September 21st - September 28th

Table of Contents
  1. Riding the Rooty Pootooty Trail.
  2. Working on the website.
  3. Riding Rooty Pootooty again, or Ryan goes sterile.
  4. Working in Alaska.
  5. Networking in Anchorage.
  6. Getting stuff done on the car.
  7. The Mooses Tooth, great friggen pizza.
  8. Leaving Alaska.

Summary September 21st – September 28th

Anchorage Part 2: Riding with the “Gang”, and Leaving Alaska

Friday 21, 2001 –  ZJ Loussaic Public Library, Anchorage, AK.

            I woke up around 10:00AM after an unrestful nights sleep, and got myself together. I finished the application to ACS Alaska, and phoned the HR woman who got a hold of me. I left a message with her, then another at around 4:30PM when I didn’t hear back from her.

            Most of the day, I worked on the application, and checked e-mail and such. I still didn’t know the specifics of the hike with Martina, and was unsure if I was going to go. Around 2:00PM or so, I decided I wanted to buy a pair of Carhartt Pants. B+J’s didn’t have the kind I wanted, so I went down to Army Navy store downtown. I got a cool pair of double front green pants, and they rock. I am wearing them now. 50 bucks, and I’m sure they will last forever.

            I spoke with Lee last night, and she tried to convince me to come through Wisconsin on my way back. I also talked with Devora who was busy, busy with work. She said “I am only really keeping a day ahead of my kids”. – It was nice to talk with them both.

            Everyone from the prior bike ride was going to go riding again that night around 6:00PM, and then barbeque and drink beer afterward. I hadn’t heard from Martina at 5:00PM, and was in the process of getting ready to go riding. I thought I felt sick, but not that bad, so I thought I would be able to handle riding.

            Earlier, I called the place she was staying, and talked with her host. She said that “They were both staying with them”, I thought “both?” Then she said “yea, there is a few of us, Her and Josh, and me and my husband, and our two year old.” So, then I had the lowdown. Was this guy her boyfriend?

Anyway, I was getting ready to go riding, and she called Carlos’, and I answered the phone. We talked for a bit, and I told her that I was a little hiked out, and that if I was interested I would call and leave a message. I asked her how she knew her friends, and she said “A friend of a friend”, and then said “Oh yea, I also want you to meet my boyfriend.” – I knew then I had made the right choice, and would definitely not join her on the hike. – It would be fun, and I would do it under optimal conditions, but I wasn’t feeling up to spec.

So, I finished getting ready to go riding, and made my way to Beth and Jeff’s place. There was a traffic jam on the way there, and it ended up putting me a little behind schedule. I was nervous that I wasn’t going to make it in time, and that I wouldn’t be able to meet up with them. But, I made it there, and wasn’t the last one to show up.

The ride was cold. I was cold for a good portion of it. Breathing with the cold air made things tough. Plus, we went on the Rooty Patutie Ride, which was really rough on us guys with hard tails. A LOT OF ROOTS MAKES RYAN A STERILE BOY. My ass was getting bounced around, all over the place. It wasn’t the most fun I had had on a mountain bike. Plus, since most of the people I was riding with had full suspension bikes, it made things tough trying to keep up with them.

I took a header on the ride that really snuck up on me. I was going along one of the trails, on the second ˝ of the ride, and was a little on the tired side, and I pulled up the front end to make it over some roots, and landed right squarely in front of another one. My front tire turned to the right, and I went ass over teakettle. My handlebars turned around 180 degrees, and my front brake tightened up where it was rubbing on my rim. Later, I disconnected it, and it rubbed on my front tire. I had to then reconnect it, and live with the rubbing until I got back.

The barbeque was great. I had two burgers, and a bunch of Greek salad. Very yummy. I also had a couple beers, and really enjoyed a Belgian beer that almost tasted like scotch. It was great to hang out with this group of people, even though I was tired, and pretty sleepy at the end of the night. I met Martha (Marty), Dawn, Wildman, Chris, Wildman’s wife, and another couple whom I can’t remember their names. – A good time was had by all.

