Tuesday, October 30, 2007


Well, now. The midterm was... um... pretty difficult. At least it's over with, and I don't think I failed. Paper number one turned in last night; emailed the ethics paper to the grader (whoo hoo! with hours to spare! go, me!). Now I can take a slight breather and make a cape for littlest's Halloween costume, for which we bought fabric yesterday after a dentist appointment. Then write up a relatively short lab - the longer section will be after we finish the whole exercise of ant DNA extraction and testing, which is continuing over several lab sessions. This time around, I just have to use my new mad skilz at generating Excel graphs and chart photosynthesis rates. Also not lose the printout of spectrum information we generated in lab.

I got a new t-shirt for contributing to EFF. You too can look nifty for a good cause; they gratefully accept donations. Sort the ACLU for the internet - fighting for truth, justice, and whatever. If they did not exist, it would be necessary to invent them.

Hey, I can both take and post pictures finally; are you not entertained? I know I am. I stayed with my sister for Rhinebeck, and... Here's the view from my sister's kitchen door:

Afternoon, after rain all over with. That's a mountaintop peeking through the clouds. Yeah.

Morning, with glowing sunlight. Sigh.

It was breathtaking, even before coffee. Thanks, sis.

I am in the process of attempting to scavenge new RAM for middle child's old 1999 iBook, which used to be mine, and I have this fondness for the old Mac OS, and I generally resist change you may have noticed, but really, we have enough spare parts in the house to build at least one complete machine if not three or four, so the kid really should have better functionality, doncha think? At the moment, it has a brand-new battery purchased especially, and a spare 256 that I found lying around waiting to go in, as soon as I can work out precisely how to dislodge the current piece without breaking everything. Voila le disembowled machine:

Aren't you glad your laptop isn't in my clutches?

Lucia, I'm singing Saturday night here.(LINK NOW FIXED! - thanks, Jena) Who knows, there may be Youtube video later; stranger things have happened. Erica, yes it takes a lot to keep me off the streets and out of trouble these days, hee. Jess, thanks for the kind words - I think I look goofy in pictures mostly; I'll email the human-ness paper (now that it's revised) for your perusal.

Blogger doesn't think I should have more pictures than this in a post, apparently, so the few Rhinebeck purchases will wait for another day. And off I go for the rest of the nuttiness that is life in the fur-flying fast lane here chez Weasel. TTFN, all.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Greetings from under a big pile of rocks

I did ask for this. I know that. I really do. But this week is just plain silly.

Tonight, turn in substantially revised paper for writing class, & take killer midterm for bio. Tomorrow, turn in paper for ethics. Wed., turn in lab report for bio.

Oh, Halloween is Wed. And SAT subject tests on Sat. morning for oldest kid. And Sat. night I'm singing at the co-op "cocoa house" (an alternative to coffee) (not for me, I'm so heavily caffeinated normally that my blood may be synthesizing newly adapted compounds).

The weasel is hissing and spitting. Gack.

Later, all.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

923 MB is a lot

I’m slowly (barely perceptibly) getting my (beloved!) machine set up to run Polyworld. This is what I’m doing instead of finishing the reading on Buddhism for my ethics course (hey, when the procrastination also looks pretty substantive, it’s all good). First, locate OSX disk and install some developer tools (um, that took a bit longer than expected)(I’d actually put it in the case marked “Mac CDs” – go figure); next, check for the tenth time or so what, exactly, I also need to download and install; register as an Apple developer (HA!); then download things and install them.

The download running at the moment is rather large; 923 megs, in fact. I am slightly less charmed than I might be.

I will have to boogie out of here soon to go study with my fellow inmates/no! I mean classmates. There’s a bio midterm next week, and all 250 or so people in the class are in varying stages of freak-out. I got home from lab last night at 11:15, and I’m dragggggging. It was fun mashing up the ant abdomen and centrifuging and measuring spectra on chlorophyll and all that, but wow, Tired Now.

So it’s been a week, loads of things going on as usual. Brought middle child to a camp-out thing, and had to be Mean Mom to oldest and say no, you may not bail on your obligations. The crystallizing, new experience there was that I knew what dh would have said. And so I used that, and leaned on it pretty hard and felt absolutely clear about what needed to happen. It was a strange but nice thing.

