Showing posts from March, 2007

Random notes

Yeaps, I've been a little too busy these days to update my blog very much. But I've been uploading my photos! They're now on the Multiply site, as I ran out of space on Flickr-

Saw two deer on the access road to CMS yesterday morning. Though many people regard deer as pests that are wiping out native plant populations, it was still a treat to see them so close without a fence in between.

What else? Hmmm.... I've been really glad that I visited an Asian hypermart when I went to Berkeley, and bought a whole lot of preserved vegetables! Stir-fried some pickled radish with garlic, tofu and hot sauce yesterday, and it was yummy!

Alright, gotta grab some brunch now, and head off to campus soon. Joining the Discover Outdoor Club for an afternoon of kayaking on the Black River. Hope the weather stays sunny!

Sunday morning fun with Bird banding

What could possess a right thnking person to leave the warm comforts of a bed at 5.30am on a cold and windy Sunday morning to venture outdoors? So I ruefully left my warm abode to join Adriane and pals on a bird banding trip. Yup, you heard right. Despite my numerous jibes at twitche..urm...birders all this time, some feathered fiends were actually depriving me of much needed sleep, and driving me into the merciless chill.

This is the fiend in question. One of the three species of marsh sparrows Adriane was studying for her MS thesis. This one was the seaside sparrow, characterized by yellow bands on the head. Tiny creatures- they only weighed around 13g.

Something I haven't seen for a long time- an actual sunrise, haha

BTW, the water looks deceptively calm and inviting doesn't it? Well, it was BLOODY cold!! It was -2 degC in Wilmington, and that's not counting the wind chill as we zipped along the intracoastal waterway in an unsheltered boat. I thought it was spring already…

E.O. Wilson Live

Attended a talk by EO Wilson today. Yup, the same second named one of the MacArthur and Wilson Theory of Island Biogeography. The ecology fangirl in me gave a little squeal when the talk was first announced. Remarkably, the 700-seat Kenan Auditorium was filled to capacity today, and for a talk by a biologist!

He kicked off with a hypothetical letter to a religious leader, asking for reconciliation between science and religion, in order to protect creation. What creation? Biodiversity of course! All that live and roam on this Earth.

"Where is biodiversity? It's everywhere!" From the peak of Everest to the depths of the deepest ocean; more bacteria thrive within a handful of soil than there are people in Singapore.

I guess we didn't gain any deep insight or startling new knowledge from the talk and discussion, but it's just inspiring to see this person, who shaped the early research into metapopulation ecology and social biology, share his anecdotes and his musings on…

Cherry blossom time!

Spring is here! Finally went out in shorts today into the brilliant sunshine. Nice to see the abundance of pink blossoms upon my return to Wilmington as well.

A long awaited meeting after eight years

Warning: This post is going to be pretty Aikido-intensive and technical. Read at your own risk!

One of the highlights of coming to Berkeley for my exchange semester in Spring 1999 was the opportunity to train with Pietro Maida Sensei at the Ki No Kenyukai dojo. It says something about his teaching when his words still resonates so strongly with me even after 8 years. I get asked pretty often what the differences are between practitioners of various Aikido schools like Ki Society and Aikikai, and while officially, there are some broad strokes that led to the founder of that particular school breaking off and starting something on his/her own, in my humble half-baked potato opinion, most times you can't really tell, and it depends on a lot on the instructor of the dojo and what he/she wants to teach you.

So managed to find out the new location of the dojo, thanked my lucky stars that there was public transportation there, and was surprised and very very happy that Sensei still remembe…

North Face is my downfall...

So here I am in California, kinda hanging loose and bumming around in Berkeley. Then I had to pick up some free newspapers to see what's on around here. And saw that the North Face outlet store was having a sale! Long story short, I went in to look-see and came out with a Goretex XCR jacket! In bright yellow with reflective strips no less. Kinda stayed away from browsing REI after that. But it is a very good price for a XCR jacket, and I'm pretty excited about using it soon. Will post pics in a bit!

Iaido demos

Some videos of a recent demonstration on Feb 17th (yup CNY eve) by the dojo I'm currently training at- the Garden of the Spring Wind Dojo in Wilmington, NC. No aikido videos cos I was too busy demo-ing as well!

California Dreamin'!!

So I don't get to dive Florida, but I'm headed to San Francisco and Berkeley tomorrow! I have spring break after all, haha. Visiting old friends and familiar places, and hopefully, I'll get to train with Maida Sensei at the Ki Society dojo again. Am so excited! Can hardly wait :)

Well, we did get to Wrightsville Beach...

Looks like the Florida trip didn't pan out after all- was met by unexpectedly sombre faces at 6am this morning, and it turns out that there's a small craft advisory for Key Largo tomorrow afternoon, and possibly high waves on Monday, maybe even Tuesday morning. Since Tim needed at least 5 days worth of larval collection, and it didn't make sense to drive all the way down just to sit at the NURC base, it was decided, after a discussion with the boss, to postpone the trip till May :( , and we might even go earlier in May to get all the stuff we wanted to do worked out. Means that I might spend close 1 1/2 months away from Wilmington! Gosh.

So we had a two hour breakfast at McDonald's going over options, waiting for the latest weather updates, and generally chatting like we had too much time on our hands...then headed to Wrightsville Beach as Tim had to get his housekey from his gf working there. Didn't go for a swim, but it was nice to see the sea at least.

Off to Florida

Just finished my Oceanography midterm, lab proposal and population matrix presentation...Phew, what a week! Spring break starts tomorrow and I'm off to Key Largo! Nope, it's not what you think, unfortunately...No 'girls gone wild' type of scenario, will be embarking on fieldwork with my labbies, and hopefully, will see that my sponge transplants are alive and well.

So...keeping my fingers crossed for a tornado-less journey down south, and waves less than 5 feet high in the week to come!