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Thursday, September 28, 2006

From a basement...

We are sitting in our basement right now as we are under a tornado warning. Don't forget- a WATCH is when conditions are favorable while a WARNING is when something is seen or indicated by radar. When I was in high school I took a tornado watchers class. That is pretty much all that I remember and well, pretty much everyone knows a funnel cloud when they see one right?
I grew up in the midwest and we often went into the basement for warnings. I remember my mom (who also grew up in the midwest) telling stories about how there was one when she was little and she found a piece of straw that went straight into the trunk of a tree (I must note now that I am prettt gullable and that sounds pretty extreme). Here in PA, I do not even know if there ARE sirens. When I was in TX, a friend from a tornado-free land always wanted to see one or be in one. I don't get that because they are scary and can ruin homes and lives. I saw first hand hangars and planes flipped over and destroyed from tornado-like storms (microbursts to be exact). Anyways, 45 minutes in the basement doesn't seem so bad to avoid any possibility of being in one- especially with wireless computes with dvd players!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Camera still charging...

Since I am busy grading and I never did 100 things, here are a few somebody else thought of... (stolen from Craft Pirate a few months ago but recently inspired to finish it after seeing it by Kate about a month ago)
Bold the ones you have done.

01. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
02. Swam with wild dolphins
03. Climbed a mountain
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
06. Held a tarantula
07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
08. Said 'I love you' and meant it
09. Hugged a tree
10. Bungee jumped
11. Visited Paris
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise
14. Seen the Northern Lights
15. Gone to a huge sports game
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
18. Touched an iceberg (kayaking in Alaska- I caught a little one and used it as a kayak hood ornament)
19. Slept under the stars
20. Changed a baby's diaper
21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
22. Watched a meteor shower
23. Gotten drunk on champagne
24. Given more than you can afford to charity
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
27. Had a food fight
28. Bet on a winning horse
29. Asked out a stranger
30. Had a snowball fight
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
32. Held a lamb
33. Seen a total eclipse
34. Ridden a roller coaster
35. Hit a home run
36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
39. Had two hard drives for your computer
40. Visited all 50 states (Damn Oregon!)
41. Taken care of someone who was drunk
42. Had amazing friends
43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country (Most of fall semester 2000)
44. Watched wild whales
45. Stolen a sign
46. Backpacked in Europe
47. Taken a road-trip
48. Gone rock climbing
49. Midnight walk on the beach
50. Gone sky diving
51. Visited Ireland
52. Been heartbroken longer then you were actually in love
53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger's table and had a meal with them
54. Visited Japan
55. Milked a cow
56. Alphabetized your cds
57. Pretended to be a superhero
58. Sung karaoke
59. Lounged around in bed all day
60. Posed nude in front of strangers
61. Gone scuba diving
62. Kissed in the rain
63. Played in the mud
64. Played in the rain
65. Gone to a drive-in theater
66. Visited the Great Wall of China
67. Started a business
68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken
69. Toured ancient sites- that one is a little odd sounding for some reason...
70. Taken a martial arts class
71. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight
72. Gotten married- (Soon!!!! Yippee!!!)
73. Been in a movie
74. Crashed a party
75. Gotten divorced
76. Gone without food for 5 days (I got really sick after getting my wisdom teeth out)
77. Made cookies from scratch (Although they are better when V makes them!)
78. Won first prize in a costume contest
79. Ridden a gondola in Venice
80. Gotten a tattoo
81. Rafted the Snake River
82. Been on television news programs as an "expert"
83. Got flowers for no reason
84. Performed on stage
85. Been to Las Vegas
86. Recorded music
87. Eaten shark
88. Had a one-night stand
89. Gone to Thailand
90. Bought a house
91. Been in a combat zone
92. Buried one of your parents
93. Been on a cruise ship
94. Spoken more than one language fluently
95. Performed in Rocky Horror.
96. Raised children
97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
98. Created and named your own constellation of stars
99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn't stop when you knew someone was looking
103. Had plastic surgery
104. Survived an illness that you shouldn't have survived
105. Wrote articles for a large publication
106. Lost over 100 pounds
107. Held someone while they were having a flashback
108. Piloted an airplane - not by myself but I got to steer for a few minutes
109. Petted a stingray
110. Broken someone's heart
111. Helped an animal give birth
112. Won money on a T.V. game show
113. Broken a bone
114. Gone on an African photo safari
115. Had a facial part pierced other than your ears
116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
118. Ridden a horse
119. Had major surgery
120. Had a snake as a pet
121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
122. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours- easy to do if you are sick!
123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states
124. Visited all 7 continents
125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
126. Eaten kangaroo meat
127. Eaten sushi
128. Had your picture in the newspaper
129. Changed someone's mind about something you care deeply about
130. Gone back to school - You have to LEAVE school to be able to go back....
131. Parasailed
132. Petted a cockroach
133. Eaten fried green tomatoes
134. Read The Iliad - and the Odyssey
135. Selected one "important" author who you missed in school, and read
136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
137. Skipped all your school reunions (haven't had any yet...)
138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
139. Been elected to public office
140. Written your own computer language
141. Thought to yourself that you're living your dream
142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
143. Built your own PC from parts
144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn't know you
145. Had a booth at a street fair
146: Dyed your hair
147: Been a DJ
148: Shaved your head
149: Caused a car accident
150: Saved someone's life


Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Bend to Squares

Many of you are familiar with Crazy Aunt Purl. Well, Laurie there has a grandma who has been having a tough time lately. What to do? Knit a squre. This project seems to have gotten pretty big but think of how many people will appreciate getting handmade blankets! I am going to have to do a fancy patterned stich to make up for the bazillion hours I spend doing garter stitch on the pinwheel baby blanket. I just love the button too. My cat also loves bacon, bacon grease and frosting. Weird right? No wonder he has IBS.

Saturday, September 23, 2006


Whew! No more giant image! Thanks to Hamster_grrl for help with sizing in Flickr!
I wasn't sure if I'd ever figure it out there.

I will be making a few other changes (hopefully) soon. First of all, I need to get my links back. Fogot to save them when I switched things from the green to the blue. Then maybe make a button, figure out how to ADD buttons and pics on the sidebar, a flickr gallery of FOs would be nice, the possibilities are endless.

You know, in my free time when I am not writing a dissertation proposal or finishing baby blankets....

Let me know what you think of the new look!

Friday, September 22, 2006

New stuff round here

So it looks a little different, yes? I figured I could freshen up the joint with some pics I took down in the Keys a few years ago. Both these are also hanging in my living room. I may play with a few other fishy pics but these are it for now.

I still can't figure out how to get the header a bit smaller but I will work on it soon. Till then, enjoy the fishes and bubbles.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

I'm a grandma!

It started last week when Sneks told me she saw my baby male spawning. Wait, lets back up. It started LAST YEAR when I tried everything in my and my advisors minds to try to get my fish to spawn. I watched at all hours of the day, different numbers of fish, different ratios, different lighting. I even had a small tank that I moved into my office to try to get them to do it. Nothing worked. I emptied the tanks and got busy with other projects till collecting season in the spring. One particular tank was extra gross so I never emptied or cleaned it. When I finally did- to my surprise there were fry in it. Even better- they were the species I had been trying to breed!
I ended up with 6 of them after 3 died of illness. One is larger than the others, a male who is aggressive and in breeding colors. The next largest is a big fat female. I watched but never saw spawning. THEN Sneks said she did. I watched more and saw nothing. Definite interest by the male in the female but no action.

My latest advice from others was to use 'spawning mops'. Some of my knitting readers know these as yarn pom poms that are tied to a rock. I took away all other spawning substrate and gave them a mop yesterday. There are at least 5 eggs in it.

I love arts and crafts science. I love it even more when SOMETHING FINALLY WORKS in over a year of trying....

Monday, September 18, 2006

A visit

So a while ago, my bff Artgirl came to visit me. It was her first visit to me since I left our great home state over 4 years ago.
Good thing it was the best visit ever! Ok, well, maybe not as I was called in to work on a grant application that HAD to be done THAT DAY. And the weather sucked (we still went wine tasting). And we sat around and knit and watched Bridezillas. But it was just like when we roomed together first year of college and just hanging out time is always nice with an old friend.
She made V and I Cheese-Stuffed Chicken Scallopini with Fresh Tomato Sauce and Herbed Orzo with Peas. It was sooooooooooooooo gooooooooooooooooood...
Best of all we went to ee the Flaming Lips! If you ever get the chance to see them. DO IT. Please, they won't disappoint. This was my third time seeing them and it was as great as the first in Austin when I got to dress up in a fuzzy goldfish costume and dance around onstage with them. Wayne, the lead singer, crowd surfs in a bubble...

They have giant hands!
There is more confetti than I have ever seen anywhere. Ever. Cannons of it and streamers. There were also dancing Santas and Aliens onstage, a camera attached to the mic stand, a nun puppet, and of course some good ol fashioned indie rock songs about scientists.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


Ahhhh, there is nothing quite like the feeling of accomplishment of hitting that big "SUMBIT MANUSCRIPT" button. I hope that someday down the line I will have published enough papers that it isn't too big a deal but for now....Yippee! Time to play with the cats and have the BIG glass of wine!

Orchidaceae for your Wednesday-ceae

I got home two nights ago to a fantastic present from V...
Aren't they beautiful? It is one of the fragrant orchids from the genus, I don't really know but I think it might be a Cattleya. The first flowers he ever bought me were Phalaenopsis orchids and so I love that the trend is continuing. Being two biologists, we both appreciate the geek-y science aspect of orchids. How could you not love flowers that look and smell like female bees in order to attract male bees! Even Darwin published on the adaptations that orchid flowers have to attract pollinators. We love them so much that the unifying detail (note: Not THEME) of the wedding is going to be taken from the color of Cymbidium orchids, which V will wear and I will carry.

Flowers, a submission, a great run on Monday, and an experiment running in the lab- I hope the rest of the week is as good as the first part has been!

Sunday, September 10, 2006


Holy crap! How I have lived almost 26 years without knowing how good Ben and Jerrys Peanut Butter Cup ice cream is? I'll never know....


I think the stress is starting to get to me. It is 9:30 at night, I am eating pizza, drinking a margarita and have a pint of Ben and Jerrys' waiting for me in the fridge. It started out as such a good day too. I got up, did some yoga, worked on (and I think finished) a manuscript, started the submission for it even! and knitted a few more rows on the pinwheel baby blanket. Then sometime between updates in the Bears game and watching Federer beat Roddick, my right eye started twitching. It hasn't stopped. I have lists of things to get done, and know I have to teach 2 classes instead of one tomorrow. It is just a little thing (it is really only a recitation) but it is the straw that might break the camels' back (somehow I have also started using cliches. Really like 4-5 a day in random situations usually where they don't even apply).

I am waiting to hear if my grant got funded. If so, I leave home for 8 months starting in Janurary. It is so soon and so many things have to happen before then- you know, if I even do get the money! I can't plan things for being here and I can't plan on being away yet and it is this state of unknown that really just sucks. Even talks of birthdays and Superbowls are met with trepidation because I might not be here for them. Then there is the wedding. It is in May (changing it wouldn't be any better any other time either). V and I will be getting married after 5 months of long distance and with 3 more to go. I suppose it will be less stressful as we will finish all of our planning before I go, but all of a sudden I MIGHT need to have a wedding planned (3 states away) in 3 months. I think I could do it and have it all be beautiful, touching and fun. I just wish I knew whether or not that was the case! It would also be better if it were just birthdays and the Superbowl that are up in the air, not our wedding. Luckily I should find out within 2 weeks. Until then.... I don't even know. I might gain 15 pounds or start wearing an eye patch if this damn twitch doesn't go away.
At least I don't have to wait for ice cream...

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Steve Irwin

So all the coverage of Steve Irwin has been pretty hard to watch. I was a big fan back in the day but watch less Animal Planet these days as I get more annoyed with anthropomorphism.

I know that he always got too close to animals and it is not surprising. But the odds of the barb of the stingray hitting his heart - I just can't get my head around it. Only 3 (or 17) known deaths from stingrays ever!

Despite all that, he did a lot for conservation efforts and really raised awareness of animals. I know a lot of my old college friends wouldn't have ever watched a nature show if it weren't for him. I bet the same is true for a lot of kids and hopefully some future scientists too.
Most of all I wish the best possible given the situation for all his young fans and most of all his wife and young children.

Doesn't really help.

Soooo, you will soon be unable to escape the Suri pictures if you read any news website, watch any tv or exist where there are magazines. She made her debut with Katie Couric. She looks beautiful but that is a LOT of hair for a 4 and 1/2 month old.
Did you ever see that SNL of Baby Toupees? Yeah, she sorta looks like that.