Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Get out of your cars....


I don't know what's sadder, the fact that there are fat fucks in America perpetuating the situation that this article is about...

..or the fact that I routinely have to avoid being dragged under the front tire of these pieces of shit on my way to work.

So I gotta rant again...

I ride a bicycle to work every day. I love riding bikes, I have a mountain bike and a road bike, I ride every day and try to ride for fun on most weekends.

I've ridden my mountain bike in Moab, Utah, Fruita, Colorado, Winter Park anbd Crested Butte, Colorado, most all of the Colorado front range trails, in Mississippi, in Minnesota, Nevada, etc...I've fallen off my bike a number of times. I've been a bit hesitant about some rides, been damn scared on a few of them.

but nothing, absolutely NOTHING on a bicycle is scarier than riding to work in the mornings.

Denver is easily one of the most bike friendly cities in the US, there's so much to do on a bike here, and yet there isn't a single east-bound bike lane in the Downtown Denver area...but there are 2 west-bound lanes: one on 15th street, and one on 18th street.

that means you commute like me, you have to use 17th street (or some other over-crowded street), which is a one-way gauntlet of shitheads, assholes, buses, retards, fuckfaces, and pinheads...and I don't necessarily exclude myself from those categories.

Here's what I would do with Denver:

1. BAN ALL CARS FROM THE DOWNTOWN AREA. Seriously. I know it sounds dramatic and unworkable, but think of this: A. it costs alot of money to park a car downtown, B. in rush hour traffic a person on a bicycle - er, a person WALKING - can get around downtown faster than you can in your car. This is the biggest thing that I don't understand. Even if you can get your car up to about 30 mph, you will just be stopped at the next block for a red light.

There is absolutely NO FUCKING REASON why you need to bring a personal car into the downtown area EVER. There exists already a shitty mass transit system that you can exploit if you get the fuck out of your shitty goddamn toyota and stop threatening people on bicycles.


There are other ways that are better for you, and better for the people around you.

2. EXPAND THE LIGHT RAIL. Right now there's not nearly enough light-rail service to keep cars out of downtown. There could be a huge park and ride to the north, and the park and ride at broadway and alameda could be expanded with a nice big-ass parking garage. Park your car, take the light rail into downtown...then do some walking!

and yeah, what the fuck is up with the light rail? we should have that shit all over the place out here.

I know what your saying, "WALK! but downtown is almost a mile long, OMG!!!! on a bad day it may take me up to 20 minutes to walk from one end of downtown to the other~!!!!!" don't walk then, bring your bike with you. without traffic on a sunday a bike ride from confluence park to 17th and grant streets is literally under 5 minutes...or it might take as long as 25 minutes if you are on a cruiser bike and stop for a latte.

and don't give me that weather is bad bullshit...we have maybe 2 days of really bad weather for walking around downtown...its after thanksgiving here and its almost 70 degrees and sunny today! put on a coat and stop being such a fat-fuck up.

3. OVERHAUL THE BUS SYSTEM - it should be considered a serious problem that I can frequently WALK to work and out-run the 28B and the 32 and the 48 cross-town buses into downtown. I've posted about this before, my bus, the 28B literally has more than 12 stops between my house and downtown. Thats 12 stops in a little over a 2 mile distance. Its literally stopping every fucking 500 feet...and that doesn't even include all the red lights and traffic that it has to stop for.

and its not just my bus, I have friends/coworkers that ride the crosstown buses into downtown from the east, and they say the same thing "yeah, you can pretty much walk faster than the buses go".

of course if you banned personal vehicles going into the downtown area, you could immediately improve the speed of the cross-town buses.

You need a place to put some awesome bike lanes? 16th street would be PERFECT! There's no need for the 16th street mall shuttle buses, they are slow, full of puke and BO and SHIT, and also the unwashed overweight...the very people that should be getting out into the sunshine and walking around ride the free shuttlebus in Denver. And during rush hour they run asshole-to-elbow, literally 2 buses in a row driving fat people down a street that they can easily walk down.

The shuttle buses stop on EVERY BLOCK. and I'm sorry, but downtown is not that big, 16th street mall takes minutes to traverse on foot. and yeah, I'll say it: there's really nothing all that cool to see on 16th street mall.

The same fucking shit you see at every other mall is there: Hot Topic, check...Chili's restuarant, check...Lids hat store...check, TJ MAX, check....walgreens, check...Office Depot, Check...food court, Check. Thats about it. really!

Go to the park (any park), its better.

16th street mall is already off-limits to cars, if we could just get rid of those behemoth fucking wastes of time and money people could walk and ride bikes from one end of the downtown to the other. It'd be great!

meh...ok, Yeah, I almost got plastered AGAIN today on the way to work by some entitled, fat lazy shithead in their car. and I'm juiced on coffee.

I'm not asking for much out of life, but maybe, maybe some secure bike lanes in denver (not a stupid lane painted on a really busy street), or better yet, just open 16th street mall to bikes, skateboards, and rollerblades ONLY and give us a conduit to get around downtown....

I already love denver's bike trail system, its awesome, I love riding it, and I really like Denver on the whole, its a great place to own a bicycle. The city planners have already ruined the Denver tech center and the interlocken-loop areas, lets keep downtown for the pedestrians.

go outside, get out of your car and walk around for awhile. fuck your car. fuck that waste of money and time. and if you drive into downtown, fuck you too.

Sunday, October 19, 2008


well ladies and gents, after a long respite, I'm back on the road...back traveling. I've got a healthy week of work here in Good old Joplin Missouri. If you've been following my travels like I know alot of you have been, you'll remember that Missouri is the home of the Shit hotel, and the Sexual Bible.

