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Happy New Year

December 31st, 2010 | 1 Comment | Posted in ramblings

Yes, I am participating in the traditional New Years post and wishing all two of my readers a very happy and blessed New Year.

The wife and I will be taking it easy this year in our new home, something about being pregnant and tired I guess.  Anyway, we will be watching movies and enjoying the antics of our new boy cats as well and the companionship of our older girl cats.

Tomorrow it is over to the parents to enjoy some Posole and if you have never had it, I suggest you try it some time.  It’s not a heavy dish, but if you make it the way my dad does it will carry a lot of heat as well as flavor, though you may have to put out the fire in your mouth to get to the flavor part.  Thankfully my mom make a batch for normal humans who don’t have tongues made of asbestos so I usually mix the two so I can hit the right level for me.

Anyway, Happy New Year and may 2011 treat us all much better than 2010 did!

Cool News

December 30th, 2010 | No Comments | Posted in cool science

Science has given us a lot of really cool stuff over the years; velcro, the microwave, led lights, and of course, the computer and internet (which has mostly been used for porn or online shopping).

Now though, science is set to give us even cooler stuff!!  Stuff like a computer chip that operates at 100Ghz by using a new substance called Graphene created by Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov, both in the physics department at the University of Manchester, have received the 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics. 100Ghz!!!!

Perhaps one reason the prize was bestowed so soon after the work it recognizes is that materials scientists have already taken graphene from basic science experiments to prototypes of new devices. In one noteworthy example from this year, researchers at IBM made graphene transistor arrays that operate at 100 gigahertz—switching on and off 100 billion times each second, about 10 times as fast as the speediest silicon transistors (Graphene Transistors that Can Work at Blistering Speeds). Work at Samsung capitalized on graphene’s conductivity and flexibility to make flexible touch screens (Flexible Touch Screen Made with Printed Graphene).

Flexible touch screens!  Synthetic skin that can feel heat and cold! Thin display wristbands!  Could anyone have imagined all of this would exist twenty years ago?  Hell, I remember my very first computer, it was a tape deck attached to a TV and a keyboard.  Everything you would type would result in the response of “Command not recognized.”

We used to wait in class to see if someone made the mistake of leaving their punch cards unattended and then either just remove one from the stack of about 100 or, even worse, shuffle them like a deck of cards.  Now, I have in my pocket a computer more powerful than the ones used to send the Apollo missions up into space.  In fact, it could do all the computations for those missions while I use it to order a book from Amazon and check my email.

We live in interesting times, that is certain.

Home, at last!

December 27th, 2010 | 1 Comment | Posted in Family Stuff, Furballs, The wife and I, Uncategorized

We’ve finally landed!

It’s been a quite a few weeks since I last posted anything and a lot has happened in that time, so I will try and address it all in the order things happened.  That’s usually the best way, start from the beginning and  go until you reach the end but a lot of stuff has happened including new additions to the household, computer repairs, holidays, new jobs and a new place to live and all the things that go with moving in.

First off, we landed in New Mexico without incident.  No flat tires, exploding engines or attacks by zombies or liberals (though often you can’t tell the difference).  The new house is nice enough, everything in here is builder grade so it’s a place that I keep looking at and thinking things like “If we were to rip out that pony wall in the kitchen, we could move the cabinets out further…”  so maybe if it turns out we will be staying on a more permanent basis and decide to buy something, this rental place could be our first home.  What a concept,  kind of stunning really!

Speaking of which, this is the view we get from our house.

The place is pretty nice but we’ve had a few problems right off the bat.  The people who lived here before us were slobs of the utmost degree and apparently had a hamster that they allowed to go anywhere it wanted.  We had to pull out the oven to have the igniter replaced.  It’s a gas oven – one of the things I would change if this place was ours.  Anyway, as we pulled it out I discovered that while the rental agents did have a cleaning crew come in, apparently they only cleaned what was in plain sight.  Behind the stove was a huge collection of trash, dirty laundry (yes, and I have no idea how it got there) dirty dishes and silverware and, worst of all, the entire area was covered in hamster droppings.

I cleaned it all up and later called the agent about what I found and was given the old “Oh, gee we are so sorry…” which generally means they aren’t sorry at all and they wish you would quit calling them.   Now, if this were the only problem I would most likely let it go and get on with things, but it’s just one of quite a few.  The sliding glass door has those blinds that you pull to cover the door and keep the neighbors from seeing into your house except in our case half of them are broken or missing along with the pull rod.  The oven door gasket vents heat so much that it makes the knobs on the stove very hot to the touch, the washer smelled like urine when we moved in (bleach helped with that) and the dryer takes two cycles to dry a load – and it’s a gas dryer.  It’s been two weeks since I told them about this and still nothing has been done.

I am now slowly working up to a war stance on things.  They are going to try and fix the dryer but they said if I want to put my own dryer in that’s fine – but I have to store the owners dryer here.  I told them that the leasing agreement says nothing about storage for the owners stuff and if I move it out then she needs to find a place for it – or, I can store it here for $25 a month.   We’ll see what they say.

The new job is going pretty good.  Not what I went to college for, but right now I am just happy to have an income.  I’ll be in training for a month more and then it’s onto the production floor where, with the bonuses I can earn, I could double my salary which would be very nice indeed.

Finally, we added a couple of new additions to the family.  We were over at PetsMart and wandered by the adoption center and fell in love with a couple of boys that were there, Zane and Sam.  We filled out all of the paperwork and decided to hold off on taking them home because Sam was feeling a little sick that day and had diarrhea and the adoption center wanted to make sure he was OK before letting us take him.  Well, they found out that everything wasn’t OK with Sam, he has a neurological disorder and he’ll need special care and a very attentive family.  Luckily for him his foster mom has fallen in love with him and one of her cats has taken to mothering him so I think he has found his forever home.

As for Zane, well we got him and found a little brother for him named Cooper.  Cooper is about half of  Zane’s size but you wouldn’t know that from the way he goes after Zane.  Right now I can hear the two of them upstairs thundering around their room playing keep-away or wrestling, or just running because they love to run.

This is Cooper

And this is Zane

There’s lot’s more to catch everyone up on, but for now I think I have rambled enough for one day.  Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and that the New Year brings better times for you.