About Me

My photo
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.

Monday, May 28, 2007

bitchin' thumbs-up award

i have been having an absolutely awesome day so far. i got up at seven, fully rested for the first time in what feels like weeks.after a quick breakfast of naan and yogurt, i headed downtown with my mountain bike on the roof to meet up with some friends for a ride. we decided the night before to meet up early and head up to nederland (up the canyon from boulder) and ride some of the trails up there... which I had not ridden before. the ride started with a long road climb at ~9000 feet, followed by a short, rocky downhill to another road. we headed back up into the mountain along a narrow 4wd path, cut across the side of one of the peaks. after nearly a thousand vertical feet of punishing climbing, we paused at the top to soak in the view and revitalize a little before heading onto...

a single-track decent of near-mythical awesomeness. still dazed from the lung-popping climb and under the gentle influence of the beauty and bounty of this place, i could barely believe the sensation of ripping down this narrow ribbon of dirt veneered with small chunky rocks. the gentle berms around corners allowed us to descend at the limit of our abilities, at speeds faster than i would have thought possible on that trail. the surrounding aspens, mottled gold trunks lit from the canopy of soft spring foliage, blurred by so quickly it was hard to pick out single trees. half way down, as the trail eased back in pitch just enough for me to breathe, the adrenaline and endorphins pumping in my veins caused me to yell out at the top of my lungs.

the riding wasn't over though, and after one more short hard climb, we were blessed with a winding loam single track that cuts through tall pines and crosses meadows with views of perfect lakes, shored with aspen and backed by the still snow-capped indian peaks wilderness. wild flowers lined the sides of the trail and a huge red-tailed hawk swooped across the trail, its rust red tail and arced wings back lit against the sky by the sun, alighting on a branch of one of the taller pines. it was one of those rare moments that just brings a goofy wide grin to your face and makes you thankful for being fortunate enough to bear witness.

now it's off to the boulder creek festival downtown, for music and food and just hanging out. i could go to the office i suppose, but this day is just going too well at this point to spoil with something like that. if you're unlucky enough to be stuck in a city somewhere i feel sorry for you... i wish i could share these kinds of experiences with all my friends out there, as people here have been nice enough to share them with me.


Thursday, May 24, 2007

tarka dal

hahaha.... i can't stop laughing about what just happened.

i had a wicked (yes i said wicked, i lived in new england, maine peeps back me up here) craving for indian food tonight. the Tandoori Grill is our local neighborhood indian joint, rated the 4th best restaurant in boulder, and it's just up the street from my house. i rode over on my bike, ordered onion kulcha and lamb vindaloo and gave my name to the maitre d', "tarka... t-a-r-k-a".

he glanced up at me, "oh, heh, we have a dish named after you here... tarka dal." he went into his schpiel about the lentil dish flavored with spiced ghee; i interjected, "ah, yes i know.. i've had it, it's good."

i sat down at the bar to wait for my food over a stella, and chatted with the other person there, who had also ordered to go right before me. we sat for about 15 minutes, drinking our beers and reminiscing about the east coast and the differences between boston and new york. our respective orders came out and whilst the maitre d' (who was also playing bartender tonight) was standing there, the waiter who brought my food out called my name, then paused... spelled it out, "t-a-r-k-a", and glanced up at me; "oh, heh, we have a dish named after you here."


Tuesday, May 22, 2007

i need an HDDV camera...

check out 'the collective' and their mountain biking videos, 'the collective', and 'roam'. until then however, check out this flick i put together from shots and vids off my digital camera of biking throughout the last year. yes this is really how i ride, maybe now folks will understand what i'm talking about when i say something like, "yeah, i totally ate sh!t (crashed) maching (going really fast) around a sweeper (wide radius corner) at 30mph (25 mph)."



totally random pic from my cell phone, not sure when i took it. it hardly looks like me, but i actually like the image, harsh and noir but almost plastic in some ways... for some reason it reminds me of karl lagerfeld ads.. too bad i'm not sporting one of those crazy high-collared shirts in this.


