rik-rat corn pile

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

First Place Blue Ribbon.

Hooray!  I received a first place in the 2012 Iowa Area Artists Show.  Now I move on to state!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Jane Battles the Storm.

I don't know what I was thinking...perhaps it was something like, "I'll just drive home Saturday night so I'll have all of Sunday to relax and drink a light beer of some sort." I knew there was a storm headed for South Central Iowa and I knew that the meteorologists were predicting a doozy.  Maybe it's good that I have no sense of impending doom but I'm pretty sure that it's not.  To drive or not to drive?

Ok.  Getting the story started.  I left the party in Darien at about 6:30 which would put me at my house in Iowa around 11:45pm, give or take a bathroom break or two.  I hopped in the Honda, took a glug of coffee, and was on my merry way.  My mother called two hours into the drive to tell me about the big storm.  The point she tried to drive home?

"get a hotel you idiot.  i've heard there's hail."

Of course I didn't listen, she's my mother.  But I was getting close to the World's Largest Truck Stop and decided to pull over to hear what all the truck drivers were talking about.  Once again, I'm an idiot...real truck drivers don't go to tourist traps, they go to the Flying J.  I had to ask the 17 year old in charge of the cigarettes for her thoughts on the storm.  Yeah, bad idea.  I received a vacant stare followed by a "I haven't heard a thing."

That was good enough for me.  I ran to the smashed penny machine and was delighted to find out that the tourist trap had two new designs.  Way to be, Iowa Truck Stop.  Then I left...unafraid of the impending storm.
 I should have been afraid as I drove west on I-80 and into the lighting.  I should have been afraid when I heard the thunder clapping after 1-mississippi, 2- Mississippi.  And I should have been especially afraid when I realized there were only a handful of us idiots left driving on the road.  The sky opened up.  I've never seen anything like it in my life...sheets of rain, nothing but rain.  I lost any kind of visual besides wavy red lights in front of me.  Then hazard lights.  Then lights pulling off to the side of the road...and I'm one of those lights.  

I put my car into park and prepared to hunker down.  Before I could figure out what was going on I went blind and deaf.  Lighting struck the middle of the road half a mile in front of me.  Then the thunder clapped above my head and it felt like I was punched in the chest.  I tried to recover but was blinded again, this time closer and to my right.  Lightning was hitting left and right, thunder booming, booming, booming.  I was in shock. 

If I wrote about everything that happened this post would be far too long to keep your interest.  I'm shocked if you're still reading.  I got out safe.  The storm only lasted about 30 minutes but caused devastation throughout Iowa.  75 % of a town was damaged and there were a few tornadoes.  I was so fuzzy from the storm I drove 25 miles in the wrong direction and tacked an hour onto my trip.  I was home by 1:30 am.  Moral of the story:  When your mother tells you to get a hotel room DO IT!  Don't think you're more clever then nature, damnit.  You'll lose every time.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Mudd. Doggy age progression.

This is the day we brought Mudd home.  Approximately one year ago, today. 2011

Mudd when his ears were still floppy but were about to stand up.  2011
Mudd as a confidant, young man.  2012.
Isn't it amazing?  Look how big ol' Mudd has gotten in one year. 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

pyrite in iowa. fool's gold.

 1.  I've been finding a lot of Fool's gold. The camp ground I frequent has been freshly paved with limestone rocks. Most limestone contain sand and other substances like as quartz, pyrite and clay minerals (source, ehow.com).  So, you find limestone...you might find fool's gold.

 2.    I'm enjoying the structure of  pyrite, it's very cube-like. Here's an image pulled from the net that exemplifies its cube-like quality .  This is the kind of F.G  I'd like to find.
3.  But this is what I always find.  I just have to figure out a way to dissolve the limestone so I can see what the structure of the pyrite looks like.  I'll bet vinegar would do the trick.

So, keep your eyes peeled, folks.  Pyrite is easily found...not to mention satisfying to find.  Just look for a neighbor that has a limestone driveway.  When they're not looking, dig through the rocks and you just might find some worthless/yet totally cool minerals. 

Monday, April 9, 2012

fossil find.

I was very happy to have a three day weekend.  I feel it was well deserved.  So, what did I do with all my extra time?  I took some naps, I painted for over 12 hours (all together, whoopee!), and I managed to get some exercise.

I also found a few things.  I found a couple broken artifacts (they didn't photograph well so I won't be blessing your eyes with their presence), they were pretty cool but also very broken.

My find of the weekend was this creepy fossil rock.  Something about it reminds me of a spooky beehive.  If you look inside the rock holes you can see that some of the holes have other fossilized materials inside.  My guess, a very river worn piece of coral.

Any other guesses?  I'll probably send the image to the fossil forum website.  They'll know what it is.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

house sparrow?

A small bird is making a nest inside the skull cavity of my cow skull.  It's fun to watch him and his girlfriend feverishly gather dried grass to make a baby bird cradle.  Very impressive, birds.  Keep up the good work.

Monday, April 2, 2012

a good weekend for hunting!

 1.  I found a bunch of broken Native American Pottery.  If you look close at the pieces on the right you can make out ornamentation.
 2.  Look at all these flint chips.  By the end of the summer I'll have enough to tile my bathroom floor.  Or make a mosaic.
 3.  Here's a few of the broken pieces we found.  Notice the nap marks on each piece.
4.  And the best part of the day?  I found a perfect turtle back scraper.  Not too shabby for 5 hours of hunting.