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Monday, February 26, 2007

Scout's dog Scout

The dog bite stitches are now exposed to the world. I may just cut them out myself. No sign that they're going to dissolve. When I had my appendix out, shortly after graduating from college, they used staples. When I went to have them removed, the doctor just took what looked like a butter knife and lifted them out. Easy come, easy go.

My anxiety level when new pets are acquired is high. I didn't really need that phrase in the middle of there. My anxiety level is high.


Honey and I talked and we talked some more and she really wanted a dog of her own. Which is somewhat unlike Virginia Woolf's concept. So, we went and looked at dogs. After the "dog bite incident," which was the result of adopting a dog from the pound, we decided to go to a different non-profit rescue. They temperament test the dogs. That's a good thing. No more visits to Dr. Tang. At least no more dog-caused visits to Dr. Tang.

Tang the drink is tasty, though.

Scout's dog Scout arrives next weekend. He'll be the only boy in our household. We can't have him until then, so he can become slightly less boy than he is now.

I can't wait.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Woman bites dog!

Oh wait, it's the other way around. On my right hand/wrist. Stitches, tetanus shots, and antibiotics that give me gas, a few days healing, and I am on the mend.

Yes indeedy, I got bitten by a dog. No, Biscuit didn't bite me. It was another dog. It's a yucky and unhappy story, which I will spare the few of you that read this blog thang. Typing is a little less than fun given where the stitches are.

Here are some facts:

Number of Doctors who stitched me up named like an orange drink: 1

Name? Tang

Did it make you want some Tang? Yes, yes it did.

Number of stitches: 6

Number of places on arm stitched: 2

Days on antibiotics: 7

How gassy do they make me? Very

So I'm bruised and gassy, how many people are glad I'm not going to Sassy's gathering? More now than before

Number of dogs in household currently: 1

Number of times she's tried to bite me: Once

Why? Steak bone

Number of steak bones she's gotten since: 0

Does she ever get human food? Yes

What? Pancakes

Really? Yes, Honey makes her one big dog pancake every time we have them.

Does she bite over pancakes? Nope

So what does she do for pancakes? All her "puppy school" tricks

Does she do those tricks others times? Not usually

Sound like you're a good trainer: Thank you

She's a fine animal, my Biscuit dog. Yes she is.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Pitchers and catchers have reported and you can too

Blogleague Fantasy Baseball, y'all. I know so many of you spent the winter wondering why you missed the fabulousness of Blogleague Fantasy Football. And then the the trophy was unveiled, you kicked yourself even harder. Well, the time has come to redeem yourself and get a chance to win a trophy just as ugly. It's free, it's fun, it lasts all summer.

So, here's the deal, e-mail me and let me know you want to play. We'll work out the details once we have our players. No deep knowledge is needed to play, but some knowledge should help. Knowledge doesn't help me, but I don't let that worry me.

Oh, and remember that business about me getting Michael Vick in fantasy football? Well, I should have insisted on LaDanian Tomlinson. In baseball, I'm not insisting on anyone in particular. But here's a player I wouldn't mind owning. Just to get you in the mood.

What's not to like? A Dominican guy with a Russian name who can hit for power and average and is the best junk ball hitter I've ever seen. Ok, I talked myself into it. I get Vlad Guerrero. I do wish he'd wear a clean helmet.

Spend the summer playing with us. It'll be fun, I promise.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Seal fight

It seems awfully nature-fied around here lately, doesn't it?

Last weekend Honey and I went back to the central California coast for some honey and honey time with steaks, walks on the beach, and some good seal action. The seals in question hang out along several beaches north of San Simeon. They're elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris) not to be confused to California sea lions (Zalophus califonianus) or harbor seals (Phoca vitulina). Anyway, these guys are tube-like seals of a fairly large size. They beach to have pups.

The females don't eat while they're nursing and weaning their pups and they're cross about it. I would be too. They lie there most of the time but then they'll roll over too near one another and start the seal fuss-off.

