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.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

upcoming 'stache party...


i mentioned previously that i am rockin' a handlebar mustache in preparation for an upcoming party... i still have a little over two weeks to go, but i think i am already in decent shape. i was told by a few people in geomorphology seminar this morning that they had to avoid looking at me so they wouldn't crack up. i got thumbs-up from others. so far i haven't gotten any scornful looks, though i had one comment on time-travel. decide for yourself. now i'm stuck with it until the party, but a majority of that time will be spent driving around the southwest for a tectonics trip.


Tuesday, March 20, 2007

morgan spurlock is my idol...

for so many reasons. 'supersize me' was one of the best directed, shot, and edited films i've seen in the last several years. his tv series, '30 days', was just as interesting and it's a pity it wasn't more widely viewed. his general view of learning and, perhaps more importantly, educating the masses through his empirical experiences (he once spent thirty days in jail, just to learn about the failures of the system) is genius.

at the moment however, he is my idol because i have chosen to model my moustache after his... in preparation for an upcoming moustache party in april. this is something that has been poorly planned to date, but there are at least a roomful of people who received advanced warning of this event... so we will be ready for whatever form it takes come april first. I missed the chance to participate in the last one i was invited to (in undergrad at cornell, some four years ago) so i've jumped at the opportunity to be a part of this one.


Friday, March 16, 2007


not crepes... cripes! i just posted my audi on craigslist a few hours ago advertising it for sale: for about 1400 less than its blue book value due to a few problems. i've already had about 5 people email me in that time all offering to buy it by monday!! obviously, selling the car will not be a problem, but jeez... didn't think i would have such an easy time of it. this is good news though, because it means that i can get right on the few small plans i've hatched for the new golf. i've also already enlisted the help of my roommates in these mods, since they are interested in learning about how to soup ("sup'", "soop"?) up a car. mods will include an all new performance suspension setup and new performance brakes... for now. perhaps a new exhaust too since the current one only has a few thousand miles left in it (but not one of those stupid "ricer" getups that sound like a tin-can full of bees - been there, done that).

also, off to pueblo, co, tomorrow morning at first light to go mountain biking with a few guys... should be fun. st patty's day on fat tires!! i will resist the urge to fill my camelbak with guinness.


Thursday, March 15, 2007

financial responsibility

several years ago now, i had a real job. i was an environmental consultant for an international consulting company... working for clients like the military, navy, nestle... you know, that sort of thing. coming straight from a psuedo-job at my undergrad alma mater, i thought i was rolling in dough with my moderate salary. within a month i had agreed to finance a 25000 dollar suv. well, i ended up leaving that job to go back to school, and took a huge pay cut in the process. my suv was now above my financial means, so i traded it out for something (slightly) cheaper, but still quite nice. for the last two years, i've been driving an audi a4... all leather, v6, heated seats... mmmm. anyway, i finally got my act together and made the move to a car i can actually afford. afford to own, maintain, fuel, and afford to drive given the fact that i'm a geologist and supposed to be among the ranks of people most conscious about the dire state of our planet. i ended up going for a little red vw golf: awesome gas mileage, cheap to maintain (not to mention the fact that i can pretty much do all the work myself) and lets not forget, really fun to drive.



soon? (i love photoshop):


Tuesday, March 13, 2007

told you i broke it...

yeah... flip flops and mountain bikes were never really meant to go together as i reaffirmed today while wiping out, very publicly, in the middle of a crowded sidewalk on campus. i ripped all the skin off the tip of my left big toe, and broke the middle toe on the same foot. the long winter and persistant snow cover have given way to dust on the sidewalks and streets which has yet to get washed away by spring rains. i've broken many of my toes over the years, some of them more than once, and i'm quite used to the sensation by now... i can usually tell immediately when it happens. at first it's a dull pain, followed by swelling and shooting pains when flexed, then the toe turns purple at the break and goes stiff.

today i exacerbated the break by participating in our departments first intramural ultimate frisbee game, which took place about an hour after my crash. hey, it's a toe, it's broken, all you can do is implement the buddy system by taping the toe in question to a neighbor. running on it for an hour might not help, per se, but it won't exactly damage it more than it already has been.

anyway... we won our game, and here's the proof of broken-ness.


little green men... sort of

i just ran across this article on the bbc website... check out: the story.

i tend to agree with kristi curry-rogers though... this seems a little far-fetched. it's also interesting to point out that statistically (ok, ok, only based on a couple of data points, so not really) that this planet is potentially overdue for some type of "ele" or extinction level event or large meteorite/planetoid impact. the physics involved in the fallout of such an event are awesome to say the least... people wonder why it's so hard to find fossil evidence of dinosaurs killed in the K/T boundary event, but when you realize that the ensueing global firestorm responsible for the planet-wide iridium rich clay marker layer essentially cremated/carbonized all life at the surface, it kind of makes sense.

back to reading about the physics of rainsplash driven downslope sediment grain transport... yay!


Sunday, March 11, 2007


ha. i hate to admit it, but i feel like i have forgotten what motivation feels like for the last several months. i also seem to think that i've spent an inordinate amount of time during that period just doing whatever i wanted, whether it was biking, snowboarding, just sitting around on my ass, or otherwise avoiding a lot of work. not that i haven't done any work recently, i just haven't done what i really should have been doing. case in point; yesterday was terrible, weather-wise. it was rainy, with freezing slush/snow and fog in the mountains. a perfect day for doing work, but instead i went snowboarding. i was soaked, cold, tired and just felt sort of blah for the rest of the evening.

this morning it is beautiful out; today will be sunny and warm and perfectly spring-like... but in an uncharacteristically responsible move, i'm going to my office to get something done. i just woke up motivated today, for the first time in a while, feeling like i actually want to get something done. instead of reading papers for my classes, and writing abstracts of presentations, i'll be playing (and it does feel like playing to me) with my pencils and protractors to finish restoring (palinspatically) one of the cross sections through the taiwanese foreland. work can actually be fun, if you're doing what fascinates you. i've spent months thinking about this reseach project, visualizing the finished prodect in my head, working out the potential for animations that would be jaw-dropping even to an audience of my professors... 3D frameworks of stratigraphy deforming backwards in time, literally deconstructing the western half of taiwan, illustrating the dynamics of the arc-continent collision over the last 2-3 million years in a seamless time regression series. how f%$#ing cool would that be?! ...heh, now i just have to do it.


Wednesday, March 07, 2007

you learn something new everyday

wow... check out: http://www.annielondonderry.com/

this story is about the first woman to ride a bicycle around the world... in 1894! that qualifies annie londonderry (the surname she took as part of a contract with a spring water company who sponsored her) as super hard-core in my mind. not only did she manage to ride a bike around the world, she did it on a fixed gear (single speed, no brakes, no freewheel), with a single change of clothes and a pearl-handled revolver, capturing images of her travels on glass slides, raising money ($5000 in 1894 dollars!!!!) and lecturing about her travels to americans along her return from california (and all points west of it) to massachusetts in 1895.

check it out, it's pretty amazing.


order in chaos

the study of geomorphology is crazy. one of the papers we went over in seminar this morning (Lawrence, J. P., and B. T. Werner, Fracture networks in frozen ground, J. Geophys. Res., 106, 8599-8613, 2001) describes the authors' attempts to boil a fairly complex and not-well-understood permafrost ground pattern, resulting from frost heaving and cracking, into a simple (well, ok... not so simple) computational model. essentially they, and many other geomorphologists, describe what appear as chaotic and random patterns in nature with mathematical equations that (at least in models) produce the observed patterns, to a first order approximation. it's publications like these that make me wish i had a stronger mathematical background. i can understand them when i read them, but as soon as i try to produce something like this myself i am utterly at a loss. ...so instead i run back to my protractors and rulers and colored pencils and start drawing structural cross sections. i suppose (actually, i know) that some people are completely befuddled by things like stereographic projections and palinspatic base maps (my bread and butter), but i still experience math-envy on a regular basis.

referring to a different sort of chaos... i suggest folks check out this site. particularly with the recent snows in colorado, lots of people have been parking like morons. bad parking skills is one of my pet peeves about americans... if you've ever been to europe, you know what i'm talking about. i've seen spanish drivers who could park a dumptruck in a spot designed for a smart-car and still have room to spare on either end. i myself have been complemented on my parallel parking skills in the past... one of my passengers looked over at me when i had finished parking in less than ten seconds and said, "you really are from new york, aren't you?!" well, i wish i could say all new yorkers, or all city dwellers, can park well - it's just not true. the site has some great diagrams of classic parking infractions (my favorite is the, "you call that a compact?" one) and tips on how not to park like an as$#0le.


Monday, March 05, 2007


today is a sweater-vest day. i decided that this monday would be as good a day as any other to pull the grey polo out of the closet... i never have any real reason to wear a sweater-vest (is there any such thing?) but every once in a while i like to pay homage to the institution of academia and especially to my professors from my undergraduate days at cornell. it would be a statistical certainty that at least one sweater-vest was present in the geology building there at all times. one professor in particular was famous for sprouting his white chest hair out of the neck of the sweater-vest he wore more often than not. sometimes, during department colloquia for example, there were as many as five or six sweater-vests to be seen. hence, i associate them with the ideals of academia: the pursuit of knowledge, hard work, learning... logic follows that obviously if i wear one, i will work harder and learn more (heh, if only).

i do like the ideas of nostalgia and custom though, so occasionally i assume the uniform of my professors as an offering to academic pursuits... only without the chest hair.


Thursday, March 01, 2007

eco-guerrilla rap

some of the guys i went to highschool with are now rapping about the sad state of affairs in the world. check out their new video below, "it's a disgrace" (cypher:dissident). way to rep the 607 guys, keep it up!