Launched!

Sep. 28th, 2011 10:02 am
telerib: (blondie)
TacSat-4 lifted off from Kodiak Launch Facility yesterday under rare clear skies. I can't say everything went "without a hitch" but what hitches we had were small and handled adeptly by the team.

More checkout stuff today!
telerib: (Default)
When you see a guy dressed all in white and you think, "Gosh, isn't that a trifle fussy and/or contrived?" remember that you work for the Navy and the officers wear white.

On my desk

Jun. 25th, 2010 11:01 am
telerib: (Default)
I have a new desk with a hutch. Hutch is meant for a CRT monitor, not a laptop with side-by-side flatscreen. Have requested all or part of hutch be removed.

To communicate this desire to Physical Plant folks, I have left a series of stickie notes:

#1: This side is the problem

#2: Need ~6-8" <---->

#3: Honestly - Just NEED this side gone. I assume shelf has to go, too, but I don't actually care

#4: one way or the other.

#5: BURMA SHAVE
telerib: (Default)
Or so they claim. :p

Work is putting together a "This is us" video for folks to use when making presentations to people who have no idea what we do. Since I combine bardic performance charm and technical engineering experience in one petite package, I was tapped to give some soundbites. (I'm sure there was an element of "Look! A science woman!" there as well.)

It was fun. I was told I was doing a good job; not sure how much of that was people-managing skills from the videographers and how much was honest evaluation. But I'd like to take the parting compliment serious. "We usually tell people not to quit their day jobs, but you could."
telerib: (uhh)
Ritual self-deprecation.

Expression of vague malaise and anxiety related to work.

Ironic acknowledgment of journaling as procrastination, leading to more anxiety.

Further acknowledgment of need to put nose to grindstone and do work, juvenile wish that escapism worked and/or that problems would just go away, guilt over time already wasted leading to further avoidance and waste.

Sigh.

ZombieSat!

May. 5th, 2010 08:18 am
telerib: (Default)
Galaxy 15, an Intelsat satellite, has stopped responding to ground commands - but it isn't dead. Its payload is still operational and may cause interference problems with other satellites as the satellite caroms around GEO.

Gosh, if only there were some... space tow truck that could take broken satellites and move them away from operational ones.

Oh wait. There is, if someone would just put together a bus and launch the thing.

Oy.
telerib: (Default)
It's the best mandatory training of the year! No PowerPoint slides; over in 15 minutes; you get to play with fire. Awesome.

Bleah

Apr. 22nd, 2010 02:53 pm
telerib: (uhh)
Why are my supervisor's (generally accurate and insightful) critiques of my paper solid proof that I'm not good enough for my job, but his encouragement that he thinks the ideas are good and just need more work is clearly an insincere and rote back-pat?

I don't think I used to have this problem with perception. Where'd it come from?

Damn lucky

Feb. 25th, 2010 09:41 am
telerib: (Default)
There I am, charging from Point A to Point B so I can take care of something before charging back to Point A again when I realize...

...I'm stomping past a real satellite. Because we build those here.

Engineers: instead of (or in addition to) stopping to smell the roses, we stop to marvel at the mechanisms.

TSA A-OK

Feb. 24th, 2010 09:25 am
telerib: (Default)
I admit I was worried about flying out of Logan Airport with a breast pump and three bottles of milk. I asked in BWI about what to do ("Ask the airport you'll be flying back from"), I asked at Logan upon arrival ("Uh, put them in a bag?").

Lo, the pump was flagged for extra screening and, shortly thereafter, so were the bottles. The TSA agents were cheerful and friendly as they did it, rather than grumpy and surly. The process was quick, just some kind of sensor wand passed over the outside of the pump and each bottle. Results were negative and I was on my way.

So... it was worrying that I couldn't get a straight or consistent answer to my question, but I gotta give the screeners props. They're not all as bad as the horror stories1 make them out to be.

1- And, to some extent, personal experience. I've never had a Horror Story, but I've been barked at and scowled at plenty. Maybe being aggressive is seen by their supervisors as Taking Security Seriously? I don't know.

Grumble

Dec. 28th, 2009 01:29 pm
telerib: (uhh)
I specifically remember checking that I could get advanced annual leave. Why was I given 50 hours of Leave Without Pay last pay period?

And why must a mandatory briefing *and* the loss of external access to email happen while I'm away?

Clearly my first, longer maternity leave was an anomaly. You know, in that it wasn't a huge freaking hassle from start to finish.
telerib: (uhh)
I used to try to hit the road by a quarter til 6am, so that I'd be at the office by 6:30. Then I got pregnant, and my body insisted on a bit more sleep, and my departures were delayed. I get in now between 7 and 7:30 with correspondingly later departure times.

I'm usually tending, in fact, more towards the 7:30 than the 7, and the half-hour makes all the difference. Traffic crawls through the ICC construction on I-95, crawls through the 295/Beltway merge, crawls past the 295/50 split, crawls from Burroughs Ave to Pennsylvania Ave.

