Monday, July 25, 2011

School day

I head to campus between 8 and 9 a.m. It's a 3 mi ride to my building, which is on the very east edge of campus.  There are literally a 100+ buildings behind the two that you can see in this pic!!  At 15-stories, my building is the tallest building on campus and has a Doppler radar system on the roof, which I have yet to observe up close.
That's my lighthouse!  jk, but it IS my building.  I'm on the 9th floor.  I really like this road that leads me on to campus.
Once I lock up my bike, I hit the stairs.
  184 of them.  (I didn't count them all, just calculated).
At anytime, I LOVE a coffee break!!
    So the good news as of today is that our machine is all built!!  Now we just have to get it to work.  The bottom two shelves house the Cavity Ring Down Spectrometer, which analyzes gas using lasers and highly reflective mirrors, and its computer hardware; The next shelf up has a ton of impt. stuff secured onto it for intaking the air and gas from seawater; the top shelf has a built in monitor and keyboard. Our gas needs to be really dry for analysis, so out front there is a canister of silica gel we will connect w/ tubing for drying the samples, attached to the left and right sides of the front frame are water condensers filled with glass beads, and on the back frames, we attached nafion dryers.
The intense reality is that we have to get it properly working and ready to ship to AK this Thursday!!
Close up of the 2nd shelf

Birds eye of  2nd shelf.  I actually took out the green and black round things (back pressure regulators) and replaced them with smaller, more efficient ones that arrived later in the afternoon.

Looking head on at the Stream-select valve and the side of the 2-position valve

 For those of you non-electrically-inclined people, here's something you can relate to:  lunch break!

I love toasting my pb sandwich at lunchtime.
This pb is pretty boss!  I like smuckers too.
 After lunch, which I take for at least half an hour, it's back to the lab(s) for more work on the machine.  I learn a lot everyday and get better with the tools for steel tubing cutting and cleaning, wire stripping & crimping.  I am beginning to recognize nuts with their corresponding wrench size; and the trickiest things are the fittings: Swagelock and Valco ones for tight seals on our tubing.  Anyhow, by the time the AC starts to give me chills, I know its getting about time for me to leave!  Between 6 and 7 p.m., I make my exit.  The woman I'm working with in the mornings is an early-to-work person and doesn't like it when I'm late by her schedge, and my advisor, who has a lot to show me in the afternoons, is a hard-working, late-to-leave kinda guy. Long days, but whatevs--Alaska is on the horizon!
Stoked to leave at the end of a day
 Now I want to share a bit of what the TAMU campus looks like, because I'm awed by it.  I'm making the pictures X-large because these buildings are freaking huge!

The football stadium from the outside

And apparently....

This is what the stadium looks like on Game Day.  Capacity is 83,002 I believe.

View from the stadium looking towards the Rec.  The buildings aren't the only big things--big skies here.
The Texas A&M Rec Center. So far, I've been swimming in the Olympic (50 m) pool inside and took a dip in the hot tub.

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