Thursday, March 30, 2006


Oh Homey

Better you hear it from me now than from your parents when you're old enough.

-Homer J. Simpson

That was from the Playdude episode with special guest James Caan. And yes Homer did tell Bart about the birds and the bees and he then told most of the other kids in the neighborhood.

Which got me thinking about when I received "The Talk". My brother and I got it at the same time from our dad. I remember it fairly vividly. We were in Costa Rica in our room with our bunkbed. Dad came in and said he wanted to talk. Okay, we said. Little did we know what was in store. It was hardcore. Menstruation, sperm, ovaries, gestation period, the whole nine yards. I was 9 or 10 and my brother was 17 months younger than me, so 8 or 9. There were even sketches involved. Mostly stick figures with stick ovaries and stick fallopian tubes, but we got the picture. I think what started it was we were walking home one day and saw a couple dogs humping in the lot down the street. My brother asked what they were doing because one of the dogs was howling and so my brother thought that the dog was hurting the other dog.

We lived in Costa Rica for a year. It was great. It was also the first time we had a maid. She made the best arroz con pollo I've ever tasted, that's rice with chicken if you don't speaka de spanish. Also the first time I drank coffee. We were at a church service one Sunday night and afterwards they had a little dinner for everyone. And they had coffee. No milk but ass tons of sugar. So I loaded it up, not knowing what the hell I was doing, and it tasted great! Super sweet mixed with the smooth Costa Rican coffee was the perfect way to be introduced into the sordid world of the coffee bean and caffeine.

Taking the train to Puntarenas, hiking to the top of the mountain overlooking San Jose, my dad getting his wallet swiped getting on the bus to go home, hearing him say god dammit for the first time (I think only time, but I'm not 100%), lots of great memories from Costa Rica. I plan to go back. It'll have probably changed a bit since I was there in 1990, but that's okay. I've changed a bit too.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006


Philo Dough

I occasionally get zits in weird places. Back, inner thigh, scrotum, etc... But I got one on my knee last week. It was weird but nothing super out of the ordinary. Except for the fact that I had just read an article about some sort of disease that starts out with zit like things that turn into boils. So I was about 60% freaked that I had this horrid disease. So I started watching for any extra zits that started popping up and thankfully it was just a rogue zit. Disaster averted.

I was reading someone's blog who is currently hiding and she had an incident where she needed the Morning After pill, or Plan B, or emergency contraceptive, and she needed it ASAP. There is a very small window of how long this medicine works, and even then it's only 80% effective. So she called up her normal doctor and got the run around. No understanding, no acknowledgement of her concern, she just got a lecture about using condoms and she should come in for a check-up. If it weren't for some unseen force controlling the FDA, this important medicine would be available as over the counter medicine. So this stuff is in the same category as Sudafed and Depends, available pretty much everywhere, and just as safe if you READ THE DIRECTIONS.

But luckily the internet came to the rescue and had several places that prescribed Plan B without a prescription, so she got it and was able to use it properly and use it how the drug was designed to be used: to decrease unwanted pregnancy.

And she is now going to a different doctor who hopefully will listen to their patients and actually care about their lives instead of giving them useless speeches.

But instances like this happen everyday. And not just from doctors. Pharmacists are also able to deny medicine based on "moral ground". Doctors do take the Hippocratic Oath to help and cure everyone, except for this lady. Pharmacists have no such creed. Hopefully they do care about their patients. But if these people wanted to force their morals on others, then they should have picked a job where people expect that. Politician, clergy, news anchor, disc jockey, etc... These people regularly wax poetic about their morals and beliefs and people are okay with that because if you don't like it, you can change the channel or vote for someone else. But doctors are supposed to treat everyone equally and to the best of their ability.

So let's take this discussion into the future a tad. We have now perfected cloning and growing human tissue. But Dr. Jones (Sorry Indiana) doesn't agree with cloning or growing new organs for transplant. So he doesn't help me out when my arm is torn off in a freak putt-putt accident. All he would have to do is order the nano-bots to whip me up an identical arm and then pop it into place, but he doesn't believe in it. So instead I either take my business and my stump elsewhere, or learn to live with a prosthetic arm or no arm at all. Why Dr. Jones? Why did you deny my treatment and a normal life?

I really don't understand how this is okay. I thought that's why we do medical research and pharmaceutical research, to make our lives better. It is not the job of the doctors to decide what research is "good" and what research is "bad". That's the job of philosophers and ethicists.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006


Personal reminder/preview

Just a personal memo or an open letter to myself for tomorrow's posts.

