Thursday, June 29, 2006

Vanessa and Lisa Climb Alaska's Peak!!!!!!

Ok, well not "The Peak", but Flattop Mountain right outside Anchorage. :) We had a great time, good exercise and some time back in the snow (in June!!!). We were quite suprised how much snow was left, apparently some hikers were too since we came across a few with sandals on!

Vanessa with Anchorage in the background

This is a guy, who later we found out was probably in his 70s or 80s, doin it old style and ice climbing down the peak!

The "Do-It-Herself" gals!
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More from Amber and Ty's trip

I know we already posted some pics from my sister Amber's and her husband Ty's visit, but I found some other great shots and thought I'd share!

Here is Exit Glacier on our way down to Seward. We decided to go check it out!
Ben, Vanessa, Amber and Ty trying to find a way around the glacier to a beautiful waterfall.
Amber and Lisa at part of the waterfall.
The glacier is so blue!
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On our way down to Seward, we caught glimpses of a lot of wildlife (the first two were in a gated area for sick or injured wildlife, that would be crazy to actually be that close out in the wild!!!)

This bald eagle was soaring above Turnagain Arm.
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Some other great shots from Amber and Ty's visit!

Sisterly love
Enjoying Turnagain Arm
Vanessa, Ben, Amber, Ty and Lisa in front of Portage Lake
Amber and Ty in front of Ship Creek waiting to see if anyone catches a salmon
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Forecasting for WMD's????

In May I attended an Incident Meteorologist (IMET) training class to learn how forecasting fot the weather can help in hazardous material spills, WMDs including biological weapon releases and bombings, and other disaster incidents. That is where they want to take the IMET program instead of us just involved with wildfires, oil spills, and chemical spills. Very interesting class. It was held at the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise. There are multiple agencies there including the Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Parks Service, Weather Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs, etc. I'm so excited to be involved, something I've been wanting to do since I started working at the weather service!

This is where the firefighters and smoke jumpers come to train and get dispatched.

This is a satellite dish with "RAWS" on it. There are nearly 2,200 interagency Remote Automated Weather Stations (RAWS) strategically located throughout the United States. These stations monitor the weather. Weather data assists land management agencies with a variety of projects – monitoring air quality, rating fire danger, and providing information for research applications.
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Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Roses are red, orange, pink, yellow....

I also got to see my friend Dawn at the training. She works at the National Weather Service forecast office in Boise, so I was lucky enough to have my very own city guide! She brought me to Boise's beautiful rose garden. Thought I'd post some of my favorites. Thanks Dawn!

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Seattle Layover

On my way to a Incident Meteorologist training class in Boise, I was fortunate enough to have a 4 hour layover in Seattle (pretty much my favorite) and see my good friend Mat I met in Blue Knights Drum Corps. He had just married a wonderful gal Kim and they came and kidnapped me from the airport and took me out to brunch and a tour of the town. A great time as always!

If you look closely, you can see Mt. Rainer in the background on the right in the clouds!

A great cloud shot over Seattle, displaying my weather-weenieness! :)
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Lucky Colorado Visit

On my way to an Incident Meteorologist training class to learn about forecasting at hazardous material spills (oil, chemical) in Fort Worth, TX, I was fortunate enough to not only have my layover in Denver, but have the layover for 3 days! It was great to see all my friends and family that I hadn't seen in about a year. It was nice to come home to my parents house where I grew up, but it was hard because they will be selling it and moving up to Nebraska next year. Sure is a great place.
I was also lucky enough to see some of Colorado's great severe weather (I know I'm a weather weenie!). Hail and lightning ended up coming out of this system while I was at my friend Amber's house---it was great!
I got to see my great friends Charmian and Jon. I went to school with Charmian but conned her into coming to a Blue Knights Drum Corps practice with me and I had her hooked. We marched four years together and met Jon there. They fell in love and were married. Such a fun and loving couple! Ben and I are trying to get them up here to visit us, they are a lot like us and have the same love for the outdoors. Miss you guys!!!!
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I also got to see my long-time best friend Amber and her husband Jimmie and kids Wesley, Kolin, and Baylie. They are such a great family and I always love hanging out with them all. Amber is so amazing too, not only is she a nurse at a nursing home and works only night shifts that are 12 hours long, lifting elderly with her little 100 lb frame (if that), then comes home and takes care and schools her kids! She is an amazing woman, showing true dedication and love.

Jimmie, Amber and I.
Wesley, the littlest one (but not for long, Amber is due to have another in October! SuperMom)
Kolin, the crazy and wild one.
Baylie, the oldest (except Nolan, Jimmie's son who lives in Texas, miss you Nolan!) and on his way to being Mr. GQ :)
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Just wanted to post a little more about Baylie, my godson. He is such the greatest kid and I'm so proud of him everyday. I hate to live so far from this awesome kid. He was my first birth I had ever been to and the moment I saw him I fell in love with this kid. He's really involved in a ton of sports, and even though he's the sweetest thing and a touch shy, he lets it all out playing sports. He's consistantly the best player on all his temas, baseball, football, soccer, and now he's trying hockey. Then in between all the fun, he still does fantastic with his school work, a straight-A student, and is a grade or two ahead in math. Great kid, eh? However his parents are so great and give him all the support and love to accomplish anything, and I thank them for letting me take a part in his life. It makes me excited to see what he'll do in his life. Love you Baylie!
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Unfortuneatly my mom wasn't in Colorado when I was, she was helping her ailing aunt in Arkansas...mommy to the rescue! It was great though to see my aunt and uncles and cousins and second cousins and sister and last but not dad. We even got to have a little "Father - Daughter" date, we went out to the movie "RV", very funny and highly recommended.

My Aunt Angie and Uncle Keith, they used to always come to the Rockies Spring Training in Tucson and visit me when I was going to school there, those were always such great times.

My cousins Tonya and Steve and their two precious princesses Claudia and Abagail.
The Superhero Dad and his two daring sidekicks Amber and Lisa!
When I finally got down to Fort Worth (whooooeeeeeee, it was HOT) for my training, I got to see and old great friend Tony King who lived in a town close by. We marched in Denver Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps a few years back. He was always such a funny and great friend in the drumline. Its too bad though that I didn't get to see the rest of the "Texas Boys"; Nad, Opie, and James.
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Wednesday, June 21, 2006

"The Amazing Race" Tryout!!!

The show came to Anchorage looking for potential teams for the show....we said "Hell Yeah!" Ever since the show started we thought that was perfect for us, so we were so stoked. The auditions were held at a local furniture place. They gave us a huge packet of questions and then we had to do a little something about ourselves in front of a camera. There were about 300 people there, so it had to be good. We usually get into some sticky life threatening situation on our normal outtings due to Ben's "oh its EASY" attitude and my "Let's just stop and think for a sec!" ways, so it would be fun/interesting/scary to see what would happen when our normal adventure outings are expanded to worldly size. So now we just wait to hear from them. Wish us luck!!!
Here's us going crazy with all the questions they asked us. They even asked us about our psychological background...oh if they only knew :)
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