Saturday, December 11, 2010

Likes and Stati

I find myself "liking" things in life. As if my whole world operated like Facebook. "I like this" pops in my head when I want to approve something. I have even caught myself creating statuses (stati?) as my day progresses.

I am currently at my parent's house in Germany. I got to visit some pretty amazing sites so far, to include the Luxembourg American Cemetery and Bastogne. All of this exploring of an era that lacked digital social networking forces me to current consider change in society. It makes me wonder about how life was different and why. Ultimately, though, it causes my subjective concern: is this shift in society positive? But historians are supposed to remain objective... and active in their voice. That thought was neither.

Ultimately, I cannot complain about social networking, as it allows me to remain in touch with family that I have spread all over the world. I don't have to wait for days or weeks to hear from my family. But I will still wonder about how deftly we (current society in the Western World) access the world versus our comprehension of said world. Or the lack thereof.

"[ekg] thinks too much when she has long expanses of time by herself... like on an airplane to Europe."

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

When it rains, it does so torrentially...

I don't imagine I will have time between now and Friday to post anything. But I also imagine my mom has checked this page about eighteen times since my last post, so I should post something. I don't have a lot of time to do anything right now because, well, because of who I am. I always take on more than I should. Because I believe I should wear purple elbow-length gloves and matching knee-high boots with my red cape. ICanDoIt Girl! She never says "no!" Even when she should!

On top of my commitments, I got sick, totaled the front end of my car, and still have to pack for Germany (not that I was not excited to do so, Mom, I just wanted to take a minute and enjoy that ritual of travel... evidently that is not happening). I have lots to do between now and when I board the plane in 34 hours and 23 minutes. Not that I am counting. I cannot wait to finally board the plane, settle into my seat, and snooze my way across the Atlantic.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Exploding Snot Monsters= Lot of Paperwork

All week I worked outside, killing bad plants and cutting down trees. I had a few days in which I just wanted to stay in bed with my down comforter covering my head. I have "allergies" again, creating me into a snot monster. And working this week only aggravated my condition.

I tried to take medicines to combat said allergies (ok, ok, fine. "headcold) but I had to monitor my medicinal intake to avoid being too loopy. I was working with tools that could seriously maim or kill in a matter of a few milliseconds, after all. On top of my lack of meds, I think my body ended up producing more icky stuff to combat all of the sawdust, dirt, and fumes that I inhaled over the last few days. My head feels like a bowling ball, solid and heavy, spinning furiously.

I hop on a plane for GERMANY in four days (but who is counting?) to visit my MOM and DAD! Woo! But I really need this headcold nonsense to clear out. I imagine the pressure from the cabin will compress everything in my head enough that my head explodes mid-flight. Right over the Atlantic Ocean. I also imagine an incident that will lead to lots of paperwork for the airline and I only want to help them out. Out of my consideration, I am loading up on whatever medicines I can find to clear this up while packing for my [super fun, awesome, amazing, can't-hardly-contain-myself] trip.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Observe the Kerf

In tree-falling, the term "kerf" refers to the space or hole that the chainsaw created. So when you slice into a tree and make the cut, that open cut is called the kerf. As you continue to work on the tree, the kerf will sometimes move (open up or close) and will let you know if the tree is about to go somewhere. In theory, the sawyer has cut in a manner to fell the tree where it needs to go. But that kerf will indicate if the sawyer needs to readjust or move out of the way (quickly). So the saywer's motto "observe the kerf," means a heckofalot for those working around the tree.

Today I felled my first tree. No, I did not yell "timber!" but I did have to yell "tree falling!" Not only was it my first time cutting down a tree (it was maybe about 10 inches wide and 40 feet tall), but it was the first time I used a chainsaw. ZSZCHRRZSRR! I sat through the classroom training yesterday about how to use/clean/maintain the chainsaw, the proper technique for felling trees, and what nasty wounds from chainsaws look like (yes, pictures on a PowerPoint). I believe they call that "instilling a healthy fear" of a tool that can theoretically take your life (doing a job that can also theoretically take your life). Today I got to go out and put my newly-learned knowledge to work.

I am not going to lie. I enjoy getting certified in stuff like this because I like being a walking contradiction. I will wear heels and pearls one day then [safely] mow down a tree the next. I appreciate the new layers of complexity that this creates in me. But even more than that, I am amazed at the science involved in this type of work. Who knew physics could be fun? From the fairly process of taking down a tree to the understanding of an ecosystem enough to manage it effectively, the knowledge base to work in these fields astounds me. I am grateful for the opportunities I have in my current job to experience these things.

Tomorrow I will fell some more trees and hopefully receive my "A" faller's certification (the first step). No worries, Mom and Dad. I will observe that kerf.