19 December 2007

Now, about my business

The only real business that I have to report for today was taking the car to the shop. The transmission was stuck in "park" for some unknown reason. After doing some investigation online, Crystal and I checked the fuse related to that system, but that was not the problem. I took the car into the shop, and they had it fixed in a few hours. Turns out it was a switch (which was cheap) so most of the bill was labor. Only came out to about $120 NZ. And they fixed the radio too. Crystal and I should be wrapping presents tonight to send back home to various people. Won't be there in time for Christmas, but they won't be too long after.

Two external bits of news

I'm going to make this a seperate post so as not to clutter up the news about my little life with goings on in the rest of the world. The first is this. Here's a quick quote from the site.






Los Angeles, CA (Tuesday, December 18, 2007) Academy Award-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson; Harry Sloan, Chairman and CEO, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. (MGM); Bob Shaye and Michael Lynne, Co-Chairmen and Co-CEOs of New Line Cinema have jointly announced today that they have entered into the following series of agreements:

* MGM and New Line will co-finance and co-distribute two films, “The Hobbit” and a sequel to “The Hobbit.” New Line will distribute in North America and MGM will distribute internationally.

* Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh will serve as Executive Producers of two films based on “The Hobbit.” New Line will manage the production of the films, which will be shot simultaneously.

* Peter Jackson and New Line have settled all litigation relating to the “Lord of the Rings” (LOTR) Trilogy.

Said Peter Jackson, “I’m very pleased that we’ve been able to put our differences behind us, so that we may begin a new chapter with our old friends at New Line. ‘The Lord of the Rings’ is a legacy we proudly share with Bob and Michael, and together, we share that legacy with millions of loyal fans all over the world. We are delighted to continue our journey through Middle Earth. I also want to thank Harry Sloan and our new friends at MGM for helping us find the common ground necessary to continue that journey.”

“Peter Jackson has proven himself as the filmmaker who can bring the extraordinary imagination of Tolkien to life and we full heartedly agree with the fans worldwide who know he should be making ‘The Hobbit,’” said Sloan, MGM’s Chairman and CEO. “Now that we are all in agreement on ‘The Hobbit,’ we can focus on assembling the production team that will capture this phenomenal tale on film.”

Bob Shaye, New Line Co-Chairman and Co-CEO comments, “We are very pleased we have been able to resolve our differences, and that Peter and Fran will be actively and creatively involved with ‘The Hobbit’ movies. We know they will bring the same passion, care and talent to these films that they so ably accomplished with ‘The Lord of the Rings’ Trilogy.”

“Peter is a visionary filmmaker, and he broke new ground with ‘The Lord of the Rings,’” notes Michael Lynne, New Line Co-Chairman and Co-CEO. “We’re delighted he’s back for ‘The Hobbit’ films and that the Tolkien saga will continue with his imprint. We greatly appreciate the efforts of Harry Sloan, who has been instrumental in helping us reach our new accord.”

The two “Hobbit” films – “The Hobbit” and its sequel – are scheduled to be shot simultaneously, with pre-production beginning as soon as possible. Principal photography is tentatively set for a 2009 start, with the intention of “The Hobbit” release slated for 2010 and its sequel the following year, in 2011.

The Oscar-winning, critically-acclaimed LOTR Trilogy grossed nearly $3 billion worldwide at the box-office. In 2003, “Return of the King” swept the Academy Awards, winning all of the eleven categories in which it was nominated, including Best Picture – the first ever Best Picture win for a fantasy film. The Trilogy’s production was also unprecedented at the time.

For more information about “The Hobbit” films, please visit www.TheHobbitBlog.com.

All in all, I think that this is very good news for fans of the series. I'm a little leery of the news of a Hobbit sequel, but with PJ as producer I'm sure that things will turn out for the good.

The second piece of news is for me to recommend to everyone to listen to the Best of Ideas podcast for Dec. 10 and 17. Its a two part show about the future of hydrogen in our energy system. David Scott, a long time engineer, make some very good points about energy and the use of hydrogen as a "currency" in his terms. He describes the place of hydrogen as similar to that of electricity. Neither are a power source in themselves, but they are a way to deliver power to a place where it is needed and to do the work that needs to be done. He argues his points much more eloquently than I can argue them here, so I recommend that you take a listen. Generally the whole podcast is pretty good, and was recommended to me by a Canadian that I know through the internet. The link to the podcast page is here. You can go to that page and download the individual episodes, or subscribe.

18 December 2007

Rainy Days

So, first truly rainy day in a few weeks and guess who decided the umbrella wouldn't be necessary. Hopefully, I'll be able to get home without getting completely soaked.

I had a pretty good weekend. Most of Saturday was spent in cleaning up the apartment. All that Crystal and I have left to clean is the bookshelf, so I think we did a pretty good job. On the other hand, we have another slug friend. I really don't know why they want to wander into our apartment. We aren't leaving food out or anything like that. And we never actually see them. Just the little trail of slime that they leave behind. I need to remember to put some salt down tonight. That'll teach him.

Sunday was spent doing some Christmas shopping. We've got gifts for most of the people on our lists and we'll send them off soon. I think we'll ship everything to my parents house. From there, it can be redistributed. It won't be likely to be there by Christmas, but it shouldn't be too late.

Speaking of which, we'll be at the Phynn house on Christmas eve for some merry making. I thought that a sangria might make a welcome addition to the party, so we'll be fixing that later this week. We made some chocolate chip cookies on Sunday and we are planning to make sugar cookies next weekend. Turns out that it takes about the same amount of time to make a batch of cookies as it does to make spaghetti sauce. That kept both Crystal and me busy on Sunday evening. I've discovered that red bell peppers, mushrooms, and fresh garlic are welcome additions to my mom's recipe.

I wasn't able to make it into the lab today unfortunately. No one was there most of the day. I was able to get in a few minutes this afternoon to weigh some samples, but didn't really have time to do much else. I've spent most of the day catching up on reading. When we did the cleaning, I found a stack of articles that I printed out but never read. I've got through about half of them now, and that includes entering some info about them into EndNote. That's a citation program that I use to store bibliographic and other information about the various articles that I'm referencing.

As soon as Christmas and New Years are past, I will be able to get some more field work done. I need to do a good amount, but I know where to go and what to do. I just have to spend the time down in Tauranga to get things done.

P.S. All our international cards have been sent out, except for one, whom we are still trying to find an address for. So, look for something in the mail in the next week or so. I hope they are in by Christmas, but I can't be sure. I've also taken a few pictures of things, and I'll try to post them soon. Crystal is really hard to get photos of.

14 December 2007

Cards are out

The first round of Christmas cards went in the mail today. As soon as I get some addresses looked up, more cards will be sent out.

The new gmail thing, allowing you to talk to AIM people is pretty cool, though having not signed into AIM for about a year, I'm not sure about talking to people, since I'm not sure they will remember me. We'll have to see. Maybe I'll just put a thing up on the forums that I'm willing to talk to people.

I was having some trouble with GIS today. I talked with the tech guy and after about 5 minutes, he showed me how to turn the tools that I was trying to use on. I felt a bit foolish at that point. But now I've got it working again, and will be doing some analysis with it.

Not much else to tell. For the first time ever, Crystal and I have been able to find real corn on the cob at the grocery store. We'll see how it turns out. There are a lot of things that neither of us have ever actually cooked before, even though we've eaten them a lot. This is another one of those things. We are in fact having the most American thing we can manage in NZ. Frankfurters (ie hot dogs, or near enough) and corn on the cob. Horray!

13 December 2007

1 month to anniversary

Well, I'm not sure what to post today. I meant to be in the field this week, but between some rainy weather, unfavorable tides, and that colloquium thing that I had to do on Monday, I ended up not. I have spent most of the week in the lab so far. Tomorrow they have a meeting there in the morning, so I won't be able to do any work then. I'll have to finish up the experiment that I'm working on in the afternoon.

