Monday April 6th 2009. Launch -?? days.


This afternoon was dedicated to more than four hours interviewing three candidates for the Planck Community Support Scientist post. I don’t know how it felt for them, but it was as sure as hell tiring for us. Essentially we asked the same questions of the three candidates, but it was noticeable how the detail was different and that the candidates responded in a very different way. It was also interesting to see how we debated the various merits of the candidates afterwards, with a fair degree of agreement.


Most of the day ended up being dedicated in one way or another to this task. Elsewhere things are quiet. A good indicator is the number of emails that hit my inbox during a day and it is noticeable that it is way down on normal. Life goes on but, inevitably, many people have taken this week off. We do need it and with things essentially on hold in Kourou, nobody is going to die if we do it. The week after Easter though is going to be a real wake-up call as we will have just one week until what we sincerely hope will be the final simulations campaign starts and we will have to be ready for it.


This evening I could even ride home fairly early. The strong wind made life interesting, but it was a pleasure to go home in daylight, although with heavy rain visible nearby and the wind bringing the raindrops with it from, it seemed, several kilometres away. My tyres were just beginning to get very slightly soft and so I stopped at the garage on the way to pump up to the necessary 3 bar. Afterwards, the change in the balance of the bicycle and the reduction of effort needed was really noticeable: it’s amazing how much a difference pumping the tyres really hard makes (think of the fuel saving in your car).


Tonight the first of the pieces of IKEA furniture has been mounted (the DVD unit) and manoeuvred into position: two boxes to go. I am looking forward to getting them up and the sitting room nicely organised and further personalised.


By 11pm I really was very tired but, instead of the early night that had been intended, that book got re-opened. It was pernicious. The idea was to change a phrase slightly from what I had written last night. And that led to adding a paragraph and that led me to add a note and that led me to adding… before I knew it, it was 1:30am and an extra 600 or 700 words had been added. My ideas are beginning to come clear. With the introduction completed, the way forward is obvious.