April 06, 2005

What do you think

Does everybody see the rotating banners?

Just refresh the page and you should get a new banner (there are 5 right now, and the selection is random, just keep clicking)

Posted by caltechgirl at 10:52 PM | Comments (10)

April 18, 2005

Monday Monday

Ok, so it's Monday. Which sucks. I hate Monday mornings because of lab meeting at 9. Which means I have to be here BEFORE 9. (I usually come in 9-9:30). Ahh the advantages pf Academia.

Really, I think that's the only reason I didn't go for something else. Where else can you come in at 10 and go home at 6? Fits my sleep schedule SOOOO much better.

Anyway, the point of this post was to let you know that I have great plans for this week:
a roundup of British political news, focusing on the upcoming election
a link fest
pictures from my trip to Savannah (there aren't many, but I will put up a few)
a recipe for the CotR
Maybe some pictures of the Azaleas in my back yard...
and more!

Posted by caltechgirl at 10:01 AM | Comments (0)

April 19, 2005

Interesting discussion...

...going on over at Dean's World about the bible and homosexuality. Read the comments.

I'm going to post my personal opinions here (Below the fold in case you don't care):

Read More "Interesting discussion..." »
Posted by caltechgirl at 03:22 PM | Comments (2)

April 20, 2005


I have returned to Large Mammal status! I lost 150 spots in the process but hey, it works now.

Props to the Bear for cleaning up the ecosystem.

Congrats to him and the new Mrs. Bear, as well. May your den always be snug, and your days filled with honey and no bees :)

Posted by caltechgirl at 05:10 PM | Comments (3)

April 21, 2005


Visitor # 24,500 was referred by Dean's World sometime in the last hour!

There will be much rejoicing and link glory for the referrer of visitor #25,000! This will probably occur at the end of next week, especially if I get a HWNNL-lanche from the CotR again.

However, HWNNL is not eligible for link-love around here, so in that case, the referrer closest to 25,000 but not below who is NOT HWNNL will get special recognition... and perhaps a prize... Suggestions?

Also, this is post #50 as a munuvian.

Posted by caltechgirl at 04:07 PM | Comments (0)

April 25, 2005

25,000 happens today

At 1:03 pm EDT, SiteMeter reads 24,966.

34 to go.

Special linky recognition to the referrer(s)!

I'm betting it will be Jay and Deb again.... ;) Or maybe Sadie this time....

Posted by caltechgirl at 01:04 PM | Comments (1)


Visitor # 25,000 dropped in to the blogsplat page at 4:21:51 EDT from the MUSCTigers!


Go on over there and meet Jeremy, Katie, and Jenks, three students at the Medical University of South Carolina, and enjoy a different perspective!

Posted by caltechgirl at 04:59 PM | Comments (1)

April 27, 2005

Not a surprise really

...given my CD collection and the fact that the only country acts I saw on the list were Gretchen Wilson, LeeAnn Rimes, and Tim McGraw. (whatever happened to George Strait and Clint Black????)

Your Taste in Music:

80's Pop: Highest Influence
Classic Rock: Highest Influence
Progressive Rock: Highest Influence
80's Alternative: High Influence
80's Rock: High Influence
90's Pop: High Influence
90's Alternative: Medium Influence
90's R&B: Medium Influence
90's Rock: Medium Influence
Adult Alternative: Medium Influence
Alternative Rock: Low Influence
Country: Low Influence
Hair Bands: Low Influence
Punk: Low Influence
Ska: Low Influence

How's Your Taste in Music?

(h/t the lovely Kate)

Posted by caltechgirl at 12:14 PM | Comments (3)


I think I've had this cold before. It makes your thumbs hurt too.

See below the fold....

Read More "Ah-Choo!" »
Posted by caltechgirl at 02:00 PM | Comments (1)

Moles and trolls.. Moles and trolls...*

Ok, no damn trolls, but lots of Moles for your whacking pleasure**.

Please don't hit the ones from Blacker Hovse...

*Special linky love to the first person who can tell me the movie containing this quote... I've got to start some kind of points system like Jim

**No, not THAT kind of whacking you sickos.

(h/t the Llama dudes)

Posted by caltechgirl at 04:08 PM | Comments (0)

More Time Wasters

From the Llama Guys:
--The ubiquitous state locator
--A version where the states disappear after you've placed them (ultra-hard version)
--The European version

From the Happy Dog:
--It'sJava Bowling

And from a number of people:
--The piggy personality test

Can you tell I've been writing my thesis again today?

Hey Ben-- I got 100% up to level 4 on the European one..... I still remember all that AD sh*t. Unbelievable. Beyond that, it's freaking impossible to place Liechtenstein or Andorra on an empty map properly....

Update: Here's another one, from Prof. Taylor:
The Ron Mexico Name Generator
(for those of you who need an alias for that herpes-spreading booty call) Mine is Victoria Monaco....

Posted by caltechgirl at 04:18 PM | Comments (4)

April 28, 2005

You people suck, at least when it comes to movies

Can't ANYONE remember what movie this phrase comes from???

"Moles and trolls, moles and trolls...."

Do I need to do a whole geekitude post of bad movie quotes?

Posted by caltechgirl at 10:39 PM | Comments (9)

May 03, 2005

I am such a geek!

Your Geek Profile:

Academic Geekiness: Highest
Internet Geekiness: High
Music Geekiness: High
Movie Geekiness: Moderate
SciFi Geekiness: Moderate
Fashion Geekiness: Low
Geekiness in Love: Low
General Geekiness: Low
Gamer Geekiness: None
How Geeky Are You?

Something to keep you busy while I work on my thesis today :)

Posted by caltechgirl at 09:54 AM | Comments (0)

For those of you with Gmail...

This is Cool!

Do the following:
1. Open your Gmail account
2. Click on the Spam folder to open it
3. Read the text just above the "delete forever" and "not spam" buttons
4. Refresh

Does anyone else have rotating Spam recipes?

BTW the other folders have different tags in the same place, my inbox has a Yahoo! News story and my "starred" folder tells me how I can use Yahoo! as an RSS reader. But the Spam recipes are amusing.

Posted by caltechgirl at 10:35 PM | Comments (5)

May 04, 2005

You know you've made it...

when a major blogger reiterates your shtick....
Great minds think alike, I guess :)

of course, I beat her to it by more than 16 hours.....

Posted by caltechgirl at 04:57 PM | Comments (1)

May 09, 2005

$22 fix or use a surge strip!

My old-as-the-hills-but-still-plugging-along fujitsu laptop was resurrected today with the arrival of a replacement power cord. Turns out that the silly computer left itself plugged directly into a wall socket (where it was attached temporarily in a different room than its normal home) overnight during a particularly foul thunderstorm.. and well, you can guess the rest.

Yay for a new power cord!

Posted by caltechgirl at 06:17 PM | Comments (1)

May 11, 2005


Well, looks like we are close to a complete dissertation. I just need to go back through and add the references using Reference Manager so it builds a bibliography for me, and format the graphics and make a few text tweaks.... I hope....

But the majority of it is out there. 107 pages.

Posted by caltechgirl at 07:35 PM | Comments (2)

Oh F*ck yeah!

Your SAT Score of 1530 Means:

You Scored Higher Than Howard Stern

You Scored Higher Than George W. Bush

You Scored Higher Than Al Gore

You Scored Higher Than David Duchovny

You Scored Higher Than Natalie Portman

You Scored Lower Than Bill Gates

Your IQ is most likely in the 140-150 range

Equivalent ACT score: 34

Schools that Fit Your SAT Score:

California Institute of Technology

Stanford University

Princeton University

Yale University

Harvard University

What Does Your SAT Score Mean?

Notice which school was first? Huh? Didja? Notice which school (MIT) wasn't on the list?


Posted by caltechgirl at 11:10 PM | Comments (4)

May 12, 2005

Praise Batman!

Scientology is so passe. How about Fictionology? Now there's a pseudoreligion I could get my mind around.

"Fictionology's central belief, that any imaginary construct can be incorporated into the church's ever-growing set of official doctrines, continues to gain popularity. Believers in Santa Claus, his elves, or the Tooth Fairy are permitted—even encouraged—to view them as deities. Even corporate mascots like the Kool-Aid Man are valid objects of Fictionological worship.

"My personal savior is Batman," said Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Greg Jurgenson. "My wife chooses to follow the teachings of the Gilmore Girls. Of course, we are still beginners. Some advanced-level Fictionologists have total knowledge of every lifetime they have ever lived for the last 80 trillion years."

"Sure, it's total bullshit," Jurgenson added. "But that's Fictionology. Praise Batman!""

Posted by caltechgirl at 12:58 PM | Comments (5)

May 22, 2005

Yep. That's me.

I got your "Hand-Raiser" right here, Ben.

Me and Hermione Granger.

You are 85% Rational, 57% Extroverted, 42% Brutal, and 42% Arrogant.

You are the Hand-Raiser, that annoying kid in class who always had an answer for everything. No doubt, as a child you probably sat in the front of the class, anxiously waving your hand back and forth in the air while your teacher desperately tried to avoid calling on you because you were the ONLY f*cking kid that answered her questions. Clearly, the key traits of your personality are your rationality and your extroversion. You are like a little talkative calculator, in other words. You also tend to be rather gentle and less arrogant than most
people. So what is your defect, then? Well, you're boring, and when you're not boring, you are just plain annoying with your ultra-logical responses and constant need to talk to others. So keep waving that hand in the air, son. I'm still not calling on you. You are too logical, you talk too much, and your humility and gentleness only makes me hate you more, because they make me feel like I almost SHOULDN'T hate you. But I do. Big time.

To put it less negatively:

1. You are more RATIONAL than intuitive.

2. You are more EXTROVERTED than introverted.

3. You are more GENTLE than brutal.

4. You are more HUMBLE than arrogant.


Your exact opposite is the Brute.

Other personalities you would probably get along with are the Braggart, the Haughty Intellectual, and the Robot.

More in the extended entry.

Read More "Yep. That's me." »
Posted by caltechgirl at 12:06 PM | Comments (3)

May 26, 2005

The Doctor is in


I passed!!!!!

YAY!!!!!!!! WOOHOO!!!!!!!!

Thanks for all of the good wishes! Now I'm going on vacation.....
See you in Cali.

Posted by caltechgirl at 01:24 PM | Comments (22)

July 11, 2005

Thanks, Fluffy (and Pixy)

During my jaunt across the country I got hit with a minor tidal wave of spam comments and a few trackback spams. Since I had about ZERO time to deal with it, I marked all of the errant bits and left them in the mailbox to be dealt with later. Imagine my surprise when I sat down to clean up the old blog this morning and found that ALL of them had been wiped already, except for a trackback spam that arrived this AM. Fluffy (the MuNu anti-spam watchdog) had scared them all away already.

There's a reason we pay that dog in prime steak.

Posted by caltechgirl at 12:15 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

July 18, 2005

Oh yeah, one more thing...

For those of you who have gotten through the book....

Who do YOU think R.A.B. is?

My guess below the fold...

Read More "Oh yeah, one more thing..." »
Posted by caltechgirl at 04:08 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

August 03, 2005

At leat it wasn't rated G

My life is rated R.
What is your life rated?

(h/t Jay Solo)

Posted by caltechgirl at 12:56 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 19, 2005

More tinkering

I added the category archive links..... more minor tweaking to come.

Some of you should appreciate the humor behind the latest character......

Posted by caltechgirl at 11:53 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 21, 2005

Quirky? Me??

This week's meme appears to be quirks. Several bloggers have been admitting their quirks as of late, so here are mine, I guess...

1. I am like the queen of hospitality. I guess it's the Armenian in me. If you come into my house expect to be served a drink and any kind of food you want in the house. Put your feet up, watch my TV, use my phone, whatever. It may not be the tidiest house on the block, but I can guarantee that you'll feel at home. If you're not comfortable in my home, that makes me sick. It's more important to me that you enjoy yourself than that the house is spotless. However, I expect to be treated the same way in the homes of my friends, and I can get a little irritated if I'm cheaped out on. Especially by someone who has been in MY home many, many times. That makes me feel freakin' used, you know? It really bugs the crap out of me.

2. I tend to get really into the good stuff going on in my friends' lives. Getting married? Expect a big shower and shopping trips and all kinds of help putting everything together. Having a baby? Expect to be deluged with booties and blankets and me asking how you're doing. Having a birthday? At the least a card or email, and if you're in the same town, dinner and a cake. In our lab at UNC, I was known as the one who collected the $$, did the shopping, and organized the party whenever someone got married, graduated, or had a baby. And it was fun. I love doing fun things like that.

3. Here's a weird one: I CAN NOT stand the sound of people chewing. I mean even polite mouth-closed eating. If I'm eating too, it's totally ok, but if DH is sitting next to me snacking while I work, it drives me batshit. I always make him go away to eat. Most other little noises don't even faze me, but chewing can make me retch. Go fig.

4. Like Michele, I have to be covered when I sleep. This doesn't mean PJs necessarily, but I have to at least have a sheet over me or I can't sleep. I think this comes from sleeping directly under a front-facing window growing up. It kind of drives DH crazy. The rheumatoid arthritis has actually made this one worse, since I get weird chills now if I get a draft under the covers.

5. I abhor talking to strangers. I hate using the phone, even to call for pizza. I hate answering the phone and I hate calling anywhere where I don't personally know who I am talking to. Even if I know you and I've never spoken to you over the phone before, I hate calling. (take note those bloggers whose phone #'s I have.... ) I hate drive-through windows, too. It was YEARS after I learned to drive before I went through a drive-through. I can be quite social at a party, and I am more than willing to get up in front of a room full of people and give a presentation, but the phone and the drive through, no way. As an extension of this, I also hate going ANYWHERE alone. ANYWHERE. For years I wouldn't even go to the grocery store alone. Being an army wife with a husband stationed 1200 miles away for 3 years changed that, but I still HATE going anywhere alone and I won't if I can help it. It makes me feel strange and vulnerable.

6. I get really antsy when I ride in the front seat while someone else drives. Especially if I think they're too close to the car in front. Super- especially while braking hard. I've been in 2 serious car crashes (wasn't hurt in either one -- props to Chrysler for making Neons so awesome in a crash), and both of them were front end collisions on my end. So if I'm in your car and I tell you to slow down or stop, just ignore me unless I see something in front of you that you don't.

7. (Bonus round) Quickies:
**Must. Have. Remote. (DH and I each have one for the bedroom TV)
**I Hate predictable situations in movies and TV. It's not funny and it makes me cringe.
**Oh yeah, and TP goes under, not over.

Posted by caltechgirl at 11:28 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

August 22, 2005

Aww Ye-ah!

Read 'em and weep fellow Sudoku addicts.....

Oh yeah!

Posted by caltechgirl at 01:00 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

August 23, 2005

we're back up

Here's Pixy's explanation:

A combination of blog-spam, an ineffective denial of service attack, an inadvertant denial of service attack, and possibly other factors, managed to slow the server down to the point that it might as well not have been there for that past few hours.

While I was asleep. The one time each month I'm not logged in, and that's when it has to happen. Mad

Sorry about that, folks. We're back on the air and I'm working to make sure it doesn't happen again."

UPDATE: Trackbacks are off for a while due to the issues we had this morning that appear to be continuing. If you link me, drop me an email or leave a comment!

Posted by caltechgirl at 02:21 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 24, 2005


Hot Sh*t we're back! At least for the time being....

And it doesn't look like I've lost much if anything...


Pixy is a god.

Posted by caltechgirl at 11:24 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

August 25, 2005

I have succumbed

I now have google talk. Citgirl99 if any of you want to chat....

Problem is, you need a google account, which of course you can only get by invite.

I have several since I have a number of personal gmail accounts, so if you want an invite, drop me a comment**

**if you are a random person that I've never seen on here before, tough luck. Invites go to regular commenters/bloggers first....

Posted by caltechgirl at 02:09 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

August 26, 2005


Jay writes that bloggers all seem to share phone phobia as one of their quirks. Yet we're all big email (and to some extent chat) fans.

I think that has to do with the difference in immediacy between a phone call and email/chat. When you're on the phone, you have to interact, you have to respond. Over email or chat, you can choose to respond when you want, if at all. Over email, you can evaluate the message and the sender more carefully than in a phone conversation (this applies more to talking with people you're not comfortable with) and couch your response more appropriately.

What do you think about that? Do you like email or the phone better? What about chat vs the phone?

Posted by caltechgirl at 02:36 AM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

August 31, 2005

But of course....

I got 99 on the Constitution test, for goodness sakes.....

You Passed the US Citizenship Test
Congratulations - you got 10 out of 10 correct!
Could You Pass the US Citizenship Test?

(h/t Her Caffeinated Crankiness)

Posted by caltechgirl at 01:19 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

September 07, 2005

Geek, reporting for duty!

This is awesome!

A comparison of the scale of the ships from nearly all of your favorite Sci-Fi worlds. There are also a couple of real ships thrown in for comparison.

You know what they say about men and the size of their vehicles.....
So what does that say about this guy? I guess that would also explain the light saber....

(h/t Harvey)

Posted by caltechgirl at 11:17 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

September 18, 2005

Milestone achieved!

Visitor #50,000 arrived at 4:38 pm PDT courtesy of the lovely Da Goddess, who linked to this post.

I'd like to thank my fairy blog parents, Jay and Deb, for poking me with sharp things until I started blogging; Pixy Misa (which is Aussie-speak for God of all things MT) for my pretty MuNu digs; Beth and HWNNL for giving me huge numbers of recipe readers every week; Baldilocks and Ith for asking me to guest-blog; all the BFLers (who are AWESOME) and especially, Da Goddess, without whose RACK I would not see half so many google hits...

And I how could I forget Boromir and his Fellowship of Ninja Wizards.....
You love me, you really, really love me.....[/sally field]

Posted by caltechgirl at 04:49 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

September 28, 2005


here's how pathetic I am: Since the other laptop died, I have been without a complete feedlist in my Sage RSS reader, so I took 2 hours this afternoon to go through and attempt to reconstruct the list from my blogroll and others (thanks Ith, Jay and Deb) since I have some blogs on my reading list that hadn't made it into my blogroll yet.

If I drop by your blog frequently, and you don't see me in the next few days, remind me to add you to the feed reader again :)

Posted by caltechgirl at 04:05 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 30, 2005

I am SUCH a Geek!

So as you are well aware, the primary laptop (because it was running XP, this POS is running 98 and I'm afraid to upgrade....it runs pretty well) crashed and burned. So I have been catching up on making this little one as user friendly as the other was. First I upgraded Sage and added as many feeds as I could remember. Today was Firefox plugin day. I upgraded to the newest version of FF and then I added the Gmail delete button (YAY!!!), ForecastFox, FoxyTunes, FlashGot, IE Viewer, Translate, and my personal new favorite, ReminderFox, which is a handy lite calendar/to do list that pops up at the bottom of the screen. I hate outlook and all other full calendar programs, and I forget to use them. This one highlights at the bottom of the window when you have a current reminder, and you can just mouse over to see what you needed to remember. All in one window. Excellent.

Now I need to go get Gmail notifier since GoogleTalk doesn't run on Win 98...

Love me some Firefox. What are your favorite extensions and plugins?

Posted by caltechgirl at 12:35 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

October 03, 2005

This Rock(et)s!

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? ;)

More info on the Leaguehere, the X-Prize festival here.

(h/t: HWNNL)

Posted by caltechgirl at 12:53 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

October 18, 2005

Addicted??? Me????

Pretty Much.

Posted by caltechgirl at 01:49 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

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....

Posted by caltechgirl at 09:37 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Ric Romero: PWN8D!

Incompetent reporting doesn't just happen in the political arena...

Earlier this week, LA ABC affiliate KABC ran a story on the "new phenomenon" of blogging. Reporter Ric Romero even set up a blog on TV.

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!

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

October 28, 2005


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.

Love it

Excuse me, I have some TV to catch up on.....

Posted by caltechgirl at 03:19 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

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.

Posted by caltechgirl at 09:58 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

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 :)

Posted by caltechgirl at 10:17 AM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

November 02, 2005

It's official: TiVo is everywhere

It even has its own blog.

I don't have TiVo (yet....) but we are talking DVR etc, so this is quite interesting.

(h/t Prof. Taylor)

Posted by caltechgirl at 11:10 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

November 03, 2005

Probing the Subconscious

This week's Unconscious Mutterings:
You know the drill. Cut and paste your answers in the comments. Mine are in the extended....

  1. Unbreakable::
  2. Have mercy::
  3. Do it better::
  4. Settle scores::
  6. Craziest thing::
  7. Apple::
  8. Halloween::
  9. Manageable::
  10. Trick::
Read More "Probing the Subconscious" »
Posted by caltechgirl at 01:02 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

November 07, 2005

Holy Crap!

I'm getting Farked!

Someone linked my Ric Romero story about the Fark thread on him in another Fark thread....

So welcome, Farkers! and the other 12 people who dropped by today!

Posted by caltechgirl at 12:35 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 10, 2005

Audience Participation Special

With a birthday theme.....

Remember this gem:

Monday's child is fair of face.
Tuesday's child is full of grace.
Wednesday's child is full of woe.
Thursday's child has far to go.
Friday's child is loving and giving.
Saturday's child works hard for his living.
The child that is born on the Sabbath day
is bonny, and blithe, and good, and gay.

Does it apply to you? I was born on Wednesday. While my life is no more woeful than average, I'd say, I do cry a lot.

What about you? If you don't know what say you were born, click over here for the perpetual calendar. Just click on the year you were born to view the calendar.

Posted by caltechgirl at 08:58 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

definitely my birthday

I have a sinus headache that won't quit, my ear keeps popping, and I have now spilled coffee all over my desk twice.

I should just quit while I'm ahead.

Posted by caltechgirl at 11:08 AM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

November 11, 2005

Vote for me!!!!

In the deck o'bloggers!

Voting for the Hearts has commenced! The poll is in Aaron's sidebar, be sure to vote for "Not Exactly Rocket Science"

Posted by caltechgirl at 03:46 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

November 15, 2005


or should I say Leet speak?

The digital equivalent of pig-Latin.

It has also been described as

a 'form of written slang or street talk for the information highway', which had a twofold purpose: 'to create group identity and to obscure meaning from outsiders'. Used as a way of getting past word filters on BBSs and forums, so that they could discuss topics that were banned or censored, like software piracy, hacks and cracks, it is a written anti-language, a way of communicating within a language that excludes outsiders.

Come on, all the cool kids are doing it!

Here is the Gettysburg address from that last link with increasing degrees of leetification applied:

10% Leetification

Fourscor3 and s3v3n y3ars ago our fath3rs brought forth on this contin3nt a n3w nation, conc3iv3d in lib3rty and d3dicat3d to th3 proposition that all m3n ar3 cr3at3d 3qual.

50% Leetification

ƒ0µr$(0r3 4nÐ $3v3n ¥34r$ 490 0µr ƒ47h3r$ br0µ9h7 ƒ0r7h 0n 7h1$ (0n71n3n7 4 n3w n4710n, (0n(31v3Ð 1n £1b3r7¥ 4nÐ Ð3Ð1(473Ð 70 7h3 pr0p0$1710n 7h47 4££ m3n 4r3 (r3473Ð 3qµ4£.

100% Leetification
ƒ0µ®$(0®3 4|\|Ð $3\/3|\| ¥34®$ 490 0µ® ƒ47|-|3®$ ß®0µ9|-|7 ƒ0®7|-| 0|\| 7|-|1$ (0|\|71|\|3|\|7 4 |\|3\/\/ |\|4710|\|, (0|\|(31\/3Ð 1|\| £1ß3®7¥ 4|\|Ð Ð3Ð1(473Ð 70 7|-|3 p®0p0$1710|\| 7|-|47 4££ |\/|3|\| 4®3 (®3473Ð 3¶µ4£.

Did you recognize it?

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Here are some you may actually come across:

"kewl": A common derivation of "cool."

"m4d sk1llz" or "mad skills": Refers to one's own talent. "m4d" itself is often used for emphasis.

"n00b," "noob," "newbie," or "newb": Combinations synonymous with new user. Some leetspeekers view "n00b" as an insult and "newbie" as an affectionate term for new users.

"w00t" or the smiley character \o/: An acronym that usually means "We Own the Other Team," used to celebrate victory in a video game.

"roxx0rs" Used in place of "rocks," typically to describe something impressive.

"d00d": Replaces the greeting or addressing someone as a "dude."

"joo" and "u": Used instead of "you." This is also commonly written as "j00" or "_|00."

"ph": often replaces "f," as in "phear" for "fear" (as in "ph34r my l33t skillz") and vice versa, such as spelling "phonetic" as "f0|\|371(."

For those of us too challenged to decipher on our own, here's a (0|\|v3r5i0|\| 7001
(conversion tool).

Since I am guest-posting at different venues, I've cross-posted this here while I have the keys.

Posted by Christina at 10:30 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

November 18, 2005

An Ode to Shakespeare, sorta

The other day I posted on leekspeak.

Today I find the Brits are defiling Shakespeare's works.

Dot mobile, a British mobile phone service aimed at students, says it plans to condense classic works of literature into SMS text messages...

Academic purists will be horrified. Hamlet's famous query, "To be or not to be, that is the question," becomes "2b? Nt2b? ???"

John Milton's epic poem "Paradise Lost" begins "devl kikd outa hevn coz jelus of jesus&strts war." ("The devil is kicked out of heaven because he is jealous of Jesus and starts a war.")

Kathy, honey, Jane Eyre is not immune, either:

Take for example the ending to Jane Eyre -- 'MadwyfSetsFyr2Haus.' (Mad wife sets fire to house.) Was ever a climax better compressed?

Horrors, I tell ya, the horrors...

Posted by Christina at 11:46 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

November 21, 2005

Keep Scrolling

Yes I wrote a lot today. Lot of stuff's been rolling around in my head since last week. Just keep scrolling. New content all the way down to the BFL blogroll!

Posted by caltechgirl at 01:30 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 29, 2005

Christmas Shopping

An Audience Participation Special.....

I love to shop. In fact, I'm half done with Christmas shopping already. However, I'm kinda getting bored with the same ol' same ol'. Even on line.

So, where do you look for that perfect gift, online or off? What little, out of the way retailer ( or e-tailer) is your go-to place?

Posted by caltechgirl at 01:22 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Getting into the spirit of things

So, what do you think of the new look?

Posted by caltechgirl at 07:30 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

Big problem with Firefox 1.5....

The F&%&%&*%ing Gmail delete button doesn't work.


Posted by caltechgirl at 09:42 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

November 30, 2005

Open Source Rocks!

Within 24 hours, my Gmail delete button issue was fixed!

Although for some reason, Mozilla isn't yet recognizing it as an available upgrade for FF 1.5, so it's not yet an automatic fix....

To fix the problem in FF 1.5:
1. Uninstall Gmail Delete v3.0 (the incompatible one) in the extensions window.
2. Close and reopen FF.
3. Install Gmail Delete v3.3 (compatible up to FF 1.6.x)
4. Close and reopen FF
5. Open Gmail, your button should be back!

Other than that, all of my extensions seem to be working ok or had an available upgrade. Good luck!

Posted by caltechgirl at 10:43 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

This is how damn awful I am

Sorry folks, no intelligent content today. Grant application due tomorrow.
Anyways, back to the post:

Last night I broke down and ordered photo Christmas cards. With the dog on them.

If I have your address, you're probably getting one.

Posted by caltechgirl at 12:28 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Step to the right, please...

Not like it's gonna help to post it, but if you can't see the posts, scroll over.

I already asked some of the smartest people around about fixing it, so hopefully this won't be an issue much longer.

Until then try Firefox.

Posted by caltechgirl at 07:47 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

The Queen Mother of all swear words....

Just watching my #2 favorite Christmas movie, and browsing my email, and wondering....

If my boss calls me a "trooper" does that mean I'm in over my head?

Posted by caltechgirl at 10:55 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

December 01, 2005

Ultimate geekitude

This post from Physics Geek reminded me of my favorite Ditch Day Stack of ALL TIME:

I believe this happened in the 60's. As you may be aware (see link above), on Ditch Day, Caltech Seniors lock their room doors and go off campus, leaving a series of puzzles behind for the underclassmen to solve to figure out how to open their door for a prize.

Anyway, the seniors left at 7 am and all that was on this particular door was a hose sticking out from under the door, and a note saying that only the proper substance could be poured through the hose to open the door. The only clue as to what that was was this: "0.693"

The underclassmen sat all day and stared at the door, they couldn't figure out what 0.693 meant..... Finally at 4:30, 30 minutes before they would have to give up, one of them jumped up and ran out the door. He returned a few minutes later with a steaming jug and poured the contents down the hose, and the door opened, just before 5.

The answer below the fold for those of you who would like to take a guess as to what was in the jug....

Read More "Ultimate geekitude" »
Posted by caltechgirl at 12:11 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Does this look better?

For all you non-FF viewers... do the posts appear directly under the banner now?

Posted by caltechgirl at 12:52 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

December 02, 2005

Googling Fun

Two recent hits, one right after the other from search engines:

1. "halal kosher wtf"
2. "nc pork barbeque recipe crock pot"

I agree.

Heh. Also, I'm #4 for this one. And I think this person was looking for Ith.

Posted by caltechgirl at 12:04 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

December 06, 2005

In honor of my DH-- UPDATED!

