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Tomorrow ends my third week back in the full-time employment world.  I met with my boss, the institute’s director, this morning, before she disappears to France for a month.  She’s on sabbatical, and hasn’t been around much as it is, and her France trip is also work-related.  She’s happy with what she’s heard from others and was happy with what I told her as well, about what I’ve been doing and/or trying to do.  I do still like the job.  It’s taking some adjustments, as any workplace new to anyone would, but I can’t complain about the general professionalism and positive attitudes I encounter daily.

Specifically, I’ve been teaching myself a lot, including ArcGIS, Python, and basic geochemistry and other geology fields so I can understand the non-atmospheric scientists with whom I work.  I’ve been working a lot on making most of the data from a local observation site available on the project network’s national site, which means I’ve been heads down and knee deep in metadata and web content management systems.  I’ll be working with a couple of coworkers on setting up a MySQL database as the Summer progresses as well.  My boss put a priority on some of the visualization projects I have lined up, because they’re exposure for the institute and the observation project.

As home life goes, Toni and I are still settling in to the new condo.  Living room, kitchen, and master bedroom are pretty well unpacked, but the dining room, our home offices, and the library are still mostly stacks of boxes.  I love the town – people outside of the university seem to be generally as positive about things as those on the inside.  Pennsylvania still has bureaucracy and all its associated headaches, but nothing has put me off yet.  Also, there are mountains – we can see parts of some Allegheny ridges from various vantage points around town.

I like living 15 minutes (by car) from work, and being able to park within 100 yards of my building on campus.  I have decided not to bike to work, mainly because the most feasible route would take me down the very busy multilane road through town, which also goes down and up a rather long hill.  I am still lousy at hill climbing on my bike – add traffic and I really don’t want to deal with it.  I did sign up for the local bicycling group’s e-mail list, however, and they’re starting slower rides on Thursday evenings next month.  They call them “beginner rides,” but they’re at my normal cruising speed (usually around 12-13 mph or so on the flat), so it makes sense.

Looking forward to the Memorial Day weekend.  Toni and I have a wedding to attend in Virginia, and, while we’re there, hope to see some other friends in town, so, having that third day off will be nice.

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

Date: 2013-05-24 03:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] d-h.livejournal.com
I teach intro to Python courses, and things I say to most people are:
-for Python's object oriented a good summation is hey_you.do_this(with_this).
-dictionary based storage (hashtables) are extremely efficient where you need to look up something by an identifier, but do not naturally support ordering of entries.
-with testing for things (if) versus just giving it a go (try/except), try will often be more efficient in cases where the failure is going to occur less than 10% of the time (25% for python 3), so is used a lot more than in other languages.

For a teach yourself resource, my recommendation is the google tutorials at

Date: 2013-05-24 11:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] quasigeostrophy.livejournal.com
Thanks! So far, I'm mainly using it to reparse data and metadata files from one format to another, but I'll probably do some visualization work with it down the road.

Date: 2013-05-24 08:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] coraline73.livejournal.com
Glad it's going well. xoxo


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