Saturday, April 29, 2017


After a week in Alaska with essentially no mammalian wildlife, I saw a red fox on my property this morning.

Our Cyberwarfare Bunch Must Be Pretty Good

4/29/17 Yonhap News:
SEOUL, April 29 (Yonhap) -- North Korea launched a ballistic missile on Saturday, which apparently exploded seconds after liftoff, South Korea's military said.
"North Korea fired an unidentified missile from a site in the vicinity of Bukchang in Pyeongannam-do (South Pyeongan Province) in the northeastern direction at around 5:30 a.m today," the Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement. "It is estimated to have failed."

Friday, April 28, 2017

Chenea Hot Springs

Probably a better choice for aurorae than Fairbanks.  When we arrived we saw this on the runway.  You can't read it here, but yes, the company that keeps Sue on Life Below Zero fueled and fed.

The Economies of Scale and Density

Much like Boise County, Alaska is full of desperate junk piles like this part of the lot where old cars go to die:

Everywhere we went, even in Fairbanks, there were rusting piles of steel, including shipping containers.  Rhonda is really bothered by this, but I explained that recycling steel is a problem when low density means land is cheap enough to waste on piles of completely rusted steel pipe; there isn't likely enough demand in Alaska for steel to build a recycling mill; and the cost of shipping it before or after recycling anywhere in the world is enormous.

As you probably know, just about everything but reindeer is shipped to Alaska by ship, except pot and reindeer (the Denny's serves a reindeer sausage omelette).  The spicy chicken sandwich at the local Carl's Jr. is $1; in Fairbanks, $3.38.  Meals out are expensive as are grocery stores.  Behind the Safeway were semitrailers labelled Matson, which should tell you how most of their stuff arrives.

Welcome to the Land of Tomorrow

University of Alaska, Fairbanks has some....imaginative buildings.  From a distance, the radio telescopes look like golf tees from Land of the Giants.  The first picture shows the golf ball not yet ready.

Baby Reindeer

Someone at the Northernmost Denny's in the World! told us a reindeer had been born that morning at University of Alaska, Fairbanks, so my wife insisted:

Monogamy Has Not Gone Completely Out of Fashion

f/5.6, 1/4000 second, 220 & 300mm ISO 1600:

These were at Creamer's Wildlife Refuge in Fairbanks.