Tuesday, October 31, 2006


Happy Halloween!

Be safe trick-or-treating tonight kids! Wear your reflective clothing and look both ways before you cross the street. And watch out for those apples with razor blades in them.

Cleaning up the house before the long trip. I feel bad leaving the cats here. A neighbor (who I haven't asked yet) will be watching them while we're gone. He's done it before and hopefully we won't run out of food. I need to get directions to things in Orlando today so we can give our guests a "Where the hell am I?" guide to getting around Orlando.

I was wrongly shamed last night but I don't want to talk about it. That's what I get for eating at Wendy's.

There it is. I knew I had a good story for today:
J and I are leaving tonight for O'Town. I called the tux place to see if it was too late to change my tux pick-up location. Yep, but it was at the Greenville store, so no biggie, I just went to get it last night. On a whim I decided to check and see if anyone mistakenly sent their measurements to the store here instead of their store. Sho nuff, my future nephew in law's tux was there. There isn't a store in Omaha so he went to some place and got measured with the intention of picking up the tux in Orlando. That plan didn't plan out, but I checked and all is well. I picked up my tux and his tux and will bring them down tonight.

I'm gonna need some trucker drugs for the drive down tonight. J closes at Publix (which means she gets home at 11:30 pm) and then we're leaving. We need to be there by Wed. morning and it's easier to leave at midnight than try and wake up at 4 am. So if you see a Focus pulled off to the side of I-95 at 5 am tomorrow morning, please be quiet, I'm just taking a quick nap.

Monday, October 30, 2006


Less than a week!

Pseudo Halloween was fun. I say pseudo because it was Oct. 28th, but since it was the closest Sat. night to Halloween, it got the nod. A friend of a friend rented out the top floor of a local apt. complex's clubhouse, so that is where we went. Interesting mix of people and once again confirmation that I really struggle to meet new people.

Sometimes it comes naturally, you immediately find a common interest and it's easy. Other times, you draw a blank and wonder why you initiated contact in the first place and just start talking about random nonsense like those people you despise who won't shut up.

Maybe I wasn't drunk enough.

We picked most of the music this weekend. Mostly Vivaldi pieces, with some Handel and Strauss thrown in for a good mix. It should create the proper mood for our ceremony. All major keys (minor always sound so dark and oppressive, at least to my uber-novice ear) and a good mix of instruments, even some classical guitar. For "our" song we went with Chicago's "Inspiration", you know, the one from Karate Kid. I don't listen to slow music and didn't really want country, so this was a compromise and a good one in my book.

Stupid daylight savings time is back and messing with your circadian rythyms. It's 7 and it's dark! WTF mate? It's 6 am and it's light? Why government? WHY!?!?! Previous DST rant found here.

I'll try and keep you posted on this week's goings-on, but no promises. It could get a bit hectic.

Friday, October 27, 2006


Chris Wallace

aka Notorious B.I.G., Biggie Smalls (1972-1997)

If you've never heard a Biggie track, then apparently you didn't listen to the radio in the 90's and don't know what all this "rap" stuff is about anyway. Incredible lyricist. And he was in the newest South Park episode.

Butters summons his ghost by saying "Biggie Smalls" 3 times in a mirror. CNN has an article about it. More specifically the article is talking about how Matt and Trey "mocked" Steve Irwin. Satan was having his Super Sweet 16 party, which was also a Halloween costume party. One of Satan's demons told him that someone had shown up in a Steve Irwin costume. Satan goes over to the individual and says (paraphrased) Hey, it's too soon to be wearing that costume. But Satan, it's me! Steve Irwin. Oh!, says Satan. Then you're not in costume and you'll have to leave. And then Steve is escorted out by security.

As far as South Park goes, that's fairly tame. The story came from London though. The episode also depicted Princess Di in Hell, so I think that's what got their panties in a twist. Ghandi and George Burns were also there.
"South Park" maker Comedy Central defended the episode. A spokesperson for the company said: "It has offended people in the past and probably will again. Regular watchers would not be shocked."

The show holds the record for the most swear words spoken in one program, and regularly takes pot-shots at celebrities and makes fun of politics and religion.

Some tamer examples include George Clooney, mocked for his politically motivated Oscar acceptance speech, and lampooning Tom Cruise and John Travolta for their belief in Scientology. One episode with a depiction of a bleeding Virgin Mary so upset the Catholic Church that it was pulled from repeats of the series.

