30 September, 2010

Dumbfuckery du Jour

I wish Cons would settle on a century.  Some of them seem to want to return us to the glory days of the Middle Ages.  Some yearn for the days of the robber barons and child labor.  Some seem to be pining for the halcyon days of the Puritans, or burning for Revolutionary War times.  This is a new one on me, though:
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), he of "terror baby" fame, is fond of wandering onto the House floor at odd times and sharing odd thoughts that pop into his head. Last night, Gohmert offered this gem:
"We have people on welfare and I know there's some that just don't wanna work, but there's some that do. How 'bout if instead of the welfare, we give 'em an alternative. We'll give you so many acres that can provide land where you can live off of it, make a living and we'll give you seed money to start, but you have to sign an agreement that you'll never accept welfare again. How 'bout that? We got plenty of land."
He really said that. It's on video.
Ye gods.  This fucktard thinks we can return to the good ol' days of the Homestead Act.  He really thinks city dwellers can eke a living out of subprime farmland (because let's face it, all the good shit's in the hands of agribusinesses).  I suppose it's better than the dumbshit who advocates a return to the days of debtor's prison, but not by much.

Louis.  Louis.  Louis.  I have to explain something to you.  This

is a fantasy.  It's not reality.  It's nostalgia for an era that never really was.


is reality (.pdf).  Notice that 60% of all farms make less than $10,000 per year.  And a fair number of those that make more do so with government subsidies.  Go have a look, Louis.  I know these numbers may be hard for a brain dead fucktard like you to understand, but get someone on your staff to write it up as a Dick and Jane book for you.

Either that, or go try to make your own living on a few miserable acres of substandard farmland, and let's see how long it is before you start screaming for help.  I'm a generous person, and I understand you have your pride, so I'll give you a week.

What a dumbass.  And to think we'll have a whole new crop of little Louies running around Congress come next January.  Fanfuckingtastic.

29 September, 2010

Hey, Hoosiers!

There's actually interesting natural history in Indiana.  No, really!  And David Orr's out to prove it.  His new blog, Under Indiana, has an ambitious mission:
After I'd grown up a bit, I learned to appreciate my home state on its own terms. I think it's a common experience for lovers of natural history: a deepening appreciation of the world that goes beyond the biggest, the splashiest, the most touristy. From the fossiliferous limestone of the south to the glaciated landscapes of the north, from the humblest crinoid fragment to Arcdotus simus, Hoosiers have plenty of natural history to be proud of, to share with the rest of the world, and to inspire new generations. [emphasis added to denote my emphatic agreement with this statement.]
I have to admit, it's exciting to see my birth state getting some respect.  It certainly never got any from me.  Every time I go back there, I end up suicidally depressed.  It takes about 20-30 minutes before I'm willing to do something, anything, to get the fuck out of there and get back home to me mountains.   But my own dear mother lives there, and I'm fated to visit her, so it's good to know I'll have interesting things to look forward to.  Between Lyle and David's new blog, I do believe I'm set!

Go over and give David some love.  Don't forget to drop by his other home, Love in the Time of Chasmosaurs, too.

Dumbfuckey du Jour

It proved difficult to choose a bit of dumbfuckery today.  There's just so damned much of it.  Sen. Jim "Witless" DeMint takes top prize for shitting all over the Senate:
Stan Collender speculated over the weekend that Senate Republicans may very well try to shut down the pre-adjournment legislative schedule, and possibly even try to shut down the government, this week. As it turns out, Collender was onto something. Roll Call reports on a new GOP scheme that the newspaper accurately describes as "remarkable."
Sen. Jim DeMint warned his colleagues Monday night that he would place a hold on all legislation that has not been "hot-lined" by the chamber or has not been cleared by his office before the close of business Tuesday. [...]
Traditionally, the Senate passes noncontroversial measures by unanimous consent at the end of most workdays, a process known as hot-lining. DeMint, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) and others have fought against the practice for years and have dedicated staff members to reviewing bills that are to be hot-lined.
As a result, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) have generally given DeMint, Coburn and others time to review legislation before proceeding with unanimous consent agreements.
But in a terse e-mail sent to all 100 Senate chiefs of staff Monday evening, Steering Committee Chief of Staff Bret Bernhardt warned that DeMint would place a hold on any legislation that had not been hot-lined or been cleared by his office before the close of business Tuesday.
Roll Call added that aides from both parties were "stunned" by DeMint's stunt, which effectively amounts to "a unilateral decision to end legislative activity in the Senate." If he doesn't personally approve of a measure, DeMint will kill it.
If this doesn't force a reconsideration of Senate rules and procedure, nothing will.  When one squalling infant can stamp his little feet and bring the entire body to a howling halt, it's time to ensure that there are methods in place to paddle said squalling infants right on their bottoms.

And speaking of Senate dumbfuckery, it appears that the entire Con contingent, plus Baucus, Nelson, Tester, Warner, and Lieberman, have all decided that shipping jobs to foreign countries is a fine old American tradition that must not be interfered with. Remember them, especially if your job ends up in India next week.

But according to Senate candidate Ron Johnson, those jobs that do stay in the United States should come with the optional extra of corporate immunity if the kiddies get hurt.  That's right.  He's totally against holding businesses accountable if they coulda woulda shoulda prevented their employees from abusing children.  Can't let a little thing like liability (or common human decency) stand in the way of commerce!

Anyone get the sense that if these folks emigrated, America's collective morality would suddenly rocket up by about 100%?  Maybe we should offshore Senators....

28 September, 2010

The Columns Became

Inspired by an incipient meme.

Columns were things that happened to other people.

That was the impression I got growing up in Arizona, anyway.  I thought they were rare and exquisite creatures, too exotic for my lowly home state.  I'd see images of things like Devils Tower and Giant's Causeway in textbooks, and figure that was about it for volcanic columns in the world.  I could see things like block-and-ash flows, aa, pahoehoe, and cinder fields, but as far as crisp columns marching through a lava flow, I had no luck at all.  To this day, I'm not even sure if there's anywhere in Arizona where you can see such a thing.  They certainly weren't in evidence in the areas I tromped as a child.

So you can imagine my surprise when I moved up here to the Northwest and discovered columns are pretty much a dime a dozen.  Throw a rockhammer at a lava flow, and it probably won't land too far away from a nice group of columns.  I'm still excited when I see them, though.

Ye olde introduction to columns has been a process of gradual revelation.  First came basalt.  Basalt was another revelation.  I'd known in a vague sort of way about things like the Deccan and Siberian Traps and our very own Columbia River Basalts, but for some reason, I hadn't thought much about the appearance of flood basalts.  We had trickle basalts if we had anything, so I was used to basalt flows being small, thin creatures (though, believe me, they don't seem small and thin when you're scrambling around the aa at Sunset Crater.  My granddad lost his leg to that lava - true story.  It can be serious stuff indeed).  So early this summer, I stuffed ye olde intrepid companion in the car and went to have a look.

One's first impression of Washington's basalt provinces is massive.  Followed closely by, "I didn't know there were so many columns in the entire world!"

Columns in the Columbia River Basalts, Columbia River, Vantage, WA
And what I saw at Vantage didn't even begin to prepare me for the overwhelming columnness of the coulees.

Dumbfuckery du Jour

What rocks do the Cons turn over to find these idiots?
Millionaire businessman John Raese, running as the GOP Senate nominee to fill Robert Byrd’s West Virginia seat, wants to take the state back to the 19th century. Not only does he want to return capitalism to the era before child labor laws, Social Security, and civil rights laws, he also promotes a pre-industrial vision of science. In an interview with Real Clear Politics, Raese said he has “zero” trust that “human activity is contributing to climate change”:
The oceans that surround the world produce 185 billion tons of CO2 per annum. Man per annum only produces six billion tons, so what could possibly be the concern? One volcano puts out more toxic gases-one volcano-than man makes in a whole year. And when you look at this “climate change,” and when you look at the regular climate change that we all have in the world, we have warm and we have cooling spells.
Although Raese is well-versed in conspiracy-theory talking points, they’re as nonsensical as his desire to abolish the Departments of Energy and Education. Human activity puts about 29 billion tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year, well over 100 times as much as all the volcanoes in the world. The oceans actually vent about 332 billion tons of CO2 per year, but also absorb that much. 
There seems to be an exam you have to pass in order to become a Con candidate.  Questions include:
  • Are you terminally insane?
  • Are you a frothing fundie fucktard?
  • Are you completely ignorant of science?
If you answer yes to all three, you are qualified to win the hearts and ostensible minds of the Teabagging masses.  Our government is poised to be filled with people who make my dear maternal uncle, who once went off his meds and decided to hold up a bank in order to obtain the funds for a boat so that he could become a pirate, look completely rational and scholarly.

I think I should begin stocking up on alcohol.  I'll need bathtubs full come November.

27 September, 2010

Captain's Log Supplemental: Mary's Peak I

Boy, I've got a lot to learn.  This is the takeaway lesson from going into the field with Lockwood.  I know a fair amount more about geology than the average layperson, but what I know is a thimble of whiskey compared to a distillery when you set me alongside someone who's actually done this shit for a living. 

I wish now I'd recorded audio while we were out there, because I didn't retain much of what he said - I'm one of those people who needs to read and write as well as do before I've really grasped something.  Good thing, then, that he's writing up our adventures.  I shall be stepping into the role of faithful assistant, letting him do the talking whilst handing up useful supplemental photos.

He's begun with one of the most fascinating bits of big black rock I've ever seen: hyaloclastite.  Look, I'm from Arizona, people.  There haven't been oceans there in nearly a hundred million years.  A good number of our rivers haven't even got water in them.  As far as basalts erupted on the sea floor, you won't get a good many exposures, if there even are any.  Hawaiian-style volcanic island complexes accreted to the continent?  Don't make me laugh.  We get the occasional pillows, and that's about it as far as basalt meets water goes.  Suffice it to say, my knowledge of what basalt does when confronted with large bodies of water is a bit lacking.

I'd never even heard of hyaloclastite before Lockwood took us to touch some:

Is that or is that not lovely?

Dumbfuckery du Jour

Oh, yes.  At last.  The Smack-o-Matic's coming off the wall, baby, yeah.

And what better way to begin than with a classic bit of dumbfuckery, proving the Senate has always contained politicians who have some difficulty confronting Really Serious Issues and are terrified of change:
June 25, 1930
Senate Considers Banning Dial Phones

Senator Carter Glass of Virginia
Carter Glass (D-VA)

In the spring of 1930, the Senate considered the following resolution:

Whereas dial telephones are more difficult to operate than are manual telephones; and Whereas Senators are required, since the installation of dial phones in the Capitol, to perform the duties of telephone operators in order to enjoy the benefits of telephone service; and Whereas dial telephones have failed to expedite telephone service; Therefore be it resolved that the Sergeant at Arms of the Senate is authorized and directed to order the Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Co. to replace with manual phones within 30 days after the adoption of this resolution, all dial telephones in the Senate wing of the United States Capitol and in the Senate office building.
Magpiemom posted this as a comment on the DFDJ deriding Senate Cons for valiantly defending the incandescent bulb, and she's right - I thoroughly enjoyed it.  Be sure to read on, my darlings.  Stupidity never goes out of fashion.  It just finds different issues to be stupid about.

(Note to new readers: the comment system doesn't hate you, it's just set to moderate comments after X days to stymie spammers.  Sorry 'bout that!)

On to modern dumbfuckery, then, and nothing's entertained me more this week than watching Cons unveil their Pledge to America to near-universal derision.  How desperate are they for some sign, any sign, that somebody somewhere doesn't think their Pledge is a ridiculous fucking waste of time?  So desperate they're pretending Stephen Colbert is who he pretends to be:
House Republicans have had a tough time getting anyone — even fellow conservatives and Republicans — to endorse their new gimmicky “Pledge to America” they rolled out yesterday. Newt Gingrich, David Frum, Erick Erickson, the Club for Growth, conservative radio hosts, and even some GOP House candidates aren’t too thrilled with the recycled Republican pledges.

It seems Republicans are so desperate for someone to endorse the Pledge that they are now touting the fake support from a fictional character. Today, Comedy Central host Stephen Colbert testified — in character — before Congress on migrant labor issues. During the hearing, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) noted that Colbert supports giving lawmakers 72 hours to read bills before they’re voted on and extrapolated that Colbert must support the entire Pledge because that “idea” is within it. Later, Colbert reassured Smith with this satirical response:
COLBERT: By the way I do endorse your policies. I do endorse your policies. You asked me if I endorse Republican policies. I endorse all Republican policies without question.

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) was so happy someone announced support of the GOP’s “Pledge” that he promoted Colbert’s (fake) endorsement on twitter:


That's just too pathetic for words.  If they truly don't understand that Stephen Colbert's schtick is just a schtick, then we're in uber-pathetic territory and accelerating as near-light speeds towards epic stupidity.  Put it like this: I probably won't die of shock if that proves to be the case.

We cannot end today's delving back into the realms of dumbfuckery without highlighting this extraordinary bit of Con hypocrisy:
The Washington Post ran an item the other day that, at first blush, doesn't seem especially political, but is worth considering in a larger context.

