Alaska Sam’s Club Last Stand – The 2-Hour Line — Costco Defeats Sam’s!

Waiting to get in — Sam’s Club east in Anchorage, Alaska — first day that everything was 50% off — at 5pm.

Back of the line are the people left of the trees! Inside, the register lines were another two hours — all the way to the back wall!

Mom is to the right of the corner of the building in the light blue coat, hand raised, chatting with a nurse.

Former NWA coworkers: Tommy was to the left of the flag (red hat). And I saw Don S. inside!

January 17, 2018

Olympus E-PL5

(photo) At Elizabeth & Olof Carmel’s studio during Wine Country workshop 2012

I was having a lot more fun than it appears here. This was an awesome experience!

In the fall of 2012, I attended Mountain Light’s Wine Country photography workshop in northern California, taught by Elizabeth Carmel and Jerry Dodrill, with Olof Carmel sometimes helping — loved that!!!

Here Olof is sharing his wisdom in their upstairs studio. I’m on the right, checking the image I just took with my RX100 pocket camera.

Jerry posted this privately on his Facebook page on Dec. 2, 2012, saying:

We had a great visit to Elizabeth Carmel’s studio today for a demo on fine art printing.

Continue reading “(photo) At Elizabeth & Olof Carmel’s studio during Wine Country workshop 2012”

(photo) Wisconsin Lutheran Choir Inspires Anchorage Alaska

A WELS Lutheran college choir that a relative sings in inspired me this summer! Since then, I’ve posted many vocal harmony videos in my MUSIC Videos That Matter category. During high school, I played trumpet, but regret now that I didn’t do anything vocal except just me and my guitar.

I attended Wisconsin Synod Lutheran (WELS) schools K-12, and was particularly blessed by hearing the lyrics of these two songs during this concert:

Continue reading “(photo) Wisconsin Lutheran Choir Inspires Anchorage Alaska”

Fenske Family Portrait

Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year,

Buddy Pat Jeff


Our Christmas card – happy, creative days! Mom estimates I was about age-5.

I barely remember that my mouth was red because I had just been to the dentist where they used red dye to help spot cavities.

My dad’s real name was Philip, but many called him Buddy.

The famous Jesus-knocking-on-the-door painting is overhead.

Rangefinder camera on self-timer with bulb flash

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Kelly Finds a Porcupine!!

(3 photos below)

In 2013, while I was photographing a bridge and stream, Kelly came back looking like this.

He let me pull them out with a pliers. A few quills were even attached to the inside of his mouth. I thought those would be the worst, but the one in his nail bed… (see photo below)

• •

One of these must have been in his nail bed, because he snapped at my hand when that one came out. He didn’t hurt me, but I got the message! I’m glad there wasn’t another like that one. Continue reading “Kelly Finds a Porcupine!!”

Mom, Dad & Harvey at Whittier, Alaska

Mom and Dad visiting Alaska with my dog Harvey at the port of Whittier, Alaska — early ’80s.

As can be seen in this picture, Dad loved Alaska, and they would have moved here had he not gotten sick. He died in 1989. Mom moved to Alaska 2.5 years later.

I raised Harvey, my Irish Setter, from a pup, and had to leave him with Mom and Dad when moving to Montana and Alaska in 1980, because of apartment living and working long hours in summer. I still remember crying on the stairs in our house in Bloomington, Minnesota, the night before leaving him to live out west.

Though we didn’t see eye to eye on everything, Dad was probably close to being the perfect father. He taught me a lot, and introduced me to nature. As a family, we visited all of the contiguous states west of the Mississippi, camping. Glacier National Park probably made the biggest impression. Dad encouraged me to try things, and  gave me space to adventure on my own. Amazing!

Being a people person with a keen eye for detail, he and his brother owned a very successful barbershop in Minneapolis. His handyman skills were also impressive, even building his sister and brother-in-law’s house at age-18. He could fix almost anything.

He left us so early. Doctors couldn’t figure out why, and everything they tried made his condition worse. He was miraculously healed in ~’74, after which he was fine until I encouraged him to attend a church that had a pastor who hid his true emotions…. Ugh! I wish I never would have done that. Churches can be toxic, and I didn’t know at the time how much. Many pastors were never even called to be church leaders, but are confidence men. I write about James-3 cursing in my spiritual blog, having learned a lot the hard way.

Digital camera scan of a glossy print

Photo Buddy!

William Wallace by my side, while Kelly sought small game — 4 years ago.

As William got older, he didn’t run as much, while Kelly would never stop investigating in his later years.

The intimate landscape I was trying to capture with the Canon is of two, red Columbine flowers and this little falls. The gentle wind was moving the Columbine just enough to thwart our effort. The telephoto lens magnifies any movement.

