October 02, 2005
Still here, still hacking
the damn cold seems to hang on like a bear. Urgh. So I'm just blah. I'll be back to myself tomorrow.
October 03, 2005
At least we have virtual fall....
...evoked by Punctilious' wonderful fall-themed Carnival of the Recipes this week!
The Harriet Miers Brouhaha
It's been a while since I've weighed in on a political issue. I just haven't had the motivation. Admittedly, I've avoided paying too much attention to any of the foaming-at-the-mouth folks who are completely against this nom. I'm going to try to look at her background and get to know who Harriet Miers is before I decide whether I think she's a good choice or not. Sure, on the surface, I'm a little disappointed, but that's no reason to fly off the handle right away.
Here's my initial thoughts: Is it possible that Harriet Miers is the sacrificial lamb to go before Congress, make the dems look stupid and waste their political capital on the battle? Perhaps Evil Darth Rove has planned this to get her Borked back into her cushy WH job and then he can put up a more well-known, well-qualified conservative jurist who WILL get confirmed.
And who cares if the woman has never been a judge? Three weeks ago you were all singing the praises of a man whose first stint on the bench EVER was as an Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court, and whose second was as the Chief. That's right, Rehnquist was never a sitting judge prior to his nomination to SCOTUS, so the no bench argument is a non-starter for me.
I would have liked to see Bush nominate someone from a "diversity" background, to show that he recognizes diversity, but without putting a "Ladies Room" sign on the back of the chair about to be vacated by Sandra Day O'Connor. By nominating another woman, he has all but painted the chair pink.
Got a link? Leave it in the comments or drop me a trackback. I'll take opinions from all sides.
From the man who brought you the X-Prize, the next big thing in sports:
The Rocket Racing League:
""It's bringing 21st-century racing into people's personal living rooms. ... It's really the mix of NASCAR excitement and spaceflight," Diamandis told journalists Monday.
Contestants in the Rocket Racing League would not necessarily pass the 62-mile-high (100-kilometer-high) threshold to outer space, but would vie to go the fastest and the highest in the atmosphere. In that regard, the EZ-Rocket — a rocket plane powered by liquid oxygen and isopropyl alcohol that takes off and lands like an airplane — provides a better model than, say, the air-launched SpaceShipOne rocket plane that won the X Prize almost exactly a year ago.
"For me, it's sort of a remembrance of 'Star Wars' pod racing," Diamandis said. "
Oh yeah! But where are they going to get Jedi to pilot the pods? ;)
See into my mind...
I've been doing these anonymously for months, but today I'm bored so I'll share:
This week's Unconscious Mutterings:
My answers in the extended.....
You can play along too. Cut and paste and leave your answers in the comments!
Many thanks to Jenna for getting me started on these.
- Pork:: Barbecue
« Hide "See into my mind..."
Are you a Republican or a Democrat?
The Pirate has a new and improved quiz to help you determine your political persuasion. What you are depends on the answer you choose to the following (one) question:
You're walking down a deserted street with your wife and two small children. Suddenly, a middle eastern looking man with a huge knife comes around the corner, locks eyes with you, screams obscenities, praises Allah, raises the knife, and charges. You are carrying a Glock .40, and you are an expert shot. You have mere seconds before he reaches you and your family. What do you do?
Go here to choose among the answers.
My answer?? Here's a hint: never bring a knife to a gunfight.
Ten years ago today
The OJ (pronounced ohj) was acquitted. I was beginning freshman year at Caltech.
Chris Rock was right. Enjoy your freedom, Orenthal (the bus-driving murderer).
Funny, Johnny Cochrane didn't live to see a decade after the trial.
I miss the Lance Ito Dancers.
USNews has a good retrospective article here.
October 04, 2005
How do you Moms do it?
I swear, it's insane to be in the car all day.
Here's my day (up to 3pm):
Over to my future employer to drop off my transcripts since they didn't make it over there in the mail on time.
From there, back down the freeway to Target to get a trash can for the downstairs bathroom, more Hallowe'en candy, and a card and a birthday present for Baby Xrlq.
Then to Ralph's for some groceries. How ironic is it that a VERY popular grocery store is named the same thing as puking????
Then home, to put away groceries, call UNC Hospital patient accounts (they keep sending bills even though I paid my last bill and their computer shows a $0 balance) before their office closed at 5pm EDT, and make my driver's license renewal appointment (YAY for DMV appointments!).
Next, out the door again. First to the Caltech recycling center to dump the last of Mt. Boxmore (the last HUGE pile of boxes from the unpacking), then to Whole Foods to pick up some things to replenish the stockpiles in the fridge (I can SERIOUSLY recommend the bulk chocolate chips. Yummy) and replace the things we left behind in the move. And a couple of indulgences from the deli for dinner tonight :) I am a little disappointed. This WF is much bigger than the one in Chapel Hill, but it was hard to find some of my favorite things, and some of the prepared foods that were our favorites (the lasagna etc.) were AWOL. :( Nice wine and beer section, though.
Then, I confess, I did stop at Whorebucks. It's right next to Whole Foods. Venti Pumpkin Spice Frappucino. Which I really liked. Be sure to get it with whipped cream.
Finally, home again to put away the things from Whole Foods. And if you're reading this, DH, your favorite things from WF are waiting for you. One on the counter and one in the fridge (hint, hint)
Just looking at what I wrote makes me tired..... I couldn't do this every day and tote kids around too.... Sheesh.
Ah shite. I forgot to get the makeup that I ran out of and wrapping paper. I even had a frickin' list!
Well, maybe I'll get DH to go out with me AGAIN tonight.
I forgot to add another crucial element of my shopping trip today. While I was at Target I picked up Cinderella on DVD. It came out today, and with Disney's draconian video release rules, I usually make sure to pick one up early on if it's a movie I want. Not to mention that dvds are usually cheaper the first week they're out.
Turns out I picked up the last one in the store. The main "Cinderella" display was empty, so I walked back to the "new releases" rack, and there were 2 left. The lady next to me took one and I took the other. This was at noon! Either they didn't order enough, or Cinderella is a cult classic in ways I never heard of.
Of course it is my favorite Disney movie. Sleeping Beauty is my favorite of the Princesses, but Cinderella is my favorite Disney movie, followed closely by Robin Hood and Lady and the Tramp. So I was SUPER HAPPY to pick one up.
I suspect there were more in crates in the back, but the dude in the video department was telling people to try again later or tomorrow, so they were probably still in the boxes.
Oh, and the ones at Target come with a glass slipper charm... (which sadly enough is not glass).
Sick beyond words
This is almost too ridiculous to be true, and if it isn't, well, Good Job, you pissed me off!
This makes me think I live in a SANE state. Yes, I do mean California.
" Republican lawmakers are drafting new legislation that will make marriage a requirement for motherhood in the state of Indiana, including specific criminal penalties for unmarried women who do become pregnant "by means other than sexual intercourse."
Only women who are married will be considered for the "gestational certificate" that must be presented to any doctor who facilitates thepregnancy. Further, the "gestational certificate" will only be givento married couples that successfully complete the same screening process currently required by law of adoptive parents."
Furthermore, "commit[ing] unauthorized reproduction, [is] a Class B misdemeanor."
I realize that the intent of this idiotic law is to punish amorality, but the only one really punished is the poor innocent child conceived out of wedlock or by science. See, if you require these documents, then babies conceived this way are LESS likely to get competent prenatal care.
Either that or more babies are going to be aborted in Indiana.
Neither of these situations is good.
The first proviso is directed at single mothers, the second at lesbians. It's pretty transparent that this idiotic piece of legislation is a thinly veiled moral-majority dig at alternative and "ghetto" lifestyles.
Babies born to single moms are far more likely to be on the bottom end of the spectrum in a number of developmental milestones, are less likely to receive prenatal care, and are more likely to suffer from any number of disorders. This just represents the second strike against healthy kids.
Which is just sick. SICK. If you live in Indiana, and this is real, let your representatives know what a crock of shit this legislation is.
(h/t CA Mafia)
In lieu of House tonight...
I will be watching Cinderella and crocheting.
Thanks Fox. I didn't even get to watch the game I wanted to see since it was on during the day (Go Red Sox!)
October 05, 2005
Is it me?
Or is everything rather blah today?
Oh sure, there are some important stories out there:
The Miers nomination
The Oklahoma bomber
Fire danger here in LA (relative humidity running between 7-12% with high wind warnings for the entire LA area)
Tropical Storm Tammy (no, not Tammi)
but you know, it all seems so pointless and pathetic today.
I wish I knew some funny jokes to tell you all.....
A good reason to give a kid a cell phone...
