April 06, 2005

Still working on it

for some reason I'm getting trackback errors.... trying to sort that out

Update: They're working now. Thanks Jim :)

Posted by caltechgirl at 10:39 PM | Comments (1)

April 08, 2005

great cosmic convergence...

Today started out pretty ok. I got on the bus, I went to work, I finished another chapter of my thesis (Yay!). I even remembered to drop by the student health pharmacy and pick up my prescription. Then it all just went downhill. I had scheduled some time to do some imaging using my co-mentor's confocal microscope (holy crap even it has a wiki! Check it out, the idea is really cool!), but there were 2 problems.
1. It's sort of not working (it works, but it's buggy right now)
2. He wanted to see my sections and he was at a symposium.

Read More "great cosmic convergence..." »
Posted by caltechgirl at 03:26 PM | Comments (1)

I thought you'd never ask...

The little silver guy on the rightleft is GIR, he's the stupid but loveable robot sidekick of Invader Zim.

Who, for those of you who have never been blessed enough to see the show, is an incompetent Irken Invader sent to conquer Earth just to get him out from underfoot after he destroyed the Irken homeworld....
This is Zim:

Zim was on Nickelodeon for about a year and is still on Nicktoons every once in a while from what I'm told (too poor for those extra channels, you know?) but it is SOOO not a kids show. It's like Animaniacs, only more twisted. Kids like it, but adults like it even more.

The Nickelodeon Zim site is here, and one of my favorite fan sites is here.

For more Zimmy goodness, drop in on fellow MuNuvian Gir at YourMooseyFate.

The phrase "The Bacon in My Soap" is from one of the episodes, and the audio of the bit is now linked there. Scroll down and click. Zim is the angry one, GIR is the silly one.

The girl with the "gameslave" down below (with the archives) is also from Zim. She's Gaz, the younger sister of Zim's nemesis Dib, and my personal favorite character on the show. I was Gaz for halloween year before last, and my friends were Gir, Zim, and Dib. Very cool.

Posted by caltechgirl at 04:30 PM | Comments (4)

April 11, 2005

Boromir and the Ninja Wizards Part Deux

Heh. Boromir tries again.

For those of you who missed the original Boromir and the Ninja Wizards, you can find it here.

Be warned, part II has more adventuresome (and adult) language.....

(h/t Jen)

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

April 13, 2005

random ventation

ok here goes:
1. WTF with the bus drivers these days? Arrgh. It drives me nuts. Ok, really I have no room to complain, Chapel Hill transit is free. Yes, free. The town and the university each chip in and they got a federal grant to cover some of the expenses, so there's no fare.

That doesn't excuse the bus drivers who seem to have made it their personal mission to run stop signs, drive through EVERY pothole, turn too fast, and generally be as rude as they can and induce the maximum amount of nausea.

There's one bus driver who refuses to pick people up on one side of the street if he's coming back to stop on the other side of the street later, unless they're getting off somewhere before where he turns around. Doesn't matter that it's perfectly legal to ride the bus for any length of time shorter than one full circuit of the route, he won't pick you up. He won't pick you up if you're more than 5 feet from the bus stop either. Some folks stand away from the signs in bad weather because of the trees, and I've seen him go roaring past people, even with the passengers inside telling him to stop. This guy is also the king of whiplash and nausea.

There used to be this incredibly nice bus driver who talked to everyone and sang and was generally fun. Until somebody took umbrage at his pleasant attitude, and he got told to lay off....

2. People you work with who go off on an ego trip all over you. Especially your juniors.
'nuff said.

3. People who like to complain about the weather. I like the rain very much, thank you. I just wish I could stay home and curl up with a good book and enjoy it, rather than come to work.

4. Waiting to hear back from people when you have a deadline.

There may be more additions as the day goes on.

Posted by caltechgirl at 11:50 AM | Comments (0)

Idol chatter

Ok, I admit it. I watch it. Once they get to Hollywood, and I don't have to sit through painfully embarrassing auditions I watch it.

In fact, since it's on before House, my friend and I watch it together. We're both singers. In fact, she's so much of a better singer than I am that I hate to put myself in the same group as her, but in any case.... let's say we've both taken enough music lessons and singing lessons to know the difference between crap and not crap.

From that perspective, Randy Jackson is frequently closest to our criticisms. Occasionally Simon (when he's not being too harsh) is too, but Paula is on happy pills.

In any case, I just wanted to get this much off my chest: Quit gushing about Carrie. She's awful. Yeah, she's cute, but I've never heard anyone turn so many good songs into country music. Hell, even Garth Brooks managed to do rock and blues as rock and blues. Simon was right, that was her worst performance.

here's my thoughts on the others:

Scott: needs to go. At least you could hear him last night.

Nadia: get a life. She reminds me of a female impersonator on a cruise ship.

Anthony: Lovely voice, but he's Clay Jr. Last night's performance had some energy, though, and I liked it.

Vonzell: a beautiful instrument (voice) but her performances hold her back. Anyone who can make a Whitney Houston song her own has something there. Last night was a turning point for her, though since her performance was good as well as her voice.

Anwar: Creepy. Just creepy. His voice is weak and he needs to cover that nasty hairless chest.

Bo: what can I say? i love him. he's sexy and evidently the same age as my husband! He's got a great voice and he looks like the reincarnation of Lynyrd Skynyrd or the Allman brothers. I have been waiting to hear "Freebird" since he started the competition. I was a little disappointed with it, though, because the accompaniment was an orchestra and a little regimented. Where was the frickin' guitar solo, dammit? And WTF with Simon telling him to do a "well known rocking song" What the hell IS a well known rocking song if it isn't Freebird? I mean it's only the national anthem of the south. Yes, I do know all the lyrics. No, I didn't know them before I moved here.

Constantine (aka Creed Boy): Wait, he's my age? Damn. He's got an amazing voice. I think some of his performances were so-so. I have to give him credit for tackling Bohemian Rhapsody, though, which is hard as hell to sing and probably the most stylized song to hit pop music other than Frampton's "do you feel like i do" (guitar synth voice), and for doing it well.

I'm guessing the bottom 3 will be Scott, Carrie, and Nadia. Bottom 2: Scott and Nadia. Loser: Scott.

But then again, I picked Scott and Nadia last week and Nikko went home....

Posted by caltechgirl at 01:20 PM | Comments (5)

April 14, 2005

It really exists!

Found TODAY for the first time ever in Chapel Hill:

And it's actually pretty good. Tastes like cherry coke mixed with cream soda and a little Dr. Pepper. Go here for a more in-depth review

Don't worry, Darling Husband, there's one in the fridge for you. And I won't hold it against you either. I know you don't frequent the med school snack shop :)

Posted by caltechgirl at 01:39 PM | Comments (2)

yet another stupid quiz

Ok, it's not really a quiz since you just enter your name... but it's funny
(again stolen from Michele, who is on a roll this week)

What are your boobies' names?

According to the quiz, Caltechgirl's boobies are:

Betty and Veronica

However, my boobies' real names are:

Beavis and Butthead

Get your own Boobie Names

heh heh m heh heh. You said boobies. heh.

Posted by caltechgirl at 04:43 PM | Comments (3)

April 16, 2005

Holy Sh*t

Now, I've said someone was full of sh*t before, but this guy really is. I think he was the model for one of Caltechdad's favorite jokes....

See the extended entry....

Read More "Holy Sh*t" »
Posted by caltechgirl at 10:39 PM | Comments (7)

April 21, 2005

Top 10 reasons NOT to steal your professor's laptop

Hell, after seeing this video, you don't NEED any more reasons...

Click here, and then scroll to (48:50) to skip the Bio1a lecture.....

Here's the audio of the relevant part only if you don't want to wait for the video to load. You may have to click and save. It's worth it!

From BoingBoing, via Michelle Malkin

Posted by caltechgirl at 06:24 PM | Comments (2)

April 22, 2005

The muppet formerly known as Cookie Monster

By now you've probably heard that Sesame Street plans to cut back on the blue guy's cookie consumption next season.

Jonah Goldberg responds, and skewers the prospective change with reasoning direct from Hannibal Lecter (and Marcus Aurelius)...

An Excerpt:

Lecter: “First principles, Clarice. Read Marcus Aurelius. Of each particular thing, ask: What is it in itself? What is its nature? What does he do, this creature you seek?

Starling: He entertains children….

Lecter: “No! That is incidental. What is the first and principal thing he does? What need does he serve by entertaining children?

Starling: Social acceptance? Personal frustration?

Lecter: No: He craves. That’s his nature. And what does he crave? Make an effort to answer.

Starling: Food?

Lecter: No! He is not a “food monster!” He is a cookie monster!

Read the rest!

Posted by caltechgirl at 06:15 PM | Comments (0)

Go Ahead, Gloat

This is the sh*t that happens when your team is exceptionally good.

Dammit. Whatever happened to an education? I get that the $$ will be better this year than next year since they just won, but damn, guys, college is the best time of your life.

UNC just lost the 7 leading scorers and 7 of the 8 players on the roster who have ever started a game. The sum total of starts remaining on the bench? 1. Quentin Thomas started in UNC's lead-off loss to Santa Clara while Ray Felton was suspended for participating in an "unapproved" charity game, which had previously been allowed.

Here's hoping JJ goes too. And Coach K goes to LA.

Posted by caltechgirl at 06:46 PM | Comments (2)

April 23, 2005

ok, so I was wrong...

The Niners took Alex Smith and there really weren't any exciting last minute deals, but hey, here's wishful thinking.

I went out shoe shopping.

Thoughts, post-draft, anyone?

Posted by caltechgirl at 06:35 PM | Comments (1)

April 25, 2005

A damn good idea

Have you ever been amazed by the poor fashion choices some people make? I'm not talking about stripes with polka dots or purple with orange. I mean like a woman pushing her kid's stroller at the zoo in a see-through halter, leather mini, and stiletto heels. I'm talking hoochie-mama at the grocery store, jeans so low the dude's boxers are showing and he can't walk, and all other manner of inappropriate attire. I myself am unbelievably tired of seeing the top of your thong underwear and your bra staps, ladies. There's a reason it's called UNDERWEAR.

Anyway, if you want to pause and have laugh at these poor people's expense, or you want to share a ludicrous outfit you've seen with others for their amusement, your outlet is now available, thanks to Michele.

Just go to http://inappropriatelydressed.com/ and click through the archives (which is just 3 pictures now, but sure to increase) or add a pic of your own, instructions are on the page.


Posted by caltechgirl at 01:50 PM | Comments (1)

April 26, 2005

Oh Yeah.

I am a Giant Mecha-Blob. Did I mention I kicked Ith's butt?


is a Giant Mecha-Blob that Glows in the Dark, has Very Sharp Fangs, can Regenerate, and is Very Slow.

Strength: 10 Agility: 1 Intelligence: 1

To see if your Giant Battle Monster can
defeat caltechgirlsworld, enter your name and choose an attack:

fights caltechgirlsworld using

Get your own here. Or do battle against another web monster.

(h/t Princess Jami subbing for Ith)

Posted by caltechgirl at 01:29 PM | Comments (2)

April 27, 2005

Suspend disbelief

Ok, we all know that people comment on the DU boards for one of two reasons (mostly):
1. They have no where else to spew their hateful ignorant shite.
2. They're right-wing gluttons for punishment and trolling.

Elizabeth Edwards has been a commenter at DU for quite a while including some notable comments about the "reign of witches" etc. Today, however, she serves as a voice of reason on the hate-board. In a discussion of Laura Ingraham's recently discovered (and just yesterday removed) breast cancer, Mrs. Edwards takes the high road. A breast cancer patient herself, she says, in part:

"I have been a Democrat for a long time, and part of the Democratic principles that attracted me as a young person and kept me a Democrat all these years is our compassion. Democrats are simply good and decent people. And good and decent people want everyone to do well -- those who agree with them and those who do not. We fight for the right of voices with which we disagree to speak out, for the right of people to say things we don't believe to be true, even for the right to be malicious and mean-spirited. If we fight for the right for LI to say what she says, how in the world can we use our disagreement with those words as an excuse not to be compassionate in her fight with cancer. Being willing to have her voice muted by illness is the same thing as not wanting her voice to be heard. It is not Democratic or democratic."

AKA You've really lost it this time you unbelievably ignorant fools.

She speaks of Democrats as good and decent people, which most, in fact, are, being concerned with social justice and peace, after all. But she's preaching to the wrong crowd. The DU boards are filled with the kind of crazy doctrinal hate speech that lefties are so wont to accuse righties of spewing.

Like Mrs. Edwards, I can even understand some of these retards being happy that Ms. Ingraham is off the air while she convalesces from her surgery, but to wish her death because you disagree with her politics? Come on. I thought you all were the compassionate party of peace and love and free speech.

Oh that's right. Only for the people who agree with you.

I can't tell you how appalled I am that these people have left simple human decency and compassion behind just because the object of their discussion happens to be a conservative. I hate to say it, but isn't that what happened in Germany? In Turkey? In the USSR? When the people you don't like/disagree with/blame politically become less than deserving of your compassion, less than human, perhaps, it's time to start rethinking your strategy. Otherwise you become no better than Hitler, Attaturk, or Stalin.

BTW, it's not like the voice of reason had any effect, even from someone like Mrs. Edwards. While there are a few posts agreeing with her, check out some of the posts AFTER Mrs. Edwards had her say:

She probably gave it to herself...

I don't pray for Nazis or other Totalitarian Scum (there are a lot of entries of people declining to pray for Ms. Ingraham based on her politics)

I hope she goes into remission and fucking chokes to death. (This tard has an upside down US flag as his avatar)

There are more. Including this little gem hoping she goes bankrupt paying for her medical bills and loses her house and faces ridicule.

Unbelievable. Here's a hint, Howie: the more we hear about this kind of thing, the more you lose touch with the center. No matter how any biblical references you pull out.

(h/t Michelle Malkin)

Posted by caltechgirl at 01:37 PM | Comments (1)

April 28, 2005

What's your signature weapon?

Again, not a surprise....

You preferred a weapon with 38% power over speed and 49% range over melee.
You use a Halberd.

the most versatile polearm ever made, the Halberd is an elegant mix of
spear and staff, remaining relatively light while having an effective
cutting edge and stabbing point. Your enemies will never get near you;
your personal space will be as unreachable as a faraway land.

My test tracked 2 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 39% on power
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 59% on range
Link: The What's Your Signature Weapon Test written by inurashii on OkCupid

(h/t: Jay)

Posted by caltechgirl at 07:54 PM | Comments (1)

May 01, 2005

Check this out

You may have already noticed the lovely little countdown clock in the sidebar on the left which tells you how long I have until my frontal lobotomy PhD thesis defense, which will take place May 26, 2005 at 10 am.

If you want your own happy fun PHP clock, go here.

Posted by caltechgirl at 11:23 PM | Comments (5)

May 16, 2005

No community is safe

Chapel Hill is devastated after learning this weekend of the deaths of James and Alison Sapikowski, who were long-time local business owners and the "parents" of the UNC club hockey team. The couple were shot to death in their home, probably two weeks ago, by their 16 year old son, Adam, a student at posh local private school The Durham Academy.

Adam Sapikowski shot his father 3 times, and his mother twice, with a .410 shotgun.

Somehow, the crime managed to remain hidden for two weeks. Police were only called after an out-of-town relative became alarmed. They began looking for the "missing" family, but a routine search of their home turned out to be anything but. The family had never left town. Adam Sapikowski was staying in a local hotel while his parents bodies decomposed on the floor of their bedroom.

It's not only the parents that are sickos, sometimes. Let's all be thankful he didn't take that shotgun to school, too.

Posted by caltechgirl at 11:27 AM | Comments (0)

May 23, 2005

randomly cool

I'm using FoxyTunes to listen to my musica while I check out the net, and I've got winamp on random, and it keeps spewing out great songs for singing loud (DH isn't home yet)

right now: The B-52s "Love Shack"

Shawn Colvin "Sunny Came Home"
Beach Boys "Kokomo"
U2 "Sunday Bloody Sunday"
New Order "Blue Monday"

Interestingly, 3 of these latter songs are among my favorite songs of all time...

Heh. It just switched to Like A Prayer, which is hella good for singing loud and alone.

Posted by caltechgirl at 05:24 PM | Comments (1)

May 24, 2005

Everything old is new again...

Just saw an ad on VH1 for Alanis Morrissette's new album/tour...I mean old album and tour. Heck, I guess what ever works, right?

If it ain't broke, don't fix it, I guess. Or maybe just go with what works......

Posted by caltechgirl at 12:09 PM | Comments (2)

It's official: Canadians are WEIRD

Check this out:
Michele tells us the story of Canada's private war against innumeracy: Give 'em an incentive, eh?

I'm sorry ma'am, no free shoes. You couldn't tell me what [(22+16)-18]*8/2 is.

Give me a freakin' break.

Evidently to win a prize in Canada you have to be smart enough to do strange math problems.... I hadn't seen this before, but according to this, it's been around a while.

Heh. It's like Jim Crow literacy tests for voting in the US in past days. Just as stupid, and frankly, in this case, silly. Wonder when all the liberals are going to rise up against this flagrant discrimination against the math impaired.....

Can you imagine what lottery sales would be like in this country if you had to answer math problems to collect your jackpot? Funding education would be a moot argument since the lotteries wouldn't make any money. Not that all Americans are stupid, mind you, it's just that I think most would resent such a test.

Posted by caltechgirl at 12:29 PM | Comments (1)

No Wonder....

I've been feeling like @ss all afternoon. Now I know why.
3pm: Sunny 72 degrees F
4pm: Raining 58 degrees F

I love rain, but this is crazy. It's freakin' May. Last year this week was in the 90s!

Posted by caltechgirl at 04:00 PM | Comments (0)

One last TV post

a pet peeve....

Rob-Amber's wedding is on CBS, and as is super predictable they wrote their own vows.

But aren't vows promises? I mean 3/4 of what Rob said was extolling Amber's virtues, and the family and friends made more of a promise than Rob or Amber in their vows.

No wonder people get divorced so often. They can't even make promises to each other at their wedding.
[/pet peeve]

On a more positive note, the minister was great. He made a nice blessing at the end.

And the bridesmaids' dresses were the same color as they were at my wedding. We should have gotten married at the beach. Then we wouldn't have had to worry about not being able to match dye-able shoes.....

Posted by caltechgirl at 10:50 PM | Comments (4)

May 25, 2005

Super busy tonight!

I need to work on my presentation for tomorrow, cut brownies, pack for CA, and clean up the house so the damn dog doesn't get into anything while we're gone (a friend is watching her and staying at the house, but still...)

I also need to go pick up my dissertation paperwork so they can sign it tomorrow so I can graduate......

Soooo.....OPEN THREAD..... I may pop in and add my two cents if I get a down minute.....otherwise, it's all you.

We'll be in CA from tomorrow night to Tuesday, but I'll have sporadic computer time, and I will definitely be checking email.....

Posted by caltechgirl at 05:21 PM | Comments (9)

May 27, 2005

aminal blogging

Yes, I too have succumbed to the demon that is Catblogging. But these two aren't mine. They belong to the friends we're staying with.

Here's Franklin:

And Arthur:

Bonus Lizardblogging:
Meet Norman:

Posted by caltechgirl at 07:29 PM | Comments (2)

June 03, 2005

What's your favorite....

Swear word?

I usually use asterisks around here to deter pRon spambots, but to hell with it for this post.

My favorite words in the extended for those of you who can't get swear words at work.....

Read More "What's your favorite...." »
Posted by caltechgirl at 10:40 PM | Comments (9)

June 06, 2005

I think they're on to something

Junebugg, Pammy, and Deb are on to something.

It's not what's on the outside that makes a woman sexy. It's what's on the inside.

I'm no model. Hell, I could probably be two of them given the current size for models, but that doesn't mean I can't look and feel sexy.

My husband seems to agree.

So why do we do this to ourselves? Current research suggests that thin isn't all it's cracked up to be, and that what we call "moderately overweight" is more healthy. Doesn't that mean we should rethink what we call fat? Until the advent of TV our idea of "fat" was radically different than it is today....

What do you think?

Posted by caltechgirl at 10:48 PM | Comments (15)

June 08, 2005

Stuck in Lodi again

WhyTF would anyone want to live in LODI???? I mean COME ON. What a hole.

I suppose it doesn't surprise me that terrorists would pick an out of the way sh*thole for laying low while they plot to kill the rest of us.

As you can imagine, several Bear Flaggers are all over this one...

CA Mafia picked up the story first

Not Dale Gribble has a pretty good round up of reactions including this from California Conservatives

Well, I guess these two guys aren't stuck there, although they sure as hell weren't walking out of town....

Posted by caltechgirl at 05:36 PM | Comments (0)

June 13, 2005

For those who are interested

Class seems to be going well. I like my students, for the most part, and they seem interested. I try to keep the class going with lots of clinically relevant tidbits, so they understand that it's not just colored lines on a diagram, and they make the connection between brain on paper and brain in head.

Would y'all like me to post some of those interesting bits from time to time?

Anyway, copier notwithstanding, the test went pretty well. If it was my own class (alone and long-term) I would be really happy with the way it came out. Because I'm only teaching it this semester, I need to fit it in with how the other tests given by the other TA came out. My spread skewed a little lower: 10 A's, 14 B's, 10 C's, 2 D's. Hers had more A's and B's, fewer C's. So I think I'm going to give them the opportunity to get some of those points back by making corrections. Probably 1/3 of the points they missed.... That could be a whole letter grade for the lowest folks.

Today's lecture is on neurodevelopment (Yay!) and this week's paper is about the famous case of patient HM, as I will discuss memory tomorrow.

Posted by caltechgirl at 09:44 AM | Comments (2)

June 17, 2005

How did I miss THIS one???

I have really been out of it.

First, Katie Mango comes back for like a week and I miss it.

Margi takes digital photography to a new level, and I'm 2 days behind,

and now this, again, 2 days late...
GayPatriot is Back!! Yay! Even the Patriot Pooches are happy. If you haven't dropped by in a while, go say hello and get caught up. Oh yeah, and welcome to the BFL, too, Bruce. It's nice to have you back!

Posted by caltechgirl at 11:25 PM | Comments (0)

June 20, 2005

New Blogger Showcase....

Will magically appear in this space later today... Did I mention work sucks?

Posted by caltechgirl at 10:25 AM | Comments (2)

June 21, 2005

Question for the Masses

Ok, so as you well know, we're moving. Destination somewhere in the LA area. Probably Pasadena. Our stuff won't arrive until August, so we have some leeway with timing etc.

We're planning on ending up in Fresno, until the stuff arrives, but between here and there is a toss-up. We've decided to take advantage of the trip across the country and do a little sight-seeing.....

Vote for your favorite option, or suggest another:
1) The 40. Simple, straight, from here to CA via TN, AK,OK, TX, NM, and AZ. Includes stop at Grand Canyon

2) North! NC to WV, across the midwest, and up into the Dakotas, maybe Montana, and then south via Yellowstone....

3) Something in between, similar to our trip out here 5 years ago (which included Denver, Kansas, Springfield, MO and etc.)

4) South! Down to Jacksonville and across on the 10 to CA. May include Northward detour to Killeen for visit with in-laws....

5) ???

What do y'all think? Anybody along any of the routes? Any different ideas? Places to avoid?

Posted by caltechgirl at 01:20 PM | Comments (17)

June 23, 2005

Blogging = Birth Control?

Every time my life intervenes and I take 24 hours away from the blogs, somebody else turns up pregnant!

Either I've got to read everyday, or y'all are just gonna have to quit making babies. My poor little fingers are gonna be worn down to nubs making booties and blankets!

Especially with three coming the same week

Seriously, though, congratulations to my (sort of) blogparents on their impending second parenthood and to Sadie on becoming a big sister!


Posted by caltechgirl at 11:03 PM | Comments (5)

June 26, 2005

Apologies in advance

It's no secret we're moving. Here's the schedule:

Today: go to my office, clean out my desk, remove my toys and posters (picture to follow so you understand), print out what I hope is the final version of my thesis so I can take it in to the Grad school tomorrow to get it measured (DON'T ASK). Feed my friend's cat. Keep packing. Call in Dog's prescription

Monday: take dissertation to be measured. Make any changes, clarify requirements for printing (# copies, etc.). print on fancy paper. Turn in dissertation and all the paperwork to the grad school. Photocopy grades for Jennie, campus mail them to her. Keep Packing. Get rental application for new house from FAX machine (yay!), fill out application, return to sender, otherwise call her and figure out another way to get it... Keep Packing. Take bookcases, desk, garden/patio stuff to friend's house. Feed friend's cat. Go to costco, ask about transferring prescriptions to CA. Pick up dog's pills. Put in MY prescriptions. Keep packing. DH needs to call JSC and Moving company. Call to get cable/phone/power/water off or switched. Put change of address cards in mail.

Tuesday: dog to groomer. Keep Packing. Go to work. Finish up there. Say goodbye. Come home. Keep packing. Movers come tomorrow. Keep packing. Keep dumping. Pick up my pills. Feed Cat.

Wednesday: Movers take my furniture. Mom and Dad to Hotel. Load Car. Get rid of extra crap. Clean house. We go to friend's house. maybe sleep. Feed Cat.

Thursday: Mom and Dad to airport. Friend returns. Meet with current landlord to return keys and pick up a check.

Friday: Hitting the road with dog for parts unknown. Blogging will be light to non-existent.

Back on the 7th. For those of you I emailed, I will be checking, just not blogging :)

Posted by caltechgirl at 08:46 PM | Comments (8)

June 28, 2005

Pet Consumer Alert

I don't know how many of you this affects, but it pissed me off ROYAL, so I thought I'd share.

A certain large, national pet chain (one that thinks you're sMart if you shop there) will shortly cease to carry Iams and Eukanuba products for dogs and cats. According to the regional operations manager, who we actually spoke with yesterday in the store, they are switching to Science Diet products exclusively.

While this is fine for their business, and Science Diet is a fine product, the makers of Science Diet DO NOT make a large variety of prescription dog foods. Until last week, the sMart store was the ONLY place I could pick up Eukanuba K/O Kangaroo and Oat allergy formula dog food. Now, they no longer stock it. Arrgh. How the bloody f*ck am I supposed to feed my dog without her getting sick, huh?

Oh well, here's hoping the food will be available SOMEWHERE in LA without having to buy it from a vet....

Anyway, I realize that I may be the only reader of this blog who feeds her dog a prescription food, but nonetheless, some of you may purchase regular Iams/Eukanuba products there, so I wanted to pass along the heads up.

Posted by caltechgirl at 09:14 AM | Comments (13)

July 02, 2005

Road Diaries Day 2

Let it never be said that I mince words:

Chicago Sucks!

It took us 2 and a half hours to get from the toll road entrance in Gary, IN to Elgin, IL.

Arrgh. I suppose there was some consolation. The weather was in the mid-70's, sunny, and breezy, so when we were stopped in traffic we had the windows rolled down and had such a nice breeze. Also, western WI is just beautiful, except that whole tourist-trap-waterparks-and-casinos part in the Wisconsin Dells.

The Princess is doing well, and today she even seemed comfortable in the car, but how much of that is actual comfort and how much of that is the sedatives is not clear...

For those of you keeping track, today was OH, IN, IL, and WI. We're 2 miles from MN, which will be first thing tomorrow.

Oh yeah, and I had ACTUAL White Castle sliders for the first time (as in not pre-frozen) last night for dinner.

Tonight was chicken tenders salad and ice cream at Perkin's courtesy of this gentleman. Thanks, Paul!

Today's funny:
I don't think I would patronize this particular establishment.... Not sure exactly what goes on there.....

Posted by caltechgirl at 10:07 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

July 14, 2005

Still here, still pathetic

I'm ok. GMT is ok. Princess is ok. We're just recuperating from the trip and suffering a massive case of the blahs. Not to mention that things are a little disjointed since this is not our house and the majority of our stuff is somewhere in NC waiting to go on the truck...

Trying to help my friend get her wedding together (it's on the 30th) and find a house to live in. The one we wanted looks like it isn't going to work out, although it would be perfect for us....

Once life gets a little more back to normal (aka moved in to our own place) blogging will resume in earnest. Really. I swear.

Posted by caltechgirl at 02:48 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

July 16, 2005

Another Muggle Abduction....

As if I needed another reason to be off the computer.... Light posting until the mystery of the Half-Blood Prince is revealed.....

Oh, yeah and tonight is my 10 year HS reunion.... maybe I'll post some pictures.

Finally, DH needs all your good wishes and thoughts as he sits for his CSET exam so he can actually get a teaching job here in CA......

Posted by caltechgirl at 03:59 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

July 18, 2005

Harry Potter #6-- A review

Ok, so I in fact finished the book at 5pm on Saturday (I read pretty fast).

Short non-spoiler version: It's good. A cliffhanger, but better than #5.

Spoiler version below the fold

Read More "Harry Potter #6-- A review" »
Posted by caltechgirl at 04:05 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Why Gun Control Solves NOTHING

Stolen from fellow MuNu and BFL'er Mad Mikey:

If you consider that there have been an average of 160,000 troops in the Iraq theater of operations during the last 22 months, and a total of about 2,000 deaths, that gives a firearm death rate of 60 per 100,000.

The rate in Washington D.C. is 80.6 per 100,000.

That means that you are about 25% more likely to be shot and killed in our Nation's Capitol, which has some of the strictest gun control laws in the nation, than you are in Iraq.

Conclusion: We should immediately pull out of Washington D.C.

Posted by caltechgirl at 04:11 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

August 05, 2005

I hate to break it to you...

but Communism is no picnic.


"Cuba is not a bad place. You Right Wing "Christians" think that everyone should have a "Father Knows Best" lifestyle and live the "American Dream". Communism when governed properly helps keep people from doing what Enron did. Without Capitalism, Bush would not be killing innocent people in Iraq. There would have been no slavery in America. There would be no sweatshops. There would be no more street gangs. The Mafia would not exist. Capitalism results in greedy people killing and enslaving people and polluting the environment."

was posted here earlier today. Anyone else want to explain exactly what is so great about cagastro's Cuba that people are willing to risk their lives every day to literally swim 90 miles to come to the US?

Not to mention that this is a circular argument. Communism by definition doesn't need to be governed. If everyone is equal, no one is more equal than anyone else, right?

Ok, so I am Right Wing. And I am a Christian. So what? Does that make me any better or worse than you? I don't think so. But don't pigeonhole me. As for what I think about lifestyles see here.

As for Iraq, when did Bush take a gun over there and kill people? Maybe that fake turkey gave some people food poisoning, but let's call a spade a spade shall we? The majority of innocent people dying in Iraq right now are young American men and women who are trying to rebuild what 30+ years of despotism has ruined. The majority of deaths that have occurred in the months that we've been in Iraq have been caused by non-Iraqi terrorists, people who are trying to disrupt the peace that the Coalition is trying to provide for the people of Iraq.

Now, as to your misguided theories on Capitalism. First of all, the Mafia existed long before Adam Smith, and it has nothing to do with money and everything to do with Power. Street Gangs aren't about money, they're about protection and power. Iraq isn't about money. If it was, gas prices would be at an all time low.

See, your problem really isn't with President Bush, or Enron, or the Mafia. It's with what you view as the inequitable distribution of power in the world, and I hate to say it, but money and power go together see, they're a matched set. And frankly as long as money and power exist, they will be distributed inequitably simply because there will always be someone who is dissatisfied with their share. That's sometimes called greed, but it's also called ambition.

Which brings me to the American Dream. The American Dream is simply an ambition to enjoy the better things that more education and more money can give you. I don't have a problem with that. Either you do, or you have a serious lack of ambition.

Finally, you're right you know. Cuba isn't a bad place. It's a beautiful place with extraordinarily loving and giving people with a rich heritage and ambition for themselves and their children. Cuba is great, castro and his regime are bad.

Posted by caltechgirl at 12:11 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

August 06, 2005

My mood, summarized

Never let it be said that the Barenaked Ladies are anything other than lyrical geniuses. Also, perhaps Canada's best export after Hockey.

Their song, Never is Enough fits me to a tee these days. Especially the end of verse 4:

You get your ph.d.
How happy you will be
When you get a job at Wendy’s
And are honored with employee of the month

Anybody know anyone who wants to hire a freshly minted PhD with some actual skills?

Posted by caltechgirl at 03:54 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

August 19, 2005

Friday Quickies....

Wanna be killed by Zombies in a new Stephen King novel (or appear in a novel by one of 15 other major authors)? Then check this out. (h/t the lovely Margi)

The 1st anniversary Carnival of the Recipes is at the home of SWWBO, the creator of CotR. Unless I hear otherwise, I believe the Carnival moves here next week, so get those recipes in early!

If you're in the mood for some cheesy fun this weekend, Acidman has a list of some great B movies you should check out (I particularly like Evil Dead II and Rocky Horror om that list)

That's it for now.

Posted by caltechgirl at 04:57 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Expect some weirdness

I reset the timestamp for the blog to Pacific time.....

Posted by caltechgirl at 08:47 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 20, 2005

An apparent paradox

Why in the hell is milk so much more expensive in CA (a state known for its dairy products) than in NC (a state that makes smokes and pork)???

I mean WTF???

It is nice however that the beautiful, cheap produce MORE than makes up for it....

Posted by caltechgirl at 11:46 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

August 21, 2005


I am #2 on Yahoo! search for this.

Can't you just see some pathetic, socially challenged 12 year old looking this one up on the sly?

BTW, little man, the answer is having sex with her.......

Posted by caltechgirl at 04:28 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

August 22, 2005

That would explain it....

Demonic Possession Detected!
You are possessed by Nickar

In Teutonic mythology, Nicor are malignant water monsters who drown people. They are related to the Nixie, which are kind, loving male water spirits like the Stromkarls and the Necks. The female water spirits are called Undine. These lesser water divinities will sometimes leave the water to attend village dances. They have fish tails and often sit by the water combing each other's long green or blonde hair, playing the harp, or singing.

While you may be suffering some of the symptoms of Hormone Induced Migraine, only demonic possession can explain the whole package.

Admittedly, our system is less than 100% accurate so if you want to learn more about hormonal imbalance, check out Hera Clinic for Women. To learn more about demonic possession, check out Delirium's Realm.

Demonic Possession or Hormone Imbalance?

