Thursday, May 31

Mommaduke's New Wheels

So me mum (as the Brits say) just got a new pair of fancy wheels to jet around Portland in, check it out . . . I'm not so sure that Henry likes the look of this new thing in his house, but I'm sure he'll get use to it - of course he use to always bark at bike riders, so maybe this will help him get over his insane fear of bikers - mom you'll have to keep us posted on this!

As for the #7 thing, I honestly don't know - it's just been that way for a long time - it is my lucky number so maybe that has to do with it?!?!? I just know if given the chance to chose a time I always end it in 7, volumes, times, weights, lotto numbers, sometimes it can be a multiple of 7, but typically I just want to see the number 7 I guess . . . maybe I need counseling or something, who knows!

In other "exciting" news check out Jen's post here about a moron & his father-in-law!

Thursday Thirteen #8

Thirteen Things about me - random bits/habits

1. My alarm clock has to end in the number 7, so I can wake up at 06.07, 06.17, 06.27, etc, just as long as the final number is 7

2. On that same 7 theme, the volume on the telly has to end in 7 as well

3. I have a horribly bad habit of cracking my knuckles, so much so it's now to the point of unconscious to me

4. I typically sleep on my side with my back to the wall, front facing the door, unless someone else is in the room, then I can face the wall - it's just in case someone comes into the room I want to be able to see who it is without moving around too much.

5. I love hot chocolate - it's what I call a comfort food/drink

6. I have to wash my hair in the morning before work or I feel dirty all day long.

7. I really like to sit in the window seat, buses, planes, etc - I think this comes from my tendency to get motion sickness.

8. I have a huge fear of anything almond flavoured or almond smelling - I got sick in 2nd grade after eating marzipan - I reckon it wasn't related but it's the last thing I remember eating so I associate the two together.

9. I cut my finger nails about once a week - I enjoy long nails but they don't tend to go so well in latex gloves & nothing is more annoying than popping your glove with a long nail!!

10. Once the weather becomes close to being nice out I HAVE to have my toe nails painted - even if I'm stuck in trainers all day.

11. I have to delete or move into a folder all emails so that I have a maximum of 20 on the opening page - any more than that & I get a bit anxious.

12. I check my diary/calendar at least 5x a day, even when I know there is nothing on it

13. I sleep with the window open or a fan on 90% of the time - I like the fresh air, even when it's freakin freezing out ;)

In other news, what is up with people not washing their hands after using the loo, I mean especially at a work place which is called the London School of HYGIENE & TROPICAL MEDICINE - I mean of all the places, we should know better, right?!?!?! Oh this really does my head in. But I'm trying to think positively, so I'm thinking about my holiday to the states in a few months - yeah :)
AND to set the record straight, Jim & I are not dating, we're just "best mates" as he would say. We've been talking since we met about taking a trip to the states and that's what August is all about. I'm not bringing him home for "approval" or anything like that - don't you think I would have blogged about it if we'd started dating?!?!? Yes, we do have a "history," we did date for 5 months, but we were able to make a mutual mature decision to just be friends & luckily we've been able to remain best buds! He is a true friend! When I've talked in the past about friends who don't stay in touch once you're not in their immediate presence, well he & Rob are not that type - the three of us spoke at least once a week for the 6 months I was home in the states waiting for a work permit. We've built a very strong friendship & nothing can take that away! I feel honoured to be their called their "best mate" and incredibly lucky to have met them both, it's not often you find best friends who stick with you through thick & thin. Okay, just wanted to clean that slate since some people seemed to be a bit confused.


Wednesday, May 30

Bees & your help

Who knew that bees where so smart or for that matter maybe kinda stupid since they are confusing the smell of TNT with food - I don't reckon that TNT would smell much like food to be, but then again I've never smelled it, so maybe I'm wrong. Do you think Animal Rights Activists get mad when you use bees for things like this - I'm sure they're not happy about rats or dogs, but would bees be included?

Here's where I need your help, I've just received a new rucksack (aka backpack) which is totally awesome, but it already has a monogram on it which isn't mine, so I'm trying to come up with a good saying to go with it. The letters are, A.J.L., any suggestions?

Monday, May 28

August trip to New York

Yes, you read correctly we're (Jim & I) are going to be flying out of London's Gatwick airport on Monday 30 July and arriving at Albany International airport around 8.30pm and we fly back out of ALB on Thursday 9 August - arriving in London Friday 10 August . . . mom I hope I remember about this overnight flight ;)

I look forward to seeing many of you, though I appologise in advance if I
a) don't see you
b) don't get to visit with you for long
c) am tired when I visit with you

We will be on a bit of a whirl wind adventure. I also want to thank in advance my lil sis & dad for helping us out by lending us a car!! And yes, to those of you who will be putting me up I would like to thank you in advance for your hospitality!!


Here are the photos from last week when Jim, Rob & I took Naomi out in the west end . . . we had a blast!!


Bank Holiday Weekend

I've had a great weekend even though the weather was decided to not work with me. My friends, Gen, Louise, Jeremy, Andrew, & I all met up at the Camden Tup around 3pm on Saturday, talked & watched the rugby till around 6pm when Rob showed up & we went to Islington (Angel) for a quick bite to eat & to see Pirates of the Caribbean 3. Then being the bums that we are we opted to go straight home. I actually had a good reason, it was my mum's birthday & I wanted to talk to her (she's 8 hours behind BST) so calling in the evening is best for us both.

Oh yeah, while at the pub, Jim called to offer me his free ticket to see rugby 7s on Sunday at Twickenham Stadium, so I took it. Yesterday morning in the lovely warm sunny weather (that was sarcasm!!!) we headed off to Twickenham. We should have turned around after we started because it just seemed to get worse & worse for awhile there. I tried to get on the bus that Rob was on, but I missed it. He got off on the high street, I caught the next one & told him, but then b/c there were two in a row the second one (which I was on) just drove by, so I called & had him run to the next stop where I got off & we both got onto the same one (this took about 40 minutes). Then we got to pick up Andy & Naomi (aka Nim) at their place & walked to Kentish Town West to get the Silverlink train, but come to find out after we'd bought the tickets there were no trains, so in the rain we continued to walk down to Camden Town to get the tube to Waterloo & get a train out to Twickenham that way. It worked, but along the way Nim lost her train ticket (which costs you £20 fine) and our jeans were nearly wet up to our knees since there were so many puddles you just couldn't avoid them!

We got to see Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Figi, Somoa, France, Canada, Italy, Kenya, England, Scotland, Portugal, Russia, and maybe a few others which I'm forgetting. To be honest it was so wet & windy by about 14.45 we were done! We'd gotten there at 10.30 & there was lots of good rugby to be seen later in the day, but everything from our knees down was soaked - that's the problem with 3rd row tickets there is no covering overhead. So to warm up we decided to head over to the Twickenham Tup, get warmed up, grab some food & turned out run into Jim & John (who we thought might come down but we had not heard from either yet).

Once we were slightly warmer & our tummy's were full we headed into Trocadero's (Picadilly Circus) for a bit of bowling. The next time you see Jim asking him about how I almost beat him in the last game.

All in all it was a great weekend . . . well minus how I sorta got locked out last night - I'd given my keys to Andrew & then my phone battery died & I didn't notice till we were starting to head home, so I called from Rob's phone to my home phone but got no answer, so I just crashed at Jim & Rob's. Luck for me they had a charger I could borrow so this morning I got in touch with Estee & asked her to relay a message for me, which come to find out she never relayed, but Andrew called & we sorted it all out.

Thus far today has not been nearly as active, but fun non the less, Jim & I each got a duvet, crawled into his bed and watched the movie World Trade Center, followed by a documentary on dinosaurs - I stayed awake for the movie, but was in & out during the 3 hours of dinosaurs history! All I have to say is if you ever want to make me cry easily show me that movie again - not trying to say you should want to make me cry!!

The rest of today is going to be rather boring - I have to read a paper for work tomorrow - luckily Andrew went off to find something fun to do since sitting around watching me read I'm sure is ruddy boring!!


Saturday, May 26

Happy Birthday Mum

Happy Birthday Mum!!!!!!
Miss & love you lots, hope you have a fantastic day! Speak soon, xx

Friday, May 25

Thursday Thirteen #7 (on Friday)

Thirteen Things I prefer to do alone

1. Sometimes I enjoy shopping alone, then nobody is saying, "what about this" all the time

2. Blogging

3. Reading a book

4. Working in the lab - I got a bit spoiled at Trudeau and so now I'm not a huge fan of sharing pipettes or bench space

5. Cleaning the house - nobody else does it the way I do it & if others are "helping" I for some reason feel the need to go over what they've done - apparently I've gotten a bit of my sister's OCD - lol

7. Watch the telly - that way I can watch a show I want without getting grief! BUT having said that if it's a sporting event or Jeopardy, I want people around!

