Thursday, December 28, 2006


Do you see what happens Larry?

I want to get a couple Lebowskifest shirts as additional Christmas presents.

Once again J and I have left our Christmas shopping until the last minute. We need presents for my grandparents and parents and one of my cousins. I think we'll take the easier way out and get pictures for the grand- and parents. My cousin is a 20 something teacher in Northern Alabama, so I'm going to trust J's decision for what we should get her.

The big "So you couldn't go to Orlando for J and Seth's wedding? Then come to our house in Birmingham! It's closer!" post wedding reception is this Saturday at my parent's temporary B'ham house.

My car was one of three in the faculty parking lot this morning. My labmate who showed up around 10 asked why I was here at 9. Mostly because J gets up at 6:30 or so and gets ready for work, so she wakes me up. Yes I could go back to sleep but I feel like I could get a jump start on the day by getting up at 7:30 as opposed to sleeping till 9-10. Sure yesterday it was just an extra hour and a half of TV but that might've been the hour I was cleaning the bathroom, so it was worth it. And as sacrilicious (thanks to Matt Groening and Homer J. for that term, I think Homer was eating a Jesus cookie or something) as this might sound, I actually am starting to enjoy getting up early. Or I should say that my body is now used to getting up early so that I naturally arise around 8-9 now. I also have no desire to get up at 5-6 am like my grandparents and other people who get up that early.

I stole J's ipod and am currently listening to it. Marilyn Manson's version of "I put a spell on you". I love this little thing. And once Apple releases their iPhone, I just might have to pick one of those up.

We rented Jackass 2 this weekend. And it was worth it just for all the stuff that they didn't show. The "Book Slam Ball Buster" was painful to watch. Some poor sucker put a ball in a very large book, think Physician's Desk Reference, and they closed it. He didn't move for several minutes. The cameos were also awesome. John Waters, Luke Wilson, Willie Garson, Tony Hawk, Matt Hoffman, Jason Taylor all made an appearance and some even got in on the fun. Willie Garson won the honor of playing "stun gun hot potato" and got a little stunned. But he made it out alive.

So remember how I was saying that blogs are the newest hip way to advertise things? Well some dude named Sergei sent me an email:
I am writing about Crazy Lawsuit Game. I think you and your readers will
be interested in taking a look at a cool new site that helps people know
whether their car is a "lemon." The site also lets them know what they
can do to get the repair shop or car manufacturer to compensate them for
the money they've spent, as well as for the hassles and
frustration of having to take their car to the shop over and over again.

Looks like a good site with some good resources and hopefully none of you will ever have any need to visit it.

Lemon Justice

GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WTF? What is wrong with the new block quote? I want my sentence to start over there under the rest of the post not under the blockquote! Fine, I got it to work, but that was too hard. Usually upgrading doesn't mean making new problems.

Uh oh Lemon Justice. Just saw that you're sponsored by Lemberg and Associates LLC. If you hadn't noticed, there aren't any lawyer links. I'm not a fan despite having several lawyer friends.
I'll keep looking around Lemon Justice, but if I see too many "Use us to sue" links, you won't get a permalink and I might even take this one down. Thank you for contacting me and expressing interest in my site. However, I won't shill for just anyone.

Actually to help future site visitors here is a small list of companies that I would gladly become their blogging shill:
Red Bull
Most any car company with exciting products that I like

Is that it? Surely I use other things regularly that I love? I'll sleep on it and maybe fill in the list a bit tomorrow.

Monday, December 25, 2006


Merry Christmas!

We just opened presents! I'm currently trying to download itunes for J's new Shuffle! Yay!

OUCH! Just a friendly tip. If you are using pipe cleaners to play with Julio, his claws can't tell the difference between finger and purple pipe cleaner.

So Apple thinks we're cool now but for some reason we can only download 35 Mb of the 35.1 Mb that is itunes. Weird.

I received the new Castlevania game Portrait of Ruin for the Nintendo DS. Haven't played it but will soon.

Enjoy the day everyone and give your family a call!

Friday, December 22, 2006


Merry Christmas Eve Eve Eve!

In more words it is the Eve of the Eve of Christmas Eve. What the devil is an "eve" anyway?

I was reading in the NY just now that people are watching us. Me, you, your friend and what they do and say on the internet. But it isn't nefarious as you would suppose. It's the wave of the future. Focus groups, where they recruit people in the mall and give them 6 different candy bars and ask for comments and sugestios, are quickly becoming a thing of the past.

