Saturday, October 03, 2009

Jack Chick

No!!! I don't know why I do it. It has been a long time, but I have once again stumbled upon Jack Chick's website. It's like a really bad car accident; you know that you shouldn't look, but you can't help it. His website makes me so mad, but I just can't stop reading once I get started. The first and last time that I stumbled upon it was about 5 years ago. It made me just as mad then.

Here are a few doosies-

Primal Man?
- A comic that out right proves that evolution is false.

Dark Dungeons
- A comic illustrating the disastrous consequences of playing D&D.

Why is Mary Crying - Bad Catholics, you're making Mary cry.

The Death Cookie - The origins of the Holy Eucharist. Ragging on the Catholics again. He really doesn't like them.

I can't imagine living my life thinking absolutely everything around me is evil. That must suck.

This Jack Chick character teaches people how to hate and persecute all other people who believe differently from them. How is that in line with what Jesus teaches?

How do people like this come about? How does one person think so much of themselves to think that what they believe is the only way to get to Heaven? What kind of a personality disorder do you have to have to think that way?

The thing that really bothers me is the fact that what is says about a topic is either completely over exaggerated or a flat out lie. He isn't even using the truth to make his followers hate other people. This is, at least, my experience with his writings on D&D. I am sure his exaggerations and lying didn't start or stop with D&D.

I just don't understand.
This is me for forever
One of the lost ones
The one without a name
Without an honest heart as compass
This is me for forever
One without a name
These lines the last endeavor
To find the missing lifeline

Oh how I wish
For soothing rain
All I wish is to dream again
My loving heart
Lost in the dark
For hope I'd give my everything

My flower, withered between
The pages 2 and 3
The once and forever bloom gone with my sins
Walk the dark path
Sleep with angels
Call the past for help
Touch me with your love
And reveal to me my true name

Oh how I wish
For soothing rain
All I wish is to dream again
My loving heart
Lost in the dark
For hope I'd give my everything
Oh how I wish
For soothing rain
Oh how I wish to dream again
Once and for all
And all for once
Nemo my name forevermore

Nemo sailing home
Nemo letting go

Oh how I wish
For soothing rain
All I wish is to dream again
My loving heart
Lost in the dark
For hope I'd give my everything
Oh how I wish
For soothing rain
Oh how I wish to dream again
Once and for all
And all for once
Nemo my name forevermore


~Nemo by Nightwish

Monday, September 28, 2009

Sometimes titles are just hard to come by

Lately, I have been following Bif Naked's blog. Have I ever mention here how totally awesome she is? I went to her show when she was here in July and it was the best rock concert I have ever been to. She absolutely rocks better then anyone else on the planet. You should check out her blog, it radiates happy energy.

My "theme" song, or whatever you want to call it, at this point in my life is "Nothing Else Matters". It's a song that is originally by Metallica, but since Bif is my girl, I always sing it to her version.

So close no matter how far Couldn't be much more from the heart Forever trusting who we are
And nothing else matters Never opened myself this way Life is ours, we live it our way All these words I don't just say And nothing else matters Trust I seek and I find in you Every day for us something new Open mind for a different view And nothing else matters Never cared for what they do Never cared for what they know But I know
.

That got me thinking to what my theme song was back in high school. It was "Superman" by Goldfinger. The lyrics are here, in case anyone is interested, the song is too wordy to post. So full of teenage angst I was. I am so glad I am not a teenager anymore. That was the worst, most awkward and uncomfortable time ever. Being an adult is so much better.

The Detroit Tigers are currently in first place in their division. They are 2 games up on the Minnesota Twins. They have a 4 game series, which was set to start tonight but was rained out, against the Twins. With only 7 games left in the regular season, this is a definitive series. History is not, unfortunately, on the side of Tigers. The Twins have always had their number. My Dad is hoping for a split. I think that is the best we can hope for. I'm trying to stay positive and say they will take 3/4. With the rain out tonight, they are playing a double header tomorrow. The series is being playing in Comerica, so hopefully home field advantage will play in their favor.

Dollhouse Season 2 premiered on Friday, as I mentioned. What I saw of it was good. Unfortunately, I fell asleep. Trying to stay awake to focus on a t.v show that is on after 10:00pm, is just becoming impossible. I'll see how next week goes.

And, I'll end this post with a line from tonight's episode of The Big Bang Theory:

"If you people spent less time thinking about sex and more time thinking about comic books, we would have fewer of these embarrassing moments." ~Sheldon

Friday, September 25, 2009

Apparently twitter is useful

Because I found out that the Dollhouse season premiere is on tonight! I didn't even know that it had a second season coming. I am really bad at following stuff like this though. That's exciting. And I thought I had nothing to do tonight. (Jon is working nights for those of you who don't know).

Two of my favorite geek things in one place

So, incase you don't know, Wil Wheaton will be guest staring on an upcoming episode of The Big Bang Theory. His blog- WWdN: In Exile has had quite a lot of buzz about it the last couple of days. I can't wait for this episode. I also love that Wil Wheaton is such a geek. He is also guest staring on this season of The Guild.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Odd

So, thanks to Twitter, ah Twitter I have been exploring an online physics forum, FQXi. There's this guy, he responds to every article posted with complete and utterly bizarre nonsense. For interests sake, I googeled him. He is a part of every single online networking community out there (ie- facebook, twitter, Hi5 etc). He has a blog, it has one post that makes no sense. He seems to like spheres and thinks that everything in nature is the result of spheres, or something like that. I don't think he actually knows any math, or really what any words in physics mean. I'm pretty sure he takes words that he thinks sound cool together and puts them together. It's odd because FQXi is an actual serious forum for physics discussion and yet after every article, here is this guy, putting in his two cents. Maybe they allow it for amusement? I am not really sure. I'm sure this blog sounds mean, but people like that are irritating. They contribute no actual, real science to the world, yet they go around stating that other people who are actually doing real science are wrong. Just flat out wrong, no explanation or supporting proofs, they are just wrong.

A number of years ago, I received some books from someone that were all about the "Christian answers to astronomy". I read the books. They irritated me a great deal. One of them was titled "Designs and Origins in Astronomy vol. 2". Each chapter in this book discusses a certain topic in astronomy. Pretty much the same stuff that I learned in my third year astronomy classes, but with very minimal math. At the end of each chapter, however, there is a conclusion. All of the conclusions boiled down to the same thing- since there are some problems with the current scientific theories and the idea that evidence suggests that the universe is billions of years old is ridiculous, it must mean that the universe was created, out of thin air, just a few thousand years ago.

This just all seems lazy to me. Like they are saying, we don't want to take the time to understand what is actually going on in the world around us, so we will just go with the out of thin air creation, because we don't actually have to think. In my experience, a great deal of Christians don't take the time to think about anything. You can't have a logical debate about any of these things because their only answer is "because the Bible says so". I stopped using that answer when I was 8. I knew there was more to it then that, at 8 years old. Yet there are people who go to their grave with their only answer being "because the Bible says so". Is that faith, or is it just being lazy? I've always taken the stance that the only way to actually know God is to learn as much about the universe as possible. Laziness in thought just irritates me. I know not everyone gets math and physics, but you don't need to be a wiz at math and physics to come up with a better answer then "because the Bible says so".

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Big Smiles, The Big Bang Theory and other such things

Here is the best picture ever. It makes me happy. Isabelle will be two months old in a week. Crazy. As you can see from the picture, she has the biggest smile ever.

Season 3 of The Big Bang Theory premiered last night. It was funny. Season 2 ended with the boys headed to the magnetic North Pole in search of magnetic monopoles. I was hoping that they would come back having detected magnetic monopoles. It would be interesting to see their spin on a universe where magnetic monopoles have been detected. But I guess they didn't really want to move the show in that direction.

Season 3 of The Guild started late August. There are now 4 episodes streaming on MSN. I would encourage all to check them out. Wil Wheaton is guest staring on this season. Ah Wil Wheaton...

I meant to put a lot more into this blog post, but then I got distracted and it is getting late, so that is all you are getting...until next time.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

10 years

(A note before I get started. I have somehow changed the keyboard settings to being in French. So, when you see this É, read it as a question mark. Does anyone know how to change the settings backÉ)

Today it has been 10 years since my Grandpa Joe (my Moms father) passed away. He was a wonderful person and a great man. So, in rememberance to him, I thought that I would share some of my favorite memories.

This first one, I do not know if you can call it a favorite memory, but it certainly was significant. The first time that I experianced motion sickness was in his brand new car. Can you blame meÉ New car smell mixed with the oppressive heat and humitity that is summer in Windsor.

