What's on my mind.

30 December 2008

PSA for sales clerks

Acknowledging a costumer's existence can increase your sales.

Will you forgive me a mini-rant? I hope so, because I'm going to do it anyway. Customer service SUCKS in this town (maybe everywhere). Latest example:

Last night I went to Belks to look at shoes. Now, I'm not even sure they carry much in my size but I thought I'd try, since they are now the biggest bestest department store in town (Sears' shoe dept is very small; Penny's hardly carries anything in my size and was a sucky dept with rude service last time I looked, about 8 years ago.) So I look around a few minutes and start picking up shoes. One associate passes as he's putting shoes back in the displays, I think he said "hi". I end up with 4 shoes in my hand that I want to try on and want to ask if s/he can bring out anything similar in my size. (I know it's asking a lot of a clerk to have some idea of their stock but hey, why not try?) I stood about 4 feet back and to the side of the register counter and a couple of feet from a row of chairs, facing the register, attempting to make eye contact with a sales clerk. One is ringing up a sale, one put up a couple of shoes on the other half of the dept but mostly stood at the contour, the other two are putting shoes up, straightening up, etc. One of them looks at me, no eye contact, walks on, offers to help another customer, puts the shoe(s) where they belong, and returns to the counter. I stood there for several minutes in total. I put the shoes in a chair and said, mostly to myself, 'if they don't want to sell me shoes, fine I don't need buy shoes,' and leave the store. BTW, this was at approximately 5:15 (no where near closing time) and there were six-eight people in the non-"selfserve" part of the dept, only one of whom was actually trying on shoes while I was there. (Clearance shoes are stacked on tables.)

Maybe I've missed a change in how one suppose to get a shoe department associate's attention? Am I now suppose to walk into the stock room myself? Hit a clerk over the head with a shoe to get his attention? The stand near counter and/or chairs with shoes in hand has always worked before. Needless to say it will be awhile before I hit up thier shoe department again.

29 December 2008


Ok, I just wanted an excuse to post a picture of my second knitting project -part of Nettie's take Thursday morning:

Since the first bag didn't quite come out right I did another. This one was with a narrower yarn so it took a little longer to knit. I didn't decrease fast enough and the flap is a little bit longer than the front of the bag. I also had to block the flap to try and get it into a nice triangle (when I realized how long it was going to be I changed the decrease rate and it was, predictably, a little lopsided). This yarn felted faster with less fuzzing. I wonder if the yarn weight was a factor in that? Less time in the washer probably helped with the fuzzing and lint knots. I knit it tighter in general which means it shrank less, too.

You really can't tell but I knitted the front (under the flap) in a checkerboard pattern which looked 'eh' before felting* but turned out pretty nice afterward; You can't see it but you can feel the texture. I like felting. It hides minor mistakes like dropped stitches - the holes just close right up.

And just because she's so cute:

Honey sporting her new 'outfit'. (The harness - let's see her back herself out of that.)

*Not sure why. It looks good in my practice yarn. Maybe my tension and stitch length varied too much? I screwed up more on my stitch counting than I thought?

22 December 2008

The camera adds 10lbs

Right? Or 20? Or 30? Do I really look like that*?

For those of you who don't know me IRL, I'm in the blue.
Photo is from the office Christmas party, by Pat O'Neil

*I think I've asked this before or at least commented that I see in the mirror the doesn't look at all like pictures of me. I'm always shocked when I see a picture of myself.

Weekend Accomplishments

There's both Pumpkin (from a box) and Banana Nut (scratch) in there for various people's Christmas's. (Poor Honu-Girl, she won't get hers today.) There was a big loaf of each for the office but they are almost eaten now. Nettie and I made some sugar cookies, too, but they went home with her. BTW, Fannie Farmer's sugar cookie recipe (it's about the first cookie recipe in the chapter) is drop cookies only; way too soft to roll out.

This only took a few minutes:

My little ornament tree. You can't really see in this picture but I also have three silver snowflake/star ornaments, too. I hung them on the window in the background for the picture but moved them to their traditional location on the bay window afterward. (and then closed the blinds on that window again, it admits no light this time of year but sucks the heat out!)

18 December 2008


Let's put some numbers to this America-centric charge of the 100 things list in my last post.

First List:Items 3, 4, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, and 17 give examples of geological feature (10/10) in the NA which can, most likely, also be found elsewhere in the world. Twenty-seven of the items on the first list are North America specific locations (total of 34 specific places); 14 of them are for geological features that may be seen on another continent (IDK if they are); for an additional 8 I'm not sure why we are 'suppose' to visit the locations so I don't know if they are truly unique geologically or just happen to be good examples of something that could be found somewhere else.

Bently List: Of the 45 specific places listed, 13 are in North America (3 in Alaska alone!). Off the top of my head that seems like a reasonable share considering the amount of land we're covering. For the geological features and activities he list examples in North America for ten of them (55 total, 11 with example locations) and most have non-American examples as well.

So both lists offer examples of geologic features in North America with or without non-NA examples. Bently clearly lists many more non-US places a geologist should visit. I think the America-centrism critic of the original meme may stem from many of the specific locations are in the US even though the geologic feature may be found elsewhere. I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt, so I'm willing to believe the original author simply gave examples he was most familiar with.

That said I think I like the Bently list better. It lists specific places of geological importance and then geological features. By separating them he avoids the danger of an over abundance of American locations making the list and stress that while a geological feature may be well repreesented in a given place it almost certainly exists in locations around the world. It also means that those of us who haven't traveled much (at least not yet) don't feel completely left out.

In the end, it's just a way to fill a post. (I've managed to make two posts out of it. :P) To find a true geologist life time 100 list we'd have to get geologists all over the world to submit suggestions of both locations and features and then figure out which were the most common and even then there would be arguements. Because everyone will have a different opinion of what one MUST do/see.

What haven't I done?


