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Discoveries and Delights, Including Kitten

Yes, I’ve been rather scarce over the last several days – a sorry state of affairs that should soon be changing, now that I’ve made a slight adjustment to my meds that allows me to stay awake for more than an hour at a time. Huzzah!

I missed FtB Conscience this year, but should this network pull off that insanity next year, I intend to take the plunge. By then, I should have Flood “geology” to talk about, and hopefully shall split your sides with laughter whilst teaching you how to read rocks in the apoplectic face of a creationist. Hee.

Haven’t lain idle this weekend, my darlings, despite the lack of blogging. I’ve been occasionally applying nose to grindstone, gone out for an adventure, and exercised ye olde upper body by swinging toys for kittehs. Even whilst laying idle, I haven’t been idle! Allow me to report:

1. There are a lot of very interesting books on the fraud that is Mormonism out there. I shall have a full report on two of those soon – finishing the second one now. The first I read was David Fitzgerald’s The Complete Heretic’s Guide to Western Religion Book One: The Mormons. Oh, my heck, people – it was hilarious. Frequently infuriating – I mean, these are real people being suckered, and I know from experience many of them are nice folks and excellent neighbors. But still, funny. David’s a wonderful writer and I’m dying for the rest of his guides. You can catch a podcast with him from Sunday’s Atheists Talk. I’ll be tempting you into buying the book later on.

Interlude with Kitten:

Luna with one of her all-time favorite toys.

Luna with one of her all-time favorite toys.

2. I did science! Well, science research. And got stuck on radiocarbon dating – for some reason, my brain couldn’t process the fact that there are two dates: 14C yr BP and Cal yr BP. Brought me to a complete stand-still, that did, because I knew the second one was the adjusted date to match calendar years, but I had no idea why there were two dates to begin with. I mean, why not just put the corrected date in and be done with it? So I scrambled off for a quick lesson on Wikipedia, and discovered it’s a consistency thing. Now it makes sense! And I found a handy little calculator for dealing with uncalibrated 14C yr BP. Simple! This has all made me inordinately excited, but it’s nice to have that stuff click, and get past the block. Even easy-peasy stuff like this is harder to do when you’re teaching yourself, but with the internet, all things are possible, frequently in about ten minutes.

Interlude with kitten.

Luna's next-favorite new past-time is attacking boxes. She really gets in to it.

Luna’s next-favorite new past-time is attacking boxes. She really gets in to it.

3. I found a wealth of sources on the geology of Discovery Park, including (drumroll please) a paper by our own Donal Mullineaux! Yes, that’s right – the man who, with Rocky Crandall, scrambled to keep up with Mount St. Helens’s antics and keep folks safe during a major eruptive phase worked on Discovery Park, too. Woot! Tie-in! Really, this got started simply because I was trying to correct an old post for republication on Rosetta Stones. It was supposed to be quick and easy. But you know me: I start small and it builds. I start rolling a little ball for a diminutive snowperson, and the next thing I know, the ball’s at the bottom of the slope, is about a thousand feet in diameter, and I still have to do the torso and head, not to mention find the largest carrot on earth for the nose. Good thing I know where to find some extra-large coal for the eyes…

Interlude with kitten.

DIIIEEE BOX DIIIIEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

DIIIEEE BOX DIIIIEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

4. I took B out to Richmond Beach, home of some of my favorite boulders in the Seattle area. I have no idea where this red sandstone came from, but it has personality and I love it.

Mudcracks, people! Fossilized mudcracks! WOOT!

Mudcracks, people! Fossilized mudcracks! WOOT!

Puget Sound has apparently been thieving from the rip-rap along the railroad tracks, because this boulder belongs up by the tracks, not down on the beach. Lots of great boulders up there, with mudcracks and ripple marks galore. And there’s a spot where the wave energy is so low because of the boulders that there’s this little lens of very fine sand that was a delight to bare feet. And then the tide came roaring in, and I got to play with liquefaction as I walked through the waves. Poor B didn’t have his flip-flops, so he was stuck navigating driftwood to stay dry. Still. Outstanding outing.

Interlude with kitten.

Luna and Kirby out playing in the yard.

Luna and Kirby out playing in the yard.

5. We spent a lot of our time stuck beyond the kitteh event horizon. I gave one of Misha’s old feathers-onna-string-onna-stick toys to Kirby and Luna, seeing as how Misha hasn’t so much as looked at it in at least two years, and when we waggled it at her to ensure she hadn’t changed her mind, got very angry at it. In the above photo, Luna looks like she’s stalking her brother, but she’s really after the feather toy. They’d chase that, then each other, and leap and run and collide, and it is a gigantic time suck that I wouldn’t trade for anything.

6. Kick Ass. Seriously. ZOMG I bloody love this movie and can’t believe I haven’t seen it before now. After I’ve seen it again, I may put together a missive about girls and superheroes and role-reversals and about how people lose their shit over that sort o’ thing, but for now, I’m just – wow.

Interlude with kitteh.

Got Misha this thing called Pulp Friction. Catnip infused. She seemed briefly high, which is a change from her past.

