I keep meaning to write lengthy, heavily detailed, extensive posts about all these things (in order to do them justice), but since I don't seem to be doing that, I figure I might as well make a "medley" post that mentions all of them.
Anyway, here's what I've been up to:
(1) I'm still currently job-hunting (for electromagnetic compatibility-related electrical engineering positions), and I actually got a response this past week from a company I submitted my resume' to. I figure that is progress, at least? Of course there's still the matter of whether they like my answers to their first round of questions, but still.
(2) I have been volunteering for about a month and a half at the SENS Foundation's local research center, helping out with Actual Science Stuff! Which has been super interesting so far. I am mostly assisting with the LysoSENS project, the primary objective of which is to identify and test compounds capable of degrading harmful chemicals that build up in the body's cells (specifically in the lysosomes) over time, eventually leading to disease.
Most recently I have been working on troubleshooting lab equipment that will hopefully end up being useful in this research. Troubleshooting hardware is seriously one of my favorite things to do, so I've been quite pleased to have the opportunity to engage in this sort of activity, particularly in support of some darn fascinating research. You can read more about the details of the research goals on the SENS Foundation site, which I've linked to above.
(3) I'm learning to build stuff! Like actual, functional furniture (to give an example). The photo below shows a window seat bench I built, almost entirely from reclaimed wood from the kitchen remodeling my SO and I did last summer.
It still needs doors for the front (to make it like a storage cabinet, I'm thinking for cat toys and blankets and whatnot), which I am working on and should hopefully have finished by this coming weekend.
(4) I am growing interesting vegetables and other plants (such as catnip)! The photo below shows some nascent collard greens, which I think are exceedingly tasty.
We have also grown cauliflower:
...and Swiss chard:
...and a number of other things. Gardening is oddly satisfying, I'm finding.
(5) A little while back I visited the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA. It is not a huge place but it was well worth going just to see the Babbage Difference Engine on display there. Holy crap, that thing is cool. It's like...this bizarrely awesome physical manifestation of math, combined with Steampunk In Real Life (or something like that). Below are some pictures I took of the machine (artsy effects courtesy of GNU Image Manipulation Program):
...and that is it for this update. I have done other things too of course, but these are some highlights. I guess I have really still been "reveling in the concrete", which is definitely not a bad thing!