Thursday, September 25, 2008

Well, I sure haven't posted here in awhile. What's up with that?

Monday, August 18, 2008

Under the Pale Moon

I'm not gonna say this thing will never have new entries, but I made it back to Texas, and at this point Idaho seems like a twisted dream. School craziness is already beginning (meeting new people = scary), and I'm looking forward to seeing some old faces. Thanks to all my Austin friends for making it bearable.

I'll shortly post the slide from the poster I made that encapsulates the basics of the research I did this summer, but not yet! So yes, I guess there will be another entry.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Industrial Symbiosis

I went back here today to take some more pictures of the huge piles of antlers, but they were gone! Where did they go?

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Pollution Solution by Dilution

So the INL has their own news anchor team, which records the daily news that is broadcast on the flatscreens in the lobbies of the office buildings here. Too bad for them, there really isn't that much news going on at the lab. They look very professional though, and I guess broadcast journalism is a tough field to get in to, so you gotta start somewhere.

Like the INL, I don't have much news either. Things are winding down here, and I'm in the process of designing a poster for the poster show they have at the end of the summer. Improbably, my work actually turned out pretty interesting, and I'm looking forward to showing it off. Industrial development in foreign countries is soo much more universally appealing than theoretical neutron transport, so I am expecting a good reaction from the audience.

A friend and I went today to a store called Shadow Domain, which is sort of wiccan oriented and sells swords and incense and silly gifts, probably the closest thing to a headshop in Idaho Falls. We also hit up the two specialty wine shops in the town, a bakery, and the climbing gear store, so pretty much saw the best this place has to offer. Let me tell you, I am looking so forward to drinking that first Lone Star when I get back.

Below, a barn. The Vivtar Ultra Wide and Slim is awesome. We'll see if it still works after being submerged in a waterfall twice.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Reservoir & Waterfall

I've been doing a lot more outdoors stuff lately up here. I have to say, I'm pretty lazy, but it's been surprisingly enjoyable to get out and about. We've been doing some cliff jumping in a local reservoir and also hiked down a waterfall. I actually have something approaching a tan, and spending all day hungover in the mountains is a touch better than laying around hungover in sad sad Idaho Falls.

Today I went on a tour of something called "the site" at INL, about 1 hour away from town. It's basically the lab part of the complex where they condition spent fuel and where the advanced test reactor is located. We also saw EBR-1, which is the first power reactor in the world, and lit the town of Arco, ID for one glorious night in the 50s.

Two members of our tour group was assigned to wear dosimetry tags, which record the dose of radiation one is exposed to. I was one of the lucky tag bearers, so of course, as we are going through the metal detectors at one of the facilities, I put the tag through the x-ray machine. That is a big no-no, and when the data from the tag comes back, it'll look like I was fried pretty good. The tour guide was pretty cool about it, but I felt like a pretty big dumbass.

Overall the tour was pretty good, and I enjoyed seeing the army guide with their M-16s, and I also got to play with some of the robotic arms. Anything to get out of the office for a day...

Monday, July 14, 2008

Wind Cave Redux

So we attempted the Darby Wind Cave again on Sunday.

The vast snowfields and mudpits are gone, so that made for much easier going on the hike, although I still conversed with exhaustion through most of it.

(Exhaustion: Hi, I'm back again. Feel your lungs burning? See all those switchbacks up there? Yeah, I'll be your hiking buddy from now on. And that liter of water is nowhere near enough.
Me: Ok, gasp, um, you don't have to mock me, but you can stay, gasp, and you're much better company than that Common Sense guy)

Alright, so that exchange didn't actually happen, but we did make it into the cave. It was cold and windy and dark, with tight spaces to squeeze through and wet rock and freezing mountain water. I don't think I'll be going back to the cave, but I'm glad to have gotten there.

I wish I had a better picture of this cave, especially from inside, but if you look closely you can see a waterfall, and that is the mouth of the cave.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Big Baby Boredom

Yup, not much going on around here.

I went to trivia night again on Tuesday and won a round. They tried to give me a Jewel CD, but I exchanged it for Wyclef Jean, which sadly was the best thing they had. Actually, I did end up going to karaoke after that. I sang The Sign, which is by far one of my most favorite songs. I'm such a bad singer, but that's an easy one.

Tomorrow I am going rafting on the Snake River with a few of my bosses and other interns. The water level is high, so I think it's gonna be pretty rapidy. I've never been whitewater rafting, so hopefully I don't fall in or get seasick. I'm expecting exhilaration. Honestly.

This weekend I'm hoping to explore some of the swimming opportunities around the area. Supposedly there is a really cool lake with cliff jumping and a rope swing somewhere north.