Fuck Yeah!

Nov. 29th, 2008 12:31 am
funranium: (Rad Worker)
Just received notification from the American Board of Health Physics.  That test I took in Pittsburgh back in July, the Certified Health Physicist Exam Part I...I passed.

Now, three more years of professional practice before I am allowed to take the much more difficult Part II.  At that point, I will be an internationally certified Master of Radiation.  Tremble, mortals.
funranium: (Butt)
When I returned to my room last night from the pizzeria around the block, there was a small housekeeping cart sitting outside my room...

INTERLUDE: Holy crap, there's Amish in the airport, going to Detroit with me!!!  I would have thought flying wouldst be idleness.  Perhaps they'll be hooking a horse team to the plane...

That's funny, I thought to myself, housekeeping already did my room up this morning.  When I went in, my TV was on, which I certainly hadn't turned on.  It wasn't until this morning that I noticed the things that were missing.

I'd built a nice little stash of change for riding the bus back to the airport,  but I couldn't find it.  With a sigh of annoyance for forgetting where I'd put things, I got myself together to get breakfast and some more change, but lo and behold my sunglasses were gone too.  They didn't take my computer because that would be too immediately noticeable but taking a man's specs and ~$3 in pocket change is just low.

So, note to other travelers: the Omni William Penn Hotel in Pittsburgh have thieves on their staff.
funranium: (Default)
As I was fiddling through the random junk given to me in my convention bag, I started looking at the map of downtown Pittsburgh and noticed the little blurb for the Frick Art & Historical Center.  That gave me a bit of a start because when I hear the name Frick in association with Pittsburgh, I am thinking of the Homestead Strike, Pinkertons, and attempted assassination.

Henry Clay Frick, the union buster superintendent who called 12,000 Pennsylvania State Militia, courtesy of the governor who wasn't about to argue with Carnegie Steel, leading to one of the bloodier episodes in American labor gets his own damn art museum with history told his way.  It would be like building a Mengele Cultural Enrichment & Clarification Center near Auschwitz.

I then discovered, while reading my hotel's historical info in that other generally useless book every hotel room has that the Omni William Penn had been built by Frick along with much of this part of downtown.

Such are the wages of sin.  When invested, they seem to pay a decent dividend.
funranium: (Boozles)
If, by some miracle, I passed Part I of the Certified Health Physics exam in my bleary eyed state I will be surprised and inclined to consider the possibility of divine intervention.

I discovered a lovely greasy spoon that looks to have been here for half past forever called the Steel City Diner.   I can easily imagine Pinkertons getting tossed out by their ears by enormous Polish waitresses for being no good bums in steel strikes long passed.  I bought the coffee mug I drank from for good measure it pleased me so.  Shame their coffee didn't impart the power to dominate the American Board of Health Physics, but at least it kept me mostly awake. 

The time shift to the east coast screws with me badly.  London and New Zealand don't but this does.  I woke up at the California equivalent to 3:10am for my test this morning.  Not exactly prime hours to dredge for the minutiae of radiation protection.

It is now time to sleep, once housekeeping finishes with my room, and then strong drink courtesy of the Oregon State University Nuclear Engineering Deptartment.  Bless them and the Friend Booze who takes the horror away.

Just for [profile] blark, the Part 1 exam is both nightmarish and overwhelming.  There has been some significant sanity and stamina loss.
funranium: (Default)
As of 5:30PM EST, I am in downtown Pittsburgh, PA for the annual Health Physics Society meeting and to take the first part of the certification exam (which is why I am writing this instead of studying, obviously).  I have now, officially, set foot outside of an airport in the old North.  I have somehow made it into my thirties visiting all the states west of the Mississippi minus the Canadian Annex (the Dakotas and Minnesota) yet never been north of South Carolina east of Ol' Muddy 'til now.

It is very unfortunate that it is after 5:30PM EST because downtown Pittsburgh seems to shutdown, except for hotels, at 4PM on Sunday.  Food options were limited to McDonalds and the not that much better but five times as expensive hotel grill.  Oh, and newsstands stay open too, if by "newsstand" you mean "purveyors of porn rags hardcore such that you wouldn't even want to be associated with your penis after looking at them".

As I walked around, it did not think it possible for more sports attire to be displayed than by the mental case patients of the Raider Nation and their cousins who worship the A's.  I am not happy to say that the Pirates and Steelers fans have proved me wrong.  Perhaps it is my proximity to the stadium.

Also, I went to Penn Station because...well...I like train stations.  It is worth noting that Penn Station, PA is extremely different than Penn Station, NY.  I now know this.  What was tasteful and nice from the turn of the last century, designed by Burnham, has since become a very hoity toity apartment building called The Pennsylvanian.  The remainder rump of a station that Amtrak now uses and has the audactiy to call Penn Station is one step up from your typical Greyhound bum toilet.

There is a bizarre mirror surfaced high rise with out buildings that looks like the bastard child of gothic cathedral and a disco ball.  I should have brought my camera, because by the [personal profile] benchilada's rules this building doesn't exist unless I take pictures of it.  By my failure to plan ahead, his reality warping will wink it out of existence the moment he reads this post. 

EDIT: The building is PPG Place.  I thwart you, Senor sTone!

As always, it is shocking at how green the east coast is.  One forgets sometimes that California is pretty much entirely desert in comparison to the land east of the Rockies.  The price is humidity and that sticking to one's self feeling.  On a positive note, there was a bit of a thunderstorm while I waited for my bus from the airport.  I do loves me some sturm und drang.

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