Sunday, December 31, 2006

Soup update

The soup megan made yesterday turned out great! I am eating some right now, and like always it tastes even better on the second day. It is very filling stuff, and a great winter food. Now all we need is some winter! Megan also fed the soup bone to winnie after we were done with it. Wow she loved it. I thought she might pick at it but no, it was gone with in minutes. There is one bone left, so we might make another soup some time.

On a bizarre/sad note, my sanitizer for brewing leaked onto my brand new IKEA rug. It was an accident waiting to happen, the bottle leaks and it has done this before. The stuff is an extremely caustic acid based sanitizer that requires just 5 oz to 5 gallons of water to kill all the little bacteria. So a the little bit that got on the rug bleached it, and then it leaked through that and ate the carpet below that. Literally gone. The IKEA rug took the brunt of it, so I think it can be patched fairly easily. Still, big bummer.

Saturday, December 30, 2006


Well, after picking on Chris about his lack of blogging, he has made up for it and then some... So now it's my turn again :-)

Christmas is pretty much over now. I had a great (busy) day, with lots of good food and friends and music and no homework, just like I asked for. I guess I also got a few presents, too... A few good books, and lots of things for the apartment (crock pot!). Wine glasses and a wine rack (oh and some wine), corgi socks, coffee and chocolate. Bjorn gave me this goofy thing called a Labbit... a bunny that comes with various accessories to put in his mouth. I thought Labbit was silly, but he's been sitting on my night stand and gets a different accessory every day... *hugs Labbit*

The Pooh Bear got a squeeky penguin (you can see it in the picture of her snoozing on Christmas day). I also got the soundtrack to the movie "Curious George", which is surprisingly good and uplifting. Remember to share and recycle, and isn't it fun to go on a bus ride? It always makes Winnie fall asleep (aw).

The Schommer Christmas party was great too. Crab cakes and Swedish meatballs, and Christmas crackers (I got a fish in mine). I gave some St. Paul Dairy cheese, which I thought was kind of a strange gift at first, but I think it worked out well. It was a thing that was related to vet school, but didn't come from Veterinary Student Supply (who really needs another coffee mug, anyway?). I also gave a creel, which is apparently a more distinctive shape than I though (I should have put it in a box...). I got an awesome Daiwa reel, bathy-lotiony-girly things (perfect for after having to do stinky things at school, like play with cows), a beeswax candle, chocolate (three different kinds!), and the most incredible hot chocolate I've ever had. Making it is a little labor intensive, because you're supposed to warm the mug, heat the milk on the stove, and whisk the chocolate in, but oh it's so worth it. Swiss Miss will never be good enough anymore...

I've been fantastically lazy ever since Christmas. It's great. Reading books for fun, playing with the puppy, and shopping marathons at Ikea (thank goodness we don't have to buy all that other stuff, like cabinets and countertops and appliances). My goal for today is to make soup. Beef and barley soup, specifically. Here's the recipe I'm gonna try:
1/4 tsp. thyme
1 beef soup bone
1 lb. lean beef stew meat, cut in sm. pieces
1 to 2 tbsp. cooking oil
1 med. onion, chopped
1 c. carrots, chopped
1 c. celery, chopped (include some leaves)
1/4 tsp. marjoram
1 (1 lb.) can tomatoes
2 tbsp. dried parsley flakes
1 tbsp. salt
1 bay leaf
3 peppercorns
3/4 c. pearl barley
Brown beef (cut up in small pieces) in oil in a large kettle or Dutch oven. Add water, soup bone, and herbs and spices and bring to a boil. Simmer 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Remove bone, skim fat from top of soup. Add vegetables, cook about 30 minutes. Add barley. Cook about 10 more minutes until barley is done and vegetables are tender. Makes 6 to 8 servings. Freezes well. Tastes best on second and subsequent days.
Wish me luck! It's a very soupy day in Northfield, wet and gray... Hopefully this will make enough soup that we can have "second and subsequent servings." Yum.

Friday, December 29, 2006

All totally pimped out

Check them out, robot 1 and robot 2 all chopped and tuned. Check out those custom rims and their new high performance 1.2V "C" x 4 battery pack on there upgraded from AAA. Its even got a built in video camera!

The batteries wont last a full day, so the gallery worker is going to swap them out in the middle of the day so they can re-charge. For this you don't necessarily need two, but I wanted a back up because if one failed, the show is toast.

The title of this post is sort of from white and nerdy by weird al. I think I 1 upped him here. He is going off "Ridin dirty" by Chamillionare. Both good songs.


Word on the street is that Sadam was hung today. Josh Marshall from Talking Points Memo, one of the webs best written blogs, sums up everything in this post. Money quote:

"Hanging Saddam is easy. It's a job, for once, that these folks can actually see through to completion. So this execution, ironically and pathetically, becomes a stand-in for the failures, incompetence and general betrayal of country on every other front that President Bush has brought us.... This is the best we can do. Hang Saddam Hussein because there's nothing else this president can get right."

Nail, head.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Apartment day

Wee what a day. Megan and I spent the entire day shopping at IKEA. We ended up buying with Christmas money 2 great rugs, 6 dishes and 6 bowls. Then I bought for megan a laptop table, and I was going to buy a bedside table but they had sold out! Boo. But we got lots and lots of good ideas and have a real sense of what things we are going to have in our apartment! What, its only 4 months away? Thats nothing!

Cletus came over for dinner after Megan and I went our separate ways and we had a hardy dinner of venison, wild rice, and yams. Grrrr the north lands. I showed Clet the plan I had drawn up for where things would go and he promptly tore it up and I loved every bit of it. Here is the cleaned up floor plan to the left of here, click on it for a larger view.

Basically the idea is to split the one large room into smaller zones of activity so it will feel full but not cluttered. Thats what those circles are around each area are. Kitchen, dinning, study/office, and entertainment all work nicely with each other.

Several Key points:
• There is a second couch to make an "L" with the futon. This makes it a social space and ends the flow of the room. Otherwise all the lines just flow out the huge windows. This requires another couch ($$) so it might not happen for a bit.
• The dinning room table is centered below the beam that runs through the middle of the apartment and the largest section of brick wall. There is a light over the center of it hanging off that pillar such as this or this.
• The study/office area would have book cases running around the corner and a thin matching one in between the windows.
• There is a mystery book shelf/dresser/storage thingie outside the bathroom/bedroom area. This breaks the line of sight to the bedroom as you walk in and brings the bedroom space outside the door it self.
• As for the bedroom it self this is kind of radical from what it was. This plan calls for 2 dressers (3 drawer), 2 night stands, and the bed taking up the entire far wall. It also turns Winnie's crate the length way against the wall.

I am having too much fun with this. Tomorrow its back to business of the show. 10 more days left! Yikes!!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006


Well Christmas is past and it was a wonderful time. Great meals (two christmas dinners!) good company and good time to catch up with family. I was able to give a handmade gift to every one this year. A bird to both Megan's and my parents, chess sets for the siblings, a glass plate for Megan, a glass sculpture for my dad, and ornaments for the tree. I was really happy with the way the chess sets turned out and loved giving them away. I am looking forward to visiting them in their respective homes often. I took some photos of them for my portfolio, you can see them in this slide show.

My parents also got all of the kids a life-long gift of Wüstof Knives, the best kitchen knives in the world. It is a set of 6, a larger chopping knife, a larger utility knife, a bread knife, a paring knife, kitchen scissors, and a diamond knife sharpener in a block. There are three open spaces in the block to fill.

Megan and I also promised each other that we would get each other a gift that we could bring to the apartment in May as our Christmas present. So we went to IKEA today to look at their stuff and came away with about $700 worth of stuff! Or, rather, we wish we did! No its just a list and I have posted those things on a google picasa web album for you to see as well. I think the chairs are the most important thing so they match the table. Then the bed, then the other stuff. The big book shelf looks really great in person, but I think its too expensive for right now. I might try building something like that even. I like it because it is so tall and there is no back so we could put it over the brick if we wanted to. I also want to build something for the big 43 gallon fish tank out of bricks. It will match the walls!

Identities reveled!

Well we have outed ourselves. We are no longer the mysterious "Chris and Megan" of winnielovesus, we are now our real selves Chris Schommer and Megan Watland with our dog Winnie the pooh bear. We had been writing using just first names but things have been going so well in blog land that we decided to try and get our google rankings up there when you search for our names, Chris Schommer or Megan Watland. Don't steal our identities please!


One last thing before bed... Here are the first 10 links you get when you Google my name:

1) a contribution to a discussion about putting a dog park in Northfield
2) a reply to that comment about the dog park
3) listing as a speaker at the St. Olaf Summer Research Symposium
4) listing as a member of the Tri-Beta Biological Honor Society
5) announcement that I won the Society for Conservation Biology poster award
6) announcement that I won a raffle that I was entered in for participating in a dog-poop-clean-up at the U
7) a post I made in a friend's blog
8) a listing in the Bio Deparment's newsletter because I was a graduating senior
9) a post that I made in 1996 in a Lion King message board
10) a false listing of a Watland who was in the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association

Is that me in a nutshell?

More Christmas

After Christmas here, and after Win was thoroughly tuckered (see below), all three of us headed over to the Schommers' for Christmas part 2. More great food, great talk, great presents, great company! I got some good-smelling things and good-tasting things, and a beautiful Daiwa reel that will allow me to reclaim my status as Great Fisherperson of East Bearskin this summer...

