A transplanted Southern Californian living in North Dakota Idaho, with some insights on life with deaf dogs, a gluten free spouse, and the occasional mischievous garden gnome. Thank you for visiting and I hope you enjoy.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Have You Seen This Buoy?

Our friend and volleyball companion Xiaodong (Sheldon) Zhang is a professor at UND and recently his buoy became lost, either due to natural circumstances (unlikely) or deliberate human malfeasance (likely). You can read the full article on the Grand Forks Herald.  If you happen to know the whereabouts of his buoy, please contact him. 

UND says buoy with scientific payload is missing from Devils Lake
UND is reporting a missing buoy. Anchored in the middle of Devils Lake, the lonesome buoy would report water quality and its location every 10 minutes to scientists at UND.

Anchored in the middle of Devils Lake, the lonesome buoy would report water quality and its location every 10 minutes to scientists at UND.  It went silent about a week and a half ago, and, when the scientists went to search for it Tuesday, it had disappeared, said professor Xiaodong Zhang with the Department of Earth System Science and Policy.

Now, Zhang is asking those in the Devils Lake area to be on the lookout for the buoy, which is 5 feet tall, 5 feet wide, 80 pounds, bright yellow and obsessed with salinity, turbidity and other measures of water quality.  It last called home to say it was two miles northeast of the Spirit Lake casino.

Zhang won’t speculate why the buoy went mising. It’s unwieldy to move and, even though the university spent $30,000 to build the scientific sensors attached to the buoy, all of that is worthless to the average person, he said.

There is some urgency because cold weather is coming and, if the buoy is still on the lake somewhere when it freezes, that could damage the sensors, he said. And more people will be able to get to it by walking on ice and maybe messing with it, he said.

Major project
The buoy first went in the water in fall 2011 as part of a $3 million project funded by NASA. UND’s goal is to figure out how the saltiness of the water changes as the lake floods and as the climate of the region changes.

It was initially anchored in Stump Lake, which is now connected to Devils Lake because of flooding, and was moved to Devils Lake this year. The buoy was last seen Oct. 21 by state Health Department workers doing water quality surveys and last called home at 8 a.m. Nov. 9, Zhang said.

He wasn’t worried when he didn’t hear from the buoy because it has a habit of not calling, he said. In cool weather, the batteries sometime drain before they can be recharged by the solar panel, especially if the solar panel is frozen, he said.

UND is contacting government agencies in the Devils Lake region, such as those that run Grahams Island State Park and Fish and Wildlife agents, and the tribal casino. But it’s also asking the public for help.
How you can help: If you know where the buoy is contact Zhang at (701) 777-2490 or zhang@aero.und.edu. 
On the Web: More info about the water-quality project is at www.und.edu/instruct/zhang.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Your Immediate Attention - Follow Up

Thank you to everyone who voted (or tried to vote).  This was a very quick contest, only lasting for the duration of the conference she's attending.  We just learned that Alycia and her colleague did win 2nd place!!!  Thank you all for your support and assistance for helping Alycia achieve her dancing dreams. 

Friday, November 15, 2013

Your Immediate Attention Required

Hello all.  I don't ask you for much.  In fact I don't think I've ever asked you for anything.  Heck I don't even give you grief for never clicking on the awesome ads (sarcasm intended) that I have, but that's OK. Now I need you to step up.

I need you to go and vote for Alycia (Contestant #24 - spelled Alisha) and her dancing colleague Sarah. Please, please help Alycia realize her dream of being a Doctor of not just Speech /Language Communication, but also a Dr. of Funk. Vote Now for Contestant #24. Vote Often.

Go HERE and vote for Alisha (sp) and Sarah in a fancy dancing contest being held at the Annual Convention for Speech Pathologists.

Seriously, go do it now.  Vote as many times as you are allowed.  Do it now.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Cummings-Chappell Wedding Announcement

My mother couldn't wait any longer for us to be proper Midwesterners - meaning that one of the rites of passage is the wedding announcement in the local paper, which in this case is the Cavalier Chronicle.

John and I made the Community News page on Wednesday, October 30. Below you can see what other captivating news was happening that day in Pembina County, ND.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Geometric Snow Patterns

When you live in North Dakota, you can't fight the weather.  Cold and winter are going to happen whether you like it or not.  Winter might not be the most hospitable season to be outside, but if you're brave enough to venture outdoors, astounding beauty and cool stuff invariably awaits. Last winter after a storm we had awesome Snowdrifts and Icicles.  This year?  Who knows, but we're off to a good start.

We had a decent snow squall move through yesterday.  Over the course of an hour or so of moderate snowfall, we got a decent amount of accumulation.  Decent for early November at least.  I came home to find that the sun had melted the snow in the areas within reach of its warm rays, leaving stark patterns of snow and grass in the shady patches of the yard.
The 90 degree angle at the jog in the fence allowed the sun to melt the snow and form a near-perfect right angle. 
You can see where the shadow of the tree is cast.  The snow in the shadow remained on the ground, everything around it melted.
It was a pretty cool scene in the backyard for a few hours. By evening, the snow had all but disappeared, leaving these cool patterns nothing more than a memory. 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Three Year Puppy-Versary

Next week is the three year anniversary of Shadowfax (fka Whisper) coming to live with us here in North Dakota.  As a commemoration I added the YouTube video that her awesome foster Mom Michelle took more than three years ago.
You can see little miss spazzy puppy in all her puppy glory, flouncing and pouncing around with a toy.  I watch this video on occasion happily remembering what Shadowfax was like as a goofy, scrawny puppy.  Much has changed, she's gotten bigger and sturdier, but no less goofy.  And for the record, we bought her the same toy that she's seen playing with in the video (the Floppy Flier) and she shredded it in less than a minute. 

And in case you missed our post in 2011 on our One Year Puppy-Versary, you can check out the musical photo montage I made to mark the occasion.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Halloween Pictures

How about some festive Halloween pictures to get you in the Fall spirit?  Since I don't have any great pictures of myself/Alycia and the pups, I figured I'd pass along pictures of my super awesome nephew Jacob enjoying the autumn happenings. 
Super awesome nephew Jacob testing out the pumpkins at the pumpkin patch.  If they were strong enough to sit on, they were sturdy enough to make a good jack-o-lantern. 
Jacob dressed up as a firefighter for Halloween.  I'm pretty sure real firefighters are supposed to wear shoes, but we'll ignore those safety concerns for now. 
Jacob and his Mom.  Future firefighter with actual real life firefighter. 
Jacob and his buddy who lives s few houses down were both firefighters for Halloween.  This was apparently a very safe neighborhood this particular evening, safety personnel were on the scene.