Archive for January, 2015

January 30, 2015

Now just remember, 3 right turns make a left

by Janie Jones

head gasket
'My advice, keep the oil, change the car.'

Yesterday, the steering went out on my car.  At first it was hard to turn left, the wheel would only turn part the way, then it didn’t want to turn at all.  Then it would stick before suddenly losing tension and turn all the way too rapidly.


I got it to my preferred auto mechanics and it will be fixed thanks to a loan from Leif-mom, as I did not have $1450 odd dollars to fix struts and the rack and pinion system.

Such fun.

There’s just so much Friday mirth here, I can’t stand it.

January 29, 2015

Word of the day: Moiety

by Janie Jones

I’m usually pretty good with vocabulary.  But there is a word I just can’t seem to wrap my brain around.

Apparently moiety means one of two parts or one of the parts something can be divided into.  It’s used in chemistry and biology as in this glycolipid molecule has a lipid moiety.  I especially like how defines it:

A moiety is one of two equal parts. If you cut a sandwich in half, you can have one moiety for lunch and give the other moiety to a pigeon. 

I have no idea where the pigeon came from, nor why I should give it half my lunch.  But it goes on with a more rational explanation:

One moiety plus one moiety equals a whole. Moiety is a synonym for the noun half; a semicircle or your better half can be referred to as a moiety. In anthropology, moiety is used to describe one of two distinct groups of a tribe. Moiety can also mean “a part” in general, as Shakespeare used it in Antony and Cleopatra: “The death of Antony / Is not a single doom; in the name lay / A moiety of the world.”

And if you are less familiar with the word than I, you can even go to and listen to the pronunciation.

So, that was educational.  And, now we are all ready for that Jeopardy question where we have to answer, “What is moiety, Alex.”  Still when I think of the word and read it in texts and articles, my mind grinds to a halt.  I *know* what it means, but my brain refuses to compute it.

Well, I hope the larger moiety of your day is good.

January 28, 2015

Random dog pix

by Janie Jones

Rupert is on Snow Bird Holiday with Leif and Vera.  Apparently he’s loving the ranch life, running with Leif-Mom’s herd of Westies.  After a long day of eating llama poop, roaming the ranch and barking his little doggie head off, he apparently is quite tuckered.


January 27, 2015

Random thoughts: a Tuesday bonus post

by Janie Jones

I have a single one hour break on Tuesdays.  Classes start at 9 and run until 5.  As I am not a night person, or even a mid afternoon person, I am back on my up at 4 am schedule, so by the time I get to campus at 9 am I’ve already taken care of half a day’s worth of studying and other personal business.  By noon I get pretty hungry, two breakfasts notwithstanding.

Why am I sharing this?  Well, the title of this post should give you a clue, I’m enjoying a moment of random thought:

One thing I hate more than packing a lunch is paying campus food prices.

After 5 semesters at Stickittoyou U, I can say with some authority that it is almost impossible to eat anything palatable for less than $7 on campus.  And, if in my current situation this semester, you have your only break at peak lunch hour, good luck finding a place in the cafeteria to actually eat said lunch.

So, on account of the fact that I am a cheapskate and picky when it comes to overpriced poor quality fare, I did actually pack a lunch this morning before heading to campus despite my abhorrence of such an activity.  And, I am currently eating it despite my general lack of interest in a brown bag meal that has been sitting in a semi-cool insulated lunch sack and is covered in a sheen of condensation from the rapidly melting ice pack.  It is somewhat sad when a tepid cream cheese sandwich, an orange and a piece of pumpkin cake is healthier, cheaper and even more appetizing than what the school serves.

Now if only I had remembered to pack a napkin.

January 27, 2015

Tuesday Titters: I think there’s a conspiracy going on here

by Janie Jones

Q: How many Centauri does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A: Nowadays, just one; but back in the glorious days of the Republic, hundreds of servants would change thousands of light bulbs at your slightest whim!

-Londo Molari, Babylon 5


It’s Tuesday so of course there will be jokes.  But I am also getting a little peeved with technology so my jokes have a point.  Somewhat.   Okay, more like a theme.

First, my desk lamp melted and I had to suffer a lower watt bulb (still suffering).

Then, my printer was haunted.  So I channeled my inner Moss and Roy.

turn it off and on again

But that didn’t work.  For two hours last night I tried everything.  I changed ink cartridges.  I wasted a good portion of that new ink aligning printer heads, cleaning printer heads, running test reports, and taking out the cartridges and cleaning them per HP tech solutions website directions.  I read all sorts of troubleshooting tips on the web.  I downloaded driver and software updates.  And the damn thing still wasn’t printing properly.

