You can’t ship laptop batteries to Alaska

This sucks. You can’t bring a battery through security (as carry-on luggage) unless it’s powering a device. So that eliminates replacement batteries for a device you aren’t carrying with you. And you can’t take a lithium battery as checked luggage in passenger aircraft. Period.

Nor does there appear to be any way (for a consumer)  to ship stuff here on a genuine cargo plane.

Well. That throws a monkey wrench in my plans.


Arctic Climate Change and Extinction

I can barely understand the abstract:

The Arctic Ocean is undergoing rapid climatic changes including higher ocean temperatures, reduced sea ice, glacier and Greenland Ice Sheet melting, greater marine productivity, and altered carbon cycling. Until recently, the relationship between climate and Arctic biological systems was poorly known, but this has changed substantially as advances in paleoclimatology, micropaleontology, vertebrate paleontology, and molecular genetics show that Arctic ecosystem history reflects global and regional climatic changes over all timescales and climate states…. Climate-driven biological impacts included large changes in species diversity, primary productivity, species’ geographic range shifts into and out of the Arctic, community restructuring, and possible hybridization, but evidence is not sufficient to determine whether or when major episodes of extinction occurred.

Nightmare Climber

We went to the AK Zoo for Father’s Day. Can you guess what this charming fellow is?

Porcupine Climbing

That’s right. It’s a climbing porcupine. Did you know they could climb? And with those teeth, do you think there’s anything in your house they can’t go through? Sleep soundly!

I posted about a dozen of my favorite pictures over on my Flickr page. Don’t miss Yoga Bear. (That’s yogA, not yogI.)

Newsboys at Fusion 2013

We saw the Newsboys last night. They were performing at the “Fusion 2013” event at the Anchorage Baptist Temple (the only church I’ve ever seen with a disco ball). Here’s a shot from the show.

Newsboys 2013

Judging from the number of people holding up phones (and iPads!) to record whole songs, you should be able to piece together the entire concert experience if you surf YouTube for a while.

Most of the songs last night were from the God’s Not Dead tour. I didn’t keep a set list, but I remember “The King is Coming,” “Your Love Never Fails” and (duh) “God’s Not Dead.” If they played “Forever Reign” or “I Am Second” I don’t remember them.

They also played a few songs from their forthcoming album Restart. They were fine songs but I don’t know them yet, much less remember their names, except for “Live With Abandon,” which is not infrequently on the radio.

I was surprised that they didn’t do much from their Born Again album. I think(?) they played “Born Again” and “Miracles,” but not much else. I was hoping for “Way Beyond Myself” and/or “Impossible,” and wouldn’t have complained if they’d played “One Shot.”

But I couldn’t be disappointed because they also threw in two of my very favorite pre-Michael Tait Newsboys songs: “Something Beautiful” from Go and “He Reigns” from Adoration. (The latter a worship song so wonderful it was included in the recent United Methodist Worship and Song quasi-hymnal.) In a nod to Tait’s history (and the crowd’s wishes) the set also included DC Talk’s “Jesus Freak.”

It was a great show. The venue was a huge church, which is to say, a very intimate stadium. I can’t remember ever being as close to the stage at a concert. The band was excellent, and made an effort to connect with the audience. They didn’t just read “Anchorage” off a sticky note on their guitar, so to speak, but talked about hunting moose and how Jesus would have been able to get some great disciples with so many fishermen to choose from.

Michael Tait was great, not only as the lead vocalist, but — especially — as a showman. The emcee had instructed everyone to stay in their pews because of the fire code, but after the band came out, Tait told them to come down front where he could get down among them and high-five them and make eye contact and hold out his microphone for them and generally connect with the audience as he sang.

This was my third Newsboys concert. Margo and I saw them in 1995 at the Oregon State Fairgrounds. They were the headline act in a bill that opened with Tony Vincent, followed by Audio Adrenaline. (If they toured with Audio Adrenaline today, it would be 2/3 of a DC Talk reunion.) That would have been the Going Public tour, I guess.

I saw the Newsboys again a year later on their Take Me to Your Leader tour. They had broken (for a Christian act) with “Breakfast,” and were at the Rose Garden in Portland, with a huge stage show. Theoretically, I was a chaperone for my church’s youth group. But after 1996, I didn’t have the chance to see them again until last night. I’m glad I did.

“This was not a boating accident!”

…well, actually, it was a boating accident, according to the Anchorage Daily News:

Two women are dead after their canoe capsized on Eagle River on Wednesday afternoon, police and fire officials said.

They had PFDs and other people were with them and still they died. Authorities are investigating.

Earlier this summer, I was trying to learn how to canoe in order to go for a float trip down the Gulkana. But I lost my enthusiasm for the project about the 117th time the canoe tipped me into Campbell Creek.

It’s not that it wasn’t fun. Even I, in my state of complete naivety, could tell it had the potential to be very fun. But not so fun I couldn’t walk away from it.

Alaska Note: Exxon Valdez Still Around

The Exxon Valdez (now known as the Oriental Nicety) is still around. It was headed to Gujarat, India, to be broken up. That’s on hold while the authorities determine whether it contains toxic materials. The Amoco Cadiz avoided this fate by doing its oil spill and breaking up at the same time.