Archive for the ‘Randomness’ Category

In honor of Iowa Hate week preceding the Cy-Hawk Series football game between Iowa and Iowa State, and for those not familiar with the many sub-species of hawk fan, I present to you the eight types of Iowa Hawkeye Fans:

The Bandwagon Hawk Fan

This is the largest group of Iowa fans. They are mostly made up of people who don’t really care what team they cheer for (’cause they’ll never get into college anyway) so they head to WalMart, buy a $5 t-shirt, and “ta-da!” instant Hawk fan. They love to paint everything black and yellow (houses and cars included) and can commonly be found in houses like this:

The Tavern Hawk

This is a subset of the bandwagon Hawk fans. Their native habitat is small, dingy bars in small town Iowa. They will talk trash anyone who dares to wear clothing representing other universities. They would vote for Ricky Stansi for president in a heart beat. They are usually nine beers into the night when you talk to them, so they’ll gladly challenge you to a fight if you make one snide remark about Kirk Ferentz, and his son, FreeRentz.

Ed Podolak (Iowa radio analyst and taver Hok) checking out the goods

The Illini Reject

Sad Illinois Reject

Much like the saying, “If you can’t go Greek, go TKE”, for suburban kids in Chicago, they say, “if you can’t get into Illinois, go to Iowa”. They figure that if their ACT and SAT scores can’t get them where they want to go in life, they might was well have fun at the #1 party school in the country. BTW, Iowa State has more in-state students than Iowa and Northern Iowa combined. The Illini reject Iowa fans are partially to blame. Most of the blame can be put on the fact that ISU is just simply a superior school.

The Deranged Farmer

Back in the day when the Iowa fanbase’s huge egos were somewhat justified during the Hayden Fry era, the Midwest was in the middle of huge farm crisis. Fry decided that he could help farmers by putting a piddly little sticker on their helmets that said “ANF” for America Needs Farmers. It was a half-hearted PR attempt at best.

The problem is that some delusional farmers don’t actually realize that the University of Iowa does little else for farmers or the agriculture industry than produce the bankruptcy lawyers they need when their farms go under. Iowa State is the Land Grant institution in the state of Iowa, which by definition means ISU’s mission is to promote agriculture and development through science, education, and extension to Iowans. ISU is a world leader in agricultural research. They have nationally recognized programs in agronomy, animal production, ag business, horticulture, etc. Iowa… not so much.  If you’re a farmer, there’s really no excuse to cheer for Iowa over ISU. Doing so would sort of be like an oil tycoon investing in carbon credits, it just doesn’t make sense. Luckily the fine folks at Wide Right Natty Lite don’t let Iowa get away with their stupid PR stunt. They’ve produced the ISU “AHF” for Actually Helping Farmers.


The Panther Hawk

Goes to UNI… Iowa fan when it’s convenient, UNI fan when it’s not. (Exhibit A to go w/ pic below)

Northern Iowa fans, often jealous of people who attend schools with FBS level football, choose to be UNI students by day, and Hawk fans by night. Often their fandom depends on the outlook on the upcoming season. If Iowa basketball is in a slump, they decide to cheer for their Alma Mater. Iowa’s going to the Orange Bowl… they’re all of a sudden Hawk fans. Like bandwagon Hawk fans, Panther Hawks choose their loyalty too, only their loyalty can be bought by wins.

The “Where’s Waldo” Hawk

The Where’s-Waldo Hawk is the Hawk fan that attends some sporting event that has no connection whatsoever to the Iowa Hawkeyes, but they still sport their Hawk clothes, and maybe even a flag like the guy at this Boise State-Virginia Tech game:

Mistaken Steeler Fan

The mistaken Steeler fan is someone who either chooses to cheer for Iowa out of laziness and not wanting to buy a new wardrobe, or legitimately gets confused between seeing Pittsburgh and Iowa on TV.

“I didn’t realized the Steelers play on Saturdays!… And why are they losing to Northwestern?”

