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June 28, 2002

haven't updated this in a

haven't updated this in a bit. first, the bear report: 3 days ago it was now, aaron dave and i were at the bar till a bit late. around 12, mike heard a rustling noise outside of the trailer he sleeps in. he went outside, and there was a large bear, he though between 350 and 400 lbs, which is quite big for a black bear, digging through our trash. he took some fotos and then they stared at each other for a while, he said they were only about 20 meters apart, then he blasted his shotgun over it's head and it ran off. this has taught us to secure our garbage much more carefully, though further examination by dave found that the bear was also munching on eggs in a compost heap that the guy who manages the property, jerry, put there earlier in the spring, so it wasn't just us. anyways, this has done mighty little to instill confidence in me when i'm sleeping in my tiny tent at night. it's ok though, not afraid...
other then that, we got drunk last night and shot at our car with the 22 rifle last night. i'm going to anchorage right now to get some needed equipment from rei and to buy a few vegan food items, nutritional yeast, ect... i'm gonna stop on the way there and on the way back at turnagain arm to check out some climbing spots, maybe camp out. it'll be nice to have a few days off. i'm prolly gonna end my job early so i can go travel more, i've made a bit of money and now i just want to have fun. we'll see though.

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June 25, 2002

i trained this guy named

i trained this guy named mikel from slovakia how to dishwash today, he's rad, speaks so little english, he taught me how to say broom in slovak, it sounds like bet la. mop is the same, mop. we're gonna take him drinking real soon. no new bear sightings, but every rustle of a bush makes my head snap. it's exciting.

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June 24, 2002

one other thing, drew posted

one other thing, drew posted all the photos he took when he was in spain, man that made me and aaron homesick for san sebastian.

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i had good stuff to

i had good stuff to write about the solstice festival, about watching the people imitating moose calls and dancing to bluegrass music and having this guy try and teach me how to fish and camping next kenai lake and waking up to the most beautiful view i've seen so far up here, but instead i've been writing this long email i shouldn't have had to write, and i didn't even send it, just saved it to finish tomorrow. anyways, this last weekend was really good, really good to get some time off, made me want to quit my job so badly today, i'll hold on a little longer. the ugly casanova cd got here today, gonna go listen to that at our camp in the woods, then maybe play some pool.

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June 22, 2002

no second job, it's ok

no second job, it's ok though, today is my first day off in almost two weeks. we're going to a solstice festival, tons of bluegrass bands, a beautiful lake to camp next to, no dishes to wash.
last night we were hanging around the camp around 6 oclock at night and aaron was walking on this path to a stream and he saw a large dark shape lumber off up this really steep hill at a high speed. we all got our pocketknives out and talked about how we'd stick it and it would leave us alone, then we built a good fire and teid not to think about it. there have been no incidents with bears and people around here though, so we're not really worried.

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June 19, 2002

i interview for a second

i interview for a second job tomorrow, being a busboy at the fanciest restaurant in town, ray's waterfront, i have a good shot. aaron should get work in the back there as well. he tried gutting fish yesterday, but quit around the time all the toothless employees started throwing halibut eyeballs at each other, he snuck out the back.

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June 18, 2002

day 8 of working, they

day 8 of working, they will hire someone soon they promised, either that or i quit, so it's a win win. aaron decided yesterday to not go to his job, instead he slept in next to the fire, i wanted to follow suit but kept thinking about finding myself in south america somewhere out of money, and that makes me keep heading back to the dish pit.
the bear was apparently a small one, i was asleep when it made it's appearance, ken the semi deaf retired fisherman who lives in the cabin on the same property said it probably only weighed 250 lbs. this gave me little comfort, and i've been waking up early in the morning to sit stock still in my tent and wonder what that rustling is outside, it's usually my campmates getting ready for work or the army of stellar jays that have decided to screw with us all the time causing mischief.
this saturday and sunday we're going up to moose pass for the solstice celebration, i've heard it's plenty of fun, tons of bluegrass bands and a good lake to sleep by. it'll be nice to get out of this town, i've almost been here a month and have had 2 days off. i keep upping my quitting day so i'll have more time to travel though, so it's ok.
keep in touch (i write that every time it seems)

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June 17, 2002

today was day 7 of

today was day 7 of the seward dish march, they found some kid to help me close, a good old alaskan boy, he likes nofx and stuff.
a bear came through our camp the other day, it was exciting. more about that later.

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June 14, 2002

today started out sunny and

today started out sunny and beautiful, and then they fired the other dishwasher. he called in two days in a row, and was told not to bother coming back. this means that i'm all time dishwasher (like all time quarterback from playground days, 'cept this isn't fun or outside). 10 am to close, 7 days a week, till they get a replacement. i bucked for a raise over this, which i got, but i'd rather have a few days off and less money in the bank. we were amazingly busy today, and the owner, who has diabetes and gets testy when he's low on sugar, came in a tried to yell at me about being too backed up. instead of quitting, i yelled back that he should get a better morning dishwasher, and made evil grins at the dishwashing machine about how when i'd quit, it won't be with so much notice.
this screws up plans to visit friends in anchorage, and makes going to any bluegrass festivals before i quit a remote possibility. however, since i'll have a little extra cash in pocket, i might quit earlier and go climbing on turnagain arm, where there is supposedly good bouldering and such.
my spanish is getting all crisscrossed, i speak all day with my mexican coworker andres, but then hang out with my basque friend joxe, so i'm saying weird conglomerations of slang words, an example of which ican't remember right now.
thanks goodness for npr, it's the only thing that makes closing bearable.
ok, keep in touch, and best wishes to the scot who's heading off for southeast asia, don't be worried, you'll do fine.

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June 13, 2002

last night aaron, dave and

last night aaron, dave and I came back into town from our campsite. first we went to dj's wheelhouse saloon, but the only pool table open was the one that has a distinct lean to it, making it in effect nothing more then a good place to set your beer. we walked out of dj's, and were surprised to see a couple walk out of the showcase saloon, a bar we had previously thought abandoned. opening the front door, it was 50-50 that we'd stay or go to another bar, but curiousity prevailed. i walked in the door.
it was darker then any other bar in town, that good dimmed half light that makes you want to stick around, even if the sun's out outside. there were rows and rows of red leather chairs seated around tables, cause the showcase, i came to find out, is also a restaurant. the bar has similiar red stools, and a padded layer of rose colored velvet to rest your elbows on. above the bar is this weird beige leather padding that adds a nice touch. the walls were lined with bottles of all shapes and sizes, some in the forms of bodies, some just weird and fancy, and the coolest was a full chess set of black and white glass. in truth, it felt like any number of places in las vegas, but not that alaskan.
it got quiet when we entered, even though there were only 4 customers. we sat down at the bar, and the bartender came over. he was the first bartender up here in alaska not to sweat us about having id's, instead joking that we were probably older then him. i got a j&b on the rocks, and he poured it strong. we got to talking to him, his name is steven, and he's from yugoslavia. he'd lived in vegas before this, and was frank about seward, that it was pretty damn boring. he immediately became my favorite bartender in alaska, and we had another round with him while watching brazil beat up on costa rica at soccer. in his excellent accent, he said "this is best bar in town. we make strong drinks, good food. everybody's happy."

anyways, it was a good night, and i'm sure we're going back there this evening as well. now the librarian is having a powertrip and kicking me off the computer, even though no one is waiting. annoying. ok keep in touch, next time i'll have to recount to you a story of the worst band in the world, who live in this very town.

