A lot warmer walking along the river than the 5F (-15C) it’s meant to be
A lot warmer walking along the river than the 5F (-15C) it’s meant to be
Yesterday afternoon Nick, Dana and I went fishing up to the Gallic River where the locals ‘apparently’ go fishing. I say ‘apparently’, as we saw no fishing holes and could barely keep on the trail up there as it’s not widely used! We had the auger so cut a few holes within 5-10 minutes (damn sight easier than using an ice pick to break through existing holes!) and started fishing, but had about as much luck as fishing downriver from Tunt. It was a nice afternoon though, around 5F without much wind, and the ride was pretty cool through the soft snow and across bare tundra without following a trail. I’ll see if Dana had any good photos I can post. Some of Dana’s family are coming up here tomorrow so Nick wanted to check he could get out to the fishing holes and see if there were some holes already cut, but I don’t think I could find my way back there without getting lost as the wind covers the trail pretty quick
I got my PC up and running over the weekend too – genius that I am brought over a bunch of game CD’s and applications for photo + video editing, but not the driver CD for the system board, so that took a while to download them off the internet. My graphics card (256Mb ATI Radeon 9550) seems to have gone belly up though, probably with bouncing around on airplanes when I moved over here. Works fine just on the desktop, but get all sorts of tearing, streaking and artifacts on screen at low-level (such as BIOS or OS splash screen is loaded) and anytime it kicks into a game. Tried different drivers, flashing BIOS, etc. but simply putting in a basic 32Mb don’t-ask-me-to-do-3D card works without problems so it’s not the system board. Annoying as it would still run at 50-60fps, just can’t make out what the hell it’s trying to display on screen! But, Amazon have a $30 mail-in rebate on a GeForce 8600GT with 256Mb DDR3 bringing it down to $65 delivered which is daft considering they were $150 a few months ago, and will kick the pants off the 9550 I paid the same for a couple of years back. That’s PC technology though, especially graphics cards.
I’d gone for a walk along the river with Mia this afternoon, and when I got to the airport Arctic Transportation Services had just flown in so I spent a while checking out their plane I’d never been there to see what ATS fly and I was curious after catching Arctic Circle’s Skyvan last year – the pilot said ATS mainly use the Casa C212′s, this one being the C212-200:
The guys were friendly as they were unloading, mainly as Mia did her usual trick of acting cute until people gave her attention. Nice plane though, and about the same kinda size and cargo capacity as the Skyvan’s.
It uses the same engine as the Skyvan’s so also has reverse thrust (as with most large prop-driven aircraft) which makes for pretty cool maneuvering on the ground. The Cessna 207′s have to give it a bunch of power whilst left or right wheel braking to easily turn the aircraft on the ground – the Casa 212 can engage reverse thrust by changing the angle of the propeller to allow the aircraft to reverse like a car.
It was pretty warm down on the river and around the airport at 5F (-15C), but a strong wind brought the windchill to -15F (-26C) as I walked back home which wasn’t much fun. We hurried back as there were a couple of Amazon boxes being dropped off for me at home – I ordered a PC case after resigning myself to the fact I’d be spending $70 shipping on a $30 case But, it looks really good, has a quiet PSU (which I’m not convinced will do the job as with most cheap PSU’s included with a case like this), and means I don’t have to rely on my dying Medion laptop from 2002 for flight sim anymore
We’ve had a 2-3 days of clear weather now and I was looking forward to heading out on the snowmobile for a ride or going ice fishing, except the clear skies have brought temperatures down to -26F (-32C) plus whatever windchill gets thrown on Isn’t it the first day of spring today? Don’t even fancy going to the store in this… Got soft from the warmer weather the last few weeks I think!
This afternoon we had some pretty decent weather for a change – even though it was around 0F with windchill down to -25F, the sun was out and it wasn’t overcast or snowing I wouldn’t say I’d given up on the Project 365 photo a day gig, but as the weather has been so poor for the past month or so with only the occasional break, it just wasn’t exciting photographing things around the house or dragging myself outside simply for the sake of a half-hearted photo converted to black + white as the light is so poor. There’s also not a whole load to photograph out here after a while! So, I’ve decided to wait until day’s like this when I get to head out and enjoy being outside and taking photographs without worrying what will be my shot of the day simply because I feel I have to have one.
Anyways, a few days of snow and winds have created some pretty cool snowdrifts and patterns in the snow, burying the boats again:
With the winds swinging from north east to north west and then westerly, there’s some nice looking snow drifts with lips and curls on them (which Mia loved charging up + down and destroying before I could photograph!):
Out on the tundra, the wind had been able to whip the snow across the flat landscape creating patterns and layouts almost like you’d see on sand dunes or at the beach. Stung like sand being whipped against your face too!
Pam + Marie made it back on Sunday – I was talking with my parents telling them how the weather was horrible with blowing snow, overcast skies at only a couple of hundred feet and one mile visibility at the most when “bbbrrrrmmmmmmmm” over-flies a Yute Air plane Tell you, the worse the weather, the more likely Yute are to fly in + out on schedule! Most important thing was they brought my Subway – apparently they had good trip too
The tables got painted over the weekend and last month’s pay went through via direct deposit which means I don’t have to mess around mailing in a check and waiting a couple of weeks for it to clear. Of course, with only 10 hours last month it didn’t break the bank, but did add a whopping $7.23 to a retirement fund I guess I have.
Oh, and Janette – get back to work
This afternoon I took Marie + Pam to the airport as they’re heading into Anchorage for the 3-day Spring break at school. I told them if they forgot my Subways I wouldn’t pick them up on Sunday But, I hadn’t seen this Cessna 208B Grand Caravan that Grant Aviation have before – looks pretty good for a bush plane, though it is ‘only’ 10 years old!
After school, Nick wanted to go out ptarmigan hunting and asked me to join him. An hour and a half or trawling round the tundra and we only saw one flock of four birds which scattered on the first shot. But, ever heard the myth that if you drop your gun in the snow and get it down the barrel it will explode when you fire it? Mythbusters didn’t do a very good job claiming it’s can’t happen as it did!
Nick dropped his shotgun off his snowmobile and packed snow down the barrel, then after cleaning the snow out he held it at arm’s reach and fired it, and sure enough the end of barrel just splinted like in cartoons when a cork is pushed in the barrel of a gun! Thankfully he was okay as the pieces didn’t break off much and he held it far enough way, but I’d guess the metal barrel must have frozen with the snow packed in it for a few minutes, so when the gun was fired and the heat travelled down it caused the metal to expand quickly and just plain broke. Easy enough to replace, but still a bit extreme!
We’re both convinced we saw a wolf a few miles out the village too. Was far too big to be a fox and was grey coloured compared to the red/brown of a fox, and as we tried to chase it down and came across it’s tracks, they definately weren’t fox tracks. Wouldn’t imagine a dog would be that far out the village, and heading out, or would dart off so quickly when it heard our engines, but the locals do talk about wolves in the area, just none real confirmed sightings. Would have looked cool riding back into the village dragging a wolf behind us!
Anyway, I’m painting tables for the next two days at school…
Confused by the warm weather last week, a few trees seemed to think spring was really here. This is one of the few with a hint of the red leaves still on it – most of the others have already been zapped by temperatures back to 5F (-15C) the last few days.
The last couple of days I’ve been pretty ill – I’m blaming it on all the dust from the ceiling tiles on Saturday. Was better today so hopefully will be gone in another day or two. We got most of the tiles done, but there were some broken when the ceiling was originally up a couple of years ago so they need measuring, cutting and installing to finish it off, but the teachers seem fairly happy with it as it is. Adds up to a few dollars in the pay check at the end of month I suppose.
On Thursday the school breaks up for a whopping 3 day spring-break vacation which Kat is excited about. Marie + Pam are heading into Anchroage for a few days but Kat figured it wasn’t worth it just for 2-3 days with our plans for the summer, so we’ve passed on our Subways orders instead Gives us something to look forward to, and hopefully I can get out ice fishing again over the next few days as well so we have some fresh fish.
The standing water along the riverbanks slowly freezing again with the temperature falling down to 10F after highs of 35F last week.