30 December 2009

Christmas Holidays

The holidays have turned out to be great fun, even though I'm spending a lot of my time working.  I took half a day off on Christmas eve, and the whole day of Christmas.  Since then I've mostly been working as normal.  I bought myself some awesome new shirts from Nicholas Jermyn, can't wait for an occasion to wear them. I also bought myself a small moleskine planner to use next year.  I really like the look of it.

I'll be moving to Onehunga next weekend.  Can't believe how quickly that is coming up, but I'm also really excited about the move.

Back to work for me though, I need to get all my notes put together so that I can start writing my next chapter.

16 December 2009

No internet today

Gah, no internet (besides email) in the office today.  Someone's borked the proxy system or something.  I guess I'll get more work done today.

11 November 2009

Year in review

Well, its certainly been a long time since my last post. I'm really not that good at this blogging thing. At least not doing it regularly at all. But I figure I should give a bit of an update on my life. Since my last post in May, I've continued to work on my thesis, cooked lots of tasty food, and traveled to Egypt and the US. I've got some pictures of the Egypt trip available on my photobucket account. I'll try to post here more often, but with my thesis coming down to the wire, I'm going to be a bit pressed for time.

26 May 2009

Food Talk

Wow, its certianly been a long time since I've written anything for this. Suffice to say, I've been very busy with my thesis work. I'm going to take just a few minutes here to let everyone who reads this know that I'm doing pretty good. Also, I've been having a lot more fun with cooking lately. My wife and I have put a lot of work into trying some new recipes lately, and in a few cases I have documented these with pictures which I have uploaded to my Photobucket account. Eventually I'll get around to actually posting some of them including Thai Green Curry, Spicy Lentil Soup, and a few others. I'm rather proud of my cooking ability now. I know I'm not a chef by any means, but I can make some good tasting food.

For example, I tried something rather new last night: roasted squash. I've always been a bit shy about trying new vegetables through most of my life. Afterall, veggies are not ussually as tasty as sweets. I cut a butternut squash in half, added some butter and a tiny bit of brown sugar, and roasted it in a pan for about 45 minutes. It was nutty and delicious. I have another squash waiting for me at home, and even though I'm going to have curry with some veggies in it, I'm thinking about roasting the second one to eat with dinner as well.

Also, just checked scores the Basketball scores, and Denver pulled off a win. Woo!

19 March 2009

Writing - Day 1

I spent all of today writing the introduction of my thesis. It's taking a long time because I keep having to go back and check my facts, and citations. I'm trying to make sure that everything comes together right the first time through the writing process. This meant that in reality, most of the day was spent looking through all of the papers that I've read previously, and finding the important points in them, and condensing them down into the summary that I need. I think I have all of the papers together again. Tomorrow will hopefully look more productive in terms of things like word count.

Tonight was another taco night. I've got a recipe that I really like down pretty well now. Take about 1 lb of ground beef, brown, and drain grease. Add 1 chopped onion and 1-2 cloves of garlic, diced. Cook for a few minutes until the onion is soft. Add a half can of diced tomatoes, plus enough water to just cover. Season with cumin, chilli powder, and cayenne pepper. Simmer until nearly all the liquid has evaporated. Serve with lettuce, cheese, sour cream, and salsa or hot sauce. Ours tonight was accompanied by sweetcorn and refried beans. Yummy!

18 March 2009

Round the world flights

I'm attending a conference this October in Alexandria, Egypt then going home to Colorado to participate in a friends wedding.  This makes booking flights a bit of a weird exercise.  Especially when Expedia.com recommends going from Auckland to Cairo via Los Angeles and New York City.  That was the cheapest flight; somehow cheaper than flying the much shorter distance via Sydney and Dubai.  I guess either way, I'm basically having to fly to the opposite side of the world, but the economics of the whole thing is rather weird.  The good news: I might be able to get the whole trip in at under $2500 per person (that's US dollars).  Still a bit for us on our relatively low income.  May have to beg the parents for a little assistance again.
A bit more drawing today.  Revised some drafts according to my supervisors comments yesterday.  I'm pretty much done with that work for now.  Tomorrow I'll start into the writing and get a better idea of what fieldwork that I need to do on Tuesday.  I'm really trying to step up the pace of my work, especially since my supervisors indicated that would be important for me to finish in time.  Time to check the weather and get a feel for whether work next week will be alright.

17 March 2009

Committee Meeting

Today was my committee meeting.  Things seem to be going pretty well.  My supervisors think that I'm doing quality work and that my rate of progress is satisfactory.  However, I do think that I will need to ramp things up a bit to get done with the year.  For one thing, I've been told that I should start writing my thesis (or at least the introduction to it) now.  I'll be working on that, as well as a few other things over the next few weeks.  I've got the annual report basicallly done.  I have my application for conferance funding ready to go and will turn it in tomorrow.
In my free time, I've been playing through the old Warcraft 3 expansion and having a lot of fun with it.  The bonus level is a bit challenging, and I'll be retrying it tonight.

Fish Feast

I really enjoyed the fish that I prepared last night.  Just got some cod fillets, dusted then in flour, then pan fried them in olive oil.  I do this fairly frequently because its pretty cheap, tasty, and easy.  Served with some fresh green beans and French rolls.  Tonight is going to be a bit of an experiment with pasta, sausage, and ricotta cheese.  The sausage and cheese are leftover from the calzones that we made earlier this week and they need to get used.  I have a meeting with my supervisors this afternoon, so I'm spending most of the morning getting ready for that.

16 March 2009

Drawing some more

I'll probably end up filling quite a large number of blog posts with this, but I want to continue with daily updates, so that means discussing my daily work.

I spent two hours today working as a TA. I teach for a civil engineering class, helping them to learn about rocks and minerals. It's a bit of a crash course for them, but I really enjoy it. Today was sedimentary rocks, which is probably the easiest week. The difference between a mudstone and a sandstone is readily apparent, even if you don't have eyes.

When I wasn't involved with that, I continued my work with the drawings, and finished up the sketch that I started to work on Friday. I had to learn a new tool in Illustrator, so I'll use that as the excuse for why my work took so long. I won't be showing a picture today. Out of a sense of (probably) unreasonible paranoia, I don't want to show off any of my finished drawings until I've got them in my thesis. But I think it looks pretty good.

Tomorrow, I have a meeting with my supervisors, which should be interesting. I get to show them these drawing that I've been working on, and discuss what more needs to be done.

Tonight, I'm planning to make some fairly tasty food. Pan-fried fish might be one of my favorite simple meals. It'll be accompanied by some veggies and pasta. Bon appetite.

13 March 2009

Drawing and Such

It has certainly been a long time since I have done a blog post here. I'm thinking about trying to do a daily/weekly/something report on my thesis progress. For one thing, it will help me see what I'm really getting done and make sure that I keep up the work.

Most of my time today was spent tracing a photo I took of an outcrop. I'm also writing up a description of each of the soils that I saw at the outcrop in the standardized NZGS format. Here is a sample of what this is looking like so far.

I still have a bit of work to do on it. Things like adding a scale and describing all of the soils in it. Work like this has been one of the major focuses of the past month for me. I have a lot of logs I've done in the field, and nearly all of them need to be digitized for use in my thesis later. It's a lot of work, and I'm trying to get through it quickly, while still producing good quality work.

Me at Starlight Symphony