Saturday, September 30, 2006

Sleep in attempt

Tried to sleep in and failed. Instead I ended up laying in bed pretending to be asleep. Not that that makes me feel any better, I actually feel worse for having wasted time that I could have put to another use. So I eventually got up and started working on some of the paperwork I got while at Georgetown. Lots of things to do to get the lab back up and running once we move. Georgetown is much more detail oriented than Harvard is. This just means I will have to pay more attention to some things that I currently push off to the back burner. I will have to make sure the rest of the lab is aware of these differences too. I am wondering if it might be possible to set up a time for all the lab to get all the necessary training done all at once. I will have to look into this.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Free Food

I flew down to DC today. I was supposed to fly down on the 9:45 flight but that didn’t seem like enough time to get everything done so I asked for the 8:45 flight. Also, since it is a shuttle flight that runs every hour, if I got to the airport sooner I could get bumped up. What ended up happening was that I hit the snooze one too many times, got distracted with the cat and getting necessary things out of my email account. In the end, I got to the airport as the plane was leaving so I got bumped up to the 9:45 flight. Oh well. The only reason I wanted to fly out in the morning was so I could go to the knitting group which no one showed up to. I did knit and enjoy a nice Asiago cheese bagel but I did not get a chance to sit and yak with people which is what I was looking forward too. In the end, I should have flown out last night and I could have saved myself some of the hassle and been in DC with plenty of time to get everything done comfortably. I also realized afterwards that I missed the departmental TGIF. Bummer, nothing beats free food and people to enjoy it with. I did get free food while at Georgetown so only a little loss.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Crazy Week

What an absolutely crazy past few days. We had a lab farewell Monday afternoon with the other labs on our floor. I didn’t recognize half of the people there which is a rather sad state of things. I haven’t even been there long enough to recognize half of the people around me. I think some of them where from the 5th floor which is where the rest of our department is located.

Tuesday we had a lab lunch to chat and socialize. Last time we will have one in Boston. We opted to go to Legal Seafoods. I have eaten there before and thought the food was okay but this time I was not really impressed. It was a shame I didn’t know before hand that there was a Cheesecake Factory in the same area. Then again there is one vegan in the lab and one with wheat allergies. I did enjoy the bananas foster on the vanilla ice cream. You could even see the vanilla seeds in the ice cream. So most of Tuesday was a write off.

Wednesday there was a vendor fair where we could go and meet with the reps of the companies we buy supplies from. Basically, it is a place to get free food, free shwag which is not a cool as it used to be, and talk with people you really don’t want to. I ended up talking with this one rep who seemed to have no concept of personal space so every time I took a small step back he seemed to find a way to lean in more. Very annoying and he was also a smoker. So I wasted a good hour talking with reps. I did get a free thumb drive that doesn’t work on the Mac not was I able to format it on the Mac. I will have to try on a Windoze machine.

Thursday was my last day of the work week as I fly down to DC Friday. So I was extremely busy today trying to get everything wrapped up at work and prepared for my trip down. I also had a doctors appointment in the middle of the day. That would not have been a problem except for the fact that the moving guy came late to do the walk through. So I felt rushed when I was giving him information and likely I missed a few things. So I had to fire off an email.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Boston Knit out

I was torn between heading to the kayaking/hiking event or going to the Boston knit out on the Boston Common. The knit out won only because I really didn't feel like driving out to who know's where and kayaking with people I didn't know. At least the price of gas is much more reasonable than it was a few months ago.

Rather it seemed more interesting to go some place with lots of knitters I didn't know. In the end, I did meet up with people from the kitting group I meet with in Watertown. It was nice and we ended up going out for an early supper and then going to a yarn shop to touch more yarn. I decided t participate in a contest. Mostly because they were giving away the yarn and hook. So I am not the fasted crocheter. I think I got tripped up over how to do a double as I haven't crocheted in a long time and I didn't know if the double I knew was the same as an American double (vs a Britich double). Didn't help that I also did 11 in my first row instead of 10. In the end, I had fun and that is what counted. I also got some free yarn. There was some eyelash yarn, it is okay but since the cat seems to really like it I will try to make something out of it for him. I also got ribbon yarn that I have no clue what I can use it for. I also got a nice hand dyed cotton yarn that will likely be turned into dishcloths. The cotton came with a pattern for turning it into a sausage. What on earth are designers on when they come up with some of the strange patterns I've seen. I have always wondered if people really make some of the strange things that I see either online or in knitting magazines. They just do not seem like they are based in this time or place. Or any time or place for that matter.

