Cramped Quarters.

Classes finally started last week. Originally, I was signed up to take Geomorphology, Paleontology, Volcanology and Physics II. Total of 14 units and a fairly large load. Volcanology ended up having only one other person in the class with me, so that will most likely be cancelled. I ended up dropping it anyway, so that frees up my Wednesday nights. Physics II is going to be hell and from the reviews I’ve read on teacherreview.com, I need to stay as far away from this woman as possible. So I dropped that. That only gave me 7 units (I believe I need 8 to qualify for full time status). SFSU has this requirement called Segment III classes that all students are required to take. They are basically a choice of classes from a large group that you must take. I chose a geology related one entitled “Our Violent Earth”. It seems like it will be cake! So this semester should be relatively easy.

Had a job interview with Trader Joe’s on Friday. As I was sitting down, I noticed my application had a post-it note attached to it that said “Good 1st Impression.” Awesome! I felt fairly confident about the interview too. They said they would call me this week sometime to inform me of their decision. Hopefully I nailed it!

My bedroom is basically complete. My main computer is hooked up and I am back in business! So what does my bedroom look like? Check out the pictures! And no, those posters aren’t mine. I just haven’t had a chance to take them down yet. Pretty cramped quarters if I do say so myself. The cool thing is that I built that bed myself. I’m quite pleased with that.

Pic 1 – Looking inside the bedroom.
Pic 2 – From the inside, looking out.
Pic 3 – Under the desk.

Also posting a new song that I actually put together quite awhile ago. Entitled “Electromagnetic” since it was completely put together on the computer. I was messing around in Fruity Loops and creating some drum beats and bass lines when I came up with it. It is kinda catchy. 2 minutes and 38 seconds is the run time. 2.5mb download, get it here.

Lastly, I meant to post about this last week. Upon my arrival to San Francisco 2 weeks ago, my car had been parked out in front of my sister’s apartment for not more than 3 hours when I received my first parking ticket. It was kind of like a welcoming present.

Live from San Francisco, CA!

Everything that I need to survive is up here, though I did leave a lot of stuff back at home. My first full week in San Francisco is coming to a close. It’s been non-stop though. Between packing things away, building a loft bed for my room (that way I can actually have room!), buying food and eating it as well as job hunting, I’ve hardly had time to relax. My computer is still in pieces at the moment since I don’t have a desk or anything to set it up on. I’ve been using an old laptop that my mom doesn’t use anymore to check email and do internet browsing. Right now, I’m updating this page from my sister’s iMac. Not too keen on how this will work. Hopefully things should be finalized in the next few days and I can post pictures of my new life.

Lately, the weather here has been absolutely beautiful! Perfectly clear skies, temperature slightly on the chilly side. Tonight it’s been sprinkling and it looks like there is rain in the forecast for tomorrow. The wet and cold weather that San Francisco is known for is definitely something I’m going to have to get used to. Haven’t seen much of it yet however. Knock on wood I guess!

On Saturday night, Megan B. was in the San Francisco area since her choir at Chapman University was on a tour of the Pacific Northwest. Saturday was their last night of the tour and since she was in town, we decided to hang out. I met her at Fisherman’s Wharf where she introduced me to loads of her choir friends. Later on we went to go eat at some very pricey sea food restaurant. We had a bunch of left overs that no one was going to eat, so I asked them to bag them for me and I ended up giving 3 bags of food to homeless on our way home. Yay for noble causes! Anyway, it was definitely good times seeing Megan again as well as some of her friends that I’ve seen on prior occasions as well: Jeff, Emma and Brittany.

I have an appointment with the chair of the geology department at SFSU tomorrow. Walking around it today and last week, their department actually seems quite large. Where we basically had about 2 classrooms to ourselves at CSUSB for geology, they appear to have an entire floor dedicated to the department. They even have pictures of all their students posted on the walls. It looks like there are at least 25 geology undergrads there, so it is a pretty decent sized program. I think it will be a challenge, but I’m definitely looking forward to it. School starts Wednesday!

