Saturday, November 20, 2010
That's surprisingly okay with me.
I've got a lot of stuff to do getting ready for the orientation of the volunteer program I'm working on, so it feels good to be in the office where I can see tangible evidence of my progress.
Such as the Bad A poster I made. It's got swords on it
Additionally, we're subtitling the program A NEW HOPE and we're gonna try to make a star wars replica poster.
Here's a picture of me in my field gear. Another reason why office work isn't so bad
Other things that have been going on?
It's cooling down here, meaning the days are, at most, getting into the mid 80s but the nights are pretty cold. Getting down to the 40s.
I know I know, It snowed 5 inches in B ham last night. SUCKAS
Since October 1 I've had
Mom, Gram, Sheila, Colleen
Jordan (with Jen and Dom)
Come to visit! It's been magical.
I'm also real sick. I don't know what it is but it's not getting better. Felt really bummed about it today and decided that I'm gonna go to the doctor ASAP even though I don't have health insurance.
Sigh a frenzy of sighs.
I hope I have something diagnosable. I hate being told "well, it doesn't look like there's anything wrong with you..." Hate
That actually doesn't happen very often because I hate going to the doctor when I'm ill. I'd much rather just wait it out but I don't wanna be sick when I go to Argentina in a month
Although, my Dad did have a good point
They've got socialized health care in Argentina
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Oh heeeeeeyy blooogggggg.
Sorry I’ve been gone so long
I’VE JUST BEEN DOING AWESOME SHIT
Went to Seattle/OI in August. It rained.
Started ROCK CLIMBING (again, used to do it as a kid)
I’m somewhat terrible at it, (I guess I have fear now?) but I keep getting better and it means I get to lie around in the sun for most of a day which I love
Found Archie some competition. Endotherms are pretty nice
Had(have) a hellish experience with the American healthcare system.
Passed out into an ultimate slumber
Sunday, August 29, 2010
By we I mean my bosses. Who am I kidding, I AM JUST THE FEET
The project is to see if helicopters could be used to spray buffle grass in terrain too remote or too steep for us to work in. We've been setting up these plots for, like, EVER, and on the 18th it finally came to fruition
We were about 100 ft away from the test plots. Test plots! It felt like I was doing science again.
The protocol was beautiful
The helicopters were pretty cool too. I was put in charge of 2 test plots. My boss was one of my underlings. Oh ho ho, I said, let me tell you how I feel about walking in straight lines.
Then I ate Chinese food and got on an airplane.
Sunday, August 15, 2010
It's hot as F out here again BUT, soon I will be back in Seattle/Shoreline for about an hour then go to Orcas to see the Family. If you want to see me while I'm there let me know. I'm keeping it on the down low due to the brevity of my stay so, you all loyal blog readers get first dibs
I'm trying to keep it together but I'm losing control of my limbs
Thursday, August 5, 2010
HERE'S A LOT OF PICTURES
This is the day I was working on a graduate student's tortoise project. I was a little concerned about the physics of tortoises existing in this plot. Behold, this was the line I was walking
Riiiiiight across that cliff face. I was 90% trying not to fall to my death in the wash below and 10% looking for tortoises.
We searched a 200x200m plot of similar terrain and we found 0 tortoises. We did however find one on the way back to the rigs
It looked really sad and didn't have any toes on it's upper right foot. Booooooo000ooo
Check out these sick ass petroglyphs! One of my co-workers is an archeologist. She tells me interesting things about the time period of these, none of which I can recall now.
I did ask her "DO YOU EVER WONDER IF, LIKE, IT WAS JUST ANCIENT PUNK KIDS WHO MADE THESE DRAWINGS?!?"
She said sometimes
This is a picture of two frogs doin' it. They are so losing their college scholarships now. NEXT TIME MAKE BETTER LIFE CHOICES FROGS
Look guys! FERNS. Also, there is some moss in there! ALSO I saw some lichens! (mostly dust lichen but some foliose too!) ALSO ALSO PUFF BALLS. Who remembers my Fun Fungi Fact about puff balls? I ONLY KIND OF DO
Can you deny the cuteness of this pin cushion (genus Mamillaria) cactus? No. You cannot.
