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"Genetics of Aging Assistant Professor Position with the Department of Biology at [Institution]"

Anyone besides me think that someone is studying the genetics of aging assistant professors, at least at first?

Slow day

May. 4th, 2011 01:43 pm
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It's a slow day at work today.  Our boss is out of town.  Normally, she'd send us an email with a list of what DNA samples to start on the sequencing process, but we haven't seen anything from her.  Or some of the sequencing machines would need tending, but everything's just humming along, doing its thing.  And half the network drives (which contain data that I could analyze) are out of commission for some computer-y reason.

I've already gone for a long lunch with a friend.  I probably shouldn't just disappear for the remainder of the day, but I'm certainly taking suggestions as to things I could do while remaining here at work...

(This sort of thing happens from time to time.  It's all right; we're probably going to get hammered next week once my boss is back.  It all works out.)
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I am in Berkeley, for what I'm assuming will be the last time in this particular position.  It feels odd, more so than usual in that I somehow missed the call to go to lunch with the group that works here yesterday, and had to take an early lunch on my own today.  (I got in before 9 AM, so that I could get sequencing AND cleanup done before Friday rush hour hits this afternoon.)  And I'm typing slower than normal, because I bashed the heck out of the tip of my left index finger in a centrifuge lid - it came down when I wasn't expecting it to.  I've never seen the pad of a fingertip bruise before!  However, I can, with some effort, bend my finger to the same extent as on the other hand, so I don't think I broke it.  But yow, it hurts.

I'm a little frightened by how much I have to get done by the end of next Friday - there will undoubtedly be a couple of days of staying late to get it all in.  Such is life, and if it helps prevent someone to end up with a Bad Project, so much the better.
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Bad: Area of itchy red slightly hurty area increased again since last night.

Good: I have a doctor's appt to get it looked at this afternoon.

Bad: This makes today really complicated, workwise.

Good: I got confirmation that Other Professor and Person Making Hiring Decision really do want to hire me!!!  More on this later when I have time to post about it, prolly tonight.

Oh right.

Jan. 24th, 2011 08:27 pm
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Not that I ever questioned my decision to leave grad school and quit with a Master's, but this video tells a story that is all too true for a number of people I've known....

hmph.  Embedding doesn't seem to work.  Follow this link to a biology lab's parody of the Lady Gaga song "Bad Romance", modified to "Bad Project."
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Program Coordinator
1A4 – Non Exempt
Simbios, the National Center for Physics-Based Simulation of Biological Structures in the School of Engineering at Stanford, is a large interdisciplinary, multi-institution national center with many moving parts and we are looking for an experienced, flexible, and diplomatic administrator to help us coordinate them. This will involve a wide range of tasks, and the successful applicant will have both high-level skills and a willingness to do what’s needed. Under general supervision, you will independently manage multiple responsibilities and projects as assigned, and help support and coordinate the activities of Simbios faculty, staff, postdoctoral fellows, and students mostly at Stanford but also at other institutions. You will work closely with our Director of Dissemination to help manage our interactions with our many outside users and help administer the grant.
Key duties, which involve a significant degree of independence and accuracy, include: maintain websites, prepare and arrange reimbursements, pay invoices, obtain supplies, manage external correspondence, provide phone support, schedule meetings, assist with conference/event/workshop planning, videotape events and post them on the web, make travel arrangements, and assist with grant preparation and submission.
In addition, you will provide post-award grants management for the center, which is supported by a $10.6 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). You will be responsible for tracking, monitoring, reconciling, and resolving discrepancies with this grant. Specific tasks include but are not limited to reviewing and ensuring PI certification of expenditure statements, preparing customized reports for PIs and other managers as requested, and using various management reporting tools to accomplish these tasks.

Minimum of 3 years directly related work experience as an administrative associate

• Excellent interpersonal and communication skills with professional manner
• Excellent organizational and project management skills
• Good time management skills with ability to track deadlines
• Ability to multitask effectively and deal positively with interruptions
• Strong computer skills with experience in MS Word, Excel, Power Point and the use of email
• Ability and willingness to learn how to update our website, manage on-line registrations and surveys, and perform other routine web-related tasks.
Education:
• Two year degree required, Bachelor’s degree preferred.
Desired skills:
• Experience in maintaining web pages and video editing highly desired. Working knowledge of HTML is helpful
• Experience with Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator
• Experience in research administration of federal and non-federal grants and contracts
• Knowledge and proficiency in fund accounting concepts, especially university practices

Link to position here.  Or contact Huz.
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I am in Asilomar!  It's the annual retreat of my department, which is generally held somewhere around here.  (It's been held here before, but not for the past couple of years when it's been held at a Best Western in nearby Monterey instead. Contrary to the Asilomar website, there's wireless over most of the center, and so I am able to read email, blog, etc.  However, at present it seems very iffy and kind of slow; I expect lots of people nearby have the same time off that I do and are trying to get onto it.

