Wednesday, 9 December 2009

preparations for AGU winding to a close

I have always been one of those people who prefers to complete tasks well before their deadlines. Alas, recent events have been teaching me to push deadlines harder than I would like. I fly out Friday morning for AGU, and have only just completed my first draft of my poster to be presented. Fortunately, my poster session isn’t until Thursday, so I can print my poster after I arrive, so it isn’t a problem that it isn’t yet in its final, complete form, but I am a tad bit uncomfortable with the fact that it isn’t perfect yet.

So, what factors conspire to make it take longer than I would like? There are several; learning to use Mathmatica, which program, while very powerful, is also very fussy about the format of the data one presents it, having had time to run only three experiments thus far, and, as I’ve mentioned in prior posts, having some of them run water-undersaturated, resulting in very small grain sizes, making it difficult to obtain good analyses with the microprobe, and taking a couple of days off last week to fly to Stockholm for a symposium on Medieval music and dancing in the way of a pre-birthday celebration. (Note: when I purchased the tickets for that adventure I didn’t know yet if I’d be able to attend AGU or not.) Now that I’ve (finally) got my data into the correct format and graphs have been produced I am feeling much better about my prospects of completing everything on time. However, I am highly amused at the fact that I’d long since decided to print my poster after I reach California, in part so that I wouldn’t have to carry a poster-tube with me in these days of severe luggage restrictions, and just now I received a phone call from a colleague who asks if I would be willing to transport his poster to the meeting for him. So much for that reason to delay. However, I still have another fine reason: so that I can speak with the printer in English about what I want done, rather than trying to use the local language to place the order. (Never mind that I successfully printed a poster for the conference in Edinburgh back in July even though the clerk at the print shop spoke no English whatsoever.)

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