Sunday, September 28, 2014

When the Hell did Pepe's burn down!?

...and after

The most famous Mexican restaurant above the Arctic Circle caught fire in the early morning hours of Saturday August, 31, 2013. Despite North Slope Borough firefighters battling the blaze from about 2 a.m. to 9:30, little is left of Pepe’s North of the Border restaurant in Barrow, Alaska.
Pepe’s, owned by long-time Barrow resident Fran Tate since it began, has long been known as the go-to eatery in the community, a reputation earned among a wide variety of people who travel to the northern-most city in the U.S., home to about 4,200 Alaskans.
When Alaska bush pilot legends brought the movies to Barrow
The landmark restaurant served as a community hub for locals, the scene of more than one wedding, and countless first dates. Visitors, oil field workers, scientists, and even celebrities from around the world all remember Pepe's no matter how far away from Barrow they may travel.
In the very early hours Saturday morning, now dark as the community continues toward the constant darkness of winter at the top of the world, Mike Shults, the owner’s son and a Barrow resident, heard from firefighters.
They asked if he had a key to the restaurant. There was smoke coming out of the building, they said. Shults said he did not have a key and told them to kick down the door, he said.
Most of the building was already on fire when responders entered the restaurant, and by 3 a.m., Pepe’s was fully engulfed in flames.

Hard fight to save hotel, bank

About 30 personnel responded to the fire with three fire engines and one tanker. Conditions worsened at an alarming speed, said North Slope Borough Assistant Fire Chief Joe Dingman, so firefighters shifted their efforts toward an attached hotel and nearby bank.
Shults watched the restaurant burn to the ground through the night; crews fought the blaze valiantly until 6 in the morning, he said.
Three hours earlier, when the more than two dozen firefighters, official and volunteer, assembled at the site of the blaze and realized how serious it was, guests at the 50-room Top of the World Hotel had been ordered to evacuate.
Two North Slope Borough vehicles were parked next to the restaurant; both melted under the intense heat of the blaze. A third of the windows on a three-story Wells Fargo bank shattered due to the fire, and the side of the bank was charred, Shults said.
“The three-story bank right next door, the flames were twice as high as that,” he said. “They were just shooting. You could see it from all over town. And they fought it and fought it and fought it.”
To save the hotel, firefighters used heavy equipment to destroy a hallway that connected Top of the World to Pepe’s. That saved the hotel, Shults said, which would caught fire if action wasn’t taken.
Dingman said the hotel suffered heavy smoke damage while the bank had minimal damage to its exterior. Crews fought the fire for roughly eight hours, he said.

'Nothing left'

Come noon Saturday, the crews were simply dousing a handful of cindering piles of rubble. The restaurant was a total loss. “There’s nothing left,” Shults said. “It’s already packed up and put in dump trucks and hauled off.”
"Nothing" is not an understatement, he added. He shuffled around the ashes of the restaurant, trying to salvage anything. No luck. Just some melted aluminum pots and pans in the rubble. Nothing else was recognizable.
The local firefighters were heroic, he said. They were able to save the hotel and the bank, and they did everything they could for Pepe’s. An on-scene firefighter told Shults the fire’s cause was likely electric and probably started in the boiler room. But the assistant fire chief said the cause is still under investigation.
Shults made a tough call to his mother, Fran Tate, a beloved Barrow resident who now lives in Anchorage, around 8 a.m. The news devastated her.

