bronwynrh: (CrazyBoy)
Somebody stop me. Please.

A new grant mechanism came out (thanks again, ARRA 2009), it looks like a great alternative to the mechanism we were pursuing.

I had to go and say so.

The reply: "Great we will do both. I will explain get ready for some hard work."


I can see where we can do both. I can. I just wish I could stop making so much work for myself.
bronwynrh: (Bikini)
Hey! Said I. I said, Hey! There's a whole lotta FDA hoop-jumping we have to do here, before we can do this other thing you want me to do.

So guess who's in charge of mapping out all those hoops? That's right, me.

The search for the government's definition of "medical device" has taken me half an hour of combing through the CFR database. Make that even longer, because the link that was supposed to take me to 21 CFR 201(h) has apparently been erased from the intertubes. Shit... Oh, look! Lazarus link! It's aliiiiiive. Finally!

I've read multiple guidances, and have tried to distill them into something palatable, but it's damn near impossible with some of these things. I'm sorry, you just have to read the whole thing, guys.

9:15 and I want a mojito. And a beach. And my well-tanned man in white shorts, rubbing scented oils into my skin...

*sigh* I'll just take a moment and go to my happy place.

ETA: Ok, so I'm scrolling through the index for 21 CFR (parts 1 to 1499, thankyouverymuch) and come across (332) Antiflatulent products for over-the-counter human use. That's right, the Beano regulation!

Nothing makes you lean libertarian like reading through the CFR. My god.
bronwynrh: (compass)
No, I don't mean the shuttle launch.

I mean this!
bronwynrh: (Happy)
It's time for the annual PGxl Lab Week Joke Contest. Tomorrow at the Chow Wagon, over beers, we will tell our best jokes in hopes of stealing the title from Elizabeth.

Last year's winner:

Two old ladies were sitting on a park bench when a man came by and flashed them. One lady had a stroke, the other couldn't reach.

Gimme your best jokes.  Our CEO is a little... um... proper, so the jokes can't be too blatantly crude. That's the only rule, really.

Yuk it up, my friends!
bronwynrh: (Default)
Mom's blood test showed no abnormal cells. So maybe her low blood counts are simply the result of a slow come-back from the chemotherapy. Doc wants to wait another month before another blood test, and told mom to get lots of rest and don't push herself.


We've been worried that her slow recovery was a recurrence... at least we can set that worry aside for now.

I have photos from Samuel's birthday, but haven't been able to upload them yet. Bad mommy.

He's been picking up a great imitation habit, which is helping immensely with his language. We're not progressing in leaps and bounds, mind you, but we are making progress. He imitates three-syllable phrases - at least the intonations - and occasionally we think we can hear the words. I could swear he said, "I love you" on Saturday. When I read Just For You, he says "bubble!" and "bag broke" (bah bock) - which he picked up all by himself.

He loves to watch golf, and understands that it's good when the ball goes into the hole. We're trying to teach him to shout "in the hooooole!" when the players swing, in hopes that we can station him in the backyard to heckle the golfers there. Right now, he just waves and babbles at them.

Oh, and when you ask him how old he is, he tells you )

Dixon is 6 shots into the 10-shot regimen, and I finally figured out how to do it with the least upset. Thank goodness, he never holds it against me. He's showing some side effects, but I'm not sure that means he's likely to pass the test. I never studied endocrinology to any appreciable degree, but I don't think what we're seeing is any indication that he's going to pass. We certainly haven't seen anything descend, which would be proof positive. Next Tuesday is the last shot, and Wednesday is the blood draw. Then we hurry up and wait for results.

Growing tired of people thinking he's a girl, and realizing that it was making him rather hot at times, and growing tired of cleaning cottage cheese from the tangles, I finally trimmed Dixon's hair. He is no longer MulletBoy, but you can still call him by his other Indian names, ThunderButt and GiggleSnort.

Read more... )

As for work, I got the cancer grant out the door 3 days before the deadline. More hurry up and wait. Thank the gods, the Powers That Be decided that, although another product is a priority, its importance is so great that it would be unwise to write a grant in haste, just to squeeze under the ARRA fund-brella. We'd be doing ourselves a disservice if we tried. So there's one less grant to write OMGRIGHTNOW!

Love that one of my colleagues keeps pointing out that the grant application is cumbersome and obnoxiously, computer-draggingly huge. Yes, yes I know. Glad you're finally getting a taste of what I've been telling you these past three years. Ah, well. I managed to bang this last one out in quick order, with relatively little pain, perhaps indicating that I've finally hit my grantwriting groove.

