Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Instant Sailboat Race

Hello everyone,
AnnMarie and I are once again hosting the Instant Sailboat Race. This is going to be our 4th year so I guess it is safe to call it an annual event. The event is scheduled for the weekend of July 12th this year.

Most of you are familiar with this event, but for those of you that are not I will give you a little background. The basic idea is to get together and build simple cheap sailboats, then race them. To keep it simple and cheap everybody gets the same basic materials to use. They are called instant sailboats because you are supposed to build them quickly the day before the race. Over the years we have discovered that they are not quite instant. It is possible to build a boat in a day, but it requires a lot of caffeine and a late night. This means that we get a late start on race day and feel kind of groggy all day long.

This year I have decided to relax the rules a little bit on the "instant" part. Everyone must still use the same basic materials, but you can build the boat anytime you want. I'm sure most people won't get around to finishing their boats on time, but they might get a started ahead of time. Friday we will have a construction day and bar-b-que at our house in Chisholm. This will give everyone a chance to put the finishing touches on their boat and get ready for race day.

Saturday is race day. We will be racing at my parents place on Big Sturgeon. The captain's meeting is scheduled for 10:00 am. The first race starts at 12:00. AnnMarie will have food available for us throughout the day. We will have as many races as time allows. When we are finished racing we will probably head to Bimbo's for the glamorous awards ceremony. After sunset we can return to the beach for a bonfire (if you don't want to take your losing boat home this is a good way to get rid of it.)

If you are interested in competing or spectating please contact us

Friday, April 25, 2008

Favorite Podcasts

So, We've recently gotten into podcasts. "What are podcasts?", some of you may say. I found this definition online, "a digital recording of a radio or video broadcast, made available on the Internet for downloading to a personal audio player." C.O. and I don't have a television and instead enjoy watching podcasts or movies from Netflix. I prefer this method of entertainment because we tune in based on our schedule not the networks' schedules. We also miss out on all those commercials, lovely. Except for Super Bowl Sunday, they're a waste of time. Anyway, we're enjoying some of these podcasts.

Our friend introduced us to this guy, Gary Vaynerchuk. He does a wine tasting show with whole lot of personality. It is just a lot of fun to watch. I'm including a YouTube clip of one of his shows. It's about 20 minutes long, but worth a watch.

I love how he's all about trying new things, not being snobby about wine and just being real. C.O., Harold and I often have a snack after school and watch an episode. Harold is either mesmerized by Gary V. or starts yelling and waving his hands at the computer. Gary V. moves him.

Who isn't a fan of Garrison Keillor? His voice just carries you away. So, I subscribe to A Prairie Home Companion: The News From Lake Wobegon podcast. The stories brings me back to the great culture of Scandinavians who live in rural Minnesota.

John Piper has the ability to deliver a great sermon week after week. That is why I enjoy this podcast. Each sermon is intelligently written, Biblically sound and pertinent to everyday life. You can download them for free here. I also recommend his book, Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist.

Another interesting podcast
"Inspired talks by the world's greatest thinkers and doers" are the TED Talks videos. Learn about all kinds of interesting things that are new in the world of technology and science in short, concise, entertaining talks by a wide variety of experts.

Our friend Bill has started his own Bountary Water Canoe Area Video Podcast. He has one show up so far but has many more coming this summer.

Hey Aaron, have you considered making your weekly KAXE commentaries available as a podcast? You're dominating all other forms of media.

For those of you with unique interests and want to learn more or are looking for another type of entertainment, I recommend searching podcasts. Almost every niche has been covered.


Thursday, April 24, 2008

Eskimo Movies

We have recently seen three movies that are definitely worth watching if you're interested in seeing some of the ways Eskimos lived. It's interesting to see which traditions have carried on and which haven't.

The first is called Nanook of the North. It is from 1922 and is considered the first ever documentary. Our favorite scene is when Nanook pulls up in his kayak and it empties out like a clown car. His son was riding on top, one wife hunkered down in the front of the kayak and one in the back. One wife had a baby on her back and the other had a dog with her. The movie is tough to find but we were able to rent it from Netflix.

The second move that we just purchased is, Eskimo. It was filmed in 1933 in the Brevig / Teller area, which makes it twice as fun for us to watch. It stars Ray Mala who was born in Candle, Alaska, not so far from here and lived in Teller for a few years. He went on to have a successful career in movies, both in acting and as a cameraman. Eskimo is the story of a great hunter and his family's encounters with the white sailors. We had a hard time tracking down the movie but finally found it at an online store that sells out of print classic movies. It only cost $9 with shipping and handling.