I have long been on record saying any kid of mine doesn't get a cell phone until they get a driver's license. I just don't think that there's any reason to have one until you can drive.
Well, I may be wrong. Christina (co-blogging at fistful of fortnights) demonstrates how a Mom can use the kid's cell phone to her advantage. Every morning.
Heh. Well done.
This brings the number of Nobel Laureates I've met personally to 8
Bob Grubbs of Caltech shares the 2005 Nobel Prize for Chemistry.
Grubbs shares the prize equally with Yves Chauvin of Institut Francais du Petrole and Richard Schrock of the OIT (that's MIT, for the unaware) for the development of metathesis in Organic Chemistry.
From the Nobel website:
The word metathesis means 'change-places'. In metathesis reactions, double bonds are broken and made between carbon atoms in ways that cause atom groups to change places. This happens with the assistance of special catalyst molecules. Metathesis can be compared to a dance in which the couples change partners.
Metathesis is used daily in the chemical industry, mainly in the development of pharmaceuticals and of advanced plastic materials. Thanks to the Laureates' contributions, synthesis methods have been developed that are
* more efficient (fewer reaction steps, fewer resources required, less wastage),
* simpler to use (stable in air, at normal temperatures and pressures) and
* environmentally friendlier (non-injurious solvents, less hazardous waste products).
This represents a great step forward for "green chemistry", reducing potentially hazardous waste through smarter production. Metathesis is an example of how important basic science has been applied for the benefit of man, society and the environment.
I met Grubbs when I worked in the Chemistry department as a freshman and sophomore. I remember his labs as remarkable because one ALWAYS had to wear safety goggles inside since there had been a number of interesting explosions at odd times, but that's what you get with metal catalysts....
This brings the number of Caltech Nobels to 32 prizes awarded to 31 alumni and/or faculty. Can you name the Caltech Nobel Laureate who won TWO prizes?? Hint: The prizes were for Chemistry and Peace.
Other Nobel Laureates I've met (not that any of them would remember me):
HD Politzer (who was my friend's freshman advisor)
Tom and Katie: Preggo
This is sick. Just sick.
Some people should be banned from procreating.
Taking odds that:
-- Non-natural conception was involved -or-
-- Tom isn't really the dad
-- The baby will be born in silence as per Scientology bullshit
-- The baby will get a really weird Hollywood name, like, oh, Kal-El
No comment yet from Nicole Kidman who got divorced for getting pregnant while married to Cruise.....
I thought he was gay....
On an unrelated note
Watching the KCAL 9 News at 2, and they're showing a preview of the Air Force One exhibit soon to be open at the Reagan Library.
The story should be on the 5/5:30/6 news, and may be carried elsewhere.
Is it me, or does the exhibit look WAY TOO MUCH like the AF1 hangar in the arctic base in Perfect Dark?
Sorry, I've just been exposed to too many N64 games (although PD was pretty good, loved the alien "Elvis")
The Hurricanes are in TB to take on the **snort** defending **snort** Stanley Cup Champ Tampa Bay Lightning.
Now! Let's Go Canes!
BTW you can listen to the games for free on the internet. Click here and then pick your favorite team audio.
October 06, 2005
Not so stately Wayne Manor
A beautiful, classic Pasadena landmark burned last night. The house at 160 S. San Rafael was undergoing renovations, and was a total loss.
The house was owned by the grandon of Armand Hammer and his family, and they had put over $30 Million into renovating and restoring the house to its former glory.
You might be familiar with the house as it "starred" in episodes of Murder, She Wrote, Rocky V and especially, the Batman movies. Michael Keaton and Val Kilmer each lived there as Bruce Wayne. Interestingly, Adam West's Bruce Wayne did not. He lived down the street at 380 San Rafael. That house still stands, although it was a near miss. The prompt and professional response of the Pasadena Fire department saved the fire from spreading down the entire Arroyo under Santa Ana conditions.
The whole story is here.
both images courtesy Newsreel/NBC4TV
By the Way...
Jay of Accidental Verbosity was commenter #1000 on my Mu.Nu site.
Of course, it was for this post, which I think also set my personal comment record at 14.
Presented for your Amusement
As many of you are aware, my DH is a 7th and 8th grade teacher. 12 and 13 year olds are little more than raging bags of hormones.
Well, evidently yesterday he took away a note that one of the girls had written to a boy, including the boy's partial response. He left it in the kitchen this morning and all I can say is that I'm glad I wasn't eating or drinking when I read it...
I hope like hell he read it out loud to the class. I present it here for you, spelling and grammar mistakes intact, with only the names changed to protect the innocent.... and not so innocent.
(imagine cute, rounded girly writing, as only 12 and 13 year old girls can do)
I really am sorry. Are you sure your not upset, because you turned all red. I'm sorry for annoying you with all these notes. I am confused on who I like well I'm not confused about you,; but I'm in a situation right now.[emphasis mine-Ed.]
Here's his response, written lower on the same page:
lol Im always red and Im pissed off at Mr. [DH].
I suspect that there would have been more but that the paper was removed at this point.....
I will continue to post such notes as he finds them and brings them home, that is, until he tells me to stop.
I was disappointed though. When we were in 7th and 8th grade, we used to fold the notes up in very complicated ways to make envelopes or flaps, or even into the shape of an arrow. This was only folded in half twice. Kids today have no sense of creativity.
To baby Xrlq, who is celebrating his first today.
October 07, 2005
Life around the B-sphere
While I feel like I'm on hold, waiting for the new job to start (a week from Monday), it seems like everyone else's life keeps chugging along....
Val makes a pronouncement on his "official" ethnic designation
Joanie continues to heal from her surgery and to do good things for other people
Sadie and her parents start the process of potty training
Sissy is halfway through the big move
Jenna takes a (few) moment(s) to vent
Jen puts in for a well deserved promotion
Kate's lovely Moira has the dreaded Chicken Pox
Contagion gets a free trip to Sensitivity training
VW has a budding photographer at home
Margi succumbs to catblogging (must be the hormones)
Bou's boys learn that sometimes less REALLY is more, the hard way
Sarah learns what a "kid-sized" portion is.
I can't wait for my life to get interesting again.....
This gives new meaning to our old joke "Hey Honey, what blew up today?"....
The Washington Monument was evacuated this afternoon after a phoned in bomb-threat.
In NYC, 3 arrests have been made in the subway bomb plot
Michelle Malkin has an update on The Oklahoma bomber
What would it take?
Goldstein asks, "What would the Democrats have to do to get your vote in '06 and '08??"
"In 2000 I didn’t care who won, though I disliked Gore, who seemed impossibly artificial.
But now, after 5 years of listening to Dems, there is absolutely nothing they can do to win me back short of purging their entire leadership and nuking their base from orbit.
It’s the only way to be sure."
I'm not so drastic. Sure, I'd like to see them nuke their base and point out the hypocrisy rampant in the leftist whiner victim movement. But I might consider voting for one if they put Joe Lieberman up for President. And meant it.
I've long said that the problem with the Left in this country is that in an effort to distance themselves from the hot-button issues of the Right (family, economy, safety) they've excluded themselves from the majority of national discourse and focused on currying support from far-left politicos who were leaving the party in droves in 2000. Choosing Whacko Howie as their chair is a great example of this attitude.
That is, rather than recognizing that to run a successful campaign you have to reach across the aisle, the democrats have focused on what they see as past mistakes and party losses.
Even more simply: They should be going for purple, rather than teal.
It wasn't Clinton's centrist policies that lost the election for Gore. It was Gore who lost his own election. By being a boor. There was no need to run to the Green defectors as if the victim whiner movement would save the world from the evil thug republicans.
If the left wants to be taken seriously, they need to drop the hemineglect act and recognize the right side of the political spectrum is a legitimate section of the electorate, not merely ignorant, country, sheeple who love guns and NASCAR and can't be trusted to make reasonable, objective decisions for the country.
Is it just me?
This is for the CA readers out there....
Is it me, or when you see that anti prop-76 ad that says "Prop 76 alters the CA constitution and blah blah blah and gives the governor..."
Do you also hear in your head "harrumph!"
As in: "Give the Governor Harrumph!"
Brownie points to whoever gets the reference....
As a non-chocoholic, I love nougatty and vanilla-y candies, and one of my all time favorites is Divinity. Usually you make it for Christmas or in the winter, but you can make it any time of year (although it doesn't come out as well on rainy or humid days) and someone always makes it for my parents' church Bazaar, and as Bazaar time is coming around again soon, I thought I'd share a recipe for this yummy treat.
This particular recipe comes from Paula Deen and makes a harder candy, but they're all about the same.
