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Terrible News

From the Iditarod site a press release

Earlier today (at approximately 2pm Alaska Time) Iditarod Race officials deployed an Iditarod Air Force (IAF) aircraft to check on the whereabouts of Iditarod Rookies Lou Packer (bib #43), Kim Darst (bib #52) and Blake Matray (bib #9). All three mushers were overdue on their run to Shaguluk. Packer was located approximately 22 miles past Iditarod. He signaled that has was in distress. The (IAF) pilot landed and found that two of Packer’s 15 dogs were deceased. A plane load of dogs were immediately flown out and a second flight is underway to airlift Packer and the remainder of the team.

A group of local residents from Shagaluk are on the trail to assess and assist Darst and Matray.

A necropsy will be conducted by a board certified pathologist to make every attempt to determine the cause of death of the two dogs.

Lou Packer is a doctor from Wasillia who was featured on NPR that I mentioned below the fold on my Day 8 post.

This group had been running together, so I have to wonder if they became dispersed in the blowing snow. They are all rookies.  Correction: Lou Packer left at around 2PM local on the 15th, while Kim Darst and Blake Matray left together about 12 hours later.

March 16, 2009   7 Comments

The Friendly Skies?

The guys at Danger Room have a picture of the new AF Special Ops Osprey with the beach just east of Destin in the background.

The over-abundance of condos are mostly vacant, and available cheap for a quick sale from those companies that are not in receivership or foreclosure. Destin was once a nice place to go for seafood, but you can’t see the Gulf anymore, unless you are in one of the condo towers.

In a bit of serendipity I saw an Osprey flying overhead as I walked over to my Mother’s at about 6PM. It would be on it’s way from Hurlburt to the ranges on Eglin. It didn’t crash while I was watching it, which is pretty good for an Osprey.

March 16, 2009   21 Comments

AIG Bonuses

The answer is simple: These are retention bonuses, so you don’t retain these people.

There are a lot of unemployed people who didn’t lose $60+ billion, so you say goodbye to those who want bonuses, and say hello to those who want jobs, at lower than previous salaries.

If they want to get nasty about it, those people who are due to get bonuses could legally be denied unemployment benefits as losing that much money surely counts as an unsatisfactory job performance and justifies firing them for cause.

AIG is a very public company at this point with the taxpayers as its largest single investor, so the corporation really is required to justify the retention of these people after their dismal record.

Don’t retain them and don’t pay the bonuses. That is the way real businesses operate in the free market.

March 16, 2009   14 Comments


funny pictures of cats with captions

I don’t think it would work.

March 16, 2009   2 Comments

Good Morning?

Lance Mackey (47) is on the trail beyond Shaktoolik, having left Unalakleet just after the chase arrived. Sebastian Schnuelle (34) and Jeff King (41) are again the pursuers with an ever widening gap between them.

There is vacation weather for the race this morning, i.e. it is time to find someplace to take a vacation that doesn’t have a 20 mph wind out of the North and a wind chill of -40° [which is the same temperature on everyone’s thermometer – too damn cold].

The trail to the coast has a crosswind and blowing snow to cover the trail, while those heading North have headwinds and frostbite in their future. The dogs love it.

Lance is just about out of the wind and will be enjoying a balmy -20° most of today. He is currently the only one on the course not affected by the wind.

Update: Apparently Kurt Reich (59)R and his dogs had a meeting at Don’s Cabin on the trail between Ophir and Iditarod and decided that -30° was not in the contract, so they went back to Ophir to scratch. Kurt and his dogs are from Colorado where it gets cold, but not COLD. His record indicates a really bad time around Rainy Pass and a drop off in speed afterwards.

March 16, 2009   2 Comments

Race Day 9 – Iditarod

Iditarod mapLance is still in Unalakleet and Mitch Seavey (21) and Hugh Neff (55) showed up at 12:20 AM CDT, 6 hours after Lance.

They are showing that Kurt Reich (59)R scratched in Ophir, but they haven’t released any other information. He left earlier and must have come back.

Harry T Alexie (67)R and Karin Hendrickson (29)R have been racing all day against each other, but Harry is down to 12 dogs while Karin still has 14. Chad Lindner (26)R was in the mix for a while, but he has dropped back this evening. There are a lot of races within the race that can be more interesting that the main event.

The “red lantern” is in Iditarod, but there is no obvious holder and the last group have also been racing with each other.

The Current Standings:

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March 16, 2009   Comments Off on Race Day 9 – Iditarod