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Adapting To Life In The Usa


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Having recently arriving to live full time in the USA, Tiff and I have taken up geocaching. Where I use to live (Queensland, Australia) we had something like 8 out of the 10 most venomous snakes in the world...and most could be found in the garden!.

 

Living in the USA though, I'm outta my league here on what animal/critters to look for/avoid whilst geocaching.

 

I ask this cause I was out today and had a medium size (about 6 feet long, 2 inch girth) yellow and black striped snake slither between me and the cache. Being out on my own, no cell phone and no idea what I was looking at....the cache was left.

 

I've done a search of the fourms and noted some refernces to turkeys and frogs. Snakes get a few references but I'm not even sure some of these reside in this part of the world.

 

Side issue: Tiff reports that she may only geocache urban sites, where the most venemous incident she may come across is a nasty choclate malt.

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Far as I know in California, the only poisonous snake is the rattlesnake. You can get good pictures of them off the web.

Black widow spiders are around, just poke around with your hiking staff and use gloves reaching in hollow logs.

The only dangerous large animals are wild boars (don't know if there are any in SoCal) and mountain lions.

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GEOGRAPHY ANYONE?

 

My Australian drivers licence, plasted with my photo and a map of Australia, is due for renewal. My Social security number finally arrived so the time to convert my drivers licence over has arrived. Off to the DMV I go.

 

Now before I can apply, I have to substaniate that I am a legal alien. In hand I have my "permission to enter the country" document, along with "permission to remain in the country", and "this man is a legal alien" document.

 

Written test - passed OK. NORMALLY if you have another licence from one of the other US States DMV issue you a California licence without taking a driving test. International drivers though MUST Take a test.

 

I'm sitting waiting for the testing officer when my name is called up. She asks to see my current licence; the Australian one, which I present to her. She then hands me my NEW California drivers licence, and marks my Australian licence as invalid.

 

"WTF are you doing?" I ask, knowing already that there is no authority for them to invalidate my authority to drive in Australia.

 

"When you convert your drivers licence, we endorse your old US licence to indicate you have transferred."

 

"So why are you marking my internatinal drivers licence?"

 

Now are you ready for her response......

 

"Isn't Australia one of the US states?" :angry:

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GEOGRAPHY ANYONE?

 

My Australian drivers licence, plasted with my photo and a map of Australia, is due for renewal. My Social security number finally arrived so the time to convert my drivers licence over has arrived. Off to the DMV I go.

 

Now before I can apply, I have to substaniate that I am a legal alien. In hand I have my "permission to enter the country" document, along with "permission to remain in the country", and "this man is a legal alien" document.

 

Written test - passed OK. NORMALLY if you have another licence from one of the other US States DMV issue you a California licence without taking a driving test. International drivers though MUST Take a test.

 

I'm sitting waiting for the testing officer when my name is called up. She asks to see my current licence; the Australian one, which I present to her. She then hands me my NEW California drivers licence, and marks my Australian licence as invalid.

 

"WTF are you doing?" I ask, knowing already that there is no authority for them to invalidate my authority to drive in Australia.

 

"When you convert your drivers licence, we endorse your old US licence to indicate you have transferred."

 

"So why are you marking my internatinal drivers licence?"

 

Now are you ready for her response......

 

"Isn't Australia one of the US states?" :yikes:

Is this a blond joke? No American that's smart enough to drive a car (let alone test someone's driving ability) thinks Australia is one of the US states. If she really did say that, she needs her drivers license taken away for cause. :angry:

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..."Isn't Australia one of the US states?" :angry:

Most people think Alaska is part of Canada. Still I would not complain if Australia was a state. Hell I would not complain if the US was part of Austrailia. At least I'd get a dang vacation every now and then.

 

On the snake thing. I think it goes like this. "Red On Yellow, Kill a Fellow. Red on Black, Friend of Jack."

 

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/20...02_snakes4.html

 

That covers the Coral Snake. Rattle Snakes have the rattle (unless they are young) and I'm not sure about Water Moccasans since I've never lived there.

 

You are more likely to get bit by a Black Widow, Brown Recluse, or Hobo Spider than a snake. Though those have never been much of an issue either. I just wish they could make Car Paint like that Black Widow Black.

Edited by Renegade Knight
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There are certainly rattlesnakes in the San Diego area, but I don't know of any geocachers ever being bitten despite all the sightings. It's good to carry a hiking stick and let it go ahead of you in the grass. Rattlers are supposed to like warm rocks, but we've only encountered them -- that we know about -- in tall grass alongside trails. They just rattled a warning and slithered away. The handy-dandy identification guides talk about things like looking at their pupils... right, like I'm going to get down and look it in the eye! More usefully, if it hasn't got a rattle, it isn't poisonous, since rattlesnakes are the only venomous snakes around. Much safer than being in an Australian garden, apparently :angry:.

 

The other thing to worry about, which you will no doubt encounter much more often than rattlesnakes, is poison oak. Sometimes it's shiny, sometimes it's red, sometimes it's a vine, sometimes it's more like a bush. Don't touch anything with three leaflets that grows near a creek, basically, or you'll regret it next week.

 

I've seen wild turkeys out in the mountains, and coyotes and mule deer closer to home. And hummingbirds -- I've been here five years and I still can't get over hummingbirds.

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Don't short change Australia; a documentary I saw last year on poisonous snakes mentioned 10 of the 12 most poisonous snakes in the world are found in Australia. And as poisonous as rattlesnakes are, it did not make the top 12!

 

No doubt the rattling saves many a person from accidentally stepping on one. Heed the comments about walking sticks. They also come in handy for night hunting to break apart spider webs. Ski poles are great as they are non-metallic, light, and durable. You do know what a ski pole, don't you? :rolleyes:

Welcome to San Diego.

