It wasn't the best of weeks nor the worst of weeks, but it had its combination of good and very depressing news. In other words it was like many other weeks except a bit more extreme in terms of the highs and lows. Our fall color has largely moved from the crowns of our sugar maples to the lawn, now a deep pile carpet of orange-gold leaves. The oaks remain reluctant to play along, but nothing new there. A few shrubs still display some nice color, but it won't last long. Having narrowly escaped frosty nights a month ago, some harder frosts are in the immediate offing, maybe tonight, but no matter what, the window box petunias, still looking marvelous here at the end of October have certainly set a new endurance record. However, without doubt it's time to bring in the bonsai figs, which while tropical seem to like a bit of cool weather. Lots of the tropicals brought in month ago have responded with flower buds. The real depressing news comes from the publishing side of scientific life, but nothing that cannot be fixed with the expenditure of a lot more time and energy. But if it were easy everyone would be doing it. On the other hand a connection was made with an Asian colleague doing some similar research and clearly we will gain ideas from an exhange of experiences. It's always nice to interact with other biologists who are interested in the same things you are. Midsemester evaluations for students was also a mixed bag covering the full range of achievement from excellent and impressive to "you want us to do what?" TPPs response is that doing anything would be better than what they were doing. So what is needed is a nice large old fashioned cocktail to relax and blog with. With Mrs. Phactor out of town, the F1 and friends will be stopping by for some funky carry-out from a new restaurant in town. Should be fun, and guess who will be buying? Fits the week perfectly.