Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Feeling Stressed? I have just the thing...

Stress release of the coolest order.
I luvz da interweb.


Whenever I feel the need for comfort food I toss all the ingredients in the slowcooker and let it slowly fill the house with chili goodness. I put a big pot on low last night and this morning the house already smelled delicious. Tonnes of veggies, a bit of meat, spices galore and viola. By the time I get home it should be nice...just add the beans and thicken it up a bit and I've got comfort food for days. Chili pizza, chili and rice, baked chili many things to do with all that chili.
I know some people say chicken soup is good when you're sick, but for me...give me chili any time. With a bit of brown rice....oh yum.
I can't wait to get home to the chillilishiousness.
It'll make me better...I'm sure of it.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Immunity is impossible

"Common colds are most often caused by infection by one of the more than 100 serotypes of rhinovirus, a type of picornavirus. Other viruses causing colds are coronavirus, human parainfluenza viruses, human respiratory syncytial virus, adenoviruses, enteroviruses, or metapneumovirus. Due to the many different types of viruses, it is not possible to gain complete immunity to the common cold."

Source(info & image): Wikipedia

Sunday, April 27, 2008


Well...I'm officially ill.
I've had a bit of a tickly throat and the odd sniffle the last week, but this morning is full out stuffed up coughing badness.
I didn't go for my run today (sniff) but at least got out for a walk in the was 10 degrees and sunny skies.
Not too shabby.
And I haven't been sued by the blind lady yet so hey...should be OK.
AND my lovely husband is saying lets order in so I don't have to cook.
I like weekends...

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Blinds and falling down.'s been a good day...except for nearly maiming and crippling the interior designer.

To order wood blinds they have someone come by your house, show you all the woody bits and then measure and give you a quote. And with them being half off right now we can actually afford them...only just...but I've always wanted wood blinds. And they'll even put them up for us (which is good as I have no idea how to). They're just so freaking expensive I never thought we could afford them for a long long time. But we noticed the deal in the we thought we'd at least have them come by and give us a quote. There's a lot of wood in the house, with the doors, trim and a big wood beam across the main room so we've picked a nice warm teaky shaded wood that matches everything as best we could. We picked hte warmer richer shade over the slightly more dull and boring shade that also kind of matched...I am very excited. I love having real wood all about the place, and this is just so cool. They're lifetime warrantied, so we'll have them working forever. Yay. Income tax rebates are awesome. :)

It all went well with the appointment and such, except for when the decorator left to go home with her things and then at the sidewalk, after our yard (which can be a bit tricky with the stairs and railway ties) she somehow rolled her ankle and fell in front of her car. Rather spectaculartly it would seem...samples falling about on the walk. I ran down to help her up and a nice doctor who was out walking his dog checked here and said she should be OK...but should have it Xrayed just in case.
Eep. It wasn't our fault but I feel bad. If we *hadn't* bought blinds I'd feel like a huge tool :).
We helped her up and she drove herself off so she'll be OK...I imagine she felt as silly as I did. Hope she is alright.

Wood blinds. I'm very excited.


Friday, April 25, 2008

Cartoons of us

I can't come to work. I have the ennui...

To try and shake my funk, here is a current update on my current life...currently.

Current clothes: Jeans, brown belt, green Maybe Smith band shirt, green fuzzy hoodie, superstars, black specs

Current mood: I have the ennui. I feel like staring out the window all day...but have no window. So I'm just getting on with a meme.

Current music: Flaming Lips - Soft Bulletin

Current annoyance: Winter. It just won't end. The snow is melting away AGAIN but it's still bitterly windy.

Current thing: Staring at my navel. Seriously. I bought a few belly rings a while back and keep changing them out. And realising I need to do some situps...

Current desktop picture: A picture of a family that is happy because they eat lard. It's an old 50s ad.

Current book: Just finished Neverwhere by Neil Gaman. Love that man...I'm hunting for another book to start. Any ideas?

Current song in head: Cold Brains by Beck. No idea why.

Current DVD in player: Season 3 disc 1 of 6 Feet Under. The first 2 episodes we've seen really don't grip me. They're odd characters but I think BSG has ruined most TV for me...I expect a lot now.

Current refreshment: Just finished a cup of coffee.

Current worry: I'm going to look at wood blinds for the living room tomorrow. I've always wanted ones...and to have some that match the big wood beam in our house would be cool. I'll sniffle if they cost too much tho. They're on sale so I'm hoping we can swing nice.

Current thought: I've got the urge to do something, but don't know what. I have a list of things I want to start as long as my arm but I just can't bring myself to start any of them. Suppose I"ll put them all on paper in a hat and just pick one and get at it. Perhaps that'll banish the ennui...

