Thursday, February 28, 2002

Oh, and the car works way better now. My check book may need therapy to recover though.
Heehee...have just read this article [>] courtesy of the dreaded purple master [>]

Unfortunately the Guardian, the paper I grew up with as the standard breakfast table fodder, is rife with such random extrapolation of a whole country from one drunken barside conversation in Alabama. The only thing that excuses it is that they do it with everyone: I've read Londoners writing about the salt of the earth Scots fishermen they got drunk with, Scots writing about the (really not that stuck up) english git they shared a pint with while at an away game of their footie team...

It's a wonder I didn't take to summing up my experiences in whatever place by reporting a 5 minute exchange with a local.

Monday, February 25, 2002

I should hastily add that I'm not going to use the term "funny noises and vibrations" to the mechanic. I don't want to sound THAT dumb. I've even experimented with driving in "drive" instead of "overdrive" to see what differences it makes.

Another first in the being a grown up annals is coming up tomorrow: Taking my car in to a mechanic to see what the hell is causing those funny noises and vibrations. Fortunately K'wyn is coming with me, as she knows more about engines, and it'll make me feel more cinfident about it just having someone else there who's done it before.

Here's hoping all it needs is some simple inexpensive work...

Friday, February 22, 2002

Reasons Why One Shouldn't Google One's Father

Since I already know what I get when I google myself, I decided to google for "JR Hurford linguistics" and see just how many times he pops up. Besides the obvious citations in various online journals, I came across this article [>] and was reminded of just how smart my Dad really is. I remember him writing it, I actually gave him the idea for it when I told him about dorsal/ventral processing routes for visual and auditory information. He then stole a couple of my cogsci and neurobio books and went and wrote a paper. Just like that.

I guess this is all part of me feeling like my brain has siezed up since I left UCSD, well actually since before that.

There was a point when I really knew my stuff on cognitive neurobio, it was when I got an A- in Martin Sereno's class in fact. I think I need to dig out my copy of Phantoms In The Brain and give myself a refresher course. Or read that Stephen Pinker book. I don't think I'm ready to tackle anything my Dad wrote though...
Something I forgot to mention is how gorgeous the weather was yesterday, and today for that matter. This is full on summer to a Scot like me. Which does lead me to wonder how I'll manage the actual San Diego summer, ah well, I suppose I'll acclimatise to that too. Meanwhile I'd better not let myself bring out the summer wardrobe just yet, or I'll have nothing cooler to wear when it gets close to 30C.


Thursday, February 21, 2002


Odd weekend.

Nice seeing Granny, and I'm VERY glad her car was found in decent condition. I had some information confirmed that I'm really unhappy to know wasn't just me making too many assumptions, but there's nothing to do for now but pray.


Friday, February 15, 2002

Having ranted I feel better. Though knowing it was pure miscommunication won't make me feel any better about the worry he's going to decide he doens't want to keep me on after all.
Bad week at work. Kind of. It seems like any time I'm doing something specifically at Vincenzo's request, I screw it up completely. Usually because he has given me less than half of the neccesary information, and I follow the way I do stuff for Mayra (which usually works great) only he wants something different and doesn't tell me.

Like today for instance, I was developing two western blots I've run for him. When I went to him yesterday to ask which two primary antibodies he wanted me to use, he handed me two primary antibodies he'd just bought, and said "probe with these two" I managed to get the concentration neccesary out of him, and away I went. Now this morning I took them out of the antibodies, and threw out the antibody solutions, as I always do for Mayra because she'd said it wasn't worth keeping them, they grow stuff and are no good.

When I showed him the results, he said "but where is the control" What control? I wanted you to run each of these in turn with a control... But you said to "use these two" so I did...

AND he'd wanted me to keep the antibody solutions to re-use...and and and WAGH!

Tuesday, February 12, 2002

Oh, and my hips and shoulders are still adding percussive accompanyment to my daily activities.
I'm not sure if I've mentioned this before, but I feel very strongly that my mind has suffered from being put through the narrow view of a British degree. Not that the specific subject matter was particularly bad of course, but the absence of the kind of "general education requirements" found in US universities has meant that I haven't done a literature class for 6 years. I was good at literature. Hell, it was the writing prizes I won at school, not the science ones.

I went for a science degree not particularly because it was my strongest subject, but because I knew I'd be able to pull it off, and a science based degree seemed vastly more likely to lead into a career than a humanities degree. (Unless you're like my Dad and a quiet genius in your own field, which he has turned scientific anyway...) Now I find myself feeling uneducated, because though I'm still relatively well read for someone of my age, I'm no longer spectacularly well read compared to my peer group. My friends doing biochem degrees are working so incredibly hard, and on top of all the structural, molecular and metabolic whatnots, they are doing political science and literature classes. Again and again I come up against my utter lack of knowledge in fields I am interested in. I suppose it's better than assuming I know more than everyone does, but I need to get this lump of neurons on top of my spinal cord to start working properly again. I will never know if it was the depression of the past years or the medication that helped me shed the worst of it that's affected my learning abilities so, but I need to kickstart my language zones again.

I need to learn more about the possibilities of my chosen religious path, that's part of the path itself after all. I need to stop feeling so damned slug-brained. When I think back on it I really don't remember studying effectively since I was last in San Diego, and that frightens me. I've seen how age changes learning abilities and I'm 22. The longer I delay now, the less likely I will be to ever learn French, or upgrade my German from "Ich verstehe nichts" to conversational levels.

I've had the feeling of needing to get my body in shape most of my life, now for the first time I'm realising that it's not just my muscles that could do with a workout, it's my neurons too.

Monday, February 11, 2002


Next time Snowboarding should be me against the mountain, not me against my own rebelliously incompetant body.

Fun though.

Friday, February 08, 2002

Continuting in the alternate reality theme for today, I got told by a Japanese woman from my building that I'm "always so quiet" Me. Quiet. Being told this by a soft-spoken Japanese girl.

I'm sure I'll wake up eventually...


Hrmmm.....that one's still a tie.




It still looks wrong.
It's official.

I have now been in the US way too long. I just typed "filtre" and it looks intrinsically wrong to me now. Never mind the fact that the US spelling differences really do make more sense...we're talking tradition here. The Brittish tradition of sticking to stuff even when it doesn't make much sense any more.

Heigh ho. I guess I shall just have to have tea and crumpets tonight to make up for it.

Tuesday, February 05, 2002

No armchair yet, it apparently got delayed by the Superbowl. We all know how those comfychairs love to watch football...

On a completely random note, I've got my ankles back. Odd statement I know, but since the summer my ankles have been these alien beings, the combinaiton of smoking, high caffiene intake, little exercise and being on an SSRI conspired to give me an attack of frightening sausage-foot.

My ankles haven't really looked right to me since. The other night I was sitting in front of the fire and realised that I actually have boniness and tendons back. WOOHOO! Small victory, but when most of my body has a distinct lack of boniness, it's good when something that's supposed to be bony really is. I will definately keep stretching my legs often so as to maintain this trend. Just imagine the jubilation when I get hip-bones back! Not that they ever stuck out a great deal, even when I was a size 10, but there was more definition than I currently have. I remember exactly what my hip looked like when I got my first tattoo.

This evening I get to swim 15 laps, since the last swim I did 10.