Archive for October, 2007

Have you ever printed a boarding pass?

Well this little feat has been a long time coming.  For those of you who have worked with me in Unalakleet you probably have heard about my aspiration of using the poster printer to print my boarding pass.  Well two days ago my dream became a reality.  I logged onto and checked in for my flight.  Selected my seats and chose the option to print my boarding pass.  Well as you know Mac computers make it super easy to print things as a PDF file instead of to a printer.  So thats what I did.  I was on two different flights and both boarding pass tickets were on the same page stacked on top of each other.  This wouldn’t do I need each boarding pass to be on a different print out to really dramatize the “Big Boarding Pass”.  So I took a screen shot of each individual one and then took them over to the poster printer.  Each one printed out to be about three feet wide and about 1.5 feet tall.  I put them in a picture tube and flew to Anchorage.  My flight was on Hageland which doesn’t require a boarding pass, so none needed for the first leg of my trip.

After my arrival at Anchorage I got my bags checked and headed to the TSA security screening area.  Rebecca tagged along to take some pictures from a distance as I made my way through security.  I flashed my MVP card to the first TSA lady who let me into the MVP line without the need for my boarding pass.  Then it came to the person that checks your ID with your boarding pass just before the screening area.  Here is how it played out.

The TSA agent asked for my I.D. and boarding pass.  I handed him my I.D. and then unrolled the boarding pass.

First Look

After a look of surprise he said “Is that your boarding pass?”  I told him “Yeah… I didn’t have any other printer at work, and was running late for my flight”.  He told me to stand back and called on his radio for his supervisor.  He took my boarding pass and headed back toward the main TSA desk which was on the other side of the metal detector.

Showing the Boss

The supervisor came over and they exchanged a few words.


He came back to me and said “Okay… You are going to need to carry this through the metal detector with you.”  and he let me on through with a smile.


I made it through the metal detector, and didn’t even get an extra pat down or anything.  So that was nice.  My backpack needed another scan.  It usually does with the pleathra of hard drives and extra batteries that I always have with me.  So while that was happening a TSA agent came over and asked if he could look at the giant boarding pass.  I handed it to him.  He took it back to their little area and laid it out on a table.  He called over all of his TSA buddies and they all hovered over it checking it out.  I heard comments like..

“Thats an official boarding pass?”

“yeah..  Look it has everything, just really big”

“Man.. how’d he get it so big?”

“He must be an architect or something.”

I finally got my backpack and headed over their way.  They all had smiles on their face and said that I was very original.  I told them I was hoping to lighten their day a bit, and thanked them for having fun with it.  Here is a picture with one of the TSA guys.


I then headed down to my gate.  When I got to the check-in place. The agent asked for my boarding pass.  I unrolled it and he started laughing.  Mentioned somthing about not being able to scan that and just typed in my seat number and told me to have a nice flight.

After my extremely long flight down to Minneapolis I headed into the World Club (NWA’s rendition of the Board Room).  When you enter their facility with an Alaska Airlines board room pass you need to show them a NWA ticket to get in.  So I handed them my board room card and unrolled my boarding pass on the counter.  The two ladies looked at each other and started laughing.  They called over the other people working in the world club over to take a look.  They asked me if I had won a trip or something.  I told them that I was just doing it to get a smile out of people.  They laughed and told me to have a nice day.  One of them said that they’d like to see the gate agent try to scan that thing in.

After my 4 hours of sitting in there waiting for my final flight, I headed over to my gate.  When I went to check in there I unrolled my other ginormous boarding pass, and the lady just started laughing and said “is this for real?”.  I told her that it was and so she punched in my seat number into the computer just like the last one had and said “can I have that?”.  I said “sure, can I get a picture with you?”.


So it turned out to be a good trip.  Everyone involved really seemed to enjoy the whole thing.  I wish I could have gotten a little video of the encounters, but that would have been pretty difficult to pull off all by myself.

I hope you enjoy the story.  It made my long journey just that much better.


A quick recap on the last two and half weeks of travel…

Here is a video I did in Google Earth to show how my last two and half weeks has been spent.

[QUICKTIME 320 260]

So as you can see I’ve had a busy two weeks. Lots of flights. Almost one a day. I did spend two days over a weekend in Brevig Mission, and two days in Unalakleet over another weekend. Besides that I was only in a village for one night and off to the next village the next day. Needless to say I slept like a hibernating bear my weekend in Unalakleet.