More to say tomorrow- or, technically, later today. Christmas is over for one more year...

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Bad bloggers

Chris and I are apparently lousy bloggers at Christmas time...

Not much to say except a) Marley and Me is a very good, laugh-and-cry-inducing book and b) here are my official grades thus far:

Veterinary Gross Anatomy: B
Physiological Chemistry: B
Normal Radiographic Anatomy: A

Weeeee! Let's see how the rest turn out...

Merry Christmas Eve, all!

Friday, December 22, 2006

2006 British Television Advertising Awards

Well its been a good long day! Last night with Megan was really fun, and today I got to go to the 2006 British Television Advertising Awards with the siblings! Tash and Ladric had the tickets and Cletus just happened to fly in from LA an hour ago, and I was in the neighborhood skidding around on the ice so there we go! I am such a dork that I knew way too many of the adds already. This magic Sony Bravia commercial should have won but it got second to a kind of normal one from Honda. Here is a link to the making of this commercial, its great to watch.

This VW GTI commercial was also up there, its one of my favorites. Thats all real dancing, no digital effects out side of the close ups on his face. (Thats a nice car btw, a bit more practical than my STI)

This one from Vidafone was the funniest though, I don't know why. I think its just the punch of the timing after seeing the other adds build and build and build the joke. Its just BAM and done. Point taken.

Good show! I am looking forward to next year.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Winnie photo shoot

(hint: flip through the last five really fast for authentic corgi head-cock action)

I'm 22!

Yesterday was a big day- both my birthday and the last day of the first semester of vet school! The biochem finals took up the beginning of the day. I'm sure I did fine- I had a good 31-point buffer to ensure that I got a B in the class, so I wasn't too worried. I probably could have been a little more careful on the test, but hey, it was my BIRTHDAY! Everyone was pretty excited coming out of the test. I think we've all been burned out from this semester since Thanksgiving. Bring on some new classes! We're seasoned veterans now, we can handle a few (*cough*6...) more credits than we had this semester. We're all free from school until the 8th of January. Wee!

The second half of my day was more birthday-oriented. Chris surprised me with a candlelit dinner from the Ole Store. I opened a few presents, we polished off an entire bottle of Reisling, and went to bed really early. Ha. Party animals, we are! My excuse is that I only slept 4 hours the night before...

Here's what I ended up with:

From Bjorn, a donation to Home For Life pet sanctuary
From Mom and Dad, $100 for Ikea, a 20 GB iPod, and a handmade quilt
From Chris, a new ring box (to keep my ring safe at school), the right cords to hook up my CD player to my car, and a WalkyDog
From Grandma, fuzzy warm PJs and bunny notecards
From the CVM, the satisfaction of completing a semester!
From whoever controls the weather, a little SNOW! (just one day late)

I am very happy and spoiled :-) The Pooh Bear got groomed yesterday, so she is fluffy and clean-smelling for Christmas. I bought her Christmas present today (she knows how to unwrap things herself, by the way...)... She will happy and spoiled come Christmas!

I am off to make some cookies and, for the first time in years, try my hand at fudge again. It is a baking sort of day.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Happy Birthday to Youuuuuuu

Nothing says happy birthday like a frog with a banjo! Yes that's right Megan's birthday is today and she is turning twenty two! That's so old. Mature really. All those "'21" jokes are gone, replaced with the civility and respect due for some one with such a symmetrical age.

So if you see a frog with a banjo today, you will know that its because its Megan's birthday! And if you see her today (or tomorrow) say happy birthday. She deserves it.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006


Since finals are almost done, grades are starting to come in... So far, my first official final grade is a B in anatomy. I have never been so happy to get a B in my life! That was a hard-earned grade. The others aren't official, but I think I have an A- in radiology, an A- in clinical skills, and either a high B or low A in histology (89.11111%... perhaps they'll bump me up?). Biochem is tomorrow... I would have to get a 109% on the test to get an A- in the class, so I guess that's out... But, I only need a 69% on the test to get a B-, so I think I'm safely within the B range. Still better keep studying! Only about 16 hours until first semester is over!

Another loft article (and more Pooh)

Wow, that's two in less than a week... This one's from the Pioneer Press. Some highlights:
"It's like a border town," said JoAnne Makela, a poet and one of the first residents of the Carleton Artist Lofts, which opened last month. "There's a little bit of the grit. It is so industrial, with all the big trucks and the train station nearby. But it has this city feel and it's pretty fascinating — the whole idea of all this commerce and all of this real work going on behind you."

