Last Weeks At Negrito

Nov 30, 2011 2 comments

I spent my last couple field weeks alone at Negrito.  There were a few people there, besides me.  But mostly I was just by myself.  It was not my favorite, but I lived through it.  I missed my field buddies.  (Yes, I will include both of them) Whether it was out digging holes or back at camp, we always had a good time together.  That's something I've rarely experienced in my 3 and 1/2 years here.  The nice thing is that J still works in our office while he goes to school, so I see him a couple days a week.  It's nice having at least one person who I can talk to at work.  The office is more highly populated than the forest, but it can still be lonely at times.  I like being back.  I like being able to work 8 hour days and then go home and relax.  But I miss the quiet stillness in the air, and the stars at night.  I wish you could see them.  So many, so bright, so unlike anything in the city.  It's like living in two different worlds.

No Crying At Air Shows

Nov 25, 2011 3 comments

I have a boyfriend who likes airplanes.  He knows how to fly them.  He knows how to build them.  He knows about pretty much every airline and airport in the world.  He can tell you the history of every fighter aircraft since World War II.  Sometimes... it drives me crazy.  But other times, it's pretty darn cool.

Even though it's not my first choice for a hobby, it's been interesting getting to see and learn about all the different kinds of planes out there.  And recently, we got the opportunity to see a bunch of them in action at an air show hosted by Albuquerque's very own Kirtland Airforce Base.

When we arrived, the first thing I noticed were all the attractive military men in uniform.  What girl doesn't like that?  They were very efficient, directing us which way to go to get on the bus, giving us the rules and return procedures, etc.  Before getting in, they had to wave metal detector wands over us (which I didn't mind one bit... hot uniformed guys, remember?) and there were also law enforcement dogs at the entrance.  We were admiring one of them when they told us that there would be a demonstration with the dogs in a few minutes.

Let me tell you, these dogs are talented.  It was pretty impressive, the things they could do.  One thing I was not impressed with was my camera's video feature.  For some reason, it can't handle bright lights very well and everything ends up washed out, but I did manage to get this one of a super awesome dog jumping into a truck.

After the dogs, the air show activities began with a demonstration by the 58th Special Operations Wing.  First, the Osprey came out.  And I have no idea why I don't have a picture of it, because it is awesome.  It's like this weird combination of an airplane and a helicopter.  One time, I saw one flying over the Gila, and I was like WTF is that???   Anyway, back to the air show.  The next thing that happened was these guys

dropped out of this plane, the C-130.

Then, there was a Black Hawk that came and picked the guys up when they were done with their "mission," or whatever.  I don't really remember all the details.  We went to this kind of a while ago.  Here's the Black Hawk.

The next event of the show was a fly-by of a pretty darn cool plane called the B-1.  For all of these planes, it was really hard to take a picture because the sun was blaring in my face and these guys were going by suuuuper fast.  Here's the closest one I could get.

But, honestly, what is the B-1 without the incredible, spaceship-esque B-2?  Again, the picture really does not do it justice.

There were also a variety of static ground displays.  This is the giant C-17.

And if you don't believe me when I say how big it is, this is what it looks like on the inside.

I also took a picture of this B-52, mainly because I like butterflies.

The grand finale, and probably one of the coolest parts of the show, featured these guys.

The Thunderbirds.  The pilots of these planes are incredibly talented.  It takes a lot of training and skill just to make a plane take off, fly in a straight line, and land.  Which makes the stunts that these planes can do pretty amazing.

P.S. I got the title for this post while we were walking around looking at the static displays.  A man said it to his kid.  I thought that was pretty awesome.

P.P.S. And this whole event -- totally free.  Yep.

Because I Feel Like It

Nov 15, 2011 6 comments

And I'm a copy-cat.

What if I were to get pregnant? Ohhh....hmm.... well, my mom would be upset and my employer would probably also not be too happy.  Pregnancy and baby and my job do not mix.

What if I could have any job in the world? I've talked about wanting to do research, and that would make me really happy.  But if I could do anything I'd want to work for a magazine or some other form of print media, writing and editing and page layout.  Maybe taking pictures.  I think it would be fun and I'd be really good at it. 

What if I had a day to myself?  I would spend the entire day at the mall, shopping and eating Dairy Queen.  Oh, yes I would!
What if I could get married all over again?   I have not been married, so I am not sure.  Although my friend who recently got married told me that I should just elope because having a wedding is STRESSFUL.  Haha.

What if I could live anywhere in the U.S.?  I'm not sure.  I like New Mexico.  It's not my favorite place ever (not gonna lie) but it has some cool aspects to it.  I miss Michigan but I don't think I'd move back.  Same with Vegas.  Maybe Colorado?  I really don't know.  NOT Alabama.

What if I were to have more children?  MORE children???  See question #1.

