Wednesday, October 31, 2007



Foxy is doing fine. She was stoned out of her mind for a good 12 hours after surgery though. Couldn't walk straight. No depth perception. Could barely keep her eyes open. Leon was not being a loving understanding older brother either, so we quarantined Foxy in our room and she slept like a log.

Now for the tragic:

Robert Goulet has passed away at 73. He died while waiting for a lung transplant due to his diagnosed interstitial pulmonary fibrosis. I will remember him most for his amazing singing voice and his appearance in Beetlejuice. Link to Douglas Martin's NY Times article.

I'm sure you have all heard about the beach house fire that claimed 7 lives in Ocean Isle Beach. One was a Clemson student and I've already had two students say they wouldn't be in lab today to attend funeral services and be with their family and friends. Emily Lauren Yelton, 18, was the name of the Clemson student who passed away. Please also keep the families of Taylor Cox and Amy Marie Moxie in your thoughts. They are the other Clemson students we have lost this year. Also keep in mind another one of my students whose grandfather passed away. Article by Meg Kinnard of the AP.

Kids, only play with matches under adult supervision. Seriously. It turns out that a boy playing with matches accidentally burned down 38,000 acres. 38,000 acres is just over 59 square miles. That's a big number. Our father knew that all little boys loved playing with fire so he started the Junior Firebugs of America club. (Hey dad, if this is how you find out about my blog) We would wait for dad to get home, then we would play with fire under adult supervision and have a great time and some quality father/son time too. We also never burned down a house or a sizeable forest. I don't think that's a coincidence. Remember what Smokey the Bear always says: Only YOU can prevent forest fires.

Smokey the Bear's website

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Monday, October 29, 2007


Baseball is finally over!

Hooray! Another season down and I still don't care. Maybe if I owned a team I would care a bit more. Maybe.

Edit: Almost forgot. Foxy is getting spayed today so I hope everything goes alright during surgery.

I'm about to get to work but wanted to share this real quick. So you know how Britain is our buddy? Well, they went against our wishes and downgraded cannabis (marijuana) to a Class C drug. This was a few years ago so obviously the country has devolved into head shops on every corner and every school student smoking a doobie during recess and nap time right? Nope. In fact, less young people are using cannabis now in the UK.

I know. It's hard for us to believe. Drugs are the devil and should be down away with completely. This stance hasn't worked since, oh around, never. But the countries that actually admit that people like their drugs and will continue to use them no matter what have lower usage stats than our great country. So what does this mean? I think it means we need to reevaluate how we classify our drugs. You cannot sit there and tell me that heroin and cannabis are in the same class of drugs. But that is what we teach in this country. This is what our government and tax dollars are teaching America's youth. Smoking a joint and injecting heroin is the exact same thing in their eyes. A similar situation (in my amateur opinion) would be a kid popping a ziploc bag of air, and that same kid getting a chunk of cesium or rubidium and dropping it in a tub of water. Not the same thing. Not even the same league. Barely even the same sport.

Whatever. Just know that my kids will be informed about all drugs around them and their effects on the body. You better believe we'll be starting with caffeine, alcohol and nicotine. All the legal "healthy" drugs. Riiiiiight.

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Friday, October 26, 2007



Had a talk with Bossman yesterday and since he couldn't be at my talk today, we postponed it. Since there aren't any other Fridays open the rest of the semester, I'll be giving it early in the spring. There was also talk of me possibly getting a Masters degree because he felt I didn't have enough research and data to get a PhD. Obviously I disagree and plan to blow him away next week with how much research I have actually done and convince him that I can write a quality dissertation. I will continue to work my ass off and try and get out of here with a PhD. A Masters wouldn't be the end of the world but it might be tricky trying to explain why it took me 7 years to get one. There are reasons but I don't want to get into them here, or ever, and would much rather get the degree I feel I deserve.

On a much lighter note, anyone remember the Triple Threat Challenge from this past February? Well, Aramark brought it back with a few slight changes. $5.99 buys you 3 buns, 3 6 oz. patties, any toppings you would like and a 22 oz. drink. I opted for some lettuce, cheese, tomatoes and Cherry Coke. I reused my "divide and conquer" approach and polished off the bottom bun and pattie no problem at all. Then dove into the remaining double burger. I really didn't feel gross until the last couple bites. I started tasting some of Aramark's grease but just covered that up with BBQ sauce.

