05 June 2014 @ 07:17 pm

..or this one was, anyway.

Details of the funCollapse )

It was nice to be able to look stuff up in the books; as I had suspected, the guff about 'you won't have time to look everything up in the exam' was a complete lie, especially with the extra cross-referencing I'd added based on topics from past papers. I think I probably dropped too many marks in the rock ID to get a grade 1, but I think my grade 2 is solid.

And also, I can't think of a better way to have spent a sunny morning! (Am I wrong in the head?)

19 May 2014 @ 05:54 pm

Tally's conversation with her father did not perhaps entirely reassure him about her plans to head off into a war zone to do unspecified but important things.

Tally: Well, I don't really want you to be going out in a fleet of pirate ships to go into battle to raise the siege on Shimmer, but I know you have to. It's the same thing.
Drustan: But I'm not fifteen!
Tally: Neither am I! ...yet...

The impressive thing about that, and a number of similar exchanges, is that they were part of a deliberate (if mostly instinctive) strategy on Talisee's part to avoid having to tell her father that she had already been in three battles and killed someone.

For an open and honest girl, she's a terrifyingly good liar and manipulator.

11 May 2014 @ 10:29 am the name of an in-game raffle prize in the Flight Rising game I play. The prize pack includes a light unicorn, a blackened unicorn that's lost its magic, a chimera, a ruby ring and a silver pocketwatch.

And no explanation :)

Little things make me so happy...

05 May 2014 @ 12:28 pm
"Select from the key the two INCORRECT lists in which either or both of the first
two items are NOT components or features associated with a common form of
the rock type specified as the third item."

Do I get a mark for understanding the question?
02 April 2014 @ 07:53 am

Dying of overwork, but alive :)

SXG288 'Practical science: Earth and environment' is both hard work and frustrating as all heck (covering, as it does, no practical science or even statistics; just some fiddling with graphs in Excel). Still, I have high hopes for the residential; being as it is on the Northumbrian coast in late July. I could go for some learning about coastal processes right now. Maybe I could spend the day watching them up close. With some kind of cool alcoholic drink in hand...
S276 'Geology' is drawing to a close, with an exam in early June. I've really enjoyed this course; especially the third book, about fossils and sedimentary environments. Geology is just one great big detective investigation :)
S366 'Evolution' is wonderful and I want its little mutated babies. It's interesting, reading textbooks as a technical writer; you can appreciate them as only an expert in the same invisible skills can. I quite see why Futuyma's catchily-named Evolution is a standard. Plus, full of pretty pictures :)

Actual work is going slightly less well, and yes, probably due to some level of mental exhaustion from all the studying. I haven't dropped all the balls, but I know I'm not producing the kind of work I'm usually capable of. Of course, it doesn't help that there's work here for three writers.

And now I should stop putting off going to it :)

From a post I just made to the course forum for my 'Practical Geology' course:

"Plotting the lavas' Zr/Y to Zr ratio on a discrimination diagram indicates a trace element chemistry normally found in island arc basalts; island arcs are commonly associated with oceanic subduction zones, so this also indicates an oceanic subduction zone origin for the ophiolite.

Not that I have the faintest idea what Y and Zr actually represent, other than a slightly incompatible element and a slightly more incompatible element, nor why a simple Zr vs Y plot wouldn't have been just as good, but never mind, I'm apparently not here to understand things."

So far, this course has mainly seemed to involve watching a short video that explained a concept, following a set of instructions that obviously have some relationship to that concept but that never seem to explain quite what, and then attempting to build the results into a geological history using background information that appears in neither this course nor any of the others anyone has taken.

Bugger this, I'm off to write porn.
Current Mood: irritatedirritated
14 February 2014 @ 05:37 pm
...I just got 89% in the assessment that covers igneous and metamorphic rocks, with not a single incorrect answer (just a few missing details).

Of course, being good at something and liking something aren't quite as closely related as all my teachers used to hope :)
12 February 2014 @ 09:14 am
I'm enjoying this Evolution course so darn much. Did I make a mistake choosing geology? Should I have gone for biology after all?

...and if I had, would I even now be going 'I hate cell biology and biochemistry so darn much, I should have chosen geology'?

It's becoming clear to me that however much I'm interested in the processes of hard rock (mmm, volcanoes, mmm, continental drift) what I actually love is the geological puzzle of putting together places and critters and evolution.

Sigh. I haven't looked, but palaeontology has got to be the most oversubscribed discipline in the history of ever, right?

