On my way to DC

Who has two thumbs and is blogging at 30,000 feet?

Laptop selfie of moi with a "thumbs at me" pose

I needed one hand free to click the “shutter” for the laptop selfie, so you’ll just have to trust me on the whole “two thumbs” claim.

Everyone at my workplace has Monday off for Labor Day. I was feeling wanderlusty (heh – that should be a real word) and had three days with not much planned that couldn’t be put off. I browsed airfare to see if I could get anywhere close to Red Rock country; I’ve been wanting to get back to Arches or one of the other big parks in the southwest. Moab, Utah would have been good, but flights were in the $700-$900 range, which was more than I wanted to spend for a spur of the moment get-away.

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Musings on Pasta

Today I read an article on the blog, Musings of an Aspie. The title of the article was grabbing: The Importance of the Pasta on the Left. It’s grabbing because I don’t think of pasta, even at it’s most delicious, as important. And why would the pasta of the left be more important than the pasta on the right? And… well, I had to read more. From the article:

Mother: “James, come and let’s pick out some cereal.”

James (appears from around the corner): “But I haven’t finished looking at all the pasta. I looked at the pasta on the right but I didn’t look at the pasta on the left.”

Mother: “We need to pick out your cereal.”

James (sounding panicked, voice rapidly rising into hysteria): “But I need to look at all the pasta! I haven’t looked at the pasta on the left. I need–“

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Cross-Country Connections: Clouds

Cross-Country Connections took a break, but I missed doing it so we’re bringing it back!

Cross-Country Connections is a Biodork weekly blog entry dedicated to telling stories in pictures of three family members – me, my sister and Mom – living in different locations across the country. Every week we choose a different theme and then take or contribute a personal photo that fits the theme. This week’s theme is Clouds.

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Bugs in the City

NOTE: The Smithsonian is crowdsourcing! Read all the way (or skip) to the bottom to learn how to become an online volunteer for the Smithsonian Museum’s bumblebee records project!

One thing that is extremely noticeable about our new location is the increase in the number of bugs inside the house. In South Minneapolis we had the occasional ant attack, and once some demon flies infested the apartment after I downloaded a desktop wallpaper, but here it seems that there are more and greater varieties of insect home invaders than we experienced in the city. It makes sense; our new house is in a more wooded area, and we now have a direct entry to the house rather than an apartment lobby entry. But what can you do? Once we got over our initial revulsion it just became a fact of life. Bought a fly swatter and it’s all good now. The cat is ecstatic to be able to put her long-dormant hunting skills back into play.

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Why I work late

Oy. Tonight was a long one. Deadlines aren’t always as flexible as one might hope, and science sometimes does not play by human clocks. But it’s all worth it for a chance to piss off the anti-science, pro-God set. One of my secret atheist coworker friends (we have a secret handshake okay no we do not but I’d totally learn one because who doesn’t want to be part of a club that has secret handshakes), gave this to me today:

2014-07-29 13.15.51

Text on a small scrap of paper says: “SCIENCE: The study and investigation of phenomena based on rigorous study and experiment, conducted solely for the purpose of pissing off those who think God did it all.”

Yup. As Fox News has known for years, science-ing is actually part of the Atheist Agenda. I do what I can. You’re welcome.

RH Reality Cast

I’ve finally started listening to RH Reality Cast, and I’m enjoying the hell out of it. If if there’s one thing that I enjoy more than reading Amanda Marcotte’s caustic wit, it’s hearing her passionate take-downs of patriarchal, religious, and right-wing bullshit flow from my car speakers. A new half-hour episode airs every Monday, so it’s always an exciting, blood-boiling start to the week. This week Amanda warns us that Todd Akin is back in the news, this time wanting us all to believe that we just didn’t understand what he meant by “legitimate rape” (from his infamous quote in 2012), she interviews Teddy Wilson about the Operation Save America harassment and trespassing currently taking place in New Orleans, and of then there’s my favorite segment, The Wisdom of Wingnuts.

If you like hearing from strong women who don’t mince their words when they’re pissed off about attacks on reproductive freedom and sexual health, you might want to try out RH Reality Cast.

Two Strikes and We’re Out

On Wednesday July 9th, 2014 my apartment flooded. Now, if this sounds familiar to you, you might be remembering this post.

That’s right, this is the second major flood to hit us in this location. The Hubby and I live in a garden-level apartment, but the flooding has never been due to excessive rain, or to an upstairs neighbor forgetting to turn off a faucet. This is has been burst plumbing every single time. I say every single time because we’ve actually had plumbing issues which resulted in water being outside of the pipe in which it belonged four times. Twice the flooding was caught early (stains on the ceiling), and before theyt caused any damage. Another time the pipe burst we caught it as soon as it happened and we were able to get everything out before anything was irreparably damaged. The fourth time – this last time – the pipe burst sometime during the workday and I came home to water pouring from the ceiling and thousands of dollars of private property damage. Let me be clear – the thousands of dollars of damage happened to our stuff – I’m not including the landlord’s property. [Read more...]

Wasp Threesome

Today at work we found some wasps enjoying the lovely sunshiny afternoon.

Three mud daubers stacked one on top of the other.

I think these are mud daubers. I can’t find much on why three mud daubers might be stacked together like this, but whenever there’s odd behavior and animals involved, there’s a good chance that it has something to do with sex.

Muscle guy having his arm groped by an impressed-looking lady.

Cross-Country Connections: Sculpture

Cross-Country Connections is a Biodork weekly blog entry dedicated to telling stories in pictures of three family members – me, my sister and Mom – living in different locations across the country. Every week we choose a different theme and then take or contribute a personal photo that fits the theme. This week’s theme is Sculptures.

From Mom in Hagerstown, Maryland:

A large gold-colored sphere is poised on top of a metal column. In the foreground is a white bridge over a stone-riddled stream and a grassy park.This is the Sunsphere from the 1982 World’s Fair Park. Saw it with Brianne on our Southern tour last year. Love car trips.

From me in Minneapolis, Minnesota:

A giant spherical mass of curling glass hangs near a ceiling. Photo is in B&W and only the ball is in focus.Artsy-fartsy filtered photo of the artsy-fartsy Chihuly glass sculpture in the lobby of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.

From Erin in Takoma Park, Maryland:

A green mowed field and blue sky with white clouds dominates the photo. In the distance an obelisk-style sculpture is seen.One of the 90+ memorial sculptures at Antietam National Battlefield in Western Maryland.

Cross-Country Connections: Hidden

Cross-Country Connections is a Biodork weekly blog entry dedicated to telling stories in pictures of three family members – me, my sister and Mom – living in different locations across the country. Every week we choose a different theme and then take or contribute a personal photo that fits the theme. This week’s theme is Hidden.

From Erin in Takoma Park, Maryland: 

Small black dog digging in the dirt

Searching for groundhogs at Antietam National Battlefield.

From Mom in Hagerstown, Maryland:

A backyard garden with a large butterfly statue.Mary Maloney’s has a hidden garden right in the middle of Biloxi’s casino strip. The tree, The Patriarch, is said to be 2000 years old! The giant bug is not.

From me in Minneapolis, Minnesota:

CCC Hidden BrianneNO – do not want to wake up. Cannot make.