4 cups sugar
1 cup white corn syrup
3/4 cup cold water
3 egg whites
1 teaspoon pure vanilla
2 cups chopped pecans or walnuts
In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, stir together the sugar, corn syrup, and water. Stir only until sugar has dissolved. Do not stir after this point. Cook syrup mixture until it reaches 250 degrees F on a candy thermometer, bringing it to a hard ball stage.
While the syrup is cooking, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Once the sugar mixture reaches 250 degrees F, carefully pour a slow steady stream of syrup into the stiffly beaten egg whites, beating constantly at high speed. Add the vanilla and continue to beat until mixture holds its shape, approximately 5 minutes. Stir in pecans or walnuts.
Using 2 spoons, drop the divinity onto waxed paper, using 1 spoon to push the candy off the other. This may take a little practice because the technique is to twirl the pushing spoon, making the candy look like the top of a soft serve ice cream. If the candy becomes too stiff, add a few drops of hot water. You will need to work fast when making this type of candy. After you spoon the cooked sugar and nuts onto the waxed paper, you're done. Cool the candies on racks completely. You can store them in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
Alternatively, you can pour this into a foil lined pan that has been Pam sprayed then cut into squares if you are not comfortable spooning it out. This is the way I like it. You can also add food coloring to the mix if you want to make it pretty.
This blog now officially a White Sox Fan
unless the Angels beat the Dark Side.
October 10, 2005
Yesterday, DH and I got up at oh-dark thirty and drove out to the boat house to meet Bill, Ed, Elizabeth, and Kate for a trip out to Catalina.
After a few hitches and a bit of electrical tape, we went out on the water. The weather was beautiful, with a light wind and moderate swells.
Of course, this means that we were bumping up and down through the swells. Note to self: Next time don't sit up on formerly broken tailbone..... I ended up having to lay down on the deck rather than land on my butt every 2 seconds.
We went to Two Harbors and then pulled Ed around on skis. Later we anchored in a cove where I distinguished myself by jumping in the water and having a system shock freak out. Then I did my best Sea Lion impression hauling myself back up into the boat and pinching my arm on the side of the boat.
Don't ask. I was utterly useless and pathetic yesterday. I feel bad for everyone that had to put up with me.
Then I treated myself to an hour's lie out on the deck to dry. Good thing no one got a shot of me with my face covered.....
Then we cruised down south of Avalon and back before coming back to LB. The ride back was actually better, a surprise since the seas are usually rougher in the afternoon.
Halfway back, we stopped and rode around, playing with these guys:
There was a large pod of perhaps 30 of them swimming up to the boat and playing in the wake.
The rest of the trip was uneventful except for a couple of wake crossings and Ed's hat flying off..... Sorry, dude!
Anyway, despite SPF 45 I am a mess. Well, half a mess. I look like Tommy Lee Jones as Two-Face, half white, half red. I was cozied up to the starboard side of the boat, and it shielded half of my body from the sun....
But it was totally worth it. Glad I don't have to go to work until next week :)
Bill has more great dolphin pics here....
Elsewhere this weekend
Dave Schuler hosts this week's Carnival of the Recipes. Lots of yummy recipes, including lots of warm comfort foods for fall!
DH and I went to Baby Xrlq's 1st birthday party (along with BFLers Little Miss Attila and the Calblog family) and had a wonderful time! The entire Xrlq family ended up with cake on their faces (as Mr. and Mrs. also celebrated their 10 year anniversary this weekend) and a fabulous time was had by all, especially the brithday boy who covered himself in mud before covering himself in cake and frosting!
Many People have asked...
What is my opinion on the whole creation/darwin/ID debate?
Here's my answer, courtesy of the greatest beer in the world.
(h/t Cake Eater Kathy)
Rocking the boat....
Anybody got a good remedy for "boat hangover" (feels like everything you sit/lie down on is rocking)???
The extent and location of the sunburn makes my usual remedy (vigorous walk) nearly impossible...
Off to try a shower and getting water in my ears.....
October 11, 2005
More Schizophrenia News
The other CATIE study was released today in the Americn Journal of Psychiatry. Several researchers I worked with at UNC were involved in this story, and I think it's an important one.
In this study, researchers found that early intervention with antipsychotic treatment after a first episode improved long term outcome.
This has long been a hot button issue in the treatment of Schizophrenia. Prolonged, or multiple breaks are required for a complete diagnosis, and much of the testing that needs to be done should be done without meds on board, so it frequently takes a while for patients to get on a maintenance dose of antipsychotics. Furthermore, if the first episode is not severe, patients may not get treated until their symptoms worsen. This study looks at those patients, and discovers that the earlier treatment starts, te better the outcome.
This is not surprising, since we view Schizophrenia as a developmental disorder that lies dormant until triggered, probably by stress, usually in the second decade of life. If a person is showing a propensity to have a psychotic break and then devolve into frank Schizophrenia, treating them early simply gives us a headstart on their illness. If we can keep a patient from getting too sick to be independent or from losing their cognitive skills, then we've gone a long way towards keeping Schizophrenia from controlling their lives and allowing them to be normal.
The abstract is here. Unfortunately the full study is hidden behind a fee....
I just found out this morning that someone I love is sick and it may be very bad. We'll find out soon.
If you pray, I'd appreciate a few for my family for good health and that things work out for the best for us.
If you have my number, call me. I could use a hug.
Your weekly dose of free association. Play along in the comments. My answers below the fold.
- Pet Peeve::
- Promise me::
Read More "Unconscious Mutterings" »
- Pet Peeve:: idiots
- Breasts:: chicken
- Promise me::Anything
- Murder::most foul
- Filament::light bulb
« Hide "Unconscious Mutterings"
October 12, 2005
It's that time of year again...
It's Halloweenie Time!
British actor Peter Mayhew, best known as Han Solo's hetero life mate Chewbacca will become a US Citizen on Monday.
"Mayhew, 60, played the fur-covered warrior Chewbacca in the original "Star Wars" trilogy of the 1970s and 1980s, and the latest movie, "Episode III: Revenge of the Sith."
"I got married to a Texan lady. That more or less decided it," said Mayhew, who has been married to his wife, Angelique, for six years.
When he takes his oath to become an American, Mayhew said he'll recite what he can remember and "it will be a Chewie growl for the other parts.""
Damn Good Dog
If you haven't seen this story, you should.
Ranger, a 4 year old Belgian Malinois, and an officer of the Long Beach Police Department was shot and killed in the performance of his duties last week. Today was his funeral, and he will be buried at the Long Beach Police Academy in their K9 cemetary.
Long Beach police were attempting to capture a gang member who was suspected of parole violations on October 4th, when he fired at officers and crawled under a porch. Despite several warnings, the criminal did not come out and so Officer Mike Parcells sent in his partner, Ranger.
Ranger brought out the bad guy, but he was mortally wounded in the process.
The bad guy didn't make it either.
Everytime I see this story on the news, it makes me cry to see the officer cradling his partner in his arms as he rushed him to the emergency Vet clinic where he died after 3 1/2 hours of surgery.
Ranger leaves behind his partner, Officer Parcells, and his family, Mrs. Parcells and the two Parcells kids who were his best friends and who used to sneak him hot dogs behind their daddy's back.
Ranger is the third K9 officer to be memorialized by the Long Beach PD.
October 13, 2005
weird quiz of the day...
h/t Jay Solo
Whose blog is only worth $1700 more than mine.....
To Blogger Anita of Fighting Inertia! (it's her first 39th)
Stop by and wish her well
Long F'ing morning ALREADY
Up at 5 am when DH's alarm went off
Took DH to school at 7 because he left his bike there yesterday
Home briefly to change out of PJs, then over to the Pasadena DMV. The place opens at 8 am, I was there at 8:07 and I still had to wait. Only about 5 minutes though.
Dropped $25 to get my license renewed and a new picture taken, although I am partial to the pic of me at 17 with glasses, frizzy hair, and braces.
Then over to the Pasadena Municipal Services to get the dog licensed. The vet told me several weeks ago that ALL I needed was a Rabies certificate, because it states that the dog is spayed and the Vet signed it.
WRONG. The dude there told me in no uncertain terms he needed a separate Certificate of Sterility. Great.... the vet who spayed her is in Carrboro, NC. SO...... I haul back over to our new vet, and the Vet tech who helped me was thoroughly confused as to why I should need the spay cert. when no one else ever seems to ask for one. However, after we reckoned up the spay date, she printed one for me, and I was on my way.
Good Karma: I found a parking spot with 23 minutes on the meter when I got back!
I stood around in there for 18 minutes waiting for the guy to get the info in the computer and then paid $10.07 to get the dog legal.