The newest market research is computer programs that search the internet and look for certain words and/or phrases that would indicate a negative or positive association with the desired product. So if I wrote "The new Crest toothpaste paste sucks. But that new gel is divine." Then the program would find it, note that I prefer gels over pastes (which I usually do) and also note whether I was young or old and male or female.

Of course as I'm reading it I was thinking, "Hey! I read blogs and use search engines! I could do that for them without their fancy pants computer program." But I don't think they want to pay me to sit around and read blogs all day. In case you do, please send me an email. I'll even work on Saturdays and Sundays!

See that paypal button over there? Yeah, so far only one person has used it, but that's okay, I still like most of you guys. But it says I want to be a rally driver, which is still 100% true. Currently my plan for making this dream a reality is by turning my dear Focus into a full fledged rally car. NASA started a Rally Spec Focus class last year. It is designed as a low cost entry into the wonderful world of rallying. But a friend from Raleigh who just moved to Ohio is currently building one and hopefully it will be ready for Sandblast (linked to your left) on Feb. 17th.

Rally Spec Focus build-up

But it all depends on me making it out of grad school and then getting a new job and then saving money to drop into Focus.

Yikes, I left this window open all day. I originally started this post at around 11:30 am.

Happy ChrismaHannaKwanzikah! And Happy Next Monday to the rest of the World!

Thursday, December 21, 2006


Oooooh new blogger version!

Wow, this is fancy. Look at all the new buttons! I can justify, center or left/right align the column and now I can use bullets. Neato! The new "Image" button seems like too much work though, but for the non-HTMLers, I guess it'll do. I can even change color. I never did learn the html colors. Always seemed like gibberish to me.

Some sad news first. I'm sure you've heard by now but for those that didn't or didn't really know who he was, Joseph Barbera passed away on Monday at the ripe old age of 95 because it was his time to go. He had been animating for 70 years. Me and many others were entertained and educated by his wonderful drawings and his teaming up with William Hanna to form Hanna-Barbera. Their studio made almost every cartoon I watched as a child, the complete list is here but to highlight a few of my favorites:

Quick Draw McGraw
The Flintstones
The Jetsons
Yogi Bear and Boo Boo
Space Ghost
Wacky Races
Hong Kong Phooey
Tom and Jerry
Scooby Do
Grape Ape
Pac Man
Richie Rich
Shirt Tales
The Monchichis (see? they are real)
The Snorks
Pound Puppies
The Pirates of Dark Water (my brother got me hooked on this one)

Man, you were prolific Jo. The world and all it's children, young and old, will miss you.

Yes I'm still at work. J and I aren't going anywhere for Christmas but we'll be gone for New Year's.

I have to share this story. So we all know that J is hell on wheels. Who got a speeding ticket doing 92 in a 70? Who got their license suspended? Yeah, that's what I thought. So Speed Demon is coming home, uh, Tuesday and is trying to get into the right hand turn lane. There is an '03 Trailblazer in front of her so she decides to "shoot the gap" as I like to say. She comes to a stop, judges the opening and shoots it. Crunch! Of course Speed Demon is on the cell phone with her mom at the time so she says "Mom, I think I just hit somebody so I have to go." Cool. Score 2 wrecks for J at least indirectly caused by cell phone use. I see the trend. Do you? She turns right and comes to a stop expecting for TB to follow her so they can discuss what just went down. Apparently TB doesn't want to or expects her to drive off because that is what they do. Or maybe they're drunk and don't want to call the cops just yet. So J comes home and tells me about it. "No body damage?" "Nope." "Oh, good."

Cut to a couple hours later, I'm enjoying my dinner in boxer briefs and a shirt when there is a rap rap rapping on the door. Hmmm, do I put on pants? Fine, I won't be that guy. Good thing too cuz it's the man asking if Focus is my car. Yes. Were you driving it this afternoon? Nope but I know who was. Lemme get some shoes on. So I go inside, hide some contraband, get my shoes on and tell J who is in the kitchen that it's the cops and they would like a word. So I go out (Julio runs out too, the little shithead) and we start chatting. The Greenville PD wanted him to come get some info from J. He also starts pointing out damage on the car. Uh, actually that was already there from this incident. So we take a look at the mirror. It's pushed off the car a bit and there is a scrape on it but it's just plastic and the mirror is still intact.

He says that leaving the scene of an accident (which the other guy did too) is a felony and he could take J to jail. "Could" being the key word. But since it's small time and the G'ville officer doesn't want to go that route, he just gets her insurance info and DL number and strongly suggests that J go inside and give him a call. All he needs her to do is sign an accident report.