You Passed 8th Grade Science
Congratulations, you got 8/8 correct!
Could You Pass 8th Grade Science?

Good God I hope so! It would be sad if they could give you a PhD in science without being able to pass the 8th grade...

Minor quibbles:
1) It's nucleus. Not "nuclues"
2) 8th grade is PHYSICAL SCIENCE, so questions 2,4,5,and technically 6 (see below) don't count.
3) Question 6: What is the charge of a neuron? Umm? As if? The right question for the correct answer is "What is the charge of a neutron?". However, as asked, the correct answer is: depends on the ion concentration and the firing state.

Stolen from a Baboon with an eyepatch

UPDATE!!! Answers below the fold!

Read More "In honor of my DH-- UPDATED!" »
Posted by caltechgirl at 08:37 AM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

December 09, 2005

Audience Particpation Special

So, since I've been a good little girl, what should I ask Santa for this year?

Posted by caltechgirl at 12:04 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

January 04, 2006

An academic's guide to Hollywood

Or, how to get paid for being a nerd.  Hollywood producer Kate Coe writes this interesting and informative piece on academic consultants and their role in production.

You might have a named chair at Hallowed Halls U, but on a film set,
status is measured by the size of your budget -- and you don't have
one. With no budget, there's not much reason for the camera operators,
set designers, or props department to take you too seriously. On the
other hand, an adviser does have access to the director and to the
star. (You have access to the writer, too, but writers don't have much
status, as they will be quick to complain.) So work with decorum, be
collegial, and go through channels.
Interestingly the piece features the contributions of several Caltech professors to the current CBS show NUMB3RS, including Gary Lorden, who allowed me to pass Math 2C/1D (statistics) with a D, and Richard Wilson, who is famous as the Math 1A (freshman fall term math) prof, and who was long destined for Hollywood between his penchant for flute playing in class (to demonstrate harmonics) and his tendency to name functions ("Take f(x), let's call it Frank...")

h/t Joanne Jacobs

Posted by caltechgirl at 12:54 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


You Passed 8th Grade Math
Congratulations, you got 10/10 correct!
Could You Pass 8th Grade Math?
Posted by caltechgirl at 11:22 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 06, 2006

One more

Because I couldn't resist:

Your Stripper Song Is
Closer by Nine Inch Nails

"You let me violate you, you let me desecrate you

You let me penetrate you, you let me complicate you

Help me I broke apart my insides, help me I've got no

Soul to tell"

When you dance, it's a little scary - and a lot sexy.

What Song Should You Strip To?

Posted by caltechgirl at 12:54 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

January 11, 2006

Who Knew?

I'm #1 on Google for this.

Let that be a warning to you lurkers.... I'll search you out!

Posted by caltechgirl at 10:05 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 12, 2006

New Toy!

Check the sidebar for Su Doku of the Day!  Clicky here to get your own!  Comes in 2 sizes and lots of cool colors!

h/t Jon and Angie

Posted by caltechgirl at 06:27 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

January 17, 2006

Honestly, how did I live before the internet??

The server was down for an hour at work, and I fidgeted like a nicotine addict.  Not because I'm addicted, but because I was in the middle of something.

And then I kept thinking of things I needed to look up.

Nothing like an outage to remind you what you wanted to google.....

Now for more caffeine and a return to our regularly scheduled programming.

Posted by caltechgirl at 04:28 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

January 19, 2006


Or, the Meme of Fours, tagged by my buddy Kipper at CardMart:

Four jobs you've had in your life:
Student assistant in the Alumni relations office at Caltech.  Fish feeder.  Graduate Student.  Professor.

Four movies you could [and do] watch over and over:
White Christmas, Blazing Saddles, Fellowship of the Ring, Return of the Jedi

Four places you've lived:
Fresno, CA; Pasadena, CA; Carrboro, NC; Chapel Hill, NC

Four fiction books you can't live without:
The Count of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas; The Shipping News, Annie Proulx; The Rainmaker, John Grisham; Eyes of the Dragon, Stephen King.

Four non-fiction books you consider essential:
Principles of Neural Science, Kandel, Schwartz, and Jessel; Devil in the White City, Erik Larson; How the Irish Became White, Noel Ignatiev; and City of Quartz, Mike Davis.

Four TV shows you love to watch:
House, Dog the Bounty Hunter, Survivor, The Amazing Race (bonus 4 favorite shows of all time: The Pretender, Quincy, Hart to Hart, The A-Team)

Four places you've been on vacation:
Cayucos, CA; Disneyland; Boston, MA; Outer Banks (Kitty Hawk, NC)

Four websitesblogs you visit daily (there are way more):
Jay and Deb, Margi, Helen, Bou

Four of your favorite foods:
Pizza, Chinese, Bacon, See's Scotchmallows

Four places you'd rather be:
Cayucos, CA; Chapel Hill, NC; Disneyland; an alternate universe where SC won the Rose Bowl...

Four albums you can't live without:
Simon and Garfunkel, Collected Works; Barenaked Ladies, Greatest Hits; Indigo Girls, Rites of Passage; Queen Greatest Hits Vol 1 and 2

And I'm tagging two people, too:  Ben and Darling Hubby

Posted by caltechgirl at 09:13 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

January 20, 2006

If you haven't seen it.....

Here's South Park's "Trapped in the Closet" episode featuring Tom Cruise, John Travolta, and R. Kelly.

h/t Emily

BTW: Matt and Trey do not mind when fans download their episodes off the Internet; they feel that it's good when people watch the show no matter how they do it." Visit www.southparkstudios.com for more info.

UPDATE: Emily sez, "By the by, I would appreciate it if as many of you with blogs link to the "South Park" episode as possible. Couchy McBrainwashed is trying to keep us from seeing it and that's just plain censorship as far as I'm concerned. Thousands of celebrities have had the piss taken out of them over the years by "South Park" and nearly all of them have handled it in good spirits. There's no reason why Tom Snooze shouldn't do the same, other than his ego and an attempt to protect his "church.""

Posted by caltechgirl at 02:06 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

January 25, 2006


Ok, so somehow I have f*cked up firefox, and now instead of it opening popup type windows normal sized (like comment windows), they all open up narrow and unresizable.

I figured out how to make it allow me to manually resize the too-small windows, thanks to Mozilla, but I have no idea how to make it work right in the first place. I would prefer not to have to resize the stoopid things every time they open.

This only happens in MY Firefox profile, not my husband's or the dummy one I set up in the process of troubleshooting.

Any ideas? I know many of you are much bigger computer geeks than I am....

Posted by caltechgirl at 08:39 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

February 01, 2006

For the record, I was in Ruddock House

Page House is known for two things:
1.  Being very Frat like and jock filled
2.  Having a Beer Room instead of a Library.

Also, it's a Fine House (rotation rules and the honor code require I point this out, even as an alum).

For those of you not in the know, Caltech requires each Freshman to live on campus during their first year, and they must stay in one of 7 on campus houses (Hovses).  Rather than assigning students randomly, Caltech uses a "rotation" process similar to frat/sorority rush week on other campuses.  Each hovse has its own character and traditions, and the Freshman choose/are chosen into the Hovse they fit with best (usually).

After students choose/are chosen by their hovses, each hovse has its own initiation ritual. Page House's ritual involves elaborate costumes and a hike back to campus from the top of Mount Wilson.

This year, it didn't work out too well.... but regardless of the headline, nothing that goes on at Caltech is anything like hazing.  First, saying no is ALWAYS an option.  Second, it's always in fun.  It's  not about making the frosh hurt.

Also, the school in the video, DEFINITELY NOT Caltech.  Get it right, morons.

Posted by caltechgirl at 04:26 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 09, 2006

Insert high-pitched little girl scream here

Yippee!!!  Guess what I found in Target today? THIS

And it turns out that my favorite episode of all time just happens to be #6, which is on this set!  YAY!!!!

Update: This is one of the BEST DVD sets ever. Lots of artwork and extras, and the menus are cool. There's even a section with 50 profiles of not only the main characters, but several minor characters as well.

The cartoons are remastered and cleaned up and they look and sound better than they did in 1983!!!

PS does anybody else not remember the Orko music sounding quite so much like the Macarena?

So, who is YOUR favorite He-Man character? Me, I love the Sorceress.

Posted by caltechgirl at 04:07 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

February 10, 2006

40 more!

The Site Meter says 79,960 at 8:53 pm PST.

See below, on the sidebar

Posted by caltechgirl at 08:54 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

February 12, 2006


Visitor #80,000, according to the official SiteMeter was referred by Vinegar Bee!  Yay!

Posted by caltechgirl at 05:10 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

February 14, 2006

WooHoo! Obscurity!

You Are Curling

What you lack in athleticism, you make up for in concentration.

And while curling isn't much more of a sport than bowling, you *can* win a gold medal for it!

What Winter Sport Are You?

from Bobsledder Jay
Posted by caltechgirl at 02:38 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

February 17, 2006

Ok, here's my creepy map

Some of you may find yourselves on here already.  Thanks for signing up ahead of time.

Go here to sign the map!

Posted by caltechgirl at 01:27 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

February 23, 2006

Uncertainly funny

but I laughed!

What was the biggest failure since the Edsel?
The Heisenbergmobile. The problem was that when you looked at the speedometer you got lost.

A cop stops Heisenberg for speeding on the Autobahn. The cop comes up and asks, "Do you know how fast you were going?" Heisenberg responds, "No, but I know where I am."

Shamelessly lifted from beth of And then I woke up...; there are more good ones in the comments!
btw, if you don't get the joke, go here.

Posted by caltechgirl at 04:33 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

More Geekitude - Child of the 80's version

I love YouTube.com!

The Sesame Street 12 video

and myriad gems from Square One TV:
The intro
The 9 song
MathMan (there are several others here)

BTW, just got this.  Can't wait to watch it!

Posted by caltechgirl at 08:40 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

February 24, 2006

Don't we have better things to talk about?

I mean honestly.

I guess Volokh is more of a B-ball fan than I gave him credit for.  But what else can you expect from the bruins....

Fight on Trojans (or Methodists or Wesleyans, whichever you prefer).

Oh yeah, and while we're on the subject (from Volokh's comments):

Way up in the hills of Westwood
So offensive to the eye
Stands a Cal extension campus
Known as Westwood High

Home to all the Bruin bearcubs
UGLY is it's name
The student body's vile
The campus is a pile
And the football team's a shame



which reminds me that I don't even know the real words to MY alma mater. Lyrics we used to sing in the extended....

Read More "Don't we have better things to talk about?" »
Posted by caltechgirl at 01:39 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 25, 2006

Deja Vu All Over Again...

All the cool kids are doing it:

Your past life diagnosis:
I don't know how you feel about it, but you were female in your last earthly incarnation.
You were born somewhere in the territory of modern Korea around the year 1100
Your profession was that of an entertainer, musician, poet or temple-dancer.
Your brief psychological profile in your past life:
You were a sane, practical person, a materialist with no spiritual consciousness. Your simple wisdom helped the weaker and the poor.
The lesson that your last past life brought to your present incarnation:
You should develop your talent for love, happiness and enthusiasm and you should distribute these feelings to all people.

Do you remember now?
Umm... not really, sorry.  But what the heck.

Posted by caltechgirl at 11:56 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

March 09, 2006

I'm a Pepper... You're a Pepper....

You Are Dr. Pepper

You're very unique and funky, yet you still have a bit of traditionalism to you.

People who like you think they have great taste... and they usually do.

Your best soda match: Root Beer

Stay away from: 7 Up

What Kind of Soda Are You?

Oh yeah. Love me some Dr. P.

h/t Cokehead Deb

Posted by caltechgirl at 09:47 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Paging Dr. Google

As many of you know, Dilbert cartoonist (and blogger) Scott Adams has a dystonia which prevents him from drawing without the aid of a computer.  About a year ago he started having problems speaking in public as well.

None of the remedies prescribed by the doctors seemed to be working, and one day he realized that the voice problems he was experiencing might be tied to his dystonia.  So he asked Dr. Google, who returned the result "Spasmodic Dysphonia", an extremely rare condition resulting in voice changes very similar to what he was experiencing, and to top it off, this condition was more likely to co-occur in people experiencing dystonias.

Here is Scott's account of his search for a doctor who would actually test for the Zebra, even though the entire stable of horses were absent.  With a correct diagnosis he's now able to resume public speaking, even if the treatment is a little grody....

What's interesting about the story isn't merely that the doctors were unwilling to listen, but rather it highlights what could have happened if the patient in question wasn't a famous artist with access to a doctor specializing in his particular disorder.  Imagine the merry-go-round of drugs, tests, and therapies any of us regular joes might have gone through.  Imagine what might have happened if he hadn't had the computer skills to look for what he was experiencing.

Are our doctors willing to go the extra mile?  To sort through every possibility in the differential diagnosis to find the right answer?  To listen carefully when a patient says "These are my symptoms, and it says here that I could have this"?

Kinda makes you think, huh?

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

March 10, 2006

Ain't it the truth!

Your Luck Quotient: 62%

You have a high luck quotient.
More often than not, you've felt very lucky in your life.
You may be randomly lucky, but it's probably more than that.
Optimistic and open minded, you take advantage of all the luck that comes your way.

How Lucky Are You?

h/t Deb, who is indeed luckier than most, no matter what the quiz says!
Posted by caltechgirl at 09:43 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

March 11, 2006

Green with....

You Are Teal Green

You are a one of a kind, original person. There's no one even close to being like you.

Expressive and creative, you have a knack for making the impossible possible.

While you are a bit offbeat, you don't scare people away with your quirks.

Your warm personality nicely counteracts and strange habits you may have.

What Color Green Are You?

I suppose I woud have preferred Emerald or Forest, but hell, it wasn't Olive, right?

And interestingly enough, the bridesmaid dresses at my wedding were approximately the darker color in the picture above.  Although that was a combination of price, available sizes and acceptable style more than the color.  Which is a bitch to match shoes to.

h/t a real Gem
Posted by caltechgirl at 06:24 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


You Are Guinness

You know beer well, and you'll only drink the best beers in the world.

Watered down beers disgust you, as do the people who drink them.

When you drink, you tend to become a bit of a know it all - especially about subjects you don't know well.

But your friends tolerate your drunken ways, because you introduce them to the best beers around.

What's Your Beer Personality?

Oh yeah. Seeing as how this is about the ONLY beer I'll drink. And my favorite to cook with, too.

h/t Heineken Deb
Posted by caltechgirl at 06:28 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

March 14, 2006

Happy ∏ day!

Today we celebrate the127th anniversary of the birth of one of the greatest scientists of all time:


The ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter:


and an incredibly versatile circular food:

all images courtesy Wikipedia

So here's to Pi(e) in all it's forms. Enjoy some today with your favorite geek.

Posted by caltechgirl at 10:40 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

March 18, 2006

Ben Stein is my Hero

"Stop spitting in the face of Americans and maybe we will go to the movies," [Stein] said.

Posted by caltechgirl at 06:13 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

March 20, 2006

Every once in a while...

you people crack me up.  Evidently I'm #1 on MSN for this.

Posted by caltechgirl at 11:46 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

March 22, 2006

Nothing to see here, Move along!

More tomorrow, I hope.  Work is catching up with me....

Just a reminder, the new season of South Park starts tonight!

Posted by caltechgirl at 01:25 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Ok, something interesting to post about

Prof. Reynolds laments a fellow law professor who is getting grief for banning laptops from his class.

He points out that several of his colleagues are fed up with them too, mostly because they encourage goofing off and can be a major disruption if the students don't have the volume off.

Not to mention that a million keys clicking is HIGHLY disconcerting when you're trying to talk.

Our school has a unique solution to this problem.  We have two classrooms equipped with computer consoles for each student and this technology.

SMART Board also incorporates a functionality that allows the user at the front of the classroom to LOCK OUT the other consoles, forcing the students to follow along with the lecturer, although it allows them to use the software to make notes, which can be emailed to the user or printed at the end of the class.

We love our SMART Boards, and we have them in every classroom.

Posted by caltechgirl at 02:53 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Your Government at Work

Duck and Cover!

Posted by caltechgirl at 03:42 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 23, 2006

More Amusement

You Are Cindy Brady

Warm hearted and sweet, you have a childlike innocence that lets you see the good in everyone.

But you're also a bit of a baby. You stick your nose where it doesn't belong... and cry when you get caught!

What Brady Are You?

From big sis Jan Brady
Posted by caltechgirl at 03:05 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 24, 2006

Help a Sister Out

Dana of The Origin of Soul has been fighting her own personal war with Dell since THEY ruined her still-under-warranty computer.

She's tried just about everything to get this resolved.  Methinks she needs a lawyer to call them up and threaten.

Anybody got some advice for her?  Drop by here.  (Come on you BFLers.  I know we have a ton of lawyers, somebody should be able to give her some good advice!)

Posted by caltechgirl at 10:48 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

March 29, 2006


Visitor #90,000 arrived at 2:28:22 pm this afternoon from Shepeherdstown, WV on an IP belonging to Verizon Internet Services.

He/She ended up here from a google search: Do Veterans Salute?

Hope you found what you were looking for.


Posted by caltechgirl at 05:56 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

March 30, 2006

Big Changes are on tap....

My one-year-as-a-Munuvian anniversary is a little over a week away, and to celebrate, this space is about to undergo a major change! A little old, a little new, a little borrowed, and a lot of blue.... (well, blue-purple)

Still have some bugs to fix (IE SUX!!!), but I may just decide to say "Screw it" and force y'all to adopt Firefox!

Posted by caltechgirl at 05:42 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

April 03, 2006

An interesting proposition

T1G asks, if you were building a house for the Almighty, what would you include?

"Last night, I watched that house makeover show. I don't remember the name of it, but it's host is way too wired, or slightly insane. They go around destroying people's houses, and then remodelling, or rebuilding them. It was alright...

Anyway, during one of the commercial breaks, it looked as if they were going to rebuild a church, which got me thinking. How would they hide their project from Him... do they make some special bus? And, if Gott were to have a house built, what special appliances, or features, would he desire?"

What do you think?

What would you put in a house for the Lord? What would you leave out? What would God need in his own house?

Posted by caltechgirl at 10:46 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Weird Quiz O' the Day

I am the Nile!


At 4145 miles from your furthest extremity to the Mediterranean Sea, you outdo the Amazon to become the world's longest river. The piranhas hate you.

Beneath you lies an underground river with six times your volume. You kept this remarkably quiet for several thousand years. In fact, you're full of mystery; your source wasn't discovered until 1862. You're also full of water. And crocodiles. And nuclear pharaoh machines that run on light and can see through time.

Which Extremity of the World Are You?
From the towering colossi at Rum and Monkey.

found here

Posted by caltechgirl at 04:54 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

April 08, 2006

Blue Monday....

Your Lucky Underwear is Blue
You are caring and extroverted. You've made relationships your number one focus, and your lucky blue underwear can bring some balance to them.

You thrive in one-on-one situations. You are a good listener and a natural born therapist.

Sometimes you let the concerns of others become too important in your life, leading to stress and worry.

If you want more balance, put on your blue underpants. They'll help you take care of yourself first.

What Color Is Your Lucky Underwear?

Found here

Posted by caltechgirl at 09:13 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Happy MuNuversary to me!

One year ago today I hung up the Blogger training wheels and jumped full time to the MuNuvian intergalactic star cruiser.

In honor of that, a new look around here.

Between the blogrolls, buttons and pics, it was just getting too damn long to scroll down, so now we have 3 columns....

At the top, rotating banners are back, so refresh for your favorites.

Also, there's a new random scrolling quote for your amusement. Taking suggestions for new additions!

In the Left sidebar:                                   In the Right sidebar:
About Me                                                      My Blog Family
SuDoku                                                         Bloggers I've met
Hockey Whoopass Jamboree                    My Blogroll
Lots'a buttons                                               BFL Blogroll
(be sure to click the black/red flag)          Tartan Blogs Blogroll
Clock                                                             Code Red Blogroll
Calendar                                                           MedBlogs Blogroll
More info
Recent Entries
More buttons
SiteMeter etc.
Munuvian Blogroll
Cotillion Blogroll
Copyright and Disclaimer

Posted by caltechgirl at 09:44 PM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

April 10, 2006

Did I mention?

Scroll down a bit.
Look on the left sidebar.
Click the Black and Red flag. Especially if you're a South Park fan or an anti-Tomkat apostle.

Xenu is your friend....

Posted by caltechgirl at 05:42 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

April 11, 2006


Evidently Miller's Time is just a metaphor for time on your hands.....

From Miller's Time, a Bear Flag League roundup....

Posted by caltechgirl at 09:48 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Happy Birthday!

To Velocidude!

Feel better soon, my friend!

Posted by caltechgirl at 09:52 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Dell capitulates

Of course it only took about 30 blogposts all over the b'sphere, a couple of mentions by the big dogs and (what probably did it) a threatened lawsuit.

Dell was wrong.  But they evidently made it good when Dana backed them into a corner.  Between my own Dell horror story, and this one, don't ever by a freaking Dell.  I won't do it again.

Congratulations, sister.  You beat them down.  And double-check the length of the warranty.  If it's a completely new box you should have a new warranty...

Posted by caltechgirl at 09:59 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

More to come

Of course, as is usual, I have lots to talk about but no damn time.

Watch this space for my thoughts on body image, insomnia, and maybe immigration (if I feel like raising my blood pressure...)

Posted by caltechgirl at 10:45 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

April 24, 2006

If Michelle Malkin and Allahpundit had a love child...

It would be the first "full-service conservative Internet broadcast network": Hot Air!

Drop on by to see what the buzz is all about.

Posted by caltechgirl at 09:56 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 28, 2006

If you're in Austin...

I'm jealous!

Have a wonderful time, y'all!

Posted by caltechgirl at 11:37 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

May 04, 2006

Today and Everyday

May the Fourth Be With You!
Posted by caltechgirl at 11:24 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

May 09, 2006

The numbers flipped!

Visitor #100,000 arrived at 2:45 this afternoon!

Mr/Ms 100k dropped in from Ingleside, IL by clicking directly on the main index page, and clicked out to see Bou

The rest of the particulars are below the fold. If this is you, stand up and be counted for some linky love!

Read More "The numbers flipped!" »
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May 11, 2006

So long, and thanks for all the fish!

Turns out Dolphins may really be that smart after all......

Dolphins create a signature whistle for themselves that researchers believe is comparable to a human name, suggests a new study.

The study, published in this week’s Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, focused on bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops truncatus. But the researchers believe other dolphin species, including the common dolphin and the Pacific white-sided dolphin, also possess the signature whistles.

Dolphins now join spectacled parrotlets as the only animals other than humans known to name themselves, though researchers think there may be others.

Read the entire article!

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May 17, 2006

On the road again....

I am finally here, ensconced in my lovely hotel room on the UM campus in Ann Arbor, MI.  I'm here for a conference until Friday.

So far so good.  First of all, let me say I "heart" Frontier Airlines.  Cheap, punctual, new planes, and TV.  Oh, and free headphones (with a standard jack).  You gotta love it.  And every plane has a name and a mascot (the animal painted on the tail).  Which is awesome.  The little girl 3 rows ahead kept telling her mom, "The plane's name is Trixie!" over and over between Denver and Detroit.  :)  Trixie, BTW, is a Red Fox.

And they fed us Donuts and Sun Chips.  Excellent.

The hotel I'm staying in is actually the top floor of the building on campus where the conference is being held.  Free wireless (thanks U of M network) and hot beverages whenever I like (coffee, tea, cider, cocoa, etc.), and the conference folks are doing a tolerable job of feeding us.  Just hors d'oeuvres this evening, but it was fruit and veggies and a cheese tray, so I pigged out on healthy stuff!

Those of you in "flyover territory,"  I was thinking of you as I was flying over!  Especially this guy, as the map said I went right over his neck of the woods :)

I'm planning on seeing these folks while I'm in town, so hopefully that will work out, unlike the last time I went to a conference and got food poisoning so I didn't get to meet up with Rob.

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No Cable!

The cable's out at the hotel, so somebody better liveblog the AI results show!

Elliott and Taylor RULE! </fangirl>

Posted by caltechgirl at 04:18 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

June 02, 2006

It's Friday, somebody post a silly quiz!

Hurry up, dammit!

Update: Thanks, Deb!

Posted by caltechgirl at 08:54 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

And then there's this

I love my blog child, but sometimes he just makes me scratch my head.

For what it's worth, Paul, I'd say it's a Phillip's™ Screwdriver.

Posted by caltechgirl at 09:08 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Just to lighten up the mood around here

You Are Bert

Extremely serious and a little eccentric, people find you loveable - even if you don't love them!

You are usually feeling: Logical - you rarely let your emotions rule you

You are famous for: Being smart, a total neat freak, and maybe just a little evil

How you life your life: With passion, even if your odd passions (like bottle caps and pigeons) are baffling to others

The Sesame Street Personality Quiz
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June 04, 2006


So yesterday was our school's graduation ceremony.  We're a small university, but it's still fun to get dressed up and see all of my colleagues in their academic regalia, too. 

The color and style of the robe, hood, and cap denote the wearer's academic degree, field of study, and alma mater, so in a full faculty group, you get a pretty wide variety, although most are some variation of black robe, mortarboard cap, and royal blue or green velvet on the hood.

Mine aren't!

and here's the back:

Yeah, I stand out.  But I like it that way.

Posted by caltechgirl at 08:42 AM | Comments (14) | TrackBack

Oh, and for those of you that asked...

Here's what the haircut did.
From this:

To this:

More than 12 inches off.  I donated it.

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June 05, 2006

We're back!

Did you miss us?  MuNuvia was the target of at least 3 different DDOS attacks this weekend, but Pixy seems to have everything under control again for the moment, so we return you to your regularly scheduled programming, already in progress...

Posted by caltechgirl at 04:43 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

June 15, 2006

Experience Bij!*

Way too many links to Klingon Language Sites from Harvey.

* Bij is the Klingon word for pain

Posted by caltechgirl at 11:08 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Some people may think it's really because they didn't believe him.....

Why God never received a PhD:

1. He had only one major publication.
2. It was in Hebrew.
3. It had no references.
4. It wasn't published in a refereed journal.
5. Some even doubt he wrote it by himself.
6. It may be true that he created the world, but what has he done since then?
7. His cooperative efforts have been quite limited.
8. The scientific community has had a hard time replicating his results.
9. He never applied to the ethics board for permission to use human subjects.
10. When one experiment went awry he tried to cover it by drowning his subjects.
11. When subjects didn't behave as predicted, he deleted them from the sample.
12. He rarely came to class, just told students to read the book.
13. Some say he had his son teach the class.
14. He expelled his first two students for learning.
15. Although there were only 10 requirements, most of his students failed his tests.
16. His office hours were infrequent and usually held on a mountain top.
17. No record of working well with colleagues.

h/t Lisa

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July 08, 2006

Your Weekend Flashback

Depeche Mode and the World Trade Center in all its glory, what could be better?

h/t Agent Bedhead

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July 13, 2006

Long but worth it

The video below, not this post.

Kevin Smith tells the story of why he didn't write the new Superman flick.  NSFW, except with headphones.  After all, this IS Kevin Smith.

I was wondering about those giant spiders.....
h/t Cagey Mind

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July 19, 2006

How did I never f*cking find this before????

Kevin Smith has a blog.

Holy Shit.  I love it.

Posted by caltechgirl at 11:12 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

July 27, 2006

For all the Sci-Fi freaks with cable....

Serenity is playing on Cinemax On Demand (free if you have Cinemax) until 8/16, and I assume on Cinemax all month.

We will be watching it tonight.

Posted by caltechgirl at 06:27 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 15, 2006

Two for Tuesday

So here's the rules: read the story, add the next two paragraphs, and take the story where you think it should go! Wait for a couple of others before posting another pair of paragraphs! That's it.

Let's try a first-person story this week:

I walked along the road for miles it seemed.  Hours and hours in the white sunlight, sparkling diamonds in the road.  Fields of trees and crops alongside me.  But I took no notice.  Just to walk, that was my aim.  To walk, and never stop.

Of course, some part of my mind knew that the walking would have to stop.  That teeny, rational voice in the back of my head.  The one we all grow to hate as we grow up.  At some point, my feet would give out, or my back, and I would have to stop and find a place to rest.  And so, I did.

Posted by caltechgirl at 10:18 AM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

August 22, 2006

Twosday Fun

Today's story is inspired by my favorite book, and my husband's:

The candle guttered.  A sharp wind blew through the tower, waking the abbe.  The once orderly pile of scrolls was now scattered on the floor.  Getting up quickly, l'abbe shut the window before the beating rain could erase the answers he was searching for.  Grumbling to himself, he gathered the scrolls back to his table and settled down in the chair again.

The answer was so close.  He knew it had to be written in these scrolls.  But the ancient runes were written in a cryptic hand and the going was slow.  To complicate matters, the abbe wasn't sure whether he really wanted to know the answers hidden in the ancient parchments at all.  But he resumed his task.  Sometime later he found a blank parchment.  Something told him this was the key.  But what was it?  And what did it mean?

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August 23, 2006

Damn I'm old....

This year's Beloit College "Mindset List." 

