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TMI Thursday: Stickage

April 28, 2011

Since Lilu decided to dispense with the whole TMI Thursday hosting, we haven't heard a whole lot about my junk, what I've been doing with it, or many of my bodily functions of late. I've decided to pick that back up since they were some of my more popular posts. Plus, why deprive the world of these miserable marvelous life experiences? I shouldn't be the only who suffers through is blessed to enjoy these foibles of my body.

I'm not a big fan of spring. About the only thing I like about spring is the storms, and I like those only because I haven't been injured in any of them, had any property destroyed (despite parking various shitty cars under trees hoping the wind brings those tall pines down *angry glower*), or the like. I guess I also enjoy the fact that the college girls dress extra slutty in these days leading up to summer break. Yes. Yes, I like that very much. *taps tips of fingers together*

The spring brings the return of mowing my grass, it gets hot, and the atmosphere is suffused with pollen. This hasn't affected me too badly since I've moved South, but the rest of my family suffers from allergies, which makes me miserable. Because I commiserate with others so well.

Now, long before I was the svelte, dapper motherfucker you see before you, I've had a problem that springs to life round this time of year. I tend to suffer from a lot of stickage.

You know, stickage.

Don't tell me you're unfamiliar.

Okay, so "stickage" is when my scroat adheres itself to the silky smooth flesh of my inner thigh. Alone, or even with the love of my life (television), this is not a problem. I reach a hand down there, fish around for a bit, fumble away, and peel the soft, velvety skin away from the inside of my groin. However, when the children are present, it's unseemly for daddy dearest to have it hands down his pants, no matter how surreptitiously I'm peeling one layer of dermis away from another.

And, besides, I'm only home and awake for a few hours of the day.

Let's think about this for a moment. I work in a lab, one that prides itself on safety (Our motto: "Everyone has ten fingers!"), we're required to wear lab coats when working in the lab. This is to go with regular work attire. While the labs are fairly well ventilated (Noxious fumes? Send them outside!), they air-handlers have issues cooling the air as it gets turned over so much. This results in winters being chilly (not a problem; I have a lab coat!), but spring, summer and fall are uncomfortably warm.

As the level of uncomfortable warmth rises, so does the occurrence of stickage. And, when I'm at work, people really from on you sticking your hand down your pants and fumbling your nuts away from the inside of your thigh.

And here's the curious thing: about 90% of the time, the stickage is on the right side of my sack. I don't know what the deal is, but this is the side of my body where my Balzac is most likely to meld with my leg. There's nothing abnormal about that side; my right nut hangs lower than my left (apparently, that's common, since I'm a righty). That's the only thing I can find that's different about the right side of my manhammer; believe me, I've investigated. At length.

When the stickage happens at work, it's most unpleasant because I can't manually extract myself from myself--though I am typically wearing gloves, so at least I have the correct protective equipment. I'll be standing there, working on the next wonderdrug, when suddenly I'll feel that unwelcome tug on the inside of my shorts. I then spend the next five minutes gyrating and hopping from one leg to the other, trying to part my thighs far enough that my coinpurse peels itself off the inner portions of my leg.

Annoying hardly

Thusly, spring is not the time of rebirth for me. Spring is the time to invest in yet some more talcum powder. Because, you know, it's always good to be caught with a large amount of an unknown, white, powdery substance...

Oh, the things I'll do to avoid my nutsack from annealing itself to my inner thighs.

Totally Blowing Shit Up Tuesdays: Isn't it Ironic?

April 26, 2011

Recently, in the lab, I've been working with a lot of iron powder. The stuff is great in that it does exactly what I want it to with minimal side reactions. For a chemist, that's like getting a lap dance with a happy ending. There's very little mess, it gets the job done, and the only danger is leaving some of the iron in your sample when you take an NMR. That's the equivalent of lipstick on your collar and an angry wife.

Anyway, aside from its electron-donating capabilities (making it a reductant...remember kids, LEO the lion goes GER!), iron is pretty cool stuff, chemically-speaking. Of the myriad of reactions I've done in my day, the ones involving iron seem to work the best. It might not be the sexiest metal to throw into your reaction, but it sure is reliable and it gets the job done. Iron is kind of the Pittsburgh of the periodic table.

Now that I'm done with metaphors for iron and its chemical potential (I see it as a metal with HUGE upside!), there was one thing that caught my eye on the side of the bottle when I cracked it open and started slinging the fine, steely-gray powder around the balance area. It caught my eye because it was colored over in pink highlighter: CAUTION! Highly Flammable!

