Wednesday, September 27, 2006


I sit here using my new 13-inch white Macbook. Just bought it last night! Why? Well, I'd like to say that it is NOT because I dropped my old iBook going through security in the airport a few weeks ago. Not because my machine tried to electrocute me yesterday morning. Not because my machine gave me the "Hard drive? What hard drive!?!?" error during lab yesterday. I'd rather say that I'd been contemplating a new machine and that I decided to reward my new svelte self for a year of not being fat. Yup - that's my story, and I'm sticking with it.

(Incalculable thanks to Greg for talking me off the cliff and helping me to retrieve as much of my data as possible. And thanks to Carl for his physics Powerpoint slides so that losing time yesterday didn't hurt quite so much this morning.)

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


One year ago today, I reached my 50-lb weight-loss goal. I've been at a 50-lb (or more!) loss ever since. One whole year of being a healthy weight. One whole year of not being a fat chick. Still, I want to celebrate with cake. :)

Thursday, September 21, 2006


The beauty of night - Saturn (and Mimas - can you see it?), from Cassini

Monday, September 18, 2006

Just had to share

Can't let you forget how beautiful Saturn is! - shadows and shade, from Cassini

Friday, September 15, 2006

Sweet Dreams

I had a dream that somebody at work brought in a tray full of beautiful pastries. I tried to behave and just took a tiny sliver of a cake that was topped with whipped cream and chocolate curls. It was so good that I scooped half of the remaining cake onto my plate and darted into my office so I wouldn't have to share and nobody would see how much I took.

Some people need their dreams interpreted for them. Me, not so much.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Strife and Lawlessness

2003 UB 313, previously known as "Xena" has received its official name from the IAU. It is now known as Eris, goddess of strife, and its satellite is Dysnomia, child of Eris, known as "lawlessness". Just the rabble we need for the outer solar system. :)

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

It's All Sarah's Fault

The much beloved SarahP sent Greg a few of the Miles Vorkosigan books by Lois McMaster Bujold earlier this summer. Upon seeing how much Greg enjoyed them, I read them, too. And thus started my obsession. Since late July, I've read thirteen novels and two short stories in this series. I've read two novels in the past four days. Now I'm done with the series, and I shall miss Miles.

The Miles Vorkosigan books have shown me how much an author can accomplish in a series. Each novel was truly a self-contained story in itself. The tone of the novels varied wildly - laugh-out-loud funny, rollicking space opera, heartwrenching drama. Miles was deeply flawed, heroic, silly, intelligent, and real. One of my favorite fictional characters ever. Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant.

Hmm...what book will I read tonight?

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Happy Football Season! (Or maybe not)

I love football. I really, really do. But growing up a 49ers fan in the 80s did not prepare me to deal with their lack of success now. They're even playing the Cardinals today in Phoenix, but I've been so out of touch that I didn't realize it. No 49ers game for me this year. :( Not that it would be much of a game. I mean, if the 49ers win one game this year, I'll be surprised. The only good move the 49ers have made in recent memory is to sign Jerry Rice to a one day contract so he can retire as a 49er. I know this makes me a bad fan. I wish we had a working VCR because I think I still have the tape of the 49ers Super Bowl victory over the Broncos. Maybe I'll dig out my Ronnie Lott autograph and meditate.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Modes of Transport

We spent the weekend in San Francisco. We ate wonderful food, took long walks, enjoyed the gorgeous weather, brunched with Lori, and shared a feast of grilled meats tastily provided by Tim and Heather. It was a lovely weekend.

Some more thoughts:

  • Growing up in Sacramento, I always thought of San Francisco as being the grownup city. It was where we went if we wanted to go to good museums. It was also where I saw my first homeless person. My family would go to Fisherman's Wharf and A's games, but it was also where my schools would take us on field trips to see Shakespeare performed. The city seemed so huge and intimidating, yet this weekend, I walked through much of it. San Francisco is still my favorite city.
  • Because of the new security measures, I can't bring hot cocoa with me on the plane to help me through the terrors of take-off. I was dealing with this okay until I realized the guy next to me had little packs of mustard and mayo with his pre-packaged sandwich. If he can bring in his "gels", then I demand my cocoa!
  • I had the most perfect food in my life at the Ferry Building Farmers Market - a tiny sample of plum, a perfect piece of plum. If we'd lived there, I would have purchased about 10 lbs of these plums and eaten them non-stop until there were no more.
  • If you drive in the city, you miss hearing the Chinese spoken in Chinatown turn into the Italian spoken in North Beach.
  • I've learned that I love to watch the geology change underneath me while I'm flying, but seeing the plane route so clearly be "fly towards Los Angeles, then hang a right at that there big fault line til it meets the sea" is a little frightening.
  • Flying over the central coast of California was sad, because at that height, the beauty of the coastline was obscured. I hope all the people on the plane someday drive that route, because they'll miss the most beautiful scenery in the world otherwise.
  • I miss my home, Northern California.