Tuesday, December 11, 2007

ok...its official, I've been in Sacramento WAAAAY

Too long.

I gotta go home.

Here's what I did this sunday:

I woke up, had great plans to hang out at a coffee shop, as previously mentioned. But alas, the place was too cold so I went back to my hotel, and figured I'd go see a movie.

Beowulf in 3-D
was playing at the local Imax theater, so I thought "oh awesome, I'll go check that out".

Here's a picture of me in the hotel room with a positive attitude, confident and optimistic about my potential afternoon:



So I go to downtown Sacramento, and I find this weird Chicano gathering in which there are a bunch of people on horses, and the HORSES are dancing, while the people just sit on them. the event was entirely in Espaniola and therefore I have no idea what it was all about.

Here's a crappy picture of that:



So I find the IMAX theater, and buy my ticket. Unfortunately, I had about 1 hour to kill before the show, so I walked down the street and got a beer at a sports bar and watched the rest of the Steelers/Patriots football game on the TV. What I didn't realize, until I had 2 beers there, was that I was drinking their "winter pale ale".

After drinking one and ordering the other, I asked "hey, how much alcohol is in this anyway?" the bartender said "Oh man, its like 8.9% (almost double what most beers are)...isn't that SICK"

so...needless to say, I finished my beer and went to the movie. and about half way through the movie, I took this picture:



WTF?!?!?!!?!?!?!

I gotta go home.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

To all who know and understand: BEWARE

The paradigm shift is coming.

enjoy the holidays while you can, because come Jan 1st...life comes crashing like a one hundred car pile-up on a sacramento freeway.

01/01/08 we destroy the machines that are trying to kill us. we break free of the beast. we are legion, we are violence incarnate. let the round ups begin.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Hey...Kevin Seconds owns a coffee shop

In Sacramento.

The Singer for the AWESOME punk band 7 Seconds has a coffee shop here in Sacramento. I think I'll go there and write up my Accretionary Wedge Blog post tomorrow....I'll also be listening to "Soulforce Revolution" the entire time.

Check out this sweet picture of me from High School:



Braces, stone-washed jeans, and 7-seconds "4 am in texas" tshirt. circa 1989






Edit: I'm at the coffee shop today (Sunday December 9th) and unfortunately its cold as LIFE in this motherfucker. no hardcore music playing, not even a TRACE of a Sham 69 cd...and I'm freezing. I don't know how long I can hold out...

Sunday, November 18, 2007

New York Hardcore on Donahue

I'm heading back to San Francisco today to hang out, and while sipping coffee i saw this:



Its New York Hardcore on Donahue..check out the audience, you'll see Ray Cappo, John Porcelly, Vinnie Stigma, Harley Flannagan, and many others.

Its too bad Donahue is off the air.

Don't worry about that Agnostic Front Song, no one took them seriously until after the Cause For Alarm LP anyway.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

*waves hand at wierd people In Arizona*

In addition to my mention on Pharyngula, it looks like awhile back some woman included me on her blog links, and referred to my post about Wickenburg AZ as "Brutal"...probably the best compliment I've heard in relation to my blog yet. Of course, I'd say to you Ms Helicopter Pilot blogger-person: no ma'am, my post was not brutal...your fucking town is Brutal.

WIckenburg Arizona:

*A place where I've puked nasty KFC chicken into the parking lot of the super8 motel.

*I had some old woman almost ruin my favorite backpack (she assured me she could fix it, but she couldn't so she just tore all the zippers off of it and then bought me some piece of shit pack from the Alco just east of downtown - and yeah, she was elderly)

*I ate the spaghetti and meatball special at the "mineshaft" and the only "meatball" I saw the entire night was laying on the floor of the men's bathroom...at least...please god tell me that was a fucking meatball and not....Oh god......

*Speaking of the Mine shaft, the only people that drink beer there are redneck stoners trying to be your friend and mine engineers...two diametrically opposing camps of people that I would bet money on if they ever held a sanctioned UFC-style fight. Engineer in one corner, stoner dude listening to country music in the other.

Wickenburg AZ, that place is BRUTAL.


............No wait, this picture is fucking brutal:


Wheelchair stagedive?! I didn't think it was possible!

Hooray for my blog!

I was surfing around this morning and saw that my blog is on the Pharyngula blogroll!.

That might not mean all that much, but Its pretty flattering that PZ myers has checked out this page. Makes me want to write some more awesome stuff about something cool!

but damn, I'm still stuck in Sacramento...I can't think of anything to expound upon...maybe these topics:

*Hooters hot-wings: why the fuck are the wingtips still on these things?
*How to drink enough beer to forget what you did the previous week
*the geology of the Marriot townplace suites parking lot
*my undying prejudice against the lack of common sense apparent in most Mining engineers
*How to piss off rednecks by playing Public Enemy, Ice Cube, and Royce da 5'9" tracks
*How to purchase redbulls from a gas station at 6 am.
*Hotel Pools: why do they make my fucking eyes burn?

I'll prolly just continue my blogging drought until I get home at thanksgiving...still, I'm feeling a little cooler today as a result of being on PZ's blogroll.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Visited San Francisco Yesterday...

I'm out here in California on this Sacramento Project again, and yesterday I had the day off and went to San Francisco...and all I can say is, Man, San Francisco is perfect.

what a great city. I didn't do anything special, bascially just walked around all day. I walked from Chinatown, to fisherman's wharf down to the financial district and then to Amoeba records.

I stopped in at City lights bookstore and bought a Leo Tolstoy book "The Death of Ivan Ilyich"...because I figure if I'm gonna be stuck out away from home for a long time, I might as well get into a really depressing book of death, life, and redemption.


the bar at vesuvio...quite a nice place.

I had a gin and tonic at Vesuvio and read my book a little bit. Walked down Columbus Street to the Italian area, had an espresso...

man, I really wish I had 5 days in that town, with a bicycle, and a friend named Karen...such a great place to hang out.

I tried taking some sweet pictures, but well...it didn't work out.



Here's a nasty picture of what appears to be a snapping turtle that has been cut into quarter sections with a machette (mmmm, doesn't that look good?). It was for sale in chinatown at this crazy meat store that also serves a pretty good hot-wing (and no, I didn't get sick from eating wierd chinese meats). There's also 2 smaller turtles for sale in front of it.

GRoSS!

thats about it...today I have off again, but I think I'll hang around Sacramento, maybe get drunk at a bar and wait for work tomorrow.

San Francisco...cool town.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Addicted to MOSH!

Some friends were asking me about getting some new music, and while I haven't gotten anything new in a little while, I had to tell them about Violator.

If your not listening to Violator, then you are failing at life.

Check out the track "destined to die" on their discography page....its SICK.

superfast, old school sounding brazilian thrash done RIGHT!


c'mon dude: jean jacket vests, thrash-patches, tight pants, supertongue basketball shoes, and feathered hair....the only thing they need is a machete.

hell yes!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

I bought a machete!

People don't believe me when I say that the area where I'll be hiking this next week is really really densely vegetated.

Take a look at this picture:



there's a field surveyor in the picture, he's about 6 feet tall, has a yellow trimble GPS backpack on, and a mouthful of copenhagen.

do you see him? he's right in the front there....take a good look.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

All Engineers are Moronic Assholes, Part 3

So today I'm sitting in my cube and I get a phone call from this engineer.

he's driving around in St. Louis trying to figure out how to buy 5 gallon buckets to place rock samples in...he's freakin' out...can't handle it, can't figure out the world around him.

Him: "Joe, how can I get buckets!"

Me: "Go to the nearest home depot/lowes/hardware store/whatever"

Him: "but how do I find one of those?!"

Me: "stop at gas station, ask fat guy behind counter"

Him: "ok I'll try that...and also where's the nearest starbucks coffee at?!"

Me: "Kill yourself please" (I didn't say this, but I thought it.)

I mean seriously, he calls me up and wants me to help him get to the nearest hardware store.

