Category: nanonaturalist meta

Arge scapularis – Elm Argid Sawfly ——- Blog’…

Arge scapularis – Elm Argid Sawfly

——-

Blog’s been on a bit of a hiatus… turns out after spending 10+ hours straight rewriting my resume for the 100th time, the last thing I want to deal with is tumblr deleting thoughtful posts I poured my heart and soul into. I’ve been updating my facebook page (nanonaturalist on there, too) more regularly, which isn’t much more than photos with brief captions.

Job hunting is more demoralizing than I ever could have anticipated. I would have had an offer in April but the position was “placed on hold.” I’m not getting called back for interviews. I can’t make plans because I need to keep my schedule open just in case I do get a call. Road trips are out of the question (what gas money???), I have to cancel all my outreach and bioblitz plans (I didn’t do City Nature Challenge this year…). The only plus side is I’m catching more yard birds because I never leave my house.

As much as I wish it weren’t the case, the job hunt is the only thing I have time for right now. I’m at Week 11 of unemployment, and the longer you are out of work, the less likely you are to get hired (because most hiring managers are privileged assholes).

Really, I meant it when I said it on a previous post: do not move to Austin thinking you can find a job. You can’t. I struck up a conversation with somebody at the park on Sunday who had been unemployed for four months. Degree in marketing. Work experience in real estate marketing. Couldn’t find a single job in four months in the fastest growing city in the US with an enormous real estate market. She found a job she’s starting this week—on craigslist.

Enough whining for now, back to resumepalooza 🙄

May 14, 2019

It’s like I’m a real writer now

nanonaturalist:

Oh boy. I don’t half-ass things. Apparently that includes coming out of the HEY GUYS I’M AUTISTIC closet. Which I did earlier this week. In a nature magazine. They did a feature on birders with disabilities, and wanted to get a written piece from a birder with autism. And I was like *waves arms furiously*. (Because it paid and I’m unemployed right now)

image

A 200 word limit is VERY SHORT for an essay, holy carp. But the web piece will be longer (it’s not out yet). Do you like my kinglet?! I took that picture!

Anyway, this is a tiny little essay tucked into some obscure nature magazine nobody reads, right?

*cough*

image

Well, what are the odds that somebody I know will read this issue cover-to-cover and notice my name at the bottom of this short little article? I’m quoted in the Editor’s Note at the beginning of the Issue

The best part? When I was talking with the editor of this section in the beginning, I sent her some writing samples so she could get an idea of my ability to actually write. Those samples included some posts from this blog. 

I got my copies of the magazine shipped to me super quick, but I’m not sure when regular subscribers will be getting them. I did post about this on my NanoNaturalist facebook page, so all my IRL nature people who follow me there know my secret (although to be honest, I am highly suspicious of anybody who didn’t notice I was a little weird to begin with).

Life continues to be fun and exciting!
March 16, 2019

The longer version is up on the website now! Check it out: 

Why Autism Makes the Outdoors More Beautiful–and Complicated [link]

And now, I don’t have to worry about my nature people stumbling across the article and finding out I have special brain flavors and acting weird around me. Now I get to worry about potential employers googling my name when they decide if they want to interview me or not and finding this. The joys of having a unique name *sigh*. I had a job interview yesterday that I think went really well, so hopefully that won’t be an issue. Not like it should matter!

The Audubon people are wonderful to work with, I need to think of another story idea so I can do it again soon.

April 17, 2019

Why Autism Makes the Outdoors More Beautiful—a…

Why Autism Makes the Outdoors More Beautiful—and Complicated:

My article is up with a bunch of my bird photos! Now It’s almost like I’m a real photographer or something.

Now I just need to think of more stories to write about birds for future issues!

April 17, 2019

It’s like I’m a real writer now

nanonaturalist:

Oh boy. I don’t half-ass things. Apparently that includes coming out of the HEY GUYS I’M AUTISTIC closet. Which I did earlier this week. In a nature magazine. They did a feature on birders with disabilities, and wanted to get a written piece from a birder with autism. And I was like *waves arms furiously*. (Because it paid and I’m unemployed right now)

image

A 200 word limit is VERY SHORT for an essay, holy carp. But the web piece will be longer (it’s not out yet). Do you like my kinglet?! I took that picture!

Anyway, this is a tiny little essay tucked into some obscure nature magazine nobody reads, right?

