Jul. 3rd, 2013

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  • No more monthly reads posts until I actually finish another work of fiction.  I’m still on p. 252 of Kim Stanley Robinson’s Red Mars.  It’s not that I’m stuck and not enjoying the book.  I think I’m just still too tired mentally after coming home from work.  I think I’m getting more used to the new routine, though, and hope to pick up the Nook Color again soon.  Once I finish Red Mars, I think I will probably read Neil Gaiman’s latest, The Ocean at the End of the Lane.  Been seeing and hearing great things about it.
  • Toni has seen a dentist and a doctor here in State College, and so far she likes them both, so the anxiety I had about finding new ones may be unfounded after all.  I’m seeing the doctor on July 15.
  • It has been very rainy here.  I can’t think of the last day it didn’t rain at least for a few minutes.  Last Thursday was horrible.  Most of the main road I use to get between campus and home was flooded out, particularly at the bottom of a rather deep valley just outside campus.  Our basement stayed dry here, but I know several who are still cleaning up.
  • Still haven’t gotten out on my bicycle (either of them) since we moved.  I blame both the rain and my adjusting to working again.  And some trepidation about the hilly terrain around here.
  • We went down to Harrisburg a couple of Saturdays ago for our first Pennsylvania Costco shopping trip.  Pretty drive, but long enough that we may not keep our membership.  Given the cost of dues and what we buy there, we’re not sure it’s worth keeping.  And please don’t suggest Sam’s Club as an alternative – I can’t support Wal-Mart’s employment practices.
  • Have been to the farmers’ market on Saturday morning a couple of times.  Good stuff.  Among things like spinach, lettuce, beef roast, etc., we’ve gotten some Amish whoopie pies that are some of the sweetest treats I’ve ever had.
  • Work continues to be good.  I’m learning a lot about Python, JavaScript, D3, PostgreSQL, GIS, and other things, and brushing up on Adobe Premiere and After Effects, as well as an open source 3D design and rendering package called Blender (it beats getting, even at University discount, a license for Maya or 3DS Max).  I spend a lot of time managing data from a nearby interdisciplinary observation site, and I’m working on automating conversion of much of that data for upload to a national repository.  I’ve set up a YouTube channel and Facebook page for the Institute in which I work (we also have a Twitter account, but I didn’t set that up, nor do I maintain it), and I’ve started posting videos and animations there, though so far most of it has been content that existed elsewhere before I started my job.
  • I’ve kicked off some new work projects in the last couple of weeks.  I’m taking over a long-stagnant 3D GeoWall project in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences Museum.  I’m working with a group in Civil and Environmental Engineering on versioning (establishing code revision and documentation processes) of a hydrological model.  And yesterday morning I met with a professor and grad student from the Penn State Studio|Lab (an interdisciplinary lab that combines science and art) about a sonification project.  They want to take data from the nearby observation site from which I manage data and use it to generate music.  I’ll be helping them understand the scientific contexts of the data, working with them to combine meaningful data streams, and adding a visual component.
  • Presuming I can get the time off (non-tenure faculty vacation doesn’t exist, at least here, so time off is between employee and supervisor), Toni and I are planning to take an actual vacation again, sometime in the Fall.  One during which we aren’t really going to do much if any sightseeing or visiting people.  We’ll go somewhere, but I’m not saying where (in part because we haven’t nailed it down yet), bring our Nooks, and hole up for a week or so.  I think it will be very nice.

Originally published at Abnormality Locality. You can comment here or there.

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