27 June 2006


Another quick post today. It's about six, and I've been doing chemistry homework for about three hours. It's due at midnight, but there's only so much chemistry homework one man can do, I think. Tomorrow's the second exam for the class, and I'm nowhere near ready for it.

At least I managed to get the Bohr model calculations done (with my trusty friend Excel, of course ).

Biology's going well, although I think much of the class is feeling overwhelmed with plant and animal physiology at this point. Personally, I expected this class to be much more demanding, so I'm not complaining at having to be able to tell the difference between an angiosperm and a gymnosperm. We biology majors tend to have sex on the brain, anyway, so this stuff isn't really all that complicated.

I did have the Arrogant Bastard last night, as good as ever. Lined up for tonight will be something a bit more basic, maybe an Olde Towne Bock.

26 June 2006

A week late

Damn. That's the longest between postings since I started blogging regularly again. Sorry about that, but life's been rather hectic lately, as classes have been swallowing pretty much all my free time, and I've had a slightly more active social life than usual lately.

Just finished making up a histogram for the final draft of my lab report, and I'm probably about to go home and grill up some chicken with some Arrogant Bastard Ale or some Rogue Chocolate Stout to go with it. Yum.

I've been cutting down on my drinking a bit lately, and blogging about beer makes me thirsty for it, which is part of the reason I haven't been talking a lot about beer. I know that I get a lot of searches for beer here, though, so hopefully I can find some happy medium.

(I've also got an Imperial Stout sitting in the fridge, but I'm using that as a celebratory beer for either getting this job I'm looking at, or finishing this semester with good grades.)

I've got another chemistry test on Wednesday, and I'm not prepared for it in the least. Hopefully I can master net ionic equations and oxidation numbers in the next thirty-six hours or so.

I've got a humorous and slightly disgusting post coming up, if I'm up to it after the exam and lab report and chemistry laboratory and... et cetera. Nobody ever said this was going to be easy....

19 June 2006

Random Monday Stuff

According to statcounter, someone was googling "uah and biology lab" and ended up on one of my pages. He or she then continued to read through all my archives, from the first to the last. Since that's exactly what I do to any blog that I really enjoy, it looks like I've got my first fan -- welcome, whoever you are!

I ended up getting an 88 on my first Chemistry test, which I was afraid I failed, so I'm reasonably happy. Lucked out on the bonus question, though, in knowing that phosphoric acid is added to soda to help increase the solubility of caffeine. Definitely have to study more later on.

Beth is sick today, so I'm helping to take care of her. Looks like just a stomach bug.

Also, a nice link here from Adventures in Ethics and Science, about rampant sexism among Slashdot readers/editors. I can't read Slashdot lately (their new site design crashes Opera, and I've got enough stuff to do already without fiddling with settings or --gasp-- opening Firefox) but Dr. Stemwedel seems to have their number pretty well.
Given how tetchy people get if one even floats the possibility that some kind of sexism might be at the bottom of the underrepresentation of women in computer science and similar fields, it's striking how the very existence of outreach to women is tagged as sexist with only a wisp of common wisdom to bolster that tag.

But maybe the good folks at Slashdot are just hoping to spark a reasoned debate that might lead us all to re-examine our own assumptions on the matter. Yeah, that's probably it.
Hear, hear! That's one reason why Slashdot conversations can be so meaningless on any topic except development or hardware -- the sheer ignorance of most Slashdot posters is abysmal.

For Fans of Ebert

I'm just a sucker for Roger Ebert -- I've been reading virtually every word he's written online for the last eight years or so, so this link was right up my alley.
When you come across a movie that is rated at THREE & ONE-HALF stars, make a point to go see that movie. It will probably become one of your favorites and more than likely you'll actually buy the DVD someday. There's just something magical about the Threefie. I can't put my finger on it, but I would theorize that because Ebert isn't dealing in absolutes something extraordinary occurs...
I've definitely noticed this phenomenon -- the three-and-a-half-star movies from Ebert tend to be more likely to become quirky cult classics than four-stars, and tend to have a more "genre" feel than they might otherwise. For instance, Chasing Amy, Dogma, and Jersey Girl, all Kevin Smith films, got three-and-a-half stars from Ebert.