75 things that the Class of 2010 doesn't know:
(before you bitch at me, remember this is what the average 18 year old thinks, according to Beloit)

1. The Soviet Union has never existed and therefore is about as scary as the student union.
2. They have known only two presidents.
3. For most of their lives, major U.S. airlines have been bankrupt.
4. Manuel Noriega has always been in jail in the U.S.
5. They have grown up getting lost in "big boxes".
6. There has always been only one Germany.
7. They have never heard anyone actually "ring it up" on a cash register.
8. They are wireless, yet always connected.
9. A stained blue dress is as famous to their generation as a third-rate burglary was to their parents'.
10. Thanks to pervasive head phones in the back seat, parents have always been able to speak freely in the front.
11. A coffee has always taken longer to make than a milkshake.
12. Smoking has never been permitted on U.S. airlines.
13. Faux fur has always been a necessary element of style.
14. The Moral Majority has never needed an organization.
15. They have never had to distinguish between the St. Louis Cardinals baseball and football teams.
16. DNA fingerprinting has always been admissible evidence in court.
17. They grew up pushing their own miniature shopping carts in the supermarket.
18. They grew up with and have outgrown faxing as a means of communication.
19. "Google" has always been a verb.
20. Text messaging is their e-mail.
21. Milli Vanilli has never had anything to say.
22. Mr. Rogers, not Walter Cronkite, has always been the most trusted man in America.
23. Bar codes have always been on everything, from library cards and snail mail to retail items.
24. Madden has always been a game, not a Super Bowl-winning coach.
25. Phantom of the Opera has always been on Broadway.
26. “Boogers� candy has always been a favorite for grossing out parents.
27. There has never been a "skyhook" in the NBA.
28. Carbon copies are oddities found in their grandparents' attics.
29. Computerized player pianos have always been tinkling in the lobby.
30. Non-denominational mega-churches have always been the fastest growing. religious organizations in the U.S.
31. They grew up in minivans.
32. Reality shows have always been on television.
33. They have no idea why we needed to ask "...can't we all just get along?"
34. They have always known that "In the criminal justice system the people have been represented by two separate yet equally important groups."
35. Young women's fashions have never been concerned with where the waist is.
36. They have rarely mailed anything using a stamp.
37. Brides have always worn white for a first, second, or third wedding.
38. Being techno-savvy has always been inversely proportional to age.
39. "So" as in "Sooooo New York", has always been a drawn-out adjective modifying a proper noun, which in turn modifies something else.
40. Affluent troubled teens in Southern California have always been the subjects of television series.
41. They have always been able to watch wars and revolutions live on television.
42. Ken Burns has always been producing very long documentaries on PBS.
43. They are not aware that "flock of seagulls hair" has nothing to do with birds flying into it.
44. Retin-A has always made America look less wrinkled.
45. Green tea has always been marketed for health purposes.
46. Public school officials have always had the right to censor school newspapers.
47. Small white holiday lights have always been in style.
48. Most of them have never had the chance to eat bad airline food.
49. They have always been searching for "Waldo".
50. The really rich have regularly expressed exuberance with outlandish birthday parties.
51. Michael Moore has always been showing up uninvited.
52. They never played the game of state license plates in the car.
53. They have always preferred going out in groups as opposed to dating.
54. There have always been live organ donors.
55. They have always had access to their own credit cards.
56. They have never put their money in a "Savings & Loan"
57. Sara Lee has always made underwear.
58. Bad behavior has always been getting captured on amateur videos.
59. Disneyland has always been in Europe and Asia.
60. They never saw Bernard Shaw on CNN.
61. Beach volleyball has always been a recognized sport.
62. Acura, Lexus, and Infiniti have always been luxury cars of choice.
63. Television stations have never concluded the broadcast day with the national anthem.
64. LoJack transmitters have always been finding lost cars.
65. Diane Sawyer has always been live in Prime Time.
66. Dolphin-free canned tuna has always been on sale.
67. Disposable contact lenses have always been available.
68. "Outing" has always been a threat.
69. Oh, The Places You'll Go by Dr. Seuss has always been the perfect graduation gift.
70. They have always "dissed" what they don't like.
71. The U.S. has always been studying global warming to confirm its existence.
72. Richard M. Daley has always been the mayor of Chicago.
73. They grew up with virtual pets to feed, water, and play games with, lest they die.
74. Ringo Starr has always been clean and sober.
75. Professional athletes have always competed in the Olympics.

h/t Prof. Taylor

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August 27, 2006

I gotta say....

The blogosphere is as small a world as real life.  Especially when you find out  that people read blogs you never expected them to know about.

Jes' sayin.

Posted by caltechgirl at 12:05 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

August 31, 2006

Have they no heart? No Soul?

From the Jawas:

Muslims Protest Freddy Mercury's Birthday

(Zanzibar, Tanzania) Muslims are outraged at the planned 60th birthday celebration for deceased rock star and Zanzibar native Freddy Mercury, born Farrokh Bulsara, because his sexual preferences and flamboyant lifestyle insulted Islam.

The full story is here. Here's the kicker line:

"Allowing such a function for a person known outside Zanzibar as a homosexual tarnishes the name of Zanzibar," he said in the letter, a copy of which was obtained by AFP. "Let us protect our good culture."
Ok, sure.  But can a culture without Queen ever really be good?

This is Killer....

Or how about some Flash?

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Meme'd to oblivion....

I got tagged twice this week. So here's one, hopefully I'll get to the other tomorrow.... Or maybe just later. I gots ta work, ya' know?

From Ken:

Four songs that you could listen to over and over:
"Sunny Came Home"-- Shawn Colvin. Burning down the house AND a mandolin solo, what's not to like?
"Call and Answer" The Barenaked Ladies. F*ck it, almost anything by BNL. Except the Chimpanzees song (see below)
"Somebody" Depeche Mode. That was sung at my wedding.
"Santeria" - Sublime "...I won't think twice to stick that barrel straight down Sancho's throat.  Believe me when I say that I got somethin' for your PunkAss.."

Four songs that drive you up the friggin' wall:
"Live and Let Die"- I don't care if it is just McCartney's accent. It sounds like he's saying "in this world in which we live in".  Uh-uh.  No way.
"Chimpanzees" by the Barenaked Ladies. Self-explanatory from the title, no?
Anything by the Rolling Stones except "Brown Sugar" and "Sympathy for the Devil". I know, I know, heresy, but I HATE Mick Jagger's voice.
"Dixie Chicken" -Little Feat, Garth Brooks, etc. Stupid. And I like punnery.

Four songs that you're embarrassed (or should be) to admit you like:
N*Sync "Bye Bye Bye". N*Sync. N*uff said.
"Fantastic Voyage" -Coolio
"Say My Name" - Destiny's Child
"All Out of Love" - Air Supply

Four best driving songs:
"FreeFallin" Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Always a classic. Or "American Girl". But that always makes me think of Silence of the Lambs....
"Take Me Out" Franz Ferdinand. Try it on the 110 freeway.
"Sharp Dressed Man" -- ZZ Top. Tush is also good.
Anything by the Beach Boys. Except maybe "God Only Knows". (see below)

Four songs that make you cry:
Amazing Grace on the bagpipe
"Lightning Crashes" - Live
"Sunrise, Sunset" -Tevye and Golde in Fiddler on the Roof
"God Only Knows" -The Beach Boys

Four best risque' songs:
"SqueezeBox" -The Who "Mamma's got a squeezebox...Daddy never sleeps at night."
"Baby Driver" -Simon and Garfunkel.... "We can go up to my room and play.... I'm not talking about your pigtails, I was talking about your sex appeal..."
"I Touch Myself" -The DiVinyls
"Strokin'" - Clarence Carter.  Strokin to the east... strokin to the west...

Four best kid songs:
Puff the Magic Dragon
Eensy Weensy Spider
Ten Elephants
Do Re Mi (from the Sound of Music)
... it's all about the old skool here.

Four Other Songs: Four 80's Movie songs:
"Everybody Wants to Rule the World" -Tears For Fears, Real Genius
"Danger Zone" -Kenny Loggins, Top Gun
"In Your Eyes" -Peter Gabriel, Say Anything
"If You Leave" - OMD, Pretty in Pink

Consider yourself tagged if you want to participate. Otherwise? Meh, not so much.

Posted by caltechgirl at 12:37 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

September 01, 2006

Meme 2: Return of the Meme

1. A book that changed my life:
Wow, that's a hard one.  I think every GOOD book makes an impression on you, makes you think, changes your world view just a little. Here are a few:
Thomas Lynch, The Undertaking and Bodies in Motion and at Rest
Beverly Donofrio, Looking for Mary
Antonio Damasio, Descartes' Error

2. A book that I've read more than once:
There are about 50 million books on this list.  I re-read almost everything that I like.  The ones I've read to replacing, though, are:
John Grisham, The Rainmaker, A Time to Kill
Stephen King, The Eyes of the Dragon, The Bachman Books, The Talisman, The Dark Tower Series
Annie Proulx, The Shipping News
Alexandre Dumas (pere), The Three Musketeers, The Count of Monte Cristo (I own 4 different editions of this one, sadly all in English)
Robert Crais, The Monkey's Raincoat

3. A book I'd take to a desert Island:
Stephen King, The Stand  1200 pages, I wouldn't get bored.

4. A book that made me laugh:
To be honest, and I'm not making fun of it, The Book of Mormon.  Every frickin' sentence starts with "And it came to pass that..."  My friend (who is Mormon) would read it aloud to us just to make us laugh.  True story.

5. A book that made me cry:
Adriana Trigiani, Big Cherry Holler

6. A book I wish had been written:
"Cleaning in Your Sleep" and the companion volume "Grant-Writing in Your Sleep"

7. A book that should never have been written:
I can't think of any.  Censorship is BAAAAD.

8. A book I'm currently reading:
Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner, Freakonomics

9. A book I'm planning to read:
Lemony Snicket, The End

10. Five people I'll send these questions to:
Y'all feel free to chime in.  I'm not tagging anyone in particular.

Posted by caltechgirl at 11:01 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 05, 2006

How many scientists does it take.....

Having been there from time to time, I can say that for once, The Onion reports fact:

Caltech Physicists Successfully Split The Bill

September 5, 2006

PASADENA, CA--Sequestered in a private booth at a Pasadena-area Cheesecake Factory for nearly 25 minutes, a party of eight California Institute Of Technology physicists emerged exhausted but visibly excited Friday evening after successfully splitting the bill.

read the rest!

h/t RL friend (and physicist) AS

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September 13, 2006

This is awesome...

The Baldwin Online Children's Literature Project.

Making a virtual archive of classic children's literature in the public domain.

h/t the venomous (and sniffly) one

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September 16, 2006

Out of place, much?

Hubby and I were doing some shopping today, and we went into a local home and decorating store.  I was looking for a large casserole dish, so we went over to the kitchen section.

As we browsed the Clearance section, I noticed what clearly HAD to be a Wilton Armetale tray.  These things just don't hang around long enough to make it to clearance, you know?  I was intrigued to say the least.

So I asked him to pick it up:

The pattern on the edge was a bit unusual, so I looked at it more closely:

Yep, that's the Baltimore Ravens' logo.  When we turned the tray over, it indeed said Wilton Armetale, but it also said "manufactured for Smyth and Co, Official Jewelers of the Baltimore Ravens".

So if you're a Ravens fan stuck in SoCal, and you'd like to have a fancy tailgate party, let me know and I'll tell you where you can find a nice serving tray for cheap.

BTW, nice pics for a camera phone, huh?

Posted by caltechgirl at 04:52 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

September 18, 2006

Must... Get Through... Today....

I think I've got a concussion.

I was sitting at the base of our stairs because it's a good place to watch TV and talk on the phone (to this lovely lady, my homeboy, and then my Mom last night, actually).  It's far enough away from the TV that it's not blaring into the phone, but directly across from the screen.  Plus the carpet is pretty nice.  Nicest carpet we've ever had, in fact.

So I was chatting away with Mom and the Princess decided to favor me with one of her toys.  Not thinking clearly, I leaned over to pick it up, and then sat up to toss it for her.

When I sat up, I brought the top of my head into direct contact with the bottom end of the handrail of the stairs at full speed.

You know the little birdies on the Warner Brothers' cartoons?  Yeah, I saw those.

Anyway, after about 30 minutes of ice and two Advil, I was ok, but this morning I'm sore all over and the headache?  She refuses the Advil and caffeine treatment.  I've had post concussion syndrome before (dropped on my head in college), so I know the drill.  At least it's just a regular headache, not a migraine, although even my damn teeth hurt.

Now it's just a matter of sitting here two hours and then driving home.  Yay, home.  Maybe I'll bugger off early.  I do have things I need to work on at home....

Posted by caltechgirl at 12:45 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

September 24, 2006

My New Theme Song

Courtesy of Weird Al:

Oh, and just to prove what a freaking nerd I am, the equation displayed behind Al and Donny Osmond is the most common form of the time-independent version of Schroedinger's wave equation for non-relativistic systems

Posted by caltechgirl at 03:55 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

September 26, 2006

Full circle

Over the last several years professional teams and colleges alike have been tripping over themselves in a rush to sell the "naming rights" of their home stadiums and arenas to corporate partners for a boatload of cash. Because of this a number of historic stadium names have been lost. Some examples: Candlestick Park, long home of the Giants and 49ers is now Monster Park, it's 3rd or 4th name; and New Jersey's Brendan Byrne Arena, long home of the NHL's Devils, is now the Continental Airlines Arena.

Colleges too are jumping on the bandwagon. Syracuse plays in the Carrier Dome (which ironically enough has no air conditioning!), and the University of Missouri briefly named its on-campus arena Paige Arena, after Elizabeth Paige Laurie, a Wal-Mart heiress, at least until her roommate at USC (that's right, she was not a U of M student, either!) revealed that Miss Laurie had engaged in academic dishonesty and subsequently left the university.

But the trend has now come full circle. Officials in Glendale, AZ announced today that the naming rights to the new Cardinals Stadium have been sold. To the University of Phoenix.

Now I know that U of P is a corporate entity more than a school, but it is deliciously funny to see a corporation pay to call a stadium "University of [anything] Stadium".

Posted by caltechgirl at 10:26 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

October 09, 2006

Glowing Electric Sex....

The house where the most Awesome Christmas Movie Ever (tm) was filmed is being turned into a museum.  Like the Bedheaded One, I too hope this will be available in the gift shop, although you can get it online, anyway....


Posted by caltechgirl at 04:54 PM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

October 21, 2006

This guy shoulda gone to Caltech

We don't have rules about messing with your door. And skillz like his come in handy on Ditch Day.

When's Ditch Day, you ask? It's tomorrow, Froshies. Go to bed early!

Posted by caltechgirl at 09:31 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

November 14, 2006

That PhD really came in handy...

You paid attention during 100% of high school!

85-100% You must be an autodidact, because American high schools don't get scores that high! Good show, old chap!

Do you deserve your high school diploma?
Create a Quiz

heh. Seen everywhere, stolen from Jen
Posted by caltechgirl at 01:56 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

November 16, 2006

Good Night, Uncle Miltie

Milton Friedman, economist, Nobel Laureate, and Patriot is dead at age 94.

Friedman offered blunt advice on subjects as personal as laws against prostitution (he saw them as incursions into individual choice) and as sweeping as the international system of relatively fixed exchange rates, which he sought to overturn and which did collapse in the early 1970s.

He became the human face of the influential "Chicago school" of economics, emphasizing the role of monetary policy, which affects interest rates, and the benefits of laissez-faire or free-market approaches to the economy.

Political leaders listened, granting almost unparalleled influence to a capitalist icon whose free-market emphasis had once seemed out of step with his times. The rise of Ronald Reagan and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher brought Friedman fans to seats of national power.

Later, some would see the inspiration of Friedman behind moves of former Soviet governments, the People's Republic of China and other nations to stake more of their future on a private sector.
Although he his best known for his theory of Monetarism, MIlton Friedman was a true Libertarian who believed in personal choice as a social and economic force.  He was a fierce advocate of legalizing drugs and prostitution as a deterrent to crime and a staunch advocate of school choice for elementary and high school students.  His adherence to personal choice more than once put him on the wrong side of the fence with his closest political allies, including President Ronald Reagan.

More on Mr. Friedman here.

And, like he needs MORE linkage, but Insty has a nice round up with links to some writings and several interviews with Dr. Friedman. Also, Steven Leavitt (yes, that one) has some thoughts up at the Freakonomics blog.

Posted by caltechgirl at 02:21 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

November 19, 2006

Awwwww SHITE

He's not going to make The Hobbit. Not because he doesn't want to, but because of studio business bullshit.

Fuck New Line. Fuck them up their Fucking Asses.

h/t Ith

Posted by caltechgirl at 11:42 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

November 21, 2006

I am thankful for...

1.  Best Buy.  They put the laptop I wanted on sale enough that A. I could afford it now and B. the sale also paid for the "Oh Shit" warranty.  You know, the one that includes dog teeth and sand.

2.  The dudes at Mozilla.  I have over 200 blogs in Sage and dozens of buttons and book marks, not to mention about a dozen extensions and not a few passwords (like for the blog and some news sites, not the bank or anything).  Literally one click and a few keystrokes and VOILA! I was able to get everything going on the new laptop!  SWEET!  The last time I tried to do that (with my work computer) it took me HOURS.  Even with a cheat sheet....  I shoulda known there was a shortcut.  Just go to firefox help and search for profile.  Then click on the bit about restoring or moving your profile.

I've been wanting a new laptop for a while, as my trusty old Fujitsu gave up the ghost about 3 months ago (after SIX years!!!), and DH and I have been sharing his laptop ever since.  Well, he got grumpy with me eating his laptop time and I wasn't a fan of how much space his games took up, so we decided a compromise was in order.  I would get a new laptop for me since the last new one was his.

Also, the Dell Inspiron we have weighs 9 lbs and about 11 if you include the power cord, so it's not much of a traveler.  And my RA makes it hard for me to carry it around, so I went for a small, light laptop.  More pricey, I know, but it's a MUST for me.

Aside from cleaning the house for Thursday, I've spent the majority of tonight getting this baby street legal: transferring files, downloading programs, and installing them.

Not to mention re-learning a smaller keyboard.....

Posted by caltechgirl at 12:22 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Or maybe not.....

About the Hobbit?  MGM is PISSED:

In the most recent flurry of events, Peter Jackson and producing
partner Fran Walsh posted a letter Sunday night on the "LOTR" fan site
Theonering.net saying that New Line told them last week that it was
going to make "The Hobbit" without their services.

The letter
also reiterated in detail Jackson's stance on "The Hobbit" -- that he
is not willing to have a serious conversation about directing the film
until his ongoing lawsuit with New Line over what he considers improper
accounting practices over "LOTR" profits is settled.

New Line's
given reason for proceeding sans Jackson is that the studio's rights to
the pic are about to expire, and seeing as the lawsuit with Jackson
isn't moving ahead, well, the message was that New Line is.

of this has riled MGM, which in recent weeks has been openly touting
the fact that the newly revamped studio is serious about making "The
Hobbit" -- with Jackson.

An MGM spokesman said that "the matter of Peter Jackson directing 'The Hobbit' films is far from closed."

New Line no-commented inquiries about Jackson's statement, the
mini-major's move is a loud statement to both MGM and Jackson that the
studio is in the driver's seat when it comes to "The Hobbit."

Big studio $$ vs little studio  $$.  Gee, I think the winner will be all of us.

h/t Anwyn at EV

Posted by caltechgirl at 09:15 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

December 03, 2006

we're off to see the wizard

Well, ok, not the wizard, but we are off to see BNL tonight

Yay!  Pictures later if I get any good ones (they generally don't mind cameras, not to mention that they often come out before the show and take pictures with fans)

In any case, here's a little bit of what we're going to see tonight:

Did I mention I love YouTube?

Posted by caltechgirl at 10:27 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

December 04, 2006

Better than ANY of those MasterCard commercials!

Barenaked Ladies Tickets: $130.00
Gas, Dinner, and T-shirts: $121.50
Finding out that the tickets you thought were at the BACK of the floor were really in the FOURTH ROW: Priceless

No really, 4th row.
From our seats before the show:

More concert photos below the jump courtesy of my cell phone....

Read More "Better than ANY of those MasterCard commercials!" »
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December 05, 2006

We need a little Christmas. Right this very minute.....

Well, baby steps I say.  Here's a start, huh?

A Christmas meme stolen from Cobb:

1. Egg nog or hot chocolate? Hot Chocolate.  Egg Nog is nasteeee.  NASTY.

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? WRAP!!  Where's the fun otherwise?

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? White is too boring to bother with.  Colors on tree and house.  The more the merrier.

4. Do you hang mistletoe?  Occasionally.  Usually the plastic variety. 

5. When do you put your decorations up?  Usually the weekend after thanksgiving.  Tree stays up until at least Epiphany (Jan 6).

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? My stuffing or latkes and bacon, our traditional Christmas eve fare

7. Favorite holiday memory as a child: Hmm, that's a tough one.  Let's put it this way, I can tell a Barbie wrapped up under the tree from a mile away....

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? You mean that Santa isn't just one dude with a sleigh and Rudolph?  I STILL believe in Santa.  Come on now.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? My Dad's side comes to our house on Christmas Eve, so we open those presents then.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree?
well, we have a bunch of ornaments, most of which have some meaning for us from characters to tradiational ornaments, as well as colored globes and glass icecicles.  Big Gold Star for the top.

11. Snow! Love it or dread it? I love love love snow!  I hate the idiots who don't know how to drive in it.

12. Can you ice skate? Nope.  My ankles are too weak.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift? My favorite gift I ever got was DH getting holiday leave from Basic Training.  The best gift I ever gave was the microwave we got Mom last year.  She was shocked!

14. What's the most important thing about the holidays for you? The time to relax and enjoy, to sing songs and smell pine trees.  To act like a 4 year old.

15. What is your favorite holiday dessert?
Peppermint ice cream.  My favorite all year round, but much easier to find at the holidays.

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? Christmas Eve at my parents' house.

17. What tops your tree? This year, a big gold star.  Previously a Winnie the Pooh Angel (which makes a better table decoration since it is usually to big for the HUGE ASS TREE we always get).

18. Which do you prefer, giving or receiving? I love giving.  I'm very good at it, and I love to watch people's faces light up at the surprise.  I'm terrible to buy for because I want to be surprised and blown away like they are, but no one has managed it yet.

19. What is your favorite Christmas song?  All of them.  The songs are the best part!

20. Candy canes: One is generally enough.  Really.  Give me the ice cream!

21. Favorite Christmas movie? 1. White Christmas 2. A Christmas Story 3. Love, Actually

22. What do you leave for Santa? Whatever Santa asks for.  Usually popcorn and fudge and a glass of milk.

Posted by caltechgirl at 09:17 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Sexy Reindeer???

You Are Vixen

Sexy and sultry, you're the one all the other reindeer dream about.

Why You're Naughty: That fur pulling spat you got into with Dancer over Santa.

Why You're Nice: Because even when you're nice, you're still delightfully naughty!

Which of Santa's Reindeer Are You?

h/t Dancer from Pereiraville
Posted by caltechgirl at 10:38 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

December 07, 2006

It's not that easy being green...


At work or in school: I work best by myself. I like to focus on my ideas until my desire for understanding is satisfied. I am easily bored if the subject holds no interest to me. Sometimes, it is hard for me to set priorities because so many things are of interest.
With friends: I may seem reserved. Although my thoughts and feelings run deep, I am uneasy with frequent displays of emotion. I enjoy people who are interesting and of high integrity.
With family: I am probably seen as a loner because I like a lot of private time to think. Sometimes, I find family activities boring and have difficulty following family rules that don't make sense to me. I show love by spending time with my family and sharing ideas and interests.
Take this quiz!

Well, I'm certainly not that reserved or aloof with friends and family, but otherwise pretty nail on the head. And my favorite color.

h/t Sleepy Beth

Posted by caltechgirl at 10:02 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

December 10, 2006

Iiiiiiiiit's Barney!

Merry Christmas from the First Pooches, Barney and Miss Beazley, and First Kitty Willy!

Posted by caltechgirl at 10:04 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 11, 2006

Not everyone in Hollywood is a prick... UPDATED!

You Firefly/ Serenity fans will enjoy this one.

"...[L]ast year a group called Booster Events held this massive Firefly/Serenity convention in California last year called "Flanvention." A lot of the cast shows up, there were panels and dinners and photo shoots and whatnot, membership was limited, and it was a lot of fun, a way for fans of the cancelled-too-soon show and because-we-demanded-it movie to talk to their favorite stars. This year's hotly anticipated event sold out months ago and it's happening this weekend, right now.

Or it would be. The organizers cancelled it. On Thursday."

Sucks, right?  Not so fast....
"As stunned and betrayed fans began to arrive the California Browncoats jumped up to meet the frantic challenge of organizing a convention during, you know, the actual convention. Fans settled in to party among themselves anyway, mutter dark things about Booster Events, and make the best of it of the newly formed Browncoat Backup Bash.

Then the stars started showing up.

Adam "Jayne" Baldwin showed up Thursday night, knowing the con was cancelled and fans were left hanging. He hung around chatting with fans for hours and mentioned others would probably show up.

Friday Nathan "Mal" Fillion, Alan "Wash" Tudyk, Mark "Badger" Sheppard, Jonathan "Dead Guy From 'The Message'" Woodward, and Christina "Saffron" Hendricks came by for autographs and pictures and mainly just to say hi. Without appearance fees or the autograph cash that usually get stars to show up, they came anyway. Alan Tudyk wan't even supposed to be at the event due to prior commitments, and he came anyway. They knew their fans had been shafted and they stepped up to make it worthwhile. Fillion brought a box full of Firefly memorabilia and other personal loot and started passing it out to fans who had come from Australia, the UK and other far-off places."

And people wonder why the fans are so loyal to a one-season cancelled show!

h/t DeDoc

UPDATE: Cranky Beach was there! Go over for a first person account!

Posted by caltechgirl at 10:55 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

December 13, 2006

Throwing myself headlong at Christmas...

I changed out the CDs in the car today. Now we have the following as accompaniment to LA traffic:

1. Wintersong - Sarah McLachlan
2. Merry Christmas - Johnny Mathis with Percy Faith and His Orchestra
3. Mr. Hankey's Christmas Classics (South Park)
4. Beyond the Season - Garth Brooks
5. Love Actually soundtrack
6. Barenaked for the Holidays - Barenaked Ladies

And from that last album, here's what may be my favorite 'new' Christmas song:

Posted by caltechgirl at 12:18 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

December 15, 2006

Tech Support Hell-- Earthlink SUCKS

Go see what Earthlink made Rachel go through just to NOT fix her problem.

But don't forget to call her first to verify that you are, in fact, reading her page.

Posted by caltechgirl at 04:27 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

December 17, 2006

Evidently I rock!

9/9 Genius
You are 90% knowledegable and 96% intellectual.
Amazing! You have an incredible brain (intellect) and a powerhouse of information (knowledge)! Keep up the impressive work-- we all bow to you.
My test tracked 2 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
You scored higher than 99% on knowledge
You scored higher than 99% on intellect

Link: The Knowledge vs. Intellect Test
h/t RSM
Posted by caltechgirl at 08:50 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

December 20, 2006

I'm dreaming of a White Christmas....

If you don't have snow, at least you can make snowflakes.

Go here

Click on "Find A Flake" and type in Caltechgirl to see mine!

stolen from VW Bug

Posted by caltechgirl at 10:07 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 21, 2006

Too Hot for Hot Air!

But not for us! NSFW without headphones, but the video is, well, hell, it's Sesame Street.

h/t Patterico

Posted by caltechgirl at 12:52 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

It's gotta be the Holly-Daze

This blog is now officially on hiatus for the holidays.

Of course, as loyal readers, you know that probably means I'll be posting pretty frequently. :-)

Anyway, I leave you with this, a message of love, peace, and tolerance for the Holidays...
(NSFW without headphones)

Merry F*cking Christmas, y'all!

h/t Linda

Posted by caltechgirl at 11:39 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

January 03, 2007

Jamie, Jack, and Stench Part Deux

Y'all keep hitting my blog for answers about Jamie, Jack, and Stench on Star 98.7, so here goes:

Jamie, Jack, and Stench is done.  Jack has the details on his myspace page.  He also has the contact info for himself, Jamie, and Stench.

Posted by caltechgirl at 11:47 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

January 08, 2007

I told you Caltech had sports!

Go Beavers!

Score one for my alma mater, who last night broke their NCAA-record setting loss (against NCAA opponents) streak at 207 by beating Bard College 81-52.  Their first NCAA win since the winter of 1996, my freshman year.

But don't give me all of this "mathematically improbable" and "brainy not brawny"  bullshit.  Let's face it.  These guys are more interested in being engineers than basketball players, and with an average of 6 classes/ term, there isn't a lot of time for hoop shooting.

And it's not like they've given up ALL of their losing ways: see, Caltech B-ball is STILL on a 0-245 streak versus CONFERENCE opponents in the last 22 years.  That made the record books during my freshman year, too.  And the team was in People magazine for that....
Posted by caltechgirl at 11:13 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

I have the MOST CREATIVE adopted Blog-Sibs EVAH

Especially when it comes to dealing with the Proselytizing Posses of the world.

First, it was Mrs. Who with her tale of Jehovah's Witness Frightening, now adopted Blog-Bro Contagion shares the tale of a fed-up and pissed-off Aussie who garnered a little revenge on the Mormon Bicycle Gang:

Posted by caltechgirl at 02:45 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

I can so relate....

Click the comic to see the whole thing if you have a small screen!
PhD Comics is a gold mine and got me through at least 6 months of grad school.

h/t Prof. Taylor
Posted by caltechgirl at 05:00 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

January 12, 2007

A Math Geek's revenge

Have you ever gotten a bill where the postage to send it cost the company more than just writing it off?  Yeah, me too.

But I suppose it happened one too many times to this guy.....

Click the check to see the whole thing if your screen is small.

Answer to the total and an explanation for the non math geeks below the fold.
Hint: the equation is "0.002 + e^i∏ + (the sum from n=1 to ∞of 1/2^n)"

I doubt this was credited to his account, sadly enough.

h/t Lisa W

Read More "A Math Geek's revenge" »
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January 20, 2007

Remembering John Cage....

Seeing Peter MacNicol as the jerk du jour on 24 this season kinda put Barry White in my head.

For the rest of you who miss Ally McBeal, too...

And of course, with Barry:
Posted by caltechgirl at 01:11 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Venomous Tag

Kate tagged me with the My, Me, Meme.

So here goes:
This one's easy, since it's all about you and since it requires you to write the very first answer that comes to mind. Simply copy and paste the following three questions then answer them on your blog or, if you don't have a blog of your own, answer them in the comments here. Bloggers should then tag three other people to answer the questions as well, and be sure they know who to blame (Me!).
1. My: You've heard the saying "I'd give my right arm for"�. So, what would you give your right arm for?
2. Me: What's one word that describes how you want people to see you?
3. Meme: If you could be any blogger, which blogger would you be? and why?

My answers:
1. My: You've heard the saying "I'd give my right arm for"�. So, what would you give your right arm for?
I like my right arm a hell of a lot. Not sure what I'd actually give my right arm for.

Me: What's one word that describes how you want people to see you?

3. Meme: If you could be any blogger, which blogger would you be? and why?
Any blogger who makes a hell of a lot of $$ just cruising the internet (assuming such existed...)

And now I get to tag three people, so I tag Rachel, Beth, and Bou

Posted by caltechgirl at 08:19 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

January 31, 2007

First there was one....

Now, two:

Two Names You Go By:
1. CTG
2. Professor

Two Parts of Your Heritage:
1. Armenian
2. Scots-Irish

Two Things You Are Wearing Right Now:
1. Green zip-neck sweater
2. my wedding ring

Two Things You Would Want in a Relationship:
1. Love
2. Humor

Two of Your Favorite Hobbies:
1. singing
2. crocheting

Two Things You Want Really Badly At The Moment:
1. to go home and take a nap
2. a sh*tload of $$ so I could quit work

Two Pets You Had/Have:
1. My Princess
2. a rat

Two people you talked to today:
1. My boss
2. Hubby

Two things you did last night:
1. Watched TV
2. slept

Two people that live in your house:
1. Hubby
2. The Princess (she THINKS she's a people)

Two things you ate today:
1. Trail mix
2. water

Two people you miss:
1. Dad
2. my friend A

Two things you're doing tomorrow:
1. Curriculum committee meeting
2. watching TV

Two vacations you’ve been on:
1. Miami (Orange Bowl)
2. Disneyland

Two Favorite Holidays:
1. Christmas
2. My Birthday

Two favorite Alcoholic beverages:
1. Coffee Colada (Pina Colada with Kahlua)
2. Stoli Vanil and just about anything (try it with Cherry coke!)

Two bands you have seen live:
1. Barenaked Ladies
2. Depeche Mode

Two things you will do after you finish this survey:
1. set up a volunteer experience for my students
2. go home

Posted by caltechgirl at 11:58 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

February 01, 2007

Bros vs. Hoes

So there's this show on Spike.  It's called Pros vs. Joes.  Basically, wannabe jockstraps with ego problems put themselves on the line in sporting contests versus retired pro athletes.  And it's hosted by funny man USC flunky Petros Papadakis.

It's so pathetic it's funny.  I mean, very few of these guys are even CLOSE to the pros.  And if they do win, it's often a fluke weird thing.  Pretty much the jockstraps are competing to see who gets their ass kicked the LEAST.

But we love it.  We watched it religiously during the first season last spring and laughed our asses off.  This season, I had the TiVo all ready for it, until it crapped out two weeks ago.

And then I forgot to reset the season pass....

Fast forward to last night. I don't know what time it was, but it was between 11pm and 12am.  We'd been laying in bed a while, watching TV (in fact, Top Design was on).  I was flipping channels during a commercial and  came upon the new season of Pros vs Joes.

Needless to say, I was out of bed, down the stairs, and turning the TV on faster than DH could ask "where are you going??".

Mr. Tivo is now set to dutifully record P vs J anytime it comes on.


As for the title of this post, that's how we refer to the show in question.

Posted by caltechgirl at 08:04 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

February 07, 2007

Barenaked YouTube Fans

The latest BNL video is out, and it pays homage to all of your favorite YouTube vids, from Diet Coke and Mentos to the Numa Numa guy!

Posted by caltechgirl at 10:20 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

February 13, 2007

It's official. I am in fact a child.

Sorry for the lack of posting, but now I know for sure why I have been feeling like poo: I have an ear infection. Courtesy of someone else's child.

As the doctor said today, one of the crappier things about being treated for RA is that you catch EVERYTHING that comes along because the drugs suppress your immune system.  In my case allergies = vulnerable sinuses -> sinus infection -> ear infection.

So excuse me while I suck my thumb and tug on my left ear until the antibiotics kick in.

Posted by caltechgirl at 04:51 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

February 14, 2007

Because the night....

If the timestamp on this thing posts even remotely correctly, you'll see that it's well after 1am here on the left coast.  Although the insomnia is a constant presence, I was holding it at bay pretty well over the last few weeks courtesy of some sleepytime allergy meds that were helping me get to sleep.  Then this sinus thing came along, with Phinneas Gage pain.  Literally.  I've thought about bashing in the left side of my face more than once in the last week.  It has to be less painful than what has been keeping me up at night.

And really, that's why I went to the damn doctor at all.  I hate fucking doctors, really.  They always want to tell me that they know more than I do about what's wrong with me.  Really, ego man?  Living in my body doesn't give me any clues?  Not to mention that I have TAUGHT doctors before.  Nervous system of the head and neck.  Just happens to be my specialty.

Either that or they want to shit on me for being fat.  Guess what?  That's an easy answer, but it's wrong.  WRONG.  My heart's good, my BP is good, my load-bearing joints are healthy, and frankly, none of that has ANYTHING to do with why my fucking face hurts, thank you very much.

So it's taken me a while to actually go in and see someone.  In fact, I hadn't even been to a primary care doc since before I left NC.  I've been seeing my EXCELLENT, KICK-ASS rheumo like clockwork for a year, and I've been for my annual girly parts checkup, but I've never had a reason to see anyone else.  So I put it off until I couldn't put it off any more.

I actually liked the doc.  I liked that she sat and talked to me for a few minutes, that she seemed interested in making sure the RA was getting taken care of, and that she didn't seem to be in a rush to put me out on the street again.

But I digress.  Evidently the little troll in my ear decided it doesn't like broad spectrum antibiotic therapy.  It is currently throwing a tantrum in my left ear that feels like my teeth are turning to molten lava and my jaw is about to follow suit, and then everything is going to drain out my ear canal.  So I'm propped up on the couch, trying to drink warm chai tea and relax enough to do some meditative breathing in addition to the pain pills I took earlier.  Hopefully that will put the monster off.  It worked this afternoon, but the pain wasn't so intense.

I really don't know how people handled shit like this before good damn drugs.

On the other hand, I think I now know why Van Gogh cut off his ear.


Posted by caltechgirl at 01:26 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

February 22, 2007

Didn't get the memo, did they?

This is what you get for being LAME.

Googlebombing is SOOOOOO 2006.

h/t Patterico

Posted by caltechgirl at 07:13 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

February 23, 2007

Because it's Friday

You Are Emerald Green

Deep and mysterious, it often seems like no one truly gets you.

Inside, you are very emotional and moody - though you don't let it show.

People usually have a strong reaction to you... profound love or deep hate.

But you can even get those who hate you to come around. There's something naturally harmonious about you.

What Color Green Are You?

Posted by caltechgirl at 11:40 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Ninjas, Wizards, and Bears, Oh My!

After a VERY long broken gif hiatus, Boromir and the Ninja Wizards is back online!


h/t Michael Williams

Posted by caltechgirl at 12:31 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 09, 2007

Friday Quiz Braindump

You Are 52% Politically Radical

You've got some radical viewpoints, but you aren't completely nuts. You're more of a visionary than a radical.

Are You a Political Radical?

Your 1996 Theme Song Is: Breakfast at Tiffany's by Deep Blue Something

And I said "What about Breakfast at Tiffany's?" She said, "I think I remember the film, And as I recall, I think, we both kinda liked it." And I said, "Well, that's the one thing we've got."

What's Your 1996 Theme Song?

You Are Scooter

Brainy and knowledgable, you are the perfect sidekick. You're always willing to lend a helping hand. In any big event or party, you're the one who keeps things going. "15 seconds to showtime!"

The Muppet Personality Test

You Are Pork

You like to think you're the other white meat, but many people don't want anything to do with you. You probably smoke. And it's likely that no body part of yours is off limits.

What Kind of Meat Are You?
Posted by caltechgirl at 05:55 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

F*ck it. here's some more

You Are an Irish Coffee

At your best, you are: wild, spontaneous, and outgoing At your worst, you are: too extreme and reckless You drink coffee when: you want to keep drinking booze Your caffeine addiction level: low

What Kind of Coffee Are You?

You Are a Candy Heart

You're definitely a pro when it comes to romance - and you have great dating etiquette. Plus you probably smell and taste pretty darn good.

Are You a Candy Heart or a Candy Fart?

Your SAT Score of 1530 Means:

You Scored Higher Than Howard Stern You Scored Higher Than George W. Bush You Scored Higher Than Al Gore You Scored Higher Than David Duchovny You Scored Higher Than Natalie Portman

You Scored Lower Than Bill Gates

Your IQ is most likely in the 140-150 range

Equivalent ACT score: 34

Schools that Fit Your SAT Score:
California Institute of Technology
Stanford University
Princeton University
Yale University
Harvard University

What Does Your SAT Score Mean?

You Are Bert

Extremely serious and a little eccentric, people find you loveable - even if you don't love them! You are usually feeling: Logical - you rarely let your emotions rule you You are famous for: Being smart, a total neat freak, and maybe just a little evil How you life your life: With passion, even if your odd passions (like bottle caps and pigeons) are baffling to others

The Sesame Street Personality Quiz

You Should Drive a DeLorean

You don't take yourself too seriously, and you prefer a fun, unusual car... like this Back to the Future gem!

What Sports Car Should You Drive?
Posted by caltechgirl at 06:31 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Too good not to post

One more....

Your Vampire Name Is...

High Priestess of Whores

What's Your Vampire Name?

Posted by caltechgirl at 11:24 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

March 12, 2007

More Geekery!

Go here, and see how many of the 50 United States you can name in 10:00.

I made it with 4:33 left.  Poor Iowa.  Iowa was last.

h/t Jay

Posted by caltechgirl at 01:41 PM | Comments (13) | TrackBack

One more...

Here's the EU game!  Slightly less challenging, there are only 27 in 10 minutes!

h/t BethC

Posted by caltechgirl at 09:52 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Since all the cool kids are doing it....

Shamelessly copied from Rachel and Mandy.....


Create your own Friend Quiz here

Take the quiz here! I can't wait to see how well you do!  I made some of the questions hard and some easy on purpose!

Posted by caltechgirl at 11:37 PM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

March 14, 2007

Happy Pi Day 2007

It's that day again.

Happy ∏ Day!

Enjoy some Pi. Or some Pi Cake, as the case may be.

Lots of ways to celebrate can be found here.

Or maybe you could rap about it....

Or how about we just wish a happy 128th birthday to Albert Einstein.

Happy Pi Day everyone!

** This stays on top all day, scroll down for NEW content....**

Posted by caltechgirl at 11:55 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

March 15, 2007

More Quizzy

In honor of International Eat an Animal for Peta day, have some quizzes which have nothing to do with it, except that in the bible they killed an awful lot of animals.... mostly for food.  Funny that.

Anyway, here they are:

Old Testament

New Testament

Similar to the EU and 50 states quizzes posted below. 

Hint: In the OT game, add a space to the end of 3 letter words, and in BOTH games, 1st and 2nd books are denoted I and II (that's the letter i) at the FRONT of the name.  Good luck!

YAY! to Rachel, who made the bible ones!

Posted by caltechgirl at 04:36 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

March 16, 2007

I am so Proud!

I am currently #1 on Google for "i support communism"...

...for a post entitled "Don't support Communism".

And it's not a googlebomb.

Yay me!

Oh, and BTW, Communism sucks.  Big Ugly Donkey Balls.  That is all.

Posted by caltechgirl at 05:38 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Friday quiz. Again.

You scored as Passion. You are very passionate whether that passion is good or evil has yet to be determined. You have great power over others and they seem to flock to your service. You are very competative almost to a fault. Perhaps you should let someone else win for a change?



Eyes full of Pain


Diamond Eyes




What do your eyes reveal about you?(PICS!)

This one was weird. I think sarahk thought so too.

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March 18, 2007

Seen everywhere....

Everyone else has done this one, guess it's my turn...

Read my VisualDNA Get your own VisualDNA™

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March 21, 2007

Geeks love Metal

Well, DUH. Especially if by "metal" you mean bands like Queen:

Researchers questioned more than 1,000 members of the National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth, whose members rank among the brightest five percent of youngsters in Britain.

"There is a perception of gifted and talented students as being into classical music and spending a lot of time reading.

"I think that is an inaccurate stereotype," Stuart Cadwallader, a University of Warwick psychologist who is presenting the findings to the British Psychological Society Wednesday, told the Daily Telegraph.

"We are looking at a group with lower than average self-esteem that does not feel quite as well adjusted.

"They feel more stressed out and turn to heavy metal as a way of relieving that stress."

Cadwallader added that heavy metal fans often appreciate the "complex and sometimes political themes" of the music.

"It has a tendency to worry adults a bit but I think it's just a cathartic thing," he said.

"It does not indicate problems."

Many of heavy metal's biggest stars are closet geeks -- Brian May, guitarist with Queen, is currently finishing a doctorate in astrophysics, while Iron Maiden star Bruce Dickinson is a history graduate, international fencer and qualified commercial pilot.
Interesting, no?

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April 27, 2007


One of my favorite things to do, sportswise, is sit down and watch the first round of the NFL draft. I love college football, and I know quite a bit about it, and it's fun to watch the scheming and the trading and the guessing. It's like a chess match with overfed idiots calling the shots.

Yet every year it seems something ALWAYS prevents me from watching. This year, it's a home inspection scheduled for 9 AM tomorrow (tentatively.... I'm guessing the current owners won't be happy about that).

Oh well. Thank Goodness for TiVo. I'll Tivo the first bit and watch the rest LIVE. :-)

In other sports news, we went to our first Dodgers game of the year last night, Joe Beimel sucks, and we lost, but I brought home a new friend.

Meet my buddy Nomar:

No, he doesn't play "Lowrider"  :-)

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May 04, 2007

Dear Students

My gal Ricki has some words for college students as they are about take their spring semester finals and receive their grades. It's as true for my students as it is for hers:

[T]his is aimed at everybody who fails to understand that going to college means they're supposed to put some effort into their education:

1. No, I don't offer extra credit. Especially AFTER the final exam, when you would be the only one with the opportunity to do it.

2. I'm really sorry you got a D, but if you had paid attention to what I was saying earlier in the semester, and if you had paid attention to the fact that all the grades on the tops of the papers I handed back to you were Ds, it should not come as a shock to you.

3. I'm terribly aggrieved that you will, in fact, not be able to graduate. However, there are consequences for one's actions and one of the consequences of not doing the work in a class is that you fail the class. And one of the consequences of failing a class may be that you do not get to graduate. However, after the final exam is not the most opportune time to consider this possibility.

4. No, I cannot give an "incomplete" because you failed the class. "Incomplete" is for people who are PASSING, but, say, give birth three weeks before the semester is over. Or break their leg. Or have to care for their post-op father. Do not demean the purpose of an "incomplete" by trying to use it to save your own sorry ass.

5. And to all the people who call me on the phone 20 minutes after a (non-machine-graded) exam is over to ask me if I "have [their] exam graded yet" - stick that phone where the sun don't shine. First off, I'm not a mindreader, so I can't predict you're going to call me, and so, grade your exam first. Second of all, you're not entitled to get your exam graded any faster than anyone else's. Third, if you call me on the phone, it just slows me down, and it makes me annoyed to boot. Fourth, if I WERE clairvoyant and knew you were going to call me up asking if I had your exam graded, you can bet your sweet bippy that exam would be at the very bottom of the stack.

On the first day of class, I give my students Ricki's Super Secret Advice For Success In College. It is: "Don't piss off your professors."

Please consider that advice in the coming week. I still have your grades to assign.
Amen Sistah!  I suspect many of you educators out there know exactly what she's talking about too!

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May 15, 2007

Attention all Chris Muir stalkers

(that means YOU, wRitersBlock, and you Harvey)

Chris Muir will be the guest on tomorrow's Steve H. Graham Blogtalk Radio show.

9:30pm Eastern, Wednesday May 16.

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May 22, 2007

The Da Vinci Code Review

Ok, so I had been avoiding reading Dan Brown's Da Vinci code. With all of the freaking hype, I just wanted to make it go away. This, in spite of the fact that I have read all of the other novels he's written, and I love them.

The only question I have is why did no one tell me how much I would like this book sooner?

Reasons why below the fold for the 3 of you who haven't read the book and don't want spoilers.

Read More "The Da Vinci Code Review" »
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May 23, 2007

200 K coming up!

Linky Love for Mr./Ms. 200,000!

We are 156 hits away!

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May 25, 2007

May 25, 1977

Happy Birthday Star Wars!

So, did you see it on opening day?  I was 6 months old then, so the answer is NO for me. In fact I didn't see one in the theater until Return of the Jedi.

How has Star Wars affected/changed YOUR life?
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May 29, 2007

Just an update....

The house looks like a box tornado hit it.  Seriously.

And my brain is SO not functioning.

More after we get the internet working in the house tomorrow morning.

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June 01, 2007

For the Office Space geeks.....

Here's a little Kitty Office Space for you:

Courtesy the geniuses at ICANHASCHEEZBURGER.com

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June 06, 2007

Educating Boys

Thirty years ago all the buzz was about girls falling behind academically.  We HAD to fix that.  Change the classrooms.  Make them more girl-friendly.  Give the girls more role models, more chances.  Affirmative action for girls, right?

Well, it looks like we did TOO good a job.  As this article points out, boys are now falling far behind girls, and are testing at a lower level than they were 35 years ago.

“Boys are in trouble,” said Krista Kafer, visiting fellow at the Independent Women’s Forum. “The facts are quite clear; boys trail girls in most indicators of academic excellence such as, school engagement, achievement scores, and graduation rates at secondary and postsecondary levels.” Kafer presented these facts in her latest IWF position paper, Taking the Boy Crisis in Education Seriously: How School Choice Can Boost Achievement Among Boys and Girls.
The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), conducted by the U.S. Department of Education, shows an overwhelming amount of data that supports Kafer’s theory. Take a look:
* A 2005 NAEP study revealed that a third of 12th grade boys cannot read a newspaper and understand what they are reading.
* The NAEP “Long-Term Trend Test” (started in 1971 and has remained unchanged to better track academic trends over time) showed that at age 17 boys’ reading achievement was fourteen points lower than girls’ and in fact is lower than it was in 1971.
* The same test also shows that scores for the 12th grade reveal that in math, girls have improved while boys have slipped. In reading, girls have improved a little while boys have fallen behind even more.
As an instructor of young women and young men, it is clear to me that while there are differences between boys and girls in the way they learn, there are no real generalizations that can be made about "boys" or "girls".  Each student has a unique learning style, and each student responds best to different types of instruction.  In the past, girls often received less encouragement at home with regard to school achievement, but these days, most kids receive very little positive reinforcement of their academic achievements, boy or girl.  If they do hear about grades, it's often a demand or other negative form of reinforcement.

The best thing that parents can do is be involved enough in their child's education to know what stimulates them to learn best, and work with the teacher to give the child opportunities to experience that kind of instruction, at home or at school. And parents should also be aware that this pro-girl thinking has clearly shaped modern pedagogy, and not completely in a bad way, especially parents of boys.

h/t the venomous one

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June 12, 2007

Sad that Harry's ending?

Not to worry, the next Harry Potter might just be on the horizon already:

Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams were signed by Chicken House publisher Barry Cunningham after he tracked down an early version of their book "Tunnels" that was self-published.

"I knew from page one that Harry Potter was magic. Reading 'Tunnels' gave me the same thrill," said Cunningham, who has also achieved worldwide publishing success with the children's books of German writer Cornelia Funke.

"Tunnels has it all: a boy archaeologist, merciless villains, a lost world and an extraordinary journey to the centre of the earth," Cunningham said after first stirring up interest at the international children's rights fair in Bologna.

Here's a little plot summary:
Fourteen-year-old Will Burrows lives with his family in London. He has little in common with them except for a passion for digging which he shares with his father. When his father suddenly disappears down an unknown tunnel, Will decides to investigate with his friend Chester. Soon they find themselves deep underground, where they unearth a dark and terrifying secret - a secret which may cost them their lives.
Sounds really cool!

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June 13, 2007

For Eric

Run and Hide, my good man.  Today of all days.  And take your trusty irons with you.

It's Zombie Uprising day!

h/t Ith

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June 15, 2007

The 10 Worst Jobs in Science

And they're not all "graduate student" positions.  Really.

And folks, #10 is "Whale Feces Researcher".... makes me appreciate my job (which I love) all the more.


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It's a Voluntary Meme

Seen everywhere:

Learn A Lot Of Little Known Facts About Those You Know

My Daddy (first name) and my Mom's friend (middle name)

Two nights ago when we watched the Ugly Betty season finale (finally!). Why did no one warn me, you barsteds?

actually, yeah. It sucks. No one else can read it.

Roast Beef. Sliced thin. Followed closely by pastrami. Yum.

I have a pooch. She's my baby.

depends..... could I put up with me? Hmmmmmm.....

oh, hardly ever, not me. I couldn't.

Yes, thank you.

Oh Hell Fuck No.

Bran Flakes. Or Quaker Oat Squares. Yum.

Birkies don't have laces.

Emotionally, yes.

Cookies and Cream, Ben and Jerry's Oatmeal Cookie, Fosselman's Peppermint Stick

whether they are smiling.


the allergy that is making my face break out

My Nana

I'm not wearing either pants or shoes, but my toenail polish is red, and I have a black and white dress on.


Last night's "The First 48" courtesy of TiVo.


My husband, puppy breath, Christmas trees

Christina and Dash

Football and Hockey

Dark, Dark Auburn

Brown/Green Hazel. They were dark blue when I was born.


hmm, this is actually tough..... I'll go with fried dill pickles today.

Happy Endings. Duh. Life's too short.

Auntie Mame

Again, no shirt. But my dress is black with a white and blue and yellow pattern.

WINTER. More winter, please.

Both, please.

cheesecake or a brownie sundae

no one


I just finished "Eye Contact" by Cammie McGovern. I'll pick up HP6 as soon as I unpack it to prepare for HP7.

Tigger and Pooh

The Riches, Deadliest Catch, and After the Catch. All courtesy of TiVo

snow falling

Neither. Play Free Bird!

well, farthest from where I was living at the time, Ontario, Canada.


St. Agnes Hospital, Fresno, CA


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June 18, 2007

For Ken S.

Thanks for my earworm.  Good thing I actually like it!

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June 19, 2007

An observation....

Ever seen the commercial for Angel Soft TP where the one angel is trying to reach up to a light bulb to change it, and laments that he is too short to reach it, that is, until his buddy gives him a pile of Angel Soft tissue to stand on???

Does it strike anyone else as WRONG that they are playing that commercial during an episode of Little People, Big World??

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June 26, 2007

Here's some good news for a change

The Shackleford clan has increased by one.  Mrs. Rusty gave birth via C-section to a healthy daughter earlier today.  Drop by the Jawas and give Rusty and family some love.

I sure hope she takes after her mom.  Dad is on the left, below:

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June 27, 2007

For wRitErsbLock and sarahk

Here's the perfect cat for you both!

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I think they dropped one on me during the testing phase....

The Army has successfully tested the "F-Bomb":

The Army announced today that the first successful F-Bomb test has taken place in the New Mexico desert. The F-Bomb - which is not nuclear but still produces a mushroom cloud - was begun after the above ground testing ban treaty in the 1960's. "There was a lot of research left undone." according to Dr. Renaldo Hererra, chief of Munitions Linguistics at Los Alamos. "We went straight from the A-Bomb to the H-Bomb, omitting everything in between. The B project showed promise, but C through E were complete failures. It's good to finally have some success."

The test took place yesterday at 5:42 AM, reportedly flooding the Jouququ Valley with brilliant light, and creating a blast that resounded off the surrounding mountains for several minutes. "It was ****ing awesome!" exclaimed General Milton C. Ironcrotch, Commanding Officer of the program, curiously potty mouthed after the test.
Read the whole report here!

h/t Joyner

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June 28, 2007


This is most severely PG-13 (for BJ references)...

You'll love the ending.

H/T the ever amusing and interesting Baldilocks

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July 02, 2007

Robot Chicken

So there's this show on Cartoon Network that's part of adult swim, and hubby and I have been catching it occasionally, and laughing our asses off at it every time we run across it. But we had no idea what it was called...

Last night we finally found out it's called Robot Chicken.

If you grew up in the 80s and had way too many action figures, this show is for you.

Holy crap, it's funny. It's filthy, too.

As proof, I offer Robot Chicken: Star Wars:
(PG-13 for violence and some language)

Part I:

Part II:

Part III:

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July 09, 2007

Step right up, folks! It's a contest, well, sorta....

It's time to make your "official" predictions for who lives and dies in Harry Potter 7. No major prizes, just brownie points and maybe gratutious linky love. Your prediction should have two parts: 1) Does Harry make it, or not? 2) Who else did she kill off?

Even if you've only seen the movies, I'm interested in other people's takes on it. Especially if you disagree radically, or if you agree, but for different reasons. Post your predictions in the comments. Contest ends July 20, 2007. Void where prohibited. Do not fold, spindle, or multilate.

I'll start: My own "official" prediction is Snape and Hagrid. Maybe Draco Malfoy. Snape is a good guy and proves it via his death. Similarly I suspect Malfoy bites it to prove his own "redemption". And poor Hagrid is the "Innocent" of the stereotypical hero myth, so I suspect he gets caught in the crossfire and his senseless death serves as a spur to Harry's ultimate action against He Who Shall Not Be Named. I think Harry lives too. He almost MUST. And if Harry lives, Ginny probably does too. Remember, Harry WILL end up with Ginny. Hermione is in love with Weasley. Speaking of, if she kills off either Ron or Hermione before they get a happily ever after I will hurl the book at whatever is close and cry for a while. Profanity will be uttered, too. Deep, dark profanity, of the sort that forms the proverbial cloud over Lake Michigan...

this post inspired by sarahk's

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July 23, 2007

Fun with Google Talk

I know, I am both a geek and a Google whore.

But I love google talk.  Not the least of which includes the fact that you can run Gtalk from your Gmail without having to download the chat program or that you don't need to add people to your list manually, all you have to do is send them an email from your Gmail account.

But by far my favorite aspect of google talk is the "status message" that you can customize.  That's so much better than "available" or "not available"

Recent status messages I've posted:

I am not among the rice-eating robots
I wish I'd never been broiled
I have a date with Harry Potter
Ice!  We have Ice!
I'm afraid of Farmer Shootypants too

I've noticed some of you getting into the act too! Notably sarahk and Paul Burgess who usually have an amusing message attached to their avatar...

So, fellow googleheads, do you have Gtalk?  Do you like to leave wacky messages on your "status" line too?

Posted by caltechgirl at 11:45 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

August 07, 2007

I didn't go to Caltech for nothing, folks.

Oh yeah!

On the Common Sense Quiz:
How smart are you?

Am-I-Dumb.com - Are you dumb?

On the Sports Quiz:
How smart are you?

Am-I-Dumb.com - Are you dumb?

h/t Chickie..... who is smarter than 92.8% of you.

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August 10, 2007


SciFi is showing a FIREFLY MARATHON!!!! until 3pm!

Yes, I own it.  But STILL.

And Flash Gordon starts tonight.

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August 15, 2007

Mmmmm..... Sandwiches........

I guess ricki and I are mortal enemies... except I know better.

You Are a Club Sandwich

You are have a big personality. It's hard for anyone to ignore you! You dream big. You think big. And you eat big.

Some people consider you high maintenance, but you just know what you want... and when you want it.

Your best friend: The Tuna Fish Sandwich

Your mortal enemy: The Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich

What Kind of Sandwich Are You?

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August 17, 2007

Stupid computer tricks

So I was checking my email earlier, and then, as usual, I closed the laptop and set it on the floor to watch TV.  About an hour later, I picked it up, and it was REALLY hot.  Like it was trying to work and couldn't get the fan on.  So I picked it up and set it on the fan pad we have, and opened it up.  The screen was black and said "Can not find Operating System".

After two panicked seconds I restarted it, and everything seems to be working fine, except Firefox seems to have reloaded all of my extensions, as if I had just installed them for the first time, and I had to reset my profile and reload my rss feed list into Sage.  All my buttons and bookmarks were present, though.

Anybody got any clue?  Virus check didn't find anything new....  It seems to be cooling down, too.

It also has this trick of unfastening the battery because the fan pad pushes the lock bar over, but it hasn't done that in a while, so I think this is unrelated to that.....

Oh, and it's a Sony VAIO VGN-SZ330P running Windows XP.

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August 18, 2007

Tell me this is more than just a rumor!

JK Rowling may have picked up her pen again.....

J.K. Rowling has been spotted at cafes in Scotland working on a detective novel, a British newspaper reported Saturday.

The Sunday Times newspaper quoted Ian Rankin, a fellow author and neighbor of Rowling's, as saying the creator of the "Harry Potter" books is turning to crime fiction.

"My wife spotted her writing her Edinburgh criminal detective novel," the newspaper, which was available late Saturday, quoted Rankin as telling a reporter at an Edinburgh literary festival.

"It is great that she has not abandoned writing or Edinburgh cafes," said Rankin, who is known for his own police novels set in the historic Scottish city.

I love Scottish detective novels! And I love JKR, too. This ought to be AWESOME!

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August 20, 2007

Finally! A book meme!

Stolen from Ricki:

What are you reading right now?
Espresso Tales by Alexander McCall Smith

Do you have any idea what you'll read when you'e done with that?
Probably The Poe Shadow by Matthew Pearl

What magazines do you have in your bathroom right now?
Magazines? You mean those things ammo comes in? There's books, though, including some Harry Potter in the bathroom right now, though. 5 or 7..... not sure which I brought back in the bedroom.

What's the worst thing you were ever forced to read?
How about a top 10 list?
Great Expectations, Lord of the Flies, The Awakening, The Crying of Lot 49, Heart of Darkness, Arrowsmith, A Tale of Two Cities, Emily Dickenson poems (not because they suck but because they lead to weeks of "Yellow Rose of Texas" earwormage), and for sheer suckage, my Calculus books (Tommy I and Tommy II) and that god-awful Physical Chemistry text.

What's the one book you always recommend to just about everyone?
Another list:
Reading Lolita in Tehran, Devil in the White City, The Dante Club, The Historian, Stephen King's Different Seasons, Harry Potter, etc. etc.

Admit it, the librarians at your library know you on a first name basis, don't they?
Nope. I love my books to death. And I love to reread. Hence I buy them and KEEP them. My mom's a librarian, though. She knows me on a first name basis. Does that count?

Is there a book you absolutely love, but for some reason, people never think it sounds interesting, or maybe they read it and don't like it at all?
My favorite book is Dumas' The Count of Monte Cristo. Most people just don't get it. Also a lot of Stephen King books. People are scared to pick up a "horror" novel, and they're just not that. Yeah, scary stuff, but it's just a platform for an amazingly written, character driven story.

Do you read books while you eat? While you bathe? While you watch movies or TV? While you listen to music? While you're on the computer? While you're having sex? While you're driving?
That would be: Yes, Yes, Sometimes, Often, Occasionally (usually this has to do with work), NEVER (that would be rude), and ABSOLUTELY not (UNSAFE, hello!!!)

When you were little, did other children tease you about your reading habits?
Hell yes. I got teased for breathing. Come on, now. But I read constantly. Let's put it this way, once, when I was a kid my mom tried to punish me by taking away my books. So I picked up the shampoo bottles and toothpaste tubes in the bathroom and read those.

What's the last thing you stayed up half the night reading because it was so good you couldn't put it down?
Literally? The Da Vinci Code. I was on a red eye to Michigan and couldn't sleep. The Historian. I read that in TN after a night of hanging out with Blown-Eyes. It was that good. And of course, HP7.

I've thought of some other book questions for you all:

What book have you stayed up all night NOT reading (because it disturbed you in some way)? Has a book ever entered your dreams?

What book/ series would you like to write an ending too? Or rewrite? I'm not strictly talking about fanfic, just this: given the opportunity, which stories would you like to work on?

Best book to movie transition? And as a corollary, what books should NEVER be a movie?

Do you prefer one-off novels or character-driven series books? What's your favorite book series?

Which book character do you see yourself as most like? How about when you were a kid?

Ever NOT want to finish a book because you were desperately afraid that the author was going to take it somewhere you didn't like? Ever fling a book at the wall because that happened?

Ok, that's plenty. Feel free to do the whole meme, or in parts. I'll answer the second half tomorrow.

Oh, and consider yourself tagged, mostly 'cause I wanna know what you read:
Ken (because he tags me all the time)

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August 22, 2007

Finishing the book meme....

What book have you stayed up all night NOT reading (because it disturbed you in some way)? Has a book ever entered your dreams?
Hmmmm. I don't think a book ever disturbed me to the point of not sleeping... I put Pet Sematary down first. Most books I read come into my dreams, especially if I read just before bed and I like the characters immensely.

What book/ series would you like to write an ending too? Or rewrite? I'm not strictly talking about fanfic, just this: given the opportunity, which stories would you like to work on?
Again, a toughie. I generally love long series, so I like to work out my own post-series endings. When I was a kid I had new books plotted out for Mary Poppins and the Anne of Green Gables series (post- Rilla of Ingleside, of course)

Best book to movie transition? And as a corollary, what books should NEVER be a movie?
Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone was done well, as was Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. Also, two of the best book movies were The Green Mile and The Shawshank Redemption. Now that I think about it, Stand By Me was also good (from the Stephen King novella "The Body").... The Count of Monte Cristo is such an intricate story, it DOES NOT make a good film, ditto Dumas' other classic, the Three Musketeers. I'll have to think of others....

Do you prefer one-off novels or character-driven series books? What's your favorite book series?
I love series books, always have. Starting with Laura (Little House) and Anne (of Green Gables); Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden. My shelves are full of series novels: Alexander McCall Smith (Sunday Philosophers' Club, 44 Scotland Street, and Ladies #1 Detective Agency series); the Big Stone Gap series by Adriana Trigiani; Robert Crais' Elvis Cole mysteries; J.A. Jance's J.P. Beaumont; Kathy Reichs (I can't watch Bones because I like the books so much, BTW); The Dragonfly in Amber series; A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket; Harry Potter (of course); Sherlock Holmes; Peter Mayle's Provence books; Eragon and Eldest; Tolkien; C.S. Lewis' Narnia series; Stephen King's Dark Tower; etc. etc. There's more, but I can't think of them now. I think when I read a story, the characters speak to me more than the plot, and I like to follow them as they change across the ebb and flow of their lives.

Which book character do you see yourself as most like? How about when you were a kid?
That's pretty tough. Today the character MOST like me that I've read is Hermione Granger. I know, kinda trite, but you know that whole scene in HP7 where she gets mad at Ron (I'd say more but some haven't yet gotten that far)? That's me. I knew what was going to happen there before I read it. Think I've lived it. Not to mention the whole nerd thing. As a kid the characters I most identified with were Josephine March and Laura Ingalls. Which shouldn't surprise anyone that knows me at all.

Ever NOT want to finish a book because you were desperately afraid that the author was going to take it somewhere you didn't like? Ever fling a book at the wall because that happened?
Yes. Definitely. I get very wrapped up in the characters, and I have a maxim that life is too short for unhappy endings. There is little more I dislike in literature than when the characters I love and adore get the shit end of the stick at the end of the book. Give me a break. I feel really cheated when that happens. Speaking of cheating, the last book I remember flinging was "Big Cherry Holler". If you've read it, you know what I mean.

Sorry it was later than I planned, but there it is.

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PSA: Yahoo! Photos closing!

In case you hadn't heard, Yahoo! photos is closing because Yahoo! now owns Flickr, and they want to focus on Flickr.  However, according to this, if you choose to move your pictures to Flickr, Yahoo! Photos is going to free upgrade you to Flickr Pro for three months.  Sweet.

We'll see how that goes....  I of course chose Flickr, because I'm becoming obsessed with it.... and my 556 pictures uploaded to Yahoo! should have a nice home there.

I wonder if Tivo now supports Flickr.....

Posted by caltechgirl at 11:56 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 23, 2007

For Richmond

So, how bad IS your attitude today?

You Are 82% Bitchy

While you may not think of yourself as the ice queen, admit it, you're often in a bad mood.

And it's those around you who often bear the brunt of your annoyance, even if they haven't done anything wrong!

How Bitchy Are You?

Love ya, babe!

Posted by caltechgirl at 05:39 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

August 25, 2007

The Witching Hour

Found in Blogblivion.  And pretty much true....

You Are Midnight

You are more than a little eccentric, and you're apt to keep very unusual habits.

Whether you're a nightowl, living in a commune, or taking a vow of silence - you like to experiment with your lifestyle.

Expressing your individuality is important to you, and you often lie awake in bed thinking about the world and your place in it.

You enjoy staying home, but that doesn't mean you're a hermit. You also appreciate quality time with family and close friends.

What Time Of Day Are You?

Posted by caltechgirl at 10:11 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

August 30, 2007

My Movies

Both my darling blogchild and the crew at Dean's World have been hashing out a list of movies you can see over and over again.

I have a few of those myself.  In our house they're called "Movies I can fall asleep to".

See I have this thing with movies.  If they get really predictable, or really embarrassing for the main character, I skip it.  Fast Forward, skip, turn off, you name it.  I won't sit through it.  Consequently, there are VERY FEW movies I can sit through more than once without skipping through, let alone enjoy over and over and over. 

The funny thing is, those movies somehow migrate to the bedroom.  I'm a slow-sleep insomniac, and (like everything else with me) contrary to the usual advice of removing distractions from the sleep zone (aka no TV in the bedroom), TV actually distracts my brain enough to let me fall asleep.  Especially things I've seen before.  So we have a rotating stash of movies that live in the DVD player in the bedroom and get pressed into service in conjunction with the 90 minute sleep setting on the TV just about every night.

So, without further ado, movies I can sleep to:

White Christmas
Blazing Saddles
Star Wars
Return of the Jedi
Fellowship of the Ring (either disk 1 or 2; but not Twin Towers.  I always want to skip the "Sam and Frodo" parts too much)
Return of the King (Disk 2 works better... less Sam and Frodo)
Kill Bill vol 1
Kill Bill vol 2
The Blues Brothers
South Park
Team America
A Christmas Story
Fiddler on the Roof
Disney's Robin Hood

I'm certain there are more, but these are the ones currently in the DVD case in the bedroom.

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Random Milestone

Visitor #219,700 was a McGehee.  Given the location and the referring URL, there's only one (ok, well, there's two.)


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August 31, 2007

Thanks Frank J!

My favorite FrankJ cartoon, the Hate-Filled Lefty, is back.  Presumably for the last time!

Fred rulz.

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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" »
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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!

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September 23, 2007

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....

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October 18, 2007

Your daily funny

Ladies and Gentlemen, my morning commute:

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October 19, 2007

Friday Mutters

Y'all know the rules:
My answers in the extended!

1. Illicit ::
2. Go ::
3. Jacket ::
4. Blow ::
5. Coach ::
6. Effort ::
7. Leadership ::
8. Snore ::
9. Fearless ::
10. Network ::

Read More "Friday Mutters" »
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Do I get Extra Credit for this?

Like Ricki, I HATE that phrase. Hate it.

But EVERY student, without exception, seems to utter it at one point or another during the semester. And they'll go the extra mile to get it, too. Troy University Professor Richard Scott Nokes writes:

Why is it that students who wouldn't scratch their bottoms to get a final exam grade will do anything for extra credit? Last week, I had midterm exams, and many students put, at the most, an hour's worth of effort into the take-home project (worth 25% of their grade). This week I gave an opportunity for extra credit, worth only a tiny fraction of the midterm, and the students are meeting after class and going to the Writing Center to work on it. Maybe I should start calling my regular assignments "extra credit."(h/t Prof. Taylor)
I feel your pain, sir. My subject is biology, not medieval literature, but the students approach is EXACTLY the same.  They'll spend HOURS collaborating on a tiny piece of crap that is worth maybe 1-2% of their grade (if I'm feeling charitable), but brush off the actual studying.  Which is, you know, the basis of 100% of their grade.

Interested, I decided to see if anyone has written a scholarly article on extra credit, and the psychology behind why students prefer it over just doing their work.  A quick google search turned up page after page of syllabi with possible extra credit assignments from psychology classes at universities all over the country.

There are only a few articles looking at extra credit, and those look at it as a motivating factor, not why it is preferred.

(I put the rest of what turns out to be a longer piece than I had planned to write below the jump!)

Read More "Do I get Extra Credit for this?" »
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October 29, 2007

Captain Picard Cat is not amused.....

For the TNG fans out there:

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October 30, 2007

This wasn't a surprise

As I am clearly not Aspie.  But the number of questions about sneaking up on people was!

The Aspie quiz:

h/t Jay

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Happy Bloggiversary to ME!

Celebrating three years of complete and utter randomness!


The obligatory sucky first post.

And for gratuitous goodness, a favorite recipe. Yum.

Posted by caltechgirl at 02:26 PM | Comments (21) | TrackBack

November 05, 2007

So it's November....

Yeah, it's also NaNoWriMo. And I am flirting with a long story. I don't plan on churning out a novel, but it's as good an excuse as any to work on the fiction....

So watch this space. I may or may not decide to share.

Posted by caltechgirl at 04:43 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

November 19, 2007

Do you have "The Knack"?

It's not just engineers....

Posted by caltechgirl at 12:18 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Nice to know I'm not alone on a Bad Day

I've never thought of photocopying my monitor.... but I can so relate to beating the pencil thrower.

h/t Contagion

and as a bonus, because I can't resist a good Milton moment, "I believe you have my stapler.":

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November 28, 2007

Alternate Forms of Energy Bumper Stickers

Ever seen that stupid "Coexist" bumper stickers with all the quasi-religious and philosophical symbols replacing the letters? How about this one instead?

Click it to embiggen.

Fabulous, no?

h/t sub2change

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December 02, 2007

I think this is Michaelangelo and Donatello.... hard to tell without the nunchucks....

But where is Master Splinter?

Posted by caltechgirl at 07:36 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

December 06, 2007

Best Bumper Sticker EVAH

"Hey Dumbass-- It's not the guns.  It's a lack of parenting"

seen on the back of a big pickup being driven by an off-duty cop rocking a great big 'stache.

Posted by caltechgirl at 10:45 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

January 10, 2008

Meme to an end?

Ok, it was the only cool title I could think of. 

This one seems to be going around, and I thought it was interesting enough to do.  Evidently the idea is to explore "privilege" (whatever that is) and see what bloggers have in common....  For more background, see it comes in pints?, McGehee, or Dustbury.

Obligatory Legal Mumbojumbo:

Premise: bold each of the statements that applies.

Original source: The list is based on an exercise developed by Will Barratt, Meagan Cahill, Angie Carlen, Minnette Huck, Drew Lurker, Stacy Ploskonka at Illinois State University. The exercise developers ask that if you participate in this blog game, you acknowledge their copyright.

Okey Dokey. Onward to the list:

Father went to college

Father finished college

Mother went to college

Mother finished college

Have any relative who is an attorney, physician, or professor (I assume cousins of my own or subsequent generations don't count as they were not already practicing, and thus could not serve as role models)

Were the same or higher class than your high school teachers (my teachers had way more $$ than we did)

Had more than 50 books in your childhood home Hello, Mom's a Children's Librarian....

Had more than 500 books in your childhood home See Above.

Were read children's books by a parent This is getting redonkulous

Had lessons of any kind before you turned 18 Violin lessons

Had more than two kinds of lessons before you turned 18 and Dance lessons, too, I realize.

The people in the media who dress and talk like me are portrayed positively (Have you seen a scientist on TV lately? Yeah.)

Had a credit card with your name on it before you turned 18 (Credit Card? I was 21 before I had a credit card!)

Your parents (or a trust) paid for the majority of your college costs (Does the Caltech Scholarship Fund count? I didn't think so.)

Your parents (or a trust) paid for all of your college costs (HA!)

Went to a private high school (the private high schools in Fresno SUCK. I got a MUCH better education at the math/science magnet)

Went to summer camp (Church Camp)

Had a private tutor before you turned 18 (I WAS the F-ing tutor)

Family vacations involved staying at hotels (Hell no, we stayed with relatives or at friends' houses, except one large trip)

Your clothing was all bought new before you turned 18 (Mom sews. You should see some of my pretty dresses)

Your parents bought you a car that was not a hand-me-down from them (My Neon. Loved it. Dad's car was too unreliable to pass on, and Mom's was new then, too)

There was original art in your house when you were a child (I'm guessing my kindergarten scrawls don't count?)

Had a phone in your room before you turned 18 Hello, former teenage girl here.

You and your family lived in a single family house

Your parent(s) owned their own house or apartment before you left home Still do, in fact. But for my generation, this really isn't as much of a sign of privilege as it might be now given housing prices then vs now.

You had your own room as a child Only child, duh.

Participated in an SAT/ACT prep course (No, but I TOOK the SAT when I was 12)

Had your own TV in your room in High School After my grandmother moved in with us, I got her TV AND cable!

Owned a mutual fund or IRA in High School or College (you're shittin' me, right? I barely knew what a mutual fund WAS)

Flew anywhere on a commercial airline before you turned 16 (Nope, I was 17 the first time. I flew to NY and back by myself)

Went on a cruise with your family (I'm guessing the Catalina Ferry doesn't count. I've never been on a cruise)

Went on more than one cruise with your family (see above. What's a cruise?)

Your parents took you to museums and art galleries as you grew up Museums, but not galleries.

You were unaware of how much heating bills were for your family (Nope, I always knew. Mom used it as an illustration of why we conserve energy.)

Wow, I guess I was a poor little rascal. At least, according to this metric. Funny how we thought we were doing well....

Posted by caltechgirl at 10:19 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

January 14, 2008

Drowning in work, but I needed to pop in and ramble and be political and stuff

- First of all, I want to start out by saying tonight's Golden Globes were the BEST AWARDS SHOW EVAH.  I'm certain that I am not the first to say so, but it was delightfully refreshing to not have to listen to blather about designer dresses and celebrity dates and political bullshit speeches from idiots who, for the most part, are merely talking out their asses.  Not to mention 3 hours of bad comedy and rotten stage numbers.  Thirty minutes.  No bullshit.  I loved it.

Thanks Writer's Guild.  I wish we could have you picket ALL the awards shows.

On the other hand, I think you writers are a bunch of selfish bastards.  See, LA really is a company town.  And all the NON-writers are really suffering.  One of the news stations reported that if the parties accompanying the awards shows are cancelled, just the parties, that's $80 MILLION out of the area economy.  $80,000,000.00.  That's a hell of a lot of crews and waiters and caterers and delivery guys and lots of others who are barely hanging on in the best of times, and who are facing a serious crisis because a bunch of writers want 2 more cents per DVD.  The actors say they're in solidarity with you, but they can afford to.  Strangely enough, it's the richest among them who are calling for your selfishness to end.  George Clooney and others have begged the parties to come back to the bargaining table, someplace they haven't met in WELL over a month.

In the meantime, crew members, caterers, security guards, and all the other "little people" are struggling.  Not to mention the store owners, construction firms, barbers, restaurants, and other businesses that aren't getting business because Hollywood is essentially shut down.

Get your shit together and grow up.  That is all.  But do skip the awards shows.

-Top Gun is an ass-kicking movie.  I think more people should watch the first half-hour and the last half-hour, and think about the implications of what's going on for TODAY.  We came to the conclusion that if more people actually THINK about what's going on in the world, you'd hear a HELL of a lot less whining about the war.

-Psych is the best show on TV.  If you don't watch it you should.  Especially as NBC will be running episodes starting in February. 

-We watched a lot of TV tonight.  I needed the mental break.  On a whim we flipped it to "Scott Baio is 46 and Pregnant" on VH1.  It was actually funny.  And it had a damn good soundtrack (incl. Depeche Mode and The Cure).  We also watched Home Makeover.  Damn if that show doesn't make me cry every time I see it.

-The Puppies are beginning to get along.  I even have photographic evidence.  They were in the same chair.  I was so shocked I jumped up to get the camera before they could figure out I was going to take pictures.  I'll post them tomorrow when the camera and I are in the same room.

-Who turned on Fred's Espresso machine?  Seriously.  WooHoooooo!

-My mind must be on another planet.  I usually have a mind like a steel trap, but I have forgotten a ton of things this weekend.  Stress, and a working subconscious.  First, Attila Girl asked me to guestblog for her for a few days.  And I forgot.  I was supposed to begin calling for jury duty this weekend, and guess when I remembered to do that?  11:05 PM, when the news dude started talking about Brit-Brit going to court tomorrow.... yeah.  Go me.  And I forgot a bunch of work stuff I need to get done before tomorrow.

And what am I doing?  Blogging and procrastinating.  Because I can.

Posted by caltechgirl at 01:35 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

January 15, 2008

A religion quiz for the heck of it

Seen at the LlamaButchers'.

Your Results:

The top score on the list below represents the faith that Belief-O-Matic, in its less than infinite wisdom, thinks most closely matches your beliefs. However, even a score of 100% does not mean that your views are all shared by this faith, or vice versa.Belief-O-Matic then lists another 26 faiths in order of how much they have in common with your professed beliefs. The higher a faith appears on this list, the more closely it aligns with your thinking.

Interesting, as my religious upbringing is #3 and #5, being both Orthodox and Methodist.

1. Mainline to Conservative Christian/Protestant (100%)
2. Orthodox Quaker (93%)
3. Mainline to Liberal Christian Protestants (88%)
4. Seventh Day Adventist (79%)
5. Eastern Orthodox (75%)
6. Roman Catholic (75%)
7. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) (64%)
8. Liberal Quakers (56%)
9. Unitarian Universalism (54%)
10. Orthodox Judaism (53%)
11. Reform Judaism (51%)
12. Sikhism (50%)
13. Islam (48%)
14. Jehovah's Witness (47%)
15. Bahá'í Faith (47%)
16. Hinduism (46%)
17. Mahayana Buddhism (42%)
18. Neo-Pagan (42%)
19. Theravada Buddhism (42%)
20. New Age (40%)
21. Christian Science (Church of Christ, Scientist) (33%)
22. Jainism (31%)
23. Nontheist (30%)
24. New Thought (28%)
25. Taoism (28%)
26. Scientology (26%)
27. Secular Humanism (25%)

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January 16, 2008

Chat me up

In the left sidebar, below Fred and the Sudoku game is a new AIM widget.

Since AIM is now included in Gmail Chat, I'm available whenever I'm logged in to mail. And you don't have to be an AIM clone either, you can sign in as a guest. But either way, be sure to tell me who you are, as I don't see your screenname on my screen.

Chats are private, as well, no one else visiting the site can see the conversation.

So say "Hi" sometime if you see me online.

Posted by caltechgirl at 01:00 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

January 17, 2008

This gives a WHOLE NEW MEANING to "Hell Freezes Over"


I needed LOLkitteh today. Badly.

h/t Mrs. Who

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January 23, 2008

Awesome: Geeks with too much time on their hands

The Battle of Pelennor Fields... in Candy:

There's lot's more pictures at the original site.
And they did Helm's Deep, too.

h/t (surprisingly NOT the Llamas) Michael Williams

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Super Smart?

You be the judge...

Your Superpower Should Be Mind Reading

You are brilliant, insightful, and intuitive.
You understand people better than they would like to be understood.
Highly sensitive, you are good at putting together seemingly irrelevant details.
You figure out what's going on before anyone knows that anything is going on!

Why you would be a good superhero: You don't care what people think, and you'd do whatever needed to be done

Your biggest problem as a superhero: Feeling even more isolated than you do now
What Should Your Superpower Be?

seen just about everywhere by now.

Posted by caltechgirl at 02:08 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

March 10, 2008

March 14, 2008

Happy Pi Day Y'all!

And here's the perfect treat to celebrate with:

And Happy Birthday, Albert! You would be 129 today!
Posted by caltechgirl at 08:31 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

March 25, 2008

Retail Therapy, dig it.

I got paid today.

And I got this. Oh HELL YEAH.

I am a bigger fan of the international track list (which includes The Cure and Barenaked Ladies), but there's plenty on the US version to love.

Posted by caltechgirl at 10:40 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

March 26, 2008

Bucking Trends

We do that a lot around here I guess. First we bought a house when everyone said we should wait (if we had waited, we would never have closed on a mortgage courtesy of everyone and their aunt foreclosing...)

And now we bought a dishwasher (custom order since it's white... and the date stamped on the back is actually 3 days after we paid for it) when durable goods orders are "inexplicably" down.

Oh well. It's nice to contribute to the economy!

Posted by caltechgirl at 10:15 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

March 31, 2008

Why is it?

I am so frigging much more productive working at home.

For example, I have sent a number of critical emails, both work and personal, arranged the appointment for the puppy's spay (next Monday, poor puppy) and gotten the sheets off the bed to be changed as soon as the mattress cover comes out of the dryer. I also showered and sorted and started a load of laundry. Also on the work front, I read through a number of documents regarding our upcoming accreditation review.

AND I have been blog reading and twitter-ing AND watching baseball.(KC vs DET on ESPN).

AND I only got up 2.5 hours ago.

If I was at work I would have: commuted, made photocopies, and sent some emails.

I love working from home.

Oh, and for the record, you can also keep up with me courtesy of my twitter page.

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April 03, 2008

I'll be sharing this with my students tomorrow.

Hey you there, SHUT UP!

Posted by caltechgirl at 10:55 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 09, 2008

Check this out

It's a Schmap. Keep up with the Delegate count, and where the delegates come from. Hillary and Obama also available.

Posted by caltechgirl at 08:16 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 11, 2008

I've been tagged

by a bunch of you for the six word biography meme.

"I can't think of an answer" ?
"Too many things could be said." ?

No wait, I've got one: "My idiot husband was no help"

How about "fat dorky nerd chick tries hard" ?

That's as good as any, I guess

Posted by caltechgirl at 06:21 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

April 23, 2008

On the Mc Cain Train

Even My Meez is ready to pitch in and support John McCain (see the left sidebar).

And on a personal note, I am SO loving the Democrat debacle, aren't you?

Posted by caltechgirl at 10:53 AM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

May 19, 2008

I don't know whether to be proud or ashamed....

Skin Disease or Dungeons and Dragons Character?

Score: 100% (16 out of 16)

h/t Contagion
Posted by caltechgirl at 10:48 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

May 20, 2008

I like fast...

MY NEW LAPTOP CAME TODAY!!!!!!! It was supposed to arrive tomorrow but it came today!!!!

Busy setting it up and re-downloading all my happy programs. I already copied my (oldish) Firefox profile from hubby's computer and have set that up. Then firewall, virus scan, ad blockers, image manipulation software, Google talk and Nvu.

And I need to get my Office disks and Roxio and some games. Almost there!


Posted by caltechgirl at 07:30 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

May 29, 2008

Like a duck to water

I've always been a big fan of turtles. More the idea of turtle than real turtles, mind you, but the symbolism of the turtle means a lot to me: wisdom, strength, balance. The notion that the turtle holds the whole world on its shell speaks to me. That's the way I feel a lot.

But there's a new animal on my mind lately. The duck. Like a duck swimming in a pond, it's all about what's on top of the water. The duck makes it look easy, right? Above the surface it's all a graceful glide. Under the water is a different story. The damn duck is paddling for all its worth.

This image occurs to me twice a week as I "jog" in the deep water of the therapy pool. My head and shoulders glide above the water, but below the surface my arms and legs are churning away. And the better I do this, the more still I look above the surface of the water.

We've also talked a lot about the duck in choir. Brahms' Requiem is a bitch, even for professionals. And we're a small group that doesn't rehearse nearly as much as a big group does. And a lot of people are overwhelmed. But like the Duck, we smile and pretend everything is under control. And the performance is wonderful.

It's amazing how well that works. If I smile and tell you I'm ok, you assume it's the truth and you don't look for my rapidly paddling legs under the surface.... If you tell me you're doing well, I don't look for the balls you're juggling in the hand that's behind your back.

So this week, I meditate on the duck. See the duck, be the duck. Glide along, make it across the pond. That's all I need to do between now and next Monday.


Posted by caltechgirl at 08:05 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

June 05, 2008

Maybe I shouldn't have been such a good girl...

Seems a new study indicates that moderate alcohol consumption decreases the chance of getting RA by 50%:

All participants were quizzed about their lifestyle, including how much they smoked and drank. And blood samples were taken to check for genetic risk factors.

The results showed that drinking alcohol was associated with a significantly lower risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis. And the more alcohol was consumed, the lower the risk of rheumatoid arthritis.

Among those who drank regularly, the quarter with the highest consumption were up to 50% less likely to develop the disease compared with the half who drank the least.

The effect was the same for both men and women.
I guess this means that glass of red wine is back on the schedule. Just wish the alcohol and the medication didn't interact.

Posted by caltechgirl at 03:15 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

June 06, 2008

Sandra Day O'Connor blazes another trail

The former Supreme Court Justice has a new project: She's a video game developer. In an effort to educate American kids about how the justice system works and the role of the courts, she has been working with Georgetown University and Arizona State to create a program for 7th through 9th graders called "Our Courts."

Sandra Day O'Connor, 78, who served as U.S. Supreme Court justice from 1981 until her retirement in 2006, said she never imagined she would be asked to address a conference about digital gaming.

She said she got involved with developing the project called "Our Courts" out of concern over public ignorance about the judiciary and partisan attacks on what should be an independent institution.

"In recent years I've become increasingly concerned about vitriolic attacks by some members of Congress, some members of state legislatures and various private interest groups ... on judges," O'Connor told the Games For Change conference on using gaming technology for social improvement and education.

"We hear a great deal about judges who are activists -- godless, secular, humanists trying to impose their will on the rest of us," she said. "Now I always thought an activist judge was one who got up in the morning and went to work."

She said it was worrying to see members of the Senate requiring nominees to the Supreme Court to state how they would rule on certain cases during the confirmation process, and to see special interests trying to influence the election of state judges in states where such elections are still held.

"With partisan attacks and political pressure mounting, it's much more difficult to achieve fair and impartial judgments from the judges who are serving," O'Connor said.
The project will develop both interactive materials for classroom discussion and a stand-alone downloadable video game that kids can play on their own. According to Justice O' Connor,
The second part of the project will be for young people to use in their free time, O'Connor said, noting that studies showed children spend around 40 hours a week using media, including computers, television, videogames or music.

"If we can capture just a little bit of that time to get them thinking about government and civic engagement rather than playing shoot-'em-up video games, that's a huge step in the right direction," she said.

O'Connor said she had seen from her own grandchildren that technology was the best way to inspire children to learn and it was vital to speak to them in their own language.
The games and other materials will be available at www.ourcourts.org starting in September.

Posted by caltechgirl at 09:32 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

June 12, 2008

I can't resist a good story....

Bou took a look at the number of condoms delivered to Antarctica and she did the math....

The just shipped 16500 condoms for the US Antartic base, for 125 scientists and staff. Its supposed to be a year’s supply.

If you assume everyone is acting responsibly and using birth control and that 120 of the 125 pair up, that’s 60 couples. That’s assuming there is a 50/50 split male to female ratio. And if you assume 10% of the women are on the pill… then you get 54 couples that need condoms.

Divided into 16500… that’s 305 per couple to last 365 days. I’m sorry, but I think that’s not enough. Everyone is different, but there are going to be twice a day couples and once a day couples, and then of course, crazy all the time couples.

Then again, eh, assume that of the 125, you truly only have 25 couples whiling away the hours getting to know each other in the Biblical sense and assuming 10% of the women on the pill… leaving 23 couples, that’s now 717 condoms per couple and that seems… more likely.


Seems like an awful lot of condoms for so few people.

Reminds me of my time at Caltech. Condoms were (and are) freely available on campus. You could get them from the Health Center, from a house Health Advocate, or often from a basket in any bathroom, men's, women's, or unisex.

When I lived in Avery House, our Health Ad used to put all of the condoms out in the bathrooms. She would split a box of 1000 condoms between 8 bathrooms. That's 125 condoms per bathroom, folks. For about 12 residents per bathroom. And they would be gone in 48 hours. Every week she would replace them, and every week, they would be gone.

Caltech, as you know, has a ratio of 3 guys for every girl enrolled. The ratio at Avery house was even higher, more like 6:1. And NONE of these dudes had a girlfriend. So we always wondered what they were doing with the condoms. Stocking up? Balloons? We never found out, but the condoms always disappeared. They didn't even show up on Ditch Day....

Posted by caltechgirl at 11:33 AM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

June 25, 2008

Because I am avoiding work... one blog entry at a time

Stolen from the lovely and talented Phoenix.

Only ONE word can be used in your answer and it can NOT be used twice.

1. Where is your cell phone? Desk
2. Your significant other? Home
3. Your hair? Messy
4. Your mother? Tired
5. Your father? Gimpy
6. Your favourite time of day? Night
7. Your dream last night? Cops
8. Your favourite drink? Dr.Pepper
9. Your dream goal? Leisure
10. The room you're in? Office
11. Your ex? Goofball
12. Your fear? Snakes
13. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Elsewhere
14. What you are not? Shy
15. Your Favourite meal? Lunch
16. One of your wish list items? Time
17. The last thing you did? Carried
18. Where you grew up? House
19. What are you wearing? Dress
20. Your TV is? Old
21. Your pets? Puppies
22. Your computer? Laptop
23. Your life? Content
24. Your mood? Annoyed
25. Missing someone? Hubby
26. Your car? Filthy
27. Something you're not wearing? Pants
28. Favourite store? Target
29. Your summer? Hot
30. Your favourite colour? Green
31. When is the last time you laughed? Today
32. When is the last time you cried? Yesterday
33. Your health? OK
34. Your children? None
35. Your future? Open
36. Your beliefs? Personal
37. Young or old? Childish
38. Your image? Confident
39. Your appearance? Comfortable
40. Would you live your life over again knowing what you know? Duh

Feel free to jump in and play along, y'all!

Posted by caltechgirl at 01:02 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

June 30, 2008

Joining the Club

Welcome to the Conservasphere to another Pasadenan, The Pasadena Closet Conservative!

He/She chooses to remain anonymous because,

I dare not "out" myself because I would run the risk of being held hostage by liberals at some Ashram while being brainwashed with MultiCultural/PoliticallyCorrect/GroupThink/Socialist "isms" until I hollered "I'm Nancy Pelosi's bitch", begged for mercy and changed my party affiliation using a pen filled with my own blood.
I feel you. It's hard out here for a pimpconservative. Especially in the 'Dena, where most folks are either too wealthy to pay attention or too conservative to speak of their political leanings. I myself choose to remain carefully anonymous for these reasons.

In any case, thanks for putting yourself out there. There's a bunch of us on the interwebs, some anonymous, some eponymous. Check my right sidebar for the "Bear Flag League", a group of conservative Cali bloggers, many of whom are here in SoCal as well.

And Welcome!

h/t the Proc and FCBlog

Posted by caltechgirl at 10:57 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

July 07, 2008

Possibly the BEST LOLCat of all time

Sums up my life most days.....


Posted by caltechgirl at 10:59 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

July 15, 2008

I don't need your affirmative action OR your pity

According to some, the "lack" of women in science and engineering is so critical that Title IX-like protections should be put in place until women are equally represented.

Are you f*cking kidding me? Women have no barriers in science, probably fewer than in any other general field. Over half of students entering medical school this year are women. More than 60% of graduate students in biology and biochemistry and psychology are female. My department chair is a woman. There's no lack of women in science, even at the highest levels.

Yes, you might argue, but the article focuses on Physics and Engineering. And true, there are relatively few women in physics and engineering. But is it possible that maybe women don't choose these fields because they are less interested? Should we force girls into jobs they don't want? It's not like the demands of an academic career in physics are that different from the demands of an academic career in biology or biochemistry. Which even these researchers had to admit was the case:

[T]he institute found that women with physics degrees go on to doctorates, teaching jobs and tenure at the same rate that men do. The gender gap is a result of earlier decisions. While girls make up nearly half of high school physics students, they're less likely than boys to take Advanced Placement courses or go on to a college degree in physics.(emphasis mine)
At least the Universities so far are ignoring it:
So far, these Title IX compliance reviews haven't had much visible impact on campuses beyond inspiring a few complaints from faculty members. (The journal Science quoted Amber Miller, a physicist at Columbia, as calling her interview "a complete waste of time.") But some critics fear that the process could lead to a quota system that could seriously hurt scientific research and do more harm than good for women.
Yep. And considering today's cuts in research funding and endless Federal investigations looking for reasons to increase cuts, this could be a nightmare for small institutions that don't have the resources to bring in enough female scientists to meet an arbitrary quota.

Posted by caltechgirl at 04:05 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Dr. Horrible has arrived! - UPDATED!

Joss Whedon's latest project, Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog has finally arrived! The miniseries in three acts is being released this week.

Act I is available today, Act II will be released on July 17 and Act III on July 19.

But hurry, it all goes away on July 20!

Click over, turn up the speakers and enjoy!

Update: Also, now you can find a super cool Dr. Horrible button in the left sidebar below my Yahoo! Avatar! There are lots of different sized buttons and other widgets on the Dr. Horrible site, just scroll down and click the "get some resources" button. And be sure to read the EVIL Master Plan as well!

My brief review: It's Flash Gordon meets Little Shop of Horrors with Firefly sensibility. Perfect combo.

Posted by caltechgirl at 04:12 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

July 23, 2008

Blogging from the deep end

I haven't really had a chance to brain dump lately. Despite the fact that it is summer, and therefore I am NOT teaching, I have been as busy as ever. Stuff just piles up on my desk and I am trying to get through a thousand small things just to get to see the top of my desk.

In some sense this is my fault. Being the person who is NOT on vacation means a lot of things that wouldn't otherwise come my way get shifted to me. Plus I am adding a new class in the Fall which I have to prep. Although it has been taught before, the focus of the class is changing, and the massive increase in enrollment (5 to 15, yeah I know, but it is TRIPLED) means I have to rethink the way labs and some assignments are done, almost as if it were a new class. I am also taking the opportunity to switch to a more rigorous text and need to make the syllabus reflect that text. With my "old" class, I need to re-arrange some of the units and make the syllabus more reflective of our designated Student Learning Outcomes (yes, we are going through Accreditation, why do you ask?) and combine the lab and lecture syllabi into one with a less formal schedule for the lab, because, as we all know, sh!t happens.

Along with this is the possibility of getting some grant $$ for research, which means I need to write a formal animal protocol which explains exactly what I plan on doing with my animals and how and when and why. This is the last thing I want to do. Boring. And pissy. And I really really really could give 2 shits about doing research anymore. Srsly. And anyway, I research stress hormones. Why on Earth would I want to hurt my animals? It only screws up my data.

I am also deeply embroiled in University politics. So far I have managed to play the naive child role well enough to slide through some serious controversial sh!t, while behind the scenes I plot and maneuver and try to come up with mature solutions. Who ever it was that said that Academic politics are worse because they are meaningless was right.

It doesn't help that I am trying to work from home as much as possible. On days when I can really focus, telecommuting is great. I can work all day on my schedule and get other things (like laundry or a trip to the dentist) done at the same time. I don't have to waste time or $$ on driving in to campus, either. I figure it costs me about $60-70/ week to drive in, just in gas costs. The inconvenience and creepiness of the Public transit makes that a less useful choice. Especially the creepiness. Someone was shot at the stop for my office a few weeks ago, and there have been a number of muggings and other violence.

Outside of work, things keep swimming along. Tomorrow is our 9th Anniversary. I can't believe it's already late July. Classes start again in a month. Also, I've "graduated" from physical therapy, and I continue in the pool, working on my own. So far so good. I like the pool, I like the workout, and I've gotten to know the group of "regulars" at the therapy pool who come every morning (lucky retired gals) to workout. Most of them are also therapy graduates. We switched my class schedule so that I can continue going to the pool in the morning twice a week. YAY.

Oh, and I have a ton of pictures to post. I'll try to do that tonight after I get home. I'm staying late for a student orientation "mixer" on campus. Yecch. But it gets me out of tomorrow's festivities and therefore I can hang out with hubby for our anniversary!

Posted by caltechgirl at 01:54 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

July 24, 2008

I finally figured it out!

Happy Fun Ball is made of Wonderflonium. That's why you ahouldn't bounce it!

Posted by caltechgirl at 03:41 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

July 25, 2008

RIP, Randy Pausch

The "last lecture" Professor has gone. He passed away this morning at age 47 from the Pancreatic cancer he fought so well and so long. I hope his sons come to understand how much their father's grace and courage meant to so many people.

I can only hope my final lecture teaches half so much.

Below is the entire lecture, all hour and 16 minutes of it.

Posted by caltechgirl at 05:28 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

July 30, 2008

Return of the Boromir

Here's a NEW Boromir plan... since he can't get Ninja Wizards.....

Posted by caltechgirl at 12:53 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

August 02, 2008

People with waaaay to much time on their hands

Courtesy of Dr. Horrible on Twitter..... Laundry Day (sans lyrics)

Posted by caltechgirl at 11:13 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 03, 2008

More Dr. Horrible Goodies

For the musically inclined and for ringtone junkies....

Lots of synth mp3s, suitable for making ringtones here.

Sheet music to Perfect Story and Bad Horse (and mp3 of the Bad Horse ringtone) here.

More fun Dr. Horrible stuff as I find it!

Posted by caltechgirl at 07:45 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Follow the Guerilla Congress on Twitter!-- UPDATED

Even though I know it's little more than a publicity stunt, I appreciate the Republican Congress critters who are trying to do something about the energy price crisis and the economy. They'll be staging phantom sessions throughout the Congressional recess, and you can keep up with what's going on even though C-SPAN won't be covering the proceedings.

This message came tonight via the Facebook Group "Let's Rock The House!":

On Sunday, over thirty Republican Members announced that they would return to the House of Representatives to continue the Guerilla Congress's phantom sessions. Members will continue to discuss the need for an 'all of the above' energy plan with visitors, and keep the pressure on the Democrats to reconvene the House and allow a vote on offshore drilling.

The session is expected to begin around 10 AM Eastern. The designated Twitter hashtag for who are stepping up to get footage from the event is #rth, and Eyeblast.tv has offered to promote any media uploaded to the website. The Twitter feed #dontgo, accessible at http://dontgo.us, will be used by members and other observers to relay information about the event itself outside the Capitol.

If you plan to report from the event, be sure to stick to #rth and upload to Eyeblast.tv. From there, we will need all of you to alert the media about the Eyeblast content and promote it as much as possible.

Be sure to follow http://dontgo.us and Rock the House for continuing developments tomorrow.

You can follow the action via Twitter or on the web here. The revolution may not be televised, but it sure as hell will be Twittered!

UPDATE: Cotillion Sis Nicki has a pretty good list of Congressional Twitterers posted today. Check it out!

Posted by caltechgirl at 11:01 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 04, 2008

The Horrible Childhood of Dr. Horrible

Recently discovered video below the jump!

Read More "The Horrible Childhood of Dr. Horrible" »
Posted by caltechgirl at 11:08 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 16, 2008

An Olympic Quiz

You Are Gymnastics

You are agile, expressive, and precise.

You have the drive to practice until you get something perfectly right.

And you have the confidence to perform difficult moves when under pressure.

What Olympic Sport Are You?

found here

Posted by caltechgirl at 10:35 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

August 18, 2008

The Book

When I was in college, I carried around this little book. It was about 4 x 2.5 inches and it was blank inside. Well, not blank in the plain white paper sense, but it was lined, and those lines were blank. It was paperbound, with a picture of Albert Einstein on the cover. No, I didn't get it to make me feel smarter, I got it because that's what was available at the Caltech Bookstore.

For much of college Einie was my constant companion. Each line of each page held a reminder of something to do, from the utterly mundane (buy a new toothbrush) to the critically important (get letters of recommendation for grad school) it was all in my little book. I used to mark the last completed page with a receipt for a bookmark, and I was religious about not moving it until I had crossed every item off the list as "done" and made a vertical slash through the list on that page.

My roommate did the same thing, and in fact, he's the one that I stole the idea from. But somewhere along the line, somewhere in grad school, I stopped using the book.

I still make a million small lists, email this person, call that person prep this lecture, call the groomer, etc., but they kind of scatter. I have so many lists now, I forget what's written where. On my desk at the moment are about four small papers with notes, a whiteboard full of notes on things I needed to do last semester, and a big scratch sheet with notes and diagrams and 3 different lists from the last week alone.

I need one list. One that I can carry around and edit. It's funny. I mean, I have always had a memory like a steel trap, but these days I am so busy I have reached the working memory buffer limit. Which is seven items, BTW, which is why phone numbers are 7 digits in this country. Really. Ma Bell hired psychologists to determine the best length to remember...

Anyway, because of this I have become an aficionado of Google Calendar. It's easy to edit, smart, and follows me everywhere. And yet my to-do list has taken a step back in technology. My life in a million little pieces. Of paper.

I so need a useful, carry-able to do list again. Einie was awesome. I need to dig out the empty books I have in a box somewhere and start anew. Although, an online list would be helpful as well. One that I can edit and store online, and most importantly access and edit anywhere. Because you never know when I'll remember something I need to do. Anybody know a good one?

The thing is, I don't do PDAs, I never had a smartphone (although that is coming in the next couple of weeks) and the idea of ANOTHER gadget just to keep my to-do list is utterly ridiculous. But you all are super bright, and well, frankly, often a LOT more tech-savvy than I am. So any suggestions you have for a high-tech replacement for good old einie are VERY welcome and will be much appreciated.

Posted by caltechgirl at 01:26 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

August 20, 2008

The Solution

Thanks for all your suggestions.

I think I'm going to go with Toodledoo, at least for the time being. It has a really useful Firefox widget, and seems to be a small enough page to load well on the phone.

But my favorite feature? You can print out the top 110 items on your list and make a little booklet to carry around and cross out. Best of both worlds!

I'll let you know how it goes!

Posted by caltechgirl at 11:26 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

August 25, 2008


I have a new story percolating. My writing process is very similar to Billy Crystal in Throw Momma from the train. I have to have a good opening line.

But it sure as hell isn't "The night was sultry"....

I get the opening and then the story comes from there. I don't usually have a full plot, and certainly not an ending when I start writing. This one is a new twist on a story I've had in mind for over a year now, so maybe it will finally get written...

Last night when I got up to pee in the middle of the night (too much caffeine after 10pm....) a new opening hit me like the proverbial ton of bricks. Except I wasn't much in the mood for writing at 3 am. And now that I have the time and space to write there's something keeping me from doing it. Even though I am still excited about the story.

Arrgh. Self-editing for no reason sucks.

Posted by caltechgirl at 08:07 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

August 28, 2008

The internet f*cking rocks

An internet forum may have saved this beautiful baby's life.

See the discoloration in her left eye? That's caused by retinoblastoma, a deadly and devastating childhood cancer. Her mom was concerned about the discoloration and posted this picture to an internet discussion group she had joined, where another mom recognized it as a possible sign of cancer.
"When 32-year-old Megan Santos of Riverview, Fla., noticed that one of her baby daughter's eyes was a slightly different color than the other, her intuition told her that something was wrong.

Concerned, Santos posted a picture of 1-year-old Rowan Santos on the online pregnancy community BabyFit.com, of which she is a member. The picture clearly showed a hazy, white glow in Rowan's left eye -- an atypical reflection of the camera flash not seen in the infant's other eye.

She soon received a message from Madeleine Robb, another 32-year-old mother living in Stretford, the United Kingdom, encouraging her to ask her doctor about a rare but serious cancer that can bring about such a color difference.

Santos followed Robb's advice. And as it turned out, Santos' post may have well saved her child's life.

"After I put the picture up, she saw it, and she sent me a private e-mail in which she said that Rowan might have retinoblastoma in her left eye," Santos said. "She said, 'Not to worry you, but I think you should look at this Web site.'"

The Web site detailed the condition known as retinoblastoma -- a potentially deadly form of childhood cancer that can affect one or both eyes. Immediately, Santos contacted her doctor. She saw him the next day, on the morning of Aug. 8, and he, in turn, referred her to ophthalmology and cancer specialists.

A battery of scans and other tests revealed that Rowan did, in fact, have a cancerous tumor growing on the retina of her left eye.

"Her prognosis is good, as far as the doctor can tell," Santos said. "[The cancer] had not yet reached her optic nerve, which would have then brought it directly to her brain."
Amazing. It never ceases to amaze me how the interwebtubes bring us close together in ways we would never have imagined before.

If you're so inclined, say a prayer for Rowan, for healing and a happy, healthy long cancer-free life.

Posted by caltechgirl at 11:16 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

September 06, 2008

Surprisingly NOT about politics: Reviewing the Samsung Instinct by Sprint

So it's been a week now, and I haven't yet posted about my new baby.

I'm quite a fan. I must say it is a severe departure from my previous, traditional flip cell phone. There was definitely a learning curve, and I still have scrolling issues, but overall I've learned to use the phone and I love it.

Among the things that took some getting used to was the "click and drag" feature, which is essentially how you receive and end calls. You essentially drag a large button across the screen to a destination which leads to action, rather than tapping. That was a paradigm shift for me.

And there are a few features I miss, such as having a separate ringtone for private or blocked id calls. I also am sad that there's no Google Talk support, although you CAN access Yahoo! Messenger, MSN, and AIM via the web.

I also miss the universal power plug that my old phones had. We had quite a supply of chargers using that interface, but alas, we had to ditch them for new chargers. Ugh. Oh well.

Among the pluses are a large, bright screen which so far is easy to use to select buttons, weblinks, etc., even without using the included stylus. Which reminds me. There was a shitload of swag in the box. Aside from the phone and documentation, there was a pair of headphones that could also be used as a hands-free headset, TWO batteries, a battery charging adapter for the extra battery, the charging cord, a USB cord to attach to a computer, a CD of phone related software, a leather case,a stylus, and a micro SD card with adapter.

The sound is also pretty good. The little stereo speaker can put out a ton of sound. Also, it's really easy to make and upload your own ringtones from your mp3 collection using any of a number of websites. My personal fave of these is mobilereelz.com, which allows you to upload the .mp3 of your choice, edit it to the piece you want for your ringer, and then converts it to the correct file type for your phone and carrier (use M4A for Instinct) with pretty good sound fidelity. For someone who sweated through converting mp3s to to WAV, editing the sound settings, and then converting to qcp and finding an uploader previously, this is SOOOOOOO easy and the ringers come out quite well. I use Audacity (YAY! FREEWARE!) to edit mp3s down to size before uploading them, and then just select all of the uploaded file to be converted.

Dr. Horrible ringtones? You bet.

Speaking of sound, both the regular ear speaker and the speakerphone are clear. I sound good to people who I talk to, and I can hear them clearly. This is also true when using my bluetooth, something that people I know have complained about with regard to the iPhone.

The web is also quite speedy. It hangs noticeably on graphics-heavy pages, and there are several anecdotal stories on the net of pages that REFUSE to load, but I haven't had any of those issues. My biggest net pet peeve is that doesn't seem to want to connect when I want to update my email, but it will receive new messages and vibrate at the MOST inconvenient moment. At least it doesn't ring for new messages while in sleep mode. It does, however, ring for calls in sleep mode.

I know Sprint is trying desperately to develop apps for the Instinct, but so far the pickings are slim. And in some cases, EXPENSIVE. I look forward to the Holidays, when I expect there will be a big push towards getting apps out for all the people who will be getting these new toys for Christmas.

Battery life is better than I expected. I usually charge my phone during one or both halves of my daily commute, and I haven't had any power problems, even with heavy web/text use. I was expecting something more like the iPhone, where keeping a spare battery would be a good idea, but so far so good. If you lay off the web, the battery life seems comparable to a more traditional cell phone.

This is my 6th mobile phone (I got my first celly in 1996), and the 4th Samsung handset in a row. Say what you will about technology companies, but Samsung phones have always been good to me, and I'm hopeful this will live up to the hype.

Posted by caltechgirl at 11:53 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Technology and your candidates

Betanews has summarized (pretty fairly, I might add) the technology issues records of both sides' POTUS and VPOTUS candidates.

Interestingly, Betanews reporter Ed Oswald found that Sarah Palin has championed distance learning programs and tele-medicine development as Governor of Alaska, and has used the internet to make her administration more transparent.

Find the candidates' records here:

John McCain
Sarah Palin

Barack Obama

Joe Biden

h/t Slashdot via Twitter

Posted by caltechgirl at 12:33 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Google Talk for the Instinct

As I said previously, although I LURVE my Samsung Instinct, one of the biggest minuses is that it doesn't yet have instant messaging capability, except via the web, and that Google Talk didn't work at all.

Well, I just discovered that I was wrong. Instinct users who use Google Talk should go here: http://m.heysan.com/ from your phone, click GTalk, and login. It auto-refreshes, displays a custom status, and even uses smilies! Yeah, it's web-based, but I could care less! It looks like GTalk and works like GTalk.

WooHooooooo! i can haz google talk!

h/t icemanj5 posting on this forum

Posted by caltechgirl at 03:50 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

September 09, 2008

LOLcat does Brahms....

Hell, where is they triumph? Death, where is thy sting?

Possibly the funnest part of the Requiem to sing. I mean, who DOESN'T like to scream "HELL" at the top of their lungs?

Posted by caltechgirl at 12:35 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

If the world ends tonight...

It was a pleasure to have known you all.

You see, tonight, just before Midnight (PDT) the CERN laboratory in Switzerland is going to fire up its Large Hadron Collider (LHC) for the very first time.  Some physicists argue that beam collision could be the very end of our existence...DON'T CROSS THE STREAMS, VENKMAN!!!!

But I don't see any stewardesses crying Caltech professors running around jumping out of airplanes and spending millions they don't have on fast cars and flashy bling, so I guess we're all gonna be fine.

So what is the LHC?  According to CERN (which stands for: The European Center for Nuclear Research, just in French):

The LHC is the world's most powerful particle accelerator, producing beams seven times more energetic than any previous machine, and around 30 times more intense when it reaches design performance, probably by 2010. Housed in a 27-kilometre tunnel, it relies on technologies that would not have been possible 30 years ago. The LHC is, in a sense, its own prototype.
CERN technicians have been working on the LHC since construction began on its 27 km-long tunnel in 1983!  Tomorrow morning completes the final stages of preparation, with the beams colliding for the first time.

Extensive studies have been performed to determine whether it's even SAFE to do these experiments, and hundreds of physicists agree that we won't vaporize the universe out of existence at 9:30am CEST (that's Central Europe Summer time).  You can see for yourself here.More on safety considerations here. (sorry, they won't let me embed the video)

If you're so inclined, you can watch the proceedings here, beginning at 8:30am CEST (10:30 PM Pacific)

And if you want to what on Earth they'd make such a thing for, try watching this:

Posted by caltechgirl at 03:31 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

September 10, 2008

On second thought...

Turns out the Earth is safe for another six weeks.  Particle collision won't begin until Oct. 21.

But the beam circulation was a massive success.

Yes, I did stay up and watch it. On Caltech's EVO system, logged in with the rest of the geeks.  At least all the way through beam 1.  I used to be a particle physicist before I decided to spend my life playing with brains.

Posted by caltechgirl at 07:41 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

September 11, 2008

Following the meme

Because everyone I know has done it (or so it seems)

1. My uncle once: handed me his fishing pole and told me to watch it. And I caught the biggest fish of the day! (ok, not my uncle, cousin actually, but I always called him uncle.  Still do!)

2. Never in my life: would I have imagined all the things I have been able to do and all the people I have met

3. When I was five: I started Kindergarten for the second time

4. High school was: my intellectual playground

5. I will never forget: how I felt the moment I knew I was in love with my DH

6. Once I met: Stephen Hawking on the Olive walk at Caltech

7. There's this girl I know: who has a license plate frame on her car that says "My other car is a Zamboni"

8. Once, at a bar: my dog nearly had beer spilled all over her

9. By noon, I'm usually: pissed off at work

10. Last night: I went to bed early

11. If only I had: enough money to be secure and pay the bills, then I'd take time off

12. Next time I go to church: it will likely be because someone got married or died or had a kid

13. What worries me most: is being alone

14. When I turn my head left I see: my Princess (the older one) and the back yard through the window

15. When I turn my head right I see: the doorway, and through that the hallway and the bathroom door

16. You know I'm lying when: trust me, you won't.

17. What I miss most about the Eighties is: time to play with my Barbies

18. If I were a character in Shakespeare I'd be: Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing

19. By this time next year: I would like to be healthier

20. A better name for me would be: The F***ing Bitch.  Ask my husband.  I have also been known as "Miss Einstein"

21. I have a hard time understanding: Liberals.  Seriously.  Did most of you swallow your brains?

22. If I ever go back to school: it will be tomorrow.  For work.

23. You know I like you if: I keep talking to you, or more usually, if  I cook for you.

24. If I ever won an award, the first person I would thank would be: My husband, then my parents.

25. Take my advice: don't waste your time doing a job you hate

26. My ideal breakfast is: Two words: Ba. Con.

27. A song I love but do not have is: there MUST be something from the 80s

28. If you visit my hometown, I suggest you: visit the Fresno State Farm Market and buy some wine!

29. Why won't people: get a frigging clue

30. If you spend a night at my house: be prepared to have dogs sleep in your bed or stand guard at the door

31. I'd stop my wedding so: all the late people could be seated.  Armenian Standard time and all.

32. The world could do without: Idiots

33. I'd rather lick the belly of a cockroach than: be late

34. My favourite blonde(s) : my husband and my mother, both childhood blondes

35. Paper clips are more useful than: dirt

36. If I do anything well it's: listen to other people's problems

37. I can't help but: get pissed at idiots.  Especially DRIVING idiots

38. I usually cry: when I am really pissed off

39. My advice to my child/nephew/niece: learn from your mistakes and let others do the same

40. And by the way: You are born with millions more neurons than you will ever use, your brain is bigger at 40 weeks gestation than at any other point in your life!  I guess it really is all downhill from there.....

Feel free to jump in and try it as well!

Posted by caltechgirl at 02:03 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

September 20, 2008

It's articles like this that prove the Onion's writers have better journalism skills than the MSM's

In Today's Onion:

EPA Shuts Down Local Ghost-Entrapment Business

NEW YORK --Citing unsafe practices and potential toxic contamination, the Environmental Protection Agency shut down a small ghost- entrapment operation in downtown Manhattan today, and had four of the business' spectral-containment specialists arrested in the process.

According to EPA agent Walter Peck, employees of the company located in an old fire station in the Tribeca neighborhood of New York had repeatedly refused to grant him access to their storage facility, which posed a health hazard to the surrounding community.

"The facility in question unlawfully used public utilities for the purpose of non-sanctioned waste-handling, and was in direct violation of the Environmental Protection Act," Peck said. "Additionally, this company possessed several unlicensed portable nuclear accelerators that were frequently discharged within mere feet of civilians."

Some who witnessed the arrests felt that Peck had launched a personal crusade against the business, possibly due to a previous verbal altercation with one of the ghost-removal professionals, former parapsychology research professor Dr. Peter Venkman.

"It definitely seemed as though Agent Peck had an ax to grind," said Consolidated Edison technician Brian Holmes, who was ordered by Peck to turn off the containment system located in the basement of the company's headquarters. "I had never seen anything even resembling that type of equipment before. I was extremely hesitant to shut it down, but I didn't want to lose my job."

Though its incarcerated employees were unavailable for comment, the company released a statement denying any wrongdoing. The statement also repudiated claims that those associated with the spectral-entrapment operation were afraid of any individual ghost, and went on to say that the act of capturing said ghosts simply made them "feel good."

Read the rest, and be sure you put down your drink before you read the last paragraph!

Posted by caltechgirl at 04:56 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 23, 2008

The New Jolly Green Giant

I had to steal this one from Jane.  It's genius.

Meet Broc Obama:

Posted by caltechgirl at 06:21 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

September 24, 2008

I never thought I'd meet a piece of bacon I didn't like

But then I found THIS

And seriously, y'all, yuck!

I love bacon, and I love my Tiara sisters, but I refuse to combine the two and wear the "Pork Princess" Tiara....

h/t BoingBoing

Posted by caltechgirl at 09:52 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

October 16, 2008

An unsolicited endorsement

I love newegg.  They helped me replace my laptop in May, and courtesy of a great deal in today's newsletter, they made another sale in our house, DH's new laptop.

About 18  months ago his Dell laptop ceased being a laptop when the monitor crapped out.  He's been tethered to a monitor ever since, forcing him to sit in the hottest/coldest (depending on the season) spot in the house to get work done

Ever since then, I have been trying to save $$ to replace it.  He would have had it in May, except, well, MY laptop was absconded with....

The customer service folks at newegg really helped me keep my cool with that deal, because my credit card kept trying to reject the purchase, delaying the shipping of my beloved new toy.  But they kept plugging away at it, helping me overcome each of the barriers that the credit card company put up, and getting my laptop here in a reasonable time, rushing the pack/ship so I would get my laptop sooner.  It doesn't hurt that they're just down the 605 in Whittier, so I could almost go pick it up faster, and UPS gets here a day sooner than predicted (usually).

In any case, the good folks at newegg have been excellent and I'm happy to recommend them if you're in the computers and accessories market.

Posted by caltechgirl at 10:52 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

October 17, 2008

More unsolicited endorsement

The laptop arrived TODAY.  Ordered yesterday morning.  Huzzah for Newegg and UPS, although, seriously, the driver could have hidden the package a bit better, but no harm no foul.

Posted by caltechgirl at 09:35 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 29, 2008

Happy Blogiversary to me!

Four years (and over 300,000 hits!) ago today, after being dragged kicking and screaming, I opened up shop here at Not Exactly Rocket Science.

I'd been commenting and quasi-blogging for a couple of years by then, and a bunch of people were constantly on my case to just shut up on their bandwidth and get my own.

So I did. Obligatory sucky first post here. Yeah, I know it says 10/30, but trust me, it was 10/29 when I posted it.  Blogger sucks.

And this is the result.  The world has changed a lot over the last for years, and so has my life, but the blog has been a real constant.

So thanks, y'all for making my life a lot more interesting and putting up with me virtually for the past 4 years!
Posted by caltechgirl at 09:57 AM | Comments (21) | TrackBack

November 09, 2008

Heaven, thy name is Bacon Apple Pie

A few weeks ago Instapundit posted an item about a bacon apple pie featured at Amazon's al dente blog.  The pie, which was originally created and made by Eli, of the EliCooks blog, is a somewhat traditional apple pie, except for the bacon crumbles inside and the lattice top made of bacon.

Ba-con.  Mmmmmmmm.  Here at Not Exactly Rocket Science, bacon is our favorite food, hands down.  Nothing beats bacon for tastiness or indulgence.  In fact, I prefer to eat bacon stuffed bacon with a side of bacon for breakfast if I can.  Yum!

Bacon is Meat Candy.

And don't tell me about the cholesterol and all that.  I know that.  That's why I only actually eat bacon every so often, and it is truly a special treat.

Anyway, as my birthday is coming up, and bacon is well and truly my favorite treat, I thought I'd give this one a shot in the hopes of coming up with some birthday non-cake sweets.  I modified the original recipe a bit, as I don't have any Cinnamon Bacon or scotch in the house and we're not big apple/maple combo fans....(see the recipe at Eli Cooks)

Here's my version, based on Eli's recipe:

CTG's Happy Birthday Bacon Apple Pie

1 9 in pie crust (I ended up making 2 pies because I had enough filling left over, YMMV*)
4 strips bacon, cooked crispy (NOT burnt) and crumbled (I used the microwave)
5-7 medium to large tart apples, peeled, cored and sliced (I used Pink Ladies)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice (the original calls for nutmeg and cloves separately, but PPS is nutmeg, mace, cloves, and cinnamon. WAY easier)**
1/2 tsp cinnamon **
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp plus 1 tsp cornstarch
2+ Tbsp Butter, in small chunks
6-12 slices bacon***, halved lengthwise (make sure you get some fat in each half!)

*Your Mileage May Vary
** PPS and cinnamon are pretty subjective tastes, add more or less depending on your preference.  Taste an apple slice once everything is mixed and before adding to the crust.
*** you'll need 6-7 slices (12-14 halves) for the lattice of one pie, about 12 slices for 2 pies

Note from Eli: The quality of the bacon here matters. You want a bacon with a good flavor when fried and eaten alone, because that's almost what you have on top of the pie. I should also admit that I used store-bought pie crust. Honestly, I think the stuff you buy in rolls in the fridge case is almost as good as home made and a hell of a lot easier.

I concur. Save some time, buy a good pie crust. Trader Joes has a fine one.

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spread the pie crust in a 9 in pie pan and leave about 1/2 inch overhanging edges. Sprinkle about 1/3 of the bacon crumbles on the bottom of the crust.

Peel (if desired), core, and slice the apples. Mix together the apple slices, remaining bacon crumbles, brown and white sugar, PPS, cinnamon, salt, vanilla, and cornstarch. Spread over the bacon in the pie crust. Break the butter into small chunks and place on the top of the apple mixture, spread evenly apart.

Butter plus bacon may be too heavy duty for some. You can leave this out altogether if it seems too fatty.  But the pie has a tendency to be drier than most because of the lack of a true top crust, so the butter helps. If you like the butter, be sure to add enough. 2 Tbsp may be less than optimal for your pie.

Arrange the half-strips of bacon over the top of the pie crust in a lattice, then fold the edges of the pie crust over the bacon and crimp. This is crucial because the bacon will shrink as it cooks.

Another Note from Eli: The bacon lattice really doesn't want to stay tucked in around the edges of the pie. Be sure to include extra bacon sticking off the edge of the pie and tuck it down the inside of the crust to help mitigate this. Also, having a larger rim of pie dough to extend a bit further toward the center of the pie would probably help.

Place the pie tin on a cookie sheet and bake in the center of the oven for about 50-60 minutes, until the bacon on top is crisp, the crust is golden-brown and apple slices are tender.  My two pies, on a dark cookie sheet, took about 55 minutes and were done perfectly. Again, YMMV*.

My yield was two pies, 6-8 slices each, from the above recipe.  Try it warm with GOOD French Vanilla ice cream.  You'll think you died and went to heaven.

Be sure you have enough bacon. One package wasn't enough for lattice for two pies, although the recipe made enough filling for two (or perhaps I had too many apples) but there should be plenty of slices in one package of bacon for just one pie.

Sorry for the lack of pix. The pie came out a bit ugly without enough lattice on this go-round. Maybe next time!

Posted by caltechgirl at 01:44 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

November 10, 2008

Crazy Happy Birthday!

It just goes to show you never know.  I was planning on a really low key birthday full of meetings and rehearsal and maybe squeezing in a trip to the pool this afternoon.

I should have known better.  I woke up to an Instalanche here, and when I walked into my class, I found this:

On the White Board

My students conspired against me!

What's more, they got me a card and TWO cakes.  And they sang Happy Birthday twice.  I was floored.  I hope they don't think this is going to raise their grades....

Here's the Chocolate Oreo Cake:

Oreo Chocolate Cake

and the Fruit Tart:

Fresh Fruit Tart

What a great birthday morning!

Posted by caltechgirl at 11:14 AM | Comments (19) | TrackBack

November 19, 2008

I've had a few days like this, myself

from PhD Comics:

Posted by caltechgirl at 10:34 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

November 30, 2008

Emerging from Black Friday

So Black Friday has come and gone, and I am nearly done with the Holiday shoppage once again.  Other than stocking stuffers and a possible gift or two for the parents or the Hub, the only people I have left to shop for are my 9 year old nephew and my 6 year old niece.  Both of whom are super bright and super picky. Any ideas?

I did extremely well, shopping-wise, saving more than I have spent so far by wisely shopping particular sales and comparing the ads on Thursday evening, post-turkey.

By 9 am we had been to 7 stores and it was time to call it a day.  Not bad for a morning's work.

Of course, some of the shopping was done earlier, courtesy of Amazon, Woot, and Etsy.

I can wholeheartedly recommend Etsy.  Handcrafted, unique, everything you can imagine, and I've had nothing but good experiences with all of the sellers I've dealt with.  Many of your favorite bloggers also sell their crafty output at Etsy.  Look them up!

What were you up to post-Turkey day?

Posted by caltechgirl at 12:35 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

December 03, 2008

Happy Holidays...Even for Atheists!

Here's the Atheism Song

For all those little atheist kids who have no songs of their own:

And of course, because I can, here's the original Chanukah song:

and Part 2:

Posted by caltechgirl at 12:17 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

December 09, 2008

It's officially the holidays... Part Deux

Today was the first $tarbuck$ peppermint mocha of the year.  I am generally NOT a $tarbucks fan, but I am such a peppermint whore that you will find me in there at least a  dozen times over the holidays.  Particularly after shopping at Target in Clovis with my Mom.  They have an awesome $tarbucks.

Generally, I love the holidays.  The cold weather, fog, smell of pine trees.  It just makes me happy.  The cards and silly decorations.  Like Helen, it looks like Santa Claus threw up in my house most years.

This year, I can barely get up the motivation to finish addressing Christmas Cards.  I still don't have a tree.  The decorations are down from the attic, but they're just sitting in boxes in the front room.

I have no idea where my motivation went, but I suspect it's somewhere up auto-immune creek.  I feel like I am dragging myself through each day, just trying to accomplish what I can.  Without my faithful to-do list, I'd be sunk, as I seem to have no mind or memory for the things I need to accomplish.  Forget meetings and appointments, without my calendar, I'd be MIA all the time.

Even my students and coworkers are noticing the drag.  I'm usually up and about, dropping in to say hello to people, checking up on my students while they're studying.  But for the last several weeks, I've been content to sit in my office and try to work.  Meanwhile, people walk by and ask my what's wrong.  Clearly there is something down.

I mean, it's fucking Christmas.  My favorite time of the year.  The month I spend the other 11 looking forward to.  And I don't seem to be able to give a rat's ass.

I just don't get it.  I should be over the fucking moon, right?  I mean, in the last 6 months I've lost close to 30 pounds and I am down 1-2 sizes.  I have actually been exercising MORE than the recommended amount and LIKING it.  For a while I had more energy and the insomnia was gone and things were good.  Now, the insomnia is a joke, as I could sleep 15 hours a day and still be tired.

Now, before you all tell me what I should and shouldn't be doing, my Rheumatologist knows all about most of this, and I do have a referral to an endocrinologist so we can try to get to the bottom of this.  In February.

Until then, I'm just going to have to keep kicking myself in the ass and reminding myself how awesome life is, and just keep wishing for snow.

I think some snow would help a lot.

Posted by caltechgirl at 11:38 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

December 10, 2008

No, you're not seeing things

Given my utter lack of Christmas cheer, I thought I might brighten things up with a return visit from the Snowfolks of No Evil, who some of you may remember from a couple of years back.

Boy, CSS is just like riding a bicycle... I haven't played with the site design in a while, and I was afraid I'd screw it up royal. Especially since I went from 2 columns to three since the Snowfolks last came out to play.

They need names, by the way. Any suggestions?

So enjoy the holiday theme. At least there's some snow in my virtual space....

Posted by caltechgirl at 11:36 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

December 11, 2008

I think we have a winner

The Snowfolks of No Evil, in an ironic twist, shall henceforth be known as Penny, Billy, and Hammer.

Notice that the "Corporate Tool" one even has a tie.  Nice touch, I thought.

Congrats to Sleepy Beth for suggesting the winning trio of names!

BTW, if you don't get it, you REALLY MUST go here.

Posted by caltechgirl at 01:40 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

December 15, 2008

From the Why Me? file...

This morning I go out to the car to go to work, and what do I find?  An inch and a half of standing water in the driver's seat.

Either the seals around the sunroof are dead, or someone left it cracked.  Likely me.


One seat cover and two bath towels later, the seat was usable, and the headliner and flip-down sunshade on the driver's side were mostly dry.  Oh, and the carpet too.

It remains to be seen whether it was negligence or maintenance that caused my morning freak out.

Either way, definitely NOT the way to get my Christmas cheer going.

I had been doing pretty well, too.  Christmas cards going out, lights hung all over the house, wreaths, I was getting there.

So I treated myself to Peppermint Mocha #2 while I picked up a $tarbucks gift card for our gift exchange this afternoon.

That helped.

Posted by caltechgirl at 03:44 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

December 18, 2008

I had a Bob and Tom moment

For Ben, who totally understands why:

I really need to get out those Planet Bob and Tom CDs. "The OJ Simpson Christmas Album" is appropriate for this Christmas, don't you think?

h/t GOC

Posted by caltechgirl at 02:40 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

January 04, 2009

So I was totally going to tweet this

But then I realized 140 characters just won't cut it.

Today has been busy.  I finally (after 10 days of snot bombs!) felt up to leaving the house.  Which I suppose is a good thing since I have to actually go to work again in about 30 hours.

I was shocked that Costco was nearly EMPTY.  I mean, there were PARKING PLACES in the lot.  We didn't have to stand in line at the checkout, either.  I mean, we walked right up and put our vast quantities of meat and some garbage bags and soda right on the belt. I'm still not sure what factors contributed to this.  It was 11:30 AM on a Saturday, normally MADHOUSE time at our Costco.  I'm guessing it was a combination of post-holiday malaise, hangovers, and too much holiday spending.  Whatever the reason, I was loving it.  Especially since Costco has been much more crowded in the last several months as people search for a deal. We even ordered our new eyeglasses at the optical department without more than a 5 minute wait for the dude.  The longest wait (not surprisingly) was at the gas station.

The dearth of shoppers was also in evidence at TJs, which was our next stop.  I was really surprised.  This is sort of a wake up and realign with reality weekend in Pasadena, with the Rose Festivities ending and people about to send their children back to school.  Again, I was glad to take advantage of the easy parking and short lines.

Later, we watched some of Serenity on SciFi and I realized I can never watch it again with the same appreciation I had before.  For two reasons.  1) I still harbor a grudge against Joss for killing Wash.  Seeing Penny's death in Dr. Horrible, and my non-reaction to it makes me even more pissed that he killed off Wash. and 2) Nathan Fillion is seriously Captain Hammer now and forever more.

Pathetically profound, no?

I have an awesome smelling pot roast (what little I can smell) going in the crockpot to use up some leftover Guinness and wine from Wednesday.

I had forgotten how much I love to cook.  It has been so long since I felt up to really cooking.  And yeah, I know the crockpot isn't really cooking, but considering that the best I've been up to for the last year or so, with notable exceptions, involves either the toaster or the microwave, it's a big step forward.  I even have some notion of making a few batches of jam tomorrow.  We'll see.

I have dozens of pictures to download off the camera and upload.  Stay tuned for updates on that, too.

Posted by caltechgirl at 12:10 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

January 20, 2009

I am not among the head-burying ostriches

Yes, I am going to watch the festivities tomorrow.

I am going to watch the O-bots cheer as their messiah of the new raises his right hand and takes the same oath George Washington did, using the bible of Abraham Lincoln.

Folks, like it or not this is our new President.  Hail the peaceful transition of power so rare elsewhere, and common enough here that we take it for granted, don't ignore it like it will go away.

It's not going away for four more years.   I for one can't hold my breath that long under the sand.

I am going to watch and rant and yell obscenities at the TV, at the idiots who don't remember the past as they bow down and worship The One.  I am also going to cheer the new President and enjoy the presentations of the Inaugural Parade.

Because really folks, this is it.  It's our history, like it or not, and we can be there for it, or we can pretend it didn't happen.  I'm of the opinion that the revolution WILL be televised.  And YouTubed.  And I'd prefer to be able to talk about it firsthand anyway.

I don't blame those of you on media blackout.  I get it.  I feel you.  But I just can't help but think it's another form of denial.  And I can't be in denial for 4 more years.

Posted by caltechgirl at 12:22 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

January 29, 2009

Pictures and stuff

Lots of new pics on the Flickr page.  Including Flea performing with the Caltech Jazz bands (and our own Kjerstin, too!) and lots of glorious jam/marmalade food pRon.

Like this:

Winter Pear Apricot Jam

Posted by caltechgirl at 08:38 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 04, 2009

What do Klingons and Toilet Paper have in common?

Evidently you find both in a 7-11 in Colorado Springs.

Colorado Springs police are looking for a man who hit two 7-Eleven convenience stores early Wednesday, armed with a Klingon sword.

The first robbery was reported at 1:50 a.m., at 145 N Spruce St. The clerk told police a white man in his 20s, wearing a black jacket, blue jeans and wearing a black mask, entered the store with a weapon the clerk recognized from the Star Trek TV series.

That weapon was a Bat'leth, a crescent-shaped Klingon blade.

Now that's some serious Bij!

I'm not sure which is worse, using the bat'leth to rob the 7-11 or knowing its name, as both clerks evidently did.

Or maybe that I knew how to spell it and the reporter clearly doesn't.

Scroll down and check out the comments on the news article.  Pretty funny stuff, especially if you know some Klingon....

h/t Stacy (via twitter)

Posted by caltechgirl at 08:09 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

February 11, 2009

Today's moment of Zen

There Will Be Rest
by Sara Teasdale

There will be rest, and sure stars shining
Over the roof-tops crowned with snow,
A reign of rest, serene forgetting,
The music of stillness holy and low.

I will make this world of my devising
Out of a dream in my lonely mind,
I shall find the crystal of peace, -above me

Stars I shall find.
(right click and save)

Posted by caltechgirl at 10:22 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 13, 2009

Unexpected Zen

I was hoping to post a video of Sunny Came Home for today's Zen.  So I went looking on YouTube.  Where I found this.  I love how the music fits with the video, and well, the song definitely applies to Hermione.  Don't fuck with her.

Pretty unexpectedly awesome, except the whole Hermione needs to get with Harry ending.  I always knew she'd end up with Ron....

Posted by caltechgirl at 07:24 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

March 11, 2009

May the Fleece be with You

Shamelessly ripped off from Jimbo of the Great Farookin' Hair™

Posted by caltechgirl at 10:28 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

March 13, 2009

Happy Pi Day 2009!

3.14  Enjoy some pi(e)!

And Happy Birthday Albert Einstein!  Today would be # 130!

Posted by caltechgirl at 11:18 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

May 16, 2009

Picture Pages!

Lots of new pics up at Flickr! Including from my recent zoo trip with my students.

Posted by caltechgirl at 04:46 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Picture Pages!

Lots of new pics up at Flickr! Including from my recent zoo trip with my students.

Posted by caltechgirl at 04:46 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

June 03, 2009

Theme for June Gloom?

Shannon's latest post (and BTW, still so totally weird to call her Shannon in "public") speaks of the music of our lives, songs and moments that go together, pieces of time and melody that weave together to calm, cajole, soothe, or enchant the soul.

There are many songs that speak to me, too.  Songs for particular occasions, for soothing, for sleeping, for screaming along in the car in rotten LA rush hour.

I started my own list, every one of these songs has a meaning for me; a time, a place, a person, a feeling. I was going to follow Shannon's example, but then I realized most of the explanations are "you had to be there" kinds of things, so I thought I'd just write them out, and let you have the fun of guessing.

Or just listening.  It's kind of the soundtrack of my life.

In no particular order, then:

1. Sarah McLachlan: Angel (and bonus: The GooGoo Dolls: Iris)
2. Barenaked Ladies: Lovers in a Dangerous Time
3. Chess: One Night in Bangkok
4. Bonnie Raitt: Something to Talk About (and bonus: The Alan Parsons Project: Eye in the Sky)
5. Ace of Base: The Sign (and bonus: Jann Arden: Insensitive)
6. Nina Gordon: Tonight and the Rest of My Life
7. Johnny Preston: Running Bear (Double Bonus!! The Beatles: Maxwell's Silver Hammer and The Rolling Stones: Mother's Little Helper, I could add about 8 more here, as well)
8. Jo Dee Messina: Heads Carolina, Tails California
9. The Wallflowers: The Difference
10. Train: Meet Virginia
11. Semisonic: All About Chemistry
12. Barenaked Ladies: It's All Been Done (this is a great cover)
13. Clint Black and Lisa Hartman Black: Something that We Do
14. Spin Doctors: Little Miss Can't Be Wrong
15. Shawn Colvin: Sunny Came Home
16. The Indigo Girls: Galileo
17. James Taylor: Carolina on My Mind Sorry for the poor quality, I chose this clip for sentimental reasons.
18. Paul Simon: Graceland
19. Chris LeDoux and Garth Brooks: What'cha Gonna do with a Cowboy?
20. Mazzy Star: Fade Into You

Some of my favorites, some not so favorites, and several I didn't include.  I figured 20 was enough to keep you busy...

I apologize for the quality/ content of some of the videos, I was going for the music and some didn't have a lot of choices.

Extra Credit for anyone who can tell me why you'd never expect to see the songs from #7 double bonus on any of my song lists!

Posted by caltechgirl at 09:51 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

June 22, 2009

Reflections on the side of a van

So I was driving in to work this morning when I passed a van which looked, from a distance, like the windows had seen better days.  Driving closer, I realized the windows were covered in writing, white shoe polish spelling out "Congratulations, Edwin Class of 2009" on the back, and "Proud Parent of Edwin, Class of 2009" on each side.
My first thought was "wow, Edwin must be so embarrassed."  But then I realized how proud his parents must be, to be driving around with that message shining from their windows at least a week, maybe more, after graduation.  And I realized that I was proud of him too, whoever he is, and what an immense accomplishment it is to graduate from high school.  It's something took for granted.  Of course I would finish school.  And college.  And grad school.  Been there, done that.  And of course I can't leave.  Still at school, although they pay me here :-)
But making it through 12 years of school is actually a lot of work.  Especially here in LA where some kids routinely dodge bullets on the way to and from school, and fights on school grounds that are just as deadly.  And let's not forget peer pressure, to use drugs and alcohol, to have too much sex too soon, and all the rest.  Kinda makes it hard to stay on track.

So here's to Edwin, and all of the other Class of 2009 graduates.  Good Luck, and keep up the good work.

Posted by caltechgirl at 11:31 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

June 23, 2009

24 hours of Kindle

Well, folks, it's been 24 hours since the Kindle DX arrived, and I have to say, it is worth every stinkin' penny I paid for it.

I've seen a lot of crappy reviews.  Whiny ones, too, complaining that the PDF support is minimal and that it's a pain to hold the bigger frame of the DX, and blah blah blah.  None of that is true.

After a full day of use, I can report that the only things I dislike about the Kindle DX are kind of minor.  First, there are no folders.  Yes you can organize your files by date, type, and author, but there is no true file structure to help you keep things organized.  This would really be helpful for those of us who carrying around a lot of PDF files.  They get overwhelming fast.  The other thing I am not a fan of is the robot voice of the text to speech feature.  Either of them, for that matter.  You get your choice of male or female. I'm not sure how it is with standard English texts, using only simple words, but you start throwing in complex sentence structure and foreign words, and the robot gets lost.  All in all, though, it's still smarter than I thoguht it would be.

The Kindle has a number of uses.  First and foremost, it's a LOT lighter to carry than some of the books I have already downloaded.  Second, it's useful for a lot of tasks that would otherwise require a lot of paper: PDFs, Cookbooks (just take care to keep the Kindle clean and dry inthe kitchen!), and sheet music to name a few.  You can also annotate any text file, so taking notes during rehearsal ought to be a SNAP with the Kindle DX.  Text to Speech also makes a great alternative to books on tape (CD?) in the car.

The e-ink is another awesome thing.  It's like a real page, so reading outside is totally possible, unlike working on most laptops.  In fact, I spent much of yesterday evening sitting on the patio with the Kindle DX until it got too breezy to stay out.  Long before the sun went down. Unfortunately.

My favorite feature, though, I think, is the free wireless internet access (thanks, Amazon!).  It's Sprint 3G (where available) and not only can you download books from Amazon (many are free!), but you can also surf the web.  I think the web browser on the Kindle, while clearly limited, is still MILES beyond the one on my Instinct.  Not as good as my trusty ol' Firefox, though.  Maybe on the next one.  Several popular sites are pre-bookmarked, and you can add any number of your own, too.  You can also download files.  Kindle compatible files are automatically displayed on your home page by type, title, and author.  There are a number of sites out there that offer free e-Books that display on the Kindle and are available for Text- to- Speech as well.

The only feature I haven't played with is the mp3 player.  I'd rather listen to the books for the nonce.  The speakers are better than I expected, though nothing fancy, so I assume sound quality isn't terrible.

It has been quite an experience so far, from the moment I laid eyes on the box.  Even the packaging says "this is something special."

This is what arrived:

yeah, and the junk mail, too. 

But it was soon apparent that this is no ordinary box:

the inside was pretty too:

And it's so awesome.  Even the screensavers are cool:

There's a couple more pictures of the Kindle on Flickr!, including a very smart sticker and also some new jam and garden shots.

Posted by caltechgirl at 10:30 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

June 30, 2009

Walking uphill in the snow both ways

At the risk of sounding like the proverbial old grandpa, kids these days have it too easy.  Case in point: a 13-year-old's review of the now THIRTY YEAR OLD Sony Walkman.

It took me three days to figure out that there was another side to the tape. That was not the only naive mistake that I made; I mistook the metal/normal switch on the Walkman for a genre-specific equaliser, but later I discovered that it was in fact used to switch between two different types of cassette.
Yeah, and the cell phones were the size of bricks and had batteries like the one in your mom's car.

Can you believe this kid?  Or his parents for that matter?  You mean to tell me that his mom and dad have never showed him a cassette tape?

Later, he whines about having to listen to the tape all the way through because there "is no shuffle,"and breaking the cassette"
Its a function that, on the face of it, the Walkman lacks. But I managed to create an impromptu shuffle feature simply by holding down "rewind" and releasing it randomly - effective, if a little laboured.

I told my dad about my clever idea. His words of warning brought home the difference between the portable music players of today, which don't have moving parts, and the mechanical playback of old. In his words, "Walkmans eat tapes". So my clumsy clicking could have ended up ruining my favourite tape, leaving me music-less for the rest of the day


The ignorance of this kid is breathtaking.  He's 13, meaning he was born in 1995 or 1996, depending on when his birthday is.  My 1995 car came with a tape deck in the top model stereo.  You could not GET a CD player in that car, and yet this kid acts as if the cassette is some kind of dinosaur.

And they gave HIM a platform?  If all 13-year-olds are like this, I am frankly scared.

Get a life, kid, and pull your selfish head out of your own ass and pay attention to the whole world around you.  Not just your easy little toys.

Posted by caltechgirl at 12:45 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

July 29, 2009

Hating dook is really all that matters

Even in the NY Times:

"At the University of North Carolina, there are many different types of people: frat boys and flamboyant gays, football players and math geniuses, evangelical Christians and newly converted Buddhists; but it is safe to assume that all of us agree about what's most important: hating Duke."
In this student essay about the community that is the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, sophomore Emily Banks spells it out. It doesn't matter who you are or where you're from or what you believe, as long as you hate dook. It's a feeling, an experience, a sense of community: the Carolina family.

And no, it's really not all about hating dook. That just comes with the territory. But I do have to say that having been a part of many university communities, the UNC family really is a family, with its own community and values and sense of belonging. Even as a yankee-Californian-grad-student-transplant, I have no qualms feeling an equal member of the Tar-Heel-born, Tar-Heel-bred set. And sure as hell, when I die, I'm planning on being a Tar Heel dead.