Actually I was shocked that they put Steve in the episode. Didn't see it coming at all, but it was funny. Maybe too soon, but Halloween is Tues. so they at most could've only waited another week to air the episode. And might I remind you that members of the media actually wanted to show the footage of his death. I'm guessing Steve is okay with the cartoon version of him getting kicked out of Satan's party for not wearing a costume. I'm guessing Steve would not have been okay with his death being aired around the world. "Hey Bindi, I saw your dad die last night on the news." Not cool.

Also I like how they leave out the tidbit that the statue of the Virgin Mary was no just bleeding, but was bleeding out her ass. Luckily I did get to see that episode before it got yanked. George Clooney's smug cloud was an amazing episode. Anyone who lives in San Francisco, or owns a Prius, or is George Clooney should definitely watch that one. In fact, here is a Youtube link to the episode. Running time is 22 minutes.

Keep up the good work guys. And maybe make a new movie in the next year or so. Please.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006


Closer and closer

Our wedding is in less than 2 weeks now and by this time next week, we'll be in Orlando making final wedding arrangements! Aaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhh! One day at a time. Breath and everything will be okay.

We're going to get a neighbor to watch the cats.

HUGE thanks to all who sent good thoughts and prayers this way last week. J got the job! And she starts the Mon. after our wedding. And they actually pay for her healthcare! (as opposed to the teaching position that charged her $200+/month for health insurance) So we're both excited that at least one of us will have a legit job in the near future.

I'm still working on my papers to be published and haven't started my dissertation yet. J asked if I was going to start looking for jobs in May. I replied that I will start looking for jobs in January. Once I get my papers done and my pre-oral out of the way, I will become a full time dissertation writer. Another labmate who graduated the year after I joined the group worked on her dissertation 4 hours/day and she finished in 2-3 months, so that is my goal. Writing will become my job (with this blog being my escape from "real" writing for some "fun" writing).

Clemson's last men's soccer game is on Friday. Hopefully we get a NCAA tournament qualifier game here. Last year we got to watch our beloved tigers kick some Creighton ass. We came in 4th in the NCAA tourney last year and this year is going to be a fight just to make it that far.

The Clemson men's american football team is doing well. We're ranked #10 and #11 in the two important polls. But we need Boston College to lose to someone in the conference because even though we're kicking ass, we lost to them early in the year and they could get the ACC champ BCS bowl game, which would suck. Hopefully we can finish the year strong and get some excellent national exposure and keep up with these great recruiting classes. In american college football, recruiting is very important because the players only have 4 (or 5) years that they can legally play for the team, so you constantly need great high school players to take the graduating players place. (This explanation was provided for the benefits of any international or domestic visitors who don't know college football that well.)

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


Is that Robert Stack?

Today's installment is going to focus on my blogosphere aka blogiverse. There are a few unsolved mysteries out there. Who's that blogger? Where does that blogger work? My least favorite accusations are that the blogger is not real and is just a writer doing his thing and writing fiction. I don't like those accusations, but understand that is has and does happen.

Here is my episode of "Unsolved Mysteries" (cue music, cue Robert Stack)

Riley had a blog. Then she dropped the bomb that Riley was her dog and her real name was April. Her blogspot blog was stolen by a mom with a daughter named Riley. She was a photographer and a great blogger. She said she would be lurking but I haven't seen her in a while. I hope you're doing okay April and Riley too.

The blog that started it all. The first blog I ever read and was hooked. Kevin at TJ's place. What happened to Kevin? Which strip club was his? Excellent stories and it made you felt like you were a fly on the wall of his place and got all the juicy stories and gossip.

Crash works for a gangster. Great stories and had Trashman's "authentic criminal" seal of approval. Supposedly had a book deal, hasn't been seen since Sept. Who does he work for? Is he okay? Again, excellent stories.

John over at Dead Aim. The mystery was what show did he work for, but fortunate for us, he popped on in Sept. to let us in on the secret. He worked for Elimidate! Aha! Hopefully John, the wife, Bob and their brand new baby are all doing well! Also the quote under his title is from a great movie and comedian and once I saw that I instantly fell in love with his blog. (Bill Murray's character said it in Rushmore)

Portlandia. Hopefully you and your husband are still enjoying the new house and the new pooch. Where did she go?

