bronwynrh: (Boys)
I've been busy. Actually, I've been sick, which means I've been too exhausted and snotty to be very productive these past few weeks. My knitting has languished, my pile of sewing projects spread across the tables, and the guilt huddles in my mind, waiting for any opportunity to make me feel like an unaccomplished loser.

I do have one freelance job completed, so that's something. I should get another assignment next week... with one or two more jobs this month, I should earn a nice little pocket full of Jeff's 40th Birthday Present money. I've made a couple of Lizzypops sales, too, and hope to grab some momentum, there.

I have projects in progress for myself, Jeff and Dixon, but feel guilty working on them because they won't make any money. Then I feel guilty if I focus on Lizzypops stuff, because it may just all be a colossal waste of time. So I wind up doing nothing at all, which does wonders for the self-esteem, let me tell you.

Let's see... Ah, October in Pictures! The boys were fun this month. They're becoming closer, having fun and being affectionate with each other, although Samuel still feels very jealous of Dixon and often steals toys or squeezes between us and the baby, pushing Dixon away. He's learning, but it's taking some time. When they're not competing for toys or attention, they set each other off into choruses of squeals, screeches and giggles, and play extended games of Monkey See, Monkey Do. Last night, they were executing tandem Downward Dog poses with their heads butted up against each other on the floor. Then they'd rise up on their toes and roll over their heads, over each other, giggling like little madmen. I'll be sure to have the camera ready for video, tonight.

October 2009



~~~


And now... I dare you to go to YouTube and search for "world's biggest zit". I double dog dare you. Don't make me suffer the traumatic aftereffects alone, but don't blame me if you're foolish enough to take the dare.
bronwynrh: (Default)
Clicky here for the WaPo's top 40 entrants in the annual Peep diorama contest.

There's even a roller derby diorama (for Tattotear and adaon).

Melissa, I can't wait to see what you come up with this year. Maybe you should plan to enter the WaPo competition next year!
bronwynrh: (Don't Panic!)
... designed my assay, I rewarded myself with a quick surf.

I came across this little video of a recently deceased grasshopper. I now want to throw up and am quite sure that my nightmares tonight will be particularly terrifying. Some reward.

If you click through, don't come crying to me about insufficient warning. The video is frightening, but perfectly SFW (I had the sound off and don't know about the audio).
bronwynrh: (24)
This is edited to protect confidentiality, not that it matters in this case.

Reference to "1 to 15 [rosebuds]" includes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 or 15 [rosebuds].

and

For example, one [chain] may be from about three to about 100 [links] in
length such as 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24,
25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48,
49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72,
73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96,
97, 98, 99, 100.


This, boys and girls, is why the provisional patent specification I'm trying to read is 122 pages long, when it could be 10.

Damned lawyers.

'kay

May. 1st, 2007 04:39 pm
bronwynrh: (Don't Panic!)
The young master is in his swing now, and is temporarily occupied. Good.

Other news. . . not much. There were stories I was supposed to tell you, though. So without further ado I give you: I can kill you with my mind )

And once again, I'm being called by the young master. How could he possibly be hungry again? I feel like I'm nothing but a spigot to this little fella, and I'm not enjoying it. Maybe it's the PPD, but I'm really not getting to enjoy breastfeeding as a beatific experience. I'd like it to be loving and beautiful, but so far it just isn't. Guilt.

Yeah, there he goes. Gotta go get him.
bronwynrh: (Kiss my butt)
At heart, I am a mouthy bitch.
Please, restrain your gasps of shock.

This morning, Loud Man got on the bus with me and a few of my neighbors. Loud Man is, as I'm sure you can tell by now, Loud. He is also chatty. For those of you who know her, imagine Evelyn - only shouting.

