Monday, July 31, 2017

Costuming College

Me in my ball gown.
I just spent Friday through Sunday attending and teaching classes on all aspects of costuming.  The classes included both lectures such as a survey of space suits, fabrics that can be used for the 40's, making Arduino driven blinky clothing.

Other classes included hands on such as making leather gloves, or fitting a mid 18th century bodice, or creating a wearable duct tape outfit. 

There are dances, teas, and just so many activities, you never have the opportunity to get bored.  The picture is of me in the outfit I wore to the ball.  I was asked if I designed it with a nod to Wonder Woman.   No, I just liked the material.

The ball comes with a wonderful sit down fancy dinner and dancing.  One tradition at the dance is doing the Time Warp from the Rocky Horror Picture Show.  Imagine people decked out in outfits from the the time of Christ (we had a Roman Officer with Cleopatra) to the Future with an alien in a wonderful white outfit and huge lit implement!

This year I lectured on the history of Airline Stewardess uniforms from 1930 to 1980's with an emphasis on the 1960's.  The 1960's were wild with crazy outfits such as those done by Pucci for Braniff.  Then there were outfits conveying the era of dance hall and saloon girls.  Of course Air West, PSA and TWA all had micro mini's which showed lots of legs. My personal was the uniforms made of paper.  The idea was you wear them once and then throw them out.

I also taught several people how to create wearable fashion from duct tape.  It went well and the outfits came out fantastic.  I had fun.

I've included some pictures from the social held Friday night just before the first dance.  I hope you like them.

Let me know what you think.  Most all of these pictures are not posed and just taken at random.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Busy weekend.

i am attending a conference on costuming. I have learned so much but the internet signal is not always the best and I am so bust that I have not had much chance to post. I hope to post a few pictures on Monday and possibly Tuesday.

Friday, July 28, 2017

A Quick View of Fairbanks.

 Welcome to Fairbanks, Alaska.  I captured some photos from the truck as I drove from a mini-storage to my house.  I grabbed a few shots so you can see the part of town, closest to where I live.

This building is of a really nice restaurant called Wolfs Run.  Its off on a side street near the intersection of the Johannson parkway, University, and Geist. 

I've eaten there before with family members.  I had a lovely middle eastern dish and enjoyed it.
This is a shot of the actual intersection. The restaurant is to my left.  To get there, I'd have to turn left, then left again less than a half a block down.  It is easier to come from Airport because its then a right turn.

Across the street on the left is the local Wells Fargo bank.  Ahead on the right are two schools, one is vocational while the other is the high school for the west side of town.

If you turn right at the traffic light, you'll head to college road which is the road that goes in front of the Farmers Market.  At this light I go straight.
 About half a block down on the left is a McDonalds.  I think it might be the only one left but I'm not sure because I don't usually eat there.

Its next to the West Valley Plaza with a branch of my bank, a great coffee shop, and a Japanese Steak House.  The Japanese Steak House is where the Pizza Hut used to be.

On the right side of the street, you are still passing the two schools and getting close to the old entrance for the university.
 This is a shot of the University of Alaska in Fairbanks.  The building to the left most is the Geophysical building which conducts tours in the summer.

The long white building is Butrovich which houses the super computers and administration offices.  I got a chance to check out the computers and they are awesome. 

The shot is taken from Geist as I'm heading for the exit to the Parks Highway which goes down to Anchorage. 

This is still part of the university but its around the corner on the ramp between Geist and the Parks Highway.

This part of the university is the agricultural side where they raise plants, reindeer, and have the botanical garden.  You see parts of the botanical garden in the distance.

For all the time I've lived here, I have yet to see the botanical garden but its considered a beautiful place to go.
When I first moved to Fairbanks, years ago, this was a working gas station.  It went out of business shortly there after and they had to dig up the tanks.

It's been used as a garage on and off since then.  It was an operating garage a couple years ago but has since gone out of business.  I think at one point someone had it set up so people could go there and do their own automotive work.