In my angst I vowed to go out and by a new fricking printer tonight.  My mood was only improved by reading The Oatmeal.  I recommend, especially if your printer has ever pissed you off, that you read this, too.  It’s funny, it will make you laugh at yourself and the way your life is controlled by a stupid piece of crap technology that works fine when all you’re doing is printing a stupid email joke but as soon as you need something important for work or school it suddenly goes on the fritz.

oatmeal printers from hell

Click Here

Well, then this morning I woke up and one of the huge recessed light bulbs in the ceiling decided to begin its death wail.  Yes.  You read that correctly.  My light bulb was wailing in a strange high pitched sort of fashion.  Wondering if Moss and Roysian logic would work on all electrical devices, I flipped it off and on again.  And, then the light bulb officially went dead.  So now I’m sitting here under the dim glow of my lame 40 watt bulb of my desk lamp and it sucks even more than usual because the over head light above my desk is out too.

On the plus side, my printer seems to have recovered from whatever was haunting it.  It printed just fine when in one last moment of desperation to have my lab worksheet for class I halfheartedly tried to print again.  All I could do was shake my head and decide that this proved that there are mysteries in the great and powerful electrical world that I just don’t think I’ll ever understand even though, thanks to physics, I can tell you how printers work.  Somewhat.  Perhaps in another post, as now I must take my precious lab worksheets and get my ass to class.

As for my lighting issues, well, I guess I’ll also be off to the store after I’m done with all my classes for the day.  It feels like a cave in here and I tell you, dear reader, that will not do in Janie’s Place.

But first here’s a few bonus light bulb jokes:

Q: How many college girls does it take to change a light bulb?
A: That’s “women,” you unfunny jerk!

Q: How many Einsteins does it take to change a light bulb?
A: That depends on the speed of the change and the mass of the bulb. Or vice versa, of course. It just might be easier to leave the bulb and change the room. It’s all relative.

Q: How many environmentalists does it take to change a light bulb?
A: If the light bulb is out, that’s the way Nature intended it!

Q: How many graduate students does it take to change a light bulb?
A: Only one, but it may take him/her more than five years to do it.

* light bulb jokes from Extremely Smart Humor


January 26, 2015

Mental Health Monday meet Thursday Quote Du Jour

by Janie Jones

Happy Monday everybody.

I could almost be happy today, but I miss Leif.  I went out to the farm on Saturday to check in on things for him (he’s finished week 2 of his Snow Bird Sojourn and has another week or more to go before serious contemplation of return) and to do a little laundry.  I was contemplating staying the night, but after about two hours I began to feel so horribly sad, lonely and anxious that I suddenly had to just finish and leave.  Being out there totally alone, no dogs, no cat, no chickens, no man-  it was soul crushingly depressing.  I cannot explain why, undoubtedly there is some subconscious message struggling to bubble up to the surface, but amid all the other life drama I don’t have time to stop and fish for it.  As it was, I became so agitated I couldn’t apply myself to any task other than hurrying up and leaving.

Anyway, I got back in town and yesterday’s 3 hour physics marathon actually left me feeling somewhat relieved this morning; I can start my week caught up on homework and it feels good.  I am going to try very hard to manage my time this week, to stay focused on the positives and start working on my new research appointment.

Man, it feels good to say that.  I have a research appointment.  I do research.  I will have to write my own research paper.

But first I have to learn more about my subject.  I am hoping I can kill two birds with one stone and use my research on Lyme Disease as my presentation for the seminar I have to give later this semester.  I can think of nothing more pleasant than to be able to combine them and make my seminar project have a more useful purpose than just killing off another graduation requirement.

And this brings me to today’s Monday Mental Health topic.  I’m really trying to embrace this crazy schedule ahead of me and make the best of the things I don’t want to do, so that hopefully the parts I do want to do can shine instead of getting buried in the crap.

So, I stumbled on this quote which I feel sums up certain aspects of my life quite nicely:

80% of success is showing up.

-Woody Allen

Well, I can definitely do that!  And, if only showing up could guarantee me an 80% in physics, well, I’d be super groovy okay with that!

January 25, 2015

Study Sunday and boring observations that bug me

by Janie Jones

So, it is almost 6pm on Sunday.  My day went primarily into paying bills, dealing with paperwork, cleaning and physics homework.  I meant to do a few other things, but after 3 hours of physics I was shredded.

Now it is good and dark outside I notice that I need a new desk lamp.  I cannot abide by dim lighting.  It really bothers me and makes it difficult for me to see and feel alert.  I had purchased this cheapy little desk lamp last fall that has a neat little organizer at the base with two outlets and it has a bendy neck on it so you can adjust where the light shines.  I liked it very well for the last 4 months, until I noticed that the 75 watt bulb I had in it was melting the plastic lampshade.  Only then did I bother to read the little warning sticker on the inside of the shade that limited the bulb wattage to a mere 40 watts.  So, I dutifully changed out the bulb with a 40 watt version, and now I can’t see a damn thing.  Seriously, what is the point of a desk lamp that barely provides more illumination than a candle?  And if any bloody environmentalists try to say that high watt bulbs are bad for the environment I’ll scream.  Didn’t your mothers ever warn you how bad it is for your eyes to read in dim light?

So the question is boys and girls:

Do I risk a major electrical fire and put the 75 watt bulb back in so I can actually see my Physics homework, or buy a new lamp rated for a higher watt bulb?

I suppose there’s a third option, just don’t do anymore Physics homework.  Well, now, I do rather like the sound of that…