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Jun. 26th, 2010

Whining on LJ

I can't tell if this is the Allergies from Hell, making up for the two and a half weeks I was out of their clutches, plane crud or I caught Cassie's sinus infection, or what. But I have a sore throat and I can feel pressure in my left ear.

I couldn't sleep last night until I took some Benadryl at around 4, then was knocked out until noon. I'm on a decongestant and a 24-hour allergy pill, but my throat still itches. I'd take more Benadryl, but I'd rather not spend today asleep.

Though if I get annoyed enough, it might be worth it.

Apr. 28th, 2009

Life Continues

Sorry, I haven't been blogging much. My life is just being average. I'm getting ready for a conference next week -- I still have to finish my talk, and buy some nicer shirts to wear. (And maybe either capris or skirts that fit -- I have one set, and I probably shouldn't wear jeans. On the plus side, the highs are supposed to be in the 70s, so I could probably get away with pants.)

On the way down (to Virginia Beach), our group is road-tripping it. Eight hours with four scientists (me, my advisor, another grad student and a postdoc) in the car -- this can only be trouble. When I get there, I'm sharing a hotel room with an undergrad from Wellsley whose advisor is friends with mine. (I met this student once -- she was considering Cornell as a grad school, but ended up going elsewhere.)

Diet is 'meh' -- I've been hovering around the same weight for a month or so. My love of vegetables is being balanced by my love of sweets and free food. I've taken to eating* roasted veggies, which are yummy. Though next time, I think I need to add some carbs to the veggies and chicken so I don't get hungry and have a bowl of cereal three hours later. (I got rice. Rice is good.)

* Okay, I had it for dinner today

In related cooking matters, I discovered that if you place a piece of Pyrex glass -- like, say a casserole dish placed under a roasting pan to catch drips -- that has been sitting in a 375° oven for 25 minutes directly into a sink with cold water in it, the glass will shatter. Impressively. In retrospect, the fact I got an A in Thermal Physics probably should have clued me in that this was a Bad Idea. At least, if I didn't want to buy a new casserole dish. It was a great idea to see physics in action.

I'm out of things to say.

Oh, wait! Swine flu! I used it as an excuse to restock my medicine cabinet, and buy some staples In Case of Generic Disaster*. Not terribly worried, though -- I figure the supplies are good to have on hand anyway, since I'm prone to headaches and allergies.

* Read: pasta, chicken broth and toilet paper. Probably should add in some Instant Soup and Cans of Stuff that couldn't be eaten by people feeling icky. (Especially since there's instant Thai Curry soup that tastes wonderful when I have a cold, probably because I can actually breathe after I eat it.)

Feb. 4th, 2009


I have about an hour left to work. I can't leave early, because there is a grad student meeting at five. And, yet, there's nothing for me to do right now -- I have a lot of ideas, but want to bounce them off of my group, and everyone's been out of town for the last couple of weeks. I could be writing up my notes on the scheme Matt suggested to me to measure light scattered off of the rings, since that's looking to be nearly publishable. (Huzzah!) Perhaps I'll do that after I post this.

Still working on an Science! post. Might finish typing up that tonight. I've been keeping a list of things to do in the evenings, lest I end up vegging out in front of the computer. Or worse, taking a nap after dinner and then end up staying up til one in the morning. Already I've been sleeping in later than I normally do (8 AM) because it's nice to get up when the Sun is shining. If the Sun is shining, I mean. I do live in Ithaca.

Anyway, I think I've been actually doing stuff in the evening, besides Final Fantasy IV and RPing online. Like, art and writing and stuff. I'd like to continue that.

Oh, I replaced my DDR game at the game store, so now I'm exercising. And my mother is going to me for diet advice, which is weird. Mostly because we started on our health adventures at about the same time, and I'm doing better than her. (Well, she'd always say that one should get to a stable, healthy weight when one was young, since one's metabolism drops as one ages. I don't know if that's true.) Mostly in my case it's 'don't eat pounds of sweets' and 'don't eat a whole bag of pretzels in one sitting'. It does remind me that I need popcorn salt -- air-popped popcorn tends to be the distillation of two of my 'Snack Food Groups', 'crunchy stuff' and 'salty stuff', while not having that much else to it.

Feb. 1st, 2009

State of My Life

I got some writing done this week, but not much -- about 300 words on the Firefly story, which is shaping up to be The Women of Firefly Do Stuff*. What I need to do is edit, but I've been feeling blah.

* Okay, I think Inara isn't in it, but it's looking like this is going to be Zoe, River and Kaylee's adventure, post BDM.

Other than that, the diet maintains, though my attempts to exercise were thwarted by the fact that I can find every CD, DVD, Playstation and Game Cube disk that I own except for the Dance Dance Revolution one.

My internet connection is also flaky, in that I cannot stay logged into an Instant Messenger for more than five minutes.

I continue to play games, except my rate of progression has slowed to a crawl as it takes me five attempts to beat any given boss. Currently I'm in the Dwarf Kingdom in FFIV and trying to smack Golbez. Even though I know the moron will just run off instead of letting me dead, if I know anything about game bosses. I could switch back to Chrono Trigger and the pre-Lavos sidequests, I suppose.

Jan. 30th, 2009

Emo Stareyes is Emo

I've been moody this last week, which usually means I'm sleeping in, trying to avoid going out, skipping social engagements (and then feeling bad), playing lots of video games, and not working. I've been good about remembering my meds, so I think it might be a combination of not getting enough light and that time of the month. I'll start exercising next week, and using my lightbox again, and see if that helps increase my productivity.

Jan. 10th, 2009

Mario, I am not.

So, when I was walking to find lunch on Thursday, something caught my eyes as I was heading down the hill. Since the thing was white, big and heading towards me, and it was snowing, I assumed it was a giant snow boulder. I had only a split second to react, so I jumped over it.

Or tried to, anyway. More like I jumped a bit early, and landed on it, when I discovered it was actually a white plastic grocery bag, blowing in the wind. No, I don't know why I thought it was a snow boulder. Sadly, there was someone else around to witness this -- another pedestrian.

Good to know that if I am ever transported to the Mushroom Kingdom, I will die with the first Goomba attack.

Jan. 7th, 2009

It's gonna be one of those days...

I didn't sleep at all well last night, and there's some kind of freezing rain outside. Work is gonna be fun -- I have a feeling I should show up anyway, even though I could do it from home. Because I've been out for weeks.

Jan. 6th, 2009

Oh, let me tell you, Intertubes...

Let's play a game. Guess where I spent my night last night? If you said, 'Well, Becky was supposed to fly back yesterday, so she should haven been in her apartment', then you are pretty wrong. If you said 'Becky was sitting in an airport hotel in the general vicinity of New York City', then you are right -- and quit stalking me, by the way*.

* Obligatory disclaimer -- if you happen to be my mother, you know this because I told you. On that other hand, she doesn't know this blog exists.

The Full Story )

The moral of this story is that if you ever clog an airline toilet, I will HUNT YOU DOWN!

Apr. 26th, 2008


I'm going to a conference (The Division of Dynamical Astronomy -- in other words 'Stuff that Moves... IN SPACE!), so may or may not be around. Certainly not much. I'll be back on Friday.

Looking forward to seeing Colorado again.

It's also going to be my first conference talk as a grad student, where I'll be presenting something on 'How I found small stuff in Saturn's rings'*

* Not the actual title.

Mar. 18th, 2008

State of the Becky

Sorry I haven't posted much.

News here: I got a new computer. It is very shiny. The monitor is also bigger than my TV screen (this is not really an achievement) and it can run Photoshop without making weird fan sounds. (Unlike my laptop) I also got Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, and a copy of Final Fantasy Tactics Advanced, which is going back to the store, since it doesn't work quite right. I need to actually play the games I own, though -- recently it's mostly been mindless Harvest Moon playing. (Damn it, I have Phoenix Wright games I should be playing.)

I also might be going to my first conference as a grad student -- the deadline to submit abstracts is Friday, and my advisor has me working on one. I have the second draft open now. I also need to renew my membership to the American Astronomical Society, and get travel arrangements to the conference. It's in Boulder, Colorado, BTW.

I'm starting to think I need to be like [info]limyaael and make a Things I Did Today post to remind myself that I work harder than I think I do.

Mar. 13th, 2008

Laugh for the day

I am constantly amused by the fire station near me -- I live between a fire station and a shopping center, and a graveyard and a cell phone tower, and the fire station is on the way to the bus stop. It has a sign with announcements in front of it. Normally these are things about elections or CPR classes or looking for volunteer firefighters. Last month was 'Cayuga Heights Fire Department: Saving your assets since 19xx' (there was a date there, but I forget it. Anyway, I sometimes read it as 'Cayuga Heights Fire Department: Saving your asses since 19xx', but I figured it was just because I'm never fully awake before noon, and there was no way the Fire Department intended for it to be a play on words.

But, now the sign says 'Cayuga Heights Fire Department: now with more chainsaw!' and I am forced to conclude that the person with the box of letters has a sense of humor that I approve of.

Mar. 3rd, 2008


Take the letter you're given, and think of ten things that start with it that you like. It's sort of like Sesame Street. Then let others reply and play

The Letter H, courtesy [info]yuuo
1. Hershey's Chocolate. Okay, intellectually I know that there is better chocolate out there. I usually will go for something different if I can. On the other hand, this is the chocolate I grew up with.
2. Hyperion. One of Saturn's moons, and the one I did my first summer project on. Still waiting to finish that, thanks to having to remind the Small Moons team I need data.
3. Halloween. My mother's favorite holiday. Not only would she decorate the house to look really spooky (and silly -- my mother loved things like novelty gravestones, and funny decorations like the witch she'd hang up who looked like she had crashed into our tree), but she would also sew us costumes -- anything we wanted (never mind that Mom hated to sew). I swear, that's where my love of cosplay came from.
4. Harry Dresden. The books and show are made of awesome, and I have a thing for characters with a strong narrative voice, like Harry has.
5. Hajime Kanzaka. I loved Slayers, I loved Lost Universe -- man is good at telling a story. (Damn it, I want more of the manga and novels translated.)
6. Hash browns. If they weren't horribly bad for me, and a pain in the neck to cook (at least the kind that look like peeled potatoes), I'd eat them every day.
7. Harvest Moon. I have no idea why this game is so fun. But it is.
8. Hawks. I admit it. I like birds. I especially like birds of prey, since they fly so gracefully. Even vultures -- hey, in the air, those things are pretty impressive.
9. Humpback whales. Again, I I have a weakness for marine mammals. I especially like humpbacks. True story -- I played the cello in elementary school because a cellist came to speak to us and used his cello to imitate whalesong. (Star Trek 4 was also my first initiation to Star Trek). I got to see a humpback in person on a whale-watch -- a female and her half-grown calf. (Not to mention something like a dozen Minke whales.)
10. Horseshoe orbits. Because they are dynamically neat.

Writing and Cleaning

It's odd. Most of my productivity goes in step. So, if I'm in a good enough mood to clean my apartment, I also tend to be in a good enough mood to write. Conversely, my normal non-writing distractions aren't 'clean the apartment', but they are 'play clicky-games* on the internet and do sudoku puzzles'. My sister cleans when stressed -- I do useless things. I think she got a better deal here.

* Clicky-games are hear defined by any game on the internet that requires little thought, and a lot of mouse clicks. Wajas' Rune Game is a perfect example. Running around Gaia Towns catching bugs to make inks is another. Gaia Jigsaws, and various puzzle-based flash games are on the limit -- they require some thought, but not much.

Yesterday, I finally cleaned my apartment -- well, mostly, but the spots I missed were because I misplaced my mop bucket and forgot to buy all-purpose cleaner. This morning I wrote a couple hundred words. I don't think this is coincidence.

Feb. 14th, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day

So, I'm going to tell a Valentine's Day story.

When I was growing up, my mother used to give each of us kids a box of chocolates on Valentine's Day. Heck, she'd still do it when I was in college, and last year she sent me a care package with chocolate and a new purse and hat. It sent us a message about what Valentine's Day was about -- celebrating love in all forms, whether it be familial, friendly, or romantic.

So, I was a bit surprised when I got to college and discovered a lot of my single friends hated Valentine's Day. Because to them it was about couples rubbing it in their face that they were together, and greeting card and chocolate companies making money off of things.

So, I guess I just want to extend the hand of friendship to you all, and hope you have someone (or many someones) who loves you on this day, whether it be a lover, a friend or a family member.

Since I can't give you all chocolates, (and virtual ones don't taste as good), have some pictures instead:

Scientist Valentines

Astronomical Valentines

Feb. 6th, 2008

Online Games and Computers

I'm in two RPGs right now, [info]digital_dive and [info]quaquenocte. Both are multiverse games, though DD allows original characters. I'm playing Michael Carpenter in QN, and Zelgadis Greywords, Harry Dresden, and Ken Ichijouji in DD.

More about LJ RPGs and other online games )

Offline, i finally got around to calling Adobe Customer Service about my old Flash disk, and despite the heroic attempts of the Customer Service Rep (seriously, I am kicking myself for not writing down her name -- she was awesome for putting up for me), we were unable to track down my serial number. Flash remains expensive, but the student discount is excellent -- seriously, Adobe will sell me a $700 dollar program for $250. I'd love a free, legal alternative (if you know of any that run on Macs, please post links), since I'm all for supporting freeware, but that's not a bad deal. I could even splurge and update my copies of Photoshop and Illustrator, and get Dreamweaver and Flash for $500. I even intend it for partial use for work -- pretty animations to explain concepts don't make themselves.

More Computer Stuff )

Feb. 5th, 2008

Neat Computer Tricks

Yesterday, I got to go over to the computer center, where they were trying to attract scientists into using 3D projection more. Which is pretty cool -- they had a 'basic' setup, which just used polarization and two projectors to make 3-D projections. (He even took two pictures of the group and projected them in 3-D in the screen), and a really cool one that used three screens to make a projection you could walk through, with the aid of a pointer (kind of like a Wiimote) and a tracking thing on your 3-D glasses (which was broken). Among the uses were visualization of things like proteins, 3-D concept maps, and models of metal crystallization. They also used the Quake gaming engine to turn architectural models into something one could walk through. It was kind of like having a holodeck in one's office.

The weird thing is that I have very poor binocular vision, thanks to crossed eyes as an infant. However, I could really tell things were 3D -- perhaps because I don't normally get binocular vision except in an area directly in front of me, so I really notice the difference. I also discovered that when shown two different images in my eyes, my brain knows exactly what to do -- the computer operator was showing us how far apart he could set the images before our brains refused to make them match. I went seamlessly from seeing both images as a 3D image to seeing only one and ignoring one eye's input. Everyone else got headaches. Go screwy vision, go!

(I was very impressed by the whole thing, as you can tell.)

Today I am voting in the New York primary. Go, democracy in action! (I am not telling who I am voting for, mostly because I care less about Clinton versus Obama than I care about Winner versus Republican Winner.)

Feb. 1st, 2008

Everyone Talks About the Weather, But No One Does Anything About It...

So, working from home today...

Pros: Do not have to brave the icy mess that is outside.

Cons: Miss an interesting lunch talk on star clusters.
Probably will get less done.

I'll probably go in, but late.

Jan. 31st, 2008


I knew this icon would come in handy someday. Expect to see it a lot over here when I make political posts. Let's you know whether to avoid them or not.

Read more... )

Also thinking about signing up as an election volunteer in the fall. Ya know, so there's at least one non-retiree working.

Jan. 30th, 2008

Lesson for Today

Today I learned that if I tell myself 'I will take the day off from research if and only if I use it to clean my apartment and buy decorating stuff from Target', I will...

... actually clean the apartment and buy decorating stuff from Target.

I know, I'm shocked. Yesterday I learned that when my advisor goes out of town for a month, I will keep working for at least two weeks. And that when my exercise routine consists of 15 to 30 minutes of DDR, I will stick with it for at least 5 days out of 7.

Jan. 25th, 2008

State of the Becca

So, my advisor is away. I feel proud of myself that not only did I get the most recent draft of my working report to him, but that I also have kept working on stuff after he was on the other side of the world. (Working without someone checking up on me! Hooray!) That and there's something really effing promising about one of my projects that I can't wait to show him. Mostly so he can suggest about five different mundane explanations that I didn't think about.

Now, if only a collaborator would get the data that I've been asking him for since the beginning of last semester. -_- Need to bug him about it in person during Planetary Lunch, since my emails seem to be going unread.

A Dialog Concerning Becca's Spending Habits: In Three Acts )

That was mostly just a long excuse to say that I now have Zelda games. Go me!

I need to draw something. My writing's going fine, but I don't feel motivated to draw. Which means I need to dig out my sketchpad and do it anyway.

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