Friday, August 31, 2007

Gelatinous Orange Creature of the Sea

Ok Folks I know you've been waiting on pins and needles for me to post the video of the gelatinous orange sea creature I found washed ashore on Sanibel Island. He is in a blue bucket full of sea water sitting on a table - so all the movement is some sort of gelatinous orange sea creature jazzersize - no current in the water. Well here he is:

Twenty guesses as to what exactly he is. I've already ruled out various jellyfish and sea cucumbers and slugs. Perhaps he's undiscovered...doubtful...but what if, right? So let's play name that sea creature! I think Orangicanus Squishalopticus has a nice ring, maybe Larry for short.


Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Sanibel Island Redux

Wo. Its almost been 10 days since my last post. I know I know - shame on me. I had all these good intentions on hopping on and posting the other half of the Sanibel photos right after I got home - but playing catch-up from all that wonderful relaxing has taken a while. Now I have new and neglected projects surfacing all over the place and all I hear is the clock doing a double-time tick-tick-tick.

I have a short video of an oddly cool ocean critter that washed up on shore that I will post later. (I can already hear Laura, Joy and AM's "Ewwww! s") Him/Her/It doesn't fit into the category of any jelly fish that I could find - nor sea cucumbers either. So if anyone has even a remote guess - please let me know! For now here's a still shot of Orange gelatinous sea creature of Sanibel Island:

Everything - even storms - are beautiful at the beach, the sand even gets caught in that eerie blue/gray hue and you can see the rain add water to the salty sea.

We did drive into Ft. Myer's to see Edison's Winter residence and lab. I learned that we have Edison's rubber production experiments during WWII to thank for the 2nd largest Banyan (Ficus benghalensis) tree in the world. Planted in 1925 from a 4 foot cutting it now covers about 400 feet! I SO want to grow one of these!

Edison's lab - everything is pretty much in its original state with all the cool equipment, beakers and chemicals jars still out on the tables.

There was also a small museum attached to the grounds/gardens/lab. They had these fantastic light bulbs that had been manufactured specifically for the anniversary of the light bulb. Hmmm... I wonder if I could get one of these helmet mounted?

Coconuts, some building materials, a few plastic items (that I picked up to throw away) driftwood and this broken crab trap were among some of the items to wash up on shore. This crab trap was literally teeming with life. There were little red-clawed shrimp, tiny crabs, brightly colored sponges. Paul and I manged to rescue the visible shrimp and tiny crabs before the trap was picked over by the seagulls.

As I said before a lot of things washed up on shore....

My Mom helped us sort through handfuls of shells for the pretties - like the nice one (center) in the very first picture. She's so cute.

This is by far one of the most interesting shots I took. I took about 7 of these - right on the ground - with various ranges of focus - some more on the shells, some more on Paul. I really like this one because its right in between. Its like you've just looked up and are beginning to focus on the figure walking down the beach. And the sky's subtle rainbow as day turns into night really makes it moody.

Sanibel already feels like a distant dream.

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Monday, August 20, 2007

Coolest "caving gear" ever!

Very rarely do I truly get excited about clothing. I am not a heavy-duty clothes shopper. I don't often look unless I have something specific to hunt for. Enter Libertine.

We were walking up to the check-out line at Target this evening and I happened to glance back at a rack and caught site of... are those bat wings? I completely freaked! I was truly excited. And there was no way i was walking out without owning bat pants. I got the groceries and Paul bought the shorts for me. (bonus cool points for Paul) Wild thing is they aren't even a Halloween item. (There were some Halloween shirts already out - this is August, right?) I am WAY stoked about my totally sweet shorts with green screen-printed bats!!!

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Thursday, August 16, 2007

Sanibel Island

Caving in Florida? Not quite the cave, but its the thought that counts, right?

Sunrise on the Ocean

Paul on our boardwalk over to the beach

A Sandy Sunset

Three little shells all in a row, washed up just so.

The Sanibel Lighthouse. There are two geocaches here actually.

Seagrapes, Paul and little Mom. There are some lovely little shops on the island - MacIntosh Books, Three Crafty Ladies & Suncatchers have been my favs so far. There are no McDonalds, no Wal-Marts, no billboards and the preferred mode of travel seems to be bicycles or boat.

This little guy was hiding in a piece of PVC that had washed up on shore. I picked it up to throw it away (along with various other plastic junk) and discovered him hiding amongst the tiny barnicles. We've seen a few more of his size clinging to pieces of seaweed and a few larger ones on the sandbar. At low tide the other day we went out to the sandbar that had all of 2 inches of water covering it and were surprised to see huge live Welks and some huge sandollars, which we placed farther out so they wouldn't get stepped on.

Me after lunch at the Mucky Duck on Captiva Island.


A Very Happy (early) Day!

Happy Birthday Paul!

I love you!
(I'm pretty sure he likes his new toys for his GPS!)


Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Holy Huge Carrot Batman!

So I was pulling a few of the fun little round carrots up from the garden when I started tugging on this puppy.... Holy HUGE carrot Batman! That's Paul's hand - and the carrot dwarfs it! I'm trying to figure out what happened? Mutant carrot genes? A patch of extra potent fertilizer that landed only on it? The Orange Carrot Fairy decided to grant this carrot's wish of possible world domination? (Glad I caught it before it grew legs!) Or perhaps its as simple as the first seed to germinate, plenty of water and sunshine?

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Friday, August 03, 2007

A Thriller

Don't know what's more scary - thinking the "girl" was actually a real chick at first or the whole bit of prisoners performing a Michael Jackson song - and them actually being good! Either way its worth a gander.


The Morgue, Two Weekends in a Row

I've been helping survey Fern Cave on monthly trips that fall between the Grotto's scheduled horizontal and vertical trips. The going is slow, but during a survey you really can't be in a rush or you won't do it properly. I think we're making really good progress each month. Because of scheduling conflicts over July and August we moved the surveying weekend to last weekend and this weekend - so its been the Morgue section of Fern for two weekends in a row. I swear that mountain keeps getting a little bit taller each time we do that hike.

Last Saturday Steve, Jimmy, JR and I surveyed, tying in from a permanent station in the Bottom cave, up the 74ft Canyon. It takes lots of guano, and a few decomposing bats and couple of hours, to get down to the Bottom Cave from the Morgue entrance. This Saturday's survey will bring us closer to joining a rather large loop connecting the West Room/Johnston to the Bottom Cave/Morgue via the breakdown maze and 74 ft canyon. Here's a goofy photo of me courtesy of Jimmy of last Saturday's survey trip...

You're (especially you non-cavers) probably going to ask me why the heck I have the end of my ponytail making a mustache while preparing to drop a pit? Well, the pit is called Mustache Pit - because its a "Hairy Lip;" 1. Because the very undercut lip is hard to get over and 2. Because there's a rock (maybe 600lbs or so) that's wedged between the wall and the rock that is the lip, and if you push on it, it kind of wobbles back and forth. There've been quite a few attempts to remove the eerie rock (including Torosion), but its so well wedged no one has been able to dislodge it. You can see it on the right hand side of the photo - starting where my left hand is holding my tied-off rack all the way up to the top of my helmet.


Wednesday, August 01, 2007

The Grand Undergarment Pyramid and the Mystery of the Disappearing Slip

Ever and anon girls, young ladies and women have worn various undergarments in some form or fashion. For guys the choices are much less taxing and underwhelming. Boxers or briefs right? - and maybe an undershirt - either a wife-beater (sleeveless undershirt) or one with sleeves. Anyone know of any other guy items? For gals the range, choice and variety is as varied as regular clothing. Hence I have developed an undergarment pecking order of sorts:

The Grand Undergarment Pyramid

1. Daily
Items that are worn every day for the vast majority of the western world.
The very basic undergarments consist a bra and underwear (panties).

2. Dress-Up
Added to those two basic necessities would be gear for a more
dress-up occasion: a slip, camisole and either pantie hose,
or (old fashioned yet way sexier than panty hose)
a garter belt and hose.

3. Damn Girl - You're Hot!
(otherwise known as the Jedi Underwear Master)
The third tier in the undergarment hierarchy includes the realm of superfluous lingerie - the vast majority of which I deem to be rather ridiculously priced (the more you pay the less actual clothing you get), uncomfortable and obviously contrived by some sort of fantastical dream of what the perfect female form should be (ie. anorexic supermodel type). I do understand these items are not designed for comfort, seeing as how they are only meant to be worn for a maximum of 5-10 minutes, or until the male that she wore said
"Damn Girl - You're Hot" item for pounces.

Now don't get me wrong I'm not saying lingerie is a bad thing at all, its just that items in the #2 "Dress-Up" category are of higher value because they are worn more often than the items in the #3 "Damn Girl, You're Hot!" category. Unless of course you are a Victoria's Secret model who only packed items from the "Damn, You're Hot" category and your on the latest photo shoot in some exotic locale rolling around in the sand in your fancy pants, pouting because its supposed to look sexy.

My point? I'm really getting to one here...
The plain old regular #2 tier Slip is disappearing from stores everywhere! I tried to find one a couple weeks ago and found to my dismay none of the normal department stores (JCPenny, Dillards, Parisian, Belk Lindsey, etc.) carry them anymore. You have to order them from a catalog! Even when I inquired the gals in the underwear department were just as perplexed as I was - "We used to carry them but now they're only in the catalog;" a few even said that they'd had multiple people asking for them. So why are slips disappearing from stores? I suspect this is a Victoria's Secret conspiracy to force you into buying a $40 or $50 dollar #3 tier slip that's barely too long or way too short or with itchy lace all over it. Its either that or Nargles.

A slip is really a wonderful thing. They feel nice between you and various itchy fabrics of skirts and dresses, they should run you about $15, they come in ALL different lengths for all sorts of short and long dresses and skirts, they help curb static electricity (even if you use dryer sheets) and most importantly if your white linen skirt is not lined the whole world doesn't have to look straight through it! I know its been a hot summer gals but for crying out load - Get a slip people! Perhaps you want to show off your #3 tier underwear that somehow - through perseverance of mind you've been able to handle the uncomfortable butt-floss wedgie its giving you - but i don't want to KNOW you've managed to become a Jedi Underwear Master.

'Nough said. I am now gracefully stepping down from my "Get a Slip!" soapbox.