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June 11, 2002

aaron is in town, living

aaron is in town, living out with us on the compound (our nickname for the private property where we pitch our tents). he was impressed with the amount of garbage and junk on the property, he said it reminded him of his farm back home. mike and dave brought a chessboard back from anchorage when they went yesterday, aaron and i played then dave and i played 3 times, dave beat me once. we're all rusty though, so it'll be good to get back into staring intensely at a boardgame for 40 minutes while sipping beer, listening to the rain beat down on the trailer that mike lives in a, cooking pasta on the gas stove.
one event i forgot to mention from 2 weekends ago was the saturday evening that i met my new friends from anchorage, renee and randy. they stumbled out of DJ's saloon in front of us, then asked to be chauffered to the other side of town on our bikes. we ended up having a good long conversation and doing some people watching of the sophistocated, worldly people of seward alaska. one of my favorite moments was the weird city bike cop road up very quickly to the yukon bar, which we were standing in front of, hopped off of his bike, hocked a big lugie on the side of the building and swaggered inside. other memorable moments were when the drunked fishermen who were harrassing renee and randy passed some amazing pickup lines, i was left speechless and bewildered, wishing with all my might that i could have been born in this town. dave mentioned the other day that fisherman could be the water-bound equivolent of the whitetrash potato farmers of idaho. although i don't know any of said farmers, i would perhaps equate the fishermen with inhabitants of such sterling nevada towns as winnemucca, gardnerville, yerington, and everyone's favorite armpit of america, battle mountain. keep in touch, i'm off to go kick ass at chess.
hope i didn't just jinx myself.

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June 10, 2002

got the car unlocked, my

got the car unlocked, my vegan boots showed up a half size too small, reordered them and they're even cheaper then last time, then the most important thing, aaron buskirk finally got his ass into town. he walked into the bakery where i was casually shoving food into my pockets to eat tonight and it was a good moment, we went back to the compound where we all are gonna camp and drank a ceremonial beer, then a second, now we're leaving the library to drive around in the car we collectively own 2/4ths of and then we'll play some chess like back when we were sitting in smoky bars in europe. aaron says hi to all those who know him, and he mentioned that the wholesale prices on expired beer in alaska are excellent. anyways, rock and roll.

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since my last post it's

since my last post it's rained and rained and then decided to rain some more. things are good though, saw hobo jim last night, he's this alaskan from homer who wears a cowboy hat and plays country songs and folk songs about alaska. he totally ruled, calling half the crowd yuppies and telling them that they have to chug their beers. i ran into him today and he said he's play no depression by the carter family next sunday when he comes. we bought a car yesterday, an '89 acura integra with four doors, some body damage, a good engine and transmission, and no exhaust system whatsoever. this seems a common thing up here, i asked someone about smog tests and they started laughing, so i guess that isn't a big concern. it's in good condition mechanically, actually has a little pep, and once i found my earplugs the roaring sound that eminates from under the passenger seat is no problem. one problem, however, was that last night dave locked the keys in the car , which i christened betsy, in front of the yukon bar. the other set of keys was in mike's backpack, which was full of bear and waiting expectantly for us on the passenger seat. we hitched a ride back out to the property we tent on and went to sleep, miffed that we couldn't cruise home in style through the minefield of water-filled potholes that the dirt road to our compound has become. this morning mike and dave borrowed the boss's truck to drive to anchorage and get new glasses for mike, who broke them two nights ago at the bar somehow, and i was left to find a way into our machine. i called up dutch, the resident car breaker into'er, and he came and got that mofo unlocked in about 30 seconds. this cost me 30 bucks, an amount i will try and pass on to dave, who locked the damn keys in in the first place.
aaron gets here today, i'm gonna go try and find him, not sure where he's gonna be living, maybe out with us, maybe closer in to his work, which is 6 miles away from our tenting site. last night we went to the 3 bears grocery/liquor depot, where they had expired cases of full sail beers for $12.50. that means 50 cents a beer for really good beer, we bought only 4 cases, 96 beers, but i was instructed to go back for more if i got the car operational, which i'll probably go do now. anyways, keep in touch, i'm off to enjoy my send day off in almost 3 weeks of work.