I've ridden the bus with Loud Man many times before. He hollers halfway back the bus to talk to (I'm sorry, yell at) Randy about the high school game on the radio last night. He yells about politics and religion (together, no less!) and shouts things like, "RULES WITH AN IRON HAND" and "BLADDER CONTROL" and "CRAP HIT THE FAN". He shouts about his plans to go to the library (really? They let you in there?) to read up on POLITICS and RELIGION. He teases Randy, but calls him Jeffrey (the bus driver's name). He holds on the pole and leeeeeeans into the guy two seats away so he can better be heard. He asks polite questions and then shouts about SOMETHING RANDOM before the questioned can answer. I am not exaggerating when I tell you that, during the entire 17 minute journey, he was silent for no longer than 1.5 seconds at a time. Four times.

This morning, I got fed up. It's just too damned early for being shouted at - or near.

So, as I left the bus and passed by him, I paused and said (in my polite, indoor-but-fully-audible voice), "You really need to learn how to use your indoor voice." And down I stepped.

He looked surprised, and I heard him say something, but I was already off the bus. We'll see if he shouts something to me when next we're at the bus stop.

Dave, how was that? Not bitchy enough?

/ps. Like my Kiss My Butt icon? She mowed three times in the past 6 days. So weird.
bronwynrh: (wet)
Follow the links and prepare to laugh and cry. Try not to pee your pants.

1. From the horse's mouth (so to speak)

2. Really from the horse's mouth. . . sometimes fiction and truth come frighteningly close, neh?
Stay Sweet! BFF! Love, Harriet.

3. Laughs at the heavily eyeliner-endowed candidate's expense - Aristocrats fans will find a special treat at the end :)

/I am sooooo scared!
//channeling Grover
bronwynrh: (Default)
O thank Harold. I've been keeping up with the "progress" of the proposed "Please, sir, may I procreate?" legislation in Indiana. There are several postings over at The Agitator and elsewhere, if you care to read up on the ridiculousness.

I am relieved to find that the morons who thought they could do this have realized that, no, they really can't.

Now if only the Supreme Court will decide in favor of the people of Oregon on the assisted suicide law, I'll have a wee of bit faith restored in my country.

But just a wee bit.
bronwynrh: (Default)
It's a beautiful day outside, and I'm sittin' inside, being lazy after doing a flurry of chores. The windows are open, the kitties are perched in the sill. I look out to see our neighbor working in her yard. This is the woman who mows her lawn several times a week, sometimes more than once in a single day. She's a little weird.

So I look out, and what is the view that greets my eyes? Big white asscheeks, divided by the black stripe of her shorts.

I reached for my camera, but the batteries were dead. O the humanity!

I've replaced the batteries. . . now I watch and wait. . . *devilish grin*

YES! YES! YES! )

I just can't stop laughin'!

1 hour later: She's mowing. Third time this week.
bronwynrh: (grrr)
So the Visitor's locker room here at UIowa is painted pink. The urinals are pink, the tile is pink, the lockers are pink. . . you get the picture. I'm sure many of you are aware that psychological studies have proven that color can have a strong effect on mood. As in, the red/yellow scheme of McDonald's is intended to increase the appetite. It's why lots of people like yellow in their kitchens. It's why prisons are usually painted in gray, and hospitals in soothing creams.

Apparently, though, a pink locker room is sexist and homophobic, according to several UI professors who only recently figured out that the locker room has been pink for a very long time.

A question for my homosexual friends. Do you consider yourself "queer-identified"? And if so, why do you find that term better than "gay"?

Honestly, if I were gay, I'd rather be called gay or lesbian. Hell, I'd prefer "fag" over "queer-identified".
Also, I wouldn't bitch about the color of some sweaty locker room. There are much bigger fish to fry, and honestly, this non-issue doesn't even qualify as a minnow.

PC bullshit.

