Monday, August 21, 2006

What's in the garden & other mystical questions...

As always, lots to type up and talk about. Nothing terribly interesting, but that's my life. The most difficult part is to remember everything I want to talk about and try to keep my wacked-out brain in the right track and not go off on random tangents and then forget what I wanted to say. So, first things first. Here's some pics of our **NEW & IMPROVED** front deck. Paul took some vacation time to get some things done around the house and this is by far the prettiest thing. He cleaned the old crusty boards and re-stained them. Tell us what ya'll think! (He's getting pretty damn handy.)

The garden is nearly officially torn up. I've got my pepper plants left and my bean plants that I direct seeded a while ago. I've been getting some great ideas from this blog: She's funny and keeps you entertained. I learned how to get seeds for next year's crop so could save money that way. I wanted to do it, just wasn't sure how. Duh, I know! Just dry em out and see what happens! Ordered and received my seeds so I'm pumped to get those seedlings started. Unfortunately, I have no dirt, so maybe Paul will get that for me tomorrow morning. He's back at work, but doesn't have to go in until 1 pm and is going to Lowe's anyway. I pulled up the rest of the tomato plants and the zucchini, then tilled til I couldn't til no more. Then Paul got me some good 'ol 10-10-10 fertilizer to get into the soil and let it recoup a bit while the seeds are growing inside. I'll take pics once they start to sprout. The stuff I decided on is the following (from if you're interested):


We're planning on expanding the garden next year and I'll be extra watchful for those stupid squash bugs. I'm hoping since I've decimated their environment, they've moved on to greener pastures and won't attack my winter squash I'm planning. I'm trying to talk Paul into selling the house and buying 100 acres then we could retire and live off the land. Okay, not really, but it would be interesting if nothing else. I'll take a pic and post it of what's left of the garden so far. Hopefully, the frost will hold off and we can get some fall yummies.

This weekend was my brother's 40th b-day and we had a surprise party for him. Okay, the biggest surprise was that he figured us out. Not really even a surprise there. But I think he was hoping mom was here, but wasn't entirely sure, so he really was happy to see her. The party went really well, I didn't personally get any pictures, but if I get them from anyone else, I'll post for you.

For graduate school stuff, our team is the first to get organized with a name, Baker Street Irregulars. If you're a Sherlock Holmes fan, you'll get it. I thought it would be appropriate, and everyone liked it. So, our team for this Crime Scene House Practical is awesome. We got the one and only police officer and nurse. We're so cool. Basically, they give us a scene and we have 4 hours to collect evidence, take photos, etc. Then the rest of the year to analyze the evidence, then in July we go before a mock grand jury and present it. Sounds simple, but there's a ton involved! I did get my safety glasses and lab coat in the mail so I'm set for Sat.'s class. We start on GC-MS. Woohoo! Finally, getting my hands dirty!

I wasn't going to say much about it since I don't really have a shot in hell, but I figure why not? I'm totally happy that I even got a phone call. I applied for a job with the KCPD crime lab and actually got both a phone interview and subsequent "one-on-one" interview. That's in quotes because that's what the guy on the phone told me when we set it up. Turns out it was really a "four-on-one" interview. Let me tell ya, think you're nervous talking to one person? Try it with four. Not any easier. I think I did okay but my lack of experience will hurt me. They liked me, but there's four others interviewing for it this week. They will make the decision sometime in the next month, but I'm not holding my breath. I'm just grateful that I actually got the opportunity to interview! This tells me the following: Since I have sent my resume to them before and got not a whimper back, my graduate school MUST be doing something. It's presence on my CV got me a call back. That means the thousands of dollars I'm now in debt may not be in vain. So, after I get through my last year where I actually get more hands-on experience, I may be in pretty decent shape to get a job. I'm hopeful anyway! Now, I also know more what to expect in these situations. I also got fingerprinted and as they did not arrest me on the spot, I figure I must have no warrants out for my arrest. Always good to know. I'll let you know when they tell me what their decision is!

I think that's all for now and I'll try to post some pics of the garden later this week. I do have two lab reports and some other little homework to do before Fri., so may not get a chance. Talk to ya soon!


Friday, August 11, 2006

Big, Long, Ugly Update

Haven't updated in forever and a lot has been going on. Well, I'm typing this at my cousin's house in Nebraska right now. That's wight wabbit, school has begun. I have my first class tonight. For those keeping track, no, I didn't normally have class Fridays, but this year, we have class Friday night from 6 to 10p and Sat. from 8 to 5, so lots more class time. Fridays are lecture and Saturdays are lab. We get to do everything from mass spec. to gas chromatography to DNA stuff. Very exciting. So this year is going to be more fun and much harder I'm sure. We also were broken into groups and we are an investigative team. The school owns a "crime house" and they will set up a crime that we are to investigate all year long and in July we go up in front of a mock grand jury to argue our case. Sounds fun, but taking a look at the syllabus, tons of time and papers involved. Yikes.

Need to find a decent lab coat and safety glasses so have been checking around for those. No, I didn't procrastinate, I just found out about it yesterday. Fortunately, I work in a lab and swiped stuff from there (with permission of course, hehe).

Garden is nearly done. My zucchini got attacked by a sweet little sumbitch called the squash bug. Look him up. Nasty little SOBs. I didn't know what they were and didn't kill them off when I first saw them, so they were allowed to propagate. I went through and hacked out a bunch of dead leaves and killed the larvae and adults that I could find, but I'm not sure it will recover. The tomatoes were looking awful, but still producing decent tomatoes, so I finally went in and got rid of all but 5 of the plants and really sheared off a vast majority of the leaves on the remaining five. They should still at least ripen what's on there now and that'll be the end of it. These fell victim to bacterial canker, which really sucks. Nothing I could've done to save them! And I have to be extra careful about planting next year. I was doing all this to start my fall garden, which will probably include radishes, vegetable squash, cucumbers and maybe some broccoli and cabbage. Definitely some lettuce mix stuff. I did all the research into varieties and time to mature and just need to order the seeds. I'll let you know how it goes!

I've recently been diagnosed with hyperthyroidism, most likely due to Grave's Disease. I won't go into brutal detail, but I see a specialist in Sept, so will keep everyone posted. It does appear to possibly be going into remission on its own, which would be wonderful to avoid lots of medication and/or killing off the thyroid. That's the preferred method of "treatment" in this country, but I think it's akin to saying "I have a hangnail on my big toe" and them saying, "well, let's cut the whole damn foot off." I've been researching the disease to my little ol' heart's content and am armed with tons of information and alternative treatments if it comes to that, but we're shooting for remission :)

My brother's is turning 40 next Sat. Wow. Old man! Hehe, that's all I'll say about that and everyone knows why, (secrets, secrets).

Paul's car project is coming along, although now he's complaining that it's "not loud enough for a drag car" so I'm sure pretty soon I'll be hearing thunderous gunning of the engine. If you're in anyway interested in cars, his blog is listed here for your enjoyment. He recently met up with some family in Iowa for a couple of days and got to see aunts/uncles/dad/sis/etc. They headed up to Wisconsin for some cheese curds, which he doesn't like. But he was nice enough to bring me back two bags. I don't remember if I like them or not, but they are waiting for me in the fridge to try out when I get home.

We're working on thinking about getting the bathroom remodeled. We will be paying someone else to do that though. It's the only bathroom in the house and we can't be without it for an extended period of time. I'm not big on the idea of using chamber pots for two weeks! Yeah, I would have a hard time roughing it, I know.

If anyone caught the news yesterday you know about the terrorist plot that the Brits foiled. Boy, nobody messes around in England. They rock. They had 20+ people arrested pretty quickly! Scary to think though that there's still people out there wanting to "make a statement" and that they were so close to accomplishing their goals. Twisted though they are. I don't know about anyone else, but as a child of the 80s, I think we were actually pretty lucky in having the Cold War. Beats this shit any day of the week. Like Lewis Black said in his recent HBO special (which was hilarious) how do you fight against a people that WANTS to die and have no problem killing innocent men, women and children to accomplish that? He thinks we need to show them we're just as psychotic and vote in a dead president. As in, vote in Reagan and prop him up to show the world WE ARE INSANE. There's something very comforting in that idea. Well, I'm not sure the word "comforting" is what I'm shooting for, but you get the idea.

Well, I think I'd better go and get some reading done. Yikes, homework first, class second. There is something so twisted with that.