Monday, 27 December 2010


... is the name of the café in which I am sitting, in Buenos Aires. The temperature at 10.20am is a cool 27c. And except for the connecting flight this afternoon to Patagonia, this is my last trip of 2010 - there were 16 others this year (8 of those 16 were to the USA; I'm excluding trips within the UK). It's true that 4 of those trips were "vacation" (Argentina, Samos, Tenerife, and now Argentina again), but on only one of those did I in fact do no work (Samos). So I fully and guiltlessly intend to take a week off while I'm here! And for once, NO journal work (unless there are any emergencies - I did manage to clear my queues before leaving). Instead, I hope to draft a grant proposal, something which, perversely, I'm really looking forward to doing.

Other things high up on my list to look forward to while here in Argentina: swimming in the river, fishing (and maybe this time actually catching a fish), eating, improving my Spanish, and eating some more...

Am looking forward to a very fat 2011!

The only downside (other than the calories)? I miss my kids. Needless to say, they never read this. But who knows... Perhaps one day they will, and perhaps they'll stumble across this post, and then they'll know.

- Posted, in an amazing feat of technical wizardry, from my iPhone

Thursday, 23 December 2010

It's that time of year again...

... when we go mad, spend money on all sorts of useless things, eat to excess, and travel from one end of the country to the other in order to do all this. This year has been complicated by what the media would have you believe is a natural disaster on the scale of hell freezing over. It IS true that my pond is suffering under the weight of a couple of inches of ice, and that my attempts to stop the ice closing over have only been partly effective. But the fish, those that are still alive, appear grateful for my efforts.

The Xmas season brings with it all sorts of weird, wonderful, and expensive gadgets, many of which remind me that the words "need" and "want" are in fact synonymous. One gadget I shall not be buying, but which I saw described only this morning, is an iPod dock. No ordinary iPod dock. This one, when not playing music, is a DNA sequencer.

My own DNA is in fine form, although I realize that having hit the big 5-OH this year, my DNA is likely degrading, and moulting nucleotides like a large tabby... Probably, I should have taken the advice I overheard on my recent flight back from Philadelphia (to which I had returned last week just three weeks after my last visit). One of the air stewards (is that what they're called now, or are they instead Aerial Customer Liaison Operatives?) was engaged in earnest discussion with one of the inmates passengers, discussing the pros and cons of different protein supplements, vitamins, and enzymes. The ACLO had been working out seriously for a while now, but wanted to move to the next level, and improve his "definition". His soul mate, sitting next to me, knew more about metabolism, supplements, and body bulk than I thought it was possible to know. It was only when they each took out copies of Muscle & Fitness that I decided it was time for me to accept, perhaps with less pride than I'd like, the dough-like ill-defined mass that is me.

Happy Xmas!

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Holy Cow, Batman!

My first post from my iPhone! I still have to upload the past photos etc. But various unforeseen events meant that my time has not been my own. My main concern now is the ridiculous ease with which I can post from the comfort of my bed. Or the train. Or my car (I'll slow down for those posts...)

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Blogging on the move

Well... I thought it was about time I could blog from my iPad, something that I can't do with RapidWeaver, the software I use for managing my website. So I'm exporting my blog that's currently hosted on my own website onto (i.e. here), which is easier said than done, because there's a limit of 50 posts per day, and I've got 164 to upload. But that's ok - another 3 days and it'll be sorted. Worse is that the pictures aren't seeming to export (I'm using RapidBlog by Loghound - maybe there's a setting somewhere, otherwise I'll have to import by hand. Again, not so bad as there aren't that many). So once that's all done, I'll just link to here from my website, and it will look pretty much as it always looked. Or at least, that's the idea.

In the meantime, it's likely that the post immediately after this one will be a couple of years old... so if you're looking for my more current posts, just go to my current blog.

UPDATE [8th Dec.] All the entries are now here, and I've just got to sort out the pictures. That's tonight's job.

Stay tuned!

Friday, 3 December 2010

-12.5c and falling fast

The foot of snow in the garden, the two inches of ice covering the entire pond save where the heater is keeping a small area ice-free, and the almost -13C (9F), seem to be having the desired effect - submissions to the journal this week are at about a third of their normal levels. Harsh winter? Bring it on!