May 25, 2012
Ack. This city really is knee-deep in itchy and irritating sexual frustration just now.
May 18, 2012
Oops, there goes another year. Chock full of significant stuff, that one, but still: blink of an eye.
There have been greetings and such. The tradition of transglobal singing upheld. Ian, who had to go up to Wales yesterday for a funeral, returned in time for a nice lunch, though I'm given to believe the main event will be dinner at some undisclosed location. Food and drink featuring heavily, as befits.
To celebrate the day, I have been studiously avoiding anything that looks too much like work and instead taken the opportunity to finish up another bit of GB dickery: Old Dark House. Yeah, whatever, but at least I'm enjoying myself. It beats job hunting/paper wrangling/unremunerated coding.
Not that I have anything against the latter, actually. Was up until the wee hours last night adding batch processing features to an ImageJ plugin to do a specific kind of feature identification in fluorescent microscope images -- someone else's images, of course -- and it felt gratifyingly productive.
That came after a pleasantly relaxed afternoon with Sam's tasty eggless banana cake and railing visitor Alan, then a lovely dinner with flying visitor Davide. I can definitely think of worse ways to spend one's birthday eve...
May 5, 2012
The only people I know here are people I'd rather not talk to. I am pretending not to have seen them. This would be a more convincing ploy if I hadn't conversed with one of them already...
May 4, 2012
On Wednesday, at the insistence of my nephew Sam, I visited his class of 6 and 7 year-olds -- 3C at William Patten -- to talk about Antarctica. I was rather dreading this, since kids can be a pretty tough crowd, but as it turned out they were amazingly keen and well-behaved and charming, and the whole experience was lots of fun. I showed them a bunch of pictures and the travelogue vid and talked about icebergs and whales and penguins, and they asked many, many questions, some of which were pretty incisive and only a few of them very silly.
Ian: Did they ask if you saw any polar bears?
Of course they did.
They were also fascinated by gruesome death and easily wandered into fanciful discussions about what would happen if you fell off the ice into the sea and such. At one point I mentioned that coatis carry rabies -- we had, obviously, moved beyond Antarctica at this point -- and should therefore be treated with caution. Of course they had no idea what rabies is, and because the name sounds plural they assumed I was talking about some smaller animals, and someone immediately wanted to know what a baby raby looks like, and a fair bit of conversational cat-herding ensued.
It was pretty much my first time in a functioning primary school since I attended as a pupil myself, and that made for an odd experience. Some things were drastically different -- it was all a bit cleaner and nicer than I recollect things being in the 1970s, and they had video projection whiteboards in the classroom -- others not so much. They were just laying out the lunch tables as I was leaving, and that was a dizzyingly familiar sight. For a moment the intervening years dropped away; I was more than happy when they came back.
I have, it turns out, been in a school once or twice since those days, but they look different as polling stations. My own local one of those is no longer a school, anyway, but a public library. I went and did my duty yesterday, for all the good it's likely to do. Countrywide the coalition partners look like they've had a bit of a kicking, but our own odious mop-headed buffoon is probably going to retain the mayoralty. Blecch.