They had a table set up for the "challengers". It was a lovely fall day so I opted to sit outside with my labmate who also undertook the Threat. We sit down and I see the bloke across from me is struggling. He ran head first into that wall. He has the bottom bun and at least 1 1/8 patties left. No condiments either. Rookie mistake. We snap our "before" pictures and make our way outside. The manager says she wants to snap a last bite shot, so as I'm finishing off the last couple bites of what's left, I venture back inside, take my photo-op, and see him still sitting there. His girlfriend is there for moral support and she comments that we both finished at the same time. If anyone is wondering, if I ever feel the need to eat competitively, I will do the speed events exclusively and save the gorgefest events for the skinny crazy people. Joey Chestnut, Pat Bertoletti, Sonya Thomas, Takeru Kobayashi, and Tim Janus can rest easy. I will never come close to their records. I enjoy food too much to cram 29 Waffle House waffles down my craw in 10 minutes. But because I know they're out there, pushing the limits of the human digestion system, I was extremely confident that I could defeat the Triple Threat without breaking a sweat. I watched the "Science of Eating" on the National Geographic Channel.

Maybe I wouldn't like speed eating either. You would barely have time to swallow. If you ever see a guy at the Nathan's competition putting mustard and relish and onions on his hot dogs, that will probably be me.

If you have never had the pleasure of watching an eating competition, the Krystal Square Off IV (4) is live on ESPN this Sunday, Oct. 28th at 2:30 pm Eastern. I've seen their coverage before and the announcer's are pretty bad and they have entirely too much story for an 8 minute binge-fest. Oh, and if you live in Chattanooga, TN, you can go watch it in person! Winner gets a Krystal belt and a $10,000 cash prize. 2nd gets $7500 and 3rd gets $3500.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Worst Mayor in America

This one is for you Icedtrip.

This was brought to my attention by Cynical Chris.

Just a few lowlights and then the link.

• He once stopped a school bus on a busy interstate because he “needed a hug” from the kids inside.

• He’s been known to strap weapons to his chest and leg that he has no authority to carry or conceal, then wear them in public.

• He regularly suits up and leads SWAT-style “raids” on homes, businesses, and even roadblocks in busy traffic—without cause or a warrant.

• He has tried to close down the city’s strip clubs for moral reasons, despite no authority to do so.

• He once bulldozed an elderly woman’s house, promising to build her a better one. He then forgot to build it.

Take a read for yourself of Frank Melton, mayor of Jackson, Mississippi By Donna Ladd for



I'm an informed voter

at least according to USAToday. I took their poll which was initially linked by the Princess of Power herself. Here is the link to the game.

I came back with Mike Gravel, Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul. Actually it was Mike Huckabee in 3rd position but his social stances are horrifying so I replaced him with Ron Paul who actually likes people and thinks they can make up their own minds. Right now I'm still planning on voting for Ron Paul in the Republican primaries in January, but that might change in the next 2 months. Basically if the Democratic party needs me to help make up their mind narrowing down the candidates because the Rep. race is a blow-out, but I don't really see that happening.

On a more serious note, please keep everyone in Southern California, Mexico and Arizona in your thoughts. San Diego is on fire and who knows when it will stop. Our own fearless Doc in the Box had to be evacuated from his house and since he isn't really doing anything has decided to volunteer with some other corpsman and help out wherever they're needed.
Dr. Sean's initial San Diego Fires post
Sean's fire update and volunteering for the rescue recovery team

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Monday, October 22, 2007


Almost there

I had some Simpsons quotes from one of my favorite episodes. I think it's titled "Missionary-tales" and involves Homer pledging money to PBS then having to flee the country by becoming a missionary in the South Pacific. He licks toads and builds a casino. Betty White is a guest voice for the episode. Stupid baseball was on so Fox preempted all their Sunday night cartoons, but I was at school working anyway, but it's the point of it. Although I must have to say "Go Indians" because I'm getting sick of all the Red Sox/Yankees hoopla so it'll be nice to have a couple new teams to not care about in the World Series.

My final seminar is in 4 days! Aaaaiiiiieeeeee!

Update: Crap, just saw that the Red Sox did win last night and are in the World Series. So Go Rockies!

Friday, October 19, 2007


Save 2nd Base!

Apparently a high school in Salina, Kansas thought the slogan "Save 2nd Base!" accompanied with 2 baseballs over the pectoral muscles printed on a t-shirt was too risque for Salina Central High School. Story from KWCH. Story from Chicago Tribune with video. Finally The Official Save 2nd Base site.

The assistant principal thought it was too sexually suggestive. Right because these poor Kansas high school kids have never been to first base, let alone second and have NEVER had sex. Not one of them. I'm sure the government will be cutting him a check for "healthy sex education" any day now. I saw my first Abstinence sex education commercial the other day on TV. I hate that my tax dollars are going towards this. Although this made me sad but relieved at the same time. School officials, in response to a sudden outbreak of teen pregnancy, voted to make birth control available to one of Portland, Maine's middle schools. I'm so glad instead of upping the "Abstinence Only" message they took a real solution and are trying to prevent pregnancies and unwanted babies instead of busting out the chastity belts. Not that chastity belts are a terrible idea.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2007


Who sucked out the feeling?

I hadn't heard that song by Nada Surf?, nope it was by Superdrag. Either way it's a damn good song. Wiki said their second album was pretty crazy with an orchestra and sitars. Sounds pretty cool to me.

Nada Surf played "Popular" which is also an awesome song.

For your Youtube viewing pleasure:
"Sucked Out" by Superdrag


"Popular" by Nada Surf


Monday, October 15, 2007


Luke, I am your father

I caught Robot Chicken's version of Star Wars. It was pretty good. Tons of guest voices and some very funny jokes. The Admiral Ackbar cereal commercial was right on. My complements to Seth Green and his show. I hadn't ever watched it before but I'll give it a few more viewings.

My seminar is in just under 2 weeks, so I won't be on here much. Or at least no super crazy long posts. Probably.

It started cooling down here. How about where you live?

Friday, October 12, 2007


Yes they deserved to die and I hope they burn in Hell!

- Samuel L. Jackson playing the father who killed his young daughter's rapists in "A Time to Kill" (I had to imdb that, I couldn't remember the title)

An alternate title was going to be Love is a Battlefield. I stepped on a rather nasty land mine but was luckily able to scoop my guts back in, find that missing leg and cobble myself back together. I hope it heals well but I know what to look for now and will avoid those land mines at all cost.

The seminar day will be here before I know it. Ideally I'll have all my slides done by the Mon. before so I can go over them with my adviser and he can give me suggestions and feedback since he has a talk at the exact same time as mine in Greenville. One of my labmates will be introducing me.

J got a new cell phone yesterday for "free" and for those not good at reading between the lines, means that we'll be slaves to AT&T aka Pearl Jam censors for another 2 years. It's cute and a darkish pink. It's a Sony Ericsson Z310a

and has some neat features. Nothing really useful like GPS but it has lights that can light up in different patterns when someone calls. I think it would be useful in the dark, or if you were deaf, or if your phone was across the room and you had memorized the different light patterns and could tell who was calling. It's also pretty. We successfully transferred all her old numbers to the SIM card so changing phones was a snap. This is also our first cameraphone. Yeah, that's right. And the only ipod we have is a 2nd gen shuffle. It's like we're living in the stone age. My 2 year stint of service will be up next May. Will I get another "free" AT&T phone? Will I finally get my Helio? Will I pay at least $100 for a cell phone? Will the next gen iphone be out by then? Will we still be using cell phones? Will I still be in grad school?


Thursday, October 11, 2007


All you need is love.

I hope that's true John. I really do.

I'll be around this weekend working on my seminar.

Please keep the family of my co-worker in your thoughts. Her grandfather passed away.


Wednesday, October 10, 2007



I hate Wednesdays. The grading is much worse than the teaching.

My final seminar in front of the department is 2 weeks from this Friday. And I just got a huge stack of lab reports. They will not get my full attention.

Monday, October 08, 2007


Beer: the cause of and solution to, all of life's problems.

- Homer Simpson, from the episode where Mayor Quimby tries out prohibition in Springfield. I know I've used it before but dammit, it's one of my favorites.

Not the greatest weekend in college football. The Clemson Tigers offense let the Virginia Tech score waaay too many points off turnovers and we had some trouble tackling people on special teams. And we lost. Again. To a conference opponent.

The unbeatable Trojans of Southern California lost to the Stanford Trees, which means the SEC's own LSU Tigers inherit the #1 spot in the nation. That should make Shaq and my uncle very happy. I'm sure there are other famous LSU fans, just let me know.

Whilst Clemson was getting their ass handed to them, we went to the newlyweds' house and played Mario Party 8! It's so nice that in this day and age you can put video games and other fun activities on your wedding registry. It has tons of mini-games and you can just pick which ones you want to play. There are also a couple different modes to play these mini-games. Some are set up like a giant board game. One is even set up like Monopoly where you put coins you've won into property and develop it from a 1 star hotel to a 4 star hotel. Very cool. My favorite might have been the 1 vs. 3 games. The previous night we only had 3 players so the computer had to step up and play but on Sat. J (who skipped tailgating to sleep all day) was up for playing and the 4 player mode was amazing! Only have 2 players? Don't fret, they have tons of games for just 2 players. For playing games you get cards which you can trade in for other games. We bought a moped game for 50 cards and it was amazing! You hold the Wiimote sideways with the 1 button being the gas and 2 was the brakes. I completely dominated this game. It wasn't too difficult, almost like driving a car. If you are going wide, hit the brakes a bit until you start coming back to the middle of the road. If you're in too tight and turning into the inside of the turn, you're not going fast enough.

The Formula 1 race was fairly exciting. First off, great job Red Bull! Red Bull Renault had David Coulthard coming in at 8th in the last points position. Scuderia Toro Rosso - Ferrari (Italian Red Bull with Ferrari engines) had Sebastian Vettel (who replaced Scott Speed who I'll get to in a second) coming in at 4th! His teammate Vitantonio Liuzzi came in 6th! Toro Rosso leapt from dead last in constructor's points to 7th out of 12 in one race!

Lewis Hamilton finally showed that he's human after all and went wide as he turned into the pits and got stuck in the kitty litter. He was leading the race but that one mistake ended his race. Maybe his team should've mentioned that pit lane was wet and to be extra super careful, but he's still in the driver's points lead. He's 22 and leading the driver's championship in his rookie year. He has 107, teammate Fernando Alonso has 103 and Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen at 100, with one race to go in Sao Paolo, Brazil. It's going to be a great finish to the season. That race is in two weeks and would be a good one to watch.

In other F1 driver news, Jacques Villeneuve made his debut in NASCAR's Nextel Cup series, he finished on the lead lap and in 21st. He has been getting used to only turning left in the Craftsman Truck series and I saw that he crashed in that race on Fri. or Sat.

Scott Speed is getting used to the "turn left and then straight" strategy in the ARCA series, one of NASCAR's many training series as everyone tries to make it into the Winston, sorry, Nextel Cup. Speed finished 7th. Great job guys. Keep turning left and hoping they add some more road courses to the mix, and I might even watch a whole race.

Just for a refresher on why I don't like NASCAR: they're benefiting at the expense of other forms of racing (rally, sports car), they turn left entirely too much while ignoring other directions, and a new one I just added this weekend they were interviewing a winner of a lower level oval race. He said his winning strategy was "to stay at the bottom of the race track on the inside". That's it. I suppose that is harder than it sounds especially if you don't start in front but that does not make for exciting racing. Oh yeah, another aspect I hate is that wrecks are just part of the action. Wrecks in other series are horrible and kill people but it's all part of the show in NASCAR. I think Dale Earnhardt would agree with me. Sure it's part of racing but it should not be a highlight. Rubbin' is racin' but not slamming into the wall at 130+ mph.

Brian Marquis is a whiner. He's a "returning student" at UMass and was upset when his TA curved his "A minus" to a C. I obviously completely agree with the TA. Since he's a paralegal, he feels that a C on his transcript will destroy his career and his life and so he has decided to take it to court. Insert "some lawyers are stupid and useless" joke here.

This was brought to my attention by Common Good, who is trying to bring common sense back to America. Sounds like a great idea to me.

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Thursday, October 04, 2007


Vile weed!

- Newman's comment about the steamed broccoli he just had to eat, from the Kenny Roger's Rosters episode of Seinfeld, one of my favorites because Mark Roberts plays a character named "Seth", and cuz it's hilarious.

Now for the exciting finish to the Protege/Acura Asheville Wedding Story:
(Need to catch up? Part I and Part II.

J left her dress at Subaru's hotel room on accident so I have to run her over there so she can get ready but it works out cuz I need to pick up Subaru anyway. We get there and everyone is ready to go when I get a call from the friends we're staying with. I forgot my tux shoes on his truck outside. shit. But he and his wife are going out for dinner anyway and can meet us at the entrance to the Biltmore. I was just wearing flip flops to try and stay comfortable but that plan definitely bit me in the ass. They arrive, say hey to Subaru (they met a few times down in Clemson) and then flit off to their sushi dinner. I slap on the shoes and hightail it to the Inn. We arrive just in time but I'm thirsty, crazy thirsty. We snap a few pics and notice that they brought some water and umbrellas down for the wedding guests. I wasn't sure if I wanted to drink that water since it was for the guests and I was an usher/groomsmen, so I ran back up to the Inn and asked the head guy in charge (who was killing me all night because his jacket was too small and the material was straining at the buttons, just waiting for an acceptable target at which to launch itself.) He was very cordial and whipped up a jug of ice water and several cups lickety-split. HUGE thanks to that man! I had a couple glasses of water and felt much much better. Chatted with Protege's mom and dad and sister who I would be recessing with since she was a bridesmaid.

The wedding guests started to arrive and we decided it was showtime. We walked down to the chairs on the Vista and waited to escort the wedding guests to their seats. Someone accidentally reserved 3 rows for family instead of 2 rows so we had to scare up some extra seats real quick but no big deal. The ceremony was gorgeous. Acura came down the aisle unescorted for various reasons and it was a lovely ceremony. They lit the unity candle, exchanged the rings and were officially part of the married couples club. We hung out and took a couple more pictures and then headed off to the reception. I got to see an old roommate whose wife is now pregnant and craving salad, cucumbers and soup. The open bar was wonderful and many drinks were had by all, too many drinks were had by some. Dinner (in order of arrival) was crab cakes, salad, petit filet of beef with herb chicken and mashed potatoes, and wedding cake. Then the DJ upped the volume and the dance floor was open. I wasn't dancing initially but finally got out there. It was fun with lots of people of many ages dancing and flailing about. I took off my tux jacket and eventually rolled up my sleeves because I was sweating up a storm. The funniest (grossest) part was when a certain chemistry faculty member and his wife were dancing near J and I. I caught a whiff of something and seriously thought someone had shit their pants. I wasn't sure what to do so I danced J away from that area. Then I see the faculty member's wife run away from him with a look of pure disgust on her face. Then the stench cleared out a full half of the dance floor. If it hadn't smelled like death, it would've been very funny.

We got shut down at 11 pm and everyone went their respective ways, some in cabs, some in cars and some were fortunate enough to be staying at the Inn and just had a short elevator ride to their hotel room.

J and I made it to our friend's home safely and after I showered, I fell into a deep sleep. I woke up about 9:30 and caught the tail end of the Brazil/Norway women's cup game in full HD. Ah. I can't wait to get one of these. Everyone else woke up and after some Burnout on the 360, we went to brunch at Mayfel's where I had some delicious bacon, biscuits and gravy, grits and some scrambled eggs, just what the doctor ordered. J got the muffuletta sandwich which had too many types of meat and the olive tapenade was not what my stomach wanted at that moment in time. But it was good. We wanted beignets for dessert but our waitress failed to mention that the kitchen was closing so we settled on the key lime tart and our friend's chocolate mousse cake was unbelievable. It was a good mousse on a brownie topped with chocolate. I would highly recommend it.

Then we went back to their house and I loaded up the car and left. We only forgot Protege and Acura's housekey and J's cell phone charger, but we received them in the mail on Tues.

I'll be back tomorrow for the recap of "Mexican Sunrise" and what J left in Birmingham.

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Tuesday, October 02, 2007


Get it while you can

Sorry, I was busy yesterday and will probably busy the rest of today and will definitely be busy tomorrow with teaching lab all day. I guess check back in on Thurs. or Fri. and I'll try and get all these posts out. I miss having the internet at home, but don't know a cheap and reliable solution.

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