where i am

I'm out in the field for the next week conducting some research at the Appleton-Whittell Research Ranch, south of Tucson. This ranch is now owned and managed by Audubon and it is gorgeous here.

After spending so much time in a desertified grassland (i.e. there aren't many grasses there any more) it is nice to be working in a real bonafide grassland, with grass as far as you can see.

More from me when I return late next week.


my cupboard backs obama

More blatant liberal bias from the stock shelves today!
A handful of animal crackers reveals an obvious slant to the left:

Upon closer inspection I discovered that elephants are not just under-represented by the handful compared to donkeys, but they do not even make an appearance in the long cast of characters that also includes: camels, lions, horse-zebras, bears, sheep?, tigers?, and bear-tiger-sheep hybrids. And, correct me if I'm wrong here, but I'm pretty sure that elephants are more common, overall, than bear-tiger-sheep hybrids, and certainly more recognizable to children.

And they call themselves fair and balanced.


one man's trash

A brief mental list that I compiled while walking the dog this morning.

Ubiquitous sidewalk detritous that
you may not notice until you have a puppy:

- dried up worms
- shards of chicken bone
- chunks of fake (hopefully) human hair
- corn cobs
- crayons
- poo
- dirty diaper
- jimbrowski's cap
- grass clippings
- lost gloves

All of the above have been picked up by my dog, sometimes several at once.
All hail the most wondrful command of all dog training commands: "Leave It".
Best said sternly and with a straight face, which can be hard when said puppy has both a corn cob and fake hair in her mouth at once.


Taking Inventory -- we like it on two wheels

One nice aspect of our current apartment is that it comes with a garage. But we don't park our car in there, oh no. It is full of all of our toys!

Garage Contents:

- LaMonte road bike, purchased by Adam in Maine to replace his rad old Norwich of England touring bike... I still mourn that black & white monster.

- Trek hybrid bike I use for commuting. This bike was given to me by my college roommate when I lived with her family in Boston for a summer. It was her bike when she was in junior high, but she is 5'11" and I am very much NOT that tall, so it was perfect for me. And it has continued to be perfect. I plan to ride this bike into the ground. It is adorned with a fantastically worn out bag on the back rack that I got at the STL Bike Fed Bike Swap for $5. It is stained and torn and the zipper is kind of broken, which i see as a bit of security-- I don't have to worry about someone stealing it off of my bike, like I would with a fancy new one. Actually, the same thing goes for the bike itself. Not pretty, but fantastic nonetheless.

- mid 80's Yahama QT-50 moped, the "Yamahopper". Turquoise and white. Pure summertime bliss.

- early 80's Sears "Free Spirit" touring bike -- with fenders! Red. Every time I ride this bike I feel like I am in a movie.

- mid 70's Honda CB750 motorcycle. Ditto above comment.

- lawn mower -- Just because we only have 8 square feet of grass doesn't mean that we don't have to mow it. This mower is big enough that we pretty much just have to set it down on the grass and turn it on for a few seconds. Trim edges, done. I find this hilarious, but Adam is genetically predisposed to love mowing lawns and he yearns for acres of green to while away the lazy Sunday afternoons. Maybe someday, honey.

Other random garage contents:

-kiddie pool
-big green tarp
-half complete set of Missouri Law Journal from 1998. No clue on that one.


and the beat goes on

So, I'm not usually all about posting things that I read on other people's blogs (except for that tea bit, whoooeee, and that was worth it). Mostly because I feel the the whole thing can kind of turn into a big competitive "Ooo, lookeee, I totally read the funniest and most obscure blogs that you've never even heard of-- I'm just so indie."
Plus, I want to keep them to myself.

But, those crazy kids over at Radio Sweethearts have done it again, cracking me up with back-to-back RadioLab based posts. And I don't don't just like them because they share my love of RadioLab and all things Jad and Krulwich. They are some funny kids and I think you should read first, their take on Emergency Krulwich and then, Matthew's application to work for the show. And behold the internet self-referencing itself into some kind of quaternary structure.

In fact, Adam and I were just talking yesterday about how they are hiring and what kind of crazy high-wire acrobatics might be required to land a job there. Maybe it's just because I live with a radio man and have been up close and personal with the public radio hiring process, but I find Matthew's irreverence and audacity hilarious.


so, whatever. we have basic cable.

I have a love-hate relationship with cable. I didn't have any tv for about 5 years or so, and I kind of liked it, but Adam likes to watch a little something at the end of the day, a little electronic nightcap, if you will. So we just ended up renting a lot or movies, and the thing about that is then you end up sitting in front of the tv for 2.5 hrs. rather than 30 mins. Then the Tigers made it to the World Series and I caved and we got cable, and I was reunited with my first true love, and truly one of the miracles of modern civilization -- Law & Order and the phenomenon that is the never-ending run of L&O reruns on cable.

But now we are busy, it is summer, The Wire is over and I am pretty sure that I've seen all the back episodes of The Closer. So we canceled our cable. And ever since then we have been barraged by phone calls from some company that our cable company (Charter) must contract out to bring the lost sheep back to the flock.

And I don't know who these people are, or why they can't tell me anything about the account that i have now, but somehow they have the authority to wheel-n-deal me into a new contract. Since they can't actually access our actual account info, they ask me how much we are paying now, before they can reveal whatever luscious deals they have in their bag of tricks.

So I say I think it's like $68. But I don't really know, because we just canceled our old contract and haven't received a new bill.

But apparently that was a good answer because it means we are eligible for a deal where we get $5 off of our phone, and $5 off internet plus basic cable for $4.99.

So, I say, we'll be paying a total of $5 less?

To which they repeat that we get $5 off of our phone,
and $5 off internet but only if we pick up basic cable for $4.99.

And just to be perfectly clear, I say: And minus five, minus five, plus five, equals five dollars off of our current bill.

To which I received a long pause. I honestly think I blew that poor guy's mind a little bit.

So, anyway. We now have the basic cable channels, and I'm kicking myself that I didn't tell them that we pay $50/month, although I'm pretty sure that would have all been figured out back at the head office anyway, and I probably shouldn't look this crazy mangy gift horse in the mouth.


handbag contents

I know that this month is getting away from me, as every month does. But my plan, all along, was for June's theme to be Taking Inventory. So, I think I'll go with it, belated as it is. I'm going out in the field next week and i have no idea if I'll have access to the internets--gasp!--so I'll try to cram a bunch in until then.

I took a look into my bag the other day and had to laugh. Alongside my laptop, various cords and pens were the following apparently indispensable items:

  • seriously, like 8 tubes of lip gloss.
  • hand sanitizer that I bought about 2 years ago and I think I used once on a plane ride.
  • lotion
  • plastic spoon
  • cloth napkin
  • paper napkins collected from various lunches. I hate to throw them away.
  • nail file
  • small plastic rhino

It got me thinking-- what are other people carrying around?
So I took a small poll.

  • Deodorant
  • Gum
  • Tampons
  • Lotion
  • iPod
  • Hand sanitizer <<2>>
  • Voice recorder (for lectures)
  • Hair ties
  • barrette
  • Lip gloss x2
  • Old glasses case filled with: Ibuprofen, Claritin, Eye
  • drops and contact case.
  • Pretty felt flower pin my sister Ging gave to me for
  • X-mas :)
  • Struvite stone for good luck from a professor
  • Now where's my wallet......?

today I have (as of 7pm - which wasn't the case at 6pm):

  • one bottle of shampoo
  • wallet
  • house keys
  • check book
  • 2 pens
  • a list of "to do" items
  • business card holder
  • one rubber band
  • 2 cell phones

Emily says:
  • Notebooks
  • textbooks
  • wallet
  • glasses
  • keys
  • calculator
  • lots of pens
  • nalgene
  • lip balm
  • hand cream
  • a spoon (you never know)
  • and an umbrella. Best to be prepared.

but Jess definitely takes the cake:

Oh lord, it's no secret that I carry my own weight as a purse.
I have:
  • wallet
  • brush
  • gloves
  • make-up bag
  • book
  • notebook
  • sunglasses
  • cashews
  • bills
  • change
  • lip glosses galore
  • pens
  • camera
  • iphone
  • business cards
  • keys
  • headphones
As far as I can tell, purses are just stylish diaper bags for adults.

You said it, lady.


whoa! hello there!

And then one day I look up at the corner of the ceiling, eyes squinting, like am I forgetting something? And lo and behold! I remember that I have a blog.

Somehow amidst the tremendous rush of the onset of summer I lost track of things(overnight we went from cool wet spring to hot wet summer wherein I swore I will never wear pants again).

(skirts! I'm wearing skirts! don't be scandalized.)

So. How is that for an introduction.
I have work up the wazoo but yesterday I was besieged by an idea for a baby shower present for my friend so I spent the better part of the afternoon making this:

I've demonstrated the use with a pic of my dog, but seriously people, I would not actually mail out an announcement that I have a new puppy. I'll just send invites to her 1st birthday.


really hitting home

Well, it's official. Gas prices are completely through the roof.

It cost almost $1.50 to fill up my moped, and that wasn't even a full tank!
Highway robbery.