Wednesday, March 29, 2006


Another trip to the watershed

Well, pretty cool, got out to CPCRW on a nice day yesterday. Nice sunny weather (never mind the temperature was just a bit above 0). Got to change the NADP bucket (a bit of nostalgia) and then Brian and I changed out the batteries on the longwave radiometers. Like most things they're in a hard to reach spot. Here's a picture of me pulling them off the 10 foot tall tower:

So, part 1 of the operation includes taking the sensors off the tower. The second part is just as lame. There's a little battery about as thick as 4 or 5 watch batteries all stacked together in the bottom of the radiometers protected by a water tight lid held in place by 6 teeny screws. So, after you pull the lid off (which is on the bottom of the radiometer so the whole thing has to come off the tower) you've got to keep track of these little screws while changing the battery. The battery's about as hazardous as you'll find anywhere, a lead-mercury number. Anway, the battery usually give me trouble when I try to pull it off because it's embedded deep in the radiometer casing. So, as I'm telling Brian how hard they are to pull out he gets his out easily. I continue on complaining just as my battery launches in a nice shot straight up into the air, a nice parabola up and down. You pretty much know the rest. It gets buried in a snow bank and we spend a forever digging through the snow. Nice day to be out though.

The other task for the day was grabbing some water samples at this period of low flow from the creeks. They'd been told to expect artesian water (under so much pressure that water goes up above the ice surface) however that was hardly the case. The water was way at the bottom of the hole so with no pump to get the water we rigged this classic deal out of rebar and duct tape:

Monday, March 27, 2006


Riding to Work

Over the weekend I decided there'd be nothing trashier than riding one of those segway deals to work for a few days. The thought of not getting off between my house and my office door (go through the handicap door downstairs and then take the elevator up) really cracked me up. So, I tried to rent one over the weekend. It's such a bummer, the dealer's in Anchorage and doesn't really do this sort of thing:

Thanks for enquiring about Segway rentals. Unfortunately, I'm not able to offer these types of rentals at the moment. You are, of course, welcome to come down to Anchorage and try a Segway out... I usually have a Segway XT and a Segway i180 available for demos. If I can answer any questions concerning Segway use, please feel free to ask.

So, sadly, this won't be me:

Friday, March 24, 2006



So, after a bit of delay I finally have some pictures of the ordination. Email me if you'd like bigger ones ( I have more, too this is just more a sampling of what's to come. Pretty cool deal and it was neat being in Sitka for ordination.

The sermon:

The administrative stuff:

Finally, the ordinating part:

Wednesday, March 22, 2006



Well, I guess I forgot to put up the furniture pictures from when I got new furniture last fall. The backstory... last fall my Uncle Bill sent out a group email with pictures of a ton of furniture (probably literally) and asked all us relatives if we were interested in any since he was remodeling and passing things on. I said yes to whatever he wanted to send me... up to and including everything via phone. But then realized that was a bit much. So, followed up with several emails pleading for less. Well, the emails were silently rejected by his email program and so I ended up the proud owner of one and a half lift trucks worth of furniture. The itemized list is:

* 1 Long Coffee Table
* 1 Hydabed
* 2 glass topped end tables
* 1 piano
* 1 picnic table & chairs
* 1 rocking chair
* ... and a work belt

Despite being barged & trucked from Moses Lake they made all the right connections in Seattle and Whittier and so the whole deal took just over a week to get up here. Not your grandpa's barge speed. Well, John Johnson worked the phone and had the stuff dropped at his house, a half mile from mine. So that created the problem of how to get it to my place. I remembered I had an old school dog sled and so I rode the sled behind his truck and we pulled everything to my place:

Talk about a kick in the pants. Pretty fun moseying down the street with a 10 foot sled full of stuff. Got some waves from the neighbors and weirded out a few other cars. Here's the aftermath:

So, that was pretty fun. My square footage is 320 sqaure feet downstairs and about 160 upstairs. I got everything in but the rocking chair (the picnic table chills outside) and an old coffee table of mine standing on its side upstairs now. How cool is that. Here's all patched up and put together:

... the post script... despite all that stuff 16 people managed to squeeze into the downstairs there a couple weeks ago for a going away party for Sunit. Crazy.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006


Indian River Trail

Saturday after my sister arrived I dragged her and Rob Morris down Indian River trail to the falls. I'd totally had a hankering to get back there or up Verstovia since deciding to come to Sitka for the big ordination back in January. So, ever the good sport, here she is about a thousand layers of clothes. It was in the 80s back east last week just before she came out.
Mary Ellen