Can you deny the awfulness of prickly pear? no. You also cannot. I'm constantly pulling its gloccids out of my extremities. Shame. Face kick.
Check out this cute ass baby tortoise that wanted to hang out with us at our staging area. We made so many high pitched noises, then we hover crafted it to a root which it promptly buried it's face in. More high pitched noises were made.
Views. And this is kinda a wussy one
Guess who came back to our blue tarp burrito the next day. BABY TORTOISE. There he is in the fold of the tarp by the top of the yellow dry bag. We decided that he needed a name if he was gonna keep showing up. I nominated Stanley. We decided on MegaBaby
GUESS WHO ACTUALLY GETS TO WORK WITH HELICOPTERSSZZZZZZZZZZZ NEXT WEEK?
(It's me. I do.)
(I don't get to ride in them though.)
(I'm just ground ops)
(...still bad ass.)
Monday, July 26, 2010
-Okay I've known this for a while but for some reason my clock didn't go off this morning. I blame technology. And Damn kids.
2. Getting ready for work the night before is beneficial when your wake up call is your carpool arriving
2.5. My carpool is amazing people. Is. Amazing.
3. I can feasibly get ready for work in 2 minutes and a shit ton of adrenaline
4. Wearing my boots without socks doesn't result in blisters but does result in pools of sweat. GORTEX RULZZZZZZzzzz....?
5.When you have to go back to the parking lot to turn off your dome light, don't forget to lock your doors. Nothing bad happened but just a reminder IRENE
6. That sandwich you made on Saturday, took out into the field then didn't eat? Not still good on Monday.
7. A covey of quail wait until the very last second to startle and fly away. Probably out of spite so that I get startled too.
8. Ocotillo is so pretty when it is in leaf. I just want to pet it all the time.
9. Pin cushion cactus. Adorable. I feel bad for whacking it with my hammer on accident a lot.
1o. Question game. Question game FOREVER
11. Buying slurpees and doritos for carpool seems a sufficient apology for being a hot mess in the morning.
12. Put emergency socks in the office. Not on kitchen counter.
13. For having awful luck today, my luck isn't so bad
HERE'S A PICTURE OF A BOBCAT KITTEN I SAW (photo credit, my co worker)
Sunday, July 25, 2010
HERE IS A PICTURE OF A RAIN STORM
But I did some restoration work down there and met some interns who are working for the BLM who called us fancy because we work for a different agency. I can't disagree with that. My agency is fannnncy...for an agency.
"It's too hot! I've only lived in Arizona for three years, I'm not used to the heat!"
Friday, July 23, 2010
Thursday, July 22, 2010
In Seattle, a nice summer day is defined by sunshine, blue skies and, basically, a lack of cloud cover.
In Tucson, a nice summer day, is when it's over cast, grey and hopefully(!) a little rainy.
I spend a lot of my time pulling out tiny spines (glocchids) out of me. I will think I have found them all but there is always more
I heard from Pat yesterday. He wants to come down and see me. But he says he wants to come down on his bike. Hmmm, bad plan me thinks. It will be easy to talk him out of it.
Haven't seen a roach since Saturday. Got my license plates and an awesome sweatshirt from Cassie in the mail yesterday.
Today and TOmorrow I have off, which is good because I've got me one of them summer colds. Yesterday was a post nasal drip hell and today I've been groggily dealing with the exterior painters of my building.
Also Chex Mix. I love having a kitchen.
Saturday, July 17, 2010
2. Putting aforementioned photos on a social networking site to be viewed by everyone.
3. My lack of fear for spiders and other arachnids
4. My mild heart attack and subsequent murderous rage when confronted by a cockroach.
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Holy shit balls. Is it ever hot out here.
I think I need to carry and drink my weight in water. I guess I could carry treatment tablets then treat water in the field. Oh wait. THERE IS NO MOISTURE WHAT SO EVER.
We were out from 6 to 12:30 and I was hurting HURTING at the end of it. I had a head ache, felt nauseous, wanted to die. I made it through but tried to discretely puke in the office bathroom when we got back.