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June 07, 2002

mike has officially been in

mike has officially been in alaska for one year today, so we're taking him out drinking tonight. i can't imagine spending a winter here, seems pretty boring and cold and boring. we found 2 cars today, a beat up toyota tercel and a beat up acura. our price range is cheap, our expectation is that the machine makes it through the summer, at the end of which we'll either sell it or shoot it up with mike's gun and give it to ed's junk yard. the guy next to me is on some sort of romance chat, it's hard as hell not to read what he's saying to some probbbly random stranger. saw the film chuck and buck last night, good but really damn weird, a film my friends would like but not so much my folks. it's sunny and beautiful and it makes me glad i'm up here, i realized i never want to live where it rains all the time again. even though i probably will. my pool game is getting better each day, since we play every day cause there ain't much to do, and all my opponents in reno better watch out when i get back, except for bob who will still whoop me and show no emotions while doing so. anyways, have fun.

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June 06, 2002

last night dave and i

last night dave and i tried to hitch out of town cause we were supposed to have today off. the only people that picked us up were megan on the way out, she works at the bakery and only took us to mile 12. the we sat around for a while and decided to hitch back into town, and this guy who sings for a local cover band picked us up. all of a sudden he started screaming the lyrics to some song by tool called prison sex, but he got us home all right, even though we didn't have a pipe that he could use. we went to the bar and played pool for a while, actually beating the supposed pool shark of seward and his son. the we went to this bar and met this vagabond writer/kayaker who works for outward bound. he was super good to talk to and had a bunch of modest mouse bootleg concert cd's. we got a bit drunk with him, then road our bikes home and woke up mike. sorry this isn't very colorful it really was a supergood night, i was supposed to have today off but somebody flaked out, which is a common theme at the bakery, and they called me in. after work i'm gonna go look for these boulders that are climbable, hope my hands don't shred completely. anyways, 14 days up here spent working of the 16 i''ve been up, but being out on the highway with my thumb out made me feel better.

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June 04, 2002

i have concluded that this

i have concluded that this town is boring. ran into good old freddy right before he left for homer last night, we got a picture with him, i'll post it when we get it developed and scanned. damn this made me bust out laughing, maybe it's the lack of stimulation up here. it'll all be better when i get out backpacking in the woods.

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June 03, 2002

disaster strikes: so we were

disaster strikes: so we were on our way to go buy that car, and we decided to call first to make sure the hippy owners were there. i didn't get to talk on the fone, mike did, and evidently they told him that they'd already sold it. this was after they'd assured me that they would wait till i got a hold of them either way. this seemed super shitty to me, but it fit nicely with pretty much all the experience i have had with hippies up till now. hippies suck so much that sometimes i can't believe it.
we were totally bummed, we had all these plans of driving around and seeing more stuff then we can get to on bikes, which is precious little. i'm over it now though, found some vegan hiking boots on the internet for a good price, gonna order them and plan some backpacking trips. i miss climbing a ton, my callouses are disappearing from my hands, and they were well earned too. today is my first day off in 12 days, slept in, been reading vonnegut, that's been enjoyable. last night i was exhausted from work and passed out on return to my tent, at 9:00. it's a shame too cause i was supposed to return to town and see hobo jim, the only good musical act in this two-bit town. anyways, the future is lookin up, probably gonna stop working the 18th of july and have from until then to the 9th of august to see a bunch of alaska.

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June 01, 2002

3 good things for the

3 good things for the day:
1. we're gonna tryand buy this subaru '83 wagon today for less then 300 bucks, tried it out yesterday and it will rule for the summer, we'll drop another 100 into it for new spark plugs and registration and stuff like that, then cruise around to local places that are too far to bike to, including this place where i can supposedly boulder. that rules.
2. found the new seward saloon last night, got there at 10 and they had dance music and a dance floor and a disco ball and tons of alaskan gangsters, which i thought were a seldom seen phenomenon, but are apparently in full force here in seward. going back tonight to get our dance on.
3. 11 bucks in tip money means tons of games of pool or else a few beers. hella.

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