Thursday, August 28, 2008

Bye Li, Hello AA!

AA does not stand for Alcoholics Anonymous. In fact, it stands for Atomic Absorption. Here is my graphite furnace (Pb, As, and Cd):And here is my cold vapor (Hg):As you can see, they're both sooooo nice. We went through a very difficult time this week.

Mercury needed a new computer, since the air inside my AA room is so moist and full of acid and such...yeah, the computer corroded itself to death. So that was times. Mr. Graphite Furnace had a bad week, too. First, he wasn't getting enough power to his circuits, and his magnet failed. It turns out that the silly men working downstairs turned off my power while I wasn't looking. Apparently the switch is right next to the switch for their swamp cooler. Oops. Next, the computer decided that there just wasn't a furnace at all, nor an autosampler. So, the repair guy came out and fiddled and poked and prodded and came to the conclusion that he couldn't fix it unless he could get schematics and the service password. SURPRISE, Thermo wouldn't give it to him, so we had to have a Thermo technician come out, and of course, that costs a lot of money so the boss wasn't too happy. SO. The Thermo technician came and fiddled and poked and prodded, and said we needed a new part. THEN, all of a sudden, it worked! For no apparent reason! So we sent the technician home. The next day, the lead sequence ran just fine, but when it came time to play Arsenic, it died. Again. SO...the Thermo guy came back (His name is Freeman. I don't know if this is his first or last name.) and it turns out he had to recalibrate the alignment on the arsenic lamp, which he should have done the first day, so he only charged us for half an hour of work this time. While all this was going on, we had to get the samples tested somewhere, and the lab we normally contract out to was broken just like we were, so we had to find a place who could do it fast and that means lots of money. So, to sum up:

Travel expenses to have the Thermo guy come out:


7 hours of labor:


Getting 5 days of samples run at an outside lab with a rush priority:


Finally having my freaking instruments back:


Li is gone and I'm a little sad. We had so much fun. I took some pictures of animals at the zoo...we intended to go to Lagoon but it didn't end up happening because we forgot to check the schedule and when we remembered it was too late. Oops.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Li! Panda!

Work today was cool. Everything worked perfectly the first time, so I got done quite early. I came home and tidied up a bit because LI IS COMING! I'm so excited. I haven't seen her in over a year, so it will be nice to catch up and do all our fun things. We're going to hit Panda, since that's something we did together quite frequently during college.

So we went through our shed and some of our closets today and got rid of a lot of things. I feel less relaxing. I still have odds and ends around the house that I need to find places for, or put them where they're supposed to be.

Scott has been trying to sell some old games and paintball gear, and of course the Jetta, and people keep calling, saying they're interested and that they will come at x o'clock, and they never show up. This has happened like ten times. It's getting old. But what can you do? We have it on KSL, and we bought window paint so we can put a note on the window that it's for sale.

Yesterday we went to get groceries and when we came out to the car, the tire was flat! It had a big hole in it that looked like we had run over a nail. So, we went to the only tire place that was open (Wal-Mart) and spent a few hours wandering around while we waited for our car to be better. Our other front tire was close to bare, so we had that one replaced while we were at it. This car is turning out to be more expensive than we of the headlights is out and the dealer said it would be $400 to fix it...and we tried to get another mechanic to do it, but he said it was beyond him, so we HAVE to go to the dealer. Snakes, the lot of them.

I love my new phone!!!

So, when I turned eight years old, my mom bought me a ball of yarn, a crochet hook, and a little book about how to crochet. Here is a picture of the first thing I ever crocheted: Clearly, I've come a long way. Right now I am making a tablecloth/centerpiece for Naomi. Here is one of the pieces:And of course I'm making all my scarves for the homeless shelter (except this year I learned how to make hats!), and I think I might make myself another purse sometime. Here is a picture of the tree I crocheted onto the end of one of my scarves.I think I will go do logic puzzles for a little while. Then I will sleep. My favorite!

Thursday, August 7, 2008


So after seeing the receptionist at work with her adorable nails, I decided I wanted them too! And, since I don't work with organic solvents, they won't dissolve. Turn yellow from nitric acid, maybe...but they won't dissolve!