The issue is the spread of the brown marmorated stink bug through the mid-Atlantic states. They're harmless to people -- the don't bite, sting, or carry diseases -- but for the first time on the continent, they're doing significant damage to crops, ornamental shrubs, and trees. And as homeowners are discovering, as the bugs begin moving inside as temperatures drop, "when squashed or irritated, the bugs release the distinctive smell of sweaty feet."

The insects reached the U.S. in Allentown, Pa., in 2001, apparently as stowaways in a shipping container from Asia. Now they're spreading, they have no known natural predators, and there's "no easy way to kill lots of the bugs at once." Complicating matters, "the invasion is only going to get worse."

So, where's the political angle?
Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, a Republican who represents Maryland's rural 6th District, sent a letter Friday, signed by 15 members of Congress, asking U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson to take immediate action to limit damage caused by Halyomorpha halys.
Of the 15 members who signed the letter, eight of them are Republicans -- all from states between West Virginia and New Jersey, and all fairly conservative members of the GOP caucus. The group of lawmakers are looking for "coordinated federal government assistance" from the Obama administration to help farmers and local economies deal with the bugs.


There seems to be a bit of disconnect here between Republican ideology and real-world problems. On the one hand, conservative lawmakers like Bartlett hate "big government," the EPA, federal regulations, and government bureaucrats. This year, plenty of GOP candidates are talking about eliminating the EPA, firing parts of the federal workforce, scrapping regulations, and slashing spending on various agencies.

Shouldn't conservative lawmakers, right about now, expect the free market to offer a solution to the stink-bug problem? Why hasn't the GOP offered everyone a tax credit for fly swatters and facemasks? Why aren't Tenthers running around demanding to know where, exactly, the Constitution empowers the federal government to deal with an insect infestation?
Apparently, when confronted with the potential horror of smelling sweaty feet in their very own homes, Cons can be persuaded to abandon their principles and scream for Mommy.  So here's an idea for you, my darlings.  Go collect yourselves some brown marmorated stink bugs.  They should fit easily in a match box or some such container.  Then bring them to your Con politician's next town hall.  When they start frothing at the mouth over the evul gubmint, remove the lid from your container, present the contents to the Con, and ask in calm and reasonable tones, "Then why did you scream for the 'evul gubmint' to eradicate these poor little pests?"

It's probably just a matter of time before the Teabaggers start parading around with signs saying "Keep Your Government Hands Off Our Agricultural Pests." 

26 September, 2010

Bits and Pieces of Note

I've got this random collection of open tabs, which may be of interest to some viewers.

First up is a delicious collection of rocks Suzanne found for me.  In a field of drumlins and glacial till in Boston Harbor, young landforms dumped by retreating ice sheets, you can see occasional outcrops of the Earth's bare bones.  Islands of 600 million year-old mudstone in a sea of young upstarts - you can practically hear it yelling at the drumlins, "Backbones!  Why, back in my day, people didn't even have backbones!  Newfangled contraptions!" and "Ah, to be young and muddy again!"

Silver Fox posted this delightful bit on field geology just as we were collecting Lockwood and heading off for Mary's Peak.  My intrepid companion and I hadn't gotten a chance to read it ourselves, but Lockwood gave us a good precis, and the rest of the trip was filled with references to "x-mph geology."  I just have to quote this bit:
The speed-geology terminology, along with an unrelated warp speed terminology, was invented by myself and another thermally altered geo-type back in the 1980s, probably while bouncing up and down some excessively rocky road in the Mojave Desert. Warp speed terminology is appropriate when gauging speed rather than geology: Warp 1 is 10 mph, a speed indicating that one is probably going steeply uphill or traversing one of those terribly rocky roads. Warp 2 (20 mph) is much preferred to Warp 1, but that still isn't much. If Scotty will give it all she's got, maybe you can get your speed up to Warp 4 or 5 on a dirt road, which is heaven, unless the washboard causes "She's breakin' up, Captain," in which case Scotty will have to wind the engines down to a more comfortable Warp 3 or 4. Also, Warp 4.5 to 5 on a dirt road can result in extreme turbulence when one comes over a hill and then bottoms into some unexpected washout on the other side. Scotty might then decide that, "She's comin' apart, Captain," which isn't a good thing no matter what warp you happen to be doing. Scotty has already resorted to, "I'm giving her all she's got, Captain!" Since that hasn't worked, you might then have to stop to regenerate your dilithium crystals (or have lunch or some other refreshment). Trees are in scarce supply in the Mojave, so the shade of your truck might be all you'll have for the precious dilithium to regenerate in.

When I read that, I laughed so hard I very nearly cried.  Had I been drinking fluid of any description, my poor keyboard wouldn't have survived the experience.

I know most of you have seen Callan Bentley's delectable post on the rocks of Haghia Sophia, but I hope you gave some attention to his delightful write-up of the Champlain thrust fault as well.  It's pictures like this:

that make his blog sparkle for me.  I never know when I'm going to get hit with an unexpected image that illustrates a geologic concept in oddball ways.

Speaking of images, you really should treat yourself to Dan McShane's sunset pics.  Go on.  You deserve it!

In great good news from home, it looks like Pima County's light ordinances are doing the trick, and Arizona astronomy shall be going strong for quite some time to come.  Oh, how I miss those deep, dark desert skies!

And, in news that might interest those of my readers who hope to be counted as authors someday, it seems self-publishing isn't quite the death-knell it used to be (h/t).  Agents aren't looking at that self-published tome as an automatic admission that you suck so badly as a writer that you had to pay someone to print your pablum on pulp.  That's encouraging!

Additionally, another bit that will delight the literary types among us: "Goodbye, cruel words: English. It's dead to me."

Now, I know what you're asking.  You're bouncing up and down on your toeses howling, "But Dana, where are the bloody vacation pics?!"  And the answer is, "They're coming.  Tomorrow, in fact."  Lockwood's got a bit on Mary's Peak posted, and I've got some supplemental photos for that all picked out.  It's just a matter of ensuring I'm really seeing what I think I'm seeing (seriously need to start using the audio notes feature of that camera, damn it).  Then I shall put them up for you, along with some other select bits.  Why not tonight, you ask?  Because the cat just crawled into my lap, insists on pinning my arms in one place, and refuses to keep her bloody paws off the keyboard.  It is terribly difficult to manipulate photos when the cat keeps randomly clicking the mouse.

Why not move the cat, you ask?  Have you seen how my cat reacts when asked to move?

Let's just say she becomes upset.  And she recently figured out the precise position she needs to be in so that maximum damage can be caused before self-defense measures can be employed.  Clever little beast.  Homicidal and clever.

25 September, 2010

You May Think I Hate You After This

I assure you, I don't.  I can prove it.  I'm warning you ahead of time, read Orac's Friday Dose of Woo in increments.  Just nibble away at the edges of the burning stupid, then take plenty of antacid and digest for a bit before returning for more.

On the continuum of burning stupidity, this one's roughly the temperature of the Sun's core.  Here's the appetizer:

What, you may ask, is "DNA activation"? Let international spiritual teacher, Soul Wisdom Psyche Doctor, distant healing specialist, co-founder of the Higher School for Conscious Evolution, and author of the Great Master (not to mention DNA practitioner) Toby Alexander explain why you should activate your DNA:
Most people know that DNA is the 'blueprint of life' and is located in every cell of the body. In addition to each chromosome's 2 strand double helix of DNA, there are an additional 10 etheric strands of DNA available to each human, which have been de-activated and dormant since the beginning of recorded history. Each additional strand possesses attributes that permit the individual to perform greater human accomplishments. Scientists acknowledge that we currently only use 3% of our current 2 strand DNA. Thus we live in a society where people are sick, unhappy, stressed out, create wars, have "difficulty experiencing love, and are totally disconnected with the universe. Most people have to meditate for many years just to have a so-called 'mystical' experience, that's how disconnected we are now. Imagine activating 100% of your 2 strand DNA, PLUS 10 additional strands! You will go from using 10% of your brain to becoming a multi-dimensional being with psychic, telepathic, and manifestation abilities beyond anything you've ever dreamed of. Plus, you will stop the aging process and actually start to rejuvenate to look and feel YOUNGER. This is the Original Divine Blueprint, what man USED to be. It has been written that Jesus had 12 strands of DNA activated. There have been children born throughout the history of humanity to raise the frequency of the planet that have more than 2 strands of DNA active - they are known as Indigo children. These are the incredibly intelligent, loving, and amazing children that are being mistakenly diagnosed as having A.D.D. because they are too smart to pay attention in class. Your DNA is your blueprint of life and is what controls every single function inside each of your cells. If you change your DNA, you really will change your life.
Holy woo, Batman!
I swear I felt brain cells fuse from the heat of the stupid as I read on.  Some neurons seem to have actually vaporized on contact.  It got so bad I had to go clear out my work email's inbox for a while, until things stopped steaming and molten bits of brain matter stopped dripping from my ear canals.

I'd planned to do a Dumbfuckery du Jour today, but nothing in politics came close to being that inane.  It's all anticlimax from here.

And why am I tormenting you with this?  Because watching Orac spank someone that insanely stupid is an education and a pleasure.  Also, I had to explain why I haven't got any nice geology outtakes from the trip ready for you yet.  The unmelted bits of my brain curled up in a fetal ball for protection and refuse to uncurl.  I'm putting them to bed with a book on glaciers, a friendly glass of Beaujolais, and a warm, purring, only mildly homicidal feline.  (I love winter.  The temptation to stay warm overcomes my cat's innate violent tendencies, although only just, and I get to enjoy what so many other cat owners do: cuddles without the fang marks.)

I'd get my DNA activated, but if it's anything like a cell phone activation, it means I'm stuck in a two-year contract with a large early termination fee.  No thanks, I'll pass.  Unless, of course, a bunch of us can get together for a discussion about how we can use words like "quantum entanglement" to convince Mr. Alexander that we've fused our collective activated etheric DNA and shall hold his chakras hostage until he pays us

24 September, 2010


Been catching up on sleep, reading, and Twitter.  Also contending with a brain that no longer wants to think complex thoughts, a cat who thinks she's freezing to death (and therefore insists on cuddles), and a general desire to do nothing much at all.  Sometimes, inactivity is bliss.

So, in lieu of substantive blogging, another lovely photo for ye:

Beachscape at Holman Vista

Sand dunes are quite amazing.  It's hard not to think of them as alive, somehow. 

Speaking of amazing, Dan McShane has a pair of posts up showing some remarkable erosion at Cape Shoalwater.  They really bring home the fact that, ultimately, what we build and the landscapes we build on are temporary - some more so than others.

22 September, 2010

For Suzanne

She made this possible:

View from the beach near Devil's Churn

You see, a funny thing happened on the way down to Oregon.  We took the scenic route.  On that scenic route, there are many, many curves.  I'd driven through about 16,897 of them before Newton's Law of Inertia caught up to us.  I learned a valuable lesson the hard way: no matter if you've gone nearly 20 years without doing something monumentally stupid behind the wheel, there's always a first time.  Driving too fast on an unfamiliar curvy road definitely counts.  Thankfully, there were no other cars in the way and a nice dirt berm to stop us.  We had airbags to keep us from banging ourselves on hard bits that the seat belts may not have saved us from, and so I love them, even though those damned airbags deploying are probably the sole reason why my poor Nissan Sentra will be sent to the scrap heap rather than the body shop.  There's not much damage - I wasn't being suicidally stupid - but the insurance company tells me the airbags may end up costing more than the car.

So no shit, there we were, unharmed but stranded.  If it wasn't for Suzanne coming to rescue us, we'd probably still be in a tiny town near the Oregon coast trying to figure out how to get to a city with an actual rental car agency.  She spent a good portion of her afternoon and evening fetching us and delivering us to a place with a hotel and a rental car, and acted like it was no big deal.  You can't repay kindness like that.  All you can do is be there when huge favors need returning, and she knows I will be.

My intrepid companion took the whole thing with amazingly good grace.  I figured he'd want to head home immediately, but no, he was still up for adventure.  I have remarkable friends, you know that?

That all happened on day one.  By Day Two, we were off and running again, albeit taking curves about about 20 mph.  Grandmas look like speed demons compared to me these days.  We made it to Corvallis, where Lockwood showed us some of the finest geology I've ever seen.  He took us up a mountain and down to the sea.  We got to play in turbidites and tide pools.  I'll be days just sorting through the pictures. 

(By the way, if you're fortunate enough to have Lockwood invite you on a field trip, go.  You utterly will not regret it.)

More to come later.  For now, it's time to catch up on sleep, cuddle the kitty, and reflect on the fact that I'm incredibly fortunate to have friends like these.

I owe all y'all not one, but many.

Geo Linkfest!

Since I'm traipsing all over bits of Oregon with Lockwood and ye olde intrepid companion, I'm having to rely on other geobloggers to fill in the gaps.  I'll use any excuse so's to have a chance to highlight some truly awesome geoblogging goodness.

When you're a professional geologist in western Washington, you can't always depend on the weather to cooperate.  But as Dan McShane knows, you can depend upon it to provide some lovely shots:

That's haunting, that is.  And there's more where that comes from, so do go enjoy.

