July 15, 2008

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 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

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

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

September 01, 2008

Mine, Mine I tell you, it's MINE! MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

The Doctor Horrible soundtrack was released at Midnight Eastern tonight!

And it is downloading from iTunes as I type this!

MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! A lot of people neglect the laugh.

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

September 24, 2008

I so totally want to go

LA's first official Dr. Horrible Sing Along.  On Halloween, no less. But my parents are coming.  And we're going to a wedding the next morning.  AUUGH.

Posted by caltechgirl at 10:39 PM | Comments (0) | 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

May 06, 2009

A talent for avoidance

So here I am at work.  Which is kinda stress free for the nonce. 

I know, I know, you're getting tired of hearing about the end of the secret stressful thing, which, if I explain it, pretty much gives away my anonymity.  It being a momentous enough event so as to be googleable (and yes, that IS a word.)....

I have a pretty major project I am supposed to be working on right now.  As in at this moment. It's a PPT presentation for a  meeting next Tuesday about the work of a task force I was in charge of.  So I need to do it now so I can get feedback from the other membrs of our group before Tuesday.  See, I am trying to be responsible.

Also, all hell hasn't broken loose yet this week, so I thought I'd try to get ahead of the curve for a change.  As if.

And yet, here I sit, at the blog, at twitter, and at facebook.  Pissing away my time.  I rationalize: you work better under a deadline.... you're working it all out in your subconscious (I actually believe this to be true)....

You can't believe the shit I have invented for myself today.  I cleaned up my desktop on my computer, I made coffee, I organized folders under "My Documents" so that it's easier to find specific files rather than scanning a large number of filenames in one folder.

Big hint: if I'm organizing or cleaning either 1) I'm avoiding something else, or 2) the mess has increased beyond my ability to quickly find what I am looking for.

In the meantime, my phone chimes Dr. Horrible at me (the harp interlude from "everything you ever...") telling me that yet another work-related email demands my attention.  Crap.

Guess I should work after all.  The sooner I get this done, the sooner I can be off to the pool, and the less work I'll need to do tonight between rehearsal and jam making  (Strawberry).

Posted by caltechgirl at 08:27 AM | Comments (2) | 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

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