How I Spent My Anniversary

Dec 30, 2012 3 comments

So, Matt and my 4 year anniversary was in October.  Yes.  October.  And yes, four years.  Anywho, for our anniversary we went to an air show in Socorro.  Yay!  And we didn't actually go in October.  We went in September, and I am therefore even more behind, but it was close enough to October to call it our anniversary trip. 

Now, what did we do there?  Well, we saw some airplanes, of course! (duh)



Stinson interior.  I thought this was very fancy!

Matt took about 10 bajillion pictures and I honestly can't remember which planes he or I thought were the coolest, but for some reason these few stand out.  I do recall that the Stinson was especially popular and the T-6 had a female pilot.

The main attraction of the event was the B-17.  It is an old plane that dropped bombs.  That is pretty much all I know about it.  Apparently it was a pretty big deal.

They were offering rides for $400.  Needless to say, I did not allow that. 

One thing I did allow was the $5 tour of the plane.  We waited until pretty much the end of the show after everyone else got tired of it and left, and ended up with our own private tour. 

 Pretty neat, huh?

End of the Year Update Stuff

Dec 21, 2012 3 comments

Okay, it's true.  I've been neglecting the blog.  Not necessarily because I wanted to.  I've just been bombarded with life as of late.  Not bad things, necessarily, just busy things.  For one thing, I've started running.  I'm not a good runner so even running for 3 minutes straight is pretty difficult for me right now, but I really want to do it, so I'm going to keep trying.  Another thing that I've started, which is easier for me but still a challenge, is I've decided to get back into writing again.  To help with this, I joined a writing critique group.  Sometimes we do challenges that are assigned and sometimes we just bring in whatever we want.  The other people in the group are a bit older than me but that's good in a way because they have more experience and insight into how to get published.  And that is what I want, eventually.  I'm working on a fantasy-ish sort of novel that could potentially be awesome or could potentially be horrible.  Some horrible books do get published, but I don't want mine to be one of those.  I'm reading a really awesome book right now called "The Soul of the Ghost Moth" about an entomologist's journey to "enlightenment," I suppose you would call it.  It has to do with radio wave receivers and the collective mentality of moths and other things.  I'm not doing a very good job of describing it but it is cool.

In other news, we now have two dogs.  Not really by choice and I'm sort of frustrated by the whole situation, but Girl Dog, which is what I call her, is really sweet despite being a rottweiler and it's not her fault that her previous owners were irresponsible.  So for now she is ours and that is that.

Presently, I'm taking a break from work, and from Albuquerque, to kill off my remaining annual leave and spend the holidays with my family in Michigan.  I would have liked Matt to come with me, but the expense and the issue of what to do with the dogs kept him in Albuquerque.  I just hope he is not too lonely on Christmas, because I would be.

Anyway, I'm going to try to reach back into the archives of my mind and make some posts about the rest of field season and some other things that went on.  But it may be a while, so don't hold your breath.

Indian Peaks

Nov 11, 2012 3 comments

This is another post about my time in the Gila this summer.  For several weeks, we were in the Indian Peaks East and West quads (all my mapping area).  Here are some pictures from that time.

This is bear poop.  I thought it would be fun to start out with a picture of that.  Don't you agree?

I think I was on top of a mini rhyolite volcano when I took this picture.  I don't know.  It looks cool.

This was our portable home away from home.  There are a few items in this picture I would like to point out. 

1.  The tarp.  Especially fun to put up when it was windy.  And it always took forever for us to decide what trees to tie it to.  Honestly I didn't really help too much with the tarp putting up, because it involved climbing trees, and the other girls were skinnier than me and had smaller boobs and therefore were better at it.

2.  The table.  We got it at the end of last year and used it for one week and thought we lost the canvas bag that it came in.  One person was actually convinced that a bear stole it.  Then, sometime this summer, I was cleaning out the tool box in the truck and found it.  Go me.

3.  The stove.  This thing. was. awesome.  It was easy to set up, easy to use, and it worked great.  It boiled water really fast and it used propane instead of the gas that Coleman makes you buy for their stoves.  I had so many issues with those stoves last year, it was nice to have something that worked well this year.

One of my sites for this year's field review was in Indian Peaks West.  The soil was shallow, which was nice.  I also didn't have to dig it, which was even nicer.  I described the whole thing by myself, though, and was very proud of it, regardless of how I did on the review.  The soil was a Lithic Haplustalf, if you know or care what that means.

