Friday, December 26, 2008

We've had some snow

Portland's had record snowfall this december. It seemed like it was going to be awesome at first and then it got pretty obnoxious for a dozen reasons:
-flights were delayed and cancelled, X-mas plans were cancelled
-GREs got cancelled and delayed
-cars got snowed into driveways
-cars getting stuck in the snow on my street every hour or so, including us last night on the way back from christmas (grabbed the shovel and dig dig dig dig)(someone just slid out just now, I heard it).
-getting cabin fever
-the dog getting cabin fever
-I didn't bring much clothes with me from Corvallis, especially shoes other than converse, which means soggy walks in the snow.
-missed work, missed paychecks
-not missed work means slogging to work in the slush and ice, on unpredictable bus routes.
-leaky shoes
-all anyone is talking about is the snow and how much we're all sick of it.
-all anyone is talking about is how the Portland area sure is ill prepared for snow.

The Good things have been:
-its been pretty (now its gross dirty slush
-it hasn't felt as cold as it does when its raining all the time
-hung out more with roomates who are sick of looking at the internet
-stomping the ice layer to bits
-adventurous hikes to Safeway, pretending that we're in a post apocalyptic snow world, and we're out of ammo, and the few drivers we see are dead and are just rolling down inclines.
-fires in the fireplace
-eating a lot at home (mostly puff pastries)
-learning to put on snow chains and getting some experience driving in the snow

Still, we had a little fun. Here's some pictures of all that snow. If you live in an area that gets snow regularly, then you might think "that's not much snow". It may be true, but I don't care. It's more than Portland gets, which is next to none.

From Snow Day 2008

These next two I took today with the new lens, a Lensbaby Muse, that Yolanda got me for Xmas. I look forward to using it more when there is more to look at then snow and the things in my house.

And many more:

Snow Day 2008

So what seemed great a couple of weeks ago turned into a slushy mess. All this snow makes me glad that I didn't apply for a student research position in Antarctica that I saw posted.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Here's over 350 very high resolution pictures of the surface of mars in 3D for you to ogle.

here's the pictures that I forgot to link to!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Alan Abel

I guess this guy is fairly well known, but not well enough or he wouldn't have been able to pull all of these off. I first heard about him in March after an interview with him on the radio, that talked about his "Anti-Breastfeeding" hoaxes. Tonight I found a note I had written to remind myself to look him up. All of his hoaxes that were successful are pretty funny. I'd like to know what he tried and didn't work. I am glad to see that there's a documentary about him too.

Here's a timeline of Alan Abel's media hoaxes

and some examples:

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


The guy in the pie grew a full beard in just over a week! As manly as apple pie.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

impossible...lie...filling...She is....

I came across this site today after googling for a character that Yolanda discovered called "Peanut Cereb", that's a lot like Banao. This site has high res scans of a lot of Japanese stationary, stickers and envelopes. I've been clicking through for over ten minutes and haven't seen half of them. Now instead of paying the high prices of Kinokuniya and Mitsuwa, you can print them out at your leisure. Enjoy!

Friday, November 28, 2008

thanksgiving 2008

Our thanksgiving party was a lot of fun. I think we had about 20 people which is way more than I thought we'd have. There was a LOT of food and after we ate, most people just stared at the thanksgiving-themed iPhoto slideshow I was running on the television (which you can order as a DVD from me for $1.99 if you'd like, just drop me an email). Almost everybody made a hand-turkey which I thought was great, because I thought most people were going to make fun of them. Here's a picture of the wall of them:

From turkey 2008

Also, we have leftovers! even after a lot of people took food with them. Here's a picture of a very small portion of them, which was breakfast this morning:

From turkey 2008

we have a about a turkey and a half left, a whole pumpkin pies, cookies, a whole thing of stuffing, potatoes, two things of gravy, an entire tofurkey, a dozen rolls, and that's all I can think of. 2 yorkshire puddings too. Thanks everybody who came for all the delicious food and delicious company! I was very glad to see all of you. Thanks also to everybody who somehow made the plates and cups disappear. When I went around with a bag to get loos garbage, there was nearly none to be found. A second thanksgiving miracle, after the Diane Keaton miracle.

Greenhouse Pictures

Here's some photos of the greehouse that I took a few weekends ago while I was weekend watering, and a picture I snapped of myself while washing pots. I washed 1164 and 50 flats in 4.5 hours, which is by far my personal record. That works out to about 4 pots a minutes, which includes scrubbing, washing transport to and from the pot washing room and stackking in pyramids of 36 to dry. If you're wondering what our lab does, I really couldn't tell you. Something about genetics and all that, small RNAs and viral replication. I honestly don't really know.Here's the website if you'd like to read all about it. My job is pretty good, and since minimun wage is increasing in Oregon in 2009, I'll get a raise. I can listen to my iPod a lot of the time and its warm.

From Blogger Pictures

From Blogger Pictures

From Blogger Pictures

From Blogger Pictures

Friday, November 21, 2008

do yourself a favor and

do yourself a favor and listen to today's writer's almanac by garrison keeler, at npr's website for the poem at the end.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Cha Cha actually paid me! it only took 5 months and 4 emails to get their attention. After that it was easy.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


a dozen spiders just ballooned

a dozen spiders just ballooned into my face. this is what mobile blogging is about.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


For my food science and technology in western culture class, my group is doing a presentation on the development of the MRE or Meal Ready to Eat. If you don't know, it's what troops are given when they are away from any kind of kitchen or cafeteria. One of my group members purchased one tonight, and I though that the instructions on the heating unit were pretty funny.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Cyclops Copepod

I picked up a couple of these ladies by accident the other day while trying to capture some diving beetles in the park (i caught 2 of those). It's been so rainy that a couple of gigantic puddles have appeared in tanbarky and leafy areas. Even after only a day, they were ripe with invertebrate life.

This gal is a Copepod, from the genus Cyclops, because of that red eye spot. The water droplet is about 4 mm across. She's also got a couple of egg sacs. They are crustaceans, and things like diving beetles and fish will eat them. I saw one paper when doing some quick research for this blog entry that suggests that they filtered diseases that might harm fish. The paper said that the cyclops would eat the actinospores, and the fish that consumed the copepods wouldn't contract the disease that they would from the lone actinospores. Pretty neat. When the camera is still, you can see the hundreds of even smaller organisms floating about in the droplet around the copepod. If anyone would like to buy me a light microscope so I can see what they are, please feel free. Xmas is right around the corner. Also, let that be a lesson to not drink out of puddles that might look clean. You might drink a trillion water fleas. I also managed to grab a lot of some kind of worm, but they didn't photograph well. Too shiny.

An aquatic entomology class was added for the winter term and I am very excited. However, if I take it, I probably won't have time to take botany as well. I have to take botany for some other classes. If I kept them both, I would have a 16 credit load of Botany, Aquatic Ent, 2nd term Organic Chemisty, and statistics. I don't think I should try it but I really really really want to take it and its not always offered. My advisor said that I could probably move botany to next winter, but it looks to me like botany is a pre-req for some other classes that I need to take.

Monday, November 10, 2008

He'll be in stitches

My funny joke will most likely result in my roomate Tim's finger being busted. It's not even a real peanut butter cup. I ate the candy and filled the foil with tissue, because it was too heavy to put on the platform.

Another note about the traps: the package says "No bait required". I assume they mean because they've put the fake cheese there. I think that that is funny.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

3-Deatrice and other things

From 3d

cross your eyes until the 2 pictures overlap. if you are having trouble, use your thumb to cover the picture, so that you can see the left picture with your left eye and right picture with your right eye. Then focus on your thumb. Slowly, lower your thumb and the 3-D picture will be behind it.

I've been working on this instead of homework.

We've had mice in our apartment the last two days. You think we live in squalor now but we really don't, it's very tidy. Tim saw the first one yesterday afternoon run through the dining room. He yelled "there's a mouse in the house!" and I locked Beatrice in my bedroom before she could get mouse-disease. We had it cornered under the oven with bowls ready but it somehow vanished. We pulled the oven out and it was nowhere, and we DID see it under the oven, so who knows. We talked to maintenence but they said it'd be Monday before they came over. We bought some classic mousetraps from safeway, and i'd just listened to the Radiolab podcast about "Building a Better Mousetrap" and they said the classic ones work. They do! We've killed two in two days. Tim heard the first one die. Somehow they are getting in under the sink, probably through the dishwasher. I also spotted a hole in the back of the cabinet where we keep the potatoes. The potatoes weren't bad but I threw them out, because they likely had plague.

I had brunch with my brother and his friends this morning for his 30th birthday. It was delicious and fun. I also had a lovely drive back to corvallis. I snapped many pictures with my phone but they mostly turned out lame.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


I got some tea from the Dollar Store, 100 bags for a dollar. It's not bad, but what I really like about it is that it's so weak that I can put a bag in my thermal mug and leave it there for hours and it doesn't get all over steeped and bitter.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

i just found a geocaching

i just found a geocaching prize by accident. all that was inside was an explanation. i thought it was drugs.


This has been a good month for mantises in my neighborhood. I came across five of them in total on my walks with Beatrice without even really looking. Most of them were hanging out on the path, and one landed right on my hand while i was bagging up another one.
All of them are the European Mantis, or Mantis religiosa, which is pretty common across the united states.

"From "National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Insects & Spiders" (1), p. 397:

This mantid was accidentally introduced in 1899 on nursery stock from southern Europe. At a time when Gypsy Moth Caterpillars were burgeoning in the eastern states, it was recognized almost immediately as a beneficial predator. However, mantids are so cannibalistic that they are rarely numerous enough to have much effect in depleting caterpillar populations."

I caught four and kept them alive for awhile, hoping that they'd laid ootheca, or egg sacs. In the meantime, i brought them to the Bug Zoo so some of the students could take them to outreaches. They went to two. They were a hit at the garden themed night, but at the one I went to, the kinds were unimpressed since most of them live in the country and see them a lot. Ooo la la!
From creepy crawlies

This girl above (all four were girls, says Mike from the bugzoo) laid an ooth. Another one died, possibly of an injury, possibly of dehydration, possibly of starvation. One died while trying to lay an ooth. The ooth comes out as foam and then hardens, exactly like that polyurethane sealer foam you can buy in a can. It's also sticky, and mike found her stuck to the side of the container, with a failed ooth binding her feet and wings. I gassed her and the one that laid the ooth and pinned them up. The remaining one is still alive but she's not nearly as fat as the other ones, so I don't think that she'll lay any eggs.

Two days ago I found a wooly bear caterpillar from the species Pyrrharctia isabella. There's an old wives' tale, according to Peter Haggard who wrote Insects of the Pacific Northwest that says "The wider the band (of orange), the colder the winter." By the looks of the this one, it will be a moderate to very cold winter. This one's dead though because the remaining mantis has been snacking on it.
From creepy crawlies

I didn't expect her to eat it but I threw it in to see what would happen. I also didn't expect it to live very long because it kept flipping itself upside down. You can see in the picture that the mantis has her modified arms, which are big hooks, dug right into the side of the caterpillar, and her forelegs folded back. She's also eating it upside down which is pretty neat. Whenever the wooly bear would stir. She'd dig in again. I'm glad to see that she's eating.

In other insect news, Beatrice found some kind of what I think is a spider's sac in the grass, and we took it home and put it into a plastic bag to see what comes out. I'll let you know.

Monday, October 27, 2008


I just saw an article on the ny times about little kids getting kidney stones and they showed that picture. I had no idea they looked like that. I immediately chugged a liter of water.
Also, the dog threw up a bunch of cheese all over my shoulder this evening, and then in the carpet. It smelled terrible. After I cleaned it up, she peed on the spot. It was a nice deposit before it was a fee. Thanks, puppy.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Happy Scare Day

this thing autoplayed so I got rid of it.

Friday, October 24, 2008

My neighbor Gil passed away yesterday. It's pretty sudden, though he'd recently been diagnosed with cancer and he was doing his best to fight it. I talked to his wife Maggie for a little while tonight, and while she was sad, she is happy that he has some relief.

Although I complained at length about how annoying it was that he'd tell me to mow my lawn, he was a genuinely nice man who would do anything for anybody, and I did appreciate his help although I often accepted it begrudgingly. He was the first new friend I made in Portland, as I met him the second day I was in town. When he wasn't telling me how to fix the yard or how to deal with other neighbors, he was telling me great stories about his past, gossiping about the neighborhood, or getting the dog riled up. He will be missed.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

OSU and Google Earth

I've been putting off homework all afternoon. Instead of doing homework, I put together this little tour of my daily life at school. You'll need Google Earth to see it. You can click on the locations in the left hand menu to read descriptions of the places. Double Click em to get customize zooms and angles picked by me! Enjoy!

Get Google Earth

Download the Tour

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Bug Zoo

Tonight was the first meeting of the Oregon State Bug Zoo, which is a club on campus that raises some live insects as well as keeps a collection of preserved insects, and goes to schools in the area to educate people about insects and other arthropods.

Currently there are about 12 members. I volunteered to be Secretary this evening, which means that I take notes at the meeting. Another job was Minister of Propaganda, but I figured that I would just help with that rather than being official, because I felt like it would ultimately turn into more work than I wanted to do. I am also in charge of feeding the darkling beetles (which are adult mealworms) and the thorny sticks. The collection of live insects is particularly impressive. They have a whole lot of stick insects, mostly spiny and thorny, the kinds that look like big leaves. One of them crawled all over my face. It's a good club. The members are all very friendly once you get them talking. They're also very proud of the club. I am happy to be a member.

It's started raining here which is welcome. I am tired of these 80 degree days. I am anxious to get my bike this weekend, although the tips that tim gave me for parking worked out well this morning. I was able to find parking in the dirt lot two times.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Day 2 of OSU

I received some training for my new job this morning. I work in the West Greenhouses, in the Botany and Plant Pathology dept. My duties include cleaning pots and trays, filling them with soil (i did that today), planting seeds, thinning plants, watering plants, and keeping the greenhouse clean. It seems pretty straightforward. There are things to worry about like which seeds to plant where and how many but there are explicit directions regarding those things and for the most part things are well labeled. I have to watch some training videos next tuesday, and then I work every tuesday and thursday, from 10-4, before I have Food Science in Western Culture, which is going to be an interesting class. It's in a room near the agriculture area of the school, which means it smells like a giant barnyard. Here's the greenhouses from the top:

View Larger Map

I have been to all of my classes now, and none of them seem particulary daunting. Organic Chemistry seems to be the hardest, but I have heard now from a number of people that the teacher that I have is awesome, so I am excited about that. My anthropology class is entirely on videos, so I can just watch them all online. I only have to show up once a week.

The dog is slowly calming down and getting used to apartment living. She whines a lot when I leave, which she may have done in PDX, but I wasn't worried about it because I didn't have neighbors sharing a wall. I haven't had any complaints yet. There are many pets in the complex.

The bus system here sort of sucks. It's free for students, but it's a one way loop. It's only scheduled every hour, and is late generally, and usually empty also. I've only used it for two days and probably saw waiting for the bus a total of 2 hours, which is crazy. That doesn't include the time I took waiting for my classes. I have to catch a bus at 7:55am for a 9am class, because the 8:55 one would get me there at 9:10am. My assigned seat in Ecology (the 9am class) is right in the front row of a 200 seat auditorium that's full, so being late would be very awkward. Tim gave me some tips on free parking today which work out well because all of the places he pointed out are very close to all of my classes and work. This all won't be a problem after I get my bike this weekend, which may be its own problem when it starts raining. Who knows.

The dog is now walking around my desk. She hopped up on my lap and then on the desk. What a pest.

From beatrice

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Moved In

So far so good. Moved into my apartment in Corvallis, got some food, found a bed this morning in the shopping center right across the street for $109. The only drawback is that I miss Yolanda and Portland terribly. It's been less than 24 hours. I don't know anybody here and don't know my way around. I know where the Safeway is, because it's across the street. Also, I drove to WinCo this morning, so I know where that is.

Tim, my new roomate, is incredibly friendly and has made the move very easy. He told me about the mattress store across the street and saved me a ton of time and money. He also showed me where I can get a large bucket of fried rice for 1.50. Tonight his mother and some other people are coming over and we are having steak and potatoes for dinner, which I am looking forward to.

I am very anxious about starting school. I start on monday at 9 am. I also have my new job training on Tuesday. I was hired to work in the greenhouse which I think means watering plants, but I guess we'll see. I am happy to have a job that is remotely related to science. I am also very nervous about screwing something up.

I am picking up the dog tomorrow and bringing her to Corvallis for awhile. I am afraid that she'll bark when she hears closing doors and things like that but it's actually very quiet, so I think that she'll do ok. There are a lot of other dogs around so perhaps I can set up play dates.

I feel anxious but it may be because I drank a half a pot of coffee. I am also sore because I slept on my floor last night and I forgot to bring pillows. I bought a couple of pillows at the BiMart earlier today. I feel like I want school to start so I have something to do, but I also don't want school to start because I'm nervous. Blech. I still have to figure out the bus system. Walking to school apparently takes about a half an hour to 45 minutes. I plan on testing that out this evening and finding my classrooms, because the campus is gigantic and everything looks pretty much the same.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Bill Nye spotted on BART

Bill Nye spotted on BART leaving SFO! Yolanda and i were too starstruck to talk to him but he winked at me when I smiled.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Ha Ha

You have to have the password written on your hand to get here

Monday, September 8, 2008

Go Water Bears!

They're my favorite team!

"MASTER of survival. Can withstand pressures six times greater than those at the bottom of the ocean and endure temperatures ranging from more than 100 °C down to absolute zero. Can shrug off lethal radiation, survive in a vacuum and go without water for more than a century."

'Water bears' are first animal to survive vacuum of space

LHC on September 10

you can watch a live webcast of the Large Hadron Collider being turned on at around 3:30 am eastern time.

From the NY Times:

At stake is a suite of theories called the Standard Model, which explains all of particle physics to date, but which breaks down at the conditions that existed in the earliest moments of the universe. The new collider will eventually reach temperatures and energies equivalent to those at a trillionth of a second after the Big Bang. There are many theories about what will happen, including the emergence of a particle known as the Higgs boson, which is hypothesized to endow other particles with mass, or the identity of the mysterious dark matter that provides the invisible scaffolding of galaxies and the cosmos.

But nobody really knows for sure, which is part of the fun, but which has led to a few alarming claims that the collider could spit out a black hole or some other accidental phenomenon that could end the Earth or the universe. Those claims have been vigorously rebutted by a series of safety reports and studies, the most recent of which was published last week in The Journal of Physics G: Nuclear and Particle Physics, a peer-reviewed journal.

The director general of CERN, Robert Aymar, said in a news release, “The LHC is safe, and any suggestion that it might present a risk is pure fiction.”

Pretty exciting. It's the biggest, most expensive science experiment to date. Some of the doomsayers have been sending scientists involved death threats. See you on the 11th? Maybe?

Thursday, September 4, 2008

he just came back and

he just came back and took the wrapper!

a man just gave me

a man just gave me a free ice cream bar!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Crazy Day

Had a pretty interesting day.

It started off early with taking Bea to the vet for a couple of red patches on her skin. She's got a skin infection so she has to get some topical spray as well as take antibiotics AND benadryl for like two weeks. It knocked her out cold, so the next two weeks should be pretty quiet. It's already starting to clear up.

I also got an email from a job I applied to at a lab at OSU about 4 months ago, doing things like cleaning lab equipment and assisiting a little on some research for a botany professor. They want to interview me next week.

In the same instant that I was reading the email text I got on my phone, I got rear ended, in Yolanda's car. The bumpers were perfectly aligned so there was no damage at all that I could tell, and she just barely bumped me so I can't imagine that I have whiplash. It was as good as a rear ending could go. The woman, mimi, said that she was passing by a place that a friend of her's used to work, before she died about a month ago. She was very embarrassed and apologetic and didn't have proof of insurance.

At work I was able to very easily switch a shift to get time off for the interview. Thanks Gabby.

The Apple store also called and said that my computer had arrived and I could pick it up whenever I pleased. I did that tonight. It's as they said a brand new macbook, in a retail box. However, this one is a 2.4 core 2 duo, with 2 gigs of ram, a 160 gig hard drive, a superdrive that burns dual layer dvds. It's a huge upgrade for no charge. I bought my old MacBook in May of 2007. In August of 2008 they completely replaced it. Let this be a lesson to naysayers: PURCHASE APPLECARE!

This screen is not flickery at all! Hooray! What a day!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

apple comes through

so i took my computer to the apple store today to see if they could finally fix my flickering screen problem. I showed up for my appointment and one of the techs said that he'd take it in the back and check it out, which worried me because I often have trouble replicating the problems for them, since the flickering is unpredictable. I also took it in for a chunkt and clicky trackpad button, but that had also been quiet all day.

After about a minute he came back and said "how would you like a new computer?" and i said "I'd love one". so he gave me the chance to backup my computer and bring it back in a couple of days, after they get the clearance and tags to send it back, at which point I will receive a new laptop from them. Since the one they sell now is better than mine, i get an upgrade to a core 2 duo 2.0 ghz macbook (currently I have the core duo). I imagine it will also have a superdrive, which mine has, which I believe means I will gain dual-layer burning as well. I will just keep my ram upgrade since it will work in the new one and they'd like the old ram back if I have it. The only thing that I am disappointed about is that I like the keyboard layout on my current computer more than the layout on Yolanda's newer Macbook. Also, this doesn't mean it's free of defects - Yolanda's had her computer since December, and one of the USB ports stopped working, and the entire thing periodically shuts down without warning. We are taking it in so it's fixed while we are in SF.

He said he is also putting apple care on it, but I don't know if that means extending my coverage or just porting over what I have.
It occurred to me that if I hold out a few more weeks then potentially I could get one of the new macbooks that are supposedly coming out in september, but honestly, I don't want to push my luck. It took 5 trips to the apple store to get this far and I feel like if I cancel this work order, the next guy may not want to do this. I asked about replacement computers once before, since they only thing I have left on this one that was what I initially purchased is the screen, and they said that it was very rare. The guy today said they can replace it because it's a refurbished model. Also, given the quality of apple's latest hardware, the iphone 3gs, i don't think I want the first generation new macbook.

The new computer's not in my hands yet, so I am still wary, but things look good. I got a work order number from him today. Now I am just waiting for a phone call from them to tell me that I can bring it in.

Tonight we are going to see Richard Swift, and tomorrow Sondre Lerche. The last time we saw them at the doug fir they both played amazing shows. Tomorrow is also Yolanda's and my four year anniversary.

I was offered the job today at the OSU/ONID computer help desk, and I am still deciding whether or not to take it. When I considered trying to help people over the phone with a system that I myself will have only the day before been introduced to, while moving to a new town and starting four classes at a new school, I thought that I was setting myself up for exhaustion. Plus the job sounds shitty now that I know they are really busy.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


This jingle goes through my head at least once a day:

i understand that the dogs are back after a long absence.

These were my favorite cookies when I was six. I'll say that they still are.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Shanghai Bummer

Tonight we had an outing with our coworkers where Trader Joe's bought us pizza and beer at Old Town Pizza and then we took a tour of the Portland Underground, also known as the Shanghai Tunnels, a system of underground passageways where Portlanders in the 1850s were kidnapped and sold into slavery on ships.

Tonight was a perfect example of why I don't like to hang out with most of my coworkers. A good amount of them got drunk and acted like obnoxious 12 year olds while the tour was going on, trying to out-do each other for attention or make out with each other. I would have loved to hear what the very nice guide, who was passionate about what he was telling us, was saying but i couldn't over a group of drunk, disugusting idiots making catcall noises, wandering away, talking about how they had to pee, and making terrible jokes. Would have been a lot of fun, thanks for ruining it by making everyone there really uncomfortable and embarrassed for the group. Yolanda pointed out a couch that one of the girls was laid out on was from one of the first whorehouses in Portland and people probably exchanged all sorts of diseases on it and/or died on it, which was comforting but annoying that she was laying down on it.

If anyone would like to try to go on the tour again, i'd really like to go check it out again. I also plan on volunteering with them so I can spot this ghost that's supposed to be down there.

Also, now the clicker bar on my macbook is loose and chunky. Holy shit, man.

Monday, August 18, 2008

A collection of found notes

After reading Found magazine, one usually gets into the habit of scanning the ground for notes and debris that might be funny or interesting. I found a pretty good gem by the registers at work this week. Here's the front of it:

I was reading this side to Yolanda, and she was laughing like crazy, which I thought was weird because it's not that funny. It's even sort of sweet. Finally she yelled "Turn it around!!"

I looked around for the people depicted in the drawing, but nobody matched. Nobody that I work with is named anything close to "Heime".

Yolanda found this one at Goodwill a few days ago. It's a pretty major mistake, and a good lesson learned.

Here's one that Yolanda had found when she worked as a buyer at Buffalo Exchange. She said that she found it in the pocket of a pair of jeans a guy was trying to sell. She found it an kept it and had to hold back her laughter until he was out of the store:

In case you can't read it, it says "These jeans aren't mine. They probably belonged to some other girl you were fucking - perhaps someone you met through the personal ad you posted while you were still living with/ sponging off me."

This is one that Jimmy found somewhere.

"45 - 65 - 60; Wife complaining in Morning. Did not feel like much got done during day + distracted in the evening; 55 Tired"

This last one is one that jimmy and I found while attending De Anza College, in Cupertino. It was probably around 2002. It was taped to a table warning about the carpet, but we took it anyway:

I think that the handwriting is pretty neat.

I've found some others in the past, such as a grocery list where the item "gas pills" was underlined 3 times, and another one warning that if someone ever saw dog poo on the sidewalk again, the owner would get their face pushed in it, but I don't have scans of those.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Friday, August 15, 2008


I just confirmed our reservation for the Preview Days for the members at the Cal. Academy of Sciences. Yolanda and I are in the first available slot, Sunday Sept 14 at 9am. We are not required to leave the academy at anytime, the slots are for crowd control, so we can spend the max amount of time there all day.

Email to Phone: Fixed!

I fixed the problem. I noticed that when I emailed myself a reminder to download "Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid" on Noel's suggestion, i saw that the email was from my number, since it was a text message, not, like the picture messages. So i tried that and it works like a dream. The only drawback is that it's the size of a text message instead (160 chars). I can look at gmail through my phone via the browser, but now I can screen them before I check it.

We went dancing at Soul Night last night a Rotture, it was a lot of fun but very hot. Today's supposed to be hotter, like 105. Yolanda and I cleaned the pool this morning and now we are filling it up. It's looking like it's more lever and less wrinkly. Also, not slimy!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Recents events and things of notes in my life:

1)This summer's season of "The Mole" wrapped up last night and I found it to be very satisfying in terms of who won and who the mole was (that link's a spoiler, if you care), but even more satisfying in terms of who didn't win. It was a good season overall. I didn't think it was as gripping as the Australian seasons, but I enjoyed putting the time aside each monday to watch it. Since i download most shows now, and think even more shows are just plain garbage, it's nice to have something regular to look forward to each week. Pushing Daisies is starting again in October, and Yolanda and I like that show too.

2)Tangre moved in yesterday seemingly seemlessly. We found a mattress for her today in Aloha and got it home thanks to my brother's/dad's bronco. That car is great fun and terrifying to drive. The steering is nearly 45 degrees off of true, it's very wide, and the only gauge (<-- hard word to spell) that works is the speedometer. It's got a battery voltage and another gauge that I'm not sure of, so they may have worked but probably not. It still contains a picture of mt dad, his sunglasses, his hat and many other articles that were in the car, as well as smells the same as always, so it's sort of like a mobile Sam Hedstrom museum. My brother got the license for Oregon that reads "8EIGHT", which is like the ones he had in CA and NV that read "8EIGHTS".

3)I booked Yolanda's and my trip to California for the Grand Opening of the California Academy of Sciences this afternoon. I had seen a very good offer to stay at the Nikko Hotel in SF (the hotel behind the forementioned "8 Eights") but when I went to book the rooms today, they were priced at almost twice as much, so instead of paying all that, I booked us an extra day at the Kabuki Hotel in Japan Center. We'll be there from the 13th to the 18th, and from what I understand, can visit the Academy on the 14th, 15th and 17th, which is TEN DAYS before the rest of the people!

4) I have an interview soon with the Computer tech department at OSU to be a telephone helper to students for their computers. Apparently it's very easy, says my new roomate Timothy. I was honest in the application that said I had a very basic knowledge of fixing things and had mostly just done troubleshooting my friends and families computers, but was familiar with a lot of software, and had no experience with Vista or Linux. We'll see how it goes. It pays minimum wage. I'd like some kind of income while at school, however small.

That's all I can think of right now.

Monday, August 11, 2008

God Speed, Tortoise.

I put Bernard on craigslist this morning at about 3 am and by 9:30 I had ten responses. This afternoon a very nice gentleman named Alan came and picked him up. Alan does reptile rescue and care for a few pet stores, but he said that he is going to keep Bernard with his 2 red footed tortoises, in an outdoor enclosure for the rest of the summer. He also has three red-eared sliders (which are apparently illegal in Oregon, because they are taking over ponds are are considered invasive.) He says that Bernard will be good for his daughter, and he will keep the name Bernard so not to confuse him.

Bernard lived in Danville, San Jose, Portland, and now Vancouver. He was a celebrity in my fifth grade classroom, and a quiet but smelly floormate to Liam.

Alan said that I can come see him in Washington whenever I want, or when I am done with school, I could have him back. Many of the responses I got were impressed that I had him for nearly two decades. I am as surprised as they are. It's been a hell of a ride, Bernard.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Free Work-arounds

I thought I had found a way to get my email forwarded to my phone for free, since verizon wants to charge $9.99-$19.99 a month for that service, as well as the data charges you'd accrue while accessing it. I noticed that when I sent my brother an email from my phone, he'd replied at, and I got the message. This is the same address that I use to send myself ringtones. So I tried sending myself an email there and I received it fine, even past 160 characters!

So i tried having my gmail account forward any email to that address and then leave it on the server. What happens though is very odd. Any message sent directly to my phone is just fine, but when something is forwarded to it, my phone reboots! My phone will shut down and start back up on it's own, and never receive a message, and google sends me a message that says that the delivery failed permanently. I think that's very odd. This is a similar problem that occurred when I first got the phone and wanted to be able to upload pictures directly to my blog. When google would send back a confirmation message, the phone would restart. Blogger fixed this problem by having an option to turn off the confirmation message, and that seemed to fix it. But now verizon added back in thier add for which is generally longer than the blog posts!

So I tried it again with my hotmail account, thinking that maybe verizon just had a problem with google, and that worked! So i set up a dummy hotmail account that my gmail forwards to that forwards to my phone, and set up filters in my gmail account so i don't get the things like my OPB newsletter and the like. It took about a half hour to get this all working, but now i get emails on my phone that can include attachments like pictures for no extra charge (i called verizon to verify this) for free!

UPDATE! Oh I was wrong! new hotmail accounts only let you forward to other microsoft accounts! So i tried it with my OSU account and I get the same rebooting! This is just fine since I am not that busy that I need to answer email right away anyway. Blech.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Stinkbug Defense: It works

Members of the insect order Hemiptera, family Pentatomidae, also known as Stinkbugs, will, in defense, squirt out a liquid if disturbed. For some species, this liquid is foul smelling. For others it is foul tasting.
Today I took Beatrice for a walk to Sacajawea Park at the end of our street to take a look at the wild blackberries that are growing there. They've been very green for awhile, but the ones in our backyard turned dark, so I thought that maybe the ones down the street would be dark as well. They are all still green, but there was one that was dark, so I plucked it off and threw it in my mouth. I immediately sensed that something was bitter, then hot, then wrong. I also sensed there was something extra in my mouth, so I spit it out and saw a small green brown pentatomid wriggling upside down in the dirt by my feet. I also spit out the blackberry. This wasn't surprising so much because I had found one a few days earlier on the same plant, on another ripe blackberry. I looked at some of the other blackberries and sure enough, there were two pairs mating and one watching them, perhaps waiting his turn. Apparently they love blackberries.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Macbook Screen Flickering

I can't believe that my laptop screen is flickering again. I can't even defend their software anymore because the 2.0 firmware for ipod/iphone is slower and buggier than the hacked 1.1.4 firmware, and the apps crash 100% more than the homemade ones on Installer, which was < never. Fucking apple. My conclusion is: there are no computers that work well. When my laptop works, it works great, but this screen flicker is driving me bonkers. This will be the 4th time it's sent out to be fixed. I can't wait to sit in the apple store to try to reproduce it again for the guy in the utilikilt.

Yolanda's macbook, which is around nine months newer than mine, shuts itself off all the time as well as has some other problems. I can take mine in, but she has online homework daily, so she just has to deal with it until school's done.

Anybody looking to buy a Wii? My last hope was some kind of announcement at E3 about interesting games for it, but instead they announced another Wii Sports, Animal Crossing and Wii Music, which is like guitar hero or rock band, minus a score or any kind of challenge. I'll bet there's a peripheral to buy for it too (such as the $90 wii fit board, or the $25 zapper, $159 rock band, or $100 guitar hero, or the NEW add on that makes the controller better, probably $30) And animals crossing? I've played it twice already. I'm tired of nintendo's bullshit. Mario Kart Wii is just awful. Oh well. I think with all the games I have for it and on virtual console, and since nintendo is still purposefully trickling them out to store and keeping them in high demand, I can get about $500 for it on the ebay or craigslist. Thank god for that at least. I think I am over video games which makes me a little sad. I'm pretty happy with my old xbox and my DS, since i have every nes and snes game on the xbox (literally, all of them) and i can play the DS on the toilet. New video games make me bored and sad. What's strange is, I think to myself that I am happy playing the games of my youth over and over again, but that's the problem with newer games is that they are the same thing over and over again. I guess i'd just rather play the first ones in 2D, or that I don't need to learn a game again. At least the newest zeldas (minus twilight princess) have been good. I guess what I don't want to do is pay for video games.

Bah! Technology!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

smells so hard

It rained this morning after 25 days without rain, which is a pretty good stretch for here. It smells great outside! Inside it smells great because yolanda brought home a great big bag of rosemary (an entire Trader Joe's paper bag full, compliments of Lindsey's garden). Good smells all around. Kitchen smells good because I made waffles. I should have made rosemary waffles.

Plans for today:
1)get the dog's nails trimmed (1 pm)
2)wash the sheets
3)watch "Papillon"

Giving up on trying to give up coffee is much easier than giving up coffee. I tried to stop drinking coffee for a week because I as getting really anxious when I drank any at all, but that only lasted a day. I think while I am out today I will buy some decaffeinated and try that. Also, I can't find the bike pump.

I got some hiking done in the gorge yesterday. Kira and I did a 2.15 mile loop around Latourelle falls. Highlights included going off the trail to get a better look at the top of the falls and finding a demolished house covered in plants.

I am getting better at making thai salad rolls. The rice papers aren't as sticky as the wheat flour ones.

Monday, July 28, 2008

worked a little

MyHeritage: Family trees - Genealogy - Celebs - Collage - Morph

I found this thing while i was trying out the new search engine which is getting a lot of press. I didn't find this on cuil, i didn't find anything on cuil. When i google image search "chris hedstrom" you get a picture of mike barron as the number one result, and when you image search "mike barron" you get a couple of pictures of naked guys. Also, a link to a thing such as above.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Phone Macro

I really like my phone's camera. I think it takes decent photos for what it is, and it does a very good autofocus, actually changing the distance from the lens to the sensor, which i think is pretty sophisticated for phone cameras. What it doesn't do, however, is take very good close ups of small objects.
I had an old fujifilm digital camera that stopped working about two years ago. That camera had served me well, but it became unreliable and wouldn't save the photos it was snapping. It had a switch on the side to enable it to take close up images of small objects. I imaged that the switch slid a tiny magnifying glass in front of the lens. My plan was to take that tiny piece and put it in place of the small swivel dustcover on phone's camera.

After I took the camera apart, i found it was simpler than that. The switched just slid the lens further from the sensor. This was disappointing because it made my project much more difficult, since the actual lens is about a centimeter in length, one solid piece of glass. After trying to hold it up to my phones lens and take pictures, i decided that punching a hold in some tape and adhering it to the phone would work better, and it did. Observe:

Here's some of the pictures, and a movie that I did.

The last thing is smaller than the size of a pinhead. There are hundreds of the all over the side of my house. I am going to keep my eye on them.

This is inside of a dandelion on my walkway. The longish looking thing looks like a Dermaptera (earwig) or perhaps a Staphylinid (rove beetle). The beetle sits still at the end because the lens is actually resting on him. The focus on anything, it has to be sitting right on the end of the lens, which makes it no good for stalking teeny-tinies.

I'm happy with the lens but i wish I had a way to attach it other than with tape, and that it didn't stick out so much. Oh well.