Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Rats! (literally)

There's a garage on the way to the supermarket. It's always struck me as strange to have a garage in an inner-city, though I know that there are a lot of cars in the city that need fixing. Simply finding a place to put all the cars while they're being worked on and waiting to be worked on seems like such a hassle. Today I noticed that one small solution to that problem is to park one car under the lift while the other car is on it. Here we see the red car getting its left front brake worked on, while another car is tucked neatly underneath. Efficiency in action:


My back has been a bit dodgy lately. I think it's mostly due to me sitting and working/doing math all day. In my usual work, I sit, but I also get up, teach, go to meetings, walk across campus etc. Here, I mostly just sit. I decided to take some steps today to avoid that kind of long-term sitting. First, I noticed that I could put my computer on a high shelf above my desk and create a pretty functional standing desk. I switched back and forth between sitting and standing and that seems to have been good for my back.

I've also been reading books on data science. Instead of reading a chapter in the house here, as I usually do, today I decided to find a bench or someplace similar outside to read for a while. I ended up down by the river on a set of stairs that led to a platform just above the waterline. I read there for a while when out of the corner of my eye, a rat decided to creep up next to me on the platform! I was startled and a bit skeeved out and shooed it away. I backed up the steps a bit and sat down to continue reading when another rat started rustling around in the nearby brush. I finished the chapter, but it wasn't a super tranquil time in my life. In the future, I'm just gonna stay up on the benches way back from the river.

Here's a picture of a tourist boat that went by:


Emily is on her way to Brookhaven National Lab today to do some X-ray diffraction on their particle accelerator. Her beam time is basically all night Thursday night (8pm-4am). I guess it's such a high-demand instrument that it's used 24/7. She takes a break and then runs an experiment on behalf of another person from her lab all day Sunday. It'll be a busy couple of days for her. Science!


I talked to my mom on the phone today. It was good to catch up with her.