8. Bake/cook - this goes along with people not doing it "my way" . . . anyone remember the famous saying, "me do me self"

9. Drive - gives me time to think about whatever I want - sometimes I blast music, other times I just drive in silence

10. Sudoku - nothing worse than someone saying over your shoulder, "that's a 7"

11. Gardening - nice peaceful time to myself . . now I can't think of any more "alone" things, so I'm gonna end with 2 "not alone" things :)

12. Traveling to foreign countries I do not like to do alone, especially a country where English is not the native language, always helps to have someone to help with directions & split the cost of hotels etc

13. Eating out I do not like to do alone - I'd rather have people to chat with while I eat, but am not one of those who cannot eat alone, just prefer the company.


Mom's dogs are crazy!!


Monday, May 21

Andrew & Naomi visit

Friday night was pretty uneventful - had dinner at home & watched a DVD.

Woke up Saturday, showered, cleaned the bathroom, and headed into central London to meet up with Andrew (NU '07) & Naomi (NU '08) and my mate Rob at the rear entrance to the British Museum. Andrew is in town on his way to France for a special project on Normandy & Norwich University. Naomi is in town just for a few days holiday on her way back to the states, she's been studying in Germany for the past 3 months. We went to a pub for the traditional fish & chips lunch. From there we walked down to St James Park, past Buckingham Palace, over to the Thames where we stopped for some Pim's with lemonade on the Queen Mary (boat which is a pub now). From there we went back to their hostel & got a suit case of Andrew's to bring up to my place so he wouldn't have to lug it all the way to France & back (he's staying at mine for a few days next week on his way back through to the states). It was getting close to dinner time at this point so we decided to go for a curry. We went down to Angel & got a really nice curry - which we all enjoyed a lot. From there we walked to Kings Cross to make it easier for everyone to get home.

Sunday, I was suppose to go to a rugby game of the Wasps vs. Leicester, but Jim really wanted to go as did Rob so I let them go since I had gotten the tickets for free from a friend at work. Instead I stayed home, did some laundry, read outside in the sun & chatted with Estee. I left around 16.45 in order to meet up with Naomi, Jim & Rob for dinner. At 17.50 Rob called to say they were running late & could we just meet up at WalkAbout in Soho. So after picking up Naomi, we jumped on the tube over to the west end. We stayed there for a few hours before moving on to O'Neil's on Wardour St. FINALLY at half 12 I said I HAD to go home, as I was the only one who had to work in the morning & knowing it was going to take over an hour to get home & I was already bloody knackered! While waiting for the bus, one person who shall remain nameless but has the initials BJS got impatient waiting & just hailed a black cab home to the tune of £35 ($70) - I guess I can't complain I didn't pay for it & it got us home much faster. BUT in typical J&R style we got chatting & didn't get to bed until really really late, so I'm not feeling so awake today & just want to crawl back into my bed/their couch!

You might be wondering why I am staying with Jim & Rob since I have my own place, but since Estee's mum is in town, I offered to go and stay with them so she could have my room instead of bunking on the floor. So that's where I'm sleeping this week - never a dull moment in my wee lil world :)

Hope you all had a good weekend - anyone do anything really exciting - like go to Prague as my co-worker did?!?!?!

On a side note, one thing I love about this country is when I read things like this: "Piccadilly Line: Suspended between Kings Cross and Arnos Grove due to a person under a train at Turnpike Lane. Minor delays are occurring on the rest of the line." Why exactly do they think we need to know these details??

Friday, May 18

when i'm old & grey

A friend (who wishes to remain nameless) tagged me on this one:

When I am an old woman…

I’ll speak my mind and not worry what others are thinking.

I’ll make a decision and not second guess myself twenty times a day for years after.

I’ll travel more often and not be restricted by work or time off.

I will take time to smell the proverbial roses instead of running around like a chicken with my head cut off.

I’ll miss my parents, unless of course I'm lucky and they're able to live to be over 100!

I will enjoy time with my grandchildren (yes, I know I need to have children first, but this was just asking when I'm old!)

I will spend every day doing only what I WANT to do, not just what I HAVE to do.

I will spend my days gardening and reading what ever interests me (instead of scientific papers all the time).

I’m tagging Zee and Jen


snails & flossing

Bet that title got you wondering . . . NO not together, just two things I'm going to talk about today - I'm running out of catchy titles, sorry!

On my way out the door today what did almost step on . . . a freaking snail - I swear they are everywhere now that the weather is rainy all the time & I'm starting to worry they are after me. Nobody else in the house sees them all over the place like I do, wtf is up with this?!?!?!

Dental floss - a very important part of dental care, which I reckon is neglected a lot of the time. I say this because it always seems to be an item that never runs out at your local Boots shop. You're probably wondering why I say this, but if you think back to the last time you went into a Boots store & were looking for toothpaste, toothbrush, face cream etc, did you not notice how at least 1 of the items on the list was either not there or very low in supply? I did - they rarely seem to have my favourite toothpaste (even though the sticker is on the shelve) there is just an empty space where they use to be - I've learned when I see it to buy in bulk, probably throws the sales person off when they see me purchase 3 tubes of toothpaste & only 1 bottle of shampoo & 1 bottle of conditioner, but hey, gives them something to think about while mindlessly checking me out.

Okay back to my point, I don't think people use floss as much as they should . . . albeit, for a long time I was not a fan of flossing either, but ever since the discovery of Glide floss I rather enjoy it. I also reckon that since moving to a country which is not well known for it's dental hygiene I think I've become a bit more obsessed with my dental care. Touch wood, I've never actually had a cavity - I had a tooth that never fully grew in properly which they had to put a filling in, but aside from that my mouth is 100% pure. I'm sure it's in part to the mass amounts of money my parents paid while I was growing up - I don't want to think after all those dental visits, orthodontist appts & years of braces what my mouth is worth, but I won't be seriously playing any sports where a ball/puck could come flying up & knock them out anytime soon! I've heard too many horror stories about hockey pucks & front teeth - if you haven't & are intrigued ask Jim the next time you see him about his hockey days . . . ouch, makes my mouth hurt just thinking about it.

Here are some tips in case you were wondering if you were flossing correctly. So what are your thoughts on flossing, tooth brushing, or just dental hygiene, in general. Patty no need to reply - I/we all know you're OBSESSED with it ;)


Thursday, May 17

Thursday Thirteen #6

Thirteen Things I really dislike (aka pet peeves)

1. Non hand washers - people who don't wash their hands after being in the bathroom/toilet. I don't care if you just went in to get a tissue, wash your hands, since the rest of us have no clue what you did in there!

2. Pushers - people who push to get on the bus early in the morning - there are many seats & lots of standing room so no need to push/shove (at night I can understand b/c sometimes there isn't enough room & the doors close in your face, but first thing in the morning it's a TOTALLY different story!)

3. Constant commentators - people who feel the need to comment during a lab meeting just to hear themselves speak more than to be helpful or those who ask questions just to try to "trip up" the presenter & then huff when the presenter doesn't know the "correct" answer - WhoTF do you think you are?!??!!?

4. Delinquent dishwashers - people who leave dishes in a shared sink for extended periods of time & then sorta pretend like they have no clue who's dishes they are & make a scene to say "don't know who's these are but I'm sick & tired of them being here so I'll do the washing up" as if they don't recall they were the ONLY one who had avocado for dinner this week & there is avocado all over the dirty dishes.

5. Non-reciprocaters - people who complain about you never coming to visit them (after you've been to their place multiple times), yet they never come to visit you (the same can go for phone calls, "why don't you call me?" as if phones only work in one direction?!?!?!

7. Grungy mugs - from leaving coffee/tea cup/mug on a desk over night so in the morning they have that nasty old coffee/tea sorta dried on to the bottom of the cup/mug

8. Unreturned phone calls, emails, or other types of correspondence & then when you comment about it you get a comment such as, "I'm just so busy" MY reply, "you make time for the things that are important!"

9. Damp or wet trousers - ya know when the heel of your jeans gets wet when walking in the rain & then seeps up the leg - that really does my head in

10. Promise breakers - it's not that hard & if you had no intention of doing it in the first place, why'd ya bother to promise, you could have just said, "I'll think about it" or "I'll try"

11. Improper loo roll replacers - everybody who's anyone knows by now that the loo roll has to come over from the top, not hang down from the underside!!!

12. Sock seams - MUST MUST MUST be on top of your toes in a straight line - I don't want to have to feel the seem under my foot at all - just ask my mom she'll tell you what I joy it was dressing me when I was younger (unless of course there were tree men working outside)

13. Placebo parents - these are the ones who have kids but then end up having a nanny who raises them so that the parents never spend any quality time, or the type who have kids but can't be bothered to teach them manners so by age 7 they are outta control, or those who decide to beat their children, you get the idea . . . dead beat parents should be drawn & quartered!!


