- Name: on-the-rocks
- Location: Atlanta, GA area, United States
Discussions of geology, beer, and other things of interest.
My Other Blogs
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geosciblog Continuing Series
Newly-Found Geology/Science Blogs (Early-2009 to Mid-2011)
Newly-Found/Newly-Linked Blogs (Mid-2008 to Mid-2011)
Newly-Found Blogs (Late 2007)
Talk Radio-Related Websites
Science-Related (Including Global Warming Skeptics) blogs/Websites
Global Warming/Current Paradigm & Other Science Blogs/Websites
Not Ready for Facebook
Oh, By the Way, Happy New Year
Another Climate Change Rant
Hoplophobia - the New Word for the Day
Tiny Lund, a NASCAR Legend
A Few Debate Tactics for Conservatives/Libertarian...
A Facebook Challenge....
Recent PostsStill Here
Not Ready for Facebook
Oh, By the Way, Happy New Year
Another Climate Change Rant
Hoplophobia - the New Word for the Day
Tiny Lund, a NASCAR Legend
A Few Debate Tactics for Conservatives/Libertarian...
A Facebook Challenge....
GeologicalScienceBlog - subjects include Geology, Climatology, Environmental Science, NASCAR, Beer, Property Rights, Random Thoughts, & Politics from a Christian Conservative/Libertarian/pragmatist viewpoint. As a Dad & Grandad, I am concerned about the overgrowth of government at the expense of freedom. Background - two degrees in Geology (BS '77, MS '90), started studying Geology beginning Senior Year of high school (1971 - 1972) <68>
Friday, February 27, 2009
What a Geologist Sees - Part 27 - Or 100 Things a Geologist Should See or Do...
To see the entire list, visit the link. Printing the entire list is too long, so I will list the things I have done or seen and the things that I consider in the realm of possibility of doing sometime in the future.
Been there/done that:
3. See an active geyser... such as those in Yellowstone
6. Explore a limestone cave. Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico, Luray Caverns, VA, Raccoon Mt., TN; Cumberland Caverns, TN; Mammoth Cave, KY
7. Tour an open pit mine,... a copper mine in Santa Rita, NM
8. Explore a subsurface mine - a coal mine in Mexico.
13. An exfoliation dome, such as those in the Sierra Nevada - or Stone Mt., GA.
16. A gingko tree, which is the lone survivor of an ancient group of softwoods that covered much of the Northern Hemisphere in the Mesozoic. - Got one in my side yard.
17. Living and fossilized stromatolites (Glacier National Park is a great place to see fossil stromatolites - or the Franklin Mts., El Paso area while Shark Bay in Australia is the place to see living ones) - done 1/2 of that
19. A caldera - Valles Caldera, Los Alamos, NM, several calderas in West Texas
26. A large sinkhole - Silver Springs, FL
33. Petrified trees Bisti Badlands, San Juan County, NM (see this post)
34. Lava tubes Aden Crater, NM
35. The Grand Canyon. All the way down. And back. 1/2 of this, I have been on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon 4 times.
36. Meteor Crater, Arizona, also known as the Barringer Crater, to see an impact crater on a scale that is comprehensible - 1978
58. The Carolina Bays, along the Georgia coastal plains
62. Yosemite Valley - 1974
63. Landscape Arch (or Delicate Arch) in Utah - camera crapped out on both visits 1977 & 1979
80. The Black Canyon of the Gunnison in Colorado - 1977, 1979
84. Find a trilobite (or a dinosaur bone or any other fossil) - found plenty of fossils, including dino bones, but haven't found a complete trilobite, yet.
85. Find gold, however small the flake - numerous times in GA and CA
88. Experience a sandstorm - First spring in El Paso, 1977 and other times
90. Witness a total solar eclipse
95. View a great naked-eye comet, an opportunity which occurs only a few times per century
96. See a lunar eclipse
So, it looks like I have only done 21 of these things (or been 21 of these places). That is not to say I haven't seen a countless number of interesting things, but they might not be interesting enough to put on a Top-100 list.
Might go there/do that someday:
1. See an erupting volcano - I would like to visit either Iceland or Hawaii
2. See a glacier
4. Visit the Cretaceous/Tertiary (KT) Boundary. Possible locations include the San Juan Basin, NM.
5. Observe (from a safe distance) a river whose discharge is above bankful stage (I have watched a rather intense flash flood near Hillsboro, New Mexico, I don't know if that would qualify or not)
11. A slot canyon. Many of these amazing canyons are less than 3 feet wide and over 100 feet deep. They reside on the Colorado Plateau. Among the best are Antelope Canyon, Brimstone Canyon, Spooky Gulch and the Round Valley Draw.