Two things

Sep. 27th, 2005 08:26 pm
bronwynrh: (wet)
1. I heart Carl Sagan.

2. I get on the bus today, and sit up front across from two young men. One of these young men had a veritable mop of hair. They were young, sweet-faced boys. A little over a mile into our journey, we stop by the pool where two middle-aged women get on the bus. The second of these climbs painfully onto the bus and then stands there, while she digs in her pocket for change. (keep in mind, she'd been chattering away with the other lady as they sat on the bench waiting for the bus - too busy to get READY for the bus, I suppose) So we wait. She drops her change. We wait some more. She looks for it. She climbs painfully back down one step to retrieve it. She lumbers into the bus and sits next to me, her back to me, arm and elbow hanging in front of me, dangerously close to my breast. The bus begins its jostling journey again. The woman looks across the aisle at the boys and says, "You need a haircut."

*blink* *blink*, say I and the boys as I look up from my book.

"That's where I'm going," replied the polite and shockingly composed mop-headed youth. He catches my eye, we grin and I roll my eyes.

She mutters something and flips her hand through the air. After a few moments, she pipes up again: "Where are you going to get that haircut?"

The bemused young man shrugged, palms up in the air, and said, "somewhere in the mall, I don't know."

My eyes are boggling out of my head at this woman. The boys see me, we exchange grins again. I'm shocked at their composure, because I'm about to lose it.

"You should go to Supercuts! They're really cheap!" *omg she didn't just say that!!* "It's only like $13 and they have lots of great stylists at Supercuts." *NO THEY DON'T* "I go there all the time," says the woman who looks like her last haircut was performed with a pair of plastic safety scissors.

I was really losing it at this point, and the boys could see it. I'm so lucky that woman's back was to me, although she nearly got an earful when I tripped over her on my way out. "Freak," I muttered. What moron sits at the front of the bus and sprawls that way?

Oh right. Nosy morons with supercuts do.

Between her and the shouting obscenities unless they're playing tonsil hockey goths and the loud and incoherent, sagging-pant "urban youth", diaper-smelling blue lady, horizontal stripe-wearing behemoth lady, and 54-oz mug o' diet something pug-faced lady who makes us all stand in the snow so she can have a leg up from the curb. . . and of course we mustn't forget clown-faced lady (seriously!) and the guy who rocks and jostles as he plays a calculator as though it were Donkey Kong and insists on asking every woman where she lives and works.

Go ahead, call me shallow. I'm too shallow to care :)
I hate the fucking bus.
bronwynrh: (Default)
First up is Frist, who tries (and fails) to backpedal and rewrite history in light of the Schiavo autopsy. Let's see. . . Bill Frist before and Bill Frist now.

So he's willing to make a mess of people's lives on 'evidence' gleaned from the media, but isn't willing to go for any hard evidence until it's too late and the autopsy report is made public. In the media. Now there's some scientific integrity, folks. If our physicians got their information from the popular media and based their diagnoses on that information alone. . . well I don't think many of us would survive very long.

I'm also forced to ask whether anyone bothered to do a CT scan or MRI of this woman? Wouldn't that have solved the problem long ago? It seems all she ever got were external exams and EEGs, the results of which were obviously up for interpretation. A CT scan would have been pretty damn clear, wouldn't it?

And here's another forehead-smacker from right here in Iowa. Some oldie knocks up one of his young Amish employees and a whacky custody battle ensues. *sigh*
bronwynrh: (birdie)
Tactile, I apologize for ganking this from you. Everybody, THESE are the people I ride the bus with!

Also, it's funny :D
bronwynrh: (Default)
*knock knock*

Jeezus, who the hell is that?

I untangle myself from the blanket and roll off the couch to go look through the peephole in the door. Off to the side I can just barely see a youngish man in a blue shirt and slacks. . . He's standing off to the side. . .

*knock knock*

Christ! All right!

I open the door just wide enough for me to fit in the opening. Yep. Young dyed-blond guy, blue shirt and slacks. He's nicely dressed and is holding . . .

a bottle of Ajax liquid antibacterial dish soap.

"Hello, ma'am! I'd like to offer you this free gift," he says as he hands the soap to me. "It's just dish soap," I say, with a look that says he'd better make a point and get off my porch pdq.

"Oh, well this is just a free gift we'd like you to have. I'd like to tell you about this new product!"

"The soap? Ajax has been around for a long long time."

"Oh no, the soap is a little extra. . . (here is where I have forgotten a few words because the words he ended with put me in mind of many Made-For-TV Lifetime and America's Most Wanted type movies) . . . if you'd just step outside, I'd like to show you what I have in the back of my van."

Stifle, stifle! FREAK!!! Oh my god, you are such a freak! Do you seriously think I would come outside and look in the back of your van? Jeeeezus! HAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAhahahahahahahahaaaaa {{gasp}}

*wipes tears*

gathers internal self


Sober tone, serious face, "Um, no. Thank you. I really don't think so."

"Well, have I caught you at a bad time? We can come back at a more convenient time."

"No, really. There is no convenient time for this. Do not come back. Thank you." I handed the Ajax back to him and closed the door, then ran to my bedroom window to watch as he got back into the van. There were several other, identically dressed people in the van with him, all holding bottles of Ajax antibacterial liquid dish soap. I also went ahead and let loose with the internal dialogue and laughter I had previously stifled.

Since I'm already aware that the local BPD dispatcher is a wonderfully friendly, good-humored woman, I gave her a call:

"Hello, I just got a visit from a young man in a blue van who gave me a bottle of Ajax. He wanted me to come out and look at something in his van. . . ?"

The receptionist, in a very concerned voice responded, "Whoa. Let me give you to dispatch."

"Hello, dispatch" Ahh, there she is. My cheery dispatch lady! Love her! I repeated my line, and added, "what's his deal, do you know?"

"Hahahahhahaaaa! So it's Ajax now, is it?" I asked her, "Why, what was it before?" She's still laughing, "Cases of Pepsi!"

"Oh dear lord."

"These guys are freaks. They really need to change their line, they're scaring the crap out of people."

"Um. What are they selling?"

"Vacuum cleaners!"

The rest of our conversation involved laughing at these people and the dispatcher congratulating me for not going outside to look in the back of a stranger's van. Wheeee!

Duh. :-D

Good to know they weren't scoping out my house for a burglary.

Ok, so it was more entertaining than the episode of Roseanne I was watching at the time. I'll grant them that.

Parody

May. 9th, 2003 10:12 am
bronwynrh: (Default)
Heeheeeheeeeee!

I came across this media parody in a recent MRC Alert. It's from the back page of the just-published May 5 edition of the Weekly Standard and is an imagined front page of "Ye Newe York Times" from November 11, 1781.

Plant tongue firmly in cheek, and enjoy ---> Ye Newe York Times

In other news. . . no news. Just working, as usual. I have a working weekend ahead of me, so Saturday and Sunday will be a lot like every other day this week. All hail the 70-hour work week!
bronwynrh: (Default)
Back on March 20, I said something about how I hated to hear people spout ignorant crap as if it were fact and then launch themselves into foolhardy diatribes. My advice to those people was this:

Stop. Think. THEN speak.

Better yet. . . Stop. LEARN. Think. Speak.

This has not changed one bit, and the people I told you about yesterday are prima facie examples of why this is legitimate advice.

The couple in the parking lot judged my mother by the car she drove. My mom had seen them in the store, had seen other people in the store and had thought little of the differences between them. Why? Because she believes in the rights of everyone to be and do unto themselves. Not so this couple, apparently. All was pleasantness inside, but once they saw her next to her vehicle, they judged her and decided to berate her.

What were the results of this encounter?

The worst result is that stereotypes were reinforced. The two children who witnessed this learned from their parents that it is ok to judge someone by their appearances alone.

I find that absolutely tragic.

Also tragic? These are the same people who have been promoting peace, discourse and freedom in our community. In a single moment they completely invalidated themselves.

The same lesson stands true for the woman with the shoes and her ideas about status, jobs and charity. The laundry list of assumptions she made regarding my father (indeed, any person working at a nursery) is pretty exhausting. She also has some pretty nauseating ideas about charity.

Again, though, we are brought back to a case of assumptions. This woman came into a situation blinded by all sorts of preconceptions that were wrong. She wasn't just wrong about my father, either. She would have been wrong about pretty much everybody working at this nursery - she just happened to pick my dad for her "charity", and this choice in particular is what makes the story most funny because, outside of the owners, he is the one of the least likely to need any charity.

All of these people subscribe to ideologies - left-leaning or right-leaning - and they have been completely blinded by them. They have become blinded to the point that they are hurtful and their behavior defeats any good intentions they may ever have.

That is the biggest tragedy of all.
bronwynrh: (Default)
So my parents are apprenticing at a nursery outside of Houston. My parents are doing this because they enjoy it and they want to open up their own nursery. This is their way of learning the ropes. They have their own retirement fund, but the market sucks and this job is like extra income that just supplements what they've already got. They are smack in the middle of the middle class.

According to the tax laws, that means they're rich.

The other day, dad helped a woman load up her car. An older, lesser-model Mercedes. When he finished, the woman asked dad his shoe size. He told her and asked her why. Indicating a number of sets of shoes in the back seat of her car, she said that she was about to make a donation to Goodwill. Could he use a pair of these shoes?

I guess she didn't notice the solid gold Rolex that graces my dad's wrist, a watch that he has worn for more than a decade since we lived overseas.

(No, you presumptuous bitch, I don't need your shoes)

I think he declined her offer more graciously than I would have, but it was insulting and presumptuous and certainly NOT charitable.

Yeah, because charity is meant to humiliate the person you're giving to, right? Fortunately, after my dad got over the initial sting to his pride at the woman's assumptions, he realized that the problem was hers, not his, and he was able to laugh about it.

And then just today, my mother was verbally assaulted by a couple of hippie-types (I'm saying this to give you a visual, because apparently they looked to fit the stereotype of appearances and then behaved appropriately) in the parking lot of our local green-market. Patchouli-scent, long skirt, sandals, dread-locks, the whole picture of full-on granola stereotype.

She'd taken the Suburban (more out of habit on this particular errand than necessity, although she's been hauling all day) to pick up some poppy seeds, and after encountering smiles and friendliness and happiness inside, she came out to get into her car. There, she was confronted by two adults with their small children. The adults cussed at her and insulted her for driving an SUV, for coming from Texas and god only knows what else. I wish I'd been there to tell them to back off and set a better example for their children.

Mom, not feeling obligated to defend herself, and not feeling it was appropriate to fight in front of children, told them that she is in town to visit her daughter and that she is patronizing local shops - extensively - and that her SUV is of great assistance in that endeavor. And then she left, shaking like a leaf.

Assholes.

Never mind that she uses that SUV most often for hauling dirt, mulch, lumber, pots, plants and all sorts of stuff that you can't fit into a pinto hatchback. Never mind the fact that she spends most of her life beautifying the world around her and teaching other people how to do the same.

I wonder if we can say the same for the people who assaulted her.

I say again. Assholes.

I'm going home.

My mantra

Feb. 7th, 2003 05:28 pm
bronwynrh: (Default)
I am NOT getting sick. I am NOT getting sick. I am NOT getting sick.

Oh please please please let this just be exhaustion. I was just sick in November - go ahead, read the posts! I was really sick with a horrible sinus infection! I don't need to be sick again for another 6 months, at least.

I am NOT getting sick.

Dammit.

------

On another note, CNN has a moron (well, at least one) on its staff who is under the impression that the Space Shuttle Columbia was traveling 18 times the speed of light, 200,000 miles above the Earth's surface.

One more reason why I watch FNC.

I know of CNN's embarrassing gaff because a couple other morons over at Fark were dumb enough to (a) believe it and (b) open their mouths and admit it. I tried to set them straight, but since it was on CNN, it must be true.

Some people just can't be helped.
bronwynrh: (Default)
Clara Harris' lawyer was on the Today Show this morning, discussing his defense strategy. If you recall, Mrs. Harris is the woman who ran over her husband with her Mercedes - several times - because he was having an affair. Not only was her 16 year old stepdaughter in the car, but the private detective Mrs. Harris had hired to watch her husband and his girlfriend caught the incident on tape.