This last Monday I flew with Doug (the BSSD plane) to Koyuk at 8:00 AM from Unalakleet. I spent the day there shooting video and then Doug swung back by Koyuk around 5:15 P.M. and took me to Shaktoolik. The weather was kinda sketchy with slushy rain falling outside and a fair bit of wind bouncing the plane around. We flew the trip at about 400 feet off the ocean. The GPS in the front of the plane was displaying the yellow (we may just hit something if you go any lower) and Red (If you fly towards me you will hit something) warnings of well pretty much our entire surroundings.

Warning GPS

I took a little video and used the seat in front of me to stabilize the camera to the best of my abilities. As you can see it wasn’t very easy.

[QUICKTIME 320 260]

So I spent a night in Shaktoolik the weather there was pretty much terrible. Blowing like crazy and rain pouring down. The next day I wasn’t sure I was going to make it out of there. John Concilus was there as well, so we both kind of had a weary eye on the sky. Hageland decided to get a plane out flying so we had our chance. The pilot landed the 207 there in Shaktoolik and we quickly loaded up all of our gear. Then a truck pulled up with 500 pounds of mail to be added into the back. We were pretty packed in there. Here are few pictures from the short flight from Shaktoolik to Unalakleet.

Foggy Coast


Sitting Shotgun

We made it into Unalakleet safe and sound.

My parting picture for this post will be the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow in Unalakleet. For those of you who lived in this building. Yow know how far from the truth this actually is.

Pot o Gold

Old Stomping Ground

I left Gambell and St. Lawerence island on Friday heading for Teller which is just a mear 7 miles from Brevig Mission where Erin and I taught a few years ago. I got some pretty decent footage in Teller, stayed the night, and shot a little more the next day. Around 5:00 I was on a plane to make that quick journey to Brevig. C.O. and AnnMaire were out at the airport when I stepped off the plane. I was lucky enough to stay with them while in Brevig. It was fun to see all of the students that we had worked with. AnnMaire and C.O. have a very nice house. They have it decorated up very nicely. We stayed up talking late into the evening enjoying some tasty Muskox for dinner.

The next day was beautiful out and we decided to hike up the mountain behind the village. I was hoping to get some video of Brevig from up above, and it was a nice day to be outside. As we approached the base of the mountain we found two of my old students. Sherosha and RayRay on a dirtbike. They were checking out the small herd of Muskox that had come down off the top of the mountain. We talked the boys into riding around to the other side of the heard to get them to run back towards us in hopes of getting some video. They were up for the challenge and did just that. The heard however headed up the side of the mountain, so I got some okay video but they were kind of behind a ridge. The boys met up with us as we were heading up the mountain after us. They said they’d try to go around them again and get them to come by us again. So we continued heading up the mountain.

AnnMaire and C.O.

We were about three quarters the way up the mountain when the boys finally had the heard coming back our way. I squatted down and started filming the heard coming my way. I was looking through the view finder and watching them get closer and closer. The hard thing to tell is how far away they actually are. I think it should have that little disclaimer “Objects are closer than they appear”. Well needless to say when I opened my other eye to see where they actually were, they were close. I stood up so they could see that I was there, and they were nice enough to divert their direction away from me.

Muskox silhouette


We spent a little time at the top looking at the amazing panorama views. The weather was still very nice with some clouds rolling in.

Self Portrait

We headed down the mountain and back to the village. After a little dinner we went over and I got my first look at the new school that was built since Erin and I left. It is amazing how its changed. It actually feels like a learning institution. You can see why the kids are more likely to be in a working mode. Really amazing to see such a nice school in the place our old run down one used to stand. After the school tour we went down to the beach and shot got some video of the sun setting over the ocean.

Brevig Set

Today I left Brevig on a Bering Air flight that followed the coast landing in Wales. Wales lies on the tip of the Seward Peninsula and the Bering Strait. Wales has a few things in its surrounding area that are fairly well known. The first is a land feature known as Razor Back Mountain.

Razor Back Mountain

I hiked up the Razor Back and shot this photo looking between two if the spires looking over the Bering Strait.

Rock Gap

On my hike up Razor Back I was surrounded by the tundra changing colors in the fall. It was really pretty.


Over behind the village is this huge hand statue. It is a peace symbol facing Russia. Apparently its waving to the Russians, and there is one on the Russian side waving back. I can’t really go to Russia to take a picture of it, but here is what the one on the US side looks like.


This is a picture of me with the village of Wales in the background.


I am off to Shishmaref tomorrow, so I’ll keep you posted in the next couple days on how my trip is going. I am really looking forward to getting back to Erin. It has been entirely too long to be away.