Life as a falconer, insect systematist, and double Masters Student (or a look into the mind of someone who is questionably sane).

23 September 2006

This ice is not safe for human consumption

Made it to AK fine. Spent my last day in bcs running around like crazy. Highlights of the day inculded stealing Woolleys business permit so I could park anywhere on campus, getting my hair cut with Aubrey (who for some reason thought it would be easy to get me to cut my hair differently) and getting all the food for UESO ready to go. This was good times because we had to fill this huge ice chest up with the "not safe for human consumption" ice on the 6th floor, so we stuck it on a dolly then wheeled it around. On the way down we had to stop off at the 4th floor to get cammack a key and I stayed to guard the ice chest. I got bored and lazy so laid down on top of the ice chest (I told you it was huge) and when cammack came back somehow got him to wheel me around on it back to my office. It was definatly fun. Then up to Dallas where we got to hang around until 3 when we had to be on the plane to sea/tac. Seatac was a quick visit, we were there basicly long enough for me to call cammack and maria to yell at the burgerking lady about getting our food out since we were in final boarding. We got on the plane with our food and stuff. We got to AK around 2040 (20 min early). Walking out of security I though I saw Dr. Slack but he showed no recognition as I walked but so I figured it wasnt him. We met Lisa & John near the escalators just outside security and as we were standing there I saw Silvy come down the escaltor followed by Dr. Slack, so I wasnt going crazy. Said hi to them then went to claim my luggage. The poster tube apparently is now considered oversized so that took a bit to find, but we were on the road within a few min. Made it to Girdwood by 2200, played with the dog and talked some then called it a nite.

21 September 2006

Shining moments- or not

Survived the last 2 days although at a couple points it was definatly questionable. I had a paper due yesterday morning that I thought was due next wensday, somehow got it done the night before last. Seems like that was a common occurance since most of my friends were doing the same thing. Posters are done and printed, hopefully they turned out ok. Now I just have to pack and get a hair cut before 1600. It was rather amusing, my bangs are so long they cover my eyes, not a big deal normally since I always have my hat on. But when I'm fencing I have to take it off so I can wear my mask. So yesterday I was running late after running into wharton (and getting my fact for the day) and Oz (who caught me an Abachrysa) and didnt get to fencing until after everyone had suited up. So all the small masks were gone and somehow the lefthanded jackets were gone to (strange since I'm the only lefty in the class). So i was fencing blind with my mask constantly hitting me and in the wrong jacket. Not a shineing moment thats for sure. The best part of the day was roadhouse with Aubrey, Mika, and Josh. I shockingly enough had a steak. 12 oz ribeye to be exact with a baked potato. Good times had by all.

19 September 2006

been awhile since the last post. Went to tour the ranches we will be doing our habitat management plans on. Only issue is that annalises and I got there at exactly1130 and they had already left. So we started calling everyone and finally got ahold of clint who told us he thought we should go north, but he wasnt sure. So I called bob who said to call Roel who said to go south. Finally met up with everyone and went to the ranch we picked. Its pretty nice, got a couple ponds, some leased cows, and nice owners. Then it was off to the other ranch then back to A&M. We had game night at the house, played some mario then phase 10. The funniest part was that frank had brought over a small bottle of tequela he was taking shots from. Well somehow Molly (Annaliese's dog) smelt the bottle and rather than running away as she does when shown beer or wine she went crazy and wouldn't leave the bottle alone. She kept licking it and trying to drink out of it. Strange dog. Saturday I met up bright and early with cammack, josh, and david. We loaded up all our gear into davids truck then headed south for a day of collecting on Nash Prairie. We met up with Ed and some dude named Brian and went to the prairie. The collecting was ok although we were hitting it at a bad time in the season. Hopefully make it back out there next spring. Should be tons of good leafhoppers. We then grabbed some lunch at a seafood place (gotta have fish when your on the coast) then headed to the beach for some dunes collecting. There werent many leafhoppers but there were tons of neurops and odes so that was quite exciting. Shortly before dark we got back on the road to light collect the prairie. Part way there Ed pulled over and said he left the GPS back at the beach so was going to go back for it. So we kept going, only problem was that we werent exactly sure where we were going. Well 2 hrs later we had driven down basicly every road in West Colombia with no luck. About 2100 we gave up and headed home. Highlights of sunday included almost getting struck by lightning as I stepped out of church and on a much more fun note dinner at Steven and Dasiy's. O, and yesterday they announched the EEB grants, and I got one. I can afford to go to ESA and ECN this year, always exciting.

