Ramblings

Usually drunken.

Want to keep track of the ramblings without visiting the site all the time? Well, subscribe to our RSS feed. Don’t fret and don’t frown, learn how to subscribe in mail (for OSX) or subscribe in iGoogle.

don't just say google

Mar 7, 2009, 4:25 pm by Lew

here let me google that for youI have something that matters to share with the internet. When someone asks a question don't just tell them to google it. A question is a way of starting a conversation. conversations are an essential tool for human survival and happiness. if someone asks you a question they are interested in you. they have some sort of respect for you and want you to share knowledge. we could just google everything but that isn't a society i want to partake in.

Street Art II

Jan 30, 2009, 9:54 am by Lew

rocket shipThis was in a construction tunnel for the condo tower "the austonian" on Congress ave. I liked it. I thought it was neat that someone would spray paint a rocket ship.

Array Brownies

Jan 23, 2009, 2:01 pm by Lew

array cake get!Yesterday was my bday and for the occasion my fiancee made me a delicious and hilarious microarray brownie cake. if you are a bio nerd this is funny. if not then it is jargon. i wanted to share though.

Street Art I

Jan 21, 2009, 3:47 pm by Lew

Barton Springs under the Missouri Pacific BridgeI have long wanted to document street art that I happen upon. I finally got a camera phone so now I can start doing it. There are some street artists (that I have known) that have a strict code. They are artists using the outdoors as a gallery. They only put their art on public spots, like electic boxes and light polls. never on a building or private propert. many are wheat-pasters, they use a flour based adhesive so their pictures will dissolve after a month. i don't always condone street art. but some of it is really good. i won't post every scibble i happen on, but anything that obviously took some thought and effort i will add here. So here is my first contribution. This was taken on Barton Springs Road in Austin, it is a stencil sprayed on a bridge pillar on the missouri pacific (mopac) railroad bridge. enjoy.

Inauguration

Jan 20, 2009, 4:34 pm by Lew

First post during the Obama administration! I ducked out with a few co-workers to catch the inaugural address. We watched it at oaxacan tamaleo near our lab. starting out the obama administration with a plate of enfrioladas and good coffee was the right thing to do. it was just us and the tamale folks there watching it (it was a bit early for tamales). they were super nice to let watch it with them and provide tasty food. we walked in on the tail end of rick warren's prayer. i like him. i like him in the same way i like mike huckabbe. i disagree with him strongly but like him as a person. i thought it was a nice and touching invocation. aretha franklin proved that she is the only diva, damn she can sing like no one else alive. i am looking forward to beyonce singing "at last" for the first dance at the inaugural ball. but beyonce, don't forget aretha stills runs the show. i face palmed when the chief justice flubbed the swearing in. obama's speech was right on i thought. i am not sure it will be famous for generations but i thought it was right on for the climate right now. i whooped (really i did) when he said "We will restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology's wonders..." and "For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus — and non-believers." non-believers appreciate the shout out mr. president. The poem was a flop. the final convocation rocked. if you didn't see it you need to. it was the most memorable part of the inauguration.
diva'd!

Próspero Año

Jan 1, 2009, 9:39 pm by Lew

Happy New Year y'all. 2008 was quite a year it had big ups and downs but the ups were truly great and the downs manageable. 2009 will be guaranteed to be awesome as I get married this year. The fiancee and I enjoyed drinks and fireworks for new year's eve. We had noodles for dinner tonight as a tip of the hat to chinese new year, long new noodles long life. I took a swim in Barton Springs pool to start the new year and it was glorious. I skipped (slept through) the morning dunk most swimmers take and went after dark. There were only a couple people there, the water was crystal clear even in the darkness. I could see some large-ish fish swimming and all the plants on the bottom. There were stars out (almost as much as the east austin sky), the zilker tree was still up, and the towers were glowing across the river. I put on a pot of black-eyed peas and ate a small bowl of them when I got home. I don't know the origin of that new years tradition but as long as I remember I have had them every new years. Should be a lucky and prosperous year amiright?

planet blu-ray

Dec 27, 2008, 1:29 am by Lew

that's sir david I learned two things recently. The first is that blu-ray is totally worth it and that if you are making a documentary you either need to have someone who speaks English with an accent or you need James Earl Jones or Morgan Freeman. There are no other Americans who can narrate for a damn. I got a blu-ray player for Christmas and the planet earth bbc discs. The difference is amazing. I did not think the vhs to dvd jump was a big deal, the picture is comparable. Watching a wolf take down a caribou in hd is amazing. I like nature films and this is the best non-Jacques Cousteau series I have seen. Cousteau may lack hd but the weird places he went and the drama he brings more than makes up for it. Now if they could do his movies on blu-ray I would probably sell a testicle to see them. This tangents to my other point. David Attenborough narrates planet earth. I watched a (regular def) documentary by Jean-Michel Cousteau (son of Jacques) and it was good. But it was narrated by just regular American dude. Why the hell didn’t Jean-Michel narrate? He is franco-american he was born to narrate. Documentaries either need the authenticity and exotic quality of accented English or the gravity of james earl jones, otherwise it just footage of outside with dudes chattering.

Merry Holiday

Dec 25, 2008, 10:46 pm by Lew

to be young and unibrowedMerry Holiday all you good boys and girls that matter.

grinds my gears

Dec 19, 2008, 6:22 pm by Lew

I cannot affect these larger world happening but they are bothering me. Hperhaps this post will have a butterfly effect. December 25 is not "holiday" it is christmas. saying the name of the holiday is not offensive. it is more offensive to me to act like a p.c. wimp than it is to make a reference to the holiday. it is an insult and a lie to go so out of the way to say "holiday" instead of christmas.

