March 13

Tuesday on the way to work I wanted to photograph that picnic table in the river.  But when I got to that point of the bridge there was a car following fairly close behind me.  I couldn’t stop, so I held the camera up to the window, aimed by instinct and shot 3 frames in burst mode. 
Anyone for a picnic?

That evening I met Stacey in Hannibal for a big banquet.  It was the American Cancer Society at the Quality Inn.  There were a lot of people there, and I knew a few.  Incredibly, the guy who sat next to me was the doctor who had examined my ears a few weeks ago.

Wednesday in senior seminar we were goofing around before class.  One of the things I have learned to appreciate is sitting around talking with my students informally. 

Cameron Murkey looks good in my hat.  I don’t think I’ve had a nicer student in my life.  He last appeared here using a turbidity tube during stream team–it looked like he was peeing.

In the afternoon the plant field biology class went to the veteran’s home.  My students were goofing so much I thought we were going to get kicked out.  One guy, Brian, had in his notebook, “Brian smells like cat litter.”  It was written by Kristen, one of the Galapagos students.  We got a few laughs out of that.

They used to have bison in this corral, but now they have these exotic cattle.  This one was really mean, and would charge the fence when you got too close.  Made both me and Brian flinch.

Thursday I asked Kristin about writing in Brian’s notebook.  She said she always does that when he falls asleep in class.  Normally, she writes things like, “Wake up, dumb ass!”

Friday I hauled wood and ran errands in the morning.  I went down to work on the dune buggy for awhile.  When I backed out I ran over the telephone pole (which is laid down like a landscape timber) at the edge of my lot.  When I got home I heard the hissing and saw my right front tire going down. Sidewall damage!  I must have clipped one of the old car valves that hold the pole in place.   The tire was unfixable, but the warranty was still good.  My spare had a nasty bubble in it, so I had that replaced too. 

In the evening we took Bill and Betty Jo Lloyd out for a nice dinner, as it was Bill’s birthday.  Yum.  Stacey had been coughing all week.  She finally saw a doctor.  Walking pneumonia.  We got her prescriptions filled while we were in Quincy.

Saturday morning it was raining when I got up.  That changed to sleet then snow.  It snowed hard for most of the day, but it was too warm for it to stick.  I did odd jobs around the house and went to a faculty reception at QU in the afternoon. 

This house finch didn’t mind a little snow on her head.   Cardinals like sunflower seeds.

Sunday was warm and sunny, but I had to go to QU again.  I had several meetings with the visit team from the state.  Our School of Education is going through accreditation.  Since I’m the bio-ed guy, I’ve been involved in this process for a year or more.  This is the final step, and I’ll be glad when it’s over.  My program showcase was well received.

Monday I had a meeting about the next Galapagos trip.  We will probably do it a little differently next time, perhaps a boat-based tour.  Sure to be interesting.  I went to the pet store to get some aquatic plants that I always use in my Bio II lab.  For the first time ever, they were out.  I racked my brain a bit, then stopped at the grocery store and bought an onion.  It worked nearly as well, along with samples of various house plants I keep in the office.  I had hoped to stop by a friend’s place who was hosting a St. Patrick’s day party.  I was just going to say Hi and go, but I got a call that the kennel had blown over and Kane had gotten out.  When I got home I found that the kennel was more like pushed to one side.  There was a sizable dent in one chain link panel, and we couldn’t figure out how it got there.  There were no tracks or anything.  Somewhat mysterious.

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