 

A 10-step guide on how to identify snakes (from a website):

 

1) Look at Snake

2) Pick up Snake

3) Check under Snake

4) If Snake has legs, then it is not a Snake

5) Release Snake if it has legs, for then, it is not a Snake

6) If Snake has no legs, then put down Snake before it bites you

7) If Snake bites, check if it is poisonous

8) If not poisonous, then don't worry

9) If Snake is poisonous, panic

10) After panicking, go to doctor within five minutes or say goodbye

Edited by Chuy
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GEOGRAPHY ANYONE?

 

My Australian drivers licence, plasted with my photo and a map of Australia, is due for renewal. My Social security number finally arrived so the time to convert my drivers licence over has arrived. Off to the DMV I go.

 

Now before I can apply, I have to substaniate that I am a legal alien. In hand I have my "permission to enter the country" document, along with "permission to remain in the country", and "this man is a legal alien" document.

 

Written test - passed OK. NORMALLY if you have another licence from one of the other US States DMV issue you a California licence without taking a driving test. International drivers though MUST Take a test.

 

I'm sitting waiting for the testing officer when my name is called up. She asks to see my current licence; the Australian one, which I present to her. She then hands me my NEW California drivers licence, and marks my Australian licence as invalid.

 

"WTF are you doing?" I ask, knowing already that there is no authority for them to invalidate my authority to drive in Australia.

 

"When you convert your drivers licence, we endorse your old US licence to indicate you have transferred."

 

"So why are you marking my internatinal drivers licence?"

 

Now are you ready for her response......

 

"Isn't Australia one of the US states?" :blink:

Muhh, nice one. So did you have to take the driving practical test then? Hardly the stuff of nightmares like the UK one, that's for sure. When the hardest manoeuvre (sorry, in the USA now, it's maneuver!) you're asked to perform is reversing *in a straight line*, I weep for driving standards.

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GEOGRAPHY ANYONE? I'm sitting waiting for the testing officer when my name is called up. She asks to see my current licence; the Australian one, which I present to her. She then hands me my NEW California drivers licence, and marks my Australian licence as invalid.

 

"WTF are you doing?" I ask, knowing already that there is no authority for them to invalidate my authority to drive in Australia.

 

"When you convert your drivers licence, we endorse your old US licence to indicate you have transferred."

 

"So why are you marking my internatinal drivers licence?"

 

Now are you ready for her response......

 

"Isn't Australia one of the US states?" :anibad:

Is this a blond joke? No American that's smart enough to drive a car (let alone test someone's driving ability) thinks Australia is one of the US states. :rolleyes:

OMG!

But maybe she takes a bus to work. As for checking the written test, she probably doesn't actually look at the content, just grades it like: A, C, C B, D - wrong, C, B, ...

 

Now we know for sure that the Sec of State hires "unskilled" workers.

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lol! What a story! Almost unbeleivable, except for the fact that there are so many here that speak little or no English.

 

Getting back to things to avoid...There are a coupe of spiders to watch out for: Black Widows and Brown Recluse (or violin spiders) Both are very nasty and can send one to the hospital if bitten. I worry more about those critters than snakes, mountain lions, bears, or others... :rolleyes:

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"Isn't Australia one of the US states?" :rolleyes:

:anibad: Classic DMV! :lol:

It gets worse. Talk to people who live in the state of New Mexico. They will tell you stories of being mistaken for being in a foreign country. College applications rejected for that reason, etc.

 

There are people who get the concept of "New England" alright, but they don't get "New Mexico."

It figures.

Edited by Sparrowhawk
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:lol::rolleyes::lol:

And I've heard of people thinking New Mexico is another country, go figure :lol::anibad:

Just about to post the same thing.

 

Here's a phone conversation I've had TWICE (no kidding, word for word.) (I won't mention the city or state but they are both from Cary, North Carolina)

 

Them: 'So, where are you at?'

Me: 'Iowa.'

Them: 'Oh.'

'Do you know where that's at?'

'yeeaah, out west.'

'uh-huh, can you name a state it's near?'

'well, there's Chicago...'

'Chicago is not a state.'

Silence.

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An excerpt from Douglas Adams' Last Chance to See, where Douglas and his crew discuss venomous snakes with an expert Australian herpetologist.

 

---

 

So you're going to Komodo. Well, I don't know why you want to do that,

but I suppose you have your reasons. There are fifteen different types of

snakes on Komodo, and half of them are posionous. The only potentially deadly

ones are the Russell's viper, the bamboo viper and the Indian cobra.

The Indian cobra is the fifteenth deadliest snake in the world, and all the

other fourteen are here in Australia.

 

[...]

 

We asked, tentatively, if we could perhaps take a snake bite detector kit

with us to Komodo.

"Course you can, course you can. Take as many as you like. Won't do you

a blind bit of good because they're only for Australian snakes."

"So what do we do if we get bitten by something deadly, then?" I asked.

He blinked at me as if I were stupid.

"Well what do you think you do?" he said. "You die of course. That's what

deadly means."

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How to Confuse the American Public Watching Me

 

So today I thought, seeing as the new trolley line opened and was offering free rides and I haven't bought a vehicles yet, that I would take advantage and slip down to San Diego State University (SDSU) to pick up a couple of caches there.

 

My attire:

 

Cap - San Fransico 49ers baseball cap

Shirt - Black Dale Earnhardt Diehard 500 t shirt

Backpack - Blue Sierra backpack upon which had Tiff had sewn a San Diego Padres cloth patch.

Belt - thin black belt with a gold buckle shape of California.

 

OK, ready for this?

 

I'm talking to the Metro Security guard and he asks

 

Him: Where are you from?

Me: Australia.

Him: Gee, you sound German to me.

 

I give up. :o

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