Saturday, July 8

Boston Baked Birthday

It's official - I'll be in Boston, Massachusetts for my birthday. I'm of to a "User's Group" meeting for a new software package that we're trialing. It's pretty neat stuff. Not sure if I've rambled on about it before but it allows you to build network of gene interactions then overlay functional pathways and disease processes(like signaling or immune response components) or drug targets onto the network. We're hoping it will be useful for interpreting lists of interesting genes that are coming out of the expression work. I've been doing a lot of the trailing so I'm going to this meeting to see what other people are doing with it and get an idea of weather it is flexible enough for what we need. Should be good. I've never been to Boston so I'm hoping I'll get a little time to poke around. There's supposed to be a big Chinatown which I'm hoping isn't too far away from my hotel. Not sure what else is nearby, I'll have to get online and do some hunting. If anyone knows Boston and has some ideas, let me know! I get in on the afternoon of the 23rd (Sunday) and leave the morning of the 26th. There's a cocktail reception on the first night of the meeting which sounds a little scary, but I may have to go in my day gear since my hotel is a half hour walk away. Anyway, it should be fun!

In other news, it's all pretty quiet at the moment with everyone away. I'm going to a real American BBQ (cookout?) on Saturday evening to say goodbye to one of the girls here who is leaving to take up an Assistant Professorship in Anthropology. I keep thinking it'll be similar to BBQs in Australia, the someone says 'grill pit' and I'm just not sure... It's byo meat and grog so I'm thinking lamb chops...mmm I'll have to be brave though because most of the people I usually hang out with are away, but lucky I have Tom :) I'm a bit whussy (how do you spell that??) when it comes to these social things.

4th of July was great, even with the rain. I stood out on the deck watching firework displays in all directions and in the middle was the leftovers of the electrical storm. Very cool. Then, when I jumped on WoW for a quick virtual run around, they had fireworks every hour as well, so I really was surrounded by them! WoW also had mugs of ale to celebrate so Bravenstar got a little tipsy, which is hard to watch because the screen blurs and goes all swimmy and you can't walk in a straight line if you try. Trying to speak is great, the program slurs your words and inserts hiccups! I did get some kind of bonus (charisma perhaps) for kissing one of the festival celebrants though Don't worry, it was a NPC (non-playing character).

That's all from Bravenstar and I for now. Methinks the Saucer is a no go tonight since I'd probably be the only one there, but perhaps I'll cook something yummy for dinner instead. I've been meaning to make a crawfish tail pasta with a creamy sauce and lots of chili and garlic...


SylviaM said...

Dearest Bravenstar,

This is the other half of last night's blog that we were all too exhausted to post. Jo seemed to think the event of the night was my breaking out the photo albums! We flicked through my favs of Sylvia taken when she was only a couple of days old and still in the neo-natal care unit. Up against the pics from the 18th birthday or the Year 12 formal -- it's hard to imagine that it's the same narrative. But these are the joys of parenthood, I guess. Then we moved onto 'the wedding snaps' taken by a friend of ours who was a fabulous photographer and became an academic. Enough said. Point being that there were a lot of oohs and aahs from the audience: Jo, Wilbia and Olly and a lot of our saying 'Look, it was the seventies!' We celebrated yet another wedding anniversay on the recent jaunt ( read conference visit) to Perth and it was the first one since Sylv's arrival that we weren't all together. You can see that Wilbia is doing pretty well at the 'becoming independent' thing and Ph and I are hopeless.

Jo seems to have recovered from the Port Arthur conference and this is an achievement in our view. Cripes. There were some classic moments by the sound of it. How will CAiA survive without her? Speaking of which, we have been invited to the graduation on 5 Aug which is, luckily, just a couple of days after I get back from the New Chaucer Society conference in NYC. No matter how jetlagged, I will be 'processing' along with Ph to mark the occasion. I expect to be able to wink at the other two Drs Richardson who will be sitting in the audience. Three in one family -- and still counting -- is a pretty impressive strike rate.

Perth and UWA are extemely beautiful. No wonder: UWA is reputedly the wealthiest university in the country having had the foresight to acquire real estate in the city, buy up blocks in toney suburbs and identify well-heeled benefactors. There are sunken gardens, Spanish Mission buildings and, yes, peacocks which, by the look of the head cavity, have very small brains. I guess most of it goes on managing the tail, too. BTW the UTas postgrads did a great job at the conference: they presented fantastic papers, won a prize, took up space, talked like the intelligent people they are and Jane is now an elected rep. on the ASAL executive. That should be hilarious. Moreover, despite hangovers, they pulled up well and this is just as important a facility as all the others that go into making a successful candidate. As you well know.

We are gearing up for the second semester and, although I didn't understand a syllable about the reason for your going to Boston, I'd rather be doing that than fighting with UniPrint over my Reader. Good grief. It's a unit on Literary Theory I haven't taught for many along year and I'll be interested to see what I have to say. Ph is rolling out Literature of Tasmania with a whole new line in texts and all up it should be fun. (Heck: I've just remembered I should have submitted some marks on Friday! This is the way things happen.)

OK, I think that's it for now. Ph has made chicken satays with Vietnamese flavours and table salad. I made pumpkin soup to fill holes during the day.

Have a wonderful time in Boston. Enjoy the 'cook out' and 'grill pit' though from a safe distance.

Heaps of love,
P, J and S

PS Ph has just asked me if iguana is a rodent (!)? No, I said: it's a lizard. He's doing the crossword, of course.

JacWabbit said...

Hi guys,

It's so lovely to have a long update from y'all!

I'm so glat you guys will be at Jo's graduation. I'm really sad to miss it, but in the wider 'missing' scheme I can cope with that one. My thought will be there, as always, so I'm glad you guys will be too, physically and and all, if a little soul delayed.

I'd love to see the photos one day! While I can't quite match Jo's photo enthusiasm (I'm not sure that anyone can) I too love looking at masses of pics and hearing all the stories that go with them. I wonder if we're going to miss out on that magic with the digital monopoly... I still love my film camera but I couldn't afford to use it for a while there!

Sounds like you guys will be teaching an interesting semester :)

Iguana a rodent?? I'd better blank that one out before BigA reads is!

Much love X

PS. Sorry for typos or missense... too tired to proof tonight. Sleep now.

Anonymous said...

Too late about the iguana! Pity we only get the W/E Australian at the shack! But then I guess Meads Inc breeze through those literary ones.

I too was pretty much mystified by your software package, but it does sound a little bit like some of our phylogenetic stuff. Have a look at MacClade. Oh but wait....

Looking forward to the graduation even tho is means I've had to change my return from Queensland to a 6.00am flight. Arriving in Hobart at 16.25 was cutting it just a leeetle fine.

We spent Saturday at the Re-Imagine conference, which was satisfyingly subversive. The church in exile.

Only memeories of Boston are very hot weather and the longest wait on the tarmac that I've had at any airport. Not much help.

Back to work.

BigA said...

Anonymous? That's me!

Louise T said...

Hi Jac, Jo pointed me in this direction. It sounds like you are having great adventures -- both on and off WoW! (While you're in WoW-land, keep your eyes open for an unlikely duo called Foghorn & Leghorn, known in RL as my 2 youngest sons...) I'll be sure to check back to read how the trip to Boston went - there's a city I'd love to see. The hotel looks great too.

I haven't seen Jo for a few weeks as I haven't been into the office much. I'm heading in there tomorrow tho, so hopefully I'll catch up with her & hear about the conference.

Well, I will post longer, later. The thesis calls. I am blocking my ears but I can still hear it, so I guess that means I'd better get back to work.

Lots of love from the cold zone.
Louise T.

JacWabbit said...

I always knew BigA stood for something...

JacWabbit said...

Hey Lousie,

Great to hear from you. I hope that which won't be mentioned is going well. One of the best thigs I ever did for myself was to finally finish it off and get it in. It didn't feel great at the time but I tell you waht, looking back makes you realise how much of yourself was consumed! Best wishes!

I'll keep and eye out for Foghorn and Leghorn :)