The Actual Alum

This is the rarest type of Iowa fan. They move out of state as soon as they graduate because they either 1) aren’t from Iowa to begin with (see Illini Reject), or 2) are too embarrassed to be associated with all of the Bandwagon and Tavern Hawk fans in the state of Iowa.

The rarest of rare Hawkeye fans – sort of like Sasquatch or unicorns.


BTW, if you want more Iowa Jokes, I recommend you read my Iowa Joke post from a few years ago.


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Bugs have been part of daily life for me lately. I’ve been spending a lot of time in the field lately, and it’s also the peak of mosquito season right now, so there’s that. Ticks have also been numerous at my research site this year.

However, not all bugs are bad. This summer I attempted to grow some tomatoes. They were a heirloom variety, and didn’t do very well. They finally put on a bunch of tomatoes in late July, but they never ripened. I just let them be, then these little guys chowing down on them the other day:

Antherea polyphemus caterpillar

Antherea polyphemus caterpillar

They are Antherea polyphemus caterpillars that will eventually turn in to one of these beautiful creatures:

Antheraea polyphemus moth. Photo credit: Wikipedia Commons

As I do my field work at my wetland research site, I stir up a lot of bugs as I go through the grass and trees with my ATV. I see a ton of spiders. I even have to set up a branch on the front of the ATV to sweep the spider webs off of the trail before I collect them with my face. One spider web in the wetland is distinctive though. The garden spider, , is a beautiful spider that has a vertical zig zag on the bottom half of it’s web. Here’s the one I saw:

Argiope aurantia 

That’s it for now. I just wanted to share some cool photos I caught with my phone lately.

Thanks for stopping by!


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I’m procrastinating a bit this morning, but I thought I would make it educational procrastination. One of the professional societies I belong to, the Soil Science Society of America, produced a series of public service announcements to spread the word about the awesomeness of soil. I already knew how awesome soils are, but you may not, so here are the three-31 second PSAs they made. Enjoy!

In other news, I recently changed my Twitter handle to @ColbyDigsSoil (it used to be @colby_cheese). This is in an effort to transition my use of Twitter from being an information consumer, to being an information source – especially as I near my goal of entering academia as a career. In the next few months I also plan on starting another website/blog that will have more of a focus on my career, career interests, and interesting news about soil, water quality, science, and more. I’ll keep you in the loop once something is launched into the blogosphere.

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Stacy and I got tattoos on New Years Eve. We waited to post them on here until they were healed so we could get a final picture. Stacy’s tattoo reads “Ta Kala Diokomen, Sigma Sigma 2016”, which is her college sorority’s (Kappa Delta’s) motto, and is Latin for “Let us strive for that which is honorable, beautiful, and highest”. The Sigma Sigma (in Greek symbols) 2016 is her chapter’s ID and her member number. She got it in black lettering on her left side on her ribs.

Stephanie Willet working on Stacy's tattoo

Stacy's Tattoo - all done

I got a Masonic square and compass tattoo on my right ankle. The compass has an acacia leaf engraving in the metal work, with the all seeing eye in the center, and the banner of my college fraternity’s (Triangle Fraternity‘s) crest underneath it. The banner reads “Veritas Omnia Vincit”, which is “secret”, but I’ll tell you it is Latin and give you a link to Google Translate.

Stephanie Willett working on Colby's tattoo

Colby not looking so happy in the tattoo chair

Clenching the teeth makes it hurt less

Colby's square and compass tattoo - all finished

Colby's square and compass tattoo all healed up

The square and compass after which Colby's tattoo was modeled

The Triangle Fraternity crest - from where Colby's tattoo banner came

Stacy say’s she wants another tattoo eventually. This was my first and last tattoo ever. It hurt a lot. I think the only future time I could possibly find myself in a tattoo parlor chair again is if I needed my tattoo touched up or something.