I got home at 9:30. Rather than feeling accomplished, I've got a headache.
Did I mention that DH's school, the DMV, and the Vet are all on the other side of town, and that our house and the City Services building are on the other? I could just feel the money draining out of my wallet as I used up the gas.....
I still have to go down to Alhambra to Costco to get prescriptions refilled for the first time since we moved.....
After all that, maybe some laundry.....
It took over an hour and a half in Costco. I hate going to the frigging pharmacy. Especially as I had to transfer 4 prescriptions and get them all on the new insurance.....
I'm done for today. Maybe I'll do some housewife stuff later.
October 14, 2005
Another Day, Another pile of forms....
Today was my last official week day as a housewife! My job starts Monday. So how did I celebrate? Of course I went and got poked and prodded! Today was my pre-employment physical. Vision, hearing, TB, pee in a cup, etc. And they had to poke me twice to get blood. But that's nothing new. I don't bleed easily.
Then down to the HR office to finish up the employment forms and take my ID pic. I'm good to go except for my benefits orientation on Monday, and getting my office and keys.
I'm so excited. I can hardly wait for that first paycheck..... I wonder if they do direct deposit....
I'm going to try to celebrate tonight by going out to get my moisturizer while it's still Clinique bonus time.....
An oldie but a goodie
This was my very first submission to the Carnival of the Recipes, and in honor of this week's all-pork-all-the-time theme, I thought it was worth rerunning, as it is my ALL-TIME FAVORITE piggy recipe:
"Blasphemous" NC Barbecue (a.k.a. Crock-Pot Piggy)
Time: 8 hours + overnight, largely unattended
4 tablespoons paprika
4 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons cracked black pepper
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons dry mustard
2 tablespoons ground coriander (or any coriander-containing premade rub that doesn't have a lot of salt)
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
½ tablespoon Cinnamon
½ tablespoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 teaspoon allspice
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
(makes close to enough for 2 roasts, store in a Ziploc sandwich baggie)
1 pork butt roast, 5 to 6 pounds
1 ½ cups apple cider (unfiltered)
1 small lemon, juiced ( ½ -3/4 cup of juice)
Barbecue sauce (sometimes called Dip):
1 cup white vinegar
1 cup cider vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes (may substitute cayenne, but as written is damn near close to Bullock’s sauce)
1 tablespoon Tabasco sauce
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste.
Whisk ingredients together in a bowl. Drizzle into meat.
Covered, leftover sauce will keep about 2 months.
Yield: About 2 cups.
1. Mix dry ingredients together in bowl, using a fork to break down hunks of brown sugar. Put Boston butt roast in crock pot, apply spice rub to pork butt with your hands, covering meat entirely one side at a time, turning roast until entirely coated, wiping any spilled rub up from the bottom of the pot and using it to coat subsequent sides of the roast. Roast should end up fat side UP.
2. Add Cider and Lemon Juice to crock pot, being careful not to wash spice rub off of the top of the roast.
3. Cover with lid and cook on high 4 hours. Turn meat. Cook 4 more hours. Turn meat again (if possible) and turn power to low. Leave crockpot on over night.
4. Let cook on low 10-12 hours (including overnight) (meat is done by this time, but the longer it sits, the more fat is melted (improves texture)). Turn off crock pot, and let meat sit, covered, about 45 minutes because otherwise it is TOO HOT to handle.
5. Pour meat and liquid into a LARGE bowl with a colander to separate meat from juice. Be sure to remove the bone(s) at this time.
6. Dump meat and fat bits from colander into another LARGE bowl. “Pull” the meat (shred between 2 large forks) until in bite size shreds.
7. Make up barbecue sauce. Mix in with meat, serve or let stand in refrigerator. Tastes even better later !
Yield: 10 to 12 servings, if you’re lucky.
Originally posted here.
October 16, 2005
WooHoo! I can now sit in my living room! I now have something to sit on!
After calculating this month's finances and paying all the bills, DH and I determined that there was enough in the piggy bank to replace the old broken-ass, worn out, puppy chewed couches we left in a dump in NC as well as the 500lb 1 piece MDF POS entertainment center that's also somewhere in NC.....
So yesterday before the SC game started, we went to The Hall of Bliss (aka Ikea) and we purchased the sofa we've been lusting after since July. But what's a sofa without a TV to watch, right? So we had to buy something to put the TV on, too.
We set up the delivery for the sofa for today and picked up the various pieces of wood that were about to make up our new entertainment center and came home. We hauled the boxes in the house and started assembling. Good thing we've done this before.....
After the game we realized one of the things we purchased wasn't needed, so it's was back to Ikea to exchange it for what we did need.....
Then we stopped for dinner and got pie to go (note: This month Coco's has pie for $1 if you by lunch or dinner, and you can get it to go!)
We finished the construction at around 2 am (I'm sure our neighbors love us) and went to bed.
Phone rings at 9 am this morning. Hi this is the Ikea driver, we're at your gate.
Hot Damn! 15 minutes, a pile of plastic and a slip cover later, I had a real living room again! We celebrated with pie for breakfast on our new couch. Banana Cream for me, Cherry for DH.
YAY!!! Just in time for me to have a place to collapse after a long day at work...
Pictures when I get a chance.....
Wish me luck tomorrow.
Oh yeah, and Fight On Trojans!!
October 17, 2005
Happy Belated Birthday!
October 18, 2005
Sorry I ignored y'all yesterday. I was busy.
Arrived at work around 9 am, and met with HR for my benefits orientation. Then I went to the clinic where I had my physical to get my TB test read. Of course negative. Then back to work for a sit down with my new Supervisor and finally I was introduced to my new office. It's about 5x8 with a real window and a door. Bookshelves and a HUGE filing cabinet that I got the keys to today (yay!). It's also in the back corner of our little group, so I can see and hear all of the comings and goings (no more sneaking up on me because my back is to the room). It's also mine alone, so I can shut the door and work or listen to the radio or whatever, and no one can bitch at me. There's also a bulletin board and a white board.
Spent nearly the entire day bending the computer to my will (single click files, firefox extensions, RSS feeds) and installed my brand new printer. Yay! New printer.
I have a hella cool chair too. Better than DH's pathetic teacher chair in his classroom. Although his computer has a bigger monitor....
Holy crap. I just realized this is a wireless keyboard and mouse. I can write from across the room with my feet up on the window.
Today I brought in my big box o' toys and made the office look a little more like home. Now I need to bring in the posters (same picture, but the caption on mine reads "They've saved more lives than 911") and my coffee cups and we'll be good to go.
I need some freaking coffee. But I'm not gonna go down the street to Whorebucks.....
Ok, back to work.... I can't believe they pay me for this stuff!
This week's free dose of free association:
- On the verge::
- Near death::
- Why not?::
- Long lost::
Read More "Unconscious Mutterings" »
As always my answers in the extended.... Feel free to play along in the comments!
- On the verge:: of something big
- Tempestuous:: relationship
- Coherent:: sentence
- Near death::experience
- Illiterate:: masses
- Why not?:: Why?
- Long lost:: friend
- Torrid:: affair (second answer: shopping)
- Nail:: Gun (second answer: polish)
Second answers were included when they followed the first response quickly enough that they almost deserve to be first answers
« Hide "Unconscious Mutterings"
Good wishes go NW.....
The Irony, it drips...
... from this story like the water from Ted Kennedy's sunken car coming out of the bay in Chappaquiddick.......
What do you suppose Ol' Teddy's reasoning is? Live and Learn???? or maybe he's now wearing a WWMJD? bracelet (what would Mary Jo do?).......
Your punchlines in the comments
October 20, 2005
Some mornings are just nice
Like when you open up your inbox after 12 hours (conked out on the couch last night. Yay 'Stros!) and find no trolls, no Spambots, and emails from your friends that you haven't talked to in months and an invitation to hang out.
I hope the rest of today is as nice....
NBA Dress Code
I have been listening to the sports radio station in the morning as I drive to work because I can't stand the bitch on in the morning on Star. I couldn't stand her 6 years ago, and guess who's still there when I come back?
But I digress. One of the topics between 8:30 and 9 was the NBA dress code, and the special guest that called in to discuss it was none other than Sir Cheese and Broccoli (Charles Barkley).
Interestingly, he immediately dismissed the whining of several NBA players, including Allen Iverson, that individuality was more important, or that as other players have alleged, the new code was racist. Charles said, "It's not about racism. Every other league has a dress code, every workplace has a dress code, why can't the NBA?"
This is true. Sure, I can wear jeans and birkenstocks to work, but they must still be neat and clean, and I need to wear something nicer if I have a meeting.
