Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Courtney in the bathroom with the wrench...I win!

Plumbing for Dummies, AKA How I Made the Shower My Bitch.

The Culprit:
(This thing hadn't been touched in 20 years)

The Tools:
(Yes, I had to use every single one of those at the same time)

The Success:

Monday, February 26, 2007

Best advice evar

Dave Barry published a list entitled "25 things I have learned in 50 years." Somewhere in the evolution of e-mail forwards, things got added or changed. The best addition, by far: "Never, under any circumstances, take a sleeping pill and a laxative the same night."

Brain teaser?

A puzzle, if you will. Matt and I have a disagreement about the answer.

I like to take hot showers. But they dry out my skin. Matt said I should take a less hot shower. I said that I'm already cold when I get out of the shower now. Enter the dispute.

I say that taking a less hot shower will make me feel colder when I get out, because I will have a lower surface temperature to start with, which will cause the effects of evaporation to make me colder than I am with a hot shower (i.e. if hot shower body temp is 8 and warm shower body temp is 6, then an evaporation factor of 2 will leave me with a lower final surface temperature with the warm shower).

Matt says that taking the warm shower will make me feel warmer when I get out compared to the hot shower, because the difference in the two temperatures is smaller (using the same numbers above, and a room temperature of 4, the difference between the hot shower temp and the room temp is greater). He assumes that the effects of evaporation are negligible.

Thoughts or opinions?

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Some success

The printer was delivered today! I'm so happy.

I bought Goof Off (organic solvent) in hopes of breaking down whatever gunk is sealing the pipe joint. I also spent 20 minutes taking paint spatters off the doorknobs. Now I have a headache. We'll see what happens with the pipe.

Mmm, Five Guys is the best.

Time to go finish my hair.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Bathroom 2, Courtney 0

So as of right now I can't get the shower arm loose either.

I am an educated woman, and I refuse to be beaten by a 6" piece of pipe.

Finally, someone with at least a few brain cells

Two sentences from an AP article: "A federal judge on Friday threw out a lawsuit filed by parents who wanted to keep their young children from learning about gay marriage in school. U.S. District Judge Mark Wolf said federal courts have decided in other cases that parents' rights to exercise their religious beliefs are not violated when their children are exposed to contrary ideas in school."

Thaaaaaaaank you!

Parents who think they can keep their kids in a little religion bubble forever are sadly mistaken. And doing them a great disservice by not allowing them real world exposure, where not everyone thinks the same way they do and they have to make decisions and judgment calls on their own.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

You have to have weather, whether or not

I am LOVING it outside today.

I saw a tractor trailer a couple days ago with a printed sign on the back that said "Snow/Ice on my roof? Please stay back!" How about, "Snow/Ice on your roof? Clear off your damn roof!!!"

Today's Toothpaste For Dinner comic is really funny.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

I wore him down

Matt finally let me buy us a new printer to replace his old piece of junk from 8 years ago. I got the HP Officejet 6210 All-in-One. Yay!

Now if we can just get our 20-year-old mattress replaced...

Holy integers, Batman!

Quite possibly the nerdiest website EVAR:
What's special about this number?

Oh, and for the record, I am SO sick of A.N.S. and B.S.

Bathroom 1, Courtney 0

For now...

I have been trying and trying to replace our old shower head but I can NOT get it to budge off the pipe for the life of me. Ugh. I believe that I'm going to have to replace the entire shower arm. It's a 6-buck fix, but it's just so frustrating.

This is all good practice for Baton Rouge though, I suppose.

Frailty, thy name is PennDOT

So, once we actually GOT to Stroudsburg (6 1/2 hours after we left Baltimore) we had a good weekend. "Kudos" to PennDOT for failing to properly plow 150 miles of interstate, causing it to be completely shut down and necessitating that we drive on a lot of shady back roads. Fun times.

It turned out that the windshield wiper problem was ice, and that we just hadn't poured enough hot water on it on Thursday night.

Ah, memories.

Regardless of what you believe in the abortion debate, I'm curious as to why the babies that are aborted ONLY are ever the ones that would have been the next Einstein, Salk, Ghandi or Eisenhower and never the ones that would have been deadbeat dads, gas station robbers, tax evaders or drunk drivers. Because you know, that wouldn't be statistically probable or anything. Hypothetically.

Apparently if you and your S/O are underage, and have sex in Florida, and take pictures of yourself, you can be arrested for child pornography...???

This country is so wack. Old School!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Today = not such a good day

Let's recap.

It took 90 minutes, several buckets of hot water, two ice scrapers, tire chains and a few good pushes to get my car out of the parking space this morning. We couldn't get Matt's car out at all.

My wireless internet is out at work AGAIN.

For some reason, my windshield wipers aren't working. The motor tries, and they move an inch or two, but that's it.

I cut the crap out of my index finger on something.

I got a letter in the mail from Hopkins saying that my payroll info (name, DOB, SSN, bank account/routing numbers) was on one of 9 tapes that were sent for archiving and inexplicably never made it to the contractor. After investigating the incident, they *think* that they were mistakenly incinerated somewhere en route, but have no conclusive evidence.

Cavalier Telephone is charging us a federal excise tax. This is wrong on two counts. First, the tax is only supposed to be on long distance service, which we don't have. Second, the tax was abolished (we finished paying for the war of 1812 a long time ago) and a retroactive credit was offered on 2006 tax returns for past taxes paid...which I didn't take on our return because it very clearly said that the tax was for long distance service only.


Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The weather is most certainly a factor

So, that was quite a bit of precipitation. I'd say that we got about 2" of snow/ice/sleet (and we may get up to another inch by tomorrow morning). As of right now, the plows haven't even come through our neighborhood.

I made spice pancakes, and have mostly just been working on class reading today. It's been pretty chill. No plans for tonight. I got Matt the new Switchfoot CD.

Speaking of pancakes, how about free pancakes! B.Y.O.B. (Bring Your Own Bunny).

I start sentences with "So," a lot.

The spa thing in PA didn't work out. Seriously people, when did President's Day become code for Spa Day? Four places completely booked for three solid days. Bleh. Matt let me take the money I would have spent this weekend and get a gift certificate to the Red Door Spa in Gaithersburg. So on March 3rd, I'll be getting three hours of pampering - a shea butter body wrap, a facial, and a manicure. I'm also hoping to be able to save up enough money between now and beach vacation to go back and get a body scrub and pedicure before we leave.

I can't type the word "pampering" without thinking of diapers.

When I was buying the spa gift certificate the other day, I asked out loud, "Is it weird that I'm buying my own Valentine's day present?" Jason said "No, that makes you a SAINT."

That's all I got for now.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 12, 2007

Yeah, we're homeowners

So...bathroom update. I got the tub stripped and recaulked without any real trouble. Then I/we moved on to the faucet (I started, but only got 1/3 of the way through before I needed Matt's help). I got the faucet unhooked and removed fine, but the drain proved to be trickier. Much much trickier. A trip to Lowes was necessary halfway through because we didn't have a wrench big enough to get the drain column nut off, and because the water connectors were welded to the old faucet so I had to get new ones. Anyway. After much frustration, cursing, and such (and 45 minutes) we finally got the drain out. It was DISGUSTING. Ugh. After that though, it was fairly short work to get the new drain installed and everything hooked up. Then we turned on the cold water...and it was hot. Apparently our water valves were installed backwards, so we had to unhook the water connectors and switch them. Done.

I attempted to put in a new shower head today but the old one is stuck and we can't get it off atm. We're going to check around to see if anyone has a pipe wrench before we drop 16 bucks on a tool that we can currently only foresee using once.

So my back is sore and my hands are a wreck (bruised and scraped knuckles, not to mention the dryness). But we've accomplished what we wanted to do for the weekend; the shower head was an impulse buy. Matt's going to put in a shower door at some point and I'm going to redo the vanity (strip, repaint, new hardware). A little paint on the walls and then I should be happy. Wee.

So I guess I've really earned my upcoming 3-day weekend. Although our plans are not exactly quite set yet. As I mentioned before, Kim and I were going to go to the Borgata Spa for facials and massages, but no dice. Then we decided to stay in Stroudsburg while the guys went to AC and go to her local day spa, but amazingly they ended up being booked on Sunday as well. Argh! We tossed a couple other websites back and forth but we're ultimately trying to go on Monday instead, and go along with the guys to AC on Sunday. The upside of all this (assuming that we can actually get Monday appointments) is that it's a LOT cheaper so I can get more stuff...I'm currently "down" for a package with a shea body buff and warm stone massage, botanical facial, and spa manicure. Cross your fingers.

Friday, February 09, 2007


MAN my legs and feet are tired. This was the Pharmacology Department's recruiting weekend, and I helped shuttle people around to their interviews all day. I have a lot of guilt over this. I mean, you start off taking one person to their interview...and then there's someone meeting with that professor right before them, and you can't say "Well, see ya." So you take *that* person to their interview. And then it's in a far off building, and you think "Well, none of the other escort students knows they're out there except me." So you go back and pick them up after their interview, and take them to their next one. Repeat ad nauseum. By the end of the day I had walked 42 blocks (and looking at Mapquest to determine how many blocks are in a mile, it works out to almost 4.5 miles). Oh, did I mention that I was wearing 3" heels? Oh yeah.

So anyway, we're going to see Mike and Kim for president's day weekend. And Matt wanted to go to the Borgata in Atlantic City for a day trip, to play in a poker game. I said that was fine; I'd just go to the spa with Kim. Well, I wanted a massage and a facial, but it turns out that they didn't have any facial appointments for the day we were going to be there. I was pretty bummed about this...until Kim suggested going to her spa in Stroudsburg instead. WELL, now I can get my facial and more, for cheaper. Awesome. They did say that God rested on the 7th day...well, I'll be very restful at Shear Design Spa :-)

I'm recaulking the tub and installing a new bathroom sink faucet tomorrow. Should be interesting.

Thursday, February 08, 2007


I don't really care either way about the stupid Boston lite bright ads (the media was stupid, the authorities were stupid, and the cartoon network guys were stupid). But this movie is rather funny.

Are we happy plastic people?

I just noticed that my previous post was my 600th post. I'm never on top of these things.

So, I never imagined that living in Maryland I would need to wear ski pants to get to work.

Oh, you thought I was kidding about the ski pants? Hardly.

Swathi bought me a CD of the Johns Hopkins a capella group, The Octopodes. They're pretty good, but some of their CD has some unusual song choices. I really love their versions of Michelle Branch's "Breathe" and Saliva's "Rest in Pieces." But then they did a Tori Amos song ("Spark"), an Audioslave song ("Like a Stone"). It's not bad, just...unusual.

We're going to Carly and Eric's place after church on Sunday to have lunch and play Trivial Pursuit. And to lie on their Tempur-Pedic mattress :-)

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

I've gotten up before 6:30 two days in a row

Which is NOT the norm for me.

Anyway, I'm sitting at another computer waiting for a PDF to print one.page.at.a.time. And I happened upon this: Steve Jobs blogs about DRM-free music. It's fairly interesting.

I finished my class project last night (summary of a patent on a protein from snail slime that is anti-microbial) so now I'm allowed to play Dr. Mario :-)

This morning's weather: current temperature...8 degrees. Feels like...0 degrees. High of...22 degrees. I am seriously considering wearing ski pants in the morning until I get to my building.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Today is where your book begins

I bought "Unwritten" by Natasha Bedingfield last night, and it's my current favorite song. It's one of those songs where you just can't help but feel happy when you listen to it, like "Uptown Girl" or "The One I Love."

We're totally paying for the warm days in January. It was 13 degrees on my way home tonight. I was pretty well bundled up on top but I was wearing dress pants at work today and by the time I had walked the four blocks from my building to my garage, my legs were numb. Gross.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Suck it, Uncle Sam

2006 tax return = done.

Federal refund = about what we expected, and enough that we can change our withholding (again) to have more money every month.

State refund = holy crap, we didn't see this one coming :-)

Hello, Tempur-pedic.

Friday, February 02, 2007

I'm an awardee

Me: I'm getting an award.
Matt: For what?
Me: Being in Rhoda's lab, basically.
Matt: What???
Me: I said, being in Rhoda's lab.
Matt: Ohh, I thought you said PEEING in Rhoda's lab.
Me: What???
Matt: I don't know, you hang out with some really weird people!

Holy crap, it's Groundhog Day. I just realized this (thanks, Carly).

Oh yeah, and my DS came yesterday :-D