Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Spontaneous sampling trip

I went into work early today just because I was up early, and I caught a few people who were going up the Swiss national park for the day sampling.  And when they asked if I wanted to come, I just couldn't say no.  So I left a note on my lab-mates desk and hopped in the van for the 3-hour drive to the park.  It was rainy on this side of the mountains and very snowy up at the top of the pass (isn't it supposed to be summer now?) but the other side was pretty dry.  We parked right next to the border crossing to Italy, and hiked over a hill to the sampling site.  There were four of us for about 6 samples that took 30 minutes to take, but scenery was nice and we were having a good time.  On the way home, we had to stop at the inn nearby to try the Gerstensuppe (barley soup) under the new management, and after finding it satisfactory, we climbed back into the car for the ride home.  

For going across the alps in a car, there are two options.  You can drive your car onto a hollow train that goes straight under the mountains twice an hour (like a ferry, but on a train).  Or in the summer, you can drive over one of the passes.  If it was snowing today, I imagine it's pretty impassable in the winter.  There were some guys biking it today.  Hardcore.  

I made a beautiful braided yeast coffee cake filled with a mixture of almond paste and poppy seeds and brought it into work today. Since I wasn't around, I didn't get to hear the response, but it was all gone by the time we got back, so i guess it was enjoyed.  

I've been trying to do more writing the past few days, but feeling a little overwhelmed.  I searched yesterday for recent papers on the subject, and it came up with about 60 in the past 2 years, most of which I haven't read or heard about.  I feel like after each paper read, I feel like I know less and less of the big picture.  I guess I'll just keep plugging along.  In good news, I think our reactor materials are about 1/50th the cost of the standard materials used in the literature, so we should have some impact.  I hope.  

1 comment:

Louis said...

Minnesota is a lot flatter to bike across although it hit 97 F yesterday.