“Normally I try to keep the back wheels behind the front, but here I guess I’ll try it the other way around”.
Monday, December 24, 2012
Monday, June 25, 2012
Saturday, June 02, 2012
Monday, April 16, 2012
But first, a series of long drives.
Day 1: Saskatoon to Kenora, ON. 1047 km according to Google. If things go extra-well, I might push it the extra 140 km to Dryden, where the Husky station is a truck stop with restaurant. I love Husky restaurants, especially for breakfast.
Day 2: Kenora, ON to Cochrane, ON, via Highway 11, 1200 km. I'm trying to stay north as much as possible, I have no reason to dive south towards Toronto and southern Ontario. Again, if things go very well, I'll try to push it to Kirkland Lake. Obviously this is more feasible if Day 1 makes it to Dryden.
Day 3: Cochrane, ON to Montreal, QC, via Quebec 117, 868 km. The shortest day of the three, because I want to arrive in Montreal at some polite time to meet the person I will be staying with. I'll be tired, but if I drove 1000 km on the third day I'd show up completely exhausted from the road, and make a poor first impression. Hence my desire to push longer on Day 1 and Day 2.
The whole trip eastwards, covering something close to 1/2 the width of the North American continent.
Going home will be a different route, I'm planning a Sunday Drive out of Montreal (there are ferries across the St. Laurence! One is about 80km downstream from Montreal!) and a weekend at the family cottage between Ottawa and Kingston in eastern Ontario. I'll be in less of a hurry going home, and I'd like to explore the south shore of Lake Superior by driving along the upper Michigan peninsula.
Friday, April 13, 2012
I am feeling rather tired, but pretty good, for I have reached my goal for this week. I now have a manuscript, a proto-scientific-paper. It's still a long way from submission to the journal, it lacks references, acknowledgements, some formatting clean-up, the attention and approval of my co-authors, and other things – heck, it doesn't yet have a proper title! But it does have an Introduction, Methods & Materials, Results, and Discussion, in proper English sentences and paragraphs. The vast majority of the words are in the places they're going to end up in the finished product, and anyways the core ideas and story are certainly in place. There are also four figures with complete figure captions, and a pile of statistical tests buried under cryptic mentions of p-values and such.
Considering this was little more than a pile of data scraped into a single Excel file on Tuesday afternoon, and less than that a week ago, I'm feeling pretty good about this. Beyond the utility of getting something DONE, the more short-term accomplishment of giving me something to talk about in Montreal in two weeks has also been achieved. My talk at that conference (Thursday, April 26, in the afternoon) doesn't yet exist at all, but I now have a pretty good idea of what the main figures are going to look like and what I'm going to be saying.
Monday, March 05, 2012
The computer I bought arrived Friday, while I was not at home (of course). They gave it to my neighbour, a person I've never met. She hasn't been home since Friday, apparently, and still has it. I'm not worried about her, but it's annoying that UPS let her sign for it. I called and filed a complaint, which was less than satisfactory; the computer voice that speaks to me before I can talk to a real person informed me I can request the second attempt at delivery be with a neighbour. But in the follow-up call from the local depot I was informed it was company policy to ask a neighbour to accept the package, even on the first delivery attempt.
I don't actually care what UPS corporate policy is, I don't expect them to change at all because of my experiences. I want the ability to specify DO NOT SEND UPS when I buy something on-line - I will gladly pay more (and wait longer) for a different carrier. I've received packages carried by Fedex, Canada Post, Purolator, and DHL, and never had the kinds of problems I've had with UPS.
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
I was invited to submit a "Frostbyte" to the organizers of the Montreal 2012 IPY conference that I will be attending in April. I tried to put together my 60-seconds of self-promotion, but failed; that taste in my mouth is familiar, it tastes like faillure. This is a small thing, in many ways (of course). I spent perhaps an hour, maybe an hour and a half in total working on my Frostbyte, with about 60 seconds of me talking and a handful of pictures to accompany. But, listening again to my audio, I realized I was talking too fast (anyone who knows me is currently nodding their heads at this news), but there was no part of what I was saying I could delete and retain a coherent, useful description of the work I will present, in 900 seconds rather than 60, on April 26. So I deleted the files.
If the organizers choose to berate me at the conference for not participating, I'll be able to brush them off. My work and my skill sets are not suited to such little blitherings.