Thursday, November 06, 2008

When nature strikes back

Today was tough in the field. This morning I had to collect some data
and as I was doing so a bee flew in my hair, panicked, and then stung
me. Lame. My head hurts but luckily I am not allergic.

Then at another site I slipped in the mud. Sort of embarrassing to walk around with a big mud stain on your butt. At least it was a nice day today!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Get out and vote!

Yes, it is finally here. Election day! I am so relieved this election season is almost over. I am also relieved that I figured out what I am going to vote for.

We will soon be able to relate to each other in terms other than yes or no.

Barock the vote!

Friday, October 31, 2008


I love the first rain
Happy Halloween!!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

What am I going to do?

I have yet to sort out all the issues in the upcoming election. The election is 7 days away and I still haven't read up on all the propositions. And there are lots of them, 22 in San Francisco, and 12.5 for the State of California. Not only that but who am I going to vote for School Board? Superior Judge? I have no idea.

Does 34 propositions seem excessive to anyone? 34. We have to decide about a wide variety of issues, gay marriage, animal rights, renewable energy, public energy, tons of bond issues, legalizing prostitution, redistricting, reinstating JROTC and my favorite, deciding whether or not to name one of S.F.'s sewage treatment plant after George W. Bush.

I almost always vote no on every proposition in every election, especially the bond issues. I feel that we don't need to tack on more and more debt every two years for projects that probably will go over budget. I know sometimes the best way to pay for infrastructure is through bonds but California is broke people. We need to pay off our debt.

Some of the issues are just confusing. Take Prop 7, the renewable energy generation initiative. Is this a good thing or just another scam by big energy? How does it differ from Prop 10 which is the renewable energy and clean alternative fuel act? I have no idea. I am not a lawyer so I cant decipher all the fine print.

All I really have to go on is the Arguments section in the voter guide where both sides voice their opinions. Is this the best way to figure out the issues by having a debate with myself as I read the arguments for and against? I do admit that sometimes I read each side in a different voice. It helps when you have to cram the week before the election like I always do!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Hey, is that the internet in your pocket?

So, it is official. I just got the letter in the mail that I have finally graduated from SFSU. What a relief. I am glad the journey is over.

One of the motivations Betsy used to get me to finish my thesis was the promise of a new iPhone which totally worked. I worked so hard to finish.
But lets be honest. I needed a new phone. My old phone was this piece of crap Nokia. It sort of worked. The front screen broke about 1 year ago and it has this weird dust under the screen...
that makes it useless in the sun. Who is calling me? I have no idea. I can't see.
but not anymore! Holy smokes I love my new phone. I have owned it for about a month now. I know, I know, everyone has one now but I love it just the same.
Look how great it looks next to my old phone. I love the fact that when I am out in the field monitoring construction I can pass the time watching You tube videos or checking my e-mail, or even surfing the net. Instead of lugging the heavy Jepson manual out in the field, I can access and key out a plant, and confirm easily. Dope!
Gosh, that last sentence makes me sound like a dork but I don't care!

It's funny how fast you get used to something (Internet and GPS in your pocket) that you don't know how you ever lived without them. Remember when you didn't have a cell phone and had to plan to meet up with friends? Remember when you got your first cell phone and couldn't imagine living without one? The iPhone kicks it up a notch. Just last week my co-worker and I were stuck in traffic trying to get through the Caldecott tunnel and we used the maps feature to go up and over so we were not late for a field meeting. 2 months ago I would have been screwed.

But there are some dangers of owning an iPhone. There is an increased chance of becoming a douche bag. You may know that person who is constantly on their phone, or constantly looking up the answer to a silly debate you may be having, or showing you some "cool" feature on the phone? I don't want to be that guy. I think for the first few weeks I was too embarrassed to tell anyone about owning an iPhone. It was silly, but becoming a douche bag is one of my biggest fears.

Since I have the Internet in my pocket, one would think I would blog more. I should try to get on that!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Friday, August 22, 2008


I love the ocean!

Friday, August 15, 2008

suck it Eriogonum

I turned in my thesis today. At about 4pm. I am now a Master of Science. How I hated you Eriogonum these past few weeks. How you made me work 14 hours a day so I can finish writing about you. I felt like this bug, just sitting there sucking on your nectar.
Well all of that is over. I have my life back. I can come home from work and do whatever I want. I have no idea where to begin!

Friday, August 08, 2008

Mobile garden

Living here in the big city space can be limited. Many of us don't have the luxury of a yard to plant a garden or stretch out on a hammock. Sometimes you have to get creative.

I have been watching this truck come into bloom for the past few months. I even see the guy watering his truck sometimes on my way to my car in the morning. I hope he doesn't loose his yield to grazers!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

How come I never blog...

Because I am in jail. Thesis jail. Hopefully I get released soon.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Verbascum blattaria

The Plant of The Week has been lacking on my blog these days. Most flowers have done their thing for the year and I haven't seen anything new in quite some time. Luckily this week I found something worthy of keying out. Verbascus blatteria or Moth mullen in the Scrophulariaceae family. I knew the more common wolly mullen but I have never seen this species.

The key was quick. This baby is a non-native in California. It has very pretty purple filaments which are hairy and distinctive. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


I am part of the movement. I received a bracelet for my birthday!

thanks Nate and Courtney

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

California in flames

Whats with all these fires. It is hard to breathe out there. I am glad to be in the office today!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Friday off...

I work an alternative work schedule. I work 8 nine hour days, 1 eight hour day, which means every other Friday off!!!! I love it. So last night I celebrated by working on my thesis on our roof deck. What a celebration it was! I am almost done with the discussion. It is hot in our neighborhood. I love it! I used to live in the foggy Presidio and welcome the change.

One good thing about the roof deck is the awesome sunset you get to witness. The other, sometimes your neighbor sets up his projector and we get to watch movies. Last night was perfect for movies on the roof and we watched a Sci-fi mini-series. I was skeptical at first but was soon hooked. I am not sure what the show was called but it dealt with objects from a motel room and it had Peter Krause.
This morning I decided to get up early and go surf!
I haven't gone surfing in quite some time and I am feeling it right now. My arms are like rubber. The waves were small and the conditions were poor but it was sooooo fun to be out in the water. I was even able to stand up. My arms ran out of gas pretty quick but I had a blast.

Friday is shaping up to be a good day!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


I noticed this car yesterday when I was in Berkeley.
I thought Volvo wagon drivers were for Hillary...

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

My Double Life

I have 2 jobs. One too many if you ask me. I have a job at Mosaic Associates that pays for my lifestyle and the other job is my education. I hate my second job. It never seems to end. I did pass my defense and I thought I was almost done but I haven't finished my stupid paper. When I do I will finally be a master of science. The trouble is my advisor and I don't see eye to eye as to how to proceed. It seems like he always has something for me to do but I am close.
(Sorry Kim. I hope you are not a reader)

Anyway... my second "job" is at the Academy of Sciences. The new Academy. What a sweet building it is!!! The building is green of course. Automatically dimming lights, tons of natural light and of course a living roof! I cannot wait until September 27th!

The Botany department was the first to move into the new building. This is entrance to our department.

Here is my cubicle!
Here is where the magic happens. It is kind of depressing and bleak. I haven't put up any photos.
The view is pretty nice though.
I cannot wait until the paper is done but sad to lose this awesome workspace. Maybe that is why I haven't finished. Wow, what a great excuse. Why haven't I thought about that before! (sorry Betsy)

Sunday, June 08, 2008


whew!!! This one almost got me! Look how it blends into the habitat.

I need to be more careful!

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

I voted!

As of 9:15 it looks like Prop 98 is not going to pass.
Thank goodness. We can still afford to live in the city.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

First day of work!!

Wow! I am a horrible blogger! I haven't posted in quite some time even with big changes and milestones that have happened since I posted last. My thesis presentation was successful and most importantly I have a new job. No more snakes and lizards! (this is not true, I saw 2 snakes this week). My new job is pretty much like my old one but better pay and more responsibility!