Being the world champion dork that I am we came across these trees across the river and decided to see if I could fall in crossing them (that really was the whole reason for stopping). So, Rob heckled and Mary Ellen worked the camera to catch the exact moment I dropped into the river.
Log crossing 1

Bummer for them, I made it across. Oh well. I'd have to wait till later to find out how cold the water was. The air was in the low teens. A family freaked out to see me out there in just a t-shirt. I was wearing my regular hiking boots and was skating all over. It was just like when I tried walking to work wearing the Rex Kwondo Halloween costume and spent the whole way just trying to stay on my feet. The hard rubber in the soles was killer on the ice. I ate it a bunch of times on the way back down the trail. Anyway, here I am coming back from the other side:
Log crossing 2

So, it was a pretty fun hike despite the cold. Eventually we made it. Treated Mary Ellen to some good food (reces easter eggs, and a couple cans of pringles for lunch). Then pretty much started falling through the ice all over. Rob almost fell in after walking out onto this big pool covered in ice. The whole thing caved in with a big whump and we all laughed pretty hard. Then I soaked a foot coming back from the other side of that spot. Dumped the camera in the snow, too. So that was the end of that lens for the day. But, we were finally at the falls which were pretty cool. I've been dying to see what they looked like frozen since a trip from a few years back.
The falls

So, Mary Ellen wanted to head back but Rob and I had some more stupid stuff to take care of. I wanted to get a bit closer but thought the ice was thin (since I had a wet foot and Rob and busted through pretty good even though he didn't get wet). Here's Rob going across this other pool to put my gloves on the other side so I'd fall in while retrieving them...
Rob and the gloves
Well, it didn't work but trying to get one last portrait picture of me and the falls I totally fell into water up over my knee trying to get up on that log on the left side of that picture. Mary Ellen was to far away to hear the splash but she knew there'd been an accident from all the laughing coming from down on the ice. Pretty fun trip though. I want to get back up here in the summer and maybe get up behind the water falls again like Adam and I did a few years back...
Well, more pictures of the ordination etc. tomorrow I gots to get the dogs fed and to bed...


Sitka Part 1

Well, back from Sitka. Totally awesome trip and totally primed the pump for another visit this summer hopefully. Since I can't do the picture albums at the moment I figured I'd load up the blog here with a few sets of junk.
Mary Ellen and I stayed with Ralph and Jill Johnson which was awesome. Friday Ralph and I went on the tour of Sitka to see what'd changed. Got the whole talking tour and everything. Here he is explaining how ice works since the weather was so freezing cold (they hit 2 above a few days before). Cracked me up:
Ralph with the ice

Hiking the Indian River trail we came across some needle ice. Not really all that cool but my boss the soil scientist had never seen this kind of ground ice before since it's not found much up in the interior and stuff. So, I grabbed a few pictures for him:
Needle Ice

Monday, March 13, 2006



Got my 22 boxes of girl scout cookies over the weekend. Yeah, this is a pretty good time of year.

Sunday, March 12, 2006



Boy, talk about your fun deal, skijoring's the best. So, you may have heard, I got my first set of cross country skis this past week, skate skis. That's cool, I haven't figured out how to go forwards without using the poles yet but yesterday I took Bergey out skijoring with a sweet harness I made myself, gunbelt full of shotgun shells around my waste and a couple of my world famous knots in a length of the rope I buy everytime I go to Nome since it's such handy rope (kind of like how I always buy a box or two of the 2 gallon ziplocs each time I got to Nome). Yeah, so looking fierce we headed out. It was fun but Bergey's getting a little tubby so we didn't go super far. The only catch about the whole operation is I'm not really sure yet how to get out of the skis. I dork around with them for a while and then randomly I get lucky and one pops off. So, today I took both dogs out and what a blast! Together they go super fast. Last year Midge wasn't a big skijoring fan, she only liked going back to the trailhead (usually from only a couple hundred yards out), but this year she's a little older and totally works it. They're so happy out there. Kind of like the sled dogs on the Iditarod and stuff I guess. So, we flew down the driveway and I hung on for life on these skis went to Creamer's field and back. I crashed really good once or twice and figured that made for a good turn around spot. Wore the dogs out, too. They've been asleep for the past six hours pretty much. If I can figure out how to do it maybe I'll get some pictures of it before I head to Sitka this week.

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