Monday, September 30, 2013

Blogger on Strike! Part Deux, now with Photos!

The last post was bereft of photos, many apologies. 
Here are the pictures that I wanted to accompany my previous post.

Our lovely Aloe garden in full bloom! (the bottom right aloe has since been removed)

My white-bellied sunbird friend who visits us occasionally.

The hole. 
Bonus points for deciphering "andmore"!

Filled with riverstone.

999 bricks! Whew!

A therapsid, Cynognathus, from the early Triassic
Photo Credit: Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animals (I googled "therapsid") 
The resident Paleontologist is away at the moment and is unable to provide any further scientific information about this animal. BUT, can't you see the ThunderCat resemblance? 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Blogger is on Strike!

If you've been wondering where we've been the last few's partially not my fault. See, here in Africa, you must be patient. Very, very patient...

Blogger appears to be on strike right now (I am told it's strike-season here in RSA), so my apologies for the lack of photos. If anyone can figure out why I need to "sign in to access online storage" to upload photos, please let me know...I'm wondering if my account was hacked?

I'm sure you'll be pleasantly surprised next week when Jonah returns from the Eastern Cape (specifically Addo Elephant Reserve) and (hopefully) posts some photos of some large animals...extinct & hopefully extant. He's there now with his grad student Blair (you remember, the guy who eats spaghetti out of a pot) and our friends Roger & Hillary from England. Roger and Hillary are also paleo-people and are collaborating with Jonah on some projects.

Back to what I was saying...

It has been a busy time of year around the Glennon-Choiniere household, and it's bound to get busier, what with summer (aka field season) fast approaching and all.

Amidst teaching, other professorial commitments, research (gasp!), and raising puppies (they are one year old!), we took on a new project to improve our life here in Melville. South Africa is amazingly splendid for outdoor living. Our back garden, however, is not. While lovely with the nice aloes, olive trees, Midas's new favorite toy the fig tree, and adorable sunbirds, we decided to kick things up a notch and put in a new patio where we can sit and enjoy iced white wine. If you've been noticing my facebook posts, I've been obsessed with bricks for the last few weeks. The hole has been dug, river stone put in, and all necessary items purchased. All we needed was 1000 bricks...

A drive out to Corobrik enabled me to match our current bricks and forgo the chance to break in Jonah's new jackhammer (darn). Although friendly and seemingly efficient, somehow things were lost in translation. At one point the factory that made our bricks shut down(?), only to magically deliver them at 6pm on a busy Thursday eve. The night before Roger & Hillary flew in, and two days before the lot left for the Eastern Cape. In an effort to move the project along and not lose any of my precious bricks during the week while the Paleo Crew was out, I set to work as soon as the gate closed behind the Hilux and moved all 999 bricks inside our gate. Sing with me now...

999 bricks are outside, 999 bricks. Take some down, bring 'em inside, 989 bricks are outside...!

Four hours later the bricks were in and I was one step closer to getting the patio that I am so excited about. Why 999 you ask? A single brick came with holes and was no use to me. It is now part of the outside garden decor.

In addition to my new brick obsession, I'm learning how to run a B&B. 24 Second Ave has hosted quite a few people here in Joburg over the last two months. Namely, Blair, but also our friend Kristian from NYC, well most recently Germany. He's another colleague who was visiting the BPI. He studies therapsids. Think fossilized Thundercats. At least that's what some look like to me. While Kristian was here, we made a fantastic discovery...a new bar opened in Melville! The Slug & Lettuce is proving to be our new favorite place to hang out and enjoy some neighborhood brews. When you visit, we will go! Melville has had some excellent turnover in the past few months and I'm very excited to see how much trendier our little neighborhood becomes.

Hope to update next week with a full array of photos!