Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Unsolicited random advice

Because it is back to school time and I see/hear people talking about college all around me.

  • If you don't know what you want to do with your life, go to college, I know that's NOT what a lot of people want to hear. 
  • If you know what you want to do, go to college or trade school and work towards that professional goal, either through your schooling, and/or outside school depending on what it is. 
  • Unless you are absolutely certain you want to and can do (ie have contacts/experience already) something nontraditional go to college. Even so most fields have some sort of trade/higher education that is helpful, it's very hard to get away from. 
  • If you know what you want to do AND already have your hands all up in those pies (technical speak, I'm all about it) stick with the school. 
  • If your schooling gets in the way of your hands in pieing (yes that's a term, or it is now at least) find out how much experience vs education mean in that field, and not just in your area, you never know things might have a better/worse outlook away from home, then make your decision of whether to cut back/stop one or the other. 

I did the last bit and came to a point where school was holding me back so I quit school. I have a 2 year degree in Zoology and was another 2 1/2 years into my bachelors. At that point I had almost 4 years of experience with exotic animals, I was extremely, I cannot stress that enough, lucky to have the opportunities I had. This is NOT typical in the exotic animal field. School AND working from the bottom is the normal. For me though if I wanted to continue school I would have had to quit my jobs and lose the experience. With the references and experience I had I was pretty confident in my ability to get a job elsewhere, not locally though. The local zoos are world famous and I had no illusions that I would be able to get a job at one of the local zoos. I was actually pretty confident quitting the jobs and sticking with school would hinder my abilities to get a similar hands on job like I was currently doing. Basically, if I finished school, I would have been starting at the low level of no animal contact jobs and need to work my way up. Not that I would be guaranteed a hands on job with just my experience I had at the time BUT I would not be giving up the experience and I would be adding years of experience to my resume. It's almost 7 years later and I still think I made the right choice for me. I don't work a lot, mostly by choice at this point (whole other story), and I make next to nothing, which I knew was going to be a reality. I work in a nontraditional way in an already nontraditional (as in 9-5 type) job.That being said I am 'stuck' where I am right now because I do not have a degree or experience in any other field. Good news, I do not want to work in any other field (and more of an issue are the tattoos and piercings than the schooling at this point and you know my complete lack of desire to ever have a job like that).

This has been a rambling post of unsolicited advice from me based on my experience. Thank you and goodnight (it's only 6pm I am not going to bed).

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Solar charging my blackberry

I have a solio rocsta hybrid solar charger that I use to charge my blackberry. Between it and my car charger (before it broke) I didn't need any other source to charge my phone. I did a tiny bit of research before I bought this specific charger, mainly just read a few review of people saying it charged their blackberrys just fine and thought I'd give it a try.

About my phone use, I rarely ever use my phone to talk, I mainly use it for texting, emailing, tweeting, facebooking, picture taking, etc. you know all the fun stuff. I need to charge my phone every other day or so depending if I end up chatting a lot or taking a lot of pictures.

With the solar charger I can get about 4 bars of a charge when the solar charger is full, I have a total of 5 bars. It takes longer to charge than the wall charger or usb hookup to a computer but it is portable and it can be used as a power source directly, if it is in the sun and charging, you don't have to wait for the charger to charge-up to get power to your phone.

I leave the charger on my front patio to charge up and it doesn't get a full days sun but about half of the sun it could if it was in an unobstructed place. During the summer it takes just under 2 days to fully charge. The charger is suppose to be water resistant so I leave it outside overnight most of the spirng, summer, and fall, So Cal weather and all. In the winter I don't get much of charge, 4 or 5 days for a full charge but I leave it outside inside a zip lock bag so it doesn't drown in the sometimes rain we do get.
There are chargers with fuller capacity and that charge faster but I wanted something portable and durable. I bought it instead of a spare battery for a trip I was taking and I would be in the sun all day every day and using my phone a lot. The charger has a clip on it and I just clipped it to my bag when I was out for the day. When my battery got low I could easily hook it to my phone and charge it up.

The solar charger comes with 6 different adapters, a charge in cable so you can charge it up if there is no sun and you are going out somewhere, and there is even a little LED light that is only little in size, that thing is bright!

The charger has 2 charging lights on it, a red one that turns on when it is being charged and a green one that blinks when it is charging. The green one also lets you know how charged the device is, I have lost the instruction sheet but there is a button on the underside you press and the green light will blink 1 to 5 times letting you know how charged it is, 5 being fully charged.

 *any mention of specific products and my opinions on them are all my own and not influenced by anything other than my personal experiences

Friday, August 5, 2011


I took some pictures of butterflies at work today.

 Gulf Fritillary resting on a Passion Flower Vine 

 Caterpillar life stage of the Gulf Fritillary
Passion Flower Vine is the exclusive food plant for the caterpillars

 Chrysalis life stage of the Gulf Fritillary

Passion flower

Passion flower (we have 2 different varieties of the vine)

Some species of Underwing moth was a close as I could get to identifying this moth I happened to see flying around at the same time, not sure why since it is a nocturnal species.

Also saw what I believe is a female Marine Blue flying around.