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Make Do with Cellphones - How Far Can You Go?

Monday, February 22, 2010

Hello everyone,

Hope this finds you well and as excited for Spring as I am. ( Yes, I know we have a ways to go, but I am still really looking forward to it)

So, I just got home from Anchorage and I have to tell you another story involving cell phones.

I have in the past, harassed my sales and marketing director about the cell phone that she used to cherish. She refused to part with it, no matter how poorly it operated. Purely sentimental I believe. Now, my son was the other one in my life that had a cell phone that is always on its last legs, buttons fall out, it turns itself off at random times.

Anyways, he told me about two weeks ago that he was going to have to give it up and use the new phone he has had for quite a while. He was really not happy that he was going to have to use the new one. It seems the cover of the screen on top of the phone had fallen out and it really couldn’t be used. I had no idea that they were going to come up with a solution. I guess with custom cut plexi-glass and gorilla glue, you can fix an ancient cell phone.

I am enclosing a picture for all to see. He seems to be very happy that he has greatly extended the life of the cell phone. I wonder what he will do about the other challenges that the poor phone has.

Till the next time,

Why Fairbanks is Better

Friday, January 22, 2010

Greetings from sunny, WARM, Anchorage.

I flew in yesterday and I have to tell you, our pilot was great. Before we took off he came on and told us the good news that is was snowing in Anchorage and about 45 degrees warmer than Fairbanks. All the people onboard actually clapped. He also even talked to the non Alaskan residents about Mt. McKinley. ( we couldn't actually see it, but he was quite informative)

What he didn't know was that once again, the Glenn Hwy was a disaster. During the day it had snowed and there were 70 accidents and vehicles in distress. It took 2.5 hours to drive the 40 miles from Anchorage to Palmer.It was pretty scary seeing all of the vehicles upside down and on their sides while driving by. Luckily, everyone was alive.

The AST were saying that people forget about the grooves in the highway and were sliding all over the place. I can attest that those grooves can be quite tricky. This morning, I was all prepared for another 2.5 hour commute, but everyone was on their best driving behavior and there were no new vehicles in the ditches along the Glenn. I guess it helped that it was not snowing either.

I have lived in Alaska a long time and it has been really cold in Fairbanks for the last week, week and a half and today, I cannot belive how much warmer it is here. I keep running outside just to soak it up. Of course, 21 degrees might not sound too warm for some folks, but it a really nice treat for me.

Well, I need to get back to work now.

Until we meet again,

Goodby Nokia hello Iphone at Pike's Waterfront Lodge

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Hello every one and Happy Belated New Year.

I hope everyone had a great holiday. Not much going on around here at the moment. Experiencing a little bit of “SAD” I think. I am turning on my “Happy “ light every morning, but it only seems to make me want to sleep. Looking forward to a bit of sunshine and warmth. Yes, I know, I have a ways to go until then.

I do have a bit of amazing news to report. Our Sales and Marketing manager FINALLY broke down and gave up her dinosaur of a cell phone. The poor thing had only ½ of the buttons that worked and the other half had minds of their own.

She had a hard time retrieving her messages. Basically, the phone has become possessed in its later years in life. The funny thing is my son has a cell phone in the same shape as hers and just like her, refuses to give it up. His turns itself on whenever it feels like it and he has one button that falls off all the time and he has to put it back in. Maybe he will one day soon, start using the new one he has.
Anyways, she has purchased an I-Phone. I have one and love it although I am sure I don’t use it to its full potential but I will need a few more lessons from my children first. The few times Deb and I have talked about the I-phone, she has always said it looks like you are putting a piece of toast up to your ear. I told her at least it is not like putting ‘ buttered’ toast up to your ear.

So, that is my news for the day, I will let you all know how she gets on with the new phone. ( I am pretty sure she will still carry the old one around just for good times sake.)

Till we meet again,

Cold, Cold, Cold.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

I hope every one had a wonderful Christmas. Mine was very nice. My co-workers also seemed to have had a wonderful one as well.

The hotel got new floors in the elevator bays and the entrance to the elevators. It is beautiful!!
All of our rooms have now been repainted and recarpeted in the main building.