I thought it was open earlier this summer but I think I made a mistake.
 This is a half way house for people who have drug issues.  Its between the Water Wagon place, the distillery, and another gas station.

Much of Fairbanks is dry which means houses do not have running water but do have holding tanks, so Water Wagon delivers water to such places. 

The distillery took over the old Art Annex place near the window manufacturing place. They make triple pane windows.

This gas station used to be the last one before Nenana which is about 50 miles away but someone built a station on the corner of my turn. They offer 10 cents off a gallon on Friday's but I've heard that is only if you pay cash. 

Right across the highway is the Blue Loon Saloon. The establishment sponsors concerts and movies that are so well attended, they run out of parking and traffic is a pain.
 I have just turned off the highway, heading for my house.  You see the local volunteer fire department but they do pay one person to live in the facility and care for it.

Every June, they sponsor a community garage sale so people can get rid of items they do not need.  In exchange for providing space (they remove all the trucks from the bays) people give them 10% of the money they make.

Its a fundraiser for the fire department.
 This is the community park which is also run by volunteers.  They have swings, a basketball/ice rink/bike place, bathrooms, and a place for concerts in the back. 

The community park is between the fire department and my house.  There used to be this great line of trees between my house and the park but they took them out to provide more parking for when they sponsor concerts.
This is the view of the road just before I turn into my yard.  If you continue down the road another 1/2 mile or so, you'll find the turnoff for the Post Office, bar, jewelry designer, more houses for the town.

The area was founded when gold was discovered.  My house is built on the rocks left over from all the mining so I do not have much if any dirt.

Hope you enjoyed the tour.  As you read this, I'm attending and presenting at a conference in Los Angeles.  I hope to have some pictures to post of that event, early next week.  I get back for less than 24 hours and by Tuesday of next week, I'm on my way to Europe for a short visit, just under 2 weeks.  I'll be visiting Iceland, Finland, and I'm looking at taking a short trip across the water to visit Estonia.

Let me know what you think.  have a great day.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Latest Recipe from the Farmers Market.

Bowl with salad.
When I went to the Farmers Market yesterday, one of the cooks from the Lemongrass Restaurant was out demonstrating a dish using many of the fresh produce available from the market.
Te recipe is as follows:
2 cups of shredded zucchini
1/2 cup of shredded carrots
1/2 cup of tomato wedges
1/2 cup green beans cut into inch long pieces
1/2 cup shredded radish roots
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 1/2 tbsp palm sugar
1 1/2 tbsp lime juice
5 fresh garlic cloves
Fresh chili to taste but dried could be used.

Crush chili and garlic.  Add sugar and vegetables to chili and garlic.  Mix together.  Add remaining seasonings and sauces.  Serve with fresh vegetables, cabbage, and green beans.

The salad tasted great and is easy to fix.  Personally, I would make the veggies finer than they did for the demonstration.  They used a little chili pepper in mine because I wanted a little spicy.  I would definitely make this at home. 

Some of the ingrediants

Preparation area

Shredded Zucchini.

 Tomorrow, pictures of Fairbanks, Alaska taken from my moving car.  Let me know what you think.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The 10 Rarest Dog Breeds in The World.

Dog, Model, French Bulldog, View  The other day, I decided to look at the most expensive dog breeds in the world and found several different lists, each with a different set of criteria.

One list based its choices on the cost of the breed over its life time.  Certain breeds have health issues which can run up the vet bills or they are predisposed to things like hip problems.

Another list based its choices on the cost of buying a puppy because the breed is rarer.  So I decided to look for the 10 rarest dog breeds in the world out of curiosity.  Yes, I've owned one dog that was registered, a black lab, but most of the time I have owned those mixed breeds you find at the kennel.  The ones filled with personality and make you laugh.

1. Fila Brasileiro or Brazilian Mastiff which acted as a guard and hunting dog in Brazil. It has an aggressive nature with good tracking abilities.  They so not like strangers and are extremely protective of their owners.

