22 February 2014

Gratitude, Part 27 (Feb. 15 - 21, 2014)

  1. Giant doughnut at church (Feb. 16, 2014)
  2. Brought a piece of the giant doughnut home to my wife
  3. Live interview on KOTA to promote the Mines Myth Busters event (Feb. 17, 2014)
  4. Impromptu cookout with friends (Feb. 17, 2014)
  5. Presidents' Day (Feb. 17, 2014)
  6. See our friends' house for the first time
  7. Playing Catchphrase (Feb. 17, 2014)
  8. Meeting and petting our friends cat, named Android
  9. Watching part of the final season of M*A*S*H with my wife
  10. Eye exam went well
  11. Watched the original version The Day the Earth Stood Still while waiting for my eyes to recover form being dilated.
  12. Interview at 6:10 am on KNBN to promote the Mines Myth Busters event (Feb. 18, 2014)
  13. Everyone woke up and arrived early enough for the interview
  14. Lunch with faculty candidate (Feb. 18, 2014)
  15. Faculty candidate gave a good colloquium
  16. She had a large audience (more people than seats)
  17. Full room for the Myth Busters event (Feb. 18, 2014)
  18. My wife brought in our smoke detector
  19. Liquid nitrogen in graham crackers
  20. Physics lunch at Red Lobster, and my wife was able to attend (Feb. 19, 2014)
  21. Made important decisions at a committee meeting (Feb. 20, 2014)
  22. Amazing performances by the Jazz Band and Master Chorale at an informal concert (Feb. 20, 2014)
  23. Faculty and grad. student social
  24. Faculty Wine & Cheese Party
  25. The President of the University thanked me for my part in the Myth Busters event.
  26. Multiple people have asked me about their Fiesta plates after the event
  27. Watching Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues with our small group at the Elks Theater (Feb. 20, 2014)
  28. Free popcorn on Thursdays at The Elks
  29. Good meeting with faculty candidate (Feb. 21, 2014)
  30. Safe drive to Black Hills State Univ. (BHSU) on Feb. 21, 2014
  31. Getting to know colleagues at BHSU
  32. Discussing potential collaboration with colleagues at BHSU
  33. Giving a colloquium in the Natural Science Lecture Series at BHSU
  34. Several instances of very positive feedback for my colloquium
  35. Dinner at Dough Traders with professors and students of BHSU
  36. One of my colleagues at SDSM&T has a daughter who works at BHSU, and I was able to meet her.
  37. Touring the BHSU genetics lab
  38. Safe drive back to Rapid City, despite snowy conditions
  39. Safe ride back home from SDSM&T
  40. I was granted key card access to the CBEC building, which means I can use the shower and locker room to change back into my biking gear even when I am on campus late.

Total: 861

15 February 2014

Gratitude, Part 26 (Feb. 8 - 14, 2014)

  1. Assembled our new bed (Feb. 8, 2014)
  2. We have both been sleeping comfortably in our new bed
  3. Civil and thought-provoking conversation about the Nye vs. Ham debate at lunch with Project Church members (Feb. 9, 2014)
  4. Interesting discussions about Sabbath at lunch with Project Church members (Feb. 9, 2014)
  5. Made chicken in a pot using local chicken (Feb. 9, 2014)
  6. Used cabbage that otherwise would have gone bad
  7. Our Crock Pot
  8. Late night chicken wing delivery
  9. My wife's eggplant and ground beef red curry
  10. Good physics lunch at Ixtapa
  11. Good discussions about idolatry at Beer & Bible
  12. Arranged the furniture in my lab space
  13. The defunct fume hood has been removed from my lab space
  14. The hole in the window left by the fume hood vent is now sealed
  15. Sent e-mails recruiting potential graduate students
  16. Rehearsed our Myth Busters event for E-week (Feb. 13, 2014)
  17. Emily, Yan, and Dani, and the other demonstrators have been very helpful in making this event possible
  18. We have located several items to use in our segment of the Myth Busters event
  19. Interesting discussion about the implementation of the metric system at our weekly faculty/student social
  20. Opportunity to host one of our faculty candidates for lunch next week
  21. Warm weather for the past two days (Feb. 13, 2014)
  22. The cute birds nesting near our garage
  23. My wife cleaned and successfully re-started our large humidifier
  24. Biked to eye exam (Feb. 14, 2014)
  25. Helped my wife cut her hair
  26. She helped me trim my sideburns

Total: 821

13 February 2014

Gratitude, Part 25 (Feb. 1 - 7, 2014)

  1. Visiting my wife's new office
  2. Faculty search process going well
  3. First regular meeting with my research students
  4. Listening to part of the debate between Bill Nye and Ken Ham
  5. Successfully found my way to retirement counseling session despite taking a wrong turn
  6. Good physics lunch at Minerva's
  7. My wife joined us for lunch
  8. Enjoyable conversation with Navy personnel at lunch
  9. Important decisions made at Physics staff meeting (Feb. 6, 2014)
  10. Good discussion of dark matter candidates in class (Feb. 6, 2014)
  11. Delivered my first colloquium at SDSM&T since being hired (Feb. 6, 2014)
  12. Received multiple complements on my colloquium
  13. Played "Wallace & Gromit Going Crackers" for the first time at small group (Feb. 6, 2014)
  14. Represented the Physics Dept. to a delegation from Casper College
  15. I was able to find answers to (or people to answer) all of the questions the professors from Casper asked
  16. Had good fun and good food at the Feb. Physics social event (Feb. 7, 2014)
  17. Played Clue: The Big Bang Theory edition for the first time at the social
  18. My wife had a wonderful time at the social
  19. Colleagues agreed to lead a session at the LBNE collaboration meeting because I did not attend
  20. My idea of a geeky T-shirt contest was used for the physics social
  21. I was one of the judges of the geeky T-shirt contest
  22. My wife was one of the judges of the geeky T-shirt contest

Total: 795

09 February 2014

Nunobiki Herb Gardens & Ropeway

Gratitude, Part 24 (Jan. 25 - 31, 2014)

  1. Recovered from the jet lag induced by my trip to Japan
  2. The very helpful NSF CAREER proposal development webinar
  3. Phone connection worked well for the webinar
  4. Internet connection worked well for the webinar
  5. Posting photos of my trip to Japan
  6. Returning to the friends and routine in Rapid City
  7. Installing a new light fixture in the kitchen with my wife
  8. Attending the physics lunch (Jan. 29, 2014)
  9. The first Faculty/Grad. Student social in the Physics Dept. (Jan. 30, 2014)
  10. Interesting Lunch and Learn event (Jan. 30, 2014)
  11. Being back in our small group (the Just Us League)
  12. Inspiring presentation by astronaut Col. Mike Fincke (Jan. 31, 2014)
  13. Talking with my friend Gary on Skype (Jan. 31, 2014)
  14. I was invited to give a colloquium at Black Hills State University
  15. 75% of the way to my goal for this list
  16. Enjoying being back in band
  17. Many of my postcards arrived at their destinations
  18. One my students was able to attend an important meeting while I was in Japan
  19. While I was able to keep in touch with colleagues while in Japan, I am grateful to be back so that I can communicate with them in person.
  20. Attended first faculty search committee meeting of the semester

Total: 773

Gratitude, Part 23 (Jan. 18 - 24, 2014)

