Out of the Office

Out of the Office: Nature in a time of pandemic can heal

As I write this I am in my third day of working at home — or, as I like to think of it, an embedded… Continue reading

 

The author and a friend ski the hayfield loop on Feb. 24, 2020 at the Lookout Mountain Trails near Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

Out of the Office: Back to basics

What do column writing and cross-country skiing have in common? Sometimes, they’re like pulling teeth. There are some days when the words just don’t seem… Continue reading

 

Out of the Office: Dropping a line

In my ongoing quest to shake off my Florida roots and achieve the illustrious title of “Real Alaskan,” I recently managed to cross an important… Continue reading

 

Driving through White Sands National Monument in New Mexico. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)

El Paso or bust

It was minus 22 when we left for the Anchorage airport earlier this month. It was a sunny, beautiful drive north. The kind of bitter-cold… Continue reading

Driving through White Sands National Monument in New Mexico. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)
Michael Armstrong stands by Knik Arm in Anchorage shortly after arriving in Alaska in December 1979. The weird glow is caused by taking a photo of a slide illuminated by a desk lamp. (Photo provided by Mark Heffernan)

Out of the Office: From Florida to Alaska — A wild 40 years

Like true superheroes, every Alaskan has an origin story. The really cool origin story might involve being born a sixth-generation Alaskan from a sourdough ancestor… Continue reading

Michael Armstrong stands by Knik Arm in Anchorage shortly after arriving in Alaska in December 1979. The weird glow is caused by taking a photo of a slide illuminated by a desk lamp. (Photo provided by Mark Heffernan)
Sun reflects off snow covering the mountains across Resurrection Bay from the Tonsina Point area on Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019 near Lowell Point, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

Out of the Office: Best laid plans

I’ve always been a planner. At age 4, you could find me bossing my father around a meticulously planned tea party — the water (you… Continue reading

Sun reflects off snow covering the mountains across Resurrection Bay from the Tonsina Point area on Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019 near Lowell Point, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

Out of the office: The bigger the moment, the bigger the reaction

There’s something about big moments and important games that I just can’t get enough of. As a sportswriter, it’s naturally in my DNA to salivate… Continue reading

Out of the office: Best place on the peninsula

Columnist’s note: I felt compelled to write this column Sunday night, even though it wasn’t due until Thursday afternoon. A short time after I finished,… Continue reading

Baked salmon with roasted turnips, brussell sprouts, carrots, beets, kohlrabi for dinner, Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2019, near Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)

Out of the office: Summery salmon memories

Wednesday evening, everything on my dinner plate was either caught in Alaska or grown in Alaska. The last of the kohlrabi and turnips, a single… Continue reading

Baked salmon with roasted turnips, brussell sprouts, carrots, beets, kohlrabi for dinner, Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2019, near Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)
Michael Armstrong’s dog, Leia, waits patiently to go for a walk on the Homer Spit beach on Jan. 25, 2014, in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Out of the Office: Need an exercise plan? Get a dog — a really rowdy, rambunctious dog

Suppose at your latest physical you got a stern lecture from your doctor. Suppose she told you to start exercising more — a lot more.… Continue reading

Michael Armstrong’s dog, Leia, waits patiently to go for a walk on the Homer Spit beach on Jan. 25, 2014, in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
A group of friends makes their way through the trail leading to Tutka Lake across Kachemak Bay from Homer, Alaska in August, 2019. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

Out of the Office: Let’s pour one out for Mother Tutka

For the two years I’ve lived in Homer, I’ve managed just two trips across Kachemak Bay that haven’t been work related. If I keep up… Continue reading

A group of friends makes their way through the trail leading to Tutka Lake across Kachemak Bay from Homer, Alaska in August, 2019. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

Out of the Office: Burnt out

The first time I reported on the Swan Lake Fire, I didn’t even mention it by name. On June 6 – 84 days ago as… Continue reading

Out of the office: Taking our time on Tutka Backdoor Trail

“21 miles and 6,000 feet of climb? In four days?” The scene was the lobby of the Kenai Visitor and Cultural Center in mid-April, immediately… Continue reading

Nate Rochon cleans our fish after dip netting in the Kasilof River, on June 25, 2019, in Kasilof, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)

Dipping into dipnetting

The net needed to be assembled. The two pieces, one very long rod, connected to a shorter rod with a large square net, is awkward… Continue reading

Nate Rochon cleans our fish after dip netting in the Kasilof River, on June 25, 2019, in Kasilof, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)

The waves, or places I belong

On my days off I drive. I drive to mountains and rivers and through flats — pacing the highway with wheels looking for a groove… Continue reading

The Kenai Mountains across Kachemak Bay rise behind the Mariner Park Campground on the Homer Spit in Homer, Alaska, as seen on June 15, 2019. The city campground offers both tent and motorhome camping. Although the facilities are minimal, the beachfront view is amazing. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
The Kenai Mountains across Kachemak Bay rise behind the Mariner Park Campground on the Homer Spit in Homer, Alaska, as seen on June 15, 2019. The city campground offers both tent and motorhome camping. Although the facilities are minimal, the beachfront view is amazing. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Out of the office: Ruffled feathers

Life often has a funny way of coming full circle. I like to think I’m a pretty rational person. I also like to think that… Continue reading

A metal figurine stands atop a peak in the Mystery Hills on the Kenai Peninsula on April 28, 2019. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Column: What will 30 bring for me?

I’ve turned 30 years old recently, and as this occasion arrived, I wondered how different it would feel as I enter this particular stage of… Continue reading

A metal figurine stands atop a peak in the Mystery Hills on the Kenai Peninsula on April 28, 2019. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Skis and poles, ready for crust skiing, sit at the Dale Clemens Cabin above Resurrection Bay and Seward on April 12, 2019. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Out of the office: Winter to summer

In January, it took allusions to neuroscience, the Green Bay Packers and Metallica for me to explain in this space how the Culture of the… Continue reading

Skis and poles, ready for crust skiing, sit at the Dale Clemens Cabin above Resurrection Bay and Seward on April 12, 2019. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
An ulu the author made as part of the Alaska Humanities Forum Sister School Exchange. (Photo provided by author)

Out of the Office: A sister school experience

As I write this column, I’m drowning in stories of Legislature budgets, potential school closures and some guy stealing a mammoth tusk in Anchorage. There’s… Continue reading

An ulu the author made as part of the Alaska Humanities Forum Sister School Exchange. (Photo provided by author)