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Lunar Eclipse [20 Feb 2008|11:25pm]
2-20-08 Lunar Eclipse

Hauled out the tripod for the occasion.
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[06 Jan 2008|12:36pm]
Stunner of a sunset last night.

Sun rays
It started throwing off some nice sun rays.

Sunset 1/05
Then the whole sky erupted in color. I wish my shots of the mountains turned out, stained red and throwing sharp dark shadows. But they were blurry--I was shooting too fast to check.

Sunset 1/05
Even nearing the end it wasn't too shabby.
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[03 Jan 2008|02:41pm]
I have a camera now! And, following on as it does these days, a flickr account. With plenty of pictures of my cat.

sunset 12/31

Taken from the car on the drive back from Boyce Thompson Arboretum on 12/31. Back home I collapsed, and got up for twenty minutes to see the ball drop, then went back to sleep. Very exciting, I know.
One of my resolutions this year is to get more connected again. I kinda suck at maintaining friendships, and really gotta work on that. The other is to finish up the dang novel, submit it, and write the next one, before november comes around again.
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STS-117 [22 Jun 2007|01:00pm]
Dude I totally heard the double sonic boom from the shuttle landing! It got down safe, too, which is a big relief. When it didn't... well, that was a seriously bad day. If there's one thing I get all patriotic and idealistic about, it's spaceflight, and when it goes wrong... well, even then I still kinda want to be an astronaut when I grow up. Not gonna happen, though, since that iritis episode last year made my left eye only correctable to 25/20. It's gotta be 20/20 to even be a mission specialist, woe.

The shuttle came down at Edwards Air Force base, somewhere in the desert vaguely northeast of here. I guess living in southern California can be nerdily cool on rare occasion. Didn't see anything, it was probably too high up/too hazy here/too hard to spot with all the local air traffic. But I heard it!

Guess I should start planning that Florida trip, if I ever want to see it take off. 2020 or whenever the replacement is due is much too far away. I wanna see a launch before then.

And hey Tucson peeps: pay attention to the sky today. Apparently sometimes they refuel the huge plane carrying the shuttle at Davis-Monthan on the way back east.
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[14 Jun 2007|09:44am]
After the big blog the zom-pocalypse thing yesterday, this was an ...interesting headline to see pop up in the rss first thing in the morning: FBI tries to fight zombie hordes.

Woke me up a bit more, at least. Now if I could just figure out where this nasty wound on my arm came from, and why I'm so... hungry..
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[17 May 2007|06:16pm]
I finally got my taaax refund. $200-ish. What should I do with it?

I could get a cheapoid camera and take pictures of stuff. I could get a new ipod, since the battery in mine is starting to go. I could get some really awesome boots. Or something else...

(The correct answer is probably to put it towards the quarterly tax payments for this year, but that's no fun)
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[25 Mar 2007|03:40pm]
Survived the quarter, just barely. With luck, I'll never have to think about atmospheric dynamics again. With my luck, there'll be a big section of it on comps, which are coming up in June.

I've been wanting to get a digital camera recently. Instead, it looks like I'll be paying taxes. I had taxes taken out of just about half of what I earned last year, which I moaned about at the time but it still wasn't quite enough. So now I get to pay enough to the gov't to have otherwise gotten a nice camera like, say this one. Oh well.

It's been warm here, and I've been getting twitchy about starting a garden. I think I don't get quite enough sunlight on the teeny tiny balcony to really grow tomatoes, which I'm just pining to do. I want great big, juicy heirloom brandywines like those I live off from the farmer's market in summer. I have some herbs out there now, and the house plants, but I want a reaaaal gaaaarden.
Lucky for me, there are two community gardens on campus available for the use of students. One is full up at the moment. In the other, there seems to be a space open. I just emailed the organizers about getting in, so we'll see what happens. I hope they let me in. It's prime tomato planting season, right here, right now.
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(also, I can kill you with my brain) [06 Mar 2007|07:35pm]
Maybe I'm just that kind of hopeful dork, but this sounds awesome. She can totally act creepyweird enough for the role.
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[22 Feb 2007|08:05pm]
It's totally my birthday today.
(I'm not fond of birthdays)

I got rain.
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Heroes [20 Feb 2007|06:01pm]
I've started watching Heroes these past few weeks, since ninth Doctor Christopher Eccleston started on it, like the little Doctor Who obsessive that I am.

