A semi-open forum to slam (or support) whatever i dream up on my blogs. Have fun! :)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Walk Like an Egyptian

All the school kids so sick of books
They like the punk and the metal band
When the buzzer rings (oh whey oh)
They're walking like an Egyptian. . . . .

- L. Sternberg

As you may have guessed by now, I'm back at school. I'm currently taking three courses, a pre-calculus math course, an intro. to archeology course, and one of my core courses for my major, mineralogy/petrology (min/pet for short). I'm also working part-time in the university's sandwich shop, about 20 hours per week. I'm much busier now than I was during the summer, and things seem to be going pretty well, so far.

One of the major advantages to taking UWEC's min/pet course is that we get to go on two major field trips during the semester. We also take shorter field trips about once every other week, depending upon the weather. For the last two weeks, we've been going to a nearby location called Lake Wissota. This entry is about those two trips.

Lake Wissota was formed when the power company built a dam across the Chippewa River near Chippewa Falls. The place we've been visiting is located downstream of the dam, and formerly was under water most of the time, depending on the river level. Like our last semester's visits to the Jim's Falls and Big Falls areas, the rocks exposed are very interesting and are not the usual strata found in the driftless area of Wisconsin (which is basically Cambrian-era sandstone). The most interesting feature of this Lake Wissota site is that it shows an intrusion of basaltic magma congruent with the continental rift event of about 1.1 billion years ago.

Anyways, the place is pretty cool, imo. :) Oh, and the title of this entry comes from the song we all heard on the radio while we were on our way to our little expedition. I hadn't heard it in more than a decade. :) Below are captioned photos taken at the Lake Wissota location. We had to hike in about a 1/2 mile from the van parking area. The weather on both visits was excellent, about 70 F. with mostly blue skies.

I know that I learned a lot, and had a good time; and I think my classmates felt the same. Let's hope that our next field trip(s) are as good as these were!

Most of our group having just unloaded at the parking area.
Lake Wissota. The power dam is an extension of the road on the right, out of view in the photo. Our group turned even further right than that, downstream of the dam.

After a while, we had to cross a creek.

The water-weathered rock formation that we passed over.

And the main site itself. Note the darker color of the rocks on the left compared to the right. On the left is the intrusive basaltic rocks, the right are the much older parent rocks.

Our group at the main formation.

Another view of the water-weathered basaltic flow.

Yet another view of the basaltic rock. Note the differences in weathering coloration.

Another photo of our group at the main site. We're studying rocks in Wisconsin! :)

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Sunday, September 21, 2008

Summer in the City

Hot town, summer in the city
Back of my neck getting dirty and gritty
Been down, isn't it a pity
Doesn't seem to be a shadow in the city

All around, people looking half dead
Walking on the sidewalk, hotter than a match head

But at night it's a different world
Go out and find a girl
Come-on come-on and dance all night
Despite the heat it'll be alright

And babe, don't you know it's a pity
That the days can't be like the nights
In the summer, in the city
In the summer, in the city

- M. Sebastian

I spent the better part of this last summer waiting for school to begin again. Most of my time was spent getting ready for my second semester at UWEC, and the rest was actually, for the most part, quite boring. I did take to walking around my new home of Oak Lair (not it's real name) and sometimes taking a few photos. That's pretty much what this article is about. :)

Many of you have already seen the only real excitement that I had this summer. If not, check out my previous entry. I'll remember the river float fondly, we all had such a good time.

Otherwise, I did watch quite a few Brewers games, and they tended to win. This now being late September, however, now they're not doing so good. It sort of doesn't matter, because school is now taking up an awful lot of my time. I've barely had time to process this blog and make any entries. However, I have to do this now, because I've already got two more posts planned; our first two field trips out to Lake Wissota, and our first REAL BIG field trip up to northern Wisconsin and the UP of Michigan. Anyway, this whole post is just to catch all of you up with where I'm at in life, right now.

Like any summer, it was hot here. However, it was an average summer; maybe a little on the coolish side, this year. We had a few thunderstorms pass through, but no real bad weather to note.

For the most part, these are just captioned photos taken this summer (well, one from late spring) here in town. I think that my digital camera sure makes my photography look good, but, understand - it's mostly the camera (and the subjects) - and not the operator that makes the difference here. :) Anyways, enjoy!

This one is taken from the top of a local high point called Mount Tom. Like most of western Wisconsin, there are a lot of whitetails in town.

Another high point in town is a place called Mount Simon. This is a photo from my climb to its summit.

This is what the summit looks like. Evidently, it's a fairly-secluded place for the local kids to party. :)

This is a nice shot of one of the views from the summit.

Not too far from Mount Simon is the small lake formed behind the Chippewa River dam in town. It's called Dell's Pond, and the fishing is supposed to be pretty good.

A nice 13+" smallmouth taken from the Dell's Pond dock. Decent. :)

This is a photo taken very close to where I live. The view is to the southwest.

Near the university is this building on Water Street. Gargoyles are cool!

Some elected official forgot that this was Wisconsin. :)

Another view of Dell's Pond. Sigh. :)

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