Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Not remarkable

My mother-in-law is in town for a week. This morning she came along while I brought F1-2 to school after his therapy session, so she could drop me of at work and use the car all day. She told me that she had seen some celebrity on tv who has a child with special needs (she told me the name, but I don't typically keep up with celebrity news, so it didn't mean anything to me). She told me how remarkable she thought this woman was for doing so much for her son. All the therapists she has, and all the wonderful things she and her son have accomplished as a result of that. Apparently many members of the audience commented on how much hope they derived from this woman's experience and how great it was bla bla bla.... My mother-in-law was ready to go on and on about this, when I interrupted her.

This does most certainly NOT fill me with hope. This very famous woman makes more money in a week than my dear hubby and I will make in our life. I look at my dear little F1-2 and see a sparkle in his eyes that tells me there is so much more in him than we give him credit for. But it requires a lot of time that we simply don't have, and probably will never have, because we have to work our butts off to keep a roof over our heads and food on the table. We will never be able to afford great therapists to work with him every waking moment to get every little ability out of him. And therefore, so much of what he is capable of will never come out. It is utterly depressing.

So many children out there with special needs do not have rich celebrity parents, and they are screwed. They will never reach their full potential. It does not fill me with hope that this woman could do it, although I'm glad for her son he does so well. I'm engulfed by sadness for all the thousands of children like my son who get left behind.

I think I may have have shocked my MIL. Obviously, she hadn't thought of it like that. But I do, and I feel guilty about not being able to spend more time with F1-2 to work with him, about not being able to afford more therapy for him, about the potential in him we will never witness. I'm so sorry my sweetheart.

Friday, September 21, 2007


Not the beat of tired (yet). My mother-in-law announced last week that she's coming to visit this Sunday. I had to finish off the guestroom/playroom in a hurry. As a result, the house is more of a mess than it's ever been before. With kids around it's impossible to clean up. They increase the mess faster than I can clean it up. So, this morning is dedicated to the house. And there is nothing to spur one on than the irresistible beat of Mark Anthony's album "Desde Un Principio." Ok, one needs to interrupt the cleaning activities with a few dance steps, but progress is far better than without the beat. Hey, and it's great exercise too. In an hour I'm taking a break to have lunch with my beloved. All things considered, it's a fabulous Friday in the makita-household. Just wanted to share my jubilation.

New Blogger

Everybody go and say hi to a brand new superhero on Scienceblogs: Sciencewoman.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Horizontal transfer

Horizontal transfer is very near and dear to my heart, since I worked on a bacterial self-mobilizing pathogenicity plasmid for years. This post by Conspiracy Factor on the uptake of DNA by higher organisms was an eye-opener to me. Exciting stuff.

Don't tase me bro!

Three days after the incident at the University of Florida in which a student was tasered by university police at the end of a Question & Answer session with John Kerry, the web is buzzing with claims that Andrew Meyer is an attention seeker, in the habit of taping his own practical jokes.

It doesn't really matter how much of an attention seeker Andrew Meyer may or may not be. It's irrelevant to what happened. Yes, he was making a nuisance of himself by asking questions when the Q&A session had been closed. But he was tasered after he had already been wrestled to the ground and was held by 5 police officers. He had at least one handcuff on already. At am minimum that is bad police work, at worst that is excessive use of force. Andrew Meyer did not pose a threat to anyone. The fact that he tried to pull his arms away from those trying to restrain him doesn't tell me anything. That would be a normal physical reaction to being restrained against your will.

The focus is being shifted away from the incident and towards Meyer's personality (flaws). Even though the Q&A session was closed, Kerry had already said he would answer the questions. It is unfortunate the opportunity to hear the response was lost.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

God is facing the death penalty

This story on MSNBC and Wikinews:
Nebraska State senator Ernie Chambers sued god last week. " God inspired fear and caused “widespread death, destruction and terrorization of millions upon millions of the Earth’s inhabitants.” Senator Chambers seeks an injunction against god.

Senator Chambers filed the lawsuit in protest, because a judge forbade the use of the words "rape" and "victim" from a sexual assault trial. Whatever the reason, it's about time that god has to account for the death and destruction he has caused over the millenia. Attempts by Wired News reporter to contact God for comment were not successful.The only question of course is: which god did the reporter try to contact?

Monday, September 10, 2007

Ignorance in the library

I went to the public library today, to exchange some books on tape for other books on tape. For a change I wandered through the non-fiction isle. Now, this may not be my culture, so I may be wrong about this, but for some reason I always thought William Shakespeare's plays were fiction.

But the worst was yet to come. The shelf right above the one containing "Romeo and Juliet." There were titles such as: "God: the right way." This was not actually a title on the shelf, but one I've made up, however, you get the idea. There were numerous similar-sounding jesus and or god-praising title. Now what is this junk doing on the non-fiction shelf? I think I might write a complaint to the library. Something to the effect that I could not find my favorite god-fiction, because for some reason it was filed with "the other real stuff."

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Speaking of feminism

This has been in the news lately:

In short, a woman boarding a Southwest Airlines flight, was told her outfit was inappropriate. Uhh, so I looked at this outfit, not that it matters. It doesn't really matter what she was wearing for the purposes of this discussion. But I looked at the outfit anyway, and its not anywhere near inappropriate. Do they also ask men to change their outfits if their bellies are hanging over their belts? Or if their butt cracks are showing? This is so blatantly sexist, its unbelievable, and Southwest should be sued.

Moreover, why exactly does CNN's coverage add that she is a Hooters waitress. What does that have to do with anything. What sexist coverage! Southwest can consider itself boycotted by this blogger.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

On the work front

Having lost more than a month this Summer to absence and general un-productivity, I've officially turned on the jet engines now. I'm busy isolating my favorite plant pathogen, and have a number of experiments lined up. I also have to call together my committee to explain my lack of results so far and to schedule my qualifying exams. Considering that I passed my qualifying exams in my previous program, I don't really feel like going through it again. But that's the nature of the game. On the bright side, since I'll be more engrossed in real science, more science-related posts are likely to follow. So now: back to the microscope.

Long weekend

Whereas other bloggers may have used the long weekend to catch up on some blogging, yours truly kicked into high gear and worked around the house. I got one side of a door painted, and both sides of another. I rearranged the playroom which had been used as sort of an storage area during construction. It is now fit to be a playroom again. The VCR meant for that room choose this weekend to die and go where dead VCR's go, so we got a VCR-DVD recorder combo to replace it. Yeah, why not go all out while we're at it. The kids, especially F1-2 is very pleased with renewed access to his favorite room in the house, with true entertainment at his disposal. I also, primed F1-3's room to cover up the paint, and layered two coats of bright yellow on top of it. After all, she is m sunshine :-)

During the painting process I did not bother to cover up the carpet. We were planning to rip it up in a few weeks anyway. But I had not expected to tip over the bucket of yellow paint on top of it. But that is exactly what I did yesterday. Oops! And there went the bucket, and the carpet. Oh well, time for drastic measures. I looked at the clock: 11 am. Plenty of time left in the day. I ripped up the carpet and the padding. I removed the tack strips, vacuumed the floor, got the concrete patch, patched the holes, and took a break for lunch. During lunch the concrete patch could dry, and after lunch I put down plastic sheeting to form the moisture block and started laying the laminate flooring we've had stocked up for a couple of months now. By 7 pm, I was done. Mostly, anyway. I still have a tiny little strip to do at on end of the room, but it takes a lot longer to cut the planks length-wise, and it was getting kinda late. Then I move F1-3's bed into the room, which up till then had been her big brother's.

So in less than a day I put on a layer of paint in her room and the flooring and swapped the kids from their bedrooms. Not bad, eh? I still have to put the finishing touches to her room, but it should be all done by tonight, or at the very latest tomorrow night.