Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Shameless Self-Promotion

I just can't help myself:

Scary, eh?

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Coming Attraction

Not that I think anyone really reads this blog, but I wanted to let the Internet (whom I have named Alvin) know I will post something again one day. Maybe in the near future, maybe not. You never know when I'm going to strike; that's the way I roll. In the mean time, I'll leave you (being Alvin) with the image that now graces my computer background. It explains so much.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Talking in code

One of my friends said the other day, "Sometimes is sounds like you're talking in code." I laughed, and then I thought about it. By now we all know that me thinking leads to me blogging. What can I say, I'm a savant. Anyways, science is all about jargon; paleo is right up there with the worst - we have anatomical terms, taxonomic names, evolutionary terms, sedimentologic terms, and words made up in fits of arm waving. Dinoturbation. Bring it.

To help out my friend, I've decided to give an insight into the language of paleo so that she can feel more enlightened and less like the art major that she is. Snippets from a typical conversation:

Comment: "I thought you were in China."
Translation: "How're your bitches and hos? I didn't know you were going International."

Comment: "I think we have a new species out of Fort Peck."
Translation: "We've got a good batch, meet me out back at the still at midnight"

Comment: "He didn't please the bishop. They buried him in an old Jesuit Cemetery in Connecticut."
Translation: "I don't think we're going to get a good crop of tomatoes out of the garden this summer. We need more cow shit."

Comment: "When you've got someone who can pay for it, you might as well do it."
...Yeah, that's not code...

Comment: "Don't forget how to use chopsticks"
Translation: "Tell your mom she was awesome last night."

See, we're all easy going, well mannered, thoughtful, and insightful people. Sometimes you just have to look through the rough exterior.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Random Connections

Its amazing how quickly conversations can evolve and take you down new youtube avenues. Yesterday I took an eventful conversation path from burritos to George Foreman to that sad early-1990s cotton commercial. It went down in a manner akin to this:

I had a burrito for lunch. Yeah, it was yummy. Since I believe burritos are the reason that humans have not caused their own extinction through nuclear warfare, I also believe that a bad burrito would have the same effect as a manipulative warlord. But this one was good, so I won't be attacking any countries, states, provinces, municipalities, orphanages, etc. But nothing is as good a La Parrilla in Bozeman. The Chicken Santa Fe Wrap....mmm....that's what peace negotiations are made of. I love La Parrilla so much I would not only name my first born La Parrilla, I would name ALL of my children La Parrilla.

Just like George Foreman. He has 11 children - 6 boys and 5 girls. All six boys are named George. Except I wouldn't give my children suffixes or discriminate based on gender, they'd all be La Parrilla and would have to duke it out between themselves. Additionally, George does not have a daughter named Georgia. Or Georgia Peach

Georgia makes everyone think of Georgia Peaches. We even have a damned peach on our quarter. Its crap. It infuriates me. Yes, Georgia peaches are delicious, so are South Carolina Peaches, as long as its from the South, its pretty darn good. In fact, the water tower that looks like a peach isn't even in Georgia, its in Gaffney, South Carolina. People then next associate Georgia with peanuts, I blame Jimmy Carter for this. Georgia's top agricultural money-maker is actually with Broilers (9-12 week old chickens). Peaches is #17 on the list, peanuts at least come in at a somewhat respectable #5. BUT, Georgia's largest cash crop (not including poultry/livestock) is cotton. I've known this for years, but the rest of the country is in denial because of the negative associations of cotton with slavery. I don't think we can really blame slavery on cotton. Why is it ok to wear it, but not put it on a quarter?

Do you remember that really sad cotton commercial from the early 1990's? There's a mother and a daughter sitting in a partially empty house packing boxes. The little girl asks her mother why they have to move; and the mother replies that because people don't buy American cotton products any more, her daddy had to be laid off and they now have to move so he can find a new job. Because people weren't buying American cotton. Americans are killing the American dream by not buying American cotton. Now little Susie has to move. We're all horrible people, emphasized by the playing of "The touch, the feel of cotton. The fabric of our lives." Tears unbidden. American propaganda at its best.

I then spent lots of quality time on youtube looking for the commercial. Alas, I could not find it. So, either for the first time in my experience youtube has failed me, or I was distracted by a shiny object before I stumbled upon the video. But I did watch The Mysterious Ticking Noise. Brilliant.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

I quit

Grad school, man. This shit just ain't worth it. I'm formally announcing my withdrawl from an endlessly stressful, penniless, and thankless career in academia to move on to greener, and more lucrative, pastures. Some of you may have seen this coming, and its true, I'm going into ostrich racing. There are many potential barriers toward my immediate immersion into the world of ostrich racing in terms of what type of racing, how do I saddle an ostrich, where am I going to get an ostrich, etc. Don't think that this is an idea that has just come to me on a burn-out induced whim....

(1) Where am I going to get an ostrich: Africa. Duh. While ratites are found on all of the Gondwanan continents, ostrichs today are only found on the continent of Africa. There is only one extant family: Struthionidae, and only one extant genus: Struthio. I guess I'll take one of those. Ostrich fossils can be found in central Europe and Asia from the Eocene to the Pleistocene, but I don't think I'll win too many races riding fossil bones [insert dirty old man joke here].

(2) What kind of racing: Yes please!

(3) Does this conflict with my Southern lady-like upbringing:
The data speaks for itself. What Southern Matron wouldn't approve?

(4) Saddles: I've been working on a modification of an Australian endurance racing saddle used on horses for ostrich racing. It may work in the end, but being the puritan that I am, I think the true thrills and pleasure of being astride an ostrich [insert cloaca joke here] comes from bareback riding [and another]. With my knees wedged under their rudimentary wings and grasping the anterior portion of the wing near the shoulder joint, I should be able to successfully remain astride. Of course the key is to not wear silk. The puritan in me is constantly in disequilibrium with my inner non-conformist, but I think a riding habit made of material with a high coefficient of roughness is appropriate [insert Manning's N joke here]. You guessed it, I'm thinking a shark skin riding habit. The orientation of the denticles should be perfect to prevent sliding off the back of the ostrich.

(5) Is there money in this: Where there is a way to gamble, there is a profit to be made. Additionally, I'll get to travel as Florida, South Africa, and the Czech Republic apparently have active ostrich racing followings.

But, while I'm learning the ropes and working on logistics, I'm setting up an underground ring as an ostrich racing bookie.