Thursday, June 30, 2005


More bandwagonage

Your Linguistic Profile:

65% General American English

20% Dixie

10% Yankee

5% Upper Midwestern

0% Midwestern

What Kind of American English Do You Speak?

And I'd like to say that only 20% Dixie ain't so bad for someone who has lived here for roughly 17 years of his life. And I'm damn proud of the 0% Midwestern. But where did that Upper Midwestern come from? Thanks to Ruthie for that one.



I'm wicked sore today. My ass hurts from go karting. I guess leaning on the gas for 3 hours can make you a little sore. Then yesterday I went climbing in Anderson, in a gym. But it was nice to be in a real gym. While the one on campus is nice and free, it is very small, so it's nice to go elsewhere. And now that I have shoes, maybe I'll try climbing on an actual rock.

It had lots of hold, 50 foot walls, very nice cave, lots of fun.

I relisted my kayak on, so it can finally go to a good home. Ruthie still has first dibs if she wants it though. I think this money is going to go towards some race rubber for the car. Or maybe headers, I don't know.

I forgot to give Joan the English quiz. I'm very interested to hear where her english comes from. I'm guessing for a higher Dixie percentage just based upon the fact that she uses y'all. I do not.

My literature seminar is coming up this fall. It has to be chemistry based and not related to my current research. So if anyone has any great ideas, please share. So far I have:
1)Chemistry of clams
2)Dangers of water
3)Solid state lighting (basically it's light with crystals, but since there is no gas can be used deep underwater or in spaaaaaaace)
4)Chemistry of tires (probably not this one, but it's an idea)
5)Elastic metals

and that's all I have. I'm planning on doing it early Fall semester, so sometime in Sept. But I need to start researching it now as opposed to the week before like in undergrad or the night before like in high school.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005



Same Futurama episode. Maybe it was Finglongerer. I'll have to watch it when I get home and find out.

Just a few links found over at Chris' place Cynical-C. Very choice.

Link the first: Canadian lawmakers approve gay marriage

The House of Commons passed on Tues. by a vote of 158-133 to legalize gay marriage making them the 3rd country in the world to do so. Belgium and Netherlands are the other two for your inquiring minds. Oh Canada indeed!

Link the second: CT judge to get the boot!

I'm sure everyone heard about the ruling in CT that made it okay for the government to take your land as long as it's for "the community" or will at least pump some money into it. So Logan Darrow Clements has started the paperwork to take Supreme Court Justice David Souter's land to build a hotel. Good job Logan! Fight the Power!


Dear Dr. Jerkberg

Futurama reference once again. From the 2nd scenario in "Anthologies of Interest I" which are scenarios presented by the professor's What If machine. Quality TV.

So went and did a little go karting at the local fun park. You can buy a wristband for $20 that gives you unlimited slick track go karts (16 and up), medium go karts, tiny go karts, putt putt, laser tag (or lazer if you're cool), and astro bounce I think. But we mostly rode the big go karts. They're not especially fun if you're actually racing, or "grip" driving, but it is possible to get the back end to come out and do some very mild drifting. Except for car 6. I kept hearing the other guys complain all night about car 6 and how it was "the worst car out here". Bullhonkey is what I say. It just depends on your frame of reference. If you're trying to pass everyone and "win", then yes car 6 is atrocious, but if you don't give a poop about passing anyone and sliding the whole time, then 6 is your car. It must've had plastic wheels or something because it was very easy to slide it around.

Actually on the last race, while pulling into the pits, or sliding into the pits, I made one of the attendants jump out of the way. I was nowhere near him, but technically the car was pointed at him, even though it was not going in his direction. I tried to stay out of the way, slicing through the racing line and in between cars but collisions were inevitable, especially with the jokers that we were riding with. They were definitely fans of the block pass. Some were not as blunt about it as others but some if they could see a little sliver of the rear side of your car, they were going to hit it until they were passed you. In all fairness, it was the only way to pass though.

But I do want to send out a little message to a certain girl with beads in her hair and wearing a pink shirt. Use your fucking brake. You T-boned me twice at full speed. Yes I did get you back by forcing you into that wall, but that was only after provoked. There is no shame in braking and it's not like you're not going to pass me. I think everyone lapped me at least twice each race. But no hard feelings, rubbin's racin' as Robert Duvall put it in the quintessential NASCAR film "Days of Thunder".

