Good thing. I had forgotten that the bearded iris that I planted last spring was a rebloomer. How fun! Here it is, the last day in November, the last day of the 2006 Hurricane Season, and my garden is graced by a bearded iris in bloom. Ends up there are alot of rebloomers - and although we're in the southeast but not southeast Michigan, their Iris Club has a pretty informative description of growing and caring for reblooming irises. I recommend them.
Sorta-maybe good thing. My grant proposal got submitted a FULL three hours and fifteen minutes before the 4 pm deadline today. That may not sound like much to you, but to have three hours and fifteen minutes of breathing time is huge. I also snagged a letter of support from the US Navy Marine Mammal Program at the last minute - we'll incorporate their archived bacterial samples from Pacific Coast dolphins into our microbial molecular comparisons. That was nice. As I worked on this proposal - one thing that amazed me (and it always does) is how very little we know about the diversity on our planet - including microbial diversity. Our preliminary data suggests that dolphin respiratory tract microbes are either unique at the Genus but definitely the species level, suggesting that there are probably novel strains specific to bottlenose dolphins - potentially novel pathogenic strains. Anyway...I'm now in the 24 h post-grant submission coma that always requires wine, no meaningful conversation, and trashy television.
Really crappy. One really important thing about conducting research is what you're going to work on - you read, you learn, you collect a little detail, you go for it and write a grant proposal. You cross your fingers (and toes). The proposal submitted today is a new project for the lab - we've spent available time (and resources) obtaining a bit of interesting preliminary data (all sequence data - which can add up quickly) and isolating organisms from available dolphin respiratory fluids and archiving microorganisms and their DNA. In other words, we bootleg the work the best we can. That's a decision I made - but another equally big decision is who I collaborate with on projects - collaborators are pretty key today to environmental research that is often multi-disciplinary in nature. I have some great collaborators - folks that I really respect and admire - but I have one collaborator that I perhaps need more than respect - for reasons that I can't go into here. Anyway, this person let us down in a pretty big (and expensive) way this week - retrieving coral samples from San Salvador that were not taken in a careful, methodical way - and not being prepared so not getting almost half of the required samples needed for comparison. The lab was geared up for these samples - excited, anxious - but prepared. So what a letdown (an understatement) to find that our collaborator was so careless. But he holds the permit that we need to collect the samples - and a historical relationship with the field station associated with the reefs. We'll do it differently next time around - but it's a hard lesson to learn and I should have known better.
Kinda fun. Even though it might be a chilly, drizzly night, I'm looking forward to tomorrow night's French Quarter Artwalk. I got this festive invite from Lime Blue (62 B Queen St) - artwalk is an open-to-all event, so consider yourself invited. Since I'm not bartending for Jeff - I'll be able to wander around and I'm looking forward to that. Tomorrow is also World AIDS Day - and there will be a march at 5:45 pm starting at Marion Square (with a rally at 5:30 pm) and ending at the College of Charleston Cistern at St. Phillip with a candlelight vigil. Might be a good thing for folks to do, don't you think?