Three months later
February 22, 2010 1 Comment
I haven’t been very active in my usual online spheres lately. No blog posts in three months, only the occasional jaunt into FriendFeed, and random peeks at the ever-growing Twitter stream. Here are some random bits of what I’ve been up to.
First and foremost, I bought a house! It’s great having a yard and fruit trees, and having no qualms about putting holes in the wall (or even knocking them down, eventually). My first home improvement projects were installing a hand towel ring and shelf in the bathroom and refinishing a picnic table we inherited from an old roommate. Exciting, I know.
I visited my friend Mark at IBM Research in Almaden for the first time and was blown away by how beautiful the campus is. It’s located in the middle of a park in the south bay foothills and after weeks of rain the hills were a glittering vibrant green. I sat in on a talk by Stephen Turner, founder and CTO of Pacific Biosciences. PacBio is doing some really amazing stuff, harnessing the natural efficiency and speed of DNA polymerase enzymes to do single molecule real-time sequencing. The highlight of the talk for me was seeing how their technology can detect methylated DNA. The possibility of exploring epigenetics in that much detail and on that scale simply boggles the mind.
Last weekend, as those following my Twitter feed might have noticed, I was hosting several friends from college. We spent a day walking around San Francisco — starting out with a sampler of beer ice cream at Humphry Slocombe as part of SF Beer Week, then heading over to Chinatown, strolling along the Embarcadero, hiking up the stairs to Coit Tower, drinks at Boudin’s sourdough factory and dinner in North Beach before ending the night at DNA Lounge for a “Valentine’s” themed Smash-Up Derby by the always flamboyant Bootie SF. The next day we took a leisurely drive along Skyline to Castle Rock State Park, one of my favorite hiking spots in the Bay Area. We celebrated Chinese New Year by making pork buns, sesame noodles, and Chinese spinach for dinner.
At some point in the last three months, a paper I submitted in July last year finally got accepted and all the final revisions and proofchecking and what-have-you is finally done. The real version should be coming out soon but here is the provisional version.
But I’m perhaps most excited by some new additions to the family. No, not that kind of new addition — we got two cats! There’s a great no-kill shelter in my town and if you’re in the Bay Area and thinking of adopting, definitely check out Nine Lives Foundation. We got an adorable little girl tabby/tortoiseshell and a goofy all-white boy who both love cuddling and purr like little motors. :)
We named the girl “Beaker” (because she often “meeps” like Beaker from the Muppets) and the boy Storm Shadow (after the white ninja).