I asked him why he didn't just bring out the 200 buckets that I had already purchased for the project..he mentioned something about how high his billing rate is and how it wasn't worth the cost to the project.

so I said "oh, that makes sense, instead of spending a day driving buckets out to the project, you are gonna spend a day driving around st. louis looking for buckets...."

Engineers, man...complete and total moronic assholes.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Its times like these

So Here I am, out in Arizona...working on a project that I don't want to deal with, I'm tired of traveling, I don't know when I can go home, I just want to crawl into my bed in denver and not think about anything...

and I'm standing on a mesa, in the middle of fucking nowhere- about 2 hours north of Phoenix, at the transition from basin and range geology to colorado plateau geology, there's nothing but the sound of the wind in my ears, and all I can think of is "how could I ever have been anything in life besides a field geologist?"

I feel like a belong in places like this: standing on a mesa top, hawk soaring overhead, basalt cliffs looming, carbonate allvium underfoot destroying my fucking boots. Arroyo, coyote, rattlesnake, mesquite, prickly pear, faulted landscapes. Jagged Peaks, breccia, scraped forearms, falling down a talus slope. Desert silence pervasive, undying sunshine and heat, sweat, and geology all around. Just me, a USGS Topographic quadrangle, a rock hammer, a brunton compass, a pencil, and a fucking canyon, its the perfect job. There's nothing that compares to mapping geology in the desert southwest. if you've never done it, you've never lived.


my Jeep, an angular unconformity between the Gila formation and overlying alluvium, basalt mesas, blue skies...no fucking people, just the desert.



yes, you are seeing this correct: its a photo taken from the top of an active landslide. the scarp is the white line along the back of the photo, in the foreground are dilational fracture sets, the ground surface is dipping at about 12 degrees to the south. this it what it looks like when a canyon tears away its constraining mesas. Today I mapped a landslide the size of Mile High Stadium. it was amazing. I sat and listened for about ten minutes to the silence and I could hear the rocks falling, the mesa flanks failing.


self-portrait, who else will take your picture when your alone in the desert?

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Some Pics from Sacky

I've been out for the last 2 weeks or so working in Sacramento on the Levees.

we're doing galvanic resistivity surveys.

anyway...here are some sweet pics from the last week or so.



this is my coworker Collin "sweetwater" Strine-Zuroski demonstrating the instruments we're using out in the field. Colllin's from Maryland. If you need help with Woot.com or with certain blogs, collin can help you out.



here's a picture of some of the equipment...note that this rental vehicle is also our field vehicle. as with all field vehicles, by the second week of work, it smells horrible inside - think sweat and feet mixed with rotting vegetables and battery acid.



We went to lake tahoe for the weekend, since its only about 100 miles or so from Sacramento. it was beautiful. In addition to the gambling, ridiculous amount of alcohol consumed, and eating some of the most artery clogging food I've ever had, we went hiking along the rim trail. The rim trail is a 156 mile ring that goes around the lake...on all the trees out there is this crazy almost neon-green moss that grows only on the northern side, and equally spaced between branches. its wierd.



Finally, here's a self portrait of me that I took right after they informed me that instead of spending a weekend in denver at home, I'd be flying right to Arizona where I am now...FUCK.

Cool shit my parents brought for me.

I'm starting a new catagory of posts on this weblog. A few weeks ago, my parents came out to see me and brought out like 6-7 boxes of my old stuff. some of it is pretty cool, some of it is well...garbage...but its all the shit from my youth, packed up.

here's a good example:




this is a hand-made cabbage-patch style Mr-T. doll that my grandma made for me back when I was maybe 10-12 years old or so. its awesome, check out the hand knitted socks and crocheted chuck-taylor all-star shoes. the eyes are painted, and the earrings are real.

sweet.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

People who shoot...

..Prairie dogs are ALL fucktarded shitwits. most of them are also FAT fucktarded shitwits ALL OF THEM. ALL. OF. THEM.

Posting from the "man room"

Thats right...I'm 99% finished with the Man Room, the first of our house remodelling projects.

I just hooked up this computer, and then crossed my fingers as the cable modem flickered to life...

(Yeah, I did the wiring for the modem and some of the wiring for the power down here)

Hooray!

Since the computer is down here, and I have a sweet audio setup down here, Karen might never see me again.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

sifl's blog - awesomeness

So there's this guy who posts on a music messageboard...he never says anything to me except to tell me I'm a fat lazy rock-shithead.

fair enough.

He maintains an awesome blog though:

Sifblog.

he also is the Historian of Waffle Town.

Both blogs are worthy of checking out.

FUCK YOU SIFL!

Friday, September 07, 2007

All Engineers are Moronic Assholes, Part 2

Another reason all engineers are moronic assholes: They think the entire field of geology can be summarized by: “its either a rock, or sand, or silt, or clay....nothing more.”

Let me put it another way, check out this awesome picture of the Jurassic Aztec Sandstone as it is exposed in a beautiful slot canyon (a favorite rock unit of anyone living out west!):




to an engineer this sandstone can be summarized like this:

poorly graded sand, indurated, has a strength of 25.

to a geologist:

a well sorted, medium grained sand. the sands have frosted grains and indicate that it was deposited by the wind. The wavelength, width, and geometry of the crossbeds can be used to determine windspeed, direction, and duration of sand deposition. The colors indicate the movement of groundwater through time. The scalloped and undulating outcrop patterns describe the method of its erosion. the slot canyon itself provides a direction and pattern of fracturing of the rock, its stratigraphic position with other rocks place it in temporal context. Its lateral juxtaposition with other rocks tell you where it was relative to mountains, to the sea, to other areas. fossils within it tell you its age, etc...

I could go on and on...There's so much contained in rocks, the story of the earth, a picture of the past, a story of how the earth came to be the way it is. Geology is truly more than sand, silt, and clay.

And I know what you fucking engineers are thinking: "Joe, who gives a shit about long flowery rock descriptions, how does knowing its age and where the wind was blowing 250 million years ago help me write this report?"

Well Mr. Engineer, all of those flowery descriptions, placed in context can be used as a predictive tool: knowing the stratigraphy can help you determine what you will expect to see in your next bore hole, and may help you determine if you even need to pay for the next borehole. The wind direction and crossbeds may influence groundwater flow, contaminant transport, and might indicate how to plan for seasonal fluctuations in the water table. fractures and patterns of fractures can help you with rock strength, and help you predict potential failure zones. Understanding the change in crossbed angles from deposition to compaction and lithification can tell you about strength, blah blah blah.

The point is, is that there's alot more to the story than an engineer can understand.

The fact that engineers can't see beyond sand, silt, and clay is probably the reason so many of them are loser creationists. Seriously. Go look on Answers in Genesis, or on the Discovery Institute websites....both of this bogus asshole creationist websites are chock full of "science" articles written by engineers who think they know what geology and biology are.

engineers, while being book-smart at times, have no concept of the scientific method, understanding the value of descriptive data, and have no idea how other scientific disciplines can provide valuable insight into their little bullshit projects.

Bada TAKE BOY! YOU WIVE!!!

bada NO TAKE BOY, DEN YOU DIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

All Engineers are Moronic Assholes

I'm starting a new angry, coffee fueled hate-session here at cataclasite: ALL Engineers are moronic Assholes.

I was going to make this a single post, but my gripe list about engineers continues to grow with each day that I have to work with them.

Now let me preface my new theme “all engineers are moronic assholes” by saying that All engineers are not moronic assholes. To be sure, I have several friends who are engineers, they are all great and they all tend to agree with me on the fact that “all engineers are moronic assholes”.

I apologize in advance if you are one of the one-in-a-million engineers who are not moronic and asshole.

I work with engineers, almost exclusively. Geotechnical, structural, and mine engineers. They are ALL moronic assholes.

Today's Example:

Previously I wrote about a field job that made me a bit nervous due to the large number of bears in the area, and the fact that most often I am mapping alone.

A week or two ago, I went back to that site to do some additional work, and had to meet up with a structural engineer who was helping out with the site. He’s younger, has waaay too much testosterone, and is generally a meat-headed shitwit.

So we go out into the field, and he says to me “yeah man, I ain’t walkin’ around without my gun”.

I didn’t really believe him and said “oh yeah? Heh..I think we’ll be ok”

But then he say’s “Yeah, its loaded and in the console here”.

I opened up the console, and sure enough there’s a loaded 9 mm semi-automatic handgun. Great. (he also had a 16" RAMBO knife under his driver seat too...cool dude, really cool)

We get to the site, get out, and prepare to go hiking around in the forest. I say “yeah man, we’ll only be out for like an hour or two, really no need to bring that”.

So he brings it. He doesn’t have a holster, so he just carries it in his right hand, with his finger resting on the trigger.

He keeps talking about how the bears are really bad, and how he’s gonna plug one of those fuckers if they get too close, and the entire time he’s walking behind me about 15 feet.

Let me put that in perspective: he’s walking behind me through the forest, there’s no trail so we frequently have to step over trees, or stumble down an embankment, or whatever, he’s got his finger on the trigger of a handgun, and he’s using it to point out directions, and passes the barrel so that it’s pointing at me briefly here and there. I keep thinking "this kid is gonna stumble on a fucking tree, he's gonna trip, pull the trigger and I'll end up having a bullet in my ass like Meriwether Lewis on the way back to St. Louis."

I don’t really like guns to begin with, and I went and shot a glock once…glocks, or at least some glocks don’t have safety’s…you just chamber a round and a little metal flange comes up and then you can start blowing shit away. I didn’t ask him what kind of gun he had, but he assured me that he hasn’t chambered a bullet.

Anyway, I’m walking along, and I just want to punch this shithead, he’s making me nervous with his pussy-bullshit handgun, and that’s when he really gets stupid: you see, in the area, there’s a lot of open range cattle, and yes, while cattle are very big, they don’t move and you can walk up pretty close to them before you realize they are there.

So we startle a few cattle, and each time he raises up the gun. Each time I have to say “dude, relax, it’s a fucking cow”.

Needless to say, only a fucking desk pushing moronic asshole engineer would walk around waving a handgun because he’s too chickenshit to walk in the woods with a badass geologist.


Is that a gun in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me? …it’s a gun…

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Same Awesome Motorbike, Different Angle...

Well I've been getting an awesome response from people for my new Motorbike...thanks!

To answer some questions:

1. Yes Its registered, insured, and I have a clear title on it in my name.

2. Yes I've been riding it every day since I got it, its so much fun to just go tooling around. I've taken it up to about 50 mph so far, it can go quite a bit faster, but I think I need to take a safety class before I ruin both myself and my bike. Its not that big, only 175cc, but its got plenty of juice for getting around denver neighborhoods.

3. Yes it runs (see #2). it runs like a champ... I think it really needs the carbs tuned on it, and maybe some cable lube since it hasn't really been used much in the last 17 years (it was ridden about 35 miles in that time...). I think the guy I bought it from just kept it in his garage and polished it everyday for the last 17 years or so. I'm gonna work on the carbs this weekend...and hopefully not ruin it.

4. No its not PEE WEE's bike.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

I bought a Motorbike!

Check it out, its a Sweet 1971 Honda CB175. yeah, its from 1971!!! check out the condition its in, it only has 2630 miles on it!!!!!!!!

amazing.







Saturday, August 18, 2007

Man I'm getting old...

After my terrific Vacation to the BWCA, I promptly got shipped off to california, Sacramento to be exact. Out here we're doing a geophysical survey to determine the geologic constituents of the levees that line many of the canals and natural rivers.

Bascially that means we're shooting electricity into the ground, the intensity of the electricity that returns helps you determine if the levees are made of sand, silt, clay, or a combination of those. Since the levees out here have been made at different time periods (some are as old as the mid-1800's) no one really knows what the fuck they are made of.

Since Hurricaine Katrina, levees have been a pretty hot topic...hence this work.

Blah blah blah.

the bottom line is that this project has been kicking my ass. I've been really tired, my back hurts, I'm experiencing muscle pain almost everywhere...

Here's a good example:





In this picture is an unending gravel road, on the right side of the gravel road you can see what looks like a really really long extension chord (the road itself is on TOP of a levee). every 15ft of this extension chord is a metal tent stake that is about 24" long. the chord is about one third of a mile long. you run a computerized electrical survey, then move the cable, reset it, and begin again.

So thats what I've been doing, laying down the cable, pounding in stakes every 15 ft and carrying electrical cables for about 1 mile per day. its heavy, continuous manual labor.

I honestly can't tell if I"m a huge wimp, or what, but at night by back has been killing me, my arms are all fucked up and I just don't have the energy that I should.

aside from my complaining here are some highlights of working in Sacramento:

1. to help with the manual labor, we've gotten some mexican laborers that work in the construction division of my company, and I've been learning alot of spanish. And by alot of spanish I mean I've been learning how to swear and how to order mexican food:

Me: "How do you say hot sauce in spanish so I can order this burrito?"

Luis: "You don't know spanish, Pinche Retardado!!!" (you fucking retard)

Me: " yeah I know by that's why I'm asking you, now stop fucking around"

Luis: "ahh, well say to the burrito man that you think he is 'Apedrear'" (you smell of shit)

The burrito guy: "fuck both of you, no burritos for you..."

Me: "thanks luis"


I've also been wearing a red terrycloth sweatband on my head...not the most fashionable thing, but try carrying an 810 foot long cable for 5 miles in 95 degree weather and just dealing with the stinging pain of sweat in your eyes without a sweatband.

Luis: "Joe you don't seem gay or anything, but you have alot of fucking gay shit, eh Puto!"

Me: "thanks luis"

Usually when I do field work there is quite a bit of Rated X language, but this last week I've been learning to be offensive in 2 languages.


2. One of the field hands, Jesse, is really into hot rods, lowriders, etc... and I've been talking about it with him. I have a decent interest in these things too, ever since my groundbreaking work on the video game "Midnight run, the Dub edition".

You see, I don't have a low rider in real life, but I've been able to create several sweet customs by playing a video game on the xbox. In the game, you earn money by winning races, and you use the money to buy parts for your lowrider. The game is fortunate enough to use the real logos and parts from companies.

So Jesse will say something like "I'm workin' in a nice '66 chevy nova with 15" giovanni's, I'm getting a new gearbox for it this weekend"

and I'll reply with "Oh shit, nice! are those the 15 spoke giovanni's and the GSM 5 speed gearbox?" (I only know what he's talking about because in teh videogame I've upgraded my '75 monte carlo with the same giovanni's and a high performance gearbox)

and he'll say "oh yeah man, and I"M fucking getting airbags too"

me: "sick man, are you ridin' the airbags on the whole suspension or are you lowerin' the front end" ( I also got airbags for my sweet virtual monte carlo)

Luis: "I"m lowerin' just the front"

me: 'sick man, SICK."

Luis: "Yeah"


so bascially I kinda sound like I've built a lowrider, even though I 1. don't own a lowrider, 2. I don't work on cars, and 3. I've just playing the video game.

If Jesse Knew I was such a poseur he might say "Te meto la verga por el osico para que te calles el pinche puto osico hijo de perra!" and don't ask me to translate that sentence, it took me like 45 minutes to remember how to say it...and believe me, that sentence is VERY graphic.

Anyway, writing this has made it alot easier to forget about the muscle pain in my body, I hope to have more soon.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

One of the Best Places On Earth!

As previously posted on Cataclasite, I went to the Boundary waters for my friend Mike's Bachelor Party (Congrats again mike!).

Iv'e been going to the boundary waters pretty much on a yearly basis with some high school friends for at least 5 years now and I have to admit, Its pretty much one of the best places on earth.

Lots of people move to colorado for the outdoors, and indeed, there's alot about Colorado that is beautiful. Its one of the reasons I enjoy living here. But I've said it before, and I'll say it again, I firmly believe that there is NOTHING in colorado that can rival the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.


If you've never been, do it before you can't.

My friend Doug took a 360 view of us in a canoe at about 6 pm when the sun was starting to go down over the lake(Click for large version):



Look close at the picture, note how there is NO ONE else visible ANYWHERE. In the BWCA, if you travel in about 10 -15 miles, you will get to pristine lakes that are rarely touched by anyone, and you can spend a week camping without seeing anyone else...its fucking perfect.

Look close in this picture, you'll see

1. cool, clean lake water
2. peaceful breeze
3. a lake where our canoe is the ONLY boat, and indeed, probably the only boat around for about 3 lakes.
4. the only sounds are of Loons, wind in the trees, and the gentle sound of your paddle in the water
5. A tshirt that depicts a moose with a huge boner (yes, thats the official bachelor party uniform)

Now check out this picture of the maroon bells in colorado:



look close...you can't really see it, but behind the camera in this picture is:

1. 3 retired artists making oil paintings
2. 4 EXTREME mountain climbers who are wearing no less than $1500 in technical gear who are gonna make it to the top of a mountain that you can walk up carrying a six pack of miller light and wearing flip flops
3. 6 tourists from wisconsin, and 4 denver locals on their cell phones saying shit like "OMG guess where I am?!" and "Yeah, we totally climbed up to this crazy lake, shits fucking sweet, heh"
4. 6 sets of yuppies with shock-absorbing telescoping super-walking sticks! FOR ADVANCED WALKING CAPAbility!
5. the bumper to bumper traffic that you will sit in from Vail colorado all the way to denver. Total Mileage: 96 miles, total travel time: 7 hours


Don't get me wrong, I love colorado, I moved here because it's unbelievably fucking beautiful, but if you really ask me where I'd go for the SUPREME outdoor experience; Its in northern Minnesota, tucked away in an area that most people in the United States have never heard of.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Of Gay Men, Bears, and Big Bombs

So I haven't posted much in a long time, most all of my loyal readers must have gone on to reading other, more productive and interesting bloggers.

To be honest, I haven't really felt like posting anything lately. here's a brief rundown on what the writers of cataclasite have been doing/have been finding out:

-Hiked in Missouri, picked wood-ticks off of various parts of body, became familiar with midwestern humidity

-Hung out on an Air Force base in an old bombing range drilling boreholes - yeah, drilling holes in the ground with big machines in areas where active ordnance may still lurk, luckily I didn't blow up. Scariest thing: The Military guide who was to assess our drilling locations for bombs said on the first day of the work "I've been in 2 wars [vietnam and the first gulf war] and I've seen alot of shit, I'm ready to die, so..."

..."But Mr. Military Man, I'm not sure I'm ready to die!"

-Found out that the Man who helped to the electrical work on the man room in our house is a HUGE brokeback mountain fan. His partner is a prop-person in the big world of hollywood, and he actually wears Heath Ledgers Jacket from the movie, and yeah, he drives that tourquise old pickup truck from the movie too. He also has the Lost Ark of the Covannent (yeah, the one from Indiana Jones!) in his goddamn living room!

-Hiked around an Area near Rifle Colorado (see Picture Below), spent much of my hiking time trying to not die from a massive bear attack....I saw 2 bears, one that could easily have killed me. I'm about 160 lbs, this bear was as tall as me, because it stood up to look at me and it was my height...and I'm almost sure its probably been in more street-fights than me. I was alone, with a mapping book, a backpack, and a can of smoked oysters (which were horrible!)

Now I know what your thinking..."Joe Stop being such a big wimpy idiot...your not gonna get attacked by a bear." Here's my problem with that: when I'm out field mapping geology, I don't pay attention to where I'm going alot of times...I've walked and fallen down talus slopes before. Also, I never really say anything aloud, I'm pretty quiet... I could completely see me walking up to a bear cub, have it run up a tree and then the mother bear would come crashing through the underbrush and force me to use the Tang-Soo-Do Korean Mu-Duk-Kwan I learned in second grade.

-I'm getting ready for my vacation to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness...which is one of my all time favorite places.

Thats about it for right now! I'll post more after I have like 3 more cups of coffee.





Can you see the bear in this picture?!

Monday, July 23, 2007

I want one of the jump suits!

Human Tetris:





I think this one's my favorite:


Postworthy

Sunday, July 01, 2007

NO camera...and stuck in Missouri

Today is my only day off here in Missouri, I had some crap written in my field book that I wanted to post, but I'll do it tonight. I plan on going out to play today.

"I call it the flying elbow"

Awesome.


Thursday, June 14, 2007

Long Kansas Drives....

well well well.

Remember how I mentioned that the project I was working on was pretty contentious because of some lawsuits?

well, no sooner did I get out to the site in Missouri, when the lawyers shut down the work again. I drove all the way to missouri, had one 3 hour long meeting, and drove all the way back to Denver.

funny how that works out.

I did manage to get this picture though:



its the ruins of an old Lead Mining site near where the project was. Though it's completely unrelated to our job site, it looked kinda interesting.

Apparently back quite a time ago, there were significant Galena deposits mixed in with the geology I briefly mentioned before.

If I end up getting to go back out to this site, I hope to find out more.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

I made it to my destination

Today’s story about the growing general weirdness of Missouri is brought to you by White Castle Hamburgers…of which I am currently not eating.

The town I will be staying in, is like a lot of random small towns: the central super Walmart is contained in a valley, with its satellite applebee’s, chili’s, and famous footwear’s all gazing back at it from the surrounding low hills.

I’m lucky enough to be at a Super8 motel right smack dab in the middle of the action!

Today’s Case in Point:

I arrived early, and the room wasn’t ready yet, so I had a few hours to kill around town. I drove around for a short time, going into the tractor supply store, the walmart, and walked along the decimated and empty “historic downtown” as much as I could.

I also stopped outside “MEGASPORTS!”…and thought I could try to find something interesting in there. Since I’m sporty, and this was MEGASPORTS! I could get all megasporty or some shit.

SO Im’ walking into MEGASPORTS, and I look over and see a kid sitting in the backseat of a chevy cavalier. I only looked for a second, and it looked like he had a display box of sweat-wristbands. He had the box in his lap, and had scattered hundreds of little packages of sweat-bands around him by accident, and now he was trying to put them all back in.

I didn’t really think about it except “damn, that’s a lot of sweatbands”…and went into the store. After spending about 5 minutes in MEGASPORTS!, which was dominated mainly by shotguns, bows and arrows, and wildlife trophies, including a fox (who shoots foxes?), I left.

When I walked back to my car, the kid in the Chevy was still there. This time I took a better look and saw, to my amazement, that the box he had on his lap was actually an ultra-case of white castle hamburgers, sliders. He was eating them and then leaving the empty boxes scattered around him. There must’ve been like a hundred hamburgers in there.

Christ almighty, I didn’t know you could buy that many hamburgers at once…and where was this kids family? Someone needed to stop the kid in the parking lot of MEGASPORTS! From exploding…but that person wasn’t me.

Fuck it, my room was ready and I had beers to drink and emails to check.

I start work tomorrow, maybe I’ll get some hamburgers.

Highways and Bibles

After a really uneventful Drive through Kansas to get here, I entered Missouri last night at about 6 pm, and drove to the Camelot Inn in Higgensburg Missouri. Which, I’m not sure yet, may just be the asshole of the west-central portion of Missouri.

I drove all day, and when I was tired, I pulled off onto a random highway exit and went into the Camelot Inn. About 10 miles previous, I saw a spectacular billboard, light up so bright it almost eclipsed the adjacent “PASSIONS: ADULT SUPERSTORE” and “I’m Glad my Mom chose adoption and not abortion” signs.

The billboard for the Camelot Inn promised free wireless internet, a pool, and most importantly for me, a lounge. I thought, “great, after 600 miles of Kansas or whatever the fuck distance it is, I’ll get a room, grab a cold beer in the lounge and drift off to sleep”.

When I arrived, I was really dissapointed. It was this busted, bullshit little motor lodge, in which the front-desk lady was sitting squarely behind bulletproof glass. “The lounge is closed until further notice”, and “Intranets?!”

I managed to pick up a 32-oz can of High Life from the next door gas station and went to my room. Now, I was told by a few people at work that Missouri is kinda mixed. There’s a Midwestern feel there, but its also mixed with a lot of southern influence. Think of the kitchy behind-the-times feeling of portions of the upper Midwest, mixed with the blissful ignorance and shallow kindness of southern baptist community.

I’m not sure if I agree with those descriptions yet, but whatever...

Anyhow, I was sitting in my room, and I noticed a few things that really bothered me right away:

1. someone had left burn marks from a cigarette on the toilet seat…not the lid for the toilet, not the tank lid either, but on the actual seat, the part where you put your butt… So think about it, someone was smoking, needed to set a cigarette down, and chose quite possibly the most disgusting horizontal surface possible. The burn mark was about ½ inch long…suggesting it had been there for a few minutes. What the fuck? If your done with your cig. Butt, why not throw it into the toilet? Or flick it outside? Why set it down such that it lays on the toilet seat and burns a little trench into the cheap plastic? And, did this person pick it back up and finish it off? Fuuuck I don't want to meet that person.

2. There was a bible out on the nightstand. It was left open to a passage…it had obviously been sitting open to this page for quite some time as the book was flat-open, and the spine was cracked. I figured it was the standard “john 3:16” page where you go up to the open bible, glance down at how jesus died for your sins, and you were supposed to think “how thoughtful and clever to leave the bible open to this page”…

When I got up close, I noticed it was not the John 3:16 page, but strangely, Songs of Solomon, Chapter 7:

How beautiful your feet in sandals, O prince’s Daughter, The curves of your thighs are like jewels, the work of the hands of a skilful workman.
Your navel is a rounded goblet; it lacks no blended beverage. Your waist is a heap of wheat set about with lilies.
Your two breasts are like two fawns, twins of a gazelle.
Your Neck is like an ivory tower, your eyes like the pools in heshbon by the gate of bath rabbim.
Your head crowns you like Mount Carmel, and the hair of your head is like purple; a kind is held captive by your tresses.
How fair and how plesant you are, O love, with your delights!
This stature of yours is like a palm tree, and your breasts like its clusters.
I said, “I will go up to the palm tree, I will take hold of its branches” Let now your breasts be like clusters of the vine, the fragrance of your breath like apples…..


Amazing. Why that chapter? I Have never read that before yesterday, and I sat in my room sipping my beer thinking “why this page?” Did two religious people come here to have sex and enticed each other with the bible…accidentally leaving the pages open? Did some lonesome trucker stop and read this passage like an overweight secretary reads a romance novel? Did the cleaning staff leave the bible open like this…of so, why this passage?

No matter how many explanations for leaving the bible open to this page, I can't seem to find a scenario that isn't disturbing.


Despite the completely awkwardness of my hotel room, combined with the tangy smell of feet in humid-southern-summer evening, I managed to sleep fairly well and drove off from the Camelot at 7 am.




Is this your fucking bible?

Hopefully I'll have some fun stuff to post about too...

Man. Well…I’m back on the road for a while for work. I’m working on a pretty spicy project out here in Missouri. One in which the client who we are working against is getting sued, possibly in criminal court, for some environmental damage that has already been caused.

It’s a sad tale for sure, one that could have been a lot worse had circumstances been different. Unfortunately I can’t tell you all much about in because it is under investigation and I’m not going to broasdcast the details to the legion of Cataclasite readers.

Suffice it to say that my role will be the same as almost all my roles in my job: I’ll be drilling wells, putting in geophysical lines, and doing some geologic mapping…

The job site is interesting, its situated on some Pre-cambrian rhyolitic bedrock that sat as at topographic high for much of the Phanerozoic. In short, the job site is on an island in the middle of a Cambrian ocean….so there are very old rocks there, they are VERY highly weathered, and nearby are lots of beach-deposit on-lap rocks.

I don’t know much about the site yet, since I haven’t been there, but I’m actually looking forward to it because of the geology present. I hope to have some pictures soon.

Monday, June 04, 2007

check out this picture

Check out this pic of me (on the right) with a coworker riding out at centennial cone, I smoked that fool on the uphills...




(of course he destroyed me on the downhills)

Ugh....I feel sick

Here's how much of a lazy bastard I am:

Rather than construct a real lunch to take to work today, I took a sandwich bag, filled it with oreo cookies, grabbed another bag, filled it with crackers and left.

So here I am, just jacked out on coffee and oreo cookies. shaking a bit from the sugar, nervous and extremely aggressive from the coffee.

how nutritious!

*EDIT*

yes, Karen did pack me a nice bowl of fruit, which I ate when I got here. but since eating the oreo's, I can't remember back to like 9 am.

Speaking of Long Unfunny Desolate Roads...

We ended up catching about 35 seconds of Larry the Cable Guy on comedy central last night…and let me tell you this, I’d LOVE to read a book about Larry the Cable Guy living in a post-global annihilated world forced to live on by himself…walking around looking for food, scavenging, and quietly saying to himself “alright” and “git-r-done” like a crazy bag-lady talking to her shoes as if they were her pets. Can someone find this guy on the street and give him the Nancy Kerrigan treatment please?!?!

…We clicked to comedy central, Larry commented about butt-cracks or some busted fucking 5th grade joke, and then they cut to an audience reaction shot of a prissy 40-something successful-looking woman in a business suit heartily clapping and laughing. She turned to her friend next to her and mouthed the word “ooh, Perfect”. As if Larry’s comparison of a butt-crack to the grand canyon was crafted and delivered with the sincerity and honesty of a wine-maker with a glass of his best Cabernet. “ohh Perfect”. Riiight. Fuck you larry.

It was so lame I actually choked a bit on my cheese and rosemary cracker anti-pasta and had to take a sip from my glass of imported Czech microbrew at the same time I was changing the channel. Perfect.

The Road

I finished up “The Road” by Cormick Macarthy. I haven’t read anything else by him, but I really liked The Road, despite its endorsement by Oprah’s book club.

SPOILER ALERT!

To be sure, the novel is pretty brutal…its set in the future, in a mad-max like world where everything; cities, forests, land has been reduced to a ash-drifted wasteland where the survivors of some global devastation (asteroid, nuclear war – you’re never actually told the cause of the annihilation) are forced to live in.

An unnamed man and a little boy are forced down a road, scavenging for their lives, all the time avoiding death squads and being un-trusting of anyone else on the road. They see the brutal realities of humanity starving to death, the inhumane treatment of people, the sheer desolation and destruction of the world, and they are forced to deal with their own existence. In a post-world-ending annihilation, what is the point of life?

Of course the reason I think this book earned Oprah’s endorsement is because of the relationship of the man and boy…They live entirely for each other…that is the point of their lives. The boy is dependent on the man, and the man is entirely dependent on the boy. In a future so bleak, what else is there? If you cannot depend on the people you are traveling with, if their well-being is not a reason for living, then what is the reason for living?

Towards the end of the book you worry about the boy “what if the man dies? That kid is fucked!” and “if the boy dies, the man might as well drown himself rather than spend the rest of his waking life lamenting the death of all that he loved and walking around looking for shitty canned meats”. Both are depressing prospects that left me wondering as much about what happens after the last scene in the book as what really does happen at the end.

I’ve never read anything else by Cormick McCarthy, and I really liked the bleak, blunt, and dramatic writing style..everything is short, quick and to the point. Its written like how I imagined the world he created to be…no need for long flowery descriptions of scenery or of the characters, because the earth is just dead, and the characters are faceless minions.

I read one Amazon reviewer where someone hated the book because if you turn to every page you can’t escape this list of adjectives: Dark, ashen, dead, grey, dying, and damp….but I think that’s precisely the point, how else can you describe the landscape? How more bleak and foreboding can you make it besides using these stark and repetitive descriptions? The world IS Dark, ashen, dead, grey, dying, and damp. There’s nothing else to describe, no trees, no green fields, no sunny days, no white fences, red barns and rolling country sides just dead ground. No bustling cities, no buildings, no white boats bobbing up and down on the docks, just ashen waste.


Finally, some of the discussions I’ve seen online talk about what the cause of the global destruction..if you consider for a minute that there was a HUGE meteor that hit the earth, caused global firestorms and climate change that decimated the entire world, and created the world of The Road, then how interesting is it to try and think about the meteor that killed the dinosaurs?

Is the Road similar to the Chicxulub impact 65 million years ago? Did dinosaurs face the same unending overcast skies, cold damp rains and dying plants? If you take out the characters in the road, and then put dinosaurs in there, have like 3 beers and turn the lights out while listening to GodSpeed! You Black Emperor albums, you can really imagine what it might have been like back at the end of the Cretaceous.

What if it really happens to humans - the earth is hit by an asteroid? Are we truly as susceptible to destruction as the Dinosaurs? Are our populations and technological successes, similar to the size and proliferation of dinosaurs (and indeed, much of the life during the Mesozoic), as fragile as they turned out to be? What if humanities destiny is merely to occupy a sequence of fractured strata that will be later unearthed and pondered like so many geologists now?

I went on an SEPM field trip (the 1997 trip) in the Midwest back in college and the trip was focused on an Ordovician sequence of rocks in which there are several groups of fossils present in the lower levels, and then absent in the upper, temporally later sequence. The data and interpretation presented was that there was an extinction event between these fossil sequences…I sometimes think about that sequence…it was one of the first and only times that geology was so plain, so dramatic, and so readily apparent to me. It was the first time I actually looked at rocks and what was in them and started to try and imagine and think about them as a story. Since it was so old, there wasn’t a whole lot of information about the cause of the extinction (or maybe I just don’t remember). What the hell happened to kill so many little critters?

A digression there I guess…kind of a rambling shitty post, but hey, I’m trying to get back into the swing of this shit.

Flight and Ender's Game..some reviews!

So not much has been going on in my life other than I've been reading a ton of books on the light rail, which makes me feel the need to make a little review:

MASSIVE SPOILER ALERT!

Flight – Sherman Alexie. Pretty disappointing book. The book is about a kid who affectionally calls himself zits, who in the act of perpetrating a ridiculously violent act is whisked away to inhabit the lives of other people for a brief time, including an Indian at the battle of the little bighorn, and eventually his father.

The book is short, only moderately interesting, and touches on the same themes that his previous books do - tragedy of America’s Indian policies, the social and economic disparity between modern Indians and the rest of the world, and the loss of identity that native Americans face along with the disparties, etc… In previous books I’ve read by Sherman, these themes have all been tackled with a sense of prozac humor, and some pretty gripping drama, but this book is just flabby, busted, shit.

The book actually ends with this touchy-feely hallmark ending that makes you close the back cover, look up and say “what the fuck?!”

I don’t know, Flight is a shit book by an otherwise good author. That’s all I’m gonna say about that.

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
– This book was recommended to me by a friend, its actually really good.

In the introduction to this book, Orson Scott card mentions that he started this book as a short story based around one portion of the novel version: the battle room. That’s the thing that stuck in my head so much about it. ¾ of the book is about the battle room – a place where children learn a counter-strike-like game that is a proxy for real military training. Set in the Future when humanity is faced with destruction by an insect-like alien race, the gifted children of the world are taken to a military space station and trained to become military officers. Its great, kind of a war-games meets D.A.R.Y.L type thing...

The last ¼ of the book is a rushed add-on to the story that essentially relates ender’s military training to the real world. He finds out that much of the simulations during his training were actually real live battles. He saves the world from the aliens by directing a massive interstellar campaign that he believes is just training.

And then of course, there’s a random, completely unnecessary side plot concerning his brother and sister taking over the world by posting on internet messageboards – a task that I have already tried to accomplish myself with no avail. This was a really far-fetched idea that was 1. completely unnecessary to advance the story, and 2. wasn’t fleshed out enough to make you interested in its outcome…Ender gets done saving the world from aliens, goes home and then “oh yeah, remember your loving sister and your snotty asshole brother? Yeah…they took over the world in a non-violent coup-de-tat using nothing but fake usernames and messageboard bulletins”

There is a sequel to this book, which I think I'll pick up since I found Ender's Game to be compelling enough. hooray for SCI-FI!

Thursday, May 31, 2007

A method for discussing climate change

I saw this link today, its an outline for how to talk and discuss the common misconceptions about climate change and global warming.

Its great because in addition to being a great primer on the issues associated with climate change, it can also be effective in getting stupid people to shit the hell up.

its actually pretty interesting to read.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Goodnight Sweet Prince

Christopher Hutchins gives Jerry Falwell one of the best eulogies ever.

Friday, May 04, 2007

"By The way, Its official...I can't have children!"

I'm pretty sure Saturday Night Live isn't as funny as when phil hartman was on. I'm also pretty sure Jimmy Fallon has NEVER been funny.

I did however, find this sketch to be hilarious:



good times.

Drug Tested and approved!

I went to go take a drug test today and I have to say, that I can't fucking believe it. In addition to the myriad reasons for drug testing to being a complete fucking waste of time and money, I found the experience to be really insulting.

I mean here I am, I’m over 10 years into my professional life, I’ve passed their job interviews, and I’ve amassed a respectable resume that can easily be verified by calling both references and former employers.

But they still don’t trust you with what you choose to do in your personal life. I just got done going to a piss-broker, not even a real doctor’s office. I got to stand there with my coworkers, all of us with our piss-cups standing in line:

“empty your pockets and don’t flush the toilet when your done”

“the sink has been turned off, you can wash your hands after the test is over”

There’s nothing better than getting to see your coworkers carry a warm cup of their own urine around.

“How was it Bob? Damn, you really had to go, and all that orange in there…better lay off the carrots…oh, the temperature sticker on the side says its nice and warm!”

Its also really awesome to get to stand there with the piss-broker and sign your piss vials with your coworkers

“sign and date across the seal”

You know what? Fuck you.

And don’t give me that “if your not doing drugs, you have nothing to worry about” acceptance speech anyway. Its that same fucking apathetic mentality that put a criminal in white house. Its that fucking apathetic horseshit attitude that allowed habeas corpus to be retracted. It’s the same bullshit fucking idiocy that allowed a war to be launched without close public scrutiny. Maybe this paragraph is a stretch, but acceptance of a policy that is embarrassing, invasive, and fucking asshole just because your clean doesn’t make it right. If so, you’d probably also be in favor of a morning rectal probe at the front door, hey why not right? You’ve done nothing wrong!

And if you don’t buy my bed-wetting liberal arguments, then consider this: I’ve already done the fucking work that this drug test was for. I went out in April, performed the field work and already submitted the report draft for the work. My drug test was to verify the fact that I was fit for the field work, 1 month AFTER the field work was completed. You want to talk about a waste of time and money? Your damn right I billed the time to the client, it’s costing $100’s per hour for us to be pissing in cups for work that’s already been done. I also had to take an alcohol brethalizer test. WHAT THE FUCK FOR? In case I’m drunk? What?! If you’re a company, why not just fucking throw the $250 for the test down the toilet?


Drug testing, I’m completely against it.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

GREENWASHED!

So my wife and I have been trying to be more "green" in the world. WE've planted a massive garden this year, in preparation for our "edible landscaping" - a type of xeroscape where you grow vegetables.

I also take mass transit every day.

we recycle, you know we do pretty much the same shit every other yuppie couple does.