14. A layered igneous intrusion, such as the Stillwater complex in Montana or the Skaergaard Complex in Eastern Greenland.
15. Coastlines along the leading and trailing edge of a tectonic plate (check out The Dynamic Earth - The Story of Plate Tectonics - an excellent website).
18. A field of glacial erratics
20. A sand dune more than 200 feet high
22. A recently formed fault scarp
23. A megabreccia
24. An actively accreting river delta
25. A natural bridge
27. A glacial outwash plain
28. A sea stack
29. A house-sized glacial erratic
30. An underground lake or river
31. The continental divide
32. Fluorescent and phosphorescent minerals
39. The Waterpocket Fold, Utah, to see well exposed folds on a massive scale.
40. The Banded Iron Formation, Michigan, to better appreciate the air you breathe.
44. Devil's Tower, northeastern Wyoming, to see a classic example of columnar jointing
46. Telescope Peak, in Death Valley National Park. From this spectacular summit you can look down onto the floor of Death Valley - 11,330 feet below.
50. The Goosenecks of the San Juan River, Utah, an impressive series of entrenched meanders.
51. Shiprock, New Mexico, to see a large volcanic neck
54. Mount St. Helens, Washington, to see the results of recent explosive volcanism.
59. The Mima Mounds near Olympia, Washington
61. The moving rocks of Racetrack Playa in Death Valley
64. The Burgess Shale in British Columbia
65. The Channeled Scablands of central Washington
66. Bryce Canyon
67. Grand Prismatic Spring at Yellowstone
68. Monument Valley
69. The San Andreas fault
75. A catastrophic mass wasting event
76. The giant crossbeds visible at Zion National Park
77. The black sand beaches in Hawaii (or the green sand-olivine beaches)
78. Barton Springs in Texas (will try to do that next time I am in Austin)
79. Hells Canyon in Idaho
82. Feel an earthquake with a magnitude greater than 5.0.
83. Find dinosaur footprints in situ
86. Find a meteorite fragment
87. Experience a volcanic ashfall
91. Witness a tornado firsthand. (Important rules of this game). (We were in our basement at 1 AM when we got hit by a tornado in 1998, it is probably not the same thing as watching one cross the plains of Oklahoma or Kansas)
92. Witness a meteor storm, a term used to describe a particularly intense (1000+ per minute) meteor shower
93. View Saturn and its moons through a respectable telescope.
94. See the Aurora borealis, otherwise known as the northern lights - (I was in Wisconsin in the summer of 1982, but I was enjoying the local beer and I forgot to look for the Northern Lights at night).
97. View a distant galaxy through a large telescope
98. Experience a hurricane
99. See noctilucent clouds
100. See the green flash
I would add a couple more things:
101. Go to the Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas and stay there until you find a diamond. I found one my first trip there in 1973.
102. Stand on the platform of an operating oil drilling rig. I have sort of done this, we visited a couple of drill rigs in SE New Mexico on a Geology field trip in 1982, both were operating rigs, but they had suspended drilling for safety reasons while we were there (or else some maintenance was going on).
Thursday Video (on Friday) - A Whitman Sampler
IMHO, she has already started off on the wrong foot, as far as addressing a part of California's massive deficit, but saying she is not in favor of oil drilling. Unless Leftists completely destroy the economy (which is sadly possible), the demand will come back and there need to be plans made in advance to address supply issues, which is what drilling is about.
Here is a short video from her appearance on Glenn Beck, by way of Markedmanner:
With that $42 billion deficit, one way to make a dent is to sell some oil leases and sell some state land. Oil drilling means jobs, tax revenue, increased economic activity among the "throw-off businesses", i.e., those businesses that provide supplies and services to the oil/gas exploration firms. (As a for instance, I recently read that in the Williston Basin of ND/MT, by the time a successful Bakken Fm. oil well is completed, up to 60 different businesses have been engaged, i.e., they have furnished supplies and/or services. These wells into the Bakken may run $4 to $5 million each. Costs for California wells would, of course be different, especially higher for offshore drilling.
As you may or may not know, some of California's beaches are being soiled by natural oil seeps and drilling into nearby reservoirs is one way to mitigate this natural condition. There are also natural oil/gas seeps on the floor of the Gulf of Mexico.
I have to admit that, at this point, I don't even know what party she is associated with (I happened across this video while working online). On the short time shown in the video, she addresses the "we've got to change issue" for California, but if she won't look at the economics of drilling, she isn't willing to look at the bigger picture (or else she is playing too much to the California mindset).
Thursday, February 26, 2009
What in the Name of Damn Hill?
What is it with that damn hill in Center Field?
While going through some recently down-loaded photos, I ran across this one from Minute Maid Park in Houston, where the Astros play.
