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

27 December 2006

Orange County- not the one you see on the show, but rather the one where you occasionally wonder if your going to get killed in drive by

We left for California on Saturday. I decided to leave my truck in Santa Fe to save some gas money. I slept a good chunk of the drive. We went the northern route. The worst part though was that eddies muon detector kept pulling too much power off the inverter which would trip the warning buzzar. This lasted for 3 hrs by which point I was ready to pull the inverter out of the cigarettee lighter and throw it out the window. I kept asking why didnt he run 2 inverters- one for the laptop and one for the dector. But come on what would a dumb Ag. major know about electrons? So they ignored my suggestions. By the time we stopped for lunch I was about ready to request to continue the journy as a hood ordiment just to be away from the beeping. I suggesed for the tenth time using both inverters and I guess just to make me drop it they tried it after both dad and eddie said it wouldn't work. Well the silence was deafening after they tried my suggestion. So what does a dumb ag major know about electronics? Apparently more than a double e and a physics freak. Figures. The rest of the drive was pretty easy, although the FedEx guy we were had been following for most of the trip lost control of his rig and flipped a mile or two infront of us. Hopefully hes ok. We rolled into Cali pretty late, and stood by the fire attempting to get warm. We unloaded a bit then went to bed. The 24th was spent doing last miniute (or really 1st minuet since its when we did all of it) shopping. Of course we went to Barnes and Nobel for our traditional book exchange. This year we basicly picked out what we wanted and bought it for eachother. After that we went to Linens and things where eddie discovered his new favorite toy- a salad spinner. If we hadn't have already bought him Wikinomics I think he would have gotten that for christmas. Hes one strange kid. Back in Anaheim we unloaded the van and then Dad and I headed out to riverside to meet up with Herady. We only got lost once on the way out there- the directions I got from yahoo told me to get of on a street that didn't have an exit. O well, we made it to Herady's house. Met his wife then went to UCR to see the collection. The campus is pretty cool looking, with orange groves all over, orange groves remind me of falbrook when i was a kid. We went into the building that houses collections, it apparently has an alarm on it when you actually enter the collection room. There wasn't anyone there so it was armed when we entered and the countdown began. Herady entered his code a couple times but no luck and the alarm went off. For some reason i wasn't suprised at all. So he called campus police and told them it was him and not to send the police. Glad we don't have one of those on our collection, i think it would get set of daily. They have compactors like INHS does, but UCRs are hand moved. We opened up the leafhopper section and I looked for my genus. No Xyphon, but after a bit of searching found them under Carneocephala. They have 6 of the 8 species in my group. I then poked around in the undetermined stuff and found some Xyphon determined by Chris. Some of the labels were Timberlake labels- the only person that woolley knows who has worse writing than i do. Infact Woolley was conserned about me going to UCR, seeing this guys writing and realizing I could make mine even more illegible and set that as a goal. Then Herady decided that my dad needed an introduction to real bugs showed him some parasitoids. There was a poster that had them large and acutal size so we started there then moved onto some actual specimens. As I told dad at least you can see my bugs and not get them confused with dust particles. Next we walked over to the new ento building and toured the Herady Lab. I aquired a new bumper sticker- it has a Fulgorid on it and says UCR, they had found some in a box somewhere and Herady had one by his door, which promptly became mine. Dad got to see more wasps including some Euchardids. He thought those were pretty cool (I have to admit to liking them too, probably because JAC (Cammack) and I use to catch them at light on dominica). Maria called at one point to say theyd found Alaskan Amber at the grocery store and did I want that or Shiner. I told them go for the Amber, but Herady didnt realize we were talking about beer (what kind of Hymenopterist doesnt recognize beer talk when they hear it) and said Alaskan Amber is worthless cause it doesnt have any chalcidoids in it. I looked at him funny and said i hope there are no chalcidoids in my beer and he realized we were discussing beer not fossils. Rather funny. I got to see a picture of Woolley's major prof who apparently had a teacup Chichuahua named Frankinstein aka Frankie that use to come to class and sit in the prof's coat pocket (this was the motivation for Woolley's christmas present last year from JAC and I). On the way back to Heradys house we stopped at a shop so he could pick up a christmas present. After we took him home dad and I headed back to Anaheim. We went to Christmas Mass, pretty low key as usual. Then went home and watched TV. Christmas was prety low key, we didn't even open presents until almost noon. I got a desk lamp (nice and bright and very exciting because I hate dim lights), a far side calender, a book about the theory behind how to color maps, a power converter for other countries, and best of all a GPS. The rest of the time in California was spent seeing a few relatives and going to the beach- always a cold afair. Me and eddie had fun with the sea gulls. Hed pick one he wanted a picture of and id engineer a flush so he could get a picture in flight. Some of them turned out really cool looking.

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