Spring Cleaning (travel mind edition)

This year my travel has been fairly hectic. While it’s rather on par (or below) for a scientist, this means that it’s above and beyond the pale for a “normal” person.

Here’s a sample of my travel adventures since last November. I’m going to try to go back and jot down some good notes on as many of these trips as I can over the next couple of weeks to get my writing juices flowing again. I’ll come back and stick in links below as I finish them.


After accumulating the list below, I just realized that since the beginning of the year I’ve only been home for a complete week for 5 of the 18 weeks. Yeesh, no wonder my writing time has gone to hell…unfortunately I’m usually not someone who can write on planes (for some reason a laptop and a 6’3″ person can’t coexist on most airline seats).


November 2016:

Just as the post-election blues really stated to hit, I headed off to NASA Goddard to give the astrophysics colloquium. The topic more or less gives away my scientific wanderlust: “NuSTAR observations of Supernova Remnants and the Sun”. What’s six orders of magnitude in intensity differences in the same talk between friends?

January 2017:

Family travel to Palm Springs and the Bay Area.

February 2017:

Co-hosting the KISS Symposium on Laser Communications on CubeSats. I know it was in Pasadena, but it was effectively travel days for me. Getting things started in Pasadena by 8:15 in the morning means leaving my house around 6:00 and since you have all of these amazing minds in one room it also means hanging out until around 8 o’clock most nights. This is also when I (re?)discovered that driving home from Pasadena at 8 pm doesn’t exempt me from sitting in traffic anymore.

February 2017:

“My shortest birthday experience ever” or “Traveling East-Bound half-way around the planet”. And to London. It was fun. I’m definitely going to write more about this trip in a bit.

March 2017:

Fun with X-ray Calibration Missions in Lake Arrowhead (a.k.a. the “International Astronomical Consortium for High Energy Calibration” meeting). I had a short-lived attempt to liveblog this meeting on Twitter before I realized that all of the instrument teams airing their dirty laundry don’t necessarily need to be overly publicized.

April 2017:

Family trip to the Bay Area followed immediately by a trip to Princeton and Manhattan.

The second half of this was the second highly targeted science meeting of the Spring, both on supernovae and this one specifically on the supernova remnant Cassiopeia A (or Cas A for those of us that have problems typing the correct number of “s”s). As the name suggests, the supernova remnant is the debris that was left behind when a star blew up sometime in the latter half of the 17th century. I’ve worked on it just a little bit.

No wonder it feels like I haven’t been home in forever…

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