I can empathize with Emily.  I came from a school with no sports and a bunch of nerds too (Caltech, you know?) and entered this bizarro world with green trees and flowers and HUMIDITY and gods on the basketball courts.  I mean, have you ever seen the Dean Smith Center (click for the picture)?  If you didn't know what you were looking at you would think it was one of those Megachurches.  No kidding.  It didn't take long for Carolina to embrace me with both arms.  Probably the second best desicion of my life was to go to UNC.  The place and the people changed me in ways I am only now beginning to understand.  And like Emily, it's a place I love with my whole heart.  Something I never thought I'd find anywhere but here.

Posted by caltechgirl at 11:28 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

August 04, 2009

GoogleVoice for military families

One of my most favorite new technologies (not that new really, but new to me) is Google Voice. If you haven't heard of Google Voice, it's a service that lets you 1) receive all your calls and texts from a single number (and rings whichever number you designate) and 2) transcribes voicemail to text or lets you listen to it online. You choose the number from a list they provide, and you may choose any area code or locality you like, so it can be a toll-free phone call for your family and friends.

It's actually quite convenient, and you can give people just one number and they can reach you anytime.  Especially if you're like me and drop the cell phone next to the front door and spend the rest of the evening in another room.... Or if you're like me and people don't want to call you because your cell is a different area code...

It's also a wonderful resource for anyone far from home with limited access to a phone, since you get voicemail directly over the internet, just like checking your email.  Especially for our overseas troops.

Which is why I was especially pleased to see this morning that Google is offering Google Voice subscriptions (free) to anyone with a .mil email address that activate in 24 hours. Army Live posted it this morning. In general, you have to request an "invite" to activate the service, and that can take several weeks.  This invitation would activate in 24 hours for military personnel.

For more information, the Google Voice info page is here and the invitation link for service members is here.

If you or someone you know can take advantage of this service, please do, and let Google know how much you appreciate what they're doing for our troops!

h/t Jeff Quinton (via twitter)

Posted by caltechgirl at 07:42 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 10, 2009

The Blue Screen of Death comes to us all in time

 But sometimes we win. I feel like my little Vaio has cheated death.

So my battery detached from my wonderful Sony VAIO laptop for 2 seconds and it died. DIED. And when I turned her back on, I got the dreaded BSOD (Blue Screen of Death). Except I couldn't see the son of a bitch. It flashed and reloaded.

I could tell from initial googling that the problem required a Windows XP boot disk. Problem 1: Where TF is the boot disk? The laptop didn't come with one, and although I'm sure I made one, I can't find it. And conveniently, MicroHELL only has a FLOPPY DISK download for XP recovery.

But I got one, courtesy of google. Here: http://www.download3000.com/download-xp-recovery-cd-maker-count-reg-17676.html

Just save the .ZIP file and extract the .ISO file to a CD. VOILA! Boot CD! (make sure you have plenty of blank CDs, I had to make about 4 copies since my laptop wouldn't recognize a CD again once I had popped it out to try to restart)

Ok, so once the boot CD is in the drive, start 'er up. Press any key to boot from CD. I didn't have a BIOS problem booting from CD, but it's possible others might. After the Recovery CD is running, then I loaded the Recovery Console.

I never realized just how much DOS I've forgotten in 15 years. The recovery console is a modified DOS shell.

Anyway, I tried a bunch of things and realized I wasn't loaded into the shell correctly. Crap. Must freeze BSOD. So I looked it up. To freeze the BSOD so you can read it and copy down the error codes, I had to open up the startup options menu (held down F8 at the VAIO logo) and select "Disable Automatic Restart on System Failure".

That was the easiest thing I had to do. Now that I had BSOD stopped, I could read it.

UNMOUNTABLE_BOOT_ DEVICE STOP: 0x000000ED (0x8A789030, 0xC0000006, 0x00000000, 0x00000000)

And back to google, which took me to three useful places.

First, here: http://msgoodies.blogspot.com/2007/08/fixing-unmountablebootvolume-on-windows.html, where the computer in question had an identical error,

and MicroHell: http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;297185

and finally: http://www.smartcomputing.com/editorial/article.asp?article=articles%2F2006%2Fs1712%2F08s12%2F08s12.asp

The last is written for non-geeks. Probably the most useful link.

Based on all of the sites I visited between 9:30 when it fried and 2:30 when it got fixed, I decided to try a solution that was a hybrid of all three suggestions.

First, I ran chkdsk /r on the root directory (c:). After that finished, I basically followed the steps in #3 above.

However, this left me with 3 possible boot choices. Annoying and a mess waiting to happen. So I edited the new and improved boot.ini through Windows once everything else was working.

See here for instructions: http://vlaurie.com/computers2/Articles/bootini.htm

And finally, 5 hours later it seems to be working again, no losses. Tomorrow, ASAP, I will be doing a backup session to prevent the heart attack that was imminent for about 3 of those 5 hours.

Posted by caltechgirl at 02:17 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

November 07, 2009

iTunes 9 DOESN'T HAVE to suck -here's a fix!

Are you like the millions of other iTunes users who have been brought to you knees by the latest iTunes upgrade? Does iTunes hang until you kill it in Task Manager? (or force quit, for Mac types?)

It seems there are two major issues for Windows users:

First, the install locks up your iTunes files, designating them as read only. To fix this, go to C:\ProgramFiles and right-click on the iTunes folder.  Select "properties", then uncheck "read-only" under Attributes, and apply.

The second issue is that iTunes 9 doesn't play well with previous iTunes Libraries.  Go here for step by step instructions for rebuilding your iTunes library. Once you rebuild the library, you will have to resync your iPod or iPhone.

Some relevant discussions on the Apple.com forums if this doesn't help:

and there are dozens more.  Just search for "itunes" and "crash" etc. on the apple discussion boards.

Posted by caltechgirl at 09:54 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

January 04, 2010

Everyone else is doing it.....

Taking a cue from Shannon, Rachel, Bou, and many others, I thought I'd do a decade-in-review as well.

So it turns out this is just part 1.  Wow.  Crazy.

'99 was a huge year for me, I got my engagement ring, interviewed for, and was accepted to graduate school, graduated from Caltech, adopted my Princess, got married, and moved to NC, all before August.  Then we lived through 2 hurricanes, I started grad school, DH got his army orders, and we celebrated our first Thanksgiving as a married couple the night before he left for Ft. Sill.  We celebrated Christmas together at home in Fresno (yay for leave!) and rung in the millenium in my parents' living room, all the while laughing at the Y2K fools.

2000 started off with a blizzard.  Back in North Carolina again, I think it snowed the whole month.  At one point I measured 30" of snow on our back stoop.  I fell on the ice and broke my tailbone.  We got broadband internet for the first time.  I was addicted.  In the spring I taught my first General Biology classes and fell in love with developmental neurobiology.  DH was transferred to Aberdeen Proving Ground for more training, and I got my first sight of Washington DC traveling to see him.  On that trip I also discovered IKEAs in both VA and MD (YAY!).  I brought him home in May for 3 weeks of TDY before shipping him off to Ft. Hood.  Dipshit Stalker (who was the best man at our wedding) arrived in July, emotionally destroyed after a failed marriage and lost military career.  He was good until he found an outlet to start drinking again....  More on that later.  In August I dropped a pot of spaghetti down the sink and KNEW that the pain I was having couldn't be good for me.  I was subsequently diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis and started the odyssey of drugs, therapy, and bullshit that I have been on for almost 10 years now.  DH came home for Christmas, and we celebrated our first Christmas alone together.  I admit,  I went a little overboard, as I bought him what turned out to be a roomful of Star Wars toys.

After much indecision and not a little prodding from my program, I chose a thesis project, and began working on brain development in Schizophrenia.  In June we moved out of the apartment into our house in the country, dipshit stalker and his friends doing all the heavy lifting.  I paid them amply with beer and barbecue  About the same time I took and passed my qualifying exams, and DH, home on leave at the time, had his now-infamous drunk moment at the Carolina Brewery (ask him.  Funny!).  I flew home to CA for two weeks in July, best ticket deal ever ($197 round trip to LAX via Atlanta!).  In late August, DH and a friend conspired to surprise me, and he flew home on the same flight as the friend I was picking up at the airport.  He returned to Texas on September 9 so his unit could prepare for a field exercise scheduled to begin on 9/12. My other friend was scheduled to fly out on the afternoon of September 11.  She eventually left on 9/26.

I was awakened on 9/11 by the ringing of the phone.  My husband, eating breakfast and watching TV in the barracks had seen the first plane hit the Towers.  I turned on the TV just in time to see the second.  You know the rest.  I was numb and frightened for weeks, addicted to the TV.

DH eventually learned that he was not being deployed anywhere, and came home for Christmas, and the rest of the year passed quietly.

We spent New Years at Carolina Beach, and rang in the new year on the sand with poppers and champagne and group of friends, getting up in the morning at 5 am to get donuts from Krispy Kreme in Wilmington and watch the sunrise over the beach.

I continued working on my project and teaching.  We made plans for DH to begin earning his MAT when he finished his 3 year conscription.  I planted a garden, which the deer mostly ignored, and repainted the kitchen.

In the aftermath of 9/11 I discovered blogs.  My first "addictions" were Lt. Smash, a geek blogger named Jay Solo, The Accidental Jedi, and Dean's World.

Dipshit stalker got drunk one night, threw a tantrum, and threatened my life.  When I called him on it and threw him out, he hit me.  I called the cops.  They arrested him at work, gave him a TRO, and someone blew up my mailbox that night. I barely slept the next 6 months and left every light on. I got to know most of the Orange County deputy sheriffs.  Once they found out about what kind of military training he had, they circled my driveway every night for months, making sure he wasn't lurking somewhere in the woods surrounding the house.  Now you understand why I love cops.

In October, my Neon committed suicide under a Ryder truck (tire separation), and we got the Escape. In November, DH's contract finished, and he came home just in time for Thanksgiving, and then the storm of the century.  Ice fell from the skies and clogged up everything.  It was 6 degrees outside, and hundreds  of trees fell from the weight of the ice. We had three trees down in our driveway alone.  All the power was out for 7 days: no heat, water, stove, toilets, etc.  Everything in our house (including the water pump) was electric.  Thank God for the snow: it was like a great big natural freezer, so the food was good.  A tree fell on our brand new car, necessitating the first of many trips to the body shop.

The year began with a bang.  Two of our friends from LA flew in just before New Years, and we drove to Miami to see USC in the Orange Bowl vs. Iowa.  Of course we won. It was also my first trip to Pedro's South of the Border and the fireworks mecca that is South Carolina.  We made record time coming home, as we started listening to the National Championship game in Florida and saw the last two plays on our own TV. DH and I were both in school, me working on rat brains, and him first taking referesher science classes, and then beginning his MAT program.  It was a super productive year, workwise, generating the data that would be my first two papers.  dipshit stalker (although we can't prove it) broke into our house and stole some cash and my digital camera. Of course, it could have been a junkie, but then why didn't the other things of value walk away?  And how come only certain drawers were opened?

DH finished his MAT program and got a job teaching in Chatham county.  I got my first paper published.  In June we moved back into town so I could ride the bus to school (free in Chapel Hill!).  We became addicted to ESPN.  I started blogging (here) (finally!) after being a serial commenter for many, many years. Many of you became real friends, and not just people online. I taught myself to knit and crochet, and I learned the secrets of NC pig aka Eastern NC barbecue. In August we finally traveled to DC for real, road-tripping with the same football friends to the Black Coaches' Classic versus Virginia Tech at Fed Ex field.  We stayed in Landover and rode the Metro into the city, and walked around the Mall and the museums.  My favorite memory of the trip is sitting on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial around 1 am, looking down the Mall.

2005 began with my advisor's announcement that he was leaving, so I needed to finish my project.  The winter was a whirl of surgery, explants, and writing, and I passed my committee in May.  In fact, I passed my thesis, left school, got on a plane, and flew to CA to look for a place to live.  We were coming home.  I finally got to meet a TON of my Bear Flag League blog colleagues at a brunch while we were in town. We returned to to NC finish the school year.  I taught neuroscience, gave my public defense, and on the last day of June we packed up the moving truck and our car and left NC behind.  We road tripped home, taking the 90 across through South Dakota, Wyoming, and Montana.  We met my blogchild (Paul) in Wisconsin, and had a crazy memorable dinner with Margi and family in Spokane.  We spent the 4th of July at Mount Rushmore.

Arriving in CA, we thought I had a job, and DH would be interviewing.  We settled on Pasadena, near my putative job, and with plenty of opportunities for him.  We chose a townhouse, and that afternoon I found out my job wasn't going to happen.  His however, DID come through, and he was hired after his first interview, for a job he still loves.  The townhouse came through just in time for the movers to drop off our things, and the next day we hurried back to Fresno for our friends' wedding. I looked for jobs all through the rest of the summer, and in October I was hired for a job I hadn't applied for, and which was, in fact, better! After I received my first paycheck, the first thing we did was go out and buy a sofa, since we left most of our furniture in NC.  I still miss my orange chair, for the record.  One of my biggest regrets is being talked into leaving it and my desk behind.

Posted by caltechgirl at 10:57 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

January 05, 2010

Decade in Review Part Deux

So where were we?  Or more appropriately, when? Oh yeah.

2006 was a big year for me workwise.  I learned to write grants, taught my first classes in my current program, and found out for real that faculty politics make Republicans and Democrats look tame.  Think Japan/Taiwan/South Korea where fights occasionally break out on the floor of the legislature.  And yet I STILL am doing it. You'd think I'd learn. DH rode his bike to work.  We bought dwarf citrus trees and rose bushes for our balcony, and then harvested our first lemons and blood oranges that fall.  I started singing in Caltech's Glee club again.  DH got in a bike accident and then (unrelatedly, actually) got a new bike.  Our next door neighbor had a gas leak when the repairman forgot to hook the line up to her hot water heater, which I discovered by driving into our shared garage.  Thank God there was a gas wrench handy. We started to plan to buy a house.  In October I traveled to Atlanta, where I met the awesome Mullethead, Zonker, and we drove to the wilds of Tennessee to Eric's house for the annual blogmeet.  I met so many of you wonderful folks and had a blast wearing the viking hat and listening to y'all get drunk, and of course, the Elderly Brothers.  Meanwhile, DH got to attend a pair of USC football games, including the Notre Dame game.

The year we became real homeowners!  Starting in January, we began the long process of getting approved for and buying our house, which we moved into in May.  Memorial Day weekend, in fact.  I made the cardinal sin of taking a red eye to Detroit 3 days before we closed (for a conference I was to present at) and missed half the conference sleeping.  Then I booked out of there early so I could be here for the actual closing.  I won't go into all of the asshole tricks that the previous homeowners pulled, nor the unbelievable cheapass shit they thought they could get away with.  Most of that has already been chronicled here. We bonded with the house the day the refrigerator arrived: It was too big.  So we took the handy dandy jigsaw and cut the corner out of the closest kitchen cabinet.  It's my house, I can whack it if I want to, right?  We changed locks and light fixtures, planted flowers, and installed a new sink in the bathroom.  We poured money into fixing the foundation and getting a pointless wall heater removed. We also added on to the family, adopting Princess #2 (who is sleeping next to my feet as I type this!).

2008 began COLD!  We got grandstand tickets to the Rose Parade and stayed up all night before going out at 5 AM to freeze our rears off.  I got lots of awesome pictures, though. Our next project was installing a dishwasher. We ripped out a cabinet we really didn't need (at least not as much as the dishwasher!) next to the sink and installed the damn thing ourselves.  That was easy.  What sucked was having to completely replumb the underside of the sink!  Well, all but the garbage disposal.  I guess it was jealous, though, as it became a casualty of the next earthquake we had, a few months later.  We also replumbed the entire tub/shower since it stopped working the day out-of-town company arrived!  We lost our plum tree courtesy of termites in the roots, and DH borrowed a chainsaw and hacked it to bits. We painted the front room and the bathroom. I started physical therapy, and then graduated to working in the pool on my own. Mom and I worked together on my first batch of jam (nectarine), and we performed the Brahms Requiem in Glee Club.  That was the most amazing performing experience of my life.  Too bad the orchestra sucked. In the fall, I began teaching Cell Biology for the first time.  I went a little nuts on Black Friday, but we totally hit a record number of stores before 7 am, even.  As you can imagine, Christmas was kind of crazy, especially since we were both sick as dogs.

This past year has been all about work for both of us, with one project after another.  While I worked too much, DH installed a gorgeous paver stone driveway in the back yard.  That's really all I can say.  It has been a whirlwind of work and stress and not much else.  I did however, stop for a "staycation" in August.  We went to a lot of Dodger games, including Manny Bobblehead night and the game where the Dodgers beat Colorado to clinch the NL West. Bleacher Beach was the most fun I've ever had at a baseball game.  I started going to the regular gym rather than just the pool, because I was having a hard time challenging myself enough, physically in the water. We went to Disneyland for DH's birthday and had a wonderful time.  We even got "snowed" on.  I've made a ton of jam: Kiwi Pear Lime, Kiwi Strawberry, Apricot (twice), Caramel Pear, Strawberry, Triple Berry (twice), and Fig.   I even made a bunch of tiny jars as favors for a friend's wedding shower! I picked up the crochet hook again, and made a bunch of Christmas presents.

So that's about it, I think. Did I forget anything major?

Posted by caltechgirl at 09:30 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

February 11, 2010

VD* approacheth

*Valentines Day, you sickos

So, Sunday is VD, and as a bonus, Monday is a holiday.  DH asked me last week what I wanted, and I told him, "I just want to sleep."  He was disappointed.  I think mostly because I didn't want a present.

But the thing is, I could care less about VD, and really I don't need flowers or chocolates or any more useless junk.  At all.  House is rapidly filling up with all kinds of crap. And money for presents is a useless expense.

Is there a hoarding disease with the primary symptom of too busy to throw shit out?  Because that's my problem.  I just don't have the time to rid the house of the old junk.

So anyway, I told him that what I want to do is to just chill out and play the video games we got for Christmas and barely opened.  I think he was happy with that.  I suspect, however, that we'll be watching the Olympics anyway, and it won't even matter.

Should I be more open to doing something fun, or am I really just an old crabby bitch?

Posted by caltechgirl at 12:58 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Olympic Preview

For those of you who care, here's where you can find when the AWESOMESAUCE* SPORTS** will be broadcast:


Time zones listed are PT (at least on my screen), so you may have to reset for your location.  Man, I LOVE when the Olympics and I are in the same time zone!

* These are the ones I think are awesome.  And whaddya know?  This is my blog!

** Watching Curling is a top priority.  Curling will be TiVo'ed.  As will Ski Jumping.  I wish I was a Finn so I could have been a kickass ski jumper.

Posted by caltechgirl at 02:17 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

February 17, 2010

Flying While Fat*

* one girl's take on the idiocy of American air travel.  Fuck that.  The idiocy of AMERICANS.  Period.

By now we all know what happened to director Kevin Smith.  I watched it unfold live on twitter, as I follow both @southwestair and @thatkevinsmith.

And I feel for him.  As a fat chick who takes her chances every time I fly, I feel every ounce of the humiliation he was put through.  He paid for a seat.  He should get a seat.

Why do they kick off the "fatties" but not the smelly drunks, sick people, or SEAT KICKING BRATS?  I'd argue that any of the above pose more of a "security risk" than your average oversize person who would really rather melt in to the corner, not touch you, and just ignore you for the rest of the flight.

Maybe it's because our society sees fat as something reprehensible, the outward manifestation of a lifetime of bad choices.

In reality, nothing could be farther from the truth.  Most overweight people are just trying to be normal, in fact they're PROBABLY trying a lot HARDER than the rest of you.  A combination of bad genes, bad luck, and the occasional bad choice makes me look like a tub of lard, and is not discernible on you. 

And yet I used to be afraid to eat in public.  That if I went out for ice cream with my husband everyone would think "Mr. and Mrs. Jack Sprat".  That people were automatically looking at me and thinking "lazy idiot" and "pig", which those of you who know me well know couldn't be farther from the truth.  I work out more than most people (at least up until the holidays, when I kind of fell off the wagon),  I rarely even eat three meals. A part of which,  I know, is my hang up about fat people eating too much.  I don't snack.  I don't eat dessert except on special occasions and rarely outside my own home or my workplace. Ironically, the fact that I eat very little probably is more dangerous for me than eating too much.

And of course fat must = stupid, since what smart person would choose to treat their body so badly or live with the daily humiliation, right?  Wrong. Like I said, it's a train wreck of bad genes and bad luck for a lot of people.    Some people do eat 3 fast food combo meals at a time**. Neither of which invalidates the PhD in Neurobiology hanging on my wall.
**one person I know who can do this regularly is my husband (who is 6'0, 165 pounds), so it's not like pigging out even computes.

But getting back to Kevin Smith.  The humiliation of even the possibility of being considered "too fat to fly" rankles.  It's one of the reasons I don't jump on a lot of airplanes.  It's why I have a number of flying strategies.  First, I always choose a window seat so I can bury myself against the window, away from other passengers.  I board early so I don't have to walk in front of anyone, I make sure the armrest is completely down at all times, and I carry my own spare seatbelt extender for those just-in-case flights.

Having flown on a variety of planes I can tell you this much: the belt sizes vary from plane to plane, and even from side to side on the SAME PLANE.  I have gotten off one plane where I had several inches to spare on the belt, only to board a connection and need the extender. Ridiculous.  And shameful.  I often wonder if I would have been kicked off any of those flights for even ASKING for an extender, if I didn't have my own. Once I get seated, I breathe a sigh of relief.

I do fit in the seat, in case you're wondering. Rather well, armrests 100% down.  It's just that you never know whether someone will single you out just by looking at you. Or whether you'll be randomly stranded at some connection because one flight crew passed and another took exception.  I think that may be the most frightening aspect: why apply the policy differently on different flights?  Why be vague about who needs to buy two seats?  Why make it so frigging difficult and so much more expensive?

Which brings me to my motivation for writing this piece.  I rarely agree, as many of you know, with the columnists in Salon.  Usually the tripe and drivel they spew makes me want to hurl.  But another tweeter passed this piece by Kate Harding on to Mr. Smith, and what she says is exactly what I have to say, regarding Southwest's ridiculous policy, and the haters both. Here's the beginning and end of her piece:

Whenever the issue of whether larger people should be forced to buy two airline seats comes up -- as it did this weekend, when director Kevin Smith was booted from a Southwest Airlines flight, and as it did last April, after United introduced a policy practically identical to Southwest's -- the first and only thing a lot of folks think of is that time they had to sit next to a fat person on a flight, and it was so uncomfortable.

Perhaps they even had the special misfortune of sitting next to a rude fat person, the kind who doesn't even seem contrite about infringing on someone else's severely restricted personal space -- a portly cousin to The Armrest Hog, The Seat-Kicking Kid or Reclines Right Into Your Lap Guy.  There's no shortage of rude people of all sizes, but it seems like everyone's got a story about that whale who made a two-hour or three-hour or even five-hour flight pure hell for the adjacent paying customers. (The fact that airlines try to keep costs down by packing passengers in like sardines and routinely overbooking flights has nothing to do with it, evidently.) And most of those people think charging larger customers double to make everyone a little less miserable is a perfectly reasonable solution.

Which is why part of me is glad the Kevin Smith debacle happened -- though I'm terribly sorry he had to go through it -- because it put a recognizable face on the experience of flying while fat. See, those of us who are and/or love people to whom airlines' "person of size policies" apply don't automatically envision the discomfort of getting stuck next to a fatty; we envision the physical and emotional pain of being the fatty crammed between two potentially hostile strangers, at the mercy of flight attendants who might decide we're fine on one flight and a "safety risk" on the next.


And then, against my better judgment, I read the comments sections on articles about this issue and see things like "Fat people should be imprisoned for over consumption. They've eaten more than their share! I'm glad I wasn't sitting next to this hog" and "I have travelled next to someone like, sweaty, panting, snoring, knocking drinks over at a sigh because the table was resting on him... Should have gone as cargo," and right here at Salon, "Fat people are disgusting. They should travel by ox cart or something. I mean really. Do they need to inflict their smelly fatness on everyone else?" (That person even finishes with a little straight-up eliminationist rhetoric for good measure.)

And I read comments from lots of people who are less openly hateful, but still think that fat people should buy two seats or lose weight or stay home -- not that the airline has any responsibility to, say, ensure that adequate seating is available for everyone or treat people of all sizes like equal (not to mention individual) human beings -- and you know what I think? Forgive me, but sometimes there's no other way to say it: Fuck you. That's what I think.

Fuck you indeed.  Read Kate's entire moving, thought-provoking piece.

If you still think Southwest was right, let me ask you this: In your heart of hearts, would you still agree with Southwest if Mr. Smith (or any of the other people Kate reminds us of) was removed from the flight for being openly gay rather than fat?

Posted by caltechgirl at 03:20 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

May 04, 2010

Today and Every Day

May the Fourth Be With You!

And just for fun: SW Wedding Cakes (love the top one!)

Posted by caltechgirl at 07:47 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

November 07, 2010

At the Crossroads

As some of you know I am at a decision point in my life.

My current job has gone to hell in a handbasket in more ways than I can count and all I can do right now is try to keep my own head above water and not get fired.  The administration is making what seem to be arbitrary decisions and striking out at vulnerable faculty and programs in the name of doing business better,  but the evidence (and I'll admit I am a bit biased) seems to point out the fact these decisions have been at best short-sighted, and at worst, disastrous.  Day by day it becomes clear that I can not count on having a job much longer, through no fault of my own.

So I have been looking around.

I July I applied for a local job, similar to what I am doing now, teaching the same kinds of classes, working with small groups of students, and being able to have a place where I can keep a small lab and give undergrads a chance to have some lab experience.  As a bonus, it would be a short "reverse" commute.  I didn't hear back right away, and I figured they didn't want me.  We'll call this Job #1.  They did eventually call me for a phone interview 'round about October 1, but I haven't heard from them since.

In August, I applied for another job, this one at a major research university in a VERY SMALL TOWN in another state.  Job #2 is a unique position, non-tenure track, but only because it focuses on teaching and student advising, rather than research.  I think it would be a great opportunity to use the skills and experiences that I have developed over the past 15 years to give students useful help as they navigate their college experience.  So I applied, despite the great potential for upheaval in my life.

Job #2 called me a week after the position solicitation closed and invited me to come for an interview.  Which I evidently nailed, because I am sitting in a hotel room in that same small town today.  Two weeks after my initial interview, they offered me the position, and after some back and forth, they invited BOTH of us up here for a weekend look-see.  We've been here since Friday afternoon, bumming around.  We've visited the campus, toured all of the neighborhoods, found the Co-Op in the next town over and even drove an hour out to the Costco.  Which we totally found by accident, although we were looking for it.

When I was here initially, they asked a realtor to drive me around town, and so I asked her to show us inside a few houses, so we could a real sense of what a house we would WANT to live in would cost, and how we would have to work it.  Because see, if we move here, we would have to rent out our house.  There's no way we could sell it, the market in LA being what it is, and so we needed to know what the numbers would be, and if we could afford to buy a house here, since rent and mortgage payments here are about the same.  Might as well get the benefit of the equity.  Not to mention that I'm not uprooting my life to live in a shack somewhere else when I have a house I love.

So we talked.  And gave her our list of needs, wants, and likes.  And of course, dammit, the first house we walked into we fell in love with.  It's quirky and has a huge yard and more storage space than we can fill right now, and of course, it would be long gone by the time we would be ready to move, should I decide to take the job.

And I stepped out on to the deck, and I saw my dogs running on the lawn, and a swingset and plenty of room for a garden, and all of the things  I would want in my life.  And I felt like I could be happy here.  Snow, small town and all.

It's a million years away from my life. But then again, there are so many things I want to change about my life.  I want to have time to focus on ME.  On getting me healthy again.  On my marriage, which is good, but won't stay that way if I just let it go.  On my puppies.  They need Mommy back.  I want to be able to go walking and work out and be able to cook dinner everynight without being bone-weary from a day from hell followed by a commute from hell.  I want to open my computer at night and not have to worry about discovering yet another pissing contest that I have to mop up.

And let's face it, I ain't getting any younger.... tick tick tick....

My biggest concerns are my husband and my family.  Who knows whether he can even FIND a job here?  There are fewer opportunities, even though most districts look for a science teacher more often than other disciplines.  And our families will be nearly impossible to reach, now.  Disappointing after reaching a detente with my inlaws and beginning to build a relationship with my nieces and nephew now that they're older. And of course my Mom and Dad aren't getting any younger, though they are both in reasonably good health now.

So many things are really positive: There's a heated, indoor therapy pool (!!!!) and an Arby's and a Wendy's and a DQ (none of which I have now).  Super Walmart just opened, and it is nicer than our current Target (at least this week) and you can even find a parking place.

Side item: the house we love faces the Walmart directly, though it is a few blocks away, and because both are on hills, you can see the Walmart from the kitchen window and vice versa.  Amusing as hell.

Traffic is a joke, though some people clearly don't know how to drive, and I shudder to think what most of these people would do with an LA freeway.

I am conflicted and I don't know what to do.  It's hard. Can I give up what has become comfortable and close to home for something entirely different, though not altogether bad? 

Alright y'all, weigh in.  I want to hear your thoughts....

Posted by caltechgirl at 05:14 PM | Comments (34) | TrackBack