Thursday, April 23, 2009

10 yrs ago

It has been 10 years since Leila and I decided to get married. I don't say engaged, because it wasn't as formal as that yet. (Also, the word "engaged" makes me think of learning to drive, as in, "Engage the clutch, shift, disengage, and let out the gas. . . One more time")

The reports about Columbine reminded me. It isn't a date that we really have celebrated as an anniversary, but I remember riding in my ride to Boise's car and talking about how I had decided to marry Leila while the news tried to make sense out of the Columbine massacre.

It really was Anna's fault. That is how it all started.

Leila and I had been friends/study partners/in the same ward/dating since I had come back to BYU. I had been dating someone else early in the year and Leila and I weren't dating seriously. We studied genetics together, met for devotionals, ate sunday dinner together sometimes, and went country western dancing on Saturdays.

Right at the of the semester, Leila and I started to admit that we liked each other. I had an internship in Florida that summer and was going to be gone and I remember asking her near the Wilk one night if she would go on a date with me when I got back. She said maybe, we'll see.

Then, just as finals ended Anna got engaged. My best friend was planning on getting married August 13th and I had warned Anna not to get married that weekend because I wanted to go to Craig's wedding. She assured me she wouldn't, then changed her mind and set everything up for August 13th.

While I was walking Leila home that night, I joked that I should bring Leila home with me and tell my family that Anna can't have that day because we were secretly engaged to be married on that date already. Leila cocked her head, thought briefly, and said, "No, the 13th won't work for me."

Suddenly, it wasn't a joke. The funny thing is that it was such an easy decision to make. I agonize over everything, but not this. I said, when should we get married, and we were up most of the night discussing it. Not if, when.

Leila came over the next morning as I was packing and told me that she had talked to her family and the 20th would be a good time.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Someone actually read my paper and used my algorithm

The Genetics of Domestication of the Azuki Bean (Vigna angularis)

Akito Kaga1, Takehisa Isemura1, Norihiko Tomooka and Duncan A. Vaughan2

National Institute of Agrobiological Sciences Genebank, Tsukuba 305-8602, Ibaraki, Japan

2 Corresponding author: National Institute of Agrobiological Sciences Genebank, 2-1-2 Kannondai, Tsukuba 305-8602, Ibaraki, Japan.

Genetic differences between azuki bean (Vigna angularis var. angularis) and its presumed wild ancestor (V. angularis var. nipponensis) were resolved into QTL for traits associated with adaptation to their respective distinct habits. A genetic linkage map constructed using progenies from a cross between Japanese cultivated and wild azuki beans covers 92.8% of the standard azuki bean linkage map. A reciprocal translocation between cultivated and wild azuki bean parents was identified on the basis of the linkage map having a pseudolinkage group and clustering of seed productivity-related QTL with large effect near the presumed breakpoints. In total, 162 QTL were identified for 46 domestication-related traits. Domestication of azuki bean has involved a trade-off between seed number and seed size: fewer but longer pods and fewer but larger seeds on plants with shorter stature in cultivated azuki bean being at the expense of overall seed yield. Genes found related to germination and flowering time in cultivated azuki bean may confer a selective advantage to the hybrid derivatives under some ecological conditions and may explain why azuki bean has evolved as a crop complex in Japan.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Two's a herd

Little cow has learned how to jump fences or squeeze between the wires. The little pig started it by squeezing under so it could follow me and the kids around hoping for handouts. Then Little cow had to be with her friend and started getting out too. Mama cow is then very disturbed and moos frantically because she is alone. The problem is that I can't find a hole in the fence or a low spot. I have repaired and strengthened and tightened almost every part. We are going to change pastures today and see if that helps.

About the move, I have decided I must have been insane@#*&^! We are committed now on both ends. My job knows I am leaving and I have given notice. The new job knows we are coming and I have signed a stack of papers committing to it, but I just can't see how it is going to happen. We have a list a mile long of stuff to do around the house while the dishes pile up and we are behind on basic household chores.

I think part of me wants my life to be hard and difficult.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Moving to Iowa, swimming upstream

I am afraid that Leila scooped me. She has written about our new job already!

Monsanto's recruiters have talked to me since I started at Ag Alumni. I know one of them well enough that I was cc'd on his email to friends and family about the birth of his daughter last year. This year they called me about a discovery breeder position. The coolest thing about this job is it lets me try all the newest technology and be creative in how to breed corn. The downside is that we are going to have to move to Iowa.

View Larger Map

Not that Iowa is bad, but I love our place here. I love the pastures, the run down barns, the grass growing out of control, the old trees I need to cut down, the chicken coop in the corn crib, the cows in the side pasture. My grape vines. The little orchard we planted. The spot we were going to put the above ground swimming pool. The strawberry patch. Did I mention we have woodcock's that live in the pasture where the field tile drains? There are owls and hawks, raccoons, coyotes, skunks, possums,doves outside the livingroom window, rats, mink, moles, and us. It is a little wild and feels always just out of our control and most of the time I really love it. There are times when the cows are at the neighbors and the pig is rooting up the backyard that I have wanted to load the kids in the car and move to town though.

I didn't want to say anything here because this is such a public forum and we hadn't decided yet. (I really didn't want my boss coming in to my office and wanting to know why I put it on the web before telling him.) Now we have to get our house ready to sell and find somewhere to live in Iowa. Again we need to decide if we want to be city mice or country mice again. Well, OK small town Iowa mice or country mice.

In these uncertain economic times it feels strange to even think about changing jobs. The housing market is crashed here and the big employers in town are laying people off. I feel like we may be trying to swim against the tide. I hope we will be able to sell our place and get settled again. My boss chided me a little on being a bit of a wanderer and we hope to be really settled this time. (Unless there is a cool job in Oregon or Idaho or Washington).

Wish us luck

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

google april fools 2009

Google has a tradition of silliness at April Fools. This year they have announced an artificial intelligence computer named CADIE that has its own blog and assists with a mobile application to search your brain when needed. It also will answer your email for you.

They also have an australian rugby ball that is mated to a cell phone and GPS. I need one just because I am hard on telephones and i think a rugby ball would be able to withstand dropping it in the mud and on the rocks and the street in Argentina.

They had better watch out though. Sarah Conners is likely to come after them. She doesn't joke about AI's.