Sunday, January 30, 2011

beers of the world

BEG and the Spaniard started a Beers of the World tradition when they were in Halifax, now that they are in Santa Barbara there was no reason to stop the festival - obviously! Consequently I brought one small addition to the party, decorations of geological timescales courtesy of the most recent lab completed by my students...

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Santa Barbara = friends & whales

This weekend, where I am currently, I came to Santa Barbara to visit BEG and the Spaniard, who are hosting their annual Beers of the World (more on that to come) celebration. We started the visit with frisbee on the beach where we found a giant macaroni shell pile. It threatened to start being stinky later, so it got to stay behind.

macaroni shell pile

watching the sun setting on the beach was pretty nice too, but then we had to bike home without lights and it was quite a bit chillier without the sun too

then we went whale watching out near Santa Cruz Island - with the assistance of LOADS of ginger and standing at the front of the boat we managed to fend off motion sickness (and drowsiness) - where we saw plenty of Risso's dolphins

Santa Cruz Island

we also saw this one Gray Whale, and the spouts of a few others - these things are NOT easy to take pictures of, especially in the "medium" chop the captain kept warning us about

more Santa Cruz Island, I have the inescapable urge to backpack on this bad boy

Painted Cave, a super long (nearly a 1/4 mile) sea cave in Santa Cruz Island, named for the colours of rocks, algae, lichen, etc.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Sequoia Skiing

BEG, The Spaniard, and I decided to take the long weekend prior to the beginning of my semester to go snow camping in Sequoia. The weather couldn't have been better - it was serene, spectacular, gorgeous. And we had the place all to ourselves!

We like to camp safe and store our food appropriately in bear lockers. Unfortunately, the 90 inches of snow that would provide us with excellent snowshoeing conditions and deceiving skiing conditions, also largely obscured things like bear lockers.

Luckily I had remembered to purchase a shovel, and The Spaniard was keen to hone his shoveling skills.

We got creative for maneuvering around the campsite (snow shoes were really handy) and setting up a cook station, oh, and staying warm!

But then, with the sun and some giant red trees, we launched into a glorious new day!

It was consistently funny how much snow there was- why warn about the steps when the snow has buried them so deeply that the railing is at ground level?

I spent quite a bit of time watching youtube videos on xcountry ski techniques over xmas, and was particularly fascinated by the step turn... I think it's much funnier if you high-knee it, especially if your rate of forward motion is very slow.

And then, seemingly out of nowhere, our solitude was broken. 20 boy scout tents formed a city around our campsite and flags, tables, sleds, saws, stoves, kids and fire pits littered the previously pristine snow.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

out with the old...

It's 2011, and consequently time to allow my mom to give my lobster trap away to Goodwill.

My lobster trap? Yes. That. I acquired it in 1995 in Newfoundland from a random fisherman.

In 1995 I went to Newfoundland for this:

Prior to the Jamboree we went touring around for a week or so, and during that time of touring, on July 6 at 1pm (thanks to the careful documentation of my friend Awesome Day), I picked up my lobster trap.

And strapped it to the roof of the van that we were to drive around for the next 2 weeks. It made an interesting whistling/humming sound as we drove.

Yay! Free lobster trap!

After several unproductive years of hanging around on the floor of my various abodes, it finally came to rest in my parents' basement. So now we say farewell to the lobster trap, poor thing, all this time it has only trapped rubber lobsters, not fulfilling its life-mission. Out with the old...

And in with the new! Almost. I started this sweater in 2008... and in between the off-and-on of knitting it, I completed several other projects. Now, I just have one sleeve left and this is done too.