Steph, the tattoo artist, is a college friend and sorority sister of Stacy’s. She got her BA in design from Iowa State. Her primary job is a tattoo artist for Lasting Impressions in Des Moines. She also does art, and works for Seven Oaks in Boone, Iowa on the side. She told us she plans to attend graduate school. We wish her the best of luck. We wouldn’t have let anyone else give us tattoos. If you’re in the Des Moines area and want a tattoo, we highly recommend Steph. She works at Lasting Impressions. Here is her website, and her studio Facebook page, and Lasting Impressions Facebook Page.

If you’re interested in Masonic tattoos, then the Masonic Ink website is a good resource.

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Happy Groundhog Day everyone. For the 2nd year, we have sent out a Groundhog Day card and letter to some friends and family. Groundhog Day is the most under-celebrated holiday. So instead of putting more emphasis on the commercial holidays by sending out a Christmas card, we instead send a Groundhog Day card to celebrate the little guy’s big day. Below is our Groundhog Day card and letter. Enjoy!

***This just in, Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow (likely from the huge winter storm over Pennsylvania), and has predicted an early spring! The NC Natural History Museum’s Sir Walter Wally did see his shadow predicting 6 more weeks of winter (note: Wally’s ceremony was indoors… so I don’t know how accurate that prediction will be).***


Happy Groundhog Day!

It’s that time of year again, when groundhogs everywhere sneak above ground for the first time all year and determine the seasonal fate of human civilization. In celebration of Groundhog Day, the most under-celebrated holiday with untapped, holiday potential, we present our 2nd annual Groundhog Day card and letter.

It’s been a busy year for us. Since last Groundhog Day, 2010, we’ve had several visitors. First was Colby’s brother, Joey. He flew down for a week in March. That weekend we celebrated St. Patrick’s Day in style, and even developed our own scoring system for golf – you’ll have to ask us for the details. Colby also put Joey to work on some of Colby’s research in the greenhouse.

Stacy’s mom and sisters, Judy and Corey, all visited during the summer as well. During their weeklong stay we took them for a day at the beach in Wilmington, where we went to the Battleship North Carolina, and spent the afternoon at Wrightsville Beach. Colby gave them a tour of NC State’s campus, and Stacy took them over to see the beautiful Duke Chapel on Duke University’s campus.

In June we attended a wedding in Des Moines and reception in Kansas City for Colby’s cousin Aaron, who married his long time partner, Gabe. A few weeks later in July, Stacy’s brother, LeRoy, was married to Amber. Congratulations to both of the couples. The weddings, family, and friends were well worth the long car rides back to the Midwest. It also sounds like our 2011 wedding slate is already filling up with Stacy’s brother Randy’s engagement and wedding planned for this year.

Also in July, Colby gave his thesis defense which went very well. The thesis is titled Phosphorus Release Mechanisms in Rhizospheres of Wetland Trees and is available on the web at the following address, should you be interested enough to read it http://repository.lib.ncsu.edu/ir/handle/1840.16/6434. Colby’s parents drove down to North Carolina for the thesis defense. We gave them a tour of Raleigh, took them to one of the best eastern Carolina style barbecue restaurants in the area, then we all went up to a cabin in the mountains for a few days of R&R.

This fall semester Colby began research and classes for his PhD. He will be continuing on at NC State and is planning to graduate with his PhD in soil science in the spring of 2013.  His dissertation research will also focus on wetland soils and restoration.

Stacy is still working at Holly Hill hospital, though with a new job title. She is now the teacher for all the children’s units. Previously, she was a technician on the 5-12 year old unit in the psychiatric hospital.