Weird zit thing on my knee that I thought was bird flu or a spider bite or a flesh-eating bacteria.

Doctors/pharmacists who don't do their job and why doctors/lawyers/patients/health insurance/hospital administrators/pharmaceutical companies have destroyed our national health care and made it ungodly expensive.

Monday, March 27, 2006


It tolls for thee

My pre-oral is 3 weeks from tomorrow. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! But it's okay. I just need to use my time efficiently in the next 3 weeks because there are also 2 autocrosses and 1 day of golf planned within that time as well. Along with a few 8 am classes and teaching a few labs. Don't think I'm gonna be able to get a poster ready for a materials science poster thing that is on April 6th. But for that I only have to have an abstract done by Friday and then a poster done by the 6th, so it's possible, just need to see how my talk is going.

So that's where I'm at right now professionally.

Personally I need to be more active. J and I accomplished alot this weekend, cleaning, decorating, etc. but we both need to be more physically active. We have weddings to attend and summer is rapidly approaching despite the recent cold fronts, so we need to be ready for all that entails.

In February, I predicted another week of cold weather that would swing through before summer started. Easy prediction. But I also said that we would get our one snow of the year soon also. ATL got theirs but for some reason we didn't get any here, and it was just Clemson. Lots of other SC areas got snow. So we might have missed it, but as a child in Alabama in the early 80's, I remember a certain day that we missed on account of the inch or so of snow on the ground. This was in April which is usually associated with April Showers and warmer temperatures and not snow flurries. But this was before "weather" was a goto conversation topic, so all I cared about was not having to go to school and walking over to the church's baseball field and making snowmen, having snowball fights and having a wonderful time with my dad and brother.

Bring on the snow!

Sunday, March 26, 2006


Englebert Humperdink

Added a few links and moved some around. I think WaiterRant is the only new link. There might be another one.

I also added a search feature at the bottom. Please feel free to search me up and down.

I've been thinking about adding links to some of my favorite posts, but that would mean that I would have to read all of my archives, which I should do, and I just don't have time for that right now.

J and I are in the library. I'm finishing this up so we can go run some errands and she is looking at I'm not hyperlinking it because I do not want to be responsible for some poor woman spending all her money on shoes.

See you tomorrow for a real post. Maybe.

Thursday, March 23, 2006


If pigs could fly

Haven't posted much this week. I've been battling an illness that I think J brought home from school. Some minor aches and sniffles and hopefully it doesn't get worse. This is a great week to get work done. I don't have to attend classes or teach labs, which really just get in the way of quality research time. At least in class I learn something. Lab is about a 98% waste of my time.

So the hoods (the big box things that suck out all the noxious chemical fumes) are going down today at 4 pm. And they're turning off the power tomorrow at 7 am. So we're having to turn off all our reaction furnaces. But we kind of get a day off. However I will be going out to the research park and using their fluorometer since their power isn't going off until Friday.

J and I were planning on going camping this weekend, but since we're both a little sick, we probably won't. But we're still going to go hiking. Just no sleeping outside or cooking over a campfire.

My pre-oral is tentatively scheduled for April 18th at 1 pm. This is one of 3 or 4 major things that I have to do until people can officially address me as Dr. It's a pre-oral, final seminar, dissertation defense, and of course actually writing my dissertation. But once the writing starts, all research stops and all my time is devoted to writing. A previous student devoted about 4 hours/day to writing her dissertation and it was done in 2 months? I think that's right. So it's a huge job, but if you take it one page at a time, it should work out okay.

J was talking to her mom the other day and they were discussing what TV shows they watch. Basically none were the same. She watches ER, 24, Americal Idol, House, and some other stuff. Notice the medical dramas. J and I, on the other hand, watch a medical comedy that occasionally gets dramatic, Scrubs. We also watch the Office, My Name is Earl, and that's about it for primetime major network shows. We're super addicted to most of MTV's reality shows. The Gauntlet (can't wait for that season finale), Real World (constant drama and lots of skin), 8th & Ocean (models being models) and the occasional Made and True Life.