Then he went on to say something very significant, which was this, "Young blacks look up NBA players. We can't have a bunch of black millionaires going around dressed like thugs because the kids see that and they think it's ok to dress like thugs. Young black kids aren't going to be able to get jobs if they dress like thugs"
"But it is racial, too. We have a lot of problems in the black community today. If you get good grades, you get accused of acting white, if you dress nice, you get made fun of. Why is that? Why can't a young brother look nice? We need to tell these black kids that it's ok to do well and look nice. Maybe these NBA players can help us do that"
It was very refreshing to hear this point of view, which has been all but ignored in this latest brouhaha. Cheese is right. A kid in a throwback jersey and pants around his hips is less likely to get a job than a kid in a t-shirt and nicely fitting (if ratty) jeans with the same qualifications, and both are less likely to get a job than the 3rd kid who wears slacks and a tie to his interview. Even for McDonalds. I find it both telling and sad that these players would rather flaunt their wealth as a mark of their personal style than accept their responsibility as role models to the black community. Barkley went on to say that there's a time and a place for that kind of dress and behavior, and that the time comes when tthese guys need to step up and be men and take responsibility. Kids wear throwback jerseys. Men don't. He asked the host if he could imagine himself (Barkley) going to a parent-teacher conference in a throwback. This got a lot of laughs.
Barkley made another point: This is all about $$. Big money in sports comes from corporate dollars: Sponsorships, Commercials, Luxury Suites. The NBA can afford to risk alienating a few kids or slowing sales of $350 throwback jerseys because presenting their players as professionals courts earns $350,000 more corporate dollars from another sold commercial spot. And that's the $$ they want.
Maybe this is just me, looking in on this debate from the outside, but it is, in a nutshell, really an example of some of what's wrong with society in general. Individualism and wealth have become so important that people have forgotten what's appropriate. When businessmen and women dress, they hold themselves to a certain standard of what is appropriate. Not only because it is expected of them, but because it is a mark of respect to the people thet work with that they dress in such a manner. If I walked into a business meeting in ratty jeans and sandals, the people I was meeting would feel disrespected. Wouldn't you? These men are also professionals and businessmen. They should dress accordingly as a measure of respect for the people they interact with, in this case, other players, team administration, and the fans. It is appropriate.
This extends to other parts of life too. When you see someone that needs help, do you ignore, or offer? To offer to help is appropriate, even if it's something as simple as opening the door for a colleague that has his/her arms full, yet each of us can probably count on both hands the number of times we've seen some one too wrapped up in themselves to notice.
Or turning off your cell phone. I try very hard to NOT use my phone in public, and I make sure it's off in meetings, classes, and other places where it would be inappropriate to chat on the phone. If I need to speak to someone while I'm in a restaurant or store, I try to speak low and cover my mouth so others are not disturbed.
Here's the thing. Standards used to be important. Somewhere along the line, individualism became more important and standards went out the window. Now everyone is an individual and everyone is special. Maybe it's time that we realized that what makes things work is a balance between the two.
Welcome Back, Teddy!
Teddy Bruschi returned to practice this week, just 8 months after suffering a mild stroke and subsequently having heart surgery to correct the defect that led to his stroke. The Pats have a bye this week, but the doctors have signed off and Bruschi may play as early as next week's game vs. Buffalo.
Our wayward laptop is home!!!
Yesterday I came home too a doorhanger note that said, "Sorry, we tried but you weren't here". So I signed the bottom, saying yes, leave it anyway.
I came home early to wait for it, but it was here already! Yay!
According to the paperwork they sent back with it, they had to replace the mother board and the CPU, and they will replace the AC adapter (which works fine, but looks pretty chewed), but the adapter is on back order and they'll ship it separately, so they sent the old one back. So I'm plugged in and running just fine. Picked up the internet right away and we're good to go.
That was so worth what we spent. I'd heard horror stories of Dell's repair services, but they were nothing but pleasant and efficient once we got the computer to them. Two week turnaround, including ground shipping via DHL both ways. Not bad.
Ric Romero: PWN8D!
Incompetent reporting doesn't just happen in the political arena...
As you might expect, it's already a new FARK classic. Scroll through the responses. There are some real gems.
(h/t Wizbang Kevin)
Welcome, Farkers! have a look around if you've never dropped by before!
October 21, 2005
Our First Jamboree loss:
Congratulations, Leafs. Even if you can't spell.
Acidman is going into the hospital for a few weeks to get his strength back. He's left the keys to a few of us with red toenails, and we promise we won't let him down. Starting tomorrow after Rob leaves, you'll see a lot of estrogen and maybe a few cats over at Acidman's place. And maybe just maybe some cranky rants of the vintage Rob style....
Drop by Gut Rumbles and see what's new.
Hallowe'en Pumpkin Cake
Hallowe'en is just a week from next Monday, so it's high time to be thinking about all of those yummy treats.
One of my favorite fall recipes is Pumpkin cake, and this recipe makes a bundt cake, perfect for turning into a Pumpkin!
1 cup vegetable oil
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups white sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease
one 10 inch bundt or tube pan.
2 Cream oil, beaten eggs, pumpkin and vanilla together.
3 Sift the flour, sugar, baking soda, ground nutmeg,
ground allspice, ground cinnamon, ground cloves and salt
together. Add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture and mix
until just combined. If desired, stir in some chopped nuts.
Pour batter into the prepared pan.
4 Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 1 hour or
until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Let cake cool in pan for 5 minutes then turn out onto a
plate and sprinkle with confectioners' sugar.
To make this cake a "real" pumpkin, skip the confectioners sugar and instead frost with an orange-colored frosting. Shape a stem out of green tinted marzipan or frost a small cupcake green. Or you can shape a stem from twisted green construction paper, just make sure no one eats it! To make the plain pumpkin cake into a jack-o-lantern, use triangle-shaped candies for the eyes, nose, and mouth; attach them to the cake with a little extra frosting. To make an extra large pumpkin cake, bake two Bundt cakes and attach the flat sides together, then frost to resemble a pumpkin!
WTF with generic drugs?
warning, serious TMI below in the extended....Read More "WTF with generic drugs?" »
Ok, so like millions of other American women I take the fabulous Pill. Not only for it's intended use, but because otherwise I am frozen in place with pain for 7 days out of every 28. So, in order to help combat this even further, I'm on what they call a continuous cycle. Meaning I take pills until my body tells me I need to take a break. So this means I can take 12-15 weeks of pills.
I can either take the brand name version or the generic. The insurance, I'm sure would prefer I take the generic, but it turns out I'm allergic to the generic. Oh yes. So my chin breaks out in pimples like i'm 15 for 12-15 weeks at a time!
So the reason for this post? I got the doc to write the scrip for brand name only, and I just realized that my face is healing. Finally. Now I just need a new scrip for the mail-order service so I can get 3 months at a time and they don't cheat me out of pills.....
The moral of the story? Generics AREN'T the same as brand-name drugs beyond the active ingredients, so be careful. Some reactions to generics are an awful lot worse than what I've experienced. Treat a new brand of generic as you would any medicine that you've never taken before and be wary of side effects and reactions.
« Hide "WTF with generic drugs?"
Charter Cable sucks.
24 hours means 24 hours. It does not mean 2-3 days and then I don't have a phone number to call to find out why in hell they can't get back to me in the time they promised. Although they will CALL me, I can't call them because it's their INTERNET department, which evidently is unable to receive phone calls.
Nor can I call them to tell them that their webpage somehow ate half of my address between when it asked me to confirm the address and when it sent the confirmation email.
Nor does it mean that I can only order the offer online when it says "call for details" and gives me a phone number and DOES NOT SAY "online offer only" ANYWHERE on ANY of their pages. I checked. Then I informed the customer service puke. Who tried to sell me the SAME service for $15 MORE/month simply because I was on the phone rather than waiting patiently for the INTERNET division to call me back like a good little sheep.
Arrrgh! I hate Cable Companies. They are of the devil. Even more than lawyers. I know good lawyers. I've never seen a competent cable company. Ever.
October 22, 2005
How NOT to get caught cheating in DH's class
DH just assigned his first research assignment, a 1-2 page essay on an element, and it was due last week. We've been grading them this weekend, and it's unbelievable how brazen some of these kids are about plagiarism.
Clearly these kids are too stupid to know how NOT to get caught. I'd like to point out a few things they can do to keep from getting caught:
1. You're 12 or 13. You don't know what the word "albeit" means. Or the word "allotropic". Or the word "criticality". Is that even a real word????
2. You're AMERICAN, so you don't spell using "oxidises", "grey", or "colourless". Not to mention "Aluminium".
3. Changing the color of the text doesn't make it any harder for me to google the OBVIOUS copied phrases in your paper, like "Plutonium has assumed the position of dominant importance among the transuranium elements because of its successful use as an explosive ingredient in nuclear weapons and the place which it holds as a key material in the development of industrial use of nuclear power."
You need a PhD to write a run-on sentence like that. Hell, I have a PhD and I can barely make sense of it.
4. When you cut and paste text that includes links, try to remove the underlines and change the text color to match the stuff you actually wrote, mm'kay?.
5. Utterly ruining the grammar of the sentence doesn't stop me from googling and catching you cheating. (ex: "He was impressed by the vivid colors of the chromium compounds, and such a joy after the endless colorlessness of sodium and potassium compounds." ain't a good way to hide the sentence "He was impressed by the vivid colors of the chromium compounds, such a joy after the endless colorlessness of sodium and potassium compounds." An eighth-grader DOES NOT use words like "endless colorlessness" anyway, duh.)
6. When cutting and pasting from two different sources, be sure you don't include the same information twice. This is a dead giveaway that you have no idea what's on your paper.
7. When cutting and pasting, try not to get the "Back to the Top" link at the bottom of the page.
8. Mr. DH is smarter than you. He knows when you are talking straight out your ass. Mrs. DH is also smarter than you, and she is VERY GOOD with Google. Keep these things in mind.
At least 4 of the little turds are going to get referred to the counselor. After I found the pages they copied from, I bookmarked them, and when we take the computer upstairs, DH is going to print them out. I wrote the URLs of the "suspected" sources on the papers marking the plagiarized text, as well.
Moral: Don't cheat, but if you do, only use sources you COMPLETLY understand and proofread, dammit!!!
I can't believe how easy it was to catch the little fuckers.
October 23, 2005
A good Turk
Prominent turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk is facing 3 years in jail for daring to tell the world that his home country is responsible for the deaths of millions of Armenians and thousands of Kurds over the last century. However, earlier this week, in Frankfurt, Pamuk reiterated his comments, although he stopped short of using the word Genocide.
"Pamuk goes on trial in December for "insulting and weakening Turkish identity" after talking about the massacre, a taboo in Turkey. He also said Turkish forces were partly to blame for the deaths of more than 30,000 Kurds in the 1980s and 90s."
turkey's free speech laws (or lack there of) prohibit anyone from insulting national pride, which includes mentioning ethnic genocide at the hands of the turkish government. These laws are also a major stumbling block to turkey's admission to the EU. Interestingly, Germany's new chancellor Angela Merkel is among the strongest opponents of turkey's admission to the EU.
Like Pamuk, I hope someday turkey will be admitted to the EU, because in order to get there, vast changes are going to have to be made, many of which will bring to light the truth about the past and bring economic opportunities to the people of turkey. Until then, though, I hope people like Merkel continue to push for these reforms.
October 24, 2005
I love Alton! (although I was hoping for Paula Deen) Damn I miss cable right now.....
More on the Middle East
As you may know by now, Michael Totten of TCS (and others) has relocated to Lebanon in order to better chronicle the changing face of the middle east. It's an interesting place in time, especially given the recent release of the UN report on the death of Lebanese PM Rafik Hariri.
Totten uses his unique position to get a feel for the opinion of the Lebanese on the street as it were, and finds out, surprisingly, that most people are in agreement with Syria's pull out and are not surprised by the findings of the report, regardless of their religion. The people of Lebabanon are also hopeful that the events of the past year signal a real change, both in their own country, and in the entire region.
"When asked if he fears Syrian retaliation in Lebanon, Makram Z. was perfectly calm. "It will take a long time before this is fully resolved, perhaps one or two years. In the meantime, Syria will lay low and buy time...The way these people think and act, and the way they were all brought up, indicates nothing stops them from acting like this, especially if they are from the old school of the Baath Party. But I don't suppose they will stir things up now that it is known world wide."
His friend Claude D. also thinks Lebanon will be okay. "In 1970 we saw anti-Christian riots when [Egyptian President] Nasser died. And for what? He died of a heart attack. No one killed him. Yet when Hariri was killed, both Christians and Muslims united in anger and grief. Lebanon is more mature than it was."
He is worried about one thing, though. "If Lebanon reacts well to this crisis, the winds of freedom will blow onto the other Arab regimes. And they won't like it."
Makram gestured to another friend who preferred to remain anonymous. "This man," he said, "he is a Sunni. They were against Syria's presence in Lebanon all along. We Christians were expected to oppose Syria, and our opinions were a little more tolerated. But the Sunnis were never allowed to oppose."
"Is this true?" I said to Makram's anonymous friend. He grimly nodded yes, it was true."
WTF with the Pigs already???
WTF? Kids can't have piggy banks now?
Ok, I'm all for not offending people, but there has to be a happy medium, a limit.
I understand that muslims consider pigs and pork to be unclean. I get it. I even understand the historical significance of the halal dietary laws. Like kosher laws, the entire point of halal cooking is to protect the body from sickness. In not-so modern times, and with not so modern cooking methods, it makes perfect sense. Even in today's world, it's a good way to avoid certain rare illnesses.
However, isn't there something in the Koran about how God (or Allah, I suppose, in my mind they are the same) made all of the creatures of the Earth and Seas? Aren't we supposed to respect their existence and NOT be offended by them simply because they are the works of the Almighty? I know the Bible and the Torah both exhort the people of the Lord to respect even the LEAST of His creatures. I suspect that this is why most Jews are not offended by the MERE PRESENCE of pigs, real or literary in our modern world.
So then why the hoo-hah? Or are these the same group of muslims who believe in slaughtering their daughters for being raped and that blowing up buildings and trains is a rational way to make a point.
If so, why are the Brits even giving them the time of day???
A trip into the subconscious
As I am guesting over at Gut Rumbles, this week's unconscious mutterings appears over there.
Feel free to pop over and leave your mutterings in the comments over at Rob's Place. Or bring them over here. Whatever you like.
Caffeine, Sweet Caffeine!
Oh, man, I don't think I could have gone another day without coffee in my office. Yeah, I could walk the block down to Whorebucks, but I am not that weak.
Among the other items my parents brought this weekend (read: unloaded on us poor kids) was a cup at a time coffee maker that dispenses into its own travel mug. She got it as a promotional gift for a book fair or something, and as her caffeine addiction is usually sated by tea rather than coffee, she passed it along to me.
I am on cup number 3 as we speak. Ghirardelli Chocolate Hazlenut coffee with Coffee-Mate Cinnamon Vanilla. Mmmmmmmm.
October 25, 2005
She's got her hands full with this one....
More of the adventures of Chrissy's Wee One here.
This for some reason reminded me of an awful geek story I know. My freshman chemistry professor (Yes, you Techers know who I mean) had a young son who was 4 when I was a frosh, so he must be in 8th or 9th grade now. Or higher. You'll see what I mean.
Well, a little background, Daddy is an inorganic chemist and Mommy is a mathematician, I believe. Anyway, they took junior on his first trip to San Francisco around the age of 2.5 or so. As they're driving across a bridge, I forget which now, but either the Bay or the Golden Gate, with the suspension cables, from the backseat comes a sweet little voice: "Oh Mommy and Daddy, look at the nice parabolas."
Eleven years ago today...
..I kissed the only man I'll ever love for the very first time.
I want to take a breath that’s true
I look to you and I see nothing
I look to you to see the truth
You live your life
You go in shadows
You’ll come apart and you’ll go black
Some kind of night into your darkness
Colors your eyes with what’s not there.
Fade into you
Strange you never knew
Fade into you
I think it’s strange you never knew
A stranger’s light comes on slowly
A stranger’s heart without a home
You put your hands into your head
And then smiles cover your heart
Fade into you
Strange you never knew
Fade into you
I think it’s strange you never knew
Fade into you
Strange you never knew
Fade into you
I think it’s strange you never knew
I think it’s strange you never knew
--Mazzy Star, "Fade Into You"
I'm the luckiest girl in the world to be able to spend every day with my best friend and my lover, to still look at you in amazement that you and I are still joined at the hip after 3 colleges, 2 graduate schools, and 1 tour in the army. Not to mention two moves across the country, chronic illness, and a crazy allergic puppy.
Thanks for making the last eleven years wonderful, even when everything else was miserable.
October 26, 2005
Sorry for the lack of posting
It's been one of those days.
At work I'm trying to review Physics lab software so that we can include some simulations into the lab experience next semester, reading a book on non-traditional paths to college, and trying to chase down the information for the class I'm teaching next semester.
Outside of that I finally got through to the cable company (Charter's live chat option is great!) and am set up for an install on Friday afternoon. Not bad. I just get to work from home on Friday. I'm hoping by then I can get the materials to start planning my class and do that while I wait.
Other than that, very very distracted waiting to hear what the surgeon has to say about my Dad. Start up those prayers and good wishes again. Last time it worked great, we got reasonably good news from the pathology report.
For those of you asking for news about my Dad, rather than write this about 18 times, I thought I'd share the details here.
When I got home from work I found an email from LW, asking what happened, and I realized that I should have heard, so I called. Mom answered Dad's cell phone from the examining room (he was delayed in surgery and was running behind), and asked me if I had any questions, and when the doctor heard that I had asked for the details of the pathology report, he actually asked Mom if he could tell me himself (of course her telling him I was a neurobiology professor helped, I'm sure...She did! I heard her). What follows is what he told me himself.
Such a cool doctor!
So here's the deal. The mass is about 2 centimeters across, and about 1.1 millimeters of it is adenocarcinoma, so it is a small lesion, and a very small percentage of it is cancer. The doctor seems to think it's just a polyp that went bad, so to speak. It's located near the junction of the bile duct and the duodenum, although I'm not sure if it is in the ampulla vater or the duodenum itself. It doesn't appear to have spread out of the intestine itself. Here's some great information on ampullary cancer. I especially like that last part about up to 90% 5-year survival rate. I am determined to be optimistic. The doctor seemed to be.
He plans a Whipple operation, which used to be a death sentence, but with laparoscopic surgery and minimally invasive techniques and specialized training, the mortality rate is about the same as other surgeries, so I'm not too worried. The doctor said he thinks it's likely that when he removes it, there won't be anything else to worry about. I'm praying that's the case
He has a PET scan scheduled for tomorrow as there are a couple of other small lesions, but they don't appear to be neoplastic, one on the liver and one on the lung. The doctor told me it's likely the former is a hemangioma and the latter is a TB scar. There's no reason to suspect they're evil. In any case, he's going to take a look while he's got Dad opened up.
Hell, by the time you get to 71 you've got all kinds of funny things going on in your body, right?
Mom will tell me more when they leave the doctor's office.
Moral of the story: Get every intestinal bleed checked out, all the way from your input to your output. Don't let the doctor say, "Oh, it's probably stress or an ulcer, here's some Nexxium". They found this tumor early because it was bleeding and they scanned him from the mouth down.
October 27, 2005
I told you so
Harriet Miers has withdrawn her nomination after coming under all kinds of fire for being a mediocre choice.
Now all Bush has to do is find someone with the right resume, and their politics won't matter. He can line up a hard-core conservative "in the mold of Thomas and Scalia" with a strong background in constitutional scholarship, and the Dems will have to capitulate.
What a great plan. Too bad he had to sacrifice his buddy Harriet. The man really is dumb like a fox.
It looks bad for him, but I suspect this was the idea all along.
and of course Hugh Hewitt has much to say, just keep scrolling.
I have to agree with Michelle, actually. Although I was firmly agnostic on this nomination (I was looking forward to hearing Ms. Miers defend herself in the hearings), I too am relieved. But not in a happy-gloating-dancing-like-a-Clam way.
Rest in Peace
Blogger MommaBear has finally lost her battle with the big C. I never met her, but I always enjoyed what she had to say.
Those who knew her better have much more eloquent things to say about her. Andrew Ian Dodge, Grey Monk, Laughing Wolf, Jay Solo, and Mommabear's co-blogger Kathy Kinsley all share their memories of the wonderful woman known as Mommabear, Church Mouse, and simply as herself, Heather Bare.
LW has a list of even more tributes.
Rest in the light MB, in a world without pain or sorrow alongside your loving PoppaBear.
They say that beyond any real meaning, dreams are a way to re-evaluate the images and concepts that you have been contemplating during the day, and may actually be a by-product of the consolidation of new memories into easily-retrievable long-term memories.
I dunno about that, but the re-examination of the day's events sure as hell is true...
So last night before bed, I watched Criminal Minds on CBS, which is about a group of profilers that travel around catching psychopaths. I also did some blog reading and emailing.
Therefore it's not surprising that I dreamed I was part of a team of detectives chasing some bad guy (who I never caught), however, the other detectives included Michele, Bou (who for some reason was blonde....), Phin (a large, orange goldfish. Don't ask), and Christina. And we were riding around in an old yellow school bus. Not sure where that came from. I think Juliette and Joanie and Paul were there too.
I think AcidDude might have been the bad guy, but we never caught him before I woke up.
Scott Adams or Dogbert?
Scott Adams posts these thoughts on his new blog today:
"I spend way too much time thinking of excellent crimes I could commit if I were a crime committing sort of person. Every time I read about hurricane-related looting, I wonder about the best way to do it."
As HWNNL would say, Heh. Read the rest.
The Dogs of War
Just a reminder that our young men and women aren't the only ones in harm's way. Many of them owe their survival to their K-9 partner, known in military speak as their MWD (military working dog).
The US War Dogs Association is dedicated to supporting these brave and loyal soldiers, and has a great slideshow of MWDs in action, both deployed and in training.
This guy is now my desktop wallpaper at work.
Click him to enter the slide show! (may need to allow pop-ups) Be sure to browse around the site for more info and other great pictures after the show.
(h/t Sgt Hook)
An important link
It's a free nationwide search for the addresses and photographs of sexual predators. Enter your address, and you'll get a map of your neighborhhod with links at the places where predators live. Click each link on the map and it gives you the offender's photo and a description of what he/she was convicted for and when.
(h/t Beth of My VRWC)
stuck on stoopid
it is gray and nasty outside and my brain is stuck in neutral. can't focus on work.
October 28, 2005
Tony Blair sums it up
This is why I love Tony Blair:
In response to a question about the explosive declaration by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad regarding Israel being "wiped off the map", Mr. Blair had this to say,"If they carry on like this the question people will be asking us is — when are you going to do something about Iran? Can you imagine a State like that with an attitude like that having nuclear weapons?”
Yes! That's exactly it, Tony. Tell people exactly what they're about to think, and make them believe it.
Then let's go after the bastards.
The issue of Iran is quite a thorny one, many people believe that were it not for the Mullahs Iran might be the most pro-democracy and pro-US county in the middle east region due to the large number of US educated adults who make up the upper and middle classes of Iran from the days before the Ayatollah. This is one of the reasons the US hasn't been as hard on Iran as on some of her neighbors. Clearly Ahmadinejad just made himself and his country more of a target.
Cowards seem to have a hard time learning that whole "Let sleeping dogs lie" analogy.
Author Lisa Huang Fleischman lays out NY Times public editor Byron Calame for the Grey Lady's recent fallacious profile of Corporal Jeffery Starr, who was the 2000th person to make the ultimate sacrifice in Iraq. I present the entire letter, as no single excerpt does it justice.
Mr. Calame—I’ve never bothered to write the NY Times before, because your paper seems to make a practice of sinking to new lows every time I look, although I admit I, like many others, hardly ever look anymore. But this last was really contemptible.
Your paper profiled Cpl. Jeffrey Starr in an article about the 2000th casualty (of course). Here’s the article.
The paper quotes from a letter written by Cpl Starr to his girlfriend, found after his death by Starr’s father. The erstwhile paper of record states:
"Sifting through Corporal Starr’s laptop computer after his death, his father found a letter to be delivered to the marine’s girlfriend. ‘I kind of predicted this,’ Corporal Starr wrote of his own death. ‘A third time just seemed like I’m pushing my chances.’"
Perfectly in keeping, may I say, with the defeatist, elegiac, Vietnam-like attitude of the entire piece.
I’m sorry to say that the Times reporter dishonestly deleted the rest of the letter. Thanks to the brave corporal’s family, who forwarded the remainder of the letter to Michelle Malkin, we actually know what Corporal Starr really thought, not what the Times would like to use him to stand for.
Here’s what the rest of the letter says.
He wrote: “Obviously if you are reading this then I have died in Iraq. I kind of predicted this, that is why I’m writing this in November. A third time just seemed like I’m pushing my chances. I don’t regret going, everybody dies but few get to do it for something as important as freedom. It may seem confusing why we are in Iraq, it’s not to me. I’m here helping these people, so that they can live the way we live. Not have to worry about tyrants or vicious dictators. To do what they want with their lives. To me that is why I died. Others have died for my freedom, now this is my mark."
(Emphasis mine—it’s the part that your reporter knowingly left out. Which only goes to show that everything—EVERYTHING—at the Times is in service of The Agenda.)
