ok, for those who have seen the terrible katrina-aftermath footage from new orleans and biloxi, and perhaps the shots of the gas rig from mobile bay (so they claim) that slammed into the cochran bridge that goes over the mobile river, don't worry. i'm fine. most of mobile made it through the storm with far less damage than biloxi (boy, was it bad there - i can't believe how many people stayed there). we don't have power (of course), but the nice gent upstairs has a generator and is letting us run our fridge, a fan, and our smaller tv every few hours. it could be so much worse. we have a few shingles off and a bunch of tree limbs down, but overall everything seems ok.
so, hurricane katrina is just starting to make landfall in grand isle, louisiana, and i have been awake since about 4:30 this morning. the winds are very gusty, though not as bad now as they will be around lunchtime. the power is flickering off and on, and i hope that it lasts until daylight, as my dishwasher is running. i think it's about to go out, though. deva is staying with me and chad. she was awake with me earlier, but now she has fallen asleep on the couch again. we are safe and expect to be so for the duration of the storm, although i expect to see much worse wind this afternoon. at least we aren't getting the worst of this.
ok. deva is awake again to keep me company. i promise to post ASAP after the storm with an update.
shit. this freakin' thing (hurricane katrina) is now bearing down on new orleans as a CATEGORY 5 hurricane (that's bad, folks, in case you didn't gather that). its winds are now at 160 mph. shit shit shit. mobile is not in the clear from this thing at all, and now i'm scared. even if it hits new orleans, this is a huge storm (area wise as well as strength wise), and mobile will feel some pretty strong effects. i can't believe they haven't even evacuated the south part of mobile county (i.e., dauphin island). the good news, if this can be considered good news, is that it sped up a little, meaning that it will get out of here a little faster moving at 12 mph than it would at its previous 7 mph. however, the pressure just keeps dropping... it's not losing any strength at all. in fact, it just keeps getting more powerful. if this thing wobbles to the east a bit and makes landfall in biloxi or pascagoula, mobile is toast, and i don't really want to be here right now. but i have a feeling that it's a little too late to leave. our local leaders just might regret not evacuating anyone this time, just like they regretted evacuating the whole county for hurricane dennis last month. shit.
well, i got one happy surprise today and one that sucked big ass. the happy one was that i got my computer back about 4-5 days before i expected it, repaired and as good as new. the bad news, as i'm sure many of you know, is that hurricane katrina looks like it will be showing up in our area on monday. i cannot believe that we have to worry about something like this again. this morning when i left to go collecting with lindsey i wasn't worried about katrina. it looked like it would hit well to our east, and it didn't really concern me. this afternoon when i returned all muddy and bug-bitten, i was aghast to learn that the forecast track had shifted dramatically to the west. as of right now, pascagoula, mississippi looks to be the center point of the forecast cone. bad news for me. since the path has been steadily shifting westward, perhaps katrina will decide to bypass this area altogether and go bother some texans (sorry, texas residents). we can only hope, right?
now, the ugly part of this post comes from my day spent in the field with lindsey and joel. they are grad students in herpetology, so they really focus on tortoises, snakes, lizards, toads, salamanders, and critters of that nature. however, they do a lot of collecting in freshwater systems as well as terrestrial ones. for our freshwater ecology class, lindsey and i have to put together a collection of 80 different aquatic species. since she and joel go out collecting every monday and friday, she invited me to tag along so we could gather critters for our ecology class collections. the day was fine until we visited an ephemeral pond and were attacked by leeches. they didn't attach themselves to us or anything, but it was still pretty freaky. also, this huge unidentified bug decided that my forehead looked tasty and bit me, so i have this big, tender lump above my left eyebrow. despite the bad aspects of the day, i still had fun. catching things and watching them die in a vial of ethanol always gives me a little thrill.
yuck. i'm having a bad week already (even though i am so loving my freshwater ecology class). i just wanted to let everyone know that i will be computer challenged for the next week or so. something crazy happened to my computer, and all of my COM ports crapped out on me. so, no modem, no network connection, no wireless connection. no internet for me. hp is sending someone to pick up my comp today to fix it, and i have been assured that it will be returned to me good as new next week. but for now, i am reduced to library or lab computers. this blows big chunks because yesterday i volunteered to give the first presentation in ecotoxicology. the presentation is on september 6, giving me about two weeks to prepare. and for one of those weeks, i have no computer. i figure i'll have about four days to get this thing together. for now, i'm doing a little research in the library before my ecotox lab and trying to come up with a topic. something "current-eventsy" and controversial that involves spewing toxic substances into the environment. i want to do it on the whole LNG (liquified natural gas) terminal thing that is so debated right now in our area. i'm just not sure that the concerns about it are really toxicological. ok, off to do some reading and researching. wish me luck in my state of computer challenged-ness over the next week. posting will be sporadic at best.
so, today it's back to class for me. well, i just have one class today - my seminar class at the sea lab from 1 to 2 this afternoon. not too shabby for a monday schedule, eh? there is all kinds of work i'm supposed to be doing now, though. like getting some stats done to get to dr. v. before he leaves for finland on wednesday. and what am i doing? a big fat lot of nothing. well, i worked out and did some laundry. so that's not exactly nothing, right?
anyway, i got my pictures back from my birthday celebration at big kahuna's, so i thought i'd post a few for your viewing pleasure. most of them turned out really well. there were a couple of fuzzy blobs of nothing, but 25 out of the 27 exposures turned out fine. here are some of my favorites.
vanessa, deva, and yours truly hanging out in some pink inner tubes in the lazy river (the one that didn't suck).
and here's chad coming down one of the slides.
now, deva wouldn't do something like try to push me off the lily-pad thing on purpose would she? no, really... i think she was trying to steady it for me so i could try and stand up on it (that didn't work out so well).
oh, look. there's vanessa coming down a slide.
here's one of me and chad on one of those fun double tubes. can you tell it was bright and sunny out?
big kahuna says, "have fun." i think we accomplished that goal.
obviously, we had a great time at the water park. i'll try and get the rest of the pictures up in a photo album soon.
dammit. we really are being abandoned! everyone is leaving us. at least the team is still in pensacola, but tim kerr is no longer the owner. so, a new owner, no coach, no equipment manager, and only two players signed. so much for having a coach by the end of last week... should i dare to hope for one by tomorrow? i am quite concerned about our team, guys. *fingers crossed*
it would be kind of hard for me to personally experience and office space kind of week, as i work in a lab and as a grad student i'm in no danger of being down-sized or phased out, so of course i'm talking about chad. the other day he came in from work looking a little shell-shocked and proceeded to describe his day to me. it began with a one-on-two meeting with the big boys in his company (the ones he never sees or interacts with), whose first question was, "what would you say you do here? what's your job?" my first thought when he told me that was "i file tps reports." of course, they don't have tps reports, so chad told them what he does (which is pre-wire houses in progress for surround sound, phone, cable, lighting, security systems, program security systems, and install central vacuuming systems, although he wants to move into actually putting in the home theater systems and programming lighting, etc.). after a nice little chat about what he does, chad was then sequestered into a random office by himself. everyone else in the company (who were all freaking out as well, i'm sure) was also sequestered off somewhere alone. the big boys felt that their company was being run at less than top efficiency (which it definitely was) and that some re-organization and reshaping were desperately needed (which is true, from what chad has told me over the past year)... and they proceeded to fire ten people that day, including chad's boss, the guy who hired him and the only person in the company that chad felt any real loyalty to. happily, chad was not one of them. he does his job well and is not afraid to tell his dumb-ass of a "supervisor" when things have been planned badly.
i don't like chad's supervisor. he's a real idiot, and that condo job in orange beach last fall (the one where they "worked" very late every day, causing chad to leave for work at 5:30 every morning and not get home until 9-ish every night for months, the one where chad was miserable because the idiots he works with weren't really trying to get the job finished because they were digging the fat overtime pay - including his good buddy matt, i might add) was made worse by that dumb-ass because he liked the overtime, which he was getting even though he wasn't actually on the job site most of the time, and whose job chad was actually doing because otherwise nothing would have gotten done at all. yet, somehow, that guy didn't get canned. chad says it's because he neglected to reveal his role in the shoddy job planning that's been going on for the past year. oh, and during the orange beach condo thing, the idiot was reprimanded for sexual harassment but no formal charges were brought, so he didn't get fired. he took off his hard hat and swatted a girl's ass with it, a girl he'd been attempting to flirt with all week but who had rejected his advances. there were witnesses. i've met this guy, and he seems like a real sleaze ball... and chad and matt think he's on crack. seriously.
so anyway, chad actually likes the direction the company is going and thinks that they're phasing his idiot crackhead supervisor (who has been bumped down in the ranks) out. they're just keeping him in for now so they can get the new guy (who has been there all along in a sales position, but he's taking on new duties now) used to his new responsibilities. the idiot crackhead is afraid, very afraid. he knows that he should have been fired with that group the first day, and now he's trying to undermine the new guy and prove he can do things better (even though he really can't). he's just trying to save his job. chad's job is perfectly secure, though. he likes the new guy, i think. i've met him briefly as well, but he didn't really make much of an impression either way.
i hope that the new guy will get chad into what he really wants to do. he's sort of been stuck just doing what he's doing now because he's better at it than the other guys, so he always gets sent on those jobs. the new guy has promised chad that he will go on a programming job this week, though, while the idiot crackhead wanted someone else to do that one while chad went to do some wiring in another house. i hope the idiot crackhead gets fired (i think a company drug-testing policy would take care of that). he sort of makes chad's life less easy than it could be, which makes my life less easy than it could be.
all righty. gotta head for the lab. adios, amigos.
*sniff* everyone is ditching us, guys. first dave, then jason serbus, now john krouse. there won't be a familiar non-player face anywhere near the bench in pensacola this season. hope they find a new coach soon...
so the pens have picked up john leclair... first mark recchi, now leclair. recchi signed with the penguins way back in the summer of '04, before the lockout and all the ensuing drama. i knew that leclair's contract had been bought out in philly, but no one knew where he would end up. well, now we know. that should be a good rivalry this year, the flyers and the penguins. pittsburgh has put together a pretty good roster, and now i won't be able to assume they'll suck again. i think they're going to be really good this year. it should be interesting.
in other news that will only mean something to one of my faithful blog readers, i saw someone today that i haven't seen in quite some time - michael hrbacek. just in case this reader was wondering (she knows who she is), he is apparently still at USA, bought a '92 BMW for everyday driving, races the audi at some old airport in pensacola (legally, he assured me), and is still working for whatever USA department takes care of traffic-related stuff (not sure if he's still writing tickets or not - i know you're never excited about seeing him, but i kind of hope so since he never tickets me for parking in the faculty lot but sometimes leaves me a note to let me know he saw my car). i saw him when i went to pick up my new (and free this year) parking permit (he was working - helping the newbies fill out paperwork, etc), and we chatted for a bit. however, you were not mentioned in the conversation (hope you appreciate that - i thought about bringing you up and thought better of it). the last time i saw michael, it was at a pilots game. that was the only game i'd ever seen him at, and i didn't talk to him. i saw him buying a ticket outside, but i didn't see him inside anywhere and i don't think he saw me. there was no mention of a potential new girlfriend/stalkee in today's encounter.
in case anyone was wondering, deva, vanessa, chad, and i had a great time at big kahuna's on saturday (thanks again, guys). i took one of those waterproof disposable cameras with me, and hopefully i got some good shots. i dropped off the camera today, and i'll have pictures to post later this week.
for now, i'm catching up on last week's episodes of passions. thank the powers that be for tivo. ok, i'm off to see what's up with that note fancy found in noah's pocket while she was snooping. this whole disaster thing has been pretty interesting.
and it turned me on. i'm talking about this awesome new lotion from bath & body works, tahiti, sweetie. deva and i went shopping at the eastern shore center yesterday afternoon, and on this latest shopping adventure, we had a conversation about how deva's mom told her she should wear grapefruit scents because they're supposed to attract men. apparently, grapefruit turns them on. or maybe it's just a citrus thing. anyway, this grapefruit conversation was had while perusing the selection in bath & body works, sniffing everything in sight. so, while we were talking, i picked up this true blue spa island getaway lotion called tahiti, sweetie and gave it a sniff. it totally rocks. when deva took a whiff of the sweet, semi-citrusy, very islandy cream sent from heaven, she said something like, "well, this turns me on." and we had ourselves a little giggle. then i pointed out that it even smells a little grapefruity. so we helped ourselves and our hands to a little islandy moisturization and spent the rest of the afternoon browsing random shops and sniffing our hands. sometime after i pointed out that people probably thought we were on crack, the way we kept rubbing our noses and smelling our fingers, when there was a little lull in our constant babbling and giggling, i informed deva that the new lotion turned me on too. and of course, we had managed to talk each other into forking over the cash to buy a bottle each ("i'll buy it if you buy it"). so now we can enjoy a little island getaway (and get a little turned on) anytime we want.
after spending a little money, we went back to my place, made tacos, and watched a walk to remember. deva also talked me into trying a little cheap wine that tastes like a wine cooler (boone's farm blue hawaiian). finally, a wine i can drink! no bad aftertaste (which is why i don't like wine), and it's super-cheap. we also discussed plans for big kahuna's water park in destin tomorrow after chad got back from playing rugby... let the two-week celebration of latina continue! the park opens at 10 am, so we discussed meeting at vanessa's house at 9 and getting to the park when it opens (in deva's new car). sound ok, nessa (i'll probably call you later anyway)? oh, and food. you're not allowed to bring food into the park (and their food is expensive), but you get a hand stamp when you go in so you can leave and come back. last time i was there, we left a cooler with sandwich fixings and drinks in the car out in the parking lot and went out there when we got hungry. i'll be sure to bring a change of clothes so we can go to mcguire's afterwards. it should be a blast.
dave farrish is going to be the assistant coach in ANAHEIM??? wtf? i just checked my email and discovered this astonishing hockey factoid. my jaw is pretty much still hanging down on the floor. i can only hope and pray that this does not bring todd gordon back to town. so, now, not only do the ice pilots only have two players signed, but now they need a new coach. *exasperated sigh* i hope that whoever comes to town is a good, capable, non-idiotic, smart hockey coach (who doesn't totally screw us in the post-season). hmm... a thought. ryan vince is retired and in town, right? he can play hockey. anyone think he can coach? sorry. that was a stupid thing to suggest. how 'bout tim kerr? [sorry - another stupid suggestion]. i'm a tad freaked right now. so, i don't really know anything about available coaches on the market. i just hope we find a good one. in less than two months. man - dave couldn't have decided to leave us for bigger and better things a little earlier in the summer, could he?
so, my question now becomes: did anyone else know anything about this beforehand? am i just out of the loop again? i frequently find myself in a position in which i am painfully unaware of things that are no surprise to others. well, i for one am shocked at this turn of events.
let the two-week celebration of latina begin! well, i guess it already began, since my b-day was actually yesterday and the birthday priveleges (such as picking what to eat, what movies to watch, not having to drive anywhere, etc - and all with no complaints from chad) took effect on friday. friday night was simple and spent vegging out at home: picklefish hawiian pizza (pricey but yummy), mike's hard berry (also yummy, btw), ice cream sandwiches, watching tivo...jay leno from thursday night w/ rob schneider and sidney crosby (who shot pucks at a dryer, which he apparently used to do as a bored kid in nova scotia), cheesy horror flicks from the '70's and '80's recorded off AMC and IFC (which i love for some reason; i'm a big fan of the cheesy horror film). yesterday was a little more festive. watched big fish in the morning, then headed out for a bit of shopping (which chad wasn't allowed to complain about, and if i bought something pricey, then so be it) at bel-air mall. we hit books-a-million so i could pick up the 6th book in stephen king's the dark tower series. i started to get the 7th and last book as well, but it is only available in hard back, and even i wasn't willing to fork over close to $40 for it. i'm sure i can find it cheaper elsewhere. i also picked up another dan brown (author of angels & demons and the da vinci code) title, deception point. we actually spent a fair amount of time browsing around the bookstore (which chad didn't hate), and i found at least 5 more books that i want but refrained from purchasing at the moment. chad found a couple of history-related books that he said he wouldn't mind reading, along with a couple he plans to get his dad. after that, we just sort of browsed around the mall doing tons of looking but not much buying. then, it was off to the movie theater, where chad was willing to see must love dogs (which he normally would be perfectly ok with renting off pay-per-view but not viewing in a theater), but we got there super-early and opted for a showing of fantasic four instead. after the movie (which we saw pretty early), we headed back home for a while where we watchedbig brother 6. for some reason, i'm really addicted to that show. yeah, not much else comes on in the summer, but it's just so easy to really dislike some of these people. i hate james, for example. he would have no problem whatsoever selling out his girlfriend (who is on the show with him) if it meant he could stay in the house another week. and the things he says about her... i would dump his ass so fast if i were her... but of course she doesn't know what he says about her behind her back. anyway, that was totally beside the point. after big brother, we headed for carrabba's where i had a yummy dinner of chicken bryan and garlic mashed potatoes and chad had chicken parmesan. both are quite tasty. chad was feeling generous and didn't have to be prompted into leaving the waitress a fat tip.
so, for today it's off to my mom's house for more birthday festivities. not sure what mom's planning to cook (she said something about baking a ham - yummy), but there will most definitely be cake. for the rest of the week, it's normal work stuff (actually, i might take tomorrow off), then next weekend more celebration with deva and vanessa. not sure what the plan is, but i'm sure it will be fun.
*happy dance* so, hopefully the ice pilots are on a roll with this whole signing players thing. i've just read that they signed rookie defenseman pat sutton. so, that's 2 D down, 4 to go for a complete defensive lineup. we'll probably tack on a couple more who will get assigned from toronto, too. now, how about signing a few forwards, just for my peace of mind? and what about freddie? any word on what our favorite goaltender is planning for the upcoming hockey season?
the ice pilots have signed their first player this season. corey neilson has re-signed with the pilots. i'm happy about that. i like corey. he's a funny guy. oh, and a good defenseman too. he has good hockey skills. and he was a good sport when deva, vanessa, and i were collecting photos of flexing hockey players. check out our joint blog who will be the next ice pilot to flex? for the results of that venture. we will continue that quest this season.
so, we've got one guy. he plays D, but he can also score. however, he can't do it alone. and as much as i dig the little guy, i also don't think *jacquo* (chris st. jacques -the object of my pseudo-stalking and for whose jersey i forked over a fair amount of $$$, for those who might not know who i'm talking about) can score enough goals and push enough guys around to help corey out a whole lot. and he really doesn't have very good defensive skills, i'm sad to say. i'm pretty confident in my assumption that jacquo will be back in pensacola this season. probably a todd ford, too. beyond them, i don't know who we're going to get from the toronto marlies of the ahl. so, we've got corey. it's a start. now, how about a dwayne hay? a tyler beechey? a ryan o'keefe? a nick lindberg? an aaron gionet? anybody with hockey skills?
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith
Percy Jackson and the Olympians The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
Angels & Demons by Dan Brown The Talisman by Stephen King and Peter Straub Seize the Night by Dean Koontz The Dark Tower Series by Stephen King Odd Thomas series by Dean Koontz Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich Goldy Schulz series by Diane Mott Davidson Jack Daniels series by J.A. Konrath Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde