Michele: Why the long hiatus in Cassowary Tales postings? I had a huge work crunch and this overlapped with a trip to Townsville for a presentation at the SGA 2009 meeting. SGA stands for the Society of Geology Applied to Mineral Deposits. Obvious, no? This is an international meeting that gathers every two years. This year's meeting was in Townsville just 2.5 hours drive from Mission Beach. I'm not an economic geologist but I figured 'Heck, I'll be in the neighborhood why not go?'. While getting my abstract ready 6 months ago I started realizing that ore deposits folks care a lot about fractures in rock, just as I do so it turns out that this match is no mismatch. My talk was well received and I'm looking forward to learning more about mezothermal gold deposits. If you are remotely curious about damage created adjacent to faults during earthquake rupture, you can see some of the movies of the models that Heather Savage and I made (http://www.geo.umass.edu/faculty/cooke/topics/damage.html).
Since I'm blathering on a lot about work in this posting I figured I will share with you a photo of my office while down under. Desk and chair are borrowed from uncle Larry (thanks!!) the second monitor on the right I got for $10 at a garage sale one block over. I have my laptop and my new Dell Precision workstation that Tom Carpenter helped me load with Linux Ubuntu before I left. This is the same one the went to 38 Mitchell Street when we thought we lived there. I named my workstation Wongaling after the next town over. Over the past month, I've had Wongaling running lots of models for me. When they see the black monitor screen full of numbers the kids remark "Oh you are making the computer do things for you aren't you?". I've actually been working pretty hard since arriving here. While the kids have been at school I've been revising papers, running models and working on the technical program for the upcoming Geological Society of America meeting in Portland in October. Oh and blogging! :-)
Gavin's office is downstairs poolside. He definitely has the better view (see photo) but it comes at the price of hot sun in the mornings. We took a roll of brown craft paper and hung sheets over the windows as curtains. The kids have decorated the sheets to look nicer. Gavin has spent a lot of time figuring out logistical things like how to get an Aussie driver's license and how to get his Aussie passport renewed. His old passport is somewhere in our Amherst house, Doh! He has also started working on projects for the new Start Up he's involved in.
Tomorrow my mom and step dad, Phil arrive. On Tuesday, Gavin's mum arrives and we will be doing lots of holiday things with them for the next three weeks. Our Cassowary Tales postings will feature lots of classic far north Queensland activities... stay tuned!