And a little thing happened at the grocery store. I think I finally figured out that it was a very quick karma circle, but I'm still not sure. After 10 or 11, BiLo goes to only self-serve checkout. Once we get up there, there are a couple and a girl waiting. We stand off to the side behind the girl and she goes to check out. So at this point I can sort of see 2 lines behind each set of 2 checkout counters, but think nothing of it because there are only 3 or 4 people waiting, so I go with the "first come, first served" philosophy. I let the couple "ahead" of us in line go first. Then the next counter opens up, but it's on the right and we are on the left. I see someone making a move for it, so I speak up and say that it's ours. She turns around and says that she was next in line. I say it was one big line and that we were next. She turns around and asks why there were 2 lines forming if there was one big line. I say "I don't know" and she turns around and gets back in line. First of all, I can't believe she stopped the discussion after my top notch retort of I don't know. Maybe she saw I was tired, maybe she was tired. But all in all, it confused me and didn't really understand how it worked out that way. And why didn't anyone tell me there were 2 lines? I wouldn't have let those people go. It was late and I was tired. Serves them right for getting behind the 2 girls who had tons of groceries and vegetables that they needed numbers for.

Good Tuesday.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005


Sad day in Wally World

One of the Walton children, John, 58, died yesterday shortly after takeoff of his ultralight in Jackson Hole, WY. He was 7th on the Forbes list of richest Americans. He was a decorated war veteran winning a Silver Star in Vietnam.
John Walton dies

Anne Bancroft, most notably Mrs. Robinson in "The Graduate", also passed away at 73 of uterine cancer. Among her notable portrayals: a potential suicide in "The Slender Thread"; Mary Magdalene in Franco Zeffirelli's miniseries "Jesus of Nazareth"; actress Madge Kindle in "The Elephant Man"; Anthony Hopkins' pen pal in "84 Charing Cross Road"; feminist U.S. senator in "G.I. Jane"; the Miss Havisham role in a modernized "Great Expectations."
Anne Bancroft passes

Just wanted to get those out of the way. Gotta pay your respect for the dead.

The cats are great, but they like getting up at 4 am. And crawl all over J and I. Mostly J. And if we close the door, then they howl and scratch until we open it. I don't know what the solution is, but we need to find it.

We might be going to Frankie's Fun Park tonight. They're a typical go karts/putt putt/arcade type place, but they have what I'll call "intermediate" go karts. They're not the kiddie karts but they're also not the really fast go kart, but they can slide like nobodies business. Since I am currently limited to front wheel action, whenever I have the chance to slide, I take it. Whether it be heavy rain, snow, oil slicks, I try and enjoy it. (although I've only tried it in snow) But all it really takes to get these things slideways is a quick feint, or just a sharp jerk in the direction that you wanna go and the back wheels come on around.

Monday, June 27, 2005


Another day, another dollar

Weekend happened and it was good. Friday went to PJ's birthday party. We were planning on spending the night since there was lots of booze and it was 1.5 hrs away, but Joan got a little sick, so we decided to come back early. They live pretty far away and we definitely didn't get to spend enough time with everyone. But there will be other parties.

Saturday went down to Athens for the day, or half the day. Had some beer, spent a little money, ate at a GREAT noodle house, Doc Chey's I think, friend got her tongue pierced, bought some new glass, all in all a good day. We got back at 9 or so, hung out till 10:30 and then went home and basically crashed around 11:15. And then we woke up and had a productive Sunday. I did the dishes and built a cat tree. For non-cat or pet people, it's basically a structure made of wood and covered in carpet for cats to climb on. And since little ones that come up to your waist are $130, we decided to build our own.

So here are Seth's 7 Easy Steps to build a cat tree.
1)Buy wood.
2)Borrow power tools.
3)Measure wood.
4)Cut wood.
5)Assemble wood.
6)Cover with rope and carpet.
7)Let cats enjoy.

The base is a little wobbly so we bought a few extra braces, gonna put those on tonight and then we need to swing by a carpet store and do a little dumpster diving and get some carpet scraps, or remnants, which I guess sounds nicer.

Then we grilled out with the neighbors again. Next week is burgers. Mmmmmm, I can't wait. And I get to race on Saturday!

Friday, June 24, 2005


Slurms McKenzie

Same Futurama episode as the previous post' title.

Thank you ESC for proving that there are crazy cat men in the world. And thanks to Animal Planet and the Discovery Channel for bringing them into our houses.

Watched Grass and Meet the Fockers last night. Grass is a documentary about the drug war in america, mainly focusing on marihuana. I'd already seen most of it thanks to the IFC, independent film channel, but Joan never had, so we rented it. It's very good while at the same time mind-numbing. Woody Harrelson narrated and did a great job. The mind-numbing parts are the facts and numbers they give. I knew Jimmy Carter was pro-legalization but didn't know it was an actual campaign promise, and would've been passed if one of his aids hadn't been arrested for blow. But it was interesting to see the Religious Right up to their usual shenanigans of "saving this great country." It's nice to know that history is cyclical. My favorite part is when Nixon ordered extensive government testing of the drug and they found that the private use of weed by adults in their homes was almost completely harmless. And Nixon didn't even read the report. He threw it in the trash and increased efforts to stop marihuana from being smoked. And then of course ran into a little hot water and got the hell outta dodge.

