Friday, January 21, 2011
Past few days
A picture of a sun dog. These are like rainbows but occur when the air is full of ice instead of water.
I'm standing on the roof of MAPO, which is where Keck is located. In the background you can see DSL which is where my telescope is located.
Sara was complaining that I hadn't updated my blog in a while, but the only chances I get to update it (when the satellite is up) I'm usually on the phone with her... so it's her fault. That, and since the internet is frustratingly slow, it takes a long time to actually make a post.
I've been working pretty hard these past few days. We've had to do a liquid helium refill (I'll have to do another today) which is somewhat fun. During the fill, the visiting priest and dentist came by (I know, that sounds like the start of a dirty joke). I gave them a quick tour of the telescope and then went up to the roof for a while to install a mirror on top of the telescope. It wasn't too cold, only -15 F and there was no wind, so it was tolerable to be up there for a while. Afterwards, we had a group picture at the Keck telescope in the next building over. There were probably close to 20 of us, which was really cool. We had to do a re-take of the photos and I decided that I wanted the BICEP2 t-shirt that I designed on full display, so in the re-takes I was wearing only a t-shirt and jeans in -15. It wasn't so bad, but I didn't want to stay out there longer than a few minutes. Later that night, we played volleyball then watched Wet Hot American Summer with some beers and scotch. A few of the guys had never seen the movie before so it was even funnier seeing them crack up. The next morning we had a telecon meeting at 9am which went well and afterwards I took a quick nap. I did some more data analysis until around dinner time, after which I jammed with my band (concert is in 2 weeks). We've got about 4 songs that we're working on for the show. There was supposed to be soccer that night but it ended up being cancelled. All day, my plan was to go to soccer and then hit the sauna but with soccer cancelled, I was still able to convince a few people to go to the sauna with me. We cranked it up to just over 200 degrees and then ran outside for a total of about 215 degree difference. It's so far the most extreme I've experienced. I felt sooooo relaxed afterwards. Those whacky norwegians are on to something here... Afterwards, a few of us got together and watched It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia until we got tired enough to go to bed.
Yesterday, I worked on my code from pretty much when I woke up until dinner. Needless to say, I was not in a terribly great mood. After dinner we played volleyball for about 3 and a half hours. For the first hour I was still pissed off and there were some real goobers who play who were annoying the crap out of me. Goobers, by the way, in this case means either really dorky and annoying or someone who is just terrible at volleyball. I don't usually mind the terrible people because volleyball is really an excuse to relax and have some fun, but they were just awful that day. Eventually, I shook off my shitty mood and started to have a lot of fun. I was actually able to pull off a move that I've been trying for a while: the ball came over the net really low and I was able to bump it with my foot--where my foot was planted firmly on the floor. I was in shock that it actually worked. After volleyball, I was hungry so I went to the galley for some leftover lasagna (one of my favorite things) and had a beer with some of the Keck guys who were there playing cards. Eventually, I went to bed.