Friday, December 31, 2004



So I went shopping the other day. Tuesday I think. Lowe's and Wal-Mart. I know, corporations bad, but if you can't beat 'em, buy shit from 'em. But it was only little things.

Our toilet has been running a little extra. I think it's leaking around the top, so I went and got a new one of those things. It's actually called a ballcock. Who says plumbers don't have a sense of humor? So $5.81 later I get home and realize that I purchased a ballcock that needs a float ball and our old ballcock doesn't have one. The old ballcock's float ball is around the shaft of the ballcock. So I go to Wally World and try to buy a float ball for my new ballcock. No dice. Walmart only has floatball-less ballcocks. And it's after 9 pm, so I wait a night and go back to Lowe's and get my 98 cent float ball. Ballcock.

But the actual point of this post is that my faith in humanity was slightly restored. Ever so slightly. I checked out of the contractor line at Lowe's. The guy in front of me had a big sled/shopping cart thing full of wood, insulation and other housebuilding/fixing items. He sees that I'm just holding one item, my ballcock coincidentally. So he says Go ahead. Wow, that was really being aware of your surroundings and considerate of your fellow shopper. Thanks Anderson contractor. So I thank him. Make my 45 second transaction and I'm on my way, a good 5 minutes ahead on my day. Then at Wal mart I had the ingenious idea to use those bright orange floating balls that are attached to the hook and bait for fishing. Bobbers I believe they're called. Didn't work even a little, but as I'm checking out with my one package of two bright orange balls, the gentleman ahead of me, also aware of his surroundings and considerate of his fellow shopper, lets me in front of him in line. I thank him and see that he has a full cart of groceries. Thanks, and $1.01 in exact change and 30 seconds later, once again I embark a store ahead in time.

To those two gentlemen, my sincere thanks and well wishes to you and yours.

Today's post brought to you by the phrase "double entendre."

Happy New Year's! Hope you all have DDs, cabs, piggy back rides, or horse drawn carriage lined up for your trip home.

And for anyone buried in snow, the high here yesterday was 65 degrees and the low was around 45. Global warming is a bitch huh? But you'll get the last laugh when the highs reach 120 during the summer and you're enjoying 80 degree weather.

And please keep the families of the thousands dead in Indonesia in your thoughts. And I just saw on CNN that we're increasing our aid to them from $35 million to $350 million. So our taxes are doing what they can but if you feel compelled to do more, check these out:

  • CNN Tsunami aid sites

  • Tuesday, December 28, 2004


    Almost there, almost there!

    That's a quote for all the nerds out there. In the movie it's followed by "I can't hold it" then an explosion. Very compelling scene. And I still haven't seen these movies on DVD. Don't ask me why.

    Christmas was nice. Family, food, driving, presents. And all of it almost ruined by one bad decision on my part on the drive home. Went to pass a truck on a 2 lane, he sped up and I stupidly decided that I was still going to pass him. Was going fast enough into the turn that the car oversteered a bit, and if I had overcorrected, this post would be from a hospital bed or the morgue. But that was my stupid decision of the week and my new year's resolution is to tone down the aggressive driving. It serves very little purpose and only endangers others and myself. But damn it's fun. So I'm going to calm down some and dream of the day that I have a real car and a track day at a local race track and can really let loose. And if I lose it, I slide into gravel and maybe some tires instead of trees and maybe a Ford F250.

    I would really like to do away with Christmas presents. Wouldn't it be make more financial sense to spread the gifts out throughout the year? Or I think the other way around it is to make your presents. Either wreaths or cookies, but things of that nature. It would definitely make Poor Target Employee E-Lo's life easier. So next year it's all homemade presents. Or mostly homemade presents. I just need to find some sugarfree stuff for my diabetic grandfather. Bama says that his health has really deteriorated recently and all he does now is sleep, watch TV and listen to the radio. They both used to read alot but their eyesight is so bad that they don't really do that anymore. Aging is a cruel mistress.

    Had a good day off today. Gonna help a friend put some new springs on his WRX tomorrow. It'll be good experience as I'm gonna do it to my car once I sell my Ebay stuff. And Smoove, I'll have that stuff up tomorrow, but you have first crack at that Leicaflex once I figure out exactly what kind it is.

    Thursday, December 23, 2004


    I'm outta here!

    So I wanted to leave you with some Christmas/Holiday cartoons.

    Merry Chrismahannukwanzakah!


    Fine, no crotch phone

  • The Evil One
  • brought up a good point about no one wanting to use my crotch phone, which isn't a bad thing, and that even if there's a small chance that cell phones cause cancer, I would rather have leg cancer over testicular cancer. Pretty sure John Kruk, Tom Green and Lance "Livestrong" Armstrong would agree. All ball cancer survivors.

    Once again at work, but I'm leaving at noon like I did yesterday. Gotta clean a little. Did dishes and some laundry last night. Just one load left and then the coffee table/living room to straighten. Then pack.

    Joan was Lil' Ms. Cranky Pants last night. She's been working alot, which she hates and she will continue to hate until I get a job good enough to support her and my extravagances, mostly cheeses and burritos. And she's covering another ladies' work cuz she is driving from here, Clemson, SC to Who knows where, Canada, about 3 hours north of Toronto. She's from South Africa so maybe she doesn't understand how far it is, or maybe she's enjoying the Great American/Canadian Road Trip. I think it's the latter. And what she does is very important and takes a while, so Joan has to do some of her own work and then South Africa's work too. And then she has to come home and pack. And then go visit my family which she is none too excited about. It's not that she hates my family, says Joan, they're just boring and they don't make good food. But that's not the point is it? It's the holidays and you are supposed to spend it with your family. Because they're your family and you can turn to them whenever you're in trouble or need some encouragement.

    So I made cookies, chocolate chip Nestle Tollhouse recipe, last night. That is the last time that I make cookies without a Kitchen-Aid. Seriously. I think my forearms are still burning from all that stirring. And there is lots of other wonderful stuff that you can make with a mixer. I would really like to try my hand at bread baking and making other doughs. I know I don't need a mixer to try it, but it makes it so much easier. But I'll have one some day, and I'll have a real kitchen with an island also. And hanging pots and herbs on the windowsill. Really all I want in my house is a nice bedroom with a super comfy bed, living room with TV and speakers, maybe a hidden TV to make it look nicer, awesome kitchen, big bathroom and a very large garage. I never want a really big house. Mostly I don't want to clean it and Joan doesn't want to clean it.

    Still not quite sure what I'm doing for New Years. I've been to Times Square twice. 1999-2000 and 2000-2001. Very cool and definitely a good experience, but I had to drive back to PA after both times, which SUCKED. ALOT. So I suggest having a place to stay somewhere within 2 hours or so of NYC cuz driving 4 hours after partying and standing around all day is not a good idea. So after those Eves, I have pretty low expectations for New Years. But last year kicked ass. Went to a show at a local bar and they rocked. 80's cover band. Excellent. But don't know what's going on this year. Maybe Greenville. Maybe ATL. Maybe nothing. But we'll get it figured out and we'll have a good time regardless.

    So Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanza, Happy Hanukkah, Merry December, or Merry Time Off From Work. Or Happy Saturday if none of those apply.

    Oh yeah, and to rub in the fact that it's snowing like a bitch and is colder than a witches teat, it's 61 degrees today in South Kakalakie. Yup 61. And a slight drizzle. Seriously, check out our forecast. It's crazy.
  • Clemson weather

  • Wednesday, December 22, 2004



    I think Joan's getting pissed that I haven't thought of her present for this year's Christmas. Mwahahahaha, but soon my plan will unfurl. I'm going somewhere to get her present or presents. She occasionally reads this, so no details until after it is delivered. So I'm taking off this afternoon from work so I can a)go buy presents, b)clean the house (dishes, fold one load of clothes, and clear off the coffee table) c)bake cookies, roughly 2-3 dozen, for Christmas presents to my aunts and uncles.

    Got my little brother, he's 17 months younger than I, a Lorax t-shirt, as in Dr. Seuss, my only cousin (yep, just one, I have some step cousins and some second cousins, but only one true cousin) a gift card to Sam Goody, paternal G'ma sandalwood votives and holders (that's what she wanted, apparently sandalwood is a hard candle to track down), and no idea yet for maternal G'rents.

    I would never call Grandma by G'ma, but I have heard of people using that. I'm sure you guys have some weird family names, either nick or first, but everyone has them. My maternal grandparents are Papa and Bama. Don't know why he's Papa, but Bama has been the "grandmother" name in my mom's family for a while, so we continued it. Don't know if my possible kids will call my mom "Bama", but it's possible.

    Woohoo, get ready for some ranting. So remember how our phones don't work? Well, we called Bellsouth to just make sure that the phone was working from their end. In fact, I don't even remember asking for someone to come take a look at it. But they sent someone anyway cuz he called and said that it's something inside and they would need to go inside to fix it. Whatever, 1 phone jack works and that's all we really need for now. Then we got the phone bill in the mail yesterday. Our local was $100. Normally it's $15 or $19, so I flipped through. We got charged 85 fucking dollars fo some guy to come to the outside of my house, presumably open that little box, plug something in, and leave. $85, for 5 minutes worth of work that I didn't even want. Well you're not getting away with that you sons and bitches of bitches. So I have to call them and tell them that I in no way shape or form wanted them to make a service call, and therefore they need to take that off my bill. Fuckers. I can't wait until I can do away with a landline. Granted I have cell service from those same fuckers, but cell phones are easier. And free if you don't want anything fancy. And they get very few telemarketing calls. And you can take them everywhere. Yes I'm addicted to my cell phone. I need to get better about my cell phone manners though. I'm of the camp that if it's a casual setting, it's like your home phone. If you were at home, you would answer the phone if there were guests around, so I do it around people. But I try and keep it quick and painless as possible. And no annoying rings. I love vibrate. For many reasons. Someone needs to invent the crotch cell phone holder cuz where are you going to feel vibrating the most? Leg, maybe. Arm, perhaps. Crotch, ding ding ding ding ding!

