Monday, March 31, 2008

Funny story

Sunday morning after breakfast Nick said "Mom i feel kind of weird". so i just said let me know if you feel any worse. Then when he went to bed he said "Mom i feel kind of weird". so i felt his head and asked if he wanted tylenol or anything. he said no. This morning he gets up, and is about ready to eat a bite of cereal and then he bolts to the bathroom and closes the door. I heard the HURL noises. Oh boy. So i opened the door and said are you OK? did you throw up? He had an odd look on his face and then yelled APRIL FOOLS! :) he was so disappointed when i told him he was a day early! he had been planning it all day sunday.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Brandon's Journal Link

Brandon will be authoring a trail journal as he traverses the Pacific Crest Trail. He is beginning the journal now to get in the routine of writing. Click on the title here to go to his journal now under construction.

My new home

Look familiar? If so, it is because Melinda used to live here. And now I do! (she earns super karma points for the tip.)

My new address:

1505 S. Madison Ave.
Tulsa, OK 74120

I am going to have a HOUSEWARMING POTLUCK the first Saturday evening in May, so I hope you all can come by. We will be grilling burgers (meat and non-meat) and veggie kabobs in this very garden.

Otherwise -- stop by any old time!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter Tidings

Weather guys predicted rain and snow, but the sky was blue and the wind blew. The Easter Bunny had beautifully colored eggs to hide and the wild Orban kids hunted. Baby chicks complete the day. Happy Easter Everyone.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

There And Back Again

Kiah has returned from her three weeks in China, with stories for a lifetime and an appetite for Mexican food (no "tex-mex" in China? go figure!)

Friday, March 14, 2008

beauceau bouquets


With our late winter warm-up the daffodils are beginning to bloom and soon should yield lots of potential for arrangements...ah-h-h-chooo!
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Wednesday, March 12, 2008


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Excerpt from Brandon:
Well, we are finally on the back side of 2 back to back fronts. Probably the roughest seas to date. I missed out on a couple of nights sleep because of it. Caught up a bit last night. At one point, we literally slammed face first into a huge wave and actually bent the ship. The hallway outside of my room has a ripple in the tile now and some of the doors arent closing properly. No one seems too concerned though. I've been cursing alot.

I am participating in the "rednose" antarctic circle crossing ceremony/hazing. Today I had to wear all my clothes inside out and backwards with my underwear on the outside. The Wogs, as we are now called, have to entertain the bluenoses tonight. It looks like they have all sorts of "fun" secret games lined up for us. Sailors are weird. I think we were supposed to go through all this BS at the circle, but were too busy collecting data to deal with it. There is another ceremony when crossing the equator supposidly The shellback ceremony. Of course we dont "have" to participate, but its highly encouraged.

Anyway, after Cape Town, we just steam across the Atlantic. Our direct route might be changed because of some brief science that might be done and Brazil wont let us into their waters, but if all goes well, should be pulling into Key West on April 17th.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Here Comes the Sun

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(Thanks to Richie Havens)

Friday, March 7, 2008

Eggstra special request!


your chickens produce some egg-cellent wares, and that's no yolk!

Omelettin' you know that this chick would like to buy some eggs from you regularly, now that I'm in the area. Never have I seen yolks so rich and orange - even from the eggs I bought from local farmers here (maybe just the shipping does something to them?).

I know good eggs don't come "cheep" so name your price and I will scramble to scratch up the dinero.


Headed North


After more than a week of email silence, Brandon managed to get through. After a short while below the Antarctic Circle the Revelle is headed back to Africa. Following are excerpts from Brandon's Journal:
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March 2nd 2008
The storm arrived at 4a.m. with windspeeds increasing from 20 to 50 knots in 4 short hours. Almost immediatly after my morning trash collecting routine, my boss Gary informed me that we will be working outside removing snow from the deck before it can freeze and become ice. Ice is dangerous because it has the potential to compromise the natural stability of the ship with its overwhelming collective weight. (8 pounds per gallon of liquid) So I suited up in a full body coverall style getup called a mustang suit. Built to resist the elements and provide protection against exposure. This task proved to be the defining moment of this expedition South thus far. Upon stepping outside I realized just how dangerous this had the potential of becoming. Waves roughly 40 feet in height or the equivelant of a 4 story building were rolling past. Streaked white with foam and gnashing teeth. The ship was handling the conditions rather well, with only the occasional explosion at the bow of the ship that would send sea water screaming across the deck with the intensity of a million tiny BB's. The wind I encountered was the purest form of Earths power that I've ever experienced. Walking forward was nearly impossible with some gusts reaching 60 knots (72 miles per hour). The blowing snow bit into my exposed face like a sandblaster. At one point Gary and I were both swept off our feet by a particularly strong gust working hand in hand with the ice covered deck. A crowd of scientists gathered at the bridge to watch the insanity unfold. I've never felt wind blow that hard and its tought to image when I will again. On some distant mountain top perhaps? We took the distince image of Oompah Loompas from Charlie and the Chocolate factory. Expendible worker units sent into the fray to potentially sacrafice ourselves. I was having a hell of a good time despite my now soaking boots and gloves. We must have been outside for 20 minutes or so before Gary gave the signal that it was time to go back inside. We eased ourselves aft and took special precaution no to get blow down the slushy stairs. Since the ship is now within 100 miles of the Antarctic circle this storm is just what I needed to reignite the feeling of adventure and remind me just how far we've actually come. Gale force power on the bottom of the world.

March 4th 2008 (Suth of Antarctic Circle)
Today could not have been more polar in its experiences and emmotions. It started off with Gary telling me that the Captain was upset with how clean I keep my mandated areas of responsibility. That is, unclean. For some reason, I was singled out as the whipping boy and was made to clean all day. Of course this left me in a rather bad mood. But, my crewmates joking about it smoothed over the rough edges. Around lunch time the ship began moving through large patches of crumbled up sea ice known as ice flows. The bergs kept getting larger and larger and it was apparent that we had finally arrived. Last night we actually crossed the Antarctic Circle and todays furthest position South was 68 degrees 32 min. After lunch, Gary relieved me of my duties as cleaning bitch and let me go up to the bridge to help out as extra eyes. My main duty was to point out Grolwer sized chunks that might pose a potential threat. The sounds of moving through ice can best be compared to sitting in an aluminium canoe while the bottom drags across the polished, rounded bottom rocks of a fast moving river. We have truly entered a magical place that can hardly be described properly in words. A place where humans are not meant to exist for long. We are so near the Antarctic ice edge that its outline can be seen on Radar. Jerry (the AB) and I saw the outline resting on the horizion through binoculars, but because of Earths curvature we are most likely just seeing the top. Its a little frustrating to be this close and not be able to get out and walk around, but the ice pack simply wont allow for it. THe Captain was anxious about scratching up the very pricy paint job just applied to the hull in Durban a couple of months ago. The Chief Scientist was politely begging him to get into as shallow water as possible, but the lowest we could manage was 300 meters. While on lookout, I saw a fast moving Meinke or Pilot Whale. Dark black and very small. Several times in the afternoon we got very close to groups of Adelle Pinguins standing around on the ice chunks. The only thing I needed to see to verify that we are indeed here. The sky is amazing here and the sun was kind enough to poke its way through the clouds. The atmosphere was that everything is alright in the world. Rippling ice flows like a serpent with the rythym of the tidal motion. Tabular icebergs up to 30 miles long that have calved away from the pack ice edge. The temperature is cold (25degrees F) and crisp. Faint wind and a muffling of sound not unlike standing in a snow covered field. A Japanese research base is very nearby on the mainland. I wish they would invite us over for sushi and sake. After making our way out of the large pack of sea ice , we nestled up next to an ice berg to take continuous samples with the CTD. This particular berg is roughly the size of a large office building and at present we are only a half mile away. The colors of the polar sunset were reflected in the ice. Purples, pinks, oranges, and blues, all pastel, all seemlessly blended together. Waves are breaking off its frozen face and exploding out of a small sea cave carved out near the waterline. Everyone onboard is running around snapping pictures and in high spirits. We've become quite neighborly during the past month at sea. Its tough to understand how it took a month to make it this far South, but it will only take 1 week to make it back to Cape Town. Just seeing the gently sloped roof of this iceberg, snow covered and gleaming makes me hungry for the mountains. This is an amazing expereince. Im glad to be here.

