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November 02, 2005

Soon to be appearing in this space

Info on how you can be a part of Project Valour-IT. Specifically by donating through Team Army!

Posted by caltechgirl at 10:44 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

It's official: TiVo is everywhere

It even has its own blog.

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

(h/t Prof. Taylor)

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


It's been a while since I blogged about Project Valour-IT, the initiative from Soldier's Angels to get laptop computers with voice activated software. These laptops will be placed in military hospitals around the country and overseas and will help wounded soldiers who are unable to type to be able to communicate with friends and family, to share their experiences, and to regain some of what they've lost.

Valour-IT was inspired by CPT Chuck Ziegenfuss who was injured in an IED attack in Iraq. Unable to use his hands, CPT Z asked for a laptop with voice-activated software so he could keep in touch with his family and friends via the internet. The idea caught on, and distribution of laptops is taking place at Bethesda Naval Hospital and is planned for seven other military hospitals as we speak.

Each laptop costs only $685 to acquire and equip with the voice software. Consequently, any small donation goes a long way towards giving a wounded soldier a link with home and family and a new window for recovery.

From now until Veteran's Day (November 11), Soldier's Angels is sponsoring a big fundraising drive. EVERY donor who contributes between now and 11/11 recieves a special Soldier's Angels coin (you military types understand what those are) and large donors may also recieve additional goodies.

We're also having a friendly competition between the branches. This blog is proud to be a part of Team Army (led by Milblogger Blackfive) in honor of DH, B-i-L M, friend H, Uncle D, Uncle L, Grandpa H, and Grandpa S, all army vets (9/11, Iraq, Vietnam, WWII, WWI). To learn more about our team, go here.

If you donate $50 or more via the button on the left sidebar to Team Army on behalf of this blog you win the essay of your choice, 300-500 words, written by me and gratutitous linkage (we don't do blogads here). To donate via snail mail, go here for the address. Be sure to mark your check with "For Valour-IT" and "Team Army".

Our fundraising goals are $21,000 and to stick it to those Jarheads, Zoomies, and Squids!

We're already at $2385 after just one day. Even $5 helps.


Posted by caltechgirl at 12:37 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

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

It only gets better

So after this I get my stuff together and leave. Except that I locked my keys in my office.

Or so I thought.

Called security before I checked the doorknob. It was open. Had to call security and cancel. Then I got my keys and relocked the door.

I am an idiot.

Posted by caltechgirl at 02:28 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

A deleted scene?

I don't remember seeing this on the DVD..... although I've only seen it once so far...

(h/t Zonker-iffic)

Posted by caltechgirl at 04:14 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Army leads!

In the Valour-IT competition, nearing the end of Day 1....

We've raised twice as much as the Zoomies, with almost $2700 $3000!! so far! (5pm PST)

Donate Early, Donate Often!

Clicky Clicky on the button! (on the left sidebar)

Posted by caltechgirl at 04:57 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 03, 2005


Imagine being thousands of miles from home, battling heat, wind, sand, and an enemy that is too cowardly to face you on the street, preferring to throw RPGs and IEDs at you, or blow themselves up in a car bomb.

Imagine being attacked by one of these cowards. Hearing the explosion, feeling the heat and the wind, and looking down to see blood, feeling the pain.

You're rushed to the field hospital by the medics, and suddenly everything is out of control: needles, pain meds, fluids, bandages, your whole world upside down in a matter of minutes.

Next thing you know, you wake up in a hospital, look down at your hands and see bandages. Maybe you were lucky enough to keep your hands, maybe they're gone. In either case, you can't use them.

Imagine how helpless you would feel. You can't feed yourself, dress yourself, read a book, change the channel on the television. You can't pick up the phone and dial your Mom, even just to tell her you're ok. No really, you are OK.

Imagine days on end like this. What you would give just to be able to be a little independent. To have something you can do for yourself, even just to be able to call up your family on your own.

Now imagine an Angel walks into your room one day, with a laptop and a microphone. This Angel, not a heavenly Angel, but a real Angel, a Soldier's Angel, has a Valour-IT laptop, and it's yours to use. You can get back in touch with the world on your own terms. The voice activated software lets you write letters, surf the web, send email, watch videos, even blog, all without your hands. And you can use it whenever you want, as long as you're still there.

Imagine how this marvelous gift would make you feel.

Supporting Valour-IT means that such a feeling is no longer a dream for many of our wounded soldiers. Just $685 buys a fully outfitted laptop, complete with the voice software, and ready to help a wounded service person reconnect. Any small amount of money will go a long way towards buying these computers and getting them into our military hospitals where they can be put to good use.

Even $5. It's not hard to set aside a few $$ to help out. Think you can skip that venti latte for one day to help out a wounded soldier? There's $5. Take lunch to work instead of the Cafeteria or McDonalds, another $5. Making dinner at home instead of going out gets you $20. Running errands in one trip to save gas gets you another $5 saved.

So dig deep. We're almost a quarter of the way to our goal. Help us help our soldiers.

To donate with a credit card, click the button on the left. To send a check, click here for the address.

Remember all donations to Valour-IT are tax deductible and every donor gets a Soldier's Angels coin. Every donor over $50 who uses my button (email me) gets a minimum 500 word essay on the topic of your choice (within reason) and gratuitous linkage (in lieu of a blog ad, which we don't do here)


Bloggers participating in Team Army:

(Team Leader)
American Soldier
Castle Argghhh!
Wild Tangents
Random Thoughts
Keep My Soldier Safe
Most Certainly Not
My Life As A Military Spouse
One By One The Vultures Pick Away At My Sanity
Sgt. Hook
Some Soldier's Mom
Not Exactly Rocket Science
Just My Opinion
By The Way...
The Pink Flamingo Bar & Grill
Winds of Change
Iraq War News
When the Smoke Clears
Pumpkin Sky
Right-Wing of the Gods
Literal Thoughts
Target Center Mass

Linked to the 11/4 OTB Traffic Jam

Posted by caltechgirl at 11:00 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

More Po-Mo?

Star Wars is the greatest post-modern art film ever?

