Wednesday, May 13, 2015

A Return to Adventure

Today, I helped to tame a forest. Well, that may be a bit of an exaggeration.  But it felt like I was taming a forest. Instead it was ten years of growth for a dogwood shrub.  As a note, a dogwood shrub does not look much like a shrub after ten years. It looks like a series of very young trees.  The fact that they look like very young trees and not trees that are at least ten is likely why it is a type of shrub.

To give you an idea of the difference, well. The internet tells me that this is what a dogwood bush is supposed to look like.  It looks like the right variety at least, so I’ll go with that.

Alas.  This is halfway through hacking my way to the wall of the house.  If you will note, there is a large difference, and not just in the fact that the dogwood shrubs here are not yet flowering.  They do have buds though.  Also, if you look very closely, you may or may not see the bush that had been planted there before the dogwoods attacked.  It’s just right of the middle.

As for an update for what I’ve been doing since I last updated, well…first let me see when I last updated! I’m sure I have loads of stories.  I apologize for not updating of course, but it turns out college is a lot of work.  It’s at last one and a half jobs worth of work and a good three jobs worth of stress.

I appear, it seems, to have accidentally gone nearly a year without a post. If I am ever short of stories, I shall attempt to recall some adventure that happened this past year to tell you! I can tell you that I have had some adventures, though the past year has not led itself to the near constant adventure that was, in fact, living in Germany!

It was however, college for a year. For the most part, it has been tame, though not without its troubles. My mother’s mom, my grandmother, passed this year after a fight with cancer. Unfortunately, she lost, but given her age, it was almost to be expected.

There had been high points as well, including the gain of a pet! He’s terribly sickly though, so it’s been a small adventure to nurse him to health.  You see, I can’t just give Ivar the Boneless a pill.  He happens to be a fish you see, one who has had fin rot since I bought him. Fin rot, it turns out, is tricky to treat entirely because it may not be fin rot, but something else, so you basically try a series of medicine and see what works best.  Or at least, that’s how I ended up doing it.

It could just be that I really should have asked a more experience owner because my diagnostic methods sound like something from an episode of House.  As I am ridiculously proud of my very playful and friendly fish, you may all now gaze upon his wonder.  Seriously, this fish plays with lasers. You get to see him in an older picture before the fin rot was too bad, because I won’t be embarrassing my fish that way.  He is very sensitive and it’s a little disturbing.

If you look closely you can see that he has the beginning stages off in rot in this picture. That clearish bit on his tail is fin rot.  This is a fact I did not know at the time, but I do now.

However, I can sense you are very curious now as to why I was trimming bushes in a house when I am a college student thus do not, in fact, have a house. This is because I am spending the first half of my summer helping out my Dear settle into a house on his grandparents property that has not been occupied in around ten years.  Ten years is a very long time for a house to not be occupied, you see, and it results in things like, say, dogwood bushes attempting to create their own forest.  If you are wondering who my Dear is, well, I mentioned him in an earlier blog…and I can tell you the rest later.

Half a summer is, perhaps, a bit too long to get this place up to snuff, given the sheer amount of work put into it before I came, but it means I’ll also have time to relax and unwind some from my college courses. This is just what the doctor didn’t order, but strongly recommended because ‘I can’t make you do anything.’ Or rather, she insisted I take a vacation sometime soon, but this is practically a vacation given that I am not currently studying.  I’m giving myself a good two weeks off of studying.

As for the second half of my summer, well, I never could resist a good adventure, and an adventure in the form of a scholarship opened itself up very widely for me, so I took the leap! The second half of summer, I will be a part of the Joint Space Weather Summer Camp. Being as how you don’t know what that is, unless you do of course, I shall endeavor to explain! Or rather, I shall copy-paste their description because that’s plenty good enough, don’t you think?

 The Joint Space Weather Summer Camp (JSWSC) is an opportunity to learn about space physics in the context of meeting a very practical need -- to understand the influence of the Sun on the space and upper atmosphere of the Earth and its related impact on the technological systems and needs of modern society. This is a new, exciting, and emerging discipline called Space Weather, that has attracted the attention of the White House and senior leaders in government because of the importance of ensuring that our technological investments are properly protected against severe Space Weather.
About twenty students from UAH and from a variety of universities and research centers across Germany participate in a multiple week series of lectures, hands-on projects and experiments and excursions as they learn both the theoretical underpinnings and practical applications of Space Weather and solar and space physics.

It boils down to a scholarship for a single, specific, course and a trip to Germany for two weeks!  Hurrah! I will return to Germany! But only for two weeks, and much of the day I will be in class, as far as my understanding goes.  That doesn’t mean adventures will not occur.  I am one with adventure. Adventures are one with me!  Besides, if you look at it just so, anything is an adventure.

You all get told more next week!

One Final Byte: Adventures are more viewpoint than series of events.