            Oh, they also had a hot tub that I sat in for a while. That was super nice, and relaxing. I did hit my quad pretty hard on the crash, and it hurts significantly today.

Then, I drove back and went to sleep at Carlos’

September 22nd, 2001 Home of Carlos Lozano Anchorage, AK

            Today, I woke up with a little bit of a cold. I took a shower, and had some oatmeal, and made sure that it was cool that I continue to stay here by asking Carlos. He was fine with it. Then, I got my laptop together, and headed to the library.

            I got there after being detoured around significantly by the abundance of downtown traffic. And, after being delayed for about 20 minutes or so arrived at a parking spot in the Z.J. Loussaic Public Library. The West Coast Live NPR program was on, and Buddy Guy was being interviewed. He made a comment about the best guitar player he ever heard, saying that “He made me and B.B. King cry one night.” – It made my eyes water thinking about it.

            I walked into the library, and spent the next 5 hours working on the website. I got maybe ˝ done of what I need to get done before I take off from Anchorage, if I do. Maybe I will be able to get some stuff done tomorrow. Hmm.

            Then, I got back, and Carlos and I decided to head to the Moose’s tooth for dinner. I bought since he is letting me stay, and made me dinner one night. We had the Mexican Taco pizza with chicken wing pieces on it. Very Tasty. A little on the hot side.

            We saw a couple of his friends, and I saw Yuval and his girlfriend with two of their friends as we were about to leave. They are going to be staying at the Spenard Hostel the next couple nights. I will give them a call to hang out.

            Tomorrow, we are going to riding in Kincaid Park. Hopefully my leg will feel a little better.

Sunday September 23, and Monday, September 24, 2001 Carlos Lozano’s residence Anchorage, AK


            I woke up a little late, and worked on my website a little some more. Then I took a Tylenol cold medicine, and felt good enough for the ride. We got over to Beth and Jeff’s by about 1:15, and we got riding by about 2:00PM. We rode for several hours, and kind of looked for new trails. There were 9 of us, and we took several breaks in between each of the legs. We had to walk across swamp for quite some time in one section. My feet were definitely wet by the end of it. It wasn’t one of my favorite rides, because we went across rooty potooty twice. It was so bad, that I actually bent my seat from banging on it so much with my ass. Molly was there. The one Carlos wanted me to meet. She is very attractive, and we had a nice conversation, she doesn’t really do that much for me.     

After the ride, Jeff and Beth had to go to a party. I met Reima’s husband Chris who joined us on the ride. We all sat around, and Carlos ordered a couple pizzas. They were barely edible. But food is food. Brian and I sat in the hot tub, and shot the shit for a bit about Gwen. The blonde that he is interested in.

            Carlos mentioned something about her too. Then we came back, I worked on the site a lot, and went to bed. I stayed up until around midnight, and scp’d all of the images that I finally sifted through for this section, and pushed them up to my machine in Rochester.

            I’m glad I got it done, but I still have to finish the friends page, and update dates, and update all the indexes on each of the pages. – I should also put down the oil changes that I have done to my car, and the work that I have had done. 3 oil changes now, and three cracks in the windshield. Three flat tires. Three must be the magic number.

            Good night.


            Today I slept in until around 10:30AM. Then I took a shower, went to the grocery store to buy some goods, then came back here and ate them. Really, I ate my last Pita with Jack cheese. Then I made a couple calls after lunch, to some people in town about jobs. So, I have a meeting tomorrow with the one guy that Kris hooked me up with.

            I got the low down on the GCI position. It turns out that the position doesn’t close until Thursday. Then the resumes will be put in front of the hiring manager. Then I can e-mail the hiring manager about the position.

            That’s why they hadn’t contacted me back yet. So, my point is that it would be prudent for them to interview me while I am in town, and not after I have driven 500 miles away.  I hadn’t heard back from the ACS Alaska position either. I imagine that job doesn’t close until later this week, and that’s why they haven’t called me either. I found a friggen typo in my resume, and resubmitted my resume to GCI fixed. That means that the ACS Alaska resume and application both have typos in them. Bummer.

