Don't Shake the Flask

Because you don't know if it'll explode

Month: February, 2008


Booking Through Thursday: Heroine

Who is your favorite female lead character? And why?

Harry from Robin McKinley’s The Blue Sword. This isn’t really a surprise because whenever there’s a question about a “favorite book”, this is my first answer. I like Harry because she’s simply cool–she gets to wield the sword without the sexist chainmail bikini and save the day.

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The Thursday Threesome: -A–B–C-

Onesome: A–ny place but here? Are travel plans looming for Spring break? …or are you staying home?

I don’t know–I’m still thinking about it. That is, I might go somewhere, but not for very long since I have a lot of school and lab work to do.

Twosome: B–etter to look in the mirror before you leave? Have you ever discovered (say around mid-day) that your clothes really didn’t match up?

Clothes? Match? I don’t really know or care about fashion so I guess it doesn’t matter if my clothes match or not.

Threesome: C–atch any good movies lately? What should we go see now that the Oscar’s are done and over for another year?

I have not watched any movies recently. I know, I’m boring. But I have been watching episodes of Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations. I am hugely amused with snarky food commentary.

Overheard Conversations

“So what do you want to do?”

“I want to be a manager. To manage people.”

This is why I detest managers. I never want to be managed. Especially micromanaged. I’m a free spirit, dammit!

A little later…

“I’m going to ship a car to Nashville!”

Wait up, buddy. It’s going to be expensive shipping a car from Idaho to Tennessee. How do I know? I’ve contemplated shipping a car from Tennessee to Idaho before I moved here. The gas prices were lower then and it was still cheaper to drive and stay in hotels than to have someone else carting my vehicle across the country. Besides, you get a road trip in the deal–a nice diversion in the midst of moving.


I said I would put up a new layout. Maybe a month ago. We’ll see how this works out. Let me know if anything seems wonky.

A Variety of Things

“Stupid cow! Don’t eat my jacket!” Bonk!

I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve said that last night. And hitting them on the head. The bovines never noticed my jacket before–why would they think it was dinner now? Well, at least they didn’t try to eat my hat…

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Tangled Bank #99

It’s now up over at Greg Laden’s Blog. Go read about cats, brains, and DNA barcoding.

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Booking Through Thursday: Format

All other things (like price and storage space) being equal, given a choice in a perfect world, would you rather have paperbacks in your library? Or hardcovers? And why?

This depends on the type of book. If it’s a reference book, textbook, or non-fiction, I would prefer hardcovers because I would use them more often. As for fiction–there are some that are my favorites so I guess I would like a hardcover copy of those. But I read most fiction only once so paperbacks would be fine. But then there’s moving which I’ve done a fair amount of–and that’s when I would prefer everything to be electronic.

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The Thursday Threesome: Liquid Drops Bandage

Onesome: Liquid– is falling from the skies this time of year. Be it rain or snow or fog, what’s late Winter looking like at your place?

The weather is fairly mild and the heaps of snow piled on earlier in the year is melting. Which is good–because I detest driving on icy roads.

Twosome: Drops — of sweetener? …or teaspoons of sugar (okay, tablespoons )? What do you use to make iced tea and other drinks acceptable?

Are you people mad? Drinks shouldn’t have extra sugar in them.

Threesome: Bandage– your owies with a spray or with drops? Have you seen these liquid, no sting, bandage drops yet? Man, I’m thinking these may be ideal to have when you’re out and about with kidlets!

I’ve heard of them, but haven’t used them.

And off-topic: I don’t have children, but the term “kidlet” (is that a real word?) makes me cringe. Small humans are not bits of chewy candy!

What Did You Say?

The subject of pronouncing scientific jargon came up more than once today. Perhaps it was just coincidence, but it started me thinking–especially one student’s comment that indicated in no uncertain terms that she thought one instructor was an idiot for not knowing how to say a particular scientific term. I don’t agree with her assessment because of one caveat: the instructor’s field of specialization was not the same as the field from which the term came from. Would you completely dismiss someone because he was a chemist who didn’t know how to pronounce an obscure physics term or a psychologist flubbing the enunciation of some genetics vocab? It’s like a non-native speaker’s attempt at English–sure, they’re going to make mistakes because they’re not familiar with all the nuances. But they’ll learn–and that’s sufficient reason for not getting angry or annoyed because they don’t have things down the first time around.

Brief Comments

I usually don’t comment on the news, but I’ve been reading about the shooting at Northern Illinois University and I’ve been thinking about a recent state bill to prevent universities from banning concealed weapons. I’m annoyed that people think that more guns will solve problems. It sounds like people are just making laws to make themselves feel safer even though it might not actually be safer. If someone is determined to carry a weapon on their person, they’re going to do it regardless of the rules. But are people thinking about heroics–that they’ll shoot the shooter and save the day? Theoretical heroics and bravery are nothing. If you own a gun, do you even know how to use it? How do you know that in a real situation–under the danger and stress of ground zero and not the controlled environment of a shooting range–that you won’t just panic and start pumping bullets randomly? And for crying out loud, think of all the other bystanders. Getting caught in crossfire is a heck of a lot scarier than having bullets come at you in just one direction.

Electronic Messages Without Emoticons

I generally dislike emoticons in correspondence, but sometimes I think it’s necessary, especially if your conversation style–when written down–makes you sound like a pissed-off jerk.


Booking Through Thursday: After The Honeymoon

Have you ever fallen out of love with a favorite author? Was the last book you read by the author so bad, you broke up with them and haven’t read their work since? Could they ever lure you back?

I don’t think this has really happened to me. I may go for long periods of time not reading anything by an author, but it has more about me as a reader rather than the author. That is, I’m not in the mood for those kinds of stories, which has nothing to do with the quality of writing.

Of course, there is bad writing out there. I’m not disputing that. But I can usually tell within the first book I pick up by that author. Or first chapter. Or even the first page. If there’s nothing redeeming about the writing, I put the book down and ignore the author’s subsequent works.

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The Thursday Threesome: Tea For Two

Onesome: Tea– leaves and fortune tellers? Is there anything you do out of habit because of old sayings? …like not stepping on cracks or staying home on Friday the Thirteenth? …or eating chocolate on Valentine’s Day?

No. I don’t believe in superstitions.

Twosome: for– every time you make it to work or class or an appointment on time, how many times are you late? Just curious…

I’m almost always on time. If I’m late, I have a reason to be.

Threesome: Two– weeks and the next day is only there twenty-five percent of the time! Does Leap Year have any special meaning to you? …or is it just one more day of the week?

It’s just another day for me.

Stubborn Cow!

Oh geez, why did I sign up for this again? Right, I thought it would be something new and interesting to do. Cow training is probably nothing like training a dog, cat, or parakeet. For one thing, these animals are huge and there’s nothing like a spooked bovine running straight at you to have you reconsider…well…many things. And even when they’re not scared, they do really stupid things that get them into trouble. An inconvenience to the attending humans? To say the least.

Go, Read

Tangled Bank #98 is up at Quintessence of Dust. Meander around some interesting articles on pikas, genomes, and hydrothermal vents.