Saturday, November 21, 2009

I Clausius Domesticus

I’m trying to get my feet back on the carpet at home this weekend.

Very trying week at work, coupled with a daughter out Friday night to help leading in a girl’s sleepover function, and a cold, wet, dark Friday night seemed to be a recipe for adventure.

Alas, wonderful and exhausted couple we were; this only led to a late-night turn-in and fitful slumber as the child-unit wasn’t in her bed.


For reasons that probably need a therapist to decipher, I’ve been hooked lately on the fascinating world of research in higher education courtesy of  Dr. Isis’s On Becoming a Domestic and Laboratory Goddess blog.  Got to give the Dr. her due, she really has a classy taste in shoes.  I know. Right?

Anyway, I do like Dr. Isis’s views on women in science and the challenges that are faced both from within and without.  Popular culture seems to see such women as either mousey shrews or subtlety-sexualized brainiacs whose real value comes in counterpointing the heroic male stud.

So when I read Dr. Isis post Ask Dr. Isis - How Do I Convince a Young Girl That Math = Hot? : On Becoming a Domestic and Laboratory Goddess it really hit home.  Particularly since Alvis and I spend many hours on Thursday trying to sort out electron charges and configurations for her advanced placement sophomore chemistry class.  I’m not a chemistry dude so most of that has been long forgotten.  I kept encouraging her to call my little bro who has a masters in chem engineering (with honors) but she was determined to figure it out.  Fortunately, I had loaded both the incredible freeware tools Periodic Table and Periodic Table Explorer from Paul Alan Freshney and they ended up saving both our butts.

Alvis, if you are reading this…check out that post then go back and bookmark her blog and have fun looking a her shoes as well.  (You can be smart and empowered, and classy at the same time.)

It was amazing watching her struggle to get the notations down, and then I felt pride as she had a few “eureka” moments when concepts seemed to click in her brain.  She really seemed to be getting into it.  She excels in both math and science and really loves the science channels.  But she is also confronted on a daily basis at school with teachers who don’t seem to engage the girls seriously in science. Not to mention how geeky girls are considered socially in high school.

Reading Dr. Isis post on her own conversion from brawling to a pursuit of contribution to the body of science (and not just a body in science) was both refreshing and scary as a father.  How indeed can I continue to encourage dear Alvis to cherish the pursuit of scientific learning while fostering a sense of wonder and encouragement that she really could excel in those fields, if she so chose?

In other news, I found this post of 20 New High Quality Free Fonts at Smashing Magazine pretty neat.  While some of the fonts seemed a bit tired, others were more than cool and will make nice enhancement to some of the PowerPoint work I’ve been doing lately.

The Icon Archive has recently taken top honor in my icon-related bookmark set.  It contains an amazing collection of full-set icon files for Windows (Vista/Win7 high-res quality) carefully culled by the maintainer from across the net.  Yes, many can be found at other sites as well, but for one-stop shopping, this has got to be one of the best sites. Just be aware that your IP is monitored and if you try to download too many at once, you will have to wait for 6-8 hrs before being allowed to resume your downloads.  So don’t be greedy!

Tonight I’m trying to re-create a wonderful roasted-chicken dish Boss brought last year to our work holiday luncheon.  She has some kind of connection to Argentina so it had an amazing roasted flavor and seasoning that didn’t fit anything from around here.  Alas, I’ve not yet been able to get the recipe from her yet.

So I’m trying my first attempt at a pale shadow of it.

The From Argentina With Love blog held this workable foundation for me: Chicken and Potatoes-Pollo con Papas.

It seemed close but didn’t capture the seasoning rub that I seemed to recall.  So more research on the web led me to this Chimichurri Mix & Rub : Asado Argentina.

Between the two I’m hoping for some success.  It has roasted chicken skin which will delight Alvis and lots or roasted potatoes which will make Lavie happy.  Me?  Let me dig into the meat.

And on top of it, UH won their game and UT is slated to kick off in a few more hours.

Maybe the weekend is shaping up OK after-all.

And for insurance against the botched Friday date-night with Lavie? I’ve got a Dutch Apple pie ready to go into the oven, two packages of fresh strawberries, and chocolate-covered almonds.  If the Argentine roasted-chicken/potatoes doesn’t help me I’m counting on a strong finish with the Missus from the dessert offerings.


Claus V.

1 comment:

Isis the Scientist said...

Best of luck to Alvis. Tell her to hang in there. Sometimes even Dr. Isis struggled, but it will all come together with time.