As Star Wars works to make us aware of its own narrative structure, other odd things about the films start to come into focus. Most significantly, we start to notice that the films are an elaborate meditation on the dialectic between chance and order. They all depend upon absurd coincidence to propel the story forward. Just what are the odds, in just one of near-infinite examples, that of all the planets in that galaxy far, far away, the droids should end up back on Tatooine, in the home of the son of the sweet (if annoying) boy who had built C-3PO decades before? Throughout all six films there are scenes of crucial serendipity. Such dependence on unlikely coincidence isn't unique to Star Wars. As literary critics have long pointed out, the arbitrary yoking together of events in the service of storytelling is one of the fundamental characteristics of all narrative. R2-D2 needs to hook up with Luke on Tatooine, just as Prospero's enemies need to wash up on the shores of his island, and Elizabeth Bennet needs to marry Mr. Darcy, for the narrative requirements of those stories to be fulfilled. The audience's willing surrender to narrative coincidence is demanded by the story's need to conclude itself.


(h/t Michael Stickings posting at TMV)

Posted by caltechgirl at 12:43 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Probing the Subconscious

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

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

November 04, 2005

Try this at home!

Here's comic man Mike Wallster's (of Ipso Facto Comics) contribution to Valour-IT:

That's what it's like for our wounded troops without the use of their hands and arms.

Every little bit you can give to Valour-IT helps! Especially now that those Squiddies got two very large donations and have pulled ahead!

Click on the button to the left to donate to our team, the First Team, Team Army!

(bonus points to anyone except my DH who gets where that phrase comes from)

in deference to those of you who might have other opinions on which group is best, try these links to donate:
To credit the Zoomies go here.
For the Squids, go here.
And if you love the Jarheads, go here.

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

Birthday Cake

Next Thursday is my birthday, so I'm going to post the recipe for my very favorite birthday cake. I love Red Velvet Cake, especially with Cream Cheese Frosting, but for some reason it's just not chocolatey to me. Which is good, as I am merely a chocolate "tolerator"...

This particular recipe is super moist and rich and fattening and perfect for a birthday party. I love it! Also the frosting recipe is super light, made with cream cheese and whipped cream.

Red Velvet Cake

1 cup butter, softened
3 cups white sugar
6 eggs
1 ounce red food coloring (minimum)
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon white vinegar


1 Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease and flour three round 8 or 9 inch cake pans.
2 In a large bowl, cream 1 cup butter with sugar. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add food coloring to mixture.
3 Mix cocoa with flour and add mixture to large bowl alternately with buttermilk, add vanilla and salt.
4 Mix baking soda with vinegar, and gently stir into mixture. Be careful not to over mix.
5 Divide batter into three prepared 8 or 9 inch round pans. Bake at 325 degrees F (165 degrees C) for 25 minutes. Check for doneness with a clean toothpick inserted in the center of each cake and allow to cool. If you use a different type of pan, timing may be much longer.

Cream Cheese Frosting

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese (room temperature is best)
1 cup confectioner's (powdered) sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (make it a heavy teaspoon)
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream


1 In a small bowl beat whipping cream until stiff peaks form; set aside.
2 In a large bowl combine cream cheese, sugar, salt and vanilla. Beat until smooth, then fold in whipped cream.

Posted by caltechgirl at 02:07 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

I gots to get one of these...

Aaron's got another Blogger get.... a deck of blogger cards. He's taking nominations....

Ladies are the queens and hearts, milbloggers get the Clubs. He's right, the competition for Queen of Clubs should be interestng to say the least.

I myself would love a card, since I've been a Large Mammal for 10 months, give or take a few TTLB tweaks..... any low number will do. I don't have any aspirations to a face card....

So what about it Aaron?

Posted by caltechgirl at 03:36 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

November 07, 2005

Busy weekend = No posts

Life's catching up with me, I guess. Saturday and Sunday were both spent remedying things that we had been waiting for paychecks to fix, like getting wall anchors to hang the rest of the shelvage and a grill (yay!). And of course there was football.

I haven't done a lot of sportsblogging this season, but damn, Saturday was a great day of college football. AZ kicked the dirty bruins' butts, Miami beat the Chokeys, and of course SC made Stanfurd cry like a little girl.

I was most pleased by the loss of the Chokeys, not only because they were previously undefeated, but also because Va Tech fans are (as a group) the rudest, least accomodating people in the world. And we played them at FedEx field, so I can only imagine how much MORE assholish they are in Blacksburg. Even ucla fans are more congenial and respectful.

Anyway, that's about it from here. Trying to get a handle on work stuff so I can telecommute next week while I'm at home for Dad's operation.

Also, thanks to all the Valour-IT donors! Army's back ahead of them Squiddies, and all the wounded folks are the real winners! More on that later.

Don't forget to vote for your favorite milblogger in Aaron's deck of cards!

Posted by caltechgirl at 11:58 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

While I'm at it....

Next week while I'm gone, I'm going to have several guestbloggers here for your reading pleasure. Some of them you may know, some of them you may not.... You'll just have to figure it out!

BTW if I asked you to be a GB next week and you haven't definitely said yes or no yet, email me and let me know, thanks!

Posted by caltechgirl at 12:03 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Subconscious Thoughts

This week's edition of Unconscious Mutterings is up:

  1. Deeper and deeper::
  2. Can’t help .... ::
  3. Devil’s advocate::
  4. Superpower::
  5. Threatening::
  6. Played::
  7. War::
  8. Violate::
  9. Invest::
  10. Choke::

My answers can be found at the Acid Vat. Cut and paste and play along in the comments!

Posted by caltechgirl at 12:19 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Holy Crap!

I'm getting Farked!

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

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

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

Don't forget

Even though I haven't been doing much Valour-IT blogging in the last few days, our pledge drive isn't over yet, in fact we're going until Veteran's Day (Friday)!

It's not hard to find even a few dollars to donate to this wonderful cause:

-- Skip that latte ($5)
-- Pack a lunch ($5-10)
-- Quit smoking for the day ($5)
-- Don't buy a lottery ticket, give to a sure thing ($1)
-- Make dinner at home ($20)

and I'm sure if you think about it, you can find more things in your life you can sacrifice for just one day to help make a difference in the life of a wounded soldier.....

And if none of that is good enough for you, how about this:

It's almost Thanksgiving, in fact about 6 weeks until Christmas and Chanukah, what would you do if you couldn't write a Holiday card or pick up the phone to leave a holiday message? Would you want someone to help you?

Imagine how wonderful it will be for some wounded soldier to get that chance, use of a Valour-IT laptop to send holiday greetings home, or to their friends, or to their comrades in arms still in harm's way?

Isn't that worth a few $$? $5? $10? More?

Click the button the left sidebar to donate to Team Army, or go here to send a check.

Even though our blogger teams are competeing, it's the wounded soldiers who win. Please help us help them.

