kareina: (Default)
Working backwards of wonderful things from today:

Nyckleharpa night! Always a highlight--who wouldn't want an evening making progress on a sewing project while listening to Swedish folk music played by a room full of talented musicians?

Dinner! I lined a pie plate with bread dough, filled it with a mix of canned artichoke, black beans, tomato, and spices, then covered with more bread dough, brushed it with butter, and baked it. Yum!

Acroyoga! While the pie was baking Ellinor and I went outside and spent a delightful half an hour discovering that while we haven't had a chance to practice together pretty much all summer, the strength training she has been doing means that pretty much everything we tried we could do. So much fun to balance, upside down, my shoulders on the bottoms of her upraised feet, and then have her spin me around like a ball on a seal's nose. And then we practiced handstands going into forward rolls, and several times I managed to pause and hold the handstand for a number of seconds before rolling out of it.

Riding home! After a number of rainy and cloudy days in a row, it was really refreshing to leave work this afternoon to a clear blue sky paired with cool, comfortable temperatures, and it made for a really pretty tike ride home.

Good news from work! One of my colleagues, who is just back from a major geology conference in Canada tells me that she met people from the states who have developed a good sulphide standard that they are willing to sell, which will make analyzing sulphides ever so much easier.

Fun in the lab! The guy who fixed my laser last week, while I was on vacation, also made some adjustments to the system which makes it possible to get much lower power from the laser than hitherto, so today I had fun shooting at sulphides with really low powers (less than 1 J/cm^2). Tomorrow I will look at the craters in backscatter electron images on the SEM and see if we have solved the problem with too much melting under the laser beam.

Dried berries! When I woke up this morning most of the black currants in the food dehydrator were ready (and the last of them were done when I got home from work), so the container is now half full, and it should be pretty easy to get enough more dried before the berries quit being ripe so that they will last me till next summer.
kareina: (BSE garnet)
This is the second week I have been back at work after vacation (and pretty much no one else in the corridor will return till next week at the soonest), alternating between gathering data and processing it. One of my Master's students is finally getting in her LA-ICP-MS time. (She was off in Svalbard for a course when the other students were collecting their data for their projects. I might be a bit envious of her for that.) So Monday we ran her another trace-element composition map, Tuesday we started her spot-analyses, today she started the data processing for that while I kept working on the lovely garnet maps I made last week (damn, they have some interesting trace-element zoning patterns!), and tomorrow we will do more spot analyses for her.

Monday and Tuesday evenings I didn't accomplish much at home, but this evening I was inspired to get out and do some stuff. I dragged a couple of rocks up the hill from the field to the area behind the sheds, where they will be used later to stabilize the change in slope between the bit we leveled and lowered earlier this summer and the upper level the shed sits on. In hind sight I probably shouldn't have put both of those rocks onto the cart at once, since between them they weighed so much I couldn't drag the cart up the direct route to the upper yard, but had to go around the tree the longer, but gentler sloped, route. Even so the only way I manged to get that cart up the hill was to lean into the pulling rope with all my strength, then carefully move one foot up the hill, then lean some more, then move the other foot. Repeat. Yes, it would have been smart to take one rock back off the cart and go back for it after I got the first one up there, but it was hard enough to get onto the cart in the first place I didn't want to, so I stubborned myself through the job.

However, once I managed getting them up, I did not go back for any more, but instead decided that today would be a fablous day to lift up the six paving stones at the base of the steps to the porch, remove the grass between them, add some fresh sand under them to adjust their lean so that they will no longer have a puddle when it rains, and put them back again. It has been four years since I put those stones there, and it took till this spring before the freeze-thaw cycle had tilted them enough for puddle formation. It will be interesting to see how long it lasts this time.
kareina: (BSE garnet)
This morning I opted to drive in so that I would have good energy for the lab demo day. I first checked the power point presentation, and it still looked fine, so then and M, our PhD student and I chose some areas on one of his samples to analyze for the demo. This took till pretty much noon to get the experiment completely set up and ready to just push go, which left me just time to eat a quick lunch before taking my computer to the conference room to set up for the talk. We had chosen one of the medium-small rooms, and got just enough of an audiance to completely fill the room, which was nice.

I told them about the lab, about what LA-ICP-MS is, some of the advantages and some of the limitations of the technique, then showed them pictures from some of our projects, and from projects other labs have done, then took questions and answers. After that we took a 10 minute break while M and I went down and started his experiment, then I left him there to answer questions from some visitors, while I went upstairs and demonstrated the really powerful data processing package we use and took more questions. Then I brought everyone who was still interested down to the lab, where we watched the experiment finish. Several people said they will be in touch to show me their samples and see what we can do with them. They are all in different divisions or different departments, so some of the samples will be quite different from anything we have run so far.

All in all it was a good day. After I was done O joined me for the drive home and we have a pleasant hour or so resting and snuggling before I had to deal with the laundry that I started when we arrived. Now I need to pack for the trip to Finland for the music and dance SCA event this weekend. Tomorrow I will be running another experiment for one of the Master's students, then in the evening is Frostheim, then I will drive to Kalix, about an hour north of here, where a friend of mine lives, to borrow his guest bed. Then way early Friday morning I will drive another hour or so over to Finland, where I will catch a flight to Helsinki and then train to a friend's house, where I will nap and cook food for the weekend, and when he gets off of work we will head to the event, which I am really looking forward to.
kareina: (Default)
At the SCA event this weekend I spent the first part of the event wearing a tunic and my new Tjorsberg trousers, with the really comfortable sheepskin feet, but as it came time for the evening feast I decided to change into a dress. Remember how some weeks back I said that I had needed to change out the underarm gores in my 12th century underdress so that the sleeves would fit over my larger arm muscles? Well, this time, when I put on the dress I noticed that the fabric was kind of straining over my lats. (Which explains why I found it so difficult to put on. Yes, it has always been difficult to wriggle into this dress, but I barely managed getting the narrow part of the waist over my shoulders at all this time.) Yet, it was still reasonably comfortable, providing the same really good breast support it always has, so I put on the overdress and enjoyed the evening.

However, late in the evening I managed to move my arms and flex my shoulder muscles in such a way that I heard a ripping sound, followed by several other ripping sounds. We looked, but saw no damage to the over dress (which laces up the sides, so better handles the larger muscles), so suspected that it was the underdress. Sure enough, when I finally took it off that evening I saw several rips in the part of the dress that falls between the shoulder blades--a long one pretty much dead center, and a few smaller ones parallel to it between the mid point and my left shoulder blade. Sigh. Luckily, none of them extended low enough to compromise the breast support the dress provides, since that mostly comes from the fact that the dress diameter just under the bust is exactly the same as the circumference of my ribs at that point, and that point is all ribs--it is just under the newly bulging lats.

Therefore today after work I cut out a diamond-shaped hole from the back of the dress and sewed in a diamond shaped replacement, cut on the bias, so it is a bit stretchier, though the same size (after finishing the seams) as the shredded part which I removed. Then I opened up the seam between my back and the underarm gore from the bottom of my lats to where the underarm gore hits the sleeve, and added an insert there. I used the original square underarm gores for this--sewing one straight side to the bottom edge of the underarm gore, one straight side from that point along the body rectangle to the point at the bottom of my lats, and then sewed along the hypotenuse of the triangular gap to let third the edge of the new gore curve to fill the space. Then I trimmed off all of the square that wasn't needed and finished the seam. This adds about 2 cm at the widest point, which takes the strain off of the fabric over my back. With luck I won't grow so much more in the way of muscle bulk, even though I have every intention of continuing to train and get stronger. But the new underdress in progress will be cut a bit loose over the shoulders, just in case.

Other than damaging the dress (which was fun when it happened), the event was a good one. I did much crafts, got to visit with many delightful people, did some dancing, some singing, and even took a short walk. I should have brought my fur hood and muff though. I hadn't expected to go outside, but I did try to watch the fighting, both the torchlight tourney Friday night (where my poor champion took a cup shot :-( and the day time tourney on Saturday. I didn't stay out long for either of them--while the weekend weather was generally warm and sunny, there was also an icy breeze, which I wouldn't have noticed if I had brought the fur.

It must have been sunny and warm at home over the weekend, too, since the bike path between here and uni has pretty much had all of the snow and ice melted away from it since last I took it. Only places which are shady still have some ice. I noticed when dropping O. off at home after the event that the part of the path I can see from the road was clear, so I opted to take my trike in this morning, and was pleased that my 45 minute walk was thus shortened into a 26 minute pedal. (good thing, too, since the above mentioned repairs to the dress took nearly 4 hours!)

My apprentice was supposed to do her analysis of the Roman coins today, but we are nearly out of the Argon gas needed for the ICP-MS, so instead we just set up the experiment, polished the coins, and took photos of them under the laser camera--it will automatically stitch together as many as 7 x 7 photos (which measures about 4 mm wide and 3 mm tall), and it took six sets of 7 x 7 photos to get the entire coin cross section photographed. But it makes sense to get good photos of "before" we fire on it with the laser.

So the plan is (assuming that the gas arrives on time) to run her analyses as the demo experiment on Wednesday during our lab demo day. Hopefully my colleagues will be ok with this.
kareina: (BSE garnet)
This evening O. and I went to a "handledare" class so that he will be able to do practice driving with me in the car. The class ran from 17:00 to 21:00, with only a short break in the middle for fika, and, of course, the lecture was only in Swedish. Much to my delight, there were only three times all evening I had to lean over to ask O. what a word meant, the rest of the lecture I was able to follow with no problem. However, I still wish they had had subtitles for the two films they showed.

Today at work we had a meeting, during which my colleagues delegated most of the work of an upcoming grant application to me. For a project they have been thinking about for months, and which I first heard about today. Application deadline is 30 March. Why have I agreed? It will be good practice. If we get the funding it will cover my salary, perhaps even with an increase in my hours (and thus also in my paycheck). I don't normally work Fridays, but I think I will be working from home tomorrow nonetheless.
kareina: (stitched)
Yesterday evening my friend Kaarina asked me to have a look at her documentation for her 12th Night A&S competition entry. Reading her poem and her write-up on the style she used for it inspired me to also want to enter one of my songs or poems. A reply to my quick note to Kingdom A&S confirmed that I wouldn't need to be present to enter, and it is ok if the piece has been used in a local competition, so long as it hasn't been entered at Kingdom. Therefore I have just spent the evening writing up a first draft of my documentation, during which I discovered that the Harley manuscript 978, in which Summer is icumen in first appears (f. 11v), is available on line. Even better, the song has a text-box insert in latin which explains that it is a round and the fact that the second voice begins at the location of the red cross in the sheet music. So totally cool! And something I never would have known if not for her inspiration to do this. (If anyone wants to see my documentation, leave a comment and I can send you a copy. Mom, I will just send you one anyway, you don't have to ask.)

To make things even better, Kaarina is willing to find some other singers to perform my song as a round at 12th Night. Sadly, I won't be at the event (which is being held in southern Finland the same weekend as I will be attending the wedding of a friend here in northern Sweden), but with luck someone will record it for me. It is a good thing I am not competitive at all, since I am competing against a woman who is so amazingly talented at song writing. She tells me she isn't competitive either, and is just happy to inspire people to do more music.

In other news, work is going well. While we had issues with the ICP-MS earlier in the week, and team viewer session with a tech in the UK sorted them out, and I am once again running trace element composition maps. My colleagues all want to get me to full time, as soon as the budget permits, and now that we are starting to get external users (paying customers) to the lab, the odds of this happening go up. Of course now that we have paying customers, I had to actually look up what my salary comes to by the hour, since our lab price for internal users and others from academia is one rate for the machine time, and the addition of my salary for the time I work on the job. Therefore I sent an email to accounting and asked "just what does it come to by the hour?". She replied by sending me a spreadsheet containing the salaries for everyone in our Division and how those monthly rates translates into hourly cost. This is a fascinating document. I mentioned this to one of my colleagues, and she said "yes, that information isn't secret", but I wouldn't have known where to find it before getting the spreadsheet. So, of course, I have used the filter option to compare people of different rank/job title. There isn't so much variation within a given rank (though, of course, there is some), but the highest paid person in our division (a chaired professor who is Very Good at getting us funding) does make about 2.6 times what I make. I was very pleased to note that there doesn't appear to be any gender-based difference in salary earned in our Division--the variation is totally related to job title, and in the upper levels if there is only one woman in the level she is either the highest or in the upper half of the group for that level (we often have only three our four people at a given level, which is how it happens that there are sometimes only one who happens to be female).

Tomorrow is Friday, which means I get to stay home, do house work, bake myself a birthday cake, and do other prep work for Saturday's party. It will be interesting to see how many people are able to make it to the party on Saturday, and how many of them are there at what times of the day.
kareina: (stitched)
I finally had the time today to sit down and take care of the financial paperwork for Norrskensfesten. We had 100 people registered, of whom 75 were SCA members. The numbers have been sent in to the Shire Exchequer and Seneschal, and I will likely get a refund for the cash I fronted soon.

However, a problem* I have been having with my home computer for a couple of weeks (months?) now did complicate things--it was necessary to use the computer to send the financial report email from my work email to my gmail address, then use my phone to forward (actually copy-paste) that message from my SCA gmail address to the people who needed it.

Part of the reason the event paperwork took till today to finish is that it was a particularly busy week at work. We had a short course on Thursday and Friday for using iolite, which was really useful. This was actually the second time I attended a course on this program--the last time was in Prague. This time, however, we flew the teacher here, and he gave a focused lesson to just those parts of the program that we will need. I learned a number of new things, and my two Master's students, who will be using the laser, were both very happy with what they learned in the course and looking forward to starting their research after Christmas break.

In other news, it has finally snowed! only 10 to 15 cm, but the world looks much better, and I did some shoveling yesterday. Sadly, my phone predicts that it will be warm again in the next few days, so we run the risk of losing this snow, too. I hope it won't be another one of those winters.