I'm trying not to be judgemental in this electrically charged political climate we're living in, but so far, my trip to Missouri hasn't been a skittles-rainbow quite yet.

I did come here thinking it would be a similar experience to my last trip...but its as as different experience from the last time as the rocks I'm now working in: Paleozoic Carbonate rocks instead of Pre-cambrian rhyolitic gneisses. (I'm rolling around in the Mississippian aged "St." prefixed rocks).

I hope to have some good posts coming up, I work for a different company with different people, and using different methods. Though as I sit here in my hotel, using all the outlets to charge various meters, data-loggers, laptops, gps's, etc... I kinda feel a sense of deja vu.

So...here we go, I hope to have more to say tomorrow after a day of work.

I believe this is what they call a Missouri 6 course meal.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos

Public Enemy is playing some free show downtown today...hopefully.

Bruised, battered and scarred, but hard...word.

and to all those curious about flava flav? ....FUCK flava flav, he needs to stay the hell of of chuck D's rhymepath.


Monday, August 25, 2008

Some reading I liked

I read a part of Clifton Fadiman’s “reading I’ve liked…” at the behest of my mom. While I didn’t really agree with all the books on his list (he was really into Victorian aged shit and random stuffy literary crap that you’ve never heard of), I thought about what I’d write about if I were gonna write a book about “reading I’ve liked”.

Its hard to say, I’ve read quite a few books that I “liked” but there’s been a commonality to the books that I really liked. If I had to try and encapsulate all the books I’ve read, and really thought about the books that I’ve liked, I think I could encapsulate it in by saying that I like MEATY books.

By meaty I mean books that you slow down when your reading them, and its almost like the language and description of the setting, or emotion or mood is what stands out. Like you read a random paragraph and then you look up from the book and think “that’s fucking perfect”.

I’ve never been good at picking up thematic ideas or metaphor or shit like that, but rather I’ve been attracted to books that have great description, or really reflect emotion or imagery.

I’m now reading Suttree by Cormac McCarthy (one of my favorite authors). Yeah, I admit, I was introduced to Cormac by reading The Road on Oprahs book club – fuck off, I liked it and I’m glad I took oprah’s advice and read it.

Cormac McCarthy’s books are spectacular, Blood Meridian has got to be one of my favorite books of all time. McCarthy knows some geology, and his descriptions of the brutal and unforgiving desert southwest make you want to just say “that’s fucking perfect”…take this description:

They rode through regions of particolored stone upthrust in ragged kerfs and shelves of traprock reared in faults and anticlines curved back upon themselves and broken off like stumps of great stone treeboles and stones the lightning had clove open, seeps exploding in steam in some old storm. They rode past trapdykes of brown rock running down the narrow chines of the ridges and onto the plains like the ruins of old walls, such auguries everywhere of the hand of man before man was or any living thing.

I don’t know…I’ve walked around in the desert a lot and looked and thought about rocks a lot..and to read his descriptions? Its perfect. Sometimes rocks DO look split open as if by some steam explosion, or have some linear pattern that resemble walls made before man or anything else…its just a perfect description.

Shiprock, in New Mexico comes to my mind specifically in this passage...the volanic neck of shiprock, pushed up through the plateau, and the radial dikes like walls before living things...yah d00d!

This morning I was sitting in the bathroom and broke open the beginning of Suttree by Cormac McCarthy which had this fucking perfect description of the fish in the bottom of a muddy river:

Fabled Sturgeons with their horny pentagonal bodies, the cupreous and dacebright carp and catfish with their pale and sprueless underbellies, a thick muck shot with broken glass, with bones and rusted tins and bits of crockery reticulate with mudblack crazings.

I think you have to have in your mind what a sturgeon looks like, and what those shiny shed scales look like strewn about a muddy black river bottom…where the water itself is relatively clear, and the sun reflects those scales back through the mud to you. Its just a great description. I'm not that far into Suttree, but I'm already liking it....Shortly after this passage, McCarthy through the voice of a character describes the effects of some moonshine whiskey as "the dry heaves, the drizzle shits, the cold shakes, and the Jakeleg"

I was riding to work this morning I thought about all the other great writers I’ve read, and I remembered specifically Herman Hesse (another one of my all time favorite writers). From Steppenwolf:

“And who over the ruins of his life pursued its fleeting, fluttering existence, while he suffered its seeming meaninglessness and lived its seeming madness, and who hoped in secret at the last turn of the labyrinth of chaos for revelation and gods presence?”

This passage comes after a description of things that Henry Haller considers to be worthwhile in life… who really appreciates these things, and indeed, in the end…who consciously takes time to appreciate all the things in life that are awesome.

If you are trapped in some deep narcissistic depression where you look around at your peers, and at people in general and wonder at their dismissive or shallow characterizations of life's pleasures and pains...well shit, all thats left is death or transcendence.

The Steppenwolf is one of those books that you read and then spend the next 12 months of your life reflecting on everything. It really is beyond me to describe it...its just good. I read it first when I graduated college, and then again about a year ago…and both times it carried a slightly different meaning, both equally important. Damn it’s a good book, crazy and elegant, frustrating and perfectly descriptive.

I just spent like 5 minutes looking back through some other books I’ve read and there are other authors like that: Salmon Rushdie’s language and descriptions are convoluted and perfect at the same time. Edward Abbey’s Desert Solitaire is another book that every so often you look up from and say “yeah man, perfect”. Arthur C. Clarke’s descriptions of some sci-fi ideas are like that…he’s got some short story about an automatic house that starts up after a nuclear war…its perfect like that. I forgot the name of that story.

