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Neven Curlin, who writes the Arctic Sea Ice Blog is taking a sabbatical.
"I'm really going to take a break from blogging, as I have been struggling with an Arctic burn-out since 2012. On the one hand it's caused by everything that has been and still is going on in the Arctic. The learning curve, the excitement, but most of all the depression that comes with watching this steamroller just plough forward, is taking its toll." Neven, full post here

One thing that Neven left us with is the Sea Ice Forum. I'm going to start posting some quotes from there, because it helps me organize it in my head. I'll put it under a cut for the folks who aren't into watching this disaster; there are so many disasters going on right now. I'll tag these posts with "asif".

Read more... )
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What's happening in the Arctic right now will effect the future of all humans -- as in, if we're going to make it out of this century alive.

Here are the Cliff Notes to the new study Arctic Resilience Report. There is a very good graphic on page 80, Fig 3.3.
Read more... )
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We had a guest for Thanksgiving, a neighbor from down the street. I'd filled one of my rice rings with roasted brussel spouts with pomegranate. "Wow," Dave said, "these are the best damned brussel sprouts I've ever tasted." "He took another bite, "I've never liked brussel sprouts, but these are good."

I took a bite myself, "Yep, they turned out pre' good."

Dave tipped his chin at the table. "How'd you learn to cook like this?"

"Well, it wasn't from my mother." I waved my fork. "She used to always kick us out of the kitchen when she was cooking."

Across the table, my son Sam snorted.

"Oh," I said, sheepish, "do I do that?"

Sam rolled his eyes at me. "You did that to me three times just today."

feast prep

Nov. 23rd, 2016 01:00 pm
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We'll have a for-us traditional feast:

Roast Turkey and gravy

chestnut stuffing

mashed white potatoes and baked sweet potatoes

whole cranberry sauce and also the jelly stuff that comes in the can

dinner rolls

deviled eggs

2 savory rice rings1, one with buttered rutabaga and one with

Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Pomegranate and Hazelnuts -- except I'm using walnuts because hazelnuts? really?

ambrosia -type fruit salad2

broccoli raisin salad (except mine is very plain, with no onion or bacon)

and pies -- blueberry crumb, pumpkin, and either a small cheesecake or apple pie.

There will be our household of 3 adults and 2 children, and Sam, Kayla, and their daughter Torrin, and Stoner Dave from down the street -- a total of 6 adults and 3 children.

1) with a hand grinder, grind up a 1.5 lbs of white mushrooms, 2 green bell peppers and 1 red, and two medium white onions. Prepare rice, with 3 cups long grain rice. While rice is cooking, saute ground veg with 1.5 sticks of butter or margarine. When rice is done, let it cool a bit, and then mix veg well with rice.; salt and pepper to taste (best if you make it a little on the salty side) Butter 2 ring molds and fill with rice mix, pressing gently. If doing the day before, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Bake in a water bath (cover rings with foil) at 350 for 1 hr; I place ring in something like a cast iron skilled and fill the skillet with water. Fill rings with your favorite vegetable.

2) The crazy people I live with don't like coconut or nuts in anything. I'm throwing this one together with a couple cans of peaches, some canned pineapple, pears, and some canned sour cherries. And mini-marshmallows.
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-- Burning Earth Radio, November 2016 youtube

"There's three cyclone activity areas in the arctic; you have one off the north coast of Iceland, one strong one off the north coast of Norway, and another one up here at the north pole. There's a lot of strong winds associated with these cyclones.

We have a lot of wind activity at the surface associated with these cyclones. We can see why we're getting these winds -- we have all of this warm water coming up in the gulf stream coming up and pooling in the arctic. We have extremely warm waters here, hot spots up to 9.9C warmer than normal and very large warm pools 1.1C-2C above average. And what it's doing is bringing a lot of warm air with it, up into the arctic.

What's happening is that these low pressure areas are pulling cold air down off the arctic. Now you have the cold air pulled off the Greenland ice sheet, drained off Siberia...You can see this going back to the temperature map, you have the cold air extending into the southern latitudes here, and warm air extending very high into the arctic.

