Sunday, May 31, 2009

Alarm clocks and not using them

So, since I have been here, I have not used my alarm clock to wake up in the morning.

I wake up naturally before the alarm goes off and disable it after I decide that 9 more minutes of sleeping won't do me any good.

A few times I have woken up, freaked out, thinking I am late, then realized that I had an hour to sleep. Then I woke up like 10 minutes before.


Should I just not turn the alarm clock on? If I do that, I bet I over sleep.

My sleeping brain has some alarm clock fear...
OR, its the damn crows scaring off the cat that wakes at 6:21...

Fire shaving

Seriously considering it...

I had the idea on the long trip across the country, and knew that someone else must have documented their trials online before I had to attempt it.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Memorial Day weekend 2009 (Hike to Mount Lowe Tavern near Echo Mountain)

Last Sunday I went hiking with a dude from work, his friend, his friend's friend, and his friend's friend's dog.

We hiked in the Angeles National Forest to where the Mount Lowe Tavern used to be near/on Echo Mountain. The Mount Lowe Railway went up that way, so we saw the end of that line. We actually used some of the "echophones" mentioned (and pictured) in the wikipedia article.

I don't know how long the hike was, but we definitely did not bring enough water. Luckily, I don't need very much water, but my camelbak would have been welcome. I was the only one that didn't finish my water by halfway up, and actually had some at the end. I got a healthy fear of running out of water in me.

Pics to follow:

Looking at the pictures toward LA, I think you can see the smog layer. More trees than I thought in the Altadena/Pasadena area. Seems we picked a good hike, from wikipedia again about the Sam Merrill Trail, which was in the list of "10 Great North American Hikes" in USA Today. 2.55 mi? maybe.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

First day in town

On the first day in town we decided to bike ride to the beach and see where that took us. We rode down to the beach and took this really steep incline. Parked the bikes and went and touched the ocean. Both of our jeans got soaked by an errant wave and I found some little small sand crabs. Maybe they get bigger by the end of the summer. We biked to the pier and went off on foot. It was really nice, just walking around at a tourist-y thing but not really feeling like you had to be a tourist. I randomly bought a churro and we went off eating it [from separate ends.. one bite at a time :-) ]. There was a trapeze school that we watched for a bit, then the little kids doing bumper cars. I was surprised that you could get your head sculpted in clay for like $10 or something. We watched some people fishing off the end of the pier and some random dude from PA came up to us saying hi and excited about being on the beach.

Next we got the bikes and swung by work, so I could see the building. We stopped at the Third Street Promenade and had fun walking its length, watching street performers (there was this dude that did amazing things with bubbles) and stopping in stores (this puzzle shop was cool). Had a good dinner overlooking the street and then we biked home.

Very nice day!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

washing hands at work

So, at work, you hit the faucet and it starts going for a while.


Like, I have one last 0.5 second rinse required...
it finishes. I have to use two uses. And it doesn't matter if I am going fast or slow.

I even tried today to beat it, going really quick.

Oops, I forgot a spot of soap... I needed two uses.

I'll beat this faucet!

2nd amendment and cyberattack

So this came up on the DC trip, does the 2nd amendment apply to cyberattacks?

Do you have the ability/charge to defend yourself in an active manner instead of solely passive defence?


Cross country trip 2009 Out Leg III: Grand Canyon

Another place that we stopped at was the Grand Canyon. We hiked down the rim a bit, which was awesome. I actually saw a California Condor flying in the air (I think, it was huge, right shape, red head, etc).

The hike down the rim was nice, but its fairly steep. We brought plenty of water and cheez-its.

and a flowering plant:

Along the way, we met a squirrel, Mr. BlindEye. BlindEye was missing an eye, and had a scratch on his back that was an open wound. He was extremely friendly, I took these pictures with a cell phone camera, so they were very very close. We met him on the way down, but on the way back up, he followed us to this rock where people stop to drink/rest. He wanted the cheez-its, like hardcore, he was a very brave squirrel. He almost went into our backpack and probably would have run up my leg if I wasn't paying attention. When we first met him, he just ate flowers and didnt care about us. I thought he might be deaf, I clapped in his ear, nothing! Most squirrels I know, you can't even see them, because they are already on the other side of a tree.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Cross country trip 2009 Out Leg II: Painted Desert and Petrified Forest

Alright, some real trip stories... It was fairly uneventful, we had two fun things of note, the painted desert/petrified forest and the grand canyon.

