Thursday, January 24, 2008

Yep, it got colder

When we got out of bed this morning at 8:30, the temperature was -1F (-18.3C) which was bad enough, but the wind chill was -20F (-28.8C). The last coldest was wind chill -12F and I told you that I would let you all know if it got colder. Luckily, Noemi was very kind and gave us a lift so we wouldn't have to stand out it in. Otherwise it was a very nice day. A nice 1 inch coving of snow left on most things from the other night, fine and sunny and bright. The days are also getting longer with sun down at almost 6pm and sun up at about 8am. Still, it is way too cold! Big green Norwegian feather jacket time (and that was actually warm). Oh well, Monday is supposed to be 45F (7.2C) so that is bearable except it is supposed to rain! Can't win!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Been a while

It's been a while since posting, so I thought I'd give an update.
Llew is in Georgia at the moment on an EPICS trip, just from yesterday until tomorrow. That means I am all alone. Oh well. It was probably a good night for him to be away last night because I now have a cold and last night was spent tossing and turning, sniffing, sneezing and coughing. Blaaa. There are a few colds going around so of course I had to get one too! Have to fit in you know!

Other than that, I have been furiously working on journal articles. The first one has come back from my boss with really good comments. It just needs some fine tuning and data analysis. I think I'll wait till next week to start when my head is hopefully a bit more clear. The second paper is due today for a conference and I sent it to a colleague who is the co-writer and he is yet to get it back to me. It still has the discussion to write, but I hope he is doing that as I type. 4 hours till it is due! The third paper is nearly all done and is sitting with the boss. The fourth paper I should be working on right now, but sniff, sniff, cough, cough, blaaaaaaaaa! Need to save my energy for the one due today :) The fifth paper was actually the first one I started way back in Feb 2007, but still have to write the lit reveiw and discussion. That might not be started for a couple of weeks.

Speaking of weeks, we only have 6 weeks left here! AAAHHH! Where did the time go? Time flies when you are having fun. There you go, to everyone here, you have helped us have fun, so you can all feel good :) We fly out of Chicago late on Thursday Feb 28 to London. Then we do two weeks in Germany and The Netherlands, one week in Norway, a few days in Singapore, then get home on April 2. Of course the blog will be kept up to date with all of that, but for now, it's work, work, work.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Vanilla Fest - The wrap up

Well we hosted vanilla fest last night, an explosion of vanilla flavoured food. It was inspired by the bounty of vanilla that Rocio brought back from Mexico. For a complete wrap up of the dishes that were created, hop on over to Alice & Steve's blog. I have started to blog about the five dishes that I created over at my food blog. More posts to come at a later stage!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Mocking me

I think the weather is just mocking me. I keep blogging about how cold it is, and it keeps getting colder! When it first dipped below freezing I thought it was bad. Then in the 20s I thought it was bad. Then it got down to 7 with a wind chill of 0 and I thought that was bad. Yesterday it decided to get even more rediculous. It snowed a lot on Tuesday and then was windy and clear Tuesday night which resulted in standing at the bus stop (mind you at 10:30am; would have been worse earlier!) with a temperature of 3F (-16.1C) and a wind chill of -12F (-24.4C). It wasn't too bad except for the freezing of tears and the lovely little icicles on Llew's beard. Luckily there was only about 3 inches of snow to tromp through and stand in, and the bus came on time (no students around this week slowing things down). So I'll let you know if it gets any colder. Sunday, however, is supposed to get back into the 50s. :)

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Year in Review

Following a Normal tradition I will do the year in review. The tradition is to capture the first sentence from each month of the blog for the past year. Well, we don't have a January entry, but we can start in the middle of February.


Well, at least it is getting closer. We went to uni on Wednesday and said goodbye to the campus and office and a few people. (Yep, we were preparing to leave for our year in the US. Also saying goodbye to Peanuts and preparing for a certain pig!)

Robin took us on a road trip up to northern Indiana, right up to Michigan City on Lake Michigan. (The trip was to see snow on the beach at the lake. Cool. The rest of the month involved moving into our new apartment and Llew starting work. Fun and work mixed together.)


It was a fine, warm day, so we decided to go for a walk. (April brought some change in the weather - eventually, which signalled flowers and walks and outdoor beer drinking. It also saw Jo arrive and Easter and a step up a notch in cooking. Also kittens!)


We have tried some local and not so local brews this last week. (Spring brought beer, lots of beer! I went to steel mills in Indy and aluminium plant in WL, was very busy with work, and ended with a Mexican fiesta.)


As part of the INSPIRE acadamies that we are doing next week and in July, we have a Boston Museum of Science module about "catching the wind" as I have explained previously. (Ah yes, June started with the first acadamy. Most of the rest was taken up by Hawaii!)


Shawn had a get-together for the 4th of July. (Loads of fireworks. Then the second academy in the second week, a drive into rural Illinois and Indiana, brewing beer, my birthday, and the last week spent in Bloomington IN.)


Before I went to Bloomington, we went for a trip down to Turkey Run state park to go canoeing. (So I was a bit out of date in posting, but canoeing was great! The weather turned hot, we got produce to harvest, we went camping at the dunes, and to the state fair (demo derby).)


We went down to Mammoth caves in Kentucky over the weekend which I will get to in subsequent posts, but first I want to point out some of the interesting towns in Indiana. (The caves were great, so was the kareoke. The towns in this post were strange, though. The second weekend was, who could forget, the Aussie party! Woo hoo!!!! Later I went to New Mexico - a trip to remember, and Llew went to London - another trip to remember, especially his birthday.


Ok, from now for a bit you are going to get some really bad jokes. (Yep, we went to Normal! Alice and Steve hosted us in Normal and Alice in Madison before the FIE conference in Milwaukee. Then we took off for our huge east coast trip to Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Washington D.C.)


Friday morning was wetter than Thursday. (A left over from Washington which was really October. So was Halloween which was posted in November. Llew started his food blog. It started to get really cold. Thanksgiving was a great day with great food.)


Well for the first time ever, I went to sleep last night and woke up to SNOW! (That was great. Real snow, quite a lot, and beautiful. More snow, ice, a trip to Indy, and of course, Christmas.)

So that was a quick year in review. Hope yours was as good and that 2008 is as good too.

New Year's Eve

It is now 2008! As one of the last time zones to go through the change, we still celebrated hard. We woke up yesterday to read about Sydney's fireworks, and realised how behind we are here. Anyway, a cold, wet, icky day soon cheered up in the evening with fondue and loads of champagne. There were 7 of us: us 2, the Normals, Robin and her neighbours. Of course the dog was there too. It was a great evening and we all enjoyed the 5 bottles of champagne, 2 bottles of red, 1 white, 1 mead wine, and 1 sticky. Well, it was 5 hours! There was also way too much eating. So with crackers, wishes and snow, we welcomed in 2008. You can see all the fun and photos on The Normals' blog (thanks Alice).