Wednesday, March 28, 2007


I can't wait for this to come out. Is Snape bad? is Dumbledore really dead? Who is going to die in this one?
July is going to take a long time to get here!

Monday, March 26, 2007

why do I feel 40 pounds lighter???

I just turned my thesis into my advisor for review. The entire thesis. All 70 pages of it! Gosh it feels good to have that beast done and out of my hands. I know I am not out of the woods yet, but it sure feels nice to have the wheels in motion.

Now all I have to do is make changes to the thesis when my advisor is done, give those changes to the remaining committee members, make more changes, then get everyone to agree, then make a mother of all power point presentations, practice the power point, present and defend the power point, get all the required signatures, make the required amounts of copies and then I can relax and be done.


Wednesday, March 21, 2007

harry potter a hippie???

Betsy forwarded this gem to me the other day. Apparently JK rollings is printing HP7 on recycled paper. How sweet is that! We environmental-hippie-granola-hemp wearing folks are taking over the world. Change, although slow, is coming! Keep up the good work, you!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

poison oak...

I got the oak. Poison oak. It is not fun. My left arm is all red and blistery and swollen, My right leg has a red patch. There are other areas on my body where I was hit. I went to the hospital today to get some relief since my home remedies were not working. I am glad this job comes with health insurance.

So you may be asking yourself how does a botanist get poison oak? Bushwhacking through a willow thicket is how. Boy that sucked and to top it off I get the oak. Not my best day of work. This is a nasty plant! For most of my field biology career I never worked in the stuff. Poison oak does not grow at high elevation and does not grow in the desert. I guess I thought I was immune. Turns out that I am not. I will have to implement a strict decontamination procedure every day. I will have to wash my hands thoroughly every chance I get. And no more walking through willow thickets to look for snakes. I have to assume the oak is everywhere!

Friday, March 16, 2007

Neon bible...

The new arcade fire cd came out some time ago. I picked it up after we went to Zachary's Pizza. I love it. It is my favorite Arcade fire album to date. They are still dramatic but I am digging this album. Check it out.

Water temple??

Today for work, we met at the Pulgas Water temple. This temple was erected to celebrate the theft of water from the Yosemite National park. The Hetch Hetchy is the major source of drinking water for the city of San Francisco and the surrounding area. In 1934 when the aqueduct was completed the temple was also finished and a celebration took place here.
The temple is surrounded by about 1 acre of grass. the lawn slopes gently upward and forms a bowl. It would be a great venue for a rock concert. except someone would have a little to much to drink and start to swim in the pool!. It was rather warm today and I admit, I wanted to take a few laps!

So whats the deal? are we supposed to make a sacrifice every time we take a drink of water from the tap? Do we make a pilgrimage every full moon?

Turns out, no. The main use is for marriage photos and other special events. I guess there is some sort of symbolic something or other to the temple also.
If you ever find yourself just south of the westbound 92 exit on 280 and have some time to kill it is well worth the stop.
The temple is littered with pagan water worship symbols and quotes. What is with SF and their pagan worship? oh wait... that is a quote from the bible... oops!
on a sadder note, I was bitten by a soft-shelled turtle yesterday. Maybe it was all the mocking of the water temple. does anyone know where I can get a boat load of ox blood. I need to make amends.

Monday, March 12, 2007

egg mass

Maybe my earlier description of what I have been surveying for was not as clear. Thank goodness there are tons of photos on our network at work. Enjoy!

here is a photo of the frog. the egg mass is usually larger than the frog that laid it. Crazy!

D.S.T. rocks...

Daylight saving time started this week. I am excited it has begun. I heard some complaints from some people about dst starting 3 weeks early but you will not hear complaints from me. Darkness did not come to the presido until way after 7pm at night. The days are longer and I will be able to enjoy the extra daylight to partake in a plethora of outdoor activities. Sunset surf sessions, running, walking to Clement St. for dinner are just a few of the activities that one can enjoy with the extra light. No more bunking down for the winter!
Also spring is almost here! Yes. My favorite time of the year.

