Tuesday, October 12, 2010

a little self-pimping

Well, my little book is done and available. The history behind it is this:
1. Write curriculum for "Geology of Kern County" class
2. Discover there is no textbook
3. Panic about what to do for reference material for students enrolled in class
4. Write draft of book in 3 months
5. Teach class, get student input on book
6. Procrastinate a lot
7. Receive faculty scholarship award to continue research on project
8. Procrastinate some more
9. Eventually complete manuscript by ceasing to add potential chapter topics and slashing at ever-growing list
10. Find willing local retired geologist to read through geological material just in case of drastically major errors
11. Beg mother to proof read for "lay-mans terms clarity" before sending on to copy editor at publisher
12. Pimp book on blog.

We're going to figure out how/when/where to have a party for it in Bakersfield, where it will (of course) be available. The plan for this is for those wanting books to pre-purchase so that I have a better approximation of the number I need to order. Of course the book is available here and soon will be here too. And if anyone back in Ontario for some reason wants one, I'll be there over xmas and can hand deliver!

UPDATE: Book release party will be in Spring, however, I have a limited number of books available presently, so if you want one, buy it now! I'll deliver it to you. Somehow.

The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly: The Ugly

Well, then things just got worse. Upon receiving my approved work visa, I returned to Bakersfield only to find that my Powerbook Pro had been stolen, worse, my goofy collection of jewelry, and even worse, my sense of security.

Beyond the heart breaking feeling of all that went missing, and the police indicating that the likely point of entry was my bedroom, items like my dinosaur necklace are truly irreplaceable.

All I can say is: 2010, you are the worst year of my life so far! If only I wasn't so darn dependent on this arbitrary Gregorian system...

The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly: The Bad

Unfortunately, my work visa was not processed in time, and I was restricted north of the border until USCIS made a decision. In order to try and save my sanity of not being able to work and being completely powerless in the situation, I found a few things to keep me occupied besides incessant phone calls and reading mystery novels.

The animatronic dinosaur "park" at the Calgary Zoo. Look at all the faux rock formations!!! Faux red rock canyon, faux devil's postpile, faux hoodoos! Plus how cute are the dinos?

The best part of this video is the screaming children running in terror as soon as it roars.

I just thought... how do they stay in business? I asked the cashier what the story was with the name, and believe it or not, she said the original business used to sell loose tea, tea that had been overweighted, and thus discounted. Suuuuurrrrre

On Labour Day weekend I went to my first Pow Wow at Stoney, it was outrageous! Dance and drum competitions all day and night every day, First Nations People from all across North America! Unfortunately everything was moving and the lighting was poor, so this is it for photos, but I attempted a video of a drum team - until my camera crapped out on me anyway.

The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly: The Good

I had the privilege of accompanying Sonoma State's Burgess Shale geology class field trip as a student/chauffeur. Chauffeur/student? Ok, mostly chauffeur. Awesome hikes were had to awesome locations, and it was hard to pare down my favourite images to commemorate the experience. Let's try these:

These funny mop head plants had an even funnier name, but I can't remember it now! Something like "dancing hippies" or "hippie hair" or something. Someone who knows feel free to remind me.

I was lucky enough to find a Marella fossil at the Walcott Quarry, which as legend has it, was discovered due to the finding of a Marella fossil on the slopes below. Moment of joy!

After the near-grueling Burgess Shale hike, the next day we trooped up to the Mt Stephen shale, where a plethora of trilobites and anomalocarid shrimp mandibles can be found. Or even trilonomalocarids if you're really lucky...

Some sort of inside joke provided the troops with knickerbocken for the visit, they were enthusiastically donned for all the excursions and consequently returned in less than tip-top shape (or at least smell).

The Athabasca Glacier was also a remarkable experience, by the end of the day it was glorious and sunny, but throughout the walk up to the ice steps we went through rain and snow and near white-out conditions, all while avoiding millwells, which are thrilling but deadly.