Added to today's Beltway Traffic Jam

Posted by caltechgirl at 01:12 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

It's souper!

How could I forget? This week's Soup themed CotR is available at PajamaPundits for your happy perusal!

Posted by caltechgirl at 01:39 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

To the objects of my (dis)affection

You know who you are.

First, for the little twerp in the Chartreuse metal flake Kia Rio with the tinted windows, I know how manly you are. Your sweet little ride is all I need to see to know you are indeed a stud. You even drive like one, thinking you can merge in front of me and cut me off..... See, your POS little KIA has even less to recommend it in the power department than most. Probably just like you. I know all I need to know about your sense of humor, too. You are the funniest human being on earth for cutting back in front of me and riding your brakes. I hope you were laughing too when you got stuck behind that semi.....

Second, for the busy gentleman in the silver Elantra at Costco. I don't know what is so attractive about me that you felt you needed to cut me off to get into the gas station, and then the ultimate was when you laughed at me because my Costco card is demagnetized and I had to get the Costco guy to come help me get the pump to work because you "weren't going to fall for" me asking you to slide your Costco card so that the INCREDIBLY impatient man behind you could get to the gas faster.... I want you to know I am indebted to you forever for allowing me to flip you off as you drove away in your smugness and your cheapass car.

Posted by caltechgirl at 05:06 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Bueller? Bueller? Anybody?

Anybody else think that those "Breasts Not Bombs" chicks would get a LOT more sympathy if they shaved their pits?????

Just sayin'....

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

November 08, 2005

Even Dear Abby buries the Lede

The lede of yesterday's Dear Abby column was a letter from a Dad who is hurt when his ex throws birthday parties for their kids and doesn't invite him.

This was the second letter:

DEAR ABBY: I was a soldier serving in Iraq. Last April, I was in a vehicular accident while part of a military convoy and was MEDEVACed to the nearest medical treatment facility.

When you're a trauma patient in the United States, you're put in a cubicle in an emergency room, blocked off from the rest of the patients. That is not the case in the military during a war.

I didn't mind sharing the trauma room with the Marine who had arrived there before me. He had been shot three times in the face. While I was in the room with this brave Marine, the trauma crew fought valiantly to save his life. He flatlined seven times in just the short period after I got there. The nurses, doctors and medics worked tirelessly on him, not giving up. Finally, the doctor told them it was over, and they covered him up. I never knew his name. I lay on my litter while they started to work on my arm, which had been pinned under the truck during my accident and crushed, crying silently for the life that had been lost.

I'm writing this to you, Abby, to let that Marine's parents and friends know how hard the doctors and crew fought to save his life. Besides the medical crew, I'm the only one who knows. He wasn't just a face, or a name on a memorial to them. He was a life, and many people tried hard to keep him alive. If he had been my child, I would want to know. -- ANOTHER SOLIDER, CLARKSVILLE, TENN.

Not much from me here, I wanted to highlight this amazing testament.

If this was my son, I would be profoundly grateful for the thoughtfulness of Another Soldier who took a few moments out of his day to let the world know how hard the medics fought for the life of that Marine. But I would also be profoundly saddened that even Dear Abby chose to print this letter as an afterthought.

In honor of this soldier, this marine, and the medics who worked tirelessly on both of them, why don't you make a donation to Valour-IT and tell our troops that we support them, both well and wounded? Click the button on the left sidebar or go here.

added to Greyhawk's Open Post and OTB's Beltway Traffic Jam

Posted by caltechgirl at 11:57 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

CPT Ziegenfuss- Checking in

CPT Chuck Ziegenfuss, the inspiration for Valour-IT checks in from his hospital bed at Walter Reed (he had more surgery recently) to bring you an important announcement:

Publicity Stunt
Mkay... I dragged my drugged and temporarily one-handed body out of the hospital bed to tell ya'll about something most important.

Carren is gonna be on national TV (and live national TV at that) to let everyone know about Project Valour-IT. She will represent me (the nerd who thought of this project), and the many people who have made this project a success.

She is going to be on "Connected coast to coast" a show run by MSNBC. Don't know how long she'll be on, but for the love of god, please tune in, put your hands on the top of your TV, and talk to Jebus when the show is over. The show runs from 1200-1300 (noon to one fer ya civlians out there)(and that's eastern time) My beloved is supposed to be on around 1240, but I will rest assured that her looks, personality, and general charm will either get her on early, or the show will go into extra rounds like Rocky and the Big Ruskie in Rocky IV.

Here's how you can help. Send this to every one you know, post it on your blog, get them to post it on theirs. One side will say it's a failure of the gummint to not prvide this for the soldiers, others just see it as a way to help our brothers and sisters who have fallen but will be getting up. However they spin it, just get the word out.

There's less than 18 hours to game time, so let's get our blog on!


Emphasis mine.

As Chuck said, tune in between 12n- 1pm tomorrow (EST) to see Carren discuss Valour-IT and to salute her for her steadfastness to her family in a time of crisis and her drive to get Valour-IT off the ground.

Posted by caltechgirl at 02:13 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

These are not the captions you're looking for...

This kind of thing makes you wonder whether the translator's an idiot or the Chinese just think Americans are idiots.

More screenshots here.

h/t Mean Ol' Meany

Posted by caltechgirl at 04:03 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

One more

The 10 worst science jobs....

I have to say, unlike the former grad student mentioned, my Rat Mortuary and Butcher shop was bad, but nowhere near bad enough to make me quit science.

Am I a rotten geek if I say some of these sound cool?

h/t Robbo

Posted by caltechgirl at 05:00 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

November 09, 2005

Holy Crap!

It's no secret that some of this pleases me. I was anti-75 (unnecessary, already required) and DEFINITELY anti-74 (extending tenure won't solve the problem. Ask a teacher. More on that another time, perhaps)

But the COMPLETE AND UTTER REJECTION of ALL of Ahnuld's propositions shocked me.

When I went to bed, 75 and 73 were passing. And I was hoping 77 would pass.

Here's the final tallies from the SecState's page:

The maps are very telling. Go to the returns page, and click the map link for each individual proposition....

Posted by caltechgirl at 09:05 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Suicide Bombers Target Jordan

Terrorists attacked three hotels in Amman, Jordan that are frequent stops for American and Israeli tourists as well as Iraqi officials: The Grand Hyatt, the Radisson, and the Days Inn, all in Amman.

At least 18 dead and 120 injured. More details here.

Posted by caltechgirl at 12:35 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

November 10, 2005

29 candles....

on my birthday cake!

