Monday, December 29, 2003

Christmas has come and gone, and I must say I had a nice one. I’m always happy to see my brothers and parents. I did have to endure some bellyaching from unnamed parties, but nothing terrible. I got some wonderful gifts as well, but that’s rather secondary in reality. I finally finished writing all the thank you notes from my graduation party and am now working on addressing them all (which is not always easy because I don’t have everyone’s address. Thanks to the internet one can use the white pages lookup though to locate most folks).

Ellie and I went out and picked up new cellular phones. I didn’t really want to get one, but we wanted to leave Sprint, and Ellie really wanted us both to have one instead of sharing the one, so I bit the bullet. It wasn’t all that bad though. We went to T-mobile to meet with a friend/fraternity brother of mine, Ben Peele. He showed us two phones, got us rebates on them that covered their cost, told us her could get the activation fees on the phones back, and delayed their activation until the 20th for us (that’s when our other phone service will terminate).

We couldn’t carry the old phone number over to it though. Only the top 100 market have to comply until May 6th when all the markets must. Most phone companies have already gone over fully to portability, but not Sprint or Nextel. I don’t like either of those anyway, but it’s rather characteristic of Sprint I think. The worst customer service off all cellular phone companies coupled with a dick move like that just further demonstrates why we’re leaving them behind.

Lately I’ve been on a bit of a Beatles jag. I’ve gone to the library and picked up a few CDs and ripped them to mp3s (VBR –preset standard with EAC and Lame 3.93), then thrown them on the iPod. They didn’t have all the albums at the library, most notably the White Album, but Ellie got that for me for Christmas, so I gave it the usual treatment. Then Dave got me a copy of Radiohead’s “The Bends” which I’ve been missing for a while now. I was glad to get that.

Saturday, December 20, 2003

So I still haven't finished all the thank-you notes. Agghh. I'm so bad at that stuff. Plus I get writing in the card then make mistakes and have to toss out a card. Agghh.

Friday I spent most of the day interviewing at the Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology. I thought I had good meetings with all the faculty I meet with. The Department of Pharm/Tox is very well regarded for hypertension research, but they've got a few other folks that I think my interests lie more with. One group (the group I work with now) researches idiosyncratic drug response (drug reactions that are adverse, unexpected, and often unexplainable). Another group focuses on immune system function and how it is influenced by cannabinoids (think of the component of marijuana smoke that acts on the central nervous system to produce the effects that are associated with marijuana) and dioxins (environmental toxins that have been released into our environment). Both of those groups are well established, publish with regularity, and do research that I'm sincerely interested in. It's going to be really hard to choose!

I also wanted to point to by buddy AJ's weblog. I just had a look at it today, so I thought I throw a link in here for it:
http://ajcook.open-creations.com/blogger.html

Monday, December 15, 2003

All apologies. I've been very lax as it comes to keeping an up-to-date blog. Many things have happened since my last post, most significant of which was probably my graduation from the Masters programs at MSU. 4 semesters and I finished an MS. Ellie organized a graduation party for me, which was wonderful. Lots of family members... and I still need to write thank-you notes.

I didn't have thank-you notes very high on my list because I still had exams last week. Finished the last of them on Thursday and worked a pretty good number of hours last week. Saturday I officiated a wrestling tournament at Holt High School. It ran quite smoothly, and I got out about 3:30, so it was a quick day as wrestling tourneys go.

Sunday AJ picked me up and we went to Ann Arbor to webcast the UofM vs. Eastern Michigan dual meet. UofM won, and we had computer problems so we couldn't broadcast the video, but we did manage to do about 1/2 the meet with just audio. I also went to Ellie's work holiday party last night. It was nice, and I think I got some nice photos of Ellie's coworkers (it was a little dark though, so I don't know how they will come out).

I started working full-time today at the Toxicology lab. I'm looking forward to it. Dr Roth told me that the grant that he wanted to use to hire me got funded, so that was good news as well.