Sunday, November 25, 2007

Holiday Cookies 2007

It's time for the announcement!

*Espresso Chocolate Chip Cookies
*Big 'n Soft Ginger Cookies
*Cranberry Eggnog Twirls
*Pumpkin Spice Stars
*Peppermint Cookies
*M&M Cookies

And I'll be making chocolate-covered pretzels for gifts.


And so it ends

Final College Pick'em numbers: 501 points, 97.9th percentile, for 3533th place (bah, went down! even though this week was my third best) overall. Won in the group for the second year in a row; 28 points over Sarah in second place. Not a bad run overall...better than my 5285th place showing last year :-)

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Lucky Lucky Lucky

So, we decided to avoid I-95 like the plague and took 83 up to 78 across PA and then 87 north to Albany to get into Massachusetts from the west side. It worked out really well for us both coming and going - just a couple slow-downs of less than 10 minutes each on the way up and absolutely no problems on the way home. But we were incredibly lucky on Wednesday timing-wise. You might have heard about the fatal accident on I-78 Wednesday morning. A car traveling westbound crossed the median and hit a flatbed trailer carrying cement bags; the trailer rolled and blocked the eastbound lanes for over 6 hours (and slowed the westbound lanes with looky-loos for about the same length of time). This apparently happened less than 10 minutes before we went through - so we were at the front end of the traffic jam instead of farther back. Also, we were in the stretch of cars that was able to get off at the exit ramp immediately before the road blockage and just drive across the overpass to the highway on the other side. They later closed the road completely and detoured people off onto side roads. So, very lucky that we came through early enough to not be slowed much but also to not have been involved in the incident itself.

Thanksgiving was great, Massachusetts was great, and Hokie Football was awesome. We set up the DVR to record the game and watched it when we got home; fast-forwarding through commercials, timeouts and halftime got us to the end of the game in less than two hours. And what a sweet, sweet ending.

But I felt so sad for Kansas :-(

Do you have a flag?

Matt: Sacked! Not as good as sex.
Me: I think that would be a flag.
Matt: You're probably right.
Me: Unsportsmanlike conduct...don't you just hate it when you tackle a guy and he sticks it in your pooper?


Tomorrow's the last week of College Pick'em. I already have a 35 point lead over second place, so I'm not really worried about winning in my group. But I'm at 3339th place, and it sure would be nice to break into the top 3000.

Oh, and I have a bet with Jason on the VT-UVA game...loser has to wear the opposing team's t-shirt :-) We watched a good bit of the LSU-Arkansas game earlier today after we got back from the Norman Rockwell Museum, and are watching the Hawaii-Boise State game right now. Good stuff so far!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

How much are they getting under the table?

I am really, REALLY frigging sick of the asshole ACC refs that keep making BS calls (or more often, failing to make correct calls) on VT. Week after week after week they have "missed" pass interference calls, facemask calls, holding calls, late hit calls, head to head contact calls, and on and on and on. I can't believe nobody's been fired yet.

PS - dammit Clemson, you HAD that. How could you give it away to BC??

Sunday, November 11, 2007

14 days

That might be a record. And not the good kind I suppose?

Actually, my last post was #777 - I just wanted to savor the luckiest of lucky numbers for as long as I could. Okay, not really.

Alrighty then. NYC was a great trip/conference. I got my poster done on Thursday morning. We took the train up to NYC Thursday afternoon. Nick and Jason decided to be original and take a bike taxi (the kind with the little carts behind the bike) to our hotel; the rest of us took taxis. We went to what would be dubbed "cart man" for dinner - Landon and I got cheese steaks, and everyone else got gyros. There was a keynote speaker and the first poster session (that nobody from our lab was in) and some food (but definitely not dinner, so it was a good thing that we had eaten beforehand).

The conference continued on Friday, and I presented my poster that afternoon. I was actually amazed that I ended up talking to almost 20 people about my poster, and nearly all of them said that they thought my research was very interesting. It was a pretty nice pat on the back, so to speak. After the rest of the sessions, the whole group of us went out to eat at Agozar, a cuban restaurant. We were having trouble getting cabs, so Rhoda (in her Rhodariffic way) hailed a charter bus. Oh yes. Anyway, we all got to the restaurant and had awesome tapas, drinks, and food.

More conference Saturday, and then the students weren't invited to the SMR banquet. So Amena and I were placed in charge of coming up with dinner plans. We ended up getting reservations at Kin Khao, a Thai place. Not to be outdone by last night, Amena hailed us a limo for $5 a person. Rhoda had given us a $360 budget and said we could spend it however we wanted; since we had only spent around $275 on dinner, we went to a liquor store and got a couple bottles of wine and had a great time sitting in one of the rooms watching TV and talking.

We came back on Sunday. We were originally supposed to be on the 1:05 train, but we got to the train station at like 11:45 and Rhoda (again in Rhodariffic fashion) decided that we all needed to change our tickets to the 12:05 train so we could get back an hour earlier. We went back and forth between the line, ticket counter and the people standing with our luggage, and at one point someone said "well, we'll get our tickets just in time to miss the train, and then at least we'll have an hour to change them back." But we amazingly made the train with about 4 minutes or so to spare.

I got home around 4:30, and I had a couple hours to do some laundry and swap out my suitcase and such. I went out to Robert and Jodie's place in Manassas for the night, and drove down to Charlottesville on Monday. Dad at the hospital at 8:30am, and he was still in the waiting area when I got there a little before noon. They called him back about a half hour later; mom went up with him while Daniel and I sat around, and eventually got some lunch. Mom finally came down around 4 and told us to go up and sit with him, because she was starving. Dad finally went into surgery around 4:30 and was in for about 5 hours. In the meantime, we got dinner at a pizza place called The Mellow Mushroom, which was pretty good.

I think the PACU nurse felt bad for us, because she let us come up to the post-op recovery room for about 20 minutes or so. Dad finally went to his room at 11:15, and we left the hospital around an hour later. Long day. But the surgery went well, all things considered. The surgeons told us that based on the gross examination, there was still cancer in his larynx (and they took out half of his thyroid as a precaution). They originally told him he'd be in the hospital until the 12th, but he went home Saturday evening.

We spent pretty much most of the day Tuesday at the hospital, and I came home on Wednesday. The rest of the week has been pretty low key. Matt and I went to Let's Dish yesterday and then to Target to get stuff for our Operation Christmas Child boxes. Also, I had two reasonable college pick'em weeks (36 last week and 42 yesterday) so I'm pretty well cemented in my lead by 32 points. Oh, and the VT game was craaaaazy! Good times. We also watched the Maryland BC game as well.

Well, that should be everything. I hope things should start to calm down for a while before the holidays - we're leaving for Massachusetts in (ack!) 10 days. And then it's Jim Gaffigan at the Warner Theater, Christmas parties, shopping, baking, and the holiday flurry.