kareina: (stitched)
While I was too busy to check blogs due to travel to Known World Dance and Double Wars, they have published the call for papers for the European Textile Forum. While I haven't made it to one of these since moving to Sweden (darn finances getting in the way of fun stuff, anyway), the ones I attended while living in Italy were, without a doubt, the best conferences I have ever attended. An entire week of focusing on medieval textiles with delightful people who share the passion for the topic! I strongly encourage everyone I know who likes this sort of thing to attend.
kareina: (BSE garnet)
Today's pre-conference short-course was on Laser-Ablation Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS).

The first half of the day was done by the guy at UTAS/CODES who has been doing lots of publications on using LA-ICP-MS for geological questions, and has specialized in the kind of projects we want to do at LTU. He focused his talk on the Laser-ablation side of the machine, and pointed out that while there are many manufactures of ICP-MS machines out there, none of them are optimized for use with a Laser-ablation system--they are all designed first and foremost for analyzing solutions, and can be adapted to work with the laser system.

However, as geologists we prefer the advantages the laser-ablation system offers. The biggest of these is the fact that we can do in-situ work--instead of dissolving the entire sample (and then diluting it) before analyzing it, we can just zap a specific point of interest in our rock, and learn the composition of just that bit. This works because of the plasma generated when the laser hits the sample in the presence of a gas flow--the plasma is sent into the ICP-MS unit for analysis.

He talked about the interface between the Laser ablation unit and the ICP-MS unit, about what is actually happening during the ablation process, about how things change if one changes the spot size, or the power of the laser, or the duration of the laser pulse, and what sorts of things to think about when changing any of these settings.

He confirms that for multi-element analysis the instrument of choice is the quadrupole, but points out that the analysis looks at only one element at a time--it is sequential, making it possible that the composition of what is reaching the analyzer during the analysis of one element is not exactly the same as what arrives while it is doing the next.

He also reminds us that not everything that gets zapped goes into the plasma stream--some residue is deposited onto the sample (and clearly shows in photos when the magnification is appropriate), he also pointed out that for many minerals the melting point it low enough that there is also melting happening, and a glassy melted surface is left behind. In some cases the melt has a different composition than the mineral from which it melted--when analyzing pyrite (FeS2) one can get a melt left behind which is only FeS, so the proportion of Fe to S has changed--this may or may not effect the part of the sample that goes into the plasma to be analysed, and it is something to keep in mind.
kareina: (BSE garnet)
The conference in Denmark this weekend went well, though it seems perhaps a bit silly to spend so much time in transit for such a short time on site. Flew down Saturday afternoon, and home Sunday evening. Ah well, that is as much time as I was willing to spend away from home.

It was good to spend time with my cousins, who I haven't seen since mom and I visited them a bit more than a year and a half ago. When last I was there their young son (who is now 11 years old, and speaking much better English than last I saw him) proudly showed off the small treasure chest he had with rocks. Therefore this time I brought him the last of the pretty rocks I had collected on the trip to Cyprus two years ago (the rest went to my nieces in Seattle). He was very enthusiastic about receiving them, correctly identified the pyrite in about 1/10 of a second of looking at it (which is all one needs if one has ever seen it before), and then happily got out his collection, which had grown enough since my last visit that he now has three large plastic boxes with individual cubby holes for each rock, and a bit of paper towel in each to cushion them.

On the way home I finished the book I had brought with me, and I had plenty of time to change planes in Stockholm, so I stuck my nose into a bookstore, and walked out with four books in Swedish. The three books of the EarthSea trilogy, and a copy of Neil Gaiman's "Odd och frostjattarna". I had never read the latter before, and found it delightful. I managed to finish it before landing in Luleå, and it was so nice to read a book in a single day again (that used to be normal, but, other than books written for very little children, it hasn't happened since I switched to reading in Swedish). Granted, it is so short that it took only 2 hours, but still...

There was more, but it is way past my bedtime, and I get to play with building the earth cellar tomorrow...
kareina: (BSE garnet)
The conference in Denmark this weekend went well, though it seems perhaps a bit silly to spend so much time in transit for such a short time on site. Ah well, that is as much time as I was willing to spend away from home.

It was good to spend time with my cousins, who I haven't seen since mom and I visited them a bit more than a year and a half ago. When last I was there their young son (who is now 11 years old, and speaking much better English than last I saw him) proudly showed off the small treasure chest he had with rocks. Therefore this time I brought him the last of the pretty rocks I had collected on the trip to Cyprus two years ago (the rest went to my nieces in Seattle). He was very enthusiastic about receiving them, correctly identified the pyrite in about 1/10 of a second of looking at it (which is all one needs if one has ever seen it before), and then happily got out his collection, which had grown enough since my last visit that he now has three large plastic boxes with individual cubby holes for each rock, and a bit of paper towel in each to cushion them.

