Occam’s Birthday!

Happy First Birthday to Occam’s Typewriter!

And what a great first year it’s been! Having left Nature Network in July 2010, I was delighted when the December 9th, 2010 birth of our very own blogging network reunited me with my old NN friends Richard (who’s also responsible for setting up and running OT), Jenny, Stephen, Erika, Kristi, Steffi, Henry, Frank, and Austin (plus Heather and Ricardipus in the Irregulars!). I was also delighted to meet Athene, Sylvia, and Steve as they joined the family, and to meet the new commenters who’ve wandered over to my blog from other parts of the network over the last year. I’ve really enjoyed reading everyone’s posts over this first year, and I think between us we represent a very diverse set of experiences and voices. Plus it’s just so much nicer to be part of a group of old and new friends, in our own space, with no external constraints on our blogging or commenting…

The blogging highlight of the year actually happened offline, when on a trip home to the UK I finally got to meet some of the other OT bloggers (plus old friends Bob and Eva from the NN days too, of course!) I hope we’ll repeat this happy occasion many more times in the future, with the whole of the group included; I’ve yet to meet Kristi, Steffi, Austin, Heather, Ricardipus, Athene, Sylvia or Steve, which is just criminal, really.

It’s much harder to choose the online highlights; it’s all just been so much fun! I could mention all the useful advice and moral support my readers have provided, or the great political discussions we had around the time of the Canadian federal election back in May, the ongoing hilarity of the hockey pool, the discussions of PhD degree structure and thesis writing, the heated debates about cycling and other hot topics… but ultimately I think the post I most enjoyed writing was “How to impress your friendly local manuscript editor“, while my favourite comments sections grew out of the “Mal-entines Day” and “Geeky Grossness Gauntlet” posts. I know you’ll all have your own favourite posts and comments (GO AND VOTE!) from this blog and from the network as a whole, and I hope you’ll share them in the comments!

I can’t wait for Year Two!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, OCCAM!!! I raise a glass in your honour!


About Cath@VWXYNot?

"one of the sillier science bloggers [...] I thought I should give a warning to the more staid members of the community." - Bob O'Hara, December 2010
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33 Responses to Occam’s Birthday!

  1. It was great meeting you too, Cath. I almost didn’t recognize you without your kayak.

  2. Stephen says:

    What are Frank and Erika up to in that picture…?

  3. Heather says:

    Hear, hear, again! It’s been very good so far, and thank you so much for your contributions. I’m lurking more than I should but the luv is still there.

  4. Makita says:

    Happy birthday OT!

  5. Alyssa says:

    Happy birthday, Occam’s! Congratulations to the whole group for creating such a great community that isn’t bogged down by rules and regulations. It seems like it has staying power!

  6. ricardipus says:

    Cath – I’ll be visiting your fair city on the 26-27th of January, for the usual sorts of reasons. You going to be around?

  7. Cath@VWXYNot? says:

    Thanks all for your comments and contributions over the last year – long may they continue!

    Ricardipus, I should be around (although I’m going to San Diego on the 18th-20th and might decide to stay indefinitely, if the weather in Vancouver is gloomy enough!)

  8. rpg says:

    Ooh I’m literally on my way to San Diego now.

    • Cath@VWXYNot? says:

      Cool! I do like it there, although I couldn’t live there – too hot and dusty! Nice to visit for a couple of days twice a year, though.

      The January trip might be my final work trip down there. As such, I’m thinking of coming back on the train. Everyone else thinks I’m crazy (it takes 36 hours to get to Seattle, then an overnight stay, then another four hours), but I’m rather excited about the idea!

      • ricardipus says:

        Yeargh – 40 hours on a train?

        San Diego is a very nice place to go for, say, the Plant and Animal Genome conference which is also in January. 85 degrees F, maybe a little fluffy cloud in the sky. Perfect.

        Regarding January – that meeting’s been re-sched’d to February 10th. I imagine we’ll arrive on Thursday the 9th and will likely have to stay over until Saturday by the time it’s over. If so, maybe we could fit in dinner on Friday or something?

        • 40 hours is nothing! The first time I came to Vancouver was by train, non-stop from Toronto – 72 hours!

          I will tentatively put February 10th in my diary!

          • Grant says:

            Personally I like trains for occasionally long-distance travel, as you get to look at on everything as you move past. Admittedly the views aren’t always stunning, but you see odd quirky things & I hate flying over countries I could be travelling through. (All that traveller’s resent at ‘lost travelling’!)

            Someone I know from my student days did one of the first (somewhere in north Scotland) – Beijing runs. I believe you can now get down to Singapore. I’ve no idea how long that takes.

          • Cath@VWXYNot? says:

            Oh, wow – that might exceed even my own high tolerance for long train journeys! I do want to do the Trans-Siberian one day though – maybe with a few side-trips along the way!

      • chall says:

        The train ride will most likely be better than the Grayhound bus trip … 🙂 I’ve taken the train in the US once, and it was a lovely time – as long as I wasn’t feeling stressed that it mgiht take a little longer than anticipated. The was Chicago-New Orleans is single rail and the freight trains have right of way….. not sure if that is the case on the West coast though. And the view should be great!

        As for the grayhound bus expereince, I still think of it fondly. Although, I’m not sure I’d do it today again…. It was very much cheaper than flights though, and ‘freer’ in what you could bring with you in the bag.

        • Cath@VWXYNot? says:

          After my epic Toronto-Vancouver train trip in 1997, I took the Greyhound to Seattle (short trip), then to San Francisco (20 hours) and then LA (overnight – a longer trip than I’d expected). I’d wanted to take the train the whole way, but couldn’t afford it on my student budget – so this would be a great opportunity to do it at last! Work will even pay! (Although if the train ends up being more expensive than the flight back that everyone else takes, I’ll pay the difference. And obviously I’ll pay for the additional two nights in a hotel that I’d need – one in San Diego and one in Seattle).

        • ricardipus says:

          I used to take the bus home from University. It had the advantage of taking longer than the train but always being early. The train, by contrast, was on paper a shorter trip but always late.

          I’ll take the train from Toronto to Montreal (about 4.5 hours) if I happen to be starting from downtown. Since I live in the suburbs about 20 minutes from the airport, if I’m starting from home I’ll usually fly.

          @chall – I once flew from Chicago to NO, and it was excellent. Epic views over the midwest farmland, of the Mississippi, Lake Pontchartrain. Flew over Memphis and Jackson. It was right after big floods in the northern reaches of the Mississippi and I distinctly remember seeing flood waters surrounding buildlings in southern Illinois.

          • Cath@VWXYNot? says:

            Toronto-Montreal is a nice ride, but the scenery obviously pales into insignificance beside the route through the Rockies… just stunning!

  9. Stephen says:

    Happy birthday to you too Cath – your mal-entines day post is one of my all-time favourites!

  10. chall says:

    Happy Bday!! It’s been a great year here – hasn’t it?! Cheers for many more to come!!!

  11. bean-mom says:

    Congrats on your first year with OT, Cath, and a congrats and happy birthday to the whole OT team!

  12. steffi suhr says:

    Criminal that we haven’t met in person yet: yes, abso-bloody-lutely! We do have to manage that not too far in the future, Cath.

  13. Cath@VWXYNot? says:

    Thanks again all! I’m very proud of what we’ve all put together this year, and here’s to many more!

  14. Massimo says:

    Happy Blogiversary ! My fourth blogiversary is coming up too (3rd on WordPress), but blogging has been difficult for me over the past twelve months, for lack of time and energy. You, on the other hand, are still going strong — good for you !

  15. Cath@VWXYNot? says:

    The trick is to pick quantity over quality. You should try it – either that or post more washing machine anecdotes. Much easier and faster than long and serious posts about science 🙂

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