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[ profile] enochsmiles: Crap, the root on this cactus got damaged when you removed the pup. It's going to rot if we don't protect it until it calluses. Do we have any antifungals?

[personal profile] maradydd: No, but let me see what I can do with what we have in the lab.

Google: Why don't you try Bordeaux mixture?

Wikipedia: It dates to 1885, and it's approved for use in organic gardening! You'll need 1g copper sulfate, 1g hydrated lime, and 100mL water.

[personal profile] maradydd: Oh! We have calcium oxide that the Mississippi Lime Company sent us, so I can make calcium hydroxide, and we have copper sulfate from the hardware store.

([personal profile] maradydd disappears into the lab and returns with a 100mL flask of milky blue liquid, which [ profile] enochsmiles pours onto the soil around the cactus.)

Cross your fingers; I hope the cactus makes it. He's older than the cat. We repotted him in a deeper pot (the cat knocked the old pot off the credenza), applied a thin coating of lime to the wound to help it dry out and scab over, and gave him some Bordeaux mixture, so I hope he has a speedy recovery.
maradydd: (Default)

Horse-chestnut flowers from the trees near school, an early birthday present from [ profile] enochsmiles.
maradydd: (Default)
I basically skipped out on the Internet for most of last week. This was mainly because last year's router decided it was no longer interested in putting out a consistent enough signal for my WLAN interface to stay stapled to it long enough to do things like, oh, open a webpage. I am happy when things consistently work, I can troubleshoot them when they consistently don't work, but intermittent functionality interspersed with HA HA ONLY KIDDING makes me want to break stuff. Last year's router is now no more broken than it got to be on its own, but it has been replaced with 2007's never-used router, which was picked up at a Fry's in Vegas for something like $15, preemptively disassembled in case we needed it for a project we were working on that Defcon, and put back in its box still in pieces with a few extra bits attached. All the solder points are neatly covered in electrical tape, and it has red and black wires soldered to the pins of the 5V jack; I guess if we have a power outage we can run it off batteries. Also it works, which is always nice to discover when you put something back together. Clearwire, I take back most of the bad things I ever said about you; you are actually rather fast and reliable when used with non-gimpy hardware. Perhaps this summer we will share the internet on the beach at Oostende after all, with the help of the battery-powered router.

The router needs a name. For the last few years our naming convention has been "places that do not exist" -- thus far Arcadia and Erehwon. I am leaning toward Ruritania or possibly Latveria, though I note that Uncyclopedia's list of nonexistent places includes Belgium. The humour is hit or miss, but I cannot deny the truth of the following excerpt:
Belgium is the worst place to live during a Zombie Apocalypse due to the fact that there's more dead soldiers buried there than people.
I mean, if you're in Colma when the zombie apocalypse happens, the odds are stacked against you, but you'll be up against zombie hippies and dotcommers. I suppose our only hope will be if the zombie French and Germans hate each other more than they want to eat the brains of living Belgians.

The other cool discovery, in addition to Working!Router, was the SMT tweezers that I apparently also picked up during that Fry's expedition. These are no ordinary tweezers; they are large and sturdy with a business end that comes to needle tips, suitable for performing reconstructive surgery on fruit flies. I suppose I should really get round to converting a toaster oven into a reflow oven, since I now have most of the other tools I need to do serious tiny-circuitry work. The local hardware store even sells ferric chloride, though not in the handy solution form that Radio Shack dispenses -- no, here it comes in foul-smelling rusty orange lumps and must be weighed out by the gram. I can also obtain a wide assortment of useful acids, bases, and salts, in addition to the standard sodium hydroxide and 30% hydrochloric acid that they sell in the grocery store to clear out drains. I feel like I'm living back in Thomas Edison's day, when you could get kicked off a train for having your chemistry set accidentally set a boxcar on fire.

This weekend was also [ profile] enochsmiles' and my third wedding anniversary, which would have been great had I not woken up with some gastrointestinal weirdness that forced me to instead spend the day puking myself stupid. (If you find that resultative construction unusual, I defy you to maintain any kind of intelligence while lurching to the sink every half hour to retch bile.) We are planning to celebrate this weekend instead; it will also be my little sister [ profile] briaer's birthday, so that's two reasons to celebrate.