*cough*

image

Well, what are the odds that somebody I know will read this issue cover-to-cover and notice my name at the bottom of this short little article? I’m quoted in the Editor’s Note at the beginning of the Issue

The best part? When I was talking with the editor of this section in the beginning, I sent her some writing samples so she could get an idea of my ability to actually write. Those samples included some posts from this blog. 

I got my copies of the magazine shipped to me super quick, but I’m not sure when regular subscribers will be getting them. I did post about this on my NanoNaturalist facebook page, so all my IRL nature people who follow me there know my secret (although to be honest, I am highly suspicious of anybody who didn’t notice I was a little weird to begin with).

Life continues to be fun and exciting!
March 16, 2019

Halp need Headline for WEB VERSION

I’m working on the edits for the web version of this essay (it’s like, 4x longer), and I have been asked for input on the HEADLINE and SUBHEADLINE for the piece. Of course, knowing that I needed to get this done tonight, because I have a job interview on Tuesday, I spent all day doing yard work and cleaning my kitchen (finally, my kitchen has been a disaster since December!). I will probably “think about the headline a little more” when I submit my edits at 4 am.

Anybody have witty ideas? Themes of the article: 

Birds
Autism & ADHD
Looking at birds
Holy hyperfixation, Batman
Taking pictures of birds

Some recent headlines and subheadlines as examples:

image
image
image

Previous articles as examples: Audubon Magazine: Birding Articles [link]

You uh… think they’ll say no if I want to work a handflapping / stumpy wings joke into the title? I mean, it IS April, after all. 😉

April 14/15, 2019

this again (thanks tumblr)

That’s strange, this post [link] managed to get over 1,000 notes and I never got an email before it was hidden and marked for deletion. Hmmmmmmmm. Let me check…

Right. Back to manually checking all my damn posts again.

y’all better keep backing up your own blogs… I for sure never stopped doing mine. 

How to backup your tumblr posts [link to github]

April 6, 2019

nanonaturalist: nanonaturalist: lol whut Over…

nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

lol whut

Over 2,000 of you weirdos want to look at caterpillar butts and read about me kissing moths and watch them pee on me?

I love you all. Please accept this gift:

May 21, 2018

What the heckin heck you guys 

Where did you all COME FROM????

In celebration of this momentous milestone, please accept this gift from a Northern Hairy Sugar Ant (Camponotus amphidus) from Malawi:

September 7, 2018

lol whut

Amazing! Time for another gift!

Mystery Tiger Moth caterpillar (I have no idea who this turns into, but sooo pretty! soooo fluffff), from Austin, TX

March 18, 2019

It’s like I’m a real writer now

Oh boy. I don’t half-ass things. Apparently that includes coming out of the HEY GUYS I’M AUTISTIC closet. Which I did earlier this week. In a nature magazine. They did a feature on birders with disabilities, and wanted to get a written piece from a birder with autism. And I was like *waves arms furiously*. (Because it paid and I’m unemployed right now)

image

A 200 word limit is VERY SHORT for an essay, holy carp. But the web piece will be longer (it’s not out yet). Do you like my kinglet?! I took that picture!

Anyway, this is a tiny little essay tucked into some obscure nature magazine nobody reads, right?

*cough*

image

Well, what are the odds that somebody I know will read this issue cover-to-cover and notice my name at the bottom of this short little article? I’m quoted in the Editor’s Note at the beginning of the Issue

The best part? When I was talking with the editor of this section in the beginning, I sent her some writing samples so she could get an idea of my ability to actually write. Those samples included some posts from this blog. 

I got my copies of the magazine shipped to me super quick, but I’m not sure when regular subscribers will be getting them. I did post about this on my NanoNaturalist facebook page, so all my IRL nature people who follow me there know my secret (although to be honest, I am highly suspicious of anybody who didn’t notice I was a little weird to begin with).

Life continues to be fun and exciting!
March 16, 2019

Regular

nanonaturalist:

spinebug:

i went to Explore UT today and got some cecropia moth eggs from @nanonaturalist !! thank you SO much, i’m so excited to watch them grow up!

i also got to hold a hissing cockroach which was fun

Yaaaay! Good luck! I haven’t raised Cecropias before (just kidnapped older caterpillars and cocoons), so I’m excited to try these out too!

