quasigeostrophy: (medical)
Toni and I got back from vacation in Massachusetts over a week ago. It was nice. Hung out with B and M and their kids. B and I ran around a couple of days - to Gloucester and Rockport, down to Cambridge. Otherwise, didn't do much. Decided after driving out there in one day, especially considering we stop a lot more these days, we're getting too old to make that drive in one day, so we left for home a day early and stopped overnight in Buffalo, NY.

Last Thursday, the first morning we were home, I awoke with a sore throat, serious PND, and very stuffy sinuses and nasal passages. Worked both Thursday and Friday mornings in the lab (and was annoyed that meetings I had scheduled were postponed by the other attendees - I could have stayed home and rested). By Saturday afternoon I had a very persistent and productive cough. I'd had an allergist follow-up in Indy on Friday and the nurse practitioner thought it may have been a severe allergy attack, a "Welcome home to Indiana". Monday afternoon, our new local doc decided it could have been that in part, but was definitely also an infectious strain of bronchitis, so he put me on a carpet bomber antibiotic. I went in on Tuesday for my rescheduled meetings with other students. Wednesday I stayed home and planned to rest, and took Toni to the doctor because she had caught it from me and gone from nothing to bronchitis in less than 48 hours. Met with my advisor yesterday morning (who told me her husband caught something similar in between trips out to the Great Plains for work on VORTEX2), but I'm not planning on going back in until I feel better. Not before Monday, anyway. I've made an appointment with a local allergist as well. Not that I don't like the one I have in Indy, but if I like this local guy, it means I won't have to drive all the way down there anymore, and even if I don't switch to him, I'm frustrated to the point where I want another brain working on WTF is up with my allergies, sinuses, and in particular, my Eustachian tubes.

I have to do some calculations and literature review for work by next Thursday, but otherwise I just need to get a draft of my AMS journal article to my advisor before I leave for WRF training in mid-July. I've made all those travel arrangements. My office mate C and I are arriving late in the afternoon on Saturday, July 11. Free day on Sunday the 12th, during which I think I may head down to the Colorado Irish Festival, at least late in the afternoon to see Eileen Ivers. The WRF class at NCAR is Monday through Friday, and then I have another free day Saturday the 18th before flying home the next morning. I'll be away for Toni's and my 17th wedding anniversary on Friday, July 17, so we'll celebrate sometime ASAP after I get home. We've already talked about it, and we move holidays all the time. The specific date is not a huge deal for us.

It looks like I may take one class in the fall, along with my TA and research duties. There is a proposal writing class on Monday afternoons, and since my advisor is having a hard time fitting my project into her current proposal, she thinks whether or not I end up being covered by her proposal, submitting one of my own will be a good experience. I agree with this comment.
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Final exam in Aerosols, Clouds, and Climate this morning. Wasn't too bad. I'm sure I didn't get everything, but I should have enough to come out of there with the 'B' I need to graduate. Won't know my grade until a week from Wednesday. Commencement is the following weekend. I'm not going (already have one M.S. and advisors don't get to hood M.S. grads anyway, so I'm holding off until the Ph.D. to go through commencement again), which means my diploma won't show up for another two months.

After the exam this morning, my advisor gave me a graduation present - a really nice engraved "executive" laser pointer. The point can be changed to be the shape of an arrow. I really wasn't expecting that. :-)

Went to Best Buy after class to see what our options are for getting an iPod adapter installed before we drive out to Massachusetts. Came home and ordered one online that I'm going to have Best Buy put in after it arrives. Unfortunately, since we don't have the higher model trimline/radio from Honda, we'll have to control the iPod from itself rather than from the car radio, but that's okay.

Tonight Toni and I are heading down to Indy to have my celebration dinner at Kona Jack's and we're going to browse Border's and hit Costco.
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I finished all my post-defense edits to my thesis mere moments ago and sent the draft off to my advisor. Once she approves it and I get the rest of my committee to sign off, I can print the department copies on good cotton paper, get them bound, and submit the thing. Online submission is due Wednesday afternoon at 2:30pm, in person appointment is 24 hours later.

Doesn't seem like much left, but it could still take all that remaining time.

My advisor was still talking about giving out a homework for class as late as last Friday. It would have to be due this coming Friday, the last day of classes. I'm hoping she doesn't get around to it, but I have a feeling she still will.

Tomorrow morning I need to go to Parking Services to reserve a garage tag for next school year.

