Year in Review: Travel

I’ve developed a taste for travel. This year, I traveled even more about the States, visiting Nevada, Utah and Arizona. Hit some major landmarks, such as the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, the Hoover Dam and Zion National Park. Visited some not so common places that you’ll never hear about, such as that little convenience store, run by three Mormon women in dresses, where I was able to call home for the first time in a week. I slept over in an airport after a seven hour drive down and through New York City to get out there in the first place, and that first campsite at the Valley of Fire, surrounded by ten meter tall dune cross beds.
I took off from school for half a week and flew out to Indianapolis, Indiana to attend a Star Wars convention, dressed up as a Storm Trooper. I stayed out in a hotel right across from the Convention and every morning was surrounded by thousands of fans of the series. I met some of my favorite authors, Timothy Zahn, Matthew Stover, Karen Traviss, Jan Duursema, and Joe Corroney, as well as the other workers on the Clone Wars Site that I work on. I met some crazy people there, some interesting ones and some people that I still talk to, even after several months. I went with my family to New York City, to Carnegie Hall, not once, but twice, to watch my brother perform with first the Vermont Youth Orchestra and then a national wind ensemble that he was accepted into. I found, each time that I was there, that I really enjoyed walking around the streets with such a large number of people. I also found that I especially liked Central Park, and walking in general.
Those were the major trips. My geology class took a day and we drove out to Central New York, looking at the rocks and examining a progression of strata as the mountain ranges shed material off. I went to Maine to visit my friend Sam at school, taking a much needed break from Vermont. 400 miles and a hundred dollars on the credit card later, I still maintain that it was a good idea. Then of course, there were the spontaneous trips up to Burlington with Eric or to meet with Rachel over the weekends. Then there were the times when I hiked around my house, ten miles at a time.


Full field day yesterday in Glacial- we went out looking at varves and deposits in a proglacial lake system, which was pretty interesting, and helped take my mind off of things. Site number one was in Warren, where we got to cross a pretty cold stream and then up a wet, clay rich enbankment, which was lots of fun. The entire thing was composed of varves, which was really cool to see for the first time, after learning about them over the past two years. Varves are a glacial deposit that are linked to melt seasons in a pro-glacial lake. Basically, Glaciers dump a huge amount of sediment into a basin, and after the larger things settle out, such as sand, silt is carried further and deposited. During the time that the lake then melts over, currents essentialy stop and clay is deposited. Then the melt season comes and the cycle is started over again. The result is a silt-clay layering that represents an annual cycle, as accurate as tree rings. And when it’s wet, it’s really slippery. We had one person fall and bash his head, and I slipped a couple times. Got my boots soaked when we crossed back over the stream.
The second site was different, a huge sand deposit that showed ripples and other lake bottom structures, with a few varves thrown in. Fell there too. We also got kicked off the property, because some idiots decided to build houses on top of the enbankment, which is about 60 ft high, and eroding back fast.
Then comes the annual haunted hayride. First night was last night, went off pretty well. We had just a couple people from the club come, but we had a couple of rooks help us out. We ended up running a flying monkey, which was interesting, but we were also given a chainsaw, and someone brought their airsoft M4 and a paintball gun. Basically, they were soldiers on patrol, and I was a chainsaw murderer, who gets shot, comes back to life and killes them, then takes off after the wagon. Worked pretty well.
But know my knees and back is pretty sore, and my voice is starting to go. Two more days…

Desert… in Vermont…

Field day today. I’m taking what I think is my last geology class to finish out my minor here at the university. It’s Glacial Geology, where we’re learning about the most recent ‘Ice Age’ and the features and depositional results of glacial masses. Vermont is an excellent place to study glaciation- the entire state was buried under two miles (Yes, miles) of ice for a long period of time. When they retreated, they left behind millions of striations, grooves and cubic feet of till and other things that are caught up. So today, for lab, we visited the Gross Sand Pit, where a number of geology classes visit, because it’s an excellent place to view a number of features left behind by a retreating glacier. Today was lots of digging in loose sand, looking at layers and figuring out exactly how they ended up in the way that they did. Lots of fun stuff, save for a couple things: 1- Next time I’m bringing goggles. Today was pretty windy, and sand was blowing everywhere. 2- Sand is finer grained than gravel. Thus, it gets everywhere. 3- My nalgene. Sand pits are pretty dry, and with a hot day like today, it’s not terribly different than any desert that I’ve been in- hot, and the air is so dry that it literally sucks the moisture out of you. We did find some outstanding examples of topset and foreset beds. Now, to write a report and figure out a stratigraphic section for the entire place…
Was happy to get a 95 on my Civil War exam. I’m really enjoying that class.

Summer Vacation- In two days.

I’m finally done with the semester! I took my Stratigraphy exam this morning, finished it in an hour (It was only 11 questions) went home, finished my basin project that I’ve been laboring over for the past week or so got everything done there, returned some overdue books and yeah, I’m done for the year.

It didn’t really hit me until I was walking away from the library that the year was over. Completely over. I cannot believe how fast it went by, because it seems like I had just started first semester just days ago. And yet, it seems like I’ve been at this forever, and it’s now done. Now to start two jobs. I’ll be starting at KAS Inc, an environmental company that my Dad works at, for four weeks until Camp starts- and when I go off to Admin training for a week, then Staff training for another week. I’ll be working there for ten weeks total. So, over the next fourteen or so weeks, I’m going to have a greatly decreased online presence, probably. I know for the last ten weeks or so.

And now, computer problems to deal with. Whenever I try to engage my virus checker, it shuts down, saying that I have made an illegal error or some shit like that. Same thing with my e-mail and a couple of websites. Gr… As I’m writing this, I’m defraging my harddrive, then for a restart and disk cleanup. Hopefully that will solve things, or things will get ugly.

First, time to catch up on all the sleep that I’ve missed the past couple days…

Three Down, One More To Go…

I just finished my Structural Geology exam, and I was extremely surprised how easy it was. I’m not sure if it was the professor going easy on us, or if I just knew the material, I think that I’m going to be fairly pleased with the results. Hopefully, it will help with my grade, which isn’t going to be really great. One more exam to look for, Stratigraphy, plus the monster project, which I need to finish up. Finished History last night, and Political Science earlier that day, so I’m almost done. Finally.

I just went out to drop off my paycheck for last month, and found that the Dave Matthew’s Band just released their next CD, which caught me by surprise. I picked it up, and it’s got a really different sound from what they’ve used in prior years, which surprised me somewhat.
So Stand Up. I’ve listened to it a couple of times, and I’ve gotten a couple of thoughts on it so far. Overall, good CD. Not great, but pretty good. It’s definently a much different sound from what they usually sound like, even from their last CD as a group, Busted Stuff. Stand Up seems a lot more laid back, calmer, whereas a lot of their other albums have a lot of energy bundled up inside. There are some really good tracks on this one that has more energy than others, such as Stand Up (For It), American Baby, Everybody Wake Up and Louisiana Bayou. They’re all really good tracks, as are all the other ones here, but some parts are just so different than their other prior works. I imagine American Baby was selected for the radio because it’s probably the one that’s the most similar to their normal stuff, and it’s gotten mixed reviews.Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoy their sound for this album. It’s innovative, interesting and have roots in several different types of music. It’s just slighty unexpected. It’s got some Southern Babtist, Folk, Rock and a little R&B thrown together and the results are impressive. Musically, it’s amazing. I’m sure that this is going to grow on me a bit more.

Anyone else having problems loading it into iTunes?

Anyone use the FaceBook? My school just opened up to it and I got a profile for it:
Facebook me! It just exploded here. Literally. I’ve also been able to find some people that I haven’t talked to in ages.

More later, if I have time…

I am:
Arthur C. Clarke

Well known for nonfiction science writing and for early promotion of the effort toward space travel, his fiction was often grand and visionary.

Which science fiction writer are you?

Winding Down

Finally, I just had my last two geology classes of the semester. It’s such a relief to have finally finished. I like geology, but these two classes have been extremely discouraging at times, enough to make me rethink being a geology major.

It’s nice to end the semester on a couple of classes that you’re somewhat interested in (Political Science and History)

I really miss C3 😦

2nd Trip of the Week

Just got back from another geology trip this week. This time, we went to southern Vermont, near Rutland, where we took a look at some folds and faults. It was much better than a regular lab, being outside in the sun, that was lots of fun. The only problem- I woke up at 0915 after my alarm didn’t go off, and I had to get to school by 0930. After making lunch and taking out the trash. That was an interesting ride to school, but I wasn’t the last person to get there. Listened to some music on a CD that I burned the previous night, slept a little, looked at rocks in the sunlight with no snow to be found. Yep, good day.
I’ve been listening to Carbon Leaf and Low Millions compulsively. Two great bands. I think that I’m going to try and see Carbon Leaf the 27th. It’s be a shame to miss a band that I like when they’re so close. Vermont’s not exactly the high point in concert tours, although we do get some people every now and then. I’ve found that between their main site and, I’ve gotten about 3 hours of their music, including a couple of full CDs.