Speaking of enjoy, if you missed Brian Romans's Unconformity at Point Reyes, head to his place forthwith.  Why do I live for Fridays?  Because of his Friday Field Photos, of course! 

Chris Rowan explores New Zealand's Alpine Fault, and shows why it could be a bit nervewracking to live in a country bisected by a plate boundary. 

Lockwood reminds us that conservation often clashes with consumption, and that there are certain compromises we have to make if we want to maintain our standard of living.

Callan Bentley shows us how field paleomagnetism is done.  After that post, I feel I understand a great deal more about both field work and paleomagnetism, which is no small feat for a blog post!  As always, his lavish photos have left me mopping drool from my chin:

And, finally, Silver Fox has the perfect photo for the long road ahead.  For the punchline, see here.

I can only respond with a quote from The Walking Drum: "Yol bolsun!"  May there be a road.  Preferably one with signs in.

Speaking of roads, I am wending my way back to you on one, possibly at this moment even.  See ye soon, my darlings!

21 September, 2010

The Wolf in the Fault and Other Stories

I have to admit something: I may be an atheist, but I'm also a complete sucker for Norse mythology.  When I shared my home with cockroaches, I even sacrificed them to Odin.  It's somehow more satisfying that way.

Every Thursday, I squee with glee, because I know it's Thorsday at Lockwood's place.  I love all of the old Norse gods and goddesses, their monsters and giants, their epic tales and their strange Nordic sense of humor.  A good portion of my writing has been inspired by them.  The imagery, the poetry, all of it's just perfect for creating something fantastic.  Seeing Lockwood's posts on the subject brings back all the delight of discovering that non-Greek and Roman mythology kicks serious arse.

Last Thorsday, Lockwood had a bit up on Loki, which inspired David Bressan to delve until he came up with a connection between Norse mythology and earthquakes.  The rest, as they say, is the History of Geology, which in this installment shows the mythical connection between the dire wolf Fenrir (Fenris, if you prefer) and earthquakes (and sparks a little reaction of its own).  Before professional geologists, earthquake science went to the wolves, eh?

Ragnarök obsesses one of my main characters, Chretien Pratt.  The twilight of the gods provides a fitting metaphor for what the world faces in this series (I'm not nice), and imagery of Fenrir swallowing the sun at the end of all things haunts him in his unfinished origin story, where he's learned he's fated to speak the world's eulogy:
I dream of nuclear winter, ash like snow covering the bare branches of blasted trees and shrubs, broken walls of houses, pitted concrete and melted asphalt where streets and cities used to be.

There are no people here, just the great wolf Fenrir swallowing the sun.  When I look at him, I see that he has Jusadan’s gray eyes, and he is weeping.


Fenrir’s mouth burns from the heat.  The sun is halfway down.  Only a sliver lights the landscape now, and it’s thin and cold like watery gold moonlight.  Ash drifts down; heavy, silent, bitter.  I smell charred wolf flesh, old decay from a billion rotted bodies, the burned-ozone tang of radiation.

Shades of the dead fill my vision for a hundred thousand miles.  I only see a fraction of them here in this charred shell that used to be a city park, but they represent the totality.  Through them, I see all the rest, and all of them hear me.  I stand on the crumbling edge of a fountain whose statue melted into the pool halfway through the war, hand clenched around the handle of a scythe sharp enough to slice the quarks from a photon.  I have to speak, but I still don’t know what the words are.
I never wanted this.  I never wanted to be the last, and now I am forever.
Someday, we'll talk about Odin as well, who has the unfortunate fate of being munched by Fenrir there at the end.  Did I mention I'm not nice to my characters?  Well, the Norse were really not nice to their gods.

That's probably why I love them so.

20 September, 2010

Volcanoes and Debris Flows and Experts, Oh My!

Pop quiz: name Washington's five major volcanoes.  No peeking at teh intertoobz!  I'll give ye some photos to jolly your memories along:

Courtesy of Eric's Base Camp
Courtesy of Wikimedia

Give up?  Then jump below for the answers - and some more volcano-landslide-expert goodness.

19 September, 2010

Geoblogosphere Samplings

Yes, yes, I know most of you have probably read these already, but these selections will be new to some of you, and that's all the excuse I need.

Brian Romans wrote up the geology of Point Reyes National Seashore, complete with lovely pictures.  And for those who can never get enough pictures of sedimentary structure, he's got you covered.

Silver Fox has ancient seashores and a delicious dike from Oregon for ye.  You know you want 'em!

Chris Rowan discusses the fault that made a mountain range, and his co-blogger Anne Jefferson takes on intolerable heat.  Definitely using Anne's Intolerable Heat Index next summer!

Speaking of the Tetons, Callan Bentley shows us how to calculate offset on the fault.  Pay close attention to the Post-Its.  If math textbooks had been drawn up that way, I might be better at math today.

Do you love geology and horses?  Visit Dan McShane for a little bit of both.

Erik Klemetti discusses the detection of volcanism on extrasolar planets.

And this is just a small sampling of all the geoblogospheric goodness.  More to come.  Enjoy!

Quote o' the Day

Courtesy of Cujo:
The light we're seeing from this nebula today started out its journey when Babylon was just getting started. Nearly all of our history has happened since. I've said it before, but if you need to believe in some deity to be awed by this universe, you don't know very much about it.


Go to the source for a lovely image indeed.

Accretionary Wedges

The geologically inclined among ye have got a couple of very important deadlines coming up!  First is September's Accretionary Wedge, to be hosted at Outside the Interzone:
...the topic I settled on is "What is the most important geological experience you've had?" The key word there is "important," and the real task is going to be figuring out what that means for you. It may (or may not) be something that led you to the discipline (Note that August 2009's AW was "Inspiration," what inspired us to get into geology, and this isn't really intended to be a repeat of that, though for some, it might be.), or a class, or a work experience, or a field experience. It might have been a puzzle or problem solved, or job landed, a degree completed. Perhaps it was something else entirely. It could have been an awful, disastrous experience from which you learned an important lesson. Maybe it's still in your future- something you're looking forward to. Additionally, explain why it was important. Was it something you'd recommend to others?
Lockwood reports there's still room for more, so getcher entries in by September 27th.

Already done?  Great!  Get a jump on October's AW:
October's theme is going to be "Desk-crops." This can be any rock or other geological* specimen that you have lying around your office/desk/lab that has a story to tell. The spookier the better. Photos and/or illustrations are very important (although not absolutely required). This is taken directly from Ron Schott's "deskrcop series" of his rocks and such - great examples of what I had in mind with the theme (but not the only way to skin this horse).
If your submission's submitted past the October 29th deadline, one of two things might happen to it: Trick or Treat.  Take a wild guess as to which.

