Friday, July 20, 2012

Field Report: Operation Night Crawler, Day 1

Report from the field
Agent Whaley

The following is a transcript of text messages, sent by Agent Sealey while engaged in conversation with the primary focus of Operation NightCrawler, StrongDad.

"StrongDad got tomato and pea plants, and he's going to try and grow better ones than GrandmaBird and BeachMama, just to drive them crazy."

"He wants to know how your tomato and pea plants are doing."

"StrongDad is very excited about his gardening."

"He is singing inch by inch, row by row, all I need is a garden hoe."

"He keeps saying, 'right here looks good,' and I said, 'there are plants there already,' and he said, 'I'll move them!'"

"And now he is stealing dirt from other parts of PecanMama's garden.  He's going to smooth it over so she doesn't notice.  This is f'ing hilarious."

"Well that's not 24 inches apart, that's 6 inches.  I don't think they really need that.  That's for novices."

"No, Grandma asked him if he planted his tomato and pea plants yet ... and he thought it was such an absurd question that he got himself some."

"Oh no, he plans to beat them. This is competitive gardening."

"Dad says gardening is like parenting: plant them and then f it, they're on their own."

"Hey, look at me, see this?  I'm an organic gardener.  I have bamboo stakes for my tomato plants.  That's a little trick us organic gardeners use."

Monday, January 30, 2012

#thatawkwardmomentwhen... are reading Charles Long's essays on the interpretation of religion and you say, very noticeably aloud, "I didn't know W.E.B. DuBois was a student of William James!" and then you remember that it is 5:30am, and you are sitting in your bed reading by candlelight, and since you are the only person to hear you, it really isn't all that awkward after all.

Dear sister,

Does this ever happen to you?

your sister

Friday, December 9, 2011

for you, at work

Dear sister,

Here's a round-up of things that made me think of you this week.

These, originally from my friend Martha's blog:

I've been playing this game a lot, thanks to the online word game you showed me but I couldn't remember the name of so I found this instead:

And finally, something for the scientist in you:

your does-checking-my-email-at-the-bakery-count-as-being-social? sister

Saturday, November 19, 2011

the challenge returns

Dear sister,

Just a reminder that the Element's birthday is coming up at the end of this month. And that reminds me that it's once again time for our now-annual "Gifting the Element" challenge. The rules are that the gift must be under $20 (preferably cheaper, since we're both trying to feed ourselves AND pay off student loans), and it must be at once considered completely useless to us and yet seen as intrinsically vital to life by the Element. You won last year, I'll admit. But I've got some ideas for this year.

Oh, it's on.

your sister

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

um ... what?

Dear sister,

You know I'm no good at math. I even make my students double-check their grades on tests and essays, to make sure I haven't accidentally mis-added their points and given them the wrong grade. Sometimes I even write tests that don't add up to 100 points. And it takes me about 40 minutes to balance my checkbook - which is bad if you consider I've got an excel doc that supposedly does all the calculating for me.

But here's my thoughts on your formula, regardless.

First, I think you need some kind of factor to take into account the decreased efficacy of coffee relative to the increased number of cups consumed.

Second, you might need to take into account the increased efficacy of coffee relative to the decreased amount of sleep. I mean, I know that the longer I haven't slept, the more one cup of coffee here and there does wonders.

Third, what about additives? The more milk I put in coffee, the more I can drink (the thicker the lining of my stomach, thus the more acids I can feed it).

And what about coffee taken in conjunction with food? Does that increase or decrease the efficacy?

So, I guess all my factors relate to efficacy of coffee. But you know, having worked many, many years on and off in bakeries, I can attest to the fact that not all coffee cups are created equal. No matter what the government may say.

your I'm-sitting-at-HDC-because-I-don't-have-internet-at-home-and-this-probably-could-have-been-a-longer-post-but-I-want-to-go-home-and-go-to-sleep-and-thus-decrease-the-number-of-cups-of-coffee-I-drink-tomorrow sister

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


Dear Sister,

I've been thinking...

Adults need 7-9 hours of sleep a night, so lets go with 8 as an average.

Most adults drink a cup of coffee in the morning, right? (Limit the subject pool to those who do because people who don't need coffee are freaks and ought to be weeded out of society, or at the very least my group of friends.)

So it's basically 8 hours of sleep and 1 cup of coffee, on a normal day.

8hours:1cup. It follows that 1hour:8cups.

Let x= 8-actual amount of sleep, or the lack of sleep based on an 8 hour sleep requirement.

Then, c=(1+x)(t-1) where c is coffee intake, t is time, and x is the lack of sleep.

If you slept for 7 hours:

the second day it would be c=(2)(1)= 2 cups, because lets be honest, two days of 7 hours would be GLORIOUS.
the third day it would be c=(2)(2)=4 cups.

Originally I had (t-1) as an exponent, but even Koshka the caffeine addict says 16 cups of coffee in one day is unreasonable. There are some other kinks to be worked out. It probably should also be the total amount of coffee you should have, in cups, over the time period, t, but that only works for t>2.

In short, it is totally acceptable for me to have 4 cups of coffee today.

your someone-give-me-a-caffiene-IV-drip-please sister