It's not PMS or wacky hormones. It's full on demon posession!
(h/t Michele and her demon possessor, Leonard)

Posted by caltechgirl at 05:44 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 25, 2005

Review- Eldest by Christopher Paolini

Well, ok this isn't strictly a review, but here goes.

Eldest, the second book in Paolini's Inheritance trilogy just came out and I picked it up yesterday. It took me all day to finish it because the thing was Harry-Potter sized. Almost 700 pages (the book is across the room, or I'd give you the exact number.... but I distinctly remember seeing page 666...).

It's very similar in style and tone to Eragon, it's predecessor. One difference is that since much of the plot of Eldest revolves around Eragon's time in the company of elves MANY MANY new words in the ancient dialect are presented, and although there is a glossary in the back, it's kind of a pain in the ass to have to flip back and forth to figure out what's being said in some cases.

Like Eragon, Eldest is also clearly a product of a modern writer. The influence of Tolkien and Lucas remains strong. In the case of Tolkien, his influence is clear in the races of elves and dwarves, their language and culture, their interaction. Although I must say that it's kind of unnerving to read words in "elvish" that should be "dwarvish" (if you're used to Tolkien). As for the influence of George Lucas, let's just say the kid really SHOULD get out more. More on this below the fold (SPOILERS, mostly from Eragon, but key ones from Eldest, too)

Read More "Review- Eldest by Christopher Paolini" »
Posted by caltechgirl at 11:54 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

August 30, 2005

More on Katrina

The story from New Orleans continues to get worse. Levees along Lake Ponchartrain are breaking and worsening the flooding in areas of the city (like the French Quarter) that were dry are filling up.....

Live coverage from WWL is back online either here or at cbsnews.com (click on the Live video link)

WWL is liveblogging the updates, the best news is here.

Brendan Loy is back up after some bandwidth issues, check out his updates (which continue to be the best on the web at The Irish Trojan or his backup site.

Thanks, Brendan for keeping us all up to date!

Of course now is the time to start helping out all of the people who lost their homes and loved ones. Go here for a list of charities mobilizing for the relief effort already. Thanks, Lee Ann.

More lists of charities are out there. Here's another comprehensive list

Posted by caltechgirl at 10:28 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

While I'm on the subject...

Where the Hell is Hollywood?

It took maybe 5 minutes after 9/11 for all of these bleeding heart @sswipes to get on TV and try to help. They'll raise money for starving african children but not one damn dime for our own poor kids so far. It's been 24 hours. I know they're showing the NOLA devastation out here in LaLa Land on the news, so what's up, folks?

Even stars that are linked with New Orleans, the Gulfcoast, or Louisiana, are still mum on the subject. A quick perusal of their websites (these are examples) shows that no one has yet even put up a link to relief efforts.

We're watching you, Hollywood hypocrites!

If you have any examples of Hollywood folks responding to this crisis, leave the link below.....

Posted by caltechgirl at 12:08 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Oh Sh*t....

According to Brendan, CNN is now reporting that all people being rescued are being taken to the Superdome, and since the water continues to rise, people are going to be evacuated from the Superdome soon.

Airlift of 30,000 refugees is about to commence.

The water is still rising all over NO. The cop on WWL right now sounds scared.

Posted by caltechgirl at 02:06 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 14, 2005

The learning curve.....

As many of you who are bloggers know, one of the most useful things you add to your page is a tracker that logs hits from search engines.....

Tonight I watched someone actually answer their question:"what's the f-bomb?"
(why am I NOT surprised that I am #1 for this string?)

the next search string I got hit for was: "fuckhead fuckwad fuckface"


Posted by caltechgirl at 09:13 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

October 07, 2005

Is it just me?

This is for the CA readers out there....

Is it me, or when you see that anti prop-76 ad that says "Prop 76 alters the CA constitution and blah blah blah and gives the governor..."

Do you also hear in your head "harrumph!"

As in: "Give the Governor Harrumph!"

Brownie points to whoever gets the reference....

Posted by caltechgirl at 02:50 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

October 10, 2005

Rocking the boat....

Anybody got a good remedy for "boat hangover" (feels like everything you sit/lie down on is rocking)???

The extent and location of the sunburn makes my usual remedy (vigorous walk) nearly impossible...

Off to try a shower and getting water in my ears.....

Posted by caltechgirl at 01:35 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

November 02, 2005

Leaving Work Early

There are two ass-clowns in here trying to set up the fire sprinklers. Everytime I get back to work, they come back in here again. You should have seen them bump into each other trying to get in and out of the door!

This is why I'm blogging instead of reading the grant that I'm trying to read.

But seriously, donate to Valour-IT, ok?

Use the Force button on the left, Luke!

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

Some bloggers...

...know how to take a joke.

Some don't. And don't deserve a link.

I am so mad at someone, even though I should not be taking it personally. Assclown.

(note: if I haven't snarked at you elsewhere, you are not the assclown)

Posted by caltechgirl at 08:37 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

November 17, 2005


Pregnant woman weds teen, spends honeymoon in jail.

She is thirty-seven and he is fifteen. They are alleged to have had a sexual relationship for two years.

What is interesting to me is:

Under Georgia law, teenagers may marry as long as they are at least 16 and have the permission of a parent or guardian. Those restrictions are waived, however, when a female applicant is pregnant.

I assume the Georgie statute is referring to when the femal applicant is pregnant and a teenager.

Despite the valid marriage, the article states: "Clark's marriage to the boy does not protect her from prosecution (of molestation), police said."

Talk about a mess...

What was she thinking?!

This is one of those times I wish there had been pictures of the two, I'm dying to know what they look like.

Posted by Christina at 08:59 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

December 05, 2005


This just nauseated me. I mean presumably some adult had to have looked at the card and ok'd it, right?

During our visit to Walter Reed, we all piled into a room of a young soldier who had just come out of surgery. His parents were there to take care of him. His room was decorated with autographed photos...one from Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac who had visited the previous day...others of professional football players. There was also a card from a child...a get well card...

..or so one would think.

It was actually a "I hope you die" card. Think I'm kidding? I'm not. We were all speechless. Now I gave my word to the Public Relations officer of Walter Reed that I wouldn't publish any pictures of the soldiers that I took. I'm not sure if that covers pictures of cards, but until I get clarification, I will only quote the card for you and tell you that the handwriting looked like it was from a child in the third to fourth grade.

Here's what it said....

Dear Soldier,

Have a great time in the war.

And have a great time dieing in the war.


Miguel G

P.S. Die

(there were bullet holes drawn around the word "Die")

Unfortunately the envelope wasn't kept so the origin of such a heinous act is unknown. Luckily, this soldier and his parents decided to hold on to the note because you will be seeing more about it on Fox and Brian Kilmeade.

Several folks are going off about baby moonbats and what are the politics of the parents and yadda yadda. I can't help but wonder if this is just a kid being a kid in a sad, misguided way. It's like something Bart Simpson would do for shits and giggles (like last night's episode where he tried to split Milhouse's parents up again so Milhouse got more attention and $$).

The kid's not the issue. The problem is the parent/teacher/responsible adult that didn't preview the card before sending it off to Walter Reed Hospital. The fact that either the adults didn't care or didn't disagree wth the messge makes me ill. Just because there's an American Flag on the front, that doesn't mean the message inside is appropriate. Look, what if (like Bart might) the kid had written about farting? Just as likely from a boy, just as inappropriate, but in a different way.

Now, If little Miguel turns out to be big Miguel, not a kid, but an adult posing as a kid to get their hate message through, that's just too sick and twisted to discuss, but certainly not above the loonies on the left.

Drop over to Two Babes and a Brain for a more thorough discussion of the topic.

(h/t La Malkin)

Posted by caltechgirl at 10:18 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

January 08, 2006

Ted Kennedy, Historical scholar

WaPo's Dana Milbank notes this scholarly gem from Massachussetts' favorite drunken driver:

Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.), hosting a morning roundtable with reporters, had nothing nice to say about Alito. "We here in the United States are not going to stand for monarchial tyranny," he said, protesting Alito's support for "unfettered, unlimited power of the executive." He faulted Alito for belonging to a group that was "anti-black and also anti-women." Kennedy wondered if "the average person is going to be able to get a fair shake" under Alito.

Briefly, Kennedy rewrote the outcome of the 1964 election. "This nominee was influenced by the Goldwater presidency," he said. "The Goldwater battles of those times were the battles against the civil rights laws." Only then did Kennedy acknowledge that "Judge Alito at that time was 14 years old."
Yep.  You read that right. Further proof that the esteemed gentleman from Massachussetts lives in an alternate universe.

h/t McGehee, who found it here

Posted by caltechgirl at 12:55 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 18, 2006

I thought they were PROUD of their country

Seems Canada's star athletes haven't learned that there is no "I" in team.  From CTV News:

A number of Canada's star athletes have refused to carry the country's flag at the opening ceremonies for the Turin Olympics, saying they prefer to focus on their performance instead of taking on extra work.

According to the Toronto Star, cross-country skier Beckie Scott, speed skaters Clara Hughes and Cindy Klassen and bobsledder Pierre Lueders have asked their associations not to nominate them for the revered role.

The Star also reports the freestyle ski team chose not to nominate moguls skiing champion Jennifer Heil for the job because she is scheduled to compete the day after the ceremony.

I thought Canadians were the ones who weren't ashamed to be associated with their flag in public in other countries. Hell, ask the Barenaked Ladies.

But then again, they are flip-top, toque-wearing Canucks.

That's just f*cking sad.  Really f*cking sad.

h/t Kate at OTB

Posted by caltechgirl at 11:27 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

January 19, 2006

Am I really this predictable? Sheesh!

Notice I scored 100% on Biology and Psychology.... Pretty much Neurobiology, I'd say...

You scored as Biology. You should be a Biology major! You are passionate about the sciences, and you enjoy studying cell growth and evolutionary concepts which enable living organisms to survive. Pursue that!





























What is your Perfect Major?
created with QuizFarm.com

This quiz even had a tie breaker! Cool!
h/t wanna-be English Major Jay

Posted by caltechgirl at 12:22 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

If my Homeys could see me now....

Seen while getting off of the 210 today:

Thug looking Mexican dude, bald head, neck tattoos, driving a "no p*nis" car.  That is, a small, Asian sports car with after-market extras, in particular a LARGE spoiler wing on the rear.

Dude pulls up next to me at the light, and as I look over I see a little white fluffy dog with a snazzy blue collar on his lap.  Said dog promptly jumps up and starts giving Daddy slurpy puppy kisses all over his face.....

Posted by caltechgirl at 12:57 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

An unlooked for milestone

Visitor # 75,000 arrived here this afternoon at 3:40pm looking for news about Mikey.

Thanks to Mr./Ms. Anonymous from Thousand Oaks, CA using Adelphia high speed internet!

Whoever you are, if you make yourself known and you have a blog, linky love will be forthcoming!

Posted by caltechgirl at 04:27 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Going to Hell. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200.

I'm sorry, I know, I am indeed going to burn in hell for this, but everytime I see this story, I can't help but think of this scene in Holy Grail.....

DEAD PERSON: I'm not dead!
CUSTOMER: Nothing -- here's your nine pence.
DEAD PERSON: I'm not dead!
MORTICIAN: Here -- he says he's not dead!
CUSTOMER: Yes, he is.
MORTICIAN: He isn't.
CUSTOMER: Well, he will be soon, he's very ill.
DEAD PERSON: I'm getting better!
CUSTOMER: No, you're not -- you'll be stone dead in a moment.
MORTICIAN: Oh, I can't take him like that -- it's against regulations.
DEAD PERSON: I don't want to go on the cart!
CUSTOMER: Oh, don't be such a baby.
MORTICIAN: I can't take him...
DEAD PERSON: I feel fine!
CUSTOMER: Oh, do us a favor...
CUSTOMER: Well, can you hang around a couple of minutes? He won't be long.
MORTICIAN: Naaah, I got to go on to Robinson's -- they've lost nine today.
CUSTOMER: Well, when is your next round?
MORTICIAN: Thursday.
DEAD PERSON: I think I'll go for a walk.
CUSTOMER: You're not fooling anyone y'know. Look, isn't there something you can do?
DEAD PERSON: I feel happy... I feel happy.
CUSTOMER: Ah, thanks very much.

I am glad for the little girl though, that she's making progress.....

h/t See-Dubya at Patterico's

Posted by caltechgirl at 08:25 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


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

For Ben

Because (as you may find out from this meme) Ben was a telemarketer in a former life.

The telemarketing counterscript, or how to screw with telemarketers.

h/t Lex Communis

Posted by caltechgirl at 11:45 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

January 20, 2006

Happily Ever After?

Disney's OTHER Desperate Housewives (or would that be "Castle"wives?):

Stolen from Brandon's Mommy

Posted by caltechgirl at 10:29 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

January 25, 2006

How F*cking Stupid do you want to be?

According to this article, British women OVERWHELMINGLY woud prefer to be "thin and stupid" rather than "smart and fat".

94%.  F*cking 94%.  I'd say they're already stupid, so all they really want is to be thin....

Yeah, well, as a woman who is both fat and smart, 94% of me would prefer not to be British

Good thing I'm not.

H/T Big Fat Blog, pointed out by Stingflower

Posted by caltechgirl at 02:00 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Is it just me?

Or does the new "Clorox Anywhere Spray" commercial creep you out too?  I mean the woman is spraying the sh*t on clean dishes and FOOD for chrissakes!  On food!  Even their website advertises that you can safely spray this crap on/near your food.

Umm, no.  I don't want to buy your fine product, I'm too busy rewashing all my produce at the moment.  Ewww!

Posted by caltechgirl at 11:13 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

January 31, 2006

I want to be in the Bad Example Clan because....

Harvey is really my (blog)father and he won't recognize me otherwise.

Quote: "That's not MY nose..."

My mama and my brothers and sisters love me and accept me, (blog)Dad, so why won't you?  Please?

Don't leave me out here in the cold.  It's so lonely and scary... *sniff, sniff*...

Posted by caltechgirl at 01:17 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Going Postal, again

From the Ass.Press, via Yahoo!:

"A former postal worker who had been put on medical leave for psychological problems shot five people to death at a huge mail-processing center and then killed herself in what was believed to be the nation's deadliest workplace shooting ever carried out by a woman.

The attack Monday night was also the biggest bloodbath at a U.S. postal installation since a massacre 20 years ago helped give rise to the term "going postal.""
Holy Crap!  Goleta is the hometown of UCSB, and this facility is just a couple of blocks off campus.  Good thing she offed herself rather than going on a worse rampage.

Posted by caltechgirl at 03:48 PM | Comments (0) | 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 02, 2006

In honor of the day...

©2006, King Features Syndicate

Six more weeks of winter is great, as long as it's six more weeks like this :)

Although I do miss the snow.....

Oh, and Happy Birthday to my B-I-L M, as opposed to DH's other brother (in-law) M.

Posted by caltechgirl at 01:14 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 03, 2006

Oh the Irony

Journalist and Blogger Michael Yon has consistently been one of the most strident voices in support of our Troops and the marvelous things they do in Iraq that don't get reported elsewhere.

You know the old saying don't sh*t where you eat?  Well, it looks like the Army is doing just that.

You may remember that Michael took this picture of a US soldier cradling a young Iraqi girl in his arms.  This picture was even nominated as one of Time Magazine's Best Pictures of 2005.  However, the Army released the photo on its own initially, without Michael's permission and under the false attribution "AP/US Army".

Since last fall, Michael has been trying to claim the rights to his own photograph, including any compensation the Army recieved for its publication, and has been denied.

According to the Boston Herald, the Army is denying his claim based on their assertion that the

""hold harmless" waiver that [he signed at the ouset of his trip] absolved the government of responsibility for any "injury" Yon might suffer as an embedded blogger.
    The army also said that Yon uploaded his photo onto government computer servers, creating an "implied license" agreement for the Army to distribute the photo.
     Yon, who’s become something of an online celebrity because of his vivid battle dispatches from Iraq, said the Army's arguments are "preposterous". The injury waiver applies to physical wounds, not copyright infringements, he said.
    He added he gave the Army permission to use the photo for purely internal purposes."
Michael Yon has consistently supported our troops and brought their stories to light out of his own pocket, having recieved no compensation for his time in Iraq, funding his trips to the Middle East on his own.  By denying Michael his due compensation for this photograph, the Army is, ironically enough, shooting themselves in the foot by preventing one of their best weapons in the battle of public opinion from reloading.

If you support Michael and his mission, link this post or these posts, and tell his story.  Write your congresspeople and senators, too.  Especially if you are a Massachussetts resident, like Michael.

Posted by caltechgirl at 01:55 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

The Terrorist's Thesaurus

My goodness, I had no idea there were really THAT MANY words for "mass death" in the English Language... 

Just keep scrolling down, starting with the 4th photo.  Anyone else notice a pattern?

Posted by caltechgirl at 04:15 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 07, 2006

You're Kelo-ing me!

The Weekly Standard updates on the progress of  Logan Clements, the dot-com-millionaire cum documentarist who seeks to expose the absurdity of the Kelo decision by "eminent domaining" Justice David Souter's family homestead in Weare, NH to turn the property into a bed and breakfast that will be known as the "Lost Liberty Hotel".  From the article:

"Clements likens himself to firefighters who, to combat a raging blaze in the forest, will sometimes set small fires in its path to starve the original fire of fuel before it can become an all-consuming wildfire, thus "fighting fire with fire." His numerous critics suggest that he's engaging in vigilantism, and that this is tantamount to protesting capital punishment by killing the guy who throws the switch on the electric chair. But that's a hard sell. Vigilantes operate outside the law, and it's illegal to kill the executioner. By contrast, Clements is operating inside the law, illustrating its absurdity by using the law against itself. "Why," he asks, "should the law be beyond its own reach?""
Sounded like a prank at first, right? But this guy is serious, and he seems to have the citizens of Weare coming around to his side.... Only time will tell if Souter loses his house to Kelo, or Kelo loses itself to the courts.

Posted by caltechgirl at 11:48 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

It's a f*cking FUNERAL for Cripes sake!

Do you do honor to one of the classiest women this nation has ever known by attacking the sitting President of the United States in your remarks at her funeral?

I know you wish it was HIS funeral, but some things are simply beyond trashy, classless, and rude.  Rot in Hell you selfish, pathetic bastards. 

You disrespected not only a strong and well-loved woman, but her husband, and everything he stood for by your remarks today.  He would never have done such a thing, and I bet you wouldn't have dared to do it if he was still alive.

RIP Martin and Coretta.  What you did will always be remembered, long after these jackasses are forgotten.

I heard some of this at work today, and Pam has the links here.

Posted by caltechgirl at 05:22 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

February 09, 2006

The bleg which could turn into a meme

As some of you know I recently purchased for myself what some people might refer to as a "very expensive clothes hanger".  Yes, the dreaded home exercise equipment.  My elliptical machine (damn my thighs hurt....)

In order to use said equipment efficiently, I'm planning on stealingborrowing DH's iPod and jamming while I work out instead of just watching TV, as I have been doing.

Hence the bleg. What are your favorite songs to work out/ run to? I know lots of you do this everyday, so SOMEBODY's gotta have some good advice....

Posted by caltechgirl at 01:26 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

February 14, 2006

Tom and Katie: Best News I've Heard in a While!

Happy Valentine's day indeed, Tommy Couch-Jumper.
What does Xenu think of you now?

sooper seekrit h/t Agent Bedhead

Posted by caltechgirl at 02:48 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

February 16, 2006

Roses really smell like...

Yeah, you know the song.

In Iran, evidently one can no longer purchase a Danish Pastry, but now, for a limited time only, you can get a fresh "Rose of the Prophet Muhammad" for the same price.

Sheesh.  First they hate us, then they steal from us.  Get it straight people, you can't have your cakedanish and eat it too!

h/t Flap, and apologies to OutKast.

Posted by caltechgirl at 01:42 PM | Comments (0) | 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

Speaking of better things to talk about....

Just found out that the reason I haven't seen one of my students in two weeks is because her soon-to-be-Ex took off suddenly, and absconded with the kids....

She knows where he is and is getting together the resources to go after him and get her babies back.  But she's had to take a leave from her job and drop out of school for the semester.

If you're the praying type, put in a good word to whatever benevolent deity you worship for Michelle S. and her babies, will you?  Thanks.

Posted by caltechgirl at 04:14 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

February 27, 2006

Love the Weather, hate the Idiots (plus Zimmy goodness)

It took me over an HOUR to go the 21 miles from work to home. Arrgh.

I love the gray skies and the rain, but sheesh people, get a grip.  Stop and go isn't any more dangerous just because the road is wet.

Oh wait.  They're all looking up at this freak occurrence!  What is this RAIN?  Perhaps we should ask Invader Zim (link opens classic Zim episode "The Wettening")

Posted by caltechgirl at 04:32 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 13, 2006

Feingold = Cheesebrain

Ladies and Gentlemen, the Partisan in his native habitat:

"Congress has to reassert our system of government, and the cleanest and the most efficient way to do that is to censure the president," Feingold said. "And, hopefully, he will acknowledge that he did something wrong."

The Wisconsin Democrat, considered a presidential contender for 2008, said he had not discussed censure with other senators but that, based on criticism leveled at Bush by both Democrats and Republicans, the resolution makes sense.

The president's action were "in the strike zone" in terms of being an impeachable offense, Feingold said. The senator questioned whether impeaching Bush and removing him from office would be good for the country.

In the House, Rep. John Conyers of Michigan, the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, is pushing legislation that would call on the Republican-controlled Congress to determine whether there are grounds for impeachment."

The Moonbats are now officially running the show.  I wrote about the groundswell of dipshit moonbat support for censure/impeachment back in January, when She-who-will-not-buy-a-tombstone-for-her-son and friends spoke in Washington  about how impeachment NOW.  TODAY. was the only way.  Even without a majority in Congress.  Even without another election.  Moderates in the party have now been declared officially irrelevant.

If I had ever been a Democrat, today I would be ashamed.

On the other hand, if this is the best they've got, they're in trouble.

Posted by caltechgirl at 10:00 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Pure Genius

Evil Genius, that is.

I always said Dubya was smarter than most people give him credit for.  Take that Dubai!

Posted by caltechgirl at 10:18 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Fisking of the Day

Dan Riehl takes apart George Clooney:

"The fear of been (sic) criticized can be paralyzing. Just look at the way so many Democrats caved in the run up to the war. In 2003, a lot of us were saying, where is the link between Saddam and bin Laden? What does Iraq have to do with 9/11? We knew it was bullshit. Which is why it drives me crazy to hear all these Democrats saying, "We were misled." It makes me want to shout, "Fuck you, you weren't misled. You were afraid of being called unpatriotic."

Incorrect. Go back and review the record and speeches, George. We didn't go to war in Iraq as a direct result of 9/11. That's just more of the big lie tactic of the left desperately trying to couch today's political issues in your favor when they are not. We went to war in Iraq to eliminate a growing threat. We accomplished that and are working hard to leave behind a state with some stability and with the adherence to the very values you appear to profess - liberty, freedom and equality. Apparently those values are only good for you and yours, not the Iraqis. Congratulations George, you made it from demagogue to racist in one paragraph."

Me thinks George should stick to polishing his nobOscar until he gets enough CSF back in his brain to think straight.

Read it all here.

Reliapundit also aims to set George straight here.

"HEY GEORGE (regarding the Civil Rights Movement and Rosa Parks): a higher percentage of GOP members of Congress voted for the US Civil Rights Act then Democrats did - FACT!"

Now go read the rest, but put down your drink first! (h/t to Vodka Steve for the Reliapundit article)

Posted by caltechgirl at 10:49 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 14, 2006

Don't these people have a staff?

Not that I disagree with the statement, but still.....

h/t Michelle Malkin

Posted by caltechgirl at 03:37 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 15, 2006


Today is the 4th annual International Eat an Animal for PETA day!

YAY! I celebrated earlier with half a leftover meatloaf sandwich for lunch. I'm thinking dinner is going to be bacon-wrapped tenderloin. Gotta get in all the meats you can, right?

To join in the festivities, post about your celebration, tag your post with the EATAPETA technorati tag and sign the frappr!

Posted by caltechgirl at 12:55 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

March 17, 2006

On-Demand not good enough? Try DIY!

Darleen is a braver woman than I am.  She reads the moonbats on a near daily basis.  I can't.  It's just not good for my blood pressure.

Anyway, Darleen found a How-To guide for home abortion.  I won't link it (although Darleen did), because the disregard for basic human safety apparent in that post appalls me.  No mention of proper handwashing or sterilization procedures, just a cursory "keep things sterile".  Folks, I had to go to a CLASS to learn how to keep things sterile during surgery. Which an abortion is.  It's a surgical procedure.  The author also recommends mexican antibiotics, and in the comments, when questioned about the safety of black market drugs, laughs it off saying "only oxycontin and things like that are counterfeit" (paraphrase).  She even advocates doing this if you've never had medical training and only a cursory knowledge of female anatomy (your own!!).

Hell, a contortionist with a mirror could probably do it to herself.

Surgery done on RODENTS in this country is more closely monitored than what this woman is advocating.  I know.  I'm certified to do that.

The topic us Cotillion babes are discussing this week is Feminism.   I went off on that last week, but this is just another prime example of why I can not support the Feminist movement.  If abortion someday becomes illegal, they'll disregard the safety of the woman undergoing the procedure and remove the fetus full speed ahead!  It's Feminism come full circle:  Not only will I choose to do as I like, with whomever I like, whenever I like, damn the consequences, even at the risk of my own life.

Well, that's what you wanted, right?  Full rights?  You've got it now, baby.  And all the responsibilities that come along with them.  Including the ultimate responsibility:  your own life.

Posted by caltechgirl at 11:32 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Truth or Consequences? Neither.

This has been brewing in my head over the last week.

I've been thinking about personal responsibility. Three stories this week have brought it to the fore.

It's long, so the body is in the extended....

Read More "Truth or Consequences? Neither." »
Posted by caltechgirl at 12:27 PM | Comments (6) | 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 28, 2006

Marriage-- For Whites Only?

Much has been made of the Joy Jones article in yesterday's Washington Post regarding the attitudes of young blacks towards marriage.

The best (bar none) commentary on this article I have seen is this piece by LaShawn Barber.  I'm not always in agreement with LaShawn, but in this case she hits the nail squarely on the head.  She says, in part:

"In my admittedly biased, unscientific observations, it appears that black boys are not being socialized to marry and take care of families, and black girls are not being socialized to accept nothing less than an honorable man who will marry and care for them. Generally speaking, boys are not being groomed to be husbands and breadwinners, and girls are not being groomed to keep their legs closed until marriage.

Why are these things so, and why is “black marriage” in such a dismal state? I believe the reasons boil down to two factions: fatherless homes and the weakening of the social stigma against illegitimacy."

There's a lot more, so do go read the rest.  I'll wait here, I promise.

As an educator in a university that was founded specifically to train minority students in the sciences, these attitudes in the Black community are critical to what I do everyday.  It's hard to combat the idea that a college education and a stable family aren't things that are for whites only.  It's hard to get a kid whose brother is in jail to believe that he or she can get into med school.  The kids (anecdotally) who end up making the decision to commit to college and be successful are more likely to be the ones that have a stronger base at home, either Mom and Dad, or parent and step-parent.

Furthermore, I find it ironic that this attitude reflects a self-imposed social segregation.  Many have written, and eloquently, about the re-segregation of the Black community, from the suburbs back to the urban ghettoes, and the embracing of ghetto culture as something unimpeachably "Ours".  In this mentality, wealth, education, and social well-being are disregarded as anathema to one's ethnic identity.  All under the guise of "keeping it real".

Since when is caring for your children, earning enough money to provide for them properly, and encouraging them to get an education NOT "real".  Or is "real" just another word for "victim"?

Which brings me to my own question about this article.  I get the sense that this attitude is a reflection of the broader feeling that Black=Victim (and, as a corollary, White=Abuser).  Why is it so important for the Black community to be the victim?  Is that the only identity that they can cling to?  Let's look at the evidence (using generalities here): Black communities come together in poor urban centers, they shun education and professional attitudes (see "uncle toms" and "oreos", the NBA Dress Code debacle, or Chris Rock's "Master's" skit), and now apparently devalue marriage and co-parenting.

Maybe the reason that marriage "isn't" for Blacks is that anything that "builds up" a family is incompatible with the community mentality.

I'm sure that I'm going to get a lot of sh*t from Black folks on this.  Yes, I am a white girl talking about Black culture.  But I work in this community.  I teach in this community.  And I see how the choices that people make impact their children's lives and choices.  The real issue shouldn't be who's asking the question, but rather how do we go about answering the problems.

Posted by caltechgirl at 03:02 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

April 12, 2006

Welcome to California

So as not to be outdone by all the redneck, hillbilly, and Texan jokes...

You know you're from California if:

1. Your coworker has 8 body piercings and none are visible.

2. You make over $400,000 and still can't afford a house.

3. You take a bus and are shocked at two people carrying on a conversation in English.

4. Your child's 3rd-grade teacher has purple hair, a nose ring, and is named Flower.

5. You can't remember . . is pot illegal?

6. You've been to a baby shower that has two mothers and a sperm donor.

7. You have a very strong opinion about where your coffee beans are grown, and you can taste the difference between Sumatran and Ethiopian!

8. You can't remember . . . is pot illegal?

9. A really great parking space can totally move you to tears.

10. Gas costs $1.00 per gallon more than anywhere else in the U.S.

11. Unlike back home, the smug bastard at 8:30 am at Starbucks wearing a baseball cap and sunglasses who looks like George Clooney really IS George Clooney. 

12. Your car insurance costs as much as your house payment.

13. You can't remember . . . .is pot illegal?

14. It's barely sprinkling rain and there's a report on every news station: "STORM WATCH."

15. You pass an elementary school playground and the children are all busy with their cell phones or pagers.

16. It's barely sprinkling rain outside, so you leave for work an hour early to avoid all the weather related accidents.

17. HEY!!!! Is pot illegal????

18. Both you AND your dog have therapists.

19. The Terminator is your governor.

20. If you drive illegally, they take your driver's license away. If you're here illegally, they want to give you one.

via an email from the CaltechMom!

Posted by caltechgirl at 01:53 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

April 13, 2006

Having a Spaz...

Seems the Brits are up in arms because Tiger Woods, in a post-Masters interview, said that he "putted like a Spaz".

See, in Britain, they call children with Cerebral Palsy "spastics".  Spaz being a derogatory form of the above.

But then again, Tiger, you've got no reason to worry, after all, these are the same folks who call their smokes "faggots".

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

I hate you guys. Especially [Comedy Central]

Just 20 minutes after showing Mohammed in the group shot at the end of the opening credits of the episode, CC pulls a hypocritical BONER and refuses to show Mohamed handing a "salmon helmet" to Peter Griffin in part 2 of South Park's "Family Guy" spoof.

Comedy Central has confirmed that this was a network decision, but somehow I can't help but think this is all part of the plan.....

Predictably, Michelle Malkin, OTB, Captain Ed, Wizbang!, and the Jawas are all over this.

Two thoughts:
1.  LOVED Bart Simpson working with Cartman.  Hell yeah!
2.  You can show Jesus getting pooped on but not Mohammed at the front door?  WTF?

Posted by caltechgirl at 11:22 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Better than a Hobby

Go here.  Scroll down.  Laugh.  Refresh.

Lather, Rinse, Repeat.

note:  The management apologizes if you actually agree with this stoopid moonbattery and wish to add a sincere message of your own.  NOT!!!

P.S.  Look for Mohammed....
h/t Beth

Posted by caltechgirl at 07:45 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

It wasn't a DC-8, I assure you.


Tom Cruise flies off in vintage plane as Holmes awaits baby

Posted by caltechgirl at 09:10 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 14, 2006

Friday Dumb Meme

Do you have:

      (X) your own cell phone... DUH.  Since 1996.  10 years of being in touch.
(X) a television in your bedroom....Oh HELL YES.  Can't sleep without it.
(X) an MP3 player...I am attached at the hip to my iPod shuffle.
(X) a photo printer...Yes, but it's still in the box.
() your own phone line....  Nope, one house, two peoples
( ) TiVo or a generic digital video recorder...Working on it
(X) high-speed internet access...Can't live without it
( ) a surround sound system in bedroom...No.  Too cheap.
(X ) DVD player in bedroom...See above.  Can you say White Christmas?
( X) at least a hundred DVDs...Cheaper than going to the Movies.
(X) a childfree bathroom...Unless the dog-child counts.
(X ) your own in-house office...Where my printers and my sewing machine live.
() a pool...  I wish
( ) a guest house...As if
( ) a game room...  If we had another room.  Does the living room count?
( X) a queen-size bed or larger...Oh yeah, King size. Of course, it's for two people and a stretchy dog...
( ) a stocked bar...Only if that means 2 bottles of wine, and a full bottle each of rum, Kahlua, and Baileys.....
(X) a working dishwasher...Oh, Hell yes.
( ) an icemaker...I used to.  Until we moved here.  First freezer I've had without one.
( X) a working washer and dryer...Couldn't Live without them
(X ) more than 20 pairs of shoes.. DUH
( ) at least ten things from a designer store...Designers don't make clothes that fit me.
(X ) expensive sunglasses... Prescription only.
() framed original art (not lithographs or prints)..
(X ) Egyptian cotton sheets or towels....Wedding presents are nice.
(X) a multi-speed bike...Two actually.
( ) a gym membership...I refuse to spend money to kick my own ass.
( X) large exercise equipment at home...Me and my elliptical.
( X) your own set of golf clubs...In my Dad's garage.
( ) a pool table...I wish.
( ) a tennis court...The first place we lived after we were married had one.
(X ) local access to a lake, large pond, or the sea...Hello, this is LA. The beach is right here.
( ) your own pair of skis...I fucking hate skiing.
(X) enough camping gear for a weekend trip in an isolated area...Yes, if you like sleeping outside a tent.  The army was good to us.
( ) a boat....When I'm rich.  Until then, I'll use Bill's :)
( ) a jet ski...no way
( ) a neighborhood committee membership...My landlord does.
( ) a beach house or a vacation house/cabin...When I retire.
(X) wealthy family members...Yep.  Both of us.
( ) two or more family cars...No.  Does the bike count?
(X) a walk-in closet or pantry...My closet is bigger than some bedrooms.
( ) a yard...Nope, but a nice balcony.
( ) a hammock...No.  No trees.
( ) a personal trainer...See above regarding Gym memberships
(X ) good credit...I rock.
(X ) expensive jewelry...I'm married to a geologist.  Need I say more?
( ) a designer bag that required being on a waiting list to get...As if.  Fuck No
( ) at least $100 cash in your possession right now...HA HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAA
(X) more than two credit cards bearing your name (not counting gas cards or debit cards)...Oh yeah.  A lot.
(X) a stock portfolio...Yes, whatever is in the retirement fund....
() a passport... getting there.
( ) a horse...No.  My niece does, though.
( ) a trust fund (either for you or created by you)...No
(X) private medical insurance...Thank You Jesus!.
() a college degree, and no outstanding student loans ...Give me a month.  Just one more month.

Do you:
( X) shop for non-needed items for yourself (like clothes, jewelry, electronics) at least once a week... Doesn't mean I buy them, though.  Shopping is fun.
(X ) do your regular grocery shopping at high-end or specialty stores...Yes.  Trader Joes ROCKS
( ) pay someone else to clean your house, do dishes, or launder your clothes (not counting dry-cleaning)...does my Husband count?
(X) go on weekend mini-vacations...Those are the only kind I can afford.
( ) send dinners back with every flaw...That's my mother, not me...
( X) wear perfume or cologne (not body spray)...Yummy smelling=GOOD.
(X ) regularly get your hair styled or nails done in a salon...Starting next week, it's coming off.
( ) have a job but don't need the money OR
( ) stay at home with little financial sacrifice...Again, HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
( ) pay someone else to cook your meals...No
( ) pay someone else to watch your children or walk your dogs...I wish.
( ) regularly pay someone else to drive you taxis...Hell no.
( ) expect a gift after you fight with your partner...The fact that he remembers what we were fighting about is a miracle

Are you:
(x) an only child..Thank Jesus!
( ) married/partnered to a wealthy person...Nope, and I could care less.
(X) baffled/surprised when you don't get your way...I ALWAYS get my way.  Dammit.  Respect my Authoritah!

Have you:
( ) been on a cruise...No
(X) traveled out of the country...Canada.
(X) met a celebrity...Several of them.
( ) been to the Caribbean...Not yet
( ) been to Europe...It's on the list.
( ) been to Hawaii...DH wants to go.  Maybe I'll go meet Dog....
(X ) been to New York...Loved it.
( ) eaten at the space needle in Seattle...No, didn't make it to Seattle
( ) been to the Mall of America...No.  Skipped that on PURPOSE
( ) been on the Eiffel tower in Paris...No.  See above.
( ) been on the Statue of Liberty in New York...It was still closed when I was in NYC.
( X) moved more than three times because you wanted to...Fresno to Pasadena to Fresno (briefly) to Carrboro to Chapel Hill, across town, and back here to Pasadena.
(X) dined with local political figures. In Fresno, at USC, and at Caltech.
(X) been to both the Atlantic coast and the Pacific coast...I've lived near both, too!
Did you:
( ) go to another country for your honeymoon...Nope, but we went to the ocean.
(X ) hire a professional photographer for your wedding or party ...The bastard.
(X) take riding or swimming lessons as a child...When I was allowed to swim....
(X ) attend private school...In college.
( ) have a Sweet 16 birthday party thrown for you....Fuck that.

That makes 43.  Eat it Benny :-P

Posted by caltechgirl at 11:06 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

April 19, 2006

TomKat stars in "Oklahoma!"

Ok, not really, but this made me laugh my butt off...

Wonder if Shirley Jones thought the same thing....

Posted by caltechgirl at 12:08 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

How Moonbat Dipshits Get Elected...

From an email from CaltechMom (who broke her foot yesterday....)

Caution! These people Vote

A guy bought a new fridge for his house. To get rid of his old fridge, he put it in his front yard and hung a sign on it saying: "Free to good home. You want it, you take it." For three days the fridge sat there without even one person looking twice at it. He eventually decided that people were too un-trusting of this deal. It looked to good to be true, so he changed the sign to read: "Fridge for sale $50". The next day someone stole it.
These people Vote!
While looking at a house, my brother asked the real estate agent which direction was North because, he explained, he didn't want the sun waking him up every morning. She asked, "Does the sun rise in the North?" When my brother explained that the sun rises in the East, (and has for sometime), she shook her head and said, "Oh, I don't keep up with that stuff"...
She ALSO votes!
I used to work in technical support for a 24/7 call center. One day I got a call from an individual who asked what hours the call center was open. I told him, "The number you dialed is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week." He responded, "Is that Eastern or Pacific time?" Wanting to end the call quickly, I said, "Pacific."
He ALSO votes!
My colleague and I were eating our lunch in our cafeteria, when we overheard one of the administrative assistants talking about the sunburn she got on her weekend drive to the shore. She drove down in a convertible, but "didn't think she'd get sunburned because the car was moving".
She ALSO votes!
My sister has a lifesaving tool in her car. It's designed to cut through a seat belt if she gets trapped. She keeps it in the trunk. .
My sister ALSO votes!
My friends and I were on a beer run and noticed that the cases were discounted 10%. Since it was a big party, we bought 2 cases. The cashier multiplied 2 times 10% and gave us a 20% discount.
He ALSO votes!
I was hanging out with a friend when we saw a woman with a nose ring attached to an earring by a chain. My friend said, "Wouldn't the chain rip out every time she turned her head?" I explained that a person's nose and ear remain the same distance apart no matter which way the head is turned.
My friend ALSO votes!
I couldn't find my luggage at the airport baggage area. So I went to the lost luggage office and told the woman there that my bags never showed up. She smiled and told me not to worry because she was a trained professional and I was in good hands. "Now," she asked me, "has your plane arrived yet?"
SHE ALSO votes!
To those who understand ~ No explanation is necessary.
For those who don't understand ~ No explanation is possible

Posted by caltechgirl at 04:35 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Even if we don't always agree

We're with you Michelle. Those who would seek to intimidate you are the worst kinds of cowards and hypocrites.

h/t imao

Posted by caltechgirl at 06:52 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

April 20, 2006

Lefty Morons get it WRONG again

Go here quick before they take it down!

You know the whole flap about Michelle Malkin? Well, these assholes tried to do the same thing with some prominent Righty Bloggers and supposed-Righty Bloggers.

Except the contact info is pretty much all wrong. Poor Jonah Goldberg of Forest Park, GA....

And Rusty Shackelford? Umm, that's a pseudonym you morons.

h/t Rachel, who found it here

Posted by caltechgirl at 03:33 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

April 24, 2006

So weird I had to post it...

I am a paper dolls!
Find your own pose!

Paper Dolls Traits and Tendencies: Paper Dolls don't do well when separated; they need regular physical contact to keep in sync. If forced to remain apart for a stretch any longer than eight to ten hours, they can sometimes feel untethered, or even dizzy. But once reunited, all it takes is the simple brush of fingers, or a surreptitious foot-on-foot press under the table, and all is right with the Paper Dolls once again.
Paper Dolls is a Sea Sleepers pose. A possible alternate Sea pose you might enjoy: Sixth Posture of the Perfumed Forest.
Health Note: Ginger pills, available at any health-inspired market, can sometimes calm the jitters that come when unforeseen factors force two Paper Dolls apart.

via the "Pinching Koala and Tree"
Posted by caltechgirl at 12:05 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

April 26, 2006

I've heard this before

That the blogger.com captchas aren't always so random....

For example, I just got this one when commenting at a friend's site:

Make of that what you will....

Posted by caltechgirl at 10:28 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

April 27, 2006

It's gone!

I've been talking about it for weeks, and I finally did it.  Of course, I would have done it sooner if I had been able to get an earlier appointment.

What am I talking about?  Well, I got my hair chopped off.  It was down to the middle of my back and she chopped off over a foot, which is going to Locks of Love.

Pictures of both the old and new hair when I get them uploaded.  Yay!

Posted by caltechgirl at 12:45 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

Makes me Sick.

First of all, it's vandalism, plain and simple.
Second, it's a felony to deface a beautiful historic building.

I walked/rode by this building every day for 6 years, and it was always a pleasure to see the young men and women of the various ROTC groups doing training or ordering the colors. Except of course, when I was laughing at them for wearing their uniforms wrong ;)

I also never saw a single moment of disrespect, and often people would stop to watch and give respect as the colors were raised or lowered in front of the building.

The building was orginally scheduled to be demolished last year as part of UNC's Master Plan, but was given a new lease on life thanks in part to UNC's naval alumni.

I can't help but wonder if this signals the end for the old building after all.

During WWII the Naval Armory at UNC was the main training site for all naval aviators in WWII, including Ted Williams, President George HW Bush, and President Gerald Ford.

Michelle and Blackfive have more. Here's the story from the N and O.

On a side note, the most grafitti I EVER saw on campus during my 6 years in Chapel Hill was "Duke #1" sprayed on the brick walk in front of the Health Sciences library in 1999-2000....

Posted by caltechgirl at 01:30 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

If you're gonna be racist...

Know your audience....

"Well, apparently, there are a couple of girls in Wee One and the little friend's class who have been picking on the friend because of her "Chinese eyes."

I am quite sure everyone out there can just about imagine how well that goes over with me.

My mother is Asian, thus, I am half Asian. From Mom I inherited my complexion and dark hair and eyes, but not my stature. My father was Anglo. He was also a brawny man in his day with a large-boned frame and broad shoulders. Unfortunately for me, I inherited from him that large-boned frame. When I was growing up he frequently referred to me as "stout" and my father was not much of a beer drinker.

In any event, unless one is in the know or has more than a provincial outlook of those around them, few actually recognize my Asian features for what they are. Where I grew up in Louisiana it was not uncommon for people to ask or assume I was Creole or high yella, as it was referred to. Here and around South Central Texas, the grand assumption is that I am just Hispanic."...

Read the rest of what happened to Christina today and how she put the other mom in her place...

Posted by caltechgirl at 03:16 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

May 01, 2006

¡Gracias, inmigrantes!

Thanks folks.

Courtesy of your boycott I made it to work in half the time AND I got a good parking place.

I appreciate it.  Please do it again soon!

Posted by caltechgirl at 09:53 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

I'd just like to point out

**RANT ALERT** Excessive use of the "F-word" below.

So for months now we've been on countdown here at work because they were going to change over the email program to a new server.

D-Day was today, May 1, protests be damned, full speed ahead.

There were meetings and gnashing of teeth and all kids of emails about this for months. MONTHS.

Let me sum up: New server, Switched email access to Outlook and Outlook Web Access for "security reasons."

As FUCKING IF. Anybody out there got a virus that DIDN'T come in via Outlook and IE?

So know we must use IE as somehow this piece of shit knows the difference between IE and IE open in a Firefox tab. And, although it will open in FF, you lose all of your functionality EXCEPT reading and sending mail.

Fucking Bill Gates. But on to my point.

One of the biggest bones of contention across campus has been that people like to forward their mail to a personal account (in my case gmail) and then reply/send from that account.

What we had been told EXPLICITLY is this: You may forward messges to a personal account (in fact we were given reasonably simple instructions on how to do this), however this software DOES NOT allow aliasing messages from your personal account to look as though they were sent from your work account (via bouncing or POP forwarding).

Yeah. Right.

Guess what? I can fucking send ALL the messages I want from my gmail that look like they come from my work address. HOWEVER, I can not RECEIVE a single piece of mail at my gmail from my work address.

Yep. Exactly the opposite. The not-at-all-practicable opposite.

Two fucking hours on the phone with the IT tech, who is also stumped, since I had already followed the instructions in his book to the letter. TO THE LETTER. He even did a VPN and had me show him what I did, agreeing that I had done it correctly.

I fucking quit.

Posted by caltechgirl at 01:10 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

May 02, 2006

What actually happened to the Star 98.7 DJs --Now UPDATED

The official party line is that the Star 98.7 DJs are all on "hiatus" and will be back...
Yeah, after Clear Channel figures out whether or not it can get enough ratings to substantiate firing all of them.

So here's the story for those of you out of the area, or unfamiliar:
Star 98.7 is an "adult contemporary alternative" station here in LA.  It has been one of the most popular stations in the area for the last decade or so.  It is also the launching pad of one Ryan Seacrest, who along with Lisa Foxx was the host of a morning show -type show during the afternoon drive slot.  Due to various corporate acquisitions etc. the station now belongs to that behemoth of broadcasting, Clear Channel (aka corporate muzak).

Seems CC decided that Star was the perfect station to test out its new DJ-less format (think Jack/Alice stations, but more annoying) in a big market.  So, as of April 6 or 7, they took all the DJs off the air with NO warning, and refused to discuss the changes with anyone.  Announcements were made in trade media, but not to mainstream press or on the station's website.  That website was literally revamped overnight, with all references to the DJs or station programming removed.  But you can download songs for 99 cents now.

It took me over an hour of googling to find any answers, mostly buried in the comments of this THREE YEAR OLD post.  Good thing dude didn't turn off the comments....

Most of the comments are regarding the morning show trio, Jamie, Jack, and Stench.  Now, I HATE them.  Will not listen to them.  In fact, Jamie White makes my skin crawl, but they have been done dirt by CC and the station.  I'd vote to bring them back just because I hate what Star and CC have done.

I hope the advertisers start leaving in DROVES.

More info here:
Jamie White's Page
Jack's MySpace

1/07 Update: go here for the details you seek

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

Update to yesterday

Before we started using Outlook for our mail at work:
Total SPAM received in my Inbox= 0 since October 15, 2005.

After we started using Outlook for our mail at work:
Total SPAM received in my Inbox= 3 in 24 hours.

Yeah, SOOOOOO much safer for us, Mr. IT Shit for Brains.

PS Still not forwarding my mail.....

Posted by caltechgirl at 12:26 PM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

May 09, 2006

Why I will not be seeing United 93

I don't need a movie to remind me how I felt on 9/11. 
I don't need to see it on a screen to feel the pain and the horror of that morning again. 
I don't need actor portrayals to remember the bravery of the men and women who scrificed themselves to crash a plane into a field in Pennsylvania, rather than allow it to be crashed into the Capitol Dome or the White House.

I don't need their sacrifice shoved in my face for the bargain price of $8.50.

It's in my heart.  And I will never forget.

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

May 16, 2006

Just an incubator?

New Federal guidlines ask health care professionals to treat all women capable of conceiving a baby as "pre-pregnant" from menarche through menopause.

"Among other things, this means all women between first menstrual period and menopause should take folic acid supplements, refrain from smoking, maintain a healthy weight and keep chronic conditions such as asthma and diabetes under control."
All women, huh?

I have soooo many problems with this one:

First: We should encourage EVERYONE to be as healthy as possible.  Men and women alike.  FOR THEIR OWN WELL BEING.

Second:  I find this utterly demeaning.  As if the SOLE purpose of my body is to carry around my uterus and anything that ends up growing inside it.

Third, and related:  So, basically you're saying that if I choose not to have children or I can't have children, I should be preparing my body to have kids anyway?  That's insulting on so many levels I don't have room here to go into it.  I can just see some poor soul fighting infertility, finally resigning herself to being unable to bear children, and then being told by some twit doctor that she should take prenatal vites and avoid smoking for the sake of her potential children.....

h/t ilyka, who also uses a 4-letter word.

Posted by caltechgirl at 04:22 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

May 19, 2006

Heil Ahmedinejad!

Sick. Just fucking sick.

h/t Jawa Howie

Posted by caltechgirl at 08:12 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

May 22, 2006

Data Stolen from more than 25 MILLION US Veterans

Everyone discharged since 1975 (including my husband) has had their personal data compromised because some IDIOT took it home on a laptop without authorization.

Full story here.  Mike Hampton has more, including a letter that will be sent to affected veterans(h/t Jawa Howie)

Posted by caltechgirl at 02:13 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

May 23, 2006

Anyone else notice?

Thousands of Americans send get-well cards to a horse but ignore our fighting men and women who are wounded in their service?

Grr... Maybe if our soldiers were wounded on TV....

Posted by caltechgirl at 05:56 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

May 31, 2006

Because I feel like being silly...

The other 5s meme:
5 things in my fridge:
-Trader Joe's Milk.  It keeps up to 2 months past its expiration date.  No, we don't drink a lot of milk, why do you ask?
-Costco tamales.  Mexican food is ALWAYS on the menu here.  Tamales are my favorite.
-Kraft Italian 4 cheese lo-fat shredded cheese blend.  It's not that much more expensive, and I don't have to shred it.  And what's better than Asiago, Parmesan, Romano, and Mozzarella mixed together?
-Leftovers.  When you cook for two or you eat smart when you eat out, there's always a container of something or other in the fridge.
-cold French Fries.  Also known as "FF's" in our house since someone knows what "French Fries" means.  Yes, they are for her.

5 items in my closet:
-My academic regalia.  It came yesterday and I am sooooo excited.  I get to dress up like a real professor for the first time on Saturday at graduation!
-My computer bag.  It was a graduation present and it has wheels and a handle so I don't have to carry it.  A very thoughtful gift.
-Favors from my friend's wedding last summer.  They came out of my purse and got put on the shelf, and there they have been sitting.
-My friend A's birthday and Christmas presents.  Her birthday was in January.  I am SUCH a good friend.
-My bathroom.  You have to walk through the closet to get to the master bath.

5 items in my car:
-my cell phone charger. The damn thing dies at the drop of a hat anymore, so I keep it "hooked up" in the car.
-water bottles.  We drove to Fresno last weekend and I haven't cleaned out all of the debris
-dog leash.  You'd be surprised how often I realized we had left the house without the leash until I started leaving one in the car...
-Mini hockey player.  There's a Carolina Hurricanes mini doll keychain hanging from my rearview mirror.
-Shoes.  There's at least one pair of my shoes in the back.  I like to keep comfy shoes around in case my feet reject the heels.  I think my Dansko clogs are in there...

5 items in my purse:
-my iPod.  The headphones live there too.  Gotta have it at work.
-my digital camera.  You never know when you're gonna want it.
-my card case.  DH gave me a lovely gold filigree card case to carry my business cards in for Christmas, and you'd be surprised how often I hand them out.
-lip gloss.  Tutti Dolci by Bath and Body Works, Apple Tart or Cinnamon Frosting
-My pain pills.  S'posed to take them with food and  I eat in the office.

5 people to tag:
Randomly choosing....

from Marie

Posted by caltechgirl at 04:27 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

June 01, 2006

Nahuatl is the language of nature...

So says this piece of what George Moneo has so rightly termed "Bovine Excrement".  It's worth the 2 minutes out of your life to laugh and shake your head at the self-important idiocy that passes for education around here.  Keep in mind that this POS had to get a charter from the county, so somebody actually bought into this.....

Quick!  The Smug cloud is descending over Los Angeles!  Oh no!

On a related note, Cobb has some interesting thoughts on immigration and the Latino community....

Posted by caltechgirl at 01:21 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Those crazy Bad Example kids

They've gone and spawned again!

Courtesy of Adopted Blog-Mom Bou, we have a new blog-sis, Mrs. Who of House of Zathras.

And true to the formula that the Bad Example family tree is often more of a stick than a tree, adopted blog-sis VW contributes a new blog sis/niece, her real life sister Tink of Tink's Tribulations.

Posted by caltechgirl at 01:38 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

June 02, 2006

June 05, 2006

You can't win for losing...

The recent increase in Atlantic hurricane activity may be tied, not to global warming, but to the ENVIRONMENTAL CLEANUP we've been working so diligently on over the last few decades.

"Cleaner air and more Atlantic hurricanes may come as a pair, according to a new study comparing rising global sea surface temperatures with sun-blocking pollution particles.

It turns out that the recent decline of small manmade pollution particles called aerosols in the North Atlantic might be allowing hurricane activity to catch up with the effects of global warming there, reported climate researchers Michael Mann and Kerry Emanuel in a new study in the journal Eos."

Take that Enviro-Nazis. You're actually making things worse!

Posted by caltechgirl at 11:34 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Stupidest Cheater EVER

As many of you know, my sweet husband is a high school teacher.  He is currently teaching 4 classes of Earth Science to 9-12 graders at his school.

One of his grading policies is that students MAY turn in late work for partial credit before the end of the quarter, and he is more than happy to give any student a progress report showing their score on each assignment and including a list of what is missing at any time.

Recently, one student, hereafter known as Ms. I (for Idiot) was told of several assignments she was missing, and she assured my husband that they had been turned in, and she would bring the graded assignments in this week as proof that he had somehow not recorded them.

So today she turns in 7 or 8 assignments, all with the same interesting characteristic.  The top right corner of each assignment was torn off.  As you may recall from your own school days or from your kids' homework, that's usually the place where you write your name, date, and class number.  Except for one, and on that one the name written in the name blank is scratched out and her name is written below.

Her name was written wherever she could fit it in.

Also, each assignment is in a different pen/pencil, although all of the places where she has written her name are in the SAME black pen.  However, more interestingly, each assignment was in a DIFFERENT HANDWRITING. 

I really don't know how she expected to get away with it.  I mean HONESTLY.  Idiot.

Posted by caltechgirl at 04:53 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

June 06, 2006

It's Beastly!

The date being 6/6/6, which is of course the "biblical number of the Beast", The Pirate brings you some lesser known numbers relating to "The Beast"... well, you'll see.

Drink warning for some of them....

Posted by caltechgirl at 11:31 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Update to Miss Idiot (below)

3 days detention and a bunch of zeros. 

Her excuse?  "There was too much stuff to do and not that much time to do it in." 

Well, yeah, if you don't do it when it's due and then wait until right before the end of the school year....

At least she was embarassed and apologized.

Posted by caltechgirl at 11:53 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

June 07, 2006

Potential good news....BREAKING

According to ABC news, who is the ONLY one on the story right now....

Zarqawi is TOAST.

Special Report interrupted Nightline, not even on the web page yet

Update: Acc. to Technorati, I am indeed the first to report this. I even beat Kos by 10 minutes! Holy Crap!

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

June 09, 2006

Makes you wonder if they read their own blog

The ABC News' blog The Blotter has a very interesting piece on the man who turned in Zarqawi... And they're getting slammed by the readers for it. 280 comments and counting.

This is EXACTLY why your ratings are going down, you opportunistic slugs.

h/t LGF

Posted by caltechgirl at 11:37 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

June 12, 2006

But, I was listening to him this morning!

Big Ben Roethlisberger, Super Bowl winning QB with the Pittsburgh Steelers (and 24 year old hot head) was in a serious motorcycle crash this morning.

Dumbass was not wearing a helmet, which is LEGAL in Pennsylvania.

Late reports say he has serious head injuries, including a concussion, facial lacerations, missing teeth and a broken nose, cheek, and jaw.  He may also have knee injuries.  Kellen Winslow, Jr. Jr., anyone?

Evidently he flew over the handlebars of his fancy little crotch-rocket into the front of an oncoming Chrysler New Yorker.

The accident happened not long after Roethlisberger gave an interview to Tony Bruno and Mark Willard on their syndicated sports talk show, which I was listening to this morning.  It was kind of a shock to hear the same voice who joked with Ben at 6am announce his accident 2 hours later.

Posted by caltechgirl at 12:38 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

June 13, 2006

Now hear this!

Most of you probably have seen this story about the ring tone that supposedly only teens can hear.

It's an ultra-high frequency tone, around 17-18 kHz, and most adults lose the ability to distinguish such tones as we age and the hair cells in our inner ears are damaged, either from getting older, or excess exposure to loud noises, including music.  Teens, however, should be able to hear it just fine...

As can most dogs and cats....

Anyway, Steve-O has the link here.  Turn up the volume and click the player.  I can hear it just fine, thanks, as annoying as it is.

Trust me, any of the little f*ckers show up in my class with that, I will own their cell phone for the rest of the day.

Posted by caltechgirl at 02:46 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

June 15, 2006


So yesterday was a BP day for me.  As in HIGH BP.

-- Talking about this bullsh*t

--F*cking Dodger game next Friday is sold out in 2 days

--F*cking Hurricanes lose in OT

--Goddamn pissy bastard at Wal-Mart trying to tell me that the garden center is closed 45 seconds after the storewide announcement: "The Garden Center will be closing in 5 minutes."(presumably at 9pm)   THEN he shows me his watch and says, "See??  It's 9:01".  My response: "That's not my problem.  Get the person who makes the PA announcements to set her clock forward".  His manager told him to ring me up and the 3 ladies behind me who also wanted to leave from the garden center.  His response?  "But I never got my break".  Whiny asshole.

--I had this dream last night where something happened, and DH knew what it was, but I was prevented from seeing it by him (not a bad thing, though), and no one would tell me what was going on.  I kept asking, and no one would answer me.  The last thing I remember is punching Ben in the face repeatedly for smirking, talking to other people, and not answering me.  I also remember considering jumping up on the coffee table and firing a gun into the ceiling to get people's attention.  Then I woke up with fists clenched and really pissed off.  Ask my DH.  He thought I was gonna punch him.

Moral of the story?  Don't F*ck with Wendy Testaburger.

Posted by caltechgirl at 09:54 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

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

June 19, 2006

Cluck off, Chickie!

Last week, the Dixie Chicks ruffled a few feathers when singer Natalie Maines dismissed her ENTIRE fan base, saying,

"I'd rather have a smaller following of really cool people who get it, who will grow with us as we grow and are fans for life, than people that have us in their five-disc changer with Reba McEntire and Toby Keith," she told Time. "We don't want those kinds of fans. They limit what you can do."
This week, she's back, and served up her other foot for another tasty meal:
"The entire country may disagree with me, but I don't understand the necessity for patriotism," Maines resumes, through gritted teeth. "Why do you have to be a patriot? About what? This land is our land? Why? You can like where you live and like your life, but as for loving the whole country… I don't see why people care about patriotism."--emphasis mine, ed.
No wonder the Clucks are having a hard time selling out arenas in places like Memphis, Indianapolis, and Fresno.  Yeah, their album debuted at #1, but anyone in the biz will tell you that album sales mean nothing to the artist.  They make all of their money touring.  Cancelling concerts is bad  news on the pocketbook.  Especially the new Louis Vuitton ones, right, Natalie?

All the snark aside, I'd like to remind Ms. Maines and her colleagues that the SINGLE, ONLY, UNIQUE, UNITARY, etc. reason that she has this soapbox, that she's made all the money in her bank account, that she can fly to France or the UK whenever she wants and spout off about this country is that she is a CITIZEN OF THE US.

Don't love your country, Natalie, it's ok.   Really, The rest of us could give a shit.  But don't tell us we're stupid for caring.  Don't tell us that you like your life and then spit in the face of those people who have died or sacrificed much so that you can live the way you do.

Why should people care about patriotism, Natalie?  Well, because patriotism created this country, it sacrificed to preserve out way of life, and continues to do so over and over again every day.  Patriotism is why you can stand on your soapbox and denounce the President.  Patriotism is why you speak English, not German or Japanese.  Patriotism provides you with the security to go about your business and raise your children as you see fit.

The truth is, see, that in the long run, it is the patriot whose contributions will matter.  The small effort of each individual to preserve and prolong the grand experiment in democracy started more than 200 years ago by another group of patriots whose motives were questioned by ignorant fools like you.  Your contributions, your songs, your rabble rousing, your chicken feet tatoos; they'll all be gone with the proverbial wind.  But this country, and the patriots who protect her, will still be here.

What was the most popular song/singer of 1776?  You don't know?  Well, in 2206 I can assure you the same answer will be spoken in response to "Who were the Dixie Chicks?"

Posted by caltechgirl at 10:05 AM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

Irony of the day

Lifted wholesale from Insty:

AL GORE WON'T ENDORSE JOE LIEBERMAN. Comment: "I guess Lieberman would have been good enough to run the government if something bad happened to Gore. But he's not obviously the best qualified to be the junior senator from Connecticut, even though he had the same job when Gore tapped him in 2000."
Wow.  Either being POTUS has lower requirements than I thought, or Algore has just reinvented the internet...  Who needs Algore anyway?  I love Joe, and I'd vote for him in a heartbeat!

Posted by caltechgirl at 12:33 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

July 05, 2006

A teaser....

For those of you following the blogvella, the current offering is a "Psyche-vella".

Start here:  Bitter Herbs

Chapter 2: Heads Up

Chapter 3: Shrink This

Chapter 4: The Old Neighborhood

This week's chapter will be presented Friday by yours truly.  The title?  How about Dead End?

Posted by caltechgirl at 06:46 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

July 07, 2006

Gee, what a surprise.

You Are Most Like George W. Bush

So what if you're not exactly popular? You still rule the free world.
And while you may be quite conservative now, you knew how to party back in the day!

What Modern US President Are You Most Like?

h/t Ronnie RayGun
Posted by caltechgirl at 09:54 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

She's been Farked!

And she's not even 2 years old yet.

Sadie is the subject of a Fark.com photoshopping challenge!

h/t Jen

Posted by caltechgirl at 10:28 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 14, 2006

What a frigging idiot!

Only T.O.

Headline from today's Sports Illustrated Online: "T.O. misquoted in autobiography"


Posted by caltechgirl at 07:33 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

July 17, 2006

Quote of the Year!

"See, the irony is what they really need to do is to get Syria to get Hezbollah to stop doing this (expletive),"-- President Bush in what he thought were private remarks to UK PM Tony Blair
Did I mention how much I love our President? and Mr. Blair, too?
Posted by caltechgirl at 11:55 AM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

July 19, 2006

It's not always the assholes who get the breaks....

Chuck and Carren Z got the star treatment in Vega$.  Courtesy of Mr. Wayne Newton.  A class act if there ever was one.

Posted by caltechgirl at 04:36 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

July 27, 2006

Tour de Fraud???

It seems American Tour de France champion Floyd Landis has been suspended following a positive test for excess levels of testosterone.

The positive test came after stage 17 of the Tour, which saw Landis record an epic victory after struggling on the final climb the day before.

Landis has been suspended pending results of his B sample analysis.

The International Cycling Union (UCI) announced on Wednesday that a rider had failed a doping test but would not reveal his name.

Landis is appealing the result, asking for an analysis of his alternate, or "B" sample.

I have 3 questions about this:
1) Who the fuck is dumb enough to juice with straight testosterone during an event like this?  They draw your blood EVERY DAMN DAY.  It's not going to wash out overnight, I assure you.  If this is an accurate result, he had to shoot himself the night before stage 17, which featured his "miraculous comeback"....Idiot.

2) Is the French testing lab clean?  I don't know how long it usually takes to do one of these tests in a clinical lab environment, but it shouldn't take more than 48 hours. Which is about what it takes in the research lab.  Why did it take UCI a WEEK to get the results back?  After the way the French have gone after Lance Armstrong (with no success, I might add), doesn't it seem likely that a a jealous Fwenchy might have spiked Floyd's sample?  My hope is that the B sample testing will be done at an independent lab.

3) Although it's eminently possible Landis was cheating, what precautions are taken to ensure this isn't a physiological change (how high was the T level, for instance)?  If this is a physiological anomaly, the B sample should be equivalently high,  but there would be no foul.  Are other hormone tests run on the sample to correlate levels?


Posted by caltechgirl at 09:42 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

July 31, 2006

A lack of Education on your part.....

The always interesting Dafydd ab Hugh brings us the tale of MA Gov. Mitt Romney, who recently described the Big Dig fiasco as a "tar baby".  Correctly, too, I might add.

Now, in this day and age, as you would expect, certain groups got their panties in a collective twist over THEIR interpretation of the phrase, which they incorrectly assumed was a negative term referring to black people.  And made him apologize.

If these asshats would stop banning GOOD literature and movies because of their PC BULLSHIT, and had actually read Uncle Remus or seen Disney's "Song of the South", instead of mindlessly chucking them for the invocation of an unfortunate sterotype or two, they would know that the phrase "Tar Baby" refers to an inanimate object, covered in a sticky substance, that serves no other purpose than the trap the person unlucky enough to touch it.

A "Tar Baby" therefore, is really just a big, sticky, messy problem that will not go away.  Sounds like the Big Dig, no?

So let's call a spade a spade, and drop this whole pretended affrontery, ok?  As Dafydd says:

"I reckon with some people, God was a bit niggardly in passing out brains."

Posted by caltechgirl at 11:12 AM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

So Israel is the bad guy, huh?

Michelle Malkin has Israeli warning leaflets distributed to Lebanese civilians, asking them to leave town before the bombing raids.

As Michelle so eloquently puts it,"The only thing I remember raining down in Beirut in 1983 or the Khobar Towers in 1996 or NYC on 9/11 were ashes and dust."

Anyone who disagrees with that can personally kiss my ass.

Posted by caltechgirl at 12:42 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

August 07, 2006

Memo to self....

Never give a llama your work phone #.  Or any phone # for that matter.

Posted by caltechgirl at 12:40 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

well kiss my grits....

"A site that has a Link Popularity Score of 1,000-5,000 is considered average. A site with a Link Popularity Score of 20,000 is considered popular. Sites with a Link Popularity Score above 100,000 are Internet "Icons"."

well, ok.  great.  Check this:
Link Popularity Total 303,763

Does that make me triple iconic?  I find this highly bogus, especially as:
1) I am no icon.  Try Glenn Reynolds.  Iconoclast., sure,  Icon, No way.
2) The Google hit was zero.  Yeah, as if you know, more than half my traffic was fake.

h/t GuyK

Posted by caltechgirl at 03:27 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

August 09, 2006

It was the Joooooooooos!

Cynthia McKinney and her goons blame the usual suspects for her loss yesterday. 

OTB has the video from Hannity and Colmes here

Posted by caltechgirl at 08:57 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 10, 2006

Your daily rant

don't fucking get me started on these quacks.

Here's what got me:
"Head cases

A few neurological differences between women and men from Louann Brizendine's "The Female Brain":

Thoughts about sex enter women's brains once every couple of days; for men, thoughts about sex occur every minute.

Women use 20,000 words per day; men use 7,000 per day.

Women excel at knowing what people are feeling; men have difficulty spotting an emotion unless someone cries or threatens bodily harm.

Women remember fights that a man insists never happened.

Women over 50 are more likely to initiate divorce."


SOME of them have to do with functionality/ functional outcome, but for FUCK's SAKE, is it AT ALL responsible to say that because a woman is over 50 that she files for divorce because her brain is hard-wired to do so????  I mean COME ON.

MAYBE MAYBE you COULD make the case that women's brains are MORE dependent on the influence of sex hormones than men's and that after menopause function is decreased BECAUSE hormone levels drop.

Sorry to be so mad, but while I am technically a developmental neurobiologist, I am ALSO a neuroendocrinologist.  Which means I study how hormone signals affect the brain.  This is my field, folks.

It is ENTIRELY not clear that the differences in the way women and men think are at all somatic (body-based) rather than socially nurtured.  There is a growing body of evidence that Estrogen and Testosterone drive certain biological processes in the brain,  HOWEVER, E and T are both converted to the same physiologically active molecule (they're not that different to begin with).  Some of the proposed difference may have to do with feedback mechanisms based on progesterone (P), which women have in abundance compared to men.

The idiot who wrote this book argues that women's brains are "wired for communication".  Sure, fine, but IT IS NOT AT ALL CLEAR based on the available evidence that this wiring is a direct effect of having 2 X chromosomes.  MUCH of the wiring in our brains, and in fact the very essence of what we believe about learning and memory, is based on our experience.  The neurological imprint of experience shapes the pattern of wiring in our brains.  If we speak multiple languages as children, for example, we are more able as adults to learn and comprehend multiple languages, as our brains are wired for it.  Because Estrogen and Progesterone affect the processes of wiring, that may play a small role, but clearly, experience is the basis of preferential wiring and preferential connectivity.

There are some anatomical differences in the brains of men and women.  First of all, men have bigger brains.  No shit.  They have bigger bodies.  They also have bigger feet.  the overlap is also pretty significant.  There are some small areas within the brain that are smaller or larger between the sexes, most notably an area in the hypothalamus smaller than the end of your pinky that is significantly different between the sexes (except, purportedly in homosexuals....) according to Simon LeVay back in the late 80s/early90s.  He's a pretty well respected researcher, even though some of his stuff is pretty controversial, like that study.


Also, she talks about hormone cycling and clinical trials, and thats no longer a valid excuse.  Women MUST be included in ALL trials where a therapeutic benefit to females may be achieved (so, that's everything but things like prostate cancer or ED...).  Women who participate in studies that may be affected by their hormones have to keep track of their cycles and note if they are taking any other medications that could alter hormone levels or function, such as birth control, HRT, anti-cholesterol medications (statins especially), and some antibiotics.  These factors are generally accounted for, and generally make no difference.

To sum up, while the premise of the book is not entrely bogus, based on her arguments in the interview and the "neurological differences" presented at the end, it is clear that this book is full of inconclusive data and incomplete understanding, and should be viewed as a POSSIBLE explanation for some of the cognitive/ personality/ functional differences between the sexes.  And a far too simple one, at that.

Just also wanted to point out that it appears that the author of this book is in fact a "real" scientist, who evidently publishes research about hormones and depression.... So perhaps this book is an extended theoretical paper.

Posted by caltechgirl at 11:43 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

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

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

August 28, 2006


Denver NBC affiliate KUSA has confirmed from 2 sources that child-rapist and all-around creepo John Mark Karr is NOT the killer of JonBenet Ramsey. DNA taken from Karr DID NOT match evidence from the murder case.

I knew it.

Watch this space for more.

Posted by caltechgirl at 01:18 PM | Comments (5) | 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?

Posted by caltechgirl at 11:53 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

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 03, 2006

Sad as Hell

The Crocodile Hunter is dead.

Steve Irwin died at 11am Monday morning after being stung by a Sting Ray off the coast of Australia, north of Cairns.  Evidently Steve and his crew were filming an underwater documentary.

The irony of it is that Sting Rays aren't considered to be especially dangerous, and stings often cause little more than skin irritation.

Steve leaves behind his wife Terri and children Bindi Sue (8) and Bob (2 and a half).

Terri Irwin was in Tasmania, and wasn't present during the shoot.  She was notified shortly afterward by Tasmanian authorities.

Steve's death has crashed a lot of websites in Australia, including major news pages and the Australia Zoo site.

Steve touched a lot of people because of his passion for wildlife and his honesty about who he was and what he did.  And how much he loved his family.  I was always a big fan of Steve's and I will miss him more than I should.

More links and info here

photos courtesy smh.com.au, scotsman.com, wildlifewarriors.org.au

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

Posted by caltechgirl at 10:30 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

September 12, 2006

Funny how football season and the 9/11 anniversary coincide....

h/t Denny
Posted by caltechgirl at 11:02 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

September 19, 2006


Arrrgh!  It be Talk Like a Pirate Day!

Posted by caltechgirl at 10:45 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 19, 2006

While I'm posting videos

I love the SportsCenter commercials from ESPN. Love them.

Here's my favorite of the new batch:

While we're at it, here's DH's favorite:

More Classic SportsCenter videos here.

Posted by caltechgirl at 05:17 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

October 20, 2006

Divorce, Cosmology Style

Renowned cosmologist Stephen Hawking is getting a divorce....

Really, it's no surprise to me, as there have been rumors of difficulties between Professor Hawking and his wife for almost a decade, nearly as long as they have been married.  Nevertheless, I feel sorry for both of them.  Prof. Hawking is a genuine and funny person, even if the ALS has stolen his comedic timing.

Posted by caltechgirl at 10:30 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Friday Funnies

South Park AND Dog the Bounty Hunter.  That's hard to beat.

Here's Cartman the Hall Monitor:

And Cartman the Hall Monitor with his Crew:

BTW this is a classic episode, "Miss Teacher Bangs a Boy", pointing out the double standard whereby male teachers who molest students spend their lives in jail while a female teacher practically gets away with it because banging the teacher is every guy's fantasy.

And while I'm on the subject, some gratuitous Van Halen video love:

Sammy Hagar is a tool. David Lee Roth kicks ass.

Posted by caltechgirl at 09:13 PM | Comments (3) | 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

Seattle goes Queer Eye Style

Seattle has a new tourism slogan: Metronatural

When Washington state announced its new tourism slogan last spring, Pike Place Market vendor Kenny Telesco was willing to give it a chance. He practiced saying it with "jazz hands" and asked tourists to "SayWA" as they posed for photos. But he's not sure he can stomach Seattle's new tourism slogan, unveiled Friday in 18-foot-tall letters atop the Space Needle: "metronatural."

"How do you use that in a sentence?" Telesco asked. "'Welcome to Metronatural.' ... It's an airport where you can buy organic bananas."

Others suggested "metronatural" evoked an urban nudist camp and speculated about whether it would last longer than "SayWA," which the state dropped recently because it failed to catch on.

Let's hope it lasts a shorter time than the metrosexual fad, mm'kay?

Posted by caltechgirl at 03:51 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

October 23, 2006

Gorram Snotnose...


I have the cold from hell, which may even be the flu.  It's no joke when I tell people that traveling makes me ill.  Because of the RA and the mild immunosuppression from the drugs, I get whatever's going around, the first AND the second time.  So instead of sitting on my office working on grant applications, dealing with my students, etc. I am sitting on my couch drifting in and out of consciousness in front of SportCenter, occasionally being able to smell the pot roast I have in the crockpot for tonight.

I suppose I should share the recipe.  It being the easiest pot roast ever.  Goes together in 5 minutes in the AM and cooks all day while you're out.

Easy CrockPot PotRoast ala TJ

Roast of your choice, suitable for pot roast.  I have no idea what cut of meat is in there today
4-6 small to medium potatoes
2 handfuls baby carrots (about 1.5 cups chopped carrot eq.)
1 "potbelly" (large can) of Trader Joe's Rich Onion Soup
large dash Worcestershire sauce
Garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste
(you can also add about 1/2 cup red wine to the liquid, if you like)

Place the roast in the crockpot.  If it has a predominate "fat side", place the fat side up.  Pour the can of soup over the roast.  Add up to 1 cup water to the can to wash out any remaining onions, and add to the crockpot.  Add worcestershire sauce (and wine if desired), garlic powder and salt and pepper.  Give the liquid a bit of a stir to mix elements.

Wash potatoes thoroughly, and remove any eyes.  Cut in half and drop potatoes around roast so all are covered with liquid.  Add carrots.

Cover and set crockpot to low.  Let cook 8 hours.

Posted by caltechgirl at 01:16 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

November 01, 2006

In which I get political

John Kerry is a Tool. A rusty, squeaky, useless TOOL.

Many liberal gasbags have jumped up to defend his dubious honor and attempt to point out that this remark is actually aimed at President Bush:

Because, OF COURSE a US Senator would NEVER insult our brave men and women in uniform, right?

It's not like he's never questioned their intelligence or called our troops terrorists before.....

And as for President Bush, lets not forget that someone else's medals aren't the only things Ketchup Boy would like to throw at the President.

Here's my advice for John Kerry: Go away. Go quietly. No one cares about you anymore, even the idiots who still drive around with your name on their bumper as if the 2004 election hasn't happened yet. You are a joke waiting to explode in someone else's face. No wonder candidates in your own party are distancing themselves from your coattails.

Like he's gonna listen.

UPDATE: The Troops respond:

h/t Alabama Improper

UPDATE II: More soldier's response, here's what CPT Ziegenfuss has to say:

I wouldn't piss on [Kerry] if he was on fire. And that is coming from someone who has *been* on fire.


Posted by caltechgirl at 11:13 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

More Happy!

Happy birthday wishes to the Random Penseur as well!

Enjoy your birthday lunch and your half day off!

Posted by caltechgirl at 11:45 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

November 06, 2006

For Aciddude...

One of my girly pals was visiting from out of town, so we all went to get pedicures together, and as I chose the color for my toes, I couldn't help but think of Rob....

It's my favorite nail polish color, too.  Althugh I suspect he would shit on me about the flowers....

I miss you, you crusty old cracker bastard.

Posted by caltechgirl at 11:36 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

November 09, 2006

Do it Yourself Country

The Dixie Chicks got you down?  CMA awards hijinks too much to handle?  Why not write your own country songs???

Here's mine:

I met her outside Fresno in September;
I can still recall that little hat she wore
She was drinkin' Dr. Pepper in the twilight,
and I knew I'd have to scrape her off the floor;
She asked me if I'd stay a dwarf forever;
She said to me that Rolaids made her high;
But who'd have thought she'd wind up with a robot;
I pushed her off the bridge and waved goodbye.
Yes, you CAN sing it to the tune of "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer."  Why do you ask?
h/t Pixy via JustMe

Posted by caltechgirl at 01:31 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

November 10, 2006

Best Birthday Present yet....

USC REALLY DID beat Texas in last year's Rose Bowl National Championship game.

...although this is a DAMN close second. Oh my......

Posted by caltechgirl at 08:20 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

November 17, 2006

Ah the Hypocrisy

It's a subject we haven't visited on this blog since The Breck Girl™ and Ketchup Boy lost the election, but the hypocrisy of John Edwards is back in the news again.

Of course he says it's all just a mistake made by an underling.

Wal-Mart had noted in a news release Thursday that on the same day Edwards was criticizing the company in a conference call with union-backed activists, the volunteer staff member had asked a Raleigh, N.C., electronics department manager to obtain a PS3 for the ex-senator's family.

Earlier Thursday, Edwards had said in a statement e-mailed by spokeswoman Kim Rubey: "We instructed no one to contact Wal-Mart on our behalf."

From Wal-Mart headquarters in Bentonville, Ark., company spokesman David Tovar said the Edwards staff member left a voicemail at the Raleigh store and identified himself as an Edwards staff member.

When the manager returned the call, the staff member again identified himself as working for Edwards, and Wal-Mart said it confirmed it with Edwards' office. The retailer issued a written statement Thursday accusing Edwards of not wanting to wait his turn.

"While the rest of America's working families are waiting patiently in line, Sen. Edwards wants to cut to the front," the Wal-Mart statement said.
So much for putting America first, huh, John?

Posted by caltechgirl at 11:34 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

November 20, 2006

Cuba as a solution to LA's healthcare woes?

The two things I hate most are ignorance and hypocrisy. This event promises to deliver both. IN SPADES.

Since when is a health system that is so short on drugs that patients must get drunk rather than have an anesthetic held up as a model of what to do in this country?

I realize that the residents of South Los Angeles are USED to substandard health care (witness emergency room closings and the state of the former King-Drew hospital), but to actively seek to model a health system that looks good on paper, but in reality provides no relief to the suffering is inexcusable.

This is a real Cuban hospital. Do we really want to look to this for answers to our healthcare problems?

Posted by caltechgirl at 10:07 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

November 22, 2006

If it doesn't fit.....

Oh wait.  It sure as hell does:

h/t Darleen via email

Posted by caltechgirl at 10:56 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

They say the way to a man's heart is through is his stomach...

I don't know about his heart, but certain other organs sure seem to respond to food:

Thirty-one men, aged 18 to 64 years... underwent olfactory testing with the University of Pennsylvania Smell Identification Test (UPSIT), a 40-item, forced choice, scratch and sniff odor detection and identification test...  The effects of 30 odors on penile blood flow were assessed by comparing a subject's brachial penile index while wearing an odorized mask to his average index while wearing an unodorized mask. This was done for each subject for each odor.

Here are the 10 odors that elicited the largest responses:
1.  Lavender and pumpkin pie
2.  Doughnut and black licorice
3.  Pumpkin pie and doughnut
4.  Orange
5.  Lavender and doughnut
6.  Black licorice and cola
7.  Black licorice
8.  Doughnut and cola
9.  Lily of the valley
10. Buttered popcorn
Well, I know doughnuts, black licorice, cola, and pie are some of MY husband's favorite foods, but I had no idea they could have such an effect on him.

This study explains a lot.

h/t AWTM

Posted by caltechgirl at 11:17 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

November 29, 2006


(cross posted over at my little blog)

It's a lengthy rant full of profanity, so I'll put it into the extended entry.

Posted by writersblock at 07:23 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

December 07, 2006

It's a child, not a political plank

The Vice President's daughter is pregnant and due in late spring.

I am overjoyed for what seems to be a close and loving family, by all accounts, to be adding a new member.  I am beyond happy for Mary and her partner Heather that they are about to realize their dream of becoming parents.

Seems a lot of people can't feel that way.  On one side, they're too busy blaming the VP for supporting policies that go against his daughter's (and her partner's) interest.  On the other side, they're panicking because a conservative leader is about to have a grandchild with homosexual parents.

Every article I've seen on this goes out of its way to point out that Gays and Straights are both up in arms over Mary Cheney's bundle of joy.

You'd think it was the second coming, or at least a new Brangelina baby for all of the fuss going on out there today.  Or maybe that you'd picked up an old newspaper.  Didn't we go through this when Melissa Etheridge and her (then) partner Julie Cypher had children a decade ago?

Can't we get past this and just say that a healthy baby is a blessing to a family, no matter how traditional?  Can we admit that two stable parents are always better than one, whether it's two moms, two dads, or one of each?  Can we agree that this child will have some wonderful role models for strength and integrity?

I am disgusted.  These opportunistic political vultures have taken what should be a happy occasion for the entire family and turned it into a political fracas.

For myself, I will say this much:  Congratulations to Mary and Heather and their families.  I wish you a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby, and all the joys that come with that.  Anything else that anyone has to say on the subject is bullshite.

Posted by caltechgirl at 01:59 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

December 11, 2006

Matt and Trey: Prescient or just Damn Smart? You decide.

Shamelessly stolen from Armed Liberal at Winds of Change:

Over at HuffPo, Alec Baldwin, (of the "Film Actors Guild") speaks out on what's wrong, and what we need to do about it. One of these is real, and one is a line from a puppet movie. Can you tell which is which?

Quote #1: "By following the rules of the Film Actor's Guild, the world can become a better place; that handles dangerous people with talk, and reasoning; that, is the fag way. One day you'll all look at the world us actors created and say, "wow, good going, fag. You really made the world a better place, didntcha, fag?" "

Quote #2: "There is an answer to this problem. There is a way to defeat terrorism while building new and better alliances in the Arab world. It will be an enormously complex and difficult diplomatic puzzle. But the first step might be oddly simple. Get rid of the CIA, which has outlived its usefulness and is an embarrassment to this great country, and rebuild and reform US intelligence capabilities to fight this new type of threat. I think our hopes must begin there."

Answer below the fold, in case you didn't know

Read More "Matt and Trey: Prescient or just Damn Smart? You decide." »
Posted by caltechgirl at 09:39 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

December 12, 2006

This is so wrong, it's funny

Some people should have their license to think REVOKED.  Ladies and Gentlemen I bring you another example of a brilliant IDIOT:

A devil food is turning our kids into homosexuals

"There's a slow poison out there that's severely damaging our children and threatening to tear apart our culture. The ironic part is, it's a "health food," one of our most popular.... I have nothing against an occasional soy snack. Soy is nutritious and contains lots of good things. Unfortunately, when you eat or drink a lot of soy stuff, you're also getting substantial quantities of estrogens.

Estrogens are female hormones. If you're a woman, you're flooding your system with a substance it can't handle in surplus. If you're a man, you're suppressing your masculinity and stimulating your "female side," physically and mentally.

... If you're a grownup, you're already developed, and you're able to fight off some of the damaging effects of soy. Babies aren't so fortunate. Research is now showing that when you feed your baby soy formula, you're giving him or her the equivalent of five birth control pills a day. A baby's endocrine system just can't cope with that kind of massive assault, so some damage is inevitable. At the extreme, the damage can be fatal.

Soy is feminizing, and commonly leads to a decrease in the size of the penis, sexual confusion and homosexuality. That's why most of the medical (not socio-spiritual) blame for today's rise in homosexuality must fall upon the rise in soy formula and other soy products. (Most babies are bottle-fed during some part of their infancy, and one-fourth of them are getting soy milk!) Homosexuals often argue that their homosexuality is inborn because "I can't remember a time when I wasn't homosexual." No, homosexuality is always deviant. But now many of them can truthfully say that they can't remember a time when excess estrogen wasn't influencing them. "[emphasis mine - Ed.]

No shit, there's more.  Read the whole blasted thing.  It speaks for itself.

I don't care what you believe about homosexuality and its origins in an individual, but this guy has his science completely bass-ackwards. Don't let this idiot scare you off of a very healthy food that is a good source of protein for those of us NOT allergic to it.

h/t Boi From Troy

Posted by caltechgirl at 08:21 AM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

Christmas Shopping With an Attitude

If you don't recognize yourself in this one, you've been doing all your shopping online (good for you!)...

h/t QOAE

Posted by caltechgirl at 09:38 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

December 13, 2006

Passing Gas

Or, How the Very Expensive Plumber f*cked up....

So our next-door neighbor, a lovely woman who I will refer to as "JoAnn" has been having some trouble with her hot water heater. Including a hell of a flood last week. Good thing we have clear drainage. She decided to replace it sooner rather than later, and sooner turned out to be yesterday. As she told me last night, she chose the most expensive plumber to do the replacement simply because he had a reputation for NOT screwing things up.

In any case, JoAnn works strange hours. Like she leaves the house between 10 and 11 in the morning, and usually returns after 9 at night. So in this case, she left them the spare garage door opener to get access to the garage, where the water heater lives, with the understanding that they would bill her and close the door after the new machine was up and running.

One thing about the garage. JoAnn's garage and ours are under our respective houses and are connected by a walkway and a staircase that leads to each of our back doors. So you can enter either of our garages from the other. This, in fact, is why we knew in advance about the repair. She wanted to let us know that strangers would have access to our garage. No big deal, unless of course they like to steal empty cardboard boxes or Army uniforms. Or laundry detergent.

So I leave the house at 6:30 am, husband in tow, and drop DH at work before I go on to my own office. I had meetings and things all day yesterday, culminating with a staff meeting/ party. So I don't get home until 6:30 PM. All I wanted to do was address Christmas cards and veg in front of the TV. And go to bed early.

Did I mention I left here at 5:30? Fucking LA trafffic.

Anyway. By the time I arrived home it had been at least 3-4 hours since anyone had been in either garage. I pull into the driveway and roll down my window for the garage opener (which has a weak ass signal) and as the door opens, I smell something.

By the time I pull in and turn the car off, I know what it is: Gas. Immediately I go into panic mode. I run out on to the driveway and dial the house, meanwhile yelling at DH to pick up the phone. He picks up the phone and I ask him to open the back door and tell me what he smells. He concurs that it is gas and rings off to call JoAnn's cell.

In the meantime I have recovered sufficiently to realize that if I could drive into the garage that there's not enough gas to flash over, so I go over to JoAnn's garage and hit the button to open the door and turn off the light in my garage and then back the car out and park it on the street.

DH then went down to the HOA reps' house and asked about the shut offs, and she brought out the gas wrench, and we turned off JoAnn's gas at the main. Within 10 minutes, all of the gas had cleared.

I'll find out from her this afternoon why this happened, whether it was a blown pilot light or a loose connection or what.

Scary, though.

Posted by caltechgirl at 12:50 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

December 14, 2006

Don't let the door hit you where the Good Lord split you...

Ban Ki-moon was sworn in today as the 8th Secretary General of the United Nations, officially ending the decade-long term of his predecessor, Kofi Annan.

Today, Mr Ban pledged to "be mindful of... loyalty, discretion, and conscience" and to "set the highest ethical standards..."

Even if all he does is remind people that taking bribes is a bad thing, he'll already be miles ahead of Mr. Annan's repugnant term at the helm.

The Wall Street Journal's Opinion Journal reminds us of the words and deeds of the UN under Annan's direction:

...When Mr. Annan was named Secretary General 10 years ago, he did so as the U.S.-backed candidate of reform. Jesse Helms, then-chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told Mr. Annan that "if you choose to be an agent of real and deep-seated change, you will find many supporters--and even allies--here in the U.S. Congress."

Senator Helms's expectations were not met. Seven years later--thanks to U.S. military action that Mr. Annan did everything in his power to prevent--we learned that he had presided over the greatest bribery scheme in history, known as Oil for Food. We learned that Benon Sevan, Mr. Annan's trusted confidant in charge of administering the program, had himself been a beneficiary of Iraqi kickbacks to the tune of $160,000. We learned that Mr. Annan's chief of staff, Iqbal Riza, had ordered potentially incriminating documents to be destroyed. We learned that Mr. Annan and his deputy, Louise Frechette, were both aware of the kickback scheme but failed to report it to the Security Council, as their fiduciary duties required. However, we haven't yet learned whether the senior Annan illegally helped his son Kojo obtain a discounted Mercedes, an issue on which the Secretary General has stonewalled reporters.

Earlier this year, Mr. Annan was also forced to place eight senior U.N. procurement officials on leave pending investigations on bribery and other charges. Vladimir Kuznetsov, the head of the U.N. budget-oversight committee, was indicted this year on money-laundering charges. Alexander Yakovlev, another procurement official, pled guilty to skimming nearly $1 million off U.N. contracts. The U.N.'s own office of Internal Oversight found that U.N. peacekeeping operations had mismanaged some $300 million in expenditures.


Mr. Annan came to office after a stint as head of U.N. peacekeeping operations. The period corresponded with the massacre in Srebenica of 7,000 Bosnians and the genocide of 800,000 Tutsis in Rwanda, both of which were facilitated by the nonfeasance of peacekeepers on the ground. It was later revealed that Mr. Annan's office explicitly forbade peacekeepers from raiding Hutu arms caches in Rwanda just four months before the genocide.

The world's worst man-made humanitarian catastrophes have since taken place in Zimbabwe, North Korea, Congo and Darfur. Mr. Annan has been mostly silent about the first two, perhaps on the time-honored U.N. principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of member states other than the U.S. In the Congo, U.N. peacekeepers haven't stopped the bloodshed, but they have made themselves notorious as sexual predators.

Funny what can happen when a ball-less, incompetent, selfish mis-manager takes over a large organization, no?

These are the facts, folks.  Under Annan's "leadership" the UN has failed.  In Darfur, in Congo, in Somalia.  In Kosovo and Rwanda and the middle east.  And these failures can all be traced to one person: Kofi Annan.

In a global community the objective SHOULD be the protection of human rights and promotion of tolerance and communication.  Under Annan, the UN's objective appeared to be "anything that makes the US look bad". 

By default, that attitude prevents the neediest among us (like the Darfuris) from receiving the help that would otherwise be freely offered.

Ask the Kosovars.

Mr Annan has singlehandedly brought the UN from an organization of hope, that had the possibility of effecting real global change to a mockery of its former self.

Opinion Journal says it more eloquently than I can:

Mr. Annan came to power at a moment when it was at least plausible to believe that a properly reformed U.N. could serve the purposes it was originally meant to serve: to be a guarantor of collective security and a moral compass in global affairs. Mr. Annan's legacy is that nobody can entertain those hopes today.
So Long, Kofi. Please enjoy a very restful retirement somewhere far away from the media. And while you're at it, see if you can convince your buddy Jimmeh to join you.

h/t Lex

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

The Holocaust on paper

The horror was DOCUMENTED.  On paper.  It's all there.  17 miles of file cabinets containing Nazi records on everything from head lice to mail records to executions...

17,000,000 victims: Jews, laborers, homosexuals, and political dissidents.

The documents are being scanned and will be available within the next year to a number of research programs and libraries.

Posted by caltechgirl at 07:54 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

December 18, 2006

You can dress a thug in fancy clothes...

But you can't take him to church.

Sorry, David Stern.  Bullshit fines aren't the answer.  All 7 of the suspended players should face the same punishment as Ron Artest.  If you want them to play nice, make so that they play nice or don't play at all.


Posted by caltechgirl at 11:28 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

December 27, 2006

Attention Target Shoppers-- Target SUCKS

Or more appropriately, Attention Target Returners. Especially those of you who got gifts without gift receipts.

Look, you all know how much I love Target.  Not any more.  Some of you know how strong a statement that really is.

According to Vanessa, "manager" of store 1417 in Fresno, Target's return policy is that if you DO NOT have a receipt for that item, any return is only issued as a "suspended transaction" and you can only purchase:

THE SAME ITEM or a similar item

This means that you may only purchase an item from that particular department. In my case, kitchen electronics. If you want to buy clothes or shoes or something and you returned a blender. Yep, sorry. You can't. But would you like a deep fryer?

Without a receipt they place SERIOUS restrictions on what you can get for a return. AND if it's over $100, good luck sucker. The lady next to me at the return counter was returning a PSP someone gave her son. They told her that they couldn't even take it.

Even worse was the father whose son had received a jacket he really liked but was too small.  The kid wanted the same jacket, but this store didn't have his size EITHER.  They couldn't give him a gift card to go to the other Target in town and get one.  AND the jacket had already gone back to the floor while he was shopping, so they wouldn't give it back to him and void the return.  When I left he was warming up to get as pissed off as I was.

As far as I know, Target is the ONLY store that restricts what you can spend your return $$ on after returning a new, unopened, fully functional item.

Kind of ironic when their signs promise "EASY RETURNS!  EVEN WITHOUT A RECEIPT!"

In fact none of this policy (as it was explained to me) is even ON their website.  Here's the sum total of what it says regarding store-purchases returned with out a receipt:

Don't have your receipt?

In most instances, Target stores can verify purchases made within the last 90 days on a store account, third-party charge account, check or GiftCard using our unique Receipt Look-up system.

In fact, their website even says the following for target.com purchases, but nothing for Target store purchases:

Refunds to a Store - Gift Recipient

Form of Payment: Your refund will be issued as a GiftCard good for purchases made at Target stores and on Target.com.

They already got the $$$, folks.  It's in their coffers.  Why THE F*CK should they care what I want to get for that money??? 

And why do they care for store purchases but not Target.com??????

And believe me, I know from experience, if it didn't come from their store, the computer won't recognize it, even for common items, like video games.  They don't need a receipt to verify it was sold in Target. 

Between this policy, Che on everything, and last year's "Happy Holidays" and Salvation Army fiascoes, my once favorite store is quickly going to the bottom.

So I won't be shopping there anymore, and you should tell them how you feel about this ridiculous policy.

Call: 1-800-440-0680 or fill out the form here.

Better yet, email Investor Relations and tell them how much money this stupid policy is losing them here: investorrelations@target.com

Posted by caltechgirl at 04:33 PM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

December 28, 2006

Yep. Pretty Much

Anyone who was part of one of the AIDS debates at DW knows this one is true:

My Peculiar Aristocratic Title is:
Her Eminence the Very Viscountess Caltechgirl the Sophisticated of Wallop upon Deane
Get your Peculiar Aristocratic Title

Heh. Dean(e) knows we're cool.

h/t His Imperial Majesty Rsm the Apocalyptic of Longer Interval

Posted by caltechgirl at 10:48 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

December 30, 2006

Saddam Update

Get 'em Kitty!

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

January 10, 2007

In re: Barbara, Rosie, and Donald

Here are some facts:

1.  Donald is a publicity whore
2.  Barbara Walters is a publicity whore
3.  Rosie is a bitch

I have no dog in this fight, so I'm not going to pull any punches.  I am 100% certain that this started as a publicity stunt and now it has spiraled out of control.  Someone needs to quit cheerleading for one side or the other (like Joy Behar does.  sheesh) and be THE ADULT and tell these three children to quit whining over who gets the nice toy and who is the biggest poopyhead.

At this point they are ALL poopyheads.

As to the criticisms of Donald for calling Rosie a pig, in that a man shouldn't call a woman a pig....

Well why the fuck not?  The post-modern feminists tell us that there's no difference between the sexes, so why is it ok for Rosie to ching-chong his combover but he can't attack her?

And frankly, she is a pig.  She's a fat, indulgent, arrogant hypocrite.  Actually, calling her a pig insults pigs.  Pigs are smarter and friendlier.  They don't judge based on cash in your wallet.

And Barbara Walters probably IS a liar.  I have no doubt that she did say those things about Rosie, that it IS difficult for her to deal with having Rosie on the show, that she dislikes the sharp political rhetoric Rosie brings with her.  And maybe she's afraid her comfortable women's chat show is about to become a referendum for the Liberal Lesbian Agenda.

That's the thing with Rosie, she is DEFINED by her political agenda.  She assumes immediately that EVERYONE is out to get her because she is out of the closet (e.g. Kelly Ripa).  That somehow her sexual identity makes her odious to the rest of us.  That EVERY straight person who dares to disagree with her is doing so because she's a lesbian.

As fucking if.

Maybe she thinks that because somewhere in her own psyche SHE is truly uncomfortable with herself, for whatever reason, and she is projecting that on to others.

On this same page I have specifically defended, nay, applauded her right to live with the partner of her choice and co-parent her 4 children.  I love that she has a committed relationship and brings the values of that relationship to the rearing of her kids.  I love that her kids have two parents.

And yet, I call her a pig.  She's not an arrogant hypocrite because she's gay.  She's an arrogant hypocrite because she's willfully ignorant.

But Donald doesn't get out of this clean either.  He picked this fight, and then he added fuel to the fire.  Probably in an attempt to raise the buzz for the newest season of the Apprentice, which started this week.  He is a smart and savvy businessman, and probably thought that getting his name out there would improve his audience numbers.  But it clearly backfired.  And now a lot of people think he's a dickhead for calling her a pig.

Honestly, my sympathies lie with Donald.  Of the three, he has the most honest and respected reputation.  People who know him will tell you that he treats everyone equally and can be fair to a fault because his motivators are not personal, only business.  Barbara is well known as a manipulator, and Rosie is widely considered a bitch to all but a select (rich and famous) few.

And for the record, aren't there more important things to discuss on TV all day?  Like the war, for instance?

Posted by caltechgirl at 12:02 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

What a f***ing surprise

She who SHALL NOT be named, on her photo-op trip with the Code Pinkos to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to protest the treatment of prisoners is ignoring an opportunity to do just that.

Anti-war activist C**** S****** is ignoring an appeal by wives and mothers of imprisoned Cuban political dissidents for her to visit Cuban prisons during her trip this week to protest the treatment of suspected terrorists held at Guantanamo Bay.

The Damas de Blanco, or Ladies in White, who march silently through the streets of Havana every Sunday in protest at the incarceration of political prisoners of the Castro regime, wrote a letter to Ms. Sheehan inviting her to visit Cuban prisons.

The Damas drew Ms. Sheehan’s attention to the poor state of Cuban prisons, which they say lack clean drinking water and adequate food and where their relatives are imprisoned solely for speaking out against Fidel Castro’s government.

So I guess the only prisoners who are maltreated are those who are in US custody.  You know, the ones with plenty of heat and A/C, halal food, fresh water, and complete shelter.

As opposed to Cuban political prisoners who are housed in squalor, malnourished, and abused in ways to horrific to speak of.

In fact, the Code Pinkos have NO intention of speaking to the plight of Cuban prisoners:
"It just so happens that this is where the [ Guantanamo] prisoners are," Ms. Benjamin [Code Pink leader] said. That the group is visiting Cuba, where prisons define daily life for many, is "very incidental," she added.
[emphasis mine -Ed]
But what can you expect when SWSNBN's best friend is also cagastro's best buddy?

(picture from Flap)

h/t Flap

Posted by caltechgirl at 12:19 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

January 11, 2007

Barry Bonds: Druggie

Reports surfaced today that Barry Bonds failed a random drug test sometime during the last baseball season.  However, because he tested positive for amphetamines, and not steroids, he faces no play restriction for a first offense.

Of course, Barry and his people have no comment.

What kind of BS is that?  Use of amphetamines without a valid prescription is illegal.  And in baseball, evidently it only merits a warning.  A first positive steroid test is 50 games.

I guess we know what Baseball's priority is:  CYA rather than player health.

And then, because Barry is such a nice guy, he blames a teammate, Mark Sweeney, claiming that he took a pill out of Sweeney's locker (whether Sweeney gave it to him or not is not clear in his story) and THAT pill turned out to be amphetamine.

Sweeney says he NEVER gave Bonds anything, never had amphetamine in his possesion anywhere, and most importantly, has NEVER tested positive for any banned substance.

Funny that.

And what kind of idiot takes pills out of someone else's locker without knowing what they are?

A drug seeking addict, that's who.

Barry, just go home.  Now.  Really.  It's becoming painful to watch you flush your life down the toilet.

Posted by caltechgirl at 12:14 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

I think the bunny got to him, finally.....

14 members of the Carter Center Board of Councilors resigned today in protest of Jimmy Carter's recent views on Israel.  In response to Carter's book, "Palestine: Peace not Apartheid.", the 14 councilors wrote:

"We can no longer endorse your strident and uncompromising position," the letter to Carter said. "This is not the Carter Center or the Jimmy Carter we came to respect and support."
"We are deeply troubled by the president's comments and writings and are submitting the following letter of resignation to the Carter Center,"
Perhaps most telling, however, is their indictment of Carter for,
"[abandoning his] historic role of broker in favor of becoming an advocate for one side." and "[confusing] opinion with fact, subjectivity with objectivity and force for change with partisan advocacy,"

Kenneth Stein, the first Executive Director of the Carter Center resigned a month ago over this same book.

Perhaps Mr. Carter should re-think his strategy here.  Continuing to be "relevant" will do far less for his legacy than returning to his roots in fair-dealing. 

Or maybe he's tired of hiding his true colors.

Update: This brings to 16 the number of advisors that Carter's book has alienated. Professsor Melvin Konner declined the honor even before joining the committee, saying in part:

"I am now carefully rereading parts of this very puzzling and problematic book, having read it through once quickly. I am not going to point out again here all the mistakes and misrepresentations pointed out by others (to take just one example, his flat contradiction of the accounts by President Clinton and Dennis Ross of events at Camp David at which they were present and he was not)none of which he has answerednor explain the grotesque distortion caused by his almost completely ignoring Jewish history between ancient times and 1947 (he devotes five lines on page 64 to that millennial tragic story and mentions the Holocaust twice; his "Historical Chronology" at the outset contains nothingnothingbetween 1939 and 1947). However, I will call your attention to a sentence on p. 213 that had not stood out for me the first time I read it: "It is imperative that the general Arab community and all significant Palestinian groups make it clear that they will end the suicide bombings and other acts of terrorism when international laws and the ultimate goals of the Roadmap for Peace are accepted by Israel."

As someone who has lived his life as a professional reader and writer, I cannot find any way to read this sentence that does not condone the murder of Jews until such time as Israel unilaterally follows President Carter's prescription for peace. This sentence, simply put, makes President Carter an apologist for terrorists and places my children, along with all Jews everywhere, in greater danger. "-- Emphasis mine, Ed.

Give it up Jimmah. It's time to go.
h/t Fausta

Posted by caltechgirl at 01:04 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

January 12, 2007

That stench in NYC the other day?

It was emanating from the NJ statehouse...

"For World War II veteran Sam Stia, a legislative proposal that would cease requiring New Jersey schools to teach about Veterans Day and Memorial Day can be summed up in two words.

"That's wrong," Stia, 83, said Thursday from his Hamilton home, where he flies an American flag at half-staff to honor fallen soldiers. "We're just giving our flag away and our patriotism away."

Stia and other veterans are steamed about the proposal, which the state lawmakers unanimously passed last month and now awaits action by the governor. It was included as part of a larger measure designed to help control property taxes, mostly by abolishing some laws on school purchasing and public hearings.

Other holidays about which schools no longer would be required to teach include Columbus Day, Thanksgiving, Arbor Day and Commodore Barry Day, which commemorates Revolutionary War hero John Barry.

New Jersey schools must observe the holidays under a 1967 law designed to promote "the development of a higher spirit of patriotism." Florida, Nebraska and Washington are among states with similar laws."

Observe the holiday without understanding why, eh?

If you're a Jersey taxpayer (Jimbo, Kate, et. al.) maybe you should let your reps know how unacceptable this is.

Posted by caltechgirl at 02:31 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

January 17, 2007

Unexpected in January

The Newhall Pass over the infamous Grapevine into Southern California is closed due to blizzard conditions.

The storm struck shortly before 9 a.m.

"It was a cell that hit us. We had no idea that it was coming, it just hit us all at once," [CHP Officer Dave] Pokorny said.

Stranded motorist Ernest Eckhardt he thought he could make it through the blizzard.

"It was kind of raining and it turned to sleet and I thought, 'Well, the rest I can go,' but then it turned bad quickly," he said. "It just dropped so much snow and the water on the road froze and the snow on top of it was just too slick."
Needless to say the storm was NOT in the forecast and it's pretty damn cold, although Pasadena seems to have missed the majority of the precipitation....

Posted by caltechgirl at 02:04 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

January 18, 2007

I am ashamed of my church and you should be too!

This is just wrong on so many levels:

A group of Methodist ministers from across the nation launched an online petition drive Thursday urging Southern Methodist University to stop trying to land George W. Bush's presidential library.

The petition, on a newly created Web site, http://www.protectsmu.org, says that "as United Methodists, we believe that the linking of his presidency with a university bearing the Methodist name is utterly inappropriate." [emphasis mine -Ed.]

What the F*ck happened to "Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors", huh?

I guess it only applies to liberals.  F*cking hypocrites.

I am done with the United Methodist church.  DONE.  Period.

See, I grew up in the UM church.  My Dad is a lay minister in the church.  We were married in a UM church.  But no more.  I stopped going to church a long time ago, for a variety of reasons, but I always loved the UM church for its very laissez faire approach.  Gay?  No problem.  Divorced?  No problem.  Female?  Who cares?

I would agree with these "pastors" if they were excluding him on the grounds that he had done something famously immoral.  A church (or church-sponsored school) shouldn't associate itself with someone immoral.  But because you don't like his politics?

Give me a f*cking break.

It's a church, people.  CHURCH.  Politics stops at the f*cking door.  Not to mention that it is located in central Texas, Mrs. Bush went there, and the Bushes are IN FACT Methodists.

You never would have heard a PEEP from them if it was Clinton's library.  And we all know the things HE did that ministers are supposed to frown upon.....

Posted by caltechgirl at 12:00 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Cheap Oil

Oil prices slipped to below $50 per barrel briefly today.

So why am I still paying the same $2.599 for gas as I was when it was $65/barrel?


Posted by caltechgirl at 08:19 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

January 19, 2007


It's Friday, and you know what that means.....

Be sure to drink your ovaltine check out the comments for the incredible definition of "whale humpers"

Posted by caltechgirl at 12:45 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

This, Folks is why.

Many people have asked why we don't have kids and aren't planning on them for a while.

Other than "It's none of your business," which most people don't appreciate, try this on for size:

California would become the first state to explicitly ban spanking for children younger than 4 under legislation to be introduced next week.

Slapping, smacking, whacking or kicking also would be outlawed.

Assemblywoman Sally Lieber, a Mountain View Democrat who is crafting the measure, said corporal punishment victimizes helpless children and contributes to a society "addicted to violence."


"To my mind, there's no amount of physical force that's appropriate on a child 3 years old or younger," Lieber said.

This is a normal spanking she's talking about, or a slap on the hand, or something similar. Abusive BEATING is already outlawed, you know.

Sorry folks, but I believe in occasional corporal punishment. There's nothing wrong with a swat on the butt from an open hand every once in a while. And the threat of such a swat goes a long way when a kid KNOWS that the adults in their lives will make good on it.

But let's get back to what she said, specifically that part about corporal punishment contributing to a "violence-addicted" society. Umm, Ms. Lieber, I think an EVEN better argument could be made that as the use of corporal punishment has declined, violence has SKYROCKETED.

I would make mention of the fact that Ms. Lieber is childless, but I won't stoop to Barbara Boxer levels, so I'll simply ask her what qualification she has for telling parents how to raise their children, since she has no personal experience and is not a child therapist or pediatrician?

h/t Darleen

Posted by caltechgirl at 01:31 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

January 24, 2007

Happy Clam Day!

See here for details!

Posted by caltechgirl at 03:04 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

January 26, 2007


FTFO.  And Die.  With Knobs.

Posted by caltechgirl at 12:30 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

This could really be painful if it hit you....

Found by my buddy JustMe in a court docket:

(NAME OF DEFENDANT) Charged with assault and hate crimes for assaulting two women who he believed were lesbians. Accused of hurling anti-gay epitaphs.
I mean, aren't those things usually enscribed on marble or granite??????

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

January 29, 2007

PETA Trial update

Words can not express my sadness and anger at this moment.

The trial of two PETA employees charged with a variety of crimes related to the killing and dumping of nearly 100 animals in Chowan County NC over the last couple of years continues with some disturbing testimony.

The text of a log book used to document the kills is below the fold. It is not graphic, but it is terribly sad. Text is quoted verbatim from PETAKillsAnimals.com

Keep up with the trial here.

Read More "PETA Trial update" »
Posted by caltechgirl at 05:39 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

February 13, 2007

Why am I against the new HPV vaccine?

This is why.

This is the SECOND rotavirus vaccine to cause these problems in young children and infants.  In 1999, the Rotashield vaccine caused the same problems.

Until we know FOR SURE that the Gardasil vaccine is safe, it is entirely irresponsible to mandate it for every female child.

Furthermore, Rachel makes a good point here:

"We (the collective) do not want the government to pass laws about our right to murder our unborn children, but we're not up in arms about the government forcing us to inject foreign matter into our little girls' bodies?"
Intellectual Disconnect much?

Posted by caltechgirl at 06:16 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

February 15, 2007

How can you not love it?

The band name is a hockey penalty, the album name from a conversation with Victor Davis Hanson, the singer is a math nerd.

Five for Fighting, Two Lights

And John Ondrasik is on this week's Glenn and Helen Show.

I've been a big fan of 5fF for a long time, the Puppyblender, not so much, but it's a good interview, and interesting enough to listen to the entire thing.

Here's some Five For Fighting for your Thursday listening pleasure:
First, my favorite one, 100 years

And of course, the song that made the band big, Superman

Posted by caltechgirl at 10:56 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

head shaking...

And it's not because of the ear pain.  Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Moonbattery at its FINEST:

I knew in that moment that this was what the future of teaching about justice would include: teaching war criminals who sit glaring at me with hatred for daring to speak the truth of their atrocities and who, if paid to, would disappear, torture and kill me. I wondered that night how long I really have in this so called "free" country to teach my students and to be with my children and grandchildren.

The whole thing is insane.  This paragraph in particular, is a MASTERPIECE:
These military and mercenary terrorist-students are trained in terrorist training camps all under the USA, funded by American taxpayers. In fact, people under the USA are "sacrificing" their healthcare and their children's educations while donating their tax dollars to these terrorist training camps. These terrorist camps train money hungry working class stiffs to murder, steal and plunder for the power
hungry US corporate war lords.
The author of this quasi intelligible twaddle is June Scorza Terpstra, Professor of Social Justice at Loyola University in Chicago.

Read the whole thing.  No really, I'll wait.

People like this woman give all academics a bad name.The same free speech and social justice that she worships for the poor, the downtrodden, and the left, she refuses to extend to the very ones who allow to keep those freedoms.  The irony drips.  How naive do you really have to be to think that what our troops are doing in the Middle East is all about Greed and Power and Neocon ego-stroking???

I have just one question for this so-called social justice proponent:  Which is better, social justice-wise: To live in the US as it is today, with Freedoms of Speech, Press, Religion, etc; where women are free to wear as many or as few clothes as they like, drive, speak their minds (including YOU, lady), and vote; where you can walk about (in the daylight at least) in most cities without fear of imminent death; etc, etc?  Or would you like to live under sharia law as it is practiced in much of the Muslim world?  Would you like to wear a burqa or hajib, have NO rights under the law, be vulnerable to rape and murder on a whim, be uneducated, and unable to drive, choose your husband (or not), or go anywhere alone?  Do you want to live in fear of terrorism or the secret police who come after you just because they don't like you?

These "war criminals" allow you to keep you job, your lifestyle, your right to vote.  In case you forgot, 20 of those fuckers came over here and told us in NO UNCERTAIN TERMS 5 years ago that they mean business, and they don't care.  If the terrorists out there are willing to sacrifice themselves, their children and old people, and everything they have to end our way of life, then we must be EQUALLY DETERMINED to keep it.

You cannot negotiate with terrorists.  You cannot use diplomacy in the face of nuclear weapons. Or even IEDs.

The lesson of Vietnam is NOT that we walked away.  The lesson is that walking away leaves chaos in its wake.  And we cannot afford to do that this time around.

h/t Smash

Posted by caltechgirl at 12:01 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

February 18, 2007

Calling the Democrats' Bluff

An Open Letter to Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi

Dear Sir and Madam:

You have said often enough that you don't believe in the war in Iraq and that you want to bring the troops home. Yet all you do is talk and sign non-binding resolutions which only goes to show that you really don't mean what you say about ending the war or that you're just playing political games and in doing so giving aid and comfort to a dedicated enemy.

Now if you're serious about ending the war you have the means and the votes to do just that. Simply cut off the funding for the troops, bring them all home and the American people can transfer the deed to this war and the ramifications of what you do to the Democrat party and you can live with the results.

You say you support the troops, but that has to be a lie. If you supported them and you truly think the war is wrong, you'd bring them home or either dispense with the poisonous rhetoric and get in behind them and help them get the job done.

You can't have it both ways. If you support the troops do something. Your party won a majority in both houses, so you have control so take the responsibility.

Of course, I think you should remember that when the terrorists follow us home from Iraq and start their attacks on American soil it's too late, so you'd better have a plan to deal with it. Do you have a plan?

And if Iran goes into Iraq and makes it a staging ground for Al Qaida to plan and carry out attacks all over the western world you'll need to deal with that. Do you have a plan?

And if Iran decides to go into Kuwait and cut off the oil flow from the Persian
Gulf, you'll need a way to make up for the shortfall. Do you have a plan?

The world would look at us as a country that has not finished a commitment to war since 1945. Do you have a plan for dealing with that?

The purpose of this letter is to call your bluff. I don't believe you have the guts to do anything but talk and talk is cheap. Oh you have no shortage of words but I seriously doubt the amount of backbone you have.

Do you really think that signing a non binding resolution is really fooling anybody into thinking you're anything less than career politicians trying to tip the scales of the O08 Presidential Election?

What you're doing is silly and dangerous. If you really don't like what's going on, chang

Pray for our troops.

What do you think?

God Bless America
Charlie Daniels
February 16, 2007

H/T Linda SoG

Posted by caltechgirl at 04:58 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

February 20, 2007

Removing the Pajamas

Jeff Goldstein has been told in no uncertain terms that PJM doesn't want him anymore.

Why you ask?  Well, frankly, because he lost a lot of traffic when his site was down while he was dealing with that crazy left-wing whore who threatened his child and wife.

The screwing began with Dennis the Peasant and it hasn't stopped. Steve lays it out:

I'm only guessing, but the logical assumption is that the principals are going to get paid no matter what, while the investors and member bloggers who don't prosper in spite of joining PJM get the shaft. You know how this works. You saw The Producers, didn't you?

Michelle Malkin improved her traffic somewhat, no thanks to PJM, so she gets no pay cut. Instapundit's traffic stayed flat in spite of the dullest, laziest, most unnecessary and useless blogging in the top half of the ecosystem, so he gets no pay cut. PJM failed to drive traffic to Jeff, and for one reason or another he didn't generate it on his own, so Jeff takes a beating. Meanwhile, I'm sure he's grateful for all those print opportunities they rounded up for him. I know Raj and Rerun were busy, busy, busy every day, knocking on doors and handing out business cards, securing those MSM ins we heard so much about back before respectable folks like Larry Kudlow bailed out.

The investors get milked, the castle in the sky fails to materialize, Raj and Rerun feather their nests, and a top-notch writer has his valuable time wasted. Is that an incorrect assessment? If Pajamas Media were as transparent as the workings of a Cheney energy-policy session, maybe we would know. It's a good guess, though.

Jeff was distracted, because a vicious lunatic whore threatened his family and had to be dealt with, and maybe that hurt his traffic. But would that have mattered, had PJM been anything but a house of cards? Where is the synergy we used to hear about? Obviously, the PJs didn't pull their own weight, and now they care more about money than they do about Jeff taking time off to protect his wife and son.

Shady underhanded crap. As I've said before.  And you know, crap floats.  You can keep flushing it all you want, it just pops up somewhere else.

It'll be a real fucking shame if Goldstein quits because PJM drops his paycheck.

Posted by caltechgirl at 10:39 PM | Comments (1) | 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

March 06, 2007

Evidently there is a saint for everything....

Ladies and Gents, I give you the Patron Saint of TiVo:

Original found here.

h/t Mrs. Who

Posted by caltechgirl at 06:25 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

April 03, 2007

Funny, I thought they'd call it "Doga"

Yoga is a fun, relaxing practice. Sure, it can be challenging, but I find that even a few simple stretches and poses are very good for helping me to relax and focus, especially in the midst of a very stressful task or a rapidly approaching deadline.

One thing that usually DOESN'T help, however, is my beloved Princess. She is drawn like a magnet to mommy on the floor, assuming of course, that the only reason I would be there is to play with her. Frankly, she's WAY more of a hinderance than anything, especially if I am trying to meditate.

So I was highly amused when I found this article today:

In Bryan's class, the humans do traditional yoga poses -- yes, including "downward facing dog" -- while staying in contact physically with their pets.

Part of the class includes gentle stretching and dog massage, another specialty of Bryan's, but most of the time the humans gently use the dogs like yoga props.

In downward facing dog, for example, the humans rest their heads on their companions, who are relaxing -- napping? -- on the mat.

"Don't be too ambitious," she said. "Honor where your dog is and remember that dogs respond to our energy."

Evidently in this class, both man and beast get the benefits of the practice, as the poses are modified to fit the ability of the human "partner" and the size of the dog "partner", which ranges from a toy Poodle to a Visla.

Actually, it sounds like fun.  And it's a great fundraiser for the humane society.

Posted by caltechgirl at 12:07 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

April 04, 2007

Tuesday TiVo dilemma

The TiVo records 2 things at a time, and we can't watch another channel when it records 2.

Tuesday at 9, however, is a WEALTH of good TV.  What's a girl to do?

DWS elimination show
Deadliest Catch (it's back!  YAY!)
Dog the Bounty Hunter

Thank God the cable companies re-run their primetime shows 3 or 4 hours later. DC and Dog each record at 1am Wednesday, while DWS and House record LIVE...

So I'll be seeing both of them tonight.

I've mentioned before how much I LURVE Deadliest Catch.  Don't ask why.  I just like watching these guys go out and try to beat Mother Nature and make BANK in 2 weeks.  Good for them.

Spring is definitely the BEST TV time.  YAY!

Posted by caltechgirl at 12:50 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

For the trolls.....

h/t Greta
Posted by caltechgirl at 08:12 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

April 11, 2007

Poor Bunny

It's hard enough to find a bunny sized chair, dammit.

And for the record, PETA can still kiss my ample ass.

h/t Cowboy Blob
Posted by caltechgirl at 09:46 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

May 06, 2007

The Princess is getting a puppy sister! Scratch That

One of the CaltechMom's friend's dogs recently had puppies, and as we've been thinking long and hard about getting a little sibling for the Princess, she offered us one, and we accepted!

The new puppy is a little black standard smooth-coated Dachshund, and CaltechMom will pick her up tomorrow.

The only problem is that we won't get to meet her until after Mom has had her for a couple of weeks.  And she needs a name before then!.

This is where you all come in.  We're having a hard time giving Puppy-girl a name!

We'd prefer a girly name, two syllables, since that's easiest for the dog to learn, and something suitable to a little black doxie.

Also, it can't rhyme with "Molly" or "Dolly" because the Princess' name already does.

Have at it folks.  There may be a prize for the person suggesting the eventual name!

No Dog. She called my mom tonight and said her brother took my dog for himself. The rotten bastard.

Posted by caltechgirl at 12:02 AM | Comments (14) | TrackBack

May 11, 2007

Mentally exhausted. Ready to snap.

See today's Friday F**k Off for details.

Posted by caltechgirl at 01:49 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

May 31, 2007

A Modern Commandment

Of Ellison:

"Thou shalt take thy garbage out from thy dwelling-place when the midden-heap becometh full, and deposit it in the Great Big Rolly Thing By The Driveway. Do this, lest thy habitation become stinky: I am the Lawd.

"On the second day and on the fifth day, thou shalt roll the Great Big Rolly Thing to the boundary of thy driveway, even unto the edge of thy driveway, that the Garbage Men may come to remove it from thy dwelling-place.

"And on the first of the month, thou shalt send thy Check-Offering unto the Garbage-Men, that they may continue to do their service, and the Crap in thy Dwelling-Place shall not become as numerous as the stars in the sky. It shall be a commandment unto you from generation to generation."


Read the rest of Ellison's thoughts on modern life and it's reliance on waste removal.

Posted by caltechgirl at 10:27 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 06, 2007

Maybe that sign should read "No Blood for Gas" instead?

I got yer "No Blood for Oil!" right here:

Red Cross Offering Gas For Blood

Lucky Winner Will Get $3,500 In Gasoline

American Red Cross officials are offering the chance to win free gasoline as an incentive to get more Pennsylvania and New Jersey residents to donate blood.

This summer, each donor will automatically be entered in a drawing to win $3,500 worth of gasoline. Entries for the first drawing, July 23, are already being accepted. An identical raffle will start July 23 and run through Sept. 16. Every day, the Red Cross also will award a $25 gas card to a randomly selected donor.

Can't you just see the tinfoil hat brigade protesting the Red Cross?  I wouldn't put it past them.....

idea stolen shamelessly from BR

Posted by caltechgirl at 08:28 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

June 08, 2007

Suck it up, twat. a.k.a. Paris goes to jail Part Deux

You play, you pay, little girl. 

This is what happens when you drive drunk.  You go to jail.  PERIOD.  Rich and Famous means nothing to Justice.  Remember, she's blind.

Suck it up Paris.  Maybe you'll actually learn a lesson from this.  You know, that Mommy and Daddy can't cover for you for the rest of your life.

Here's my favorite part:

As [deputy city attorney, David Bozanich] made the final pitch for Hilton's further incarceration, Hilton's entire body began trembling. She had a ball of tissue clutched in her hand and tears ran down her face.

Seconds later the judge announced his decision.

"The defendant is remanded to county jail to serve the remainder of her 45-day sentence. This order is forthwith," he said.

Hilton screamed.

The courtroom was surrounded with eight deputies who immediately ordered all spectators out.

Hilton's mother Kathy threw her arms around her husband Rick and sobbed uncontrollably.

Deputies escorted Hilton out of the room, holding each of her arms as she looked back.

Go to jail. Go directly to jail. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200 dollars. Not that you need it.

Posted by caltechgirl at 01:05 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

June 16, 2007

Ah-nuld gets it right

The Governator told a gathering of Hispanic journalists on Thursday that mainstreaming recent immigrants means taking off their language crutches:

"You've got to turn off the Spanish television set" and avoid Spanish-language television, books and newspapers, the Republican governor said Wednesday night at the annual convention of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.

"You're just forced to speak English, and that just makes you learn the language faster," Schwarzenegger said.

"I know this sounds odd and this is the politically incorrect thing to say, and I'm going to get myself in trouble," he said, noting that he rarely spoke German and was forced to learn English when he emigrated from Austria.

Schwarzenegger was responding to a question about how Hispanic students can improve academically. Many journalists for Spanish-language organizations in the audience were surprised by the remarks.

The best part? The predictable response:
"I'm sitting shaking my head not believing that someone would be so naive and out of it that he would say something like that," said Alex Nogales, president and chief executive of the National Hispanic Media Coalition.

Hispanic immigrants need Spanish-language media to stay informed and "function in this society," Nogales said.
I'd just like to point out that this dude is the one keeping his people down, ok. It's not the Man. It's the Hombre.  I should remind Mr. Nogales of a couple of things.  First, Mr. Schwarzenegger DIDN'T have the "native" language resources that you and your colleagues provide.  And somehow, he managed to learn enough to be informed enough to be THE FRIGGING GOVERNOR of the richest, most diverse state in the US. 

How much more functional than the Governor do Hispanic immigrants need to be in this society, Mr. Nogales?

Second, I'd like to invite Mr. Nogales to take a look around.  What language was that interview conducted in?  Oh yeah, English.  What language is spoken in classrooms in major Universities?  What's that?  Yep, also English.  What do you really want Mr. Nogales?  From my perspective as an educator of Hispanic children, I see you doing them and their parents a disservice by making it easy on them to remain in a shadowy "other" realm, LA's second city, where English is rare and education and resources are low.  Let's face it. English is the de facto language of business and academia in this country.  There are limits to what you can do if you do not speak it.  Period.  And the best way to learn English is to be immersed in it, as for any other language.

Props to Ah-Nuld.  He's been there and he accomplished something great, therefore he has the right to share the benefit of his experience.  But to say (essentially) that his opinion is unwelcome because he didn't have the resources available to Spanish speakers in CA today is ludicrous, and furthermore to call him naive and out of touch because he didn't need crutches to get there is selfish and self-serving.

What is your real goal, Mr. Nogales?  To force-feed non-English speakers your bullshit propaganda?  To keep your people down so that they will foment a revolution? Or to make this country as Spanish speaking as Mexico.  Ironic that, as the Spanish language itself was imposed on Mexico about 500 years ago.....

h/t Mikey

Posted by caltechgirl at 10:50 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

July 04, 2007

I want this dude driving MY cab

Best Headline EVAR, too:

4 July 2007
Oh hells yes.
A HERO cabbie who took on the Glasgow Airport terror suspects told yesterday how he booted one of them in the privates.

Alex McIlveen, 45, kicked the man, whose body was in flames, so hard that he tore a tendon in his foot.

But he said last night: "He didn't even flinch. I couldn't believe he didn't go down.

"A doctor told me later I'd damaged a tendon in my foot."

If NHS wasn't free, I do believe that someone would be picking up this man's tab. I guess if the fucktard dies of his burns, he won't be able to use those 72 virgins....

h/t Denny

Posted by caltechgirl at 12:49 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

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

Posted by caltechgirl at 07:21 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

July 10, 2007

Ex-Fresno State coach wins multi-million $$ lawsuit against the school!

I hate to say it, but Fresno State has a history of robbing the poor (women's sports programs) to feed the rich (men's football and basketball).  Volleyball coach Lindy Vivas was fired for standing up to them, so she took them to court.

And won.  $5.85 MILLION.  And guess what?  She's not the only one.  There are two more lawsuits pending, including one from the former women's basketball coach that ought to blow the doors off the good ol' boys club that is the FSU athletic office.

A jury on Monday awarded a former Fresno State volleyball coach $5.85 million in damages, ruling that the school discriminated against her for speaking up on behalf of female athletes.

Lindy Vivas, 50, was fired in 2004, two years after coaching her team to its best season in history. University officials said Vivas was let go because she did not meet performance goals and ran a program that often played in empty arenas.

Vivas sued in civil court, saying her contract was not renewed because she raised her voice to advocate for equal treatment of women athletes and access to facilities at Fresno State, a Division I school with a sprawling central California campus.

The jury award, which took into account Vivas' back wages, future lost pay and emotional distress, is likely the largest ever granted to a coach suing for retaliation under Title IX, a landmark federal law requiring gender equity in scholastic athletics, said the coach's lawyer, Dan Siegel.

"Fresno State wants to be a big-time athletic power, but it has to start acting like one. That means treating men and women the same," Siegel said. "This is a complete vindication of her and who Lindy is as a person, as a coach, and what she had to live with as a result of their actions."

The university, of course, released a statement whining about pretrial publicity influencing the jury. Umm? Dude. You're FRESNO STATE. Get a few male football fans on that jury, you shouldn't have had to worry, but you STILL LOST. Get over yourselves. The athletic office has screwed women's sports programs six ways from Sunday. It's time you were held accountable for it.

Read the whole thing here, or the local article here.

Posted by caltechgirl at 08:15 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Yay! I'm defective!

At least according to Benny 16:

Pope Benedict XVI has reasserted the universal primacy of the Roman Catholic Church, approving a document released Tuesday that says Orthodox churches were defective and that other Christian denominations were not true churches.
Here we go again. Watch the idiots erupt in 3.... 2..... 1......

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

Irony in Arlington?

Dear Mary Jo,

Clearly you have learned nothing, either from your master's thesis at Columbia, or about your own children.

But that's not surprising, given that you would publicly insult your own son. Calling him a pawn is pretty low.  As if he can't think for himself.  I don't know whether that says more about his shallowness, or YOUR inability to mold him into a self-reliant and thoughtful young man if you think so poorly of his ability to make decisions about his life.

You say your life is surrounded by signs and symbols of the military. Perhaps you should take advantage of your unique situation and learn about that which you seem to loathe without understanding.

Oh, and one more thing.  You say you are worried about how the experience will affect your son.  You worry he will be seriously harmed.  But did you ever think that maybe he might be changed for the better?  That perhaps the "horrors" he sees over there will spur him on to great things?  That he might dedicate himself to removing the suffering of others.

I wish you luck in dealing with your issues, and I thank your son for the choice he made to serve our country.


h/t Cass and Lex

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

July 13, 2007

Charlotte Mayor won't apologize for telling the truth

Pat McCrory, Mayor of Charlotte NC tells it like it is:

The NAACP wants Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory to apologize for remarks he made about African American youth after last week's arrests during Fourth of July festivities in uptown.

Ken White, president of the Charlotte Branch of the NAACP, on Wednesday called the mayor's comments "insensitive" and said he's concerned they painted "African American youth with a broad swath that cuts deep in many of our communities."

McCrory's comments came July 5 in a letter to the city manager congratulating police on their efforts the night before, when 169 people were arrested in uptown. McCrory also wrote that "too many of our youth, primarily African American, are imitating and/or participating in a gangster type of dress, attitude, behavior and action."

Later Wednesday, McCrory said he won't apologize.

Why not?

"Because my comments were accurate. Period."

Mayor McCrory's comments, as discussed above, were in regards to many arrests at the city's 4th of July celebration. From the Charlotte Observer:
The uptown crowd was primarily African American, as were most of those arrested: Of 143 adults arrested, 122 were black. Police later noted that those arrested comprised fewer than 1 percent of the uptown revelers.
Mayor McCrory went on to explain both his statements, and why he refuses to apologize:
McCrory ... cited statistics showing more than 60 percent of Charlotte's gang members are African American. And, he said, the victims of gang violence also tend to be black.

"One thing we agree on is that it is a horrible stereotype," McCrory said, "but it's being perpetuated by those who continue to dress like, behave like and act like gang members. It's not productive to our community, our neighborhoods, our schools, or to those individuals who are doing it."

Kudos for Mayor McCrory for saying the truth, and refusing to back down from it. Too often in this society our leaders back down from a stand because powerful opposition groups (in this case the NAACP) start threatening them.

But I must echo LaShawn Barber and ask: When did it become more of a crime in this country to SAY that something is wrong, than to do the wrong thing?

LaShawn goes on:

Too many black youth eschew education and decent living, while embracing a lifestyle that glorifies criminal activity, triflingness (yes, theres such a word), and having illicit and zero-responsibility sex with as many women as possible. The resultant children are sentenced to fatherless homes and instability. That, too, makes me sick to my stomach.


Blacks cannot complain about what white people may or may not be doing to them when they dont even care about their own children. Ive lost patience with it, and I advise everybody no matter what color you are to stop being afraid of the truth or of black people making demands. Take it from an insider: the bark, as loud and annoying as it is, is much worse than the bite.

It's my hope that more of our leaders, of ALL colors, stand up and ask the tough questions and give the tough answers about what's wrong in our communities, following Pat McCrory's example.

Posted by caltechgirl at 04:49 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

July 17, 2007

Ok, I love Jon Lovitz now.

I've never been a big fan of Jon Lovitz, except for maybe his "Satan" gig on SNL, but from now on, he's on my "good guys in Hollywood" list, regardless of his politics:

It was fight night at an L.A. comedy club last week when Jon Lovitz roughed up Andy Dick over the murder of their "Saturday Night Live" colleague, Phil Hartman.

Laugh Factory owner Jamie Masada, who witnessed the assault, said, "Jon picked Andy up by the head and smashed him into the bar four or five times, and blood started pouring out of his nose." Lovitz told Page Six, "All the comedians are glad I did it because this guy is a [bleep]hole."

Lovitz and Dick have been at loggerheads since a 1997 Christmas party at Hartman's house, five months before his troubled wife Brynn flipped out, fatally shooting Hartman, then killing herself. "Andy was doing cocaine, and he gave Brynn some after she had been sober for 10 years. Phil was furious about it - and then five months later he's dead," said Lovitz, adding that when he filled in on Hartman's "Newsradio" sitcom, "I told Andy, 'I wouldn't be here now if you hadn't given Brynn that cocaine.' "

Last year, Lovitz related, a drunken Dick strolled up to his table at Ago in West Hollywood, rudely downed his guests' peach liqueur drinks, and "looked at me and said, 'I put the "Phil Hartman hex" on you - you're the next one to die.' I said, 'What did you say?' and he repeated it. I wanted to punch his face in, but I don't hit women."

When the two ran into each other at the Laugh Factory last Wednesday, "I wanted him to say he was sorry for the 'Phil Hartman hex,' " Lovitz told us. "First he says, 'I don't remember saying that.' Then he leans in and says, 'You know why I said it? Because you said I killed Phil Hartman.' Which I never said. Then he asked me to be in his new movie.

"I grabbed him by the shirt and leaned him over and said, 'I don't want to be in your movie! I don't want to be in your life!' I pushed him against the rail. Then I pushed him again really hard. A security guard broke it up. I'm not proud of it . . . but he's a disgusting human being." Dick's rep said he had no comment.

Good Job, Jon. I sincerely hope you don't get arrested for it because this? It's justice. Pure and simple. Not to mention that you pounded him in the coke-hole he calls a nose. Bravo. Dick is such an appropriate name for that schmuck. He needs some help. Maybe you scared him into it. But I doubt it.

For your enjoyment, here's Jon and the late, great Phil Hartman in a sketch entitled "Discover- The Elements":

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

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 17, 2007

Your Friday Funnies

or, Yet Another Reason I am going to hell....

The LOLCatz bible.  Yep.

Matthew 1:

1. Dis book of genie-ologee of Jesus Christ, son of Dave, son of Abe:

2. Abe maded Isaac, Isaac maded Jake, Jake maded Jude and hiz bros.

3. Jude maded Perry and Zeryy wit Tammmy. Perry maded Hez, and Zerry maded Ram.

4. Ram maded Amminy, Amminy maded Nathan and Nathan maded Salmon. Not the fish, lol.

5. Salmon maded Bo, Bo maded Obe wit Ruth, Obe maded Jesse

6. and Jesse maded King Dave teh king. King Dave teh king maded Solomon wit sum chick that used to made peoples wit Uriah. Lol, Uriah got pwned.

