Space and Time to Heal

If I can figure out how to do it, I want to post a delightfully science-ific parody of the “Gangnam Style” video here:

NASA Johnson Style

Okay, that didn’t seem to work.  But do click on the link, and enjoy a few minutes of sciency silliness.

Why?  Because I need time to think.  The first salvos against the USian violence culture are clear: keep assault-type weapons at gun ranges, and make mental health care easily accessible and a positive thing to access.  Just those will be difficult enough.  But Dana has called for nothing less than the eradication (or at least a great reduction) in the violence culture of our country, and thinking of ways to go about that makes my head hurt.

Meanwhile the video reminds me that there are lot of people doing good work for the sake of our country and our world.  They don’t negate the shooters of the country; they don’t reduce the violence.  But they do good, and in this climate, it’s proper to remember that some people go to work every day and do good (other than teachers; they go to work every day and do fantastic.)


A Personal Post

I debated with myself for quite awhile before I decided to post this; it’s on the edge of being a little too personal.  But it illustrates my own feelings on compromise.

Today I gave a donation to my Catholic high school.  Yes, I was raised Catholic, and attended Catholic schools through senior high (though that was more because our local public schools were so bad than because my parents were concerned about my religious education). My high school was/is for girls only.   But I haven’t darkened the door of that school since 1976.  I’m currently an atheist humanist, and my opinion of the Catholic Church as an institution is so low it can’t be adequately expressed in a family blog.   So why give money to a Catholic high school? [Read more…]

This is My Valley

I live in the Santa Clara Valley, which sits at the south end of the San Francisco Bay in California, USA.  Most people are more familiar with this place as “Silicon Valley” because of all the high-tech work done here.  And as you can see from the Google Earth snapshot below, it is pretty built up.

Santa Clara Valley and surrounding mountains

Google Earth snapshot of the Santa Clara Valley with the surrounding mountains.

[Read more…]

Karen Locke, the Introduction

Hello all!  Dana claims that snagging me for an occasional guest post is a great success on her part, but the truth is I’ve been wanting a blogging outlet for a long time; I just don’t have enough to say to write my own blog (or enough time to say it).  I’m really honored that she’s taken me on.

A bit of bio: I started my professional career as a computer engineer, first designing hardware and then developing software.  I even got talked into a short stint as an engineering manager, which tried my patience almost beyond endurance.  But after a couple of decades and some in the field, just as I was getting incredibly bored with solving what seemed to be the same old problems with new technology, I actually needed to quit work altogether to take care of aging parents.  When that task was done, and my parents passed on, rather than re-invent myself as an engineer I listened to my Inner Scientist and took up studying geology.  After a lot of catch-up, I graduated with an MS in December 2011.

Due to chronic health issues, I have trouble working full-time.  However, I’ve been making beaded jewelry for years and will soon open an Etsy shop (and you all will have to endure some shameless self-promotion).

Geology is still my first love, and I’ll mostly use my blogging opportunity here to talk about geo-things that interest me.  I especially love sedimentology*, petrology, petrography, and maps and mapmaking.  But I’ll look at and listen to any rock that’s willing to tell me a story, and share those stories.

As far as family goes, I have a wonderful husband of 32 years.  We are staff to two feline boys, Rocky and Paddy.  I’ll close with photos of our masters:



Rocky is a big, fat, loving, ultimate scaredy-cat.



Paddy is a great lover of boxes. Yes, he only has one eye; a serious eye infection he had when he was rescued as a kitten caused the loss of one eye.


*Locke, Karen Marie, “Composition and Provenance of Sand from Wells, Santa Clara Valley, California” (2011). Master’s Theses. Paper 4100.