            So, I guess it really doesn’t matter if I am back to Rochester by the middle of October. But, it would certainly make my life a little easier if I got back there sooner rather than later as far as financially. It’s a little frustrating that the places I am interviewing with are moving as slow as they are. I guess I have to get used to things running a little slower, like on Alaska time… Jen Campbell calls it “Island Time”.

            She said it took a while for her to get used to it, and she doesn’t like getting used to it, because it makes her lazy. She likes to be constantly doing things to keep her busy.

            I stayed up late last night working on the website, and scp’d most of the images up to my box. It ran last night. I wrote a little program to make it do what it was doing. Nothing special, but it made it easier to get the stuff up than putting it up manually. I think maybe tomorrow that I will head to the library in the morning, and meet Steve for lunch, then in the afternoon get a hold of Yuval and Anita from the Spenard Hostel.

            Not sure what I would do with them, but maybe get together for a movie or something. – I’m not sure if I will be around this weekend. Possibly. That would give me two weeks to get back from that point, if I still wanted to get back by mid October. Not really a huge priority, but good to keep schedules.

            I will have better information after lunch tomorrow. 

Tuesday September 25, 2001 Carlos Lozano’s house Anchorage, AK

            I had lunch today with Scott Thornson. He is a friend of Kristopher Gill’s whom I met at Beth and Jeff’s party last Friday. He is the President of Network Business Systems in the Anchorage area. His companies core strengths are Networking, Windows NT, and Netware installation and support, they also do training, and they also do a little software development as well as web page design.

            We had lunch at La Mex on Spenard. He gave me a lot of background about telecommunications, and the IT community in the Anchorage area. He also gave me a bunch of contact names and numbers of companies and people in the area that may have a need for UNIX folks. I went to the Library after we had lunch and worked on the website a little bit. I should have called some of these people. But I worked on the website instead.

            As I am thinking about things, I think I would still rather be in New York City. I guess I kind of wanted to get a feel for what jobs there were in this area. But, the nice trails around haven’t sold me. I think maybe 3 or 4 years ago, when that was more important to me, I might have done that. But I think I am old enough now, that I have realized the fact that I love riding my Mountain Bike, but what’s going to keep me going until I am much older is enriching my culture. I think my priority at this point in my life is definitely to enrich my brain first, and enrich my body second. I think that Anchorage would be the other way around.

            So, maybe I will stick it out another day or two, and then get out of dodge.  I e-mailed one of my contacts in New York City when I got back to Carlos’ to ask about the shape of the Job Market there. I also noticed that Unified Technologies posted another position for a Senior UNIX System Administrator, with E10K skills on the 20th of this month. I think I will e-mail Deb tomorrow about that and see what her take is on that whole deal I didn’t e-mail her today, because I felt like giving her more time before contacting her. I hope the req isn’t open because someone died in the crashes, but it’s entirely possible.

            So, maybe I will also e-mail ACS folks and GCI folks and let them know I am on my way. I think that’s what my heart is telling me. Just thinking about being in New York City makes me excited. I don’t really care if Anchorage has wonderful trails to ride everywhere. I want to live with the culture and the excitement of the big city for at least a year. Then, when I am sick of the city, I will move out west to Oregon, or something like that. I’ll see how I feel tomorrow.

Now I am hungry and depressed.  Check e-mail and go to bed.

Wednesday September 26, 2001

            Today I got a new tire for my car put on my original rim. I cleaned up stuff that I had placed in my spare tire space, and placed the full size spare in there. I may have to re-organize things when I finally pack up the rig to get moving. I also got my oil changed. Synthetic was 65 dollars, and conventional oil is 35 dollars. I figure that I will get it changed again shortly before long, so it would be cost prohibitive to get the Synthetic Oil, since I will have to get it changed shortly anyway.

            I talked with the guys at the Alaska Tire and Rim, and they said that gas prices in Canada are extremely expensive. I didn’t find that when I went up through Vancouver Island. Because I usually paid with Credit Cards, and I get the best exchange rate that way.

            I also logged onto my Solaris Machine at home, and found a lot of documentation, which I sent here. I looked at the Solaris FAQ, as well as my little commands documentation. I looked both them over, and spent a little time on my machine. I really didn’t remember a lot of commands, and I felt nervous. I think I just want to go home.

            I am also concerned if I paid Doug for the Month of October. My check says * 4, but it was only 1495 dollars, or close to that. So, I am not sure if I will owe him more change when I get home.

            Sigh. I think I was oblivious to a girl that was kind of following me around A.M.H. today also. Kind of a weird sensation. I am still recovering after my cold, and am beginning to think it is an allergy or something. I saw two people who had New York License plates on. I said hello to one as she drove by, and the other said hello to me when I drove by. I was in Fred Meyer, and yelled at the first girl. She looked like a girl who lived in Rochester.

            When I was driving, and turning into Costco, to go to the Jiffy Lube, someone honked at me, and I thought I saw that they had a NY license plate. I can’t think of any other reason that they would honk at me. 

September 27, 2001 Carlos Lozano’s house in Anchorage, AK.

            Today, I woke up relatively early. (8:30), got up, dressed, showered, ate breakfast, and went to the Library. I was there working pretty much non-stop until around 4:45. Then I came back, we didn’t go riding, but instead met Brian at the Moose’s Tooth, and ate dinner. It was a tasty pizza.

            Italian something with pepperonis, and artichoke hearts. Then came back, and uploaded all the content that I didn’t put up before. Finally finished checking most everything. Now am going to bed. Almost 1:00AM. I am leaving tomorrow for Whitehorse, and Rochester, NY. I got a new spare tire, and oil changed the other day. So, I should be good to go.

September 28, 2001 ˝ mile on the American Side of the Canada / U.S. Border (Boundary, AK)

            Today I packed my car, and left Anchorage. The drive along the Wrangell / St. Elias National Park, was of course beautiful. But, I think the most amazing thing was happening in the last hour. I was driving along past Chicken, AK, and the sun was setting. It was an amazingly beautiful sunset. As I was driving along, I came to a point, where I could see a bright light in the distance. It was the moon rising. The moon is about ľ full, and it was very bright when the sun was setting in the distance. So, in the West, the sun was setting. In the East the moon was rising, and in the North, came out the Northern lights.

            Holy Crap was it cool. Three beautiful things to look at all at once. I don’t think that the Northern Lights only come out at midnight, or 1:00AM, I think the time that they come out is totally random. Whenever there are Solar Flares, they are out. It really has little to do with, as far as I can tell with the coldness, darkness, and clear sky. I imagine those things help, but both times I have seen the lights, it has been before midnight. Now, actually, they have gone away for the most part that I can tell. Maybe when I finish working on this, I will take another look and maybe they will be back out.

            Tonight, they were much more spectacular than the last time I saw them. The first time I saw them they were white. This time they were distinctly green. In several places, I thought that they could be smoke rising from a chimney or something. But no. It was the lights.

            Most of the day was uneventful. I emailed my application to Unified Technologies, and Debra Antonelli. I also called Doug, and told him I was leaving towards home. He said a car hit Trinity, and she flew 50 feet. But, she was ok. Thank goodness. She got my card just in time. I’m glad I sent it. Doug hasn’t talked with Allison in a couple months, nor with Pete and Reggie.

            Yesterday, I paid my phone bill, got my oil changed, and got a new tire for my car. I think the cold I have had all week may have been because of Carlos’ dog. I just changed into different clothes, and all of the sudden, I feel much better. Hmm. Maybe it was a bit of both.