Other things are going on, including what Honey called "seal rape." It is true that animal sex is rarely tender and sweet. In the effort to keep my blog in the PG-13 range (otherwise where will my advertising income go?), I present my video homage to elephant seal girl conflict. Enjoy.

Friday, February 09, 2007

More fun with science, but less than before

So the scientists kept coming and I learned more stuff.

Do you know about Sun Dogs? They're false suns, usually directly west or east in the sky of the actual sun. They're caused by hexagonal ice in the atmosphere.

They're also pretty. The phenomenon is related to rainbows. I would like to suggest that we lesbian/gay types adopt sun dogs as our symbol of pride from now on.

I also learned that if you skydive from high enough up, you can't tell that you're falling because there's so little air above a certain point that there's no wind. I'm not going to try it. Good to know, though.

The fire talk didn't learn me much about fire, so I can't pass it on. One factoid I did learn is that even in really wet environments, things can catch fire. Wet things can catch fire. Who knew?

The fire talk was complicated and sophisticated and there were some pictures, but lots of it dealt with satellite image mapping and various coefficients for understanding maps. Ah well. My fog knowledge will serve me well. I don't know how, but I have it wield as needed.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Fun with science

Six months ago I was given my current job permanently. I had done it for two years prior. Guess I did an ok job. Anyway, the rules of the institution say that I get to play in the big pool now. Part of playing in the big pool is being on search committees for other jobs.

Academic job searches are tough and easy all at the same time. You send off some stuff. People read it. There may be a phone interview. The big thing is the campus visit. You get flown to the area, put up in a hotel and then spend a day on campus. There are tours. Lunches. Interviews with the relevant Dean. Teaching demos. The pre-dinner culmination (denouement?) of the day is the "research presentation" sometimes also called the job talk.

So, I'm on a committee. My program is doing a joint hire with one of our "friend" departments. The program I run is interdisciplinary which means I work with units from all over campus. Some are fun. Some are not. This one is fine. They like me and my program and I like them. It's one of those academic departments that has both social sciencey people and sciencey people. When we first talked about a joint position, I thought we'd do something social sciencey. For lots of complicated reasons, we're doing a sciencey hire instead.

I've now listened to two job talks and know more about areas of knowledge that I had never even contemplated at all before. A little knowledge can be dangerous. I could say something stupid at a gathering about which I really know nothing.

For example, here's something I learned...

Most marine invertebrates (or so I hear) do something called "broadcast spawning." That means that they shoot their eggs and sperm out into the water. The eggs and sperm mix out in the ocean and produce baby marine invertebrates, who never even know mom or dad invertebrate. I was going to say "see" mom and dad but I don't think they have eyes.

It's a fun, if exhausting process. I'm mostly glad to be on this side of it. But I'm also glad to be learning new things about science.

Go ahead, ask me about the seasons. Or fog. Later in the week, I get to learn about fire. I can hardly wait. Really.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Reptile brains

This week I had a flat tire on the freeway. My tough little truck has BIG tires. Honey and I and a nice passerby guy who had just moved to L.A. (natch--no "real" Angelino would stop) changed the tire. No single one of us could lift the damn thing. When I went to get a replacement (gash in the sidewall), I found out that tires are $210 EACH. They say you buy cars with your reptile brain. I want. Truck pretty.

Don't get me wrong, I like my truck, but it seemed less than smart when I can't change the tire by myself and the replacement costs that much.

The other day I was washing out Biscuit's water bowl. She had fresh water. She walked over to the mud puddle I created washing the bowl out and started to drink. I called her to the clean water. She sniffed and lapped at it for a second. Then she went back to the puddle. Water. Mud. Drink.

I'm about to go off to a meeting where I have to faciliate a high-end discussion. My boss's boss asked me to do it. Hope I can get to higher order thinking. Given the way things have been going, I'd take the under.