Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Sweet Sweet Science

I usually say that half my life is Science and the other half Religion. Then I also say half the time I'm thinking of sugar and the other half of the time I'm thinking about cheese. Once in awhile though, I get those two categories mixed up and I end up with something like this. Sugary Science. Is it that I love sugar and science too much or am I just a big nerd? Or all of the above... This is starting to sound like a multiple choice question isn't it? Maybe I should go back to my original plan of being a biology teacher. It's obviously in my blood if I'm doing things like this at home in my spare time.
Anyone at my work would see these 3 pictures and know exactly what is going on and roll their eyes at me, but then I work in a genetics lab. Can anyone else figure it out? Let's be more specific.
Pink is dominant(X)/White is recessive(x)
Normal Sprinkles is dominant(Y)/Too Many Sprinkles is recessive(y)
The parents in this example let's say are xxYY and Xxyy.
You can see the resulting phenotype, but what is the genotype in their offspring in the photo?
How many other phenotypes and genotypes are possible from the cross of these two cookies?
If that was too easy, try it if the parent cookies were xxYy and Xxyy. What are the chances you would get the phenotype of the cookies in the picture? What other outcomes are possible?
I won't even get into how much more complicated it get's when you start using camels... And then if you start crossing the camels with the other animals and it becomes a problem for AP Biology students. If you add in a little bit of Darwin and evolution then you get a circus... and they are so delicious! This is college level genetics stuff below. Don't even bother trying to figure it out.
This post has been brought to you by Darwin and Mendal. Thanks guys! We wouldn't have circus cookies without you...well we would but we just wouldn't understand them as well.

(I did actually work out the answers to the questions above if anyone wants their quizzes corrected. Andy- you should use this as a geocaching puzzle)

Friday, May 22, 2009

A case against charity AKA massacre in the garden

I like to do stuff myself because I like things done a certain way. I'm not a perfectionist or anything, I just don't like my stuff ruined. Some of you may have noticed this if you've been to my house for dinner and I say "No thanks...no, really, no thank you.." when you ask to do my dishes. I'm not trying to be nice, I really don't want you doing my dishes. It usually means more work for me later. After everyone leaves I usually unload the still dirty dishes and the glasses loaded into the bottom rack and the ice cream scoop that clearly says on the handle "do not put in dishwasher" out and redo all of it. My dishwasher can't get large amounts of food off the dishes and if glasses go in the bottom they'll crack. Stuff breaks then I'm mad but I feel like I'm not allowed be mad because people were just trying to help...etc. But this isn't about dishes. This is about my garden. My very nice neighbor stopped by the other day as I was mowing my lawn/dandelion forest and said if I wanted him to he'd come and whack the weeds around the edge of my yard. I have a weed whacker but I just don't know how to use it so I eagerly said YES Thank you that would be fantastic! He was really quick about it too. The next day I came home from work late and could see in the dark that the weeds along the driveway were gone. Wow that looks great I thought. In the morning I noticed it was whacked around my tree in front too. I checked on my day lily and shasta daisy and they were still there although most the daffodils were chopped down and all the snap dragons were gone. Oh well I thought, the daffodils just won't look as good next year and the snap dragons were really for Bryan so who cares. My neighbor didn't know those were plants I didn't want cut down. I was a little sad to see the long tall grass gone next to the horse pasture. It looked so wild back there I hadn't been cutting it on purpose. Oh well, it's not important, he's so nice...Then this morning I went out to water my seedlings and my herb garden and I actually screamed out loud... ...all my new herbs were gone, plus a few old friends. Oh the horror! The herbs I waited in line at the Red Butte Garden sale to buy. The one's I'd fought off old ladies in swine flu masks to get. Assassinated. Massacred. Annihilated. The strange thing is, these didn't look like weeds, they even had labels in front of each one, and they were in the middle of a garden, all weeded and in nice neat little clumps of plants waiting to be picked and used for cooking. Why did he kill my herb garden? Why?
Can you not see the labels here? Lime Thyme... Maybe that one last sprig can bring back the plant...Obviously this is...or was some marjoram.
This English Thyme even got it's label attacked.This was my old "well established" thyme plant tucked away behind the sage. It wasn't safe.There used to be a tarragon plant here so big it blocked the pipe and most the wall... There was a mint plant there too on the right. You can see it's label lying there in the carnage as a casualty like a dead carcase. I had a nice Utah native white flower that was in full bloom growing in this terrible clay spot right here blocking the ugly window well...gone. If it does recover it will be too late for new flowers.
What do I say to him? Do I tell him he killed at least 10 nice plants and please stay out of my yard? Do I tell him he owes me 50 bucks? Do I tell him I figured out how to use my own weed whacker so I don't need him to commit anymore murder in my garden? Do I put up a fence and lock him out? Or do I just go cut down some of his plants and not say anything? I'm just glad I've procrastinated planing my new lavender plants along the fence and they were still safe in my garage window. I'm sure they would have been toast, just like this large chunk of my clematis plant.
All morning I could only think of this story I'd read on ThePioneerWoman website last year. I'm glad I decided to plant all the ornamental grasses I'd bought in my containers this year or I'm sure they would have been part of the bloodshed as well. Thankfully they made it out unscathed... except for the emotional scares of seeing their fellow transplants murdered in cold blood.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Climbing with Andy

The day after my birthday Andy took me climbing in Big Cottonwood Canyon. It was fitting that the first time I went climbing in that canyon it was with one of my brothers instead of with Jake. The river was RAGING so we couldn't cross to our first choice in climbs, we scrambled around awhile by the S-curve but never found the route we were looking for, so we eventually settled on a couple of routes on Storm Mountain Island. They were perfect for us and nice and shady. Andy lead both of them and I went up second and cleaned them. I was able to use some of my new equipment I got myself for my birthday as well as the carabiners Andy bought me. He even hid a cache at the top of the first one. It was a great way to spend my first full day as a 30 year old.
Andy's view of me at the bottom of the rope on the first route and his geocache at the top.My view up the canyon from the top of the second route and my view of Andy at the bottom of the rope.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

My birthday with Steysi

For my 30th birthday I flew my best friend Steysi out to visit me. She left her 4 kids at home and came out for 4 days! We celebrated the whole time by sleeping in, staying up late, watching tv, eating fancy sandwiches and pastries at little bakeries in town, shopping, eating cake and ice cream, reading in the hammock, rock climbing at the gym, seeing Flight of the Conchords, going to movies, hiking along Big Cottonwood Creek, driving around and getting lost, and taking a million pictures of us making faces. So basically we didn't act too much different than we did when we were 18, or 14, or 10, or 5. Which means it was a perfect way to celebrate getting old. We couldn't even finish our cake...definitely getting old...

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

No Magic Beans

Last night I dreamt I went out in the morning to water my garden before work and all the plants were almost fully grown. There were even ready to pick green beans. I don't remember trading in my donkey for any magic beans. I stood out there for a long time trying to figure out what had happened because just the day before there had only been one or two cucumber seeds sprouting. Then I looked at the date and realized I couldn't remember the past 2 months. I wasn't sure if I'd slept through them or I had amnesia and was kind of freaked out to have a chunk of my life missing. So when I went out to water this morning I was glad to not see fully growing plants although I did see this!One of my most favorite things in the world, one of the things I enjoy most in life, what I would do if I could do anything for one afternoon, maybe even my last meal on Earth... would be standing out in the garden eating peas off the vine. For the past few years I've devoted 1/4 of my entire garden to peas and I can't think of one time that any peas have made it past the backdoor into my house. This year's crop looks to be starting out well and hopefully I'll get some peas before the summer heat sets in.
There weren't any beans ready to pick but they are definitely on the way. I love little bean necks. I think I've got a big head so I can relate to their struggle in pulling it out of the ground. First taste of sunshine. I bet these will all be standing up by the time I get home from work.
And then there's the zucchini's. I can't remember if these are yellow zucchini or eight ball zucchini. I guess I'll just have to wait and see.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Climbing Continues

I'm still dating Jake which means ...I'm still rock climbing every other weekend. Woo Hoo! We went climbing Friday and Saturday and had a fantastic time. Friday I was super jittery and nervous for some reason which has never happened before. We hiked around in the morning before doing two routes up this rock which helped settle me down. The first was a sport route along the lines you see the other guy's rope and the second was trad. Hmmm...with the picture this small I'm not sure you can see the rope...or the guy. There's people on top too which you can hardly even see either. I ended up leaving a nut on the rock and tore up my hands getting out a cam on the second one. I hated the second one and was grouchy as can be when I got to the top, but I did get to the top. I think because of this I got lowered to the bottom while Jake went and rappelled himself down the other side. That was fine with me. Once again, Jake is rapelling in this picture but I don't think you can see him cause he's so small. There he is...zoomed in.After that Jake did a more difficult route as the sun set on another nearby rock. It was a pretty cool one called Scream Cheese since the rock had lots of little holes. The names of the routes always make me laugh. We had a really pretty hike back to the car along a little creek with some really cool views where we took some nice pictures. Some were artsy... ...and some were a little on the cheesy side. The only water at the place was a hand pump from a well which I thought was pretty cool. (so months after I made this post Jake read it and told me I should change this part to say that the water pump was NOT the only place to get water. There was a faucet by the bathrooms...though we didn't know it was there till we were actually in the car leaving. The whole time we thought there was only the pump...so I think we're both right.) No animals got our lunches either...Saturday we went back to the same area and did 3 climbs on a different rock. I only did the first one but my nerves were back to normal and I enjoyed it at least. It was good thing I wasn't all jittery again because Jake took his first fall with me as his belayer. It was my first catch too and it all went smoothly. No one got hurt and it was nice to have that out of the way so I know what to expect and he can trust me a little more on the ropes. After that we headed up to another nearby area for some higher climbs. It was really late in the afternoon so we picked out a nice and easy 5.7 climb we would be able to go up pretty fast but that was still really long and high. It was so much fun! It was 5 pitches, but we did it in 4 since some were short, and we got up just above 400 feet. There were birds flying below us and we saw an old raptor nest near the top. The views were awesome and you could hear cows mooing from way far away and it was really calming. It got me singing Christmas songs about cattle lowing... This time we brought the camera along for the climb and took some really fun shots along the way.
This is the rock we climbed. This face is called red rib. We climbed up just to the right of the rib part. It's a lot bigger than it looks in the picture. There were a few people climbing when I took this picture and you can't even see them. In the next picture down Jake's on top of the little bump to the right of the rib and I'm below him at the base of that short vertical section. It can give a little perspective on the height.
This is about 300 feet up. I think it's my favorite shot because we're both in it and reasonably sized.
I don't know what is crooked my glasses, my helmet, or both. I lost my spare glasses so I've had to climb in these and it makes me nervous. They don't stay on so well. The views were fantastic from the top. This is at the end of the climb looking out towards the cows...
Looking down 400ft, getting ready for the rapells......another nice hike back to the car and then home. What a great weekend!