Friday, September 22, 2006

300th post, sort of

So I was watching the numbers slowly creeping there way up to 300 and I was planning on a 300th post milestone. That didn't happen. Somewhere between 296 and 304 I must have gotten post happy and I missed the 300th post. Oh well. I now have over 300 posts on the blog. I am a little surprised I kept it up after leaving the trail. But in a way it is therapeutic and lets me have my say about things. I do find that I write what I think then post the blog without really proofing for spelling or content. I really need to think about what I write as somethings come out a little harsh or a little TMI. I have been trying to have the blog evolve a little and as such I have taken to writing blurbs specifically about the movies I am watching. This is instead of having the writeup combined with another post. Not sure if the blurbs are influencing anyone's decision to watch ssaid movie but they reflect what I thought of the movie in question.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Moles, check

Moles I have plenty of and so when I was at the doctors office a few days ago to inquire about my lack of sleep the past few nights, she noticed my moles. Not just any moles but the ones on my back which I can't see. Seems it was time to have a few of them checked out by a dermatologist to make sure they were all okay. So I made another appointment and had them checked out. I have plenty of them so the 15 minute appointment stretched into almost 45 minutes. Part of it was that she went looking for the camera to take a picture of a suspect mole to monitor it. I have a piture too so I can keep an eye on a mole I can't see. She stuck a little paper ruler to my back and snapped off a pic. So imagine my surprise this morning in the shower when I scratched my back and of came a little paper ruler. She didn't remove the thing, so it was there all night while I slept. I only had two suspect moles, one was darker than she would like but was small, the other was larger and not even in colour. So I have two that will need to be watched. Likely nothing will happen, especially considering my dislike for sunshine. Whether it is the middle of summer or the end of summer, I am always white as a ghost. My legs are neon in their whiteness. It is a little scary. Even when I was visiting in Vietnam, I could not get a tan. I was so white the sun seemed to just reflect off of me. I do burn but for some reason I resisted getting a burn while in Vietnam unlike the time I was in Thailand and swelled up from too much sun. At least I feel better for having them seen to . It is interesting that I could have continued going around blissfully unaware of my moles until a doctor mentioned it.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Sweater buttons

This is the finished sweater. While it really only took me about a week to knit up the body and arms of the sweater, it sat on hold for a few weeks until I got around to finishing the button band. Then it sat around again while I procrastinated the sewing in of the ends. So on Sunday I took the finally finished sweater and blocked it. Now I need to figure out what colour button will go best with the sweater. That might take a while. I have red, yellow and green buttons but I think the yellow buttons might be a little small for the holes. Otherwise if those don't work, I might have to go out and buy buttons for the sweater. The red buttons match the sweater but they also seem to disappear into the sweater, the green might be a little to much of a contrast and the yellow don't really match the gold highlights nor are they the right size. I'll figure it out eventually.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Gridiron Gang

I probably should have been out kayaking or at least doing something to enjoy the nice weather. Instead, I drove over to the theater, which is a short walk away, sat in a dark, climate controlled theater and watched a movie. I didn't walk over, which I normally would have done, because I ate somthing that disagreed with me and left late. Of all the movies that were playing at this theater, only Gridiron Gang looked worth watching. I am actually glad I watched it. It was a good movie. The Rock played a passionate and strong character and did a good job of making it believeable. Some of the actors playing the troubled teens sometimes came across as a little flat during what should have been an emotional scene but as a whole, the movie was very good. The end of the movie also had actually footage of the coach and the teens that were portrayed in the movie. It was a little sad to see that so many of the youths in the detention center were black. Although it might actually portray reality, they could have mixed it up a little more or maybe made it a little more obvious that not only blacks are involved in gangs or youth crimes. I think that if you liked Save the Last Dance, then you will like this movie. They both make the same point but take different points of view to make it.

Blogger backlog

I really need to keep up with my blog entries. I find that I start them, then I get busy and they get forgotten in draft mode until I go back a few days later to start another entry. Sometimes I end up with several drafts that are waiting for me to find the time to finish them. So today was draft finishing day. So make sure you look back a few entries to find the last one you read.

So I have finished my red sweater today. Actually I finished a few days ago while I had a bad case of insomnia. So today I am blocking the sweater so the fit will be better and all the seams will lay flat instead of curling. I noticed that the sweater tinted the water red. Hope that is all the colour loss, or at least that it does not do it to any shirts I wear.

I was actually productive today which was a bit of a surprise. I woke up with a bad case of cramping and didn't feel good at all. It eventually went away with some tylenol. But I did manage to get some laundry done, write a short story (which I almost finished in one sitting), do the dishes (read turn on the dishwasher), block the sweater, and I think I will catch a movie too. Not too shabby for a lazy Sunday afternoon. I also chatted with my brother via Skype. And while browsing on the Skype website, I noticed thay have a beta version for the Mac that will allow video calling. I might have to check that out.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Skype for Mac

So I finally installed Skype on my MacBook. No problems there. I received a call from my parents firday night and we chatted for a while. Everything seemed fine. The only thing was that the Mac version of the software does not support the video talking. That seemed a big shame as I have the integrated camera and it would have been cool to try it out. It would also be cool to have the other person be able to see me swinging my hands around while talking. Could also be neat to show my mother my now finished sweater.

Thursday, September 14, 2006


I received the strangest phone call today. As I was leaving work, late I might add, I received a call from 1-000-012-3456. Deciding it was a prank call, I ignored it. I also had just missed it as the phone was in my backpack which was under my raincoat as it was drizzling out. I then went to knitting tonight and received another cal from the same number. I am still thinking it is a prank or telemarketing call and as I am with other people, I ignore it again. But when the person calls right back, I decide to finally answer it in the hopes that it will go away. Imagine my surprise when I find out it is my father. He is calling from the computer using Skype. It is a nice program that allows computer to computer calls or computer to phone calls. So he was calling me from the computer. His voice was a little flat and tinny but otherwise clear and understandable. So we chatted for a bit then I got off the phone to continue knitting. I will have to put Skype on my comuter so we can try computer to computer. He has already tried with my brother and said it works quite well. Good thing my MacBook comes with a microphone and video built in.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Still no sleep

I took the new allergy medicine last night, and while my nose was clear, I woke up at 2:00 ad couldn't get back to sleep. It really didn't help that I could not get comfortable and was tossing and turning. I finally gave up at 4:00 and hopped on the computer and answered emails and played games. So this morning I called for a doctors appointment. They took me almost right away. That was when I found out that it is a bad idea to take sudafed before bedtime as it is an upper. So the doctor has me on Flonase now and I had to skip the evening allergy routine and move it to the morning. Hopefully I will start getting some sleep soon. While I am used to waking up every other hour during the night, I am also used to falling back to sleep, eventually. This is just waking up with no falling back asleep. So I am a little out of it today. I think I will go to bed early tonight.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Allergy flare up

I had a bad allergy flare up yesterday, but mostly I noticed at night as my nose would not stop running. It was so bad, I had to get up and take a drixoral to stop the running. So I didn't really get a good night's sleep last night. I have stopped off at the pharmacy to get allergy pills with decongestant in it. Hopefully that will help. The runny nose also gave me a really sore throat. So I am not in a good mood today simply because I have had very little sleep.

Saturday, September 09, 2006


Went to see Hollywoodland with a movie group. I was not a very good movie. The critics are saying that this is Ben Afleck's comeback movie. If you watch this and reflect on that sentiment, you will realize that Ben, who can't act, plays someone who can't act. So what he is doing is acting at his normal level of not being able to act. When I went to see this movie I actually had it confused in my mind with The Black Dalia. I really hate it when Hollywood feels the need to have two or three movies open that are the same basic theme just with different actors. Both movies are about unsolved murders happening in Hollywood and the intrigue that surrounded them. So since I saw Hollywoodland, is there really any reason to go see The Black Dalia. I am sure the studios want me to see it so they can make money off me, but the first movie left a bad taste in my mouth. As it is an unsolved crime, the movie does not have a satisfactory ending. It really did not feel like the movie ended at all and I felt like I was left hanging, waiting for more. This is not a state I like to be in and I am sure most people will agree with me. I am either going to the movies to lose myself in a story or for a cheap thrill with lots of gratuitous car chases. This movie didn't fall into either category. It did not even fit into that rare category of going to the movies to learn something new. Okay so I didn't know anything about George Reeves, who plays Superman, but after watching this film all I know is that George Reeves played Superman. If I was really that interested I could have looked it up on or googled it.

Friday, September 08, 2006

My very own cellphone

For those who know I have a cellphone, this seems like a given. But actually, I was sharing a plan with my roommate. As the plan was actually in their name, I guess I technically was not an owner of the phone or the plan even though I paid my half. Due to my imminent relocation, we have had to split the shared plan into two separate plans. It is nice that the shared plan and the split plan will be comparable in cost. The problem was that the company did not know how to properly split the plan so both of us spent lots of time in phone run arounds, then we went to the store and got more phone running around. A person in the know was finally tracked down and the plan was properly split. The one nice thing I learned was that I must finally have a credit rating worthy of having my own cell phone as they did not require a hefty deposit. I tried to get a cell phone on my own before and was told I would have to pay almost the entire 1 year bill up front and that they only offered one plan that was much more than I wanted, needed or was willing to pay. So I am glad things worked out with minimal fuss in that department. I am not sure what my financial situation will be like for the next few months with having to move then getting rembursements after the fact. Hopefully a replacement roommate can be found for the Boston place so I will have less to worry about. I really need to get some ads up at work but I am waiting for my roommate to get me a write up so he can state his desired roomate, which makes sense and I am not complain but I am really getting nervous about the seeming lateness in the start of looking. I hope to be able to get someone for an October move in date.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Listen to me chat about gear

I gave a little interview for a podcast show about two weeks ago and I just got news back that the show has been produced and aired. It was a hard interview to do as I discovered that while I can write a report on my views and opinions, I apparently have trouble expressing myself out loud. The interview was done over the phone and the person at the other end had to prompt me more than a few times. Sometimes I wasn't sure what he wanted and other times I wasn't giving enough information. In the end he took all my answers and chopped out the ah and ums to make me sound better than I did. When it comes to gear, I am generally very chatty, but the other guy who was interviewed seemed to do a better job than me. All in all, it doesn't sound that bad and he did a good job pulling my sometimes scattered answers together into a semblance of order. If you are interested, you can listed to someone butcher my last name (okay he only slightly mangle it) and here me talk here. I really enjoy testing gear, but I guess to be honest, I really enjoy getting free gear. There really is no better price than that. I only have to use the gear in the field then write up my opinion on how well it worked and held up. Not too shabby.

Monday, September 04, 2006


I decided to take a chance and go watch Beerfest even though the write up was not very inspiring. I should have listened to my insticts. this was not a very good movie. Maybe if I was a college aged party goer, then this would have appealed to me more. As I do not fit into that category, I was not very impressed. The plot was also a little on the thin side, especially when one of the main characters dies and they replace him in a clear case of deus ex machina. I wish I had put my money towards something better. I am not even sure I can say that it was good for sheer entertainment because I was questioning the reality every step of the way and had trouble getting caught up in the movie. Basically, wait for it to come out on video unless you are a college kid looking for new party tricks.

Very sore muscles

I like to push myself hard. I guess part of it is to prove to myself that I can do something that I set my mind to and the other part is probably due to sheer stubbornness. I am not sure which was in effect this weekend, but I pushed myself to my "normal" pace, read thru-hiker pace. I knew the trail out was about 4.5 miles and so I decided to see if I could still do it in 2 hours or less. Well, I did accomplish my goal but I am almost incapable of walking today because of it. The worst pain is in my calves and quads from the almost constant downhill hike. The smaller pain is that I actually picked up a nice pair of blisters on both big toes. I was really surprised to discover them as I thought I had broken in the sandals very well at this point. Apparenly they are broken in for relatively flat terrain or pavement but not downhill at hard pacing. It could also be a flaw with the sandals. I will mention this in my report on the sandals. I am staring to compose the reports a little ahead of time and will add to them if I take any of the test items out for any more trips. Due to the move, I think this might have been the last trip. Likely it would have been the last trip until after the reports were due anyways, so I am not cutting anything out. In the mean time, I have been doing my stretches despite the pain which has been good.

On another note, I decided to walk over to the movie theater. I thought that since it was a short walk, it would be fine to break in another pair of shoes. That was a big mmistake. So not only do my muscles hurt, and my big toes have blisters, but I ended up ripping up the back of my ankles where the top of the shoe heel hits. So I will have to wait for that to heal before being a little more conservative in the breaking in period. I hope they can be broken in, I would hate to have to return them. Not only did I get them on sale, but they are Keen shoes. Since I love their sandals so much, I was hoping to use them for winter wear. Time will tell.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Wonderful camping weekend

I met up with my backpacking partner and off we went. As he had never backpacked before, we had a late start. I was lending him one of my packs and in return he was helping me finish up the test on my tent. I really wanted to go to the Imp Campsite in the Carter Range. Good thing it was only 4.5 miles from the parking area or we might not have made it before dark. We didn't leave until 2:00 and I go to camp around 4:30. I set up the tent and shorty thereafter Dingle came by. He was the reason I wanted to stop in, mostly it was to say hi. We chatted about the trail. It was very nice. The next morning, my partner was rather sore so we decided to stay at Imp for another night then hike out the same way we went in. So I spent a good part of the day chatting some more with Dingle and I also had a chance to talk with some of the other campers staying the night. We had quite the crowd. There where 32 people staying at the site. There were at least 2 groups of seven people and quite a few thru-hikers and some weekenders.

I had to get up and go during the first night as I was drinking a lot of water before bed. Didn't help that my tent mate was going every hour, or so it seemed. Good thing for ear plugs. So off I went and it was actually rather nice out. The wind had died down and it was cool and quiet. I could see some stars but the tree cover was enough to prevent seeing more than a small patch of sky. It was a shame because the limited view was great. As annoying as it was to get into two sleeping bags, especially two with opposite zippers, it was worth it for the added warmth. I did get some shivering going on but it was not a bone crushing cold like I have experienced before. The second night, due to a slight pitch in the floor, by tent mate was leaning up against me leeching off my heat. At least he didn't go to the bathroom as frequently but it was annoying. The tent had some condensation and I was pressed up against the wall so my bag was a little wet. Oh well, the joys of sharing a tent. Hopefully I can find a better backpacking partner down in the DC area.

The hike out of the woods today was a little on the rainy and wet side. I actually managed to pack up the tent and my gear before the drizzle started but the tent did still catch a little moisture. We dashed over to the shelter and had a nice warm breakfast. I had a ramen soup broth packet and a cookie. It was nice, warm and filling. On the hike out, I managed to do the 4 mile section in just under 2 hours. Not bad, seems I still have my trail legs, but I have lost my trail lungs (not sure I ever had them in the first place) and I lost the trail foot calluses. I didn't realize it while I was hiking but I developed a really nice pair of blisters on my big toes and the sandals also seemed to abrade the tender part of my foot right after the ball of the foot. So my feet are quite tender right now. I am sure I will be feeling hte muscle pain tomorrow for sure.