Colby officially graduated in December with his Master of Science degree in soil science. Colby’s parents and brothers, and Stacy’s sister, Judy, all came down for the event. We all went to a reception held by Chancellor Woodson in the alumni center the night before graduation. Then Colby participated in the University-wide ceremony in the RBC Center (where the Carolina Hurricanes play hockey and the NC State men play basketball), and then attended the Soil Science and Crop Science departmental graduation ceremony. It is gratifying to finally reach one of the major stepping stones for Colby’s graduate work. Now there’s only five semesters to go. We didn’t do too much sight-seeing during the short visit, but we did go out on the town a few times. We went to a dueling piano bar one night which everyone enjoyed, along with having dinner at one of the popular brew pubs in town.

The following week we flew back to Iowa for the holidays. We were back for just under two weeks. It was good to be home and see friends and family… and snow, for a change. It was interesting to see how all the nieces and nephews in Stacy’s family have grown so quickly, and to catch up with the rest of our family members.

We continue to stay busy by volunteering for the Triangle Beagle Rescue – the group through which we adopted Maisie. We foster dogs in our home and keep, care for, and train the dogs until they are adopted into a “forever home.” We had two dogs, Cecil (Colby named him after the state soil of North Carolina) and Spunky, who were with us for several months. We also were short term fosters for Petey and Lexie, and we now have our next long-term foster named Davie. The foster dogs are fun, but Maisie sometimes gets a little jealous of all the attention they get.

We’ve also gotten involved with local Iowa State alumni. Colby is now the local game-watch coordinator for the Iowa State Alumni Association. He organizes a place and time for local ISU alumni to meet up with other alums and cheer on the Cyclones. We had a game-watch for all of the televised football games this last season and now we have a few planned for the basketball season. We’ve had a good response and nearly always have a dozen or more show up, and the numbers continue to grow.

As you can see it’s been a busy 12 months; and there is an equally busy slate for the next 12 months, but that’s how we like it. If you would like to keep up with all of our activities, we keep a blog of all of our goings-on at https://colbyandstacy.wordpress.com/. Best of luck to all of you and yours.

May you all have early springs,

Stacy, Colby, and Maisie

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Happy Holidays to all of the Cyclone fans out there… and the Iowa and Nebraska fans in the family too. Click on the link for a Christmas eCard from Mr. and Mrs. Geoffrey.


Also, happy Christmahanakwanzika and/or Festivus from the Moorbergs.





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This Saturday is the final conference matchup between the Nebraska Cornhuskers (formerly known as the Nebraska Bugeaters… yes really, see here) and the Iowa State Cyclones. Cyclone fans, including myself, are a little sore about Nebraska getting all worked up (because they couldn’t beat big, bad Texas) and forgetting 100+ years of tradition for the likes of the Big 10. I was once a Husker fan as a kid. I even cheered for them when they weren’t playing the Cyclones after I enrolled at ISU. Now all I care is that Iowa State gets 6 wins and a second bowl game in Paul Rhoads’ second year, and that Nebraska doesn’t leave the conference with any hardware, i.e. Big 12 North championship and a birth in the Big 12 championship game. Last year ISU beat Nebraska 9-7 with Nebraska giving up 8 forced turnovers. A win for ISU would ensure a bowl game, and a loss for the Bugeaters would diminish their chances at the Big 12 North championship. With that frame of mind, and the popularity of my earlier Hawkeye Jokes post, I present to you some Nebraska Cornhusker jokes.


(author’s note: I have many Husker fans in my family. These jokes are only in jest and I fully expect the same in return regarding the Cyclones  – but you’re not allowed to use these jokes back at me by just changing the schools in the joke. By the way, I’ll cheer for Nebraska when the play the Hawkeyes next season.)

Cornhusker Jokes

Why did Nebraska join the Big 10?

Because the Huskers couldn’t count to 10 either!


A man fell in love with the girl of his dreams. They were perfect for each other, except for one minor flaw: She was a Hawkeye and he was a Cyclone. He decided to make the ultimate sacrifice and become a Hawkeye fan. 

He went to the doctor and asked if there was an easy way to do this. The doctor replied, “Yes, it’s a very simple procedure. What we do is go in and remove half your brain. When you wake up, you will be a Hawkeye fan.”

