conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
Sean Spicer has finally grown a backbone.

When asked how he's feeling, he said: "How do I look like I'm feeling? Relieved."

LOL, I bet!

Sanders read a statement from Trump at the press briefing this afternoon.

"I am grateful for Sean's work on behalf of my administration and the American people. I wish him continued success as he moves on to pursue new opportunities. Just look at his great television ratings," Trump said in the statement.


Dear god, it's like an Onion article, but more so. But listen, Trump, you wanna see great ratings? Just wait until Spicer publishes his salacious tell-all. Bestseller. (He better have a salacious tell-all in the works.)

I'm just disappointed that he made his decision first and then went on the air. I really was hoping to see him give up on national TV. Sigh.

Double Trouble

Jul. 21st, 2017 03:13 pm
rebeccmeister: (cricket)
[personal profile] rebeccmeister
We have five nights remaining here, so I've been switching things into high gear, to the degree possible. That means two circadian experiments a day, one at noon, and one at about midnight, with whatever crickets we can catch. Even if we can't fill out our long-winged sample sizes, we can at least get information about the short-winged crickets, to compare with data from the lab. We've also managed to pinpoint one location that seems to have a slightly higher proportion of long-winged crickets, so I was able to run 3 long-winged females last night. L is also starting to have slightly better success with her pitfall traps: she managed to get another long-winged female this morning. Progress! We actually have a bare minimum sample size complete for the first tracer!

The blacklight hasn't really attracted much in the way of crickets, but there have been a lot of interesting and beautiful moths.

The exhaustion is cumulative. I am struggling to verbalize late at night, when I'm tired. I'm screwing up numbers. At least I'm catching myself...I think. Sample schedule: wake up, drink coffee, check the last-instar crickets for new adults. By 10 am, start prepping for the noon timepoint, which runs from 10:55-1:30. Eat lunch. Collapse in a puddle, or go to town for groceries. Prep for the evening timepoint. Eat dinner early, so we can get out to the cricket hunting grounds by dusk. Hunt crickets until 10 pm. Bring crickets back, run more experiments, wrap up by 1 am, try to unwind for 20 minutes, try to sleep as much as possible. Repeat.

I'm adding tons of photos to the album. I want to run around more at night, to try and get pictures of the tarantulas out here (big, black, hairy, fast!). There are also some amazingly huge wolf spiders with abdomens the size of a quarter, that hang out in the same cracks where the crickets hide. They are so cool, but also shy, so it's hard to get pictures of them. We've gotten to watch the wolf spiders and the deer mice eat the crickets. There are lots of toads out, too. The nights are busy out there.

Moonpie has been extra snuggly today.

Jul. 21st, 2017 02:58 pm
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
No wonder! Yesterday must have been scary, with strangers tromping around in her house and her own people weren't there!

And today the kittens have started using the litterbox. They've also stopped avoiding the door, which means I had to chase down Kid Blink and return her to her room. But she's definitely getting more used to humans - catching her was trivially easy.
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
And she is back home. It's unfortunate that she missed another day of school due to all this, but at least it doesn't look like there's much risk of foster care. I don't think that'd help her education much.

Her dad has been caught. It must've happened in the morning, because as recently as late last night, when Michele dropped me off, there were cops peering in the car windows.

Conversation from the hospital:

Me: Oh, hey, Mommy, did you speak to your brother yet?
Mom: Yeah, I called him last week.
Me: Okay, but do you think you should call him soon?
Mom: I was going to call him Saturday. That's his birthday.
Me: ...
Michele: Oh, wonderful! "Hi, happy birthday, and by the way...!"
Mom: Oh, it's a minor stroke!
Michele: "Good news, bro, I had a stroke of luck!"
[syndicated profile] dinosaur_comics_feed
archive - contact - sexy exciting merchandise - search - about
July 20th, 2017next

July 20th, 2017: This comic is inspired by... THE PLANET MARS!!

Thanks to everyone who backed my Kickstarter! I'm super stoked about the book and I can't wait to get it out there. Hooray!

– Ryan

So my mother had a small stroke.

Jul. 20th, 2017 11:34 pm
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
She's talking just fine (which is great, she's a real chatterbox) and even though she has some weakness on one side, it's already improving.

And while we were gone dealing with this, the cops broke into our house to search for our escaped neighbor. Which is ridiculous - they didn't have a warrant, and they certainly didn't have probable cause, and they definitely did not have our consent to a search.

I must say, they're really pulling out all the stops here. The cops, the state troopers, a joint NY/NJ task force, a helicopter... all this for some dude who ran out of his house, handcuffed, in his undies. It's either overkill, or they're hiding something big.