No, I don't feel any older, maybe it's because I already feel old....

It's also the birthday of the US Marine Corps, although they beat me into the world by 201 years..... Semper Fi, guys.

Interestingly enough, I was born 5 days early. If I had arrived on my due date, DH and I would share a birthday.

In the extended, see what else happened on this day in history, courtesy of the History Channel

And thanks to Chrissy, Amanda, Physics Geek, Ith, and Jay and Deb for the good wishes!

Read More "29 candles...." »
Posted by caltechgirl at 08:43 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

Audience Participation Special

With a birthday theme.....

Remember this gem:

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

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

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

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

we interrupt our regularly scheduled blogging.....

...to bring you this Project Valour-IT update.

Army wins!

Although Navy is ahead right now, Team Army was the first to go over the $21,000 mark (our goal!), some time last night!

Also, Carren Z was on MSNBC yesterday, discussing the project and she did an AWESOME job. If you missed it, click here to go to the page. If you click on the Project Valour link underneath the picture of the Ziegenfuss family with President Bush, you can see the video. However, you can only see it in IE (damn Microsoft) so if you're running Firefox, get the IE viewer extension first, then right click the link to view in IE.

Finally, since the competition is almost over, and today is the Marines' big day, why don't you throw them some lovin'. To donate to Team Marines, go here.

Posted by caltechgirl at 09:19 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Birthday Present

Since it's my birthday, go here or here and nominate me for some card. Any of the hearts would be fine, since I am in fact a girl :)

Posted by caltechgirl at 10:38 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

definitely my birthday

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

I should just quit while I'm ahead.

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

November 11, 2005

Vote for me!!!!

In the deck o'bloggers!

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

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

Veteran's Day

Take a moment today to reflect on all our veterans, and what their service means to your life.

While your at it, honor our newest vets by dropping some change in the Valour-IT hat. Clickt he button on the left or go here to donate.

Posted by caltechgirl at 04:28 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 13, 2005

What do guests and fish have in common?

According to Ben Franklin, the ever wise, both begin to smell after three days.

Too bad, 'cause you're going to have to put up with it.

While I hang out with the family and take care of things with Dad in the hospital, a whole slew of fabulous folks have volunteered to take care of things around here. I've told them that they're free to say whatever they like, so knowing them, it ought to be an interesting week....

I'll pop in a couple of times, probably just with updates, or if I see something interesting, but otherwise I leave you in the capable hands of Christina, Ben, Jay, Deb, Margi, and Amanda.

Be nice, leave them many, many comments, have interesting conversations, and don't forget to vote for me in the deck o' bloggers :)

Oh, and go give my little blogbaby congratulations on his first birthday!

Posted by caltechgirl at 06:02 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

November 14, 2005


Ah, something logical I can post here. Yay!

The latest Carnival of the Recipes is up at Myopic Zeal.

In other carnivals, there is also Carnival of the Capitalists, with a nifty collegiate theme at The Entrepreneurial Mind, the first ever Carnival of Marketing at Okdork.com, and Carnival of Computing at Business & Technology Reinvention.

Posted by Jay at 07:49 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Lawyers and Biology...Do Not Mix

I have a confession.

I know nothing about rocket science, chemistry or physics.

I was a Political Science, English, and History major.

However, I did take biology in the tenth grade.

In fact, my blood type is A+.

Back in the days before AIDS was an issue (so, I'm thirty-eight), one of the labs in biology was to determine blood type with litmus paper. To perform our experiments, we were issued little pointed tools to plunge into our fingers to make them bleed, as well as different colored slips of tiny paper on which to put droplets of blood to observe reactions and determine blood types.

Note, we were not offered latex gloves. The only other items provided were alcohol wipes and band-aids.

Now that I think about it, I probably contracted hepatitis...

In any event, there was this guy named Darrin in my class. He was an obnoxious sort and after everyone chose their respective lab partners, he was, not surprisingly, the odd man out.

Unfortunately for me, my partner and I were one of the first people finished with typing our blood and Darrin asked me to help him as he was having great difficulty poking himself in the finger. He kept stabbing himself, but was not doing it hard enough to actually break the skin.


I begged off because we still needed to clean our station; however, my disloyal lab partner volunteered to do it for us and I was left to assist gross guy.

I realize "gross" and "obnoxious" may well be generic terms, but they so fail to do justice to Darrin. The poor guy was one of those persecuted souls that no one liked. His appearance and aromatic body habitus aside, he was loud, a know-it-all when he knew nothing, and spit all over everyone and everything whenever he spoke. He was altogether an odious and objectionable human.

Add to the mix he had the most annoying habit of following me around.

To say the very least, Darrin was not on my top 2000 list of favorite humans. Secondly, I was easily annoyed back then and had something of a temper.

I declined to assist Darrin with his experiment, but my rejection was overheard by the Biology teacher, Coach Allgood. That was when things turned all bad, at least for poor Darrin. Coach insisted I assist and while most of the rest of the class pointed and snickered, I grabbed his hand, cleaned off one of his offensive fingers, took the cap off the needle, and plunged it forceably into his appendage.

I could not have predicted what would next transpire.

The poor boy dropped to his knees in pain then keeled over in a dead faint at the sight of his own blood.

There really wasn't that much blood, but apparently it was far too much for him.

I learned two things from this experience:

  • Darrin's blood type was O+

  • How to get a guy to completely lose all interest in me
  • All and all, I think it went very well.

    Posted by Christina at 12:32 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

    Weird, but Good Weird

    Kate finds Duran Duran "strangely motivating." Heh. I love those moments of musical disconnect when the scenes associated with the soundtrack get added to yet again. It's almost like having a secret superhero theme song.

    Posted by Deb at 12:57 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    A bit about me

    Well, here I am, posting my very first guest entry for the fabulous CalTechGirl.
    For those of you who don’t know me, I’d like to introduce myself. I’m an American-born Cubanita, and the mommy of the beautiful little boy who “runs” this blog. I can also occasionally be seen over at my uncle’s Babalublog. I am honored to have been selected by your esteemed hostess with the mostest to help entertain you for the next week or so. Over at Brandon’s Puppy, I usually post about my little one’s adventures. I will try my hardest to carry on non-toddler type conversations here. But, if I start singing the Elmo’s World theme song, please forgive me…that kind of thing is beyond my control at this point. ;-)
    I’m currently a senior at this school (GO CANES!!), trying to finish my Bachelor’s degree. It has not been an easy semester with Katrina and Wilma coming by to visit, and it seems like we shouldn’t take down our shutters just yet….
    Well, that’s it for now. I’ll catch you all tomorrow.
    Oh, yes, I almost forgot... for all you “Friends” fans, don’t forget: Season 10 is released tomorrow! WOO HOO! =)

    Posted by Amanda at 08:46 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    November 15, 2005


    or should I say Leet speak?