And then there's The Fast Runner if you prefer newer movies. It is set in Canada and was written, produced, directed, and acted by Inuit folks. It won a bunch of awards and is a great story. Unlike some movies about Native people, this film doesn't try and make the culture seem superior just because they're Indigenous. They tell the good, the bad and the ugly, which is just the reality of all cultures.


Friday, April 18, 2008

Great Baby Buys

Here's an overview of a few things that C.O. and I have purchased for Harold that I would highly recommend for parents.

The first is this great little Fischer Price Booster Chair from Target. It's small, easy to transport and best of all, inexpensive (only $20). We use it in place of a regular high chair. Since we can strap it onto a chair, it takes up less room in our house. This is a big bonus for people who don't have a lot of extra space. Also, since C.O. and Harold come to school almost every day and join me for lunch, it makes that process easier. C.O. packs up the chair and brings it with him. It's easy to transport and use where ever you go.

The next great buy is the baby sling. We travel quite a bit and need a slick way of carrying Harold around without our arms tiring out. We choose to use this compact and very effective baby sling as opposed to the gigantic stroller system that some people try squeeze onto an airplane. We are not exactly sure why people seem to think they need those monstrosities for a small child. The sling on the other hand can fold up and fit in the diaper bag when we're done using it.

The last recommendation I have is for cloth diapers. That's right, we use cloth diapers and are very pleased with them. They are every bit as easy to use as disposable diapers.

Don't they look cozy? Here's our system and it's easier than you might think. We always put a thin, flushable rice paper liner in the diaper that catches the poo. We dump it in the toilet and it just flushes away. The diaper goes into a five gallon bucket with a lid in the laundry room. About every other day we do a load of diapers. Simple. Some people choose not to use cloth because they're not convinced it has any cost or environmental benefits. I would say the one reason they wouldn't be economical or environmentally friendly would be due to the dryer usage since they use a lot of electricity. We solve that problem by not using the dryer. We do our laundry in the evening and hang the diapers over the shower curtain rod to dry over night. My friend Charity did an informative blog post about the different types of cloth diapers out there if you're interested in reading more. We happen to use the Bum Genius brand. We aren't super strict about using them. It's a lot easier to use disposable when we're traveling, when Harold is at the baby sitters and at night. But for normal day to day use, they're great. They are good for the environment and good for our pocket book. Can't beat that. --AnnMarie

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Nome Visitors

This past weekend we were fortunate enough to have our friends, James and Amy, visiting from Nome. Some of their friends from Nome look at them strange when they say they're going out to Brevig for the weekend. Not a lot of people go to the villages, just for fun. I first met Amy many years ago when she first started working for BSSD. Since then, she met James, got married and now works for Nome public schools. We first met James while he was in Brevig painting a couple murals at our new school. You can see a picture of part of the mural he did in the library here. Anyway, they're good friends, interesting people, and great fun to be around.

On Sunday we took a little snow machine ride to the old reindeer processing plant. We played in the old barn for a while and felt the urge to jump out the window. There was lots of soft fluffy snow everywhere which is very unusual around here.

Later we snow machined to the top of a hill to check out the view. Then, followed a valley back toward Brevig. On the way, we came across a herd of musk ox and were able to get a pretty close view.

That evening we watched the movie, "Into the Wild". I highly recommend it. It's a very moving story.

James and Amy are they kind of friends who are very inspiring to be around. We are blessed to have them in our lives. --AnnMarie

7 Random Bits

My friend Christina, aka, The Northern Cheapskate, tagged me on her blog to tell seven random things about myself. So, here it is.

1) I can do this with my tongue.

2) The Sami connection:
When C.O. and I met, I was working at Ironworld and wearing a Sami dress. I would talk to the tourists that came through and tell them about the lives of the Sami and about the little sod hut I was sitting in. Just a few short years later, I moved to Brevig. I started learning a bit about the history of Brevig and found another Sami connection. At the turn of the century, the folks up here weren't doing so well because of the low number of caribou. So, the government flew up some reindeer and some reindeer herders, the Sami, to teach the Eskimos here how to herd them. But they didn't want to come unless they had a Lutheran minister who spoke Norweigen. Pastor Brevig was the one who came.

3) I once spent a long weekend in Finland with my old friend Jussi Seppa. There I saw the only hockey game of my life.