Work today was ok. There weren't many samples, but outside companies contract with our lab to have testing done, so I ended up testing lots of samples on FTIR. Also, I couldn't get the graphite furnace to behave while I was trying to test for cadmium so I had to replace parts and take it apart and fiddle with it for like an least I'm becoming a pro at fixing the darn thing!

Now let me vent/brag for a minute. I'm venting because the guy training me is annoying. I'm bragging because everyone at work already likes me better than they like him and they think I am doing a better job. SO. Maynard is his name. Actually, it isn't. His name is Kirk. But he doesn't go by Kirk because someone once told him he looks like the lead singer of TOOL (which he doesn't). Anyway, so Maynard. He's a jerk. Straight up. Nobody likes him because he's just mean to everyone's face and talks trash about everyone behind everyone's back. Nast. But, tomorrow's his last day, so I think I might survive. It's funny how I totally had the wrong impression about him. I guess I just want to like everyone.
Here's the braggy part: so, apparently, Maynard is a lazy bum. He doesn't clean up after himself, he doesn't refill things when they're empty, he won't help anyone out, and he leaves work for other people to do that would be easy for him to do. He plays all day on the internet and talks on his cell phone, and, though his purpose in still being there is training me, exhibits obvious distaste for any questions I ask. All that is to say: I am so better than he. Everyone has already said so. I get results to people in a timely fashion, I fill things if they're empty, even if I didn't empty them, I go the extra mile. That's how my Mim taught me to work, so there. I just hope everyone likes me. I try to be nice to everyone and I don't say mean things about people behind their backs.

The end.

My stomach hurts.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Mercury and Sugar Free Candy

GOOD NEWS: Lamictal went generic! Now, instead of paying at least sixty dollars a month for it, it's ten! I win the race!

Today went ok. I had 23 samples, which isn't too bad...the other analysts think it's too much but it doesn't bother me as long as everything runs smoothly. BUT, after my 23 samples, I had another 14 because every month at my company the water from every faucet has to be tested for heavy metals, and, oh, look, that's my job. OH WELL. It wasn't a problem. The problem was, the mercury AA didn't want to play nice today. I checked everything and replaced the tubing and everything, and it still didn't work. I thought maybe it was something to do with my prep work, but after about an hour of messing around with it, it just all of a sudden started to play nice. Everything came out just as it should, so I'm sure I'm prepping right.

Last night I took Nyquil, since the last few nights I haven't been able to sleep. I felt terrible this morning, since it doesn't wear off for me in six hours like most people. For me, it's more like 12-14 hours. So, about eleven this morning I started to feel not dead. I had to take a break this morning and run to the gas station and get a diet Dr. Pepper (mmm, favorite) to help wake me up. You can't be messing with concentrated acids and be sleepy. Bad mix.

The Atkins diet is hard because I crave carbs. Mostly, I just really want a biscuit. I had a dream about biscuits the other night. The diet is easy in one sense: I have a problem with portion control. Instead of seeing Oreos and thinking, oh, I'll just have one, I have twelve. So, on this diet, I know that if I take even one bite of forbidden food the whole diet will crash, so I just don't. And there are cravings, but no temptations. However, I do have a sweet tooth so I have bought stuff to make low-carb fudge and the other day I tried to make low-carb chocolate mousse, but I whipped it too long and it turned into chocolate butter. But, I have bought some sugar-free candies (which are meant for diabetics, but some of them are ok for this diet, too), like Yorks and chocolate covered caramels. HAPPY DAY!

Right now I am listening to the soundtrack for Prince Caspian, and it makes me so happy. I grew up with the stories in the Chronicles of Narnia, and I was so afraid that when they started making them into movies that they would butcher them. They didn't! They did such an amazing job! I know that some people were disappointed that they changed the storyline of Caspian, but as long as I look at them as different stories, I don't mind. The music is beautiful, they chose perfect actors and actresses, and the costumes and computer!

I better get some sleep. Work is early. I don't like early. Boo.