Lately, rather than just chuck our cans into the recycling, I've been keeping them and I'm gonna turn them in at the end of the year. I figure if we turn them in ourselves, we may get like $50 or $100 - enough for a nice dinner out or something.

So I take an extra bag along with me when I take the dog for a walk and pick up all the cans in the neighborhood that I find and put them in the recycling to cash in on later.

So tonight my wife and I were arguing about who was more "green" and she threw down the gauntlet and accused me of "greenwashing"...which is the idea that I'm only cleaning up the neighborhood and recycling because it has a direct cash benefit to me. Of course I protested, and said that there are multiple motives for cleaning up the 'hood...but she wouldn't have any of it.

so there you have, I've been Greenwashed. I'm just another asshole out there tryin' to make a buck....by the way...are you done with that can of beer?





just another greenwashing yuppie asshole from denver colorado.

The Rage is relentless!

There's been alot of bootlegs and hype and talk on the internets since Rage Against the machine reunited for Coachella.

Here's one such video calling for the trial, conviction, and execution of the current administraton for treason. "And this current administration is not exception...they should be hung, and tried, and shot...for Treason"

My sentiments exactly.

I'm not ready to start rounding up people and shooting them, but a trial for treason? certainly reasonable especially when you see articles like this.

Pathetic. ridiculous. sad.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Here it is, HARDCORE

I love hardcore music...lately I've been a little out of the loop, and disenchanted by the local hardcore scene, but you only have to look as far as youtube to figure out why HARDCORE is the best genre in music ever....I FUCKING LOVE IT. its in my BONES.

the shows, the energy, the feeling, the music, the message... everything PERFECT.

Here's a compilation video from youtube for Judge's "Where it Went"....one of the best hardcore songs ever written, by one of the best underground hardcore bands EVER.



DO YOU FEEL WHAT I FEEL? DO YOU FEEL THE SAME?!....."

Friday, April 27, 2007

FRiday PUNK Video!

Here's some old school punk for people that really know and give a shit:

Stiff Little Fingers - Suspect Device LIVE!



and

Bad Brains - Intro/I Awesome 80's set live track. the crowd is insane!




and finally, Gang Green - Alcohol! This version is censored...the real chorus? "I'd RATHER DRINK THAN FUCK!" "YOU GOT THE bEER, you got the time...you got the coke, gimme a line...!!!!"

OUT OF HAND.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

New Municiple Waste track!

Check the song "Headbanger Face Rip" its a new song by Municiple Waste, probably one of the best thrash bands in the world right now.

They should have a new album coming out in a few months, I can't wait to download it.

my book review: The Sparrow

So while I was in AZ, I read two books. There's not alot I usually feel like doing after work in the field...I mean besides my excercise routine of running 20 miles, and then doing my usual 200 pushups.

I read In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex by Nathaniel Philbrick and The Sparrow by Maria Doria Russell.

In the Heart of the Sea was great, a quick and pretty easy read about the ramming of a whaling ship by an 85 foot sperm whale, a true story that formed the basis for Moby Dick....but thats not what this post is all about.

I also read the Sparrow...and I liked it, but I hated it. It was good, but annoying.

Here's the premise (in short): A group of people, a few of them very religious, one or two of them "spiritual", discover intelligent life on another planet. They decide to go directly there and meet this intelligent life, assuming that since one of them is a Jesuit Missionary with language skills, they are the best suited, and in a religious sense, are directed there with the help of god.

They go there and get all religous, live pleasantly, hang out with the natives, and then they realize that the basic social organization of the aliens are a lot like Human's relationship to cows. There are two races on the alien planet, one that is like cows in that they serve as a herd-like animal that the other race routinely slaughters for food.

They land and first make contact with the "cow" group. Needless to say, things go horribly wrong when they figure out that the other race kills the cows. They all die except one of them, the jesuit priest, who spends the time reconciling his horrible tragedy with god.

I think the main theme of the book is that "you just have to have faith"...sometimes bad things happen to good people, and what you EXPECT from god, isn't necessarily what god has in store for you. The Book is heavily faith-based, and written in an almost nauseatingly warm-fuzzy tone: everyone gets a hug when things are good, or when things go bad, there's this naive expectation that good is in everything, and descriptions of beauty include references to spiritual experience.

So...there you have it. God is awesome, we're all filled with such love, and sometimes shit-happens, but that can't change the awesomeness of god in the heart of the faithful.

The book is a lesson in maintaining faith in the face of life's greatest tragedies.

How else can a believer in god deal with evil in the world?

There's an even easier explanation for why there's evil: There is no god. If you step back from the story for a minute and think "if good things can happen to good people, maybe there is no god". Things can just happen, the Universe just is what it is, and we are here dealing with it. Maybe because you’re a religious zealot and can’t see past the narcissistic delusion of your faith, you couldn’t notice that you were about to get sodomized by an alien.

In fact, I think if you look at the premise of the story, and say that it was religious arrogance and ignorance that directly lead to the demise of the characters.

1. They assume at least latently that somehow god was involved with this trip, and that they were doing gods work in going to the planet.

2. They assume that social and cultural values that we have on earth are also true on other planets. They also assume that there is equality and harmony with all species on the alien planet.

3. By immersing themselves within one social group on the planet, without understanding ANYTHING about the planet itself, they place themselves in direct conflict with the cows and the carnivores.

4. They assume that the killing of the cow race of aliens is morally wrong.


If you think about it for a minute: Its ignorance of the alien planet, its culture, its intelligence, the roles of different intelligent races lead directly to their downfall. Also, Their arrogance that they should just zoom right in and start hanging out with aliens as having something to do with gods plan is ridiculous.

I’m not sure if this book was supposed to reinforce or help to bring people into a spiritual life, expose and highlight the human folly when it comes to faith, or to provide a discussion on the mere existence of god, any god.

I also browsed the Amazon.com customer reviews for this book, there are more than 400 of them, and it seems that many people thought the same thing. There are comments from actively theistic people arguing that Russell has no idea what it means to be religious and faithful, and some who say that it’s a great book that all Christians should read, even though Russell is a Jewish person.

I’m still confused by it a bit, and If I had to say anything about it in short: 1. people acting on religious principles are ASKING to be slaughtered. 2. if there’s anything we should learn from history its that religious missionary behaviors lead to death of a few at the least, and fucking genocide at the most and 3. if you want to explore new planets, new cultures, new ideas, send a scientist, not a na├»ve, kooky group of religious bubbleheads.

Anyone else read this book and get as frustrated as me? If not, you should read it and enlighten me.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Back in Denver; survived eating Pipe Grease!

I survived the field work I was doing! hooray! And I'm sure you're all wondering what the hell I was doing so far away from home for so long. Well, here's the fruits of my labor:



Neat. It doesn't look like much, but the thick middle post in this picture is a 520 ft. deep borehole that has a big ass length of PVC pipe in it. There's a really expensive instrument that goes into that pipe that is used to measure any horizontal offset in the borehole. Assuming the borehole is completely straight when it was drilled, any offset in the borehole measured at a later time means that the actual mesa in which the borehole resides is moving....a scary prospect, but one that needs to be monitored nonetheless.

To be sure, AZ was fun. the work was interesting, and for some reason, and maybe its just me, I've come to the realization that it is almost impossible not to play with this stuff:




its joint grease that they use to grease the threads between pieces of drill pipe. its also this cool copper-metallic thick grease on a modified toilet brush that makes you want to dunk the brush into this margarine-thick (pleasantly spreadable, even when taken right out of the fridge!), and then run around smearing it on your rental car, on other people, on the ground, on someones lunch bag, etc... I also had this hard-to-resist urge to eat it...like some wierd piss-smelling kid in elementary school eating the paste off the craft tables. It tastes kinda like strawberries.

just kidding, I didn't eat it.....ok i did..no I didn't..I just tasted it...no I didn't, but I wanted to..

Friday, April 13, 2007

MIA in Bagdad!