Asilomar is a large facility.  You can tell who else is at the conference center by the signs on the dining hall tables, indicating where each group is supposed to sit.  Some of the other groups I've noticed at meals in the fairly sizable dining hall include:

- some vaguely local church (1-2 tables)
- some probably larger local church or religious organization that gives names to its table groups like "Prince of Peace" and "Sea-Renity"
- the Santa Cruz Knitters Guild
- two groups for which not enough detail is given, namely "State Parks" and "Cytology".  Which state?  From what institution?
- my personal favorite, the Org. Prof. Astrologers

The room cleaner seems to have insisted on organizing my pile of mess into one neat, organized pile, with previously worn clothing neatly draped over a chair back and the random stuff I had on the desk carefully lined up along the back of the desk.  Dude, you don't need to do that, and if you do that too often it will annoy me.

Favorite talk comment:  "Most of these proteins have been very unstudied."  (To be fair, this is a non-native English speaker, but it's still really cute!)

Favorite curious animal seen on the premises: A miniature horse named Lucy who, when she's working as a service animal, wears a harness that an elderly lady with balance problems holds on to as she walks from one place to another.  Wish I'd had a camera when I met said horse yesterday.  :)

Anyway.  I'm going to go enjoy the not-raining, not-quite-frigid beach and outdoors.  Then I shall come back, call my father, and probably lie down for a bit and take a shower.  Then more talks, dinner, a retrospective (it's the 20 year anniversary of the department this year) and then finding out just what the schedule means when it says "Open mic" (followed by music/dancing/etc).  Do people who didn't get the opportunity to give real presentations get to talk about their data?  Or is it a case of people getting up to recite poetry (bad or otherwise)?  Stay tuned, gentle reader....

Life etc

Sep. 7th, 2010 09:02 pm
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I seem to be posting with an average frequency of about once a week these days.  All that means, really, is that life is not hectic/stressful enough for me to post about it (which is good), nor is it exciting enough for me to post about it Right This Instant, which frankly is also fine.  That's not to say that some good things haven't happened; they're just more everyday kinds of good things than, say, the day a cousin who'd grown fond of my parents gave each member of my family the maximum allowable gift one can give without triggering the gift tax.  (That was a number of years ago.  But I was so astounded when my mom called me to tell me about it that I blurted it out to everyone who happened to be in the room at the time, which included a handful of guests.)

The usual: sick bad, work good, recent purchases )
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First, the opening cinematic is out for Epic Mickey.  It looks completely charming!  Clearly, a team with a whole lotta love for Disney put this together.  (Including a visual ref to Kingdom Hearts near the end.)  And apart from Skyward Sword, it's the only thing on the horizon for Wii that I'm excited about.  As I've mentioned before, my gaming hours are few, so I need to be careful about what I lust for.

Crystal Bearers good and bad )
Back at Berkeley this week!  Today's commute, which was supposed to be simple, grew unnecessarily complicated by the fact that I discovered I'd left my (absolutely required to get onto campus) ID badge back at home, long about time I'd reached the West Oakland stop... over half an hour into my BART ride, from the station that's a 20-25 minute drive from home.  2.5 hours after I'd originally left the house, I was ready to leave the house AGAIN.  *sigh*  Unlikely to make that particular mistake again for a while...
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• Huz is back!  We are both pleased.

• Many many thanks to [livejournal.com profile] nezumiko , who let me hang out with her Thursday night and Friday during the day.  It was awesome and excellent, and we need to do it again sometime.

• Thanks also to [livejournal.com profile] orichalcum  and [livejournal.com profile] cerebralpaladin , who were kind enough to let me come over Wednesday night.  Really, it was as much for their sake as for my cats' that I didn't spend the night, much as Mac might have liked me to.

• Rest in peace, Christopher Booth (icyjumbo on the Librivox forums).  You were a brave, funny man who wrote eloquently about living with cancer on your blog, A Mammoth Undertaking.  I am grateful that you were not just functional but able to enjoy activities and friends until such a relatively short time before the end.  May God bless you and be with your wife Gillian as she mourns you.

• Congratulations to the Choice of Broadsides team in getting a nice critical mention in the Guardian!

• Crystal Bearers is growing on me, at least some.  The camera, while annoying, is manageable: I'm getting used to nubbing the D-pad as I move to orient things properly.  The save business isn't actually so bad: in addition to the scattered Save Points, the game autosaves pretty much every time you enter a new area.  This generally means that your saves aren't more than 10-15 minutes apart, depending on how fast you cover ground and how much time you spend noodling around playing (for example) the requisite fishing minigame.  (It would still be really nice to just have the option of saving anywhere!)  No... If I could change any single thing about the game, after ~3 hours in, I'd add a map.  No map = really really annoying and easy to get turned around in Hyrule Field - oops, I mean the Wildlands - and in cities.

• Done with going to Berkeley for the moment.  Sure I'll be back in another couple of weeks with a new batch of clones to sequence.  Yay?
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So, Huz is out of town at a conference (which is full of people he doesn't know mostly doing work that doesn't have all that much to do with his stuff).  I'm at home, a little lonely, generally exhausted from work which is including driving to Berkeley the next few days to process the last clones from the Ig project.  I got my first ever professional massage last night (it was wonderful, must do again sometime), but then failed to sleep well.  So I'm tired and cranky.  Failed to nap when I got home.  Decided to cheer myself up by going to GameStop and seeing what they had in their Used bin.

My first purchase was Hotel Dusk for the DS.  Used at $10 (and less than that with membership), this is not money.  I have 'only' one more case left in the Miles Edgeworth game, and I vaguely remembered this getting pretty decent reviews - it's an old-school point-and-click (sigh) mystery murder adventure.  (Really, folks, you can do adventure-style games in other story genres!)  However, after seeing the intro movie and playing a tiny bit of the game, I'm utterly charmed by its art style, and the writing is fun and good.  So it should make a decent semi-casual thing to play when I want a 'just before bed' turn on the DS.

My second purchase... well.  I'd really been looking forward to Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles before it was released back in December to some unfortunate reviews.  I've now seen/played about 45 minutes of the thing.  I only have one crystal power, so there isn't a lot of chance for misreading of Wii gestures so far.  But, jeez, Squaresoft!  Four years in development and you couldn't add a real auto-camera, instead forcing people to use the D-pad to move the camera, even while the protagonist is moving?  You couldn't add a map???  And the player is still at least partially limited by save points????!!???  Come on, get with the current console generation!

I will continue playing it for at least a bit, but it may be destined for the return bin.
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Hmm, I don't seem to be posting all that much...

I've been busy!  Work continues to be very busy - I'm in the middle of a spin-off project from the interactome that should be really interesting if the results come out cleanly.  I'm also working on The Interactome Part II/III: working on extracellular proteins that have LRRs, FnIIIs, and other interesting domains.  I haven't started cloning yet (waiting for our collaborators to do primer design and synthesis), but I've been toiling away looking at domain boundaries for some of those 'other' domains - there's a quite large list of the things - and determining whether our collaborator has usable clones.  Yeah, I know it sounds like technobabble; sorry 'bout that.

The past weekend was really nice (apart from the &^#!&%! California poplar tree in our neighbor's yard, which goes into bloom about now every year and which produces copious amount of pollen to which I am horrendously allergic).  We had skating class for the first time in about three weeks on Saturday, and did things both useful and pleasant the rest of the day, including getting the rear driver door of my car fixed such that it locks along with the rest of the doors when it's supposed to.  (Metroid Prime ice beam, you are mine now!)  Sunday we went to the early bird showing of Toy Story 3-3D.  We really enjoyed it - I want more of the hedgehog! - though, like [livejournal.com profile] ladybird97 , I would be very cautious about what small children to bring to it, for the same almost-incredibly-traumatic scene near the end.  I have to admit, I'd really wondered whether Pixar would find anything new to say or do in this world... and, well, they did.  They're brilliant.  It was a little weird coming out of the movie at 1 PM and realizing we had the entire rest of the day to do with as we liked/needed.