Who knows…I like books like that, that make you think or at least for the moment you read them and are so impressed by the writing or the theme or the setting of the book that you think about it for a few days (or years) and end up posting about it on a fucking shitty blog.

in re-reading this, I understand its a stretch to juxtapose Herman Hesse with Arthur C. Clarke, or Edward Abbey with Cormac McCarthy, but really...I guess it just boils down to great writing, I like good writers, writers that express emotion, and can convey not only an elegant description of some physical scene, but at the same time express how that scene shapes how you feel about it.

I mean really, I wish I had the talent to articulate why I liked the “books that I’ve liked”, but I don’t. dammit.

Friday, July 18, 2008

What are you gonna do?

I was on a field job recently, and it was out in the suburbs of this town.

Near the site was one of those shithole commerical developments, you know the type: There's a walmart store or a target, and then in a strip mall next to the parking lot there are 2 shitty restuarants, a radio shack, a great clips salon, etc... Right next door to this there was some condos...just some crappy middle-to-lower income housing.

I started thinking that there are people that live in those condo's, and are assisstant manager of that radio shack, get their groceries from the superwalmart there, and get their haircut at the cost cutters. Its like a closed system...just out there using resources.

I mean there's gotta be more than a few people that live like that. Rarely going outside of that comfort loop to see anything in the world, to meet different people, and because of it, there's no record of anything they might accomplish. Though the concept of significant accomplishment by people in that situation doesn't seem likely.

So I started thinking about myself....like ok I've traveled around a bit, seen stuff, but I have this naive and really self-centered view that somehow the life I'm living is any different or better than if I worked at that radio shack. I go to work, I come home, I consume food, gasoline, shit like that. and what do I give back? what's my exit from that closed loop?

I tell myself that I work for an environmental company and that I'm doing shit to help the environment, or that if I travel to europe somehow I'm more worldy than that person who works his shift as a line cook at Huang's Asian Express next to the great clips and watches the history channel at night.

I don't really have anything. and I'm not trying to sound depressing, I mean if you pull-the-camera back far enough, all any of us really do is exist in the world, with a very small, VERY small minority of people that actually DO anything that is remarkable. Nothing anyone does really matters in the long run, and if you really get ape-shit and think about your existence in the context of geologic time...you don't mean shit as an individual. T

what significant accomplishments can I ever hope to do that would record my existence outside of the immediate people I know? Maybe this is the wrong way to measure your life - or even consider yourself. Rather what's really important is what you mean to the other people in life, those immediate people that you know. or maybe you're not supposed to consider any of that and just live your life.

Like really just kick the shit out of life.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

I'm Platinum!!!!!

THis week I'm stuck in the Thriving Metropolis of South Bend Indiana - Home of Notre Dame University.

its a suprisingly boring town. Apparently the only really cool place to go eat/drink is this place...I had the shepards pie. it was ok.

People in Indiana eat "Dinner" for lunch and "Supper" for dinner

And yeah, this trip marks a milestone for me: I'm now a marriot rewards PLATINUM member. Yep...Thats the highest echelon you can get with the Marriot Rewards system. I'm now an Ultimate preferred guest and get all sorts of perks that you plebeian losers don't get.

Here's some of the highlights of this real ultimate prestige:

-if I want a hotel room anywhere, I can get one. If the hotel is sold out, they make someone else leave.

-THe hotel staff, particularly the front desk people HAVE to learn my name and call me so when they see me. "Good evening, Mr. Gilbert, how's your day?" of course, I reserve the right to ignore them.

-I get free snacks and water and pop from the snack bars they have in the lobby. yeah, that shit that YOU have to pay for? I get it for free.

-I get a free gift box if I check into a hotel...in my room will be a sweet basket of awesome shit that only ultimate royal platinum people get.

-I automatically get the best room available in the place. no additional charge. when I travel, I get the awesome supreme luxury room.

-I get to check out later: like 3 pm or something.

-there's several more ultimate prestige royalty benefits I get, but if I really listed all of them, you'd probably get jealous.

So there you have it. thats a little taste of royalty...maybe if the rest of you try a little harder you could one day reach Platinum status at marriot. Probably not, but never give up on your dreams.

South Bend, Indiana - home of the College Football hall of fame, and occasionally visited by Royalty.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

From the SNL Archives...

via videosift.com

Bought Another Motorcycle.

this one's a bit bigger:

1994 Ducati 900SS CR.


pretty much truth though...

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

The Belt Super Group.

There's certain geologic themes that keep coming back to me in life...I think this happens with most geologists: You learn about some rock unit or some fossil, or something, and every 3-10 years or so, you end up re-visiting it in some way or another. This has happened to me at least 5-6 times.

For Example, Consider The Belt Supergroup - an interesting sedimentary sequence of Precambrian rocks that form the spectacular mountains that make up Glacier national park.

Here's my experience with these rocks:

-I learned about these rocks as an undergraduate in college, in my structural geology class. while talking about thrust faulting

-I first visited these rocks as an undergraduate at my field camp, and was blown away by 1. how awesome the scenery of this part of the world is, and 2. by how fucking beautifully exposed these rocks are.

You can actually see full fault-bend folds in the sides of the mountains, folded sedimentary beds, and to top it all off, the color of the rocks is gorgeous. The Sedimentary structures are really awesome too, ball and pillow, flame structures, mudcracks, salt casts, etc...

