Archive for November, 2017

Routine Disruptions

Tuesday, November 14th, 2017

The past few months have been far from routine. In July and early August, Melissa spent our weekends searching for a house to rent in the Pasadena area. I had planned to move closer to Pasadena initially in order to shorten my commuting time and reduce the risk of being in an automobile accident. The approximately $600 increase in rent at Homecoming at Eastvale was certainly an extra incentive to hurry up and move. We spent much of August packing and making preparations to move. Then, on September 15th, we officially moved into an old house in Pasadena---built circa 1907.

In early September, the SPHEREx project began ramping up again and the focus of my work shifted from Euclid to SPHEREx. I worked on updating the SPHEREx simulation code, running simulations, and training a postdoc to run the code so that I could eventually return to my regular Euclid software development duties.

A few weeks after moving into the new house, the Euclid Developer's Meeting was held in Trieste, Italy. So, I spent a week away from Melissa, Lev, and Koen. It was my first trip to Europe and the first time I had been away from the kids for more than a day. We used Facebook's video chat to communicate each day.

After returning from Italy, I had a bad case of jet lag, which was exacerbated by the need to accomodate Koen's sleep schedule; he loves to wake up super early in the morning.

I then spent two weeks working at Caltech, mixing my Euclid and SPHEREx duties as well as I could manage and then on October 30th, I began my baby bonding time / paid family leave. I was unable to take advantage of this benefit when Koen was born because I had not yet worked at Caltech for a year at that point. Instead, I was forced to use all of my vacation time instead. We spent the first two weeks of my 'vacation' in Virginia, since we had not been there since the summer of 2015---far too long. While we were there, Lev spent a lot of time with Svonne and his grandma. He also learned to play Connect 4. Koen learned to crawl pretty well while he was there, so now he requires extra attention because he's mobile.

In the past month or so, I have spent three weeks away from California. In that time, I've flown roughly 17500 miles and spent 38 hours in the air. This sort of travel is actually pretty normal for some of my colleagues at Caltech, but it's the first time that I've traveled so much in such a short period of time.

I am staying home in the new Pasadena house for the third and final week of vacation to rest up for what comes next. Melissa is also using this time to train for a new job. She will be working on weekends soon, so hopefully we can finally start paying down our debt at a decent rate next year.

My first week back to work should be a fairly gentle transition, since it is the week of Thanksgiving, and therefore a short week. I'll be back to the grind in late November and December. In the next cycle of Euclid development, I have a lot more work to do than in the previous cycle, so I will need to get into a good routine again.

This post should really be much longer; so much has happened since the previous post, but I don't want to waste time at the moment going into detail at the moment. Hopefully this will be enough detail to refresh my memory later on.