35 years of history down to ash

Tate opened Pepe’s in 1978 in a tiny, two-bedroom home she remodeled with the help of others. Then, in 1980, at the request of Top of the World, she moved the operation to the hotel. The previous managers were having a tough time turning a profit, so Pepe’s moved in, Tate said.
“There’s three dining rooms ... I don’t even cook, and I was just in shock that I could own a restaurant that big,” Tate said.
The restaurant had some tough times, “It was a difficult road to hoe.” Pepe’s would have been in operation for 35 years on Oct. 20. Now, all the history inside of the restaurant is ash, she lamented -- scrap books of all the events Pepe’s experienced over more than three decades.
In 1988, three grey whales were stranded under the ice near the town, and media from around the world descended on Barrow. And Pepe’s served all comers. The restaurant was packed with environmentalists, TV crews and government officials. “We had 11 different TV stations eating there,” Tate recalled. In the Hollywood big-screen retelling of the whale stranding, "Big Miracle," filmed in Alaska, Pepe's even played itself under a different name.
Other reminders of the good times won't be as durable as the film. Two cases packed full of pictures of famous people who had visited the restaurant, including former pro football player Richard “Dick” Butkus, as well as snapshots of locals who frequented the restaurants for years were lost in the fire.
“There was just so much history,” the owner said. “It’s unbelievable.”

The end of Taco Tuesdays?

Tate still considers herself a big part of the community of Barrow, helping out with locals in a bind and offering donations and time to youth sports. The restaurant was part of the community, too. Tate and her Pepe's cohorts donated hams to bereaved Barrow families, saving them the effort of preparing meals in a time of mourning their loved ones.
Pepe’s also catered for numerous companies that dot Alaska’s North Slope oil patch. And every Tuesday, Pepe’s discounted their tacos and all three dining rooms would be packed to capacity, 200 people in all. Those in the know call it "Taco Tuesday."
Tate's fondest memories of the restaurant were its busiest days, she said. She praised her employees, who have been phenomenal through the years, she said. Though her current workers are all out of job ... it won't be for long, she said.
Pepe’s was insured, according to Tate. And though visual reminders of the landmark’s history, countless autographs and snapshots, were consumed in the fire, the restaurant is not dead. She plans to open a new Pepe’s in the near future.
“I feel like I’m the only one that really can initiate another one,” she said. “There will be another Pepe’s. This is not the end.”

Oh dear, I feel badly that I did not know of this and mourned the loss sooner. Husband and I were in the habit of Saturday morning breakfast there and then shopping at AC, that was our Saturday. Breakfast usually consisted of Veggie Omelet and Belgian waffle with strawberries and whipped cream all for the cost of about 35 dollars. One particular Saturday it seemed a little extra nippy and when we checked the weather at home wind chill was MINUS 96.
I have eaten there when the place was packed with tourists in their red or blue parka's and decided I would prefer the less crowded times. If anyone can rebuild Pepe's it is Fran Tate.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Stockholm Syndrome


This phrase has been popping up every once in a while usually used in analysis of an abduction situation wherein the victim gradually identifies favorably with their captor and who performs tasks not in character for them ordinarily.

Having said that and not knowing the etiology of the Syndrome I shall now go Google it. Maybe there was an incident in Stockholm where some one captured some else and got them to rob a bank for instance. Alternatively perhaps some professor from Stockholm promulgated this theory. So lets go to Google.

Stockholm syndrome is named after the Norrmalmstorg robbery of Kreditbanken at Norrmalmstorg in Stockholm, Sweden, in which several bank employees were held hostage in a bank vault from August 23 to 28, 1973, while their captors negotiated with police. During this standoff, the victims became emotionally attached to their captors, rejected assistance from government officials at one point, and even defended their captors after they were freed from their six-day ordeal. The term was coined by the criminologist and psychiatrist Nils Bejerot as "Norrmalmstorgssyndromet" (Swedish), directly translated as The Norrmalmstorg Syndrome, but then later became known abroad as the Stockholm syndrome. It was originally defined by psychiatrist Frank Ochberg to aid the management of hostage situations.

Got the bank robbery part right at least. Poor Mr. Bejerot, robbed of Normallmstorg Syndrome. It coulda been Bjerot Syndrome...or Ochberg Syndrome.

