Friday, April 28, 2006


I'm glad to see that Jessica from GFY has finally broken up with Lindsay Lohan. Its been a long time coming.
Oh, and if you're a girl? and you like shoes? like I do? Take a look at those shoes she's wearing in the 'coming' link. They ARE the cutest shoes EVAH. My mom called me the other day and this post was one of the things she wanted to talk to me about, and we said almost simultaneously how unbelieveably cute those shoes were. I MUST HAVE THEM.

Also, the bluebirds. I haven't checked the nest since the last update, but I need to do it soon. Like tonight. Anyhow, I don't really know what happened to those other eggs. Its a mystery. I noticed the last time I had looked before they hatched that they mother had sorted the eggs out, and the chickadee eggs were kind of pushed off to the side. So its possible that they weren't warm enough and they didn't hatch. I don't THINK she got them out of the nest, at least I haven't seen any evidence to suggest that. So, I'm thinking when the baby bluebirds fledge, we're going to find some nasty old eggs underneath them.

UPDATE: I fixed the link above. Go drool over some shoes!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Hey, all you stats people!

I know you're out there. And you too, Eve. I know you're not a statistician, but every other post on your blog contains the word 'regression'.
Anyhow, this will be right up your alley (via the Consumerist). Although, did he use Excel?? Oh, no he DIN'T.
(Actually, it might be Prism, not Excel)

Basically, this is 'how to commute effectively for nerds'.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Suri update

Consultation with a baby name book has led to the following meaning for 'Suri':
"Just thought I would let you know that I looked up Suri in our name book and it means "pointy nose." The origin is given as Todas which means nothing to me."

That didn't mean anything to me either, but again Wikipedia has proven fruitful by telling me that the Todas are members of a small, pastoral tribe in Southern India.

Tom and Katie, you still suck.

(I really used to like Katie Holmes too. Did you see Pieces of April? That was good.)

Bring on the fakeness

They have this new yogurt now, Activia, which is advertised to 'help naturally regulate your digestive system'. God knows I could use a bit of help regulating my digestive system, so that I do not have to become so familiar with all of the public restrooms on my way to work, and/or within a 20 mile radius of wherever I am at any moment. Of course I picked this up as soon as I saw it at the store.
I've had these 8 little cups for about three weeks now and I've still got two left (even though you're specifically told to eat it EVERY DAY by the annoying girl on the commercial) because it tastes kind of icky to me. I cannot put my finger on what part of it I don't like, but there's something. I was thinking that perhaps it was these beneficial 'live, active cultures' and 'bifidus regularis' that I wasn't nuts about, but I really think these same things are in EVERY yogurt, and that Dannon is just marketing their fancy bacteria.
Upon further reflection, I think its probably just that I don't like regular yogurt. Real yogurt. I'm so all about that non-fat, no-sugar blended yogurt that I'm no longer able to tolerate real yogurt with real fat and real sugar in it. Come to think of it, I feel the same way about peanut butter. You're all going to think I'm crazy, but I don't like regular PB anymore - I eat the reduced fat crunchy Jif, and now regular PB seems tooooooo goooooooey. We got some regular once to like, bait mousetraps or something, but we ended up throwing it out when our mouse problem subsided because no one would eat it.

Doing my 'bifidus regularis' research for this entry, I read in wikipedia that:

"Opinion is divided about the benefits of live yoghurts - while some consumers seem to gain relief from using this product, others see results from no change to chronic diarrhea."

Which doesn't seem sooo helpful for me. So I guess I won't feel as bad when I switch back to the fake stuff.

Friday, April 21, 2006

The long-awaited bluebird update!

We weren't able to check the bluebird box while we were in Florida (obviously), but we checked it just now. Look!

Four baby bluebirds!! I think they're about 8 days old, judging from pictures I've found on other websites.

Suri about that...

Well, Tom and Katie finally had their fake, alien baby. In keeping with celebrity tradition, they gave their new daughter some ridiculous name - Suri. Ok, its not as ridiculous as Apple or Moses (geez Gwyneth) or Pilot Inspektor (but I also love that Grandaddy song, and in fact that whole album. Go listen to it!). But still.
Suri is suppossed to mean 'Princess' in Hebrew and 'Red Rose' in Persian. One friend of mine said that "in Gaelic, Suri means 'one who is screwed from being born to weird parents'." Hee. Actually, I have a friend in the lab who is from Iran and is thus a native Persian speaker. I asked her what Suri meant. She looked it up and found that it meant 'One who enjoys feasting; a hanger-on'. This is not quite 'red rose' and actually not quite good either. Well done, freaks.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Working on my massive sunburn

Well, this week I've been in Sarasota visiting my parents and getting sunburned. We drove down here on the 12th in time for my birthday - 31! ack! My mom took me to get a manicure and pedicure. I like getting a pedicure, but I'm so fricking ticklish that its a little difficult. We also went out to dinner that night with my grandparents.
We brought down Milo (the cats were left to fend for themselves, a la that Travelocity - or something - commercial) so that he could meet his new girlfriend, my parents new sheltie, Kelsey. Kelsey looooooooooves Milo. She followed him around wherever he went. Brian and Milo drove home on Monday, so Kelsey is a little bummed out. She's a normal size sheltie, but since our dog is such a big one she was like half his size. They look kind of funny together. Kelsey lives here with our two cats, Wynton and Olly, neither of which are overly certain of their feelings towards the dog. Kelsey thinks that the cats tails are some sort of handle for them and he walks around with their tails in his mouth. Consequently, Wynton's normally puffy tail is now thin and ratty.

One day we saw a pair of Sandhill cranes on the golf course across the pond from my parents backyard. Brian and I sat out there to watch them, and they started walking over towards us. They got really close - we finally moved because we thought they might eat us. I got some good pictures of them though. Here are two of them.

(Well, you're just going to have to tilt your heads for now, because I don't know how to flip those. I'm on my parents computer.)

We went out on the boat to Egmont Key, which is a wildlife sanctuary. On the way over there we had three dolphins following behind the boat. I'm not kidding you, they were RIGHT OFF THE SWIM PLATFORM. By some miracle, I got some good pictures of them jumping:

After Brian left, my dad and I went kayaking in some mangrove canals at their friends house in Port Charlotte. It was fun, but we hardly saw any wildlife at all, which was surprising.

And yesterday we went to Tarpon Springs with my grandmother, where we saw some sponge diving and ate at a greek restaurant. This is a very heavily greek city that was initially populated largely by greek sponge divers. We went on a sponge diving boat ride where they had a guy go out in the old-style diving suit and get a sponge. I chatted to the guy for a bit because he was from Stevens Point, WI.

In other Wisconsin news, we went to Shaner's Pizza today, which is owned by Shane Rawley, an ex-pro baseball player who went to my high school in Racine (Horlick!). They serve the perfect Chicago pizza - not that stupid thick stuffed pizza. Oh no. I grew up in the Chicago area, and my dad before me. And I'll tell you, its CRISPY THIN CRUST CUT IN SQUARES that is the real Chicago pizza. So that was great.

Also, Easter with my grandparents was good. Its nice to be able to see them when we come down here, they live about 15 minutes away. Jim and Ed's birthday was on Saturday, but we tried to stay busy so it wasn't too bad. Jim was up on NH with his group of friends, who are just great. For his birthday they took up a collection to get his Gay Miata painted. Right now its barbie yellow, but you can see the red underneath where the paint is scratched. Yesterday we saw a hot pink Miata and I texted him to tell him that would be a good choice. I thought I was the only one who called it the Gay Miata, but his Subaru friends posted a funny funny picture:

Coming home tonight, back to the cats! Oh, and Brian. Hee.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

This is for Mel

Mel just posted a list of google searches that bring people to her blog. One of them was 'foam tactile issues'. Well Mel, I think we've found your searcher.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Another screwed up concert

My friend Sheri and I really suck at going to concerts together. We attempted to see The Bravery a few months ago, only to get there and mistake the second opening act for them and leave just after the Bravery started because it was so late, and I had to give lab meeting the next day (as I do today!). On Friday night we went to see Franz Ferdinand and Death Cab For Cutie at Duke. The doors opened at 7pm and there was an opening band, so we decided to get there later. You know, these things never start on time, then the opening band takes a while to play and a while longer to dismantle and set up for the next band. We figured that FF wouldn't come on until about 8:30 or even later. We went out to dinner first and got to the concert closer to 9pm. We were standing in a loooooooong line for the bathroom and asked one of the undergrads near us who had already played: Franz Ferdinand, of course. This was who I wanted to see most too. Bugger. Well, that was the most amazingly fast two sets in the entire history of concerts.

We got to see lots of little undergrads who look like they're 12 in relation to our very nearly 31. Death Cab was good, but I'm still bummed that I missed FF.

The rest of the weekend was not too exciting. Brian has installed cabinets in our laundry room and painted it, and he finished that up this weekend. It looks really good, and like an actual room. And yesterday we visited our friends and their new baby.

We're going to Florida this week which I'm looking forward to. Bringing Milo of course so he can meet his girlfriend, my parents new Sheltie, Kelsey. I'm hoping to go kayaking while we're there. We wanted to kayak with alligators in Myakka, but it sounds like its been too dry and the waterways are largely dried up, at least to the point where kayaking would be difficult. My dad said something about a kayak trip through a mangrove swamp which sounds cool. Mangroves make their own little ecosystem. Their roots are like little fish hatcheries. We snorkeled in one on a marine biology trip when I was in college, and it was pretty cool to see all the teeny tiny baby fishies.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

A bluebird dilemma

A few days ago I showed you a picture of our female bluebird sitting on her eggs. Today I checked on the nest again and she wasn't there, so I got to see the eggs. The nest is a little high up, so I have to stand on a step stool and I had to tilt the nest cup (its in an egg carton kind of cup) to take this picture.

As you can see, we do have bluebird eggs in there, five of them! There are also four other eggs, and I'm not sure what they are. House Sparrows are considered a pest and you're suppossed to dispose of house sparrow eggs and nests found in bluebird boxes. I don't think thats what they are though. It is probably more likely that they are Carolina Chickadee eggs. I'm not sure what to do with them though. It seems like this would create a problem for the baby bluebirds. I just sent an email to someone who runs a bluebird website, hopefully they'll have some advice.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

two more and some additional info

I forgot about this two - one that i took in Bah Habah, and one of a flying hummingbird.

Also, in response to a previous comment - pet photos DO count, but i'm trying not to enter in that category because it was the most heavily entered last year. And I saw some of those photos and lets just say I've got NO CHANCE. Although, Cherry is very photogenic and I've got several really good pics of her! Bummer. In order to increase my chances, I'm trying to go for some of the other categories - flora, local flora/fauna, landscapes.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Photo contest

Okay, now its your turn to serve your blogger. We are having a photo contest at work which will apparently be judged by our co-workers walking down the hall. Its an earth day contest, so a nature theme. I have no delusions of actually WINNING anything, but I want to enter. So I'm looking for your votes from the following batch of pics, a shortlist that Brian and I came up with.
You can see them all in my Flickr photostream (click here). You can leave a comment on the pictures you like, if you're also a Flickr member.

I've also uploaded them here:















Leave your comments in the comments section, obvs. I am going to enter three photos.

I know you're jealous.

I won this today at a product show.

Secretly, you're jealous. I know you are. By the way? Its not just ANY figurine. Its a BOBBLEHEAD.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

bluebird motel

Look who is in our bluebird house!

A female bluebird! She must be sitting on eggs, because she didn't leave the nest when I knocked on the side of the house or when I opened it. Pretty cool!