I'm not sure how I feel about Christmas this year. For me, it has always been a holiday about family. Even with the strong religious meaning that I also feel for the day, I think that the most essential part of celebrating Christmas is getting together with people whom you love. This year, I'll be so far away from everyone except Crystal that I don't know how I will feel when the actual holiday comes.

It's also one month until my 1st Wedding anniversary. That's another funny thing. I still have trouble believing that Crystal and I have been married for nearly a year. The time has gone by really fast. I have to remind myself of what I've done during the year to keep myself from feeling like I haven't accomplished anything. I've been to two conferences, made running up in the Faculty poster competition, started detailed work in a new study area, and done a good bit of geomechanical testing as well. I might have been able to do more, but looking back, I think that I worked hard enough. Next year, I'm planning to get more accomplished. For one thing, I'll have several more months to work on things. For another, I have a better idea of where to go in the future.

Crystal stayed late at work last night, and plans to stay late again tonight. I'm glad that she is really applying herself to her job, but sometimes I think she might be working too hard. I also feel that without funding, I'm really not towing my weight in the financial end of things. If I could get the funding that I've applied for, Crystal and I won't have to worry much about our finances for the duration of our stay. I'll work hard on the applications as soon as I hear back from the first round of application.

06 December 2007

Business Cards

Well, I think I may be finally getting some business cards to hand out at conferences and such. I'll let everyone know once I find out more.

My annual report is coming up due. I've filled out my part. Colin has been working on his, so we should get together this afternoon to sign everything and then send it off. Everything looks alright. I've got a lot of work to do over summer this year, but I should have a lot of my thesis done coming into Winter. The planned completion date is mid-2009. After that, I will still have the oral examination and I may stick around for graduation. But, I think I'll be home for good in 2010.

16 November 2007

Friday, blessed Friday

I have finally made it to Friday again. I've just finished up a set of Atterberg Limits at the lab. Crystal and I have continued watching Aeon Flux. It just keeps being weirder in a lot of ways.

The weekend is supposed to have very nice weather. Maybe Crystal and I will go do some more walking in the park or something. We had a very good time a couple weekends ago when we went around town towards Parnell.

I've gotten a presentation together for the Geotech Colloquium at the university. I just need to run things past my supervisors before the date of the presentation. I'll be sending a draft along to my supervisor in the Engineering Faculty.

14 November 2007

Not a whole lot to report on today. The ring shear test finished yesterday. I've got some plans to do other work. Right now, I rewriting some of my older work. I'm having to change it around because we've changed the focus of the work as a whole. Really, that change in focus happened awhile ago but I just haven't gotten around to revising things before.

Crystal and I watched two episodes of Aeon Flux last night, and it really is just as weird as I remember.

I think I'm close to finishing Phatom Hourglass now. Only about two temples left as far as I can tell. I have plenty more things to find though.

13 November 2007

Another day at the lab. and I've almost finished the ring shear that I've had going. Sorting through the data I've looked at for the last year has shown some interesting possibilities of trends. I've got a lot more work to get real trends, but there is some promising stuff.

Crystal has started drawing again, which I think is a really good thing. She's had me buy her a drawing journal too.

For some reason, my eye is continually watering today. I don't have any other allergy type symptoms though.

Not much else to report on. I've been playing a lot of Phantom Hourglass. It's a really fun game and I definitely recommend it to others.

12 November 2007

So much for the field day

I went back to look at the tide tables for today, and realized the tide comes an hour later than I previous had thought. So, I won't be going into the field today after all. I have some planned time at the end of next week that should work out better though. I'll take two days then, and after that I'll have the 26th with both Colin and Warwick out in the field with me.

