Saturday, April 22, 2006

Boeing Oribital Express project

Some things just take forever, especially projects that involve government & security. But when they do actually come to culmination it's a satisfying feeling. The below is the project that I've been implementing VoIP telephones for.

Orbital Express

As an aside, some Boeing gossip is that the "space program" is going back to the moon. They want to search for water. If there is water on the moon or mars or wherever else it has more immediate implications than the possibility of life past or future. They can set up a base and launch further space exploration from there and also build a factory. Water is life sustaining. That's probably the most important aspect of finding water, albeit frozen. Apparently the moon is filled with the perfect raw materials that can be easily mined in a gravity free environment. Sounds like a Sci-fi movie.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006


Do you think that life is all about texture? As I enter my hotel room and pull back the sheets from my Hilton room, I feel the texture of the bedspread. It's almost suede like in feel. I let my fingers dance over it again.......I let out a low moan. It was an involuntary reaction. Texture.... As I drove today from Oakland to Napa Valley, the green covered hills catch my eye. The gently waving grass beckons to me. I think it's the texture...... As I drive further north and the stark contrast of rough hewn boulders arching up into the smooth blue sky seems to draw me in. Texture...... As I perform my regular daily job, I love the sensation of a good pen in my hands. I can almost feel the flow of ink as it soaks into the paper. I appreciate the depth that my pen feels as it makes its first mark. It's all about texture........

What is it about texture that pulls our mind's eye to it? What is it about texture that draws us in? Entices us almost? The best definition google could offer to texture was this: The tactile quality of a surface or the representation or invention of the appearance of such a surface quality. Such rubbish, it's so much more than that. When I scrapbook I strive for texture. It drives my creations. I want people to reach out and caress the page, run their fingers over the photo or ephemera. I don't just want the brain to think of the memories, I want them to be felt. I want them to radiate through their fingers up to the brain and down to their heart, touching parts of our bodies that make us laugh, smile, sigh, and groan.


Sunday, April 16, 2006

NGS Genographic Kit Status

As I've discussed on a previous post I've purchased a National Geographic genome tracking kit. In case you missed that post, here's the link.

The status of my kit is that it is in DNA Isolation, explained below:

The cells are broken open by incubation with a protein-cutting enzyme overnight. Chemicals and the samples are transferred into deep well blocks for robotic DNA isolation. The blocks of chemicals and samples are placed on the extraction robot. The robotic DNA isolation uses silica-coated iron beads. In the presence of the appropriate chemicals DNA will bind to silica. The robot then uses magnetic probes to collect the beads (and DNA) and transfer them through several chemical washes and finally into a storage buffer, which allows the beads to release the DNA. At this point the beads are collected and discarded.

I'm eager for the next step....

Sunday, April 09, 2006

The thrill of BBQing

Spring has sprung and all things spring and summer drift through one's mind. Especially since I get to live in Southern California with our beautiful weather, the seasons come early and finish late. One of the things I love about spring is the anticipation of the BBQ season. I love to BBQ. My eyes water at the thought of smoke wafting thru the air, stinging my eyes.... My nose wiggles with the smells of charcoal. And my mouth waters at the thought of rotesserie chicken slowly turning on the spit.

To be a BBQ grill master one must properly prepare for the season. One must clean the BBQ, shop for new BBQ accessories and stock up on consumables (not the edible ones silly). For example, I've recently just purchased from Crate and Barrel a nifty little sauce pan with neat little rubberized micro tips for brushing sauce on the meat.
What's my next purchase? -- Is it the allure of the hot dog roaster or the corn roaster? Also from Crate and Barrel.

Ah spring, the possibilities are endless.....

The Mazda 5

What an odd vehicle I got from Hertz on this trip up to Seattle. It's called the Mazda 5. It's the ugliest thing I've ever seen. This picture truly doesn't give it justice. It's like a cross between a station wagon, van and car. It's a lot shorter than it looks and stubbier. The most irritating thing about it is that the moment you start the car, this horrendous beeping ensues because you don't have your seatbelt on. Now, I've learned over the past few days that I like to start a car then put my seatbelt on. It's my way of letting the car warm up for a few seconds before I screech off. I don't need Mazda dictating to me the order in which events happen in my car! If I want to start the goddamn car first, then put my seatbelt on, I should be able to. I shouldn't have to listen to this mind numbing beeping noise while I secure the belt. It's bad enough that the federal government dictates what I have to do to keep myself safe, I sure as hell don't need Mazda doing it to.

This goes right back to that stupid seatbelt that used to close around you by zipping up along the window. Remember those? What a stupid invention that was. I mean, are we really that stupid that the car has to put the seatbelt on for us? Shouldn't we have some rights. The right to not wear the seatbelt? The right to put our lives on the line? The right to be as stupid as we want? We are taking away all the possibilities for the gene pool to be thinned here in America. And you have to admit, it needs thinning.....

Monday, April 03, 2006

Security Bypass

When you are a frequent flier in this sort of airport/airline climate, flying is just a pain in the ass. At most terminals in most airports now, there are Frequent Flier bypass lanes. These will be appropriately named depending on the airline -- Premier, Gold, Platinum, Elite, or what have you. These lanes are for people like me, who travel a lot. Don't give me dirty looks because you're standing in a disney like switchback line of about 200 people when I walk right past you. I don't deserve that look. I travel all the time. When I walk up to the TSA security checkpoint, I know what I'm doing. I can whip out my laptop, take off my jacket and shoes in the span of about 10 seconds with my boarding pass in my teeth and my other hand throwing the bag up on the belt.

I've done it for what seems like a million times. You haven't. It takes you forever. You forget that you have to take the DVD player out. You forget you have change in your pocket. You forget...... cause you don't do this every week. I deserve the bypass lane. You are too slow to have a bypass lane, that's why your lane is so long! So instead of giving me a dirty look as I whip by you with my rollaboard, give me a knowing look of pity because now you know that I have to put up with this bullshit all the time and you don't. Think of how lucky you are standing in that long line because having bypass status means you spend too much time on airplanes, in airports and away from the people you love.