21 July 2005

The Obligatory Introductory Post

I've been fooling around with the idea of blogging for a while now, but hadn't really gotten around to doing much about it. Back in March, I put on a burst of activity, and did the blogger sign-up thing for this blog. Then, for various reasons, I let the whole project sit for a while. Now, I'm finally ready to give it a go for real. Definitely. I mean it. Probably. Now on to the blog:

Who/What I am:

I'm a newly-minted graduate student, enrolled in a PhD program in Zoology, with a concentration in Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology. I'm going to be studying the evolution of a group of flies known as the Hawaiian Drosophila. Since I'm new at this, I have only the vaguest ideas about how I'm going to do this - and those ideas are subject to change, depending on how much my advisor laughs when he hears them.

I live and study in Hawaii, so many of my scientific posts will probably be related to some biological issues that have a larger impact on islands than continents - in particular, things like endangered species, invasive species, and other aspects of island biogeography.

I'm also a father. I have a pair of children, who have me wrapped around their little fingers. (Yes, it hurts, especially when they run really fast in opposite directions.) My children are perfect, delightful, obedient, and intelligent. And I'm telling the truth about one of those qualities. Since my children are so perfect, you shouldn't expect to read anything about assorted creatively disobedient acts that leave me torn between blind rage and hysterical laughter.

Finally, I'm a male Army Wife. The approved term is "spouse", of course, since guys like me are more common than we used to be, but sometimes the older term seems to fit the attitudes and expectations better. My wife is a medical doctor - a brigade flight surgeon - recently returned from a combat deployment, and preparing for another one sometime next year.

What to Expect:

The short and honest answer: I haven't done this before, so I really have no idea.

The still-short-but-not-quite-as-short-as-the-short-and-honest-answer-answer: I'm going to blog about the things that I think deserve my commentary. Since my ego is not small, this could include almost anything.

The long and possibly inaccurate answer:
You can definitely expect posts on science and pseudoscience, especially stuff that's related to biology. I'm more inclined to make fools suffer than to suffer fools, so you'll probably see some posts about things that irritate me. Creationism, including the Intelligent Design variety, fits into both of those categories, so you can expect to see a bit about that. I may blog about scientific articles that I read (either willingly or under coercion), and the occasional book review might appear as well.
I really don't like the touchy-feely thing, and I'm not a big fan of the slice of my life kind of blog, so I don't know how much family stuff's going to pop up. It'll really depend on circumstances, I guess. But I promise that I'll try to remember that not everybody thinks my kids are as cute as I do.
The Military.
The military, for better and worse, has a lot of influence on how my life works. My wife is career army, we live on an army base, most of my friends and all of my neighbors have a strong connection to the military, and I have a brother and a brother-in-law on active duty. I'm not planning for this to be a military blog, but I'm sure that issues related to the military will appear from time to time. See also the point above about suffering fools.
My wife is a medical doctor, my father is a nurse, and I used to be an EMT. There's a decent chance that things medical will pop up now and then - especially the more humorous side of medical care.
I don't actively seek out political things to read or get pissed off about, but given my other interests it is inevitable that politics will be discussed. Science has increasingly been the target of political abuse and misuse, politics plays a role in medical policy, how the military live and what they are told to do are both subject to political considerations, and I really don't suffer fools gladly. Politics will probably rear its ugly head here from time to time.

Well, that just about sums up my intentions for this blog. Next comes follow-through. That's never been one of my strong points, so it'll be interesting to see if I can keep this going.