Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Dressed up and no where to go...

I'm in nice slacks, a blue button down shirt, and heels. I don't even get to present and I have to get all dressed up for professionalism's sake.

I am not very happy about it. Especially since I SOMEHOW got 3 sooty colored stains on my white tank that I'm wearing under the blue shirt. All between the half hour it took me to get to campus and the hour I spent in class. I have NO idea how they got there. But they were glaring at me as I was washing my hands in the bathroom.

Have I mentioned just how much I love The Fountain?

So, um...

I spent three hours with alcohol soaked dead fish yesterday. The forst 1.5 hours was taking my lab exam. I know I did better on this one than the last one, but is it good enough?

The rest of the time was spent identifying fish for one of the last projects of the semester. rubbing alcohol may not do any immediate damage to your skin, but after a while it starts to wear down on your fingers.

I'm just glad that's over. Now I just need to figure out how to do this fish experiment. I think what I will have to do is this.

dump some males and females together in the evening. Go home. Sleep. Give them some time. Then check back in the morning to see if they have spawned. If not, check periodically throughout the day. None of this sitting and waiting. Just pop in when my classes are done.

Once they spawn, I will check the eggs to determine what stage they are at and go from there. It's not as accurate as getting the eggs from the second they are spawned, but according to this expert that I e-mailed, it may take a DAY OR TWO for these fish to spawn. There is NO WAY I am going to sit there for 48 hours at a time waiting for these fish to get a clue.

I blame myself for all the failed attempts. Maybe if I had read more papers on the spawning habits of fathead minnows, I might have read that it takes DAYS not HOURS for them to be comfortable enough with each other to spawn. I don't know.

Anyway, I have to run this by my professor and then I can try again. I don't know when. I almost just want to tell him that I want to wait until after Finals. I REALLY don't want to go into the summer with this, but with this new tactic the schedule is unpredictable. I wont KNOW if I will miss classes or not. You can't predict anything based on unpredictable critters.

So I think my best bet would be to wait until finals are over. Heck, I am even okay with waiting until SUMMER is over and trying it next semester since I will be here. Plus I my be forced into taking another class from him. Ew. I would rather swallow 10 fathead minnows whole that take Fisheries Management.

I don't think being dressed up is worth pizza. It depends on how they give the pizza to us. It they give a few pizzas to each group, I'm sure we will all get our fill. If they just put all the pizzas in all 100+ of us students, I don't know if I will get any and that would make me cry.

If you have time and don't shy away from a little language (There are a few F bombs, in there) then go on over to Youtube and type in "32 songs in 8 minutes". Quite entertaining. The transitions are pretty good. The way he sings some of those songs in such a mellow way is great. Also he plays MUSE!! Which is great.

I discovered a fellow Muse lover in my class the other day. Soon they will be the best loved band in the world...or not.

Hm. I have three papers to write and another test to study for. Maybe I should get to doing that.

Happy Wednesday everyone.

By the way, if any of you are interested, there is a section of my story on my other blog. Shameless plug, I know. Nothing new form the one you have already read, mom.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Post Birthday

Thank you to everyone for the birthday wishes and gifts.

Even though I hate those stupid fish for their lack of spawning, I am kinda happy that I got to relax a little on my Birthday. Had they laid eggs, I would have had to worry about checking eggs on my birthday. Instead, I got to have a great day and eat my dinner with no worries.

Just so it's clear to everyone that DIDN'T know. I now have a laptop on which I do pretty much everything.

I just discovered that there is a musical of Lord of the Rings. HA! Funny. I can get it free off of emusic.

I think I might just get it. It kind of makes me smile.

I'm watching Ben-Hur right now. What a great movie in many ways.

"You're a Roman, I'm a Jew..." I always want to finish that line with "Whatever you say bounces off me and sticks to you!"

I am pretty sure that I have found my next Favorite Band. Elbow. And, of course, they are British! I think I would place them somewhere between Muse and Keane. Near Coldplay perhaps. Pretty fantastic stuff.

Someday, I will have an aquarium. Guess what I will not have in there? Fathead minnows.

Oh, those crazy guys and their leopard hats.

I wonder how much those people got paid to just stand there and glare at the Roman procession. It's the only time we see them.

Judah looks like he is going to vomit.

I am done commenting on this movie.

Just a few more weeks. That's all that is left of this semester. I think I have missed more work because of classes this semester than any other.

I like how in this movie, you never see Christs face. It shows respect. And how Judah looks at him in awe and then just reaches out and touches his hand ever so slightly. I know I said that I would stop. So this is me stopping.