Caroline Kennedy can be the new york senator if she wants and can convince the governor. she is not the liberal sarah palin. she has never held elected office but neither had hillary clinton and she was elected. if caroline kennedy ran she would certainly win so just give her the seat if she wants it and let her defend it in 2010. stop whinning that she is acting entitled, everyone who wants to be appointed thinks they are entitled.

yes pastor rick warren is opposed to gay marriage and a pro-lifer. that is because he is a pastor. you would be hard pressed to find many pastors who aren't. a pastor is going to deliver the inaugral convocation. he isn't being appointed to the supreme court, he is making a speech and obama in a brilliant politician for asking a very popular, moderate conservative pastor to speak. it is a nice symbol to those who felt left out following the election. just because obama won doesn't mean that the whole country is now the castro neighborhood in san francisco.

finally, kanye west and most other rappers. rhyming a word with itself is not a rhyme. buy a rhyming dictionary and spend a few more minutes writing your raps!

power to the proletariat

Dec 19, 2008, 3:14 pm by Lew

At my work like many other business places things have been tougher over the last few months. There seems to be new bad news trickling down from our corporate parents every couple of weeks that results in us getting it in the shorts. At first everyone is pissed when a new piece of bad news falls in our laps. We are outraged then the next next everyone shrugs, says “at least we have jobs” puts their nose down and gets back to work. That is b.s. in my view. I think the higher ups are fully aware of this average reaction to bad news and are using the situation to chip away at their commitments to the employees while we are vulnerable. There is not much confidence in the economy right now but truly not much has changed from a few months ago. People are still making stuff and selling it to other people. The attitude has changed, working folks feel vulnerable and can be bullied a little bit without putting up a fight. I am new to the work force, but I am sure this method of peeling back wages and benefits is nothing new. It disturbs me to see this corporate reality and makes me wonder what is being done to people elsewhere who are more vulnerable who don't deserve to be pushed around.

please note that I am equally incensed by dumbass employees who bitch about everything the benefits they think they deserve when they haven't done anything to earn it. Working at a business is very different than anything I have done before and is quite eye opening. It make academia seem removed. Everything is about profit of course, that is obvious. But in a company people are forced together and have to invent a culture that lets them get along. Maybe some companies pick people with a culture in mind, but large ones like mine just need qualified people. Give the surveillance tapes to a sociologist (or better yet a primate zoologist) and I bet we could learn a lot about human animal behavior.


community partay!

flu vaccine II

Dec 9, 2008, 2:15 pm by Lew

Here is a nice citation about mass flu vaccination Over the last seven years Ontario gave free influenza vaccinations to everyone over 6 months old. The rest of Canada, like the USA, continued population targeted vaccinations. In Ontario the number of influenza related deaths and hospital visits went down dramatically compared to the rest of the country.

The Effect of Universal Influenza Immunization on Mortality and Health Care Use

The results of this large-scale natural experiment suggest that universal

vaccination may be an effective public health measure for reducing the annual

burden of influenza.

I can't find the link but the cdc is adding people 6 months to 18 years old to the targeted vaccination group. Not because they are vulnerable but because school children are a major vector pool for influenza.

woohoo

Dec 5, 2008, 8:35 pm by Lew

Poasting from my Ubuntu powered laptop! Like it so far. It is much faster than before I accidentally deleted XP. It is a lot smarter than windows. It seems much more solid and well made, and I always considered xp to be a solid os.

    broken windows

    Dec 1, 2008, 12:32 pm by Lew

    For fun last night I decided to install ubuntu linux on my laptop. I used linux before getting to college when certain applications forced me back to windows. I am constantly frustrated by windows. It seems like it never improves. Computers are getting better but windows just gets more bloated. It never runs faster. It seems like there has been no improvement since windows 95, windows just gets shinier and fatter. My windows laptop refuses to shutdown or restart on its own, I always have to hold down the power button. It takes like 10 minutes to boot up. Microsoft in their generosity gives me huge updates every couple days that break competing programs. Blah blah micro$oft blah. Rachel recently got a Eee pc 901 laptop. She put ubuntu on it and it has basically been the best thing since the intertubes were invented. Last night I decided I would go the dualboot route and installed ubuntu on my laptop. And somewhere in the installation I managed to format my hard drive. It must have been during the partitioning. To top it off my bootable cd has an error so I can’t finish the linux installation. This is the second bad iso disc I have made so I decided to order an official copy of ubuntu. So I should be up and running with essentially a brand new computer later this week. Fortunately I backed up my essential documents. I am kind of happy that I get to start fresh with this computer. Though my own stupidity forced me into, and now I really have no choice but become a linux dork. I have no idea where my XP disc might be. It is just as well I think I will be happier when I comfy with linux and no longer need windows. I don’t see windows going well, I will never get vista so it is just as well that I jumped ship now. Though I still plan on getting a mac desktop soon. If operating systems were lovers I would probably have the clap.

    lew's electoral prediction

    Nov 4, 2008, 1:44 pm by Lew

    real prediction: obama wins all the states plus frMy guess is Obama wins with 344 electoral votes. I think of the toss-up states Obama gets are Virginia and Missouri. Which I predict is the beginning of blue dripping down into southern states if obama is a decent president.

    What is your guess/prediction?

    flu vaccine

    Nov 4, 2008, 12:25 pm by Lew

    get vaccinatedI the flu vaccine today. If you don't get vaccinated you are a jerk. If you aren't part of the solution you are a vector. Oh and go vote while you are out.

    texas news

    Oct 30, 2008, 9:53 am by Lew

    big john!Today I want to share a few things i found interesting on the internet. Dear my fellow texans, wtf? Why do 23% of Texans think Obama is a secret muslim? 5-10% of the rest of the country thinks that, but nearly 1 in 4 texas think that. I guess those are the people who think John Cornyn is a cowboy.

    It some good news the Bonfire lawsuits are finally settled. It seems we are on a path to returning Bonfire to campus. I have mixed feeling about it. If it comes back to campus I worry there won't be any real student involvement in building it. As much as I would love to see it return to campus from its current exile I just don't know how it can be done well and meet liability issues the university will need to deal with. what do you think ags?

    i'm camexrealian

    Oct 13, 2008, 4:48 pm by Lew

    if only. . .What countries can one move to and reasonably become a citizen? i have heard people say you can become canadian fairly easily. you only need to buy a little land, visit that land once-a year-for four year, then viola you can be a citizen. so that's not so hard. but really who wants to move to canada? i am sure it is nice for a bit, but I imagine anyone saying "i'm from canada!" with any pride. i realized i could become israeli without too much trouble thanks to israel's "law of return" which let's you claim jewness and become israeli if you have so much as seen an episode of seinfeld. i have heard israel is like california and hawai'i rolled into one (with a dash of suicide bombings). but really i can't imagine being israeli being any more fun than canadian. i can't think of any other countries that let you get citizenship without a lifetime of difficulty. Can I become mexican? if you sneak into mexico do they care? if you move to another country do you still have to pay taxes in the usa? i originally thought about this as a joke in the case of a palin presidency. now i am just thinking it would be cool to get as many citizenships as you can. it makes you that much more free. and that is more fun. it would be okay to say i am mexican.

    third place is the third winner

    Oct 8, 2008, 9:55 am by Lew

    Let's get dirtyBask in the glory of my bronze medal winning 'stache!

    edit: are you thoroughly basking in the glory?!

