Friday 25 February 2011

Quickly quickly

Happy (not) pancake Tuesday... I have been misinformed, which has lead to me misinforming others. Which has lead to the possibility of having Two pancake Tuesdays in the space of a few weeks. Wonderful result eh?

So I woke up, a little later than I had planned but still, early enough, but Kevin then told me New Zealand had been hit by an earthquake. So I looked up the distance between Christchurch and Wellington (where Rory, Stephen and Sue are at the moment), around 450 km, what time the quake hit, around 1pm local time (aka around midnight GMT), so I checked their respective Facebook pages just to make sure [though Kev did say Sue had updated since, just wanted to make sure] and Sue had updated saying their fine "about an hour ago". Good good.

Sort notes, shower, dress, eat toast, drink tea, get to college. Morning plans go-now!

Morning plan falls flat, extra extra!
Spoke to Rory & Stephen on gchat, they are, indeed, okay. Good times, wish I was there though, be great. But the PhD wont last forever, then some freedom! Maybe >.> Ugh. Life is stressful, what happens if I get offered a great postdoc or something, will everyone hate me if I just work forever?

Mmmm, damn tasty. Nice brown toast, Natura e Bonta spicy veg. pesto-esque stuff & Corleggy smoked Drumlin cheese. Mmmm mmmmmm. Also, Barry’s tea brewed for a min or so with a bit of milk. Today has been good, but I think it may have jumped the shark already. How could it get better? Ohwait, pancakes later. Yes!

Sometimes I'm nervous eating at my desk, esp. since my PC now lives next to my chair like this:

as it kept overheating in its normal tower position. Stupidly designed case, really need to get looking for a new case with uber fannage.

The morning went quickly, and then the afternoon followed suit. Now somehow it is 5pm. Bye bye daytime. I'm not going to do 2.5 hours of lab work.. there is no point, that wont do anything. I am meeting Odette (I think) at around 7:30pm, not changing that. It's (not) pancake Tuesday afterall!

Well I met Odette at around 8pm in the end, we did some shopping in the new Tesco on Fleet Street for pancake ingredients. We had spelt pancakes made by around 9:20pm and we enjoyed them with fresh made blueberry & raspberry coulis.

I can’t take the credit for doing anything other than look (half) pretty and letting Odette do all the work, what else am I good for really? Crashed out quite early then, Kevin, Matthew & Adam ate pancakes in the kitchen from around 10pm but I was pancaked out and feel very sleepy. Roll on not-pancake Wednesday?

Went in to college early, got set up as best I could for the Sn experiment, got working on it properly by about 11am, worked then through (bar around 30mins for a late lunch at about 4:30pm) until bang on 7pm when I met Gearoid and we walked up to Bleeding Horse on Camden St. to meet Tony et al. for his going away drinks.

(this is what I look like when doing science)
They had a promotion of 4 bottles of Brahama for €10, this wasn’t a good thing for me. Haven’t a clue how much I drank but it was clearly enough for bouncers to tell me I was too drunk and for me to lose the hours between 1:30am and 3am and then storm into the apt, ignore Kevin for some unknown reason, slam my door and then fall asleep after failing to get more than my coat and one of my shoes off.
I will say now, how Odette puts up with me I will never know.

This was a painful morning, I woke up at about 10:30am and realised I was in a bad way, one shoe still on laying in a bed totally covered in clothes and junk from my room which I hadn’t been bothered to move clearly. I tried to find my phone then and found it in my coat pocket. 20 missed calls and dozen messages… ohdear. Anyway, I really am sorry I worried Odette (again) and that I did such damage to my head that I couldn’t face the world properly when I really should have been analysing the data I got the day before. Eventually I got up and showered and checked emails and tried to deal with the world while I had the feeling like the roof of my mind would cave in at any moment and I would be left trapped in a painful little hell inside my head.
Skip forward to 5:30 pm I met Gearoid, Inam & Clelia at Mongolian Barbeque. Tony was next to arrive, then Bredan, then James came along and was followed soon after by Ronan and Ciaran. We then got into the food, my explanation of how things worked didn’t seem to help anyone really though and it was the second bowl that everyone seemed to find their feet. I was glad my body allowed me to eat, for most of the time we had been waiting for the others to arrive I had been sitting in silence trying to not give in to the awful feelings in the back of my head. But once I got food in me I livened up a fair bit and managed four bowls of food. We went to Foggy Dew then where they had pints and I sat, digesting and chatting to Clelia about music. I left, not before others had, but still early enough, talked to Odette on the phone then, was home by 10:45 ish &then fell asleep by around midnight.

