Saturday, May 26, 2012

DISC 12 London (24 May)

There were some last minute changes to my itinerary (at my insistence) headed into London.  The original plan was to fly into Heathrow airport, yet the DISC venue and hotel were at Gatwick airport., and the flight to Aberdeen for the next DISC was to be from Heathrow.  Well, getting between Heathrow and Gatwick has been a nightmare for 30 years... the options are: $200 taxi ride (or more), 1 hour bus or 1.5 hours on the tube and train all the while schlepping heavy luggage.  This was all fixed by changing my flights from Milan and to Aberdeen to go through Gatwick.  Thank you SEG for seeing the logic in my argument.


The London DISC was held at a very nice venue in the Sofitel Hotel at Gatwick N. Terminal.  We had 51 in attendance, bringing total worldwide attendance to about 600.  As usual, the major point of discussion was the value of Q --- intrinsic v apparent, Q for processing v Q for modeling, etc. I am still thinking about it all.  Very interesting.

One of the attendees found a bug (thank you, please step forward and identify yourself) in Chapter 5 Figure 12 of the DISC book.  It is detailed here.

About Town

London is one of my favorite towns, especially since living there in 1980-81.  The first day was a hook-up with my old buddy Ian Webster at Victoria station.  But the trains were delayed and the place was filled with 5000 agitated commuters.  It took us an hour to find each other, but then we had a nice beer on the south bank of the Thanes along with a few thousand other folks.  We finished up for dinner at his local pub The Balham Bowls Club (BBC).  The next day, my daughter Samantha (a nuclear engineer working near Toronto) flew in for a visit.  At ian's suggestion, we headed away from the scrum of central London and went to Brighton on the south coast.  This is a great little seaside resort that for a few days a year (like the one we saw) is warm enough to get people out on the rocky beach.  The Brighton seawall stretches for a few miles and at its base are a long succession of outdoor-seating pubs, cafes and various oddities.  Here is a photo of me with an oddity:

I am told it is a lobster.

Our other interesting activities included a performance of Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap and a visit to the London Dungeon (Sam's idea, but I enjoyed it).

But I have to say the biggest thrill of all (for me) was the coincidence of being in London during the Antiquarian Book Fair.  I went to this once back in the 1980s and here was my second chance.  Sam went along and even pretended to enjoy it.  We saw a $190K Copernicus, a series of four beautiful world wall maps from the early 1500s (only $500K for the set), and a $25K first edition Harry Potter.  My tastes are a bit more modest, I picked up two  nice first editions; The Little Sister by Raymond Chandler (1949) and a 1952 history of British Golf.

One happy book collector.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

DISC 11 Milan (21 May)

The Milan DISC was hosted by ENI under the expert hand of Eugenio Loinger, famous for an early dip move out paper (PDF here).  Many thanks Eugenio.  

The famous, and very nice, Eugenio Loinger.

There were 44 in attendance at the ENI lecture hall (very nice).  

Alessandro Amato del Monte supplied a PDF of O'Doherty and Anstey (1971).  This is a paper I had been missing on my blog entry for key references.  The presentation went well with some good questions, but perhaps the most exciting thing was the earthquake a couple of days before the DISC.

About town

The vast and lovely Galleria shaped like a cross and open at each end.

The central glass dome, amazing since 1877.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Milan earthquake (20 May 2012 4:05am)

My sleep has been sporadic.  Heavy dozing before midnight then up at 3 to read and crash 5-9.  While reading David Copperfield at 4:05 am,  I heard a sound like creaking windows in a wind, but no wind.  Then came a hard shove sideways of the bed that had me thinking someone was in the room, but nothing there.  It was a magnitude 6 earthquake as reported in the popular press and by the USGS.  My first EQ!! Every seismologist should go through one.  Now I have.  For the record, the strong motion was horizontal and (from orientation of my bed) first strong motion was along a 200 degree azimuth.  There was no discernible vertical motion.  My coordinates: 45°25'17.20" N   9°15'10.15" E (map)

Friday, May 18, 2012

DISC 10 Moscow (17 May)

Thought I would give a few impressions of Moscow before it all fades from memory. My first trip, after all.

 The plane ride in seemed to pass over pockets of gray concrete apartment blocks with vast green spaces separating groups of them bigger than the Houston medical center. You would think the green space would be a good thing, but somehow it wasn't. Taxi from the airport was 1.5 hours to go 30 miles. My handler, a nice young fellow named Vladmimr Zuev of EAGO, had a couple of interesting things to say. 1. When locals see road construction they realize it is not a process, but a status. 2. When it comes to traffic: If you are moving, now matter how little, then it is not too bad.

 Up early Wednesday morning and off to red square. I was out way ahead of the crowds and found a starbucks along the way. It is about 3 miles which is more walking than this computer jockey is used to. Unlike the apartment towers seen from the plane, this part of town is quite nice. Lots of older buildings, streets wide enough for a super tanker, and more than a few stern and blocky soviet-era 'government buildings'. The city center is a walled medieval collection of churches and museums, very charming with a wide garden around the perimeter in what used to be moats. Well not all the way around, the north side of the wall is red square where the Kremlin and Lenin's tomb sit. Red square is about 3 acres paved in stone.

The part of town I have seen is as clean as Brisbane, which is saying a lot, but not nearly up to the antiseptic cleanliness of Narita. I did not see one person who appeared to be homeless or asking for handouts, more than I can say about Houston. The people seem energetic and busy. I am here on a nice spring day. A brief interlude, I am told, between brutally cold winter and scorching summer. Excellent timing.

 Well, having walked about 10 miles today I need to rest up for tomorrow's DISC at the University of Oil & Gas. Interesting that Russia and China have oil & gas universities, while in the U.S. O&G research and teaching is spread across departments of petroleum engineering, geology and geophysics. And O&G is typically a small part of the latter two.

The DISC was held at Gubkin University for Oil & Gas.  This school was hopping with activity, lots of students running around.  The DISC attendance was 28 including several students, bringing total DISC attendance to 505.  We got a late start due to local traffic, but managed to get through most of the material.

Not an official class photo, but most of the attendees.

Gubkins's Rose and EAGO's Vladimir took care of me.

A nice gift from Gubkin.  A guy can always use a hoody.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Shrewsbury photos

lady of the house

the bar

view out to the deck

kitchen counter

great room wall

master bedroom

Dolores at her desk in the study

master bedroom

table in study

master bath

view from kitchen

TV area

dining area

front door

Robin's Egg guest bedroom

view from the street

Pertinax in basement

storage bunker under deck

squirrel rope to deck

kitchen door from carport

perimeter light scones

basement stairs

storage bunker

basement bedroom/study