Thursday, August 24, 2006

Silly Sausage

Speaking of recording:

I can't believe that this clip I posted in 2002 is still out there on the web. In fact, it's pretty high up the Google search for that particular sausage-related phrase. I once received an email from someone about how funny they thought it was.

It now appears to be on a completely different website than the one I originally uploaded it to--probably just site mutation over the past four years. Only five people have viewed it in four years?! Well, at least two of them gave it a high vote. (They were probably on drugs.)

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

I Recommend a Yourface-Off

After seeing Liddy's post about this peculiar genre of music and hearing a new example, I think it is the duty of the various musicians I know to add to it. Although I don't know that one could successfully top that example.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Now Get the Shirt

Blogger wouldn't let me post this as a reply below:

Now you can get the T-shirt to show it:

Friday, August 11, 2006

And Now for Something Completely Different

We're heading out of town for the weekend as a "summer vacation". Just a bit of time off, together, probably for the last time for at least 18 years. More than that, if we have more kids than this one.

No internet, no TV (at least not on purpose), no research, phones turned off, a small downtown in walking distance, the latest issue of Robot magazine and an obscure-ish Douglas Adams book ...what else does a person need to relax?

(And don't say "a cold beer", because I can't have one.)

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Good Going, Western World.

Nice wake-up this morning. Way to "make the world safe for democracy."

(Where's that sarcasm emoticon?)

Buttercup Says: wha?--survey #333 is finally done?!

That's right, Buttercup.

Last night I finally completed the scoring and coding of the final survey, #333, after beginning #1 back in...when the heck was that? April or May? I am now free to dismantle the couch-working setup.

Now, it's true that I still have to go back and froof around with a lot of them--for example, I have to score the general mental health instrument (BSI) on the first 80 or so that I did when I still didn't have the BSI manual; I need to check the way I was scoring some of those prejudice instruments on the first few batches I did before I became fluent (I guess that would be the first 200 if I'm honest with myself); and I have to acquire and check the 50 surveys done by the people helping me out. And score the BSIs on those 50 as well.

I also have to type in the handwritten answers to the final two open-ended questions. (At maybe 2 minutes a pop, that part alone will likely take 10 hours cumulatively.)

Nevertheless, the giant part of the data is done.

Now, I have probably four weeks left to do ALL the subsequent stuff (like showering and paying doctor bills, let alone analyzing my data and doing the write-up of my results) that I was going to take three months to do over the summer and before my life completely changes focus forever.

I best get started!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Web Clips Back!

Yay; the RSS feed function on my Gmail started working again, after months and months of being gone!

This means that now all-y'all's blog topics have begun appearing above my inbox, just like my Scientific American and Cookbooks Plus and NPR: Race topics, or what-the-heck-ever I've got in there.

So make 'em good.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Speaking of Werewolves...

Seeing as how it's the full moon early tomorrow morning, so that the moon has been persistently shining into our bedroom window as we go to bed, a perennial question has re-occurred to me. (Although I really have to get going. Just this one more post! Quickly now!)

An obvious question, really. What about werewolves and pregnancy?

Say I'm a werewolf, and I conceive while in human form. Then when I wolf out each month, does the fetus turn into a wolf-pup fetus? Or perhaps the analogy of the monthly change to menstruation applies, and there would be no monthly wolfing out until one gives birth. After that, presumably, the newborn baby would turn into a wolf pup each month as the mum does, and that would work out okay. (There would just be a larger number of potential breastfeeding positions that night.)

Okay, but what if I'm a werewolf, and I conceive while in wolf form? Would there be 6 or 7 fetuses, then--a litter? That would mean that I darn well better give birth in wolf form, not human form: an extraordinary feat of timing.

Then after the birth there's the difficulty with who gets to nurse at the inadequate human mammary lineup of two. (I picture Apu with the harness full of baby bottles.) Only once a month could all the pups--er, babies--nurse happily together. This is completely excluding all the other difficulties of raising septuplets, of course.

"I don't know... All I know," sighs TheLimey in sleepy response, "is that somewhere in this I get to play with puppies."

Wikipedia image

Getting Close

And I'm not even talking about the baby. I mean that I have around 20 or so surveys yet to code. I'm going to see if I can push them all through today. However, that may be extremely unrealistic considering we have a birth center orientation this evening. I am just so sick of having these hanging over my head. Of course, even after I finish these, I have a lot of parts to go back and re-check and fix, but that's like editing after you've finished your rough draft.

This is the real meat of research work, folks! Not the glamorous SPSS analysis of your figures, not the writing up of results, nor the defending of your work to your committee (that's only in grad school anyway), nor the submission of your papers to journals to reject repeatedly, nor the giving of interviews to avid reporters. (Ha!) No, most of it's this data crunching.

I continue to feel quite discouraged that I am at this point now in mid-August, 5-8 weeks before the baby, rather than at the beginning of June, when I would have had three months of summer to write up my results and begin the process of getting them to my committee. As planned. The part where I have to start those frickin' lengthy applications to internships all over again on top of all this is also bumming me out. Dammit.

Anyone who said they wanted to help, there is now a part that anyone who's an accurate typist could do. (And it's actually an interesting part.) It involves reading PDF documents that (anonymously) contain scans of people's handwritten responses to 2 short questions, and entering those answers word-for-word into--yes, my favorite--an online Google spreadsheet.

(Requires Gmail to access spreadsheet, which--if you don't have that by now, you should anyway, and I have plenty more Gmail invitations!)

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Descending (A Ramble) or: US/UK Alliance V. C.H.U.D.

Note: I don't pretend to be any kind of real movie critic, or even to plan out my blog entries in a logical, well-ordered fashion, so this will probably have spoilers of some kind or another.

I took some time out of my busy and also ouchy baby-growing schedule to go to a very early matinee (10:55) of The Descent yesterday. I have a friend who is my scary-movie buddy. Other than us, there were two people in the entire theater. We both brought fleece blankets despite the stifling heat (outside at least), in order to have something to pull over our eyes. However, both our male partners pooped out of going at the last minute, as we kind of expected. They're just not as into horror movies as we are.

I actually want to go see this one again (or rent it). I generally prefer low-gore, high-suspense movies, so I guess that'd be psychological thrillers. This one was a lot more gory than either of us anticipated, but it was okay. It didn't rely on the gore to be the main scary part. I could look away during most of the flesh-gnawing scenes. There were plenty of scary and startling bits that didn't rely on the gross-out. And I had to use some deep breathing to overcome the claustrophobia. I would probably never go caving to begin with, but now I definitely won't. (Maybe that first chamber, with the sunlight and the water pouring in, but that's it!)

I didn't realize (the trailers don't make it very apparent) that most of the actors are Britishy*. The producers probably thought U.S. audiences would hear those accents and immediately pigeonhole it as another of those brainy yet dry type of mysteries that we see on PBS. (Personally I like those, but PBS isn't exactly a giant money-maker, you know?)

Therefore, the tragically-flawed character is naturally the American, who embodies the stereotypical tragic flaws of the US national character in the eyes of the rest of the world: highly skilled but show-offy, arrogant, impulsive, careless, selfish, rash, makes important decisions without consulting the others whom they affect, and so forth. So that was an interesting bit to mull over. (And a change from the way in which Hollywood flicks always, always cast the villain as the character with an English accent.)

(Did I mention I'm forever trying to find some excuse to get my husband to wear a redcoat uniform?)

Anyway, it really is scary immediately, even before the CHUDs come out. So, if you like being scared, then see it. But look away during the parts where the foley artists have to crush eggshells in Jell-O.

*Also, I haven't seen Dog Soldiers nor do I know anything about Neil Marshall, things which would likely have given me a clue in this department.

*OK, a couple of the cavers are Scandinavian, too. I guess that would make it more along the lines of "NATO V. CHUD".

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Proggin' Along

I realized today that I may have fewer of these surveys left to finish scoring than I thought; perhaps 35 or so instead of 85, which is a couple days work instead of another week. If the people who are helping me are able to get the ones they took done and not die from it, that is.

I did that "out of sight out of mind thing" when counting them, that is to say, I haven't been accounting for the ones they took when I've counted them daily. So...we'll see how it goes. There are still things I have to go back and re-do or re-check even when they're done, which may take another day, but still. There may be a light.

I was originally hoping to have this portion of my work done at the beginning of June, so I could spend June/July/August writing and editing the results. As well as working on my applications for internship, preparing for the baby's exit in a number of aspects, and so forth.

The principle of cognitive dissonance states that the harder you work for something (or the more you invest your time, money or emotions in it) the more you value it, regardless of all other factors, even if it's something inherently worthless*. Given that, I will likely believe that my study is the best research ever done by anyone, anywhere.

So anyway, back to it, I guess.

Note to self: must squeeze in a shower today! Before husband returns home, too.

*This principle also explains why the heck so many of us stay in crappy relationships and keep throwing good years after bad, by the way.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006


Originally uploaded by silnes60.
Good grief, these are cute babies (and mother).

I wonder if our squirrel mummy will bring her babies around. I think her nest is a little too far.

Mmmm...French ice cream...

Bizarre ice cream flavours
Originally uploaded by GlamourGeek.
I'll have a scoop each of vervaine and rosemary, please.

No, wait--make that bergamot and tomato.


Tuesday, August 01, 2006

In Case You Were Considering It

Another reason not to go base jumping. You don't have to read Norwegian to understand the picture.

PS: Don't worry; he was saved after three hours by a climbing team.