Showing posts from January, 2010


My house looks rather barren with nothing but snow around it.

Somehow having a field of grass in front, with leaves on the trees looks a lot more inviting. Still, there's a stark beauty to the snow. But---it's fine with me if it goes away now that I've taken a few pictures.

cold and wet

Today didn't start out as a bad day outside.

But I was too sore to take advantage of that. By the time my disintegrating body was able to get out of the house it was after 2pm. Bad start.

My first stop was work where I needed to give some mice the attention that they so desperately desire (actually a recent poll of mice discovered that they would prefer to be left alone---but keep delivering the food).

My lab work didn't take very long and I was back on the road by 3:30pm.

The thing is, I don't like to leave the house on weekends. So this having to work weekends gig that I've been doing on and off for the past 8 months has, in a way, been a good thing. Cause I prefer to multitask once I'm out of the house.

So I'll do the groceries, refill the gas tank, or maybe even force my aging body across one type of landscape or another. And my doctor recently pointed out that I could use a lot more exercise (ouch).

Anyway, as a result of that advice and my being out of the hous…

So very sore

I did a hike today. Or maybe the hike did me. It was around 8 miles long and while I knew I'd be tired---I had no idea it'd nearly kill me. Not literally, of course.

However I was laying in bed for an hour afterwards with a heating pad on my lower back and microwavable heat thingies on my neck and knees.

I blame it on a combination of the cold (it was around 40f today) and my running a lot (which is really hard on my knees and lower back) as I took pictures from in the back of the group and then the front and then back again. Of course getting older doesn't help either!

The hike took 3 hours, from 1pm to 4pm and then I had to go into work for an hour and inject some mice with life-saving (or so we hope---this is experimental, you know) cancer drugs. I think leaning over the hood where I was doing the injections was what really made my muscles stiff.

A wee bit too much hiking followed up by not moving for 40 minutes while working on mice. Bad combination! Tomorrow, if I should …


I finally went to see Avatar today with Kim. We went to see a 2:50 matinee in 3D that was sold out. It's pretty impressive that in its 4th week of release the movie is still selling out theatres.

The movie plot has a lot of holes but it doesn't matter at all. The emotional i's are dotted and the technical t's are all crossed. Even without 3D this is one hell of a movie but in 3D it's amazing. Just amazing. Having some CGI here and there is one thing, but to have an entire movie come out of a computer---and look real, not cartoonish, is pretty wild.

One of Kim's friends declared Avatar to be the best movie she ever saw--no doubt she saw Titanic 12 times too--and while I won't make that claim I still was quite impressed with Avatar. A movie well worth watching, or more accurately, experiencing. Just don't expect the ending to make sense.

On a financial note, as I understand it, movie theatres don't keep any of the ticket sales the first week (maybe 2). T…

Rocks and Moss

This creature of the rocks is named Gomer. Don't blame me, I didn't name him. I think the long tongue is an adaptation to adhering to rocky surfaces. Sort of like a snail's "foot."

I came across him while hiking in northern Orange County. Below you can see a picture of him with one of the local rock dwellers.

This picture is of other rock dwellers.

Alternative text (as dictated by above rock dweller): "This is my beautiful girlfriend's beautiful dog."
Please note that current management can't be held responsible for qualitative statements like this. Nor do I admit to being a "poophead" despite that opinion being bandied about at the moment

Cold Day in Hell

I had to work today. Mice, y'know? The fight against cancer must go on and all that.

Anyway, since I was going into the lab I figured I'd bring Kim with me so that afterwards she could hike along Morgan Creek with me. It's one of my favorite hikes and it's just a mile from where I work in Chapel Hill.

I guess when I told her about the hike I forgot to mention the long walks across sewage pipes. As you can see in the picture above, at first she was slightly reluctant to make the crossing.

In time she grew to love the spirit of adventure that crossing the slippery---it was below freezing today so there was a lot of ice on the streams and some on the pipes---sewer pipes entailed. In fact she told me that it'd be a cold day in hell before she ever did that again. And it's going to be pretty cold tomorrow too so I think she was angling for another invite.

Beef and Football

Natural combination, huh?

Actually I was down to the last little bit of a piece of an Eye of Round cut. It was getting a little long in the tooth so I just chopped it up and grilled it with some onions.

I added a little cheese and butter at the end to make a quasi-sauce and served it on grilled bread with a thick line of horseradish sauce down the middle.

And I watched the Longhorns get manhandled by the Crimson Tide. According to Kim (who graduated from Texas) it was all 'cause Texas quarterback standout Colt McCoy was knocked out in the first quarter with an injury. Whatever. At least my sandwich delivered the goods.

Back to the Mousey Grindstone

I got my marching orders on Tuesday. A new mouse study is about to get underway. Not a big one but it requires daily injections so that means I need to be in here on weekends also.

That's a real pain in the patootie since parking is almost impossible here on weekends due to people attending sporting events and just a general lack of parking spots. Because of the lack of parking, on weekdays I take a bus in but that's not much of an option on weekends.

Initial weigh-in and tumor measurements take place tomorrow. Immediately thereafter we start treating with drug or placebo. Subsequent measurements will be done on Mondays and Thursdays. The mice love to be weighed. Injected? Not as much but it's over quickly and then they're back in the cage with their friends.

It'll probably take 5 weeks to complete the study and who knows, this might be the experiment that will defeat cancer. You never know...

Spies are Coming

Chuck is returning for its third season a week from tonight. It's normally a Monday night show but they're starting it out on Sunday. I really like the show so I'm glad it's coming back. It was so close to cancellation I suspect someone must have cast spells on network executives to get it back on the air.

On second thought, if casting spells really worked then Eastwick, a show about witches, would have made it. I think that show's only got one more episode left---or maybe last week's was the final hurrah. I guess spells aren't as effective as good writing---and being placed in a good time slot, of course. 

The main spy that's returning though is good ole Jack. 24 is hitting hard with a two hour premiere on Sunday, January 17 and another two hours the next night on FOX. I expect it'll be two intense nights of television. And high-def makes it so much better! To celebrate I went online earlier today and bought the first 4 seasons of 24. I checked out t…


Kim and I went shopping tonight. Given our odd holiday schedules, we had agreed that I could buy her Xmas presents while I was here for New Year's.

I ended up buying her a sweater, 2 shirts, a pair of pants and these boots.

The boots are from 9 West and the best bargain of the night. We got such a great deal. They were on sale for $99, marked down 60% to $40 and we used a 15% off coupon to get them down to $34.

The sweater was pretty decent too. It's beautiful and was marked way, way, down to $20 and for a one-hour special some of the items were 50% off, including this sweater---so it ended up being $10. Insane price.

The shirts and pants are for work and nice and functional---but the boots and sweater are great. I love soft things and the leather uppers on those boots is like what you get on nice gloves.

PS The left boot looks like it has a white top--that was me making a mistake in Photoshop. I was making the sheets a gleaming white and mistakenly included part of a boot. Oops.

Happy New Year

Last night Kim and I stayed up past midnight to greet the New Year. 2010, as I recall.

To keep busy we watched the entire first season of Better Off Ted (13 episodes) while practicing preparing different types of puff pastries. We're going to Kim's brother's house today to watch football and have a family dinner and the pastries, both sweet and savory are our contribution. H'ors d'oeuvres for while watching the games.

It was fun watching the DVDs and eating our practice session. The savory rolls were doing better than the sweet so today we're probably going to go with a roulade on the sweet side. We hope it'll work out better than individual rolls.