Rob at ClubLife. He disabled comments. He stands on a box. Where does he work? What does he look like? Where did he play Division A college football? Can't wait for his book to come out.

Ms. Arugula Headbeanface. Not too many mysteries although she is mysterious. But mostly I just want to know her name! She said it is very unique and special and she won't share. I want to be one of the special people who are priveleged enough to know it. Much love for Sloths everywhere.

Found a couple new ones through dear ol' Waiter. Who's Fluvio? Where is the "Bistro"? Can I get some more bread? Has one of the larger blogs on the list but still has kept his anonymity even while giving interviews on TV and radio. Impressive.

And some of the lucky to be linked from Waiterrant are the Barmaid and Waitress. Both relatively new blogs but thanks to Waiter, already have a healthy following.

Barmaid is a bartender at a local place in NY and I just want to know which one in case I'm in the area and want a frosty beverage from a fellow blogger. Loves her Yankees and weaves wonderful stories. A bit tough to just jump in and follow all the characters but luckily she links the previous blogs that are pertinent. Which bar is yours?

Waitress is a server in a strip club. She also attends a local university. Which strip club and which school? We know she's in the Bible Belt, so that narrows it down a bit.

Hope you enjoyed "Seth's Unsolved Mysteries"!

Friday, October 20, 2006


Good one. Quick too. Enjoy.

Thursday, October 19, 2006


Fry, I don't know how to teach! I'm a professor!

-Dr. Hubert J. Farnsworth

My foot hurts from where Leon ran over it full tilt with his claws extended for traction. Bad kitty.

Yesterday a memory popped up from my time in Germany (Deutschland). We were riding the bus coming home from Wal-Mart (before my eyes were opened to it's pure evilness) and we rang the stop buzzer because we thought it was our stop. Oops, it wasn't. But instead of getting up and telling the driver that we made a mistake; it was much easier for the two barely-speaking-German Americans to sit there and do nothing and let the bus driver hate all his passengers. Sorry Mr. German Bus Driver.

In a perfect world we would've gotten off and walked the mile or so to our stop to atone for our mistake, but the world is far from perfect and we had groceries, so we didn't.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006



Grading is by far the worst part of teaching lab, and all of teaching I presume. And if you don't stay on top of it, it piles higher and higher until it comes alive and kills you.

That's what I'll be doing for the next few minutes (half hour probably, maybe longer). Please send a few "Good interview and get a job" thoughts and prayers this way. J has an interview for a "real" job at 10:30. Hopefully she'll get it.

She told me yesterday that she actually likes working at Subway more than Publix. And as I'm halfway through "Fast Food Nation" I think I know why. There is much less to deal with at Subway. Sure you get bad customers but all you're in charge of is that sandwich. Olives? Lettuce? Cookies? And the cash register is pictures, so you don't even really need to be literate (although basic math skills are required). They've taken all the thinking out of the job, or as much thinking as they can take out. They (fast food restaurants) do this to ease the hiring/firing process. After watching J tote around mounds of books and papers while she was teaching, she came home after getting hired at Subway with a sheet of paper. On this paper was what went on each sandwich. Tuna = 4 LEVEL scoops (their emphasis). BMT = 6 ham, 6 turkey, 3 something else. 1/2 for 6 inch. Just one sheet and she didn't actually need to learn it because it is taped up right behind the counter just in case. On her 3rd day she trained another new hire. Her THIRD day. Yep, this is sandwich artistry, not rocket science.

Fast Food Nation is definitely strengthening my resolve to never eat at fast food places again, or at least no more than once every two months. And that includes frosties, which are delicious if you take them home and refreeze them in your freezer. Especially that new vanilla frosty. Hopefully a strawberry frosty is in the works too.

I'm only halfway through but it's very interesting. A bit dry, sciencey and statisticky in parts, but as a scientist I love that stuff. The list of chemicals that went into the "natural flavor" of strawberries was really long. REALLY long, roughly 38-40 different chemicals, but don't worry, all are GRAS (generally regarded as safe). Who generally regards them as safe? Beats me.

Also came to the realization that the fast food industry is waaaaaaaaay too big and they are a big reason that minimum wage has been stagnant since 1997 at $5.15. But if I paid thousands of employees, I wouldn't want to have to pay them $7/hr for doing the same job, I want to make all the money, screw the employees!

J actually said that she wants to open up a Subway. Um, we'll see. Yes they do have healthy sandwiches with under 6 grams of fat, but I would have to check the ol' sugar content before I was convinced that they were healthy.

