Wednesday, November 12, 2008
So I'm listening to some Led Zeppelin, and Ramble On came on... So I'm sitting there working away, and then I hear talk of Mordor and Gollum!!! For those of you yet to play, they are references to Lord Of The Rings!!!! Evil place, and questionably bad guy (questionably because is he really bad? or simply held captive by the ring and therefore sufferor of Stockholm Syndrome? I think I'm right. Don't argue.)
Anywho, so the lyrics are:
Mines a tale that cant be told,
My freedom I hold dear;
How years ago in days of old
When magic filled the air,
Twas in the darkest depths of mordor
I met a girl so fair,
But gollum, and the evil one crept up
And slipped away with her.
Aint nothing I can do, no.
as lifted from:
The only thing that worries me, is that within the darkest depths of Mordor, are orcs and creatures of evil purpose... So maybe it was for the best that Gollum and the evil one who must not be named slipped away with her. She was likely evil as evil gets and sent off on some evil as evil gets errand of inescapable fear coupled with imminent doom and unspeakable horrors.
Like I said earlier: Don't argue.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Yay for me!!!
They will apparently flip my eyelid over, and surgically drain the crap out of my eye so that I am no longer shunned in public and cried at by small children (the bigger ones just point and look scared).
So it's a 4-day week for me next week!!
Monday, October 27, 2008
Especially looking back and seeing that my last post was just after school started in early September!! And lo and behold, it is now the end of October.
But I'm learning to live with it.
I think it's my eye that's giving me grief. I have this massive stye on my left one, and wholly crap!!! It just keeps getting worse and worse. I saw a specialist who said that he would book me into a surgery at the hospital, and this was a month ago. My eye now has a ball the size of a pea under it. Literally. And now I have something slightly bad on the top of my eye lid.
I don't think that I need a mask for Hallowe'en anymore. I'll just wear a paper bag with my left eye showing and it'll freak everyone out because it looks so real!! because it IS real!!! How awesome a costume do I have!! I'll post pictures!
But maybe not.
So what else has been happening.
The election(s), both in Halifax and Federally. I didn't vote in either. This is actually unusual because I am a firm believer that as a citizen of this community and country, it is my duty to vote. But I didn't because I have no idea who is who, what does person "x" stand for, or rather, what does party "x" stand for? I had and have no idea. I don't know if Harper is doing a good or bad job. (NOTE: Please do not post your opionions on his effectiveness). Or if anyone else out there is better or worse. All I know is that there was no one that inspired me. In any way at all. So I didn't vote because I didn't know who to vote for. And that continues down through to the local municipal elections. I guess the other question is that wether or not any one will be better, or are we just voting for a figure head? I don't know, but I tend to not follow this line of thought, wether or not if it is true.
So that out of the way... Work has been bloody busy. Lots of experiments, few positive results, striving to find a direction to look in. Damn chemokine receptors. Don't look them up unless you are bored and feel like learning a new language, or like immunology. Of which I do, so I tend to read up on them a fair bit. And that's probably why I have not blogged in a while.
Oh ya!!! I got a new computer. A nice 17" HP Pavilion dv9700. It's a happy computer... But the only problem that I had, was that it runs on Vista Home Premium 64-bit. This meant that I could not get onto the internet at work where I need it most. So I had to figure out how to dual-boot into Windows XP or Vista (because I actually like Vista, I use it at home). That was a significant problem. I ended up needing to get a hold of a 3.5 inch floppy drive!! Do you know how hard it is to come up with one of them!? But it's done, partitioned my hard drive, re-installed drivers for XP to work with my hardward, programs installed twice, and blah blah blah blah.
So that's where I am now. getting ready to carve out my pumpkin. Jeez, I'm just watching Heroes, and I totally see why it kicks so much @$$. Man. I gotta go to bask in its glory. I'll try to write before Christmas. Or at least when I get my eye fixed. I really should take a picture of it...
And here it is!! Notice Steve hanging around my left eye.Ya, I named him.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
He was also the first to be sent to the red naughty chair.
Well, he did better than we thought he would... He made it into the second week!
Thursday, August 28, 2008
And on another note, my experiment turned sour today. It looks like a bloody do-over. The dirty rotten ELISA... Crap.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
So we've been looking into getting a fence put up around our back yard. So we get quotes. Which leads me to my question to you all...
Anyone wanna help me put up a little (about 4 foot high) fence around my back yard?
So ya, the price is not that great. Really high actually. We've only gotten one quote at the moment, but do you really think that the next few quotes are going to thousands of dollars cheaper? We put up a bloody garage (well it wasn't really bloody) in Australia for less than a measly 4 ft perimeter fence. And the garage required ALOT of concrete to make it level since we were on a bit of a slope, slight, but enough that there was a lot of concrete which had to be poured.
So, I am pretty sure that I can build a fence myself. I have put a little bit of thought into it, and I can see how it needs to be built. Once I get the main pillars up, it shouldn't be that hard screwing the rest of it together. It's just the putting up the main ones eh?
Well, I guess I'll have to do it myself then.. just think of all the $$ I'll save, the injuries I'm libel to get... but the pride my friends, the pride in doing it myself. And the wishful thinking that I'll only have to do it once and never again.
In other matters though, for those who are keeping score at home, I still don't have a credit card. Yup, still can't get one. We have gone to ScotiaBank, and MAN do they put up barriers. So much so that we are leaving them altogether. Fully and completely. By the end of this month, all of our banking will be through TD. We met with them the other day, and they were much more accomadating than their competition. But the credit card application is in the works, we haven't heard back yet, but either way, we are happier with TD than ScotiaBank by a long shot.