Wednesday, May 16

Madeleine, Lee, and School Uniforms?

All I have to say about this is - WTF where the parents thinking leaving their kids alone in a hotel room while they go out to dinner?!?!?! You can see from the map at the bottom of the article that the restaurant was not really close to the apt - I don't think that checking up on them every hour or half hour is a wise decision - it takes just a few minutes for a child to drown themselves in a few inches of water!

Have any of you read the book, Where Have All the Leaders Gone by Lee Iacocca with Catherine Whitney? I'm intrigued, I enjoyed reading the expert, in particular his 9C's of leadership & agree with em, but don't know if the book is something that I really would enjoy reading - ya know what I mean?

Okay, back to my original post idea, school uniforms . . .

In walking to catch the bus this morning a boy passed me dressed in his school uniform (which goes for all schools over here - not like in the US where it's primarily catholic or private schools) and I my mind immediately thought I think they're a good idea. I know this can be quite a controversial issue at least with schools in the US. Here are some of the reasons I think they're a good idea:

  • A possible increase in school pride - wearing jeans & a t-shirt does nothing for school pride at all
  • I reckon that a child in a school uniform is more likely to take school seriously - it's like how adults have to wear "business attire" to work & it also helps prep them for the real world where you can't necessarily wear jeans & trainers on a daily basis
  • Lessens the likelihood of arguments over fashionable clothes & even just self esteem issues for those kids who can't afford the trendy new outfits.
  • Uniforms are much more appropriate clothing than some of the fads that are overly revealing & can cause distractions in the classroom. I remember even back 10 years ago how students thought school was more of a fashion show.
  • Uniforms make students follow directions, which in my mind is a good thing b/c recently I've noticed that kids don't seem to listen to anybody - which some might think is a con as far as "conformity"
  • No worry about what to wear in the morning since there would be no making up their minds - added bonus for kids & parents
  • For security issues, uniforms make it easy to identify kids who belong in the school and those that don't
Maybe the reason I think they are good is because I never had to wear one when I was growing up & now that I'm old, they look like a good idea . . . what are your thoughts?


Tuesday, May 15

Jerry Falwell

I understand everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but this man was a nutter in my opinion. I do not mean to be disrespectful, as he just passed away, but after reading what evangelist Rev Jerry Falwell said according to the BBC article, "Shortly after the 11 September 2001 attacks, he said that gays, atheists, civil-rights activists and legal abortions in the US had angered God and 'helped this happen'" I have to voice my opinion that he's just an out right nutter & just plain old wrong for saying such a thing!

Most of you already know my opinion about gays so I won't start on a rant about that and as you will probably guess my mind is open to abortions & civil rights . . . okay I promise I'll try to stop here or I'm just gonna make myself really really pissed off over people who believe these sorts of things. I continue to try to remain open minded to others thoughts, but when they are so close minded I find it very hard.


lung health

In keeping with lung health, scientists in France say to stick with a Mediterranean diet in order to avoid getting a COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).

In other news a bomb was found & people had to evacuate their homes for the night - did that get your attention? No need to worry about my safety, first off it was a WWII bomb & second it was in Bethnal Green (east), not really close to my place (north) at all. updated see below

How wonderful is the story related to photo #4? Just another proof that the best laid plans of mice & men (or in this case wolf & donkey) often go awry.

As you may recall I made a list of things I wanted to get done before the end of 2007 and so far I've accomplished 3 1/2 - I've posted photos, met friends in Germany, and gotten the internet up & running at home - yeah!!! The half being trying to be a veggie head, which I do most days but when others have cooked I don't say, "oh yeah I don't eat meat", but I reckon since I mentioned "trying" to be one then most of the time I am one.

And since I have bugger all to report, I will leave you with this wonderful quote from a fantastic author . . . "Mais les yeux sont aveugles. Il faut chercher avec le cœur." Which translated into English says, "But the eyes are blind. One must look with the heart."

Update at 15:45: Unexploded World War II bombs may be buried under the east London 2012 Olympic Games site - from the BBC website a few minutes ago.

Monday, May 14

A dose a day will do ya

A friend sent me this photo of the world & I think it's really cool - I'd never seen it from this angle before & to me it makes America look tiny - I think schools should start showing this map off, maybe Americans wouldn't become such ego maniacs.

