Saturday, September 29, 2007

Are you ready for some

Cinnabons. I mean, football. I mean, yes.

Matt's taking me to get cinnabon when he gets out of the shower. Or I'm taking him, I'm not sure, since his arms are now defunct due to lifting yesterday. And then football in an hour and a half!

Don't try this at home. But I heard that if you cut off a cat's whiskers, they lose their sense of balance and walk into walls and stuff. The intarwebs could not completely confirm this; I also read that they're used more for judging spaces and not balance, and that they'd be more likely to get stuck in a small space than fall over. But either way...don't try this at home :-)

How the stork *really* got into the baby business.

Video: lazy kitteh - hehehe.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Fortunate

I am super glad that I bought this coat and this dress when I did, because they're both out of my size now. Carpe Diem, eh? I was also amazed that a sweater that I wanted, that was completely sold out, came back in stock just in my size. And my snowman t-shirt finally shipped. They were kind enough to not give me a tracking number, so as not to spoil the suspense. I'm totally being sarcastic there.

I am not doing *anything* this weekend but relaxing. And watching lots of college football. Matt wrote on his poker blog today: "We don't really have any big plans, so I will most likely be playing some poker and watching some football. Sounds like a good time to me, especially since my wife likes watching football too. Yes, you read that right. I'm pretty much one of the luckiest guys out there. I'm married to a woman who arguably likes college football more than I do. How awesome is that?" Hehehe. He's probably right.

The preliminary estimate I got from the Ford service center was $4900 in damages. Woooo-wee. At least they said they were pretty sure they were going to be repairing the car, though I've not had confirmation from either them or Nationwide on that yet. I'll have to call on Monday.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Meh, who cares about science anyways?

My response, when hearing about how parents of autistic children are continuing to file lawsuits against vaccine manufacturers despite MANY studies showing that there is no correlation. A legal expert, about how taking the cases to civil courts (instead of through the VICP) may be beneficial to the parents' cause: "Experience tells us that jurors don't trust or necessarily understand science and they are likely to make a decision completely independent of it." Nice.

Also quoted from the article: "But the impaired social and communication skills associated with this condition tend to manifest themselves between 1 and 3 years of age—the same time during which most childhood vaccines are administered. For many parents whose children developed the devastating neurological condition shortly after receiving their shots, the link seems clear—no evidence is more powerful than their personal experience." Yeah, and I can think of a million other things that also happen between ages 1-3. Like walking. Yeah - walking causes autism...nearly every autistic child learned to walk around the time period that their disorder began to manifest! I'm going to sue now. How dare my parents risk my life like that, just to fulfill their rabid quest to make me bipedal-ly mobile?

Apparently there are cops out there who actually do their jobs, and write other cops tickets for moving violations. And apparently those cops are whiny enough to start a website to whine about the "jerks" that do their job correctly.

In Oregon, the Udink family was ordered to return their personalized license plates (with their name on it) on the basis that it was a sexual reference and/or a Vietnamese racial slur. How silly of all us Double Income, No Kids folks that have been referring to ourselves using a catchy acronym for years.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Best 1 point EVAR

Even though I had only put the Georgia-Alabama game at 1 point, that is probably the best 1 point I've ever gotten. I told Matt last night that I was surprised that something like 80% of the college pick'em players chose Alabama, because the game was supposed to pretty much be a coin toss and that several forecasters had picked Georgia for the upset. He pretty much thought that I was crazy and reminded me that "Georgia lost to SOUTH CAROLINA and it's at Alabama...any argument for Georgia is weak." Well, Alabama did manage to tie up the game and the Georgia field goal kicker missed a nail-biter from 47 yards into the wind in the last 3 seconds...he was okay on the length but went too far to the left. But after Alabama kicked a field goal in OT Georgia scored a touchdown on their first overtime possession. Sweet, sweet victory...awww yeah.

So, I don't know what happened to Pittsburgh, and Michigan is being buttfaces by doing the opposite of whatever I pick. I think it's a little unfair we've had to pick their game three weeks in a row. But other than that...Wake Forest did come back to beat Maryland, Kentucky put up a solid win over Arkansas despite being the "line" underdogs, Oklahoma State got in their win despite also being unfavored. And so far everyone else has done what they were supposed to. As long as Wisconsin can hold on to their 4-point lead for another two minutes, this will be my second best week and I'll still be solidly in the lead.

(UPDATE @ 11:45 - still leading my group by 6, back up to 8452 in the rankings for 94.3%. I'm happy.)

The black tie dinner/dance tonight was fun. The only thing was, I was *kicking* myself all night because, while I remembered the camera, I forgot to stick the stupid memory card back into it after I had put it in my computer a little earlier in the day. GRRR. Oh, and the "bartenders" were not really bartenders, I think. I asked one for a whiskey sour and she asked me how to make it. Ummm...I'd start with some *whiskey* and then maybe add some *sour mix* but that's just me. Apparently the same thing happened to David (Courtney Gleason's hubby) when he asked for some crazy concoction called a "vodka tonic." Ridiculous.

Headed home in the morning...can't wait to be back here in just under 9 months for five-year reunion!!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Sweet Briar!

Yaaaay, I'm here! And I have wireless internet access, w00t! So the drive was uneventful. The Nationwide agent called around 10am to let me know that they would be covering the rental car from yesterday onward, so I don't have to worry about that. We'll have the car over to the shop on Monday. Now we just have to focus on the magic number, which is 6880. That is, dollars of damage at which the car will be declared totaled. I'm really hoping we don't have to go there...

I was able to find someone from my class fairly early on in the day (Courtney Yerdon Gleason) so we've mostly been hanging out together. Went to the "Sweet Briar Today" presentation with all the college updates and such (so I have the most up-to-date accolades when I go to college fairs) and then to the Founder's Day convocation and ceremony. We stopped at the bookstore in between, and I got a license plate frame (for when my car gets back from the shop) and a T-shirt that says "There's nothing like a Sweet Briar girl" - cute! And of course pink and green, nach.

I got to catch up a bit with Jill, my former academic adviser before dinner, which was nice. And my biology professor, Dr. Davies. It's funny how you end up on a first name basis with some professors and not others.

There's a networking event at 9 and then I'm done for tonight...back to the hotel to work on my class posts and maybe do a little catch-up reading - I got two of my three textbooks in this week.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Mesmerizing

Blogger Play. WARNING: If you click on this link, you will never get any work done ever again. Ever.

Oh, and if you have a Google account, then put in a request to have Blogger Play as an RSS feed so that it can be a screen saver!

The week is over

For me anyways. I got the rental car today, but only because I went to Enterprise myself and handled it. Nationwide wasn't able to get in touch with the guy until Wednesday (!!) and then only contacted me at our home number, so I didn't get the message until almost 9pm Wednesday night. Note that I did ask to be contacted on my cell phone during business hours when I initially filed the claim. So then I tried calling the claim agent back all day, but he was out of the office. I finally got in touch with him at like 6pm, after I had already gotten the rental from Enterprise. He said that he'd try to get the rental covered from today but that he couldn't guarantee anything. What annoys me about all this is that my car should have been at a body shop two days ago and this shouldn't even be an issue.

In the end though, I think I'd rather pay the $25 a day to drive a car that I know to be structurally sound rather than one that's been declared "driveable" by someone who hasn't ever even looked at it. At most I'll be out $75 or so, since my car will be at the dealership by Monday morning.

But the whole thing is a hassle. I even had to give a recorded statement over the phone today, and I won't hear that the company has accepted liability for the accident until sometime tomorrow when the claims agent gets it authorized by his manager. Does Maryland not have the blanket rear-ending law anymore? I'm pretty sure they did in 2004.

Anyway, I'm headed back to the Briar tomorrow morning, for homecoming weekend. Should be good times. May or may not have internet access at the hotel. Either way, have a good weekend, and I'll leave you with a much happier picture than the ones posted below: Max helping Matt play computer games:

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Updates

1. I have got to say, the people at Nationwide have been SUPER nice in all my dealings with them so far. If we ever need to switch insurance companies, they're at the top of the list in my book.

2. Further damage - not apparent from the pictures, but the back frame (underneath the very large dent in the bumper) is bent in a good bit, and the gas tank door is no longer flush with the side of the car. Actually, I guess you can see that in the second picture, but I didn't notice it until I got gas today. (Upon additional examination, I found that this is due to the fact that the right rear quarter-panel is bent in. There's also a small dent in the right rear door; the wheel well is likely bent outwards). Amazingly though, not a single light bulb was broken.

3. I did end up with some delayed-onset neck pain - because my head went back during the impact, the muscle on the front left side of my neck is fairly sore today. Nothing a few ibuprofen can't fix so far.

4. Driving through the intersection where it happened, there are tire tracks from my car where I was pushed forward, but no tire tracks behind them from his van.

5. I don't have a rental car yet, because Nationwide wasn't able to get in touch with the guy who hit me yesterday, but they assured me that it would be taken care of by the end of the business day today.

6. People do not tailgate you when the back of your car is smashed in. I don't know if they feel sorry for you, or if they think you're the type of person to slam on the brakes suddenly, but it's been nice.

Monday, September 17, 2007

A little more than a bump

This is what happens when you stop for a red light and the van behind you doesn't.




My poor car :-(

(p.s. Don't worry, I'm okay)

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Yikes

In typical government bureaucracy fashion, the MPEP (Manual of Patent Examining Procedure) is over 3100 pages. Is this what I have to look forward to by the end of 2008? Stay tuned.

Starter husband???

Seriously, what is wrong with the world today. Quote from the article: "Marriage is the new dating and having kids is the new marriage." Ugh.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

I <3 college football

Even when it doesn't <3 me. Although I have moved up in the ESPN rankings so far; I'm currently ranked 3540 with 97.5% correct. But I've been let down by Louisville, and I think I'm about to be let down by Georgia Tech as well (for a total of 15 points there). It doesn't matter in my group as much since we all picked L and GT, but I like to do well overall too (being a *girl* and everything). I'm not too concerned about the 3 points for Nebraska and Notre Dame. Man, the sports commentators have been *nasty* to ND today. Nebraska looked good at the beginning but I guess they kind of fell apart after a while. And I just couldn't pick Michigan, on principle. I hope we don't have to pick any more of their games. And what's this I just heard, Duke won a game for the first time in two years?? Something is truly wrong with the universe.

But in terms of points it looks like I'm going to do even worse than last week, and last week was pretty lousy :-(

UPDATE - WOW that was disgusting. I'm still leading my team (even though I came in 4th for this week - only 4 correct picks) but I've dropped to 22,410 on ESPN. I don't think I was ever this low last year :-( Damn you Louisville, Georgia Tech, BYU and Colorado!!! Three of you should NOT have lost.

Other randomness follows.

I luuuuuuurve the Origins Cocoa Therapy, which I tried out for the first time tonight! They smell so yummy.

I did my monthly Let's Dish today - shrimp scampi, rosemary steaks, pasta purses with garlic bread, southern crispy chicken with ranch potato chips, prosciutto-wrapped chicken and bruchetta chicken. Yum. Luckily I decided to make my appointment for 1:30 today, because I didn't get up until noon!

We have to start getting up earlier on Sundays because my sunday school class has started up again. This time we're doing "Really Bad Girls of the Bible."

Less than one week until SBC Homecoming!!

Uhhh...I think that's it. Happy Caturday :-)

Friday, September 14, 2007

IP humor

So the class that I'm taking, Legal Aspects of Biotechnology, is obviously mostly about intellectual property. One of the main portions of the class is threaded discussions, where the professor puts up 5-8 questions and we are expected to answer at least two independently and then continue to discuss our classmates' responses for a minimum number of postings. I noticed that an additional question had been added to the first unit, asking for a "top ten" style listing of important things to know about intellectual property. Credit goes to Peter Gabriele (no, not the singer) for putting together a worthy list:

1. When you learn prior art is not a painting.
Before you set your hair on fire and think you have just invented the wheel you should do a novelty search or patentability search before execution of the application.

2. When your notebook is more important than Nicholas Sparks’.
In the US the rule is “first to invent” and as such the proof to this is witnessed in a bound, dated and countersigned notebook. This is particularly important if there is a question of priority date of invention.

3. When “first to file” has nothing to do with your fingernails.
Outside of the US the general rule of priority is the first to file a patent application. This was one of the motivations of the Provisional Patent Application to get a “filed” priority date.

4. When “offensive rights” does not mean you can mouth off for 20 years.
Having a patent granted gives the inventor exclusionary rights to prevent others from practicing his/her invention and is often called an offensive right.

5. When Small Entity Declaration has nothing to do with your anatomy.
Patents are not just for big guys. If you are an independent inventor or a non-profit organization you can get your fees minimized.

6. The only time you can use the term “broad” and not get pinched for sexual harassment.
Once you begin drafting the patent you would like your claims to be manageably broad enough so you can have more latitude in property rights.

7. When your whole world collapses.
As an inventor you have to have a global mentality because laws are different in different parts of the world. If you disclose your invention in the US before taking consideration to filing dates you can lose world wide filing rights.

8. Crying in your beer over not so secret a secret.
One of the first decisions an inventor has to make is trade secret v. patenting. If they do it right the trade secret can last forever. However, one weakness is if the “secret” is discovered independently and patented the guy with the secret can lose it all.

9. When you find out that the word treble is not a musical term.
It is important to understand the patent laws because the penalty for infringement and willful infringement on top of that is triple financial damages.

10. A free $10,000 tattoo and 20 years to watch the ink dry.
It is critical to be honest in your patent pursuit because the penalty of perjury is 10 years prison and $10,000 fine.

Blinded me with science

Top 20 most bizarre scientific experiments - a lot of these would probably be shot down by IRBs today. I might get this book though, the online list is pretty darn interesting.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Holy crapoli, it's Wednesday already?

Where is this week going??

I've been working my patootie off at work trying to finish up the data for the (very brief) paper I'm about to write. Should have that done soon. I was at work until almost 8pm last night.

Went to the dentist this morning, everything checked out fine. My mouth is still a little sore. Ibuprofen is my friend.

Did another fMRI research study - this one paid in cash, whoopie! That money will be going towards shoes from Piperlime...which are supposed to be delivered tomorrow, whoopie!

Aaand my package from Origins is at the house...mmmm chocolate bath.

Now if I could just get my stinkin' snowman t-shirt! It was supposed to be in stock on the 6th, and it's said "On order, due in shortly" for the past week. Boo!

So I found out this week (Monday) that the paperwork for my class *had never been submitted* because they were missing my inter-divisional registration request (AKA "green sheet"). I filled that out on Monday afternoon. Tuesday I find out that the class is full!! But I was able to get permission from the professor and the host department chair to take the class. My registrar resubmitted the paperwork, and AAP tried to process it yesterday - and got a system error. Sigh. They're contacting the help desk, but as of now I *still* have no course access. And I've missed the first week of class. Good freaking grief, what a mess.

UPDATE: As of 9pm, I am finally in the class!!!
UPDATE 2: 11:30pm...textbooks ordered!

