Sunday, August 19, 2007

Red Rider, this is the Cotton Mouth

I spent three nights in jail. Not really, but a new song by our friend and nemesis, singer/songwriter Steve Brown is about me. And we all know how much I love me. Anyway, the song is about how I spent a few nights in the drunk tank and Steve and Robin are having second thoughts about bailing me out. Even though I hope I never wind up in the clink, especially the drunk tank - and maybe I should be mildly insulted by the the fact that Browner thinks of the hoosegow when he thinks of me - I can't help but be a little flattered. When he gets it done, maybe I'll post it here.
Yesterday I covered the Renewable Energy Fair out at Chena Hot Springs. Last year the hot springs unveiled its geothermal power plant, the first in the state and possibly North of 60. This year, the folks there revealed a new hydrogen facility. They're making hydrogen from the same warm water they use to create geothermal power. The entire resort, which is 35 miles off the electric grid, is now powered with either geothermal or hydrogen resources A hydroponic greenhouse provides fresh vegetables and herbs for the restaurant. Before these alternative energy sources were online, the hotel, restaurant and other facilities on the property were powered by smelly, expensive, polluting diesel generators.
At the energy fair, vendors came from around the state to educate and potentially convert people to start using wind, solar and other alternative energy sources.
At the event, I met a woman who said she stumbled across my blog about a year ago and is a loyal reader. She too is a dog musher and informed me that there are a butt-load of sled dogs at the shelter right now. I'm going there next week to see if I can't adopt a few. She said a whole brood was dumped off by some hyper-religious family living in a van in the K-Mart parking lot...First of all, how the hell does a family living in a van (I guess within walking distance of the river) have a whole slew of huskies? Secondly, well, I guess that was it. Anyway, for those who live here or for those who don't, why not adopt a dog? Sled dogs are loyal and hard working. They are perfect for those with an active lifestyle, or, for those who are more sedentary, an older, retired sled dog makes a perfect companion. So, let's see, Libby? Theresa? Jeremy? Coldfoot? Phoebe? Meg? Mary? let's see if we can't find homes for these dogs. I'm not saying I'll slash your tires if you don't, but, um, well I might just have to take you off the Christmas-card list. Of course, I'm kidding. No I'm not. Yes I am. (I'm not.) The Fairbanks shelter has shipped unwanted huskies all over the world to people, so if you don't live in Alaska, that's no excuse.
Unfounded threats aside, these dogs need homes, so let's get them off death row. Or, if you can't adopt, what about just visiting the shelter to give them some love? I know, we're all busy, but it would be excellent Karma.
My ambitions of starting fall training have been hampered by 80-degree temperatures, so the dogs and I are waiting patiently for cooler days ahead.
I'd like to give a shout to Theresa; welcome back! And congrats to Dana and Danny who got married yesterday! Photos of the wedding sent from my dad are on the way, but in the meantime, here are some shots I took from the energy fair yesterday.
Peace and solar power to you all.

Plump tomatoes in the hydroponic greenhouse.

El Cortez the Alpaca. A rancher was at the fair selling Alpaca wool clothes.

A lettuce seedling. It takes just 23 days from seed to harvest in this greenhouse.

Libby interviewing Roy McAlister, the president of the American Hydrogen Association.

A solar-hydrogen demo at the fair.

And you thought FFA kids were good. Here are a couple sleeping during Senator Lisa Murkowski's speech. It was long. (I almost dozed off, too, but instead rolled my eyes and sighed heavily as the republican blathered on. She is articulate, I'll give her that, but totally not believable. How about not drilling in ANWR, senator? Eh? How about that?)

Harnessing the wind can be done by anyone.


Anonymous said...

hey there...your post raises some interesting questions. i'm a veterinary technician who works for a non-profit spay/neuter clinic. i'm all too aware of the pet overpopulation problem in this country, and of the staggering number of dogs that are euthanised every year simply because there are just too many of them. i've volunteered in shelters during "kill" weeks, and i can't tell you how heartbreaking it is to see dozens of healthy, beautiful dogs killed, simply to make room for more dogs coming into the shelters...who will later be killed to once again free up's a never-ending cycle. i've chosen to work in spay/neuter because obviously the only way to end this cycle is reduce the number of dogs that are born...if there aren't more dogs coming into shelters, the ones already in shelters could be adopted, and eventually there would be no need for the euthanasia of healthy dogs. all shelters could eventually be no-kill. i definitely give you props and thanks for advocating for those shelter dogs that you mentioned, and it's obvious that you're a compassionate person...however, as someone who's involved in mushing, and therefore, either directly or indirectly, dog breeding...i'm wondering how you view the cycle of overpopulation/ you feel that you and other mushers (along with those people involved in greyhound breeding and racing, and those who breed "purebred" dogs for profit) are contributing to this problem, and what you feel justifies it...i ask not to be hostile, but only to get a better understanding.

AKbushbaby said...

Hi Stephanie,
Thanks so much for your comment. You are absolutely right in the need to end the cycle. All my males are fixed. I get them neutered pretty much ASAP. I do not, nor do I intend to, breed my dogs. My dogs are castoffs and dogs that were in line to be either in the shelter, or in an early, shallow grave. Yes, I did purchase a leader, but as for the other nine, they are dogs that were unwanted or mistreated. But alas, I am one of the few who doesn't breed or care all that much about bloodlines or race history. I associate with mushers who are responsible and who have planned litters and find pet or recreational homes for those they can't use in their teams. I agree wholeheartedly with what you're saying. Education? Is that the answer? Well, many mushers know exactly what's going on but choose to ignore. But, if a dog does wind up getting put down at the shelter, all I know is, there are worse things than death, especially for a sled dog. As for greyhounds, show dogs etc., I can't say.

Anonymous said...

jill inger says that in denmark they use birth cntrol for animals maybe you should tell the americans to try it .it would save a lot of heartbreak. inger also gave her cats the same once a week. love gran and inger.

Anonymous said...

jill inger says that in denmark they use birth cntrol for animals maybe you should tell the americans to try it .it would save a lot of heartbreak. inger also gave her cats the same once a week. love gran and inger.