Posted by: Kay at Suicyte | January 31, 2008

A busy January

I just noticed that January is about to end – a whole month without a single blog posting. This obviously calls for something, if I only knew what. The month has been packed with lots of different stuff, a meeting, a couple of talks, and last but not least, a short vacation at this place here:

snowy Eschach

The idea was to show our little daughter what snow looks like. What can I say, it worked out quite well. The downside of this vacation (like every other vacation of mine) was that I don’t have the kind of work that goes away during my absence. As usual, I was greeted by a big pile of paperwork, plus a (virtual) pile of e-mails going like this:

Dear Kay,

In early [insert your favorite month here], you promised to send us your [manuscript | review | analysis | report | figures | money]. Unfortunately, we haven’t heard from you since [some time long ago] and wonder if you are still willing to provide us with the requested material.
It would be very kind if you could blah blah blah as soon as possible blah blah blah otherwise we will be forced to blah blah blah…

Sincerely,
Someone important, MD PhD

But there are also good news to report. For one thing, I got a grant accepted (a small one, but nevertheless). No luck so far at the paper front, but at least no outright rejections. Maybe I should try to find solace in the thought that my worst competitors are kept from pursuing their evil ways by being forced to referee my stupid manuscripts.

Before I forget, I had much fun reading the ‘Character Generation’ section in Mike’s World of Bioinformatics Quest posting. In case you wonder what kind of bioinformatics character I am, here is the disclosure: my career path is a typical case of OS, with some admixed WB. I have decent attribute values for Research Focus, Collaboration and maybe Statistics, but I clearly suck at Coding. Not sure about my Presentation score, but if there were a Procrastination category, I would excel in that. I was particularly impressed by Mike’s detailed description of the OS character- he must know me, this is the only explanation [mental note: should use more layers of tin foil]. The only difference is that I am not using a Win-95 Pentium II but recently upgraded to a Win2K Pentium III (for writing). But be sure that I have set all configurable options to Win-95 behaviour.

What is sorely lacking in Mike’s post is a description of the tools of the trade. Like my brethren who walk the path of the OS, I prefer blunt weapons, in particular my battered old HMMER (+2) of ogre strength. If nobody watches, I might also cast the occasional Psi-BLAST of the twisted mind (4-8 damage points per iteration cycle). But this is about it . The rest does not work with my Pentium III machine.

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