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Jun. 2nd, 2011



I'm fine, and so are Boston and the surrounding towns (at least based on news reports). We had a thunderstorm parked right over my house for about an hour last night, but we didn't get any of the hail or the really damaging winds (or the tornadoes). The worst of it was out in the western and central parts of the state. One of the tornadoes touched down on Main Street in Springfield, about two hours west of me, and the damage reports aren't good.

Feb. 13th, 2011


Dust Mites

I've been slowly meandering through Cheryl Mendelson's Home Comforts, which is (a) excellent, and (b) exactly what you'd expect to get if you sent a lawyer to write a book about keeping house. (It would also make a great housewarming gift, especially for a recent college graduate.)

Yesterday's discovery: washing bedding doesn't actually kill dust mites unless it's washed on hot. I do wash all my bedding periodically, but thanks to a poster from my college Green Alliance I always assumed hot water made no difference. No more. Yesterday I washed everything on hot, right down to the mattress pad, and vacuumed the things I couldn't (mattress and pillows).

And you know, it really does seem to have made a difference? A++++, would spend $5 in quarters again. (And there seems to be a mite-killing laundry additive for things that can't be washed on hot, although I haven't tried it.)

Dec. 14th, 2010

Grim hmmm?, Autumn

Where the birds go

So there are these birds living in Terminal B of Logan Airport. I'm sure people throw them plenty of crumbs, or at least drop crumbs, so they're in good shape for food -- but I'd kind of vaguely wondered where they get their water.

This morning, while waiting for a delayed flight: An answer.


They get their water from the water fountain, just like the mammals. (I tried to get a better picture, but he flew back towards the big open area around Gate 6 and Gate 8, which is probably better crumb hunting.)

Nov. 5th, 2010

Pissed Vampire


(D. and I were discussing sparklepires.)

Me: No, see, if I were a sparklepire this is the point where I'd really, really want to bite you, and not do it. And then I'd have to go away and angst about it for five hundred pages.

D.: Could that be cut down to two hundred and fifty pages?

Me: Nope. YA writer guild rules. Although tonight I'd break into your house to watch you sleep, and stand there in the corner very still, so still you'd never know I was there.

D.: You know, you could just use a webcam for that.

Sep. 30th, 2010

Grim hmmm?, Autumn

IgNobels! Tonight! 7:15 PM EST!

And this year, we will be broadcast live on YouTube. Info at

This is going to be a really awesome year. I say that every year, and every year it is true -- but especially this year.

Sep. 11th, 2010

Grim hmmm?, Autumn

Oh internet how I have missed you

The internet in my apartment has gone from "slow" to "non-existent". (Right now: free wifi with breakfast.) If I need to know anything urgently, please call me.

Aug. 29th, 2010

Evil Shack

Electric corn boogaloo

So I mentioned elsewhere that my dad put up an electric fence to protect his ornamental corn from the raccoons, who ate it last year. The following is photographic evidence:

Dad's corn. The little yellow things holding up a wire? That's the electric fence protecting said corn.

I'm not quite sure if I'd exactly *recommend* this system for those who've had their corn munched, but it does seem to have kept the corn uneaten thus far.

Jul. 29th, 2010


PSA for fans of the Ig Nobel Prizes

Tickets for the 2010 Ig Nobel Prizes are going on sale this Sunday.

For reasons which have not yet been officially released, we are expecting them to sell out VERY FAST this year, so if you've been thinking of going, I highly recommend getting them sooner rather than later.

Jul. 6th, 2010



I will be there! apis_mellifera is coming. I actually remembered to take time off this year, so I will be there Thursday through Sunday, as opposed to my usual thing of buying a daypass for Saturday or Sunday only.

So who else is coming?

Jun. 12th, 2010


Cooking blog recommendation

Joe Pastry. Excellent blog about pastry for the home chef. I've found seeing pictures of process hugely helpful in expanding my cooking skills, and this is as good as it gets -- only with extra information about the history and development of the recipes and a geeky and tremendously useful review of baking basics.

I just made a génoise for a jelly roll. I've made génoise before, actually, but the recipe I had was fiddly and hard to follow and required a candy thermometer. It turned out so-so. Joe Pastry's tutorial made it easy -- and the finished product turned out excellent. (I just ate the crispy edges. I would make this recipe again even if the crispy edges were all I got. Yum.)

If you get into it, make sure you read back by the calendar view rather than just the links on the right-hand side. The links go to the recipes and tutorial, but if you read the other entries posted that week, you'll get all the nifty extra info on the ingredients, methods, and history.

If you're a geek and you like cooking -- check it out. Highly recommended.

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