Thursday, June 26, 2008


After spending all weekend indoors at Crieff Hydro learning to think 'creatively,' I opted to ramble and spied...


Company arrives tomorrow to help me celebrate a long awaited achievement and roam around bonnie wee Scotland.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

In the g-know...

So, way way way back in April, my dear Macbook started to get grumpy. She made the most atrocious noise at start-up - I wouldn't say 'death curl' but not far from it. After panic backing up the hard drive to an external I turned her off and lovingly whispered, "I hope you start-up when I get back from Greece."

A month later she did wake up, but she was suffering. Several expensive phone calls to Apple later and she was away for repair. First the CD/DVD drive was replaced. Then a second CD/DVD drive was installed only to throw up a faulty logic board. Basically the entire computer has been rebuilt. And who says buying an extended warranty is for wimps! At the moment I am awaiting a new battery and installation disks (because they were scratched by the faulty CD drive). Hopefully, the photography will be back up and running in about a week to ten days. In desperation, a new-old Powerbook has been enlisted; but I'm just getting up to speed on this one. =)

This has all been rubbish news for the world of 'gnome-travelogue' because sans computer means no photo editing. But, there have been a few new projects on the go to keep me occupied in the absence of suitable binary. Sadly, one of those included not being short-listed for the travel writing contest I had entered with my story of Indiana Joness adventures on Crete. Ah well, next time!

Last weekend I was in Crieff (Perthshire) for a conference/training with the ever so snappy title "Biotech Entrepreneurship Summer School." First and foremost, I can not recommend Crieff more highly. Perthshire is my patch of Scotland - it reminds me of home. And, at a close second, the summer school, although exhausting was very inspiring. For anyone who has recently entered the dreary world of unemployment and the merry-go-round of job hunting this was a welcomed window into a world of exciting ideas which is thriving while big pharma and industry falters.

On a personal note, being an ex-pat is an interesting experience - often exciting and lively; but news from home is often slow to trickle down, as was the case this past weekend. As many will know, I am a long time supporter and watcher of "Meet the Press" with Tim Russert. (To be honest, if he and Tom Brokaw hadn't made the 2000 presidental election so exciting, I may have passed biochemistry the first time around.) However, unlike the majority of the United States, I missed the announcement of his untimely death on Friday last. Late Sunday evening I downloaded the latest podcast only to learn the sad news. Since then I have been following the story online and been struck by the outpouring of sympathy of my fellow countrymen for a man we knew simply because of Sunday mornings. I suggest, if you never had the opportunity to watch his broadcasts, checkout the "Meet the Press" homepage. I think you'll find Mr Russert was one of those rare and genuine souls who worked hard to make this world a little bit better without forgetting where he came from (Buffalo!) and lived every day to its fullest. Something to strive for.

Right, the family arrives in a weeks time for a rather large celebration.