Monday, January 26, 2009

Me and my 50

Took the 50mm lense up skyline today and got lucky with some great sun and interesting fog. The snow was super good and the legs felt great. The Kenai mountains are very low on snow and most of skyline below treeline is pretty much bare, it almost felt like a late fall hike today. An update on the Redoubt Climb : Jordan's been ice climbing up at Eklutna lately and Bob has been training on skyline and around town. Travis is in the states for now and I'm working on a few other folks to get them on board. The recent news (Click Here!) on the activity of Redoubt has been a little disconcerting, but we are going to continue on with the plans till we think it would just be too risky.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Mountain Pictures

Couldn't resist using a clear day to fly so I took the opportunity to go take a few photo's of our line on redoubt. I'll be sending these photo's out to the crew in a bit. There are 2 photo's of the line on the north side of Redoubt, the other photo's are the mountains to the north and west of the mountain. Days like these make you forget about 2 weeks of 30 below....

Sunday, January 18, 2009


We have been having a warm spell for awhile now, while I was driving home last night it was raining like it was mid-summer and it was probably warmer than this summer. Yesterday I had the chance to get out and test the repaired electrical issues with the plane and thankfully everything went great. I flew across the inlet to check out the overflow situation on the lakes and scope a mountain to climb this spring. The middle two photos are a mountain just northwest of the Mcarthur River that I can land near and the other two shots are ones i really enjoyed from the flight. Laying low, the warm weather has created really unstable snow so skiing has been on hold for now.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

When other people fly your plane....

I have only let two other people fly my plane, Mike and Shawn. Both are ten times the pilot I am but nevertheless I always get nervous when it takes off and I'm not in it. Yesterday Shawn and I were troubleshooting my electrical problems and it was just easier for him to fly it and see for himself. Luckily the problem showed up when he was flying it so he could see what was happening rather than me relating it to him secondhand. Airplanes are a very simple machine, yet everything is crammed into such an odd structure that it sometimes makes things hard to trace out and troubleshoot. Hopefully the fix will be complete tomorrow. Still 20 below.


Helicopters are fascinating. Both of these helicopters are turbine driven and during the airshow this summer I had the opportunity to "look under the hood" of a turbine driven helicopter similar the these. Helicopters require an extraordinary amount of maintenance to keep them flying because they have so many linkages, reduction gears and control systems to get them hovering and moving horizontally. Many of their systems are in duplicate because obviously they don't glide as well as a fixed wing aircraft.
Too cold to do much, 30 below again today.


My feet are always cold, so in pursuit of warmer feet I'm always on the lookout for better winter boots. A friend recommended a pair of Lobben boots from a little shop called Pia's up in Anchorage. Lobbens are designed and originally made in Norway and are made Estonia now, but they haven't lost their warmth. Lobbens are not foot specific, you can wear either one on either foot, which is odd, but over time they will break in to one foot. I use them as my flying footwear now and am a true believer after this recent cold snap.

Sunday, January 4, 2009


So about 3 weeks ago I had a scheduled appointment with an internal medicine specialist in anchorage. This is an actual sentence that came from my doctors mouth during that appointment. "According to your LP and your LFT, your AST, ALP, and ALT numbers are off and that indicates that you have PSC which is usually precluded by IBD." I immediately peed my pants and thought, OMG, WTF!? Ok, so that last part didn't happen, but I do have PSC or Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis. For those who want to cut out of this early I'll give the quick and dirty version of what it is and you can keep reading if you want more info. PSC is a rare, hereditary liver disease that is usually found in northern European males. The disease is characterized by an irritation of the bile ducts within the liver, and slowly over time as that irritation produces scar tissue, the liver begins to harden and the resulting cirrhosis usually necessitates a transplant. I take Ursidol a drug originally extracted from the naturally resilient bear liver to sooth the inflammation, but the only remedy for this condition is replacing my liver with another healthy one. The progression toward liver failure is hard to predict so my condition and blood work will be closely monitored year to year. It was diagnosed relatively early, however I am in a higher risk category for colon cancer and other GI tract cancers. MRI's are now being used to detect liver issues so I will be having one done soon to see if they can more accurately predict my stage of the disease. The good news is that the medication (6 pills a day) isn't presenting any side effects and I feel great. The first photo is an MRI of a Sclerosed Liver, the second shows just the basic liver set up. You can see the large blue tree structure that enters the liver and the sister structure that exits the liver. Originally my PSC was discovered in a liver biopsy by an abnormality it the exiting ducts. Those ducts will harden and constrict as will the smaller drain ducts within the liver.
Clear and cold again today, i'm going to get coffee and read about some flash set-up's and hopefully take some pictures tonight.
P.S. Lightbox is down, so my pictures won't open up with the cool framing, but if you click on them they should still open in a new window, you'll just have to click back to get to the next ones.

Saturday, January 3, 2009


It has been super cold up here for about a week and a half. Like 20 below style cold. The airplane is still grounded with some electrical issues, luckily I wouldn't normally fly in this cold weather anyway. Shot with the new 50mm lens today and will get some shots with the new flash posted soon. The icicles form on the plane when i plug it in to warm it up to fly. Unfortunately i plugged it in last week and didnt get to fly it so i just ended up with a bunch of ice that is a pain in the butt to get off the airplane...
More posts later, sorry for the scarcity