As of late, meaning the past year or so don't you all get any ideas, puking has been my body's response to most things. Nervous for test? blarghhhh, Too many hot dogs? blooorrggggg, Haven't eaten anything all day? Baaarrfffff (because that makes sense?) and now, unsurprisingly, heat exaustion? BARRFFFFFF.
I wasn't all that dehydrated, I drank like 4 liters including some electrolytes (because it is what plants crave) but I think my body was just saying to me WHAT WHAT WHAT ARE YOU DOING? Are you not a temperate creature? Is your range not limited to areas of high precipitation? WHAT THE HELL ASS ARE YOU DOING IN THE DESERT WHERE IT IS 105 DEGREES EVERY DAY?!.!?1??
Sorry body, sorry to scare you like that.
I wasn't the only newbie hurting, but I was probably the only one who was honest about it. At the end of the day out boss asked how everyone felt, to which I responded.
"I AM DYING. BUT I THINK I'LL GET OVER IT."
Pull your shit together man, this is the best job you can get right now so pull. it. together.
I went at it full force, drank a shit ton of water the night before. So much so that I had to get up to pee in the night multiple times.
The morning. Drink more water! SO MUCH.
Get to work, pop some electrolyte tablets (it's easier than packing gatorade) Fill up my reservoir and pack my frozen water bottles. DESTROY THE DAY.
This day was easier, we weren't out as long, it was overcast and my section was in the shade for the most part. So, no great victory there, but I was feelin' mighty fine by the end of the day.
Also, we off trailed rock scrambled up a wash to get to our site with our clumsy gear on out backs. FINALLY, my childhood training of jumping over boulders has become useful.
This day we were doing some analysis on another groups plots alllllll dayyyyyy. No clouds, 1,000,000 degrees, from 6-2:30.
Following much the same plan as day two.
I DESTROYED. WOOOOO. Felt fine all day, got stuff done.
Nailed it! Out lived out played and outlasted and made sure we got the plots done that day. Yussssss
IN CONCLUSION: I feel good about how far I've come in being able to deal with the heat. Take that desert. This amphibian will not be killed by you yet
Saturday, July 3, 2010
There is pretty much nothing in
Everything wants to kill you, from the bugs to the animals to the sun its very self. These are the notes I took on the Critters talk we got in this Aid class. Yes I took notes. I cannot help myself.
“Bites Stings and Critters” AKA Things that want to kill Irene in AZ
Watch your hands, feet and seat and you’ll be okay. Don’t put anything where you can’t see it
Brown Spider: Not the same as Brown recluse spider, but related. The best part is, you don’t know you’ve been bitten! The bite will manifest to look like a bullseye. Causes skin necrosis that can go all the way to the bone. Get to a hospital or you might lose a limb.
Tarantula: No venom, but have irritating fiber glass loosely attached hairs. Just don’t touch them. They don’t want anything to do with you.
Centipedes: Don’t go after them, they live in crevices and rocks (Which is the ENTIRE FREAKING DESERT)
Scorpions: (all scorpions glow under a black light Oonse oonse oonse let’s go raving scorps!)
Bark: Smallest. Most venomous
Giant Hairy: Venomous, least venomous of the three. Wussy looking pinchers, tail still HUGE
Scorpions are not all that dangerous to adults but super dangerous for small kids and the elderly/frail
Bees: (AFRICANIZED KILLER BEES)
These are honey bees, all the bees in AZ are Africanized and super aggressive. You get near their hives and thousands will come at you focusing their stings on your eyes ears and mouth. Will not stop stinging you until you are dead. You can’t out run them, you can’t jump in water to avoid them. You need to get inside a house or a car.
They are harmless when they are foraging or when they are “swarming” which means traveling in packs (just like in cartoons!). When they do this they get tired and clump up on a branch. It looks like a black hive that is actually just a football sized wad o’ bees.
One of these landed in a tree right outside my apartment door! Holy cucumbers Batman! They were gone in the morning. Ain’t no thang.