For the first time, urban enthusiasts say, a new identity is emerging for this orphaned intersection that seemed removed from the leafy, historic neighborhoods of St. Anthony Park in St. Paul and Prospect Park in Minneapolis...

... Yet the biggest threat, Rast said, is if development eventually pushes out the artists who turned it around.

"This cannot be hip and cool without the artists," she said. "If the artists leave, you have another cookie-cutter neighborhood."

Which is why the $60 million Carleton lofts are getting enormous attention, from both arts advocates and the development world. Three brownstone warehouses that once served the Johnson Bros. liquor-distribution complex are steadily being reshaped into live/work spaces, primarily targeting artists who meet affordability requirements.

Monday, December 18, 2006


What is this? It's 20lbs of flour over a speaker. What is playing out of that speaker? A really really loud noise. It's static from an amplifier turned to full (these go to eleven). With out the flour snuffing out the sound, it would be ear splitting. It is beautiful and terrifying at the same time. If you look close you can see the grains for flour falling down gently.

I love it, its going in the show.

Now I just need to make it interactive...

Small vent...

... and then I'll start studying, I swear...

At the beginning of lab last week, a professor instructed us to get into our Foal Team groups. They were short an instructor, so instead of one instructor per group, one group had to split up amongst the others (so we had to make five groups out of six). The prof told our group that, since we were the smallest, we would be split up. I told her that our other group member was on her way down to lab, and she replied with, "Well, it's 9:00 and we have to get started, and she's not here." Okay, not a problem, fine by me. I don't care if we get split up. But then she added, "I understand your desire to cling, but we can't hold up the entire lab while we wait for her." Uh. Excuse me? My "desire to cling"? You think I'm worried that people who aren't on my Foal Team have cooties?

The admin makes such a big deal about "treating each other as future colleagues." I think that should extend to the profs too- after all, we are their future colleagues as well. I never had a prof at Olaf talk down to me like that, and I was certainly farther from being their future colleague than the vets who are teaching us now. I may be a first year, but I am a first year in professional school, not high school. Please don't treat me like a snot-nosed kid.

Maybe it wasn't that big a deal, and I was in a sour mood because I a) really wanted to be in bed, and b) knew the lab was going to end with a dead goat. Who knows. But this wasn't the first time that it has struck me how un-student-centered vet school is compared to Olaf. I understand that it's a teaching hospital, and that there are important things going on there, but I don't like feeling like I'm in the way when I'm a vet student in a vet school.

That is all. Time to study!



Anatomy is OVER! And I definitely didn't fail it. Didn't ace it either, but I won't have to retake it! I never have to smell like formalin again.

Time to start day #2, which means studying for biochemistry, which is on Wednesday. This final shouldn't be so bad, since it's really just the basics of genetics (the prof started the section with "You guys have probably all seen this once or twice before..."- or four or five times, thank you St. Olaf education). But of course, since I bombed one test, I want to do extra well on this one to make up for it. Wish me luck!

There's one other little thing I should be preparing for on the 20th, what could it be..........?

<-- (that's a double helix made of legos, BTW)

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Show news

I made it onto the front page of the St. Olaf home page! It's under events on campus. So far we have posters up and out, postcards are late but on their way, food is coming together. Now all we need is the art! My robot is working away as we speak. I am doing test recording today sing DV, and time lapse.

I think I am settled on all the video being live in the gallery, being taken off a live and working (and potentially breaking) robot. The robot will be boxed away so you can hear it but not see it.

Questions I have now:
- How do the lenses fit into all of this? Do they?
- Should I try and include more time lapse? (I will see how it looks later on today)
- How long can I make this guy run? (I have AAA batteries on there now, I am going to try and retrofit AA. Both are 1.5 V but AA last longer)

UPDATE: Oops! That event is not us. Its a bad label for the topics class's show that took place last week! The positive side is that our show didn't have an event, so I added one. I will post the real one once that comes along!

UPDATE II: The problem has been solved and the home page now has the link going here. I wrote it too :)

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Apartment News

Thanks to another Carleton Artist loft-ite who found this StarTrib article on the Loft. There is even a photo gallery.

Some highlights:
"The Carleton Lofts secures Raymond and University as an artists' mecca," Prince said.

Tom Nordyke, a consultant on the Carleton Artists Lofts project and formerly of ArtSpace, a nationally recognized developer of artists' space, said that outside of New York, Carleton Artist Lofts is the largest artist housing community in the country.

"It's going to be a great community," Caufield said. "I flourish in this kind of environment. It's really good for creative minds."

Four months left! We are incredibly lucky to get in on this at the zero floor. Its going to be amazing.

Because you're never too busy for alpacas

Life as a vet student's blog

So our tracker can show us who referred people to our blog - link, search engine, email, and so on.