Behind the cut are my impressions and spoilers for episodes up to last night.Collapse )
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[17 Feb 2007|01:47pm]
Last week was pretty darn exhausting. I guess it's supposed to be, since this is grad school, but still. We had a term paper due in atmospheric chemistry, and that was mostly exhausting since I was bad at managing my time working on it. Read: last Sunday I realized it was due Wednesday and I'd written maybe half a page on it. I spent plenty of time on the literature search, so all I basically had to do was write up three or four sentences from the fifty papers I'd found and bang it all together, but that does take time. The paper was on sulfur dioxide and its cycling through the atmosphere, which was reasonably interesting in that I managed to cite a paper on the possibility of supervolcanoes expelling enough of the stuff along with dust etc. to lead to volcanic winter and basically the apocalypse.

Oh, and there were these other midterms to do as well. They were at least spread out over the week, with the really hard one (atmosphere and ocean dynamics) being yesterday. It went all right, though, since we were given old exams from the previous years and this year's test was basically the same. Two of the three questions I know I got, but the third... well, it was on vorticity. I've been having trouble even understanding what vorticity is, much less how to calculate it. Pretty much all the grad students in my lab had a horrible time in dynamics, though, so I should be all right.

We're finally starting a class I know I'll do good in: Ecosystem Ecology. It's being taught by my adviser, so I had better do good in it. I have actual background in the subject, unlike in dynamics. We're having labs and field trips on Fridays for it, and yesterday we all hiked out to the edge of campus where there's some empty land with slightly native plants and played around with a licor 6400. It's this $30,000 machine that clamps onto a leaf and gives photosynthesis measurements. It also runs linux. On the last day we'll be going out to the San Jacinto mountains, a few hours' drive away. That'll be really fun, especially since it'll be just when the dynamics class will be over.
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[06 Feb 2007|08:06pm]
[ mood | here ]

Er, hi LJ, it's been an embarrassingly long time. Please to consider the hiatus over.

I can't blame the gap on moving two states to the left to go to grad school, since that only happened back in September. Remember September? I thought it was a pretty nice month. The ones since have kind of... blurred together.

The way my program works is, the first year you take all your classes. That's three (or four for the overachievers) at a time, in five week chunks, two chunks per quarter until you fall over. This tends to happen during week five and six, the overlap week, when the professors have realized there's not enough time to finish everything so there's extra classes scheduled, and then exams, at the same moment the next set of classes are trying to get started.

Guess what week it is now? And to add to the fun, the prospectives that want to subject themselves to this are coming in for a few days. Someone'll be sleeping on my floor as I try to edit down that atmospheric chemistry paper. I am not a chemist. The plus of visiting weekend is all the free food.

I now know why Piled Higher and Deeper is so painfully right.

It would be fun to blame the gap on the Doctor, as my last entry featured lots of spasming about the awesomeness that is Doctor Who, but that's just silly. (Anyway I am currently OMG obsessing over Labyrinth and David Bowie, tiding my time until the new season of DW is out. And seriously, how did I make it this long without seeing that movie? It has eaten my brain.)

If anyone asks, the gap was because I was writing a chunk of novel that got utterly derailed by the Bowie obsession the great American sff novel. Those things exists, right?

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[21 Apr 2006|09:01pm]
In the last few weeks I've become fantastically obsessed with Doctor Who. I've known about it for ages because it's difficult to be a scifi dork without at least knowing there's this Doctor guy that goes time traveling in a blue box and sometimes wears a scarf, but as I was born to late to catch late-night PBS reruns and furthermore grew up in a Star Trek household, I hadn't actually seen an episode until the new series started showing on the SciFi channel. It only took a few episodes before whammo, new primary fandom.

Good timing, at least, with the second season just starting up. Still not sure what I think of new new Doctor, since he's been mostly unconscious or possessed in his few episodes so far but from what I've seen of the earlier Doctors he seems more fun and more Doctor-y than poor PTSD-nine, with all his moaning of 'she's going to die and it's my fault' as seen in many episodes. I have seen enough earlier Doctor episodes for this to be HI-LARIOUS.
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[03 Mar 2006|10:53pm]
Driving into work today I ended up behind someone with a funny bumper sticker. At least, funny to the nerds that work at LANL.

On a red background: If this sticker's blue, you're driving too fast.
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[11 Feb 2006|11:48pm]
Finally broke 10k on the novel, after a really lazy day on Friday. I'm maybe six hundred words from finishing off chapter two. I wanted to do it tonight, but it involves one of the quasi-romance subplot scenes and I'm not in the proper mood to do it justice. I wrote about a snowstorm instead.

