Monday, February 18, 2013

Iowa City - NTNC

On Saturday evening, I was sitting at the airport getting ready to head to Iowa City, IA. I haven't been to Iowa since I was around twelve years old when we passed through on the way to Minnesota. This was the view out of the window on Sunday morning on the way out of Portland heading east. I really liked this view but after sitting in a plane all night, I really wasn't feeling up to enjoying the view.

 

The trip from Fairbanks to Iowa City ended up being five legs. Fairbanks to Anchorage, Anchorage to Portland, Portland to Chicago, Chicago to Cedar Rapids, then a shuttle from Cedar Rapids to Iowa City. Lots of flights but no real issues and I was fortunate to get upgraded all the way to Chicago. This is the view coming into Chicago. Not much to see.

 

Here's how I know that I'm no longer in Alaska. This is one of the displays in the Cedar Rapids airport. In Fairbanks, this would have been snow machines, four wheelers and boats. Here, small tractors and lawn mowers.

 

After looking at todays weather back home, I think that I'm better where I am right now. Even with the rain, sleet and snow. There are about 30,000 students at this campus and is located in the middle of Iowa City. Like many other states, I still get the two systems confused. I am at the University of Iowa as opposed to Iowa State University. I am here attending the Northern Tier Network Consortium steering committee meeting.

 

This is an example of how embedded the university is within the City. We are meeting in a shopping mall where there are still quite a few businesses and university departments essentially have storefronts. University buildings are all around the hotel and this mini-shopping area. So far, I haven't seen a single corn field. That is what I remember from my last visit to IA almost 40 years ago. The picture was taken yesterday afternoon shortly after arriving at the hotel.

 

This afternoon, we were given a break from the all day meeting and visited the new data center for the University of Iowa IT group and the medical center. This is just the IT side of the facility. It's a pretty impressive facility. I believe that it is brand new and they are still in the process of moving in. The existing data centers on campus barely survived flooding recently and that may have been one of the drivers getting this facility moved up in priority with the legislature.

Another participant noted how many "100 year" have occurred recently. Storm, flood, hurricane, tornado, and now maybe we should add meteor to the list. Though that may be in the "thousand year" category. Apparently, there is record of a huge meteor strike in this area but I don't have a reference but evidence of the crater was discovered from drill logs and extends all the way into South Dakota.

It really is great to meet with colleagues from other universities around the country and Internet2.

Tuesday Morning Update - It's not looking better today back home. Even here in Iowa City, it was 0°F this morning.

 

16 comments:

Roger said...

You do get around a bit!

Coop a.k.a. Coopdway said...

Welcome (back) to the Midwest Middle! Our coldest night may be tonight so far this winter, the winds doing all they can to contribute. Trust me, if you get up 3 stories, you'll see where corn will be in 4 months.

Hope your stay is productive Richard.

VStar Lady said...

Richard, if you are really missing the corn fields - I can send you some photos. In the summer it seems the corn is everywhere, but then I didn't venture into a city. Glad you air hopping was uneventful and you are enjoying the change of scenery.

RichardM said...

Only a bit... But I think that I'll be out and about somewhere for much of the time until the middle of next month.

RichardM said...

The meeting is for the Northern Tier so there are reps from Montana, the Dakotas, Wyoming, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Iowa and probably a few others that I missed. So there are many tales of snow, floods, tornados, etc. running around. In Alaska, I don't have the natural disaster stories to match...

RichardM said...

It is nice to visit somewhere new. My childhood memories of Iowa were corn fields as far as you can see. The meeting in in downtown Iowa City and it is a really nice town. Not "city like" at all.

Unknown said...

Richard:

I can't remember if I saw any corn fields but I was in Omaha, NE for a while. It's nice for you to be able to meet up with so many people from all over the country

bob
Riding the Wet Coast

RichardM said...

This is definitely one of the best aspects of my position at the university. Not necessarily the travel but getting to meet and work with other wonderful and talented individuals around the country.

Trobairitz said...

I think you travel more than anyone I know, and you do it for work so that is pretty neat too.

Not as warm as Hawaii but not as cold as Fairbanks right now. I'm looking forward to your tales of visiting the city.

Martha said...

Iowa City is mostly the university. It's one more city I was looking to move to and I spent some time there. There is a wonderful natural foods store- New Pioneer. Worth a detour any time I'm in the area. Almost feel like taking a drive there now!

Lawn mowers and tractors. Yes, that and pigs and corn. Iowa.

RichardM said...

There are a lot of folks that I work with that travel much more than I. I travel a lot less now than I did maybe 6 years or so ago. But it really is a nice benefit for my job.

I think that it was 0°F this morning so it is close enough. Not too many tales. Meetings all day long without much time to look around and I fly out in a couple of hours.

RichardM said...

From what I've seen, it is a pretty nice town and feels like a college town. For some reason, I really prefer to live in towns built around universities or colleges. They have a differnet "feel" to them.

Of course you did notice the snow blower in the middle of the display.

Keith - Circle Blue said...

Yep, I noticed the snow blower. Winter Weather Advisory coming our way Thursday. Ice and sleet. Don't like ice. Snow is better. Still not real cold, although here people will be "freezing."

I agree with Lady Trobairitz. You do travel a lot.

Be safe and stay up wind.

Martha said...

Yes, my eyes are now trained to spot a snowblower in any environment! Although recently I didn't recognize a tractor-sized snowblowing attachment that was turned on its side. Just had never seen one that big!

RichardM said...

We have these Mercedes Unimogs up here with huge snow blowers attached that they use to clear the snow drifts from the sidewalks. The blower" parts are about 7 ft wide and 6 ft high and dump the snow into a dump truck running along next to them on the road.

Another monster snow blower is mounted on the front of a train engine to cleat the tracks. I didn't recognize this one as a snow blower due to the size and odd shape.

RichardM said...

Hope you survive the arrival of winter...

Back home in Fairbanks for at least a couple of days...