So look what happened when some one searched for "Cow's Butt"

Given its on page 2, but I still think thats really funny.

P.S. Why where they searching for "Cow's Butt"???

Friday, December 15, 2006

Life as a vet student's dog

Winnie studying with me in the lecture hall...

Will write something more extensive when finals end on the 20th, and when my brain shifts back into real-world mode.

Oh, funny story- I weighed myself on the hospital doggy scale on my way through, and was shocked to see that I gained 20 pounds just a few days after having lost 10 from being sick. It took me until this morning to realize that it's because I was wearing my ridiculously heavy backpack. I'm not sure if that was a relief, or even more disturbing than thinking that I'd gained 20 pounds.

Craig Ferguson

Just to comment on the Santa clip I showed below, that's Craig Ferguson from the Late Late show on CBS after david letterman. CBS has take to posting clips from the previous nights show onto YouTube so people will get to like him. And guess what? It works! I think he is hilarious but I have only seen his TV show once. This is opposite comedy centrals scorched earth policy of removing all of their material from YouTube. It might as well have been free advertising! I don't get it.

This Seemed Like a Job for Robots

I thought I should post something real instead of just a funny clip. I have been working on top secret stuff in the past few days, but it will all be revealed in the next few weeks.

The thing that has been consuming me as of late is the show. Ek! January 5th is the opening, and it has to be in and done on the 4th. This project is ever shifting and is in the process of doing so right now. My main problem, as I think I am learning, has been lack of editing. I have been focusing on installations and concepts and interconnectivity of artwork and in doing so lost the essence of what makes a piece great. Rabbit Logic was good partly because it was so pure. A simple composition, and just one visual trick.

After a great talk with Pat, I am now franticly editing down what I have done this semester and I think its going to come together. Its going to be close though, oh boy. The idea now is much more like Rabbit Logic than it has ever been before. But instead of pipkin I am now using my robot that I built for my external logic provider. How it navigates a space.

We will see how it all comes together, but at least I have a title! It is the subject of this post....

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

I'm sorry, goat

Yesterday we had our lab for Large Animal Neonatology, where we learned the basics of what we would be expected to do as members of Foal Team (or Cria Team, depending on which species we end up dealing with). To practice doing things like placing IV catheters, checking the ABCs of emergency care (airway, breathing, circulation), and simply moving around a relatively large uncoordinated critter, we used a sedated goat. She was a nice white goat, very cooperative. She came from a place that uses goats to make antibodies, and due to that work, she was not allowed to be put into the food supply after her work was done. So she was set to be euthanized, but we were able to use her for one last learning experience. It was important and necessary, but still sad. I'm sorry, little goat, that I didn't have a friendly place to bring you after a life of valuable work, but thank you for what you taught us, and I hope that what we learned from you will help future foals, calves, crias, lambs, and kids.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


Via Talking Points Memo a reader commented:
"And they wonder why they lost the election?

The Iraq War is less popular than gay marriage, legalizing pot, banning handguns, and rescinding the death penalty."
So I made a chart to see what that would look like based on the most recent single data-point polls. Ouch.

Habits of Production

Here is our poster design for the show opening January 5th. Post cards to follow soon I hope. We found the photo in a 1947 National Geographic on the wonders of industry. Its the perfect picture for us I think. You have a structured, predictable word and us new kids trying to build one our way.


In the past two days, I lost 10 pounds.

I shall sell my norovirus in a pill on late-night TV........

Monday, December 11, 2006

Mmm, norovirus...

Apparently, sometime between Saturday night and Sunday morning, my body was attacked by a norovirus. Not fun! I thought I just ate some bad food at Saturday's party, but then I started to get a fever too. I was up most of the night and finally fell asleep around 3. Of course my alarm went off at 6... Bleh. I did make it through today's grief session, though. It was a little depressing talking about euthanasia all day, but I guess it was a good experience overall.

Of course, we got an email from school today telling us that they are seeing lots of norovirus cases around the CVM... :-P Yeah, no kidding!

Not much else to report. I'm tired.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Pooh bear!

My first pooh bear :) My second one being far more dog like of course. Natasha found him in the basement and included him in a photo shoot. I just saw the picture with out reading her note first, but I knew who it was right away.

Poor Megan could use a pooh bear right about now. She has been sick all day from some bug that hit her this morning. And tomorrow is the day long session on grief in veterinary medicine where tissues are apparently provided. Ug.


Well Christmas time is too near and I have not done a wish list, so here it goes. (How come you want things all year but when Christmas rolls around you blank out?)

- Good knife set. Now I am using second serrated hand ones from walmart. *shudder*

Any thing from. With an eye to the apartment in may.

