Weekly Dispatch 03/2017

It’s grant proposal and thesis proposal writing time. I’m a full time Word document on the go. The news makes me feel like a Pterodactyl or Pteranodon. All of a sudden I’ll just break out into a spontaneous screech, something like this:

It’s the primal screech of I have zero effs to give, I gotta get stuff done, and the distraction of the big orange turd screwing us all makes me dig my claws in. Now that the flight/fight has calmed down to a manageable level I can clear my head for other important things. Like getting my research to and through the next stage/step/challenge.  Right now I’m surfing on the tide of intuition like a starling in a mumuration. It would be more fun if my body wasn’t feeling stiff and slouchy from all the typing and head dragging.

I’m indulging in the guilty pleasure of free Kindle books. The good ones are like candy. You can swirl them around without even thinking. You can step out of our world, and into another, and then pop right back in where you started without missing a beat. Taking the brain to another place for just a little while. It’s better than meditation for me.

Polar Bear, Pteronodon, Otter, The worlds in books when time stands still, sacred elixirs… Could this all be a blessing in a disguise? The final push to the other side? I think it might be the journey… is the destination…

2017 Movement:  41.04 miles total
Walking: 34.02 miles
Hiking/Snowshoeing: 5.77 miles
Snow bike: 1.25 m

TV:
The Magicians Season 2
The Expanse Season 2

Music:

Grimes


Warpaint


Rachelle Ferrell

Reading:
4 February – Extracted by RR Haywood (Fiction)
1 February – Romancing the Null by Tina Gower (Fiction)

Quotes:

Only crime and the criminal, it is true, confront us with the perplexity of radical evil, but only the hypocrite is really rotten to the core. – Hannah Arendt

Find a place inside where there’s joy, and the joy will burn out the pain. – Joseph Campbell

They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither safety or liberty. – Benjamin Franklin

With silent lips. Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breath free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send those, the homeless, tempest tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door. – Emma Lazurus

I am not free when any woman is unfree, even if her shackles are very different from my own. – Audre Lorde

Weekly Dispatch 02/2017

Our freedom means shit-all if we do not allow those seeking the same the opportunity to achieve it!

The Women’s March Portland, OR

So here we are at the end of the first week in Dumpistan. I will not say his name. Dump Truck is what he’s called in the house. So here’s my scorecard so far…

Coming after women (check)
Coming after immigrants (check)
Coming after scientists (check)
Coming after ACA (check)
Coming after LBGTQ (waiting for the bomb to drop)
Minorities, veterans, working poor… who else?

I guess the one positive of all these EOs is that with each one the mass of people joining the resistance grows larger and larger. One bit of advice, you can’t fight this every day. You have to take breaks, rest, recharge, get outside, talk to neighbors, turn off the media (all of it). Connect, organize, rest, and resist. Whatever your body and mind need – listen to it, and do it. If you feel the need, write down the things you believe in, how you feel about them, what they mean to you. And keep writing. Or drawing. Or singing. Or dancing. Move it out physically, mentally, emotionally. Or maybe do nothing at all. But try to keep the channels open.

Drawing as therapy

This past week I have been trying really hard to recharge, to stay focused because I am in the midst of getting some proposals done that can help propel my research forward. I have to keep plugging forward…maybe you do too…

Measuring tree throw in Marquam Nature Park in my Hillslopes class

At the same time I’ve been trying to take some time each night to practice guitar, draw, and reflect on a wide variety of things. I’ve been thinking about how we’ve all said or done something/s profoundly shitty during our lifetimes. We’re human. I’ve been thinking about the importance of life-long learning. Especially important in this time of ever increasing automation. Stay on top of skills. Make yourself valuable, make yourself skilled. Besides learning is fun (or should be!) I’ve been thinking about religion/s, lack of religion, spirituality, connection. I’ve been thinking about growth, change, and maturation – about progression > regression.

And I’ve been communing with the fur children – taking breathers. Chilling, as much as possible. Next week I’ll be back in the fight again.

Communing with the fur children

I’ll leave you with one last thought. To me diversity is of fundamental importance in social collaboration and cooperation. Diversity of ideas, diversity of cultures, diversity in every form. Diversity is strength. Sure, working with diverse groups of people can be scary and challenging. But, from personal experience, the things that scare you a little and challenge you a little make you stronger.

I find myself currently sitting in a place with a lot of discomfort (mental/emotional not physical). In some ways it’s exhausting (so exhausting), and in others exhilarating.  By confronting that discomfort i’m exploring the things that scare me and challenge me.  Hopefully that will help me grow stronger. It’s fucking uncomfortable. It feels like it never ends. And it doesn’t. Because that’s life, and that’s being human. We can cringe and collapse in on ourselves, or we can open arms, open wide…

Weekly Dispatch 01/2017

Snowshoeing Mt. Hood Wilderness

The first two weeks of 2017 are in the books. It was a slow quiet wintry last week of break. And then we were back to school. And then SNOWPOCALYPSE! 13″ of snow dropped the first week of school leaving PDX buried, quiet, and not moving. I was excited to get back into the groove of school, and thankful for the rest I allowed myself over break. And then I was ecstatic, because the one day of the year I most look forward to arrived, snow bike day!

