Tuesday, June 24, 2008

I like it with bourbon

Saw this at the grocery store tonight:

Monday, June 23, 2008

more journals please

I went in for a few hours earlier and tried to catch up on my reading a bit.

I think the only thing I still like about paper journals more than online is that if they weren't piled up in my way, I wouldn't keep up with them all.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

the joys of public transportation

I went out drinking last night in Adams Morgan, and, as is often the case, me and my buddy took the metro to get there and back. No drunk driving, and no parking woes; you gotta love it.

I had too much to drink, again often the case, and on the way back to the train my buddy found a random tennis ball. While we were on the platform waiting for out train to arrive he was joking about bouncing the ball off the wall on the far side of the track and catching it, but wasn't going to actually do it. While they don't usually hassle patrons, the fines for fucking around are pretty high, and a cab ride back from there home would probably be at least $30-40.

I was egging him on to do it, and when the train was coming so I tried adding some excitement and urgency by counting down his window of opportunity until the front of the train was even with us. He, of course, ignored all this. Most likely due to his intelligence and lack of severe drunken stupor.

As the train slowed to a halt in front of us I had a random flash of stupidity I mistook for brilliance. While I wouldn't have been able to appropriately voice my idea in my state, I had this ridiculous internal dialog going on: "I'LL take the ball, throw it OVER the train and catch it! With my obviously superior science skill I'll be able to accurately deflect it off the curved wall right back into my waiting hands. All in attendance will be entertained at my pithy display of bravado and skill!"

With a narrow window of opportunity I asked for the ball, which he inexplicably gave to me. I "carefully gauged" the throw probably making a number of errors, and made my move. With all the finesse of a limp-wristed mathlete I lobbed the ball at the wall and it rebounded, as you might expect, well off it's mark in a decidedly downward trajectory and bounced crisply off the head of a passenger exiting the train right at that moment. The chances of me catching the ball if it had come right to me were slim, and after the bounce off the poor schmuck's head - nil. The ball bounced and rolled its way across the platform, and fell into the opposite track. I beat a hasty retreat onto the train mumbling an apology to the aforementioned schmuck who seemed nonplussed by the whole ordeal. I expect he was as inebriated as I was.

In the end I did manage to entertain a number of onlookers, but more for my buffoonery than bravado. Like they say, there is no such thing as bad press.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

gay brains vs straight brains

Here is a Time article covering what looks like a neat study.

What the Gay Brain Looks Like

Apparently gay dudes' brains have similar hemisphere symmetry to straight women, and gay womens' have similar symmetry to straight men.

I suppose the big question is that once you pray-away-the-gay does your brain revert to normal/non-homo symmetry?

Monday, June 16, 2008

yay, high school!

One of Dr. Miller's cohorts talked on Friday about his upcoming HS reunion, and it reminded me of mine. Well, the lack of it, actually. So I'm going to totally bite off of his style and talk about it too.

I graduated in '90, and was glad it was over with just like most everyone else. The dude who was the class historian, Sean, was a good friend of mine and a real stand up guy. He was however a decent bullshit artist and not a really an academic/brown noser type. I think he signed up for the office just for the resume fodder, and never really planned on doing the various stupid duties that came with it. Who can blame him, class historian, what a joke. So the 10 year anniversary of all our departures came and went with no mention of the reunion at all, which I really didn't care one way or the other about. One of our central friends always threw a great xmas party that was well attended by the old group, so that was a better way to keep in touch anyway.

That winter I went home for the holidays and went to the xmas party, and ran into an old friend who told me she went to the reunion. I was pretty confused how she could have, and made her explain the whole deal to me.

Apparently one of the academic/brown noser types figured there was going to be no official reunion and organized one herself. I don't really understand why one would do such a thing, but my guess is she just wanted to get a few old friends together and grab some drinks. Thats fine, but why not just get a few old friends together and grab some drinks.?Why call it some sort of pseudo-official function that brings dread to so many?

