Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Just another day

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

Lucky or not?

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

first post for the year

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.