What's on my mind.

31 October 2009

Why do I bother?

2 dances/hour, $1.20/dance, 1 out of every 6 songs, or 5 miles (roundtrip)/dance* - That's how tonight's dance works out. Still one dance better than the last TBDC dance. I have lots of fun at class, because I actually dance. I don't have much fun sitting by myself at a table watching everyone else dance.

I sit forward in my chair, no slouching or arms crossed over my chest; I sway/seat dance to the music; I make eye contact with people; I don't sit at the far end of the table in the dark - so why don't I get asked to dance? I'm starting to think it's the same reason I don't get asked out on dates(other than an apparent dearth of single, age appropriate men) - something just wrong with me. What I don't know, but small children don't like me, store clerks ignore me, and guys don't ask me to dance.

*this is not counting the line dances: Electric Slide, Peabody, or Cupid Shuffle

30 October 2009


Short Geologist asked about male/female ratios where we work. My answer was going to be a bit long, so I'm making a whole post.

At the engineering consulting firm (where I did UST and SWPA work) I was one of 4 women "professionals" (a geologist, an engineer, a chemist, and an environmental scientist), so total for "professionals" was about 4:12; there were far more women then men in the office but the rest were drafters, secretaries, personnel manager, office manager, book keeper... As far as I know there were no women on the survey crews (those crews probably brought the total male/female back up to 50/50).

Back in grad school the ratio was close to 40:60ish, a few more males than females (students only).

Where I am now there are 9 female geologist and chemists (iirc, she actually does programming for us) and 50 male geologists, biologists, and engineers. My division is 3:4 and our building (next door to most of the Survey) is 4:9, plus one volunteer lady geologist*. When I counted up my co-workers from the phone list I was kind of surprised there were actually that few women scientists. It always seems like there are more women here but in my mind I'm probably including all the support staff (accounting, personnel,...), which is mostly female. Lots of the men work either for the OGB or on the 3rd floor where I rarely go and so usually only see all those folks at holiday luncheons.

I've noticed a difference in conference attendance. When I went to the American Association of Petroleum Geologist's meeting there were definitely more men than women but at the Geological Society of America meetings I've been to (all 2 of them) it was more even. There's a small (200 people?) symposium here every spring on coalbed methane and shale gas. When I was a student my (now) boss' wife and I would be among the very few women there. (No line at the bathrooms!) now the numbers of women are creeping up. That meeting is probably still in the 25:75 range. The field trip my boss runs for that meeting is the only time I've seen men crash the ladies bathroom (1-holers at a gas station). Not uncommon for the van drivers and I to be the only women.

At the consulting job I spent most of my time in the office writing up other's reports because the guy (an engineer, who once described a sand as "well sorted, fine to coarse grained") could help our drill crew lift augers, 70lb bags of sack-crete, etc. and all I 'could' do was describe the soil. The only time I really was uncomfortable about being a lady geologist was the job with the driller who hit on me, obnoxiously, for 3 days straight. My (then) boss and his mostly thought it was funny and were laying bets as to when I'd slug the jerk. (It's surprising he managed to get the hole straight because he spent almost all of his time looking at me - and I'm not terribly attractive in field clothes and a hardhat.)

Male/female ratios aren't something I've ever worried a whole lot about. That is partly due to the fact that I've had good role models, also, with 5 brothers it doesn't bother me to be "one of the guys". Besides, I have it so much easier than it used to be. My boss' wife (a geologist) was once denied a job because they didn't have a ladies room in the building. At that time, she had a job where she had a 10 minute walk to the closest ladies room.

*with only 2 one-holers, one non-climate controlled, for us ladies!

29 October 2009

Baby Pictures!

Because I know the whole wide internets is dying to see pictures of my grand-nephew:

I'd like to take this oppotunity to point out how unfair it is that my brothers (except the half bald one) and nephews have better hair than Kate, Anna, and I. (Ok, John and Pat can keep the receeding at the temples bit.) Also I can't remember the others, but Scott and Nathan have about the best eyelashes I've ever seen - it's just not fair. I'll forgive Maddox.

27 October 2009


...to my nephew and his wife (Scott and Lauren): Maddox Scott, 7lbs 2 oz, born today.

I'm sending them all my good thoughts and wishing them lots of sleep.

19 October 2009

A note to the airlines

Just a quick note from Portland.

My flights here were fine, but requiring anyone to be anywhere before 6am is just wrong. There should be special check-in procedures or something for any flight before 7. At least I spent the night at my brother's in Trussville, getting up at 4:15 is WAY better than leaving the house at 4:15. (My SIL is also in Portland this week for work, she had to meet a coworker at 4 for a 6:50ish flight. The co-worker had to leave home at least by 3:30!)

Also, in light of the 3-1-1 policy, if you strand someone somewhere try and make sure the hotel has complementary shampoo. I'm looking at you US Air in Charlotte. (referencing last weeks trip) Because of the liquids restrictions some of us don't always bother to carry shampoo, particularly on short trips.

05 October 2009

More badges!

(I promise I'll get to the rest of the banned book list, even if it's not Banned Book Week, eventually.)

Look Knitting Scouts! I can add to my Science Scout badges knitting badges. Maybe.

I don't have much contact with "the media" so I don't know if I actually qualify for the primary badge (Proselytize Knitting). I did help a friend by crochet supplies because she wanted to start up again.

I "will impress you with my math prowess" (level I) - knitting math is generally straight forward - even if I usually don't worry about gauge (haven't knit any sweaters, etc. yet). I just knit until it's the size I want. But my calculations for flat-knit circles work in garter stitch at least. (Does the use of trig functions move me up to level 1.5?)
I definitely qualify for "Knit Items With No Conceivable Practical Application", as my "reds bag" is an almost unusable size and shape but cute.

In other knitting news: I finally wove in the ends on 2 wash cloths and 3 burp cloths that I started on in June. They even got washed last night so I might be able to give them to my new-Dad coworker this week. I bought some pretty wool a few weeks ago and will start knitting a scarf for my niece that I see in a couple weeks. (3 plane rides before I see her should be plenty of time) And after that I'm going to start a baby blanket for my grand-nephew; it should be done by Christmas.

BTW did I pick up my "rock licker" badge? (It's lunch time and I'm too lazy to go back and check.)