Sunday, November 27, 2005

Puppy love

Okay, so here's a pic of the dog that I "saved" from a tough life on the streets. I rescued this little baby doll on Monday and took him in and gave him a flea bath and groomed out all the poop matted in his fur. This is after taking him to his "home" or so I thought. They said he looked like a puppy from their litter, but they had given him away and those people didn't want him anymore, and he just found his way "home." But they didn't want him, so I could do whatever. This poor little guy was dodging cars in the neighborhood for about three days or so before I picked him up. Of course, I feel deeply in love, but Max (the cat) was having none of it. He so tried to kick the dog's ass all over the place. He was practicing the fine art of ninja.

So, I feel in love since the guy followed me all over the house and then every time I would sit down, he'd hop into my lap. How can you not love a tiny dog like this? He was only about 6 or 7 lbs, maybe. And NOT a licker at all. But I knew he would find a good home somewhere and ended up giving him up to a Pom rescue group who was going to neuter him, get his completely checked out and adopt him out to someone.

Paul tried to be all tough with him, but no matter what he said he would have totally fallen for the dog too. By the next morning, he was trying to teach the dog how to sit and telling it to go find "mommy." Tell me this dog isn't the most adorable and you don't totally LOVE him. Be proud of me that I didn't keep me. Be very proud and very surprised. Paul was.


Friday, November 25, 2005

Once in a while...

Not often, but once in a while I surprise even myself. I'm currently typing this in my living room, no where near the internet modem. Yes, my Airport is working. Please don't ask me what was different, except for that software update (which I think somehow made it all work). It's quite nice and now I just have to get a card for the desktop and we're in business. It automatically put this massive password in and I'm not entirely sure about that, but it's using WEP 128-bit security, which I'm guessing is good enough to keep people like me (haha) off my network and out of my life. But I'll look into more and see what's up.

Hope you all had a Happy Thanksgiving! We had a busy day of cooking. Well, I cooked and then Paul came in and would ask if I needed anything or if I was doing something correctly. He was lucky because when he would ask that, I never had a knife in my hands. But it was really a success and everyone ate a TON. We actually charged up the battery of the camera and then completely forgot to get it out. Smart us.

So, time to reach a whole new level of laziness. See you all soon!


Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Here's to wishing you all a very Happy Thanksgiving. May much food be eaten, much laughter ring through your home and much love shared with family and friends!!

Monday, November 21, 2005

I'm a web guru

I'm sitting here at work, not working so much. Just got done figuring out how to change the passwords for our webpage. Very exciting stuff there. Can't believe I actually figured that out and didn't screw it up (at least so far). Also did a bunch of updating to it and have been truly only productive doing the webpage today. Haven't done anything else yet. I just really want to go home and get to shopping for our Thanskgiving feast! We're (I say "we" as though "we" are cooking...haha) doing a ham and a turkey to mix it up a bit. And lots of other goodies. I'm looking forward to having a four-day weekend, three of which I have nothing to do except write a couple of papers. Sweet!

Had a great time bowling with the family Saturday, probably TOO good of a time, but it's all good. I was up too late (er...maybe that's early) and started to get a headache, so I think since I had stopped drinking, I eventually had a hangover. Or, it could have been since I'd been awake for nearly 24 hours by that time and the night before had only gotten about 4 hours of sleep.

Don't really have anything earth-shattering to report, although if you want to look at my pretty webpage, email me and I'll hook you up. Although I never intended to learn so much about computers, this can't hurt me and now I get to have fun with databases. Ack. I think I should go back to school for another undergrad degree, this time in computer science. Ha-Paul really would kill me! See ya all later.


Friday, November 18, 2005

I should be driving right now...

Well, I'm being lazy and not driving to Nebraska just yet, so figured I'd do something moderately worthwhile although the only thing I want to do right now is take a 4-hour nap. Also, should be writing a rough draft to a paper, but got the research done and started on the paper. That counts for 1/2 points anyway.

Went to the doctor today to get a current TB test and a tetanus shot. No worries, just for my internship. Also have to get the Hepatitis B vaccination done too. Decided not to get the shots today since the twit who made my appointment was wrong when she continually assured me that it could be read on Monday morning. WRONG!! Would've been read on Sunday and I would've wasted my money as they wouldn't have been able to do squat on Monday. Luckily, my nurse has a brain in her head and had me reschedule. Have to get the Hep B at the County Health Dept., so that kinda sucks. It's three shots over the course of 7 months, so I better get on that SOON! The official dates of the internship are in June and I may not make it, yikes. So, next week I'll be starting on that and hope that I'm just crazy and have miscalculated the time. Wish I would've known about the three shots before. Maybe I did and just forgot.

Been asking questions to a source about a stalker case I'm investigating with another group in class. I've decided I think I suck at asking the "right" questions. We're no where near having a clue as to who the bad guy is and the paper is due on Dec. 3rd. Figure we've got one more round of questions and then we'll have to figure it out, but so far every answer we've gotten has only confused us more.

We'll be submitting another publication for review at work soon. This time we're going for the big dogs and shooting for PNAS, one of the top publications. It's a pretty darn good story and no one has ever said the things we're going to propose, so that should shake it up a bit. Basically, we've "proven" that crystal structures may not always tell the whole story as a protein we tried to get a structure out of for two years through NMR (and never got), tells us one section of the protein is basically unfolded, but the crystal structure we just got, says it's completely structured in that region. Happens to be the "important" region too (that section is basically for Dr. Laura, since she's familiar with geek speak, haha). So, we're proposing that crystal structures, due to the very nature of the procedure, in essence, lock in the protein, giving a false sense of structure to regions that in solution are actually unstructured. Don't tell anyone about that until it's published, or I'll have to hunt you all down and slap you silly!!

Well, I need to stop being lazy and get in the car and drive up to NE so I have time to finish up the paper. No sleep for the weary, sigh.


Sunday, November 13, 2005

Cyberland or Stalkerland?

Paul and I watched Dateline the other night and got to see 19 adult men go to a house where they thought they were going to be able to engage in sexual acts with a 12-, 13-, or 14-year-old child (either male or female). You may ask how these men were inticed to the house. Let me tell you. It was through a group called that poses as young girls and boys in regional Internet chat rooms. The posers did not in any way solicit or approach the men, rather allowing them to initiate conversation and the sex talk. I added a link to the left if you want to check these guys out. They've worked with law enforcement and gotten 39 convictions out of their work. They are a group of volunteers from around the country that do this to help stamp out the evil perpetrated by pedophiles on the internet. So please, if you have children that in any way use the Internet-TALK TO THEM!!! Tell them about the dangers of chatting/IM-ing with strangers! Show them the Dateline if you can get a hold of it. There are many children from seriously dysfunctional families that these guys LOVE to get their hands on, but YOUR children do NOT have to be victims if you teach them how to be proactive and use extreme caution when on the internet, especially in chat rooms. Try it for yourself if you don't quite think it's that bad. Sign up for a Yahoo ID and pose as a 12-year-old. Go into any chat room and see how many men quickly IM you and start in with the sex talk. No parent wants their child to be exposed to this and you can go to Perverted Justice to get some tips about how to make your child's internet experience safe and fun. Okay, rant done.

Hope you all had a good weekend. I have a cold that finally decided to kick my ass all over the place. And let me tell you, I am not a good sick person. Poor Paulie had to put up with my supreme crankiness but he's a heck of a trooper. Even made me eat since I've had no appetite at all since the cold hit (yeah, that's only about 48 hours, maybe I'll lose a pound or two, lol). But did manage to get all my reading done for the rest of the class and the take home exam done. Didn't get my rough draft for a paper read yet, but I'll do that this week.

WARNING: Boring computer stuff below...feel free to skip and ignore. Did a software update on my desktop and it pretty much fried out my internet browsers. Spent a little while reading up on the issues in the Apple discussion forums and it turns out this update has been causing all sorts of problems. Did it on my laptop and no issues there, so I have to try to figure out what got flamed.

So, that was my fun and exciting weekend. Got to spend the time with kleenexes shoved in my nose and tossing and turning. Have taken heavy drugs (well...Nyquil, but I'm sure that's a near-illegal narcotic) for tonight so will sleep well (I hope). All for now and see ya soon!


Saturday, November 12, 2005

Soothing sounds of hammering...

As I'm typing this I'm hearing the questionable sounds of construction being done on the house. The boy couldn't take it anymore so is ripping up some moulding around the living room and redoing it. Please don't ask me why. You have to let them have their little quirks or they'll go nutty. He's feeling fine (obviously) and is already scabbing over on the majority of the spots, so is probably not contagious anymore. Doctor doesn't need to see him again unless "something changes" or he has concerns. I have a paper to write this weekend, so I'm waiting for my iPod to charge up to help me find my "quiet space" or at least a semi-quiet place since all I can hear right now is a hammer and saw (don't worry, not at the same time, of course).

