Friday, October 25, 2013

An Unexpected Trip

This evening, I had a late dinner at Osaka's. This must mean that I'm in Barrow again. It was an unplanned trip. On Wednesday afternoon, the primary network switch failed and refused to come back up as seen on the network graph below. Since there are researchers relying on the data connection, I was on a plane to Barrow yesterday morning. And by yesterday evening, had pieces of the network functioning again by scavenging hardware from other "less used" areas. Not optimal but the chassis based switch is over six years old and no longer manufactured and support was not budgeted. Fortunately, network performance isn't going to suffer and I'm getting a good opportunity to document and completely re-engineer the BARC (Barrow Arctic Research Center) data network.


This is the view from my quonset hut looking southwest towards a subdivision of Barrow on the other side of a frozen lake. There isn't any sea ice yet but the shallower fresh water lakes and ponds are already frozen. Not solid enough to walk on but not liquid either. Sunrise here is at 10:38am but I haven't seen the sun yet since I've been inside the BARC data center since I arrived. Plus, it's been overcast, dark or snowing since I arrived. Welcome to the North Slope.

16 comments:

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

I'm not sure I'm ready for this beautiful wintery scene.....yet.

SonjaM said...

The winter scene reminds me of my assignment at the University of Manitoba four years ago. It looked pretty much like this the whole time (Dec to Mar) I had spent there... I am still traumatized...

redlegsrides said...

Truly do I know and empathize with your situation, been there done that, though its never required a alast minute plane ride!

Conchscooter said...

All you need is a bunch of roses and I'd be there you travelin' fool. A Quonset hut on the shores of sea slush...what more could a girl want, sailor?

Martha said...

I think somebody's pretty smug down there in Florida...

Sunrise here almost seemed that late today. Keep posting those surreal photos.

RichardM said...

I'll try to get some better "wintery scenes" to help you get used to the idea...

RichardM said...

I'ts actually pretty nice, weather wise, nowhere near as cold or windy as it has been at this time of year. Maybe all of the open water (ocean) is moderating the climate.

RichardM said...

Fortunately, it was pretty straight forward and I had most of it figured out before getting up here. Then it was a simple matter of "doing". It's been a long time since I moved this much cable. But the net result should be a simpler, cleaner setup.

RichardM said...

No roses up here, and you could try wind surfing in the slush pond. There is a movie called Tara about a research expedition in the Arctic. They sailed as far north as they could courtesy of a Russian ice breaker and let the aluminum hulled boat freeze into the ice. They then moved with the ice over the pole while collecting data and trying to stay off of each others nerves. Interesting movie...

RichardM said...

Smug indeed!

I'll try to get out and get some good ones....

VStar Lady said...

Lucky them (BARC) to have someone who has the problem mostly solved before he arrives - and he still has time to go to the local eatery and take photo of the frigid landscape. What are the line of lights on the horizon?

RichardM said...

The line of lights on the horizon are the street lights of metropolitan village of Barrow. I'm at NARL about 4 miles NW of town. The other option besides the local eateries is the Ilisagvik College cafeteria. The food quality varies but seems to be high carbs, sodium and fat. I guess I could have gone to the beach and taken a picture of the ocean, but then it would have looked just like Key West.

Trobairitz said...

At least you got to sleep in your own bed a few days before you were off again.

Looks a little chilly in Barrow. Not compared to winter, but I bet it feels a little chilly compared to Fairbanks.

That movie Tara sounds intriguing.

RichardM said...

It's nice to be home again. Barrow was not very chilly and Fairbanks is still almost tropical. Today is 47°F and drizzling. Unseasonably warm.

Unknown said...

Richard:

I was almost feeling sorry for you but we barely reached 50°F this weekend, so you are warm for where you are. At least the network switch failed now, instead of later during a snow storm

bob
Riding the Wet Coast

RichardM said...

No need to feel sorry as I'm up here by choice (at least that's my story and I'm sticking to it).

It's warm though a little wet. Some colleagues reported black ice outside of town.