Meet the Fockers was funny, but the situations were so outlandish that they were a little hard to believe. And since Joan has a hard time suspending her sense of belief, she did not like it. If you kept in mind it's a MOVIE and isn't supposed to be real, then it is funny. And Dustin Hoffman and Babs Streisand did amazing jobs in their roles as parents. I think Yentl really helped Barbara nail the Jewish mother thing. And the fact that she's Jewish.

Everyone be good and have a pleasant weekend.

Thursday, June 23, 2005


We're the Grunka Lunkas!

Futurama reference.

Smoove, I never have tried V8 as a hangover cure, but I'm sure that would scare the aches right out of me. Please! No more V8, we'll be good! said Seth's innards.

Went to another talk this morning. 100% the opposite of what I hoped for. Crap, but I had some tea and OJ for breakfast, so it balanced out I suppose. We're gonna see if we can pull some lunch today. It's the last day of the conference and I think people will be pretty lax about who's eating what. And some attendees already left so we're really just eating their lunch. See, it's all in the rationalization.

And if anyone in Japan is reading this, keep an eye out for black backpacks with orange tiger paws on the back. They're the freebies given out and yes I want one. But I really want a polo more. I have enough baggage.

Why aren't there any Crazy Cat Men? Crazy Cat Ladies abound. Everyone knows of one or has at least one friend who knows one. What is it about women that they do this? I'm sure at the point where you have 30 cats, you're more of a zookeeper anyway and not really a pet owner. Maybe guys recognize this and stick with just 1 or 2 dogs since they need tons of attention anyway. I can't imagine 15-20 dogs all trying to get attention from one guy, that would degenerate into pure anarchy almost instantly. Maybe guys are different crazy. Beats me, but if anyone sees any crazy cat men, lemme know.

We had group meeting yesterday. Went well, but one girl trying to get her masters and wanted to start writing up so she can leave in Dec. got completely shut down. So it's looking like May for her, but I don't think her husband is getting out in Dec. either, so it's all good, as they say.

Smoove, Joan really enjoyed your fucktard of the week award, and strongly agrees with your decision.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005



Everyone should remember Gobbles as Timmy's pet turkey in the Thanksgiving South Park episode. Great episode.

Last night J and I watched the All about Mormons South Park episode, which sent us into another religion debate. I say that a belief needs at least 4 or 5 hundred years behind it before I will consider it a religion. She said that all religions started at some point and most everyone thought they were a cult. True, and the Mormons seem to be doing okay, so maybe in 200 years, they will be one of the big religions with hundreds of years of history.

But what I find so amusing is the founding of the Mormon religion. It takes a whole mess of faith, and while I do have some, I don't have enough for this story. So here goes, the history of Mormonism as told by Trey Parker and Matt Stone: (and any glaring misconceptions put forth, please let me know any Mormon readers)

Joseph Smith lived in 1830 and was visited by an angel who told him to dig in the woods to find a golden tablet and some seer stones that would help translate the strange language into english. Apparently Native Americans are actually white people from Jerusalem who came over here and lived and then were killed by the "red faced" americans and so they became the Native Americans. And Adam and Eve lived in Missouri. So he dictated the translation to a friend who was going to publish the translation. He took the pages home to his wife who said, WTF? Well if he's for real then he'll be able to duplicate these. So the guy went back to Joseph Smith and said he lost them and he needed to translate those again. Joseph said God was angry and wouldn't let him use those gold tablets again, but another set with the same general story but not exactly the same.

And that's it. But thankfully the Mormons realized that was a little strange and now teach that kindness and caring for others is how you're supposed to live. And 2 years of missionary service. And most "good Mormons" I've met have been very nice people.

But the episode ends with the Mormon boy telling Stan that he just wanted to be his friend, but Stan couldn't look past his religion. And then tells Stan to suck his balls. Great TV.

I also went over to the conference that is going on right now. It's all about thermoelectrics but another faculty member that we work with alot is in charge of it. But they have "morning break" from 7:30 to 8:30 before the talks start, so I figured I would swing by and get some "breakfast". I wasn't expecting Shoney's buffet or anything, but this was sad. Apples, oranges, pears and bananas. Some scone type things that were more like muffins and burned on the bottom. Several breakfast cakes I guess. The one I had was okay. And coffe, tea, water, V-8 (hella nasty), cranberry juice and ruby red grapefruit, of which I snagged two for lunch today, which is hot dogs if you were wondering. And blueberry fruit on the bottom yogurt.

And before I go, condolensces to Karl Mueller's family. He was the bassist for Soul Asylum and died at the age of 41 of throat cancer.
Soul Asylum bassist, Karl Mueller passed on
Anyone who doesn't know Soul Asylum, their big hit was "Runaway Train" aka one of the most overplayed songs of the early-mid 90's. But that isn't their fault. Stupid radio.