I had a good weekend though. Started out a new D&D game with my friend Brandon at the helm. It's really little more than a sort of Fight Club, but still a lot of fun. Mostly, we just have it to fill in the gaps between our regular games when we don't have some of the players. This week we had a party of three (rogue, fighter, and sorceror) vs. and Ettin. Turned out pretty good. My character, the rogue, managed to get the killing hit in on the ettin before it took down our fighter.

On Sunday, Crystal and I went to see our Mel's new flat. She's got a pretty nice place now. Our chilis are growing well so far.

09 November 2007


I feel much better after my meeting with Warwick and Colin. Better, though it has more or less just changed the panicky feeling. I've gone from lost with little idea of what I should be doing to worried about the huge amount of things that I ought to be doing. Having a direction to take my research is a lot better though.

I'm going out to the field again on Monday to do some testing, and probably some sampling as well. I also just found out that there is meant to be a geotechnical symposium at the university for all the researchers who have done work in the geotech lab during the previous year. They've asked me to present my work there. I'm not terribly keen on it, because I haven't really done a whole lot. Especially, I haven't even begun to answer the questions that I'm looking to answer from the tests that I'm doing. All that I really have is some raw data. I should probably try to find some way to relate things.

Enough about that though. Crystal and I are having steak tonight for the first time in months I'm sure. We found some sirloins on clearance at the grocery (I assume because they were old). We've had them sitting in the freezer. Tonight, I plan to grill them up with some portabello mushrooms. It should be tasty. I have no guarantees of the tastiness, but everything promises to be good.

I just thought of another little story that I haven't related yet. Crystal and I went to Blockbuster last Saturday and got ourselves signed up. They've got a pretty good special there as long as you can wait for things to be 7 day rentals. 4 for $10. Anyways, we got Blackadder 2, The Dark Crystal, Dogma, and V for Vendetta. V had to be watched since the Nov. 5 is Guy Fawkes night. I hadn't seen Dogma and Crystal hadn't seen Blackadder 2 since I watched it without her. And it has been a long time since either of us watched The Dark Crystal. The movie still looks good by today's standards.

I think I'll end this post there, since I've run out of things to say. I keep meaning to add Crystal as a person who can post to this blog, but I don't think she is the type that ever would, so it's probably a moot point.

08 November 2007

Ring Shear Tests

So, I'm working on a ring shear test in the geomechanics lab. The whole test takes several days, though I don't have to be around the apparatus very much. I only have to take a reading exery hour or half hour typically. If you are interested, have a look at an article by E. N. Bromhead from 1979 in Ground Engineering. It describes the apparatus and the test procedure at least.

I should finally have a meeting with my supervisors today. I've been trying to get this going for awhile. Hopefully, we'll have some good progress towards funding opportunities for me. I suppose that at the very worst, I will have $3000 per year from the University. I'd really like to have some more so that Crystal and I would have less to worry about in the financial area.

Not much else to talk about. A friend I met last year at IH came to visit yesterday so that Crystal could finally meet her. We had some tasty pizza.

06 November 2007

Missed Appointments

So, yesterday, I went back and forth between my two supervisors (which is ridiculous in the first instance since their offices are next to each other), and I set up a meeting for today starting between 2 and 3 PM. To put it simply, one of my supervisors hasn't been in all day. Don't know if he's sick or what, but you would think he could call or send an email or something to let me know that he's not going to be around.

This really annoys me, because now my primary supervisor can't meet tomorrow, which means the meeting has to get pushed back to Thursday. I have generally been trying to get a meeting together for the last two weeks, ever since I returned from Australia. I don't know why it is so difficult to get three people together, especially when one of their schedules is almost completely open.

This really annoys me, because I need to talk to my supervisors about funding and field work. I need funding to keep this project going, but I have no idea where to start looking for it, or I would go about applying for it if I did find something. I also need to get some more field work done. My trip on Friday was a demonstration of why I'm better to go out with someone more experienced. I got myself lost (or at least missed my turn) twice costing myself on the order of 45 minutes of valuable time in the field. With that much time, I could have had a brief look at the second outcrop that I travelled to.

