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Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Well, I got fired and I'm back in the lower 48. I'm in Seattle's Theta Delta Chi house and I'm flying to Iowa to see my girlfriend tomorrow. I'll explain more after I get there and I'll finally post some pictures.

Alaska was fun while it lasted,
but I'm glad I'm going back home to my girl.
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Sunday, June 06, 2004

Today I used my superior mind control powers to force my self to deep meditation for most of the day only waking up intermediately to check out if there was any spaces for tours. (Read: I slept all day following the Garfield lifestyle). So I was useless all day but at least I'm well rested to start my night shift tonight at 11pm.

Other than that I haven't really done anything all day.
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Saturday, June 05, 2004

Mount Healy: 2 Tony: 0 

So, I tried to hike Mount Healy for the second time today and he ate me alive. I got munched on by an insane amount of mosquitos and then it rained on me so I walked back. Tomorrow I will try it again before work, this time armed with Mosquito repellent.

I'll make it eventually if I have to fly my ass up there and parachute!
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How's it going? My day went pretty well. I was able to go to the Husky Homestead thing and had a lot of fun playing around with the Puppies and the world champion Alaskan Huskies kennel of Jeff King. Really fun.

After that I stayed around the tent reading and sleeping and then at 8:30 I came to Cabin Nights dinner theater and had all you can eat ribs for free (tourists payed $60 each) Hehehe.

Tomorrow I'll try to get a free Helicopter trip around the mountain, we'll see how it goes. Or if that doesn't work I'll go climb Mount Healy tomorrow.


Ohh and I realized I've never mentioned my name in the blog, so here it goes. My name is Tony.
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Friday, June 04, 2004

2 days off! 

After a pretty hard week I finally get two days off!

I think I'll get to go to the Husky Homestead thing and spend a couple of hours photographing and playing with world champion Husky dogs. :0) I'll try to get on the helicopter tomorrow.

So my plan for today is Husky Homestead, then climbing Mount Healy (which I failed last week) and then free all-you-can eat Ribs (while the tourist pay $60). I think it'll be a good day!

Hope to also buy a laptop ASAP, I think a used or refurbished $500-600 would be a good invertment, and then I can install photoshop and start posting pictures.

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Wednesday, June 02, 2004

I'll tell you about my day. I woke up at 7:30 am fought the 40 degree weather to get out of bed to make it for breakfast. The cook didn't make it for breakfast so we had just desert, no substinance. I spent from 8-11 am reading, and then went glaciar river rafting from 11 am to 1 pm. Lunch at 2 pm and work at 3 pm.

Work was crazy today, just about everything that could go wrong went wrong. Only three out of the five levels of rooms are ready to be rented out and they were full all freaking day and we had tons of people come in wanting rooms. We had heaters not working thoughout the freaking hotel and lots of trouble. A small plane crashed into the nearby lake on it's way to fairbanks and the two people on board, who weren't hurt, came asking for a room, it was a mess to find them a room. Then we have a boyfriend and girlfrined split up and wanted
separate rooms, and a grandma fighting with her son in law and wanting separate rooms. So getting them all rooms while we were filled was a BIG mess. Then we had our Coke delivery guy get drunk in our bar and we had to find him another room, while he was being beligerant in our office and that was also a mess. It was very tiring.

Then I got skipped for a helicopter tour for tomorrow moring for a guy that has worked less than I have, he gets the coolest trip where you get to land in a Glacier and hike around for a while. That made me kind of mad. Also it sucks that I got the lowest paying job in the hotel, everybody makes $7.15 / hour but they also get tips. I've gotten $1.70 total in tips this far. So that sucks, but hey I guess I'm still in Alaska enjoying the place and hopefully will get some time to take good pictures.

But hey, such is life.

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Tuesday, June 01, 2004

I worked the afternoon shift again but today it was crazy, everything went wrong. It was amazing. Heating wouldn't work in some rooms, we had a propane leake in the bar and had to empty the place, the phone rang off the hook, we had 3 people walk in for a room without having a reservation, the hot tub stopped working and nobody can figure out why, guests were mad at not having the hot tub, one guy wanted a refund because his wife couldn't sleep without a TV and the rooms don't have TV. That's just a quick summary of what happened today. It was nuts.

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Monday, May 31, 2004

Boring day at work. Had the afternoon shift and only got a couple of calls and one check in. Other than that got bored and read. I mean it wasn't bad it just wasn't very interesting.

Hope tomorrow picks up.

Nothing else for now.
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Sunday, May 30, 2004

Well, no more days off for me until Thursday. I have the afternoon shift everyday from today. 3-11:30 pm. We'll see how it goes. The hotel is pretty empty today, only 6 rooms are occupied and we're only expecting one check in today. So it'll be cool.