8th & Ocean is highly entertaining, but you have to understand models to like the show. Their careers are based, oh, 99.8% on their appearance. Maybe it's more like 97% because personality and attitude do play a factor but if you don't have the look, you ain't gonna make it. So when Sabrina, Kelly's twin, had an acne attack, that is a very serious thing. Her agency told her not to go to casting calls. She went anyway and made her agency look bad. So when the agency called her and told her point blank that her face exploded and she shouldn't go to any more castings until it cleared up, she broke down crying. Um, does she not get what modeling is about? They don't have "personality" cameras or "inner beauty" film, so your face what is solely important. I understand models place in this world and that's why I like this show so much. That and I have always secretly wanted to be fully immersed in the fashion industry, jet-setting off to Milan and Paris and back to NYC for Fashion Week. I suppose I still could, but I would have to be creative in using my chemistry PhD for the fashion industry.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006


Happy Spring Break!

So this week is Clemson's spring break, but being an indentured grad student, I stay here and do research. BUT they're turning off the power on Thursday at 4 pm, so all our work is going to stop. We can't do anything without power. I guess we could read but only if we already had the book or article. So I think J and I are going to go camping by the Chatooga river.

J competed in her first autocross on Sunday. She took a few laps during the last autocross and wanted to try actually entering. She did extremely well! Her best time was a 36.085 and my best was 32.434 and for her first autocross, that is outstanding. And she even got a trophy for her time. I received one too, however they are a tad hollow because we were the only people in our respective classes. I was in FSP (F class street prepared) and she was in FSPL (L for ladies). And for the feminists in the crowd, I too think it is sexist for the SCCA (Sports Car Club of America) to have seperate classes for the sexes, but it's a good way for women to ease their way into competition. Most women who have been racing for 1+ years don't bother with the L division and just race in the regular classes.

So resuls can be found here
and I'll recap some notables.

The 2005 Lotus Elise in gorgeous yellow came in with a 34.617. Colin Chapman is rolling over in his grave. This car should've been into the 31s at the very least. And the guy who owned it had such a hard time getting in and out that he just sat in it while waiting for his turn to go, which were about 10 minutes in between runs.

I was 40th out of 160 in raw time. J was 110 out of 160 in raw time.
I jumped up to 34 out of 160 in PAX times (SCCA's way of making all the classes "even" but I feel it's stupid.)
And J stays at 110 out of 160 in PAX.

I could've gone faster. The Focus is getting more sorted out, despite the growing noises, and I think the only next thing I need to do is get some camber plates for the front of the car. I'm tearing up the edges of my street tires very quickly so I think I can afford a bit more negative camber up front.

Friday, March 17, 2006


Happy St. Patrick's Day!

You'll never get me lucky charms! Ah-cha-cha-cha-cha!

Enough with the fake Irish accent. I'm going to have to remind my self to
A) Not drink too much tonight
B) Don't talk in an Irish accent

I have things to do tomorrow and can't afford an all day hangover. And the Irish accent is just annoying.

I have 2 green shirts. One is from Old "Child Labor" Navy that is green, says "Ireland" and has a shamrock on it. The other is one that J bought for me a while back and is a green polo with stripes across the chest.

Since St. Paddy's is a more relaxed holiday than most (has something to do with green beer and leprechauns) so I decided to wear the polo to work and save my Ireland shirt for tonight.

A group of us are going to Greenville (Ruthie, you're more than welcome to join us, in fact I insist) because they rope off a section of road in between Connelly's (Irish pub) and some other restaurant across the street. And who doesn't love drinking outside? And to everyone who is still wearing coats and shoveling snow, the high today is in the low 70's so I'll enjoy a Guinness under the stars for you.

And some radio station (they all suck and play the same music) is having a Pub Crawl where you stumble from bar to bar enjoying drink specials, so we might get caught up in that. But what's more important than the boozing? The spirit, the well-being and well-wishing of your fellow man. I enjoy holidays like this because everyone has a drug induced positive outlook on life.

J read my post yesterday and still didn't help me find my deodorant. True I didn't ask her, but nevertheless, I had to burn some time this morning looking for it. I found it but I can't find the other stick that I bought during the ski trip because I forgot mine at home. Maybe the cats hid it.

Out of the 16 games yesterday in the NCAA tournament, I got 12 right, so I'm impressed because I know extremely little about college basketball. But I do enjoy getting caught up in March Madness. It's fun trying different theories for who's going to win games. I heard once that a guy's girlfriend picked by which mascot would win in a fight and did very well, so maybe it's better not knowing anything about men's college basketball.