Thursday, May 17, 2007

about time

...i finally got to work and banged out this paper. i've been at my office since 6:30 cranking on this draft of my independent study, which i've imposed a personal dealine of 10:30am on. Figures need captions, notes need to be prosed and my paper outline tells me that for the conclusions i need, "simple statements -(just make something up)". isn't it great to know the standards of science are held in such high regard by the up and coming generation of thinkers?

i actually have a cool conclusion (well... observations really), at least something that i think verifies the hypothetical basis for the study, so i don't actually have to make anything up. i'll be working (continuously) on this same paper for the coming months, with an eye towards publishing a journal paper from it.

(>>note! 1:50pm, same day. funny how a few pages of notes can be magically transformed into 25 pages once the prose-hose gets turned on. i still feel like this draft is short, and i imagine the final final will be a little closer to 30-35 pages. then of course the whole damn thing will have to be compressed into about ten pages for any sort of journal submission.<<)


Wednesday, May 16, 2007


as i sit here, typing typing typing, i have to get up to stretch my legs and get something to eat. i yank my ear-buds out and with a flick of my wrist send a perfect loop down the cord, casting the thin wire onto my desk. i want to escape, to run ride drive to the nearest creek. i haven't been fly-fishing since last fall, and the urge to get out onto the rivers is not something i can ignore for much longer... sending those perfect loops down a rocket-tapered line to gently pick a dry fly off the surface of the water without so much as a ripple.


Tuesday, May 15, 2007


can't concentrate on work... random picture instead.



heh, this is too weird/cool not to throw on here.

mmm... borsch!


Sunday, May 13, 2007

pork green chili

yesterday was a day of pure frivolity. well, almost pure... discounting taking my car to the emission testing center. after that i spent the rest of the afternoon and evening cooking food and hanging out with a small group of friends. a group of us do these occasional dinners; each person takes turns hosting and cooking for the others. it's a great way to get a few really good meals for the price of one.

yesterday i took on a few new recipes, none of which were recipes at all. i basically went to the store with the idea of southwestern/mexican in my mind, and picked up a bunch of ingredients i thought would be good. recently i have been trying out the various green-chili sauces and dishes at restaurants here and have generally been pretty impressed, so i definitely wanted to try making some.

the final menu went something like:

tortilla chips and fresh salsa (with cilantro and caribbean chilis)

pulled pork tenderloin with green chili on grilled tortillas (with slices of avocado)

grilled baby-back pork ribs (with honey-chipotle glaze)

refried beans (with cilantro and pepperjack cheese)

sliced cantaloupe (with ginger and sugar)

margaritas (sauza anejo, grand marnier, cointreau, fancy organic lemonade, fresh lemon and lime wedges, rocks, no salt)


everything turned out really well, and of course nothing was left over. a litre of tequila went into the margaritas (for seven people) and none of that was left over either. i think the most eloquent compliment i received ("mmm... god-damn thats good") was in response to the pork tenderloin in green chile sauce (poblano, anaheim, chipotle, onions, butter, garlic, oil, salt, hoppy beer, whole pork tenderloin / let simmer for ~3 hours)....


Friday, May 11, 2007

graduation to...

today is graduation day at the university. parents and extended families are beginning to clog every artery and vein of sidewalk on campus, clotting at intersections and entrapping their respective graduates. some people are happy, some are grumpy and sour. some are overbearing. no matter what happens amongst the crowds today, they will mostly disappear tomorrow, leaving this town serene for several months. i'm still happy being a student for now... i'm kind of proud of the fact that i've figured a way to stay in school until i turn 30.

congratulations on all your hard work, undergrad students... except those of you who were slackers and barely eked out a degree in leisure studies... to you shining examples of academic wunderkinder, I bow my head. I was always impressed by people for whom just making it through college in one piece was a real challenge, especially when they actually finished and were handed a degree identical to my own (conversely this bothered some of the faculty/grad students at my own alma mater). good on ya, i suppose.


Monday, May 07, 2007


one might think that with age and experience comes wisdom and an appreciation for common sense. nix, nein, nope and think again. as i've mentioned before, i'm working on "manuals" on my bikes... a coasting, balancing wheelie. i am getting a lot better at these, but i am by no means a manual-superstar, so i still eat it occasionally when i'm practicing.

musaki kusahara pulling a manual

today i was doing really well... i had a few really solid, long, and seated (harder) manuals, and this lead to my being a little too relaxed on my last attempt. a word on manuals: relaxation is key, as well as being comfortable with hanging all of your weight off the back of the bike, past the center-point of the rear hub, in order to get into a position that will set you and your bike into a balance that's centered on the rear wheel. relax a little too much, lean a little too far, and you're going over - backwards. i was cruising down the avenue near my department building on campus, coasting a manual and going at a good clip... everything was feeling right. i started to let myself really settle into the position, and i felt the bike get a little high in front. i very lightly feathered the rear brake (a hydraulic disc set-up) to adjust, but instead of going forward, i just started to slow down a little. by the time it was obvious that i was going to crash, i was still going a little too fast to just hop off the bike and run it out, so i ended up going over backwards in a seated position, right onto the blacktop. the worst that happened was a rip in my favorite pd&c jeans, and a nice-sized raspberry on my knee. i may be 27, but i still act like a 5 year old on a playground most of the time.

i got up, laughing and brushing myself off, got back on my bike and wheelied away down the side-walk.


Saturday, May 05, 2007

attractive juice

today marks my return to reality from the caffeine induced haze of the last couple of days. redbull is a hell of a soda, but caffeine, like all mind and metabolism altering drugs, should be used in moderation. those empty baby-blue and silver cans stare down at me from their recycling box on my office shelf (i drink the sugar free stuff, because nothing ruins a caffeine buzz like a sugar-crash) just begging me to find more companions for them.

...but no, not this time. after practically having the shakes and experiencing some of the most oddly vivid dreams (involving things like the uncontrollable and alarmingly copious micturition of jagermeister-colored urine, among other weird and disturbing themes) i awoke this morning feeling much better. it was literally as though i had gone through caffeine withdrawal through the night. i was hungry and thirsty, but instead of heading to roma's for my usual double cortado and croissant, i went to whole-foods. i picked up a nice breakfast and a half gallon of fresh orange juice. buying orange juice from a place like whole foods can be a daunting experience, choosing from a host of different brands, types and mixtures. i went for the simple fresh-made stuff that costs an arm and a leg.

i parked near campus and walked in to the office this morning to finish up some work (i'm still working on it) and carried the half gallon of juice with me. the odd thing is that while i was walking from 'the hill' to my office, i saw about six attractive young women who all gave me smiles in passing. maybe it was the fact that classes are over, maybe it's the fact that today is also the first time i've been showered and cleanly shaven in several days. i'd like to credit the fact that i was carrying an eight-dollar half gallon of juice, mostly because i've walked down that same path innumerable times in the past, and have not had the same response when i didn't have the juice, regardless of my personal appearance. of course this is all leading me to hatch an idea of some pseudo scientific experiment... maybe we'll see if this hypothesis has any basis in reality.

either way, the juice was good.


Thursday, May 03, 2007

night light

the lights are off for dramatic effect, but this is always what it feels like to me when i'm sitting in an office alone working late at night.



this is going to be a long night. i'm cranking on this (yes, the same) project and am fueling my productivity with caffeine and crackers. at some point soon, i will break in order to sup some food (or more likely chew it). it's frustrating to be thinking about other things besides work right now because these other thoughts are distracting. thoughts of summer are foremost in my mind: work without the chore of classes, trips to taiwan, coming visits with friends, anything but what i'm battling with at the moment. my advisor, were he looking over my shoulder now, would tell me to stop thinking and just do. - or to run and jump, screaming and naked, into the 'deep end' of my data and swim to the other side (his analogies are quite inventive).

8pm, time for a beef and green chile burrito from illegal petes. mmmmm.


action plan

i am approaching the twelfth hour of the semester, and my goal is in sight... just sort of distant right now. i have lots of caffeine on hand and nothing else on my schedule besides tutoring at 2pm today. the remainder will be spent finishing figures and getting conclusions typed up. i spent most of yesterday staring at figures, and trying to figure out what's next... my focus is a little narrower now, hopefully it all gels in the next day or so.


Tuesday, May 01, 2007

dope minimal beats from L'ELECTRIQUE

i don't usually do this on a post, but if you read this within the next 10 minutes or so, go to net radio l'electrique. they are casting an amazing dj set of minimal right now... best i've heard in months, actually.

and if you miss it this time around, check it out anyway... good net radio station.

http://netmusique.com/... click on 'electrique'.