Fun with family

True to form, it’s taken me quite a while to post another life update. Since an estimated 50% of the readership of this blog is my mom (Hi, Mom!), and I just got back from a visit to Utah, it hardly seems necessary…but I have a lot of pictures to share before they get filed away in a subfolder of “Harvard G1,” so here goes.

 

Research is chugging along okay. We should be getting a new (well, old, but new-to-Harvard) dilution fridge shipped from Columbia, so I spent an afternoon soldering resistors into boxes for when we hook it up here. The microscope pictured is used for Raman spectroscopy on our carbon nanotubes (my plans for Saturday afternoon). In order to see the tubes so we know where to aim the Raman laser, we have to coat parts of them in gold, which is what the other two pictures show. The colorful disk is a sample holder, suspending the chips with nanotubes on them (the light blue things; the dark blue things are masks that control the area of metal deposition) above the chrome (silver and green rod) and gold (gold pellet in boat) sources in the thermal evaporator. Long story short, this setup allows us to deposit chrome (a sticking layer) and then gold (which is shiny under green laser light) on a rectangular area of the growth chips with carbon nanotubes, so only part of the tube is coated.

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Harvard Farmer’s Market, my Tuesday lunch outing every week. My purchases so far: a thyme plant (which has made a valiant effort to die, including falling off our 3rd story balcony), a couple of way-better-than-supermarket tomatoes, and 4 bottles of locally-made hot sauce (one for Dad and a value pack of 3 for me).

I’ve had a bit of a social life at Harvard, but nothing I’ve actually taken pictures of…so I’ll jump right in to pictures of Utah! I got to go home to Salt Lake City over the 4th of July weekend, and my brothers were able to come as well.

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Nice roses and yucca blooming in the front garden. Of course, we kids were deputized for a bit of yard work while we were home. 🙂
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Start of the Wasatch Crest Trail at Guardsman Pass.
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Todd juggles two vital components of a successful bike ride in Utah: water and sunscreen.
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Looking off the other side (away from Salt Lake and the trail) of Guardsman Pass.
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“Are you done with the sunscreen yet?”
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Bloods Lake (no apostrophe), near the pass.

All in all, it was a pretty gorgeous time to visit Utah! Apart from some outdoor fun, we had some new University of Utah hires over for grilling, Moosewood-recipe ricotta cheesecake (delicious with cherries), and fireworks-watching on the 4th…

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Lighting is bad because it’s nighttime and we’re trying to watch the fireworks nearby, but trust me, it’s even tastier than it looks.

Oh yeah, and we (that is, my parents) adopted a 7-week-old male lab/border collie puppy! They thought Tillie (our 5-ish year old lab/border collie) needed a friend.

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He’s a cutie! (Photo credit to Mom.)

He’s currently named MOSFET (Metal Oxide Semiconductor Field Effect Transistor), because my brothers and Dad (and me) thought it was hilarious. Mom has been calling him “Otter,” but I’m not a huge fan of the name. Maybe Maxwell is an acceptable compromise?

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And…now I’m back in the day-to-day in humid, cloudy Cambridge, enjoying myself at work and outside of it (awesome D&D session last Sunday!), but wishing I had a puppy to play with sometimes. Any dog-owners in the Cambridge/Somerville area?

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Cambridge Public Library, of which I am now a card-carrying member! My first check-outs were The Android’s Dream (John Scalzi), The Bullet-Catcher’s Daughter (Rod Duncan), and Fun Home (Alison Bechdel).

 

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