A meme zinging around the geoblogosphere asks "what have you seen?" (I've bolded all the I've done/seen.)
1. See an erupting volcano
2. See a glacier
3. See an active geyser such as those in Yellowstone, New Zealand or the type locality of Iceland
4. Visit the Cretaceous/Tertiary (KT) Boundary. Possible locations include Gubbio, Italy, Stevns Klint, Denmark, the Red Deer River Valley near Drumheller, Alberta.
5. Observe (from a safe distance) a river whose discharge is above bankful stage
6. Explore a limestone cave. Try Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico, Lehman Caves in Great Basin National Park, or the caves of Kentucky or TAG (Tennessee, Alabama, and Georgia)
7. Tour an open pit mine, such as those in Butte, Montana, Bingham Canyon, Utah, Summitville, Colorado, Globe or Morenci, Arizona, or Chuquicamata, Chile.
8. Explore a subsurface mine.
9. See an ophiolite, such as the ophiolite complex in Oman or the Troodos complex on the Island Cyprus (if on a budget, try the Coast Ranges or Klamath Mountains of California).
10. An anorthosite complex, such as those in Labrador, the Adirondacks, and Niger (there's some anorthosite in southern California too).
11. A slot canyon. Many of these amazing canyons are less than 3 feet wide and over 100 feet deep. They reside on the Colorado Plateau. Among the best are Antelope Canyon, Brimstone Canyon, Spooky Gulch and the Round Valley Draw.
12. Varves, whether you see the type section in Sweden or examples elsewhere. [hand sample only]
13. An exfoliation dome, such as those in the Sierra Nevada.
14. A layered igneous intrusion, such as the Stillwater complex in Montana or the Skaergaard Complex in Eastern Greenland.
15. Coastlines along the leading and trailing edge of a tectonic plate.
16. A gingko tree, which is the lone survivor of an ancient group of softwoods that covered much of the Northern Hemisphere in the Mesozoic. [near my office, god the fruit stinks]
17. Living and fossilized stromatolites (Glacier National Park is a great place to see fossil stromatolites, while Shark Bay in Australia is the place to see living ones)
18. A field of glacial erratics
19. A caldera
20. A sand dune more than 200 feet high [Great Sand Dune National Park]
21. A fjord
22. A recently formed fault scarp
23. A megabreccia
24. An actively accreting river delta
25. A natural bridge
26. A large sinkhole [Lake Jackson, Florala, Alabama - largest sinkhole in the state]
27. A glacial outwash plain
28. A sea stack
29. A house-sized glacial erratic
30. An underground lake or river
31. The continental divide
32. Fluorescent and phosphorescent minerals [got a set one time as a present]
33. Petrified trees
34. Lava tubes
35. The Grand Canyon. All the way down. And back. [haven't been to the bottom]
36. Meteor Crater, Arizona, also known as the Barringer Crater, to see an impact crater on a scale that is comprehensible
37. The Great Barrier Reef, northeastern Australia, to see the largest coral reef in the world.
38. The Bay of Fundy, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, Canada, to see the highest tides in the world (up to 16m)
39. The Waterpocket Fold, Utah, to see well exposed folds on a massive scale.
40. The Banded Iron Formation, Michigan, to better appreciate the air you breathe. [samples only]
41. The Snows of Kilimanjaro, Tanzania,
42. Lake Baikal, Siberia, to see the deepest lake in the world (1,620 m) with 20 percent of the Earth's fresh water.
43. Ayers Rock (known now by the Aboriginal name of Uluru), Australia. This inselberg of nearly vertical Precambrian strata is about 2.5 kilometers long and more than 350 meters high
44. Devil's Tower, northeastern Wyoming, to see a classic example of columnar jointing.
45. The Alps.
46. Telescope Peak, in Death Valley National Park. From this spectacular summit you can look down onto the floor of Death Valley - 11,330 feet below.
47. The Li River, China, to see the fantastic tower karst that appears in much Chinese art
48. The Dalmation Coast of Croatia, to see the original Karst.
49. The Gorge of Bhagirathi, one of the sacred headwaters of the Ganges, in the Indian Himalayas, where the river flows from an ice tunnel beneath the Gangatori Glacier into a deep gorge.
50. The Goosenecks of the San Juan River, Utah, an impressive series of entrenched meanders.
51. Shiprock, New Mexico, to see a large volcanic neck
52. Land's End, Cornwall, Great Britain, for fractured granites that have feldspar crystals bigger than your fist.
53. Tierra del Fuego, Chile and Argentina, to see the Straights of Magellan and the southernmost tip of South America.
54. Mount St. Helens, Washington, to see the results of recent explosive volcanism.
55. The Giant's Causeway and the Antrim Plateau, Northern Ireland, to see polygonally fractured basaltic flows.
56. The Great Rift Valley in Africa.
57. The Matterhorn, along the Swiss/Italian border, to see the classic "horn".
58. The Carolina Bays, along the Carolinian and Georgian coastal plain
59. The Mima Mounds near Olympia, Washington
60. Siccar Point, Berwickshire, Scotland, where James Hutton (the "father" of modern geology) observed the classic unconformity
61. The moving rocks of Racetrack Playa in Death Valley
62. Yosemite Valley
63. Landscape Arch (or Delicate Arch) in Utah [maybe, but I'm not sure]
64. The Burgess Shale in British Columbia [samples only]
65. The Channeled Scablands of central Washington
66. Bryce Canyon
67. Grand Prismatic Spring at Yellowstone
68. Monument Valley [again, I don't remember everywhere we went that summer]
69. The San Andreas fault
70. The dinosaur footprints in La Rioja, Spain
71. The volcanic landscapes of the Canary Islands
72. The Pyrennees Mountains
73. The Lime Caves at Karamea on the West Coast of New Zealand
74. Denali (an orogeny in progress)
75. A catastrophic mass wasting event
76. The giant crossbeds visible at Zion National Park
77. The black sand beaches in Hawaii (or the green sand-olivine beaches)
78. Barton Springs in Texas
79. Hells Canyon in Idaho
80. The Black Canyon of the Gunnison in Colorado
81. The Tunguska Impact site in Siberia
82. Feel an earthquake with a magnitude greater than 5.0.[only a 3.5]
83. Find dinosaur footprints in situ
84. Find a trilobite (or a dinosaur bone or any other fossil)
85. Find gold, however small the flake
86. Find a meteorite fragment
87. Experience a volcanic ashfall
88. Experience a sandstorm
89. See a tsunami
90. Witness a total solar eclipse
91. Witness a tornado firsthand. [thank God, no]
92. Witness a meteor storm, a term used to describe a particularly intense (1000+ per minute) meteor shower
93. View Saturn and its moons through a respectable telescope.
94. See the Aurora borealis, otherwise known as the northern lights.
95. View a great naked-eye comet, an opportunity which occurs only a few times per century
96. See a lunar eclipse
97. View a distant galaxy through a large telescope
98. Experience a hurricane
99. See noctilucent clouds
100. See the green flash