Slow day and it's just begun

I woke up early this morning for no good reason and can't get back to sleep. It's my "not run" day and my shoulder still is a bit sore, so I have no workout...just a very snuggly cat and too much time on my hands. I've tried to sit and look out the window but I'm ansty...came to check my email. That's a whole 5 minutes gone.
Hmmm...I think I'll just go into work a bit early. Not much to do there, but at least there is a loaf of bread and some grape jelly for some breakfast. Perhaps I'll sit and look out the window there for a change of scenery.
J has been working nights and I'll be glad when he's home tonight...the cats aren't very good at conversation :)
Have a good day all.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Critters abound

There are thousands of birds back from their winter lands. If I had a bird paranoia I'd be inside and covering my head a lot - it really is like the Hitchcock bird thing...*magnified* in number.
Seriously...there were over a thousand robins and sparrows flying about whirling clouds in the neighborhood last night while I was talking on the phone (yes I counted each and every one...). On my run this morning down by the river there are dozens of ducks and geese back on the river already and everywhere I looked there were clusters of fat little robins seed hunting in the rising sunlight. Even the crochety pair of geese that live under the bridge every year and come out to hiss at you when you run by without stopping to feed them (oh the nerve of me and my not having breadcrumbs!) are's so odd and wonderful to see and hear so many birds in the neighborhood. I even saw a bluejay this morning. The bats are back too...I've seen them fluttering about at dusk trying to snack on the clouds of mayflies by the weir.

Critters! :)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Robot friends

Geek has made friends with the Transformers lately.
I think offerings of food helped...


It's suddenly winter here again - blizzards and -15 with snow.
It's very heard to train for a 10K run when you can't go outside :). Ah has to melt eventually I suppose. I'm sure by the run in June it will have melted...knock on wood. SO far I"m up to about 6K or so, with 7 minute stretches of running. Not too shabby.
I did my taxes last night...what a thrill. We're getting abit back, which is nice, but we have a crappy little calculator, so it was a team job, with me reading off numbers and J adding them and doing each calculation 2-3 times to be sure the calculator wasn't screwing up. At least it's done now...any $$ we get back can help with repainting the living room this summer. I'd like to get some new blinds too, so we'll see how it all comes together. I may regret it once I'm halfway through it all...but it is the last room left in the house to redo, so I'm forced to deal with it. We'll have to rent scaffolding for the one wall and to do the ceilings, but in the end it will be nice. The whole house was the same shade of brain melting beige when we moved in...we've been filling it with colour room by room. It will be nice to be "done" the painting soon. We're sort of tactfully ignoring all the nail holes a the moment. The previous owners had a thing for covering the walls with stuff, so I'm sure it'll take me a whole day just to fill holes...but in the end - spiffy.
Must lunch is over and I have much to do. Bye.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Impudence. Won't you come out to play?

You know what?
I had a lovely weekend.
We were supposed to go to Banff, but the weather was horrid and driving conditions were nasty so we stayed home...driving through the mountain roads in a blizzard is not my idea of a good time. We stayed home and relaxed...went out to a great dance party saturday night and ordered in chinese food sunday. I am so very mellow from a relaxing weekend reading, drinking tea and snuggling on the couch, listening to the new Orb album (which is very good BTW). It was nice...not at all what we planned, but, as it turned out, exactly what we needed.

Gotta to close off is a sweet photo of my two little nieces together from the weekend. Are they not adorable? :)

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Labrats anonymous

Blah blah blah.
I ran about 6 K this morning...I'm a bit tired.

I'm having an "thing" with my current research project.
I fixed one big problem with it and another little one has arisen out of the mist to make faces at me and fart in my general direction...Damn.

The thing about working with living bacteria, DNA and cells is...well...they are alive and have (as crazy as it may sound) an attitude some days.
After days like today, offering someone fries with their burger sounds rather appealing...WAY less things to go wrong. :)

But then, like today, I bang my head and use my little brain of mine to solve the problem and feel like the Queen of town after.
So it all evens out in the end.
Such is the joy and curse of research science.
All in the days work of a labrat...I confess I'm hooked no matter what.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Get out of bed! No time for napping...

I was watching Pee Wees Playhouse on BBC Kids the other night in a fit of boredom and *man*'s even weirder than I remember. J loved it when he was little, but it was a bit too much for me at times...although my brother loved it. My Dad has a general dislike for cartoons and kids programming and he could not stand the show-for a man who didn't like Flinstones or Scoobie Doo, this was WAY too much of pretty much everything :). Just watching the intro got the theme song in my head for's still there.
Damn it.

It makes me want to have a special word of the day today.
The word is "research".
Remember to scream and yell kiddies when you hear it today!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Inhale. Exhale.

OK...I'm better now I think.
It was either rant that out or say things entirely inappropriate at work...I'll get it straightened out eventually.

You know who you are...

After 2 weeks of shit work, putting my shoulder out and doing my best for all, apparently you weren't "informed" or things weren't done to your specifications, when you were conveniently unavailbale for anythign involving you. You tell me this NOW. AFTER it is all done, and want me to redo work that is pointless, to prove a point, knowing it may possibly damage equipment and WILL waste my time. In addition, you try and get me in trouble with my boss and make me look bad when all I've tried to do is what is best for you.

