all play, no work

Here is the grad school research I have been working on.
The instrument we are working on in the lab is outside and running. The CRDS (cavity ring down spectroscopy) measures the nitrate radical from N2O5 at night. It is now testing the air on top the GI building on campus. Here are a few pics....
Image hosted by Photobucket.com Randy who also in my lab group and has been working on this instrument for years is settting up.
Image hosted by Photobucket.com Up and running
Image hosted by Photobucket.com Being the new graduate student, here are some of my duties :-)



this morning is the coldest we have had yet. the reports were that the snow would end, the skies would open and the cold would take hold- it appears as this is the case. the reality of cold here is sobering. the advent of cold is always here. the conditions are right, as we lose seven minutes of light a day. cloud cover gives us our warmth, trapping heat and pollution for us to enjoy. it's gray when it's warm, but the upside is the snow.

the clear skies of cold however, are magnificent. the pink hues at the horizon line are only seen at this latitude. the color of severe, deadly, cold is one of the most beautiful sites i've seen. the man made heat hovers close to the ground. homes with wood burning stoves sit on the side of hills, wrapped tightly in the smoke from their chimneys. your breath exits your depths with great force, only to stall before your eyes, sort of mocking you.

i've begun reading barry lopez's arctic dreams this week. perfect timing for a truly unique voice to speak to me. this is a land where the sun rising in the east and setting in the west is the lore of far off lands. where sunrise and sunset are a seasonal reality, not daily. it's one of the most unique, and misunderstood, places on earth. this is a land i now call home. i'm inspired..and cold.

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it's never too cold for fetch.

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arctic beauty.



Turkey Dinner at the Frontier Cabin

Hi all. Just a few pics from our great Thanksgiving dinner that Stacia invited us to at Rebecca and Torsten's cabin. It was built in the 1870's and they still live close to the same way, no electricity, running water or even a fridge(there is a traditional one built into the ground to keep food cold). It makes our cabin look ultra modern. It is a very nice cabin, lots of tradition, even a piano. There was great singing, good food and Torsten's (from Denmark) and his friend homemade Mead. Tomoki is visiting from Japan to do research with us on our spectroscopy instrument and he wanted to visit a cain, he had a good time (we think), even took Stacia's bunny boots for the very long walk to the outhouse. -Dea
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After the Turkey....

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Happy Thanksgiving

dea and i took a drive north today to get out of town. we went and scoped out skiland though- the northern most ski 'resort' in the world. they will be opening in another week or so.

tonight we are heading up into the woods to have dinner with some friends. they live in a cabin without electricity or running water. dea just finished making kapusta (not sure if i spelled that right) and we are on our way out the door. hope everyone has a joyful, and safe, evening.

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state of the art lift chair (1) and rental shop! They are open Saturday and Sunday and have bathroom facilities.
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ben and dea


sick snow

i'm home sick today. dea's been sick for days too- i think she got the worst of it, but she's been plugging away at school regardless.

i, however, am at home double fisting tea, looking at job postings on line, and staring out the window at a huge dumping. it's snowed every night now for days. it's not like colorado- it comes a lot slower and steadier, but once it's here...it's here.

a couple pics from around the cabin today:

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this trail is right next to our house. notice the snow machine tracks- mushers will be using this trail soon.

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it's going to be quite some time before we lounge on the deck again.

all for now,


good day off

i had the day off today- it was good to see the sun for a change. the daily sunlight is down to about 5 hours a day right now, and i took full advantage of the daylight hours. i was ablto to shoot a little in town..

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this was taken around 11:30 this morning. yep, that's as high as the sun gets right now- just above the horizon.

also, pella got a package from mom and dad in iowa. apparently, they are afraid she isn't tough enough for the alaska winter, so they sent her some boots. she HATED having them on - below is the only photo where she is sitting still. i wish we had video- pretty classic stuff...

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"please get these things off me...pleeeeeese"

all for now.


still snowing....and we are skiing a ton.

Wow, as I am writing this blog, a snowmachine just went flying by the side of the cabin, the trail is a mile or so from here, I guess they got lost. Ben and I are enjoying all the snow! It is not like a colorado dump, just slow and steady...we skied Moose Mtn. again afterwork. Ben really loves having a ski hill this close and all to himself! They are only open Fri-Sun with the busses. So during the week it is skintasktic! Dea
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Julie's Defense Party, Yeah!!

We all went to the Pump House after Julie's defense. Of course with Stacia there it was a little crazy! Apparently Ben and Balshi were ruling the Pool table, too? Way to go Julie!
Image hosted by Photobucket.com Komi, Stacia and Julie

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Image hosted by Photobucket.com Part of the Crew


snow dance

ok, i'm officially sick of seeing the snow report form colorado. copper mountian won't stop sending me powder emails- they probably found out about my 'comp' day last year, and this is a form of cruel punishment. no matter though, we are supposed to get snow tonight. it's about time. the scene here is pretty grim. the sky is spectacular this time of year, but everything else is depressing- dirty and cold.

skies *check*. skins *check*. ipod *check*. glasses *check*. poles *check*. dea & pella *check*. now, if the car would warm up and we could get some of the white stuff we would be set.

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Skin the Moose

Ben and I had a great day skinin' up the Moose and skiing down. We found some great untouched runs, though no new snow, it was a blast. Only a 5 minute drive, sunny and -5F, we could see views of the Brooks Range and the Alaska Range. We ususally don't see anybody, but today we ran into the owner, Roger. Ben knows him from coming in to the bookstore...
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Image hosted by Photobucket.com Ben talking with Roger about the slopes.
Image hosted by Photobucket.comBefore the descent....
Image hosted by Photobucket.com Stacia and I skiing earlier in the week.

We are all fired up for some back country skiing after seeing Warren Miller Friday, 2 for 1 at Alyeska down south in the big mountains!



As I write this blog this morning, I am sipping AMANTE coffee! My advisor brought some back from Boulder! What a treat. It is also 10F above zero and feels just down right warm. I am headed out for a run. Ben and I are tele skiing tonight. What a difference Amante can make, now I don't have to drool at Beth's coffee pics.]
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Ben pumping gas at the GoldStream station and I can't remember why I took this? To remember the day before the "number one" haircut.
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monday night

dea and i spent most of the day on campus today- dea working on a presentation for her lab tomorrow, and me working on my new site. we got home this afternoon to take pella for a walk, and the fed ex guy met us at the drive. dea's mom sent her a new coat! so, the three of us went for a long walk from the cain and were warm, despite the -12F temps.

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dea made key lime pie while i worked- it was delish!



Moose Mountain Hike

The girls and I hiked Moose Mountain to scope out the early season tele skiing. Ben and I are going to ski tomorrow! It was a great hike, here are some pics!!

Image hosted by Photobucket.comStacia's sporting the BUNNY boots, official boot of Fairbanks, from the military and really keep you warm. The white ones are good to -70F!

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Image hosted by Photobucket.comAt the top, the dogs crawled under the deck to get warm and catch a nap on the grass showing. This is Ky, Julie's dog.



Cabin Life.

Hi All. I am just hanging out at the cabin today studying. We winterized the car last night in our friend Ted's heated garage (thanks Ted!!), just in the nick of time. This morning is was -25F.The sun is not a great help, but we are hoping for -15F for a high. We plugged the car in last night and it started great this morning. Here are a few picks around the cabin today.
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Though the cabin is pretty well insulated, the door is not. This is the ice forming on the inside of the door.

Image hosted by Photobucket.comYes, finally the outhouse. Ben has scissors and tacs out there so you can cut and hang up pictures, never a dull moment in the Huff outhouse.(notice the old skis as part of the roof holding it together)

Off too get meet a friend for coffee at the ole' AK coffee roasters.Dea


It's COLD up here..

..and Ben's ready!

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Ben are you in there?

Ben's mom sent him a great down coat this week. She got it from a friend of hers in Iowa- apparently it belonged to her brother who used to live in Fairbanks! Cory sent up a pair of glovess too- an early Christmas present.
Ben walked Pella late last night- it was -10F, and he came back sweating!



The temperature sensor works!

We have been waiting for the car temperature sensor to register below zero, it never did in Boulder. Today and here to stay and only get lower -14F! It works.

The olympic ski teams for Canada and the USA are in town training. There is a big race this weekend at Birch Hill, season opener http://www.nscfairbanks.net/competition/competition.html
Best early season snow they say, I have been out nearly everyday since it is groomed right here at UAF for skate skiing. We have some very talented friends and I am always getting pointers so hopefully my technique will improve. Dea