What's on my mind.

22 February 2009

Honey's Present

Yesterday Honey brought me a present. I won't post any pictures of it here in deference to any weak stomached readers I may have because, you see, she presented me with 2/3 of a rabbit. I think she was quite proud of herself. I doubt she killed it. I think she and some other dog (who probably didn't kill it either) had a tug-of-war over the body and both got to take some home - which would account for why there was no head or fore-legs on the furry lump left at my door. Nettie and I buried the remains in the yard and Dad covered it with some concrete cylinders while we went to the park. This makes me rethink my assumption that the dove was a present from a cat (it did seem awful large for any of them to drag home), I assumed the dog would have chewed any yummy dead thing up before leaving it by the door to come in but oboviously not necessarily. Nettie was quite the trooper. She shrieked when she first saw it, was skittish when I went out to do something with it, and carried it (on the shovel) into the yard and was saying "ooo, get a picture of that" in the end.

Here's a little photo essay of the burial of the rabbit:
Honey, Mighty Huntress

Or if you prefer, pictures from our trip to the park:
Saturday at the Park

20 February 2009

PSA 2.3

Make sure your '90-seconds in the microwave' rice package doesn't have a hole in it. Particularly before you tear it open to vent.

Now I'm trying to figure out if it had a hole when I bought it or if something in my cabinet ate a hole through the plastic. And trying to not be grossed out by what could (and would) eat a hole through the packaging.

19 February 2009

Lies, all of it damn lies

Well only 1, actually. Well, once Honu-Girl and Sarah did it I had to join in the fun.

Guess which is the lie:

#1. I read Clan of the Cave Bear in the 6th grade.
#2. I own two books with the same name as me and I loved both of them.
#3. I'm not fond of Victorian novels but love what the BBC does with them.
#4. I love Kurt Vonnegut books.

18 February 2009

CGI geology

I suspect Silver Fox is happy to see sketching because it means actual rocks were observed not just data derived from rocks. It is very important that rocks are actually used in the study of geology. (You laugh, but my thesis area was mostly 500+ feet under ground. I started to miss actual rocks and get really sick of well logs.) But I still want discuss the computer stuff. Computer-generated illustrations fall into two categories in my mind - model/reconstruction "photos" and drawings. The sketches I draw would never be published, I'm not that good. But I can, if required, produces drawings in Canvas (or Illustrator or whatever) that are of publication quality. I like Canvas for cross-sections because I can scale them and keep track of line lengths and areas but for general drawing I guess Illustrator is better (partly because Adobe is taking over the world). "Pictures" of computer models can't be substituted for.

Screen shot from a reconstruction of the top Pratt cycle based on well logs in 3DMove (from my thesis work). Surface is colored by elevation (blue is deeper) CI=200 feet IIRC; points are colored by peak gas production (red higher/blue lower); approximately 5x VE, wells average 1/4 mile spacing (400m).

There is no better way to show structure and it's relationship to gas production (or water production, thickness, porosity, mineralogy...) than with pictures like this, IMHO. Structure contour maps, et al. are great. I've done them, lots of them. I've done some by hand. I've had to correct ones done by computers. But for those who don't visualize in 3D well, being able to "see" the rocks 1000feet below their feet is priceless. And the computer models allow for even those of us who can see the structure in our heads to drape other attributes over the structure and see the relationships better. Besides it makes for some really sexy figures.

Draw a photo

The reason is that photography can't always pick up what's important. Sometimes the light is just not right in the field. You can take a photo from all different angles, use the flash to fill-in a shadow, not use the flash to prevent washing out, cast your shadow over a bit... and nothing will get the lighting right. Beautiful days in the field can be too pretty - bright light and hard shadows often make for terrible outcrop photos. There are places where I have three photos for one spot and none of them really show what's important - sometimes the picture is too busy and the interesting bit gets lost in the details. With a sketch you can suggest all those unimportant details and focus on the important ones. Sometimes the feature of interest just isn't very photogenic due to coloring or contrast. Let me show you some examples.