If I weren't such a good person I'd go up to your office right now and shout FUCK YOU to your face.

But I have work to do....

Friday, April 11, 2008

Cooking with Geo Vol. 5: Beer makes everything better

After some banter with my good friend Magnus about how amazing Guinness gingerbread would be, I wasn't able to stop thinking about it, so i went hunting and tracked down a great recipe for it. At work, any excuse for a cake is a good one, and little Lily coming to be with us was a perfect reason to make a cake and test it out on my guinea pigs, er, I mean coworkers. It was a bit time consuming make with the waiting to cool part in the middle, but in the end was spicy, moist, cakey deliciousness. I had no Guinness (a tragedy I know) but I used a bottle of espresso oatmeal stout (which tastes very similar) and it worked very well. You even get about 1/2 c of beer left to sip while baking, which to me is like cooking with and sipping makes it taste even better :)
I served it with whipped cream and I will definitely be making it again. It was devoured by my coworkers before I thought to get a photo, so you'll just have to imagine the deliciousness. Lily's Mum also gives it two large and two tiny thumbs up. I thought if I was asked to share the recipe with all them I should probably post it here too so you can all go home and make it this weekend. It's seriously some of the best cake I've ever had...and in my life, I've had me a lot of cake!

Gramercy Tavern Guinness Gingerbread


1 cup oatmeal stout or Guinness Stout
1 cup dark molasses (not blackstrap)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch of ground cardamom
3 large eggs
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
Confectioners sugar for dusting

Special equipment: a 10-inch (10- to 12-cup) bundt pan

Experimental Protocol
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Generously butter bundt pan and dust with flour, knocking out excess. Make a few sniggering remarks about bundt pans. Then move on...
Bring stout and molasses to a boil in a large saucepan, stirring often, and remove from heat. Whisk in baking soda, then cool to room temperature. (when you add the soda it really foams up a lot...don't freak out :) You really need a large saucepan)
Sift together flour, baking powder, and spices in a large bowl. Whisk together eggs and sugars in another bowl. Whisk in oil, then molasses mixture. Add to flour mixture and whisk until just combined.
Pour batter into bundt pan and rap pan sharply on counter to eliminate air bubbles. Bake in middle of oven until a tester comes out with just a few moist crumbs adhering, about 45-50 minutes. Cool cake in pan on a rack 5 minutes. Turn out onto rack and cool completely.

Serve cake, dusted with confectioners sugar, with whipped cream
Apparently it's best if you serve it the day after it's made. I did and it was freakishly good, so I can't argue...
Go have some cake...and a good weekend.
Bye :)

6 words for a friday morning

I was tagged by Pacian a little while ago with this meme. Describe your life with 6 words and, if you like, an image or photo. Then tag some others...preferably 6 of them.
It took a few days to ponder this out a bit, dump any too deep or wierd ideas, and I seem to have come up with the following that suits me just fine I do think:

Eccentric dreamer bakes cakes for free

(image courtesy of the Mr. Berkley Breathed, Bloom County)

And so I tag Magnus, Grapecat, Corey, Peter, Bag Lady and Chaucer's Bitch.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Curses! My plans for world domination with my monkey army are thwarted yet again!

Another reason why my job rocks:

Today, while setting up an experiment, I noticed the following words on the user instructions/safety info sheet for a research item I am using:

"This product is not compatible with monkeys"

How awesome is that?
I can honestly say I've never seen that before on any technical literature or manual of anything else I've ever done...anywhere.
If I took the time to explain why it was there it might lull you to sleep, or at least take the humour out of just do what I did - think about it and giggle for a few minutes before getting on with things.

I'm a happy camper.
I'm doing lab work today. Aaaah....:)
Sure my plans with my mobile monkey ninja army have been setback somwhat...but I shall prevail.
Alternate plans of invasion are afoot...

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Welcome little one

My new niece Lily Pearl is coming to be with us today...and my sister in law and brother in law and little niece Elliott are so very happy to welcome her to their family...and so are we.
Lily is so very small.
And squeaky.


Tuesday, April 08, 2008


So yeah...apparently spent all of yesterday with a small hole worn in my pants at work...either noone noticed, noone looks at my butt there (thank god) or they couldn't bring themselves to say anything (horrified at the occasional glimpse of my posterier).
J pointed it out when I got home.

Yup, I'm a scientist.
I feel so very very dumb.

I'm off to hide under a bag...that goes down past my butt.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Last day??

Everywhere I look I see
Boxes looming over me
Perhaps today I will be done
And dance with gladness in the sun

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Wish For Wings That Work

This April Fools video by the BBC made me giggle uncontrollably. I lurve penguins...
Flying penguins - even better :)

Wednesday, April 02, 2008


This is a test of the emergency broadcast system.
We will return to regular programming shortly.

Cunning Plans

 Life is wierd ya know. It seems a lot of things have been hitting me hard lately. Been distant from people, including my partner who is dea...