« August 2007 | Main | October 2007 »

September 01, 2007

A good day so far

College Football's first Saturday of the year and I've got one of these babies blowing on me.  Yaaaaaah. I can dig it.

USC starts in 15 minutes.


Posted by caltechgirl at 07:05 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 03, 2007

From the DUUUUUH file

Kids whose parents model responsible drinking at home, including letting the child have small amounts of alcohol in a family setting, are ONE THIRD as likely to develop severe binge-drinking behaviors in their teen and young adult years.

From the Wall Street Journal:

What kind of parents would ever allow their children to drink at home? Doesn't this put youngsters at risk?

The answer to the first question is simple.  Most of the state laws include a specific exemption for children drinking at home during family and religious ceremonies. Observant Jews, for example, traditionally serve children small glasses of wine during Friday night Sabbath ceremonies. Other cultures also begin socializing children into drinking at an early age--including Mediterranean societies such as Italy, Greece and Turkey (and non-Mediterranean societies such as China).

As for the second, two international surveys--one conducted by the World Health Organization--revealed that these Mediterranean countries and Israel had the lowest binge drinking rates among European adolescents.

In societies where children drink with their parents, this typically means giving a kid a small amount of wine or other alcohol, often watered down on special occasions or a family dinner. Many European countries also lower the drinking age for children when they are accompanied by parents. In the United Kingdom, for example, the legal age is 18, but for a family at a restaurant it is 16. In France and Italy, where the legal age is 16, there is no age limit for children drinking with parents.

But what might all of this mean for teen drinking problems in America?

Several studies have shown that the younger kids are when they start to drink, the more likely they are to develop severe drinking problems. But the kind of drinking these studies mean--drinking in the woods to get bombed or at unattended homes--is particularly high risk.

Research published in the Journal of Adolescent Health in 2004 found that adolescents whose parents permitted them to attend unchaperoned parties where drinking occurred had twice the average binge-drinking rate. But the study also had another, more arresting conclusion: Children whose parents introduced drinking to the children at home were one-third as likely to binge.

"It appears that parents who model responsible drinking behaviors have the potential to teach their children the same," noted Kristie Foley, the principal author of the study. While the phrasing was cautious, the implication of the study's finding needs to be highlighted: Parents who do not introduce children to alcohol in a home setting might be setting them up to become binge drinkers later on. You will not likely hear this at your school's parent drug- and alcohol-awareness nights.
So why file this under DUH? Because it's the first principle of adolescent psychology: If you want a kid to NOT do something, take away its taboo.  The driving force of childhood is to find one's place in the world.  To learn the rules and decide which are important to follow, and which aren't.  Teenagers in particular make this an art form, with their kid's minds in little adult bodies.  Kids who occasionally share small amounts of alcohol with their parents do not see drinking as either rebellion or escape, because it's something they do in the confines of the family.  It's just not "cool" if Mom and Dad do it with you, right?

This is not to say that it's ok for parents to do this with other drugs.  Alcohol is the least likely of the drugs of abuse to have adverse consequences on brain development, especially in the small quantities relevant to these studies.  A single dose of cough syrup is likely to have more alcohol in it that whatever a child consumes in a responsible home setting.

Nice to see common sense coming out of psychosocial research for a change.


Posted by caltechgirl at 12:14 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

September 05, 2007


Fred announces tomorrow! He's on Leno tonight.

Security-Unity-Prosperity... My kind of candidate.


Posted by caltechgirl at 05:42 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

September 06, 2007

Fred's In!

He announced last night on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno!

(if the video won't load, here's a transcript of the segment)

And here's the "official" announcement, from Fred08.com:

Click to play

Run Fred Run!

Win Fred Win!

BTW, if you want to know why I'm a Fredhead, I'll sum it up for you in two words: Testicular Fortitude. Fred has it. The others so far don't seem to. Even McCain who ought to have TF in spades, given his history, but he's just as wimpy and consensus driven as the other used car salesmen in the race. If Fred proves me wrong, then I'll be voting for ABH/O (Anyone but Hillary/Obama)

Posted by caltechgirl at 11:36 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

September 07, 2007

I STA* I am going to start keeping alcohol in my desk

For days like today.