14 September 2006

Im down to 27 hrs. I finally was able to convince wfsc to let insect physiology count for my wildlife physiology class, so no more cat/dog phys for me. Believe me it made my day. Guess its a good thing woolley made me take insect phys. Going collecting on saturday to some stx prairie and beachland. Hopefully a ton of leafhoppers to be slain. And i'm totally in for guatamala after christmas. 9 days of collecting in central america with 4 other crazy ento people, should be a good time.

11 September 2006

Since my last post weve finished moving stuff around in my office, have 13 more weeks of school (really 11 since I'm missing a week for tws and a week for esa), and have decided that I truly hate genetics- not good since woolley says I have to know that stuff backwards and forwards. Other than that just getting ready for a collecting trip with some of the guys from the dept down to 300 acres of costal prairie on saturday. Should be fun other than leaving at 8am when Im dunking my ring the night before. Should be an adventure, but in the often quoted words of my major prof you can sleep when your dead. Had our first 2%er game tonight, we lost pretty bad, definatly not the team we use to be- go alot of new players and we havnt clicked yet. Hopefully next week will be better. I was catcher as usual and i realized I had been catching for our pitcher bob (who happens to by one of my old bosses) for going on my 8th sesaon, didnt realize wed all been playing together for so long. I think he and I are the only original 2%ers left. I was pretty bummed when I thought we wouldnt have a team, but we scraped one together at the last min so another season is underway.

07 September 2006

I got my grad school acceptance letter today, guess the department didnt learn the first time around about how much of a problem child I can be.

Big news was I almost got to write with a fountain pen a couple days back. I needed a pen to write down my office phone number, and woolley handed me the blue fountain pen. When I asked how to write with it he first said dont bend the tip then realized what he had done and grabbed it and handed me a pencil. So close. But now that I'm accepted I'm one step closer to the fountain pen writing class I'm convinced PhDs take since a bunch of them write with them.

04 September 2006

Got carhart jacket (artic variety) and gloves for my birthday- very exciting, had always wanted a jacket. Those of you whom have worked in wTX with me know I typically wear a jacket if it gets below 75 degrees, below 65 and you can count on jacket, fleece, and gloves, so this new jacket is definatly a welcome addition. As the rest of the family left bcs maria and I started fighting on the front porch as we are prone to do. I went up to hit her and my Aggie ring flew off my finger. Youd think I would learn if I have had gloves on within 20 min my ring will not stay on after loosing in on the beach at sunset over christmas, but no. After about 4 hrs of searching in which we found a dead warbler in excellent shape so Annaliese can stuff it and more beer tops than would be expected in the average yard me, maria, annaliese, and will called it a night. I think the neighbors must think were all a bit strange since we were out there looking with desk lamps and any other implements of lightage we could find, including Maria's meducsa lamp. As an added bonus apparently leafhoppers are more attracted to blue than yellow, green, red, or purple since those are the colors of the meducsa lamp arms and the blue had 90% of the cicadellids on it. We figured the best chance would be if someone had a metal detector. I figured if anyone I knew had 1 it would be Frank, and in phys this morning I found out i was right. So he came over and after about 30 min of looking we found it. It had flown pretty far, probaily 10-15 ft or so. Spent the rest of my time working on a travel grant through Ecology and Evoluntionary Biology. Hopefully they'll let me apply since its techniquly for grad students, but maybe i'll get lucky. Got my CV written its 3 pages long, not bad for an undergrad I guess, but looks so short compared to the ones I was looking at.

03 September 2006

Here are the pictures of the Gyr x Peregrine x Merlin. He flys at 263g, and hatched out this spring for the non falconers/birders. No name yet, hes currently 06c until I pick him up for real in october. I'm currently thinking diagon, the name of an alley in Harry Potter, or some god of mischief thought up of by Aubrey. The major criteria is it has to be able to be lengthened, shortened, and yelled. Suggestions anyone?
Drove from bcs to dallas to oklahoma city then back to dallas today. Not a bad drive, got to allen in time for lunch then hung around for a while then up to OK. A little bit of rain on the way but nothing to major. Dex was as fat as I feared after the description of looking like a fat lab. But after seeing Lauren's dog I decided she was right and her's was fater. It looked kinda like a cylinder with legs sticking out while mine at least retain a basic doglike shape. OKC was nice, got to play with Laurens burmese python. We went out to eat at a nice Italian resturant, I got veal and then Lauren and I split a slice of chocolate cake. I got a couple books id been wanting to read along with some falconry art to decorate my room and office with for the year, itll be kinda like a rotaing art exhibit. I got the picture from Lauren of my new bird, so i'll post those momentarily. But first I forgot one of the great stories of the week.

So on tuesday Christa, Stefan, and I went to mcdonald/taco bell as usual. When we were done we had some time to kill so decided to wander over to the new chem-e building and go to the top floor and look a the view. It was after 7, so while the outer door was open, the inner doors were not. We were standing in between the 2 sets trying to figure out a way to get in when some prof walked out. He looked at us and said something along the lines of dont your ID's work, and we instantly became dumb fish who didnt know how to get into the building. So he let us in and left. We went up to the top floor and watched the world go by for 20 min or so. We were half expecting Homeland security or something to show up and arrest us, but the didnt. It was good times, the view is definatly worth seeing.

01 September 2006

1 week down, 14 or so to go. Can't complain too much I guess, my classes havnt been too bad as of yet. A very exciting part of school has been the wireless internet in my classes so I can type my notes and play on the internet all at the same time. I love it. I got a new (and the best so far office)- 310 Heep. Ive got a good sized window looking out across the grass, 2 scopes, a microwave, 3 insect cabinets, a computer, a phone, a bookshelf, and 2 desks (cornered so I can't get into 1 set of drawers. There were a bunch of 5 1/4 floppy disks and other ancient items in it, we decided it could be a time capsule and left them in the drawers. O and I forgot the most important item, a kingsize box of saltine crackers. There was a table also but I decided to get rid of that and keep the 2 desks to make way for the 3rd insect cabinet. It was rather amusing me and woolley trying to move the desk which must have weighted more than we did across the room, but after some creative force application we succeeded. The table is now in the hall with a chair and we decided to make that Cammacks office for now. We just need a sign "Jonathan Alan Cammack 310ish" or something along that line. As usual after woolley's class me and cammack hang around typically with random questions. Well on wensday we were waiting around and he tried to leave without turning off the lights. We pointed out the sign about turning the lights off and he started complaining about us being commies. So we had to point out it wasnt us that lived in a hippy commune and grew organic carrots that got sold to some buddy of charles manson. Other than that just going to classes (havn't missed one yet) and finding new and exciting ways to drive people crazy. Went to the Fox last night with the WFSC grad students then the Hall with the undergrads and Mandy. Good times, they played 4th of july, fighting tx aggie, the war hymn, and road goes on forever all in a row. Also ran into a couple of my buddies from church so they bought me a shot to celebrate my birthday. Today was a fun day, other than getting woken up at an ungodly hour to buy my sister flowers and a happy birthday balloon from my parents. I got some stickers from wharton of Fulgorids and got to see a gumboot (large molusk like deal) . Had Roel's class today, Bob's the TA and im in a group with Annaliese, Logan, and some dude named Clint. Should be fun. My part is management for upland game. Will be a challenge since its a 3/4 wooded area. Looks like we may have a 2%ers team after all, playing back in Bryan. I'm excited. But the big news of the day was Woolley finally gave in and is getting a cell phone. He mentioned it in 601, then when I was sitting outside Heep talking on the phone he came out and stood around waiting for Carla to pick him up so they could go get cell phones. Carla came and picked him up and they asked if I wanted a ride to my truck, so of course my lazy self did. Her new car has tons of bells and whistles so it was amusing to watch woolley play with them. There's even a display that says if the car is running off the engine or battery. Way to fancy for me I like it that my truck just does on and off. Woolley was trying to find a way to get out of getting the phone so I told carla to make sure he got one. He then said he wouldn't give me the number so Carla said shed give it to me. I think he's realizing we're going to be ganging up on him for the forseeable future. What was he thinking taking me on as a grad student? The next few years are going to be fun