Tuesday, September 29, 2015

My Morning Ride.


I rode in to work late this morning.

But I have a kinda/sorta almost decent excuse.

Because, as you might suspect (and as my family most certainly knows all too well), it's grant writing season again.

And this time I'm writing two of them.

One project involves a really interesting new approach for my group that borders on immunology, so the learning curve has been steep. Luckily, we're working with an excellent group of collaborators that I have pretty much driving crazy for the last couple of weeks.

How crazy, you might be asking?

Well, if you've noticed how obsessive I can get about particular subjects around here occasionally, just take that obsessiveness and multiply it by, say, a million and you'll have an idea.

Anyway, yesterday was D-Day for getting the science parts of the grants done which meant that there was much caterwauling, figure making, reference checking, and hair pulling as we worked ourselves into a frenzy trying to make the things make at least some sense and get it all down to the character count on the text (go one space over the 25,000 and the bloody software rejects things; there is no room for artistic license here).

All of which led to a longer than usual day (and previous weekend) that involved little more than black coffee and flat food by way of sustenance.

Which is why I, as littler e. would say, pretended it was an 'IPP day' and took my time getting up this morning.

Which meant I didn't get down into the valley, post-Shaughnessy hump, until almost nine.

And by the time I got up onto the top of Lotusland's farthest-most Western plateau fifteen minutes later I could have sworn it was the middle of summer.

Strange days, indeed, for the beginning of fall.

Image at the top of the post is a sunflower in our backyard...It had blown down in the big storm a few weeks ago, but it survived the propping-up and produced this!
The theory of flat food' is something the then boy genius Mr. Coupland came up with a while back when writing about nerds and coding and all that.
IPP days?....I really have no idea...But they happen once every few weeks (seem to alternate with Pro-D days) and they mean e. gets to go to school about an hour later than usual...I hear about it if I inadvertently wake her up on one of those mornings..
And, no, the grants aren't finished....Now that the actual science is done it will be another couple of days of dealing with all the peripheral 'stuff' that includes: up-to-date CV's; budgets; budget justifications; relevance statements; abstracts, lay summaries; funding comparisons; training expectations, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera...The absolute worst (and I mean worst) in these the days of all things digital is getting institutional signatures...In the old days of paper, if you were having problems you would just go the offices of those involved and force them to sign if they were tardy....Now?....It's nothing but ether because getting to the person who actually pushes the buttons on online forms is not necessarily (not ever?) the person whose name you actually type into said form, if you get my bureaucratic driftiness....



Anonymous said...


I think it was Lucille Ball who said: f you want to get something done, ask the busy person. Stay healthy, take time for yourself, we need your voice!...and watch for the hybrid vehicles...for the safety of the visually impaired, children and animals they should have some kind of pleasant sound to warn of their proximity.

Critters went for almost all of my "Monet" sunflower seedlings, I was looking forward to the rich russet and gold colours...oh well, there is next year. I have some medium sized sunflower volunteers from bird seed, but nothing as magnifico as yours!

We have big critters too, bears have been taste testing almost every one of my sugar pumpkins, I've brought them up to the deck where our dog can run interference as they ripen in the sun (we have several bruins in the area, including mommas and cubs).

RossK said...


Lucy may have been right...But did she have anything to say about those of us who have a hard/impossible time just saying 'No'?

Forgive my forgetfulness but where the heck are you with all these wonderful things and animals (approximately, of course)?


Anonymous said...

SH @ RossK:

If it's hard to say no, I've always found that "that sounds interesting, fun (etc) I'll think about it" works.

It isn't negative, offers the person who made a request of you to feel heard/valued...and it gives you time to consider whether or not it is worth your energy/soul. Some people just get sick...it is possible to give until you are empty...


RossK said...


Excellent...Fac Mtg this afternoon...Maybe I'll try it then!

OK, eh....It's you folks, especially at the North and South ends who really have a chance to stop the Cons on the 19th!

Grants almost done...All pending manuscripts out the door (grant applications force you to do that because the manuscripts/papers are our currency)....and fall term teaching/classes are pretty much all under control...


I feel a heavy dose of StratVoting-based blogging coming on!


Anonymous said...

CPC communist party canada
CPC conservative party canada
CPC communist party china

Anonymous said...

YC Research

We’ll especially welcome outsiders working on slightly heretical ideas (just like we do for the startups we fund) and we’ll try to keep things small—we believe small groups can do far more than most people think. Also, smallness usually means less politics, which has plagued science in recent decades.

The researchers will have full access to YC and the YC network. YC has a very high problem flux at this point—we fund hundreds of companies per year. Compensation and power for the researchers will not be driven by publishing lots of low-impact papers or speaking at lots of conferences—that whole system seems broken. Instead, we will focus on the quality of the output.

We plan to do this for a long time. If some of these projects take 25 years, that’s perfectly fine with us.

We’re very excited to see what comes out of this.

The discussion on YC