Friday, April 30, 2010

Zombies and Taekwondo

I had a dream the other night that I was being attacked by zombies and I was fighting them off with sidekicks and face punches.

I know, weird.  I don't even watch horror movies, so why I was dreaming about zombies in the first place is beyond me.  I do like that I was fighting them off though, don't mess with me!!  ;)  Why I didn't just outrun them however, I have no idea.

Also, I tried to scalp myself with my own fingernail last night.  It hurt.

That is all.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Utilikilts and Musketeers?

This weekend my sister and I went to the local annual Scottish Games and Celtic Festival. We like to go and:

Look at the animals;

Listen to music (the dude playing the horn thing had niiiiiiiiiiice arms!);

Eat bangers;

And make fun of things like this;
(this was outide the Utilikilt booth)

Unfortunately, I did not get a chance to snap a pic of some of the more...eccentrically attired folk.  My personal fave this year, the dude dressed like a musketeer.  Uhh...CELTIC festival homie G, musketeers were FRENCH!

Then there were the displaced Renn Faire people.  Wearing the costumes onces a year, just isn't enough!!  Plus, very large women seem to enjoy wearing corsets and letting their...ummmm..."attributes"...hang out unhindered.

I did miss the guy last year that was dressed like a viking: loin cloth, helmet with horns (thanks Wagner), horn full of "grog,"and knee-high fur boots, who was drunk off his ass.  People were walking up to him and asking to take a photo with him.  Classic.   

All in all, good times to be had.  :)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Pissy People and Annexing States from the Union

Ok, let me just say that being rude/pissy/demanding/horrible on the phone to someone that you want help from does NOT in fact help your cause.  What makes you think that being rude to me will make me want to help you MORE?? 

"Oh, I'm sorry sir/ma'am!!  Don't get snotty with me!  I will do whatever you want post-haste!  In fact, I will run your test/re-fax you results/answer your stupid question yesterday, that's how quick I will be!!  In fact, if you ever need anything else, please feel free to call and yell at me any time!" 

Can't you just feel my sincerity?  :-D

Two seperate people calling me, one from New Jersey and one from Virginia, have annoyed me so thoroughly that I have actually annexed Jersey and Virginia from the U.S.  That's right, we're down to 48 states!  Hey, two less to learn in geography kiddies! 

If this keeps up the United States will be a lot less united. 

All I'm asking for is a little common decency people.  I mean really, what would your mother say about your manners??

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Conversations With My (Guy) Roommate

This guy cracks me up!

Him: I'm watching NCIS:LA and I don't know why.
Me: It's because ll cool j is pretty isn't it?
Him: Eff yeah!

Me:  Ah, I see you are American Bandstanding in the kitchen
Him: *dances around like a goober*

Me: You're baking a pie?  Why?
Him: Why not?  Never done it before...
Me:  Really?  Huh.

And then later that night...

Him: Heather!  Try a piece of my pie!
Me:  It turned out well then?
Him: I don't even like apple pie and I like my pie!
Me: Ok, I'll try a piece later.
Him: EAT MY PIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Me: Stop pressuring me!

Me: *walking into a conversation between my guy roommate and his girlfriend*
Him:  Ooh!  We should ask Heather!
Me: Huh?
Him: Who makes the pearl tampons?
Me: Tampax
Him: *turning to his girlfriend* HA!  Told you!!
Me: Oh jeez.

Me: *leaving for work in the morning*
Him: Good luck!
Me: Uh...thanks?

Him: *playing drunken Monopoly with my other roommate*
Me: I live with thugs...

Him: *singing* I was belly dancing...
Me: Yeah, but you didn't make much did ya?
Him: Hell no &/tch!

Rock Paper Scissors Lizard Spock

The Big Bang Theory...a must watch for all geeks!  ;)

Watch the clip!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Duck, Duck, DUCK!!!!!!!!

I was giving a ride to two of my friends this evening and we were chatting and laughing away as I took a back road to where I was dropping them off.

All of a sudden Sarah screams, "Duck, duck, DUUUUCK!" and that's when I noticed that there was in fact a friggin' duck strollin' down the middle of the street without a care in the world.

I gave that duck something to care about. 

It was too late to swerve, but I did manage to manuever it between my tires as opposed to under my tires.  I think I heard it's little stupid head hit the undercarriage. 

Can ducks get migraines? 

We stopped to look, but it was moseying on with its business.

No harm, no fowl.

Oh duck.

Grammar: Look Smarter With These Helpful Hints!

People who use atrocious grammar really annoy me. Now, I am the first to admit that I don't use perfect grammar myself sometimes, and I do use slang. But there are some things that you just need to fix if you are still making these mistakes. So here are a couple of hints:

The Difference Between "their," "there" and "they're":

Their-used as a possessive pronoun. For instance, "Did everyone get their lunch?" When talking about making, doing, or belonging to more than one person.

