Chez Nerdingham

HERE BE DRAGONS


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Cycle for Survival

After years of hearing about the event, I’ve decided to join. And not just as a member of a team, but captaining a team from work which brings with it an entirely different level of stress and responsibility!

Essentially, it’s a foundation that supports research into rare cancers. 100% of donations from this event go into research and it helps bring awareness as well. Though it seems that I’m hearing daily about a family member, friend, public figure who is fighting or who has lost the battle with this disease.

It’s so important to support this kind of research. We’re so close to easier and less expensive screening to enable earlier diagnosis. We’re closer to more effective treatments, and with any luck we can eventually prevent the occurrence of this disease. However, if we depend solely on government and large private institution funded research we will wait longer than we have to for these advances.

We don’t have to wait. With support, advances can process and we can hold on to people we would have lost.

If you are interested in supporting this cause, I encourage you to find out more at the main “Cycle for Survival” page.

You can support my team through donations at the following links.
To donate to the general “team” fund:
UCLA RAD-iology

To donate via my personal page (which counts towards our team goal):
Suzie’s Page for UCLA RAD-iology


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Daily Q&A

Last year I purchased these 5-year journals for my Mom and Sister-in-Law which listed a question on each day of the year. There are five entries so that as time goes by, you can revisit how you answered questions in previous years. I also bought one for myself and it has been a testament to my patience that I’ve diligently filled in my answers each day. OK, most days (I do go back and answer skipped days though). I cannot WAIT for it to be five years from now so I can read my own little time capsule.

And since sometimes I’m at a loss for words (see recent absence from blog) I thought I’d post the occasional Q&A here. Feel free to post your answers in the comments!

February 5, 2014
What are you obsessively listening to?
Macklemore, Daft Punk, and Britney Spears.

March 20, 2014
What was the last book you read?
I’m currently reading The Goldfinch.
*Author’s note, I never finished that book and returned it embarrassingly late to the library. I haven’t been back.

April 12, 2014
Write down a new fact you recently learned.
Taylor Kitsch and I have mutual friends.
*Author’s Note: I forgot about this, and who those mutual friends are!


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Books, Books, Books

After a bit of a hiatus from reading (tv isn’t going to watch itself you know) I’ve resumed my regular habit of having multiple tomes going at any one time. Here is a bit of a recap/mini-review of what I’ve read in the last 4-6 weeks and what is currently on my bedside table/kindle/audible playlist.

Recently Completed Books

Dune by Frank Herbert
I originally read the entire Dune series years and years ago, as well as some of the subsequent sequels and prequels written by his son and another author later on. I think Dune was actually the first Sci-fi movie I ever watched and it remains one my family’s favorites to this day, holding an honored place alongside A Christmas Story and Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. Dune is the first book of five, and has always been the toughest one for me to get through as it builds up a lot of the storyline, I always feel like it’s just getting going right as it ends! But never fear, as fear is the mind killer (inside joke to Dune fans!) Luckily I’ve got the rest waiting in the wings as I ordered the paperbacks all in one go – thanks Amazon Prime!

Neuromancer by William Gibson
Hey, two Sci-fi books in a row! That is not surprising at all, actually. I borrowed this from a friend and am frankly surprised I had never read it. This is probably one of the original electronic age cyber-punk novels, my preferred sub-genre. If you’ve read Snow Crash or Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson then you’ll enjoy this as well. Though you’ve probably already ready it. These books are even more interesting to read now, as opposed to the 80’s and 90’s since a lot of the technology in the books is closer to our current reality!

Currently Reading

Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham
OK, I’m about 10 pages from the end but technically I’ve not yet finished the book. I pre-ordered this because despite finding the most recent season of Girls annoying, I’m still watching and she is a fantastic writer and “voice of her generation” (inside joke to Girls fans). I had pre-ordered this and it was waiting for me when I returned from a recent trip to Arizona. Sidenote: Aren’t preorders the greatest? I always forget about them so it’s like Christmas when books just show up AND I don’t have to spend 1-2 days tracking my amazon shipping info! Back to the book, if you like the show you will probably enjoy this as well. Some of the earlier chapters jump around and are hard to follow but either the editing got tighter or I became accustomed to the writing style.

Dune Messiah by Frank Herbert
Book two in the Dune saga! This is one of the shortest books in the series and I expect to finish this one quickly (and move on to book 3). Particularly if I have to go in for jury duty this week. This one moves along much more quickly but it would be totally confusing if you hadn’t invested the time in Dune.

How Google Works by Jonathan Rosenberg, Eric Schmidt, Alan Eagle
Listening on Audible
As I have a stack of books waiting to be read and limited time, I’ve decided to try out listening to a few of them while driving, running on the treadmill, and working on more routine tasks at work. I’m still in my 30 day trial but loving it so far! Anyway, audible review aside, I’m about six chapters in and loving this book. It is something anyone managing/leading people should read, should be a bible for entrepreneurs, and is funny. I keep pausing to bookmark spots and write a quick note so I can return to that spot later (the audio-equivalent of highlighting every single line of text).

So that’s what I’m reading these days, I have more pre-orders (yay!) coming and a healthy wish-list on my audible account, as well as the rest of the Dune series of course. What suggestions do you have for future reading?


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Tumblr’n

I’m not posting as frequently as I’d like, but I have gotten into Tumblr lately. Because my modus operandi when falling behind on a project is to distract myself with other shiny objects!

Anyway, not a lot of original content and I’m only about 5% confident that I’ve successfully linked the blog to the Tumblr, but I have found lots of nerdy things to repost that you may enjoy. And if not, it gives you a deeper peak into my psyche.

You’ve been warned!

Nerdingham Tumblr’ed Found here!


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Geek VS. Nerd

According to this infographic I appear to be a hybrid!
Let’s break down the traits…

Geek Traits
Early adopter – Yes
Mac – Typing on one now
Fan of Gadgets – YES
Interests in…
Gaming – Yes
Film – Yes
Gadgets/Computers – We covered this, Yes!
Wears ironic t-shirts – I don’t think a stormtrooper playing video games is ironic, but possibly Yes.
Pretentious & Longwinded – Finally a No! (right guys?)
Knowledge ranges from mundane to encyclopedic – Yes
Specific Niche interests – Yes

Nerd Traits
Interest in academics – Yes
Introverted – HA! Yes!
Socially inept – No? Though I do struggle with anxiety in social situations.
Diverse & impractical skills – Yes
PC – Just at work, under duress
Interests in…
BSG – Yes
LARPing – No
Second Life – No
Fantasy/Sci-Fi – Yes

So perhaps I am a nerdy geek? Or do I lean more towards a geeky nerd? I think more analysis is required.

Geeks vs Nerds
From: <a


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My Hamster Ball

Your basic guide to interacting with introverts.

 

I found this today on FastCompany and it really rings true. And god bless anyone who has to deal with me after I’ve reached my quota of of human interaction for the day!


2 Comments

Bueller?…Bueller?…Bueller?

I remember in college and grad school that I thought it was so unfair when we were put into groups to do papers or projects. What if someone didn’t pull their weight? What if someone never showed up for meetings or didn’t contribute anything? What if they dragged everyone else down and we got…A LOWER GRADE? The response to these concerns was always the same, this was supposed to teach us valuable lessons about working in groups in “the real world.” When we eventually graduated and got jobs, we’d have to work with people and our efforts would be evaluated as a team, and not individually. I thought this was ridiculous at the time!

Of course nearly a decade after my last group project, I do work with others and it’s rare that my work is purely individual. Even more so as a supervisor, I have to trust a team to work together and produce tangible results. And like in school, there’s the gamut of team players:) I’m lucky enough that my current team is extraordinarily high functioning – smart, responsive and creative. We still have to rely on others – and that’s where we occasionally have the stress of waiting (weeks, months) for even a reply to an email. I’ve attended meetings where key players were absent, had not sent anyone else, or even told any of us they weren’t coming.

It happens outside of work too. It’s sadly more common to send an email and get zero replies than to have anyone bother to acknowledge your message. The work tends to fall to the  person that will do it, rather than being distributed in an equitable manner. Often you don’t hear from anyone unless it’s a complaint! 

It makes me wonder why this is OK? When did it become so commonplace to completely ignore each other? When did acknowledging a message from a co-worker, friend, family member become such a monumental task that we simply didn’t do it? When did someone else’s time become so much more valuable that they could ignore you?

I guess these are hypothetical questions since those that could answer are the least likely to respond…