I think I'll stay home today

 This is a picture of an almost finished spinach smoothie. The delectable beverage is a staple amongst my fellow flatmates. While a week ago, I would not have considered putting ground down spinach into my gastronomical system... "when in Rome". Don't get me wrong, I like spinach just as much as the next tech bro; but I did not expect this delectable potion of green substance. The quaffable drink is made palatable by the addition of du jus d'orange (french for "orange juice") as well as a chilled banana.

Today is yet another day in a digital paradise landscape. Honestly, I should not be complaining since I am healthy and well placed. I have a roof over my head, food in my body, and a warm bed. Generally, I can thank most of these things to my hosts in Cambridge MA. I am sound for a home at least in the next month or two. Each day comes with minimal challenges as I watch closely on the internet (my vibrating string coming down from the ether that tells me how the rest of the world is doing). I trust some agencies which indicate normality may return in a few weeks or so. Unfortunately, a few weeks could also mean 2 months but if that's what it takes to safe a life, then it is of course worth the effort.

I think I'll stay home today.

Settled in Cambridge Again

I have a new setup at a friend's place in Cambridge MA. I said goodbye to my girlfriend today at terminal A of Logan Airport. It was hard to say goodbye knowing we won't be able to see each other for potentially a few months at the worst. In the meantime, we will be able to watch some shows together and talk on the phone. This is better than what our past relatives could do in these circumstances. 

I'm sure everyone in the world is all considering the life changing implications of this pandemic. It hopefully becomes a moment of cooperation. I am going to try my best to stay calm, act intelligently, and get the necessary work done. If I can find someway to use my education and knowledge to help, I trust that I will do so.

Finding time to eat and cook with Friends

At the dam near Keene.

In Keene, NH, the party of Ally, Brendan, and I have been eating well over the last few days. We went to a grocery store called Hannaford the other day and we were able to pick up supplies to a variety of good meals over the last few days. We have made stir-fry, pastas, steak, and brownies to name a few meals. Yesterday, we took trips outside to run and enjoy the wilderness. The weather is slightly cold, above freezing and sunny most of the time.

Ally has a plane ticket for Friday and I will be heading back to Cambridge MA on that day. I have a bundle of food that could last a few weeks if I had to self-quarantine. 

I have a whole variety of remote work to complete on my work laptop. I have been looking forward to passing the time with a set of readings.

Granite State Vacation Time

 My last post was at my NRL shift on Thursday morning. In that post, I mentioned that Tuesday and Wednesday had been very hectic. This blog post shows it got even hectic-er...

Photo from Thursday

Thursday, March 12th
11 AM - Complete a turnover with Marshall at the NRL and learn about sample facilities with Tom Bork
12 Noon - Finish 8am to 12noon shift at NRL. Go upstairs and talk with coworkers. Ask Dane to help me move on Friday morning at 10am. Grab extra tape.
1 PM - Run home to East Campus. See some friends, people moving all over the place.
2 PM - Jump on my computer and try to do some email/messaging.
3 PM - Pack
4 PM - Pack
5 PM - Pack
6 PM - Pack
7 PM - Pack
8 PM - Pack
9 PM - Pack
10 PM - "Formal Cocoa" event at my dormitory hall, typically this event is held at the end of the semester, we share dishes. This time, the event is held before we all leave. The event is abruptly shocked to a close with a new announcement that the undergrads will be removed by Sunday instead of Tuesday. All Friday classes canceled...
11 PM - I start to pace, I try to pack. I consider renting a car overnight to accelerate my move. My girlfriend Ally calms my nerves and asks me to see my friends for what may be our last time together.
12 Midnight - Move a number of things into the hallway outside my room, start to talk to my friends a bit
1 AM - Pack a few more things, watch an episode of a TV show called Brooklyn 99 to try and relax.
2 AM - Try to sleep, the exhaustion overcomes the stress and I fall to sleep.