(no subject)

Jul. 20th, 2017 08:46 pm
randomdreams: riding up mini slickrock (Default)
[personal profile] randomdreams
apologies for TMI but I keep injuring myself in ways that leave scabs like Lake Baikal and within a few days the edges are all ready to be done but the center is still very strongly attached.
Maybe I need body armor.

Double-day [Sedgwick continued]

Jul. 20th, 2017 07:58 am
rebeccmeister: (cricket)
[personal profile] rebeccmeister
Projects with the big crew:

Monday night: thorough coverage of our mark-recapture areas. The weather stayed reasonably warm into the night, so teams were able to gather up a lot of crickets. I stayed behind to run a set of 9 pm crickets.

On Tuesday, we concluded that one of the paint types we'd been using for mark-recapture was not good for the crickets. Crickets painted with Testor's enamel paint were noticeably more sluggish than unpainted crickets or crickets painted with the acrylic paint we'd been using in the lab up until then. We also concluded that we were reaching a point where we weren't learning a whole lot more from repeatedly re-surveying our mark-recapture area, so we decided to switch gears for our evening plans. Oh, we also went to the beach in Santa Barbara, which was a much nicer trip than our trip to Pismo Beach last year. Not only was the beach less crowded, almost everyone actually went in the water. I should have gone for a fuller swim, but oh well.

So then, Tuesday evening, we formed four small teams and headed out in four different directions to get a better sense of the broader population structure out here. I also wanted to encourage everyone to help me collect up as many long-winged crickets as possible, because they're much more rare than the short-winged crickets and are a huge limiting factor for the circadian experiments. In order to give everyone extra incentive, we decided there needed to be a prize for the team that collected the most long-winged crickets. Casting about for ideas, I settled on a prize of a cake of that team's choosing.

It worked! Mk and I wound up hiking up a road in a valley along the southwestern part of the reserve. C and P were supposed to hike along the corresponding eastern edge, but when they reached the gate for that road, C observed two sets of predator eyes shining back at her: either coyotes or mountain lions. So they wisely stuck closer to home. B and CH headed north, and L, G, and Ms headed south.

The cake bribe worked. C and P won, and we came in second, but I still feel like a winner given that I wound up with 6 long-winged females with pink flight muscle. We set them up for a noontime circadian experiment.

As is typical for field experiments, we're making a ton of decisions on-the-fly out here, so part of the reason for trying to thoroughly blog about everything is to try and remember why those decisions were made (and also try to retain shreds of sanity because there is major Thought Tragedy of the Commons* out here).

After the noontime data collection, I became concerned that catching crickets, holding them overnight and through the next day, and then running them, was affecting their metabolic rates. The noontime crickets had higher respiration rates that are comparable to the respiration rates I've observed so far with laboratory crickets, whereas the 9 pm crickets tended to have about half to two-thirds the respiration. We aren't really aiming to study metabolism under starvation conditions, so that was a problem.

Thus, last night, we changed things up again. At 9 pm, teams set off to the two locations out of the four that had been the most fruitful on Tuesday night. Larger groups seemed prudent after the creepy nighttime predator eyes (and a note: nighttime fieldwork is a whole different ballgame than daytime fieldwork!!). I stayed back at the ranch house to prep supplies for another circadian experiment. At 10 pm, teams returned with their haul up to that point, and I wound up setting up 1 long-winged female, 6 short-winged females, and 6 long-winged males for another run starting at 10:24 pm.

At noon, I trained Mk how to help me run the experiment, so she also helped me with the evening timepoint and we turned that crank as best we could. [Interesting tidbit: a large proportion of the crickets have some sort of mite hanging out under their wing covers. I need to photograph them.] We wrapped up by around 1 am. Teams went back out at 10 pm for a second search shift, but temperatures dropped substantially last night, so the crickets weren't all that active anymore.

It's tough out here, when all our best efforts just can't quite net the numbers we need for this kind of experiment. I sort of expected that, and figure we're learning a TON out here anyway, so I'm still optimistic we'll be able to get some good papers for our efforts, even if they aren't quite what we set out to do. We shall see.

I am still feeling grumbly about that rejected manuscript, although this morning as I revisit the comments I'm coming to terms with it all. Gotta get up, dust off my fragile, bruised ego, and keep going.




*Thought Tragedy of the Commons is [personal profile] scrottie's term for what happens when one person tries to hold onto their thoughts about what they're going to be doing next, by saying that thing out loud. When they do, they disrupt the peaceful thoughts of the other people around them, who often respond in turn by voicing all their own thoughts out loud. The net effect can be complete disintegration of one's internal monologue and will for doing things, especially if one is a rather sensitive introvert.