As you drive north on the Going to the Sun Highway, There's a place where you can see the Mountains on your left, and the start of the plains are on your right. The topographic break near the base of the mountains is the lewis thrust, and everything above it are the glorious rocks of the Belt Supergroup. Don't forget about the rocks beneath the topographic break, they are the footwall rocks and display some terrific footwall deformation (folds and faults!)

Here's some of the rocks of the Mount Shields Formation (I think)... if you look close you'll see my friend Erik in the back of the picture.

Some footwall deformation, my friend Ivan in the picture there has his left hand curled in the shape of a fault bend fold, and his right hand is the fold, just to the left of his hands you can see the same structure in the outcrop. Or I should say, you could see the structure in the outcrop if it wasn't such a shitty old fucking picture.

Geologic Field Camp lecture at St. Mary Lake...awesome.

On a Slightly unrelated note, I was the single best rock-hammer-tree-climber in my field camp group. I excelled at it. Although I really sucked at trundling, the hammer throw, and the cliff drop.

-I forgot about these rocks until about a year after I first visited them, when I went on a backpacking trip with friends. I didn't think about the rocks as much on that trip because 1 week before the trip I broke my ankle skateboarding and hiked much of the waterton international peace park on ibuprofen and vicodin. I stopped only to pretend to take artsy pictures and act like I give a shit about gary snyder's poetry....

My Friend Paul checking out the awesomeness of sedimentary structures in the belt Supergroup...a set of rocks that even attracts english teachers. go figure.

My friend Erik taking a picture of some of the sweet sweet sedimentary structures (mudcracks and salt casts in this case...). If you look at my left ankle (I'm the guy in the red cap), you'll see the brace on my broken ankle.

My roommate at the time told my girlfriend (now wife), that my broken ankle was actually caused by me and him "Wrestling in the tub....again!" He has 2 kids and lives in Houston, TX now...so I guess I won in the end.

-2 days ago at work DK was arguing with me about fossils. Right now I’m doing a Paleontological sensitivity study for a site to determine the potential for any vertebrate or other “highly sensitive” fossils in an area. So I was classifying sedimentary rocks, and he was saying “oh yeah, show me a sedimentary layer that DOESN’T have fossils in it”

So me, in my pompous pretention for lying to maintain my ego, say “hey dude, the fucking belt supergroup…” In reality there have been stromatolites found in the belt supergroup, but I didn’t mention that to DK.

If you ever, EVER have the chance to go to Glacier National Park, or to Waterton, STOP and look at all the rocks. better yet, get a good geology book and read up on them before you get there...no, better yet, take a field geology class that lets you map there. thats how you win the game.

Shit rules. Fuck all the haters of the belt supergroup.

Went To Europe

Posted a Web Album Here.

Stupid Environmental people.

So I had an office lunch today...you know the type, where they hire a new person, and then they take the office out to lunch to introduce you to the new hire.

So we're at our alcohol-free lunch at the Wynkoop, and this woman that works here, she says to the waitress "Yeah, I'd like the Gumbo, and a small side dish to throw the sausage into because I'm not gonna eat it"

Turns out she's vegetarian. Thats cool. I can appreciate that, some people are.

So someone, yeah, that guy asks "So, how come your a vegetarian? do you just hate meat or something?"

To which she replies something like "No, but have you ever seen the amount of energy it takes to grow beef? they have to grow grains, then house and tend the cows, and then the processing, its just a waste of energy"

I choked on my fish and chips.

here's the thing:

1. In all likelihood the sausage is probably pork. who fucking eats beef sausage in a gumbo?

2. She's gonna be eating some of the sausage, because if its any kind of good gumbo, alot of the fat from the sausage will be in the broth.

3. MOST importantly: She already fucking ordered it with meat in it. I mean as a person eating at a restaurant she's the end-user of the meat. she consumed it. she doesn't have to eat it, but as far as the chain-of-wasted-energy is concerned, from the birth of the calf/pig all the way to paying someone to cook and deliver it to her, its already used the maximum amount of energy.

Plus, the fact that she ordered and consumed it will help to ensure that the restaurant orders MORE sausage.

what the FUCK?

I seriously want to punch people like this. they come around from time-to-time with their bullshit half-baked environmentalism, their fucking "I drive a subarau" attitude, their "yeah, I'd love to work for a Non-profit" bullshit.

I eat meat, and I'd be willing to bet that if we really took an energy audit between us, I'd use less energy.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Went to Europe


Let me just say this: it was awesome. The French Alps are something that every geologist (and every person visiting europe) should see.

A pic:

Beers in the French alps.

I'm gonna post more pics from time to time, but for now, Just know, that you need to visit the french alps.

Book Review: Evolution of A Cro-magnon

here's a good example of my shitty posting skills...I read Evolution of a Cro-magnon a few months ago (ordered the actual book after downloading some of the audio)...and I have this long ass review:

I didn't choose hardcore and punk, it chose me...

Recently, I downloaded an audio excerpt of the book "Evolution of the CRO-MAGnon man" by John Joseph McGowan.

Its an autobiography, and if you don't know who John Joseph "bloodclot" is, he used to be the lead singer of the seminal New York Hardcore band the Cro-Mags (arguably one of the best NY bands ever formed), and is now the lead singer of bloodclot - go figure.

To be sure, I didn't know much about john joseph personally or the rest of the cro-mags story. When I was in high school up I always had a copy of their album "age of quarrel" and know some of the basic stuff about the band: they got into hare krishna stuff in the mid-to-late 80's the way some other NY bands did, the bass player, harley flannigan and john joseph hate each other for some reason, the new york hardcore scene was awesome, someday I'm going to CBGB's (something that I never got to do...although I received a phone call from there once...), etc...so the book was enlightening as to the band's history, and maybe more so, to John Joseph’s personal history.