We're refinancing a credit line on our house, since lo and behold...I got my credit up. Everybody should check their credit once in a while because I had all these bizarro things on there that was putting a serious dent in my rating. Example-I had a Kinney charge card (a shoe store) from 1996 or something that never had a charge on it, but yet was reporting it as BAD credit!! That was a shocker. Honestly, didn't even remember having the card. Got stuff like that taken off and my score jumped 40 points! Woohoo! So, now I'm no longer a detriment and can take on some responsibility of the debt that Paul has. Being a grown-up sucks. Although my illustrious school loans are still there (I guess making a wish isn't enough for them to go away, haha), I'm still relatively debt-free. This is all a devious plan on my part of course. Sheesh. Well, I'm done boring you all and am going to immerse myself in the FS world for awhile and try to get something accomplished today. Have a great weekend!!


Friday, November 11, 2005

Poxy Paul

Well, as I'm waiting for a backup to be completed at work, I'll fill you all in on the latest and greatest. It's official. The boy is all "viral-ed" up with chicken pox. Fortunately, it's not terribly serious-literally maybe 100 spots all over his upper body, none on his face at all. He's awfully lucky that it's a weenie strain of pox!

Most likely, I'm in no real danger of getting it, since my mom says (NOW!!) that I had chicken pox twice. I told her to stop smoking that crack-it's obviously affecting her memory. She's told me my entire life that I better stay away from people with chicken pox since I'd only had it when I was less than 3 months old-which is the same as not having it at all I guess. Supposedly, she suddenly remembers me having it at age 4-8. So, here's to hoping that Mom isn't thinking of some "other" daughter she had. :)

Paul is banned from work until the 15th, so we'll see who survives the weekend. He's been cooped up for about a week, so he's starting to go stir crazy. He wanted to start tearing shit up yesterday, but thankfully didn't. I was so sure that I'd come home to a huge mess. I've got quite a bit of homework to do this weekend, so I wont' be any sort of entertainment at all.

Completely throwing out this bit of randomness. I'm archiving our data folder to do a backup and that's what I'm waiting for, is it to make the archive. It's said it has 5 seconds remaining for the last 10 min. Fun. After that FINALLY gets done (Windows SUCKS!!), I'll copy it into our nifty backup disk and go home. Just been waiting...waiting...waiting some more. I think I'd better stop blogging before I make any one who's unfortunate enough to read this cry or pass out or whatever. Sweet. It's done. I'm outta here!


Thursday, November 10, 2005

Did the chicken or the pox come first?

Do you ever have those moments in life that you're not sure whether to laugh your ass off or cry? This isn't one of those. I'm too busy laughing to worry about it. My poor hubby has been tentatively diagnosed with possible chicken pox. I can laugh because it's not very bad if that's what it is which we won't know definitively until the lab tests come back on Friday morning. I'll be sure to update you as to whether it's chicken pox, shingles, a severe allergic reaction, or perhaps genital herpes all over his upper body. Ha. He'd be in such big trouble if that last were true. The bad thing is that I've never really had it and neither has one of my co-workers at work, so that'd be a serious bummer. Paul says he's had it, which if that's the case, we need to go get a PowerBall ticket or two, since obviously he's bucking the odds in getting chicken pox twice.

Okay, here's the things I've learned about chicken pox over the course of the last day or so (the internet is terribly useful and since I live in Kansas-uberconservative-it must be the work of the devil).
1) It can take up to two weeks after initial exposure for the rash to show up and you are contagious most of that time.
2) After the rash shows up, you are actually contagious until they scab over.
3) Internet pictures of pox are nasty-they invariably pick the most horrible pictures to parade around, so not very good to self-diagnose.
4) Just because you've had chicken pox, this does not necessarily make you immune to it. It depends on the severity of the first go round.

Those are just a few of the things I've read. I recommend, they always seem to have the most information without starting panic attacks, although they have none of the grisly pics some of the other sites do. If he would let me, I'd take a pic of him and share, but I don't think he'd go for that right now.

Off subject here, but I just purchased a hair straightener that nearly requires a loan. After doing tons of research on the internet (THE DEVIL!!!!), I found the best one for the money and Paul is letting me get it. I think it's my Christmas present from him and I just don't know it yet. When X-Mas rolls around and he's forgotten to get me a present, I'm sure this will be brought up and that's okay. In case anyone is wondering, I've purchased a Sedu from Sadly, it's on sale ($50 off!!!) and free shipping. I say sadly because the amount off is how much I spent on my first straightener. But, it's still cheaper than the other ones I've seen that got bad ratings. This one had 380+ reviews and 4 and 1/2 stars out of 5. I'm a sucker for customer reviews. The one I was trying to get off eBay, got nailed over and over again for suddenly stopping working, or shorts in the circuitry (although the extreme excitement of never knowing when it's going to start on fire is tempting). I'll let you know how the new one goes...can't be any worse than the one I'm using now which is yanking out my hair every time I pass it over my head. By the way, yes, I have "straight" hair. In my advancing years, it's getting wavy. Not curly. Not straight. Wavy. In a bad way. Someone please tell me this is normal. I used to have perfectly straight hair when straight hair was not "in" and now that straight hair is "in" I have wavy hair. WTF? I didn't even know it was possible for your hair to change. Learn something new every single damn day.

