Wednesday, January 27, 2010

New Cat

On November 9th we lost our cat, Sophie. We are not sure what got her, but it appears to have been an animal (or large bird) of some sort. Then I had my detour into the Land of Frayed Nerves so a new cat seemed out of the question. But the house felt empty somehow and so we have acquired a new terror cat. As yet nameless, this homicidal jungle cat ball of fur spent her entire life (8 months) in the shelter. We were told she was mean to people, didn't like to be held, but was alright around other cats. Nothing could be further from the truth. No-name cat, or Good Grief as Husband likes to call her, is just a bundle of love. If you don't pick her up every so often, she will try to climb up your leg to be held. She is fascinated by water and will join you in the shower (or on the toilet, or when you wash dishes, or when you brush your teeth, or water your plants...), is scared of noises (such as the heater, the dishwasher, the washing machine, the dryer, the vacuum, the creaking chair, you breathing...) and does not appreciate other cats at all. She has the weirdest coloration (dilute long haired calico). Here are some pictures to get you acquainted. Some names being considered at the moment: Dharma and Dasha.

Feed the Fish Widget

I have added a little "feed the fish" widget to my blog but since I don't publish to blogger but an ftp (whatever that means) layouts and widgets and everything fun is extremely limited and complicated. Thus I don't know how to add the instructions that you should just click anywhere within the widget and you leave blue particles of food, which the fish will gobble up. It's cute (I think) and a total waste of time. Enjoy!!!

On a similar note - I may be moving this blog to blogger so I can have a run at the cooler templates and layouts and if I am really ambitious, I will create my own and even my own website. But I've been saying that for some time and nothing happens... I'll keep you posted.

Egg Holders

When we lived in Russia, we used to have egg holders that included a saucer in their design, excellent for discarding egg shells and resting the spoon. When we moved to the States my mom decided not bring them, figuring that such an obvious thing would be easily purchased here. Ha! More than 10 years later she still hadn't found such a design, and so for Xmas I decided to get her some. After much searching I found several sites, most of them in the UK (and some antique shops) that sold these egg holders, but they were going for about $20 a piece. Then I found an outlet that sold plain white ones for just $2 each. Suspicious, I ordered 6 of them. What arrived was bisque, which is clay fired once (so it is solid and will not crumble) but not glazed (so it is porous and can't be used for anything much. I am very familiar with bisque because I used to work at a 'paint your own pottery' studio all through high school and college, but sadly, the nearest such place was quiet far. Still, I could disappoint my mom! So over Xmas vacation, Husband and I headed to this studio and painted mom's egg holders. Here they are before and after baking:

I should mention that it took a ridiculously long time for the studio to get it's act together and ship these guys, so mom just got them yesterday. She seems to like them.

PS: there is one mistake in color coordination here, an you located it?
PPS: the colors on the underside of each dish match the color in the egg whole. It's all very symmetric.

Lab Humor

I got a hold of a camera today so it will be a day of many posts to make up for my recent hiatus. As some of you may remember I work in a lab as a technician. Basically I do data collection and minds more educated than me do the analysis. We are in essence a molecular evolution (systematics, phylogenetics and population genetics of bacteria) lab. It is great fun and I love it. This semester I got off my lazy tuchas and am taking a course that will hopefully expand my understanding of data analysis performed in my lab, which in turn may lead to me being more involved in some of it. In the meantime, there other things to keep me entertained:

I constructed this little guy on a whim and left him in our lab just before Xmas. The next day he was gone but reappeared in another part of the building. For weeks he continued to mysteriously travel around the complex we are in, until I finally returned him to our lab.

I can't take credit for this one, but it cracks me up every time I walk by:

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Donating to Haiti Relief Efforts

CNN has a really nice donation page in response to the earthquake in Haiti. You can find it here. From experience, I know that Doctors without Borders takes location specific donations (at least in theory). This page breaks charities down by the type of help they offer.