Sunday, December 17, 2017

Trial and error,
Failure and terror,
The truth of the matter at hand.
Death in a whisper
Is so much to weather
For the life of a
Wife and her man.

Costa Rica
December 2014

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Pseudo-Haiku Notebook

We went on a bird-watching centered vacation last Spring Break (2017) in Arizona, following a route mapped out for us by Brad Meiklejohn.

We were struck by all the Border Guards and other birders we saw on our trip, hence the focus.

Redstarts, midway down
Cool canyons, stop their songs when
Dogs guard our borders.
--March 15, Ramsey Canyon

Birders and border
Guards chase wary immigrants
Crossing dusty roads.
--March 16, Border grasslands

Where migrants pass
"David Roberts, is that you?"
Nancy breaks her arm.
--March 17, Sycamore Canyon, AZ-Sonora border

Monday, December 4, 2017

The Firn Line

Many years—maybe like two decades ago in the 1990s—Anchorage entrepreneur, Bob Kaufman, started his Alaska Channel and began tinkering with video.

He and I once discussed how great it would be to document all the amazing people we knew back then. Unrelated to our musings, something like an audio archive sprang up at University of Alaska Fairbanks  as “Project  Jukebox”.

That UAF project is great, but when I look at the photos of the people they’ve interviewed I see very few of the faces of those who I know (exceptions are Andrew Embick, Art Davidson, Paul Dinkewalter, Doug Geeting, Dave Johnston, Knut Kielland, Ian McRae, Ralph Tingey and others from the Denali Mountaineering project) but it’s all very NPS and UAF centric and seems more archival that anything (although archival is still important!).

Enter Evan Phillips’ entertaining podcast “The Firn Line”. 

This is the one I like more. It's about people I know and admire and with Evan's great music, too.

There are (so far) 18 episodes in the First Season, but the stories and production quality are like audio frosting on a story-telling/philosophizing cake and it's Evan’s music that really makes The Firn Line worth listening to. So far he's interviewed mountaineers including Carl Tobin, Brad Meiklejohn, Luc Mehl, ClintHelander, Katie Strong, Dusty Eroh, Charlie Sassara, Sam Johnson, Marc Westman, Vern Tejas, and most recently Jack Tackle.

The Firn Line is really worth our support. Unlike the UAF Jukebox sponsored by State and Federal dollars, The Firn Line is supported by people like you and me and done by a member of our community.

Have a listen to the Firn Line and you’ll see what I mean. And if we all sign up as patrons on Patreon we can be sure to get a Season 2 with more great interviews and music.

Now, look, full disclosure: I did a Firn Line interview with Evan last Saturday, live at the Alaska Rock Gym and greatly enjoyed it. 

Peggy said it was like I got my own, personal version of “Artic Entries”, but instead of 7 minutes and one story I got 70 minutes and maybe a dozen—and six of those were about Chuck Comstock alone!

So, have a listen to the Firn Line and then sign up as a subscribing patron to keep Evan going and to get adventurers who have been too irreverent for UAF and the NPS documented on a most entertaining venue.

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