4) Brushes with fame. I've only encountered two people who are considered famous. In college I attended a Mandy Patinkin (he played Inigo Montoya in the Princess Bride) concert with my friend Bett. Afterward, I got the chance to shake his hand. Then when C.O. and I were in New Orleans having lunch, James Carville walked in and ordered some take out. We were the only two customers in the place.

5) I have crooked pinkies.

6) I have eaten raw fish and whale.

7) I love to clean up and organize things. --AnnMarie

I'll tag a few people here to also share seven random things about themselves.




The Bayleys


Friday, April 11, 2008

Don't Be Stupid

I normally don't like to cause a stir, be too in your face about my opinions or call people stupid. But I have a message that needs saying, and I feel so strongly about it that I may just use some harsh language.

So, here it is . . . people who don't vaccinate their children are IDIOTS! I just can't think of a nice way to put it. Here's a generalization that I think everyone can agree with. Long ago, lots of children died of diseases such as smallpox and polio, now, hardly any children die of these diseases. People may not have died as a result of diseases such as mumps, measles and rubella, but did end up having health troubles later in life that were related to these diseases. Does anyone want to take a guess as to why we have fewer incidents today? There has been one major shift since the 50's and 60's . . . vaccinations. Yet, there are some people out there who are nervous about immunizations. Why? Why? Why?

A popular scare today is concerning the Measles, Mumps and Rubella shot. One argument against the MMR vaccinations is that it supposedly causes autism. If you go to the Centers for Disease Control website and check out the "Myths Busted" section, you'll find an explanation of the flawed studies that have linked autism to the MMR shot. The "Wakefield" study, that found a supposed link between the MMR immunization and autism missed the boat in two areas. First the MMR shot just happens to be administered at about the same time in a child's life that autism is first noticed and diagnosed. This causes parents to think that the shot brought on the autism. Secondly, they only studied children who had the vaccine, then developed autism and did not include children who did not have the vaccine and then developed autism. They had a flawed approach to the study and therefore, do not have conclusive evidence. You can read more about studies, the flaws in the studies, as well as research that has proven no relationship between autism and vaccinations in the "Myths Busted" section. Most importantly, there is very strong evidence that autism is a genetic disorder, and not caused by environmental factors.

If you are a parent who is choosing not to vaccinate, I find it hard to believe that you are willing to take such a serious gamble with the LIFE of your child. It really is a matter of life or death, especially with more and more uneducated yahoos skipping out on immunizations. Did you know there were over 6,000 reported cases of mumps in the U.S. in 2006, just a few years back, mumps was expected to be eliminated. Way to go, anti-vaccination wackos.

So, get off the, anti-immunization because of autism, bandwagon people. Just because those in the media says their beliefs over and over doesn't make it true. I'd rather trust good science and good doctors because guess what, they've done a whole lot of positive things for our society. I think that people who honestly believe that doctors would knowingly give patients things that are bad for them, are paranoid, conspiracy theorists. So, go on now, before it's too late and get your kids vaccinated. If you don't have kids, be a part of the solution, spread common sense instead of perpetuating the foolishness of, "I heard on TV that blah, blah, blah, so I don't think I'll get my kids their shots."

Oh, and I'd love to debate this topic with anyone, but only if you're willing to back your arguments with some logic and evidence, not hearsay. --AnnMarie

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Jack 'n Me

This isn't exactly new news, but I was just thinking about these photos today and wanted to share.

So, C.O. and I were in Baldwin City, Kansas last summer and this guy was helping to promote the opening of the third Pirates of the Caribbean movie for a local theater. He was amazing! He had the swagger, the lingo, the look and was a real hoot. It was a fun, and totally random encounter.

* The only Pirates movie worth seeing was the first one, btw.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Our Snowman

The weather has warmed up here causing big, fluffy, sticky snow to fall. So, we decided to make a snowman. We bundled Harold up and started rolling.

Harold was pretty excited about the big ball. (Ball is his favorite word, he says it over and over and over everyday.)

Before long, we had attracted a crowd.

And she's done. I convinced C.O. that our snowman really needed to be four balls high this time.



When you're around a person who has a real love of something, it can be contagious. That's what it's like being around Bill. Bill is a tech fanatic and here's what always happens when he's around.

Bill ended up being weathered in here in Brevig for an extra day. We had a great time visiting with him. We stayed up way too late each night, had a great crab dinner and had some good laughs. --AnnMarie