I absolutely LOVE this song...it's so pretty:

When your words come too easily for me to believe
And this paint goes on too thinly to peel away
I will find a silver lining sometime
Blur my vision, and I'll be fine, and I'll be fine

Burn the pages of the magazines, I hate the way they look at me
With every smile and every laugh, there's something I will always lack
And maybe, just maybe, an imperfect me will not be seen

When your words burn forever in my mind
And those greens and those blues seem too perfect to be true
I will light a fire every time I think to myself
"I will be fine, I will be fine"

Burn the pages of the magazines, I hate the way they look at me
With every smile and every laugh, there's something I will always lack
And maybe, just maybe, an imperfect me will not be seen

And I'll go on silently, and I'll be strong fortunately
This beauty is not clear to me, to me, to me
To me, to me, to me....to me, to me, to me

Burn the pages of the magazines, I hate the way they look at me
With every smile and every laugh, there's something I will always lack
And maybe, just maybe, just maybe
This beauty will be clearer to me...to me...to me
-Jupiter Sunrise, This Beauty

Sunday, September 09, 2007

It is finished!!


One thousand pieces in all its glory. Can you believe it actually took longer to get the framing completed than it did to actually do the puzzle? Michaels messed up the mat order; instead of giving me a 28x19 mat they entered a 28x19 image, to which the computer automatically added a 2" border. I ended up taking it because it still looked okay on the bigger mat and I didn't want to send it back to have it recut and wait another two weeks. So I just exchanged the framing pieces I had bought for bigger ones.

I'm not sure if it's obvious from the picture - the matting is midnight blue, 2 1/2", with a 1/4" black frame.

Sigh

GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR.

Damn upsets. The highest score in my group this week was a 39/55 (I got 38). But the stupid Auburn game dropped me from 99.1% to 93.2%. What in the world was the stupid coach thinking, running out the clock to force the overtime instead of running a play or two in the last 30-ish seconds to get the field goal kicker, who hadn't missed a kick and had a career best of 49 yards in this game, close enough to seal the lead??

I guess I can take a little comfort in the fact that the average points for this week was 16.7, and the best was only 40 - holy crap. *Okay, for some reason the individual totals updated last night and the averages didn't. Lame. The average was 31.4, and at least 7 people did manage to pick all 10 games correctly...including one person who also had a perfect week last week.*

Auburn, Georgia, Michigan, Washington, and yes, VT all = lamers this week. Sigh. Hopefully next week will be better :-(

I need a shower.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Eric is a TRAITOR!!

How could a VT alum pick LSU in College Pick'em?? Please turn in your Hokie Passport immediately.

And goddammit, Michigan, what is WRONG with you?? 32-7 at halftime? In your OWN stadium? You're officially on the suck list for the rest of the season. I can't vote for you anymore, out of principle.

So it looks like I'm going to be down at least 5 points this week. Matt McHugh copied all my picks again, and we had a healthy lead on everyone else, but he ranked the Michigan and Boise State games higher than me! Barring any major upsets, I should still be good in the group at least. No, I don't count Michigan as an upset anymore. I was willing to say that maybe they were just having a bad week or got caught off guard or something. Now they're just losers. Bleh.

Didn't win the poster session. Bleh.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Belated birthday goodness

I got a card from Matt's grandma today with extra birthday monies :-D So I snapped up Cocoa Therapy from Origins (body butter, scrub, body wash) and the pre-order for the new PostSecret book! It'll ship on October 9th. Speaking of shipping, my snowman shirt which was supposed to be in stock today is listed as "in shortly" AGAIN. Grrr.

So...data! Not a home run, but a decent bunt to first base. I'll get a short paper out of it anyways.

Nothing yet on the class. Stupid registrar. Maybe tomorrow.

"Data is a four-letter word" - Ted

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Who was your first?

Carly and Matt made me do it.

1. Who was your first prom date?
Jason Strohman

2. Do you still talk to your first love?
Nope

3. What was your first alcoholic drink?
Some kind of wine at Robin Brown's house

4. What was your first job?
Summer intern at a navy biology lab

5. What was your first car?
'91 Honda Civic

6. Who was the first person you texted today?
Matt IMed me

7. Who is the first person you thought of this morning?
Does Max count? Because he was practically sitting on my head. Otherwise, Matt

8. Who was your first grade teacher?
I don't remember...moved around too much. I don't remember any teachers before 3rd grade.

9. Where did you go on your first ride on an airplane?
Detroit

10. When you snuck out of your house for the first time, who was it with?
I never snuck out of the house. I was the good child.

11. Who was your first best friend and are you still friends with them?
Martha? That's the first one I can remember. And not really, anymore.

12. Where was your first sleep over?
I don't know, but I know I lived in South Carolina at the time. Again, too much moving

13. Who was the first person you talked to this morning?
Same as #7 - Max or Matt

14. Whose wedding were you in the first time?
My parents'

15. What is the first thing you do in the morning?
Hit the snooze button

16. What was the first concert you ever went to?
Barenaked Ladies at the MCI Center in 1999

17. First tattoo or piercing?
Ears, at 13

18. First foreign country you went to?
Canada

19. First crush?
Did I have amnesia before third grade?? The farthest back I can remember is B.J. Jacobs

20. When was your first detention?
Umm...sixth or seventh grade. For talking. Big surprise there.

21. What was the first state you lived in?
New Jersey

22. Who was the first person to break your heart?
Good grief, again with the third grade...Nick Perrine

23. Who was your first roommate?
Jennea

24. Who will be the first to repost this?
I'm actually shocked that Matt already posted this, so I have no idea.

25. Whats your first thought about this person you copied this from after reading this survey and learning too much about them?
I am sooooo jealous that Carly went to HFS!!

Repost as "Who Was Your First?"

**So in summary, I apparently did not exist until I was 7 or 8 years old aside from December 9, 1983 and a sleepover somewhere in South Carolina. Weird.**

So close to success?

So...the additional charge was from the increase in medical/dental insurance payments that went into effect July 1st. Except all the graduate students were paid through August 31st. And the B.O. didn't let *anyone* know that there was an increase in premiums.

So. Premium increase paid Tuesday. Wednesday morning, I check my student account - $0.00 balance, account is listed in current standing, AND THE HOLD IS STILL THERE. Incredible. After all that I STILL had to call the B.O. and tell them "I don't have a balance, my account is current, get rid of this hold."

Finally, I was able to go to the registrar's office (in person this time) and have them resubmit the paperwork to the other division. So, I've done everything I can do on my end, and now I'm just waiting and hoping that AAP processes it.

Grand total: 36 e-mails, 7 phone calls, one office visit, 5 business days. The woman I called about getting temporary course access never got back to me either. Ugh.

Cross your fingers...

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Awesome Saturday

Good weekend so far:
~Hokies win!
~Perfect score for week one in College Pick'em! (But so did Matt McHugh, grrr...as well as a buttload of other people, I'm sure).
~Concert was awesome! Lloyd Dobler Effect was great live (played Meet Me In London, Radio, Our Countries, and a bunch of other good songs). The Bridge was a great jam band, Jimmie's Chicken Shack rocked, and of course, VaCo!

Set list: Green and Grey, Lonely Cowboy, That's What You Said, This is Him (Hurricane Song), Santa Fe, Lean On Me, Johnny Wonder, Likeness, Stars Align, Walk To Work

Pics:
At the show!

Lloyd Dobler Effect

The Bridge

Jimmie's Chicken Shack

Virginia Coalition

And today, I got my THIRD Fark headline! Oh, and I finished my PK homework and got that turned in, and did the revisions on a lab grant for someone. I think I'm going to have a Drumstick (TM) now.

The melody takes us someplace where we'd all like to stay
And all of your good love comes my way...This is our holiday
- The Clintons

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Happy September!!

T-minus 18 minutes until HOKIE FOOTBALL!!

AAAAAAND 6 hours until The Lloyd Dobler Effect, The Bridge, Jimmie's Chicken Shack, and Virginia Coalition!!

:-D