I walked up to the library today to return some books, and it was absolutely freezing. I guess I should have paid attention to the high of 34 and put on some gloves and a hat. This being cold is annoying. I know people in real cold places are laughing at me, but I'm from Tucson. It drops to 50 and I pull out the extra-heavy jacket.

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
10,411 / 95,000
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[06 Feb 2006|10:54pm]
Eye is very slowly getting better. Now I can go down to a drop every three hours, and at the doctor today I could read a few lines lower on the eye chart. I still have to go back in a week. In eleven days it'll be two months since this all started.

The novel is progressing, though much more slowly than nanowrimo. It is nice to have time to actually write decently and think seriously about things like phrasing instead of the anything goes if you get wordcount model. Today I completely changed a character's entrance and relationship with my MC. I was really hating what I had down before, as it was straying too far off towards annoying romance territory. Now the plot's been smacked back into fantasy.

I came up with a working title. For now it's "A Two-edged Land". I hate every title I come up with, but this at least has interesting multiple meanings. If you saw it on the side of a book would you pick it up or go ugh and pass?

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
7,124 / 95,000
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Tired of looking at batgirl. [04 Feb 2006|04:11pm]
Guess I shouldn't put off updating much longer, since I've had internet at the new place for a full week. Los Alamos, woo. I actually haven't yet started work, since the paperwork is being overwhelming, but once I start I'll be spending the next four months writing two papers. Pretty cool, really, that my first real post-college-graduation-#1 job is writing. About science, of course, but it still involves stringing words together for money.

In other writing news, I kinda flaked out of the last few post-nanowrimo meetings while I was still in Tucson, though that can be blamed on the eye thing. I can drive during the day just fine, but for the last month it's night driving that's become impossible. Or at least very difficult. The vision in the problem eye is not anywhere near 20/20 corrected and so I see about five lights for every one that is real. I'm still seeing the eye MD weekly, though this week I was allowed to go down to a drop every two hours and it hasn't gotten worse. So I finally might be getting better.

Also I'm updating because I have a new novel to procrastinate on. I'm taking it a bit slower than my Nanowrimo projects, since I will be submitting this. I mean it. I want to get started with my rejection slip pile by August. The novel is fantasy, in the way that I'd call Star Wars fantasy for dealing with a subset of people that can do things the majority can't. It's not anything like the Force, but that is the easiest way to describe it. The world itself is also rather techier than traditional Tolkienesque books. I'm shooting for a Roman Empire equivalent, but with zeppelins and less lead poisoning. I wouldn't call it steampunk since my main character, Reen, is quite happy with society, but that is the closest I can get to labeling it without making up new sub-genres.

And now a word counter, for my own edification. I'm shooting for 95k, since that's a nice size for a big ole fantasy book but still seems doable.
Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
5,511 / 95,000

My favorite sentence written today: Only time and familiarity could overcome the sleep-shattering feeling that in the morning, surrounded by a dead city, she might be the only one to wake.
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[14 Jan 2006|02:34pm]

One meme I don't mind doing. A day or two late to be cool, but whatever.
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More fun [04 Jan 2006|09:01pm]
I bet the five people who read this are getting sick of yicky iritis stories, but I have one more. The eye didn't really get better over the weekend, and on monday took a real turn for the worse and so I moved up my friday appointment to today. I'm back to only being able to read the second line of the eye chart. So I go in, and yup, it's bad. This meant it was time to do the steroid injection (dah dah daaaah).

It wasn't into the eye itself, so it wasn't as bad as I was thinking at first, but still... it got injected right into the red stuff just beneath the eye, inside the lower lid. And halfway through, the needle got clogged up and I had to get stuck again. I couldn't see anything, so I just focused on holding my head reaallly still so as to not mess anything up. Now it's all puffy and ouch feeling. I might have to get another when I go in on friday.

I also have to keep doing the drops once every hour and every three hours at night, and I got another prescription for drops to keep the eye dilated until this is all over. Which could be anywhere from two weeks to six months.

The extra fun news: the bloodwork from last week came in, and apparently I'm positive for HLA-B27. This is a genetic haplotype that means I am predisposed genetically to certain autoimmune diseases like iritis and a bunch of even nastier things, and will likely have to deal with recurrent iritis.

I did get a note excusing me from jury duty out of this, though.
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[02 Jan 2006|12:13pm]
Eye isn't too much better, but the dilation seems to be starting to wear off, as it is no longer painful to keep my eye open in a normally lit room with a window. It's still all bloodshot and scary looking, and everything is unacceptably blurry. I think I might have to call in. I don't wanna, since the next step to fix it involves sticking needles in my eye.
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