Research expenditures January 4, 2013Posted by mareserinitatis in engineering, humor, research.
Tags: Mike, research
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This morning, Mike said something about how he forgot to pick up some wax paper at the grocery store. I dug around in one of my drawers and produced an as-yet unopened roll of wax paper (because I’m awesome like that).
Me: ”Does the younger boy need it for school?”
Mike: “No, I need it to store some widgets. They have adhesive on the back, so the wax paper works real well.”
Me: “Oh, you didn’t tell me that this was for research purposes. I might have to put a hefty markup on that. Say, 300% of cost.”
Mike: “I’m sure the markup would be closer to 10,000% if I stated that the research were for national defense.”
That’s one expensive roll of wax paper.
Manager in the middle July 19, 2012Posted by mareserinitatis in career, engineering, family, research, work.
Tags: coworkers, marriage, Mike, supervisor
Way back when I was working on my MS, my husband and I got into a big argument about whether H or B was the “magnetic field”. (I’ve ranted before on terminology for various magnetic and electric quantities, so I won’t reproduce that here, but you can read a snippet on my old blog.) We attempted to solve this by going to our advisor and asking him which of us was right. Our advisor was astute enough to say he hadn’t heard of this issue before. In reality, he may not have, but he didn’t want to take sides.
I have wondered how people feel about interacting with both me and my husband at work. One person who has since left didn’t like my husband, and we both suspect that he didn’t like me as a “guilty by association”-type issue. Those type of issues are extremely rare, but I wonder what people think when one of us slips and calls the other, “Hon.” I think most of our coworkers don’t even think about it, but it still makes me uncomfortable. I know that the one time Mike slipped in front of clients, I wanted to melt into my chair.
More commonly, though, I have noticed that I will be far more confrontational and argumentative with Mike in front of our coworkers than they are willing to be with him. In one recent incident, he started going into a list of reasons why something wouldn’t work. We’d already discussed it at home, and I’d told him he was being overly cynical and putting obstacles in his path. He started going through the list again in meeting (that I was running), and I just shook my head and said I didn’t want to hear it. Of course, he ignored me and I rolled my eyes, sighed loudly, gave him an incredulous look, and said, “Okay, fine.”. I noticed a couple of coworkers exchanging grins with each other, and I wondered if it must be strange to see a married couple working this way. (I wonder how they communicate with their spouses, who aren’t engineers.)
Recently, we had an incident where we were in a meeting. We got into a discussion where I was disagreeing with him. After we got done, there was a pause, and our supervisor said, “Actually, I’m more inclined to agree with Cherish.” This elicited loud “uh-ohs” and “woahs” from several of our coworkers, and even a direct, “Are you sure you want to get in the middle of this?”
I find this interesting as I’m sure these comments wouldn’t happen if we weren’t married. I’m amused by these types of comments, but I wonder if it’s that we’re doing something to elicit them or if it didn’t matter how we behaved as it would still be in the back of people’s minds anyway.
I also wonder if they think we disagree all the time because we do it frequently at work. More than one coworker has been driven out of the room by boisterous white board drawing. It’s funny how we are much more argumentative with each other at work than we are at home.
Getting re-oriented March 12, 2012Posted by mareserinitatis in family, older son, pets, photography, younger son.
Tags: cactus, health, illness, Mike, older son, sabino canyon, travel, younger son
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I’m back home and getting adjusted to normal life again. Due to illness, I have been sleeping more than normal (which I probably should be doing when not ill, as well). My sinuses are also not happy with the additional 1500 ft of air pressure…but I’m getting used to it. Daylight savings also came at an inopportune time as I am now two hours out of sync rather than just one.
The dog was happy to see me and even happier that I took her for a walk today (just couldn’t make myself run). The younger son was very adamant about getting his present, so I handed him a bag of pistachios. He looked horribly disappointed but managed to squeak out a ‘thank you’. Then I gave him his real presents: a junior ranger vest (with many pockets for rocks), a book on the wildlife of the deserts of the US, and some Saguaro cactus seeds. He wore the vest all day and wants to plant a garden of cacti. (Mike and the older boy were more patient – they got shirts and some cactus candies.)
I did manage to get out to Sabino Canyon on Saturday morning before flying out. It a beautiful spot. I’ll probably post more pics on Wednesday. In the meantime, I have to tell you how tickled I was with the Saguaro cacti. They are so easy to anthropomorphize, and the one above looked like he was having a conversation with the rest of them. Or maybe it was yelling at the tourists like myself. With that little arm sticking out, it looks like it’s pretty adamant about something.
Running update – 4 mos. February 12, 2012Posted by mareserinitatis in family, food/cooking, personal.
Tags: Mike, running
I’ve been jogging for about four months and am very close to going a full hour at my abominably slow speed. I’m finding it’s great stress relief. A few days ago, I was so stressed out that I made dinner, put it on the table, and said, “Have fun guys. I’m going to run.”
Given a choice between running on my treadmill and having dinner with my family, I usually prefer the latter. However, I think it says something about how positively it affects my mood that I made another decision that night.
One thing that perplexes me is that it’s obvious something is going on with my body despite the fact that the scale has barely moved. I can now wear clothes that I haven’t been able to fit into since before I started my PhD program almost 4 years ago.
Mike told me there was an easy explanation: “You’re just getting denser!” Of course, he had a huge grin on his face. I find that ironic coming from him, of all people.
Actually, after a comment like that, maybe it’s obvious why I skipped dinner…
My babies, furry and otherwise December 8, 2011Posted by mareserinitatis in computers, engineerblogs.org, family, pets, photography, younger son.
Tags: belly rubs, computers, Gigadog, Mike, pictures, video, younger son
I have a couple posts to write, but as today was my last day of classes after an extremely late night/early morning grading frenzy, I am too fried to put down anything coherent. You’ll have to make do with some pictures.
First, this is what greats me after I do a run on the treadmill, which is in the basement:
However, lest you think she’s not getting any love, you need to see this video:
And finally, a rare picture of the younger son. I have an old (as in 10 year old) iBook that the younger son was using, but the keyboard doesn’t seem to be functioning. We’re not sure if we can fix it, but Mike decided to order another iBook that we can use to scavenge for parts. Not only is it cheaper than buying a new computer, it will provide both of them with hours of entertainment, especially since the iBook we ordered has an Air Port.
I fear this means I’m losing the war, however. Mike and I have been arguing about whether he’s going to be a physicist or an electrical engineer. Engineer is looking likely at this point. I can handle it if he goes into electrical engineering…but certainly not something lesser like mechanical. ;-)
He’s not carrying me November 20, 2011Posted by mareserinitatis in engineering, family, papers, research, writing.
Tags: collaboration, Mike, minion, nepotism, papers
(Image courtesy of the Wife Carrying World Championships.)
Way back in the dark ages (i.e. this summer before school started), GEARS and I were chatting (because he actually had time to breathe then). The topic of me working with my husband came up, and he made a comment saying I should be careful not to publish too many papers with my husband because people will assume that he’s carrying me. I said that was true, but the people who make that assumption are also likely to be the ones who assume I’m an idiot by virtue of my sex. He conceded that was likely true, and then the conversation moved on to other things.
However, GEARS really does have a point. This is particularly frustrating because of situations like the following:
About the same time that GEARS and I had this conversation, my husband asked me for help on a paper. The paper was one written by The Minion and which Mike was a coauthor. (I, however, am not.) It had been submitted twice to a pretty good journal in engineering, and rejected both times. He asked me to take a look at it.
After reading the paper and the reviewer comments, I suggested some major changes. The problem was that the reviewer kept asking for comparison of The Minion’s widget to some other widgets, as well as a few other things that didn’t seem relevant to what they were doing. I told them that while the paper was supposed to be about this new process The Minion used to improve and old widget to make a new one, the paper was written as though it was showing off a new widget. If they could change things so that the paper was more about the process than the widget, than comparison to the other widgets would seem irrelevant as you already have comparisons between the old widget and the other widgets. They really wanted to compare the old widget to the new widget to show that the process worked.
My husband rewrote the paper in line with my suggestions, checked with The Minion, and resubmitted. I’d like to say the paper got accepted, but it didn’t. On the other hand, the nature of the comments changed from assertions that the paper was useless to specific comments to improve the paper, all of which were easily addressed. Once those changes were made, the paper was resubmitted and accepted.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the kind of thing that other people see. People seem to think that when you’re not married to someone you collaborate as equals, but when you are, someone is pulling more of the weight. I imagine that’s true in some cases, but certainly not all. And in our situation, my husband gets as much help from me as I from him.
If he really wanted to carry me, we could always look at participating in the actual sport of wife carrying. Apparently we’d only have to go to Wisconsin to compete.
Of course, I’m personally more interested in the husband carrying competition:
Why I really work with my husband October 31, 2011Posted by mareserinitatis in family, grad school, papers, research, work, younger son.
Tags: children, family, Mike, papers, research, work
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This past week, I’ve been trying to get a paper ready to submit to a conference. My husband is a co-author on the paper, so we spent a good chunk of the day cranking away at it. I worked on the text while he fixed all the LaTeX issues we encountered. This is my first time submitting a conference paper using this method, and I wasn’t acquainted with all the nuances of the IEEE style. I guess I’ve lucked out because I either used Word (up until I finished my thesis) or let my co-authors deal with the issues that arose from LaTeX. Either way, the paper was submitted at 5:30 p.m., a whole 5 1/2 hours before the deadline.
Then we came home. He took the dog for a walk, and I went for a run. He cooked dinner, I showered. He took younger son trick-or-treating, I handed out candy while trying scarf down my dinner. (Older son held back Gigadog so that she wouldn’t a) try to steal candy out of the dish and b) slobber all over the trick-or-treaters to show them how much she loves them.) And now I can finally get to writing tomorrow’s lecture and grading while he gets the younger boy to bed. Oh yeah…and Mike has work to do, too.
It’s a good thing I work with my spouse or I’d never get to see him.
Gigadog update May 24, 2011Posted by mareserinitatis in pets.
Tags: dirt, Gigadog, macrocat, Mike
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Gigadog continues to grow, and my fear of some sort of injury from trying to keep a 40+ pound puppy in check keeps growing.
Her manners are improving: rather than laying on the cats and nipping at them, she’s just laying on them (mostly).
(Gigadog laying on Macrocat.)
She’s also working on her communication skills. This is her, listening to Mike.
Yes, she’s still brown – the contrast on the video was pretty bad.
And finally, her favorite pass time seems to be eating dirt.