Anyway, the event was thrown together sorta quick and not too many people were invited. It was held at a bar that was a bad idea in and of itself. There used to be this really huge shitkicker bar that could hold something like 1000 drunk cowboy wannabees. Oddly Sean had worked security at the place in the past and it sounded like a nightmare, as you might expect. In one corner of this shithole was a 'nightclub' with velvet rope, dress code, and everything. Seems like the later 90s was the time for bad club ideas to filter from the coasts into the heartland, and someone decided that these two opposing terrible ideas spelled gold when put in the same space.

The resultant reunion party turned out to be only girls, 5-10 of them, in one group going into hicksville for cocktails. If my recollection is correct the evening consisted of a little bit of shouted chit-chat, a lot of turning dudes down, and an early night.

I'm pretty glad I missed my 'reunion'.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Climbing Pikes Peak

Last tuesday, we decided to ditch work and climb Pikes Peak (14,110 ft) the cool way.  The Y-Couloir.  1000 ft of steep snow to the summit.  We kind of cheated to get there.  We drove up to 13,000 ft on the road that goes to the top and traversed over to the climb.  


Next task was climbing the well packed 45 degree snow slope.  I was excited about using my crampons and ice axe on my first coulior climb.

The picture above is the view down and the picture below is the view up.

Around 13,500 ft I slowed quite a bit due to the altitude.  The views made the rests worthwhile.

At last the summit was in sight.  Below is a photo of Brandon at the top and Aaron and I on the last bit of the climb.  

like a kid again

Last night I went to see the Breeders play at the 9:30 Club. It was a pretty sweet show, and better than the last one I saw where they just sort of split after 20-30 minutes without finishing their set.

I was feeling pretty good, and felt like I was recapturing a bit of my youth when some chick in the vicinities perfume came wafting by. It happened to be a perfume that I must have smelled before, circa 1993-94, when I was really into the breeders and indie chicks. The combo of smell response and loud music (I was a little too close to the speakers) really threw me for a trip, and I felt like it actually was 1993-94 for a minute.

I ended up having a great time and drinking too much, so much so that when I was stumbling out of the house this morning to come in to the lab I dropped my motorcycle while trying to maneuver it out of a tight spot. Now my hangover has slowed my workday to an almost complete halt.

So much for feeling young.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

the joys of undergraduate chem. classes

I stumbled across this the other day:Momentarily I was transported back to the joys of grading 50 lb stacks of exams, and thought about how much I used to like to find wacky or unusual shit in there. It was always interesting, although not always fun, to see really unexpected stuff. I would have loved it if someone had done something as creative as this, especially if they had done as well as this guy did.

Monday, June 2, 2008

the computer - useful for something other than chatting with teenage girls that are actually middle age dudes

I was just organizing my crazy selection of journal articles on my computer, and for the fuck of it I checked to see how much drive space it was taking up. Right now it is just over 800 mb of chemistry goodness in pdf form. There has got to be close to 10 years of crap I've read and wanted to keep for some rainy day or other, both random and researched, in there.

Makes me damned glad I switched from paper to pdf. I don't even want to think about what a drag it would have been to try to sort through and move all that shit halfway across the country. Last year when I finished up my thesis and packed my desk to move I got into the frame of mind a great many people do, and threw out anything I didn't feel like carrying down to the car. I expect that up until a few short years ago, and still now for people who are fond of reading on paper vs. a monitor, a lot of good references got tossed in the name of convenience when moving day loomed near.

Luckily with a computer large amounts of pdf files and pornography don't add any mass at all, and the stuff on the computer ended up coming through unscathed. Of course that has more to do with my being too lazy to cull it than with any actual attempt at efficiency.

Perhaps the craziest part of all is that it's almost all organized. Anyone who knows me or has ever seen my bench would probably freak at how well I've managed to keep order over all that crap.