    Off to do some work and some bitchin' and some shopping.

    Either today or tomorrow will be my last post before Christmas, so enjoy the holidays and peace be with you and your family.

    Also saw this piece on the founder of Red Bull:
  • Dietrich Mateschitz, founder of Red Bull

  • Tuesday, December 21, 2004


    Proud member since 2002ish

    I love the suffix "ish". It's such a nice suffix. It's so indefinite. I'll be there at 4ish. That could mean 4:30, 6, 12, but as long as you arrive there, you got there at 4ish. Obviously I take some extreme liberties with my ishes, but they're mine and I'll use them how I please.

    From the
  • Wonderful World of Catt
  • came this question: What is REI?

  • REI

  • REI, Recreational Equipment Inc., is my personal favorite for greatest outdoor store ever. The employees are all outdoorsy people, be it kayakers, cyclists, rock climbers, campers, ultimate frizbee players, or bears. They are nice and pleasant people and care about you, the environment, and their stock. This is all from my experiences at the store and if you've had a bad experience, I'm sorry. They stock quality merchandise and while pricey, generally stands the test of time.

    There are many great outdoor stores, but the largest one that still has that "general store feel" that
  • jack, on Dec. 17th
  • discussed. And they have people devoted to each section, so Mr. Bicycle isn't advising you on which climbing rope is best for you, but he probably could anyway.

    And they have amazing scratch and dent sales. And for any ATL peeps who are members, their scratch and dent is coming up on the 31st, 1st, and 2nd at their ATL, Perimeter, and Buford stores respectively. I'm going to the one on the 2nd cuz it's at least 45 minutes closer to my house.

    The sad part about my love is that they do not yet have stores in AL or SC. But
  • Alabama Outdoors
  • covered my camping needs very nicely and highly recommend them to any AL folks. There is one store in Clemson, and it's okay. Small building, waaaaaaaaaay too overpriced, but nice guys and I think there's enough rich outdoorsy Clemson students to keep them in business, so I don't feel bad for not shopping there.

    And if you feel that REI is still overpriced, they have
  • REI
  • which is their online clearing house and you can get some really good deals.

    But if you don't do anything outdoorsy, they still have really warm clothing.

    Oh, I'm going to be listing alot of stuff on Ebay, probably beginning of Jan. or maybe late Dec., so I'll let you guys know and you can buy Grade A Seth junk! Currently I'm going to be listing:
    a) Carvin 4-string bass guitar, quilted blue, very pretty, barely used and includes hard shell case and any other bass-related items I have laying around.
    b) Perception Dancer kayak, red, very used but still works great (no leaks), life vest (used once), paddle, helmet, and 2 buoyancy bags for when you have to bail.
    c) Hamster cage, 3 cages total, one 3 level and 2 one levels and lots of tubing, hamster balls, and chew toys.
    d) Leicaflex medium format camera, leather case, works great

    I'm making the list more for myself, just to keep everything straight, but if you see something you want, lemme know and I'll save it for you. And I don't want to ship the kayak, but if someone wants to pay for shipping that, then yay for UPS.

    Ok, back to crystals.

    Monday, December 20, 2004


    Fear and Loathing in South Carolina

    So I'm not going to do a "hate" post. Those feelings were brought on by a vehicle. Not just any vehicle. And not the typical fuel guzzling behemoth that this pseudo-tree hugger is supposed to hate. I saw a Pontiac Aztek. I hate that car. HATE. HATE. And I hate the people who bought it because it says to Pontiac, "See? A few people think we made a good car." Nope. They're stupid. And all offense in the world is intended. Go trade in your Aztek right now before it becomes crappier. Or lock it in a garage somewhere and hang on to it cuz those are going to be rare, and the unsold ones will be recycled. I think it's just the culmination for Pontiac, which sucks, sorry Firebird owners, and for SUVs, some are okay, but they all need to be more fuel efficient or have diesel engines. But the Aztek is 100% what is wrong with carmakers today. So I guess that's my hate post. I hate other stuff, not alot though cuz love stuff is more fun and you have a higher chance of seeing love stuff and propelling yourself into a good mood.

    I'm at work. We're going home (mine) for Christmas. Not going to tell you when. Don't trust cyber burgalers. Not that you are, but you never know. I am pretty liberal with personal info around here, so I don't feel bad withholding that info.

    Campus is crazy dead. Most students are home, and the ones still here aren't on campus. Grad students are here though. Like it's their job. And the Indian and Chinese grad students? A few go home, the majority stay here and work. Not alot but they do work, reduced hours. And I'm gonna work pretty regular hours this week, but next week I'll only be in for a few hours each day, or maybe 2-3 full days and 2 off. Don't know, but Joan still has to work, so that sucks.

    We finally cleaned the house this weekend. It's so sparkly, but we have to keep it clean cuz it's so nice coming home to a nice clean house instead of the pig sty that you have to clean.

    REI is having their scratch and dent sale on Jan. 2. I'm all over that. I love REI, and yes I'm a member. And I used my dividend of $2.25 yesterday. I bought some webbing and some Lexan silverware, both for camping. Joan picked out a really nice Columbia jacket. $280. Yowza, glad we didn't buy that, but we'll be looking for a jacket for her on the 2nd, and various other camping stuff. Bag for her and maybe me. Pack for her. Gloves for me. Gonna look at kayaks longingly. Maybe climbing shoes. Maybe water filter. I love REI. Alot. I should look into getting an REI visa card. I'm putting alot of hope into this sale. Hopefully it'll cover all outdoor purchases for at least the next year. Oh, and maybe a tent, 3 season-backpacking or maybe a carcamping tent (big and heavy).

    Enjoy the last few days before all that wrapping, ribbons, and bows go flying.

    And did you know that Hannukah was from the 8th till the 15th? I had no idea. I need some Jewish friends.

    Friday, December 17, 2004


    Don't watch From Dusk Till Dawn

    Seriously. And don't watch Duplex either. Both movies, awesome cast, but crappy script and poor stories kill both movies.

    As much as I say I work on the weekends, I don't mind it. Not even a little. Why? Because I took this afternoon off. Had a meeting at 12:30 until 2:00 then went home, made love, and watched the title movie while Joan slept next to me in her birthday suit. I love naked.

    I've never done a "hate" post. And won't now. I have a test that I shouldn't have to take to study for. And it's at 9 am tomorrow. So maybe I'll do my hate post after that. But I think it'll counteract alot of "good cheer" and all that holiday stuff. Gotta keep the universe in balance.

    So enjoy your weekend and if you have a moment or two, consider this woman's halloween costume:


    Crazy crazy Bernoulli

    Today is the anniversary of the Wright brother's first flight on Dec. 17, 1903. Thanks daily NY Times email for that tidbit of info.

    So mini post day didn't work out. And the little cleaning we did last week is again encapsulated in filth. So we gotta clean hard core again. Oh well, the vicious cycle continues to spin.

    NIN is rereleasing their 1994 Downward Spiral album. I guess Trent needs some cash or he feels that today's musicians need to be reinspired? Not sure, but I'm all for more NIN in the world. Oh, that's Nine Inch Nails, sorry to those who were confused.

    Went to Joan's water testing company dinner last night. Had some grouper. Very good, not $21.95 good, but I didn't pay so no biggie. Joan works with a South African lady and her husband was there as well. I really like the South African accent. It sounds like a mixture of Australian, British, and a little Dutch or Slavic type language thrown in for a twist. He's a pyrometallurgist. Yep, fire and metal. Awesome. He works for Engelhardt who refines precious metals. They do gold, platinum, rhodium, palladium, ruthenium, and I think iridium. And he said about 70% of their metal comes from used catalytic converters, mostly palladium and rhodium. Those elemental symbols for inquiring minds are Au, Pt, Rh, Pd, Ru, and Ir, respectively, and I didn't even have to look those up, but I did check just to make sure I was right.

    I gotta go order some food for our Chemistry Grad Student Organization meeting we're having at lunch today. We're getting some Zaxby's platters, which is basically a fancier Chick-Fil-A, and for those without those, it's a chicken place that does wings, fingers, sandwiches, salads and the like, and I think everything involves chicken. And it's damn good. So another free meal for me. And it isn't Papa John's pizza, which is the standard food for college get togethers, so it gets old after a while. But that doesn't mean I won't eat it if offered. But if I'm in charge, I'm picking something else.

    Thursday, December 16, 2004


    License to ILL

  • Aaaaah, Bees!

  • This reminds me of that Amex commercial with Homer and the voiceover guy.

    Went to the library today. Picked up Fierce Invalids by Tom Robbins and The Photograph by Penelope Lively. So I'll start reading those this weekend. The Photograph first and then Invalids. So maybe that can be the next Book Club book? I'll mention it over there when I get a chance. The Photograph does look to be a quick read. Oooh, I'll start in seminar today. We're interviewing a faculty candidate from the Colorado School of Mines. But imagine if it was the School of Mimes. A chemistry seminar in mime. Now that's a challenge. Let's see if Marcel Marceau could do that.

    And now I leave you with a small explosion.


    But porkchops tastes good. Bacon tastes good.

    Movie quote title again. Just pooped in there. (That was a typo but I liked it.)

    Birds are scary. Joan had a Goffins cockatoo. Like this guy.

    And the only way to gender a bird is by blood test. Or watch them have sex I suppose.

    We thought Henry was a girl maybe until Joan was looking at him one day and said "What are those!" So I go take a look. "Those are balls sweetie." So no Henrietta for us.

    Now this is when good bloggers will delete the post and just say, "I don't know what to blog about." But not me, I'll trudge on through the block in my head. Beyond all reason and logic until a good idea pops in there. Or poops in.

    So far I'm a fan of Tivo, but the satellites are screwing up now, and I'm not sure if it's my fault or the satellites. I'm blaming it on the rotation of the earth and changing of seasons but I might give ol' DirecTV a call and see if they have any suggestions.

    Damn, I can't wait for Christmas to get here. Or at least this weekend. But only a few hours left on this week fortunately. Okay, I've wasted enough of my time and yours.

    This might be a good mini post day.

    Wednesday, December 15, 2004


    Mini van O'rama

    Went down to meet with a professor at Lander University in Greenwood, SC yesterday. The meet was about health insurance. Very cool lady, but she did what we're trying to do, namely get Clemson to pay for some of our health insurance. She gave us some good info and good ideas on what to do next and she also gave us a great reality check. It's gonna be hard work. You're gonna piss some people off. But it'll be worth it. Okay, but I still have to keep in mind that I'm trying to get done with my research and to focus on that and be a social vigilante second.

    But we drove the grad school's minivan. Sweet ride. Power locks, dual sliding doors, and that's about it. Oh, tilt steering wheel. Fancy. But I drove there and back. I love cars and therefore driving, especially something like this i.e. field trip/road trip. It's always fun and lots of good conversation cuz we hardly ever talk about non-health insurance stuff or classwork in our meetings, so some quality chat time was nice. One girl has a bright green macaw. Named Alex. Joan is also a bird person. And by telling me that they are loud, messy, and require lots of attention, I am NOT a bird person. But I'd be willing to give it a shot. Joan said there are birds that aren't that loud and screechy.

    So I drove because I didn't not want to drive. No one else wanted to drive, and my indifference toward it allocated me into the slot of "driver". A few missed turns an a few U-turns later we arrived. And had our meeting in a church that has been converted into a coffee shop. Still smelled like a church too. That old musty moldy basement smell, mixed with coffee and pastry aromas. Luckily the musty smell was only noticeable near the door. But a very neat place. And once Armageddon comes, or Christians lose all faith, there will be lots of churches for sale. I definitely would not mind buying one and either setting up a small coffee shop or bakery in one. Very cool idea. I'm not saying Christians will lose their faith, but maybe in the Church. Just saying it's possible and there are tons of churches, so even a little tinge of lost faith would free up some property. And yes, I could do the same with a synagogue or mosque or temple.

    Been doing okay on my steps. Averaging around 9,000 steps/day or about 4.5 miles. I know for people in cities, that's nothing, but living in the boondocks very few activities or destinations are conducive to walking.

    Monday, December 13, 2004


    Score one for the little guys

    Augusto Pinochet was indicted today for the kidnapping of nine and killing of one. From accounts that I have heard, this is just a drop in the bucket for Pinochet's tyranny over Chile. I had a spanish teacher who lived for 3 years in Argentina and heard stories about Pinochet's ruthlessness.

    He ruled Chile from 1973-1990 and is said to have had around 3000 people executed or made to disappear. He also imprisoned 27,000 Chileans. And somehow the military rulers decided to let people vote on who they wanted for president and Pinochet lost but was commander-in-chief of the army until 1998 and then he assumed a seat on the senate. So apparently he kept his friends in the government happy, but of course not the Chilean people.

  • - Augusto Pinochet

  •'s story

  • The Crimes of Augusto Pinochet


    Silvia Platt

    Top two S15 Nissan Silvias and bottom two are S14 Silvias. We kind of got these cars. Different engine, different body, but I think the chassis (what's the plural of chassis?) are the same. And the Japanese engines fit in ours ever so nicely. Rear wheel drive, turbocharger, two ingredients for fun.

    So this weekend was okay. Mostly did laundry. Really. I think I did around 6 or 7. I know that isn't alot for you with families, but that was for 2 people. Did the dishes too. Joan's ramen juice from last weekend, which of course had festered, smelled quite lovely. It smelled worse than the milk that expired on Dec. 5, but that was in the fridge. Come on, it's only over by a week. I know you've had some milk that hid in there for at least a month.

    Friday night, got drunk, lost my jacket and my pedometer, so I hope there just at my friend's house and I can go get them. My jacket was crappy from Old Navy, but it's my only light jacket. Or the only jacket you really need for southern winters. And my pedometer is okay, I think I can get another one, and I pretty much can guesstimate how far I've been walking. I'm doing okay, my low so far is around 6000 and my high is 17000. But 8-10 is about where I am, so I'm in good shape, hopefully getting in better shape. Walked halfway to school, up my hill and then waited on the CAT bus, Clemson's mass transit system, and it actually goes pretty far. But they've started holiday hours so it only swings by the house on the hour, so my perfect for me 8:30 bus isn't going to happen, and I feel like a slacker coming in at 9:15, so I'm gonna have to lose a little more sleep. Bleh. But only 2 weeks till Christmas, so I can make. We all can.

    And if you want some nice boob shots.
  • Google Images
  • And search for Silvia and/or Sylvia. And probably any other female name, and probably male name too. Enjoy.

    Friday, December 10, 2004


    1994 Nissan R32 Skyline GT-R V-spec II

    Just for Catt, a car title and not a communicable disease. This is Nissan's six cylinder turbocharged all wheel drive beast of a car that of course was never brought to this country. Thanks DOT.

    Maybe I'll blog fo' real later, but I gotta finish that stupid test. Just wanted to share that, and that walking to work this morning, I saw our pond at the end of our street had flooded into one lane of our road. Very cool.

    And a little further down I saw a crane/heron thing chillin in the water. Super awesome. Actually I think it was a blue heron, or at least half its wings were blue. Beautiful creature.

    Thursday, December 09, 2004



    Sorry for the disease titles, but I'm drawing a blank for titles. I think my creative energy is being stifled by this test.

    I remembered an instance this morning when I used the term "crackhead" around someone without thinking. Occasionally I use "crackhead" lovingly to indicate that someone is a spaz or forgetful or acting crazy and hyper, not that they steal things to support their crack habit. My friends know this and think nothing of it, but I stopped using it (I cycle through words and phrases alot) and I don't think they mind.

    But I said "My roommate is a crackhead." And my friend, nice guy but he needs to stop using drugs, said Really? and his eyes got all big, like Shit man that's a serious problem. So I then explained, No he's not really, he's just kind of crazy and moody. Then I reflected on that situation and realized that it comes down to word association. Depending on your education, upbringing, or current situation in life, words bring on different toughts. Yes this is obvious, but sometimes we forget. I am completely drawing a blank on some good examples, but they're out there and next time I hear one, I'll make a mental note.

    On, saw that some guy with a gun stormed the stage at a Damageplan concert in Columbus, Ohio last night, killing 4 and injuring others before shot by the police, actually it looks like it was one cop from witness accounts, so Nice shootin' Tex. Keep up the good work officer.

    But one of the people that died was Dimebag Darrell Abbott, former guitarist for Pantera. His brother Vinnie Paul, ex Pantera drummer, was also shot but I believe he's okay. My condolences to the Abbott family and Damageplan/Pantera fans worldwide.
  • Gunman storms stage, kills 4 at Ohio nightclub

  • Dimebag Darrell, RIP

    Wednesday, December 08, 2004



    My favorite songs off of my Evil CD thus far are: The Faint - Paranoia Attack, Stereolab - Cybele's Revenge, and Franz Ferdinand's tune.

    Once again, thank you Sid. And I'm up for starting a CD exchange program. I have enough electronic, grunge, and rap to make you want to buy some glow sticks, change into your flannel and smack some hos. Don't you just love stereotypes?

    Still working on my take home test for my Chemistry 900 class, Solid State Chemistry. It isn't too hard, but it's a fair amount of work, and I just need to sit down and do it, which is what I'm doing today.

    Our apartment is in shambles. Seriously. The kitchen isn't too bad, but we have some hamster cage stuff that needs to be thrown away or sold on Ebay. Gonna see if there is a market for that stuff. So clean the counters, dishes and fridge and that's done.
    The spare bedroom will be gone through over the holidays and separated into Stuff we're keeping, stuff we're selling on Ebay or otherwise, and stuff we're throwing away or giving to Goodwill.
    Living room needs a vacuum and general straightening. Bedroom needs laundry done hardcore and general straightening and our bathroom was scary about a week ago.

    Most of this shall be cleaned probably while Joan is at work on Friday and maybe tomorrow, but we'll see, gotta finish this test first.

    That was really boring, see, I told you I didn't censor myself, otherwise I would trash this post and start over.

    Joan plays the lottery quite frequently actually. She claims to only play Powerball when the pot is over $100 million but I've caught her playing for less than that. Personally I don't see the value in playing, the odds are astronomical and therefore is a waste of money. But that one tiny glimmer of hope is apparently more than enough for Joan. And I'm supposed to be the optimistic one.

    Tuesday, December 07, 2004


    Business up front, party in the back

    I got an ominous orange envelope in the mail yesterday, which was coincidentally made by 3M, possibly a future employer so I took it as a good evil omen. Inside was the specialist of special. A CD straight from Carrboro Fair and The Evil One.

    Sid sent me a CD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WOOOHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    And it's excellent I must say. So far I've only gotten up to track 12, but have been thoroughly impressed so far. I knew of Sid's musical tastes but she knew nothing of mine and it worked out beautifully. And once I saw that Elvis Costello, The Pixies and The Cure were on the CD any fears were immediately aleviated. It even came with a very awesome CD label on it. Full color. If you haven't done so yet, order one from the Evil One and you will not be dissappointed. But you really should give her a couple bucks for materials. And to the RIAA, this CD has expanded my horizons and now will promptly go out and purchase an Interpol CD and many others, so fuck off! You too Lars.

    So picked up my only exam yesterday. Take home and it's due on Saturday, but I feel like finishing it today or tomorrow cuz I don't want that crap looming over me all week.

    Shit, almost forgot. I'm now part of the Tivo club! For those who don't know or are suspicious of technology, it's basically a digital VCR and also gives you the ability to listen in surround sound, if you're so inclined. But I watched Futurama this morning instead of the Today show, and must say that I will not go back to Matt, Al, or Katie, well maybe Katie.

    But before I got it working I had to play Bellsouth repairman. And if anyone knows anything about telephone lines or knows someone who does, please help. I got the phone in the bedroom working but the 3 other phone jacks don't work, at all, no sound, nothing. And I don't want to call those jerks at the phone company but probably will eventually since right now we have a phone line running from the bedroom to the living room in the middle of the floor. But a temporary solution is still a solution! Or something.

    Saw these on and thought I would share.

  • Women impaled through neck survives

  • My favorite part is: "Talk about having an angel as a co-pilot," Fire Chief J.R. Rosencrans said. "On her rearview mirror she had a picture of the Madonna. You can tell she is a religious person."
    So according to ol' J.R. if I have a Madonna airfreshener I will be immune to metal poles.

  • Kit to allow traveling Americans to pose as Canadians

  • "And in all cases, the guide advises: "If your vacation is to be stress free, leave those heavy politics behind and travel with a light heart and quick wit, Canadian style."
    Not a bad idea, but how many Canadians have you seen with all that crap on? Seems like a pretty transparent disguise.

    Monday, December 06, 2004


    Glad it's raining today

    Camping was a blast. Good friends, good (camp) food, good sleep, awesome view, great fire. I missed a turn on the gravel road in the woods and somehow popped out the other side of the state park. Whoops, but I knew where I was and remember Tim saying something about a bridge and I remember seeing a bridge so I back-tracked and sho' 'nuff that's the turn I missed. So I actually got to the forest around 9:45 but didn't get to their campsite until about 11 am. Oh well, no biggie.

    But on a seperate note, I love driving on gravel. LOVE IT. It's a little scary the first few times your (car's) ass starts slinging around, but once you learn it and learn to countersteer, it's a whole lotta fun. And it helps if you have a car made of plastic, with sheetmetal glued to the roof, broken odometer, and is worth maybe $800 tops. But I love my Saturn, oh yes I do.

    So we hike in, one guy almost passes out cuz he's wearing thermal underwear and shirt and the high is around 55. So we stop, he gets naked (not really), and we keep going. We get to the look-out near the final descent on the trail and take a break, few pictures, some munchies, then throw our stuff on and set off to drop the final 400 ft. to the river and our campsite. But we see some rangers making their way out with saws, the big 2 person lumberjack saws, and stop and chat. He proceeds to tell us that the river flooded to about shoulder height, and considering that the river was about 2-3 feet below our campsite, that's alot of damn water, and he tells us that he didn't even recognize it. The water uprooted trees and the trail that runs along the river is barely perceptible. Well crap, we don't want to hike down there and sleep on wet ground and not be able to find firewood or spots for our tents, so we just hiked up a little bit on the ridge above the river and camped there. We were a little exposed so the wind was quite nipply coming off that mountain, but if you were on the other side of the fire, it was lovely.

    Fell asleep to the sound of Jack's river and woke up at 8 am to a sun that was just peeking over the far mountain. I blame the fact that we were in a valley on the fact that the sunset and sunrise were less than spectacular, or it just might be the lack of noxious fumes and chemicals in the air, take your pick. Got up, made a fire, had some hot apple cider, then we made breakfast of sausage and pancakes and hiked out. Excellent trip and we're planning on going again in January. Anyone is more than welcome to come. And we need to plan a couples camping trip. I know Joan wants to go and Tim's wife does too. So far it's been only testosterony trips and we need some estrogen in there too.

    And if anyone in the Southeast wants to spectate some real racing, there is a rally held in Cheraw, South Carolina. Sandblast Rally, but I'm gonna link it and am planning on being a rally worker cuz this is a real sanctioned rally so full cage and fire extinguishing system are both required. But it's going to be sick.

    And no more math talk, I swear.

    Friday, December 03, 2004


    On the road again

    I'm going camping tomorrow. The other camping buddies are going up the Georgia today and I'll meet them tomorrow, hopefully around lunch time. It's a 3 hour drive, and about a 3 hour hike in. We've done it before, but it's still a bear of a hike. I think I mentioned it before but it's a 600 foot elevation change. Woohoo! And holy shit it's gonna be chilly. But I'm prepared, I don't mind "cold" weather as long as I have some warm clothes and a fire. If anyone wants to join us, or sees hikers missing in Northeast Georgia, we're going to be near Cisco, GA and I can't remember the name of the trail, but I'll tell Joan before we leave. Safety first.

    So I did some rough calculations, and some visual estimating, and determined that from the driveway to our turn is 3/10 of a mile. Which is 1584 ft. That's alot more than my first estimate, about 3 times as much. Regardless, so Cop accelerates to 60 in 6 seconds (very generous acceleration time) and also assume he was going about 10 mph after turning onto the road, so for while he accelerated to 60, he covered 308 ft. Joan going 40 in that same time would have traveled 352 ft. or doing 60, 528 ft. Fairly different numbers. Okay, now I need to ask Joan where he caught up to her, and if it's near our turn, then she really was going that fast, or I grossly overestimated the Caprice's accelerating abilities. Go Physics!

    My grandfolks are going to be in town tonight. That should be okay. I think they're getting here around 3 or so, but I'm not done with school until at least 5, so then I'm gonna go over to the Days Inn and go out to eat with them. Still not sure where I want to go yet. I'll figure it out later. So dinner and then either back to my place and give them the tour or back to the hotel and hang out there till 8 or 9, aka their bedtime, then go home, maybe clean, maybe video games, definitely pack, sleep, wake up at 4 am, shower, drive, camping groceries, park, pack my pack, hike, sweat, drink water, take some pictures, arrive, nap. Sounds awesome.

    Thursday, December 02, 2004


    Fluorescence, walking and speeding

    So I didn't mention what the instrument I was "trained" on Tues. does. It measures fluorescence. Fluorescence is the light that comes out of a sample after it is hit with light. Think of an atom of your sample like the solar system, the sun is the nucleus and the electrons are the planets orbiting the sun (nucleus). The electrons absorb the light and are excited because of all the excess energy they just took in. So they jump up to a higher orbital (like a planet's orbit). So the electrons then relax, give off some heat, and then shoot that energy (light) back out and that light is measured, and that measured light is your sample's fluorescence. I'm gonna have to do a little more research to figure out what the fluorescence is used for, so good thing I'm in grad school.

    Joan's "speeding" ticket was a complete sham. He did not have a radar gun. He paced her to get her speed. Now this is not uncommon but in this case, it is absolutely ludicrous. So he was pulling out of a driveway and she goes by and he says "Huh, she's going fast. I'll catch her." Now this driveway is no more than 300 ft. from where we turn to go into our house. When I do the calculations later, I'm going to do them with Joan going the claimed 60 and what she was actually doing, about 40. So Cop speeds up to catch her, matches her speed of 60, then pulls her over, all in 300 ft. Very impressive for an unmarked Caprice Classic. And in this same 300 ft. Joan maintains her speed of 40 and then, say, 50 ft. before her turn, she begins to decelerate, so Cop really only had 250 ft. to catch up with her, so he had to get up to about 70 or 80, then slow down, then match her speed, and decelerate? in 250 ft.? Sure, but it's over now. She paid the $76 fine and got her 2 pts. And if she gets another one in under 8 months, I'm putting a speed governor on her car. I'll be back with those calculations when I get a chance.

    Walking. The new director of Fike, the campus recreation center, has started a 10,000 steps program. Basically he gives you a pedometer and you keep track of your daily step totals and if you average higher than the president of Clemson, you get an award and plenty of exercise. So Butch, Fike director, gave a presentation in the Graduate Senate meeting last month and the dean of grad students was there and asked if we could start a program like that for grad students. Sounds great. So yesterday I picked up my pedometer and am now obsessed with my step total. I sucked yesterday, only 6300, but I was short-changed half a day, picked up the pedometer at 1 pm. So today I walked to school. 5000 steps later, I'm well on my way to reaching today's goal and making up for my lazy ass yesterday. Plus this is a great kick in the pants that I needed to be more active. I've been slacking alot recently, blaming it on work, Joan, monkeys, whatever pops into my head. But the reality is I'm lazy, and have a family history of heart disease, diabetes, and I'm overweight. So I need all the kicks in the ass I can get. I think I'll post my step totals on here too, just as a way to keep track, and so you can help keep me honest and walking.

    Wednesday, December 01, 2004


    Black Friday is upon us

    Alrighty, got my pics up and they can be found
  • here
  • and it's also a link in the last section of links in the sidebar. Please comment. All the pics are numbered or titled to facilitate the taunting or praise or indifference.

    The titles or numbers are to the bottom right of the pic. They tend to move around and the titles might wrap-around weirdly, but it's there somewhere.
    Some of my faves are:


    Chicken and Pants


    Old Woman and The Sea, but crop the top

    Juice, Super glad this came out. Her expression is priceless.

    Arms #1, Expression again.

    And I just realized I misspelled protect. It isn't protech. Crap.


    LA face with an Oakland booty

    So Joan is in court this morning. Why? Well, you should be sensing a theme to our court appearances, but it's another speeding ticket. I think a bitched about it a while back, but this morning is the court date. She asked if the cop might not show up. Nope, in a little podunk town like this, they got nothing better to do. So she is going to be sweet and apologetic and might get it reduced from a $440/6 pt bomber to a smaller offense hopefully. I also wanted her to ask how he knows that she was doing 60, which I still do not think she was doing, but it's still possible.

    Yesterday I was out at Clemson's Research Park where they just built a brand spankin new building and have some new instruments that we are planning on using. I went for a training session on the new Haribo Jobin Yvon Flourolog 3. Not a bad way to drop 180 grand, but apparently something is out of whack. We spent about 4 hours trying to figure out what was wrong with the thing. The guy from the company was there doing the training and he couldn't pinpoint the problem, so they're scheduling a service call and another training session. Crap. I was looking forward to having some kick ass data.

    I have my Black Friday pics in my pocket in CD form, so I'm gonna go put them up on my Clemson website in about an hour or so and then I'll post some on here, my faves for various reasons. I know I said that I took 300 pics, well I whittled those down to 97, so there are still alot of pictures. I'm planning on numbering them and either adding a comment or title to the picture to facilitate discussion and/or comments. And if you see one that you would like, feel free to save it or tell me and I can email you a copy. And yes there are some good ass shots. Or assy shots for the Evil One.

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