I have a long day of classes today, and will probably get my first Chemistry test back -- wish me luck.

18 June 2006

An Algebra Lesson

For those of us who aren't really intuitive mathematical, here's a nice little blog post about why 0.999... really is equal to 1. Clear, concise, and completely convincing.

I was working on some Chemistry homework that I thought was due tomorrow, but it turns out it's not due until Wednesday. Which is good, because I haven't a clue in how to solve some of this shit.

I'm also trying out some online radio stations from the lab. Nice enough that I would really like to get high-speed internet so that I can play with it from home. I'm listening to a heavily-90's-alternative-infused Hypoxia Radio now. And since there's nothing better than nineties alternative, this must be one of the best radio stations in the universe... (Threw that one in there for Beth, who has little patience for depressing nineties alternative.)

14 June 2006

Addendum to the Last Post

P-Zed has a full-on response to the same article I wrote my last post about. Except he's way better at it than I am.

Sorry posting has been spotty, but I've been quite busy lately. I'm also trying to cut back on the drinking, so my beer reviews have been lacking.

10 June 2006

Homosexuality in the Natural Kingdom

Via Seed Magazine comes this article, entitled "The Gay Animal Kingdom." It's about the work of Joan Roughgarden, herself a male-to-female transsexual, in describing what she sees at the weaknesses of Darwin's concepts of sexual selection and the ultimate survival value of homosexual rites in populations in the non-human world.

Let's put it this way: homosexuality exists in the natural world. Aside from gay penguins in the Central Park zoo, certain species of lizards have been known to have female-female sexual contact, male big horn sheep have all-male orgies, et cetera. But why should such homosexual behavior continue to exist, given that those animals that only perform homosexual sex will not pass down their genes?

A simple answer is that whatever "gay gene" or "gay genes" that may exist (I'm personally not the kind of person who believes in a "gay gene", but go with it for now) may be an advantageous trait when heterozygous, even if it is deleterious when homozygously recessive. The advantage that those possessing one copy of the gene coding for sickle cell disease have among their non-heterozygote countrymen is the classic example here. (See also the Wikipedia entry for heterozygote advantage.) In other words, if there is an advantage to having one copy of the gene, statistically-speaking it'll keep showing up even if it is harmful when it shows up in two copies -- this is one of the consequences of being a diploid organism.

More to the point, and neglecting the dubious "gay gene" concept, homosexual individuals provide "child-raisers", in social animals, without adding to the population of children to be raised. Hence they could very easily simply pass their genes along through their cousins, so long as familial groups coincide neatly with social groups.

All this is fairly old hat. Where Roughgarden goes is different:
According to Roughgarden, gayness is a necessary side effect of getting along. Homosexuality evolved in tandem with vertebrate societies, in which a motley group of individuals has to either live together or die alone. In fact, Roughgarden even argues that homosexuality is a defining feature of advanced animal communities, which require communal bonds in order to function. "The more complex and sophisticated a social system is," she writes, "the more likely it is to have homosexuality intermixed with heterosexuality."

Japanese macaques, an old world primate, illustrate this principle perfectly. Macaque society revolves around females, who form intricate dominance hierarchies within a given group. Males are transient. To help maintain the necessary social networks, female macaques engage in rampant lesbianism. These friendly copulations, which can last up to four days, form the bedrock of macaque society, preventing unnecessary violence and aggression. Females that sleep together will even defend each other from the unwanted advances of male macaques. In fact, behavioral scientist Paul Vasey has found that females will choose to mate with another female, as opposed to a horny male, 92.5% of the time. While this lesbianism probably decreases reproductive success for macaques in the short term, in the long run it is clearly beneficial for the species, since it fosters social stability. "Same-sex sexuality is just another way of maintaining physical intimacy," Roughgarden says. "It's like grooming, except we have lots of pleasure neurons in our genitals. When animals exhibit homosexual behavior, they are just using their genitals for a socially significant purpose."

In other words, homosexual behavior is to be expected in any social animal, and acts as a sort of "social lubricant" that keeps groups together and happy. And in the case of those Japanese macaques, this may in fact be true, but to generalize to the whole of homosexual behavior from these examples is a bit premature, in my book. I agree strongly with PZ Myers, quoted at the end of the article: "I think much of what Roughgarden says is very interesting. But I think she discounts many of the modifications that have been made to sexual selection since Darwin originally proposed it. So in that sense, her Darwin is a straw man. You don't have to dismiss the modern version of sexual selection in order to explain social bonding or homosexuality." (I'm sure he's happy to know that I agree.)

What's interesting is where Roughgarden sees human sexuality in all this.
"In our culture, we assume that there is a straight-gay binary, and that you are either one or the other. But if you look at vertebrates, that just isn't the case. You will almost never find animals or primates that are exclusively gay. Other human cultures show the same thing." Since Roughgarden believes that the hetero/homo distinction is a purely cultural creation, and not a fact of biology, she thinks it is only a matter of time before we return to the standard primate model. "I'm convinced that in 50 years, the gay-straight dichotomy will dissolve. I think it just takes too much social energy to preserve. All this campy, flamboyant behavior: It's just such hard work."

While I'd agree that human society (at least in the Western world today) largely uses sex as a social bonding ritual and as entertainment, only reproducing a few times in a lifetime filled with sexual encounters, I'd argue that the barrier between heterosexuality and homosexuality is a bit more stringent that Roughgarden believes. While there are many bisexual individuals in the human species, the vast majority of us are either heterosexual or homosexual, and there's some pretty good science supporting the idea that it's inborn, at least to some degree. Roughgarden's sexual experiences may have enlightened her to the idea that perhaps same-sex interactions serve social purpose in social animals, but it seems to have also blinkered her to the more common feelings of sexual desire: homosexual or heterosexual describe our ontogeny, who we are, and not what we do.

I'm keeping my eyes open on this one, though. It's a fascinating issue and one that's not likely to be solved by mostly-ignorant bloggers like me.

At least it's air conditioned in here

Today we went to visit some of Beth's family for a birthday party for two children (both birthdays are in June, so they celebrate together) and given the 90-95 degree heat, I've got to say I was looking forward to moving on. Not that I don't like spending time with my nephews or anything, but it's really frickin' hot, and a two-and-three-year old aren't necessarily my definition of enlightening coversationalists.

(But am I going to be an evil Uncle Daniel to them? You bet I am -- who else will give them their first American IPA?)

So we get done at the birthday party and go see some more of Beth's family, and then we came home and I (after taking a quick bathroom break) picked up my chemistry book and came back to the Research Institute computer lab for more chemistry homework. I've been here for about two hours now, and have maybe an hour left to go -- I'm going to finish up with this post and then head back home.

Tomorrow is my lab report day -- work on my first lab report for BYS120 -- and study day for the bio test I have on Tuesday and the chem test on Wednesday. Lots of work, but it sure beats working at OfficeMax.

09 June 2006

Bad News

Due to a bit of a problem with my currently extant student loans, it looks like I won't be able to get any Federal money for the fall to continue with my education, which means that I'll have to at least get a part-time job to pay for schooling, and may have to get something full-time in the Fall and take at most one class. Which sucks. But is my own fault.

Anyone know of a good job for a poor college student?

08 June 2006

A Few Links

John Wilkins and Good Math, Bad Math have both joined the Scienceblogs community. Now I'll never get any work done.

This post over at Uncertain Principles is the kind of science post that Beth should love.

I've got two tests and a lab report due next week. Posting will probably be spotty.

07 June 2006

Election Results

So it looks like Roy Moore was handily defeated in the Republican primary yesterday, and Lucy Baxley is the Democratic candidate for governor of AL. I'm no Republican, but Riley impressed me right after his election in trying to get some more progressive tax legislation passed, so to my mind it's a pretty good choice either way.