I've been reading a lot and will soon finish my first book, so I only have two more to go, I think I'll be out of shit to read before the end of the summer which sucks ass...

I'm considering getting a laptop I was looking at Dell with the 10% student discount I could get a decent laptop delivered all the way to Alaska for only $1,070. That's only about 3 and a half hours of work.

We'll see how it goes.
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Saturday, May 29, 2004

So I finally scored myself some decent internet time and have the time to write a little.

The flights were not bad, although I had a 12 hour wait in Seattle and an 8 hour wait in Anchorage. During the Seattle wait I mostly read and slept in very confortable aiport chairs. In the Anchorage wait I wasn't so lucky, the chairs were pretty bad but I still got some sleep.

Then I took a Cab to the train station and boarded the train for Denali. The trip is 8 hours long but very beautiful and the service is excellent. The train even slows down to allow you to better see the animals. In the train I found 3 other people who are working in the same hotel as me. Angela, a guitar playing hippie from Florida who is working as a server in the restaurant. Elizabeeth, a college student from Madison who is working housekeeping. And Joanna, an ecological conservationist from Seattle who is doing this job as her last little adventure before getting married in November. She planned the wedding and left for the job here.

After arriving we took the shuttle to the hotel and found some of the other people working with some, a few more arrived the next day.

Some of the other interesting people I work with:

RD is one of the housekeepers, he did two years of college and then decided he wanted to be a Nomad and has been working seasonal jobs for two years now. Thinking about going back to college. HE's very nice and very easygoing.

Memory is one of the chefs, she just finished culinary school and is doing this as her graduating internship, she gets her degree when she gets back. Her boyfriend is back in California where she's from and they talk twice a day. She can talk about nothing else but him.

Bernise is the other chef, also just finished culinary school but she's much older. She left her 14, 10 and 8 year old kids at home and came to Alaska for the summer. She's been married for 10 years but her husband had an accident after just two weeks of marriage and has been in bed and drugged since then. She feels lonely and is taking the time in Alaska to decide whether she'll divorce him or not. It's really a sad story.

There's two 30 year olds alcoholics from Alaska who work as servers in the restaurants. They're scary and I haven't figured out their names.

Alla (AKA Alla Princess of Whales) is a city girl from Philly who was expecting a real place to stay in and is having trouble getting use to the tents in which we live. She brought 7 pairs of shoes (4 of them high heels) and 4 make-up bags including one she brings in to the office. She works front desk.

Adrienne is another of the girls she's kind of quiet and works Front Desk.

Jim was in the Navy for 3 years and now works maintenance. He's fun but talks too much crap.

Dan is a nomad who roles around from seasonal job to seasonal job and has been just about everywhere. He's very nice and fun.

Dmitri just came in yesterday. He works housekeeping is Russian and speaks very little English. That's as much as I've been able to communicate with him.

Candi is 57 and nice as can possibly be. She is my boss and manages most of the hotel. She takes 6 weeks off after the summer is done and then works the winter in a hotel in the Virgin Islands. She's great although she gets stressed easily.

All the work in the front desk is done by hand, and is complicated but not too bad. Mostly answering the phone and telling people we have no space for the day they want. Charging stuff on credit cards when we do have space. Pretty easy, sometimes requires a lot of multitasking.

The tents are pretty tiny and luckily my roommate has not showed up yet, hopefully I get to keep the tent just for myself.

The area is very very expensive, a beer will cost you $5 and an hour of internet access $10. It sucks, we get paid too little for how expensive it is.

We get two meals a day and have to make that last till the next day.

We do however get free shit like trips and tours and rafting.

Today I was so sick of not having internet access that I actually applied for other jobs in the area, because every other hotel has internet access except us. In fact we do have it , but only the managers get to use it which sucks!

Yesterday I had the day off and tried to climb Mount Healy. However, I took too much weight in the camera bag and couldn't make it all the way to the top. I came back and thought about trying it again today but my legs are too sore. I'll try again next week with less weight.

On Fridays we get to go to this really cool dinner theater for free, normal customers are paying $60 for it. We ate so much to make up for a week of very little food. I thought I was going to explode. It was good all you can eat stuff. I was happy to get a decent meal for once in this trip. I'll do it every Friday no kidding.

Today I spent the whole day filling applications and that's how I figured out how to get free internet. It took some "Catch me if you can" style good old fashion pretending you're someone else, but it's working. $10 bought me a fake ID and free internet!

I'll see if I can install Photoshop on this computer in order to post some pictures.