What else can I tell you...
Nothing it would seem, so I bid you good bye!
Monday, August 18, 2008
So we step out the door all set to watch some kick-a$$ soccer, and then it starts to rain... But ever so slightly. So we decide to stick it out and go. So we all get in the car, and start the drive from Dartmouth to Sackville.
As we get closer to Sackville, the rain starts to come down really heavy. So we abort because I won't be having Alex playing soccer in heavy rain. A little rain's ok, but not as heavy as it was when we were half way there. So we turned around and had a really boring morning and afternoon. Alex was upset, but he understood that there was no soccer in the rain. And me and my wife stressed to him that it's ok, we'll just play next weekend because it's too rainy right now.
So the day wanes on, we talk to some people, who talked to other people. And then found out that it didn't rain in Sackville. And we missed his final soccer games of the year. And the presentation of his trophy and medal.
Alex was upset, but Bec dealt with him. And I felt terrible. After all, it was me that abruptly turned the car around because of the heavy rain. In fact, I am still quite upset about this. I really loved watching him play soccer. I never missed a game, and I even coached / refereed one of the games that his regular coaches couldn't make. Gutted.
So we missed the whole thing. And now we will have to wait until next year.
Not happy Jan. Not happy at all.
And I'm sorry Alex.
I am truly sorry.
Friday, August 15, 2008
Oh how happy you must be to read me again.
So... Alot of things have been going on lately.
Firstly, me and my lovely family (not pictured below) moved into our new house (without a credit card even) . I love it, my wife loves it, Alex loves it, and Madison loves it. The kids love the fact that they now have a lawn to play in!! I love the fact that it is not a duplex, has beautiful hardwood floor upstairs, 3 FULL baths, one being in the bedroom, a fully finished downstairs, and looks great with no need to do anything except put up a fence.
So that's been pretty cool.
I also took my family to Keji last week, 6 days after moving into our new house no less. If it wasn't so half rainy, I'm sure it would have been great. But as it was, the weather wasn't really... conducive to swimming, so not much of that happened. But it was nice camping with the kids, and my parents. I would have liked my vacation to have lasted longer, but it didn't. And now I am back at work. Doing alot of data analysis. I like doing data analysis because it is nice when you have something like that done. But it takes a while, and my boss will be wondering why I haven't done more experiments. I'll have to have a talk with him when he gets back from his vacation!!! on Monday or Tuesday I think. Hmmmmm...
Still don't have a credit card either. Went into the bank to try to get one, and forced them to change my name from Mr. to Dr. Amon. But apparently I don't make enough. I think that part of the problem is that I am not taxed, so when I give them my salary, they can't deal with it because it is not taxed, so they are thinking that I get less than I am. Grrrr..
I will get one though. It's amazing at the number of things that it would make easier.. Like renting a U-haul to move. That would have been alot easier with a credit card. Becoming a member of Canadian Automobile Association over the phone when I ran a flat and could not get the bloody tire off so I had to call a tow-truck to charge me $50+ dollars (fortunately, I asked a passer by to jump on the wrench as he weighed more than me and it worked, so I left my parking lot before the tow-truck came! Yay for me!!) or even to get a MacPass to pay the toll on the bridge that I now have to cross every day on my way to and from work instead of having to throw quarters into the toll... Of which I am now always in short supply of.
Jeez. What's a guy to do?
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
An interesting thing happened to me and my wife the other day...
We applied for a credit card. We are finding ourselves needing one more and more as we wanted to rent a U-Haul to move at the end of the month, and because we didn't have one, we had to pay a $100 deposit in cash. Grrr...
So we applied for one. And the other day we got a letter in the mail from them saying that they are sorry but they don't think that we have the financial ability to handle a credit card, and that they were having problems assessing my credit history.
I know my credit history is problematic because I was in Australia for the past 7 years and therefore, because Australia (apparently) doesn't exist as a country capable of transferring or providing access to credit history of people who live there when they move overseas, I had/have no credit history. And therefore no credit card is possible.
BUT, when I was a student doing my BSc here at Dal, with no job, only a mounting student loan, I was capable of getting TWO credit cards!!! At the same time!!!! Yet now that I am Dr. Michael A. Amon, with a job, I cannot get a credit card.
What the hell!!!
I can get a mortgage for our new house, but not a stinking credit card!!
So, I will have to go elsewhere for my credit card...
Anyway, I just thought you all would like to know...
Monday, July 07, 2008
Over the Canada Day weekend, we went camping up at Shediac, New Brunswick. The first day there was a really beautiful day. The tent went up well, the sun was out, and the kids were alright. We got some firewood, roasted some marshmallows, and ended the day on a good up note. (Saturday).
Sunday came, and rained. And then it rained some more. But we had an awesome day at Crystal Palace so it didn't matter that much. And the tent held up pretty well. We will spray it with some kind of water-proofing stuff, but it was pretty good nonetheless. Alex really liked Crystal Palace despite not being able to go on the bumper cars or the swings because he is about an inch or two too short. But he did get to go on the roller coaster many many times. As expected, he didn't really want to leave though, but we did and he fell asleep in the car. On the way back to Shediac from Moncton, we listened to the radio to get the forecast for Monday, and low and behold, it predicted rain. Thunder showers even.
Crappity crap crap.
So we went to PEI on Monday. Ya, alot of driving for the kids, but it was worth it because they had a good time. We took Confederation Bridge, and the family was pretty impressed by it. After finding a place for Bec to use the bathroom that is. I love you dear.
The day turned out to be beautiful.
We first went to Summerside, had lunch and then roamed around there for a little bit taking in the sites and candy from this candy store. We went inside this little "light house / lookout" which was pretty cool mainly because Alex has been dying to see the inside of a lighthouse. even though this one wasn't a real light-house, he still really enjoyed it. So next we went to Charlottetown where they were having a really big concert that we didn't have tickets for, nor could we get tickets for because they were all sold out and we had two kids in tow. But there was a free petting zoo, and several free jumping castles which both Mads and Alex loved! After the jumping castles, we went to a park in Charlottetown on the waterfront where there was a pool (we didn't bring swimmers due to the predicted rain etc).. So we played in the playground for a while and again, the kids had a really good time, so it was another good day. Of note though, when we were leaving downtown Charlottetown (the jumping castles), across the rd from where we were parked, were two police officers and a tow truck... they were loading up 2 nice motorcycles that were illegally parked on the side of the rd. I am sorry to say that I did have to laugh a little bit... How crappy must that night have been for the two owners, who may have been in line for the concert which was about to begin, to come out of the concert all happy at seeing Collective Soul (heard their sound check) and whatever other bands were playing, only to find that they had no ride home. Sorry guys.... or girls...
It wasn't raining that night when we got back to Shediac, but we couldn't make a fire because me, being the clever doctor boy that I am, left the wood outside on the first night, when it rained. So the wood was soaked. I managed to get a small fire going, but the wood was just too soaked to burn properly. So no roasted marshmallows for my family as I am a failure as a woodsman. A failure indeed. But I have learned my lesson, and I generally don't make the same mistake twice, usually, unless it was really fun to make that mistake, then maybe I would make that mistake several more times, and then some more. Enough of that, sidetracked I guess... Always cover your wood.
So Tuesday came, and it was really hot, which made the drive home really nice for the three hours or so in the car with no air conditioning. It was awesome! Sweating bullets like there was no tomorrow, stopping to photograph my beautiful wife in front of the giant blueberry in Oxford NS, and then getting home.... Where we had a quick supper and went down to the waterfront for the Fireworks, which again, we all enjoyed. It wasn't quite as extravagant as those in Sydney, Australia, but they were good nonetheless. I think that if they could put the fireworks to music, it would blow the audience away...
Anyway, so that was my Canada Day weekend, more things happened that I neglected to include, like Rebecca's discovery of real mosquitoes. The Australian's think that they have bad mosquitoes, but honestly, I couldn't agree less. And now, neither can my wife. Or Madison, who was a frequent pin cushion. Nor about my problems with Tim Horton's...
But that's another blog. Maybe the next one as I haven't felt the need to rant much lately...
I gotta go now.
Monday, June 16, 2008
I find myself not posting.
So Alex is now a soccer star. Well not a star yet, but he's exceeding my expectations. He, unfortunately, has the genetic problem shared with most first-borns in my wife's family... Mainly an inability to run without looking like they are running like a girl. My wife has this problem. Her first born cousin (a boy) has this problem, and my son has this problem. Interesting thing about it though, is that my wife's cousin (who is over 20 now) has known that he has this problem for quite some time. And he plays soccer. Or at least he still did when I was last in Australia. But he has come over this problem by running as fast as he possibly can. Which apparently cures the disease for as long as one is running as fast as they possibly can. He doesn't jog, lest the affliction should rear its ugly (yet funny) head.
Alex, playing soccer, seems to work. He hasn't scored a goal yet, but he has entered the fray of 5 year olds struggling for the ball, come out of the fray with said ball, and ran to the other net with everyone else chasing him three times last game. He didn't score because he was concentrating a bit on lining himself up with the net etc... but he got 2 assists out of it as someone else on his team did the scoring. So he's up-and-coming. Maybe I'll try to post a pic or two, but that might seem out of character as of late, so I likely won't.
Other things have happened, but of more importance, it was Father's Day yesterday.. I thank my lovely wife, daughter Mads, and son Alex for thier great presents. Of which I don't have time to list. But Alex was most excited about the Star Wars Lego game from the Wii. Of which we played for about 2 hours last night!!! Yay for us!!!
But I would also like to wish my Dad a great Father's Day. Sorry we couldn't be there on the day, but I hope that the day before helped make up for it!! Thank you Dad for being the man that you are. A good, stand-up guy who's not afraid to do what needs to be done. Who's taught his children the meaning of work, while never sacrificing time with his kids. I am still working on that one. I also think that Dad probably contradicts the notion of a sensitive, new-age man, in that I have always known him to wear his heart on his sleeve. And in doing so, we've all known exactly where we stood with him. That he loves me, or the rest of his kids, grandkids etc, has never been in question. Under any circumstances.
So thank you Dad.
One day I hope to live up to the model that you have lived.
Saturday, May 31, 2008
Anyway though. I thought that I would address the previous post and clear up a few things. About the big experiment making me sound like I am a mad scientist. Yes, it's true, I am a mad scientist and am planning to take over the world with my madness. Mwa ha ha hahahahah !! If you can try to make that sound as evil and menacing as possible, that could only help the effect of my madness encompassing even you as I sit hear writing, subliminally entering your mind and planting thoughts of madness, my madness, in you. So thanks for your support. I'll thank you in the credits.
I can't remember if that particular experiment worked or not. But I think that that particular experiment worked... fabulously. Fabulously in that the data was beautiful, the analysis went really well in a custom made Excel spreadsheet I made to automatically calculate alot of data and decide which data to use based on minimal input from me... And fabulously in that the experiment, which takes over a month to do must be re-done. Using slightly different conditions. But the data looked so good that it was undeniably so. This questioned the re-producability of certian things, in that there are two diffferent sets of results with only a small change which shouldn't have changed things. But it did. Bugger.
But another big experiment worked just as beautiful for the reasons I already said. Except that this time, it worked reproducably. So happy day. My madness will encompass you sooner than later. ANyway. I think that I should go as I might be going to the movie tongiht as the rain looks like it may have slowed.
So cheers, and keep your eyes peeled for the subtle sings of my imminent take over. As I have planted things in your head already, you will recognize the signs before the rest of the world. SO think of yourselves as being in my inner circle.
Monday, May 26, 2008
Life doesn't seem to be going too bad lately, and in fact it might be going alright. I really should be writing up a method for tomorrow morning as I have another pretty big experiment to do, but guess what!! I have the help of a lovely summer co-op student!! Honestly, she's helped me out a fair bit too. But I just couldn;t keep away and now I leave to prepare for tomorrow... Such is the life of a Post-doc...
Sunday, May 11, 2008
Ah well, if only you knew then what you know now!!
And for my own mother, thank you dearly for all the love and support that you have given me, and all your kids, over the years. We wouldn't be where we are today if it wasn't for you. And while we may still be finding our way in certain aspects, you've given us a beacon to look to and have been a pillar of strength for us in times of trouble. Thank you. If Baha'i's did the Saint thing, I'd put you up for one. Maybe even two although I know they don't do that kind of thing. You're worth it!
Love you all dearly, and I hope today gets to be a proud wearer of you smiles!
Friday, May 09, 2008
It is a complicated mathematical equation that not even I am aware of.
It also depends on my moods. Which fluctuates more than I wish sometimes.
And for the past less than 2 weeks, I've been busy and not really feeling like writing.
And today ended on a particularly pissy note. Leaving me feeling just that.
So sorry I haven't written.
Next one will come when it comes. and as I'm sure you may all be aware of, it's a complicated mathematical equation. known for only one thing... that it is inversely related to it's being asked for.
This post being the exception.
Monday, April 28, 2008
That, my friends, is a little subtle hint to the rest of my links on the right. Re-enforced.
See, I'm consistent.
Friday, April 25, 2008
Over the years I have tried several times to sign your guest book. I just can't do it and I really don't know why. Maybe I', still mad at you for forcing me to take that phone call in the middle of the night, or early morning as the case was. Glad it was Jason that made the call though. But I hate answering the phone in the middle of the night. Thanks Canada Student Loan people for continuing to call me in the wee hours of the am while I was in "Oz. You helped me re-live those moments regularly. (Please feel the bitterness in my voice over that one).
I don't know.
I don't even think I've been able to make a private contribution to your guest book. Man, how many ways do I suck. I don't even know what it is symbolizing for me that I can't do it. I really thought that I could today, I started typing, and then had to stop. No tears or anything like that. I accept that he has gone and is now making fun of my inability to sign a Guest Book!! (Shaking fists into the air in a good hearted fashion) Bastard!!! I'll show you when I see you again!!!
I know it's not good to speak ill of the dead, but I'm not. i'm just playing with him. And he knows it.
Jeez, I may have to stop now. I haven't welled up in a while, and I am at work so not a good time.
Bye Chris, Sorry I can't sign you off yet. But I don't think that I ever will.
Why does this worry me?
Because it is the end of April; I just left Australia just before summer started; and it's almost bloody May. This leads me to worry that my wife may leave me because of the snow. Not much snow mind you, but snow nonetheless. I am also worried because I can not for the life of me remember saying that snow was ok to have today.
Not happy at all.
Ah well, I just thought I'd share that with you. I have to get back to work.
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Oh Happy Day!!!
We got to watch new NCIS last night, New LOST tonight, New Grey's tonight (at least I am pretty sure of the last two). The only sad thing is that I don't yet know when Heroes will be back.
I really like that show.
Work went pretty well this week. I got things to work hopefully. Ok, they didn't get contaminated with some kind of dirty bacteria again. This is always a good thing. So I may actually get some results this week!!!
I've been really tired this week though. I don't really know why, but I fell asleep putting my son to sleep last night. And then nearly fell asleep on the couch after waking up realizing I had fallen asleep with my boy. Not good.
So I've got a Doctor's appointment for next week. It seems that I have something funny on my left upper arm. And I don't think that it's muscles. Which would be a surprise since I don't work out. I figure that I've worked this hard on my physique for the past 31 years that I don't want to wreck it by exercise.
What do you think I am?
But the arm thing's a bit of a worry of late. I should have had it checked in Australia. But I didn't. It's probably just some kind of insect that's buried it's eggs in my arm and they're just happily co-existing with me. In which case, I'm not sure I want them to leave. (Please Google "Parasite Pals" and explore, it's the site that made my son ALWAYS wash his hands after using the bathroom... silly Tapeworm!!)
Anyway though, I should really run as it's now 4:30. I will try to keep up a bit more and post things. I just hope that I finally find something worth posting.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
So what's happened. I finally got internet access on my laptop at work. No access to facebook as it's blocked, but here I am. So this isn't blocked. I've been pretty busy at work as of late, thus my last post.
I had kind of a crap week last week. I set up a fairly large experiment and all my samples got contaminated with some kind of dirty little bacteria of some sort... Which made it a write-off.
But things seem to be going better this week.
So yesterday, I have officially been married for seven years to my lovely wife. We went out for supper on the weekend to a really nice Italian restaurant by the Westin in Halifax. I can't remember the name so i can't give it to you. I had a really nice seafood pasta thing that reminded me why I love lobster. The stuff is like gold. I missed those poor little crustaceans that should be found in my belly much more often.
So the definition of sadness that I promised you.
Well, back in 1989, I really began watching hockey. Influenced by a friend, I was rooting for the Calgary Flames (now you see where sadness enters the story). It just so happened that they won the Stanley Cup that year. So I was pretty pleased!!! I remember it very well! Ahh the joys...
Come up to 2004. I am in Australia, no news of hockey really makes it there, so I regularly check Google News. Lo and behold, the Flames have now made it to the Stanley Cup playoffs!!! And I couldn't watch. So I got my dearly loved uncle Jimmy and my Grandfather to record the games for me and send them down to Oz for me. I then proceeded to ignore all sports news for a long time so that I wouldn't know the outcome.
When I got the videos a while later (2 months or so I think), I still didn't know who had won. So I watched each of the games late at night when my wife and son were asleep. And I loved it!!! It got to game 7, and I was crushed by their defeat by a team in Florida!!!! Tampa Bay Lightning who had Patrick Roy as their goalie (ex-Montreal Canadien).
And now, here we are. I am in Canada. I can watch the games in real-time. If only they didn't start at bloody 11 pm and I didn't have work. I didn't watch last night's game because it was my wedding anniversary and I love my wife more. But I woke up to defeat. They lost last night to San Jose Sharks.
Crappity crap crap.
I even bought myself a Calgary Flames hat!!! Jeez! What's a guy gotta to do!?! Ah well. Next year. (I know, I sound like a Toronto Maple Leafs fan eh!).
But I am trying to get my son to enjoy watching hockey and I don't think that it will be too hard. We watched the first period of Montreal's glorious win the other night against Boston. My son seemed to enjoy watching. But what made me really proud was when I found out that the first thing he asked my wife the next morning when he woke up (I was at work) was if they won!!!
How great is that!!! So I think that I will be watching some Montreal Canadien hockey.
But please Montreal, please pretty please allow me to continue to root for you. Don't riot anymore. Celebrate yes. But rioting because of a ROUND ONE victory?
Make me proud to be a Canadian.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
So what’s changed over the past little while since my last blog…
We bought a car. A nice little 2003 Kia Rio for driving to and from work and driving around the city etc on weekends and stuff. She’s a nice little car. Gold in colour. No power steering, cd player, and I think that’s about as fancy as she gets.
So we then tried to insure her. Here’s where some problems began… Because I have been living in Australia for a few years, my license expired about 4 and something years ago. So I have to re-write the beginners test (passed easily on Friday). And then take the road test again. Which will be done in Yarmouth this coming Thursday. Note that I live in Halifax. Anyway though, The Wife and I are moving through this pretty quickly because it will cost us thousands of dollars (unfortunately I am being very literal) to insure us for the most basic of insurances for a year. However, with a valid NS driver’s licence, we get it for under $800.
Hmmm.. Ya it’s a no-brainer. So we are moving as fast as we can to get our NS driver’s licence.. And since the earliest I could get my licence here in Hfx is sometime in April, we are going to Yarmouth to do on Thursday. Much sooner.. And I am praying to God that we both pass.
How embarrassing would that be to fail!!! I have been driving since 1993!!! Oh ya, and when I passed the written test, I was offered a temporary NS license, and that it would be subject to the conditions of a beginner’s license… Like driving with someone who has had more than 2 years driving experience. I laughed and said no. I mean really, I have a valid International Driver’s license which entitles me to drive for a year as long as my Australia one is valid, and my Australian license is valid here anyway for a short period of time. Why would I opt in to getting a license which restricts me to driving with someone with over a decade less driving experience than myself.. Man it was hard not to laugh at that moment.
Even now I suppress.
And suppress some more.
Oops, there it goes… I lost it.
(UPDATE: since I am quick to write, but slow to post, I did the driving test, and passed with no problem whatsoever, so I have a valid NS driver’s license. The Wife was pretty nervous but she did well and passed with some pretty colours. So all is well in the world and you can sleep in peace.)
Going to look at some houses tomorrow too (Well last Tuesday, about a week ago). A few in Dartmouth, and a few in Timberlea. I am kind of leaning toward Timberlea at the moment as the house looks alright.. Especially after I give it some good lovin’. Paint and a few other bigger jobs. But I think that one of the main things I like about it is the price and the location as it will leave us with a very manageable mortgage, the street is full of owner occupied houses, it’s not too far from work, and the downstairs is laid out really well for Rebecca to do child care (babysitting; see previous post). I think that the only issue we are having is that the school is really big, and we don’t know what (or if) there is a demand for child care in the area. I imagine that there is, and I believe that The Wife will be able to get kids. Anyway though, my Parents are coming up tomorrow to have a look with us because we love the second opinions.
We even got my Dad to look at the car with me before we bought it… In fact, we even got them to pay for it for us!! So how’s that!!! Na.. we’re not that bad… I just couldn’t get money out of the bank on Saturday, so Dad gave me a loan which I paid back immediately with a lovely cheque…
A cheque which for some reason made my bank limit the amount I could pull out of a cash machine to $220, making it pretty hard for me to pay my student loan of $335 a month hard over the counter at the Royal Bank when they could only take cash from me. But that’s a different problem and pain in the bum.
So what else has changed…
We bought a house. Funny because it was one of the houses we looked at last Tuesday with Mom and Dad. And not the one we asked them to come up and see.. This is why we get the second opinions! Well we are in the process of getting it, but we have been approved for financing, and the house inspection was yesterday which turned out alright. We’re moving to Dartmouth, which I always kind of considered the New Jersey of Halifax. But now I think it’s alright. Kind of have to don’t I? But it’s a really nice house. We don’t have to do anything too major to fix it. Just some little tiny things for longevity purposes, and we may want to start thinking about fixing some of the windows. But besides that, the house is in great shape. Nice wood floors, nice paint on the walls, nice landscaped back yard, or at least it looked that way in the pictures!! It was still covered in snow! We picked this one because the mortgage is only a little bit more, but it’s finished, better demand for child care in Dartmouth than in Timberlea… And the amount of work required in Timberlea kind of cancelled out the when the Dartmouth house is finished… So Dartmouth, here we come. For your own info, our new home is kind of in the back-end of Dartmouth just before Cole Harbour. We checked out the school and it looks good, so we’re a happy family!
Works going good. I have some footing and I think that I kind of know what I am doing. Still hate the cubicle thing, and I am really starting to miss having internet access on my laptop while at work. I really need to check a few things right NOW but I can’t because all the internet accessable computers are busy. Apparently, there is some hold up with the stock from the suppliers supplier (ie Microsoft). I’m not too happy about this at the moment though.
I need things.
I have needs.
I need to do work now.
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Ah well, to you all, I bid you A'Dieu, and you may soon find yourself absent from my links page as I don't really want to have a bunch of dead links.
Maybe I will give myself an overhaul and put some interesting links to web-sites that I particularly enjoy on this...
Jeez, it’s been a while since I’ve blogged.. And I guess the only reason for this lag is that I’ve been kind of busy… but over a month, a short month, but still a month… no excuse is sufficient. Sorry to all my loving and loyal fan(s). I don’t know why I added the “s”, I know it’s not true.
So what’s happened to me.. I turned 31. So I’m not the 30 year old I used to be. I’m the 31 year old that I’m growing in to! Yay for me. But that is yet to be decided.
I’ve been pretty busy at work setting up a few methods to test some stuff at work. It went well, I got three assays up and running in about 2 weeks or so. Wrote the most kick-ass Excel file to analyze them. You must remember that I am a PhD. This translates into Geek. Not the MD type who you watch on Greys’ Anatomy, House, or ER, but the Geek that they don’t make shows about because we’re geeky. Albeit, the drugs that the those MDs prescribe etc, especially the new fangled ones, are the result of PhD geeks… So just so you know, it’s the Geeks that tell the ones you watch what medications to give etc. To some degree. Ah hell, the largest degree ever.
Anyway though, I’m sitting at work on the second day of the Fast. And I’m bored and tired. And getting a bit hungry. Honestly, it’s a lot easier fasting here than in Australia. There’s not nearly the same amount of heat to scorch your throat making you crave a drink.
That reminds me!! It’s Roll Up The Rim To Win at Tim Horton’s!!!! How cool is that (sucks that I’m fasting because I don’t drink during the day thereby limiting my chances of winning). BUT, have no fear my friend, I have played this game for many years, excluding the ones when I was in Australia. So maybe not many years, but I have played before, and as soon as I saw a Roll Up The Rim To Win Cup, I was excited. So I bought my first one. I lost, and I lost again and again that morning. But the next morning was another story. I got my coffee from the lovely girl at the Tim’s at the bottom of the Tupper, then I went across the road (the Tupper Building is on my way to work, and has less of a line-up than both Tim’s in the IWK), went up to my “office” drank and wrote my Kick-ass Excel file. Then decided to roll up the rim my friends. (Yes, I know you are wondering how long can he keep this crap up, but be warned, I am full of crap. Absolutely full of it. And even this little soliloquy is taking up your time). So I rolled it up and low – and – behold, I won a $50 Tim Card. So i got the card that night at another Tim’s in Bedford, where the girl’s immediate response was that’s awesome, and then “I wish I had of watched that video”. I think she had to send something away, but she was like, well we have the cards here, so I’m going to give him one. So I got my card.
So I went to the Tim’s at the bottom of the Tupper the next morning, only to find that they were not set up to use the Tim card. So my heart was broken. I get $50 and can’t even use it where I buy my coffee. ..
Yes a sad tale of woe.
Woe is me…
And now I am fasting so I am not even drinking coffee much anymore. But as soon as the Fast is finished, I promise that I will make up for lost time.
Ever wish that you had something intelligent to say? I have that wish right now.
So we’re still looking for a house to buy. Having some problems with that though. Trying to find a decent house and a school that has less than 700 students in grade 1 is proving a bit tricky. I may have found something though, it’s a little ways out, but then we don’t really have the cash to buy in downtown Halifax. Not that we want to, but The Wife would like to buy in Bedford. She likes Basinview school, which is where My Boy is registered to go to school in Sept. Assuming that we don’t move. Which we will since we only have our house until the end of August!
Ya, life’s good. I still don’t have a second car. Which is probably a good thing since it gives us more $$, but it means that I am still taking public transportation. It’s slowly starting to wear thin on me. I am appalled at the level of child care in NS. You know, I am sure that there are decent people who take care of kids, but when it comes down to it, it should all be regulated. And the government should support the child care industry. If you want to improve your workforce, women should be able to come back to work after they’ve had a baby. I know that they are technically allowed, but if that woman works IN child care, she’s screwed. Not worth working in child care when you have a child that needs to be in child care because the pay you get working in child care does not provide enough money for you to send your kid to child care. Where’s the sense in that? I understand why there are so many people taking care of children in their homes. There is no regulation against it, and you actually make real money doing it. $25 / kid /day, times one week is $125 a week for one kid. If you have 4 kids that you are taking care of, that $500 a week. Or $2000 a month, or $24,000 a year, with the possibility of this being tax-free. And for your information, you are allowed to have at leasat one more than 4 kids, and the going rate at a child care centre (at least the one where The Wife went for an interview) is $18-20,000, taxable income. You tell me what choice we should make. I honestly don’t understand why anyone would work in a child care centre here.
This also means that you can get anyone operating a “babysitting” service from their home. Just advertise yourself, and you may get lucky. I believe that you should have some sort of formal training in child care. Some sort of First Aid kit, and some kind of insurance, Heaven Forbid, should anything happen to a child while in your care. I think that the Nova Scotia government really needs to step up and deal with this.
It’s a travesty.
A bloody travesty.
Saturday, February 02, 2008
But today is a happy day nonetheless. It is the day when Christopher R. Amon was born. And my childhood friend came into being. The beginning of my memories are perfused with Chris. The good fun we had playing baseball with oranges upstairs in the hallway. Chocolate pudding fights in the house when Mom and Dad were gone away. The vicious fights we had. Ahhh the memories. Thanks Chris. I'll see you again soon enough!
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
So my friends, it’s been snowing a bit up here lately… Take yesterday for eg… 2 hours on the bus it took me to get to work. Now that’s at least twice the normal amount of time it takes me to get to work. By bus that is.. It’s normally only a 15-20 minute drive had I had a car to call my own. Not complaining though, I would rather have the wife have the car in case she would like to get out of the house with the kids, or if something should happen and she needs to go… But 2 hours was a long time to be on the bus. A long time indeed.
So, I’ve been doing a lot of reading about B-cells and CCR4. No, I’ll spare you the details, but there are a few interesting questions that I wouldn’t mind trying to answer, and again, I won’t bore you with the monotonous details…
Oh ya, the presentation that I mentioned last week, I think that it went well. I made it through the 45 min or maybe a little bit less… without any major coughing fits. I couldn’t talk to loud though or I would have been lost to the cough. I also felt like I answered the very good questions well. I guess the only people who could really answer that would be those who actually asked the question and whether or not they were happy with the answer. Anyway though, I think that overall it was a success as now the people of the DIG (ref to last post) know who I am and what I’ve done.
My parents came up to visit over the weekend too. They brought up a Rappie Pie as well.. The spelling is probably wrong, and for that, I’m sure you’ll learn to get over. With time. Some counseling. But don’t count on my help. Rebecca, although not from Canada, or having ever known what Rappie pie was, tried over the holidays at my parent’s house in Yarmouth, and didn’t not like it. Not the use of double negatives. It’s too stress the fact that she was not opposed to eating it… double negative again… I’ll try again. She ate it and liked it. I think that’ll do. I missed it greatly, and had like thirds of it I think. And when I take thirds, I don’t mean one or two mouthfuls, I mean that I had 3 plates full. And then I ate cake.
You see, part of the reason that Mom and Dad came up to visit, was because tomorrow, Wednesday the 30th of January, 2008, I turn that blessed age of 31. No longer a spring chicken. But a chicken with a family and responsibilities. All of which I enjoy. I think that I mentioned this last year, and I’ve said it to many. I think that I would not like aging if I had done absolutely nothing. But, I have already sold my first house, got married (7 years ago), and I have two kids who are happy and healthy, I try my best to support my wife, and I have gotten my PhD. So I have done a few things making aging ok. And 31 is not really that old, and I don’t think that I am aging that bad yet. A little tiny bit of gray in the eyebrows that I have to point out, and anyways, it makes me look distinguished!!
Yes. I will keep telling myself this.
So Saturday night, we got Mom and Dad (well the offered) to babysit the kids while me and the wife went out for supper and a movie. We went to Baan Thai on Dresden Row, across from the Theatre at Park Lane. Now I love Thai food. And whenever I go to a new Thai restaurant, I order Cashew Chicken as this tends to be one of my favorite Thai dish. There was a REALLY good restaurant in Sydney (Newtown actually) that made the best Cashew Chicken that I have ever had. That’s all changed now. I think that Baan Thai made the best cashew chicken that I have ever eaten. It was a bit different to what I was used to, but it was really good. Even my wife agreed with me that it was really good, and she even thought that it was better than her meal (Pad Thai). I tried hers as well.. Well alright, I finished hers for her, and it was good, but not the best Pad Thai I had ever had. It was different to what we were both used to for Pad Thai. We are used to a kind of lemony (weakly) flavour, but this one seemed to have a kind of faint tomato tint to the flavour. Nothing overpowering or anything like that, but it was enough to alter the flavour. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t as good as what we have had elsewhere. We will go again though, and we will each order something different to work our way through the menu.
Yes, I am supposed to be working now. Reading more actually. I need the break now.
For the after-dinner movie, we thought that we would see the romantic comedy Cloverfield. We weren’t sure what we really wanted to see, but by the time we paid for supper and got to the theatre across the road, that was what we had to see. I didn’t mind as I kind of wanted to see it anyway.
Honestly, I liked it. I think they took an idea from a similar movie from a while ago, and added a new concept to it. And I think that it worked. I don’t want to give too much away from it, but I did like it. It’s not quite a good date movie, but the wife was scared. Well as scared as a movie can actually make you when you know that what’s going on on-screen is not real etc. The end was odd though. I expected it to end in the way it did. But I was left with the feeling of…. Well I think I chuckled a bit, as did many others. Not a funny “Ha Ha” chuckle, but a funny “that’s it!?” kind of chuckle. I had to walk away from the movie and let it sink in more before I came to the conclusion that I did like it. Anyway though, I thought that it was a good movie. Probably won’t watch it again, but I’m glad that I did see it.
Well I think that this has been a pretty long post. And I wish that I had something of real substance to say. But it’s interesting to note the severe and drastic drop in blogging by some. But I guess it comes down to why you started. To make contact with someone random and perpetually unknown; or not unknown; to vent; or to use this void as a means of expressing pain at whatever; or something altogether different. I think that I have used this site as a means for all of them on at least one occasion or another. Initially, it was meant to vent. But now I find myself just using it as a means to perform verbal diarrhea.
And on that note.
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
All I can say is that today is your lucky day: you get to read another great post by me. I have spent the day making a great little Excel template to analyze a proliferation assay, doing various aspects of said proliferation assay, going over and fine tuning my 45 minute or so presentation for the Dalhousie Inflammation Group presentation for this Thursday (Jan 24th, Theatre C, Tupper Building, 3:30pm) and that’s about it. That did take most of the day, up until about 4 o’clock in the afternoon. Of which time it is now.
So I think that I want to join a band. Any volunteers? I was looking on Kijiji even, and it showed that there were some people looking for someones. I play bass, rhythm guitar, sing lead and/or back-up… ALL at the same time!! How’s that for skill! If only I could work drums in there. And if I could find the cash for an amp. Although I did see some cheap ones on the net though (Kijiji again my friends, Kijiji). BUT I think that I would like to have my second car to avoid the daily bus, and also a new lap-top, but not before we buy our house.
A few expenses to get through first eh. Yup, I’m becoming Canadianized again… Throwing that there “eh” around. See, you know you’ve mastered the art of “eh” when you can use it so that it is not a question, but the final punctuation to a statement. A matter of fact. That’s just the way it is eh. Enough of that.
It’s been so long since I’ve posted for 2 days in a row I’m not really sure what to write. Jeez, I’m not even a writer and I’m getting writer’s block. But I must hold the course since all of my adoring fans are awaiting the mundane. I am a little sick of reading things right now too. I spent all last week reading about CCR4 and its ligands CCL17 and CCL22… and I need to read more. Preferably by last week. I should take one of those speed reading courses to make me move that much quicker…
Other matters, I went to a Feast on Saturday (NOTE: A “Feast” is what we as Báhá'ís go to instead of Church on Sundays. We go every 19 days, which is, not coincidentally, one Báhá'í month. For more information on the Báhá'í Faith, and I urge you to do this, follow the link on the side of the page that says something about the Báhá'í faith). It was nice. I got to see a few people that I haven’t seen in just under a decade. And I learned some sad things about some people in that they used to be quite active but are not anymore.
Well just great. The boss came in and here I am typing away on a blog. So I got caught blogging. But I did maintain eye contact and positioned myself in between him and my screen.. I couldn’t close the screen because then it would be just too obvious that I was doing something that I don’t think that I shouldn’t be doing. Crap.
On a sad note, I have about 1 full week of being 30 left. Yes, 31 comes next week. At least I still have my rugged good looks. Alright, so I don’t. I don’t look anymore rugged than a newborn, I still can’t grow a full beard. I can go a week before I need to shave. I guess that’s good because I hate shaving.
I have to finish now though because I have to go catch a bus…
I guess today wasn’t your lucky day now was it?
Monday, January 21, 2008
I know that it’s been a little while since my last post, but to be honest, most of my posts have been done while taking a break at work. BUT, since I don’t have internet access on my laptop (seems I opted for Windows XP Home Edition as opposed to XP professional, the IT here won’t let me on to their network!!!! And I can’t be bothered to pay $200 or so to upgrade) I am relegated to the computers in the lab. Common computers. And the last thing that I want to be caught doing is blogging in front of everyone. It should be one of those private moments you share with your millions of on-line fans. Not with those who are paying you to actually do work.
So here’s what I’ve done: I typed this between 4:15 and 4:30 pm just before I left work… and then pasted it in now. I know!!! How lucky are you that I am that clever.
Well onto other matters.
As you all know, but for new readers, I am now living in Bedford (just outside Halifax NS, Canada). Me and the wife found a nice duplex and managed to drive out the other people who live in the other side of the duplex in about 2 weeks. So we are now living by ourselves. In a duplex. Down by the river. We are just off the Bedford highway and I won’t give you anymore details because I don’t want you to stalk me. I know you want to. I’ve never had a stalker though, it might be fun. I guess you could e-mail me and ask and I might give you my address if you sound like you’d be a good stalker.
About work… I am now Dalhousie Faculty. At least that’s what my Dal ID card says! How cool is that. I am such a simpleton that can be impressed because his ID card says that he is faculty. Don’t you worry about me though, that’s why I got married. I’m someone elses’ problem!! Again, Yay for you! Well I am at the IWK doing some medical research investigating some chemokine ligands and receptors. It seems like a nice group and good place to work: There are TWO Tim Horton’s right in the hospital!! The only things that I don’t like, and I really don’t like them, are that I am in a bloody cubicle. And they won’t let me have internet access. That probably buggers me the most though.
Besides that, I’m learning things, and getting ready to do stuff of goodness.
I got asked to do a presentation this Thursday though. It’s supposed to be about 45 minutes long and to the Dalhousie Inflammation Group (DIG for short) of which I am now a part of. I’m a bit nervous though (no sympathy please) as it’s the first time that I will be presenting this work without the back-up support of the other people of my old lab in Sydney! They provided me with good moral support, and if I got stuck on anything, they might be able to help me on the spot. Not this time though deary. You’re all on your own.
One thing that I noticed since I’ve been back is how caffeinated we are, and how bloody reliant we are on Tim Horton’s. No I’m not blasphemy---ing I guess is the word. But I can’t seem to be able to get a decent coffee made without a bloody perk or a plunger for 4 or more people. I am the only one who drinks coffee in my house, and i want a little, single cup plunger to make me and me alone a coffee.
Bloody hell I gotta go I’m going to be late for my bus.