Friday, April 3, 2009

Day 9, 4/3/09 -- on the road again

Today started off well-enough. The weather is getting better and better -- today we had about 75ish degrees, clear skies, and moderate wind. And, our liquid helium arrived from Waxahachie, TX (the home of what was to be the Superconducting SuperCollider). 1000L of liquid helium, and only a little bit of waiting.

Then, I got a call from UPS. Cardiff sent our half-wave-plate via international priority shipping to Albuquerque. We had intended for them to ship it via FedEx to a FedEx sorting/distribution facility; the plan was that either Shaul would pick it up on Saturday before driving to Ft. Sumner, or if we needed it sooner, I would drive out to Albuquerque on Friday to pick it up. Sounds simple enough, right? Wrong.

The half-wave-plate was shipped via UPS international. No problem, right? Wrong. The address on the package was the FedEx sorting facility. UPS tried to deliver it to FedEx, and I'd imagine much hilarity ensued, culminating with FedEx basically saying "Uh, we don't want it". Hence the call I received from UPS -- the package was on the driver's truck, and would be available to pick up at UPS between 6-8 PM.

So it turns out that Jeff didn't need the half-wave-plate until Saturday anyway, so we figured Shaul could just pick it up before driving to Ft. Sumner. No problem, right? Wrong. Unlike FedEx, the UPS distribution center is closed on the weekend. If we didn't pick it up today, between 6-8 PM, the next chance would be Monday -- an unacceptable delay. So...I had to drive out to Albuquerque to pick it up. If you look up "snafu" in the dictionary, I'm pretty sure you'll get a story very similar to the one above.

In between talking to UPS and getting in my car, I worked on getting the window closed (not done yet) and helping Jeff with a part for his shaft assembly. Jeff continued working on the shaft installation; after I left he and Milligan worked on the computer control of all his various motors in the half-wave-plate assembly. Hannes struggled with getting 1o lbs of crap into a 5 lb bucket (i.e. connecting 7 connectors in a space that comfortably fits maybe 4 and then closing it all up in an RF-tight way). I honestly have no idea what happened with the gondola/ACS crew.

Of course, because it was Friday, we went to the hamburger stand -- I got the catfish. It was quite good, though I have to say I like the shrimp better. In Albuquerque I called my friend Chris in Minnesota to give me a recommendation for a pizza place -- as there is no pizza in Ft. Sumner, I figured it was something that would be appreciated by people here. After some consulation with Yelp, he pointed me to Giovanni's, which was indeed an excellent pizza, and I brought most of it back with me to share with the meat-eating part of the crew.

Not too many pictures today -- not surprising since I spent about 6 hours of today on the road (including missing the turn-off for Hwy. 84 in Santa Rosa while talking to my mom on my cell phone).

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