More interviews this week.

One in LA, One on the phone, and another in San Diego.

The San Diego interview is going to be a real bear. 3.5 hours of panel questions UGHHHH!

But it’s a job that I really want, So I’m going to be studying my ass off to make sure that I at least look like I’m got half a brain in my head.

I worry that I’ve lost a couple of steps only due to lack of use. My brain seems to put crap I don’t need into deep cold storage. It takes a while for me to recall stuff from cold storage to active systems.

Think about a really big ZIP file and how long it takes to decompress.

The tough problem is that everyone interviewing wants everything they’re interested in to be current in your brain.

Think about that, and how tough it would be to have your entire life experience available in story form, customized for each person you met in the course of a day.

Well this weeks interview schedule is completed. I haven’t gotten any offers yet but the number of Interviews via Phone and in Person is a damn sight more than I’ve had in the past few years.

Fingers, toes, and every other appendage is crossed but at this point I don’t think I’ve reached the “Hey this guy is perfect” point so I’ll keep sending applications.

Briny Water on Mars!


This is very cool. The remote sensing work to confirm the hypothesis is elegant.

I wonder, if the hypothesis is actually proven, or do we only call it proven when one of our machines or a human takes a physical sample and confirms water and perchlorate salts.

This makes me wonder if future explorers could, as part of a water production facility, use the extracted salts as a component for fuel for the return trip to Earth.  I suppose it would depend on the source of the water (underground versus atmospheric) the exact composition of the salts and how easily they can be extracted. 

This discovery gives me hope that we will go to Mars, and that someday we’ll have self sustaining colonies there.

This is progress and perhaps this discovery will spark a whole new generation of scientists.

Yes, I’m a geek, I love science and NASA!


I also learned something else during this morning’s announcement.

Under no circumstances should you monitor the Twitter #askNASA hashtag during the announcement of a discovery.

You’re suddenly exposed to a planet full of (paraphrasing Marvin here) “depressingly stupid people.”

Honestly, some of the questions were so stupid as to actually cause brain damage, which is a mercy since the damage occurs in the hippocampus and effectively erases the memory of the question instantly.

The effect leaves a trace of revulsion and disgust, which I suspect is the brain’s way of preventing further assault,without having to process the stupidity again.

The Keeper

In my case I shut down Twitter and the feeling passed immediately.

What was it The Keeper of Talos IV said? “Punishment and Reward, you’ll find it’s an effective combination.

Reward your favorite Scientist with a hug or compliment today.

As if anyone was wondering.

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We made it official on Tuesday.

We adopted the R dog. He seems to like the place and the toys.

On thing that is very nice is that while the S dog tends to leave toys all over the place, the R dog tends to collect them into one place.

Does anyone notice an agreeable symmetry?

Training continues. Walks are less of an ordeal for all of us. The R dog is stronger, his paw pads are toughening up and he’s less mindful of some of the new scents.

He’s trying very hard to please. He still doesn’t like to go out in the back yard without the whole pack being in attendance. This will present a challenge in the wintertime when I’m not going to feel like hiking in the backyard at -20F

In general he seems happy. His elbows are healing too. He had rough skin patches that dogs get from spending too much time on concrete and not enough time on grass, dirt, or other softer more natural surfaces.

As part of the adoption we found out a lot of other stuff we didn’t know about him and that knowledge is playing into who he is and how we train him.

The other half is happy again and enjoys being greeted with a happy woof.

While I’ve been essentially the soccer mom, handling the day to day issues of walks, feeding, poo patrol, and training. The other half is getting to be “The Fun One”.

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Which isn’t to say that the R dog and I don’t have a connection it’s just that I’m not always FUN!

It is nice to come out of the shower and have both dogs guarding me. Even if that means that I have to step over them to get out of the bathroom.

10 Seconds of preaching.

I know that puppies & kittens are cute and cuddly and that you don’t have to undo someone else’s mistakes. But please, before you decide on buying that puppy or kitten in the window, check out your local animal shelter. Contact a rescue organization for the breed of dog or cat that you’re interested in.

There are a lot of sweet, well behaved, and honestly deserving dogs & cats who need good homes.

End of preaching

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The last 2 dogs came from the animal shelter. The R dog came from a retriever rescue. We’re members of that rescue and as soon as the R dog is fully integrated and settled in our household,  we’ll be opening our doors to another homeless dog.

That one we will be fostering, training, and loving, and then we’ll pass him or her on to another loving home.

At least that’s the plan…

But I’m a big ‘ol softie when it comes to animals.

Good News Everybody!


The Supreme Court of the United States today gutted DOMA and effectively said that Proposition 8 here in California was unconstitutional, by allowing the 9th circuit courts ruling to stand.

This is a good day.

At the same time we know that the well funded, fundamentalists will begin their campaigns to take away the rights and privileges that have been restored to the GLBT community.

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Today is a sad for me personally.

Today marks the Fifth anniversary of a friends death.

John would have been leading a band of happy folks over the SCOTUS ruling. I have this weird image of him playing his trumpet or his sax like the pied piper. Wait, he also played the flute yeah that’s what he’d be playing.

I found out that he played the flute one Summer afternoon when he was on leave from the Marines. He was sitting on my back patio in a pair of olive shorts just noodling with some classical piece of music. He looked up as I came in from work and morphed the classical piece into the riff from Jethro Tull’s Aqualung. Then he moved on to a medley from Songs from the Wood.

He did it so seamlessly that I never noticed the transition. He gave me a gift that day. He perked up my mood and put a smile on my face even though it had been a really BAD day at work.

I still smile when I hear music form those albums because I see John sitting on the patio relaxed and happy, playing his flute for an audience of one.

Five years on, and I still miss him. Every once in a while I’ll hear someone whose voice sounds like his. Now though I smile instead of feeling blue.

John wouldn’t want me to be sad, especially not with the news today. The image of him leading a group of smiling people his flute sparkling in the sunshine does put a smile on my face. There are times when I wonder if he somehow puts funny images in my head to cheer me up on his birthday and on this date.

Yeah, I get misty-eyed thinking about him, but I can’t stay blue. An endless line of memories and laughs we had flits through my head and I end up smiling & feeling happy in spite of myself.

So John, in honor of you…

I’m going to smile, be happy and drink a toast to the good news. Then I’ll toast to you, our friendship and loving each other like brothers.

Your light and joy aren’t forgotten and you have a place in my heart forever.

$60 well spent


Went to Guitar Center today, and spent some time with Beauty and a professional instrument technician.

I learned how to change strings, how to do minor maintenance and do intonation. Plus I learned how to do a bunch of easy little things that will make the guitar sound better, and last longer.

When I got home, I practiced for about 2 hours during a thunderstorm and am excited.

I’ve been trying to learn to sight read standard musical notation and the TAB standard. The miracle is that I’m getting it. 

For someone that has believed for a large portion of their life that they were musically inept and incapable of learning to play an instrument, this experience is really good for me as it’s allowing me to have a sense of accomplishment.

Right now this is really important since the job search isn’t getting much in the way of results.

Learning something new, that is also artistic seems to recharge me so that the next set of indignities I have to deal with in the job search don’t seem so bad.

If you’r e looking for a new job and not having much luck, I highly recommend learning something new, or that you dig out an old hobby and use it as a means to relax.

Have fun, play with the dog, or the kids. But make sure that you set aside some time for something that you love to do alone.

It might help you see a new way to pursue the jobs you’re seeking or just see a new path.

I’m sure as heck not going to become a rocker. My next career isn’t going t be on stage but I can learn to make music and enjoy myself.

Isn’t being happy what it’s all about?