My first day of work was on April 28th! My new boss, Judy put roses and strawberries on my desk and also took me to a thai restaurant for lunch. She is so nice.

My new company, Mosaic Associates, is rather small. I am 1 of 3 people on staff. Since we are so small I am able to work on permits and proposals and other things I was not able to do at my last position. I am really excited about my new job.

I don't really have many exciting photos of my coworkers or project sites, but I did see some wildlife. Here is a photo of Microtus sp.
Here is a photo of a real rose, Rosa californica. Note the lack of gaudiness.
One of the snakes I observed this week was in pieces. Sick! It was a gopher snake.
I also found a pheasant nest. I had an instant craving for an omelet!
I also came across a jackrabbit. Look at those big ears!!!
I promise I will post more often. I also promise to have a more exciting blog. To all 6 of my readers, I apologize that my blog sucks these days!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

its over....

I defended today. Surreal. I am so excited it is over. I still need to finish my paper but that should be quick.
Sorry about the lack of material. I have been busy working on my talk I haven't had time to blog.
more updates soon.

Friday, April 25, 2008


Holy smokes! I may even graduate this semester! I am so excited for the thesis process to be over! So if you are in San Francisco on May 6th. and have nothing to do, come check out my defense!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

busy week at the key...

What a beautiful week we have had. Spring is here with a vengeance. There are so many flowering plant species out and about. At every site I go to for work there are many flowers I don't know. Luckily with construction monitoring, there are hours of downtime where I can key out plants. Last week I was really busy figuring out all the weeds and tiny flowers in the area. I even keyed out some grasses which can be frustrating but it went well.
Check out this hillside.... Nothing says spring like a grassy hill covered with yellow flowers.
i believe the flowers are Brassica nigra.
I also keyed out :
Amsinkia menziesii var. indindia
Trifolium dubium
Trifolium fagiferum
Elymus elymoides
Erodium brachycarpum
Lupinus bicolor
Silene gallica
Schimus molle
Grindelia camporum var. camporum
Lolium multiflorum
Avena barbata
Melilotus indica
Elymus glaucus
Medicago polymorpha
Hordeum murinum ssp. uiridis
Amagallis arvensis
Lotus humistratus
Vincia villosa
ssp. varia

My favorite plant I keyed out this week was Castilleja exserta ssp. exserta.
such a cool flower. I have never seen one of these before and it was very pretty.
like I said, there was lots of downtime. Construction monitoring is very boring and I love this distraction. Keying out plant species makes the day go by so fast!!!

Friday, March 21, 2008

First day of spring!

yesterday was the first day of spring! I am excited because I will have material for my blog.
here is a quick list of plant photos I took in the past week. Lets start with our state flower...
I think this flower was a Dichelostemma or Brodiaea species. I am not sure. I forgot to grab a sample.
Spring is my favorite time of the year. The sun begins to shine, the temperature is warmer and the days are longer. Also fields of wildflowers.
everywhere you go
I love Magnoliaceae.

Ferguson, if you wanted to do a cutting of this... no pressure. I don't even know if it is possible.
Tulips! nothing says spring like tulips!
as stated above, I did not identify one of the plants. I promise this will never happen again. I have a new book in my arsenal. The book is more portable than the Jepson Manual and will help me to learn the flora in the bay area. I am excited. stay tuned.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Weed Class...

Today I was lucky enough to go to an invasive plant workshop to learn about weeds and weed management. Wow! I know, I know, you are so jealous. It was so exciting. We got to listen to talks about weed management, grazing, pesticide use and other things. So fun.

The best part of the day, besides the awesome BBQ chicken lunch, was the live specimens room. Chalk full of information like this sheet below.

There were also fresh samples to look at.
fresh and pressed specimens.
My favorite part was the wall of fame. Many of the weeds found in the bay area were pressed and hung on a wall. So pretty.
I hope Betsy will let me decorate our house with pressed weeds. That would be so sweet.