Woke up at 8am, lay about until about 8:45 when I went and put the kettle on and made sure Kev was ready to book me some QOTSA tickets. Unfortunately they sold out in no time at all, so come 9am the site was telling us there were no available tickets, and despite around 15minutes of checking over and over for a ticket I was left with none. This was saddening, so I listened to two QOTSA albums and started to read over notes to try put together slides for the mid term review of the project I’m funded by out in UCD… I am still looking at these slides. 10 slides, that sounds like it shouldn’t take long. Try hours, feck I’d say a day or two, I’m nowhere near happy with what I’ve put on the 5 slides I have Anything on. Hopefully James will be able to give me some good ideas and a good way to work through them. Had a nice mug of tea and a banana for breakfast, then a really nice smoothie for lunch, going to meet Odette at 4:30pm and am looking forward to that.

I gave up

Things got on top of me and I let them beat me into not doing things online,
however, I am now caught up on Reader, FB and Twitter.. so that just leaves this thing here, my Fludge. Well, there were lots of things that happened recently, and I Wanted to tell them all. However, now I cannot remember what I wanted to say at all at all.

Let's see, I updated on the morning before I went up to my mammy's house for the evening (Wed. 9th Feb.). So I will do a day by day run down to bore any remaining readers away from here. Or not, whatever.

Wednesday 9th Feb
I felt like death, had a bad cold coming on, was in college in the morning, left early for lunch with Odette and after leaving her to a bus I went to meet Michele in the Travelodge in Ballymun and did around 4pm, went to Co. Louth with her to see my mother. Had a lovely dinner with them, chatted to Karen for ages and played with the dogs. Went to bed quite early because I was getting up early for a lift back to Dublin

Got a lift back from Co. Louth bright and early the next morning, was back in town for 8:30am, the day went by in a flash, did some work, got some results, nothing really worked properly as usual but I left and met Odette at 6pm and hung out with her for the evening which was nice. Always good to get to spend time with her.

Went to college early, left Odette off to a bus into college & worked all day then. Met Odette again in the evening, planning on going to a party for Josh's 21st.. but it was cancelled, apparently it was never really going ahead. So I had dragged Odette to town for no reason other than to spend time with me (not that that is a bad reason), we had dinner in Mao but after that we both felt crap & really tired and we ended up falling asleep at like 8pm.

On Saturday Odette had her girlies over in the evening, so we did food shopping in the morning, cooking in the afternoon and in the evening when Kevin was off work him & myself walked to Joe Burger in Rathmines, it was really good. If you have not been there and like lamb burgers (or any burgers) go there, and eat well for a pretty good price. After eating a massive amount we walked around to try find Fern’s house because we knew she lived near there on a T junction. Eventually we found her & her brother wandering around trying to find an open chemist because Fern wasn’t feeling well. The four of us slowly wombled down Camden St., first in search of cold/flu medicine, then in search of a cup of tea. Unfortunately Fern gave up around George’s St and our party became 2. Kevin & myself went and did indeed get a LPT in JoC/Brick Alley Café and stayed there for ages, chatting to staff and then watching a very very drunken man lean against the door and slowly fall over, then get up.. and then slowly fall over. Lots of people stopped along Essex St. To photograph him or just watch his slow rise and fall along the doorframe. We gave up on this after over filling with tea & went back to the apt. to find 3 drunken dancing girls, haha. They weren’t really drunk, but they were really dancing. Left them to it really, I was wrecked and just sat at my PC until around 3am when Odette collapsed from too much dancing and the music, both in Sin & in the apt., fell silent. That is when I went to sleep.