Remember when this scare became a thing in the 90’s, well they never reached WA State, but I was terrified of them as a kid. Now they are literally my neighbors. Circle of life
P.S. What does Africianized mean? Were they not african before? We're these European Honey Bees that decided that africa was the mother land so they started affecting what they think are the behaviors of african bees while the african bees are all, dude, stop co-opting my culture, you're doin' it wrong.
Gila Monster: One of the most painful bites you can get because
1: they don’t let go
2: they are venomous
3: they gnash their teeth while biting
The good news is, they are slow as syrup. Just don’t freakin’ touch them you nerd wads. They won’t bite you unless you try to pick them up. They are rare and it is thought to be a luck thing to see one. I really want to see one. They look prehistoric. What a cutie
Western Coral snake: Elapid snake, venom is a neurotoxin. Get to a hospital!
These aren’t as bad as the E. coral snake, but still, hospital. Red touches yellow, you’re a dead fellow
Rattle snakes: Their bites are defensive, but they are a little more bitey than say, the gila monster, faster too. Their venom is a hemotoxin but some have neurotoxins. Get ye to a hospital, monitor the swelling, take of any rings or anything else that will constrict you. The anti venom is the same for all sps of rattle snake so don’t bother trying to figure out what kind of snake it is.
This is a red diamond back rattler
FUN RATTLE SNAKE FACTS:
· The average rattle snake victim, according to the poison control board, are males age 18-35ish who have tattoos and drink. Hmmmmm
Men are usually bitten on the hands/forearms, women on the ankles/calves.
Moral: Don’t pick up the snake dumbass
· Rattle snakes shake their rattles 500 times per minute. Shake it girl!
· Rattler venom travels through the lymph system, so your heart rate or using a constricting band isn’t gonna do you any good.
Not to mention the plants
Cholla (Choy-yah) which comes apart and whole pads stick to you)
Prickly pears (I got mashed by one of these when I was heat delirious, wicked hurtey. My coworker pulled out all the thorns for me. Thanks good buddy.)
I have about a million more things to write about including my first day of extended periods of extreme temps. It was X TREME.
I'm gonna go finish the Ale infused caramels with pretzel bits. I love new kitchen. Love. Even if I did find and kill a FAT COCKROACH in it today. Holt balls roaches are way worse than spiders.
Tomorrow I'm probably going to Pheonix with some friends. Guys! I made friends! More on that later.
(all these photos are from wiki commons)
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
I can do that!
I have been having a bit of trouble with the heat though. I've been drinking water like a person who drinks a lot of water and I still am getting headaches. Whats the deal? I'm totally hydrated, peeing all the time, still with the headaches? Is it because I have low blood pressure? Maybe I need more electrolytes? ("it's got electrolytes in it!") Is my hat too tight? What the helllllllllccckkkkk. I'm trying electrolytes tomorrow. The next day I will try the hat. One variable at a time people.
So far my crew seems pretty cool. I'm excited to get to know them better. I haven't been as loud as I normally am because we are still indoors. Gotta use my inside voice. Sometimes I slip up though. Today I told an abbreviated version about the history of Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr to the crew at lunch and gave my "elevator research talk" to my boss.
Ruh roh, my nerd is showing
But, the crew seemed mildly entertained(mildly) and my boss said this about my research
Boss "Sooo is this for your masters or phd?"
Me "ummm, it was just for undergrad..."
Boss "Woah, was undergrad research required?"
Me "No....I just love science"
Boss says there is a lot of research at the park and they will try and get me hooked up with some mad chill research and send me out with the ologists when they can. Wah hoo!
Did I tell you about all the cool research that there is at the UofA? There is a lot. They pioneered tree ring studies. Climate change. Cool stuff.
Today I saw baby Javalinas. Oh my goodness. The cuteness. THE CUTENESS.
And Lizards! I still get excited.
Saturday, June 26, 2010
I get a better internet connection sitting on my balcony which, even when it's 106 degrees isn't so bad. It's shady thanks to the overhang and my tree. I think this mesquite must be pretty old, it's one of the bigger ones I've seen. Lots of thing live in or around it. Woodpeckers, sparrows and doves frequently flit around looking for little bugs. Speaking of bugs, there are (what I think are) cicadas in there too. I've never heard cicadas before. How strange they are. My favorite, of course, are the lizards. They usually climb around in the morning while I'm drinking my tea.