John Joseph reveals his early life, how fucked up it was, going from foster home to foster home, joining the navy, going AWOL, doing every kind of drug possible, and generally not caring until he found a outlet and something to give a shit about; his personal spirituality, and punk/hardcore/underground music. A dramatic life, I can't relate personally to what he endured. amazing shit.

The real thing I enjoyed was his descriptions of the hardcore and punk scene's...Personally I could listen to old school punkers and hardcore guys talk about the scene in the mid 80’s to mid 90’s all day long. John Joseph gives some awesome accounts of Ban Brain’s early shows, being stave-dived on, skankin’, creepy crawlin’, going to shows, and just plain old being punk.

He gives awesome descriptions of the state of the hardcore punk scene in the 80's, including an awesome story about the legendary "fear appears on saturday night live and Ian MacKaye yells "fuck new york" on live national TV. ha, Awesome.

He talks about who the old school punk and hardcore kids were:

“…back then, most were individuals, most where unique, some where downright just outta their fucking minds. But a lot of them were serious thinkers who just thought out of the box. And if it wasn’t for punk and hardcore, they’d be fucked, because society wanted nothing to do with them.”

And he talks at length about punk and hardcore: the music, the scene that supports it, the people, and the attitude:

“…There’s something in my nature that forces me even at 44 years of age to go against the grain, to stay under the radar, to rebel and start shit, keep fuckers on their toes and thinkin’….because fallin’ in line is just plain suicide.

I didn’t chose punk and hardcore, it chose me, and for whatever reason I know this: It ain’t about fashion, or even the music for that matter, it’s a state of consciousness, and once you realize that, There’s no way you can ever sellout.”

It sounds kinda ridiculous to people who didn’t immerse themselves into this scene and to compare your personal philosophies of life with a youth culture, but I agree with John Joseph. The underground punk and hardcore scene tends to draw certain types of people; even people who on the outside look very different, but on the inside share similar ideas. The more involved you become in it, especially when you are young, the more it will influence how you think for the rest of your life.

Personally, I would still like to tell myself that I have this same mentality. That I’ve never “sold out” or “given up”: That I approach life with the energy, skepticism, passion, responsiveness, and the pure vulgarity expressed and valued in the punk and hardcore scene. Fuckin'shit.

Of Course, I’m writing this in an office on a laptop computer while I sip coffee. The difference is, I’ll be the guy blasting all flavors of punk/hardcore on my jobsite, and pushing my coworkers, and yelling at fuckers that pull divining rods out.

To: Mr. John Joseph…my personal experience was different from yours, but if you remember back to those shows that were so important to you, and you look at all those other kids in the crowd, I was that one guy, third from the left, next to the monitors. I’m just like all these other hardcore kids. Never sold out, and I still give a fuck.

Great book, read it!


So Much has happened in life, I haven't been documenting it on Cataclasis...I know all my loyal readers have probably moved on to other more interesting blogs.

I've been looking back at my archives and noticed that most of my posts on this website are really long.

Indeed, right now I have about 4 blog posts saved in microsoft word right now that are longer than 2 pages. I can't seem to ever finish them so...

...in an attempt to revive the blogging, I'm gonna concentrate on short posts. Not worry so much about comprehensive posts.


Friday, April 25, 2008

So I Have a New JOB!

Its awesome. So far its really great, people in general are cool, the work is fun, the location is outstanding, the money is great, and the amount of travel I'll have to do is minimal.

One thing thats a little shitty is that the guy who called me and asked me if I wanted this job is one of the most repugnant shitheaded losers on the planet. he's so bad, that he's the reason, or rather one of the reasons, I started this blog to begin with.

I worked with him once on a project in wyoming and he's seriously fucking crazy...and he hasn't changed at all, for some examples check this out.

When I interviewed here I was like "shit this job is awesome...but I might turn it down simply so I don't have to work with DK". In the end, I ended up taking the job with the hope that I wouldn't really have to work with him. and indeed, I think I can minimize the time I have to interact with him.

I think what I'll do is start a recurring blog post: Crazy shit DK has said to me today.

So there's that little black mark, but overall, the other people here are awesome, there's even a guy here who likes to ride motorcycles. Awesome.

Why does mass transit have to suck?

Who's planning mass transit routes?

Here's the thing: On most days I can walk as fast as the bus will take me to work. Let me repeat that: I can WALK as fast as the standard city bus route in Denver.

Granted I ride a neighborhood route, and a lot of the other routes are slightly faster, but not much.

It takes me about 35 minutes to walk home from work (thats uphill most of the way), and the bus...depending on the stops takes about 25-30 minutes. I would be willing to bet you that the RTD route 28B spends as much time sitting at the curb with its engine idling as it does actually moving.

There are at least 12 stops that my bus will make to get from my house to where I get off the bus. 12 stops in 2.3 miles. 12 FUCKING STOPS IN 2.3 MILES!!! That means on average, there is a fucking stop ever 1,000 feet or so. There are 3 stops between lowell blvd and federal, very close to where I live, I can literally walk from one to the next in probably less than a minute. There is no fucking need to have that many stops.

I get on the bus in the morning because I'm a lazy bastard, and by the time I need to get off, I'm LIVID trying to figure out who in their right mind would waste their life on a fucking bus like this. I don't even BOTHER trying to get on a bus in the afternoon, I can walk 2.3 miles.