My mind does not normally think sneaky but here goes:

I have been thinking about the ISIS people who want to get plastic bombs onto airplanes. I find myself wondering if ISIS has truly long range planning regarding this act. I find myself wondering if the FBI or CIA or NSA have brain stormed about the possibility of ISIS getting agents hired at any major air plane manufacturer and routinely installing plastic bombs into the structure of the planes well ahead of any use? How good is the security at any American airplane manufacture? Do their HR departments conduct security clearances? Do they even ask interview questions such as “How do you feel about working on various religious holidays?” or “Do you like to travel? You do? Oh where have you traveled? What was your favorite?” These are loaded questions but I think it might be legal to ask. Just thinkin' out loud is all.......

Friday, September 26, 2014

Watch out Thursday Night Football...

Thursday night television:

Premier of How To Get Away With Murder.

Sensational. Granted I have not viewed a lot of network drama (working, bed by 9 pm, did not want to stay up until 10 pm thank you and technophobe regarding any recording device) but this ABC show is killer in several ways.

Lawyer teaching Law 101, has about 100 students in her class. Simultaneously she is trying a murder case. PA accused of giving her demanding boss an aspirin to which he is allergic and dies. She was also his mistress. The victim has a wife, there is a partially incapacitated senior partner. We also see flashes of what looks like members of the professors class reenacting a murder, plotting how and why and where to dispose of the body. Back to class; she challenges everyone to guess her method of attack as the defense lawyer in the case now on trial. The winner will get immunity from any test at any given time during the course of the class. The one poor student who didn't get the email about the assignment gets to go last in the guessing contest. And during all of this there is a missing female student, searches are on.

As the trial unfolds various students scurry around trying to find holes in the evidence. One girl scurries into the courtroom and whispers into the lawyers ear. Defense then pillories the witness by tricking her into admitting that she is color blind (was the pill the same yellow as the prosecuting attorney's shirt? Yes, um that prosecutors shirt is blue) and she could have mistaken the yellow aspirin for the blue anxiety medication.

That evening our last to argue student is flipping through a law book and discovers what he thinks is a pertinent point of law. He dashes to the professors house, finds the door unlocked and calls out to her and goes into the bedroom and interrupts an intimate moment with a man who quickly leaves. Student backs up to leave and professor asks him why he is there. He says he found where a discredited witness could allow the defense attorney to call to end witnesses and potentially go to jury. She tells him that won't work because anything coming after that will taint any cross examination. Sorry about the interruption.

Next sorty into discrediting the witnesses is one of the other students, very good looking gay guy, tracks down good looking IT guy who works for the victim and romances him to reveal an incriminating email. I must say the homoerotic romance was hot. Hoo boy!! Now since the email is illegally obtained, how to introduce this. Get creative. Email introduced as legitimate discovery document. Prosecution objects because it was not in original discovery. This forces judge to allow this. (Now I must say that this could have gone badly, the judge could have called counsel to the bench and declared a mistrial, end of show. Just pointing out holes here.)

Third bit of evidence to be discredited is security video tape of accused purchasing some aspirin shortly before death of victim. Defense calls in a detective from Philadelphia branch and swears him in (turns out the guy is the one in her bedroom that junior interrupted and a gorgeous black guy!) He glares at her. She glares at him and asks him if in his experience did he have knowledge that any video tape had every been tampered with? Yes. Thank you officer, you are dismissed.

At a college get acquainted meeting the law students are chatting and meet another a typical suited middle aged white professor who is there with his wife to meet and greet. He is the defense attorney's husband, eye brows raised, he was not the guy in the bed room!

Fourth happenstance, second girl student is in courtroom bathroom and sees the accused seeing the victims wife who pats her on the shoulder. Second girl scurries to defense attorney's  secondary team who poo poo this as inadmissible. The secondaries have their own story line of shiftiness and smarm.

About three quarters of the way through the program, because of all this discrediting of evidence and testimony, the trial does go to jury and the accused is acquitted. Yay pizza is on me moment!!!

