Hello, Connecticut!

I have arrived in Hartford. Nice airport. Now I have to find my way to my hotel, and then I have a few hours to explore before my talk. I hear there is a fascinating historical site, Mark Twain House, near my hotel–maybe I’ll take a tour.

Reminder: I’ll be in Hartford on Wednesday evening

It should be interesting — I’ll be at the home of that well-known heretic, Mark Twain, from 7 to 8:30 pm. Instead of my usual talk, we’re doing something a little different: a conversation with Jacques Lamarre, the director of the place, about all this godlessness popping up everywhere. If you’re going to go to the official event, you should make reservations now!

Also, there were many suggestions about what to do afterwards, and I’m making an executive decision: let’s meet at Vaughan’s Public House around 9pm. I’m a sucker for an Irish pub.

What to do in Hartford?

I’m going to be flying in to Hartford, Connecticut on 18 June to have a public conversation about The Happy Atheist. I know some people won’t be free at 7pm to join in, and I’ve been asked if there are any other public events planned while I’m there.

No, there isn’t. It’s a real blitz — I fly in on Wednesday morning, and fly out again early on Thursday. But I’m amenable! I’m staying at the Hilton Hartford on Trumbull Street, and if anyone knows of any good nearby places (or we could just meet at the Hilton bar), let me know and we’ll arrange something for post-talk relaxation. I imagine I’ll be free after 9pm, and I just have to be at the airport around 4am, so what the heck, the night is a dead loss anyway. Make it better.

Hangin’ with my homies

While I was in Seattle, I got my picture taken with all of my surviving siblings, my mother, one grand-nephew, and my mother’s dog.

Tomi, Mike, Jim in back; Alex, Mom, Caryn, me in the middle; Bebe front.

Tomi, Mike, Jim in back; Alex, Mom, Caryn, me in the middle; Bebe front.

This is mostly the same crew a few years back.

Caryn, Tomi in back; Jim, Mike, and me up front.

Caryn, Tomi in back; Jim, Mike, and me up front.

We haven’t changed a bit.

Disaster. Catastrophe. Chaos.

This is not good. I have a couple of students anxious to get to work (I’m anxious to get to work), and we’ve been prepping my lab zebrafish facility for an influx of new fish that we expected to arrive this week, and then I check into the Zebrafish International Resource Center, the source for all of our lines, and get this message.

Due to a fire, ZIRC services have been temporarily disrupted. We are unable to provide fish or accept submissions at this time. We sincerely apologize for this delay and hope that it does not seriously disrupt your activities. If you have an order pending at ZIRC, we will be in contact with you as soon as possible. Please contact us if you have any questions.

Yep, that’s us. Order pending. Expected to ship tomorrow. That’s not happening now. Most of my summer research money got spent on something essential that is indefinitely delayed.

Oh, well, I can’t blame ZIRC for a problem beyond their control, that I’m sure they’d rather hadn’t occurred either. I’m going to have to scavenge up some healthy, fecund experimental animals somehow. So my plan is to drive into Minneapolis today and visit a few quality aquarium stores (not Walmart) and scrape together a bunch of mongrel fish that will at least let me and my students do some preliminary practice. Which means my entire day is sort of demolished right now.

At least I can double up — I’m also taping some shows with Humanists of Minnesota this evening, so I’m making a long day of it.

It’s been a family day

I’m neglecting the blog because I’m hanging out with my mother and sisters, which means…getting all sentimental and going through the old photo albums. I’ve now got a whole series of photos illustrating the evolution of the beard. I thought you might be amused to see what I looked like in my teens going on twenties.


I used to be adorable before I got all grizzled and homely.