18 September, 2010

Gone, But Haven't Forgotten Ye

Whelp, my darlings, I'm off to get packed and see more outstanding Oregon geology.  Lockwood's taking us field tripping.  But just because I'm out doesn't mean the cantina's closed.  No, I've pre-loaded some posts for ye.  More precisely, other bloggers have provided content, and I've engaged in some link love, for the most part.

Due to the fact this machine's wi-fi went boom, I won't have an online presence for a few days.  If Blogger chooses this time to decide you're spam, never fear!  I'll get you out of purgatory when I return.

Shall be back online no later than Thursday.  I'll miss you, my darlings, but I'll bring you back lots of lovely photos!

Jerry Coyne's Traveling Cats

Love cats, love science, really love a scientist who loves cats!  Jerry Coyne's had a felid road show this week.  We're talking about a man who carries a box of cat food around with him for teh kittehs.  He's got lots of travel photos with kittehs!

U can see dem in Greece:

And Istanbul:

And on teh way to a glacier:

Dey r in Guatemala:

And dere are kittehs in teh biology lab doin science:

Dere r moar kittehs at teh linkz!

17 September, 2010

Dumbfuckery du Jour

The reasons for a special Friday Dumbfuckery are two.  Firstly, I'll be abandoning all you all for Oregon, which means no fresh pollyticks till Wednesday at the earliest.  Secondly, and most importantly, both of the following items made me pound my desk with mirth.  So I figured you should enjoy yourselves as well.

Firstly, please welcome our next great candidate from Delaware.  Teabaggers gifted us not only with Christine O'Donnell, whose insanity is exhaustively cataloged here, but chose Glen Urquhart for the House:
And just to get a sense of what kind of congressional candidate Glen Urquhart is, note that he believes the notion of separation of church and state was crafted, not by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, but by Adolf Hitler. He recently told voters, "[The] next time your liberal friends talk about the separation of church and state, ask them why they're Nazis."

PPP's Dean Debnam noted this week, "Delaware has really worked out well for Democrats."

Heh.  No shit, eh?

You may, at this point, be wondering how one could possibly follow that up (if you're not too busy contemplating why you're a Nazi, that is).  Well, there's really only one way to do it:
The International House of Prayer, an “end times” ministry based in Kansas City, Missouri, is being sued by a pancake restaurant which claims that it has already staked a claim to the “IHOP” acronym:
The International House of Pancakes has a filed a lawsuit against a Kansas City, Mo.-based religious group that calls itself the International House of Prayer over the acronym “IHOP.”

Amusingly, because trademark infringement cases often come down to whether the defendant’s use of the plaintiff’s mark is likely to cause confusion” between the two parties, this case could turn upon whether anyone is likely to confuse a church with a pancake joint.
My friend Sean believes that it will all come down to whether IHOP (the church one) also hosts pancake breakfasts.

And, just in case you haven't topped up on stupidity yet, the Texas Board of Education [sic] is at it again.  This time, they have become upset because Muslim beliefs are mentioned more in Christian beliefs in textbooks that Texas students haven't used since 2003. 

I can hardly wait to see what the right wing comes up with next.  It's said that if you don't laugh at these idiots, you'll cry, but I've just ended up laughing so hard I cried anyway. 

For Those Who Think Dating A Writer Would Be Awesome

Think again.  Every point you think is a phenomenal benefit is actually a drawback, as the writer of that list so ably demonstrated.

I stumbled across the above post courtesy of Brian Switek, and it's rather unfortunate I did so whilst at work.  I couldn't help howling with laughter.  Coworkers gave me strange looks.  That's okay.  As a writer, I get a lot of those.  But there are 20 items on the list, and I laughed my ass off at all 20, which I think nearly landed me in my manager's cubicle for a little Talk about not disturbing the other denizens of the call center.

Can I ever testify to - well, every single item!  Such as
2. Writers will write about you. You don’t want this. Trust me.
My friends used to pester me to write them into my stories.  So I did that once.  Strangely, they haven't asked again... 

Look, a writer has to sometimes do utterly awful things to their characters, and just because they're based on you doesn't mean they get a free pass.  And when we're annoyed with you, even worse things might happen to "your" character.  And we may not see you the way you want to see yourself.  The awakening can be a bit rude.
8.  Writers are really passionate. About writing. Not necessarily about you. Are you writing?
No.  You are not.  And you will discover this, probably sooner rather than later.  I cannot tell you the number of times I've abandoned a relationship because the person I'm with is not my writing.  After the first flush of hormones vanish, that desperately-wanted relationship sours because Time With Significant Other = Time I Could've Spent Writing.  It's hard on a person when the person they're trying to have sex with is hurrying them along because they want to get back to writing.  And what's a writer thinking about when they're making the Beast With Two Backs with you?  Not you in the majority of cases, I can assure you.  Most people I've dated can't handle being second fiddle to a piece of paper.  Unless you can, don't try it.
14. Writers may be able to adjust their schedules for you. Writers may be able to adjust their schedules for writing. Are you writing? Get in line, then.
That's the one that nearly put me on the floor.  So damned true!
18. Writers are surrounded by interesting people. Every last one of whom is imaginary.
This is the point where I sank down in my chair, and had I been drinking milk, it would have squirted through my nostrils and caused the folks who service our equipment some serious difficulties.  It's true.  Completely and utterly true.  The key word here is "surrounded."  I know some very interesting people IRL.  I am not surrounded by them because I am too busy writing.  The only interesting people who actually surround me are the ones in my head.  And you, my dear potential date, play a distant third fiddle to them.

Those are just a few highlights from the list.  Go read the whole thing.  And the takeaway lesson here is that if you are not an emotionally strong person who's happy being treated as an inconvenience except when the writer needs a brief bit of nookie or an errand runner, who can tolerate long periods of enforced solitude while your writer writes frantically, and likes to be used as a sounding board, test subject, and therapist, you have no business ever dating a writer.

If you think all of the non-bolded items on that list describe your ideal relationship, then find yourself a writer forthwith.  Good luck prying one of us from the page long enough to get a little something started...

Dumbfuckery du Jour

The Priorities of PG&E.

When asking for a $5 million rate hike in 2007:
PG&E asked the PUC for permission for a $5 million rate hike to “replace a section of the same pipeline that blew up in San Bruno.” The PUC approved PG&E’s request, allowing it to hike its rates so that it could repair the line in 2009. 
When not using the $5 million rate hike to repair the dangerous pipeline:
While the company failed to spend the $5 million it took from customers in 2009 to repair the faulty pipeline, it did spend that exact same amount in the same year on bonuses for its executives, according to TURN. 

When asking for yet another $5 million rate hike to fix the dangerous pipeline in 2009:
In its request, PG&E warned that if “the replacement of this pipe does not occur, risks associated with this segment will not be reduced. Coupled with the consequences of failure of this section of pipeline, the likelihood of a failure makes the risk of a failure at this location unacceptably high.” Despite these admitted risks, the company could only promise to make its repairs by 2013.
What PG&E was spending its millions on in the meantime:
Calitics notes that while PG&E failed to use the millions it charged consumers in rate hikes to repair its pipeline, it did manage to spend millions of dollars supporting Proposition 16, which would've allowed it to secure its monopoly over the power sector in the state.
And this is what they say about spending the five million meant to fix the deadly pipeline on executive bonuses, and spending further millions that could've fixed the pipeline on trying to buy a monopoly instead:
Local news station KTVU asked PG&E President Chris Johns why his company failed to make the repairs on schedule, despite recognizing that the pipeline was a considerable risk and using a rate hike on consumer to do it. “Some things happen when we’re going down, and a year later maybe some other item becomes more emergent that we need to fix,” replied Johns. “And so that’s why we will redirect funds to take care of the things that are urgent today, and then go back and say what are the things that are urgent tomorrow.”
Four people died and several were critically injured, while hundreds of others lost everything they had, because these assclowns didn't think that pipeline was "urgent today."  Except, of course, when they were asking for more cash from their customers.

I'm not a huge believer in the death penalty.  Not for individuals.  But some corporations need to be put down like rabid dogs.  PG&E is one.  Send its executives to the unemployment lines, shut it down, and put people in charge of the utilities who believe that the things that are urgent today are the lives and safety of human beings, not the already-overflowing bank accounts of executives and manipulating the political system to further engorge an already engorged company.

These fucktards are beyond despicable.  There should be no place for them in a civilized society.

16 September, 2010

Pop Rocks

In the time-honored tradition of posts that a blogger writes when they're too busy to write their own content, I have decided to filch a collection of rocks that have made my eyes pop lately.  Don't forget to click through the links for the posts these came from.  Enjoy!

Gualala turbdites
Bad-ass driller
Glacial drift over advance outwash
Nu'uanu Pali
You know why I love my geobloggers?  Well, if we had to count all the ways, we'd be here for a week.  But this post highlights one of the big reasons: they give us eye candy!

Dumbfuckery du Jour

Primary Day is a very dangerous day.

In Delaware, the Teabagging hoardes overthrew the sometimes-sane Mike Castle in favor of a candidate who believes there's just as much evidence supporting Young Earth Creationism as there is evolution, says condoms can't stop AIDS, thinks coed dorms will lead to "orgy rooms", and wouldn't have lied to Nazis to save a Jew.  Among other insanity.  At least she'll be entertaining, but I hope to fuck the people in Delaware are smart enough not to let the Teabaggers propel this moron to victory.

In New York, Teabaggers ensured Andrew Cuomo faces off against a man whose pasttimes include sending out racist, pornographic emails, and who thinks the poor belong in prison.

You probably heard quite a bit of screaming Tuesday night.  That was because the Dems were screaming for joy, unable to believe their luck, while Republican Party officials were howling, "We have to support what?"  The Republican slate of candidates is now almost exclusively filled with freaks, lunatics, and incredibly fucking stupid people, and Cons know that once the non-Teabagging cadre of voters gets a good look at what's on offer, they might run screaming to the other party no matter how disillusioned they've become.  What was supposed to be a banner year for the Cons is rapidly turning in to a test of the Cons' ability to sell insanity to the sane.  The NRSC and others don't seem to be terribly happy about it.

To which Steve Benen says, "Reap what you sow, you silly fuckers. Suck it!"  Although he puts it in somewhat more polite terms.

I hope you had a few metric tons of popcorn and several thousand gallons of butter handy, my darlings.  We shall need it this fall.

15 September, 2010

It's Not ADD! It's Creativity!

So Jonah Leher at Frontal Cortex has this post up: Are Distractible People More Creative?  Well, being a distractible person who likes to believe she's creative, I found myself clicking through - after, of course, getting distracted by a few other things, like making dinner while watching Head Rush and trying to catch up on Pharyngula.

Turns out there's good news for the terminally distracted:

Consider a recent study by neuroscientists at Harvard and the University of Toronto that documents the benefits of all these extra thoughts. (It was replicated here.) The researchers began by giving a sensory test to a hundred undergraduates at Harvard. The tests were designed to measure their level of latent inhibition, which is the capacity to ignore stimuli that seem irrelevant. Are you able to not think about the air-conditioner humming in the background? What about the roar of the airplane overhead? When you’re at a cocktail party, can you tune out the conversations of other people? If so, you’re practicing latent inhibition. While this skill is typically seen as an essential component of attention – it keeps us from getting distracted by extraneous perceptions – it turns out that people with low latent inhibition have a much richer mixture of thoughts in working memory. This shouldn’t be too surprising: Because they struggle to filter the world, they end up letting everything in. As a result, their consciousness is flooded with seemingly unrelated thoughts. Here’s where the data gets interesting:  Those students who were classified as “eminent creative achievers” – the rankings were based on their performance on various tests, as well as their real world accomplishments – were seven times more likely to “suffer” from low latent inhibition. This makes some sense: The association between creativity and open-mindedness has long been recognized, and what’s more open-minded than distractability? People with low latent inhibition are literally unable to close their mind, to keep the spotlight of attention from drifting off to the far corners of the stage. The end result is that they can’t help but consider the unexpected.
One of the reasons I write at night is because I'm so very bad at filtering out distractions.  There's less of that in the wee hours - noisy neighbors go to bed, Twitter and email slack off, phone doesn't ring (not that I keep my ringers on anyway), cat's usually mellowing on the couch and friends aren't begging me to head out for some fun.  I still manage to lose incredible amounts of prime writing time haring off after tangential factoids, spelunking the intertoobz for things unrelated to my original query, and ten thousand other things unrelated to what I should be doing.  For instance, this paragraph just took me several minutes longer than it should have because I kept messing around trying to rid myself of minor discomforts, pulling up various and sundry songs, and thinking about a zillion other things.

If the research is right, that sort of distractibility is one of the reasons I can build worlds and tell stories.  Instead of cursing it, I should probably be reveling in it.  However, I got distracted on the way to the celebration.  Well, "The Human Stain" is an incredible song.  And my hair needed adjusting.  And Yoshitaka Amano and Michael Whelan are incredible artists, so of course I had to spend a moment appreciating their works on my walls.  Did I ever tell you about the time I talked to Michael Whelan's wife?  She'd called in to order business forms for their gallery back when I worked for the printing company.  When I found out who she was, I asked her if I could ask a very personal question - how old is Michael?  (This was back before the intertoobz could answer each and every trivial question without having to embarrass oneself.)  She told me.  And I said, "Oh, thank the gods.  I wanted him to still be alive so he can do my cover art when I'm finally published!"  She laughed and said Michael would be delighted to oblige.  She's a lovely person, and one of my fondest memories.  And yes, I still want Michael's art gracing my novels.