Larry Darby was also defeated in his bid for Attorney General, by 56-44. 44% of Alabama Democrats voted for the guy? I can only hope his Holocaust denial wasn't well-known among the electorate. Scary.

Some bad news, though, in that the amendment declaring marriage in Alabama as to be between a man and a woman passed by a resounding 81-19 margin. I wonder how that breaks down by Democratic/Republican lines.

One of these days we're going to get some sense in this state.

06 June 2006

After my own heart

Beth sent me a nice cartoon from Natalie Dee.

Bought my labcoat and goggles today. If I can get Beth to take a photo, I'll post it tomorrow.

Links and stuff

I've only got a second, for I'm going to go vote in the Democratic primary down the road here before class at 10:15 (strange that the primary date for the election of the Alabama governorship when Roy Moore is a candidate is 06/06/2006, isn't it?), but I wanted to throw out a quick link.

This article talks about the current twentysomething's generation difficulty in making ends meet relative to their parents' and grandparents' generations, and from anecdotal evidence I'd say she's right on the money, despite a bit of fuzzy statistics in the interview.

Hopefully more later today.

05 June 2006


While I was avoiding doing that dreaded chemistry homework, I checked over on sitecounter and noticed that somebody just checked out my blog with the search "beyonce biology". Now that's the kind of guy who'd probably love this blog.

Back to the grindstone now. [(-b + sqrt[b^2-4ac])/2a] and [(-b - sqrt[b^2-4ac])/2a]

My brain is tired...

Chemistry Blues

Sorry no updates over the weekend, but... holy shit. This chemistry thing is getting out of hand.

Let me explain: I'm taking Ch121 (General Chemistry) over here at UAH along with my biology class. And, of course, I'm taking summer courses, which is a shorter semester than the regular-length semester, and necessitates a bit of compression in order to fit in all the material. All of which is understood -- the class meets from 10:15 to 12:15 Mondays and Wednesdays, with lab from 2:00 to 5:00 on those days, and what's called a "recitation" (basically Q&A with the TA of the professor teaching the course) one day a week.

The semester runs from May 30 to August 2, or about ten weeks. During that period, two of our class periods will be missed (for Memorial Day and Independence Day) meaning that we have a total of 18 class sessions. And we're covering 12 chapters in that time, which adds up (if my math is correct) to about two-thirds of a chapter per class session, or about one-third of a chapter per hour of class time.

Okay, so it's meant to be a whirlwind course, and is demanding precisely because it's so compressed. All well and good. Except that the homework assignments for the chapters apparently haven't been decreased at all due to the shortened schedule, which means that in the online OWL System, for the first two days of class time we are required to complete forty-three miniature assignments. I've currently spent about five hours or so working on them, and have one more that I just can't seem to get the numbers to agree on.

So I decided to take some time to write this blog entry to complain about it.

What's more, my home computer is Linux based, and the OWL system requires Authorware, which doesn't come in a Linux version, so I'm doing all of this in a public computer lab instead of drinking beer in my comfy chair.

Not to bitch too much -- I'm liking the instructor and the course overall, and it's an interesting class that's required for my major, but this eternity spent doing homework is for the birds.

Going to try to finish the last of these assignments (working the quadratic equation with numbers in scientific notation just asks for arithmetic errors) and try to go home to my lovely. More tomorrow, but I'm not planning to complete the "first week of classes" bit -- I've just got too much to do.

(I think there's some Stone at home calling my name.)

02 June 2006

My Jumbled Thoughts and Meandering Review of X3

So on Monday night Beth and I went to see X3 (or, if you go by the official title, X-Men: The Last Stand), and I've been wanting to chat a bit about it here ever since then. It seems like I've got a lot to say and am having trouble organizing it, but overall.... it's just not worth the effort.

Let me explain. I was never a fan of comic books as a kid. I had a couple of Superman comics and a few others, but it was never a big part of my childhood reading, and I really got less out of it than my straight science and science fiction reading. The X-men, in particular, held no interest to me -- I didn't even watch the Saturday morning cartoon.

