Did you know that after a male octopus slings its sperm with a specially affected arm (not a tentacle, they are called arms) it then withers and dies? The female receives the gametes in her mantle cavity then finds a protected spot to deposit the fertilized eggs, after which she also withers and dies. Pretty depressing that right after achieving your reproductive goals in life, to simply sit back and die, never to see your offspring. This octopus is not even thinking about reproduction though, he is only thinking about how he still has six arms left without beer! That is like only having 1/4 of a beer in your human hands. It also might be a problem that this guy is underwater and I am sure that this beverage is leaking out into the sea. Better get on it you suffering cephalopod, and slurp the suds down your beak before it dissolves faster than you can say octopus ink. Octopoda are smart, and this guy proves it by choosing beer as his beverage of choice. Cheers to intelligent decisions! Drink beer! Be merry! Don’t spawn out too early!
~ by Maria Benner
I’ve lived in Alaska most of my life, and when I shop for gifts, I always try to buy from small local businesses, because they make this place quirky, interesting and cultured. Without our artsy community, Anchorage would be a sad place. So, I came up with a list of five businesses that offer perfect gifts for Mother’s Day. You can feel good about supporting the local economy, while giving a unique and meaningful gift. FYI, Mother’s Day is May 13th.
- Food & Wine Class at Marx Brothers Cafe. Mom will get to explore wine pairing with 18 foods and 9 wines. That will surely make her forget all her worries. The last class until next January is May 19th. The cost is $95.
- A Hand-knit Qiviut Item from Oomingmak Musk Ox Producers’ Co-op. Qiviut is the downy-soft underwool from the Arctic musk ox. It is eight times warmer than wool, extraordinarily lightweight, and very soft. A hat, or scarf made from this yarn will keep your mom warm in style.
- Custom Oil Painting by Real Art Is Better. There is still time to commission a custom oil painting before Mother’s Day. It can be of a pet, a cabin, a beautiful scene from a vacation, or anything that will make her happy every time she looks at it. Or choose from several existing originals and limited-edition prints. We are currently offering a 15% discount.
- Locally Made Jewelry, Pottery, and more at Dos Manos Gallery. Check out this quirky shop for hip creations by local artists. The gallery offers contemporary and trendy items that will make Mom feel fashionable and artsy.
- Yoga Classes. There are many local yoga studios that offer classes for all ability levels. Mom would come home relaxed and centered after a class.
Cheers to all the wonderful and caring Moms who make this world go round!
The original oil painting was a commission, but 52 limited-edition prints are available at our Etsy shop RealArtIsBetter.
What is the official Alaska State tree? The Sitka Spruce, which is also the source of the critical ingredient in Alaskan Brewing Company’s Spruce IPA, a beer brewed with Spruce tips. This IPA is a must-drink! I know New England IPAs are all the rage. “Have a milkshake,” people are saying. “Try this coffee-infused IPA, it has never been better.” I will, and have tried all these varieties. The flavor Alaskan Brewing put out in its Spruce IPA is unique. IPA is rapidly becoming the largest style with the most variations.
“I made this weird beer, it has a lot of hops in it, but I don’t know what to call it.”
“Dude, it has lots of hops, call it an IPA.”
This seems to be the most common solution to these unique beers and I can’t really say the hop-forward Spruce IPA is any different, but it is different, and that is the problem. What do you do with these avant-garde beer styles that do not fit any of the specific BJCP (Beer Judge Certification Program) style guidelines? Craft beer is evolving too rapidly for the BJCP to keep up. The answer is easy, just drink the tasty beverage and quit complaining about the name.
Cheers to Alaskan Brewing Spruce IPA, a great ale that brings a smile to my lips!
The original oil painting, and 52 limited-edition prints are available at our Etsy shop Real Art Is Better.
This original oil painting, and 52 limited-edition prints are available at our Etsy shop RealArtIsBetter.
Bikes and beers!? Heck yes! Make it fat-bikes and a couple of growlers, and now you have a party in Alaska. Last weekend I participated in the epic fat-bike race called the Trio – Fatbike World Championships in Talkeetna put on by Speedway Cycles and Denali Brewing. The name Trio is symbolic of the three mountains you can see during the ride, Denali, Mt. Hunter and Mt. Foreaker. The sixth annual bicycle and beer super party celebrates the life of Mike Sterling who passed away from liver disease a few years back.
The weather couldn’t have been better! The sun was out, and there was plenty of fresh snow to validate the use of my 5-inch wide tires. I felt fast and also pretty glad I opted out of the 60-mile race and settled for the 30-mile loop. Next year, I will attempt to do the sixty, but will have to do some upgrades to my bike. The last ten miles were a bit rutted and pretty soft. My single speed was not in the proper gear for climbing, but it looked like it was pretty impossible to ride up most of the bluff trail anyway, so like everyone else, I pushed. I was pleased with my 20th place finish.
For those less serious about racing and more serious about partying there was a 20-mile party lap option with beer, whiskey, and other treats provided around a raging bon fire half way down the trail. There was even a helicopter that landed right on a patch of snow on the river next to the party. Its mission was to deliver some more beer! As I passed the partiers, I should have stopped for a beer, but at the moment I rode through I thought I could actually get a pretty decent time, so I forewent one of my favorites — free PBR, to save drinking points for the delicious after party beer that Denali Brewing brewed up –Trio Pale Ale. The beer is a wonderful 6.5% ABV and 52 IBU pale ale that was brewed with cryo Mosaic and Citra hops. At the big after-race-party everyone was starving, and good Indian food was served up, and the band Hope Social Club played right after the awards ceremony. Racers still had plenty of energy left for dancing.
The next morning Denali came out of the clouds for the first time that weekend, so we went to Talkeetna River and took the photos for this painting. Denali never looked better! If this painting looks familiar, that’s probably because you saw the one that is very similar on the big office window at Speedway Cycles. I created that one several years ago and Greg Matyas printed it on the privacy screen.
This painting depicts three things I love: fat-biking, beer, and Talkeetna! Cheers to good times with good friends!