Flammable? Iron? Oh really?

And then I thought on it some more. Iron, by its very nature, enjoys coupling with oxygen. A lot. In fact, iron and oxygen get rather kinky: two irons and three oxygens are known to bind up and share one another freely back and forth. We tend to call it rust.

So, it only makes sense that iron would be more than happy to react with the oxygen in the air. And, as I hope I've shown you time and again, fine powders love to react explosively in the presence of an ignition source. And if you don't believe me, well, here is a safety video about iron "fileings" (it hurt to type that) that you may tickle your eyeballs with:



Despite the lack of production quality, the terrible misspellings (which I shan't repeat here) and the diligent commentary...I actually like that video quite a bit. I'm being quite honest here. Essentially, the reaction was the one I described above, iron + oxygen + flame = fast rust.

Fe0 + O2 ---> Fe2O3


Kinky.

Now, if you're like me (that is to say, "girthy"), you've used those heating pads before, where you open the pad up and put it on your body and you eventually begin to feel it warming up. It's supposed to help loosen "tightened" muscles, and provide all the relief that icy hot gives, just without the burn and the cloying aroma of menthol. Usually, I start to purr like a kitten about five minutes after they're on and then scream like a banshee thirty minutes later, because they've become too warm. I'm a sensitive little spanker.

It's the same reaction, though. The pads are packaged in nitrogen, which won't bind to the iron, meaning no reaction. Once exposed to air, and the 21% oxygen therein, the iron begins to rust, releasing energy in the form of heat. The heat is then transferred to your muscles, where it acts like a topless Thai massage therapist, working away all the tension and soreness that a spate of failed reactions in the lab can leave you with. Science can be sexy!

Oh, and then there's that other thing about iron being reactive and explosive. We've seen it several times before, just under the a different name. When we mix iron(III)oxide (rust) with aluminum powder, we get one of the formulas for thermite.



Thermite always leaves me a little worked up after watching it do its thing.

The lesson here is, yes, even iron can be flammable. And you should totally read and believe the labels on the sides of the chemicals and practice the utmost in safety in all lab settings. Nothing good will ever come of an accident in the lab.

Shut up.

Head. Desk. Repeat.

April 25, 2011

There's a guy at one of the establishments where I find succor at the teat of employment who thinks he's clever. On the door to his office, he posts little "jokes" and "witticisms" that are supposed to be humorous, but most of the time are just dumb. Plain. Fucking. Dumb.

A lot of the things aren't even his. He posts stuff like "Why do we park on driveways and drive on parkways?" Hur hur hur. Hilarious. He's definitely one to forward this email around to his friends and family, and they'd all be like "That guy...he's so damned clever!" You're only encouraging the assholes, people! Cut it the fuck out!

Now, I like English. In fact, I like language as a whole. But, since I speak and write in English most often, I consider it "my native tongue". Therefore, I like it. I also understand the uses of it. I might not follow the rules all the time, but most of the time when I ignore things, it's for effect.

I realize I'm in a minority with this. I'm sort of okay with that. Sort of.

Some people, however, really don't fucking care. Over Christmas, this guy posted on his door: "Propaganda: a gentlemanly goose".

Okay, fine. "Gentlemanly" can be an adjective (acting in the manner of a gentleman), but that -ly on there does give it the ring of an adverb. And, the adverb completely changes that sentence. It was the first time I ever giggled at something that he posted on his board. Unfortunately, it was my own youthful sense of butt-fondling exuberance that brought the joke to life.

And, honestly, to make that joke work, you need to throw in a Red Sox reference or something.

But now...now, he has a completely different one on the door. And, it's as mind-numblingly dumb, for different reasons. And I quote:

I thought I had discovered a book for tracking down magical creatures--but it turned out just to be a fairy tail!


*audible sigh*

I am tempted to hang a sheet of paper on his door--neatly typed--that reads "Look, I'm not one to judge, but is this really the place to air your trans-species fetishes?"

Because you people are all brilliant, you see the error right away. A fairy tale is a story about mythical, magical beings. A fairy tail is a sweet piece of three-apple-high ass.

But that's not the end of it. This is probably splitting hairs--and when have you known me not to get all pedantic on someone?--but a fairy is a mythical being. A unicorn, dragon, gryphon are all mythical creatures. So, yeah. Strike two, Mr. I'm So Clever.

This is all beside the point. Here is someone who prides himself on twisting the English language into terrible, awful puns and he can't even get the correct noun in the joke to make it work. Instead, it just makes him look like a bit of a perv.

Hmmm...perhaps that gentlemanly goose wasn't so innocent after all...

Happy Easter!

April 24, 2011

I just wanted to take a moment and wish everyone a hip-hop-happy Easter. May you find all the creamy goodness inside a chocolatey egg and marshmallow shapes encrusted in sugar that your little heart desires. And can take before it shuts down.


In case candy isn't your style, I hope you find her.

Happy Easter to all, and to all, a Cadbury-riffic night!

Friday Morning Latin Lesson, Vol. XCIX

April 15, 2011

Sunday evening, something that I've actually been looking forward to is being released on HBO. I'm talking about the premier of the Game of Thrones television series. It's based on George R.R. Martin's book by the same name. And, in case you haven't read the books...well, villain, allow me to give you a short preview. It's harsh. It's dark. It's gritty. And don't get too attached to any characters.

There's also a lot of sex. A lot! And there's also a lot of bloodshed. In the first fifteen minutes, as one review put it, we're "treated" to two beheadings. It's pretty violent.

Essentially, the story is set in a mythical land and a bunch of nobles are vying for who has the power to rule over said land (it's called Westeros, or the Seven Kingdoms). It does have a nice medieval theme to it (knights, swords, horse shit). We'll be following the twists and intricacies as the major noble families all try to curry favor with the throne, or just attempt to gain the throne altogether.

Plus, it has Sean Bean as Ned Stark. You know, the dude who played Boromir. And Peter Dinklage plays one very awesome and very convincing Tyrion Lannister (though I can't tell if he has two differently colored eyes or not).

While I've often given Martin shit over the years for taking five years to write books (says the guy who started a book in college and STILL hasn't published it), his work is fucking brilliant. I love it. He's been a huge influence on my writing, moreso, perhaps, even than Tolkien. One thing that Martin's books has taught me is that no one is purely good or purely evil. Everyone does something for a reason, and that's usually to improve their lot in life. There are no white knights. There is no dark lord who does things for the pure power of evil. Instead, there are cruel people with power, good people with power, and, in the end, all they want is to make sure they wake up tomorrow morning. How they attain that goal and the motivation behind it is where people begin to be "good" or "evil".

For instance, in Game of Thrones (or, more properly, the entire series, A Song of Ice and Fire), two of my favorite characters are probably best classified as antagonists. And, one of the protagonists, I hate. I hate her more and more with each page I read. And I'm not talking about Sansa.

Anyway, since we're talking about a medieval-themed world, there are, of course, nobles and commons and peasants and all that. Each house--great or small--and all the free knights have their own heraldic crests and sigils. And with most of them, they have mottoes that describe their house: short phrases that either inspire trepidation in their enemies, or abide by the honor of their traditions.

One branch of my family, the Gordons in Scotland, had a couple of mottoes, as well. One was in Scottish: Bydand, which means "Remaining, Abiding". The other was in Latin: Animo non Astutia, meaning "By Courage, not Craft".

Since I'm an incredible dork, and because I actually could do this without much difficulty, I translated some of the mottoes of the noble families of Westeros into Latin. All the heraldry shields were "borrowed" from Westeros.org, which is a huge compendium of everything dealing with George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire.

Hibernum venit.

Pronounced: "Hee-bare-noom way-neet."

Frosty translation in the hovertext


Familia, Officium, Honor

Pronounced: "Fah-mee-lee-ah, Oh-fee-kee-oom, Hoh-nohr."

Fishy translation in the hovertext


Furia nostrae est

Pronounced: "Foo-ree-ah noh-stry est"

Regal translation in the hovertext


Fremo, me audi

Pronounced: "Fray-mo, may oh-dee"

Golden translation in the hovertext


Some of the translations are straight forward. Others, like the Lannisters' motto, is a little difficult because I had to figure out which "roar" to use. Plus, word order can be kind of tricky when going from English to Latin.

Any way, have a good weekend, all. And remember that the first episode of Game of Thrones comes on Sunday night at 9 o'clock pm on HBO. Or, if you're like me, you'll watch it on Monday night on Hulu. Man, I can't WAIT for Monday.

*blink*

I think I need to go vomit after having said that...