From the Rhino's Heart

Trip to Branson-Geological Society of America Sectional Meeting and Field Trips.

   Sun, April 11, 2010 - 8:16 PM
I'm a lucky man. This is the week I've waited for since two years ago. We completed our field trips today. The last two days, I've been at the 44th Annual Geological Society of America meeting in Branson, Missouri, staying at the Hilton Inn (totally a NON-smoking venue, mind you....) at the Branson Convention Center, across from Banson Landing. Four of us put together and arranged a pair of field trips to local Civil War battlefields/skirmish sites to commemorate in part the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, discussing how the geology affected the course of the battles fought.

One day after the first battle of Manassas (Bull Run) in 1861, the Battle of Forsyth was fought here, a prelude to the larger battle at Wilson's Crrek. We stopped at an overlook on the White River where Kevin Evans and I explained the various parts of this first battle - troop placements, types of units involved and numbers,mistakes made and how the geology of the area affected the overall course of battle. Dr. Evans and I first collaborated on the Weaubleau meteorite impact several years ago, when I got drill crews to drill it for the very first time and prove its existence. Kevin and I have remained close ever since. He nominated me to be an adjunct faculty member at Missouri State University in Springfield in 2005. The Department approved it unanimously and sent it to the Dean of their college, who also approved it. In the People's Republic of China, they addressed me as Professor. A strange feeling, but it turns out that while I was gone to China, I was given the title by their department of 'Adjunct Professor of Geology'. A gift, if you will, but an honor to me that I will never forget. I had originally suggested this theme trip in 2007, and Kevin thought it was great. It turns out that Kevin even got so interested in the subject matter that he came dressed as a Union artillery corporal for the trip.

These professional meetings are always nice, because they allow me to network with fellow geologists from around the midwest. I have already been solicited today to write a chapter in a field guide for the fall for another organization I belong to, the Association of Missouri Geologists. The subject? Foundations of Wind Turbine towers for energy production. Windmills produce lots of torque, and if they cause the foundation to twist, you end up with an expensive pile of metal on the ground. Very important subject as our nation seeks new energy sources.

Eating (another one of my favorite subjects - heh, heh) is always good at these meetings, and in Branson that goes to EXCELLENT cuisine. Tonight I had authentic hardcore great Mexican food on the Lake Taneycomo Branson Landing, overlooking the water. Even better, they had a music and fountain and FIRE show. We watched it twice while we had dinner. And it reminded me of my home in Black Rock City.....look at the pic and you'll see why.

Life is very good right now. Love and light to all of you.


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Mon, April 12, 2010 - 11:53 PM
Rhino, these sorts of trips are not meant for the Rhino to swan off into the hinterland and actually ENJOY yourself, 'tis supposed to be study/work/networking/schmoozing and all stuff connected with the graft of work/further study etc. The one bright note it would seem to be was a totally non-smoking venue, now if that could only translate into a full on fun free zone then all might be kosher. I suppose someone has to do it, glad it was you.
Tue, April 13, 2010 - 5:35 PM
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