Will someone please PLEASE redo the mass transit system in denver?

Oh and this morning on the bus, I saw 4 fucking North Face windbreakers. If you own one of these, you are an idiot. plain and simple. You are slightly stupider than the person sitting next to you.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Its been 2 months

Since I posted my Challenge....no takers yet.

Srsly people, the money is still out there...still waiting for your "proof"


So there's this new creationist movie out there that's been getting all the hype in the science blogs. Its called "expelled" and its this pathetic documentary that is starring Ben Stein...that guy who's entire career is punctuated by a 35 second role in Ferris Bueller's Day off.


I'm not linking to their actual website because FUCK the makers of expelled, including Ben Stein.

There's lots of great blogs/Science websites/Rational people that have blogged about how unbelievably stupid the movie is. if you want, you can google search the movie.

Also, Dr. PZ Myers...I have OBEYED.


I'm driving along sheridan blvd. tonight with the wife after a successful jaunt to the local Target.

there's some guy in a Silver Range rover next to me with his girlfriend.

She gives me the finger for some reason that I really don't understand, and the guy says "come on bitch"...

The light turns green, so I speed up to try and avoid them, they speed up too and get next to us shouting gangsterisms like "c'mon bitch, lets go, c'mon fucker, Bring it, etc..."

so I say to the wife, call the police, his license plate is from colorado and is: 959-PSD. she does.

the guy realizes what we're doing and then takes a hard left, and his girlfriend throws a bottle at our car which breaks and nearly hits me on the side of the head since my window was down.


Friday, March 28, 2008


So I'm out here working on a field job. Like most people I'm a creature of habit....in the morning, I drink some coffee, and before I leave the hotel I refill my coffee cup with the lobby coffee and put the coffee in the console of the truck we're driving.

I'll sip that coffee part of the morning, but mainly at about 12:00 to 1:00 pm, I'll swill that shit...even if its cold. It has the right amount of caffiene to keep me going for the day.


My coworker smokes. its pretty shitty. but. I go to take my daily early-afternoon sip of cold coffee, I get two full gulps in, when I realize that it tastes like a fucking ashtray. My coworker was putting his cigarette butts into my fucking daily coffee.

needless to say I spent the majority of my afternoon chewing gum like Jim Carry in "ace ventura pet detective" when he realizes that einhorn is finkle.

THe wife even called me after work and I was laying on the hotel bed with the lights off just thinking "ok, seriously, if I just puke now, get it out, I'll feel better" I was seriously contemplating sticking the finger down my throat to rid myself of the fucking poison SHIT that was infesting my stomach and small intestine.

instead, I went to a bar and had a navaho taco and a few pale ale micro brews. which, in the end was a little better than puking.

but still.

srsly people, lets fucking quit fucking with people's fucking coffee.

Friday geology pic(s) - TDrilling the San Juan

I haven't blogged about geology for a bit, but I'm out here in Durango, CO on a project and the San Juan Mountains look gorgeous, the basin is full of terrific outcrops, and the weather is so perfect that I'm really itching to get out, hike, look around, and think about ROCKS again.

Unfortunately out here I'm chained to these drilling sites and sampling ROCKS...I haven't really had a chance to play around out here.

Here's my sweet cell phone picture of myself standing around on the drill pad out here:

Yes, that is a big ass fucking rig that at the time the picture was taken, was drilling through some coal seams in the Dakota formation, probably at around 4,000 ft below the ground surface. Geologically its kinda boring, but check this out:

they do "green" drilling, which means that all the drilling chemicals from the mud pits to fracure fluids are all contained in tanks (back in the day, drill rigs would just dig a big-ass unlined trench in the ground and put it all in there, where it would leak into ground and surface water)...the only "waste" this rig generates is drilling cuttings that come out looking like baby-poop (if babies ate sand-rich shale and coal). all the waste water generated is recycled through the system, and is eventually pumped back down the borehole where its pretty much inaccessable to anything.

If you had to develop a natural gas field, this company is doing some of the most environmentally responsible work I've ever seen.

I don't work for that company, I work for a company that is testing the cuttings to ensure that they are indeed environmentally responsible.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

A Firestorm to PURIFY!!!

Earth Crisis is playing a reunion show tonight in Denver. I'm not going. There's a few reasons for this:

1. I've seen Earth Crisis twice already, the last time resulted in a very sore neck and an extremely bloody nose as a result of someone kicking me in the face. I've also seen all of the other bands on the bill with them: Terror, Shai Hulud, Down to Nothing, and Sworn Enemy.

2. I just haven't been into hardcore music much lately. not sure why, but I really am just not all that interested in going to shows. I came home today, took the dog for a walk, and then thought "I'd rather just sit here at home and have a drink and watch reruns of seinfeld with the wife while the dog chews a bone on the floor."

how un-hardcore is that?!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Thursday, February 28, 2008

What are my friends all up to?

I've been out on field jobs for too long now and I feel colossally out of touch with everyone I've ever known....well not quite everyone, but mainly friends and stuff.


Anyway, I'm getting ready to head back home again and I'd like to get back in contact with everyone.

If you want to hang out with me or maybe catch up on life, gimme a holler!

Holla, Holla, Holla!!!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Its been 10 years!

so...I know its ridiculous, but as of today I have either been dating and/or married to my wife for 10 years: Mrs. Karen.

10 years. can you believe it?

