Monday, April 30, 2007

everything is wonderful, having the time of my life

Ribbons of chocolate. April 2007.

Not much to report. Heard from everyone, they are fine and I'm very relieved.

Vexed by spreadsheets and contemplating my career choice. I never thought my life would be ruled with such things.

I'm looking forward to a mellow week - I hope.


Thursday, April 26, 2007

Gawd, where did the week go?

I was merely looking at the availibility of flying from SEA to Paris on an award ticket to pick up some more Jean Charles Rochoux and I am off a week.

Damn skippy.

I need that week back.

Then again, I could just screw American and fly BA in club for the same amount of miles, but put myself through the torture of LHR.

Or, I could just walk to Frans and buy some chocolate.

More on this later...


Sunday, April 22, 2007

earth day redux

So, it is earth day.

What did you do?

I composted, didn't really drive anywhere (no where in fact), cleaned out my fridge, ran four loads of laundry, walked my dog four times, had a good conversation with my dear Pat and took a nap for my own conservation.

Hey, for us, every day is earth day. We compost, we minimize what goes into landfills, we think before we buy, we recycle, we minimize our use of electricity and we do it without any hoopla, any color adverts in the papers and without a big media flurry.

It just happens.

Other than that, we're enjoying ourselves here.

Ernest has been very busy (read his blog). I am killing snails left and right (have shoes, will travel). TH managed to get some work done today (yeah). We spent about thirty minutes today cleaning out the freezer and by god, we'll be done with the salmon, halibut, berries and lamb before the next batches come in! Well, at least closer than we have before.

I am so ready for the week to begin and be over.

Does that make sense?

It does to me.

Buhbye historical data in seventeen different formats! I am so done with you.

nm, exceling, zoning and interoperating in April 2007

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Blue guitars and tight asses

Ernest the puppy, February 2007.

I met you again in my sleep last night,
these are days of slow boats and false starts.

Hearts remain under lock and key,
you will be the one to set them both free.

And yet people will tell you you're miles from your home,
miles from your home.

But that's where I want to be.
Out there searching,
out here fumbling,
out here waiting
for you and you for me.

The moon hangs like a question mark,
pale as milk, bold as a promise.
When will you share these sights with us?
When will we hold you in our arms?

-Miles from our home
Michael Timmims

Hmm. Where did we leave off?

Ah yes, we survived our half marathon quite nicely. The weather was great, the company delightful, the scenery spectacular, the tulips lovely, the food excellent and the asses on the marathoners stunning.

So, what next?

I am doing the 10K associated with the Kirkland Half and decided that I'll end up walk/running the Seattle Half Marathon on Thanksgiving weekend. Since I've decided to basically stop flying, its great. TH can run off to Brussels without me in November and October and I'll just stay home. She gets my upgrades and I get to train with Ernest.

Tonight we went to see the Cowboy Junkies. It was a strange show this time. Either I'm feeling younger or the fan base is getting older, but it felt like we were the youngest people there. I love them, but they did not do Ernest the puppy's song - Miles from our home, which is one of my favorite songs in the world and his AKC name - Oxboro's Miles from our home - Ernest the puppy.

The song is so important to me, I was seriously bummed. I can remember sitting in the Kirkland Performing Arts hall almost a year ago, knowing that the following day, Peter and I would be driving to Goldendale to pick him up. I just get verklempt just thinking about it.

I just couldn't wait to meet you my sweet boy.

Okay, other than that, I'm off to SFO tomorrow for a one hour commitment. I wish to god that I was paid like one of those people who gets flown to a one hour meeting, but alas, I am not, just have to go.

Yes, those taxes are done, money transferred and I'm feeling it today.



Saturday, April 14, 2007

Musings and rants

Not necessarily the best carbs to load on, Seattle, April 2007.

First of all, I turned to TH yesterday and said "a year ago, would you ever have thought you would be carrying a bikini-clad rubber chicken to the car to entice your dog to follow?".


Next, it is spring here.

I am so happy. I could have done without the downpours of yesterday leaving me with a pile of wet sloppy clothing hanging on the line that I am going to have to take off now, spin and then throw in the dryer. The lilacs are blooming as are the fruit trees. Looks like our old cherry will mostly rejoin us this year. I am relieved.


I need to pack for my half marathon tomorrow. Desitin (don't ask), glide, three pairs of socks, ibuprofen, second skin, some power bars, sunscreen (always hopeful), some water and rain jacket.

Should be fun! Will be treated at the end by TH and Ernest bringing us back to Miss J's car.

Yesterday, I received a terse email from our homeless acquaintance thanking us for the 100 dollar donation we made to the Humane society when he had to surrender his cats for what we believed would be a fostering situation. It paid for their euthanization and cremation since they did not pass the old cat physical.


Like, when we found a home for them for the last nine months, kept them in food, litter and vet bills and then tried to find a fostering situation when he was incapable, we were being cruel and thoughtless.

Just call me nm, cat killer.


Serenity now.

You can kill me snail killer. I have been forcing Ernest on long (1 hour walks) in the morning in the hood, just to kill snails. I need to know just how far on someone's property I can creep to pick up snails and bring them to the sidewalk to kill.

Would you as a homeowner be incensed if I was to pick snails off of your retaining wall or rockery or steps (the first two to your garden) to kill them before they get to your hostas?

I need to know.

I don't want someone coming out with their NYT and latte and beating me over the head with it and throwing hot caffeinated coffee at me. I drink decaf, that would be bad.

On that happy note, I'm going to sign off now until tomorrow when I will return to you aglow, in pain and done for the month!

nm, cold blooded killer according to few

Thursday, April 12, 2007


Recently I have been househunting, not for myself but for my parents who are reconsidering life up North.

It has been interesting. My parents took risks in the mid 70's to buy more than they could afford at the time and to give their kids dream house to grow up in Seattle. They sold it to build a house from the ground up - a lovely place with a grand ocean view in So Cal .

They lived in that for while and then decided to downsize. It has been interesting to watch that process, they moved from about 4500 square feet to 3200 in So. Cal. plus another 900 in Seattle. It has been amazing to me to watch them pack up, move, remodel and move again four or five times in the same time I have stayed put here in the 98105.

Now, they are thinking about it again. This time they are looking for more room than they currently have, while keeping to their desire for one story home with a view, very few steps to negotiate and large entertaining spaces. It has been fun to wander the internet typing in requirements and seeing what comes up within or near my zipcode where money is less of an object than it would be for me. For now, I can drive by houses I love and think would be perfect in hopes that a for sale sign will pop up and that they will love it.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

zipity do dah

I can't describe my week. All I can say is that it just isn't getting better and the amount of money coming in is certainly not equaling the amount of money that is pouring from my accounts.


I wish I had just decided that the life of science wasn't that wonderful at an earlier age. I hear what my friends in consulting make or in sales and I am gob smacked.

Anyone had a change of heart and decided that they were willing to give up their comfort zone in order to live a bit more dangerously - e.g. change careers at your midlife?;taking up paragliding, living somewhere cheaper or different; or take time off to figure out what you want to do?

I am tired of my comfort zone.

nm who just inhaled six mini meringues from le panier because they were there

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Cherry blossoms, Rainier on the five way, April 2007.

We've recovered from Easter. I have found only one egg in the garden. I am impressed. Good job hunters. We missed some of you, next year, there may be an night time hunt.

Right now, I am just overwhelmed by the tax year (oy!), traveling next week and my half marathon on Sunday.

The weather is divine and all I can think of is playing in the dirt.

It is going to have to wait until next Saturday the way the week is shaping up.


Thursday, April 05, 2007

What may be the truth

As seen on an airconditioning unit somewhere in Savannah.

Beautiful here. I have very little energy to discuss anything, but I have been battling duplication of effort all day.

I love that.


Wednesday, April 04, 2007

more terms of endearment

cast through the prism
make that objective a reality
embedded in the recommendations
context of synthesis
proactively develop a new way to suppot scholarship
shared commonalities
biodegradable sensor nets
metadata as a living evolving resource
formats repurposed
bin up the recommendations

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

words to write a nsf grant by

In no particular order -----

data borderland
clearinghouse node

add cross walk and interoperability and you have a nsf proposal title.


TH is in a meeting for the next few days that seems to be very interesting if you are interested in global change, polar issues and modeling and mapping. However, even with a group of the best and the brightest talking without all the suits in the room, they are still prone to speaking in tongues.

You know, bullshit bingo speak. Words that just make no sense.

She just sent me a bingo message. She also told me yesterday that there was talk of carbon neutral arctic research. I guess those researchers all going up to Greenland in April are planning on canoeing? I'll have to ask Miss S. next time I see her.

I am eagerly awaiting her five words of bingoness.

Never heard of bullshit bingo? Consider yourself lucky. If you have and want to play along, go here.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Shop window, on canal st. martin (the non-dodgy end), Paris, France, February 2007.

On Wednesday morning I leave for another VAF. This time in Savannah. It should be fun and TH has never been there. We'll catch up with one of her father's grad students who is now a professor and see more of the extended family.

If it wasn't so damn hot and muggy. I can't not abide by that combination. It makes me sluggish and it makes traipsing around looking at buildings and taking pictures harder work than it already is.

Ernest is going to the kennel. He suspects something is up because we have premeasured his food and washed his bed.

Mrs. El-hakim's third grade class project carpet (the hideous gabbeh carpet in Maria Teresa brown) we have in our in living room is getting deep cleaned for easter. It lived a pristine life while we were petless and now is quite well, doggie. The window cleaners are booked and my parents are coming up for a few days.

If only I could make work seem so organized, but that is the biggest challenge.

Unfortunately, I am involved in a project that keeps on throwing me curve balls, it seemed relatively easy at first, but oy, it just keeps on getting more complicated.

Oh well, maybe getting away from the office will give me some time to think.

And you?


Sunday, March 25, 2007

found weekend

That which is lost and found, Narcissus, March 2007.