No resolutions this year, just letting the driving words of kindle and galvanize guide me on the path of “does it feel good/right/new/activated?” -> then do it. I’m making this the year of trying all kinds of new, listening to new music, eating new foods, exploring new places, getting organized socially/politically etc. It’s fun and keeps things fresh and interesting, especially in the doldrums of winter.

From here on out i’m going to try to do a weekly dispatch. We’ll see how that goes as things get busier in the school term!

What’s been going down so far…

Movement: 
22.44 miles walking
~ 1.0 mile snow biking
4.26 miles snowshoeing

TV:
Sherlock Season 4
The Magicians S1
The Leftovers S1 Epis 1-4
Lemony Snicket S1
Rewatch: The Expanse S1

Movies:
(links to books)
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Hidden Figures

Listening to:
The xx: XX
The xx: Coexist

The xx: I See You
Rhiannon Giddens: Factory Girl
Carolina Chocolate Drops: Luminescent Orchestrii

Carolina Chocolate Drops: Genuine Negro Jig
Carolina Chocolate Drops: Leaving Eden

Lydia Ainsworth: Right From Real

Reading:
The Unbroken Line of the Moon by Johanne Hildebrandt
Cadillac Desert, The American West and its Disappearing Water by Marc Reisner

Quotes of the Week/s:
I try to end almost every day by finding an inspiring quote, here are the ones I’ve selected over the past two weeks.

How thankful I am today, to know that all my past struggles were necessary for me to be where I am now.
– Unknown

The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.
–  Eleanor Roosevelt

As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being.
– Carl Jung

We, who are thought less than, shall burn brighter than our oppressors.
– Barry Walters on Grace Jones

Intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings.
– Salvador Dali

There are some men whom a staggering emotional shock, so far from making them mental invalids for life, seems on the other hand to awaken to sudden life, to arouse into an almost incredible activity of soul.
– William McFee

Grab the broom of anger and drive off the beast of fear!
– Zora Neale Hurston

Art hurts. Art urges voyages – and it’s easier to stay home.
– Gwendolyn Brooks

You wanna fly, you got to give up the shit that weighs you down.
– Toni Morrison

I am an optimist, unrepentant and militant. After all, in order not to be a fool an optimist must known how sad a place the world can be. It is only the pessimist who finds this out anew everyday.
– Peter Ustinov

Principled dissent is not only the right of Americans, the founding fathers set up a system of government where dissent is your duty when confronted with actions that you deem undermine the core principles of our constitution.
– Dan Rather

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
– Martin Luther King Jr.

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.
– Martin Luther King Jr.

We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.
– Martin Luther King Jr.

 

End of 2016 Dispatch

Latourell Falls, Columbia River Gorge

It’s holiday break, and I have had nearly 30 days “off”, so it’s time to sit down and write a wee dispatch. Maybe this will even ignite a more regular writing schedule. The inspiring outpouring of excellent post-election writing motivates me.

I survived the first quarter of grad school. Things went well enough, and I feel like i’m making decent progress. I also feel like some part of the groove isn’t quite right, and a little regrouping/rejiggering needs to happen. If you’ve ever been skiing it feels like that moment when you let the tow rope slide through your gloves right before you commit to clenching your fists and grabbing hold. Let’s just say I’m thankful we have a nice long break, several days of 11+ hours of sleep have done wonders to my mood and attitude.

It’s been a disruptive and stressful past few months as school started, and we simultaneously began a mortgage refinance, and subsequent major overhaul/update of the house. We are in a bit of reprieve right now before the HVAC system gets updated. However, during this reprieve I also have to box up, store, discard, donate everything in the upstairs and move it out or down so we can have the flooring replaced. It’s been a long time coming, so, excited and stressed in equal measure. Still have a lot more to move and declutter.

Overall I’d say this has been a pretty successful and happy year, got to see new places, do new things, and meet new people. What more can you ask for? Sure there were bleak moments, but as Dina Martina reminded us just the other day there are always peaks and vallies to life, sometimes you’re high, sometimes you’re low.

My word for the year was METAMORPHOSIS, and I felt like that really drove a lot of personal change for me over the course of the year. Some of this may have not been outwardly obvious, but it was a major shift for me. I’m still getting to know this “shifted” me, but the it is exciting and empowering.  I have chosen two words to drive 2017. The first is KINDLE, for my interior stuff. The second is GALVANIZE, for my exterior stuff. I think these new words kicked in for me sometime in November. These “driving word” things arn’t set in stone to expire or come into play at any specific time. We shall see what the new year brings.

So raise a glass to 2016 – see ya!