    The digital equivalent of pig-Latin.

    It has also been described as

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

    Come on, all the cool kids are doing it!

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

    10% Leetification

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

    50% Leetification

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

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

    Did you recognize it?

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

    Here are some you may actually come across:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    No Blood For Condiments

    Condiments are always popular blogging, and Dean has taken it to a whole new level by proposing death to the infidels who would sully hot dogs with ketchup. Much more fun that talking about some other topics we won't mention here.

    What Dean doesn't know about is Amendment one and three quarters, visible between the First and Second to those of us who are not condimuggles. It declares freedom of condiment choice and application for all, and applies even to those who would do something as grotesque as putting mustard on a burrito. Just take the word of the condiment wizards among you, who say "no blood for ketchup." Or even for using icky brown mustard. Or even for comparing yummy ketchup to yummy but in no way similar maple syrup. Heck, even for failure to use Heinz ketchup.

    (Thank you, thank you... I'll be here all week.)

    Posted by Jay at 10:35 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    Carnival Time!

    In case you've missed it, Grand Rounds 2.08 is up, featuring the week's best medblogging from around the 'sphere.

    Posted by Deb at 11:09 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Happy Birthday

    It should be noted that this is a big day, being the birthday of "DH," Caltechgirl's hubby, known to some as Grand Moff Trojan.

    Posted by Jay at 11:31 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

    Hello World

    Just popping in with a quick update. The surgery went well and there were no surprises at all. Doctor is pleased and Dad is resting comfortably in ICU thanks to his trusty epidural :)

    True to form, when the anesthesiologist told him how he was going to do the epidural, Dad asked if he was having a boy or a girl.

    Thanks to everyone for their continued prayers and good wishes, we're not out of the woods yet.

    Posted by caltechgirl at 08:43 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

    November 16, 2005

    Living Right

    I must not be, living right that is.

    I'm allergic to chocolate and alcohol in that they both induce migraines.

    Sucks, right?!

    Because there is little else left but sex and caffeine and the first is not always so convenient, I tend to indulge in the latter.

    I have never acquired a taste for coffee and prefer to take my caffeine in the form of soda, particularly Diet Coke.

    Well, hell, apparently THAT's not good for me, either.

    Sometimes, it just sucks to be me!

    Posted by Christina at 08:16 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    2005 Weblog awards

    The 2005 Weblog Awards are open for nominations, so long as you have or don't mind getting a Typekey identity so Kevin can keep the spammers at bay. Voting will be open to anyone. Last day for nominations is the 26th.

    Posted by Jay at 09:19 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    How my mind thinks

    Here's this week's Unconscious Mutterings, a bit late...

    1. Mighty::
    2. Gotta find time to ....::
    3. Statistic::
    4. Midnight::
    5. Thaw::
    6. Hips::
    7. Reader::
    8. Related::
    9. Brilliant::
    10. Posture::

    (my answers in the extended entry)

    Read More "How my mind thinks" »
    Posted by Amanda at 08:17 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

    Because you have to love anything called "The Wacky Fortune Cookie Generator"

    Your Fortune Is
    An optimist is a girl who regards a bulge as a curve.
    The Wacky Fortune Cookie Generator
    Posted by Deb at 02:30 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    November 18, 2005

    Slap Your Momma

    I know the lovely Caltechgirl posts recipes and something tells me she is a chocolate lover.

    This is quite simply the best chocolate cake known to man.


    Slap Your Momma Chocolate Cake

    1 box Devil's Food Cake Mix
    1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
    1 cup mayonnaise
    1 cup water
    3 large eggs
    2 - 16 oz containers chocolate frosting
    1/4 cup sour cream
    2 tsp Amaretto
    1 cup sweetened and flaked coconut
    1/2 cup toasted, chopped almonds

    For the cake combine the mix, cocoa, mayonnaise, eggs, and water in a large bowl. Beat for two minutes, first on low, then on high. Pour into greased and floured 8 or 9-inch round pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes, until done.

    For the frosting: In a medium bowl, combine frosting, sour cream, and Amaretto.

    Transfer approximately 1 1/2 cups of the frosting to another bowl and stir in almonds and coconut. This is the filling.

    Once the cakes have cooled from the oven, use the filling between the layers, then frost with the remaining frosting. If you are feeling particularly adventurous, split each layer in half and use filling in between for a torte-like cake.

    After serving, store remainder in the refrigerator.

    This one is slap yo' momma good.

    Posted by Christina at 06:37 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    An Ode to Shakespeare, sorta

    The other day I posted on leekspeak.

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Horrors, I tell ya, the horrors...

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

    November 20, 2005

    Reggie Bush got me out of my underwear last night

    Only too true.

    Back at home as of noon yesterday. My husband's best buddy in college gifted us with AWESOME tickets to last night's USC/Fresno State game.

    Which was both the most awesome and most insane game I have ever been too.

    Anyway, somewhere in the middle of the game, Reggie Bush took off on a 65 yard TD run and I was jumping up and down so hard that this amply endowed girl came right out of a certain support garment.....

    I must have been a sight. Pigtails and other things flapping, jumping up and down, screaming "Run Reggie Run" over and over again.

    We also got to meet Reggie's little bro (before the game) and Mike Garrett, Heisman trophy winner and USC athletic director (after the game)

    The officiating was terrible, the stats were insane, and I'm gonna love going back to Fresno on Wednesday :)

    Also, quickly before I go, Dad is doing ok. He's getting up and walking a little, sitting in the chair, pissing off the nurses because he wants to get up more than they want him to. His blood sugars are high, but they tell us his pancreas is still recuperating from being cut into, so hopefully that will ease off and he won't need insulin.

    That would piss me off. His pancreas was perfectly healthy, no blood sugar issues, no cancer, and they removed part of it "Just to be safe". Yeah. Don't fuck with my pancreas, thanks. Take everything else.

    Anyway, so much more to say, but I have to pick up the threads of my life and get back to normal. More tomorrow.

    Thanks to the fabuloso guest bloggers who kept everyone entertained and made me laugh this week :)

    Posted by caltechgirl at 05:45 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

    November 21, 2005

    Making up for lost time

    Today is all about the quiz and the link love!
    First up:
    The Princess Quiz

    The Noble Princess

    You are just and fair, a perfectionist with a
    strong sense of proper decorum. You are very
    attracted to chivalry, ceremony and dignity.
    For the most part you are rather sensible, but
    you are also very idealistic.

    Role Models: Guinevere, Princess Fiona (of Shrek)

    You are most likely to: Get kidnapped by a stray

    What Kind of Princess are You? - Beautiful Artwork (Original Music is BACK!!!)
    brought to you by Quizilla

    Next, The Lesser Harry Potter Character Quiz:

    [i'm bill weasley]

    ...and which lesser Harry Potter character are you?

    and finally, What Middle Earth Race are you?


    To which race of Middle Earth do you belong?
    brought to you by Quizilla

    All from the Lovely Jenna Thomas-McKie

    Posted by caltechgirl at 09:48 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Too cute to resist

    One more from Jenna:

    You are Rerun!

    Which Peanuts Character are You?
    brought to you by Quizilla

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

    For Michele

    It's a good thing my 'Canes were winning over the last week and a half. I didn't have any time for the Hockey Whoopass Jamboree.

    Here's my penance, Michele:

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

    UCABF, baby

    That is, University in California, Anywhere But Fresno. Or, what DH used to say in high school about where he was headed next.

    Bill points out this article lamenting the fact that Fresno's best and brightest are leaving town in DROVES.

    Let me 'splain. Real easy so's you Fresnans can understand:
    Fresno sucks.

    It's a town of more than 450,000 people that still thinks of itself as a small town. Raleigh, by comparison, and yes, even though it is the State Capital, has fewer people and a larger mindset. Raleigh has 12 airlines with jet service anywhere in the world. Fresno has 3 airlines, and last I checked, jet service only on American. To Dallas. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.

    Fresno is boring. There is no culture. Sure, there's the Tower District, but only if you're gay or into art and coffee. There are no clubs. When I had my bachelorette party, the hottest place in town was a college bar that had nightly wet t-shirt contests. And, not surprisingly is out of business....

    Fresno is anti-intellectual. The people running the show haven't changed in my lifetime. Sure the names change, but the families and the string-pullers are the same. And they know they made it on mediocrity. So they shut out the best and brightest. Including me, DH, Ben, and basically my entire graduating class. Until some of them went broke and moved home with Mom and Dad, but that's another story...

    That sums it up. Fresno is MEDIOCRE. And it will never change.

    So why did I leave, you ask? That's easy. My only college option for staying was Fresno State, and to me, going there would have been a personal failure. I had scholarship offers from 2 of the top Universities (my alma mater Caltech, and the OIT) in the country, and another in the top 25 (USC). Why in hell would I go to Joe Stupid U? After I left, it was easier to stay out. Can't get a PhD at Fresno State. The only job I could get in town would be teaching there, and frankly, it ain't worth it.

    Furthermore, as screwed up as the schools are here in SoCal, I wuldn't let DH take a job in Fresno Unified. No Way. Clovis neither. Talk about your good-old-boy (Cowboy, BTW) network....

    Being in Fresno all last week really crystallized this for me. Maybe it was the shitty drivers, maybe it was being talked down to by mediocre doctors and nurses who thought I was a sheeple like most Fresnans until they ASKED ME WHAT I DID FOR A LIVING. Or maybe it was the unbelievable fucking hype over the FSU/USC game. Like it was the second coming.

    Yeah, that was it. Fuckers.

    Small town, small minds. They can't get it that there's more to life, that Fresno really isn't so f*cking special. (bonus points to the music lovers who get that one)

    So chime in folks, what's your take on your hometown? Especially Ben, DH, Deb, and any other Fresnans or ex-Fresnans. Hell, even Britney's welcome to comment, she's a Fresnan-in-law.

    Did I mention that I went to school with the chick her husband was engaged to first (before Shar)? That's the kind of town Fresno is, folks.

    Rather than defend myself against each of you who have pointed out something interesting or cultural about Fresno, my whole point was to demonstrate that a lot of things in town are shit, and they're not improving, and that's why people leave. It's not about culture, honestly, except that the overall mindset in town seems to be against growth or openmindedness or embracing diversity.

    Yes, Fresno has some good things, so does every town or city, ok? The point is, unless things change I will never live there again, and I find that utterly sad. And I'm not alone. So if that's all you have to say, fine. How about you read the post rather than someone else's characterization of it as pure "flame"?

    Since none of you has been anything but insulting in the last several hours, comments are now closed. I don't have to take your shit, especially personal attacks. Would you come into my home and say this shit to my face?

    Posted by caltechgirl at 10:53 AM | Comments (29) | TrackBack

    This kind of sh*t is exactly why blogging will never be a business to me.

    If even half of what Dennis the Peasant has to say is true, then I would be extremely wary of Pajamas Media/OSM/WhateverTF it's called now. No, I won't link them.

    Shady underhanded crap gets you nowhere. Except exposed.

    The whole thing sounded like a mess to me from the beginning. I listened to both sides and made the decision to sit this one out. I don't do blog ads. If the good and gracious Pixy ever asks us to pay for MuNuvia, I will do so happily out of my own pocket. This is my hobby. It is not my home business. If it was, it would look a hell of a lot more professional, and you wouldn't drop by anyway because it would be even more boring.

    I made the comment earlier on SWWBO's blog that it seemed to me that a lot of the PJM/OSM brouhaha was about skewed relationships and perceived slights as the "older bloggers" took sides on whether or not they would join up with the new behemoth media. Those who chose not to join took a lot of flak from the joiners and vice versa. For some, "friendships", whether real or perceived, became mercenary and twisted.

    And now this. Sure every business in the country does it. You work up the new product and then some other fanboy gets the glory, what's new? Well, in this case, the screwee has a voice. Just as loud as the screwer.

    We'll be watching to see what happens with this venture, and whether it flops sooner or later.

    (h/t new bloggy find Zeuswood of Harshly Mellow)

    Posted by caltechgirl at 11:51 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    Speaking of New Bloggy Goodness...

    Here are a couple of great new blogs I discovered recently:

    Cardinal Martini
    A 5th generation Trojan with an interesting perspective. Lots of good stuff on politics, USC, and other things. Check out Kipper's thoughtful piece on the Dennis vs. Roger snit.

