Today I got to go to a lab and see an amazing machine involved in special military stuff.

The Computer Guy came to the door to let me in and take me back to meet the scientist. We peppered her with questions  designed to winkle out the best keywords:

“Could we say ‘RF and microwave’ here?”
“Say I wanted one of these machines, I’d call down the hallway and say, ‘Let’s buy a ____.’ What word belongs there?”
“Would it be correct to say that accuracy and precision are the most important characteristics of this item?”

She answered with things like, “Possibly ‘milliwave’ might be more accurate” or “Really they should just call me.”

She was completely relaxed about the weaponry. I asked about security (I’m thinking I can write things about how the thing allows in situ testing, so there are fewer security issues), and she looked at me as though I were crazy. “Oh, I guess you would be able to keep your processes secret that way,” she slowly allowed, clearly thinking about industrial espionage rather than any more sinister purposes.

I do have a NDA, so she wasn’t that relaxed, I guess, but I think most people would remark on the danger or something. I am probably one of a relatively small number of people you’ll meet who has had a chance to touch this stuff.

I am also, and I thought at the time how lucky they were in this, one of the few people you’ll meet who actually knows how to spell all the words she was using.

Still, I’m looking forward to the project. And it was extremely cool to go into the lab and look at the stuff. 

I taught research skills to my early morning comp class and they did better today. We were looking into an Elizabethan murder, which might be easier for them to work with because they don’t come to it with preconceptions.

Also, I calculated final grades for my eight week class. It’s nice to be through with that one. It means I no longer have to drive clear up to the Next County every week. I hate grading people, though. I always feel sorry for the ones who get bad grades, though they clearly deserve it.

We were working on proposals, too. It’s a tough call with proposals. You want to put in enough work that it’s likely you’ll get the job, but not so much that you might as well have done the job already. But it involved site analysis and site architecture, two very fun things.

What a geeky day!

Then I went and played handbells — very badly — and sang not so badly. We’re going to sing the Robert Ray Gospel Mass, which is quite nice.

I’m going to finish the evening with Better off Ted and some knitting.