I also took pictures of the whole site.  We're supposed to take pictures of all our sites and put them in the database.  I forgot to bring the work camera, so I used my phone instead.  I actually used my phone as my camera the entire field season, and it worked out pretty well. 


This was my favorite view from the site.  I was up on a hummock looking toward the south of the plot.


And thus ends my little hodge-podge tour of Indian Peaks.

Saliz Pass

Oct 27, 2012 2 comments

Hi.  I'm back.  I just finished my 20th week in the field and we are calling it quits for the year.  We were thinking about going back next week to collect production data, which is basically throwing around a metal hoop, clipping all the grass inside it with scissors, putting it in a bag, and weighing it.  Something like that.  But, now we're not going to do that... (this year, anyway) so, yay!  We're done!

I'm going to try to catch up on some field stories and pictures, so we'll see how that goes.  As usual, I don't remember what order things happened in, but I separated all my photos into different folders, so at least I know where I was when I took the picture.  This is from the day I took an awesome hike through a pretty little stream channel in Saliz Pass.  It was probably my favorite hike of the entire season.  Super easy and flat and tons of cool scenery.


Some blank filling in

Sep 7, 2012 3 comments

I'm sure everyone else is happy that it's Friday, but I am sad because it means my vacation is almost over and I have to go back to work!  Boo!  I don't feel like making an actual post, and it's been a while since I've done this, so here's some fill in the blanks.

1.  My favorite grade in school was    I'm not sure but I was going through some of my stuff and found a book series that I wrote in 8th grade about various idiots who died in tragic accidents.  My friend Pam was also involved.

2.  My favorite teacher was  my 7th/8th grade history teacher Mr. Longe      because,  he was old and funny and he broke the chalkboard, and he looked like Thomas Jefferson  .

3.  The highest level of education I have completed is    a Master's of Science in Geology and Soil Science.  And now I miss school and want a PhD.

4. School lunches for me were usually    made by my mom with post-it notes in each one telling me what I was supposed to do after school (e.g. walk home, go to after school program, get a ride home, etc.) because she thought I would forget or something.

5. The amount of money you'd have to pay me to go back to high school would be  a lot.  High school students are scary these days.  Exactly how long would I have to go back?  I might be able to handle a day .

6. A few things that will always remind me of going back to school are:  back to school sales at Target.  College rule notebooks and loose leaf paper and folders and all those exciting things.

7.  The first day of school was always   a day that I got up really early feeling nervous and probably sick, and then all the kids in the neighborhood would have to stand in a big group to get our picture taken before walking to school .

Soil Texture Pool Party!

Aug 31, 2012 1 comments

Hello world.  It has been requested...  no, demanded, that I write more stories from the field.  Of course, I must have pictures to accompany my stories and I still need to get the last group of pics off my phone so these are the only pictures I have to show you right now.  I honestly don't remember the order that things happened in anyway.  I mean, it's been 15 weeks since I started this whole field season deal, and quite frankly, my mind is shot.  Anyway.  Pool party!

One day, we were just like, screw this, we're going swimming!  So we did.

This is a lake.  I can't tell you which lake, but we swam in it.

I also have a picture of a person swimming in the lake but I might get murdered if that person finds out that I posted a picture of him in his underwears on the internet, so I'm not going to do that.

The next week, my boss gave me a bunch of calibrated soil texture samples and said that the students and I should have a soil texture party, so we turned it into a soil texture pool party.  Hey, he told us to do it. and we actually did texture soil.  We had a contest and everything. 

Here is where we had our contest.  The pool had some weird gross seaweed type stuff in it.  There were also cows.  Not in the pool.  But near it.  Just to clarify.

And here is where we swam.  The lower waterfall was particularly fun.
That is all.

Garden Part 2: Composting

Jul 21, 2012 3 comments

I was trying to remember where I left off about my garden and realized that I wrote one post on it.  Lame.  We have vegetables and stuff now so this is kind of behind but I want to do it in chronological order.  It just makes more sense that way.  Except for the part where I pretty much forgot everything that happened in the beginning.  Luckily, there are pictures.  So, at least there's that.

Here, we have some mulch and compost.  They brought it to the house in a big truck and when I got home from work we brought it all to the backyard so that hoodlums wouldn't steal it overnight. 

 Then, we put the compost in rows.

Tilled the compost.

Watered the compost.

And that's pretty much it.  Oh yeah, and then we put on mulch.  But I don't think I have a picture of that.  So you'll just have to see what the mulch looks like in the next post when the plants are actually growing.


Jul 3, 2012 2 comments

This is Winston.

Yeah, that's pretty much all of it.

So far, we've stopped there twice for gas.  It is expensive!  Both times, J went in to pay while I stayed outside taking random pictures.

The first time he went in, some guys (hunters?) wanted to know whether he had any maps of the ponds in the forest and got annoyed when he didn't.


The second time, he said he heard the word "wetback" so many times in the few minutes he was in there, that it made him uncomfortable.

You can learn a lot about a town by a visit to its General Store.

Pictures of a Fire

Jun 30, 2012 0 comments

As of yesterday afternoon, Whitewater-Baldy is 87% contained and fire activity has decreased to a point where there will no longer be any more updates on the fire.  The post-fire assessment is also complete, at least from a soils standpoint.  I took some pictures of the fire while we were still camped to the West of it, at Pueblo Park Campground near Reserve and Glenwood.  It was cool looking.

That was a while ago.  I can no longer see nor smell the fire when I'm down in the Gila.  This is probably a good thing.  I can't believe it's already been over seven weeks since I began the field season.  That is ridiculous.  Last year at this time, well... we all know what happened last year.  This year, since 4th of July is on a Wednesday, I won't be going out to the field next week.  Yay!  I was hoping to go to Michigan, but that didn't really work out, so I'm thinking of just not going to work very much next week.  At first I thought I didn't have very much leave, but then I heard another girl say she only had 37 hours of leave.  And I thought, I have WAY more than that!  I should totally just take some time off.  So, that's what I'm going to do.  Because work is kinda stressing me out right now.  I might go camping for part of the time, but honestly, all I really want to do is go shopping and swimming and work on my scrapbooks.  Oh, and read.  I found The Brothers Karamazov on the bookshelf at work yesterday and got super excited.  Russian literature is pretty much always awesome.  I also have a strong desire to go to the library and look up books on ancient Chinese art and culture, because I think that would be fun.  But alas, much of today was spent running errands.  There is not enough time to do all the things I want to do.  I need a month long vacation, like right now.  Or just a bunch of mini vacations over the next several months.  I might actually be able to swing that one.  We'll see...

Fire Suns and Circus Tents

Jun 9, 2012 1 comments

In case you live under a rock somewhere (unless that rock is in the Gila), there's a giant fire burning right now.  It's called the Whitewater-Baldy.  It's like 280,000 acres or something ridiculous like that.  Meanwhile, I've been doing field work, in the Gila, for about a month now.  We started work near the fabulous Truth or Consequences.  Then the fire started dropping ash from the sky so we decided to leave there and go somewhere else.  But first, here's a little bit about what happened in the first two weeks (or what I can remember of it).

The first week, we planned to camp at a little fire base called Beaverhead.  It's not as nice as Negrito, but it's ok.  The main thing we didn't like about it was there were a lot more firefighters there all the time, and we kind of wanted to not be around a bunch of other people, because we're antisocial like that.  The first night, it was just J and me, so we decided to find some random spot to camp after driving around all day.  This is what we came up with.

The next day, we went back to Beaverhead because we had to meet our coworker from Silver City, so we moved camp.

This is our crappy work tent that I don't like putting up.  It also has a broken pole.

And this is a random swing.  Yep.

My boss bought a new tent this year, for us to all hang out in or something when it rains.  It's really big.  We call it the circus tent.  We had to put it up and test it out the first week.  The guys don't like it.  I'm pretty much indifferent to it.

In the circus tent, not paying attention to the photographer

The second week, the smoke came and turned the sun red.

Ok, so I took this on my phone which is why the color sucks, but the sun was red, and it was not cloudy.  That is smoke.

The smoke affected all of us, but it hit the guys harder than me.  They felt like crap pretty much the whole time.  And that is why we moved the next week, to the west side of the fire, in hopes that it wouldn't be quite as smoky.  For the most part, it really hasn't been, so that's good.  But I've learned that it wouldn't be field season without some sort of issue(s).  Especially when I'm involved, it seems.  I'm still trying to decide if I want to write about that.  I might not.