What else?  I've started a new solo project over at Librivox.  It feels great to FINALLY  be recording again, after literally months of not doing so.  (I think the last time I'd made a recording before this past weekend was back in very early March, before the whole recent series of adventures started.)   We have an upcoming D&D game with [livejournal.com profile] cerebralpaladin  and co. this weekend.  I'm almost finished writing thank-you notes for Important People who came to Mom's memorial service last month.  There's still buckets of things I need to take care of that got shoved into the "After June" category: dentist appt, doctor's appt (annual checkup), calling United to get into my electronic account info, learning to drive a stick shift, calling a lawyer to formally put wills together... 

But it doesn't all have to be done today.  'Specially since it's our 14th wedding anniversary.  No, we're not doing anything much special today; the New Zealand trip was our anniversary gift this year.  But as noted, I am eternally grateful to and in love with my Huz, for everything he does and everything he is for me.  <3
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So, Huz has been in Edinburgh since Monday.  He's tired (not getting enough sleep, surprise surprise), but his presentation earlier today (Friday, Edinburgh time) was well received.  The Best Western he's staying at, contrary to advertisements, does not have in-room Ethernet, and their lobby wireless has been broken all week long.  So much of the (very limited) chatting I've done with him has been while he's using the hotel Windows box, which is old, slow, and wanted by other guests.  Plus there's the 8-hour difference thing.  It seems I can often count on 'seeing' him sometime in the morning (my time), as he either takes momentary advantage of the wireless at the conference site or stops in at the hotel between conference and dinner stuff.  No Skype (or even voice) chatting since Monday night, when he was stuck in Newark, which has been a bit sad.

But I've been keeping myself very busy!  Work, for one thing, seems to be going at an accelerated pace - maybe that's just me after getting back from Boston, but then again maybe not.  And nezumiko has been awesome, letting me come hang with her choir Tuesday night, helping her clean (and purchase new) rat cages Wednesday, and playing with her D&D group last night.  Tonight I am dining with Huz's parents.  Dinner was meant to be at 7, but there are other guests coming, and they didn't leave San Francisco till, oh, 6:45.  We're guessing they'll be here around 7:30 - I hope!

I have not spent as much time with the kitties as they would like.  I will hopefully fix that at least somewhat tomorrow.  Seeing an old friend for lunch plus hangout, and then I really need to do housework, as there are piles of stuff everywhere.  It's even more difficult to be virtuous and pick up after oneself when there's not another human in the house being affected by the piles of mess.

Oh.  And it hurts to swallow.  :(

Happy July 4th, to those who celebrate it!
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Huz is on his way to Edinburgh for a conference!  All very exciting, yes.  His original flight schedule: leave SFO at ~1 PM, arrive at Newark and have a 45-minute connection time for his international flight.

We were nothing short of astounded this AM when we found a phone message from someone at Continental informing him that a lot of flights getting into the Newark/New York area were being delayed 'cuz of weather and requesting that he allow them to switch him to another flight out of SFO that left a good two hours earlier.  He called back, the itinerary was changed, all was well and good.  His new flight out was delayed by half an hour, but no biggie - as he said this morning, he'd rather wait around in the Newark airport when he didn't have to worry about missing further connections.

All that preparation came to no good, though.  The plane that the group will be flying out on is en route from Florida, nearly FIVE HOURS late.  (I think this was not the original plane they meant to depart on, but I don't know what happened to that plane.  Maybe giant penguins hijacked it to Antarctica.)

Huz's Edinburgh flight is scheduled to depart just shy of four hours later than originally planned.

He will have spent over 6 hours hanging about in the Newark airport.  Poor guy!

And to top things off, his NexusOne seems to have bricked - it won't turn on when he presses the power button.  :( 

Here's hoping the rest of his trip goes better than this first bit has.
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Fear not, I am still here. I am merely frighteningly busy, between working on The Guest List for The Memorial Service and other such matters in the morning and some evenings, and trying to pack in a whole lotta work during the day between now and when I take my next trip to Boston in May.  Oh yah, and there's this recital thing too.  (And my choir director is stuck in South Africa, waiting for British Airways to be able to fly through Heathrow again.  My life is EASY compared to that.)

I think I might have gone through most of my social circles at this point (finally).  I don't mind so much talking about Mom's death, it just gets kind of exhausting after a while.

I didn't think finishing the book that I started while I was in Boston right after she died would make me cry.  It's a sort of marker, a reminder that it all happened.  (And Tigana is still a very good read on its own merits.  Even though the last sentence screams "Sequel!!!!" and Kay has never written one.)

Sometime I suppose it will quit feeling weird to call my father on weekends, as opposed to briefly saying hi as part of a longer conversation with Mom.

Sometime Easter season won't feel just plain weird.  We'll see when it gets to Pentecost whether it's Easter-specific or church in general.

Sometime it will hit me - really hit me - that she's gone.  I 'spect that'll happen right after the aforementioned Memorial Service, which I'm in charge of.  Once that project is done, I'll have much less "stuff" to do that''s related to her death but so full of fiddly details that I am buffered from emotional thought.

Right.  That must mean it's bedtime.
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• This has been a pretty busy work week-and-a-bit.  After some initial kerfuffle with the cells we needed to transfect, we started The Transfection Part only a few days later than originally scheduled.  With one person being responsible for maintaining, splitting, and aliquoting cells, and two of us doing the transfections, we got through all 264 transfections in the projected time.  And early Western results show that we're getting good expression of the proteins we're trying to make.  Yay!  We will be able to embark on the actual screen for novel binding partners within the Ig superfamily (IgSF) within Drosophila sometime next week.

• Huz is on the last section of Metroid Prime, having defeated Meta Ridley with the help of a walkthrough.  I am nowhere near done, being just about ready to get the Heat Visor.

• Tried out the demo for Miles Edgeworth last night.  Walking around to examine things feels kind of klunky - at least using the interface they had in the demo.  But the story and characters look to be their usual crazy, marvelous selves.  (Who knew Edgeworth was a fanboy of the Steel Samurai?)  Will keep my eyes open for a used copy.

• Speaking of which, someone thought it would be a good idea to write a musical using the characters and concepts of the Phoenix Wright games.  Youtube of the first segment of the musical is here.  Weirdness: all the characters seem to be played by females -- eh, whatever.  From the little bit that I've seen (the equivalent of the 'intro' section of one of the cases), I can't tell whether it's any good or not.

• Our New Zealand trip is coming right up!  I went and got new sneakers today. At least I have that concern out of my mind now.

• We have a bunch of Meyer lemons, thanks to a labmate of mine.  Meyer lemon bars for D&D tomorrow!
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I kid you not! Read the diatribe against 'lukewarm' Christianity here.

How did I stumble upon this site? Well, I was looking for an image of Goldilocks to use in my upcoming lab presentation. See, one particular cell culture format is kind of an inverse of Goldilocks because even though it's sort of the middle of the road in terms of size, it shows considerably less gene expression than any of the others. That's why I was procrastinating looking for a Goldilocks image.
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• Prices on airfare to NZ are climbing.  I picked the wrong week for the condo; have emailed the owner asking if the same days the previous week (when tix for our desired itinerary are a good $1000 cheaper for the two of us combined) are available.  Fingers crossed!

The SF Bay Bridge is broken.  Thank goodness nobody was seriously injured.  I wonder when it will be reopened?  Thank heavens I'm not trying to commute to the East Bay, but I'm really sorry for everyone who normally uses that bridge.

• Bah, silly minor cold-thing.  Not even really symptomatic, just tired and muzzy.  No fever, and scratchy throat.  NOT H1N1.  

• Bah, work stuff (contamination of cell cultures the last couple of times, failure to construct a couple of rather important vectors.  We'll get it, it's just taking too long.

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• Air New Zealand has one flight a day from Christchurch to Melbourne... and it's at 6 AM.  Hmm, rethinking order of New Zealand islands visitation.

• It's started sprinkling.  Go here to read a neat poem about the upcoming storm by my friend nezumiko.  Hope the kitty room in the garage doesn't flood.

• Work is busy but cool.  We will hopefully get a somewhat important result tomorrow.

• Scribblenauts is also cool  (Huz gave it me for my b-day.)  However, I do Not Approve of their opinion of Science (try it as an object, then interact with it!).  Also, it does not know the word terrarium.  Ribosome, I can understand and forgive it not knowing.  However, when it doesn't know the word I typed, it comes up with 2-3 suggestions, of which I often won't recognize one!

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Ganked from [livejournal.com profile] orichalcum , mostly for the benefit of the portion of my friendslist that doesn't overlap with hers:

Dead fish lights up when shown pictures of humans, a study that shows that neuroimaging experiments can give a lot of false positives.

----

In other work-related news:

• We've begun the Big Project that I've been making stuff for, like, a year for!  On a practical level, this means that I do pretty much the same physical actions day after day for probably about the next month and a half, doing a gazillion transfections.  It's tiring, believe me.

• It's nice to have a perfectly sensible explanation as to why a particular cloning didn't work.  It helps to have both enzymes functional in a double digest, just for example.

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