Monday, May 29, 2006

Weekend Festivities

Went over to my sister's place yesterday afternoon for the annual Memorial Day cookout. It was a small affair (only myself, my sister and her fiance, and our parental units), but a considerable amount of fun nonetheless. As to my contribution to the affair, I brought over an organge cake and a Thai beef curry. Both of which were well received, particularly the curry, which surprised me as I made it "Thai hot," meaning that it Will certainly have to make the curry again in a few weeks when I host a dinner social thing here for my laboratory staff from work.

It is rather doubtful I will make it to the gym today. My body is simply too sore from several hours of Extreme Badminton yesterday afternoon and evening. It's played like regular badminton (sort of) except there are not rules whatsoever. As there are not "out of bounds" you spend a lot of time running here and there like a wet hen, reaching, lunging, and performing all sorts of acrobatics. About sunset, with darkness gathering and several glasses of wine consumed, it became Ridiculous Badminton, a lot of fun in its own way, though not nearly as competitive.

Saturday, May 27, 2006


Haven't been to the gym in almost two weeks and I'm finding it very difficult to go today. I've lost momentum (at least temporarily) and am coming up with all these viable excuses not to go (I have pager duty, blah, blah blah. I need to cook for tomorrow's cookout. blah, blah, blah). Rather remarkable the process of talking oneself into or out of something. Foraying to the gym will take only about two hours of my time, so it's not exactly a major committment, despite the perceived justifications otherwise.

Screw it. I'm off to the gym. As one of my friends in the Army says: "Just do it! Hooah!!"

Plagues and other Delightful Things

Up much later this morning than my usual time (8:30 instead of 5 or 6) due to a very late night. Whilst sorting my book collection shortly after my post yesterday afternoon, I stumbled across Laurie Garrett's "The Coming Plague" which was among a stack of books in need of shelf space and one that I have not yet read. I began thumbing through it, then decided to read the introduction, and before I knew it several hours had passed and I was well into the text. Close to two in the morning, I reluctantly put the book down and went to sleep. It's a remarkable book about old and new infectious diseases and the role of humanity in the resurgence of old diseases and some particularly nasty new ones. I foresee a delightful weekend of hemorrhagic fevers, drug resistant bacteria, and vengeful parasites. Ahh. Bliss.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Weekend Plans

The oppressive heat and humidity of the day is now giving way to clouds and thunderstorms. A short while ago we had a few drops of rain and off somewhere in the distance I can hear the deep growl of thunder. Hopefully things will cool off some when and if a storm passes through. This is the first real summer-like day of 2006 in Norfolk and I'm not quite yet ready for the humidity. The heat I can tolerate with little problem; the humidity is what sends you scurrying for an air-conditioned environment.

So it's a Friday afternoon, the beginning of the long Memorial Day weekend. No real plans as of yet other than a cookout over at my sister's place Sunday afternoon. As I have pager duty this weekend, I'm going to have to stay relatively close to home, which is just as well since I have a lot to do around here anyway. This weekends' research will be delayed until next week since the ecological preserve is too far out in the middle of nowhere for the pager to have reception. Realy don't want to take the chance of being out of communication for several hours, just in case something happens. This is fine with me as I can certainly use the break.

One project I want to begin this weekend is cataloguing my book collection and organizing my study/library. At the moment, I have books scattered everywhere. Some are well-organized on the shelves here in my study with others on the shelves in the living room. These are fine. The ones that are bothering me are those scattered about the living room and bedroom; and a good many more still boxed up in various closets. What a nightmare. To be honset, I'm not sure how many books I now have. When last I totaled up the collection, I had somewhere around 500, most of which were history, anthropology, and literature. And most were hardback, so I shudder to think just how much I've spent on my reading habit over the years. But again, the last book quantification attempt was some years ago and I've made many additions to the library and some deletions (giving away a number of historical books), so the net total may be about the same. Who knows. This is something I am determined to find out this weekend.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Belated Weekend Relaxation

Finally a little free time to myself to savor what remains of the weekend. All of yesterday and most of today (up until about a half hour ago) I was tied up with thesis research, including both fieldwork and the ever enjoyable (yet tedious) laboratory aspect. Certainly it was a very involved weekend and I'm both physically and mentally drained. Thankfully, the work is mostly complete save for joitting a few more notes in my field notebook and working on data tabulation.
Off to relax a bit.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Thursday Afternoon

So it has been quite some time since my last post. Between work, research, and other sundry things life simply got in the way. Oddly enough, not much of any real interest to report during my time away from the blog.

Except for one thing.

I found out this afternoon that I have been awareded a summer research grant for which I applied several weeks ago. It's not a tremenous amount of money at all, but will be sufficient to cover air fare, accomodations, and other incidentals during my time abroad. I'll be heading to Guatemala to do the biologist thing with a trip duration of anywhere between two weeks and a month. My in-country contacts are thinking a month minimum (which is fine by me), though I have certain obligations here that might get in the way. Thesis reseach won't be a problem as I can ensare some ungraduates to carry out the fielwork whilst I am away. Making the arrangements with work will be a bit more dicey, though I have sufficent leave to cover my absence. I'll broach the issue with my director tomorrow and see what happens. I suspect that a month away might be too traumatic for admin, so the most viable solution may be two trips of two to three weeks each, with the first trip being in early July and the second trip coming later in the summer.

Anyway..more on this later.