24 February 2006

23 February 2006

memory lane

Are you counting backwards from 172,800 also?
It's funny how mid 40's in the spring seems so much warmer than mid 40's in the fall. Ber and I almost considered dining al fresco today because it's so nice! It was a wonderful lunch, the falafel of life and mjaddra of life were very tasty indeed.
Speaking of ber, let me take you down memory lane. My friend in high school, Liz, and I used to say "beer me". Not because we were a bunch of underage lushes, but because it seemed like a cool thing to say. And, as a nerd, I was desperate to sound cool. Come to think of it, things haven't really changed much. Anyhoo...
So, we very well couldn't write "beer me" all over our notebooks, lest we attract negative attention from the teachers. Didn't we have a duty as members of the esteemed 1992-1993 Academic Challenge (I wasn't lying when I said I was a nerd) team to be a tad more...creative? So we decided to write "ber me" and put a triangle over the beer which symbolized the long e sound that one sees in the dictionary. Pretty clever huh? I still have my red binder from high school with the words "Ber me" looming large near some Magnolia Inc. drawings. It's older than sin and I love it. I'm thinking I'll use it to bind my thesis so that it can collect dust in a color besides boring black. Ber me. :) ljs

21 February 2006

Beta Version: poor mousey knees!

No, I don't slaughter mice in my spare time. I just zap their body parts with a "laser". Here's a beta for my methodology of an abstract I'm working on. I just wish that my CV could be as lively.
Happy Tuesday y'all. :)

Methods: Many mice knees were stored in a frozen boozy concoction until we removed them from their somewhat happy homes. Although it could be argued that a living warm body is the happiest home for mice, we just won’t go there. We stuck the knee joints under a laser and zapped them with some red light for a few minutes. Somewhere in those few minutes we somehow collected "data" in the shape of funny squiggles at specific points on the video screen. Then we tried to make the data look good. Actually, we tried really hard because it took four software packages, three averaging processes, two overt failures and a partridge in a pear tree. Despite the merry mélange of manipulation, we still managed to get errors in the ballpark of 20-120 %. So, I guess what I’m trying to say is take this data with a mine of salt.

20 February 2006

Paczki paradise

Happy Packzi day everyone! (yes, a week early!)
You DO know what a Paczki is right? No?! {sigh}
A paczki is a delightful Polish donut that is made with flour, jelly, about 20 egg yolks, milk and rum. Then deep fried. Yum. These little guys are potent, sometimes packing in over 500 calories and 29 grams of fat into a small 4 inch sphere of good eats. But, the ones I picked up to take to school for tommorow *only* has 400 calories and 16 grams of fat. Oh the goodness. Yum. Yum. Yum. After the paczki deluge tommorow, I'll be passing out!!


18 February 2006

More MBS!

Just to let y'all know that, just because Michigan has blue skies twice in one week, the world is not going to end anytime soon. We do get sunshine on a fairly regular basis, I think a study showed we get ~69 days of full sun a year, but unfortunately it seems like most of those 69 days is crunched into the summer. In December, we had 14 minutes of sunshine. Isn't that a totally enticing reason to move to Michigan? ;)
Partly cloudy forecasts is something of an art form for Michigan folk, I've learned to take those two words with a grain of salt. (I wonder if Dali had lived in Michigan would he have painted melting clouds?) "Partly cloudy" can mean anything from 0.00001 to 99.99999% cloudy. Cloudy forecasts means one thing-that you should make a big batch of hot cocoa, cover up in bed, and snuggle with your loved ones 'cause the sun ain't going to come out.
Holy cow, I've just made a blog talking about the weather?!? Yikes.
Keep warm, have some hot cocoa and hug your pets.
:) lady jane scarlett
PS: Next week's forecast? Sunshine! Heaven knows it's been too long already...

17 February 2006

I am Spartacus, er, I mean, I am Lady Jane Scarlett

I've been hooked on Hyperion ever since Dominque introduced me to his mailing list. His treatise on the death of EAP alone is the best work of short fiction (or is it non-fiction?) I've read lately. Since then, his mailings evolved into a web page that is just plain awesome. Where else can you go for your daily diet of pop fiction, conspiracy theories, snark, great top 10's and lots of teddy-bear love? Now he's getting into the Monkey Barn. I visit it every day in relative anonymity. But, I've been posting on his sites using my pirate name "Lady Jane Scarlett" and he's writing about the origin of the name and he's a'lookin for answers. So, here it is. Pancho and I made up the name over the holidays. Speaking of whom, 'good luck' today. But, awesome point. I now have a new nickname! And next year...I can be Dr. Lady Jane Scarlett! {snerk}

So, feel the hyperion love. Check out his website. Ber, you'll *heart* it also.
(PS: I rented "Strange Brew" this weekend, so I'm going to saturate myself in some good ole 1980's Canadian humor.)

Eh! :) lady jane scarlett


Say ya to da hand!

Us Michiganders have a unique accent, consider this link to be a translation guide. Hee!


14 February 2006

Four Winds

I had written this a year ago for a poetry contest. This was the first poem that I've had the chutzpah to let others read. Alas, a poem about cow-shaped cream and sugar containers won the contest (no, I'm not kidding). But, I've gotten a bit less shy about sharing my writing. Still...I may take this off da Blog because I'd still like to work on it.
One should never ever read Neil Gaimon whilest listening to the Grateful Dead because it makes for some seriously fucked up metaphors. (And this was before I discovered the music of Ryan Adams) Neil was writing about the Four Horsemen motorcycling through England, Jerry was singing about "the four winds carry you safely home" and I thought how messed up our world would be if the four winds were actually dominated by the Four Horsemen (war, famine, Death, and pestilence). Ouch.

Well, that was last year. And as a sage gal once said " Back then, we were both younger. But then again, weren't we all?"
:) kd

PS: I want to ditch the "kd" moniker. Prizes aplenty for someone who has ideas for a better nickname, preferably one that's not ball-n-chained to my previous relationships.


May the four winds carry you to me

through time, eternity, lust and trust

to the soul of my everything.

Let me rest easy in your embrace where

your bright eyes fill me with loving grace.

May the four winds carry you safely home

where North, South, West and East kiss

your words and scatter doubts amiss.

Come back to me, darling, I am alone

sailing on the open seas.

May the four winds carry us back

from fracture, shame, rage and fear.

In want of joy, our paths adrift;

my solitude greets Eros in the East.

Through the day and into the night

our game, I’ll play with you.

Your silence I’ll bear despite regret.

The West has to carry you home yet.

May the four winds yield my cries

across the desert and into your ears.

My tears broken by North’s cold

and your lies I curse and rue.

May the four winds know your home

so the four horsemen can raise their fete;

create a vortex of just desserts.

Their breath fades our memories.

Yet now I wonder what to do,

for still I am one instead of with you.

Now these four winds carry me safely home;

an iron maiden of resolve, mistrust, lust and love.

The rest of my days

torture me with delight.

13 February 2006

Beta Version: Watch your eyes!

I ran across another choice beta version, this one for a research paper soon to be published. At this point, let me reiterate that these betas are not really meant to see the light of day. Although I'm pretty sure that this beta version would induce a snark from even the most stoic professor. As one can guess, my supposed field of speciality is cartilage and finding new methods to detect arthritis early. So, be nice to me. Someday your knees will thank you.
On another note, I recently learned that one of my professors has passed away. Dr. Sacks was a kind man, and a brilliant scholar. He knew how to make molecules fly, and he will be missed.
Now onto our regularly scheduled program. May the Schwartz be with you. :) kd

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a bad, horrible disease. The chance that you’ll get it increases as you age. Sorry to tell you this. In addition to personal pain and discomfort, this is also an economic burden on insurers and employers because really…who wants to work when they’re in pain? Hey, here’s some more good news. The current way of detecting OA is inserting a stick into your joint, moving it around and taking pictures of the area. You’ll likely have some young punk doctor playing around with your area of pain with a small rubber hammer, asking astute questions like “does this hurt”. If this invasive and demeaning method is appealing, then by all means continue to vote Republicans who like to decimate the NIH budget for breakfast and suppress technological advancements in their spare time. Anyhoo.

Diagnosis of disease by looking at eye tissue is rather appealing because it is non-invasive and most people see the eye doctor on a yearly basis, especially those older folks who have bad eyesight. There is precedent for diagnosis of diabetes, cataracts, and macular degeneration via analysis of ocular tissue using lasers. The last two applications are kinda no-brainers, but the first one is pretty rocking huh? The trick is to develop a method that uses a laser at low enough power so that the Einsteins at your local DOC don’t ruin your eyes with their newest 2 watt laser/toy.

12 February 2006

Rare Michigan species found!

This news just in! Wolverines and Spartans alike have observed the Michigan Blue Sky in February! Typically seen only in the summer and fall, the MBS has graced naturalists with a dazzling display of azure and teal hues. Accompanying the MBS in a beautiful confluence is the misanthropic Distant Yellow Orb (or, in technical terms, sunshine). This amazing, and seasonally variable, display of both MSB and D-Yo is cause for a long and pleasant run through beautiful snow-covered parks.

10 February 2006

Slacker Panache

I guess that, sometimes, it's just about looking busy. Of all the things I've done today, not a single one of them is/was/ever shall be considered productive. Throwing a post on da Blog (ooh, nice name for this page-it's a throwback to da Word, which was a WJU "production" of Dave, Chachi, 'Boodle and Orim) was not originally on the list of things to (not) do, but it's not like I have anything else to do.
Lest I subject you to anymore of my ennui and pull into the ebon abyss of slacker-dom, check out this very useful link. It will make you more productive.

:) kd

07 February 2006

scientific progress gone boink!

Of the all the things I could comment on in the article, the only *safe* thing to say is that I liked the author's use of "irony gland". The reason why I say *safe* is that the newly-appointed FBI agent who is spying on me does not yet understand my sarcasm, dirty jokes, and wit. I'd hate to try to earn my Ph.D. whilst in prison.
(um, yeah. Maybe I shouldn't wake up listening to reports of the Senate's meetings with Gonzales that are about the fact that yes, we are being spied upon with impunity) Next week I may unleash my full sarcastic wrath upon y'all. Until then, stay vertical. Especially you, Secret Agent Man.
:) kd

(copy and paste the link, techno-phobe here hasn't quite mastered the whole "url" function yet. duh.)


(update 9.2.06-heh. i figured out the oh so tricksy http function. so you can click away at the link with abandon.)

06 February 2006

I *heart* Superfan

Note the flags on superfan's homepage: US flag, UM, and Pirates. Ahhh, life is good. All the Yost Arena hockey chants are found here too and if you're ever in town during a game, I highly recommend going.
I heard a new chant last Wednesday:
"Hey ref, get off your knees 'cause you're blowing the game". Nice eh?
Go Blue!

:) kd


04 February 2006

Beta Version: Bio-mechanics

I never start writing papers, grants etc in a form that is suitable for public viewing. My 'beta versions' are just a fun way to get out of my head: my thoughts, sarcasm and the initial pessimism that always accompanies the onset of my projects. Stream-of-consciousness grant writing anyone? Some projects lend themselves better to 'beta version' treatment than others. OK, who am I kidding? All of my projects are totally snark-a-rific. (you like the new word Pancho?)
Enjoy. :) kd

We will use the Raman microscope as described above to probe for chemical responses to mechanical pressure on femur condyle heads. A loading device was designed in-house by someone who is obviously not an engineer, because I had to redesign the femur insert and how it was loaded onto the device. And I'm so not an engineer either but at least I know to make the holes big enough for the sample. Apparently, I'm going to add a weight on one end of said device and the other end (where the femur is) is going to "experience" a force that's 4X the weight. How we'll quantify the force that the femur is "experiencing" was apparently not thought of by the wunder-kind designer. However, there is a transducer that I can purchase. Basically the mechanical stuff is, in my humble opinion, just something I'm doing to make my co-advisor happy. I have no hope, trust, or optimism that we'll see the changes in the cartilage because a) I've shown that we're not looking at cartilage, but rather the subchondral bone and b) the forces that we're theoretically applying is not enough to induce damage. Come to think of it, I'm not sure I have any optimism with regards to my project.


Rainbow teas

To pay homage to my liberal-leaning tendencies (Clinton/McCain '08), I've made it a point to try each and every "color" of tea there is. A rainbow of tea flavors, of sorts. So far, I've tried: white, black, red, orange, yellow, green, jasmine, blue(berry) and pink (grapefruit).
If you know of any good purple teas, please let me know! I'm not sure black currant tea counts.
:) kd

03 February 2006

Howie loves Doritos!

My cat is addicted to Doritos! He prefers the Nacho Cheese ones. Just like me!
:) kd


I'd forgotten that I had a blog (blonde moment). Hence the long break.
I'm looking at my hands while typing and realizing how old they look. I mean, I can see the veins. Dammit. Thankfully, no wrinkles yet. It must be all the pirating that's keeping me young. Arrrgh!
I'm back in the land of grey skies, welcome to Michigan.
Words cannot describe how wonderful it is to simply be in the presence of someone who makes you smile from the inside out. I mean, it seems like my smile is the willing vassal to a joyous soul. And it's a smile for the person that he is, with all his kindness and warmth and exuberance and joy.
I guess that there are so many reminders that we are capable of love if we just let it happen. Every time I think of Dunkin Donuts I smile because I am reminded of that sunrise, when sunshine came into my life.