What if I could have any talent in the world?  I would like to have really good ideas on a more frequent basis, and to be able to express those ideas coherently.  This is difficult!

What if you met me in real life?  You might not like me.  The way I write in the blog is pretty much my personality, I think.  But I'm pretty shy/socially awkward, and sometimes I think I come across as weird or mean, even though that is not my intention at all.
What if I went back to school?  If I could, I would.  School is my favorite.  I miss it.

What if money weren't an object?  I'd buy a house, travel, and write books

What if I could meet one celebrity?  Oh, I don't know.  Most celebrities are pretty dumb.  If I met one, I'd get my brother to go up to them and say, "you're dumb!" and run away.

What if I could only shop at one store for the rest of my life?  Sunflower.  It has food and important hygiene items.  It doesn't have clothes, but I could buy some canvas bags and make clothes out of them, I suppose. 

What if I could choose an animal/pet?  I would get a black pug.  They are expensive but so cute and sweet!

What if I could go on a trip right now? I would go to the beach.  I'm not sure which beach.  A really awesome, warm one with not a lot of people. 

What if I had to choose between a house cleaner and a professional chef? Definitely a house cleaner.  Can I have one?

What if I had the option to get plastic surgery?  No.  People who have had plastic surgery look all fake and weird.


Weird Animals, And the Bad Mood Week

Nov 12, 2011 1 comments

I'm pretty sure this is where I last left off in my field adventure tales.  I had finished up the rowdy party week with the firefighters and then spent the next week camping in a random spot (closer to my mapping area) with my boss. 

Okay, this might have not actually happened during this particular week, but I remember it happened on a Monday, and I'm pretty sure I haven't mentioned it yet.  I saw a strange animal in the woods.  It sort of looked like a badger, or maybe a wolverine.  It had light brown fur with a narrow dark stripe on its forehead.  Four short-ish legs and a kind of round body.  I tried to take a picture of it but I was afraid it would attack me with its ferocious sharp teeth (which it may or may not have had) and didn't get too close.  This is all I could get.

There it is, right there, inside of the red circle
The more I think about this, the more I'm pretty sure this didn't happen during that week, but whatever.  On Tuesday, I worked by myself.  My boss decided we would get stuff done faster if we split up and worked in separate areas.  Ok, sure, that's fine.  So I went off to my little area for the day. 

On my drive over to where I wanted to work, I had to go up and down three hills that I called the "evil, hell hills."  The worst part about them was the way that they were positioned made it hard to tell where the road went after the hill.  On one of them, I had to turn around a sharp corner, go down into a ditch and then back up a steep slope.  This particular day, I happened to arrive at just the right time for the sun to be positioned right above the hill in such a way that I could not see a darn thing.  I had no idea where the road went, and if I went too far off the path, I would either end up in a  deep rut or off the side on a steep, tree filled slope.  I ended up having to stop and get out twice just to see where I was going.  It was super stressful.  I spent the rest of the drive shaking because I was so upset about it.

I had to stop about 1.5 km away from where I wanted to go, and walk in the rest of the way.  I have a hard time navigating.  Have I mentioned that before?  Probably.  So, most of the time, I use the GPS to help me.  But the GPS was being bad that day.  It led me all over the place and I never seemed to get closer.  I was getting so angry that I started yelling at everything.  I yelled at my backpack for not zipping when I put my sweater in.  I might have yelled the f-word into the sky when I found out I forgot to take a waypoint for the truck, even though J reminded me I should always take a truck waypoint.  "Always, always, always, " he said.  Nevertheless, I was very grumpy.  Arrrrrggghh.

I finally found two spots I wanted to dig holes, and then called it a day.  I figured out my way back by following a drainage to the road and then walking up the road back to the truck.  It wasn't really that hard but I like knowing where I'm going a little bit more than I did that day.  Perhaps I need to improve my navigational skills. 

The next day, my boss and I worked together.  I was still grumpy plus I had cramps so I was definitely not in a mood for a lot of hiking and digging, but what can you do?  I had to dig with the heavy Montana sharpshooter instead of my wimpy girly wooden sharpshooter that was shortened specifically for me (or so I heard).  It was no fun. 

The camp site itself was pretty decent, as campsites go.  It was really cold that week, so nighttime was not super awesome, but it could have been worse, I suppose.  That was the week my tent zipper started ripping open and my headlamp started not working.  But it was the week before my sleeping bag zipper started being a jerkface.  So, not everything was bad.  Yay! 

Balloons Are Even Better at Night

Nov 2, 2011 3 comments

Something I've always wanted to see at the Balloon Fiesta, but never have, is the night glow.  Until this year.  And it was awesome-tastic.

Yes, that is Spider Pig

This was when they all lit up at once.  So cool!