I am in withdrawal

I need my laptop.

Last week, the power input, which was getting loose, finally decided to become fully disconnected. It might have had something to do with the kitten hanging from the power cord. And sadly, when I consulted the repair people I am told the only solution is to replace the entire motherboard, rather than just reconnect or repair the jack.

In the meantime I have become grumpy and withdrawn. I am unable to blog without my bookmarks and properly configured web-browser. I realize how fully dependent I have become on this machine. My reference database is on it, as well as the paper I’ve been working on, all my other work software, photoshop, and various other programs that allow me to be functional from day to day are now out of reach as I await the verdict from the repair shop.

On the plus side, I got about twice as much bench work done today as I usually do, although I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to interpret what I wrote in my notebook in the future (I usually print out protocols).

The question is, if the repair makes it more sensible to purchase a new machine, what should I get? And I can’t get a Mac, just to short-circuit that conversation right there. Too much of the software I need to do data processing is Windows-dependent, and my lab isn’t going to dump thousands of dollars to buy Mac versions. I currently have a Thinkpad, which has been a consistently rock-solid piece of hardware that, while heavy, has always been reliable and fast. I am reluctant to buy a new Thinkpad since they are now made by Lenovo, and don’t know if the quality is convenient.

I will not buy a Dell, because they are loud, ugly, and everyone in our lab who has had one has had catastrophic drive collapses at some time or another. I can take a motherboard death, but losing a drive can be a real pain in the ass. What do people think?

In the meantime I will blog and comment less (and less effectively) as I am rarely near a friendly computer that knows all my passwords and has my RSS feeds handy.

Happy 4th

I’m vacuuming. Not because it’s something I only do on the 4th, but rather because Chris H is coming to town!

So, if you want the shock of seeing more than one Hoofnagle in the same place you should try to find us in Charlottesville. It’s not hard, we’ll likely be at the Bistro drinking.

And the winner is…

Many thanks to those who sent in entries. If people get a stunning idea in the future I’ll always accept more banners and put them in the shuffle if they send them to me. But today’s winner is this stunner from Patrick of Dog Opus. Be sure to check out his graphic-design blog.

And here it is! It will be at the top of the page all week.

Friday Cat Blogging

Name this cat.


She appears to be a a Russian blue with silver coat, green eyes and mauve footpads. Although being a shelter cat, this could be pure accident. Her first google search was RRRRRRRRRRRRRRR. And so far names in the running go from the simple Gray to Lucia.

It’s kitten season, and many more are looking for homes at the Charlottesville-Albermarle ASPCA. You can find all sorts of pets to adopt in your area from Petfinder or just look at pictures of kittens. While I was there they had piles of kittens. It was pretty unbelievable. I should have taken pictures for Cute Overload.

Also, I’ll take entries for banners for one more day. here’s the requirements basically, 756 x 93 and based on what comes to mind when you think of cranks or denialism. We’ve had some killer entries, and after the winner gets a week I’ll put all of them into rotation.

Seed Schwag – and Banner design time

I don’t know how many people knew about this – the sciencebloggers were informed a little bit late, but Seed had a competition on threadless to design a t-shirt in honor of our benevolent overlords, Seed publishing.

Here’s the winner


Also, you guys may have noticed our rotating masthead. Well, I’m announcing our own little competition, to design more banners for the denialism blog!

The banner submissions must be 756 width by 93 height. You can make a completely revolutionary new design or keep the basic format and add new fun symbols of cranks. Here’s our basic banner (pops) – click for the full size to save.

Email me your entries or host them yourselves and link in the comments. I’ll put up a gallery – or in the likely event that only one person participates – the submission after about a week. We’ll decide a winner and their banner will run for a full week – and then we may rotate in some of our other favorites.

So, go nuts! Make a banner that reflects what you think of when you think of cranks.

I can’t believe he’s still alive

I’m now convinced Castro will outlive us all. He’s apparently going to give his first interview since he got sick and was hospitalized.

I was hoping that a conspiracy theory would evolve that Castro was really dead, and they were just hiding the evidence of his death from the press. It was going to be the basis of a film script I want to option – Weekend at Castro’s – which centers around the hi-jinks of a pair of ne’er do well party members assigned to keep evidence of Castro’s death a secret during an important state visit. Hilarity ensues.

Doesn’t that sound like a good movie? Oh well, I guess I’ll just have to wait a little longer.