Thursday, March 31, 2016

spt31mar16: snapshot

once more - the gratuitous pussy shot
It's what Thursdays are all about - a snapshot, a self portrait, spt ... self portrait thursday ... a visual exploration and a digital rummage through my mind. I've been doing this since 2007 on the blog and recording many of the results on Flickr (note to self: start tagging photos again). I've taken the flak for being "so self absorbed".
So what is today's mental snapshot?

There is currently nothing ruminating round my head, composting into opinion, change agent or whatever. Previously I had concerns, angst about what was happening to my life, to me ... but recently ... I wouldn't exactly say it's a wave of contentment, but I feel like I've reached a comfortable shore that I'm happy to exist on for a while. I'll collect the shells, paddle in the shallows, drink the fruit punch, scuff my toes in sand and be ... well, just be content to just be.

It's not that I've lost any ambition as there are still things I want to do with my life.
I haven't given up on getting there and I haven't stopped trying.
But right now, the horizon looks beautiful. However, I'm in no hurry to get there.

Monday, March 28, 2016

daily snapshot: March 28, 2016 at 02:33PM

It's official. I am now too old and slow to board with my son. Heading off to black diamond run, Slash on Cypress
from instagram

Combined Mass Spectrometry-based Protein ID and Functional Assessment with 2-DE and PEP

via Amanda Maxwell – Accelerating Science

Knowing a protein is present is meaningless unless its functionality is determined. And this is exactly what Wang et al. (2015) provide in a new workflow that explores mass spectrometry (MS)-based protein identification in conjunction with enzymatic activity assay.1 More than 20% of human genes encode for enzymes, which are key players in cell activity. Read the rest of this article

The post Combined Mass Spectrometry-based Protein ID and Functional Assessment with 2-DE and PEP appeared first on Accelerating Science.

from Amanda Maxwell – Accelerating Science

Thursday, March 24, 2016

spt24mar16: getting back into the picture

Jet lag.
Slowly getting back into BC time, and very glad to be back with these two :)
Yesterday I appeared at work, and actually did some work for around five hours.
Today, we hovered around the Wee Guy as an extra in a production shooting in Vancouver.
Jet lag.
This whole home thing still feels surreal.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

daily snapshot: March 23, 2016 at 03:17PM

wordless Wednesday: rapturous welcome
from instagram

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

daily snapshot: March 22, 2016 at 03:18AM

On my travels again
from instagram

Monday, March 21, 2016

catching up

Heading off
Catching up as my holiday gallops along.
I spent a lovely day in Edinburgh, taking my first cost up Carlton Hill before meeting a high school friend for lunch. L hadn't changed one bit and I had a wonderful lunch filling in the missing pieces of life in the 32 years or so since we last caught the school bus home together.
Round the bend
After that I took an inspiring wander around the national portrait gallery. What caught my eye there was a surprisingly moving exhibition on women farming around Scotland. My first ever excellence lambing was with a woman who farmed her dad's farm. I learned a lot from her, about sheep, working around family, keeping going when exhausted, ...

On Saturday I caught up with a few bits and pieces for work. Being 8 hours behind West coast time is still a nuisance but it's getting easier. My most productive time of day however, is still the morning, no matter what the time zone. Mornings lately have been spent out on a walk with parents and dog - a very valuable use of time in my opinion.
Frog guarding the spawn
On Sunday, we had a mini family reunion, with my aunt and uncle, and my cousin and her husband. I don't think we stopped talking for a moment except when chewing. Plenty of catching up again! It's been more than five years I think?
And today - a birthday. That I was here for :)

Upgrades and More for PRIDE Inspector Toolsuite

via Amanda Maxwell – Accelerating Science

The latest incarnation of the PRIDE Inspector Toolsuite updates the original resource to bring extra functionality to proteomics researchers.1 Described by Perez-Riverol et al. (2016) as representing “a feasible way to visualize annotated spectra coming from a wide variety of tools,” the latest release handles all the various stages of proteomics research from original data analysis to supporting Read the rest of this article

The post Upgrades and More for PRIDE Inspector Toolsuite appeared first on Accelerating Science.

from Amanda Maxwell – Accelerating Science

Saturday, March 19, 2016

back in the saddle

beachcombing at Black Sands
I was quite sad to drop the rental car off after my solo Alnwick adventure - I miss driving, and driving a manual car is great fun after the regularity of an automatic. What's less fun is driving on what is now the wrong side of the road but I quickly acclimatised.

black sands
Aberdour is pretty good for transit connections but sometimes a car is good for exploring more complicated routes.

On Thursday, we drove to the Helix just outside Falkirk to visit Andy Scott's magnificent statues, The Kelpies.

Foggy, but no disappointment. The only thing we missed was seeing the Ochils as a backdrop.

Feast your eyes and your emotions on this.

Alnwick adventure

Alnwick and blue skies for my visit :)

alone and capable (and in a public loo once more)

So part of this whole solo travel thing is to prove to myself that yes, I can still go places by myself. Although I'm missing my boys, I'm also quietly excited at having some measure of independence for the first time in more than a decade.

As part of the grand adventure and stretching myself, I booked into a cottage in Alnwick for a couple of nights, planning to visit the Alnwick Gardens and Barter Books to keep me entertained. And also to live like a recluse, getting up when I wanted to and going to bed ditto. Eating whatever I wanted and whenever for two glorious days ...

And I did.
I logged over 10,000 steps each day on my fitness tracker, managed to complete some work assignments, visited both the gardens and the bookshop ... and totally enjoyed myself ... alone.

