About Me

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I'm a consulting geologist for a small company in the Denver area. I study problems related to active tectonics, using geomorphology, structural geology and remote sensing.

Saturday, December 31, 2005


tonight i have plans to drink the better part of a bottle of veuve clicquot ponsardin brut and set off explosives. well, not actually explosives, but fireworks anyway. left-overs from new hampshire. live free or die!

plans for tonight are fairly free-form... go to someones house, maybe go downtown, then crack the bottle of french brut and light the fuses! i may even bring my camera 'round with me tonight and take some snaps of the action. either way, i'll post at some point tomorrow.

till then,

Thursday, December 29, 2005

ouchie ouchie ouchie


so, here in boulder there is an interesting phenomenon that occurs when high pressure systems move in over the mountains. the jet-stream basically gets pushed right down to the ground surface, creating extreme winds that blow out of the mountains. today we are experiencing just that, with a sustained wind speed of 45 miles per hour, gusting to over 70 miles per hour. i live about one and a half miles, downhill and due east, from the geology department. on days like this, i take the bus into work, but bring my bike with me on the rack they supply on the front of the bus. getting home is a breeze. today was no different, until i hit a bump at over 30mph at precisely the same instant a strong cross-gust caught me off-guard. excuse the profanity here, but i think it is well deserved... i promptly ate shit. before i knew it, i was sliding down the sidewalk (at least it wasn't the road) a lot faster than i would have liked. i destroyed my jacket, ripped the sweatshirt i had underneath it, blew out the side of my full-finger gloves (again, thank god for those) and tore a chunk of leather out of my shoe. unfortunately, when one eats shit in the particular manner that i did (prone and spread-eagle) most normal jackets ride up just far enough to expose the tender skin covering a persons hip-bones. luckily for me, all that skin was removed when i crashed, so i don't have to worry about it any more. unluckily for me, the nerve endings that were exposed are still there... and they are not happy about that at all. hopefully the picture i'm about to post here will not be removed by blogger.com. squeamish people should probably not look. this is perhaps the best patch of road-rash i have ever had, so naturally i want to share it with all of you.



Tuesday, December 27, 2005

bond.... james bond


i'm sitting here on my couch watching the "oo8 days of oo7" james bond marathon on spike tv, slugging grey goose martinis (shaken, not stirred... of course) on this tuesday night, the 27th of december. the particular episode that's on now is moonraker... perhaps the single most sci-fi influenced bond movie ever. though it came out 11 years after kubrick's classic, 2001, a space odyssey, it shares some traits in common, including a few musical nods to the theme of 2001 here and there. there are also nods to spielberg's sci-fi classic, "close encounters of the third kind", also via musical cues. (while i'm thinking of it, the name "spielberg" according to babelfish.com means 'play-mountain', but through my extremely limited understanding of german, it sounds more like, "mountain of crap"). other than that, not much is new. last night i went to the mountain sun brewery with greg, where we had plans to meet up with kelly and a couple of her friends. well, kelly and friends decided to bail, so greg and i were left with the responsibility (if you can call it that) of finishing off the pitcher and three pints we had ordered in anticipation of three additional souls showing up (it was happy hour). to add to the chore (i say chore like it's a bad thing) of finishing this sublime brew 'solos', we had made the decision to order a pitcher of the brewery's "java porter". now... a pitcher of porter is intimidating enough, with its strongly toasted-malt flavour and bitter finish. add to that the fact that the mountain sun adds about 8 oz's of brewed coffee to each pint of java porter and you end up with a strong caffeine buzz mixed with the effects of drinking a pitcher of beer... resulting in a stomach-ache, hangover, and insomnia all at once. awesome!

anyway... today was a recovery day, catching up on lost sleep from last night. in my caffeine fueled insomnia i was extra aware of my impending departure from the u.s., and ultra aware of all the work i have left to do before i leave. certainly not the best way to relax when you're trying to fall asleep.


sudden thought, after paying attention to james bond here... apparently all spies, no matter what their nationality, are sex-crazed egomaniacs. not only that, but (fortuituously for the spies) every member of the opposite sex they encounter seem to also be complete nymphos.

so with that deep thought, i leave you, my faithful blog-readers... and bid you good night. by the way, i'm totally going to quit grad-school and join the cia.


Saturday, December 24, 2005

xmas eve...

ha! i just checked my mail and voila! ... my entry visa for taiwan has arrived. i was just talking to my friend leah on i.m. about it, and i was saying how it was coming down to the wire, well now i have my visa in-hand, and have nothing to worry about. awesome! this is a great x-mas present. i also got a couple of cards today which is great. i was wandering around the campus today, it was deserted. utterly silent. beautiful day, peaceful to walk around, but just slightly erie since this campus is seemingly never quiet. other than walking around today, i didn't really do anything. i really have just been sleeping for the last couple of days and it's great. i think i'll sleep tomorrow too, unless i decide to motivate and go xc-skiinig up at eldora. that actually sounds like fun so i may go do that. merry christmas to all my friends and family... i hope you're all doing well this night.


Tuesday, December 20, 2005



today's been absolutely great so far! got up at about 8, slightly more than slightly hung-over from pasta dinner at my italian friends' house, which of course included more than a few bottles of red wine last night. after banging around a bit, and consuming about a liter of water, i left the house to pick up greg to go ice climbing in boulder canyon. met up with tim and his friend (and stella the dog) at the crag. started out leading a fun w.i.4-ish climb, then free-soloed a cruisable w.i.2 pitch (well... i put in one screw for my mom's sake... hope you appreciate that mom!). after that it was time to get lunch at the mtn sun brew pub (and a pint, of course). ...then home to clean up and ride my bike into the office to play with data and procrastinate by writing this post. although the title of this post has nothing to do with pasta or ice or beer, it does have to do with the picture i snapped yesterday while walking across campus to get my daily dose of caffeine. these fuzzy buggers are all over the place here.


Tuesday, December 13, 2005

axial surfaces

hey everyone... another quick update: im finally (!) done with my exams and now have some time to really get down to brass tacks. im busily mapping out axial surfaces on some of our taiwanese data and making some cool pictures in the process. unfortunately i cant post them here... for reasons of security, blah blah blah. i think thats mostly bs, but its what i keep getting told by the folks in charge of the data. beyond that im really (really really) glad classes are done. its interesting to realize im really back in school, but at the same time thats an odd thought because im about to take off for four months to do research. go figure. im really looking forward to the summer and next fall, because i can continue to find new people and places here in colorado. in truth im really looking forward to the next five years, because i know (as much as one can) that ill be staying in one town and doing one job, instead of moving all over hell and creation every 9-12 months like i have for the last five years.

anyway, ill be adding another post sooner than later, maybe even with some pics. till then...


Tuesday, December 06, 2005

tuesday after wust

hello hello,

pic is of the sunset the other day... high cold clouds being lit from behind... looked like towering flames across the sky.

today is tuesday... the tuesday after wust, or western us tectonics for anyone who doesn't know my internal acronym system. after the written final for that class took place on friday, i spent the entire weekend in a state of mental stupor. wandering aimlessly, acting impulsively, and generally not paying attention to anything. i also slept a lot, also whenever i felt like it, and that was great. i think my sleep-debt is finally paid-off.

this week will be mostly just getting paperwork for taiwan finished... i just got my tickets: officially the 4th of january through the 5th of may. i will submit my visa application either this afternoon, or tomorrow morning. my contract for independant study will also be submitted tomorrow. i need to get my phone signed up for international service. need to get a sublet set up if possible. etc, etc.

today also marks the first real snow we've had in boulder this year. there's about an inch on the ground now, and it's really cold out (10F) and windy. yesterday we suffered through 60mph winds all day, and today the cold has settled in. i had the brilliant idea of going fly fishing on saturday, which was foolish considering the creeks are all pretty much frozen solid in the mountains. i guess the season has passed. too cold to bike, too frozen to fish, not enough snow to xc-ski, and i still don't have a board to go ride at one of the ski resorts here. oh well, soon enough i'll be back in tropical taiwan, and thoughts of snow will be put aside.

not much else going on this week... it's agu (american geophysical union) week, the huge conference for earth scientists in san fran... this just means that the majority of the students and faculty in my department are gone this week.... pretty quiet here... maybe a little too quiet....


Wednesday, November 30, 2005

stupid stupid stupid!!

guess what i just did... today was my entry interview with the geology department to see whether or not i was even worthy of pursuing work that will eventually lead to my comps and then my phd. i totally spaced the time that the meeting started, and ended up being about 15 minutes late. doh, and double doh! besides starting the interview completely out of breath from running accross campus, things settled into the swing pretty well. after a while, the interviewers all stopped asking me the normal questions and just sort of started with the more interesting ones. in the end they all said i did great, and they were all impressed... just not with my ability to show up on time.

anyway, looks like i really will be here for the next 5 years or so. sweet! hopefully next time (for comps) i actually remember to come to the meeting early.


Sunday, November 27, 2005


here i am, sitting at my desk at 10pm on a sunday night. i just brewed myself possibly the strongest cup of coffee i've ever had, and i'm getting ready to spend however much time it takes to grapple with a presentation on critical wedge kinematics and the structural response of a sub-critical orogenic wedge. then it's onto another presentation on plate flexure in the western taiwan basin. in the eternal words of the prophets ren and stimpy: happy happy, joy joy!

ok/ so an hour has lapsed since i began writing this. a phone conversation with a friend of mine revealed she crashed her honda vfr (a crotch-rocket for those of you who don't know) this weekend when she was run off the road by some yahoo, then managed to spend a few hours strapped to a back-board while emt's tried to give her an i.v.

in short, i am still the master of procrastination. i finished my coffee though, and am thoroughly buzzed from the half-pound of coffee grounds i used to brew the single 10 oz cup... so staying up to finish the presentations shouldn't be a problem. not much else on my mind right now... this coming week is going to be hectic to say the least. i actually dreamt about elastic plate flexure last night. hopefully i can do better than that tonight.

'lizabeth - this is for you:

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


hello again...

it's tuesday today, thursday on the academic schedule, and I'm finally finding time to sit and read some papers on taiwan. this morning i'm working on one titled, "origin of the west taiwan basin by orogenic loading and flexure of a rifted continental margin" (a.t.lin and a.b.watts)... sounds fascinating, i know.

this past sunday was spent climbing thatchtop mountain in the rmnp, with tim bartholomaus. long story short, our guide book was incorrect and we ended up scratching our way up a gully that was lacking any real amount of snow or ice. mostly we used placements in frozen moss and scree and a whole lot of finesse to find our way up the mountain. in the end though, we ran out of time and rapped off the way we came up, slinging a manky block of rock on a ridgeline, and then another boulder which was actually worth using. all in all we had a good time, and made it home safe and sound. i'll attach a couple of pics here. the weather was perfect and conditions generally great, just not in our little gully. ah well, now we know where the real climb is, and next time we'll be able to actually get up the stupid thing.

me just hanging out at the high point of our progess

tim standing in front of the would-be finish of the climb...


Saturday, November 19, 2005

beer luck madness

hey all,

the beer-luck went off without a hitch last night... a bunch of people came and everyone enjoyed a fairly large selection of cool brews. as far as i can tell, everyone had a good time (some more than others), and the damage to the apartment is minimal. im still a little fuzzy, but amazingly un-hung-over today. mostly im just watching some tv, and checking email today... i seem to be lacking the mental clarity necessary for witty banter or long recounting of stories. in lieu of those things, i offer the following images.


Wednesday, November 16, 2005




I feel completely dead now. im absolutely exhausted from spending the majority of the night plugging through mechanics computations by hand. like an idiot i put off finishing an assignment until the last minute and that last minute ended up taking several hours. its finally cold now in colorado... the rockies have been getting dumped on and my first ice climb of the year is scheduled for this sunday. im supposed to go up notchtop mountain with tim which, if it works out (snow, conditions etc) could be awesome. in the meantime, there is a beer-luck which needs some last minute (sensing a trend here?) tending to before friday night. i need to sleep.


................ s l ee e ep.....


Wednesday, November 09, 2005


just a quick post this morning... finally getting back into the swing of normal life back in co. i've been sleeping an inordinate amount the last couple of days. the fall is going very fast. it's chilly this morning... about 35 degrees here. it's really nice though, walking around with cold ears and chilly hands feels great after a few days in 95 degrees. although i love visiting tropical places, i don't think i could ever live between the 35th parallels.

off to class now. double cortado coffee in hand. (geomechanics, yay!)


Friday, November 04, 2005

taipei at night

more posting from taipei tonight... listening to progressive trance on my ipod, sitting in my hotel room after a walk around the neighborhood. i found a good bookstore here and spent 1600nt (bout 50 bucks) on books, including a detailed atlas of taiwan, and some gifts for friends and family. also spent a good amount of the time taking pictures while dodging the onslaught of scooters which are omnipresent here in taipei. living here will be a trip, but as ive said for years, i look forward to living in a big city. it might take a little extra effort to find all the cool places here, but i got a good feeling from the city tonight. i leave first thing tomorrow morning for denver and am really looking forward to getting back. still have to finish classes and catch up on all the stuff ive let slide over the course of my visit here. allright... i need to pack some of my stuff up now, so ill sign off here in a few minutes, but i want to post some of the cooler pics from tonight to give you guys a sense of what its like.


