Saturday, May 31, 2008

More AC woes

Remember when I said that the AC made a funny clunk-y noise when I turned it on? Turned out it really isn't working. I tolerate heat well, and I only keep at my AC at 78 degrees anyway, and the house was staying about 80 degrees, so today when I turned it down so that I could clean the house in reasonable comfort, I FINALLY noticed that the house wasn't cooling to 73 degrees. No wonder the cat's weren't staying in the house during the day. It's hot in here. So now, it's saturday afternoon, and I had to call the AC guy. He's charging me $125 for a weekend visit, but a normal visit is $85, and he'll apply the over to any parts or labor that needs to be done. So, worth the money for it. I'm waiting now for him to arrive. Let's hope it's only low coolant...

Update:6 lbs of freon and a weekend service charge later, my AC now works great. Yeah AC!!

Monday, May 26, 2008

8 Random facts

I'm going to try this Tag

Each player starts with 8 random facts/habits about themselves. People who are tagged write a blog post about their own random 8 things, post the rules and tag 8 others. Don’t forget to leave them a comment on their blog and tell them they've been tagged and to come back and read your blog for the whole story.
1. I’m pretty good at crocheting.
2. I’ve lost 3 nice rings, 2 from my parents and my Angelo State Class ring. I’m not sure if I should actually have a wedding ring.
3. I love
4. I’m really good at shaping felt cowboy hats.
5. I don’t have any bottles of wine in my wine rack.
6. I’m not a very good housekeeper.
7. I look just like my mother, but I act totally like my father.
8. I’ve thought I was pregnant 2 times in my life; I was wrong both times. In retrospect, I’m not sure if I’m glad or sad about that.

I'm not going to tag anyone, if you want to do this do it!!!

Memorial Day at home

I went home this weekend.  It wasn't my dream weekend, but then my dream weekend would have been at a lake with a bunch of people drinking beer and playing in the water.  I went home saturday, my dad took my mom and I to the new Indiana Jones movie...I liked it.  I know the critics were a little hard on the movie, but I liked it.  I would like to see it again, so I'm going to see if I can find someone to go with me this week.  I was going to go home on sunday, but my dad had lots of stuff for me to do, so I stayed until monday afternoon.  I have a very hard time saying no to them since mom has gotten better.  Besides, I  have actually begun to enjoy spending time with the folks.  I feel better about someday having a husband after I spend time with my parents now.  For the first time in many years, my dad is smiling, and laughing, and has a sense of humor.  It is so nice seeing them like this, it speaks to something in my soul, it gives me peace deep inside of me, like something that was broken has been fixed.  A part of  my soul is a peace with the world knowing that my parents are actually happy in their marriage, and generally, when i think of them together, I smile.

Friday, May 23, 2008


I totally caved. about 8PM last night, after the cold shower, I was sitting at my computer, wiping more sweat from my face, and thought Screw This. I closed all the windows, turned on the AC and listened to it rattle outside. Crap, I thought, now when I want it to work its going to die on me. But, it rallied and started to cool. Funny thing, though, I'm cheap, so I turned it up to about 78 degrees, not much cooler than it had been in the house without the AC, but it took the humidity out of the air. Man alive did I sleep great last night. Next week they are calling for a mild cool front to move thru and drop the humidity, so I'll probably open the windows next weekend.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

It is H.O.T. Hot

One of the major Water Chillers on my campus went out.  That's what keeps the buildings cold.  These are new buildings that were not built for outside air flow, although it does have negative air flow into the rooms, so if you open all the doors there is some airflow but it wasn't cool.  It was HOT, and our building was the hottest on campus.  They told us that it would be fixed by afternoon, then sent an alert that one chiller was having mechanical failure, the other was having electrical failure.  Yeah...great.  So they are shutting down the AC units COMPLETELY in a couple of low-importance buildings.  They hope it will be fixed by tomorrow, but no guarantees.  I spent 2 hours in an animal room.  My hair was WET.  WET.  I had sweat dripping down my legs.  It's only May.  I was hoping I could last until June before I turned on the AC at home.  I took a cold shower when I got home, and so far I have managed to resist turning on the AC, it is cool out and the house pulls a breeze very well, but it will depend on whether or not I can sleep tonight.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The eradication of smallpox

From The Writers Almanac:

It was on this day in 1796, that Edward Jenner, a doctor, inoculated an eight-year-old boy with a vaccine for smallpox. It was the first safe vaccine ever developed, and it was the first time anyone had successfully prevented the infection of any contagious disease. What made it so remarkable was that it was accomplished before the causes of disease were even understood, decades before anyone even knew about the existence of germs.

Jenner was a country doctor. He studied for a few years in a hospital in London, and learned something about the scientific method. Smallpox at the time was the most devastating disease in the world. It caused boils to break out all over the body, and killed about one in four adults who caught it, and one in every three children. It was so contagious, most people who lived in populous areas caught it at some point in their lives.

There were inoculations for smallpox, but they didn't work very well. People who were inoculated could still pass the disease onto others. Some people who were inoculated developed the disease and died from it.

Jenner knew that milkmaids who worked in his area almost never caught smallpox, and he figured that they had caught cowpox from the udders of cows and that this infection somehow helped them develop an immunity to smallpox.

