Happy end of autumn! While all you crazies in the USA and Europe are enjoying the last blossoms of spring and the first fruits of summer, it is nearly southern-December down here and it is cold. One might say I’d gone soft after spending all those snow-capped winters in Connecticut, but honestly, up there I had the benefit of central heating and cubic miles of insulation in the wall. At the moment I’m holed up at Sfoglia with coffee and one of their trademark sfogliatelle, with the TV on the wall giving a taste of home by flashing closed-caption sob stories about Hollywood stars’ cosmetic surgery fails and infomercials about exercise machines and fold-up modular stepladders.
The one nice thing is that not all the autumn leaves are gone yet; quite a few still cling colorfully to the branches of those trees unfortunate enough to be deciduous at this time of year. It makes plenty of pretty for the rest of us.
I’ve started up my cycling routine again after a too-long hiatus. It’s even colder in the mornings than the afternoons, but if you bundle up your most cold-sensitive extremities for the ride with a scarf, earmuffs, and gloves, you really only need a light jumper and a nice pedal up the hill to stay warm. As I’ve argued before, the hardest part is just getting out the door.
In other news, the referee has finally come through with report mark 2 on That Paper. It’s a lot shorter and less annoying than the last one, but it’s still going to take longer than I wanted to sort out; the ref and one of my opinionated collaborators both seem to take equally strong and opposing positions about something I don’t really think is that important to the main point of the paper, and isn’t really even possible to say anything rigorous about. I tend to take the position that if I can humor my co-authors or the ref without too much agony, I’ll do it; for better or worse it takes a lot of pressure before I start to push back. So we’ll see how long this issue takes to sort out, or whether I need to tell one or both parties to go jump in the lake. I want to have this thing back to the ref inside of a month.
The SkyMapper SN search is also getting closer to where we want it to be. The part I’ve been working on recently is a set of internal web pages for pipeline job monitoring and follow-up information for the transients we’ve been finding, some of which may eventually go public to allow others to browse what we’ve been finding. (Sharing is caring!) Back in January it was lots of late nights learning Django and re-engineering the pipeline into an object-oriented framework in python. These days it’s more Django as well as CSS. If I find I have to rappel down the walls of the ivory tower in a few years, I guess it can’t hurt to know about such things.
Watch this space for the ongoing saga of That Paper, news of upcoming Paper #2, general science paper discussion, theatre reviews, art exhibit reviews, webcomic reviews, and much more!