The next morning I woke up early with Odette, she was in work at 10am in Dalkey and was getting a lift at 9:30 from the quays. So she hopped up and went to the bathroom mirror to clean the makeup off her eyes and fell over. The poor dear literally collapsed and blacked out, I caught her as quick as I could and dragged her from the bathroom and placed a pillow under her head trying not to move her neck. I was thinking all the worst things and for about 30 seconds I was in first aid mode (although I failed to put her into the recovery position). She came around quickly and assured me she was okay and not to call an ambulance.. Anyway, she was indeed okay, I made her lay still for awhile and then helped her up and watched her closely until it was time to walk her to her lift. Once that craziness was over & Odette was on her way to work I started sorting out pictures, printing and cutting them for Josh's birthday present. Odette’s girlies left for work and home after awhile and I washed some dishes and then cut more pictures. Then went with Kev to buy the photo album for Josh (and a paper for Kev) and finished as many pictures as I could. Got to Dave’s around 5pm and went straight for dinner. Was a lovely family dinner out, the restaurant was very nice, a new Italian place in Ballygall, where the laundrette used to be on Fitzmaurice Road. I went back to Dave’s after for a little while and then back to town then because I had a group meeting on Monday morning to prep for.

Valentine's Day, well I did update with A post then, but it wasn't a blog post, just a rant about loving each other. There is so much hate and destruction, so many people dying fighting one another, it's good to take a moment to make all this awful stuff around us an exception to the rule rather than making kindness and love the exceptions. But anyway, was a good day, took off from college a little early, made Odette dinner in the evening and we watched Singing In The Rain. Was a nice Valentine's Day, carved Nuvola a heart out of the red pepper I had cooked with (see picture in previous post).

Left Odette in the apt. reading papers, she had decided trekking to UCD was pointless when I had a quiet desk to work at and internet connection available. I headed out to UCD for 12am to get sorted with some info. on a piece of equipment they bought which I wanted to replicate. I ended up staying out there for longer than I had expected, got a coffee with Enda and talked to him about his college routine and how life was going with him. Do miss the old DIT days still myself. Got back into town for around 4pm and then went and got my keys back off Odette at 4:30 and left her to a bus home. Went down to the lab then and got stuff organised to begin getting data, before I started I met Valentin & Sophie at 5:20 pm to give them a tour of the lab and show them how everything worked. They headed off around 6pm and I stayed in the lab working late through the evening and then until midnight. Was falling apart brain-wise by the time I left, had yet to get the ion probe signals which was stupid but it wasn’t working out and by then I was in no mood to figure stuff out so I left the last bit of work until the next day.

Got set up in the morning in the lab, before I took the measurements I met Odette for lunch at 11:30am, after that we got all our ion probe measurements done before it was late so didn't have to work late that evening, Kevin's mam was staying over and they were finishing dinner when I got home. Had a quiet night, just relaxed knowing I’d have to organise data and get ready to do the whole lot with the experiment again for tin soon.

Can't really remember what happened... spoke to James on the phone at some stage as he was off to Denmark, pretty much just did college work. Was one of Those days, think the midnight lab work had sapped me of any want to continue in the lab for that time.

I went to college early-ish, which means early for me, worked away and talked with Gearoid because we were meeting James on Monday to show results from the experiment. Worked along then until I met Odette just after 5pm, had dinner in Wagamama at 6ish, went back to hers and watched some TV and she fell asleep on my shoulder at around 11pm, so cute, she was wall fallingly tired.

Woke up in Odette's house around 10:30, her mother's parents were over so got to say hello to them, had breakfast with Odette first, watched Saturday Kitchen. Odette was in work at 1pm & I had planned on leaving at 12 and working in the lab all day... then I convinced myself not to and spent the rest of Saturday in the apt. not achieving a whole bunch but it was a relaxing day anyway. In the evening Kevin and myself walked to Phibsborough to Peter's house for his going away thing. Didn't stay long though, got there around 9pm and left around 10pm (I think). Walked back into town and got a LPT in JoC and chatted to the staffers there for awhile. Went home then and talked to Odette on the phone and that was Saturday over.

