Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Being wrong

Two random childhood memories:

  • Arguing with Dad that he can't know that We All Live in a Yellow Submarine, by the Beatles, came before We All Live in a Capital 'I', by Sesame Street.

  • Second grade: Sitting at a small table with three or four other students, being asked math problems by the teacher. She asks me 7-11. I know the answer is "minus four," but we haven't covered negatives, so I answer instead, "that's impossible."

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Dreaming of freshly regurgitated insects, no doubt

Monday, April 28, 2008

For today only: I'm just like everyone else.

Well, it's late and I haven't posted so I think I'll jump on the 123 bandwagon - that's a meme that's been making the rounds.

The rules state:

  1. Pick up the nearest book of 123 pages or more. No cheating!
  2. Find page 123.
  3. Find the first five sentences.
  4. Post the next three sentences.
  5. Tag five people.
Surprising no one, the nearest book of 123 pages or more is the one I invited everyone to read with me yesterday.

The first three lines after the first five lines on page 123 read:
I hung around asking the technician questions and showing T where the x-rays came out, though machines weren't really her line. She had one of her old wrestling holds on my shoulder.

When we were called back to Dr. Pelinowsky's office again he looked just ever so slightly shaken up.
I've redacted the child's name because her naming is part (albeit a small one) of the story, so telling it ahead of time feels like a spoiler to me. Granted, if you're reading the book and don't want to know the name until it's given, you'll have to avoid the blurb on the back cover. But in any case, you won't hear it from me.

As for the tagging? Nah.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Anybody want to read another book?

I had a lot of fun with the Owen Meany series, and enjoyed the book more this time around than other readings.

Wanna do it again? Sundays? Maybe at a slightly more relaxed pace?

Barbara Kingsolver is one of my favorite authors and I have almost all of her books. I invite you to join me in reading (or rereading) her first, The Bean Trees, followed by her sixth, Pigs in Heaven, which is its sequel.

Chapter one is just 23 pages :)

Saturday, April 26, 2008


I have now gone outside and freaked these poor birds out (well, scared them away) three separate times today.

The first time I got all the way out there and stood up on my chair before I realized my camera batteries were dead.

So I recharged the batteries and tried again, but when I got in and downloaded the pictures, it turned out I was too low and nothing was visible.

So I went back out again with a tall, tippy, perilous barstool, freaked the parents out for a third time in one day, and took a few more pictures - two of which didn't even register in the camera's memory (?).

But this one did, and although I've gotten a couple of better glimpses of the neighborhood's newest clay-colored robin since its appearance on the scene (I think) yesterday, I'm afraid the Internet (that's you) will have to settle for the merest glimpse of its hungry little beak.

(Click for the full-sized photo)

Friday, April 25, 2008

Change is in the air

Hmmm. Blogger's "Create Post" window seems to think I've used that title before. Well, it is again--change. In the air, that is--and if it means recycling the title, well, so be it. (...I just checked. The other time I used that title was when I switched to Gmail. That turned out to be a very positive change.)

The change documented below has also met with universal approval:

As for other changes...well, I do hope they will, ultimately, prove to be positive as well.

Having lived, together, with the fact of our separation for two months now, this week we began talking about how to actually effect it. Who will live where? (Him here, me elsewhere.) Who will keep the girls? (As close to half and half as we can manage.) When to talk to them? (Relatively soon; once we do some research into what, beyond what we instinctively know, we should be sure to do or not do with regard to them.)

Oh, and it's hard to tell for sure, but it seems like the baby birds are hatching today.

They say the more things change, the more they stay the same. Sometimes that's just not true.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

I feel the need to point out that most of these quizzes take less than a minute to complete. Just for the record.

It is the considered opinion of meaningless online quizzes that I am:

  • Cayenne pepper
  • A crossword puzzle
  • The number 2
  • 4% shy
  • 6% of a worrier
  • 8% bitchy
  • 12% girly
  • 24% nerdy
  • 47% quirky
  • 47% flirtatious
  • 48% brutally honest
  • 54% feminine / 46% masculine
  • 55% right brained / 45% left brained
  • 56% intuitive
  • 56% addicted to the Internet
  • 70% open
  • 88% Democrat / 12% Republican
  • 94% thankful
  • A woman
  • An expert kisser
  • Very mature
  • Not prejudiced
  • Not prissy
  • Ready to date again
It has also been determined that:
  • If I were slightly different, my name would be Jessica
  • I should be a teacher when I grow up (also approved: Nurse and nonfiction writer)
  • Guys think I'm easy to be with, but don't consider me Easy
  • My guy could bring me home to meet his parents
  • I have many Alpha tendencies
  • Were I to be a redhead, I should be a fiery one
  • My life is worth $664,000
  • My IQ is 130

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

A bird in the tree is worth...well, anyway.

Here's our lovely little Turdus grayi, ensconced in her nest. Poor thing picked a pretty slender tree, and I've seen her get quite a ride when the wind starts whistling between the two houses. But she hangs in there.

Every once in a while I notice she's off the nest, but I can't really get a clear view into it because of the foliage. I could tell that there were more than one egg - maybe about three? - and that they are white or light-colored, not robin's egg blue.

I took this picture standing near the tree and holding the camera up (but not too close). The other one is from inside, so you can see the window that is our usual vantage point. I don't think you can actually see the nest in that picture - it's just for perspective, you see.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Six Random Things

The Cunning Runt tagged me for the Six Random Things meme and, while I have been courting a reputation as an egregious slacker when it comes to memes, I'll hold back (from the slacking) enough to participate in this one.

  • I have no gaydar. In fact, can you have negative gaydar? That's me. If it's important to you that I know your preference(s), you'd best drop a pronoun or two into the conversation, is all I can say about that.

  • When music is playing for a while, I often end up tuning it out, but when I am paying attention I tend to notice lyrics. And it is my considered opinion that someone needs to tell the guy who sings Undercover Angel that wet dreams are a pretty normal thing.

  • I get on Robin's case about leaving the crust from her sandwiches. I tell her it's the exact same food, just a little more cooked because it was on the outside. But I totally know where she's coming from. To this day, I eat my sandwiches crust-first so I can enjoy the good part last.

  • Big ol' pet peeve: If you call me on the phone? If you sit there and look up my home number and dial it and I pick up? Do. not. ask. me. who. I. am.

  • I did try pot in college, but only just. It was graduation weekend and my friend didn't want to graduate without having tried it. He made brownies and I had one.

  • When I was a kid, I wanted to be ambidextrous. To that end, I switched to my left hand for toothbrushing and certain other tasks, including chopstick use. Those measures did not, in fact, render me ambidextrous. (I know, right? How could they not?) But I did recently receive a compliment in which someone essentially described me as ambidextrous in the right brain/left brain sense.

Monday, April 21, 2008

A Prophylactic Post

I'm not a migraine sufferer, fortunately, but I have had some funny eye/vision things this morning, so I'm going to post real quick in case I don't feel like being online later in the day.

And, hey, if it ends up having the "take your umbrella so it won't rain" effect, so much the better :)

Updated to add:

Guess I got lucky. From what I read about migraines, the bit in the morning was a classic pre-migraine "aura," but was not, in fact, followed by a migraine.

Note to self: Start carrying an umbrella.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

A Distinguished Visitor

Costa Rica has a lot of birds. The country is the size of West Virginia, but has more different bird species (894) than the United States and Canada combined.

There are pelicans and boobies, cormorants and frigatebirds, toucans and macaws, herons, egrets, storks, motmots, ducks, vultures, kites, osprey, hawks, eagles, falcons, partridge, quail, quetzals, plovers, curlew, sandpipers, gulls, terns, doves, parrots, parakeets, cuckoos, owls, nightjars, swifts, hummingbirds (lots of hummingbirds), kingfishers, sapsuckers, woodcreepers, flycatchers, spoonbills, swallows (primarily unladen), martins, wrens, nightingales, thrushes, jays, warblers, tanagers, finches, sparrows, orioles, buntings, and dozens and dozens of others that you've never even heard of.

So what's the national bird?

Guatemala has the elusive and resplendent quetzal. Nicaragua the motmot, with its intriguing pendulous tail. Belize, the toucan. Honduras picked a parrot and El Salvador...well, also the motmot.

Costa Rica, though, was having none of these exotic and tropical birds for its national symbol, oh no.

The national bird of Costa Rica is the Clay-Colored Robin. The scientific name, no joke, is Turdus grayi.

(Photo from the Wiki)

And one of these noble, if utterly unremarkable, creatures has chosen a pathetically slender young tree outside our stairwell as the site for her nest. I knew there was a reason we put a big window on the stairs.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Blast from the past

I was asked for help editing a photo today. The original was pretty bad, and the initial attempt to fix it hadn't ended well. But I could see the intent behind the editing, and I was impressed by the thought process it displayed.

That, naturally enough, put me in mind of this song (well, its intro):

Revisiting old Tom Lehrer songs was fun. But if just one person does it, they may think she's really sick.

And we all know what happens if two people do harmony.

But if three people do it; three, can you imagine? Three people posting Tom Lehrer videos in one day? They may think it's an organization.

And can you imagine fifty people a day? I said fifty people a day posting Tom Lehrer videos on the Internet? Friends, they may thinks it's a movement. And that's what it is. The Tom Lehrer YouTube Video Movement, and all you gotta do to join is to post one the next time you sit down to write on your blog.

What? I'm fine. Really.

Friday, April 18, 2008


I've been working on the quilt design a lot over the past couple of days.

Sometimes I have the radio on, but it's downstairs and I often don't think to turn it on - or can't really hear it that well when I do. So I end up listening to CDs a lot.

Except that I'm not so big on changing the CD, so I tend to listen to the same one on a loop. Currently, it's Jamie Cullum. I picked this one to share with you 'cause I like the video:

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Reasons to like Costa Rica

The mechanic called yesterday at 4:00 to say that the car, which I dropped off at 7:00 a.m., was ready. We were already home for the day so I told him I'll pick it up in the morning.

When I got there this morning at 8:00 a.m., he explained to me that, since he works alone and isn't able to go out shopping for parts in the middle of the day, he went ahead and installed a used starter he had on hand. He said he'd really rather have put in a new part, but that the one he had would work for a good while. He seemed concerned that someone else, down the road, would see the repair and rat him out for putting in a used part.

Hey. It got the car working; that's pretty much what I was after. I understand that the starter was going to need replacing anyway (he showed me the damaged old one), and a car this old and hard-worked isn't exactly going to be lasting me the rest of my days. Used is fine with me.

"Great, so how much do I owe you?"
"Well, let's see. I'll need $30 for the starter, $6 for the fuses, and let's call it $10 for labor. You need a receipt?"

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Make this bread.

So not only does Brave Sir Robin have the best pizza crust recipe EVAR, he also (perhaps unwittingly) has a damn fine herb bread recipe.

Alex had a hankering to make herb bread and I suggested using the pizza crust recipe because it took me so long to find a good one (and this is a really, really good one. Oh, okay, I'll shut up about that now) that we might as well start with something we already like.

He bought some fresh rosemary and I talked him through the recipe, adding the rosemary, some Italian seasoning and some garlic powder. I suggested bread sticks, and Alex was thinking more of a loaf. He ended up making four individual loaf-ettes, which baked pretty quickly and were a big hit with the girls. He even carved everyone's initials in the top of each one before baking - I will admit I was skeptical about that part, but it worked out great.

It was crusty and crunchy on the outside, soft and flavorful on the inside. Definitely make this bread.

(Julia is taking a cooking workshop in school, so she got her new apron and hair net and everything out and apprenticed herself to Alex. Actually, she helped with the soup more than the bread.)

Here's what we did:

(This is very slightly modified from Brave Sir Robin's recipe; I cut it in half and added an extra 1/2 cup of flour to accommodate our mile-high elevation. Well, and added the herb stuff.)

Drop a
Tiny pinch of sugar into
1/2 Cup warm water and sprinkle
2 1/4 Teaspoons yeast on top. Let it sit while you measure

3 1/2 Cups flour into a bowl and add
1/2 Teaspoon of salt. Stir a bit and then pour another
1/2 Cup warm water into the flour, followed by
3 Tablespoons olive oil and a
scant Tablespoon of honey.

The yeast should be foaming in its warm water by now, so dump that in too. Mix with a fork till it starts to hang together, then add

2 Tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped, and some generous dashes of Garlic powder and
Italian seasoning (ours is pre-mixed - I guess it's got oregano, basil and parsley, but whatever's on hand to make it herb-y will be fine).

Knead by hand for 10 minutes, then lightly oil the ball of dough, cover & let rest in a warm place 15 minutes. Knead again for a minute or two, then let rise for 45 minutes. Form into your desired shape(s) and bake for 10 minutes or so at 450 degrees F (230 C). Our baby loaves took about 13 minutes. Bread sticks would go faster, of course.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Raise your hand if you're getting tired of posts with the "Car Trouble" label

Yeah, me too.

So Alex was supposed to leave for Guanacaste (the north-western province) this morning, but his car wouldn't start. We tried to jump start it, but that didn't work, so we took the girls to school in the red car and then picked up a mechanic and brought him to the house to look at it (you can still do that here).

They messed around with the two cars for a while and eventually Alex told me that they'd taken the battery from the red car, put it in Alex's car, and that the old battery, now in the red car, had enough of a charge for me to start the car and go get a new one. Battery, that is.

So that's what I did.

Except that when they put the new battery in, the car still wouldn't start. The guy who had just finished installing the battery checked a few things, tried a few things, then told me it must be the starter.

Except that, you know, that car wasn't having any trouble starting till they put the bad battery into it this morning.

Long story short, coincidentally the red car now doesn't start, and it has nothing to do with the battery. Certainly nothing to do with the whole battery-swapping massacree, with the attendant circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one.

Which, by the way? Was the second (massacree, that is) this month. But that certainly couldn't be responsible for the red car suddenly having alternator issues and four blown fuses (not those little plastic tabby fuses either. The big, boxy fuses up under the hood.) No, entirely unrelated. Quite a coincidence, though, they'll grant you that.


I got the girls picked up, Joanna and her shopping home, stopped by an electromechanical repair place (whatever those're called in English), and made a tentative appointment for the morning, drove home and parked facing down a nice, steep downhill slope (my driveway) for the morning - all without turning off the car. Well, I did stall it once trying to back up the slope of the driveway, but I was - duhhh - on a nice steep slope, so it was easy to start again.

So now I have a brand new battery and a feeling of accomplishment - and a dead car. At least it was a nice day for it.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Julia's Jasmine costume

The blouse, fortunately, required no modification.

Also fortunately, neither of my children were around in the 60s, so if I say this is a princess blouse, that's what it is. What do they know from swirly, clashy, large-print floral polyester? It has a metallic gold Princess Panel right across the front, and that's good enough for us.

The harem pants really were as easy to make as "they" say they are. I used this site for the basic instructions, and consulted this other one to calculate the size of the crotch notch, since the first one didn't really say how big it should be. (I still modified it, since all the instructions were for adult pants. But at least I had a starting point.)

Note to Cunning: You totally should make yourself some. I hear they're insanely comfortable. (You do realize that harem pants don't actually come with a harem, right?)

Sunday, April 13, 2008

In answer to Pidomon: Nobody. Nobody can resist a good cow parade.

If you read yesterday's post but didn't click the links, then this is not at all what you expected when I said the girls went to the Cow Parade yesterday.

As you can see, Robin's photographic skills were more than up to the task of documenting the experience.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Promises, promises

I finished Julia's harem pants, but have no Julia here to model them, so the photo will have to wait.

In fact, I have no camera with which to take a photo - not at the moment anyway.

José and Yolanda took the girls went to the Cow Parade in San José today, and I sent my camera with them. The camera is taking a long time to get here (and when it does it's going to have a pizza with it, so I'm not posting then), but you can see some of the cows they saw here.

Come back tomorrow for real live cow parade photos (well, depending on the girls' photography skills), Julia-dressed-up-as-Jasmine photos, and there'll be some new material on the quilt blog by then as well.

Friday, April 11, 2008

At least the hairdo should be easy

Julia is invited to a costume party this weekend. She wants to be Jasmine, from Aladdin.

Fortunately, she's a reasonable little kid, so I was able to persuade her that Jasmine wears different clothes on different days and, therefore, that what she really needed was to look like an Arabian princess - not necessarily to have the exact clothes that Jasmine has in whichever picture or toy Julia has adopted as her main point of reference.

I went to the thrift store yesterday and found a horrend...sorry, a Very Fancy purple swirly shirt with a fancy cut to the sleeves and hem and, best of all, a very princessy detail in gold right across the front.

I also got the makings for some harem pants, which I'm told are super easy to make.

I had the perfect thing all picked out for the pants - a wraparound skirt that was, essentially, a large rectangular piece of fabric in a nicely exotic pattern - it even had a contrasting detail around the bottom edge. But it totally clashed with the princess blouse--even by six year old standards, and that's a lotta clash.

Since I'm far more willing to make harem pants than a princess blouse, the top made the cut and I picked out a solid purple sheath dress that matched the blouse to provide fabric for the pants.

I am still kicking myself for not trying the dress on - maybe even taking a picture - before cutting it up. What was I thinking? It was my size and everything. I have no idea how I could have been so incurious as to not try on something I wouldn't normally wear, but which was my absolute favorite color and probably would have looked good on me.

But it's too late now.

The pants were, indeed, very easy to make, and will be very cute on Julia when they're done. I think I need to add a little extra fabric (from the parts I cut off to get the two squares I needed) to make them a little more modest, but both Julia and I are pleased with the results.

However, they're not done yet and Julia's not home to model them, picture yet. I guess that means tomorrow's post is, ahem, all sewn up.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

This is Winston. Winston is a cat with standards.

(Winston gets a bath here. Go on. You know you want to.)

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, April 08, 2008


I have been commissioned to make a quilt on the theme of music and, as part of my initial research, I have watched and listened to several string quartets.

In addition to traditional, classical music played in tuxedoed formality, I discovered this one, which I found thoroughly engaging:

The group is called Stringfever; they're three brothers and a cousin.

Updated to add:

Okay, this is well beyond the realm of anything I can justify as quilting research, but check these guys out:

Monday, April 07, 2008

In which I argue that white girls *can* dance, their own way.

I've been going to the gym for two years now, usually for the aerobics classes because they're the fun ones and, to be honest, also because they're the ones that fit my schedule.

There are different types of aerobics on different days, but the really fun classes are dance, on Mondays and Fridays. Really, it's a hybrid of dance and aerobics moves, of course, but the choreography is progressive and it's a lot more fun than just doing a series of repetitive stretches or kicks or whatever.

Now, the last kind of dance I had done before joining this gym was when they did a square dance unit in my high school gym class, which probably happened a total of three or four times over the course of my high school career.

Furthermore, even after ten or fifteen years of living in Costa Rica, Latin music had never appealed to me, so I never listened to it by choice and, as I've said before, I couldn't even tell the difference between salsa, merengue, or what have you.

I still can't, by the way; except that, at the gym, if I can do the choreography fairly easily, I know it's merengue, and if I keep losing the beat, it must be salsa. Cumbia I can more easily identify, and it's also a lot more fun to dance to.

Anyway. I'm quite good at the choreography that Carlos makes up in class, and unless I get there late and the class is full, my usual spot is pretty much front and center. I don't lose my place too much, and I know other people tend to follow me (and a couple of others) if they lose their place.

Be that as it may, I have no illusions.

I am sooooo the white girl doing the Latin moves, and that doesn't look like changing any time soon. (As Lisa said when she visited me last year, "I have no idea what they're doing, but you I can follow.")

But it's a whole different situation when Carlos decides to mix it up and throw a little reggaeton into the mix, as he did today. Because the Costa Ricans don't spend their entire lives seeing, hearing and dancing reggaeton. Just like I didn't grow up seeing, hearing or dancing salsa or merengue.

The playing field is considerably more level. Also? Well. There's also the fact that, at least for someone who's not that familiar with it, the dorkier you look dancing the reggaeton, the closer you are to getting it right.

Needless to say, few of the Costa Rican girls look as dorky as I do.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Owen Meany - Chapter 9

If I were a book, I would be A Prayer for Owen Meany, by John Irving.

We're taking a chapter a week, posted on Sunday mornings. Click for the posts on Chapter One, Chapter Two, Chapter Three, Chapter Four, Chapter Five, Chapter Six, Chapter Seven and Chapter Eight.

(Take the Book Quiz yourself at the Blue Pyramid.)

So. We can see how John, if not mentally unstable, certainly comes by his issues honestly.

He is physically disfigured, although he certainly seems pragmatic about that. The missing finger doesn't appear to pose much of an inconvenience to him in his present-day life; indeed, he seems to enjoy it some of the time, pointing at things and sticking it up his nose.

When he defends his "nasty habit" of tamping his pipe with the stump of his finger, saying "And why not? My finger is a perfect fit; we handicapped people must learn to make the best of our mutilations and disfigurements," I don't believe that he is calling himself mutilated or disfigured at all, but rather wryly acknowledging how insignificant his "handicap" in fact is, compared to the suffering and true mutilation he has seen Owen and others undergo.

I think his virginity is much more significant a "scar" than the missing finger. "What has happened to me has simply neutered me. I just don't feel like 'practicing.'" I'm not sure, though, why he has been "neutered" by his experiences. Anyone have a theory?

His anger, on the other hand, is perfectly understandable. He describes his consumption of news--particularly, newspapers reporting on American politics--as nothing short of an addiction. The news obsesses him, it enrages him, it affects with his relationships, and it sometimes threatens to interfere with his teaching.

On the one hand, you'd like for him to be able to let go of the anger, the visceral reaction to the politics that even moving to Canada did not permit him to leave behind.

On the other hand, who can blame him? The political reality, both in 1987 and today, is intolerable. And John has seen just how tragic the results of "society's commonplace blend of the murderous and the trivial" can be.

And what of Owen?

I actually can't figure out what to say about Owen right now, so I'll leave it to you.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

More good causes

Remember the click-a-day things I mentioned on Thursday? I've added them to the sidebar now.

Just click any one or, if you've got 60 seconds to spare, each one. Each button takes you to a page with a "click here to help" button, which you click. That's it; there are small, quick-loading ads on both the initial and the post-click page, and the revenue from those ads goes to whichever cause you've clicked on.

There are statistics to show how much has been donated as a result of the click-throughs at the bottom of each page.

You can also get from any one of the causes to each of the other ones via a series of tabs at the top of every page, so you can just start with one and then go through them all once you've clicked through.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Granted, I took it about five times...

93 words


Thursday, April 03, 2008

Join the Team

Ever heard of distributed computing? It's pretty cool.

Some kinds of scientific research require a great deal of computer processing; far more than an individual computer or even a supercomputer is capable of providing. In today's world, some of that processing can be parceled out to individual computers throughout the world, via the Internet.

Programs have been written that, once installed, make use of any given computer's idle CPU time to perform the required calculations or processing tasks. The software connects to the central server to download a task, completes the task, uploads the results and retrieves a new task.

All of this is invisible to the user (unless you open it up to peek) because its priority is set low enough that any other process running on the computer (like, say, playing a game or checking your email...or moving your mouse) takes priority.

I signed up for one of those projects a long time ago, but my computer and my connection were both so low-end at the time, that I don't think it made any difference. Now that so many of us have broadband connections, there's no reason not to get back into it.

And there's a good reason to do so.

Bob's mother was diagnosed with early-stage Alzheimer's Disease this week. His friends are all, of course, sending best wishes, prayers, positive energy, healing thoughts, etc. But you want to actually do something, don't you?

This morning, Bob asked me to help him do some Googling and see if I could find a click-a-day site to benefit Alzheimer's research. There are a whole series of sites, which I've been meaning to link to myself, that are advertiser-supported in such a way that an actual (if tiny) cash donation is made to the cause of your choice each time you click through. They have them for hunger, breast cancer, child health, literacy, rainforest-saving, and animal rescue. (I'll add the buttons here soon.)

But I couldn't find anything like that for Alzheimer's or other health research.

In the course of searching, however, I saw something that reminded me about the distributed computing projects, and when I looked into that, I found out that the largest distributed computing project in the world is Folding@Home, a Stanford University project designed to "perform computationally intensive simulations of protein folding and other molecular dynamics."

And, it just so happens that:

Accurate simulations of protein folding and misfolding enable the scientific community to better understand the development of many diseases, including sickle-cell disease (drepanocytosis), Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, BSE (mad cow disease), cancer, Huntington's disease, cystic fibrosis, osteogenesis imperfecta, alpha 1-antitrypsin deficiency, and other aggregation-related diseases.

So there you go. Something easy and free we can all do to help out, albeit indirectly. You just download the software (very small and quick download) and run it once. After that, it's on its own and will be invisible to you unless you poke around and find out more about what it's doing. It will start itself up when you turn on the computer, and keep itself out of your way when you're using it. And when you stop typing for a moment, or stare out the window, or get a phone call, or leave the computer to go get a snack? It will run calculations that further the cause of medical research. Win/win.

Here's the Folding@Home main page.
The Folding@Home FAQ page, if you want to learn more.
The Folding@Home download page, if you're already convinced.

In order to increase their appeal, these projects maintain statistics so you can compete with other donors or form teams. If you decide to participate in the project, join our team! We called it Phy's Mom, and to join it, all you have to do is paste the number 120652 in the "Team" box you'll see as soon as your install is complete.

If you want to do this but have any trouble, just email me (or leave a comment) - I can probably walk you through it.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Self Awareness

Let me tell you something about myself.

This is not me:

But once engaged, and if necessary, I will cite the Supreme Court to support my position in a dustup over country music.

Now you know.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

By (long ago) request

Once upon a time some friends and I were talking about silly names for Chinese restaurants. I told them about our local place and was immediately beseeched for photographic evidence.

For some reason, despite passing it nearly every day, I never had my camera at the ready at the right time.

Until now.

Portly Dyke, this one's for you:

A click a day for good causes

The Hunger Site The Breast Cancer Site The Child Health Site The Literacy Site The Rainforest Site The Animal Rescue Site

Added 6/12/06

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