All my bags are packed...i'm ready to go...ok, so neither of those two things is true. But I am leaving on a jet plane tomorrow, bound for a second southern odyssey to Jonesboring. This trip should prove to be a productive one, though I only have two weeks this time. I just hope that my results come through and that I have something good to show for the past months of work. I suppose, besides all of that, I am looking forward to seeing the people down there again for what might be the last time (hopefully not, but who knows). Of course, I also had a pretty subtantial dose of some long unseen faces this past weekend at Brian's July 4th party at the family compound (the shire?). A lot of old faces from my college days made an appearance which was good, and a lot of beer made an appearance in my cup which was also good. Food was eaten, including some pretty damn hot indian curry burgers made by Yukeshan. It got me wondering, maybe someone like yuke made burgers like that in some ancient time for some tribal elder and from that point forward it was decreed that no one should eat meat in india for fear of such a frightful concoction be put together once again. I'm not entirely sure what was in them but I know it included some form of curry powder and yogurt...it made them a trifle bit loose and also orange. We had regular burgers too that Dan made which were just fine. Dan even brought his own grill tools with him for the occasion. They came in a burshed aluminum case that looked like it should house a shiny .357 magnum revolver but instead contained tongs and a spatula. Besides the food, much converstion was had including an argument with a particular reader of this blog. It was perhaps the one and only time that I would consider half-drunkenly arguing about the propriety of purchasing stocks and bonds for an inexperienced investor and the investment in index funds for people under 45 rather than a higher risk portfolio. I don't remember our parties ever being like that but I guess it just comes with the territory of getting a bit older...or maybe I just don't remember much of our other parties (both scenarios are equally likely here). Drove back somewhat early on saturday to get some time in the lab for some last minute experiments before I leave. Along the same lines, my undergrad assistant came in today and I had her doing a bunch of clean-up type stuff to make sure that lab looked in order before I left. After all of it she said (in slightly broken english), "when you get back...could I do something else?" Which for her I think meant, "Patrick...today sucked...can I not do your bitch work anymore?" I told her I would try and figure something out in that department...but really i'm just glad that she stuck up for herself a little bit and a little disappointed that she doesn't want to do my bitch work anymore. Perhaps, I can disguise the mundane as something more exciting, "please wash these dishes...the fate of the world depends upon their cleanliness...if there are any soap spots, puppies will be tortured in afghanistan...no pressure." Patrick OUT!!!