Finally, in the last bit of router-related news, now there are router botnets. This should surprise approximately no one -- "I bet I can put Linux on that" metamorphosed into "I bet I can drop a botnet on that" some time back, for values of "that" which can connect to the Internet -- but seriously, people, password your fucking routers already.
maradydd: (Default)
(SCENE: our bedroom, this morning)
[ profile] maradydd: Sweetie, it's time to get up. You've got a doctor's appointment this morning.
[ profile] enochsmiles, not opening eyes: Can't the doctor come here?
[ profile] maradydd, suppressing giggles: No, sweetie, he doesn't do that. It's time to drink a Red Bull.
[ profile] enochsmiles, still not opening eyes: Can't the doctor drink a Red Bull?
[ profile] maradydd: No, baby. C'mon, open your eyes...
[ profile] enochsmiles: Will we play chess?
[ profile] maradydd: While wearing cheese pants?
[ profile] enochsmiles: You have cheese?
(at this point I picked him up bodily, and he woke up)
maradydd: (Default)
So I discovered today, whilst helping [ profile] michiexile brainstorm about presents for his upcoming second wedding anniversary, that the traditional third-anniversary gift is leather.

Oh, I am so looking forward to next February 21st. :D
maradydd: (Default)
There are enormous clumps of fluffy snow falling down outside. I don't know if they'll stay on the ground, but they're starting to accumulate on top of the cars.

I still need to do that Prop 8 followup; it's coming, I just have conference reviews to finish first. But the snow is beautiful and I wanted to remember it. :)
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We hear a lot about how society presents us with so much pressure to conform, blah blah blah. Certainly there are plenty of people out there who are obsessed with being interpreted in a particular, fairly narrow way. (I TAed for enough interchangeable blonde sorority girls to have some evidence of this.)

On the other hand, I've also noticed a fair bit of social pressure, admittedly in quite different social circles, to be as un-cliched, as un-stereotyped as possible (and not in the sense of "I want to be a nonconformist, just like all my friends!"). I've seen people abandon things they were genuinely interested in, go to great lengths to modify their behaviour, merely because they felt that they were acting in a manner that could be associated with some particular stereotype.

What's up with that? Is there a new bimodal distribution? (Well, maybe not all that new, arguably it's been around for a while, but it's certainly something I'm attuned to these days.) Is the desire to be seen as entirely unique and unstereotypical simply the mirror image of the desire to be seen as belonging to the herd?

Discuss while I go cook dinner for me and my spouse. *g* (Gluten-free veal parmigiana, if anyone was curious. We ran out of bread.)

ETA: Oh, that's why the built-in thermometer on the oven didn't seem to be working, it only works if the oven's using the bottom burner rather than the top one. And the bottom burner has been hiding under a metal tray for, uh, quite a while now.
maradydd: (Default)
Once upon a time, there were a boy and a girl. The boy ran a tech conference, and the girl worked for a company that made DNA. She submitted a talk about DNA design software to the conference, and it got in, and she was very, very excited.

While preparing to give her talk, the girl mentioned to the boy that if she only had a salad spinner, she could kick off her talk with a cute demo. "I will find you a salad spinner," said the boy, and he did (thanks to [ profile] kragen), and the demo was very cute indeed.

After the conference, the boy and the girl got to talking about other amusing things that people could do with DNA, and somewhere in there, someone had the idea that it would be really funny to take Lactobacillus acidophilus, otherwise known as yogurt bacteria, give it the gene to produce green fluorescent protein, and make yogurt with it. Or "glowgurt", if you prefer.

They were, however, rather busy with a number of other projects, both together and separately, and along the line they fell for each other like a ton of bricks and got married.

This is where the story actually starts.

Scurvy: it's not just for pirates anymore )

My not-so-clandestine project: the melaminometer. Say that five times fast! )


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