Sunday, December 12, 2004

random shameless self-congratulation

I ran the Kiawah Island Marathon Saturday and finished in 3:46:58 shattering my previous personal record of 4:28 for the maraton. I am very proud of myself and very happy :)

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

No matter how bad your day is going, you didn't do this...

KENT, Washington (AP) -- A man who placed a lava lamp on a hot stovetop was killed when it exploded and sent a shard of glass into his heart, police said.

Philip Quinn, 24, was found dead in his trailer home Sunday night by his parents.

"Why on earth he was heating a lava lamp on the stove, we don't know," Kent Police spokesman Paul Petersen said Monday.

After the lamp exploded, Quinn apparently stumbled into his bedroom, where he died Sunday afternoon, authorities said.

Police found no evidence of drug or alcohol use.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Beer musings

So I'm standing in the beer aisle at Kroger this afternoon, preparing to purchase roughly 8 cases of beer for the hash tomorrow ( and I had to laugh because I had the following internal dialogue:
"Hmmm...Busch Light is $11.99 and Bud Light is $ Bud Light really $2/case better than Busch Light?"
(answer: no - they both suck)
"...And why don't they have Yuengling in a can?" (answer: because they suck)
"...And where the heck to they keep the PBR?" (answer: they don't...because they suck)
"...And why is Icehouse so much cheaper than the others?" (answer: I don't know - I would prefer icehouse over Coors or Bud any day!)
"Should I splurge and get a case of Rolling Rock?" (answer: yes, but I don't know why)
"Who are they kidding thinking Coors Light is worth $16/case?" (answer: I don't know, but whoever it is has REALLY bad taste in beer)
"Should I get a 12 pack of Josef Hoffbauer just to be funny?" (answer: NOOOOO!!!! Josef Hoffbauer is a VERY BAD BEER!!!! It is never funny!!!! Besides - if I purcased it, they would make me drink it!)

The result of all this? 2 cases of Busch Light ($11.99 each), 2 cases of Icehouse (also $11.99), one 18-pack of Rolling rock ($11.99...still not sure why)... oh! and 20 lbs of flour :)

Have a hashy day!

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

I think I'm going to cry now

Dave Barry will be taking AT LEAST a year off from writing his weekly column... How will I get through those boring Mondays without my dose of Dave Barry? I may as well gnaw my my arm off now and use it to beat myself to death. Sigh.

My new favorite website

Here is my new favorite website:

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Why didn't I think of that?

So it seems some lady in Wisconsin decided she needed some extra money to fund her marathoning and pimped herself out to local businesses as a "slow-moving billboard" where people could buy ad space on her outfit as she ran her marathons... Sounds crazy, right? Well, it worked and now all her "ad space" is full and I'm left kicking myself for not thinking of that!!! Sigh... another brilliant business opportunity missed...

Thursday, September 23, 2004

pet peeve of the day

I'm on my way to meet my friend Mel for our usual Tuesday/Thursday morning run and, as I approach the light to turn into campus, I discover someone has pulled into the right lane and decided to go straight, preventing me (and all the people behind me) from turning. Now this is one of those roads that goes to two lanes about 150 yards before the light, so it's not like this person had been cruising in the right lane for miles and just happened to get to the light. No. This person made a conscious decision to get over. And it's not like this is an intersection where people turning right is a rarity - it's the fricking 7:40 in the morning. There's a steady stream of people turning right! Well, there's usually a steady stream of people turning right. Today, there was a big long line of people WAITING to turn right.

Seriously, folks - if you're coming to a somewhat heavily used intersection and you feel like you want to be in the right lane, please wait until after the light. You will have plenty of time to get over later.

Thank you.

Friday, September 17, 2004


Okay, I think I have a problem - I've become a huge weather nerd. I'm not sure how it happened. It started innocently enough - checking the weather every morning like a normal person so I could see what clothing would be weather-appropriate. Then I moved to North Carolina (home of the weirdest weather on earth) and the insanity began. First it was ice storms, then hurricanes, then more ice storms, rain harder than I've ever seen before (seriously - I don't understand how it can rain this much at once), more hurricanes. I think it started with the fear (Is that hurricane really going to hit us?) and then became fascination as I saw the predicted path change on a daily basis.

From there, I discovered that on weather underground (, they publish the results of hurricane tracking computer models, so I started checking those daily as well. Then I spent enough time doing this that I began to understand the forecast discussions they publish on the site... If that wasn't bad enough, I discovered that you can get up to date raw data sent from weather buoys scattered all over the world!!! I actually watched as hurricane Ivan passed by buoy 42040 (well, that one only delivers data on an hourly basis, but still...) It was so exciting!!!

Now I have a sort of strange attraction to The Weather Channel's Jim Cantore... I think I may need therapy!

Thursday, September 02, 2004

the RNC

Here's my my new favorite bit of wisdom from the Republican National Convention (courtesy of Dave Barry):

"In dangerous situations, you always want to be with a cartoonist, because if something bad happens, he can draw a funny picture of it."

Cheers to that.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

An open letter to Michael Phelps

Dear Michael,

Please pull up your pants. I don't know if you're aware, but you've been sporting a little bit of a plumber's crack for most of the Olympic games and I think you really need to address this fact. If not for the sake of decency (mooning a multinational TV audience is probably not all that diplomatic), perhaps for the sake of performance. In a sport where leg hair produces too much drag, I can only wonder how many precious milliseconds are lost to the drag created by water rushing into your exposed butt crack... So please, for the sake of your teammates and the world audience, pull up your pants.

Thank you.

olympic ponderings

I don't know if anyone else has noticed, but it seems like every time they do one of those little athlete bios, they mention that the person in question wanted to go to the Olympics as a young child and spent time practicing whatever sport in order to achieve that goal. Now I can't help but wonder if there are any children out there that don't, at some point, want to go to the Olympics? Are there really kids out there that are watching the games thinking, "Nah - I'd really rather be a mediocre swimmer and not get past JV on my high school swim team"?

Friday, August 13, 2004

NC is so silly!

Here's yet another example of why NC is very silly:

My friend at work forgot to pay his car insurance bill last December and was, therefore, uninsured for a period of about 20 days (in December). Apparently, his insurance company informed the City of Durham of this fact sometime in June or July of this year, prompting the city to send him a letter telling him that because he was an uninsured driver for a period of time, they are levying a $50 fine on him, which is due by August 1. Well, Ali didn't open the letter until yesterday, so obviously the deadline had passed. So he called the city to ask what he should do, expecting (like I imagine most people would) them to tell him he owes a late fee as well. Oddly enough, it turns out that the punishment for paying the fine late is you lose your license plates for 30 days. Yes, he is actually supposed to take his license plates off his car and turn them in to the city, then go back 30 days later and retrieve them. I just think this is very odd. He can drive OTHER cars during this time - he's not losing his license... he just can't drive his own...

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

prozac computer

Well, it seems my poor little sexually misunderstood computer has had a complete meltdown. It has become so upset and confused it refuses to even turn on now :( Actually, this first happened last Monday, so I sent it away to IBM to get it fixed and they sent it back saying it was because the time/date weren't set in the BIOS. Now, I admit I don't really know much about computers, but last time I checked, the computer actually had to power up to even get to the part where it discovers the time/date in the BIOS (which mine wasn't doing). Nonetheless, the little critter booted up when I brought it into work Thursday, so I did a little dance and thanked the IBM gods and went on with my life.

Today, however, the same thing happened and I would like to recount my conversation with my new friend Mohammed at IBM:
Mohammed: ..."the last time you sent it in, they determined the problem was your time/date weren't set in the bios. Are you still getting the time/date error message?"
Me: "The computer won't even turn on."
Mohammed: "Oh.... I think then you might have a bigger problem than the time and date."
Me (silently): "duh."
Me (out loud): "I think so too."
Mohammed: "I'll go ahead and send you a shipping carton today."
So now I have a bigger problem with my computer, but no one seems to be able to figure out what that might be. Hopefully, they will find it this time and I won't have to send it back again next week (though I will admit that having to spend part of the afternoon tomorrow at home waiting for the DHL man to pick it up isn't SO upsetting!)

Poor little laptop!

As an aside, HOORAY for IBM's warranty program!!! I don't have to pay for any of this!

Sunday, August 01, 2004

cookie woes

I went to a birthday party this weekend and thought I'd be nice and bring some cookies to share with the other guests. I had bought some cookie dough in a tub from one of my coworker's kids a while back as part of a school fund raiser and thought this would be the perfect opportunity to bust it out (and get it out of my fridge). I read the directions on the label of my chocolate chocolate chip cookies, preheated the oven and spooned the dough onto the cookie sheet for baking. Upon removing the cookies from the oven, I placed them on a paper towel for cooling and everything looked fine. I even tasted one and deemed it pretty good for pre-made cookie dough...

