Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Where Atz Lee Kilcher and Family Really Live (JOKE!)

First, this really is not where Atz Lee Kilcher lives, but as we drove out to the end of the road going up Kachemak Bay, we saw so many houses that look self-sustaining, or as self-sustaining as possible. We saw old Volkswagon buses, used as chicken coops, old school buses used as green houses; we saw a lot of homesteads that looked like they were using solar power and growing a lot of their own produce. We saw horse barns and ATVs and cranes and big barns. We saw all kinds of signs of self-sustaining people who are loving life in Homer, Alaska.

Do you know who Atz Lee Kilcher is? The Discovery Show has a reality show called Alaska, the Last Frontier, and it is one of my guilty pleasures. I have a good friend whose husband also follows the adventures of this hard-working, self-sustaining family. My friend joked with me as we left “Say hello to Atz Lee for us!”

So as we drove along, looking at all these wonderful homes, I saw this one, and thought to myself . . . maybe this is where the Atz Lee family really lives. They film all these outbuildings, and the family going out hunting in boats, or taking their cranes on their barge, or taking their horses to run the cows back home – but maybe “reality” is all that AND they live in comfort in this beautiful house outside Homer. Atz Lee Kilcher does live on Kachemak Bay and there are a lot of lovely houses along Kachemak Bay.


Remember, this is a joke, I do not know where Atz Lee really lives, only when I looked at this house I thought it would be funny if this is where they really lived.

UPDATE: When I wrote this post, it was a joke, and I had no idea how many people would come her to see where the Kilchers live. Actually, without knowing, we were on the Kilcher road, and I believe this home is on the same road which connects to Kilcher road, called Merrimac road. You can see Kilcher road on Google Maps:

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It isn’t far out of Homer, an easy drive. The scenery is BEAUTIFUL. The Kilchers homesteaded one of the most beautiful places on earth.

September 9, 2013 Posted by | Adventure, Alaska, Beauty, Cultural, Entertainment, Environment, Humor, Joke, Road Trips, Travel | , | 9 Comments

The M/V Kennicott and the Birders

I hesitate to even write this post, but it was a significant part of our first day on board. AdventureMan and I headed for the forward deck just after we had eaten lunch, and found a nice place to watch departure and the whales and the passing scenery. As we stood there, a crowd began to gather, and they were all chirping and grabbleing, and the group got larger and larger and we kind of got shoved aside. It wasn’t intentional, it’s just as the group grew in size, like minded birders, they just backed out, and pushed into us.

Birders. There was a group of birders on board. We like birders. We belong to a bird group! But these birders are seriously focused people. Have you seen the movie The Big Year? These birders were loaded for bear, all decked out in foul weather gear, real rubber overalls and headgear, and had serious huge single-focus lensed cameras and equally formidable bird spotters.

They took over the forward deck.


Like I say, my emotions are mixed on this, because we like birds, too. We like people who like birds. We don’t much like being pushed aside, and having to climb over equipment set up where people usually walk. For those inside, the best viewing is from the forward lounge, and there were so many of the birders, busy spotting, that you really couldn’t see from the inside, nor could you get one of these prime positions on the forward deck because they would be first up in the morning to get the spot, and they would hang out there dawn to dusk.

One of the birders turned out to be a person who knows a very good old friend of mine – life is funny that way, and you can meet some great people on the Alaskan Ferries.

We had to admire their focus, and their persistence, and their seriousness with which they pursued their passion.


When we hit Yakutat, they were first off the boat, early, 5 in the morning kind of early, the whole flock of ‘em, beady little eagle eyes sharply seeking unusual birds for their check lists. You could hear them making bird noises. Back on the ship, someone would say something and all eyes, all binoculars, all cameras would turn in one direction, and people would take their best shots. They manned their prime observation post with military dedication.

They left the boat at Whittier, on the second day. We wished the all success, and we were glad to have access to the front viewing deck once again.

September 4, 2013 Posted by | Adventure, Alaska, Arts & Handicrafts, Birds, Character, Civility, Community, Cultural, ExPat Life, Humor, Living Conditions, Travel | , | Leave a comment

Non-Essential State Department Personnel Ordered to Leave Yemen

I know, I know, it is not a funny headline. But here is the thing. People have egos. You might wonder why anyone would stay in the face of a threat so grave. It isn’t by coincidence that so many prisoners were busted out of prison – hundreds in Iraq, in Yemen, also if I remember correctly, in Pakistan.

These countries, under international understandings and agreements, provide security for one another’s embassies. Like WE provide security for the Saudi and the Yemeni and French diplomats in the United States. When a country suffers massive prison breaks, it is only prudent to wonder how well they might be able to protect international diplomats – it’s all security.

