Category: Random fun stuff

You’ve been here long enough when..

By , July 9, 2010 7:25 pm

I’ve been here for quite a while now and I’m starting to notice things in my behaviour that I wouldn’t do or wouldn’t find normal when I first started here.

Example 1: When walking into the lab, I found it normal to see a man weighing a dead snake. Later, while I was busy doing my thing in the lab and turned around, I could see him dissecting the snake. I looked for a few seconds to see how he did it and then went back to my work.

Example 2: The tourists start to become annoying. Tourists stop for everything. If they see a bird, they stop. If they see a snake, they stop. If they see a branch that looks like a snake, they’ll stop. And it wouldn’t be that bad if they’d stop on the side of the road, but 75% of the damn tourists stop in the middle of the road. Right where the rest of the people are doing 55 miles an hour. Real smart, asshole, park your car on the side of the road!

Example 3: Other colleagues that have worked here much longer than I’ve been here ask me what button to push on the vending machine to actually get a Cherry Coke instead of a Diet Coke. Cause the machine sometimes gives Diet Coke instead of Cherry Coke. Although that could also just be a sign that I drink too much Cherry Coke and know the machine too well.. πŸ˜›

Celebrate with cake!

By , July 7, 2010 7:31 pm

Or rather, apple pie.. Dutch apple pie!

This is what the rest of my colleagues found in the lunchroom this morning.

Dutch Apple Pie!! Cause Holland made it to the World Cup Finale! And I'm celebrating! So feel free to grab a slice and celebrate with me.. Enjoy! -The Dutch Intern, Evert.

I may not be in The Netherlands right now, but that doesn’t mean I’m not celebrating! Let’s just see me as the Dutch representative of celebration in America when it comes to cheering for the Dutch team. πŸ™‚

Want ja, we worden kampioen!

We’re through to the semi-finals!

By , July 3, 2010 8:52 pm

Congratulations to the dutch soccer team for winning from Brazil with 2 to 1. A good game, with an even better outcome. πŸ™‚ Now to see how we’ll be against Uruguay on Tuesday. I’m sure I’ll be sitting in the office with my ear glued to Radio 1 streaming from the internetradio. πŸ™‚

But yeah, back to the important things, how am I doing here at The Everglades? Well, the alligators, snakes or bugs haven’t gotten me yet! So that’s good, I’m still able to go around and about.

I spent last weekend in Fort Lauderdale, once again.. The highlight of the weekend was checking out a shop over there where they had candy from all around the world, so I recognized a lot of candy from The Netherlands. I resisted the urges to buy a lot and only bought some Stroopwafels for my colleagues, since they like them so much.

On Monday and Tuesday I worked on my report some more, so it were two simple office days. Nothing much else to say about that, really. Other than that during these days, the tiles with sediment were drying in the oven, so I could start weighing them later the week.

It was on Wednesday when the tiles were dry, so I could weigh them for further comparison with other times I got tiles from the field.

The dry sediment in the petri-dish in where it will be weighed, of course, using a scale for the weighing. I'm not going to guess how much sediment is in there, cause I wouldn't be good at that.

It was on Thursday that we went out into The Everglades to get some more of my tiles for the very last time. It was the very last time I would be going to this part of the Everglades. Really, the end of my internship is slowly starting to come in sight.

We saw some more dolphins on our way to the site, these were swimming at the bow of the boat while we were puttering through a canal where you're not allowed to go fast. It was a great opportunity to see the dolphins. Hehe.

Me and Karen working on one of the tile grids in The Everglades, taking out the tiles with sediment and replacing them with some fresh clean tiles.

One of the tilegrids with a few more sediment on the tiles.

One of the cool things to see on the last day in the field for my project were the footprints of a raccoon, having walked right across one of the tile grids.

See the small footprint there in the mud of the Everglades? That's the footprint of a raccoon! Yes, they life in the Everglades, otherwise the footprint wouldn't be there, hmm? Smarty pants?

It was cool to see that footprint, but it was kinda sad to know that it was the last time I would be seeing the project that I started here. Or at least the part in the field, all the tiles that I laid out in the field.

Still, I’m having fun here, the end is coming in sight, my report is coming along nicely and the weather’s really good, although sometimes we got some big rain, for the rest it’s all good!

I'm still doing alright and so is the little blue truck! It's going to be too bad to not be able to drive that little truck anymore, so I'll drive it all the more while I still can. Vrooom vrooom!

Well, I’m going to enjoy the rest of my weekend right now, there’s a party this evening and I’m invited! So I’ll update the website sometime again in the end of next week.

See ya!

Here for 10 weeks and 1 day now..

By , June 25, 2010 6:50 pm

Yep! That’s how long I’ve been here already. 71 days in total. Or rather, 70 days and about 16 hours, but that’s getting into time details too much. πŸ˜›

As I already told and showed, I went shrimp fishing last weekend and basically was tired from that the rest of the weekend.Β  So I didn’t do much there. πŸ™‚

During last week we did a lot of chores besides the normal office work that I do here, which is working on my report and other things. As we pulled our boat out of the water for its 100 hour maintenance check last week we stored it on the trailer at my house, so we could bring it to the shop on monday morning. Which we did, dropping it off nice and early for them to get working on it.

Tuesday was the big day, we would be getting a new intern at the USGS and Gordon and me would be picking him up from the airport at Fort Lauderdale. Although he wouldn’t be arriving until 8pm that evening. So we had the chance to stay in office during the day and join the potluck that was organized at the office for all the employees of the park. Everybody brings a dish of food and/or drinks and eat, followed by a meeting about the progress of things in the park.

Later that day it really was time to head out to the airport and pick up the new German Intern. It took a while for him to get through customs, but after waiting ‘only’ an hour and 15 minutes, he was free to come along with us, dropping his stuff in the back of the truck and driving back down to the park. Along the way we got a quick bite to eat at McDonalds, as it was 10:30pm at that time, dropped off Gordon and continued the way with just the two of us. Me driving and Oliver (the intern) sitting besides me, taking in the scenery. We made a quick stop at Walmart for him to get some groceries before we finally arrived back at the house at around 11:30pm.

Me at MacDonalds at around 10:30pm. First time I've been to MacDonalds in America and just as bad of an experience as every single other time I've been to MacDonalds, which was to be expected, as it's MacDonalds. Not a high quality of foods.. Nuh uh..

On Wednesday I had to bring Oliver to aΒ  place where he had to get his fingerprints taken, which should take about 20 minutes, but all in all it took us about 2,5 hours to even get started with it, as we were sent from place to place, from person to person and still didn’t get any further, but we managed to get it all done in the end, which got a bit of a laugh from us, taking so long for something so simple. But I guess that bureaucracy for ya, or rather.. bureau’crazy‘.

Thursday really was the day of going from shop to shop for different reasons. The boat we brought in on monday was finished, so we had to pick that up first thing in the morning. As we got back to the office we had to take the starter motor off the airboat, which was broken and had to be brought in to a shop to get a replacement, but as we did that, we also brought the big white truck (which you’ve seen before and which I loooove to drive..) in for some repairs to a car shop. So I really did see a lot of mechanic-shops that day, but it was all good, it’s always fun to look around in shops like that.

Today, well, today is just another ordinary office day.. Working some on my report, I got samples of sediment in the oven to dry, which I have to check out this afternoon to see if they’re already dry. So, there’s lots to do, but it’s all good. And since we got our machette back from getting it sharpened, I can now chase after my colleagues again with a nicely sharp machette! Mwuhahaaa!

Sharp and ready for action! Well, at least the machette's sharp!

A new update next week, as usual! Have a good weekend! I know I will!

Still enjoying myself here!

By , June 4, 2010 8:38 pm

I haven’t been updating the site in a while. The last time I posted anything is now well over a week ago, so it’s about time for at least a little bit of an update.Β  Not that much has happened since the last time I posted.