I’m playing with LEDs and resistors and things to make a light-up thing for a jack-o-lantern. I knew I didn’t have all the parts, and was putting things together and just tinkering to see, you know, like you do, and I got frustrated and took out the resistor, and then the capacitor, and just, er, stuck the LED wires directly into the 9 volt battery. Um, bang. Small (very small! really!) flame. A little bit of smoke. Quite dramatic. Note to self: this is why there are such things as resistors and capacitors.

I also went to Rhinebeck this weekend, which was good in a different way than usual. Stayed at my sister’s house, which was lovely (thanks, S!), and got pretty tired by Saturday night. I’m not really an extrovert, and I’d met lots and lots of people and it would have been really cool and all to go to the ravelry party ‘til midnight (perhaps chat up Kilted David) but I just couldn’t deal, so I went to dinner with sis and her boyfriend and a bunch of other people and then fell asleep. The great, great thing was seeing people, especially Mel and Lorena – yay!—who I hadn’t met in person before (hi! Hi to the gang, too!). And funny and great to see Ruth, Lucia, Amber, R. and M. and J-M and all those homeschooling folks and it is so damn strange to have to go 200 miles to see people who live around the corner from me.

Fiber acquisition did occur. Pictures later, along with pictures of lovely view from sister's porch. Also links. Blah. Lazy, bad, tired weasel.

This is blog post #204! Gee! Not lazy enough, apparently. Later, you guys.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Like That

Thanks for the clarification/correction, Mel - I always get this wrong. What I saw Friday night was indeed Cosi Fan Tutte, not tutti (we are in agreement that men are certainly 'like that' too sometimes) and it was a hoot! Boston Baroque did it, yes as a concert staging but in costume, without scores in front of the singers, and with a lot of movement. It's a funny production of a really fun piece. And of course it's Mozart; what could be better?

I did some fooling around with the camera yesterday, now that it definitely communicates with my computer again. There's a photoset on flickr now with me making faces. It occurred to me that I don't get to see a lot of you very often, nor you me; there I am! Linked in the sidebar, for your viewing pleasure.

This weekend's work: continue work on the two papers due this week, finish reading for bio, drive to Vermont and back this afternoon (!!!), and try to remember ... oh, crap; I forgot already.

Oh YEAH! It's my sisters' birthday. Both of them. Happy Birthday, S and K! THey are now 40 and 42. I don't think either of them read this, but on the offchance:
S: 40 is wicked fun. People stop acting like you couldn't possibly know what you're talking about and start to Be Very Afraid. It totally rocks.
K: 42! The answer to Life the Universe and Everything! Yay!

Friday, October 12, 2007

The Joy of a Functioning Computer

It's been a long while since my beloved little Powerbook did all the things it's supposed to. Now that it is New and Happy, I can post pictures! and print things! and use iTunes! and all kinds of things! WOW!

So here's the tattoo:

And no, I have no idea why the second image keeps showing up flipped on its side. I am giving up on that particular problem for the moment.

Perhaps it is a sign of feeling pretty good in general, but I actually ordered yarn for a project - this one from Knitty. Even using mostly the called-for yarn, even though I have another color in the stash that would do just dandily, I'm sure. Um, actually, if I think about it for more than around ten seconds, I have precisely the required gauge in multiple materials in enough quantities to make a closetful of different versions of this. Ahem. We will gloss over that.

I handed in my first lab report for bio this week. I felt compelled to do a full proper write-up, avec "procedure" utilizee et tout la. Almost certainly overkill, as it far exceeds what the TF asked for. The main value in the entire exercise was 1) acquainting myself with modern lab equipment (whee!), and 2) forcing me to fiddle with MSExcel and Word in ways I have hitherto avoided. So hoorah for that. I continue to be an anomaly in that I enjoy playing in lab. Also lecture this week went into transmembrane proteins - hurray! my favorite! and gated channels and an overview of all that. Neurons were mentioned! So I was a happy camper. My classmates from neuro were less thrilled, and frankly Liz no not excited at all to see internal and external ionic concentrations for Na+ and K+ coming up again. I was gleeful in a solitary manner. Sigh. I will be obnoxiously delighted when we study neurons again in more detail next semester (yes! we will be! is that not the greatest thing ever?!)

Our next lab is coming up really soon - week after next - so I'll be able to spend some time at Javaroom again then. Yay! I must collect an ant on which to do DNA extraction exercise of some kind. I have a kitchen-table version of a DNA extraction experiment from MAKE to play with, too, which I'll get around to sooner or later.

Now that my computer is healthy, I've also downloaded bits to install and play with Polyworld, which should be interesting. I'll need to do a bit of hackery to get my machine happy to deal with the compiled code files, but it should be doable, chiefly because extremely detailed instructions are posted on the web. I need detailed instructions for such things. Then the real fun begins, mwah ha ha.

I can not remember who of probably one of you reading this recommended "Run Lola Run," but whoever it was, THANK YOU. Netflix delivered it the other day and I watched most of it last night, and whoa. What a cool movie.

On the subject of Culture, I'm going to the opera tonight - a "concert" staging (i.e., not staged at all) of Cosi fan Tutti. Which I've no doubt misspelled. Should be a good time. Mozart good.

Rhinebeck approaches!
The fall leaves are turning!
Oldest child is getting her college applications done!
Also I think we've managed to get the required National Merit Scholarship Semifinalist forms sent in to see if she gets to be a Finalist. This forced me to sit down and generate a transcript for her, which was good and now it's done, yay.

Later, all.

Monday, October 08, 2007

I have just spent 5 hours replacing my hard drive.

Now I am downloading updates to five zillion things.

I am geek, hear me roar.

This is what I was doing to my precious, beloved little Powerbook G4, whose Airport card I've done, and RAM I did, and I don't remember what else, and I really really could not bear to hand it over to strangers so had to do it myself but needed to wait until I had an unlimited amount of time available and sufficient nerve:

My sweet little machine no longer makes alarming "boing" noises when it tries to start up. Of course, I'll have to transfer a huge amount of stuff from my external backup drive, but hey, I got nothin' but time, right? Of course right.


Shh...don't mention the war!

Update from Crazed Weasel Land:
1) I now have a DNA strand tattoo, around my left upper arm. It hurt less than I thought it would. It is now a bit itchy - a week and one day old.
2) I am also now on ravelry - screen name is NeuroLiz; say hi, if you've a mind to. I discovered there are a bunch of - gasp! - neuro people on there, and oh my was that ever exciting. Yay! Beside myself with glee. I can now grump about WTF is the deal with Gingrich delivering the keynote address at SfN in November.
3) Yarn Harpy is now a married woman! Yay! Congratulations, to a wonderful lady!

(Allrighty, there's a necessary aside here: amongst the wedding guests was a very hot Marine in dress blues. This provided entertainment for many, many hours, in those moments when something of greater importance was not taking place. Many thanks to Witchypoo, for starting it.)

4) Classes are going well. My draft paper on the meaning of human existence got an A. Now to revise it and hopefully remain as dazzlingly articulate as I was the first time around. I'm finding it difficult to write pieces as short as my professors ask for - not impossible, just frustrating. Weasel tends not to be concise, you may have noticed. Oh, yes: also I am procrastinating writing up my lab exercise. I so rock at procrastinating.

5) The hard drive on my laptop has entered terminal phase of little machine Alzheimers - no I still haven't replaced it, shhh - and has forgotten that it has anything stored on it at all. Also it makes weird noises.

6) Rhinebeck is coming! Oh, boy! Are you going? Hm? I'm driving out with kids and dog in tow to my sister's, which is close to the festivities. A fun time shall be had by all.

There, I think that covers the major points. Two short bits of musing, now:

What is it with men in their twenties?? Pluses: often very cute, often single. Minuses: often struggling to figure out the whole "dealing with women" thing, still getting used to being legal adults.

There's a breathtaking post on Daily Kos about the war here. Go on; Hunter is one of the best voices out there. Back now? Good. (Yes, I want to marry him, too. I hear he's taken. Boo hoo.)
The hot Marine mentioned a few moments ago is one of those guys who's an idealized version of the U.S. military: tall, handsome, honorable, superbly trained, sharp as a razor's edge. He's survived thus far, and that's a very good thing. I'm pretty sure there was combat-related hardware decorating his jacket. I've never met a hot Marine before, but this one was delighted to dance with me (even though he says he's a terrible dancer). And I found myself thinking, wow, that is one finely honed body. And this fucking war is not worth that fine young man's body. And there are 160,000+ identical other reasons over there right now. Entire brigades of these have to push themselves to the limits of their endurance and strength - and those limits are way, way beyond anything I can come close to - just to keep from getting their asses shot off. What for?