Sunday, October 31, 2010


Just arrived here and getting ready for a great meeting.

I'll post more after recuperating from the long flight. I left last night after midnight and arrived in Atlanta in the late afternoon....

Friday, October 22, 2010

iPhone HDR Image

As you can see, I think the riding season is really over until April or May. Actually, the roads aren't bad at all though they are impossible for me to get to without a trailer. Ice is covering the driveway and the subdivision roads. The main roads get enough traffic to eliminate the snow and ice shortly after it stops falling.

Non-HDR Image
HDR Image
These picture are sort of an experiment as my phone claims to take HDR or high dynamic range pictures automatically. The camera phone will take three pictures, one at what it believes to be the correct exposure, one under exposed and one over exposed. The under exposed one is used to get more detail in the blown out areas and the over exposed one is used to add more detail to the really dark areas. Software somehow munges all this data together resulting an HDR image. The non-HDR image is the first one and the second one is the HDR image. I can see the additional detail in the shadows but I'm still trying to decide if it is any improvement. This may be a poor subject for testing but it is something for me to play around with now that the bike is parked in the back of the garage.

Last week was spent in Barrow resolving some issues after a power outage messed up part of the network. The firmware on one of the switches got corrupted. Plus I was trying to cleanly integrate video conferencing into my conference room setup. The weather there wasn't really great and my flight out was cancelled due to freezing rain. I don't really care for transitional weather. Just let it get cold...

Monday, October 11, 2010

Termination Dust

Part of this weekend was spent at Twin Bears camp along Chena Hot Springs Road at a men's retreat. Friday was cold and wet and you could see a slight sheen on the roads from the ice. These pictures were taken on Saturday afternoon and it was beautiful and it would've been a great day for a ride with temperatures venturing a above freezing. Quite a few guys brought their four wheelers to ride on the trails but I settled for walking around the lake taking pictures and just relaxing.
Twin Bears camp
I'm headed back to Barrow this week and it just seemed to be a good time to just relax. As you can see from the frozen lake, the temperatures have been well below freezing for a while and if we get a good snow fall, it may actually stay for a while.

Sunday brought a bunch of "termination dust" (as they call the first snow that will probably stick around) or at least enough to make the roads really slippery Monday morning. Several vehicles in the ditch just on my short commute. I guess it may be time to park the bike and get started on some of the repairs. Looking at the valves through the exhaust ports last spring showed the edges starting to thin. This usually points to the exhaust valve receding into the head. Valves and valve seats need to be replaced, not a job I have the tools to do. I did find a shop to do the work in California so I just need to pull the heads, package them up and send them down. I've heard a lot of positive comments about the shop on the mailing list. There were also a lot of warnings about having the job done at a dealer since most of them don't have any staff familiar with these old engines. The valve recession issue is fairly common with early 80s BMW airheads due to the elimination of leaded gasoline. Newer years had different metallurgy in the valve seats and smaller diameter valves which apparently eliminated the problem. Or at least that's what I've read on the Internet...

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Not a Good Day for Riding

Maybe it wasn't the best idea to ride in this morning. After all, the weather service was wrong before. It started snowing about 10:30 just a bit after I got back from checking all of the geocaches. By 3:30, most of the snow had melted so I took off for home. There was still some snow between the lanes but the roads weren't too slippery. I ended up taking it pretty easy as did most of the other drivers.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Unseasonably Warm

I had some errands to run and along the way, I stopped at the large animal research station (LARS) to see if any animals were near the road. There were a number of muskox eating and one more laying around by itself. I was tricked into not riding the for a couple of days this week by the weather service. Snow was forecast and around here, the roads are usually a real mess with the first snowfall.
I also stopped by the Alyeska Pipeline visitors center again and, as you can see, Fall is over. There are no more bright colors on the trees and everything has turned a drab grey color. I guess that's getting us mentally prepared for the nice, bright snow as it'll be a vast improvement to the drab grey. It was a good day for a ride with temperatures in the 50s (°F) though it was a little overcast. It is now two weeks after the "last ride of the season" though they didn't have any other rides advertised. There was an Airheads "Tech Day" scheduled for Sunday afternoon but it was cancelled at the last minute due to a parts problem. It has been rescheduled for next Sunday.

I'm a little surprised at the number of other riders who have mentioned that they have put away their bikes for the season. Many had even cancelled their insurance for the year. But I did see a number of other riders out yesterday enjoying the unseasonably warm weather including a Royal Enfield hack. There was a comment asking about visibility up here. It isn't 200 mile visibility but definitely over 100 miles even with the high clouds. I believe this is Mt. Hess (11,940 feet) and Mt. Deborah (12,339 feet). The next really clear day, I'll take a better picture.

Tuesday Morning - Okay, everything isn't drab grey. Right outside my office, there is this bright yellow evergreen. I don't know what species it is but it does look nice and it is bright. This mornings ride in was wonderful as it was a balmy 25°F and no snow or ice. I did notice a lot of frosted windshields in the parking lots. It's supposed to warm up to about 46°F this afternoon but they are predicting snow for the next week or so. This may be the last ride for a while. One of those things that I'm not used to is riding in the dark. Today was the first time this year when it was still dark at 8:00 in the morning. Today is turning ut to be one of those clear, sunny days that make you wonder why you have to spend so much time in an office. Fortunately, there are a lot of opportunities to get out into the woods as there is a nice trail system about a hundred yards or so from my building. We are sponsoring a series of "Tech Days" and one of the activities that I volunteered to help with is geocaching. We hid three geocaches around campus and I need to check on them periodically over the rest of the week. Not bad, wandering through the woods is part of my job description at least for a couple of days.