Sunday I got up early..ish, although maybe 9am is early for a Sunday? Anyway, had planned on going to college to do the experiment with tin but again convinced myself not to go in because James had asked us to discuss the results before moving on to another element. So once again I was just in the apt. all day, though I did do some reading, but nothing much really.
Then in the evening people came over from Fallon & Byrne for Rachel's last day there, Kevin cooked pizzas from scratch, base and all. Were nice, though I burned my tongue so bad I can feel it stinging still. They all went out then after some of us had vodka & sorbet for desert, I decided I didn't want to go, instead I washed all the pots & dishes, cleaned all the flour off everything, swept, spoke to Odette on the phone, put all the tea towels on to wash and then mopped the floor in the kitchen. Went to bed then and read for awhile, then Kevin et al. returned so I got up and said hello, Rachel left then, I squeezed a lemon into a pint of water, as I do, drank it all and went back to bed.

Woke up at 7:30 to my alarm, got up, checked my emails.. went back to bed. 8:30, got up, put on the emersion.. went back to bed. 8:55 got up and showered, dressed, failed to find a breakfast worth having, washed teeth and went to college. Checked lab was all still in order, sat in office, realised I hate today already and it's not even 10:30 am yet. Debated a coffee & flapjack of some sort..

got myself a latte & a hazelnut flapjack, damn tasty, though the almond one seems a lot less oily (though it is with non hydrogenated vegetable margarine, so the lesser of two weevils [best movie joke ever]). We'll see how the rest of today goes, I will stop typing a minute by minute run down. For now.

Great little video of the flight path, for want of a better phrase (controlled orbits? Anyway..), of the Mercury bound Messenger probe launched by NASA back on 3rd August, 2004. Astrophysics comes across some much cooler than most other fields, I guess the pressure of getting every last little detail perfect must be a major stressor. Not to mention having to wait 7 years for your data to be available.

Also, very cool talk on the Evidence for Ocean on Titan, by Prof. Francis Nimmo of UCSC. Have yet to watch through the full talk, but the first 10mins is very interesting. Although, I can't help but compare him to Prof. Ian Duncan (Community) in my head. I think it's the voice, am I the only one?

The more I work in one area of physics the more I want to learn in other areas, the fifth law of student life, or the Grass Is Always Greener theory as it's sometimes known.

Came home at about 6:30pm and literally collapsed onto bed, dug iPad out of bag and read tweets without moving more than my finger to scroll for about 35 minutes. So bloody tired. Got up then when Kev came in from work.. and watched the two Harold & Kumar movies back to back. I do not know why. But that was the best end to a President's Day I've ever noticed I lived through. Watching George W. Jr get wasted, what President's Day was no doubt made for.

Then I noticed KT Tunstall outside signing autographs, so I took a blury picture of the top of her head and waved to (her) fans.
Did this last part while speaking to Odette on the phone, and now it is time for bed.

^ All of the above was typed over a large number of days, I can only imagine how all over the place it is and how many things I left in I meant to take out not to mention things I've forgotten to mention. Editing this mess is far worse than any report editing I've ever had to do. Will continue to write up for the days since Monday, but I thought while I have this much done I may aswell update. Comment to tell me how little you care to hear the silly details of my life :P

Monday 14 February 2011

The big V day

("That sounds like vagina day")

Forget you?

Never, I was just resting my eyes for a moment and suddenly it wasn't the right day anymore, or even really the right week, but I'd never Forget.

Happy Valentine's Day one and all, enjoy it as you should any other day, just try and fit one extra hug in there somewhere, don't forget we're all the same under the silly attitudes and everyone deserves a hug at least sometimes.

Lab work last week resulted in lots of more round about’s thinking over how we align our optics and which methods of checking alignment work for me best. It's good in some ways to be driven round and round with equipment and setup because it teaches you the hard way how to do something right so you can (hopefully) get it the first time around next time. Must remember to write out all the little ideas and processes used to get the experiments rolling smooth, even just so I don't forget them. This is what held us up, the non uniformity of the laser ablation crater.

When Odette saw the image she instantly began singing Poor Leno by Röyksopp, crazy concentric ring laser ablation eyed target-for-a-face face monster. It's alive, ALIVE.
(YOU WANT TO WATCH AN EPIC MOVIE, WATCH Young Frankenstein. Watched it again recently, well most of it, such an amazingly funny movie. Great love for Mr. Wilder.)

Here is an ablation eye (a.k.a. crater) up-close:

Bloody Frenchy froggies singing some drunken songs on the street outside, Sin blasting away into the night its bass-y tunes, drunken smokers releasing their vile smelling foul-ity upwards such that I can't open my doors to let in the night's cool air (not to mention their noisy drunken blabbering but I have headphones to help block that out).

Also, I recently dug my old Kodak Advantix camera out of a box, so my camera collection is looking a little something like this:

Minus the two cameras I am using at the moment (Olympus SP-560UZ & Nikon S8000) and the Sony Handycam which I use as a webcam/Skype mic as I lack many occasions to film things really.
I do love my camera collection, and want to get them all running properly, need to test most of them to see if age has had its way with them yet or if they are still functioning as new.

For now it is bed time though, so thoughts shall be of restful things before the week wakes me to begin (an end of) the experiments which have been plaguing me since Christmas. Until tomorrow?

Wednesday 9 February 2011


I feel like death, got a hard case of man flu, you know how it goes, be dead in an hour, can only see out of my ear. Makes for a fun me I’m sure, and of all days to really feel taken down on it’s the middle of the week, I’ve a million and one things to do and I’m heading to see my mam for the first time since early November. Good times, great timing as always.

Not getting anywhere with the stupid experiment, just one thing after the other. But nobody cares to hear more about that. Least of all me.

Looking forward to seeing my mother et al. up the side of the mountain, want the weather to be good & get a nice trip up for a weekend. Feck it, I really want some time away from it all. Can’t wait for this bloody transfer to be over and done with so I can get it out of my head and on with life. Have to get this stuff done, bloody annoying stuff. Stupid experiment.

Hope the weekend will be a good one, Josh’s 21st birthday, as good an excuse as any to relax. Anyway, I’ve to get to Ballymun to get my lift and I’m going to go grab some lunch first with Odette. Until we meet again!

Tuesday 8 February 2011


Missed two- day altogether, didn't even think about it.
Ahwell, sleep time now. Will make up for? Never. Zz.

Monday 7 February 2011


Forgot to fledge last night, and I've a group meeting to prepare for now, so this will be brief.

Spent the day at home again, hardly slept during the night, just up looking at old pictures and such. Over Christmas I had turned my room over looking for this and that. Add to this some sibling invasion to replace my desk with theirs and use my wardrobe as their second and you've got an idea of what work needed doing. Meant I came across a lot of stuff I had hurried way back in 5th year of second level though which was cool. Should have taken pictures of some of the stuff, like my old MicroMachines and suchlike.

Anyway mucked about with that stuff in my room and somehow managed to forget to sleep until 4am or so and then when I got up continued and didn't eat or drink a thing until dinner then. Memories try to kill you I guess. After dinner I tried to clean everything away neat and tidy and then came back to town, watched a bit of a movie with Kevin, talked to Odette on the phone, fed Nuvola and hit the hay. Now opts today and I've to prep for a group meeting in under 2 hours, argh. Goodbye.

Saturday 5 February 2011

Family and friends

Although these are one in the same, I try to keep my family in my head as friends and my friends in head as family. But yes, today I got to see all of my siblings in one day, which hasn't happened in a Long time, and what is seldom is wonderful they say, although it is possibly too seldom it is indeed wonderful. Watching The Kings Speech, saw it in the cinema but good to watch again, I do love that era in most every way, and the acting is simply wonderful. Well worth a watch, some great lines and great moments with the political greats of the world before one of the worst times in the planets history.

I enjoy the recent history of the world in that respect, to see how mankind can treat itself and each other in bother awful and wonderful ways, the unification of a nation or even half the world and then the borders people can make to separate themselves from their fellow man due to race, religion or creed. Anyway, those of us who care already know all this and those who don't know it probably don't care. But I do love mankind, sometimes.

Sad to hear that Waterstones is closing, it is a loss of some soul to hear that the need for books is shrinking, I know there is magic in written word I just hope the books they have in stock get a good home. I do hope one day to put some of my thoughts through pen to paper and be able to instruct others in anything I may know that others may not. Not in any philosophical sense, because my views of the world are surely insane and of no help to anyone. But maybe my work in physics and electronics, or anything I have learned, like about ants and other insects. I do know some amount of pointless information on topics I was once thought were important enough to memorise.

But on with the evening and off with the blog, I do mean to put photographs in these but keep forgetting to even take them. Well, I hope your weekend is good!

