whiter and cleaner underneath!

Ivy showing her ability to lick the top of her nose. I should rent her out at parties!

This is typical (ie: SMART) Ivy. She pays 100% attention to where that ball is and can anticipate where I'm going to throw it - even when I don't know where the heck I'm gonna throw it. Note Ripper, standing 2.5 inches away from the ball. Sage was right beside him. Ivy's brains+her speed really gives these guys little chance to get the ball. And if they do get to it first, they overrun it, sometimes smack into a tree or the fence, as well as creating a huge cloud of dust. Then the little speedster comes in and steals the ball anyways! But does it deter Ripper?? Noooooo way! He is one determined fetcher!

Friday, June 01, 2007

Oh what have I done?!?

So things are going to get WILD around here. I am officially moving out at the end of June onto my land. It'll be interesting as yep, I'm going to live in that wall tent after all. I have started packing with a vengence and am pretty freakin' excited to be on the move. Heck, I even finally took down the Christmas lights. And they've been up since December of 2005!!!

June 23rd is the "Tent Raising Party" - so feel free to c'mon out (er, and help me move!).

Ok, the tent is temporary. I hope.

In the meantime, you always gotta make time for the dogs! Heather and Jon came out last weekend for a bikejor/scooter session.

Jon scooters ahead. I had Ripper and Ivy.

The over-the-shoulder shot of Heather and her two, Keno and Aklak.

Yay, water!!!!

Guess who? Only one dog with the perpetually slobbery face around here...

Heather's dogs needed some cooling down!

Ivy is a big fan of the water this year.

Jon in his combat gear (body armour, which came in handy as he got turfed off the scooter). Made me think twice about my "cotton" gear. Shorts don't really provide too much protection.
Then again, I can stay ON my bike!!

Asman! My favourite dog in the world - who isn't mine. Yet.... mwahahahaaaaaa....

So. Time for a video. Sit back, relax if you can while you listen to Gracie howling/grumbling/basically chatting to just letting me know that she exists. And that she is the only other being that should matter in my world. Kuna prances around with the squeaky bone and George makes an appearance.