Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Frontline: AIDS

I like Frontline on PBS as it deals with interesting subjects form a vast number of topics. Tonight they are showing a history and spread of AIDS from its discovery in the early 1980s. It is incredible story of science, politics, and culture. I am only 30 minutes into the 2 hour long, 2 part story. More information is here.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

salad dressing

Eric liked my homemade balsamic vinaigrette, so here is the recipe.

1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
1/8 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup canola oil
1 clove of garlic, cut in half
1+ tsp "Mrs. Dash" original spice mixture

Shake well. Pour on salad.
Makes 1 delicious cup.

I got this recipe from a family friend, Leigh Pomeroy, who is a former screenwriter and MN congressional candidate from Mankato, MN. Oh, wait, no. The other Mankato, MN. Leigh also is the father of identical twin boys for whom I used to babysit when they were little. Coincidence?

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Wet Computer

I have had the worst luck with computers in the past months. This time it was the new apple laptop. I was walking home and was caught in a rainstorm. I and Kt got completely drenched. We were so wet I could squeeze water out of my jeans. I then realized some time later my computer was in my backpack.

The outside of the bag was soaked too. The computer sleeve I got was wet as was my new little laptop. :( I opened up my computer and "Kernel Panic ...". After drying off most of the water I could, I powered the computer down and back up again. Ding ding ding, then nothing. Hmmmm. Maybe the power is low, so I plug in the power, no light on the connector, bad. After much brooding and getting annoyed at the computer and anyone who tried to do anything, it was time to call apple.

Me: Hi, my computer got wet and now it goes Ding ding ding.
Apple: Let me put you on hold
Me: Ok

I was then disconneted. Grrrr. Call again

Me: Hi my computer got wet and now it goes Ding ding ding
Appple: This sounds like your computer has bad RAM or it can not find your RAM, you need to take it into an Apple Store or send it in to get repaired.
Me: (under my breath) S*&t!
Me: Where is the nearest Apple store ?
Apple: Arlington, Virgina
Me: Ok, can I make an appointment ?
Apple: No, you have to wait for tomorrow.

Ok, put the computer down take a deep breath and wait for tomorrow. More brooding and terrible thoughts. I need to call Apple to tomorrow and make an appointment to get my computer fixed or taken in to be fixed. Either way I have to go to Virigina.

Next day:
I tried to turn my computer on the next day, just for "fun". Now it went "Bong" like it should. But it then gave me the folder with a Mac face and a "?". Hmmm, this seems a little better, but not great. I need to make an appointment anyway, so I called Apple.

Me: Hi, I called yesterday.
Apple: Ah, yes. Your computer goes Ding ding ding. They have already sent a box to your address to pick up your computer just in case it needs to be sent in.
Me: Umm, ok. Well, my computer no longer goes the ding ding ding thing. It now takes a Bong hit and shows that questions mark in a folder picture.
Apple: Ok. That icon means that the system cannot find your system software on any disk connected to your computer. Do you have the OSX boot disk ? Place that into the computer and when the computer goes "Bong" press and hold the "C" key until you get the spinning gear. That will take you into the install program and we will try to fix things from there.
After some booting time and me pressing the "C" key like it will save my life. During this time I also set up a apointment at the Apple Store to take my computer in.

Me: Ok. I am the install screen.
Apple: Go to Utilites and select Disk Utility. Then select your hard disk and select Repair disk.
Me: Ok, it is repairing. ....
Me: I got this gray screen that says to restart my computer.
Apple: Hold down the power key for a long time to power it down and then turn it back on. The disk repair crashed while it was making the repair.
Me: Ok, it is booting and I am not holding down the "C" key. ... It looks like it booted all the way, no little folder icon or anything. It is asking me to login.
Apple: Go ahead and log in and move your files to a safe place, just in case you need to send your computer in. I also want you to make sure and go to the appointment at the Apple Store.
Me: Ok and thanks for your help.
Apple: I am still not is wrong with your computer. It may have intermittant RAM issues, but the people at the Apple Store could tell you better.

I took the long Metro ride out to Virginia and visited the Apple Store. They checked everything out about the computer and I told he entire story from above. This took about a half and hour as I wandered around the Apple store saying, "Oh, I want that" and "Wouldn't it be cool to have that gigantic screen!". At the Apple Store, they started the computer with the Boot Disk and holding down the Apple Key or the option key, I am not sure. The computer went through all sorts of self-checks of RAM and hard drives and other stuff.

In the end, everything checked out ok and I am using the computer. I guess getting the computer wet is a bad idea. Some goods things did come out of this. Katie let me use her new Timbuk2 bag and I think I am going to get one as well. It has a built in compartment for a computer and is water proof, plus all sort of little pockets. Apple customer support was really pleasant, helpful, and knowledgeable. I guess neat little computer is cool, but having someone else fix it is even better. I feel like a ad. Oh and the "I'm a Mac ..." ads were running on a continous loop in the store. They got annoying in the end.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Party, Party, Work

The end of this last week was full of parties. On Wednesday was the Geophysical Laboratory (GL) centennial which included a day full of talks (which I skipped), dinner and drinks that evening. People shared their memories of GL while others ate. On Thursday, Kt flew in from up north to come to Carnegie Evening in DC. There was a talk about Biomass as a possible alternative energy source with dinner and drinks afterwards. People still complain about the dress code (not black-tie anymore) and the food (no more raw oyster bar), but everything was still done incredibly well. Now the weekend comes and it is time to do some work not done during the week. Kt has probe time this coming week, but it should not be as bad as it has been in the past. I have a proposal due on Thursday and some more work I have been putting off to work on the proposal. As I said, party, party, work .....