Tuesday, December 30, 2008


So my roommate tells me he has never liked summer sausage. I have never met anyone who hasn't but I grew up very close to Wisconsin. Along with my German relatives almost half the population of Minnesota has roots back in Germany.

For Germans sausage is like water for the rest of the world. There are many different kinds, and I've never had a sausage I didn't like.

My roommate had a shaft of moose summer sausage in the freezer and it's been staring at me since I moved in last spring. I asked if I could try it and that's when I found out he didn't like it and that I should go ahead.

I tried it out and I now have had a sausage I didn't like. My old friend Craig would be so disappointed.

The sausage in question is gamy in the extreme. It might be my imagination but I keep thinking there are tufts of hide stuck in my teeth.

Since trying it I've discussed it with some hunters and they think it was made wrong. Sausage made wrong??? Who knew???

I used some suggestions to tame it a bit: I made a vat of spaghetti sauce (acid from the tomatoes) with lots of garlic, and added vinegar to further up the acid content (which is supposed to numb down the gamy-ness).

It still didn't work! I had some friends over and they were very polite about it, but I knew it was still too gamy.

I have since finished it off (too cheap to waste even this food). I meant to bring my roommate some fine sausage from http://www.louiesfinermeats.com/, but I forgot.

and the beat goes on...

Yep, still here. It's been a busy season. The Mrs. has joined me in Anchorage for the last days of my job. She will be driving with me back to Minnesota on Jan. 4, weather permitting.

She got to come to Lihue Hawaii with me for Christmas and we attended a nice glow-stick Christmas eve service. The facility owners did not allow candles.

It sure was nice in Hawaii because it's been COLD in Anchorage (I don't think it's gotten above 10F since the 19th). Today it was -40 C/F in Fairbanks when I was there. (I love that -40 is the same temp on both of those scales. My favorite conversion is 61F = 16C).

I've been trying to get the Mrs. out hiking but she is having a tough time with the cold. If it weren't for our soon to be lack of income I would buy her a fancy mask, but instead she suffers the cold she avoided for 20 some years in Texas.

I've gotten her up along the gasline trail a couple times. Today (-5F) we went up to the Denali lookout trail and back up the powerline trail back to the car. Probably a solid hour and she was hurting pretty good.

I made the mistake of pointing out that it's not just the cold but the fact that she's no longer in good shape...turns out that's not a good thing to say.

Tonight we are nursing our sore limbs with hot chocolate and maybe some post-Christmas cutout cookies if they are finished this evening.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Doom and Gloom

That's what airline folk say when we hit the lows of our roller coaster careers. I guess this time it is for real for me: I'm getting laid off in January.

So that's why I haven't posted in a while. The job market is bleak my friends. Turns out Obama doesn't want my help righting the ship, so I guess it's time to eek out a living doing a real job-type-job.

I've been using the MN Work Force Center to aide my job search. Not too many jobs I'm qualified for that meet our expenses (which we cut back to bare minimum a year ago to take my new job pay cut). The MWF has nothing to do with unemployment payments.

The MWF makes everyone attend an orientation meeting where they talk about some programs that interested me buuuut there's a catch (didn't see that coming didjya?): before you can sign up for the program you want you have to attend Employment U for five days a week for two weeks!

Today I found out that I can't do a week now and a week when I come back in January: all at once or nuthin! So when would the classes be in January? No one knows. They will call me when they have it figured out...or they won't...matterz.

So the hunt is on and I did find a snow shoveling job...if only my winter gear were here and not Anchorage (I don't think it got above 5F today and there are nasty windchills with the associated advisories going since last night).

The Mrs. will join me in January for the trek from Anchorage to Minneapolis in the mighty Saturn SC2! Yep, we're going over the Canadian Rockies in January. WOO HOO!

It will either be gorgeous, or miserable. Maybe we'll dress like this and see who can go the longest without car heat: