Saturday, May 22, 2010

Biscuits and...oatmeal?

News flash: despite their similar visual appearance, biscuits and oatmeal doesn't taste nearly as good as biscuits and gravy.

And why in the world would you put oatmeal in a crockpot, much less right next to an identical crockpot containing gravy? Sure, they had giant labels reading "Oatmeal" and "Gravy" on them, but who reads those?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Highly mathematical average

Before a comet or asteroid hit Jupiter last year, astronomers had calculated that an impact like that would happen on average every 350 years.

How did they arrive at that number? The lay-person might (amusingly) think that they had simply taken the only two other known impacts (Shoemaker-Levy in 1994 and a possible impact observed by Giovanni Cassini in 1640), subtracted the two, and got the value of 354 years, but not so!

According to arXiv, arriving at that number involved taking those two impacts, adding "crater counts on Jupiter's large moons and various theoretical calculations", and THEN deciding it was 350 years.

I am suspicious.

Sunday, May 16, 2010


There's nothing quite like waking up at 3 AM because your eyes are itching like crazy and you can't breath. Relatedly, slowly suffocating in your sleep gives you strange dreams.

And I think evolution got it backwards. Sitting up, it's slightly easier to breath but hard to sleep. Laying down, it's harder to breath, and therefore still impossible to sleep. Why not make it easier to breath when you're laying down? I'd rather spend my days (and nights) flat on my back...although I guess that would make doing my job rather difficult.

Friday, May 14, 2010

The big One Over Five!

I cross the 20% mark of my story today! (Who cares that my goal wordcount is more-or-less arbitrary, making the achievement more-or-less arbitrary as well!)

I don't know if I'm just being more dedicated, or if I spent so much time thinking about this story before writing it that I have a good idea of where it's going each time I sit down, but the writing seems to be going fast.

It still doesn't seem like very good writing yet, and I keep wanting to go back and redo things, but I'm (mostly) forcing myself to wait until I'm done.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Bit of a contradiction...

Restaurant name spotted by Child: "Original Thai 2"

Sunday, May 09, 2010

You sly dog!

Tell me we don't have to fear for the future...

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Siete de Mayo

Last night Child and I attended a church Cinco de Mayo party that was actually held on the Siete of Mayo. There was a lot of delicious food, but by far the best part of the party was the pinata.

One of the guys had made a life-size deer pinata, complete with horns, as the "adult" pinata. The legs were made out of thick cardboard tubes, while the body was a box wrapped in duct-tape, then wrapped in carpet, then wrapped in saranwrap. This bad boy wasn't going down without a fight.

And what a fight it was. The participants had their choice of an aluminum or wooden bat, then they were blindfolded and a sombrero was placed on their head. The deer was on a rope looped through a ring in the ceiling of the outdoor pavilion so the deer could be lifted and lowered. Each bat-wielder got a couple minutes to swing, hitting the floor, their legs, their sombrero, and occasionally even the deer. With the deer swinging wildly back, occasionally the deer and the human would get tangled up, at which point it started looking more like hand-to-hand combat then a casual party game. The person would be fighting grimly in ominous silence, swinging the bat as if they were in the jungles of New York going down under a wave of zombies.

The legs of the deer were the first to go, although the tubes were so thick that even they lasted through several swingers. When each one was finally cracked open, beef jerky and candy would spill out, because nothing says, "Deer Pinata" like meat-flavored lollipops. There were a few close calls when children, seeing the candy go flying, would dive under the pinata to collect it, apparently not understanding that being within the strike zone (or even a 20-foot radius) of a blindfolded man wildly swinging a 26 ounce Louisville Slugger probably wasn't a good idea.

The torso of the deer was an entirely different story than the legs, however. The carpeted sides were effectively impervious to the bat, and it soon became apparent that even a wrecking-ball would have a hard time getting through. When pretty much everyone present had exhausted their ingenuity, the deer was "skinned" of its carpet protection and finally finished off. Overall, it ranked right up with the most hilarious things I have ever seen in my life, and I only wish I had thought to take my camera.

There was a second pinata waiting in the wings, a full-sized "golden calf" that was actually wrapped in metal bands, but unfortunately Ash was getting cold and we had to take her home.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010


This morning I threw away the Blockbuster card from my wallet. Does that company even still exist?

Tuesday, May 04, 2010


You don't realize how often you accidentally press the caps-lock key until you disable it and have an icon pop up on the screen every time you press it.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Civil Defense Caves

This morning, we decided to trek out to the Civil Defense Caves, which are about a 1/2 hour from Rexburg. After starting with a wrong turn out of the Rexburg dollar store parking lot, I figured we had that all out of our system.

Two more wrong turns later (in my defense, the sign pointing the way had been knocked down), we arrived at the caves. It had sprinkled a little on the way up, but hey, we were going into a cave. The cave was actually a lava tube, where a hard crust had formed over flowing lava, then the liquid lava beneath had drained away leaving the shell behind. Word on the street was that they were called the "Civil Defense Caves" because back in the day, the plan was for the town of Rexburg to move in there if a nuclear war destroyed the world.

Despite not being the nearby Ice Caves, this cave had plenty of ice in its own right. Some sections of the cave had dozens of these ice balls, formed from water dripping from the ceiling.

I liked the ice slug crawling up the rock.