Vaguebooking

Jul. 19th, 2017 03:31 pm
rebeccmeister: (Default)
[personal profile] rebeccmeister
That feeling when you're vindicated, but not in a good way.

[Just got some manuscript reviews + rejection back, which were utterly unsurprising to me, but I must assume are surprising to a coauthor].

That feeling when the news arrives when you're already very, very tired and emotionally out of whack.

wellness and cooking

Jul. 19th, 2017 09:40 am
dichroic: (oar asterisk)
[personal profile] dichroic

Update: Whatever I did to my chest muscles this time, it either wasn’t the same thing as last time or was a lot less of a strain. That one lasted for weeks. This one just hurt Sunday and Monday, and was better yesterday. So I did a light erg piece – still seemed to be coughing a bit and it’s always hard to get onto the erg after a couple of days off, but I finished 5K, anyway. My plan is to erg either harder (interval pieces) or longer today – I haven’t decided which. Then I’ll try to do a strength and conditioning class tomorrow, work demands permitting.

We plan to head out to the lake house again this weekend since we can’t go next week, so hopefully I can get in some real rowing time. (Last week I only kayaked on Saturday – they were having dragboat races so I needed to go to the upper lake and I don’t like rowing there. Too many snags and shallow places.)

Also a cooking note: last night’s dinner was stuffed mushrooms, salad and sourdough bread – I stuffed cremini mushrooms with breadcrumbs, mushroom stems, garlic, leeks, parmegiano, and seasoning. I liked them, Ted said they were OK but wasn’t wildly enthusiastic. Next time I’d use less of the breadcrumbs and more of everything else. Last week’s new-recipe experiments succeeded better: We had Welsh rabbit one day and a wine/mushroom sauce over flatiron steak another day. The sauce was easy and very tasty – basically just saute mushrooms and scallions in about a half stick of melted butter, add a cup of wine, simmer until it reduces, then add another pat of butter and parsley at the end. The Welsh rabbit might be a better dinner for winter than summer, but it was taty and filling. We had lots of the sauce left over, so Ted used it to make homemade mac & cheese later in the week. That was OK, but needed more stuff in it than just sauce and noodles – even when we have the Kraft version, we add hotdogs!

Mirrored from Dichroic Reflections.

(no subject)

Jul. 18th, 2017 08:27 pm
threemeninaboat: (Default)
[personal profile] threemeninaboat
I got asked more than once today about how somebody gets 17 contact lenses stuck in their eye.

I'm betting they were Acuvue Dalies, the crappiest of all the lenses. They fold, shatter, and get lost really easily in there. I stopped wearing them because I couldn't find all the tiny pieces in my eyeball and that's my job.
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
They were already a bit more semi than feral, and now they've been upgraded! Nellie is Sociable, and Kid Blink is Friendly But Shy. It is crucially important that we don't fall into the trap of giving Nellie more attention just because she is friendlier.

***********


Found: A Letter to the Future From 1995

Your car has just been crushed by hagfish: Frequently Asked Questions

More Than Bread: Sourdough As a Window Into The Microbiome

A Window Into Windex

How Cellophane Changed the Way We Shop for Food

Scientists marvel at creatures' 'precise' body clock

Hyenas spark admiration, not fear, in Ethiopia's Harar city

Marrying Later, Staying Single Longer (Nifty animated graphs!)

The Power of Inclusive Sex Education

Tech giant releasing 20 million mosquitoes in Fresno; that's a good thing, really

Tribes commit to uphold Paris climate agreement

Under siege by liberals: the town where everyone owns a gun

The Myth of Drug Expiration Dates

Swiss glacier yields bodies of couple missing for 75 years

The Prisoner Who Painted Dachau’s Horrors (Some of the paintings are reproduced in the article.)

Puerto Rico economic crisis hits island's only zoo

The Summer of Misreading Thucydides

'Inappropriate' and 'Insulting.' Most Americans Disapprove of Trump's Twitter Use

More hospital closings in rural America add risk for pregnant women

Republican attempts to replace Obamacare fail

Separatists proclaim a new state to replace Ukraine

A video of a woman in a skirt sparks outrage in Saudi Arabia

Australians see woman's shooting by police as US nightmare

Children of the Opioid Epidemic Are Flooding Foster Homes. America Is Turning a Blind Eye.

'It's raining needles': Drug crisis creates pollution threat

UAE orchestrated hacking of Qatari government sites, sparking regional upheaval, according to U.S. intelligence officials

Brief updates (fire)

Jul. 18th, 2017 12:15 am
rebeccmeister: (cricket)
[personal profile] rebeccmeister
Sounds like the Mesa Fire got tackled very quickly, and for good reason. The Whittier Fire seems like it is hitting a point where things aren't quite so hairy, so it seems they managed to divert crews and stop the Mesa Fire.

Apparently there's a downed drone somewhere near the reserve, and there are concerns about the state of its battery and the associated fire danger, so people are going out on a mission in the morning to track it down.

Here's the thing about this place: there are lots of lovely, wonderful things about it. As I think about it, if I ever lived here, I would go utterly insane. I can't fully articulate it, but it has the same kind of sunshine as Arizona, but isn't quite so hot, so it doesn't have the cleansing feeling of full desert. Plus, there's all the smoke hanging in the air from the fires. I require clouds, rain, and gloom.

The big lab contingent arrived today, so I suspect I'm going to be even more scatterbrained for the next couple of days while everyone runs around. It's very good for everyone to see the field site, though, and the reunion aspect has been especially fun.

Fire Season

Jul. 17th, 2017 05:00 pm
rebeccmeister: (cricket)
[personal profile] rebeccmeister
Apparently there's a new fire 7 miles from us, as of right now. Stay tuned. Safety first.

This is all predictable, after the wet winter. It's unusually hot here. I believe that yesterday Santa Barbara County declared a state of emergency, what with two large wildfires, the Whittier fire and the Alamo fire. The Whittier fire is finally looking like it's winding down, but at the research station we're still basically just sitting on top of a huge pile of tinder.

just not quite right

Jul. 17th, 2017 11:34 am
dichroic: (oar asterisk)
[personal profile] dichroic

I’m really missing the days when I blogged near-daily, and thus could go back and look up when everything happened in my life. (Also, I just learned that apparently my LJ hasn’t mirrored updates here since March due to plugin issues. Oops. Might need to handle that manually, if anybody is still there.)

This is mostly because it seems like I’ve been sick, or at least not-quite-well, all damn year. Some time in January I came down with a cold that lingered for about two weeks, then turned into bronchitis on the very day I was interviewing for my current job (you can imagine how much fun the interview was). The bronchitis was taken care of with antibiotics, but as it was ebbing I got a pain in my chest. No, not that kind of chest pain; it was right around where the left-tit underwire in a bra would be, and it hurt whenever I coughed or twisted. I was wondering about pleurisy, but the doctor concluded it was probably just a strained muscle, nothing to be done but rest it (not really possible, for a rib muscle, especially while coughing) and wait for it to heal.

Sometime in April or May I came down with another cold, but that one was mild and only lasted a few days. At a different time, I came up with a stiff neck – the kind where you can’t turn your head in one direction. That mostly resolved after a few days, but there’s still one particular spot on the right side of my neck that hurts it I stretch it at a certain angle.

Then in early June I cam up with yet another cold. This one was also mild, but it lasted for-bloody-ever, and the cough is aaaaalmost completely gone.

So here I am in mid-July, with a sore muscle in my neck, still coughing up stuff now and then. And yesterday (after yielding to Ted’s persuasion to try sleeping without a pillow, to see if it would hurt my neck) I woke up with another chest-muscle pain, this time on the right side. It’s not as bad as the left-side one was at its worst, but still hurts when I cough.

This is all tiny minor stuff, but it’s wreaked hell with my workout consistency for this year and it’s starting to just piss me off to feel that I haven’t been at 100% for months now. I’d see a doctor, but in my experience they’re not much good for small vague stuff.

Mirrored from Dichroic Reflections.

Sedgwick: Finding a routine

Jul. 17th, 2017 09:15 am
rebeccmeister: (cricket)
[personal profile] rebeccmeister
Yesterday was warm, so it seemed like there were more crickets out and about during our evening surveys.

I was going to run circadian crickets last night, but in the evening B came into the house with a worried look on his face. When we went out to the table on the porch, the deli cups that had held the crickets for the experiment had been knocked over, and a lid was missing. Out of the four crickets I'd set aside, the long-winged one was the only one that was totally gone.

Later in the evening, when I went out to put out crickets from the day's haul, I startled a rat, who raced off the table into a big, open grating at the edge of the porch.

We are now keeping the pint cups underneath a larger bin, with a rock on top, and I'm now being more careful to seal the lids closed.

Other wildlife: lots of very large wolf spiders (abdomen the size of a dollar coin), a handful of tiny mice (one of which was spotted eating a cricket), lots of toads and tree frogs, rattlesnakes, and an alligator lizard.

It looks like the Whittier wildfire is drawing to a close, to judge by the decrease in smoke and bright spots that we can see at night.

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