Sunday, March 11, 2007


Why do these things taste so good?

Saturday, March 10, 2007


My first week is over. Not bad. I went kayaking on Crystal Springs reservoir for two of those days. I think I am going to like this job. Well, I will like it until we get to work in 100 degree days then I may get a bit crabby!

All it all my day is good. I commute to the site, then look for red legged tree frog egg masses. Think a bowl full of jello with eggs mixed in. That is the best way to describe them. I would love to have a photo here but my camera died. These egg masses float a centimeter below the water and are usually attached to vegetation. When they hatch, there are many tadpoles which swim near the egg sack. It is my job to survey for these things to understand how many reproductives use the marshes on the lake to breed. A presence/absence survey. Bonus that we get to kayak to our site! Bummer that I fell into a hole in the mud and went up to my mid thigh. oops!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

holding an endangered species...

Well I am officially employed! My first day on the job was a bit rough. SOOOO much information. I had to learn all the common snakes and lizards and turtles and mammals and birds and fill out paperwork and learn about safety. I met most of the crew and my bosses. Everyone is nice and they all seem cool.

Today though, was my first day in the field. One must be thinking, is he ready? He did just learn the species yesterday? Well the answer to that is yes, it is too soon. I do not know anything! But that is the only way we learn. I saw tons of things salamanders, pond turtles, and tree frog egg masses.

The highlight of the day was when a co-worker found a San Francisco Garter snake in the grass. I got to hold a endangered species and even take a measurement (length). It was cool. I was able to see the characteristics which separate it out from the other garter snakes. I like her blue belly (we caught a female).

All in all not a bad day! and tonight I get to go here for a friends birthday party!

Sunday, March 04, 2007

a milestone...

I received my 1000 reader to my blog yesterday!!! Yes. I made the big time! I wish I could write and give you a special prize but all the info I could gather was you visited at 5:25 pm and have a windows xp machine and use Internet explorer. Also you live in the United States. Thanks for reading!
And thank you countless 10's of people who read my blog every day. I know I should be better at updating but I get busy and well, sometimes the Internet takes a backseat!

My life is over....

I am sitting here at 10:02pm Sunday, looking at the end of my life. It is over, done, fin...
I start my job tomorrow at Swaim Biological. I will be entering the real world. I will no longer be considered a student. I probably will not be able to schedule a nap at 2pm.

OK, so my job isn't what you would consider real world. While other people are strapped to a desk, I will be running around the hills of the bay area looking for these guys, the San Francisco Garter Snake and

The Alameda whip snake. I am not sure what I
will be doing with them once I find them or how my day is going to be structured. All I know is that I will be getting endangered species experience and experience working with animals. Quite a change from what I have been doing for my professional career. These things are defiantly not plants!

I guess I am excited about getting back to the work force. This is a big change. I have not had a real job since August of 2004!! I have been lucky to receive Fellowships and stipends which allowed to concentrate on my graduate project and not on some job. I have been my own boss for this entire time and I schedule my time as I see fit. I am not sure if I will like working for someone else. This is the reason why I am so worried about going back to work tomorrow. Change is scary sometimes...

I am sure I will get over it. I am excited about getting a nice big paycheck. I am also excited to live in the city and not be so poor. I can afford to go to all the concerts I want! Also, the job is outside and I get to hike around the hills. I could not work in a cubicle, that would kill me...
Here's to the rest of my life!

Thursday, March 01, 2007


I am excited about this movie opening tomorrow. As a kid, I went through a "true crime" phase in reading. I would check out library books about crime and serial killers. The story of the zodiac killer always intrigued me because he was never caught and he did his killings here in the bay area, near where I grew up. His cipher's and taunting of police were even more bold.

I often wonder what makes someone want to kill random people. I can never imagine having that desire. What happened to this guy to make him want to conduct these horrendous crime and why was did he stop. I hope they try and answer these questions in the movie. This movie is going to be good!!

oh and this was in the chronicle today.