Tuesday, May 11, 2010

caught on tape

FSP has a recent post up about video recordings of conference or workshop talks.

I've given about a dozen talks at various conferences and was not recorded in any official capacity. I suppose someone could have aimed a webcam at me. I'm still involved with that instructing gig I mentioned ages ago, but that has never been recorded.

Would I mind if one if my talks/lectures were recorded? No, not really. I would rather not have that knowledge sprung on me at the last minute, because I would probably panic about the state of my hair/clothing/whatever. At the same time, I'm not sure I would want to watch the result. I hate how I sound on voicemail (although I hate leaving messages, so hopefully I don't sound that silly normally), and I can only imagine how much I could fixate on my various mistakes.

I was lucky in that I had some brutally honest friends in grad school ("you really like the word 'um', don't you?") and I think they broke me of most of my verbal tics. I don't think an video of me would be traumatic to watch. But ask me again after I see a video of myself...

Monday, May 10, 2010

accretionary wedge

This month's accretionary wedge is a geo-image bonanza. So here's mine...not a terribly technical picture, but rather a pretty one - a satellite image of Mount St. Helens from the archives of the big picture.
Mt. Saint Helens erupted May 18, 1980 - a wee bit shy of 30 years ago. National Geographic has a terrific article about how the wildlife around the area has rebounded, but it still looks pretty barren in this picture.

Monday, May 3, 2010

clothing payment

In environmental consulting, most of the gear is paid for by the company: the equipment, the supplies, the use of a vehicle for fieldwork (or reimbursement for using your own - my least favorite option). The use of specific safety gear is also included, such as steel-toe boots.

When it comes to more personal stuff, however, who pays for it? I realize that boots are about as personal as you can get (nobody wants to share your nasty, broken in boots, whereas jackets are more interchangeable), but they're covered by regulations. But what about other clothing?

Raingear: in the various places I've worked, I have not actually requested a rain jacket/pants etc. But I know coworkers who requested (and got) raingear. Was I just a chump for buying my own stuff?

There are 2 advantages to buying stuff on your own: first, you can get what you actually want, rather than, say, using the common drilling company method of buying everybody $6 rain suits that rip the day you open them (if not the hour). Second, if you buy the stuff on your own, you can use it for non-work related activities and not get hounded by management to return it on weekends and such (true story).

General field clothing: I don't know anyone who has tried to expense clothing. However, after an unfortunate project involving corrosive chemicals and the destruction of two outfits (significantly more than little acid spots), I was seriously tempted to charge my employer the replacement cost of my $75, hard-won field pants.