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Slow convergence November 6, 2006

Posted by dorigo in food, personal, travel.

The diet I have started almost two months ago is bringing my weight down effectively enough, but I will have to suffer for a while longer in order to reach the optimal 154 pounds (70kg) I decided was my goal.

Things had been going pretty well until two weeks ago, when I left for Fermilab… It is quite hard to keep control of one’s eating habits when traveling. And in the US it is usually hard for me, since I either dine out or cook for myself – and in both cases I cannot contain my hunger (as opposed to what happens in Italy, when it is my wife who cooks for me, and usually does it very well).  Moreover, this time it has been especially difficult to refrain from nibbling on the food always available in the CDF control room, where I spent a full week from 8AM to 4PM…

That’s right. The CDF control room has a table – part of the desk of the Operations Manager – where food is available to all the poor souls having to spend their time watching at monitors to ensure data quality. The food is mostly provided by the Scientific Coordinator running the shift. The logic is that by providing food and drinks in situ people have no reason other than physiologically unavoidable ones for taking a break. But it becomes extremely hard to avoid the temptation of food in plain sight. 

So indeed, after the first couple of days on shift spent in denial, I agreed with myself it was hopeless to pretend I was still on a diet, while munching chips, cookies, and whatever else was available. And I suspended my diet officially.

Back in Italy, my scale shows that indeed I not only have lost the decreasing trend I had established in the former weeks, but I also gained more than a pound during the 10 days stay in the US! Oh well. It will take me three more weeks to get to the weight I wanted. That is a promise.

The shift crew is formed by two Aces – experts in data acquisition and monitoring that are chosen typically from the graduate students -, one consumer operator and one SciCo.


1. Dave - November 6, 2006

CDF shifters get free food? When you say that it is “provided” by the scientific cooridantor, does you mean it comes out of their own pocket, or is it paid for by the experiment?

2. dorigo - November 6, 2006

No, it is paid by the Scientific Coordinator himself. It is not a duty, but rather a tradition. Some SciCos bring little, some bring lots. During my shift last week I used to bring pretzels, japanese rice saltines, cookies, and fruit juice, which I laid on the table straight away at 8AM, plus bread, sliced turkey breast and cheese for sandwiches which I only took out of the bag at noon… Because otherwise, none would be left by then!
In fact, the food is supposed to be for people on shift, but everybody who stops by feels obliged and nibbles some… In a way it’s fun, it’s like continuous partying…

The money comes from the SciCo’s pockets, I doubt any University would refund that!


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