Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Touching base

Well, fortunately for everyone out there, I don't really have anything to say today. I just thought that I would drop a line to my loyal fan base and let them know that I am still here.


Been pretty busy lately, lecturing on Egyptian mythology etc. Trying to get a project up and running with 2 separate collaborators who are busy doing there own thing, and I require them to train me in some new tricks. Not a fun job. Sounds good on paper. In practice, it's not.

Getting paid: Since starting in January, after being offered employment here in late Sept, I am still not hired properly, and this means that EVERY BLOODY Thursday but one, I have spent the day trying to find out why I haven't been paid. Today is no different. Except that I cant' even get in touch with the people I need to because they are moving to a new building today!! The curses going through my head are making me dizzy. Let me tell you... No, I better not.

So ya, I've better ones. Better days, weeks, months now...

What good can I tell you.. Like they do on TV news, where they always tell you that thousands have perished in a freak and particularly gruesome boating accident in which oddly enough, ONLY mothers and children perished (ie the bad news) before ending the story with an up-beat cheerful tone, happily saying that on the upside, there are now a lot more eligible bachelors for all those single ladies looking for Mr. Right! Or that a kitten that was trapped in a tree was inadvertently rescued by the boat accident once the boat finally came to a halt in the middle of the park just far enough away so that the cat could jump over to it and then on to the safety of its owner who was anxiously praying to God to save her poor cat from being stuck in a tree....

My good news..... oh ya, we bought a Nintendo Wii!!! Yay for me! Me and Bec are not addicts, but we do play it together, tennis, etc. But now that we have enough controlers (the Nunchuck bit took forever to come in), I think tonight we will play boxing. The only legal was to beat up you wife!!! Or, to beat up your husband.... Only time will tell which way this battle of the titans will end.

Anyway, I should go and continue being bored today. I kind of refuse to work today because I am .... upset ... that I am still having to fight accounts for every penny I end up giving to the bank, phone company, electricity company, water people, gas station attendant, grocery store, chinese mafia, train station guy who gives me my ticket, and city council, not to mention all the others who make me poor.

Thanks. Thanks alot.

Keep smiling though....

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Egypt and Australia

Well, this weekend me and family drove up to Canberra (capital of Australia). We went there because I wanted to see the Egyptian antiquities on display at the National Gallery, on loan from the Louvre.

Being from the Louvre, it is needless to say that is was pretty impressive.

Probably one of my highlights was this sarcophagus they had from a woman. It was made out of stone, and the inscriptions were immaculate. Writing all over the very top (outside), the sides, on the bottom, and even inside of it. THere were inscriptions invoking the various gods etc and they were drawn to perfection. I tried for some time to get a good pic from Google of one at least similar, but I came up empty on that front. We weren't allowed to use cameras so I couldn't take any pics either... Sorry. There was at least one that was similar to the one above, made of wook and painted beautifully. They were also quite impressive...

This one I thought was pretty impressive, it is from the Book Of The Dead, which many scrolls were on display. This, as I was eavesdropping on someone who apparently knew what he was talking about, is a picture of a "guy" who had died (the man in the middle, facing right, next to the scales). His heart is being weighed on the balance, and if it is "pure" it will of exactly the same weight as the "thing" on the other side, which represents ... goodness I guess. I was eaves dropping, come on give me a break and I was carrying Alex, who was bored by this point.

Annnnyyywaay... If his heart was pure, then he goes to heaven and lives out his days, while dead, in happiness. If his heart does not balance equally, then the god doing the weighing there lets the dog-like-actually-multi-animal-parted-thingamabob devour him. So the guy ends up dead ... again... but sent to a hellish place where he becomes surrounded by hordes of swine and foul, and there are no 40 vestigial virgins but instead 40 morbidly obese, hungry men and the god of the underworld instills fear into his very being by first marinating him in a rather tasty honey-soy sauce before dressing him in succulent pork chops, bacon, Krispy Kreme donuts, and Big Macs. Unfortunately, it doesn't end there for him though. As you can see from the picture, he's a rather skinny man, likely able to run faster than the 40 morbidly obese, hungry men who will be chasing him to eat him, the tears of fear he sheds are no longer the tears of mortal men, for he is dead and in hell, so they are in stead Kool Aid. Cherry flavour. But a little too diluted in flavour. This is probably the most (well 2nd most) evil part of ancient Egyptian mythology. Normally, a skinny man can run faster than these obese men. And this holds true in hell. BUT, the hungry obese men DRINK the flowing tears of fear from the man, and they get both energy from the high sugar content, so they can run for longer, and after time, faster, but also they get angry because of the diluted cherry flavour.

Eventually, they catch the man, thus ending the chasing phase of hell. The pursuit takes years and years, and years, but through constant running and drinking diluted Kool aid, thus fueling their anger even more, but quenching their need for drink, the obese men become not so obese. The man cries more, producing more Kool Aid, and creating more anger in his pursuants.

And here's where it becomes really bad for the guy. In ancient Egypt, they didn't know that being morbidly obese was bad, so the recently obese men want to become obese again. And when they catch the man, the tears are no longer diluted Kool Aid, but the tears become gravy. The recently obese men then go into a feeding frenzy and eat from the man, all at the same time, his constantly replenishing supply of now gravy covered pork chops, bacon, Big Macs and Donuts.

This feasting stage, as with the chasing stage, lasts several years. Until the recently obese men are no longer recently obese, but presently obese men. This is a transition phase of Egyptian hell, as the man (who died) realizes that he can finally escape the grasps of the presently obese men.

Once successful, he runs. Thus beginning the chasing phase of hell again. This cycle continues for an eternity...cycling between the chasing and feasting stages.....

I was eaves dropping on the guy, and I 'm pretty sure that's what he said.

Thursday, February 08, 2007


I just can't think of a title....

So I know that you are all wondering what I have been doing with my bad self. All right, I'm not really but, how about, my lame self... Not as nice a ring, but probably more true!! Well, I have been riding the trains around Sydney alot. I am now working at two different locations, one at Westmead Hospital where I did my PhD, and the rest of the time at the Garven Institute for Medical Research. The main difference between the two is that the Garven is private, whereas Westmead Hospital is public. Just click on each respective link to see which one looks better!! The Garven is beautiful on the inside, very well maintained, great coffee machines, and a nice feeling to it, whereas Westmead Hospital is a politcal entity unto itself. I should probably watch what I say, so... it is a good place to work as it is really big with a lot of expertise (sp?) but the papers and forms and blah blah blah, but the CEOs etc are here to promote health care, which is a fair call, it being a hospital, but they put alot of undue stress on research where we have to constantly fight for our lab space for fear of it being taken over by general office space...

A sad tale of woe this is... A sad tale indeed....

But the project is pretty good though, and it is probably the only remaining reason why I am still in Australia. I will be testing a new treatment (cure?) for diabetes. Can't go into detail as I don't want any of you buggers to steal the idea and publish it before me, but it the idea makes sense and may just work. At least in preliminary stages which is all I (reasonably) hope to accomplish this year, as I have to get the whole project up and running from scratch. In short, I am learning a lot of new tricks this year to take with me wherever I go next year.

Anyway though, I just thought that I would check in, say hey, and show a pic of where I am working part of the time. Just so you can be envious of me, if I wanted to walk a little way (45 min or so), I can get to the Sydney Opera House... How cool is that! I still think that it is such a beautiful building that pictures do not do justice to.

Well, I should run now.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Happy Birthday again

Ya, I know, another birthday post! But this is not my birthday. I just thought that I would wish my brother Chris a happy birthday. So Happy Birthday Chris!!! With a smile on my face in the good ol' older brother kind-of-way (ie lovingly): When I see you in my next life, I'm going to kick your a$$, just like when we were little! Ahh the memories.... You left too soon, have missed alot and are missed are even more. But I will always smile at your memory... Remember the apple fight with Jason and Jeremy out in Gavelton.... Got ya good that time! I probably never told you how much I enjoyed playing baseball with you in little-league, when our coaches wanted me to become a pitcher, but I sucked, and then we found out that were surprisingly good at it! I enjoyed being the catcher most when you were pitching...

Also remember that time you called me when I was in Victoria, BC? That was a really good phone call. Surprised the hell out of me, but it was a nice call... Thanks.

Look, I'm not going to drag this on... But happy birthday. You would have been 29 today instead of the immortal you are now. Chris was born 1 year and 3 days after me, so close that at least for me, my entire childhood life was intimately linked with him, just not my adult life. Thus the need for the aforementioned kick in the a$$. Also, I really would have liked for you to have met Rebecca, Alex, and Madison. But I guess that meeting will have to wait.

Geez, I'm ... blanking. Too much and too little to say. Guess that's part of why I can't seem to sign your guest book despite numerous failed attempts eh?

Happy Birthday Chris.
(Feb 2, 1978 - much too soon)