Here's how it went down 10 years ago today:

I was working with my wife at this oil and gas company. She was the secretary-type working at this glass-topped desk right next to the elevators at Aspect Management - a small oil and gas company in the paramount building in Denver. I was this loser who just graduated from college who used to get off the elevators every day and see her and think "damn dude, that chick is HAWT!" I'd talk to a few of the people that worked with her. I stood around the copy machine and the fax machine alot.
As previously blogged, I was a penniless twit who was living in a homeless shelter.

About 3653 days ago I said "hey, want to go to the art museum this weekend? its free or something...?"

She agreed.

I met her at about 2 pm or so on 16th street in denver. I walked down there, she took the bus from her suburban apartment. I'm pretty sure I met her outside the walgreen's.

the whole scene almost went exactly like Dave Chapelle's First date from half baked...I didn't have shit for money, so we went to the free-day at the art museum. There was some nude photography exhibit, and I purposefully stood next to the pictures of naked people saying things like "uhh...so, what do you think of president clinton?" She gave her opinions freely, talked nicely, and was pretty formal.

About 2 hours later I didn't know what to do, so we decided to take a cab back to her place (as I currently did not have a place), and ordered a pizza and watched the Sound of Music. A cab? pizza? musicals?

Seriously. How's that for infatuation? I was so into this girl that on the first date I think I actually said something like "Julie Andrew's Musicals from the 1960's? I LOVE THOSE!"

We proceeded to watch the sound of music and eat pizza until both of us fell asleep, I woke up on her floor the next morning with the worst back-ache I've ever had. She asked me if I wanted a ride home, and I said "OK", and I had her drop me off near the Perkins restuarant on East colfax avenue. It was one of the best "dates" I ever had.... even though I was left standing on a street corner on one of the most urban corners in Denver.

I didn't even get to kiss her until a week later or so when we were downtown in Denver hanging out again. I have to convince her that I had this pressing issue at my work and I had to, HAD TO, go there, and she had to come to so that I could get her alone and kiss her.

ridiculous. here it is though: I still love her as much as I did the day I saw her. ....wait...nah, fuck that shit, I love her more today than I ever have. and I'm in Sacramento, at an airport, getting ready to get on a plane home.

All can think of is getting on that couch, sitting next to her with the dog, the cat nearby, s'awesome.

She's my best friend. thats it. thats all you really need to know.

Hikin' Around New Almaden!

Its been quite awhile since I posted anything closely related to geology on this blog. Honestly, in the last few months I haven't really been thinking about it. Snow is covering alot of the good geology in denver, and out here in Sacramento there's not much to look at.

A few times during my stay out here I was staring at the cutbanks of the American river just HOPING that there might be something exposed thats interesting. The best you can get from that though is thinking about the pre-levee flood cycles recorded in the not-quite-lithified beds. oh well.

So I went to New Almaden County Park this last weekend. New Almaden was a town located near a few small Mercury mines that were established in the early-to-mid 1800's and produced a shit-load of Mercury right up until nearly the 1970's. They Mainly mined out a mineral Called Cinnabar, which tastes great and when powdered can be heated up, releasing a wonderful sinus-clearing vapor. (ha...actually its a mercury sulfide mineral that if handled incorrectly might either 1. cause you permanent brain damage, or 2. kill you).

The miners used to crush down the cinnebar, heat it to about 1,700 degrees Fahrenheit, at which point sulphur and mercury gas were given off. The Mercury gas was funneled off into condensers and then bottled to make bomb fuses and rectal thermometers. The Sulfur gas was released to the atmosphere to cause acid rain for the people residing just east of the smelter.

This is the remains of the Mercury Condensor at the New Almaden Mine area. the big horizontal pipe was used to funnel off the mercury into the condensers. Its also an awesome location to spray-paint the name of your up-coming San Jose straightedge hardcore band for all to see.

The mine area is also a stone-throw next to Loma Prieta, the mountain whose name was used to name the 1989 San Francisco earthquake that delayed consumption of beer and dry roasted peanuts during the World Series. The Epicenter of that earthquake is located fairly close to the park, but I didn't go see it.

Like so many mines in colorado, the hey-day for this mine area appears to have been in the later part of the 19th century. New Almaden also happens to be the setting of the first portions of the book "Angle of Repose" by Wallace Stegner. Which, interestingly enough is not mentioned at the actual New Almaden country park...not a singlereference to Stegener's book, despite his romantic and vivid description of Lyman Ward's Grandmother's experience of it.

Anyhow. The park was awesome, it was about 65 degrees and sunny when I was there, and the trails are ridiculously well maintained. The mine ruins are constrained to a few busted old non-descript buildings, an Eagle-Scout-project-created Historic Trail map, and a few rapidly fading descriptive plaques. I rolled around there for the better part of a day, at one point I forgot to pay attention to the trail maps and ended up walking 4 miles out of the way down the wooded hill trail.

"What the hell? where's the trail? I can't believe I got lost in a county park trail...considering how much boasting and arrogance I express when pressed on my ability to use a topographic map and brunton compass!"

I kinda wish I had more time there, and that I had prepared for the geology more...there was some great exposures and the cenozoic history of the mountains is complex..something that requires a little more involvement to understand and appreciate than staring at the mineralized joints and rocks at the county park and going "damn, I wish I knew more about this."

Anyway...I have to get ready to go work now.....

Some of the old, twisted trunks of Cypress trees and the trail. the crappy pictures are a result of using my camera phone and not a sweet real camera. sorry.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

No, Actually it DOESN"T work,!

I'd like to tackle a bit of bullshit that I'm tird of hearing about on jobs.

The Divining rod. I know what your thinking..."Joe, no one takes that shit seriously anyway" and you'll think I'm creating a controversy that doesn't really exist...