As the title of this topic already says, I’m still enjoying myself here. It’s all still great fun. I’m counting the weeks until I have to get back to The Netherlands and already I’m thinking that I’m running out of time to do all the things that I want to do.. I still wanna go places, see things, do things, take more photos of things as well. And since I’m staying the last 2 weeks of my time in America at friends in Virginia, I ‘only’ got about 6 more weeks to do the things I want to do in south Florida before I’m flying to the state of Virginia.

Anyway, back to the present, or rather, the past.. What have I been up to over here.. Last week friday, I went out into the field with two of my colleagues, with whom I went radio-tracking to look for a Burmese Python. We found it too! It was pretty awesome to see. A good 6 to 7 feet long and seriously pissed after one of the guys held it by its tail to keep it from going away. Coiling up on us and drawing in deep breaths, accompanied with a lot of hissing to warn us. The sound was absolutely amazing! And the way you could see its whole body inflate and deflate.. Damn! Such a cool thing to see, if from a distance.

The Burmese Python that we radio-tracked and found slithering through the forest. It's amazing how well camouflaged these snakes are.

As last monday was Memorial Day, I had a three weekend. Which I spent relaxing. Or well, saturday, me and a housemate took my truck and rode for 1,5 hours to get up to Shark Valley (click here to see Google Map), a different part of the Everglades National Park. It has a 14 mile long bike-trail with a big watchtower in the middle, giving you a look across a small part of the Everglades. It was a little touristic and we didn’t see a single alligator, even though they’re supposed to be there plenty, but still, the bike ride itself was kinda fun. And I sure loved racing down the road with my little blue truck. πŸ™‚ The rest of the weekend was spent not really doing much other than getting some groceries from the store and basically just lazing around around the house or head out into the park, taking photos of stuff.

The workweek started on tuesday, which was an office day, so not much interesting was done that day. On wednesday, I helped a guy from the USGS with his research about fish. Basically going along with him and writing down the length and weight of watercreatures he caught in a trap, after setting them free again. It was on thursday where we went out in the field again to do some more work on my tile-project. Driving down to Flamingo, getting out onto the water with the boat, doing the research in the actual mangroves in the Everglades, then getting back to Flamingo with the boat again before driving to the office again. Days that we’re out in the field aren’t half bad! I like those kind of days. πŸ™‚

Just about ready to go ashore! Safety first! Always wear a lifevest on a boat and hold on to the railing! Especially when it's going across the water at 25 miles an hour..

Ship ahoy! Almost ready to get back out on the water again! Boat's loaded up and the work is done!

While we were out in the field yesterday, today’s an office day, so I got some time to work on my report and make a quick update here, so with those two pictures above here as a last treat just before the weekend, I’ll end this update again. I’ll talk to you all later and will see you again some other time, but only here, cause this is where the action is! For you at least. πŸ™‚

For me it’s in Florida!

The truck, a rearview mirror and deodorant..

By , April 29, 2010 7:18 pm

Sometimes you got to get creative with the things that you got. You have all seen that I’m driving an old truck here, hmm? And sometimes things break on old trucks.

A couple of days ago, the rear view mirror fell from the window. The glue that attached it stopped working. So, I bought some adhesive specially made for rearview mirrors from the automotive department in Wallmart (you really can buy anything in that store..). Following the instructions, I had to take the old glue off the window and rearview mirror. Scraping it off as best as I could, but not able to get everything off, the instructions said that I needed to clean the parts that would be sticking against eachother with alcohol. Of course, I got beer and beer has alcohol, but that’s the sticky kind of alcohol. I needed something else, something cleaner with alcohol. Which got me thinking until I found what I needed.

Deodorant! Deodorant has (some kind of) alcohol in it, I remembered. So I grabbed my can of deodorant and sprayed the window and tried to clean it. Which worked! πŸ˜€ So I didn’t only got my rearview mirror back on the window, but it’s also a lot cleaner now.. AND it smelled great for a while!

So, here’s my advice, if you ever want your windows cleaned, but don’t have any alcohol or whatever to clean it with? Use deodorant. Worked for me..

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