What it comes down to is that this event highlights my concern about how much my supervisors care about my research and my success as a PhD student. I feel that one of them is generally preoccupied by his family and teaching and the other by his research.

I feel that this problem has lead to me not getting as much work done this year as could be hoped. I know that my own tutoring schedule has been somewhat to blame for that, but I also feel that my supervisors could make themselves somewhat more available to help out.

18 October 2007

Ready for the Conference

I don't think that I have posted this at any point, but I'm getting ready to go to a conference in Australia starting this Sunday. I've got everything set up finally, including airfare, hotel, and transport to and from the airport. I'll try to post a few comments while I'm there, but I'm not sure how internet access will be, and I'm not sure how busy that I will be.

I've got a new office finally. I've been moved to a new office with two other PhD students. I like it a whole lot. I have a computer in the office even. So things are a lot nicer than in my old office.

Things are generally looking good now. I have my last day of tutoring for the semester tomorrow, then I'll just have about 40 webpage assignments to grade and will then be completely free to continue my research.

14 August 2007

Harry Potter Tonight

So, Harry Potter and the Order of the Pheonix is finally available for cheap tickets in Auckland. Crystal and I are going tonight, so I should be able to post some sort of review later.

Crystal is also working to get a job now. We're going to be dropping resumes at a bunch of the retail places near our apartment this afternoon.

31 July 2007

I'm not posting Harry Potter Spoilers

But, I am reading The Deathly Hallows now. Crystal and I bought a copy at Border's this weekend. We're currently half-way through the book, as we are taking turns each reading a chapter aloud. It's a fun way to read with someone, especially so that you can share the thrills and laughs at the same time. So far, I think that the tongue in check humor has surprised me more than anything else. I've also made the rule that unless presented with a complete body, that I will not believe any deaths that may have occurred.

Crystal is getting some illustration ideas from the book too. We'll see if she goes through with any of them.

Work on the thesis is alright. I feel a bit like I'm racing against the clock to get some work done to put on a poster in the University contest. I'm not sure if I'll have the work done in time though. I'm going to do my best on it. Crystal is helping me to prepare figures for my poster that I will present in Brisbane. Its a real help. I think my figures will make a lot more sense and generally be more useful.

26 July 2007

Poster preparation

I've begun work to prepare my poster for presentation at the ANZ Geomechanics conference. I have not yet received the details of format, but I have a number of steps that can be used to get started. One of these is preparing figures to present on the poster. I have a lot of work to do to making sure that I have all of my information presentable in pictoral form. I plan to use the lest text possible, because that really seems to make a more effective poster. Also, I already have plenty of text in the article that will appear in the proceedings, so interested people should be able to look at that.

I've forgotten how Illustrator is both wonderful and difficult to work with at the same time. Some of the features that make it quick to sketch over photos also make it difficult to color various areas. I have at this point finished one of the poictures that I will be interpreting.

I'll be getting Crystal to help me a bit with this when she has time. But I think I have been sucessful with my first attempt.

25 July 2007

Another long abscence

Well, the last time that I posted, my wife had recently arrived and we were still settling in. Since then, I've been very busy with my research project. I've run a number of samples through the geomechanics lab and done some more field work. I have a lot of other things to talk about but many of them seem a bit silly and are mostly gaming related. Crystal and I are still making slow but steady progress in World or Warcraft. We'll soon be able to join the rest of our friends in end-game events.

I have recently sent several thank you cards to people who sent birthday or other cards or gifts. They are much appreciated, I'm just of the absent minded sort. So, several people, and you know who you are, should be looking for mail in the next couple of weeks.

Crystal has just submitted her application for a work permit, so we are hoping to get a positive response back soon. We ended up sending two large envelopes stuffed to bursting, containing evidence of our "partnership". The fact that we are married was not enough for INZ last time, so we have sent in letters from friends and family, as well as copies of our chatlogs and letters to each other as corroborating evidence. I don't think that they can dispute that we qualify as a partnership anymore.