While in Houston for the NAPE Expo a few weeks ago, one of the parties I attended on Thursday night was hosted at the ball park, by a publishing company that specializes in oil exploration industry-related magazines, books, and other media.
I had imbibed two bottles of Newcastle Brown Ale at the first party (the best thing available at that party) and was pacing myself at this one consuming only water for a while. I stepped out onto a balcony to look at the ball park and noticed that it has an interesting intimacy to it (though I am not a baseball fan). Then, unless it was an optical delusion, I noticed what looks to me like a hill between the warning track and the fence, in center field (on the left side of this photo). There are probably YouTube videos of centerfielders the first time they play at this park. You might notice that the warning track is rather narrow at this point. ???
So why the hill? I suppose I could Google "Minute Maid Park Hill" and see what comes up, but I am too tired/too lazy - and I still have a little more work to do on the computer, after this time out.
[To those that are concerned, I finished up with a glass of St. Arnold Stout at the final watering hole in one of the hotels near the convention center. I much prefer American beer/ales to anything imported.]
I actually discovered that one of my co-workers is the son of a high-school classmate of my wife. It turned out that my wife had already gotten in touch with his mom (her '72 classmate) by way of Facebook, not knowing that her son worked for this company when I was hired on. Yeah, it's a small world, I feel old and my grandson is due in the next week and a half.
I do plan to take my son to a baseball game or two when the Gwinnett Braves (AAA) open this spring, rather than have to deal with downtown Atlanta hassles for the Atlanta Braves. The park will only be about 15 miles or so from here.
I will advise ya'll if I find out the purpose of this hill.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
What a Geologist Sees - Part 26B
The uppermost photo is from a clinker zone, which I may have explained in the previous post on this subject. It is basically baked shale from adjacent to a burned coal seam. On the left is a stem of some sort and on the right is a leaf fragment.
The second photo is of a permineralized (petrified) stump. I hope it somehow got hauled of to a museum or a geology department. It was way too heavy for me to move, though I would love to have something like this in my front yard.
The third photo is of one of the areas rich in permineralized logs. We were to collect samples from each of these and mark them on the map. Again, I hope - if there is a coal mine there, now - that someone got some of these. I may add a few more if the spirit moves me.
Here is the link to the two remaining Feb. 2005 posts that remain (I did some "house cleaning" and tossed some others, thinking that "nobody cares about this post or that one").
Here is from the first Blogiversary in 2006, the second one, and the third one, for what it is worth.
And so it goes. Will Henry Waxman get his wish to control the internet/blogosphere? That is just one of the "adventures" awaiting us in the next year. A year when we may have to ask ourselves where is that fine line between being a Jeffersonian patriot and a wacko.
Friday, February 20, 2009
Terry Moran is a Moron
But Rush Limbaugh just played a voice clip in which Terry Moran suggested that Barack Obama was taking a "step down" from his lofty perch into the Oval Office.
HE WAS A ROOKIE SENATOR FROM ILLINOIS, less than 1/3 into his term when he started running for President.
So, who is more "nuts", those that think Obama is the anti-Christ or those that think he is the Messiah?
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Thursday Videos - So We Never Forget The Falling Man
For there are some that want us to forget. The photo has been essentially censored out of existence by the MSM.
The YouTube video was posted by fofo69.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
For the Time Being, I am Lostless
And I have completely forgotten to watch Lost, both times. Previously, I have gotten caught up on the Lost website and I could do so, now, but I don't have time to watch both missed episodes.
So do I skip tonight to stay in sequence or do I watch tonight (and get more confused than I already am)?
To reiterate my position, I don't watch much TV, but when I start something, I like to keep up with it, as long as I don't have to chase it around the schedule. And Lost is strange enough to be entertaining.
I also have a DVD to watch and return to Blockbuster - Ben Stein's "Expelled".
It is not about the book, but about this recent regulation that will result in the destruction of countless children's books, published before 1985, because of a phobia over the minute amounts of lead in the book covers.
The bottom line is that, if it is not too late, you might ought to hoof it to your nearest used book store to rescue any old, classic children's books before they go to the dumpster or to a bonfire.
I don't know that there is any ulterior motive here, such as cutting us off from a part of our cultural past, I think it is the above-mentioned Nanny State phobia about lead. Unless you kid is chewing on these old books, there is probably little chance that they will absorb any harmful amounts of lead.
And to demonstrate how much they "care" for the children, I think there was to be a $100,000 fine for each violation. So if we presume that most used book stores are small business enterprises, this means they must trash a portion of their inventory with no restitution (so what is new with Libs?). I wonder if they have to treat the books as Haz Mat wastes?
I don't recall if the print article I read (last Sunday I think) may have suggested that there might be an extension of this rule to cover old toys that might have lead in their paint, perhaps such as old Tinker toys. Generally, those would probably be collectible enough not to let Junior play with.
[Updated with NewsBusters link.]
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Tuesday Videos - More NASCAR...
Considering the fact that they had no safety fuel cells, no complete padded roll cages, no fire suits, and no multi-point safety harnesses...It was a miracle that no one was seriously injured. I didn't go back and look again, but the poster said that at least six cars rolled during the accident.
Tuesday Videos - 1983 Daytona 500
At 2:15 on this video, you will see the crash which Darrell testifies changed his life. You will see Darrell, in the yellow/white Pepsi car run up on the rear bumper of Dick Brooks, who was slowing for a caution flag. Darrell was trying to pass the leader (who I think was Dick Brooks) to make up for a lost lap, but Dick had slowed more than Darrell realized. Darrell had the choice of clobbering Dick's rear bumper or swerving to the left. You will see the results.
Tuesday Videos - 1979 Daytona 500
The action begins with the last lap on the backstretch. Donnie Allison (#1) moved down (too late) to block Cale Yarborough (#11) and ran him into the edge of the infield grass, as they battled for the lead. After the two had crashed, Bobby Allison (#15) stopped to check on them and a fistfight ensued. There is some modern-day commentary from Cale and Donnie.
You also get to see Richard Petty holding off Darrell Waltrip to win the race. In addition, you see an earlier incident between the brothers Allison and Cale, in which all three spun into the infield.
Tuesday Videos - Daytona 500 - the "Big One"
To restate my humble opinion, the cutoff move by Brian Vickers (#83), while questionable in wisdom, was legal and the first bump by Dale, Jr. was OK. It was the second bump that caused the melee. It is most easily seen by the camera angle at the beginning of the video clip.
Bubba, Go Ahead and Get the Tranquilizer Gun Ready...
[As I have to get back to work, I will leave my rants until later.]
In the meantime, just read the article, bearing in mind that carbon dioxide only accounts for 385 ppm of the atmosphere (0.0385%), while an estimated 90 to 95% of the Greenhouse Effect is due to water vapor and clouds.]
Again as a proviso, I (and other skeptics) are not saying that we aren't affecting weather and climate, we just think that human-emitted CO2 component is so small (versus the natural sources), that human effects are likely to be small. There are other things that humans do, regarding changes in land-use patterns, e.g., deforestation and the growth of Urban Heat Islands, that might affect the climate patterns (especially locally), but because of past natural variations, it is almost impossible to say how much we might be responsible for. In the end, the concept that humans are causing any sort of climate catastrophes is just a political animal, it was born as such and it remains as such.
Frankly, after reading the blog post, I would be afraid to let this guy Hansen on a trans-Atlantic airline flight, lest he go nuts over the carbon dioxide being emitted by the jet engines.
[I will try to do a video or two later.]
Labels: Climate Hysteria
Monday, February 16, 2009
So, What is the Cloward/Piven Strategy?
From the American Thinker post:
..."Obama adheres to the Saul Alinksy Rules for Radicals method of politics, which teaches the dark art of destroying political adversaries. However, that text reveals only one front in the radical left's war against America. The Cloward/Piven Strategy is another method employed by the radical Left to create and manage crisis. This strategy explains Rahm Emanuel's ominous statement, "You never want a serious crisis to go to waste."
The Cloward/Piven Strategy is named after Columbia University sociologists Richard Andrew Cloward and Frances Fox Piven. Their goal is to overthrow capitalism by overwhelming the government bureaucracy with entitlement demands. The created crisis provides the impetus to bring about radical political change."...
This American Thinker post from today is a good follow-up.
We are in the midst of an (at least partially) engineered economic train wreck. For the sake of apologizing to our children and grandchildren, we need to understand some of the "whys" and "hows", for they will someday be screaming at our graves.
A Follow-Up to the Daytona 500
The Georgia drivers, David Ragan, Reid Sorenson, and Bill Elliott finished 6th, 9th, and 23rd, respectively. Reid Sorenson had been in 2nd place until Matt Kenseth "muscled" past him and others joined in. Momentum lost is not easily regained.
As for the "big one" - the big wreck, IMHO, it was 60% Earnhardt, Jr. and 40% Brian Vickers. Or maybe even 65%/35%.
For those that didn't watch, Vickers moved to the inside of the backstretch to block Earnhardt, Jr. (a legal move) and Dale, Jr. bumped him twice. The first time was OK, it was the second bump that sent Vickers' car across the track, taking out the dominant car of Kyle Busch and a number of others.
It would have been an awkward PR moment if the race had been completed and Dale, Jr. had won after his involvement in this wreck.