Apparently there were some complaints that it is US-centric so Callan Bently wrote up a slightly different one:
Specific places
  1. Visit the Chalk (England, France, Ireland...) [I've seen the Selma chalk]
  2. Visit Iceland
  3. Visit Mt. Fuji, Japan
  4. Visit Great Barrier Reef, Australia
  5. Visit the Himalayas (Kashmir?)
  6. the Tibetan Plateau
  7. Visit the Gobi Desert
  8. Visit the Sahara Desert
  9. Visit the Sonoran Desert (for the saguaros)
  10. Visit the Atacama Desert
  11. Visit the Rub' al Khali (Empty Quarter)
  12. Visit Beijing or Shanghai (for the perspective on what really dirty air looks like)
  13. Visit the big island of Hawai'i
  14. Visit Yellowstone
  15. Visit the Galapagos Islands
  16. Visit Madagascar (for the lemurs)
  17. Visit Patagonia
  18. Visit the Andes
  19. Visit the Alps
  20. Visit the Canadian Rockies
  21. Visit Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, Alaska (and/or neighboring Kluane National Park in the Yukon Territory)
  22. Visit Denali, Alaska
  23. Visit the Aleutian Islands
  24. Visit Chimborazo, Ecuador (furthest point from the center of the Earth, due to the equatorial bulge)
  25. Visit Antarctica
  26. Visit the Siberian Traps
  27. Visit the Deccan Traps
  28. Visit the Columbia River flood basalt province
  29. Visit Sumatra/Krakatau/Java, Indonesia
  30. Visit the South Island of New Zealand
  31. Visit the Appalachians
  32. Visit the Dead Sea
  33. Visit the Giant's Causeway, County Antrim, Northern Ireland.
  34. Visit the Great Rift Valley of East Africa
  35. Visit the Nile River
  36. Visit the Mississippi River
  37. Visit the Amazon River
  38. Visit the Grand Canyon
  39. Visit the Owens Valley, California (or anywhere in the Basin & Range, but the Owens Valley is pretty darned special, and geologically diverse)
  40. Visit Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland, Canada (walk on the "Moho")
  41. Visit Siccar Point, Scotland (for the unconformity)
  42. Visit Gibraltar, "UK"
  43. Visit Vesuvius, Pompei, and the Pompei-to-be, Naples
  44. Visit Uluru (Ayers Rock), Australia
  45. Visit the Moon
Geological features
  1. A tectonic triple junction (Mendocino, CA is an example, or northern Burma, or Panama)
  2. Tower karst (Guilin, China, or southwestern Thailand are examples)
  3. A regional flood
  4. A flash flood
  5. Ediacaran fauna fossils in situ (possibilities include the type locality of the Ediacaran Hills in Australia, or Charnwood Forest in England, the White Sea region in Russia, or maybe the Avalon Peninsula in Newfoundland)
  6. Vertebrate fossils in situ
  7. Visiting a laggerstatten site (Burgess Shale, Chenjiang, Sirius Passet, Solnhofen?)
  8. An alpine glacier
  9. A continental glacier (ice cap or ice sheet)
  10. A kimberlite pipe (preferably with diamonds, and good luck with that) [in Arkansas]
  11. A coral atoll (take your pick)
  12. A meteor impact crater (not a buried one, either)
  13. A big river delta (Mississippi, Ganges, Nile, or any of the dozens of others)
  14. Barrier islands (Padre Island, Texas, and the Outer Banks of North Carolina come to mind, but I'm sure there are others on other continents)
  15. A craton (Canadian shield, Kaapvaal, North China, etc. etc. etc.)
  16. A big estuary (Cook Inlet, Chesapeake Bay, Bay of Fundy: all North American examples. Give me some others)
  17. See some karst.
  18. Kayak (or other boat) through a fjord.
  19. See a dropstone.
  20. See an ophiolite.
  21. Visit a major stike-slip fault (San Andreas in USA/Mexico, or North Anatolian in Turkey, or Tan Lo (sp?) in China)
  22. Visit a nappe or thrust sheet (Glarus Thrust in the Alps, Chief Mountain/Glacier NP in Montana, Blue Ridge in Virginia/North Carolina)
  23. Visit a really big cave (Mammoth, Lechugilla, or some other that I don't know about on another continent)
Activities and experiences
  1. A world-class natural history museum (London Museum of Natural History, American Museum of Natural History, and the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History all come to mind.)
  2. Meeting of a classic scientific society (Royal Society, Explorers Club, Cosmos Club...)
  3. Do some original research.
  4. Present your research at a meeting of other scientists.
  5. Publish your research in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.
  6. Visit an original copy of "map that changed the world" (William Smith's geologic map of England, Wales, and part of Scotland)
  7. Experience a big earthquake (greater than 5.0 sounds like as good a cut-off as any)
  8. Experience a volcano erupting something other than gases (lava, pyroclastics)
  9. Go ice fishing (or just out onto a frozen lake/pond/sea/ocean and ponder the improbable nature of ice and how it freezes from the top down, preserving the living things underneath, like fish. Without this odd property, it would be tough to maintain life in our high-latitude/elevation lakes/etc. through the winter months.)
  10. Compare and contrast El Nino and La Nina.
  11. Go on an oceanographic research cruise for more than two weeks at sea.
  12. Experience a hurricane/typhoon/cyclone (preferably with surviving it as a caveat)
Oringinal list 24/100, Bently list 16/100 for those counting. I obviously have a way to go.