Thursday night

Friday, March 13th (Friday the 13th)
9 AM - Wake up, pack, eat a slice of toast
10 AM - My friend Dane arrives in his Jeep. We pack away a few boxes in two trips. I primarily move my weirdly shaped items with these trips. Such as my instruments.
11 AM - move things with Dane. Run back to East Campus in the hard rain and wind.
12 Noon - Keep boxing things
1 PM - Eat reheated pizza. Go out a scour campus for some free food to give to my friends.
2 PM - Panic a bit, then pack
3 PM - Pack
4 PM - Pack
5 PM - Pack
6 PM - Pack, say goodbye to some friends
7 PM - Pack
8 PM - Pack
9 PM - Pack
10 PM - Move things into Ally's room
11 PM - Pack
12 Midnight - look at memes, relax
1 AM - quick shower, watch an episode of a TV show, sleep

Elevator at NW13, moving things down to the basement

Carrying my bag of essentials including a radio for local news at all times

Saturday, March 14th 
7 AM - Get up and make toast and coffee, stomach feels sick when I start to drink coffee so I sip some water instead. Move boxes down to the ground floor.
8 AM - My friend Adriana J. arrives in their family's green Subaru and we begin to pack it up. We complete two trips to the MIT NRL. These two trips complete a move of most of my remaining things to a secure storage site. 
9 AM- finishing the second trip with Adriana moving boxes to the NRL. Get a ride back to East Campus dormitories. My girlfriend is sleeping in my bed at my dorm room. Lay down in my bed with my girlfriend. Fall asleep to exhaustion.
10 AM - Asleep
11 AM - Awake close to 1130. This is the last time we will relax in my undergraduate room together. We talk for a bit and I ask to help her keep packing.
12 Noon - Start packing more with other friends
1 PM - Walk to Columbia street to meet with Realtor about apartments opening up for a June 1st lease. Meet my friend Hadrian there as well who will be living with me in June?
2 PM - See apartment, talk to realtor in Allston. Eat lunch. Get ride back to campus
3 PM - Find other two people I will be leaving with today to go to Keene NH; Brendan Vaughn (friend) and Ally Allen (girlfriend)
4 PM - Drive to Keene
5 PM -  Get to Keene, drop first set of boxes and bags off. 
6 PM - Start back to Cambridge MA.
7 PM - stop for McDonalds near the border of MA and NH. Keep driving
8 PM - Driving
9 PM - Get to Cambridge MA
10 PM - Start to pack food, remaining things in the car. Say goodbyes
11 PM - Driving
12 Midnight - Get to Keene again. Unpack. Check the house for intruders.
1 AM - Start watching The Office on Netflix.
2 AM - Get tired, take shower, lay down, sleep immediately (thanks exhaustion)

At the East Campus desk with Ally and Brendan

Returning my EC dorm key

 and I at a apartment in renovation

Guess I don't have to return this

Last photo of my dormroom

Sunday, March 15th
10 AM - Wake up in the house that Brendan's family has in Keene, NH
11 AM - Play a game to relax
12 Noon - Make breakfast for the three of us, write this post
1 PM - Planning for the rest of the day, tomorrow, the next day, etc.

Learning in the time of Coronavirus

 Yesterday was a whirl-wind. I will start however with Tuesday. A schedule is provided below.

7:30 AM - Wake up, eat some toast
8:00 AM - Meet a welder at the MIT CMS about a part I am working on.
8:30 AM - Bike to Shell Techworks (STW)
9:30 AM - Morning Standup meeting
10:30 AM - Read a message about Harvard cancelling classes and moving UG away.
11:00 AM - Receive rumors that MIT will follow suit with Harvard.
11:30 AM- Confirmed rumors with a contact I have who works closely with MIT Admin
12:00 Noon - Eat lunch at STW, talk about worries with my co-workers
1:00 PM - Having a hard time focusing. Mostly unable to work. Talk to a project lead.
2:00 PM - Short meeting about front-end components with my colleague Dat. Talk with my supervisor about my plans.
3:00 PM - Leave STW to head to campus.
3:30 PM - See a massive gathering in MIT's Killian court. Appears to be some open consumption of alcohol and recreational drugs. Students are playing "beer pong" and vandalizing hand sanitizer stands.
4:00 PM - Return to East Campus dormitories (EC) and then walk back to Killian court to see if any of my friends are there.
4:30 PM - People begin to scatter as police officers arrive. I worry that this is the last time I will see many of my fellow classmates.
5:00 PM - Get back to EC, decide to get some groceries as the coming days are uncertain in regards to food and water.
5:30 PM - Return from Brother's Marketplace grocery. Lots of people are talking all over the dorm. See my girlfriend and talk about the situation at hand.
6:00 PM - Head to UHaul in central square area to get boxes. It is slightly busy but we are easily able to get everything we need. Stop by CVS to get a prescription but it's not in stock. Go back to EC.
7:00 PM - Go to meeting for 2.014, my project class, I get there a few minutes late.
8:00 PM - Still in meeting Start to think about packing.
9:00 PM - Get back from meeting Sit down and play video games for a while to calm down.
10:00 PM - General moving out and talk about where to go next
11:00 PM -People arrive with comfort food and a lot of conversations
12:00 Midnight - Friends are hanging out at popular spots on campus, I go visit them
1 AM - Go to sleep