2. The New Guinea Singing Dog started out wild in New Guinea but many tribe members began domesticating them.  Originally, they were used both as hunters and as companions to the children. They received their name because their vocalizing sounds as if they are singing.

3. Stabyhoun comes from the Netherlands where they protected property, caught vermin, acted as a pointer, and hunted. They are most often used as water retrievers because they can stand the cold winters of this country.

4. The Mudi is a Hungarian herding dog bred for both work and show.

5. The Lagotto Romagnolo is an Italian breed from the sub-region Romagna. Although they were originally bred as water retrievers, they are used to hunt for truffles. These are currently considered good family dogs.

6. Azawahk is a rare African sighthound. It is a tall, slender dog bred as a runner and hunter.  They have been known to keep up with gazelles running 40 mph. These dogs are independent and quite rugged.

7. The Thai Ridgeback originated in Thailand and sports a ridge of hair along its spine that grows in the opposite direction. Thai Ridgebacks have a reputation as a proficient escape artist.

8. The Czechoslovakian wolf dog came from German shepherds being crossbred with Carpathian Wolves by the Czech military looking for a better military dog. The breed for recognized in 1982 and is the official dog of Slovakia.  They can adapt to living with families.

9. The Norwegian Lundehund is a Spitz developed in Norway to hunt Puffins and their eggs. These dogs have 6 toes on their feet instead of the usual four. In addition, they have flexible joints which make it easier for them to cross the Arctic Tundra where it hunts.

10. The Kooikerhondje are Dutch spaniels who were bred to hunt waterfowls.  This breed faced extinction after World War II but were brought back due to enthusiasts.  In fact, this dog is a good family dog.

Tomorrow, I hope to have some pictures taken from around Fairbanks.  I am taking off to Los Angeles for a weekend visit so I can both attend and teach at a costumers event.  I plan to take and post pictures each day so you can see some of the wonderful costumes people create.

Have a great day.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Golden Days Parade part 2

 This wonderful paddle wheeler float was put together by the pioneers of Alaska.  Every year, they have a float filled with people who belong to this group.

Further back is Everett's airplane float.  Its a small airplane put on wheels to remind people  they haul freight to bush communities and have for many long years.

Alaska is served by a bunch of small airlines.  A few carry cargo only but others carry both passenger and freight.  Very few carry only passengers.
 This is the portable jail which is a fund raiser for the chamber of commerce in Fairbanks.  You can buy tickets to have people put in or you can pay to stay out.  They earn money both ways.

Usually, you see this jail being hauled around town at this time of year since Golden Days is a week long celebration so the chamber of commerce takes advantage of it.

During the parade, there are saloon girls and lawmen riding in it, on it, or walking around it.  I do not believe it comes out again till next July.
 Several of the local community service groups such as the Blood Bank of Alaska come out to remind people they are here.  In addition to the blood bank, the Mammogram center and one of the pregnancy centers also had floats scattered through the parade.

I try to donate blood when I can.  The last time I tried, I was in phoenix and I could not because the temperature got to hot for the mobile unit to handle it.  They had to close down.
 Even local businesses have floats. This one advertises some sort of amusement place with rides and other entertainments.  I saw this head off and it was cool because several young ladies encased in bags of cotton candy walked the route passing out candy.

I believe this dragon  ride is one of the rides offered at the place.  This is a good reminder of a home grown place because the fair starts in another week or so and there will be tons of rides there to compete.

I don't know who this car represents but it reminded me of Back to the Future movie.  In the back window, I saw the sticker "Back to Alaska".

Sometimes individuals enter just because they want to and of course local politicians enter, especially if it is an election year.  I saw one politician but he's getting a huge head start for next year.

This year, they changed the regulations just a bit for minors.  Anyone under the age of 18 had to have a form signed by only one parent instead of two.

This is the float, I played on.  I play with the Fairbanks Community Band during the summer when I'm in town.  Its an all volunteer group and you do not have to be fantastic to join.  You just have to love music and enjoy yourself.

