Don't Shake the Flask

Because you don't know if it'll explode

Month: June, 2005

Catch Up

I suppose I’m taking a bit of a hiatus–not quite sure when I’ll be regularly posting again but don’t start taking any bets.

On to local news that makes me roll my eyes: apparently the Southern Baptist Convention is in town and they’re planning to go door to door “making friends.” They claim that they’re not going around shoving their religion down other people’s throats, but I’m not buying it. The news anchors are trying to make it sound like it’s better than door-to-door salespeople, but I think it’s exactly the same thing. These people are just selling religion instead of vacuum cleaners.

* * *
Tangled Bank #30

Don’t forget to read up on some excellent science posts around the blogosphere with the latest edition of Tangled Bank over at The Geomblog.

* * *
The Thursday Threesome: Calling in Sick

Onesome: I can’t come in–Have you ever locked yourself out of the house or the car? How’d it happen, and how did you get back in?

As far as I can recall, no. I’m usually pretty careful about keeping my keys with me.

Twosome: to work today– What is your dream job and why?

Dream job: something that I enjoy doing and earning enough money to pay the bills.

Threesome: because I…– What’s the worst excuse you’ve ever given or heard of for not going into work/ school? Why did you really call in?

I don’t give fake excuses.

* * *
Unconscious Mutterings

  1. Wally:: World
  2. Phantom:: Sensation
  3. Slippery:: Road
  4. Fungus:: Glow
  5. Slot:: Machine
  6. Type:: Setter
  7. Discharge:: Recharge
  8. “We need to talk”:: Said
  9. On the spot:: Reconstruction
  10. Liquid:: Nitrogen

Road Trip With No Stops

Arg. Too much driving. A bit over 1100 miles and 8 states. Lots of roadkill, pokey drivers, way too many semi-trucks, road construction, cops waiting in ambush. A crick in the neck. People may say they always do the speed limit but nobody does. The rest area in New York was gross. The one in West Virginia was immaculate. I nearly missed getting hit by one of those large orange construction barrels when a truck ahead plowed through it and it flew into the air. But on the last leg of the journey, I managed to get about 40 miles/gallon (when I fueled up in Virginia). Amazing–comparing that to the first fuel up, New Hampshire is a rip-off.

The Thursday Threesome: I could really use a shower!

Onesome: I could really– get into what or who musically this week? Have you run across anything or anyone new to share with the gang?

New? Not really. I’ve been listening to the BBC broadcasts of Beethoven’s symphonies. Renée Fleming. And Gabriel Fauré piano quartets.

Twosome: Use– Hey, what do you use for most of your cooking? The microwave? …or the toaster oven? Regular oven? Weber grill? (…and Mark, opening the bag of chips doesn’t count!)

I use the regular oven.

Threesome: A shower– …and the softball of the week: shower or bath? What’s your preference. Okay, pool or hot tub (if you had one or both)?

Shower. There is something vaguely icky about a tub full of stagnant water.


*It’s too hot. Well, it’s not as bad as heat and humidity, but still, it’s bad. I feel like I’m about to get a heat stroke even standing outside for a minute. Hauling 70 lb boxes is not helping any. I’d rather have the cold–at least you can always put on another layer. With the heat, there is only so much you can take off.

*There’s this busy intersection that is always full of cops. Or at least I always see cops there whenever I pass by. (Never just one. Always several.) It’s the intersection right before you get on the interstate and frankly, I don’t see what the big deal is. I don’t think it’s a speed trap. The intersection is in the middle of a shopping area so pretty much everyone is inching along. Maybe that intersection has some mysterious cop attractant–sort of like mosquitoes homing onto their human prey–except there’s no actual prey.

*When I see a bag of packing peanuts labeled “biodegradable”, I feel doubtful.

*The Maze. Based on the puzzle book by Christopher Manson. Hint: There are certain rooms you will not be able to get to unless you think outside the box. I admit, my first approach to the whole thing was like the clueless travelers in the narrative, but I don’t blame them. The “guide”, however, was a pompous asshat. Well, maybe that isn’t quite the accurate description, but I didn’t like him.

Too Many Boxes

Okay, so it should be obvious to everyone by now that I’m moving. (And if it’s news to you, see Re: 70 lb boxes.) So forgive me if posting for the next couple weeks turns spastic.

The property owners have been taking prospective tenants (or rather, prospective tenants’ parents) to have a look at my apartment and it seemed as if everyone liked the place–thus the first people who looked at it got to lease the place after I leave.

I’d like to think my lack of decorating skills had something to do with people liking the apartment. I never got that much furniture in the first place (I don’t have a sofa or a television) which made the place very minimalist, light, and space-y. And of course, I’m not a slob. When I first looked at the apartment, the previous tenant had made the place a literal hole-in-the-wall–he had heavy drapes and too much furniture which made it look dark and claustrophobic.

Also, people have told me that it is better to get an apartment where a girl has lived in before because she has kept it in better condition. It’s a not so subtle implication that guys are terrible housekeepers–a sad generalization that wouldn’t be so true if cleanliness and neatness were instilled into the male mind at a young age.

I personally hate domestic chores, but I do it anyway because I don’t like filth. Besides, there’s no one else to fob it off to.

Although I wonder what the next tenant will think of the loud, obnoxious neighbors. May he have a good supply of earplugs.

More Notes

*Young men driving huge souped-up black trucks and laughing at Asian girls carrying 70 lb boxes will not earn any admirers.

*A trendy woman with eyebrow piercings gave much clearer directions than a toothless old man who was clueless about a computerized cash register.

*The dirty-fingernailed, chain-smoking guy at the salvage yard had a lisp and a not-so-thinly-veiled contempt for college-educated young people.

*Staples never carries enough boxes.

*The UPS Store carries tons of boxes–including ones in weird sizes.

*Even if you are one of approximately fifty eight-year-olds crossing the street, beware of crazy, impatient motorcyclists without any hair.

Notes and a Belated Meme

*When looking up maps on dialup, use Yahoo! instead of Google. Google may be neat-o, but it’s hell on the wait time.

*Why is UPS listed under “UPS” in the phone book and not “United Parcel Service”? Or is it just my weird brain that I tried looking up “United Parcel Service” first?

*If you work at the Salvation Army, do not be rude to me on the phone. I’m trying to give you stuff, not make your life a living hell.

*Do not call mattress places before 10 AM.

*Do not go to tire shops to get rid of your tires. Go to auto salvage places.

*Some people lift one box to carry it into the next room and they complain that they’ve screwed their back for life. If you want to complain, fine, but don’t complain to me. I have to carry 70 lb boxes up stairs.

* * *
Unconscious Mutterings

  1. Exhibit:: Hall
  2. Evolution:: Devolution
  3. Loser:: Winner
  4. Hypnotic:: Eyes
  5. Unlikely:: Circumstances
  6. Interrupt:: Speech
  7. Ambivalent:: Decisions
  8. Rise and fall:: of Rome
  9. Indian:: Reservation
  10. Prophecy:: Bunk


The Oh-My-God Particle. Thus this single subatomic particle had a mass-energy equivalent to a bacterium.

Even if she looks like a truck. How can a stranger tell if two people are married? “You might have to guess, based on whether they seem to be yelling at the same kids.” — Derrick, age 8.

Smallest, Coolest Apartment Contest. Ugh. No matter how prettily designed, if I lived there, I would be the only one living there. Another person living in such close quarters would drive me nuts.

Doctor Who Theme Remixes. Amusing. Some of them are pretty good.

Hugo Nominee Links. I think I’ve posted a link to the nominees before, but this page includes links to the stories themselves! This means that you (or rather I) have no excuse to avoid reading any of the stuff shorter than a novel.

Beethoven Downloads. The BBC is offering Symphonies 1 through 9 for download. I remember that one of the first classical music items I bought on CD were all of Beethoven’s symphonies. I mean, what kind of classical music enthusiast are you if you don’t have them?

The Thursday Threesome: I Need a Laptop

Onesome – I – Tell us something about yourself that you haven’t posted about before and wouldn’t mind stating on the record.

There’s this thing I made two days ago. I suppose you could call it a dessert bread. It’s basically bread (but I substituted brown sugar for white because I didn’t have any white sugar on hand) with cream cheese and white chocolate. To my surprise, it’s actually good and the bread itself isn’t hard. Probably because I also used double the amount of yeast compared to last time.

Twosome – Need – Is there anything you need at the moment? What is it? Or, are you not in need of anything but want something?

I wish I had more time. But I don’t think anyone will give it to me.

Threesome – a Laptop – Do you have a laptop? If so, what type is it? Any recommendations for someone looking into getting a laptop?

Yes, it’s a Dell Inspiron which I got fairly inexpensively (compared to all the other laptops at any rate) because there was some sort of “sale” and I didn’t ask for any add-ons. I didn’t even have Microsoft Word on it when I got it (which was fine for my purposes). If you want to get a laptop, definitely consider what you’re going to be doing with it. Are you going to be using the laptop for everything or just traveling? Do you really need all those doohickies when a five dollar LAN cable will work? Is size and weight a factor? What are other people’s experiences with the particular laptop you’re looking at? Does it break down all the time?


*Book lists almost never say anything about the quality of the books themselves. They say a lot more about the person behind the compilation.

*People who subtly (or not so subtly) hint that objectively, English is a harder subject than science give me a literal headache and should be metaphorically shot.

*I really hate humongoid trucks. One parked next to my car and I couldn’t tell if it was still there or not because not only did it cover up the physical car, but the shadow as well. For a few harrowing moments, I thought my car had been towed. (Logically, that should not have happened. My parking sticker has not expired. But these days, my brain is always expecting the worst.)