And I can't find a way around sodium nitrite. It's everywhere! It's a major preservative in all meats. So I might just try and reduce my hot dog intake and drink lots of water to try and dissolve some of the nitrite already in my system.

Off to grade.

Monday, October 16, 2006


Quiz show

Working today. Wedding and presentation for my committee coming up, so if you want to know, that's what I'll be working on for the next two months. I'll be around but might not visit as much.

Now for quizzes and other junk!

LogoThere are:
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

Oh yeah, no one has my name. Not even me. How many people have your name?

So you think you're a badass. Played lots of Nintendo did you? Know the Contra code? Can beat Super Mario Bros. 3 in less than a half hour? Here is a quiz to prove it.

Nintendo Quiz

For reference I scored 1100 points. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 14, 2006


Maybe I care just a little

I've been thinking. About my post from yesterday specifically. Thoughts brought on by reading Jack's most recent. After all, he lives Grand Theft Auto everyday. But mostly I was thinking that if video games did become virtual reality, as if you were actually there experiencing it, and I got to see first hand in graphic detail all the things that I perpetrated in Grand Theft Auto (killing cops and running people over for fun, getting a hooker and then beating her with a baseball bat to get my money back, slicing people up with a chainsaw) that it would be the most traumatic and disturbing game in the history of eternity.

Sure it would be cool to snipe people and drive recklessly through traffic, but the hand to hand combat with the close range weapons would be horrendous. Things no one needs to see or do ever. So while it would be cool (and still probably going to happen) I think I'll stick with fun platformers (like Mario) and racing games.

And while I don't really appreciate his pot shots (no pun intended) at NORML and the adult who chooses a less harmful illegal intoxicant over legal alcohol, he does bring up a very good point.

He deals with the dregs of society, Texan society at that, day in and day out. I would definitely play Jack's video game.

Friday, October 13, 2006


I just don't care

I should probably have prefaced yesterday's post with the following:

If you are not on Welfare or any other governmental subsidy,
And are not hurting anyone,
And are not hindering the forward progress of society,
I couldn't give two shits what you do.

Want to grease yourself up with butter everyday? Fine.
Want to make beads and sell them? Great

But when people start slipping in your butter puddles, you need to reevaluate.

As an avid gamer, been playing video games since my first Intellivision when I was probably 6, so a solid two decades of gaming, this is where I would like gaming to go. Anyone remember Strange Days? It was a movie set in the future but they had a small wiry thing that sat on your head and was a portable virtual reality device. That's what I want. A small, portable virtual reality device, so that it feels like I'm actually driving that Ferrari F40 through the streets of Monte Carlo, or actually blasting that cop in the face with my sawed off shotgun because I just held up a bank and need to make my getaway. (References to Gran Turismo and Grand Theft Auto) I want to really experience it. That's where I want video games to go. Portable virtual reality without the pesky Matrix "if you die in the game, you die in real life". You could actually be Mario and break blocks with your head (fist) and get that kiss from Princess, or you could be Wario and toss a green shell at Luigi because he just passed you for 1st. Or you could actually be Barbie and ride that horse all over the country side. (Yes that's a real video game, Barbie's Horse Adventure) Not sure how they would do 3rd person games, assuming they would still have that. I guess it would be like The Sims and give you a God-view.

Now what you've all been waiting for....T-shirts! That's right ladies and gentlemen, a brief glimpse into my wonderful wardrobe! And without further adieu: (you can click on the pics to make them larger)

The "Charlie Brown" shirt

A great shirt, J hates it, that has been around for a while. I've only seen one other shirt that was even similar and I can't recall ever seeing another soul wearing one like it.

My Mario Kart shirt

Slightly offensive but all in good fun. I've never actually played anyone's mom in Mario Kart that I'm aware of. I'm wearing this one today. I truly love Mario Kart, although Mario Kart DS is tricky.

The Kids in the Hall shirt

A little hard to see in the small pic, but it says "I'm crushing your head" which is a reference to a Kids in the Hall sketch. Notice how things get smaller the further away they get? When someone is far enough away, then you can put your fingers in front of your eye and perspectively "crush their head". Hard to explain but I still like it.