The man agrees, and the next week goes into surgery. After he wakes up the doctor comes up to him concerned. “Sir, I apologize, but there was a mix-up with the scalpel. Instead of removing half your brain we removed 3/4 of it. How do you feel?”

The man sat up, looked around, and said “GO HUSKERS!”

How do you know that the toothbrush was invented in Nebraska? 

Because if it was invented anywhere else, it would have been called the “teethbrush.”

How many Nebraska students does it take to screw in a lightbulb? 

One, and they get four credits for it.

Why do they not serve ice in drinks at Husker games anymore? 

The student who knew the recipe graduated

A female ISU graduate is on an airplane. A male passenger sits next to her, and immediately begins to shamelessly hit on her. This goes on for half the flight. Finally, during a lull in the conversation, the girl says, “So, you graduated from Nebraska, huh?” 

The man replies in a surprised voice, “Yes, yes I did! How did you know? Was it my wit? My sophistication? My savior faire?”

“Nope,” the girl says. “I saw your class ring while you were picking your nose.”

A Texas fan, a Nebraska fan, and an Iowa State fan were out riding horses one day. At one point, the Texas fan pulled out a bottle of expensive bourbon, took a long swig, threw the bottle to the ground, pulled out a pistol and shot it. 

“What are you doing?” asked the Nebraska fan. “That was perfectly good whiskey.”
“In Texas, we have more whiskey than we need,” said the Longhorn fan, “And bottles are cheap.”

They rode along for a while, and the Nebraska fan was thinking. Then he pulled out a bottle of champagne, opened it, took a swig, threw down the bottle, pulled out his pistol and shot the bottle.
“What are you doing?” asked the Cyclone fan. “That was perfectly good champagne.”
“In Nebraska,” said the Husker fan, “We have more champagne than we need, and the bottles are cheap.”

They rode along for a while, and then the Cyclone fan pulled out a bottle of beer, drank the whole thing, put the bottle back in his saddlebag, pulled out his pistol and shot the Nebraska fan.
“What are you doing?” asked the Texas fan.

“In Iowa, ” replied the Cyclone fan, “we have more Husker fans than we need, but bottles are worth a nickel a piece.”

Why does all of the corn in Iowa lean to the east? 

Because Nebraska blows and Illinois sucks!

During the battle of Little Big Horn, Custer asked his Indian scout for an assessment.
Scout: Well General I’ve got good news and bad news.
Custer: Give me the bad news first
Scout: There are thousands of Indians here who are well armed. We are virtually surrounded and almost out of ammo. It looks very, very, bleak.
Custer: Oh, that does sound bad, but what is the good news?
Scout: Well, it looks like we won’t have to go back across Nebraska……
This one was only good until 1993 — 

Why did Tom Osborne pour his cereal on a plate?
He lost his bowls.

What’s the best thing to come out of NE? 


Did you hear about the power outage at the University of Nebraska library? Forty students were stuck on the escalator for three hours
What’s the best part of Nebraska? 

Dead center; any way you go, you’re leaving.

Breaking News!!!!
Nebraska Football Coach Bo Pelini will only dress 10 players for the ISU/NU game.
The rest can actually dress themselves!
Colorado and Nebraska have decided to merge into one state. Nebraskans gain the mountains, and Colorado gets a football team.
I saw a Nebraska state quarter the other day… It was blank
More Funny Stuff
That’s it for jokes but here are some other funny things on the interwebs:
Cyclone Fanatic message board: Nebraska Look Alike Thread
Lastly, a blog that I follow is called Wide Right and Natty Light. It is a comical look at ISU Cyclone fandom, as a well as a tounge in cheek mockery of the other Big 12 (and former) schools. Here’s their recent Nebraska-related posts:
Lastly, I heard that the HyVee in Ames is selling “Big Red” turnovers in the bakery all week. Hopefully they’re selling them in 8-packs.

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