One personal note, I went to undergrad at here and they are in the Ohio Valley Conference (don't know why, it's in Birmingham) and they were the No. 2 seed in the OVC championship. They lost to Murray State who is scheduled to play the UNC Tar Heels (Evil One Sid's FAVORITE team IN THE WHOLE WORLD!). It hurt knowing how close we were to getting our name into brackets around the country again. We've gone to the Tourney twice before, once we lost to Syracuse and once we lost to St. John's. We could've added a loss to UNC to that list. Maybe next year. And yes many "Uh, someone misspelled Stanford" jokes abounded.

J doesn't want to go out tonight. She says she's tired, but if enough people send her good-night-out vibes, I think we can convince her to join us.

Thursday, March 16, 2006


All Paddy's Eve

Tomorrow is St. Patrick's Day. You should have known this, but if you didn't, I'm letting you know. And be sure and wear something green. If not, assholes everywhere have a free pass to pinch and generally mock you relentlessly.

Our PreVet neighbor said it looked like Tiger was HBC, or hit by a car. It's sad that it happened and that pets get hit so often that it has its own acronym. Tiger wasn't especially afriad of cars and occasionally on a warm sunny day he would be laying in the middle of the parking lot sunning himself, so I would have to drive around him because he wouldn't move. So some ass hit Tiger, and he stumbled over to in front of our car and ceased to be. He was gone by the time we got home and so far we don't know what happend to Tiger's vessel.

But some other neighbors either found or had kittens, and one is an orange striped version and Tiger's owner said she might be interested. (cue Elton John's "Circle of Life")

I don't have any deodorant on right now. Either J or the cats did something with my 2 sticks of deodorant by the sink and I didn't have time to really do a "hard target search" (if you get that movie quote, you seriously have my respect). So I'm stinky. But knowing that I occasionally forget to brush my teeth or forget deodorant (if I'm really in a hurry) I have a secret stash of personal hygiene products in my desk. A sample of Axe deodorant, an old toothbrush and some toothpaste. That's all guys really need. Some might have cologne or body spray but those are too strong in my taste. I'll occasionally use cologne but resist the urge to take a cologne shower, because those people stink.

I smell pretty good most of the time. I don't smell like anything, maybe soap, but I do smell clean. Currently my fingers smell like the grapefruit I had for lunch.

And J, the meat loaf we made yesterday was pretty good. Excellent work without a recipe! I had the meat loaf in sandwich form for lunch, for any inquiring minds.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


RIP Tiger

I installed a larger rear sway bar on my car last night. Went from 19 mm to 22 mm, so that should help with some of the understeer and help me fending off those pesky Hondas. The back feels much more solid and I haven't really tested it yet, but it feels pretty good.

But as we were working on it, one of the apartment cats was hanging around, Tiger. He is an orange cat much like our orange cat Julio, and he's lived here for at least 1.5 years. He's very friendly and likes to be pet(ted). This morning as J was leaving for school, she comes back in and says that Tiger is dead. WTF? So I throw on some pants and my sandals and go outside to take a look. He's laying in front of Tercel with a small pool of blood in front of his face and blood on his nose. Fuck. Poor Tiger and Anna, his owner. But he really was an apartment cat. Anna works crazy hours so some of our other neighbors also fed him. He would even come into people's apartments, hang out for a few minutes and then leave.

So before I left this morning, I went to our other neighbor, the PreVet major. She's grown up on a farm and regularly has all sorts of animals recovering at her house. So I see her mom taking out the trash and ask if PV is still here. She is but she's in the shower so I give the story to PV's mom and head off to school. I'm not sure if she knows anything about animal pathology, but figure she's our best shot to figure out what happened to dear old Tiger.

Julio and Leon were friends with Tiger. He would always follow them around while we were walking them. No fights, some posturing and light bats, but nothing fierce, just testing the waters.

There is a new cat in the 'hood. Our new upstairs neighbor has a black cat with white patches. Crazy told me that his name was Mr. Whiskers and that he's a bully. So I have no idea if that has anything to do with Tiger's untimely passing, but it's a possibility.

Monday, March 13, 2006


Reaction Prep Monday

That's today's title. And also what I'm doing.

Did everyone see that the Sex Pistols whose lead singer is Johnny Rotten aka John Lydon, are being inducted to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame? But since they're the Sex Pistols, they don't care and turned down the nomination.

Also Slobodan Milosevic had a heart attack and died. And already a conspiracy is brewing. He was on trial at the Hague for war crimes that ocurred during the 3rd Balkan War in the 90's. They found a leprosy/tuberculosis medicine that counteracted his high blood pressure medicine. They claim it was self-prescribed so that he could return to Russia for medical attention. If so, his plan backfired horribly and I think is possibly a very famous Darwin award recipient. If not, then he was murdered by a powerful entity who will most definitely not get caught because they are above the law.

I finally got to watch a world-renowned race series this weekend. The Bahrain Grand Prix of the Formula One racing series was this weekend. The US no longer gets coverage of the World Rally Championship so I have to get my world racing somewhere else. And before you ask, no one else in the world gives a shit about NASCAR. We are not a part of any world-renowned race series. Except for Scott Speed who races for the Italian Red Bull team.

It was a great race and the new qualifying system is very exciting and actually worth watching. You missed it? Don't worry. The Kuala Lampur Grand Prix is this weekend.

And I watched the Sopranos last night. I haven't watched the show from the beginning, so I feel that I can be a little more impartial than others. But I was not impressed. It had some good parts, especially crazy Alzheimery Uncle Junior shooting Tony in the gut, and that guy hanging himself, but it wasn't all good. Maybe I want too much. Maybe I should be happy with what is shown? Who cares. It's the last season so we won't have much longer to worry about it. But I'll keep watching. HBO has some of the best shows on TV and they can show boobs and say shit and fuck. Not too many penises though. I can't recall any. Not in their Sun. night shows at least. They've shown a few on Real Sex. But I think I'm one of the few straight males who finds beauty in the penis, so most of you won't care that there aren't any penises on TV today.

Guess that's it. See you tomorrow.

Friday, March 10, 2006


It's on!

First a few housekeeping notes:
I added a link to Witness, a non-profit organization started by Peter Gabriel among others in 1992. They provide video cameras to impoverished people being ravaged by human rights violations. They generally don't catch the act itself but cover the aftermath of the atrocities. Their thinking is it's easier to convince the rest of the world that these places need help if they are able to show video evidence.

I also added a link to Waiter Rant. Sloth pointed him out and I think he has now made it up to SuperBlog. And he even has a store where you can buy clothes and other items. This is a really great post I found the other day dealing with abortion. Please everyone read it, no matter what stance you take on abortion.

One other thing. See that word that precedes in the url up there? That is my username for lots of stuff. I made it up as a possible senior class name. It doesn't mean anything, just thought it sounded cool. But I didn't really share it with anyone as a possibility for a class name (we went with Euphoria) so I kept it as my internet persona. BUT I did a google search of it the other day and guess what I found? I'm the first entry and my dad's is the 2nd entry! He stole my name! My posts are published under my real name and his are published under "his" username. So what this really means is that it's only a matter of time before this blog gets discovered by my folks. Which isn't a bad thing, but there are some things on here that they don't know about. But I still plan on never censoring myself no matter who reads this.

Now for the post you've all been waiting for, the answer to the Princess of Power's question
What does ricey mean in the context of a vehicle??

And here is your answer.

Here is wikipedia's definition, but basically it started in the early 80's with the advent of the Honda Civic. American car enthusiasts claimed these cars ran on rice alcohol hence the term "Rice Burner", "Ricer", etc... But it essentially involves adding items to your car commonly found on race cars and supercars but that in actuality do nothing for the performance of the car. "All show, no go" is a common phrase that is heard with this crowd. The adding of huge rear wings or spoilers, changing taillights from stock to something different, usually ugly, changing the wheels or rims of the car, generally to extremely heavy chrome or going to a much larger diameter wheel. Honda Civics came with 13, 14 and 15 inch wheels. You can buy wheels that are much larger, 18, 19 and 20 inches are, unfortunately, commonly seen.

Ricers are also not confined to only cars of Japanese decent. VWs, BMWs, Ford Focus, Pontiac Sunfires, Cavaliers, and many other car manufacturers products are subjected to the rice phenomenon.

And now for specific examples.
The Mitsubishi Eclipse is a commonly riced out car. Here is perfect example of the oversized wing or spoiler. Also notice the changed rear lights and the different wheels.

Ouch. And here is another example of the hideous spoiler and also please notice the very different wheels. That poor Focus. Also notice the sticker on the gas tank cover. Stickers are very important to the ricer world. Why spend tens of dollars on an annoying loud muffler if no one knows what brand it is? So they plaster stickers to provide free advertising to the companies that pander to these types of people.

Here we have another common phenomena. Adding different body pieces, or kits, to the car of your choice, and then driving around without painting them. Oh sure, it'll get painted some day, but I gotta save up a little more money. I don't even like Mustangs and I feel sorry for it.

Another example of a body kit. Note that this one is painted. Also notice the chicken wire type insert behind the kit to simulate a nice fitted grill.

This one pains me. Very common to ricers is a complete lack of funds. Therefore they will put parts onto cars that they already own. Also notice the gigantic tailpipe denoting another loud and annoying exhaust note.

Here is an example of expensive rice. Pink. Pink fuzz lined trunk. Body kit. TV out the rear window. All pricey and all ricey.

Some exhausts do make a car faster. Some wings are necessary for downforce. Body kits also provide downforce. But not on these cars. They are only for show.

How much rice you like depends on the person. I like a little rice. I don't mind some stickers or some crazy colored paintjobs. Some body kits are really nice. I still want a carbon fiber hood. (Carbon fiber is valued by all racers because it is light and very strong. Also expensive, so the ricer companies just put carbon fiber stickers on things for the extra illusion.) I didn't even talk about neon lights under the car (uber-ricey) or extra fog lights.

So keep your eyes open. Ricers are everywhere. And for added enjoyment, next time you're at a stoplight and a sky blue Civic with chrome wheels and a ground scraping body kit rolls up next to you, race him. I guarantee even your minivan will beat him.

Thursday, March 09, 2006


Blood for Cream! Blood for Cream!

From a Homer Simpson daydream. He hugged Twinkie the Kid too hard and all his cream oozed out, so all the other "food superstars" gather around him chanting the above.

As I said before, Thursdays suck. So I probably won't get to that rice post today. But definitely tomorrow.

As another teaser, the majority of the pictures that I show will come from Laugh at

Now one last teaser pic.

The horror! Look what they did to that Escort!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006


Almost there

Not quite enough time for my real post today so here is a picture sampling. This is mostly dedicated to Smoove D since I have only looked for riced out Acura TLs so far. Some rice, some nice. You be the judge.

Chrome wheels!

A little more understated chrome

Sick black wheels with a nice inch or so drop from lowering springs.

Ugh, more chrome.

Black on white scheme with bronze wheels. Not for everyone.

Same as above.

Chrome in Colorado.

Sick sick sick black TL on anthracite Volk wheels.

Me likey.

Nice and clean. Clear turn signals and some less expensive TSW wheels. Not bad.

Ugh, I wish I could buy stock in Chrome.

So that's the long loading teaser for tomorrow. All of these pics were stolen from The Acura TL Community.

Monday, March 06, 2006


Dirty Slopes

I know slope is a derogatory term for some group of people but I can't remember who, so to those, I'm sorry for the racist double entendre.

We went skiing this weekend at Sugar Mountain in Banner Elk, North Carolina this weekend. It was wonderful. We had 21 people go with us and we stayed here and here.

Nice places and across the street and up a small hill to the slopes. I've snowboarded twice so I decided to try skiing. I'm definitely a convert. I've never been good at skateboarding or surfing and I don't think I have to right balance for those sports, so I opted for skiing.

The only lesson I've ever had was the South Park episode that made fun of all the juvenile skiing movies where there are the popular rich kids and the unpopular cool kids and they race, etc... But I gleamed "french fry" and "pizza" from that episode. Make your skis look like french fries (parallel to each other) and you go fast. Make your skis look like a slice of pizza to stop or slow down. Very basic but it works.

So we're (J and I) skiing that first day and get more confident so we try and go higher up the mountain. Unfortunately we were misinformed by a friend and got on the wrong lift. The yellow lift has a dropoff that is just above the green circle (easy) slopes. As we ride past that one I realize that we are on the grey lift that only goes to much higher on the mountain to the blue squares (intermediate) and the black diamonds (expert). Crap. No problem, we'll just ride the lift back down. I've seen the workers do it, so no big deal. Nope. We get to the top and the dude freaks out and won't let us ride down. Luckily (I thought) the ski patrol guys were there and could talk some sense into the guy. 1st time skiers should not be made to try and ski down the mountain. But Mr. Ski Patrol says the the workers are "trained" to ride the lifts down and that the only way down for us is ski or walk. Fuck that. It would take an act of God (or the threat of a revoked lift ticket) to get me to walk down this mountain. So the Si Patrol guys take off our skis (we're a good 4 feet off the ground) and try to move the lift to where it's not so high. Oops! Went to far. Oh well, just ride the lift down, just remember to put the safety bar down. (Thanks Mr. Ski Patrol) So we ride down and as we're going down I see a ski patrol guy with our skis in hand gracefully making his way down the mountain. Phew.

But it's not over. I'm becoming more confident and want to try something a little harder. So I convince J to come with me again with the idea that we'll get off on the first unloading spot. Well, J isn't ready to get off so as I'm sliding down the unload ramp I look up and see her going up. To the top of the mountain. Again. Ugh. So she gets yelled at by the ski patrol guys (Sorry sweetie) but gets to ride down the mountain in the sled. So the guy asks if she wants to go fast. She of course says yes and gets a great ride down the mountain by a snowboarding ski patrol guy.

So thanks Sugar Mountain Ski Patrol for the understanding attitude and not kicking us newbs off the mountain.

Going up sucked cuz we were in a caravan of 3 and there was some 2 lane road stuff which meant no passing for me. And some stupid Camry had the audacity to do the speed limit (35 mph) on some nice twisty roads that I did 50 mph on the way back down in a minivan. So it took 3 hours and 45 minutes to get up there with no stops and 3 wrong turns. Coming back it took 3 hours and we even stopped for dinner. And of the 5 drivers who drove back, only 1 got a ticket. 15 over in a 50 and that driver was not me!

Tomorrow, be prepared for the post dedicated to riced out cars in all their glory, courtesy of The Princess of Power's question:
What does ricey mean in the context of a vehicle??

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Friday, March 03, 2006


Anemic Royalty

So I'm about 11 hours away from being in the mountains.

Yes the First Annual CGSO Ski Trip is happening this weekend. We're going up to Sugar Mountain, NC. I've only snowboarded twice in PA, so I'm gonna give skiing a try this weekend. I think I'll like it.

We were hoping to be able to go to Snowshoe but some people have to take a test tomorrow, so we're going somewhere much closer. Sugar = 3 hours. Snowshoe = 8 hours.

So I watched Deal or No Deal last night. I played it online and liked the idea behind the game. But of course since it's on TV, they drag it on FOREVER!

The basic idea behind the game is there are 20 breifcases. In each is an amount ranging from $0.01 to 1 million or higher. At the beginning of the game, you pick one case that you feel holds the most money. Then you proceed to open the other cases to narrow down what is in your case. So ideally all you want to see when you open the other cases is low amounts of money. Every 5 or so cases you open, "The Banker" calls to make you a "deal". He offers you a certain amount of money based on how much is left on the board and how many cases are left. The monetary amounts are kept track of on a big board. His first few offers are crappy and you shouldn't take it.

But the guy last night got down to only 2 cases left. One held $300, the other held $500,000. And the banker offered him $250,000. He wisely took it (it's just simple mathematics that you take that deal) and then his case was opened and found out that it had the $300. So he was super happy.

Theoretically, they could get at least 4 people through the show, but they drag it out, telling stories about why they need the money, and of course they have your family there and they ask them what you should do. And the writers are predictably awful. Howie Mandel is the host, who I like alot, but the material he's working with is sub-par at best.

So try out your hand and see how much fake money you can win!

Deal or No Deal

link stolen from The Ultimate Insult

Oh and if I don't post on Monday, please send a search party.

Update: I just drove the Dodge Stratus rental car down to the bank. Damn that thing sucks! I wasn't sure if it had ABS and the best way to find out is
1) Find a nice long stretch of road, no cars behind you.
2) Stand on the brakes.

I did this simple experiment and holy shit! The car pitched sideways and locked up, I would guess, 3 tires. So I let off the brakes and realized Nope. No ABS. So I practiced some threshold braking (getting on the brakes hard, but not so hard as to lock up the tires). Why do I practice this? Just in case. With ABS, if something bad happens, just slam on the brakes and let the electrons and computer slow you down. Without ABS, you can't hit the brakes too hard because you will just screech the tires and slide into what you were trying not to hit. So you have to find out how hard you can hit the brakes without all the eeeeeerrrrr, screeeeeech, craaaaaaash, aw man!

And then I decided to see how grippy the tires were. Not grippy at all. They're Eagle LS tires sized 205/65 15, and that means big sloppy sidewalls and super not sticky rubber. Not that my Falkens are great but they're better than those crappy tires.

Needless to say I will be majorly altering my driving style for this weekend. That and the Stratus is a freakin' boat compared to Focus and Tercel. And I'm caravaning with a Caravan and a riced out Civic. Seriously. I don't want to get into it, but it's fairly ricey. Z3 fenders, Altezza taillights, and the piece de resistance, plastic spinners. It's not super hideous, no erector set wing or anything, but damn. So not super rice, but definitely ricey.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006


We only come out at night

A rare post from home, but it's easier getting the recipe out. I'll get the reference up later.

2 medium onions, thinly sliced (I kept them thin but long, so any onion haters can pick them out easily. But trust me, these are delicious after 8 hours.)
1 cup apricot preserves (Pretty much a whole jar of the 10 oz. variety)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar (Probably could leave it out if you're super scared of sugar)
1/2 cup BBQ sauce
1/4 cup cider vinegar
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce (didn't have any, but I guess it's good)
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (I used chili powder, but I think anything spicy would work)
1 (4 lb) trimmed boneless pork top loin roast

Throw all this in a crockpot. I generally put the meat on the bottom because of gravity. Set for 8 hours. Set it and forget it! to steal a line for Mr. Infomercial himself, Ron Popeil.

Now in the recipe, you're supposed to let it cook then pull out the meat and set it on a cutting board. Then shred it or "pull it" into coarse shreds. That's why they're called pulled pork sandwiches. If you've never heard that before, apparently it's a southern thing. And then throw the next ingredients into the pot and cook on high for 15 to 30 minutes to create what I can only imagine to be a decadent sauce. But I didn't read thoroughly, so I threw them all into the pot in the beginning. It still tasted good but I think this way would've been better. Or if you don't like the idea of the shredded pork, leave it together and have a super tender roast.

1/4 cup cold water
2 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp freshly grated ginger (I'll share a trick later)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper

Throw all that in the crockpot on HIGH for 15-30 minutes. Then throw the meat back in, stir, and serve on sesame rolls or any bread of your liking.

The idea I had at lunch is to get some pastry dough and make Apricot BBQ Pockets. Yum.

Oh right the ginger trick. I learned it from Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. I think it was Thom? No, it was the food one. Billy? Craig? Tom? Are there two Toms? Ted. That's it.

He said just buy a little ginger from the store, put it in a plastic bag and throw it in the freezer. When you need some, just whip it out, grate it and return.

And you have fresh ginger whenever you want it. Delicious.

So for anyone trying to copy this onto their recipe website, and since I can't email from home for some reason, here is the recipe sans Seth comments.

2 medium onions, thinly sliced
1 cup apricot preserves, appr. 10 oz.
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup BBQ sauce
1/4 cider vinegar
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 (4 lb) boneless pork top loin roast, trimmed of fat

Put the meat in the crockpot and everything else in on top. Turn on LOW for 8 hours with the cover on. Once done. Remove meat and shred into coarse pieces with 2 forks.

1/4 cup cold water
2 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper

Whisk together in a bowl. Whisk mixture into the crockpot and cook on high for 15 to 30 minutes. Return meat to the crockpot and mix well. Serve on rolls or buns.


Aqua Sea Foam Green

I love that song. And "Under the Bridge". Listened to that one on my way to work this morning.

And for anyone wondering, the high today is supposed to be in the low 70's. I didn't even bring a jacket to school. It's gonna be a gorgeous day, but an awful day to be a grad student. We have to stay inside and work. At least I have a window.

I went home around 11 am yesterday. I wasn't feeling sick, and I think my leprosy is healing. I had to start dinner in the crockpot. Apricot BBQ sandwiches. And let me just tell you, I was blown away. It's so good. Sweet and spicy, amazing. I think I'll bring the recipe to school tomorrow and send it to Regan so she can put it up on her recipe site.

We used a 4 lb. pork tenderloin roast which means LEFTOVERS! I have them for lunch today and I cannot wait.

I had a very odd dream last night. I dreamt that the Clemson Sports Car Club held a drift event in a very small parking lot. It was only big enough to do a small figure eight course. But I guess no one told me about it, so I showed up late and missed most of it. I did get to see some jackass in a new white Z4 spin out and almost hit a curb or a tree or something. It was really weird and all I could think of when I woke up was "How did I miss all the good action in my own dream?"

Hope you all enjoyed Mini Post Monday. Except for the Blog of Death post in the middle.

I have to proctor an exam today at 2:15. It's for the lecture of whose lab I teach and of the 4 lab sections, I teach 3 of them, so I'll know almost everyone in the room by name.

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