I binged and read my whole yearbook last night. You are all so sweet to me. It made me want to bring all of you down here so we can all crash in my apartment then explore the desert together. I'll probably read it again and/or until the pages fall apart. We filled up the College Inn massively that night (though, I know yous were all just there for the beer.) I wish I hadn't been so busy in my last 3 weeks in Seattle. I feel like I was a bit flippant with some of yous due to my haste and zeal to belittle the move I was making.
I've been listening to the local radio station KXCI a lot. Usually I listen to a lot of radio stories and whatever albums I'm currently attatched to due to my hatred of scilence, but down here I've just had this station on. Its a weirdo mix of all sorts of things. At any point you're likely to be hearing Robert Johnson or MIA or irish reels or a whole 3 hours dedicated to bluegrass or christmas music... in June. It's the first radio station that I regularly want to listen to more than what I can mix myself.
I was sitting on my balcony last night watching the sun go down beyond the mesquite and palm trees. I think I really like it here.
If any of you are interested in what it is I'm doing down here work wise, this pretty much explains it.
Thursday, June 24, 2010
This is what I expected to see when I moved out here. Saguaros every once is a while. Why else would they be protected right?
This is what it's actually like. They are FREAKING EVERYWHERE and it is so rad. A forest. A forest!
These pictures were mostly taken at the Arizona Sonoran Museum. It's pretty much the best. Part zoo part botanic garden, part natural history museum complete with SPELUNKING. I'm thinking about buying a membership because I'm going to make everyone who comes to visit me go.
Here is a wild boar thing named a Javalina, or Javy, and they are adorable. Just roamin' around the desert, being mad chill.
Saguaros are in fruit! Yes. These are fruits not flowers. The flowers are white and, like all cactaceae, have many parts spirally arranged. DUH. THIS IS CLEARLY A FRUIT. Which I hear are delicious
This is my kitchen. I am drunk on counter space.
This is my new car in some parking lot.
This is how I feel about said new car.
TO THE RONDO
Went to a minor minor league baseball game today. It was thirsty Thursday. Beers, sodas and lemonades one dolla. ONE DOLLA. For two hours after the first pitch. I love this city
Mom leaves tomorrow
Work starts Monday
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Last night there were a bunch of birdies in my tree. I think they were Inca Doves? Or a white winged dove? I dunno. Birds. People always ask me what birds are but, heck, all I know is plants. Usually I just make something up. Name a body part and color, then the color of most of the bird, then say bird. Red winged Black Bird. Boom, you're a bird expert.
ALSO A LIZARD. Just a little guy! Climbed right past my window. What a cutie.
I know even less of lizards. Good thing I've got lizard training coming up.
Bought insurance today, by tomorrow or friday morning I will have the Rondo.
Haven't read my year book yet. I'll read it this weekend probs.
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Bought a car today. Should be in my sweet hands within the next few days.
At the dealership I told the guy what I wanted, what makes I liked etc and what my budget was.
He recommended a PT Cruiser
"0h..." I said
Usually I really don't care much about cars. If it runs I like it, but I think PT Cruisers are some of the ugliest cars that have ever been created. Those and the cars that look like boxes. Dude! You forgot to round the corners!
I tried not to let the horror show on my face. Mom blew my cover by cracking up and saying
"She HATES PT Cruisers!"
It's true, I do.
Nope, still do.
As if by Magic a Kia Rondo appeared. I've been scoping these cars on the intertubes and as if by providence they got one in TODAY
I drove it and now it shall be mine. IT SHALL BE MINE.
As long as it passes their "190 point certification" otherwise THEY GONNA FIND ME A BETTA ONE. Yes.
After our major Car win, Mom and I went back to my chill pad (getting chiller by the minute!) and scoped some insurance rentals. What the heck why am I so grown up. Insurance. What a racket.
