Showing posts from May, 2012

Magellan eXplorist GPS

I bought a new hiking GPS on Amazon last week and I received it on Thursday.

I like it a lot better than my last one. It went through batteries in no time at all so I rarely ever used it. This one lasts 18 hours on one pair of double A batteries. That's 16 hours better.

I still have to learn how to use it though. The somewhat unadorned map at left is my route around Occoneechee Mountain. No doubt it's accurate but there's not a lot of graphics there either.

I hope next time I use this GPS I'll have much prettier results. Maybe the data I want is contained in my data file and I just need to learn how to use the software better.

I'll have to hit Eno River park or maybe Duke Forest after work this week and try this again.

Building a Bench the easy way

This is a good activity when you're bored (board?) on a weekend. The whole process just takes a few hours.
First you buy the kit. It contains the resin ends that the boards screw into as well as the screws.

Then you cut boards to the length you want. I made a 4 foot bench since the lumber was 8 feet long. You need 9 boards for this kit so I just needed 5 2x4s, each cut in half.

Then you paint or stain the boards. My lovely assistant is taking care of that. (the girl, not the dog)

Here I am screwing the last board into place. Putting them in only takes about 12-15 minutes.

And you end up with a bench! The multi-color design was definitely not my idea or preference.
Today's mostly paperwork and counting yesterday's experiment.

There's really few things I enjoy more than counting tubes half the day.

Ha-ha.  There were 20 samples in groups of three so this took quite a while. And talk about boring!

Using Image J to clean up the images and help do the bookkeeping of the counting helps some. At least I don't have to use a manual counter---though I suppose clicking on the mouse is really the same thing.

This is the last sample in the second group of 20. Now I have one more group to do.

Update on Year Zero

I finished reading Year Zero over the weekend. I really enjoyed it. Too bad the book doesn't come out until July. The ending could be tightened up a bit but that's pretty minor. The book is extremely funny and trenchant as it stands.

Here's the review of the book that I put up at Goodreads...

This is a wry and funny book. Rob Reid was able to take all his bad experiences with lawyers, music industry executives, and the entertainment industry in general and distill them into this intelligent and amusing satire.

I'm sure this novel was a therapeutic way to deal with the emotional backlash of spending over a decade dealing with the legal side of the entertainment industry during his time at, Rhapsody, and RealNetworks.

If you take this novel as a soapbox, Reid can be seen as illuminating the goings on that happen behind the scenes in the music industry. His main character, a journeyman Entertainment Industry lawyer named Nick Carter (but no, he's not the guy…

From Korea not Amazon

I received this Email in the wee hours of the morning.

Fortunately I was awake enough to realize it was a scam of the spoofed address sort.

When I passed my cursor over the addresses that supposedly went back to Amazon, the addresses were actually to a server somewhere in Korea.

I discovered this by typing the hypertext protocol address into Google. What popped out is a slew of scams that involved the "ymerecord" word in the address name.

The Email looks authentic and I bet it'll fool a lot of people. One giveaway though is the date. Supposedly I made the purchase on May 2nd, which would make sense if I lived in Korea, where it'd been May 2nd for a while. But here in the States it was only 2am and I was pretty sure I'd not ordered anything between midnight and 2am. They should have at least dated the fake purchase date as May 1st to make it more plausible.

By the way, the "Ophiuchus" in the Korean address refers to a large constellation of stars located…

Of Hoods and Drops

We added two new pieces of equipment to the lab today.

This is the bigger of the two. It's a biological hood.

That's a device we use to work with biological material without contaminating it with bacteria, viruses, or even those nasty ole yeast spores that are floating amongst us.

It works by blowing air through very fine filters onto our working area. This "sterile" air then displaces regular air and keeps our samples from being contaminated. Since you never turn off the air flow, everything stays uncontaminated. In theory. And it usually works.

It's truly amazing how much time I spend in a hood and up to now I've been doing it in a core facility. That means that I have to sign up for the hood and carry all my stuff back and forth. It doesn't sound like much of a burden but it does mean that impromptu needs can't be met since you need to sign up ahead of time---and needing to pipet samples sterilely comes up a lot. It's going to be great to be ab…