So I was very happy to actually get out the door at 6:20 today. Okay, it took a few minutes to scrape off the unexpected frost, but still. Nice and early, should totally get in by 7.

Accident on 95-S blocking the right hand lane. Dammit.

Geek Fail

Oct. 1st, 2009 02:41 pm
telerib: (Default)
At work, I have an Apple PowerBook. (Windows box = someone else is Admin. Mac = installing my own software.) It is three years old and uses a processor that is now incompatible with most Mac applications. That is the main reason I finally got around to getting a new one.

It came on... Monday? And I just opened the box today. Because I really just don't care as long as I can get my work done on it, and I haven't been dealing with anything that the old processor can't handle.

My coworkers think I'm weird.
telerib: (Default)
Pirates fire on US Navy helicopter

While the US Navy does employ some service animals, to my knowledge, none of them are monkeys. The SEALs, while partial to black clothes and pointy bits, are not actually ninja.

We must therefore face the pirates with our robot minions! BUG Bot! Roll forth and, um, scour the pirates' hull clean... no wait... um... Somebody call SPAWAR, okay?
telerib: (Default)
I finally look like a professional woman in a suit instead of a college student trying to borrow authority with my clothes.
telerib: (captain)
Business takes me out to sunny California on Sunday. I get to LAX around 9:30am with nothing in particular to do until 10:00am on Monday (except, you know, review the presentation I'm going to give).

Bless Roadside America, my first travel-planning stop. Should I try to arrange for a tour of the Bottle Village? Go for the hard-boiled eccentricity of the Museum of Jurrassic Technology? (More coherent review of museum here, on a steampunk blog so you know it has to be good). The Getty Museum and/or Villa and the La Brea Tar Pits are other possibilities.

The Manolo has recommended several restaurants in the area, which I am sure would require me to eat cereal for breakfast and lunch to stay within my per diem: steak, steak, steak, Californian, and the Italian that the Manolo says is simply the best restaurant in town.
telerib: (Default)
Hurray for high Martian winds! Rover gets another power boost.

And in a cheerful statistical anomaly, both the mission manager and the engineer quoted in the article are women. As I came from a meeting this morning in which, out of twenty attendees, three were women and two of the three were admins, it's just nice to see that we are out there.
telerib: (uhh)
It's been a week since we touched down in Newark, NJ. They have still not found my luggage.

How they managed to load Moe's and miss mine, I have no idea. The computer says it came off the plane in Chicago and was scanned as Newark-bound. Well, it wasn't in Newark.

They've either lost it most thoroughly, or it grew legs at some point along the trip. I'm working on the paperwork to get reimbursed for all the stuff that was in it. Nothing of irreplaceable value, although some of the jewelry (gifts from Moe) will be missed. I really hope I can get the same cowboy boots again, and it was very disappointing to have the $100 worth of stuff for my sister's bridal shower go missing the week of the shower. (Luau theme. I was in Hawai'i. It seemed natural to shop there.)

In high school, I had a rule not to go on camping trips with anything I wouldn't mind seeing disappear to the bottom of the Delaware River. I may have to reinstate that to some degree. (I mean, the new suit that I bought just for this? That was hella flattering and I had tailored? I mind losing it but it kinda had to go.)
telerib: (Default)
There's a shooting range in Waikiki. I didn't think much of it when the guys in pasteboards tried to give us brochures. I mean, shooting range, right? They exist, big deal. Then we walked past it and I saw the sign, which was pretty much "Shoot guns here!" Japan has strict gun control laws; Americans are well known for having lots of guns. There are many Japanese tourists here (so many that the convenience stores take yen). It must be a touristy thing to do: Go to America! Shoot a gun!

Our tour guide on the Big Island pointed out many of the trees and flowers. I liked that, because I always wonder what they are.

Bland macaroni salad may be as or more (modern) Hawaiian than kalua pig.

"Henry's Place" on Beachwalk is an unassuming little fruit store with awesome homeade sorbets. Well, the pineapple was awesome. I assume the others, and the ice creams, were also awesome.

Lava tubes are immensely cool.

My presentation seemed to go well, but the real win was the chance encounter in the Ladies' Room with the AIAA Congressional lobbyist who knew about the project I was on and said she'd supported it back in the 2005 timeframe, and would be happy to see what she could do to keep it alive now.

No actual lava was seen, regrettably.
telerib: (Default)
Aloha! )

I heard some interesting stuff from the COUNTER team, heard a few presentations that seemed like old robotics/AI news applied to the GNC community (can't complain, that's my paper in a nutshell), and some stuff on machine learning that I mostly got and some stuff on pseudospectral methods that I mostly didn't. Happy to say that, two years post-dissertation, I still remember the math associated with optimal controls and could follow along intelligently.

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