Been putting out lots of applications and resumes for job hunting too. It gets so repetitive filling out the applications. They all ask exactly the same questions and are pretty much setup the same way, except the front page where a company’s logo will go. It’d be much easier to have a standardized form, print it up and just drop it off, but I guess this way weeds out all the lazy people. 😛 I did have an interview today though at SFSU’s bookstore. I felt pretty confident about it. We’ll see how it goes though. He still had others to interview throughout the day and I am supposed to call him back tomorrow.

EDIT: Doh, using Mozilla’s WYSIWYG editor on the Mac, it totally screwed up my webpage. Time to open this in a basic and boring text editor and do it the old fashioned way. Ugh!

Updates have been few and far between.

Hey look, an update!

Been doing quite a bit of house cleaning on the website to update some information, correct broken links, add new links, add some pictures here and there. Probably nothing too noticeable though!

After spending a week up in the Bay Area and doing a lot of contemplating, I’ve finally decided that I’m going for it. Been packing all my stuff and will be moving to San Francisco come this Tuesday. I have so many things of my life now packed away into boxes. And I won’t even be able to bring them all mainly due to current circumstances. For the time being, I’ll be living in this large closest/storage room thing at my sister’s apartment. There isn’t much room to bring a lot of my stuff up, so I’ll have to bring it up later and after I muster up enough money to get my own place.

This last week has been absolutely busy though. From packing, to saying goodbyes, to hanging out with people. I have so many feelings going through my head, from being excited, to nervous, to sad. Though it’s not like I’m saying good-bye forever. I’ll be coming back to visit. I already have some appointments to come back down here in a month for an orthodontist visit.

Today and tomorrow some folks in geology are going orienteering down in the Anza Borrego Desert that is kind of near San Diego. I really want to go, but won’t be able to attend since I still have quite a bit to finish packing. Tonight I also have some plans with some more friends to hang out as well.

Saw Michael Moore’s “Bowling for Columbine” yesterday. I’ve seen this movie before, but it is extremely well put together. Watching it a second time, I’ve concluded that the film mostly leaves it up to the viewer to decide what the problem is in America. While I dislike guns (I wouldn’t mind even more strict laws in place), it is ultimately our society that is the root of the problem. While debating this the other day, I came upon the realization that even if all guns in America were somehow magically removed, you would still have violence. (This is why debating with an open mind is fun! You can learn, understand and see things you might not have thought about!) Granted, you most likely wouldn’t find people robbing a liquor store with a bow and arrow, but our society has such a violent shadow, this wouldn’t change many things in my opinion.

I watched one of the Mars Rovers land about 2 weeks ago on NASA TV. Since then, I’ve been following it so intently. Partly because I find it so amazing and cool, though also partly because Spirit is a robotic geologist. I’ve been looking at all the pictures coming back and even posting in forums such as Slashdot, talking about the latest discoveries.

It’s late and I need to pack a bunch of random stuff that is laying on my bed before I can go to sleep. Until next time!

Vacation Time!

Hardly any updates as of late! Leaving later today to spend the week in San Francisco/Berkeley area. I’m really contemplating going to school up there. Hopefully I can get an appointment with an advisor at SFSU sometime this week to help straighten things out and work out a possible schedule.

In anycase, have a happy new year!

Musical Mayhem!

Cool! A song I’ve been basically putting together for the last 3 months is finally finished. Part of me wanted to just get it finished and out of the way and the other part was looking for something to do while avoiding my physics homework. Anyway, you can download the final product here, entitled “Tsunami Rock”. It is really a working/honorary title, since it was recorded using the guitar I bought from Tsunami Bomb’s guitarist. Total song length is 4:52 and it’s a 4.6mb mp3 file. If you check out the music page, you can find previous iterations and earlier versions of this song as I went along. It was originally (working title) entitled “Simple Punk”.

School is almost done! One more week of classes to go plus finals. I have quite a few projects that are nearly due for many of my classes. The biggest one, which is thankfully almost finished, is entitled, “Sediment Loads of the Lower Colorado River.” Basically, I’ve concluded that at present levels, sediment will completely fill Lake Mead by 5743 A.D. Of course that isn’t factoring in isostatic subsidence, Lake Powell filling up, debris flows from the Grand Canyon, or even if Hoover Dam will last that long, so take that date with a large grain of salt.