Once we get a nice new car, J might actually have to not hit things. And I'm supposed to be the bad driver.

Also in the news, teens getting high on "legal" drugs from Oh no! Alert the pharmaceutical industry, we need better safeguards! What? They don't give a shit? It just means more money in their pockets? Why don't the pharmacists do something about it? Yeah, bartenders are liable for getting people drunk, so why aren't pharmacists liable for getting people high? It most certainly is not the Beer producer or Drug producers fault.

And of course:

By far the most popular illegal drug continues to be marijuana.

For the fifth year in a row, the percentage of 10th- and 12th-grade students using marijuana declined, but there was no corresponding decline in the percentage of eighth-graders who experimented with pot.

What is this the 70's? Where is the DEA? Don't these kids know that the government says that the evil marijuana kills thousands of people a year? Why isn't there some sort of "War on Drugs"? It surely would be effective and not at all a waste of taxpayer's money.

Crack use is down, which is always a good thing. We all know that Crack is whack.

Today's sarcasm has been brought to you by the letter "S".


Tuesday, December 19, 2006


I hate when I do that

I was bidding on J's seasons of Friends. Or what I thought was Friends. It was actually "Best of" Friends, season 1. Fuck. Hopefully I can get out of this. It's only $8.80 but I would much rather spend that money on J's actual present instead of my mistake. The email I plan to send right after I finish this will mostly consist of: I'm an idiot. I'm very sorry. As a peace offering I will gladly Paypal you the equivalent of twice your eBay fees for listing this item. I have actually done this in the past. If you look at my eBay feedback, when I first started I had the exact same thing happen to me. You would've thought I learned my lesson. I would appreciate neutral feedback but understand if it is negative.

Hopefully it goes well.
Update: It went great! She was from Chicago and was very understanding. The listing fee was $0.11 so she didn't make me cover her fees! Yay!

Our 5K is coming up on Jan. 27th. Neither of us are training very hard which will probably bite us in the ass. I just hope it isn't too cold.

I might make a good cop. Or I just might get killed because I gave someone the benefit of the doubt. But maybe the academy could train that out of me. It's a fairly decent idea for a back-up job. Especially after reading Jack's post. And after my policeman friend said that they encourage driving fast at night when no one is around for practice. See? When I practice (if I practiced on the street), they pull me over and probably let me spend the night in jail. But they encourage practice for their boys in blue. Wouldn't it be fun to learn how to drift a Crown Vic around your favorite off-ramp? I couldn't do it too much though. Don't want to waste too much of the taxpayer's money on tires. And I know for a fact that J would enjoy it. Ma'am, the reason I pulled you over is because you were doing 75 in a 55 and you cut off that schoolbus full of nuns. I'm sorry officer, but I'm sure my husband Officer Last Name could clear everything up. Oh. I'm sure he could. I'm not the Korean you're looking for *hand wave*. Sorry ma'am, you're not the Korean we're looking for. Move along.

I know she would enjoy that. And then me and the other guys and gals could sit around the station and joke about how our significant others can't drive or drive too fast or drive too cautiously. Good times.

But that's a distant back-up plan that I hopefully won't have to use.

Ok, I'm off to see if I can weasel my way out of this eBay purchase. Wish me luck.

Monday, December 18, 2006


I think I've got a blooger

I'm waiting a bit to upgrade to that new blogger. Maybe I'll do it next week or this weekend.

I kept my promise and found the reference for Alan Weisman's article. It is from Discover magazine. DISCOVER Vol. 26 No. 02 | February 2005 | Environment. Link to Earth Without People.


Both Christmas parties were fun, ours more fun than the other, but the other had families and faculty and was more subdued. Much larger selection of food though. I liked the faculty's house except for the fact that there was no way to go from the basement deck to the 2nd floor deck without going inside. Mentally I devised either a spiral staircase with a fireman's pole for quick getaways or building a ladder type thing on a tree that was close to the deck. I also did not like his kitchen. It just didn't have that much useable counterspace, but I really like the multiple decks and a screened in porch right off the kitchen. It's also a 150 foot jaunt down to Lake Hartwell. Nice.

I accidentally saw my Christmas present. J was asking where the tape was, so I went into the spare bedroom to help her find it. And there sitting on the floor necessitating the tape, was my Xmas present. It is Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin, the new Castlevania game for the Nintendo DS! Wow, it even has a wiki page. So I am very excited! Now I just need to remember to take it with me everywhere.

