Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

Nicolas Steno

January 11th, 2012 | Category: Uncategorized

“Nicolas Steno, celebrated by Google on his 374th birthday, was the first to propose that older rocks lie deeper in the ground than younger ones.”

Let me put it this way: he was the first guy to formally recognize the difference between his ass and a hole in the ground. Which, honestly, was not easy, or obvious to many at the time (I probably wouldn’t have known it either). Other achievements of his:

“that the heart is a muscle that pumps blood, that tears are formed in the eye, that fossils are the remains of living organisms from previous geologic eras”

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January 05th, 2012 | Category: Uncategorized

Check out this lime juice I bought. I bought it years ago but held on to the label, intending to blog my astonishment.

It’s named after an area of Italy, but the limes were grown in Peru, bottled in Switzerland, imported via New Jersey and consumed in Arizona. I’m a little envious of these well-traveled limes. They’ve had an impressive journey!

To this I have to say: Really? I live hours from some of the best Citrus farms, and this is the best way to get something as simple as lime juice?! I just went shopping again and bought some slightly more local Mexican limes, which still had an impressive journey, but at least they didn’t cross the Atlantic twice (and I suspect a little of the Pacific as well, ’til the Panama canal).

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Rachel’s Graduation Party

September 17th, 2011 | Category: Uncategorized

Just a few weeks ago, Rachel graduated from grad school with her O.T.D.  Congratulations baby!  You are officially edumacated.

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A short visit to the Gazela

August 14th, 2011 | Category: Uncategorized

I used to be a really active crew member, working on the ship all the time and sailing her in blue water when the chance arose. Now, living so far away, I only get to visit once in a while. I know it’s not what most people think is a good time, but I consider it a privilege to pitch in and do what I can when I am in the area. My sister and I stopped by Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia and spent the afternoon painting some cramped places in and near the shaft alley (a belowdecks area at the most extreme aft and lower end of the ship, behind the engine). I took the time to get a few “tourist” shots on the bowsprit. My heart soars every time I see the ship and am reminded of how inspiring it is to sail her into some port, walk into town, then turn around and see those masts towering over buildings and trees.

In the background, across the broad Delaware river, are the buildings of Camden.

That’s the Benjamin Franklin Bridge in the background.  Under me is a dory, which is a specialized kind of rowboat (which can also be sailed) that was used to catch cod when the Gazela was a Portuguese fishing vessel.

I’ve pulled many an hour at this helm, alternately ecstatic, nervous, seasick, afraid, or bored.  Ecstatic, because who wouldn’t be when they’ve got this 350-ton, 180-foot long vessel at their command, feeling her respond and heel over as you find just the right place in the eye of the wind.  nervous, because you don’t want the captain dressing you down for not doing it right.  Seasick – well, that requires no explanation.  Afraid – in a heavy sea, holding the wheel in an iron grip, trying to anticipate the next wave that will slap the wheel out of your hands, fighting the cold, wind, and the surprisingly deep green waves rolling across the deck (which is pretty cool too).  Bored – just part of the package sometimes, specially at 4 AM during the dog watch, when you can’t see anything but the compass illuminated by the red light; you’re doing your all to keep the heading true without falling asleep, and you know it’s going to be a long, long time before your watch is relieved.

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Infested! Interview

May 18th, 2011 | Category: Uncategorized

Today I was interviewed by a TV crew because they’re documenting a cave cricket infestation I experienced many years ago. The producer flew in from the UK. The interview took place in my apartment in Flagstaff; the crew rented a pickup truck, and hauled all this equipment to town and up the stairs.  The show will air on Animal Planet around Halloween this year in early February of 2012.  It took an hour to set up and 4 hours of interviewing, which passed in the blink of an eye but was exhausting. For some reason, South Africa is now a happening place for TV production, so actors from that country will portray my ordeal on a set in Capetown, directed by people from the UK, who are being paid by a company here is the US. What an international affair! The cave crickets have no idea how famous they are. The entire thing was spawned by this post.

The TV show, named “Infested!” is somewhat sensationalistic, but  realistically portrays the circumstances of an infestation and how it feels to be the person(s) involved.  All of the production people were great to work with and I’m sure the result will be worth the effort.




Collective Bargaining Rant

February 21st, 2011 | Category: Uncategorized

<rant attribute=”enraged”>

I’m glad we can talk about anything in this country, but there are some discussions that should never take place; we should all know better.  For instance, do we need to “debate” the benefits of having sex with children?  How about debating if it’s ok for a US citizen to cross a state or county line without papers?  I’m not talking about academic discussions, but serious public conversations weighing the merits.

Outside of pure academia, why is it morally or politically permissible to debate whether or not it’s OK to restrict collective bargaining rights?  I know that unions can be inconvenient, but it’s nobody’s business who I choose to associate with or how I make my decisions (and I have never belonged to a union).

It’s none of my business how others bargain for their welfare.  I may not like it, but it’s just not up for argument.  They can do what they think is in their best interests, and as long as they don’t interfere with my basic freedoms, it’s simply not up for my review;  I don’t get a vote.  I can’t believe it’s even being discussed.  If I don’t like unions, then it should be up to me to organize my own movement against them, not outlaw them by restricting the speech and rights of expression of the individuals involved.

What else shall we “discuss” or “debate?”  Shall we “discuss” the merits of allowing women or blacks to vote?  How about torture…  oh wait.  This has happened.

Why is the country so slow to reform big business practices, but so quick to restrict the kinds of activities that give strength to “regular” people?



Show last night

December 04th, 2010 | Category: Uncategorized

I saw Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe last night.  What a great band – and their opener, “Orgone,” rocked also.


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Broken water main incident

October 31st, 2010 | Category: Arizona,Uncategorized

On a late-night dog walk I heard the sound of running water where there shouldn’t have been.  I didn’t have a flashlight and the area was dark, but eventually I located a new stream running down a hill into a nearby baseball field. This definitely wasn’t right… I followed the stream up to its source and found, in the middle of a parking lot, a 2-foot diameter hole with water coming out of it.  Of course, the dog was thrilled and started drinking out of it, because he has to sample all new water sources.

I called the non-emergency police number and they sent the fire company out to look at it – only ten minutes later!  They confirmed that it was a water main of some sort and we all went home.  I knew that somewhere in town, water department authorities were getting an unwanted phone call:  “Guess what you’re doing tonight?”

The next morning I walked over and found them repairing it.  I had a nice talk with one of the water guys about typical patterns of pipe breakage and what makes them break in the first place.  They had it fixed and were done by shortly after lunch.  This place really gets business done!  You can see the repair in the second picture – the shiny part with bright blue hardware.  It’s an industrial version of a standard pipe patch – a metal strap with rubber on the inside, and it’s tightened over the break to stanch the flow.



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Cover Boy

August 31st, 2010 | Category: Uncategorized

The Rowan University alumnus magazine Rowan Today has made me a poster child for non-traditionalism by featuring me on the cover of the summer 2010 issue, as well as producing a plump article about my career to date.  Here’s the link to their page but you get also get the 10 MB PDF by clicking on this image:


One of the coolest thing about this is that Rowan sent out my old friend, noted photographer Kyle Cassidy, to do the photography.  We had a good time and the photos look fantastic.


A variety of schultz fire resources

June 25th, 2010 | Category: Arizona,Uncategorized

Here is a map of the fire at what I believe was its greatest extent, more than 15000 acres.  The fire is not over yet, but the firemen appear to be gaining on it.


Right now the entire region is closed to hikers, but when it’s all over I will make a point of hiking through there and documenting it.

Here is a link to my friend Steve’s blog, where he has posted images and resources as well.

A link to my friend Padraig’s images – some excellent night shots.

Here is a link to the “handlebar sandwich” blog, which has some very early images of the fire, as well as a very creepy time-lapse night sequence.

Of course, the coconino county site has the most authoritative info.

Finally, in my original fire post i mentioned three students that had to flee the fire, abandoning their car (I hope it’s still there when they get to it!).  It turns out that two of the three are summer students at Lowell, where I am working.  Small world!  I am glad they are safe.  Here is a link to some images one of them, Eric, took.

new: Here is an animation of the fire as seen from space.  Here is a cool time-lapse movie of the fire at night, taken from a location right where many people have houses.

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