DOD Concept award

I freakin' got one!!

All my frantic submissions last fall are coming to term in the last month or so, and of the four swings, I've got one hit on this one. This is for a project on the super-cool exciting collaboration with an awesome guy next door. We've got some really nifty preliminary data in the meantime, too, so we have an inkling that it will work.

I still have a chance to make it to another base next month--a different project was selected internally to go forward for a local pilot project grant, and we have a reasonable chance of getting that one as well.

Tiny baby steps, not big money, but enough extra infusion to keep the new project directions moving towards R01 readiness! Combined with the K99, we're doing pretty well around here for our first year!!


First batch of pottery

A while ago I talked about how I joined the local pottery club. I have my first few things all the way through the process now, and I was pretty pleased with them! The first two pieces I am not showing anybody because they suck. But the next three after that went much better--I got back on the horse, so to speak.

I like to play with glaze overlays and make cool color combinations. I'm going to end up being the "Glaze Chair" which means I'll be helping organize and manage the club's glazes. I'm very excited about that, because it's materials science and inorganic chemistry, so it will give my brain some exercise, too!

But anyway, here are my first few pieces: a small green bowl with a shiny black glaze on top; a purple/blue cylinder; and a cream/blue/brown pitcher. I'm especially excited about how the pitcher turned out looking like it was soda fired because the underglaze was thin.

Why Tyra Banks is my mentorship role model

I love ANTM. LOVE it. And here is why: Tyra Banks is an excellent mentor.

1. She never holds back on blunt reality

2. She doesn't let favoritism bias her judgement, she takes every performance at value

3. She never gives a harsh critique without also offering a specific example of how to do better

4. She makes decisions according to what needs to happen rather than what will make people like her

So whatever people might say about talk shows, models, patriarchy and the like: this lady takes what there is to work with and does business. Does it well, and while giving as many straight-talking legs up as she can in that business.

Summary statement woes

Okay, I know I said I was too busy to post. But I just got my first major "DID YOU EVEN READ MY F'ING PROPOSAL"-inducing summary statement on my unscored proposal.

I'm serious: every single weakness 'pointed out' by reviewer 1 WAS THE RESULT OF THEM NOT EVEN READING THE PROPOSAL. Each one was something we supposedly "hadn't considered" even though the proposal is full of descriptions and experiments and conditions addressing what they call the weaknesses!!!

The other major weakness they cited was the possibility that some 5+ YEAR OLD papers that showed the particular thing we were addressing may be related to indirect behavior of the system (and not direct) weren't cited, thus the proposal's aims might not matter, even though THE EXTREMELY RECENT PAPERS WE DID CITE show unequivocally that the effects we propose to address ARE DIRECT!!!

They call it a "well-written proposal" addressing a significant issue, and then shit on it for things that DON'T EVEN EXIST in the written document.

The other two reviewers successively:

2. Had problems with the way we described the design: it was TOO SPECIFIC and not a clear enough overview

3. Didn't seem to have a problem at all.

I know that rage serves no purpose except to fuel the energy put into the rewrite. I know that the only way to succeed here is to Do What They Say To Get The Money.

But this shit still pisses. me. off. so. much. RGRGRRRRAAGGHHHH!!@@$##W%$#Q%

Crowdsourcing fundraising

I really like the Donors Choose concept, and the way fundraising is becoming an open, crowdsourcing type process. It gives people the opportunity to find each other out in the metaverse and bring little bits together to move mountains.

One mountain in my network: the 12-yr old son of a friend of mine was recently diagnosed with type-1 diabetes. This is the first chronic disease their family has ever experienced, so they're trying to learn everything they can about it. They are participating in a Diabetes Walk to get involved and find out more about how to cope with this stuff, so they set up a donation page for their walk pledges and have already made their target! They would still like to be able to bring more to the foundation, though, so just in case anyone is interested, the link is here.