24 August 2008

What is the limit of the human body, anyways?

I was wondering this myself while watching the men's marathon last night in the Olympics. Now, this article is making the rounds (from Time magazine, my old favorite thanks to good ol Dad). Personally, I think it is really mind-boggling to think about how different runners from all over the globe, with different bodies, and training regimes and whatnot, all seem to be reaching the same limit, at least in long distances. These people don't really seem to be getting much faster. How is it possible that we have reached the limitations of the human body? Why are there so many people who are on par with each other, why not some freak of nature that smashes every record, who basically seems bred to run. I mean, if you think about, Usain Bolt seems like that guy, for sprinting. I dunno, maybe it's just that I've been told all my life that anything is possible and reach for the stars and all that, that actually witnessing human limitations seems unfathomable. Taller, faster, stronger.

Watching the Olympics makes me think about what would have happened if I hadn't given up running and sprinting. I always liked bolting around when I was a kid. Now, I feel like I can run farther than I ever did in cross country, albeit definitely not faster. (Thus, I am a huge believer in hiking now in improving lung capacity and leg strength) I guess the largest part of it is the 90% mind, 10% body that my cross country teammates always used to talk about.

Zelda's been captured!

Digg it!

23 August 2008

Internet Adventure: The Aliens Don't Like Us!

Ah, conspiracy theories.

Also, don't you love Science? Dude, STRANGELETS! Who the fuck makes this up?! (Oh, wait, it's these guys!) Actually, I kind of think it's a cool name. It's a good thing to realize that you can make up words when writing science.

Also, WHY haven't I seen THIS before? It's about the Apocalypse AND science causing the apocalypse! Seriously! It's like two of my favorite topics! On the other hand, they talk about a Supervolcano emerging from Yellowstone. I always thought I was pretty much safe over here in Colorado from many of the Apocalyptic scenarios, but I guess not...

Bike Thieves

Mob thinking! That's our problem in America. This is an awesome video though.

BTW. When I say mob thinking, I include all sorts of altered behaviors of individuals that result from being in groups, including the bystander effect and so forth. It's all the same thing, really.

22 August 2008

Poor Baby Whale.

Very sad.

It is hard to know what to think about this. On the one hand, he was suffering, and starving and was sad because he lost his mommy. On the other hand, it was a life. I understand that it would have been virtually impossible to raise a mom-less whale because of sheer amount of milk they drink. This is why I wouldn't want to be a vet. Poor baby whale :'(

Flabberghast! Mind-thief!

The man stole my line!!! This is referring to an article about how we hardly know John McCain, and MY post, below, called, "But, John, I hardly know you!"

BTW. In the article, Mr. Eugene Robinson mentions that McCain said, "We are all Georgians," in an attempt to mimic JFK's line in Berlin that we all heard about again following Obama's visit there. MAVERICKs don't COPY other people. They come up with their own memorable lines, dammit. AND JFK's was way better because it was actually in German. Geez, no one can get it right these days.

Reverse graffiti

Very cool.

21 August 2008

Delightful Vegan Zucchini Bread!

This is basically the from this recipe I found on Allrecipes.com. Give credit where it's due. I changed it up some though!!!

Delightful Vegan Zucchini Bread (No Eggs, No Butter)
2 1/2 - 3 c shredded zucchini (basically a medium sized zucchini)
3 c fancy organic flour (I used spelt wheat and organic 1:1)
3 tbsp milled flax seeds
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 c brown sugar (or 1:1 brown:white)
1 c apple sauce
3/4 c vegetable oil (I used grapeseed)
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp crystallized ginger

Mix the flour, flax seeds, baking powders, salt & ginger together nicely.
Combine the oil, apple sauce, vanilla, and sugar together and mix until smooth.
Dump the wet stuff in with the dry stuff. Add the zucchini! Mix!
Bake at 325 for 70 min!