I know it just kills you guys to think that overwhelmingly our soldiers actually, consciously support the war, are perfectly aware of the dangers they face, and are as perfectly prepared to face them. I know it comforts all the Timesmen and women to think that soldiers are just sad, pathetic, barely literate dupes (when they aren’t being babykillers and Koran flushers), but in fact the soldiers view their lives as imbued with transcendent meaning, apparently something no Times reporter can claim. Maybe it’s just envy on the part of all your reporters that these American teenagers in uniform make history every day of their lives, while you all just continue to transparently twist the news and to accumulate contempt from the American people, which is now compounding at a daily rate.
Incidentally, I was a reserve army officer for twelve years. Sad, pathetic dupe that I am, I graduated Berkeley and Columbia Law School. (I understand you have a few Columbia J-School grads among your staff. Too bad. Everyone on campus knew that only the really dumb kids ended up in the J-School.)
When are these morons in their towers gonna get it? Selective editing to push an agenda is just not possible anymore. Citizen journalism and the availability of publishing technology to the average man on the street makes any less-than-ethical reporting instantly obvious. The recent UN memo on the death of Rafik Hariri as another sad example of this.
Thanks to Michelle Malkin for pushing this story, and Tim Blair for publishing Ms. Fleischman's letter. Considering the strength of her writing, you might want to consider supporting her by picking up her new book. Looks interesting.
Many, many thanks also to Cpl. Starr and his family for their service and sacrifice. God bless you, and grant you comfort in your loss.
Watching the PC
This Fitzgerald guy is pretty good. Nominate him for SCOTUS (assumning his politics are in the right place).
He's been on for 45 minutes and has come across as a fair and competent attorney whose only interest is completing his investigation fairly.
I'm glad this is coming down the way it is. Clearly there was no crime in revealing her name, but the coverup will get you every time, right Martha?
We're Watching You!
Two tasty eyeball recipes for this weekend's Hallowe'en parties: one sweet, one savory.
Yields approximately 9 dozen bite-sized eyeballs
3 oz lemon gelatin (can be sugar-free)
1 cup hot water
1/2 cup miniature marshmallows
1 cup pineapple juice
8 oz cream cheese (can be lowfat/Neufchatel)
1 cup mayonnaise (can be fat-free)
Dissolve lemon gelatin in 1 cup water in double boiler, add marshmallows and stir to melt. Remove from heat. Add pineapple juice and cream cheese. Beat until well blended. Cool slightly. Fold in mayo. If you have a truffle candy mold or round ice cube trays, pour the mixture in the molds and leave to set in the fridge. Otherwise pour into a deep ceramic dish and chill until thickened or firm enough for scooping into eyeballs. Using a melonballer, scoop full balls of the mixture and set aside for decoration. To decorate, use liquid food coloring and an old detail paintbrush and get creative. You will need black food coloring for the pupils. Also, if you are in a hurry, instead of painting the colored irises, you can carefully dip the ball in a small pool of food coloring to approximate the iris, but still paint on the pupils. Alternatively, you can use a drop of melted chocolate or black gel frosting for the pupils.
Yields two eyes for each egg you boil.
mustard (can be dijon or other flavored mustards if you like)
green food coloring
sliced black olives
To hardboil the eggs, put the eggs in a large saucepan, and fill with water until the eggs are fully covered. Put the full pan on the stove and bring to a boil over meduim heat. As soon as it reaches a rolling boil, remove from heat, still covered, and let stand covered for 20 minutes. As soon as the 20 minutes is up, run cool water over the eggs so they stop cooking. Once cool, refrigerate until ready to use.
Peel the hardboiled eggs and slice in half lengthwise. Gently pop out the yolks into a separate bowl. Once all the yolks are in the same bowl, add some mustard and a little mayonnaise to taste just so the mixture sticks together when mixed. Add food coloring 1-2 drops at a time, mixing in until you've reached the color you want. Blend with a fork, then scoop the yolk mixture back in the hollows of the egg halves. Sprinkle each half with paprika (gives a bloody appearance) and lay one olive slice in the middle or each half as a pupil. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
I have Hi-Speed Internet and Digital Cable!!!!
$65 + tax for 12 months, and then I'll ditch the hi-speed and get DSL and it'll be the same price.
Oh, and free HBO and Skinamax for 3 months.
Excuse me, I have some TV to catch up on.....
Well, if this is gonna be a real meme.....
According to the book, a majority of Americans:
• Eats peanut butter at least once a week
• Prefers smooth peanut butter over chunky
• Can name all Three Stooges (well, all 5 if you count Curly Joe and Shemp)
• Lives within a 20-minute drive of a Wal-Mart (even in good traffic it's about 25)
• Eats at McDonald’s at least once a year
• Takes a shower for approximately 10.4 minutes a day(mine are longer with all this hair)
• Never sings in the shower
• Lives in a house, not an apartment or condominium
• Has a home valued between $100,000 and $300,000
• Has fired a gun
• Is between 5 feet and 6 feet tall
• Weighs 135 to 205 pounds
• Is between the ages of 18 and 53
• Believes gambling is an acceptable entertainment option
• Grew up within 50 miles of current home
Clearly I'm nowhere near average, but we knew that already....
October 31, 2005
Do I look two minutes younger?
Saturday night witnessed the successfull completion of a Negative Time Tommy's Run. We left at 1:55 am and returned at 1:53.
We were disappointed, though, as we were the only alums (ex-techers) there.
How about a year older?
Although I neglected to mention it, Saturday was also my first bloggiversary!
Here's the obligatory crappy first post.
Thanks to Jay and Deb and Ith for encouraging me to blog, Smash for introducing me to blogs in the first place, my blog-baby Paul, and of course the god of all things MT, Pixy Misa, for providing such nice comfy digs :)
The greatest thing about 3 free months of HBO, Skinamax, and Starz! is that you get to catch up on all the movies that weren't worth going to see or buying the DVDs (I don't watch enough for Netflix to be worth it, and I refuse to go to Blockbuster)
New to us movies so far: Calendar Girls (excellent, even my hubby liked it), Fat Albert (watched the second half, it was better than we expected), Alien vs. Predator (I thought it was hokey, he seemed to like it), Cold Mountain (although I suppose this doesn't count as 30 seconds was about all I could take before I shut it off) and several movies we love (including Kill Bill 2, FOTR, and Dave)
It has been kind weird watching movies in fullscreen again (I only buy WS DVDs)....
Also, it appears a DVR may appear in our house. One owned by us. ANy recommendations as to reliability and price???
Oh the torture!
Just in time for Halloween....
You are a Tortured Conceptual Artist. Your fellow
postmodernists call you an anachronism, but
you've never cared much about the opinions of
others. After all, most of them are far too
simple-minded to appreciate the nuances of your
work. They talk, while you are part of a lived
What kind of postmodernist are you!?
brought to you by Quizilla
Now this is twisted
Wonder if this portrait of Slick Willie came out of Hogwarts?
Clearly, he likes them young!
Ith asks, I answer
What's the first Halloween costume you remember wearing?
Ummm.... I know it wasn't my first, but in first grade my Mom made me the most AWESOME witch costume. I even had a little broom.
What was your favourite treat in your goodie bag?
Like Margi, Sugar Babies and caramels, then Mars Bars
What's your best Halloween memory?
We used to do this Haunted House with my youth group, and Dad would always be in the coffin, either as Dracula or Frankenstein, and I knew it, but my friends didn't, and it was always fun to see them get scared and then say, "Hi Daddy".
What's your worst?
The year that the punks down the street egged my dad's car and stole the ghost out of the front yard
Have you ever bobbed for apples?
Oh yeah. I suck at it because my mouth is very small.
Have you ever been to a grownup Halloween party? (costumes, dancing, drinks/dinner -- that sort of thing.)
I've been to a Caltech halloween party, which qualifies except for the grown-up part
If you were going to such a party, and money was no object, what would your ideal costume be?
Something punny and fantastic.... no idea what though.
Ever been to sea, Billy? Oops, wrong quiz!
Ever had a paranormal experience? If yes, tell us all about it.
Deja Vu is your friend.
What's your favourite scary movie?
Psycho. Definitely Psycho. The Original Hitchcock version.
Have you ever played a Halloween "trick" on anyone?
Did you you carve a pumpkin this year?
Do you think we had more fun at Halloween then kids do today?
OH HELL YES.
What candy are you giving out tonight?
Whatever I go pick up. The Almond Snickers in my freezer aren't for giving out :)
Will you be in costume?
maybe. I am currently wearing my Halloween T-shirt. It's orange and says "Good to Wicked in 13 seconds"
Decorated at all?
Tried to. Couldn't find the right box. F(&&^*&^&*^g movers.