*weird computer problem: google products are broken on my home computer. All other web pages work perfectly, but while I can sometimes open my gmail or google calendar on this computer, I can't actually do anything with them. Any attempt to actually read or send a message or add a new item to the calender results in a "something's not right" error message. So I have been resorting to using my phone or my work computer to do things in these web services. Do any of you know how I can solve this?
I already tried (back when the problem first appeared) clearing the cash and re-installing the browser I used to use (Chrome), and it didn't help, and then I tried changing browsers--it fixed it for a couple of hours, but now Opal has the same problem, and I haven't had time to try anything else to fix it.
kareina: (BSE garnet)
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! [livejournal.com profile] 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.

a loaf of soup
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.
kareina: (stitched)
There, the grant application that has been taking so much of my time has been submitted. We can re-open it and edit as many times as we like between now and next Wednesday's deadline, but in the worst case, they at least have the current draft. This means I am free to spend tomorrow packing for the weekend's SCA event, and can enjoy the SCA event this weekend. (however, if any of my colleagues sends me comments tomorrow during the day, I will, of course pause from packing to deal with them straight away, but it also won't surprise me if I hear nothing more till Monday)

This has been a fun grant proposal to work on--I have learned a fair bit on how to do them, especially from the comments from Grants Office. I am quite happy with some of the paragraphs I wrote today. But then, it is fairly low stakes for me--if they say yes then there is another post-doc in the department with whom I will work closely, but nothing else changes for me (ok, it gets us one step closer to having the budget for me to go full time, but I don't know that this one alone would be enough for that), and if we don't get it my employment situation doesn't change at all. On the other hand, it would make a huge difference for our potential post doc. But she knows that there is only an 11% success rate, so she isn't holding her breath.
kareina: (BSE garnet)
Today started with a meeting with one of my SCA apprentices, who will also be my Master's student this year. She has been trying to decide if she wants to do a master's degree with the same mining company for which her grandfather worked, or if she wants to instead build upon her summer job giving tours of the Medieval Church in Gammelstad by doing a "geologic map" of the building stones used to make it. We decided that she would write up a project proposal for the mining company, and, if they say yes to funding her lab work, she can do that project, but if they say no, she can study the church walls using our portable XRF to determine the composition of the minerals.

Then I had a variety of new and reasonable urgent emails to deal with before doing a few things in the lab, before meeting with my other Master's student to discuss her project ideas. Then it was time to meet my personal trainer for the latest upgrade to my workout. After that I had planned to just head home, but there were a few new emails that came in that were worth replying to today (including "how much does it cost to use the lab?"), and as I finished that yet another student dropped by to chat (this one only to chat--he is a PhD student with a project of his own), but I did suggest that he drop by the Frostheim meeting tonight, and mentioned that choir is looking for more people on Tuesdays.

Much to my delight, he did drop by the Frostheim meeting for a bit on his way to an evening class, which brought us to a total of nine people tonight, though not all at the same time, since some left early, and another arrived late.

In other news, I have been delighting in a daily optical illusion. The bike path I take to and from work was built fairly recently, and the forest hasn't grown up to it yet, so there is a couple of meter wide swath next to the path that has only low plants (5 to 10 cm) scattered across bare dirt and a few fallen leaves. Lately, as I pedal down the path lots of small birds suddenly take to the air from that swath, yet none of the birds was at all visible to me before leaving the ground. I know that they are small and ground-coloured because it was hard for predators to see their ancestors, but it is still fun to watch the illusion of them suddenly telaporting into existence just at the ground-air interface and taking to the sky. Every day I see the first couple take off, and I start looking at the ground, trying to spot more birds, but I never see them til the next set takes off, and then the next, and the next, and the next. It is amazing how many of them can hide in plain sight like that.

Tomorrow is Friday, and I normally don't work on Fridays. However, if I get that feedback back from Grants office on that grant application I sent them yesterday, then I will work on that. (I am not holding my breath that they will have it done this quick, but it is possible.) I also need to head in to campus to pick up the second kettleball I am buying from my personal trainer, since my workout upgrade includes a couple of things that need two kettleballs instead of just one.
kareina: (BSE garnet)
As I think I mentioned yesterday, my energy levels at work were kinda low and I didn't get much accomplished on my first day back from vacation other than cleaning the junk out of my in-box. After last night's choir I foolishly sat up at the computer till after midnight, and then finally got around to yoga, and headed to bed around 01:00, fully expecting to be tired today, too. This morning, however, I woke up early thinking of an email from my Russian colleague, which inspired me as to a direction one of my Master's students might go in her research, so I sent her a quick email during morning situps, did my workout (which I didn't do yesterday), and triked into the office before 08:00. That was good, as it gave me time to refresh my memory on where we were on that grant application we started last spring before my 09:00 meeting with one of my colleagues to discuss it. That meeting went well, and I returned to my office inspired as to how to fill in the last few missing sections and trim down some of the earlier sections to get us closer to our page limit.

That part of the application, which describes the research project, the post-doc we want to hire for it, and our department, explaining to the evaluation committee why the project is important, why she is the perfect person to do the project, and why ours is the perfect location for the research, can't be more than 10 pages. By 14:00 today I had managed to fill in some text in every section, and shorten the long bits enough that instead of the 12 pages I started the day with, I had only 10 pages plus three extra lines of text. Satisfied with this result, I sent it off to the grants office (who had been warned it would be coming, and who are still willing to give me feedback on it), with questions as to which bit of the "gender dimension" section that I wrote are actually relevant to the evaluation committee, what else, if anything needs cutting, and have we left off any information that would make it better?