In El Reno, OK, we almost got hit by a tornado (well, sort of). We saw mammatus clouds, which are really cool. When Sara was looking at them in a field, her hair stood straight up. I quickly ushered us back into shelter...

I took a bunch of photos in the painted desert, mostly landscape type photos. My cell camera is not very good, but we have some really good photos from a SLR that might get posted in the future. We also saw a pronghorn.

I am also including some pictures of petrified wood. One of the coolest ones was the "petrified log bridge" where there was softer rock underneath a stone log and it made a bridge. Silly humans then made sure that it would not fall by adding concrete.

They also had these huge ravens, which were... huge.

Last interesting thing in the painted desert is pictographs, and I have better pictures from the SLR, but I don't have access to them.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Cross country trip 2009 Out Leg I

So Sara and I drove cross country a week ago.

Kept trying to take a picture of the state signs when you enter a state. I was not very successful. I'll spare you random landscapes, except this first one, which i think is Alabama... might be Tennessee.

Oklahoma, I somehow got,

And Arizona

but not California (I think),

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Nanotechnology Defined

So on a recent trip there was a team member that was supposed to explain what nanotechnology was and its implications. He decided to instead talk about how nanotechnology is a mis-used word, which didn't really tell us anything.

so, during the talk, I made a poem summarizing what I think he was saying.

nanotechnology is
not a small object
but mostly basic research

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Watts Bar

I went to Watts Bar a week or so ago. We got to tour Unit 2 and basically check out everything. I climbed this 4 story ladder inside the pressure vessel, which was quite fun, but also exhausting. If there ever is a problem, and it over heats, they actually use thousands of pounds of ice to cool it to reduce the reaction rate to something manageable. (thats IF there is an accident... which isn't that likely). More stories for those interested, I can send you an email summary of what we saw.

btw, many blog posts coming out covering the recent trips and the likes, so I'll try and space them out.

Ol Kink Tail II

So I finally got a picture of Ol'Kink Tail.

I had specially left my phone at home saying "why would i need that?" to myself, when BAM, Ol'Kink Tail was there as I was exiting. I borrowed a camera and took the following pics of him (cropped).

You can clearly see the white fur on the tail that is different. Its from when he had the kink that gave him his name.

Monday, May 18, 2009

First day of work

So, first day of my summer gig, I'll be working on RANDom things.

Normal first day, getting badged, parking passes, cube, computer, office supplies, etc.

We had a long lunch at this cool seafood restaurant, you could see the pier from it.

About halfway through the day, I realized that when someone says "where are you from?" they mean "what was your previous institutional affiliation?". I had just gotten used to "where are you from?" meaning "what town do you come from?"

No interesting stories, although they have some awesome artwork up on the walls. A person showing me around got coffee all over their arm when they tried to hold a door forgetting that they had coffee in their hand. She needs coffee in the morning to function, and based on the amount on her arm, she hadn't had enough of it yet.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


Just had a 5.0 earthquake. Link.

Everything seems ok. I don't think 5.0 is that dangerous.

It felt like a truck was ramming the building.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

I killed a moth

I killed a moth with my shoulder and cell phone.

Weird. I didn't think you would ever kill a moth by holding a phone with your shoulder. Turns out that it happens.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

More DC pics

Supreme Court


Fat Squirrel (and like, I mean really really fat)

Monday, May 04, 2009

White House Pics

Here are two pics of the white house that I took yesterday.

I'll try and offload any pics that I take every night.

Friday, May 01, 2009

good swine flu comment

check it from fark

posted by drew

"""- 36,000 people die every year from the regular flu.
- Since I wrote my article on Monday, 1 person in the United States has died from swine flu.
- The tally in the last three days: Swine Flu: 1, Real Flu: 295."""