Well, Mrs. Harris it seems has pled not-guilty, and has called it an accident.

None of this is funny. At all.

What struck me as absolutely hilarious was when Mrs. Harris' lawyer this morning used the phrase, "the automobile struck Mr. Harris."

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, what we have here is The Christine Defense.

People don't kill people. Cars kill people.

Good to know. *ROLLS EYES*
bronwynrh: (Default)
I am sick. Sick. Sick. Sick. I was sick all weekend at the meeting in Minneapolis. I was fortunate, though, because I presented my talk Saturday morning before this sinus infection really took off.

A synopsis of my weekend. . .

1) My talk went really, really well. I got a great response from the conference attendees, both in person and through Clay. One scientist went so far to say that the work that Clay and I presented was the most original work he'd seen in the field in years. How cool is that? I got to talk with a lot of really nice people, some of whom I've met before, some I only met this weekend.

I met Eugene Nester, considered the father of Agrobacterial studies. He mentored Steve Winans, who mentored Clay's Post-doc, who of course is now mentoring me. So he's like my academic great-grandfather. He's a distinguished looking gentlemen whom many young scientists like myself revere as a god, but then you meet him and realize how cool he is and that he's human - but a really fantastic one. He's also well-known for his collection of Northwest native American art.

So anyway, as my cold developed into something more flu-like and settled into this sinus infection (complete with fever and body aches - yay) I was doing my best to make the most of the opportunity to talk with some fantastic scientists, friends, colleagues.

I noticed that I tend to start few conversations at these meetings. I do start some, but I most often wait for someone to approach me, or I simply join a group and listen. I learn a lot just by listening, but I also found that several of these scientists were very interested in me, too. Very cool.

2) When going through security at the Minneapolis airport, fevered and feeling quite under the weather, something on my person tripped the sensor in the walk-through metal detector.

A list of all items on my body at the time: sneakers with plastic insoles, socks, denim jeans, underwear and bra, turtleneck, two bracelets (one silver, one gold), one wristwatch and one gold necklace.

Something in the above list tripped the sensor. Anyone want to guess what it was?

So I had to sit in the chair, take off my shoes - I told the security officer that there were insoles inside, so she wouldn't be freaked when she saw them instead of seeing the flannel lining of the sneaker - the shoes were sent off and checked out while my legs and feet were wanded. I then had the legs-apart arms-out wanding, front, back, left right. Do you know what tripped the sensor yet?

My bra.

"I have to touch you here, since it beeped"

um, ok

At this point, I was trying very very hard not to crack up. I remember there were times in Saudi Arabia when my orthodontic braces would trip the sensors. But never an underwire bra, for chrissakes.

I now understand the motivation of the woman who stripped off her sweater, shirt and bra at such a checkpoint in frustration. The devil in me wished I could do the same as a joke, but I didn't particularly feel like being arrested, nor did I feel like showing my bosom to hundreds of strangers, Clay and several colleagues from the meeting.

3) Our flight out of Minny was delayed by an hour because our dear president landed in Air Force One, so the airspace and runways were cleared out. We saw the plane right after it landed, watched it taxi all around the airport until it settled at a distant hangar. Then we saw the motorcade - complete with the requisite black suburbans.

It was a cool sight - how often does one get to see Air Force One? Clay and I wondered if the parties or the taxpayers have to pay for all the pre-election travel of our president as he stumps for his party's candidates all over the country. I just know we're the ones footing the bill, but I really think the president's party should have to pay for stuff like this. Presidents have more important things to do than hop about the country attending pep rallies - especially if those pep rallies aren't even for their own reelection, but for that of other candidates. I figure he's not really doing the country's business on these trips, so why shouldn't the party pay for it?

I know, they all do it. But I still don't like it.

Ugh. Does anyone know where I can find a new set of eustachian tubes? Mine are completely plugged up.

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February 2012

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