But, I shit you not, there are currently at least 3 people in my office that "believe" this shit works.


As a professional geologist, we do a lot of invasive work in the earth: trenching, drilling, excavator work etc... and Utility locates are actually pretty critical to alot of jobs. I've been on rigs that have hit utilities, and it tends to make everyone nervous - (is that just an old concrete storm sewer, or a high pressure gas line?)


I've talked with a few people who swear, that no matter what, they ALWAYS can find utilities using divining rods.

But I've taken a dramatic stance on them: if anyone pulls divining rods out on a job I'm on, they are immediately off the project. I do that for 2 main reasons:

1. if a client comes by and sees us standing around with divining rods trying to find where we will be digging, what will they think?

2. We are supposed to be fucking professionals whose job it is to use SCIENCE to find what's in the earth.

Most recently, I've been working in Sacramento on a field job doing geophysics: using a method that is commonly used to find buried utilities in abandoned industrial areas, or on military bases, or whatever. I'm out here working with a Geophysicist, he's 37 years old, has an MS degree in geophysics, and does UXO removal for a living.

He Believes that the use of Divining rods works. He is also a dumbshit.

SO I ask him:

1. If they work, why have you never included them in any job you've done?

2. if they work, why not use them rather than pay for real geophysical equipment? A bent coathanger is alot cheaper than the $40,000 resisitivity system we are currently using.

3. why haven't you patented this new technology? if there really aren't any studies out there, but you know it works, why not write that article demonstrating their use? you'd be famous! you'd also be Rich for developing a technology that industry could certainly benefit from.

4. and i tell him, "if you pull those divining rods out on this job, I'll have you off this project tomorrow..."

naturally he got all pissed and provided the following arguments to me:

1. Despite the fact that there is not a SINGLE reference in a peer reviewed journal to the successful deployment of divining rods, he "knows" they work.

(I actually contacted my Brother-in-law Scott, a graduate student in physics, to search some journal databases and he found no positive papers that reference the sucessful use of divining rods, for ANY purpose. I couldn't find anything on google scholar either...and a general google search only revealed a "straight dope" article talking about how it doesn't work.

2. He personally knew This guy who lived in Hawaii who could locate buried utilities or metal 80% of the time. This is quite possibly the most juvenille and stupid argument for anything I've ever heard.

3. like the hypothesis of Plate tectonics as proposed by wegner lacked sufficient data to support it when it was proposed. Divining Rods also work, they just lack supporting data. Actually its nothing like that, because even plate tectonics was used to explain existing observational data (fossils, stratigraphy, and continental geometry)...thats how science works.

4. I just haven't tried to to it myself and therefore I don't know that it can work. Oh believe me, I can make that thing work 100% of the time over areas where I know there are utilities, and I"m not going to spend my time trying to find unmarked utilities.

Normally, I'd let this shit slide and just shrug it off, but this is a guy whose ONLY job in life is to Find buried items using geophysical methods.

I finally had to end the argument. I bet him, and I'm extending that bet to ANyone:

if you can show me that this method works: peer reviewed journal, or even a technical article from a private industry that can demonstrate a positive correlation between divining rods the location of buried utilities, water, or ore bodies, I'll pay you $100. No grey literature will be accepted, and full datasets must be available for scrutiny.

I don't even want to hear shit like "I know this guy really good at it" or "dude...seriously, shit works."

there you have it, its on the internet now, I can't retract it. Don't worry, I have the $100, and I have paypal....so if you can show me the science, I'll show you the money.

until then, Piss off with your folklore and quackery. yeah, I said "quackery". ass.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Steamboat Memories...

Here's a youtube video I uploaded commemorating our recent Steamboat trip:

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Live- Blogging the Superbowl

I'll be live-blogging the play-by-play action from the awesome superbowl today from 3 pm to whenever its over, can't wait for those sweet commercials....

...wait a minute....nah, fuck that shit, I'll be watching old Warren Miller Video's on ESPN classic and getting drunk on coors light and gentleman jack bourbon.

Old School OP snowboarding, ha, 1,000 times better than the superbowl this year.


Glen Fucking Plake!

Friday, February 01, 2008

Live for nothin', or Die for somethin'

I few years ago, I actually read the David Morrell novel "First Blood" after seeing the movie play on TBS or some other shit basic cable station. I thought the novel was terrible. Though I did like the whole Idea of Rambo dying at the end....oh shit, did I just ruin the book for you? ha.

Tonight I saw RAMBO, the new movie. I won't ruin the whole movie for you, but suffice it to say, the plot is even more ludicrous than you think. Its a pure blood-fest; so gory and violent at times its almost laughable. its also really loud.

its cliche, ridiculously violent, intellectually vacuous, and ultimately pointless....but but but, there's this awesome scene where rambo kills EVERYTHING with a huge machine gun! YAHOO!

Here's the last thing I'll mention: If I'm 85 years old, or however old stylvester stallone is, and I still have forearms that look like bridge cables, I will definately make insanely violent movies that showcase my own bad-assed-ness.

New Year, New Ideas

I plan to destroy my lack of blog posts with updates of devastating awesomeness coming this weekend and beyond.

Of Note:

I'm back in Sacramento
I'm bored
Sufficient interesting shit has happened that warrants internet sharing
I've got to get going or I'll be late for work
I still like geology
I've consumed sushi in the last 24 hours

Here's a sweet picture of my friend Tony Shreddin' Chute #3in christmas bowl At steamboat, colorado (taken by me last weekend):