    Harshly Mellow
    Can't figure out if these are two ex-hippies or just digging on the tie-dye. Anyway, lots of interesting spew with a libertarian (small l) bent and views on all topics. Also a lot of great links to other bloggers. Zeuswood and Stingflower do the reading so you don't have to!

    Posted by caltechgirl at 12:08 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    Subliminal Messages

    Here's this week's dose of unconscious fun:

    1. Heads up::
    2. Kicker ::
    3. Aggressive::
    4. Getting ugly::
    5. To be continued::
    6. Twist::
    7. Form::
    8. On the road::
    9. Import::
    10. Flowers::

    My answers in the extended, play along in the comments if you like!

    Read More "Subliminal Messages" »
    Posted by caltechgirl at 12:46 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    Linky Love!

    One last before I get back to work. Here's what made me laugh today:

    Chrissy's got a little problem of the ATM kind

    Contagion is addicted, and it's worse than you think.

    Kathy finds the best use I've ever seen for a Mac

    Two Words: Karma Police (hey, it's Radiohead, you can't go wrong), via INDC

    Gir gets an interesting spam comment

    VW needs a break (and some better luck)

    Corporate Mommy has just returned from a whirlwind trip to Paris, and an interesting side trip to Belgium..... (PS Happy Late Birthday!)

    Finally, Jay Tea renews his man card

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

    Keep Scrolling

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

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

    Open Source means it belongs to everyone, right?

    Paraphrasing the words of the terrorist in Cairo to Gary Johnston:

    Don Surber, I like your balls.

    (h/t The Commissar)

    Posted by caltechgirl at 02:34 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    November 22, 2005

    Quick Update

    Dad continues to improve, and they've removed the nasogastric suction, the arterial line, the epidural, and the Foley. All he's got now is one IV and the central line, which they'll take out when he leaves the hospital. He's up and walking and sitting in the chair pretty much as he likes, and even walking to the bathroom on his own.

    His new room has its own DVD player and my Mom and Aunt have been keeping him well supplied with movies and TV shows to watch. His room even has a flat screen and hardwood floors. Nice to have a room in the brand new wing of the hospital, huh?

    Looking forward to Thanksgiving. I think we decided against Turkey since it'll be just us and Mom at our house. Dad probably won't be home yet. Although we'll probably get some Turkey with DH's family.

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

    November 23, 2005

    So much to be thankful for

    As I suspect is the case for most of us, I'll be offline until Monday, although I will still be checking email....

    I just wanted to take a moment, before I get too carried away with work, to share some of the things I'm thankful for this year, in no particular order:

    for health, even though it's not always the best
    for Love, which sustains me every day
    for my wonderful husband who makes me laugh every day
    for my family, who have always been there for me and for each other
    for my wonderful job that makes me happy and pays me better than I imagined
    for DH's job, with normal students that don't try to hurt him
    for my house, which we despaired of finding, and then of keeping, but which is wonderful
    for my puppy, who is 6 years old and worth her weight in Molybdenum, but is still my Princess
    for all our servicepeople, who sacrifice so much and so willingly that the rest of us don't have to...
    for our police and firemen and paramedics who do the same at home
    for our nation, that we can enjoy the freedoms we have
    for good doctors and kind nurses
    for funny emails that made me laugh when I was so stressed
    for the friends and family that gathered around my mother on the day of Dad's surgery
    for all of the generous folks who pitched in to make our Valour-IT fundraiser so spectacular. We raised over $75,000 together. That's a lot of laptops.

    for wonderful friends, online, offline, and both. Y'all bring so much to my life

    What are you thankful for this year?

    Posted by caltechgirl at 10:16 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

    Not only is she brilliant....

    But a good cook too. We've shared Michelle's recipes with y'all here before, but this one takes the cake pie. I'm adding this to my own list. Yum.

    Posted by caltechgirl at 02:25 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    November 27, 2005

    We're Baaaack!

    Long weekend in Fresburg. Dad is doing better and worse. He's more alert, moves better, eats pretty well (still just broth and jello, though), and has no pain, but he also has pneumonia. The docs seem to have caught it early, and it is responding to treatment.

    Also, the drains are still draining, so he can't come home until they're done and the pneumonia is gone. Suck.

    But as long as he continues to get better, I could care less.

    Any number of forthcoming posts about how hospitals suck, and nurses really suck and bastard selfish doctors who can't be bothered to leave their turkey for 5 minutes to call the doctor who is on call in the hospital to get him to look at Dad and order the appropriate antibiotics for his pneumonia.

    Mom had to call the bastard (on call for Dad's dr) at home to get him to do anything!

    However, the CNAs are wonderful, arrive promptly, do disgusting things cheerfully, and always make my Dad feel at ease, even though he would otherwise be embarrassed.

    Now, I know that nurses and doctors don't all suck, but after the weekend we've had, they might as well.

    Other than that, I'm half done with my Christmas shopping (Target + Costco + Black Friday = cha-ching). I also got my birthday present from my hubby. Now I can carry my digicam in my pockety!

    It was on sale, too.

    Lots of fun with the nieces and nephew today, playing with the dog and on their big trampoline, using my new toy to get some pics.

    Posted by caltechgirl at 07:05 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


    I'm a Crunchy Crustacean????? I was a Large Mammal an HOUR ago.

    Ummm, yeah. As if.

    Posted by caltechgirl at 10:46 PM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

    November 28, 2005

    Yummy Meme-age

    With Thanksgiving so recently behind us, it almost seems too soon for a food meme, but what the hell...

