Friday, June 29, 2007

In queensland again

I am back in the field in far north Queensland. It is a lot colder in Atherton than I would expect. I was really hoping it would be warmer. Anyway things are going well. I have an assistant now, Anna. It is nice to not work alone anymore, plus she loves bugs too. We pretty much hang out all day everyday, which can be intense but so far we get along great and haven't gotten on eachothers nerves yet.

Sunset in Port Douglas

It is really nice to be working again in the sites I spent so much time setting up. Things are much less stressful now. My only problem now is that I really miss Tim. I am hoping he will be able to come visit in a couple weeks.

Here is a picture of Anna and a HUGE fern. There are a lot of tree ferns here so I am use to tall ferns, but check out the girth of the rachis of the fron in Anna's hand.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Middle Kings Free in a Day

Ok I know most of you will not be able to attach any meaning to this but I'm stoked! Just found out about two friends that did something I've been dreaming about the past year or so and was seriously thinking about trying this year if I came back home for Chris and Amy's wedding. Most people didn't think it was possible but I felt it. These guys did too. I'm stoked for them. The story off one blog,, is below.

By Grayson Schaffer
John Grace and Tommy Hilleke became the first people to run California's Middle Kings River in one day. Their time to hike 11 miles over the 12,000-foot pass and then run 30 miles and 6,400 vertical feet of Class V water: 19 hours 53 minutes. We're impressed. Given that the Kings is in the same part of the world as Yosemite, one can't help but draw the comparison between this descent and freeing El Cap in a day.

It really is like climbing El Cap free in a day. I've paddled this section before as I'm sure Mom and my sis, Kimberly will remember due to the fact that I wasn't able to pick them up from the airport because of an extended trip on this section of river. For those that don't know this section of river is considered by most to be the most difficult and sustained bit of river in California. It takes most of the few parties that have done it about 5 days including the full day of hiking. I can't wait until I get back home to Cali next year. It's on! Anyone keen?

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Just checking in

I thought I would just let you all know what we've been up to lately. Lora is busy scrambling around the house packing for her field sites up north. She leaves tomorrow for Sydney where she will give a short talk to her lab detailing what she's been up to. She's a little stressed because she didn't have the longest time to prepare for it. However, she's pretty comfortable talking about her project and her PP presentation looks good. It even includes the picture of the 15ft python! Lora's assistant, Anna, arrives in Sydney on Thursday. It will be quite a relief for me knowing she's not alone in the woods. Not to mention Lora will have someone to help her collect all the mountains of data she normally collects on her own ... when I'm not suffering alongside her.

The sad news is that Lora and I haven't had the longest time together with her just getting home on Saturday from her last field site here in Tas. I was hoping to go up to Sydney for the weekend but school for me is hectic. I finished one course completely and have two others really close to be done. The last one just involves me writing up my methodology for my research project. I have a lot of it written up for my ethics application but need to take all the little bits and throw them together into a coherent single piece of writing. All that by the end of the month.
Lastly, our landlords came by today for a 6-month inspection of our place. Landlords have more rights here in Oz than tenants do. So of course we had to really do a "spring cleaning" of the place before they came over. It was the last thing we really needed to be doing with our precious time together. Nothing brings a couple together though like scrubbing a toilet bowl. They basically walked through the place and told us how we should be living in our place. They did not like the power cords and network cables for our computers. Pev said that fires start from computers and I about lost it as I calmly tried to explain that was bullshit! So I guess the electrician will be coming over to see if we are drawing to much power and causing a fire hazard. YEAH!

Hey Jim, I went and played nine holes of golf the other day. It was great. I still suck but we had the course to ourselves and the green fees were only 10 bucks!

Well I guess I'll sign off for now. Stay tuned for the next blog entry... Killer Bunnies!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

I got offered a job!

The good news is that I was offered a teaching job here at the University of Tasmania. I guess since they saw me in my office working I was a warm body and could teach two sections of science methods. Basically I will be showing pre-service primary grade teachers how to teach science using an interactive method of teaching. That is using student generated questions to formulate investigations that may lead to deeper understanding of science content.

The bad news is that it starts in three weeks and conflicts with my original plans of coming back to Cali and Utah in July. So that means you guys will not see me next month. I'm especially bummed about missing Chris and Amy's wedding. Chris was the first person I called but as an academic he understood that this was a great opportunity for me. I was also planning on meeting up with Baldy in the Tetons and doing some climbing and getting into some trouble in beautiful Jackson Hole. Sorry buddy! Lastly, all you other folks that I had made tentative plans with well... we'll just have to do it over here. I guess a second trip down the Middle Fork of the Kings is out too. Super bummed!

As always I wish you all the best and both Lora and I really miss you all. I can't tell you how many times a day I think of at least one of you. Keep in touch with us. We'll be back before you know it. It's already going on 10 months.