Then the missing students body is discovered in a sorority house water tank on the roof. The professors husband is watching this on TV when his wife comes in and he comments, “They found my student.” They both comment about the poor parents. She then says, “I bet the boyfriend did it.” Hmmm, could she be thinking that her husband might be involved?

Last scene shows the students assembling to burn their body. As the flames leap up we see camera close up of real guy rolled up in the rug. WTF?!

There are OTHER plot twists and turns developing as we speak, very impressive. Please ABC, keep up the high quality of writing and production or lose to Thursday night football. All you Thursday night football peeps need to record this show. You just gotta!!!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Another dream night.


Another dream night.

I was traveling with some people through what seemed like familiar territory. I asked to be let out at a certain spot telling the driver I would meet them at the bottom of the hill.

I found a nice pathway and started walking down. As I walked I saw a lion cross the path, then I saw a tiger cross the path. I then saw someone to my left and told them “Hello”.

Then I was in a town somewhere looking for a way home and I realized I was only wearing my biggest sweater, nekkid underneath. Hmmm. I found a very large store that turned out to be a charity of some sort. Some one gave me a pair of brown stretchy pants. Thus attired I asked for a phone and a phone number. Nope.

Then as usual I started looking for a bathroom.

So it seems I must look up Lost, Naked, Lions, Tigers and Pants, oh my.

To dream that you are lost suggests that you have lost your direction in life or that you have lost sight of your goals. You may be feeling worried and insecure about the path you are taking in life. If you try to call for help, then it means that you are trying to reach out for support. You are looking for someone to lean on. Alternatively, being lost means that you are still adjusting to a new situation in which the rules and conditions are ever changing.

To dream that you are naked denotes fear of being found out and exposed over your activities. You feel that you are being misjudged.

To see a lion in your dream symbolizes great strength, courage, aggression and power. You will overcome some of your emotional difficulties. As king of the jungle, the lion also represents dignity, royalty, leadership, pride and domination. You have much influence over others. You also need to exercise some restraint in your own personal and social life. Alternatively, a lion represents your need for control over others. You have to be in charge.

To see a tiger in your dream represents power and your ability to exert it in various situations. The dream may also indicate that you need to take more of a leadership role. Alternatively, the tiger represents female sexuality, aggression, and seduction.

To see or wear pants in your dream suggest that you are questioning your role in some situation. Consider the material and color of the pants for additional interpretation. Alternatively, the dream may be hinting at some sexual matter.

Colors in dreams represent energy, emotions, and vibes. First consider what that single color in your dream means to you and your own personal associations and relationship with that color. In general, pale pastel colors indicate weakness or subtlety. Dark colors represent passion and intensity. Bright colors mean awareness.

Um, some mixed messages here. Apparently I am still adjusting to a situation and will be strong and sexy and passionate and intense! Oy, can I get an aspirin?

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Another sleepless night?

I woke this morning from a catering dream.  I dreamt that I was very busy rushing around preparing for a meeting of some sort.  I had china ware set out including a tea set.  Then someone yelled, "They are here!"


"The Canadians!".

So I hopped in the car and sure enough there were a string of pretty little Canadian jets just rolling to a stop on the runway.  They were the prettiest white with a red Canadian Maple on each nose.

I directed everyone to the meeting place and was busy serving coffee.  My husband rushed in and shouted, "You have to stop being so nice or the Canadians will steal you!".

Then I woke up.   

So I tottered off to the dream interpretation site.  To dream of a jet signifies pride, power etc.  To dream of Canada is to identify with your perceptions of that country......oh dear..and that can mean ony one thing...

Canadian jets are... nice.

I wonder if the Canadian Air Force has a precision flying team called the Canadian Maples...wait isn't that a hockey team!?

Unfortunately the only picture I could find was this:

These are seriously NOT white with red Maple leaves...sigh...