Monday, December 10, 2018

Short Days

More Fairbanks winter temperatures today. And a light dusting of snow from sometime last night. I went ahead and rode to ACRC (Alaska Coffee Roasting Company) and met a handful of people there before heading to the university to check on the status of a work order. The fusion drive in my 27" iMac died sometime during our last road trip. I use the iMac as a host to get access to network resources in Utqiaġvik. We replaced the fusion drive with an SSD. Half of the drive space but so much faster. Granted, I could just check the status of the work order on the website but I'd rather check in-person.

This was about 10:30am or about 10 minutes before sunrise. This is from the parking lot entrance to the Butrovich building where my office is still located. I still have a few more errands to run around town. Today was the first time in a couple of years that I actually used the rubber face mask and visor heat that are part of the Bombardier modular helmet. The last couple of times riding, the visor was fogging up. The face mask redirects your breath through vents on the side of the helmet to help minimize fogging. The good news is that everything is working for a change. Both heated gloves, both heated grips, heated liner, and heated visor. In the past, it seems like there was always something not working. So very toasty while riding around.

And this sunset photo was taken at 2:30pm from our back deck. Not a very long day, eh? 

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Winter Days...

It's starting to feel like winter around here and I'm not sure that this is a good thing. This mornings ride was a little cold since I hadn't bothered to look for the flannel lined jeans since we've been back nor wore the Roadcrafter. I went out at about 10:30 to take a picture of the Ural covered with snow but it wasn't even sunrise yet. Only a couple more weeks before the days start to get longer.

Today, we finally ventured into the Fairbanks Costco. It has been open since the Tuesday before Thanksgiving but given the pent-up demand for a warehouse type store since Sam's Club closed last Spring, I didn't even want to venture near there. The store was a bit crowded and the number of items carried seemed significantly more than Sam's. And we probably got a few more items than we really needed.

I'm writing this post on a Lenovo Helix. It is one of those ultrabook/tablet combo machines where you can "eject" the keyboard and just use the touchscreen. I had picked it up several years ago for the techs to use in Barrow as many of them seemed to prefer a Windows machine. I've since upgraded it to Windows 10 and it's a completely useable laptop. Less useable as a tablet. Recently, I've used it to run the Radioddity software to program the DMR radio as the software is Windows only. The keyboard is much nicer to type on than the recent Mac laptops.

Since the Helix is getting a little old, I am going to try out one of the Microsoft Surface Pro 6 devices. I've only played with them in the store but have met quite a few people who really like them. I ordered it with the keyboard cover but not the stylus. The Helix has a stylus but I rarely use it. I have an Apple Pencil to use with the iPad Pro but rarely use it. I'm not the artistic type. 

Friday, December 7, 2018


Remember when flying somewhere was fun? Or at least something you looked forward to? I don’t remember that anymore. We arrived in Fairbanks at 2:00 am after a six hour flight across the country, a four hour wait in Seattle, and another three or so hours up to Fairbanks. It was a long day. I used to think flying somewhere was a great adventure. Not just to visit somewhere new but the trip itself. I still look forward to seeing new places but don't enjoy the flying part. According to Alaska Airlines, I've flown with them over 730,000 miles. These days, I'd rather drive...

On Friday, I went to the ACRC (coffee place) and met up with a couple of regulars and also met a long time friend JohnP. He was back in Alaska as part of the "not be out of the state for more than 90 days" rule. It is a very comfortable 20°F and actually feels warmer than the windy days in Pennsylvania and Virginia. It was a nice riding day. 

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Day 10 - Heading Home

Here are just a couple more pictures from Colonial Williamsburg that I ran into while looking on the phone. Around noon today, we head for the Baltimore, MD, airport for our flight back to Alaska. As you may figure out, the flight gets into Fairbanks in the middle of the night so this is going to be a long day. Just a horse drawn cart that we saw on Tuesday morning along the palace green. It wasn’t moving much and I wasn’t sure if it was a “ride” like the horse drawn carriages.

This was a harpsichord that was being built from scratch and not one that was being repaired. In the front room of the cabinetmakers shop there was another harpsichord that was also built “new” that you could play. Pretty cool instruments. I believe that they are constructed and sold for fund raising as I heard that Colonial Williamsburg wasn’t doing very well financially. A lot of employees are needed to keep a place like this running.

I may add more to this post from the airport but it is scheduled to post while we are in the air between BWI and SEA.