Saturday, August 25, 2007

Brisbane to Cairns

Apologies to all for the late update. All is well in Brisbane! I'm pressed for time, but will head to Cairns in a couple of hours. Will update the blog soon.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Hello LAX!

Well, here I am blogging to you from aboard an American Airlines flight at Los Angeles International Airport. I msde it out of Nashville Airport after a brief scare, the scare being that I was informed at the ticket counter that couldn't cjeck in until I had a visa to visit australia - whoops. It was pretty easy to rectify though - I just jumped onto the internet and applied for my visa through the aussie government website. Immediately my information was available in the system for the ticketing agent to acess - ah that amazing thing called networking. Anyway, our plane arrived early and so we've now been taxiing for15 minutes! Grrrr! So I'm just taking my new blackberry for a spin. The new 8830 has a greàt full size keyboard, but I certainly need to work on my typing skills because my thumbs are getting tired. That's all for now.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Travels, Travels, and More Travels

I just returned from the KDD Conference in San Jose, CA, where our workshop was, hands-down, a success. And the venue: 70 degrees, sunny, with a light breeze. It was fantastic weather and certainly did not look forward to returning to Nashville. Call me crazy, but 105 degrees with humidity and stagnant sandpaper-like air is not my cup of tea.

Anyway, I'm home for several days, but on Friday I leave for Brisbane, Australia for the Medinfo Conference. I'll be presenting our work on confidentiality and the analysis of electronic medical record access logs - but I look forward to learning about privacy research / implementations that are underway at other sites. After the conference, Sara will be joining me and we'll travel to Cairns and Sydney. If anyone is looking for me - try the beach.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Deer in Nashville!

Last weekend we got out of Nashville proper and explored Percy Warner Park. We heard (not sure from who) that there was a pond and it was high time we introduced Porter to the glories of swimming. So, off we went to the park, but we couldn't find a pond. When we couldn't find the water, I wanted to take Porter on a trail hike, but Sara said "no". Did I mention it was over 100 degrees outside - again? I was quite upset and frustrated, but then Sara told me to "Chill out freak and enjoy the forest in our air conditioned mini (a.k.a. Chester - well, that's what I call him - Sara swears that she wants no part of this blog entry)!" So I did and as we were driving through the park we came across deer. Lots of them! Sara snagged a couple of pictures as we passed by. Someone should tell this one that hiding your head behind a sapling doesn't hide you too well. Especially, when you're a demon deer with blazing eyes of white!

I was about to start driving again when Sara said, "Careful, demon deer don't travel alone. They travel in vicious car thumping gansta-deer packs. Seriously." And so they do:

Vicious. All of them. They ate a headlight.

Greater Swiss Coon Dog?

The advertisement on Pet Finder said: Greater Swiss Mountain Dog. And at 3 months old, that's what he looked like - mostly. There was the fact that his legs were white and not rust-colored, but we thought, "Hey, he's just special." And then there was the fact that he was only 30 pounds, but we thought "Maybe he's just the runt of the litter." Oh, we should have known better. It's now 7 months later and he's a little over 50 pounds - not quite the 100 or so that a Swissy would be. We were in the dog park recently (I swear, we don't live there. ) and some said, "Ooooo, what a pretty coonhound." To which we responded, "Actually, we think he's part mountain dog." which brought about a little snicker. But when we got home, we started looking at pictures of coonhounds online - thanks to Google Images - and there's all different kinds. There's the Blue Tick Coonhound. Well, that doesn't look like our little Porter. And then there's the Black and Tan, but he's got white and isn't quite shaped the same way. Well, what about the English - nope not that one either. So, we're searching and searching and then we come across the Treeing Walker Coonhound. Oh... my... god. Quite similar. Sara screamed, "Nooooo, it can't be! He's supposed to be from elegant Switzerland! Not the back hills of Kentucky" So Sara wailed. And I cried. And Porter pranced. (Actually only the last bit is true) We take solace in the fact that he's doesn't look exactly like a coonhound - just 95%. The last 5% must - MUST - be Swiss. Thus, we have dubbed him: The Greater Swiss Treeing Walker Coonhound. Behold! Oh, and here's the picture that really clued us in (from

Compare that picture to this one of Porter (note the rawhide stuck to his chest):

Ah, air conditioning

It's 100+ degrees outside, so of course you are going to go to the dog park. Who knew that Porter would want to play in the heat for over an hour! Play and then collapse on the air conditioning vent. Ah, there's nothing quite like cold air on your underside.