I found a weekend and it was marvelous. I walked off my twice mechanicalized (is this a word?) flight from SEA-SAN and told them to refund my ticket and went home, no problem!

My parents suggested this. I saw them on Tuesday, I will see them again in two weeks and I really couldn't be bothered with another weekend spent away from my own bed.

TH was surprised and so was Ernest. So were the friends that TH was planning on seeing and thought that I was out of town.

It was great. I gardened, walked the boy, cooked a storm, did my eight mile training walk today, saw some great friends, caught up with some reading and enjoyed a weekend watching Spring happen here - rufus hummingbirds buzzing around, jays nesting, ducks swimming in vernal ponds and skunk cabbages in their brilliant yellow, making me smile.


Yes, I missed my peeps in the 92037, but honestly, there is no place like home.


Monday, March 19, 2007

Happy New Year 1386!

Narcissus, March 2006. Seattle, WA.

I'm off to surprise my father for his birthday.

He's a new year's baby and its the first No Ruz I have spent with my parents since 2002.

Here's hoping spring brings you all joy and peace.


Friday, March 16, 2007

Thank someone its friday

Getting to the bottom of it, Ernest the young man, March 2007.

If I liked to drink, that is where I would be -in the bag totally snockered. Instead, I took off relatively early, tired of looking at tiny screens of numbers and took Ernest for a looooooooong walk.

It did us both good.

He even let us eat dinner without interruption.

Wonders never cease.

All I can say is the if the weather this weekend is as nice as it was this afternoon, we're golden.

Rhodendendrons, do or die weekend gardening, taxes!, dog wash, Eats in Westwood village and getting ready for New Year.



Thursday, March 15, 2007

No, I am not premenstrual

Dogtooth violets, March 2007, Seattle.

Today Seattle vexed me. I have lived here 38 plus years and sometimes I just can't get over how much people find the mundane things about Seattle to be so freaking charming- traffic, cupcakes, cookware stores and little soap boutiques. I think these noobs as I will categorize them just can't realize that while Seattle tries hard, it isn't New York, so just give it up.

Parking downtown, the lack of affordable housing and the 16 dollar pizza will be the downfall of the city. It could also be the proliferation of the three dollar cupcake, but I'll leave that for the economic analysts to sort out.

In a perfect Seattle world or the one that the city, the blawgs and the chamber of commerce portrays life goes like this... Lets all take the bus or the streetcar to work, unless we can walk or rollerblade. We all want to live in the now artificially created South Lake Union neighborhood ( genetically engineered for only 750,000 to start) and buy everything from expensive boutiques. Heaven help you if you need a pair of of less than 10 dollar underwear or buttermilk after 10 pm or a pad of legal paper in case you have a thought that does not require a computer.

Then again, look at me, I am guilty of some of these things I detest. I got a sixty dollar haircut and two 16 dollar pizzas downtown and then fought traffic for 30 minutes just to get home, because some asshats on Eastlake don't abide by the no parking between 4-6 pm signs. Fuckers, I hope your side view mirrors get taken off by busses. Yes, busses, the bane of my existence in the District and downtown.

Enough of that.

I sometimes long for the pre-development up the ying yang, pre-Nickels, pre-Vulcan Seattle, the one I grew up in and the one I wish to god would return.

I know its gone, I just wish I could have enjoyed it more.


Tuesday, March 13, 2007

catch up....

Crocus, March 2007, Seattle, WA taken with macro lens.

Catching my breath here. It has been a week and it is only Tuesday.

My spacebar seems seems to be having some issues orshouldIsay,myspacebarseemstobehavingsome issues?


I have caught a small cold from some unknown vector. Half the folks
at my meeting last week were sick. I am not amused. I am still functioning, however, part of me would be quite happy to curl up in a corner and take a nap. The other part would love to be staring at my computer screen trying to reconcile data formats and decide how to archive model runs.

Wow, what excitement my career has brought me!

I love my new very lovely macro lens. It rocks the free world, whatever that means.

I am going to California twice next week. It is a secret, so don't tell my dad.

Tonight was the eve of the last Wednesday before the new year (Persian New Year). I know I have blogged about it before, but this year, I was caught off guard. I did receive my Adele by Mail - Deluxe Noruz in a box kit for young Iranian women who can't get it together in time. Thanks Mom!

I just need to drop all the goods in my own containers and I'm done. The last few years we have been in Italy for Persian New Year, so I have managed to put assemble my travelling haft-sin. This year, I'm here sort of and I can't get things arranged.

It'll get done, trust me, even if I have to call every freaking bank in the Seattle area to find new one dollar bills.

Other than that, last week, Ernest turned one. He's quite adorable. Go see him here.

We're still doing the race a month thing here at floraandflying. Trying to convince my dear friends that the race for the cure is a decent day of running and walking and that we can all wear pink boobage enhancing shirts. I am trying to convince a few (ehem, you know who you are) that it is for a good cause). I may have to bribe them with boas.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Count me as very disappointed to hear this.

No longer will Flyertalk be a community that I love.