J also knows what she is getting but just because I was lazy and procrastinated and so we doubled up a shopping trip for a new LCD monitor for our computer with shopping for her ipod shuffle at Best Buy. Nope they were sold out, although they had about 150 nanos. Circuit Shitty was also sold out. Fine, to the internet! I went over to and it even had free shipping. Sorry real stores, you lose the stockpiling race once again. It should arrive Wednesday. FedEx has a bad habit of leaving packages at your door, so I'll either leave them a note asking them to put it in my car (if I take the CATbus to school) or maybe leave an empty pot out there so he can at least hide it under that.

I'm also hoping to get a couple of the other Friends DVDs that J needs to make her collection complete. She (I take no ownership of those DVDs, although I do watch them) has 3-9 so far, so I'm trying to track down 1 and 2. We both agree that Season 10 was not good. The one where Joey can't distinguish between actual spoken French and the gibberish coming out of his mouth when he tried to speak it is a shining example of why the last season wasn't all that great and why Joey was doomed to fail. One, even two, dimensional characters are not entertaining.

Still don't know what to get your loved ones? How about one of the Ten Most Dangerous Toys of All-Time!

My personal favorite is:

Notice the oxy-moron "Safe Radioactive Material". Yeah 238U is REALLY safe. Just ask Chernobyl or 3 Mile Island. A 1951 scientist should've known better but I guess the businessman took ahold of that part of the brain for a bit.

Exams finished last week and the campus is almost completely deserted, just a few faculty, staff and a small army of grad students.

Friday, December 15, 2006



3 posts in one day!??!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

That's right. It's Seth comin' atcha live from Protege's Christmas (or ChrismaHannaKwanzaakuh) Party.

J is reading this over my shoulder and Protege's cat is sleeping right behind me. He's an enforcer of a cat. Nobody fucks with the Rutherford.

Tad bored, but something is about to happen. Why do Canadians feel the need to pronounce the -out different from other english speakers? Aboot. Ootside. Those wacky Canadians. No J there are no Canadians here I'm just typing while I think. It's how I blog and I'm not about to change it now!!!!!!

We did a "Dirty" Christmas gift exchange where you bring a gift and then pick a number (1-6 in this case). 1 goes first and then 2 goes next but has the option of picking a new present or stealing 1's present. Excellent fun and much shenanigans can ensue but no one stole a present this year. Weirdos. Or am I weird for ignoring the "real" people at the party and blogging?

We brought a crockpot full of meatballs (prepared by me, the sauce at least, frozen meatballs) and there was a spiral cut ham, a delicious pineapple casserole, some mango and pomegranate and some cheese logs. All very good. Oh shit! I almost forgot the butter curry crab legs! Very awesome. A bit hard to eat buffet style but we forged ahead.

Okay, that's enough. Hope you enjoyed Seth's Xmas party update and some live drunken blogging. Or Drogging if you will. And I hope you don't because there has to be a better term for that.



How evil are you?


Black Belt Jones

My crew of friends (all Losers) in high school would occasionally find obscure movies and have viewing parties. Kind of like Random Movie Club but much less organized and no pizza.

On this certain occasion the flick was Black Belt Jones which, I just found out, was directed by the same guy that did Enter the Dragon. No wonder we liked it so much. It is a blaxploitation film (that term has always seemed derogatory to me) from 1974 and stars Jim Kelly

I enjoyed the movie and some of the lines are freakin' hysterical. Very quotable, a couple that spring to mind are:
Look at all that bread! (said in a scruffy mafia tone)
Wait nigga! Lemme get some clothes on! (said by a middle aged black woman who was being rushed out the door) (the "N" word is okay in my book if it is being quoted for historical reasons)

I would recommend it to the RMC if you can find it.

Ruthie called me on some bad grammar yesterday.
We also did played some soccer and wrestling.
Yes that is awful grammar and the -ed should be dropped, or the did, to make it correct. My brain and fingers got trapped mid verb and apparently got stuck and pooped them both out. My bad and no I will not fix it. That's not what we're about here. We're about the raw truth of human existence.

The Week runs excerpts from books and other thing near the back. It is slowly becoming one of my favorite features. An excerpt from a few weeks ago covered what would happen to the earth if humans instantly vanished. No, not the Rapture but everyone. [incidentally, please click on that link, it is to Rapture and is a group of atheists who have promised to deliver letters from believers (who are now in heaven post-Rapture) to their non-believer friends, very funny]

It went on to say that most domesticated animals would either become feral or die. Most engineered plants and animals (think cockapoo) will also die off. Apparently NYC had about 30 or 40 rivers and streams running through it before it became the concrete jungle that it is, so the subways will flood and slowly eat away at some of the asphalt and street supports, which will all collapse and give NYC back its streams and rivers. It also said that the next ice age would come along and take care of all the buildings. The ozone layer would recover and it would take roughly 100-200 years for most of humanity's traces to be destroyed.