Thursday, November 03, 2005

chillin in taipei

hey all... just sitting here, its thursday night and i just got back from almost a week traveling around the island of taiwan. im in taipei now at ntu, the main university in the country, finally clean, comfortable, and slightly more mentally present. after the last several days, ive been feeling a little overloaded and on the verge of academic aneurysm. so much info in so little time and constantly surrounded by these professors and researchers who live this stuff... constantly pouring out more knowledge than i can handle. after a point i just reach the nod-and-smile threshold.

talking over the logistics of doing field work here, its becoming more evident that the summer is the worst possible time for that. it now looks like i will come back this january as planned, but then just stay here for the spring semester to do work during the best part of the year. its a little bit of a pain in the ass, because ill need to find someone to sublet my place sooner than i thought, ill have to rush to prepare and generally this requires me to go nuts for the next couple of months, but i think its worth it to beat the heat, and get a real jump on my research. i think a solid 4 months or so here would be worth about two field seasons, and the thought of spending the entire spring (and coldest part of the year in colorado) here in subtropical taiwan, bouncing between the beautiful puli basin and metropolitan taipei is not bad at all.

anyway, i think ill head to bed now.. i have a few meetings tomorrow and need to get up early. i will leave yall with a picture of one of the scenes from my recent trip, looking north along the east coast of the island into the west pacific ocean. i cant believe how cool it is that im doing research in this place.


Saturday, October 29, 2005

from taiwan

whew! heres a post from the other side of the pacific ocean, from taipei in taiwan. i flew here on wednesday morning, and have been sitting through some amazing discussions and presentations on taiwan and the processes and physics of the mountain building here. so far ive been sitting through a ton of things and have basically just been holding on for dear life while high-intensity faculty intelligence washes over me. haven't been into the city yet, but im hoping to get into taipei at some point tonight. well see how that goes.

until i get the chance to post some cooler pics (ill be driving around the island over the next four days) ill just post this pic from the vending machine in my hotel. you can even buy cans of beer out of the same vending machine!


Monday, October 24, 2005


just a note to let yall know im trying to get everything ive been meaning to do over the last two weeks done in the next two days. leaving for taiwan on wednesday morning, for about two weeks! need to read several key papers, bone up on some taiwanese geological survey data and load at least one gis program and dem dataset collection on my laptop here before getting on the plane. not to mention pack, which necessarily involves doing laundry and reorganizing half of my house. this hardly leaves time to go screw around on my bike or wander around in the local streams with my fly-pole... interestingly, over the last few days ive actually started feeling like a student again, staying up until 2am working away on problems and thinking about things instead of just coming home and blowing off work in favor of watching the latest scifi channel stargate marathon. i knew it would happen at some point, and im glad that it was actually my own research that has given me the motivation to act like a student, rather than the threat of doing poorly in a class... which in the past has often been a primary motivating factor.

anyway, time to get things done... have a meeting with my advisor today about trip logistics and with another student about stuff i need to bring back for their work.


Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Back from Utah

hey all... back at last from the trip i just took to utah. i hit up arches and canyonlands, hiking through some pretty amazing structures and layer-cake geology. never having been to the western us before, it was a little surreal to say the least. all i could keep thinking was that this landscape was like australia, or mars. so huge, and so flat, with such large scale landforms floating in the desert like stone icebergs in a sea of dust. i took some pretty awesome pictures, and rediscovered how much i love using a polarizing filter. ill post some on here very soon. other than that, not much is going on. i have a couple of homework assignments due next week which i will be starting today, and i want to read a few general papers on taiwan before i get on the plane to taipei next wednesday. jeez thats a lot sooner than i really thought. im looking forward to that trip to say the least. especially looking forward to eating some really good taiwanese food. although ill be avoiding the chicken... bird-flu and whatnot.


Friday, October 07, 2005

friday afternoon

back again... just a quick post tonight. went on a hike into the flatirons with laura today. the entire time i was up there i had the strongest urge to climb things, and in general realized how much really good climbing there is right in my backyard. i will do my best to get back out on the rock soon. my leg is still a little bunk, and was hurting just a little bit today during the hike, but i think i could deal with some mid-grade trad climbs to start with. nothing really going on tonight, just chilling in front of the tv (st-tng is on, for those of you who dont know, never mind, for the rest of you, rock on) transferring some pics from today onto my ibook. ill post one of the pics here tonight. the pic is of a climbing party (members unknown) on third flatiron.


