Tuesday, April 17, 2007


It started raining and snow/slush-ing Sunday, and it's been doing it ever since, with very little pause. Sunday night we had scaryily high winds. I'm thankful that we've taken care of our trees over the years, and the really ancient ones have cables keeping them from breaking apart. One of the not-so-ancient ones is now across one end of the driveway.

I didn't want to walk down and take a closer picture, but it's a big, fat, oak tree. I've already cleared away the smaller branches. I can't make this thing budge when I throw my weight against it. So today's chore (avoiding by blogging about it, natch) is to get at least one of the chainsaws* repaired and cut up the tree so I can move it out of the driveway. We have a circular drive, so I can actually get out; this is really more a nuisance than a catastrophe.

The rain is enough that the basement is getting water in it, so I'm also monitoring this:

As long the pump keeps spitting water out, we're good. When it gets overworked, the motor sometimes conks out; it works again after I unplug it and give it a little rest. The rain keeps on coming today, though, so I'm really hoping the pump is having a good day.

And here are a couple of the new plants cheering up the place:

In between the survival-mode stuff, I am closing in on the end of my pair of socks in progress - the green Austermann ones that have been taking forever. They probably take forever because I haven't been knitting very much. Funny how that works, eh?

Oh! I finally got tired of not being qualified to go anywhere near the kind of lab work I've been fascinated by for twenty years or so, so I've signed up to take a course in neurobiology at Harvard Extension School. Whee! Very excited, the weasel is. Summer schedule - it'll be eight weeks starting kind of close to my birthday. So part of the answer to "what the hell do I do with the rest of my life" is to try to get myself into a position where I can do cognitive neuroscience research, maybe some basic structural stuff, maybe other stuff. I read an article about this exciting breakthrough at the joint MIT/Harvard lab, and they've mapped the folds in the cortex with MRI for different stages of development: infant, child, young adult. They've got MRI pictures of what normal brains look like at different ages. What struck me was, they're just getting around to this NOW?? holy crap! let me in there! geez! I could sit on my butt, or I could start taking steps toward something I want. It's going to take forever, but a step is better than nothing.

Onward with the day, and everything else. Cheerio, all.

*we have four chainsaws. none of them work.


Anonymous Erica said...

Onward, indeed! How exciting for you! (Except for the sump pump. I would like your sump pump to be a source of absolute boredom for you -- well-run, watching Jello set, watching paint dry, properly working boredom.)

11:09 AM  
Blogger Lucia said...

The class sounds great! It is kind of amazing what they're just getting around to -- but I suspect it's a matter not just of having the technology but of knowing what to look for and then of having big enough sample sizes to make associations, the latter two being a feedback loop, of course.

And maybe if the weather gets it all out of its system now, we won't have a May monsoon as we did last year... good luck with the chainsaw.

12:33 PM  
Anonymous Carla said...

Misery loves company Liz. Wet-snow-sleet-rain-cold here and I'm sick of it.
I expected some trees to fall from the sheer weight of the snow yesterday, but none of the ones that would cause damage did. The husband reports, that upon hearing a loud CRAAACK while shoveling the top part of the driveway, he spotted a smaller tree in the wooded area of our yard falling. No big loss there. I was likely going to cut it down anyway.

On your re-entering school. Congrats! I debate with myself, all.the.time over finishing my nursing degree (easy, quick and I'm nearly guaranteed a well paying job upon graduation with the nursing shortage here) OR, do what I'd really love to do and go to law school. The logical voice in my head says to steer clear of law school. I hate the logical part of my brain ;)

Be careful with the chain saws (if your able to get one going!)

12:49 PM  
Blogger Carole Knits said...

I am so proud of you for taking the first step!

1:31 PM  
Anonymous Lynne said...

Wow you finally know what you want to be when you grow up! That sounds so exciting and remember it's the journey.

Bummer about the tree, it is close enough to the main road that you could call the town?

4:56 PM  
Blogger Mel said...

Yay for steps! I love what I do for the most part, but there are days when I really miss academia.

Seeing your sump pic made me nervous enough to go look down in our cellar, which I hadn't checked since the storm began. Nice and dry, making me once again very glad that I live on a hill.

12:12 AM  
Anonymous oldround said...

Alright! I get it now. It's all clear-- the ability to attack taxes with too much chutzpah. You've got more than your fair share of brain power! :)

8:52 AM  
Blogger Jena the yarn harpy said...

From the four non-working chainsaws, you could make one GIANT MEGA FRANKEN-SAW!!!

9:56 AM  
Anonymous Suzanne said...

Most excellent, Liz. You must stop by the house for barbecue. If there's anyone at the med school who you want to meet, I can see what I can do.

7:11 PM  

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