My Happy Mushroom shirt

A bit out of focus but you get the idea. Got this one on choir tour in high school, can't remember where. Caveman actually got a ringer version of this shirt (white shirt with blue rings around the collar and end of the sleeve) but he lost it long ago. Too many holes to wear regularly, it has been promoted to the permanent non-wearing collection.

Young People's Day Camps of Staten Island

Very good example of a free t-shirt obtained from a friend's screen printing place. I was not a staff at this day camp. I've barely driven through Staten Island. Great shirt.

Henry The Greatest Hamster EVER!

Got this for Joan for some holiday. It portrays Henry, our first pet, frolicking in his paper shreds. He was so cute and soft and the first of our orange and white pets (Julio is #2). Also in the permanent non-wearing collection, but could come out of retirement if anyone ever starts a "Remember the dead day". That might be what Cinco de Mayo is about. Nope, but Dia de la Muerte is, aka All Soul's Day.

2005 Cherokee Trails Rally

Free for working at said event. I'm slowly building up my car related t-shirts. Hard to do that for free though. They cancelled the 2006 and hopefully that won't happen next year.

NAPA Filters

Free for whoring myself out to promote their 40th anniversary giveaway. It's a 2X and way too big. This is in the "working on cars and one step from the trash can" shirt section of my closet.

I like monkeys.

J got me this shirt for my birthday one year. Unfortunately it has a hole between the sleeve and chest area. It is fixable (the seam seperated) but no one has fixed it yet. Once we learn to sew, that is the first order of business. It is a Roman Dirge shirt. He created Lenore and her wacky misadventures. Very dark and very funny.

And that's it for now! Hope you enjoyed your glimpse into my world o' shirts.

Just for posterity's sake I would also like to note shirts that didn't make it this long, mostly because I lost them or J threw them away.
My egg shirt (Had a picture of a small egg at the top and said "Whip me. Beat me. Eat me."
My Louie the Lightningbug shirt. Had stains on the graphic and had to be put down.
My Napster shirt. I heard a rumor that Caveman has it and still wears it. As long as someone is still sporting it, that's fine by me. Original free Napster, not crappy sell-out pay service Napster.
My Captain of the Birmingham Fire and Rescue squad shirt. Loved that one. Not sure where it went. I'm guessing J.

Thursday, October 12, 2006


I've said too much

Tom, I wasn't implying that you had no life. But the fact that you did might say something.

I apparently implied in my World of Warcraft post that all WoW users have no lives. That is not true. But I think it would help to excel at the game.

Before I start my "How to tell if you have no life" checklist, here is a NY Times article about how people's eating habits are affected, even if you tell them ahead of time.

Brian Wansink’s quirky experiments in the psychology of overindulgence.

You must be a registered member or head on over to BugMeNot to get a password and user name.
To his mind, the 65 percent of Americans who are overweight or obese got that way, in part, because they didn’t realize how much they were eating.

“We don’t have any idea what the normal amount to eat is, so we look around for clues or signals,” he said. “When all you see is that big portions of food cost less than small ones, it can be confusing.”

Although people think they make 15 food decisions a day on average, his research shows the number is well over 200. Some are obvious, some are subtle. The bigger the plate, the larger the spoon, the deeper the bag, the more we eat. But sometimes we decide how much to eat based on how much the person next to us is eating, sometimes moderating our intake by more than 20 percent up or down to match our dining companion.
It really is amazing how we are affected by the smallest detail. Here is a link to a few specific examples I actually read this article in the NY Times last night. I was on campus waiting for Joan to finish running and found it laying there. Great stuff and I'm going to try my best to incorporate these tips into my life.
The Scene The test lab.
The Test Do visual clues help slow down mindless snacking?
The Setup Subjects were invited to watch a video and eat from cans of Pringles, some with every seventh chip dyed red, some with every 14th chip dyed red and some with no dye at all.
The Result People who ate from cans where every seventh chip was marked ate an average of 10 chips. Those with every 14th chip marked ate an average of 15. Those with no marked chips ate 23. A similar test used bags of 200 M&M’s, half broken into smaller bags of 10 M&M’s and half with no extra packaging. People who had to open only one bag ate almost twice as the others.
Here is the brief synopsis on his suggested tricks:
Employ a few tricks and you can take in 100 to 300 fewer calories a day. At the end of a year you could be 10 to 30 pounds lighter.

For example, sit next to the person you think will be the slowest eater when you go to a restaurant, and be the last one to start eating. Plate high-calorie foods in the kitchen but serve vegetables family style. Never eat directly from a package. Wrap tempting food in foil so you don’t see it. At a buffet put only two items on your plate at a time.
The "never eat directly from the package" is a big one and also use smaller bowls when pouring cereal and the like.

Okay, now for the checklist.

How to tell if you have no life:
Are all your friends on-line?
Are you over 30 and still live at your parents house?
Do you only leave the house to get more ramen noodles and Hot Pockets?
Do you measure how long you've been playing video games in one session by days? (I don't want to think about how many days of my life have been devoted to video games, but it is spread out a bit)
Is the most comfortable chair in your house in front of your computer?
Have your eyes ever bled from staring at a screen for extended amounts of time?
Have your muscles ever atrophied and you weren't in a coma?

These are a few good indicators that you may have no life. Don't try and get a life all at once. Start out easy. Go to Barnes & Noble and read a book. Go to a park. Walk around the block once or twice. Join a book club. Join a video game club. Try taking a class at a local community college. If this seems like too much work, then enjoy your life!

It should also be noted that I'm not 100% happy with my life, but I'm doing things about it. I would go 73% happy. I need to get out of grad school.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


I miss her already!

J is leaving for a weekend in Orlando tomorrow. She originally planned to leave tonight after work, but Job #1 wants her to close, 12-2 am, so she'll leave tomorrow morning.

She asked me to reschedule her wedding make-up test run for Sat. morning instead of Fri. afternoon. I'm going to do that now.


Tuesday, October 10, 2006


Brown out

Last year I blacked out. Last Thurs. and Sat. I recognized it was coming and was able to lay down before actually passing out. Both times. It's so strange. I get dizzy and light-headed and if I don't lay down, I will pass out.

J did remember and I went to the Dr. today. Same guy as last time. He wants a full blood work-up just to make sure all my pieces parts are doing their jobs correctly. He also told me to lay off the intoxicants for a while. I'm mostly scared that it'll come back that I'm diabetic. I don't want diabetes, but the odds are stacked that I have them. I'm eating better and exercising to see if I can avoid them. And their accompanying medical bills.

I'll keep you posted on those results. Crap. Just remembered that I took all my T-shirt pics but left them on my computer at home. And no other weekend stories are jumping to mind, so I'll get to them later.

J is working at both her jobs this week. She leaves the house at 8:45 am, Job #1 from 9-1, drives to Job #2 where she works from 2-10 or 11 pm, so I rarely see her which sucks. So please keep your fingers crossed that she finds a better job with normal hours that pays well.

And also go check out Tom's blog, he has a couple posts about World of Warcraft and how he drug his recovering addict friend back into the fold. I would recommend skipping the first post and reading them chronologically. It'll make more sense. Also notice that my blog is linked as "Seth's Mostly Left Blog :)" which should tell you a bit about it's author.

Monday, October 09, 2006


Too many secrets

First of all I would like to apologize to Tom for coming to The Ham and not stopping by his house to say hey. But the furthest south we got was 459. Also it was a whirlwind of a Birmingham trip. Here is what we did:
Arrived at Caveman and H2O's house that they are extended house-sitting.
Hung out, drank some beer, chatted
Went to Midnight Sushi at what used to be Sakura and is now Sensikei Pacific Rim (or something close to that)
Went back to the house
Wake up
Watch a little football
Work out at Dawson
Shower at grandparent's house
Go to Bluff Park Art Show (really cool, but no money to spend)
Went to Mom and Dad's house for the next 3 months
Went back to grandparent's house for dinner
Back to parent's house
Walked to Sam's Deli (used to be Moneer's for old school Homewood folks) and watched UGA shit the bed at home vs. Tennessee
Went back to parent's house
Say bye to parent's as they leave for church
Leave to come back home
Total time spent in Birmingham: 37 hours (from 9 pm Fri. to 10 am Sun.)

Additional notes:
Caveman has a Nintendo DS (like Tom does too) but his is the 1st gen and now we are very glad that we waited and got the Lite. But it still has wireless so we played Mario Kart, Tetris and NEW Super Mario Bros. against each other with only 1 game cartridge for each game. It transmits that data needed to the other DS via wifi. Incredibly cool.

