Tag Archives: Grant writing

Things You Should Have Written Down

Good news everybody: I’ve written a list.

As a professor I tend to fill my day researching, teaching, and providing administrative type services (such as leading committees, drafting reference letters, cleaning my office, and eating chocolate). While I try to keep the nerdery to a bit of a minimum here at Consumed By Wanderlust, I can’t help myself – lessons, rules, words to live by, often make their way onto this blog.

Of course, I’m a realist. I’m not expecting you to have written these down, despite the fact that I often wrote write that down. I get that you might have been too busy or easily distracted. For this reason, I thought I would spend some time and collect all of the most salient rules and lessons that I have offered to you over the last year or so. I’m sure you’ll agree with me that this list is probably one of the most profound lists you’ll read this year.

You are welcome.

The exam is next week.

Things you should have written down if you were paying attention:

Things you should have written down if you were paying attention to Dr. Beth:

1 The duplication is not a mistake. If you refer to One More Piece Couldn’t Hurt you’ll see that I noted that this particular rule should be written down twice.

2 Which was actually upgraded to a law of the universe.

3 Read Scotch.

Très Bien Montréal. Très Very Bien.

The Doctors in Montreal.

This morning I awoke around 3:30am. I know, I threw up a little in my mouth when I wrote 3:30am too. But such is the life of this intrepid explorer. Okay, maybe not so much intrepid explorer as wanderlusting nerd. POH-TATE-OH, PO-TOT-OH.

Why, pray tell, did you wake up at the ungodliest of ungodly hours, when there are so many godly hours for which you could have woken? you ask. Well, today was the day I had to say au revoir to Montréal. T’was a sad parting, but I made sure to let Montréal down easy. I also reassured her that I would not be gone long. How can one be gone from such an amazingly vibrant city? It’s not possible I says. Not possible.

Back to the story at hand. When last we spoke, nigh on 3 days ago, I had just finished a most excellent Friday night of gallivanting with my dear friend Rick. When I awoke on Saturday at the reasonable hour of whatever-it-was, I was a bit parched, and perhaps a bit on the hung-over side; a sign that the night before was just as fun as I had remembered (thanks Mr. Rick). But, being the up-and-at-em sort of fellow that I am, I got up and headed out for some hangover cure-all; Starbucks.

Since I had Ville-de-Montréal all to myself (Rick had other obligations, and Dr. Steph wasn’t arriving until Sunday eve, and Dr. Beth was at home), I struck out on an extended walk. I toured Rue Sainte-Catherine and all of its lovely stores (Hugo Boss, I’m looking at you). I also spent an extended period down by the water, wandering Old Montréal. I opted to have lunch at Les 3 Brasseurs, which of course had to include a beer. Hair of the dog if you will. Following lunch, I returned to my room for a bit of a nap. Apparently the late hour from the night before followed by an extended walk demanded a rest.

That night I returned to Les 3 Brasseurs for a bottle of La Belle Province, a very tasty 750 ml bottle of heaven. And by heaven, I mean delicious amber beer. It’s 7% by volume, so of course, I was a bit toasted by the time the bottle was done. I wandered the streets some more and then returned to my room for a relatively early night.

Sunday was a day of work. And by that, I mean I spent the day in various locations writing up one of the 2 grants that I have been working on. Thrilling, I know. The day started weighing on me, what with the grant writing, and how grant writing can suck the life out of you like a Dementor. Thankfully, Dr. Steph, Jamie, Kathy and Jon arrived just in the nick of time. I haven’t seen Steph in far too long, so of course there was much catching up to do, as well as much hugging, and general shenanigans.

To celebrate their arrival, and the 2 year anniversary of Steph’s Ph.D. defence, we opened up a bottle of champagne, and may also have had some delicious cupcakes, and then another bottle of wine – this time a Riesling. It was an awesome feast. But, one cannot survive on cupcakes and booze alone, so off we went in search of food.

Dinner was found about 25 minutes away (by foot), at a tapas and paella restaurant called Sala Rosa. Much was ordered. If I remember correctly, this included the chorizo frito, aceitunas, rapini con ajillo, patatitas fritas con romero, ensalada de espárrago y champinón, plato anti-pasto, and the paella de pollo y mariscos (but they were actually out of pollo). The meal was fantastic, and was washed down with several rounds of sangria. Jon and I topped it all off with a very nice glass of scotch.

After wandering home, Steph and I stayed up chatting for a bit before hitting the hay. All said, it was an awesome ending to a very draining day of grant writing.

Anyway, this post is verging on too long, so I’ll leave the final full day of adventuring for later.

I miss you already Montréal. I miss you long time.

The Word Of The Day Is Geeklet

This labour day weekend, while all the frosh were moving in, and likely most everyone else was avoiding campus, enjoying patios, relaxing, or whatever, I was sitting in my office plugging away at several different projects. Cuz I’m cool. Clearly.

Don’t fret though. This post isn’t a cry for sympathy. I opted to work this weekend because I wanted to clear up some of my to do list. Having spent the prior 4 weeks in recovery mode, some things had piled up and I really needed to get on top of them. Plus, I needed to cross a few things off my list so that I could devote most of the next 2 weeks to grant writing. Yup – grant writing is about as fun as it sounds. But given that I’m asking several groups for large sums of money, I figure I need to put forth a coherent and well structured argument as to why said groups should give little-ole me said large sums of money.

Anyway, three of the to do items that I was attempting to tackle this weekend were rather computationally intensive. That is, they required a substantial number of hours coding and recoding, error checking, and re-checking, and a substantial amount of time to run. I left my laptop running over night only to find out that it didn’t have the brain power to finish the work I had tasked it to do. My office computer, being the memory roid-monkey of my computers was enlisted, and thankfully completed the task without too much trouble. Of course, having analyzed several large data sets, and creating several hundred summary tables, I didn’t want to lose this information (or have to rerun the analysis). So the three tasks in question also demanded data backup.

What does all this mean? It means that there were several hours where I was sitting in my office waiting. Watching patiently as my computer churned through calculations, generated summaries, and copied them to various locations for backup purposes. Exhilarating! Not so much.

What did you do to entertain yourself? you ask.

Well, I spent part of my time cleaning, part of my time organizing books and course notes, part of my time drinking too much coffee (but it was oh-so-good), and part of my time getting my geek on with a little program called GeekTool. GeekTool is a Mac program that one can use to tweak their desktop. Specifically, one is able to add dynamic text and visuals to their desktop background such as the time, date, etc., or other nerdy things like the CPU usage, memory availability, and such like.

I chose to begin my desktop customization using a very simple background that I obtained from SimpleDesktops.com (a source of some very awesome yet very simple desktop images). Specifically – this desktop:

Polaroids - available at simpledesktops.com

I then created the necessary geeklets (the little shell/photo tweaks that spruce up the desktop) to update the desktop to look like this:

My shiny new desktop (left monitor)
My shiny new desktop (right monitor)

I’ve attached some of the geeklets here (in zip format) for those that might want to copy this design for their own.

If you like what you see, check out some of the other amazing desktops that other people have made using GeekTool. A Google search will give you a huge selection of pretty slick designs, many that are downloadable. I think my next task will be to reproduce and then improve on this particular design:

This set up was found while I was viewing this website: http://desktopspotting.com/25/awesome-geektool-mac-os-x-desktop/