Saturday, December 29, 2007

Two turntables, Steve and Kate.


Kate and I had a blast last night. Finally some time to play, and we spun records until the wee hours. And then goofed off all day today (including making this video from still photos.) It's been a long time.

Not sure how well this Blogger video works, we'll see.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Running on fumes this week.

Here are Kate and my Mom Greta, who I brought up from northern Arkansas early this week. They're having a great time, and love each other so much. Kate's such a good daughter-in-law (and spouse).

I managed to get a video up on YouTube in prep for our grant proposal. It's a nice one--an aerial sequence on which we spent a lot of time in 2005--showing remeandering of a channelized north Missouri river over about 30 years.

I've been working day and night on the proposal, and I think we got all but one tentacle of the big octopus pinned down today--lots of good cooperation and thinking at LRRD today.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Pre-Christmas Carbondale Saturday fun.

Aside from work on my grant proposal, we hiked around the big Cedar Lake dam structures south of Carbondale with Kate's sister's family and the amazing Karen Renzaglia, lichen and fern expert. We had a blast and here are photos (and dumb Forest Service fences and signs).

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Writing, researching and Dr. Mumba

Our work is visually boring this week--grant writing. Calls and emails to collaborators, questions of formating and style, of goals and objectives and budgets and timelines and personalities that we have to put down in brutally logical prose.

A delightful and very smart man, Frackson Mumba, an SIUC professor in Education, met with us for over two hours today to help, and helped immensely. We thank you, Dr. Mumba.

Wish us luck, this is exciting. And I'm amazed and the fascinating people we have here in southern Illinois.

And here's a link that is visually interesting, showing some impossible things like those we hope to do, especially over the next few weeks.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Our first national ad; hard work on a grant proposal.

Our first big journal ad, in GSA Today, is out. It's a publication of the Geological Society of America, for you biological types. And with some very nice placement among all the year's star reviewers. Here's GSA's PDF version.

Can't talk about the details of our grant proposal, but it's big and exciting. We're working with a few profs at SIUC, along with UC-Berkeley, University of Illinois, and a couple of others.

I couldn't be prouder of the people at LRRD. We're working very well together.

And on Friday we discovered a huge opportunity for some work with a Minnesota college on our Em4, the 4-meter long version of the Emriver we're developing.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Nice snow in Carbondale, dog needs a home.

Kate and I had fun at Hangar 9 last night listening to these crazy people.

I was reminded of Elvis Costello, Patti Smith, Earl Scruggs, Chris Whitley. And with none of the positive stuff, just a driving chunka chunka bluegrassy beat, happy danceable songs about crystal meth addiction. We had a blast, really.

And it snowed like crazy last night while we partied, and today was beautiful. I spent it all working, except for taking these photos. We're adopting out the little guy you see here because, being a terrier, he keeps challenging JaJa (the 110 pound dog above) for pack order.

Last week his terrier politics resulted in two near-death experiences and his little rescued behind needs to find a new home.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Crazy good week, thanks LRRD peeps.

Crazy busy, mostly because of a grant proposal due in January. A big one. Here Cara's laying it down in our lab for Harvey Henson, an SIUC collaborator.

Our recent video work (here's a frame) is going to be important. There's nothing else like it anywhere as far as we know.

Last, a screwdriver, switches, and soldering iron migrating upstream on Jesse's bench.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Much rain, much work.

My home-based gauge has caught over 3 inches in the last three days. I don't think it ever quit yesterday.

Cara, Dayna and I have been cranking on some grant/research opportunities. Very exciting, but involving a lot of what you can see Cara doing here, not really fun.

Let that be a lesson to you aspiring environmental scientists. That's her new craigslist desk, by the way.

We're getting Emriver inquiries from our marketing, and Jesse and Barrett packed up a couple today in anticipation.

Hard to believe that out place was still empty less than three months ago. Here's Jesse as we were finishing the cleanup in mid-September (Jesse here on 9/14).

Saturday, December 8, 2007

A fun sarcastic Carbondale Saturday.

A gray, drizzly day in Carbondale. Here's Kate with with Elaine, manager of the Long Branch.

Which we're now calling the "Wrong Branch" because we had fun being viscous, mean jokers today.

We had so much fun I forgot to take pictures.

We needed a few kitchen things and stuff for work, I swear, it's all on sale, so we shopped and had a great time making fun of the stores and the junk in them.

Our best overheard line, at Kohl's, was "I could shop anywhere." Spoken proudly as in "Give me $5 in the most rundown strip mall in southeastern Oklahoma and I'll have a good time spending it."

And we mocked the woman in Carbondale's Kaleidescope (which we highly recommend) roaming the store with her cell phone loudly describing items for some remote gift buyer. "OK, IT'S THIS BLUE CERAMIC THING AND..."

And if you want to see maximum Chinese product-American consumer interaction, it's hard to beat Hobby Lobby.

Where we bought the white and green lights we hung in the windows of 514 East Main while listening to very loud pagan funk music. Fun.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Everybody's safe, don't worry.

But a bomb in our humble office today would've done big damage to river science.

These SIUC faculty met with us today to talk about collaborative work.

That's Nicholas Pinter (Geology) at left, and (clockwise), Matt Whiles (Zoology), our Cara Bergschneider and Dayna Conner; then Jim Garvey (Fisheries), and the striped Karl Williard (Forestry).

An admirable group, both as scientists and people, and I'm honored they want to work with us. I can't go into detail on what we're working on--secret for now.

Cara did a fantastic job of researching grant opportunities and running the meeting.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Hard work and pretty summer fish.

We've been cranking at LRRD this week. On getting the Emriver word out there (the website's buzzing) and also on research collaboration with SIUC scientists.

I'm Mr. Stomach Flu through all this, so all you're getting is this underwater view of some shiners in the Ozarks in June. Wish I could go there with my snorkel and watch them every day.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

River gravel mining video with audio narration.

We've made around fifty video clips using the Emriver model and our 2D flume. None have audio.

I spent a few hours this Sunday adding narration to this one, a first for all the clips we've done.

What do you think? Anonymous comments are welcome--they're enabled on this blog.

Better quality video here, but a 34mb download, at

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Gift shopping in Carbondale and pro-Bush hooligans.

Kate and I went to the alternative gift fair at SIUC today and bought gifts for our loved ones. We bought beautiful things from the people who made them.

Aside from our other artist friends, we found Karen Linduska, who does some of the most beautiful art I've ever seen--she starts with pure white cotton and paints, dyes and sews in a very complex process. Her website's not up yet, but it will be

And Bill Davis, another local who uses layering and color photocopies (no computer) and transparencies to make very complex pieces. The four-framed image reminds me of mathematical chaos, which rules a lot of the river processes I study.

On the drive home my bumper sticker provoked a couple of drunken undergrads to harass us with yelling, bird flipping and finally pulling in front of us and braking. "We love Bush," they yelled. Not enough to enlist, apparently.