Wednesday, December 26, 2007


What is this? A 6 foot snowbank? Why, yes! And what does one do with a 6 foot snowbank? One digs out a snowcave, that's what.

I used a [2] shovel(s) and a trowel. One must always make sure that there are 2 entrances so that snow removal from the deep interior is easier to get out. This is the driveway entrance. There is also a lawn entrance...

Can you see in there?

What about now that I've gone in the lawn entrance?

There I am!

It's big enough that I can sit up in it, and I can turn around inside and go out either "door".

My dad was unpleased that I broke one of his shovels within less than 10 minutes of starting to dig the cave out... oops...

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Friends in "high" places

Yesterday I went on the adventure of a lifetime. An early morning rise, and leaving a giant stack of exams on my floor, I ventured off with Fly Boy and his Bride to take a peek at the Kern Canyon from above.

We went in this darling '73 Cessna 182 that Fly Boy is 1/6 owner of, and it was such a wonderful smooth ride I wished I could be taking this back to Canada instead of the Boeing I will inevitably be in on Monday.

Here's Fly Boy, my flight instructor and pilot, at our breakfast stop at the Kernville Airport.

Did I say "flight instructor" above? Yes I did. Fly Boy casually handed off the yoke to me so slyly that I didn't even realize he was getting me to ACTUALLY FLY THE PLANE until he said "ok, so you've got control of the aircraft now".

This is one of my favourite photos from the flight. Here's looking into the Kern Valley on our approach.

This IS my favourite photo from the flight. The river is sparkly.

Monday, December 10, 2007


This weekend I had early xmas with the LA family - my super cousin was in one (of many) parades on Sunday with her middle school cheer team (she's the tall one 2nd from the left in front) and I'm sure you can tell from the title of this post that her team came in 1st!

Naturally a visit to that house in LA would not be complete without a photo of one of the cutest cats in the world: Molly Chub Chub (even though Chub Chub is not really part of her name). Here she is trying to nap (what else do cats do?) while her younger "step brother" Smokey comes over to investigate.

Sunday, December 02, 2007


Why have I not posted a link to this before?

It completely cracks me up!

Tee hee hee!

You should know that there are multitudes of gems hidden within that site - more than you can imagine!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Thankscamping or Campsgiving

our site, sunset

our site (viewed not directly into the sun)

Whichever you pick, that's what Bird Nerd and I did this weekend. Much relaxing, fun and hiking was had, despite my forgetting to bring the following:
  • reading material
  • something to write on
  • knitting
bananas are best transported suspended from climbing webbing in the corner of your Jeep

a hat full of trilobites

Here's a little adventure I insisted on:

"that looks suspiciously mine-like, wanna go check it out?"

"I wonder what that rusty box on a stake is?"

"what the ...??? glow in the dark bandages???"

"oooh - there's something inside, I wonder what it is?"

"a MINING CLAIM??? from 1997??? well, that explains the glow in the dark bandages..."

Beauty Vein #1 (it's in the eye of the beholder)
Beauty Vein #4 was later identified by the clearly marked of a big pile of rocks with a hand stamped metal plaque on it

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Some blogs must be blogged about

Everyone must partake in this little piece of history that was eloquently blogged about by a blogger that I don't know.


That is all.

Monday, November 12, 2007

My new vacuum rules the world.

The new vacuuming routine now involves me multi-tasking at a whole new level. There is nothing more satisfying than vacuuming and doing laundry while blogging and drinking coffee.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

The day after the lengthy day (Nov. 9)

After delivering KM to the airport bus at pre-dawn, I forced Pearl to accompany me on a trek through the Mojave desert via old Rte. 66.

Boats on Rte. 66... nearest body of water? Unknown.

I'd like to make this into my "small house".

Roy's - at Amboy - best sign ever.

We checked out the world's first commercial solar plant, browsed houses, looked at boats for sale, met odd characters, jumped on lava rocks at Amboy Crater, looked at the blobby granite mountains, did yoga, and moved vast quantities of sand from the Kelso Dunes to our pants while trying to get them to "boom".

Hovering above Pahoehoe.

Airplane on a noisy dune.

The day finished with a sunset on the way to giant burgers from Bun Boy in Barstow. As any good day in the desert should.

Sideview sunset leaving the Dunes.

Noisy Dunes (Nov. 9)

err... sorry for the "turn your computer screen sideways" requirement for these...

Kilometers and Pearl come to visit! (Nov. 8)

In one lengthy day we had a luxurious omeletey breakfast, hiked around Red Rock Canyon, off-roaded to find "Burro" Schmidt's tunnel (some detours were had accidentally), and clambered throughout fossil falls.