            Tomorrow, I hit Dawson City, and then Whitehorse. Hopefully, I will see Narelle in Whitehorse. If she decided to go camping or something this weekend, I will be a little bummed, but no worries I guess. Maybe when I get to a pay phone I will call my cell, and check my messages. I hope the phone card I have has minutes left that work in Canada. I decided not to get the 10-dollar extra this month to be able to call in Canada. I have used my phone way too much this month anyway. I’m sure that I will go over my minutes, just from calling people after the attacks on us.

            I felt good leaving Anchorage. I would have been fine getting a job there, but my heart is in New York City. I really hope that I get the Unified Technologies position. I was talking to myself about all the things that I did on the planet project. I will do this more on the drive from Dawson to Whitehorse. It’s a long drive, and no radios to listen to on the way.

            It’s quite cold outside, but I have the car running, and the heat turned on. I will of course turn it off when I go to bed, but I have my 20-degree bag, and I expect that if things do get chilly, I can just don that. Hopefully it will do my justice.

            The last couple days I have been working on the Friends page of my website. I think it turned out very well. Pete e-mailed me, and told me that I rock. I was psyched about that. Then there was a little exchange between Brian, and Ted about keeping girls warm. Ted wanted pictures of that.

            I think the general populous was pleased with the new site. I was pleased with it, but I wanted to finish all that I had up until now. I had the urge to finish Fairbanks, and Dalton, and Anchorage, etc. But, I didn’t feel like spinning my wheels another three days, which it probably would have taken me. SO, I didn’t. Carlos was really cool. He told me that he was 58 years old. I had a tough time believing that. Especially with all the outdoors things he does. His dad told him he was born in 1940 something, and he changed his birth certificate, so he could work on the railroad.

            If what his dad said was true, then he really was 58. Wow. That’s amazing. His dog needs constant training. Those sled dogs have so much energy it’s incredible. I was amazed how much energy Q had.

            I was especially stoked that Carlos let me stay at his place for as long as he did. He didn’t even know me, and was nice enough to let me crash. I was very thankful when I said goodbye to him. He really helped me out in Anchorage, and made my time there much more enjoyable.

            Now that I think about it, I did pay for four months, but those months were June, July, August, and September. I still need to pay for October, which is coming up in two weeks. So, I need to be ready to shell out 550 dollars for bills, and rent for October. I called Doug and asked about it, but after we spoke I remembered. I did get the refund check from George Bush for 300 dollars, so that will help out for rent. I have about 1600 left in my SSB account, and about 1000 left in my visions account. I figure that if everything goes well on the way back, I will make it with 600 or so dollars, so I will have 2000 to live on for as long as I need to get a job. I think I can do that for a couple months. If I live close to the bone. I hope it won’t take me more than a month to find work once I return if it does, then I guess it does.

            I could squeak out another month rent as ˝ of the foosball table – giving that to Doug. Maybe he would want my TV too. If not, I will sell that in a garage sale maybe. I have had it forever. It weighs a ton.

            I guess that was most of my day. Driving. I made it to Tok around 6 pm, and the only thing that was open to ask about the top of the world highway was the Medical Clinic. There I found a woman who knew a man who did the border-crossing thing, and she called his wife, and she gave her the low down. If you cross the border unattended, you have to call a number as soon as you get into the next town. I crossed over when I got here, but came back because this side had a little rest stop with restrooms on it. I will definitely utilize those tomorrow morning. The moon is out, but the lights have gone away. So Sad.

            I am feeling better driving back. I got too impatient waiting for nothing to happen in Anchorage. I would have had a good time staying there, but I’m not ready for it at this time in my life. I did however, have second thoughts when I was driving through the Wrangell St. Elias range. There is so much wilderness that is just available to enjoy, that I will totally find myself in need of that in NYC. I can tell. I think that I will have to live in Park Slope. Joe said they are moving in October 1st. That means that they will be living there Monday. That might be a little late to offer to help move them in. Since I will get back to Rochester on the 15th, or so. But, we will see what happens.

            I am going to work on the site a bit, and then hit the sac.