The problem came when I took the cookies off the paper towel and put them on a plate to take to the party. You see, chocolate chocolate chip cookies are a lovely dark brown color (like chocolate - duh), and when soft cookies are stacked on a plate to that color, they sort of melt into each other. Basically, I went to the door with what looked like a plate full of cow poo. :(

On the plus side, they did seem to taste good, so people ate them anyway! See? A happy story in the end!

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Who knew?

So my friend Ivan gave me this article to read and I thought I'd pass it on to you.  All I can say is I'd be happy to try both the money and the sex and give them my feedback...  Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

poor computer

so my computer seems to be having a sexual identity crisis today...  I have my song list set on random at the moment and it keeps playing Melissa Etheridge then REM's "Everybody Hurts"...  Then it plays "Broken" and back to Melissa Etheridge!  I only wish there was some way I could make it feel better about the situation...   I love you computer!  Gay, straight, bi, whatever - I don't judge you my little friend!

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

7-10 Days

Okay, here's a little rant for you:

I called my cable company last week to tell them my internet was down and, after determining the problem wasn't operator error (did you plug the modem in? yes....), they sent a very nice gentleman out between 1 and 5 last Tuesday (which translated to 5:15, but they got the Tuesday part right). After doing a couple of line tests, the guy went out and discovered the cable running to my house was too small to carry the necessary signal and, after following it to the box also found that it was spliced underground (they're not supposed to do that) to an even smaller cable! Way to go cable company!!! So my lovely technician braved "400 spiders and a little black snake" to string me a new cable, which also cleared up the reception on my broadcast channels (nice bonus). He then left me, telling me he would put an order in to get that line buried and that I wouldn't have to be home for that. I waited...and the lawn grew...and I waited...and Friday, someone came out to paint lines on my now overly long lawn where the phone line goes....and I waited...and the lawn grew some more.... I called them today and the very helpful lady at the customer service desk told me the line should (SHOULD?) be buried in 7-10 days! So now I'm faced with the exciting prospect of mowing UNDER my new cable, stooping to pick it up, mowing under, putting it back, etc... with every pass of the lawn OR living in a wild jungle of crab grass and clover (okay, lawn may have been a bit optimistick there)... Sigh. Why do I get the feeling there is a van full of guys flipping coins as to whether they work today a la The Money Pit?

Wednesday, June 30, 2004

much anger

Yesterday afternoon I had a hankerin' for some Skittles. So I scrounged through my spare change and came up with the requisite 65 cents and trekked down three floors to the candy machine. Upon locating my skittles, I got ready to insert my change only to find they had raised the price of skittles in the vending machine to 70 cents! Now I would have to trek all the way back up to the lab and find another nickel and all the way back down if I wanted to experience the rainbow of fruit flavors! You can't just go changing vending machine prices without telling people! It's just plain rude! There's my rant. Thank you for your time.

when good science goes bad

Okay, I'm just going to admit it upfront - I'm a huge nerd, so if you don't want to read something nerdy, stop reading right now.

I went to see Day After Tomorrow over the weekend and at the beginning was all excited because the guy at the beginning was presenting a scientific scenario that is actually based in current research. I was even more excited because I had actually read the paper when it came out, so I actually knew what he was talking about. (see? nerd.) I was sitting in my seat thinking, "I'm so impressed that someone in Hollywood actually took the time to research climate change theory!" HOWEVER, as the movie continued, I became increasingly disappointed as the scientific plausibility pretty much ended right there. I could launch into a lengthy tirade about how and why most of that stuff couldn't happen the way they presented it, but, really, no one wants to hear it. Suffice to say, the rest of the movie laid out a scenario which was based solely fantasy and sensationalism, and I fear that because of this, the fact that the original premise is based in "real science" will be lost on most people. Stupid Hollywood.

Saturday, June 19, 2004

the generic aisle

I was wondering the other day what happened to the generic aisle at the grocery store... I have memories from my childhood of walking down the generic aisle in my local King Soopers, surrounded by a plethora (of sweaters? no!) of food items in white containers with black stripes and black lettering denoting contents such as "frosted corn flakes" or "white rice".
I can't remember the exact timing of the generic aisle's disappearance, but am left only to wonder what happened to cause it to vanish and what became of the mediocre quality goods at low low prices that it once contained...

Friday, June 11, 2004

...and this is why we don't visit unannounced...

My real question, though, is will this guy be charged with trespassing?

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

sweet serendipity

Well, I hauled my little jet-lagged self into work today after being in
Colorado and Alaska for two weeks with enough time to say hi to my boss
before he left for the rest of the week on a trip to Maine. For the rest
of the week you can find me surfing the internet or sitting in Duke
gardens :P

Thursday, May 27, 2004

5 mos....

After my last trip home, I worried that Colorado was ruined for me and I
had become a true North Carolinian... I wanted nothing more than to jump
on a plane back to NC and get back to my life when I was here for
Christmas... I don't know if that had anything to do with the stress or
what, but this time around I am fully enjoying my trip here.

It really makes me remember why I loved the spring here so much. I went
for a run this morning (okay, let's be honest - it was almost noon) and
was so distracted taking in the gorgeous sky and trees and weather that I
almost forgot to run! I could just lay in the grass and listen to the
wind and the trees and the creek forever out there...

As an aside, I've noticed Coloradans are REALLY bad at parking lot
driving! It's as if removing the lanes leads them (us) to believe that
there is no one else attepmting to get around. The quickest point is
definitely a straight line and God forbid anyone should put there cars in
the path of that straight line! It's very interesting what one notices
when one returns home after living somewhere else...

On the plus side, I'm rediscovering the wonders of the sidewalk. (You
mean you can walk next to the street without paralyzing fear of getting
run over?)

Okay, that was a lovely little ramble - I guess my brain's on vacation,

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

musings on home

As I landed at DIA today and the pilot announced that the current weather
was sunny and 74 degrees, a large grin spread over my face and I
remembered why I come back here every year. The hills are still green,
the tallest mountains are still snowcapped, the sky is an absolutely
gorgeous blue, and I can see for miles in any direction. The best part,
though, is the humidity is standing at a balmy 15% Ahhhhhhh home.

Monday, May 24, 2004

nerd alert

So someone just mentioned to me that scientists are currently thinking the
Earth's magnetic poles are going to switch sometime in the next couple
thousand years and it made me think of my freshman year astronomy class
where we learned that the sun's poles swap every 11 years or so. We also
learned that in the years leading up to the switch, the sun's surface
becomes considerably more active (solar flares, etc...) This leads me to
wonder if the increasingly extreme weather we are seeing here can be at
least partially attributed to the pending shift in magnetic poles?
Perhaps something like "The Day After Tomorrow" will actually happen
sometime in the next few thousand years as we closer to the switch?

Sorry - I'm a science nerd.

Friday, May 21, 2004

I'm dumbfounded

I just received an e-mail from my cable company to inform me of this:

I figure this can be taken two ways:
1) Now going to see a game in the middle of the day isn't necessarily
playing hooky - instead of telecommuting from home you can be
telecommuting from the game!!!
2) This is absolutely ridiculous - what possible need can there be for
taking your laptop to the game? People really need to chisel themselves
away from their e-mail for a couple of hours and enjoy a nice day outside
watching the game! ...says the girl who checks her e-mail 8 million times
a day during the week...

I think I will try #1 next week :)

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Anyone want to chip in?

A funny e-mail from my mom...

A lobbyist, on his way home from work in Washington, D.C.,
came to a dead halt in traffic and thought to himself,
"Wow, this traffic seems worse than usual." He noticed a
police officer walking between the lines of stopped cars,
so he rolled down his window and asked, "Officer, what's
the hold-up?"

The officer replied, "The President is depressed, so he
stopped his motorcade and is threatening to douse himself
with gasoline and set himself on fire. He says no one
believes his stories about why we went to war in Iraq, or
the worsening deficit and economy, or that his tax cuts
will help anyone except his wealthy friends. So we're
taking up a collection for him."

The lobbyist asks, "How much have you got so far?"
The officer replies, "About four gallons, but a lot of
folks are still siphoning."

...and we think US reality shows are weird...

I can only begin to wonder what they will show on the air every week... Will it be showing on Skinemax? After 11?

Because I'm a follower...

Well, everyone else is doing it, so I figured, what better way to spend my time than inundating the world with my idle wonderings... Prepare to be enlightened... (HA!)