South Padre Island Texas

A few weeks ago, I finally escaped the island of Kodiak!  It took four flights over a period of 18 hours to get there, but once I did, I did not regret it!

Here are some of the highlights of my trip!

Upgrade!

IMG_7066

This thing had all the bells and whistles—remote start, heated and cooled seats, sun roof, and navigation!

Did I mention it was a charger?

Location Location Location!

Suntide III

http://www.suntideiii.com

Our lodging for the trip was provided by Sun Tide III!  It was a great place that my family has been going to for years!  It’s right on the beach, and it has all the amenities!

Fireworks!

IMG_7072

There was a least one epic fireworks show while I was on the island!  This is just one of the many pictures from the show, which I watched from the comfort of the condo’s porch!

This!

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http://burgerfi.com

This is a burger from BurgerFi.  I’ve never heard of this chain, but main this burger epic!

Hash brown, sausage, egg, bacon, and maple syrup!

Isla Grand!

IMG_7090

http://m.mainstreethub.com/islagrandbeach

This fun birds did quite a bit of talking at a local resort that has a great Sunday brunch!

I waited in line for like ten minutes to get an omelet cooked by one of their chef’s—I left a big tip!

Whataburger!

http://whataburger.com

http://whataburger.com

This is something you have to do when your on the island, eat at Whataburger!  The service at this place is top notch!

The place is always packed, but you always seem to get a show!  This year, I watched an elderly man stop every person delivering food to ask what the food was despite the fact that it was clearly not his order!

MANicure!

http://venusnailsandspa.com

http://venusnailsandspa.com

I got my first every manicure thanks to the lovely ladies at Venus Nails and Spa!

Cool Bro!

http://www.seaturtleinc.org

http://www.seaturtleinc.org

I visited a sea turtle rescue!  They do awesome work to prevent the extinction of sea turtles!  Here you can see sea turtles in various stages of life as well as hear about the work they are doing to help this species to thrive!

Gelato?

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dolce-Roma-Cafe-Homemade-Italian-Gelato/213572405341355

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dolce-Roma-Cafe-Homemade-Italian-Gelato/213572405341355

One of my favorite things to do on the island is sit back on the beach and enjoy some gelato.  Unfortunately, I was not impressed by the gelato places on the island.  The prices were ghastly, the selection low, customer service was nonexistent, and the gelato was less like gelato and more like ice-cream, which made me wonder if they were not cheating the buyer with subpar ingredients.  I read one quote that said something to the effect of, gas station products at Starbuck’s prices.

I hope you enjoyed this little brief on my trip!

More adventures to come!

Fixer Upper Upper Upper

 

So, I began binge watching Fixer Upper on Netflix this past week.  It’s this cute little show where this couple, that remind me of me, remodel homes, cheaply.  I’ve been getting more into home improvement shows, not because I find home improvement interesting or exciting, but because I enjoy creeping on people’s homes!  Plus, this one is just funny.

However, I’m on a break from the show.  It’s too unsettling for me to watch at this point living on a remote island off the coast of Alaska.  The reason is simple.  People are buying homes in this show in a range of about 50k to 300k, and they are spending anywhere from 10k to 100k to remodel.  The finished product is usually breathtakingly beautiful.  Like so awesome it makes me sick, and to have a house like that here would be next to impossible without a lot of cash!

For example, a few weeks ago, I looked at a home in my area that was listed in the 450k range with less than 3,000 square feet of space.  Nothing had been updated, and the house had been built in the 80’s.  It was in need of 150 to 300k worth of repair.  While looking at the home, I was informed of another home in the 350k range that could not pass inspection because of structural damage.  Regardless, it had already sold once and was pending sale again from a new buyer.  Ugh!  I know right!

It’s apparent to me that one of five things needed to happen as a result of this show and the housing market here on the island:

First, I win the lottery that I don’t play just to purchase a decent home in the area for around 500k to 900k with less than 3,000 square feet.

Second, rent forever, or live in a van down by the river.

Third, throw out eight years of college education, go back to school, and become a master builder, unless that’s a just a Lego movie thing.

Fourth, this a picture:

Kodiak Housing Market

Fifth, move to Texas where Fixer Upper is filmed.

My options don’t look good!

Maybe I can convince Chip and Joanna Gaines to come to Kodiak for a special Alaskan Fixer Upper episode!!!

 

Earthquakes, Pets, and ESP

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I have read somewhere that animals have extrasensory perception.  The article discussed whether or not pets could sense spirits.  It described instances were dogs would bark at empty spaces in a home as if they were barking at an intruder.  Also, the article detailed various reasons why pets, especially dogs, might be able to perceive things that human beings cannot.

This past weekend, I got to experience this “ESP” myself.  I was in a dreamless sleep when I was awoken by Horace, my Westie/Jack Russell Terrier mix.  He began to violently bark at the door to my bedroom.  Horace rarely barks, and this bark was a special kind—heard only on special occasions like when he feels threatened or if he feels we are threatened.

The bark came first then the swaying.  At first I didn’t realize that I was swaying back and forth or that the entire house was swaying like a boat sways on the water.  I was still in a state of partial awareness—part asleep and part flushed with fight or flight hormones.  Then, the bed started to feel as if it was levitating off the floor.  He happened only once before banging down on the ground.

We had just experienced a 7.1 earthquake.  I have talked to several people these past two days asking them if they felt the quake.  Some of them told me they slept right through it because it didn’t shake the ground as much as rock it.  I’m curious if I would have awoken if it were not for my dog’s ESP.

So next time your dog is acting strange or barking into bare spaces, maybe you should take notice and beware!

http://www.cnn.com/2016/01/24/us/alaska-earthquake/

 

Atari Jaguar, Internal Bleeding, and DeLorean DMC-12

What does Atari Jaguar

Atari Jaguar

Internal Bleeding

Vena arteria rottura taglio emorragia sangue

and the DeLorean

800px-Delorean_dmc12_rear

have in common?

LAST WEEK

It’s been a few days since my last post!  Last week was full of adventure of a different kind!  I’ve entitled this post, Atari Jaguar and Internal Bleeding.

As some of you know, I’ve been very sick for the last few weeks.  I had to get an MRI, blood work, and a scope.  My iron level had dropped dangerously low, and I found myself with just enough strength to “zombie” my way through the day.  I slept almost all of my down time, and I had no energy for the gym, which is extremely rare.

The individuals in the medical field assisting me through this ordeal believed that I was bleeding internally—not a massive bleed, but a small, hard-to-find, kind of bleed.  Needless to say, the bleed, if it exists, has not been found, but I have been put on a regiment of iron to elevate my levels, and I feel my strength returning slowly.

Though this past week was rough, but there was a light at the end of the tunnel—not the, “Go into the light Carol Anne, go into the light,” kind of light, but the good news kind of light.

I was able to secure the purchase of an Atari Jaguar.  For my young fans or my nerdy-challenged friends, this is a video game console that hit the market in 94′, and was the system I dreamed of having but could never had.  I only played it once, at a friend’s house.  I only played one game, Alien vs. Predator, and it blew my mind.  When we were playing 16 bit Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo, this system was leap years ahead with its 32 bit graphics and its 64 bit capabilities.

I told myself that I would have this game system some day.  Last week, that dream came true, when I purchased the system off Ebay for $149.00, which was quite a bit cheaper than I had seen it previously.  Ironically, this video game system destroyed Atari in some ways.  It was their last system, and it was a flop, and it is known by many as the worst game console every created.  It was 249.99 back in the early 90’s (too expensive), and it sold less than 250,000 worldwide.  Atari corporation was struggling with law suits and without a gaming system (Jaguar was discontinued after the CD attachment failed in 96′), it merged with a company that made hard drives, and it was eventually sold to Hasbro, ending its video game regime.

In some ways, it is reminiscent of the DeLorean company and it’s DMC-12—better known as the car from Back to the Future.  The DeLorean was super cool in some ways, but it never did well, and the company went out of business.

Though the Jaguar, never did well, it was still way ahead of its time, and I will never forget the joy and excitement it brought to my childhood for just a short time, which left a lasting memory.  Atari Jaguar is my DeLorean…

Here are some of the 50 games made for the Atari Jaguar, enjoy!!!

 

Transformation

Today, is the day I begin my participation in a body building/transformation competition at the Kodiak Athletic Club.

                                                                    Kodiak A. Club

As some of you know, I have struggled with weight and self-image for most of my life. Growing up, I was always the “husky” kid, which was my mom’s loving way of counting the term which bullies used, “fat.” By the time, I hit my mid to late twenties I weighed over three hundred pounds. I was struggling with multiple health issues, and I was just plain unhappy.

Then, in 2011, I decided to make a change and lost a hundred pounds in the next year! I’ve spent the next several years building muscle mass and learning about eating and exercise. Currently, I am one hundred and seventy pounds of lean mass, but unfortunately, due to my endomorphic body shape, I also am up to a whopping thirty percent of body fat!!! I find myself with a problem. I can build muscle very easily, and if I focus on cardio and a low carb diet, I can lose weight very easily, but I cannot do both. So either I look “swole” or I look famished. Because of this problem, I have decided to begin working with a coach, Lindsay Knight —multiple-time Mr. Alaska as well as in the bodybuilding hall of fame. Together, with his help, I hope to win this bodybuilding/transformation contest! More to come!

(Lindsay owns the Kodiak Athletic Club and still participates in body building)
Lindsay Knight

SeaQuest DSV, Time Travel, and Video Games

SeaQuest

I watched an episode of SeaQuest DSV, http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0696935/, this morning while a storm raged across the Alaskan island in which I reside. It was a look an eerie look into a future devoid of human contact that as an educator I see occurring in our youth. The episode was entitled, Playtime, and it originally aired in 1994 when my mischievous behind would have been graciously filling the tiny uncomfortable metal chairs at Meissner Junior High School in a small rural community in Illinois consisting of about eighteen hundred individuals.

In the show the mighty SeaQuest DSV (Deep Submergence Vehicle) was sucked through a time vortex into the future. While in the future, the crew of the SeaQuest encountered a society devoid of human contact in which a super computer, possible a quantum computer, ran the world. There were only two humans left on the entire planet, and they were addicted to virtual reality gaming systems that were used to simulate war and kill the entire population of human beings. In the end, it was the crew, who existed in a time before the creation of the computer, who were able to shut the computer down giving human life a chance for a future.

94’ was also the year where a leap occurred in pleasure gaming—16bit gaming consoles like Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis became obsolete to the three dimensional 32bit systems like Playstation and Sega Saturn. The disc overcame the cartridge. Virtual reality of VR was becoming extremely popular with VR game studios and movies like Lawnmower Man, and I remember trips to Union Station in Saint Louis to the VR studio to play games flying combat games with my father. But technology in that area was still primitive in many ways, and the future of smart phones and tablets was still distant.

Now, technology that allows for instant communication with out physical interaction is our society’s norm. And, it does have an effect on our youth as they have a harder time relating to other individuals and the world without the use of digital devices. When I was young, the only person to have cellular telephones was Zach from Saved by the Bell. Today, everybody I know from my grandmother to my little nieces and nephews have access to this technology. It’s ever reaching and all encompassing. Is the subject matter of this 90’s television show just coincidence, or does it give us a look at the possibilities of an actual future that awaits us if we continue down this path that takes us away from human interaction?

MRI’s

This will be the second MRI in my lifetime, and I always am apprehensive! Nothing says fun like being stuffed into a tiny tube that screams at you in mechanical bleeps and bangs. But, every time I lay in one, I cannot help but be in awe at the technology. I often imagine myself aboard the Weyland-Yutani space ship Nostromo getting ready for cyrosleep unaware of the fate that will befall me! Needless to say, waiting a week for results is about as painful as having a fictitious alien burst from your chest over a deluxe space food dinner!