It really made me feel better knowing that once we somehow manage to kill off all humans that Mother Earth would make it out just fine.

We also received our wedding pics and I realized the other day that none of you have seen any Long Haired Seth pics, so I will share those this weekend and I'll also get the reference for the above article.

Thursday, December 14, 2006


Mmmmmm, cake

My family and I lived in Costa Rica during 1989 and into 1990 a little. We were down there for language training. (Spanish) My parents would go to language class and other missionary type activities all day while my brother and I would go to school at Sonlights which was a Christian school and we also had an hour of spanish class too.

Sonlights was great. We got snacks during the day (although I did NOT like the fig bars, gimme a fig newton anyday, and the cold beans and sour cream on tortillas were okay, there were other snacks but that is all I remember right now) and during the summer instead of school, we would go to different activities. The activities were swimming (one motherfucker almost drowned me, don't remember his name but I think he was the son of the director or something, and he had red hair) and there was roller skating. We also did played some soccer and wrestling. I remember wrestling a HUGE 6th grader when I was in 3rd grade. He had at least a foot on me but it was still fun. I remember him being very hairy but I think that is mostly because I didn't have much hair. Don't remember his name but his last name was Sexton. A very nice family who had sons around our (my bro and me) age. They went to Uruguay if memory serves. If you were a missionary that needed language training, odds are that you were going to Costa Rica for a bit to try and pick some up before you went off to your chosen (or assigned) Spanish speaking country.

Dammit! I was trying to find where I taught everyone how to speak spanish, or at least pronounce the vowel sounds, but googling myself brought up no results for vowels. So we'll briefly run through it. And unlike English, this is the only sounds that Spanish vowels will ever make.
A, pronounced like when the dentists asks you to open your mouth. Say aaaaaah.
E, pronounced like someone indifferent. Did you like the movie. Eh, it was okay. Also sounds like the "e" in egg.
I, pronounced like the english ee. Tree, or bee.
O, pronounced like o in english but shorter. Really hard to explain. Um.....I got nothing.
U, pronounced kind of like eeeewwww, but again shorter. Sounds similar to the sound monkeys make, as in "oo oo aa aa".

The whole point of this focuses on the spanish "I". It sounds like a double "ee" in english. Occasionally this will present a problem for translators not super familiar with english but not as bad as Japanese translations. There is (was) an english language weekly newspaper that was printed in Costa Rica. I never really read it because I had a Nintendo, a little brother, the outside and friends that were my age. But one day my dad showed me a recipe that appeared in the paper.

It was a recipe for "Shit Cake". Gross and very funny. But it was actually a recipe for Sheet Cake, they just forgot that while ee and i sound the same to spanish readers, those words mean two very different thing to anglo readers.

And my apologies to you for the way the Spanish vowel lesson ended. O and U are just very hard to explain in writing.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


Spurred Onward!

Since ESC is sharing her dissertation chaos with us, another labmate is writing up and I have the innate desire to get the hell out of dodge, Seth's dissertation starts today. I plan on making an outline and breaking down my individual projects and compiling data to see what I have and what I need. Yes it's a huge undertaking but the longer I put it off, the harder it gets and from what I hear, it's hard enough already.

Also I went to the Other Seth's going away party and apparently he heard that I was now getting my Masters; not that there is anything wrong with that but a 6 year PhD is one thing and a 6 year Masters is a completely different beast. Once the rumor mill has started generating rumors about you, it's time to go.

J and I picked up renter's insurance today. And I don't know J's social security number. But it feels good knowing that if the house burns down and the cats escape with my tree ornaments and photo albums and marriage license and computer hard drive, that everything will be replaced with only a small ($500) deductible. And State Farm will even find us somewhere to live. Nice.

Oh, I wanted to share a story from the autocross a couple weeks ago. I never told the autocross story but the ultra short version is:
Go to Subaru's house, drive to his in-law's place in Columbia, sleep, arise, drive to Orangeburg, autocross, watch Subaru hit the timing lights (if these break the day is over, but they made it out okay), stop at Wendy's, arrive at Suby's place, drive home.
This story takes place after we get to the in-law's and before sleep.

