Monday, July 30, 2007

Deaf and dumb divers

Last night, Brian and I were watching 'Nature' on the PBS HD channel on our fabulous plasma TV. It was really amazing. They cut from an underwater shot to one of the divers getting out of the boat. They were talking to each other, but all we could hear was the sounds of the water lapping up against the boat. No words coming out. I said to Brian, "I think something must be wrong with the audio." And he said, "No, I think they're just deaf and dumb." Huh? Why were they talking then, moving their mouths? "They must be lip reading" was his answer. I asked him to check the 'info' for the program on the cable - surely if this was a program focusing on deaf and dumb scuba divers, it would mention that in the program notes. But it did not. More of the show, more water noises, no words. I noticed that it wasn't narrated either, which seemed strange. I made Brian check the non-HD channel and it was fully narrated AND the people were talking out loud. So no shows about deaf and dumb scuba divers. There's a niche that needs to be filled, if you're looking for one.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

I'm not a vegan, but still.

This blog (it was a Blogger 'Blog of Note' today) looks hilarious. I'm going to have to keep reading.

Boring life update

Just a bit of an update. Everything is going well here. Owen is really burning through his first year of life. Remember those days when we were super excited that he had HIT SOMETHING? Okay, yeah. The kid is now standing himself up and trying to climb the stairs. We are so not prepared for this newfound mobility. So far he has still not mastered the whole sleeping-through-the-night thing, much to my dismay. It is hard to function at work when you have not slept straight through the night for oh, almost a year (since I was pregnant!) But we are working on this, and actually he slept from 7pm until about 6:30 am about half of the nights last week. So I am pressing onward! Of course, just because Owen sleeps through the night does not mean that Mommy sleeps through the night, at least not yet. I still wake up once or twice out of habit!

It is still so, so hot here. And muggy. And occasionally rainy. On Friday I got absolutely drenched walking from work to our parking lot, and then again from the daycare parking lot into daycare. Then I had to meet Brian at Elmo's, aka "The restaurant I used to hate because of all the kids which now I love because of all the kids", looking like crap with frizzy hair and very soggy shoes. And of course we ran into someone we knew from Duke. OF COURSE.

My brother and his girlfriend recently bought their first house and they finally closed on it. Okay, they closed on it a couple of weeks ago but it took like, 6 weeks or something insane like that from the time they first were supposed to close to the time that they actually closed. Legal hell!

Melissa's due date is tomorrow! Woo!


I finished Harry Potter. That is all (I do not want to spoil it!).

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Uh, no.

When we moved to Durham, we were totally psyched to find that one of the like, three Dunkin' Donuts IN THE ENTIRE TRIANGLE AREA was right down the street from us. We had to drive past it to go to work. It was the greatest thing EVER. Okay. It would have been better if they had ever carried my FAVORITE donut, the chocolate frosted cake donut. They were all into the raised variety, which I do not like. Anywho! I also like the coffee quite a bit, and we would always go there and get coffee. Iced coffee even, although that is not big in the South (why, I do not know - it seems like a total haven for iced coffee!).

Okay. So we've lived here for just over 4 years and the DD had been there since before we got here. I know they had problems with getting stuff from DD - it is one of those small shops that is a Dunkin Donuts/Baskin Robbins/Subway all-in-one, so it wasn't like the guy was getting up in the morning, saying "Time to make the donuts" and going to our DD. For a week once they had no donuts because the DD in Raleigh was not going to supply them anymore or something like that. I guess that kinda thing makes it tough to be a Dunkin' Donuts - no donuts.

Anyhow, about 7 or 8 months ago, our friend the Dunkin Donuts disappeared, as did our friend (not that I ever got anything from it) the Baskin Robbins. They were replaced with COFFEE WORLD and ICE CREAM CLUB. I was ticked. COFFEE WORLD also sells Krispy Kreme donuts! I've only had one or two Krispy Kreme donuts in my lifetime, neither of them plucked hot off of the glazing conveyor belt, but I wasn't a fan because - raised donuts. Anyhow, whatever. All of this is irrelevant except for the fact that they had the GALL to put up a sign outside that said:

"Now serving better coffee and Krispy Kreme donuts"

I'm sorry, what? WHAT? BETTER coffee? I don't think so. I don't agree with Rachel Ray on many, many things (like, for example, calling a sandwich a 'sammie'. Hello. Are we five?), but I have to say that we are of like mind when it comes to coffee. So now I won't go to COFFEE WORLD out of principle. Ugh.

Well, right across from this whole debacle there used to be a Burger King that closed a while ago and has just been sitting dormant since then. A few months ago they started remodeling it, and it became a Starbucks. I don't really like Starbucks coffee, and I don't really like the way they take over the world and everything, but I was secretly looking forward to the coffee wars, and hoping that Starbucks would teach COFFEE WORLD a lesson.

I felt really guilty about this because I thought this was a local guy's coffee shop and I know I shouldn't want the little guy to get beaten by the corporate giant. Until my favorite computer support guy came up and showed me his iPhone and pretended that he wanted to get ice cream in Manhattan. He searched for 'ice cream' in New York City and showed me all of the entries that came up, and one of them was ICE CREAM CLUB. You already know that this is a chain because I put the link up above, but this was the first I had heard of it. So! It wasn't some little local guy building his coffee shop with his own blood, sweat and tears! He was just a franchise of some other bigger company that I had just never heard of. Well, I stopped feeling bad and started looking forward to the battle.

Every day when I drive to work, I pass by the COFFEE WORLD and Starbucks. The Starbucks always has like, eight cars waiting in the drive thru line. The COFFEE WORLD does not. One car, maybe. And hardly anyone parked outside. And every morning, I take a sick pleasure in this. Better coffee than Dunkin' Donuts. Whatev.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Is this really necessary?

Brian got this free razor in the mail from the friendly folks at Gillette. As he was opening it, he said 'Oh my god, it has five. No, SIX blades.' I didn't really look at it until I just went upstairs to go to bed (okay really, to read Harry Potter. Come on.), and I was really moved to photograph it for you.

Really. Five blades? Is shaving really a FIVE BLADE affair? I mean, I shave two entire legs, two armpits and some unmentionable areas, and two blades (maybe there are three on my razor, actually) serve me just fine. Do faces really require two extra blades?

Plus an extra blade on the back for, I don't know what. Slicing your finger open when you go to reach for your insane five-bladed razor?

Kingdom of Loathing

Tiffany reminded me today about Kingdom of Loathing. I used to like that game a lot, especially when I was in the end stages of grad school. I feel the Brian's (and perhaps the Roger's and the Industrial Strength Science friends of the Brian's) of the world would also enjoy.

I can't remember my password, and its tied to an old email address so I can't get it back. Bugger.


I saw a piece on GMA the other morning about "hypermiling", which is basically trying to maximize your gas mileage. Some of the tips I remember:
1. Inflate your tires to their max allowable level
2. Coast when possible
3. Avoid quick accelerations
4. Don't speed
5. Turn car off when not moving (or even when moving, although they mentioned that this wasn't really advised!)

There are more, but this is what I remember. Since I got my hybrid 2 years ago, I have become a little bit obsessed with my mileage, so I decided to give these tips a try during my commute. (about 25 minutes, most of which is highway). I basically paid more attention to #2, because my car does some of the other things for me - it turns off when I'm stopped (which freaks my mom out because she forgets and thinks I've run out of gas or something), and it uses an electric assist when I am accelerating (unlike the Toyota technology), so actually, I think I do better when I accelerate rather quickly to get to my desired speed. Anyhow, I was about halfway through the tank of gas when I started, and I was getting 40.8 mpg, which is not great for me, but I've had the A/C on for Owen's sake. Today when I got home I was at 42.8 mpg. So I've improved two mpg in a few days, and its harder to budge the overall mileage when I'm well into a tank of gas. We'll see how I do on my next fill up.

Its fun, because its kind of like a video game. And you know how I like the video games (I finished FFXII this weekend btw. And I cried a little bit at the ending. How freaking lame am I?).

It is true that there is a learning curve to driving a hybrid. When I first got my car, I was averaging 37 mpg on each tank, and now I usually average 42-43 (without my A/C).

Monday, July 23, 2007

What am I doing??

Why am I still sitting here screwing around on the internet when I could be reading Harry Freaking Potter?? Every moment I waste is another moment I might get accidentally spoiled on the ending!! Ack!!

Boy or Girl?

Melissa has ended her long, practically-entire-pregnancy-long blog silence about a week before her due date. She and her husband are way more patient than either Brian or I, so they have elected to not find out the sex of their baby. Go to her blog and vote on whether you think she's having a girl or a boy (she put a lot of pertinent info on her blog to help you decide).

I would have said boy, because many things from her pregnancy have been similar to mine except that hers did not involve a big pink cast. However, I know three other people who are pregnant right now and they're all having boys. So I think that statistically, we're due for a girl. We'll see!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Kissing or nursing?

For a couple of weeks now, Owen has been occasionally 'latching on' to my face. I thought he was just crazed with hunger and trying to nurse off of my cheek, but I have started to realize that this is his way of giving me a kiss. Today he practically attacked me with face sucking while we were playing. What a Cassanova.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Feasting on Asphalt and other dorky shows I watch

Looks like there's going to be a second season of Feasting on Asphalt! We really liked that series, and not just because Alton Brown is my television boyfriend. I mean ME AND BRIAN liked that series.

Brian and I also enjoy all of the medical mystery shows on Discovery Health. The other day we were watching 'Diagnosis: Unknown!' which should really be called 'Diagnosis: How fast can you figure out who is poisoning the patient?' because they all start out as medical mysteries but they pretty much all finish with the person having been being poisoned. And you can always tell who is doing the poisoning from very early on, so there really isn't a lot of mystery going on. However, occasionally the show mixes it up and gives you a case where no one is being poisoned. The one we were watching was about all these North Carolina fishermen who were getting sick and having neurological problems and sores on their bodies. It was a result of a Pfesteria epidemic, which came from hog waste washing into the rivers. There were scientists at NC State working on it, and they got sick too because at first they didn't know that it caused these kinds of symptoms. When they figured that out, they built a BSL3 or something lab that vented out into the atmosphere but the ventilation was set up wrong and it was actually ventillating into this other guy's office. He still has problems with it. Anyhow, they apparently had a big summit to talk about this and it was at the Institute that I work at, so they showed a few shots of my work. Woo!

The third dorky show we're watching (also on Discovery Health) is called 'Jon and Kate + 8'. This couple had twins (through fertility treatments) and then wanted one more child. They had to go through fertility treatments again and ended up with 6 more. We like this show because they seem normal, like people we would hang out with.

We also continue our 'Jeopardy!' dorkfest.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007


If you wanted to get me something, say, an iPhone, that would be lovely. Thanks.