Sometimes it is very difficult to keep on believing in yourself - that you are a confident, competent adult who has achieved a lot, is completely capable and a decent person with the right to hold an opinion. This mini break came at just the right time. Mastering a manual right-hand drive car and driving on the wrong side of the road, navigating to several destinations, keeping my self fed, entertained, safe, relaxed ... it was just the boost I needed and at the right time too.
I can still do this stuff!

daily snapshot: March 19, 2016 at 02:21AM

Adventures in art: trying #gouache for the first time. Quite different compared to watercolour, which is what I've been using on this trip, but I'm liking the intensity. I'll keep exploring.
from instagram

Friday, March 18, 2016

catching up: Newcastle and beyond

a former stomping ground

Da Vinci scribbles at the Laing

sketching in the sun on Kate's deck


Newcastle-upon-Tyne: one of my fave UK cities, and a great base for visiting family and catching up with friends. Sunday lunch to catch up with Vanessa and family; met a nephew I'd never met before and met his brother who last time I saw him was a wriggling baby on a rug; sweet sixteenth for a god daughter (thanks for the invite and for making me feel so welcome for crashing your party!); friends who I miss; Da Vinci sketches, prosecco and chat with Kate = a perfect weekend :)

Thursday, March 17, 2016

daily snapshot: March 17, 2016 at 08:48AM

Not another selfie! #disapproval #censorship #criticism
from instagram

Biospecimens: Secondary Use, Sharing and Safeguarding the Donor

via Amanda Maxwell – Accelerating Science

Biobanking, the collection and storage of biospecimens and allied data to aid large-scale studies and research, has a duty of care towards the original donor in addition to maximizing value by promoting research. For this reason, Goldenberg et al. (2015) examined review processes and protocols implemented by biobanks when considering secondary use of biobank materials Read the rest of this article

The post Biospecimens: Secondary Use, Sharing and Safeguarding the Donor appeared first on Accelerating Science.

from Amanda Maxwell – Accelerating Science

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

.... and then what?

ah, the memories!
Catching up on my travels, and yes - I've been travelling rather than staying in one spot.
In some ways, it's the bugbear of being an expat - travel usually means back 'home', and then when 'home' there's a slew of family to get round. If you're lucky, they are all in one place since you are the only black sheep who dared to stray; if not, then it's time to burn rubber. Some expat families have hundreds of kilometres to cover for each duty visit; I'm lucky - most of my family and friends are within a couple of hours drive at most, so the 'duty visits' are actually a pleasure*.

wheels! brand new six-miles-on-the-clock wheels!
I picked up a car at the airport, gaining an upgrade to a brand spanking new Ford Focus as compensation for the lack of cars during a busy weekend, then headed south to cross the border. The sky got brighter and brighter, until the sun appeared just south of Coldstream to give me a cheery drive down through Northumberland.

Every single time I come back to Northumberland, I feel like I'm coming home. It's where I bought my first house, settled for more than a few months, met mr ebb ... I have very good memories of this county as it's where I started being myself as a young adult. I arrived here at the tail-end of a brutal relationship, gaining the courage to call it quits in the face of physical violence, then slowly and surely pulled my shredded confidence together. I worked through three stressful jobs in the area. I lived by myself for a couple of years. I made new friends and they in turn, changed my life around.
home ground - OK, technically Tyne & Wear but close enough!

Northumberland is home home to me, and it feels good to be back.

*Point to note: unless you've been in the expat situation, no - you really don't have an inkling of what this all means, so quit any bitching.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Biobanking for Influence of Early Years on Asthma and Allergy

via Amanda Maxwell – Accelerating Science

The Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development (CHILD) birth cohort aims to investigate the influences of early years on allergy and asthma development. Moraes et al. (2015) describe how the biobanking of biospecimens and data is set up for multicenter recruitment to provide researchers with key materials for studying such a complex clinical subject.1 Development of Read the rest of this article

The post Biobanking for Influence of Early Years on Asthma and Allergy appeared first on Accelerating Science.

from Amanda Maxwell – Accelerating Science

Monday, March 14, 2016

in the interim

new bridge, old bridge - replacing the Forth Road bridge
I've been busy - holidaying, writing, working, relaxing - all of the above.
Right now I'm cooking dinner but let's see if I can fill in the missing gaps on this travelogue.

best museum in the world?
Last week, I was in Aberdour visiting with my parents. We walked lots, wandered round the garden and all got over a nasty cold. On Tuesday, I took the train in to Edinburgh again and this time, walked south up The Mound, over the Royal Mile and down to the museum in Chambers Street. This is the same museum that my sister and I stomped around as children - it's been renovated but there are still some familiar faces mong the taxidermy in the animal hall :)

There's also a Scottish discoveries hall, triumphantly celebrating all the good things that have come from Scots endeavour ... which sadly, on International Women's Day, does not include one woman!

lone pine
Wednesday - I worked and walked. Spent a lovely afternoon dodging the mud with dad and dog. How did I not notice how splendid Scots pines are when I lived here? They are just like arbutus trees with their orange bark.

Thursday - work. Catching up on Accelerating Science posts to upload, and sending off drafts for other projects. My eyes were tired by the end of the day :(

yo! sushi :)
Friday - a trip into town with mum, visting Yo Sushi in Harvey Nicks for lunch then swiftly on to the chocolate bar for dessert. Mmm - definitely the best way to recouperate! I ate my first caramel shortbread slice of the holiday and this one was covered in glitter.. Wonder if I'll poop sparkles ...

ebb and flo by pomo mama design click to shop pomo mama design online!