The band had about 40 musicians spread around the flatbed with the drums in the center, facing the director.

As we approached the beginning hour of 10 am, we began to tune up and practice one last tune.  When we finished, two other groups began to warm up.
 To the left there was Shag, a musical singing group, belting out "I will Survive" while the bagpipe group on the right played "Rising on the Moon". 

It was interesting listening to the two numbers competing with each other.  The guy who sits next to me leaned over and said "I will survive the rising of the moon."

In this picture you can see what I saw as I stood in front of my seat to take a picture.  Our float was #24 in the line up so we'd get done sooner.

To the front, one sees the trumpets, saxophones, the director, drums, then off to the flutes, clarinets, and other light woodwinds.  I play with the french horns.

This picture was taken looking back at the trombones, tubas, and other brass instruments.  Usually the low brass including french horns are on the other end so we normally face forward but this time we faced the rear.

It was a strange feeling watching everything move the wrong direction.  The weather was great, with little wind so no one froze.  It wasn't too hot either.  It was just right.

I realize that was a take off on Goldilocks and the Three Bears. 

I hope you enjoyed the few pictures.  Tomorrow I am on to something else.  I'm hitting the road again, heading to Woodland Hills for a few days so I hope to take pictures down there and share some of the cool events with everyone. 

Let me know what you think.  Have a great day.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Golden Days Parade 2017 part 1.

 All of these pictures were taken around 9:00 am in the staging area behind Carlson Center.  The city is good at organizing it including setting up about 20 port a potties for people to use as needed.

They arranged for a shuttle to run from one of the local middle schools to the starting point and then from the ending point back to the school.  This way it relieves parking issues at the start.

I took advantage of the offer because it can be such a mess, especially since they will not take us back to the starting point.
 The army provided one of its armed tanks at the beginning of the parade.  Sorry about the finger print but I was shooting into the sun and couldn't see anything.  A lady I know told me her husband had to drive a army truck in a parade once and he found it more nerve wracking than being in Iraq because of the people sitting so close to the road and the children who like to run out.

In the outer staging area I found some wonderful old cars.  I have no idea about when they were made or when they came to Alaska but they were driven here.
 I love this "cute" little car.  It does run along with all these other cars because they had to be driven in.  This vehicle was driven by an older lady in her turn or the century garb.

Golden days refers to the finding of gold by Felix Pedro back in the early 1900's.  Within two years of gold being discovered, Fairbanks was a complete city with power plant, stores, movie theaters, etc.

There was a fire around 1906 but citizens rebuilt the city shortly after and business was as usual by then.
The Golden Days Parade brings out all sorts of groups from the Fairbanks Tennis Association to the Blood Bank to the Churches who all want to be represented and make an appearance.

This is a huge deal.  This year they had to shorten the route because of construction on Nobel street so it finished a few blocks closer to the starting.  

The photo to the right was taken in the other area so you can see the huge assembly area.
 These two vehicles are from HooDoo Brewery which makes a local artisan beer.  They are well known around here.  Several food trucks park by the brewery to sell their food.

For the parade, the workers decked out in traditional German folk costumes.  The music systems blasted out German drinking songs.  I believe the trucks are actually of German manufacture. 
The University of Fairbanks entered their missile float representing their launching facility at Poker Flats.  Poker Flats offers tours in the summer because they cannot launch at this time of the year.

This one is similar to the one posted out front of the facility at the main road so you can see where to turn but its much smaller.  This float was further back in the line up.

Since I was in the parade, it was the only chance I had to check out other entries.  
 This "moose" is famous in the area as being part of the Knotty Shop out in Salcha. Most years it sports some sort of public service message. 

This year, it has a life vest and is promoting water safety.  The school where I work takes kids out by boat to camp for a few days.  Everyone must wear a life vest or they cannot go.

One year, the moose was covered in silver to advertise something.
 The last photo of today is taken of the police officer.  You can see his motorcycle to the right hand side.  In the back you see one of several fire engines.