And here’s hoping for another joyful, prosperous, and fun new year in 2017!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Weekly Dispatch 04/2016

Malheur Wildlife Refuge from Malheur Field Station
Malheur Wildlife Refuge from Malheur Field Station

Greetings from Eastern Oregon. I haven’t had time (actually energy) to write a weekly dispatch in the past couple weeks. I’ve been in and out of town so much this summer that i’m not sure where I am until I step out the door. It feels very discombobulating, but exciting, and fun too. Already learned so much this summer, and now I’m out here officially starting my grad research. We are doing a bit of reconnaissance of hot springs, and hopefully some sampling as well. Last week I was trying to cram as much hydrology into my brain in about three days as I was humanly capable of… and write a sampling procedures and docs in about 24 hours. It was stressful, but I did it. We shall see how the procedures pan out in the coming week.

Between the end of field camp and the start of of this trip I managed to get in a quick backpacking trip up to Jefferson Park next to Mt. Jefferson. Absolutely beautiful location. I’ll write more, and post more pics when I return.

In the meantime if you want to keep a closer tab on what I’ve been doing lately i’ve been posting to Instagram pretty regularly (link above).

I’m finishing up reading up Grace Jones’ memoir – and she mentioned this song, which was banned in the US.

Weekly Dispatch 03/2016

Back from the first week of field camp out near Burns, OR. I didn’t shoot much video while out there, have to do more the next time. Fun trip – mapping was much more enjoyable this go round, not feeling rushed or overwhelmed with difficult hiking conditions. I’ll be out in Harney Co. twice more in the coming weeks, one week for another field camp session, and the other to start looking seriously at some hot springs. I was able to collect data on a few springs within the quad we are mapping in, but none have been hot springs so far. Learning a ton, and having fun, couldn’t ask for more.

Had a bit of “lack of quiet” shock when I got back. The first day was overwhelming, but I feel back on track now. I’ve been working on vids, chilling with Mary,  catching up on artwork, and trying to finish out Season 6 of Game of Thrones. I’m halfway through – The Door episode was so very well done. Wow. Oh, and… Brienne and Tormund forever!

IMG_20160713_093403775

This week we’ve been processing some of the rock samples we brought back. We used the Braun Chipmunk to crush the rocks, then sieved the chunks to 991-425 micrometers, then we had to pick out individual feldspar crystals under the scope, and mount them on sticky tape to embed in epoxy. Next week we will cut billets for thin sections, polish the epoxy and view under SEM. We are trying to determine if our samples are Rattlesnake Ash Flow Tuff or Dinner Creek Ash Flow Tuff. Since there are only four of us in field camp it’s very hands on, which is nice. Feel like i’m really getting the hang of this – at least until next week 🙂

Crushing rock samples with the Braun Chipmunk.
Crushing rock samples with the Braun Chipmunk.
Sieving the rocks samples.
Sieving the rocks samples.
Dinner Creek tuff under the scope, picking out the individual plag. crystals with tweezers.
Dinner Creek tuff under the scope, picking out the individual plag. crystals with tweezers.
Sieves
Sieves
Harrowing! Tweezing 1/2 mm sized crystals into tiny cup.
Harrowing! Tweezing 1/2 mm sized crystals into tiny cup.
All crystals in place
All crystals in place
Placing individual crystals in the curing cup. One sample per quadrant, with an ideal Rattlesnake plag. in center
Placing individual crystals in the curing cup. One sample per quadrant, with an ideal Rattlesnake plag. in center
Epoxy used to set crystals
Epoxy used to set crystals
Epoxy mix formula
Epoxy mix formula
Stirring the epoxy mix
Stirring the epoxy mix
Crystals set to cure in epoxy
Crystals set to cure in epoxy

That’s about it for now. Looking forward to visiting with my sister and Dan later in the week, and going to the B-52s show next weekend! Yes!

See you next week!

Weekly Dispatch 02/2016

Just a quickie update of some of the things we’ve been up to this week – it’s been a busy one! I’m about to head out for Field Camp in Eastern OR, so look for pics from there on Instagram throughout the week as service permits. Won’t be getting an update here until mid next week. Sorry I don’t have time to post more pics here, but will try to get more up next week.

Hope everyone had a safe and happy Fourth of July!

So much sadness… RIP Bill Cunningham

Is it Jill Stein’s year to get noticed

We went to the Black Sheep Gathering, Eugene OR where Mary bought some fibers, and we petted some sheep.

Jay Keeree’s animated geometric GIFs

The Rossby Whistle

After our enthusiastic response to the start to the season, OITNB we are done with you! We are not going to finish Season 4, and we will not be watching any further seasons. Enough is enough. Frankly i’m pretty done with T.V. To paraphrase Mary “Recreating injustices in such a violent “shock and awe” manner is not making a purposeful political statement”.


I have started One Book July 2016. Third year of participating.


I have been Vloggin Summer.

Ate at Lovely’s Fifty Fifty and had an amazing pizza experience.

Took a quick road trip to Olympia WA via Hoquium on the 3rd-4th. Ate some clam strips, bought some beads, slept in.