Monday, June 20, 2005


Sales or racing?

Not much happened Friday. We had our softball thing and finally enough people showed up so that we could play softball, then some people left and we played kickball. But I think if we had beer, more people would show up. But at least we'd have beer to drink if they didn't.

Good exercise and running around. Then we left our house at midnight to go pick up a friend in Anderson to get to the REI store down in ATL. Mall of Georgia REI for GA folks. It was their scratch and dent sale when they sell any returned or damaged items for really cheap. Picked up some $120 climbing shoes for $33 and a little camping stool for $7. Joan got a windstopper jacket for $74 which was 55% off. But she's needed a good jacket and now she can stop stealing mine.

So yes, we slept on the concrete in front of the store from 1:30 till 10 when the store opened. I think J was expecting a concert ticket line atomosphere and all she got were sleepy pseudo-hippies who were reading. Everyone was either sleeping, reading, or quietly talking. Or playing frisbee. Not at all like Princess of POWER's camping out for Clay Aiken's book signing. We also weren't outside in Chicago in freakin March (or whenever that was). It did get a little chilly and J put her jacket on me for covers but that wasn't working so we decided to share my fleece sleeping bag that I was using for a pillow and put her sleeping bag, which was her blanket, and we were much more comfortable. We can snuggle anywhere apparently. But 9 am rolled around, we were 24-26 and when we were leaving the sale area (behind the store, just roped off but the police were there keeping an eye out) they were letting in number 240. I made a bee-line (B-line?) to the climbing shoe table, found some 10s, tried them on, snug and perfect for climbing, barely used, kept looking around, tents went fast, so did sleeping pads, sleeping bags, they had 2 kayaks and one canoe and I think they all went in about 20 minutes. Lots of clothes, but their clothes are still pretty expensive. TONS of shoes. They had so many hiking boots and shoes, it was crazy. They also had some GPS units but they were still $250 or so and you can't return them, so no dice on those.

It was fun, and definitely worth getting there stupid early. I went back to the climbing shoes table about 6 minutes after I found my shoes and it was empty. Completely empty. Damn. So that's why I slept on concrete.

Got back, wanted to swing by the autocross I was missing but I needed a nap. I got maybe 4 hours of sleep and we still had a wedding to go to. So got back, showered, J left to get her hair done (gorgeous) then she came back, woke me up, and we both got ready to leave. Got directions off Mapquest since there weren't any in the invite, which J found weird. Really easy and they actually gave us the most direct root, shocking. So we left and I got to see a '05 WRX STI on the way there. It really is amazing what 300 HP can do. He was already past 2 cars when I was only halfway past the first one. Damn. I gotta get one of those but without the box kite spoiler. I want as least attention as possible on the road. And then got to one of my favorite on ramps in SC. It's a 270 degrees sweeper and you can take it pretty quickly in 3rd gear. Awesome. But I got behind this Neon SRT-4 who had tinted windows and some stickers on his car. I saw one was Tein, so I hoped maybe that he would take the turn fast. Nope, all 200 turbocharged hp went to waste on that turn. I think he just had springs, but what the hell do I know. But he saw that I was on his ass, so he finally put those ponies to work and obviously pulled away once the road straightened out. But I had him in that turn.

So we make it to the wedding about 10 min. early. Outdoor wedding in front of the country club clubhouse. Nice cool breeze, the slowly fading sun, couldn't hear very well but it was a lovely ceremony. And wicked fast. Grandparents to Bach. Groom. Bride. Amazing Grace (all music played by harp, very cool). Vows. Rings. Kiss. Introduction of the new couple. Grandparents. Bam! Then hor'de ouvres (eh, hor'doeuvres, I was close) wine, Bud light bleh, but the Woodbridge merlot was drinkable so stuck with that until we made it upstairs for dinner. Very good food, dinner and otherwise. Lovely evening, danced some, got some good pictures. But still not sure if J and I want to do the wedding thing or just elope in Nov. or Dec. to the French Alps. I'm leaning Alps. J is wishy-washy but says that if I catch her on the right day, that she is down for eloping. Who knows. Maybe we'll just stay engaged forever. Then I don't get a ring. Crap.

Friday, June 17, 2005



Our grad student org is planning a softball game today and I should've driven to the rec center to pick up the bases. Oops, but at least the sun was behind the clouds for the walk back with those stupid things.

I really need something to take notes on in the morning. I had a few ideas for posts but now they're completely gone.

I bought a shirt and tie for the wedding that we're going to on Saturday. It's a deep red shirt and Joan selected a black tie with watermelons on it, and it matches fairly well, for the wedding, and I got a weird squiggle tie that matches the shirt and my charcoal pants pretty well. I think I could get into wearing hideous ties if I ever had to wear ties on a regular basis. There was one that was amazing and made me wish for a camera phone. It was bright green with swirls that were outlined in like a gold thread. So hideously gorgeous. This also goes along the same lines as my "hideous sweater" collection. It's fun to wear something just to make people angry and think that I have no fashion sense. Which is somewhat true but I just can't afford to wear my Ferragamo shoes everyday with my Hugo Boss suits, as much as I'd like to.