Friday 4 February 2011

Times like these

I'm sure if I held off to write a blog post this evening it would have alot more in it.
But I also know that I will probably forget again if I don't just do it now. Reaching a good stage in this experiment, although the spectra make very little sense to me I have recorded 250 of them, so whatever it is that's happening I should at least have enough data to make a good guess, maybe write a paper with Gearoid about it? Or so James suggested, fingers crossed we can get something interesting out of all this work anyway.

Other than that, well, I'm feeling massively tired. But looking forward to meeting Catherine for Wagamama and then meeting Celia et al. for dinner at 8:30pm, then drinks after. Wont be hitting the double vodka martini wagon this time though. Although I don't think the walk home would take me quite so long this time around, you never know. And I can't afford to be buying new glasses, gloves and keys every few months really haha.

Family can ignore the above as rambling about nothing.
Also, anyone who reads this, comment, tell me something, anything. I know Someone is reading the blog directly, US, Italian and Irish IPs have been logged, so chances are at least one of them is something other than a spider.

But yes, life. Good stuff eh? Tomorrow is my brothers 15th birthday... 1996 to now, yeah, 15th. I remember being 15, that was an awful year. Hope he weathers it better than I did, fewer scars and mistakes (I wont be writing this on his birthday card mindyou, lets not be downers). I can hardly believe what age I am, who allows a Thing like me be deemed anything other than a child ever. Well, someone else’s mistake that was, giving me a vote and money, what fools. Haha, time to do some work, the chamber has returned to atmo. so it's time to switch the polished target for the normal one and get on with ion measurements, yeahboi, Gotta Take The Power Back.

Thursday 3 February 2011


Well it's a kick in the teeth to find out you're a day behind yourself,
this week needs to just slow down there altogether. Need to get some things done now, so stop all this fast moving. Ain't fair to just pass my by like that, think you owe me an extra day as an apology.
Well now, seems I left this blog post unfinished (practically unstarted says you) yesterday. How silly of me..
Worked on the transfer all morning, worked in the lab all afternoon, met Odette at 6pm, had dinner in Taco Taco, went back to the apt for a little while, then went to Hard Rock Café in Temple Bar to meet her archaeology friends at the society night out. Stayed there until closing drinking cocktails and chatting about archaeology postgrad work, how their PhD funding is awarded, teaching undergrads, PHD comics, how one of the girls grandmother nearly killed Einstein in a car while he was crossing the road talking intently about physics to her grandfather who was his work colleague.. and many other topics. Then went back to the apt and continued drinking a little and chatting to Kev. Now it is Friday morning and I want to go back to bed.
But good times had by all I believe.

Now to kick Friday's ass.

Wednesday 2 February 2011

Very litte

Well today passed without much hoopla,
so lets not make a fuss.
Tomorrow will be a better day.
Not that today wasn't good, but I'm tired now and alot of the things I did today I can't talk about because they are either secret or deathly dull physics stuff.

So anyway, bed time now, more interesting tomorrow I'm sure.
Just you wait and see.

Tuesday 1 February 2011


I remembered, it's still today. Hah!
Just a quick fludge before bed, tomorrow is liable to go either of two ways;
working late in lab getting exp. to a good state before the sun explodes or time ends
meeting Odette after a normal working day in the lab.
Just in case I have enough pasta made to do either lunch or dinner, will decide which tomorrow and substitute something else for lunch if late working is required. For some reason I kinda like working in the lab until all hours.. Sometimes, sortof.

This is what a plasma looks like expanding into a vacuum, a Nd:YAG laser pulse strikes the target at time = 0 and within a few micro seconds it's all over but for the shouting. We use a spectrometer, ion probes and sometimes fast gated visible imaging to diagnose and analyse the plasma. This one is of silver, expanding for an elliptical spot about 4 mm x 3 mm with a fluence of around 1.4 Jcm-2.
So yeah, science eh?

I also made banana bread when I got home, and took out the bins, sorted some recycling and did the dishes. I might be some sort of superhero and nobody has informed me? (or I just need to find a new game/TV show that I enjoy, also, I am starting to hate TV, stupid box of death).
Wow, this is getting weird. Bed time.