7. Solomon maded Rebby, Rebby maded Abi and Abi maded Asa.

8. Asa maded Jehoseh...sumtin, and he maded Jorry and Jorry maded Uzzy.

9. Uzzy maded Jotham, Jotham maded Ahaz and Ahaz maded Hezeky.

10. Hezeky maded anny, Manny maded Ammy and Ammy maded Josh.

11. Josh maded Jecony and hiz bros, was bout when they was carryeded to Babblylon.

12. And after they was in Babblylon Jecon maded Shealty, and Shealty maded Zerubbabbabbabbabba.

13. Zerubbabbabbabbabba maded Abey, Abey maded Eli and Eli maded Az.

14. Az maded Zaddy, Zaddy maded Achy and Achy maded diffrent Eli.

15. Diffrent Eli maded other diffrent Eli, other diffrent Eli maded Matty and Matty maded Jake.

16. And Jake maded Joe. Joe was teh mister of Mary, and she maded Jesus, who gets called Christ, liek all teh time. Srsly.

17. So all teh genenerayshuns from Abe to Dave am 14 genenerayshuns, frm Dave to gettin lockeded up in Babblylon am 14 genenerayshuns, and frm gettin lockeded up in Babblylon to teh Christ am 14 genenerayshuns. Srsly.

18. Now, teh burth of teh Christ was liek dis: After Marry and Joe were all "We's gonna get marrieded, kthnx", but before dey could had teh secks (Not 2 sai dey eva did had secks), Mary was all preggers from the Holey Ghosty.

19. Joe was all liek "Oh snap, dis embarrassin. I's gonna hide mah wife".

20. But when he was tihnkin, zomg, angel frm Invisible Man was in his dreems! Angel sayed "Hai, don't be fraided to has Mary for ur wife, cuz her baby be frm Holey Ghosty.

21. "And she gonna made a son, and you gonna call him Jesus, cuz he gonna save ppl and pwn dere sinz."

22. So all dis was all did so it'd be all liek Invisible Man sayed it was gonna be. His profet was all liek:

23. "Hay guise, look at dis, teh virgin iz all preggers, and dey gonna call him Immany", dat means "Invisible Man wit us"

24. Then Joe woked up, done wat teh angel frm Invisible Man tolded him to, and was all liek "U wit me now (Tho, Mary is teh Invisible Man's wife) lol" at Mary.

25. And dey ner had secks (So dat Mary could be called "Queen of Invisible Man's Kingdom") evn affer dey gets a son and calleded him Jesus.

I especially loved verse 6 and 21.....
h/t redsugar muse

NIV translation below the fold for comparison...

Read More "Your Friday Funnies" »
Posted by caltechgirl at 11:30 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

It's Friday night, what the heck.

So here's two ENTIRELY inappropriate but COMPLETELY HILARIOUS links for you to enjoy:

He-Man and the Song of the Super Pe-nis


Doggy style... sort of.

Both of these links are true stories and completely PG-13.

Posted by caltechgirl at 08:52 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 20, 2007

Something Smells....

Last night around 1 am we were awakened to what sounded like someone rummaging through our kitchen cabinets.  We both jumped out of bed, and went to the kitchen, but there was no one there.  There were however strange noises emanating from the side of the house.  Hubby went upstairs to make sure there was no one in the attic, and I went over to the front window to look out.

A few moments later the thumping outside stopped, and we heard some high-pitched shrieking, sort of a mix between a cat in heat and a screech owl.  As I looked out the window, I began to discern a very characteristic shape.....  body slightly larger than a cat, with a tall, bushy tail pointing skyward.

Yep. Pepe Le Pew.  In my sideyard.

He/She/It ran across the lawn directly to our neighbor's driveway, and then zig-zagged it's way up the street and around the corner where we lost sight of it.  It disappeared before I could go get the camera.  Too bad.

There's no sign it was UNDER the house, as the crawlspace cover doesn't appear to have been disturbed, and the only signs of digging are under the fence, but it sprayed somewhere in the vicinity of the front corner of the house, and the REEK was unbelievable, even at 10 am.

We had some fox urine crystals left from the battle with the squirrels, and upon finding them to be useful for skunks, too, hubby has been shaking them all over that side of the house and at the crawlspace entrance.  We're also planning to go get a big spotlight to plug in and put under the house tonight, as the experts say that is the best humane way to scare them off, being very nocturnal creatures.

Possums are a pretty common occurrence in Pasadena, they live all over town, and you can tell by the stench after midnight most nights of the year.  The skunks are a recent phenomena in our neighborhood, as far as I can tell, as the aroma of the backyard changed only recently.  I'm really hoping that means there aren't baby skunks under my house.

Posted by caltechgirl at 12:30 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 24, 2007

Ummmm, enough with the Pay to Blog crap, ok? (UPDATED)

I mean, I totally get that it's a great way to make extra $$ and I love all of you, but I swear to ALLAH, that if I see THE SAME DAMN ADVERTISEMENT on multiple blogs again I AM GOING TO QUIT READING BLOGS WITH PAID POSTS.

ESPECIALLY when they aren't labeled as sponsored posts. If some posts are labeled and some aren't, it can be annoying.

For example: wRitErsbLock and Mandy, and sarahk and Kate.


I wouldn't bitch, except this happened twice in 10 minutes. Sheesh.

Pam has an interesting discussion here in the comments. I said this:

The honesty issue bugs me, too. Thats one of the things that gets to me. I mean, why is someone who I know to be a homebody suddenly dreaming about Vegas? Or a healthy person expounding on the virtues of lap band surgery? Which is why the NOT labeling posts gets to me, too. It seems dishonest. Especially when other posts are clearly labeled as sponsored posts.

What set me off the other day, though, was multiple posts on the same advertisers. It was just too weird.

I know some of you were upset and unhappy with what you felt was me pointing fingers, and I'm sorry if you were offended by what I said, originally, and I have edited myself. Clearly though, this is an issue that people care about.

PS: Any of you with paid posts should know better. I'll be back. I'm an addict, after all. Just frustrated.

Posted by caltechgirl at 06:26 PM | Comments (16) | TrackBack

September 10, 2007

The first of this year's 9/11 posts

Eat this, truthers.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Posted by caltechgirl at 09:55 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

September 17, 2007

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

h/t The Pirate via IM

Read More "If you like Pina Coladas.... and getting caught in the rain...." »
Posted by caltechgirl at 09:42 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

September 21, 2007

Trust No One

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by caltechgirl at 08:49 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

September 28, 2007

Munchies that give you the munchies

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by caltechgirl at 08:22 AM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

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

From the Onion:

Posted by caltechgirl at 02:51 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

October 01, 2007

Me too, kitteh, me too.

Posted by caltechgirl at 11:34 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 11, 2007

Dear Turkey,

Fuck off and Die. And that Honorary Turk, George Bush, can FOAD too.

That is all.


The Armenians

P.S. Remember who said "...Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?"  It was some German dude named Adolf.

Posted by caltechgirl at 02:22 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

October 12, 2007

An Open Letter to new Nobel Laureate algore

Dear Former Vice President Gore,

First of all let me congratulate you on winning this year's Nobel Peace Prize.  Of course, that accomplishment would be so much more meaningful if the award hadn't become synonymous with the "Annual Best Politically Correct Jerkwad" award, which the Nobel Committee seems to have merged their award with. I suppose, however, that sharing this honor with the last American to win the prize, former President Jimmy Carter, gives you a real sense of just what this honor means, and how your legacy will be cherished in your decline.

But I have a serious question for you.  What in hell does your Global Warming crusade have to do with promoting Peace on Earth™? I mean do you believe that the only way to stop war is to make it so cold that we'd all rather stay in our own caves rather than shoot someone? Or maybe you believe that anecdotal psychology theory that aggression (which is of course, anti-peace by definition) increases as the temperatures rise? Let's grant for the purposes of this argument that your incoherent, incomplete, and hypocritical pseudoscience is correct, and that people DO make the Earth warmer by a significant amount. Given that, your crusade against Global Warming is admirable, even, perhaps noble. But this is the Nobel PEACE Prize. Not the Nobel "Make the Earth Happy" Prize. It's October, not Earth Day. Explain to me how your actions have anything to do with peace.

Unless somehow being against global warming is really just a fancy synonym for "Troops out of Iraq Now".... because that has something to do with peace. But it really doesn't rise to the level of a Nobel Prize. And here I speak from experience. I went to Caltech. I've met Nobel Laureates. I've been taught by them. And here's the thing: They are FREAKING BRILLIANT. They are committed to their science without any hope of reward, which is what Alfred Nobel left the $$ to recognize in the first place: tireless champions of the greater good, representing different disciplines of the Humanities and Sciences. Not attention seeking environmental hypocrites who champion the environment because it is a safe niche to occupy in the cutthroat social darwinist biosphere of US politics.

I have another question, but this one is for the Nobel Committee, so be sure you pass it along to them when you go for the medal ceremony: If algore has contributed significantly to "Peace on Earth", then why did you recognize him for the Global Warming Awareness crusade? I would think his MOST significant achievements lie in other fields. After all, he invented the internet, technology which has contributed more towards interpersonal, international, and intercultural understanding than any other scientific or humanitarian contribution of the modern age. Isn't that important enough?

I know you're a busy man, especially as you now have to plan a trip to Oslo and contemplate running for President again to add to your incredibly busy fundraising schedule, so I'll close here. However, in closing, I'd like to thank you for the endless amusement you and your family have provided me over the years, not mention answering my questions about the top speed of a Prius (let your son know how much I appreciated that one, will you?). Keep it up!


Posted by caltechgirl at 09:47 AM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

October 13, 2007

oh yeah.....

NerdTests.com says I'm an Uber-Dorky Nerd God.  What are you?  Click here!

Worship me, fellow Nerds.

Posted by caltechgirl at 09:56 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

November 05, 2007

Remember, Cowboy Chachi loves you best. Even if you don't love him.

This is about the funniest thing ever on the intertubes. Originally sent to me via email, I had to go find the original blogger and give him some love.

"Last weekend I put an exhaust fan in the ceiling for my wife's grandfather. After a bunch of hours spent in The Hottest Attic In The Universe, he had a ceiling fan that ducted to the side of his house.

While my brother-in-law and I were fitting the fan in between the joists, we found something under the insulation. What we found was this:

A JC Penney catalog from 1977. It's not often blog fodder just falls in my lap, but holy hell this was two solid inches of it, right there for the taking.

Drop by and read the rest. You'll find Cowboy Chachi (and his Cowgirl Joanie, I suppose) near the end, after a fairly exhaustive manual on How to Get Your Ass Kicked. You'll see.

h/t ZTZCheese

Posted by caltechgirl at 11:44 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

November 08, 2007

And Neither is Britney Spears

Headline of the Day: "Spears' Lawyer To Judge: 'You're Not A Pop Star'"

Seems poor li'l Brit Brit just can't make it to the drug lab on time. You'd think that since she has cars and drivers a plenty this would actually be an EASIER task for her than it would be for the rest of us who need to drive ourselves or rely on a crappy car or **horrors** take the bus to get where we need to go.

Her justification? That she has a Number One album to promote (sorry Brit, but you're actually #2. Ever heard of the Eagles?) and she's too busy to make time for the drug lab in less than 6 hours. SIX.

The judge rebuffed this claim, saying, "I have to get here at 7:30 a.m. to read (court) papers," implying that getting out of bed to go to the lab is not an unreasonable demand from the court.

Britney's lawyer responded, "But you're not a pop star with a number one album."

No, idiot, he's a JUDGE. Well, technically a court commissioner, but still. He's the judge in charge of whether or not she ever gets to see her kids. I suppose that means your client should act accordingly, huh?

I never thought I'd ever say it, but I'm starting to hope those two little boys take after their Dad in the brains department.

Posted by caltechgirl at 12:35 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

November 13, 2007

I'm #7 (on the third list!)

How about Professor Tenure-Caused-My-Divorce, or Professor My-Lobotomy-Improved-My-Personality, or my favorite, Professor Your-Life-Means-Less-Than-My-Experiments...

Stolen wholesale from Jon Cogburn (it was just TOO good to excerpt!):

Irritating Assistant Professors

  1. (from phred)  Professor I'm-a-Fraud-and-Pray-To-Jesus-That-No-One-Will-Figure-It-Out,
  2. (from phred)  Professor I'm-Above-This-Place-And-Should-Be-At-Harvard,
  3. Professor Rebel-Without-A-Clue,
  4. (from Mark Silcox) Professor Only-Teaches-His-G**d***-Dissertation,
  5. Professor Promising-Young-Man.

Irritating Full Professors

  1. (spelling courtesy Mikhail Emilianov) Professor Couldabeena-contenda,
  2. (from Knecht Ruprecht) Professor Exploits-Grad-Students-as-Cheap-Labor-in-his-Consulting-Business,
  3. (from Mikhail Emilianov and rm) Professor I-Have-Five-Stories/Jokes-So-Get-Used-To-Hearing-Them-All-The-Time,
  4. (from John Emerson)  Professor I've-Got-A-Nobel -Prize-So-Go-F***-Yourself,-I-Can-Talk-About-Whatever -I-Want,
  5. Professor Midlife-Crises,
  6. Professor Old-Yellow-Notes,
  7. Professor Screws-Up-Even-Simple-Things-So-As-To-Get-Out-Of-Service-Work
  8. Professor Slum-Lord,
  9. (from soup biscuit) Professor Tells-You-Everyday-How-Far-He-Is-From-Retirement,
  10. (from Knecht Rupert) Professor Twenty-Graduate-Students-Do-All-My-Research,
  11. (from redfoxtailshrub) Professor Used-To-Be-Cool-But-Now-Viewed-With-Knowing-Bemused-Looks,
  12. Professor Uses-Tenure-To-Pursue-Hobbies-Or-Job-On-The-Side-Full-Time,
  13. (from Mark Silcox) Professor Wishes-He-Was-Rich.

Irritating Professors That Could be Assistant or Full-

  1. (from rm) Professor Complains-About-Working-Conditions,
  2. Professor Drunk-Pants,
  3. (from John Emerson) Professor I-Could-and-Sometimes-Do-Recite-This-Lecture-in-my-Sleep,
  4. (from soup biscuit) Professor Laughs-At-His-Own-Jokes,
  5. (from rm) Professor My-Jokes-Aren't-Funny-But-They're-All-I-Have,
  6. (from cryptic ned) Professor Only-Person-At-Tiny-College-To-Have-Ever-Published-A-Book-In-A-Printing-Of-More-Than-200,
  7. (from The Llama Butchers) Professor Seriously-Tardy-With-Grading-Papers-Because-He's-Blogging-on-Useless-Crap-All-The-Time
  8. Professor Stared-Into-The-Void-And-The-Void-Stared-Back!-(Though-In-Reality-Void-Finds-Whole-Business-Distasteful),
  9. (from Sifu Tweety) Professor Your-Work-Will-Never-Be-As-Important-As-Mine,
  10. Professor Watches-Sports,
  11. (from Rachel) Professor Wears-Clothes-With-Many-Holes-As-Though-That-Credentials-his-World-of-Ideas-ness.
  12. Professor Will-F***-Anything-Young-and-Naive-Enough-To-Admire-Him.

Posted by caltechgirl at 11:26 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

November 16, 2007

Bury my heart at Wounded Knee Disneyland

I don't really want to be cremated, but folks, if I was into it, I would SO love to have my ashes sprinkled at the Happiest Place on Earth. But I'd rather be on Thunder Mountain or in Sleeping Beauty's Castle than Pirates of the Caribbean!

Disneyland officials will likely never know whether the woman who sprinkled some sort of powder onto the "Pirates of the Caribbean" ride was trying to send a loved one straight to Davy Jones' locker.

Disney officials shut the ride down for about 45 minutes Friday after they saw the woman sprinkle something into the ride's water. But they said they couldn't determine what it was because it dissolved so quickly.

Blogger and longtime Disneyland watcher Al Lutz said he received several tips indicating it was human ashes.

Disneyland Resorts spokesman Rob Doughty said he couldn't confirm that. He said the rider, who was not arrested, told park employees she had dumped baby powder over the side of a "Pirates" boat.

Lutz, who first reported the event Tuesday on his Web site miceage.com, said more and more people are leaving their loved ones' ashes behind at Disneyland.

"It used to happen every once in a while at the Haunted Mansion, but now it's happening more," he said.

Without written permission, it's a misdemeanor violation of the state Health and Safety Code to scatter human ashes on private property, but enforcement is difficult. Officials say the ashes pose no health threat.

"I can tell you that we do get people from time to time asking for permission to sprinkle ashes. Our policy is when we are asked for permission, we deny the request," Doughty said. "Beyond that, we don't know."

I can totally see why they would be concerned, in this day and age, when they see someone sprinkling powder into the ride, but on the other hand, I'd hate to see someone get arrested for carrying out a loved one' final wishes.

Posted by caltechgirl at 07:19 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

November 19, 2007

Do you have "The Knack"?

It's not just engineers....

Posted by caltechgirl at 12:18 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 23, 2007

Our New Baby....

Meet Princess #2, a Doxy - Terrier Mix named Guinness:

Posted by caltechgirl at 07:32 PM | Comments (16) | TrackBack

November 27, 2007

I can has 24?

See what the writer's strike has wrought, this season on 24....

Posted by caltechgirl at 05:46 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

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

Posted by caltechgirl at 09:59 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

December 04, 2007

Talk about your Airport Park-N-Ride!

In the 80's and 90's we had Limousine Liberals.  Now we have Gulfstream Greenies:

Tempo Interaktif reports that Angkasa Pura - the management of Bali's Ngurah Rai International Airport are concerned that the large number of additional private charter flights expected in Bali during the UN Conference on Climate Change (UNFCCC) December 3-15, 2007, will exceed the carrying capacity of apron areas. To meet the added demand for aircraft storage officials are allocating "parking space" at other airports in Indonesia.

The operational manager for Bali's Airport, Azjar Effendi, says his 3 parking areas can only accommodate 15 planes, which means that some of the jets used by VIP delegations will only be allowed to disembark and embark their planes in Bali with parking provided at airports in Surabaya, Lombok, Jakarta and Makassar.--emphasis mine, Ed.
I thought they were meeting to try to COMBAT Global Warming. Hypocrites.

h/t The Pirate, via IM

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

December 10, 2007

Among the drunks....

I'm guessing this ranking has everything to do with a certain blogger moving to Fresno......

The list below ranks the cities from most dangerously drunk to least dangerously drunk.

Most Dangerously Drunk

100. Denver, CO F

99. Anchorage, AK F

98. Colorado Springs, CO F

97. Omaha, NE F

96. Fargo, ND F

95. San Antonio, TX F

94. Austin, TX F

93. Fresno, CA F

92. Lubbock, TX F

91. Milwaukee, WI F

90. El Paso, TX F

In other highlights, Washington DC comes in at 88, Los Angeles at 65, Las Vegas surprisingly near the middle at 47, and the LEAST dangerously drunk cities are (below the jump!)

Read More "Among the drunks...." »
Posted by caltechgirl at 11:20 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack


Warning: disjointed thoughts ahead!

Over the last few days I've been thinking a lot about the amazing bumper sticker of awesomeness and how we parent our children. When I say "parent our children", I mean in the general sense, that is, how ADULTS guide and direct children towards what's right and instill in them a sense of right and wrong. Not just their parents, biological or otherwise, but grandparents, aunts and uncles, teachers, mentors, and friends. Hillary said that it takes a village to raise a child, and although her application of that message was far more socialist than I agree with, her point is well-taken. Children grow up surrounded by adults. ALL of those adults have something to do with raising them, even just reinforcing proper behavior.

I've often heard it said (and I believe it) that parenting is an act of will. As a parent, you are the boss, and what the kids want is secondary. It seems to me that a hell of a lot of ADULTS are abdicating this responsibility because they just don't want to "hurt the kid's feelings" or they'd rather let someone else be the bad guy.

See, here's the thing, and this is what has come up over and over and over in conversations about the bumper sticker, good kids are NOT kids who never think of doing bad things. Good kids are not kids who say "it's wrong, so I won't do it." At least not all the time. Good kids are good simply because they know what will happen to them if they get caught doing what they want to do that their parents disapprove of. They have rules and boundaries and consequences. Consistent, very negative consequences. I was one of those goody-two-shoes kids. But sure as hell NOT because it was wrong to do bad things. Oh hells no. I was terrified of what my parents would do if they caught me.

Good parents make it possible for their kids to reach the stage in their life, where as adults, they can recognize all of their right and wrong steps in the past and use that knowledge to "parent" other children: their own, nieces and nephews, students, mentees, etc.

I've gone down the road before about no consequences for kids and how THAT turns out. But I'll sum up. Kids who don't understand that their actions have consequences CAN NOT succeed in life. They don't turn in homework, but they expect an A. They can't show up to work on time, but they'll sue you for firing them. They expect hand up after hand up and if they don't get one, it's YOUR fault. Mom and Dad fix everything, from a bad grade to a parking ticket to getting kicked out of college because of academic dishonesty. Kids who don't understand that actions have consequences are precisely the ones who will take a gun and try to make their own.

It's a simple principal of Psychology: Associative Learning. If I get zapped every time I press the red button, pretty soon I'll learn not to touch it any more. It's not just a fancy trick, either. This is how the mammalian brain is wired. We learn by experience, both positively and negatively.

Which brings me to a recent experience. I was involved with a community outreach program sponsored by our school a few weeks back. Two groups of high school students were assigned to be helpers to the college students and faculty involved with the program. One group of kids was from a high-achieving science-related magnet school. The other was from a "cultural" charter school. The difference between the two groups was remarkable, and not surprisingly, correlated with the expectations of the adults around them AND the consequences of their actions.

The "magnet" kids were friendly and polite, they pitched in to clean up without being asked. They were creative and helpful and spoke respectfully to each other and to us.

The charter kids were (with a few exceptions) just the opposite. They were loud and lazy, they yelled at each other and spent their time making messes and trying to break things rather than helping out, and when faced directly with consequences, they ignored requests to sit down and/or be quiet from their teachers and principal. Which, I later understood, because the threatened consequences never materialized.

What you don't know is that these kids all come from the same background: ethnically diverse, lower-middle-class and underprivileged homes. They all live in the same neighborhoods, have the same kinds of "stereotypical" families. What's different about them is the expectation that positive and negative behavior each have their own set of consequences. It couldn't be more striking.

So yeah, it's not about the damn guns. It's about shitty adults who think "kid gloves" means "use with children" instead of "made from baby goats".

Posted by caltechgirl at 12:00 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

December 30, 2007

Ralphie Rocks!

TBS set records with this year's "A Christmas Story" Marathon:

The marathon scored its best-ever average delivery in total viewers (2.8 million) as well as in such key demos as adults 18-34 (775,000), adults 18-49 (1.6 million) and adults 25-54 (1.5 million), according to Nielsen Media Research.

For the marathon's entire 24-hour run, TBS ranked as the No. 1 ad-supported cable network in 18-34, 18-49, 25-54 and total viewers. (Ad-supported networks include most basic cable outlets with a few exceptions like Disney Channel.)

During the marathon, the most-watched airing of "Christmas" in total viewers was the first telecast (8 p.m. December 24), which averaged 4.4 million viewers. The 10 p.m. telecast that followed was the most-watched among 18-34 (1.2 million), 18-49 (2.2 million) and 25-54 (2.1 million).

The 10 p.m. showing also beat all broadcast programming on Christmas Eve (8 p.m.-midnight) in the 18-34 demo.
I watched part of at least 5 of the 12 showings. How about you?

Posted by caltechgirl at 11:09 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

January 02, 2008

Of Parades and Politics

So you may have seen that there was much hoo-hah about a float honoring the 2008 Beijing Olympics in yesterday's Rose parade.

I was front and center for the spectacle, and my take on it may surprise some of you.

We left the house at 5:15 am, drove to a nearby church, parked the car and had a lovely pancake breakfast, then we walked to Colorado and Orange Grove, where our seats were located in the Grandstands, just to the side of the HGTV booth.  We were asked to be in place by 6:30 AM so that the Parade organizers could stage the "opening number".  We were in our seats at about 6:15.  I people-watched until the parade got going, and hubby took a catnap or two, wrapped in our warmest USC gear and sitting on a thick blanket instead of a cold metal bench....

What happened was that a protest was organized wherein people were supposed to stand and turn their backs on the float as it passed, a sign that you disagree with China and it's human rights abuses.  There was a pro-float group on our left, and an anti-float group on our right.

Here is the very beautiful and fun float in question:

First of all, where we were, VERY few people stood other than the few who were present specifically for that purpose.  Most of us were too busy taking pictures of an adorable float and the acrobats and dancers hired to accompany it down the parade route.  The few who did stand were real assholes about it, getting in front of people taking pictures and trying to be dickheads.

Which really detracts from a message of human rights and peace, in my book.

I hadn't really known how I was going to react.  I am no fan of China's human rights practices, but at the same time, I had no animus against the float itself or the actors and dancers paid to make it fun.  As the float passed us, and the spectacle unfolded, I came to a realization:  The Rose Parade is not a venue for politics.  The parade is about fun and spectacle and celebration.  It's a moment for the thousands of kids who raised millions of dollars  JUST TO BE THERE IN THE PARADE to enjoy their (cold) morning in the sun.  It's a celebration.  It's for the kids.  Kids and politics shouldn't mix.

There were two beautiful little girls sitting in front of us.  They were enchanted by the lion dancers and plate spinners and acrobats.  As the float in question passed, and the little girls couldn't see it, they were debating their favorite floats.  One preferred the circus float and the other preferred the Princesses and Rose Queen with their bouquets and big pearl crown.  They could give a crap about China.  They just wanted to see the floats and dance to the bands.  Which is what the Parade is all about.

So keep the politics out of the Parade.  Protest before the parade, stage a vigil at the float viewing sheds tomorrow and the next day, but keep it away from the magic of New Year's Morning.

Our kids have so little innocence anymore, and are severely short on magic.  The Rose Parade gives them at least a couple hours of kid fun.

And for the record, this protest was, IMO, a truly cheap political stunt.  Why, you ask?  Well, first of all the float wasn't funded by the Chinese government, it was funded by a coalition of American companies and individuals, most notably the Avery-Dennison Corporation, a worldwide manufacturer of paper and office products based here in Pasadena.  Furthermore, the float didn't promote the Chinese government, either.  It promoted the 2008 Summer Olympics, which will be held in Beijing.  And don't the Olympics themselves promote equality and human rights?  So if they were protesting the idiocy of the International Olympic Committee being bullshitted about human rights improvements by the Chinese government, I'd almost understand the sentiment, but protesting China just makes it a cheap, opportunistic stunt staged for the TV cameras.

More pictures of the Beijing 2008 float can be seen along with the rest of my 2008 Rose Parade pictures here on Flickr.

Posted by caltechgirl at 10:46 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

January 03, 2008

Big Fat DUUUUUUUHHHHHH: Globe responsible for Global Warming

Nature, folks, never underestimate it.

Here's a vocabulary word for you: Albedo

There's a natural cause that may account for much of the Arctic warming, which has melted sea ice, ice sheets and glaciers, according to a study published Thursday in the journal Nature. New research points a finger at a natural and cyclical increase in the amount of energy in the atmosphere that moves from south to north around the Arctic Circle.

But that energy transfer, which comes with storms that head north because of ocean currents, is not acting alone either, scientists say. Another upcoming study concludes that the combination of both that natural energy transfer increase and man-made global warming serve as a one-two punch that is pushing the Arctic over the edge.

Scientists are trying to figure out why the Arctic is warming and melting faster than computer models predict.

The summer of 2007, like the summer of 2005, smashed all records for loss of summer sea ice in the Arctic Ocean and ice sheet in Greenland. In September, the Arctic Ocean had 23 percent less sea ice than the previous record low. Greenland's ice sheet melted 19 billion tons more than its previous record.

The Nature study suggests there's more behind it than global warming because the air a couple miles above the ground is warming more than calculated by the climate models.

Climate change theory concentrates on warming of surface temperatures and explains an Arctic that is warming faster than the rest of the world as mostly because reduced sea ice and ice sheets means less reflecting solar rays.
I'm no meteorologist, in fact I teach BIOLOGY, but I know this much: the Earth has been around 5 Billion + years. We've been taking samples for 200 years. You do the math. Need more proof? How about this? The Earth turned itself into a complete ice ball and then melted, all before life even emerged on land. So how can anyone say that Global Warming is entirely anthropogenic?

Of course the Apostles of the Church of Global Warming are trying to rip this research apart, but it was published in Nature, probably the MOST respected journal of peer-reviewed publications in the entire scientific community, so there's clearly something to it.  I'll be watching this very closely.

Posted by caltechgirl at 02:07 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

January 05, 2008

Just who are you giving those donations to?

Fifteen Ineffective Charity Fundraising Ideas

by Jason Toon & Matthew Shultz Friday, January 4 10:00 AM

  • Dogfight for a Cure
  • Jersey City Bachelor Auction To Raise Chlamydia Awareness
  • Tats for Tots
  • The March of Counterfeit Subway Tokens
  • We Don't Have A Problem And We Sure As Hell Don't Need Your Damn Money Gala Ball & Silent Auction
  • PeTA and Hamas Pita-and-Hummus Dinner
  • Tree of Syringes
  • Everybody Get K-Fed: A Tribute Album To Fight World Hunger
  • PTSD Father-Son Fun Shoot
  • The Genital Warts Memorial Quilt
  • Rock Against Xenu
  • Enemas for a Cause
  • Pledge Drive For Ron McDonald's House, No, Not The Ronald McDonald House, Just This Guy Named Ron McDonald, Whose House Needs Some Work
  • First Annual $500,000 By 4:00 PM Or We Start Killing Hostages Telethon
  • Take-a-Penny, Leave-a-Penny
h/t Greta (who is recovering from surgery, so drop by and give her some love!)

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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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February 05, 2008

This is the saddest thing I have ever read

Lynne Spears deposition attached to the restraining order against Britney's so-called "Manager".

Horrifying.  Just Horrifying.

This may be the single most heart-wrenching part:

Britney then said again at some point during the night, "When do I get to see my babies?" Sam answered, "Wednesday." Britney then said, "What do I have to do to see them?" Sam responded, "Take the pills I tell you to take." Britney said, "I don't like the pills and I don't like the the psychiatrist. Can't I see anoher psychiatrist so I can see my babies?" Sam responded, "If I told you to take 10 pills a day, you should do what I tell you to see your babies." Jackie (Lynne's friend) then said, "Britney, your parents can help you find a psychiatrist. The psychiatrist needs to get to know you to give you the right medicine." Sam then raised his voice and said, "Why don't uou get back with Kevin."

Britney then said, "I'll do anything to get them back."

It goes on and on and on. According to Lynne Spears, this guy has disabled Britney's phones and cars, stolen her cell phone charger and he hides her dog. He gives her serious anti-psychotic and anti-depressant medication with alcohol, and little regard for dosage or consistency.

No wonder Britney is so screwed up. My God.

Posted by caltechgirl at 04:50 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

February 07, 2008

Bacon IS meat candy

Bacon Candy

1 lb bacon (not thick-cut)
1/4 cup brown sugar

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Slice bacon into 1/2-inch strips and dredge in brown sugar until thoroughly coated.
3. Crumple aluminum foil to allow for grease drainage and place it on a baking sheet. Lay out the bacon on the foil making sure not to overlap pieces.
4. Bake until crispy. Allow to cool and harden before serving.

Oh yeah.  Perfect with some bacon vodka.

Or try this.

h/t puppyblender

Posted by caltechgirl at 01:15 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

February 10, 2008

For Ken, wherever I may find him (and Emily, too of course, as originally intended...)

UPDATE: Leave your answers here :-)

Ken loves to do these Rock N Roll Trivia posts, and often I end up scratching my head and feeling somewhat less than inadequate because, well, I usually suck at them.

So here's one of my own, for Ken and the crew:  The Paul Simon/ Simon and Garfunkel Edition (Now with Bonus Questions!)

1.  If I was a Kellogg's corn flake I'd be floating in my bowl doing what exactly?  And to whom would I be talking?

2. Someone told me it's all happening where?

3. Can you imagine us years from today, sharing a park bench quietly? How Terribly strange to be (how old???)...

4.People say she's crazy, why?

5.If you take two bodies and you twirl them into one, what won't come undone?

6.How far away is the Mother and Child reunion?

7. The sign said the words of the prophets are written where?

8.Where are you going with Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme?

9. What do Rene and Georgette Magritte have hidden away in the cabinet cold of their hearts?

10.  The Mississippi Delta shines like what on the way to Graceland?

My father was a fisherman, my mama was a fisherman's friend.  What's my name?

How many ways are there to leave your lover? (Just ask Jack, Stan, Roy, Gus, Lee.....)

The fog's rolling in off the East River Bank.  It covers which street?

Posted by caltechgirl at 08:39 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

February 13, 2008

Rock N Roll Quiz Update

Still needs answers for 4,5,9,10 and Bonus#3...


Posted by caltechgirl at 10:02 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

February 19, 2008

2:11 is about right.

Your time of day has a split personality -- sometimes it's sweat-streaked and loud, and you're on the dance floor, getting your third wind, and shouting lyrics like you'll never run out of energy. You are the time of night that carves itself into your memory forever, because you'll never forget how much you love these people and this moment and this song. It's not always about unforgettable parties, though. Sometimes your late night (err… early morning) burst of energy happens when you're home alone. Those are the times when you say, "I flat out refuse to go to sleep until I finish reading this book, or typing this page, or reorganizing my entire closet." In either case, you are the time of night when it feels sort of forbidden to be awake, but you love accomplishing something special long after everyone else went to bed. And hey -- you can always catch up on sleep tomorrow, right?

Heh. Yep.

h/t Breakfasty Jen
Posted by caltechgirl at 12:47 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


To the Quiz....  Since y'all didn't get them all....

1.  If I was a Kellogg's corn flake I'd be floating in my bowl doing what exactly?  And to whom would I be talking?
taking movies.. Relaxing a while, livin' in style.  Talking to a raisin who occasionally plays LA, casually glancing at his toupee..... (Punky's Dilemma, 1968, Bookends)

2. Someone told me it's all happening where?
At the zoo (At the Zoo, 1968, Bookends)

3. Can you imagine us years from today, sharing a park bench quietly? How Terribly strange to be (how old???)...
Seventy (Old Friends, 1968, Bookends)

4.People say she's crazy, why?
She's got Diamonds on the soles of her shoes (Diamonds On the Soles of Her Shoes, 1986, Graceland)

5.If you take two bodies and you twirl them into one, what won't come undone?
Their Hearts and their Bones.  (Hearts and Bones, 1983, Hearts and Bones)

6.How far away is the Mother and Child reunion?
Only a moment away.  (Or a motion, depending on the verse) (Mother and Child Reunion, 1972, Paul Simon)

7. The sign said the words of the prophets are written where?
On the subway walls, and tenement halls (Sounds of Silence, 1964, Wednesday Morning 3 A.M.)

8.Where are you going with Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme?
Scarborough Fair (Scarborough Fair and Canticle, Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme, 1966)

9. What do Rene and Georgette Magritte have hidden away in the cabinet cold of their hearts?
The Penguins, the Moonglows, the Orioles, and the Five Satins (Rene and Georgette Magritte with their Dog After the War, 1983, Hearts and Bones)

10.  The Mississippi Delta shines like what on the way to Graceland?
A National Guitar (Graceland, 1986, Graceland)

My father was a fisherman, my mama was a fisherman's friend.  What's my name?
Lincoln Duncan (Duncan, 1972, Paul Simon)

How many ways are there to leave your lover? (Just ask Jack, Stan, Roy, Gus, Lee.....)
Fifty (Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover, 1975, Still Crazy After All These Years)

The fog's rolling in off the East River Bank.  It covers which street?
Bleecker Street (Bleecker Street, 1964, Wednesday Morning 3 A.M.)

Posted by caltechgirl at 11:18 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 25, 2008

Now this is amusing...

That's pretty much my brain.....

h/t VW Bug

Posted by caltechgirl at 11:38 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

February 27, 2008

Southwest Airlines is Beautiful

Southwest Airlines responds to the two chickies who claimed they were discriminated against because they were "too pretty"...

Turns out they were just too foul-mouthed and combative......

Check out Southwest's video response:

Here's what else Southwest had to say (from the "About this Video" tab):

Southwest Airlines would like to set the record straight regarding a situation involving two female Customers, Ms. Sarah Williams and Ms. Nisreen Swedberg, on Flight #3600 from Tampa Bay to Los Angeles on February 14, 2008. During this flight, the Flight Crew and several witnesses confirm that Ms. Williams and Ms. Swedberg's unruly behavior was touched off by an occupied lavatory. After banging on the door, Ms. Williams and Ms. Swedberg became verbally abusive and threatening toward the Customer who had been using the lavatory.

When Our Flight Crew addressed the situation with Ms. Williams and Ms. Swedberg, the two Customers continued their threatening behavior and abusive language. At this time, the Flight Crew requested that local police meet the flight upon its arrival in Los Angeles. The police questioned several witnesses, as well as Ms. Williams and Ms. Swedberg, who were later released. Contrary to reports, we did not ban these Customers from flying Southwest Airlines.

Our Employees must maintain a Safe and comfortable environment onboard the aircraft at all times. According to some news reports, this story has nothing to do with Ms. Swedberg and Ms. Williams' appearance, but rather their use of what other Passengers tell us was profanity and threatening behavior onboard one of our flights. Finally, we would have gone out of business a long time ago if we discriminated against beautiful women -- or anyone else for that matter. We carry almost 100 million Customers a year, and they are all beautiful in our eyes.

For members of the media who would like an interview or more information, please contact Southwest Airlines Public Relations at: 214-792-4847.
Right on!

Posted by caltechgirl at 01:32 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Jimmy + Ben sitting in a tree.....

First we had Sarah Silverman f***ing Matt Damon....

And then Jimmy Kimmel and Ben Affleck.....

But now, everyone who didn't get to be in the video feels bad....

"From the minute Sarah's video with Matt played, revenge has been percolating in Jimmy's mind," says Jill Leiderman, the show's executive producer. "The Friday morning after it aired, Jimmy came in and said 'I need Ben Affleck."'

Affleck's consent lead to Harrison Ford's involvement -- he was a fan of Silverman and Damon's video, apparently -- which then lead to Brad Pitt's cameo as the delivery guy who presents Affleck and Kimmel with a cake celebrating their love.

Head music booker Scott Igoe said that once Pitt was on board, he reached out to the musicians who had appeared previously on the show and had proven themselves to be good sports. Within 24 hours, he had the Maddens, Gray and Wentz on board -- and had really ticked off Ashlee Simpson, who wanted to participate but was unable to because she was on tour, he says.

"Basically, we devised the list: 'Who has been on the show in the past that we really like?"' Igoe says.

The music for the song was written by Kimmel's bandleader Cleto Escobedo, with the lyrics devised by Kimmel, Kimmel's brother, John, and the show's writing staff. The video was filmed in two days at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, and at nearby Henson Studios, site of the "We Are the World" session.

"Half the e-mails I've gotten the day after have been from publicists so disappointed that their clients weren't in it," Igoe says, mentioning Faith Hill, Tim McGraw and Paul McCartney.

Whether the song will be released as an official download is up to ABC, Leiderman says, but she promises they'll make the appropriate inquiries to see if they can get a single put out.

Igoe, meanwhile, has his sight set on a bling-ier outcome. "Hey, if 'D--k in a Box' can win an Emmy, why can't we?" he asks.

And of course, all this was just an excuse to post this:

Posted by caltechgirl at 01:50 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

March 05, 2008

I can breathe Dr. Pepper???!?!?!?!?!?!?

SWEET. That's essentially my blood anyway.....

Your Pokéname is:


You live in the prairies of Botswana, and your diet consists mostly of rocks, wolves and lattés.
(Combat and Non-combat)
You can walk on air. You can breathe Dr. Pepper. You can spit rocks. You can shoot hot death.
You can shoot wind. You can spit acid. You have a fear of tahini.
Natural Enemies:
Your natural enemy is Humtwo.

h/t Eebra

Posted by caltechgirl at 11:01 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

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

April 03, 2008


h/t the slightly more costly VW

Posted by caltechgirl at 03:15 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

April 04, 2008

It's Friday night, so WTF (severe profanity alert)

I rant, you decide:

If I see this so-called "pregnant man" again, I think I am going to puke.

Gender politics aside, this is NOT a man. Legally, sure. I can agree with that. Phenotypically, even. I can agree he's a man.

But don't fucking go around trumpeting that you're a MAN and you're pregnant. That's not the case, except perhaps on paper. And it's no fucking miracle. You stopped taking your testosterone and the female hormones made by your INTACT OVARIES AND UTERUS THAT YOU WERE BORN WITH started working again. There's no miracle there. That's how your body is supposed to work.

Then you inserted sperm, and voila! The process worked the way it was designed to. Funny that. You got pregnant the same way that every other person born with a uterus tries to. In fact, from what I understand, you had an easier time than a lot of us uterus-bearers, whatever gender our driver's license says we are.

You're not a pregnant man. You are a pregnant ex-female who chose to remain reproductively intact despite partial gender reassignment surgery. Let's be clear on the terminology.

A pregnant man WOULD be worth shouting about, and it would be a miracle. Seeing as how MEN are born without the means of conceiving and carrying a baby INSIDE their body. A pregnant MAN worth studying would be someone who is able to carry a fetus on the inside, and is born with sex chromosomes that say "XY" instead of "XX", and who are born with testes, and vas deferens and a prostate and a penis . Not a "man" born with a uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries, and a vagina.

That's no reason to get on Oprah and every other fucking show on TV, ok?

And before you fucking go off on me about being insensitive to transgender people, please understand that I could care less which set of chromosomes you were born with, and whether they match what you show on the outside. Just keep your crotch out of my face. When you go around showing pictures of your beard and man's chest and pregnant stomach, that's tantamount to waving your nuts in my face, which I don't appreciate. And don't go around acting like you got pregnant from sperm inserted up your fake dick, whether you have one or not, when you got pregnant the same way everyone else does. That's nothing to write home about.

All that being said, I wish you and your wife a lifetime of happiness and the blessings of a healthy child, as every family deserves happiness and health. Just not in my face. If nothing else, out of respect for your child's well-being.

Posted by caltechgirl at 09:34 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

May 24, 2008

365 Days and 30 minutes ago....

We walked into our house for the first time as its owners. It was kind of a surreal moment, to say the least. It was a Thursday afternoon, and we had no idea when the title would be recorded, so we gave the previous owners until 5pm to leave.

Of course, they took advantage of that, and the fact that it was memorial day weekend to to have the power and water shut off on us, pettily hoping that that they could screw us over and force us to be uncomfortable until the next Tuesday.

Happily, however, Pasadena Water and Power are AWESOME and everything was back on by Noon, Friday.

It's been a crazy year. Somehow we've managed to rip out two wall heaters, install a ceiling fan, a chandelier, change two more light fixtures, fix another ceiling fan, install a brand new bathroom sink, run a water line to the refrigerator, cap off a number of useless pipes, completely replace the plumbing for the shower and the kitchen sink, and install a dishwasher. Oh, and hang lights on the pergola, rip out three trees, hack away a number of bushes, and plant two rose bushes, azaleas, calla lilies, carnations, lilacs, hydrangea, and two summers' worth of garden.

Not to mention replacing a broken window and installing an alarm system. And bringing home a new puppy.

Wow. That's a hell of a lot more than I realized.

This weekend's project? Why plastering the holes from the plumbing job and repainting the bathroom, of course. And hanging our Anniversary present to ourselves:

Cardinals singing in a magnolia tree above a creek. And it will look fabulous above our bed, so who cares if it's a mass-produced IKEA painting? It makes me happy.

More pictures on Flickr as soon as I have a moment to download from the camera, probably late tomorrow!

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June 02, 2008

Universal Health Care: THIS is why not

When Linda O'Boyle wanted just a few more months with her family and chose to pay out of pocket for a drug that would work against her colon cancer and allow her to do that, she was dropped from Britain's National Health Service coverage:

Mrs O'Boyle was operated on in January last year for colon cancer and the doctors found it had spread to her stomach lining.

The former NHS assistant occupational therapist, who has three sons, twins
Gerald and Anthony, 37, and Mark, 33, as well as grandchildren Luke,
four, Finn, three, Jemima, two and Darcey, two, then had six weeks of

She continued with this until September last year when she and her husband were told the devastating news there was little more doctors could do.

However, her consultant recommended Cetuximab, which could extend her life. But it is available on the NHS only in Scotland, not in England and Wales.

It is one of many medicines the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence denies to some patients because of cost.

Mrs. O'Boyle's decision to take it meant she and her husband had to spend 11,000 over two months for care from Southend University Hospital HS Foundation Trust.

Mr O'Boyle, an NHS manager for 30 years, said: 'I think every drug should be available to all of us if there's a need for that drug to be used.

'I offered to pay for it but was told I couldn't continue with the treatmentwe were receiving at the hospital-The consultant was flabbergasted - he was very upset.'

He added: 'I was always very anti private treatment. But everything she had wasn't working and it was a last resort.

'We were lucky we had the money, it's the people who have no recourse to it that struggle. It is wrong that they are denied the chance.'

Mr. O'Boyle, who said he was convinced the drug had extended his wife's life by three months, added: 'If these guidelines were changed it would be a wonderful legacy for my wife.'

Medical experts say the ban on co-payment is one reason why Britain has one of the worst survival rates for cancer in Europe.

You see, having a two-tier system wouldn't do. Linda couldn't use NHS services and ALSO pay for a drug that others couldn't afford. How much did she really want to live? Enough to burden her husband with a mountain of debt for all her care for just a few months more?

Cake Eater Kathy lays it all out.

Nice, huh? A lifetime of taxes to pay for a health care system that actually employed this woman and her husband, only to be betrayed in the end because she was willing to pay out of pocket for a few more months on this Earth. She wasn't looking for a cure. She knew that was beyond her. She was simply looking for a palliative treatment which could extend her life a bit. Just a bit.

She was asked, "How badly do you want to live?" And she replied that she wanted just a few more months with her family. She paid the price for a drug that wasn't available under universal healthcare, and she did it gladly, only to be smacked with a frozen mackerel in the end. Her actions would create a "two tier" health care system, and that, apparently, cannot be allowed, because that would mean she wasn't receiving lowest common denominator health care, like everyone else does with the NHS, and the NHS cannot stand that. She thought she had the right to choose what her healthcare was worth to her, and that she wasn't going to be penalized for her decision. One would suspect, with universal healthcare, that that would be a reasonable assumption. Unfortunately, it wasn't.

And yet this atrocious system is what some people would have us install here in the US. This is what some people want because their health insurance premiums are too high, and they would prefer not to have to pay them, but would rather let the government run things. It's tidier in theory, but absolutely disgusting in practice.

Again, how badly do you want to live?

Governments with nationalized healthcare systems don't want to give their citizens a choice. Patients are blackmailed, ultimately, into going with the lowest common denominator treatment if the the choice is between that or nothing at all because they don't have spare millions on hand to pay for private care.

My friends, this is what Universal healthcare means. Like anything else, when you cater to the lowest common denominator, the quality decreases. That's what the "lowest" part means.

But Kathy says it better than I ever could. She has lived it. Go read about what Universal healthcare means for Ovarian cancer patients in Europe compared to the treatment she recieved here in the US. It's shocking and frightening. Definitely something to consider as we go to the polls.

Posted by caltechgirl at 11:58 AM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

June 09, 2008

Depends on your definition of "a lie"

All over town this weekend, on overpasses and chainlink fences along the freeway there were hand-lettered signs "The war is a lie." and "Bush Lied". I've been seeing them for months now, but it seems there was a concerted effort to add new signs this weekend, as there were more signs in the afternoon than in the morning along the same freeways.

These signs are highly amusing to me. Along with their partners "Impeach!" Impeach who? Yo Momma? Seriously. Finish your thought, ADHD child. Of course, some of the signs DO say Impeach Bush, but I have to ask, why? I mean, the man has about 6 months left in his term. How much of that time is actually useful political time? ZERO. And how long would it take to go through an impeachment process? Probably more time than he has left as President. Get off it.

But the "lie" meme perseverates. And congress commissioned a study of the available intelligence to determine whether the President actually lied. Senator John D Rockefeller led the Select Committee on Intelligence in this investigation. In a statement Thursday, the senator announced, "In making the case for war, the administration repeatedly presented intelligence as fact when it was unsubstantiated, contradicted or even nonexistent[.]"

But is that really what the report says? Not really. Clearly the information at hand was overinterpreted, aka SPUN, into the message that the Bush administration wanted to present. Probably in an effort to convince the American people to get behind the push to war in Iraq.

However, the report finds that in many circumstances, and on a variety of subjects, the President's (and other administration officials') statements on the war "were generally substantiated by intelligence community estimates." These subjects include Iraq's nuclear weapons program, biological and chemical weapons capability, overall WMD capability, and support for AQ terrorists.

Which to me, raises a very important question, namely, How did our intelligence get so far off base? Did our operatives buy into the lies that scientists and supervisors were passing on to the regime? Or did the CIA et al. deliberately mislead both the Clinton and Bush administrations? Where is the actual failure, then? If the President is essentially parroting what the intelligence community tells them is fact?

So then what can we do with this knowledge, that our intelligence is, at best, flawed? How do we use it to plan and implement strategies for dealing with our enemies and their plots to thwart us? Knowing that such critical intelligence may be wrong makes it extremely difficult to build support for military endeavors, regardless of the import to national security.

Which brings me back to lying. Which is the lie then, Sen. Rockefeller's statement that the report finds that "Bush Lied", or the actual text of the report which shows that the intelligence community "lied" and Bush and Co. believed them?

h/t Babalu

Posted by caltechgirl at 10:53 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

July 07, 2008

The NEW Racism: Picky Eating

A government-sponsored organization (organisation) in the UK now says that picky-eating toddlers may be "exhibiting racist behaviours" bt refusing to eat or saying 'yuck' to flavorful foreign foods. A daily Telegraph article says:

" The 366-page guide for staff in charge of pre-school children, called Young Children and Racial Justice, warns: "Racist incidents among children in early years settings tend to be around name-calling, casual thoughtless comments and peer group relationships."

It advises nursery teachers to be on the alert for childish abuse such as: "blackie", "Pakis", "those people" or "they smell".

The guide goes on to warn that children might also "react negatively to a culinary tradition other than their own by saying 'yuk'".

Staff are told: "No racist incident should be ignored. When there is a clear racist incident, it is necessary to be specific in condemning the action."

OFCS*. Are you KIDDING ME??? A three year old says "yuk" to spicy food and automatically they're considered little KKK-wannabes?? Some of those words, sure, those are clearly racist, but even then it goes a bit too far to suggest that a TODDLER has malice in their heart for a specific group of people.

If a three year old hears a group of people called "apples" or "chairs" they'll use that word just the same as if it was (as mentioned above) "blackies" or "pakis". All they understand is the LABEL, if that. They are incapable of attaching racist meaning to it at that age because they are incapable of understanding (in an adult sense) what race is.

Furthermore, I find it highly unlikely that a toddler can associate foods with races. Oh, I don't like curry because THEY eat it, where they is some other group.

As for the other labels mentioned in the article "those people" is a way that small children break down the world. These people vs those people, us vs them. It's an easy way for their young brain to learn to classify people and things, to sort out their environment and make sense of everything around them. It's not evil. It's not denigrating, it's just a baby brain learning to work.

I think my favorite of the report's objections, and the one that best demonstrates nanny-ism run amok, though, is "they smell."

Let's face it, small children are absurdly honest and have no politeness filter. they say what's on their mind. Including that some people smell funny to them. It's clear that different cultures come from homes that smell differently. Some burn incense or use flavorful, aromatic spices in daily cooking. To a toddler unused to those smells, someone who comes from that environment WOULD smell funny. Again, not racist, just honest.

The bottom line here is that kids are kids. They are simple, funny, honest, and open. Because they haven't learned how to be polite or appropriate yet. They don't understand that what they say can hurt. And frankly, if a toddler wants to insult you, they're more likely to say "poopyhead" than "blackie" or "paki". A kid who is rude or insulting should be dealt with, but not as an incipient racist. They should be disciplined accordingly, and taught that ALL rudeness and insult is unacceptable, including racism. We should explain why it's not nice to say that another child smells funny without pointing fingers and shouting accusations.

This report, in sum, says a WHOLE LOT MORE to me about the agenda of the authors than the intent of the toddlers.

This whole debate about racism and children is funny to me. Children today are so unaware of racism. They get their ideas about it from what WE (the ADULTS) project on to them. Kids are blissfully unaware of race problems until we tell them that they should be experiencing them.

This brought to mind a more local story. Charter Oak High School in Covina recently discovered that parodic African-American sounding names ("Tay Tay Shaniqua," "Crisphy Nanos" and "Laquan White") were printed in the yearbook under a picture of the Black Student Union, apparently as a racist joke.

I can't help but wonder if the motivation was really racist in nature or just bad taste, and a joke gone sadly awry. Do teenagers really harbor the kind of overt racist feelings implied by these actions? Was it entirely about race? Or were they just making fun of some kids they didn't like, by badly ripping off certain black comedians?

The community is up in arms and the parents are demanding action, but I have to wonder if we're missing something. Are our kids racist? Did WE make them that way? If not, why do they do and say racist things? Is it because they are SO OVER racism, that it CAN be a joke for them. Wouldn't that be considered a good thing?

It's like that classic South Park Question: How long does it have to be with us before AIDS is funny? When can we laugh? Can we EVER laugh about racism? And if we do, who gets to laugh? The opressed? The reformed opressor? The subsequent, non-racist generations? When does it get to be OK? For whom?

*Oh For Christ's Sake!

Posted by caltechgirl at 11:39 AM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

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 25, 2008

A Rose by any other name...UPDATED

Helen's post yesterday, about names, got me thinking. You see, I can't just say these are the names I would choose for my children without explaining why. There's a whole list of rules that hubby and I came up with many, many years ago. Long before we even started dating.

You know those long, rambling conversations you can have with your closest friends? The rules sprung from one of those. WE were just sitting around, BS'ing one day. I don't even know what started it off, but eventually both of us (and Ben. He was there, too) were tossing out rules for what names you can and can't give your kid. Over the years, we've gone back to them, as friends have had and named their own kids, and had a few laughs, I must admit.

So here's a list of our rules:
1. It must be a classic American name, spelled in the most standard way. Our children's heritage is classic EuroMutt with a dash of Native American and heaping helping of Armenian. The best way to describe them will be American. So we think their names should be, too.

2. It can not be one of certain names. I would list them, but I don't want to piss people off. It's just that, with a few exceptions, in our collective experience, everyone we know with these names is some kind of asshole. To the point that it's like "well his name is (one of those), you expect that".

3. It can't be a family name. Too much animosity. If I name my kids after my side of the family you can bet his family would be pissed. And vice versa. There may be some leeway for dead relatives used as middle names, but in general, it would cause more fuss than I'd care to deal with.

4. Probably best listed as a corollary to 3: There will be no juniors. There's enough confusion in the house with 4 different names now (two of which, I might add, belong to DOGS), I don't need to add on the confusion of calling for DH and getting answered by DH, Jr. Plus, we both think our kids should have their own names.

5. They must be full names. Alexander, Elizabeth, Johnathan, Katharine are all acceptable, for example, while Alex, Beth, Jon, and Kathy are not. Give the kid the whole name, and they can choose from a multitude of nicknames for themselves.

6. The Asswipe (that's Os-Wee-Pay) Rule: No easily made fun of names. Hubby's name is very similar to the quirky title character of a popular song during his childhood, and my last name laid me open to years of taunting comparing me to a comic villain. We'd like to spare our kids as much as possible. So under this rule, no Richard (Dick), Peter, Johnson, etc.

7. No rhyming. Dear God no. Thankfully, neither of our last names rhymes with many first names.

8. No multiples. This is mostly an issue for people with first names as last names, and we'd really have to stretch it to get that to work for us, but seriously. You couldn't think of anything more creative than Thomas Thomas (my mother's orthopedic surgeon) or Martin M. Martin (a teacher at our high school)?

9. No objects. Thing names are for animals. "This is our daughter, Ladybug." "This is my cat, Ladybug." "how nice." NOT. There's a reason some names refer to people. Abstracts are ok, however, such as Faith, Joy, Hope, Honor, etc. Although in my experience such names often turn out to be no more than wishful thinking on the part of the parents....

10. Fictional Characters are sometimes ok, under these conditions: the character must have a real name (Luke is acceptable, Han is not), and the character's reputation won't come back to bite the kid in the ass (again, Luke is acceptable, Homer is not). Naming your kid after a villain is usually a bad idea, as well. Especially if it's a villain in a kid's movie....

11. There should be a reason you're willing to share. Someday your kid will ask you "mom, dad, why did you call me Paris Nooner Lastname" and you have to be willing to explain your quick trip back to the hotel that ended up being more than a bag drop-off....

12. Gender appropriate names are a must. Gender neutral names are ok, but for GAWDS SAKE, don't give a girl a boy's name or vice versa. Even if it is acceptable as a name for the opposite gender. Leslie is a girl's name. As is Stacy. Cameron is a boy's name (see Ferris Bueller). So is Kendall. Trust me, it's hard enough to pronounce the names people give their kids. Don't make me look a fool by calling a "he" a "she" in class.

I'm sure some of our rules go against what you like or even some of your names, but this is what we want for our kids. Because life is hard enough without being known as Chlamydia Vagina.

More on the worst baby names ever compiled here.

So what do you think? What are your rules? Which of these do you agree with? Disagree with? That's what the comments are for, hint, hint.

UPDATE: Check out this poor girl's name. I would like to beat her parents. (h/t Richard Cocking)

Posted by caltechgirl at 01:45 PM | Comments (19) | TrackBack

July 29, 2008

We're ok

Officially re-revised to 5.4. Some loose plumbing under the sink, but nothing fell or shook loose. Pictures didn't even move askew on the walls.

Dogs were completely non-plussed. One was laying in the grass chewing a toy, the other was chilling under the coffee table.

At least now we know what the house does in an earthquake.

Posted by caltechgirl at 12:43 PM | Comments (8) | 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 03, 2008

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 05, 2008

For the record,

How the F**k did it get to be AUGUST 5th already??

That is all.

Posted by caltechgirl at 10:40 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

September 06, 2008

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

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 22, 2008

Funny, I was going to blog something

Damn cold medicine. It makes me loopy, so just a few quick takes for y'all

It has become increasingly clear to me that the Democrats are scared shitless of Sarah Palin. The sheer amount of vitriol being flung around (BTW, anyone know what vitriol REALLY is?) combined with the increasing hysteria about the fact that they can find any dirt that seems to stick is becoming increasingly laughable. Memo to the MSM: when hardcore BDS suffering Liberals begin to feel that the all-out, anti-Sarah barrage is TOO much, it's time to back off. And on a related note, so what if Sarah won't sit don for yet another hit-piece interview? Who said she had to let you piss in her sandbox? Or that she had to play your game? Especially when the rules change more frequently than Calvinball and the only thing that stays the same is that Sarah loses...

ESPN makes me happy. Not sure why, but there's really something comforting about being able to turn on something on the TV that sounds like the news, but won't make me scream and throw things at the TV. I need the "audio/visual wallpaper" when I'm working. Usually I have FoxNews or the local news on, but I just am so tired of knowing more about the story being reported than the editor or reporter who write and read the news scripts.

Anyone else think Kenley's dress on Project Runway last Wednesday looked like something Betty would wear on Ugly Betty? Yeah, me too.

Fake sudafed is for shit. It works about 1/10 as well as the real stuff, and they don't make the formulation that works for me with the real stuff any more. AARRGH. So I suffer. Benedryl ain't cutting it either, and I am sneezing every 5 minutes. Not to mention waking up every 45 minutes and sleeping badly in between...

Just waiting to see if shit rains down on my head about coming home early. I met all my responsibilities for the day, I taught my class and picked up HW and went to my meeting, where I also sat far away from everyone so I wouldn't give them germs.

I still have a hell of a lot of work to do, and a million small personal things to get taken care of. But I think it's nappy nap time.

Two quick links before I go:
1. Check out the investigative journalism done by the fine folks at My Pet Jawa regarding anti-Palin "viral" videos

2.wRitErsbLock went to see the Sarah Palin rally at the Villages, FL this weekend, check out her pictures.

Posted by caltechgirl at 01:11 PM | Comments (6) | 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 01, 2008

It's all so fucked up

The water heater works.  That's about it.

Tonight was bad though.  We had a fight.  A bad fight, the kind where one's parentage and sexual preferences are called into question.

I suppose the fight's over.  We were both sorry and apologized.  Hell, we were both terribly frustrated by some small carelessness that might lead to another large expense, but I think we can get it fixed tomorrow.  At least I think it can be fixed reasonably.  If not, well, just add another shitty and expensive bill to the pile.

And now I can't sleep.  He's out like a light.  I don't blame him, he's had a long hard day.  But I just can't shake the anxiety, the grouchyness.  I knew I would have trouble sleeping so I self medicated and put on a movie (Ratatouille, actually), but here I am at 20 after 2 AM.  Typing.

It's like I'm no longer waiting for the other shoe to drop.  Hell, the shoes just keep dropping.  So many rotten things have happened over the last few weeks to people I care about, I just want to put my fingers in my ears.  And there's more.  Lauren has to put down her puppy-boy, and Kate's FIL passed away. And there's more that I can't blog about because I haven't been given permission and it's not out on the interwebs.

Tonight's issue was just another stupid thing in what seems to be a rising tide of stupid things.  I am trying so hard to keep my head above water and stay positive because really?  I have it pretty good.  I have a job I could love, a wonderful home, a sweet and adoring husband that I heap much abuse on undeservedly, and 2 loving, healthy puppies.

I guess I just feel lost.  All of these posts are such downers, but that's where I am right now.  I'm not sure where I am or what I'm doing.  Lately it's just one fucking fire to be put out after another, with no energy left to do anything else.

And now it's 2:30 and I don't feel any better than I did when I started this.


Posted by caltechgirl at 02:33 AM | Comments (14) | TrackBack

October 08, 2008

Overheard in my house last night during the debate (R-rated language)

Obama is a tool.
He's really a dick. 
He should go swallow a dick. Wait, he is a dick.
Go swallow yourself, Barry.

Hysterical laughter, choking, and tears running down my face

(with one finger raised, as a finger puppet; in a cartoon voice) I'm a tool.

Hysterical laughter, choking, and tears running down my face.  Pain in my guts from the laughing.

Obama (on TV):
blah, blah, vote for me (pauses)

(same finger puppet and voice) Because I'm a tool!

Hysterical laughter, choking, and tears running down my face, hiccupping, now running for the bathroom...

Perhaps you either have to know my usually mild-mannered unflappable husband to get it.  Or maybe you had to be there.  Either way, I am still giggling 12+ hours later.

I love you, hon!

Posted by caltechgirl at 10:41 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

October 21, 2008

kill me now - a rant with F words....

If I see one more fucking commercial for another proposition I will rip out my eyes. Particularly that fucking Jamie Lee Curtis Prop 3 commercial. You are SO not conducting those kids, get off it.

And that fucking Gavin Newsom quote anti-Prop 8 commercial on the radio. It's highly effective. I hate him so much I'm thinking of voting yes just to spite him. Says the girl who stood up at the wedding of her(gay)dear friends. Legislating marriage is bad law, and I was thinking of voting yes for that reason, anyway.

And seriously, I notice that it's only the McCain/Palin signs and "Yes on 8" signs that are getting stolen and defaced. I thought it was the LEFT who were supposed to be the peaceful, non-violent, tolerant ones.

yeah, right. Just fucking kill me. Or at least put me in a coma for 14 days.

Posted by caltechgirl at 06:08 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

October 23, 2008

Thar she blows! (now with Profanity!)

Finally, I rant on the election (in stream of consciousness at 1am, so please excuse the grammar and typos and occasional lack of punctuation):

First up, John McCain.  I'm going to set aside any personality issues I have with him, and even issues with why he is the candidate, and grant, up front, that he is the candidate for the republicans.  He's tough, smart, clearly qualified for the job, and probably ready for it.  He's also plenty healthy or he wouldn't be jumping around the country like a 12 year old, so fuck off to all you twits who say that he can't live out the term.  I really have little else to say about John, except that I can't believe his temper hasn't got the better of him yet, and I wish we had a better candidate, rather than the default guy (Fred!  I miss you!  You would have stuck it to Obama every chance you got instead of smiling like a pansy!)

Which brings me to Sarah Palin.  You have all underestimated her.  All of you naysayers, Republicans and Democrats alike.  The woman is NOT stupid.  I repeat, NOT STUPID.  She is very bright, and like many clearly bright people, is counting on her intelligence to pull her through an experience she was NOT prepared for.  What you see is a classy chick trying to hold up her end of the bargain and do the job she KNOWS she can do as VP, even though maybe she wasn't clear on what this campaign would be like.

I have no doubt that she would be a good VP, and even, God forbid, a good President.  There's nothing wrong with her that can't be said of the 3 dudes on the tickets.  And seriously, all this hoohah over $150,000 for clothes and makeup?  Are you kidding me?  How much did Hillary or Barry spend on the same things?  I know he wears makeup; I can see it on the TV.  And how much were Biden's teeth and hairplugs?  I mean come ON. If you're going there, I can too. 

How fucking scared are the Democrats when all they can pull on her is that her 17 year old daughter is pregnant (but remember that according to them this is pregnancy #2 and she delivered Trig while knocked up with this baby) and her supporters spent a lot of money so she could look nice.  Give me a motherfucking break.  What about Obama and Bill Ayers?  What about the ex- Fannie Mae CEO that ran Fannie into the ground and left in disgrace (but $90 mil RICHER) before Obama asked him for advice.  Can we please put this in perspective?

Why does she scare you people so?  Is it because you can't remember how to deal with people like the Palins?  Or maybe that she's smarter than you?  Or (gasp) that voters see her as real, approachable, and sensible in the ways that your candidate is not?  And we're talking about the potential VP here, not the POTUS candidate.

Honestly, if Sarah Palin was really as much of a non-entity, in that milquetoast-vanilla-Dan Quayle way, as the liberals are foaming at the mouth to portray her, would it be WORTH all the effort?  I mean let's face it.  Dan Quayle was a fucking farce. A joke.  From DAY 1.  DAY 1. And Bush, Sr. knew it.  But he got away with it because Dukakis was a joke as a candidate too.  Sarah Palin is no joke.

Verily, I am amused at the sheer panic, the slavering, the need to get a dig in at her.  To make people feel bad about supporting her.  Why do that if she's Dan Quayle all over again?  Seriously, if she's a joke just let her shoot herself in the foot.

Let's step over to another Sarah issue: Trooper-gate.  This might have some teeth, and could be a real issue, but you notice no one in the media is pushing this very hard, even though hearings are taking place.  Why?  Because there is NO there there.  The person who asked for the initial inquiry isn't even the guy who was fired.  It's the sour grapes guy who lost to Sarah in the gubernatorial election.  Don't believe me?  Do the Google search yourself.  Look at the articles in the Anchorage paper and the verified supporting documents posted all over the internet.  The evidence is all out there.

I think the real problem with Sarah Palin is that a lot of smart people like to think they succeeded in life because they are smart, and they automatically assume that all the fuck-ups in this world are the not-smart ones.  People like President Bush, and Sarah Palin, who present themselves to the world as less than uber-intelligent, and succeed ANYWAY, threaten that world view. 

I can see some of you squirming.  I know you.  I went to school with you.  I work with you.  Hell, I AM you from time to time.  I know what I am talking about and there's no denying it.  I freely admit to having an occasional elitist moment.  Smart people often have a certain world view about intelligence and ignorance: tolerance and acceptance is intelligent, rejection and exception are not; Environmentalism is intelligent, questioning or denying global warming is ignorant; Getting a college education is intelligent, going without shows your ignorance.... I could go on and on.  Smart people are (or at least THINK they are) informed and tolerant, they want to give back and save the world and make everybody equal.  And if you don't agree with those simple, wonderful things, you're ignorant, too.

Well, then kiss my ignorant PhD-covered ass.  Because I don't agree. 

People are amazing, and intelligent without a college degree or a fancy job or shared beliefs.  That's the whole principle of Academic Freedom.  We learn from each other by sharing our diverse ideas.  Not by censoring, or dismissing out of hand the ones we think are ignorant.  Ignorance is bliss after all.  And the paradigm shifts born of ignorance have generally changed our world for the better.

Sarah Palin and George Bush clearly don't fit the paradigm.  And well, we fear that which we do not understand.

And another thing about this election, a question I am DYING to ask my students (but which would reveal my own political leanings, something I am careful NOT to do.  They pay me to teach Biology, not politics), or any democratic voter, is WHY do people love Barry Obama so much?  Do you know what he stands for?  Or are you only voting for him because of his position on the War?  Do you even understand the implications of THAT?  Are you voting for him simply because he's the Democrat?  Because he's not George Bush?  What did Bush do to you anyway?  Do you understand what that means (in a real sense, not linguistically)?  Do you even know what the Republican platform says?  Hell, what the Democratic platform says? When Obama says change, what does that mean to you?  How do you think that will work?  What can he change, how will that help you?  How exactly has Obama demonstrated to you by his actions that he is ready to be President?

As an informed voter, I can answer all of those questions with regard to why I am voting for McCain.  I would guess many McCain supporters can, but that may be a personal bias.  what the fuck, though, it's my blog, my opinion.

I would also guess that many Obama supporters can NOT.

Look, I think it's great Obama is running.  I love that our country has become so colorblind that any person of color could run for any office.  And yet, Obama's supporters focus on the negative: that racism is the only reason keeping people from voting for him.  Give me a fucking break.  Could it be that we disagree with him?  Are black conservatives racist, too, because they choose to vote for McCain?  I figure it this way if Obama wins, no one can ever pull the race card again.  I mean, is there any greater measure of how far we've come than to elect a black man as our President?  I mean holy shit, a black man and a woman running against each other! (yeah, yeah, I know, but you can excuse the conflation of the tickets to make my point)

I wish people wouldn't bring up race.  We'll always have racism until we stop talking about it.  My words included.

I wish I understood people's motivations better.  Hence the questions, above.  Maybe then I wouldn't be so angry at the political discourse that seems so full of invective.  More this year than I can ever remember.  Except for one occasion when I saw a young lady wearing a t-shirt that still haunts me.  But that's a rant for another post on why the electoral college is important.

I have a number of friends who are voting for Obama.  I am proud that some of them can actually answer the questions I have posed, and I respect them for making an informed decision, and politely disagree.  I just wonder what percentage of voters on both sides actually can.

Posted by caltechgirl at 01:18 AM | Comments (23) | TrackBack

October 27, 2008

Dear African American "Community Leaders",

You are all a bunch of fucking hypocrites.  That's right.  I said hypocrites.  I call BS on you and, as they say in South Park, I declare shenanigans!

Some idiot with bad taste and a worse sense of humor hangs a Sarah Palin doll from a noose and you don't respond?  Dare I even suggest that you think it's funny because she's running against your Obamessiah?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but about 10 years ago you all were so mad about a BEAR in a noose that you forced USC to abandon a decades old student tradition of hanging bruins (the UCLA mascot) from tiny nooses.  LITTLE TINY TEDDY BEARS. In UCLA shirts.  You said it was racist.  You said that it was reminiscent of the lynching of black men by the KKK.  You said you were offended.  So we stopped hanging TEDDY BEARS.

I get your point, though.  Hanging people is not a joke.  It's MURDER.  And that's never funny.

And now, these people have NOT A BEAR, but a life-size mannequin of a woman, dressed as Sarah Palin, hanging from a noose in their yard and you say not one word.  Why?

I'll bet my house that if it was Barry Obama swinging from the yardarm you'd have had 3 press conferences already, and called the police out to arrest these homeowners for a hate crime.  Perhaps for racial intimidation.

And yet you say nothing about this.  I'm offended by it, and I'm clearly not black.  Not as a conservative, or because I am a woman, but because I think it's disgusting.  Hanging a bear, or a skeleton, or something clearly not representing a particular person is one thing, demonstrating by your Halloween display that you wish someone a painful death is quite another.

And I still want to hear your outrage.  If you all could muster that kind of vitriol for a few teddy bears, I bet you can come out and preach it about this Sarah Palin mannequin.

I'll be sure to be there to support you when you do.


h/t Flap

Posted by caltechgirl at 08:08 AM | Comments (17) | TrackBack

October 31, 2008

Halloween in 30 seconds

If you've never seen the Bunnies, you're in for a treat. Originally a creation of the Starz network, these talented little guys make it their mission to make sure that you never have to miss a movie just because you don't have time to go to the theater... they'll show you the whole thing in 30 seconds.

Here's some Halloween fun, Bunny-style!


The Ring:

Texas Chainsaw Massacre:


The Exorcist:

The Shining:

And last but not least, for RightGirl, Rocky Horror Picture Show:

There's lots more. Go here for more Bunnies Halloween, or here for all the 30 second Bunny goodness!

Posted by caltechgirl at 08:17 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

November 03, 2008

Head in my hands, Heart on my Sleeve

I've been thinking a lot about Prop 8.  It's the only ballot measure I haven't yet decided on.

My head tells me to vote yes and tell activist liberal judges to get a fucking clue.  That CA's registered Domestic Partnership law provides the same rights to gay couples who register as marriage does to straight couples.  That marriage is a construct not of the state, but of the church, and really the RDP law should apply to gays and straights both as a "civil union," a mere contract.  That "marriage" is solemnized and consecrated by your belief system, whatever that is, and abides by those rules.  God's rules.  Or gods' rules.  Whatever you believe.  Not the state's rules. 

I worry about the consequences for churches and ministers who are against marrying gay couples, for whatever reason.  Will they be breaking the law if they refuse?  Will they lose their 501 status? Will anyone be allowed to believe that homosexuality is wrong or state that belief?  It may be bigoted, but in this country, people have a right to believe as they choose.  We call it Freedom of Religion.

And you know, I just am so tired of all the in-your-faceness of the Prop 8 fight.  I just want to vote no to say HA!  Keep your "whether you like it or not" and all your Gay PDA on TV (for the record, all PDA on TV makes me sick, we've just seen a lot of it with this Prop 8 thing).  It makes me want to be perverse and give all the Prop 8 opponents the finger.

But my heart tells me differently.

As I've mentioned many times on this blog, one of my dearest friends is gay, and he married his partner about 5 years ago in one of the most beautiful, heartfelt weddings I have ever seen.  I was proud to be a "bridesmaid" and stand up for them, and I would do it again in a heartbeat.  I remember feeling so clearly the love between them, and seeing how precious they were to each other.  I could never take away from them the things that DH and I have, the comfort of knowing we are each other's first and last resort, that we make each other's life and death decisions, that we share the rights and responsibilities of our life together for better and for worse.

I received this today, via email.  I hope my friend won't mind me sharing it with you in part, and with the names redacted, of course.

Hi Everyone,

As you know, we're barely a day away from the most historic election of our time. But as you are also probably well aware, there's a lot more at stake than the Presidency.

Here in California, one of the most important -- and one of the closest -- issues you can vote on is Prop 8.

Prop 8 seeks to eliminate fundamental rights for one group of people. If passed, Prop 8 would take away something very close to Nick and me: our marriage. I trust you agree that eliminating fundamental rights -- from anyone -- is unfair and wrong.


If you want to help but don't have much time, here's something simple you can do:

The simplest thing you can do is to call everyone you know when you have a few free minutes on Tuesday and bug them to go vote if they haven't. Even if they say in advance that they'll vote, call them on Election Day to make sure they've voted. Even if it looks like the Presidential contest is over nationally by 5 or 6 pm our time, it's still critical that everyone goes to the polls to vote NO on 8. And even if it's raining, and even if the lines are long ... that shouldn't matter.

Finally, please modify and pass along this e-mail to everyone you know in California.

(And, no, you don't need to call N or me on Election Day -- we have both already voted by absentee ballot.)

Thanks so much for all your support!

A (& N)
I just can't tell them no. As much as I think this whole issue is screwed up and proceeding ass-backwards and I want to vote yes to make a political point, I don't think I can look my friend in the eye and tell him I voted to take away the marriage that means so much to him in favor of a lousy, meaningless contract. Unless you give me one of those lousy, meaningless contracts, too.

So this girl's in an unfamiliar quandry: head or heart?  I can't tell which makes more sense.

Posted by caltechgirl at 02:23 PM | Comments (9) | 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

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 17, 2008

It was the idiot, not the sunroof aka: odds and ends

Two more days of rain and the car's interior is dry.  Guess I didn't get the sunroof all the way shut after all.

And on an unrelated note, randomly finding a webpage that calls a jackass from high school a "donkey fucker" is AWESOME *.

Getting ready for the annual holiday trek.  Today's task was to clean the house.  I hate coming home to a frigging mess after vacation.  Even when it is not vacation.  Tomorrow we'll start the odyssey of packing.  Making my packing list, gathering all the small things up, getting them organized. Figuring out how to fit everything in the car with TWO dogs for the first time, as last year our little Princess was waiting for us in Fresno.  At least we're planning on pizza so as to NOT make dirty dishes!

Work sucks, as usual, but I got a project complete that's been hanging over my head since August.  Finally.  Too bad it ended up the way I suspected: unusable.  But that was a probable outcome, and nothing I could have done would have changed that.

Oh well.  More later

* Seriously, he's a complete prick.  And his job is EXACTLY what you'd expect a smug, nerdy prick to be doing.  And that's why he got called such a perfect name.

Posted by caltechgirl at 11:53 PM | Comments (4) | 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 08, 2009

Winter Recess

After our alloted two weeks of winter, it's supposed to be 75 degrees tomorrow and sunny here in Los Angeles.  Not to mention Santa Ana windy.

I think the SnowFolks of No Evil will be hanging around here a bit longer.  If nothing else, to remind me how the rest of the world feels (ok, ok, the rest of the Northern Hemisphere.  Sheesh, you people!)

Posted by caltechgirl at 08:47 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Whole LottaNot Much Shaking Going On

According to the USGS we had a 5.0 4.5 earthquake at 7:49 PM just south of San Bernadino.  That's about 50 miles east of here.

Not surprisingly we barely felt it.

Posted by caltechgirl at 09:34 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

January 10, 2009

Think Happy Thoughts....

... And sprinkle a little fairy dust....

Tomorrow, January 11, two amazing people are going to follow through with a resolution they made in August and run a marathon in honor of people who have been touched by cancer.

WB and Bou are running the Walt Disney World marathon on Sunday as part of Team in Training, raising money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  Together they've raised just shy of $5300 for cancer research.

I'll be thinking of you both and watching your split times from here, and wishing you fleet feet and much success!

Please take a minute to click over and wish each of them well! And maybe enough of us do it, then maybe just maybe, they can fly!

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

January 18, 2009

The Ghost of White House Past

If the Presidential fraternity in the sky could advise Barack Obama they'd send... Richard Nixon.

"Honestly," Nixon began, "there are a number of racists among the group. I am not one of them. Slavery was and racism is the great moral failing of America. I don't want to see you fail."

Nixon appeared to take a deep breath and he turned away from Obama and looked out the window towards the Washington Monument. "I don't want to see you fail. I failed because of my own hubris. My failings were avoidable if I hadn't been blind to what I was doing. You and I became president at a unique time in America's history. Deeply unpopular wars were underway abroad. Deep discord infected everything at home. I had a chance for greatness. You have a chance for greatness. You and I share times more similar than you think. I can help you if you want my help. If you don't... Well, I can go back and leave you be."

Hop over to Naked Villainy and read the rest.  Presidential heaven appears to be an awfully interesting place....

Posted by caltechgirl at 09:10 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

January 19, 2009

God sure has a funny sense of humor...

And I guess He's had enough of islamofascist terrorists killing in His name.  Or at least in one of his names....

So He sent them a plague.  The Black Plague.

ANTI-TERROR bosses last night hailed their latest ally in the war on terror... the BLACK DEATH.

At least 40 al-Qaeda fanatics died horribly after being struck down with the disease that devastated Europe in the Middle Ages...

...The killer bug, also known as the plague, swept through insurgents training at a forest camp in Algeria, North Africa. It came to light when security forces found a body by a roadside.

The victim was a terrorist in AQLIM (al-Qaeda in the Land of the Islamic Maghreb), the largest and most powerful al-Qaeda group outside the Middle East.

It trains Muslim fighters to kill British and US troops.

Now al-Qaeda chiefs fear the plague has been passed to other terror cells, or Taliban fighters in Afghanistan.

One security source said: "This is the deadliest weapon yet in the war against terror. Most of the terrorists do not have the basic medical supplies needed to treat the disease."

Bubonic Plague, also known as Black Plague, is spread by infected fleas.  The plague is really a little rod-shaped bacteria (bacillus) known as yersinia pestis.  The fleas live on rats and other small animals (such as squirrels) and are happy to feast on human blood, passing on the plague at the same time.

The disease is rapidly fatal if untreated, causing the patients lymph nodes to swell into painful boils, known as "buboes", hence the name "bubonic plague".  In modern times, exposure often occurs from animal control personnel handling dead rodents or accidental exposure on a camping or wilderness trip, and is usually treated successfully.  Clearly this is not the case in the remote mountains of Algeria.

Too bad germ warfare is illegal. Sprinkle a few microbes in a few caves, and we wouldn't have to worry about these asshats anymore, dammit.

h/t George Moneo at Babalu

And for some real (gallows) humor check out the comment thread for this topic at Ace of Spades...

Posted by caltechgirl at 01:13 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Keeping the Universe on the Straight and Narrow

Science, kiddoes.  Science. Dig it.

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

January 27, 2009

The News from LA LA LAnd...

Most of the time, the news just disgusts me and makes me sad....

But every once in a while it also gives me hope....

Posted by caltechgirl at 05:31 PM | Comments (3) | 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

January 30, 2009

Keep your laws off my octuplets!

Unless you've been living under a rock, you've likely already seen the story of the Southern California who woman who gave birth to the world's first known surviving set of octuplets.

What you may not know, is that (no surprise) despite the family's plea for privacy, the vultures have been hard at work and have discovered that she already has (gasp!) six children, these babies were conceived (gasp!) via IVF, and that she's (wait for it........) a single mother living with her bankrupt parents.

"Where are the ethics??" scream the journos and the academics.  "How could you justify fertility treatment for a woman who already has a pack of kids?  Don't you have a MORAL OBLIGATION to keep a poor (reputedly on Medicaid), single woman from populating the planet with her bastards that the rest of us are going to have to support?"

There oughta be a law!  A law I tell ya! (read the comments here)

Well, there is a law.  Just not here.  I'm sure you've heard of China.

The selfsame "voices of the people" who decry this woman's choice to have a large family are the same folks who cry out bitterly about China's One Child policy.

Either fertility is regulated or it is not.  How many children is too many?  Is it a sliding scale based on your ability to pay for them?  If so, I'd wager most of us would have disappeared up the abortionist's vacuum tube.

Somehow they also fail to mention that if it's my choice to have a child or not, that includes BOTH outcomes: having the baby or not having the baby. The faceless critics lamenting this woman's "irresponsible choice" (a phrase uttered by a so-called Bio-Ethics expert during a news report this morning) are also the same crew lobbying so hard to keep abortion legal.

I'm sorry, but I thought "Keep your laws off my body" was an absolute.  Or does that just apply to the popular choices?

I haven't even touched the infertility aspect of this case.  Many of my dear friends struggle with infertility, some have pursued multiple courses of treatment.  Some, ultimately, decided that the pursuit was futile despite the deepest longings of their heart for a biological child.  Having seen the struggle that so many endure, it seems to me that any successful procedure resulting in a healthy baby is a win.  Perhaps those of you who have been down this road would like to chime in.

Certainly, it is a pertinent question, how will this mom support 14 children?  But how does a 14 year old support one baby?  How do two parents with two careers handle two or three small ones?  Raising kids is not easy for anyone at anytime.  14 children, including (reportedly) 2 with special needs and 8 infants presents a huge challenge, but that doesn't mean necessarily that the children will be neglected or hungry.  In fact, it's entirely possible that these 14 kids will be MUCH better off than some kids with only one or two siblings.

You can't have it both ways, either people get to choose the family they want, or they don't.  And if they don't, who makes the rules?  Based on what?

It works so well elsewhere, after all....

Posted by caltechgirl at 11:47 AM | Comments (10) | 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

A New Hunt for the Nuge

Ted Nugent is hunting a new animal these days, The Porkasaurus!

I'm on the track of one, a bigger more dangerous critter than I've ever hunted before: the Obama-Pelosi Porkosaurus.

The Porkosaurus is plenty dangerous by itself. It subsidizes unemployment by increasing unemployment benefits. And, as the man said, when you subsidize something you get more of it. It doesn't spend anything -- not one thin dime -- on the one thing that economists say is guaranteed to stimulate the economy, defense spending. And its whole purpose is to feed Fedzilla and make it grow even bigger, swallowing our economy whole.

Click over and read the rest. Uncle Ted has some interesting ideas about stalking the beast and starving it to death.

If you've never read Ted before, you're in for a treat.

Posted by caltechgirl at 08:24 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

February 14, 2009

Valentines Zen

Valentine's Day together #1: bought each other the SAME valentine stuffed animal.  Entirely without consultation.  Giggles and kisses ensued.

Valentine's Day together #15: walk into Costco, notice motion-detector fixture on good sale, toss it into cart. Look at roses and strawberries on display across from motion detectors and go, "Oh yeah, Valentine's Day."

Somehow, #15 was a hell of a lot better.

Posted by caltechgirl at 03:48 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

February 27, 2009

Friday night fights

Well, so it didn't turn out terrible. We were taken seriously by some of the lions referenced below.

We'll see where things go from here.

And seriously, I have the awesomest husband in the universe.  I came home to delivery chinese food ordered and an expensive bottle of sparkling pink wine in the fridge.

Egg rolls and pink bubbles really make all the bullshit fade away.  Going to spend this weekend chilling and enjoying my time away from stress-world.  See you on the flip side.  Or at least on Twitter and Facebook.

Posted by caltechgirl at 07:34 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

May 16, 2009

A furious alchemy

I got this amazing book for Christmas.  Ever since, I have been addicted to the delicious science of jam-making.

There's really something terribly soothing about looking into the pink, frothy abyss of boiling mashed strawberries and making your kitchen smell like Jamba juice.

And it's reasonably easy on the hands.

Those of you who were around before the RA really took over remember how much I love to bake.  Perfecting the subtle chemistry of a light cake or a creamy cheesecake has the same delights.  Unfortunately, baking requires a lot more lifting, pouring, and manual dexterity-type of prep.

But no, I am NOT giving you my chocolate Bailey's cheesecake recipe or my no-fail Red Velvet Cupcakes.  Someday I will bake again, and those puppies are all mine.

So while I can't bake like a fiend, my inner domestic goddess satifies herself with jam, 3 or 4 little jars at a time.

Today's experiment: Strawberry Kiwi.... So far so good.  Pictures later!

Posted by caltechgirl at 02:51 PM | Comments (1) | 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 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 03, 2009

Embracing your Heritage

Ken, formerly of It Comes in Pints? fame, just got some bad news about his genealogy.  Seems he is a distant cousin of one Joseph R. Biden, Jr.  Yeah, that Joe Biden.

I know, I know.  But I think he'd be taking this better if he could get into the family business himself.  So I thought I'd get him a little something to help......

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em!

Posted by caltechgirl at 04:34 PM | Comments (12) | 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

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

February 01, 2010

Before I go....

I'm about to do one of my famous "quick, get the F out before anyone sees you leave" exits from the office and I wanted to jump in and post something quickly before I take off (for the record, faculty don't have set schedules, we just have to be here for our responsibilities: teaching, meetings, research, and the schedule is otherwise pretty flexible...)

Over the weekend as I flipped channels I kept seeing this show on the Travel Channel called "101 Chowdowns" or something like that.  It was about the 101 best comfort food/ junk food/ chow down places in the US.  We weren't big fans of their choices per se, so we were discussing our favorite pig out places.

In no particular order here are 10 of mine: Fosselman's Ice Cream (Alhambra), Original Tommy's (Rampart and Beverly), Donut Man in Glendora, Bojangles (any), Roscoe's House of Chicken and Waffles, Foster's Freeze, Bullock's Barbecue in Durham (family style!), Amante's Pizza, Elmo's Diner in Carrboro (not Durham), and Chick Fil A (again, pretty much any one).

What's your favorite "chowdown"?  Where is it?

Posted by caltechgirl at 02:15 PM | Comments (9) | 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

February 20, 2010

I'm not sick but I'm not well...

This was his theme song.

I tried so hard, but you wouldn't listen, you wouldn't reason, you wouldn't leave your dark place. You chose to make ME leave instead. You pushed us all out and built wall upon wall.

And the irony of it is, you took the pussy's way out, not the warrior's death you once envisioned for yourself.

I hope you've finally found some peace. I doubt it, but I hope so. I miss you. We all miss you.

Posted by caltechgirl at 03:59 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

February 25, 2010

On surfacing

I'm starting to come out of my funk.  I'm sleeping again, and food almost tastes good.

I have learned a bunch of things this week. That I'm really good at fooling myself. How you change forever when someone dies. That there's a reason grief is called pain. That violent, unexpected death leaves more questions than it answers. That I am not who I thought I was, in some sense.

At first I was conflicted.  I felt like my grief was counterfeit.  Why should I be so upset?  He wasn't MY friend. 

Well, scratch that, yes he was. 

He was my oldest friend.  He was closer to me than anyone for the 2 years he lived with us.  I was closer to him.  Yes, I kicked him out of my life, but that was for his own good as well as mine.  But did I ever think of that?  Did I ever think of him as my friend.  Not really.  Not ever.  Until yesterday.  But I suppose I should have.

And I realize that I haven't healed from that last night when it all went to hell between us.  I thought I had moved on, that I could accept his apology someday and love him still from afar and wish nothing but good for him.  Yes, absolutely I could, and did, and still do.  But the wound was still raw, and now it's ripped open.

I have been hiding things in my mind.  Intentionally forgetting. Me.  Brain girl.  For the last 6 days there's always another memory welling up, a thought, a song, a movie quote.  Every day things have old associations that they haven't in years and it's all fresh again, how much it hurts.

I had forgotten how much of my life has him in it.

But I am dealing with it.  I'm scared to go to the service.  To see his family.  To hear again their words from that week.  The accusations and hurt.  I don't want to cause them any more hurt by reminding them of what he did to me.  I don't want to feel like I'm not wanted.

But I need to see his face.  To touch his hand and give him my last gift.  No one is going to stop that, though I'm scared to do that, too. 

He's the only person I know of who managed to blow his brains out in such a way that they can have an open casket.

Bastard.  He's still fucking with us.  He wins again. But then again, when didn't he get one over on us if he wanted to badly enough?

The story is all over the papers in the small town where it happened.  There's even pictures.  Not of him, just the place. The obituary was in yesterday's paper.  The autopsy is done, the service is planned.  They flew him home the last time.

It's ending.  I wish it wouldn't.  I don't want the story to end here.

Posted by caltechgirl at 07:23 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

April 12, 2010

Caught up but still catching up

Life is strange. They tell you this and you nod your head. Yes, oh yes. And then one day it happens, and the world falls into place, except the geometry is twisted.

I know that some of the people in my "RL" read this. I want you to understand this is not about you. This is not angry or complaining or confused. If you know about this you're most likely NOT one of the people I'm talking about, and I'd appreciate it if the rest of them didn't find out about this space.

So for the rest of you, a little story. There was once this girl, about 13. Smart, vivacious, outspoken. Sometimes arrogant. But not pretty. Not like the other kids, and very self conscious. Some people preyed on this. A lot of people. Including a girl I'll call K. K and her friends liked to make fun of this girl and her friends. for a number of reasons. Some of which were deserved. The girl also had a friend we'll call M. M and several other people and the girl were very close until one day the friends decided they didn't want to be friends with her either.

To this day, I don't know why. I guess I wasn't cool enough.

Anyway, the girl landed on her feet and found a new group of friends. Friends she still loves to this day (Hi Ben!) and one of whom she married.

Which brings me to the point of the story. Fast Forward 10 years. Turns out K is my husband's sister. Forward ten more years, M is now my husband's brother's new wife, and Saturday I was standing around talking to people who haven't deigned to speak to me in 15 years or more, and from whom I parted on less than amicable terms in some cases. Including my new Sister In Law.

Ain't that the shit? I haven't seen some of these people in two lifetimes, practically, and I'll see them again next week at another wedding. And I'm even FB friends with some of them all of a sudden. Which is ok. I'd rather know what they're up to than not. I mean, I never really stopped caring about them as people.

And I realize that I've spent the best part of the last decade hiding out. Pushing that part of my life away. Some of the reasons I had were good. Some were selfish. Some of them no longer exist. Some of them are gone forever.

I also realized that I feel like a stranger in what used to be my life. It's not like riding a bicycle. I'm just not that person anymore. My world is a different place, both spiritually and physically from what it was when I was that girl. Yes, everyone changes in 20 years, but not everyone needs a shoehorn to put on old shoes. As I stood there chatting about who does what and people's careers and kids and friends, I could feel the old patterns coming back. The old jokes, the snappy answers, the interaction was still the same, just less comfortable. As if trying on old clothes to check the fit. And I wanted to fit in, in spite of myself.

It's funny the hand life deals. I love my husband. But you can keep his family most days. They probably feel the same about me, and yet we are part of the same family. I love him and he loves them, so what choice do I have but to pitch in and be a sister to two people I would otherwise as soon have forgotten? The funniest thing is that my husband and his brother really haven't gotten along in years. For many good reasons. But they have grown closer over the last few months, due in large part to my new SIL and our own attempt at reconciling our problems.

So maybe this is a good thing, then, and my selfish anger and internal sense of righteous justice that burned its way out over the last year was just a waste of time, and the real answer is live and let live and love your family whether you chose them or got stuck with them.

Posted by caltechgirl at 10:04 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

May 02, 2010

Look Before You Leap

I'm getting excruciatingly tired of the debate in this country over the new AZ anti-immigration law.  Everywhere you look it's one talking head or another bloviating about how the law is illegal and immoral and racist.

Really?  A piece of paper is racist?

But I distract myself from my point.

The point is this:  most people have never actually read the law, and all ANYONE seems to be interested in doing is screaming "NAZIS!!!" and "RACISTS!!!" rather than looking objectively at the REAL problem and trying to solve it constructively.

Let's lay out some basic facts first. 

1.  Anyone in this country illegally is a criminal.  That's what the word illegal means, folks.  No matter how well-meaning their intentions, if you come into this country without permission, you have committed a crime, whether you are Mexican, Chinese, Canadian, or ET.

2.  Producing documentation is not a burden.  Try to use that argument with TSA next time you fly anywhere.  See how fast you get on a plane without some form of ID.  I am so tired of people comparing this requirement to the nazis.  If this documentation requirement is nazi-esque, then so is the cop who pulls you over for speeding.  In the state of CA, if your license is not PHYSICALLY PRESENT with you in the car, you can be fined and have your car towed, even if the license is valid and you are able to give the cop your license number.  The kinds of documents that the AZ law requires are things like a driver's license, green card, or passport with entry date stamped.  These all fit in your pocket.  As an American traveling abroad, I would be sure to keep these things with me, in fact, if I was arrested in Europe, that would be the FIRST thing a policeman would expect me to give him.

3. Reasonable Suspicion is how police operate.  It's not automatically a racist intention.  If I am a policeman and I see a person running down the street carrying a large TV, I have a reasonable suspicion the TV might be stolen, and I can therefore investigate.  Which means to stop the guy with the TV and ask him some questions.  If it's his tv, he has nothing to worry about.  Without "reasonable suspicion", our justice system doesn't work.  I admit, as words on paper they are open to a lot of different interpretations, but NO ONE would agree that racism as a basis for reasonable suspicion is REASONABLE.  This is why racial profiling was deemed unconstitutional. Racial profiling IS using race together with other characteristics and circumstances as a basis for reasonable suspicion.  There are laws against that which people use every day to punish racist cops that use racial profiling.  Perhaps we should act against the racist people carrying out the laws rather than restrict the laws to the lowest common denominator. There's not much lower than racism.

4. The pot calling the kettle black doesn't strengthen your argument.  Here in Los Angeles we have heard quite a bit about the Mexican government's warning to all of its citizens to steer clear of AZ, yet they persist in some pretty harsh immigration policies of their own.  Under Mexican law, illegal immigration is a felony. Mexico's General Law on Population (Consejo Nacional de Poblacion, last amended in 2000) requires the following: Foreigners may be barred from the country if their presence upsets 'the equilibrium of the national demographics,' when foreigners are deemed detrimental to 'economic or national interests,' when they do not behave like good citizens in their own country, when they have broken Mexican laws, and when 'they are not found to be physically or mentally healthy.' (Article 37) (ed. note: does this mean they can prevent you from going to Mexico if you are black???);  and The Secretary of Governance may 'suspend or prohibit the admission of foreigners when he determines it to be in the national interest.' (Article 38).  According to the law, Mexican authorities must keep track of every single person in the country: Federal, local and municipal police must cooperate with federal immigration authorities upon request, i.e., to assist in the arrests of illegal immigrants. (Article 73); A National Population Registry keeps track of 'every single individual who comprises the population of the country,' and verifies each individual's identity. (Articles 85 and 86); A national Catalog of Foreigners tracks foreign tourists and immigrants (Article 87), and assigns each individual with a unique tracking number (Article 91).  The law also imposes harsh penalties: A penalty of up to two years in prison and a fine of three hundred to five thousand pesos will be imposed on the foreigner who enters the country illegally. (Article 123); Foreigners with legal immigration problems may be deported from Mexico instead of being imprisoned. (Article 125);  Foreigners who 'attempt against national sovereignty or security' will be deported. (Article 126); and Mexicans who help illegal aliens enter the country are themselves considered criminals under the law.  Mexico strictly enforces these rules when they choose to, yet they would ask us to limit our own control over illegal immigrants in our country. (analysis borrowed from here, originally here).

5. Hysteria and hype don't help ANYONE.  I am SO DISGUSTED by the parade of people wandering across my TV screen bemoaning this law.  NONE of them have read it, and none of them have any practical solutions.  They just want to get on TV screaming about racism and nazis and whatever else they can say to be sensational and get headlines and sway emotinal people who are either too busy or not intellectual enough to MAKE AN INFORMED DECISION.  It's very easy in this society to be BAD consumers of information.  We get a LOT of information thrown at us.  A lot of people are very good at making baseless, biased, and non-factual arguments to try and sway their audience (and they aren't all lawyers).  When you have so much information in your face, it's harder to sift through and find 1) the facts and 2) the informed arguments both pro and con, especially when most people have so few tools with which to think critically about what is being presented to them (based on US test scores in critical thinking, and our curricular focus elsewhere).  We need to make educated decisions based on good information and reasoned argument, not buzzwords and sound bites.  Have we become so intellectually lazy that we automatically label people and ideas because SOMEONE ELSE calls them a name?

6. Immigration is not important just because "life isn't fun without Mexicans".  Are you kidding me?  Do you know how racist it sounds when you say things like "Yeah, well, just see who looks after your kids without Mexicans around?"  As if that's all Mexican people can do is watch children, mow lawns, pick fruit, and clean toilets?  Can you be any more dismissive or racist?  Immigration is an important issue because this country is a place where anyone who comes legally can make something great.  What ensures that is our society and our system.  In our society, people must contribute both time and money for civic good.  They are accountable for that through our system of law.  People who are here illegally reap benefits without the accountability of those contributions, which drains all legal citizens, directly or indirectly.  Furthermore, there are a hell of a lot of immigrants, both legal and illegal, who are NOT Mexican.  Making the immigration debate about US vs Mexico, or only Mexican illegals, diminishes the real threat posed by illegal border-crossers and visa-overstayers of all nationalities who smuggle drugs and weapons and plot against law-abiding citizens.  Someone who "looks American" isn't necessarily here legally.

7.One last thing: nazis??  Really???  Do you remember what the nazis did?  Do you really, honestly think that the Arizona Legislature intends to round up all the Mexican people in Arizona, put them in camps, and slaughter them?  Every time we compare someone or their ideas to the nazis, we diminish the impact of the horrors they perpetrated on millions of Jews, Blacks, Armenians, homosexuals, communists, dissenters...... Let's not forget what they did, please.  Let's not diminish it.

Getting that out there, my own take on the law is that if it does nothing else, it gives a voice to the rising frustration that Americans feel about the tide of crap coming over our borders.  This DOES NOT mean that everything and everyone who comes into this country is bad.  Nor does it imply only our southern border, though without a doubt the majority of immigrants and immigration (both legal and illegal) in AZ comes via Mexico.  There are obviously many illegal entrants who come to the US because they want to improve their families, contribute to their communities, and have a positive impact. Perhaps even the majority of illegal immigrants could be described this way. However, it is increasingly clear that a large percentage of crime and poverty (and their costs to the rest of society) are tied directly to illegal immigration.  Which is in and of itself a crime. It's not difficult logic: an illegal immigrant commits a crime by crossing the border illegally.  If we punish them for that crime, we can stop them from committing others.  I get it.

PRACTICALLY, however, this is not an easy situation.  How do you accomplish the goal of removing criminals from society without inconveniencing the law-abiding citizenry?  That's difficult enough when you talk about mundane theft or vehicular violations, which are overt acts.  How do you find the people who are committing a crime just by being in the wrong place without asking everyone whether or not they are allowed?  We aren't born with color-coded wristbands. Until we can find an easy solution, the debate continues.  I would just like it to be more focused, reasoned, and objective.  Without objective and reasoned debate, practical, acceptable solutions can not be found.

Think people, don't just form an opinion by osmosis.

Posted by caltechgirl at 11:00 AM | Comments (16) | TrackBack

May 12, 2010

A Blast from the Past

Found this on the old computer tonight, and I'm posting this for Ben.

It was taken while speeding down the 99 in Pixley,CA in August of 2003 (I was both the passenger and the photog. No worries.).  Sadly, some time soon after this the family sold the property and the entertaining signs were taken down.  Previous signs included the gems "The US or the UN, whose country is it?" and my all time favorite, "Pigs and Judges Ain't Bullitproof" (sic)

Hope this gave you a chuckle, dude!

Posted by caltechgirl at 08:32 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack