Wow, I’m embarassed. I need to update this more, especially if I’m paying for the domain.
Anyway, for what it’s worth, my Ph. D. defense went super well. It was nowhere near as nerve-wracking as I thought it was going to be and my last month in Troy/Albany was spent seeing a lot of family and friends on the East coast and preparing for the move (having an awful time doing last-minute loading of all my stuff into U-boxes, ughh).
The trip out to the Palouse was actually relatively free of bumps. Sheila and I made it through Buffalo about 24 hours before the megastorm hit and did some cool things along the way like going to the Indiana Dunes state Park, the Chicago Diner, The Badlands in South Dakota (along with Wall Drug, the corniest place on Earth), and the buttes in La Crosse, WI, but those were probably our only detours on the way to Moscow, ID. We stayed in Erie, PA, Elgin, IL, Sioux Falls, SD, Sheridan, WY, and Missoula, MT. The weather was kind to us and apart from some ice and major wind in southern Minnesota, and the mountain passes through the Rockies were no problem to get through. Our cat Ben got a urinary block about 10 days before we left town so he had to be fed antibiotics through a dropper, but the cats were pretty chill and well-behaved throughout the trip. We put the back seats down in the car and used a dog crate to hold their litter box. I think that really helped with their anxiety about being in the car for five straight days.
Work is pretty great; I like my job and what I’m researching, although the cluster that I’ve been using is sorely in need of some heavy maintenance. Without giving too much away before I publish, I’m working on diamond and liquid nitrogen with ab-initio calculations and molecular dynamics simulations. I’m learning a lot and thankfully, my expertise in the methods I learned in grad school is a good, solid foundation that will lead to many interesting projects. I have a collaborator/co-adviser at one of the national labs who is a renowned scientist in this field. The work-life balance is pretty nice so far, but I expect that rather soon it will kick up into a higher gear once I can get more throughput on my calculations and I start publishing. I think that this place has a lot of potential for me as far as where my career is going, and I like that.
Sheila also got a job too, in the wheat lab, working as a technician! We’ve made a bunch of really cool friends here, and although the towns in the immediate vicinity are pretty small, some interesting things happen from time to time and there’s a LOT of outdoorsy stuff that is within a day’s (or hour’s) driving distance.
I got a double-necked guitar and built up a nice pedalboard for it, and I’ve done some foundational work in using Google’s Deep Dream script (and its dependencies), and I’ve started a creative kick on some multimedia projects. I’m going to post some results of my deepdream trials here very soon. Also, I’ve played 3 shows as Holistic Wellness, a solo/collaborative project that is different enough from _11:34 that I’m calling it something new. Maybe at the end of the year I’ll invest in some new studio recording equipment after I make a dent in my loans and move to Pullman from Moscow. For a minute I was doing radio at the WSU college station, KZUU but I quit to free up some time and I wasn’t in love with the culture there. Spoiled by the awesome WCDB at SUNY Albany, I guess.
I’d like to start updating this weekly, but I’m not making any promises 😉