- Specifically some shelving or chairs, or stools, or more shelving, or glass ware (non beer related) bed frame, or a chest of drawers that doesn't fall apart when you open it.
Not that I have been looking or anything...

- Fancy food stuffs. Coffees, nuts, chocolates, cheeses, honey, spices and the like.
- Micron 01 pens
- Rug(s)
- Art Book(s)
- cool clothing
- Purple paint, new rims, custom exhaust and a spoiler (kidding)

Is that all? I don't know but I think so. If I have more I will add it here later....

UPDATE: Speaking about cooking, my magic Calphalon pan is not so magic any more. Its also my lone piece of of such cook ware.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

New Blogger

Our overlords at Google updated Blogger and added some new features. Its nothing revolutionary, just more up to date with the competition and faster for us to use. The template is now much more editable, but I have done so much with the HTML that their upgrade would be a downgrade for WLU because I would lose all of that.

The most notable things for you are post "labels" that we can add to categorize each post. These are then cross-referenced with the rest of the blog so if you click on a label, blogger will display all posts that have to do with this subject. For example, this post has to do with our blog, so I have labeled it "Blog." Click on that!

Mmmm, this has been a meta-data kind of day...

Zooooooo part 2

I found out today that I got put into the Tropical Encounters group! Exciting. It'll be like visiting Ecuador, except that I'll actually be able to see the birds and other critters instead of scanning the canopy and lying to our guide- "Uh... yeah, I, uh, see that topaz hummingbird... uh... beautiful..."

Anyway. I got an 83% on Monday's anatomy lab exam, which puts me at an 82% for the class so far, with two more exams before the end of the semester. Not too shabby! I will be very happy if that's where I end up for the class.

I interviewed for the fish caretaker job today, and my interviewer said that I had "very impressive experiences for someone of your age." Heh. Oh yeah. I hope I get it! I am super qualified. I've been taking care of fish for years! It would be really nice to have a job on campus, but not in the Vet Med building... I think I'd get really sick of school if I had classes there and worked there too.

Everyone is getting that restless antsy feeling that comes with the end of a semester. We are all ready for new classes. I know I won't miss the anatomy lab! It is a good class and I've learned so much, but one can only spend so much time around cadavers... Our poor anat prof cut his hand on the bandsaw today. I hope he's okay... All we heard was that the paramedics were taking care of him, and that the cut was along his hand between two fingers, so they don't think he sliced through anything important. Send him good thoughts.

Winnie has been getting stressed out in the school kennels again lately. She did so good for a while, but just before Thanksgiving she started having accidents in it again. She also started really resisting being brought into the building that the kennels are in and being put into the kennel itself, and she started barking almost constantly. I did everything that had worked to calm her before, but nothing really helped except for leaving my hat in her kennel with her- that at least kept her from having accidents, but didn't stop the barking. Finally, this afternoon when I was putting her in, I noticed that she was focusing on the big ventilation fan in the window. I forgot how much she hates ceiling fans until my dad mentioned it the other day. She was reacting to that window fan exactly the same way- pacing, circling, whimpering. So I hung a towel over the front of her kennel door so she couldn't see the fan anymore. I left the room.... and no barking. I walked up the stairs, and out the door... no barking! I came to let her out mid-afternoon, and she had been sleeping. She still didn't want to go back in the kennel, but again when I left she didn't bark. I wonder if it's really the fan that's been upsetting her this whole time? I guess I'll keep covering her kennel door to see if it helps. She is an odd duck sometimes...

Pipkins revenge

So I think pipkin destroyed my Powerbook's AC adapter. But I am not sure. See there have been reports of adapters like mine craping out by having the wire break and short out near the brick, as mine did, but that break looks disturbingly rabbit like. I found a way to fix the problem, so I tried it and it didn't help at all. So here it is, strung up on the apprentice board all naked.

Now I have this! Its a MacAlly Powerbook AC adapter and it cost me $30 (no shipping, thank you Amazon) vs. a new apple one at $70 + shipping! Its not quite as good though. It doesn't have the cool indicator light that shows green when charged and orange when charging, and it looks like I have to haul the whole mess along with me now instead of switching the extension cord to the mini plug, but whatever - thirty bucks is thirty bucks!


Yay! I get CONTENTdm for Christmas! Well not just me, but St. Olaf has finally agreed to buy this database program that would consolidate the various fiefdoms that each department has for images and metadata. Even within departments no one can access anyone else's imagery. So enter DM. It can handle piles of meta data and do searches and cross references with ease. It will still be 100% local to our network so only people inside the campus and with a login/password can access it.

Washington State Universityhas an example of a password free page that is simple and nice. You can search, or you can just choose a predefined search to get a slected category. Once you get the image, you get along with it a fantastic flood of meta-data that is all cross referenced. He took it in 1911? Well click on that and see what else he took in 1911. Subject? Type? Location? As much as you can throw at it.

Now this is really nothing new. Carleton already uses it, and has used it for years i'm sure. Its the standard for this kind of stuff. But there has been an internal debate for years now, and DM finally won and I am very excited. I feel like this is the big reason I was hired - to transition this department from our old slide library system, and our dysfunctional online database (it uses Microsoft access!) to DM. And who knows? Perhaps this will vault this position to a campus wide position. That was Heather's notion of it when she left. To combine this position in the art department with library hours to create a 1.0 position, vs. the .25 it is right now.

Who knows. For now I am just going to focus on moving our collection over and seeing what the possibilities are for us now. Lots of balls in the air. Between ARTstor and CONTENTdm we should eventually have killer campus wide imagery access. Fun fun!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

100th post!

This is a sure sign that it's getting cold out...

They may be butt-to-butt, but THEY'RE ON THE SAME BED!

He just wanted to say hello to all his fans.


I copied and pasted the entire blog into word and found out that it is 16,000 words long! Thats quite a bit I think. To celebrate I did another little design change to the template, removing the fade out effect on the sides, making the background darker, and organizing the links. Enjoy the next 16,000 words!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Zoooooo class!

On Sunday when I met with some friends to study anatomy, one of them asked if I'd heard whether I got accepted into Special Topics in Zoo Animal Medicine, because she got an acceptance email on Saturday. I was sad because I hadn't heard anything, which made me think that I hadn't gotten in... I emailed the professor just to be sure, asking if we weren't accepted if we hadn't heard anything from her yet, and I got this reply:

"In your case, it means that I accidentally left your name off of the list."

D'oh! This is actually the second time this professor has left me off a class list (something about being a W, I guess?). Oh well. The good news is that I'm in the class, the bad news is that I don't know what group I'm in get. There are 4: hoofstock (zebras, giraffes, etc), primates, marine critters (polar bears, sea lions, penguins, puffins), and the new Tropical Encounters exhibit (birds, a sloth, fish, reptiles, stingrays). I'm rooting for Tropical Encounters.......... Cross your fingers!

So here's next semester's schedule:
-Professional Skills II
-Overview of Animal Populations !!
-Veterinary Neurobiology
-Veterinary Physiology
-Veterinary Phramacology
-Host Defenses
-Infectious Agents: Virology
-Veterinary Genetics
-Clinical Skills II
-Behavior Core
-Special Topics in Zoo Animal Medicine

... and potentially a seminar course about large North American mammals through the conservation biology grad program.

That would make a whopping 27 credits! That's 9 more than last semester, but 5 less than fall semester second year.

Oh, and I applied for a job, taking care of 40 aquariums and 2 anole tanks for an animal behavior class. Weeeee! Ironically, I'll be doing basically what I did at Petco, but only the fun parts, and making more than I ever did there. I hope I get it! I interview on Thursday...

There are only 8 days of classes left! Three finals, one quiz, one project. Then I'm 1/8th of the way to being a vet!

Bronze pour

Poured my chess set today! Here is video of it going down. Mine were the first two cups poured. I am going back to Dittman to check on how they came out now.

"Infrawave Speed Oven"

This is funny. So I bought a toaster oven for our apartment because it took the place of the toaster and a microwave and I have really grown to love it. It warms up food slower than a microwave but it cooks it again eliminating that sloppy and uneven feeling that microwaving gives food. It is less convent however.

It works by having two electric heating elements turn on and off keeping it at your desired temperature.

So I am reading today Wired Magazine's "Test" feature and under household items the Black & Decker Infrawave Speed Oven took first prize. Here is the description:
Smaller than a microwave and more versatile than a toaster, B&D’s unconventional hottie uses infrared light to cook meals on the countertop. Its two heating elements cycle on and off, employing varying wavelengths to bake, broil, or roast your chow in up to half the time it would take in a full-size gas or electic oven.
Yay! My $4 toaster oven is household gizmo of the year. Sure I don't have an LCD panel, and this cooks with light bulbs (hmmmmm)but it costs $150. What is old is new.

Glass III

Here are some pics of me in Redwing at the Anderson Center working on my lenses. The Anderson center is an amazing place, sort of an art fort. Compleate with brick walls around the complex and a tower! Huge sculptures lurk around the campus and the glass studio at least was well lit, well ventilated, colorful and open. For artists looking for good studio space for ceramics or glass, this place would be heaven.

My lenses should be ready now. I didn't blow them, but rather made huge flat and ugly paperweights that I will then cut the lens out of. I will just use the top inch or so and toss the rest.

Glass is an amazing process, but I defiantly did not fall in love with it the way I fell in love with bronze or iron. It is much more akin to ceramics in the process. Blob of goo --> a vessel where castings is all about the mold making. For some reason I find that more appealing to work on. But I certainly appreciate hand blown glass more now! I go back next sunday for another afternoon where I will grind down and polish my lenses, and hopefully get to play a little too!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Gävle Goat!

Megan found this funny story on line about a giant straw goat in Stockholm that gets destroyed almost every year. So this year they put on flame retardent from the airline industry to keep people from torching it. But will it last?

The wikipedia page tells the whole story. Its called the Gäavle goat and its the same design that we have on our Christmas tree but huge. It was started in 1966 and sice then over 1/2 of all the goats were distroyed.

From wikipedia, here are the best distructions:
1966 Stig Gavlén comes up with the idea of a giant goat made out of straw. The goat stood until 12.00 PM that New Year's Eve, when it went up in flames. The perpetrator, who was from Hofors, Gästrikland, was found and convicted of vandalism.

1972 The goat collapsed because of sabotage.

1976 Local hillbillies ran the goat over with a car.

1978 Again, the goat was kicked to pieces.

1979 The goat was burnt even before it was erected. A new one was built and fireproofed. It was destroyed and broken into pieces.

1983 The legs were destroyed.

1985 Even though the goat was enclosed by a 2 meters (6,5 ft) high metalfence, guarded by Securitas and even soldiers from the Gävle I 14 Infantry Regiment, it was burned down in January.

1987 A heavily fireproofed goat was built. It got burned down a week before Christmas.

1998 Burned down on December 11th, even though there was a major blizzard. Was rebuilt.

2000 Burned down a couple of days before New Year's Eve. The Natural Science Club's goat got tossed in the Gävle river.

2001 Goat set on fire on December 23 by Lawrence Jones, a 51-year-old visitor from Cleveland, Ohio... Jones stated in court that he is no "goat burner", and believed that he was taking part in a completely legal goat-burning tradition.

2005 Burned by unknown vandals reportedly dressed as Santa and a gingerbread man reportedly by shooting a flaming arrow or molotov cocktail towards the goat at 21:00 on December 3.
Tossed into the river?! That poor Goat! Anyway the image that you see above is a live web cam of the goat and nothing has happend yet. Part of me is rooting for the goat and part of me wants the list to keep going and not be defeated by some little thing like fire retardent. It didn't work in 1987 or 1979 so why should it now?

Test morning haiku

My head is empty
You want me to learn what now?
Okay, fill 'er up...

Notice I am blogging instead of listening to the lecture...

Anatomy test

Rawr! Ileal papilla! Ileal papilla!!

And prepubic TENDON, not ligament!


And my time stamp....

... only it's the start of my day...

*yawn* The artist vs. the student... no rest for either!

Aprenti Lock in

So check the time stamp, I dare you. Go on, check! Yes that does say 5:15 am. Yes that does mean I just stayed up ALL NIGHT in dittmann working obsessively on stuff. But now I am dead tired after a day that has just kept on going and going....
Bed now! Night all!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Apartment II

So I am a huge nerd and enjoy playing with 3D programs. So I re-did the apartment videos with better lighting, better color, better source data, better perspective, and better camera work! Yeah, so better. Did you know that the human eye has about a 22mm focal length? These are shot as "macro" 25mm videos, so they match your eye better but give it a fish-eye effect.
The result are the three videos that follow:

#1 View from entrance way.
#2 View from living room
#3 Bedroom:

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Christmas Wish List

... because I know everyone is dying to know... ;-)
  • A WalkyDog bike attachment, so Win and I can bike more safely.
  • Anything soft, shiny, or made of chocolate (or all of the above!)
  • A nice Daiwa closed-face reel, because my attempts to save money and buy cheap reels have all backfired on me. My current reel likes to randomly tangle, or let the line loose, or not reel the line in at all. :-/ I'm sure that's why I've been having bad fishing luck, right? Right?
  • Non-latex gloves (smalls please!), and new 10- or 20-size scalpel blades
  • Anything that claims to reduce stress

Okay, okay, my list is too long. I will be happy with no gifts, as long as Christmas involves no homework and lots of time in warm places, with lots of good food, and a corgi!

Northfield is in full Christmas Fest mode. I am taking a break from the 'Fest this year for fear it will make me a little sad to go. I need a little more distance from graduation and the whole Olaf experience to enjoy being wrapped up in the warm snugglies of Christmas Fest again. I'm not ready to be an alum!!

Yesterday was December 1st, which marked the 5-month mark until we move into our apartment... I think this calls for a ticker! (the white bunny is Pipkin, of course, hopping down University Ave...)