I get sleepy on car rides much like J, especially if I'm not driving. So I napped a bit on the way down. We arrive and Suby's Father In Law (SFIL) is asleep on the couch, so we give him a call and he lets us in. We watch some TV (Simpsons) and chat and then Suby says he's tired and turns in. Then me and SFIL watch some more TV and wait for Suby's Mother In Law (SMIL) to get home from work. Never do catch where she works but it's a CVS/Eckerd's/Woolworth's type place from her description. Then SFIL goes to sleep and it's just me and SMIL hanging out. We chat about the wedding and newly married life (I've met these folks before at Suby's wedding activities and they're nice) and then I realize that I'm trapped. I don't have the remote, I'm not sleepy but am not about to sit here with someone else's mom for hours watching some news channel. Oh good! A yawn! Yaaaaawwwwn, I'm tired. I'm going to bed. Thanks for letting us stay here for the night and YOINK! I'm upstairs. Suby is out like a light and I'm not tired. So I give J a call, and like the night owl she is, is wide awake and excited to hear from me. Ooops, too far. Let's back up a tad.

I get upstairs and am sleeping in the In-Laws granddaughter's room when she comes over. This means toys in the closet, pink bedspread and various other child oriented items. I take out my contacts (Have I ever told you guys I wear contacts? Well I do.) and get ready for bed. I brought my toothbrush but no toothpaste. No biggie. I'm sure there is some in the bathroom. Score, Colgate. Oh wait. The bottle is shaped weird and it's glittery. Oh no! I inspect the "toothpaste" a little closer. There is a monkey on it and Dora the Explorer. The flavor is Fresh Bubble Gum Fruit flavor. Wonderful. I picture myself as a 7 year old in my dentist's office faced with the choice of bubble gum, banana or cherry fluoride toothpaste. I made the banana mistake once and usually went cherry. Bubble gum is so played out. So I squirt some pink sparkly "toothpaste" onto my brush and go for broke. Damn. Damn damn. This stuff, while it doesn't taste bad, does not taste good. Ugh, clean teeth. The lengths we go to for personal hygiene. I rinse, spit and make a huge mental note to buy a damn travel sized tube of adult toothpaste. No more Dora for me.

Then I call J and we talk for a half hour or so and then I drift off to dreamland.

Monday, December 11, 2006


He's OK!

Yes, J and I made it back from the wilds of what is basically suburban Atlanta. I even had full cell service. While in my book, that technically doesn't make it camping, this wasn't a real camping trip.

It was mostly a way for J and I to get away for a night and make our drive to Ikea a bit shorter. Ikea was successful. We purchased a new two leveled glass top coffee table that is excellent. Also picked up a couple shelves with hidden brackets so we'll call them floating shelves. Also some random baby toys because J's friend's little sister just had another baby. There is a story there, many actually, but we're not gonna get into it. Mostly because I don't think J's friend would appreciate me airing her family's dirty laundry in public. And without permission of course.

All the furniture does have nifty Swedish names. Just looked at Ikea's store locator and the one in ATL is the only one in the Southeast. Texas and Philly are the next closest stores, although the one they're building in Orlando should be open soon. And apparently they're building one in Brooklyn so watch out Julie!

Camping (car camping as it were) was fun and not as bitterly cold as I expected. We arrived at Red Top Mountain State Park around 5, checked in, were informed that we were the only people tent camping in the park, found a nice camping spot (which had running water and electrical outlets, yet another "not real camping feature") and then went down to check out the lake. Lake Altoona. It was at least 10 feet below normal. We literally walked about 50 yards (45 meters) out into the lake without getting wet. It was low and dry. We saw a shoe trapped under a rock.

We then hiked up to the heated restrooms. And then set out to find some fire wood.

The night was chilly. J and I both ended up getting completely inside our bags because our faces were freezing. J's biggest fear was having to use the restroom in the middle of the night and sho nuff, she had to get up. I felt bad for her but stayed bundled and warm. Morning was chilly and it took a while to get the fire going, but I finally did and made some delicious hot chocolate that was just what I wanted. Warm, chocolatey goodness.

The house is still a mess and we still haven't sent out those damn thank you notes. I'll be working on those tonight.

Friday, December 08, 2006


Anyone who speaks German can't be bad

said one of the parole board while seeing if Sideshow Bob was rehabilitated. Simpsons if Sideshow Bob means nothing to you. He was voiced by Kelsey Grammar.

Voice over work has to be pretty easy comparitively. I'm sure it is difficult but it reduces your performance from your whole persona down to your voice.

