This Month in Awkwardness

Hurricane Matthew blustered at us a little bit on this side of the state, but not much.  I actually went to the zoo the day after it made landfall since it was overcast & relatively cool.  They have two baby orangutans right now & they’re pretty cute, plus it was all decorated for Halloween.  The best way to avoid crowds of tourists is to do things on what they consider the crappy days.  I went to Dollywood in the pouring rain and it was awesome, there were no lines for any of the rides.  Cooler days are great for zoos because the animals don’t just lay around panting.

I want to go on another train trip so bad!  If I could I would even go on a day trip to Orlando or Miami just for the heck of it but the way the schedules run I’d have to spend the night & come back the next day.

The State of Florida is trying to take away the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge, sign here to ask the governor to prevent this nonsense.

I’ve got about a month left in this semester and then I’ll be halfway through my time at USF!

Added to the Travel Map:

Jiuzhaigou National Park, Sichuan, China – stunning rivers & waterfalls.

Missouri Mines State Historic Site, Park Hills, Missouri – abandoned mining complex.

PACBAR III, Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands – abandoned Cold War radar station.

Kyrkö Car Cemetery, Ryd, Sweden – junked cars in a peat bog.

Lester, Washington – ghost town.


Recently in Awkwardness

This semester I’m taking Forensic Anthropology, which has been pretty dull so far since it’s been all law & stuff, but now we’re past that and it’s starting to pick up. It is definitely not true that dead men tell no tales. Bones tell SO MUCH about how a person lived. Not just age & that sort of thing, but what they did for a living, how strong they were, what kind of diseases or nutritional problems they had. I’ve heard archaeologists talk about figuring out that someone was a pipe-smoker because of wear marks in their teeth.  Illnesses like syphilis & tuberculosis leave all kinds of deformities on skulls and vertebrae, and if you want to be scared into taking a trip to the dentist have a look at historic mandibles that have big holes in them from tooth infections that have eaten away the bone.

I discovered that Southern India is home to a crazy whip sword that looks like the stuff of nightmares, as if regular swords weren’t dangerous enough.

Hurricane Matthew is blowing things around in the Caribbean right now, it probably won’t hit Tampa but I’m watching it.

I got my first check ever from Shutterstock!  They have a $500 threshold for paper checks, so THAT was a good day.  Took me almost exactly three years.

If you’re like me & completely obsessed with Stranger Things but have no outlet for it, FoundFlix on Youtube has a playlist of videos detailing his theories of the show, which are pretty interesting.  I built a Pinterest board of ST fan art, which is numerous and amazing for a show that’s only been around for a couple of months.  I’ve seen most of it three times over now, but I seriously wish I could go back & watch it blind again, it’s that amazing.

This Week in Awkwardness

I survived my first named weather entity of this season, Tropical Storm Colin. Basically a two-day thunderstorm where I am, I didn’t even lose power, but I know some places closer to the water had problems.  I didn’t go to the beach for this one like I have in the past, which is unfortunate because there were some WILD pictures coming from the storm front.

I signed three different petitions to have Judge Aaron Persky removed from his post in light of the appalling sentence he handed down for convicted rapist Brock Turner.  I doubt they have any legal weight, not being officially run through Persky’s district, but I figure the pressure of thousands of voices will get someone to do something.  If you want to add your name, here are the links:

Official White House Petition


There’s also 4 petitions on but most of them are from UltraViolet anyway so sign as you see fit.  Honestly, you could probably Google “Stanford Judge Petition” and come up with about 80 different things at this point.  He’s already got potential jurors refusing to serve under him so someone’s going to have to do something about him eventually.

I rode the bus all the way downtown to the River Arts District, which looked awesome but it was of course insanely hot so I didn’t get to wander much.  I love public transit.  It’s good for the environment, for not having to fight traffic, and for just getting to know a place.  I’ll ride random buses around random cities just because it’s such a great way to see an area without having to figure out where you are or where you’re going.

Speaking of traffic & transit, Florida decided that since traffic on I-275 & other highways through Tampa is so terrible, they’re going to forgo giving people any options besides driving and just add some toll lanes, wiping out all sorts of historic buildings & hurting neighborhoods all over the city.  The project will cost about $9,000,000,000 (seriously – I didn’t just add zeros until it looked good) and then only people with enough money to pay $2 or $3 per mile will actually get any sort of benefit from it.  But hey, why build a light rail system when you can just ruin a bunch of stuff to make life easier for rich people?  Basically it’s a godawful plan so I signed a couple petitions & sent a bunch of emails to various elected officials about that too.

 Crossed Off the Travel Map:

Tampa Museum of Art, Tampa. Florida

Added to the Travel Map:

Snowdonia National Park, Trawsfynydd, Wales – lakes, mountains, hiking – plus the name is kind of cool.

And some more ghost towns:

Cahawba, Alabama – the state’s first capital.

Glenrio Historic District, Texas/New Mexico.

Kennecott Mines National Historic Landmark, Alaska – pretty much exactly what it sounds like.

Swan Island, Richmond, Maine – hiking, camping, abandoned homes.