Spenard: It's a state of mind


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November 23, 2005

A couple of our neighbors showed up yesterday to munch on the jack-o-lanterns that  have been sitting outside for the last month.  Angela was home at the time and able to snap some pics of this bull moose enjoying a tasty treat.




November 17, 2005

I see where RanchoSpenardo.com recently had a visitor from the U.S. Senate - most likely someone in Ted Stevens' or Lisa Murkowski's office. They came to my humble little site via a Google search for Latseen Benson. Well, whoever you are, I hope you caught the part where I called the President a douchebag.


In case you missed it, last week's episode of "Cops" featured a segment filmed in Spenard - just a couple blocks away from the Ranch. There's another episode tonight showcasing Los Anchorage - don't miss it!


It's always something in Spenard....

Yesterday, I found a hooker's cell phone on the side of the road outside my house. It was ringing and I answered it. The guy on the other end was glad I found the phone. He said one of the girls at his place had lost it. When I told him where I was, he said he wasn't that far away and asked if I could bring it to him. 

I wasn't thrilled about getting back in my car and driving more on the icy roads, but he was only few blocks away. Besides, he seemed a little sketchy and I didn't want him coming over to my house.

He gave me directions to the trailer court he was at - using the local strip club as a landmark. As I drove to his trailer, I passed a woman walking on the side of the road. I couldn't help but wonder if she was "the girl" who had lost her phone.

I pull up to the trailer and this guy gets out - looking for all the world like the kind of guy who would live in a purple trailer in Spenard just down the road from the strip club.

He thanked me for bringing the phone to him and asked "Did you see a blonde girl walking down the street out there? It's her phone. Well, she'll be back for it. Thanks again."

I pulled back onto the street and sho'nuff, blondie was walking down the street, this time in the opposite direction. 

I wish I would've taken a few moments to peruse the numbers stored in the cell phone.  That could've been interesting.


Finally, Angela has a brand new Life In Spenard comic - the first ever available online. We're planning on posting a bunch of the old ones too. So stay tuned. 

This particular comic was inspired by a letter to the editor in the Anchorage Daily News. Angela wrote a response but when the paper printed it, the editor had completely butchered it. So, she drew it in comic form instead.



November 17, 2005

I've been getting a lot of hits recently for people seeking info on Latseen Benson. I don't have much to offer except some second-hand info and what I've read in the paper.

I've heard that Latseen was flown to Walter Reed Army Medical Center. I'm not sure if his mother, Diane, made it to Germany or if she ended up flying straight to Washington DC.

An account has been set up at Key Bank in Anchorage. If you would like to make a donation to help the family, you can either go into any local Key Bank office or you can mail a check to: Key Bank, 601 W. 5th Avenue, Anchorage, AK 99510-0420. Checks should be made payable to Latseen Benson Donation Account. 

Unfortunately, there is no way at this time to make a donation over the internet or over the phone. You'll either have to go to the bank in person or send the check via snail mail. 



November 15, 2005

King George II was in town yesterday for about 2 hours. It was only to refuel Air Force One before continuing on to Asia, but Dubya's never been one to turn down a photo-op.  He stopped  long enough to stretch his legs and make a speech at Elmendorf AFB. 


Charles Dharapak/AP

I can't believe we have to put up with 3 more years of this douchebag. 


Rancho Spenardo is sending our best wishes to Diane Benson and her son, PFC Latseen Benson. Latseen lost both his legs in Iraq when a roadside bomb exploded this week. It was his second tour of duty. His four years were up on October 31, but the military's stop-loss order prevented him from returning home.

Now he's fighting for his life in a German hospital and Diane has flown from Anchorage to be by his side. The family is accepting contributions to an account in the name of Latseen Benson at Key Bank.

Diane & Latseen in the summer of 1983 (photo by Bill Hess)


I keep thinking about when I saw Diane at an anti-war rally a couple years ago.  She couldn't hold back the tears when talking about how she feared for her son's safety. I cannot even begin to fathom what she's going through today. 

I was looking forward to working with Diane this January as she was also participating in this season's Under 30 series at Out North. Of course, I'm sure it's the furthest thing from Diane's mind right now. And my own worries seem awfully small today. 

How many more mothers must this happen to before we admit how badly we've fucked everything up? One more? Ten more? A hundred? A thousand? How many is enough?




November 7, 2005

It's cold. It's oh so cold - a sunny 8 degrees as I write this. Brrrrrr. 

But since this is my last Alaskan winter, there are times I feel like telling Mother Nature  

          "Bring it on, BEE-yotch! Show me what you got! 8 degrees at high noon? 

          You call that cold?  I'm gonna go change into a pair of shorts! Two lousy 

          inches of snow? That's barely worth putting shoes on for. In fact, a breeze 

          would feel real good right now. All those tsunamis, hurricanes and tornadoes 

          really must've drained you, you ornery old hag, if this is all you can muster. 

          Hell, it's been three years since you could even give us a quake over 7.5. 

          C'mon - I've been here 12 years now and have yet to see a single volcanic eruption.     

          You're slipping, Ma."

But then I think that it might not be the best idea to taunt  her. Especially if I want to remain in her good graces once I move down south and try my hand at farming. But it would be nice to go out on a winter that bestows some impressive bragging rights.


Congratulations to Mike Conti on his Rasmussen grant! You can check out some of his photographs here ( including one of yours truly). 




Comments? Questions? Spare change? 

Send it to Jackie at RanchoSpenardo.com


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