(ETA: so I've updated my future study plan to swap Understanding the Continents (aka Hard Rock) for Oceanography (which doesn't have a nickname but is apparently fearsome in its multidisciplinary nature). Given the different end dates, this was more complicated than you might think. But whereas I had begun to dread Hard Rock, I'm now really looking forwards to a bunch of cool environmental and biological stuff!)
I rather enjoy figuring out the geological history of an area from the geological map. But trying to figure out whether the Ramkin Basalt Dyke predates the Dearheart Basalt is just a little bit surreal.

(For those unfamiliar with OU terminology: TMA = Tutor Marked Assessment. Usually somewhere between 3 and 6 questions, each of which has somewhere between 3 and 8 subquestions. A true perfectionist can spent an entire evening on a single question...)
07 February 2014 @ 09:30 pm
Today I have mostly been dealing with the fact that my employers need at least two technical writers, and only have one. I am keenly aware of the things that are not getting done, I'm worried that my boss will look at me all reproachfully and Be Serious at me, and I'm simultaneously drowning just trying to keep up with the changes development have made to the codebase.

It's got to the stage where three separate people have come to me with concerns that I have Too Much To Do; sadly, none of them could think of a solution either.

At the same time, I have been exceptionally depressed by the other students on my Evolution course, some of whom are struggling to run the PARS application (for creating cladograms) because it requires a text file input and they don't know what a text file is.

And when they do know what a text file is they are completely incapable of following simple instructions like 'this consists of a ten-character (no more and no fewer!) name for the taxon, which may include blanks'.

I wonder what they'll do when they have to actually create their own files rather than just copying the one in the book?
18 January 2014 @ 11:53 pm

Apomorphies, synapomorphies, symplesiomorphies... cladograms, phylograms, phylogenetic trees... monophyletic, paraphyletic and polyphyletic groupings...

Seriously, I'm on, like, chapter two of Futuyma's Evolution and I'm drowning in vocab like I'm doing languages rather than science. Especially since I've also just started the fossils section of the geology course and thus started to become familiar with ambulacra and tubercles, umbones, pallial lines and pallial sinuses; you get the idea.

Why? Why? Whyyyyyyyyyyyy?

11 January 2014 @ 01:12 am

I have now returned from the Company Day.

As part of this, every department had to make a video introducing every member. Being me, I got a bit bored one afternoon and decided to introduce myself as 'the very model of a modern author technical' (with some truly appalling acts of butchery of the English language).

Read more...Collapse )

If only there were a career in hideous doggerel...

05 January 2014 @ 10:51 am

I have now written 11,000 words of Lifeblood-Zeitgeist crossover porn. I am unashamed.

...I am also not posting it to my LJ. If you're curious, email me :)

01 January 2014 @ 12:25 pm

My parents have three freezers. They are all full. And that's without looking too closely at the two fridges and all the shelves of non-chilled ingredients in the garage.

I am being sent home with a coolbox of frozen cake and home-made ready meals purely to clear them some storage space.

I am considering whether randomly rocking up one of these days with a whole bunch of hungry and thirsty friends would actually come as a mercy :)

28 December 2013 @ 10:52 am

Writing crossover RP porn is way more fun than I had expected.

"So," she said. "You know what I am, I know what you are. We're alone together in the middle of fucking nowhere and I'm betting you don't trust me any more than I trust you. So since neither of us is going to sleep I reckon that leaves poker or sex. And I didn't bring any cards."

26 December 2013 @ 11:19 pm

Hmm, that Red Devil (Red Leicester with chilli and crushed black pepper) is... perky.

Now, do I let myself be swayed by how nice that last slice tasted, or by how much my tongue now hurts?

26 December 2013 @ 02:26 pm

Yesterday I had First Christmas, the one with friends. There were fun presents (spending an hour or so opening and sorting a random set of clearance CCG cards fromchrestomancy is pretty much a Christmas tradition, though this year may have been the first year where anyone actually played the game after!), good food (great good gods how did we eat all those roast potatoes), and good company (guys, the whole 'I love you' thing wasn't just about the booze!).

Now I am home, and sleepy. Later, I may watch The West Wing, reread the rules of Strain (a game of competitive bioengineering), figure out what to display on my beautiful wooden chopping board (which is far too nice to actually use!), make my own key ring monster out of clay, and, well, all the good things that come post-Christmas, really.

But for now... night night...

23 December 2013 @ 08:21 pm

I have just returned from my local vet's mini Christmas party. This is where they close two hours early, make mulled wine, and enjoy home made mince pies, cider apple cakes, and general cheery conversation with their special clients.

I, of course, am so special that they gave up on getting hold of me by phone and left a note on each of my cats' records on the grounds that I'd probably be popping in for something soon enough.

It worked :)