He took some of the fluid from a cowpox sore and injected it into the arm of an eight-year-old boy named James Phipps who developed a slight headache and lost his appetite but that was all. And six weeks later Jenner inoculated the boy with smallpox, and the boy showed no symptoms. He had developed immunity.

At first, the Royal Society of London did not believe Edward Jenner, so he published his ideas about inoculation at his own expense in a book which came out in 1798, and was a huge success. The novelist Jane Austen said in one of her letters that she had been at a dinner party and everyone was talking about the "Jenner pamphlet."

By 1840, the British government passed a law providing all infants with free smallpox vaccinations. It was the first free medical service in the history of the country. And today, so far as we know, smallpox only exists in the freezers of laboratories. The last known natural case occurred in 1977 in Somalia.

Host: Garrison Keillor
Producer: Katrina Cicala
Technical Director: Thomas Scheuzger
Engineers: Thomas Scheuzger, Jason Keillor, and Sam Hudson
Permissions: Kathy Roach

If it was a snake, it would have bit me

I'm doing this experiment, it's a bit complicated, not hard, but you have to be very precise and do it EXACTLY right. Part of this experiment is to dry some tubing with a steady flow of nitrogen. The tank I had been using was low, and I wasn't paying good attention, and it ran out on me. I put in an urgent request for a same-day delivery of another tank of Nitrogen, and waited. and waited. and waited. So I called the compressed gas people, and they said they could not guarantee delivery before 5pm, would someone be there after 5 to receive it? Well, I suppose so, I need to get this done today, so I'll be here. Then, at 5PM, I went to double check the tank, and then I looked again. There was a second tank of Nitrogen ALREADY sitting there, Right Beside the empty tank. I moved the regulator, and sure enough, it was a full tank. I felt So stupid. I looked at that I don't know how many times, and it didn't even dawn on me to look and see what that second tank was. Sometimes I wonder how I manage to get anything done at all.

Monday, May 5, 2008

mmmm uniforms.

As previously mentioned, I am rather fond of men in uniforms.

I was walking down the hallway of my building today, and I glanced around, and my head nearly fell off of my neck. BG is a guy who works down the hall from me, I knew he was going to school through the military, but I guess I thought he was reserves or something like that. Apparently, though, he is still active duty. He was dressed in camo-green/brown, with his name tag and stripes, all pressed and shart (that's a combination of smart and sharp) looking. He had been showing the Assistant to the Surgeon General around the department, playing tour guide.

When BG first started here, 3 years ago, I sort of hit on him, I just kind of let it be known that if he would be interested in going out for a beer or something, I wouldn't say no. Nothing overt, just sort of feeling the waters a little. Nothing ever came of it, and he's been dating his current girl for more than a year now, so he's pretty firmly attached.

I talked to him in the hall a couple of minutes, he told me why he was wearing it, I said I was surprised he wasn't in his dress uniform, he said, yeah, he thought he would be wearing Dress A, too.

My God in heaven, if he had walked into this department in his dress blues, they would have had to pry me off his leg. How embarrassing would THAT have been?

Saturday, May 3, 2008


I have a Bi-Polar disorder, Bipolar II (I get the deep depression, but not the extreme highs, it's called Sub-manic). I am pretty stable on my medications, and I'm happy to be that way. I don't broadcast this to the world because it does carry some stigma, but I'm not secretive about it either. People who are close to me know, and sometimes if I have a very bad day, I will tell the people it affects, just so that, while it isn't an excuse, it does give an explanation to why I sometimes act the way I do. I try to be very aware of my moods and my reactions, so that if they become extreme, I work on not reacting inappropriately.

When I was first diagnosed, I didn't tell anyone. I was kind of ashamed by it, like I should have been able to control it. I've come to accept that it's just a part of who I am. I can't change it, and I'm mentally healthy enough to not deny it. It's just like if I had diabetes, or asthma, or anything else. As long as I take my medication to control the symptoms, then I'm fine.

But it is an issue when I'm dating.  When do you tell them?  Not the first date, first dates are hard enough without, "Oh, by the way, I have a Psychiatric disorder, but my daily medications are working well!"  Right.  But you can't wait too long, either.  That makes it look like you're hiding it, or are ashamed of it.

And then, you do tell them, and they do 1 of several things:
Ignore it.
Accept it.
Over-react to it.
Stop calling all-together.

I'm not sure which is worse, the Ignore it, or the stop calling.  To ignore it, to pretend I never said it, is to deny part of what I am.  I'm not thrilled that I have this condition, but I do have it, and to ignore it doesn't make it go away.  While the condition does not control me, it does influence me at times.   Occasionally, my moods aren't my own, and the men I date need to know that.  If I have what seems to be an inappropriate reaction, or a severe over-reaction, it can be because of the Bi-Polar.

On the other hand, to stop calling me altogether is to not even bother to get to know me.  Who I am is more than the sum of my mental parts.  I am smart, funny, gentle, playful, articulate, reasonable, affectionate...I am so much, and Bi-polar is only a part of who I am.

Lord, I don't want to be bi-polar.  I don't want the stigma, the medications, the seemingly constant therapist appointments.  I don't want to have to constantly watch  myself for signs of mania and depression.  But, if I must have this,  please give me the strength to handle it well.  Amen.