I'll try to write daily now that I have internet access!

Bye all. Leave comments, I do read them!
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Thursday, May 27, 2004

Wage: $7.15 / hour
Internet: $10 / hour

Will update as soon as I have money!

I'm worth $3 right now.
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Friday, May 21, 2004

Ok, this is it. I'm about to catch my flight to Alaska. I'll make stops in Chicago and Seattle
and I'll get there sometime Saturday. I'll post when I'm there and find a computer.

Till then..

Did get everything packed. Diane was amazing in helping me pack. It was great, I would've never been able to do it alone. I have no idea how I'll pack it back for the return trip.

0 days for Alaska. Wow...


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Thursday, May 20, 2004

Finally got around to packing. Fitting my life into two suitcases and a camera bag. A large amount of stuff had to stay. Actually, Diane did all the packing, I just sat there saying "that goes, that doesn't" while she worked her magic.

The meeting of the family went well, we went to a restaurant (to my embarassment that they changed plans and made a big deal out of meeting me) but it worked out great. They're all very nice and they liked me :0) Well, who wouldn't. ;0)

So life's good right now, although tired. Less than 48 hours and I'll be in the first plane.

I'll post more before I leave if there's something new. Otherwise, probably until monday.

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Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Got one of my pictures printed at Walden Photo at both 8x10 and 11x14 and it came back AWESOME in both sizes. This camera is freaking amazing. If I can get a picture like that just from walking the university's garden here in Iowa, I can only image what I'm gonna get in Alaska. All the gear is working and waiting for me. It's wednesday afternoon, my first plane leaves on Friday at 5:30 am. I still need to pack and take what I'm not taking with me to the attic. And today I get to meet Diane's family, so I'm kind of scared about that. We met only about a week ago and we've had the most wonderful time together, I'm crazy about her like I haven't been for anybody in a long time. It'll be to 4 months before we see each other again after friday, but we've decided to wait for each other. :0)
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Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Spent all freaking day in the lab editing pictures and trying to
figure out why two of my CompactFlash cards didn't want to play
along with my image bank while the third didn't have a problem and
after they've worked fine for a week.

After calling technical support for both the image bank and the
card and not finding any answers, I was about to strike them with
a hammer... Two days to go before Alaska, not enough time to get
replacements, and only my tiny 16mb card working 100%, it was stressful!

Finally, I figured out that the image bank is an old model and can
only use freaking FAT16 formated cards, and I had formated the cards
on a Windows XP computer in the lab, in FAT32. So, stupid technicality!

Well, I guess it's fixed, so I can't stress about it anymore. But, it sucked
during the 5 hours it took me to figure it out.
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Well, I'm making my pictures available for sale in Photographica.org

So, if you're interested



Buy my pictures from Photographica


Even if you're not interested in a hard copy, keep visiting because I'll be posting a lot of pictures and stories.

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A few more pictures...











So, there we go. I'll go to the lab today to work on the other pictures I didn't
get around to do yesterday.

And for Pipe, here is the link you asked for,
it doesn't mention anything about the jobs, that webpage is down for this season.
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Monday, May 17, 2004

Pictures galore! This post is going to be huge! A bunch of pictures from yesterday. Enjoy, and leave you comments.


My housemate Troy, shaving his head.




Buy this picture from Photographica for as low as $ 6.00



Pink flowers.


More pink flowers.


I really love what this camera can do with flowers. Wow!


Macro rules.


This one's photoshopped to look like a drawing.


Another flower.


Different angle on the previous one, better detail I think.


Wide Open.


Intimate Details.




This is one of my best pictures ever.


A different angle.


Reaching.


Field of Dreams

I'll post more later, this damn lab computer is running out of memory.
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Sunday, May 16, 2004

Everything going great. Only 5 days before Alaska. Having a great time.

I went to Reiman Gardens today at late afternoon and took some pictures. I'll go to the media lab tomorrow to work on them and will post some.

If you're here leave a comment so that I know people actually read this.

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Wow, funny how things can change in 3 days...

I met a fantastic girl, we spent a ton of time together and I'm having a great time. I don't know how things will work out when I leave for Alaska in 4 days, but there's a good chance I'll come right back to her in September. :0)

I took the camera for a second spin and here's a couple of the results.


Soft Portrait of a Dandilion


Diane on the Phone

Most of the pictures from last night were too grainy because I took them at ISO 800 because of the lack of light, but I'll try to go through the same route again tomorrow at a better time for more light.

I like how the camera is working until now except for the poor performance at ISO 800, it gets too grainy, it's good enough for pictures at 600 * 450 but nothing more. :0|

Well, life's good right now.
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