Final exam for class is a week from tomorrow at 8:00am. Once that's done and I'm confident I have a 'B' in the class (which shouldn't be too hard to pull off at this point, I hope), then I'll say I've got two Master of Science degrees. :-)
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Turned in my M.S. thesis to my committee this evening. It's 145 pages in its current state. My defense is scheduled for 10:30am Tuesday. I need to make my presentation and rehearse it before then, so heads-down mode isn't quite over yet.

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Turned in the form that schedules my thesis defense to the grad school today. It's a pretty tight schedule, and I'll probably be (more) insane by the end of it (and I want to go through all this again for my Ph.D. in about three years? ;-)).

- Monday, April 13: Give reading copies of my thesis to my committee members.

- Tuesday, April 21, 10:30am-12:30pm: M.S. Thesis Defense. A 45-minute presentation open to the public, with time for questions, followed by up to an hour private oral exam.

- Wednesday, April 29: Need to have any revisions suggested at my defense completed. Electronically submit thesis to ProQuest before 2:30pm.

- Thursday, April 30, 2:30pm: Thesis deposit appointment, Purdue Grad School Thesis Office. Need to have nice, bound copies ready to give to the grad school by this time.

I think I can make this. I didn't get any writing done today, thanks to tracking down three faculty members to get a free time for my defense. And I technically still don't have a room. It will be one of two - one downstairs in my building, the other all the way across campus in the management school. Obviously, I'm hoping for the former. I need to write a fairly brief conclusion chapter, rework one of my chapters into an appendix, and write an intro (and make any revisions suggested by my advisor). Tomorrow I'm going into the lab to get some figures made before I meet with my advisor, and from Thursday through Sunday will be writing and revising.
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2nd talk in less than a week given. The one for class on arctic haze went well, despite my feeling like I was going to start coughing any time. The aerosols/radiation prof said to the class, "Dan has set a high standard for the rest of you." My advisor (the other prof) also complimented me.

I still feel like complete poo, though not quite as bad as yesterday. I have a counselor/therapist appointment at 1:00pm, and one of the meetings from yesterday rescheduled to 2:30pm today. If I can help it, I'm taking tomorrow off.
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Thanks loads to everyone who offered and helped me get feedback on winter weather curiosities earlier this week! I was interested in some general public opinions because I'm working on a fellowship application for funding from the Dept. of Homeland Security.

I've gone through a lot of current winter weather research, and today I settled on a specific research idea for my Ph.D. My advisor and I will start revising it tomorrow, and the application is due December 1. I should find out if I get the fellowship by December 18, in plenty of time to form a plan B for Ph.D. funding if I don't get it.

Meantime, I should get my latest math test back in class tomorrow afternoon. I'm sure after I see my score I'll be ready to get out of town for a while. Toni and I are heading down to her 'rents in Louisville for part of the weekend for early Thanksgiving.

Next week, just class on Monday afternoon, but I'll probably have some reading for my lit review and likely revisions to my proposal to do over the long holiday weekend.
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Tomorrow is busy with Toni with the Farmer's Market, a trip to Indy to check on and clean the house (and switch the HVAC to furnace), and a matinée showing of Avenue Q, before hitting Costco, Trader Joe's, and another grocery up here that does decorated cakes for my advisor's birthday next week. The rest of my labmates are taking responsibility for decorating the lab, so I volunteered to get the cake.

Sunday I'll be spending mostly trying to do the latest math homework. Wish me luck.

Next week's schedule is a bit lighter thanks to my math prof canceling class for Monday and Wednesday. Of course, the homework is still due next Friday at our next class, and I know he hasn't covered enough material to do it. Then again, that's par for the course with this guy.

Of course, to make up for no math class Monday or Wednesday, after meeting with my advisor today I have another day's data to start investigating as a new case, because I think we're going to throw out one of the ones I had been investigating (found a squall line. Squall line likely = ice. Ice != warm rain process, which is what we're trying to figure out). And we have her birthday thing on Wednesday.

I'm glad we don't have anything planned for the following weekend. I need to finish off those two thesis chapters so my advisor can start red-lining them by Halloween. And she reiterated today that, based on past writing of mine, she's looking forward to reading them. Even if she does still bleed all over them with red edit text, it's nice to hear she appreciates not having to teach me to write along with the science I'm learning.
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Had a good meeting w/ my advisor this morning. Finally some science to talk about, which, due to software problems, has been sorely lacking of late.

