Thursday, February 26, 2009

Website Visits

So I finally figured out how to put a site counter on all of my webpages so now I know how many people actually visit my site ( Instead of the 1-2 every other day that I thought I was getting, I'm actually getting ~50 or more a day.

Thats Awesome.

And now I know what pages/stuff people are interested in as well. So far, it appears the vast majority of people are either interested in the BBC book list or in one of my Geological Movie reviews. Which should just push me into doing more of those. I have been wanting to do more movie reviews for a while now but I have never had the energy to do it. Not to mention it takes me about a month of solid work to complete just one movie. But now that I know people use them I may be more inclined. I am also wanting to convert the ones I have done (and will do) into an audio movie commentary that you can listen to while watching the movies. Kind of the same stuff (with maybe some new things) but in a different format.

Monday, February 23, 2009

My Dogs - A retrospective: Part 1 - Twix

So a few weeks ago I mentioned that I wanted to do something similar to Marley and Me with my dogs. I have been through a lot of good, bad, and unbelievable times with them so I figured I would write it down. All the parts are going to be compiled on my website under My Family when they are done. So considering the trip I had today to the vet, I figured it would be a good time to start. I will add parts as they are remembered and continue on as I see fit. For right now, here is Part 1.

It was May of 2005. I just earned my Masters degree and moved up from Texas to live with my FiancĂ©e in Buffalo. We moved in together in her tiny apartment while we were waiting to close on our first house. Stressful, yes, but we got through it. After closing on the house, we moved in towards the end of June. Now Veronica has brought up the idea now and then of owning a dog but we wanted to wait until we were living together (basically she didn’t want me to get a dog without her). I grew up with dogs around the house. We had a toy poodle, Rocky, while I was a kid (nasty little thing) and then my sister had some dogs while she lived with us (Claude who would mosey around and Jimmy, a wiener type dog, short fat and cute). Veronica never had a dog before so this would be a new experience for her. So we decided to get a dog, but I convinced her to hold off until I had a job and received my first paycheck. She was in her second year of medical school and we were living mostly off her loans at the time while I was looking around.

I had a geology degree but I could not find anywhere that would hire me, either because I was over-qualified or not qualified enough. So eventually I found myself doing credit collections. I know, not the dream job of most Americans, but it paid the bills. So I got the job on August 15th and the first paycheck came in on September 2nd. And true to her word she was at the SPCA before I even got off work. So I show up to the SPCA, with check still in hand and I went to find her. Well she was just finishing up getting the paperwork done (where since I was not there it was all in her name) and we went to go look through the dogs.

The first row had some cute puppies and a lot of barking dogs but nothing that really stood out to us. The second row was more of the same, deafening barking, and jumping dogs. We were starting to get a little discouraged but we kept on walking through. By the time we got to the last row, towards the back, we saw a two year old, short haired, black and white, husky mix, who was not barking and who jumped up on the door and tentatively slid her head into position for us to pet her. Well we just fell in love. We took her outside for a walk and I could tell that she had a playful streak in her, which I was excited for, but she was still very timid in her surroundings so we decided right there to adopt her.

We told the people we wanted Snickers there, they pointed to the dog in the next kennel over and we’re like “noooo, this one” pointing to our dog. And they were like no, “That’s Twix”. Well it turns out that she arrived about 15 minutes before we did to the shelter with a group of dogs from Ohio and they were all named after candy, Snickers, Twix, and Rollo, and the name signs were a little confusing. Well since she was a new arrival she still needed to be spayed and get her vaccines so we had to wait the long Labor Day holiday weekend to take her home. So we placed her back in her kennel and left, getting excited to be new dog owners. On our way out I wished another couple, a father and daughter who were looking around, “good luck”. He said “Thanks, but you took our dog.” She really was the best one there.

Well the surgery took place the next Tuesday on the 6th, and we ended up taking her home on the Sept 7th, still a little woozy and in pain from the surgery and drugs, but she was cute and she was ours.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

GeoTube Videos - DINOS! #1

I am adding a new channel to my GeoTube channel over on my website called DINOS!. It is basically gonna be random dino things like commercials and such. Here is the first one.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


So I just read this article from the New York Times called "Darwinism must die so that evolution may live" And it is an interesting article about how Darwin's theories of evolution are basically what the majority of people today believe what evolution is. Now I have read The Origin of Species about a year and a half ago and since it is on my 100 Greatest Books list I wrote a little blurb about it.

Ever read a textbook? Yup, that is how this reads. Granted the information is directly related to what I study, I still found this rather dull. To quote my former evolutionary biology teacher "Don't read this unless you have to." This is a science textbook that is 150 years out of date. The science is severely wrong in certain portions so I recommend that anyone reading this should have a good basis of evolutionary background so that you can understand where the science is wrong and where it is correct. The main problem I have with Darwin is that instead of doing science experiments he typically takes observations and makes large leaps to explain why they are the way they are. So not on my recommended list but an interesting read none-the-less.

