Saturday, September 22, 2007

Four stars!!

Do you ever read People magazine? I do. I subscribe to it. I love all that sort of trash.

Anyhow, People also has music, movie and book reviews. The movie and music reviews will often be low. I mean, I'm flipping through one issue right now and I see three music reviews that got only 2 and a half stars. But I've noticed that the book reviews are ALWAYS high. I can't remember ever seeing one lower than 3 stars. And I think I can only remember one that was 3. Usually they're 3 and a half or 4. And I noticed this a while ago, so I've made it a point to check every time I get a new issue (weekly). Are all books fan-freaking-tastic?? I find that hard to believe. I have read books. They are not all good.

I'm not sure exactly how to explain this phenomenon. The best I can come up with is that all writing looks like 4 star work compared to People? Not that I'm complaining, obviously.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Oh I know....!

I know, you all want my links back. Well, you're just going to have to wait! That is going to take more time to accomplish than I have at my disposal right now. Thats the real bugger about switching templates. Whine whine!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

New template in progress

I think blogger dumped the template I was using, because it never comes up anymore and it is no longer available as a choice. I don't like any of the choices that exist already, so I'm going to have to come up with something myself. Give me some time.

Friday, September 14, 2007


It is raining! For real, like for about an hour or so!! Woo!


Okay, that lasted for like, five minutes. What a gyp.


Actual rain is falling! Actual wet rain! Woo!

Our new reality: back to back to back to back colds

Owen has had a cold for 3 weeks now. Its fun when a baby has a cold. Owen has already described to you on his blog some aspects of this, which are "Mommy Mommy Mommy Mommy!!" The most fun part actually is the constant battle with mucus. I am looking forward eagerly to the day when Owen learns how to blow his nose. Because right now, not so much. This is accomplished with a bulb syringe I got at the hospital when Owen was born, and he HATES IT. I mean, I would hate it too, so I can't really blame him for having a total freakout every time I do it, but still. He can't eat when his nose is blocked so we start nursing, it goes horribly, we stop (which pisses him off in and of itself) and then go upstairs to his room where the evil bulb syringe lives. Then the real screaming and fighting can commence. The rest of the time Owen has twin trails of snot coming out of his nose at all times. Wiping his nose is also met with screaming.

I have been biding my time waiting for this to come to an end, but it has been 3 weeks today so I took him into the pediatrician this morning. The doctor told me that yes, this was an awful long time for one cold to last (typically 10-14 days), so he was guessing that we had actually had two colds back to back, and that this was not unusual for babies in day care. Hurrah. This could have been what happened for sure, and I probably missed the middle part of it because that was probably when he had roseola (for the second time! woo!) over Labor Day weekend. Yeeha!

Now I'm getting the cold too, my throat is sore. I guess this is going to be our life now. Hurrah!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Joining this decade

You read my blog and you probably think to yourself, "My. Lisa is soooooo technologically advanced and with it! I mean, she has a blog! And her 8 month old son has a blog! I am in awe!"

Yeah, okay. But I am not on Myspace. And I am not on Facebook.

I never got the appeal of Myspace and I'm afraid I still don't. First of all, most people's Myspace pages make my eyeballs hurt. Second of all, I mean, what do you do?? I have no idea.

Yesterday I got an invite to be someone's friend on Facebook. It was someone I knew when we lived in Cleveland but had lost touch with, so I thought it would be a good excuse to see what she was up to. I joined. Facebook checked out my Gmail account for people who were in my address book that also had Facebook accounts. Lo! Many, many instant friends. A few surprises:
1. My father-in-law
2. My PhD advisor
These are not people I expected to be Facebooking. But my PhD advisor is all into undergrads (I mean, professionally, not in some weird way) so I guess that is why he is there. I do not know why my father-in-law is on Facebook. He has only one friend, Brian's cousin, so I guess he's not super into it. I'm looking forward to hearing about this actually, so next email Mr. C - an explanation!

Today I was busy doing important scientific experiments, but I had lots of short incubations or something where I went on Facebook. I can see now how you can get addicted to it. You can search for new friends! Add things to your page! Write on other people's pages! See what TV shows everyone likes!

I put some stuff on my page. A daily quote from Karl Pilkington. A thing where you can buy me a virtual drink. I wrote on some people's pages. I got more friends, like some people from college that I had not talked to since, well, college.

So now I'm all 2005! Woo!

Friday, September 07, 2007

iPhone update

Well, the day of the iPhone price drop, I talked to someone at the Apple store (Okay, I know someone who works there, who, like many of the Apple employees was in the same boat as I was). That night he was somehow able to swing a refund of the $200 price difference. I think it was helpful that this all happened on the day of the price drop - the Apple stores were bombarded with people just like me, all wanting a refund. They didn't quite know how to handle it, and they gave a number of refunds that night. I think it helped if you were nice to them, as is true of pretty much any other case where you are a customer trying to get something from a company - a lot of people were not! Anyhow, so I ended up getting the refund on Wednesday night.

On Thursday, Apple announced that they would give a $100 store credit to others who had bought iPhones before the price drop.

While I was certainly super annoyed about the whole thing and felt a bit betrayed by the company, I don't know that I really felt like they OWED me something. I mean, as I said, when you buy technology soon after it comes out, you are going to pay the highest price for it. You know the price will go down, but you don't expect it to go down so much, so quickly. This sort of drop was pretty much unprecedented for Apple. I did feel though like they took advantage of their most loyal customers, which sucked. They basically confirmed that they were totally taking us for a ride with the original price of the iPhone.