Where were we?  Oh, yes.  Distracted people and creativity.  Righty-o.  So, this is the article I shall shove at anyone who accuses me of having ADD.  Look, it's not illness, it's inspiration!

Now if you'll excuse me, I've just gotten distracted by something else...

Tip o' the shot glass to Brian Romans.

Science Bloggers in Motion

Yes, againWired Science has launched a brand-new network, and for once in the new-science-blogging-network world, it actually includes geology!  Our own Brian Romans, in fact.  If you're looking for your Clastic Detritus, they've got 'im right here.

And that's not all they've got.  Brian Switek finally found a loving home for Laelaps.  Huzzah!

They've also landed Dot Physics, Neuron Culture, Frontal Cortex, and Superbug.  That's a stellar starting lineup by any measure.  Give 'em a visit!

Dumbfuckery du Jour

It's weird.  Cons are getting their arses kicked in primary after primary by batshit fucking insane freaks, and yet they seem to have this overconfidence problem.  They're utterly positive they're going to win big in November.  So positive, it seems, that they have no qualms showing their true colors.

They're throwing something of an orgy.  Not to put too fine a point on it, but it seems they're relishing some corporate dick-sucking.  Why, today, Cons voted in lockstep to keep very burdensome IRS reporting requirements in place for small businesses.  Is it because they're throwing a tantrum over their pet proposed fix having gone down in flames?  No.  It seems they threw a tantrum because the sensible fix would have reduced subsidies to oil companies.  That's right.  Businesses of all shapes and sizes will find themselves struggling to satisfy the tax man, but that's okay to these Cons, because we couldn't possibly pull oil companies' mouths away from the public money fire hose.

How that one squares with Teabagger anti-IRS rhetoric is a mystery to me.  Feel free to speculate.

Then we had Sen. Johanns telling small businesses they "need another loan like they need a kick in the pants."  This must be a thrilling statement to all those small businesses needing loans so they can expand, meet payroll and all that. 

Sen. Mitch McConnell's been in rare form.  He made this incredible statement:
"We can't let the people who've been hit hardest by this recession and who we need to create the jobs that will get us out of it foot the bill for the Democrats' two-year adventure in expanded government."
Now, considering that the only people who are going to see any sort of tax cut expiration under the Dems' plan are those who are already making a shitload of money, that's a pretty amazing thing to say.  "Hit hardest"?  Why, according to Mitch McConnell, those of you who've lost your jobs altogether, who are struggling to put food on the table, who are losing your homes to foreclosure, you're all doing just fine.  It's those poor rich people who maybe can't afford the third mansion and the yacht who're really suffering.

And as if that belief isn't amazing enough, he also believes it's a good idea for Cons to fight against tax breaks for the middle class.  If the filthy rich can't keep their tax cuts, McConnell's reasoning goes, then the middle class and the poor can go fuck themselves and lose theirs, too.  Interesting.  I wonder what the Taxed-Enough-Already crowd will have to say when their tax bill comes up and it's all Mitch's fault?  He must be counting on their native stupidity to help him sell the idea it's all the Dems' fault.  And while I'll admit Teabaggers can look and act pretty fucking stupid, I'm not sure they're quite that stupid.  Dangerous game you're playing there, Mitch.  And while you might fool all of the Teabaggers some of the time, I think you're going to find the swing voters taking a swing away from you and yours if this little stunt succeeds.  They may be pissed at Dems for, well, nearly everything just now, but when the Cons in Congress so blatantly stand with the rich against the middle class, not to mention directly affect the middle-class pocketbook, well, those angry independents might discover they're not all that pissed off Dems after all.

I know that Dems are the champions in turning a winning situation into a losing one, but it seems like the Cons are scrambling hard to match up.

14 September, 2010

Geological Humor. Plus, Choices.

Woozle has been a cherished patron of this cantina since very nearly the moment it opened.  Whilst I was away viewing non-flaming geysers, he left this note:
...and on a completely different tack, some geological humor for you

I clicked the link.  I viewed link.  I read the link.  A giggle grew to a guffaw, and then an outburst of laughter that left the cat rather disgruntled.  I would have screamed, "I love you, Woozle!" but the neighbors might've objected, seeing as how it's after midnight.

My darlings, you must go read

There's more.  There's far more.  And yes, it does get exciting.

As if Woozle wasn't enough, Karen made me blush, shuffle my feet, mumble "aw, shucks," and want to give her a hug fit to crack her ribs.  Mind you, this was after I'd jumped up and down screaming "She's alllliiiivvvveee!"  Worried about my Bay-area readers after that whole San Bruno thing, y'know.

Now, since I was off chasing after mythical flaming geysers all day, I didn't visit so much as one political blog, therefore no Dumbfuckery du Jour.  However, when I got to my intrepid companion's house, I found he'd taken care of the situation for us.  Let's just say that, although I'd nearly gotten squished by a couple of idiot drivers on the freeway and had just discovered my camera was safely home over thirty miles away, I still ended up laughing my ass off.  Cujo does an excellent job trivializing the trivial, so consider his post our Dumbfuckery du Jour.

And, finally, I missed #womeninscience.  Whoops!  Allow me to make some amends by pointing you to Anne's post at Highly Allochthonous, and this old post o' mine celebrating some unsung women of science.

So, raise a glass to all the wonderful women in science, and then raise another to yourselves.  You all make my day, each and every day. 

But Why Is the Geology Gone?

My intrepid companion and I made a valiant attempt to see the famous Flaming Geyser today.  The first thing that went wrong is that I forgot my camera.  That's right.  Left it sitting right at home, and didn't realize it until I arrived at my IC's house, which is a bloody hour away from mine.

Needless to say, all photos that follow are courtesy of my IC's camera.  Grr.  Argh.  (But I do have to say, while it's no Sony Cyber-Shot, it did its utmost to fill in, and I adore it for that!)

The second thing that went wrong is this:

No, that's not the Bubbling Geysers.  That, my darlings, is the Flaming Geyser.



Yeah.  And, adding insult to injury, the route leading to the outcrops of Puget Group Shale and the actually-supposed-to-be-Bubbling Geyser, our only access to good geology in the entire fucking park - closed.  Fenced off.  Unsafe bridge.  No alternate route.

O-kay.  Take stock, here.  See what can be salvaged.  We found a few things.