  1. Lunch with my host at a sushi restaurant (Jan. 19, 2014)
  2. Since my host served as interpreter, I was able to order sushi without wasabi
  3. Edamame
  4. Finding rice flour to bring home to my wife
  5. My host translated the rice flour bag labels
  6. Finding stamps for the remainder of my postcards
  7. Having so many friends that I was able to write 22 postcards from Japan
  8. Attending the English-speaking church again (Jan. 12, 2014)
  9. Interesting conversations with several people at church http://www.kobeunionchurch.com/
  10. According to the scales at the onsen, I weigh between 66.5 and 66.8 kg
  11. Visting the Kamioka Mine, which is the host for multiple physics experiments
  12. Meeting my colleagues on shift in the Super-Kamiokande control room
  13. Seeing Super-Kamiokande in person http://www-sk.icrr.u-tokyo.ac.jp/sk/index-e.html
  14. Seeing the XMASS experiment in person http://www-sk.icrr.u-tokyo.ac.jp/xmass/index-e.html
  15. Seeing the Candles experiment in person http://wwwkm.phys.sci.osaka-u.ac.jp/info/syoukai/CANDLES_project.htm
  16. Seeing the CLIO experiment in person http://www-sk.icrr.u-tokyo.ac.jp/experiments-e.html
  17. Seeing the NEWAGE experiment in person http://ppwww.phys.sci.kobe-u.ac.jp/2013/english/newage/index.html
  18. Touring the tunnel for the future KAGRA experiment http://iopscience.iop.org/0264-9381/29/12/124007/article
  19. Amazing scenery at Mozumi, the town were I stayed while I was visiting the Kamioka Mine and experiments
  20. Being able to photograph the mountains, river and snow in Mozumi
  21. Being able to photograph the experiments and other sights in the mine
  22. Safe bus ride from Mozumi to the Toyama Airport
  23. Safe and punctual flight from Toyama to Tokyo Haneda with very little English spoken
  24. Successfully navigating Tokyo trains to Oedo-Onsen-Monogatari
  25. Helpful staff at a train station in Tokyo when the ticket machine confused me.
  26. Good food at Oedo-Onsen-Monogatari
  27. Figuring out my height in cm to get a proper fitting yukata at Oedo-Onsen-Monogatari
  28. Beatiful indoor "villiage" at Oedo-Onsen-Monogatari
  29. Foot bath at Oedo-Onsen-Monogatari
  30. The wonderfully relaxing onsen baths at Oedo-Onsen-Monogatari\
  31. My favorite pool was the one outdoors under and open sky and surrounded by rock walls.  I could cool off in the air or relax in the hot water
  32. A tourist guide helped me find the Sanrioworld store, which is the Hello Kitty world flagship store in the Tokyo Ginza
  33. Taking pictures and buying souvenirs for my wife at Saniroworld
  34. Finding the Tokyo train station in time for my train to Narita
  35. Safe and punctual train ride to Narita.
  36. Despite a power outage during the night, I was able to get a reasonable amount of sleep
  37. Safe and punctual flight from Narita to Minneapolis
  38. I saw the northern lights out of my widow during the flight
  39. Took pictures of the northern lights and the plane's contrails
  40. Free wireless internet and electrical sockets in at a business center in the Minneapolis airport
  41. Despite a delay in my flight to Rapid City, I made it in time for band rehearsal
  42. My wife picked me up at the airport in Rapid City
  43. New student joined my research group
  44. Started regular meeting for the students who are working with me
  45. Informal lunch with a visiting professor from Australia (Jan. 24, 2014)

Total: 753

Gratitdue, Part 22 (Jan. 11 - 17, 2014)

  1. Nabe (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nabemono)
  2. Nuki (raw beef tongue with egg)
  3. The blog http://www.survivingnjapan.com/
  4. Hiking along Nunobiki Falls
  5. Good weather for hiking
  6. An object of natural beauty within walking distance of a major train station
  7. Kobe beef
  8. Arima cats
  9. Arima Gin-no-yu (public onsen)
  10. Arima Kin-no-yu (public onsen)
  11. Wrote a bunch of postcards to friends and family back in the US
  12. Bought the stamps for postcards using only Japanese
  13. Lots of delicious noodles
  14. Japanese root dish: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Konjac
  15. A fried noodle dish http://katnsatoshiinjapan.blogspot.jp/2008/10/bokkake-modanyaki.html  http://hyogo-tourism-en.blogspot.jp/2011/12/sobameshi-bokkake.html
  16.  Being able to match the characters on the menu pictures to the characters on the ticket machine to order.
  17.  The cultural experience of eating at a restaurant by making my selection on a ticket machine
  18. Toyama Black Ramen http://homepage2.nifty.com/tamura-shigeru/sub7sub2.htm (Jan. 17, 2013)
  19. After catching the wrong train, my wife helped me to get in contact with my host to warn him I would be late.
  20. Helpful employee at the train station where I got off after catching the wrong train.  Between a few words of English and drawings, she was able to get me back to the right train.
  21. Found a seat on the right train (JR Thunderbird)
  22. My host waited for me at the train station in Toyama for two hours
  23. Safe ride in the smallest train I have ever seen (only one car)  from Toyama to Inotani Station
  24. A colleague who picked us up at Inotani Station and drove us to the Kamioka Observatory Kenkyutou, the office building in Mozumi for the observatory.
  25. Despite the two hour wait to get on the right train, I was able to give my seminar only 10 minutes late.

Total: 708