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First Saturday Home

For the past couple days, we've had rain squalls roaming through the city like they own it... hail, graupel, and serious lightning storms (see what our meteorology superstar Cliff Mass has to say about it) that are quite out of character for the Seattle I moved to ~15 years ago. So... so what? Seattle does not stop for rain, and neither does the Green Seattle Partnership, which provided tools, work gloves, and Helly Hansen foul weather gear for us tree-planting volunteers on Green Seattle Day. I went with a friend, and we got caught up while tamping down the worm-ridden soil around little huckleberries, ferns, red cedars, and madrones. There are vague plans now for fishing, and a slight possibility of sailing, two activities I could stand to get back in my life...

Meanwhile, my work with the local chapter of Surfrider is about to achieve its first big milestone: we're launching the pilot project for the Blue Water Task Force this coming friday. I'm thrilled we have started a collaboration with a lab at UW's Department of Environmental and Occupational Health; we'll be collecting sand samples for their research into MRSA hanging out in the sand of our local beaches, and they're offering lab space, training, the use of their autoclaves so we don't have to rely on one-use-only equipment. We're also aiming for EPA certification, so our water quality analysis results can be incorporated into the data collected by the state's departments of ecology and health (the BEACH program).

It's taken me about a week to fully recover from the jet-lag and get readjusted to something resembling daywatch in local time -- although with the change to Standard Time and our short Northern winter days, you might think it wouldn't be that different. If I could get the lights that lined the Main Lab and the mess on the Knorr installed at work, it would probably only take a day to make the switch.