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, March 31, 2008

back from death

valley that is. Spring break was spent crawling through the desert over indurated boulder fields and having salty dust blown in my face. I huddled in my sleeping bag at night, fighting off the chill of freezing winds blowing down from the high ranges bounding the basins. I woke every morning before dawn to watch the rose glow of sunrise wash over the snowy peaks and creep down to the valley floor. even though I slept in a different place every night, traveled far during the days and let my mind wander as much as possible I was always thinking about one thing.


Thursday, March 20, 2008

The 'Goldilocks Zone'

Heh, Scientists are an odd lot... I've just read about the discovery of (the organic compound) Methane existing in the atmosphere of an extrasolar planet. The importance of this being obviously that now we are starting to gather real evidence of carbon based organic compounds existing elsewhere in the universe, and even more interestingly, within range of our relatively crude techniques of detection... this means that the likelihood of finding another rocky planet with an atmosphere containing both organic compounds and water keeps increasing with the continued development and application of these techniques. quoted from the BBC today:

"The key to this search is the so-called "Goldilocks zone", an area of space in which a planet is "just the right distance" from its parent star so that its surface is not-too-hot or not-too-cold to support liquid water." (Read the BBC article here)

I just think that is freakin' awesome. On a remotely related note, the primary author of the study, Dr. Giovanna Tinetti, says that her "personal view is it is way too arrogant to think that we are the only ones living in the Universe." Oddly, she also looks a little like the actress Jenna Elfman, who is a renowned Scientologist... don't confuse the two. Personally I agree with Dr. Tinetti.


Monday, March 17, 2008


Spring appeared to be coming... days are longer and temps had begun to climb. Maybe it will come back, but at the moment we are covered in snow.

from last night:

I am so ready for riding season... Every time I watch the trailer below I just want to be out on trails...

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

New season approaching

Mmm, it smells like spring outside. With spring comes the unimaginably irresistible urge to get back on my bike and head up into the peaks... too bad for me there's still another month or two before passes are clear and trails are firm enough to support tires. In the meantime however, I can always live vicariously through the lucky few who actually get paid to ride all year round. Check out the teaser for the new Collective film, "SEASONS". ...just click play on the controller. COPYRIGHT 2008 THE COLLECTIVE, PLEASE DON'T SUE ME.

© 2008 The Collective | All rights reserved.

Thursday, March 06, 2008


...and not the good kind; surfing powder on the steep slopes of local mountains or skipping bike tires across the tops of rock gardens in the woods... this is different. Feeling a bit like wheels are spinning in the air. The feeling of a possible impending collision after hitting brakes on black-ice, although in my case I don't necessarily see anything to hit... it just feels a bit like sliding. It seems to me like I can actually identify when this started, and it surprises me that it's been a few months. I guess as long as I'm moving forward I can call it progress, but I'd sure like to feel a bit more in control. Not much to do but stand by convictions and remember I'm doing this all by choice... hopefully traction comes back soon.


Sunday, March 02, 2008


seem to both connect us, and keep us at arms length from one another. It's easy to ring a Taiwanese colleague and discuss plans for field work from the swiveling comfort of my office chair, but telephony also severely stifles communication sometimes. So much of what people communicate is non-verbal; posturing, eye contact, muscle control, breathing rate... these cues are often the only absolute evidence we can garner about the emotional state of whomever we are communicating with. Not that a statement of "I love you" or "I miss you" is empty without the external cues of a gentle smile or squeeze of the hand, but sometimes that one touch says it all and more without the necessity of uttered words. How frustrating then, when faced with the case of wanting badly to support loved ones experiencing loss or stress or crisis, to be restrained by the disembodied audio-only limitation of a long-distance phone call.