Friday, April 17, 2009

Explainations for the pics... oh I guess I could add that...
1. Hot springs at Fish Spring Reserve in the West Desert.
2. Wetlands in the middle of a desert. See those reeds? those are 4+ feet tall and we walk (or in my case fall) through that. Frogs live here, so do cows.
3. Hatching eggmass, Columbia Spotted Frog. Awww cute little tadpoles.
4. Grass. I was standing up to my wader clad knees in swamp mud, but it seemed like a good time for a photo.
5. Tiger salamander. It had leaches, look closely and you can see them.
6. Columbia spotted frog. Not a great photo, but oh well.
7. Working hard
8. Carp. but check out the scales. see how they are all different. genetic epistasis at work!!!
9. measuring a fish, yeah that's me. carp have spines, so do catfish. makes them really fun to grab out of a net.

Now that’s a bad sign.

I got home from work last Wednesday and there was a ‘for rent’ sign on the front lawn. Silly neighbors put their sign in our front yard, I thought. Trying to figure out which neighbors to implicate, I grabbed a flyer and was rather unpleasantly surprised to see our address at the top.
Uh oh. I think there is something my housemate forgot to tell me.
I walked into the house and was greeted by a scene of human unraveling that, now as time passes, grows steadily worse.
We got evicted. More precisely, my housemate got us evicted. Apparently the nasty old dog she has violates the housing agreement. I didn’t like that thing anyways! It’s blind, deaf, and putrid, and tries to bite anyone within biting range.
So, three weeks here and now it’s time to find new lodging.
Fortunately the semester at BYU just ended and there is quite a plethora of housing options on craigslist. I have found a new place and am jumping-for-joy excited to move in next week. Four normal housemates, with real jobs, and a friendly dog. It will be a bit more of a drive to work each day, 10 minutes or so, because it’s up in Provo instead of Springville. But honestly, we all know how much I like Springville….
Actually, my Springville dislike has faded a bit as the grass turned green and the tulips popped out of the melting snow. I think I just showed up at a particularly unattractive time of year when the snow was gone but the plant life was still hunkered down in shades of winter grey. Not that there is a lot to do in this town. I was hanging out in the public library because the landlord was giving tours of the townhouse (on two hours notice!) and a local kid began a rather elaborate, and somewhat annoying, series of courtship displays. Perhaps not the brightest fellow, but if he was going to trail me like a lost puppy for two hours I was at least going to get some useful information out of him. Unfortunately, his answers to my questions on fun things to do in the area were not exactly what I was looking for.
Go to the arcade in another town.
Harass cows.
Throw rocks at squirrels, particularly the ones by the high school, those are the best to throw rocks at.
As for “good” restaurants in the area, he was especially fond of the royal pair of Burger King and Dairy Queen.
Eventually it was time for me to escape his hopeful, but somewhat misguided efforts; the library is only open until 9pm. With big blue puppy dog eyes he asked when I would be at the library next. Oh, dunno, could be a while… a long while… which is a bummer because I liked that library.
What is it about Utah? This is the second time in a week a guy has asked me for my phone number. First time was a middle aged guy on a chair lift at a ski place on Sunday. Should go check my forehead… must have single stamped across it.
Work continues to go well. I get grumpy when I have to hunt for frogs in the snow. I think the frogs are secretly laughing at us. Silly monkeys in the snow! The calendar says it is spring but the six inches of snow yesterday night beg to differ.
There are some benefits to cold weather. It keeps me from going outside (because I am a California wimp). I finished the current round of manuscript revisions and resubmitted it to the journal last night. …private happy happy dance…
10 pm and the manuscript was submitted. I wanted to go to bed, but my housemate and I had made plans to go to Walmart at midnight to get packing boxes. Yeah, that sounds sketchy but let me explain: I managed to drag her out of bed to go get boxes in the evening, but when we got to Walmart and asked for the box aisle they told us to come back when they stock the shelves, midnight to 6 am. Apparently the cereal aisle is the best place to get packing boxes, all you want, free of charge. Excellent because she is broke. Except midnight came around and my housemate turned into a petulant two year old who whiningly told me “I don’t wanna go.”
Fine, just fine, I am not the one who needs boxes, but there is no cow’s-jump-over-a-blue-moon chance that I will help her do that on another night!