Wednesday, February 13, 2008

So about a week and half ago, we showed up to school like any other day. Ready to educate and inspire. :) Unknown to us, Elsie one of the nicest ladies in the school and my classroomate, had a surprise for Steph. She gave Steph one of her Yupik Parkas, saying, "None one else was using it". That's it, see Elsie is pretty straight shootin' and she must have thought Steph was cold.

Last Year, when I moved to 4th grade, Elsie asked me if she could station her desk in my room and I agreed. Elsie teaches Yupik to the K-8 kiddos and has the amazing ability to control even the toughest class. One second I am struggling to keep control, keep students in the desks. The next moment Elsie walks in the door and silence. Chaos - Silence. Seriously, so frustrating sometimes.

Elsie and myself last May - She is standing on a chair :)

We have forged a great relationship and spend many Fridays just talking. Afternoons are a work time for teachers and we usually just sit and talk about anything and everything. She is a local expert and very wise on the old ways of life. Much of my Yupik knowledge comes from her. We have plans to put together an Elder photo wall in the school, with all black and white photos. While she doesn't consider herself an elder, maybe I can sneak a picture of her up on the wall. I keep you posted with pictures.

Anyway, that coat is an incredible gift and has many folks jealous. Steph was speechless.

Time and temperature

Time: 10:18pm
Temperature: 60

We can't get the temperature in the house above that 60 degree mark. Thus, hat and sweatshirt wearing we will go. It's good sleeping weather, but bad tv watching weather.

Tomorrow the guys will have to take a look at the boiler. Fix the dinosaur, hopefully.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Last night I was browsing the internet and clicked on the Northern Lights link. I notice that we were experiencing an active night and that the short term forecast was also active. After checking the KP strength, I saw that it was peaking at that very moment at about 4.6. I quick got dressed and grabbed the camera and ran. Ran to the weather cone on the outside of town, far enough to get past the bright lights of a big town like Kipnuk. I set up the tri-pod and then realized that I didn't have the camera set up properly on the right settings. So I had to take off my gloves and try to figure it out in the dark. It probably took about 30-60 seconds to set up, but my hands started burning. My skin felt like rope when its frozen. It was stiff and hard to move. This may be the coldest my hands have ever felt, so cold that strangely they didn't hurt. Flash frozen, maybe? Like in the "Day After Tomorrow" when the Arctic air froze and killed everyone in New York. Anyway, once it was ready to go, I took one picture after another for about 10 minutes. The sky was moving. The camera was freezing. I had chills. It was cold.

This display was much better than the last time. It wasn't as large and bright, but it was moving like crazy and even had a different color in spots. Pretty cool, cold. But, 10 minutes was all my camera could take and it flashed no battery on a full charge. Anyway, I was cold and was having trouble getting my left eyelid to open up after a picture. I guess my breath moving up the camera was freezing my eyelids together. enjoy. jb

P.S. the Super Bowl is strange on a 20 inch TV at 2:30 in the afternoon, eating $7 dollar Doritos.

So mark your calendars. February, 2, 2008 the first time yours truly had to chip ice. We have been existing on water from the fall and two freak rain storms late into November and December. Maybe it was water gathering experience, maybe luck, but being February and chipping ice for the first time has been nice! It takes about hour and a half to chip and usually I go southwest of town to a couple of small lakes. Luckily yesterday, I followed a guy out to his spot. Usually, I just drive the snowmachine around until I happen chance on a spot. There are many holes like this out on the tundra. They have to be outside the flood plan, so that the water is fresher. Hopefully fresher. Once we melt the ice, Steph and I distill the water to make it safe. Hopefully, that makes it safe. We haven't gotten sick yet! In ice chipping there are two rules. #1 Don't hit your foot. #2 Don't hit your forehead.