Just desserts

Last night I was watching "Life in the Undergrowth" on the Science Channel (one of my preview channels this month!). I love David Attenbourgh and last night was no exception.

They were talking about bugs, or more properly land-dwelling arthropods. There were some great slow-motion shoots of dragonflies (they beat their wings separately, cool huh?) and flies landing upside-down; Sir David jumping when the spider jumped out of his lair to ambush the stick; some wasp larva considering hitching a ride on his finger; really cool larva that light up the roof of a cave and catch flies in their silken snares... The standard great photography I've come to expect from nature shows all with Attenbourgh's calm, comforting voice. But the best bit was the cicadas.

They featured the 17-year cicadas of the eastern US. There was a brood a couple of years ago and one the summer I was between 6th and 7th grade. The larva come up out of the group starting in late spring and they don't really start dying, IIRC, until late summer. And, if you have the wrong trees (or right depending on your precpective) in your area they are EVERYwhere. And they are LOUD, at least the males. And bad fliers, and they will, briefly, fly without heads, which makes them even worse fliers. Did I mention they are everywhere and loud? Sorry, back to the film...

So, they've got a male relatively isolated on a branch while Attenbourgh explains his call (loud buzzing) and the female's response, which is a click that can be replicated by snapping one's fingers. Of course he demonstrates this. Then he uses snapping his fingers to get the male to walk along the branch (thinking he's on his way to a hot date). The bug goes left, then he makes the bug turn around, only this slightly back fires. The male flies over and lands on Sir David's ear, buzzing the whole time. Attenbourgh was obviously not prepared to have a the thing walk around on his head, much less buzz in his ear; he's desperately snapping by the twig while grimacing and trying to keep up the narration. The male finally decides that his date is on the twig and flies back. The crew leave him to find a real mate.

That folks is what happens when you tease a desperate male cicada - you get one of the disgusting things crawling on you when you cannot simply squash it.

11 December 2008

Sucess, sort of.

As threatened here are some more pictures of my first real knitting project.
Here's the early stage I posted before:

I forgot to take a photo of the finished knit piece before sewing. A question for any knitters out there - is it normal for the edges to roll in (towards purl side) or did I do something wrong? (pull the end stitches too tight?)

All sewn up, pre-felting:

Post felting and in need of a hair cut since there was some lint in the washer:

All done:

I learned that the item shrinks more lengthwise than widthwise, and if I'd thought about it that would have been obvious (it started out 'looser' lengthwise). But that meant that my nicely proportioned triangular flap became almost not big enough to fold over. Oops. So a partial success; it will still be given as a present because I'm not sure I have time to make another better one.

Now I'm trying to master vertical ribbing and figure out how to do a checkerboard pattern. I have to go to Virginia Monday and back on Wednesday so I should have lots of time to practice when the boss is driving.

And because she's just so darn cute - Q-tip sleeping in my suitcase

It's a box and it smells like Mom!

09 December 2008


Because my brain is currently on strike, I thought I'd provide some context to my Gtalk tag today.

Zales has an add running (a lot) right now that says "Love Rocks" this holiday season...It took me three or four viewings before I realized that they mean it as a noun-verb exclamation I kept, and keep, hearing it as a verb-noun imperative (i.e. love is awesome not you must like rocks now!) because really, everyone should love rocks this holiday season and every season.

08 December 2008


Yesterday I went to Hilaritas and was reminded that faux-hawk girl is a violinist. I haven't seen her lately, possibly since last year's Hilaritas, but she used to have a class near my office and I see her ever week or two. Her hair is a bit silly looking but it also inspires a bit of awe. It is amazing that she gets her hair to do this. I wasn't sure I could properly explain it so I tried drawing it. This is the best I could do:

(see why I'm not an artist?)

The faux-hawk (as Honu-Girl and I christianed this 'do) has near vertical sides. I've never gotten a good look at it from behind so I'm not sure what happens at the back. I'm really don't know how she gets her hair to do this. Maybe she has some oddly geometric deformity on her skull?

I'm a bad person, because her goofy (IMHO) hair gave me a smile when Nettie had been annoying me with her impateince (why can't we just go sit down???), and why do we have to wait for Mom and Dad (because I have the tickets) and where M&D were (on their way), and why isn't your phone working (IDK, it's AT&T's problem) and are they waiting in the lobby for us even though it was after the 3* and would they think to check at will-call for their tickets (uh, yes because they're not stupid)...OMG, relax child, it will be ok, it'll work out, CHILL!

P.S. I should add that I've seen a similar hair do on a girl with "black" hair. It looked equally silly but I could understand how it was achieved with coarse textured hair.

*When we finally went in to our seats there was some girl (college age, I guess) sitting in my seat. When I said "excuse me that's my seat, # 27," she says "but I'm in 27, too." She was in seat 27 row D, not 27 M. I pointed this out to her and she says "well where's that?". "Somewhere up front, about the 4th row". Has she never sat in assisgned theater seats before? I guess that is possible. The ticket said "MN FLR D 27" and underneath that "section row seat", is it really difficult to figure out seating assignments?

05 December 2008

Ramblings, part infinity

I have half a rant about science literacy (inspired by Chad); a half a post to parallel Honu Girl; a exasperated rant about Ellen getting in an accident and the other lady not getting a ticket for an expired license (everyone was OK, cars are a bit bent up); and a ramble about psych meds, their effect on me, my ambivalence about taking them forever, why I wish I'd gone on the field trip this year but it's probably just as well I didn't because being on the edge of completely falling apart is SO attractive (or just makes me retreat to the point of being effectively invisible*). But all I want to do is crawl under the covers and stay there for, like, forever. (Yay, for a week of half-doses!)

