Saturday, September 29, 2007

I am putting my life in danger...

blogging about the weather, but I must note that since it is currently snowing, in September, and since it did snow in May, it seems that the bit of weather folklore that I blogged about previously, might have a ring of truth to it. So, if it thunders in May, we all should be prepared for a short summer.

Although, I would also like to note that, while short, the Summer of 2007 also boasted the hottest month ever on record for Salt Lake City. So, here in Utah, if we have a short summer, it will be an intense summer, apparently.

I don't really like that. I am a mild weather sort of girl. Even though I prefer cooler weather, I have been shocked by the snow today. I mean, I thought I was okay knowing that the weather was going to be cooler today, even though it was 80 degrees yesterday. I was prepared for cold this morning when I left for the day. I was outside all morning cheering at soccer games and helping dig holes for trees through wind and rain. But, now it's snowing.

Snowing. In September. And everything about it seems wrong.

But, it's not my fault.

Monday, September 24, 2007

The Cool Kids

Sometimes, I think that I am such a nerd that all the cool kids are playing jokes on me, and they are just laughing and laughing.

Saturday night, for example, I was driving home from a friend's house after midnight, and I had been away from my home for only twelve hours. In the twelve hours that I was gone, someone had removed the traffic light has always been at the end my street and had placed it at the brand new intersection one block up. Now, the intersection for my street is naked.


I was so confused. When I am tired, I drive by landmarks not by logic. I turn at the first light, and I do not make sure that I have driven .6 miles from the freeway exit. I got so lost that I almost curled up in a corn field and fell asleep because I was so confused, because I knew that I was so near my house, and yet it was so freakishly Twilight Zoney, and I was so tired and I just wanted to go to bed.

Well, today I had to work until ninefreakingthirtyatnight and I have to get up at fourfreakingthirtyinthemorning for a meeting. Yep. I had forgotten all about the new traffic light placement and got lost all over again.

Why, why, why do the cool kids have to torment me so much? Did they really have to move the light? Couldn't they have just added the new one and then we could have had two? Because really, the connecting street that I am supposed to just see does not have one single lamppost on it, and it is dark out in them there corn fields. Are you cool kids trying to push me over the edge? Are you trying to pull out my last thread of sanity? Because I am that close to tying up my shoelaces and throwing my shoes over the powerline and going off to live in Spectre forever.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Tolkien Week September 16th-22nd and Hobbit Day, September 22nd

Tolkien Week September 16th-22nd and Hobbit Day September 22nd

If you need a new reason to celebrate Hobbit Day, do it because maybe there is a little bit of Hobbit inside of you!

One of the most puzzling discoveries in human evolution was the unearthing four years ago of the so-called "Hobbit" — a three-foot tall human-like creature with a brain the size of a grapefruit.

The Hobbit skeleton caused a split among anthropologists. Some scientists have said the Hobbit, found in Indonesia, is a weird human ancestor that somehow survived until some 12,000 to 20,000 years ago, living unnoticed as modern humans took over the world. Others have said it is a modern human with a condition resembling the genetic disease microcephaly.

But new evidence suggests that the hobbit really was a primitive form of human never seen before.

Researcher Matthew Tocheri, who studies wrist bones at the Smithsonian Institution, was shocked when he saw the wrist bones of the Hobbit.

"I opened up the container and I pulled out the bones and, wow, I couldn't believe it. I was like — is somebody putting me on? These are completely primitive," says Tocheri.

Tocheri says his knees were shaking with excitement. If the Hobbit was simply a diseased modern human, or even a human cousin like a Neanderthal, it would have human-like wrist bones. But the wrist bones looked more like those of an ape. Nobody had noticed the difference because the identification requires expertise in the tiny bones of the wrist.

Tocheri spent a year studying three of the Hobbit's wrist bones at the Smithsonian. He says all three of the wrist bones support the idea that it is not a diseased modern human.

"In great apes and other primates, the trapezoid looks like a pyramidal wedge, but in modern humans and Neanderthals, it looks like a boot," says Tocheri.

Another anthropologist who worked with Tocheri, William Jungers at Stony Brook University in New York, agrees. He says if these new findings hold up, it could change scientists' view of human evolution.

"I think we have grossly underestimated the complexity of human evolution and I think there are other surprises like this in store," says Jungers.

The new interpretation has not entirely resolved the dispute. Skeptics say hundreds of genetic diseases could affect the size and shape of human bones.

Although partial remains of other Hobbits have surfaced at the same site, they say it could have been an isolated colony of inbred people who shared the same genetic abnormalities.

But Matthew Tocheri says he thinks the Hobbit is an ancient ancestor and the ultimate survivor.

"Just looking at them and seeing and how primitive they were, I almost felt a certain feeling of success for the Hobbit. They made it, they made it into modern times, they've completely baffled us because they did it," says Tocheri.

Regardless of whether the Hobbits are our ancestors or simply abnormal humans, they clearly defied steep odds to survive.

Tocheri's research will appear in the Sept. 21 issue of Science. (Case Grows for 'Hobbit' as Human Ancestor by Christopher Joyce NPR )

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

International Talk Like a Pirate Day, September 19th

International Talk Like a Pirate Day

Shiver me timbers! Even when I'm not especially feelin' like blogging, I can't forget Talk Like a Pirate Day. 'Specially when websites like TreeHugger remember it! So go check out t' real reason why we have global warmin'- fewer pirates! And if you need help puttin' your writin' into pirate talk, check out this English-to-Pirate translator. Happy piratin'! Arrrgh!

Friday, September 14, 2007

National Cream Filled Donut Day, September 14th

National Cream Filled Donut Day

The cream filling to my day of public records and open meeting law training, was the comment "if I had to live in and work for the City of (where Absent works) for twenty years, I would sue them too."

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Defy Superstition Day, September 13th

Defy Superstition Day

There is an old superstition about cutting your hair. Cut it on Monday, you cut it for health; cut it on Tuesday, you cut it for wealth; cut it on Wednesday, you cut it for news; cut it on Thursday, a new pair of shoes; cut it on Friday, you cut it for sorrow; cut it on Saturday, see your true love tomorrow; cut it on Sunday, the devil will be with you all the week.

And, according to another superstition, you should always burn or bury your cut hair, because if an enemy took it they could use it to do you harm, or a bird could pick up the leavings and weave them too tightly in a nest thus giving you a headache until the nest falls apart. Not a happy thought.

I am not in a very reckless mood, so I am not very up for defying superstitions, because it turns out that walking under a ladder can end up badly for more than one reason. But, if you get your hair cut today, a Thursday, the worst that can happen is that you won't get a pair of new shoes. Which, don't get me wrong, would be sad, but not tragic, mind you.

So, everyone, go out and get you haircut today! But don't forget to sweep up the trimmings and dispose of them correctly!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Chocolate Milkshake Day, September 12th

Chocolate Milkshake Day

One of my favorite memories from my childhood is going to Yaw's with my great-grandmother for the thick chocolate milkshakes that came in two glasses and the hamburgers with the special sauce with two types of pickles. Yum Yum!!

Yeah. Yaw's closed in 1982, so we can't go there anymore. And, it was in Portland, and I don't live there any more.

Regardless, I still can look for a the perfect chocolate milkshake on Chocolate Milkshake Day. In fact, I can't think of one good reason not to begin a quest for the perfect chocolate milkshake on Chocolate Milkshake Day. So everyone should go out there and quest for the perfect chocolate milkshake too! I think that my great-grandmother would approve. Let's create a nationwide run on chocolate milkshakes!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Self Improvement Month, September

Self Improvement Month

This morning I had high hopes for the day. I was all rested from my three day weekend and ready to tackle all the problems waiting on my desk. I had a plan for my too-much-paper-on-my-desk problem. I had high hopes for task accomplishments. I had mental escape routes for all foreseeable emergencies that might happen over the course of the week. I had not prepared for the thirty-second-non-argument-with-pleases-and-thank-yous-that-would-push-Absent-into-an-evil-evil-mood-for-no-good-reason.

I wish that I had a dog so that I could claim that my dog is sick so I could go home today. Scratch that. I probably wouldn't be able to go home for a sick dog. Because, how would I know my dog was sick? Canine ESP?

If, I were really good, and wanted to work really hard on this self improvement thing, I would probably say that after lunch I can start with another blank slate- just as if it were a new day.

But, I don't want to. I feel like being Alexander today.

Oh, well. Tomorrow is another day.