Sorry for almost no updates here from the AZ trip. I've been moved to Bagdad AZ, and there's no internet, no phone, nothing. Since the drillers will be late by about 1 hour today, I thought I'd check in.

I'm on a random field computer out here at the Bagdad mine. tons-of-fun. Unfortunately, where we're working is nowhere near the pit, or the big trucks, or near anything else that might be considered exciting.

After thinking I'd come out here and see tons of those HUGE-ass trucks, and massive diggers, I'm sad to say that I've seen almost nothing. THe picture I uploaded in my previous post is about all I get to see out here. No trucks Nothing.

Then...just as I was feeling like GS Schaller and the snow-leopard last night, a truck crossed my path:




neat.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

AZ stories,,,

I'm down here on a field job in Wickenburg Arizona, which in addition to its ridiculous density of Upper-midwestern Retirees, has more than 4 hardware stores to service its less than 2,000 person populace. Its like if people over the age of 70 took over and started a wierd cult based around the old west, chrysler luxury sedans, and national breakfast chain restaurants (country kitchen, dennys, village inn, etc...)- instead of "children of the corn" think "elderly of the joshua trees"

WHen I got here, I had some big plans for cataclasite documenting this job because its both interesting (I'm core-logging a borehole in a HUGE active copper mine). I thought I could get a bunch of great pictures, but so far I've only been able to get this:



Today, the drill rig broke down (long story there) but suffice it to say, that I ended up in town hanging out at about 2 pm today. So, I decided to find an outdoor patio-type bar, have a beer, and read my book.

Unfortunately the only "patio" was some lawn furniture outside of the local off-track betting place that also served beer. Not suprising, at 2 pm the off-track betting bar in wickenburg AZ is full of marlboro-sucking 75 year old women.

I go in, order a modelo negro, and sit down to read. About 10 minutes later, this fucking wierd-looking, busted homeless lookin' guy comes up to me and says "I was just thinkin' about getting a new motorbike".

Now. I normally hate talking to people I don't know, no matter who they are. If they creep me out, its even worse, I thought "aww...fuck this shit." but I kept my mouth shut.

Anyway, I said "thats great man...", and immediately the guy says to me "mind if I sit down?"

..So he did. In the first 5 minutes of talking to me he mentioned that:

1. He's amazed at the property prices in wickenburg
2. the motor bike that he wants to buy is a custom trike because he got in a bad car accident and has trouble holding up a motorcycle while stopped at stop-lights or stop-signs
3. his left femur bone is actually from a cadaver as a result of said car accident
4. he doesn't like '57 chevy's but he thinks that the chick in the advertisement he's pointing to is good-lookin'
5. he also doesn't like Camero's because everyone wants one...and he's already owned a few.

At this point I was moderately interested in what he was saying, and was pretty convinced he wasn't gonna shank me, so I engaged him..

"so you've owned some camero's eh?"

"Yeah, I also owned a '73 dodge charger, some trans ams, a '69 z28 camero with a 302, and a '70 chevelle SS454"

"Is that the big block?" (I don't know shit about cars, but I think I heard that 302 or 454 or something had to do with the size of engines)

"mmmhmmm, It could do the quarter (1/4 mile drag strip?) in the low 10's (close to 10 seconds?)"

This entire time I had my field notebook with me and wrote the entire conversation down, to which this guy apparently took no notice.

"sweet car, how come you don't have it now?"

"I joined the navy...plus my parents were holding on to a Dodge dart that I drove around"

"hmm"

"yeah, I also got hold of a '69 roadrunner - you know the 440 with a six pack"

"oh, you hold on to a car that cherry" (this is actually a line from the movie tommy boy, I'm glad I worked it into a conversation...I know the words to this entire movie, and its not because I watched it over and over, the reason I do know the words is a long story...)

"yeah, there were only 460 of them ever made, because the '69 came with a 383...if you wanted one with the 440, you had to custom order it"

right at this very moment, one of those car-carrier trucks came by, and on the back of it was 3 SS454 Cameros. it was probably just a fucking crazy coincidence, but I kinda got that freaked out hitchiker-in-the-desert vibe...like I was about to find out that this entire town was populated with classic car-owning elderly people wielding hand-tools recently purchased from small hardware stores, and I'd soon be chopped up.

Luckily:

him: "well, didn't mean to talk your ear off..."

me: "alright"


and then he left.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

No more Music I"m listening too..

I had to delete my automatically updating "music I'm listening too" thing, because here at my new work, I don't have administrative rights on my computer so I can't install the Last.fm software. which is too bad. Being the asshole music snob I am, I always find it ineresting to think about music, and what people are listening to.

I like hardcore music, music that I think the majority of people find fucking repellent. Thats actually one of many reasons that I like it.

The thing is, no matter how obscure a band I think I know - some hardcore band from nowhereville, USA who put out 1 7" record back in 1986 - There's always someone else who has been listening. Its kind interesting to browse the last.fm site for that reason.

Take for example the band Outspoken. They released 1 full length record, and 7" records in their career, in addition to a few songs on comps and other shit. Not a hugely popular band by any means, but If you go to Last.FM and look around there are at least 6 other people that have listened to this band in the last week....and not just any outspoken song, but "Daydream" one of the best fucking hardcore songs ever written.

There's tons of people in the world, and I know that at least 6 of them listen to the same obscure shit that I do. So there may not be a way for you to see what I'm listening to anymore on this website, but I'll still post about it anyway.

what's the point of this post? FUCK CORPORATE POLICY!

Let me see what we have here...

...Nothing. How come the guy who "runs" this stupid blog never posts anymore? He's just a contributor to the massive amounts of SHIT on the internet. Just another narcississtic scumbag who goes online, spends half of a bored afternoon customizing a shitty little "blog", posts 3 times, and then lets it ROT like so much other internet crap.

Why do people abandon blogs so quickly? its a fact that most people do, and if you glance over the stats, you might say "well Joe's over the age of 29...no one that old fucking wastes time with blogs, or if they do, they've already made the commitment to post on them seriously."

I don't know about that. There's lots of loser websites that try to provide insight as to why people stop blogging. To be honest, there's alot of reasons given, most of which seem to be at least plausible.

I think there's another reason: most people's lives are really boring. I haven't posted in a few days, going on the order of more than a week now, and I think "what can I write about on my blog"? Have I seen any interesting geology? have I done anything cool? has there been a news clip that really interested me or pissed me off?

Not really. There's been some basic things happen, work is more demanding since I took a new job..thats a big thing. I've been trying to get other stuff done, and everytime I sit down at the computer, I end up playing video games or surfing bullshit websites.

But maybe I haven't really tried. I haven't fucking thought about how to express the happenings of my life into blog form - which, to be honest, I thought I'd never have a problem with, because my entire mind-set is based around short 35 second blips of interest and attention span. Case in Point: after starting this post, I'm down here in like the 5th paragraph thinking to myself "damn, wrap it up Gilbert, your not even interested in writing anymore about this"...

The bottom-line? Cataclasite won't fall into the abyss of shitty abandoned blogs. while my posts are a bit more sparse, I'm gonna make a commitment to the many readers of this site to update it...starting with this post.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Cataclasis Confessional #1

Today's Confession: Food that I really like that is really shitty:

1. Ramen Noodles. I love these. they are nutritionally worthless, cheap, shitty, garbage, but I'd eat them everyday if people would let me.

2. Mac and Cheese. Had a serious in-depth barroom discussion about this food group on saturday. its the perfect meal. fuck you if you don't like it. The Whole grain ones from rich organic food co-ops or the cheap shit ones from the grocery store, I like them all.

3. Burger King Chicken Sandwich. yeah, I said it....I like them. I liked them before dane cook worked the bk loungepiss off.

4. Hostess Twinkies. Me and twinkies go way back, and yeah, they're made with animal fat, so your loser vegan-bullshit won't work. I've even made them from scratch before.

What do you have?