Found an Interesting Blog
Sunday, February 15, 2009
Before the Green Flag...
The three Ga. drivers are David Ragan (#6), Reed Sorenson (#43), and Bill Elliott (#21), starting in 33rd, 34th, and 40th positions, respectively due to the events of the qualifying races on Thursday.
This may be a trying year for NASCAR with what is going on with the economy and what the government is going to do while trying to "fix" it.
Let's hope all goes well.
Friday, February 13, 2009
The AAAS Smells Money...
From this UK Telegraph article, comes the hysterical declaration that "Barack Obama has four years to save the world from climate change", uttered most recently by Professor James McCarthy of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Apparently these utterances were made to the BBC on the eve of the opening of the annual meeting of the AAAS.
From the UK Telegraph article:
..."Prof McCarthy, who said the warming of the planet was "unequivocal", also warned against cuts to spending on green initiatives. "Many scientists have wondered whether President Obama will be able to make commitments to investments in energy technology and understanding climate change – that were an important part of his campaign," he said.
"I know many of my colleagues looking at the fiscal situation, have felt that these good ideas might be put on the back burner. That would be a terrible thing if that happened. "This is our window, with the science advice he has, with the realisation that these issues are pressing, if they are made second order I think we have really lost it.""...
Just more climate hysteria, followed by a plea for government grants in the second paragraph, despite concerns over rapidly increasing debt.
Nature is going to do what nature is going to do. Remember that carbon dioxide comprises 0.0385% of the atmosphere, while water vapor and clouds are responsible for the bulk of the Greenhouse Effect. More and more scientists are leaving the Alarmist viewpoint and drifting into the skeptics camp.
It is all a big power/money grab, with the goal of controlling fuel use - aside from their desires to control speech, mobility, banking,...
Do we see a long-term pattern?
Thursday, February 12, 2009
When Environmentalism Kills
Following an excerpt from the Australian news outlet The Age, AT poster Danny Huddleston included these words:
"In my grandparents day farmers here in Texas would burn the underbrush around their farms and in the forest every year. This slow burning fire cleaned out the brush and grass but didn't bother the trees and made it practically impossible to start forest fires.
Now in the environmentalists quest to save every bush and weed, we have huge forest fires consuming thousand of acres every year, not to mention the loss of human life and property."...
In other words, "little fires" every year or two gets rid of the dead wood and other classifications of fuel, without getting big enough to harm the trees. When environmentalists prevent any sort of management/maintenance, the fuel builds up and when a fire gets started, it becomes catastrophic. Some folks in this country have learned this, but the zealots are slow to learn.
Thursday Videos - Some Intense, Pro-Life Wisdom from a 12-Year Old
According to the Moonbattery post, the YouTube poster had to turn off the comments to this video because of the visciousness of the open-minded Leftists, some of whom made comments suggesting sexual assault against this young girl.
Thursday Videos - Redux
To the Dishonorable Senior Senator from New York...think of the little "porky" amendments as little tumors. Some of the big tumors may be too difficult to remove - due to their complexity - with a dumbed-down populace and a dishonest MSM, but we can perhaps slow our plunge into financial Hell by calling attention to the little tumors, first.
If the American people only knew the damage that you alone have done, they would be breaking out the pitchforks and torches.
Bill Clinton said and John Kerry says it. We citizens and our businesses can't be trusted with our own money. Go government must keep as much as they can.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Inquiring Minds Want to Know!
From CNSNews.com, come a couple of articles about some of the surprises tucked away in the massive spending bill passed by Senate Democrats and three traitors (Collins, Snowe, and Specter) a few days ago.
This article is concerned with the future rationing of health care. I just turned 55 and if my employer-provided health insurance is taken away, what might I be denied by the government as "too expensive"? That is the slippery slope.
This article is concerned about all of our health records "going electronic", wherein they will become transparent to the government's prying eyes.
From the second article:
..."But some Americans remain skeptical.
An editorial in Wednesday’s Washington Times called the health care provisions “the germ of a major overhaul of the American health care system.”
“Think of it,” the editorial said – “a centralized, federal database tracking your every visit to a health care provider -- where you went, who you saw, what was diagnosed and what care was provided.”
The Washington Times said privacy is a major concern, despite assurances that electronic health records will be strictly confidential.
And the newspaper editorial also took issue with the word “efficiency,” which is mentioned in the bill, but not defined. It could mean limiting the availability of expensive treatments for certain elderly or sick patients, something Tom Daschle, Obama's first choice for Health and Human Services Secretary, has advocated."
OK, all of you "pro-choicers", if they get their way and all medical records become government property,...one can only assume that...
The government will know the identity of every woman that has had an abortion. And of every person that has been treated for an STD. And of every person that has sought psychiatric help for depression and other issues.
Are you comfortable with that? Do you want the government making decisions with this information "in hand"?
George Orwell was right, it just took a little longer than he thought.
Labels: Future Suppressions
What We are Fearing...
It might do you well to read this Moonbattery post.
The purpose of the 2nd Amendment was to recognize the God-given right to protect our homes from tyranny - by mob or by government. It is part of our checks-and-balances.
Restrictions may be hidden in another spending bill, it may happen incrementally, but it will happen, if we don't wake up. It is not a "gun issue", it is a freedom issue. The gun is simply the tool we use to protect our homes.
The primary reason, aside from the general desire to control people, the government fears tax riots by our children and grandchildren - things that will follow the trillions of dollars of our money that is being spent without our informed consent.
From the short post a couple of days ago...
"I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them." George Mason
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Tuesday Videos - Jimmy Carter's War on the Jews
It is really very simple. Israel just wants to be left the Hell alone. Some 80% of Israeli citizens are secular and they have proven that they are willing to coexist with their Muslim "Arab" citizens. If I am not mistaken, there are Muslims in the Knesset (sp.?) and that Muslim citizens in good standing are allowed to vote.
It is easier for surrounding Muslim nations to blame Israel for their problems, rather than cleaning up their own "houses".
I am not saying Israel is perfect and without blame, but folks who have lived with their "neighbors" wanting to wipe them out for 60+ years are going to make some mistakes. But let's put blame where it belongs.
I post this as a reminder that many of us Georgians would like to apologize for voting for Jimmy Carter. He is at least moderately (or largely) responsible for the growth of radical Islam in the Middle East. He has American and Israeli blood on his hands.
What a Geologist Sees - Part 26
Two years ago, I started a 30th anniversary recount of my life-changing move from the Atlanta area to El Paso. I got distracted and I don't think I got much past Fort Worth on I-20 in my story. I don't know if it is worth going back and picking up that thread.
This summer will mark the 30th anniversary of my 1979 summer job in the Bisti Badlands of San Juan County, New Mexico, a "few" miles south of Farmington.
It wasn't a field-mapping sort of summer job, it was a Fossil Recovery job. It was funded by Western Coal Company (a subsidiary of one or more utilities) in the "Four Corners" area and administered by UT El Paso and UNM. Per Federal and State law, before any significant land disturbances, a fossil recovery is required.
In the 440 mile trek from El Paso to Farmington, NM, I was leaving behind the wreckage of my first serious love affair (I was a late bloomer), just one of those life experiences that didn't turn out well. 'Nuff said.
When my field partner and I arrived at the work site, we were given our instructions on where to start and we were given our maps (which were the most-detailed, best topo maps a geologist could hope for). If my memory serves me, after 30 years, the scale may have been 1:100 with 5-foot contours, which made it very easy to figure out where you were, which was very important for the Fossil Recovery Project. One of our professors was there to start us off and he came up to check on us every couple of weeks or so.
We were in the San Juan Basin, working in the Cretaceous Fruitland Formation (Fm. abbreviation), to clear the area for a future coal mine. We were to sample and record the map locations of any occurrences of invertebrate fossils (fresh water clams) and permineralized (petrified) wood. When we found dinosaur bones (or other vertebrate fossils), we were to collect and bag all bone fragments and to record the map locations. For the larger fossils (as with the dino bone pictured here in both photos, from different angles), the Univ. of New Mexico would come in later and do their plaster-casting thing. Sometimes it would take two hours of being on my hands and knees to pick up every bone fragment. The idea was that the Univ. of New Mexico lab students would attempt to glue the fragments back together along with any larger pieces found nearby. Sort of like putting together a large jigsaw puzzle without a picture to guide you.
The environment of deposition of the Late Cretaceous Fruitland Fm. was somewhat similar to today's Everglades. The Fruitland Fm. was primarily composed of soft clays (which give rise to the "Badlands-type" topography), along with a few sandy stream channel deposits (which we would sample and screen for small vertebrate (rodent) teeth. It was from these channel deposits that we also collected the fresh-water clams.
After suffering through rain every day (except one) of the first two weeks, things settled down. The clays in the Fruitland Fm. are like grease when wet. So my field partner and I spent our time trapped in our respective truck campers, waiting out the rain. This is why I always stash books in my car trunk, in case I ever get stranded again, so I will at least have something to read.
One of the early things that I learned was that you always had to have your rock hammer with you, in case you slid into one of the ravines. They weren't terribly deep, but you couldn't get out unless you hacked crude stair steps into the clay, one at a time. Even when it was dry it was difficult to clamber out with the steps cut into the clay. You also had to use your rock hammer to pull yourself up the slope, by slamming the sharp, chisel end of the "shale pick" into the clay.
