Update: The car is totalled.
So not awesome.
I'm at Hobby Airport, waiting for my flight to Harlingen, Texas. I have one day of drilling tomorrow in Edinburg, Texas, investigating a finding from a Phase I ESA I did back in October 2011.
I've been in the field a lot in the last two weeks: two days in Austin, then a week in Hearne, & now heading down to the Rio Grande Valley. It's tiring, bad for my diet, & hard on Shadeaux (she needs lots of attention). hotpantsgalore has been studying like mad all this time, Fest for her licensing exam (passed with flying colors) & now for grad school comprehensive finals. Frankly, I'm glad I haven't been around for the Final Frenzy.
I have a new addiction: SKYRIM. I can't steer for shit, which means I'm horrible at combat, but it sort of doesn't matter because I just love wandering around the world, talking to people, reading all the books, picking up every wheel of cheese I see. The game is incredibly rich: I'm currently saving up to buy a house, I'm looking for a spouse, I've become a thane in one town, & I'm trying to figure out my loyalties in a burgeoning civil war. Oh yeah, & occasionally I fight monsters & bad guys & stuff.
Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.
- Current Location:US, Texas, Houston, Harris, W Monroe Rd, 7930
The ljdq. Losing seolta. Doing the triathlon. Endless bitching about work. Living with funkyplaid & evilfb at Chateau Greyskull. Sharing a flat block with katieledge in Astoria. Plans, & plan disruptions. Then, I didn't have a mobile phone. Now, I'm posting from one. Then, I didn't have a job. Today, I'm traveling for one.
We still have troops in Iraq.
When I started this blog, I don't think Icould've guessed all the placed I would take it to on my travels. I think I would've predicted that I'd be settled down by now. Bought a house. I might have predicted the dog, but never would've guessed a Catahoula.
I hope I keep blogging here for another few decades. It's fascinating to look back at my wayward path.
- Current Location:Austin, TX
- Current Mood:reflective
- Current Music:Tristan Prettyman
Dinner last night was actually leftovers from Monday's Fortress Caroline potluck. It was a new high point in our potluck meals. The leftovers, therefore, were also amazing. I ate three small tacos (using GF corn tortillas), filled with Cuban-marinated pulled pork (I don't know exactly what was in the marinade, but it was fruit-based & incredibly good), homemade guacamole, & spicy pico de gallo. Then I had my jicama salad (jicama, cucumber, bell peppers, red onion, navel orange, cilantro, lime juice).
This morning, I fiddled with my latest breakfast menu a bit, removing some polenta & adding black beans. This is a higher-calorie version of the dish (~340 calories vs. ~240 calories without the beans), but it is more filling. I haven't snacked on anything yet this morning & I don't feel hungry.
I thought folks might find some of these websites interesting. So here's a list of the Federal websites I often use to ferret out the environmental dirt on my Sites:
- United States Geological Service (USGS) Topographic Map Locator and Downloader: This provides you with the basic topographic map. It will show you your Site's elevation, general contours of the land, geographic features like water bodies, & some cultural features like schools, churches, graveyards, etc. The environmental information on these maps includes large above-ground storage tanks, pipelines, & other random tidbits like electrical generating stations.
- Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) Service Center: This website will let you make a tiny FIRM (called a FIRMette) showing the various floodplains around your Site. This is important information for any property owner to know. From an environmental perspective, it tells me two things - Sites in the floodplain are more likely to have wetlands on them, & if the water body that causes the flood is contaminated, the soils at the Site can be impacted.
- United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) National Wetlands Inventory Mapper: Speaking of wetlands, here's a great resource for seeing if any have been identified on your Site. Each wetland area is marked with a little code. Using Google you can figure out what these codes mean & learn more about the natural habitats at or near your Site.
- Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Web Soil Survey: This website will tell you about what kinds of soils are present at the Site. This is important if there are underground storage tanks or pipelines at the Site, because some soil types encourage metal structures to corrode (& leak). It's also great information for any gardener.
- United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) EnviroFacts: This is the USEPA's one-stop shop for accessing their databases for information about a given location. Type in your Site's address & get a map showing you all the nearby Superfund sites, registered generators of hazardous waste, users or emitters of toxic waste, locations of spills, & a ton more information. These databases are not particularly user-friendly, being loaded down with codes & regulation-speak, but if you seriously want to know what something means, ask me & I'll try to translate.
- USEPA Map of Radon Zones: This is a county-level map that gives you an idea of how prevalent radon is at your Site. If you live or work in a basement space, this is a good piece of information.
There are a ton more websites like these that are maintained at the state or local level. Google is your friend for finding them for your specific location. Again, if they contain arcane tech-babble, I'm happy to help try to clarify.
You have no idea how many things can go wrong in here.
Stroke is the No. 1 preventable cause of disability for Americans. In order to raise awareness about stroke symptoms, treatment, prevention, and research, Shay and her classmates (and me too) have formed a team to run in the Stride for Stroke 5k Run on March 2nd. We are:
Funds raised from the S4S Run benefit the Methodist Neurological Institute and its stroke outreach education programs at all Methodist system hospitals.
Here’s a link to my donation page. Your donations are tax-deductible! And feel free to forward this request to other who might be interested in supporting this cause. When it comes to fundraising, the more the merrier.
Thanks for your support!
The premise is simple: @gundeaths issues one Tweet for every confirmed death by gun in North America. "Confirmed" usually means the Tweet includes a link to a newspaper article reporting the death. The data is necessarily incomplete - @gundeaths can only post the events that s/he learns about, probably mostly through crowdsourcing. I've re-Tweeted a few news stories from Houston to @gundeaths, & they have then shown up with a Tweet in his/her feed. Anyone with a Twitter feed & a source of local news can contribute. There is no commentary on the Twitter feed, just the ceaseless tolling of a grim bell. Death, death, death.
In the aftermath of the Newtown tragedy, Slate picked up on the work being done by @gundeaths when their reporters were trying to find statistics on the topic. They are tabulating the data & making it available to anyone for any project.
As of January 9 at 8:30 AM, at least 643 people have been killed by guns in the United States since the Newtown shootings.
One, I don’t like the fact that I really don’t know what I’ve agreed to, privacy-wise, when I’ve clicked on “I have read and agree to the Terms & Conditions….” Button that we’ve all clicked on when setting up the Facebook account, installing the iPhone Facebook app, & responding to Facebook’s recent push to make us all think about this. I’ve tried a few times, but I still really don’t feel like I know what they can do with my data, photos, etc. I recently started following the hacktivist group @anonymous on Twitter (they have gone after Westboro Baptist Church after hearing their plans to picket the Sandy Hook funerals), & they posted this graphic:
I haven’t yet been able to fact-check the graphic (it’s for Android, not iPhone) but the fact that I wasn’t sure if I had given Facebook those permissions or not made me seriously stop & think.
Two, I waste immense amounts of time on Facebook. Thank God I’m no longer into any Facebook games (except Draw Something, which I actually play through its own separate app, also now un-installed). I was checking Facebook a dozen times a day. But when I looked through my posts, they were drivel – links to news stories, funny graphics – Interaction Lite. My friends posted a lot of the same: the same tired graphics from “I HATE DOUCHEBAG’S”, links to poorly-written, poorly-researched internet gabble, photos of their cats… and very occasionally, really cool updates or invitations to events. Those were the gold nuggets that kept me panning through all the tailings. But I have decided that it’s not a productive use of my time.
Three, I’m just sick of playing along with gigantic corporations of any sort. Facebook is Too Big to Avoid, like the banks that got Too Big to Fail. Well, I pulled my money out of the big banks, & now I’m pulling my social life out of Facebook. I’m sure LJ is evil in its own special way, but it’s a lesser evil.
I hope to spend more time writing longer, more thoughtful posts, as well as reading your longer, more thoughtful posts. I suspect I will still post links & photos of my dog (who is waaaaay cuter than any cat), but maybe I can do more than just those lowest-common-denominator kinds of things.