I like the ginger addition a lot. I would probably add more next time. When I made it, it wasn't quite vegan because I ran out of apple sauce and threw in some hard butter, which I was too lazy to melt, so there were smallish chunks of butter in the batter. I think this turned out well, though, because there are these soft gooey parts in the bread now that I think are from the butter chunks. Also, I might try to bake it at 350 instead of 325. What's the difference, right? This fit into a largish bread pan for me, I guess maybe people normally make smaller loafs of dessert breads, but whatever. FYI.

NEXT TIME: I think I want to have some zucchini chunks, so I'm going to roughly chop a fourth of it next time and shred the rest. ALSO, I think I want to try adding some rosemary, it felt like it could go for something green and garden-y in there. Honey might also be fun (But I don't have any because the bees are struggling right now, and I'm not sure what to do about that...). Oh! And I had delicious bars today with golden raisins in them, and I think that would definitely be fun! I didn't know golden raisins were so good in desserts! Maybe if I had golden raisens, I wouldn't do the zucchini chunks. Why do all my breads seem like they're going to end up as fruitloaf?

20 August 2008

Precious Metals Fuel our Thirst for Electronic Devices AND China's fireworks faked?!

Ok, so maybe I'm behind the times, but I just learned some new things from my brother's radio show on WSUM in Madison, WI.

I learned that they use rare metals, such as coltran (some ore), in producing some of our personal electronic devices. It has become a sort of blood diamond thing with people fighting and killing each other to mine this shit. Goes to show you should Recycle Your Electronic Devices! And also... we're all going to hell. Oh well.

I also learned that the some of the fireworks in Beijing's Opening Ceremonies were faked, they were digital! They were only seen by the people watching on their TVs. Isn't that crazy? This just goes to show that it's all about appearances in China. The same thing with the lip-syncing girl sitting in for the real talented girl, AND the crazy freaky medal-holder hostess girls that have to be between 5'6" and 5'8" or something and need to smile the perfect 6 to 8 tooth smile! If I was in the room with those girls, I would freak the fuck out.

17 August 2008

But, John, I barely know you!

THIS is a very good article. I agree whole-heartedly that we need to look more closely at what McCain has done recently rather than these past half-formed opinions. Seriously, if anyone's seen uncut footage of him answering questions, they would realize his mind is going and he stumbles over his words and forgets things. I know this is old news, but the incident I have in mind is where he was being asked about his position on birth control and a bill that would require insurance companies to cover it, and he couldn't recall the votes OR even come up with a well-formed opinion on the spot.

I have this general idea of lack-of-action on his part. He hasn't even shown up to vote for any of the recent energy bill legislation. Apparently he was even in Washington for one of them, but wouldn't leave his office (don't remember where I heard that one). I feel like if he were elected, it would be sort of like when one of your grandparents starts getting on in the years and you have to help them with all sorts of menial tasks. Really, who would actually be running this country if he won?

McCain answering the birth control vs Viagra question:

16 August 2008

Don't Need No 'Poo - 4 week update!

It's official. I've been off 'Poo for 4 straight weeks. Things are going pretty well. I've been conditioning twice weekly with Burts Bees Conditioner and doing a vinegar wash twice a week as well.. Did the baking soda things three times. I only really noticed results from that the last time, when my hair got really soft. Other observations are that my hair seems way more tame - its super easy to comb (I only combed it once this whole time, I had given up combing to reduce damage months ago), and that it goes straight fairly easy. Of course, this straightness is against what I would prefer, but I have some ideas...

Looking around more, I found a couple how-tos for going no 'poo. I also have perused, more thoroughly, this curly girl site and what they're all about. It's like a cult almost. I kind of feel like I'm not curly enough to be reading all about it. ANYWAY, they have some good stuff on there though. I think I will be trying this oil thing because it apparently moisturizes the curls and makes them happier. I also might try this brown sugar scrub thing.

I have been continuing to use styling products almost daily. It doesn't really stay curly without it. AND I'm going to try this plopping thing that the curly girl people talk about. That seems like it might work. Overall, I am fairly pleased but not like drop-dead sold on this no 'poo thing because nothing totally drastic has happened to my hair.

