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!