9:00 AM - Wake up, eat breakfast
10:00 AM - Packing a bit of stuff.
11:00 AM - Meeting at Bldg. 3 for course 2.014, how to deal with this mayhem.
12:00 Noon - Leave meeting and head back to EC. Start packing.
1:00 PM - Receive help from wonderful girlfriend who can efficiently pack boxes.
5:00 PM - Still packing, figure out housing and storage
7:30 PM - Call with Dad
8:00 PM - Call with Mom
9:00 PM - 2.014 video call about the morning meeting
9:30 PM - Things are slowing down, people are trying to relax with boardgames and comfort food.
10:00 PM - I start my show at WMBR, MIT student radio. Mostly banter, some songs, etc.
12:00 Midnight - Leave WMBR, shut down the station
12:30 AM - Eat some rice, beans, and chicken; as I haven't been able to eat much.
1:00 AM - Clear some stuff up, cleaning
1:30 AM - Went to bed

Thursday (Today)
7:30 AM - Wake up to my double alarm system
8:00 AM - start work at MIT NRL
9:00 AM - start writing this, getting sidetracked
10:00 AM - 10 minutes from now.

Student newspaper article

Party in Killian on Tuesday afternoon

Stirling Engine turns on and gets cold

My friend David and I turned on a Stirling engine on Friday. The engine is a Cryotel CT from Sunpower in Ohio. The device is capable of bringing a cold finger down to cryogenic temperatures such as near the evaporation temperature of nitrogen. In the embedded YouTube video, you can see us turn on the engine for the first time.

Here is also a picture of some cookies I made and some butter chicken I made.

Learning about an old TV

 I would have never thought that paper is the material of choice for containing small glass tubes in place behind a traditional LCD television. After this screen went out at the NRL operations office, the superintendent mentioned I could look into the potential repairs of the screen. I took it into the special projects shop and began to poke around inside the electronics with my friend Dane. We were able to figure out a particular test point voltage (well, a labeled connector voltage) was not correct to activate the backlight inverter. So it appears the screen works but is not being lit up. The current plan is to get some high power white LEDs and supplement the backlight with those. We'll see how it goes.

Cambridge housing search and other news

 Yesterday, I spent most of the day outside of my dorm and out on the town. In the early morning, I walked over to the Course 22 undergraduate student lounge and got a coffee and some yogurt. After the small breakfast, I headed to Boston commons to see what the hubbub was about regarding the democratic primary stuff. Following a walk by the park, I had an appointment to see an apartment with two of my future housemates in Inman square. We met with the property manager and a broker to see a unit under current renovations. After that, my friend Hadrian and I went to Davis square. We saw some friends there and walked about. Later, we came back to East Campus and chilled with some other friends. All around a good day, not much work though. In other news, I am getting stuff done with a wonderful group of other engineers in my project class building a cryocooler. And my occupation is smoothly working fine.

Cryocooler mount

Working space

Absentee primary ballot for Michigan

Synchronous Fireflies and Summer Plans

I spent my birthday at the Elkmont campground in Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP). It's nestled into a beautiful and scenic p...