An Internet Adventure: The Moon Rabbit!

The internet is so much more fun with links! Am I right, or am I right?

I was searching for lyrics for !!! - "Must Be the Moon." (!!! is my new obsession, I cannot get enough of it and it is really messing up my last.fm profile) I happen to have that firefox add-on which displays the most relevant wikipedia article for any google search. It was Moon rabbit! I am a sucker for moons and rabbits (Who can't be after reading Watership Down?!), so I eagerly read up on the moon rabbit. I learned a new word! Pareidolia! The moon rabbit is definitely my favorite pareidolia! I actually think he would make a good tattoo....

I learned another new word. Apophenia! This is my new favorite word. Sobering down a little, I feel like, if applied broadly, it really is a great description of our situation today. Or humanity's great pitfall throughout time, really. People are too smart to be happy, I think. But not smart enough to figure out how to save themselves endless grief. Or they're unwilling, as is my case. People are fucking crazy.

Hells yeah!

Updates on life and thoughts!

First off! I have successfully taken my last big test of my life, hopefully! YAY! Of course, this isn't counting the oral exam that will come later this year. I will just say that I am a fabulous test taker and I feel really very good about the test and my performance on it. I feel like I answered most of the questions right, and on the ones that were iffy, I at least put done something intelligible. That's all you can ask for, right? That said, I really should move to a profession where I can utilize my fabulous test-taking mindset more often. Really. I think it also has something to do with a cool head in the face of disaster. But I haven't really had many disasters in my life so far. Maybe I only say that because I diffused them with such levelheadedness that they became not really that much of a big deal. ANYWAY. Any jobs out there like that?

There really isn't anything like the test-taking mode. It's like my brain has been switched "ON" and I'm actually excited and pumped to kick the test's ass. I am trying to develop a similar "ON" for presentations, and I think it kind of worked last time I tried it.

ALSO: Everyone go and sign Proposition 2!!! I know its a California thing, but someone's gotta start somewhere in helping these animals, right? Lead the way, California! Maybe I won't feel so bad buying California cheese then, right? Don't tell Bucky I said that...

Coco Wheats is a superfood! Why am I not eating it everyday?! 7 g of protein and 90% DV of iron?! Fer serious. I should stock up on it for when the Apocalypse comes, since Obama is the Anti-Christ and all.

Georgie update: It's not so bad pilling her. Mostly, she has forgotten after 12 hours that if I stand in a certain spot and then come after her and grab her, that she will experience some unpleasantries. On occasion, though, I can't get her to take it, she keeps spitting it out, and then I find that canned salmon is my great friend. Mostly this happens in the morning. But seriously, I just put the pill in the middle of a chunk of salmon and she downs the whole thing, pill and all! Ha! I've done it three times so far. Makes me think she doesn't chew very well at all.

Phillippe update: Phillippe is no long hiding in the back of the tank. I did a water change and maybe that helped. I dunno. Also, the plants have been getting more than 12 hours of light lately, so maybe that is helping them work harder!

12 August 2008


So. I have obtained glass tops and a four foot long light fixture. The light fixture is not exactly what I wanted. But oh well. They are two 28 watt 4 foot long bulbs. They are skinnier than the normal ones, see... It is a very flat fixture. Anyway. The light is WAY better, especially since I covered the top with aluminum tape, which I just happened to have lying around.

Notice in the pictures, Phillippe is just sitting there, staring at the corner! What is he doing!? There is NOTHING over there to look at! The heater?! I'm taking the heater out, Right Now. It is no longer necessary anyway. Anyway, I really think the quality of the light and the brightness are both better and brighter. So that is positive. I call my tin foil set up the Total Internal Reflection.

Update! Phillippe is now sitting and staring in the opposite corner! Maybe he is looking at himself somehow. Vain fish.

The real test is whether the plants grow and the ammonia goes DOWN. Of course.