There are even police stationed along the parade route with candy to share.  Little ones love collecting candy and the police are not the only ones who pass out candy.

Tomorrow, I'll share a few more photos including some of the Fairbanks Community Band which I played with. 

It was such a beautiful day.  Until tomorrow.  Have a good day and enjoy yourselves.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Beautiful birds.

I love the majesty of Peacocks.  I do not have the words to describe their beauty.

Saturday, July 22, 2017


I am off to play with the community band on their float in the Golden Days Parade.  Pictures on Monday.

Friday, July 21, 2017


Plantains, Bananas, Fruits, Food   It was interesting to find Plantains served in some manner with most traditional meals.  If you ate at the hotel, plantains were not offered much but if you went out of the hotel to say a local cafe, then you would find plantain as part of the meal.

Plantains are similar to bananas but they tend to be more starchy and less soft unless they are fully ripe with the skin having lots of black.

The conference arranged for some snacks one evening at a social event.  They had fried plantains, plantains with meat, and other such delicacies.  I really enjoyed them because they were not super sweet and they had more substance to them than regular bananas.

Since returning, I've purchased a few plantains from my local store (they are between the bananas and organic bananas).  I've gotten a few green ones but I've also picked up a few with yellow skins but not yellow with black patches.

Fortunately, I could check the internet for recipes so I didn't have to struggle to guess at the ways I could prepare it.  I found a lovely recipe for mashed plantains but the author stated it required green plantains.  I finally bought some today but I haven't had a chance to try them.  I noticed that fried plantain chips are made from green plantains.

The two things I have tried with plantains turned out to be really really good.

First, I peeled a couple of plantains,  rubbed them with butter, then baked at 400 degrees for 20 to 30 min till they were golden brown.  I pulled the pan from the oven, slit the plantains open, placed slices of cheese in the slits, then baked them for another 15 min or till the cheese is nicely melted.  This recipe used ripe plantains.

Second, I peeled two ripe plantains, rubbed them with butter, then baked them at 400 degrees for 20 to 30 min till golden brown.  I pulled the pan from the oven, slit the plantains open, then sprinkled brown sugar and cinnamon into the slit before returning it to the over to bake for another 15 min or so.  I let them cool just enough to handle and then devoured them.

At one of the cafe's I had this great dish with vegetables cooked in a garlic sauce served over mashed plantains.  That is on my menu for tomorrow night.  I can hardly wait to enjoy it.

Let me know how you fix your plantains as I am always open to new recipes.  I hope everyone has a good weekend.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Star Trek Is Now.

Star, Trek, Enterprise, Original  Star Trek premiered in 1966.  It made history with its first interracial kiss but it came up with technology that exists now but did not when it premiered.

I went to a talk in Puerto Rico where several people talked about what things have come true since then.

1.  The hand held communicator used by Kirk and the others.  They would flip it open and talk to others or to the ship.  It is recognized as the flip cell phones used by many people before the smart phones became prevalent.

2. The ear piece used by Ohura, the communications officer.  She wore it in her ear all the time and could communicate with others.  You see it all the time now as people wear blue tooth earphones so they can talk to others.

3.  Remember the portable computer systems used by people on the show.  They used little tablets to help carry out their duties.  Today, you see everyone with them.  I own two.  They are called iPads or other tablets.  Most people own at least one.

4.  The flat screened computer monitor used by the captain to chat with others face to face is alive in today's world.  We know it as Skype or face time.  Ways we can talk to anyone across the world while enjoying seeing them. Did you know there is something called Mystery Skype where students talk to a person using Skype and only using yes or no questions, they try to figure out where the person is they are chatting with.

5.  Do you remember watching one of the people using the computer navigation system to get to various places?  Now most people use a GPS to find there way.  I do not use them and hate them with a purple passion because they do not always know the one way turns. 