It’s funny, I wasn’t planning to be at ExploreUT, but last night one of my friends told me they had volunteer cancelations and were hurting for people. Also, he suggested that I bring my Cecropia moths and stick insects. Both my and my babies’ surprise appearance was much welcomed, and oh boy, the Cecropia moths were mating the entire time. One kid asked if they were kissing with their butts. 😂

The entomology collections had four tables, three had specimens in drawers plus an interactive game at one, and the last table had the living specimens, which would have been only the hissing cockroaches and (well-contained) black widow and brown recluse spiders had I not been present. We were pretty busy all day, so I didn’t get a chance to get better photos of the tables, but loooook!

There’s the hamper with my babies! Their cocoons are off to the right so people could touch them. The sticks are in the tank you can almost see to the left.

(Funny story: that little pink book on the table in front of the bald dude, aka Alex Wild, is a baby album/scrapbook my friend who dragged me into this put together for his botflies. He had ultrasounds done on them and everything. Nerd)

The moths were Popular. I mean, Look;

People were leaning in on the tables to see the moths around the crowd so much that this is how offset they were at the end of the day. Also, here is a better view of the baby sticks. They were very well behaved. Only one escaped, that I know of. At one point I was informed I had a stick insect on my shoulder and I just sighed.

It appears I have successfully infiltrated the Biodiversity Center at UT!

March 2, 2019

@lieslol I was starstruck when I found out UT had hired him and we’d be living in the same city and now we’re on a first name basis

Academia is a small world. Some of my iNaturalist buddies are grad students at UT who have worked with him. And as the curator for the entomology collection, he’s involved in organizing the outreach events. The first outreach event I organized for my master naturalist chapter was Texas Wildlife Day at Texas Memorial Museum, on UT campus, January 2018. That was also the first time we were in the same room. Later, he came to give a talk to the Austin Butterfly Forum, and I asked a question. Then Texas Wildlife Day again this year, which happened after we had both been scheduled as speakers at the Dionysium [link], so when I mentioned harassing his cockroaches at Texas Wildlife Day in the email thread about Dionysium logistics, then snuck up during Texas Wildlife Day and started harassing his cockroaches, he probably recognized me as that weirdo who had harassed his cockroaches the year before and randomly started… answering questions at his table even though… my table was… over there?

Anyways, at said Dionysium, we talked a bit beforehand, then there was my caterpillar talk and my participation in the mosquito debate (just imagine one of my rants in here except I’m using my face hole instead of my hand noodles to do it), and uhhhh yeah I may have bumped up my credibility a little (he may have also double checked on my iNaturalist stats afterwards, based on how he introduced me to the guy in charge of the Stengl Lost Pines site [link], which I am desperately trying to crawl around in (*droooools over the biodiversity present in that protected area*)).

So yeah, one of my bug heroes is introducing me to people as an expert, and I’m the only person who was there for the whole day without a break (because I’m crazy and also MY BABIES!), and I wasn’t on the schedule (I’m not even affiliated with the College of Natural Sciences!)–I emailed him at 2 am to tell him I was coming. When I pass my PMP exam next Friday (because I’m passing this time, dammit), I’m hopping on some digitization projects for him, and I swear if he’s not intimidated by how much I get done, then I have failed.

March 2, 2019

Regular

spinebug:

i went to Explore UT today and got some cecropia moth eggs from @nanonaturalist !! thank you SO much, i’m so excited to watch them grow up!

i also got to hold a hissing cockroach which was fun

Yaaaay! Good luck! I haven’t raised Cecropias before (just kidnapped older caterpillars and cocoons), so I’m excited to try these out too!

It’s funny, I wasn’t planning to be at ExploreUT, but last night one of my friends told me they had volunteer cancelations and were hurting for people. Also, he suggested that I bring my Cecropia moths and stick insects. Both my and my babies’ surprise appearance was much welcomed, and oh boy, the Cecropia moths were mating the entire time. One kid asked if they were kissing with their butts. 😂

The entomology collections had four tables, three had specimens in drawers plus an interactive game at one, and the last table had the living specimens, which would have been only the hissing cockroaches and (well-contained) black widow and brown recluse spiders had I not been present. We were pretty busy all day, so I didn’t get a chance to get better photos of the tables, but loooook!

There’s the hamper with my babies! Their cocoons are off to the right so people could touch them. The sticks are in the tank you can almost see to the left.