Got Misha this thing called Pulp Friction. Catnip infused. She seemed briefly high, which is a change from her past.

7. MMA. Silva vs. Weidman. I’d been in Oregon, busily getting chased by yellowjackets and having the time of my young life with Anne, Chris and Lockwood, so I missed it. Luckily, B recorded it. We’ve been working our way through to the main event for the last few weeks, complicated by the fact that the kitten keeps pulling our attention away, and there was a Cards Against Humanity game, and… Let’s just say, though, it was bloody well worth the wait. BAM. Yes, I do love MMA, especially when unexpected things happen.

8. Quality time with kitteh. I’ve spent a fair amount of time with Misha these last several days. She’s been very snuggly, wanting to curl up against my arm and occasionally have a tummy-rub, and getting mad if I have to get up. Needless to say, been doing lotsa reading. And dozing off. And dividing time between bed and porch. We had an excellent long lounge in the sunshine and shade today. Then she got offended when I decided I wanted to sketch some stratigraphy rather than snuggle some more. Silly beast.

Another with her fake log. She's actually hunkered down with it at least once a day for several days - a new record for a cat toy.

Another with her fake log. She’s actually hunkered down with it at least once a day for several days – a new record for a cat toy.

9. Speaking of stratigraphy… I’ve been staring at the Olympia Interglacial sediments, trying to make some sense of them. A soft-sediment deformation expert I am not. But I did some poking round the intertoobz, looking at various and sundry, studying some photos of similar bluffs which have had their soft sediments explained, and part of the structure clicked. Could they be… ripple marks? Later, when doing my stratigraphy sketch from a diagram in Mullineaux et al, and copying down his observations of the different layers, I came across his interpretation of just that bit of bluff: ripple marks.

People, I hope you’ve all experienced little moments of triumph like that, where you’ve scrambled to pull together enough knowledge to make a somewhat-educated assessment of something, not sure you’re really getting it, and then getting verification from an expert that yes, indeed, you got it right. It’s not a world-changing thing. It’s something that other people can tell at a glance. But getting it for the first time, that’s a huge moment. Knowing that you did this, that you can do this… that, to me, is why learning is its own reward.

So it’s been a weekend full of discoveries, and Discovery, and food and fun and friends and furry critters who make it nearly bloody impossible to get anything done, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Especially since I’ll soon be able to share my discoveries with you, which makes them all the more exciting. Also, there will be videos of kittehs playing. Coming soon!

Gotcher a nice sunset. Took lots of photos of this one. I'm collecting lots of really beautiful pictures from here and there, the kind of things you see on inspirational posters. I'm going to make my own inspirational posters, complete with Bible quotes. You know, quoting the worst, bloodiest, most intolerant or bizarre bits of the Bible. Heh.

Gotcher a nice sunset. Took lots of photos of this one. I’m collecting lots of really beautiful pictures from here and there, the kind of things you see on inspirational posters. I’m going to make my own inspirational posters, complete with Bible quotes. You know, quoting the worst, bloodiest, most intolerant or bizarre bits of the Bible. Heh.

Comments

  1. rq says

    That red sandstone is absolutely brilliant.
    Hope to have more of you around here!
    But I’m glad other things seem to be settling into more comfortable tracks.
    This is a post full of Excellent News. :)
    *hugs*

  2. Onamission5 says

    Was on the coast of Maine this weekend and saw something I did not expect to see at all— something which looked an awful lot like waterlogged, ocean shaped red cinder. Just little lumps of it here and there amongst the seaweed and piles of snail shells. It wasn’t porous enough to be red cinder I don’t think. Now I wonder if it could have been red sandstone?

    Sadly, took neither pic nor sample, but my curiosity is officially peaked.

  3. says

    “People, I hope you’ve all experienced little moments of triumph like that, where you’ve scrambled to pull together enough knowledge to make a somewhat-educated assessment of something, not sure you’re really getting it, and then getting verification from an expert that yes, indeed, you got it right. It’s not a world-changing thing. It’s something that other people can tell at a glance. But getting it for the first time, that’s a huge moment. Knowing that you did this, that you can do this… that, to me, is why learning is its own reward.”

    Seein that paragraph reminded me of this:

    http://mindstalk.net/humancomplete.html

  4. says

    Lovely! Wonderful! So many kinds of goodness here.

    Remember that part in Neil Shubin’s Your Inner Fish where he learns to see fossils? You reminded me of that, and now I’ve got a silly smile on my face all over again about it.

  5. moarscienceplz says

    my brain couldn’t process the fact that there are two dates: 14C yr BP and Cal yr BP.

    I did know that the A-bomb tests increased the C14 proportion, and that fossil fuel burning decreased it. I did NOT know that it is called the Seuss effect! Do red fish increase it and blue fish decrease it, or is it the other way around? ;-)
    I also didn’t know that they have to use an outdated half-life for C14 to maintain consistency with the literature. Sheesh! If creationists really understood how much work goes into getting a single C14 date, maybe they wouldn’t reject it so easily? Yeah, right.

    • rq says

      They’d reject it more easily, because with god, all things are simple: he says it is so, it is so. All this calculamacation and mathurmaterics… Complicated stuff!