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.