Joan is taking her last test to become a teacher today, well become a teacher after a semester of classes and another of student teaching. So good luck Joan!

I know I haven't been visiting your blogs recently, I've been busy and now some of our equipment is down so it's not the greatest week for me, but I'll see what I can do this afternoon or this evening.

Update: Some linkys
Why pet monkeys aren't a good idea
Crap. I knew my pet monkey and me could never be happy. Maybe if I moved to the forest and I was his pet? I think the testimonials are where the good stuff is at. Oh shit, they have pictures.

That's fucked up. Bad monkey!

What was the #1 song when you were born?
Mine were My Sharona by the Knack, cool. That's the US.
And Cliff Richard - We Don't Talk Anymore. UK. um never heard of him. But apparently he's been knighted, so kudos to Sir Richard.

Hi! I'm Sir Cliff Richard.

Thursday, June 16, 2005



I know I didn't post yesterday, so just pretend yesterday was a weekend. Hope you enjoyed it.

Just spent the last hour mopping up a flood in our lab. No we did not cause it. This flood has been ocurring whenever the lab next to us runs their condenser overnight. Basically it's fancy glass tubing that filled with running water that cools the vapor coming off of your sample in a hot water bath. Like distilling your favorite boozy refreshment. But less fun and probably more deadly and definitely tastes worse.

But it has been going on for about 2 1/2 years now. Seriously. We keep calling maintanence, they come over, look at some pipes, see nothing is wet and then leave. Yeah, today is number 5 or 6 that they were called over, but the flood was much worse today and luckily the head secretary was up here running around so she saw the flood too, so now we have witnesses (like we have some lab vendetta against our nieghbors).

But a groupmate physically went next door to help the maintanence guys look in the lab next to ours. Lo and behold that is a pipe that has come loose from its fitting and is basically draining into the floor. But it's fixed now and I hopefully won't have to waste any more time practicing my custodial engineering.

I have jock itch. Don't know how I got it. Joan suspects the humidity of the South combined with the heat combined with my tendency to sweat and that is a perfect formula for crotch fungus. Ew. But I got some Lamisil and it should be cleared up in 4-5 days. This is the second time I have had jock itch. The first was in high school and was playing soccer alot. And I had sex with a mushroom.

But I did get to have a funny encounter with the pharmacist and his pharm tech. I couldn't find the crotch cream section in Bi-Lo so I went to go ask the pharmacist if he knew where it was or could recommend something. So I go up to the window and see that the person standing there is not the pharmacist. It's Betty the Pharmacy Technician. I say, what would you suggest for an OTC remedy for jock itch? She gets a deer in headlight look and turns to the professional. He is very helpful, and a little bored I think.

So stick in there Betty and one day you'll be able to help people with their jocks.

Edit:I'm sure some of you know that Congress is now voting on how it feels about medical marijuana after the Supreme Court voted against it last week, which was the right move. According to the laws on the books, federal law always trumps state law. But HR 2087 is now before Congress and it's looking to secure state's rights to medical marijuana and reschedule it from Schedule 1 to a Schedule 2 drug. Right now it's a 1 because it has "no medical use" which is complete nonsense. But here is what I wrote to my Senators and Representatives:

edited to prevent searches

but you can email me if you really want to know what I wrote.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005


Paranoia Attack

That title is dedicated to Evil Sid, up in Carrboro, NC who is without internet access and cannot post regularly. It's the title of a song on a burned CD that she sent me, which I believe is the only CD that was traded in the Great Blogland CD Club.

Well Wacko Jacko is not guilty on all charges. Every last one. Sorry to the kid's mom. No soup for you. Sorry to the kid who was manipulated by his mom and was probably a little greedy himself for agreeing, "You could get an Xbox! Or an Xbox 360 next year! and a PS3!" But most importantly, I'm sorry for all the California taxpayers who have to pay for yet another high profile trial.

And it finally happened, Wal-Mart to stop selling VHS. It was inevitable. So to everyone hoarding VHS tapes and buying them all up, because they are now collector's items, good luck and just ignore those LaserDisc hoarders saying "It isn't worth it, no one wants this shit." Someone is going to want it, and they're gonna set you up for life. I still have my baseball cards. Retirement fund yo.

Never mind. Wal-Mart still selling VHS
Sorry, got caught up in the hype.

