Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Apparently I don't even have to be present to crunch up my pickup. Nor did I have to leave it parked in the middle of some road somewhere.

Here is a picture of my truck innocently parked all straight and proper, exactly where I left it at 9 a.m.:

Here is the front end of my truck when I returned at 6:45 p.m.:

Wait a minute. Rewind. WTF? How the hell does a vehicle parked head-in up against an embankment end up with a crunched front end? That was exactly my thought when I saw the note on my windshield and walked around the truck to see the crushed grill, bent bumper and obliterated front headlight assembly.

An errant boulder? A couple of hockey players in a parking lot brawl? Joyriding considerate thieves who decided to return the vehicle to the exact same parking space? Demonic possession? Climate change?

I called the number on the slip of paper and was greeted by something nearly as absurd.

My truck was attacked by an embankment-jumping Ford Focus that had been parked right about where that bumper from another car is poking out in the left-hand side of the first photo. Seems the person starting the Focus didn't know about that pesky quirk standard transmissions have. You know the one. It dictates that a person would be wise to take the vehicle out of first gear before starting it. One turn of the key and apparently this little Focus popped right over the curb and down the embankment, neatly lodging its tenacious self in my front grill.

Super Focus was gone when I got there this evening, a note from the driver and a crunched truck all that remained from the circus. I still have no idea how they got the damn thing dislodged. I'll have to ask the kid next time I talk to him.

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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Final count

Posted today at the borough's Web site. Questioned and absentee ballots are included in this count.

Tammie Wilson--8263 (47.57 percent)
Luke Hopkins--9107 (52.43 percent)


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Three dozen

It's after midnight and I have entered the last half of my 30s.

I'm always a bit contemplative at anniversaries of any sort. I find value in pondering the past, seeing where I have come from. And I have, but just briefly. The last year was, by most accounts, among the darkest in recent memory. I know where I was this time last year. It warrants just a glance. An acknowledgment, and little else, of how much of the present I missed then.

My teenage son woke me up this morning with "Mom, can I have $5? Oh, and happy birthday." I slipped him the cash, laughed and dozed off. My colleagues brought cake and coffee. My phone and chat window and e-mail chirped with greetings throughout the day, short, but noticed, reminders of the richness of my life.

After work, I joined some friends for dinner at a local restaurant. I looked around the table. My youngest daughter and my friend's daughter were giggling at the far end. My teenage son and daughter sat across from them, looking genuinely happy and amused at their antics. At my right was a man I adore and across the table was a woman who took time she could scarcely afford to spend a few hours with us. My dear friend, and architect of the evening, and her husband rounded out the group. And as they sang and I blushed, I wondered if any of them knew how happy I felt just to have them all there.

I arrived home to a message from my father, wishing me a happy birthday. My children scurried to their bedrooms to gather the gifts they had wrapped two days prior, the ones they bought when my parents drove 220 miles round trip to take them shopping for me. My son rummaged for candles, his voice, childlike with a man's tenor, directing me to sit down at the dining room table. They sang as they marched out carrying presents and cake, their faces bright. A flurry of paper and singing cards and "open this one next, Mom" followed, the little one wiggling with excitement and the teenagers simply themselves; cool doesn't matter.

At times in my life I have expended great amounts of energy chasing some distant happiness. And while goals are important, I hope that I can remember the value of looking, not ahead, but around. So much of what I need, I already have.

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Saturday, November 07, 2009

Munkisms overheard

This is what your kid is REALLY doing instead of paying attention in class.

"I do all sorts of things when I am bored: play with pencils, stare at the zipper on my pants."

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Tuesday, November 03, 2009

The virtual I, resurrected


Looking for results? Visit the Fairbanks North Star Borough online.

Grab a beer, sit down and join us:

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