I thought to go home at that point, but just then the guy in IT who had been helping me by writing a script to merge a grid of photos from the laser into a single image called, and wondered if it would be a good time to show me how to access and use the script. It was, so we did, and it turns out to be very easy. Now I just need to find the time to take a new set of photos, with a closer spacing this time, so that we can crop off the outermost edge, where the photos get darker as the edge of the field of view on the laser is further from the light source. Then, when I know how much to crop, he will write the next half of the script, so I can crop and stitch with the typing of one simple command.

Just as I finished up that one of my colleagues, who is a structural geologist, stopped by the office with a question. He wanted to know what kinds of depths equate to 1 kb of pressure. My first answer was "not bloody much", and I reached for my copy of the bible of metamorphic petrology and quickly flipped to a diagram like this one, which shows both pressure and depth, one on each side of the diagram. He was quite pleased to hear this, since he has been trying to understand the rocks in his field area, which are very folded, yet lack any clues indicating high pressure. Another of our colleagues had done some P-T work on rocks from that area, and calculated pressures of about 1 kb, which is really low, but temperatures high enough to permit a rock undergo ductile deformation. Apparently there is also brittle deformation in the fold hinges in that area, which also makes sense in a high heat-low pressure area, as the deformation concentrated there could use up enough of the heat to permit the transition to brittle.

I also managed to talk with my other colleague about my idea for the one master's student to work with the samples from Russia, and she likes the idea. Now if the student only likes it, too. Then, just as I was leaving my office to head home, my other Master's student dropped by to make an appointment for tomorrow morning to discuss what she wants to do for her project.

On a normal work day I sit alone in my office and never see or hear anyone. Today I spoke with five different people in the line of duty, and enjoyed it.

To celebrate I came home and made some home made noodles with veg and nuts and seeds. I have the house to myself the next couple of days while [livejournal.com profile] lord_kjar and C. are up north visiting one of her friends from uni, who is working at the Naturum Visitor Centre in Laponia, the World Heritage part of Swedish Lappland. I have never been up there, so I would have loved to have joined them, but with the grant proposal mentioned above due on 14 September, I really can't spare the time. Besides, it might be easier for them to look like a normal couple, rather than a triple when visiting a friend from school.

Look, mom, since I have been home I have been good about posting pretty much every day, so you will have something to read. However, now that they are letting you out of the hospital early since you have had such a rapid recovery from your stroke, I don't know if you will have time to keep checking this daily.
kareina: (BSE garnet)
Once again life seems to have hit one of those phases wherein I am either super busy doing stuff away from a computer, or I am at a computer doing stuff that can't wait. This means that I haven't been posting lately (though likely only Mom really notices when I don't).

What do I remember from the past week and a half?

Nationaldag was fun--performed Swedish folk dance (of course), got called up on stage to be given a Swedish pin and flag to commemorate by becoming a Swedish Citizen last year, and while up there I also advertized the Medieval Days at Hägnan event that I am helping to run next month.

Wednesday of last week the Laser Lab had its first external client, so I spent all day in the lab with her shooting the laser in grid patterns over crystals of her choice in her rock samples so that we could make maps of the trace element distribution in the crystals.

Since I worked 10 hours on Wednesday, and I work only half-time, I took Thursday off. That evening, and all day on Friday F & O came over for sewing. F managed to cut out and machine sew his jester costume coat and legs, and he started hand-sewing the hood with decorative embroidered seams. O worked on several different projects, and I managed to work out the pattern for my jester costume, which will be an odd blend of Eura dress sleeves with a fitted greenland gown sort of body, so now I have both the linen under layer and wool over layer cut out, and have started sewing each. I am sewing them in tandem--right now all of the pieces are still pinned with the linen piece attached to the corresponding wool piece, and a label saying which is which. Every time I unpin two of them together I promptly sew the linen one to its mate and the wool one to its mate. That way they will both be done around the same time.

In between all of the above I made good progress on getting all of the old wallpaper off of the kitchen wall where we will be putting the pantry, and got it sanded and ready to paint. As soon as this posts I will go to the kitchen and start painting. When all three layers (one base coat, and two blue) are done and dried we can start building the pantry. I am so looking forward to having enough shelves for the food that some containers don't hide behind others.

This week I have been processing the data from last week's lab work, and have solved some problems with the data, so am quite pleased with how it is going.

This weekend is Spelmansstämman, one of my favourite weekends of the year, full of Swedish folk music and dance, and, of course, our dance group's performance.
kareina: (BSE garnet)
Today our Division at work is heading off to the Gällivare area, where we will tour the old Nautenen mine and look at the geology all afternoon. This evening we will stay at a hotel, and tomorrow morning will be spent in a meeting before returning to Luleå.

