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.

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