Then we went on a drive to East Saguaro. Guys. It is so pretty here. There are so many neat things to look at and saguaros have so much personality! Man. It is freaking hot though. I walked to the grocery store to try and get used to it, it wasn't so bad, but it was evening time and I was in the shade. I saw a hummingbird!
Monday, June 21, 2010
Everyone here is so nice to me. A lady at the Albertsons told me what was the best sunscreen, the guy at the Discount Mattress Barn was really helpful, my apartment manager is going to rival my old managers in awesomeness.
I made a new tree friend. It's a velvet mesquite Prosopis velutina and it is super cool. It grows outside my balcony keeping my apartment nice and shady. It's flowers are mimosoid and borne in catkins. The leaves are pinately compound looking a lot like a sensitivity plant but it's leaves only close at night time. This is it's natural range and I guess it can be quite noxious outside of it, but this is where it's supposed to be and it is adorable. Mine is way bigger than the one in the picture above.
Mom and I were pulling down the win today as we got pretty much my whole apartment squared away. Mattress, chairs, lamps, shower curtain. Big Checks. Also I've got a sweet guest bed set up.
Tomorrow starts the ever frightening car hunt.
Had my first In-n-Out burger experience today (Sonic burger is here too!) and it was pretty good. I GUESS. I miss Dick's burgers.
Sunday, June 20, 2010
Woah. It's totally weird and different to be in a desert.
First off: FLAT
Second off: Holy crap it's hot. Not unbearably hot so far but jeepers.
Third off: Cacti are totally awesome and I get excited and point at them whenever I see them
I'm reading a book called Cadillac Desert which Janneke gave me before I left. It's about the West and the disappearing water. So far it's really interesting and changed how I looked out the airplane window.
Tomorrow I go check out my new digs and start the car shopping process.
Also, Twilight zone slots in the Vegas airport. ANOTHER DIMENSION
Saturday, June 19, 2010
Friday, June 18, 2010
Friday June 18th Seattle
Sittin ' in my increasingly empty apartment with BROOKE JAMBOREE who always seems to be around when I'm packing.
(Also it's not possible to say or write this particular BROOKE's name without imagining it in all caps. I imagine a lot of things in all caps though.)
WELCOME TO MY NEW BLOGGGGGG
Lot's of peeps want to keep up with the haps so I'm gonna try and write this blog thing so that I don't fill your inbox with a bazillion pages of emails. Also this is the age of social networking. Email is so 2001.
Oh man I'm gonna miss my little apartment. It's the tiniest thing in the world but it's the first time I really lived by myself and not just mostly by myself like winter quarter in the dorms when my roommate was never around except at like 3 am whenever I had to work early or popping corn to cover another, more illicit, scent which only resulted in the room smelling like socks.
Moral: I love living by myself. I'm never going back.
My apartment in Tucson is gonna be 3 times the size of this one. It has doors! and closets! and a dishwasher
I got super sun burnt at graduation both from the sun and from a boiling embarrassment for our ASUW president (Were you high during the grad speech? Really bro? Go dawgs?) and now it's starting to peel. It looks like I have leprosy on my neck. So much for that tan. It wasn't so much a tan as it was skin that had atrophied. I am SO PREPARED for the Tucson sun.
I should probably buy some sunscreen...eventually
I received my work schedule for the first week of my job. Most of it is awesome training on things like WILDERNESS FIRST AID and going to MUSEUMS for CULTURAL TRAINING. Also plant identification. I'm gonna ace it.
It also says several times. Meet at Helibase, Tour of Helibase, Set up Helibase
HELIBASE = HELICOPTERS
HELIBASE = IRENE IN HELICOPTERS!?
HELIBASE = BEST EVER?
Oh man, helicoptering in to a remote location to do invasive removal would be just about the most bad ass thing ever.
Also totally unreasonable for a government plant removal job. A single helicopter drop probably costs as much as an entire decade of this projects budget.
But I can dreeeeeeeaaaammmmmm
Aprox 48 hours until Tucson.
Also, should I totally buy this Jeep? (The answer is yes)
Also the photo above is pretty much what I expect the Saguaros to look like