Matt's Blog

Life update

Sun Nov 26 21:21:31 EST 2006

I've been in Brisbane for almost three months now, and am gradually settling in - still does not feel like home though. It's getting pretty hot and uncomfortable, no afternoon sea breeze like we used to get in Perth. Humidity is pretty high as well. Of course, I don't notice this during the week in my nice air-conditioned office, only becomes an issue on the weekends. Still, it's nice and sunny in a "Go outside without protection for more than half an hour and you will die of skin cancer and/or dehydration" sort of way.

Workwise we're getting ready for the Australian Institute of Physics conference starting next weekend. Preparation on my part is preparing a poster to present on the proposed "ultrafast laser" cooling experiment (ie cooling with periodic pulse trains from a mode-locked laser, taking advantage of the phase coherence between pulses). Perhaps foolishly I chose to do the poster in LaTeX using the a0poster package. Seems to look ok now, but a bit of work initially putting it together. On the bright side, I can now take an outline view of a talk and compile it to either web, slides (using LaTeX plus beamer package) or poster (using LaTeX plus a0poster package). Would require moderate shell-scripting voodoo or maybe a simple lexer/parser/output program in Ocaml.

On the family front, I've booked my tickets to go home for Christmas (first time in almost a decade that I'll be home for Christmas). Looking forward to it!

On the social front, still spending more time internet chatting, facebook etc with friends back in the UK than actually meeting new people here. This is probably a bad idea. Recreation at the moment seems to just involve reading, writing blog entries and writing Ocaml code - perhaps doing something that actually got me out of the house would be better socially? Naah...

And on the completely random front I'm getting about a hundred hits a day on my website, mainly for my drawings. Interesting seeing the referer logs, there are a fair few people on Myspace or other social networking sites using my pics as backgrounds (the dark version of my hands picture is quite popular), plus some random Austrian forum. I really should get a scanner again so I can put some more drawings on the site (left old scanner in UK since I didn't think it would survive trip). Log analysis at log.html using the Visitor analysis program (makes nicer plots than analog with the default setup).



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