Monday and Tuesday Purdue is off for fall break. After my math class this afternoon, I won't have class again until Wednesday (although I don't have them on Tuesdays this semester anyway).

  • Meet a friend at a bar tonight, with Toni.
  • Usual Saturday morning errands (Farmer's Market, groceries, recycling drop-off, etc) with Toni.
  • Acquire pie, preferably apple. Pumpkin would be an okay second choice.
  • Lafayette Outoberfest with Toni tomorrow afternoon/evening.
  • Make significant headway on the two thesis chapters my advisor wants to see by 10/31.
  • Come in to the lab anyway and work on a couple more cases I'm sure my advisor will want to discuss next Friday.
  • Go with Toni early Monday morning and check on the house while she's at a dentist appointment.
  • Go on a bike ride.
  • Find somewhere local for a haircut.
  • Work on more unpacking, at least in my office, and maybe even the mountain of 200 book boxes library.
  • Hope my math prof doesn't post the next homework before Wednesday.

A list like this I don't expect to complete.
quasigeostrophy: (doommeter)
5 problems. I am hopeful for partial credit, as I don't think I got any of them completely right. One of them was a proof, which I think I understand why it works, but had no clue how to work through the logic in the form of a mathematical proof. The other problems were solving equations, and none of them seemed to work out as neatly as the homework (for certain values of "neatly", considering how much of a time sink the homework has been), so I'm not sure how much I got on each of them.

But it's over, my office mate had the same reaction to the exam, and I've noticed frustrated looks among our classmates, too, so hopefully there will be a decent curve.

I've noticed the mathematics department here is more than a bit sadistic. They push problem solving to the more difficult extreme. Usually, though, they also grade accordingly. One of my labmates took a tough grad-level math class a couple of years ago, never did better than about 55-60% on any exam, and got a 'B'.


ION, my advisor brought cake for 1:00 for my b-day (belated), and my lab mates are taking me to lunch before that at 11:30. Tonight Toni and I are going out to eat for a belated celebration as well. So I have to pick where to eat lunch and (presumably) dinner. Two restaurant choices in one day. I think, especially after being drained by my exam, my brain may explode. :-)
quasigeostrophy: (Default)
...it sure felt like it was never going to end.

All the fun of sitting still, being quiet, writing down numbers, paying attention. Yes, science has it all.
-- Seymour Skinner

My advisor said today we should convince my committee to allow something under the new policies and get them to waive my MS comprehensive exam. She said I've done so well in my classes and am making independent forward progress in my research, and especially since I'm staying at Purdue for a PhD, I don't need one more test in rapid succession. I would have that comprehensive written exam, my oral thesis defense, and then fairly soon afterward next school year, my PhD qualifying exam. This way, I'd just have the thesis writing and oral defense for my MS before starting PhD work. She also said her grant proposals for ICE (the next project she wants to jump onto) may not be through the system by next fall, so I might need a semester of TA-ing to get funded. 'sokay, it would be good for me to do that if I end up at a university anyway. (She also said, and this speaks volumes, when commenting I could TA her atmospheric thermodynamics class, "It would be nice to have a good TA again." Her current one is my new labmate who has teaching experience.)

Got a few more hints for the as-yet-undone problems on my first math homework. Still not 100% confident I know how to finish them, but I also have a couple of reference books I need to unpack that ought to help.

This weekend, need/want to:

- Unpack above-mentioned reference and other books for my home office.
- Try to finish the above-mentioned math homework.
- Hit le Target for sundry necessities.
- Do laundry.
- Go on a bike ride.

ION, some peoples' heads are so far up their asses, they'll show up on endoscopy.
quasigeostrophy: (lego_me)
Note to Self: Never go to the Math building without your umbrella. Unforeseen showers blew up while in class this afternoon, and I got drenched getting from Math all the way to MSEE, the only tunnel access I knew about to get to the parking garage. Ah, well. A change of clothes when I got home and all was well. Laptop may have lost a USB port from being in my backpack all that way, but I've got three other ports that work, and everything else seems fine.

Speaking of Math, I'm now halfway done with the first assignment, the one I posted here yesterday. I'd completed three problems (well, two plus half of one and half of another) before going to see the prof during his office hours this morning. Finished another half problem after that. Prof gave hints on the rest of them, but I'm still not sure I absorbed the hints. May need to see him again Friday.

This weekend is likely to be laundry, homework, more unpacking (particularly in my office, in case I need to get to some reference material for said homework), and hopefully a bike ride. Going to be cooler, so unless I eat something unsettling again, I think a ride is more likely. I'll get a chance to try out the new riding gear, too.
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Didn't go into work/school this morning, as I had an allergist follow-up down in Indy early this afternoon.

Went there, got my Rxs for Allegra and Singulair, since I ran out last week and we've switched insurance/Rx plans since they were last filled.

Checked the house in Fishers to make sure everything there was still okay.

Drove back to West Lafayette. Picked up some bike route and restaurant info for the area from the visitor's center.

Went to Home Despot and got a new pantry door rack and some toggle bolts for the coat closet shelf (it fell on me yesterday and pulled the plastic anchors right out of the cheap drywall - I need to keep reminding myself this is a rental).

Went to CVS, filled my Rxs, got some generic lactaid for me to try and some ice cream for Toni (and me).

Went back out for dinner with Toni after she got off work, to one of the best Chinese restaurants I've been to in a long time - a little hole in the wall in a bit of a run down area of Lafayette, but some of the best General Tso's I've ever had. My eyes were watering.

Just watched an episode of Dead Like Me in HD, and have started watching Johnny Dangerously also in HD, but must go to bed soon. Need to work tomorrow. May meet my new office mate from Puerto Rico. She should be in town already. There's also a "welcome back" picnic for the department tomorrow afternoon at a local park, but I may bail on that. Still much to do around the home, and too many boxes still staring at me.
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And I need to go shower. Four separate shifts to get the driveway shoveled. I'd go out for about 20-30 minutes, get tired, come in and rest for about the same, and go back and do it all again. But it's done. And I still don't have to go up to Purdue tomorrow, because my advisor and I agreed to cancel our meeting - besides, Tippecanoe County Schools are closed through Friday and this works out better for her situation, too.

Toni took some pictures of my progress with the driveway and walkway. Here they are in order:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16

Sorry, but I just don't have enough of a brain to write captions at the moment.

Back at It

Jan. 10th, 2007 06:29 pm
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Semester/Holiday break wasn't quite what I planned, but isn't that life? Got a new sump pump installed and motivation to start tossing a lot of the basement clutter, thanks to a low but comprehensive flood over New Year's weekend. Got another estimate and go-ahead from the insurance adjuster for the roof replacement, including all our hail-damaged window screens and temporary roof patching (14 shingles) to hold us until winter is over. We think we're going to paint the kitchen and master bedroom water stains ourselves and save on our deductible. Chauffeured Toni a lot due to her shoulder issues. Thankfully, she worked from home a lot while I was home, so that usually just meant PT and various appointments. We did go with Toni's brother to see our niece at a gymnastics meet at the Convention Center last Saturday. She did okay, and it was fun to see. This is Toni's brother's middle child. I've been blamed for years by her brother for her advanced sarcasm, and boy is it coming out. She's only 11! :-)

Monday was the first day back to school. I have classes only Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and I have all three classes each of those days. My advisor's husband teaches radar and dynamics, and in-between for atmospheric physics I have the first prof I met there back at the start of my application process, an older south Asian gentleman with one name who has much more of a sense of humor in class than I expected. And he gives open-book/open-notes exams.

I'll have to go up to campus on most Thursdays, too, because my advisor has scheduled weekly meetings this semester (she's not teaching and she's trying for tenure) beginning at the end of January (after much of the department gets back from the AMS conference in San Antonio next week). And she's already given me a lot more work for my research. By the time of my first meeting, I need to write up not only the brainstorming ideas for visualization I came up with over break, but she also requested a formal survey of meteorological visualization software, particularly for radar, currently in use. She's working on a paper for BAMS (Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society) for later this year, and this might possibly mean co-author credit for me. It will also be good foundation material for my thesis.

I can tell I need to readjust to the commute again - three weeks off was just long enough to get used to not doing it. Tomorrow is allergy shots, take Toni to PT, and start on some physics homework. Over the weekend, I still need to finish assembling our new stationary recumbent bicycle along with finishing some other minor household tasks. And no school Monday. :-)
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After I take care of the errands at Purdue, I have until Monday the 14th when I start my RA job (classes don't start until the 21st). I've a list of what I can and/or should do in that time. Not all of it will get done, and I'm having trouble prioritizing because of the overriding need to have a break:
  • (This one is already scheduled for Tuesday night) Go to The Melting Pot with Toni for a belated anniversary dinner.
  • (This one is also a priority because it's part of the belated anniversary thing) See Pirates of the Caribbean II with Toni.
  • Cut grass.
  • Trim grass.
  • Kill weeds.
  • Get some new pants.
  • Get a haircut.
  • Try to ride my bike at least once.
  • Dust & vacuum the house.
  • See An Inconvenient Truth. I just know I'm going to get into arguments debates about this, so I'd better be informed.[1]