Next when I was probably about 6 years old, Kim and Katrina were about 2 or 3 years old. The whole family had gathered at Auntie Barbs house. We were swimming in her pool. Kim and Katrina were playing on the pool stairs. One of them, I think it was Katrina fell into the pool. Grandpa was up out of his chair, fully dressed in his white sneakers, front pleaded pants and short sleave button up shirt, and into the pool before the rest of us realized what was happening.

One year when we lived in Prince George, Grandpa came to visit. I was downstairs watching t.v. with him and he was eating an apple. He always cut up his apple and pealed the skin off. So I asked him why he did that. He said it was because he did not have any real teeth. I was confused and he must of seen that because next thing I knew he had taken his false teeth out of his mouth. I was shocked, until that moment, I was not aware of the fact that people could have false teeth. Grandpa seemed to find the look of shock on my face funny, I did not know what to think.

One year in Vancouver when Grandpa came to visit, he brought my cousin Stephen with him. One morning, Grandpa blacked out in the kitchen and fell. My Mom was worried but he insisted that he was alright. Later that day, Grandpa decided that he needed to pick a few things up from the grocery store that was within walking distance of our house. Grandpa insisted on going alone. Mom was still worried, so she gave Daniel, Jeremy, Stephen and I a mission. We were to follow Grandpa to make sure he was alright. We set out after him. The grocery store was staight down the hill from our house. He was a few blocks ahead of us. We followed behind him hiding behind trees and mailboxes. We even J-walked across the busy street because we could not cross at the light at the same time as him but we knew that if we waited for the next light we would lose him in the grocery store. We followed Grandpa around the grocery store, ducking behind shelves and going up ailse parallel to the ones he chose. It was fun. Looking back, I am pretty sure there is no way he did not notice us, but he never said anything. He let us believe that we had successfully spied on him the whole way. We were quite proud of ourselves and we reminised on our victory for the rest of the visit.

Lastly, when we lived in Trenton, this is from the last time that he visited us. When I woke up one morning, I noticed that my hamster, Kes, had died. I went upstairs carrying her and I was crying. Grandpa saw me, gave me a big hug and asked if I wanted him to make me some tea. Because of course tea helps to make everything feel better.

I got married in my familys church, South Windsor Citadel. The last time I had been there before my wedding was for my Grandpas funeral. I was one of the pallbearers at his funeral. The oldest of his grandchildren got to be. That was one of the hardest things that I have ever done. But it is also the greatest honor that I have ever had given to me. I love my Grandpa so much and I still miss him not being there for the big things in our lives.

So today, I am raising my mug of tea in rememberance to my Grandpa Joe.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Isabelle again

Just because she is so darn cute! I mean look at those cheeks. Have you seen a set of chubbier cheeks?

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Isabelle Anne

I would like to introduce you all to Isabelle Anne! She is my beautiful niece born July 29. She is a whopping 10lbs. I am very proud of my sister for being so strong. I am so excited to be an auntie. I am going to Ontario August 20. I can't wait to meet her.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Me, get a calculation wrong, unlikely

So on Thursday at work, I had my new hire audit. These are things that one must have 2-3 months after starting in a new position. I've been lucky though, metals is my third position and this was my first audit. It was kind of stressful though because I was given hardly any warning, I had an email from my manager when I got in in the morning saying that she was going to audit me at 1:00pm.

Part of the audit entails doing calculations that are present in the standard operating procedure. These are calculations that, normally we do not have to do because the instrument software or the reporting software does them for us. My instrument takes the intensity of photons it detects from a sample and from there uses the calibration data to calculate the concentration. Some of the elements that we scan for use a linear calibration curve(y = mx + b) and some use a quadratic curve(y = ax^2 + bx + c). Where y is the intensity of the sample, x is the concentration and the rest are different characteristics of the line (eg, m = slope). The calibration data gives 2 curve coefficients for linear elements and 3 curve coefficients for quadratic. The SOP tells how to solve these problems and for the quadratic elements it says that a = curve coefficient 1, b = curve coefficient 2 and c = curve coefficient 3.

Now I had never actually calculated a sample concentration before but I had remembered reading that and knew how to solve a quadratic equation and so when my manager asked if I wanted to do a linear or quadratic one, I said that I would do a quadratic one. Well, my answer came out wrong. I was shocked! My manager said, that's okay it will just go as a finding and you will all have to write a math quiz. I didn't think it was okay at all. I was puzzled as to how I could have gotten this wrong. So I took some calibration and sample data home with me to work on because I couldn't just let this sit.

Well, it didn't take long for me to discover what my problem had been. The SOP is wrong! Ha! I knew it couldn't have been me. Where is said that a = curve coefficient 1, it should be a = curve coefficient 3 and c = curve coefficient 1. I emailed my manager the next morning at work. I didn't hear anything from her, but I am hoping that she makes the correction in her audit findings. If she doesn't I will point it out to her again.

I bet we will still probably have to write a math quiz though. They like to make us do things like that.

Optical Emission Spectroscopy

Since I was looking for a post to make, I thought that I would share the theory behind what I do at work.

The instrument I work on is called an Inductively Coupled Plasma Optical Emission Spectrometer (ICP-OES). First, plasma is a state of matter where the atoms are highly ionized. Which means that they have lost most or all of their electrons. So plasma is a mixture of positive ions and free electrons. An inductively coupled plasma is a plasma that is generated using an alternating magnetic field, which is produced by an alternating electric field, which, in my case is produced by a radio frequency generator. Our plasma is made from argon gas. The plasma has a temperature between 6000-10000K. That is as hot as the surface of the sun! The plasma is normally a green-white colour. But sometimes when I get a sample that has high concentrations of certain metals, the plasma turns all kinds of neat colours.

What happens with my instrument is that when the sample makes contact with the plasma, it is super heated. The electrons in the atoms get excited and jump to the next energy level, but then almost right away they fall back down to their original energy level. When they do that, they release a photon. The photon has a wavelength characteristic with a certain type of metal and energy level. There is a photo detector that detects the photons. The concentration of metal in any given sample is calculated from the intensity of the photons of a given wavelength picked up by the photo detector. That's the optical emission spectroscopy part.

It's all very interesting. I especially like that the theory is stuff that I learned in school! Optical emission spectroscopy is used to help classify stars. Newer generations of stars tend to be made up of larger amounts of heavier metals (a metal in astronomy being anything heavier then helium). One can look at the spectrum coming off of the star and determine what concentration of what elements are present in the star.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

At least I have a job, I guess

Well it happened. We had a meeting at work today. To discuss changes in the compensation and bonus package. We have a salary freeze until at least March 2010 and promotions will only be on a need basis. I know that I am lucky to have a job where there have not yet been any threat of layoffs, but still. I have worked my tail off since the first day I worked there and was totally on track for a promotion to Analyst II this August, and now I get nothing. I have to stay as an Analyst I making the same amount of money that I have made since I was hired. It sucks to have to work so hard just so that you can keep your job. Maxxam was such an inviting company because of all of the incentive programs and possibility for advancement, but now that is all gone. It just stinks.

On a brighter note, we still get our bonus. But this is the last year for that program.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Twilight

I tried so hard not to give in. Really I tried. And technically, I did not give in. I stumbled upon it. It found me really.

Ah Twilight...

So Jon and I were babysitting. Jon suggested renting a movie. She wanted to rent Twilight. So I watched and loved, and then purchased the first two books. I am almost done the first book. I'm rather enthralled. I'm planning on only reading the first two and then waiting until I read the third and fourth, but I am not sure that that plan is going to work.

That is one good thing about having a long bus ride to and from work, I get lots of time to read.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Edward: Do you want a ride to Seattle?
Bella: With who?
Edward: Myself, obviously.
Bella: Why?
Edward: Well, I was planning on going to Seattle in the next few weeks, and, to be honest, I'm not sure if your truck can make it.
Bella: My truck works just fine, thank you very much for your concern.
Edward: But can your truck make it there on one tank of gas?
Bella: I don't see how that is any of your business.
Edward: The wasting of finite resources is everyone's business.

~Bella and Edward
Twilight

Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Guild

Now the universe will definitly collapse in on itself.

I decided that I wasn't going to turn the t.v on today, Jon is at an archery tournament and it is way to cold outside to go and do anything outside, so what does that translate into... blogging. Also, apparently watching a web series that I have been meaning to watch for a while. It so does not count as watching t.v.

Anyways, so today I decided to watch The Guild. It's a web series about gamers who are in a guild together. It's excellent. Each episode is only 3-9 minutes long. Completely geeky and free! I recommend it.

Dollhouse

This February came the much anticipated premiere of Dollhouse, a new show by Joss Whedon. We all remember his previous work- Buffy, Angel, Firefly, Serenity and Dr. Horrible's Sing-A-Long Blog. I went down to Red Deer for the premiere to meet up with my geek girls, Jill and Janet.

We now find ourselves just 2 episodes away from the season and quite likely series finale. I've enjoyed the show. It is not as different as his previous shows, but still enjoyable. I think the aspect that has made Joss' previous works more successful, which this one lacks, is his ability to write amazing characters. Most of the main characters are people who have had thier personalities wiped and have new personalities inserted in them. So you are not really getting to know a character because they play someone different every week. But aside from that it is a good show. I'll buy the series when it comes out and then be sad that there isn't any more of it.

So when I visit people's blog who have a link to my blog and it says that I haven't posted in like 5 months, I feel so disheartened. How do you come back after being gone for so long? Should I even try to start this again?

Since I last posted...

Jon and I have been living in our condo for almost five months now. We love it. Owning your own place is fantastic. The part that I really enjoy is noticing things that I would like to change and then knowing that one day I might actually be able to make those changes.

Work is going wonderfully well. I have moved into the Metals Lab and am now working on one of the ICP-OESs (that's Optical Emission Spectroscopy using an Inductively Coupled Plasma). It is much more of a challenge then working on the PC Titrate. The data reporting is a lot more involved. I also had a totally awesome yearly progress review. I exceed expectations.

I've read some excellent books lately:

1) Evolution by Stephen Baxter- This is a fictional story that traces the lineage of the human species starting with a proto-primate that was around 65 million years ago with the dinosaurs and ends 500 million years into the future. It is epic in it's time span but at each time period it focuses in on one character who was slightly different then the others around them and thus helped evolution in it's course.

2) The World Without Us by Alan Weisman- This book looks at the impact that humans have on the world around us and speculates what would happen to Earth if humans suddenly vanished but left our entire infrastructure in place. I found this book quite troublesome, but also optimistic.

3) The Daily Planet Book of Cool Ideas by Jay Ingram- I enjoyed this book. It takes a look at what people are doing to help combat climate change. Some of the ideas have wide spread, global implications. But some are just from average people doing what they can to try to lessen their impact on our wonderful planet. This book is extra special to me because Jon got it for me for my birthday, without me asking for it. We sometimes watch Daily Planet together and he saw the ads for it and then saw it in the store and thought that I might like it because I'm "all into the planet and stuff".

4) The Elegant Universe by Brian Greene- This is about String Theory, one of physics latest attempts to unite the four fundamental forces of the universe. This book is not for the faint of heart. Understanding the basic qualitative aspects of String Theory requires an open mind and a willingness to see the universe differently from how you were taught to see it.


There are two major events coming to my family in to next while. The first will be the birth of my niece sometime around the end of July. I am planning a trip to Ontario sometime in August to meet her. The next is Jeremy's wedding in March 2010. After 5 years of dating, Jeremy finally proposed to Kim at Christmas time. So that is another trip to Ontario! I personally just want to move there. It would save all the hassle and environmental impact of flying.

My best friend in the whole world, Danielle, is in China right now. She is there for at least a year teaching English. She has been there for a month. This is something that Danielle has talked about doing for years. I am proud of her for doing it. I am hoping to visit her in January.

Vacation time is one of the fabulous things about working in a full time, permanent position. This August will mark the first time that I have worked for a company full time for a whole year. It feels good. I do still struggle with seeing this is as a career type of a job. I like the idea that if I wanted to I could be there for many years to come. I like the stability of that. But I don't think I am being used to my full potential. I know that they can see at least part of it, otherwise they would not have given me the position I have now. I don't really think there is a position there that could use me to my full potential. I guess that sounds kind of smug of me, but it's the truth. I suppose that is the norm though. The world would most certainly not be in the state it is in if everyone was used to their full potential.

This year I am participating in the Mother's Day Walk/Run for the Stollery Children's Hospital. Work has a team put together and I decided that I should do it. I was really hoping that it would motivate me to get back into running. But it really hasn't. I will be surprised if I even break 30min on my 5km. I guess I am just not used to running by myself. I always ran with a team and a coach there cracking the whip. I wish I had some motivation because I really do miss it.

I wrote a macro at work. I hadn’t written any code for about 4 years and hadn’t used visual basic for 9. I was surprised at how easily it came back to me. I have discovered that I really do like programming. It is a satisfying challenge. So much fun to watch your code work in the end.

So that is really all I have to say. Maybe sometime soon I will find a topic to write about and actually write about it instead of all the other things I thought worthy of a blog post that never made it.