Much jumping photos were taken.

Flying high on the red rocks.

We three hat-wearing adventurers...

The walls in "Burro" Schmidt's cabin were lined with... uhhh... garbage. But nifty garbage from the 1920's through the 1950's!

Jumping over Saltdale on the other side of Burro Schmidt's tunnel.

Roaming up, over, under and through the water-carved rocks at Fossil Falls.

Leaving "Burro" Schmidt's tunnel (Nov. 8)

Monday, November 05, 2007

Sunday, November 04, 2007

field trip

a view over the black and red dunes behind the cinder cone - pretty surreal I think

field trips are all done for my geology/earth science classes for the semester! YAY! only a couple more left for engineering now...

yesterday we went to red rock canyon and fossil falls again, this was a small group of around 50, and I am definitely going to be capping all future field trips at this number. lesson learned!

one week later...

one week later (although this post is very much delayed) was another earthquake. this one more than 32 times more powerful! but significantly farther away, and thus... I still didn't feel it

Sunday, October 28, 2007


yay! my fancy expensive lab toy recorded something!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Check out that eggplant would ya?

This week's box of veggies included more of those delicious green beans and tomatoes, one of the most gorgeous eggplants I've ever seen, and persimmons among other things! (That's dew on the fruit, by the way)

Friday, October 26, 2007

Howard Hughes

Kiki's going to be an aviator for Halloween this year.

I have a feeling it'll be tricky to get some sort of plane wings around his middle...

Sunday, October 21, 2007


For the last three weeks I've been buying my veggies through "abundant harvest organics". This is a local consortium of farmers who grow organically HERE (you might remember a post where I photographed a cucumber labeled "product of Canada" and was highly irritated).

They assemble boxes of seasonal produce, and sometimes extras, and every Saturday morning you go and collect your box from a park. Yes, this is very much like a farmer's market - only it's not laid out with all the vendors and you don't get to choose. You do get to choose if you get a small box or a big box (I get a small box, seen below, for $16.80/week). I've done some math and have concluded that this is actually cheaper than buying the same produce at the store.

Anyway, I have not been much one for farmer's markets lately, being as I hate crowds, I have a hard time making decisions about what foods to get and always get the same, and I just don't have enough time on a weekly basis! Below is yesterday's box. It comes with a flyer that tells us which farmer grew which food item. :)

Field Trips - the return of crazy

I again launched a field trip of enormous proportions for my geology and earth science students. I again had a line of cars nearly 1km long. I again managed to instill some appreciation for rocks in my students.

I was not expecting there to be a wedding at our last stop of the day...

Since there was a wedding going on, I could not resist partaking in champagne when offered...

(note to self: camera and other stuff in jacket pockets gives you unnecessary belly)

I WAS expecting to find a tarantula, since it's mating season after all.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Volkslauf 2007

This year I did Volkslauf again - essentially my one "event" for 2007. A few things I did differently from last year; first, I did the 10K course instead of the 5K (which was 75 obstacles rather than 55), second, I did it with a team (way more fun!), and third, I brought Texas Gal as a photographer so we can actually see some of these obstacles!

Here's my team, post mud-pit #1, big grins, only half wet. We are me, CAD guy (beside me), Candy Bar (behind me), and Chivalrous, next to her.

The "football post" obstacle, as I call it, was INSANELY covered in mud, and thus extremely slippery... note here that I am also completely covered in mud.

The net obstacle was a little swarmed by the mobs of mud people, ugh - too slow moving!!! Chivlarous is having more luck beside me, having climbed over behind a less nervous person.

This is the main way that we get covered in mud... These trenches under a wooden "bridge" have to be "swum" through on your belly, eyes closed, breath held - clearly blind!!!

The ropes!!! Chivalrous in the foreground, CAD just getting on behind him, and me in the background.

The 10 foot wall. In total there were 4 7 foot walls, 1 10 footer, and 2 or 3 6 footers. I hate this one. It comes right after the ropes... when your arms are less "arm-like" and more "jello-like".

There were several of these tunnels to crawl through also.

Mud hills are the majority of obstacles. Many are low enough to run over, especially if you can get a foot-hold in the mud. Many more you have to crawl over either because there's rope across them to wiggle under, or because they're so slippery you just can't stand up. In this case, it's a mud cliff that you have to use the ropes to get up. I kinda like this one a lot.

After swim-trudging through the final big mud trench we reach the glory hill that marks the finish line! We definitely look less energetic than the first photo!

Woohoo!!! Off to the fire hoses to get rinsed!