Wednesday, June 22, 2005

So long, PJ

Today, I told one of my close friends so long for a while. Now, before you get all morbid and think the worst, she's just moving.

She started working here not long after I. I remember when she interviewed I saw her in someone's office and in typical piggish fashion thought, "I wonder who the babe is?" Well, she did get the job in another group, but somehow we met. We seemed to hit it off from the start, probably because she was from Tennessee and I from Texas. Together, we managed to help each other maintain some sense of sanity in today's corporate environment. One year I was asked by someone that worked with her to teach part of an inhouse course. I agreed. Shortly after that, these people treated her like crap. I called them up and told them I didn't have time to work with them anymore. Jackasses. You crap on my friends, and you crap on me. We could always relate to our southern redneck heritage and joked about it often. She became my tree-hugging vegetarian "work wife." Her and her husband became friends of our family. When our daughter was in the hospital, they brought us dinner from our favorite Thai place. That place became our restaurant of choice for dinner with them.

She's going away halfway across the country to one of the best law schools in the country now. She's smart, funny, and tenacious when it comes to things she believes in. She's going to make a great lawyer. Damn, I'm going to miss her.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

41 years

41 years. 2 generations.
The 1964 Civil Rights act was passed.
The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was passed.
Robert Kennedy was assassinated.
Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated.
Man walked on the moon.
58,177 American soldiers died in Vietnam.
President Eisenhower died.
President Johnson died.
President Truman died.
President Nixon resigned from office.
America celebrated 200 years of independence.
Americans were held hostage in Iran for 444 days.
President Clinton was impeached.
President Reagan died.
The US population increased by almost 104 million.
The mainland of the United States was attacked by terrorists.
The United States went to war in Iraq twice.
James Byrd, Jr. was dragged to death behind the pickup of 3 white men in Texas.

and Edgar Ray Killen escaped justice and lived as a free man - but no more.
A jury in Mississippi convicted him of manslaughter for the deaths of 3 civil rights workers in Neshoba County, Mississippi in 1964. Today, after 41 years, Andrew Goodman, Michael Schwerner, and James Chaney can finally rest in peace.

Justice delayed indeed...

Monday, June 20, 2005

A horrific time waster

Sheep tranquilizer

My fastest average time: .1462 sec
fastest single time: .116 sec

I'm a Rocketing Rabbit

Saturday, June 18, 2005

A Father's day note for my little boy

Time Machines
(March 2005)

In the last 2 years, I've watched you grow from a toddler to a little boy. You've undergone an amazing transformation from bashful toddler to a boy full of energy, life, curiosity, and a love for all things trains! You used to not have much to do wth me as you always latched onto Mommy. However, in the last year or so, you must have decided that Daddy is OK, too. Last week, I went away to Maryland for the Hopkins Folding Meeting and you were mad at me for leaving for four days. You wouldn't talk to me on the phone the first few days I was away. Last Friday, I took off work and took you to the train store and McDonald's for lunch. We also hit the bookstore, but you were so tired you fell asleep on my shoulder, so I brought you home and let you finish your nap. I had as much fun spending the day with you as you had in the train store drooling over that "golden train."

Last night you were sitting with me in the chair before bedtime and I just watched you. I couldn't help but think I was looking at my personal time machine. You look so much like my photos from when I was your age. I could imagine saying some of the same things you say and I'm sure I was as mischevious as you are now. It somehow seems right that you're my little time machine that helps keep me thinking young. I can't help but wonder if the time machine works in reverse for you. I can look through the time machine of you and see the past. Can you look through the time machine of me and get a glimpse of your future? Only time will tell if that turns out to be the case. I can see parts of my dad's personality in me. I suspect as you get older, I'll see parts of my personality in you. I'll bet some of that personality has been passed along from my grandfather, his father, his father, and on and on. I've learned over the past few years that there is nothing that I wouldn't do for you or your sister. I hope that through the coming years I can pass along the good things to you. You're a wonderful little boy and I'm thankful for you every day.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

iPod shuffle

today's random playlist whilst writing up the days experiments in my notebook

  1. Bridge Over Troubled Water - Simon and Garfunkel
  2. All You Zombies - The Hooters
  3. Fairgrounds - Little America
  4. I'll Play the Blues for You - Albert King
  5. Kryptonite - 3 Doors Down
  6. Faces of America - Dan Fogelberg
  7. Come Home to Me Baby - Mississippi Joe Callicott
  8. Girls on Film - Duran Duran
  9. Hideaway (Live) - Freddie King
  10. 24 Hours a Day - T.D. Bell & Erbie Bowser
  11. Can I Change My Mind - Tyrone Davis
  12. Good Morning Schoolgirl - Jr. Wells
  13. Don't Stand So Close to Me - The Police

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Schiavo and the religious right

Schiavo autopsy shows irreversible brain damage.

The results of Terry Schiavo's autopsy are in, and apparently, she had as much brain capacity as Tom Delay, George W. Bush, Jerry Falwell, James Dobson, and Bill Frist combined. After all was said and done, this woman was brain dead with no hope of recovery, just as she had been diagnosed. That didn't stop Delay, Bush, and Frist from taking an intensely private family matter and using it to pander to their right wing evangelical supporters. Apparently, this President and House whip thought it was OK for their branches of government to ignore the "activism" of the judicial branch in this case. Of course, I seem to recall that in 2000, this President-to-be needed the federal judiciary to stick its nose in the state of Florida's election business so he could be elected. I guess judicial activism was OK in that case. Bush, Delay, Falwell and Dobson should be ashamed of exploiting this poor woman for their own political gain. Dr. Bill Frist should have his medical license revoked for diagnosing this woman as not being in a vegetative state after seeing her only on edited home video!!! Perhaps with advances in stem cell research, Delay and gang won't be resigned to living the remainder of their lives as Scarecrow.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

I'm published again!

Coming soon to the pages of Proteins: Structure, Function, and Bioinformatics, my first paper since my 1998 book chapter. The reviews came back yesterday and the paper was accepted with minor revisions. I'll try to link the paper once I finish the revisions and the final form is accepted.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Justice delayed is justice denied

Emmitt Till's body exhumed for autopsy

KKK suspect goes on trial for Mississippi murders

You may not recall much about either of these stories. Hell, both of them happened before I was even born. Emmitt Till was a teenager from Chicago visiting relatives in Mississippi back in 1955 when he allegedly committed the capital offense of whistling at a white woman. Having grown up outside the racial tensions of the South, how was he to know that he would be dragged out of his bed in the middle of the night and tortured? If that wasn't punishment enough, they tied a 75 pound fan from a cotton gin around his neck and tossed his teenaged body into the Tallahatchie River. All because he was a black boy whistling at a white woman. The pictures of his mangled body lying in the open casket at his funeral woke America up to the reality that all of America had yet to live up to its creed that "all men are created equal, that they are endowed with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." Two white men were tried for the murder, and were acquitted by an all-white jury in Mississippi - a predictable outcome in the 1950s. After the trial, the two men admitted killing Till in an interview with Look magazine. They couldn't be tried again. It appears that some others that may have been involved are still alive. Perhaps the autopsy will provide an avenue for providing some justice for Emmitt Till.

As the Civil Rights Movement grew in the 60s, it was common to organzie drives to register blacks to vote in the South in an attempt to gain government representation. In 1964, three young men lost their lives doing just that. James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner were investigating the burning of a church in Mississippi when they were arrested by the authorities (Goodman and Schwerner were white). In the manner of Jim Crow justice, they ended up in the hands of the Klan, were shot to death, and buried in a levee. Six people were eventually convicted for violating the civil rights of these three young men. The all-white jury deadlocked on the man currently on trial. No one has ever stood trial for the murder of these three men until now. Even though things have changed for the better, the ghosts of Mississippi still live on.
"If they were going to do it, they ought to have done it a long time ago," said D.V. McNair, 89, a white man who said Killen would probably be convicted and the burden of caring for him placed on the state. "It's just going to cost the taxpayers."
Justice should not be denied these three men for the sole reason of burdening the taxpayers of Mississippi. These three men gave their lives trying to ensure that the basic right of our republic was guaranteed for all her citizens - the right to vote. The very foundation of our nation depends upon justice for James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner - even if it is 40 years overdue.

Random iPod playlist

  1. Fairgrounds - Little America
  2. I Can't Hold Back - Survivor
  3. Better Be Good to Me - Tina Turner
  4. Out of Touch - Hall & Oates
  5. Every Little Kiss - Bruce Hornsby and the Range
  6. Say It Again - Santana
  7. Flesh for Fantasy - Billy Idol
  8. For Emily, Whenever I May Find Her - Simon & Garfunkel
  9. Oh Sherrie - Steve Perry
  10. Every Little Thing She Does is Magic - The Police
  11. Your Wildest Dreams - The Moody Blues
  12. Time After Time - Cyndi Lauper
  13. If You Leave - Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark
  14. I Know You're Out There Somewhere - The Moody Blues
  15. The Boys of Summer - Don Henley
  16. Lady Starlight - The Scorpions
  17. No One is to Blame - Howard Jones
  18. The Heart of the Matter - Don Henley

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Red Sox 8, Cubs 1

A perfect day of baseball - Cards beat Yankees and Sox beat the little bears

A week of baseball royalty

Three of the most storied franchises in all of baseball. The two winningest teams in terms of World Series championships.Cardinals, Yankees, Red Sox. Six games of baseball tradition. Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, Joe Dimaggio, Johnny Pesky, Stan Musial, Jimmie Foxx, Rogers Hornsby, Mickey Mantle, Carl Yastrzemski, Bob Gibson, Reggie Jackson, Jim Rice, Ozzie Smith, Don Mattingly, Wade Boggs, Derek Jeter, Albert Pujols, Nomar, Manny Ramirez.

We saw the first game of the series with the Red Sox. Wearing Red Sox jerseys and the blue hats with the "B," we finally got to see the Sox in person. They lost, but it was magical seeing the road greys with Boston emblazoned across the chest play in Busch Stadium. The Cards won the series 2-1.

