Goals and victories review (May 09)


(Recreation and fitness)

  • Blue belt done
  • Green belt done
  • Brown belt
  • Climb an Adirondack high peak
  • Complete my electronics project (the WSG)


  • Rewrite polarimeter software progress
  • Complete next experiment (HAPPEX-III) progress


  • Organize shed
  • Repair house exterior progress


  • Reduce debt y y n n y – – – – – – – / N
    (y(n) means we did (did not) meet my specific debt reduction goal in the given month; final Y(N) means we have (have not) met my goal cumulatively in the months so far)


  • Purple belt second tip
  • Blue belt
  • Rewrote Compton polarimeter decoder software
  • Blue belt first tip
  • Recovered from pneumonia
  • Performed at Gilbertsville, Syracuse May Day, Cortland May Day, Oneida Plant a Row for the Hungry garden
  • Got rid of Stairway to Nowhere and much other trash and yard waste
  • Blue belt second tip
  • Green belt
  • Replaced basement door
  • Cleared brush growth near Bilco door
  • Polarization measurement with new electron detector

Finances took a turn for the better this month; last year we bought a TV and dishwasher on a “no payments, no interest for 1 year” deal and now we’re paying that off just before the year is up, thereby avoiding all interest. Yay. We’re just a few dollars short of the cumulative goal for the year. We could send a few more dollars to the credit card we still have a balance on, but we’ve already written them a check and sealed the envelope and really, it doesn’t matter. I think we can be ahead of goal a month from now.

I gave myself credit for progress on the electron detector software rewrite, though it’s been some weeks since I’ve worked directly on that, possibly back in April. Getting the old version working on the new data has been a higher priority this month, and I’ve more or less done so: as of Friday, it now calculates a more or less reasonable value for the polarization. The errors are large, because the statistics are bad, because the new detector is very inefficient for some reason, and the polarization for one laser state is way lower than for the other, but those aren’t the software’s fault. So that’s progress on getting the upcoming experiment done. And getting that result required rewriting one section of the old software, in a way which is arguably an improvement generally, so I count that as progress on the rewrite.

This was the month I intended to organize the shed, and I didn’t. Partly that’s because some rainy weekends combined with a case of pneumonia can really set back one’s spring work schedule, and partly because I felt replacing the basement door was a higher priority. But I will start on it soon. I gave myself credit for progress on house exterior work, but it wasn’t much: if we can get the finances to work at all this year for siding work, it won’t be until next month at earliest, so that’s on hold. But I did contribute to breaking up a chunk of concrete that’s in the way of the entry to the back of the house, and I count that. Actually Heather’s done most of that work, though.


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