No, really.  7am-7pm.  I'm going to have to move my office and share with someone else, and some dickhole in another program is using his status as faculty to piss on his students and make their lives miserable and it's my job to defend them.

It's a good damn thing my bartender doesn't drink.  They're stronger that way.

*Swear To Allah

UPDATE: Actually I left AFTER 7:30pm..... I ended up going home, eating, and crashing. Alky tonight :-)

Posted by caltechgirl at 04:43 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

September 08, 2007

Better late than never

You know the deal.....

1. Scrabble ::
2. NyQuil ::
3. Roadtrip ::
4. Idiot ::
5. Bandages ::
6. Series ::
7. Summer ::
8. Prompt ::
9. September ::
10. Chicken ::

Read More "Better late than never" »
Posted by caltechgirl at 03:27 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

September 10, 2007

The first of this year's 9/11 posts

Eat this, truthers.

Dr Keith Seffen set out to test mathematically whether this chain reaction really could explain what happened in Lower Manhattan six years ago. The findings are published in the Journal of Engineering Mechanics.

Previous studies have tended to focus on the initial stages of collapse, showing that there was an initial, localised failure around the aircraft impact zones, and that this probably led to the progressive collapse of both structures.

Once the collapse began, it was destined to be "rapid and total."

In other words, the damaged parts of the tower were bound to fall down, but it was not clear why the undamaged building should have offered little resistance to these falling parts.

"The initiation part has been quantified by many people; but no one had put numbers on the progressive collapse," Dr Seffen told the BBC News website.

Dr Seffen was able to calculate the "residual capacity" of the undamaged building: that is, simply speaking, the ability of the undamaged structure to resist or comply with collapse.

His calculations suggest the residual capacity of the north and south towers was limited, and that once the collapse was set in motion, it would take only nine seconds for the building to go down.

This is just a little longer than a free-falling coin, dropped from the top of either tower, would take to reach the ground.


He added that his calculations showed this was a "very ordinary thing to happen" and that no other intervention, such as explosive charges laid inside the building, was needed to explain the behaviour of the buildings.

Posted by caltechgirl at 09:55 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

Truer words and all that....

I think a person's politics are defined mainly by which nutjobs piss them off the most.

   - Exgaucho Ben

Posted by caltechgirl at 10:04 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

September 11, 2007

It's Tuesday Morning again.....

I've started this post a thousand times in my head, each different, and yet what keeps coming back over and over is Tuesday.  It's Tuesday morning again.  September 11, Tuesday.  And I have go teach class.

September 11, 2001 was supposed to be the same way.  We were living in Chapel Hill, and a friend was visiting.  I had planned to take her to the airport in Raleigh before making my way to school to teach my lab section.  I didn't make that trip for almost three weeks.

I've told my story of that horrible day before.  That day that broke all of us inside.  That day that so many people are eager to forget, to push away the pain that makes it real, to scapegoat because that's easier than seeing the truth.

I think back a lot to how it used to be, how I used to be.  I was so different.  But something inside broke that day, sitting in my chair that I used to love, my big orange 1970's wing chair rocker, and watching people fall from the sky.

When I think back to 9/11/01, that's what I remember.  Not the buildings collapsing in a heap of ash, or the bright flash of a 747 hitting the side of the towers. Just  brave men and women choosing their own destiny, rather than waiting for the suffocating horror of flame and falling debris.  What a beautiful last gift to their loved ones: to know they didn't suffer, and that at the end, they were truly free.

Six years later, those images still haunt me.

But life goes on they say, and so must we. And here I am again.  Tuesday Morning.  September 11.  Only it's 2007 this time and I made it to school.  I taught my class and the lab that goes with it.  Had a meeting with my dean.  When I finish this, I'll make a cup of tea.