(Funny story: that little pink book on the table in front of the bald dude, aka Alex Wild, is a baby album/scrapbook my friend who dragged me into this put together for his botflies. He had ultrasounds done on them and everything. Nerd)

The moths were Popular. I mean, Look;

People were leaning in on the tables to see the moths around the crowd so much that this is how offset they were at the end of the day. Also, here is a better view of the baby sticks. They were very well behaved. Only one escaped, that I know of. At one point I was informed I had a stick insect on my shoulder and I just sighed.

It appears I have successfully infiltrated the Biodiversity Center at UT!

March 2, 2019

Buy a Coffee for NanoNaturalist

Buy a Coffee for NanoNaturalist:

woefully-undercaffeinated:

nanonaturalist:

Alright, enough about boning moths for a second, cuz I’m unemployed now and I have a situation. I need a particular software package which costs an amount of money which is generally unwise for newly unemployed people to be spending on … anything. But it’s gotta happen for a presentation in about a week, and it’s gotta happen if I want to keep posting here as I have in the past–if you like essentially any post I’ve made that has photos in it, chances are you have enjoyed my having access to this particular software as much as I have.

I have a ko-fi account. I have not “advertised” it much because that’s just not my style and I generally assume that y’all are just as broke as I am. And I’m not desperate yet, but I have been Unemployed in bold with a capital U before and I know with certainty that I cannot survive 9 months without a job this time around. Because I’ve mapped out my budget for the next 9 months and it’s grim. There is nothing I can do that I haven’t already done in terms of job hunting. 

So what I ask: 

  • If you have enjoyed caterpillar butts and moth indecency and rants about bizarre things that you wouldn’t think humans would have opinions about, and if you have $3 to spare, please considering contributing to the cause of ensuring I can continue to raise caterpillars to take pictures of/post their butts and then perv on them doing it while taking very strong stances on what species of bird the bird seed companies put on their packaging (HOUSE SPARROWS?!?!?!!?!!?!?). 
  • If you have enjoyed all these things but do not have the $3 to spare, then please tell the next bug you see that they are beautiful/they are so fat/”What a handsome man!” 
  • If you think I’m stupid and my blog sucks (*gasp!*), then this is me mooning you:

March 1, 2019

Fun fact: Apache’s OpenOffice is 100% free and will easily create, edit, and save PowerPoint format files without issue, as well as being able to work with Microsoft Word files, Excel, and pretty much any other Office suite program you need it to. Share the good news with any other broke academic you encounter. 

warning: no bugs except for computer code ahead

Many people have suggested free alternatives to MS Office (there are a lot of them out there!), and for various reasons, my personal needs require MS Office. For the standard user, yes, you can import MS Office files into google docs/sheets/etc or OpenOffice and not have too many issues. That’s awesome, and I fully encourage everybody to fully take advantage of those resources!

Oh boy if any of y’all think I’m a standard anything, you are in for a surprise

I’m an engineer, right? I keep track of my budget with an excel spreadsheet containing 15 tabs, some of which cross-reference each other, and I *almost* included macros but I needed to draw the line somewhere. I program equations and graphical representations of budget forecasts to tell me exactly when to pay which bills. Currently, I am working on a mangled version on google sheets. Most of my graphs didn’t import. My color-coding is all gone. Some of my formulas didn’t transfer. It’s a mess and I essentially can’t manage my budget until I get office up–the imported version on sheets lost its core functionality.

In an ideal world, where I have a ton of time to learn a new software, I’d be up for giving google docs or OpenOffice another go. I tried to use both when I used a netbook for taking notes in class in the early 2010′s, and I found both to be frustrating and counter-intuitive. That’s not to say MS Office is any better, it’s just as bad, if not worse, but I’ve been using MS Office since Office 3.0/Office 92. It may be a horribly designed suite of programs, but I know how they work, and my resumes, presentations, and obsessive spreadsheeting habit are already in the MS Office format, and I don’t have to worry about formatting issues (… for the most part -_-) on top of a bunch of tight deadlines. 

It’s hard enough to put together a presentation for something you hyperfixate on without getting distracted by margins for 5 hours, when you need to be studying for an exam you’ve already failed once on top of that, with a one-week deadline. 

I would like to hear if other people have made presentations with any of these open-source alternatives with embedded video and animated gifs, because I use a lot of those. 

What about documents with embedded third-party objects? If I use a citation software plug-in with Word, but then import a document to another program, what happens to my citations? Do those open source programs support citation software? Image captions? Responsive TOCs?

March 1, 2019