With a lot of these strong winds, you're going to get a lot of breaking up of the sea ice. You can see that a lot of this air is carrying a lot of moisture. What this is doing is that this is creating a lot of strange rain events in the arctic... We can see that there's this jet of precipitable water in the air that's coming up over Europe and getting pulled into the arctic, bringing rain.

With these high winds, these storms, we have a lot of wave action. For example, 4.5 meter waves off these Russian arctic islands, 9.9 meter waves off the coast of Norway, 3.9 meters near the north pole -- these are very big waves.

These waves are causing a lot of problems for the sea ice in the arctic. We have the warm water, a lot of wave activity -- the sea ice just doesn't have a chance. Looking at the sea ice graph, we can see is that the sea ice isn't doing too well this year. The sea ice is basically crashing, running into this brick wall of cyclone activity and warm air that's being pulled up into the arctic.

A lot of the air in the arctic this November is 20C warmer than average. Don't be fooled that 1C or 2C average warming doesn't make a difference.

These cyclones in the arctic -- we're only going to see more of this as the Earth warms. Eventually, this whole warm anomaly is going to connect across the arctic basin, and we'll see a lot of these storms raging around the arctic."
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This morning, at 0630 or so, there was a knock on the door. Mike got up and answered, and I could hear a woman talking, trying to be quiet but clearly upset. I'd just fallen back to sleep from being woken up by Zary, and I was groggy. (Mike must have not gone back to sleep, he was up so fast; he's asleep now.)

When I made my way down, a woman was on Mike's phone, and she saw me and handed the phone to me, "Can you give him directions? I'm not sure where I am."


We talked for just a bit, and when he said that it'd take him about 20 minutes to walk over, I said, "Well, I've got a car. How 'bout I just drop her off?"

There was a pause. "That would be wonderful," he muttered.

While we drove the few minutes to her uncle's house, the woman told me that she was twenty-seven and had just got out of jail. The Ingham county jail is located in Mason, and is about 15 miles from my house. She (I never got her name) had got out yesterday in the early morning and been walking since then. She had no money and everything that she now owns is on her back and in a gallon plastic ziplock that she was clutching to her chest.

She'd had a place with a boyfriend but he'd moved to Texas while she was in jail, and everything she ever owned is gone. She has an adopted mother with whom she doesn't get along. She doesn't have any friends who can give her any help.

I asked her why she came to our house? She just shrugged. "I thought someone I knew lived there."

Yesterday I was at the YMCA pool with my buddy Chris. We alternated sitting in the hot tub and swimming in the lap pool until a group of little kids came in, a big birthday party, mostly girls around six years old or so. Then Chris wanted to go play in the sprinklers of the kiddie pool (he's developmentally and physically disabled) and so I sat on the edge, watching Chris and watching the kids. They were all so beautiful, the kids and their parents too, so much that it made my heart ache. Every once in a while, one of them would come close and watch Chris with wide eyes, look at the tube coming from his belly and at his strange face. I'd nod and smile at them, try to reassure them that it was all going to be okay and not worry about this guy. They'd look at me dubiously and go back to playing.

I'm an atheist, but I believe in people. I believe in a grace that we share.

As I was sitting down to write this, the oldest of the kids up the block came and asked if they could all come down for breakfast and now they're watching cartoons over their cereal, Trentyn and Zary, too, so six boys munching cereal and commenting on Bernard Bear (goes to youtube).

It feels very homey. I think that I'll spend the rest of my life with a household of boys.

I've got the number of the uncle that the woman called, and I'm trying to decide if I want to reach out to her, throw her a line. It's a lot of work, and I'm getting ready to go back to nursing school. But it makes me feel good to lessen the misery of folk, when I can.

As I wrote that, I thought that I should make the offer, if anyone is feeling like they have room to help some folk -- the kids up the block need boots and winter gear. There're two boys and a girl, (there were three boys, but the youngest is living with his paternal grandmother now, which is probably a good thing) from about ages 11,10, and 7. I don't know about the cousin who's staying with them, he looks to be about five. And the woman who knocked on our door this morning, well, she needs a phone. Maybe I can see about giving her one of our old flip phones and putting it on our bill; it'll only be $10/mo or so.