    03. COFFEE or TEA? Both. Depends on my mood.
    05. PANCAKES or FRENCH TOAST? Neither. Waffles.
    07. RICE or PASTA?
    08. CAKE or PIE?
    11. JELLY or MARMALADE? Ewwwwww Marmalade SUCKS
    12. AMERICAN CHEESE or SWISS CHEESE? Can I pick smoked Gouda?
    13. DIET SODA or NO SODA? My mom's diabetic. Diet soda is soda.
    14. LEMONADE or ICED TEA? 5M Sweet Tea, please.
    16. CHOCOLATE QUIK or STRAWBERRY QUIK? Strawberry is sacrilege.
    17. WAFFLES or PANCAKES? See above.
    18. WHITE BREAD or WHOLE-GRAIN/WHEAT BREAD? I hate bread with things in it. It's a texture thing....
    19. PEAS or CARROTS? I. Hate. Peas.
    20. PUDDING or FRUIT-FLAVORED GELATIN? Jello Pudding pops, please.
    21. COLD CEREAL or HOT CEREAL? Sadly enough, I love bran flakes.
    23. MUSTARD or MAYONNAISE? It's not a sandwich (usually) without Mayo. Just enough to taste (about a tsp).
    25. BLACK OLIVES or GREEN OLIVES? NEITHER!!!!! Olives make me sick.
    26. ONION or GARLIC? Hello? I'm Armenian.
    27. PLAIN BARBECUE or BARBECUE WITH SAUCE? Actually, it's called "dip" in NC.
    28. SCRAMBLED EGGS or FRIED EGGS? Ewwww. Fried eggs are nasty.
    29. EGGS or EGG REPLACEMENTS? As if.
    30. MEAT or VEGETABLES? Depends on the Veg. Is it green beans?
    32. SUSHI or DELI SANDWICH? yeccch. Will. Not. Eat. Sushi.
    33. WHITE CLAM CHOWDER or RED CLAM CHOWDER? Who in hell eats red clam chowder?
    34. KEY LIME PIE or LEMON MERANGUE PIE? Mmmmmmm. Pie.
    35. PIE & ICE CREAM or CAKE & ICE CREAM? Yay! Birthdays!
    36. WHIPPED CREAM or CAKE FROSTING? Love whipped cream frosting, too.
    37. HONEY or MAPLE SYRUP? Both, please. But maybe not together.

    From Deb.

    Posted by caltechgirl at 10:52 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    This is a bit much

    From Stingflower of new bloggy find Harshly Mellow, who also finds this creepy:

    A tenth of two to five-year-olds have a serious psychiatric illness, yet most cases are being missed, warn experts.

    The problems go beyond tantrums and bad behaviour and impact negatively on all aspects of an infant's life, the Institute of Psychiatry will hear.

    And failure to spot and treat these conditions early is causing unnecessary distress and suffering.

    Mental health services need to be geared towards very young children as a matter of urgency, they said.

    WTF??? 10% of all two year olds are mentally ill? Riiiight.

    Since when is "normal" the 90th percentile in ANY marker of childhood development?

    I think what's going on here is simply a misguided consequence of the laudible efforts of pediatric practitioners to identify serious developmental disorders sooner. For example, some studies indicate that the incidence of autism is increasing in some areas over the past 20-30 years. However, it's not clear whether the reported increase is due to more actual new cases of the disorder, or to slightly lessened diagnostic criteria, implemented in an effort to diagnose children at an earlier age so that intervention can be started sooner.

    It's entirely plausible that 10% of toddlers display behaviors that mark them as "at risk" of developing personality disorders or ADHD or what have you. However, as psychiatrists have learned repeatedly in following patients predisposed to mood disorder, schizophrenia, etc., the risk of development or even the appearance of frank prodromal symptoms (in the case of Schizophrenia) is no guarantee that the patient will progress to illness. So it's, at the least, reaching a bit to say that 1 out of every 10 young children has a serious disorder.

    Which brings me to my other point. Isn't it a bit much to say that one in ten kids has a serious disorder? How serious can it be if it is SO prevalent? Is it possible that our definition of normal is just a tad skewed by the ready availability of drugs and treatments that make our kids fit into tidy little polite boxes? And these are as young as two years old. Ever heard of the terrible twos? Some kids are more terrible than others. Throwing temper tantrums and trying to assert dominance is normal for a toddler or a preschooler. It does not require medication. Just a little time, patience, and firmness from mom and dad. Oh wait. Mom and Dad don't have time anymore, and anyway, being firm with your kids doesn't make friends with them.

    Arrgh. This is exactly why I don't want to have kids. I can't be a parent of the state.

    Posted by caltechgirl at 11:37 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

    Of course I had to post this one...

    You are mRNA. You're brilliant, full of important,
    interesting information and you're a great
    friend to the people you care about. You may
    have sides to you that no one understands. But
    while you understand more than most people,
    you're only half-there most of the time.

    Which Biological Molecule Are You?
    brought to you by Quizilla

    from the lovely Michele

    Posted by caltechgirl at 03:48 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Subliminal Goodness

    This week's dose of the unconscious. As always, cut and paste to play along in the comments, my answers in the extended.

    1. Stuffed::
    2. Armstrong::
    3. Bruise::
    4. Content::
    5. Musical::
    6. Assistance::
    7. Scrambling::
    8. Battle::
    9. Extended::
    10. Discount::
    Read More "Subliminal Goodness" »
    Posted by caltechgirl at 06:25 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

    November 29, 2005

    Just when you think....

    That you've passed another stage in your life, it comes right back up to bite you in the ass.

    As many of you know, last week was my 29th birthday, last month I started my first "real job", and for the last two years, everyone around me has been getting married (or divorced) and having babies. Lots of babies. There were 8 in my office alone last year. This makes it really easy to think,"Ok, this is the stage where people are having kids. Wow I feel old."

    Makes sense right??? Wrong.

    This week, it's been back to High School. Nothing wrong with it, of course, it's just amusing that suddenly out of the blue two of my friends are working on new relationships. And it's like HS all over again. Giddiness, giggling fits, gross make out details.

    I actually said EWWWWWWWWW more than once yesterday. And giggled.

    And the thing is, I love these people, and I couldn't be happier for them, and I love listening to their giggles and insecurities and hopefulness, but at the same time, it is kind of jarring. But in a good way.

    /stream of consciousness

    PS if this is about you (you know who you are) and anything I said bothers you, talk to me. I'm merely venting my overwhelming sense of irony. I laughed more last night talking to you then I have in a long time!

    Posted by caltechgirl at 10:13 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    Today's quiz

    Which Fantasy/SciFi character are you?

    Which Fantasy/SciFi Character Are You?

    from Yoda

    Posted by caltechgirl at 10:58 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    Christmas Shopping

    An Audience Participation Special.....

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

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

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

    Getting into the spirit of things

    So, what do you think of the new look?

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

    Big problem with Firefox 1.5....

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


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

    I would be remiss if I didn't point out...

    Acidman has been sprung from rehab. Welcome back!

    Posted by caltechgirl at 10:13 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    November 30, 2005

    Open Source Rocks!

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

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

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

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

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

    This is how damn awful I am

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

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

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

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

    Like, Groovy, Ram.

    Which flock do you follow?

    this quiz was made by alanna

    From another hippy sheep, Zeuswood

    Posted by caltechgirl at 03:41 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    Step to the right, please...

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

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

    Until then try Firefox.

    Posted by caltechgirl at 07:47 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

    The Queen Mother of all swear words....

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

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

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