Tag Archives: Work


Wanna see what they mean when they say “We will experience the effects of the tsunami for days to come”?


Locations of Tide Level Graphs Below


** Blue: Predicted Water Level  ** Red: Observed Water Level   **Green:  Variance of Water Level from the “Norm”


#1: Midway Islands

#2 Hawaii

#3 Northern California



#4 Southern Oregon



#5 South-Central Oregon Coast


My Home

A seven foot surge, max, along any American coastline…  Nothing even close to the 33 foot tsunami suffered by the Japanese.  Nothing even close to this:

33 Foot Tsunami

Please consider sending financial aid to Japan.  You can find links to various internationally approved organizations taking online donations HERE



Filed under Conspicuously Overwhelming Note, Hobbies and Such


Today Atticus came out to work with me in the marshes.  We were all suited up in our boots, rain gear, GPSs, and backpacks.

One of us lugged a bucket and one of us shouldered a 20 foot long pvc pipe.  These are the tools of my trade.

I’ll bet you’re wondering what the heck we did out there with that stuff.  Wouldn’t you just love to find out…  But the thing is that it’s late and I have to go home so I’m not going to tell you.

But I will tell you that there might have been a part of the day out there where we ran around in shin-deep mud like crazy fools laughing our heads off and the herons were like

“What. the. heck?”

And it was fun.

Yeah mud!

In other news, today is a momentous day.

Today marks the 5th anniversary of our very first date.

In fact, in about 15 minutes, it will be the 5 year anniversary of exactly when our first date began.  So, if you excuse me, I have a 5th Anniversary surprise to deliver.

Have a nice weekend.

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Filed under Funny Story, Hobbies and Such

How to Have the Worst Interview of your Life

All you have to do is begin this way:

Interviewer: Okay, so this interview is for fill-in-blank internship and we’re excited to have you here today.  We’ll be looking forward to working with the final candidate this summer in Antarctica/Siberian Gulag/Saharan Desert/Some Other Completely Impossible Place for you to Live.   So, let’s get started with some questions.  First, do you have any for us?

Me: Actually, yes.  I just wanted to clarify something.  I was under the impression that this fill-in-blank internship could be done elsewhere.  For example, Bermuda/Ski Resort/My Actual Home?

Interviewer:  :: awkward silence::  Ahhhhh…I see.   Well, actually, no.  We’re only interested in people who are willing to move to The Somme in 1916/Gang-ridden Marijuana Farms/Not where you need to be living this summer.

Me: Ahhh…I see.

Interviewer: ::silence::

Me: ::silence::

Interviewer: Well!  Let’s start our 45 minute interview!

Taa daa!!

In other “I’m not getting that internship in this life or the next” news, Atticus is having his own job interview today.  Since they aren’t asking him to move to a Gulag, it’s going to go very well.  Go Atticus, go!

However, regardless of how many times I tell him that he’ll be shiny and great, he still gave me the “why are you leaving me when I’m about to die?” face when I said goodbye this morning.

It looked a lot like this

Melodramatic Atticus is going to be amazing today.  Mark my words, phone interview people.

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Filed under Funny Story, Matrimanity

I’m liking my job

I like my job a lot.  In fact, I could say that I love my job.

I don’t know if this will translate with anyone, but I love how I can make things that look beautiful–make things that show what our Earth looks like.

I can take a data-gathering flight in 2005–a flight that scanned a laser over the ground and sent me a massive text file with millions of entries that look like “2.4567, 1, 9876.”

Then I can take that little text file and make this:

A "bare_earth" LIDAR scan

You may think that this image is pretty boring, but I can go from here to make hundreds of beautiful, colorful images showing a little piece of the earth.  And let me tell you, nature can be really beautiful:

Decimeter contour lines of my research marshes: but that title doesn't sounds as pretty as the image looks on its own.


Filed under Hobbies and Such

Yes! Finals!

The first time I tried to write a final exam, it was really really hard.  Way harder than I thought it ever would be.  Are the multiple choices too easy?  Too tricky?  Did I really lecture on that, or am I just remembering reading it somewhere?  Will they really be able to make that factual connection or am I expecting them to read my mind?

It took me 3+ hours to write it.

Then I realized, by my second final, that I was taking myself way, way too seriously.  I mean, finals are a serious thing to many (but not all) students, don’t get me wrong.  But I realized I wasn’t doing anyone a favor when I put off writing the finals until the last day because I was dreading them.  The students deserved a better and more considered test of their cumulative knowledge.

The solution?  Have fun writing it

So, I bring you question #32:

Jeremy Bentham was the father of ___________.

A.  Deontological Ethics

B.  Utilitarian Ethics

C.  Areteic Ethics

D.  Paris Hilton

I have similarly discovered the joy of writing instructions:

Short Answer (5 pts each):  Please limit your answer to charts, lists, or a few sentences.  Please no interpretive dance–but some drawing allowed.  Also, please don’t cheat on your ETHICS test because, I mean, how lame would that be?


P.S.  I just noticed that a year ago today I wrote an essay on the Ethics of Sex Ed in public schools–how apropos!  How cool that I didn’t even know I would be giving an Ethics final at the same time the very next year.


Filed under Funny Story, Hobbies and Such

I May Or May Not Have Made This Sentence Up

And I may or may not have read this in a student essay.  And this student may or may not have turned in this essay (which might have been a final draft) for a college writing course.

“The westernized indoctrinated religion has been infected with the views of many and flesh gaining hold in the systematical diabolic methods of ousting, and illuminating certain aspects deemed worthy of praise.”




::confusion!  dismay!::

And I may or may not have thought something like, “How is this even possible?  How did this sentence get into my hands?  What does it even mean?”

I may or may not still not even know.




Filed under Funny Story

Life Among the Green-Folk

ecologist_at_workAs you may have followed, I’ve been working full-time this summer as a “Biological Aide” for an estuarine reserve, documenting the spread of the nefarious “aquatic invader” Assiminea parasitologica, or, “The Hitchhiking Winkie” (if the common name my fellow biologists came up with at a drunken dinner party stands the test of time…and the naming board). 

{Don’t bet on it}

Subsequently, I have spent excessive amounts of time in a kayak, stuck in mud up to my thigh, and peering into dense marsh undergrowth with my face exactly 2 inches from teeming communities of spiders, centipedes, mysterious “jumping weenie bugs” (that is the only scientific answer I’ve been able to get when asking about them), and, of course, tiny tiny snails. 

I have alsospent time with another unique animal that I have hitherto never really known all that intimately, or even identified as a species in and of itself:


Yes, Ecologists.  It’s sometimes tricky to distinguish an ecologist from your typical human on the street.  So, in the following, I relate to you how to “code out” this magnificent creature in your day-to-day people watching.  I’m sure, once you identify your very first ecologist, you will become as interested in the sport as I have been these past months. Continue reading

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Filed under Hobbies and Such