Grateful, I cherish this moment, together!!! How can a price tag be put on such a faithful companion?

I miss my boy.

7/16/13

Sony RX-100 Handheld

(photo) Kelly’s Last Night – Tight with Mom!

Kelly was a special needs, rescue dog who was abused by a woman. We got him at age-3, unaware of the great challenge. It took years for him to trust Mom. I tell the story here, including how Kelly ended up being my favorite dog, ever: Kelly – the boy nobody wanted.

This shows the beautiful success; though, is sadly Kelly’s last night, which I explain here: Kelly’s Last Day.

3/2/17

With Mom’s 15 pound Dachshund

Also related: 

(photo) Kelly – The Last Hug

Kelly’s Last Day

“That’s my boy,” I used to tell him. He was really something! We had so many adventures together.

Mom took this photo just before we drove to the vet.

Story continues below…

3/3/17 1:41pm  – vet appointment was 2pm

Kelly’s hairdo was natural. I didn’t comb it that way.

Kelly loved to run, and collapsed the day before while running on the trail, just after passing me. After about a minute, he could stand, and then walk, but I knew this was probably the end, based upon a similar experience I had with my previous Gordon Setter, William Wallace. And while lying next to him later that night, the ugly sounds coming from his heart made it clear what to do.

[It’s amazing how hearts work extra hard to maintain enough oxygen, even after the valves are failing — a credit to our masterful Creator!]

After examining Kelly, the vet went in the back room to prepare the concoction, but Kelly’s heart completely gave out in front of Mom and me on its own.

So at least I never have to wonder that putting him to sleep was the right decision. But it was really hard to lose him at age-10.
I tell more of Kelly’s unique story here: Kelly – the boy nobody wanted.

Another image: (photo) Kelly – The Last Hug

(photo) Kelly – The Last Hug

The agony of my heart just before driving Kelly to the vet.

I was an only child, and have always been single. When I’ve been able to have dogs they’ve meant a lot to me!

Setters are my favorite, but Kelly was a special challenge — and reward!

I tell the story here:

Kelly’s Last Day

Kelly – the boy nobody wanted

3/3/17 1:33pm  – vet appointment was 2pm

Handheld self-portrait

Kelly – the boy nobody wanted

Kelly, my boy dog (breeders named him after the clown Emmett Kelly) died today (3/3/17) at age 10 (born  6/30/06). Little did I know that when I first met him during this visit to a kennel (photo below), that he would become my dog about a month later. I already had another Gordon Setter, William Wallace at the time, who died 1.5 years ago (10/9/15). Both died from heart failure. Ugh!

I fell in love with Setters while reading Jim Kjelgaard’s Irish Setter books as a teen, and ended up getting an Irish Setter, who I named Harvey. I had to leave him with my parents when I moved to Montana and Alaska in 1980. After Dad died, Mom moved to Alaska and bought a house, so I could again have Setters, starting in 1993. This time, we bought Gordon Setters (Mom got a girl), and we’ve had one or two ever since, until today.

When I met Kelly at the kennel I was visiting in the lower-48, I was playing with and taking photos of the male dogs in the very large fenced-in area. I laid down on the ground, face up, to capture a different perspective. All of a sudden, a dog laid on my chest, and got right up again, which surprised me because this isn’t typical Gordon behavior. This one was also the most interactive with the camera too, as the photo below shows. He was only 33 pounds.

Afterward, I asked who that dog was, and found out that Kelly had failed their hunting dog standards, so was basically stuck in the kennel as they couldn’t find a home for him. I wasn’t looking for another dog, but a month later, they suggested I take Kelly for free, as long as I paid the costs to get him to Alaska.

I had no idea how much trouble he would be, having never had a dog with serious issues before, including chewing steering column control levers & etc. in our cars.

Kelly was a true rescue dog. He had teeth that couldn’t close against each other properly, so he had trouble chewing food, which they didn’t tell me about. He had some type of ADD, which they didn’t tell me until later, and that they had considered him a troublemaker. Three long years in the kennel with too harsh discipline and hardly any TLC made him extremely wary of women. A woman was in charge of the kennel, and she later told me how she had treated Kelly, when I asked her advice on what to do. It took him YEARS to warm up to Mom, despite Mom being so sweet! And at first, he wouldn’t look me in the eye, and had a mind of his own. He was a bird addict, including smaller ones that sporting dogs aren’t supposed to be interested in. While riding in the car, he constantly scanned the sky, looking for birds with great excitement, as if he actually would have the chance to catch them. And often, while I was photographing nature, he would spend the entire time trying to catch birds, sometimes getting into the picture. I’ll post some of those, now that he can’t be James-3 cursed anymore. I learned this the hard way with a previous Gordon who suddenly acquired and died from lymph cancer at age-5, after using her photo as my profile image on my blogs.