And yet, there's a part of me still sitting in that chair, unable to turn away from the news for weeks.  I left parts of me behind that day, and came away with something new.  Tougher maybe, sadder, more vigilant, and definitely PISSED OFF.  So pissed off I'm still mad today.

What makes me more angry though, are the ones who don't know, those who forgot, and the ones who seek to tarnish the truth through conspiracy theory and supposition.

The truth, my friends is this:  Evil exists.  We saw its hand on September 11, 2001, and still we feel its icy grip.

Forgetting this cheapens the memory of the ones we lost, the innocent, the heroes, and those left behind.

Yes, it's hard.  Staring evil in the face is the most difficult thing we can do in life.  Remembering who we've lost and what we've lost is just as hard.  But that doesn't excuse us from remembering, from hurting, from pausing every once in a while to think about what happened that day and vowing to never let it happen again.

There have been thousands of tributes, but I'll share with you MY favorite because it's message, in the end, is hope.

If the video won't work, click here.

Posted by caltechgirl at 10:57 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

September 12, 2007

Fred Update!

The Thompson campaign is officially underway, and Fred seems to be making quite an impression. Judge for yourself. Here's Senior Campaign Advisor Rich Galen's exchange with a local reporter in Portsmouth, NH:

One reporter, rather than asking "what did you think of the speech?" asked: "Don't you think he is missing his opportunities by not having more red meat in his speech?"

The man the reporter was talking to, an actual voter from New Hampshire, said that he thought the speech was just fine and, further, while he hadn't made up his mind, he was now leaning toward Fred.

Unable to stop myself, I dove into the conversation.

"First," I said to the reporter, "you are requiring Thomson[sic] to reach a standard which (a) you, not this man, set and (b) doesn't make any sense in the first place."

"Look at all the people who waited through the storm to see him," I said waiting until he actually turned around to look. "And they're STILL here," I said noting how many were swarming around Fred.

"You guys complain (I didn't actually say "complain" but this is a family blog) about candidates who speak in sound bites and bumper strips. Then when a candidate comes and gives you 20 minutes of substance you tell me you're looking for someone wearing a red nose and clown hair."

"You can't have it both ways."

I doubt that I made that reporter throw away his "Hillary for President" card, but he agreed with me.

I was hoping for a headline in the Sunday Portsmouth paper which read: "Thompson Takes NH by Storm" but while the story was a fair representation, the headline didn't reach my standard.

One at a time, Fred. One at a time!

Posted by caltechgirl at 11:35 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

September 14, 2007

Because it's Friday, I have to teach, and I'm grumpy.

Stolen from wRitErsbLock...

Tired of those same old 55 questions about me surveys? Well here are 55 I guarantee you've never answered.

1. Is your second toe longer than your first?
both of them

2. Do you have a favorite type of pen?

3. Look at your planner for March 14, what are you doing?
eating Pi. DUUUUUH

4. What color are your toenails usually?
Red. Always red. For Rob.  He said I had nice feet.

5. What was the last thing you highlighted?
text.  Oh you mean with a pen?  Hmmm... probably transcripts during application season

6. What color are your bedroom curtains?
Actually, we don't have any right now.  We took down the crappy ones that were there when we moved in, but our room is in the back, so we don't need curtains and haven't replaced them

7. What color are the seats in your car?
Gray leather covered with brown fuzzy seatcovers with paw prints

8. Have you ever had a black and white cat?
Nope.  Can't live with a cat.  But I'm sure DH has.

9. What is the last thing you put a stamp on?
My mortgage payment.  Only thing I don't pay electronically, since those assholes at Wells Fargo would charge me FREAKING $10 for the convenience.  Kiss MY ass.

10. Do you know anyone who lives in Wyoming?

11. Why did you withdraw cash from the ATM the last time?
What is this ATM of which you speak?  I usually use Target or Trader Joes as an ATM.