    I don't normally tackle the divine, but here I go anyway

    Oct 7, 2008, 11:12 pm by Lew

    you get two point if know why i used this graphicSomething just made me a little sad. Intelligent Design is making me a little sad. Not the idea itself but the existence of it. Intelligent Design is another name for creationism. If you believe in creationism that is your faith. Calling it intelligent design is trying to use scientific logic to justify your faith. If you have faith I think it is sad to feel you need science to justify it. That to me is what it sad. To me that is a lack of faith.

    John Steinbeck is what got me thinking about this. In a few paragraphs in “Log from the Sea of Cortez” he discusses how people react to ideas that they hate. He argues that the best reaction to a new idea is to study it for complete comprehension and only then giving your views of the strengths and faults of the ideas. When someone hates an idea, they do not try to understand, they try to destroy it. This made me think about the evolution vs. intelligent design debate. 5 minutes ago I would have said I hate the idea of intelligent design. But then I tried to understand why intelligent design is out there in the first place. I do not think anyone actually loves the idea in and of itself. It is obviously a way to try to work creationism into the domain of science. It is a reaction by people of faith to the theory of evolution. If you are a person of faith you shouldn’t be scared of biological theories. If you think god is almighty and unfathomable why be scared of science? Yet enough people of faith are scared that they make a public issue out of scientific fact. They realized they cannot fight evidence based logic with faith based beliefs. So they have dressed up genesis with science. The testaments don’t command you to accrue the evidence necessary to prove the divine. The bible asks for faith. If you have faith, then have faith.

    it is something

    Oct 6, 2008, 3:49 pm by Lew

    ain't it?!Last night fellow rambler zach made an astute statement. once you are doing this adulthood thing many of us have recently engaged in that "there is always something." it feels like you always have a bunch of tasks that for legal/financial/employment/all-of-the-above reasons needs your immediate attention (and money). It is always something. You plan out your near future and figure out what needs your attention, thinking once that is done you will be able to relax a little. but as soon as you are done something else just as demanding pops up. i have certainly found this to be true. i started writing this with intentions on bitching, but i won't. i think while writing this i came to terms with the fact that "it is always something." that is just part of the background noise of adulthood. now that i have accepted that fact i think i can deal with it better. maybe i can relax even when there is "something." if i don't well then i guess i can never relax.

    tangent! do y'all smell things in your dreams? i rarely do but now and then i remember smelling things in my dreams. it surpises me a little that i dont more often because smelling is so intimately tied to memory. i could smell my car (the thing i was going to bitch about) in my dream last night. it was cool. i usually see and hear things in my dreams. rarely smell. never taste or feel (i guess that is why i have never had a wet dream). so tally please. how often do you smell things in your dreams?

    professional courtesan

    Sep 13, 2008, 2:35 pm by Lew

    oh shii have a work dilemma people. i am going to apply for a position in another lab group within my company. i like my current lab, especially my boss who is cool as hell. but as a career move i want to move to this other group. i have talked to the group that i am applying to, but i have not told my current boss i will be applying. at what point do i tell my boss? do i tell her right away so she knows and can plan replacing me? do i put off telling her? if i tell her now she might make sure i get training that will help me in the new job. or it could backfire and she will be mad at me for thinking about leaving the group. it could make the next couple months really awkward. she could be understanding and encouraging or really offended and mad. i am not sure what the professional courtesy rules in the situation are, and what the general courtesy guidelines are.

    Hawai'ian shirt day

    Sep 5, 2008, 10:09 pm by Lew

    ALOHA!We had Hawai'ian shirt day at work. In order to participate without partaking in a style I don't care for I made and wore this shirt.

    Oaxacan Conspiraleo

    Sep 5, 2008, 2:05 pm by Lew

    we bet a gentlemanI had a fascinating lunch yesterday. My coworker and I had a delicious lunch at oaxacan tamaleo. It is a oaxacan restaurant on hwy 71 west of Bastrop. They make tamales in banana leaves. The name tamaleo is a combination of tamale and leo, the name of owner of the restaurant. Anyway we have lunch there every couple weeks, the food is delicious and the place is interesting. They sell biodiesel, have a pacman machine, the occasional lion hunting dog wandering by (rip lion dog) and I learned they have awesome conspiracy theories. The younger guy in the picture believes that if barack obama becomes president that Alaska will leave the union, the government will cause a great depression and Obama will convince everyone to work for the government for less than minimum wage. The waiter from tamaleo plans on running away to mexico before this new order is established. He admits he has crazy conspiracy theories. So it was more entertaining than crazy, but still pretty crazy. We now have a bet riding on the establishment of the new order, the wager is a favor. If he wins I have to do him a favor and vice-versa. It could be anything. He said I may be in the border patrol in the new order and I would have to get him into mexico. If I when he said he would cook my thanksgiving dinner. These are just examples though. It could be anything. We have a gentleman’s agreement. So we will have to agree when the bet is over. I am pretty sure I am going to win (should Obama be elected). What should my favor be?

    a few things that matter

    Aug 20, 2008, 11:26 am by Lew

    Into the wild is a terrible movie. If you are not familiar with it already let me bring you up to speed. It is based on a true story about a guy who gave up all his money and possessions and lived in the wild. Eventually making his way up to Alaska, where he died after eating poisonous berries. I am all behind people living in nature, doing without modern comforts. It is a beautiful and romantic idea. I was really excited to see the movie. However the movie’s portrayal of this guy’s adventure is awful. The dialog is at a middle school level (or apparently sean penn level), the acting is not very good (it has vince Vaughn in it for some reason). So nothing against the real guy, I am pretty sure this movie is not doing his story justice. It is the first movie that I rented and could not sit through. I turned it off twice trying to trudge my way though it. I can usually sit through a movie even it is bad, this was painful.

    This morning my cat was screaming at me to wake up and feed her. I wasn’t ready to get up yet a rolled over back to sleep. I dreamt that my cat was angry at me and decided to ally herself to the Russians. In the dream the Russians were my rabbits.

    I am sad that the frozen bigfoot was (of course) a hoax. I wanted to believe!!!

    I am extra sad about the 1 month old humpback whale baby in Australia. It got separated from its mother somehow and has been cuddling up to a boat it mistakes for a momma whale. It tries to nurse off the boat. They will probably euthanize the poor thing before it starves to death unless another momma whale happens by and adopts the baby whale.

    I need to stop reading the news so much.


    po' baby whale

    posts taste like internet

    Aug 19, 2008, 10:19 pm by Lew

    I try to enjoy the fine things in life, rather I try to enjoy things finely. Not necessarily the expensive or the rare, just the fine. I just try to enjoy things for what they are. To enjoy the essence, the spirit of a thing. Anything one does for pleasure has a spirit, the thing that is motivating you to partake. I am making a concerted effort to enjoy things purely with an undiluted spirit. With a build up like this you are surely wondering what I am getting at. Liquor and coffee, that is the subject of my musings. Liquor should taste like liquor. Not like a slurpy with booze. A cocktail is liquor with flavors, usually served very cold. The alcohol brings its own flavor and heightens the taste of the ingredients. A cocktail is an experience, a powerful and unique culinary experience. Yes culinary. Cocktails are a great way to experience flavors because many aromatics are soluble in alcohol. It wasn't until I had homemade cocktails that I experienced what a drink can be. A margarita at a tex-mex place is tasty and happiness inducing, but an experience it is not. When I had this revelation admit I started kind of looking down my nose at people who couldn't handle a real drink (by my definition). Then I realized what a hypocrite I am. I drink coffee all day, but with more milk and sugar than a snickers bar. Coffee should taste like coffee, not like candy. I learned to drink coffee at starbucks, where they make coffee flavored milk shakes. Coffee is great for getting you wired, but it is also a flavor experience to savor. I am trying to cut out the sugar and use just a touch of milk. I am enjoying it, my coffee tastes like coffee! Imagine that!

    eating my way through the day

    Aug 13, 2008, 3:45 pm by Lew

    I am going to try to do more “what I ate for breakfast” type postings. Not every post needs to be deep and insightful, this is a blog afterall. I am here to help you procrastinate from whatever it is you are supposed to be doing. This post will probably contain no insights or life shaking events. Today I was in an earthquake! My like was shook! Actually today I had the slowest day of my working career. It was not a bad thing though. I wrapped up a 3 week long project today and had a quarterly review with my boss which went just fine. I had not taken any other work in the last 3 weeks so when I turned in my paper work this morning I had nothing to do. I piddled the rest of the day away by stretching out some busy work, it also took me all day to eat lunch. I didn’t eat slowly I just ate one item at a time every couple hours. I had chickpeas/garbanzos with curry powder as the main course. Later I had carrots. Later still ½ a peanut butter sandwich. Not a cut in half sandwich mind you, a folded in half piece of bread. I am trying to save so as to pay off certain debts faster. So I am trying to eat mostly from things already in the pantry or fridge, hence my mildly eclectic meal today. I am slowly clearing out my cluttered pantry which is a bit of a relief. If only I could clean out my bookshelf by eating my way though it. Or the cat’s litter box for that matter. On top of lunch I had a piece of apple pie and a Capri sun. The pie was part of a celebration for my coworker who was sworn in as an American citizen yesterday. The Capri sun just because it is delicious and I haven’t had one in 30 years. We decorated my coworker’s lab bench in patriotic garb like ribbons, flags, god bless the USA signs and of course a copy the most important document in American history, Stephen Colbert’s “I am America and so can you.” It was fun surprising her, she got a kick out of it. She is a mild little Indian lady. Actually now she is a mild little American lady. She was embarrassed but enjoyed having a fuss made about her. In somewhat life shaking news I am constructing a list. Yes dear readers a list! It is a list projects that I want to do in my spare time, I will share more later as I move through the list but they include things like underwater photography and writing a children’s book. The first thing I get to check off the list is purchasing a projecting microscope. I have wanted one for a year since reading “Darwin and the barnacle” (before becoming famous for “origin of the species” chuck Darwin was not famous for his barnacle studies). I want to watch small living things projected 1000x on my wall. My first plan is watching a fish embryo develop in real time. Exciting stuff.

    and that is what I ate for breakfast.

    Happy Birthday Rachi-chi!

    Aug 8, 2008, 11:26 am by Lew

    Daniel Boone was a man!Today, 8-8-08, is my lovely Fiancée’s 24th birthday! Happy birthday sweetie! For her birthday she will be celebrating with mojitos and queso a brilliant combination. I got her the Daniel Boone tv show season 2 on dvd. If you are not familiar with the show it is a fantastic old show about Daniel boone conquering the wilderness and bringing civility to Indians and outlaws. It features Ed Ames in red face as the lovable oxford education apache “mingo.” I am trying with no luck to find her an ipod dock for her car that plugs into the cigarette lighter and uses and auxiliary cable. So if you know of one please tell me. Last night we had a fantastic dinner (at our maybe rehearsal dinner site), played smash bros and made Mario mushroom cupcakes. Things are good.

    everyone sing-type happy birthday to her!

      what is the opposite of a triumphant return?

      Aug 4, 2008, 1:17 pm by Lew

      don’t normally post truly personal things on the internets beyond “I did this today” type stuff. I don’t really think the internet is conducive to sharing things that are truly personal, but that is based on a certain forum I pollinate at which will tear the things you hold dear to shreds should you share them. Perhaps thismatters is different. Mi vida the last few weeks have prevented me from posting much. Not because I am so busy. There are things I want to post. But they feel trivial compared to my real life so I didn’t post and I didn’t post the personal stuff because of my aforementioned attitude. I need to remedy that and get back to blooging. So I am just going to go ahead and post the personal stuff so I can move on with my ilife. First here is a list of things I hope to share with you soon. I am writing them down so I don’t renege on the topics later. The list: places I want to go, my love affair with my apartment pool, shark wrangling, skin eating fish, booze and coffee, and probably some other bs.

      now here is the stuff that has been going on that keeps me from posting. Warning: this will not seem that interesting or dramatic but it has been a big deal to me lately. So two months ago I got engaged. Wedding planning was going at a high pace, things seemed smooth. Then my parents came to visit about two weeks after we got engaged. It was not a good trip. Not at all. They thought they were coming to make all the arrangements for the rehearsal dinner, and that wasn’t really what we had in mind. We stalled them and prevented any real planning, they resented this and started fuming and got mad about every detail of my life that they had a problem with. They snidely commented on everything from my apartment, to my job down to my hair style. Keep in mind my parents are older, traditional and conservative. Rachel and I are a bit more bohemian and they didn’t really get that. Anyway it has dragged on over the last month or two because we were both so mad that we couldn’t talk without making shit worse. So two weeks ago I decided to buy a plane ticket and go to el paso that weekend and straighten things out. Things were straightened out to a point. There were a lot of misunderstanding and there might still be some. I had a five hour long conversation with my parents trying to address each of their concerns. To my parents credit they were much more understanding and open minded than I was expecting. Though I now know we will probably continue having some conflict sense we see things very differently. Normally it isn’t a problem as they live 700miles away. But planning a wedding we are interacting more and having to make mutual decisions. Making decisions can be hard when people want very different things, and especially hard when it is as personal as a wedding. Once the wedding stuff is decided life will be easier. But right now even with things in a relative calm compared to before my trip to el paso I still think I am bit more stressed than I like to be. So I am looking forward to being done planning, but I need to keep my energy up and not get passive due to my desire to get things done. Rachel’s parents are paying for the wedding. My parents are paying for the rehearsal dinner. My parents have made it clear they are not happy with site we chose for the wedding. But tough titties they have no rights to the wedding. However, the rehearsal dinner has become their fortress. Not that they are going to do anything horrible. They want to do something nice that we enjoy. But where rachel’s parents have a hands off attitude, my parents think the rehearsal dinner is their event for us, not our event. So while they want us to like it, we don’t have free reign. This wouldn’t be a problem if we didn’t want such different things. In order to move along we are trying to be compromising without giving up our desires but it is tough. It wouldn’t be so tough, after all it is just a dinner, except that when my parents get angry things can get out of control and I am trying not to let that happen again. The plan is to have my parents come to dallas sometime soon and have a powwow with us and rachel’s folks and hammer everything out. Arg! I just want to get married to Rachel! Why does it have to be so insane!

      disclaimer: please do not make any assumptions based on my rant, my parents are good folk and this is a synapses of two months (or twenty-five years) of events. Disclaimer II: I need to get back to work so I am not editing this right now, please forgive any errors and things that just make no sense.

      prepare to be disturbed

      Jul 18, 2008, 11:08 pm by Lew

      ouch my soulFridays at work are pretty great. Everyone is happy and in a funny mood. We usually have strange conversation on Fridays. Today was especially strange. There are these baby dolls that look very realistic. Apparently someone left one of these dolls in a car. Police broke into the car thinking they were rescuing a real child. The dolls have heart beats and breathe gently. The dolls are not for kids. They for collectors. Scary, scary baby collectors. Even more frightening are the “chimp babies” (pictured). Half-human half- chimp baby dolls. These dolls shake me to my very core (note the chimp hand-feet). Somehow these dolls lead to a discussion of human taxidermy. Apparently it is illegal to taxidermy a human. So we discussed whether there should be laws against things just because most people find them creepy. If you want to be taxidermied and posed that is your business. Who gets to decide what is so creepy that it is illegal? Well we realized that we the people do through our elected officials. If I was passionate enough about the issue I could base my vote on it. Where do Obama and McCain stand on human taxidermy. Honestly, I find chimp baby dolls more creepy. They should be illegal.
      there should be laws against this

      one wuss at a time

      Jul 14, 2008, 3:32 pm by Lew

      What would kinky do? I need his wisdom. Kinky said he will fight the wuss out of texas if he has to do it one wuss once at a time. I am trying to decide whether to do something about the p.c. stuff in my lab. Last year the Christmas party was called the holiday party as to not offend non-christians. This year it is going to be called the year end celebration as the term holiday was still offensive. I am not a Christian, I am about as secular as you get. Christmas parties do not offend me. Is it worth diluting 200 other peoples' experience at the risk of offending a couple people? What is offensive about it? Just because you do not celebrate the same things does not mean other customs are automatically offensive. Today was I believe the silliest, wussiest p.c. thing I have ever heard. Someone complained about the monthly birthday party. They are a Jehovahs witness and they do not celebrate birthdays. So now it is called the cake and ice cream celebration. Now the person who complained feels comfortable enjoying cake and ice cream with everyone else. But it is still a damn birthday party. We aren’t celebrating cake and ice cream, we are still having them because it is a birthday party. Do they think they are tricking Jehovah with the new name? how do I fight wussification? do I send out a company wide e-mail? Start a petition to de-wuss the company? Keep my mouth shut? Is it worth the fight? WWKD?

      Venture Bros.

      Jul 9, 2008, 1:28 pm by Lew

      get it?I realized something recently. i am a venture bros. fanboy. I know I am fanboy for Nintendo and Jeaques Cousteau. But recently I was scouring a venture bros. fansite for any back story hints that I have missed. One does not care about the back story of completely fictional cartoon unless they are a fanboy. If you are not familiar with this cartoon I am not surprised. It is on late at night on Sundays on cartoon network’s adult swim programming block. The show follows the exploits of a failed super scientist, his bumbling archenemies and other fantastic characters. It is fantastic except it is all supposed to take place in the real world. Bjork and dépêche mode are referenced often. David Bowie is the head of the super villain union (super villains are unionized). I think I have a little envious of the heroes on the show. I wish I was a good enough scientist so I could get the attention of costumed nemesis.

      I have never been into comic books. But I think my interest in the show is like what others have for comic books. How did the characters get where they are? Why do they hate each other? Who killed who? Why does Jackie Kennedy-Onassis have such a deep gravely voice?

      I didn’t care for the show when it first started. It seemed goofy and stupid. But now I need to know everything. I never follow tv shows. For some reason I care about the characters. You can catch new episodes online at adultswim.com but you need to watch the first two seasons to appreciate it. The show is a brilliant combination of over the top cartoonish adventure and human frailty. It is strange and hilarious. Will you be my arch nemesis? What will your costume be?

      Smidgen

      Jul 8, 2008, 10:54 pm by Lew

      I am a smidgen drunk. i am going to take advantage of that to give you my thoughts for the day. 1) sleeping is nice, i want a job where i sleep until 11. then go to work if i want to. i want the same money i make now for that. i mean i could do a weeks worth of work in one day if they didn't care about face time at the lab. can i just work 2 days solid and then have the next 5 to knock around? is this a fair and just world? 2) i was sweeping my kitchen and thinking about capitalism. while doing that i imagined a picture of me sweeping the kitchen with a caption "this is the moment you realized you don't have to be a slave." the thought made me giggle a little. fuck it y'all let's all build greenhouses and grow our own food (and die of gangrene). 3) robots. what the hell. is everything going to be robots? will there be robots to replace all the animals? will there be robot deer with glowing robot eyes? who the hell needs that. we already have deer. we don't need robot deer. fucking shit man. i thought that at lunch today with vince. i didn't say that out loud. i should have.

      damn my bunnies are gay for each other.

      Haiku

      Jul 3, 2008, 3:30 pm by Lew

      i was engaged in a throwdown today. a haiku throwdown. my labmate and i were competing to see who was the better note writer. it all started after she asserted a unicorn i drew was stupid. i had to defend the noble beasts honor. no one could decide who was superior so we had a tie breaking haiku competition. the haiku had to be about pcr (polymerase chain reaction) which is what we work on. if you don't have a molecular biology background these will not be very funny.

      here is the haiku i lost to:

      Sweet Polymerase
      Nimbly dance on DNA
      Forming chains of life

      here is my submission:

      Hot spring denizen
      A gift from Yellowstone Park
      T. aquaticus

      if you are biology nerd then those are quite funny. i let you down unicorn. the bible teaches that jews should not be trusted with unicorns. i should have known.
      forgive me...

      Like my melons?

      Jul 2, 2008, 11:35 pm by Lew

      canta.... muskmeloni have a little garden. really rachel and i and our friends john and jade have a garden. it is in john and jade's backyard. i do most of the daily tending. i sneak in their backyard on my way to work to check for pests and do any pruning. We have a good pepper crop, as well as many herbs and we used to have squash (it is now out of season). we also have tomatoes, but birds destroyed our first crop. i am hoping to get another batch, i have since learned how to protect tomatoes from birds.

      I am most proud though of my melons. in the pictures you can see our watermelon and cantaloupe vines. little known fact that you can grow melons vertically in a small space. in the first picture is a cantaloupe. in the second you can see a tiny little watermelon. those are the biggest fruits at the moment though the vines are covered in smaller immature fruits. i am a cantaloupe enthusiast. i would say so bold as to say cantaloupe is my favorite fruit. a perfectly ripe cantaloupe is unbeatable. a melon can be a meal, a dessert and makes an fantastic ice cream. so i am excited about growing my own. there are varieties of fruits and veggies that you can not buy in grocery stores, you have to grow them. the cantaloupes are two different heirloom varieties that you cannot get in stores. in addition to my fondness for the flavor i have a connection to them as they are one of the few fruits that grows well in west texas. a pecos melon is the champagne of melons.

      this morning i rigged up little slings to hold up the melons. i wrapped pantyhose around the melons and then strung them up to support the weight. the pantyhose stretches as the melon grows and keeps birds off. the support keeps the vine from breaking so it can ripen fully. yes, i had to go buy pantyhose just for my melons.

      i am looking forward to august and the start of the fall growing season. in texas one can grow crops year round. the least productive time is the heat of the summer. you can still grow in winter if you are careful. come august i am going to convert the gardens to strawberries and green beans. yum.
      farmer lew

      what's cooler than cool?

      Jul 2, 2008, 3:52 pm by Lew

      ice cold! i love when we get in a shipment that comes on dry ice. that stuff is like a toy you weren't allowed to have when your a kid. dry ice hockey. dry ice bombs and of course bubbling bottles of pure science!

      back to playing with the dry ice.

      How old am I?

      Jul 2, 2008, 3:35 pm by Lew

      i have an awesome apartment in a great location, at a great price. it used to be a very low key complex, in an otherwise bustling area. my own oasis. recently i have been disturbed by the number of young college types that have moved into my apartment complex. really i am concerned by the number of incosiderate people moving in. we used to never hear a peep (except when our former neighbor was doin' it) from the outside world. now we have upstairs neighbors who get drunk and have silly fights ("you don't understaaaaaaand waaaaah"). they listen to the same two hendrix and nirvana albums over and over. the other night at about 4am they and all their buddies hung out on the stairs and shouted outside our window all night. there is another group of about 10 people who use the pool all afternoon every freaking day. they have cases of corona and all their dogs in the pool. both of which are not allowed in the pool. people, i don't want to swim in your dog water! then they leave their trash piled up by this tiny trash can instead of walking 40 feet to the dumpster. cleaning up after them is not the custodians job. this isn't a college apartment, it is a real world apartment. *bitch and moan*

      my 29 year old neighbor (who is a college student, and a very considerate one) and i wear complaining to each other about the shift in the vibe in the complex. bastard making us feel like the old guy who keeps the frisbees that land in his yard. it isn't that they are young, they are just plain inconsiderate.

      should i figure out who is leaving the bottles, bag them all up and drop them on their door step? should i say something to the landlord (who is super nice) or just leave them be?

      Texas A&M is awesome

      Jun 26, 2008, 8:33 pm by Lew

      i already knew this to be true but i was really mulling it over yesterday. texas a&m is a fucking great university. the school is austin is a very good school no doubt, one of the top schools in the country. but it isn't really anything special. i went there for a bit in grad school. it was nice. they obviously have a lot of money. but the only thing going for them that sets them apart from other state schools elsewhere is that is lucky enough to be in the capitol city of the great state of texas. nothing else really sets it apart. a&m has set itself apart despite being in a tiny town in the middle of nowhere. a&m does a lot and basically gets little recognition. i think the thing is that a&m is strong in the sciences but could give a rats ass about everything else. so people think aggies are a bunch of hicks. the following is a list of a&m's awesomeness. please contribute more points of greatness in the comments as i am sure i left out many.

      1. the mars lander that found ice at the poles. an aggie is the head of that mission.
      2. norman bourlag. basically saved the indian continent from starvation. got a nobel prize and almost no popular recognition.
      3. root stock from grape vines discovered by an a&m professor saved the french wine industry from a grape blight. old grape vines in france still are growing on texas a&m roots.
      4. i believe half of all officers who served in ww II came to a&m to get trained.
      5. oil, all of it flows through a&m on its way to the rest of the world. i am pretty sure this is true.
      6. robert gates. the only one with a brain in the whole bush administration. and they stole him from a&m.
      7. a&m has an extension station in every county in texas. every damn county.
      8. replant. big event. the largest volunteer organizations of any american university.
      9. silver taps. muster.

      Trailer Treasure

      Jun 26, 2008, 9:11 am by Lew

      My esteemed fellow blooger, Mr. Z.P. Cress and I were discussing country living recently. He was looking at houses in the country and was displeased that a large number of available houses are trailers. I totally understand the bad taste "trailer" leaves in one's mouth. however, i think the trailers' reputation is a bit undeserved. how is a trailer any less respectable than living in an apartment? the only reason trailers are looked down on is because of the stereotypes of the people who live in them. i have known respectable, intelligent, all around good people who don't like city life. for the price of renting a tiny apartment one gets a little piece of land and a trailer to live in. young people usually begin independent life in the city by renting an apartment. it makes sense to me that a trailer is the country equivalent. you can't afford a plantation home yet, but you want to live out in the country, so you go with what you can afford. nothing wrong with that. make it tasteful, don't pile car parts in the yard. do it right and i bet no one would notice your house is a trailer.

      Good Morning, jiffy lube sucks

      Jun 25, 2008, 10:53 am by Lew

      You have aquired lube cannon.this morning is an example of how to start your day. rachel is taking a day off because she can (I wish I had that many days off left to use). she woke up with me and we made eggs, toast and coffee and had breakfast on our back porch. there were birds squaking in the trees and we translated bird screeches into english (male bird, "haaaaave sex with me!!!" female bird, "nooooooo!"). I then went for a quick swim, which was fantastic. i plan on having a post soon about my pool addiction. the water was crisp and clear and the sky was gorgeous. then i took a hot shower and sweat shave. then i squeezed in a quick level of mega man 6. the double "w" house is in a n.e.s. renaissance. then finally left to work, just a touch late, but that is not a big deal.

      i was late to work because of jiffy lube. not because of breakfast, birds, swimming, showering or mega man 6. i had my oil changed at jiffy lube a couple days ago. i noticed my car had been riding strangely since the oil change. on a hunch i checked my tire pressure and it was 7 lbs lower than i keep it. while i was at jiffy lube they said they adjusted the pressure on my tires for me. i thought it was strange to adjust tires that are hot from the road but it's part of the service. well it wasn't a good idea. my milage has been crap since i had my oil changed. the caps on the tires were barely on. and they left a freaking wrench on the rim below my windshield. that place is a freaking scam, but it is the only oil shop near my lab. they always call you out to see your air filter to show you how dirty it is. yeah of course the air filter in my car is dirty, that means it is working! they adjusted my tire to 40psi, crazy high and i told them to bring it back to the 32f/30r that honda recommends. which lead to my underinflated tires. so long story longer, i reinflated my tires on my way to work and my car felt much better. though that made me a few minutes late. which no one noticed.

      i need to learn to change my own oil so i don't have to pay scam artists $30 for 5 minutes worth of work.

      cats, sans lol

      Jun 23, 2008, 10:56 pm by Lew

      your cat would eat you if you were smallerWhat is the deal with people and cats? i was at a group function with what i would call hip young people, probably about 10 people at this gathering. we jokingly started talking about our cats in the way old people do, but the joke stopped and the cat talk continued. where were the dogs in the conversation? let me say, i like cats, i have a cat. except during college i have always had a cat. i love all animals i would have one of everything on earth if i could. i think on some level we can relate to any animal. but i think dogs and humans have a special relationship. we see our favorite human characteristics in dogs and they see their's in us. since we came out of the trees canines and humans have been growing closer, relying on each other more. dogs would not be here without us (wolfs would, but not dogs) and who knows maybe we would have been eaten by saber tooth tigers were it not for our canine companions. in the last couple years, for the first time in american history the cat has been more popular than the dog as a pet. cats have their place in our homes, but they are not our partner in the way dogs are. they like us and give companionship but really it is a relationship of convienience for them. they eat our pests, we give them a home. we feed them, they return with purring and nuzzling. but most of the time they could care less about us. what does it say about as a people that we are becoming cat people? what does it say about our society? cats are an easy pet. they don't need walks. they don't really need our companionship. are we getting lazy? are we going for the easy pet? are we becoming more like cats? we would rather lay on the couch and sleep than chase a fish in the river? this bothers me people. i must confess i do not currently have a dog. i can't bring myself to keep a dog in my tiny apartment all day. but in my ideal world our dogs would be our constant companions. not in the way but there. riding in the backs of our (solar powered) trucks. curled up under our desks at work. and making sure we get outside and run and play a bit. cats are good but when have you seen a cat ride in a truck bed? or help a person catch food? never. they are sweet. a cat (that is friends with the dog) is part of my american dream. but i am a bit disturbed by the penchant for cats that i am perceiving. maybe it is because i am living in a real city for the first time in my life (el paso does not count) because this preference is new to me. dogs are popular in austin. it is a dog friendly city. i think what i am getting at is i want a dog!!!

      edit: this was sort of prompted by zach's post below. it in no way is meant to denigrate him or his kitties. they are good kitties and he's a good guy. but people get some dogs! seriously. if i could i would have an actual wolf and it would protect me from other native tribes. i will settle for a siberian husky and tennis ball though.

      Sausage Fest

      Jun 21, 2008, 12:37 am by Lew

      Now don't get me wrong, I am as much a fan of meat and spices encased in intestinal lining as anyone but I realized that this place is a freaking sausage party. I tried enticing Rachel to thismatters but yeah she already has no dearth of interweb opportunities. What I am sayin is "where the bitches at?!" Paul get some girls up in this place, and some black people and an eskimo up in here. Sorry mark and trey if you are black eskimo girls, I don't know you and I am assuming you are not. ladies if you are reading this, consider mattering with us. we need someone to teach us how to dress better and to snuggle our posts up next to after a hard days blooging.

      yeah this entry is a good idea. right?

      I am internet famous by association

      Jun 19, 2008, 11:42 pm by Lew

      Brad Neely and the real Baby CakesTonight me and some fine folks (john, jade, vince, finacee rachie and sarah) went to the Alamo drafthouse downtown for the Brad Neely Animation showcase. Mr. Neely was there in person and I got my picture with him in person. excuse the ugly dude in the picture me i was drunk and it is an iphone in a dark room. If you are not familiar with the name Brad Neely he is the genius behind washington. It was a pretty great event and it was cool seeing Neely. He was hilarious and incredibly shy.

      if you like washington he has more on super deluxe

      Today

      Jun 19, 2008, 12:10 am by Lew

      It is Juneteenth people. The anniversary of Texas slaves being set free and the future anniversary of Zach's interview that gets him a job at Agilent. Get some fresh batteries and start sending out good vibes.

      I gonna be a husband

      Jun 12, 2008, 11:24 pm by Lew

      pngaged!Two weeks ago today my girlfriend became my fiancee rachel! this is the official interweb announcement. We have been dating for 5 years 3 months. i asked her at a candy store down the street from our apartment. the candy shop is called big top candy shop, it awesome and if you are in austin you are required to buy candy from them. the ring was in the case with the chocolates and i "ordered" the ring and bam! one knee will you marry me the whole shebang. last weekend we went to dallas so I could ask her parents permission to marry her. it is the gentlemanly thing to do. so she said yes, we are so lovey it disgusts the world but get used to it cause we are together for next few decades at least (would you put your brain in a robot body?)
      engagement ring can haz a flavor

      He Gonna Be A Doctor Son

      Jun 12, 2008, 10:55 am by Lew

      Science!On monday my good friend vince nieto passed his preliminary exams in the microbiology program at t.u.- Austin. I would like to use this entry to say congratulations sir. If you are not familiar with the process of a biology PhD know that it is grueling. I didn't last a year in my program. Vince was in the same time as me and through an herculaian amount of work and a ventnerian amount of genius he has qualified and is now a phd candidate. In addition to be a microbiological champion he maintains a darn good bloog. madpimpvince check it out after refering 10 of your friends to thismatters.net.

      Service

      May 25, 2008, 7:17 pm by Lew

      Lately I have come to appreciate service when I trading money for goods and service. I think it is because in the last year I have truly started supporting myself and have, at last, learned the value of a honest days pay for an honest days work. Or maybe just because I have money to I am buying things. I now patronize places where I receive good service. I like restaurants with good food and nice people, a bonus if they remember me next time I visit.

      I was having a problem with an iPod dock that I bought at Fry's. I went to Fry's to get help with it and I was bascially chased out of the building rather than being helped. Out of desperation I popped into a nearby Apple store to see if they could help. Which they did without hesitation. I have not bought any yet but after the awesome treatment there I am switching to Apple comp. Dell has not been bad with their service but no where near as good. Today I bought a new digital camera. Normally I would go to Best Buy (I no longer go to Fry's) but decided to try a local camera shop first. Not only did they have every model of brand I like (Canon) but the prices were good and the people working there KNEW ABOUT CAMERAS. It was so nice getting a professional opinion. The camera lady stayed with us the whole time from looking until check out. Plus we got a free photo printer, reasonably priced 1G SD cards and the shop gives photography lessons free when you buy a camera. That my friends is service.

      lewslist? lewreport? lewmazon?

      May 23, 2008, 3:01 pm by Lew

      Has the internet caused a new interest in reality? today after browsing craig's list and drudge's report it really hit me how amazingingly the internet lets regular people compete at the same level as those with much bigger bank accounts. regular people can't get a fm channel, or start a broadcast network. but they can start a website (this matters!). this low investment let some guy who posts links change journalism and a guy trying to sell an old car create a new nationwide commerce system. it boogles my googles! i feel lucky to have seen the internets birth. it really is like landing on a new continent. it is a frontier. the internet is north american 400 years ago, fertile and ready to be conquered (good thing there weren't any internatives to be given small pox).

      i guess this is all very obvious, but it impressed me today and makes me want to get better at this thing called the internet. i can barely make seperate paragraphs here. how hard it is to learn how make one's own internet pages? where does one begin?

      wow i totally got off topic. what the hell does my first sentence mean? i was goin going to write something really profound but went off on a pretty useless rant. i hope you enjoyed that rant though.

      Pimping

      May 23, 2008, 1:57 pm by Lew

      Dear the world: visit www.ta73.com. One it is my gf's website, but more importantly it is a great site from a great person. Sometimes I feel like I am cheating on ta73.com by being on thismatters.net but that is neither here nor there. I know Paul already has a link for her site but it deserves a link on every page. Her last post is totally emo, but don't assume it is all emo. If you like music, 8-bit games, or you are a cool person then you will like her site. oh and Paul, I'll work your backend.

      11th Commandment

      May 21, 2008, 10:33 pm by Lew

      Thou shall remove thy lint from thine line trap upon removing thine garments. Seriously people, if you share a laundry room with strangers have the decency to clean out the lint trap when you take out your drying. In fact you should do it before you take out your drying otherwise you end up getting lint on your clean clothes. I do not want to take out your pubic hair clogged lint ball before I dry my t-shirts. No one does. Except Rachel, she loves lint traps. So sayeth the Lord.

      Howdy

      May 18, 2008, 6:58 pm by Lew

      I would like to thank my gracious host Paul Stiverson allowing me to contribute to thismatters.net. Paul, your site is one of my favorites and it is an honor to be here, I hope to do you proud.

      I will make my first real post soon. This post is so we can get to know each other. I am LEW. I live in Austin, TX with my lovely girl friend Rachel. A mean cat and two gay rabbits. I hope to share my exploits and thoughts. I am a full time biologist and part time shark wrangler. My interests are science, especially marine biology, Texas, delicious food (including the growing and preparation of it) and living well. I don't have anyone in particular I dislike, but I want to live well just in case I ever need to get revenge.

      I will be sharing my thoughts and experiences and I hope to learn about yours, perhaps inspire you try something fun and new. Until next... catch phrase!

      Sidebar off | Posts per page: 10 20 30