Archive for January, 2018


Jan 29 2018

Minnesota Dreaming

by at 9:23 am

(Sunday, January 28) — I hope you had a nice weekend. I got a fair amount of CCSG work done, but our weekend was fairly social – we hosted a wedding shower for someone on Saturday, and went to a get-together on Sunday hosted by some friends before going out for dinner with our son Ken and his wife Sarah for his birthday. His actual birthday is not until February 12, but Sarah is due then, so we decided it was prudent to jump the gun a bit. It’s hard to believe (and unbelievably wonderful) that one of our “babies” is soon going to be a father of three. How time flies.

The past week was highlighted for me by my Friday visit to NCI to be a guest speaker at the Clinical Center, supplemented by a number of very interesting meetings. I spoke about work being done in my lab to better understand mechanisms of resistance to immune attack using in vitro and in vivo models. It was a great chance to talk up work led in my lab over the last few years by Joe Murray and Dalal AlDeghaither on the in vitro model, and by Sandy Jablonski, Casey Shuptrine and Chris Grant on the in vivo model. The talk was well received and I left the NCI feeling as if we are on the right track to understanding important principles related to immunotherapy resistance.

Needless to say, the entire week had a surreal aspect for me and every fan of the Philadelphia Eagles as they gear up for their Super Bowl appearance this coming Sunday. My Philly friends and family tell me that the city is going nuts – not especially surprising, and curiously heartwarming. We had our DC-based Super Bowl party all planned, and then I was offered two tickets to the actual game. I could not say no. So, our son David (a crazy Eagles fan) and I are flying out to Minneapolis on Saturday afternoon, staying at an Airbnb (my first time using such an arrangement; all hotel rooms are sold out – he gets the air mattress) and flying out very early on Monday morning. He will return to DC (along with my cold weather gear) while I continue on to California for several meetings.

Do not expect a blog from me next week; irrespective of the outcome of the game I will be way too distracted to sit down and write!

Have a great week.

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Jan 22 2018


by at 9:19 am

Well, this is going to be a short blog. The NFC Championship game just ended and the Eagles are going to the Super Bowl, following a trouncing of the Minnesota Vikings. I am both shocked (I expected a tight game) and thrilled. Eagles fans are both passionate and long-suffering, so this is a special moment for many people.

Harriet and I returned from a brief wedding anniversary trip on Sunday afternoon, and got home in plenty of time for the game. I have a really busy week ahead of me, but the memories of this game will keep me smiling for quite some time.

Have a great week.

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Jan 16 2018

Dreaming of a Championship

by at 10:52 am

(January 16, 2018) — I hope you enjoyed the weekend and made good use of the opportunity offered by the Martin Luther King Jr. national holiday. My week was, as usual, quite busy, punctuated by a fundraising trip in North Carolina on Wednesday. On Friday afternoon, Harriet and I drove up to Philly to attend a family event on Saturday. It was a horrible drive (rain, fog, traffic) but we were able to get there in time to have a wonderful dinner with friends on Friday. After a very long Saturday, we headed back south on Sunday. I was pretty wiped out by the end of it all, but must say that being in Philly to watch the Eagles win a thrilling victory over Atlanta in the divisional round of the NFC playoffs was a lot of fun! The city was absolutely over the moon about the team.

Our son David now wants to get tickets for this Sunday’s NFC championship game in Philly; if he succeeds I will be there!

Have a good week.

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Jan 08 2018

Frozen Blog

by at 11:16 am

Happy New Year! Well, is it cold enough for you? Even my New England friends grudgingly agree that it has been a bit nippy out there. On Wednesday evening, I was finishing up at work and Harriet called me, telling me to get home right away because there was a flood on the ground floor of our house, and water was pouring out of the ceiling above. I hurried home to find that a water sprinkler pipe in the master bathroom of our neighbors’ home (which is attached to ours) had burst, and their fire sprinklers had activated, turning the three bottom floors of their home into the equivalent of a tropical rainforest in the midst of an extended cloudburst. Our neighbors were away (trapped by the “bomb cyclone” snowstorm in North Carolina) so a group of us (led by Harriet) sprang into action, turning off the water, getting a plumber out, rescuing what valuables we could from water damage and getting a flood control outfit out to the house for immediate cleanup.

Our neighbors returned on Friday, and it looks as if the extensive repair of their home will take about six months. Our repairs will be minor, thankfully. Moral of the story: check your pipes in the winter, even if you live in the DC region …

The rest of the week had less drama, though I caught whatever the bug du jour is in day care centers this winter, and dragged myself home on Thursday afternoon, and stayed home on Friday. I was able to keep up with emails, but really didn’t feel up to doing any major writing. I recovered enough to get work done over the weekend, though Isaac came over for a sleepover on Saturday evening, so it was not all work.

My major task over the next few weeks is to complete my 30-page Director’s Overview and Six Essential Characteristics section of the CCSG competitive renewal. It is beginning to take shape but is quite a challenge – imagine sharing all we need to describe in only 30 pages.

Next week shapes up as being very busy. However, my “Dark Skies” app tells me it will be warmer, with Spring-like temperatures on Friday. By then we should be thawed.

Have a good week.

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