Do not believe in coincidence.

Call it instinct.  Call it God.  Call it the universe.

You are the result of many of generations people (and previous ancestors) that have lived for long enough to procreate.  The somehow figured out how to get enough food, water, and find a suitable mate before passing on.  Learn to trust your gut.

There are times in life when signs point you in a certain direction.  However, our society has trained us to rationalize everything.  There are times in your life when you should make a decision.  Maybe you’re uncertain about what to do or in search of what to do next.

Rather than overthinking it, try clearing your mind.  Internalize the signs that are pointing you in a direction.  You must TRUST.  It might be hard, but you must.   Trust in the universe’s plan for you.

Visit National Parks and Monuments on the Cheap

Visit National Parks and Monuments on the Cheap

“Welp, I’m doing it.”  I decided to make the trip I’d been dreaming about for a good while.  I wanted to see more of Utah, Colorado, and Arizona.  It was going to be 23 days of waking up at the crack of dawn and seeing some of America’s best National Parks, Monuments, and other treasures.

Here is my final itinerary:

  • Zion National Park
  • Cedar Breaks National Monument
  • Red Canyon
  • Bryce Canyon National Park
  • Kodachrome Basin
  • Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument
  • Capitol Reef National Park
  • Canyonlands National Park
  • Mesa Verde National Park
  • Valley of the Gods National Monument
  • Monument Valley
  • Grand Canyon National Park

Grad Trip Map

Continue reading “Visit National Parks and Monuments on the Cheap”

Simplify Your Breakfasts

Mornings can be hectic! If you’re looking for a way to simplify things, you’ve come to the right place.  You can prep all of your breakfasts for the week on Sunday.  I use old fashioned oats since I don’t like the texture of quick oats, but this recipe would surely work with quick oats with an adjusted cook time.  Pro tip:  You could make overnight oats by adding liquid the night before, and you wouldn’t need to microwave it.

The great thing about this recipe is that you control the amount of sugar unlike sugary breakfast cereals or oatmeal packets.  Plus, oats are heart healthy.

Here’s what you’ll need for each jar:

  • ½ cup (heaping) oats
  • 2 spoonfulls of nut butter (I use peanut butter)
  • A few shakes of cinnamon
  • A few pinches of baking chocolate powder
  • About 7 almonds
  • A small handful of raisins
  • Coconut flakes
  • Honey (optional)
  • Pinch of salt (optional)

Add the oats to the jar.  I use a canning funnel to eliminate the mess.  Add the other ingredients in the order above.



In the morning, add milk or non-dairy beverage to the jar.  I’ve found over filling or under-filling can cause it to overflow; the best line is the top of smooth part.  The cook time will vary, depending on your microwave.  I put it in for 2 minutes and 30 seconds.  You’ll want to keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t boil over and make a mess in your microwave.  If it looks like this is occurring, I’d suggest going down to 80% power on the microwave to even out the cooking of the oats.


You could transport the filled jar and it shouldn’t leak.

Be careful as it will be hot – don’t burn yourself.


Thanks and enjoy!

Please take a look at the links below to order the supplies to simplify your morning:

Best Oats

Best Jars For These Oats

Best Peanut Butter For These Oats

Best Cinnamon For These Oats

Canning funnel

Smart Contract-Based Hydroclimate-Extreme Insurance Premium Adjustment with Season-Ahead Forecasting

The purpose of this paper is to advance smart contract-based crop insurance. The research question is: How can season-ahead forecasting be implemented to adjust the premiums on smart-contract-based hydroclimate-extreme insurance? The progression of this paper will be as follows: First, blockchain technology will be summarized. Then, a versatile crypto-currency, Ethereum, will be presented to implement hydroclimate-extreme insurance. Finally, three case studies will be presented- two in southern Africa, Zimbabwe and Lesotho, and one in Australia. Season-ahead forecasting will be used to determine when premiums for crop insurance should increase due to increased probability of hydroclimate-extremes.

Season Ahead Forecasting and Blockchain PDF



Compost Research Project

Compost Research Project

Reviewing Compost Use In Construction and Modeling The Hydrologic Response of Vegetated Compost Blankets

Written by Corey Poland – August 2018


The objective of this independent study is to evaluate the use of compost in large scale earthwork projects such as those conducted by Departments of Transportation. A literature review outlining how compost can be used for soil stabilization, runoff reduction, and vegetation establishment in construction sites shows that compost is viable for these purposes. Important design parameters related to compost were taken from scientific literature, as well as from recommendations by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials and the U.S. Composting council, the authority on composting in the U.S.

Then each state’s latest DOT design specification document was assessed for if/how compost use is prescribed. Most states had some mention of compost, but specifications varied widely in scope. The particle size distribution requirements differed from state to state significantly. Many of the requirements outlined by the U.S. Composting Council and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials were not incorporated design specifications for each state.

Modeling of the hydrology of vegetated compost blankets explored different vegetation scenarios, depths of compost, and types of compost in the one-dimensional domain. Fully established vegetation represents a significant sink of soil water from the root zone as transpiration or root water uptake. Since fully established vegetation covers exposed soil, it limited evaporation as well. Varying the depth of the compost layer had less of an effect on the change in soil water storage, evaporation and transpiration than changing the vegetation or type of compost. Different depths of compost did, however, affect the runoff depth more than changing the vegetation. Changing the hydraulic properties of the surface layer, based on hydraulic testing of various composts, had the greatest effect on runoff. While modeling different types of compost, we found the evaporation from the surface is not necessarily an indicator of the hydrologic effectiveness of a surface compost layer, as more water can infiltrate but is subject to evaporation, leading to similar cumulative evaporation.

Overall, the positive effects of compost have been demonstrated while DOTs and other construction companies would benefit from expanded understanding of how to use compost effectively on site. A way to model vegetated compost blankets is presented, which can help engineers determine how to best incorporate compost into design.

Continue reading “Compost Research Project”