*This artist does pretty well at urban-camo but visually blending in really necessary for being invisible.

04 December 2008


I agree with i09 - someone is missing the point.
"There's really no beer like it because it uses 100 per cent barley. Our top seller is the Black Label brand, using additional ingredients such as rice. This one doesn't, and is really a special beer," said Junichi Ichikawa, managing directory for strategy at Sapporo Breweries.(Telegragh.co.uk)
Okay, I don't really now how much a difference there is in barley beer versus other grain beers (although my nephew tried some rice beer once and didn't like it at all) but I'll except that an all barley beer is special. The thing is the really special part of the beer is:
Sapporo Breweries, one of Japan's major breweries, went on to use the crop of barley grown in space to create 100 litres of a 5.5 per cent proof beer ­ aptly named Space Barley.
I've never developed a taste for beer (besides liquor is quicker;)) but I think I'd have to drink a glass (bottle/can/pint/whatever) of Space Barley. It's made from SPACE BARLEY, how could I resist?

This could be one way for the space station to offset it's maintenance costs. Although to be commercial they'd need a lot more room for crops.

03 December 2008

Turning Off Inner-Geologist - Fail

Many of the pictures I took at the beach were geology related. Here are the best:
The nearly pure quartz sands of the Alabama coast. It's squeaky clean!

Funny true story: One summer my folks rented a place at Virginia Beach for a few days and my older siblings came, too. One of my then sister-in-laws actually tip-toed across the sand because it was "dirty". She'd only been to the sugar sand beaches of Alabama and Florida before, she apparently thought all those feldspars and heavy minerals were dirt.


Future trace fossils? Bird tracks Crab borrow

rain drop impressions with human tracks

Future fossils? Shell hash at the high tide line.

Knitting Project #1

I am so excited about this. I can't really explain why, either. I'm making a little bag* for Nettie for Christmas. First off I found some really pretty yarn.

And the knitting is going easily. Except I couldn't find the end of the skein inside the ball so it's not pulling out all nice and easy, I keep having to unwind the ball as I go. My plan is to make a rectangle about twice as long as it is wide, then decrease the stitches from both ends to make a triangular end. I'll fold the rectangle in half and sew it up with the triangle for a flap (with a snap closure added later). Then I'm going to felt it!

Like I said, I'm unreasonably excited about the project. I'll post pictures when I'm finished.

*Like a comsetic's bag or for odds and ends in her backpack or something, it'll be about 4"x4" when I'm done.

01 December 2008

Monthly Reports SUCK!

Particularly when the contract came back 3 workdays before the end of the month but you have to make it look like you did something on the project because 2 people are charging a week and a half to it (the contract was signed 10/30). I really suck at saying nothing in 50 words or more. The worst part is that one of the things to fill in on the report is "significance of the work" - so when I get some data I can put it straight into the model? Because eventually we'll have data to evaluate but we have to wait on everyone else to send us their data?...Oh, and Wednesday I get to have a conference call about the all the (non)work I've accomplished* (and all the other research partners) that'll last about an hour. ARGH. My boss is in Spain for all of this -yay for him.

So, while I rack my brain for better ways to say 'nada' here's what I did for Thanksgiving:

Yes, that is my little sister going swimming in the northern Gulf of Mexico the morning of November 29th. If I'd had my suit, I'd have been in there, too**. We had gorgeous weather until Saturday afternoon, when it started raining. And Dad only tried to kill us once while driving.:)

*on this project, I've done lots on another project. I'm glad I now have something else to do than rename files and calibrate rasters.
**The forecast had said upper 60s to low 70s for the high so I didn't pack my swimsuit, but it felt much warmer, like well in the 70s maybe even 80 Friday afternoon.
I'd've also had to shave my legs. It has been a long time since I even planned on going swimming based leg hair.