Another entry! Run for the hills!

Alright, you might have noticed that there have been no updates in quite awhile. School has just absolutely been killing any free time I have. Of course my sister says, “maybe if you didn’t write these long blogs that no one reads, you’d have more free time!” Quite right Michelle! Whatever though, it’s a mixed blessing. It is a great feeling to actually have stuff to do, but at the same time, there is hardly any free time to do stuff I enjoy or for leisure. It’s somewhat easy to fall behind too with all the stuff going on right now.I need to seriously reconsider this 18 units a quarter thing… because next quarter I’m considering doing 19 units. 😀

What’s been going on as of late though? A lot of geology stuff, however that isn’t the only thing. About a week ago, Maureen hooked me up with a research project that she is helping out with that deals with a lot of radio astronomy. I haven’t been able to spend as much time on that as I’d like to, especially since there is quite a bit to learn. To give an overly simple explanation as to what we’re looking at: Looking inside a dust cloud and seeing just what the heck is going on. I suppose it sounds somewhat bland, but the concept is fascinating, especially considering that we’re some of the first people to *ever* see these objects. But then again, I’m a huge geek. 🙂

This past weekend, we had a 3 day excursion in our geologic mapping class to Rainbow Basin out near Barstow, CA. We were mapping rock formations for all 3 days. Rainbow Basin is a beautiful area and I’m sure I would enjoy it much more on my own volition. Apparently, something like 80 temperature records were broken across the country this weekend, including Barstow (which is in the middle of the Mojave Desert anyway). One of our fellow students took a temperature reading and it was 102 degrees in the shade! A lot of water and a wide brimmed hat helped to alleviate any discomfort though.

Regardless, it was still brutal: Friday, Saturday and Sunday our schedule was to be out there working from 8am – 5pm. You could take breaks whenever you wanted, but we had a lot to get done. We had to take lots of attitudes of all the beds, identify different rock types throughout the whole basin, map where different rock types contact and also note features such as faults and the axis of folding that is going on in the area. Despite the heat (which was primarily the only thing that worked against us on the trip), it was cool to apply our knowledge and see how it works out in the real world. However, despite having 3 full days to work this weekend, quite a few of us are going back out tomorrow in order to finish up some mapping. I have a few pictures I took of the Rainbow Basin area and some of the things we were doing while out there. As soon as I get more time, I will post them, most likely on the geology part of the website.

The weekend before that, a few of us went out to Trona (which is another place that is basically in the middle of nowhere) to do some mineral collecting. We collected large pieces of a mineral called hanksite. It forms from evaporite deposits and creates these beautiful crystal structures. Then we camped around the Trona Pinnacles, which were just awesome as well. All in all, I have had A LOT of geology lately! I’m sure most of you probably have had your fill of it by now anyway. 😉

I’m writing this up from the library at school at the moment and then emailing this to myself so I can post it when I get home. Pretty lame, I know! I should probably be studying for a midterm that I have in 5 hours, but we all need breaks right?

Lastly, some music news: I am now the proud owner of Mike Griffin’s (guitarist of Tsunami Bomb) Epiphone Les Paul Custom that he has used for the last 2 years. He even recorded parts of “The Ultimate Escape” (their most recent album) with it! RAD! You can check out the guitar here. The red one is mine and the black one is his. It was definitely an awesome deal in my opinion. I even got to go backstage to pick it up too. That was fun! So yes, that makes 8 guitars. However, 3 of them are currently up for sale! I just need to find some people interested in buying them: Squire Stratocaster, Gretsch Electromatic Sparklejet and an Epiphone Les Paul Gothic.