Monday, July 6, 2009


Hi All,

Hope that everyone is going great and had a fantastic week. Hope that you all had a great 4th of July as well.

So I guess it is time for that weekly installment. Lucky you! I am now officially past the half way point of the program. Yikes, where has the time gone?!?!

I guess I better get busy writing what I've done this week before all the time blows away... so here we go.

So at the beginning of the week I took time to get ready for the last half of the week... sound familiar, it sure did to me. On Monday Cale and I went down to the UMore site to put some more data loggers down in the wells and try and make some temperature depth profiles. On Tuesday Calvin and I went went up north to Preston to a Lapidary shop to pick up a diamond saw blade. We needed it for the last half of the week to cut some flow stone from a Mystery Cave. That was a good trip. We mostly talked about grad school on our drive. It was very informative and good to hear about how it all works from the professor side of it, and what all the procedures are. In the afternoon I worked with Julie on making some maps of our bug locations and writing up directions for how to get to them. I can unfortunately remember what I did on Wednesday. I cleaned the lab, prepared for field work, presented at the mid program meeting what I've been up to, and worked in the attic. Julie and I were lucky enough to get told to go up to the attic and empty how many thousand vials and restack them. That was very mind numbing. So, needless to say we took breaks from that and explored the attic, there are lots of neat things up there. On Thursday the week became much more busy in a hurry. We left for SE MN at 7am. When we arrived we waited for some more people to come from the IRM (Institute for Rock Magnetism). We then all went down into Mystery Cave and took some samples. Calvin and I cut some flow stone to date. Josh and company took some sediment cores from the caves to age. It was fun. We were then suppose to go back farther into the cave, but the ranger thought that there were too many of us, so Julie, Becky, Alissa and myself (all the interns that were there, how interesting) were told to leave and go to Freiheit Spring where they were doing a quantitative dye trace. So I got us over there. Then we mostly sat around as they had already dumped dye and were just recording what was going on using the data loggers. I guess they had the dye come out of the spring in about 15 minutes, the sinkhole was located about 200 meters away, that's pretty fast transport!! So, we did that for a bit. After a few hours Calvin and caving company showed up and we then got to go replace bugs and dump dye (mind you Calvin and company showed up at 6pm). So by the time we finished changing bugs and dumping dye it was 10:30pm. We ended up spending the nite down there. We got to bed at about midnight. On Friday we started work at 7. We went back to Frieheit to change the samplers, download data, and tear down some equipment. So after two hours there... we went to change some more bugs for Julies project. At the first site some man came up to us with some horses, handed Calvin the reins and told him to walk the horses up the road! So Calvin did that, turns out the horses jumped/broke a fence and the guy was trying to bring them home. Then the guy wanted to show us a stream and his well, so we lost an hour there. We then changed out the rest of the bugs. That was fun. By now it is early afternoon. We still had yet to dump dye at two sites and there are two more bugs to change that are back in the woods at some springs. So we went to the state park there because we were to borrow their dump truck with a 500 gallon tank of water in it that was suppose to be full. It wasn't, and the hoses weren't there like they were suppose to be. So Julie and I spent about 1.5 hrs filling the tank while Calvin went hose hunting. Basically I got to drive a dump truck all around on Friday afternoon. Pretty much a lot of fun. So we dumped dye in a sinkhole. Then needed to refill the tank to do another dump. So instead of driving back to the park we went to Alerd's house to ask to fill the tank there. Alerd is by far Julie and my favorite person down in SE MN. He's a retired farmer, a die hard republican, really funny, and just an awesome guy. We actually formed a club of Alerd fans, so anyone that meets him can join. So we started filling the tank at his house then went and changed the last few bugs. At about 6 we finished dumping the last load of dye and water. We then went back to the park to return the dump truck. Oh boy. We caught a quick dinner and got back to UofM at 11. What fun. So needless to say I was really tired. Haha.

On Saturday we had a party!! We went to Calvin's house (a bunch of us interns), to celebrate. We basically had a BBQ. It was pretty good. It also happened to be Calvin's birthday, though I suspect he didn't want anyone to know, so I didn't tell anyone. Hope that was the right move, still wished him a happy birthday anyways. He turned 66. Yikes!! We then went to see some fireworks from the river. That was nice I suppose. I can't remember the last time I saw fireworks. We then went down to a beach on the river and just lay back and watched the world cruise on by. It was good. It was a late nite again! Today, I haven't really done too much. I did some laundry and went grocery shopping. What fun. I'm just exhusted though, I suspect I'll be turning early tonite, especially since Julie and I are going back down to SE MN tomorrow.

I am going to start really working on my project this week with any luck as Scott will now be back to get me set up with a place to work...hopefully. I will also be meeting with Josh Feinberg about working in the IRM to run the magnetics samples for my lake core. What fun!!!

I suspect that is about all that is going on. Lots and lots for sure. Well, I suppose I ought to go take care of some other stuff. Hope everyone is doing well.



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