There-usually used as a non-specific location for a place. For instance, "Please go sit over there." This word is usually used to cut down on description so that your sentence isn't cumbersome. When speaking, "there" is usually used in correlation with a pointed finger toward what you are talking about: "Please go sit over there (points to chair at the table)."

They're-used as a contraction of "they are." This word is a plural noun's state of being. For instance, "They're painting my bedroom." What are "they" doing? They are "painting." The easiest way to remember when to use this word instead of the others is by taking it out of the contraction and seeing if "they are" fits just as well into the sentence, if it does then that's the one to use!

It Is "A lot," Not "Alot":

This is one that is so often misspelled you would think it's the right way to do it! I am constantly amazed at how often I have seen people use "alot" as one word. The most recent one was at my sister's place of work where there is a thank-you letter posted written by a 1st grade teacher saying her class "had alot of fun." People! "a lot" is two words, not one!

You're vs. Your:

I actually saw this one misused on a greeting card yesterday!  UUUGH!!!  This one has the same rules as the difference between "their" and "they're"...

You're-used as a contraction of "you are." This is a pronoun's state of being. For instance, "You're going to go visit Nana later, right?" What are "you" doing? You are "visiting." Same rule as before, take out the contraction and if you can put "you are" into the sentence without it sounding jacked up, then that's the one to use.

Your-possessive adjective, meaning of, belonging or done by you. For instance, "Your cat is a mean little thing, isn't she?" Who does the cat belong to? You.

It's or Its?:

Yes, a lot of mistakes are made with these tricky little contractions...maybe people would just be better off not using them. Seriously.

It's-a contraction of "it is." A pronoun that is used to refer back to something that was named before or as an impersonal pronoun. For instance, "The baseball just flew over the fence. It's the last one, can someone go get it?" Now, what's the last one? The baseball, we don't have to say that over (as in "The baseball just flew over the fence. The baseball is the last one...) because everyone knows what we are talking about at that point, and repeating it would just be redundant.

Its-possessive adjective, meaning of, belonging or done by it (a nonspecific noun). For instance, "I don't know what kind of animal it was, but its paw prints indicate a large animal."

Karate Kid? I Don't Think So.

The Karate Kid:
Classic 80's movie about a teenager, named Daniel, who gets taken under the wing of a nice JAPANESE man named Mr. Miyagi.  Mr. Miyagi then proceeds to teach him "wax on, wax off" and other valuable KARATE lessons while calling him Daniel-son.  In a movie-magic two month period Daniel becomes a kick-ass fighter and wins a KARATE tournament at the end of the film.  Class-ic.

Karate Kid re-make...
Little boy (12 year old) moves to CHINA with his mom.  He gets taken under the wing of Mr. Han (Jackie Chan), a nice CHINESE man, who teaches him to "take his jacket off, put it back on" and other valuable KUNG FU lessons.  At the end there is a KUNG FU tournament, which (even though I have not seen it), I am sure the little kid wins because he has become a kick-ass fighter.

Ok, anyone see the problem here?  You are re-making The KARATE Kid, in China while showing the kid learning KUNG FU!!!!!!!!!  NOT THE SAME!!!!!!!!!!  Karate does not equal Kung Fu!  Totally different martial art!  Uuuuuugh....  If you wanted to make an inspirational movie about a little kid learning Kung Fu, cool, make it, call it The Kung Fu Kid.  DON'T call it The Karate Kid, because guess what?  He ISN'T learning Karate!!!!

For the love of god...

We had quite a discussion about this in my Taekwondo class last night.  I even learned something new, using the term Kung Fu for the martial art style is incorrect.  It's actually called Wushu.  Interesting.  My point however, is still valid.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Warnings from the Friendly Administration

Every year we get an e-mail warning us when the "World Week for Animals in Laboratories(WWAIL)/World Laboratory Animal Liberation Week (WLALW)" is taking place.  You know, so we can be on the look out for crazy protesters and/or people who are trying to "free" the lab animals (personally, I am hoping to see someone dressed all in black trying to smuggle out mice...but that's just me).  This year it starts on Saturday.  Thinking they are being helpful, admin have attached these helpful hints:

Suspicious Packages:
Keep in mind a bomb can be enclosed in either a parcel or an envelope, and its outward appearance is limited
only by the imagination of the sender. However, package bombs have exhibited some unique characteristics
that may assist you in identifying a suspected device. To apply these factors, it is important to know the type
of mail normally received by your organization.

Things to Look for:
• Suspicious packages or articles may bear restricted endorsements such as "Personal" or "Private." This
is important if the addressee does not normally receive personal mail at the office.
**What about Amazon, does Amazon count??!!**
• Suspicious packages or articles may have protruding wires, aluminum foil, or oil stains visible and may
emit a peculiar odor.
**WHAT?!  Why would you open a package that had PROTRUDING WIRES hanging out of it??**
• Suspicious packages or articles may have an excessive amount of postage stamps affixed to them.
• Letter type bombs may feel rigid, or appear uneven or lopsided.
• There may be pressure or resistance when removing contents from an envelope or parcel.
• Suspicious packages or articles may be unprofessionally wrapped with several combinations of tape
used to secure the package. They may also be endorsed "Fragile-Handle With Care" or "Rush-Do Not
**Several kinds of tape?  What the __?!  Bombers are thrifty and use up leftover tape rolls?**
• Suspicious packages or articles may have an irregular shape, soft spots, or bulges.
**Sort of like me...waaaaaaait...**
• Suspicious packages or articles may make a ticking, buzzing, or sloshing sound.
**Ok, I'm just saying, you open up a package that is TICKING, you might be getting what you deserve...**
• The addressee's name and/or title may be inaccurate.
• Suspicious packages or articles may reflect distorted handwriting, or the name and address may be
prepared with homemade labels or cut-and-paste lettering.
**Does anyone outside of kidnappers in the movies from 1985 use cut and paste lettering?  Really?**

There are also helpful hints such as:
• Always be alert to any surroundings.
• Always lock car doors after entering or leaving your car.
• Lock your valuables. Never leave your keys, purse, wallet, briefcase or backpack unattended.
• Lock all doors and windows.
• Don't leave notes indicating you aren't home or when you will return.

Thanks for the tips guys...never would have thought about locking my doors when I leave...**thumbs up**

P.S. Just so you know, we don't have any research animals in my lab, so please don't send me a package with cut and paste letters on it...

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Training Program

So, good times with the 5K training program that I joined.

It's called the "Couch to 5K" program, so you would think that the majority of people who join would be more at the "couch" level rather than the "5K" part.  You would be wrong. 

They broke everyone into 7 groups, groups 1 & 2 are the runners who can "do a 9-10 minute mile," groups 3-4 are the jog/walkers and groups 5-7 are mostly walkers.  I am in group 6.  That's right, 6/7.  Now, I am not exactly a couch potato, but I am not a runner.  I can kick things for a long time, but have me run longer than 1/4 of a mile and I am toast.  And I have bad knees.  Good times.

I am sorry, but WHY is there even a group 1 or 2?!  What the frick?!  You can already run, but you are joining a program for people who are starting at the "couch" portion of this training?  WHAT?! 

Ok, I have your number groups one and two.  You just joined to feel good about yourself and secretly make fun of us walkers.  Bastards.

THEN, today they do fitness assessments.  Pushups, situps, flexibility, weight, height...I was fine up until they reached the body fat measurements.  Giant pinchers that measure your fat rolls?  Grrrrrrrreat.  It all started with the trainer telling me to take off my shirt...and then there was just a lot of groping.  Unfortunately, it wasn't the fun kind.

If I haven't improved at all  in the next 8 weeks (how long the program is), I am not going to be happy.  This is a lot of work and I had better get results!!

Work Stories from the Archives

The Best of the Best-

Top Packaging we have received:

1) Frozen spinach as an ice pack (which was melted and had spinach juice everywhere)
2) Otterpops as an ice pack (which lent a bit of color)
3) A Barbie soft-sided lunch-pail to hold the samples (as opposed to oh, a ziplock...which are MUCH harder to come by)
4) A sample completely enclosed in duct tape...(that one was fun to open)
5) And the ever-popular confetti (shredded paper) to cushion samples, so that when they are opened they explode! Mazel tof!
6) Frozen edamame as an ice pack (I almost took those as lunch!)
7) Water frozen (which then melts...) in a jar or ziploc in place of an ice pack
8) Baby diapers (newborn ones no less) to cushion a sample

Top Phone Conversations (abbreviated for length):

1) Me: Immunology Lab
Clinician: (with a very heavy Texas accent) Yes, I wanna test my sheep
Me: For what?
Clinician: My sheep
Me: What would you like to test your sheep for?
Clinician: I wanna test a sheep herd
Me: Yes, but what disease do you want to test your sheep for?
Clinician: Oh!  Well, I wanna see if they're shootin'!
Me: (trying not to laugh) Ok, well we don't test reproduction here, you will need to call the state lab
Clinician: Alright, thank you! 

2) Lab Assistant: No ma'am, the sample isn't ready yet
Secretary:  WHAT?! 
Lab Assistant: We just got the sample yesterday ma'am
Secretary: We shipped out the sample priority overnight at a VERY great expense because we were told that the sample would be run TODAY!
Me: (in the background, to my lab assistant)  They were never told that
Lab Assistant: No ma'am (she's very polite on the phone, isn't she?), our turnaround time is 5-7 business days
Secretary: Well then, WHEN am I going to get results??!!
Lab Assistant: By the end of this week
Secretary: You know what?!  You are all LIARS!  You only tell people things are going to be done faster so you can get more samples!!!!  *hangs up*
Me (to the lab assistant): Liars, huh?  *sigh* If only she knew...we don't really want her samples...we have plenty enough already to drive us insane.  And no one EVER told her we would run her sample today, we never promise that because things can always go wrong.  Don't worry about it, you were very polite to her.  :)

3) Tech: You are the clinician?
Clinician: Yes
Tech: Ok, you have to tell me the name of the clinic that requested the test for me to look up results
Clinician: I TOLD you, I don't know the name of the clinic!
Tech: You don't know the clinic name?  Aren't you the clinician?
Clinician: YES
Tech: Really?
Clinician Trainer: Well, no...I'm the trainer
Tech: Ok...we can only re-send results to the clinician or clinic who originally sent them to us.  We would be happy to re-send results, but we need to know the clinic name first.
Trainer: What do you want me to do?  Drive down to Kentucky and look through the yellow pages??!!
Tech: I don't know how you would like to handle this, I am just letting you know that we need the clinic name.
Trainer: You and the USDA are what's WRONG with this country!!!!!!! 
Tech: Ok, you are being very rude and I am not going to talk to you until you calm down.  *hangs up*
Me:  *gives the other tech a high five*  Wow...I didn't realize our little lab of two had so much power!  *evil laugh*  Someone call Obama!!

4) Me: Immunology Lab
Clinician: Do you run the test on goats for SHI?
Me: Yes, we do
Clinician: So, what is the cut off titers?
Me: Well, it has to be correlated with clinical symtoms, but titers less than 1:8 are considered possible cross-reactions to common environmental bacteria and titers greater than 1:512 have a high association with internal abscesses.
Clinician: So, if the titer is greater than 1:8 then you just cull (note: that is vet-speak for "kill") them??
Me:  Uhhhhhhhhhh...*that's being a little drastic*  I would recommend you speak to one of our clinicians in the Large Animal Clinic about that...I can't give you clinical advise.
Clinician: Thanks, I'll do that! *hangs up*
Me: Wow...Kill them!  Kill them all!

Friday, April 9, 2010

People Just Don't Pay Attention

I was going to title this "Pet Peeves-Part I" but hey...I was feeling less alliterate.  We'll save this for a later date.  I have a lot of pet peeves...fair warning.

I have come to the realization that people really don't pay attention to what is going on around them.  Supposedly New Yorkers are supposed to be famous for this...I think they get a bad rap.  People everywhere are too focused on their internal monologue to do little things like, oh, read signs.  But it doesn't stop at signs, they also don't listen, nor do they follow directions.  This happens everywhere from my lab to restaurants.



Sign: Please use other door
What happens: People try to use THAT door

Sign: Please place your samples here
What happens: People walk right past the sign and ask me, "Where do I put my sample?"

Sign: Push
What happens: Pull

Sign: Please come in, no need to knock.
What happens: *knock*

Answering the phone-

Me: Immunology lab
Person: Yes, I am trying to reach VGL/Chemistry/Microbiology/Repro/etc.
Me: VGL/Chemistry/Microbiology/Repro/etc.?
Person: Yes
Me: This is the immunology lab
Person: Well, isn't this (names city)
Me: Yes, but we are still not the VGL/Chemistry/Microbiology/Repro/etc. lab, you need to call the VGL/Chemistry/Microbiology/Repro/etc. lab
Person: Oh, well do you have their phone number?
**Oh good!  Now I am the switchboard!**

Following instructions-

Submission form: Turnaround time is 5-7 business days
Caller: I want to know why I haven't received results yet
Me: When did you submit your sample?
Caller: You should have got it yesterday
Me: Turnaround time is...**wait for it**...5-7 business days
Caller: So, my sample isn't ready yet?
Me: No
Caller: Well, when will I get results?
Me: **Do I really have to say it?**  5-7 business days

Submission form:  PCR on blood can only be run on purple top tubes
What I get: Red top tube

Submission form: Please include your fax number on the submission form
What I get: A phone number, if I'm lucky

Submission form: Please circle the test you are requesting, or all 3 will be run by default
What I get: No circles
What I do: Run all 3
Then what do I get?: A caller asking why we ran all 3 tests when all they wanted were 2 of them!

 There are probably many other that I am forgetting...this blog might have to be updated...

Blogger's note: **words** will from now on denote my internal dialogue (where I will probably be making fun of someone), and **words** will denote actions