Frosty 5k

I participated in the "Frosty 5k" this past weekend in an effort to kick start my physical fitness program for myself. The first 2 miles were completed at an aggressive pace, probably approaching a world record. Horrible cramps set in after the second mile, which shattered my Olympic dreams as well as my ability to take deep breathes. All said, I was pretty happy with my performance, and ended up finishing with a time of 31:14, 1:14 off of my goal. So much for Beijing in August . . .


The Big One

Alright folks. Here it is. The moment you've all been waiting for . . .


Kristyn and I adopted two brother and sister kittens at the Humane Society. Their names are Oliver and Nittany. Both are simply adorable and have adjusted well to their new home. Below are some pictures of the new kittens, as well as the remodeled dining room, kitchen, and living room.

View from entrance
Living room w/ original artwork

Living room
So cute!


Stay tuned . . .

A new post is on its way in a couple of days . . . hang in there!


Culture fest and VA Beach

Alright, it's been a while and I've been on a lot of great trips in the past couple weeks, so without further ado . . .

Culture Fest 2007

The weekend of September 14th - 16th was spent in Pipestem, WV for the 4th annual Culture fest. Most of the festival was spent listening to folk music on a rather large stage (for the venue). A group of five of us from Tech drove up and camped out for the weekend. I got a chance to try out my new tent: the LL Bean Microlight. Here's a brief breakdown of the day's events:

Friday: Arrived in Pipestem, WV to find out that we were not on the guest list, even though we had bought tickets. Much of the evening was spent sitting in a car in the parking lot waiting to get are bracelets. An hour later, we set up camp, which happened to be right next to another campsite full of gypsies! The gypsies tried to tempt us with their belly dancing and laughter, but our camp managed to resist, aided by some Magic Hat No. 9. Point us.

Saturday: Basically listened to folk music all day. The most memorable part was playing frisbee in a field while a band called "Sponda" played. Sponda is a group from Ohio who uses really old mantras in songs. Hard to explain, but really entertaining.

Sunday: Most of us realized that we drank way too much the day before, and woke up with third degree sun burns. Not fun!

Me playing the guitar
The Culturefest stage

Kristyn in the Microlight.

The gang.

Virginia Beach

This past weekend, my office mate Eric, his fiancee Caroline, Kristyn and I went to visit my aunt Dudie at Va Beach. We skipped work Friday and arrived at the beach around 2:30. All of us were pretty eager to get into the water, so we spent the majority of the day at the beach, although it was a pretty overcast day. The evening was spent on the boardwalk.

Saturday morning greeted us with blue skies and sunshine, so we packed a cooler full of beer, and headed back to the beach, this time with boogie boards. Due perhaps to an abnormally warm water temperature, we managed to see 50+ dolphins close to shore. Eric and I wanted to inspect them closer, so we jumped on the boogie boards and swam out to them. We were both literally 10 feet away from the dolphins, who, being the curious creatures they are, swam around us and blew their blow holes at us. Oh, and they had babies with them. Very cool!

Satisfied with our dolphin experience, the rest of the day was spent playing frisbee and sunning on the beach. That evening, we went to the Abbey Road Restaurant, where I managed to catch glimpses of the PSU - Michigan score. I'm not going to get into that here.

After dinner, Kristyn and I went to a mirror maze, which was very disorientating. We then met up with Eric and Caroline, and played a round of Jungle golf. Caroline and I ended up tying, with Eric coming in second, and Kristyn . . . . well she gave up after the fourth hole. Fun times were had by all.


Culturefest 2007

I recently got back from a music/folk festival in Pipestem, WV. Details posted later in the week when I have time. If I don't get to it before the weekend, then I'll tell you all about the Va Beach trip (this coming weekend). Later.


Tunak Tunak Tun

Great music video by Indian pop artist Daler Mehndi. Watch it here.

Back to blogging

The following is an abridged version of my life since the last post:


Kristyn and I are now in the full blown couple scene. In order to get to this stage, you have to 1) like each other, 2) have everyone in your department know that you like each other, and 3) call each other disgustingly cute pet names, like "schmoopie!"

We are already trying to plan holidays, and for those of you who will be in town for Christmas, you will get a chance to meet the lucky lady at Rousapalooza '07, which is tentatively being planned for December 27-28. Hope to see you all there!


I am now into my second week of classes and teaching. The two classes that I have (Advanced GIS and Active Tectonics) are incredibly easy so far, and I hope they stay that way so I can focus on honing in on what kind of teacher I want to be, and get my research project off the ground. When I say easy, I don' t mean that they are stupid . . . I mean that they are much more effective at getting the information across than undergraduate classes. In undergrad, instructors swamped you with busy work in the hopes that digging yourself out of it, you would pick up something. Grad instructors understand that you have enough on your plate in graduate school, and assign you the bare minimum needed to get the information across to you. It's quite refreshing.

I'm still trying to develop my own teaching style for the Physical Geology Lab I'm teaching. While most of my colleagues have a half an hour powerpoint presentation before each lab, I give a ~10 minute "chalk talk" and send them on their way. My reasoning for this is two-fold: 1) most of the labs are longer than they should be/ undergrads are stupid and can't finish on time, so the more time they have to work on the lab, the better, and 2) all of my students are non-majors that could care less about rocks and minerals, and I can empathize with that. I remember being the freshman engineering student in the physical geology lab at Penn State, wishing my TA would shutup so I could get the lab, do it, and leave. I assign the students a pre-lab every week to make sure they go over the lab before they come to class. I review the basic principles needed to do the lab, and make myself available to answer the questions they have while they do the lab. Any thoughts on my current methods will be appreciated.


I've started using Pandora to find some new artists to listen to, since I'm no longer sitting right across from Mark Zorzie, the indie rock guru (I miss you!). My new findings can be found on my facebook profile, under bookmarked songs and artists. Enjoy!

That's all I have for now.