…cause even a street sign sometimes needs a helping hand.
As I walked to work this morning, it suddenly dawned on me that the fog had given us a rather pretty day. So, yeah, this is basically a random video taken a few steps outside our home.
P.S.: NARL stands for the old Naval Arctic Research Laboratories.
One of our students here at Iḷisaġvik College was curious about the foxes living out behind our dorms. Olive tells me they will chase a red dot over the tundra, for a little while anyway. She filmed her little experiment.
The sunrise brought a couple sun-dogs with it this morning. By this morning, I actually mean almost noon, but the point is I went out with a camera to see if I could get some nice doggie pics. I wouldn’t say the picture does it justice, but anyway, here is what I got.
Cute little puppies, aren’t they?
Afterwards, I remembered that the ocean has been flirting with solid form lately, so after playing with the sun dogs I turned around and headed the other way for a block or two. Kinda slushy right now, but definitely not my flavor. I expect it will get properly solid soon. In the interim, my hand has suffered enough for my amateur camera games. I think I’ll stay inside and write a bit now.
Might as well add a few more pics from the last month or two. As always, you may click to embiggen.
Last year I was in anchorage in early December, just a bit too early to catch the completed ice sculptures of this annual competition. I still got some interesting pics, but as I didn’t get the final products, what I got never quite found its way into the blog. This year, I’m stoked, because I’m in town later than before, and that means I get to check out the completed work.
So, let’s have a look at the completed projects for this year’s Crystal Gallery Ice Competition.
(You may of course click on an image to embiggen it.)
We can begin with this spectacular bit of minimalism, well placed in front of a colorful tree. It takes courage for an artist to run with an idea like this. Such a simple composition and so profound, all of it beautifully executed.
I really like this one.
Seriously, I am so excite to arrive in time to see the completed works here. This is really a treat!
Now this piece, here is some real talent. I mean, the symmetry of it all, and I really like the use of color. I mean, you wouldn’t think that would be a factor in an ice-sculpting competition, but seriously, this piece has some real color going for it. Also, it’s very blocky. Yes, it’s quite block-like.
Why don’t these pieces have titles anyway? I would have entitled it “Colorful Block of Ice.” The artist should totally go with that!
This array of rough hewn blocks in front of the tree has a definite, um, ethos. Reminds me of Santa’s Reindeer, the way they are all stretched out in a line like that. I don’t know who the artist is, but hey art guy, if you’re looking for a title, I would suggest; “Reindeer in Front of a Tree.” It really is an excellent piece, but my one quibble would be that you know there are supposed to be more of them, 8 I think, or is it 9 with Rudolph? I forget the exact number, but I’m pretty sure that you need to add more.
…also, they are kind of blocky.
…for Reindeer, I mean.
These guys over here look kinda lonely. I don’t think they made the cut, really. Better luck next time guy! If you don’t mind a little suggestion, perhaps, you could do something a little more intricate. Please don’t be offended. It’s just…
I mean, I know I’m not an artist. I just think, well, you know. Anyway, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t presume. I mean it’s your vision, and I respect that. It’s just.
I think this one is some kind of ironic commentary on the public facilities around Anchorage, which I think is way cool. I mean, I know some people don’t like it when art gets too political, but personally, I like the edgy feel of it.
Yellow on blue? Okay, I simply love the way some of these guys work with colors! That really was a surprise here. Maybe some sort of study in contrasts or a meditation on the color green. I don’t know.
I just can’t help feeling the sculpture could have put more effort into shaping the piece.
No, nevermind. That’s just conventional thinking on my part. Who am I to question this guys vision? You rock-on block-carving ice-sculpture guy.
Now this is shear brilliance! It totally has my vote for ‘best in Show’. Do we get to vote? I mean, is the public part of this? Or is it, just professionals? I mean, well I don’t know. You just, you really gotta hand it to this artist. He has the shape of the blocks down perfect. So symmetrical, and so boxy! I mean, others seem to be exploring similar shapes, but I really think this piece nails it perfectly.
I’m also kinda hoping, we can move on to some more ideas here soon, because honestly, how are y’all gonna top this? You can’t really. Once perfection has been perfected, you just gotta go find your own bliss.
…preferably not in a block.
I just, I dunno.
These guys really aren’t listening.
Fuck it! I’m going to Humpy’s.
It’s been an odd year here in Barrow, rather warm in fact. Still, a bit of snow did manage to stick to a wall or three, and in due time a few creative individuals took the time to do something clever with it. I don’t have a huge batch of snow-graffiti this time, but a few of these are really cool.
In related news, I actually took the time to tweak a couple of these photos, nothing special. just enhanced the contrast and shifted the color a bit in an effort to make the art come through better. I wouldn’t say that I accomplished anything brilliant, but at least you can read the writing. This is, I think, the first post where I have actually done any post-production on a photo. Sometime, I may have to go back through my old pics and see what I can do to improve a few of them.
Click to embiggen! …come on, all the cool kids are doin’ it!
What can a beach bum say; the ocean is fascinating. I don’t mean that in a body-surfing or bikini-watching way of course, and no I haven’t dipped more than a foot in the local waves, even in the summer. Folks do that here in the summer, go in the water. By ‘folks’ I mean ‘mostly tourists’ of course. Some get a certificate. I don’t know who produces it, but I still think the whole prospect falls under the let’s-not-and-say-we-did variety. Anyway, no, I haven’t done that, and I don’t plan to do it any time soon.
But the arctic ocean is certainly cool (pun intended). One of the coolest things about living on this coastline is the changing geography of the ocean surface. You walk out one day and a big old ridge-line is sitting where flat ice had been the night before.
That was starting to happen this year; it was getting interesting. And then suddenly I come out to find open water just a few hundred feet out from shore. Folks would be expecting a lead to open up between the shore-fast ice on our coastline and the larger ice-pack out in the deep, but this much open water is a bit unusual.
It’s strange. Most of Alaska seems to be having a colder-than-usual year. Here in Barrow, it’s been abnormally warm. Might be the open water is due to other reasons, and it might even be that other folks would know more about that than I would.
…I don’t mean folks swimming in the waters of course.
That would be insane!
I have to apologize for the quality of the first video. I was actually talking the whole time, but you can’t hear me over the wind. I should probably also apologize for the second video cause it shakes horribly (and the sound sucks in this one too, but it’s just good enough that you can enjoy my nasal-sounding narrative, complete with ridicu-pauses for that unintended type of comic effect. …there is a reason I’m not a video-blogger). Anyway, I’m a bad man. So, just think of it as a cognitive assault.
The other day I opened an email from a friend in the lower 48. It said; “-28, wow!” I had no idea what he was trying to tell me. Turns out, he had looked up the current temperature in Barrow.
Hey, look graffiti!
(Click to embiggen!)