All posts by SterlingPurulentIcon

An Interesting Month

So I said here.

And so it has been.

Likely nothing further will crop up here until this coming weekend, or a few days beyond that into May. A few brief thoughts:

RavenCon, this past weekend, was brilliant. I have much more to say about this.

SHEA, the weekend prior, was both fun and productive. I have a bit more to say about this.

My current rotation, at a place that rhymes with Bational Minstitutes of Nealth, has been overwhelming annihiliatory to my time and energy. It hasn’t been all bad, but it’s been just a bit too much. 8 days remain…

There was a birthday in there somewhere, as well. Someone made it an amazing occasion, for the brief time available to celebrate.

Back to the grind… and the mantra…

8 days remain.

Joe Murphy

In Loving Memory of Joe Murphy

Joe Murphy, excellent friend and podcaster, died today. He had a good death – it was expected, and so not a shock to him or those around him; it was in the presence of a vast amount of love from family, friends, and even total strangers; and it was comfortable, as he was in Hospice, and receiving amazing care.

I have plenty more to say about Joe, but my time and energy are both quite low. Instead, I point you to the wisdom of others, which will multiply over the coming days:

*the final thread on Wingin’ It

*Laura’s musings on Joe and podcasting, as well as her posts from today here and here

*the Joe Murphy Memorial Fund, established in Joe’s memory to raise awareness of leiomyosarcoma, and money for research into treatment

Joe Murphy at Dragon*Con 2006

[originally uploaded by Sci-Fi Laura]

Joe Murphy, a.k.a. Mason Rocket, a.k.a. Letch Carson, a.k.a. Randy Innuendo,

a.k.a. our dear and wonderful friend,

we love you, and we can’t help but miss you. Through your words and deeds, you’ll never be forgotten, and your wisdom and humor will continue to touch us for the rest of our days.

Joe and Cap

[illustrated by Cheyenne of]

Blogging Sideways

Having set up the Gustatory Libation Front, I’ve almost deleted it several times since. The reason? As it stands, I have things I’m far more passionate about that I intend to focus my web musings on than teh foods, such as:

Gaming. Podcasting. Medicine. Just to name a few.

That being said, I have always wanted to do a random-drink-and-food-musings thing. Most of all, what saves it as a concept is that the title is just way-cool.

In any case, April is going to be an interesting month, with several projects coming due, and working at the NIH starting tomorrow, which is likely to be the most time-intesive rotation I’ve done during the course of my fellowship. If you know me well, you know that’s saying quite a bit. As such, my already inconsistant and meager contact with everyone will be further sketchy for the next few weeks. I have a few things I’ve been meaning to blog about, and was intending to over the past couple of days, but… “something came up,” which pretty much derailed the weekend. That deserves it’s own post, which happens next.

I won’t be completely gone from the site, however, no matter hoiw badly my schedule ends up. Two of the events I’m working on projects for are RavenCon and the 2007 SHEA meeting, and I’ve got a bit to say about both.

Onward, into the breach, as it were…

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.