kareina: (BSE garnet)
Remember that job I applied for? I got the offer today, I will be starting 1 October as a half-time research engineer for the new Laser ICP MS we are getting.
kareina: (BSE garnet)
I made it into the office this morning, where I managed to work my way through the first sub-section of the suggested edits to the results section of the paper. Hopefully I will go back tomorrow (ok, later today if one wishes to get technical about it) and do the next part. However, reviewer #2 (the one who was enthusiastic about offering edits to the text) is the guy that wrote the papers that taught me the techniques used to obtain the results for that section, so, although I haven't read ahead to see what he has to say about that section, I am expecting that he will have found quite a bit to say. (Does anyone else work their way through suggestions for edits to their papers on the first pass through like I do, or do you all read all of the comments first, and then go back and decide which ones to use?)

I don't recall if I have mentioned it, but I have been drying black currants for later use in my breakfast muesli, and the batch is finally done--1.5 days in the dehydrator is what it takes to get all of them to not feel moist. However, it is possible to remove some of them much sooner than that (and I do--I don't see any point in leaving them sit there once they have shriveled small enough that they can be forced through the holes in the drying rack). The large jar I am filling with dried currants is now nearly half full, so if I pick a few more to dry in the next batch it should fill the jar.

Today's progress on the stuff for Nordanil was focused on that shield I mentioned yesterday--I added a metal band around the rim, which should help hold it together, and drilled in some holes and added plugs to help hold the reinforcing ribs to the back side of the shield. Then we bought some white paint and I started painting the knotwork cat onto the shield. I had time for two coats of the white, and I will decide tomorrow if I need a third, or if I can get away with going to the blue lines for the detail work.

Then I helped [livejournal.com profile] lord_kjar fix that broken plow, again. This is the third time, and he is getting much better at it. This is the first time that I have helped, and he really likes the part where I hold the chunk of metal he is straightening up against the part of the plow to which it attaches so that he can step back far enough away to get a good look and see if he is happy with the angle yet. I can see how it would be difficult to hold it in place oneself, given that the metal is still hot and must be held with the long tongs.

This evening, after he went to bed (he has to drive to Kiruna tomorrow for work, which means eight hours of driving time plus doing the IT work while he is there, so he actually went to bed by 23:00) I happened to look at the Luleå annonsblad (normally it goes straight to recycling), and noticed that one of the jobs advertized is for an educator position at Teknikens Hus. I had lots of fun spending an afternoon volunteering at that science museum for the ForskarFredag (researcher's Friday) they did a couple of years ago, when I was still new to Sweden.

Therefore I wrote an email to the guy named in the ad under "more information", and asked him if he welcomes applications from people from out of the country. I mentioned that I have been doing research at the Uni, which means that I haven't had as much opportunity to speak Swedish as I should have had after 3.5 years in Sweden. I also let him know that I am interested in the position because I had so much fun at that ForskarFredag, but on that occasion, I spoke mostly English to the high school students, and I expect that with younger children I would need to speak mostly Swedish, and I concluded that bit saying that my Swedish is much better now, so perhaps I would be fine. Then I asked how one applies (the ad wasn't clear on that point), and if he would accept the CV in English. At least, I hope that is what I said--I wrote the letter in Swedish, and while what I typed gives me back more or less what I was expecting when I put it into GoogleTranslate, one can't always trust that, and, as mentioned above, my handy native speaker was already asleep. I have already had an auto reply saying that he is on vacation till 18 Aug (which is the application deadline), but that he would be replying to job inquires nonetheless.

If he does reply that will make him more efficient than my colleagues across the hall, who foolishly advertized that Laser ICPMS job I applied for with an application deadline only days before their summer holiday began, which is why they sent an email to all of us applicants saying that they wouldn't actually get around to doing interviews till August of September.

Now it is really late, so I guess it is time to do yoga and get to bed myself (note: I did, in fact, go out for a short walk before yoga last night after posting here that I planned to do so. Yay me! So far I have gotten out for a walk or a bike ride every day this month--way better than the four times I did that last month.)
kareina: (me)
As I type this it is New Year's Eve—there are occasional sounds from outside of people's fireworks being shot off, and I am contentedly curled up at home with my sweetie, who is at the next computer, within easy reach.

One year ago today I was visiting a friend in Geneva, on my way to Sweden from Italy. One year ago tomorrow I landed in Stockholm, took a train to Tierp to the home of some friends I had first met in Alaska the winter before, and visited with them while [livejournal.com profile] lord_kjar drove south to meet me there for the start of our first "date"—a 10 day road-trip which included a trip to Gotland to introduce him to my Queen, visits to the homes of three out of four of his siblings (and the chance to meet his parents, too, when they also visited one on them whilst we were there), attendance at a play put on in southern Sweden by one of his friends who lives up here in the north, and attendance at the SCA 12th night event, where the above mentioned Queen stepped down and became a countess. Then we did the long drive north to Luleå, and I moved in with him. At that point I had only one suitcase full of stuff with me, and the rest was in storage with a friend in Scotland.

The rest of January )

February )

March ).

Slight pause in typing, while we went to enjoy watching fireworks out our windows. The widow at the front of the apartment gives a good view of the big display being put on at the University, while the window at the back of the apartment gives a nice view of the (much further away) fireworks display happening somewhere over near the city center.

April )


May )

June )

July )

August )

September )

October )

November )

December )

One year after moving to Sweden for love, and I am still head over heels in love. This is the most togetherness relationship I have ever had—we work together on so many projects, we enjoy so many of the same activities. We "click" in ways that make I, who have always been lucky in love and always led a charmed life, go "wow, this is wonderful". I have a good job, a happy relationship, enjoy good health, and have an active social life in addition to having a loving partner. Life is truly wonderful.

I wish all of my friends a Happy New Year, and hope that 2012 brings you all much joy.
kareina: (Default)
There is still official paperwork to be dealt with, but as of 1 November I will be a Researcher at the Luleå University of Technology (which is a 10 minute walk from my home). It will be a two-year contract, full time position, and has the option for an additional two years thereafter if all goes well. The focus of the position will be research, but there is a possibility of doing some teaching as well.

I will be doing 3 and 4D geochemical modeling of ore deposits. Since my background doesn't really include ore deposits (other than hearing many interesting talks on the subject while at the University of Tasmania, since so many folk there specialize in that field), I have borrowed a textbook on the subject, and a recent PhD thesis that did 2D cross sections of a local ore deposit--taking that sort of research into the third dimension and modeling the actual volumes involved of various components during the formation of the mineral deposits is the goal for this project. The ore deposits in this area are contained in metamorphic rocks (which is what my background is in), so I am hoping that there will be a reasonable amount of overlap between the things I already know and what I need to know for this project.

I started typing the above early this afternoon, but got interrupted, and interrupted again each time I went back to it till now. However, I am still just as bouncy and delighted at the news as I was when I got it.

I had fun at choir tonight, but I note that it is much harder for me to learn songs where my line is "dum, dum, dum..." than it is to learn one with actual words. In fact, I think no words vs Swedish words is a more difficult jump than Swedish words vs English words.

No progress today on that paper I am writing, but I did manage to book a B&B in Tromsø for next week when I am there for that workshop.
kareina: (me)
I am very, very content with life these days. This weekend included a Swedish folk singing workshop on Saturday. We gathered at 10:00 at the old one-room school house in Gammelstaden ("old town/place) where we do our weekly dancing and folk music) and started the morning with stretching and warming up before singing. The others had been to prior workshops, so the morning was spent just singing, but the songs were easy enough for me to join in on first hearing. Oh, how I love group singing, particularly when everyone is singing the same words and the same tune at the same time. For me there is no greater magic than the sharing that arises when we are all together on the same thing like that. Sure, I do enjoy the choir we sing with on Mondays, it is kind of fun to play the games with sound that happen when different voices sing different notes or words or timing or some combination at once, but for me it is simply not as much fun as is the togetherness of everyone in the group singing the same words at the same time with (more or less) the same tune.

We took a break for lunch and then went for a walk, it being a lovely warm day (which is to say that after a couple of weeks of temps between -20 and -30 C it had warmed up to only just below freezing. The little village consists mostly of a bunch of densely packed little cottages around a very old church. Apparently at one time farmers would travel 50 km to come to church, and the journey on foot (or even using the foot power of an animal) was long enough that they'd make it a two day trip, staying the night in town in one of the tiny cottages before returning home the next day. The village is now a world heritage site, and they have brought in other old buildings from other parts of northern Sweden so that tourists can see a variety of styles on one stop. Apparently the SCA does a medieval week here in the summers.

After lunch the workshop continued with songs that were new to most of us, so we spent more time learning them, and it was still much fun. The workshop ended at 16:00 and [livejournal.com profile] archinonlive and I returned home to a relaxing evening of enjoying one another's company, accomplishing useful things around the house, and practice reading aloud to him from Swedish children's books.

Sunday morning was SCA fighter training followed by the SCA annual meeting to decide what is on this year. Everyone present liked the idea of dance practice, so with luck we will start one up soon. The meeting was held in Swedish, so I mostly worked on my sewing and enjoyed it whenever someone used a word I know. There are rather a lot of them these days, but for the most part they aren't the important words in the sentences. After the meeting we visited with folk for a while, and it turns out that, as usual for my experiences in Sweden thus far, everyone is so fluent in English that I don't need to slow down when I speak to them. It would be very easy to go through life here without learning the language. However, "learn another language" has been on my to-do list for many years, and I think that this time I am actually going to be able to cross that one off, thought it will take a while...

Sunday afternoon was the normal Folk music session. Since I don't play an instrument (I still want to learn hammer dulcimer, but need to acquire a new one, first) I spend the time enjoying their music and working on sewing projects. After many months of only sporadic progress I finally have the underdress I started when I was in Vienna for a conference back in May far enough along (all skirt gores attached) that I am able to look at the fitting of the body. I have been wanting to give a try to underdresses that are tight enough to be self-supporting without a bra, and it looks like this one will work. I spent most of the music session alternating between stitching a bit and heading to the other room to try it on, with safety pins inserted as needed to test fitting. Alas, it will take at least another couple of hours of thinking sewing time to get it done, I think.

Normally folk music is followed by folk dance class, but this week it was canceled. It turned out to be a good thing, since I wound up having something else I needed to do: In between the morning SCA stuff and the afternoon music/sewing stuff I did a google search for "geology Luleå", thinking to learn something of the local rock types. Instead I found a job ad for someone to teach geology at the local school, which is a 10 minute walk from home. The application deadline was listed on the page as "tomorrow", so as soon as we got home from music I settled into the computer and put together an application. More details available on my geology blog if you are interested. I finally finished it and got it printed then did my yoga and went to bed at 02:00. This morning I turned in the application and accomplished a couple of loads of laundry.

I have been meaning to mention the civilized way the laundry room works here. The use of the machines is free (or rather paid for as part of rent), and time is reserved in 4 hour blocks. Each apartment has a key with a special lock thingie which fits into either the laundry room door, or a calender on the way showing the available times. If you want to do laundry at a specific day/time you insert your lock into the appropriate slot on the calender and no one else will use it then. When it is your turn you start your washing, then use your lock to lock the door and no one messes with your clothes in progress. Very convenient--one still has to walk over there to see if there is a free machine at the moment or to reserve one for later, but one can clearly tell when later it will be free if now isn't a good time. Not as nice as having ones own washer and dryer, but way, way better than the shared coin-op laundry room I had to use when in was in Mountainview California.
kareina: (BSE garnet)
Today I slept in several short naps--the first part of the day the waking bits between naps alternated between keeping my personal in-box empty/reading LJ/FB/blogs, and accomplishing useful tasks (like cooking). I didn't start actually doing work related stuff till late in the day. Despite that I've still put in more than five full hours of work, wherein I made good progress on a major job application, submitted a minor one, and actually started filling in some writing to the outline for the paper that will summarize my current research. It is still mostly outline, but the couple of paragraphs of text I added bring the total to 829 words. It is a start.

Alas, my exercise for the week is largely non-existent. I must make more time for that.
kareina: (me)
Perhaps I should get back into doing daily progress reports--the last few days I've not been doing posts, and progress has been slow. One might argue that it is a weekend and that one isn't meant to make progress on work on the weekends, but I am aware that I will be doing sightseeing with [livejournal.com profile] blamebrampton on Tuesday, therefore I *ought* to be working on the weekend.

What have I done with the past couple of days? Yesterday's highlight was skating out to Parco Lambro. One of my complaints about living in a City is the fact that I can walk for 30 minutes in any direction, and still be in the city, with no signs that it might be thinning any time soon. However, when I put on my rollerblades I can reach that park in only 26 minutes, and the park is large enough that it takes another 10 minutes to skate to the far side of it. As a result I got a full hour and a bit of exercise, and got to spend a bit of time surrounded by more than a single row of trees between me and the tall buildings. Such a pity that one must then return through the city after the adventure! I opted not to climb the hill in the park (the only one I've seen *anywhere* in Milan!) this time because I failed to bring any other shoes (going up it wearing skates is possible, I've done it, but it isn't pleasant), and I knew from looking out my window at home that the Alps wouldn't be visible from it anyway--the northern horizon is, as usual, a featureless grey wall. While I was skating my washing machine was home being useful, and as a result I got to sleep in fresh, clean sheets. Living without a dryer means that luxury doesn't happen as often as I would like, as I have to have enough time in the morning to run the washer and hang the sheets up early enough in the day for them to be dry enough to put back on the bed in the evening. Sure, I *could* just go buy more sheets, but I'd just as soon not acquire more things that aren't a requirement before I move--I've enough to ship as it is.

Today I applied for yet another job. This one in a location I might not have considered, but I happened to recognize the name of the person who posted the ad on the geo-metamorphic e-mail list, and that prompted me to read the ad to discover that the wish list of things the new hire might study is a near-perfect match for the things I enjoy studying. So off the application went. I currently have nine applications out there being considered and another 15 things to apply for between now and mid January (+ another 14 I didn't get, half of which sent me "I'm sorry to inform you" letters, the other half just warned that "if you haven't heard back within six weeks you may assume you aren't on the short list"). Therefore I remain hopeful that I will find something. I've become accustomed to having an income, and while it would suit me just fine to take a few months off after this job ends in December, I only want a vacation, not to be unemployed.

For most of my life I've done hand-projects when in the company of others--stitching during lectures, at meetings, at parties, while visiting with friends. There are folk who say they have never seen me without a project in my hands. However, at home I have rarely worked on projects, unless I have company. At home I tend to read, do things on the computer, or do housework. However, this past week or so that has changed. For some reason, while I've found myself uninspired to do as much uni work as I should, I have been inspired to stitch. I am making good progress at my two-handed nålbinding project--making a pair of leg warmers which are mirror images of each other. One held on the right thumb (and worked with the needle held in the left hand), the other held on the left thumb (and worked with the needle held in the right).

It is amazing how easy it is to keep them at the same point of progress by working the stitch with one hand, anchoring the needle behind the thread around the thumb, and then switching to the other hand. It is also interesting seeing the difference in the sheen of the resultant fabric based on the interactions of the angles of the knots with the direction of twist on the threads. The yarn I am working is S-plyed, and the threads angle such that the stitching done with the right-hand looks very smooth, while that done with the left looks more textured. I will try to remember to take the camera home and get photos. Alas, I can't take photos of them on my thumbs, since that would leave me no hands free to hold & operate the camera. Oddly, my enthusiasm for doing this project on my own, without company, around has spread to other things as well, and I am once again making progress on my new underdress, too. However, I think when sightseeing on Tuesday I won't bring either of those projects along, but instead take the other nålbinding project in progress, as one-handed is likely to be a better project for travelling, and the underdress is more weight than I want to be carrying while doing adventures.
kareina: (me)
I am certainly on night shift these days. This is probably good as I am doing most of my non-work stuff (including reading e-mail, boking travel, etc.) in the mornings, and don't settle down to actual work until I've been up for a number of hours. As a result it is needful to keep working late into the night, to get a reasonable number of hours of work done each day. This, of course, results in my sleeping in (because plenty of sleep is a goodness), which, in turn, means that it takes until the "day" is well advanced before I actually start working. Funny how completely my schedule turns from one extreme to the other, in such a short time, too--I spent the first half of October fully on day-shift, getting up by 06:30 every morning, and often noticeably earlier than that. Have I mentioned recently that I love having a flexible schedule? It is nice to be able to switch back and forth like this, because some days I do have more energy first thing in the morning, and others I really do have more energy late into the night.

So, booking travel? Yup. I now have three more adventures planned between now and this job ending with the end of the year. I'll be meeting [livejournal.com profile] blamebrampton for some Italian sight-seeing next week. The last weekend of November I will fly to Stockholm for their St. Cecila music and dance event, and the first weekend in December I will fly to the UK for the Fintheath Yule Ball. Yes, that is correct, two SCA events, two weekends in a row. At first I thought I'd only get to do the one in Stockholm, because the one in the UK cost more than twice as much for tickets. But then I noticed that if I fly Thursday night instead of Friday during the day I could get tickets which were only €10 more than I paid for the Stockholm trip. Yah, €55 to €65 is still a bit much for a weekend, but I love dancing, I haven't made it to very many events this year, and I'm worth it.

Since I didn't land the job for which I interviewed a couple of weeks ago it is now looking likely that I will have a few months off between this job ending and whatever is next starting (I've got lots of things to apply for in the next few weeks, but they are all August start, not January). The prospect of a summer vacation is very appealing, and I'm looking forward to it. I just hope that my savings is enough to see me through the vacation and still move to wherever I wind up going. At this point the tentative plan is to rent a van and move my stuff from Italy to Edinburgh to [livejournal.com profile] clovis_t's house sometime in late December. I will then use his place as a home base and do some travel (details to be determined later!) while I keep applying for jobs, and try to get thigns written up for publication (yes, the PhD research should have been published long since, it hasn't been, but I'm doing better than one of my FB friends, who hasn't published 9 years after competing his PhD). If I'm not yet done with stuff for this job I can always return here after getting the stuff to Scotland and meet with my boss to finish up.

In other news: I have determined that it is possible to do nålbinding with both hands at once. I got the idea from a friend who knits two socks at the same time, doing a stitch on one and then on the other (I think). She says that this way she doesn't have to count or remember what she did to ensure that they are both the same. Since I learned the Finnish stitch from a left-handed person I first learned to do it left-handed. But then I needed to teach some right-handed friends who weren't able to follow what I was doing. Therefore I worked out how to do it in my other hand, and can work with either hand, now. So the other day I tried, and it turns out that it is possible to have one thread on one hand, and the other on the other. Take a stitch on one side, pull it through, and then start the next stitch, leaving the needle between the thread and the thumb to hold it in progress. Then grab the other needle, take that stitch, pull it through, and start the next, leaving the needle between the thread and thumb to hold it in place. Return to the first needle. Repeat. It helps if the two needles look very different, so you remember which one is for the left hand, and which for the right.

However, so far I've only done a little bit with this technique. I don't know how it will go when there is a better part of a sock hanging off of it. I'll try to remember to report back once I know.

I've also done a bit of sewing this week! I haven't touched the underdress in progress in ages. I generally prefer to stitch when I have company, and for months now I've been doing nålbinding instead of sewing when I have company. But with some upcoming SCA events I decided to look and see if there was any hope of finishing the underdress any time soon. It turns out that when last I left it I'd completed: finishing the neck line, attaching the sleeves to the body, and assembling and hemming all of the sets of gores I'd cut. So yesterday I hemmed the body piece and cut the slits in the body rectangle to take the gores, and started sewing the first one in. This means it needs only those four skirt gores attached, two small square under arm gores cut and attached, and the sides sewn shut to make it usable. I'd also like to cut and assemble two more sets of skirt gores and set them in, but it isn't needed, it would just make for a fuller skirt.

Work progress has alternated between plugging along and hitting interesting snags. Today's snag was odd enough that I've sent an e-mail to an international mailing list for users of this particular geology modelling program in search of help. No idea if anyone out there has tried this technique, or if they will be able to offer a suggestion to make it work, but it is worth a try.

Oh, today was Tuesday, wasn't it. On Sunday I chatted (IM) with a local friend I've seen all of three times since moving here and she suggested we meet up on Tuesday. I completely failed to contact her again today to make it actually happen (to be fair, she didn't contact me, either--no wonder we never actually see one another--this is what happened all of the other times, too). No wonder I have no local social life, when I can't remember that I'm supposed to contact people to do things with them. Somehow it was easy when I lived places with a local SCA--just show up to dance practice, fighter practice, or other meetings, events, or activities, and I'd see people! Often that would lead to other plans to do other fun things with people. Yes, yes, I can remember what it was like to have local friends I saw. My social life is rich, and rewarding, on line. Not so much so in person this year...
kareina: (me)
I have been enjoying being home--while I have lots and lots on my to-do list, I have no specific time-commitments till I meet mom at the airport next weekend. Granted, Friday and Saturday this has meant a fair bit of time relaxing over cooking good food and reading fiction. I've also played a bit with trying to recreate the turning diagram for the tablet weaving project I started in the class at the Textile forum. The plastic folder with the patterns from that class didn't make it home with me. I had it out of my luggage on Sunday before we went to the train station while I was doing a bit more weaving, so I may have failed to put it back in the bag when I packed up the weaving. I did send an email to the park, but haven't gotten a reply yet.

I had been planning on playing with creating a new version of the pattern in CorelDraw anyway. The format that our teacher uses shows the starting position at the bottom, with the colours and direction of threading of all four holes in each card, then on the top part ovals showing the turning direction and what colour thread will be woven on top next. This was helpful, but when I ran into a problem and needed to try and sort it out and and to get the teacher to help me it occurred to me that the pattern could be improved by adding one more piece of information--the letter of the hole which is on top and closest to the weaver. Then, when trying to get things back to where they should be when problems happen it would be *much* faster.

In the absence of the pattern, but with the short segment that has already been woven I decided to just go for it. I now have something close to correct, but instead of just showing the ovals, I've also put letters on the diagram, and have found that it also makes weaving much easier. I no longer need a marker to show where I am, I can just remember the letter(s) that are up and look to see what comes next. However, I don't think I've got the pattern set up quite right. I am positive that there should be one row in there were all the cards turn forward, but the version I just did doesn't have that. It will be interesting to compare my version with hers when I get it.

I've been having problems with the program Mathmatica--it worked beautifully last week creating graphs from my data on request. This week I get error messages. My boss says that he might be able to help me with it next week. So instead of working on things I want to do with that program (which are essential to have done before we do any papers), I've been focusing on preparing job applications (which won't help with papers for this job, but do have deadlines looming, and I've gotten used to the part about having an income). Perhaps tomorrow I'll work on tasks towards getting things published. Yes, tomorrow (ok, today, but I haven't slept yet) is Sunday. But it is my last weekend I can hope to work before mom arrives. She and I will be doing adventures.

We've got our tickets to Finland for the weekend of 9 October, where we will meet relatives descended from her grandfather's siblings, and see where her grandparents came from. We've also considered a trip to Egypt to visit a cousin of mine who is working there.
kareina: (me)
I have been enjoying being home--while I have lots and lots on my to-do list, I have no specific time-commitments till I meet mom at the airport next weekend. Granted, Friday and Saturday this has meant a fair bit of time relaxing over cooking good food and reading fiction. I've also played a bit with trying to recreate the turning diagram for the tablet weaving project I started in the class at the Textile forum. The plastic folder with the patterns from that class didn't make it home with me. I had it out of my luggage on Sunday before we went to the train station while I was doing a bit more weaving, so I may have failed to put it back in the bag when I packed up the weaving. I did send an email to the park, but haven't gotten a reply yet.

I had been planning on playing with creating a new version of the pattern in CorelDraw anyway. The format that our teacher uses shows the starting position at the bottom, with the colours and direction of threading of all four holes in each card, then on the top part ovals showing the turning direction and what colour thread will be woven on top next. This was helpful, but when I ran into a problem and needed to try and sort it out and and to get the teacher to help me it occurred to me that the pattern could be improved by adding one more piece of information--the letter of the hole which is on top and closest to the weaver. Then, when trying to get things back to where they should be when problems happen it would be *much* faster.

In the absence of the pattern, but with the short segment that has already been woven I decided to just go for it. I now have something close to correct, but instead of just showing the ovals, I've also put letters on the diagram, and have found that it also makes weaving much easier. I no longer need a marker to show where I am, I can just remember the letter(s) that are up and look to see what comes next. However, I don't think I've got the pattern set up quite right. I am positive that there should be one row in there were all the cards turn forward, but the version I just did doesn't have that. It will be interesting to compare my version with hers when I get it.

I've been having problems with the program Mathmatica--it worked beautifully last week creating graphs from my data on request. This week I get error messages. My boss says that he might be able to help me with it next week. So instead of working on things I want to do with that program (which are essential to have done before we do any papers), I've been focusing on preparing job applications (which won't help with papers for this job, but do have deadlines looming, and I've gotten used to the part about having an income). Perhaps tomorrow I'll work on tasks towards getting things published. Yes, tomorrow (ok, today, but I haven't slept yet) is Sunday. But it is my last weekend I can hope to work before mom arrives. She and I will be doing adventures.

We've got our tickets to Finland for the weekend of 9 October, where we will meet relatives descended from her grandfather's siblings, and see where her grandparents came from. We've also considered a trip to Egypt to visit a cousin of mine who is working there.
kareina: (BSE garnet)
Have I really not posted a progress report since returning from Ireland? Shame on me. Let's see...

My reading of my 1000 words a day from the geologic literature continues. I'm at 218 days in a row and counting. This is 63% of the days that have happened since I started this job, and 21% of the days since I first decided to try to do this every day. It took 20 different attempts to get going and then forget to read a day and have to start over before I hit this current record-breaking series, but I appear to be on a roll. Here's hoping I can keep it going.

I've made some progress in processing the data from my last microprobe session, but there is more to be done before I can prepare the poster for my next conference, in Budapest. I leave for that one on Sat. the 21st, so I'm running low on time for that. The biggest problem is that there is some confusion as to which of two capsules in a single plug from an experiment run years before I arrived is which. The analyses I've done on them seem to usually, but not always, give opposite patterns from the ones that they did years ago, and I need to work it out, because if we are combining data from two different compositions into one set we will get huge errors as the vastly different mineral compositions are "averaged" together.

This afternoon I *finally* re-opened the draft of a paper in progress from my PhD research, looked over the first part, saw that it was good, filled in some stuff for the discussion section, and then sent if off to my erstwhile advisor for comment, asking which of the many other topics that made it into the thesis discussion section are actually worth including here. I suspect not all of them. The discussion section of the thesis is as long as the entire paper without a discussion section. With much luck my e-mail will reach him on a day he actually has time to look at it, and it won't languish for weeks waiting for him to have time to read the draft.

Wednesday, on the other hand, didn't see much uni work progress. Instead I got up early and walked into the city center to get photos witnessed for my renewal of my Tasmanian driver's licence. They permit Tasmanians living overseas to renew one time only by mail, but we need an embassy person to sign something saying that the photos are a true and correct likeness of the person. My plan had been to loop around from there to my favorite grocery store, which is the only one where one can purchase the various grains I like to put into my muesli. When I arrived at the embassy it was just starting to sprinkle a bit, but in the time it took to do the paperwork any pay for the service it had started pouring down rain in the way Milan does now and again--really fast heavy rain. I walked from there to the closest post office, and while much of my path was under overhangs on buildings, just crossing the street got me rather wet. I don't mind me getting wet so much, but I'd just as soon not get my pack wet--there are things in there (like that paper work!) that are better kept dry.

Therefore after leaving the post office I took the under-shelter path to the nearest metro station, thinking I'd take the train to the store rather than walking. I did look at the umbrellas the guy was selling at the entrance to the Metro, but decided that I didn't really need one. As it turned out, this particular set of stairs, rather than coming out straight in the station, leads through a store carrying things like stoves, refrigerators, etc. I've been coping for a year without a vacuum cleaner. It is possible when one has floors rather than carpet, but I've kind of wanted one. When I first arrived I couldn't afford one, and while I've thought of getting one every now and then since, it never quite worked out. I did look into it at another store, but while they had affordable models on display, they were out of stock in those, and I saw no reason to pay twice the price for something that I may not want to take with me, depending on where I go next--most of the rest of the world has different shaped outlets.

But since I had to walk through the store anyway, I stopped to look at their vacuum display. The fist couple were marked with prices in the €200-400 range, and I thought that I would continue to do without. Then I saw the model at the end of the row. In a pleasant (though not perfect) shade of blue. Bagless. €49.99. I looked at the shelf below the display, and they had one in a box in stock. Perfect. I'll take it. I've got five months left in Italy, even if I part with it when I go, that is only €10/month for the convenience of a vacuum! Normally I wouldn't accept a shopping bag, but given the downpour I let them put the box into a huge plastic bag. Given the bulk of the item, I decided to skip the grocery store (which is fully a 30 minute walk from my home, and no bus routes directly connecting the neghibourhoods), and instead transfered to the other train line, getting out at the station closest to my house. By that time the rain had slowed to a gentle rain, so I put the box on its side onto my head and carried it home that way (so that the rain would fall on the side of the bag, rather than into it). This also kept some of the rain off of me and my pack, which isn't a bad thing. The box wasn't heavy, but carrying something for 10 minutes by holding it over one's head does tend to make one's arms tired by the end of the trip!

By the time I got home with my loot it was already 11am, so I went in to Uni, intending to work, and fell into some fan-fiction by an author that [livejournal.com profile] vesta_aurelia recommended . Oops. But it was a pleasant diversion. By the time I reached a break between chapters in which I was actually willing to take a break some of my friends were on line and saying hello, and I wound up puttering around doing semi-useful tasks while visiting with people rather than making real progress on my work.

This morning I celebrated my purchase by vacuuming again (of course I used it yesterday, too). Only this time in addition to emptying the dust out straight away like I did yesterday, I also tapped the dust out of the filter and completely washed the filter and dust-catching chamber. This is the first time in my life that I can recall having access to a completely new, never before used vacuum cleaner, and I'm loving it. Sure, it is a very cheap model (the box advertises a "telescoping hose", which does, in fact, gain about one inch in length if you adjust the telescoping part), but if I keep the filter spotlessly clean then the motor will always be able to do its job.

Tuesday's biggest accomplishment was finishing up my application draft for that museum job. It was fun to work on it, and I wouldn't have been able to have prepared as good of an application packet without the input and comments from [livejournal.com profile] bethchm, [livejournal.com profile] massaria, [livejournal.com profile] sismith42 and [livejournal.com profile] clovis_t. The first two gave me some amazingly useful suggestions about what to say and how to approach it, and the latter two spent hours hanging out on line giving me feedback on which version of sentences were better. Now I wait and see. The application packet is as good as I could make it, but it really depends on who else applies, and what their strengths look like on paper. If I were to get this job it would be totally unlike anything I've ever done before. I'm accustomed to being in academia, where I get to set my own hours, and I often work evenings (or even late at night), weekends, or whenever I'm inspired to work. This job would be an 08:30-17:00 Monday-Friday. I have no idea how I would go with that. I would have to not access personal e-mail/LJ/Facebook/etc during business hours if I had *only* business hours in which to accomplish work tasks. But on the other hand, being done at the end of the day, and therefore being able to hang out with friends, work on art projects, or read for fun without any guilt because I'm "not working" sounds rather appealing...

In other news, I've heard from my friend [livejournal.com profile] racaire1. She had thought she'd be out of town the week I'm in Vienna for a short course at the end of the month, but it turns out that she will be home after all. I am so looking forward to spending time with her again!
kareina: (BSE garnet)
Have I really not posted a progress report since returning from Ireland? Shame on me. Let's see...

My reading of my 1000 words a day from the geologic literature continues. I'm at 218 days in a row and counting. This is 63% of the days that have happened since I started this job, and 21% of the days since I first decided to try to do this every day. It took 20 different attempts to get going and then forget to read a day and have to start over before I hit this current record-breaking series, but I appear to be on a roll. Here's hoping I can keep it going.

I've made some progress in processing the data from my last microprobe session, but there is more to be done before I can prepare the poster for my next conference, in Budapest. I leave for that one on Sat. the 21st, so I'm running low on time for that. The biggest problem is that there is some confusion as to which of two capsules in a single plug from an experiment run years before I arrived is which. The analyses I've done on them seem to usually, but not always, give opposite patterns from the ones that they did years ago, and I need to work it out, because if we are combining data from two different compositions into one set we will get huge errors as the vastly different mineral compositions are "averaged" together.

This afternoon I *finally* re-opened the draft of a paper in progress from my PhD research, looked over the first part, saw that it was good, filled in some stuff for the discussion section, and then sent if off to my erstwhile advisor for comment, asking which of the many other topics that made it into the thesis discussion section are actually worth including here. I suspect not all of them. The discussion section of the thesis is as long as the entire paper without a discussion section. With much luck my e-mail will reach him on a day he actually has time to look at it, and it won't languish for weeks waiting for him to have time to read the draft.

Wednesday, on the other hand, didn't see much uni work progress. Instead I got up early and walked into the city center to get photos witnessed for my renewal of my Tasmanian driver's licence. They permit Tasmanians living overseas to renew one time only by mail, but we need an embassy person to sign something saying that the photos are a true and correct likeness of the person. My plan had been to loop around from there to my favorite grocery store, which is the only one where one can purchase the various grains I like to put into my muesli. When I arrived at the embassy it was just starting to sprinkle a bit, but in the time it took to do the paperwork any pay for the service it had started pouring down rain in the way Milan does now and again--really fast heavy rain. I walked from there to the closest post office, and while much of my path was under overhangs on buildings, just crossing the street got me rather wet. I don't mind me getting wet so much, but I'd just as soon not get my pack wet--there are things in there (like that paper work!) that are better kept dry.

Therefore after leaving the post office I took the under-shelter path to the nearest metro station, thinking I'd take the train to the store rather than walking. I did look at the umbrellas the guy was selling at the entrance to the Metro, but decided that I didn't really need one. As it turned out, this particular set of stairs, rather than coming out straight in the station, leads through a store carrying things like stoves, refrigerators, etc. I've been coping for a year without a vacuum cleaner. It is possible when one has floors rather than carpet, but I've kind of wanted one. When I first arrived I couldn't afford one, and while I've thought of getting one every now and then since, it never quite worked out. I did look into it at another store, but while they had affordable models on display, they were out of stock in those, and I saw no reason to pay twice the price for something that I may not want to take with me, depending on where I go next--most of the rest of the world has different shaped outlets.

But since I had to walk through the store anyway, I stopped to look at their vacuum display. The fist couple were marked with prices in the €200-400 range, and I thought that I would continue to do without. Then I saw the model at the end of the row. In a pleasant (though not perfect) shade of blue. Bagless. €49.99. I looked at the shelf below the display, and they had one in a box in stock. Perfect. I'll take it. I've got five months left in Italy, even if I part with it when I go, that is only €10/month for the convenience of a vacuum! Normally I wouldn't accept a shopping bag, but given the downpour I let them put the box into a huge plastic bag. Given the bulk of the item, I decided to skip the grocery store (which is fully a 30 minute walk from my home, and no bus routes directly connecting the neghibourhoods), and instead transfered to the other train line, getting out at the station closest to my house. By that time the rain had slowed to a gentle rain, so I put the box on its side onto my head and carried it home that way (so that the rain would fall on the side of the bag, rather than into it). This also kept some of the rain off of me and my pack, which isn't a bad thing. The box wasn't heavy, but carrying something for 10 minutes by holding it over one's head does tend to make one's arms tired by the end of the trip!

By the time I got home with my loot it was already 11am, so I went in to Uni, intending to work, and fell into some fan-fiction by an author that [livejournal.com profile] vesta_aurelia recommended . Oops. But it was a pleasant diversion. By the time I reached a break between chapters in which I was actually willing to take a break some of my friends were on line and saying hello, and I wound up puttering around doing semi-useful tasks while visiting with people rather than making real progress on my work.

This morning I celebrated my purchase by vacuuming again (of course I used it yesterday, too). Only this time in addition to emptying the dust out straight away like I did yesterday, I also tapped the dust out of the filter and completely washed the filter and dust-catching chamber. This is the first time in my life that I can recall having access to a completely new, never before used vacuum cleaner, and I'm loving it. Sure, it is a very cheap model (the box advertises a "telescoping hose", which does, in fact, gain about one inch in length if you adjust the telescoping part), but if I keep the filter spotlessly clean then the motor will always be able to do its job.

Tuesday's biggest accomplishment was finishing up my application draft for that museum job. It was fun to work on it, and I wouldn't have been able to have prepared as good of an application packet without the input and comments from [livejournal.com profile] bethchm, [livejournal.com profile] massaria, [livejournal.com profile] sismith42 and [livejournal.com profile] clovis_t. The first two gave me some amazingly useful suggestions about what to say and how to approach it, and the latter two spent hours hanging out on line giving me feedback on which version of sentences were better. Now I wait and see. The application packet is as good as I could make it, but it really depends on who else applies, and what their strengths look like on paper. If I were to get this job it would be totally unlike anything I've ever done before. I'm accustomed to being in academia, where I get to set my own hours, and I often work evenings (or even late at night), weekends, or whenever I'm inspired to work. This job would be an 08:30-17:00 Monday-Friday. I have no idea how I would go with that. I would have to not access personal e-mail/LJ/Facebook/etc during business hours if I had *only* business hours in which to accomplish work tasks. But on the other hand, being done at the end of the day, and therefore being able to hang out with friends, work on art projects, or read for fun without any guilt because I'm "not working" sounds rather appealing...

In other news, I've heard from my friend [livejournal.com profile] racaire1. She had thought she'd be out of town the week I'm in Vienna for a short course at the end of the month, but it turns out that she will be home after all. I am so looking forward to spending time with her again!
kareina: (me)
I spent a number of hours today processing data, and many more this evening polishing up a job application (thank you [livejournal.com profile] sismith42 for hanging out with me in IM and making so many suggestions for improvement!). As a result my Aug average hours/week are looking really good (like more than 40 at the moment, but that is an illusion based upon the fact that the month only just started and the spreadsheet assumes that I'll keep it up for seven days in a row). It is wrong, of course, I fly to Ireland in the morning, and I'm not bringing my computer. by the time I return on Sunday my average hours/week of work will be low again. But I'm ok with that.

I have packed a number of files onto a USB stick, if I happen to be inspired, have time, and there is a computer I can borrow, I'll be ready. I've also packed enough journal articles in paper to keep reading my 1000 words of geologic literature a day.

I had hoped to submit the aforesaid job application today before leaving, but I've made so many changes I'm going to leave it sit till Monday and read it over again then. That would still be well before the application deadline, anyway. Tonight, just as I was thinking of calling it a night, I checked google reader to see if there was anything interesting come in that I could read and delete before going (that that it will be slightly less overwhelming when I return). I'm glad I did--an announcement was just posted for a geology lecturer in New Zealand--at the school that sounded interesting enough to me as an undergrad that I sent them a paper letter (no e-mail in those days) asking about their graduate program. While it didn't work out for me to go there, I still think the school sounds appealing, so I've added it to the spreadsheet of things to apply to. That application isn't due till November, so I've got plenty of time. I wonder if I can get a paper submitted this summer, so that I have an "in press" publication before then? There are too many interesting places on the planet--this makes four really appealing locations with potential jobs that sound interesting for me, and a bunch more interesting sounding jobs in less appealing locations. With luck one of them will come through. I've been liking this having an income stuff.

Ok, it is nearly 02:00, and I need to leave for the airport at 09:00 and I still need to read my 1000, do my yoga, and pack a carry-on bag containing 10 kg or less (easy to do without the computer!) Good night all, and see you on Sunday when I return...
kareina: (me)
I spent a number of hours today processing data, and many more this evening polishing up a job application (thank you [livejournal.com profile] sismith42 for hanging out with me in IM and making so many suggestions for improvement!). As a result my Aug average hours/week are looking really good (like more than 40 at the moment, but that is an illusion based upon the fact that the month only just started and the spreadsheet assumes that I'll keep it up for seven days in a row). It is wrong, of course, I fly to Ireland in the morning, and I'm not bringing my computer. by the time I return on Sunday my average hours/week of work will be low again. But I'm ok with that.

I have packed a number of files onto a USB stick, if I happen to be inspired, have time, and there is a computer I can borrow, I'll be ready. I've also packed enough journal articles in paper to keep reading my 1000 words of geologic literature a day.

I had hoped to submit the aforesaid job application today before leaving, but I've made so many changes I'm going to leave it sit till Monday and read it over again then. That would still be well before the application deadline, anyway. Tonight, just as I was thinking of calling it a night, I checked google reader to see if there was anything interesting come in that I could read and delete before going (that that it will be slightly less overwhelming when I return). I'm glad I did--an announcement was just posted for a geology lecturer in New Zealand--at the school that sounded interesting enough to me as an undergrad that I sent them a paper letter (no e-mail in those days) asking about their graduate program. While it didn't work out for me to go there, I still think the school sounds appealing, so I've added it to the spreadsheet of things to apply to. That application isn't due till November, so I've got plenty of time. I wonder if I can get a paper submitted this summer, so that I have an "in press" publication before then? There are too many interesting places on the planet--this makes four really appealing locations with potential jobs that sound interesting for me, and a bunch more interesting sounding jobs in less appealing locations. With luck one of them will come through. I've been liking this having an income stuff.

Ok, it is nearly 02:00, and I need to leave for the airport at 09:00 and I still need to read my 1000, do my yoga, and pack a carry-on bag containing 10 kg or less (easy to do without the computer!) Good night all, and see you on Sunday when I return...

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