Pretty much this is what the article states. The science is severely out of date. To the point where it is just wrong in many cases. Darwin's way of solving problems is also in question (by me). He looks at things (like giraffe neck lengths) and just assumes they evolved into longer necks. He does no science experiments or presents no theories, he just assumes. It is basically a religious view of science (again as I see it).

The main problem I have with Darwin is not his theories, it is how he is presented. I have seen countless scientists flaunting over him as if he created the world while he was just another step in the ladder of science. Great, he brought evolution to the forefront of society, but many others before and since have done a lot more work and should deserve the same amount, if not more, credit.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

High Point Meme

I saw this one over at Dinochick Blogs and thought it intersting so I thought I would join in.

It appears that Callan over at NOVA Geoblog started this one. I like mountain climbing (although I am not a high pointer as you will see) but I thought I would play anyway. Here's the tallest points in each of the 50 United States, with Puerto Rico's and Washington, DC's highest points thrown in for good measure. Elevations are in feet above mean sea level. I've bolded the ones I have personally stood atop:

Cheaha Mt., Alabama 2,405'
Mt. McKinley (Denali), Alaska 20,320'
Humphreys Peak, Arizona 12,633'
Magazine Mt., Arkansas 2,753'
Mt. Whitney, California 14,494'
Mt. Elbert, Colorado 14,433'
Mt. Frissell, Connecticut 2,380'
Fort Reno, Washington, DC 429'
Ebright Azimuth, Delaware 448'
Britton Hill, Florida 345'
Brasstown Bald, Georgia 4,784'
Mauna Kea, Hawai'i 13,796'
Borah Peak, Idaho 12,662'
Charles Mound, Illinois, 1,235'
Hoosier Hill Point, Indiana 1,257'
Hawkeye Point, Iowa 1,670'
Mt. Sunflower, Kansas 4,039'
Black Mt., Kentucky 4,139'
Driskill Mt., Louisiana 535'
Mt. Katahdin, Maine 5,267'
Backbone Mt., Maryland 3,360'
Mt. Greylock, Massachusetts 3,487'
Mt. Arvon, Michigan 1,979'
Eagle Mt., Minnesota 2,301'
Woodall Mt., Mississippi 806'
Taum Sauk Mt., Missouri 1,772'
Granite Peak, Montana 12,799'
Panorama Point, Nebraska 5,424'
Boundary Peak, Nevada 13,140'
Mt. Washington, New Hampshire 6,288'
High Point, New Jersey 1,803'
Wheeler Peak, New Mexico 13,161'
Mt. Marcy, New York 5,344' (and almost died)
Mt. Mitchell, North Carolina 6,684'
White Butte, North Dakota 3,506'
Campbell Hill, Ohio 1,549'
Black Mesa, Oklahoma 4,973'
Mt. Hood, Oregon 11,239'
Mt. Davis, Pennsylvania 3,213'
Cerro de Punta, Puerto Rico 4390'J
erimoth Hill, Rhode Island 812'
Sassafras Mt., South Carolina 3,560'
Harney Peak, South Dakota 7,242'
Clingmans Dome, Tennessee 6,643'
Guadalupe Peak, Texas 8,749'
Kings Peak, Utah 13,528'
Mt. Mansfield, Vermont 4,393'
Mt. Rogers, Virginia 5,729'
Mt Rainier, Washington 14,410'
Spruce Knob, West Virginia 4,861'
Timms Hill, Wisconsin 1,951'
Gannett Peak, Wyoming 13,804'

Ok so I did one. But now I have to hunt down the Utah one like ReBecca.
A good map and comprehensive list of these high points can be found at Which ones have you visited?

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Marley and Me

I am currently in the middle of Marley and Me and let me say this is a definite book for dog lovers. It has put me in the mood to do a little memoir of my own for my puppies. So coming in the next few days/weeks I am going to have a series of blogs illustrating the struggles and triumphs of raising my dogs. Hopefully it won't suck, but I want to get these stories on paper before they become too muddled with time. They will prolly go up on the website as well under there own section.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Geology of the National Parks Through Pictures - Timpanogos National Monument

My next post about the Geology of the National Parks Through Pictures is a fairly local park.

You can find more Geology of the National Parks Through Pictures as well as my Geological State Symbols Across America series at my website


Our next foray into the world of Utah's National Parks was the closest to our home -
Click on the images for a little larger look or link to my website at the end of the post
Veronica in front of one of the carved out tunnels

Me on the trail edge

Veronica on the trail edge

Looking out into the Salt Lake valley

In the caves looking down

Flowstone within the cave
Me wedged into one of the passageways

Don't stop on the red line, so what does she do.....?
She stops to take a picture

A fault running right past one of the walkway cutouts

Monday, February 02, 2009

New Layout

I decided to upgrade to a new layout because of:

1. I lost my "Older Posts" link and couldn't figure out how to get it back.

2. Got tired of updating html code and I like the new Blogger widgets a bit.

3. In the mood for something new.

4. I also got a cool new "Geo-Paleo News" widget on the sidebar which hopefully will have some cool stuff.