A couple of quick facts: 1) The "erosion pedestals" pictured in two of the photos were capped (protected) by hardened sandstone lenses or sometimes chunks of permineralized wood. 2) We covered about two and one-half square miles in 6 weeks (actually 4 weeks after the rain stopped).
We were supposed to go back there in 1980, but the area is a checkerboard of Federal and State land and each has their own permits and regulations that have to be reconciled before fossil collecting (recovery) is allowed. I am not sure if we were on Navajo Reservation land, or just close.
Aside from the dinosaur bones we found, we found fragments of large turtle shells (I was told by my professor that we might have found a new species of turtle), and crocodile "scutes" (bony plates).
On a side-note, as I didn't really get along with my field partner (our personalities were just different), he chose to hang out at the motel on our days off (Tues. and Wed.) and drink beer, while I drove up into Colorado and other places and drank beer there and took pictures.
Despite the fact that I enjoyed that summer job, I do have a few regrets from that adventure:
1) I should have talked my field partner into shifting our off days to Sat./Sun, so I could have hung out over at the Univ. of New Mexico Archeology field camp. There were a lot more female students in Archeology than there were in Geology at that time. Maybe I could have talked one of them into going with me on some four-wheeling/camping adventures in the mountains around Silverton or Durango, CO. (I had a 4X4 Jeep pickup with a camper shell).
2) I should have had a back-up 35mm camera when I went back to Arches National Monument. When I was there two years earlier, the shutter had jammed on my Miranda Sensorex II camera, though it somehow unjammed later (on the earlier trip in 1977). I got photos from Canyonlands and Mesa Verde, but none from Arches. I specifically drove back to Arches to get some photos and the same thing happened again (when it was happening, the operation of the camera sounded normal). So I have been to Arches National Monument twice and don't have a single photo to show for it. After the shutter jammed, I got no more slides for the summer.
3) I should have gone to Shiprock, AZ and maybe over towards Monument Valley (but then my camera might have betrayed me there, too).
4) My paycheck for the summer job was pretty decent in 1979. $2200 for six weeks - mid-May through June. But I didn't get paid until the end. The money, from Western Coal Co., was "funneled" through UT El Paso and that is where the checks were cut. They wouldn't mail them to me and they wouldn't let my professor bring them to me. I had to borrow money from my professor and from my parents and use credit cards to be able to travel at all. My biggest purchase (after I finally got my paychecks and after I paid everyone back) was a Pentax MX camera, to replace the aging Miranda.
5) I wanted to pan for gold in the Silverton, CO area, but because of a heavy snow melt, the creeks and rivers were full to the brim with muddy water. And because of the heavy snows, I couldn't get back into some of the back country areas in the San Juan Mts. until the last week of June, for photography and mineral collecting.
6) I should have picked up more "clinker zone" samples. When an underground coal seam burns (very slowly), it bakes the shales above and below the coal seam. We found a clinker zone of baked red shale with Cretaceous plant fossils (leaves and stems). I only picked up two pieces of the shale with plant fossils, I should have spent an hour there.
So it was an adventure of a lifetime, though it was smudged by the El Paso disappointments and the camera foul-ups.
Everything happens for a reason, even if we don't understand at the time.
I hope someday to return again and get some damn photos of Arches and then make a side trip to Monument Valley.
I will probably post a few more photos related to the project (I got a few hundred slides before the shutter crapped out). [Oh, I forgot to mention the story about my encounter with the redneck cop in Ouray, CO. That will have to wait.]
This Just In...
According to this NewsBusters post, blogger Warner Todd Huston's take is that there are probably two reasons for this newfound concern for Alaska's rural citizens; to bash Governor Sarah Palin and to solicit bailout money for the suffering Alaska citizens.
There were two things missing from the CNN piece, however. They didn't blame President Bush (by name) for the hard times and they didn't blame global warming as the trigger for the harsh winter. Hey CNN, ya'll are falling down on the job!
Tuesday Videos - NewsBusted
Labels: Tuesday Videos
Monday, February 09, 2009
Why Modern Liberals Ain't - Kill, Kill, Kill...
From the NewsBusters post comes news of another elitist declaring that humans must die en masse, for the planet to survive.
On a Psychology Today blog, Steven Kotler declared his support for a five-year moratorium on births, following it up with the a declaration that "we need to lose 4.4 billion people and we need to lose them fast". [To twist a quote - Psychologist, heal thyself - this guy has some deep-seated problems.]
From the NewsBusters post:
..."This isn’t a joke. Kotler writes a blog called “The Playing Field” on the Psychology Today Web site. He is a best selling author and an advocate of controlling population growth. His latest solution: a five-year moratorium on having kids.