Needless to say, I won't be accomplishing any work stuff today, but in theory the trip is good for team building. And I am making progress on my book as we drive (three hour bus ride, of which two hours have elapsed thus far).
kareina: (me)
I have been trying to convince my apprentice, E. and my acroyoga partner (also an) E. that they want to come with us to Nyckleharpa night for many weeks now. Or rather, I managed to convince them weeks ago that they wanted to, but since it only happens every other week, and they have both managed to be sick or have conflicts, tonight is the first time it actually happened. They are both musicians with a city orchestra, one on the clarinet, the other cello, and both did well with picking up nyckelharpa (the cello player), and our huge base moraharpa (the clarinet player) and playing along. Since we took the new car we also had room for my dulcimer in the car, which is the first time in ages that I brought that along. It was fun to join them for the few songs I knew, though, with five nyckelharpas and a moraharpa playing I couldn't really hear my own instrument.

In between playing along I made some good progress finally turning the scrap wool from the veil I made quite a while ago into a small coif for me. It is nice to pick back up a long unfinished UFO. Granted, the only reason I did on this occasion is that the time before heading out that I would have spent getting my gambeson in progress to a state that was portable (I finished quilting the back at the weekend's gaming con demo, and haven't had a chance to cut out the next pieces yet) was instead finishing up E's letter of reference for her application to head to Japan this summer for a student research experience. I hope that she gets it. However, I also hope that she stays here this summer, since she plans to be my (unpaid) lab assistant if she doesn't, so that she can learn to use the LA-ICP-MS in prep for doing a Master's degree with it next autumn. In other words, it looks like my apprentice in the SCA will become my student in real life, too. Not so surprising, since we first met on a geology field trip to Cyprus in 2012, when she was one of the students, and I was one of the teachers. She has been referring to me as "her professor" ever since.

Today was fun at work--I got to spend the day helping the PhD student in the next office (who is 99% done with her degree--she has defended and everything, but still has a few weeks left to do stuff till her funding runs out) set up a laser experiment. It took 6.5 hours to set it up, let it run (1 hour), do a preliminary glance at the data and agree to actually do stuff with it in the morning, and chat briefly with my boss.

Since I need to meet her at 08:30 I really should have been in bed a while ago, but there is still yoga to do, so perhaps I had better put down the computer and get to it.
kareina: (stitched)
We had seven of us for Frostheim's craft night tonight. Not quite all at the same time though--V. arrived early and left early. S. came a bit later, but also didn't stay long, and J., a totally new guy, arrived during the last 45 minutes we were there. However, I am glad I did, since O. had asked me to bring in my armour and swords and stuff to show him, and he sounds keen to try fighter practice on Sunday. Also, since the armour was there O. spent the evening trying stuff on and thinking about what he will want to do differently when he builds his own, so it was worth the effort of bringing all the stuff.

L. had finished the nålbinding project she started last week (her first, ever), and was ready to be shown how to start a project again. She is one of the students in the group who is also in my department, and trying to decide what she wants to do for her Master's project, so I shared some ideas of projects she could do with the laser. My apprentice, E. is the other, and she is also considering laser-based projects for her Master's, if she doesn't go with a geophysics project. It will be interesting to see what they wind up choosing.

My other apprentice, A. finished a project tonight--a lovely blue wool triangle cloak for which she has tablet woven a maroon and grey edging. I quite like how it came out. I have made progress on my glasses case--the strap is nearly completely attached now, only 12 cm of seam left to do on it, but now it is finally wearable. I made the strap for this one a good bit longer than the last, so it rides down by my hip, instead of my waist, which means that I don't have to remember to take it off when I put on my coat, which will make life much easier. It will also be nice to always have all four pairs of glasses in reach, so I can just grab the pair I need for any given task, and not try to use the wrong ones because I couldn't be bothered walking all the way to my backpack.

Last night's snow actually stuck in a few, isolated, spots, which meant that tiny pockets of the world were fresh and white this morning (if only about 1 mm thick), but, of course, it didn't last, and by the middle of the day it was +5 C. Even so, there is still a fair bit of snow out on the field, even if it is mostly gone in the forest and up by the house. I need to remember to take a photo of the yard tomorrow to compare with the ones I took last year and the year before on that date.
kareina: (BSE garnet)
I received an email this morning from the director of a geology lab in Russia, wondering about possible collaboration, since her lab isn't set up for doing Re-Os isotope analysis, and our equipment should be able to handel it. So now I will spend the day reading up on Re-Os isotopes and perhaps even give it a quick try with the laser before I reply to her.
kareina: (me)
This got long, let me break it into reasonable sized chunks...
Saturday )
Sunday )
Monday )
Tuesday )
Wednesday (today: travel day) )
But, of course, I can't post this till later, anyway, by which time I will know if it went according to plan.

...and, now, hours later, I can report that it did go according to plan. I bought a two day public transit pass, took the city bus in from the airport, and hopped off as it passed near a train station, walked the couple of blocks over, and down to the tracks, and then took that line till it intersected with the line that goes to my friend's house, arriving here sometime between 13:30 and 14:00. We spent a couple hours visiting, and then he went out to rescue a damsel in distress before heading to the sword fighting lesson he teaches on Wednesday, and I am enjoying a quiet evening in his apartment, where I plan to catch up on stuff on the computer, hopefully do my workout (which I didn't get up on time to do this morning), and certainlly do my yoga. L. may still make it over here later tonight. This morning she said she would be with her mother till 18:00, which is pretty much now.
kareina: (stitched)
Last night I managed seven hours of sleep, which was more than I might have gotten, but I had forgotten when I lay down that I had switched the dawn light from 05:30 to 06:20 the night before when I had stayed up rather later. So when I finally woke up at 06:15 and looked at the clock I decided that it would be wise to do only part of the morning phone app workout, so I could make it to work on time to meet my friend at the gym at 08:30 as planned.

Then, as I started my morning situps before getting out of bed, I turned wireless on my phone to read LJ, and saw a FB message from her, sent after midnight, saying that she wasn't sleeping due to a headache, and so didn't think she would make it to the gym. My first thought was "ok, I don't have to go". Then I thought again and decided that, no, of course I was going.

Then I got up, got dressed for the phone app workout (bra out the outside of yesterday's shirt, so that should I sweat, it isn't on the bra, and I can still wear it the rest of the day), went to the living room, opened the app, and discovered that it thinks today is a rest day. For all four categories of exercises. This was a bit of a surprise, since for weeks now it has been a rest day for three of the four at once, and the fourth gets a different rest day. However, having gotten dressed to work out, I deiced to do a little anyway, and spent 10 minutes moving. Then I got dressed for work, posted to the Phire FB group that even though the one friend couldn't make it, I would still be going to the gym if anyone wanted to join me, had breakfast, and spent 15 minutes shoveling snow till [livejournal.com profile] lord_kjar was ready for work, and then I rode in with him.

As an aside--the downside of yesterday's long day at work and then having fun with friends on campus is that meant that no one was home yesterday to do the shoveling when we got the first decent snowfall of the winter. Not that it was much snow this time, either, but at least it was deep enough that one wouldn't want to wear low shoes in it. To make matters worse, after weeks of lovely temperatures (read: -10 to -30 C, or "cold enough not to melt and get slippery), today it warmed up to 0 C, so after sitting in the warmth the snow was getting a bit heavier than it was when it fell. Needless to say, I didn't get much of the driveway done in the 15 minutes I had before work.

Arriving at work I took my computer to the lab, turned on the plasma on the ICP-MS, and then went to the gym, where I was met by another Phire person I had only seen one time before. We had a nice workout and enjoyed chatting while we did. I did only a short 30 minute session, as I wanted to be certain I was ready when my lab technician arrived at 10:30 or 11:00.

I was, and spent a couple of hours with him, as he looked at the laser and checked a few things, explaining as he went. I now understand why it was that when I asked for the laser to deliver a fluence of 7 J/cm2 it was only giving about 3.5 J/cm2, but if I asked for 50% output I could get 7 J/cm2. It turns out that when the laser was installed the technician opened up the sample chamber, turned off the safety feature that keeps the laser from firing when the door is open, set in a sensor, fired the laser on it, and took notes as to how many J/cm2 it delivers at each % of output. Then the computer looks at my request, compares it with that table, and sets the output level at that given by the table to yield the result I want.

Expect that sometime between installation and when I first noticed the problem something has gone wrong, so that it simply isn't giving as much energy as it did when that table was created, so now when I ask for 7 J/cm2 it uses the 40% output that it thinks ought to be good enough, but really, we need 60% these days.

Eventually the technician had enough information that he was ready to actually open up the machine and get to work, but first he needed lunch. He didn't really want me present for the opening thing up and changing stuff with the optics, saying that I wouldn't be able to help, and he didn't really want someone else in the room when the laser was unshielded. So, it being plenty late enough to do so, I went home for the day, enjoying a nice walk through a forest of snow-covered trees.

That gave me time for a short nap (~20 min), some food (baked a yummy cornbread) and a good book, running a load of laundry, and a bit more snow shoveling, before it was time to head to uni for the Frostheim social/crafts night.

I brought my dulcimer, which seriously needed tuning after the temperature changes this week, and made some progress on my tunic in progress. This week there were four of us for most of the evening, but a friend who can't eat gluten dropped by on his way to his martial arts session to try the cornbread, since I had told him I was bringing it).

We had my senior apprentice working on her wool dress, the friend from Phire who didn't make it to this morning's workout, working on her wool dress, me working on my wool tunic, and a really cute new guy, working on some chain mail project he started working on three years ago (he is so in the right place!) It was a lovely time, and I was quite surprised when the apprentice's husband returned to pick her up, as I didn't think it was that late.

As we were packing up to go I looked at my phone, and saw that my service technician had sent me a text message at 19:30 saying he was finally done for the day, having found the root cause and started the repair, and suggesting that I meet him tomorrow at 10:00. I am glad I didn't stick around till he was done!

From there I went over to the local grocery store to pick up my package, since I had received a text message earlier in the day saying it was in. But we also needed a few things from the store, so I filled a basket first. Then, when I had found everything I wanted, I looked at the line to deal with the one human on duty, and went over to the self-scanning station, and checked myself out. Then I hopped in the car and went home, and it wasn't till I pulled into the driveway that I realized that I hadn't picked up the package. Oops! I have now added it to the calendar for tomorrow, so hopefully I will remember.

However, the self-annoyance at forgetting the package was completely overshadowed by the joy at discovering that [livejournal.com profile] lord_kjar, who had stayed home from Frostheim to finish up a few things for work, had finished up the shoveling while I was gone.

Now I should do yoga, before [livejournal.com profile] lord_kjar puts down that nyckleharpa he just started playing...
kareina: (stitched)
Of course, I should have gone to bed before 01:00 last night, but I didn't. So instead of getting up at 05:30 to start my morning exercises I slept till quarter till seven. I still did my before-getting-up situps, and then went to the living room and did the pushups and squats section of what would have been yesterday's phone app workout, but yesterday I opted to stop after only the abs and "extra bodyweight" sections, because I thought that 52 minutes were enough. Of course, the two sections that remained to be done today added up to only 10 minutes, which was good because that gave me time for a shower before riding in to work with [livejournal.com profile] lord_kjar.

Work went well, and kept me busy till time to go meet my friend at 13:00 at the gym, where we did the "day one" workout as I haven't yet received the description for the day two workout from my trainer. After the workout we spent a bit of time doing very basic acro yoga--just the airplane position, since she isn't used to doing it, so just that much takes an effort.

Then I worked for another couple of hours till it was time to go to Phire practice at 16:00. Since E., the girl who is so good at acro yoga, was sick today I was on my own, but managed to convince a number of people to give it a try. Mostly just the basic airplane pose, as they had trouble holding their legs still if they were base, and had trouble balancing if they were flying. But it is good for me to practice being base, too, and I still have fun flying, even if the base wobbles a bit. But boy does it give me appreciation for E.'s skill. When she lifts me into airplane it is as stable as laying on the ground, and she has no difficulties doing all the advanced poses. Hopefully she will be feeling better by next Tuesday (even if she is better by Friday, I won't make it to practice then, as I will be in Finland).

After Phire it was time to head to choir, which was much fun. We got some new exchange students, so there were 12 of us tonight--exactly six each male and female voices.

Since I did my yoga during Phire practice I can head to bed as soon as I post this, which would be very wise, since tomorrow I am meeting my friend at 08:30 for another workout, and then I will go to work, where, at 10:00, the laser service technician will arrive from Germany. He will be here all day, and tomorrow as well. I suspect that I probably ought to work full time the next couple of days while he is here, but I don't know for certain yet if that will be happening. It is mostly up to him, and how easy he finds it to have someone else present trying to learn stuff as he works.
kareina: (me)
Tuesdays will be my longest day this semester (side note: I have been in Sweden long enough that it feels funny to use that word in this context, since here that spelling means "vacation"). Today's schedule:

06:00 wake up, start situps
06:19 finish situps (and reading LJ/email)
06:34 start my actual morning workout (phone app)
07:04 workout done (today was a shorter/easier day than yesterday)
07:38 start playing dulcimer
07:44 done playing dulcimer
07:58 start walking to work
08:44 arrive at work and start my day
11:20 pause work and head to the gym
11:30 meeting with my personal trainer (who showed me my first workout routine, now I just need to find time to do it--he promises to email me the details tomorrow)
12:37 back to the office, arriving just as a friend dropped by to say hello
12:58 resume work
15:44 pause work to eat some dinner and check personal email, LJ and FB
16:30 begin Phire practice (today: staff work, acrobatics, head stands (with splits) and hand stands against the wall, and juggling)
18:02 pause in Phire practice for a meeting, during which I did yoga
18:18 resume Phire practice (more staff work and juggling,and some hand stands against the wall)
18:40 done Phire practice
19:00 begin choir practice
20:30 done choir practice, hang out and chat with people for another 30 minutes
21:12 shovel snow
21:18 check mail, look up used pianos and keyboards for sale, and email the choir officers the list so that the group can buy one, instead of us needing to bring ours
22:15 get this far in typing this post. Once it is done and posted I may do a bit more yoga before bed, since my legs could use it...

Choir was much fun today--we started two new songs, both of which are done in mixed groups. The first was Dolly Parton's 9 to 5 (which song could have been a factor in my having been a career student--it came out when I was 14 and convinced me that I never wanted a "job"), and the second was Alice Cooper's Poison (while I had heard this one before, I didn't have hearing aids then, so had never actually heard/understood the lyrics before tonight--Oh, My! I didn't realize that it was a love song, nor that it had such... vivid images).

Tomorrow the only thing on the calendar is work, so I should be home early enough to do something useful around the house. Unless I just sleep.

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