So I finally went through most of my blogroll yesterday and saw that Tricia's family is under serious hardship. Her son, Josh, was in a motorcycle accident and went from this
to this:

It looks bad and is bad, but there have been numerous things that could've been much worse. He lost lots of blood and bruised and/or lacerated many internal organs. They thought he was going to lose his spleen and liver, but thankfully they both are gonna make it.

Please keep Tricia, her son, and the rest of her family in your thoughts and prayers as they head down the long hard road to recovery.

Like I said he was in a motorcycle accident and unfortunately it is usually a matter of when a wreck will happen and not if a wreck will happen. He wasn't wearing a helmet or any protective clothing, but that would not have stopped his injuries; maybe it would've reduced them, but that is neither here nor there. He's a fighter and is going to be just fine. And probably have some righteous scars.

Please stop by Tricia's blog and encourage her and her family in their time of need.

It was around 25 degrees on my way into work this morning. Very cold by southern standards. I even wore long johns but that is because I'm a pansy and don't like being cold. Yes I know it will be cold camping tonight but that's why I have the long johns. I'm actually considering wearing my long johns and my snow pants. They're going to stop the wind much better than jeans ever could.

Thursday, December 07, 2006


As Good As It Gets

That was the name of it. It was also the name of an article in an old "Rock and Ice" that our climbing wall was giving away and that is what jogged my memory, much to the chagrin of the internet.

Real World was drama-filled last night. Of course it wasn't real drama, it was fake drunken Real World misunderstanding drama. A small misunderstanding almost escalated into a fight between the gay guy (who is from GA and was raised Baptist, which I guess makes him a Rainbow Baptist now) and one of the two black guys (I know two, so progressive). Towards the end of the screaming match, the gay guy dropped the n-word. He did apologize and everything is now happily ever after.

J said to me that she doesn't get why that word is so powerful. To me it represents 300 years of black slavery and lynch mobs and Klan meetings and the general hatred of an entire race of people, that's why I think it's so powerful and also why I don't say it, except when I'm rapping along with someone and they decide to use it.

Of course J's counter-point was "if you don't want to be called a n-word, don't act like one." Which while it is slightly inflammatory, is pretty much dead on. Chris Rock, Bill Crosby, Dave Chappelle and many others have been ostracized for making that distinction, but there is some truth to it.

I also have to agree with a blogger I read the other day, can't remember which link I followed, odds are it was from Cynical-C, but he said that you can't outlaw that word because it would just make it that much more powerful. Very true. Edit: Here's the link and yes it was from Banning the "N" word

Took the cats out for a walk this morning. J and I are going camping down in GA this weekend, or Friday night specifically. Yes it's going to be cold, but I plan on wearing as much clothing as I can and remaining nice and warm. And then we're going to go to Ikea and maybe some other stinky post-camping Christmas shopping. Yes we'll be careful and if for some reason we do get lost, we will stay with the car and not wander off like this poor soul in OR.

RIP James Kim, your family misses you terribly. Such a tragedy.

Let's say that if I don't post by Wed. please contact the authorities. We'll be in Red Top Mountain State Park near Lake Altoona. I really do trust that you would contact someone if I don't come back, but we'll be back, I promise. But it's nice to know someone, even someone I've never met, is looking out for you.

Still haven't gotten around to my promised posts. Maybe tomorrow. Laters!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


Go sell crazy somewhere else

Never seen that movie but I do know that Jack Nicholson said it in um, it also had Greg Kinnear and Helen Hunt I think. Don't want to it right now.

Occasionally I'll go over survival scenarios in my head, just to entertain myself but ultimately to have a plan of action in case it goes down. Yesterday it was "what if a gun wielding madman came into lab?" We have a couple emergency exits next to our desks but they just go to the lab next door and they are supposed to be clear but who knows if they are. We also have two doors, so I could bolt out the other door while they're firing away. I posed this question to the group at lunch. It popped into my head because we have a fairly anti-social and socially maladjusted person working in our lab right now. Way too many stories but we did acquire some hard evidence of their insanity and copies were made. I'll have to scan it and show you guys.

But in addition to escape scenarios we also came up with some lab defense systems. Most were taken straight from the Home Alone series of movies (most people have seen 1 and 2, 3 is not good. Okay, none of them are really "good" but are at least watchable, sorry Joe and Macaulay [wow, I almost spelled that right, only forgot the last a]). They involved a bag of tools above the door and some large metal objects that would swoop down and hit the intruder in the face. We have plenty of heavy metal objects laying around lab. I should document those one day. I'll have to remember to bring my camera. That sounds like a "I'm stuck at work" Christmas activity.