In this example the photo does a pretty good job of capturing the crack fill texture and type of cement. My sketches are ok at it.

In this case I'd say the sketch does a better job of showing the fractures than the photo. (The sketches are not of exactly what's in the picture but similar piece of core.)

This is an outcrop with both standing Calamites fossils and stigmaria (take that young Earth geologists!). The photos don't do it justice, fossils are very faint (although the Calamites do stand out fairly well and look good in close-ups). I have some better examples of problems at the outcrop scale but I didn't sketch them because we're going back to do a detailed description another day.

Obviously when one needs high quality photos or a core or outcrop one can take the time and effort to make sure the photos are good (take core outside, use umbrella to shade, go back to a field site on a cloudy day...) and really show what one wants but for everyday, quick work often a sketch is better. Even with really good photos lines, circles, arrow, and the like are often added to draw the readers eye to the important bits.

17 February 2009

To shoot or not to shoot.

I kind of want to gush about Buffy growing up and telling the Watcher's Council off and all but that might lead to more ramblings about season 5 and lots of spoilers for Honu-Girl.* So instead I'll ramble on about photos, sketching, and computer-generated illustrations and their respective uses in geology, as I see it.

The Lost Geologist (who's temporarily lost his motivation, I'm sure it'll come back soon) posted an abstract and a fold sketch the other day. Based on the scale my guess is the fold is a detail of an outcrop. Silver Fox commented that she's (?) glad that some people still draw and not just use computers; TLG replied that they draw a lot in his program. I'm impressed by the quality of his sketch, my own tend towards the sloppy, but the art of sketching outcrops, hand samples, structures, sedimentary fabrics, etc. is alive and well. If not necessarily alive well in my hand:).

*Honu-Girl doesn't have nearly as much time as I do to sit around and watch TV. She has 2-legged children that demand attention, playing with, taking to soccer practice, real dinners, and tucking in. My children are 4-legged and the big one demands a scoop of food followed by tv watching w/wo snuggling every evening and the front door opened on occasion. The more couch time the better.

Bonus: I turned one ramble into three posts simply by being overly verbose!

09 February 2009

Random bits from the weekend

A few thoughts for today, before I head off to Virginia for 3 days (that's total - driving there, being there, driving back - fun!) (the pics @ 8 may not be safe for the weak stomached):

1. I find this way too amusing.

2. I knew it! Deer knew when it was hunting season and not. I don't have photographic proof, but Friday heading home, in a field near my house there was a HERD of deer grazing. I see far fewer deer crossing the road during rifle season than at the any other time of the year.

3. I watched a show on Discovery or TLC a couple months ago about "Purity Balls". I found the whole idea a little creepy. Some of the goals are ok (like waiting for sex and making sure girls know they are loved and valued so they don't jump into the arms of the first guy who'll have them) but the execution is a bit creepy. But, for some unknown reason, the other day I started thinking about the eldest daughter of the preacher and her up coming (at time of shooting) wedding. She says that she and her fiancé had not even held hands because they didn't want the "physical" stuff to get in the way of really getting to know one another. Their first kiss would be right after her father said "You may kiss the bride." Again, I'm all for not letting physical intimacies get in the way of actually getting to know a person but...First off, holding hands isn't exactly a distracting or very intimate form of touching. Secondly, it seems to me that this policy would lead to a very awkward wedding night. If you haven't engaged in any of the normal social/dating touching (holding hands, walking arm in arm, hugging, or maybe even a stolen kiss or two) then how are you going to be comfortable doing much more than that all of a sudden? To go from not holding hands to sex in one day is a big leap no matter how much you love someone. (not that you have to have sex on your wedding night) The whole thing seemed to me like they'd taken some idealized Victorian model and gone a step further towards total sexual repression.

4. What the hell is up with the little sister? Not mine, but that's all I can say without giving away spoilers. And with Sarah away I can't ask her about it. Really I just want to know how long I'm going to have to wait until that question gets resolved. Please, Joss, don't make it all season.

5. Is present tense appropriate when speaking of a first time viewing of a show that went off the air years ago? Should I have said "Please don't let Joss have made it all season"?

6. I hate that I have to have caffeine. About half the time, all I have is my large mug of tea in the morning and yet if I don't have anything caffeinated Saturday or Sunday morning I have a horrible headache Sunday afternoon. Like yesterday. Three ibuprofen and a Coke finally cleared it up.

7. I think I bought lace weight yarn to make socks with. I will now attempt worsted weight socks and probably make a lacy something else. Size 1 needles are tiny.

8. Somewhat related to #2, yum venison:

05 February 2009

Tallest Peak

Callan has a list of the tallest points in each state. I won't list them all because I've only topped one:

We are standing on the tallest rock at the top of Mount Cheaha. Nettie went up in the observation tower (and took a couple pictures), Honey and I had to stay below.

I can safely say this is on the easier peaks to climb since the road is less than 100 feet from the tower with parking. Some of the trials in the park are not so easy.
(more photos of the camping trip here)

02 February 2009

Random thoughts from the Interweebs

I'm not sure how tall Chad is but he looks freakishly* tall in photos. I have a brother who is about 6'5" tall so I'm not easily impressed with tallness either. I don't think Pat looks weird in pictures. Is this because I remember when he was only 4 feet tall and got used to it over time? Because I haven't seen him hold a baby (a nephew) since he was only 5-foot something? Or is it something about how he's built that makes the difference?

And completely unrelated:
John** has a post about family entertainment for less than $100 a year. His suggestions sound all well and good but only if you can get internet for a good price. And have a decent computer. Mine's about 5 years old now and is I'm in serious need of an upgrade - either whole new one or big upgrades in memory/RAM/... And I'm not really good with the insides of the computer.

As for high speed internet goes where I live one's a little limited (not that other parts of town don't have limited options, too). Cable's never been run down to the house although I'm pretty sure it does run past the driveway; this, I think, significantly raises installation costs.*** And the intro price (cable and internet) is $69.99 for six months, they never say on the postcards and mailing what the regular price is. I'm wary of getting cable because of problems my folks had with thier line getting pulled down (3 times in 3 weeks). And I have no complaints with DishNetwork (except for one about their website). DSL is no where near my house. Satellite is a possiblility but I can't figure out if I'd have to buy the dish (and how much that is) and it costs almost 5 times what I pay now. I do OK with my dial-up and not spending much time on line at home.

Other points in John's post are good - libraries rock! Although I like to get new books every now and then (usually paperbacks, becuase they're cheaper, sorry) Cheap/free music is good if you have the bandwidth.:) I like the radio for newish stuff; most of the CDs I buy are stuff you can't hear on the radio. While I have varied music tastes most isn't all THAT odd - I'm okay with the classic rock, country, 90s and today hits stations when I'm in the mood for those, although I do own some CDs from those categories. I don't have a game system, just a couple of puzzle programs for my PC so not much spent on that front.

So my total is pretty low - I spend $59/month DishNetwork (150 channels, local broadcasters, and Starz), $11/month dial-up ISP; my telephone service is $24/month+taxes and part of that should be counted for internet, I guess. I don't have an idea about how my book, music, or video buying would work out per month, them being random and all. I rarely rent movies from the video store (maybe 6/year @ $5/movie); I borrow from the library more often and return on time! ($1/day fines add up fast.) There are a few other expenses that aren't quite the what John was talking about but should probably count, too; since I started knitting recently, I guess yarn and such (plus any other hobby related expenses) would count as entertainment as should the gas to drive to the park. Maybe, when I get a newer computer I'll revisit the internet options.

*no offense meant, please don't take any
**Don't'cha love how you can refer to people you've never met in real life by first name, gotta love the internet.
*** When I moved in to the house I called Charter and the girl said that installation was still $24.95 (or whatever) even though cable hadn't ever been run. But then they neither showed up nor ever called me to explain or reschedule.