Kotler’s reasoning is that the planet is running out of resources. “You think the economy is bad now – wait a few years,” Kotler said. “Wait until we’re almost completely out of oil and food and water and available land ... we need to lose 4.4 billion people and we need to lose them fast.”...
No doubt, Kotler prefers that we "start small" with forced sterilizations and forced abortions, a la China.
If we continue the path towards greater Socialism, the politically-triggered famines, and mass genocide will likely follow. I don't know if they have big-screen TVs in Hell, but if so, Hitler, Stalin, et al, would no doubt be smiling if they got this news.
Paul Watson of the radical Sea Shepherd Society and Ted Turner have made similar statements before.
A Notable Quote
"I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them." George Mason
By way of Neal Boortz and Financial Week, Barney Frank wants to spread TARP compensation limits TO ALL BUSINESSES, even those that are wholly self-sufficient.
"Congress will consider legislation to extend some of the curbs on executive pay that now apply only to those banks receiving federal assistance, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank said.
“There’s deeply rooted anger on the part of the average American,” the Massachusetts Democrat said at a Washington news conference today.
He said the compensation restrictions would apply to all financial institutions and might be extended to include all U.S. companies. [Emphasis added]
The provision will be part of a broader package that would likely give the Federal Reserve the authority to monitor systemic risk in the economy and to shut down financial institutions that face too much exposure, Mr. Frank said."...
Uh, "Mr." Frank, I think that deep-rooted anger would be directed at you and all of the other enablers of the "adventures" of Fannie and Freddie, if the MSM did its job.
More from the article:
..."Mr. Frank seems to be in synch with the Obama administration in his plans for executive compensation.
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said last month that he might try to extend to all U.S. companies a restriction that prohibits bailout banks from taking a tax deduction of more than $500,000 in pay for each executive."...
Fascism - a word that Libs love to toss about has been described as "private ownership with government control". Aside from the ever-growing Socialism in some sectors, Fascism already exists is some respects. Ultimately it is all about the government gaining more control and as Rahm Emanuel (sp.?) said (paraphrasing) - Why waste a good crisis?
A point that Neal Boortz has made about his years-ago Silva Mind Control training was that one of the first things he learned was "Don't worry about what is in someone else's pocket.". In other words, if someone else has more money than you, if they earned it legally and ethically, it is not your business. It is more time- and effort-efficient to learn "how they did it", rather than worrying about the fact that "they have more".
These well-paid people are talented, creative, hard-working,... they represent the best of the American free-market system. The desired restrictions are just the "tip" of the iceberg, the rest includes more restrictions and taxes. And we know what rolls downhill.
If the government has the power to take it from them, it can take it from you.
Celebrate success and learn to emulate it. Build yourself up without tearing someone else down. Give thanks to God for what you have and ask for help from Him, not the government.
But that is not the message of Populism. The above-mentioned message takes too much self-assessment and self-criticism. And your feelings might get hurt. So you run to the Nanny to make it all better.
If you Obamanoids only knew what damage you are doing and enabling.
[Sorry, I would rant more, but I have to get back to work, improving the product I am helping produce, as my part of the free-market system.]
Saturday, February 07, 2009
So, a Man That Would Play God Gets to Meet Him...
From the article:
..."In 1999, Yang put UConn on the world's scientific map when a Holstein named Amy was born in Storrs. She was the first cloned farm animal in the United States. The world's first cloned animal was Dolly the sheep, created in 1996 in Scotland."...
I don't have a major problem with the issue of cloning animals. It was his hoped-for opus major that concerns me (and many others).
"But Yang died before achieving one of his dreams: the cloning of a human embryo for potentially lifesaving stem cells."...
With an apparent garden of adult and umbilical-cord (and perhaps other) stem cells to work with, why was it necessary for him to follow in the footsteps of Dr. Mengele? If amoral scientists perfect such a technique, what might government do with it later? We have seen plenty of cases of moral anarchy, why do we need more?
In other words, if we don't recognize moral guardrails early-on, when will we? If someone doesn't say "No, we won't go there.", what will result 10, 20, 30 years later?
I could be wrong in my interpretation, but I don't think that God has a problem with medical research, per se, as long as we keep things in perspective and recognize those limits. It is the cloning of human embryos, for "spare parts", that is going into dangerous territory.
Wednesday, February 04, 2009
Note to Teen-aged Son
Not 5 MINUTES.
I don't want any visitors to think we cremated one of our cats.
Tuesday, February 03, 2009
Tuesday Videos - This Ain't Beating a Dead Horse...
Lest we forget.
And this one (remember to again watch last Tuesday's video).
It is sadly amazing that such a small number of people could cause so much grief worldwide.