He’s the first dog I’ve had who would go off on his own during walks but then would too often get lost, being unable to find me. I would have to find him, and usually could within 20 minutes, but a few times it was more like an hour? The beeper collar helped; though, only worked at close range.

Mom has often said how he found the perfect home, because we had the patience and love to work through all of his special problems.

In his later years, he let himself actually miss me a lot when he got lost, and he’d let the world know it by barking. And after William Wallace died, we got very tight. He would almost always be where I would be in the house. At the computer, he’d be by my feet; watching TV, nestled by my side on the couch — or sometimes next to Mom. That took so long! Mom grew to really love him too. His hair was so soft, Mom would say: “like velvet.”

And he was the most hands on dog I’ve ever had. He used his paws like hands in ways. For example, if I didn’t respond to his walking to and from the door right away, he’d touch me with his paw. He was also the only Gordon to sleep right next to me at the top of the bed, not the bottom.

I’m recalling some key moments:

I watched when Kelly saw his first moose in our yard, who sometimes forage on our trees. In the kennel, they had a full grown horse. Apparently, they were friends, because Kelly went right up to the moose, but the moose kicked him. I couldn’t tell if the hoof made contact, but probably did, because Kelly never did that again.

He could sometimes appear vicious, such as when certain people walked by the house on the street. I had such a hard time getting him not to bark without me having to tell him not to, each time. The breeder is the one who later told me he’s ADD, which I don’t understand, but saw it in action.

And he never did learn how to be completely sociable with other dogs he would meet on the trails. Unlike any dog I’ve ever had, he would often go off-trail to avoid them, but some chased him anyway, which he didn’t like.

He really learned to trust me. Twice, he found porcupines and came back with DOZENS of quills sticking out of him. He allowed me to remove them with a pliers even from the inside of his mouth — no problem; even though, it must have really hurt — especially one. It must have been in the tender nail bed of his toenail, for when I pulled it out he snapped at my hand — and was still okay with me pulling the rest out. That was the only time he ever snapped at me. Many dogs wouldn’t have allowed that, which then requires an expensive vet bill.

I’m guessing that Kelly learned his lesson with the porcupines, because there never was a third time; though, I started to avoid photographing in areas where he’d most likely encounter them, or tried to keep him near the water and out of the woods in these areas. I also bought a small, collapsible pliers which I’ve carried in my pocket ever since, so we wouldn’t have to wait until we got back to the car. I’ve read that removing them right away makes it easier, but thankfully, I never had the opportunity to test this theory.

Incidentally, my previous photo buddy, William Wallace also had two major porcupine encounters during his life, so maybe that’s how many it takes, and Kelly was no different this time?

I affectionately often called him Kells, after the “Book of Kells.”

So my most problematic dog ended up being in some ways my favorite.

I’ll miss you, Kelly.

When-I-first-met-him post reposted below:


I thought I’d post a photo from my recent trip to California and Oregon. …

This one is so cool! What a riot!

God bless!

Jeff : )

_MG_1979 - 550pt no sat

_MG_1979 - 550pt no sat

_MG_1979 - 550pt no sat

Notice how small his foot is. I took this with the widest possible, non-fish-eye lens (Sigma 12-24mm at 12mm on a Canon 5D Mark II), which gives this perspective. His face and paws are very close to the lens. And that’s my foot at the bottom of the image. May 5, 2009

Related:

Kelly’s Last Day

(photo) Kelly – The Last Hug

Photo-a-Day #76: Bass Pro Shops Stunning Front Entrance – Anchorage!!!

Bass Pro Shops Alaskan Outpost – front entrance!

Absolutely GORGEOUS design!!! I love everything except the statement above the door that legitimatizes lying: Welcome Fisherman, Hunters, and Other Liars. They’re actually telling us: only liars are welcome. TRUTHERS should not feel uncomfortable walking through that door.

Despite what TV preachers say, lying is no laughing matter:

“But for the cowardly, unbelieving, sinners… sexually immoral… and ALL LIARS, their part is in THE LAKE that burns with fire and sulfur….” – God in Rev. 21:8

Corporate America is leading US astray, everywhere we look. But they sure do it with style, which makes the deception easier to swallow.

My father was a real ‘sportsman,’ which meant honesty back then. He both obeyed the laws and did not exaggerate.

ALL CHILDREN deserve honest fathers. Companies should promote honesty, integrity, and what’s best for people.

bassentrance_1100

November 14, 2016

Canon 5Ds R

Continue reading “Photo-a-Day #76: Bass Pro Shops Stunning Front Entrance – Anchorage!!!”