Sunday, April 17, 2011

A Couple of Quickies

On the Road Again ... Every time we'd drive home from Long Island, Tom would remind me not to be the fastest car on the road on that stretch of 84 northbound, just south of the Massachusetts border.  Years ago he had seen a speed trap there. Mind you, I had never seen a speed trap there, but his position certainly made sense: Connecticut would try to catch non-Connecticut residents passing through, and where better than just before the border?  So today as usual, I carefully set my cruise control to 74 (that magical not-quite-10 mph over the speed limit) in Hartford and still had people passing me in the left lane.

I happened to stop at the last rest stop in the state today, and pulling back on to the highway I was behind a nifty red Mustang and thought to myself, "Now, that's the car to get behind. Surely he'll attract the state trooper's attention before my minivan does." So he pulls out; I pull out behind him. He gets up to speed, pulls into the left lane and passes a few putterers who are only going 65 mph; I follow suit.  But after a couple of miles my game of chicken is over, and Mr. Mustang is quickly out of sight. So I roll back to my usual cruise-controlled 74, retreat to the middle lane, and commence annoying the boys by singing  along with "Hey Jude" on the oldies station because I can't resist the naaah-naaah-naaah-na-na-na-naaahs.  Before I can respond to it, there's a blue flashing light pulling out of the median next to me. "Oh, dang ..." I thought to myself (not really, but I try to keep my blog grandparent-friendly) "...  busted."

But no, the trooper stayed beside me for a few seconds, but didn't try to pull me over. Then he sped up, and a minute or so later we passed the blue flashing light in the breakdown lane on a long, straight stretch of road.  I felt very sorry leaving my pacesetter, poor Mr. Mustang, to eat my dust, but I was happy that Tom was finally vindicated.

Seventh Grade Bio ... Agent 98 had a project due a few days ago. He needed to make a 3D model of a plant cell and an animal cell.  So we went to Michael's to pick up some ...  modeling clay? No.  Papier mâché?  No. This is 98 we're talking about, so of course I should have guessed no mere mortal craft supplies, available at a mere mortal craft store, would suit his plan.

98's Cell Project: Click to enlarge
Nope, indeed.

He wanted to make his model out of ... gela-freaka-tin. "Are you sure about this, 98? This is going to be really hard to do. Are you sure you don't want to use air drying modeling clay? You can make all the little pieces removable, and it will be really cool." No luck, though. He was determined. So we stopped at the grocery store, and picked up a package (well, four four-packs) of unflavored gelatin along with a few flavored packages to use for the various parts. "Oh yeah, Mom, we'll also need some licorice and marshmallows for the cytoskeleton and mitochondria," he tells me. Turns out we also needed root beer barrels (for the nucleus) and whole nutmegs (because root beer barrels melt in gelatin), multicolored nonpariels (for the ribosomes) and duct tape for the golgi bodies.

And we needed another trip to the grocery store, this time a grocery store that sells a 32-pack of unflavored gelatin, because, well, it takes a lot of unflavored gelatin to fill up a plastic shoebox (because plant cells are rectangular because they have cell walls) and a gallon plastic bowl (because animal cells aren't, because they don't).

And Speaking of Who'da Thunk It ...
  My first conscious thought on waking this morning, in my Mother-in-Law's guest room:  I was sad that I couldn't walk Zoet.  Yeah, I actually missed that sweet little poopmachine.  I'm doomed, I tell ya, doooomed!


  1. Oh my! So many times driving on Route 84 I've watched out for cops...Connecticut has a nasty reputation. Glad you didn't get caught!

  2. I bet I saw 6 speed traps on the way down, too!

  3. Um, Linda...question for you. Can you eat the science project after it is presented and graded? Just asking :)

  4. I think this is really cool but I am so glad my niece did not think of this when she had to do this project since I am the one that always helps her with her projects.