Friday, February 22, 2019


I've had a PhD since 2013 and a faculty position since 2014. I get good teaching reviews, and my students, for the most part, like and respect me. I got a very positive 4th year review. And yet, today I think I received my most startling and unexpected compliment of all.

The American Society of Mechanical Engineers doesn't have a chapter in Fairbanks, since we don't have a lot of manufacturing. We have a chapter of ASHRAE though, which encompasses HVAC engineers. So I've joined the monthly meetings. There are cool tours and talks, and the food is tasty at the hotel where they meet. One of my former students, who is now the Fairbanks ASHRAE chapter president, asked if I could give a talk, so I said, "sure", but wondered what I, a former design engineer and now a teaching faculty, could possibly talk about HVAC. So I thought I'd talk about heat management with regards to renewable energy. It seemed relevant enough.

After my talk, I was cc'ed on this email:

Thank you for attending the presentation on “Renewable to Thermal Energy in Alaska” by Daisy Huang on February 21st, 2019. I certify as president of the Fairbanks section of ASHRAE that this presentation qualifies as 0.5 Professional Development Hour (PDH) related to HVAC technology and industry education. I further certify this event was attended by: [list of names redacted]

Please retain this email as proof of professional engineering continuing education with the State of Alaska.

Y'all. Listening to me talk, and enduring my puns, gets you professional development credit in the State of Alaska.

Sometimes I ask myself, what is that winterized automobile? And I find myself in an awesome cabin, with a handsome husband, and adorable dogs, and I ask myself, Well... how did I get here??

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Notes from Here and There

Spring seems to be around the corner. The weather folks are saying there will be no more -20s any more, just a gentle slide into spring. I hope we still remain cold enough so that we are not continually doing battle with this:

just to go skiing or showshoeing!

Other than that bit of Rosie Creek, the trails have been fun, as usual!


Often we are the first on the trails after a snowfall:

Ladies running with joy!

Mousie tracks!

Grandma sent a pair of lobsters! Cricket doesn't chew things any more, but she likes to sit with the dog toys:

And hold them:

Starbuck does not like the stuffy toys, so we gave the other one to Hawkeye:

Here is Roo looking sooofffft and fuzzy:

Do you think she is comfy? I sure hope she is comfy! That is Cricket's "hug me" pose. Actually, if you walk by them in this configuration, Roo will wave her paw to be held, too. Manipulative creatures!

They snuggle!


Thursday, February 14, 2019

Happy Valentine's Day

Roo would like to be our family representative to wish you a Happy Valentine's Day, since she has a heart on her chest.


Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Good Eats

I made lion heads using bok choy:

It came out nicely!

Roo and Cricket, my loyal supervisors, always making sure I cook properly!


Oh, this is with moose instead of pork!

Here are photos of my second attempt at pho! I simmered moosey pieces on the stove:


Noodles and fixins!

It was perfect this time, and I even had purple basil!

The moosey pieces I used for the broth, we had over rice a different day. As an accompaniment, I made a cabbage salad like Vietnamese chicken salad, only without chicken:

Here is a western salad from a different day. Mmmmm!

Another example of how flexible you have to be in Fairbanks in winter: slicing teardrop tomatoes for sandwiches!

Do you think they are comfy?

I sure hope they are comfy!

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Happy Lunar New Year!

Since it falls on a Tues this year, we celebrated last weekend. I can't do weeknight parties any more, in my staid middle age. :)

The day we celebrated was Groundhog Day, so it was doubly fitting since jiao-zhes are filled with ground hog! :D

I made the filling using bok choy instead of napa cabbage. In winter in Fairbanks, it is best not to get too hung up on vegetabular precision... just buy what is freshest when you are at the store! Bok choy is a particularly good substitute for napa cabbage; it also puts out a lot of water, and it cooks down nicely!

Mmmm! In my Chinese New Year invitation, I request N/2 people come early and be wrap stars! Usually, everyone wants to come help, so I relegate some people to doing other food prepwork. 4 of us made 120 of them in only 45 minutes!

Very few of them broke:

Here is my half-cooked chicken. I'm not sure why I photographed it half-cooked!

And here is the spread! MR hand-cut the noodles!

Feeding a friendly crowd!

Roo hung out with her friend, Charcoal!

They are so comfy together!

I make stir-fry nian gao nowadays. I don't like the sweet, sticky blobs! I had forgotten to take them out of the freezer, so I defrosted them on the wood stove!

And I stir-fried them with green onions, baby bok choy, and lap chong:

MR's noodles:


MR's fancy raspberry cake!

Happy New Year! I wish all 12 of my loyal readers a New Year filled with warmth and love!