We're not going to GenCon Indy next weekend after all. We were just going to wander the dealer room and pick up some games and look at shiny, pointy things, but we looked at the admission prices and really don't want to spend $45 each just for that. Besides, [livejournal.com profile] moominmuppet isn't coming to town for it, either, so that meet-up opportunity isn't a motivator anymore.

[1] - On a related note, I saw where The Weather Channel's climatologist, Dr. Heidi Cullen, in [livejournal.com profile] twc_blog yesterday phrased something very well: We live in a world that has a mix of natural climate cycles at play - like a symphony orchestra. Global warming has joined that orchestra. It may not be the conductor yet - but it's playing along with all the other instruments.

That expresses the impression I have given what I know so far about global warming. I will learn more, but probably never as much as she has, and it's good to see and educated climatologist not screaming that OMG it's only people (or worse, it's Americans the worst) who are heating up the planet!! Yes, we're doing our share, but what about highly-populated third-world countries who are still burning coal much less cleanly than we do. Last time I checked, Sao Paulo and Mexico City had the worst air quality on the planet. Beijing and Chongqing aren't far behind. Better stop before I get into full-blown rant mode. :-)
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Done, done done!

Submitted my NSF Fellowship Application just a few minutes ago. Need to ping my reference letter writers, as none of them have submitted letters yet, but they have until 12/31 at least. IUPUI on the other hand, is, as usual, pissing me off. I submitted my transcript request to them (for my B.A. timeframe) at the same time as my requests for Purdue (my initial freshman year) and Ball State (my M.S.). The NSF shows receipt of Ball State's and Purdue's, but not IUPUI's. They don't need to receive them tomorrow, but they say they should be postmarked by tomorrow. So, I just frantically requested another one from IUPUI. They'd better process it on time. I can't call anyone - I just tried, and they said "All transcript requests must be made in person, by mail, or by fax. :-P Anyway, wish me luck on getting that moolah. I may not hear anything on final award status until as late as next April.

Weather PSA

Finally programmed our NOAA Weather Radio receiver upstairs for the local county codes for the Specific Area Message Encoding feature. Now I can leave it set to come on for weather alerts and it won't wake us up for every bloody alert in the state. I even stopped at Radio Shack this morning while running other errands and picked up a portable weather radio with the SAME alert features that I can use in the Baja when I'm (hopefully) commuting back and forth to Purdue next year across the open tundra flat open fields that are northern Indiana. After the tornadoes that hit southern Indiana in the wee hours of Sunday morning, I highly encourage everyone to get such a radio, at least for your home. Several survivors of Sunday's tornadoes claimed they "never heard the sirens". An Emergency Management Agency official confirmed in The Indianapolis Star this morning that those sirens are meant to be heard outdoors. They're not intended to be heard by people indoors, particularly sleeping ones.

You don't have tornadoes in your area? Don't bet against them. Ever. Anyway, what about hurricanes? What about flash floods? Mudslides? Forest fires? The SAME Emergency Alert System will carry messages over NOAA Weather Radio for all of those and more.</soapbox>

No voting here.

We don't have an election to deal with here this year. Thank dog. I've seen a few folks grumble a common sentiment that if you don't vote, you can't bitch. I strongly disagree. I have voted in elections for a long time (I missed some when I was in college the last time for several reasons), but the last time I checked, anyone can bitch about it, thanks to Freedom of Speech. IMHO, if you don't vote, you can bitch all you want, but it's pretty stupid of you to do so.</rant>

Coming up Next

Getting new tires on the wagon tomorrow. Timely, I got paid by the JDRF today for the walk shoot we did last month. The wagon needs new tires before next week when I need to take it to Buffalo - some stuff I'm taking to [livejournal.com profile] karenthecroccy won't fit in the Baja. Around that, I'm going to be working on calendars for the Café Press store, we have an alumni dinner at Ball State on Friday, and still hope to see the Lord of the Rings exhibit at the Indiana State Museum. No more specific grad school/fellowship application prep for me until after Thanksgiving, when I'll start studying for the GRE.


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