Spider Hatchlings

Spider hatch
Last night I opened the back door and stepped in to a spider hatch. Opening the door tore apart the web sack that had kept them bundled, so they cascaded down the door and hovered in the air in front of me. I ended up torching most of them because otherwise they’ll end up in my computer and/or shoes. Both of those things annoy me, so I used Michelle’s creme brulé scorcher to make quick work of them. Heartless I know. And I’ve killed an excellent predator, but how do you feel when a spider comes out of the cracks between your keyboard and walks across your hand?

I thought so.


Michelle and I saw Syriana recently and I’m still thinking about it. The movie is superb, and I think it’s probably the best synthesis of the knot of our issues in the middle east. I recommend everyone see it, think about it, then realize how stable and rich your lives are.

Poppler Effect

Here’s another phrase I’ll release for the public good:

poppler effect
Pronunciation: pop-lur e-fect
Function: noun
1 : The volume of the music in your car is directly proportional to how bad it is.
2: Bad music travels faster than good music.
3: When played at the same volume, bad music will cancel out good music.

The measuring unit for this phenomenon is r&Bs. Like decibels (dB), it is a logarithmic scale. The SI system also uses c&w (country and western). The conversion rate is (r&B * 1.06) = c&w

It’s time to switch brushes…

Ants on toothbrush

when you wake up to this. We are exeriencing a hatch of ants or something and they’re getting bolder. I’ve been watching flickers eat ants from the cracks in the sidewalks, but none seem willing to come to our aid. Looks like I’ll have to start being more proactive.

To me, it seems the only thing more symbiotic would be if I just let the ants in to my mouth at night to do the cleaning. Michelle’s not so sure.

Review this

This spring I will be participating in a qualifying review as part of my graduate program to identify what I’ve done and what deficiencies exist in pursuing my research interests. I found out yesterday who was on my review committee, and also found out that one of the committee members would not be here for the entire month of May. So, after a flurry of e-mails, we established the review date for this coming Monday morning.

Oh crap.

So part of the review is to present the committee with a portfolio of previous work and a personal essay describing my interest in geography, what my research interests are, what classes I’ve taken and how they’ve contributed to my research interests, my future course work, my thesis topic, and my professional objectives. And it’s due 2 weeks before the review.

So in a second flourish of activity, I pulled together my previous coursework and crashed a late-night essay with an early morning editing session followed by Michelle’s more professional editing (“Shouldn’t this be more sciency?”). I managed to turn in the slightly abbreviated portfolio within 24 hours of finding out the slightly abbreviated timeline. Necessity can be a great thing.

Now back to my other two classes.

No need for alarm

I set my alarm for 5am this morning, even though I knew it would be moot point.

4:50am: Barley gets up and walks up to the side of the bed, asking to get on.
4:58am: Tigger wanders over to our bedroom door and starts demanding attention.
5:00am: Alarm goes off, but I’m already so alert knowing that it’s going to go off I’m able to stop it just a matter of milliseconds after the first beep. Covers are reapplied to warm reduced and unmotivated core.
5:03am: Tigger feels we haven’t addressed his concerns quickly enough, submits a second request.
5:12am: Neighbor starts aging Honda and leaves for work. Workaholic.
5:16am: Neighbor cat with weird voice start’s it’s morning chatter.
5:18am: I have sufficiently rewarmed after having prematurely kicked off the covers. To the shower.

Anatomy of a clogged drain

Recent house guests may remember how slowly the bathroom sink drained. Well, I took apart the trap and I think I found the problem. I’ve decided to link to the picture as a courtesy for the weak stomached. It drains faster now, but still not as quickly as I’d like. I tried snaking the line, but the snake wouldn’t make the 90 degree turn down into the stack. I opened a plug below the drain and snaked up and down without any problems, so I’m guessing the drain speed is just a limitation of the system. Or maybe there’s something at the 90. At least it drains now.

Junk Science

I clicked on a link from Fark regarding the top-ten Junk Science issues of the last decade and felt a growing unease about the quality of the article. It was Fox news, but I figured “science is science… that’s universal, right?”

Well, wrong. Luckily, it appears that the Fark community caught the utter tripe for what it was. This is one of the first times I’ve gone to bed with a better feeling about humanity. If we can pick out misleading propaganda like this, we’re doing something right. Right?