Gustatory Libation Front – Join the Revolution!

Since I clearly have nothing better to do (read: I’ve devised yet another fantastic outlet of procrastination), and my Blogger account has been languishing for quite some time, I’ve established the Gustatory Libation Front!

While I can’t say that my prime motivator in life is food and drink, I do loves me the nourishment.  Following the supposition that if we need to eat and imbibe, we should do so with great health and robust enjoyment, I’ve set up the blog of the revolution to liberate my thoughts and opinings on the various foods, beverages, and related topics I come across.  Check it out, and enjoy the tastyness!

Saint Patrick’s Day

Let me be neither the first, nor the last, to wish you a most excellent Saint Patrick’s Day!

First and foremost, remember who the holiday is named for… and not to get our beloved patron saint of Irleand confused with Saint Patrick of Spain, Saint Patrick of France, Saint Patrick of Prusa, or Blessed Patrick Salmon of England.

That aside, celebrate well, and if you choose to do so with libations, do so safely and responsibly. This includes not drinking bland beer from the huge American macrobreweries (in general) that’s been dyed green (specifically)… that’s not Irish. It’s just wrong.

Instead, partake of something with a bit more flavor, a bit more character, and a lot more Irish: Murphy’s Irish Stout or Irish Red. Smithwick’s Irish Ale. Guinness Stout. Harp Irish Lager. Magners Original Irish Cider. Or for a distinctly American take on the Irish style, try Harpoon Brewery’s Hibernian Ale, or Rogue Ales’ Kells Irish Lager.

Oh, and go leave Ronnie more Comment Love, because that boy’s got some serious Irish pride. And while you’re at it, do the same for Laura – she’s got the red hair and all!

Work stompage

The next month and a half or so is going to be, to quote one of my research mentors, “FFF,” which she claims stands for “fun, fun, fun!”

I can come up with an immediately obvious alternate interpretation of said acronym.

For now, I’ll just say that the “free time” I have when not on call is going to be devoted to work on several lectures/panels and research projects, leaving me Well And Goodly Smacked About in terms of time and energy, and less able to make time for more well-rounded pursuits. Case in point – I have a rant I’ve been meaning to post about 300, which I saw last weekend with Laura, and is brilliant, but haven’t made the time yet to do so – perhaps this weekend, as a break in the deluge.

That being said, what I’m working on is interesting stuff, and I look forward to sharing more about what’s “on my plate” shortly. Clearly, I need to reduce my portion sizes.

Fare Thee Well, Bumpy My Friend

And so it came to pass that Bumpy, First Fish of the Cmar-Burns household, was found dead today.

He was 4(ish).

Bumpy deserves note and remembrance for several reasons.

He served as a co-Chief Resident at the Johns Hopkins University/Sinai Hospital Program in Internal Medicine for two years, from summer 2003 to summer 2005. Well, inasmuch as a goldfish can actually do such a thing… although he did guard the door to the Chief’s office, and act as a convenient conversation piece, during that time. Purchased by the Chiefs prior to my tenure (and almost slain by them accidentally during a water change, when very hot water was added to the cool tank one day, causing him to swim sideways in wide circles for about 6 hours), Bumpy was an excellent companion to Jennifer and myself during our year in charge. When I discovered that our successors had no interest in caring for him when we were gone, Bumpy came home with me. And oh, what changes he wraught!

The short version is that we decided Bumpy needed a better tank once he arrived at the Cmar-Burns hovel… and “roommates”… and “greenery”… and “furniture”… and with disconcerting swiftness, Laura and I found ourselves with yet another hobby, and a few more pets. Bumpy leaves us with two large freshwater tanks stocked with various fish, two smaller betta tanks, and with more knowledge of aquariums than I ever knew I wanted.

Bumpy wasn’t the smartest of fish – as Laura relates in her blog post, he once swam into a castle in his tank, couldn’t figure out how to back out, and almost got his head stuck poking out a hole in the highest parapet. This was made worse by the fact that he was of the pop-eyed variety of goldfish, and almost managed to squeeze both eyes through the hole, which would have been a nigh-impossible predicament to extract him from. Stupidity aside, he was actually able to recognize me from other people, and would always swim up to me when I came near the tank, doing his peculiar “water-waddle” that very likely was his way of saying “Food! Food! Food!”

I’m actually surprised at his relative longevity, giving the degree of mis-handling he put up with from his previous caretakers, his own dull-wittedness, and a couple of um… accidents… on my part over the years. The most interesting of those involved a scoopful of dark-roast coffee falling into his filter, which slowly turned his water a lovely brown as it unintentially “brewed” his home. This led to a mad scramble on my part to set him up in a rescue tank, and a very hyper fish for the next day or so. In the last few months, he had a couple of sizable tumors crop up on his dorsal fin and behind his left eye, but fortunately never showed any signs of pain or impairment.

Sad to say, I realized in writing this that I don’t even have a picture of him – we recently recieved an excellent new digital camera for Christmas, which even has an underwater mode, but chose not to take any images of him due to the progression of his tumors. Laura managed to find an older picture of him from her mobile phone camera, and put it up on her site.

Fare thee well, Bumpy my friend – you will be missed.

Laura’s Life Adventures

As I’ve muttered about before in this space, Laura and I both recently resolved to actively maintain our websites, because:

1. we’re stupidly busy with work, and take on more projects than we should

2. we’re 20th level procrastinators, who’ve elevated this most glorious of arts to a new level

3. as a result of 1 and 2, don’t take nearly the time we should to stay in contact with everyone we like, love, and/or find amusing

As such, posting regularly on teh Internets is an excellent way for all of us to keep in touch, entertained, and informed. Clearly, you know where my website is.

Now, go to Laura’s. And give her some Comment Love.

And so, it begins…

Greetings! I’ve finally broken down, weeping and curled in a fetus-like ball in the back corner of our computer room, and transitioned the site from the Old School HTML to this newfangled WordPress shinyness.

I feel so… dirty.

The truth is that having a “bloggy” setup will actually encourage me to actually do constructive things with the site, like, say, update more than once every few months… put up relavent and entertaining content… and keep y’all informed as to where I’m treading in this crazy world.

While I remain uber-swamped with the ever-present Things I Need To Do, having a new and shiny toy always serves as a good nidus for procrastination, so look forward to more posts, tweaks, and content over the days and weeks to come.

I feel the need to leave you with an ominous laugh, but I have no good transition lined up, so here you go: