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, July 30, 2008

today's screen



My body is a little sore. My arms are deeply scratched and my legs bruised. I've been exploring trails out in the Indian Peaks and Roosevelt national forest areas recently, with varying success... some trails are almost impossible to ride and others look more like the world-class singletrack that Colorado is known for. "School-Bus" approaches the latter... it's a medium grade (1000 vertical feet in ~3 miles) singletrack that winds across the sheltered slopes of Tennessee Mountain. The conditions include everything from tight aspen clutches with sandy hardpack to open pine forests with squishy loam and roots under tread. The climb out is not a killer, but definitely a grind; the real payoff is coming back down. The first time I rode it I wanted my full face helmet, the second time I rode it (yesterday) I brought my full-face, and all my body-armor. The descent is basically limited by your skill - or your fear - but the trails really allow for full-out speed, and the only thing you have to do is be prepared to thread a few tight spots. Even wearing full arm and leg guards it's a little sketchy, since nothing will ruin your day faster than clipping a tree with your handlebars at 30mph, pads or no. I came close yesterday, catching a full-grown pine tree with my arm. It didn't knock me over (or even slow me down) but I did get rashed through my arm-guard, a reminder that full armor doesn't make you invincible.

It's worth the risk though; trails like schoolbus demand one's full attention when going all out, and it's one of the few things that can get me to stop thinking about work... the forest blurs and everything in the periphery just disappears; only the twists and squeezes of the path ahead are left.


Monday, July 28, 2008


I can only work for so many hours in a day before I have to turn to some other task. Geology (and science in general) is so structured... my days are dominated by geometries, kinematics, gravitational anomalies and lithospheric flexural behaviours. Data is analyzed, solutions reached and results presented; it all seems very droll at times, as though a monkey could do this. Creativity comes into it at times, in the sense that it facilitates making connections between data sets and jumping to a conclusion (that I then have to prove)... but it still lacks a certain purity. Putting pen to paper, tools to wood or brush to canvas allows for such honest and unbounded creativity of the sort that scientists rarely get the chance to enjoy. I occasionally have small desktop projects, but recently I've just been making desktop images (for my screen) when I can't focus on science. Yesterday's (yes I was working all day Sunday) is below....


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

come on....

So, the Soyuz is being replaced and the Russians and Europeans have unveiled their new manned-spacecraft design. It looks like a turd. Now... I know that ballistics dictates that a radially symmetric design is the most stable in flight when things like lift are unnecessary... but come on, even a ballistics expert doesn't have to be blind to aesthetics. For instance: solar panels. I know the attraction to having outboard panels, but they are even more susceptible to damage flopping about like that... why not figure out a coating that would allow the panels to be incorporated into the skin of the vehicle? It would do away with external pieces that jam when folding, and it would look hella-sweet. What I'm really lamenting here is the lack of government interest in building a proper space-cruiser.. If these were cars, the Soyuz would be like the Yugo or maybe a geo-metro, the space-shuttle might be a cadillac sedan, but what I want to see oriting the planet is something like a super-duper lamborghini/hummer with a million little windows and a design that just looks awesome. What will aliens think when they look at us and see how our crude little ships putt around in orbit? we'd be like the dunces of the galaxy, sitting in the corner way out here at the end of an arm with our turd-like ships that can't even get us to the nearest star. lame.


...this is more like it.

...even this would be better!


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Claritin Apollo

Feelin' a bit spacey today.... taking allergy meds and trying to work out what has and what hasn't been said about my research area in the published literature. The picture is just a shot from the Apollo 11 mission, that I played with a little bit during my morning coffee. Sometimes I wish I had my own awesome space-suit and brief-case-air-supply... at least the suit could keep the grass pollen out of my system.


Monday, July 21, 2008


Typhoon Kalmaegi washed over central Taiwan this weekend, dumping 900mm (yeah, that's three feet) of rain. 19 people were killed in floods or debris flows, mostly in Nantou county. Luckily for us (in a purely academic way) I installed a couple of automatic cameras in the region this spring... hopefully they captured some images of the rivers' responses to such an input. In the meantime tho, I'll post a couple of pictures from the news in Taiwan... The picture of the guy was taken in Taichung, the major city that sits in the central basin of the island and the picture of the house full of mud is from Yu-chi, a couple kilometers south of Puli. This is why I wear flip-flops and shorts when I'm there... because you really do have to wade through the streets sometimes.


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Spare Time

...Maybe someday I'll have enough of it to get into something like Arborsculpture... check it out:

Arborsmith Studios


Monday, July 14, 2008

Good Boy!

On my way by Cafe Sole the other morning... This is actually a somewhat normal sight in Boulder.


Friday, July 11, 2008

beat chef

Hi All,

Friday finds me researching pina colada recipes and trying to come up with a new idea for something to grill for a group of friends... perhaps built around seared Tuna or maybe a variation of my butterflied Vietnamese/jerk chicken. In the meantime, I thought I'd share a recipe (from Beardyman) for a funky break. Just for extra measure, I'm also including another beardyman vid of beatbox looping... no instruments or drum machines are used, just a loop sampler.


Monday, July 07, 2008


The last month has seen me struggle to overcome jet-lag, stare drooling at my computer during work, completely reorganize my house, move one roommate out and find a replacement, and eventually refocus on work to start analyzing some of the myriad data that I was given during my recent-ish trip to Taiwan. Once or twice, I've also managed to do fun things, like cook and ride my bike. I still haven't come up with any good biking photos this year, so I'll share a couple of cooking photos... I did a few seared pork ribs with an off-the-cuff marinade/rub (oil, salt, lime, cilantro, vietnamese hot sauce, chipotle, chile molido, tomatillos). Sliced thin, served with grilled asparagus and roasted tomatillo. I also took some of the roasted tomatillo and made some salsa for bread with a bit of virgin olive oil and some cinnamon basil.


Wednesday, July 02, 2008


A word I don't hear very often, but an interesting one. I was just reminded of it while reading this article from the BBC about a young woman who got stuck in a tree while trying to save a cat stuck in the same tree. I'd say I'm pretty chuffed about the work that I'm getting done finally, and patterns are becoming apparent, I just don't know what they all mean yet.