My beloved dog, Rufus T. Firefly, whose photos graced this page several times last year, was mauled by a neighbor's dog and suffered a pair of horrible wounds on one of his rear legs. I got the news about the attack at the end of the first day of BIO, and my subsequent emotional wipeout really made it difficult for me to do anything more than the interviews I'd already scheduled for days 2 and 3.
So, between that and the fact that Sir Elton John's PR people didn't see fit to return my requests for an interview, I only got a secondhand description of the big keynote address. Specifically, I asked a journalist-pal how it went, and he said, "Eh. The usual: HIV/AIDS drugs need to be more effective, with faster approval times, and have lower prices."
"Really? From a guy who put out two mediocre albums in the last 13 years, and was last seen charging $250 a ticket for his Las Vegas show?"
Now, I swear none of this is meant to denigrate Elton John's body of work - I was absolutely raised on his music on AM radio in the 1970s - nor the importance of his HIV/AIDS charity work. I think it's fantastic that he's raised more than $150 million in funds for research, and I'm sure his devotion to that cause, as well as the march of time, has led to his own decreased R&D productivity, slower approval cycles, and high cost of goods.
But I was just amazed that, in a room full of biotech executives, Sir Elton went with the "better, faster, cheaper" routine. Good thing this wasn't an engineering conference, or some wiseacre would have shouted, "Pick any two!"
(Oh, and don't get me started on the parallels between putting out greatest hits collections and reformulating a drug shortly before it goes generic.)
As I mentioned, my greyhound Rufus T. Firefly Roth was mauled by a neighborhood Akita while I was away at the BIO show. It's still pretty early in the process, so I have no idea how well his wounds are going to heal, or if he'll make a full recovery. It's a pretty gory scene.
Obviously this is self-indulgent, but I figured that, since you readers have been so kind about putting up with my pictures of him in 2008, you'd be interested in this news about him. And I also figured you'd like a photo of him from better days, lounging in the sun.
As far as lessons learned from this experience, I don't really have any, except that I wish I hadn't given up on my dream of becoming a veterinarian when I was a 12 year old.
The only upshot I can see - in terms of my personal development - is that a younger me would have concluded one of two things:
a) never let anything out of your control for a minute or it'll get destroyed, or
b) never make an emotional commitment to anything, because you'll just end up getting hurt.
I'm glad to say I'm more of a grownup now. Get well soon, boy.