Er... Yay?

On to IRBs and the whole mess o' bureaucratic forms those entail. Somebody stop me, I'm having too much fun.

Oh hey, I ordered $111 worth of yarn from so I can finish the knitted blanket [ profile] travellight set me on. Thanks, Susan, for the new obsession. I'll try to post a picture of my progress... It's going to be beautiful when I'm finished, sometime around my 43rd birthday.
bronwynrh: (Happy)
As of January 1, I am no longer a Postdoctoral Fellow, doomed to dangle somewhere between studenthood and the real world. That's right, this little girl has got herself a real job, with a title and a respectable salary!

I'm the new Manager of Technology Development, reporting directly to the VP - the little gap over my head is a Director's spot into which I will swiftly move, I'm sure. Yes, I'll still be heading up Grants Management and I'll still be in charge of the website renovations (Shredder, we need to get crackin' on some plans), but I'll also be in charge of exploring new assays and technologies and deciding which ones we'll adopt, then managing our technologists as we validate them and add them to our clinical service menu. We are just a year or so away from launching our new product, the one for which our company was founded... the one that could actually save lives.

Holy moly

And to think, in early 2006 I was in Iowa, miserable and looking for an escape route back home. There in Business First was an article about this new little company just bursting with promise, and the co-founder was quoted as saying they would be looking to hire soon. I went to the lunchroom, shut the door, and cold-called that co-founder.

The rest, as they say, is history :)

I grouse about work, how I'd rather be home, and I would rather be home in the end. This job, though, could launch me right into a comfortable early retirement. This job will get me home.
bronwynrh: (Don't Panic!)
Oh, the suckitude! On my way home from work on Wednesday, some jackhole came around a blind curve on Covered Bridge Rd, which isn't unusual, except he did it while straddling the center-line. I startled, as he didn't correct until it was almost too late. Only then, it was too late because in my startle, I hit a guard rail.

I blew a big hole in my front passenger side tire, got a long but minor scrape along the side, and busted the steel belt in the rear tire. To put icing on the fuck me cake, I broke the CV joint.

This is the first driving accident I've ever had and it's freaked me out. Driving home from getting the tires yesterday, I quickly realized there was something more wrong with the car. Aside from being pissed off that the guy who just spent an hour and a half in the car's underbelly didn't notice (or bother to mention) the broken CV joint, I was thrown right back into anxiety mode. Samuel was in the car with me and that had me even more upset.

By the time I got home I was shaking and almost in tears over the disturbing sensation that my brain felt only half there. In my distress I almost rear-ended my dad's truck in the driveway because I forgot that I'd already put the car in park and accidentally put it back into gear.

I couldn't get out of the car fast enough.

Of course Samuel, who'd been an angel to this point, started screaming about 45 minutes after we got home, when I'd finally begun to calm down. He didn't settle down for more than 10 minutes at a time until about 9 o'clock, by which time I'd been effectively rendered into a puddle.

I've been getting weird muscle cramps for several days, in my right leg and foot, and in my left bicep... I don't know if it's nutritional or psychosomatic.

The good news is, my company's award is about to be released. Woo-hoo! That's $120,000 I've brought in now... and as soon as I get the matching grant in, that'll be another $100,000. All the funding I'm applying for will total about $2.9 million and I'm certain we'll get all of it because we really do have The Next Big Thing in anticoagulation medicine.

Ok, are our eyes sufficiently glazed?

I need a nap.
bronwynrh: (Default)
I'm get-ting daaaa-ta!
I'm get-ting daaaa-ta!


Sheets and sheets of numbers. I am just that nerdy that I can look at all these sheets of numbers and in a glance say, "Hah! Awesome!"

I even have some potentially Really Big Important Data that could mean a patent for me. Oooooh let's all hope for that one, ok? I'm not counting my chickens - or, rather, my tumor-forming bacteria. . . *nerd alert!!* - but seriously, this could be big. I'm going to cross all my eyes and dot all my tees and see what the data tell me.

And several of you boys on my friends list chat with me and wonder in amazement at why I am still single? I think this may be why. *wink*

Ok, back to it! Those data won't analyse themselves.

Whyever not, I ask?
bronwynrh: (Default)
The members of my lab have decided that I HAVE to go out to lunch.

Off I go.

Not that I can afford it. At all.

Bye! :-)
bronwynrh: (Default)
Today is a wedding day.

My friends, Xuesong He and Lina Li are getting married today in the atrium of the building where I work. I spent the morning decorating with some of the folks from Lina's lab. I made bows and hung flowers. . . fun stuff. . . procrastination from work.

I also realized this morning that Clay is going to the ASM meeting on Saturday where he will be presenting my work. He will want to present the COMSTAT data. The data that I don't have yet. . . that big stack that I keep talking about.

Oh. shit.

I'm still copying files - 227 minutes to copy day 5's set. And it takes for-e-ver to go through and convert each and every little stack from 16-bit to 8-bit. God! I have to get to the actual analysis!

This is going to be a busy busy long long week. Shit.


Apr. 7th, 2003 03:08 pm
bronwynrh: (Default)
Nothing like a big fucking ah-hah moment.

Clay's been trying to get me to consider this possibility since before my committee meeting, but I've been buried in the quagmire of my own data. So buried that I kept dismissing his idea as unlikely.

Today, I finally opened myself up to the idea.


Of course, it means I have a lot more work to do, but that's ok. If it gets my motivation meter going, that's all right.

Clay reassured me that somebody has to be buried in the quagmire of my data (he certainly can't be) so it's ok, but I need to stop selling myself short and climb out every once in a while to look at the big picture.

He also gave me a pep talk on the paper. I keep looking at what I have written and grimacing at it. He reminded me that I'm the first studen he's had who's written her own paper, so I can't expect it or try to make it perfect. He wants to start working on it again very soon. Yay! I'm actually happy with parts of it and I hate other parts of it. *shrug* It'll all be great eventually.

Ok, back to finishing up the poster. One last modification, then off to the printer.

Edit: Nothing like telling the boss that his big idea (that ah-hah thing) really truly can't work because of x, y, and z. . . and having him agree with you! We just had a pow-wow - a much needed one, at that - during which we tried very hard to figure out what the heck could be going in this system I'm working on. You know, hypothesizing. It was great. I was clueless for some of the time, until I realized that part of why I was clueless was because what he was trying to go for really truly would not work in this case. The rest of the stuff we started to flesh out and we hope to get some help with on Friday when Trish Kiley comes to visit (she's an expert on similar sorta stuff). I'll let you know how that goes.

Anywho. . . My brain feels a little like a pretzel and I have to rework a part of my poster AGAIN. I think I'll do that tomorrow though, first thing in the morning. I'm missing Shepard Smith!! Damn Daylight Savings Time.


Feb. 18th, 2003 04:10 pm
bronwynrh: (Default)
So just before journal club (about 4 hours ago now) we tweaked another line of code and managed to get the program running.


No. . . THANK DAVE KING! Dave King, Biocomputing office guy and MATLAB code-knowing person type person. . . yeah.

Anyway, it's working and I am crawling my way through Megs and Megs of data files, generating. . . more files. Hah.

But I'm getting numbers that make sense which means that I will have one more (and later two more) beautiful figures for my fantastic manuscript for that Very Prestigious Journal (tm).

bronwynrh: (Default)
I am sick. Sick. Sick. Sick. I was sick all weekend at the meeting in Minneapolis. I was fortunate, though, because I presented my talk Saturday morning before this sinus infection really took off.

A synopsis of my weekend. . .

1) My talk went really, really well. I got a great response from the conference attendees, both in person and through Clay. One scientist went so far to say that the work that Clay and I presented was the most original work he'd seen in the field in years. How cool is that? I got to talk with a lot of really nice people, some of whom I've met before, some I only met this weekend.

I met Eugene Nester, considered the father of Agrobacterial studies. He mentored Steve Winans, who mentored Clay's Post-doc, who of course is now mentoring me. So he's like my academic great-grandfather. He's a distinguished looking gentlemen whom many young scientists like myself revere as a god, but then you meet him and realize how cool he is and that he's human - but a really fantastic one. He's also well-known for his collection of Northwest native American art.

So anyway, as my cold developed into something more flu-like and settled into this sinus infection (complete with fever and body aches - yay) I was doing my best to make the most of the opportunity to talk with some fantastic scientists, friends, colleagues.

I noticed that I tend to start few conversations at these meetings. I do start some, but I most often wait for someone to approach me, or I simply join a group and listen. I learn a lot just by listening, but I also found that several of these scientists were very interested in me, too. Very cool.

2) When going through security at the Minneapolis airport, fevered and feeling quite under the weather, something on my person tripped the sensor in the walk-through metal detector.