6.  Although Phasors could either kill or stun a person, the away team more often used them to stun the opposition.  Well now, police use tasers to stun people who are resisting.  I do know a few who keep one handy to protect themselves.

7.  Remember the tri-corder used by the Doctor to determine people's illness? Doctors are using similar devices to help them diagnose people's illnesses.  The last time I went to the doctor's office, they ran something over my forehead and it recorded my temperature.  It was fun.

8. At various points, they used universal translators so everyone on the show spoke in English.  It made it possible for everyone to communicate.  There are apps which can translate from one language to another in real time.  Much like the translators do at the United Nations. 

9.  They never had doors with handles aboard the Enterprise.  Instead the doors automatically slid open just like the doors do at hotels and stores. 

10.  I don't know if you remember the Star Trek movie where they park the enterprise in San Francisco at the Golden Gate Park because they had to bring a whale back to the future.  Scotty has to arrange for  transparent aluminum to be discovered so it can be manufactured to hold the whale in water.  The military uses something similar as armor.

11.  The transporter provided a way for people to get from the ship down to the planet without using smaller ships.  A university in the Netherlands managed to move a few particles of mass a distance.  Maybe someday we'll have transporters ourselves.

12. The computer provided voice interface so the computer interacted with all staff members.  Now we find it in Alexia and other voice recognition software used by machines which interact with humans.

Imagine, at least one dozen items dreamed up over the course of the series and the movies which have come into common use by the general population.  I think that is so cool.  I'd love to hear what you think.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Additions To Sea-Tac Airport.

 I have a habit of wandering around airports to explore and let go of my extra energy.  One thing about the Sea-Tac Airport is it has been changing and expanding over the past year. 

Some of these may have been there for a while without being notice by me but others are defiantly new or in the process of being built.

Coach is a name brand bag place.  Its at the corner of the C concourse as you head towards the center.  
 Just around the corner, next to Coach is a Mac make up store.  I recognize the brand because friends of mine use the brand.  In addition, I knew a couple of makeup artists who have talked about this brand too.

When I snapped the picture one of the clerks was doing a makeover on a woman while others looked around.  Its a nice clean store with minimal decoration.
 This is a play ground for little kids below a certain height.  The parents must stay in the room with the kids but this is great because it provides a place for the little ones to get rid of their energy. 

It was filled with both parents and kids.  This was not here, the last time I wondered down this way.  I can also tell you that the pet rest area is still there and has not been moved so people can still walk their dogs.

This is the sign found in front of the play area.  Note the first thing it says.  If the child is taller than the red line at the top, they cannot go in an play. 

Parents are expected to watch them.  This activity was not there the last time I walked down to the A concourse.  I think it may have been under construction when I wandered that way.
 This is another new business in the A concourse.  The African Lounge which has hanging zebra light shades over small tables near the bar.  It reminds me of something you'd find at Disneyland or at a pseudo African bar.

It was fun to check out.  It has a seating area to the left of the bar.  The bar is hidden in the right corner of the establishment.
 This is a nice picture of the lights and tables in the African Lounge with the bar off in the corner next to the television screen to the right.

The yellow lights make the bar a bit dimmer than it might otherwise appear but some people prefer the darker rooms if its a bar.

If you go past the lounge, you'll find the currency exchange place on the way to the S terminal.  I've never been to the S terminal.  I might explore it one day when I have more time.
 The final stop is the Floret restaurant advertising vegetarian fare.  You can get something to eat if you are vegetarian at other restaurants but it is the first one I've seen dedicated to serving only vegetarian food.

It is not open yet but hopefully it will be open when I come through again in August. I can hardly wait to try it.  If I'm lucky, they will offer those wonderful bowls that are now all the rage.

This picture is off the wall blocking off the new restaurant and its at the beginning of the A concourse.  Not to far a walk unless you land in the N terminal.

I hope you enjoyed that quick tour of some of the new things at Sea Tac Airport.  Let me know what you think and tomorrow I'll be looking at those wonderful inventions you saw in Star Trek but are now real.  Have a good day.