12. Whose is the last baby that you held?
Hmmmm... Probably this guy that goes to my parents' church

13. Unlucky #?
not really.  I like 13.

14. Do you like Cinnamon toothpaste?
Blecccccch.  The Vanilla and Orange are rotten too.

15. What kind of car were you driving 2 years ago?
Ford Escape

16. Pick one: Miami Hurricanes or Florida Gators?
Florida teams are seriously overrated, USC TROJANS, bay-bee

17. Last time you went to Six Flags?

18. Do you have any wallpaper in your house?
hell no

19. Closest thing to you that is yellow?
Winnie the Pooh on my mouse pad

20. Last person to give you a business card?
our business development guy

21. Who is the last person you wrote a check to?
the mortgage company.

22. Closest framed picture to you?
The Princess in the snow.

23. Last time you had someone cook for you?
two nights ago

24. Have you ever applied for welfare?
um, no

25. How many emails do you have?
more than a dozen

26. Last time you received flowers?

27. Do you think the sanctity of marriage is meant for only a man & woman?

28. Do you play air guitar?

29. Has anyone ever proposed to you?
yes. I suppose.  We did get married, after all.

30. Do you take anything in your coffee?
lots of cream, lots of Sweet and Low

31. Do you have any Willow Tree figurines?

32. What is/was your high school's rival mascot?
Depends on which school you think of as a rival.... The Fresno High Warriors or the Roosevelt Roughriders or the Hoover Patriots or the Bullard Knights (Yankees)

33. Last person you spoke to from high school?
my husband

34. Last time you used hand sanitizer?
I don't use hand sanitizer.  It creates super bugs.

35. Would you like to learn to play the drums?
Hell Yeah

36. What color are the blinds in your living room?
no blinds.  The blinds in the kitchen are wood.

38. Last thing you read in the newspaper?
you mean the LA Dog Trainer?

39. What was the last pageant you attended?
you mean a beauty pageant or a school pageant?  I've been to school pageants.

40. What is the last place you bought pizza from?
Sadly enough, Pizza Hut.

41. Have you ever worn a crown?
Love my Tiara.

42. What is the last thing you stapled?
Packing slips and order confirmation

43. Did you ever drink clear Pepsi?
yeah,  it was ok.

44. Are you ticklish?
in the extreme

45. Last time you saw fireworks?
4th of July

46. Last time you had a Krispy Kreme doughnut?
When I was still living in NC

47. Who is the last person that left you a message & you actually returned it?
a student

48. Last time you parked under a carport?
our college apartment

49. Do you have a black dog?
Black and white, actually.

50 . Have you had your mid life crisis yet?
I hope not.

51. Are you an aunt or uncle?
yes.  To three

52. Who has the prettiest eyes that you know of?
my honey

53. What kind of soap or body wash do you use?
Aveeno sensitive skin with Oatmeal

54. Do you remember Ugly Kid Joe?

55. Do you have a little black dress?
yes, but considering it little is a bit of a stretch.

Posted by caltechgirl at 08:33 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

September 16, 2007

Because I'm still grumpy and now I'm working on a grant....

Go see what Fred is up to.  Visit Fred's blog and watch some great videos of Fred on the road, including the first blogger-submitted questions!

Posted by caltechgirl at 06:51 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 17, 2007

If you like Pina Coladas.... and getting caught in the rain....

A real life couple is divorcing after unwittingly playing out the plot to Rupert Holmes 1979 hit "Escape"....Alas, there would be no happy ending this time:

A married couple are divorcing after they chatted each other up on the Internet using fake names.

Sana Klaric and husband Adnan poured their hearts out to each other over their marriage troubles.

Using the names 'Sweetie' and 'Prince of Joy' in a online chatroom, the pair thought they had found a soulmate with whom to spend the rest of their lives.


Sana, 27, said: 'I was suddenly in love. It was amazing, we seemed to be stuck in the same kind of miserable marriages. How right that turned out to be.'

But when it dawned on her what had happened, she said: 'I felt so betrayed.'

Adnan, 32, said: 'I still find it hard to believe that Sweetie, who wrote such wonderful things, is actually the same woman I married and who has not said a nice word to me for years.'

Lyrics below the jump for those of you not super familiar with the song.

h/t The Pirate via IM

Read More "If you like Pina Coladas.... and getting caught in the rain...." »
Posted by caltechgirl at 09:42 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

September 18, 2007

Why TF

is it that on the nights I NEED to get some sleep (aka Monday, Wednesday and Thursday nights) I just can't? And other nights I'm good?

Seriously. It's 2:30. I need to be out the door by 6:45 or I'll never get to class on time. Last night I was out at 12. Maybe because I slept in and then I napped during football. Which was not intentional. Although the sleeping in was planned.

So I'm doing exactly what they tell you NOT to do to sleep. Watching TV and using the computer. See, I need to distract myself. Otherwise I'll just toss and turn and listen to night noises and freak out.

I think I'm worried about work. I made a major change in a group project of my own volition and I suppose I'm apprehensive about the feedback..... Plus I have an important meeting after class for a symposium I got nominated to attend. And said group project, a grant, is due tomorrow. Not to mention I am teaching from 8 to 12 (lecture, then lab). Although the lab ought to be fun. It's the first time they get to play with microscopes and living organisms. Including spearing some termites to look at the symbionts living in their guts. Yummy.  And I signed up to run this show.

Oh, and if you have a minute, do pop over and give the lovely Helen some love. Poor girl is having pretty difficult false labor and feeling positively enormous (although she looks amazing!) and exhausted as she faces the end of her pregnancy and a possibly stressful week with family visiting.  She could use a good cheer-up.

Posted by caltechgirl at 02:41 AM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

Well, it's almost 2:30 again

I did get SOME sleep.  Between about 3:30 and 6.  I got out the door about 10 minutes later than I wanted to, but other than that, so far so good.  My changes in the group project were well received and the meeting was ok.

But Good Lord I need to sleep. I'm not sleepy or anything, but I can feel a headache building and I don't have a hell of a lot of pep in my step.

BTW, the termite symbionts were a BIG hit in class, even if the lab did run over.  That's ok.  We'll finish up on Thursday.  Yay. Less stuff for me to plan/ set up/ worry about it working then.

Posted by caltechgirl at 02:20 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

September 19, 2007

Because I have no substance left

Last week's mutterings. This week's coming soon:

1. Dork ::
2. Refurbished ::
3. Basket ::
4. Mousse ::
5. Studio ::
6. 8 ball ::
7. Masking tape ::
8. Love ::
9. Wilder ::
10. Lindsey ::

You know the game.

Read More "Because I have no substance left" »
Posted by caltechgirl at 10:48 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Why Shrillary is scared of Fred

and just one more reason why I'll be voting for him.

Posted by caltechgirl at 11:25 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

September 20, 2007

Happy Birthday!

To our Fearless Leader, Pixy Misa!

Thanks, Pix, for keeping the MuNu ship afloat.  You're the bestest!

Posted by caltechgirl at 08:18 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

September 21, 2007

Trust No One

Even the cops.  They might not be who you think they are....

The Los Angeles Police Department said Friday morning that officers had arrested a man who allegedly impersonated a police officer and robbed an elderly couple at knifepoint in their Reseda townhouse.


When the robber knocked on the couple's door, he identified himself as an officer and asked about an auto accident that they had been involved in earlier in the day. The robber pulled out a knife when he was asked to show identification.

What the article doesn't say, but which was reported live on KNBC's Today in LA program this morning, is that the thief didn't just identify himself as a cop.  He was wearing a dark blue uniform similar to LAPD, and came to the door posing as a traffic officer.  When the husband got nervous and asked for ID, he reached into his pocket and pulled a knife instead of credentials.

At first LAPD were afraid that the couple might have been targeted by information leaked from their office, however (and of course they didn't just come out and say this) it seems that the thief is linked to the accident.  What the police ARE saying is that the arrest is a DIRECT result of follow up on the accident investigation by Traffic Division.

Clearly this was a well-planned criminal endeavor.  The purchase of the uniform indicates that much.  So watch out.  There are assholes out there who will hit your car, get your information and come to your house late at night to rob you, posing as the police.

Some tips:
1.  If the police knock on your door, ALWAYS ask for Badge and ID.  A real policeman will generally offer it before you ask, or will hand it over without question.

2.  If you are still unsure, ask the policeman for a moment to verify the credentials.  It's ok to call 911 (or your local PD number if you have it handy) and verify the name and badge number as an on-duty officer assigned to come to your home.

3. If you are unsure that the car attempting to pull you over is a real policeman (unfortunately there were a number of sexual assaults in LA in the past with guys posing as cops...), put on your flashers, and get to a secure, well-lighted place with people around, such as a gas station, etc.  A real cop won't be put off when you explain your concern for your safety, and you just might deter a bad guy.

4.  If you are in an accident, insist the police come to the scene.  In many jurisdictions, including City of Los Angeles, the police have a system for collecting information from ALL parties, and keeping that confidential.  All the parties get is a five-digit case number, which, along with the officer's name and the date/time of the accident can be used by the INSURANCE company to get the accident report and the parties' personal information.  Actually, anyone with that information can get a copy of the report, but it costs around $20, a bad investment for a crook, generally.  Furthermore, if something like what happened to the couple in the story happens to you, if the police come to the accident scene, they already know where to find the bad guys.

Posted by caltechgirl at 08:49 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

September 22, 2007

It's Me(ez)

Y'all may have noticed the new animated avatar in the left sidebar. I've had a Meez for a while, but I never bothered to add it. Until I saw (thanks BR!) that Meez loves Fred (well, you can get a T-shirt, background, and sign for any of the major candidates).

And I love Fred. So YAY! If you want to get your own Meez go here, and say I referred you (caltechgirl), and we both get "coins" for special outfits and backdrops. They have some great Halloween costumes, too!

Posted by caltechgirl at 12:00 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

September 23, 2007

A mime is a teriible thing to waste..

So let's take a minute to mourn the passing of the greatest mime ever, Marcel Marceau.

Marcel Marceau, the world's best-known mime artist who for decades moved audiences across the globe without uttering a single word, has died aged 84.

The Frenchman's extensive tours and appearances on camera brought his silent art to people around the world. His comic and tragic sketches appealed on a universal level, with each audience interpreting his performance in its own way.

"Mime, like music, knows neither borders nor nationalities," he once said. "If laughter and tears are the characteristics of humanity, all cultures are steeped in our discipline."

But Marceau was much more than a mime, he was a member of the French Resistance in WWII and later served in the French Army with the German Occupying Force after the war. The cause of his death is unknown at this time. Rest in Peace.

Posted by caltechgirl at 11:38 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Wii are the world....

We had decided a while back that what we wanted for our birthdays (5 days apart) was a Wii. But as most of you know, they are in scarce supply, and we had no idea when they would be shipping, or even if they would be in stock come November. To this end, we've been saving our pennies.

Well, Saturday afternoon, we made a quick trip to the local Tar-zhay, and on our way over to the Halloween section, we decided to duck into the Wii aisle on a whim. There were 7 white boxes on the bottom shelf of the case. Yep, they were in stock. Just in, too, according to the guy working there. Long story short, when we left the store, there were only 6 white boxes in the case. And the price was $50 less than what we were seeing them for previously. Woot!

So we spent basically the rest of the weekend proving that 30 year olds don't have teenage bodies anymore. Did I mention my right arm feels like I spent too much time on weights at the gym? But it was hella fun and I totally see how Wii could be a part of anyone's exercise regimen. Especially the boxing game in Wii Sports. That's quite a cardio workout, holding up your arms and punching...

Honestly, though, my favorite part is that I'm actually pretty good at some of this. Unlike games with the traditional controllers.

So I probably won't be around much this week....

Posted by caltechgirl at 11:49 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

September 25, 2007

Life is what happens, they say, when you are busy making other plans

It's awfully funny how our lives go through these cycles. When you're busy, it gets worse, when you're not busy nothing happens for weeks.

And by now, busy is an understatement. Both of us are teaching full time, GMT back at his High School, me with a 5 unit biology class (double lab periods!) which adds up to about 9 hours a week in class. I am also the chair of a couple of active committees, and I serve on several others. As it's the beginning of school, everyone is trying to get all their meeting ducks in a row and it's taking a lot of time.

I'm supposed to attend a seminar Thursday- Saturday, and all I want to do is go out with my friends on Friday night, as we're all supposed to have dinner at one of our friend's places.

Oh, and I got asked to work on a paper with one of my colleagues. It's actually very interesting, and as it's Public Health research, not too time consuming. Also a field I'm keen to get some insight into. So I'm working on research again, too.

And then there's homework to grade, papers to read, and my own field of research to deal with.

And I'm supposed to clean house, do laundry, be a pleasant hostess, and occasionally go out for a fun time???? Fuck that. Something has to go. Lately it's been the cleaning. Not that the house is a pigsty, mind you, just messy. And there are a million unfinished projects we need to work on.

I do love most of my job. I love my students, and I love working with them. I'm just maxxed out. The motivation is toast at the moment. I notice I haven't been doing a hell of a lot of blog reading, and those of you who see me in their email often probably have noticed a drop off in the volume.

No, I'm not going anywhere, just ratcheting back a bit for the forseeable future. Real Life Intervenes.

I didn't intend to write that last paragraph, it just kind of came out of my fingers Ouija-style, so I guess I'm going to go with it. New content probably every couple of days, some funnies, Mutterings, Fred, that kind of thing, but if you want the serious analytical stuff, then Sorry, but we're fresh out.

Until then, I'll be lurking in your comments.

Posted by caltechgirl at 04:47 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

September 27, 2007

I got nothing, but Fred sure does

You asked Fred what he stands for, asked him to lay it all out there. Well, here it is:

Anyone who has heard me speak knows my firm commitment to what I call "First Principles." These grow out of the documents of our Nation's founding and the wisdom of the ages. They are core beliefs that guide my approach to the issues that are crucial to our Nation's future. I believe in--

Individual Liberty . As Jefferson spelled out in the Declaration of Independence, our basic rights come from God, not from government, and that among these inalienable rights is the right to liberty. We must allow individuals to lead their lives with minimal government interference.

Personal Responsibility . The corollary to liberty is responsibility. No society can succeed and thrive for any duration unless free people act in a responsible way. All of us must take responsibility for our actions and strive to improve our own lives and to contribute to building a better society.

Free Markets . Free people are best equipped to order their own affairs, and the common interest benefits from and is improved by the aggregate success of all. We must reform our tax system, encourage investment, support entrepreneurial spirit, open markets abroad to American goods, and minimize burdensome government regulations to continue to expand the economy and bring increased wealth to all Americans give.

Limited Government . Government must be strong enough to protect us, competent enough to provide basic government services, but limited by the delineated powers in the Constitution.

Federalism . Our Constitution innovatively guarantees our liberties by spreading power among the three branches of the federal government, and between the federal government and the states. In considering any action by the government, we must always ask two questions: is the government better equipped than the private sector to perform the task and, if so, what level of government (federal or state) ought to do it. Washington is not the seat of all wisdom.

Protecting our Country . The first responsibility of the federal government is to protect the nation and the American people. There is no more important task. We must have a strong and effective military, capable intelligence services, and a vigorous law enforcement and homeland security capacity.

Traditional American Values . A healthy society is predicated on belief in God; respect for all life; strong families centered on the institution of marriage: the union of a man and a woman; and self-respect and tolerance of others. While we are all free to live our lives in the pursuit of our own happiness, the government has a responsibility to respect the right of parents to raise their children and to promote the values that produce the strongest society.

The Rule of Law . We protect our liberty, secure our rights, and promote a just and stable society through the rule of law. We owe to ourselves and our fellow citizens our own adherence to the rules, but tough law enforcement and punishment for those who do not. A free and independent judiciary that interprets the law by adhering strictly to legal text and respects its limited role in our system of government is essential to our security and freedom, and we need judges who understand that role if we are to preserve our republic and freedom.

Conserving Our Nation's Resources . Each of us is put on Earth for a limited period of time. We must always strive to ensure that the resources we use to lead our lives are here for future generations to enjoy and use as well.

We live in the greatest country on earth. We have been truly blessed. This blessing carries with it an obligation: to keep it that way and to leave this country at least as strong, prosperous, and united as when we entered it.

Posted by caltechgirl at 12:01 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Ground Rules

I have decided that somewhere along the line I became one of those fucking people I hate.  I work a lot.  Yeah, my "on-campus" time is pretty low, and I admit, I was 100% scarce over the summer, but I do an awful lot of work at home.  Grading, answering emails, writing, etc.  I even agreed to give up half of my fucking weekend to attend a seminar Thursday thru Saturday.

It has got to stop.  It winds me up and I don't have any me time.  The TiVo is proof enough.  In the last 6 months it's just loaded up over and over again.  Hell, I never watched the last 8 episodes of House last season!  Yeah, you read that right.  House.  I want to catch up before we get going again.  And I have almost a whole season of Painkiller Jane and The Riches to finish.  I've seen maybe two episodes of each.

I haven't crocheted in months.  It took me weeks to get the camera sent off to Sony for the recall repair work.  I barely keep up with my calendar.  If I don't get something scheduled right away, I miss it.  My brain feels 10 steps behind.

I have a story I'd like to write, but I can't get up the motivation to put it down and it keeps rattling around, waiting for me to get to it.  I hope it doesn't get stale.

So I've decided that work is going to stop following me home.  Grading I'll do, but I am not going to check email or worry about assholes or agree to do anything outside of business hours anymore.  It fucks me up too much.

Maybe I'll even be able to blog again on a regular basis.

Posted by caltechgirl at 12:32 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

September 28, 2007

Munchies that give you the munchies

Magic Brownies are for amateurs. Check out these scooby-doobie snacks:

Federal agents said Thursday that they shut down a factory that made marijuana-laced barbecue sauce, chocolate-covered pretzels and other "enhanced" snacks intended for medical users of the drug.

The Drug Enforcement Agency said it arrested three people Wednesday and is looking for a fourth who operated Oakland-based Tainted Inc.

Agents also seized 460 marijuana plants and other laced products including candy bars, cookies, marshmallow pies, ice cream, peanut butter, jelly, energy drinks and "Rice Krispy treats."

Tainted Inc. was launched by Michael Martin, 33, of El Sobrante as a small operation that made laced chocolate truffles. When it was raided Wednesday, the company was shipping products to medical marijuana dispensaries throughout California and in Seattle; Vancouver, British Columbia; and Amsterdam. [--emphasis mine, Ed.]

What a great way to get people to keep buying your products!

Posted by caltechgirl at 08:22 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

In Quest of Democracy

Pray for the freedom of Burma:

picture by AndreSTGT
Where there is no justice there can be no secure peace.
...That just laws which uphold human rights are the necessary foundations of peace and security would be denied only by closed minds which interpret peace as the silence of all opposition and security as the assurance of their own power. The Burmese associate peace and security with coolness and shade:

The shade of a tree is cool indeed
The shade of parents is cooler
The shade of teachers is cooler still
The shade of the ruler is yet more cool
But coolest of all is the shade of the Buddha's teachings.

Thus to provide the people with the protective coolness of peace and security, rulers must observe the teachings of the Buddha. Central to these teachings are the concepts of truth, righteousness and loving kindness. It is government based on these very qualities that the people of Burma are seeking in their struggle for democracy.
-- Aung San Suu Kyi

Posted by caltechgirl at 09:11 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Are you pondering what I'm pondering, Pinky?

Linkies to things I'm thinking about today:

Lifehacker:  How to snazz up your presentations

Ricki: Work Ethic and college students (more on this from me later).  See also: here and here

It Comes in Pints?: Val is burning down the house with sponsored FFO's.

more later......

Posted by caltechgirl at 11:08 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

The sad thing is, this is how most people see science

From the Onion:

Posted by caltechgirl at 02:51 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack