Saturday, December 25, 2010

Gingerbread Man

(Sing to the tune of Jingle Bell Rock)

Gingerbread, gingerbread, gingerbread man,
Circles for eyes and mittens for hand.
Making and baking is dough-tally fun
Now the gingerbread's almost done.

Gingerbread, gingerbread, gingerbread man
Looking delicious like gingerbread can.
Everybody's giving me the "you-ate-it" stare.
No, I didn't, I swear!

What a bright time, it's the right time
To eat those arms and legs.
Gingerbread time - now it's head time!
We go chomp, chomp, chompin' away!

For your karaoke-ing pleasure:

Bonus, a song to be sung by your pet rodent:

Gingerbread, gingerbread, gingerbread house,
Just the right size to be home for a mouse!
When I get hungry, I chew on the wall,
Food is free for all!

Happy holidays :)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Bananas to Bananas

You can learn a lot about people by playing Apples to Apples. How they think, what they think about how you think...It's a treasure trove of insight into your fellow players. And sometimes, for paying attention, you can win more tangible prizes as well.

I got second place at our lab holiday party yesterday. My postdoc mentor got first place, and chose the mystery prize that turned out to be an iTunes gift card, leaving me with an iPod shuffle. Like mentor, like protege, they said.

I guess I've been trained well!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Ms. Fixit

I just transferred my mom's contacts to her new iPhone using an eraser, an earring, and tape. An unlikely-sounding combination of tools, I know, but they worked.

She had the contacts saved on her phone, and the guys at the AT&T store couldn't get them to transfer, even after putting them on the SIM.Her old phone was a Sony Ericsson w300. It has a normal-sized SIM card. The iPhone 4 has a microSIM card, which means she couldn't just use the old one, and the new one is too small for the old phone.
So we came home because it was late, figuring we'd either try using my old M1 memory card (yay Sony Ericsson for not even using standard SD cards!) or have to put the numbers in by hand. Well, my old phone and its memory card are in Berkeley, so that was ruled out.

I did a little Googling this morning, and found that someone mentioned having aligned the microSIM properly in the old phone, allowing them to copy their contacts to the SIM. Okay, I thought, worth a shot. So I traversed the house, searching for things that would work, and laid out my array of tools.
Eraser: The Sony Ericsson w300 has a little indentation where it looks like you should slip your nail under and pry it up. Look at the instructions, and it says it's actually a sliding cover. Trick to make it actually slide open? Put a flat eraser on top for grip. Works like a charm.
Earring: You're supposed to use a paperclip to poke into the hole on the iPhone 4 to eject the little microSIM tray. I couldn't find any, so I just used the back of an earring that was lying around by the pencils (where that paperclip should've been!).
Tape: MicroSIM needs to stay in place? No problem, just line it up and tape it in! It actually took two tries to get it just right.
And then store to SIM/Smartchip (who calls it that?), move it back to the iPhone, go to Settings, Mail/Contacts/Calendar, and Import from SIM.

Ta-da! Now the contacts are in the iPhone with weird semicolons because of Sony Ericsson's strange formatting, but at least they're there!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Politics (n.): many tics

You know, I'm proud of the Democrats. Sure, they lost the House. Sure, popularity is down. But they passed a gigantic health care bill that the country desperately needed. They took a chance that they would lose seats in Congress, that they might lose their own jobs, but they did it for change they believed in.

The whole point of being a democratic country (well, technically, it's representative government) is that power is spread out. We don't like tyranny. We don't like people having too much power. So for a states(wo)man, it should be the case that power is not the be-all end-all. What matters is not holding power, but doing something with it.

People seem to forget that.

People also seem to dislike when they get what they asked for. A giant point in the last presidential election was that the candidates both claimed to be Washington outsiders. Well, here's Obama, being not very good at playing the Washington game. I like it, because he's mostly doing what he thinks is right and reasonable.

Unfortunately, the opposition is not always reasonable. Not that Democrats are always the best role models either, but damn! Congress Republicans are frustrating! Why must it always be about trickery and getting the advantage and spinning things so the other party looks bad?

That would lead me back to a digression about my previous question: can't we voters ever get straightforward information?

But I'll spare you for now. Let's just finish with a quote from Douglas Adams of galactic hitchhiking fame, repurposed for my own, er, purposes:

" is a well known fact that those people who most want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it. To summarize the summary: anyone who is capable of getting themselves made [Senator] should on no account be allowed to do the job." (The Restaurant at the End of the Universe)