Anyway, I hope Thanksgiving was great for everyone. Personally for me, it is all about the pumpkin pie! 😉

Thanks Mr. Schwarzenegger!

I used to love to post my political propaganda all over my website, but I’ve kind of toned down in recent times since it’s somewhat useless. Just lately though, there is something that makes me extremely irate:

Because obviously education is the least of our concerns: Our new governor of California is cutting $223 million dollars from the state’s universities. Now how rad is that? The Cal State system already increased tuition this year by 30% compared to last year, while the UC system increased their tuition by 25%. Now with this huge cut, how much more is tuition going to have to be increased next year?

I guess it is somewhat arguable that we would have eventually had to do the same under Gray Davis. But the thing I didn’t like about Arnold’s solution for balancing our budget was his mentality of “We’re going to cut taxes, but keep spending the same!” How on earth do you balance a budget that way? Glad to see he’s had a change of heart. I mean not only is he cutting out a source of revenue by repealing Davis’s car tax, he’s also cutting spending on one of the most fundamental and important parts of people’s lives: their education. Hmm, could it be because that intelligent people vote democrat? I mean Karl Rove, Bush’s advisor, even reportedly said, “As people do better, they start voting like Republicans – unless they have too much education and vote Democratic, which proves there can be too much of a good thing.”

Granted, it’s inevitable that there are going to have to be budget cuts, but why is education always the first thing that is looked at? Ugh. Whatever though. Maybe I’ll have less homework to do now. Heh. :-/

In other news, new Offspring album entitled “Splinter” will be released next week. Thanks to the wonders of the internet, I’ve been able to hear it. Sadly, I don’t think I will be parting with $13 on a new album from them. It’s especially sad since this is one of my favorite bands of all time too! Why can’t people make good music again?

More related music news! I’m a “model” for Tsunami Bomb! Hah! Basically I know the chick who does the merch stuff on their website. She asked if I had any Tsunami Bomb shirts and to take a picture in one. You can see the results of my dorkage on their website. Click Store -> Click on the first shirt you see that has a fire extinguisher on it.

Regardless of the overall depressing tone of this entry, things have been going good! School is winding down and lots of projects are piling up and nearly due! About 2 more weeks then we’re done! After that, I’m taking part in a geology project where we will be using some expensive GPS equipment to track movement of the Pacific and North American plates in relation to each other. It’s not too glamorous work since we basically sit and babysit a large GPS receiver all day. However, it’s fascinating what we will possibly be able to find out though!

Well, until next time! Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

It’s been a long time…

You may have noticed that it’s been quite awhile since the last journal entry. Life has been extremely busy!

In any case, I believe I have been blessed with strange super powers. I’m not talking about the ones that many people I know have, including my close friends. The ones where it seems that by the mere virtue of them sitting in a vehicle, they can turn any traffic light they approach from green to red. No, mine are much more unique.

When going for a walk around the neighborhood, campus or basically any place during the evening, it seems that as I approach certain streetlamps, they will turn off or turn on. I’m sure many would write this off as a random occurence, but it happens often enough that I notice it! Not sure exactly what it means however. And it’s somewhat inconsistent. They’ll be nights where I somehow affect every light on the street and other times where I can go days without noticing anything. I’m sure it’s all completely random. But if I do have some strange super power, it’d be nice to know how I use it. I don’t see how affecting random lamp posts will help me save the world. I also notice I have the same affect on SPRINKLERS! Gah! I can just imagine my name: “The Wet Lightbulb Boy!”

Wet Light Bulb Boy In Action!
Wet Light Bulb Boy in Action!

Changing subjects, I’ve noticed a lot of people trying to get in touch with me during the week can’t figure out my schedule for this quarter, so I went ahead and posted it! Not sure if it will be that useful, unless you want to stalk me, but feel free to try. You can find it here.

Registered for next quarter this past week as well. Current classes that I’m enrolled in:
Geology of California
Structural Geology
Stratigraphy
Perspectives on Gender (general education class I need to get out of the way)

18 more units! My time should be much more open though which should be nice. I want to take Physics II to get that out of the way but there is a scheduling conflict with Structural Geology. Talking with some of my professors to see if we can work something out, which may involve taking the classes at the exact same time… so I’ll be making up a lot of work. We’ll see where the pieces fall into place on that.

Not too much exciting news lately. There was the Old Fire in Waterman Canyon that happened 2 weeks ago. I took some pictures from on top of Strawberry Peak when my dad had to take some equipment up there to get the emergency radio system back on track. You can check out the fire approaching Crestline in these pictures. I know of one fellow geology major who lost their house in that fire and a girl in another one of my classes also lost her house. Extremely sad. We even lost a few temporary classrooms at school and it was closed for 2 days

It’s quite late and I have to wake up for classes in a few hours, so it’s time to go to bed. Hopefully you’ll here from me again sooner rather than later!

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.

Geology Research

Yesterday I got to work on a research project with a graduate student from the University of Southern Oregon named Reid. He was creating a detailed topographic map of some beheaded stream beds that lay along the San Andreas Fault in the area and needed some people to assist him. This was part of some research he was doing for his Phd. We helped him setup a tripod on which a high tech survey system called a Total Station was placed. This recorded distance, azimuth and inclination at a variety of points. The points were written to a memory card and would be plugged into a computer to create a topographic map that is accurate to within a few centimeters. Basically he needed one student to take notes and another to run around to various points with a survey rod that had a reflector on it. The Total Station would shoot a laser to this reflector and record the data. Two other fellow students were there on the project: Amber Rheubottom, who had to leave part way through the day and Maureen Barley. Yes, that one. 😉

I started off holding the survey rod and within two minutes of starting to record data I got nailed by a wasp. I go to put my hand in my pocket, and somehow the bastard had crawled into it! The next thing I know, I feel an electric shock and screamed. Sure enough, there was the stinger, right on my ring finger. It stopped hurting after a bit and we continued onward. However, today it is still visibly swollen and itches like crazy! I really notice the swelling when I curl my fingers to try and play guitar. Ouch!

Regardless of that, the rest of the day was pretty fun. I think we made nearly 350 measurements yesterday over this small area. Each measurement involved moving the rod about a meter in one direction, focusing the laser on the target and shooting. It took anywhere from 45 seconds to two minutes to shoot a target. We ended up being out there the whole day! Met up at about 8am and I think we finally left to have dinner at around 6:30pm. I learned a lot of stuff from Reid and it was really awesome to be able to actually participate in some real research. Apparently, they may be coming back in November to actually dig a trench across the fault to try and determine dates of various earthquakes. If they need help, they will let us know. That would be fantastic to help out on that.

Afterwards, Maureen and I decided to show Reid the joys of In N’ Out hamburgers since this was his first time visiting Southern California. Of course in my infinite wisdom, I gave him the wrong directions and nearly got him lost in the ghetto of San Bernardino. Luckily, he had Maureen’s cell phone number and we were able to find him. Best of all, he paid for our dinner since we worked so hard all day! Rad!

It was definitely a neat experience and being outdoors, even if it was grunt work, reinforced why I like geology so much. Learning about that stuff was fascinating. Also, it was great to talk to Maureen again. Despite things not working out between us, she’s still one of the most amazing and brilliant people I’ve ever met, so it is makes me pretty ecstatic to be on friendly terms with her again.

“School’s out for the summer!”

Is it bad that I’m already starting to count down school being out? I think it’s only because I’m tempting death and taking *18* units this quarter! After two days of classes, I am already beat. At least I have tomorrow off… however, I have some stuff to do for our geologic mapping class.

What is my geologic mapping class? It’s on Fridays, from 9am until 5pm. That is no typo. It is somewhat fun, but at the same time, insanely stressful. There is a lot to learn and being out in the sun all day doesn’t help. Granted, we’ve only had one class too! Ugh!

Anyway, this is quite a short post. I’m happy to be on this new domain. Check it out! I hope to implement some cool stuff soon… like COMMENTS for each of these posts. That would be rad! Of course, I doubt the 3 people that read this would comment, but I digress! See you next time.

[Updated: 11:16PM] – Testing the new comments system! Have at it. If this works, we should have comments for EACH post! Nice!