I read an interesting article in Playboy this morning. It's about the herb trade in Canada, or more accurately growing it in Canada and then shipping it to the States. Very interesting. It actually said that they're shipping it to Hawaii because it is so much cheaper than growing it there. And roughly 50,000 Canadians grow and most still hold other jobs. And they're not in the mafia or gangs. But the thing I found most interesting is that the US market for the sticky has never been satisfied. There are always people who will buy more. So apparently it's all demand down here. But what got me the most were the prices they were quoting. It really is crazy cheap and it is very high quality. I won't go into it because it makes me feel like a sucker, but if you're interested in it because you want to know more, or you saw the article in Forbes magazine about the herb trade, I suggest going to pickup a copy of this month's Playboy.

Here are a few Forbes article about the scourge of society.
Vancouver growers
Few factoids from Forbes
The nutrient company supplying the growers with fertilizer, and how they have tons of money

Monday, June 13, 2005


Old Man River

For the first part of the Nantahala River saga: Here is what you seek

So after lunch and the nasty beer, Bud Select, it was back into the river. As we were hopping into our boat, a bunch of kids, roughly 40 or so, in blue boats from another rafting company were floating by. Luckily we were only next to them for a little bit. I believe they were no more than 10th graders, so that puts them right smack dab in the middle of stupid.

Got by those freaks and it was a nice trip the rest of the way. But the best was yet to come. The last rapid of the Nantahala River is a Class III-V rapid with a nice hole or hydraulic at the bottom. And there is a take-out right before it so you can hop outta your boat and go check it out, see what line you're gonna take, or just flake out and walk the rest of the way and tell them to go pick your boat up over there (Pansies).

So our boat stopped and hopped out. There were a bunch of kids, 8-12 yrs. old, kayaking with their dad or guardian and they were snacking on some juicy looking watermelon. But I was impressed that kids that young can safely and successfully paddle a kayak. These days I'm impressed when kids that young go outside and play, but back to the story. They offered us some watermelon as we were leaving, it had fallen on the ground, I'm no sucker. But as we were standing at the overlook, we had the opportunity to see a few other boats take the last rapid.

Now with a raft as big as ours were, larger than a kayak or canoe, it's fairly difficult to get into trouble. So the last rapid is a much more serious endeavor for kayakers, who could actually get sucked into that hole at the bottom. But for the big rafts, it's relatively safe. But there is still some danger associated with it.

The first raft took it gracefully and with no major foul-ups. The next raft however did not. They were all over the place coming into the last rapid and actually got stuck on a rock several meters upstream from the hole. Once they finally unstuck themselves they dove into the rapids. Generally there is a guide that sits on the back of the raft who steers and barks orders. The "guide" on this boat was apparently not prepared for the last drop. As his boat went down, his feet went up in the air and he toppled head over heels out the back of the boat. He did have a life jacket on but no helmet. He popped up downstream and his boat picked him up before the take out. Phew, no body bags on this field trip.

So we went back down to our boat, took the rapid just right, and finished the day on an excellent rapid. Then I tried to be sneaky and keep the boat to the left so that it would be closer to the take-out. Doh. Lots of rocks and we got stuck a few times and finally made it down to the take out which they had lined with rocks to form a nice pocket of tranquil water. Unfortunately, we hit these rocks and spun out into the river. I had the foresight to yell Backwards! and we made it out safely but a real guide with a throw rope was there just in case. Apparently there is a waterfall or some sort of Class VI aka Assured Death rapid just past the take-out so it is imperative that all us newbies get out of the water there.

Then we changed clothes, saw our pictures on the last rapid, just like at [insert local amusement park name here] on the roller coaster or log ride.

Then we stopped at a local BBQ place once we got "into town". Franklin, NC, bustling metropolis, but they did have a large room that could seat 60, so that's were we ate. And the best part, well 2nd best part, was they don't split up checks for parties of 20 or more, so one chaperone got stuck with the bill and another went around to all of us and collected money. I don't even want to know how off we were, but the total bill was around $600. I paid $9 for 6 ribs. Damn tasty but not $1.50/rib tasty.

The best part was that they don't serve alcohol and a Russian faculty member wanted to relax after a hard day, so we went over to Ingles, grocery store, and bought a sixer of Highland Glen Oatmeal Porter, microbrew out of Asheville, NC great beer, and another of Smirnoff Apple for the girls who didn't drink beer. Then we proceeded to crack them open on the bench out front of the BBQ joint. It took about 15 people walking by for someone to finally say "Isn't that illegal?" to which I said "Probably." Then to our group I said, it isn't illegal if there are no cops around, which is the attitude one needs to take when you live on the ragged edge of the law like me. Hahahaha! But I of course was keeping an eye out for the man the entire time we were outside because while it was a strip mall and private property, I sure didn't want to test that flimsy theory, but alas no Franklin PD showed up and we got away with it scott free.

I was feeling a little sleepy on the way home so I made the poor choice of getting a Brand X energy drink. I generally stick with Sugar Free Red Bull

because it has 10 calories and tastes EXACTLY like Sugar Filled Red Bull. But the Ruskie paid for it along with the beer at Ingles, and they didn't have Red Bull, so I bought Sobe's big energy drink. No Fear

Well I'm afraid now. I literally couldn't close my eyes. But I was in no fear of falling asleep so maybe that's the fear they're referring to.

Yeesh, but we made it home safe and sound. And we're planning a trip on the Chattooga River this summer, which is a much more serious river especially when the river is high. But you are all welcome to come. It's about an hour from here, it's near the GA/SC/NC border.

Friday, June 10, 2005


My Garage

This post is dedicated to E-Lo and the fuzzball living inside her. Apparently it's hot up in PA. It's hot here too and that won't change until roughly late October. It was hot until December last year. Global warming and all.

I went rafting on the Nantahala River in North Carolina. It's in the mountains so it was nice and cool all day. That and the water is damn cold, so the hot sun really balanced it all out.

Hey look! That isn't me!

It's a nice easy beginner river in the Nantahala Gorge. There are a couple Class II and the ending rapid is a Class III-V, depending on how high the river is which depends on how high the guy at the dam wants it to be. Wed. I would say it was a III. A few friends of mine are trying to get a rafting trip together to go do the Chatooga which is a much more intensive river from what I hear, so I really hope that comes together.

I didn't decide to go until Wed. morning when I saw a couple of friends of mine (also grad students) were going. So they talked me into it and said that I would drive so the group could go ahead and leave without us. I was fairly certain I could catch up to a Geo Prism, Mercury Grand Marquis, Jeep Cherokee, and 6 15 passenger vans. There were around 60 or so people going. We caught up, followed them for a while, then stopped at Chick-Fil-A for some new chicken minis. Tasty. I had 4 for $2.56. They're basically a small dinner roll with a chicken nugget in it. Yum. Then left and caught up to them again. Then passed them when they pulled over for everyone else to catch up. We had directions so I was confident that 3 grad students could figure out where to go. And the directions were fairly detailed.

But there was a packed dirt road that we were on for a few miles and we passed a suspension bridge that crossed the Little Tennessee River, and since we were ahead of them, we had time to kill. So we got out and went bouncing on the bridge. I forgot how much fun those things were if you can avoid picturing the final scene of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. I don't think April would've enjoyed it. She is a little bridgephobic. So we screwed around and finally they showed up and then we followed them to the Nantahala Outdoor Center where we got set up with the necessary gear(life jacket and paddle) and watched the instructional video. Basically about what to do if you fell out or if someone in your boat fell out. (Float facing downstream on your back with your feet at the surface) Then we all hopped onto the bus which shuttled us upstream to the put-in point. I was a "guide" which meant that I had been before but I got the cushy job of steering the raft and sitting in the back. I did paddle but mostly I was just worried about keeping the boat pointed the right way.

We had 5 in my boat, max of 6 I think, and were off. The raft had holes all along the edge of the floor so your feet were going to get wet. It was chilly but I forgot my flip flops so I wore my socks and shoes, which I think was a better idea. I'm sure my feet would've been very chilly otherwise.

We paddled downstream some. Got stuck on several rocks. Had a water fight with another boat. And then we stopped midway for lunch, provided by us and not the rafting company. Swarm of locusts is an excellent metaphor for what occurred that day. It was just sandwich stuff, Wal-Mart white and wheat bread, honey ham, shaved processed chicken breast, Oscar Mayer smoked turkey, Pimento cheese, cottage cheese(I know, I said WTF too) bags of lettuce, 4 or 5 tomatoes, mayo, mustard, chips, pretzels, apricots, plums, vanilla oreos(I guess that's what they were, oreos are chocolate!), real oreos and some Chips Ahoy.

It was all eaten except for about half a loaf of bread, some lettuce, and 2 cookies. Locusts. And we had drinks too. We even had a six pack of Bud Select which was awful. I don't like many domestic mass market beers and this is one of the many. If I'm gonna drink that crap, the cheaper the better. PBR, Schlitz, or High Life for me.

I'm tired of typing, so this is to be continued.....

I'll pick up the story when we get back in the river, probably on Monday or maybe this weekend. And my Blogday is July 13th. I looked yesterday. I will accept presents but don't expect them.

Update: I also updated my sidebar a little bit. The picture of the woman is a drag racer down in Georgia who found my blog when I put up that post about Danica Patrick, and I added some car links at the bottom. And I added that John is an ex-reality show writer who is expecting in Oct., so a little before Preggy-Lo and Catt. (I think that's right)

Thursday, June 09, 2005



Work is a little crazy. The instrument wasn't able to duplicate a spectra I took last week and I need to figure out why.

Went rafting yesterday and it was great. Several stories. Those up later or tomorrow.

Monday, June 06, 2005



We helped Protege put in his new turbo kit this weekend. It looks like

this and costs around $4200. Pricey but it's going to up his HP from around 115 to around 200, which is nice and who doesn't like the high pitched hiss of a turbo blow off valve. But he doesn't have a limited slip, so I predict he'll be fast in a straight line but he won't be able to get the power down on the autocross course. That's just a theory though. The next autox is June 18th so hopefully he can get it tuned in before then.

I saw a Chevy Beretta on the way to work and it reignited my hatred for those cars. Of course by now there are probably only 35 of them on the road but still. It isn't a hatred of the car per se, but some toolbag I knew in high school drove one and that put me off them for ever. Actually a friend of mine made the same comment, and I said I shared his sentiment, but only because of negative association. He agreed.

And of course everyone knows my contempt for the horrid Pontiac Aztek. And I don't care if you own one. Burn it, get the insurance money and go buy a real car. And NOT another Pontiac. Unless it's the new Solstice but you should buy the Saturn Sky which is the same car but made by the friendly folks at Saturn.
Saturn Sky

Pontiac Solstice

Now to address some comments made the other day. Smoove I know we're in the Bible Belt but on game days, it looks like Family Day at Mardi Gras. Everyone is drinking, tons of food, dogs, kids. And I mean drinking. Especially for the afternoon/night games cuz people can show up at 10 am and then drink for a good 6 hours before the game starts. But that dude hasn't gotten back to me yet. So I might have to give him a call and see what's going on. But we're doing it with or without beer, but obviously I would prefer beer.

And welcome back to Portlandia, I presume the semester is over or near over, and you had some free time. Thanks for stopping by again.

Friday, June 03, 2005



which is a melodic tone won eighth-grader Anurag Kashyap of California the 78th Annual Spelling Bee. You want me to spell what?
And saw this in the article:
It was in the fourth round Wednesday that Dominic Errazo got a word he could relate to, "emetic," which means inducing one to vomit.

"It sounds like the nervousness I get up here," said the seventh-grader from Goose Creek, South Carolina. He spelled it correctly.

So there is hope for this state after all.

And be careful in Aruba. Teen disappears during senior trip to Aruba Natalee Holloway disappeared in Aruba. She was last seen being dropped off at her hotel by 3 local men and didn't show up for her return flight the next day. She is a senior at Mountain Brook High School, Courtney Cox's alma mater. Good luck Natalee. Hope you're okay.

The boss isn't here today. He went up to April's neck of the woods in RI to visit his pops. I think it's a friendly visit, not a sad visit.

But we're still all here working hard because if we never worked when he wasn't around, we would work about 8-10 hours/week. He's a busy man.

I'm trying to organize a softball game for the department next week. We procured an on-campus field for the event but for some reason, we can't have beer. The field is next to the stadium that is covered with drunken people every Saturday in the fall, but Friday afternoon is "dry". I'm going to try and get to the bottom of this. The average age person attending this even has got to be near 27 or 28, so I hope they're not worried about underage drinking. But it should be a good time, booze or no, but hopefully we get this misunderstanding taken care of.


I had no idea Joan took this picture. Posted by Hello


Sleepy time. Posted by Hello

Thursday, June 02, 2005



I'm sure you've all seen the stories recently.

9 yr. old girl stabbing her 11 yr. old friend in NY over a ball.

18 and 14 yr old boys beating a homeless man to death and returning to poke and beat the body 3 other times, all "for fun". Volusia County, Florida.

The Ohio kid who killed his grandparents and friends the week of his graduation then killed himself.

Tampa, FL. A 7 yr. old boy beat his 7 month old half-sister to death with his feet, fists and a 2x4 because she was getting too much attention.

So fucked up. Put their parents in jail too. We don't need these genes in society.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005


Ooooh, I like that

Smoove's idea about adding 2 more chambers to Congress for "extra beauracracy". Then we could continually draw comparisons between the Senate, House, Hooters and Sharks (the 4 branches of Congress, best I could come up with in 4 seconds) and the human heart.

Congresses 4 chambers the "heart" of the nation. Okay maybe not, but I do like the idea of naming 2 other checks and balances as part of Congress.

Yes the stupid people would still elect a bad tyrant and that's why there are coups. That or a massive brainwashing campaign, but that would be too similar to current election commercials that people wouldn't notice.

We don't want to be President, that Trash's job. We just want a cushy appointment and a peon to wake us up for meetings.

You missed our group dinner we had last night. The Chinese chick in our group and her husband made authentic cuisine. Delicious. Pot sticker/dumplings from scratch, chicken and chinese mushrooms, julienned potatoes with jalapenos, fish, pork chops, lots of noodles, fried rice, the works. It was delicious. 11 people showed up and there is still enough for left-overs today, left-overs to feed at least 4, maybe 5. Such nice people. And excellent chefs. And all the recipes are incredibly easy, but oh so good.

Happy June!

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