So, even though the $100 credit is sort of nothing to them (if anything, it will bring in more money to them because what can you buy for $100 or less?), it was nice of them to quickly make an attempt to smooth things over. From a customer service standpoint, they did pretty well.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Thanks for totally screwing me, Apple.

Dear Apple,
I am a dedicated Apple fan. I don't think I've ever owned a computer that wasn't an Apple. An Apple IIGS, a Quadra, a series of iMacs (I have had one of each style!), a PowerBook, a MacBook Pro. There are three iPods in our house at the moment. I sing your praises to anyone who will listen.

Obviously, I desperately wanted an iPhone. Desperately. I did not run right out and buy one, I waited a month or so to make sure it lived up to its promise. It did. I bought one. 27 days ago, to be exact. It was a LOT to spend on a new gadget, especially given that I have a (relatively) new baby at home, a job that doesn't pay a spectactular amount, and a new day care bill to contend with. But my husband indulged my need for gadgets and my blinding love for all things Apple and found the money so I could get one. Obviously I bought the more expensive of the two, the 8GB one - better to have the space when I want it then save some money now!

So. I'm sure you can imagine how absolutely freaking ticked off I was today when I saw that you had dropped the price on the iPhone from $599 to $399. Today. what is it... almost 70 days since it came out? Something like that. Also, less than 30 days after I purchased it.

When you buy into new technology at the beginning, you expect that the price will go down at some point. You know that, but you accept it. You do not, however, expect that the price of the new technology will drop SUBSTANTIALLY, two months after it is introduced.

What is most aggravating about this whole thing is this: Who were the people who bought iPhones in the first 70 days? The people who love Apple. Your most loyal customers. So basically, you've just told us "Ha! Suckers!"

Thats great. Thanks.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Ways you can tell I have to give a talk on Tuesday

1. Today I cleaned all of the doorknobs in the house with disinfecting wipes. For the first time, I think, ever (actually, its a bit surprising that I didn't do it at least once, if not daily, while I was writing my thesis).
2. I would have washed the hardwood floors if Brian hadn't just done it yesterday.
3. I spent about an hour last night updating everyone's blogs.
4. I've checked Triangle Mommies for new posts about every hour. Or, okay, more like every 15 minutes.
5. I've been looking at pictures of cells all freaking day. And yesterday. And the day before. And I think my eyes are about to drop out of my head.
6. Oh, forget it. I give up. Bleh.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Cat toys experiment

We have accumulated a lot of cat toys. I think the major problem is that they get stuck under the couch, the refrigerator, the washing machine, so we lose track of what we have and buy more. Sometimes Brian will do a big clear out and liberate all of the cat toys at one time. Then the cats set about getting them back under the couch. We imagine that they have little cat thoughts like this:

"Hm.. I think I'll go over here and take a nap. What the...? Oh man! He got them all back out again! Ugh. He's always making a mess with those. I mean, I don't have any thumbs! I can't pick them up! All I can do is try to bat them around and under stuff, and that takes FOREVER. Well. I guess I'd better get busy putting those away again. Hopefully he'll get the message this time!"

We have also noticed in the past that some toys appear to be preferred by the cats, but we never remember which ones. So this time, we decided to do an experiment.

Here, Brian is setting up the cat toys:

Jasmine was immediately intrigued/annoyed by our experiment and decided to get an early start:

Here's what we found when we woke up in the morning. You can see that the light green mouse that was closest to Brian, the wooly pink mouse (it doesn't look like much of a mouse anymore), the glittery green mouse and one of the green rope mice are gone. It would appear that the cats don't like the rope mice much, but they do like green!

Whoops! An interloper!

The baby also doesn't seem to like the rope mice. He goes straight for the Fish.

Then for the leopard print ball...

And whats better than one ball? Two that you can bang together!

Beamish surveys the destruction left in the baby's wake.

A few hours later, I check in again. The Fish is gone, but whether this was baby-related or cat-related is not clear. Also missing: one of the red rope mice. Surprise, the two balls are back!

Later that evening, not much has changed. One yellow rope mouse is missing, but that is it. All is quiet on the cat toys front.

That night we know that something major is going on, because Cherry is heard annoyedly meowing ALL FRIGGING NIGHT. This seriously disrupts the sleep of the lead researcher whose ears are already baby-trained to be supersensitive! And we were right. The next morning, all of the cat toys have been "put away" except the leopard print ball.

The baby is fine with this result, because the leopard print ball becomes his favorite new plaything. I guess he just wanted to get revenge on the cats for past injustices. In fact, when the baby was having issues with the cats overstepping their boundaries, Caleb suggested that one day the tables would be turned. It appears that he was right.

- The non-rope mice are favorites.
- Green is the cats favorite color.
- If all the other cats slack off, Cherry will clean up for everyone. This is no surprise, as Cherry is very conscientious in cleaning up. I swear, she'll spend like, 10 minutes kicking the cat litter around after she does her business, until no trace of the smell remains. Then she'll spend another 5 minutes wiping her paws on the mat beside the litter box.
- The baby prefers the balls.
- No one likes the rope mice.

Cherry - Bug Assasin

All of our cats are fat, pretty much, but Cherry is the fattest. By far. She looks like a big stripey sausage. But Cherry has a secret identity: Ninja Bug Assasin. Cherry plucks bugs out of the air and eats them, while the other cats look on admiringly. Here is but one example of her powers:

Ninja cat from meandertail and Vimeo.