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  • Unpacking at the new place continues.  A bit slowly, but we are making progress.  Toni’s done a lot more than I have since I started work – the living room and kitchen are almost complete.  Just have a couple of art boxes and hanging of art in the living room.  My home office and the library?  Let’s not talk about them just now, eh?
  • Speaking of the new place… Given everything I love about it, I really wonder about the lighting in the kitchen.  It’s almost a galley kitchen, with dark cabinets and a dark granite counter top.  When I’m doing dishes, there is no light over the sink, and I’m shadowing the main overhead lights.  Thinking of looking for a stick-on light or something at Home Depot, but then we’d have to change batteries.
  • Have now been at the new job for a month, and I’m still liking it in general.  Every job has its headaches, and this one is no exception, but I get to do a lot of different things and learn a lot while I’m at it.  It’s not cloud physics, but I have done some atmospheric science already.
  • I also am getting Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects for my work computer, because I’m now in charge of the Institute’s YouTube channel, and will be making videos promoting Institute scientists’ work, along with all my other outreach and visualization work.
  • My predecessor used Maya on his old Mac Pro, and I’m trying not to ask the Institute to spring for a copy of that (the University doesn’t have a pricing deal for it), so I’ve installed Blender and will give that a try for any 3D rendering I need to do.
  • Speaking of Premiere Pro, After Effects, and Blender, it strikes me as amusing that I had to get a job in science to do video editing and production, despite working in the hardware supplier side of that field for nearly a decade.
  • Ever since Toni and I first visited here when I had my interviews, I’ve felt a little spatially disoriented.  For as long as I can remember, I have had a knack for knowing what direction is what (north, south, east, west, and in-between).  Maybe it’s from growing up in a gridded city (Indianapolis), or maybe it’s from growing up a map/navigation/geography geek and knowing where I am in relation to what is around me.  I do recall, I think (biologists feel free to support or tell me I’m full of it, whichever), reading that some species have what is in effect a compass that helps them orient themselves, and I’ve often joked that I do, too.  No idea if there is anything to that, but, aside from the fact that the labeling of the major grid here in state college is well over 45 degrees rotated to the west (north-south streets run approximately north of west to south of east, thanks to the orientation of the valley) and our condo faces slightly west of south, despite feeling like it faces southeast, I thought about something today that makes me wonder.  If there’s anything to a biological compass, I wonder if the presence of pyrite in the Allegheny ridges in the area has enough of an effect on the prevailing local magnetic field.  I don’t own a compass that I recall, save the one in our car GPS, and I don’t think it’s off, but I don’t know if it’s an actual compass or just extrapolation from GPS data, but I suppose I could look for local magnetic field info on a geological map of some sort (don’t recall what they’re called, but I’ve seen such maps before).
  • Toni has a dentist appointment tomorrow, either of our first contact with anyone local medically.  I’m curious how it will go.  Finding a new dentist after 17 years with an awesome one in Fishers, Indiana, and even finding new doctors, despite having better (and cheaper!) insurance now, is something I’ve dreaded about moving here.  Dentistry for me is practically a phobia, and our Indiana dentist’s office did everything they could to make it easy for me to deal with, from cleanings and X-rays to replacement crowns.
  • As much as I like living here – the town, the University and my job, and our home are all nice – it feels a little weird to think about Indiana as no longer being home.  Fleeting thoughts will drift through my head about “when we go back home (to Indiana),” and then I remember we are home.  Toni’s had similar thoughts.  I presume it’s just part of adjusting to living in a new place, particularly as far away from our previous one as this is, and after so long there.
  • Went to the closest farmers’ market on Saturday, in the Home Depot parking lot.  Got some great spinach and lettuce that’s already gone, and a roast.  Also got a couple of authentic Amish whoopie pies, and just one of them was practically of coma-inducing sweetness.
  • We’re probably going to make our first journey out of town soon:  the nearest Costco is down in Harrisburg.  I’m looking forward to getting out of town for a while, even if it is just for a Costco trip.  As much as I love everything here, as I’ve mentioned, I also have a love-hate relationship with routine, and I’ve already fallen into one since I started working full time again.  It will be nice to take a route through the middle of Pennsylvania on which I’ve never been.

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

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