Midnight sushi was good, but I had another fainting spell. I felt it coming and layed down on the bench before shattering glassware. It also sort of happened Thurs. at a friend's house. J thinks it's a toomah. I don't know what to think but promised I would get a MRI and CATscan. We'll see if she remembers me making that promise. But if you are even slightly medically trained, I'm open to suggestions of what it could be or if you think I should go get some rigorous testing done. I think it's the vapors.

I first went to the Bluff Park Art Show as a requirement for my "Art Appreciation" class at Samford. I wasn't dreading it. I actually enjoyed being forced to go to art shows and various small art galleries. But there is all types of art, folk art, abstract, photography, and my favorite metalsmithing. Mostly copper but there was some bronze and steel. And one guy had some handmade glass sculptures. Mark my word. I will get into metalsmithing and glass blowing before I expire. But my favorite was Sid Kamerman. He works in mixed media, mostly metals and stone but they're very organic pieces and speak to the chemist and naturalist within me.

Treble Cleft, marble and bronze, $2700
Here is a pic of the artist:

I can't find a personal website, so I guess he doesn't have one. I'll check his card once I get home.

Very quick weekend but very good to see Mom and Dad again. I'll share some more stories tomorrow. And as you as my witness, I will revisit my "T-shirt Collection" post with pictures.

Friday, October 06, 2006



That's what my dad jokingly refers to Alzheimers as. But another revealing study about our old friend Mary Jane; apparently she staves off Alzheimers. Article from CNN.com.

Researchers at the Scripps Research Institute in California found that marijuana's active ingredient, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, can prevent the neurotransmitter acetylcholine from breaking down more effectively than commercially marketed drugs.

THC is also more effective at blocking clumps of protein that can inhibit memory and cognition in Alzheimer's patients, the researchers reported in the journal Molecular Pharmaceutics.

The researchers said their discovery could lead to more effective drug treatment for Alzheimer's, the leading cause of dementia among the elderly.
Well crap. Another positive story about marijuana. Can't the media keep the truth hidden? Why do they have to make it so hard for the DEA to do their job? Shouldn't we censor the media so that we don't have all this information and have to think for ourselves? No? I didn't think that's what you wanted.

So herb has many medicinal uses, has never directly killed anyone, and is more likely to make you eat too many chips than beat your wife but it's a Schedule I substance along with heroin and GHB, the "date rape" drug. While opium, cocaine and morphine are Schedule II because they have medicinal uses. Doesn't make sense does it? DEA scheduling

However I do like the new direction that the Drug Free America commercials have taken recently. They more accurately portray the true nature of the drug. By buying pot, you're not really supporting terrorists (they grow cocaine and poppies), and you probably won't run over a little girl on a bike leaving the drive-thru. But if you smoke, you just might sit on your friend's couch for 11 hours. You won't be able to drive and will feel akward and silent around people in a social setting (not always true but is fairly common). Life will pass you by if all you do is get baked, eat pizza and play video games. It's a good message to send to kids. If you are not using it medicinally, then it is recreational and should be used in moderation, just like everything else in this world. Except water, drink lots of water, but you can drink too much.
A person with two healthy kidneys can excrete about 1.5 litres of water per hour at maximum filtration (other studies find the limit to be as little as 0.9L/h [1]). Consuming as little as 1.8 litres of water in a single sitting may prove fatal for a person adhering to a low-sodium diet, or 3 litres for a person on a normal diet.

So be careful and full aware what is going into your body at all times. Someone offers you a pill at a club? Unless you really know that person and trust them with your life, just say no (to borrow a slogan from my youth), or no thanks would be more polite.

Speaking of having no life and playing video games, the 10th season of South Park started Wed. and they took aim at WoW aka World of Warcraft. It is a MMORPG and I hear that 70% of people who play are addicted. My friend who started playing a few months ago already has 4 days and 12 hours of playtime. Yes, 108 hours of gametime. That's alot. And his character's level is in the low 30's. He plays with a lady whose character is in the 40's. My friend was commenting that that's pretty high and that she is "hardcore". Then she says that she has been playing since the beginning and has 4 other characters all with levels in the 40s. That is beyond hardcore and into ludicrous. I hope she has a life outside of WoW, but it doesn't really sound like it. This Nov. 23rd will mark the 2 year anniversary of the release of WoW. WoW's wiki page. They had a specialist who said 40% were addicted, but she made that up and as long as we're making up figures, 70% sounds much worse.

Have no life, tons of time and like computer games? Try World of Warcraft! It's highly addictive!

Thursday, October 05, 2006


Great White North

Our neighbors, America's hat, Canada have some strange habits. They play hockey and show lots of it on TV. They have lots of trees and no intention of cutting them down. They have tons of oil and no intention of drilling for it. They have nationalized health care. Crazy right?

But their food habits are the strangest, or so I thought. Canadians have been known to put white vinegar on their french fries. Most notably everyone's favorite Canadian, Jamie who taught english in Japan but is now back home. He complained of the lack of white vinegar in Japan and then explained that Canadians put it on fries (chips for Brits) (side note: here is a helpful website with a few common differences between the States and Canada)

This is the search for "vinegar" on Jamie's site and this is the one that I was specifically talking about.

See? I told you.

I was talking to my lab about how acids are dangerous and HF leaches Calcium out of your bones and you would dissolve and if you inhale Chlorine gas then it will form hydrochloric acid in your lungs (bad). And that the only acid that isn't super dangerous (besides the hydrochloric acid that is your stomach acid) is acetic acid because it is vinegar which has many uses and Canadians put it on their fries.

When lo and behold one of my students (who shares a first name with Bruce Willis' character from The 5th Element, although apparently spelled differently) pipes up that her and her family does that. Really?!?!?! Are they Canadian? Nope, from Anderson. Weird. She also told me that Rush's in Columbia has vinegar on the table for the fries. I would really be interested to see how that came to pass. In fact, I might send them an email and ask. Maybe.

Brits put malt vinegar on their chips, Canucks put white vinegar on their fries and now we know that a few South Carolinians put white vinegar on their fries too.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


Go Ruthie!

Please keep all the Breast Cancer Walkers in your thoughts this weekend. The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation 3-Day Walk is this weekend in Philly. And our own blogger Ruthie (who reads and sometimes writes) is walking!

She walked for breast cancer in ATL last year and is going to walk with her sister in Philadelphia.
The Philadelphia Breast Cancer 3-Day will begin with Opening Ceremonies at the Willow Grove Park Mall in Willow Grove, PA on October 6th at 6:30 am and conclude with Closing Ceremonies at Villanova University in Villanova, PA on October 8th at 5:00 pm. Directions and details are available here. Please note: Closing Ceremonies are now at 5:00 pm on October 8th - this time is different than what was previously published.

Day One will journey through Philadelphia suburbs. Walkers will catch a glimpse of small towns and neighborhoods as they walk through both historic shopping areas, neighborhoods, and scenic nature trails.

Day Two will bring the walkers on a total tour of downtown Philadelphia, passing both tourist "hot-spots" and some of Philadelphia's hidden treasures.

Day Three will take the walkers out to the suburbs again, through many prominent neighborhoods. The journey will end with an inspirational celebration at Villanova University.
I'm sure they'll stay out of the rougher areas and maybe will even have time to stop for a cheesesteak.

So they walk during the day and then what? They camp in huge temporary towns. They might even supply tents, judging by this photo, or perhaps everyone likes blue tents.

That's alot of tents! They even have portable showers provided by the shower truck.

So good luck to Ruthie and all the walkers in Philadelphia on Friday!

Monday, October 02, 2006


So much racing

All told, we watched around 20 hours of live racing this weekend. Incredible. Ear plugs were a necessity.

We showed up Friday morning about 8:45. Got our tickets, found a gap in between two tents and set up our camp. Right next to the track. Amazing.

After grilling some hot dogs, we strolled down into the pits, took lots of pictures, hung out and chatted with some of the Touring car drivers, got some autographs, then went back to our seats to wait for Protege who was showing up later because of some work stuff. But he showed up right in time for the start of the Speed GT race: Vettes, Aston Martins, Vipers, Porsches, Cadillacs, even a couple Pontiacs.

Then we walked around a bit, hung out some, drank, went to sleep and was awoken to the sounds of the Ferrari parade laps led by a gorgeous red Enzo. And if the Ferraris didn't wake you up, then the Le Mans car practice at 8:45 would've done the trick. Got to walk onto the racetrack for grid. People everywhere, flag girls, team owners, drivers, it was alot of fun and very inviting. Walked up to Turn 1 for the start of the race, then walked all the way around the track en route to our seats.

I have a few pics up and I should have to others up later tonight. Check out some the pictures.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?


View Products
Freedom is NORML

Search WWW Search silonius.blogspot.com
Who Links Here