Hello, I'm not so good at posting this week, due to it having been a bank holiday weekend which was also possibly the last gasp of summer, the bloke returning home from Nairobi and us turning around immediately afterward to go camping in Devon, and then back to drowning in work. We actually have some hardware in our hot little hands for the Engineering Model of our instrument for the JUICE spacecraft, and orders being placed for more, and that feels good.

I want to write up the camping weekend properly but for now, a preview from the dairy farm's ice cream stand.

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From left to right: S, Humuhumu, Keiki and S's younger brother J*, sitting on a simple wooden bench eating ice cream in cones. Backdrop is the beautiful Devonshire countryside.

* J, believe it or not, is only a few months older than Keiki. He is enormous.
nanila: wrong side of the mirror (me: wrong side of the mirror)
( Jun. 28th, 2017 05:50 pm)
I'm frantically trying to finish a bunch of work before I go on holiday for two weeks in July, so time for blog is very limited. I'm hoping to have lots of leisurely catch-up time to post things like photos from Vienna and Spain.

Worst thing that happened today: I forgot my glasses on the counter by the mirrors in the ladies' toilets at Birmingham New Street Station. I realised this at exactly the moment my train to London was moving away from the platform.

Best thing that happened today: I received an e-mail alert titled "hggggggfgfg", which I assumed meant, "ALERT: Engineer's Cat Has Walked Across Their Keyboard." It was later claimed that this alert was issued because of "testing", which I can only mean "testing for robustness of cat-proof-ness", a test which the system has surely failed.

In conclusion, I give you the most recent studio portraits that nursery had done of the children (late April).
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[Studio portrait of Humuhumu and Keiki smiling together. Humuhumu has her peach-framed glasses on.]
Since I’d best get these posted before next weekend happens, have a selection of photos from the bank holiday weekend.

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This prequel is from work in London on the Friday before the weekend. Everyone’s favourite selfie-loving tattooed physicist ([twitter.com profile] mggttaylor) came to lunch with the Rosetta team. We talked comets and outreach and heavy metal. Beer may or may not have been consumed.

Then I went back to Worcestershire and the weekend proper began.

Avoncroft )

At home )

Pub )
Our corridor was refurbished several months ago, and new door labels were applied. The admin staff have since added names and roles (e.g. “Lecturer”, “Research Associate”) to about 70% of the doors.

My officemate and I grew tired of waiting for ours to appear and have thus created our own.
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[Blue and white door label reading “Mr [Redacted] & Dr [Redacted]: Purveyors of splendid magnetometer data”]

We’re trying to decide how long it will be before anyone notices.

Poll #18391 Purveyors of splendid magnetometer data
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 81


Someone will notice our door label

View Answers

in a few days
7 (8.6%)

in a few weeks
3 (3.7%)

in a few months
3 (3.7%)

if/when you ever move office & it has to be replaced
27 (33.3%)

straightaway, but no one will say anything - see “You work in the Physics Department”
41 (50.6%)

tags:
Friends, Cassini is currently using not one, not two, not three, but FOUR Deep Space Network ground stations for an experiment. You can watch this happening here until about 15:40 BST.

This is so cool.
tags:
Last question on the college staff survey that I just filled out:

Q: What single thing should the College focus on to be a great place to work?

My answer: Minimising the negative impact of Brexit on our European colleagues.
tags:
nanila: (kusanagi: amused)
( Mar. 15th, 2017 10:24 pm)
20170315_094943
May I present the Physics Optics Workshop door sign, embedded amongst a lot of warning signs, which reads:

Optics Workshop Rates
If you watch - £60/hr
If you offer advice - £80/hr
If you help - £100/hr
If you reckon you are the expert, go away and do it yourself - Free
tags:
I've had a heck of a week. Keiki was off nursery Tuesday and Wednesday. I looked after him on Tuesday. I flew from Birmingham to Noordwijk on Wednesday and the bloke looked after Keiki. I was at an all-day meeting on Thursday at ESTEC (ESA centre in the Netherlands). I flew to London on Thursday night. This morning (Friday) I went to a four-hour meeting (at which I gave a presentation) and then ran over to another building to give an outreach talk to a large group of teenage girls about what it's like to be a spacecraft engineer.

At least I did it all whilst looking rivet af.

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[Me in my Noordwijk hotel room, wearing Docs, purple tights, my black wool coat with the fluffy collar and my engineer dress from Svaha.]

My week in photos )
The lab xmas party begins
This is me and my officemate B* in our Santa hats, which we wore to the bitter end (around 9:30 PM). Our lab Christmas party begins in the office with Irish coffees, after which we traipse across Hyde Park to a seekrit squirrel location (aka a pub) for 1 PM, when we commence eating and drinking in earnest. Later, there are Bananagrams, arguments about politics, and maudlin reminiscences about Christmas parties of the past. (There are no photos of this.)

Anyway, between organising, participating in, and recovering from, this party, there hasn't much time for updating Dreamwidth. I'll endeavour to rectify this over the next few days. Happy Solstice, everyone!

* In case you're wondering why he looks like a giant, he is. He's about 6'5". I'm a foot shorter than him.
Chilling with his bestie
Keiki, eating cheese puffs & chilling on the sofa with his bestie, Telstar.

I've been at home with the toddler for the past couple of days. He went in to nursery on Monday morning and within two hours, he'd brought up his breakfast onto the book he'd been reading. (He held out the book to his key worker and plaintively told her, "Dirty.")

Today he was obviously feeling much better, after 24 hours spent drinking milk and fruit puree and lying on top of Mummy. So he "helped" me while I dialed in to a telecon this afternoon. For twenty minutes he behaved beautifully, and then just as things were wrapping up, he started pounding the keyboard and managed to hit the mute button. Of course. My fellow participants were treated to ten seconds of me hissing, "No, Keiki, no, paws off," while he screamed "HAAAYYYYYY" randomly and joyfully at the top of his lungs, until I wrestled him to the floor, reached up and jabbed the mute button again.

If you need me, I'll be in the corner, scraping together the shreds of my dignity.
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