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(isn’t that a nice picture that andrea took?)

The garden’s been producing a lot of beans and zucchini lately. Probably due to the greenhouse like conditions we’ve been having lately. I still cook, just at 8 or 9pm usually. Tonight’s offering of zucchini and string beans was a stirfry with lots of fermented black beans and sichuan pepper corns (and chili paste, bean paste, ginger, scallions, rib meat, and sesame oil). Goes down nice with this hoegaarden by my side.

Today I worked on filling out my cad drawings for this new experimental chamber I mentioned yesterday. Here’s the latest version.

FIG 3. New environmental chamber for combined scattering and spectroscopy at solid oxide fuel cell conditions. A) Huber diffractometer, B) New access port (x4), C) Be window (x2), D) Be windowed port and collimator for Vortex detector and E) detail of sample and probe sensors


People who visit the Advanced Photon Source never seem to remember what a synchrotron actually does, or the definition of brilliance, or the difference between a wiggler and an undulator. No, what they remember are the trikes–which is the mode of transportation around experiment hall. Toward the end of our recent 3 week run, I got a little bored and tried to survey the different tricycles.

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Left: this is the tricycle for sector 12 (BESSRC-CAT) where I work. Unlike most trikes, it’s a three-speed. Middle: two colorful trikes at GSE-CARS, our neighbor at sector 13. I like the simplicity of the red ‘mover’ trike. Right: A nice, classic blue number that reminds me of an old-fashioned schwinn.

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Left: a nice pink recombinant with a homemade sled-style crate and a gnarly horn. I wanted to try it out, but the last time I did this some woman chased after me. Middle: detail of a common, yet elegant, style around the ring. This an older generation of trike, so I’m a little partial I guess. Right: the infamous PNC trike. I love this thing, which is so much more out of the closet than Robert.

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Far left: different view of PNC-1. Mid-left: Interesting shop trikes that look a little like rickshaws. Mid-right: for some reason, this is my favorite one. Far-right: This trike looked lonely.

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Left: The only white rims in the building. Middle: Trike with an interesting front rack that’s integrated into the handlebars (incidentally parked in a forbidden red area). I wanted to try this one out too. Right: The parking situation near the APS shop is always tight, even at 4 in the morning when I took these photos.


Our hero has been consumed by the monster that is the Beam, for a month-long adventure sure to produce lots of hard-won data.  Back in September, you can see that Tim and his old apparatus were quite friendly.  This time around, perhaps with no nametag clipped to his nipple, our hero finds himself using yet another apparatus for his sample-measuring pursuits. 

 This is all to say that Tim, our flaxen hero, may be a little scarce for the next month. 

Wow two posts this weekend.  It’s like the freakin’ renaissance in here.  I’ll be brief since I should get to bed in a few.

Here’s a pic of my office desk with a 24” imac loaner. I’m really looking forward to the macbook to show up since I’m starting to get a sun burn from this one.


I like this site.

I’ve been on an anchovies kick lately. I made a caeser salad with an extra coddled egg and a lot of those little fishies. The immersion blender made the dressing really nice.


I decided to cook everything I’ll need for the next few days ahead of time. Banana-coconut-pecan bread for breakfast and two pizzas (one veggie and one that was split between anchovy and pepporoni). This gas oven is a million times nicer for baking than that tiny electric I used to have. I altered my mom’s recipe, now cooking it at 425 and letting it rise twice, which allowed me to stretch the dough to two zas.


…and I stumbled across the best dessert:


(dulce de leche gelato with slices from a prairie spy apple purchased here)