Thursday, February 28, 2008


Hey, now it's over there!

We had a real estate agent drop by the house this morning (with 24 hours notice of course, although it was really 15 minutes less than 24 hours but I'll let it slide) and the DirecTV guy moved our receiver across the room to another corner. We like to rearrange our rooms periodically just to keep things fresh and interesting and as a great excuse to clean where we normally don't clean.

The real estate lady dropped by and she was looking at the place for a potential buyer. I was concerned that our lease wouldn't be honored but she allayed my fears and received the dirt on our current place and property management. She was very pleasant and nice and the cats really liked her. They do like most people but definitely don't like everyone. She noticed pictures of J and I and so we talked about J being Oriental and then discussed lost pets (we lost Julio and she lost a parakeet). I wish I had a house to sell (not really in this housing market) but if I did, I would highly recommend her if I was selling a house or townhouse or other property in or around Clemson.

I showed up to lab 11 minutes late. My students read the syllabus and saw that they're technically supposed to give me 30 minutes to show up and they decided that 15 minutes was a fair compromise. I was 4 minutes away from teaching an empty lab. It's a small lab (only 9 people) so they didn't mind too much.

On a sad note, Boyd Coddington passed away on Wed. Feb. 27th. Boyd was one of this country's premiere hot rod builders. He could do things with metal that would boggle your mind. He recently became a little more mainstream with his show "American Hot Rod" on the Discovery Channel. Apparently he also trained Chip Foose and Jesse James of car and bike fame. His metal working skills will truly be missed but his legend will live on through the metal he brought to life. We'll miss you Boyd. Thanks for sharing your knowledge and skill with us.

Built by hand, loved by all.


Tuesday, February 26, 2008



I subscribe to Playboy. I read the articles AND look at the nekkid ladies.

If you read the two preview links in my last post, you're ahead of me. I haven't had any time to read through them.

I like Cuba. I've always liked Cuba. The US Government wants us to think they're all evil communists that would give food and free health care to all our poor people and do so by stealing from the rich. They would also teach them to read because Cuba enjoys a 99.8% literacy rate where as ours is 99%. They also teach English to their citizens using the public broadcasting service. The last time I learned Spanish from TV was Sesame Street and once when the cats pressed the Spanish sub-title button while we were watching Snatch. The first article covers Cuba and Environmentalism. I look forward to reading the article from Outside magazine.

The second link is a document from the American College of Physicians calling for the US Government and DEA to reschedule marijuana so that scientists can research whether or not it has any medical uses. Currently there are a few papers claiming therapeutic uses for cannabinoids (compounds found in herb) but they are mostly done in other countries because the DEA has a fierce lock-down on the federal supply and because they feel that it has no medicinal use. The American College of Physicians is the 2nd largest group of physicians in this country (behind the "Pharmaceuticals are great and you need more!" American Medical Association)
The American College of Physicians (ACP) is a national organization of internists — physicians who specialize in the prevention, detection and treatment of illnesses in adults. ACP is the largest medical-specialty organization and second-largest physician group in the United States. Its membership of 124,000 includes internists, internal medicine subspecialists, and medical students, residents, and fellows.
Hopefully this new group will spur some change and a new hard look at our stance of focusing the majority of our "War on Drugs" money at stopping the supply of drugs instead of stopping the demand for drugs in this country. So with this statement the ACP joins the American Nurses Association, the American Public Health Association, the American Academy of Family Physicians and many other medical associations calling for the rescheduling of marijuana. Full article from NORML.

Just in case you're wondering what drugs the DEA thinks is as bad and useless as marijuana, check out their drug schedules.

And of course, please visit Erowid if you have any drug questions, "legal" or otherwise.

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Friday, February 22, 2008


Posts to be

I found some websites recently and plan to talk about them in the future once I've read through them. I probably won't read all of the 2nd one but it's exciting.

Weird. It doesn't recognize it without me pushing the button. Ah well. Copy and paste for a preview. No hints.

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Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Price drop!

To anyone who bought an ipod shuffle in the past couple of weeks: SUCKER! Apple just announced they dropped the price from $80 to $50! Hooray! That's almost a buy one-get one free deal.

We took J's mom to trivia with us at Keith St. last night. It's a trivia night that the Grad. Student Government has started doing and is more fun and relaxed than the other trivia in town. Everyone had a good time and we came in 4th (I think). I was useless for most of the questions in the later rounds. The final question was name the original 7 wonders of the ancient world and give their locations. I named 1 or 2, luckily others covered most of them.

The half time question was stupid. Name the 7 noble gases. We got 6 and then debated what the 7th was. Yeah, it doesn't exist yet. Someone might have made it but I'm sure it only existed for a fraction of a second. It doesn't even have a real elemental name! We put down its' number, 118, but they wanted the latin name they give to elements that might exist but haven't been made yet. 118 is ununoctium. It will most likely get its own name one day.

Enough chemistry trivia, off to work!

Monday, February 18, 2008


Don't fear the reaper

No post since last Tuesday?!?!?!? For shame! Sorry blog and its readers. My bad.

My mother-in-law arrived yesterday morning. She'll be here for a week. We're gonna fire up the grill and make some salmon and BBQ chicken tonight. It's gonna be good.

Still working and I need to continue writing. Writing will always be on my to do list and I need to work on it more than I have been.

Please keep the victims of the most recent campus shooting at Northern Illinois University in mind and help the administrators and campus police all over the country come up with a rational way to make our schools safer. We might even want to talk about gun control some too, since it turns out that this guy and the Virginia Tech shooter bought guns from the same place. I don't have a huge problem with most gun owners and most guns but I've always wondered about the gun show loophole when buying guns. Normally you have to wait at least 3 days so they can check your background and make sure you're not a criminal. But if there is a "gun show", then you can get your gun on the spot. The NIU guy didn't have a criminal record, so it probably wouldn't have stopped him but it would've caught the VT guy. Also please note that all grad students do not want to shoot people. I've been a grad student for years now and have never wanted to bust into a classroom, guns blazing. Even with the old west moustache I'm currently sporting. That's what video games are for. Release some anger against society in an electronic and safe way.

I'll post more this week, just for you blog.


Tuesday, February 12, 2008


Mellow Mushroom

J and I picked up dinner from there last night. Their dough is amazing. The toppings are pretty damn good too.

Not much to say. Work is keeping me busy. We might have to wait on the laptop for tax reasons.

The Sandblast rally was awesome. I forgot that I didn't tell you guys about it. I worked service for a Rally Spec Focus team. Out of sitting around all day and getting prepared a little bit, we only had a total of 1 hour and 10 minutes to work on the car and a 15 minute fuel stop. Other than that we were hanging out, drinking Red Bull, playing Dirt on 2 Xbox 360s that Red Bull had under their tent. It was a good learning experience too, to see that side of rally.

Back later this week with more.


Thursday, February 07, 2008


Eeeeaaaaahhhh! But existing is basically all I do!

-Phillip J. Fry from the "Roswell That Ends Well" episode of Futurama, the emmy award winning episode for those impressed by things like that. Caution: Spoilers abound for this episode, so if you haven't seen it and want it to be a surprise, please skip this post.

I abso-freakin'-lutely love Futurama. And am obviously overjoyed that it's coming back. I also love time travel and that particular brand of sci-fi.

Recently I caught Ed Burns starring role in A Sound of Thunder. In a nutshell, Ed is a scientist who helps a corporation give time safaris where rich people travel back in time and kill a dinosaur. The only problems that I saw was that they kept killing the same dinosaur. Different people, different days in the future but the exact same moment in the past. I guess they were going for the "every day has its own future and past" school of thought, which I personally think is bullshit. There's only one timeline so, in my opinion, Ed should've kept running into himself and other customers over and over. Another aspect I wasn't too fond of was the idea that if you change anything in the past, the changes will come in waves in the future. Obviously something went wrong on one of their safaris and all hell broke loose. These "time waves" would come and change a few things instead of everything at once. NO! It happened in the past and just because it took you a few seconds to get back to the future, time still went along from the past to your present so all the changes would be instant, not gradual, but for the movie that would not have worked so time waves and ta da!

The premise of the Futurama episode is that the crew gets zapped into the past (they live in the year 3000) and "tear time a new space hole" and end up in Roswell, NM July 7, 1947. Fry proceeds to try and save his grandfather Enis from destruction and of course hides him in the house that was vaporized by an atomic bomb test. But he still exists and doesn't fade away, so he reasons that Mildred isn't really his grandmother and proceeds to comfort her after the tragic loss of her boyfriend Enis. They hook up and explains to the crew that Mildred isn't his grandmother. They say that she is. Then who is my grandpa?, Fry inquires. Doh, looks like he is his own grandfather. Yikes. This proves to be most useful in other episodes. But it really creates a nice little package of existence for Fry. So bizarre. I HIGHLY recommend this episode.

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Tuesday, February 05, 2008


Shameful neglect

I'm still coming to terms with 8 years in grad school instead of 7. I haven't read any of your blogs and I haven't been posting here too frequently. I'm still here but this is one of the first things to go by the wayside when things get busy.

With our portion of the "economic stimulus package" and our tax return, J and I will be picking out our first laptop. I priced a new Mac Air the other day and it came to $1850 or so which is roughly $850 out of our price range. I'm being more efficient at work and only doing work while I'm here which means a reduction in my internet usage while I'm supposed to be working. The laptop will help J and I get on the internet more while we're at home.

I plan to enter the "Science as Art" competition that Clemson sponsors. I'll keep my eyes open for something I'm working on that is particularly art-y.

My seminar in front of the department went pretty well besides Bossman introducing it as a Masters seminar but that was before our DTR, define the relationship talk in couples speak and probably would be define the research for our relationship. We're good now and I'm still writing and working at home (with some help from J) and working on some papers that will hopefully get published.

If you're in Cheraw, SC this weekend, definitely come out on Saturday and check out the Sandblast Rally. You will not be disappointed. I'll be there turning wrenches while crewing for a friend who rallies his Ford Focus. Hopefully he'll bring home a class win!

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Friday, February 01, 2008



The decision I had to make was: A) graduate in May with a Masters or B) continue improving and working hard and in a year graduate with my PhD. I talked it over with J and then called my PhD Grandpa and Grandmother and received their input. So looks like South Carolina will be forced to handle us for another year. We're trying to make the best of it and keep our eyes on the prize, but it's tough. Another year. Here. Bleh.

I picked up The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People today by Stephen Covey. We'll see what comes of reading that.

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