Skew-T Meteorologist in Kansas City

Wallace State Park

Lake Allaman
Lake Allaman

Wallace State Park was created in 1932 when citizens convinced the Missouri state government to purchase the 121 acres of land, who named the park after the previous landholders. The Works Progress Administration performed much of the initial development. It's about a 45 minute drive outside of Kansas City, on Interstate 35, near Cameron and I think perhaps the second or third closest state park to the metro. Some of the natural wooded landscape has been preserved, though neighboring roads are apparent through bare spring trees and farm ponds and the artificial lake reveal 20th century development of this area.

GPS track of hiking though the park. Background map OSM contributors.
GPS track of hiking though the park. Background map OSM contributors.

Vienna

Main hall at EGU2018
Main hall at EGU2018

Last week I traveled to Vienna, Austria to attend the European Geophysics Union General Assembly 2018 (EGU2018). It was great to represent our work among an international community and see the wide variety of work being done in related sciences.

It was also great to have a chance to see Vienna. I had previously visited the western end of the country (Upper Austria) driving down the Inn valley from Switzerland through Innsbruck and southeastern Germany to Salzburg. This was my first time in Lower Austria on the edge of Western Europe and long the center of the Hapsburg monarchy.

Café Central, a traditional Viennese café opened in 1876 that quickly became an intellectual hangout, with regulars including Sigmund Freud, Theodor Herzl, Adolf Hitler, and Leon Trotsky
Café Central, a traditional Viennese café opened in 1876 that quickly became an intellectual hangout, with regulars including Sigmund Freud, Theodor Herzl, Adolf Hitler, and Leon Trotsky

Following World War II, Austria was occupied by the Allies with Vienna divided into sectors, similar to Berlin, in the middle of Soviet occupied Eastern Austria. It is this divided, war-torn Vienna that is the setting for the iconic film The Third Man. We visited the building that played home to Harry Lime's apartment and the Ferris wheel where Martins and Lime meet. The rubble is long gone but the iconic buildings that survived the war still stand today.

Harry Lime's apartment building in _The Third Man_
Harry Lime's apartment building in The Third Man
Ferris wheel in _The Third Man_
Ferris wheel in The Third Man

The occupation ended in 1955 and the signs of the division are not that apparent today. I was curious exactly where I would have been, and so created a map of some GPS tracks I had recorded overlayed on the post-World War II occupation zones. I couldn't something readily available; luckily the sectors were designated among the same city districts that exist today, so I was able to take the OpenStreetMap district boundaries and add a field for the sector to categorize. The shapefile is available for download.

Central Vienna with GPS tracks and post-WWII occupation zones. Background map credit OSM contributors.
Central Vienna with GPS tracks and post-WWII occupation zones. Background map credit OSM contributors.

The Globe Museum, part of the Austrian National Library, is the only such public museum of globes in the world. The collection spans hundreds of years and offers an interesting perspective on how people viewed the world at different times in history through the unique form. Admission also included entry to the Esperanto Museum on the floor below of the Palais Mollard-Clary, primarily a massive collection of works in Esperanto and other planned languages with some insight into the reasoning for development and persecution of such ideas.

Display case at the Globe Museum in the Austrian National Library
Display case at the Globe Museum in the Austrian National Library
Vegetarian _pfeffersteak_ at Veggiezz
Vegetarian pfeffersteak at Veggiezz

National Hurricane Center on Jeopardy

Daily Double Jeopardy! clue
Daily Double Jeopardy! clue

Labor Day Weekend 2017

Wildfire smoke on GOES-16 geocolor imagery (prelim non-operational)
Wildfire smoke on GOES-16 geocolor imagery (prelim non-operational)

Wildfires out west spread smoke across the western and central US. Luckily it was high aloft this far east so it mostly darkened the sky with an eerie orange glow, rather than it resulting in the sometimes unbreathable air I experienced at times living in Fairbanks during the summers.

Skies Monday afternoon (left) and Tuesday afternoon (right)
Skies Monday afternoon (left) and Tuesday afternoon (right)
Smoke seen clearing out Tuesday morning
Smoke seen clearing out Tuesday morning
Buffalo at Genesee Park in Colorado
Buffalo at Genesee Park in Colorado

Difficult to see in this photo are two buffalo in Denver's Genesee Park. The city created the park for tourism in 1914, right around the time of the lowest population count, preserving one of the 'wildest' herds remaining.

Mocha ready to hit the road
Mocha ready to hit the road
Archway Monument in Nebraska
Archway Monument in Nebraska

The drive across Nebraska on Interstate 80 is generally uninspiring. The traffic might be less than that of 70 in eastern Kansas, but many more trucks take the northern route which can lead to occasional bottlenecks. The Archway Monument, a large covered bridge spanning the freeway is an interesting sight, especially if one is not expecting it. A museum focusing on the westward migration across the United States in the 19th century, it has struggled to attain promised attendance numbers.

Summer 2017 Eats

Black bean tofu tacos with guac
Black bean tofu tacos with guac
Cheese selection at Fred Meyer
Cheese selection at Fred Meyer

The cheese selection at the Fred Meyer on Seward Highway in Anchorage, Alaska has a much better cheese selection that the local grocery stores back home.

Cauliflower tacos at Rustic Goat in Anchorage
Cauliflower tacos at Rustic Goat in Anchorage
Salad aboard international United Business
Salad aboard international United Business
Ravioli in first on United
Ravioli in first on United
"Arme Ritter" at Affäre in Kansas City
"Arme Ritter" at Affäre in Kansas City
Ramen at Komatsu in Kansas City
Ramen at Komatsu in Kansas City
Black bean burger at Harry's Country Club
Black bean burger at Harry's Country Club