Wednesday, October 05, 2005

taiwan bound

ah... finally got my tickets for this october trip to taiwan all settled. i just signed up for frequent flyer miles too, so with this one trip, i will rack up almost 15000 miles in one shot. going again in january will get me a free ticket to the carribean or hawaii.... sweet!


Tuesday, October 04, 2005

coupla pics

just a quick post before im off to bed. first is a shot of our porch when my friends were staying on the couch. they were looking for their own place since they just moved here from ithaca, and are also both bikers. our neighbors remarked that our house was starting to look like a bike shop.

the next is just a shot of the fishing crew as we were breaking down the rods before leaving for the night. the beer was a nice touch. we thought that we should bring a cooler with ice so we could bring back all of our fish, and then realized that coolers full of ice were ideal for transporting beer.

cerebral flatulence

aka brain fart. i feel so out of it. sooo tired. i went for a fun mtn ride yesterday afternoon, and ended up being out a lot later than i anticipated. ...it was totally dark when i finally made it home.

fun ride though... and found an awesome place to check out bird-life. there is a largish hidden marsh on top of one of the mesas that butt into the frontrange that is absolutely teeming with birds. hitting the ride at sunset was ideal because they were all super active, swarming over the lip of the mesa in great black clouds. the bike trail follows the ridgeline, so while riding along the ridge and getting a great view, you have these streams of birds washing right over your head, with the backlighting from the sunset illuminating the whole scene just-so.

today i need to get shite done. i need to buy my plane tickets to get to taiwan in a few weeks, pay all my unpaid bills i was talking about in a previous post, and generally get my head a little more together. you know that feeling you get when you take an afternoon nap, but it turns into a three hour snooze? you wake up and are totally disoriented and generally thrown all out of whack. i feel like that now, and have more or less for the last several days. not sick though, its weird.

anyway, im adding a pic from saturdays fishing excursion, courtesy of Laure Montandon.


Monday, October 03, 2005

greenback trout

sittin here at my desk in the grad office, eating an incredibly boring and uninspired ham sandwich. ive got unpayed bills and unfinished work and untied shoelaces (that last one was a stretch) and im doing my best to keep it that way.

i spent most of the day on saturday up in the rocky mountain national park (rmnp) with my fly-rod, practically stepping on schools of brook trout and not catching any. i went with several of my office-mates, and we all waded our separate ways through the stream meanders. some of the little pools were more than waist deep and held some good size trout. ...but they werent too into my flies. anyway, i found a perfect pool towards the end of the day and stalked quitely up the stream to where i could cast into the riffle at the head of the pool. on my third cast, i had a strong hit and hooked a nice 8-9 inch trout. when i got it in, i saw it was a beautiful but protected colorado greenback cutthroat trout, which meant my one nice catch of the day had to be released immediately.

hopefully the next time im in the area im a little more fortunate... at least i know where some of the good spots are up there. picture to follow at some point...


Thursday, September 29, 2005

...later that night....

hey again... my first post here was an effort to procrastinate during a school day, and a fairly effective way to waste time. tonight is more of a "im bored and need to take up a little time while i think of something cooler to do" type of entry.

so first of all... big news is i no longer live on the east coast. i am now living in boulder colorado, and working as a graduate phd candidate at the university of colorado at boulder. im working towards a doctorate in active tectonics, studying the structural kinematics and geomorphology of taiwan. i (for some odd reason) moved 2000 miles away from the wonderful girl im dating, which is a downer to put it mildly. i do at least have unlimited options for mountain biking and other related activities out here, unlike the east coast. i miss boston and nyc, although im only 30 minutes away from denver here... it could be much worse. i spent the last two years living in near social exile, up in central new hampshire. not that i didnt meet a couple of incredible people up there, people who im sad to have left behind.

anyway, just some quick thoughts for tonight. i know i said i would do this until i thought of something better to do, but my attention span tonight is near nonexistant, so im throwing in the towel. more bloggin later.


New Blog!

Hey all,

its been a while since my last webpage went down... it appears that i didnt even manage to catch the latest version of it before my old host trashed all my files - damn you alma mater!!

but lo, i have decided (at least for now) to start publishing a new blog, albeit a canned format, here on blogger.

check back very soon for more posts, designed to bring folks up to speed on where i am now and what the hell ive been doing for the last 4 months.