Getting that finished was a nice Christmas present.
So, the weather outside is frightful. It looks like it is - 38. It is supposed to last all week and by Saturday it may drop down to -50.

If you are traveling in to stay with us, please make sure you have your winter survival gear in your vehicle and a working cell phone.

We promise to keep the coffee hot for you and the chocolate chip cookies are baked.

I had a friend who moved back to Alaska from Mississippi and he told me that he would rather live in a cold envirement and deal with warm people than to live in a warm envirement and deal with cold people. That pretty much sums it up. We are pretty warm and it is pretty darn cold outside.

Hope everyone stays warm.

Why I love Pike's Waterfront Lodge in Fairbanks (Hint: Snow)

Friday, December 18, 2009

I hope this finds you all well.

I am happy to be reporting from the sales and marketing office for Pikes in Anchorage. I am really happy to have finally made it in to town from Palmer. If you haven't heard the Mat-Su Valley, Anchorage and Valdez got completely slammed with snowfall over the last 72 hours. It started snowing Monday night and has now finally stopped.

My son and I spent about two hours on Tuesday plowing (on a 4 wheeler) and shoveling the approximate 8 inches of snow that had fallen Monday night and Tuesday during the day. It was quite the workout. Also, that morning it took 2 hours for me to make the 40 mile drive into Anchorage.

It just kept getting worse and worse and by Wed. morning I was not willing to take the risk of driving into Anchorage while in a winter advisory. They were asking people to try and avoid the Glenn Hwy. if possible. I was not about to risk getting into an accident while I was responsible for taking care of my children and could not very well do that if I were in a car accident. Plus seeing all if the cars along the way in ditches and upside down all along the hwy on the way in was pretty scary.

Yesterday, I was all prepared to be brave and drive in to work, however, Mother Nature had other plans. I got to the end of the very long driveway and got Cameron on the bus and made it back to the garage. Next, I got Collin to the end of the driveway and on the bus. THat was about as far as I got. Yes. I was STUCK. Plus it was pitch black and I could not see a thing. I hiked back to the house, called in and said I was stuck and couldn't dig the car out until it got light.

Once it was finally light enough I hiked back to the car with my bucket of gravel and shovel. I took about 45 minutes but i got the car out and back into the driveway. At that point, I was not about to get on the roads and worry about getting stuck again.

I would not have been able to go anywhere if I needed to or wanted too, because when someone plowed the road, they had buried the entrance to the driveway. So, I was " stuck" once again. They ended up closing the Glenn for a while because an 18 wheeler had jack knifed and had to be cleared. I heard the number of accidents since Mon evening was up to 220.

I decide I am going to shovel the walk and at least clear the steps to the house. I had no idea that 13 inches had accumulated at this point. Man, it took 3.5 hours and it was quite the work out. I was really contemplating seeing if I could figure out how to use the 4 wheeler and the plow. Common sense took over and I had to wait till my son came home. I realized that while trying to shovel a path from the bus stop to the house for the kids, I figured out that was one of the dumbest things I had decided to do. Made a call to my ex who called Tracy who called her hubbby. Bubba who came and saved the day and came out to plow the driveway. I was so happy to see him that I cried. Well, it was the second time that day I cried. He did manage to get a good chuckle as he saw that I had tried to shovel a path in the driveway.
Bubba will be heading back out tomorrow to dig out my ex husbands truck that is buried under all of the that snow.
I also got a quick lesson on how to operate the 4 wheeler but I don't think I will be trying it by myself anytime soon.

So, that leads us to this morning, I am all psyched up for the trip into Anchorage. The driveway looks good, the roads in Palmer look ok however it was still snowing. I got a little sad but figured I would be fine.
Traffic was not too terribly bad but the roads are super slick and there is a lot of blowing snow. I did not let any other driver intimidate me and everyone seemed to be on their best behavior and not speeding like maniacs. All in all, it was still very harrowing and I did have to sit in the car in the parking lot for about 10 minutes while waiting for my legs to stop shaking.

This afternoon, I will be driving home in the daylight so that should be a little better.

So folks, that has been my little adventure that last couple of days and am now hoping for the last 24 hours I will be here to be non weather dramatic.

I would hope that all of you on the roads be safe and courteous and remember the road conditions are a bit treacherous and everyone needs to stay safe and have a Happy Holiday.

Till we meet again,

Way windy in Anchorage

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

My editor is telling me to blog. Not a lot to report on around here but I will tell you about my flight coming home after my last trip to Anchorage since I am heading that way again tomorrow.My ex called me that morning to tell me that they were predicting 80 mile an hour winds in Anchorage. I had done my web check in and didn’t get any cancellation notices or anything so I assured him it would be fine.

Make my way to the airport that afternoon and everything is fine. Get on the plane and start the wait. Apparently another plane had a mechanical so we waited for those people to get on the plane.

The pilot tells us it may be a bit choppy on the way up. Understatement of the year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was VERY choppy. I was really scared. I am afraid I uttered a few curse words and promptly apologized to the man sitting next to me.

Now, while this crazy scary turbulence is going on, I am thinking about the game I had purchased my son for Christmas. It took me three months to find and was in my carry on bag. I started making plans to grab hold of the bag when I had to put my head between my knees for the impact. I was not about to lose that bag. My next thought was maybe I should put a note in and tell them where to deliver it if they found it when they would be collecting all of the debris from the plane. The only problem with that was I could not take my hands off the arm rest long enough to write the note.

When we were coming in to Fairbanks the turbulence was just as bad. The pilot was trying to tell us something but the only words you could actually here was” We will be on the ground in a few minutes.” The man next to me looked at me and said” One way or another”.

Much to all of our surprise, the landing was quite smooth. Now I am feeling like a complete coward. I felt much better when all of the men that were sitting around me started talking about the fact that they too thought we were going down.

I get off the plane and see the owner of the hotel and was shaking so bad all I could do was hand him the cards my children had made and say how scary the flight was and that I have to go now. He probably thinks I am crazy.

I make it into the van and get to the hotel and there is a line of people waiting to check in, so I don’t even bother taking my coat off but hop behind the desk and start checking in lots of people who had been on that same flight. They were still shaken as I was.

Sooooooooooo, I am hoping that there are no winds tomorrow when I head back to Anchorage or when I return the following Saturday.I hope you all have a great day and I will talk to you again soon.


Swim Suits in November

Monday, December 07, 2009

I hope that you had a great Thanksgiving. Last week I went to Anchorage. Weather was good the first day or two I was there.

Right before I went to the airport, a plan to take my children to H2oasis was plotted. Sure, sounds good in theory, however, I realized it may be a bit difficult as I had no bathing suit. Have you ever tried to find a bathing suit in November? Not an easy task.Especially over Thanksgiving.

I had to venture out on Black Friday in a snowstorm. ( not a normal practice, shopping on Black Friday)

I finally managed to find a Speedo suit at Sports Authority. I was a bit hesitant to put it on. ( as if going out in public in a bathing suit is not traumatic enough) I knew that if people saw the Speedo logo, this would imply that I was an athlete and not an aging, out of shape mom trying to make my kids happy by engaging in this water park.

I managed to swallow my pride and hope that I would see no one that I knew while at said water park. ( luckily, I did not)

It was quite an adventure and I would warn those who have never been on that Master Blaster, you must pick up your rear end when taking off as it can be quite painful. ( almost as painful as the terror of going out in public in the bathing suit)

After about 6 times of climbing three flights of stairs, I realized that I was really out of shape. Luckily the Lazy River was great and relaxing and thank goodness for inner tubes.The best part was that the kids had a blast and Mom got some exercise. I will remember to pack my bathing suit on my next trip in case I am called upon to brave the Master Blaster once again.

Until the next time,


Try skiing for a low room rate

Saturday, December 05, 2009

I have a funny story to tell you. We had a special rate for the holiday season for guests wanting to come in and practice for the Besh cup races. It is on the website so people call about it all the time.

I answer my phone and a very nice and funny lady asks me, "If I tell you I am coming to practice for the ski races, will you honor this particular rate?" Knowing this was a guest I could joke with (You learn to tell which ones you can joke with and which ones you should not) I tell her I might just ask to see the skis.

She tells me she will go to Value Village and get some skis. She then tells me that once I see her I will know she has never skied a day in her life.

I am really glad she is coming to stay with us and we all need to have laughter in our lives and to also have the ability to laugh at ourselves.



Why Afterwork Activities Sometimes Hurt More than Work

Monday, October 26, 2009

I went into work and left with just enough time to grab something to eat. I went to a fast food joint that I will never, ever step foot into again. I had to refrain from jumping behind the counter and taking care of all of the customers in line myself. After an extremely long and frustrating wait, I was finally served my stone cold awful food. I figured out after one bite, I needed to skip the meal. I could not get an employee to give me a comment card, so I just jotted down the number to call if I was dissatisfied with my service. (I never did call) Got into my car and headed out for my long drive to my appointment. Along the way, I was headed straight for a gigantic pot hole, the one and only car I passed on the 56.5 mile drive was in the other lane so I hit the pot hole and sure enough, ended up with a flat tire.

Now here I am, already running behind after trying to nourish my body and now I am stuck on the side of the road with no cell phone, no bug dope and no umbrella (Yes, it was now raining at this point). I could not figure out the jack as the picture on it did not match anything that I held in my hand.

I struggled for about 20 minutes and then two men in a truck pulled up and I now was trying to decide if I really needed help. All alone out in the middle of nowhere and the only form of protection I had was the tire iron. I held on to that for dear life but I had absolutely nothing to worry about. The men that had stopped to help were from the Transportation Squadron out at Eielson. They were great and had my tire changed quickly and I was on my way once again.

By the time I had made it to my destination, all I wanted to do was find a pay phone, make a call to the ex-husband and let him know I was going to be a little late picking up the kids.

I stop to tell the powers that be that I had missed my appointment and they could just keep my certificate. They decided I really needed the massage and they would find somebody for me. They suggested that I soak in the springs until then but I was freezing and did not have a swim suit so I passed it up. Hiked to find a phone card so I could use the phone, called and took care of the kids and hiked back to wait for the masseuse.

They finally located one and directed me to a cabin and instructed me to get on the table. It was heated and so comfy I told the masseuse she could just leave me there for 30 minutes and that would be all I needed. No, no such luck. She went to work and immediately I knew I was in trouble, she explained it would take way more that 30 minutes to help me. It was the most painful thing I have ever experienced. It was worse than the time I got run over by the van and it was worse than childbirth with no pain medication. I survived the session but was questioning why I had subjected myself to this pain.

I wobbled around trying to get dressed and then managed to make it home. I could believe how much pain I was in and the next day it was even worse. So, I still try and understand how something that is supposed to make you feel good can hurt so much. Needless to say, I have not gone to get another massage since then. I told my friends that if they ever decided to get me another gift, that chocolate and coffee would always be appreciated.

Cheers for now,

Painful Birthday Gifts

Friday, October 23, 2009

So today we are going to discuss massage. The reason this is the subject today is because Monday was Ursula’s (Pike's Catering Manager) birthday.

She was supposed to have the day off, but her morning person called in. We talked about how we have on rare occasion, cried because we have had to come in. It is usually on the rare occasion that we have made plans. Yes, I know, it comes with the hospitality territory. She left early after breakfast was all taken care of.

The next day when I came to work, I inquired on how the rest of her birthday went. She looked a little funny and was a little pale. She replied she was pretty sore, but good. She told me that her son had purchased a 90 minute deep tissue massage for her for her birthday. She then explained the painful process that she went through to make her feel better. At one point, tears were shed and it also involved a lot of yelling in pain. She walked stiffly around for most of the day but has decided she may go once a month to be tortured.

Now you hear all the time that people are going to get a massage to make them feel better but there is always pain involved. Not quite sure I understand that. I, myself had one and only one, experience with a massage and it was a complete disaster.

It started out as a gift from a friend. I did have to reschedule my massage three times due to work reasons. The 4th time I was supposed to go, I decided come hell or high water, I was going to make it to my massage appointment. Little did I know I would have been much better off missing it. To be continued...