Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A Post!

You can finally read about something other than Kudzu!

Check out posts at the new blog:

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Do penguins eat kudzu?

So, on the last day of school, one of my students was telling me about a song called "There's No Penguins in Alaska." The song isn't actually about Alaska, but it does bring up a good point.

The point, of course, being that there are no penguins in Alaska. The Alaska zoo doesn't even have penguins, which is particularly interesting because the even the GEORGIA aquarium has about a dozen penguins, and I think it's pretty interesting that Georgia has more penguins than Alaska.

So why no penguins? I mean, I understand that penguins don't live in Alaska, but I just don't understand why they can't put a few in the zoo. It's a very nice zoo, with lots of cool animals and some polar bears that you can see fantastically close up. As far as I see it, there's only one reason no one would put penguins in the Alaska zoo:


That's right, I said kudzu. You might be asking "what on earth do penguins have in common with kudzu?" I will tell you.

(This section for non-southerners)
Kudzu is this crazy vine that covers everything in its path. It stops erosion, but can kill trees by blocking out sunlight and can cover entire homes if it isn't kept at bay. Someone once told me that it's high in vitamins and horses like to eat it. See below.

According to the great wikipedia, the history of kudzu in the United States goes like this:

"Kudzu was introduced from Japan into the United States in 1876. From 1935 to the early 1950s, the Soil Conservation Service encouraged farmers in the southeastern United States to plant kudzu to reduce soil erosion . [and they did] It was subsequently discovered that the southeastern US has near-perfect conditions for kudzu to grow out of control. 

Kudzu is now common throughout most of the southeastern United States, Kudzu has naturalized into about 7,700–12,000 sq mi of land in the United States and costs around $500 million annually in lost cropland and control costs."

So why not bring some cute little penguins into the Alaska zoo? Fear of infestation. Cutest infestation ever (sorry Mitch, but penguins win over koalas), but devastating nonetheless. What if Alaska has the perfect climate for penguins and a couple of them get loose from the zoo one day? It could mean the end of life as we know it.

So that (in my admittedly ridiculous reasoning) is why there are no penguins in Alaska... even in the zoo.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

She made it!

Here's the "after" picture taken upon Soph's arrival in Anchorage.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Baby's first plane trip

Soph is on her way to Alaska today. Her flight leaves Savannah at 8:30am and arrives in Anchorage at 8pm. With the time difference it is almost 16 hours of travel. I'll miss my sweet girl for the next few weeks.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Why Canada is lame

So... Here is a map of Canadian mobile phone coverage. It never really occurred to me until recently that Canada is actually a different country. I mean, I know I need a passport to go there, but I wasn't thinking too much about Canada as an international destination. In my research on mobile phone usage, I discovered that not only will I be paying something like 70 cents a minute in roaming charges, but I might not have service at all. Of course this information got me to thinking-what are some of the other international things about Canada? Why do I never remember that they aren't just USA's hat?

International                                              Not International

You need a passport to go there                No illegal border crossings
They have different money                       No illegal drug trade
                                                              They speak English
                                                              I can drive there without
                                                                  an ocean in the way

Another thing I didn't realize until I started planning this trip? I know almost nothing of Canadian geography. I could probably correctly identify more Western European cities on a map that Canadian cities. Of course, Europe is where history comes from, and I can't think of too many important things that happened in Canada other than... I'm thinking... Ok, I can't think of anything important that happened in Canada. How many Canadian provinces could you name before checking out a map? I think there are 13 of them. (Way to go with the lucky numbers Canadia)

Sunday, May 9, 2010


This morning I dropped John off at the airport for his last Savannah to Anchorage flight. (or at least the last one in the foreseeable future) The next time I see him, it will be in Alaska! With only one more week left of school, and "The Drive" getting closer and closer, I am getting excited. (OK, nervous too, but mostly excited) In my excitement, I was going through some of my old Alaska pictures and thought I'd share them with you. (These pics are from July 2009)

John's apartment is on the edge of Lake Hood, which is the world's busiest seaplane base (according to wikipedia). During the winter, some of the seaplanes hibernate, but other change out their floats for skis and continue to land on the frozen lake.

Someone asked me if it snowed year-round in Anchorage, and the answer is no. During the summer everything is very pretty and green. John certainly seems excited about the beautiful greenery.

I guess the snow on top of the mountains doesn't completely thaw in the summer.

I couldn't pass up the opportunity to post this picture.  The water was so beautifully clean and clear, it reminded me of something you'd see in Disney world. Of all the beautiful things I've seen in Alaska, I think the water is my favorite.

The gravel road in this picture goes through Hatcher's Pass. When I was up there before, we didn't have a chance to drive through the pass, so now it's one of the things on my growing "to do" list. It seems like Anchorage is surrounded by interesting places to see and things to do, and that's before you really start to explore. I can hardly wait for the next adventure!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Breaking in the new car

Little Ella Minnow (yup, that's the car's name) finally got to haul some cargo this week. We were short a truck for one of the recruitment concerts and ended up putting music stands in the element.  Turns out you can get a full rack of stands in one go.