Friday, April 16, 2010

Bright, Sunny and Cold

It was a bright, sunny evening and I couldn't resist trying a shot of these icicles on the eaves of the water distillation building on the NARL campus (formerly the Naval Arctic Research Lab). The sky was really blue from horizon to horizon so I was thinking I may need to try and play with the color. In spite of all the sun (it doesn't set until around 11 pm) it was still a very chilly 0°F. Too cold to really do a lot of running around especially with the wind. This afternoon, I installed a cell phone repeater in the BARC (Barrow Area Research Center) since its metal shell does a great job of giving everyone zero bars on their phones. We installed an omni on the roof (more cold and windy), fed in the coax through a roof penetration, and ran the cable down the hallway as far as the pre-terminated cable would reach to a small amplifier and a very small omni mounted on the wall just below the suspended ceiling. Now, I get five bars on my iPhone (GSM) in much of the building. Even more than I normally have when I'm outside the building or just about anywhere else in the area and way better than the "No Service" I regularly see. I need to find someone with a CDMA phone tomorrow to see if it works with that frequencies. Seems like a worthwhile addition to the building infrastructure.

I think I have a good plan for the video and audio within the BARC conference room as we ran through a number of scenarios trying to poke holes in the plan. E.g. someone wants to do Skype video on their laptop with a bunch of people in the room as well as a remote participant on the H.323 videoconference system. Would the system support this? If so, how would you use the equipment and use the technology to support the meeting. The existing IT staff person here in Barrow needs to be able to provide this sort of information and, probably, run the equipment or train someone to do it.

This is the doorway to the "Theatre" on the NARL campus. It doesn't function as a theatre anymore but as a general BASC logistics building. Researchers use the building to get their experiments ready for the field and to store some of their field equipment from one season to the next. Like most buildings on the NARL campus, keeping the paint fresh isn't a real high priority. The Arctic Ocean is on the other side of the building so both the summer and winter environments are pretty hard on structures especially paint. I thought the frost in the doorway may make a nice picture. Maybe I'll have some time tomorrow morning to get a few more around the campus especially if it is sunny. There is a talk tomorrow afternoon in the BARC conference room and I want to try out Podcast Capture again to see how simple the process really is. Unfortunately, I forgot my wireless microphone in my office so I'll need to try and convince the speaker to use a wired microphone. Most of the talks are pretty lightly attended so most speakers don't want to be tied to a microphone. Tomorrows talk isn't really science oriented but I really want to try out the Podcast Producer again. The last time I tried it was a couple of months ago...

This evening, I went to the absolutely wonderful Japanese restaurant up here in Barrow called Osakas. I think I've mentioned it before since it is by far the best restaurant in Barrow and one of the best in the state (in my humble opinion). I started out with miso soup and had the small sashimi plate with a small bowl of rice and green tea. Incredible are the only words to describe it. I don't know how they get such high quality, tasty fish all the way up here but it was wonderful. I'd eat here every day but it is pretty expensive. I justified it today since this was the only real meal I had today. In case you didn't know, Barrow is as far north as you can go in Alaska. Even further north than Prudhoe Bay and nowhere near the road system. Way off the beaten path....

Saturday morning - This morning, I spotted this vehicle coming down along the coast road. I've seen these parked in Barrow several times over the years but I've never seen one driving around.


  1. I got part way through your post and had to go get a cup of hot coffee!

    Probably the only part of your job I would be good at is thinking of potential problems.

    Sure glad there are folks like you making all this stuff work for us.

  2. Richard:

    isn't it amazing that in the middle of nowhere, or on the fringes of civilization, you can find a good Japanese restaurant. One day perhaps I will get to Barrow and not even think about why my cell phone works

    Wet Coast Scootin

  3. Thank you both for stopping by and commenting. I am still amazed at the quality of the sushi at Osakas. I have had sushi probably at hundreds of places and the quality of the food at this place is among the best.

    Now time to get working on the bike...