Wednesday, December 29, 2004
Well, great auroras tonight. The sky was looking incredible... just need to work on remembering to check the focusing and the aperture on my film camera before going crazy with the picture taking. Anyway, Midge and I enjoyed the show together... I bet you can find her in this picture if you look hard enough:
Otherwise it was a great night for it as you can see in these two shots.
Saturday, December 25, 2004
... Looking at some instuctions ...
... The dogs were enjoying themselves, too ...
... After the three of us opened up presents we went with Mel to John Aleperti's house for Christmas dinner and fun. Shrimp, fancy breads and cheeses was the main course and we wrapped things up with Chocolate fondue which was fun. Chocolate dipped baby carrots aren't really that bad tasting I learned.
... Aleperti made salsa but had an extra pepper. So, we whittled it down to the really hot part here which was dipped in the fondue for giggles to cover up the burning hot taste of the pepper.
... The bananas were to be for dipping in the chocolate but somehow they ended up being a lot on the green side. So, we kind of ended up playing with them.
... After leaving Aleperti's house we went over to Sam, Hagen's boss's house for a bonfire, cider and more food (grilled shishkabobs). It was nice to have a warm pallet fire with the air so cold.
... What Christmas eve isn't complete without a snow angel. Shortly after this Mel was seriously whitewashed by Hagen when he mistook her for me.
... Well, the evening was nice but the temperature today was frigid. Just Tuesday or Wenesday the temperature was right around freezing. Today, more like 30 below or colder.
So, that's our Christmas. It was pretty fun. I hope everyone else has a great Christmas day, too.
Wednesday, December 22, 2004
But, the view was nice.
Tuesday, December 21, 2004
Thursday, December 16, 2004
... Added RSS...
Maybe... drop me a line if it doesn't work for you: firstname.lastname@example.org
Wednesday, December 15, 2004
Since we had time to kill at the airport last weekend I got some exercise and did six laps on the esco-walker... feel the burn. We'll leave the crazy lady Shane left me stuck with for another time.
Copied from a publication put together by these folks:
National Atmospheric Deposition Program
Thursday, December 09, 2004
And another look how frosty I am shot:
Well, that's it for now. Time to sleep into the next week...
Tuesday, December 07, 2004
The ride over the tundra was super bumpy but, one of my skills is being able to sleep anywhere and true to form, I was out for a good chunk of the trip to L9817. So, once we got there we met up with our friends from Fairbanks: Richard (BLM hydrologist) and Matt (BLM biologist) who flew in on skis. So, the day was pretty fun working with them even though the temperature dropped throughout the day until it was below -30. Not to much wind though (not that it takes much...). It was my first day to need hot pads in my gloves because I was working so much without gloves. The first real kicker of the day was the DO sensor I was installing. It took over an hour to connect the water proof sensor and get the darn thing in the water. In what seems to be a recurring theme for the trip I warmed the cable up by sticking it up my sleeve while the sensor was warmed by driving around the lake. So, eventually we got it. Well, in the mean time one of the snowmachines broke down. The snowmachine committee poked and prodded for a while before deciding it was broken. The aurora was great so I enjoyed the show. However, forgot my tripod so check out this picture using my unpatented mitten monopod. Didn't even look through the camera eyehole for it... got lucky for sure...
So, the consensus was ditch the snowmachine and come back later... So, Mike and Ken tied it to the back of Mike's snow machine and off they went. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, we had 6 people instead of the 4 we were expecting (we didn't know Matt was coming with Richard) to fit in the Hagglund. I don't know why it always seems to happen this way but Braden, the grad student we're all up here supporting, ended up riding shotgun and Shane (over 250), Matt (a tall guy), Richard (quite tall), and I ended up splitting the back. Well, no biggie except for the engine housing that sits in the back. So, for the first 2/3s Richard and Shane sat in the two seats, Matt sat on the cover with his back against the back of the cab and I got the front left corner of the cover. After 10 miles of tundra Richard and I switched out and I was able to get in a few more Zs. It was a great day though. Richard, Ken, Mike and I finished it with a good old fashioned bull session in the cafeteria around midnight.
Well, I think you're all caught up. Who knows what insanity Wednesday will bring but I'm still pulling for a Friday return...
(it's the speck on the right... didn't bring a telephoto since I didn't want to see any wildlife... brilliant plan...)
So, eventually we got the sensor broken free of the ice without losing the breaker bar or the chainsaw the the chilly waters below. A well timed grab by Ken with the ice pick brought the sensor out of the hole where he was able to chip around it and get it out intact.
Highlights of the evening included a general page over the Alpine PA system for Ken (that really got me eating quickly in the cafeteria, I figured if he was paged it couldn't be good)... Sticking the chainsaw bar against my belly to thaw it out (BRRRRRR!)... me keeping the sensor warm after we pulled it out of the hole by once again putting it in my layers... Mike surrounded by a mist of water vapor cutting through the ice and inching closer in his cuts to the sensor
Friday, December 03, 2004
So, the weather warmed up a little (15 degrees warmer in the wind chill and 5 degrees warmer in the regular temperature ) but as you can see it's still chilly if you're out there all day. The only time it's cold is when you have to face the wind or take your gloves off for an extended period of time, stuff like that. Here's I am looking frosty:
Well, we'll see how Saturday goes. We're traveling to Alpine tomorrow. It's only 30 miles away but we're flying since they haven't made the ice roads yet.
Thursday, December 02, 2004
As you can see it's a bit past sunset... except for the sun isn't rising right now. So, for the better part of the day it's just over the horizon like this or a bit brighter. So, we chipped and dug and shoveled, all six of us, and three hours later the raft was uncovered and we were ready to tow it. Here Loda and Mike make some last minute adjustments to things before the big move to the center of the lake. The big difference between today and Tuesday is that today there wasn't nearly as much blowing snow. You can see in the background one of the Kuparuk field pump stations.
So, finally we pulled the raft out of the hole and out onto the lake where we chased the center of the lake with a frozen gps. Braden and I both tried to warm the screen up and it really killed me having to take my gloves off to heat up the screen with my bare hands. Having goggles that kept fogging up was one thing but hoooeeeey, it's chilly out there with the wind going. So, here we are pulling the raft out:
Well who knows what tomorrow will bring other than being totally tired again! Until tomorrow...
Wednesday, December 01, 2004
So, in the mean time, one more picture of the raft. It reminds me of that famous picture of Shackelton's ship frozen into the ice.
So, tomorrow we'll give it another go. No complaints here, but I've been dressing for the weather so the cold hasn't really been that bad other than moving a little slower due to being dressed in so many layers.
Finally, pulling the raft from the shore out onto the lake. Woo hoo, finally!