Alright, for those of you who have requested a DVD, I'll be trying to get that done this weekend. I'll send out an email if I actually get 'er done. I think that's all for now and please no one faint that I've updated this so much recently. And, I've added some fun links to the left. They include other's blogs (both friends and family) and a few other sites. The snopes and urban legends are where I go when someone forwards me an email that I don't quite believe. They're both great resources when your bullshit meter goes off. Usually, it's something that's been floating around on the net for years and years and is total crap. But once in a while, I do get surprised. Like the one that raisins will kill a dog. Totally floored that that one is TRUE! So, have fun looking up goofy stuff on those. Talk at ya soon.


Tuesday, November 08, 2005

We're not in Kansas anymore Toto

Ah, I could only wish that statement were true. Today, the Kansas Board of Education voted in a 6 to 4 vote, to implement not only criticisms in evolution into our public schools, but redefine science itself "so that it is no longer limited to the search for natural explanations of phenomena." Yep. That's right. Thank GOD!! That means that I and my fellow lab members no longer have to have any sort of support for a hypothesis that we're trying to get published. We'll just tell the editorial board of Science or Nature that we're from Kansas and they will sadly shake their heads and allow it through, with a small disclaimer, of course, stating that the poor authors are from the "moving backwards in science" state of Kansas. I'm so glad that I haven't gotten my driver's liscence updated to Kansas yet. I'm completely ashamed to live in this horrific state. I'm trying to convince Paul to sell the house so we can get out of this conservative hell-hole, but so far, he's reluctant. I'm so relieved I have no children right now. I would pull them out of the schools with the first indication that this atrocity is actually being taught. I can only pray (haha) that the vast majority of science teachers in the public schools will treat this decision as it should be treated. As no more than religious right hogwash. You can bet a good ol' American dollar that my ass is going to be voting this year in the school board elections. Ack. I'm going to see if the local chapter of the ACLU is doing anything about this issue and donate some skills their way if they'll have me. I'm already a card-toting member, so might as well. Watch. I'm going to become some political ragamuffin through all this. Never piss off an Italian. It's written. In blood.


Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Holy smokes, I've updated this

Well, hell. Apparently I suck at blogging when I'm busy. Good to know things like that.

Basically, got the grades for the class last Sat. (as in two weeks ago). But first, the director of the program felt the need to come in and rip our asses for 10 min for 1/4 of the class failing (below an 80%). That was fun. Then had to sit through the alphabetical return of our grades. This was extremely stressful since I KNEW I was one of the 1/4. Well, I better get started on some animal sacrifices or something to appease whoever, but I managed to pull out a passing grade. Actually, I was one ever-loving point away from an A-. Tough. But you have no idea how very relieved I was when I saw that lovely 89 staring me in the face. Also, got a 93% on the final I was so very concerned about (that's curved by 4 points, so I really, truly got an 89 on that too). So, whew!

Already started on the next class which is "psychological, social and legal aspects of forensic science." Yeah, I know. That's a serious mouthful. Whoever came up with that name needs to be diagnosed with diarrhea of verbiage. So, more fun times ahead. Learning about dipolar disorder, serial offenders, etc. Also, they somehow managed to pile on even more work. Amazing. I'm completely convinced that the entire purpose of graduate school is to convince students that they don't know shit, will never know shit and shouldn't even attempt to know shit. Luckily, I already have a knack for convincing myself of this, so they can't break me!!! They WON'T break me, haha.

As far as work goes for anyone who might be interested in protein structure. We're pretty much done with the structure of the TB antigen we've been working on. We've already gotten it to "publishable" quality, but we're still holding off since we're plucking off new noes right now. Did I say WE? I meant ME. Damn. I'm freakin' special. And we're doing some really cool stuff with new experiments with it and gearing up to write a grant. Our hands are out and we're desperately hoping someone, somewhere will put some money there.

Just to throw this out there-fur is evil and if any of you buy fur, you're evil. Okay, that's pretty harsh, but dammit. The neato thing the fur industry is doing is they get sneaky with the labeling and you may not even know that you've just bought 100% real fur from some poor animal who is now naked (and dead). So, be careful in what you buy kids!! Here's the "official" poster from the Humane Society and if any of you want this for whatever, email me and it's yours. Also, there's a pledge to sign to lead a "fur-free" life so here's the link to that too at the bottom. Down with fur!!