On the way home I finished the book I had brought with me, and I had plenty of time to change planes in Stockholm, so I stuck my nose into a bookstore, and walked out with four books in Swedish. The three books of the EarthSea trilogy, and a copy of Neil Gaiman's "Odd och frostjattarna". I had never read the latter before, and found it delightful. I managed to finish it before landing in Luleå, and it was so nice to read a book in a single day again (that used to be normal, but, other than books written for very little children, it hasn't happened since I switched to reading in Swedish). Granted, it is so short that it took only 2 hours, but still...

There was more, but it is way past my bedtime, and I get to play with building the earth cellar tomorrow...
kareina: (me)
Just like every other holiday in Sweden, Midsummer is celebrated on Midsummer Eve, not the day itself. However, in our case the day started the day before that. On Thursday one of our (exchange student) friends from choir, came over for dinner for one last visit before he returns to Germany next week, and then we took him with us to the park in town where the Luleå Hembygdsgille (folk music and dance group) runs a Midsummer celebration, where we helped to wrap leaf covered branches around the midsummer pole thingie for the next day (I try not to think of it as a cross, so as not to be uncomfortable participating in someone else's religious ceremony).

Friday we got up early enough to unload the huge lathe he dad is lending us from the giant trailer (which we hauled here with the tractor on Wednesday, after having loaded it onto the tractor on Tuesday--remind me to post photos of the loading at some point if you are interested in seeing it). It now sits in the car port, awaiting our creating a concrete platform in the shed with a window for it to live upon.

Then we went to the Gillestuget (the little old school building in Gammelstad where the Hembygdsgille does folk dancing, meetings, etc.), and [livejournal.com profile] lord_kjar loaded up a trailer of stuff to take to the park in town to set up the sound system for the stage there, and I practiced the day's dance program with the others. ([livejournal.com profile] lord_kjar used to do the dance performances on Midsummer too, but in recent years (and for as long as I have lived here), he runs the sound instead, saying it is a nice change from the dancing, and he thinks it is fun, too.)

After the trailer was loaded and the dancers were happy that we all know what we are doing, everyone sat down to a lunch of traditional Swedish food. As is usual when that is what is being served, there was not much on offer that I eat, since I don't care for fish and don't eat meat (other than the occasional wild game, which doesn't cause the same issues with my digestion as store-bought meat does), so all I took was a couple of tiny boiled potatoes, a couple of thin slices of cheese, a little bit of salad (lettuce, tomato, cucumber), and half a hard boiled egg. The tiny amount of food on my plate got comments from the others at our table, since they each took two to three times as many different items as I had taken. However, I rarely eat much at one sitting, since I prefer to spread my food intake more evenly across the day time hours, and I had food in by back pack for later, so it didn't worry me to have only a little. I did, of course, take plenty of strawberries for desert, with cream, when that was put out.

After lunch [livejournal.com profile] lord_kjar departed with the trailer for town to set things up there, and our group, in our folk costume finery, gathered at the entrance to the open air museum at Hängnan (not far from the Gillestuget) and paraded in to the stage, musicians playing. We dancers left our baskets and bags on the stage behind the musicians and then we went out into the dense crowds (literally thousands of people gather in this park for Midsummer; some years it has exceeded 10,000) to do the traditional raising of the leaf and flower covered pole, which includes carrying it in a loop around the area and then standing it up in a hole in the ground, followed by dancing around it.

I am told that everyone in Sweden who is old enough to dance at all has participated in these dances--all families make certain that their kids get a chance to do the dances around the midsummer pole, whether at a large celebration like this one, or at a private one at someone's summer cottage, and everyone knows the songs well enough to sing along. At our celebration the musicians play the traditional songs and a group of us join them on stage to sing the words into microphones, while the rest of us lead the dances around the pole (I, of course, was with the dancers). The dances all fall into the category of "mimed dances", which is to say there are hand motions. For one we play the part of bunnies, horses, and elephants, and use our hands to show the relative size of each creatures ears, tails (and trunk!), for another we mime playing musical instruments, and a third involves leaning one way and another ("hit" and "dit"). The sequence of dances takes a good 10 to 20 minutes all told, and is fun, and the part of the crowd closest to the pole, which contains lots and lots of children, and a few adults, all dance with us, and everyone sings.

Then we moved over to the stage for a folk dance performance, and as soon as that was done we went to town and did it all again at the park there, for the much more reasonably sized crowd there (probably still more than 1000 people, but the people density was better).

For the second performance, since there was more room to move in town, we added in a promenade dance involving as many people from the audience as we could persuade to join us, doing all of the traditional patterns of couples splitting up, coming back together, reversing the line to walk under the arch of joined hands of the couples following, splitting the line into two by alternating couples going either left or right around the dance area, and then joining back together in groups of four, and again in groups of eight (I have done this with the dance group in Australia, and at the end, when everyone is lined up in groups of eight across the room, they followed it with a pattern dance that needs dancers to be in groups of eight--a great way to start an evening of dance).

However, on this occasion, the groups of eight was the last set in the figure, and marked the end of the dancing for the day. Therefore, we all helped [livejournal.com profile] lord_kjar load all of the sound equipment and other items back into the trailer, and he and I took it back to the Gillestuget to unload. Then we returned to our house, where his parents (who had joined us at the park in town for the performance) joined us for coffee and to see what all we have accomplished in the way of home improvements since their last visit.

Then we were both tired, and [livejournal.com profile] lord_kjar wasn't feeling so good, so we went to bed early (21:30!), which meant that I was awake and doing my morning situps at 04:30 today. This is good, because it gives me plenty of time to accomplish a few things before I fly to Copenhagen later this morning, where I will participate as one of the panelists in the session "New concepts of mobility to foster career development and gender balance in Europe" at the Euroscience Open Forum. This session is sponsored by the Marie Curie Fellowship Association. They asked me to participate in it since I had done so much work for the booklet of role models for mobility of women scientists that we put together a coupld of years back.

I never really liked the idea of traveling to a city at midsummer, when I could be home in my nearly country setting working on the earth cellar, but they managed to talk me into participating anyway, since they cover the travel costs to get there. So I fly down today, and will arrive around 15:00. My cousins, who live in Denmark, will pick me up at the airport, we will drop my stuff at their place and relax a bit, then I will head to the conference venue for a meeting with the other panelists at 17:00, then back to my cousin's house to hang out with them for the evening. Tomorrow morning we have the conference session, and then in the evening I fly home again. I am looking forward to seeing what [livejournal.com profile] lord_kjar does with the tractor while I am gone, now that we finally have it here.
kareina: (stitched)
They have announced the dates for this years European Textile Forum. This year they are trying 3 to 9 November because a number of people had said that September had too many other activities of interest to people with interest in textiles and/or archaeology and/or historical reenactment. I really, really enjoyed the 2009 and 2010 Textile Forums, and am sad that I haven't managed to make it back to one since moving to Sweden. I strongly recommend this event to anyone who has any interest in historical textiles.
kareina: (house)
We have been wanting to organize the workshop in the basement of this house every since we moved in, which was a year ago in November. However, other things kept falling higher on the priority list. Until today. Today we finally built the last few shelves we needed and did some major re-arranging of stuff. It is still not perfect, but it is looking ever so much better, and it will be so much easier to do stuff in there. I particularly like the part where the long boards are no longer lying on the floor in the way, but instead are across the top of the shelves. What a nice welcome home after being out of town for most of this year.

Other nice reasons to be home: the weather! While it was warm here (above freezing) for the first half of the week, it has cooled down to a lovely -15 C, and there was a bit of fresh snow, so when I arrived last night the world was beautiful, and I am so happy to be home after so many days down south where there was no snow at all, but plenty of rain.

The geology conference was nice though, and both of my talks went well. I did the first talk (based on my PhD research) as the first speaker of the morning on the first morning of the conference. My second talk (based on the research I have been doing here at LTU) at 14:00 on Friday, so not the last talk, but well into the conference winding down. I am glad that one was so late in the conference, because that made it possible for me to do some major changes to my talk on Thursday--I replaced the sets of still photos of my geological models with movies that show the models by rotating them so that we can see them on all sides. Much spiffier!

Tomorrow our folk dance sessions start up again after the winter break, and I am looking forward to that, too.

I nearly forgot--another highlight of being home--I came home to a lovely hand-made card from [livejournal.com profile] aelfgyfu in my mail box. It was so pretty and fun (some fashionable Penguins wearing wigs from the 17th Century enjoying a tea party under the Aurora) that I have put it up on my wall, where I will be able to enjoy it year round. (yup, me, who never puts art on the walls insisted on it)
kareina: (stitched)
I am delighted to report that the weather has taken a major turn for the better. Instead of those dreadful days of +3 C we had for most of Christmas week, I am delighted to report that the weather has taken a major turn for the better. Instead of those dreadful days of +3 C we had for most of Christmas week, which meant huge amounts of snow melting, puddles forming, and roads and "walkways" which were really wet, icy, slippery, and dangerous, and trees looking their worst as dismal brown twigs, we now have wonderful -10 C temperatures, which means that the ice is (mostly) no longer slippery, the trees are once again covered in beautiful white crystals, and, for the first time in days, I was inspired to actually go for a real walk into the forest. The improvement in weather has also improved my mood and energy levels, which is good, since I have lots to do today and tomorrow during the day before we take the night train to Lund (in far, far southern Sweden).

The timing of the improvement in weather amuses me: when I first heard about the 31st Nordic Geological Winter Meeting to be held in Lund in January my reaction was “ick, who wants to go that far south in January?” At the time I was fully confident that up here we would have perfect winter weather, with plenty of snow and temperatures ranging from -20 to -5 C, and no warmer, since that is what one normally has that time of year. I also expected that as far south as Lund (nearly, but not quite as far south as one can go without leaving Sweden) there would probably not be any snow and the temperatures would likely range between -5 and +10 C, which makes rain possible, and, if there is one thing I never, ever want to see again, it is a winter rain. Therefore I didn’t want to attend the meeting, but I signed up for it anyway, because I had so much fun at the Metamorphic Geology Field Symposium I attended back in August, that I wanted to attend the metamorphic session at the winter meeting, too.

Fast forward to this month, which, while it has had days of nice weather, snow fall, and temperatures below freezing, has also been plagued with warm days of rain, snow melting, and slippery roads. It finally got bad enough that I was, frankly, relieved, that we were planning on heading south—if it is going to be so damned warm it is better to have it that little bit warmer, so that there is no snow to melt, and any rain actually gets absorbed into the ground and the wet goes away. Yes, my first choice is to actually have proper winter, but if that isn’t possible, perhaps it is a good idea to leave home for a week, and not be depressed watching my beloved snow melt.

But today the temperatures are lovely, and the weather widget on my phone thinks that the temperatures will hold below freezing for at least the next four or five days, and I can’t help but think that, perhaps, I would rather stay home—if the weather is good I would rather not be away and miss it. Proper winter weather has been too rare in my life the past decade or so, and I don’t want to miss a day if it, if it is happening, now that I once again live far enough north to experience it.

Oh well, I am certain I will enjoy the meeting, I am looking forward to day-tripping 12th Night, and it will be nice to see [livejournal.com profile] linda_linsefors’s parent’s again. Our train departs tomorrow at 20:00, and I will fly home again after the conference on the 10th. If I don’t post between now and then you will know that it is a busy trip.
kareina: (stitched)
Not that I was without internet, mind you--I have a smart phone, and a tablet (wi-fi only), but I have hardly touched a real computer since my last post, which was sometime before I departed for the conference, so if I am going to try to catch up on what has been happening, I had probably better start with that.

The conference was for the Society of Geology Applied to Mineral Deposits (SGA). My boss is the president of that organization. Therefore, when I suggested to him some time back that since the sessions directly or tangentially related to my current research project were limited enough that I could save the department money by attending only the first day (when the 3D model session in which I had a poster was meeting) he replied that I should attend the full conference.

However, the conference is in Uppsala, which is near enough to the "Stockholm" Arlanda airport that I was able to book my flight there on Monday morning and arrive on site before the opening ceremony (but I did miss the "ice-breaker" on Sunday evening).

I was glad that I did, because it meant that we could drive to Storeforsen on Sunday and have an adventure. We had a houseguest that weekend--one of my Finnish cousins, K, who lives in Helsinki, had been in southern Sweden to visit his parents (who moved to Sweden in the 60's and never left, but raised him tri-lingual, so he opted to move to Finland as an adult) and decided to do a train trip north, with a stop here to visit me, then bus to Happaranda, walk over the border to Finland, and train down to Oulu to visit cousins there before heading back down to southern Finland. When asked what he wanted to do he suggested "wildlife or nature", which made the choice of adventures easy. Storeforsen is Europe's largest rapids, and is a very pretty area. Highlights of the day include eating wild blueberries, scrambling around on rocks, and swimming in a lovely, quiet, peaceful side channel of the river that goes through a lovely rock canyon. That water was cold, so I am glad we found that wetsuit in a second hand store this spring--makes swimming ever so much more fun to not be cold and to keep the sun off my skin.

The conference itself was busy, and fun. I attended interesting sessions, visited with colleagues I already knew, met some interesting people, and actually spoke to a fair few about my research during the poster session. Diversions while I was there included meeting up with [livejournal.com profile] liadethornegge for lunch and museums on Tuesday (thanks! It was fun!), meeting up with [livejournal.com profile] lord_kjar's brother and his wife and kids for dinner and hanging out till after midnight on Wednesday, and meeting up with another SCA friend, C, for lunch on Thursday before heading to the airport for my flight home.

Got home Thursday night, and Friday I celebrated having a real kitchen and oven again by spending the morning baking--we did pasties, bread rolls (with almond meal in them, yum!), and an oven pancake with broccoli and carrot in it. Then we hopped in the car and drove to Skellefte, where we stayed with some SCA friends who also do "Lajv" (the Swedish word for what we call "LARP"). Since [livejournal.com profile] linda_linsefors talked [livejournal.com profile] lord_kjar and I into trying that this autumn we spent much of the evening learning about the world we are going to go pretend to be a part of.

On Saturday we drove further south to Umeå, where we stayed with friends of [livejournal.com profile] linda_linsefors and baked plain oven pancakes to eat with jam and cream, yum! I also taught them how to cook fresh artichoke and eat them with butter, lemon, pepper, and rosemary.

On Sunday we returned to Skellefte, where we visited another SCA friend, who has been storing some of [livejournal.com profile] linda_linsefors's stuff while she is in France for uni, and brought it back here so that she can use it at that Lajv this September.

Monday I mostly relaxed, but Tuesday and Wednesday I went into the office to work, since [livejournal.com profile] lord_kjar said yes to the "I know you are on holiday, but can you please come in and fix some stuff anyway?" question, and it was good to catch up on post-conference correspondence and turn in receipts and such. I also got my last set of thin sections, which is exciting, but I so don't have time to actually look at them, given how much else I need to be doing for work as soon as our vacation is over.

Last night I finally found the time to start setting the stones for our walkway into the ground, and I am very happy with how it is looking, and am looking forward to being done with all of it. Granted, the last half of it can't be done for a while--we don't want it in before we finish driving tractor over it, and that won't be done till we are done with the earth cellar and rest of the landscaping (changing the slope of the land so that water drains away to the far side of the sheds (we have already gotten rid of the huge puddles we used to get in the walkway to the house, but more needs to be done)

Today he went in to work "for a little bit this morning", and I am taking advantage of a sunny day to was the bed sheets, but it is nearly time to take the next load outside, so I will close this, and if he doesn't come home early enough to do earth cellar work with me (they made some progress on it while I was at the conference, but we haven't had a chance to touch it since) I will do more work on the walkway--I can still do a fair bit before I get to the part the tractor will need to be driving over.
kareina: (stitched)
There is a huge international geochemistry conference that I have heard of, but never attended. I got an email today telling me that this year it will be in Florence, Italy, in August. The location/month alone had me thinking "nope", but I clicked on the link anyway. In the list of workshops they are having was one metamorphic which sounded really interesting. But Italy in August? Sounds hot to me.

So I posted to the Metamorphic Army Facebook page:

"I just saw the announcement for the pre-Goldschmidt workshop "Applying Phase Equilibria Modelling to Rocks". It sounds like a very interesting session to attend, but, having only just barely survived the heat in Milan in July and August when I was a post-doc there, the thought of going even further south in Italy during the month of August is terrifying."

to which someone replied:

"Florence is not nearly as bad as Milan in summer – in fact Milan is probably the worst place in the country with the stagnant boiling heat of the Po plain. The Tuscany region is much nicer."

to which I replied:

"Can you define "not nearly as bad" as used in that sentence? I grew up in Alaska, and now live in Luleå Sweden, and I am better acclimated to northern winters than summer heat."

to which he replied:

"Do not go to Florence in August!"

Great, now that that point is cleared up, I can resume planning what I will be doing this summer...
kareina: (Default)
I just typed up my travel schedule for my boss, and thought I would paste an annotated version of it here:

11-15 March: attend a 3D modeling Workshop in Nancy, France

26-30 March: Back to the mine headquarters to collect more samples from the drill core. There might also be a visit to the mine itself during that time.

5-13 April: will be out of the office some of this time (exact dates/times to be determined) due to the visit of a friend from out of town.

16-20 April: Back to the mine headquarters to collect more samples from the drill core

7-14 May: Cyprus--a geology field trip with the students. This is my first teaching assignment with this job.

14-20 May: Double Wars: Medieval camping holiday southern Sweden. I will get off the plane from Cyprus at 13:20, go home, grab a shower, cook some food, grab any forgotten last things and then take the night train south. I intend to sleep at least 10 hours that trip. Will arrive at the event at mid day on Tuesday the 15th, but [livejournal.com profile] lord_kjar and the rest of his traveling companions will have been on site since Saturday sometime, as they will leave home without me that Friday (while I am still in Cyprus). I had been looking forward to the road trip, but one can't really say no when they give one one's first teaching assignment, even if their is a partial conflict with other fun stuff, and I will get the fun of the ride home.

Sometime in late May/early June [livejournal.com profile] aelfgyfu will visit, so I will probably take time off to do tourist stuff with her.

10-15 July: Local Medieval Week (camping event)

That is as much as is scheduled so far...
kareina: (Default)
They have started the serious planing for next year's European Textile forum! This year's topic is "Metal in Textile Crafts"--not just tools for metal work, nor just metal establishments on metal, but also things ranging from metal salts in dying or metal helping to preserve textile fragments in the archaeological record.

If any of you have been doing any research that in any way connects metal with textiles please email them and express your interest in giving a talk or presenting a poster. They also welcome papers on any other textile topics...

I hope I can manage to adjust my schedule to make it this year--the first two were so very much fun!
kareina: (Default)
In my over-crowded in-box is a note saying that the deadline to register for the European Textile Forum this year has been extended to 14 June. How I wish I could attend, the last two years were ever so much fun! This time it will be held at a history park in Austria, and will likely be just as much fun as previous years. Sadly, I cannot commit to attending anything this summer, since I do not know how long it will take to process my visa application (which I cannot even submit till I get to Australia on 1 July, which is after the deadline to register), and I can't return to Sweden till after the visa is approved (which could take many months, though I have met someone who got his approved in only one week). Therefore I encourage all of you to register for, and attend, the textile forum, and to then post photos and trip reports about it, so that I can at least enjoy reading about it...
kareina: (Default)
They had been looking into a UK location for this year's textile forum, but that doesn't appear to have worked out. She's just announced on her blog that this year it will be in Austria--it looks like it is perhaps an hour north of Vienna this time. She will be updating the textile forum web page with more details, soon.

I had ever so much fun at the last two--a week of living in a history park talking textile stuff with other enthusiast from all over, with skills ranging from weekend hobby to professional archeologist specializing in textiles. Well worth crossing an ocean for if you can spare the time. This year it will be 12 to 18 September.
kareina: (Default)
For those of you who have expressed envy that I've been able to attend the last two European Textile Forums: They have just announced that the next one will be in the UK in September. Details to be released later, but this might be enough notice for some of you to make arrangements to get there then.

I don't yet know upon which continent I will be living by then, nor what I will be doing for an income, but if it is at all possible I will be there. The last two were both amazing--fun, educational, inspiring, full of living history and serious science research, many hands-on lessons and deep in-theory discussions. Totally worth the fact that as a conference it actually charges like a conference (actually, for a conference it is very reasonably priced, it is only expensive by standards of an SCA event).
kareina: (Default)
In the past 24 days I've attended three conferences and one short course, ridden one plane and 20 trains to travel between them, toured a salt mine, and attended a traditional lamb dinner in a 14th Century house in the beautiful Schnals valley in the Alps. I'll try to make time to write it all up, later, but in the mean time I need to list everything that needs doing ASAP now that I'm home, in hopes that it helps...

* hang up the clothes that are being washed as I type (ok, so some of these are easy!)
* turn in capsules from the last the experiment to be set in epoxy
* get to the natural food store and purchase ingredients for more muesli and a variety of other foods that had run low before leaving town
* get to the huge supermarket that carries the cheese I like best and bring some home (both stores are a 30 minute walk away--in opposite directions!)
* finish unpacking everything from the last trip and put it away
* get the guest bedding and towels washed and ready for the next guest (Hi mom!)
* get the Mathmatica mass balance calculations working and compare the % of each phase in my experiments with the calculated % from Perple_X
* get two new capsules filled and ready for the next experiment ASAP
* discuss with my boss which conditions that experiment should run at--does he agree with my thinking on the topic?
* update all of my logs in the computer for yesterday and today from my notes
* update personal finances
* figure out finances for all of the uni-related conferences and turn in receipts for reimbursement
* look up all occurrences of Talc in real metapelites and/or metagreywackes and compile list of their compositions and associated phases and compare them with our data
* sand the various wooden objects that followed me home from Budapest
* finish up the various nalbinding projects that are nearly done and get photos
* get photos off of my camera from the trip and post them to Facebook
* Type up adventures for both my geo-blog and LJ and include some photos with each
* catch up on e-mail and livejournal (no hope of catching up on Facebook--Know too many people there--if you said anything there important in the past week or two that I should know about, please let me know
* apply to the teaching positions that have application deadlines this month and get ready to apply for the ones that have deadlines in October, November, and December
* back up computer files
* take down old poster and hang up one with most current results
* make table of predicted compositions of minerals from Perple_X to compare with our results
* mend black skirt
* book tickets to Cairo for Mom and I

I suspect there is more, but that is quite long enough for now. Time to actually try to accomplish one or two of them...
kareina: (Default)
In the past 24 days I've attended three conferences and one short course, ridden one plane and 20 trains to travel between them, toured a salt mine, and attended a traditional lamb dinner in a 14th Century house in the beautiful Schnals valley in the Alps. I'll try to make time to write it all up, later, but in the mean time I need to list everything that needs doing ASAP now that I'm home, in hopes that it helps...

* hang up the clothes that are being washed as I type (ok, so some of these are easy!)
* turn in capsules from the last the experiment to be set in epoxy
* get to the natural food store and purchase ingredients for more muesli and a variety of other foods that had run low before leaving town
* get to the huge supermarket that carries the cheese I like best and bring some home (both stores are a 30 minute walk away--in opposite directions!)
* finish unpacking everything from the last trip and put it away
* get the guest bedding and towels washed and ready for the next guest (Hi mom!)
* get the Mathmatica mass balance calculations working and compare the % of each phase in my experiments with the calculated % from Perple_X
* get two new capsules filled and ready for the next experiment ASAP
* discuss with my boss which conditions that experiment should run at--does he agree with my thinking on the topic?
* update all of my logs in the computer for yesterday and today from my notes
* update personal finances
* figure out finances for all of the uni-related conferences and turn in receipts for reimbursement
* look up all occurrences of Talc in real metapelites and/or metagreywackes and compile list of their compositions and associated phases and compare them with our data
* sand the various wooden objects that followed me home from Budapest
* finish up the various nalbinding projects that are nearly done and get photos
* get photos off of my camera from the trip and post them to Facebook
* Type up adventures for both my geo-blog and LJ and include some photos with each
* catch up on e-mail and livejournal (no hope of catching up on Facebook--Know too many people there--if you said anything there important in the past week or two that I should know about, please let me know
* apply to the teaching positions that have application deadlines this month and get ready to apply for the ones that have deadlines in October, November, and December
* back up computer files
* take down old poster and hang up one with most current results
* make table of predicted compositions of minerals from Perple_X to compare with our results
* mend black skirt
* book tickets to Cairo for Mom and I

I suspect there is more, but that is quite long enough for now. Time to actually try to accomplish one or two of them...
kareina: (me)
Can I remember everything that has happened? Should I? The hour is getting late, and I've got class in the morning...

Let me see. Friday morning I checked out of my room returned to the conference venue to check mail (no internet in the dorm rooms in Budapest) and retrieve my poster. My pile of luggage was rather larger thanks to the purchases at the Folk Festival I'd gone to on Sunday. Luckily it was all still manageable, though I confess that I took the tram to the train station rather than walking like I normally would. I managed to catch the 11:00 train, though when I saw the way in which the line for ticket purchases was moving I wasn't certain if I'd manage that. Fortunately, the people in front of me heard me talking to the man behind me, and when they heard that I was hoping to catch a train that was leaving soon, they let me go in front of them.

I arrived in my destination, Oberndorf bei Salzburg around 18:00, which gave me time to visit with my hosts (I love couch surfing!) and go for a walk with them to Germany and back. The town of Laufen, on the inside bend of an extreme curve of the Salzach River made a fortune in the middle ages due to the salt trade traveling up the river. Apparently that bend in the river was very rocky, and it was needful to hire locals to safely navigate the waters there. The Nobels, who had the monopoly on the salt trade, lived on the hill in the inside bend of the river, and their workers lived in Oberndorf on the outside bend. The church in Laufen was built in the 1300's. Just incase you didn't belive me about the tightness of the bend of the river, here is the same church from the other side. Yes, that is the same river. No, it isn't an island.

On Saturday I took the train to Hallein, to take the Salt Mine tour There are, apparently, more than one available in the Salzburg area, and this is the one my host recommended. I have no idea if this is the exact same mine I went to when I was 5--I asked mom before I went which one we went to, but all she remembered was "at Salzburg". Either way it was quite a trip for me. Triggered many memories. I love the mine! Loved the view from the entrance (and the fact that it was a nice, cool, rainy day--felt so good after the heat in Budapest), loved the slide--thought it worth the admission price all on its own. The guide said we could go down twice, so I did. Was hit with some pretty powerful emotions during the tour--last time I was there was with my dad, and I miss him. Felt very close to him there.

I took the bus from Hallein to the mine, which was good because I got to talking with some of the other tourists, which meant that I had someone to ride the slide with--they require that people go down in groups of two or three. Since they let us climb back up and go down the slide a second time it meant we could take turns who got to sit in front. The slide is quite different from my memory. This one is highly polished logs, so one gets some real speed going, and they are only just raised above the nice, smooth channels, so there isn't really anywhere you could fall. My childhood memories was of being in a long line of people to ride the slide, of it going quite slowly, and of my feet dangling down over open air. I also remember it as not being that tall--sure tall compared to me, but no where near as long as this. After touring the mine checked out the Celtic Village. Apparently the first salt miners in the area were Celts, and they've got a number of finds dating from then both in the reconstructed village and in the history museum in town (both of which are free entry with your salt mine ticket, so, of course, I did). Then I opted to walk down the hill, rather than taking the bus again. I'm glad I did--I found a foot-path so I didn't even have to deal with traffic.

On Sunday I took the train to Vienna, to the home of the delightful [livejournal.com profile] racaire1, where I'm staying for this week's short course. It is wonderful to see her again, and get to fondle her projects in progress, and admire those that she's completed. I'm really enjoying the course--full of much useful information. I did note today that I've fallen into my typical "school mode", which is to say, arrive for class early, settle into my chair in the front row, listen to the lecture while stitching, keep to myself on breaks, and head home as soon as we are done. I don't think I'd recognize most of my class mates if I met them on the street. This is a bad habit, I think, but one developed over many years of studying. I had such an active social life at the SCA I didn't need to make friends at any of the unis I attended. Now that my social life is all on line, it would probably be a good idea to befriend some of my colleagues. I wonder if I noticed this on time to do anything about it this course?

I was a bit more social on Monday--I joined some of my classmates for lunch--we went to an Asian restaurant across the street from the class building. However, this turned out to not be such a good idea, though it took hours to figure that out. Since restaurants give more food at one sitting than I think reasonable to eat at once I put half of my food (fried rice with veg, but, alas, not much veg) into a container for later and then ate what was left. We got back to class just after the lecture started (one point against the restaurant!). I had a hint of a headache as the class day ended, but didn't think much of it, and ate my left-overs on the trip back "home" for the night. As the evening progressed the headache got slowly worse. I rarely get headaches, and even more rarely eat restaurant food at all, let alone cheap Asian restaurant food.

Eventually it occurred to me to wonder if I were reacting to the food, or rather, to the additives that they probably used. I don't *know* for certain, but when I had that thought it felt *right*--I have certainly heard of people having headaches from eating things with MSG in it before. And [livejournal.com profile] racaire1 tells me that "glutamat" is used in such restaurants here, and that she knows several people who have problems when they eat it. I tried taking a hot shower, and it helped for as long as I was in it. After yoga I tried chanting while meditating, and it helped for as long as I did it. But when I tried laying down and there was nothing to distract me the headache proved to be too distracting to be able to sleep. After an hour or so I got up and turned the computer back on and got absorbed in learning how to use MATLAB for the homework from class, which permitted me to forget about the pain, and when I finally went back to bed at 02:30, I was doing better enough to drift off to sleep, and felt fine when I woke up this morning. But you can bet that I did *not* experiment by going back to a restaurant today, but instead picked up some fruit and a bread roll from a grocery store on the way in and ate the way I normally do.

(Note: [livejournal.com profile] racaire1 had offered me something for the pain, but I don't like to take drugs, so thought I'd try the shower and chanting first. By the time I realized that it hurt too much to sleep it was too late to go back upstairs and take her up on the offer, since she had to get up in the morning for a workshop--besides, if the problem was my body reacting to something I don't normally eat it would probably be bad to chase it with something else I don't normally ingest!)

Three days of class left, then I train back to Milan (must purchase that ticket!) where I will meet a couple of friends I met at last year's textile forum, who are coming over from the UK. They will stay with me on the weekend, and then we will head out to the textile forum, where I don't expect to have internet, which is a better excuse for not updating this regularly than "I've been busy".

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