sabine: (Default)
To no one's surprise, both Ticketmaster and the Broadway in Chicago sites are down for the count.

Hamilton tickets for the Chicago run went on sale 21 minutes ago. The BiC site went down immediately. Ticketmaster has recovered somewhat, but is having trouble actually searching for and finding seats. I am impatient. I'm not going to back down, but I'm being forced to take my time.

Also, I'm still fighting off the remnants of whatever tummy bug smacked me down on Sunday. The internet better stop messing with me or THERE WILL BE A RECKONING.


Dec. 20th, 2015 08:09 pm
sabine: (Default)
 We went to my in-laws' this weekend for xmas #1. On the way out of town Friday night, it started snowing. The weather forecast said NOTHING about snow, so we figured it'd pass.

It. Got. WORSE. It took a very, very long time to make it to our usual dinner stop outside of Rockford. Downwood was driving and had such a blood pressure spike that he couldn't function the rest of the night. Super slow driving, super dangerous roads, super DUMB drivers. I mean, really, if your van loses a WHEEL, don't leave your van IN THE MIDDLE OF THE FUCKING ROAD. If you absolutely couldn't move your car, at least PUT ON YOUR FUCKING HAZARD LIGHTS SO DRIVERS KNOW WHAT YOU'VE DONE.


We got to McD's and got food. I got internet. I found that if we wanted to throw in the towel, we could grab a hotel room and continue on in the morning. I also found that the snow was ONLY in a 60 mile wide band stretching the width of the WI/IL border. If we kept going, we'd be fine. 

I took over driving. The roads sucked until we got about 15 miles south of Rockford. Then everything was fine. 

The kids were wired, of course, and didn't want to go to bed. The 3.5 hour drive took about 5.5 instead. It was not fun.

The weekend was good. There were tons of presents. The kids were/are ecstatic. My handmade gifts were received with pleased gratitude. I got exactly what I wanted (new boots and a new fitbit). My MiL bought us tickets for Star Wars and watched the kids while we went out. 

I wore my new Darth Vader dress. And my new black boots. I looked pretty darn good.

The movie? Yes, there are problems with it, but OH MY GOD A NEW STAR WARS MOVIE THAT DIDN'T SUCK AND HAD DIALOG THAT SOUNDED LIKE HOW REAL PEOPLE TALK. I loved it. Rey is my favorite. Finn is awesome. Leia is still the strongest of all of them. There were lasers and light sabers and the Force and I was home.

Emi and Daddy will go see it during her school break. She's thrilled.

We got a fairly late start today, so we got home late. I drove the whole way and then had to start unpacking and laundering clothes when we walked in the door. I'm run a bit ragged right now as a result.

Everyone else is sleeping. Downwood still feels terrible, so went to bed early. I need to switch laundry around a couple more times before I can go to bed. I've written thank you notes for the gifts we've received. I ordered pizza. I mediated disputes. I held Alex while he threw up everything we finally convinced him to eat - dude has a head cold and feels icky.

I'm tired. This was not a relaxing trip for me. 

I have three days of work. Just three days. 24 hours of being at my desk. Then I'm done for the year.

I can do this. 

sabine: (Default)
There will be three brand new books waiting for me when I get home.

Book 1 - Mass market paperback of "The Goblin Emperor". I want to re-read this, like WHOA.
Book 2 - "The Boy Who Lost Fairyland" . Yes, Fairyland BOOK FOUR! WOOOO!
Book 3 - New InCryptid Seanan McGuire "Pocket Apocalypse". EEEE!

And I'm at work. Boo.
sabine: (Default)
New nail wraps of ZOMG!Glitter fantasticness!
sabine: (lol)
This morning, George Takei posted a picture on Facebook. Sith Lord

A friend (mearn4d10) re-posted it with the comment "YOU MUST ALL SUFFER THE EARWORM!"

I have small children. I know this song. So I started coming up with new verses. So did he. So did other people. What resulted made me laugh and laugh this morning. Some of them scan better to the song than others Here are all the verses we threw at each other:
  • A droid is a person in your neighborhood....
  • A Jedi is a person in your Neighborhood!
  • A Wookie is a person in your neighborhood!
  • A Mandalorian is a bounty hunter in your neighborhood!
  • A nerf herder's a loser in your neighborhood?
  • A Bantha is a Beast Of Burden in your neighborhood!
  • A Sarlacc is a sessile peril in your neighborhood!
  • A womp rat is a target in your neighborhood!
  • Tosche station is where kids waste time in your neighborhood!
  • Mos Eisley is a den of sin in your neighborhood!
  • Jabba is a Hutt Lord in Your neighborhood!
  • Clone soldiers are poor marksmen in your neighborhood!
  • Stormtroopers are the Redshirts in your neighborhood!
  • Han always shoots first in your neighborhood!
  • The Cantina needs a mopping in your neighborhood!
  • Do or do not in your neighborhood!
  • There is no try in your neighborhood!
  • Only the Sith Deal In Absolutes in your neighborhood?
  • There is good in you yet in your neighborhood?
  • Let your hate rise in your neighborhood!
  • Trust your feelings, Luke, in your neighborhood!
  • You have a sister in your neighborhood!
  • We will rule together in your neighborhood.
  • Take Up Your Weapon And Strike Me Down With It in your neighborhood!
  • There's a fully functional Death Star in your neighborhood...
  • We've gotta be able to get some kind of a reading on that shield, up or down in your neighborhood!
  • It's a trap! in your neighborhood
  • You're a little short for a Stormtrooper in your neighborhood
  • Somebody get this walking carpet out of my way in your neighborhood!
  • I don't care what you smell in your neighborhood!
  • I'm altering the deal, pray I don't alter it any further in your neighborhood!
  • Fear is the path to the Dark Side in your neighborhood!
  • Luke Skywalker is here to rescue you in your neighborhood.
  • The Force is strong with us in our neighborhood!
  • Luke, I am your father in your neighborhood!
  • "I love you." "I know." in your neighborhood!

You're welcome.
sabine: (Computer Geek)
  • heisenbug /hi:'zen-buhg/ /n./ [from Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle in quantum physics] A bug that disappears or alters its behavior when one attempts to probe or isolate it. (This usage is not even particularly fanciful; the use of a debugger sometimes alters a program's operating environment significantly enough that buggy code, such as that which relies on the values of uninitialized memory, behaves quite differently.) Antonym of Bohr bug; see also mandelbug, schroedinbug.

  • Bohr bug /bohr buhg/ /n./ [from quantum physics] A repeatable bug; one that manifests reliably under a possibly unknown but well-defined set of conditions. Antonym of heisenbug; see also mandelbug, schroedinbug.

  • schroedinbug /shroh'din-buhg/ /n./ [MIT: from the Schroedinger's Cat thought-experiment in quantum physics] A design or implementation bug in a program that doesn't manifest until someone reading source or using the program in an unusual way notices that it never should have worked, at which point the program promptly stops working for everybody until fixed. Though (like bit rot) this sounds impossible, it happens; some programs have harbored latent schroedinbugs for years. Compare heisenbug, Bohr bug, mandelbug.

  • mandelbug /man'del-buhg/ /n./ [from the Mandelbrot set] A bug whose underlying causes are so complex and obscure as to make its behavior appear chaotic or even non-deterministic. This term implies that the speaker thinks it is a Bohr bug, rather than a heisenbug. See also schroedinbug.


Jul. 14th, 2008 12:50 pm
sabine: (Computer Geek)
Tomorrow, Act I of Dr Horrible's Sing-Along Blog goes live!

Also, you can read a Captain Hammer comic book on Myspace!

Sometimes it's very good being an easily-amused geek.


May. 16th, 2008 03:11 pm
sabine: (LOL)
I went down to the copier room to use the label maker. The last message printed was "THE SPICE MUST FLOW".

I love working at a company with bigger nerds than me!

good day

May. 3rd, 2008 10:01 pm
sabine: (Ant - bookstore)
I attempted to sleep late this morning. I was foiled by a greyhound that really needed to go outside Right Now. I think I might be teaching her bad habits, since she would cry for attention at approximately the same interval as the snooze button on my alarm clock. Though she is a dog of very little brain, she has apparently figured out how best to wake me up.

It's a good thing she's cute.

Downwood and I shopped for a while - he actually found a copy of the Diablo II expansion at GameStop. I was disappointed in JoAnn's lack of selection of black chiffon, but got some of what I'm going to need for the outfit. The used bookstore is having a sale (10% off new, 25% off used) on everything until Monday and since they're next door to the comic store, we even got to hit up Free Comic Book Day.

And then we came back and played Diablo until we made it through the first four quests of Act I. Yes, we're geeks, but it works for us. So does edamame and Babylon 5 on DVD.

I also finally got a chance to read a book that has been taunting me for two days. Nurk is a children's book by [ profile] ursulav. It's wonderfully cute, charming, and could be picked out of a lineup by anyone familiar with Ursula's snark, wit, and phrasing. I would love to read this book out loud to a small child and then turn them back over to their parents for the subsequent explanations.

I could wish that I lived closer to the author - or went to the same conventions - to get her to sign my copy for me and maybe fangirl just a little bit. But, instead, I'm going to point to where you can purchase the book yourself and spread the joy that way. It's even on sale! Go, purchase, and enjoy!


Dec. 7th, 2006 07:45 pm
sabine: (Computer Geek)
Though it seems complicated up front, this game is pretty darn fun.

Yes, I'm posting my personal Refer a Friend link. Yes, it's terribly self-serving and mercenary of me. No, I don't particularly care. In fact, I'm going to go beat up on more zombies now. Toodles!


Oct. 6th, 2006 07:07 am
sabine: (Books)
Oh. Oh, my. [ profile] takhisis found this link. Holy Darwin.

Hot Library Smut

No nudity, nothing naughty, perfectly safe for work. Just...mmmmmmm
sabine: (Pretty me)
I made it home safely yesterday. Though the Enemy tried valiantly, the serenity granted me by the Almighty Darwin saw me safely through the trials and tribulations.

In reality, it went really well. They are reassured that we're listening to their concerns, acting on them, working on their projects, and that we know what we're doing. The analysis we spent a day and a half doing with them, we did in a couple of hours back in April. We gave them our analysis then and they said that we were lying. This past week, we FINALLY got the real data from them and we got them to take a good, long look at it and sit down and get the shit hammered out.

Both the flight outs and the flights back were fairly uneventful. I finished reading the Eisenhorn trilogy, cementing my place firmly in gamer geekdom. Because I had some extra time after reading the exploits of the inquisition, I wrote a couple of short stories from the points of view of two NPCs in the game I'm running. Extremely nerdy, but will ultimately be useful for plot direction and story development.

Downwood and I spent last night and most of today in a Rawr state. No, I wasn't gone for that long, but it was long enough for us both to get a little lonely. I'm so used to having him around for as much of each day as I want that even small separations feel...long. We went out and about so I could buy Wintersmith and Fragile Things (and some more books that somehow managed to leap into my arms) and restock my tea supply. Some gaming in the online world of Winter's Edge finished off a pretty darn good day.

Iowa State won!
Wisconsin won!
Awa is about to lose!

Life is pretty darn good right now.
sabine: (Trouble)
Saturday night, [ profile] wolf_in_exile kindly ran a Shadowrun game for [ profile] downwood, [ profile] katie_preston, [ profile] thestormcellar, [ profile] katelennon, and me. Yes, Kate actually gamed with us and did very well for her first time with the dice. During the next GCC outing, we're going to go get her a pretty set of brand new dice.

I'm going to have to get the Shadowrun book now, so that I can actually create my ninja in a way that makes some freaking sense (pregen characters are teh suck). But it was a whole lot of fun and kept me up late enough that being out of my Happy Pills didn't hurt too much.

some wedding planning stuff )
Tonight, Downwood got to do something he'd never done before: finish a game on his Xbox. Yes, we finally beat D&D Heroes. And by "finally beat" I mean, "laid a smackdown on the Wizard Kaedin the likes of which has never been seen". Yes, Bob the Fighter, he of the 43 Str and 11 Cha came into his own during that fight. *sniff* I'm so proud of him. And Downwood's cleric was instrumental in keeping Bob alive.

Yes, we're gaming geeks. If you hadn't figured that out yet, I weep for your deductive reasoning skills.

And now, I'm going to wrap up a bit of writing I've been working on for the last couple days, rescue the clothes from the dryer, and get some good sleep in preparation for dealing with my customers and coworkers on the morrow. It's been a Very Good Weekend.
sabine: (Rocks fall)
Downwood (in character): So, we've got this guy on our side and he's got a counterpart?
Me (IC): Yes, that's the way of things.
D: So what would happen if we just killed them both?
Me: Um...I. Um. Well, I don't...oh. Crap. I don't think it'
D: Just putting a thought on the table.
sabine: (Heris Impersonator)
I'm so very glad that The Loom is back in Frequent Posting Mode. One of the things that I miss about graduate school is the constant barrage of new and exciting ideas, developments, experiments, and conclusions that happen in the science world. I had to teach myself Science as almost a foreign language and I miss translating in and out of it. This is why I like The Loom, The ESRC, and I depend on my still-in-grad-school friends for tidbits of amazing science.

I'm going to make a rather shocking confession at this point. Are you sitting down with a cold washcloth at the ready? Here it is: I THINK CREATIONISTS AND "INTELLIGENT" DESIGN PROPONENTS ARE DUMB!!! Yes, this must come as a complete surprise to everyone who's ever met me. I'll give you a moment.

Last night I slipped into Spiffy Science Fangirl mode when I read the article talking about an honest-to-Darwin transitional form from fish to tetrapod in the fossil record. I read that with great glee and had a few happy contemplations of the backpedaling and rhetorical nonsense that was about to be printed to "explain" how these new findings are propaganda or something else easily ignorable.

This article is even cooler. Now, I'm not just saying that because I'm more familiar with the techniques that are used in molecular genetics. Nor am I saying it because the article is written a bit more technically and it pinged all my Science Nerd receptors. No, I think that the concept of tracing a molecular receptor back through the evolutionary history, recreating the ancestral form, and then attempting to figure out the precise chain of random events that have led to what we see today is all sorts of nifty and something that I would love to work on someday.

Yes, it seems like a sketchy sort of scenario. "If this happened in just this way and then this other thing happened, why, then you could see this other thing and by random chance that's what we've ended up with today! See how simple it is?!" But, really, it's something that you don't actually have to take with that much faith. Yes, we're allowed to have both faith and knowledge of science. No, I'm not going to explode for saying "faith" and "science" in the same sentence and speaking positively of both. Just let it go.

The thing about random chance driving evolution is that we can't so much hit the Rewind button and see how it would play out. This is one of the things that ID folks have latched onto with an iron grip. They claim that everything happened so that humans would be created. No. Not true. We want it to be true, but it's not. But I'm seriously digressing.

The point I wanted to make about random chance and this article in particular is that the mutations mentioned in the lock-and-key mechanism started out as random, but are now standard. That's the driving force behind evolution. In many cases, the mutation will result in the death of the organism carrying it. Or that critter won't breed. Or they get buried and become part of the Burgess Shale. Or something. But when you look at a single protein, it becomes much simpler (and by "simple" I mean "requires years of work and lots of computer processing of statistics and more work") to understand how the process of random mutation can drive change.

Proteins are chains of amino acids. Amino acids are encoded by three DNA bases. If you change a single DNA base, the odds are good that you'll change the amino acid at that point. Sometimes, nothing happens - this is called a silent mutation. You have MANY silent mutations in your cells right now. I guarantee it. Sometimes something small gets changed that has a small effect on the protein's function, but it doesn't actively harm or help the organism as a whole.

Sometimes, though, a single base change in the DNA will completely change the activity of the protein. The wrong thing in the wrong place can have HUGE impacts on the function of the protein. Take sickle-cell anemia as an example. A single DNA base is changed. Suddenly, the red blood cells go from looking like jelly donuts to long, thin, flat plates that won't go through capillaries. A single point mutation, something that's utterly random, has sweeping effects.

Or you might have a mutation in the gene that controls alcohol metabolism. A single mutation there will either make it so that you get drunk exceptionally quickly or that your liver processes alcohol about 15 times faster than normal. If you mutate a single amino acid in the enzyme, you can force it to work faster or slower. Again, this is something that will happen randomly in a very small point and have huge effects.

And that's the point of evolution. A single individual will NEVER evolve. That's not how it works. It's a long series of little things that happen in the species as a whole over time. Some of these things are "bad", some are very "good". But just like the researchers in Oregon, we can take the baby steps back and piece together the clues that are still present in our proteins, bones, and physiologies. It's something that we CAN figure out. And that, to me, is the neatest thing of all.

*gets off soapbox*
sabine: (SPQR!)
Happy Birthday, Spyridon Marinatos! Thank you for discovering the city and the paintings that I find so beautiful and so intriguing. Here's a GIS for what I can't describe adequately.

His full bio:
Born 4 Nov 1901; died 1 Oct 1974.
Spyridon Nikolaou Marinatos was a Greek archaeologist whose most notable discovery was the site of an ancient port city on the island of Thera, in the southern Aegean Sea. The city, the name of which was not discovered, apparently had about 20,000 inhabitants when it was destroyed by the great volcanic eruption of 1500 BC. Among the finds made at the site were the finest frescoes discovered in the Mediterranean region to that time, surpassing even those found at Knossos in Crete. The most famous of these murals is the “Two Boys Boxing”. From Today in Science History, of course.
sabine: (Fuck)
Today is the 22nd anniversary of R. Buckminster Fuller's death and the 34th anniversary of Sir Lawrence Bragg's death. A moment of silence, please.


Boss has shown more of an interest in my work over the last week than in the previous six months. Normally, this would not be an occasion for me to go on the warpath. He is still, however, in a mental place that encourages total amnesia for every part of his grad students' projects. Yesterday, he came in to talk about how things were going three times. Each time, I had to start over at the beginning and explain every. single. detail. again. I know that I shouldn't burn bridges when I'm still standing on them, but fer chrissakes, I'm getting sick of this.

I also want to throw the 'puter out the window. I'm not sure why it's so difficult to take a stack of image files and make them into a movie, but it's giving me fits. Quicktime Pro won't load when I'm connected to the network and my shared drive (where the files are stored), the files have mysteriously turned black and white even though I made sure to save them as a color overlap (red+green=yellow), and the tower is making noises like it wants to eat the CD. Again. I'm starting to think that the whole idea of making time-lapse videos was a mistake.

I managed to totally piss off, offend, and emotionally distress a friend last night. I know I'm not the most socially adept person on the planet, and I get less able to effectively deal with people when my mental reserves are running on fumes. It didn't really help matters any that she's very extroverted, loud, and loves being the center of attention. I figure I'll apologize as soon as I feel I can do so, mean it, and extricate myself from the ensuing conversation without causing a repeat performance. I knew it was a lost cause last night when she flounced out of the room and my only thought was, "'bout time. *sigh of relief*" I know I need to remember how to tell people that, no, really, I require some alone time if you want to see me at all.

I read about Justice O'Connor's retirement from the Supreme Court this morning. This fills me with no small amount of unspecific dread. I didn't want Dubya to be able to install any of his cronies in the committee that broadly interprets the legality of laws. I can't see anything good coming from this, so I'm restarting my quest to look for a villa on Mars.

Today is the 147th birthday of the publishing of the Darwin-Wallace theory of evolution. Yay! I'd like to take the next few moments to do the Happy Chair Dance of Society-Altering Science.

*happy dance*

I managed to finally finish reading Cicero: The Life and Times of Rome's Greatest Politician Wednesday night before the concert. I liked the book, because it's Roman history; I'm not sure that I agree with the author's claim of Cicero's importance and power. It was a very different view of the man than I'd ever been taught. Of course, I wouldn't be on Nerdtown's city council if the following exchange hadn't been so easy...

[ profile] jrug: So, Bush could be prosecuted and impeached because of *these reasons*.
[ profile] exlibris11235: But, that's leaving out that *other facts*
Me: But, we wouldn't be able to prosecute Bush for another couple of years, since he'll still have immunity as a proconsul. What province would he be getting, anyway?
[ profile] jrug: *blinks*
[ profile] exlibris11235: Syria
Me: Yes, that makes sense.

Yes, typing for the last while has made me feel better. I'm going to be leaving work in 15 minutes to drive to Chicago to spend the holiday with [ profile] downwood and visit with [ profile] bexdragon, too. I also am about halfway though Guards! Guards!. I read the following section on the bus this morning and just had to share it. *grin*
"A book has been taken. A book has been taken? You summoned the Watch," Carrot drew himself up proudly, "because someone's taken a book? You think that's worse than murder?"
The Librarian gave him the kind of look other people would reserve for people who said things like "What's so bad about genocide?"
sabine: (Pi)
You Might Be a Physics Student If...

* you have no life - and you can PROVE it mathematically.

* you know vector calculus but you can't remember how to do long division.

* you chuckle whenever anyone says "centrifugal force."

* you've actually used every single function on your graphing calculator.

* you always do homework on Friday nights.

* you know how to integrate a chicken and can take the derivative of water.

* you've calculated that the World Series actually diverges.

* you hesitate to look at something because you don't want to break down its wave function.

* you have a pet named after a scientist.

* you laugh at jokes about mathematicians.

* you can translate English into binary.

* you can't remember what's behind the science-building door that says "Exit."

* you have to bring a jacket with you in the middle of summer, because there's a wind-chill factor in the lab.

* you consider ANY non-science course "easy."

* when your professor asks you where your homework is, you claim to have accidentally determined its momentum so precisely that, according to Heisenberg, it could be anywhere in the universe.

* you assume that a "horse" is a "sphere" in order to make the math easier.

* you understood more than five of these indicators.

* you made a hard copy of this list and posted it on your door.


Oct. 28th, 2004 09:53 am
sabine: (coffee)
Random Question of the Moment

What is the molarity of acetic acid in vinegar? Specifically, how much must one dilute glacial acetic acid with deionized water in order to get a solution that will clean calcium and lime deposits from the water line of a coffeepot?

This is an extremely important question. We need an answer: the pants command me!


Oct. 27th, 2004 10:47 pm
sabine: (cute)
I take back everything bad I said about Mother Nature. I saw the eclipse. Is so spiffy.

Not so spiffy as the World Series, but still spiffy.


sabine: (Default)

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