Phillippe was acting weird... He was hanging out in the back corner while the other fish were snuffling around. I did an ammonia test! There's somewhere around .25 ppm in there now! I put the old biowheel that I had forgotten about in the tank - probably won't do much good now. I also put in some Amquel... Although youre not supposed to do that so much when youre cycling. Poor Phillippe! I also gave them some food so Phillippe would come out and now he is acting normal and active. Maybe he was just hungry and not feeling well... You can't overfeed when youre cycling though because whatever doesn't get eaten decomposes into more ammonia and nitrates and whatever! But he likes eating so much, thats how he got so big in the first place!

Here's a picture of shiny-sparkle Phillippe, he is so iridescent these days.

Update: This is the state of my tank. I have decided the plants need more light since my new hoods are crappy and I have two 18 inchers in this tank, whereas in the other one I had two 24 inchers for less tank! So, here is the temporary solution: The old lights propped up on the tank. Notice how much more light is getting in on that side. Also notice the old biowheel.... Fish also seem more excited about this side of the tank. It is time to act: I am going to the fishstore and getting two 48 inchers with a glass top immediately!

09 August 2008

Vegetarian Quorn Helper

This is a vegetarian version of Hamburger Helper made with Quorn brand grounds! I'm a big fan of the Quorn grounds, and all Quorn products really. They're not vegan though, they contain egg, so thats a little bit of a bummer, but they really do an amazing job. ANYWAY, this was not made with A box of Hamburger Helper or anything, but it does remind me of it.

I was happily making a box of macaroni and cheese, and since I am trying to use up all the food items in my house right now before I go shopping again, I decided I would add something to the macaroni to make it last longer. In the freezer - half a bag of Quorn grounds! Lovely! Topped off with the cheese mix from the mac & cheese, milk, tomato sauce, and fresh tomato.

Box of Mac & Cheese (I was using fancy Annie's Organic Whole Wheat)
1/2 bag of Quorn grounds
some sort of oil
tomato sauce
garlic powder
various herbs & spices

Cook up box of mac and cheese. Strain mac and cheese. Defrost and warm through half bag of Quorn grounds in the same pot with a little oil (I used grapeseed), throwing in a little salt, black pepper, and garlic to season them. Add back the mac and cheese and make the cheese sauce as it says on the package. You can stop at this point if you want! Or continue....

I like the fresh chopped tomatoes on it especially, so you need that. I also threw in a little milk and tomato sauce on it when I reheated it later, and that spiced it up. The last time I made it, before I ran out, I had milk and tomato sauce, which I cooked down a little with the mac & cheese. I also added chili paste for a little heat, oregano, garlic, and marjoram. Fresh tomatos on top, and it was yummy!

Chaotic Event.

So, I made a boo-boo the other day when I double stacked my filters in the old tank... It was overflowing, and water was getting out of the tank. Extend this overnight, and you get a whole bunch of water on the floor, and fishes in like 2 inches of water! I think the fish were sort of scared, because the big ones only really had enough water to sit upright in. I was surprised and alarmed this morning to say the least. So, the fish got moved over to the new tank a lot sooner than they had anticipated. But now everything is moved! So that's good and exciting. Ammonia levels remain low.

08 August 2008


Got myself a brand shiny new 55 gal tank for my goldfish! I have had Phillippe the goldfish for five years now, along with Adele, and they started out as babies, like an inch and a half long. Now Phillippe is like 6 inches long or something, and he is stuck in a sad 29-gal with 3 goldfish buddies and 3 Siamese algae eater friends!

I started by adding some lovely aged tap water, and putting in new gravel along with some laterite. I then cleverly used a plate to transfer my forest of whatever-
those-are. They are quite large forests, and I wanted to keep them together. I do think I separated a small three-some off of one of the main groups though. These guys grow like crazy.

I put more water in there, tap, and transferred water from my established tank into the new tank. This sat overnight. I put even MORE water in there in the morning, the fish are getting sad looking at this point, they thought they were getting a bigger tank! I started the filter up, which wouldn't run yesterday because the level was too low - there's this midlevel water intake that is sort of strange and I needed to get the water up that high before it would run. The bitch did creek and moan for a good while before it finally started though.

THEN, I was reading up on cycling tanks - which I never put much thought into before, but since my dad mentioned, I thought I should look into it - and I found something about how planted tanks are easier to cycle, transfer plants over, use stemmed plants, which like to eat nitrogen a lot, apparently. I ran out to the store and got me some Pennywort and Ludwigia. Popped my heater in there to try to get the temperature even with my old tank. Did some ammonia tests - both tanks are around .1 ppm, which is fine. Ran off for the day.

NOW, nearly 24 hours after setting it, I have entered my Siamese algae eaters into their new home. THey are swimming round and munching on algae on the established plants. I will check the ammonia later tonight at some point. Anyway, the algae eaters are supposed to be hardy fish, so it should be ok. And I'm not as emotionally attached to them as I am to my goldfish. The goldfish would probably like a little more water in their tank though...

07 August 2008

An ordeal.

So, I spent the majority of the weekend moving from one apartment to another. My cats, Georgie and Simon, made the move on Saturday. Georgie was very nervous and spent a lot of time in the closet. Simon was fine, on the other hand, and was done exploring the place in an hour or so.

Everything had settled down nicely, so I thought, UNTIL... I discovered clumps of RED URINE in the litterbox when I was scooping it yesterday morning. SHIT. Which cat was it? Was it both of them? I called the vet immediately. The receptionist asked me if either of them was acting strange, peeing a lot. I had noticed George in the litterbox with the red pee. And she was drinking a lot of water lately, it seemed, which I thought was a good thing. She was the cat we should check first, thought the lady on the phone. So I scheduled the earliest appointment, for 11 am.

I had learned from my experiences trying to get Georgie in a cat carrier that maybe it was smartest to use the cat crate so I could just lower her into it. She's a pretty big and strong cat, with big teeth and claws, after all. I took her to the vet, she was scared and panted and drooled like she does, which is always alarming to see. The vet, whom I hadn't seen before, was nice, and he said everything was normal, but that he was going to try to get a urine sample. Georgie, I remember, had used the litterbox at my house just an hour before. And sure enough, no pee was in there. He said I could leave her there and wait for a urine sample, or just give her the medication. Apparently stress can cause the bladder to become inflamed, leading to blood leaking into it, and subsequently, bloody urine, without a real bladder infection from bacteria. I chose to be safe about the manner, and so poor Porridge was abandoned there.

I was starting to get worried around 3:30ish. My friend, who is in vet school, called and we talked about it. Poor Georgie. The vet finally called at 4:30 and said he got a sample and it was very bloody, so they were going to give her a shot of anti-inflammatory and anti-biotics to be safe. I came to get her immediately. He said that Georgie seemed like a nice cat, and pills were cheaper than liquid, so he was going to show me how to pill a cat. Of course, it was very easy to pill her there, since she was scared shitless. When he stuck the thermometer up her butt, she didn't even flinch, after all. I thought it was probably going to be more difficult to "pill her" at home, but it was cheaper...

On the drive home, more panting and drooling. She was in the cloth carrier this time because it was easy to get her in the carrier at the vet. When I took the carrier out of the car, I noticed some red on the seat. What was that? Blood? I took her into the house, and let her out. Turns out she had peed in the car.. In the cloth carrier.. the bloody urine. She wandered off into the house. I cleaned up the blood in the car and went to go wipe her off a little maybe. Hmm, there was more blood there than I had anticipated. And what's this? Bloody paw prints everywhere? Luckily my place has all hardwood floors and no carpet to deal with.

I decided Georgie needed to be washed. I locked her and myself into the bathroom and proceeded to put her under the faucet, stomach up, in the sink. She wasn't happy. She was clawing at me, and I got all wet, but I got her cleanish. I wrapped her up in a towel, and was sad and scared for her, she was all growls and hisses while the washing was going on, but she was quiet now. Poor poor Georgie, it will be easier to clean yourself up from just water. I went and cleaned up all the bloody paw prints from everywhere, while wet George was locked in the bathroom to lick and dry off a little. She seemed normal about the whole event by nighttime.

