Spenard: It's a state of mind


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December 31, 2005

Well, the holidays are finally almost over. But that doesn't mean things have calmed down at the Ranch. In fact, things are busier than ever.

The Under 30 performances at Out North Theater are right around the corner. Opening night is this Thursday, January fifth, but there is a pay-what-you-can preview on Tuesday the third. I'm in a frenzy trying to hammer out my final product and finish up my props.

Work is crazed and I never even got any Christmas cards out. A couple weeks ago, I flew to Michigan for a whirlwind weekend to see my little brother get married. I'm weeks behind on my email and days behind in reading the newspaper.

I have piles of information I want to add to family history section of this site, but probably won't find the time until the end of January. Plus, I'm trying to sort through everything I own to figure out what to sell and what to bring to Alabama.

Whew! Little wonder I've not added much to the site.

But here we are at the end of another year and I wanted to take a moment to remember those near and dear to Rancho Spenardo who left for greener pastures in 2005:


Hunter S. Thompson


What can you say about this man that hasn't already been said? I first read Hunter when I was a tender, impressionable 12-year-old Midwestern girl and things were never the same again. He helped shape what I read, how I write and who I vote for.


Col. Norman Vaughan


Norman Vaughan at a spry 88

It's hard to believe that Norman wasn't always an Alaskan. Among his many accomplishments were participating in Admiral Byrd's 1928 expedition to the South Pole, competing in the 1932 Olympics,  flying solo to Greenland during WWII to recover top secret info from a downed bomber and giving Pope John Paul II a dog mushing lesson. He also entered 13 Iditarod races - six after turning 80. He completed the race four times within the official time limit. His last successful race was 1990. When he finished, he never finished last. Mush on, Colonel.



Patrick McDermott

Patrick was a good friend in my Los Angeles days. He helped me through some tough times. So many of my best stories include Patrick. I haven't seen him since I left California almost 13 years ago, but it's so hard to believe he's gone.

I was on vacation in the lower 48 this summer when his disappearance first made the national news. I was flipping through the channels late one night and saw his picture on Larry King Live.

I'd actually heard about his disappearance 2 days earlier, when it was reported that the boyfriend of a famous singer was missing and possibly dead. The missing boyfriend had the same name as my old friend, but I couldn't find a news article with a photo of him - only photos of the famous girlfriend (who wasn't missing).

So when I saw Patrick's picture on the TV, I didn't have to hear a word - I already knew what Larry King was saying.


Victims of The War Against Terrorism (T.W.A.T.)

This one's for all of the coalition soldiers, Iraqi civilians, independent contractors and assorted innocents who have lost their lives in the American Empire's war against a tactic. I'm going to include Katrina victims here too because if we hadn't wasted so much time, effort and money on the Bush-Iraqi Follies, maybe we could have offered effective help to our own citizens. Tonight, I raise my glass to all of you - even though it doesn't help a goddamned bit except to numb my own pain.


Out with the old, in with the new...

Somebody finally removed the "Prostitutes might have AIDS" sign from utility pole on Spenard Road. I guess this means it's okay to fuck the hookers again.

Viva la Prostitutes!


December 7, 2005

Now, thanks to the Alaska Volcano Observatory,  you can monitor Alaskan  volcanoes from the comfort of your very own home and/or office.


I've been keeping my fingers crossed for a good volcanic eruption before I move to Alabama. Nothing too destructive mind you - just enough to coat the city in a layer of ash and scratch up everybody's windshields.  Just enough so that I can scratch "volcanic eruption" off my list of things to see before I die.

Alaskan Volcano Observatory not only allows you to check out volcano webcams, but you can also keep an eye on the seismograms.

For example, you can see just how restless St. Augustine was this morning:



December 1, 2005

Ah....December in Alaska. Not for the faint of heart. It's dark. It's cold. It's depressing as all hell. 

The sun doesn't come up over the mountains until I'm already at work. It's long gone by the time I get home. If it weren't for smoke breaks and weekends, I wouldn't see the sun again until February.


This is also the time of year that the city plows do their best to bury my car. But the joke's on them! I was able to open the door just enough to squeeze inside.


At least the frost and snow make everything pretty - even ugly old Spenard.

Spenard before sunrise



Comments? Questions? Spare change? 

Send it to Jackie at RanchoSpenardo.com


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