Anyway, it looks like I will probably have to do this dumb fish experiment into the summer. I have one more try before the semester is over. Then I have to either go into the summer or try again in the fall and hope it works before I have to graduate. I am not taking complete failure as an option. This experiment will work. One way or another.

There are ants in my room...

I lied. I wonder how they have cymbals and drums in the parade since there are non marching.

This movie makes me think of The Count of Monte Cristo. A man who is betrayed. So completely down in out and then by some miracle becomes even greater than he was and uses that power to exact his revenge. But in the end he tries to learn to forgive.

I cannot WAIT for this semester to be over.

Judah is becoming the lord of the rings. He has Esther's and now he has the ring of Quintus.

Tee-hee. He LOOKS like a roman. With the curly bangs and everything.

This was a random, pointless entry. Sorry.

I'm done. Time for a nap.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Re-re-try

Third times a charm, or so THEY say. Who do they think they are anyway? My third go around has not started promising.

I got an e-mail from my professor saying that most of the fish had died. His best guess was that it was an aeration problem. Great. So all I had left in the tank were three overstressed and smallish females. There was no way I was going to get great results from them.

So I spent the first part of this morning driving down to the CERC to pick up more fathead minnows. At 10:00 I introduced TWO females from the new batch right off. I checked the O2 levels. They are lower than last time. Significantly. That worries me. I wonder if there is something in the air in the lab that is causing O2 in the apparatus to be low and 02 in the tanks to be low. That wold explain all the fish deaths.

I am waiting again. I have until 2:00 this afternoon before it becomes a problem to do this with my schedule. After that, I am going to have to go for round 4 on the Thursday before finals week. Joy. In the meantime I am going to try to identify some dead fish in jars. If nothing happens, this play-by-ply will be very dull.

11:17am- I really hate the smell of fish preserved in alcohol in the morning. Stupid darters. They are SO hard to identify. You know, as much as I would hate to put this off, if nothing happens today, I will be able to enjoy my birthday. But then I would have to postpone this so that would be doing it into the Monday of Finals week. That is not a very happy thought.

-iTunes: "Friend is a 4 Letter Word-CAKE-Fashion Nugget

12:54 pm-4 of the 5 brand new males that I got this morning are dead. What on earth is going on here? I'm 75% sure that we can rule out an aeration problem. But I don't know what is. So I get to bale out most of the water in the tank and we will put new water in. In the meantime I am Still, still, STILL having no luck with these fish. I plan on e-mailing the guy we got the fish from and ask what suggestions he has. Okay. Gotta go bale water.

-iTunes-"Can't Stop the World"- Gavin Rossdale-Wanderlust

1:46pm-I've been kicked out. Out of the classroom that is next to the lab room where the fish are. There is a class meeting in there and I guess they can't share space. There is new water in the tank. We'll see if the fish survive. The male and one of the females are getting frisky. My professor says that this is a good sign. But they have 15 minutes to decide whether they are just fooling around or they are going to get serious. I REALLY can't go much past 2:00. If I go to 2:00, based on the development schedule, I will already be late for work on Saturday. If I go to 3:00 I will be even MORE late for work. Not a good thing. Anyway, of COURSE that would wait until the last minute to get it into their heard to spawn. I want to rip my hair out.

On top of all that, I am stuck in this noisy room. It is a small cramped lab room that is kept at constant temp. and the air kept clean. So there is this really loud fan coming from the very low ceiling. I am not pleased. Thank goodness I still get internet in this room or I think I would cry.

iTunes-I'm not playing it right now because they kicked me out and I turned it off.

2:01pm- There is still nothing going on other than the male keeps bashing the females head with his own head. Looks painful. I guess it's good that he has a fathead. Anyway, is it horrible of me that I want to just separate them, wait 20 minutes and then go to my professor and tell him it didn't work? Yes, that WOULD be dishonest. That is why I am not going to do that. However, if by 2:30 they STILL have not produced any eggs, I am going to tell him that even though things LOOKED promising, I can't wait around forever. Seriously. I could just call work and say that I won't be there on Saturday. But then what if all this head butting comes to nothing? What if she decides that his head butting is not good enough for her? Then I would have told work I would be absent for nothing.

2:06pm-Oooooookkkkkaaaaayyyyy, now she left. What did I say? He doesn't have the little bumps on his head that make all the other guys cool. He's cleaning the spawning surface like a good little male and trying to chase her back in. But I think she's not going for it.

2:16pm-Still not in the spawning area anymore. He keeps pushing her in there. Is it because I'm here? I'm sitting where they can't really see me and something tells me that fish don't really care about privacy. I'm going to go eat some of my lunch. You fish have 15 more minutes to do your thing or you can forget it!

2:21pm-There is something not right about eating food in the same place you are doing lab work. Not that I'm dealing with pathogens or anything. It's just...unsanitary, I guess? Doesn't matter. I'm hungry.

I have to wonder. I pray over these fish every day (crazy, I know). But I know that if anyone can help them spawn it's God. I can't help but wonder that there is some learning experience in this or some strange reason why now is not a good time. Maybe I am supposed to be showing my professor the perseverance that I have and then I can get a good recommendation from him when I want a job or to go to grad school. Who knows. Maybe my patience is just being tested. I don't know. Or maybe I don't have enough faith. All I know is I keep prepping myself for 5 days of unhappiness and then nothing happens. So I have this constant knot in my stomach.


...what if the fish DO lay their eggs and it comes time to separate them. I do the rubbing in a circle thing and them I accidentally kill them all. I've read the procedures on how to separate fish eggs but that is very different from the application process. I will have waited all this time for fish eggs and then I ruin it. I can just see that happening. Or maybe, I'm doing the nitrogen wrong and the experiment it botched. Any number of things can go wrong and I just have o remind myself not to worry about it because I STILL don't have eggs.

Okay, it is now 2:30. I am calling it quits for the day.

You are all probably sick of these play-by plays. Let mew know if you are and I will not do one for any of the following experiment days.

I can't believe it didn't work. I was so sure about today. I guess the bad omen of fish dying should have been my tip off.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

If at first you don't succeed...

I did try, try again. Guess what I got? I whole bunch of nothing again.

Now I have to Re-try and re-try again. On Thursday. That means that I will potentially be observing fish from 10:00am Thursday to 10:00 am Friday and then go to all my classes and such. Then go back and observe the fish again throughout the day. I will be one very tired and cranky birthday girl.

If Thursday doesn't work out (knocks on the wood desk she is working at) then I don't know what I will do. The rest of the semester is filled with tests and projects and work for my other classes. Please, please, PLEASE pray for me and my fish on Thursday. I REALLY don't want to have to go into the summer with this. I think I would probably cry.

So there's the update for that. On top of the fact that I am wasting time waiting for them to do their thing, I am also missing a lot of work. All for NOTHING! That means, of course, less money in the bank for me.

On Monday, I survived my first ever real All-nighter. I'm talking NO SLEEP whatsoever. From 8:00am Sunday morning to 7:00 pm Monday night.

I stayed up all night trying to get all my homework done. I had...

...2 papers, 2 powerpoints (one I had to present Monday), 1 test and 1 130pg complied paper to copy and paste together from the various group members and then edit the best I could (which was NOT very good).

This was all due on Monday. There was no time for sleep. Mostly because this 130 pg paper took longer that I thought it would.

So on Monday at 8:00am I presented my findings on humor and it's uses in todays society. Particularly Vulgar humor. I was dead tired and it was really late when I made the powerpoint. So is was HORRID. No visuals. Just a bunch of boring facts. I never told a single joke the whole time, which didn't so much for my supporting arguments. It was abysmal and I am pretty sure I put people to sleep.

-I kept misspelling words during my test the next class I had

-I kept nodding off during my Brit Lit class

-I was pretty much incoherent during my Practicum class

-When I finally got home and ate food and went to sleep at 7:00pm I slept right through my 8:00pm "24" alarm and missed my show. I also slept through an 8:03 call from Juli. I am such a light sleeper, I NEVER sleep through my phone. I must have been dead tired. I slept from 7:00pm to 7:00am the following morning. I don't think I have ever slept 12 hours straight through.

The horrible thing is, I will be doing the same thing on Thursday for these fish. 10:00 am-10:00 am. Then to class and at 12:00 I am checking them again. I get three hours (Where I will probably nap in my car or work on identifying dead fish in jars). Then at 4:00 I'm at it again. Then it's my birthday, so I will be eating yummy food and having SOME family time for most of the evening. I have to check them again at 9:20pm. Then I have to check AGAIN at 2am. So I am looking at (counting) almost 42 hours of almost no sleep.

Can I do it? Well, I may have to invest in lots of sugar since I don't drink caffeine.

I'm done for now. That is the update on my life. I'm sure I'll gt through it though I will not be happy and my body will hate me. Wish me luck.

Have a happy EARTH DAY!!!!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Play by Play

5:19am-Released the female into the males tank. Nothing all that interesting happened.
-iTunes:Chris Cornell-You know my name.

5:40am-Already off to a frustrating start. The 02 meter is on he fritz. They have not yet spawned. I guess I can't expect them to hit it off this early in the relationship (tee-hee). I can't find and DI water.
-iTunes: Nicklecreek-Jealous of the moon

6:12am-Still nothing. Trying a new method with the 02 meter. Starting in high 02 and going down. Why didn't I think of that before. I'm hungry.
-iTunes: Jack Johnson-If I Had Eyes

6:28am-Okay, I have a half an hour before I REALLY start to get impatient. She's being very standoffish. And the 02 meter is not working any better. That is what really makes me want to yell.
-iTunes: Billy Joel-My Downeaster "Alexa"

6:45am-You know what's funny? I have 3 different versions of "You Know My Name" by Chris Cornell. The single, the one on the "Best of James Bond" CD, and the one on "Carry On". Nada. C'mon fish! If you spawn any later than 8:00am I am pretty much stuck out of luck when it comes to my schedule. I guess I could tweak it a bit. I cannot tell you how much this 02 meter is frustrating me. It was not meant for use in tiny little cup sized pools. It's for use in lakes! Where there is SOME flow going on. I am getting ridiculous readings.

-iTunes: Some random African song that iTunes gave me for free.

7:15am-Got all my 02 readings. I don't care that they are stupid and don't make much sense. I'll get over it. I know I took them right. So when Dr. Noltie sees them and says "What?" I'll tell him the sampling method is flawed. I am SO not supposed to eat in this classroom (the room next to the lab with the fish. This is where I am going to record the data.). But I am starving and I will eat anyway. No one else is here. I really want to go outside, but I have to stay near the fishes.

-iTunes: Secret Garden-Duo

7:20am-I've decided that at 8:00, if there is no spawning, I am going to put another female there. If I am really lucky, I will get eggs from BOTH the females then. The more eggs, the more accurate the results. Eating, reading Cakewrecks.

-iTunes: Copeland (not the composer)-The Grey Man

7:50am-The fish growth lab light is on. Is someone else here? It could be automatic. I just put another female in the tank. I wonder if that is advisable. I know that the guy I got them from said it might be good to have a few females per male. Or was it a few males per female? That wouldn't make much sense. Anyway, I don't care. I just want some eggs, dang it!

-iTunes: The Fountain-Tree of Life

8:18am. I'm not sure what I am going to do if these fish don't spawn. The later it gets, the less likely it is that I will be able to check up on them at every stage change. I've already asked off for Saturday and Tuesday. I may have to add Wednesday to that list. I am not very happy about this. Dr. Noltie said we may have to try another run. I have NO TIME for another run this semester. I am really peeved.

-iTunes: I turned it off.

8:35am-I've been here for 3.5 hours. I hoped to have been well underway by now. The longer they take to spawn, the longer I am here. I have to check on the eggs each hour for 24 hours from the time of fertilization. If that's not until 10:00, I have to stay here until 10:00am tomorrow. Shoot me now please. Let me see if I have another time that I can do this experiment. NO! Never mind. I just want to get this done. No matter what it takes. Just get it done. I can do this, right?

-iTunes: still off.

9:15am-What the heck am I supposed to do? The new female won't come out of the corner of the tank. She's bloated with eggs. You can tell! You'd think she would want to lighten the load! But NOOOOOO. She has to be all nervous and stressed and uncomfortable. So what the heck am I supposed to do? Try yet another female? I think that if I keep putting a new one in there they will take longer to get used to the new tank. I think I should have just kept with the first female. Why did I agree to do this? What now, what now, what now? I'm too frustrated and stressed to do any homework. ARGH! I just want to yell real loud and throw something. I'm cooped up on a beautiful day and for WHAT? A couple of spawn shy fish.

-iTunes: John Mayer-In Repair

9:45am-Eating my yogurt. Feeling tired. Already. Frustration growing. Trying to look for papers on the stage distribution of the common pipistrel bat. Having no success. This only adds to my frustration. So much to do and I can hardly do any of it right now. I kind of want to cry. Thank goodness there in no one else here. Is this really worth it?

-iTunes: Foo Fighters-Still


-iTunes: Blue Man Group-Shadows Part 2

10:06am-Time for The Office.

-iTunes: nada, because I am watching The Office

11:55am-(whispers) there are other people here! I can hear them talking. I hope they don't think that I'm not supposed to be here. I am really hungry, but I don't want to eat because I'm afraid he fish will get on with it without me! There are now 3 females in the tank! More to chose from! (But it might mean that there are TOO MANY to chose from and they still wont spawn. ARGH! I DON'T KNOW!!).

-iTunes:OK Go-Do What you Want

12:36pm- Dr. Nylon is one of the people here. I wonder why? I cannot believe that I've been here over 7 hours. STILL NOTHING!!! I can't believe this. I have no other choice. THIS HAS TO HAPPEN TODAY! I have no time before the semester ends. I guess if I have to I will MAKE the time. But I would much rather just GET THIS DONE. I really hate my life right now. ARRRRGGGGHHHHHHH!

-iTunes: Rufus Wainwright-Poses

1:10pm. Okay. I am THIS CLOSE to calling it quits. What else can I do? I can't just sit here all day waiting! I mean, seriously! 8 hours! I can't believe it. Why was I cursed with the shy ones? Just lay your freakin eggs already! 2:00 I am going to call Dr. Noltie and tell him that today was a dud.

-iTunes: Billy Joel-Allentown

1:39pm-Just figured that I CAN do this on the week of he 20th. It would be from a Tuesday to a Saturday. I would have to worry about fish on my Birthday. But assuming hat I can get them to spawn at the proper time this time I should be good! I would just need to cover a few shifts. As in Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday. Part of me still wishes that I will go into that room and find fish eggs. That way I can get it over with and I wouldn't have wasted 9 HOURS OF MY LIFE!

2:01pm-I just called Dr. Noltie. Told him nothing yet. I said I would stay a couple more hours. Until 4. Then I'm calling it quits. I also told him that I could do it another week. He told me he was even willing to give me time past the end of the semester if needs be! That's pretty nice of him. Remember when I was having problems with the 02 readings? I was taking them under the assumption that there was already Nitrogen in the water. It didn't make sense that they were all the same. But guess what? There ISN'T any Nitrogen in the water. Great. I hate today.

-iTunes: Silence

3:16pm-45 more minutes and then I'm for real packing it up. NO turning back. Part of me would really like to not have to worry about this experiment until after the 20th. I have 5 things due that day. Also, I get to have a better Easter Sunday. With my luck, they will spawn in the next 1/2 hour. I will not be going to work tonight.

-iTunes:Twisted Sister-We're Not Gonna Take It.

3:50pm-After nearly 11 hours, I am packing it up. Calling it quits. At least for today. I am going home and sleeping. I'm going to enjoy my Easter Sunday and actually get to go to church. I am going to re-schedule this for the 21st. The fish better cooperate or I am going to fry them up and eat them. I am quite disappointed. Sorry about the anti-climactic ending folks.

Stupid Ichthyology.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

My First Laptop

Okay, here is the deal. I am buying my very first laptop computer this week.

I am still going to go to Best Buy and look around, checking out the other computer on my list, but I think I have pretty much decided.

2. Toshiba - Satellite Laptop with Intel® Centrino® Processor Technology

Juli, I texted you asking what model you have. But if you get HERE first, let me know. The model of this one is M305-S4910.

The reviews were good. I was thinking about getting this special edition HP computer for about $50 more than this one. But after reading the reviews, it seemed that it was not as good as it could be for the extra money.

This Toshiba has almost as much memory as the HP, a long battery life without the clunky battery. The complaints center around it picking up fingerprints. Not a biggie though. The other problems seemed to be defective products, not something that is a regular occurrence. I have had several people tell me that Toshiba makes great computers. So I am thinking that this is the one I am going to get.


Especially if you own a laptop or have ever owned a laptop. I am really scared that I will buy something and end up wasting a bunch of money.

For the record, this laptop is $679.99

Here is the big deal though. This laptop seems to be everything that I want. But it is unavailable in Columbia. I would either have to order it online (pay for shipping) and HOPE that it comes before Saturday (which is when I am starting my experiment and need a laptop to do all my homework while cooped up in the lap for HOURS). OR, I could drive to Jeff City to get it where it is available.

There are other models that I could get that are cheaper, but they have less memory and less battery life (The things I am most worried about).

I think that if I WERE to get this one I would just drive down to Jeff City. But I think that I will go to Best Buy here and see what they have.

Anyway, now I am just rambling. I just want to get a good computer within my budget of $700-$750. And I want to know everyones opinion.

Okay, I am now going to look at iPods.

Farewell, until I hear from you.

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