This morning... I got to pill my cat. Of course, the vet made it look so easy. But George was clawing at my hand when I was pulling her jaw open and she managed to spit the pill out a couple times before it finally went down. I have to do this twice a day, for two weeks, mind. Georgie's going to run from me every time I come near her by the end of it. I'm thinking of trying elaborate tricks with cheese and wet cat food to get the pill in her without actually "pilling" her. We'll see how it goes.

Happily, the pee in the litterbox this morning was not bright red anymore.

05 August 2008


Today I sold my lovebirds to a nice birdlady. It is kind of sad because I had them for over a year, and they were sweet little things. I did want to get rid of them because they were annoying sometimes. I didn't really feel as though I was taking proper care of them, I didn't let them out of their cage very often because of the cats. I felt bad. I think that they will be happier with this lady because she has had birds before and she will take them out a lot. She was very excited about them. I am sad for them because they have to get used to a new person though. Birds don't like change. Poor birds. They are probably scared tonight :'(

"Sometimes" - BTW... No Poo 2.5 weeks

Sorry about the lack of updates on No 'Poo. I have been packing and moving for like five days straight.

It has been two and a half weeks of 'poolessness. It's going pretty well. I notice that combing is super easy, the combs just slips through my hair. I, as of yet, have not obtained the glossy ringlets I desired from this experiment. But it certainly is easy. I started putting gel in it to make it curlier again. Sometimes I think that it looks greasy sometimes, but most of the time it seems fine. I have been putting conditioner on it sometimes, and sometimes washing with a vinegar rinse. I haven't done a baking soda rub since the initial first week. Doesn't seem to make a difference to me, apparently. I like to use the gel because it makes my hair seem more girlie smelling, like all the other girls. Boys like girls that smell girlie, I think.

Most importantly, I got hit on today! So it can't look that horrible, right?

Update: Here are some Day 18 No 'Poo pics, sorry for the poor picture quality, the lighting is not the best in my new apt. I put gel in my hair today to hold the curls better. Big and fluffy as ever!

01 August 2008

I'm not an old lady.

But I do watch Oprah on occasion. I found this short story on her website. The only reason I mention it is because it's a very good story, this woman is a very good writer.

And back to reality, where shit doesn't blow up all the time... Batman ROCKED

So, I saw the late late showing of Dark Knight last night, and it was SO amazing. I was so excited about it, I couldn't fall asleep for like a half hour even though it was 2 in the morning. There are so many good things about it!

On the spectrum of dorkitude, I'm really only moderate: I used to watch the cartoon when I was a kid, 'Batman Returns,' but never read any comic books really. Luckily, a lot of the cartoon series were fairly true to the comic books, I feel. Anyway, there were a lot of things I recognized and could see coming from watching the cartoon series. It was all made much better from the fact that I had read nothing about the movie beforehand.


Now, I'm not so much a fan that I remembered Two-face's real name, until the transformation had already started taking place. Then, I was like, Oo! Oo!, I know who that is! What really gave it away was when he was getting the gasoline on the one side of his face. Super exciting. Another nice part was when the motorcycle broke out of the batmobile. Awesome.

I think that people who are less familiar with Batman would have enjoyed this movie less. I spent a large part of my childhood watching this series. I also have this theory that the movies usual follow the cartoon series. A couple years ago, there was that futuristic Batman cartoon series that I can't remember the name of... I don't know the story behind it either, but that Commissioner Gordon's kid seems like a pretty good contender for being a new fresh Batman.

As far as villians go, I really think they could have ended the movie right when Harvey's transformation had started, and then they could have had a whole movie about him instead of killing him off. Instead, they kept the Joker. I mean, I would have watched the amazing Heath Ledger as the Joker again, but unfortunately, that's not an option. All I can say is, Catwoman, please?

Also, I have this strange idea that Batman and Catwoman were some of the first furries.

BTW, did I mention that I LOVE explosions?!