Archive for February, 2006

Why does everything happen to me?

This has been a terribly eventful week. I’ll go through the events in chronological order, although it’s clearly not order of importance.

  1. I spilled soda into the keyboard of my laptop. It was only a tiny amount, and I was actually able to continue playing Guild Wars while using pieces of paper towel to get it out. IBM makes durable Thinkpads. Unfortunately, the keys got sticky. Finally, I fixed it by removing the keyboard and immersing it in distilled water! One key is still a little sticky, so I may do it again, but it’s vastly better. I found that the sticky keys were really stressing me out. I was tense all day.
  2. My mother was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a sort of leukemia. She’s been showing symptoms for a while, though we didn’t know what they meant. That’s terrible news, and she’s starting chemo soon. She found out on Valentine’s Day. She and my dad are taking it very hard, although I’m not ready to mourn her. She’s not dead yet, and I intend to enjoy the time she’s alive. My mother is trying to get us to be very supportive for each other, forming a “circle of love.” If her chemo is as bad as my sticky keyboard, she’s going to be suffering, that’s for sure. And I imagine it’s going to be rather worse than a few sticky keys.
  3. My research group got amazingly good results, so we’ll have a good paper that should get accepted. That means I may be going (with Kate, I hope) to Australia.
  4. Louis the guinea pig broke his right front leg, or so we thought. He was limping around (very sad to see), so we took him to the emergency vet, the only sort we could get on Saturday. The vet told us Louis had (essentially) just dislocated his little shoulder. So, we’re giving Louis medicine for a week, but one day later he’s stopped limping. (We’ve been calling him Gimpy while he’s injured.)
  5. Kate’s computer died, so I spent all day today trying to fix it. It turns out that her power supply was dying, causing hard drive errors. It took a long time to diagnose it! But it seems to work now, and now she may make better backups. 🙂

So, you can see that my life has been busy. Because of the paper deadline, it’s likely to stay that way for the immediate future. Because of my mother’s cancer, it’s likely to stay that way in the long term. Damn.

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Weird shit happens to me

Weird shit keeps happening to me, and I’m repeatedly astonished.

So, I’m sitting at home, and the UPS guy arrives at the door. That’s not astonishing; I received a notice when they missed me the other day. But the package was very large, unlike anything I could have been expecting. After looking at it closer, it became apparent that it was shipped from the Washington University Physics department! And when I opened it, it contained a brand new cordless electric drill.

Now, I don’t want to seem ungrateful, but receiving an electric drill from your old university for no apparent reason is, um, odd. I wondered if maybe there had been some kind of mistake.

It turns out the whole thing has a reasonable explanation. The drill is simply a very late wedding gift. I invited my physics professor to my wedding in October, and he didn’t make it. I suppose he eventually felt bad about this, so he sent me this drill as a gift. Now I’ll send him a thank-you note.

So, there’s nothing inexplicable about this whole event. It was just weird enough to make my day.

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Stupid words

Am I the only one who thinks the word “islamofascist” sounds really stupid? Using that words makes one sound unjust, judgmental, and racist.

On the plus side, I guess it makes it really easy to filter out a whole group of dumbasses (i.e. those who use it). Perhaps we need more such words (racial epithets, maybe?), so that we can listen to fewer idiots.

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