"Minutes can seem like years, but the years go by like minutes" - Ahmed Kathrada (fellow prisioner with Nelson Mandela)

March 5th 2008
I finally got to get off the Revelle today. The cirumstances caught me off guard, but I am sure glad they arose. Unbeknownst to me, on these trips to the poles, the Captain usually allows the rescue boat to be launched. So I suited up and prepared to stand around helping out for a couple of hours. We attached the pilot ladder and launched. Initially the 3rd mate and the Ab Mike were set to the task of loading and unloading 4 passengers at a time and giving them a couple of laps around the ship. It was such a beautiful day with plenty of sunshine to illuminate the ice bergs and flows of pack ice. Mike traded out with me and the Chief Engineer took over for Melissa. On our first trip,. the cheif scientist brought along 2 sample bottles and we were given the go-ahead to proceed to the pack ice edge. This was extremly rare to be given such an oppourtunity. No one else got to do what we did and it was the closest that anyone will get this trip to actually setting foot on solid land. This really brought the entire trip togther and suddenly things became very real. We nudged the rescue boats nose into the ice edge and collected out samples. Sprawled out before me at eye level was a continuous layer of floating pack ice leading all the way to the continents edge. Pure, beaming nature screaming right in my face. A feeling of connection, understanding and remoteness that I've never felt before. A beauty beyond mans ability to fully comprehend. The sunshine did an excellent job of recharging my battery, so to speak. Once back on board the Revelle, we manuvered very near an iceberg approx the size of 4 city blocks. Towering layers of prehistoric snowfall from the continents interior. Crushed and fused together by its own weight. Sliding downhill with gravitys assistance and eventually cracking loose from the pack to float as monoliths and live as gods until returning to the sea as water. All things must pass. As I stood watching and trying to comprehend its glory, 4 whales made a stunning appearance and briefly straked through the loose ice chunks. I'll come back to Antarctica, but next time on my own terms...perhaps to experience the deserts. Im ready to return to the North.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

-66.378 LAT, 33.615 LON


Sometime this morning at approximately 9 o'clock central time, the Revelle, with Brandon on board, crossed into the Antarctic. Now that's a pretty good resum'e padder!
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Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Just North of South

After steaming steadily southward for a week the Revelle has stopped just short of the antarctic circle for the past few days, presumably doing science. With email service down due to equipment malfunction I've got no news from Brandon though Melinda says he called via satellite phone on Saturday; good kid! Apparently someone moved a camera to make the photos here possible. Pretty cool.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Take me back to Tulsa

Well folks, after months of scrapping for entry level jobs from Colorado to Kansas City and beyond, I have finally found a job right in my own backyard.. or my parents', anyway.

I am the new Special Collections & Research Librarian for Tulsa City-County Library!

That means I have.. yikes! Two weeks left in Kansas!

I'm shocked.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

In Like a Lamb

March comes in with blue skies and birds chirping. Of course tomorrow a cold front is coming to remind us it's still winter, but spring is in the air and we are ready for it. Happy birthday Melinda Jean, you don't look a day over 23!
Great day also because an Orban girl is married off. Congratulations Jaclyn and Josh! Happy to see Samulski representatives on hand but as usual, the visit was too short.
In like a lamb, out like a prepared!
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