But – and here is why a very serious headline can make me laugh so early in the morning – who wants to be “non-essential?” I’ve lived through similar situations; people want to think themselves important – you would be surprised how many people will choose to stay, knowing the dangers, because they want to consider themselves “mission-essential”. :-)


WASHINGTON — The State Department on Tuesday ordered non-essential personnel at the U.S. Embassy in Yemen to leave the country following the threat by al-Qaida that has triggered temporary shutdowns of 19 American diplomatic posts across the Middle East and Africa.

The department said in a travel warning that it had ordered the departure of non-emergency U.S. government personnel from Yemen “due to the continued potential for terrorist attacks” and said U.S. citizens in Yemen should leave immediately because of an “extremely high” security threat level.

“As staff levels at the Embassy are restricted, our ability to assist U.S. citizens in an emergency and provide routine consular services remains limited and may be further constrained by the fluid security situation,” the travel warning said.

The U.S. Embassy is located in Sanaa, the capital of Yemen.

The State Department on Sunday closed a total of 19 diplomatic posts until next Saturday. They include posts in Bangladesh and across North Africa and the Middle East as well as East Africa, including Madagascar, Burundi, Rwanda and Mauritius.

This is only an excerpt from AOL/Huffpost World News where you can read the rest of the story by clicking the blue type here.

August 6, 2013 Posted by | Bureaucracy, Character, Cultural, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Humor, Law and Order, Living Conditions, Political Issues, Safety | | Leave a comment

Anthony Weiner’s New Yorker Cover

LLOOLLLL, oh please, please do NOT vote for this man!

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July 27, 2013 Posted by | Communication, Humor, iPhone, Mating Behavior, Photos, Political Issues, Values, Women's Issues, Work Related Issues | , , | Leave a comment

Asiana, You Have Bigger Problems Than the Pranked Pilot Names

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Asiana, when four pilots cannot land a jet on an airstrip on a sunny day with clear visibility, you already have reputation problems. The prank didn’t harm your pilots’ reputations; crashing the plane harmed their reputations.

One commenter on the original post said they are sending their lawyer Mie Su Yu.

July 16, 2013 Posted by | Cultural, Humor, Joke | Leave a comment

Korean Air Pilots Mistakenly Identified in TV News Prank: Sum Ting Wong

Someone will lose their job, if it is ever discovered who pranked this totally politically incorrect news broadcast.  This from Reuters via Huffington Post on AOL:

NTSB Intern Mistakenly Confirmed To KTVU Wrong Asiana Names, Statement Says

(Please note offensive language in paragraph 6)

July 12 (Reuters) – The National Transportation Safety Board apologized on Friday after an intern mistakenly confirmed to a local television station racially offensive fake names for the pilots of an Asiana flight that crashed in San Francisco.

“The National Transportation Safety Board apologizes for inaccurate and offensive names that were mistakenly confirmed as those of the pilots of Asiana flight 214, which crashed at San Francisco International Airport on July 6,” the NTSB said in a statement.

“Earlier today, in response to an inquiry from a media outlet, a summer intern acted outside the scope of his authority when he erroneously confirmed the names of the flight crew on the aircraft,” the NTSB said.

The crash of the Boeing 777 plane resulted in the deaths of three teenage girls in a group of students from eastern China who were visiting the United States for a summer camp, one of whom died on Friday in the hospital. Over 180 passengers and crew members were injured.

On Friday, an anchor for Oakland, California, station KTVU read a list of the supposed names of the pilots of the South Korean carrier on its noon broadcast after an employee apparently called the NTSB seeking to verify them.

The names appear to mock the events of the crash. The prank names were: Captain Sum Ting Wong, Wi Tu Lo, Ho Lee Fuk and Bang Ding Ow.



July 13, 2013 Posted by | Communication, Cross Cultural, Cultural, Humor, Joke, Lies, Words | , , , | 2 Comments

The Shrink-Wrapped Pensacola Specialty Pawn Shop Car



How cool is this? We saw this car at Taco Rock and loved the optical illusion. We also loved it that the car makes a memorable impression; you’ll think of it and you will think Pensacola Specialty Pawn. It’s an effective ad if you remember who the ad is for :-)


When we walked inside, AdventureMan asked “Whose car is that with the mobster paint job?” and a guy picking up a take-out order grinned and said it was his. He told us it was a shrink-wrap technique – it’s temporary! When you get tired of it and want to try something else, it just peels off and you put something else on. I think that is so totally cool.


July 12, 2013 Posted by | Arts & Handicrafts, Beauty, Cultural, Financial Issues, Humor, Marketing, Pensacola, Technical Issue | | 4 Comments

Jeannette Walls and The Silver Star and Negligent Mothers

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The first time I read anything by Jeannette Walls, I had not read her autobiographical best-seller, The Glass Castle. If I had, when I read the opening pages of one of my all-time-favorite books, Half Broke Horses , three young children out checking on the cows in America of the mid-1800′s, I would have said “Oh, yes, this is Jeannette Walls” instead of being so shocked that these three children were so far from home with a storm approaching. Not only does the storm approach – the oldest sister pushes her younger sister and brother up a tree and they are stuck there through a violent storm all night. No adult comes looking for them.

“Where is their mother?” in shock I thought, “a mother with three children out in the storm goes looking for them!”

Not if you are a Jeannette Walls mother. To ‘get’ Jeannette Walls, you really have to start with The Glass Castle, and learn about how she and her siblings are at the mercy of an alcoholic mother and father, both big liars, maybe with some attendant mental problems. Half Broke Horses is fiction, based on her own grandmother, who, at 15 rides 28 days across Indian territory to teach at a far-away school (What mother lets her 15 year old DAUGHTER ride for a month across dangerous country ALONE??)

I was on the send-as-soon-as-it’s-published list for Silver Star. And even once it arrived, I waited until I knew I might have a few free hours in the evening to read it – once you start Jeannette Walls, you can’t put it down. Her heroines in this novel are 15 year old Liz and 12 year old Bean (Jean) whose mother ran away from her hometown in Virginia to pursue a career in music. The mother has a small inheritance to sustain them; when life sours, as it often does for her, she packs the girls into her worn Dodge Dart and takes off. She isn’t always good about paying her bills. She talks to her girls about what a great team they are, and then takes off for a day or two, usually with some man, leaving them to eat chicken pot pies. Then, she abandons them with no sign of when she will be back.

The girls are pistols. They are survivors, much like Jeannette Walls grandmother in Half Broke Horses. When social services start coming around asking where their mother is, they take off headed for their Mom’s old home town, across the continent, in Virginia.

The heart of the story finds the girls living in the old family mansion, scouting for odd jobs, learning more about themselves and their heritage, and learning how a small community can smother, judge and support their community members in unexpected ways.

If you are a negligent, man-oriented, self-absorbed mother, you don’t want to have a writer for a daughter. Jeannette Walls is having a ball; her books are both sad and hilarious, and she has utter scorn for mothers who do not take the reins of motherhood and behave like grown-ups.

July 2, 2013 Posted by | Books, Character, Community, Cultural, Family Issues, Fiction, Financial Issues, Humor, Living Conditions, Parenting, Relationships, Women's Issues | Leave a comment

Lamborghini Aventador: Qatari Royal’s £350k supercar towed in Knightsbridge

LLOOOLLLLL! Great story, thanks John Mueller!

Little cross cultural problem going on . . . no license? No registration? No problem, you know my uncle, right, the Amir of Qatar . . . LOL!

Batman wouldn’t stand for it: Police peer inside the garish car’s doors (Picture: SWNS)


It’s hard not to notice a bright purple Lamborghini with orange trim. So the driver of this £350,000 supercar was asking for trouble when he went for a spin without a front numberplate.

Police spotted the infringement and impounded the vehicle after its 24-year-old owner – thought to be a member of the Qatari royal family – was unable to produce evidence that he had a driving licence or insurance.

Crowds gathered as the 220mph Aventador was towed away in London’s Knightsbridge.


Arab playboys descend on the wealthy neighbourhood each summer in costly cars flown from home and often hit trouble for lacking the correct papers.

The mean machines are a draw for petrolheads but the roaring engines annoy residents.

Off we tow: The Lamborghini Aventador is loaded onto a truck (Picture: SWNS)

Dozens of onlookers gathered to photograph the scissor-doored supercar, which has been customised by a Japanese tuning company.

One fan said: ‘It is great when the wealthy foreign tourists come over to London every summer as you always see these amazing supercars.

‘The Lamborghini looked like something out of Tron, it was absolutely stunning.

‘Hopefully there was just some confusion over the correct paperwork and it will be back on the road


First it was carted off on the back of a truck, then it faced the crusher, now glow-in-the dark Lamborghini is ticketed in Mayfair

  • Police impounded £350k supercar after owner failed to produce documents
  • But he was slapped with ticket just hours after retrieving it from police
  • Purple Lamborghini Aventador customised to glow in the dark
  • Owner believed to be Nasser Al-Thani, 24, of Qatar’s ruling family


PUBLISHED: 04:49 EST, 5 July 2013 | UPDATED: 14:32 EST, 5 July 2013

He was only a hair’s breadth away from seeing his beloved £350,000 supercar crushed to a pulp after it was seized by police for driving offences.

So you might think the owner of this glow-in-the-dark Lamborghini would be a bit more careful next time.

But within hours of retrieving his purple sports car from the Metropolitan Police, he found himself on the wrong side of the law again after being slapped with a parking ticket.

Read more:

June 29, 2013 Posted by | Bureaucracy, Cross Cultural, Cultural, ExPat Life, Humor, Law and Order, Living Conditions, Qatar | | Leave a comment

Hilarious Abercrombie & Fitch Homeless Campaign

Scour your closets, donate your  Abercrombie & Fitch clothing to the homeless :-)


May 17, 2013 Posted by | Beauty, Character, Charity, Community, Cultural, Humor, Values | Leave a comment


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