7/24/17: Daily Post

Yesterday, we finished our drive to Forsyth, IL, starting the day in Fort Scott, KS.  It was a relatively easy drive, with no major hitches.

I made contacts on amateur radio while we drove through Western Missouri.  I trailed off as we got close to I-44, as I have operated from most of those counties, and the traffic got heavier around some road construction.

In the evening, I met up with my group for the Center for Chemical Process Safety (CCPS) workshop here in Forsyth, IL.  This event is hosted by ADM, and we will spend the next two and a half days doing plant tours and watching presentations about chemical safety.  I’m looking forward to it!

In the evening, JoAnna and I were able to get outside and photograph the International Space Station (ISS) again, this time over Illinois.

iss 7-24-17 il

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7/23/17: Daily Post

Yesterday, we spent the day on the road from Guymon, OK, to Fort Scott, KS.  We have named this trip the “Nerd Olympics, 2017” thanks to all of the nerdy things we have done along the way.

First, we left Guymon and plotted a route through southern Kansas.  It was designed for me to operate my amateur radio equipment in a bunch of new counties.  I only talked to a few people in each county, but I did operate from a handful of new counties.

Along our route, we passed through the town of Moline, KS, which had a sign boasting of the “Oldest Swinging Bridge in Kansas.”  With that, we had to stop.


This creek was quite neat in itself.  We watched crawdads, minnows and pond skimmers running along the surface of the water.

Also, the gravel around the creek was completely full of fossils.  I found a good crinoid stem, and JoAnna found a handful of other fossils.


While I looked around at the crawdads and the fossils, it occurred to me that there was probably a geocache nearby.  I downloaded the app and went on a quest, and found the magnetic box under the bridge.

After that, we packed up and continued towards Fort Scott.  Along the way, we detoured to drive into a new county.  When I had finished operating from that county, we found another geocache and signed yet another logbook.

We then drove to Fort Scott, arriving right around sundown.



We also watched several trains pass through town, including this one, that had a crew change as we arrived.


In the late evening, we watched the International Space Station (ISS) appear to pass through the Big Dipper.

iss 7-23-17 ks

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7/22/17: Daily Post

Yesterday, we began a road trip to Illinois.  We started out the day late, but that allowed us time to get to the airport for Joey’s late afternoon flight to visit his father.  As soon as he boarded the plane, we headed east.

We turned northeast on US-54 at Tucumcari and stopped to see this awesome sunset under a (non-severe) thunderstorm.


While we watched this storm and sunset, two hawks landed on a tree nearby.


We continued northeast on US-54, crossing into Texas soon after dark.  Before we drove through Stratford, TX, we stopped to watch the International Space Station (ISS) pass overhead.

tx iss 7-22-17

On the other side of Stratford, we stopped once again, only this time, we watched the continuous lightning on the non-severe storms that had formed over the Texas Panhandle.  Most of the lightning was obscured by rain (sheet lightning), but, as you can see, it made for some fantastic photographic opportunities anyway.


We ended our night in Guymon, OK, at the Quality Inn near the north end of town.

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7/21/17: Daily Post

Yesterday, I spent the day prepping for my upcoming trip.  I ran like four loads of laundry, cleaned the fish tank, cleaned the bathroom and kitchen, and so on, before packing my bags.

We did find out that the Durango leg of our trip was cancelled, so we are driving straight to Illinois instead.

In the evening, I went to the Rio Rancho Seventh Day Adventist church and attended another prayer session and study of the Desire of Ages by Ellen G. White.  We are on Chapter 55, and had a lively discussion about the parable of the Good Samaritan.

In the late evening, we saw the International Space Station (ISS) pass overhead, and then we made some chips and dip, and watched Ghostbusters.

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7/20/17: Daily Post

Yesterday, I spent the day in Albuquerque, as there was a National Instruments local user group meeting.  The Albuquerque LabVIEW Network (ALVIN) met at a new location yesterday, and I was able to attend the meeting.  This presentation was on developing test software with a long, extendable life, including how to plan for new upgrades and how to document for future use.  I also made several contacts, including one fellow Techie.  I ended up chatting with him well after the meeting had ended.

In the afternoon, I did a quick stroll around the mall to take photos of “Help Wanted” signs.  I also replaced the battery in the Crown Vic.  I also called and chatted with my parents for an hour or so.

In the evening, I sat outside with JoAnna, read some online magazines and did some writing in a series of short stories that I have been creating.

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7/19/17: Daily Post

Yesterday, I finished up a few things at NMT before my trip to Illinois.  I spent a bunch of time working on some new software for the batch reactor in the Unit Ops software, and, when I finish with it, it is going to be awesome.  Once I am finished, I will copy what I can to the heat exchanger, the distillation column and the adsorption column as well, though they will need some additional customization.

Otherwise, it was a productive and uneventful day.  In the evening, I sat outside with JoAnna until the wind kicked enough dust into my eyes and water glass to build a sand castle.

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7/18/17: Daily Post

Yesterday, I commuted to Socorro for some meetings and some work in one of my labs.

First, I had a good meeting with a physics professor about a potential project in the near future.  It will involve some more LabVIEW work, and, as long as we can work out compensation, it sounds good to me.

After that, I spent the majority of the day working in the Unit Operations Lab, reconnecting a few experiments after their dormant spring semester and summer.  I also started developing new software in LabVIEW for these experiments.  Yesterday, I built the template, the safety agreement (that must be acknowledged before the software will run), and layed out the general architecture.  Today, I will finish writing the header file-writing routine, and connect the first device (batch reactor) to get the data acquision part running.

In the evening, I commuted back to Rio Rancho and watched the nearby thunderstorms with JoAnna until it began to rain.

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