Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Today was another fairly boring one mired in various administrative malarkey and some rather uncomfortable shenanigans. It did, however, end well.

The first half of the day was spent getting passwords in order (again), studying for my driver's test (again), connecting to the Forest Service network (again), and reading more literature (again). After lunch, Ian had me try on a wetsuit and drysuit he brought for me. I went down to the empty warehouse to change and see what was what. This turned out to be not such a great idea. The outside temperature was somewhere near 80 degrees and inside the warehouse was even hotter, so struggling into what later turned out to be women's large wetsuit and a rather sticky nylon drysuit was less than comfortable. After much effort, I eventually got the wetsuit up over my shoulders, but couldn't zip up the back zipper. I was almost rather pleased with myself because it appeared that my shoulders were just too wide for this puny wetsuit made for the most average of weaklings. Later, Ian informed me that it was likely a women's suit and that a rather small lady had used it a couple of summers ago. Oh well. The drysuit fit and I also got to show off some expertise when I informed Ian of the dry cracking on the gaskets, what this could lead to, and how proper care could avoid such things. But when I say drysuit, I don't want you to think that I am being spoiled here. These are nylon suits with rubber booties. Rubber booties, people! The same material that the gaskets are made of; you have to squeeze your foot into. And if you if you don't wear a long sleeve shirt and leggings underneath (as I did not later), it's like wearing a rain shell with no shirt on. Sticky, clamy, ichy.

Anyway, we went to the base of the dam to "try out" the drysuit (aka get out of the office) and hopefully get a peek at the spawning salmon via snorkeling carefully above the redds (their nest sites). From above, the water seemed clear and we could see dozens of salmon spawning. In the water, the clarity was surprisingly negligible. We didn't see any fish mostly because they knew we were there and spooked easily. The water was freezing (I think Ian said around 46 degrees)!. I had no layers under my drysuit and no gloves, so I was chilled, but we weren't in for too long. When we got back to the office, I did some data entry for a creel survey they conducted earlier this year. Awesome? Not really.

Note of interest: John (whom I mentioned earlier) said he saw an aerial battle between a golden eagle and a red tail over the reservoir. I wish I had seen that... He called it a "dogfight" and likened it to a b-52 fighting an f-16. There's some weird people in Oregon.

After work, I went to Ashland (about 45 minutes away) to play some pickup ultimate and do a little shopping. It was great to play and I knew a lot of the people there. I played with a bunch of Ashland folks last year at club coed sectionals and regionals. It was fun to play and be around like-minded people and they all seemed genuinely happy I was their and were very welcoming. When pickup was over, I went and got a burrito (Senor Sam's - typical Oregon fare) and then on to a store Ian turned me onto called the Shop 'n' Kart. Aside from the terrible choice in name, it was awesome. It was like the Arcata Co-op, Murphy's Market (an Arcata supermarket), and Fiesta (a Sebastopol supermarket) all wrapped into one. Except much cheaper. I, of course, ended up spending entirely too much.

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