A list of all items on my body at the time: sneakers with plastic insoles, socks, denim jeans, underwear and bra, turtleneck, two bracelets (one silver, one gold), one wristwatch and one gold necklace.

Something in the above list tripped the sensor. Anyone want to guess what it was?

So I had to sit in the chair, take off my shoes - I told the security officer that there were insoles inside, so she wouldn't be freaked when she saw them instead of seeing the flannel lining of the sneaker - the shoes were sent off and checked out while my legs and feet were wanded. I then had the legs-apart arms-out wanding, front, back, left right. Do you know what tripped the sensor yet?

My bra.

"I have to touch you here, since it beeped"

um, ok

At this point, I was trying very very hard not to crack up. I remember there were times in Saudi Arabia when my orthodontic braces would trip the sensors. But never an underwire bra, for chrissakes.

I now understand the motivation of the woman who stripped off her sweater, shirt and bra at such a checkpoint in frustration. The devil in me wished I could do the same as a joke, but I didn't particularly feel like being arrested, nor did I feel like showing my bosom to hundreds of strangers, Clay and several colleagues from the meeting.

3) Our flight out of Minny was delayed by an hour because our dear president landed in Air Force One, so the airspace and runways were cleared out. We saw the plane right after it landed, watched it taxi all around the airport until it settled at a distant hangar. Then we saw the motorcade - complete with the requisite black suburbans.

It was a cool sight - how often does one get to see Air Force One? Clay and I wondered if the parties or the taxpayers have to pay for all the pre-election travel of our president as he stumps for his party's candidates all over the country. I just know we're the ones footing the bill, but I really think the president's party should have to pay for stuff like this. Presidents have more important things to do than hop about the country attending pep rallies - especially if those pep rallies aren't even for their own reelection, but for that of other candidates. I figure he's not really doing the country's business on these trips, so why shouldn't the party pay for it?

I know, they all do it. But I still don't like it.

Ugh. Does anyone know where I can find a new set of eustachian tubes? Mine are completely plugged up.
bronwynrh: (Default)
Happy Happy Joy Joy


It is Absolutely Fabulous when you work and work and work and in the end you get precisely the results you were looking for.

I've been running an experiment all day and finally got the data pulled together.

Bingo, baby.


I'm going to knock their snowboots off in Minneapolis and then publish! Woo-Hoo!!!
bronwynrh: (Default)
Well, the proverbial races, that is.

Presentation is now out of the way (yay me) - It's on to other, bigger, better things. Like the viral genome replication course that Dave and I have to go to this evening. Sound like fun?

Well the fun part is the presentation and paper we have to prepare for that class. (why o why do I sign up for this stuff?!?)

Most important, though, is my thesis work. Now that I have the construct I've been waiting, hoping, struggling to get, I have a pile of experiments to do to test it out. With any luck (and a whole lotta work), I'll have a perfectly rounded-out publication-ready presentation when I go to Minneapolis in two weeks.

I'm gonna knock their socks off!!

If I sound like I'm on an ego-trip, I guess I kind of am. This whole Senior Grad Student (TM) thing is feeling pretty good right now.

Maybe some of you guys have been here before - maybe some of you are still waiting for it to happen. There comes a time when you start to realize your own worth. But you hesitate to acknowledge that realization - what if I'm fooling myself? what if I'm not as good at this as I think I've grown to become? - But then things start to change in the world outside your unsure mind. People start telling you what a great job you've done or you notice they start coming to you for advice, or you find yourself responsible for helping or teaching people who are where you were just a couple of years ago.

All of a sudden, that outside validation rings true with what your mind has been telling you for a few years already. Wham! Self-esteem, baby!

*snif* I'm growing up *snif*

I have $40 to my name, but dammit, I'm a grownup - and a smart one at that!



Oct. 15th, 2002 07:52 am
bronwynrh: (Default)
That's a squeal of joy, people. Yes, joy.

After 6 months (certainly some of the delay was due to my own "d'oh!" moments), I finally isolated the mutant construct I've been trying so hard to make.

Huh? What? Basically, this means that a couple of weeks of serious hard labor and efficiently worked long hours in the lab should be enough for me to get those last experiments done and my FIRST PAPER out the door. Yes, folks, it's so close now, I can almost taste it.

Ewww, tasting agro - ewwwww (/science talk)

Today is plotting, planning and getting-things under way day - oh yeah, and there's that presentation at noon. . . and class tonight.

*sigh* nothing like the start of another 60 hour week to get your blood moving.


bronwynrh: (Default)

February 2012

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