Today, we were at the last game of the series against the damn Yankees. We watched the Yankees take batting practice from down by the dugout. We tried in vain to get Jeter to autograph KJ's #2 jersey that his Grandpa Travist gave him - but we were unlucky amongst the mulitude of Yankee fans clamoring for that special signature. The Cards won on the first career homerun by rookie Scott Seabol. Maybe someday, he too will be part of baseball lore.

What a great week.

Baseball pic of the day

In honor of the Yankees' visit to Busch Stadium today, a photo of the greatest Cardinal of all along with that drunkard Yankee

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Saturday, June 11, 2005

Red Sox 6, Cubs 7

the Cubs

Baseball image of the day

11 reasons I'm weird

in no particular order

  1. I think my gay friends should be able to get married, and when they do all of my straight friends will be able to resist the severe temptation to get a divorce and marry their gay friends.
  2. I believe it is inconsistent that you can get impeached for lying about getting a blowjob but you get a free pass for starting a war based on lies that results in the deaths of 1600+ American soldiers and thousands of innocent civilians. Downing Street Memo, anyone?
  3. I cheer for the Boston Red Sox and the Seattle Seahawks even though I've never lived in either city.
  4. I was raised Baptist, but subscribe to a Jewish mailing list and celebrate Hanukkah.
  5. I would rather die a Yankee even though I was born a Texan.
  6. I know Howard Dean is right.
  7. I don't want my kids to attend college at my alma mater.
  8. I think the "f" word makes a perfectly good adjective.
  9. I don't believe that racial injustice magically ended with the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
  10. I'll vote for Hillary.
  11. I load up all my recyclables in my big-ass SUV and haul them to the recycling center every week.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Red Sox 6, Cubs 14

Damn, I hate the freakin' Cubs.

Thursday, June 09, 2005


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I love baseball. There's nothing better than baseball. There's nothing more beautiful than a Ted Williams swing. I've long forgotten lots of things, but I remember a lot of baseball. I remember playing little league ball and trying out for pitcher. The coach told my dad I couldn't hit the broadside of a barn. I practiced anyway, and in a game where it was down to me and another, less coordinated kid, I got the call. I did not disappoint. In fact, I made the regular rotation for the rest of the year. My organized playing days ended the next season as a catcher.

The days of dawning the stirrup socks were over but the games continued. A game of cupball was played every time my cousins and I gathered at our grandparents' house. A wadded up paper cup, or a ball of tinfoil, and your hand was all that was needed for yet another romp around the yard after blasting that makeshift ball across the street. As we got older, the cupball was traded for whiffleball. The bat and the ball were different, but the love was the same. A bat, a ball, some bases, cousins and friends - for the love of the game.

Then, there were the baseball heroes - Johnny Bench, George Brett, Nolan Ryan (the California Angels vintage), Pete Rose. I remember sending letters to the players addressed simply to the name of the stadium and the city they played asking for an autographed picture. Some answered (Nolan Ryan, Johnny Bench), some didn't (Pete Rose). I still have those 5x7 pics in the basement. The Saturday game of the week. This week in baseball with Mel Allen. I remember when Thurman Munson died in his plane crash. I watched the Monday Night Baseball game after his death when the Yankees played. I cried when they showed the scoreboard tribute. I was a catcher too. Maybe I could die unexpectedly.

My first professional baseball game was at Arlington Stadium to see the Texas Rangers and the Kansas City Royals. My cousin, uncle, dad and I went. The game went into extra innings. We left in the top of the 15th. While we were walking in the parking lot, the Rangers won in the bottom of the 15th on a homerun. I've been to many games since. I was lucky enough to be at the game when Mark McGwire hit his 500th career HR with my nephews. I showed them how to keep score and they framed their tickets with our scorecard. I recently got to see the Red Sox play the Cardinals and my daughter started asking questions about the game and how its played. My little boy has a room painted like Fenway Park and goes around talking about "the stinking Yankees." My PaPa and I used to sit around and talk about baseball. I remember him telling me all about the old Yankees players. He used to love to talk about what a drunkard Mickey Mantle was. My dad and cousins and I all still play in a fantasy baseball league. We probably don't agree on much, be we all love baseball. There's a red cloth thread that connects us all, from our grandfather who's no longer with us, all the way to our kids. It looks a lot like the laces on a baseball.

Isn't baseball great?

Who the heck is Milo?

Milo is one of the lead characters from my favorite 80s comic, Bloom County. Trying to name a blog is a ridiculous pain in the ass. The name of the blog itself isn't so tough, but getting the address is a royal pain since most of them are taken. I'm a kid of the 80s, the original MTV generation - when they actually played music videos. Bloom County was on the editorial page of the college newspaper - it was the heart and soul of our generation.

I don't know why anyone would give a rip what I think. After getting the ever-trendy iPod, and reading Daily Kos and The Huffington Post on a daily basis, I figured I might as well jump on the bandwagon, too. That, and the really hip member of the family decided she'd do it, too. But before you get the idea that I just jump on any bandwagon that comes along, I still don't own a cell phone - yet.