My friend(Subaru) told me he saw a smashed up cop car as he was going home yesterday. He wasn't sure if they rear-ended a car or a telephone pole but since he hit something from behind, odds are it was the policeperson's fault. Oops. It would be funnier if our taxes didn't have to pay for repairs.

We're going to Subaru's tonight to trim (decorate) his tree and play on his new training board that he built. It's a trainer for climbers to work on their handstrength when they can't get to the gym or don't want to go anywhere. He screwed one of these
Onto a wooden base that he built. He said his wife can't do a pull-up so he has her on a training regiment of 3 serious tries per day to help build her arm strength. I have challenged J to do a pull-up too. I think she can do it! Should be a good time.

Labs are over this week! Hooray! I still have a few things to grade that people handed in late (slackers) but it shouldn't take long.

X-ray diffractometer is open! Off to shoot X-rays at a crystal I made!

Monday, December 04, 2006


Washing machine

Ours started leaking water yesterday. I gave our slumlord a call and he should be out today and will probably just replace the washer. The water looks like it is leaking from the inside, so I have no idea if that is an easy fix or not.

But I opted to leave the cats loose in the house. Normally when someone comes to work on the apt. I like to be there or put the cats in their bathroom. I don't think they like being in there too much, so I try and not keep them in there all day. I called at 8:30 or so and waited until about 10 but I had to get to work. Leon actually ran out of the house while I was putting the recycling in the car. They don't run that far once they're outside. And they will come up to you if you call their name, so it's fairly easy to get them back in once they've escaped. That is, if you can find them and they're not hiding in a crawl space.

We'll see. Hopefully they behave and stay inside. I guess we should break down and get them collars. Maybe for Christmas.

Nope, didn't finish the Thank You notes, but they are going to go out tomorrow. Mark my word.

The autocross was lots of fun on Saturday. Technically I didn't beat Subaru in his car; his fastest was a 36.8 sec. and mine was a 36.6 plus a 2 second penalty for hitting a cone. He might've been faster on his last run but tried to push it too hard at the finish and hit the timing lights (very very bad) but they were okay so no one formed a lynch mob.

I really, really like driving his car. A little turbo lag, but nothing bad, great Suby sound, big sticky 245/40/16 Hoosiers. The car actually understeers like Focus if you go into a turn too fast but if you slow down like you're supposed to, you can get back on the throttle so much sooner and let the AWD and diffs sort it out. If you get on the throttle too soon in Focus, she starts spinning her inside tire. I need a diff. I'll get one one day. Maybe I'll get one. Hopefully I'll get one.

Off to writing various papers.

Friday, December 01, 2006


Who needs order?

Thanks go out to the Princess of Power for getting me back on an Eminem kick.

As a child living right about here there was a creek two blocks up. This afforded my brother and I countless hours of entertainment and adventure. The magnolia tree in our front yard (which I think is still there last time I drove by that house) introduced us to the wonderful world of climbing trees. But the creek was nice and cool in the summer and peaceful and babbly during other times.

The creek though was not without peril. I wouldn't say rife with peril, but there were dangers.

Sorry, just saw this link in one of my other tabs. It is a "If I dug right here straight through the Earth, where would I end up?" site using Google Maps. Drat. Looks like I would be a few hundred miles off the coast of Australia if I dug from my backyard. Be careful kiddies and plan ahead with that hole!

I remember one day walking over the creek with my brother. The road by our house crossed over the creek and as we strolled we saw a plastic snake floating in the water. It looked to be a coral snake, which we discussed back in May, and was curled up all cute and snake-like placidly drifting down the creek. My brother and I bend over to get a closer look. We're a good 4 feet up from the creek. The snake then decides it's tired of floating, straightens up and takes off down the creek. AAAAAAHHHHH!!! Being the 6 year old I was, I shriek and run back towards the house. Why? Beats me. It isn't like the snake lunged out of the river and bit my neck. I just don't think my lil' brother and I were expecting it to be real.

Another mini story from that house:
Still can't remember if this beehive was at the house when we moved in, or it was near the house. I do remember it being outside our house but that just doesn't seem right. This beehive was big, 2 feet tall big (maybe 75 centimeters) and was alive. So we stayed well away from that area of the backyard (if it was at our house) and then once January rolled around and all the bees (or maybe wasps) were asleep and dormant, we took a trash bag, put it around the hive, taped it very well at the top and waited for all the bees to die off. Now we have an awesome beehive and I have a great show and tell piece. No idea what became of that beehive. I'll have to ask Dad.

So it looks like the high tomorrow is supposed to be 60. Not quite as cold as I thought.

I'll get to my promised posts eventually.

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