Interesting research going on at Queen Mary's & Imperial College so be sure you get your daily dose of Vit D, especially if you're going to be in an area where TB is high :)

Aside from that I have nodda to report, I'm sorry!

Sunday, May 13


this is the photo I meant to put up yesterday to show you how scary they truly are!!!

Snooze, is the word I'm going to use to describe today . . . woke up at 09.00, got outta bed at 10.00, eat breakfast, showered, talked to Louise & Jeremy about whether they wanted beef or chicken, and went to Tescos to buy all the supplies for tacos. When I got home Estee wanted to go to Brent Cross Shopping Center so we hopped in the car, but after getting on the north circular, the traffic came to an abrupt sluggish speed, come to find out there is a football match at Wembly Stadium, so we bailed on shopping & just went to Golders Green for some "Jewish" food as she called it (really all this means is finding a kosher cafe so she can have meat). After lunch we came home & did bugger all until I got a text message from Louise at around 16.00 saying she was still rather hung over from the hen do last night. So I bailed on cooking for dinner, reheated the salmon & rice I made on Friday night & made a nice salad as well with the fresh tomatoes I'd bought for the tacos. There is nothing I love more than a fresh tomato - just ask Maureen W who introduced me to one of my favourite sandwiches - I use to go to Bob & Maureen's house for a dinner of tomatoes on toast - in rereading that last section I think wow, tomato sandwiches is all it takes to impress me, I sound like such a loser - LOL

In good news, I spoke to Jim tonight & he said he definitely wants to go the US, so keep those fingers crossed that we can figure out cheap tickets, since the website I was thinking of using said taxes included but it neglected to tell you that petrol surcharges where another £90 each way, making the cheap tickets in the normal range :(

Saturday, May 12


Defined as "a persistent, abnormal, and unwarranted fear of slime"

I bet you're wondering what that's all about . . . My sister screams her head off if she sees a spider and ES totally freaks if he sees snakes but for the past 29 years I've never thought of myself as really scared of anything, until last night!! While sitting in the kitchen chatting with Estee & Giulia last night I discovered something I'm afraid of, the damn snails that are all over the place when it rains. I was under the misconception that snails live near lakes & oceans, but apparently they can live in cities as well, WTF (as my mom might say - lol). I remember when I was little Patty & I use to go into the "deep" water, pick the snails to put in a bucket, and I was never scared then, but just seeing them all over the place last night just gave me the chills, so much that I had to close the curtain so I couldn't see them anymore.

Phobias can be so strange . . .arachnophobia, ophidiophobia, paraskavedekatriaphobia, and emetophobia I can understand all of those, but myxophobia (aka blennophobia) seems a bit silly when I actually think about it, but the snails on the deck & walkway really threw me for a loop. This morning when I went down to get my breakfast & it wasn't raining out (finally) the first thing I did before starting the kettle was to look to see if the 5 snails I'd seen last night were still around - LUCKILY they were all gone :) When Estee got home tonight she saw me sitting by the sliding door & commented on how the snails must be gone if I'm able to sit there - LOL.

Just to let you know in thinking about it I think I'd be just as scared of slugs, since they are both members of the mollusk group and are similar with the exception in that slugs lack an external shell.

Well that's my 2 cents for you today. Hope you're having a good weekend!!


Friday, May 11

I put up a new map of where I've been :) Looking at it that way makes me realise I have missed definite parts of our beautiful country - I will have to rectify that in the future!

So I'm still very excited & HOPING that Jim can work out his work schedule so we can visit NY in August.

I'm off to the HPA for the UK Melioidosis Meeting - hope you all have a fantastic weekend!!

Thursday, May 10

We're coming to America . . .

This song says it all . . .

except we (Jim & I) think we're gonna make the trip, nothing definite for sure, but I will keep you posted. Tentative dates are arriving at JFK around 30 July & leaving 10 days later - if it works out we'll drive up to Westchester & hopefully stay with Pete (you know cops have to hang out with cops) Jim will get to ride around with Pete for the day & I'll visit with friends, then we'll head north to Schroon Lake for the weekend to visit Dad (if he's not on his own holiday) and then a bit further north to Saranac Lake to see everyone else :)


29 states in 29 years

Sorry for all the videos, they are probably boring to all of you, but they are for a friend of ours (the kid's Uncle T) who is currently stationed in the United Arab Emirates & since he can't accept emails with attachments (security measures) I decided to post them here & send him the links.

create your own visited states map
or check out these Google Hacks.

In reading Jen's post I started to think about which states I have spent time in?!?!? And I went a step further to see if I could get the capitals of all the states
1. Alabama
2. Alaska
3. Arizona
4. Arkansas - Little Rock
5. California* - Sacramento
6. Colorado - Denver
7. Connecticut* - Hartford
8. Delaware* - Dover
9. Florida* - Tallahassee
10. Georgia* - Atlanta
11. Hawaii* - Honolulu
12. Idaho - Boise
13. Illinois* - Chicago
14. Indiana
15. Iowa*
16. Kansas* - Topeka
17. Kentucky
18. Louisiana - Baton Rouge
19. Maine* - Augusta
20. Maryland* - Baltimore
21. Massachusetts* - Boston
22. Michigan - Lansing
23. Minnesota - St Paul
24. Mississippi
25. Missouri
26. Montana - Helena
27. Nebraska* - Lincoln
28. Nevada - Carson City
29. New Hampshire* - Concord
30. New Jersey* - Trenton
31. New Mexico* - Santa Fe
32. New York* - Albany
33. North Carolina* Raleigh
34. North Dakota
35. Ohio - Columbus (flown through)
36. Oklahoma - Oklahoma City
37. Oregon* - Salem
38. Pennsylvania* - Harrisburg
39. Rhode Island* - Providence
40. South Carolina* - Columbia
41. South Dakota* - Pierre
42. Tennessee - Nashville
43. Texas* - Austin
44. Utah - Salt Lake City (flown through the airport)
45. Vermont* - Montpelier
46. Virginia* - Richmond
47. Washington* - Olympia
48. West Virginia*
49. Wisconsin* - Madison
50. Wyoming- Cheyenne
and the District of Columbia*

How weird is that, that I've been to 29 states (plus DC) in 29 years while Jen was in 35 states in 35 years - such weird coincidences! What's your number?

Thursday Thirteen #5

Thirteen Things about me - holiday locations

1. New Port Richy, Florida - been there dozens of times as my aunt still has a house & my grandparents lived there while they were alive (just next door to my aunt & uncle)

2. Honolulu, Hawaii - went in 1988 with my grandmother & immediate family - it was wonderful - I especially remember the black & green sand beaches

3. La Jolla, California - went to visit my mom's relatives

4. Austin, Texas - went to visit my cousin a few times

5. Rapid City, South Dakota - went to visit my "unk" (not really my uncle) & I remember driving his four wheeler all around with his dog sitting on the back with me

6. Omaha, Nebraska - went to visit my mom's cousins for her 60th birthday

7. Nantes, France - went on an exchange program in HS to learn French

8. Cape Town, South Africa - went for work with my boss but was able to visit with a mate who lived there & do a bit of touring around as well

9. Key West, Florida - went every March for about 2 weeks with all my friends from SL

10. Toulouse, France - went to visit my sister while she was working for a long weekend

11. Reus, Spain - went for 4 days during spring break last year with my mate Susan

12. Portland, Oregon - went to visit my mum at her new house for a week this past October & then two weeks at Christmas time - I think it will be lovely to visit again when it's not constantly raining (lol)

13. Edinburgh, Scotland - went with Amanda & Dom this past March after our MSc graduation


final message for MET

Message 3 for MET

message 2 for MET

message 1 for MET

Easter photos


Wednesday, May 9

Hump Day

Another busy day ahead of me, as I have to meet with the people who give the money for my work soon & before I go to Porton Down, I have to have a PowerPoint presentation of all my work thus far ready - YIKES!!! So I apologise again for a lack of a good post, but I'm hoping by now I'll be able to access the internet at home (they were suppose to come at 9am to install all the required "stuff").

I only have two things to say right now . . . how freakin stupid can our president get and on a totally different but funny note, my mom's dog Henry got a report card from his doggy day care which said he has a girlfriend named Maggie - isn't that just the cutest thing?!?!?! (when I found this out all I could hear was "Henry & Maggie sittin in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G, first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes a baby in the baby carriage" LMAO

FYI, for those who care to know, an "assay" is a type of scientific experiment - it is a procedure where a property of a system is measured - it's used to figure out the presence/absence/quantity of one or more components - hope that helps a bit.

Update as of 13.55: I am happy to report that former President Bill Clinton is doing something positive, this will balance out the stupidity of our current president's comment to the queen!

Tuesday, May 8

my return from mini Amercia :)

This just makes me giggle (off the Transport for London website): "CIRCLE LINE: Severe delays are occurring due to earlier trespassers on the track." That's the reason I take the bus!!!

So as you can guess I'm back from my trip to Germany & I've got 3 stamps in my passport to prove it & a record with the US military, as I had to get a pass for the weekend. The flight was only 1 hour so I'm sure I'll be returning to visit my new friends. We primarily were at Ramstein but I was also at 2 other local bases, Spangdahlem and Baumholder (which is actually an Army base)

I don't have a lot of time to write at the moment as I'm at work doing a Cytometric Bead Assay (fun fun fun) but fingers crossed we should have the internet set up at home as of tomorrow afternoon - YEAH - I will write more then & be able to add photos (double YEAH!!)


Friday, May 4

busy busy bee

Super busy today & crunched for time as I had to go over to Imperial to get yet another ID card - ugh I dislike all these photo ID cards which I have to carry around!

I've got a meeting in 30 minutes with my boss to discuss my data from the past week & then I'm gonna have to grab some lunch & finish up some work before leaving for the airport on my way to Germany for the weekend - YEAH!!!!!!!!! We are going to try to go to Heidelberg or Trier on Saturday or Sunday depending on soccer schedules.

In other real news, a company called, DNA Worldwide, is offering an early baby gender test which is becoming rather controversial - the worry being that some people will abort or be persuaded to get an abortion after finding out the gender.

Thursday, May 3

Feel bad, feel very bad

for ME!!!!! I had to have my Hepatitis B booster earlier today & my poor arm is KILLING me, I have a bump it's so bad - I remember when Pete got his jab I think his arm hurt for a few days, I hope my pain is gone by morning as I have to go all the way to South Kens to Imperial College for a meeting then back up to LSHTM till 5pm then back on the Piccadilly line to get to Heathrow, but I am SUPER excited to go to Germany & meet my new friends!! Okay just wanted you to have lots of sympathy for me arm!!!

Can you tell I don't have enough real work to do today - hence 3 posts!!

funny photos

I think these might give you a giggle, they did for me! These are photos I just found of myself while trying to figure out where my FACS data jpegs went - apparently they got eaten by the computer monster, as they are not here at all anymore :(

me at the beach at my sis' house in Schroon Lake last summer

me working in the lab last summer - proof reading my thesis paper

me this past winter at my aunt's house in Schroon Lake, clearing off her generator, after a few feet of snow had fallen


Thursday Thirteen #4

Thirteen Things about me - cities I've lived in

1. Hastings-on-Hudson, New York - I lived in 4 different places - Bonavista Ave, Edgars Lane, Whiteman Street, and Hastings Gardens

2. Yonkers, New York - Warburton Ave

3. Ardsley, New York - Ashford Ave

4. Dobbs Ferry, New York - Hunters Run

5. Hampstead, New York - Hofstra University

6. Northfield, Vermont - Harmon Drive

7. Cranston, Rhode Island - River Street

8. Adirondack, New York - Shaw Hill Road and East Shore Drive

9. Saranac Lake, New York - Park Ave, Main Street, and Ampersand Ave

10. Naugatuck, Connecticut - Albion Ave

11. London, England - Kentish Town Road and current address

12. Wallingford, Connecticut - Williams Road & Prospect Street

13. Newington, Connecticut - Cypress Road

Okay so to get all thirteen, I sorta had to cheat a little - the last 2 I didn't officially live at but I did receive mail & lived between the three addresses for 6 months so I think it counts!


Tuesday, May 1

Good Question Jen!!!

Yeah the word "local" doesn't necessarily mean it's near your house, it's just the pub which you frequent. Our local use to be 1 block from our flat, but then the bartenders we liked moved down to this pub in Camden, so the boys followed & I probably will as well. It's hard sometimes for Jim & Rob to find a local, since they are both cops they can't drink in the area where they work & they don't want to be in pubs that have lots of problems as that causes them to have to work during their time off. At least at this local if something kicks off they are willing to work because they love the staff so much & to be honest I'm sure the staff enjoy having them there - it's sorta like free security. I'm not saying nothing has ever kicked off while they're there, because I've seen it happen, but I've also seen them both take care of the situation & dissolve the issues in just a few seconds, so most patrons in the pub barely even know anything has kicked off.