And, hell, I'll put this out there too: If you have a desktop system that you are done with, send it my way and I'll hook up the kids up the street.
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I have always heard voices. Not from the outside, not hallucinations, but voices that come from somewhere in my head. It never pays to go looking for them. I have to wait for them to appear. Sometimes a voice that I'm waiting for never shows up at all, or it might emerge from some deep place and not be at all what I was expecting.

About a month ago, I went to go hear retired Rear Admiral Dr. David Titley speak about climate change and security concerns. As he was speaking, a couple of book ideas came to me. I've been thinking a lot about one of the ideas, a military fiction/spy novel. I've written a couple hundred words, but they were, um, crap.

I stopped thinking about it and let it rest in the back of my head. Sometimes when I do that, the idea never does develop. Last night, I was walking the dog and a voice whispered to me: My mother tells me that I was born on the night of a supermoon. Maybe that's why I lead a life of deception.

I thought to myself that it was too lyrical a beginning for a spy novel. *shrug* Oh, well! Onward.
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On the way in to work this morning, I was reminded of Jeanette Rankin. She was one gutsy lady.

Jeannette Rankin’s life was filled with extraordinary achievements: she was the first woman elected to Congress, one of the few suffragists elected to Congress, and the only Member of Congress to vote against U.S. participation in both World War I and World War II. “I may be the first woman member of Congress,” she observed upon her election in 1916. “But I won’t be the last.” History, Art, & Archives, United States House of Representitives

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I'm trying to write something that has a necessary scene which is outside my experience. I've been on a sailboat once or twice, and of course little row boats and canoes, but I've got to write a scene that takes place on a Norwegian research vessel in a storm.

Hmm. Maybe I could watch some movie clips? Any thing come to mind? In the mean time, I'm reading about bioprospecting, or the collection end of it.

Edit: I just sent a letter to a scientist at the University of Tromsø – The Arctic University of Norway. We'll see if she answers!
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This is the first time I've heard an actual Important Guy speak about climate change. Yesterday Dr. David Titley spoke at Central Michigan University in Mt. Pleasant, an hour's drive away.

As he's a military guy, his presentation had me looking at things that I usually don't read much about. I mean, I come from a military family and Mike is a 20-year man, so it's not all new, but I got a few slides that I don't usually see. And he talked about the senate hearing with Ted Cruz, and that was fun.

Mostly, like these things usually are, it was "Hey, this is a real and serious problem. We've got to get together on this." -- so it was all head-noddy stuff.

At the end he took questions, and my question was the last one: "My husband and I are in our mid-50's, I'm a nurse and he's a truck driver. We're just average people with a bucket of kids and three buckets at grandkids. About ten years ago, we started talking about climate change and how it was going to effect us. My question is: do you have kids, grandkids? What do you think of when you think of them?" Surprising to me, my voice broke at the end. "What do you think when you're staring at the ceiling in the middle of the night?"

His answer was that no, he doesn't have any kids. And his advice was that we educate our kids and make sure that they vote. Which is a fair enough answer, but not what I was looking for. I wanted to know his gut.

Then folks started picking up their coats and moving into the isles. Mike and I sat for a bit, and he patted my knee.

And they started coming, from this direction and that, a stream of older women -- pressing my hand and patting me on the shoulder and even giving me little hugs.

"Yes," they said, and "Are you okay?" and "Well, honey" and little murmurs and of this and that. It was wonderful and a little overwhelming. A woman of about my age, but in much nicer clothes *g*, slipped her card into my hand, Elizabeth Dell, Great Lakes Regional Coordinator of the Citizen's Climate Lobby.

You'd think that I'd already be involved with the Citizen's Climate Lobby, but no. I just ... I didn't think I'd have the resolve to keep pecking away at something that I don't think will change. Perhaps hearing Titley, knowing that there are some very big players in the government who are concerned about this, makes me more willing to spend time and energy in adding my small voice.
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As expected, this year Global C02 measurements failed to drop below 400 ppm for the first time in the history of the homo sapiens.

It will not pass below this level again in our lifetimes.

Trends in Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide
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Thank you so much for submitting. I would love to take "Written in the Book of the Woods" for Reckoning, if it's still available and you're still interested. I have to confess it made me cry a little. It is very much the kind of thing I want to publish, weird and deep and affecting.

If this sounds okay to you, can you please send me your mailing address (and/or an email address for me to send PayPal money to), and also a short bio if you have one? Then I can get a story contract written up.


Michael J. DeLuca

Reckoning Editor

And, oh noes! it's the dreaded Bio! Blerg! (help!)
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Michael Mann: (...) it’s unfortunate that some in the weather community are not providing that critical context for understanding this trend towards increasingly devastating tropical storms and hurricanes. Matthew is a very good example of a storm that was unique, unprecedented, in certain respects. It intensified far more quickly than any other storm that we’ve seen in modern history, basically going from not even a tropical depression to a near-hurricane-strength storm over the course of, you know, less than half a day, and then, the next day, of course, strengthening into a major hurricane, a Category 5 hurricane. It’s weakened a little bit, but now it’s restrengthening.

And where that intensification, where that rapid intensification occurred was in the region of the Caribbean that has the greatest heat content, not just that the ocean surface temperatures are warm, but there’s a very deep layer of warm water. And that’s important, because that helps sustain these storms as they churn up the ocean. The churning doesn’t bring cold water to the surface to weaken the storm, if there’s a deep layer of warmth. And that all has a climate change signature with it, not just the fact that the ocean surface temperatures in the Caribbean are at near-record levels, but the—just the sheer depth of that warm water is unprecedented. And as the surface warming penetrates into the ocean, we are seeing increases in ocean heat content. Last year was the warmest our oceans have ever been on record. And that’s critical context. It’s that warmth that provides the energy that intensifies these storms. And it isn’t a coincidence that we’ve seen the strongest hurricane in both hemispheres within the last year.


Governor Rick Scott of Florida has received quite a bit of funding from the Koch brothers over the years. He is a climate change denier. So here you have a state which is on the front lines of dealing with the impacts of climate change, and not just because of the possibility of more extreme weather events, more intense hurricanes, a trend that we see and a trend that we know is related to climate change, but you combine these intensifying storms with the rising sea level, and, forgive the pun, you get a perfect storm of consequences for coastal flooding. And we’re going to see exceptional coastal flooding associated with Matthew, not just because of the intensity of the storm, but because of the fact that sea level rise has added substantially to the impact of storms like Matthew. So there’s this amazing hypocrisy ..."

Amid Media Blackout over Climate Change Links to Hurricane Matthew, Top Scientist Speaks Out
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It's the beginning of the freezing season. Here are three posters on Neven's Arctic Sea Ice blog forum:

Tigertown wrote: The fast freeze seems to have hit a bit of a stall. Any guesses as to why?

I thought the one idea(above) about all the fresh water from prior melting and that puddled near the ice and then refreezing quickly, made some sense. That would explain a pause when the salt water was reached. But how much melt water would stay through storms and rough seas?

What about the slightly warmer peripheral waters and the less than ideal air temps?

magnamentis wrote: just look at seawater temps and wind/wave patterns and you got your answer, i mentioned this will happen a few days ago and the stall (with ups and downs) could continue for quite a while.

water temps are not slightly warmer, they are a lot warmer and a lot above average in peripheral seas. further air temps are way warmer above 80N than any previous year, including 2012. the energy/heat that has been there now for quite some time finally start to show it's effect. if the stormy conditions continue it will be a very late "real" refreeze because current temps do not explain the fast refreeze, must be a lot of freshwater and smaller floes floating around that held freshwater temps close to freezing temps.

jdallen wrote: (...) The further problem we now have is, all that moisture falling now as snow will be piling onto that new ice, and reducing heat flow *out* of the water, all the while replacing/displacing heat flow out of the ice through the top of the atmosphere. I'm pessimistic about the coming refreeze and the condition the ice will be in at max.

Luke's bed

Oct. 3rd, 2016 01:12 pm
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Week One (completion date 12-1-16)

Ok, here's the plan for the bedframe, except it'll have 1/4" plywood instead of slats, and no box spring. Also, it'll only have three sides, with the long side pieces attaching to the headboard. And no legs; it'll sit on cubbies.

For this section, then, I'll need three 8' 1"x6", 1 piece of 4'x8' plywood, two 8' 1"x3" pine. I don't need the long piece running up the middle, because the cubbies will provide enough support. Which means the cubbies will be cut out in a way that the front of the edge meets the support strips, and the rest is higher, to meet the plywood platform.

This will frame will be a lot like a waterbed frame, with cubbies instead of drawers, if you've ever put one of those together.

The headboard will be made of 1"x8", a simple box with shelves. I was thinking of making some kind of fancy-pants hand carving at the top of the headboard, but not too sure. Time will be a factor. The cubbies at the foot of the bed will be 12" deep, and the cubbies on the side will be 8". I think.

The inside pine frame will sit on the cubbies; the 1x3s will be glued and reinforced with wood screws.

I can see it in my head. My problem is setting up the steps. So, here we go: This week I'll

1) buy the side rail boards and inside frame boards (I'm sure those have a name.) Buy wood glue and quality wood screws. Get a new blade for the saw.
2) measure the lengths and cut them.
3) glue and screw down the inside support frame pieces to the outer rails

Next week, I'll buy the wood for the head board and cubbies.

If you have any suggestions, feel free to make 'em!

This is the headboard carving I'd live to do.


Oct. 2nd, 2016 02:15 pm
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I'm just about caught up on old bills and helping kids with old bills. I got Luke a computer that he loves, I helped Sam get caught up from when he was out of work for four months, and Mike and I are all caught up on the household bills. I have October Birthday bash coming up, which I mostly pay for, this year we're scaling back so we can go see Nutcracker in Grand Rapids in December, maybe.

So -- I've got a little bit of money for some projects. And I've got a little bit of time, too. This makes me happy. I have three projects that I want to work on. I'm that kind of person, who is happiest flitting from one project to another. But I want to try on a level of completing the project, something that I've never been that motivated about in the past.

Project #1: Quilts -- I really admire quilts and want to make a few. I've made a total on one in the past, though I've attempted but never finished two others. I'd like to put a 6mo timeline on this one.

Project #2 - Bed frame -- this one is a time-sensitive project -- by Luke's Dec 16th birthday. I want to make a nice bed frame for Luke. It will be a platform bed, with a book case headboard and cubbies underneath:
wooden bed frame
-- something like this, but instead of sitting on legs, it would sit cubbies: wood cubbie

The idea is that Mike and I will work on it together. We'll see how that works! So far, we have done well compromising on the wood; he wanted pine and I wanted maple. We have chosen poplar! There are pieces at Menard's that have lovely green and purple streaks.

Project #3: tile mosaics -- I need to clear my workspace so that I can start working on this. It will be slow and leisurely.

There is divided evidence on whether it's better to state your goals or not. A lot of evidence points to it being a not so good idea, because stating plans or goals makes your head think you've already accomplished them. Fie on that! I really want to do these things, and plan to start on the bed this week. I will post pics.
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Not being able to share your heart is not an uncommon thing. I wonder if it's more common than not, really. I've spent the first half of my life easily sharing my heart with many people, with friends and lovers and lovers who were, blessedly, also my friends. And even though it hasn't worked out well -- really, really, hasn't -- I miss it.

Like air.

At this point in my life, I don't have a single person with whom I share my heart. I have many friends, many people who like me because, honestly, I'm a likable and trustworthy person. There are many, many people who think well of me. And in the other direction, there are many people I like and admire. There are people whom I love, who love me in return. This is not a problem of economy.

The problem is in me. I'm stuck. Over a year ago, I began to build a wall, or more like, I put a part of me inside of a box. And now I'm thinking of all those stories about the witch who put her heart in a box. Yes, like that. To keep it safe. And now I'm stuck. There's a gatekeeper, a box-minder, who is skeptical. And my conscious mind can discuss the shit out of this over numerous sub-conscious bottles of beer, but the gatekeeper smiles pleasantly, nods, and keeps their own counsel, along with the key.

You would think that I'd be able to share my heart with people whom I love, who love me in return. That's how it's always worked for me. It's not working that way now. This makes me extremely irritated.

I think that this is where my stories are coming from, like steam from a kettle. And though the stories are a good thing, mostly I feel anxious when there's nothing pressing to feel anxious about, and tired because I don't sleep well, with layers of sad, lonely, and irritated in between.

There are many people who are alone, many people who chose not to share themselves and are okay with that. I thought I could do that. It seemed that style would be preferable to how I had been doing things. But perhaps it's a personality or temperament thing, something that you're born with; I've never been able to tame my desire for brain-sharing.

(which I just realized is the main way I conceptualize love)

I need to figure out the actions/words I need to have directed at me to feel loved. And then I need to ask for it. I was going to close comments on this post because I thought that they would just make me frustrated, and I was going to lock it down -- but I've changed my mind.

If you want to comment, please share something of yourself. Tell me something from your heart. Not about me. Tell me something about yourself -- something you dream of, hope for, or desire. I think that's what I need.
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People who are reading my Nanaboozhoo stories -- Are you tired of them? I've got another one banging around my head. This one takes place sometime before Stronger than Swift Runner.

I think I want this story to be about redemption.

"Open up! Hey! Come get the door! Police! Open up!"

Abby McGeezhick's eyes sprang open and she staggered out of bed. It had snowed during the night. When she threw open the second floor window and stuck her head out, the snow on the window ledge fell back and plopped on her bare feet.

The officers at the door looked up at her, frowning. The morning sun off the fresh snow made their faces harsh.

"I'm right here! Hold on, I'm coming down!" She pushed the window shut, shoved her wet feet into jeans, and threw on an old sweatshirt. In the living room, Boots and a couple of his buddies were sleeping on the couches and floor. Bags of Doritos and Cheetos and red Solo cups littered the side tables. Abby stomped her bare feet into boots, stepped outside and closed the door quietly behind her.

"We've got a problem, Ms. McGeezhick." Both of the officers towered over her and Abby took a breath to calm herself. One of them was a young guy, and the other was Phillips, who'd been on the force for a handful of years. The younger guy pointed across the street. "The VFW's door has been forced, and somebody took a keg of beer and some other stuff."

They looked stern. Accusingly, even. Abby shrugged. "I don't know what you're talking about. I don't know anything about it!"

The officers looked at each other. "Well, that's real funny, Ma'am," Phillips drawled. "Seeing how there's tracks going out your front door right to the VFW, and then tracks leaving, going right to your back door."

Abby closed her eyes and saw the boys inside, passed out in her living room. "Shit."


Sep. 23rd, 2016 02:24 pm
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I'm loving being a nurse.

This job, though! We are a small clinic in a small county jail. We're open 12 hours a day, seven days a week. There are two full-time nurses who work 3 days a week, and one part time nurse who works one day here and one day at the downtown jail.

Except that the other full-time nurse got pneumonia so bad that she ended up in the hospital and had to get prednisone, which sent her into irregular heart rhythm, and now she's not coming back. I've been working about 65hrs/wk for the last two weeks, and have another three to four weeks, I think. They need to hire someone, and then train them for at least a week...

So very tired. It's an hour drive. I get up at 5am, leave the house at 5:45, get to work at about 6:45am, leave anywhere between 7pm to 9pm, get home somewhere between 8pm and 10pm and fall into bed. Day is done.

Uffdah. I just need to hang on. In the mean time, there's a story rattling 'round my head.


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December 2016

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