I've applied for every descent scholarship that has come my way in the last few months. I tend to be limited due to my international status, but there are a few scholarship that I'm eligible for that other people aren't. Two of these would give us enough money to mostly pay rent and food, leaving whatever income that Crystal ends up with to pay her student loans. I can only hope that one of these will be approved.

I'm going to Australia in October for a conference. I still need to make the poster, but I have a grant for the travel costs. Crystal is going to help me with the poster design, once I get around to planning the content. I need to design another poster for the University competition as well. These are parts of my important task for the next few months.

I think I'll end this post here, since I'm busy with a number of other things as well today. Take care everyone, and I hope to talk to you soon.

07 May 2007

Field Work and Sampling

After much waiting and anticipation, I finally made it to my field area to do some sampling. I'm glad that I waited. We had a beautiful day, and we were able to time the tide so as not to need to wake up before dawn. Sampling went really well. Matt (another grad student) and I made pretty quick work of all the sampling. Now I have a large number of samples sitting around, waiting to be tested. I'm planning to start work on them tomorrow, since Matt is busy graduating or something today.

Meanwhile, in the virtual world, I've nearly made it to level 58. Only another hour or so of playing will be required. More about this is available at The Gameslave. We're getting ready to implement new website design too. So, there's lots to check out over there.

03 May 2007

Field Work

The New Zealand weather keeps trying to prevent progress on my thesis. I try not to be a fair weather geologist, but it is simply easier to work when the weather is dry. Combine this with the fact that my work is right on the beach and requires a low-tide in midday for me to work productively, and it becomes hard to find a good time to work. But, the plan is now to go out to work tomorrow. I'll be collecting samples mostly, but also working on getting a better hold on the stratigraphy of the area. Fortunately, I won't have to work too hard on that, as an MSc has been assigned to the general engineering geology of the area.

In the meantime, I have continued working on my paper research. I've also been playing a lot of World of Warcraft. Someday soon I will be able to go on raids with my friends. I think I only have about a week more to play before I will be in Outland.

02 May 2007


I just gave my first "public" lecture today. The New Zealand Geotechnical Society invited two other students and me to present our research at their monthly meeting. Everything went great. The presentations were well received, and I've been tentatively invited back to give another talk in a years time. This second talk with reflect the next stage of my research. The whole thing is really exciting. According to my wife, I was talking in my sleep last night, but the only word that she could recognize was the name of my field area: Matata. I wish I could remember what I was dreaming about.

13 April 2007

International Journals

For the entire period of my study, one of my supervisors has encouraged me to check the international literature on my subject. Only recently have I begun to run into problems. I've found that, for most journals, articles are written almost exclusively in English. I'm not sure why this is, but I'll take advantage of it to read articles from Japanese and Italian researchers. In the last week I've found two articles that would be very helpful to me, but cannot be read because they are in other languages. The first is an article in French about the formation of clay minerals in some volcanic deposits. The second is an article in Japanese about a similar subject, although this one deals more with the successive changes in mineralization with age. They both have English abstracts which helps me get a general idea of the article, but does not provided the amount of detail that I prefer. If any who reads this blog (if anyone does) would like to translate either paper for me, let me know and I'll get in touch with you.

In other news, I'm still plugging away towards level 53 in WoW. I've discovered that the Searing Gorge is actually a viable questing zone, with decent XP and monetary rewards. I'm trying to decided weather to buy a normal level 40 mount, or just wait and save up for the Epic level 60 mount. Tough choices I have to say.

I received a package of books from my parents this morning at 7. I was a little upset at having to jump out of bed and throw some clothes on to answer the door, but I've been waiting for this package for some time. Now, I'm just waiting for the package that will carry my monitor cable for my desktop computer. When that arrives, I'll finally have a working computer for both Crystal and me. This will probably make our internet usage go up, but we enjoy playing together so much that I can't see this as a bad thing.

I've also been waiting for some form of email contact with my supervisors for quite some time. I finally hear back from one of them, and they remind me that I have a presentation on Tuesday. I had added it to my calendar and I still forgot about it. But its only 10 minutes, so I don't have to talk about much. The primary concern at this point is me relating the work that I've done to one of the organizations that provided funding for me last year. Personally, I think that if I have to give presentations that they should continue giving money.

11 April 2007

Easter and Semester Break

Somehow, University here is already on break for two weeks. This means that I'm generally lacking guidance now. At least I have a few things to work on in the duration.

I've managed to play more WoW lately. I've been working hard trying to force my character to a level high enough that I can play with my friends again. I'm getting pretty close at this point.

Easter was great though. I spent most of the day with the Phyn family. This is the same family who invited me over for Easter last year. This time, Crystal and I spent the day together. I felt less homesick while I was there. Compared with last year, when it was my first major holiday that I was away from my family. But having Crystal with me made everything much better. She seems to be doing alright, and isn't too homesick herself.

The research is going well. I've finally made it through a huge paper on some of the younger volcanic units that I see in the Central and Eastern Bay of Plenty. Not stuff that I'll see near Tauranga, but certainly things that I should be able to find near Matata. The paper was huge. Included their raw data in the paper would have probably made it the appropriate length for a Master's thesis.

05 April 2007


I arrived in my office at 9 this morning and plunked down in front of one of the departments computers. For the next two hours to now, I've been digging through the GeoRef databases and Google scholar in attempts to find more information about the weathering of volcanic ash and pumice beds and the formation of halloysite. So, bascially, I'm not having a lot of fun. Personally I feel like I should be able to go home now. But I have to keep working to try and find more stuff. I'll have to make a trip to the library at some point.

I've tried to not make my blog overly political, but sometimes certain issues just make some vocalization necessary. My opinion of Bush continues to sink lower and lower. His lack of a real energy policy in his State of the Union address is truly disappointing. The lack of understanding that most politicians have for science is astonding. This fact is one of the things that makes me really want to run for some office, even if its just city council or something. I feel like a scientist (not necessarily me) has much to offer our US political system that has so long been dominated by lawyers and economists. I don't think that a science-ocracy is the solution, but I do believe that a better understanding of science as it relates to policy and current issues is important. The last 6 years have been marked by a retardation in the understanding of science in the House and Sentate. I hope that the legislature will recreate an organization to advise them on scientific and technical issues.

So yeah, I'm not sure when or where I'll start trying to run for a political office, but it will happen. Eventually. Right now, I'm a little ways away from home, but I'll be back in a few years. Hopefully things haven't gone to hell before I get a chance to help.

P.S. The term "carbon footprint" is stupid. Just say "carbon emmisions". Its a lot more accurate.

04 April 2007

Return to New Zealand

Well, I certainly haven't posted for awhile. I've been quite busy, and the shear number of things that I need to report make it difficult to put them all in one post. I'll just have to summarize. In early December I went home to visit my family for the holidays. Colorado was completely dumped on by several snow storms. on January 13, Crystal and I were married. I changed my airline ticket around to stay for another month with her. I moved back to Auckland at the end of February. Crystal followed in late March, and we are now living together happily. I hope to keep updates more frequent in the future. I'd like to start podcasting again, but the "day in the life" format doesn't seem to be working for me. This is hard cause I'm a really big fan of a lot of programs that promote that sort of journalism (ie "This American Life" from NPR, check it out). But I think that the life of a PhD student might lack a certain amount of interest required for that sort of a podcast. I may instead look at making a short weekly cast of my thoughts on the current games that I'm playing. Basically an audio form of the Slaved Articles that I should be posting on the Gameslave. I really need to get back to posting those.

Also, I hope to put some pictures up eventually, but I'm feeling pretty lazy right now.