This week's work is happening in Finland. I flew out of Luleå Monday afternoon (the cab picked me up at home at 14:40, so I had plenty of time in the morning, and cooked some yummy homemade noodles with dried nettles in the noodles, fresh spinach, snowpeas, and butter to take with me) and arrived in Helsinki at 20:35 (including the one hour time change).
I was met at the airport by my cousin Kimmo (he is actually a grandson of my great-grandfather's brother, putting him in the same generation as my mom, but he is younger than I am due to the age difference between those two brothers +/- timing of subsequent generations). He and I relaxed at a coffee shop at the airport for a bit, where he enjoyed a coffee plus one of the cookies I had brought along for the trip, and I worked on a sewing project. Then we took train and bus to the city of Espoo, just across the river from Helsinki, where the Finish Geological Survey (GTK) is located.
I checked into my room, and he stayed long enough for another cup of coffee before heading out. It was good to catch up with him. He is fairly recently single (amicable separation from a long-term partner), so if I know anyone who enjoys participating in sports who might like a nice Finnish man for a partner, let me know and I will introduce you. There is a photo of he and I here
, but I suspect that you would need to be friends with him on FB to see it (and mom already has, so this may be kinda useless info).
I woke up this morning early enough to borrow one of the hotel swim suits (one size fits all, but, luckily, I am "one size") for a quick swim before starting the day. I had to borrow one, I have no idea where mine is. Come to think of it, the last time I remember using it was some years back, when I stayed at this hotel while attending a short course in Laser-ablation ICP-MS at GTK. I suppose it is possible it got accidentally left here. But the one I borrowed today, was not my missing suit.
The guys at GTK had told me that I could show up any time after 09:00, and google maps told me that it is a 9 minute walk from my hotel, so, of course, I left my room at 18 minutes before 9:00. Sure enough, I arrived 9 minutes later (I don't know what criteria google uses to calculate time needed to walk somewhere, but I usually walk at exactly that speed). Of course I had no idea where in the building I needed to go, so I asked the woman working at the reception desk. She had no idea what a microprobe is, nor where to find it, and, of course, my colleague wasn't answering his phone so early in the day. But then one of the geologist walked by and was able to give her the name of someone else associated with that lab, and he came and showed me to where they get their coffee in the morning before starting work.
After he had his coffee we went to the lab, and he spend an hour or so doing some testing and calibration of the machine before we started choosing my analysis points. The plan had been to analyze about 100 points on each of the two samples. Both samples had been marked with a set of six squares, and I had printed out large photos of each marked area, so it was easy to make notes as to the exact location of the analysis points. There were 4 different mineral phases we wanted to analyze, which would come to 25 points per sample for each mineral per sample, except for the fact that one mineral (pyrite) is really common in sample A and very rare in sample B, and another (chalocopyrite) doesn't exist at all in sample A, but is really common in sample B, and it turns out that sample B also had a few rare grains of another mineral that A didn't have (phyrotite). So we planned to take extra of the minerals that exist on only one of the two thin sections, but we got a bit enthusiastic, and wound up selecting some extras of everything. By 15:00, when we'd finished marking the last spot the total analysis time was predicted to need 23 hours, which wouldn't have left time tomorrow to run the other samples we want to do. So we counted how many spots we had for each different mineral, and for which locations (by hand, since it turns out not to be possible to copy-paste the list before the analyses have been run) and decided which areas had points we could delete from the list. After deleting lots the new predicted run time was 19 hours, so he told me not to come back till around noon tomorrow and I went back to the hotel room to read for a bit before heading out with the SCA folk.
At 17:00 V. arrived to pick me us, and we first stopped by a cute little iron age replica village
, though, of course, we couldn't see much, since setting the clocks back this past weekend means that it is now dark before 17:00, even this far south. Then we went to the pub, which turns out to also be a Czech resturant
. Since we were there fairly early I was still hungry. I was also intrigued by the sound of their "Clear garlic soup served in a crispy crusted bread bowl", so I ordered it. Oh, wow, yum! madbaker
, I think this soup was made with you in mind. They totally used "more" garlic, and the bread was excellent, especially with the garlic soup soaking into it. I have previously had soups served in bread rolls. This one was large enough to count as a loaf. There seemed to be some thinly sliced onions in the pot as well as plenty of slices of what must have been some fairly large cloves of garlic, and a bit of cheese as well. There were some croutons in there too, and I wonder if they had been made from what had been cut out of the bread before putting the soup in, since there weren't too many of them. My only complaint was that it simply wasn't possible to finish it, and since everyone else ordered their own things from the menu I couldn't convince anyone else to eat the last of it for me, so it just went to waste.
Note that the spoon in the photo is a rather large table spoon, not the tiny delicate tea spoon it would need to be if that loaf of soup had been only a manageable sized roll.
Over the course of the evening we had about half a dozen local SCA people (most of whom I had met at Cudgel War this summer) plus me. It was a lovely evening. Since I don't have to be back at the lab till noon tomorrow, I have taken some time to relax and catch up on what has been happening with my friends while I have been busy, but I am tired, so I had best do my yoga and get some sleep anyway. Tomorrow I hope we have enough time to get the analysis points chosen for the other set of samples before I have to leave for the airport to head home.