That said, I always loved superhero stories, and used to make up endless fantasies of my own when I was a child. I loved the idea of telekinesis or superspeed or superstrength or the ability to fly... and even today there's that preteen inside me that just wishes I could open doors without touching them or run faster than the speed of sound, as much as I'd really rather be more mature than that.

In other words, I come to the X-men movies without any backstory, with no baggage at all, but looking at them as enjoyable fantasy movies that are divorced from any prior art, but that I nonetheless have a certain affinity for on a subject-matter level. And, to be honest, these films have always felt rather lightweight and fluffy to me, great little popcorn adventures but (despite the political subtext) lacking any real character development or gravitas that comes from insightful resonance with modern-day culture.

And, on that level, X3 delivers, despite having quite a few, "uh, that was dumb" moments that I don't really recall from the first two. (The most important of which being -- and forgive me, because I'm going into heavy spoiler territory for the rest of my comments -- Magneto's need to move the entire Golden Gate Bridge for the purpose of landing a few dozen mutants on Alcatraz. Wouldn't something considerably smaller like a tanker truck or even a big sheet of scrap metal work just as well?) I know that the fanboys get wet dreams over the "Dark Phoenix" saga, and I'm sure that if I'd read the comics I'd be disappointed, but films in general just don't work for the kind of episodic long-form storytelling that is the norm in the comic book world -- why has the epic that is The Watchmen taken so long to come to the screen?

In short, X-Men:The Last Stand is a nice piece of fluffy entertainment, enjoyable as far as it goes, although serious fans of the comics will probably feel very gypped by some of the choices made. That said, I'd like to comment a bit about a few things, so let me meander a bit.

Firstly, James Marsden is actually quite good in his limited screen time as Cyclops. I've always thought that his character suffered quite a bit compared to Wolverine, ignored to the point of blandness, but here Marsden is given a bit more weight to carry and is even allowed to grow some stubble. And we all know how stubble makes great acting -- he's good here, and I was actually left wishing I'd had a bit more to chew on.

Secondly, Kelsey Grammer is just a wonderful choice to play Beast. I never read the comics, but knew a bit of this character's history, and despite the shortened shooting schedule leading to a very effects-poor portrayal, I really liked the character, and felt that Grammer gave a really nice performance in what is really a thankless role. I know that there are Wolverine spin-offs coming, and I hope Beast makes a return there, as the character is a really fascinating one and really deserves more than the few minutes of screentime he gets.

Halle Berry is finally able to let loose a bit with Storm, being given a more active role and allowed to use her powers, and I have to say that I liked this version better. An actress with the fame and acting chops of Berry being shunted into the background for the first two films has very good reason to feel slighted by the production, but I hope that Berry reconsiders her decision to leave the films here to reprise her role.

More good stuff, in sentence form, just to get it out of the way. Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellan are great as always in their roles as Professor X and Magneto, although the writing of the former could have used some tightening up. Hugh Jackman continues to prove that Wolverine is the role he was born to play, despite being used to a bit more comic effect in this film than in the others. And Rebecca Romijn is a perfect Mystique, playing up the sexiness and the manipulative qualities of her character to the hilt in her all-to-brief screentime.

And now, for the negatives. I'm sorry, but we all knew it had to come to this.

What the fuck was up with the whole Kitty Pryde (Ellen Page) subplot? I know it's supposed to lend emotional resonance to Rogue's (Anna Paquin) decision to take the cure, but to spend so much time on what was ultimately a stupid unresolved love triangle just seems silly.

This movie has cameo disease. I know that a lot of these mutants are fan favorites, but why bring a character (let alone a half-dozen) into the film only to give him or her one big effects moment and a few lines of dialogue? Other than Grammer's Beast, this applies to pretty much every character not in the last two films, who seem to be thrown in "to please the fans" but are given very little to do. I love Vinnie Jones from Snatch, and he does have one nice line, but overall he's wasted as the Juggernaut, a character whose powers could have been developed into a full-length subplot. Jones doesn't even get the time to stand around and look menacing, basically being pulled out for two big scenes and left to languish otherwise. Ben Foster as Angel doesn't even get that much -- Angel's best scene is before the opening credits, being played by a younger actor in a sequence that is genuinely disturbing.

And finally, the very last shot in the movie, right before the closing credits. (There's a very short scene after the closing credits that you should stick around for, as well.) Magneto, having had his powers removed by the cure, sits forlornly in what looks to be Central Park in front of a chessboard, alone. He reaches his finger towards one of the metal chessmen, willing it to move.... and right before the hard cut to black, it jiggles. Of course this sets up another sequel, and of course in the comics mythology the cure isn't permanent, but isn't there a more poetic moment in seeing this "god among men", this highly powerful mutant with nearly infinite power, reduced to the state of being a mere ant in comparison? Forget the excitement of another movie, isn't leaving the bastard exactly where he is in that park, an old man waiting for certain death, the most fitting ending to the film as a whole?

One last positive bit before I go. I've seen and heard a lot of commentary from people who claim that Brett Ratner's style is so remarkably different from Brian Singer's, that Ratner shouldn't have directed the series or whatever you want. I say this: whatever the faults with this film, they are really not Ratner's fault -- he was brought in at the end of the preproduction process to direct this movie, and shot the script that was handed to him. The whole production team from X2 stuck around for X3, and visually the films seem to be one of a piece, there are no huge stylistic differences between them. Anyone who complains of the relatively stilted direction here should remember that Singer isn't exactly a huge stylistic talent either, despite his geek cred (and that he executive-produces House).

That's it. I know I complain a lot about it, but it was really a decent movie and probably worth the eight bucks or so to see in a theater. Is it the best movie it could be? No, and I blame the mangled production schedule for that far more than any individual member of the writing staff or production crew or cast. It simply wasn't given the time to be a great movie.

My First Week of Classes Part I -- Tuesday Biology Class

I'm doing a few posts to get my caught up as to what's been going on over the last week or so, what with classes and such, so forgive the relatively high posting volume.


First day of class. BYS120 (Organismal Biology) at 10:15 to 12:15, and BYS120L (Organismal Biology Lab) from 12:45 to 3:15. Fun!

Except I was very nearly late. The power had flickered off and on the night before, and while my computer rebooted just fine, it turned out that the internal timer got set back by about ten minutes, so when I was going by that clock to know when to go hop in the shower and go to class, I ended up getting there by the skin of my teeth.

So I walk into the fairly large hall with space for around 125-150 students, and find about forty of my fellow travellers. As expected, for a summer class, but what was not expected was the fact that Bruce Stallsmith, my professor for the spring session of the Introductory Biology class and the self-titled "runner of the freshman biology program at UAH", wasn't present. Despite the fact that his name was on the class sign-up sheet.

Instead, we were graced by the presence of Judy Cooper (no link at UAH), who said that she is not yet a full professor (not having her doctorate), but who currently has a BS in Biology, a MS in Biology, and an MS in Philosophy, all from UAH. My thoughts: 1) if I have any procedural questions about the university, I know just who to go to -- this woman has probably been at this university for a decade or more. 2) since I was once a fairly-serious Philosophy major at UAH, perhaps this class might be a bit more interesting and involving than Stallsmith's admittedly informing but strongly lecture-and-powerpoint-heavy style.

Then again, we are talking about a "devil we don't", here, but since I was bound to get a new professor eventually, there's really no room to complain here.

Cooper described herself as having a primary interest in paleontology (yay for evolution!) and handed out the syllabus. Two major exams counting 25 points each, a final counting 50 points, and a lab grade worth 25 points. She also seems to expect a lot more from us than Stallsmith did in terms of understanding the material in the book independently -- Stallsmith seemed to have the philosophy that if he didn't go over it in some detail in class, it wasn't really important to him.

In other words, this class looks to be a step up in difficulty from the first one. As expected -- the BYS119 class was a bit of a "gut" class.

We ended up spending about an hour and fifteen minutes or so on actual material after the end of start-of-semester formalities, starting with history-of-biology/philosophy-of-biology issues that seemed, at least in my state of rudimentary knowledge from independent reading and conversations with John Wilkins, pretty-much on the level. She let us out of class about thirty minutes early because of the lack of air conditioning in the room, and believe me when I say that when there's no air conditioning in Alabama in the summer, it's very nice to get out a bit early.

I'll have more from the first week of classes this weekend.

(I originally had a long and involved --and nitpicky-- discussion of Plato's Doctrine of the Ideals in this post, but decided it made me look like a jerk to go on and on about it. So I've removed it, although I don't think anyone read it in the six hours or so after I posted it and before I deleted it.)

Stealing my thunder

Ah, so some Scienceblogger is talking about alcohol, and even has a photo of a beer in a pilsner glass next to the article.

Obviously he's stealing from my blog, right?

New link

Olde Towne has finally put up their website. It's a 3MB Flash animation, which sucks for those of us who are still on dialup, but it looks nice and seems reasonably informative, even if they don't have any information about their hefeweizen on-site.

I hate heavy Flash pages, especially when they misuse focus the way this one does.

01 June 2006

Finally, a local I can get behind!

Olde Towne Bock was released in bottles this week. Just picked some up over at the BP in Five Points last night -- went great with the grilled cheeseburgers we had for dinner. I'm going to be making this a regular part of my beer consumption -- it's got a nice sweetness to it, fairly flat on the carbonation, with a sort of apple and malty wheat undertone that makes it a really interesting, but remarkably drinkable beer.

Spiffy new bottles too. Here:

Also, a bit of good news: got a 100 on the first BYS120 test this morning. I'm worried about the chemistry one I had Wednesday, though.

Holy Shit

...it's been over a week since I did a real post. In my defense, I've been busy -- there's been a lot going on in my life since I last got into this Blogger software.

Also, it seems there's a lot going on in the blog. I ended up getting into the most recent Carnival of the Godless, which is cool, and I welcome all those who showed up for a bit of my commentary. And sure, that entry is a bit sentimental, but I like it anyway.

So here's the skinny -- on Thursday and Friday, I went back down to Millbrook to see my parents and my sister, and basically just had an emotional but enjoyable couple of days. Thursday night Alicia and I went to her boss's house for an evening of drinking and conversating, but her boss indicated that she had no beer in the house, only hard liquor. Since liquor upsets my stomach in even moderate quantities, Alicia and I stopped by the Winn-Dixie in Millbrook for some beer.

Oh, god. Don't even try to stop by Winn-Dixie in Millbrook for beer. You'll cry yourself senseless. No good beer at all, no Sierra Nevada, no Sam Adams, not even Heineken. Literally the only imported beer they carried was Corona, and everything else was a BMC product. They did have Michelob Amber Bock, and so I picked up a sixer of that for me and some Smirnoff flavored "chick beer" for Alicia. Funny thing is that I ended up drinking the whole sixer of the Michelob, where I usually have two or three beers at most when I'm at home -- conversation really gets my drink on.

(Yeah, I was a bit hungover the next morning, but not too bad.)

Friday I took my mother to the grocery store (after trying in vain to feed Camden without getting baby goop all over me) and we bought a lot of grillable food. Since I love to grill, I had offered to cook up a whole messload of burgers and dogs and such, and Mom took me up on the offer -- I must've been out grilling for an hour and a half. They're probably still eating on all that food.

Mom offered to let me take a plate home, but I didn't want my car to smell like hamburgers (it's a three-hour drive), so I left it with them. The drive home was a bit rainy, but uneventful, and overall the way I like it -- boring.

Saturday, Sunday, and Monday were dull days for us -- Saturday and Sunday we stayed at home and basically just chilled out, and Monday we ended up going to see X3 with another friend of mine, which I'll discuss in another post.

Tuesday was my first day back in classes. I'll have more about my classes and the movie and some other stuff in other posts I put up today and tomorrow. 'Til then, adieu.

Movie Review Link

Just read this review of the new Vaughn/Anniston comedy The Break-Up over at AICN, and wanted to throw it up here before I forgot it.